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Dummies For Books


This episode of the comic that spawned the NSA’s covert domestic spying division is truly an indication of society’s ills. Not really, I just said that to get your attention.

It’s hard to imagine, but summertime is already here and the fish are jumping and the cotton is high. Is the living really easy? Well, it has been for a little while, and was indeed contemplative and full of grilling and sugary treats until last week when I had my annual checkup.

Like all men, you hit a certain age and the doctor has to have a look in places that are best left to dirty jokes at the happy hour for the annual gathering of colo-rectal surgeons. You can see where this is going. Partially because I was walking funny for a few days after the examination took place.

Although he did buy me dinner and flowers afterward, so I can’t say that it was a total loss.

But believe it or not, that poop-chute prostate prostrate taught me several things about life and its many mysteries:

  • I wouldn’t do well in a men’s prison (I’m not that good a dancer or boxer either)
  • After one of those events, who the hell needs coffee in the morning to wake up??!!
  • Why did human biology evolve to put such an important piece of anatomy in such a difficult to reach place? Probably because mother nature has a nasty sense of humor.
  • The manufacturing sector is obviously missing out an important resource for crushing rocks into pebbles, because in what seemed like the three or four hours it took to perform that exam, I tensed up and bit down on my teeth with enough force to shatter granite, diamonds, adamantium all encased in Roman cement.
  • Lastly, and most importantly, it’s what’s on the inside (and  to some degree outside if that person showers regularly) that counts.

OK, that last one may seem odd, but indeed it’s true. So much of what’s important to our physiognomy and psychology is hidden from view. How often have you seen someone and wondered what they were really like. I do that all the time, but that’s because I’m on vacation and have too much free time. But seriously, if the doctor doesn’t look at what’s under the hood once in a while, greater and more expensive maintenance is usually in the offing. So the innards count too.

And that applies to our psychological and personality traits too. Some may seem nice on the outside but aren’t, or the opposite, some may be gruff and angry (like dad when we serve him orange juice without pulp or a bagel that’s slightly too well toasted for his liking), but are sweet and generous if a little too loose with racial epithets. It’s the ones who are nice on the outside and inside that are true rarities, and sadly, the ones who are rotten both on the inside and outside (this last category of people doesn’t read my comic) really need to be sent to live on the moon, but technology hasn’t gotten us that far yet to make it affordable to do it against their will.

So look for important parts and goodness both inside and out, see what really counts, such as treating your family, friends and even your colleagues well, having good health, the ability to laugh, or not take your job too seriously. And if you can’t do any of that, I’ll reserve a place for you on the moon where you may wake up one day with an ether hangover.

Blood-bloodcurdlingly  honest and lovingly yours,

Jonathan Livingston Spiegel