While standing in the prescription line at the pharmacy, I often get restless and fidgety. I tend to buzz or vibrate, even levitate, all while giving off a tuneless whistling sound.
I look desperately around for some distraction to take my mind off the crushing indignity of me, of all people, being forced to stand unnoticed and unvenerated behind people who seem seriously unspecial and who act as if I don’t exist.
Sometimes, if the line is long enough, I am pushed back to the rotating rack of self-help books. Their titles tell me they were written for the very people ahead of me in line who cannot see them because they are not at the back of the line. I believe this is called irony.
Take, for instance Eighteen Crucial Laws of Growth. Flip to the table of contents and you find:
• Law Number One: Avoid standing in holes. Growing will take twice as long.
• Law Number Two: Stand on tip toes whenever growth is being measured.
• Law Number Three: Avoid activities that cause the growth of hair on your palms.
• Law Number Four: We’re not kidding about Law Number Three.
What crap. I’ve been breaking those laws since forever and look how I turned out. (BTW: You can get hand razors delivered to your door in discrete, plain brown wrapping paper marked only with your address and the logo of Hairy Joe’s Naughty Boy Palm Scrapers.)
Tell me these other titles in the rack aren’t for losers.
• Whatever it is you’re doing, God wants you to knock it off
• 12 life strategies for developing 12 life strategies on your own
• The six most effective habits for getting noticed by insects
• How to avoid lower back pain when picking up what life is laying down
• Five easy steps to wearing your baseball cap frontwards
• Everything you need to know, you will never know, so suck it up and keep the line moving
The last time I was at the pharmacy, an arrogant guy in line behind me shouldered me aside and grabbed a copy of Dude, Mind Your Own Beeswax, Dude.
I was about to say something when he smirked and just pointed to the title. What gall. Some people think their bingo bango don’t bongo.
To be fair, not every book in the rack is worthless. I like to thumb through 7 steps to find alien life in the universe.
• Step 1: Look in the mirror. Ask “Am I an alien?” Meditate on your answer. Or medicate, if you got ‘em.
• Step 2: Get a telescope on e-bay or make one out of a paper towel roll. Aim it at the sky. Zoom in on anything that looks like an alien spaceship. Write down the license number and text to Homeland Security.
• Step 3: Download the app for finding aliens. Warning: make sure you ask for the ‘’Outer Space” alien version, and not the “Invisible, Undocumented Canadian” app.
• Step 4: Look in the mirror again. Ask “How’s it going?” Don’t kid yourself. (Alternate Step: If mallet handy, knock yourself out.)
• Step 5: Start an alien meetup group, but disguise its name so as not to scare off aliens. Example: “Retired UFO conductors interested in Pictionary” meetup; “Spacemen seeking space women” meetup; “Little green men survivors of Lime Disease” meetup.
• Step 6: Learn to speak an alien language. If no classes are available in your area, send for free booklet “Universal sign language for chatting up aliens and invisible Canadians.”
• Step 7: Borrow your neighbor’s spaceship and boldly go where no neighbor has gone before. (Urgent: Before blasting off, repeat step four.)
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2015, all rights reserved.