jimagain

Rants & ramblings of the disaffected

Archive for the tag “relationships”

Imiscible Pairs

Theirs was a peculiar blend of two incompatible extremes, a relationship built on seemingly disparate incongruencies. Less a union than a tense treaty between adversaries at war; hostile yet tolerant, incompatible yet inseparable.

Their mutually exclusive traits somehow melded and fused in some curious anomaly. As far as relationships go, it was more an amalgum of dissimilar entities forged in the furnace of conflict. Each disparity carefully mated to its antithetical counterpart in a reciprocal love-hate state of perpetual disharmony. Together they were a mutinous mismatch of matrimonial dysfunction, immiscible parts paired in a mismatch of irreconcilable differences. To the unfortunate spectator, they must have presented an apparent contradiction of reason, two colliding antagonists, perpetual sparring partners, preferring agitation to resolution.

At first glance, they appear normal but beneath a thin veneer of civility, hostile acts of war prevailed like the constant ebb and flow of the unceasing tide, broken only by a brief interlude between acts of aggression.

No one who knew them pretended to understand the delicate balance that kept them teetering rather than plunging over the brink and into the abyss of self-annihilation. But what is a woman without a man or love without hate? Can order exist without chaos; or logic without reason? Two opposing forces that cant coexist or survive without the other, incompatible yet incomplete without its antithesis. What should have torn them asunder instead held them together, mixed in a curious mortar of mutual repulsion.

Don’t ask me to explain this conundrum of social interaction. Perhaps one seeks to find equilibrium with the other? Perhaps this is why opposites attract, why the most unlikely of partners seek their counterpart?

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Soul Stare

Their eyes met. No words were exchanged but it’s not what they said; it’s what they didn’t have to say. It seems words are too often less a means of communication than objects which we mask our true feelings.

Two souls lost in a crowd, each searching for the other, neither acknowledging their bond. They mingle about aimlessly, milling amongst the throng. He searches for her. She scans to see him. They pass in their orbits yet never intercept. Their paths cross yet neither speaks. Their apparent indifference is a complete fabrication driven by desperation.

– – – – – – – –

As we pass in close proximity to the other, we both feel it, some inexplicable force of attraction drawing us together. Neither of us turn our heads to look but we both cut our eyes as we pass straining to see if the other is looking.

We pass by indifferent to the other, painfully aware of how others might portray it if they were to recognize the raw affection we feel; afraid to look into each others eyes lest or expressions give us away. both afraid the others reaction if they should suspect the amorous interest, preferring to sulk under the cloak of denial, hidden in the shadows of anonymity.

But our souls know. They kiss. In one fleeting glance they connect. clutching, grasping, clinging desperately to the fleeting moment. Some seminal seed that passed between them in the moment, making each the unexpressed compliment of the other, conjoined yet incomplete. Barely perceptible, they pass from him to her. He propositions, she accepting, receiving, forever mated after. Something has conceived within her, growing until the time to arrive.

It was an absurd experience should one think about, one that never transpired except in our imagination …or was it?

It was an experience neither dared yet both yearned for. Logic and reason denies what their hearts affirm. Our minds tell us it won’t work; we can’t be together but our souls know differently. On some subliminal level we both know we are destined to be satisfied together or miserable apart. Lovers, intimates, partners -two separates merged into one; at the moment bound only by their mutual hope.

Me: I saw her about, too many times for coincidence, here and there about as we both flitted about from one group to the next. Roaming, wandering yet not belonging. She seemed ill-fitted and out of place wherever I saw her. She seemed an unattached peripheral among the crowd, a non-participant. It seemed to me as if she were looking for someone. Could that someone be me, I wondered?

Our path crossed, our eyes met but neither spoke a word. We were frequently adjacent and never connecting. And then it happened. Inadvertently our eyes met. And if the eyes are indeed the windows of the soul, then in that moment our souls communicated. What we both felt but were afraid to express, our souls lacked no such restraint, straight to the point with no guile or secrecy. Suddenly these two lonely souls impatient on their keepers to bridle their hesitations, cast aside the restraints and and acted without fear. in a moment they transacted their business. No negotiations or compromise but a raw naked exchange between them. No terms given, none required. Two lost souls in a sea of people, floating about in the crowd.

Our souls met. Our eyes fastened on each other. In one single imperceptible glance we expressed our latent desires. No words exchanged but none were needed. Nothing was said. Words weren’t needed. In that brief glance lasting less than a millisecond, our souls connected. The conversation you could not hear…

Suddenly time slows. The moment is frozen as the crowd stills. The background fades away revealing two souls to linger.

“Hey.”
“Hey.”
“I’ve been missing you.”
“Me too. Do you still love me?”
“Yes. Yes, I do. I want us to be together.”
“Yes. I too. I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“One day you will be mine; we will be together.”
“I know. I can’t wait…” A pause.
“I’ve been looking for you.”
“I’ve been watching you.”

They talk and touch and laugh. clutching, grasping, clinging together tightly.

She: “I’m so tired of the charades, hiding behind a facade. When can we tell each other how we feel?”
He: “I wish I knew. One day.”
“Do you think they will ever figure it out?”
“Eventually.”
They kiss.
“One day surely they will figure it out and no logic or reason will be able to keep us apart any longer. I feel it.”
“I feel it, too.”
“One they will discover what our hearts already know.” Embracing. “Won’t they be surprised?”
“To say the least. All those who would laugh at the prospect of us together; aren’t they in for a shock!”
“Maybe not as much as we will be,” she says!

They laugh

“I think on some level of consciousness we both know it…our minds tell us we can’t be together. Too many reasons, too many obstacles; the difference between our ages, our families, our own fear of rejection.
As they start to look away, “Don’t leave me again,” she pleads.
“I can never leave you. You’re in all my waking thoughts.”
“One millisecond,” she complains. “Is that all they can give us? Look at them! Are they so afraid to admit to themselves how they feel?”
“I guess so,” he smiles.
“See you around.”

One last embrace, one last lingering kiss. And then they separate. Time resumes. The surroundings begin to fade back in.

We break the glance, our eyes look away. We both part company, pretending nothing happened between us.

Dejected, I turn away resisting the urge to stare back at her. As I walk away, I can’t resist the urge to reach out and tug at her purse as she stands there with her back to me. Not looking back I keep going, reaching up to wave my hand back at her; as she turns to see who nudged her.

“Hey.” She calls my name.

“Hey,” I reply over my shoulder without looking back.
She smiles at me. I smile back at her without turning as I walk away. Suddenly she’s taken with a capricious urge to run after me and chat like an eight year old girl. She stops herself. “What would he think?” She hesitates, then looks down realizing the moment is lost.

It’s not enough …but it’s enough for now.

I sigh loudly to myself. She hears me. And that’s the end of that …until our eyes meet again.

My Boring Life: a prelude to insanity

The reason why I normally don’t post a journal of my day-to-day affairs is simple; my life is boring. Basically, I’m a boring person. And pretty much, everything I do is, well, boring. And since I don’t jump out of planes with a parachute or scuba dive in shark-infested waters or engage in any other pulse-pounding, on-the-edge-of-your-seat ventures, you the reader would be predictably bored. The closest I come to death-defying is forgetting to remember her birthday or our anniversary but that’s a harrowing experience in of  itself which I will save for another blog.

I have nothing to tell unless I make something up or exaggerate reality beyond the point of absurdity. Since I am not a journalist, I am therefore bound by the constraints of integrity and am subsequently not allowed to arbitrarily invent or exaggerate events in a mere ploy to increase readership. But on the downside, how can I win a Pulitzer if I don’t prevaricate or engage in predatory journalism that feeds on salacious minutia? So if along the way say we are attacked by a rogue dinosaur or maybe followed by aliens or perhaps discover our cabin is an inter-dimensional portal; I am merely exercising journalistic integrity.

Tomorrow after the morning service 3 vans full of noisy teenagers will load up and head to Gatlinburg for a week-long endurance test consisting of a seven-day, six night marathon of survival skills. Being a homebody (boring Exhibit A) my enthusiasm for packing up and leaving the comforts of home is blunted at best. These ladies have meticulously been plotting this out for some time so there is no escape for me short of throwing myself at the mercy of a foreign embassy and declaring asylum. Plus, I would hate to disappoint the kids who have been eagerly awaiting the trip and honing their skills to annoy, agitate, and push adults over the brink of insanity by practicing all summer long on their parents. Traveling with teenagers for an entire week will be similar to an episode somewhere between The X-Files and an Orson Welles movie. Seriously though, all kidding aside; who says I was kidding?

My role in this affair is to show up on time and attempt to not totally botch things up for everyone else. This is facilitated by me keeping my mouth shut as much as possible which is nothing short of an unrealistic expectation. This is also why I will be accompanied by my personal 24 hour, seven-day a week censor. I have been given explicit instructions to speak only when spoken to, occasionally interject a disinterested but polite greeting such as, “how are you doing”, and above all not to share my opinion on anything. A veritable gag order has been declared. Our kids are remarkably tolerant of my ability for making utterly stupid and random retorts since I practice on them all year-long.

In retrospect, when I contemplate the ladies pre-trip planning process to that of the guys I suddenly realized that Lewis & Clark would never have successfully completed their transcontinental expedition to the Pacific coast without Sacagawea.

The reason I’m not in charge of the planning is I tend to procrastinate. My pre-trip execution list consists of jump in the van on the day of the trip  and as we pull out of the drive ask where it is we’re going. Worrying about the rest of what could possibly go wrong just lends itself to the romance and chaos. It’s a process not unlike reconstructing a crime scene.

In my repertoire of quirkiness, procrastination is a finely honed skill I deftly wield with as much reckless relish as a maniacal sociopath. Sadly, spontaneity is becoming a lost art. If you really want a once-in-a-lifetime adventure instead of a foregone conclusion, I’m your guy. I’m basically a ‘wing-it’ kind of guy, making stuff up as I go. But to ladies, this may as well have been a precision planned military operation, no less  than the invasion of Grenada. The girls take this seriously. Vacation is not for fun.

We leave tomorrow which means today we took  our aptly named Great Dane, Cletus, to the kennel to board for a week. When my wife found out how cheap it was to board him, I saw a suspicious gleam in her eye. But when she asked about the group rate and I heard whispering, I knew something was up. Fortunately one of us managed to slip the collar. Since my dog doesn’t have internet access you can probably guess which one of us escaped.

When we got home something seemed conspicuously missing. When a hundred and twenty pound dog is not hovering around, it’s hard not to notice. The rest of the afternoon I  was cautiously unshackling myself from the vestiges of pet ownership. I began a slow descent into reckless and irresponsible behavior even to the point of leaving the door open to that carefully guarded private repository of hapless rolls of toilet paper we call the bathroom. A few hours earlier tis would have been an impending disaster for innocent rolls that would otherwise be shredded by that malicious, miscreant mongrel of mangled paper products.

To start with, there is nothing about living with a Great Dane falls under the category of normalcy. First there is the nose; when you wake up in the morning it is hovering over head as you lay there in semi-comatose state on the bed. I think he is intuitively acting as a cadaver dog checking to see if I’m still alive. When I come home, I’m greeted by a dog standing on its back legs with his paws on my shoulders and his head above mine. I get an obligatory hug. Then I get frisked with the nose.  When you fix a sandwich for yourself, expect to see the nose circling the counter like a shark. I’m not talking about a nose ‘snorkeling’ along below normal counter height; I’m talking about the nose surfing above the counter. The sandwich, at any point, is only a sniff and a gulp away from being devoured.

We don’t leave until tomorrow and I’m already experiencing withdrawal symptoms however my wife who randomly announces she hates my dog, hasn’t stopped celebrating yet.  When I came home to an empty house later this day, I was not greeted with a hug from Cletus.

Back to the impending trek. Somewhere in the critical thinking process, a rational person would question themself; what was I thinking??? Am I not too old for this kind of abuse? And, is waterboarding considered an acceptable means of interrogating teenagers when they refuse to go to bed at normal hours of the night? I’m still waiting to hear from legal counsel on that. The thing about growing old is it sneaks up on you. My wife and I are much too old to be trapped inside of what amounts to be a padded cell on wheels with unfettered wall-to-wall teenaged adolescence running amok.

About this growing old thing; not only did I wake up one day to discover that I was now ‘old’, suddenly I too was married to – gasp – an ‘old’ woman. I confess I did not see that coming when we married twenty-nine years ago. After age forty she began the process of transcending from a middle-aged plauged Thelma from ‘Thelma and Louise’ fame to Thelma Harper of Mamma’s Family;  support hose and all the geriatric baggage.  I have since then discovered that I am now married to a mutated form of Lucy Ricardo on Geritol.

What’s that? Wait a moment folks. I’ve just been handed a news bulletin from the producer. We now interrupt this blog with a late-breaking news release. I have now been informed by certain sources that the party of the second part has notified the party of the first part, otherwise known as myself, that he does not have to remain in said state of matrimonial bliss with said ‘old’ woman. Well, folks. You heard it here. Another blogging first; late breaking news bulletins have now been added to our bold new blogging frontiers. Stay tuned for further details.

Fortunately for me, my wife has no interest in my blogging so I am pretty much free to write whatever I please with no fear of repercussion thanks to the complete anonymity I enjoy as a blogger.

Tomorrow my boring life is about to be interrupted.  I sure could use a hug from Cletus about now.

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I UNDO: Love & Second Thoughts

Since this was about time travel, why not travel back in time to read it? NO? Then, whatever you do…don’t push that button. NO! Not that button!!! Oh great. Fasten your seat belts, you just sent us back in time.

jimagain

Have you ever wondered, knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again? …or would you run?! What if you could go back in time, what, if anything, would you change? What if you could press the UNDO button on your marriage?

After twenty years of an unhappy marriage, a disgruntled husband goes back in time to undo their relationship…and despite his best efforts and against his best judgement, finds himself falling in love all over again with his contentious spouse-to-be.

“I guess it’s her disposition that I find most irritable about her. I can’t find fault with her looks. But if beauty is skin deep, ‘grouchy’ goes all the way to the bone. We used to be close, be affectionate, now it seems we just drift farther apart. The only spark that remains in our marriage is the friction when we’re together.”

Fast forward to the…

View original post 1,690 more words

RV Shopping Again?

Me and my buddy got to talkin’ the other day between shifts at the fertilizer plant.
Me: “I’m beginning to wonder what my wife is up to?”

My buddy scratched his head. “What’cha mean? You think she’s been cheating on you?”

“No, worse!” He leaned forward to whisper, “My wife’s been RV shopping again, I found sales brochures and. . .the salesman called the second time this week. I’m starting to get suspicious. I’m gonna’ reduce my death benefit just in case she’s thinking about knocking me off for the money.”

You might ought to cancel your policy. Now that you mention it, the girls have been acting a mite suspicious. My wife’s picking out flowers and a suit for my funeral. Can you believe it? Me? In a suit?!! I wouldn’t be caught dead in a suit. Well, I guess if I was already dead…but you know what I meant.” He was more upset at the prospect of being laid to rest in a suit than the fact that his wife may have been scheming on collecting on his insurance money.

“So…are we overreacting?”

“Surely they wouldn’t be plotting to bump us off for the insurance money just to have a good time and travel?”

“Nah!” – chuckle.

“Not the girls!” – nervous laughs.

Awkward pause…

The other day at the house, she asked me. What you up to now on your life insurance,  honey?”

“Oh, I’m worth about $200 now,” I say.

That’s still more than I can  get for you at the stock yard,” she retorted smart-like back at me.

“Hah,” I told her! “What you gonna get for $200 dollars.”

My buddy dug his elbow into my rib cage. “You outta’ your head?!! Dresses go half-price at Wal-mart this week. Heard ’em talking about it earlier.”

It’s comments like that makes me suspicious ’bout my wife?

I heard she’d already picking out your pall bearers?”

“That doesn’t bother me. My wife plans everything. She even plans when she gonna get sick, based no small part on the disease-of-the-week movie.”

Silent pause…

“Men…we dont plan nothing, do we? We just show up and wing it. That’s how we roll.”

Like last week…fade to a prior conversation;

“D’joo hear? Old Burt kicked the bucket at the feed store this morning. Some pretty young thing walked by and his wore-out old ticker couldn’t keep up with his pacemaker.”

We remove our hats and pause in a moment of silence.

“Burt don’t have no burial insurance?”

“Nope.”

“What happened to all that alimony money his ex-wife got?”

“I think she spent it all on liposuction…and that plastic surgeon she ran off with on that cruise.”

“That don’t surprise me none. Not saying she’s a floosie but her dress was as high as the price of gas.”

“We can’t just leave ol’ Burt laying out on the dock like that.”

I scratch my chin. “S’pose your right. Reckon they got an old feed sack or a cardboard box in the back they’d let us have?”

“Could be. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”

“I got a roll of duct tape and a shovel in the truck.”

“Then it’s all settled. All that’s left to figure out is where we gonna eat afterward?”

“Dunno? I got a hankering for some catfish.”

“We ate catfish yesterday.”

“So?”

“Catfish  it is.”

So we were just minding our own business, ‘conversating’ in the truck going through the drive-thru: “Can you believe what them guys at the funeral home wanted to charge us for Burt’s final expenses?” The girl at the drive-thru window perked up at our conversation.

“I hear ya. Burt didn’t make that much in a month. Burying him at his favorite food plot was a way better idea, plus we get to pay our respects twice a week.” Neither one of noticed her roll her eyes as she handed us our hushpuppies and coleslaw.

“Alright! High fives.”

Her mouth dropped wide open, her eyes got huge!

Later. “Can you believe that lady in the drive thru?”

“I hear ya’. All that hollering and making a commotion wasn’t necessary.”

He whacked his buddy with his hat! “No wonder, ya idiot! She saw old Burt stretched out in the back of your pick up truck and she freaked out. I told ya’ we should have buried him before we went through the drive-thru.”

“It was on the way,” he defended himself. “She shoulda’ minded her own business instead of calling the law.”

“It coulda’ been worse. We got off lucky; talked the deputy down to a ticket for ol’ Burt not being in a seat belt.”

He guffawed and snorted. “I know! That made about as much sense as taking your mother-in-law on your honeymoon.” Bud got real quiet. Awkward pause. Things suddenly got as tense as the last chicken leg at the buffet. He glances over at Bud, looking sullen, who shoots him back an accusing look.

“Oh, sorry Bud. I wasnt makin’ fun of you.”

“Wasnt my idea,” He said testily. “My old lady made me bring her along.”

Back to the present.

“What you reckon your wife is holding against you?”

“I dunno.” Pause…

“Well, I did made her mother ride in the back of my truck once.” pause…

“What’s so bad about that?” Another awkward pause. “Tell me you didn’t…not in the dog box? You made you mother-in-law ride in the dog box?!!”

“What was I supposed to do. She was barking and howling and acting all crazy…nearly bit old man Preston on the leg.”

“That woman does go off her rocker when she forgets to take her meds.” Pause…

“What else you aint telling me?”

“The bad part was…my wife found her still there the next morning.”

Is that’s all?!!”

Shrugged. “Who knows. Just like a woman to hold a grudge over nothing.

“What’choo reckon they’d do if’n we both bought the big one?”

“You mean, if we both kicked the bucket…at the same time?!! Wouldn’t that be a coincidence? Ha! I figure the first thing would be they’d get some major body work done then they’d both be off on a year-long cross-country trek. Sort of like Thelma and Louise, only in an RV.”

“Body work? What for? Why don’t they just buy a brand new RV with the insurance money?”

“Not for the RV, ya dolt. I’m talking about the girls getting body work done on themselves.”

“I don’t know so much if I like the idea of them having all that fun after we’re gone?”

“Probably sell your guns after you’re gone,” he paused, “and give your old dog away, too.”

“That brazen little hussy!”

“Better get a will.”

“A will?!! What for? My old hound dog can’t read?”

“They’re up to something. I can feel it.”

“I got a nervous chill…like somebody just walked over my grave.”

“Hey Bud? Reckon we both gonna’ make it through to hunting season?”

A Guide To The Perils Of The Multiverse

Beneath the cloak of the mundane and the routine, I have discovered a multiverse of incomprehensible multiplicity filled with the arcane and the obscure, inhabited by aberrant and anomalous phenomenon. What I have stumbled upon is no less than a bizarre underworld beneath our very noses lurking inside our own homes. Some will no doubt call me crazy, others will scoff, and a select enlightened few will grasp the significance of what I’m about to tell.

Read at your own risk. I fear you may never be the same. This is not for the squeamish; go and never return! Do your laundry, mow your grass, watch re-runs of Family Feud; go back to the comfort of your boring and mundane lives while you still can!

Not since the days when ships routinely sailed off the edge of a flat earth has something so ominous, so nefarious been revealed. In a time before recorded history, when ancient aliens visited our suspicious prehistoric progenitors, when knights fought off fire-breathing dragons indiscriminately ravaging entire villages, these tales all pale in comparison.

Malicious, foreboding, menacing…

Brace yourself!

Many bizarre discoveries have been discovered at great peril to the intrepid or the inadvertent…journey to the center of the earth, lost in space, becoming stranded in a parallel earth frequented by giant insects and voracious dinosaurs roaming vast unexplored jungles locked inside a hidden valley – in most cases I would be the guy that gets chased by the tyrannosaurus and eaten.

How can this be? The typical home contains a multiverse of the irrational and the inexplicable. Anomalies abound, such as hauntings, the lone missing sock, the empty sink mysteriously filled with dirty dishes, the un-ending laundry basket, the car keys that are never where you left them, children mysteriously teleporting in and out of your home…how else can you explain your children’s behavior when they suddenly turn into – gasp – teenagers…need I go on?!!

I speak of a dark and sinister place, an alternate reality, a parallel universe that exists inside my own house…and perhaps yours as well.

Dread discoveries, inconspicuous phenomenon occur routinely around us . . .you may not be aware your attic might be occupied with goonies – did I just hear a thud in the attic followed by giggling??? Maybe aliens have burnt yet another crop circle in your unmown lawn . . .perhaps a grotesque wrinkled old troll lives under your footbridge…excuse me. Honey?!! I found your Aunt Ethylene – pause – under the bridge in the backyard on her walker. Sorry for the interruption. Now where was I? Oh yes! It all happened innocently enough, going about the mundane affairs of life when….wait! Is that Twilight Zone theme music I hear in the background???

Under the bed is a parallel universe…

It’s a dark place, where ‘dark matter’ of the universe fills, a veritable black hole that sucks objects and small pets into its clutches, never to be seen again.

“My sandals are under there,” she tells me.

And she expects me to reach my hand under the bed? Fear of being pulled under never to be seen crosses my mind or – gasp – draw back a nub of once what used to be my arm. Is that the theme music from Jaws I hear???

“Oh, sure,” I say “let me be the sacrificial offering.” Suddenly I feel so…expendable. not only can she survive without me, she would be much happier than she is…and I’m not sure I like the prospect of her being so happy after my terrible and gory demise.

“Wuss,” she calls me.

Nope. I’m not falling for that one either. They always resort to tactics of coercion to overrule your common sense. That’s how they prod the curious but reluctant kid to stick his head inside a crashed alien space ship, right before the aliens snatch him. Not me.

Suddenly I remember all those irrational fears of monsters lurking beneath my bed, the ones that came out at night, when the lights were turned off which is why for many years I refused to sleep without a night-light or my stuffed monkey to protect me. Finally my wife scolded me for being an overgrown ninny.

Whatever you do, don’t look under the bed!

“Uh, uh,” I say. I’ve seen this before in most intros into horror movies; they start off with innocent endeavors by unsuspecting persons in peril unknown to them while the rest of the movie audience screams & squirms in their seats, hoping to catch grody scenes of gory dismemberment between tightly clutched eyelids.

“Oh, sure! Something horrible happens to me and you collect the life insurance. You stick your arm under there.”

Anybody got a broom handle?

Still don’t take me seriously? You’re talking to a budding astrophysicist here. I watched too many episodes of Star Trek to be unaware of the perils. Thanks to great scientific minds like Spock, Data,, and the grand guru of future knowledge, Gene Roddenberry. “What?!! You were thinking Carl Sagan? Isaac Asimov?!! How many episodes of Star trek did they write? See my point?”

Have you noticed that Kirk, Mc Coy, Spock…never get vaporized by the alien. It’s always those unnamed security guys they beam down with them. They must have worn the shirts that said, “Disintegrate me, I’m the underling!” In every episode, when they beamed down a couple of security guys on some alien planet, I immediately knew some terrible thing would happen to them and they wouldn’t be returning to the Enterprise. It was some immutable law of sci-fi plot writing.

I was not a wuss. I’m wary.

Once a crazy unsubstantiated theory that rapidly gained credibility after initially being rejected by disbelieving scientists; dark matter is now an accepted fact despite that it sounds like some ‘corny’ phrase invented from the fertile imagination of a 1920’s sci-fi comic book writer.

Dark matter exists in the universe. We know this because it neither absorbs nor emits light and therefore is not detectable by normal scientific means available. The inescapable evidence is that there is no evidence to explain the discrepancy, when the relationship between the mass versus the rotational speeds from galaxies light years away is calculated. Theories make convenient bridges to gap the unknown with plausible speculation. If this makes absolutely no sense to you, it’s because you aren’t intelligent enough to believe in something you can’t prove, therefore you can’t be an astrophysicist.

Everybody knows that black holes suck light in, never to escape, which explains why my flashlight never works. Think about it. The batteries are always dead because the black hole sucks the light right out of it as soon as I turn it on. Battery manufacturers know this but don’t tell you so you will keep buying their products.

And what about black holes? Rotating gravitational vortexes of indescribable density, compressed elements so heavy they implode upon themselves until all the normal empty space in atoms has been expelled, leaving incredibly dense matter with exponentially strong gravitational forces to suck you in…and you want me to stick my hand under there?

If the 83 per cent of the universe is filled with dark matter, you can’t tell me there’s not some of it lurking under my bed!

“There is nothing you can say that will make me do it.”

“Fine.” She threatens. “I’ll go buy me a new pair at the…” I interrupt. “Grab me by my feet,” I tell her. “I’m going in.”

Shoe stores are another black hole of the universe, sucking all the money out of my wallet She goes just to look and returns with twelve more pair of shoes that don’t fit. And every time women go there, something happens. The same person never comes back from those places; they exchange personalities with a myriad of denizens of feminine persona that inhabit those places. Think of it like an ectoplasmic bus stop, a busy terminal for incorporeal  passengers in transit. It’s an alien body snatching, murrain-seizing portal where roaming spirits randomly quantum leap from one estrogen inhabited corporeal habitat to another…which explains why you end up with a different wife every time she returns from shoe shopping. I’ve been married twenty-eight years to the same woman, whom I barely know. Her identity has quantum-leaped into so many alternate personas, every time I think I know her, she changes.

So what is a woman’s fascination with new shoes? Allow me to explain. Remember the cartoon where Elmer Fudd’s personality changed whenever his hat changed? That’s what happens when women change shoes. Don’t laugh. Those Looney Tunes cartoons were a carefully encrypted encyclopedia of female psychology delivered to mankind by a sympathetic alien culture that visited us in eons past. Left to mankind to help us decode the enigma of the estrogen-impaired gender. Watch these episodes often, let its wisdom sink into your soul. As you observe how the other side of the gene pool think and behave, you too may become enlightened.

Don’t call me a coward. Call me wary! The multiverse is no place for the squeamish or the naive.

The Man-code, Explained

What am I talking about? The unwritten Man-code  that resides within the male subconscious, it dictates our behavior and permeates our being.

The Man-code is why men behave like men. If it was disseminated in a course like other subjects at school, like math, we’d sit there and stare out the window. Fortunately for those of us of the male species, it is indelibly inscribed in the male psyche. If it had to be passed from generation to generation by cerebral effort, most of us on the male spectrum would be left without our inner male compass.

The Man-code has been hard-wired genetically into the DNA of the entire male species; of which membership is determined by whether or not the individual in question is unable to pee into a semicircular opening without randomly distributing bodily fluids all over the toilet seat. I suspect a teenage boy who can hit a three-point jumper with deadly accuracy from ranges greater than 30 foot, would suddenly be unable to hit the same shot if the basketball rim suddenly resembled a toilet seat. Think about it. All the shots would bounce of the rim or fall short of the intended target.

Simply stated, the man-code is the unwritten rule of conduct for the male species that governs how men react toward other men. It expressly forbids men to exhibit gushing or effusive displays of affection to members of the same species. This apparently confuses women greatly who become extremely agitated why men don’t sob and boo-hoo all over each other when we have those special moments. It also explains why men don’t pry into other men’s personal matters or really even care how other men ‘feel’.

Simulated conversation:

She: That’s so awful about his mother-in-law getting struck by that falling satellite. How’s Bob feeling?

Guy: What? I didn’t know Bob was married?

She: You remember. We ate out with them last night. She wore the yellow dress that was too short with too much mascara. You remember? The blonde with the dark roots? Her dress was too tight and she wore that  gaudy toenail polish. And those shoes…where in earth did she get those terrible shoes at? The  salvage store? I thought I’d gag over her perfume!

Guy: Bob is married?

She: rolls her eyes – So is Bob OK?

Guy: Is he in the hospital? Jail? Is there a missing person’s report out on him? Heart attack? Has he been abducted by aliens?

She: No….

Guy: Then he’s fine.

She: But…don’t you care how he feels?

Guy: I didn’t ask.

She: increasingly agitated – You’ve known Bob since first grade. He married your sister!!!

Guy: I thought she looked familiar!

She: You didn’t ask? (estrogen disconnect) Don’t you care what’s going on in his mind?

Guy: He didn’t mention it to me?

She: exasperated – Youre supposed to find out!!

Guy: You mean, pry into his personal life, meddle, extract information he doesn’t want to share? Use emotional extortion tactics. Force him to open up and share embarassing things about his intimate personal life?

She: Yes! Yes! Yes! You moron! That’s exactly what I meant. Sigh! I don’t understand men!

Guy: silence. Staring blankly at a TV screen, pretending she’s not there.

She: glaring – You’re not fooling me. That TV hasn’t worked in two years.

Sadly, most men have just had this discussion ten minutes ago or less with their wives.See why it is so difficult for men and women to communicate? We lack the technology to interpret the differences between male and female-speak. Same language, different channels. And we also know that any moment in the conversation they’re going to demand we take the trash out or ask questions, like, “Does this dress make my butt look huge?”

Note: The only men who pry into other’s men’s business fall under the category of either lawyers or journalists, neither of whom I suspect could successfully pee into the rim of a toilet seat (see definition above) which would technically disqualify them from actually being a subset of the male species.

Girls, I know you can’t decipher this so let me just point out this is precisely why most men refrain from getting into protracted discussions with those on other side of the gene pool. I see no need to encrypt this sensitive information. If a woman were to attempt to engage in counter-espionage, they could read my little blurb without understanding a word I said. Filtered through the female mind without the benefit of being deciphered via the man-code, it would sound and look something like this, “Blah blah blah blah. Blah blah blah? Blah blah blah!!!” I call it the estrogen barrier; a veritable impenetrable wall that underscores the irreconcialiable differences between the two versions of our species. The estrogen barrier is why we can’t communicate with women. They filter everything we say, which is why things we say get turned around to have an alternate darker, sinister meaning. Throw out the dictionary, the words don’t mean the same thing once they percolate through the estrogen barrier.

Back to the man-code. This is why men don’t sit around in their underwear painting each other’s toes, and discussing the inherent failure to commit of the male psyche. It also explains why men have no use for jewelry, baubles, or other ornaments but spend hours silently perusing the same aisle of power tools we did last week; most of which we already have two or three of.

The man-code must be rigidly observed. For instance, you’re driving home from work and pass your best friend; his car is on the side of the road….burning. A 500 pound gorilla has him in a headlock, pummeling him senseless; a large crocodile with a nasty disposition is clamped around his leg: how should you react? If you’re a guy, you automatically know. The man-code forbids you to meddle or ask intrusive questions, like, “Need help?” or Should I call 9-1-1?” Instead the code dictates you pull up slowly beside him, observe a moment, roll down your window, then nonchalantly ask, “How you doin?” Do not point out the obvious. Do not offer assistance or advice. If he wants to tell you he needs help, he will explicitly say so. No subtle hints or innuendos. No deciphering obscure body languages or other gesticulations. And whatever you do, do not ask, “Bob, how are you feeling about all this?” Both the gorilla and the crocodile will leave Bob to assault you for violating the man-code. And Bob will probably join them.

Men eat, pass gas, or play sports; we don’t digest and regurgitate 100 page articles from Cosmopolitan about feelings. It’s why we watch two men in a ring pound each other into bloody stumps but would rather have our fingernails pulled out one by one than be forced to sit through one episode of Oprah.

So ladies, now you know why men stare blankly at the TV when you want to have a conversation. Except, you can’t understand anything I just said.

We’re not being difficult, it’s just the man-code.

Things To Do At The Mall…while shopping with your wife!

The Men’s Survival Guide for the Mall!


Black Friday. The mall. You know the scenario. It’s an ugly scene, certainly not one for the timid or the meek. I see it every year, things that cause grown men to cringe in abject fear, that make brave men cower.

What am I talking about? The crowds? The sales? The pandemonium? I refer instead to the victims. I see them when I’m dragged to the mall….husbands wandering around aimlessly as their wives shop; staring at their watches, bored out of their skulls, wandering like listless zombies. Most are mere novices, rank amateurs untrained to protect themselves from flagrant abuse as this; snatched from the comfort of their recliners and HDTV’s to be thrust out into the harsh realities of the mall. Men have ways of broadcasting their plight that are only obvious to other men; you can call them Universal Distress Signals…signs include but are not limited to, fidgeting nervously, shifting from foot to foot, dragging their feet, dawdling along behind their spouse, loss of interest, moderate to severe depression, numbness, the thousand-yard-stare, to name a few.

Men, I feel your pain…therefore, as a public service, I’m going to divulge some of my survival tactics to get you through the crisis while she digs through the clothes rack yet again…or forages for another pair of shoes that don’t fit. Please pay attention, your sanity may depend on how well you employ these skills.

I must however warn you, these tactics must be closely guarded and may not at any time be allowed to fall into the hands of…the enemy. If you think she is starting to catch onto your ploy, immediately employ a diversionary tactic, such as…point and scream, “Oh, look! 75% off!” When she turns, dive beneath a clothes rack and remain motionless until danger passes. Another diversion may be, while feigning rage; “I can’t believe she’s wearing your outfit!” If nothing else, just ramble incoherently in your best Forest Gump imitation in an attempt to evoke empathy.

Let’s face it, the mall is no place for pansies when it comes to male survival skills. It’s a topsy-turvy world of estrogen-gone-amok; where women routinely pay exorbitant prices for tasteless articles of clothing designed by men with names you cannot pronounce. These items will be worn once, occupy space in her closet for a year, then given away in a garage sale for pennies on the dollar. I conjecture, rather than articles of clothing, these are the equivalent of…trophies; much like men proudly display severed heads of recently deceased deer on their walls. The dangers are abundant…navigating a veritable minefield fraught with peril: there’s manicures, perfumes, and hand lotions, testing out new perfumes on you, making you carry her purse in public, protracted public conversations with other wives about PMS. They may even attempt to engage you in a conversation about relationships. Beware! These are usually condensed from a one-hundred point article they digest line by line from magazines like Cosmopolitan on how to have a meaningful relationship. Do not underestimate your opponent! The girls train all year long for this…getting together to analyze and dissect these articles like an ESPN sports analyst. They do this, much like a bear sharpens its claws, so they can dissect you. It’s the psychoanalytical equivalent of a rectal exam by a sociopathic proctologist.

My advice is to avoid conversations at all costs! Do not be suckered in so easily…she is trying to draw you into a conflict. They do this frequently like the inevitable question, “Does this make my butt look huge?” That’s the verbal equivalent of her taking a sucker-punch at you! Or the dreaded, “my mother is spending the week…” announcement. My theory is they feel compelled to punish you for not sitting around the house in your undergarments with them, watching LIfetime Network and painting each other’s toe-nails while sharing details about their period; like they used to do with their girlfriends.

Do not be alarmed…women have been dragging their husbands along on protracted shopping excursions since the consummate temple of consumer greed, the mall, was first devised as an instrument of marital torture. You see, this is no mere ‘procure, purchase, and go-home’ venture but a secret female ritual closely guarded by women for centuries. If you manage to endure one of these hazings without inflicting permanent damage to your delicate male psyche and somehow return home with your sanity intact, you are a survivor of no small measure.

Men, let me put this to you bluntly…they are testing us. Many men have cracked under lesser forms of torture; some run off screaming, a few lose their masculinity, others crack under the stress and become delusional – -thinking they enjoy shopping with their wives, and some…never return at all.

One coping technique employed by men is ‘age-regression’, an integral part of the male psyche: it’s our inherent male construct, the primal state of mind of the male psyche; being able to revert back to that annoying ‘four-year old in church’ state of mind that has served us well when bored.

Until they wise up and institute a ‘Day-care for Husbands’ service at the mall, complete with ESPN, HDTV, junk food, and recliners, we must be prepared to resort to alternate methods of pain management. Steele yourselves! Desperate times call for desperate measures. This is where we separate the men from the boys! The scenario…you’re tired, six hours later she shows no signs of relenting…suddenly she’s got coupons! How do you entertain yourself? Reach deep within to find your inner child!

Fake loud protracted imaginary conversations with yourself on your cell phone as you meander along from aisle to aisle.
One of my favorites, “No Mr. President! I don’t advise nuclear destruction as a first option…have you tried diplomacy yet? Maybe a tomahawk missile or two? Fine then, but if we get nuked, I am not bailing you out! What?!! What do you mean, someone accidentally pushed ‘the button’!!!”

Another one goes like this, “You tell George Clooney to get himself another agent if he won’t pay. No! Not a cent less than my usual 40 per cent or I walk!”

Or, “That’s right! I said, buy this mall!” (occasionally make eye contact with startled patrons). “What do you mean, it’s not for sale! Offer them another 40 million or you can find yourself a new job!”

As a matter of note, purchasing a pair of thick-rimmed glasses at the novelty store makes a great prop, if you really want to sell the part, pick out a loud sweater vest and throw in some fake ‘bling’ to play the part of the agent!

Play Hide & Seek with the guy wearing those neon yellow pants.
There’s always one guy at the mall wearing some hideous pants that normal men wouldn’t be caught dead in. He’s probably the one whose mother used to dress him, you remember the effeminate guy that always liked math. Every time you see him or get remotely close; scream and run the other way to hide. After he leaves, pop up out from behind a mannequin and scream, “Ollie, Ollie, All in Free!”

Tag, You’re It!!
There are plenty of other bored husbands around so you can chase each other around the mall like kids at recess. Pretending to be a ninja is optional. Nerf guns inject a feeling of realism into the game!

and, if all else fails…

Play paparazzi.
You’ve got a cell phone with a camera, right? Pursue random people: start out with stalking your designated victim and take pictures as they flee. Pop out from behind kiosks and clothes racks to take candid shots of ‘imaginary’ celebrity-look-a-likes. The key is to be really annoying and obnoxious. Post them to Facebook. If the mall cops don’t throw you out, you will have loads of fun. Getting pepper-sprayed in the process is bonus points!

Try no to be too painfully obvious that you’re bored…there will probably be repurcussions later. Be prepared to sleep on the couch tonight…and don’t expect to see her any time soon sporting that hot new Victoria’s’ Secret negligee she bought this afternoon.

Well, that’s it. You’re pretty much on your own from here. I think I’ve done all I can do!

Black Friday….
Seriously. I had never thought of shopping as a full-contact sport before. TWEEEEET! UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS IN THE CHECKOUT LINE!

Relative Discomfort – Part Two

Part Two

Time takes it’s toll on all of us. Forty years ago we were the young-uns zipping around like somebody kicked over a fire ant mound. All the while our parents fussed at us for being too loud or leaving the door open or coming in and out too many times. Now the roles are reversed in a cruel way we call maturity and we find ourselves starting to act like our parents. Yes, time has a way of telling on all of us. We can’t even fuss at our kids without hearing our parent’s voices echoing in the back of our heads. It doesn’t take long to go from Kool-Aid to Geritol.

We’re about to slip back into the reunion so no need for etiquette since no one here can spell it. The only culture you’ll find in our family is the buttermilk. Most of us look like we just stepped off the Rent-A-Redneck bus. Don’t let your manners get in the way of having a good time.

On the way to the reunion we got hungry and pulled into Bert’s Big Burgers & Bait Shop. I don’t recommend the crickets as a side order with your burger but they’re probably more nutritious than the french fries. You can get a burger grilled, fried, or flambe if the cook isn’t paying attention. It’s the best place around to get a bite. You can also get your hunting license, buy beer & ammunition – -probably not a good combination- – or buy Real Estate. Talk about your one-stop-shop-all. They even have a tanning bed next door. Bert’s even has sushi. They may look at you funny if you call it by that name. It’s best to call it bait so they know what you want. They usually have plenty of sushi unless the fish are biting.

Cousin Cleo is here but his fiance isn’t with him anymore. Rumor has it that it has something to so with Uncle Herbert, who likes to play his banjo in his skivvies when he’s home alone. He also forgets a lot. Cleo brought his new proud new fiance, some high-falutin’ city girl home to meet the family. They were off in the back and uncle forgot they was there. He made him a sandwich and started playing the banjo …after he’d stripped down to his skivvies like he always does. She happened to walk in on him in mid-concert and promptly lost three years of culture in one glance. Last I heard the engagement is still off and she isn’t taking his phone calls.

The meanest bull in the county lived in the pasture next to mine. They named it ‘Turbo.’ Last kid that ignored Turbo’s turf got dragged through the mud worse than by a Washington Post journalist. When Turbo wasn’t grazing or making little cows, he ruled the pasture. Everybody was scared of him except near-sighted Ned. He thought he was milking a cow and got the bull instead. The bull gives him a wide berth now when he comes around. It took the vet and two psychiatrists from the agriculture school to restore its’ self-esteem.

No kidding! There’s this one cow that can stand inside the fence and lick up strands of grass three feet on the other side of the barbed-wire fence. The kids around here love a good prank so they promised cousin Jeffrey, if he’d put on a blindfold, he could get a kiss from Nadine. Her daddy is the county agent. Nadine was standing right there when they told him and she gave him this big wink. His insides turned to peanut-butter when she smiled and fluttered those eyelids at him. Everybody know Jeffrey loves Nadine, everyone in the county that can read. It says so right up there on the water tower in big red letters. We still don’t know how he got up there. So they blindfolded Jeffrey. Right about then, Nadine stepped aside and that heifer from across the fence got him right in the mouth. We haven’t told him yet and he swears up & down that was the best kiss he ever had! He did say something in private about getting Nadine some mouthwash. When he finally found out, it liked to broke his heart but he was secretly relieved. “Her breath,” he said, “she tasted like regurgitated grass, warmed over.”

Ned makes all the rounds at the reunions. His motto is, “I never met a woman I didn’t hug!” “The younger ones are getting too fast,” he says, “and the older ones can’t get away fast enough.” He’s a little more cautious since the incident last year when he met the local biker dude with the pony tail. He was broad from the backside. I could see how near-sighted Ned could have made the mistake. I guess biker dudes don’t have much a sense of humor. Just in case you didn’t want to know, Uncle Ned runs with his skinny butt tucked in, like as if he were being chased by a bull with his horns in close proximity to its intended target. We know this because Harriet who was dating the biker dude at the time tried to wallop Ned with a broom handle right after the incident.

Aunt Helen’s got that mean little freckle-faced girl with the tooth knocked out, the one with the pigtails tormenting those boys. ‘Sweet-pea’, they call her. She’s wearing coveralls rolled up on her pant legs. Today she’s falling out of trees and chasing snakes. In a couple years nature will do some strange sort of biological reverse engineering and suddenly she’ll be painting her toenails and batting her eyelids like all the other tom-boys before her.

“Hey Aunt Netttie,” I wave. Her nose suddenly got snooty when she saw me. And then I whisper, “She’s got that evil cat, Napoleon. Last time her cat got stuck in the tree, the fire department offered to shoot it down for her for free.”

And here comes Madeline with her itty-bitty chihuahua in her purse. She treats it better than she does her husband. It has the disposition of a piranha with PMS. That’s her husband, the tall lanky fellow. His TV’s been broke for three years now but he’s hard of hearing so he doesn’t know it yet. He lost his glasses about that time as well. After fifteen years of being unhappy and married, they finally worked out all their troubles. Now they live in separate parts of the same house but only see each other once a year except in public. He’s kind of the forgetful type so he has to introduce himself each time he meets you. That’s OK. He can’t remember a thing and she’s trying to forget.

Eventually the foods all gone and there isn’t room for one more dirty dish in the sink. When there’s no one left to offend or talk about behind their back, we all start to filter off one by one. Last one left has to help with the dishes. I’ve got to go now before I break out with a bad case of ‘dishpan’ hands. See you next year!

I UNDO! Love & Second Thoughts

Have you ever wondered, knowing what you know now, would you do it all over again? …or would you run?! What if you could go back in time, what, if anything, would you change? What if you could press the UNDO button on your marriage?

After twenty years of an unhappy marriage, a disgruntled husband goes back in time to undo their relationship…and despite his best efforts and against his best judgement, finds himself falling in love all over again with his contentious spouse-to-be.

“I guess it’s her disposition that I find most irritable about her. I can’t find fault with her looks. But if beauty is skin deep, ‘grouchy’ goes all the way to the bone. We used to be close, be affectionate, now it seems we just drift farther apart. The only spark that remains in our marriage is the friction when we’re together.”

Fast forward to the past, before we met.

– – – – – – – – – – – – –

Oh no! It’s her! I can’t let her see me.” The rules are plain. I duck behind a corner and press myself against the wall as I scan frantically for a place to hide. It’s a dead-end and there’s no where to…wait! There! A large trash can along the wall, it’s only half-full…can I fit inside? Uh, it reeks…but I’m desperate! Coffee grounds, a banana peel, this is so disgusting but there’s no time for hesitation. I dive in, holding my breath, settling amongst the sundry items of refuse. Not a moment too late! I can hear the staccato of her heels clicking on the tile floor as she approaches, then…slowing her step as she nears. “Did she see me? Does she know I’m inside here?” I panic! “Uh! What’s that …in my hair? Gross! She just tossed her gum on top of my head!” I raise slowly out of the can still wearing that banana peel on my head and stealthily watch her as she walks away... “Whoa!” I mutter to myself. “She looks …incredible! No wonder I fell for her.” A big silly grin wraps itself around my face. “Wait! What’s wrong with me? How can I forget all the grief she’s caused me …I mean …going to cause me down the road?” Yes, we do have a few good times together, punctuated by long periods of her sullen, moody demeanor, trying to placate the implacable, those endless mind games, the psychological arm-twisting…”What was I thinking?”

Now…I know what you’re thinking! What’s the problem?  I don’t usually go to this much trouble to avoid a good-looking brunette…but that sexy young thing sauntering away down the hall is going to be my ex-wife one day in the not-so-distant future. A moment later, I climb out of my awkward refuge-in-refuse, several pairs of gawking eyes staring me in disbelief. So maybe you think my reaction is a bit extreme?

Yes, she is gorgeous, long dark hair, a wry smile on her the corner of her mouth…so why am I running the other way? Because I know how it all turns out!

– – – – – – – – –

“Oh no! There I am! I’m about to meet her for the first time…am I too late?” That’s me racing down the hallway, bumping into several suddenly inverted pedestrians in the mad dash to beat me to the point-of-no-return, the time and place when we…

Oh, sorry about that. Maybe I should explain. Freeze frame. Sorry, I had to hit the pause button so I can bring you up to speed about what’s going on. [ people lay chaotically sprawled out across the floor in random disorder; one or two still suspended up-side-down in mid-air ike a cartoon ] You see, twenty years ago to the day, we met for the first time…and fell in love. she was beautiful…I was desperate. I’m in my mid-twenties by this time and by now, I’ve worked myself up to a frenzied state of panic. I’m afraid that I’m going to be single for the rest of my life and the thought of being alone terrifies me. Turns out that I do meet a gorgeous girl and we get married in a couple of years…but that’s about the best our marriage will ever get…and it goes downhill, the longer we stay married. We both hang in there, I’m not sure if to see if we can make it work or just to torture each other as long as possible, which brings me to why I’m here today, back in past. If I just knew then what I know now…which is why I’m sprinting down the corridor. Don’t get me wrong; she’s a great girl, probably would have made some other guy a great wife. Everybody says she’s so much fun…all my friends love her. All her friends like me. But I’ve come to the conclusion we’re just wrong for each other, only I figured it out about twenty years too late. The chemistry’s all wrong now and we clash like a cheap suit.

That’s why I waited in line for that stupid device you might call a time machine. Some disgruntled attendant standing behind a formica counter scans my molecules into some energy canister. A push of the button sends me hurtling through some worm-hole until I make some quantum leap through a time portal …don’t ask me to explain how it all works, I just get confused…which is why I just pay the ticket and let someone else operate the transdirectional metaportation devices. Ha! I can see by the look on your face you don’t believe me! Precisely why I didn’t tell you sooner! Unfortunately for me, the Brotherhood of United Metaportation Operators has gone on strike, leaving me stranded in your backward technologically deficient moment of time. Maybe I should have just bought the “Time Travel For Dummies, guide?

“Time?!! Oh no! The time. I’ve got to hurry.” Time to hit the Resume button.

If I could just get there in time, I could warn myself… This is where it gets complicated, not the technology stuff. No, it’s all that emotional stuff between a man and a woman that still leaves modern man scratching his ‘ba-hooty’ wondering what happened. You see, time travel is pretty much common place now with no more than a raised eyebrow than faxing a document was in the early twenty-first century. but we still don’t understand women!

Want to know how a relationship works out? Most of us just try it on for a few years…if it gets messy, just go back in time and make the whole thing un-happen! Sounds great? But there are…rules about this sort of thing.

Rule Number 1: You can’t disturb the past, like, you can’t tell yourself that it’s really is you, back from the future. We have to be…ah…discrete! And there are a few…accidents that happen from time to time but most can be covered up, erasing the memory of the incident or if too many people witness it, then the “agency’ can always pass it off as a UFO or some paranormal disturbance. The pulp magazines at the check-out aisle love these stories. Those are the two most common excuses when there’s a ‘glitch’. And of course, you can’t slip yourself a hot stock tip to yourself in your previous life, the IRS enforces that one pretty close. Most people who do go back in time, go to straighten up some big mistake they made in the past that seems to screw up their future, and most of those are…related to that strange thing we call love. You can go back and UNDO your love-life, sort of like a “retroactive pre-nuptial extraction.” Some prefer the term, “pre-crises post-espousal intervention.” I tend to think of it more as a “pre-connubial utero-inversion” or un-birthing a marriage.

That’s why I’m here. You see, there was this gorgeous young girl I had met and we eventually fell in love…and then we ruined everything. We got married! That little thing they say about love being blind, it’s much worse. “Love’ isn’t blind because you can help the blind but there ‘aint’ much hope for ‘stoo-pid!” I mean we all can look back and see the things we were too willing to overlook when we were dating but somehow managed to switch off that rational part of or brain that said, “Are you sure this is what you want?” Instead we focus so much on how the other makes us feel! Then when it all falls apart, we ask ourselves, “What was I thinking?” But that’s just it; we weren’t thinking at all. We let our hormones and emotions run away with us until…the new wears off, then we take each other for granted. And all those little quirks that used to endear us to the other, now they drive us apart. We make concessions and we compromise, then we make a list of all our pet peeves. Pretty soon, our relationship gets put on life support and then eventually we put up a “Do Not Resuscitate” sign on the heart.

At first, it was illegal to go back to the past and meddle with our former love lives but it got to where there were so many doing it, it was sort of like trying to stop illegal immigration. As long as the technology was there and the money was right, you could undo any relationship. Turns out it’s cheaper than getting a divorce but without all the turmoil. So what does government do? When they can’t stop something they regulate it. They passed laws, they taxed it, but when they put it under some monstrous government beauracracy, that almost killed it right there. Yep, if you want to bury something, bury it under a myriad of convoluted regulations, obscure nomenclature, and mounds of senseless paperwork. It isn’t an offical beauracracy until they gave it some awful acronym. “FBI”, “IRS”, and “FEMA” was already taken so they had to call it FARTT, for Federal Agency of Regulated Time Travel.

If that wasn’t bad enough, things really went south right about the time when the lawyers smelled a buck! Yep, if there’s a way to exploit something, leave it up to the lawyers. There is a special breed, they call them ‘tort’ lawyers! I think they call them that because it’s descriptive of their tactics, like dis’tort’, con’tort’, ex’tort‘, and ‘tort’-ure! They started advertising their services like a snake oil salesman on a Sunday afternoon! “Have you been wronged at love? Let us help you!” Now, let me interpret for you…when a lawyer says they want to ‘help’ you, what they mean is, they want to ‘help themselves’…starting with a huge cut off the top. Seems like lawyers are always the first hogs in the feed trough!

“Well, I’ve got to go and try to talk myself out of making a really big mistake before it’s too late. I’ll let you know how it all turns out.”

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