Friday, March 12, 2004

A Picture Says a Thousand Words (1,586 To Be Exact)

And now, what you've all been waiting for, The Picture Says a Thousand Words Essay!!!! Yes, this is probably one of my favorite essays to date. Unfortunately, I don't have the means to post the picture here so you'll just have to visualize it as you read the essay. Enjoy!

A Picture Says a Thousand Words (1,586 to be exact)

In this photo, I am almost a year old, and I am sitting in my dad’s lap intently staring at something out of the range of the picture. That something happens to be a television. I don’t remember for sure what show we were watching, but if I were to guess, I would say it is Wheel of Fortune because back when I was a little kid, that was my favorite show. My dad and I are sitting on our old couch that we threw out into the city dump a few years ago (By threw out I mean that we paid a relatively obscene amount of money to obtain permission to drive into the back of a dump that almost smelled worse than an average public toilet, and heaved the sofa which weighed close to a metric ton into a pile of who-knows-what). In place of it we now have a very cool dual reclining Lazy-Sean sofa. In the background of the picture lies a vintage-style lamp, my dad’s brown writing desk before it was moved into his room, part of some old yellowed drapes masking the window that leads out to our back yard, dark green carpet that dished out its fair share of rug burns on me over the years before it was replaced with tan carpeting that shows absolutely every single stain ever spilled on it, and an air conditioning unit. I don’t remember the last time I ever saw that stupid eyesore of an air conditioning unit work, if ever. I think that big white pole in the very front of the picture is part of a baby swing that I probably spent hours in doing various things like swinging, burping, eating, getting nauseous, plotting world domination, etc. You know, normal things a baby less than a year old would do.

Getting back to the business at hand, my dad and I were watching Wheel of Fortune. We were practically glued to the screen. If nuclear war started outside, we wouldn’t have noticed it. There was television to watch, who cares what else was happening around us? However, I think that if nothing else, this picture shows just how close my dad and I were as I grew up, and as I continue to grow up. There we were, watching TV as my dad had me in an agonizing Judo Death Grip around my waist so that I didn’t fall or get away before the show was over. Just think about what might have happened if he wasn’t crushing my lungs in a caring and fatherly way; I might have fallen and gotten a rug burn on my head from the carpet. Or I might have crawled away and thrown up in my baby swing. Anyway, it’s a good thing he held on otherwise I might have grown up to be some crazy person that would run around giving myself rug burns and squeezing every baby I saw as hard as I could so that nothing bad could happen to them. I am sure the parents of those children would love me if I did that.

Now, in order that you may get to know me better, I have included, at no extra charge, a resume that I recently wrote depicting the various aspects of my life. Enjoy!

Reagan, Sean (August 16th 1984 to present). Intelligent American superhuman writes: I was born in Newport Beach, California, but have lived my entire life in Huntington Beach in a small apartment building a few minutes away from the beach. My ancestors, Adam and Eve came to this earth via a complex system of God, creation and ribs, and lo and behold, here I am. Ah, those were the days! Back then, people were made with spare ribs. Now they require nine months of struggling, sweating, eating, regurgitating, sleeping, and pushing. And after all that, you don’t even get a complimentary rack of ribs smothered in barbecue sauce to enjoy. (By enjoying I mean eating about 1/3 of the ribs and spilling the rest on your shirt and having to use approximately 190,000 napkins to clean up the mess that you made on the floor, the family dog, the ceiling, anyone within a five-foot radius of you, and of course your freshly washed and bleached white dinner jacket) Anyway, let’s get back to my story.

I was the first and only son born in my family, and I was also the first and only daughter…oh wait, scratch that last part…I was the first and only son born in my family (At least that I know about). When I was three months old, I learned the alphabet. At six months, I was studying law at UCLA (yes, it really is that easy to get into). At eight months, I uttered my first word, “Butt” and I was immediately sent to the Mental Asylum for Troubled Children for the next nine years where I was kept under close surveillance lest I use the word “Butt” again. I never dared utter the word again, because if I did, I would be severely prodded with plastic spoons by my “Personal Incarceration Mood-modifier Person, or my “PIMP”.

After my stay at the crazy house, I was released into society to fend for myself. My first official action as a grown-up ten-year-old was to go crawling on my hands and knees and beg the nice lady at the welfare office for some candy. Ten minutes and fifteen lies later, I was the new recipient of 4 different welfare checks. One of them was for being the widow of a deceased wealthy landowner in the mid 1800’s, one was for being an albino with a limp, one for being a crippled gorilla with a brain hemorrhage, and the last one for being lactose intolerant. The next thing I know, I am living in an upscale Beverly Hills penthouse with six toilets. That was the main selling point.

Me: “So tell me, how much are you asking for this fine upscale Beverly Hills penthouse?”
Real Estate Agent: “50 billion gazillion dollars.”
Me: “Hmm, seems rather expensive don’t you think?”
Real Estate Agent: “Well, it does have six toilets.”
Me: “I’ll take it!”

I stayed at that penthouse for about five years up until the point that all six of the toilets got backed up (Hey, what plumber is going to come fix six toilets?) and the entire block that I lived on became a living replica of the Nile River (there were even river snakes floating on the surface of the water …hey, those aren’t river snakes…ewww). Anyway, after that experience I decided I would step down from “high society”, and at the age of fifteen, I became a writer for a major metropolitan newspaper, and I changed my name to Clark Kent, and…oh wait, I never did that.

All kidding aside, I really did step down from my elevated status as a wealthy young penthouse owner with his very own Television/VCR combo, and got an honest job working at a nearby Taco Bell restaurant. I work there to this day, and I have never once seen or heard a single bell anywhere in the store. They have plenty of tacos though, and I seem to be one of the only white males working there. For the most part, everyone else that works there is Mexican, and the language of choice is Spanish. Unfortunately for me, I do not speak fluent Spanish. However, after observing the way that these people conduct themselves and act around each other, I have concluded that knowing Spanish is a non-essential tool. The only thing you have to be able to do and be able to do well is whistle. That’s it. In fact, many conversations between employees at my work consist of little or no Spanish at all. They just communicate by using a complex system of whistles.

For example:
Employee #1: (whistles at approximately 128 decibels for .87 seconds)
Employee #2: turns around expectantly as if someone called his name (whistles back at employee #1 questioningly)
Employee #1: (whistles at different pitches and tones for almost 3 minutes straight while making gestures and signs with his hands to better convey his point)
Employee #2: listens to employee #1 knowingly and occasionally nods his head and whistles back affirmatively
Employee #1: “Comprendes?” (Loosely translated: Is that a river snake over there?)
Employee #2: “No, yo busco los pantalones.” (Loosely translated: “Yeah, Sean never cleans up after himself.”)

That’s my resume. I hope you learned a lot about me, like the fact that whenever I am given a writing assignment, I try my hardest to make it entertaining for the reader and for myself. Of course this is assuming that my audience has a sense of humor and is not a bunch of crippled gorillas with brain hemorrhages. Also the fact that I wouldn’t be who I am today if it weren’t for my parents, and especially my dad for constantly keeping me on my toes to ensure that I don’t get on the receiving end of another one of those Judo Death Grips and suffer a collapsed lung or something. If that happened, at least I would have plenty of time to watch Wheel of Fortune in my hospital bed, assuming that no one finds out about my welfare scam, in which case I would most likely be sent back to the Mental Asylum for Troubled Children where they don’t even have six toilets in the whole place!