Metaphor the Heck of It

22 11 2010

One of the more common human complaints is unrewarded hard work.  I’ve experienced this myself — primarily in cases involving extraordinarily strong candy wrappers, but also in less important ways.  I guess it’s a way of feeling like we’re being recognized (and so, rewarded with at least attention) for our hard work, and thereby consoling ourselves with the impression of others’ sympathy. (Of course, there’s also that phrase about hard work being its own reward.  I believe this phrase originated during the transcontinental railroad’s construction, because according to Cory and my brain memories many people were not paid for their work on the railroad and also died.  I’m not sure that they died because they weren’t paid, but I have to believe it was a significant medical factor.

My job sometimes makes me feel like one of those people, specifically on the 13 days out of each pay period on which I am not paid.  (I prefer to see this as my work being worth a lot of money to my employer every other Friday, and utterly worthless every other day.  This is why I try to work harder on that Friday* than any other of those fourteen days: I get paid no matter how many times I pretend to accidentally sneeze on my boss.

Really though, everyone works hard without recognition at times.  This is good.  Places where people work hard and are constantly watched are called “prison camps in Russia, 1938” and are notorious for their lack of OSHA-standardized urinals.  Also everyone dies there.

But there is one arena where you can work hard and be absolutely lauded for it each time, every time:  Building Cookie Forts.  Yes, that is correct.  Building forts composed entirely of cookies will always get you plenty of glory and peer recognition, which you of course have no use for by this point because you are too busy EATING FORTY ACRES OF COOKIES.  This really demonstrates, in its own way, how we can all get past our individual feelings of inadequacy: destroying castles.  I’m not rock-solid on the dates, but I believe twelve of the famous military  “crusades” were launched by psychiatric patients fresh out of therapy, which is one of the main reasons for their profound and lasting success.  And it’s been well-documented in history (I have heard) that these “crusades” not only drastically improved people’s self esteem circa AD 1280, but also led to the invention of a term called “self-esteem.”  And of course, all you history buffs know right where that led:  America.  Yep, one day Christopher Columbus was all depressed and staring out the window while Enzo Ferrari invented the airplane, and then he saw a book fortuitously lying on his hands: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, by famous author/time traveler Leonardo Di Caprio.  One speed-read through that book and he suddenly realized two things:  1) He could suddenly read English, and 2) He was way smarter than Leonardo Di Caprio.  The next minute he was putting on his Friday best (they only had five days back then) and hypnotizing the king’s dancing bear into giving him some ships so he could discover America.  And the rest, as you certainly know, is history.




*This Friday is also referred to as “Turbo Nap Day” by my department, but for different reasons**

**We take naps

A King’s Random

9 11 2010

After work today, I sat inside Jiffy Lube while they serviced my car.  They had some news program (the one with Elliot Spitzer) playing on an LCD television set, and I watched a hockey game (live!) on my cell phone while I waited.

This scares me.

How on earth am I supposed to stay in touch with what’s important with the luxury and idle distractions ever-present in this country pulling at me all the time?  I have a near infinite supply of books available at stores and libraries around me, and I can watch almost any television show or movie on demand.  I can play tons of video games or get coffee, tea or snacks at any number of places easily within walking distance.

This numbs me.

I can call hundreds of people I know from anywhere, send instant messages with hyperlinks to videos and articles to anyone I’ve ever met (or heard of), and create my own movies, songs and stories for free.

This distracts me.

I have so many ways to amuse and bemuse myself, but the only thing I’ve done tonight that really mattered was give someone a gift.  It’s probably the only thing I’ll remember two weeks from now about today.  Why don’t we find tons of ways to do more stuff like that?

This saddens me.

Go write a letter to someone you haven’t seen in a while.