humor · life

the great debate

Coming up with ideas is a crap shoot. I’ve no clue where they come from or where to look when I need one. Ideas have a mind all their own and follow their own sneaky, backstairs schedule. Sometimes they drop in, but more often they don’t.

You can’t force them; I’ve tried. It scares them off.  Ideas, I’ve decided, are like birds, very, very skittery. Attempt a sudden grab and, fwip, away it goes. Gah, so frustrating and so typical. The better plan is to ignore how desperately you need a spark, a notion, any sign of brain activity whatsoever and go on about your day. Which, for me, means sitting on my keister and obsessing over stuff I can’t control.

Which I was doing when, shazam!, two ideas landed in my brainpan at the very same time. Lucky, lucky me. Two genuine, bona fide possibilities.  Oh, joy, oh, rapture, right? Wrong. I couldn’t decide between them. Each had merits. I dithered and fussed, swinging between both options. It would have been easier to draw the winner from a hat.

Sides were taken and a fight broke out. One side demanded Idea A, the other side insisted on Idea B. Names were called, punches were thrown, and synapses were breached. In the end, I was forced to raise the white flag and surrender the field before my head exploded.   

Now I need an aspirin the size of a yo-yo. Sorry for the snafu. Please come back again when order is restored.

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

all humor is based in sorrow

And I’m the funniest person I know. That should tell you something. That should tell me something, but it hasn’t. Mine is not an examined life; I don’t look too closely. Not because of any dark, sinister pathology, but because it doesn’t occur to me. My mind is busy with other things. Fun things, compelling things. Okay, nonsense, mostly.

I came close to self-examination once, in my early 30’s, but it was short-lived. I went to a therapist for help sorting out a personal mess, decided the guy was a dope, and quit going after five weeks. He doggedly insisted my difficulties stemmed from my parents’ divorce; said I needed to go back and forgive the 13-year old I’d then been. Huh, what? My parents calling it quits was a non-event, if anything it was a relief. I’d barely noticed a difference.

And so here I am, long years later, still oblivious, still stumbling through a shambolic world. But my normally quiet landscape is shifting and it’s scary. In the last few months, I’ve been beset with personal insights and unwelcome epiphanies of all types, from all directions. I’ll be thinking about pirates or socks when I’m assaulted by a revelation. You think you know yourself, right? Well, heh, don’t count on it.

When I try to frame a thought in conversation, I get swept into an undertow of emotions and wind up floundering, visibly struggling to hold myself together. Some people, albeit mercifully few, can drop me with a look or a word, a gesture or a touch — they’re my kryptonite. My heart swells, tears brim, and I’m terrified a sob is going to burst forth, so I panic and close up tight. It’s mortifying.

How could I miss that? I have all the earmarks: I’m awkward, I’m reclusive, make no effort to fit in, have the emotional I.Q. of a melon, and I hide things, little tokens, for people to find — just not in tree trunks. The one stark difference is, I’ve never stabbed anyone — not with scissors and not with a kitchen knife. I’ve impaled a few with a pretty sharpish look, though.

After the shock wore off, I remembered an unresolved and ongoing disagreement with a friend of mine over what film deserved Best Movie Ever status. He went with The Wizard of Oz — a notable choice — while I held out for To Kill a Mockingbird. I’ve seen it probably 50 times, read the book a dozen, and each time I’m engulfed with a deep, abiding homesickness. The fact I’m home provides no mitigation whatsoever; something basic and ineffable is missing. I’ve no idea what.

Do you know where I found hope and solace? In the wise and immortal words of Whitesnake:

I am, and will always be, the girl hiding in the corner. I’ve come to accept my fate. I don’t necessarily embrace it, but I’m fine with it nonetheless.

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

I have the most loyal people

So loyal. I could post the tax code and still draw a yuuuuge crowd of adoring fans. They love me no matter what I do. Just look at the fantastic numbers on my twitter account; I have 35 followers. Do you believe that? Thirty flipping five. And those aren’t fake followers, those aren’t bots. They’re devoted readers, fabulous people who cherish my every word. Including covfefe and unpresidented.

My fans don’t care if I make sense. They don’t mind if my verb tenses agree or if  my claims are preposterous, they worship me. They love the fact I‘m unhinged, it makes me relatable. The crazier I act, the louder they cheer. I make wild assertions — like ‘I drew the biggest crowd ever in history’ or ‘lizard people run public television’  — and folks believe me. It’s amazing.

Fact checkers and grammarians are overpaid hacks, anyway. I’m an original; I think for myself and create my own reality. I spell according to whim and believe punctuation is for suckers. ALL CAPS and EXCLAMATION POINTS, those are the marks of great intelligence! The fake smarties depend on books and research and experts. They use footnotes and paragraphs, logic, neurons. Sheesh, all I need is 140 characters.    

The important thing is, I’m a winner. All I do is win. Win, win, win, win win, win!!!!!!  And I know everything. What I don’t know I just make up. Even words, I make those up, too — mostly by mistake. And they become the most popular words in the world. Everyone uses them, but no one knows what they mean. Except me. I know. I’d tell you, but it’s classified, a major secret, very bigly, so I can’t.

I, alone, am Queen of this vast, sprawling domain, and I make the rules. I do not follow them. Your deep, undying loyalty will, of course, be rewarded with a quick toss under the bus. You’re welcome :o)

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl

humor · life

acrophobic on an 11th floor balcony

Acrophobia, for you sane, well-adjusted types, is a fear of heights. A deep, abiding, knee-knocking, mortal aversion to altitudes above sea level. So what could possess me to scamper out onto my balcony, 110 feet straight up (assuming a mean height of ten feet per floor)?

Just one thing I can think of: a soft, warm summer night. There is nothing sweeter in this lifetime — and quite possibly the next. I stood there, still as a statue, in a breeze as lovely as a caress. It was practically a religious experience, being so close to heaven and the angels and all. The lights of the city twinkled below, the stars glittered above, and moonlight dappled the world. Calamity didn’t exist, fear didn’t loom; I wanted for nothing. It was a rare moment of unexpected bliss.

And I tumbled tail over teakettle into perfect contentment; a cocoon of happy.

Life gets to be a grim, hard slog sometimes — it involves a lot of wandering in the dark, a lot of wrong turns and steep plunges and dark tunnels — but, oh, look where we are. We’re in a world of snapdragons and honeysuckle and starlit evenings, loveliness is all around us. Summer is here, boys and girls, right outside the door.

Now, although I’m not sure what the maximum capacity is on my little balcony, the bolts look plenty secure. There’s room for you, too. Immediate seating is available.

copyright © 2017 little ittys

humor · life

a bit out of sorts

I woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Please explain how that’s possible. It’s the exact same side of the bed I’ve woken up on forever. In fact, technically, it isn’t even a side — it’s the flipping middle.

Now, if I’d woken up in the trunk of a car, sure, a bad mood is certainly justified. But I wasn’t in the trunk of a car; I was curled up in my own soft bed under a warm, fluffy duvet in a nice, quiet apartment. On a sunny spring morning. So what’s the deal, right? Why have I spent the better part of the day swearing at my computer and kicking the furniture? Beats me.

I can’t blame hormones, either — I don’t have them anymore. I’m just full-on cranky and peevish and surly for no good reason. Wait, is there such a thing as a colicky grown-up? That would explain the irritability and whining. Yeah, good, I’ll go with that.

Sorry for the buzzkill and all, but, you know, I think I’m feeling better. Thanks.

Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around.
— Bill Watterson

copyright © 2017 little ittys

humor · life

a monster in the closet

I’m talking about my bicycle, a blue, two-wheeled, 21-speed death trap. I parked it in the storage closet last November and promptly forgot about it. It’s funny how fast biking falls off the radar after the leaves fall off the trees. I hadn’t expected to face this particular conundrum until spring, at least a couple months, anyway.

Well, surprise, time’s up! Spring came early — in flipping February —  with 70º days and bright, sunshiny skies. It not only caught me off-guard, it woke the bike from its quiet, peaceful hibernation. The bike was happy; I was happy; all was right with the world. Now all that’s about to change.

The thing is, I can’t resist the temptation of bikes. Or horses, roller coasters, hoppity balls, broomsticks, anything fast. If you can ride it, I hop on. Then fall off and break something. I feel the tug and I cave in to it. Even now my bike is calling to me. The difference this year is, I’m afraid and fear is not helpful.

Anxiety in tight situations — like heavy traffic, narrow pathways, sharp angles — is a recipe for disaster. I seize up, become hesitant, I wobble and veer, sideswipe guardrails and curbs and parking meters; it’s flat-out dicey. In light traffic with few obstacles, I exhibit fine balance and good coordination, but terrible, awful judgment. So, either way, I’m headed for trouble.

On these early spring days, I’ll find myself making a sandwich or watching television and the bike calls out to me. Not with a melodious ‘yoohoooooo’, but a snappish ‘let me out.’ I’m telling you, it freaks me out a little, you know? Especially after last summer’s accident, the one with the punctured lung and broken shoulder.

From out of the blue, another quieter voice has started to pipe up with ‘let sleeping dogs lie.’ The bike hollers at it to shut up, a fistfight breaks out, and I wind up with a pounding headache. In my funhouse world, headaches act as a preventive measure. Long may they pound.

copyright © 2017 little ittys

humor · life

well, this is embarrassing

D’oh, I’m at a loss for words. For no apparent reason I can’t think of a thing to say. The cat doesn’t have my tongue. My lips aren’t sealed. I’m just drawing a blank. I rummaged around all morning, looking under synapses and behind neurons, hoping to find an old idea that might spark a thought. No luck.

So I did what I usually do in these situations, I watched the cursor blink and listened to the coffeemaker — it was busy burbling and plashing. I like listening to the coffeemaker, it’s soothing. I pretend it’s my head percolating with fresh ideas. It’s such a happy, hopeful sound, unlike a train whistle which is utterly forlorn. Air raid sirens, too, those give me goose bumps they’re so creepy.

But the coffeemaker is a joy. I sat and listened with a contented smile while I waited for a thought. And waited. And waited some more. Now, look at the time, and I’m still waiting.

I’ve been stood up. I, uh, guess you have, too. Sorry.

copyright © 2017 the whirly girl