I think of myself as easily confused. As a matter of fact, when I picture my own face in my mind (and am I the only one who does that?), I usually appear rather perplexed.
I would say — without too much fear of contradiction — that confusion is an understandable, appropriate reaction, a lot of the time. I mean, things can be confusing out there (and in here, too).
To add to the bewilderment, there are things we hear — as we are learning to negotiate the world — that actually contradict each other.
For example, there are lots of idioms that say opposite things. For example:
- Look before you leap.
- He who hesitates is lost.
I mean, if you tried to follow both of those instructions, at the same time … what would happen? I don’t know how, when, or where you would move next, but I’m assuming you’d be pretty perplexed.
There are several other examples of Opposite Idioms, like
- Absence makes the heart grow fonder.
- Out of sight, out of mind.
… but rather than write more about those, I’m going to risk disorienting things, by telling you about a joke I made up, during the 1970’s.
Yes, I made up a joke when I was in my 20’s and — a decade later — when I got up the guts to do stand-up comedy at an Open Mic night, that joke was part of my routine.
I’m not saying that joke was the BEST part of my stand-up routine, mind you. But I did enjoy telling the first — and perhaps, only — “real joke” I’ve ever written.
Now, I could digress into a discussion of what makes a “real joke,” but that would make quite a muddle, wouldn’t it? So rather than confounding things even more, how about if I just take a deep breath and tell you that joke, now?
You may have all heard about “light beer,” which has fewer calories — and a lower alcohol content — than regular beer. Well, I’ve invented a new kind of beer, for a different crowd. It’s called “fat beer,” and it’s got THREE TIMES the alcohol content of regular beer. Here’s the marketing slogan: “He who has a taste is sloshed.”
Hmmmm. You might have several reactions to that joke. But perhaps we can all agree about this: it’s not exactly mystifying WHY I thought of that joke, this morning.
I’m so easily confused, dear readers, that I’ve actually lost track of other reasons why I chose this topic, today.
However, I will share something else that’s on my mind. Tonight, I’m going to the TD Garden
at the same location as Boston Garden
where I used to see one of my heroes, Larry Bird
… play his heart out. But tonight, I’m going to that same location, which now has a different building and a different name, to see two of my other heroes play, but in a different sense of that word:
No wonder I’m confused.
Thanks to Wikipedia (for all of the images but the last one*), to anybody else who gets confused, and to you — of course! — for reading today.
* That image can be found here. And, probably, other places too. Confused?