Friday, February 09, 2007

The Dangers of Taking Only One Philosophy Course

I realized, looking back at the two and a halfish years of this blog, that I tend toward a few things: writing about my childhood, out of control metaphors, and grandiose and probably easily refutable proclamations about how “life is like” a something.

What follows will contain the latter two of these. In buttloads.

Oh, let’s just do this thing; life is like a stuffed octopus. (Come with me my darlings, kick off your shoes and run with me into the flowery Meadow of Stupidity!).

I’m talking about a kid’s plush toy, maybe like an orange spotted octopus with big plastic eyes. If you take life as this thing, this thing that’s a product of craftsmanship and has a purpose, it’s basically system wherein a material of structural integrity (aka stuffing) must be evenly distributed throughout a bulbous little head and eight adorable legs to produce an attractive, functioning unit.

Capeesh? Capeesh.

So you’ve got this thing, this octopus, and let’s say there’s some lucky lady whose job is stuffing stuffed animals to their capacity and stitching them up, kissing them on the head, and sending them on their way down some candy-colored conveyer belt into the arms of a waiting child (most of that isn’t metaphor, just blind hope that that’s how a toy factory works). She makes the perfect octopus by stuffing all eight legs equally before he goes on his merry way.

But my octopus? Maybe stuffed by the Stuffer-in-Training. Or maybe, even likelier, the old, crochety, three-weeks-from-retirement stuffer, who doesn’t really give two shits if three legs are empty and one is so full you can’t close it up and the others are kind of weird and lumpy too.

This is what I’m getting at. If the legs are categories of life achievement (break them down how you will…career, health, family, friends, money, love, whatever), you’ve gotta stuff them all to be happy. My octopus, the stuffed animal of my life, is basically trucking along on like four good legs, with a couple of empty polyester tubes dragging around behind it.

Oh my god, the love leg? Let’s not even talk about the love leg. Actually, let’s talk about it right now, because you and I both know that the sentence to follow this one, which promises to be both the stupidest and best thing I’ve ever written, was what all of this foreplay was for, the whole laborious and wordy octopus metaphor construction, all for the following:

My love life is like the leg of a defective toy octopus, empty except for maybe, like, a used Kleenex or a cough drop or something else sort of creepy that shouldn’t be in there, because my stuffer is an old lady three weeks from retiring to Boca.

[Quasi-spiritual implications of the stuffer, specifically, whether it is me or, like, the Prime Stuffer, to be examined at a later date. By which I mean never.]


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