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Front Page » August 6, 2002 » Opinion » Life is messy, so what else is new
Published 4,272 days ago

Life is messy, so what else is new


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By RICHARD SHAW
Staff reporter

The other day after I asked my son to mow the lawn, I realized the lawnmower was out of gas. I was just going to head out to work and had a brand new pair of jeans on. So, feeling magnanimous, I decided to fill the tank with fuel so that he wouldn't have to. I picked up the gas can from the storage shed and found it had about two teaspoons of liquid in it. I took the lid off attached the spout and poured what was left in the grass eaters tank. As I pulled the spout out, it flipped up spraying at least part of one of the remaining teaspoons all over me.

That's one of the very messy things in life; gas cans. Have you ever seen one that was designed that doesn't get gas on you in one form or another, no matter how careful you are?

They come in all shapes and sizes and every one either has a spigot that doesn't either fit the tank one is trying to fill or if it does fit, a gasket or relief spigot somewhere on the container inevitably leaks. And inevitably it always leaks in a direction directly proportionate to the nicest clothes you are wearing.

Now I don't believe this is any kind of conspiracy by unknown mystical gasoline forces or stockholders who own stock in both Chevron and Old Navy, but I regard it as just a fact of life.

There are a lot of those kinds of facts and all of them messy.

Spaghetti is one of those facts. I never spill spaghetti at home on my shirt, because it is easy to clean up there and, there is no one there who cares if you have red sauce all over your chin and skin. But take me to a restaurant, and there it goes; and just as inevitable, it is on a day when I chose to wear a light colored shirt.

When I was younger and dressed more with the times I used to think people I saw in public who had spills on their shirts were slobs. But as I have gotten older, I have come to believe that rather than a detrimental thing to display across your chest, spills are more like badges of honor. And they are of even a higher caliber if they (A) are spills of food that usually don't spill easily (for instance wet Cheerios stuck to a chest piece is much more impressive than drizzled ice cream down a persons t-shirt) or (B) are actually stains rather than spills, especially if they are assorted stains, meaning the shirt has been worn through many meals and never discarded because of it's colorful past.

Yes there are a lot of messy things in life and not all of them are as concrete as gasoline on a new set of jeans or spaghetti spills splattered all over a shirt. Take relationships for instance. Generally no matter what kind they are or how good they seem to be, they can still be messy. Of course there is a good kind of messy and a bad kind of messy. No matter the number of kinds of top pings that one can get for spaghetti, the toppings we can spill on ourselves in relationships is infinite in number. It varies according to each person.

For instance there is the fruit and nut topping, when sprinkled generously over a relationship makes us love someone even though we hate a lot of things they do.

Then there is salt and pepper. One tastes so good we can't seem to get enough of it and therefore we eat too much of the white substance. The other is great when lightly sprinkled because it is hot and adds some spice to our lives. But too much gives us heartburn or if taken in the wrong way can make us sneeze.

Also we must consider the chocolate sauce topping, or in a more concentrated form, hot fudge. Spill this on a relationship and you are often stuck with the other person for life. Of course, that isn't necessarily a bad thing; that is unless the fudge got scorched in the heating process, then it can be hell.

Gravy in any color is another messy topping for relationships. Light or dark it can be awfully slippery, and relationships built with gravy toppings involved can easily slide from good to bad quickly. It all has to do with the base it is made from.

Another important topping that makes for messy relationships is anything with milk in it. When it is fresh, it can be wonderful, except for those that have lactose intolerant relationships. But while these toppings are initially enjoyable if it hangs around too long, the relationship can go sour and stink up the whole place.

I could go on and on, (as if I already haven't) but you get my drift.

Life is just a messy proposition, both from a material and aesthetic point of view. It's just a matter of watching what we spill on ourselves and others.


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August 6, 2002
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