Don’t judge a book by its title. There in the library I stood, flummoxed, wondering why I never knew that the French absurdist had written a book on the popular move known as ‘The Stranger.’
From what some guy, no, some girl told me, a really hot girl to be honest, I think she was a model actually, ‘The Stranger’ is a tactic where you sit on your hand to cut off the blood flow, inducing a tingly, numb sensation. Then you use that hand to touch your, well, you can touch whatever you want with it, and the experience is not unlike that of a ‘stranger’ fondling you.
How could Camus possibly write an entire novel on this (what I have heard from very attractive women, but never, ever experienced myself) gratifying act?
Unless there were arcane metaphors that went way over my head, he didn’t. I burned right through this thing, the anticipation growing with every page, waiting to be slapped with the titular maneuver. Over 80% of the way through, I was ready to give up, until I recalled Moby Dick rarely appears in the novel that bears his name.
Turns out The Stranger is about a man who kills a stranger. Kind of a letdown.
As the polar vortex returns to Minnesota, schools are again shutting down for the chill. In order to make kids less dumb, those days have to be made up somewhere, generally at the end of the academic year. However, if we look to Newtonian thought, we can expect trouble in June as well, for the third law of motion tells us that “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.”
Come summer, we can expect the complete opposite of the polar vortex—a sort of tropical steamer, as it were. When the time comes to make up the days being missed now, it will simply be too hot for the youth to go to school. By the time the heat blast gives way, it will be well past the solstice.
Why not make up the days then, you may be pondering. I come from a lineage of educators, most notably my Mother. Now, there are three things that teachers love about the job—winter break, spring break, and summer break. Especially summer break. If teachers are expected to continue working into July, we can expect nothing less than chaos.
For instance, every June, it is tradition for my Mother to peel out of the school parking lot, stop at the liquor store, then disappear down into the utility shed until Labor Day. As far as I know, she isn’t even aware of the existence of the time we call ‘July,’ and August lives in her brain as a sort of hypnopompic hallucination, with the opening of September being the first solid grasp of reality after a three month soak in rum and Pepsi.
So now the make-up days have been pushed into what would be the new school year. Mass confusion can be expected here, as many of the students won’t realize that they are still in the grade from the previous year for the first week or so of the new year. By the time all that gets smoothed out, we’re looking at the September holidays—Talk Like A Pirate Day, Mexican Independence Day, Rosh Hashanah, Oktoberfest. Then October harvest arrives, when all the children head to the fields to shuck corn and shave animals. In November, it will be deemed too ‘nice’ out for the kids to be cooped up in school, due to the looming polar vortex of next winter. Throw in all the cancelled days for that, and we’re basically up to January 23rd of 2015, when the whole cycle repeats and repeats and repeats and repeats.
Here’s something I concocted. It’s got honey. It’s got oats. It’s got peanut butter. You can call it honey peanut butter oat food meal, oats with honey and peanut butter snack, or H.O.P.B. (pronounced ‘hop’—the ‘B’ is silent, like in womb, or plumber).
Now, the ingredient list goes like this: oats, honey, and peanut butter. Also, love, care, friendship. And last, but not least, dead skin cells. This last is easiest, as it’s nearly impossible not to get them in there.
Grab a bowl. Insert the oats, honey, and peanut butter into it. The dead skin cells won’t be far behind. As to the love, care, and friendship, you go about getting those into the mix however you see fit.
Microwave for around 20 seconds. The chemical reaction betwixt the peanut butter and friendship and heat will form a sort of soft, paste-like substance that will make everything else mix together.
It’s ready to eat now. You earned it, champ.
This is the 358th post of this blog. A great deal of labour, devotion, and inspiration has gone into all that writing. Let’s celebrate with a quote from a British chap:
“All the labour of the ages, all the devotion, all the inspiration, all the noonday brightness of human genius, are destined to extinction in the vast death of the solar system, and the whole temple of man’s achievement must inevitably be buried beneath the debris of a universe in ruins.” —Bertrand Russell
Just for fun, picture me wearing a one-size-too-small-owl-covered onesie while you read this post. It’s fun, because it is reality.
This happens to me a lot:
I go into an empty bathroom containing three urinals. Urinal Code dictates that I take either of the two bookends, in order to create a buffer zone should another person come in.
I always follow the Code. It’s all that raises us above the beasts.
More often than not, someone will come in and take the middle one, creating an atmosphere of uncomfortable, sporadic urinating for me (it must not bug the person that boxes me in, or he derives some sort of foul, depraved pleasure from it).
Some of these people even attempt to make small talk, a huge no-no in restroom culture.
I’m going to become a “stall” person. Or pee on “crowders.” Anything that gives me the reclusive aura I crave while emptying my bladder.
Pumpen is a German synonym for being flatulent. Nickel, or Nicholas, is equal to a devil, goblin, or demon.
Therefore pumpernickel has been known in some circles as “the devil’s fart.”
I learned that on The Big Bang Theory.
This letter came in today:
Dear Mr. Philosophunculist:
I painted this owl for you in the hopes that you will recognize our spiritual connection. This is actually a painting of you, or as I see you in my imagination. You are wise and elegant, yet fierce.
I will be your field mouse, and you may hunt me.
Swoop down on me with your sharp beak, and eat me for dinner. I’m okay with that.
You may notice this owl looks like a combination of angry, suspicious, and judgmental. I imagine this may be how you see me.
As I painted your eyes, they pierced my soul. As your blurbs of wisdom often do.
Look at this note as creepy, haunting, weird, I don’t care. Our souls are connected, and you don’t even know it yet.
But you will in time. YOU WILL.
My sincerest regards,