Sunday, November 02, 2008

Thinkers Anonymous

Thanks, Bill, for this one:

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then "to loosen up." Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone "to relax," I told myself -- though I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me and finally I was thinking all the time. I even began to think on the job. I knew thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read. I often returned to the office dizzied and confused, and asked, "What is it exactly we are doing here?" I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me in. He said, "I like you -- and it hurts me to say this -- but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find other work."

This gave me a lot to think about. I went home early after that. "Sweetheart," I confessed, "I've been thinking..." "I know you've been thinking, and if you don't stop, I want a divorce!" "But darling, it can't be that serious." "It is that serious! You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and it went downhill from there. Soon I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I was in the mood for some Nietzsche. With NPR on the radio, I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, I saw a poster -- you know the one: "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" A Thinker's Anonymous poster.

That's why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting. We watch non-educational videos -- last week it was 'Porky's'. Then we share our experiences about how we've avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home, too.

Life just seemed ... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. Soon, I'll be able to vote Republican.


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