Smoking George

George would call on a weekly basis looking for Uncle Bill. As Uncle Bill’s secretary I would sometimes answer the phone and follow his instructions to say that he wasn’t home if it was George calling. “He’s like an old lady. He always wants to yap yap yap.”

George was of German heritage so as a 10-year-old I thought it was appropriate to ask Uncle Bill if he was a Nazi? That’s all I knew about Germans back then. George would buy me a wrestling magazine every time he came over. Unfortunately, he’d buy me the cheap one that I didn’t like. I never had the heart to tell him my lack of enthusiasm towards them but he figured it out one day. I was never very good at hiding my emotions. “Do you not want them anymore?” I sheepishly shook my head. It was nice of him to think of me though. It would have been nicer if he brought me the one I liked or a Playboy.

I don’t even remember what they both talked about when he came over. All that I remember is the two of them filling the room with secondhand smoke. George would see my discomfort and say something like, “it’ll put hair on your chest.” His other friend would say eating onions would also put hair on my chest. The problem with people is that they tend to think they turned out just fine so any abuse they lived through is considered acceptable to transfer to you.

All of Uncle Bill’s friends were either divorced or never married, but usually divorced. George was probably never married. He drove what I thought back then was a nice car. It’s what you do when you don’t have kids — you buy nice stuff for yourself. There’s a good to high chance that George is dead now. He probably died with a lot of chest hair.

 

Post-pandemic Travel

You may have had the pleasure of having to take off your shoes during an airport security screening. You can thank the fucker who in 2001 attempted to detonate a bomb in his shoe while on an American Airlines flight. If the 9/11 had not happened just a few months prior, this attempted shoe bombing incident may have been viewed as a one-off by some joker.

On paper, terrorist attacks pale in comparison to countrywide pandemic lockdowns in terms of deaths and economic damage. Very likely, we’re going to have new screening measures for travellers as a consequence of this pandemic we’re currently enduring. If you have to take off your shoes during a security screening because of a failed shoe bombing attempt, who knows what they’ll make us go through to prevent another pandemic.

How easy has it been to have some contagious sick person travel to another country? You could send a few people to another country with some new contagious disease, have them work at restaurants and spit in everyone’s food. Strapping a dynamite vest and blowing yourself up in public is child’s play now. An even easier method to purposely infect people is to have them fly to your country and spit in their food there.

Will we all have to go through a 2 week testing period before we leave a country? If they rigorously screen you for potentially being a terrorist or criminal, are they going to start screening you for your health issues? If they can’t come up with a screening process without severely disrupting travel then they will just roll the dice and just hope this virus stuff doesn’t happen again for a very long time because it appears that nothing is more important than the economy.

Too Dumb, or Not Too Dumb,…

…that is the question. By the time you have a, hindsight is 20/20 moment, it probably means you’re way too late and all you can salvage is a lesson. If all you ever have are these moments during your life it basically means you’re visually impaired.

“The only true test of intelligence is if you get what you want out of life.” 

This tweet I came across had me pondering the degree of its validity. There’s plenty of intelligent people living miserable lives. Perhaps, people who are considered intelligent do not always make intelligent decisions. I take the quote to mean that if you are considered intelligent then you should be able to eventually figure out how to get what you want. If you give up on what you thought you wanted then maybe it wasn’t actually what you wanted or you do not possess enough intelligence.

So what if you’re considered to possess a high degree of intelligence, you’re miserable and wish your life was different? It could be said that if you’re not willing to work towards that change then your miserable life is actually what you want. It’s not what makes you happy but it’s what you want given the circumstances.

While thinking about the tweeted quote I semi-reluctantly asked myself if I have what I want from life. My fear was that if I came to an honest conclusion that I do not then I would have to entertain the possibility that I’m a dummy. No, I do not have what I want out of life or at least not all of it. It’s too soon to say that I’m a dummy though since the game isn’t over yet. It can be said though that I failed miserably on the intelligence test for most of my life.

Many people have some of what they want out of life or at least the appearance of it. Another test of intelligence is knowing what you have or want isn’t going to transform into another lesson in hindsight. Being able to trace your missteps is invaluable but more important is something more akin to 20/20 foresight. If you’re more skilled than others at seeing the future then you’re more likely to be closer to the life you want.

Maybe we already have what we want and are not intelligent enough to realize it.

Healthy Pandemic

In a world plentiful of attractive substances that can accelerate you to your death there’s always products offering substances not as attractive but with a more favourable health outcome.

I’ve been drinking lots of Bubly, a sparkling water beverage with zero sugar and calories. It doesn’t get you inebriated but you get a sense of achievment when you make it through the day without alcohol or soda. Sometimes not losing is winning. At $0.50 a can they’re fairly guilt-free too.

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This lockdown has probably given many people a good enough excuse to jump on the loser train. “Might as well. There’s nothing else to do,” they say. The gyms aren’t open, socializing activities are limited and many are viewing this as a vacation. Sooner or later there’s a stop on the Loser Train Express where one might become sick of their loser tendencies. Some will get off at Chubby Ave while others stay on until Obese Street. Rolling the dice and waiting for Insulin Boulevard is more common than you think.

Back in my paleo diet days I used to eat 85% dark chocolate as a treat. I slowly wandered away from that diet and turned into a half slob. In my full slob days I would eat 4 doughnuts in one sitting. The fear of diarrhea worried me more than the sugar I was ingesting. I’m back to eating 85% dark chocolate rather than its less pure nemesis, milk chocolate.

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I’m better than you

A couple of days ago there was a 28 car line up at the Starbucks drive-through. Either people really like their Starbucks or they’re really bored. Or maybe both. It was amusing to follow the line to see where it zigged and zagged through the parking lot. I have a feeling Starbucks is going to make it through this pandemic okay. Since all the fast food places require you to use their drive-through, I haven’t had a bite of McDonald’s or its cousins.

If you wanted to get away from the members of your household, volunteering to do the Starbucks run would be brilliant.