Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Fountain of Stupidity

I’m about to turn 60 and here’s what I’m wondering: At what age does the average human no longer look back at where they were 10 or so years earlier and say, “Boy, was I a dumbass.” Do people who are 90 say, “When I was 80, boy, was I a dumbass?” Do people who are 120 say, “When I was 110, boy, was I a dumbass?”

Because I’m still doing that. I look back ten or so years and I’m in awe of what a dumbass I was. And that’s my beef with the fountain of youth. Everybody automatically assumes that if there was such a thing we’d all just jump in the water and splash around and everything would turn out jolly. We’d all be 18 on the outside but remain wise, enlightened elders on the inside. That’s how it’s romanticized in movies. But I don’t know. It seems to me that it would have to be a package deal. You can’t revert to being 18 again physically without reverting to being 18 again in every other way. So you jump into the water and splash around and your body becomes young and supple but you also turn into a dumbass. It's a pact with the devil. The same goes for balms and ointments and stuff that promises to make you young again. If those things really worked, they’d have to have a label that says, Warning: Using this product will turn you into a dumbass.

And I have a similar beef with miracle cripple cures. Amazingly, people still run off to places like Lourdes or to faith healers or shamans or whatever in search of cripple cures. And they think if they get cured everything will be happily ever after. But suppose I drank the water at Lourdes and poof—suddenly I became a strapping young lumberjack. Would I also miraculously acquire a Harvard education? It seems only fair. Because if I wasn’t crippled I might have ended up with a Harvard education. Who knows? But it was guaranteed that I would never end up with a Harvard education the day they shipped me off to a state-operated boarding school for cripples, which I affectionately refer to as the Sam Houston Institute of Technology (SHIT). The SHIT curriculum was as challenging and rigorous as playing tic-tac-toe. To this day, I still have to look up how to spell the word curriculum.

No, if I took a bath a Lourdes, at best I would emerge as a strapping young lumberjack with my same old shitty segregated cripple school education. I’d be far from cured. It takes a whole lot more than holy water to wash away the ravages of crippledom.

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