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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Utili THIS.

I love "The Cider House Rules."

I love the book, and I love the movie. John Irving pretty much takes the lumps out of my gravy, and not just because he's always on about sex, either, although I do appreciate that.

There's a lot of lines in "The Cider House Rules" that I particularly enjoy-- some are just in the book alone, some made it into the movie as well. I particularly enjoy the interactions between Dr. Larch and Homer, because they strike me as the most authentic, genuine, compassionate, and loving. Dr. Larch says that he raises Homer and teaches him so that he, like Dr. Larch, may "be of use."

"That's all I've ever wanted to be," says Dr. Larch.

I'm kind of all about that, too. I'm realizing that life isn't so much about how many friends, (or Friends) you have, how followed you are or how revered you are, or how long your obituary will be, or how many vehicles make up your funeral procession. Life is, in large part, about being given the opportunity to be of use.

Henceforth, because I try to live my life in a useful way, I like things that are useful. For instance, hoods that stay up via gas struts without having to engage that annoying little rod support thing that you can never find quickly enough when opening your hood at a gas station to refill the windshield washer reservoir and you're always afraid that you didn't engage the rod thingie securely enough and the hood will come down, decapitating you and making for a Halloween-like presentation to people filling up their cars with gas.

Car hoods that stay up are definitely useful, and I appreciate that I drive a car that has a hood that stays up by itself-- not because it's fancy or even particularly important, but because it's useful.

Some collared shirts that I own have a little vertical seam on the front pocket, designed exclusively to hold one pen. That way, the pen has its own little hidey-hole, and it doesn't get in the way of anything else you might have in your breast pocket, and, unlike shirts where the pen just goes in the breast pocket itself, the pens in these special shirts stay put-- they don't slide around the entire geography of the pocket, and/or threaten to fall out when you bend over to tie your shoe and/or luck up some attractive female's skirt.

Facebook, too, is useful. I'm not nearly as good (or as interested) in stalking people as my wife is, but, were I interested in stalking people, it would be very useful for that. And I suspect it's useful for people who are interested in stalking me. I cannot imagine who those people might be, or what is wrong with them, but there we are.

My father, too, is useful. He is not handy-- he is just useful-- and there is a distinct difference. He can't really fix anything, or make anything, but he's useful in that he knows things that others, myself certainly included, do not know. Want to know what he knows that you don't? Everything. Just ask him, he'll be happy to tell you that.

You stupid fucking American dumb retard fuckface dumbest country ever.

24-hour pharmacies and supermarkets: definitely useful. Back in college, I once picked up a pack of condoms and a case of Diet Coke at 2:30 in the morning. Now that I'm 30 and married, I don't have much use for 24-hour pharmacies or supermarkets anymore. Or condoms. And we drink Caffeine Free Diet Coke now. You could pretty much just kind of take us out back and shoot us.

I suppose the news is useful, if you care about what's going on. If you don't, it's still useful because they're hiring some pretty smokin' weather and traffic chicks these days, at least in the Philadelphia area. The new black weather girl on Action News is, um, nice.

So, as you can see, I'm all about useful things and being of use. I am not, however, convinced of the usefulness of the article of clothing that is called the "Utilikilt." I have seen one live and in person on two occasions. The first was at the funeral for my dear friend's brother. One of the, I guess you call them gravediggers, was wearing one. And I was, um, sad and confused. Yesterday, at a craft fair at which my wife was a vendor, there was some Aspergian wackjob selling chain maille neckties and assorted mook and he, too, was adorned with a Utilikilt. And, as he bent down to squat on the floor to adjust the bottom of his tablecloth, I turned away quickly and thought to myself, "Well, that is definitely not useful."

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