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I Think

Page 17


The lure of evil is powerful for some, but I never saw the attraction. So many people seem to thrive on succumbing to evil, though, that finally I figured I'd try it out and see what I was missing. I turned evil for a whole week. I squeezed toothpaste tubes from the middle. I didn't pay my phone bill on time. I left shopping carts in the parking lot. I even took the battery out of my smoke alarm. I never did figure out what's so fun about being evil, but one good thing came from the experience. I discovered just how neat it is to squeeze toothpaste around inside the tube. I think I spent like three hours squeezing toothpaste from one end to the other and making funny shapes.


As pendulums, tides of opinion swing from one extreme to the other. It is the way of society. The key to being a productive member of society is to recognize when shifts in thinking are going to occur and knowing how to cash in on them. For example, once upon a time it was a vile, disgusting act to pick up a crumb of dropped food off the floor and eat it. But the tide of propriety ebbs and flows, and people are starting to think that perhaps wasting a bite of double chocolate fudge chip cookie is a more vile and disgusting act than eating it off the floor. So we have the "five second rule," which makes it all right to eat morsels off the floor as long as they haven't been there long. If you are sharp enough to think as I think, you are already saying to yourself, "Why, the pendulum of opinion is starting to swing from one extreme to the other on this issue!" Indeed. If we have made one concession about eating floor food, surely this will lead to another and then to another. Following this shift in mindset to its logical extreme, why, in just a few years we'll be eating food off the ground just to conserve clean dishes. That leads me to my new idea for a restaurant. Restaurants today waste so much money on food that never gets served to customers. Anything that falls on the floor in the kitchen is mopped away. My idea is to save all that stuff. Every so often, sweep spillage up and dump it in a bucket. The rich people can buy regular entrees at exorbitant prices, while more averagely pocketbooked consumers can order floor food by grade. Mixed floor food, guaranteed to have been in contact with the floor no longer than ten minutes, would be sold at like six dollars a pound. One hour floor food would go for five, and so on, until you get to the food scraped off assorted kitchen surfaces at the end of the day, which would be sold at an economy rate.


Idioms contribute to the degradation of society. I'm not talking about moral degradation, mind you. This is even more serious. I'm talking about the infusion of boredom into every fiber of human existence. We have reams of legal documents and news programs and not a solitary pratfall among them. News anchors could cover the day's headlines just as well in a penguin suit, and the Wall Street Journal would be just as informative in Comic Sans, but noooooooooo. Language idioms are the root of the entire problem. They train us to accept boredom. "I have a turtleneck sweater," someone says, and you say, "Oh," because you know that a turtleneck sweater is nothing more exciting than a regular old sweater that lacks sufficient neck room. Ditch the idiom, I say. Make a turtleneck sweater involve an actual turtle. Perhaps a turtleneck sweater should be a sweater with a live turtle sewn to the neckline. ("I had a turtleneck sweater once, but it died.") Or perhaps the sweater would be woven entirely from the neck skin of turtles. Or -- or -- perhaps a turtleneck sweater would empower you with the ability to retract your neck inside your body! How cool would that be? I can see the vital statistics on my driver's license now. Height: 5' 11" (with head extended). I think anybody wearing a giraffeneck sweater in a movie theater would be lynched.


I wrote a predictive analysis algorithm for analyzing acclaimed literature. I fed it the works of Faulkner, Hemingway, Hawthorne, Hardy, Salinger, and such like, then ran the algorithm. The algorithm analyzed the stories and writing styles and weighed that against each work's critical accolades. Using this information, it generated a story outline for what is scientifically calculated to be the One True Great American Novel. It's a tragic but bittersweet tale about this guy whose passions run contrary to the irrational demands of a mercilessly judgmental society, and so his individualism is suppressed and leads to his eventual destruction. Once at the top of the social hierarchy, now he is disgraced and ostracized. It tears him apart, and then a war finishes the job, rendering his entire life meaningless. The epilogue tells how his illegitimate children grow up to become jerks. I think the powerful disestablishmentarianist message will resonate profoundly, and the book will surely be the greatest anti-war piece of our time.


My thoughts are important to keep in mind, so I think an I Think thought-a-day calendar would be a great idea. But it would be a huge up front cost to get some calendar company to make me a customized calendar, and then I'd have to go through the toil of selling them to people individually, so I think it would be a colossally inefficient use of my time to make money this way. Instead, I have decided to provide instructions, free of charge, for how you can make your own I Think thought-a-day calendar. Then I can sue you for copyright infringement when you follow them. First, get 92 sheets of printer paper and cut them into quadrants with scissors. Throw three of the resulting 368 pieces of paper away, two if it's leap year. Write a different date and a different I Think thought on each page. There aren't 365 thoughts on this site yet, so when you run out, fill in the remainder of the pages with quotes stolen from other proprietary portions of RinkWorks. Then sort the pages in chronological order, stack them in a neat pile, and smear glue all over the top edge. Finally -- and this is the most important step -- send me mail with your full name, address, phone number, a Polaroid of your calendar, and a list of suitable court dates.


You know you're living in an age of wealth and excess when there is a huge market for things that aren't for anything. I have on my desk what is called a "paddle-wheel timer." It does not time anything, so far as I can tell, but it does have a wheel in it. It's one of these plastic desk toys that have assorted colored liquids in it that run up and down obstacle courses when you flip them upside down. I also want to get one of those hurricane-in-a-jar toys, where you take this jar filled with assorted non-mixable chemicals, shake it around, and observe, for the three quarters of a second that it lasts, what appears to be a tiny tornado. These toys are all fine, but I think we should be making life-sized versions of these toys, with actual people inside to put in peril. Giant machines would be required to flip or shake them, but think of the payoff! Run, bratty kid next door, before the twister sucks you up and dumps you into the paddle wheel, where viscous blue blobs of goo roll down the network of plastic ramps toward you! Whoa, there goes the boss, lifted up through that little funnel thing by a frenzied stream of air bubbles! Mwahahahaha!


I think it is supremely unfair that my consumption of snacks and desserts is curbed by the capacity of my stomach.


Recently I went on a dinner/dance cruise to see what it was like. This is what it was like. A bunch of people ate dinner, got drunk, and pretended to dance, while two really bad, really obnoxious bands, one on either end of the ship, blared loudly. I like food but neither drink nor dance, so I spent most of the time at the railing, appreciating the night breezes. In the process, I discovered that if I positioned myself in the exact middle, where I could hear each band equally well, the unpleasant clash of conflicting tunes was less cacophonic than either band was separately. But I digress. What I want to know is why these people paid outrageous prices to get fed, get drunk, and get stupid, when it's easier and cheaper to do the same thing at a dance club. I'm pretty sure I was the only one to even look at the water or the night sky. No, I don't understand it, but as always I know how to take advantage of it. I think I'm going to start my own cruise liner business. But instead of running the same old dinner/dance cruises everybody else has, I'll build my reputation with innovation. I'll have a Tupperware Party Cruise, a Must See TV Night Cruise, and a Quilting Cruise. University students will get a discount on the biweekly Study Hour Cruise. Sunday mornings I'll run a Church Service cruise (bring your own pastor). Around April, I'll run a special annual Tax Return Cruise. Rather than hire janitors, I'll just run a Housework Cruise every morning.


The phone rang this morning, and the caller ID said it was me on the line. I answered it. "Hello?" me and I said at the same time. But there was no answer.


Chess is easily the most expensive board game of all time. Sure, you can buy a cheap plastic set for a couple of dollars, but there appears to be a huge market for high-end chess boards that cost thousands. I say "appears" because I've never actually seen anyone purchase these sets, but I see ads all the time. I need to join a Chess Piece Club or something, where you get five free chess pieces if you buy four more over the next two years. Every month, they send you two featured selections -- say, a knight and a pawn -- and you can either pony up the money and keep them or pony up the money to ship them back. Sign up now, get a rook absolutely free. To pay for all this, and get rich, I think I'm going to start up clubs for other sorts of games. Obviously these high-end chess piece manufacturers are missing out on obvious money making enterprises, and I will cash in on their obliviousness. Yes, it is time to introduce to the world hundred dollar Yahtzee dice.