Quiet Desperation

The object is to name objectionable objects

Column by Craig Marshall Smith
Posted 9/25/19

It’s no contest, but if it were a contest, what inanimate object would get your vote for “Most Likely to Exasperate” you to the point of expressions that cannot be printed here? Note: Naming a …

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Quiet Desperation

The object is to name objectionable objects

Posted

It’s no contest, but if it were a contest, what inanimate object would get your vote for “Most Likely to Exasperate” you to the point of expressions that cannot be printed here?

Note: Naming a particular politician, your mother-in-law, or the left tackle of the Miami Dolphins is impermissible.

I had words with an inanimate object this morning, and realized immediately that its failure was my fault.

However, blaming someone or something else is an art form, and (Americans) have become very, very good at it, and I am no exception.

An obvious choice is a hammer.

Or the remote control.

Swearing at the newspaper after you find out your horse finished fourth isn’t going to change the outcome.

An inanimate object is a thing that is not alive.

Therefore, your computer qualifies. Mine is now an antique. It’s 10 years old and the poor dear is slowing down.

Occasionally, I forget it is a senior citizen.

When I can’t open a jar of pickles or a box of crackers, the jar and the box hear from me.

There was a report in Psychology Today titled “Six Ways Most Emotionally Intelligent People Handle Anger.”

The title made me angry. It could have said, “Six Ways Most Emotionally Intelligent People Like You Handle Anger.”

Instead, it sounded like it was us against them.

The article said, “Anger is meant to communicate something important.” It went on to say that how anger is expressed can drive people away.

That might explain why I have no friends.

Some cultures (like New Yorkers) express themselves more directly than other cultures (like Southerners and Midwesterners) where “propriety is valued over directness.”

I don’t have room for all six ways (it’s my editor’s fault, not mine), but Number Three is “Figure Out if You Are Misplacing Blame.”

That one I agree with. How can it be the hammer’s fault?

Number Six says, “Have compassion.”

As I said, I have a 10-year-old computer. It might as well be using an aluminum walker, and yet I persist in thinking it’s right out of the box, and new, because it is looks that way.

A pair of 10-year-old work shoes looks like a pair of 10-year-old work shoes, but a 10-year-old computer looks pristine, unless you eat your breakfast, lunch and dinner next to one.

Some of us express anger more than others. Some athletes always seem to be upset about something.

Remember John McEnroe?

Coaches get angry and throw things, like chairs.

Politicians snarl at somebody on the hour who isn’t one of their own.

Wrestlers feign anger, but it looks genuine, and it stokes the crowd. The mindless, senseless crowd that watches “professional” (excuse me while I laugh) wrestling.

We are very touchy these days. Almost anything can trigger someone’s wrath. The internet is ripe with dripping denunciations and even threats.

It’s why I try my best to make the most inoffensive observations possible. For example, I would never say anything negative about rap music.

It’s a billion-dollar industry. And so are diapers.

If anyone were to think for a minute that I was making a connection between rap music and diapers, the blame for that would be on them.

Everything really is beautiful. Can’t we all just get along? Love thy neighbor. Hang by your thumbs.

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.

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