Monday, August 19, 2019

Octomom update & other distractions

Because this story is ostensibly about distractions and I wouldn’t want your mind to wander, I’ll start with the headline tease that likely snagged your attention in the first place.

Octomom is alive and well in Laguna Niguel, California, striving to finish her autobiography, recovering from a booze and pill addiction and doing what the NYTimes says is a bang-up job of raising her 14 children. Headline: “The Octomom proves us all wrong: The Happy Household of a former Tabloid Curiosity.

And — good news, fellas! — the gal’s still single!

I know all this and more because Val and I over one vacation breakfast in Chincoteague, Virginia, explained to the kids the who, what, where, why and how of Nadya Suleman, 44, the woman who in 2010 gave birth to 8 children because, I guess, there’s something about having six kids that leaves one unfulfilled.

Did I mention she’s still single?

How the conversation led to Octomom, I cannot recall.

A widely-debunked myth claims we use just 10 percent of our brains. Nonsense, say top neurologists. All of our brains are active nearly all of the time.

They say this like it’s meant to reassure we’re deserving of being the planet’s dominant life form and thus get a pass for indifferently extinguishing all the others.

Me, I have more respect for the brain power of the common canine.

Even a stupid dog is the more efficient thinker.

A dog’s thoughts can be roughly dropped into four categories: eat, play, sleep and  screw. Romantics might be tempted to lump play and screw into the same category. But I’ve seen horny dogs in action and unless you consider a quick butt sniff romance, I’ll contend there’s a difference between play (chasing a tennis ball) and screwing (google it).

Imagine how much happier and more productive we’d all be if we thought with the discipline of dogs.

Alas, it’s not to be. 

See, I use 100 percent of my brain, but it’s devoted to learning and retaining things like the marital status of Octomom.

In the hour I’ve spent composing this blog — talk about your pointless distractions — this is a partial list of the distractions that have rolled like vapid tumbleweeds across the wasteland of my mind.

Baseball, lunch, Jeff Probst, golf, bourbon, firewood, sex, Elizabeth Banks, sex, the new Springsteen movie, mosquitos, Stones on tour, pizza, book sales, my in-grown toenail and is it time to water Buck’s plants up here on the 3rd floor (no, but I did it anyway).

You know something a dog never thinks about? Jay Thomas. He played Eddie LeBec on “Cheers.” He died two years ago Saturday at the age of 69.

I’ve been thinking about him ever since a friend sent me a link to a commercial that showed George Washington driving a car. As I know what a black hole of distraction YouTube can be, I pondered if I had time to watch the 30-second clip.

I did.

Then I figured since I had time for that I had the 4:45 it’d take to watch Thomas tell David Letterman the uproarious story of the day he met the Lone Ranger. It’s absolutely hilarious. Letterman says it’s the funniest story he’s ever heard. Check it out.

I now watch it whenever I find myself getting depressed by distracting news about climate change, gun violence or polls that hint Trump will win again.

I’m using 100 percent of my brain but, unlike the dog, about 97 percent of it is pointless BS. I worry I’m changing my cranial composition from gray matter to fecal.

It’s a pity the Nazis so thoroughly polluted the term, because I could really use a leisurely stretch in a concentration camp. 

Really, there ought to be a camp where adults could go to learn how to concentrate.

The blog result would be fewer stupid distractions: more coherence, less Jay Thomas.

We’d pick a topic and wring everything we could out of it, which in the case of Octomom we can only hope wouldn’t result in more children.

The last thing I’d recommend for an aspiring writer like Suleman is more runny-nosed distractions running through your home.

Especially if you’re prone to having them all running through your head.

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