As Heraclitus suggests, is our destiny driven by our character? Or is it hard-coded in our DNA, inherited from our parents? Or does our destiny change based on our life experiences? Or is it all just blind luck?
Surely one of these possibilities explains how I got a bleeding head wound from a Zuzu Pet.
It is in my character to be a lazy slob who throws clothes and work papers and misplaced kid toys and trash into the passenger-side footwell of my car.
It is in my heritage to do so. My mother, God rest her, kept her "office", a hoarder-style array of new and ancient documents, in great heaps in the trunk of her car of the moment; she ceremoniously transferred from one car to the next, possibly with a shovel.
It is my experience that I can generally get away with doing this until I am about to transport my wife someplace in my own car, at which point I duck out and shove everything into the back of the car or under a pile of boxes in the garage.
It was my blind bad luck that one of my daughters' Zuzu pets — a sort of animatronic hamster that utters perky and unintelligible gibberish when you jostle it, accompanied by tinny music — was hidden in the drift of trash in the passenger wheel-well of my car today. When I arrived at our branch office for a diplomatically delicate meeting, it was my further bad luck to require a document in that drift, and was leaning into the car on the passenger side looking for it. When I jostled the hidden ZuZu Pet, it was my further bad luck that it sprang into demonically cheerful life, squeaking something like UH-OH inches from my face, causing me to jump and attempt to leap into a standing position, an effort rendered futile by the doorjamb of the car in question, which was inconsiderately positioned in the way of my skull.
Some words were said, by me and the Zuzu Pet. One of us may have regretted them. There was a roaring and a humming and spots and stars and a whole trippy array of colors and eventually I regained an immediate command of my faculties. I considered throwing the Zuzu Pet across the parking lot — the kids would never miss one — but I thought it was undignified, and unbecoming to a senior partner of a firm come to help manage the attorneys and staff of his branch office, even if the partner in question had just shrieked like a girl and then uttered several inappropriate gerunds and was bleeding from the top of his bald pate.
So I collected myself, re-centered myself, found my quiet place, put on my game face, and dropped the Zuzu Pet back in the footwell. Where it can rot as far as I am concerned.
The attorneys and staff of the branch office looked concerned. I might not have wiped away all of the blood. One uses the tools one has in management.
Last 5 posts by Ken White
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