Here it is Fri., Aug. 31 and ordinarily I wouldn't be trying to write this for three more days, but the Labor Day Weekend is looming and our Editorial Manager "First Man" Adam wants to go to all three days of Bumbershoot and I'm the only thing preventing it, me and my stupid column that needs its stupid editing and its stupid layout, so what should I do?
It's times like this Muses were meant for. So I whimpered for Cindy.
Cindy came in, her hair now jet black with rows of curls cascading down the sides, parted on the left, a single clock-wise curl planted over the forehead. She was wearing a white dress with ruffl es and a spray of orchids above her right shoulder, and I said, "Where'd that getup get up from?" and she said, "You remember, you saw the Boswell Sisters on YouTube and it stirred your soul. Did you forget who your soul is?"
Cindy is my Muse and Anima Figure. That means she is an Archetypal Represen-tation of my Soul. She wants me to think she IS my soul and I do, because she can turn me into a Clydesdale in my dreams and making me drag a beer truck uphill for a dream-eternity. Cindy is a Muse of Few Words, and the Muse of Other. Cindy is not her real name, and black is not her real hair color, except when she says it is. She is an SF, HWP, age-less immortal, she's a one-writer muse, she enjoys small furry animals, having surpassing wisdom and beauty, dance, mysteries, and puzzles, especially being one.
So I said to Cindy, "OK, nice orchids. I need help. I have to do an early column."
Cindy said, "It could be worse."
"What could be worse?"
"It." There was a long pause. Before I could rephrase my question, she said, "That's it. Write how it could be worse."
It could be worse. Let's say you're walking down the street and who you think is a homeless panhandler annoys you by begging you for a quarter in the hopes you'll give him more. Think you're having a bad day? You could be the panhandler.
Say you're sleeping in a homeless shelter in Vienna, and the kid sleeping next to you in your two-bed cubicle bludgeons you to death and eats your variety meats, and let's say that afterward psychiatrists express concern for the cannibal because he "suffers from extreme sadism."
That sounds pretty bad, doesn't it? I bet you think nothing could ever be worse than that. But you'd be wrong! It could be worse! He could NOT have bludgeoned you to death!
It could be worse. Say you're fi ghting wars on two fronts your people think are close together because they're on the same side of the globe, but actually they're 700 miles apart, separated by a third country that shoots when your guys try to cross it, inducing painful logistics problems. You could have troops on the ground in the middle country, too, and have so many logistics problems your Pentagon brass won't ever be able to take breaks from their offi ce chairs, resulting in a worldwide shortage of Preparation H.
It could be worse. It could be your country being invaded. It could be your house being routinely searched while you, your spouse, your children and your live-in grandparents cower on the floor being screamed at in a foreign language with M16s pointed at their heads.
It could be worse. Say bullets are costing too much. That's awkward when you're trying to shoot people. But suppose it went the other way? Suppose the price of bullets got so low that even the beggars in the streets could fi nally afford to shoot back?
It could be worse. Instead of $998,798 of our taxes paid out to ship two 19-cent washers, we could have got stuck with a bill for all the gay prostitutes our anti-gay Senators use. It could break the Treasury.
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