wet? Then you “accidentally” wipe your fingers on your slacks
and pretend that there was no sign and apply for a reimbursement
from the company for new clothes. You rationalize your behavior by
thinking, “If they really didn’t want anyone to touch the wall, they should
have blocked the hallway.” Of course, you conveniently
overlook the fact that this particular hallway is the only one
leading from the front door. Naturally, if you had to walk all the
way around the building to enter, you would have cursed those morons who didn’t have the brains not to touch wet paint.
At this point, I must warn every reader that the following is
dangerous to life and limb. You should never, repeat never, build a
Shock-Box. I will describe it in detail so that, during any period of
random behavior, if you find yourself building something unknown,
you will recognize what it is and that your actions are dangerous and
will immediately cease your construction.
A Shock-Box consists of a cardboard box at least one foot per side.
One side, the back, is open and admits light. In the front, two holes are cut
about five inches apart (or 479.5763 centipedes). These holes are sized to
snugly fit empty bathroom tissue rolls. (Guys, you can use an empty paper
towel roll cut in half.) Everything is painted black except large, bright red
letters that read, “Warning! Shock Hazard! Do Not Look!” Lastly, you hang
a picture in the box that has your boss’s face transferred onto Wilford
Brimley’s body sporting a tube top and tiger-striped thong (check eBay for
availability). That’s Wilford wearing the thong, not your boss. Of course, if
you have a picture of your boss in a thong, you should change the head
to Wilford Brimley. Leave the Shock-Box unattended in the cafeteria.
If you should build this, even after I insist that you don’t, you will
observe a few things. The first is that nearly everyone will stop and look,
heedless of the warning. The second is that they will be shocked at the
sight. The third is that if your boss finds out, you will be fired. That’s
assuming that your boss has a good sense of humor. If not, you may get
a midnight visit from Bruno and Vinnie. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS
One thing that separates man (and woman) from beast,
besides the fact that beasts generally have higher group intelligence due to a lack of beast-lawyers and accountants, is that people are never satisfied. It doesn’t make any difference what a person
has; it isn’t enough (except for the number of kids). Someone can have
billions of dollars and still feel the need for more. Are you satisfied
with your salary or position? Would you like to have that same salary
or position forever? I would gladly give every truly satisfied person a
dollar if I could get 10 cents from everyone who was unsatisfied.
You don’t see monkeys exhibiting this behavior. They’re happy being
monkeys. They enjoy climbing trees and eating the fleas that they pick off
of each other. They don’t care if they can’t fly to the moon or if the chimp
next door has more bananas than they do. They’re happy being themselves.
Compare that to Donald Trump. He’s managed to make millions of
dollars, even after going bankrupt. Twice. He has, well had, his own
casino, his own reality TV show, and his own line of hair-care products.
(Although that last venture isn’t doing so well.) But it’s still not enough.
He has to do lecture tours, write books, and practice saying, “You’re
fired!” over and over. He is clearly not happy with his accomplishments
or with himself. If he was, he wouldn’t have to host a mindless TV show
where he makes his guests cry.
Let’s face it, if you had more money than France and were truly
happy and satisfied, you’d build a nice house and retire. You’d do things
28 NUTS & VOLTS November 2005