Rebuilding the dead
Q. What exactly are power handles?
A. They’re pretty much what they sound like. You use them to hang onto power
Q. But isn’t the idea of hanging onto power metaphorical?
A. No, the idea of hanging onto power is one of the most basic instincts of life. Like breathing. Or making a rude noise and immediately slapping your hand over your head and asking, as innocently as possible, “Did somebody step on a duck?”
Q. So, power handles aren’t tangible?
A. You’re thinking of “love handles.”
Q. I’m thinking of what I want for lunch.
A. Be careful. What you want and what you get are often two different things
Q. That’s like Mick Jagger saying “I see a red door and I want it painted black.”
A. He also said “You can’t always get what you want.”
Q. What are some other basic instincts of life?
A. Lying, back stabbing, front stabbing, getting your fair share and the share of the guy in front of you, extorting lunch money from PhD candidates in the school yard, blaming everything on someone else, falsely claiming honors like the Congressional Medal of Honor, or shouting “Call that chair!” at the right hand of the Father.
Q. Why do so many people crave power?
A. It’s not so much power as it is a defense against being ignored.
Q. Is that because the dead are so often forgotten?
A. Not always. There are dead people who know how to hold onto their power.
Q. How do you do that?
A. It’s all in the handles on your coffin. And the training of your pallbearers. Something you need to be very specific about in your will.
Q. Always wondered. What if your name isn’t Paul?
A. Security! Little help please!
Interview with a procrastinator
Procrastinator: Sorry I’m late. I overslept.
Interviewer: I thought you’d forgotten our appointment.
Procrastinator: No, but I did forget where I put my clothes.
Interviewer: And what is that thing you’re wearing on your…? Is that a dish towel?
Procrastinator: It’s one of my Baltimore Orioles sweat socks.
Interviewer: Forgive me if this sounds rude, but they stink.
Procrastinator: The Orioles or my sock?
Interviewer: Is there a difference?
Procrastinator: Hey, we’re rebuilding. Any year now. Anyway I was having a nightmare about being naked in public. I woke up and was about to decide not to come but I put off the decision until next year.
Interviewer: And yet here you are. Late for today but early for who knows when.
Procrastinator: Actually, I’m late for last week but I still haven’t decided about coming today. I’ll let you know tomorrow, unless I forget. Meanwhile, there’s still plenty of time to decide about putting next week’s appointment off until the following week. And since that slot looks like it will be open, I’ll try to get there for today’s appointment. Probably.
Interviewer: May I just say, you seem to have a problem getting it all together?
Interviewer: Is something wrong?
Procrastinator: Well, um.
Interviewer: I’m naked aren’t I?
Interviewer: Damn. I thought sure I was awake this time.
Procrastinator: It happens. I have an extra sweat sock.
Interviewer: Did somebody step on a duck?
Procrastinator: Hey. You’re not exactly in a position to be accusing anybody else of rebuilding, you know.
Interviewer: Is it next year yet?
Procrastinator: Quack, quack quack.