Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Declaration Of Hiatus

There's a line in the Declaration of Independence that says something like, "It's always a good idea to tell people why you're doing what you're doing, especially if they ask." Note that it says, "especially if they ask," meaning sometimes (but not necessarily) it's still a good idea to tell people why you're doing what you're doing, even if they don't ask. But wait a second, I think I just spotted a contradiction there. It says, "It's always a good idea ... then says especially if they ask." If it's always a good idea, then there can be no especially to it!

I'm afraid King George might have us there on a linguistic technicality. Either that or I'm quoting it wrong, since I did say the Declaration says "something like," then the quote. By which I'm admitting it doesn't say precisely that, but if it did say precisely that and I still said "something like," well, there's no points off for unknowingly or inadvertently getting it exact. If I did, that'd be a point of pride.

But the main point is that, in general, you're doing something, you have reasons for doing it, and if someone asks, or perhaps in anticipation of them potentially asking, sometimes it doesn't hurt to just be up front about it, what your reasons are for doing it. Maybe you have a guilty conscience and so you want to explain. That's what I always think -- I often think it -- if people are trying to explain themselves overly much. You see kids in your yard skulking around. You confront them and they're all "innocent," saying they were just coming over to see how Grandma was, etc., but then later you notice a couple of your fishing poles missing out of the garage.

These days we have a policy called "Don't ask, don't tell." So if we had all that trouble with King George, we'd figure he didn't ask, we're not telling. Which I think is a pretty good policy to go by generally speaking. If people aren't that curious about what you're doing, why go out of your way to tell them? It's a good policy just to keep your mouth shut unless they ask.

They come up in your yard and they're standing there. And you're standing there, chewing a weed. I do this. Of course my mind is racing 100 mph and I could really say a few things, but I just chew the butt end of that weed.

This guy is fidgeting nervously, looking at me, shading his eyes from the sun. He looks at me chewing the weed. I've got the lower half of the stalk chewed into messed up, ripped up, wet strings. And I'm glaring down at him. Possibly his bionic eye focuses on my mouth and all the chewing, and, were I to see it from his point of view, I'd see all those little labels and things breaking down and analyzing the components, mouth, teeth, weed, tiny separated weed membranes stuck to my chin, as well as the look of intense disdain in my eyes as I glare down at him. But if he's not asking, I'm not telling.

I agree with the Declaration of Independence. Sometimes it's smart to tell people what you're doing, sometimes it's not. It all depends. But I'd take it a step further. Why should I have to answer questions? You're a guest in my yard. It's up to you to keep your mouth shut until spoken to.

I'm on hiatus, dog. Why should I be subject to your scrutiny? Why am I on hiatus? Is that what you're asking?

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