It is Good to Live

Sometimes events can get the best of me. Deadlines to meet, calls to make. Toilets to unblock, shopping to do, taxes to file.

I think, is it all that important? Better to take a walk, gaze at gardens and listen for birds. Drink a mug of coffee in peace, if that is possible. Talk with a friend and a brother and a sister. Work quickly and right – get it done and then kiss your wife and play with the three kids. And if the to-do list gets too long, then reach for a copy of John Kennedy Toole’s novel “A Confederacy of Dunces.” Ignatius J. Reilly, the fat and slothful central character, has the perfect cure for a paper pileup – dump it in the bin. Or in this day, turn the sheets over and write a story on the back or draw a picture. Make an airplane and throw it out the window and watch it soar or fall to the ground, uneventfully. You can make 30 of them with the kids and see which flies the farthest – and which gets caught and ripped to shreds by your four-ton dog. Wiggle your toes in the sand. Surf in the winter, when the big waves can get freaky but the adrenaline makes it worth it, your heart racing and the rush insurmountable. Laugh and cry. Things can get bad. Take a nap, under the covers. Call your mum and dad for long chats. They’re worth it. And book a flight home.

If this all sounds too sunny, then do like Ignatius J. Reilly and pound down a dozen hotdogs straight from the boiling water, with heaps of ketchup, mustard and relish. Then you’ll be able to laugh and cry and stink out the room.

And that would be a good gag.

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