In about as far back as I can reach into the archives of my Hanabata Days, I remember obsessing over a book about the adventures of anthropomorphized Baby Bunny who goes to see Doctor Bunny for a routine checkup. From its pages I learned that bipedal Baby Bunny is deemed happy and healthy when his knee’s tapped with a triangular reflex hammer and he proffers a little punt.
That being the background, I don’t think you can hold toddler-me accountable for being confused by this; and in a studious effort to be a proper patient, delivered a solid kick to my pediatrician’s groin.
“No, Anu. Just relax. Don’t move.” So I didn’t move, staying stiff as the plank they’d earlier tied me to so as to administer keiki vaccines (my then-terror of needles is also Baby Bunny’s fault). Tap. Tap, tap, tap. “OK, um…” Practiced patience is no mask for exasperation. “Just relax your leg so that it can move when we tap your knee.” Tap. Another deliberate kick. A surrendering sigh.
This might have be fine in a reverse-anthropomorphized situation, were I a cat or something. Take a cat to the vet when it’s sick and it’s listless and lovely. You can tell when your cat’s getting better when it returns to being a finicky bitch. (And I swear they look smug when you get the bill.)
But because nobody knew how to explain all this to a two-year-old, the concept remained lost on me. So at that moment the medical world resigned itself to leaving the health of my deep tendon reflexes an even deeper mystery.
However, I’m happy to report a quarter century later, my reflexes are in perfect working order.
See, as soon as I saw a neon horse pill sitting centered on a friendly, outstretched palm, my own hand reflexively reached to receive it. (The weasels are closing in–so bring on the huge bats and manta rays, baby! Do you follow me?) And anyway, I was at a psychedelic-theme prog rock show.
I would’ve gulped this orange stadium of revolution* with neither reservation nor chasing sip, if it hadn’t collapsed between my fingertips–because it was not a pill, but a spongey earplug.
Whoops! I guess that’s my cue to reevaluate my no-nos lifestyle of late. But I don’t really wanna, and am instead Googling the emoticon for a stubborn pout… Alright I can’t find one. So here’s the runner-up:┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐(PS: If that string of characters does not look like a scowling face doubly flipping the bird, I’ll bet you also still pay for dial-up. If this worries you, don’t let it. It’s rather unimportant and it’s too late for you anyway… Hey, while we’re here, tell me what you think of this: “elliterate” is a dumb word I just made up to mean being uneducated in online lingo. Nope, using LOL et al doesn’t count. In fact nowadays, that’s worse. Oh and “elitterate” means being so inundated by the Internet’s deluge of truncated drivel as to be rendered incapable of reading anything of, say, substance. Personally, I’m worried twitless that I’ve contracted such a disease… Also, I’d like to note that the urban definition of “eliterate” is ironically bad, as it’s supposed to mean tech savvy–which is just no pun at all. I suppose “e-literate” works. But I, as I so often do, digress.)
So I relayed this anecdote to a friend of mine who in turn was kind enough to tell me of a time he nearly swallowed a small decorative stone, thinking it was a massive tab of ecstasy. Hallelujah, I’m not alone!
Jeebus, now I feel like I have some explaining to do because people like my grandparents and police read this back page blather. Not to mention I recently met a reader who expressed surprise that IRL I’m supposedly “more mature and beautiful” than what she’d gathered from my work. Not sure how I fooled her in person, but I’m glad to know that as a journalist I’ve successfully captured the essence of my being a sophomoric troll. Ah, sweet success.
But expounding on the series of events that leads one to almost eating an earplug is boring, mattering as little as being fluent in Emoticon. But since I’ve set myself up, I suppose I ought to thank Doctor Bunny for (a couple years back) pumping the lab’s finest opiates directly into my heart’s right atrium. Until then, I hadn’t so much as dosed a Tylenol or Tums in more than a decade, and it was sobering to realize I’d been wasting the bit of youth meant for getting fucked up.
Look, I’m not saying this is OK. Judiciousness can be delicious, too. (And after all, I was the idiot kid who thinks kicking your doctor was a sign of good health.) Besides, the more drugs I dabble with the more I realize I don’t need ‘em.
Case in point: the aforementioned psychedelic-theme prog rock show. The men of MOTHxp played Stella Blues Cafe last Friday (Nov. 25), and again proved there ain’t another band on-isle that works as hard to please the eye as the ear. Sure, cliche analogies can be drawn to fingerprints and snowflakes in that show-to-show, MOTHxp’s thematic approach is never exactly duplicated. But one thread that’s sewn through every performance is the way they load auricular rainbows’ refraction-meets-reflection into their music machine guns’ magazines. Ratatattattat, gimme some more! And as I learned last Friday (albeit a little late), when a group like MOTHxp dresses themselves and the stage in a kind of meticulous tie dye deserving of a medal–with a wicked video and light show and winged dancer to boot–who the hell needs a huge neon orange pill to have a good time?
* Cool geometry term for the capsule-shape. Put that in your pipe, trippies.
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