16 July, 2006

In a dusty drawer

I recently pawed through my parents' Drawer of Important Documents, in search of my Social Security Card.* Therein I came across many old and wonderful memories, including old stories I and my siblings had written, my various graduation certificates and diplomas, letters my parents had written after they had fought, etc. There was a fairly representative history of my development as a cartoonist, which demonstrated to me that I have squandered a lot of talent.

I also found my journal from first grade, in North Plainfield, N.J. Therein is recorded my great love for He-Man and Transformers, a chronicle of what I accomplished in art class earlier that day, and the anticipation, aftermath, and enjoyment of the spoils of Christmas. The modal entry was "Yesterday I was bord.[sic] I had nothing to do." I seem not to have mastered the distinction between "b" and "d" by that point.

In a separate pile I found a much later product, a bit of humorous writing from after I had overcome my b/d handicap; I believe I was fourteen. I am somewhat dismayed to see that neither my wit nor my diction has grown any sharper in a dozen intervening years. Anyhow, I include it here, for your delectation:
We, being the human beings that we are, frequently need to urinate. This often causes stress in the form of bladder trouble, which is mistaken for stress at work. Then we become nervous wrecks (also attributed to stress at work) and shoot dead skunks with tin cans. This, too, is mistaken for stress at work. We then decide to leave work, and take a vacation.

So you make elaborate plans to go on a cruise to the Bahamas, but this will invariably be "rained out" by "rain". So you must make plans to visit another pleasant place, like grandma's house. This will usually mean a lot of cheek-pinching, and comments on how much little thirty-year old Timmy has grown.

You could visit someplace better, such as the Grand Canyon. This, we hear from our friend Mr. Alfred Geologist, is a tectonic formation resulting from erosion of the landscape due to the action of the Colorado river. To me, it looks like a big red ditch. A beautiful big red ditch, mind you, but a big red ditch nonetheless. Don't tell this to Alfred Geologist, because he is liable to hit you with an uppercut to the jaw.

Another delightful place is Grand Teton, which is just the opposite of Grand Canyon, being a mountain range. This wonderful area features such attractions as large rocks standing majestically in the background, making it the headquarters of half the world's postcard companies, and strange animals called moose which look and sound like cows but are not. One of the more interesting sights here is Jenny Lake, a three-mile wide lake which is remarkable for its clean water. Take many pictures of this water, especially if you live in New Jersey. This will tide you through the long months of drinking leaded water between vacations.

Of course, if you don't like nature, you can visit an amusement park, such as DisneyWorld, and get yourself chopped into little itty bitty pieces as the roller coaster mows over you where you fell onto the tracks after you went over that last loop.

Another alternative that I have not yet mentioned is a tropical vacation. This is simply where one takes a vacation in an area characterized by good climate and nice beaches. It is a good idea to bring with you a pair of sunglasses and a bag of Tostitos, because sunbathing is pretty boring, and you might as well make some money filming commercials while you are at it. It is also a good idea to bring items such as long underwear and a heavy parka, in case there is suddenly an Ice Age.

You can have your vacation where you pretend that you are doing something exciting for about a week, and then you must invariably return to your job, and do work. I find it deplorable how few children are willing to do work. They all want to relax, have a good time, have some grown person do the work. I think all the grown people should revolt, and overthrow their nine-year-old masters, and dump them in the Thames river to dissolve. I know this has no relevance to this article, but don't you think it's true?

At your job, you will of course be asked by your boss how your vacation was, and then sent to work photocopying a mound of papers big enough to fill the Titanic and enough typing to give you arthritis of the clavicle.

At this point, it would be a good idea to take a vacation.


* Which I was seeking because I finally decided to get a cell phone, and they wouldn't give me a credit check without it.

I acknowledge that I am betraying some sort of principle by succumbing to social pressure and getting one of these things, but I am no longer certain what that principle is (willfulness?).


Arthritis of the Clavicle!!!!

I take it you're not a roller coaster man. Or perhaps like me you've grown a taste for them since the age of 14?

I love going through those drawers, but sadly, multiple moves has a tendency of making them anemic and far too plural. It's a little odd how parents will keep things of ours that we never would. It's that odd reminder that we won't know what they feel about us till/if we have our own kids.  

Posted by Saheli

BTW, you really should just memorize your SSN.

Very precocious! 

Posted by saurav

Ah, I remember your Dave Barry phase.

I shall now proceed to do my big-sisterly duty and embarass the hell out of you on your blawg.

He once wrote a novella-length book full of shameless Muslim-Turkish stereotypes. It was set during the Crusades (this was his Robin Hood/Ivanhoe fanboy phase), and featured a lot of tortured, purple prose and improbable action sequences. I, of course, was very impressed. Unfortunately, this masterpiece was lost to future generations when the computer it was housed on crashed.

The lesson I learn from all this is that when your brother writes an embarassing novel, you need to print it out and put it in a safe somewhere. 

Posted by DearDarlingDidi

Hey, I remember that. It was pretty damn good, I thought! Blech. As I recall, I read several biographies of Richard I and such (in addition to scads of Walter Scott) to give it verisimilitude. 

Posted by saurabh

Fan of the Lion in Winter at all? Or the Johnny Bellairs books? or Guy Gavriel Kay? 

Posted by Saheli

GG Kay Rocks! If you haven't read the Sarantine Mosaic, go do it right now. Really. Seriously.

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