President Bush has urged all citizens, each and every one of us, to go back to work. To resume our routines. To return to normal. And believe me, I'm trying. Trying hard. In fact, just yesterday, making every effort to follow the president's advice and get back to life as usual, at four different times throughout the day I took a moment, reached down deep, past the shock and pain and numbness, and forced myself to mock Dubya's stunted intellect and broadly ridicule the manner in which he came to occupy the Oval Office. It felt strange after all these days. Almost unnatural. But it also felt good. Like coming home. And I know that if I apply myself, within a couple of months, I'll be back to mocking and ridiculing the man at my normal, pre-Sept. 11 level of 368 times per day.
I must admit, though, this is my lone success. I'm having more trouble getting back into my other routines, all of them victims of my diminished powers of concentration and general ennui. Which is not to say I've given up. No. I'm fighting back. And the first step has been to create a checklist for myself. A list of reminders and instructions which I will use to guide me back to normalcy. Once there, I'm just a hop, skip and jump from sanity.
1. Stop shuffling around moping in my smelly old pajamas. Tell everyone else in the office they really should do the same.
2. Finish scanning all the old family photo albums onto CD so I can PhotoShop all pictures of Dad out and PhotoShop beloved character actor Ward Bond in.
3. Follow up with the doctor who did the laser surgery on my eyes and find out how much longer it'll be before my laser vision actually starts working so I can burn holes through steel armor.
4. Resume lobbying the British Government to change Greenwich Mean Time to the less antagonistic Greenwich Nice Time.
5. Restart shuttle diplomacy between the Dick York Darrenistas and the Dick Sargent Darreninians in order to achieve a lasting peace throughout all of Television Land.
6. Get back into the habit of taking time to stop and smell the Roosevelts.
7. Complete final draft of One of Our Brainiacs Is Missing, my historical investigation of the Albert Einstein sperm cell which, having been (covertly) obtained and frozen by the O.S.S. before the end of World War II in the hopes of someday creating, through artificial insemination, a new, better, fully American Einstein (i.e., one with a more conventional haircut), went missing in May 1947. Build more tension in Chapter 9, where gamete, after being lost for over 40 years, is found by U.S. ground forces in 1989, thawed and useless, in the vegetable crisper of Gen. Manuel Noriega's refrigerator. In Chapter 15, weave in current theoretical physicists speculations regarding the possible discoveries a 21st Century Einstein might make, including the Quantum Mechanical Pencil (a sharp-tipped writing device that, as it moves through space at the speed of light, could put an eye out) and the Unified Theory of Relatively Sudden Death (i = Mc2[b], where "i" represents indifference to a massive coronary and "Mc2[b]" represents a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger with Bacon).
8. Recommit to proving that the sum of a series of irrational numbers is one's long distance phone bill.
9. Get back to active investing and entrepreneurial capitalization. Note: Review recently received proposal from Finger Fun Inc., maker of patriotic novelty, "F*** You...But Don't F*** with the USA," a 1-by-1 1/2-inch American flag that's fastened to one's middle finger, allowing the wearer to flip people off while, at the same time, letting them know that, just because some element of their bonehead behavior has filled you with rage, we're all loyal Americans and we need to stick together.
10. Try to remember just who the hell Gary Condit is.
11. Resume examining my birth certificate for loopholes.
12. Resuscitate Operation: No More Operations, my door-to-door fundraising campaign that seeks to raise enough money to permanently eliminate any need for future door-to-door fundraising campaigns.
13. Start going to baseball games again. Life is just too short to ignore the one game that makes life seem entirely too long.
14. Revive research efforts to determine the true author of the phrase, "Those who cannot remember Santayana's maxim about history are condemned to hear it repeated." ©
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