Saturday, October 14, 2006

My contribution to humanity: Don’s aphorism of the day

All my regular readers have come to rely on this blog for pithy aphorisms that guide them through their daily lives; this may explain why I have very few regular readers. However, today I’ve come up with a truly great aphorism, a paragon of pith, a phrase-o'-wisdom that will make our entire species and its pets smarter, nobler, and more spiritual:

I pitied myself because I had no headlights, until I rear-ended a man who had no brake lights.

Having taken these words into your heart, you are now an enlightened being - and don’t forget who enlightened you! If you meet Buddha on the road, tell him that he’s all washed up in this town - the guy may have been all right in his day, but where’s his blog?

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At Sun Oct 15, 01:52:00 AM GMT+2, Blogger Mr. Fabulous said...

My all makes sense now!

At Sun Oct 15, 12:51:00 PM GMT+2, Anonymous Bean said...

Absolutely. Wisdom on tablets, parchment, i-ching calculators. That's all so yesterday. If you don't have a blog then really you just have no cred ;)

At Mon Oct 16, 01:41:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger westbankmama said...

Don, I actually laughed out loud at that one! Usually puns and plays on words gets a smile or chuckle, but this one was really good. Did some unpleasant real experience act as your muse?

At Mon Oct 16, 02:02:00 PM GMT+2, Blogger Don Radlauer said...


My satori was indeed triggered by a real-life experience - although it wasn't all that unpleasant, or even outwardly significant.

I was driving home with takeout dinner the other night, and I noticed that my left headlight seemed to be out. To make sure, I was trying to see the reflection of my light(s) against the back of the car ahead of me. At some point the guy in the next car put on his brakes, and I noticed that he only had a single brake light.

The original version of my aphorism accurately reflected this situation; you might say that both cars were in a state of onelightenment. Later, at home, Daughter #2 suggested that my aphorism's spiritual power would be enhanced by eliminating the still-functioning lights from both cars; while I feel vaguely guilty about this, I'm sure it's not the first time the truth has been sacrificed for a golden koan.

The hardest part of the whole project was to find the correct original quote, in order to get the wording right. It turns out that there isn't a correct original quote - at least not one that I was able to find in any reasonable amount of time. (And I'm normally pretty good at digging these things up.) Various versions of the quote were attributed to Chinese tradition, Persian tradition, or whatever. Plus there were as many parody versions (e.g. "I felt sorry for myself because I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet. Then I stole his shoes.") as real ones. So I finally had to pick the version I liked best, mutate it accordingly, and post it.

And people think blogging is easy!


P.S. One of these days I'll get around to changing the bulb...


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