Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #21 (The “Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Baste” Version)


In a slight departure from the normal Park posts, I’m going to dispense with the “five points to consider” structure. I’ve taken this alternate route a few times before, although I don’t know if anyone noticed. Actually, now that I consider, I don’t know if anyone has noticed when I DO follow the five-point plan. Maybe no one pays attention to the numbers. Maybe some people do notice the numbers, and when they see them lined up on the page, scrolling into infinity, they quickly decide that life is too short and they click on somebody else’s blog. Maybe the numbers are the whole reason that I don’t have a legitimate career in publishing. In any case, this borderline-incessant rambling has generously produced enough words that it qualifies as an opening paragraph, and now we’re done with that mess. Yay!

Picking up on a thread weaving through the fake-out of my introduction, I often have a lot of questions. Sometimes these questions are valid, responsible queries that deserve research and study, possibly aided by a grant from a progressive University with all-inclusive bathrooms. At other times, things pop into my head that should never have popped anywhere in decent society. In addition to the numbering schema with the Parks (and the jury is now out on the effectiveness of such), I also use the Park posts in a stream-of-consciousness manner, where I often don’t make any edits before posting. (That sound you hear is members of the Editing Society of America screaming in horror.) For today’s post, I just might be pushing that stream-of-consciousness over the banks. (Somebody best run tell the folks in town so they can get to higher ground afore the creek rises.) And here we go…

Why do some people knock on your front door instead of using the clearly-lit, properly-functioning doorbell that is right there? I’m not going to hear your timid little knuckles if I’m watching “Star Wars” for the forty-leventh time. And if you’re here to talk about Jesus, you should have more conviction than that. Push the power button and make this a rousing dance number.

Who made the decision that a package of hot dogs should contain 8 weenies? Isn’t that a poorly-planned number? For a typical family unit, you’re either going to have leftovers, or not enough for a second round. Granted, it’s nice that the buns usually come in eights as well, from a symmetry perspective, but it’s still annoying and counter-productive. Are the Masons involved with this in some way?

What if Donald Trump really only wanted the title and not the job, and now he’s doing everything he can to get his ass sent to detention? Or what if the Republican Party’s plan was to win with Trump and then replace him with Pence? Oh, who am I kidding with these “what ifs”? I keep forgetting that we are never going to see a solid plan from the Republicans or the tax returns from Trump.

Why do I have such distrust for cans of tuna that can sit in your cupboard for three years and still be theoretically fit for consumption? How can this be right?

Why do some fast-food drive-thrus have two windows, one to pay and one to get your food? I don’t see how this increases the productivity of the process, because the business has to hire more staff in order to make this work. And even if this Model-T assembly line does somehow work better within the building, it doesn’t work better outside the building. I have to be nice to two people in a row, and that makes my left eye twitch.

Why do so many people still not understand that the first step toward becoming a responsible human being is to pull your head out of your ass?

Am I the only one who has no clue how much a postage stamp costs these days? The last time I actually had to buy stamps, nobody based their lives on a Facebook feed.

Do other people hear the radio, late at night, when there’s no radio on? And the playlist only has 70s songs?

Why are you clicking “like” on my post when you have no intention of ever coming back here again? I can smell you a mile away…

What kind of music are some people listening to these days? Because the music in my formative years made me want to be a better person, not a self-centered sociopath who confuses need with unearned greed. Then again, the musicians in my salad days were… well, musicians. Is it possible that auto-tune and shameless promotion of nothingness will be the true downfall of society? After all, we did have the 2016 election cycle…

What is up with radio DJs who insist on babbling over the end of the song? I don’t want to hear from you and your advertising sponsor until the final note has been played. Unless you’re presenting breaking news that health care is now freely available to everyone, not just those who can afford it.

How can any of us be truly complacent with our own lives when a small child goes to bed hungry, in any part of the world?

Is it emotionally unstable for me to read a certain book and suddenly fall in love with the author, sight unseen?

What does it mean when you cry because other people can’t?

Is there anything natural in Velveeta?

Why is it that I can sit through 17 previews before the movie starts, and not a single one of the frenetic, jump-cut, loud-noise offerings appeal to me in any way? Is that where we’re at with movie-making? The intensity of the soundtrack determines all?

Did you ever have to finally decide?

Anyone else bothered by candles that don’t burn in a satisfactory manner, and you end up wasting half of the wax? We’ve been making candles since Saturn was a teenager. Why can’t we get this right? (And why are you charging 30 bucks for the Big Boy Candles, Yankee? It’s paraffin and two drops of scented oil. Justify my love.)

Are you doing the right things so that your legacy is honorable?

Who cares what anyone is wearing at an awards show? Why does this get more attention than what is happening in Syria?

What is wrong with our food availability that eating healthy is so much more expensive than eating chemically-laced crap?

Am I not an American if I can’t stand football? There are so many new rules these days, decided by people who have never actually read the Constitution.

Why are so many religious denominations making it a war, and not an opportunity?

Will you still love me, tomorrow?

How are we still in a situation where men decide the fate of women?

Am I wrong in thinking that tomatoes don’t belong in the fruit category?

Does anyone else spend far too much time wishing and hoping instead of getting off their asses and doing?

What happened to the time when people with opposing views could at least be cordial?

What happened to fundamental respect?






48 replies »

    • In all of his recent public appearances, Trump looks annoyed and irritated and ready for the current mess to be over so he can get back on Twitter. As for Velveeta, it’s a large brick of “processed cheese” that can sit on a shelf, un-refrigerated, for roughly two hundred years before it expires. Which brings us back to Trump… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Lots of deep questions. I have plenty of answers, but the most telling is that whether you knock or ring the doorbell, the dog will hit the front door like a freight train. Scares the begeezus out of people.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love how you snuck some song lines in there.
    Love your questions – at least your mind is active. here are my 2 cents worth of gratuitous comments.
    I decided to put off deciding until I can reach a decision. Well. it’s probably more a wish and hope than a decision.
    Movies: we are about to (god, please let them get the NBN right this time) get broadband and then netflix. I am worried that there will be nothing that I want to watch – seems there is not much original content around anymore that interests me.
    Radio: don’t listen to it – I want my music unadulterated and without needless blather and babble.
    I’m too tired to type anymore, but I loved, loved, loved these questions – life is meant to be questioned (I did used to have a segment on my blog about silly questions) – answered, probably not so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, I’ve had to finally decide many times, but I always sign in pencil and I carry an eraser with me at all times. (Just kidding.) The Netflix thing: There’s actually a lot of great stuff on that service, and we have tons of things in our bucket to watch. I’m not sure what your viewing interests might be, but may I humbly suggest watching the first seasons of “Stranger Things” and “Versailles”. I enjoyed both of them greatly for very different reasons. If you like either one of them, then I can get an idea of what to suggest from there. The radio thing: I never listen to the radio when I am in the car. It’s my quiet time. My partner, however, cannot BE in a car without the radio playing. He’s the one who has set all the stations in my car, and I just let him run with that mess.

      I think questions are a grand thing. (My parents did not agree with this outlook when I was growing up, naturally.) If we don’t wonder, how do we ever find the wonderful things, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. “Anyone else bothered by candles that don’t burn in a satisfactory manner, and you end up wasting half of the wax? We’ve been making candles since Saturn was a teenager. Why can’t we get this right? (And why are you charging 30 bucks for the Big Boy Candles, Yankee? It’s paraffin and two drops of scented oil. Justify my love.)” you satisfy my cravings for random rants…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Holy smoke this is truly enjoyable. Too many to agree upon. The hot dogs, two Windows at the drive through, Velveeta cheese. You are so spot on with your observations, loved this a lot

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Deep. Some interesting queries out here.
    I don’t think tomatoes belong with fruits. By the way did you know you’re not the first American to protest against the same? Court case Nix v. Hedden. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. “Why do so many people still not understand that the first step toward becoming a responsible human being is to pull your head out of your ass?” That right there answers most of them. The Lovin’ Spoonful once had to make up their minds, but the album was called “Do You Believe in Magic” so that shows you how unlikely it is that people will decide instead of identify. Don’t get me started on clip art music and cinematic sound libraries. The cosmic radio is not a delusion. The channel changes, though. And stop listening to the freaking radio. You are merely supporting pigeonholing and cackling vapidness. Not unlike the national news and most morning shows. Now my head hurts and that old hippie angst is back. Damn, Brian.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mea culpa. But does the hippie angst ever really leave us? And why would we want it to? And now you’ve got me composing a protest song in my head, something without overdubs or any type of layering and a determination that it will only be released on vinyl and I won’t do any vapid publicity for it. Screw the The Machine and The Man who made it. Whew. I feel better now, slightly redeemed but still a little dirty and… hold up, I’ve got The Lovin’ Spoonful on Line 1 and they’ve finally come to a decision. “Caller, you’re on the air…”


  7. Just a few:
    *They do use the doorbell, but we seldom get visitors at the front door so I end up going to the wrong door and by the time I get back to the front they driving away!
    *Don’t eat hotdogs they rank right up there with Slim Jims, full of lips and assholes!
    *Let me consult with Mr. Langham, he eats one can of Albacore tuna “EVERYDAY” and has been for over 40 years!! I could swear I heard him purring the other night!
    * I prefer having my meals delivered on wheels.. Sonic burgers are the best!
    * Don’t know, don’t care. I enjoy the satisfaction I get out of sending my bills through snail mail instead of using online bill paying… WHICH THEY PREFER I DO!
    * Of course I’ll still love you tomorrow! I can’t drink my coffee without you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Okay, let me see if I can respond with any degree of professionalism.
      *All of our expected visitors use the back door. The front door is reserved for pizza-delivery people and firemen letting us know that we might need to evacuate.
      *Hotdogs are terrible for you. But I’m a terrible person, sometimes. Especially if chili is involved.
      *I love a good tuna salad sandwich, which is why we have cans of said tuna in our pantry that have been there since Eisenhower was inaugurated.
      *Sonic burgers are pretty high up there, but Goldie’s hamburgers in Tulsa (I don’t even know if they are still around) and Snuffer’s hamburgers in Dallas are the bee’s knees.
      *I’ll let you be happy with your snail-mail situation. We all have our comfort zones. 😉
      *And I’ll love you tomorrow as well. I can’t have my beer at night without you!


  8. Nice one, Brian but I didn’t get any of the lyrics this week, maybe a Carole King one…
    I’ve noticed there seems to be little love for Trump in the blogging world but guess his supporters find credible word alignment difficult, unlike your good self. have a like AND a promise of return. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Phil. Trump is not loved, generally, in the blogging world, and you are spot on with the lack of “credible word alignment” when it comes to his supporters. That aside, I’m glad you keep coming back. It really means a lot…

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know exactly what you mean with the lack of satisfactory ways in which to acknowledge a blog post that you find rather fetching, as it’s a sensation that occurs when I’m on your own site. Granted, I can always make a comment, but I’d much rather have a button to push that says “everybody needs to read this RIGHT NOW. Don’t ask questions, just do it…”

      Liked by 1 person

  9. “Are you doing the right thing so that your legacy is honorable?” That’s the best question on here, although all of them were truly enjoyable and humorous as usual.
    Yes I am but I find that nobody cares anymore about that than they care about the windows, doorbells, hot-dogs and “fundamental respect.”
    I think we’ve become so complacent…we just drift along without question…without conscience….without remorse….without caring.
    But if we didn’t….we wouldn’t be able to read your wonderful work! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Laurel. I spend a lot of time, perhaps an inordinate amount, wondering if I’ve done the right thing, for others and myself. But in the end, I know that I’ve at least tried to follow my heart, as much as I can. And when I see that heart in others, such as yourself, it gives me comfort to realize that some of us are still trying to bang our way to the truth…


      • Thanks Brian. It always sort of restores my faith in humanity when I meet somebody (like you) who tries to do the right thing. It’s so easy to take the easy route….go with the flow…follow the crowd….but one thing I have always been criticized for is…being true to myself.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I have a dream that one day you and I will run into each other at a beer festival.
    We’ll snag an empty table after you tell four frat boys there’s free Guiness in the tent, then we’ll sit and you’ll mesmerize me with witty observations and profound thoughts.
    Later we’ll write of the afternoon and turn it into a play. It’ll be a great success, so it’s turned into a movie. The movie is a hit, so it goes back to Broadway, this time as a musical. It wins the Tony that year, so they make it into a movie. The movie sucks.
    Maggie Gyllenhaal plays me. Who do you want?

    Liked by 1 person

    • How do you do this to me? How do you get right to a scenario that tickles my fancy? Sigh. Anyway, whilst our lawyers and agents work out the details, the play-movie-musical-movie redux would star Maggie Gyllenhaal and (chronology aside) Anthony Perkins, with Jessica Lange in a smallish but pivotal role. The DVD will feature an alternate ending wherein one of us somehow wins the Nobel Peace Prize, and nobody has anything bad to say about such a choice…

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Tomato: I finally decided to look online for why scientists insist it’s a fruit. Now, after 3 minutes of solid scientific research, I’ve become a real Tomato Smarty Pants. I’m desperately hoping the topic of tomatoes comes up at our next cocktail party.

    Football: I don’t get it. It doesn’t seem like a very efficient sport, with all that standing around.

    When Kids go to Bed Hungry: That should never happen, especially in North America. The food banks here in Canada conduct a national “HungerCount” each year, and approx 1/3 of people who visit CDN food banks are children. In a 1st world country! On one hand, it’s good that there are food banks, but on the other hand, it’s sad that there HAVE to be food banks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tomato: The poor thing. Of course, we shouldn’t really use so many labels in life, so I’m not sure why this one bugs me so.

      Football: I grew up being considered a heretic in my home state because of my disinterest in football. Some family members still don’t trust me to this day. 😉

      The Kids: This situation kills me. It’s inexcusable in the first-world countries, but it really should be inexcusable anywhere. We have more than enough resources to eradicate hunger globally, but so many people don’t use the resources in a humanitarian manner, like the United States spending endless billions starting wars for profit in countries that need help, not domination. Ugh!

      Liked by 1 person

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