Thursday, July 12, 2012

Questions and Answers

I knew this would happen. I KNEW it! My favorite – not to mention my only – firing neuron flamed out! Like a shooting star that lights the evening sky and then disappears, a super-nova that dazzles astronomers, never to be seen again.

I know exactly what caused this catastrophic phenomenon that permanently altered the flow of mental lava in my brain, and cooled into an entirely unrecognizable landscape. It’s decision fatigue. Choice depletion. Option oblivion. I made one too many universe-altering adjudications, and in an instant, it overloaded the system, short circuited the connection, and blew a fuse. Any residual thoughts became casualties of cellular breakdown, festering into abscesses floating in warm pools of confusion. (Boy Howdy! That was profound.)

My mind had become devoid of any distinguishing thoughts, because this past week was dedicated to going to every manner of doctor imaginable. Apparently, over the course of the last few months, I had neglected certain yearly exams touted by ads laden with scare tactics that finally got my attention.

So I began with the dermatologist. Locked and loaded with a Q tip, a Styrofoam cup of nitrous glycerin, a hedonistic glaze to his eye, and a maniacal laugh, he stood his ground and scatter-shot my entire dermis with his cotton-tip harpoon, until, pustuled and welted, I retreated to my home in humiliation, and decided to sequester and conceal myself behind heavy curtains so as not to spook the young and impressionable…sort of like Boo Radley.

My next appointment involved a dentist, a drill, and a whole lot of nitrous oxide, for both of us. He drilled so long and so deep that plumes of smoke arose from the excavation site like the mushroom clouds at the Nevada testing site. Really. He requested the Haz-Mat clean-up crew and a new drill when we were done. I requested caffeine.

And then there are the questions. Always the questions. Like:

1. What’s your social security number?
2. Do you want to roll this over to a roth IRA? (What the ---- is a roth IRA?)
3. Do you want to roll over and D-I-E?
4. How many dimples on a golf ball?
5. What’s your maiden name?
6. What’s your husband’s maiden name?
7. How many fingers am I holding up? Eleven? Close enough.
8. Who’s Yo Daddy?

I literally hemorrhaged answers.

So in order to keep my mind from losing its suppleness, Brodi and I went to lunch. I needed time out to re-charge my mental agility.

Soon the waiter took my order. He asked me if I wanted Thousand Island or Ranch on my salad. Well, I just looked at him and cowered in the corner. I finally answered, “You choose and surprise me.”

Despondent and bewildered, I whined to Brodi that the whole cosmos could be sucked down the black hole that had just taken up residence where my mind once was. (Hyperbolic exaggeration has always been my strong suit.) My ability to reason had been reduced to emitting unintelligible guttural sounds to no one in particular. My linear deductive skills evaporated. What a world! What a world!

There seems to be a moment in everyone’s life when the child becomes the parent. It’s called “role reversal.” In an instant, Brodi and I exchanged roles. Her voice was hushed and soothing, and she said, “I know. I know. You can’t Brain today. You’ve got the Dumb.”

It was like the light went on. It was an “Aha!” moment. That’s it! I’VE. GOT. THE. DUMB!

She further suggested that from now on, whenever someone asks a question, no matter what it is, just reply, “I’ll have Ranch.” If they should look perplexed, simply explain, “I can’t brain today. I’ve got the dumb.” She assured me that there is no question that could be posed in this universe, or the next, either by doctors or Social Security, that couldn’t be answered by one of those two responses.

It made perfect sense.

I felt empowered. I felt emancipated. I came out from behind my curtains, donned my stilletoes, and applied three layers of Kardashian Elephantine-Lash mascara. Oh yeah! Bring it on!

Am I ready to face the world???? Is Boo Radley ready to come out from behind the curtain????



Laura said...

OH, I shouldn't had read this during class. I started laughing out loud!!!

LeAnn said...

Joan, I am so smiling on this one. Only you could write this creative and entertaining experience. This was so a lol moment for me. You must write a book. You are so cleaver and funny. I love the I've Got The Dumb; great reply.
I am heading into our family reunion tomorrow; so send prayers. We will need all the help we can get. Let's do lunch again and I can download the experience. On second thought maybe not.
Blessings, love and hugs to you!

cristie said...

i was wondering what to call it. as a matter of fact i have been discussing with friends...wondering if it's just me. i too have the DUMB. xox