Monday, April 17, 2006

I was thinking

*The Dangers Of Thinking*

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and
then -- just to loosen up.

Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than
just a social thinker.

I began to think alone--"to relax," I told myself--but I knew it wasn't
true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was
thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening, I had turned
off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that
night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't
mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and
Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What
is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it
hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If
you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my
conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confess, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip a quiver. "You think as much as
college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if
you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently. She exploded in tears
of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional
drama. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into
the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass
doors.... They didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that
night. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a
poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it
asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers
Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering
thinker.

I never miss a TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational
video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how
we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed...easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I made the final step, I registered to vote as a Republican!

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