All the fun and excitement of professional football translated for your convenience!
I read recently that commenting on blogs is a good way to introduce people to your own writing. As a reclusive nut case, I mostly sneak around blogs I admire and retreat back to this particular whateveritis after reading them. If you’ve commented here, or followed, I’ve read your work and enjoyed it before going back into the cave of Mostly Teachable. There is a reason that I don’t comment much, and that reason is the fear of sounding like an argument I read today between two braniacs about whether Mr. T. is pro or anti-Nietzsche in his personal philosophy. Friedrich Nietzsche was a German philosopher who died in 1900 after battling drug addiction, mental illness and syphilis. What a joy he must have been at parties. “Let me get this straight, Fred. God is dead? Geez, you don’t look that good yourself.”
The argument over which side of the Nietzsche school Mr. T errs on is ludicrous. There’s a reason that a group of Hollywood character actors rode around in the A-Team van and not the great philosophers of the last three centuries. The reason is that the philosophers would have never made it out of the van. What a weird scene that would have been if NBC had made an action series in which Nietzsche, Kant, Camus, and Kierkegaard had formed a band of vigilantes who weekly were charged with bringing down banana republics. There’d have been thrilling arguments over the nature of existence and God, of science and reality. Not so much the throwing of hand grenades, but the dialogue would have been something else. Is is possible that Mr. T. is a great philosopher on his own terms? I saw him at Burger King once in Chicago, and he was an imposing figure, but very kind to his fans. That’s really all I ask out of my heroes. That, and an explanation of free will.
In most of life’s capacities I can solve problems, and keep the wheels of commerce turning. A man picks up useful bits of knowledge and adds them to his invisible resume over a lifetime. I may never have to repair a broken Consomme raft again, or make casket boxes, but at least those things are under my belt. It’s my capacity as home owner that will always be a source of vexation. For all intents and purposes, I’m inept as a home maintenance engineer. My goal in life is to mash all of those career bits of knowledge together into a job that pays enough to hire professional, competent repair people. Not that I don’t enjoy repeated electrocution and miscellaneous eye damage due to metal projectiles. No, the fact is that there are these people (supposedly) who’ve mastered the mechanical arts enough to avoid injury. One day, I’ll hire them. In the meantime, I’ve got a fence to mend.
My stockade fence has fallen in over the winter. Why is it that you can put up a fence and the flimsy thing won’t even withstand 11 winters within a ½ mile of Lake Michigan? With the advice of an engineering whiz, I set out to Lowe’s in search of steel posts, a sledgehammer and some rope. Remember the A-Team? Those guys could defeat the Bolivian Army with less material. Lowe’s is where the men are separated from the accounts payable clerks. Despite shuffling around the tool section in loafers, I manned up and asked the clerk for a b.a.s.h. “What is a bash?” the clerk wanted to know (right before he left for home. ‘Hot date with acne tonight, I guess). That would be a big…ahh…sledgehammer. Having gotten my posts and a b.a.s.h., I raced home and started smashing. I sang the ballad of John Henry, that steel drivin’ man. John Henry was defeated by “The Man,” and his modern machines. “The Man” won’t defeat me and my obscenely large hammer. I’ll probably drop it on my foot long before that happens.