The Wide Angle: Using my imagination or I really am a grown adult

Published 6:30 am Saturday, October 31, 2020

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

This week’s column is brought to you by an exceedingly large amount of time scanning the internet for something to talk about.

In case you don’t know this by now, I don’t plan my columns that far out in advance. And if you did, then please keep it to yourself. I’m rather fragile.

Generally, I have some bit of vaguely useless knowledge crammed away in the brain case that I can expand into something that takes up 10 minutes of your day … okay fine, five minutes. Either way, a certain amount of you are reading this and a good part of you are waiting for the trainwreck.

Email newsletter signup

So what did I find? That essentially I need a vacation.

The internet, for lack of a better definition, is a quagmire of slime and soot who’s only redeeming quality is that I got to use the word “quagmire.”

I know it largely has everything to do with the current climate we’re living in, which is partly to mostly depressing with a strong change of irritating heading into the nightime hours.

Still, this has left me with a conundrum. What to do with myself? Read a book? Check. Play with the cats? Check. Stare at the ceiling and promise to myself I’m going to paint the living room this spring? Check and lie. I probably won’t because I’m going to redo the floor first and boy howdy, you just wait until that column rolls around. That promises to be a thing or things that will require you to set aside at least 15 minutes on a Saturday.

Of course, I wouldn’t hold me to it. I’ve been threatening to do that for at least two years now and we’ve still got dirty white carpet on the floor.

It’s actually not that dirty, it’s just a light gray and I want to get the wood underneath.

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, what to do with myself when the Internet is horrible.

This generally is not a difficult thing for me to do. I’ve always been highly talented at entertaining myself, the product of being an only child. I had plenty of friends, but there’s still a lot of time for me to occupy by myself.

When I was a child — younger than 36 — I was often the bane of my teacher’s existence for my lack of attention, largely due to the innovative ways I could use pencils.

A pencil in my imagination could be a rocket, a rifle for my hand soldier, javenline, airplane when paired with another pencil, so on and so forth.

When I worked my way into high school and I had to take Spanish I through teleconferencing with nearby Edgerton, I could often be seen doing my best two-hand drum impression of Def Leppard’s Rick Allen in the back of class. This kind of attention span was largely why I limped through the class with barely a grasp on Spanish.

This habit of drumming away several concerts in a year was only a part of my entertainment value when it came to keeping myself busy. The riding lawnmower we used to mow the area around barn and pasture was either a race car or a tank and the horses themselves, those that found the patience to let me on their back, were often part of a pasture long cavalry charge.

Actually, now that I think about it, it was only two horses and one of them tried to kill me to better get to its supper.

Still – calvary charge.

Snow forts were castles, sticks were machine guns and straws were lasers for my assortment of G.I. Joes and Transformers.

My mom has some entirely joyful (now anyway) stories about my use of straws in public and how “not embarrassed” she was to take her “walrus” anywhere for a time. Ask her about it sometime.

See, I was highly inventive, if not really weird.

So yeah, not much has changed.

Either way, I’ve fought to entertain myself these days and I’m not really sure what’s wrong other than it’s immature for me at this age to use straws as lasers.

Or am I?