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Doing Pratfalls In The Theater Of The Absurd

The columnist appears disgruntled, detached and a bit spacey today. Check it out and see what you think.

If a kid asks where rain comes from, I think a cute thing to tell him is, "God is crying." And if he asks why God is crying, another cute thing to tell him is, "Probably because of something you did.” – Jack Handey 

I have a dilemma. , but that isn’t actually my real dilemma; it’s merely a contributing factor. My real dilemma is that it’s also rainy, cloudy and dreary inside – in my head. I’m not quite with it today. My thoughts are disjointed; like I’m in a fog clinging tenaciously to the jagged precipice between confusion and insanity. My brain seems to have made off to an undisclosed location and there’s no telling when it may be back, if ever. 

I normally enjoy rainy days. One of the things I missed most about New England during the thirteen years I lived in California and Arizona was the erratic weather. There’s something very comforting about being inside, cozy, sheltered from the storm. That’s probably one of those things that has been rooted deep within our being from back in the days shortly after we emerged from the primordial ooze. I guess it has something to do with the survival of the fittest, self-preservation and all that. 

I think I may be rambling incoherently here, though I can’t be sure, because I’m the one thinking and writing this and as I said; my gray matter is in absentia today. For those who aren’t familiar with absentia, it’s a small, obscure section of the Silver Lake District of Los Angeles where I lived back in the sixties. I believe my brain has relatives there. 

The problem with the whole process of thinking and attempting to communicate those thoughts to others is that we think others understand what we’re saying in the same way that we say it or mean it when, many times that’s not the case at all. I’m convinced that much is lost in the translation between my thoughts, my keyboard and your brain. What I’m thinking and attempting to communicate to you through my writing may not be what you’re hearing me say

I’m guzzling iced coffee from a quart-sized Mason jar while I write this piece. I’m hoping the caffeine jolt will break me out of my funk, but the problem is I’ve ingested so much coffee over the years that I’ve built up a huge tolerance to caffeine and I need more and more of it to get me to the point where I get the effect I’m looking for – so to speak. 

I’m an addict, hands down! No question about it. I started drinking coffee when I was in college and I’ve never looked back. I’m hooked big time! I can’t quit! I only hope I don’t get to the point where I start stealing money from my wife’s pocket book or sticking up or to feed my habit. 

I could never lead a life of crime. For one thing, I have no desire to be a headliner on Cops. I don’t want to be seen on national TV running shirtless through the woods after wrecking my car in a high-speed chase.  And then there’s the awkwardness of having to tell the cops that the baggie of coffee beans in my pocket belongs to my cousin whose pants I’d borrowed for the day because I didn’t have any clean ones. 

That little anecdote was wasted on you if you’ve never seen Cops, but it was pretty lame anyway so you didn’t really miss much. I’d go back and delete it but as I said; I’m not really with it today and that would mean I’d have to come up with another idea. In my current state of mind I’m not sure I can do that so it looks like you’re just going to have to live with it. 

As I sit here drinking my coffee, I'm reminded of the days when I used to drink 101 proof bourbon out of a mason jar similar to the one I’m holding in my hand right now. I’d drop a few ice cubes into the jar, pour the bourbon to within an inch of the top and hit it with just a splash of ginger ale; just enough to give it a little fizz. Then if my wife asked, I could honestly tell her, “I only had one drink!" Those days are far behind me, thank God! 

My wife and I are going to dinner at tonight and then we’ll probably stop at They’re down to the last few days before they close their doors for good and I want to look around one more time to see if they have any books I can steal. Of course, I don’t mean that literally. I’m not really going to steal a book, but at their current prices, up to ninety-percent off; it feels like stealing. 

I’ve been to the Mansfield store eight or ten times since they first announced they were going out of business and it’s always very busy; overrun with shoppers scavenging for bargains like hyenas ripping the flesh from a rotting carcass. No extra charge for putting that image into your head. It’s what I do. 

Last week we were at Borders with our grandson, Logan, looking for some books on sharks and dinosaurs, two of his current obsessions. I found a huge book about prehistoric animals and gave it to Logan to look at. He sat on the floor flipping through the pages for about twenty minutes, handed me the book and said, “Will you buy this for me, Gampy?” Of course I agreed. 

As we were walking toward the front of the store, Logan said, “Hey Gampy, guess what?” 

“What, Logan?” I asked, putting my arm around his shoulders.

 He looked up at me, smiled and said, “Dinosaurs were around hundreds and hundreds of days ago.” 

I have no idea where he gets this stuff! 

That’s all for today. If you’re not washed away by the flood, stop by the Easton Patch next Tuesday for the latest edition of , and if it isn’t too much trouble; bring me a coffee, would you? 

Make it a great week! 

Bob Havey is a freelance writer and a Mansfield native, currently living in Easton. His column "Take Me Back" appears each Friday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com and his column, "The View From Here", may be seen each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com.

Kara M September 09, 2011 at 06:13 PM
So The Silver Lake District where you lived was 'best known as an eclectic gathering of hipsters and the creative class.' That sounds about right. Loved the Cops bit and the story about your grandson and the dino's. Very funny stuff. Enjoy your weekend.
Frida September 10, 2011 at 11:58 AM
It's rainy, cloudy and dreary inside your head? Ouch! Great column Mr H. Have a terrific weekend.
Ted Casher September 10, 2011 at 04:18 PM
Bob----according to the latest findings---COFFEE IS GOOD FOR YOU! That's why I don't have prostate problems! Do you know the Java Jive song? The Mills Brothers recorded it a long time ago.
Bob Havey September 12, 2011 at 03:04 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iP6IUqrFHjw My prostate Thanks you, Ted!
sjd May 18, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I know this is an older column but i understood it (the vast majority anyway-never lived in CA) and feel better that this happens to others and not just me. Not that i wish you unhappiness - just that I'm not the only one who feels cloudy, rainy, and dreary inside on some days too. Hope you feel better today, Bob.
Bob Havey May 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
We all have those days. The ones to worry about are those who don't. Yes, this is an older column and so am I. Great! Now I'm REALLY depressed. Seriously, I feel great today! And thank you for taking the time to comment, even though it's eight months late! :-)
ELAINE NORDBERG ROCK June 24, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Oh dear, can I relate to this column! Well written & I think we all can relate to this one regardless of when we read it or our age at the time. Some days ARE just foggy days! Loved that Logan made into your story again too. Sounds like a real gem of a grandson!

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