Imagine this in Andy Rooney’s voice, only with an edge…
Didja ever have one of those days when you were utterly convinced that those experts out there are right, that evolution has not prepared us in any way for modern life — especially of the white-collar variety? A day when you reach the realization that Ron Livingston‘s character did in "Office Space" — that Man was not meant to sit in cubicles (or offices) doing TPS reports?
I mean, our bodies — and particularly our central nervous systems — were just not made for responding to stress by smiling and being being all civilized and diplomatic and constructive and filling out the proper forms. We’re hard-wired to fight or flee, and all the rules nowadays say we can’t do either.
Anyway, while most days I love my job and can honestly say that I wouldn’t trade it for any other (except maybe directing movies, and I don’t think that’s realistic at this point), there are days — and I’m not saying this is one of them, nor am I saying it isn’t — when I wish I were something like a soldier, or a boxer. Days when instead of saying, "Yes, sir, well, I’m sorry you feel that way about that column/editorial/blog item," you want, on an atavistic level, to just go out and take out the objective (or at least blow something up), or kick some butt.
Of course, neither of those options is any more realistic than my chances of directing. The Army wouldn’t take me even when I was young and relatively fit. As for boxing — well, I took up kickboxing several years ago, when I was 47, and in my very first (and last) sparring match, my opponent broke four of my ribs in the first round. I still went the full three rounds, even after he dropped me to one knee by hitting me again in the very spot where my ribs were broken. That one hurt. (I am proud of having gone the distance, even though it was only three rounds. Conversely, my wife sees it as final proof, as though she needed any more, that I am an idiot. Which isn’t my fault, since, speaking of evolution, my brain still hasn’t fully developed.) Basically, this guy didn’t get the idea of sparring; he seemed to think it was a real fight. Combine that with my inability to think defensively (as in, keeping my stupid elbows down), and I was in trouble.
So really, I’m pretty lucky that I do have a weenie job such as editorial page editor. Especially since someone just came in while I was writing this and gave me some good news that made this day a lot better. So I guess I’ll wait until another time to strip off my clothes and go running through the savanna — or the would-be Green Diamond project — looking to kill a wildebeest with a rock. For now, blogging is about as close as I’ll get to that.