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I Think

Page 13


Throughout the technology revolution, mankind has consistently sought to improve life by reducing the number of tasks that require physical activity, then sought to counteract the inevitable weight gain by manufacturing food that only looks like food and barely tastes like it. Here's my advice: keep the technology going and to heck with the weight gain. I may drive to work, take the elevator to my floor, and sit in front of a computer all day, but I still have to do things like walk to the cafeteria at lunch. I make four daily trips from building to car and back again during a normal work day! Clearly, we are not as far advanced as we could be. I think all floors and walkways should be giant air hockey tables. A little push to get you started, and you slide to wherever you're going. The last remnant of necessary daily exercise would be eliminated. Anyone could transport heavy boxes. You'd have an excuse not to stop and talk to irritating acquaintances you meet in passing. You could go ice skating, or the equivalent, year round. Malls would benefit the most. The whole idea of malls is braindead anyway. "Let's put a roof over this cluster of stores and make people walk from one to another instead of drive!" Lennox outlets would probably want to install sturdy bumper rails before putting in air hockey floors.


I think whoever invented the cures for hiccups had the right idea. "Please help me with my hiccups," someone asked. And the guy made up all kinds of visually entertaining treatments. They didn't cure the hiccups, but they did the next best thing. "Drink water from the far side of a glass." You don't have to be that smart to figure out that advice was a practical joke. "Breathe in a paper bag." Actually that one probably works. You breathe in a bag, suffocate, and die. No more hiccups. Next time someone has the hiccups, I'm going to come up with a new miracle cure. "Put your thumbs in your cheek pockets and whistle." That ought to be good.


We've got telephones. We've got video conferencing. But what if we could transfer smells electronically? I think this is a silly supposition, and I'm not going to talk about it anymore.


Some things seem to be specifically engineered to be lost, like playing cards, jigsaw puzzle pieces, and car keys. Socks are so easily lost, it's a cliche to say so. As soon as I figure out what quality these items have that make them so elusive, I think I'm going to manufacture a set of products scientifically engineered to disappear when people take their eyes off them, then make my fortune selling replacement parts. Better yet, I'll sell self-losing pieces. You don't even have to be careless -- the component, whatever it is, will have a mechanism inside it that will send it to the fifth dimension or make it break up into its constituent molecules on the spot. Nobody'd find me out, because the evidence would get destroyed as part of the intended operation.


I have begun a personal protest of symmetry. You're welcome to join in and help out with the picketing and the rioting. Symmetry is evil, and I submit as evidence the haircuts of people who part their hair right down the middle. As a society, we have this misguided notion that symmetry is aesthetically pleasing, that what is on one side must be balanced on the other. Booooring! I think I'm going to start up a company that manufactures irregular polygons.


I think "One And A Half Stuff" is a great idea for a new cookie.


I think sleep is unfair. I don't object to a period of rest -- even a mandatory one -- during which our actions are limited. I can accept that we can breathe and roll over but not cook food, play poker, or go snowboarding. My problem is, what interesting stuff can you do while you're asleep? You can die. Oh, yay. Hold me back.


I want to be the only door to a small windowless room. Then people could swing me closed real hard, but the air pressure would keep me from slamming shut at the last second. I think that would be an awesome adrenaline rush.


How did we get along before version numbers started telling us precisely if something that looked like something else was actually the same or if there were small differences -- and if there were, which of the two was better? Everything should have version numbers. No more vague notices on food product packaging, saying, "New great taste!" Instead, food manufacturers would say, "Version 5.0!" The amount the version number was changed by would clearly indicate how much greater the taste is, and a brief revision history on the back would tell us how new it is. I think I'm going to label myself with a version number. Every time I change, I'll update it. For example, if I learn something revolutionary, surpass one of life's great milestones, or break my leg off, that would constitute a major update, and I would bump the version up to the next whole number. On the other hand, if I read a book on elementary aviation, developed a passion for stamp collecting, came down with a cold, or got fined by the IRS, that would be a minor update, and I would just bump the version number up to the next tenth. And if, for example, I ate a broccoli spear, learned a new digit of PI, or plucked a hair from my head, I'd probably wait until I made more such changes before releasing the new me.


Tongues are basically just big hunks of muscle without any restraint or covering. That rules so much. I wish all our muscles were unattached at one end. Oh, and: "I think."