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III-2004: 03 07 08 08-2 22

New translation, the Magna Carta

fun

my struggle with thinking

“It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then 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. 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?"

“Things weren't going so great at home either. 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 soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, "Skippy, 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 confessed, "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, and she began to cry. I'd had enough. "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, with NPR on the radio. I roared into the parking lot 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.

“As I sank to the ground clawing at 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 Thinker's 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. Soon, I will be able to vote Republican.

[from Gene Schenk; lead thanks to Daniel J Lavigne]

 


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