Sunday, May 29, 2011

You're going to bump your head around 7:38.

Wouldn't it be nice to foretell the future?

Some actually can, like Vegas oddsmakers, hairsprayed weather vixens and my wife, when she warns me about saying yes to one more French 75.

On first blush, possessing powers of prognostication appears an ideal set up; future events could be parlayed into incomprehensible riches, risks could be hedged and uncertainties clarified. A future where no fog muddles the horizon could prove to be a golden ticket to a Utopian existence.

Or could it?

What if you knew what was going to happen, yet couldn't stop it? Would you want to know the precise days and times of your family members' deaths? How about your own demise? While some would argue that being provided with Cliff's Notes to your destiny actually alters it, I'm not sure destiny can actually be altered.

And how about the smaller stuff—the flat tires and the food poisonings and the sinus infections? Would you want to know that Tuesday at 7:09 AM, you're going to stub your little toe against the door jamb with such a vengeance that your neighbors call to ask when you bought that barking sea lion?

I wouldn't. 

I also wouldn't have wanted to know:

–that on September 19, 1986, in a moment of clumsy haste, I would rake an accounts payable ledger cover across the bottom of my nose, resulting in a third degree paper cut and heavy bleeding. Actually, I don't think paper cuts are classified in degrees of severity, but this one really hurt and looked like I hadn't trimmed my nails prior to a nose mining excursion.

–that while lifting a lawn mover down three steps to the parking strip on July 10, 1990, my ankle would buckle at a ninety degree angle on the last stair. The pain seared so brightly that I swear Jesus was contemplating calling me home as I rolled on the sidewalk like an Italian soccer player waiting for the magic spray. And yes, I would have walked toward the light had I been able to walk.

–that on August 22, 1980, the day my senior yearbook picture was to be taken, I would awaken with a Defcon Five zit on my nose. And this wasn't an average zit. I've had millions of them and I'm proud to announce that this one was inducted into the Acne Hall of Fame in Fresno, California, in 2003. 

It was the kind that forms a lava dome beneath the dermis and requires eleven percent of your body's blood supply to nourish. Fortunately, it looked more like a sunburn (see image above), but make no mistake, I feared that sepsis would overtake my vital organs by the end of the day.

–that on May 28,2011, while clearing some stuff out of my mother-in-law's backyard, I would hoist an old bird house from the ground, only to discover that it harbored a speakeasy for bumblebees. I may never know why one of them decided to fly behind my ear to plant his stinger, but let's just say the barking sea lion made a guest appearance for the neighbors that day in Auburn, Washington.

I'm ecstatic, not just glad, but ecstatic, that I wasn't clued in about these events. And although they didn't contribute material hardship or permanent injury, the element of surprise proved to be a blessing.

A common bromide in my house is "Be careful what you wish for, because you just may get your wish."

I hereby proclaim, despite all of the implicit and explicit benefits associated with an ability to foretell the future, that I prefer blissful ignorance from this moment forward.

How about you?

1 comment :

  1. It's a good thing you don't have the powers of fortune telling, Tim, or it would not have been the surprise I'm hoping it will be when you read this comment. This is Eric Londgren, an old friend and dorm-mate of your sister Anne. We got reacquainted recently via, of all things, Facebook. To make matters more interesting, just last week I bought a copy her first book at the book fair at the public elementary school my 2 kids go to here in Oakland, California. I'm writing to you for no particular reason, but Anne told me how you and I share similar paths after college and suggested I touch base. I stumbled across your very clever blog tonight and it seemed the golden opportunity to say hi. That and I recently came across a photo of you and me from Halloween 1980 (?) in which we both had dyed our hair purple.

    Hope you see this, and if you do, feel compelled to reply. If only to see the aforementioned picture. My email address is

    Oh, and I'm sorry to hear about the bee sting.

    Eric Londgren
    UW '82