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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What couldn't go wrong?

My high school English teacher once told me that nothing is ever as bad as we expect it to be, because there is no force on earth as powerful as the human imagination. That was a load of shit. However, I wanted to give my imagination a break from worrying about everything in my life that is on the brink of catastrophe (read: everything), so I thought I'd start wondering what couldn't go wrong.

No matter how horrifying things get, at least I can be relieved that:
  • I will not be humiliated on national television by losing a breakdance competition to George Takei.

  • The CEO of my company is not going to get drunk, "borrow" my car, and wrap it around a tree.

  • I will not be entrusted with a sacred relic that has been passed down through generations, putting me in terrible danger as it is hunted by the powerful, relentless forces that would do anything to possess it.

  • Henry Paulson is not going to ask me to oversee the distribution of a massive economic relief package (read: pile of cash) designed to shore up America's ailing strip club industry, forcing me to choose between my family's respect and the welfare of hundreds of thousands of exotic dancers across the country.

  • I will not be sucked into an alternate dimension run by talking cats where I have to amuse them by running in a hamster wheel for hours at a time.

  • My old company from Boston is not going to keep me awake and annoy my neighbors by sending their head of HR to my house at 3:00 AM, by alternately screaming and crying about how they can't live without me and how they'll give me double what I'm earning now just for sitting at a desk and surfing the internet all day in a futile effort to try and win me back.

  • I will not have two Hollywood producers/literary agents/talent scouts/philanthropic trillionaires simultaneously discover my writing online and get into a bidding war with each other in an attempt to win my affection that leaves me paralyzed with indecision.

  • An outer space virus will not infect me with an insatiable hunger for cardboard and old gym shoes, contaminating the entire state and requiring the mobilization of the national guard to control.

  • I will not bring about the end of civilization all by myself, even if I DO go and vote next week.

So I guess I've got all that going for me, even if I can't look forward to developing some sort of mutant superpower.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Don't Drink That, You Fool!

I follow a strict set of rules in bathrooms both public and private. For example, I don't use the public urinal for short people and young boys that is set closer to the floor, because I have a moral objection to getting pee on my ankles. Similarly, I don't talk to other people while I'm using the toilet, washing my hands, or entering or exiting the bathroom because I'm attending to a biological necessity, not mingling at a social event.

I recognize that some of my ideas may seem a little extreme, but for the love of god, NO ONE should EVER bring a beverage into the bathroom. That's not just some crazy tinfoil hattery I'm spouting, but an honest-to-god safety issue. When you bring your morning coffee into the bathroom with you at work, you're inviting your coworkers to go to the bathroom in your mouth.

I'm serious. Dr. Charles Gerba studied the effects of flushing toilets and found that not only is a germ-and-virus aerosol spray ejected from the toilet every time you flush, but that water droplets from the toilet can remain suspended in the air for up to two hours after the flush. That means that your steaming cup of coffee is sitting there collecting aerosolized water droplets from the leavings of everyone who has gone through that bathroom before you. How well do you know your coworkers? Do you really want to get to know them that much more intimately?

You'd have to some kind of lunatic to drink morning coffee that you've carried into the office toilet, and yet some of my coworkers regularly carry drinks of all kinds into the bathroom with wild abandon. It just makes my skin crawl.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I Resolve to Be Awesome

Okay. 2008 has less than three months left in it, and I don't have a prayer of completing any of my New Year's resolutions in time. So, it's time to achieve excellence by lowering the bar, scrapping the old resolutions and establishing this new set of goals to achieve before 2009:

Don't wear white pants after labor day. Tricky, but not impossible. I expect this to be helped by the fact that I don't own any white pants.

Don't sell national secrets to foreign powers. Luckily, I don't actually have any security clearance, even if those guys from Burkina Faso have been trying to get pretty chummy with me lately.

Don't get addicted to crack. Winners don't use drugs. Losers don't have to use drugs, either, so I've got my bases covered either way.

Don't drink alcohol before sundown. Woah, back up. We're trying to list goals that we actually have a chance of accomplishing here. At the rate things are going, I'll have broken this one by the end of the week.

Don't get humiliated on national television. It's a gamble, but one I'm willing to make. I'm not going to be at the American Idol tryouts, but you never know when you'll be the star attraction on an episode of Cops. Let's keep our fingers crossed on this one.

Don't make any Nobel-prize-winning breakthroughs in science, health, peacemaking, etc. Because I shouldn't be hogging all the credit for myself. It's time for someone else to be in the spotlight.

Don't get stabbed in a bar fight with Charles S. Dutton. Because only a fool gets into a bar fight with Charles S. Dutton.

If this goes well, I might actually make up some more goals and retroactively apply them to 2007. Self-improvement isn't so hard after all.