Patently Ridiculous

April 19, 2014

34

I’m a natural-born inventor. In fact, one of my favorite activities is lying on the couch, staring into space, and dreaming up indispensable products that consumers won’t be able to resist. I do this all the time. It’s a grueling process, fraught with obstacles, delays, and setbacks. For example, occasionally while I’m lying and staring, […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

Plumbing the Depths

April 10, 2014

60

People like to explain how they’re feeling. Without provocation, they’ll tell you how bad their headache is, or how much they love pancakes, or how often they fantasize about murdering their dental hygienist. It’s this tendency to express ourselves to anyone who will listen that propels multi-billion-dollar industries, from social media to psychotherapy to television […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

Month Four, Day One

April 1, 2014

51

It’s the first of April, so it would seem appropriate to discuss the origins of April Fools’ Day. I’d intended to do just that, but when I tried to research the subject, I found it to be so dull that I almost had a near-death experience. In fact, the only interesting thing about the topic […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

The Play’s the Thing

March 24, 2014

89

If I sit perfectly still and squint a little, I can venture back in time, through the dusty drapes of my memory to the early days of childhood. As the years contract and slide behind me, I feel myself shrinking, my arms and legs growing thinner, my mind releasing its vast collection of clutter. After […]

Common Knowledge

March 15, 2014

75

More than sixty percent of the Earth’s crust is made up of a rock called feldspar. At least this is what I’ve read. It isn’t clear to me how anyone could be certain about something like that, because they’d have to go around digging up the whole world in order to verify that they haven’t […]

Tax Man

March 6, 2014

72

Three weeks ago, I began a temporary full-time job. The position requires me to meet with clients and interview them about their financial circumstances. Then I’m supposed to prepare their income tax returns, combining the information they’ve provided and my knowledge of intricate fiscal laws and regulations. It may not be possible to describe how […]

Posted in: In Over My Head

Perfectly Unbelievable

February 24, 2014

102

I am wounded by insincerity, and by honesty delivered too late. This goes for my own behavior, as well as that of others, although if I’m the one guilty of guile, I seem to get over it much faster. When I was a junior in high school, I developed what I thought was a close […]

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