Posts Tagged With: Carhartts

Words to Live By

“Favorite Quotation.” This was one of the blanks to fill in on a bio form I had to submit recently for a presentation I’m giving in a few weeks. I assumed they wanted something uplifting and meaningful, a shining little nugget of pithy advice or witty inspiration that is a touchstone in my life.

And I couldn’t think of a thing. It probably didn’t help that the program chairman needed my response by 5:00 p.m., that I’ve read and edited so many self-help books that their wise adages tend to blur together, and that my favorite poet is Ogden Nash. He certainly is quotable—here’s one of his poems:

Reflexions on Ice-Breaking
Candy
is dandy
But liquor
is quicker

However, the inspirational value of lines like this might not be fully appreciated by someone whose goal is to help a presenter seem capable and authoritative.

I finally found some adequate saying or other, sent it in, and promptly forgot about it. The next day, of course, I remembered several delightful, clever, and apt quotations that I could have used instead.

While I was on the subject, though, I started pondering some of the sayings that do influence my life. If I had been more concerned about truth-telling than pseudo-inspiration in my response, I might have cited one of the phrases (source: various semi-anonymous members of my family) that I actually use regularly. Like one of these:

“Cowgirl up.” Its better-known counterpart, “cowboy up,” means shut up, get on with it, do what needs to be done and don’t complain. “Cowgirl up” means pretty much the same thing, except you toss in a little humor while you’re at it. And wear your best red boots, except in situations where Carhartts are more appropriate.

“I just want this to be oooover!” This loud and deeply sincere bit of dramatic criticism from the back of an elementary school gym was one of the highlights of my son-in-law’s time as part of a touring children’s theatre program. My partner and I have appropriated it and find it useful in all sorts of situations. It can be muttered out of the side of one’s mouth during long-winded speeches or tedious meetings. It can be thought to oneself during dental appointments or invasive medical procedures. Said aloud with a dramatic sigh or eye-roll, it suits a variety of occasions from uphill hikes to long car trips to waiting on hold for customer service. Sometimes, the person who wasn’t quick enough to say it first gets to come back with the response my son-in-law gave from the stage: “You and me both, kid!”

Okay, I might as well admit it. When it comes to inspirational words, I’ll take a perspective-restoring chuckle over an uplifting adage any day. It’s sometimes more clever, often more useful, and always easier to remember.

Categories: Just For Fun, Living Consciously | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

“Beam It Out of Here, Scotty”

You'd never guess it from looking at my office or the guest room (it's really time to invite some overnight guests so I have some incentive to get the leftover Christmas wrap and other clutter out of there), but we've been getting rid of stuff. It's time for some end-of-year sorting and clearing out. Okay, make that end-of-years, plural, starting with, oh, about 1992.

We've found the occasional almost-forgotten treasure and a certain amount of just plain junk. Most of the stuff, though, falls into that troublesome category of things that are obsolete or unused, but that are still too good to throw out. We have no need for them whatsoever, but theoretically at least, we might—someday. Or someone might. We just don't know when, how, or why we might ever use them.

Of course, that theoretical potential is exactly why they've been sitting around all this time gathering dust.

Why doesn't somebody hurry up and invent a recycling/transmogrifying machine? It would operate somewhat like the transporters from Star Trek. The machine would disassemble something down to its very atoms, but instead of putting it back together the way it was, it would reassemble those atoms into something new.

You'd put your old stuff—an IBM Selectric typewriter from 1979, say—into the machine, program the right settings, and press "start." After some whirring and beeping and a few flashing lights, out the other end would come a new laptop, a couple of e-readers, and a set of stainless steel tableware for eight. Oh, and that nine-sixteenths wrench that's missing from the socket set.

Just think of the possibilities. Outgrown jeans and old tee-shirts could be transformed into this year's fashion, or maybe a new pair of Carhartts coveralls. An old bicycle could become a new skateboard. Unwanted Christmas gifts could be transformed into just the thing you'd have bought for yourself. The lighted plastic "pig driveway markers" I got in a white elephant exchange could become a new pair of dress shoes that didn't pinch my toes. Fruitcake or gingersnaps could be transformed into dark chocolate.

Now, that would be regifting.

Of course, there are still a few technical details to iron out before such a machine could ever be perfected. And if it were ever to be made workable on a practical scale, it would completely disrupt the world's economic systems. We certainly wouldn't want to do that, given how perfectly everything seems to be working right now.

So it may be a while before the "Atomic Recyler" is on the market. In the meantime, does anyone out there want a perfectly good Selectric typewriter?

Categories: Just For Fun | Tags: , , , , | 3 Comments

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