Tales of the Bearded Toad

Short stories and the occasional true tidbit devised in the life and times of the Bearded Toad

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Journey into the Halls

I wanted to see what it was like. I envisioned old men smoking cigars talking about how they were going to make it so that the tobacco farmers would be able to collect on their buy-out payments without actually getting the full amount they were originally slated to receive, or about how they could make it look as though they really tried to push through a state constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage while making jokes about how fat their third wives' asses had gotten before they divorced. I didn't really know what it would be like inside offices of the state legislature, but I didn't have a good preconceived notion. So to see if any of what I thought was true, I walked up the wide steps and through the big doors. I had taken everything out of my pockets before I got out of the car so that I wouldn't have to be delayed very long at the metal detectors, even my wallet and driver's license. I even took off my belt; because I knew at the airport sometimes my belt would set off the alarms, which made me have to keep tugging at the loops on both sides of my hips. It was evident that the security guard thought that it was a little suspicious that I didn't take any thing out of my pockets by the way he furrowed his brow when I walked through the opening wide enough to fit the fattest of the local politicians. I hadn't planned out my trip to the capital very well, so I had to wander around a bit to figure out where things were. Perhaps it was this wandering that proved to be my downfall, but I'll get to that in a bit. I eventually figured out where the main floor of the state senate lay, but there was no one in there. Figured, lazy bastards. Then I found where the state house met. No one was in there either. This solidified my thoughts that everything was done in little side deals between a few people, who were being pumped full of booze and money from groups who'd worked out a scheme to bilk my tax dollars into there own bank accounts. The more I wandered around, the madder I got, imaging where these people really were. I found a hallway that had four doors on either side. This had to be the so-called "back rooms" of the state legislature where all that corruption took place. After a little debate with myself, I decided that I was going to go into the last one on the right, because I thought that would be where the most egregious failures were occurring-the farthest from view. I knocked lightly, turned the knob slowly, and then I flung the door open. With all that anger that had built up in my head, as soon as I saw that dark suit, I pulled back and kicked him square in the nuts. I turned around and ran back down the hallway; it's just too bad that in my rambling I hadn't tried to remember how to get back out. Security found me before I could find an exit. You know, you'd think that being hit with that tazer would have been the most shocking thing to me, but it wasn't. It was the realization a few minutes later, as the congresswoman told the guard that it was me who had kicked her in the crotch, that I had it wrong the whole time.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

What would you do?

On a, what I would call, regular basis, I meet up with a friend of mine for a burger, a couple of a great variety of beers, and some good conversation. Tonight, besides the interesting tales of his journey of riding plains literally around the world, we talked about our answers to a question I think that most of us have considered at some point. It's particularly relevant here given that the law just changed to allow the possibility of it without crossing state lines. "How much money would you want to win if you won the lottery, and what would you do with it?" We may not have consciously considered the first part of it as much as we have the second, but I do believe that most of us have fantasized about how our lives would be if we won "all that money." If this makes you think of your high school guidance counselor I'm sorry, but it's a great exercise for considering what you want to do with your life and what kind of person you are. For instance, if your response to the first part was "as much as I can", then you'll probably never be satisfied no matter how much money you have, but if you responded with something a little less infinite then you may be somewhat realistic and grounded (seems ridiculous to say given the chances of winning, but it's true). So, despite the realization that you may never be satisfied with how much money you have or make, what would you do if you had a lot of money? Would you do "two chicks at the same time", like Lawrence from Office Space? Or would you do "nothing" like Peter? I'd posit that most of us immediately think of how we'd like to experience life without work, such as one of my dreams of having a sailing yacht to tour much of the world and experience as much culture and people as I could. However, after a bit of thinking, you will hopefully consider how you, although on a smaller scale than Bill and Melinda Gates, can help the less fortunate of the world. My friend used the example of helping kids with cleft palates to afford the surgery to repair their socially unacceptable appearance, which could enormously enhance the quality of life of every one that is physically transformed. My thoughts, possibly because I listen to NPR too much, go to how do I get the self absorbed governor to stop being so selfish and pardon the man who 20 years ago was convicted of molesting two girls who recently admitted that it wasn't him. The only reason he won't do it is because he was the one who prosecuted him. There's a great deal more that can be said about either of these, but the main point is that each of us can make a huge difference in the life of someone else. Do you think that I'll make an impact on someone's life? What would you do if you were Bill Gates stepping down from Microsoft? What would you do if you were a toad like me? Please leave your comments.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Tadpole Nephew

The Bearded Toad now has his first tadpole of a nephew. Not surprisingly, he didn't want to come out of his warm, safe pond inside his mother. It took him 12 hours to swim his way out and was only successful with the help of the trusty plunger. That sounded really funny to begin with until I got a more graphic description of a similar birth from a friend. His little girl didn't want to come out either, so the Doc pulled out the plunger and started pulling. Just as the baby was getting its head through the plunger popped off, and she went shooting back inside. So he tried again, with pretty much the same result. The slimy little newbie just kept getting scared of what the world looked like. To help out the nurse hops up on top of mom and starts pushing on her belly...sort-of a toothpaste tube concept, except that the baby didn't come out nice and smooth like that. She shot out finally like a bar of soap shooting out of your hand. This story made the Self Evolved a little queasy.

To see some photos of my proud brother and sister-in-law and the tadpole that is making the whole family happy, go to ChaseLandon.blogspot.com. You'll see what 12 hours of work, pain, and the magic of biology can do for you.