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Oct
16

routines

Once summer has succumbed to fall and until the icy grasp of winter has given way to spring I start every morning by having a bowl of oatmeal.

I realize this might endanger the hard-partying image of myself I have created through the years, where most of you imagine I simply start the day by finishing off whatever is left in the bottle by my nightstand and introducing myself to whatever buxom woman is sprawled next to me, but I will not lie about my need for morning fiber.

Oatmeal with raisins, dates and walnuts. And a scoop of strawberry jam.

Which jam isn’t important. The type of oatmeal is critical and here’s why; I tried a generic brand of oatmeal that contained raisins, dates and walnuts and deeply regretted it. While my oatmeal-of-choice Quaker obviously travels the globe looking for the ideal spots to grow raisins, dates and walnuts it was obvious after one mouthful of the generic brand that they grew their raisins, dates and walnuts side by side in a parking lot behind the factory.

Quaker knows what they are doing. Now believe me, I’m not happy about buying a product where there is a Quaker on the box staring out and judging me. I know it appears he’s grinning but I can see the scowl hovering underneath it. The alternative is so start every morning with sub-standard raisins, dates and walnuts so I just turn his judgmental face away from me and try and forget about Quaker minister James Nayler riding into Bristol (England) in the pouring rain back in 1656, chanting “Holy, holy, holy” and throwing off his clothes because he thought he was Jesus Christ.

Thus it was that I began this morning like I do every fall/winter morning with a bowl of oatmeal. I think I started the last sentence with “Thus it was” because my last paragraph mentioned 1656. A minor detail but as the next few things I write will be very minor details I thought I’d get you warmed up.

Every morning I take out two packets, shake them to get all of the contents to the bottom, tear the packets and pour them into a bowl. This morning, for reasons I will never comprehend, I saw the contents clumped long-ways instead of top-to-bottom (the packets are horizontal) and instead of shaking them to the bottom to perform the morning packet-opening ritual I decided, again I have no idea why, to open the packets lengthwise.

It was a disaster. Oatmeal spilled out all over the place. Apparently I didn’t have the requisite coordination for this new maneuver. Oatmeal, raisins, dates and walnuts littered the counter top. It took nearly a minute to get all of the contents back into the bowl. That’s not even the worst part. I was so discombobulated that after I poured in the milk and placed the bowl into the microwave I threw away the packets. The very packets that I usually place the spoon on as I await the oatmeal to be heated in the microwave. Instead I had to hold the spoon the full sixty seconds it took to heat the oatmeal. Standing there hoping no nosy neighbor would peer into my kitchen and see me standing there like a complete idiot holding a spoon.

And then people wonder why I’m not more spontaneous!

Why it was impossible to run off with that girl. That crazy wind-in-her-hair girl who preached impulsive decisions with the same earnest look that the guy on the Quaker box has. Earnest but you can see a shimmering sternness behind it.

Every day my dog wants me to throw her ball so she can chase it and bring it back. You could wake her up in the depths of night and the first thing she’ll want to do is chase her ball. She lives to chase her ball. Not a week ago I watched her in the back yard so I decided to go out and play with her. I picked up her ball and threw it with all my strength to the far corner of the yard. My dog looked at me with a “You don’t think I’m going to get that do you?” look on her face.

My point being that you can never be sure about females.

Or yourself really.

I might be rambling a bit but I think it’s only fair to include all the details before asking you to reach a decision on why I’m not more spontaneous. Yesterday I saw a book on my bookshelf that I hadn’t read in years. Rubber Balls and Liquor by Gilbert Gottfried. Smiling broadly I removed it from the shelf and saw a bookmark of sorts poking out the back of it. It was the boarding pass from my flight to Paris where I read the book cover to cover. US Airways. Flight 754. I flipped through the book nostalgically, remembering not only how much I enjoyed Mr. Gottfried’s autobiography but the trip to Paris.

On page 51 I found a pubic hair in the book.

How in the world could a pubic hair have gotten into the book? At no time did I take out my junk during the flight, I haven’t cracked open the book since and I’m quite certain I would have seen this rogue hair when I first read the book.

It just goes to show you.

You can’t trust generic oatmeal, you can’t trust Quaker ministers, you can’t trust breaking routines, you can’t trust females and you certainly can’t trust books by comedians not to attract pubic hair.

And then some people want to know why I’m not more spontaneous?

Holy, holy, holy shit we know nothing about the chaos that swirls around us and inside us.

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