The Meaning of Life

Epiphanies usually come at the oddest times. Strange moments birth ideas that blossom into either absolutely nothing… or a golden opportunity. They often materialize when performing a mundane task or in that twilight between sleep and almost awake when we don’t yet have the cognitive ability to scribble them down.

“That idea was so great I’ll remember it,” we think before we doze back to sleep.

When morning actually comes, all we remember is that we had an idea and it was a great one. But the actual content is long gone.

I had one this weekend, though – and I was awake. I knew it was the mother of all epiphanies the minute it popped into my brain. It is:

The meaning of life

I kid you not! It’s time to buy the robes, find my mountaintop, and plop down. I figured it out – the big idea! And it is simpler than any philosopher ever tried to reason.

It started thusly.

My children love having pets. We have two dogs, three cats, and they have always begged for more. My issue with the pets we have and the pets they want is that I seem to be the only one qualified to clean up the poo. With three cats, this is a daily requirement. I think my kids are recreational pet lovers; they like the fun stuff, but not the dirty obligations that are a companion to pet ownership.

I have lived my life on the premise that there is nothing I can get on my skin that I can’t wash off. When I relayed that to my daughter, she just said, “Ewwwww!!”

So I clean the litterbox daily and every Saturday I pick up three to five pounds of poop in the yard. I don’t love it, but I like having pets and understand the responsibilities involved. It hit me Saturday while I had the scooper in hand, that this is it.

The meaning of life is cleaning up crap. Wiping the backside. Picking up piles. Scooping the poopy.

You laugh, but(t) think about life in stages.

  1. Someone else selflessly wipes your backside.
  2. Through the joy of education and experiment, you learn to wipe your own.
  3. With experience, you get better at it and refine the skill until it is automatic.
  4. If you’re lucky enough, something comes into your life (animal or tiny human) that you deem worthy of wiping or cleaning up their crap. And you do.
  5. You are no longer able to reach your backside and must depend on another. If you’ve loved well, someone is willing. If not, you’d better have cash.

 

It’s the circle of poop. And it moves us all.

 

Think of the parallel to life as we know it. We move from a selfish human who needs someone else to a self-sufficient master of our domain to eventually selflessly doing something dirty and disgusting for others. This is a tangible metaphor for what a life well-lived becomes: from selfish to selfless – served to servant.

 

There are some tiny humans whose diapers I changed many years ago, much to my chagrin. I admit that I did not wipe nearly as many shiny hinys as my wife and I was rarely gleeful about it. But I did it. And while they moved to stage 3, I cleaned up after all of their beloved pets. And hopefully… hopefully… when I revert to stage five, those children will realize that the circle of poop must continue. Because I’ve got some surprises in store for them.

Surviving Hummus

My family is trying to kill me…  one healthy meal at a time.

I’ve got a daughter who has become uber-healthy. While I respect her dedication and discipline, I have a problem with it creeping onto my plate. My notion of healthy living is running more so that I can eat whatever crap I want.

My parade toward death started innocently enough. With granola. That’s how they get you, right? They offer you something you like – almonds, oats, nuts, honey, and just enough sweet bits to tie it all together into a happy, delicious treat. Then slowly it morphs. It becomes good for you. Gone are the sweet bits; replaced with freeze-dried fruits that are a shell of themselves because they’ve had their natural sweetness squeezed out of them. All that’s left is the crusty husk… like me.

Still I eat it. I eat it because things that were the source of life: nachos, Oreos, M & M’s, and pre-wrapped synthetic goodness seem to have been removed from our pantry. I miss my sweet and salty friends. They were the sustenance of my youth. I weep for them.

The desolation that our refrigerator has become is truly abhorrent. I barely have the resolve to open its air-tight door and hear the floooth of disappointment. My heart sinks with the sound of the broken seal.

Where is the cheese?

Green, green, green. Was man truly meant to eat green with every meal? I don’t mind the occasional salad, but unless you dress it up, green things are completely subpar on the taste side. The only thing particularly manly that comes from green veggies is the resultant gas. Lettuce and broccoli are like jet fuel but when the plane starts bouncing down the runway, we get in trouble. It’s not fair. Nature is nature, you feed a man a leaf and you have to be ready for the leaf to be turned over… and over… and over.

veg

By far the biggest problem in the fridge is hummus. What the heck is hummus? I’ve never seen a chickpea; it has the consistency of paste and no taste – why would we consider it a food source? Hummus has more relevance as mortar than food. If you can erect a cinder block wall with it, please don’t serve it to me! I don’t care what flavor they add to it, when I crack the lid all I can see is the poop emoji staring up at me.

We also seem to be dabbling in the latest craze to assault the American male: quinoa. I can’t even say it, why would I eat it? I thought it was just some made up crap given to us by the flower children who pushed smoothies on us a few years ago. Since I had no idea what this quinoa was, I did some research and found quinoa comes to us from South America. May I remind you that the last mass produced crop the South Americans exported to us was from the coca plant and now we have an entire government agency trying to push that back over the border. Shouldn’t that serve as a lesson?

If there is a point here, it is that a man was meant to live on grease, pizza, and red meat – not beans and sprouts. I know there are some who have chosen a green path and while I don’t understand their earthy, crunchiness, I can look the other way. Most real mean can’t be pulled into vegetableness. It is simply unnatural! I have survived hummus thus far, but I fear the quinoa might be the tipping point.

God gave all his chillens taste buds for a reason.

I just want a little corner of the fridge and one shelf in the pantry reserved for stuff that will clog my arteries. Is that too much to ask?