Monday, July 14, 2014
First, I offered advice I had no business saying one damn thing about. The Tiger trainer doesn't want to hear from the clown how to manage his charges. In fact, having clowns around tigers is precisely how people get eaten alive.
So, I metaphorically offered advice to a tiger trainer without any professional grounding to know what the hell I'm talking about. Unlike me.
Second, I thought a bit this afternoon about Douglas Adams right out of the blue.
Now, I'm a fan. Mr. Adams is not one of my writing idols but I still love his work and am disappointed he's gone.
My writing heroes are Art Buchwald, Mike Royko, Erma Bombeck, and Ed Zern, I love Hemingway and Dostoevsky with all my heart; but, my own take runs closer to these heroes because they alone proved to me that anybody with a wry grasp on reality can write for a living.
I also love Douglas Adams.
I'm older now than Douglas ever was (barely).
I call him Douglas not because I've been closer to him in association than any other person inhabiting the same continent but because his works are so familiar to me.
He left a wife and daughter.
He'd gone to the doctor and complained of numbness in his left arm. He was in Hollywood at the time and while I have no facts to back it up, I can see a doctor checking him out and saying to a man of 49: " It's a lot of stress dealing with these Hollywood types for any mere mortal. Try getting more exercise to reduce your own stress levels."
He died a week later after a heart attack at the gym.
I thought today "What if Douglas didn't die?"
I mean, what if Douglas was offered some extraordinary opportunity that he couldn't take if he tried to get his wife and daughter out too. What could that be? What could be so extraordinary that he'd say "OK. Leave the clone me behind with the bad ticker. I'm your man."
It's a horrible story. Even Douglas Adams Saves the Milky Way isn't good enough given the sort of gentle soul Adams was. (He wore a rhino suit on a walk up Kilimanjaro for charity. )
It's a thought though. What would that opportunity be like?
It came to me that perhaps (I'm going to hell anyway so I'll go ahead and write this here ...) there could be a grand deity and he might have made the offer.
"Look , you're going to have to trust me on this one but you're needed off in the ether because //insert really good reason here//."
First, there's the whole nearly omni-powerful deity bit. Then there's the "I need help bit." After all, if God needs help then ..well. You figured that part out already, haven't you? Maybe that word "God" doesn't mean quite what we all thought it meant. Hard to turn that offer down.
Everybody has bad ideas from time to time. I missed Douglas Adams' "new material" and so I thought of something absurd.
What are you going to do about it? Read me Vogon poetry?