Upon leaving the house, I made sure to pack all the essentials before my self-imposed health walk: keys, wallet, watch, and most importantly, my iPhone with headphones. Made with love and labor in China, where every day is (Hard) Labor Day!
Back to the iPhone. The toy of toys. And just as I was about to leave, I grabbed it with headphones and cable dangling perilously, but being in such a rush it slipped from my hands, not unlike a wet bar of soap in the shower (not prison, so save your rectal-wrecking comments), it popped in the air and then I began what felt like 20 minutes (was 3 seconds at most) of facial, bodily and emotional contortions as I tried desperately to prevent it from hitting the ground, and thusly prevent my toy of toys, my pride and joy (you thought I was going to refer to my kids? really?) from a premature death or dismemberment.
My daughter saw my face and body motions and couldn’t believe the physical lengths I would go to in order to keep The Device from tumbling. (Note: The ‘T’ and the ‘D’ are capitalized because capitalization in English generally denotes that some thing or person is so special, it’s deserving of a visual cue to the reader so you know it isn’t just some common, lowercase lay-about. It’s why when you read ‘Superman’, you think of a do-gooder dude in tights, and not some guy behind the counter at the hair salon who is “just super!” Oddly, words I have used like ‘spouse’ and ‘kids’ remain in lowercase. Go figure.)
Anyways, back to the dynamic action. Being forced to place my muscles and bones in positions usually in the domain of the Cirque Du Soleil pretzel benders, I could actually feel my body and face react like a dyspeptic, apoplectic mental patient losing grip on his favorite stuffed animal, and the earth shattering panic it would cause at not having the thingy in my grasp. (Control issues, anyone?)
In those few seconds I must have done more yoga stretches and danced such a jig of inebriated complication than I have done in years, since I was achy and had back spasms after The Device actually did tumble to the floor, albeit at a decelerated rate of speed thanks to deftly stretching my left leg at a 68º angle, extending my hairy foot at a 45º angle, using it as a cushioning agent so the The Device deflected off it, and then landed several feet away, none the worse for wear. My near cranial aneurysm notwithstanding.
Which brings me to my next point. Assembling toys and rollators for children and parents respectively. Toys for all age groups require some assembly, and I, as a middle aged mensch, need to be able to do this job, lest I show myself to be incompetent to my generational bookend familial attachments. Besides, if I left assembly to my kids, a small war would ensue after ignoring them for a full 10 minutes and checking my Device for non-existent emails.
As for the assembly of the advanced (grumpiness and age, maybe intellect) adult toys for my dad (I never heard the word ‘rollator’ until I saw one with an article description on the side of the box next to ‘Made with the finest prison slave labor in cell block 23 in China’ sticker. The rollator is a slick looking, three-wheeled walker used by spinally reticent and bald men to scuttle about freely in shopping malls and your finer homes. Who knew?
Let’s be honest, what choice did I have about assembling the thing? I couldn’t say no to the man who raised me, primarily on beef, to retain and cherish the phrases “people are stupid” and “my soap is better” (he is a freaking genius!), who bestowed upon me words of filth and Impressionist quality obscenities like a 19th century master would to his eager student, in the name of being able to express myself in meetings, or while hanging with the boys or in front of my children, usually in a car stuck in traffic.
Which brings me to the last point in this sleep-deprived diatribe: Kids. Should we be having them intentionally or not? How do they stack up in the “value vs efficiency” equation? Can you see where I am going with this? If you can, that means my blinds are open and you have very good binoculars, and you can see me strut around the house barely clothed, you filthy pervert. You sicken me. But I digress.
So do children test the theory of “are they really worth the money?” But the same can asked of smartphones, 2-seat convertibles, motorcycles, maple fudge, 300-watt car stereo systems, high-priced prostitutes, high-priced designer clothing that isn’t marked down more at least 45%, politicians, gluten-free baguettes and several other objects I can’t think of without another beer or a good night’s sleep. The answer is a clear ‘yes’ – I’m referring to the things that aren’t kids, the jury is still out on those little rodents. If you can develop and emotional attachment to it, replace it, get a guarantee on it or have an irrational, vein-in-brain-busting fit if it breaks (especially the politician), then of course it’s worth the money.
The kids, well, that’s a bit of a crap shoot. Homosapiens generally aren’t really good long-term thinkers. We really don’t consider the costs, consequences, ulcers, medical bills and trips to Ikea and Costco that comes with children. We can’t give them back, we get no guarantee, and if you leave them in the parking lot, the police eventually find you even after you have grown a beard and dyed your hair.
What does this have to do with this installment of the comic listed in the Oxford Companion of Deviant and Defamatory Literature Not Worth Wiping One’s Gluteal Cleavage With, Vol. 6? If I knew, I’d bottle it and sell it as a baldness cure or a sexual stimulant and make a killing. But I am not that enterprising, it would seem.
Witchingly and itchingly yours,
Sifu of Seafood (not) Jonathan Izuki Druker