A Mind Wasted

[Preface: In order to understand the “why” of this writing, you have to scroll down to the very end. I said the end, boy, did ya hear me, the end!]

Once upon a midnight dreary
While I pondered weak and weary
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore…

Wait a minute! That’s not right. It’s only 4:22 pm. I have 7 hours and 38 minutes to go until midnight. And I’m not pondering anything much. That’s the problem. My brain has been drained and I am in a zombie state. Trapped… trapped… oooooohhh… trapped here in this office, never to see the light of day. {{Until morning that is.}}

Did you know that tonight is the rising of the full moon? And if you happened to look just a little after sunset you could also see Jupiter high in the sky?

Wait. Wait. Now I remember, when the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mercury… No, that’s not right either. Mars. Yes, that’s it. Mars. (Now why do I want a candy bar?)

A grasshopper goes into a bar. The bartender looks at him and says, “Did you know that there is a drink named after you?” The grasshopper replies, “No. Really? You mean there’s a drink named ‘Steve’?”

Speaking of bars… What if there were no homonyms? What if a law were passed that all words that have identical constituent phonemes must have but one, and only one, proper denotation. Thus, the word “bar” could only mean (by act of Congress, and pontifical decretal) a place where drinks are mixed, made, and sold. Tennyson would have looked forward to death, where he would get another drink: “When I have crossed the bar.” A gymnast would go to a local watering hole where the counter top is placed on a hydraulic lift, for that would be the only way to raise the bar. To bar someone’s way would necessitate throwing drink bottles at them. And who wants to contemplate what it means for a lawyer to pass the bar. (Of course, some pass the bar too often as it is.)

Not that I frequent bars, nor encourage anyone else to do so. In fact, once upon a time (this is a true story), there was a land developer who bought up thousands and thousands of acres of seemingly useless land in southern New Jersey. He then developed and sold the land. In 12 years time he had created a thriving community of 11,000 people. And guess what? There was almost NO crime. The police basically were unnecessary. To what can we credit this social miracle? Well, the developer stipulated that anyone who purchased property in this community must agree to not drink or allow alcohol into the community. The entire area was totally dry. And crime was almost non-existent. True story. This happened in the late 1800’s, and the community was called Vineland.

I think I hear singing: Mister, we could use a woman like Carry Nation agaaaaiiinnn.

I once was taking a nap on my couch. (This was when we still lived in Markleysburg, PA.) I was rudely awakened from my dozing by a phone call. It was a telemarketer. I was groggy and half asleep—but had enough presence of mind to realize that I didn’t want whatever it was that he was selling. I tried, oh so politely, to get the guy off the phone. (He wouldn’t budge. He was perched there like Poe’s Raven on that silly bust of Athena.) So finally, my befuddled brain clicked into gear, and out started pouring forth the wisdom of the ages… well, anyway, the first thing that my somnambulist mental condition would allow. It went something like this…

Twas brillig and the slithey toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe
All mimsey were the borogoves
And the mome raths outgrabe.

The telemarketer promptly hung up on me.

(Thank you, Mr. Dodge.)

What? Do you now recog the ref? Try Lewis Carroll, then, the nom de plume of said Mr. Dodge, Esq. You know… Alice, white rabbits, mad hatters and tea parties.

I recently heard someone comment that they believe that “The Walrus and the Carpenter” is a social critique of organized religion. The Walrus is emblematic of the Buddha. And, of course, the Carpenter is Christ. The clams they devour are the poor sheep milked, fleeced, robbed, pilfered and otherwise sucked dry by the religionists. Now, that’s social commentary that makes sense and should be promulgated throughout our public educational systems. (Please note use of excessive sarcasm.)

{What fools these mortals be!}

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

Why, oh why, you ask is he writing all this drivel: Boredom. Fatigue. Insanity.

What a horrid word drivel is… is drivel. Sounds like the technical term for the residue left on your pillow after you have drooled on it. (Am I still sleeping?)

Ever notice that “live” spelled backwards is “evil.” Think there’s some great truth there? Well, consider this: “devil” spelled widdershins is “lived.” Hmmm.

Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says “I’ve lost my electron.” The other says, “Are you sure?” The first replies “Yes, I’m positive.”

Is this all a dream? Old Taoist riddle: You dream that you are a butterfly. But… are you really a man dreaming you are a butterfly, or are you really a butterfly dreaming you are a man?

Butterfly, flutter by my mother and tell her that I dearly love her.

I wrote that on a paper plate and glued a construction paper butterfly on it, and then presented it to my mother for Mother’s Day back in 1964. Don’t blame me for this [drool residue], my first grade teacher made me… she made me, do ya hear, she made me do it!

Honest officer. It wasn’t my fault. Mrs. Troutman made me do it.

Is she a first grade teacher dreaming she is a trout, or is she a trout dreaming that she is a man?

Old Taoist idea: wu wei. Akin to woo woo. Which is a lot like choo choo. It is the eastern philosophical belief that a train at rest is full of potential to achieve the state of perfect harmony with the proper balance of yin/yang as found in the watery receptacle that is the Tao station house. All abooooard.

{{Did you know Tao makes “Scrubbing Bubbles”?}}

If you have terry cloth yin and yang, do you hang them on a Tao rod in your bathroom?

Descartes declared, Cogito ergo sum. Id est: I think I’ll – er – go some[where]. So he curled up in a barrel and created Cartesian coordinates. And school children have been cursed with X’s and Y’s and even Z’s ever since. Can’t you get in trouble for catching a few Z’s in school?

Six purple dancing elephants
Each one a whirling dervish
One wore a pinkish pair of pants
And it made the others nervish

And why not? He was an escapee from the San Francisco zoo.

Old Taoist: Lao Tzu. First cousin to I’ll Sue. His parents were I’ll A-Lao It and Kanyu Lao Bricks.

Lao Tzu went to the last gate on the western border of China. The gatekeeper stopped him, and required that before he left the country he had to share all his wisdom. This became the Tao Te Ching. This is a Chinese recipe for turning cleaning supplies from the Dow Corp. into ready cash. Ka-CHING! Bling. Bling.

Three local churches were having problems with squirrels. They were invading the churches’ facilities, and no matter what they did, they just could not seem to get rid of them. Each church did the really churchy thing and decided to call for committees to investigate the issue. The Presbyterians had the presbytery meet. After long deliberation, they decided that it must have been predestined that these squirrels live in their attic, so they chose to endure their presence with resignation and longsuffering, trusting in divine providence. The Methodists called a conference. After much soul searching, they reasoned that the Christian thing to do was to treat the squirrels with humanitarian grace. After a rather involved fund raising effort, they purchased humane squirrel traps and captured the little buggers. They then took them to a nice, quiet, safe forest about 20 miles away and released them. Of course, squirrels are much smarter than we, and they immediately began the return journey, returning to the Methodist church within a two day period. However, the Baptists were the wisest of the three. They borrowed the humane traps from the Methodists, captured and collected all the squirrels, and then held a special service for them. During this service they baptized each and every squirrel (totally immersed, of course) and then received the squirrels into full membership in the church. Thereafter, they only saw the squirrels at Christmas and Easter!

Returning to ravens… this reminds me of other carrion birds. Did you know that vultures have a special physical and chemical makeup that allows them to eat things that would poison and kill most creatures? Isn’t that amazing? God even thought to design vultures as special creations, with a wonderful digestive system that can eat run-over snakes, rotting wildebeest, rank decaying deer, and reeking odiferous roadkill of all kinds. Huzzah for vultures.

(The only man I have ever actually heard use the word “huzzah” was William F. Buckley. ‘Nuf said.)

Last shot: A vulture boards an airplane, carrying two dead raccoons. The stewardess looks at him and says, “I’m sorry, sir, only one carrion allowed per passenger.”

(In the background you hear snare drums go Ba Boom.)

Good night, Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are!

Postnote: Why this odd, weird, strange, bewildering and frankly silly post? Well, believe it or not, it is in honor of Easter Sunday. In some church traditions, the time after Easter is considered appropriate for telling jokes, being silly, just having fun. The reason? To celebrate the greatest joke that has ever been perpetrated in all history… the joke on the Devil when he thought he had defeated Christ and thwarted God’s plan by having Jesus go to the cross. Ha!


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