I’m going to the ophthalmologist today to have my vision checked. I’m not expecting to require an eye replacement, but I might need new lenses. If neither, I may have to get used to inadequate vision. I made the appointment without consulting my calendar, which means I’ll miss a program on writing Christmas letters, put on by the local writers’ club. Missing the program bothers me a little because I like to support the organization’s programs, but the topic isn’t of great interest, so I’m not crushed. It occurs to me that I’ve been going to doctors far more frequently of late than I’d like. I’d rather avoid them, if possible, inasmuch as visits to doctors tend to coincide with diagnoses I do not like. Methinks that’s not coincidental; doctors are paid to make diagnoses. If I decide not to go to the doctor and, therefore, not pay for the visit, I reason that I won’t get a diagnosis and, thus, will remain healthy. Maybe I’ll cancel my eye doctor appointment today, in the hope of achieving 20/20 vision. Makes good sense to me.
As I look out my window this morning, I see leaves, held captive by trees for many months, taking advantage of the wind to escape from the branches that held them prisoner. I would be happy for the leaves except that I’ll have to rake, blow, or otherwise act to remove them from my driveway and rockscape. I’ve done quite a bit of leaf relocation of late and I have no interest in doing more. My interest, though, and my actions do not necessarily achieve mutuality. I wonder if mutuality is a word? I’ll look it up when I’m older. In the meantime, I read something yesterday, as yet unverified, that says the Oxford English Language Corpus includes more than two Billion (yes, that’s a B) words. That stuns me. The same source suggests that I (and whoever else reads the article) am likely to know only about fifty thousand words. This seems to me a challenge I should take on: counting all the words I know. I’m not sure exactly how I’d go about the task. Perhaps I should just do it in alphabetical order. Yes, that’s it. I’ll make a list of every word I know, starting with “A.” This is apt to be an arduous task (I’ll include “apt” and “arduous” in the list). But I’ll wait to start the project because, as you already know, I have an appointment to have my eyes examined today. The fact that I’ve actually written about making a list of all the words I know suggests that I should have another part of my body examined, i.e., my head. Well, my eyes reside in my head, so that’s the right place to start. But do my eyes actually “reside” in my head? Or are they just there. One generally does not speak of one’s body parts as “residing” anywhere. They may be attached to or part of one’s body, but saying they “reside” there suggests they may decide one day to move on to a new residence. I would be disappointed in the extreme if my eyes decided to change residence, opting to leave my head for the warmth afforded in my arm pits. This conversation with myself is degrading, badly, so I must do something to stop the carnage. Maybe I should tell a joke! That’s it! Well, I’ll try. I did not create this joke; but I’ll try to tell it as best as my memory will allow.
A guy walks carrying a satchel walks into a bar one day and sits on a stool in front of the bartender.
“Gimme a beer,” the guy says. “I need to drown my sorrows.”
“Sure, guy. Here’s a beer for you. Anything you want to talk about? I’m a bartender, so I’m a good listener.”
“Okay,” the drinker says, “I’ve got something in my bag that really bothers me.” The guy reaches into the bag and pulls out a tiny piano and puts it on the counter. He reaches back in and pulls out a tiny piano bench and puts it on the counter. And then he reaches into the bag and pulls out a tiny man and puts him on the bench. Immediately, the little guy starts playing a piece written by Beethoven. His skills on the piano are stunning.
The bartender says to the bar patron, “This makes you sad? This is incredible! You could make a lot of money just showing this guy around. Where’d you get him?”
“A genie gave him to me. I rubbed a bottle and the genie popped out. Said ‘make a wish and I will grant it to you.’ So I made a wish and, poof, this guy appears, along with the piano, out of puff of smoke.”
“Wow! Where’s this bottle where this genie lives?”
“Right here in my satchel,” the guy says, reaching in and pulling out a gorgeous metal vase.
“Wow, can I make a wish?”
“Sure, just rub the thing and he’ll come out and grant you a wish.”
The bartender rubs the vase and out pops a genie. “Make a wish and I will grant it to you,” the genie says.
“I wish I had a million bucks!”
Instantly, the room fills with mallard ducks, quacking and flapping their wings wildly.
“Your genie must be hard of hearing! I wanted a million bucks, not a million ducks!”
The patron looks at the bartender ruefully. “Yeah, I know, do you think I wished for a 12-inch pianist?”