Sunday, May 17, 2009

The Snarchives 9/2/2007: Homo Distractus

Earlier this year I visited the Aarkvard Alumni Brunch, an annual themed event* wherein Aarkvard freshmen have the opportunity to interact with Aarkvard alumni. There are muffins involved, too, but this is hardly a fair trade.

Ha-ha! Don't mind me, Aarkvard alumni. In fact, tell you what: if you are an Aarkvard alum (or, to use the feminine form, "aloe vera") who actually happened to speak with me** on that occasion, please assume I am joking.


Oh, for - don't look at me that way, Aarkvard alumni. I'm not trying to downplay your impact on the world, okay? I know collectively you are responsible for many fine accomplishments, such as the polio vaccine, the trichotomy axiom***, Sea World, Venezuela, and Buffalo wings. So collectively, I have no beef with you. It's individually I have the beef.**** Individually, you give advice. I do not like advice, because implicit in each advisory nugget is the suggestion that I should do something somebody suggests. One has to take a stand against this sort of brazen deviltry.

Of course, far be it from me to reject everything I hear. This used to be my policy, but one day I realized this was not the sort of person I wanted to be. So, after much soul-searching*****, I came up with the perfect solution: I stopped listening. No kidding! I was able to program my brain, at moments of Elevated Listening Risk, to switch automatically to the radio. By way of proof, I present this genuine cubic zirconia transcript of my mental proceedings at one such moment:

AARKVARD ALUMNA: You young people are so lucky. If I could give you just one piece of advice as you set out on your journey, it would be
A.A.: choices that will affect not only today, but
A.A.: and throughout your life.
ME (with youthful purpose): Huh.

So the brain thing worked out just tickety-boo. For awhile. I thought I was sooooo clever, until it started affecting my writing. This happened at the worst possible time. I had just discovered the ultimate secret to writing: always keep your mind on what you are RICE-A-RONI THE SAN FRANCISCO TREAT Ahem. Where was I? Oh, yes. I was saying how the key to successful

See what I'm up against? I've placed myself at the mercy of an organ determined to militate against all forms of edification, accomplishment and creativity, in favor of recalling the immortal
"Bonus Round" theme music from the 1970s quiz show Match Game:

BWONK da da-da da-da-da
BWONK da da-da da-da-da
BWONK da da-da da-da-da
BWONK da da-da da-da-da
Lyrics (c)1927, Sir Noel Coward

I blame evolution, which – not that I wish to raise the hackles of the evolved here – rates, on the Benefit to Society scale, just above Yoo-Hoo. In fact, it may not have escaped your notice that evolution is directly responsible for Yoo-Hoo. It is also responsible for customer service, Home Depot, The Phantom of the Opera, thongs, Sudafed, and forgotten actor Jeff Conaway. I dare say primitive man Homo erectus, back in the days before he was busy appearing in bio textbooks and making immature essayists giggle, never dealt with this problem. It is a little-known fact that during the time of Homo erectus, the ancient Greek dramatist Sophocles came along and tried to introduce culture, but was summarily eaten by primitive Rottweilers******. Tragically, his work was never known. I mention this because it is a Defining Cultural Event in the History of Culture, and not in the least as an excuse to mention the name Homo erectus Homo erectus Homo erectus hee hee hee.

So I asked myself why, if my brain is so dead-set against writing, I
end up writing things anyway. The answer, of course, is: avoidance of
exercise. Anything I have ever written successfully is the direct
result of thigh maintenance evasion. You may want to be writing this

Of course I am not always sanguine about this method of achievement, but
in the end, maybe I shouldn't be too concerned. After all, I'm
getting stuff done, and whether or not the specifics are what I set
out to accomplish, I can always take a certain pride in the fact that
one way or another, I will see my objectives through from stem to OOH
BABY BABY KKHHHH Hee! Homo erectus.

*Annual theme: "This Is You – Halfway to Death!"
**I'm about 5'4", aura of mystique, muffin crumbs all over my face.
***In the interest of respect, I will refrain from pointing out that
this is another term for "the polio vaccine".
****It is, after all, what's for dinner.
*****I found a crayon.
******Or, as the breed was then known, "Gnunngghhhh."

©2007, Nicola McEldowney/The Snark Ascending

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