Sunday
Aug122007

« Thinking Will Come To No Good »

This was an email forwarded to me from Doug Lunn, my musical hero as Mike Keneally's bass player (on the good stuff). It resonated nicely with me, especially since I just thought myself out of a job, working for a Republican boss. Kids, don't try this at home.

It started out innocently enough.

I began to think at parties now and then—just 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.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't help myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau, Muir, Confucius and Kafka. I would return to the office dazed and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, 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 another job."

This gave me a lot to think about. I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "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.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio 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. Leaning on the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye, "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked.

You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous (TA) poster.

This is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting or a day with Rush. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was reruns of The O'Reilly Report."

Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.

Life just seemed easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.

Today I took the final step. I joined the Republican Party.

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