Friday, March 18, 2011

Thank You Sir May I Have Another

A couple of years ago I got this most excellent birthday card from Cerrena. It had this old lady on the front, and when you open it up, you got the audio track from Animal House - Thwack! Thank you sir may I have another? Thwack! Thank you sir may I have another? Thwack! Thank you sir may I have another? Becoming more strained each time. I keep it in my office today and am surprised by how often I'm compelled to open it up.

And then it occured to me. We're brought into this world like that. Kicked out of a nice, comfortable, safe and warm place, only to get the bright lights, cold air, and Thwack! And so it starts.

Sometimes life can seem like an endless series of Thwacks. And for some strange reason, we keep coming back for more. We might endure the hardship for some ethical or altruistic reason, or for some bizarre reason we've convinced ourselves we deserve it. But typically, it's all for a reward of some kind at the end. And it's true, the rewards that come after expense of effort are usually the only ones that feel earned.

Sometimes we do it for acceptance. Like the hazing in Animal House, we truckle to the will of others for some twisted reward. We trust them. We stand at the edge of the roof, cinder block in hand. One end of the rope tied to the block, the other to our testacles. We trust the rope is long enough to reach the ground as we toss the block over the edge. And you REALLY hope you miss the open manhole on the ground.

I take comfort knowing the birthday card delivers only three Thwacks, and all thwacking comes to an end sooner or later. Occasionally though, it's good to step back and ask if you really want another.

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