Take That, Life

Life's kind of bossy sometimes. It pushes you around. It tells you to jump, and it tells you how high. And if don't do what it says, it's not above kicking you in the jimmy to remind you who's in charge. Some fools think life isn't curmudgeonly enough, so they go to law school. During law school, life loses any personality it may have had and becomes one-dimensional. Whereas it was once deferential on occasion ("Well, Abu Halen, you could eat that hot dog, or you could eat that scone! You choose!"), and even sometimes merciful ("You're overworked and underpaid, Abu Halen. Take a vacation! And then come back and be overworked and underpaid again."), life dipped in law school pushes you relentlessly toward one goal, and one goal only: make enough money to buy the Caribbean Sea.

If only life were as nice as Shannon.
Whenever you peel yourself from studying to, say, go pee, life follows you to the john, whispering over and over in your ear, "How will you ever buy the Caribbean Sea if you stand around (or sit around) peeing all the time?" When summertime rolls around and you think maybe you'll step outside the library and see how old your kids are, life sternly reminds you what's really important: "Listen, Abu Halen, your resume sucks. You need to go work somewhere far away for free, and kiss butts that are bruised from being kissed so much. That will enhance your resume, and then you will give it to people, and they will give you enough money to buy the Caribbean Sea."

Now, I'm a decent fellow. I don't like to argue or fight, mostly because most fights to which I'm a party end with me crying in the school nurse's office with the nurse on the phone telling my mom to come get me. So I've gone along with all of life's demands. I wrote the law review case note last summer when I could've been watching Sweet Home Alabama over and over. I worked for free at a big law firm and got mistaken all the time for an administrative assistant ("Hey, New Guy. You look desperate enough for a job to go get me some water on the off-chance that I'll tell a partner that you don't smell all that bad.")

But this summer, I'd had enough. I grabbed life by its big, stupid, foofy lapels, pushed it up against the wall, and said, "Listen up, you bossy, pretentious metrosexual sycophant." That's what I said. But I had to pause several times to look up the words I was using, which I think significantly decreased the impact my statement could've otherwise had. And then I said, "I've had enough of you pushing my tush up your imaginary ladder of success, okay? Your stupid ladder leads to a horrible place where people work their fingers to the bone and their nose to the cartilage and their brain to the pituitary gland, and then they stand there looking in the employees' bathroom mirror at 2:00 a.m. at the hideous boney and sinewy and bloody mess they've become, and then they notice a clear, transparent substance seeping from their chest and realize that it's the joy slowly oozing from their once-red-and-healthy-and-now-black-and-shriveled heart, never to return."

And then I bought a subscription to MLB TV and I bought passes to a big waterpark where people laugh and smile and I shook my kids' hands and reintroduced myself to them ("If you're really my dad, then why aren't you at law school?"), and when life tapped me on the shoulder and said, "How will you ever afford the Caribbean Sea if you act like this?", I whipped around and kicked that arrogant lickspittle right in the jimmy and said, "It's not even possible to buy the Caribbean Sea because no one even owns it, dummy! Go pick on someone with an ego to stoke!" And then I sat down to watch some baseball and have a Coke. A little anticlimactic on the conclusion there, but I'm all out of ideas.