The Limitless Untapped Potential of My Handicapped Goldfish

First of all, yes, my goldfish is handicapped. I’m sure I’m supposed to be all politically correct about it and call him differently abled, especially when you compare him to my typical friends, but my typical friends are human and are slightly more abled than my goldfish. If we compared my fish to other goldfish, are any of them actually abled in the first place? What do they do, exactly?

Let me describe the scope of my fish’s handicap. First, he swims upside down. That would be a cool trick if he was doing it on purpose, but he’s not. He gets flipped over due to something wrong with his equilibrium and he can’t turn back over, so he just keeps going. He also has one eyeball that exploded, so one eye is normal, and the other eye is all pupil. Finally, something is wrong with his swim bladder (the thing that helps fish go up and down in the water and just hang out there), so he can only stay at the surface, which means he can’t get to the food that drifts down to his fish tank gravel.

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, I’ve checked…he’s still alive.

Here’s how we have to accommodate my fish’s handicaps. First, we don’t really care about the eyeball thing except if he turns the other way and we have to look at it. Then we just stop looking at him. But the upside down thing, I have this wooden spoon next to the tank and I just reach in and flip him over. As for the swimming down part, I just make sure to feed him often enough that he can reach food at the top of the tank.

But this little guy is resilient and resourceful. He’s learned to keep breathing and not panic when he’s on his back. He’s learned to fight his way down towards the bottom of the tank by swimming as hard as he can and then wedging himself between his little resin bridge decoration and the side of the tank so he can hang out down there. He’s even learned (get this) to tell me when he’s hungry…if he’s not hungry when I walk past his tank he just maintains and does his fishy thing, but if he’s hungry, he’ll do this weird cross between wiggling his body and having a seizure. I swear it looks a lot like a dog wagging its tail.

So already this fish has taught himself to adapt, to overcome, and to communicate in his own way. He’d be a fucking Mensa member, if they’d allow goldfish (the ADA laws are surprisingly vague here). And this is a good thing because I’m not willing to watch over his tank like a new mom afraid of crib death. I figure he’s made it this far with my half-assed attempts at intervention, so I’ve probably just Darwinized the snot out of him. Now we need to find him a role in life. With his current skillset, there’s not a lot open to him, but with his proven record of superior intelligence, I’m thinking a government job is in his future. I recommend Chairman of the Fed, or Speaker of the House.

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Eat The Toes First

I was trapped in line in the grocery store the other day, mostly because I’d already opened the bag of gummy bears and eaten a few and now had to pay for the gooey things. The lady in front of me kept trying to engage me in conversation about the headlines on the tabloids and magazines, hence the gummy bears: every time she tried to start talking to me, I would pop more bears in my mouth and make motions like I couldn’t talk because I was chewing. It was either eat the candy or the whole cloves of raw garlic in my cart, so I went with the bears.

Anyway, this quite elderly and quite conservative woman kept insisting that everything would be fine if we would just go back to the days when you had to pass an exam to get to vote. You know, back when we had exams to keep a “certain element” from voting, she said. I tried to answer with, “Oh, you mean back when your redneck sheriff and his posse of Klansmen decided black people and women didn’t need to vote,” but the gummy bears kept me from saying something ugly.

She kept on talking, even after I got out my phone and started shopping for ringtones to drown out her manifesto. Finally, she announced, “The real problem in this country is there’s no common sense anymore.”

She got me. I swallowed my bears and told her, “That’s because there’s no such thing as common sense. Common sense is really the stuff that you used to learn by growing up in an environment where people made good decisions on a daily basis. Now, we’ve shoved the job of parenting off on the schools and no one is teaching people common sense.”

“Well,” she answered smugly, “you don’t TEACH common sense. You just HAVE it.”

“And that’s where you’re wrong,” I said, offering her the gummy bears so she could shut up for a minute. “You’re not born knowing things, common sense comes from experience. If the people in your life are so poverty stricken that they don’t have the opportunity to make life decisions, of course you’re going to grow up not learning common sense.”

She opened her mouth to argue, but I applied a generous helping of gummy bears.

“Have you ever been trapped in the woods without food? No,” I said, looking her up and down, “I don’t think you have. Here’s some information that might seem like common sense, but if you’ve never had the experience, then you really wouldn’t know it. If you’re ever trapped in the wilderness with nothing to eat, you should start by eating your feet first. Then work your way up your legs as the need for food continues. It will keep you from starving to death, and when you’re finally rescued, medical science has come a lot farther with prosthetic legs than with prosthetic arms. Your quality of life with artificial legs will be somewhat higher than with artificial arms. And besides, you’re going to do a better job of surviving out there with your arms still in tact, because making a fire to keep warm is gonna be a BITCH if you’ve eaten your hands. See? Common sense. You just didn’t know about it, because you didn’t have the life experience.”

It’s really weird, she didn’t want to talk to me after that, and it wasn’t because she was eating my gummy bears.

Gay Time Traveling Puppies Are Running for Public Office. And They Have Rabies.

Forget my influentialness for a minute...THIS photo is now indelibly burned somewhere on my hard drive just so I could make you laugh. I hope you're worthy.
Forget my influentialness for a minute…THIS photo is now indelibly burned somewhere on my hard drive just so I could make you laugh. I hope you’re worthy.

I thank the social media gods every day for the engineering school drop outs who left college to start a multi-bazillion dollar company called Klout. It’s the most awesome source of humor fodder I can find. Today’s surprise was the notification I received that Klout had decided I am influential about seventeen topics, the newest of which is puppies.

I can add puppies to a lofty list of my expert topics that includes LGBT, Time Travel, Rabies, Politicians, Mustard, and Terrorism.

The amazing thing about this is I don’t have to actually know anything about any of those topics, I just have to tell you that I do. And that makes me influential. It’s now time to write a blog post about Republicans strapping bombs to mustard-covered rabid dogs and setting them loose on an unsuspecting public. Oh, and the Republicans are gay. Or maybe the dogs are gay. I’m not real clear on that part.

Either way, half the battle is knowing the limits of the scope of my knowledge and influence. Apparently, there is no limit. I can be influential about anything I want. Stay tuned for my next newsworthy post.

IN UNRELATED NEWS: I’m headed to Orlando tomorrow so I won’t be posting over the weekend. You’re welcome. Take these few days to reflect on your own life and enjoy the quiet that comes from me not showing you a picture of a dog wearing a cape made out of condoms.

Apparently, This Is An Election Year. I’m Running for Coroner.

It doesn't really look like it, but these two are probably dead. Maybe. I don't know.

I’ve said it before, I’m not really up on current events. I try to pay attention if some whole region of a small country was wiped out by a killer storm and I really do try to make sure I know just a teensy bit about the newest bacteria that’s going to destroy us all if we catch it from touching the handle of a shopping cart.

One flaw in my personality that I really do not feel bad about is politics. I am vaguely aware that we have a President. I know his name, I know his wife is a lovely woman who’s been ripped apart for trying to get kids to exercise. I know he has two kids but I couldn’t pick their faces out in a crowded elevator, a fact that in my mind already makes the Obamas Parents of the Year. That’s pretty much the extent of my knowledge on politics because I Just. Don’t. Care. Most of our government is controlled by a network of people who spend millions of dollars to snag a job that pays less than $500,000 a year, which right off the bat tells you something is going on.

But here in my hometown, there is one campaign that I watch eagerly every election year by following the candidates’ platforms and listening for any hint of scandal from their respective war rooms. It’s the coroner.

Yes, we still elect our coroners in this state. I don’t know, maybe your state does, too. But little known fact about my state (and maybe your state)…YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A DOCTOR TO BE THE CORONER.

Yup. Probably stemming from a shortage of doctors that were less than a two-day horse ride away, but you don’t have to be the doctor to legally declare someone dead. And that, my friends, keeps me awake at night. What if some backhoe driver wins the election and declares me prematurely dead just because they’re having a little trouble waking me up? What if I’m in a car wreck and the coroner is actually a pizza delivery guy and he tells them, “Bag her up. She’s a goner.”

My real concern is the fact that a lot of would-be coroneratorial candidates are actually funeral home owners, which on the surface would make sense. They see a lot of dead people, and not just in the creepy way like that kid in the movie. But doesn’t anyone else see the conflict of interest here? THESE PEOPLE MAKE MONEY OFF OF DEAD PEOPLE. We don’t need them drumming up business by being called to the scene to declare someone dead. They’ll be calling the time of death from across the Walmart parking lot, just to pay off their kids’ braces.

That’s why I’m running for coroner on the Let’s Not Be Too Hasty platform. I’m so squeamish it will takes days for me to declare you dead, because I’m going to wait until you start to smell and flies hover around you before I’m willing to get close enough to check. I’ll just sit way over here and if you haven’t moved (and your left eyeball falls out from the decay), I’ll know. I wonder how much coroners get paid.