A couple decades ago I had such a flash of insight I still don’t understand why there weren’t reports of mysterious lightening on the local news. It was the day I discovered a major flaw in human beings, so major that I ever after doubted the believability of both evolutionary theory and intelligent design.
I worked with a woman–let me rephrase that with the right emphasis–I worked with a woman who was paid to have her presence in the building. (That’s not just my opinion. No one ever accused her of working as she had the reputation of being someone who was not exactly well endowed in the intellectual department.) Anyway, this woman came up to me one day and said, “Lisa, I was thinking . . .” and she paused, at which point I spouted, “Oh God! Did it hurt?”
And that’s when the flash of insight happened. It dawned on me that if the theory of evolution held water, people like me would have been bred out of existence. And if intelligent design was right, that would suggest people were created in a Christian god’s image, which in turn would suggest God is a pretty snarky, impulsive being (and doesn’t that conflict with the whole omnipotent, omnibenevolent image?).
Thankfully it didn’t occur to my co-worker that she should be offended. She laughed and went on to tell me the brilliant thought she believed she was blessed with, which wasn’t the same brilliant thought I had: people should have a re-set button. And that idea is the key bit of proof that maybe we are all alone in the universe with no rhyme or reason.
Why can’t we have a nerve ending somewhere in our forearms that, when pressed, makes you forget everything that happened within the previous thirty seconds? Granted, I didn’t need it with my former co-worker, but imagine how those proverbial answers to “do I look fat in this?” could be handled. All a man would have to do is, after impulsively answering with the truth, lean forward and lovingly touch his favorite woman on the arm and say “you look fabulous.” She’d never be any wiser.
And think about how much more fun TV news could be. Remember that Katie Couric interview with Sarah Palin? Couric could have started a question and pressed Palin’s arm at just the right second so that all Palin would remember would be the first and last words of the question. Just imagine what her responses would have been! Then again, maybe they would have been the same. But you get the point. It could make the news so much more fun.
But we don’t have such a nerve ending, or at least I never found one. So fools like me tend to go on blundering around the universe occasionally spouting things off that offend, belittle and denigrate others. And usually, it’s not meant with ill intent. Like yesterday. I was checking out at a salon when one of the people who worked there was talking about how she’s almost finished with her first year of trade school and her dad was still disappointed she hadn’t gone to college. She was looking forward to moving out on her own and not having to rely on her dad to support her, but was worried she wouldn’t make enough money. I told her to just do her best and enjoy it because “you’re only young and stupid once” and it’ll be harder to get away with that kind of behavior later in her life.
The look on her face suggested she wasn’t sure if she was insulted. I quickly explained that we’re all young and stupid at some point, but we all don’t have the liberty of trying to live our life that way, that some of us survive and thrive (take rock stars for example) by following through on our young and stupid ways. I freely admit to my young and stupid days, which apparently have gone on for much longer than should be legal. But I didn’t mean stupid in the sense of low IQ; I simply meant stupid in the sense of believing you understood the world when you really aren’t old enough too. But the more I went on, the further away from me she backed, and I thought, “geesh, it would be so much easier if we just had a freaking re-set button!”