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"Enjoy yourself this weekend"

©02 The Media Desk

         Yes that was something somebody who should know better said to the Desk as it departed Friday afternoon.

         No. The Desk did not spit at them. It did not hit them about the head and shoulders with its cane. Nor did it explain why fulfilling that statement is completely out of the question.

         The Desk cannot remember the last time it 'enjoyed itself'.
         And truly, it isn't even sure what that means. Or how to go about doing it.

         So the Desk did a little research into the phenomenon known as 'Enjoying Oneself' and came up with the following from a couple of the better search engines.
         It would seem to involve (in no particular order): swimming pools/hot tubs, helium balloons, an amusement park chain, a series of those 'tight bodice meets stately pecs' romance books, a 'kids of all ages' pizza joint, exploring Canada by dogsled, a large department store outfit, a tap dancing clown for hire, touring India by bus, a business-person's retreat, a set of TV variety shows on DVD, a Caribbean resort with topless mermaids that do underwater ballet, and an endless stream of chocolate ice cream.

         Well, the mermaids show promise, but the Desk has no interest in touring anything by bus, and the prizes you win playing skee-ball taste better than the pizza at those fun and games places.
         The only common theme to the above the Desk can come up with is that everything on the list involves the spending of money. You have to pay the dancing clown, buy the 'hot sweat trickled down her cleavage' books, and even charge the food for the sled dogs to your major credit card.
         Back when the Desk was much younger and slightly less cynical, all it would cost to 'enjoy yourself' was a buck and a half for the fish bait. Or maybe even less if you already had everything you needed to go camping for the weekend.
         Nowadays going camping requires half a ton of Stuff. What ever happened to throwing the essentials in a backpack and riding a bicycle to the campground? The last camping trip the Desk went on, all the Stuff barely fit in the back, and on top of, a full sized van.
         Well, it's simple. Back When, when the young Desk's stuff was in that old canvas backpack, the other Stuff was either in a sixteen foot trailer or an old school bus. Now, the Desk has to provide all that Stuff for umpteen other people. Lanterns, the tents, cooking supplies, water cooler, axe, dining fly. The Desk is now in the position where it has to remember all this crap and make sure it gets from here to halfway up some mountain in Pennsylvania. And sometimes it forgets some of the Stuff. Oh well.

         Is that it? Is it that Life is more complicated as a Grown Up. Maybe that's why Adults feel the need to purchase tapes of old TV shows from the Operators that are Standing By so they can enjoy themselves half pretending they are young again. Or maybe wander through the department store with helium balloons looking for something to wear in the hot tub.
         Is it the shedding of those responsibilities that make for the enjoying of oneself?
         Is it the allowing yourself to return, even for a short time, to those days when your chief concern was wearing clean underwear in case you were in an accident?
         Is it the allowing of somebody else to drive the bus, cruise ship, dogsled, whatever, and not worrying about getting lost in Wisconsin on your way to the retreat?
         Is it the blowing of a handful of nickels in a slot machine without concern about having gas money to get to work the next day?
         Or is it something else all together? Of which the above are merely symptoms.

         The Desk knows it isn't qualified to make that diagnoses for itself, let alone the Rest of Humanity.

         So. Let's look at what 'enjoying yourself' Ain't.

         It probably ain't your job. Unless you are absolutely in love with your job and would do what you do to earn your daily bread even if you had to pay somebody else to do it. The Desk enjoyed itself at work when it covered ballgames. And sometimes when it was watching some politician make an arse out of himself.
         It probably ain't something you Have to do. This isn't necessarily work, but it might be. Eating is something a lot of people enjoy. But there are times when you have to eat simply because you are hungry and what you have that passes for food isn't something you really like. Like sleeping when you are sick. Or watching a TV program because you have to write a paper on it.
         It probably ain't something somebody else told you to do. Like when you were a kid and your aunt told you to 'go have fun' outside with a bunch of kids you didn't know in a strange neighborhood while your mother sat and talked.
         It probably ain't trying to live up to somebody else's definition or expectations of it either. Like spending the weekend with that 'voluptuous temptress with the eyes full of promise' in the books. She'd find out the Desk isn't independently wealthy and can't dance to 'the endless rhythm of unleashed passion' all night and that would be that.

         Mostly likely it is something which, given a range of all more of less pleasant choices and that eternal option 'Other', you would pick on your own from the 'Other' category.

         So. From that list on the search engines or 'Other' what would the Desk do to 'Enjoy Itself"?
         Well. Nothing on the list itself sounds all that good. Maybe in small doses, or if it were free, or if nothing else was going on. But.. Nah, none of the above if you don't mind.
         So it'll pick 'Other'. Now we have to deal with what isn't an approved 'enjoying oneself' activity. Or at least what is possible. Or even likely.
         The desk would like to spend a week in North Carolina hunting wild bore with its muzzleloader. But there's that money business again. Most likely taking a Big Ten cheerleading squad on a tour of the Pacific Islands to make a documentary for National Geographic isn't even realistic. Perhaps an day with a couple of philosophy and metaphysics professors and maybe a Doctor of the Church or two to discuss the mystical aspects of St. John of the Cross's works. Unfortunately, the Desk doesn't know anybody of that stripe. Besides itself that is.
         So what would the Desk do, that it can and will do, to 'enjoy itself'?
         Right now. Today. 'Just Now' as it were.
         Writing this piece is about all it could muster.


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