Sunday, October 6, 2013


We may never want to admit it to ourselves, but we live mild-mannered ho-hum lives. Being a ho-hum is not a bad thing; it is just an ordinary thing.
After a ho-hum morning of waking up with the usual time table of liquids and cleansing, a ride through the neighborhood watching other ho-hum lives watering their plants even though it is going to rain tonight and tomorrow or racing to the store after church to buy their treats to waste the afternoon away watching football, just like me. Maybe they are making the same ho-hum decisions on whether to do laundry with that new detergent that assumes you don’t have to separate colors and white or to buy a bottle of wine so the new wine glasses can be used or whether to have pancakes or fillet mignon for dinner tonight?
The ho-hum life has three interrupters that make it almost bearable. Work, family, and accidents spark our mundane existence. Instead of just mindlessly watching the television or flipping pages of a romance novel, we must interrupt our dullness by going to work. This necessarily requires shopping for clothes, lunch plans, communication with others and perhaps a little adrenalin to boost our blood pressure. Family is family. You are responsible for each and everyone of them because you have the same last name or you produced them so you have to attend the soccer games and watch the school plays and listen to the heartbreak and pay for the weddings and sit in the waiting rooms. Accidents are just that, accidents that happen to everyone but it excites our lives. A paper cut at work can be an entire topic at the dinner table at night or a serious health problem can be worn like a badge of courage.
We might want to imagine ourselves as a celebrity, but even the rich and famous live ho-hum lives. One, they have to work twenty-four seven to even be remembered. Two, they live for the attention, so they must relay on media to remind others they are still there. Three, they make a flash of cash enough to have someone else worry about the laundry, yet they are constantly on edge to keep reinventing themselves to the public demands or soon be forgotten.
Who remembers Kirkpatrick Mac Millan? Who remembers Scott Seamans or Lyndon “Duke” Hanson or George Boedecker, Jr.? How about J.J. Richardson of Woodstock, Vermont? Take a walk with Abraham-Louis Perrelet  and you may understand what brief celebrity brings.
The Scottish blacksmith who made the first mechanical bicycle or the guys whose company provided us with Crocs or the guy who patented through the Scientific American Patent Agency on June 18, 1863 socket wrench or the guy who created the first pedometer, measuring the steps and distance while walking probably lived the same ho-hum lives as the rest of us. Their graves will not be marked in any special way or have celebrations over what they did or who they were. How many of today’s flash-in-the-pan newsmakers will follow the same path?
So be happy that you have enough money and shelter and comfort to watch the game and consume your snacks and maybe take that nap on a soft couch before the news and dinner wakes you up. A ho-hum life is much better than what most of the world experiences.
Think I will have fillet mignon with French cut green beans and new potatoes soaked in butter downed with a bottle of Merlo while watching the Seahawks and the Colts and listening to “Basement Tapes”. Ho-Hum.
Try not to yawn.

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