Clearly, all of us have lost our minds. There is no question about it. We go about our days as if there is nothing wrong with electing drunk, rabid alligators to manage our country’s affairs. The solution, of course, is to round up the reptiles, place them in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, and fill it with quick-drying concrete. But will we do it? No, certainly not. Instead, we will get as far as putting them in the pool, but instead of concrete we will argue over whether to fill the pool with hydrochloric acid, manure, or Jello, instead. Or maybe we will simply ignore the fact that we’re supplying the creatures with an endless supply of high-end Scotch. We should not be allowed to permit rabid beasts of any kind to engage in squabbles on our behalf. Our behalf? Hah!


I have what some folks would call an ugly fantasy. I, on the other hand, consider it beautiful. In this fantasy, I have the ability to project invisible bolts of electricity from my eyes. And I can project them over enormously long distances. Those bolts are deadly. When they strike a drunken, rabid alligator, the animal’s body instantly turns to dust. Not ugly, in my opinion.


A few years ago, I created some dummy magazine covers (I may have written about them recently…forgive me). The magazine covers were geared toward practitioners of specific criminal enterprises: car theft, burglary, bank robbery, financial market manipulation, and so forth. The titles of the magazines were modeled after Psychology Today. I do not remember all the details, but I believe I created covers (I used Photoshop to alter photos and text) for Auto Theft Today, Home Invasion Today, Bank Robbery Today, Securities Fraud Today, etc. I was more than a little surprised when someone saw images of those dummy magazine covers and said to me something to the effect that “I did not know you had been involved in publishing.” The comment was real. I wonder whether there might be a market for such periodicals? Today, of course, I probably would have to deliver them online; the cost of printing and distribution would be to great to produce hard-copy magazines.


A great production of a black comedy is better than a mediocre production of a comedy of errors.

~ Tom Stoppard ~


When I was younger, I wished for the ability to accelerate time—clear away the underbrush that kept the future so distant. I no longer wish for that capability. Today, I would prefer, at least, to slow time’s progress. Better yet, I would like to “rewind” time so I might revise who I was, how I behaved, risks I took, advice I ignored, and dozens of other experiences. But neither wish can be met, of course. It’s too bad, though, that all the mistakes cannot be blotted out of my memory, thoroughly forgotten so that the past would not hang over me like a guillotine. If only. If only. If only. The value of wisdom is recognized far too late. Time twists us into knots that cannot be untied.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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