We tend to think of philosophers as the only people who can understand the essential truths of life such as Being, or Nothingness, or What Being In This House Left Nothingness In The Bag Of Donuts I Bought For Breakfast?
But look, those professional philosophers who make the big bucks are not the only ones who can say things that no one else understands. That’s because potential philosophy happens right in front of our eyes every day.
Only this morning, during a moment of existential discomfort, I confronted a universal biological-cum-cosmological issue and put it into loud, though meaningful pedagogical terms: “WHY IS THERE NEVER ANY FAROUKING TOILET PAPER IN THE DOWNSTAIRS BATHROOM?”
You may find it odd (possibly, although oddly, you may find it even) that a lot of philosophy originates not as an answer but as a question posed usually by a wise man or a wise woman. (More often it is posed by wise men because most wise women are familiar with the kind of questions wise men keep asking if they’re so fructosing wise. Like “Where’s my cell phone?” Or “Why can’t you be more like me?” Or “Where’s my cell phone?”)
Who among us couldn’t use a few hits of philosophy as we approach a new year, searching desperately for that metaphorical fire hydrant we can hook up to and douse the fire in our figurative flaming colons and semi-colons? That, by the way, is a philosophical question. For the philosophical answer consider the following bite-size philbits:
• When a moment turns spontaneously romantic, why pause to take a pill, or find a bathroom (unless you need to take a quick bath or score some weed)?
• Every cloud has a silver lining (Yay!) except when it doesn’t (Booo!)
• When life gives you squat, give it back diddly squat. If life gives you back your diddly squat, give life diddly squat diddly. And so forth until you die.
• When life gives you lemonade, pour in some beer.
• When life gives you makeup, makeup your mind.
• When life gives you zip, make sure you keep it zipped.
• When life gives you the plague, make sure to save all the original packaging so your survivors can show it to a lawyer.
• When life gives you irritable bowel syndrome, don’t go for any long walks.
• When life gives you Jell-O, please, do not make fruit salad.
• When life gives you six of one and half a dozen of the other, ask for a bag.
• When life gives you manure, rent a manure spreader.
• Good things come to those who wait. Good things also come to those who don’t wait but who get up and track down the waiter and ask him where the hell is your beer and then you take somebody else’s beer off his tray. Not to worry. The somebody else who was supposed to get that beer is used to waiting.
• A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. A journey to the super market begins with the eighth step.
o First step: make up a detailed list or just find last week’s detailed list in your coat pocket.
o Second step: get in the car.
o Third step: go back in the house and get the car key.
o Fourth step: drive to the store’s parking lot and wait twenty minutes for the geezer ahead of you to back his Escalade into a spot between two menacingly accessorized Harleys.
o Fifth step: select a shopping cart.
o Sixth step: push the cart into the store.
o Seventh step: push it back outside and exchange it for a cart that is not possessed by an evil wheel.
o Eighth step: go back into the store and sigh. Your journey has begun. BTW: your day is now officially and philosophically shot.
©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2016, all rights reserved.
You have done the philosophy department….proud.
I call them as I see them…in a little dark hole in my head.
You skipped putting the sanitizer on the handle of the cart. Your walnuts might now be contaminated!
Live and learn. My walnuts thank you.
My first college paper came back from my philosophy prof and it had a 60 on it that had been erased and replaced by the never popular (unless you are a Lawrence Taylor fan) 59. In handwriting that I decided displayed too much happiness for the occasion, he added an emphatic F+. Not familiar with the nuances of the F-ing world, I asked him what it meant. He told me I failed. . . but I failed well!?!?!
The F+ story was supplied by Tom Urtz. I no longer have to be anonymous about it.
Never heard of an F+ Proves there’s always hope…that
the guy who gave it to you was run over by a speeding bus.
He didn’t know this, but my uncle was chairman of the philosophy department! I could have had his head on a platter . . . but my uncle would insist on reading my paper. Then a 59 could turn into a 49 and I could get run over by a bus driven by my headless professor.
Your life is very complex. I’m going to have to turn you in to The Simpletons.
Please . . . I need help