Let’s say you have a headache caused by facing up to the folly of your life, vis a vis stubbornly clinging to the fantasy of getting rich, famous and relatively beloved by even non-relatives before deadness reduces you to a mute point.
Compounded by your frequent misplacement and/or hatred of commas and the heinous practice of writing run-on sentences with no subject, predicate or goober peas and having the grammar police SWAT team surrounding your house and ordering through a bull horn PUT DOWN THE GERUND, STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD.
[Let me ask you this: After those two horrible days in the fourth grade when the concept of the gerund was shoved into your overcrowded mind (specifically, the space reserved for analyzing “The Cinque Ports,” by Ford Madox Ford) have you ever knowingly used a firetrucking gerund in a sentence?
If someone put a nerf gun to your head and said “A gerund or your life,” wouldn’t you have to use your call to the grammar lady for help?]
Let’s say you have that kind of headache.
You reach for your favorite legal brand of pain reliever. You start to shake out a couple of caps when a small plastic cylinder falls into your hand.
These ubiquitous foreign objects (UFOs)are put there by the drug companies to absorb the moisture of their many sins (greed, avarice, pig impersonation, etc.) and to leave their hands clean in case some loon at the factory accidentally puts plutonium caplets in there.
One of those cylinders plopped into my hand this morning. Its label read “DO NOT EAT.”
I was immediately of two minds (yes, yes, they require two separate therapists). The first mind said “What idiot would try to eat this?”
Not to be undone, my second mind said “You think they’d issue a warning if some idiot hadn’t already eaten one?”
My first mind’s clever riposte: “You think the idiot ate it raw or sautéed it with a little butter and garlic, possibly a splash of white wine?”
Mind number two fairly shouts “It’s plastic. It would melt and you’d never scrape it all off your sauce pan. Obviously it was served cold with strawberries, kiwi fruit, blueberries. A squirt of whipped cream.”
It’s times like these when a third mind would come in handy, but the skull would need a Winnebago type bump-out, or a Frankenstein forehead. That would look ridiculous.
Luckily, good old mind number one came through.
“Wait a minute. If someone is stupid enough to eat one of these things, do you think a DO NOT EAT warning will make the slightest bit of difference?”
A damning point, suggesting the warning means nothing, i.e., idiots will be idiots.
However comma even idiots (or idiotic survivors) can file a lawsuit. Not hard to imagine how that reality hit home:
One day a hungry lawyer for a drug company shakes out a pain reliever and finds a cylinder bearing not one MEGO* of legalese. As a basketball announcer might take up the exciting narrative: “He stops, he pops. It’s good like Kinella bread!”
Fortunately, the lawyer’s attorney is there to apply the Heineken maneuver. The trembling, spittle-sodden lawyer sues his own company, makes a bundle, and the next day we have DO NOT EAT labels.
And yet, this morning I saw nothing on my foreign object against sticking it into my nose, ear, rear or belly button. So, being Captain of my Soul, I made a command decision.
I went with the left nostril.
Ab I beel bine.
*My eyes glaze over.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.