On Overthinking

It’s Wednesday, and I don’t have anything to write about. Nothing.  I try to think but nothing happens.  I’ve used most of the notes in the notebook, and I have a doctor’s appointment later, just a check-up, but it’s in the mid-afternoon so it’s messing up my day because in the back of my mind, there’s this knowledge that the whole day will be interrupted by this vaguely unpleasant task and the driving (in LA traffic) to and fro.

All this thinking, while necessary, can get in the way.  Many people say their insomnia is worsened because they can’t turn off their brains.  You can’t really turn off your brain.  Meditation can re-set your brain, but can’t turn it off.  So, with that in mind (pun intended), here are some things I think about that don’t necessarily make sense.

On bad thoughts: The worst of these is imagining something bad happening to a loved one. It’s so easy. And even when I’m doing it I know it will just give me the heebie-jeebies.  Then I have to stop thinking it to keep from getting depressed or anxious. About what?  Nothing.  A bad thought.

On heebie-jeebies: I always liked that expression.  It’s silly and kind of vague.  But writing that made me think, does this expression have anti-Semitic roots?  It turns out that it does not, although many people THINK it does.  It’s actually from the caption of a 1923 cartoon, and caught on as an expression in the general lexicon, per Wikipedia.  One doesn’t often have the opportunity to use the word “lexicon” in a sentence.  The expression also caught on in ads.  Apparently, there was a cure for heebie-jeebies in the last century.


On cholesterol: Do you like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream?  Of course you do. Even if you are a lactose intolerant diabetic, you yearn for the tasty creaminess of a B&J confection. The only question is, do you scoop it into a bowl to eat it, or just eat it out of the carton because you know you’ll eat the whole damn thing anyway?

But what about this Ben and Jerry?  They’re like 70 years old, right?  One of them had bypass surgery from all the dairy fat clogging his coronary arteries.  And yet, those greedy bastards make a gazillion dollars with this frozen treat empire.  Don’t they know their product is killing people nationwide? What is wrong with these people that they want to kill us?  They throw drug dealers in jail for decades, but these murderers are on the loose!

Random rainbow picture to break up the content. Pretty. We’ve been seeing a lot of these lately.

On shaving: I was never much of a shaver.  In my early days, my beard wasn’t very heavy.  For some reason, my mother gave me my dead grandfather’s electric shaver.  It was an old 2-head Norelco.  I was going to try it and opened it up just to see how it worked and found my dead grandpa’s whiskers in there.  Sounds creepy, right?  I actually though it was cool at the time. Anyway, the electric was irritating to my young, smooth visage, so I went to the blade.

Unfortunately, the blade also irritated my sensitive skin, and so I had that wispy-beard thing for a year or so, continuing into college. But I always found a beard itchy after a while. A little stubble, sure but no more than that.  I figured with continued use, my skin would become accustomed to it.  This was more or less true for much of my adult life, including while working as an attorney, which required almost-daily shaving, along with dreaded wool suit and tie wearing.

In my maturity, my beard is finally heavier and my skin more tolerant, so I figured I’d try an electric.  I always thought the rotary razor made little sense, as it seemed to pull the hair too much with the circular blade motion.  “Lift and cut” to me meant “pull and slice.” It seemed to reason that a foil razor would be a good choice.

I got a Panasonic, and it was good.  I used it for a couple of years.  But something told me that it was time to move up to the high-performance German razor.  And it’s the best thing for me.

When I was a kid, a lot of Jewish people were still pretty pissed off about Hitler and the Nazis.  And why wouldn’t they be?  This manifested itself in Jewish people telling their kids not to buy German cars.  Of course, today we’ve stopped holding the contemporary German responsible for Hitler.  That being said, it still feels funny buying a German razor.  And I kind of want a Mercedes.  On the other hand, I never heard anyone say don’t by Japanese goods because of Pearl Harbor.  Or maybe they did?  Guess people didn’t take it as personally.

A baker’s metaphor for white privilege?

But this made me think, what is it about these Axis powers and razors anyway?  Cars, sure.  The same industrial complex that makes tanks and planes can make cars, but why are they so good at electric razors?  There has to be a connection.

Finally, my dad died a few years back at 89 years of age.  I was going through some stuff helping clean out the bathroom with the medicines and all and I found his electric razor.  It was a rotary, so I wasn’t about to use it myself, but curiosity and tradition dictated that I open it.

Sure enough, there was the razor stubble from his last shave.  It was a bittersweet moment, and I must say I considered pulling a Keith Richards and snorting it, but Keith mixed some of his dad’s ashes with cocaine and that wasn’t an option for me, so I just cleaned it off and put it away.

Smoking in Bed is a novel that people seem to enjoy. This is undoubtedly in large part due to the complete absence of information about razors, ice cream, or WWII.

Have a great week.  And stop thinking so much!


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