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Thinking for myself

Cerebrated on January 22, 2023.

“Honus and Butts would know,” I surmised. “Or perhaps Scrooby and Bawtry.” But this presented a dilemma: How many lemons would I need to conjure them up and entice them to provide me with an answer? I had grown tired of the Tyrrhenian Tyre Gnomes—they were no help. They also spelled “tire” like this was the U.K., not the U.S., which only served to remind me: Birds tweet but mastodons toot. I tooted myself sometimes, but unlike the mastodon, I require a large quantity of beans to get me started. On another note, my 3G smell phone no longer worked, which caused me no end of grief. I decided to devote myself to zebra hunting on the Serengeti. But then I remembered that the Serengeti was many millions of feet away, and—since there was an ocean in the way—my own millions of feet could not carry me there no matter how hard I tried.

I considered trying to be a millipede for a day, but I would actually need to be a thousand millipedes at once for the math to work. This was just like that time I tried to write a blog entry without using the verb “to be” and instead just ended up with a grocery list and the script to a porno film.

I considered trying to be a bavardeur for a day, but I thought too long and hard, and broke one of the lobes of my brain. I tried to find something shiny and puffy to chase around, to stave off boredom, but everything was now dull and deflated.

“This message was deleted,” it said when I opened the messaging app. Why even bother telling me that? I never saw the message in the first place. Why not tell me what the weather is, or how many Parndiddle McForsterbasters can dance on the head of a pin, or whether or not the user—who had deleted his message in a bout of insecurely second-guessing himself—had been seated on the toilet at the time he typed out the now-deleted message. Or tell me if perhaps he had butt-dialed the whole thing and then deleted it in a fit of embarrassment and shame.

And, is it a “messaging app” or a “messenging app”? They used to call ’em “messengers.” Like AOL and MSN and Yahoo(!). And they were even “instant messengers” back then. And before that they called ’em telephones, and before that telegraphs, and before that… running up to someone, flapping your arms, and screeching frenetically.

Two weeks have passed and still my eyes stink. But at least they are stinking quietly now, so I can ignore it. It sure isn’t phlogistically fantastical anymore, that’s for sure. Making matters worse, my Snoodabaker ceased to exist this week (if it ever existed), my dick bicycle has a flat tire, and I can’t even come on a cone anymore.

The name “Bolsonaro” makes me think of onions—but I don’t know why. And Becasue makes me think of corn. Corn gone wonderfully, wonderfully right for a change.

I picked up an excellent new book this week, How to Think for Yourself for Dummies. It bills itself as “a step-by-step guide to independent thinking,” something I have always needed. The introduction began: “Follow these instructions precisely and you’ll be thinking for yourself in no time!” And off it went, page after page of expert advice. And how true it was: Having thoroughly devoured the book by Tuesday, by Wednesday morning I was a wholly new man: I could rise from bed, tie my shoes, untie my neckties, and even tie both of them again (sometimes together!) entirely on my own initiative—of my own volition, no less!—without needing to wait for anyone’s permission, approval, or attaboys. I could now decide without consulting anyone if it was a good idea to flush my toilet or just let it mellow. I could even—dare I say it—walk out onto my front stoop and sip my cold-turkey coffee in peace, without being gripped by an overwhelming fear of being struck in the forehead by a flying newspaper and using this as a pathetic excuse to hide under my Hopeless Slack-Ass® recliner instead.

I had solved every one of my life’s most intractable problems—except that chronic case of sad horse disease.



Feeling unusually bold on Thursday, I endeavored to be both isotropic and homogeneous at the same time. Alas I failed. Since I tend to loop back upon myself, much like that Möbius belt, simultaneous isotropy and homogeneity are quite impossible, or at least that’s what the cosmologists tell me (after much confusion and helpless stares as they wonder who I am, why I’m there, and how I broke into their observatory again).

This impossibility is one of the most frustrating consequences of being shaped like a donut, I must admit. (There are others, too.)

And so, returning to my anisotropic state, I settled on a new goal of extreme heterogeneity: I vowed that each remaining minute of the day would be entirely different than the previous minute—and not just in name or number! I then returned to stuffing tropical aniseed up my nostrils and sneezing loudly—my latest Thursday afternoon hobby.

Those cosmologists insisted that I really needed to get off their telescope and go at that point, so I did.

At 1:52 p.m., I went running down Zubenelgenubi Street as hard as I could. When 1:53 rolled around, I did something totally different—I cartwheeled off into the woods until a tree stopped me. At 1:54, I did something wholly disparate: I crawled back out of the woods and stood up on my hind legs (at least I think those were my hind legs). At 1:55, I did something entirely unlike that: I fell down again and bled profusely from my skull. Squirrels, real and imagined, gathered to watch. At 1:56, I finally did something fully dissimilar: I became an ex-Pnårp.



“Goodbye, Vigo,” I intoned slowly.

Fate hates me, Luck has always had it in for me, and even the Mœræ think I’m dumber than an amœba. The Owl Gods want to pluck my eyes out, mount them on toothpicks, and eat them as hors d’œuvres. What I want is to stop writing those vowels all stuck together like that. That’s a sticky pickle all right. Perhaps my own personal dread god Ka‘ū will finally answer my oblations and protect me. Or perhaps he’ll just send swarms of locusts to eat my corneas. (Strahazazhia Kalamazoo-Kintaki-Meeps, sublime insect goddess, She of the six-legged delights, used to harass and harry me so, but a sufficiently large can of Raid put a stop to that in 2014, oh yes.)

Not even my own personal god who lives inside my own skull respects me. Although—on the bright side, and yes there is sometimes a bright side, there’s always a bright side when Ka‘ū is involved—that scrambling ramble of self-pity made me think of hors d’œuvres, which made me hungry, which made me go into my refrigerator, which made me find some pepperoni, which made me eat that pepperoni, for this pepperoni could talk, whereupon it immediately ordered me to eat it, which tasted good, and which made me not hungry anymore, and which made me return to wallowing in self-pity about all the gods that hate me, which made me repeat that rambling scramble of talking to myself, which made me think about hors d’œuvres again.

And thinking about hors d’œuvres made me think about a horse doofer, which made me giggle endlessly like a twelve-year-old girl. Now I wanted to doof a horse. Ha, ha, haha! Doof a horse! Hahaha! Give that horse a good doofin’! Haha, haha, hahaha!

The porcupine living in my dishwasher looked at me reproachfully. My last chortle—which had been shaping up to be quite a guffaw, actually—died in my throat. I reapplied my grimmest frown to my countenance.

“Do you really call that ‘thinking for yourself’?” he asked me, with much disappointment in his voice.

“Why, of course I do, my dear porcupine,” I replied esquilanimously, trying to hide my shame under a veneer of risoulleance. “Who else could think up such an absurdly comical act as doofing a horse?”

The porcupine contemplated this a moment, nodded sagely, and withdrew into the dishwasher again. I turned to retire to my living room, but then realized, I was in my neighbor’s outhouse again. My living room was some distance away—as was my dishwasher. So whence came that porcupine?

Honus and Butts would not know, I realized.

AOL in the mail. I could unhook the RAM speed from the kennel floor. Contactless dog-semen collecting? It depends.

How many goose noses does one wear on mother’s day? It depends.

Would doofing a horse cure sad horse disease? Or just make the horse sadder? It depends on how pointy the doofer is.

What happens when you die? I don’t remember.