I don’t have anything against winter hats. The toboggan I’m referring to is a really fast sled that goes downhill in the snow.
The toboggan doesn’t hate me, but it bounces and bumps so I dig my feet into the snow that somehow finds its way into my tucked-in pantleg and my tucked in shirt and under my zipped-up coat. The whole experience that exhilarates some people makes me feel like I’m about to die, and not quick enough to avoid suffering.
I vaguely remember my sister crashing our semi-steerable fancy antique wood-on-iron-rails sled into a tree. She wasn’t hurt, just banged up, but the tree bent the rails on our sled and that was the last good ride. The sled went into retirement, or the trash, because back then who gave a shit about landfills? That was back when I was a little kid and death and pain never entered my mind, because I hadn’t had enough trauma yet. Fast forward to after the second grade, and things changed. Second grade teacher was a fucking-witch-bitch-in-a-ditch, but I digress.
I hate toboggans because they’re difficult or impossible to control. In this way, they’re like life. And my emotions. And everything. When I was a kid, and usually once or twice a year, I have to pretend it’s ::Grits teeth:: FUN to go out in the cold and get snow up your pants, down your pants, up your back, and in your boots and gloves and hat. yay, it’s finally over. I’m wet. Now can I please have custom-fitted stylish new, warm, dry clothes put on me by the computer and be handed either a cup of black coffee, or an enormous mug-o-hot cocoa with ice cream floated on it? (My kingdom for Star Trek-knology. “Computer: Hot Cocoa with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. In a CUP!” I prefer warm and dry to cold and wet any day. “One way ticket to Vulcan, please?”) And then comes the realization: SHIT. I still have to shovel the driveway and sidewalk. SHIT. Do you know that we have the technology to incorporate heating elements in towel racks, sidewalks, driveways, and roads with solar energy collectors, and homes with solar collectors too, and we’re still not doing it? What the fuck?! No snow plows unless you’re still gravel. No slick roads or sidewalks to fall on. No heart attacks from shoveling, just play in the snow on the yard and build a snowman, make a snow angel, have a snowball fight if you want. It should have been built in, and assumed, in any new homes after the technology was available.
Star Trek has spoiled me so. Replicators, phasers, medicines, if the technology exists it should be made readily and affordably available. But we live in a society where money is a god and drug manufacturing investor ass holes buy the rights to the only treatment or cure, and sell it for a huge markup. See Martin Shkreli and Gregg Alton, they’ll show you how capitalism is supposed to be done to fuck the consumer properly. “I bought it, so I can pick our own price. Hmm, Let’s see, they cost $1 to produce, and they save lives. Shall I charge the more fair $13.50, or $750.00 per dose?” Thats right, soft, gentle, generous and romantic, or forced, in the wrong hole with barbed wire accessories?
I used to talk to a guy until he tried to tell me that a mechanic charging me $100 an hour for labor and an inflated price for car parts was fucking fair. We don’t talk any more. He doesn’t own the garage, but he’s a fucking idiot. If the owner WAS the only mechanic in town, imagine where I’d be- Fucked. I already feel fucked whenever I have car breakdowns. It’s not the only garage in town but I went there after I priced the part at $60 and he charged me almost four times that, just a little more than a shipping and handling markup if you ask me, plus his hourly fee. And I don’t go to that gouging garage any more. I haven’t been to a dentist since I was informed I’d have to pay a thousand bucks a tooth if I wanted them fixed- but I could go to the charity place and have them pulled for free. Can I have someone meet me somewhere in my dream world, where taking care of myself doesn’t involve costing an arm and a leg, a first born child and my immortal soul? I didn’t choose for my car to break down any more than any of us choose to be sick and need to take medication for treatment. I hate dentists more than doctors, and doctors even more than I hate mechanics, fucking greedy shitheads every last one. I understand the doctors, they have to pay major malpractice insurance in case someone catches them and sues. And maybe the mechanic has to pay huge overhead for the garage, his retirement, and his kid’s college fund. Riiggghhhhttt.
When I’m particularly manic, I’ll go outside in the snow without shoes or socks and leave footprints behind. So it’s not the snow. The snow is fine. The snow is actually beautiful. Where I live, the winter was giving what I hope was its last gasp and offered the perfect snowfall. The trees and landscape looked beautiful, covered in a thin coating of snow, but the roads were clear. Spring is coming, and I want to carve out some time for fishing. There’s no time. And if there is time, there’s not enough time.
I hate roller coasters too. They don’t hate me, they just bank hard and climb and fall uncontrollably and make me want to hurl my overpriced drink, cotton candy and whatever overpriced fair food carnivores delight I figured I could part with the cash for. You might guess I don’t voluntarily go to the fair or amusement parks much any more. The climb to where the view is absolutely lovely is slow, clicky and great. But then the goose hits the Fabio and from there it’s all downhill and twisted. It’s evil, and I swear, the designers try harder each time to make the roller coaster faster, and more sickening. See also the new Harry Potter coaster, (excuse me just a quick moment if you please, I’m feeling a little bit …B-B-BLLLEEEAAAAAAAGGGRRRRAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!). The wife and kids do occasionally force me to go. But they will never again talk me into a roller coaster ride of any kind. Ever.
It all reminds me of life. Just when you finish the slow, tenuous, and frequently frightening climb to where the view is tolerable, or even great, you want to settle in and enjoy the view for a while, and then, without asking for it, life takes you on a breakneck paced downhill run. It’s very frightening, stress induced vomiting, twisted, turned, upside down, banking, taking hard G-forces, and feels very much demonic. I totally understand if you don’t believe in such things, I’m only telling you what I feel like, so don’t be offended, and if you are offended, you know where you can shove your barbed-wired offendedness.
It’s an evil roller coaster; I’m falling so fast and hard and being jerked around, and honestly I’m not sure I will survive, or even if I want to survive, when I hit the bottom. And then I’m back at the bottom and EVERYTHING sucks and I wonder if I have the energy to climb again. I don’t feel like standing, much less climbing. The nausea. How can it take so long to climb up, and take such a short time to fall? I don’t understand, I just wish the coaster ride would end quickly or just level off and stay level. It suuuuuuuckkkssssss gigantic white whale balls under water. (excuse me just a quick moment if you don’t mind, I’m feeling … B-B-BLLLEEEAAAAAAAGGGRRRRAAAAUUUUGGGGHHHHHH!!!) Do whales have balls? I mean, they’re mammals… I can’t find a diagram. Maybe I don’t want to know (yes, the inevitable “Moby Dick” thoughts did make me wish I could laugh).
Yes I know it’s funny, and stop calling me Ishmael! And yes, I’m a carnivore, but don’t bring me any Chicken Fried Atlantic Kamaboko or Surimi ala Frikadeller, thank you.
I’m pretty well mixed today, but I know the bottom is dropping out, or has dropped out, and I’m not looking forward to the dark, spiraling trip down, or the shocks and bumps at the bottom of the ride. I commented something like this before and now I’ll blog it: I wonder what my baseline would be if I didn’t have to fake this one so hard.