Sunday, June 19, 2005

Mysteries - comments and an essay

George W. Bush reportedly said on his radio program that we are in Iraq because of 9/11. Has no one told even by now that there is no connection whatsoever between Iraq and 9/11? And how is it that no one at all, including reporters, has ever challenged this absurd claim? I find this mysterious.

Similarly, Dick the Slimy has claimed that the insurgency in Iraq is "in its last throes." No one seems to have seriously challenged this utter absurdity either, at least not in any way that would be considered important. Another mystery.

Then there is our great leader, Secretary of Defense, Grandpa Rumsfeld, who has maintained consistently over the years that we do not need more troops in Iraq. This is not what many of our senior military officers have concluded or, indeed, what some of them agreed to in the first place. But Rumsfeld, having proven to be an absolute disaster as Secretary of Defense, continues in that position and is said by Bush to be doing a "superb" job. Is this not also a great mystery?

But let us go on to more serious mysteries:

Having passed the mid-century mark quite some time ago I have finally come to realize that there must be indeed a great mystery to life that I simply do not understand. How else would you explain, for example, that in more than sixty plus years of travel -- by bus, train, plane, and boat, I have never, not even once, been seated next to an attractive woman of approximately my own age or younger? In those cases where I could have chosen to sit anywhere I wanted there was never such a creature available to sit near (I assure you I would have seized the opportunity). In the remainder of cases (the vast majority) I see no reason to suppose that all transportation clerks in all of the various transportation fields were somehow in a secret conspiracy to not so seat me (I am not yet that paranoid).
Similarly, I have never understood what other people do in banks and post offices and such places. I go to the bank or post office, wait in line, get to the clerk, conduct my business. The whole thing (aside from waiting in line) takes probably at most 30 seconds. Granted traveler's checks and money orders take a bit longer but even here it doesn't take long. So what are all those people doing that I'm waiting for endlessly? Five, ten, fifteen minutes, sometimes even longer. What in the world do they do? Are they trying to make out with the tellers? Having a family meeting? Attempting to extort money? Involved in the International Banking business? Perhaps they are mistakenly waiting for something else? Like a bus? Or are their accounts so hopelessly confused that even the computer is defeated? Why can't everyone be like me? I just round off all of my checkbook entries to the next highest number so I always have more than it appears.
Furthermore, why is it I have never won anything? One would think that after six decades of entering sweepstakes contests, buying raffle tickets, lotteries, football and baseball pools, and etc., one might win something even if it was the booby prize or 500th place, anything. But no. Nothing. Don't get me wrong. I'm not merely complaining. I have a genuine scientific (if you will) interest in this matter. Not only have I not personally won anything, I don't know anyone who has won anything. Indeed, I don't know anyone who knows anyone who has won anything. But you see the problem! The odds against knowing no one who knows someone who once won something are astronomical -- or at least I think they must be. Not being a statistician I have no choice but to ponder these mysterious circumstances and consider it fate. One of the great advantages in believing in fate is simply that fate is fate. It isn't supposed to be either fair or random. It's fate. Good, clean, and straightforward. But even having accepted my fate I still can't stop wondering why I've never been seated next to an attractive woman in all these years. Fate may be just fate but it can be cruel.

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