'Matter of Laugh or Death,' a humor column
By Bill Dunn
Interesting observations on this thing we call life
(appearing each week in the Republican-American newspaper, Waterbury, CT)
ORANGE YOU GLAD I CAN CONCENTRATE?
Lately I’ve been finding it difficult to concentrate, and when the orange juice container says, “Made from concentrate,” what exactly does that mean, anyway?
I’ll be in the middle of talking about something, then suddenly I’ll just veer off in a completely different direction, and for people who have a poor sense of direction, those new GPS navigational devices are really helpful, except if you mount them on the dashboard of your car and stare at the little screen waiting to find out when you should turn left, and you don’t realize the traffic in front of you has come to a complete stop and you crash into the back of a supermarket delivery truck, causing the front end of your car to be splattered with 30 cases of orange juice, all made from concentrate.
Hmm…see what I mean? I’m having a tough time staying focused, unlike my daughter’s new camera, which focuses automatically, allowing her to point the camera at her subject and click the shutter, and the image is always in focus, except of course if the subject is moving, like my neighbor who told me he’s moving to Florida next month because his company just transferred him, but he’s looking forward to it because he’ll be able to pick fresh fruit right off the trees in his back yard, although I think that means his orange juice won’t be from concentrate anymore.
I don’t think I’m becoming senile—at least not yet. It’s just that after five decades of running around frantically in our fast-paced society, my brain has become jammed packed with information, experiences, thoughts, ideas, data, and mountains of both kinds of trivia: the useless and the totally useless. So my head has become a lot like my office at work, where all the file drawers are overstuffed with papers and folders, and tall stacks of documents, newspapers, and magazines fill every available space, and teeter precariously, just like our Christmas tree last month, which was a very lovely tree but the bottom of the trunk was a bit curved so that it sat in the tree stand on an angle, and if you looked at it cross-eyed it would fall over, as Uncle Lenny did at the family Christmas party because the screwdrivers he was drinking were heavy on the vodka and light on the orange juice, made from concentrate.
At times I’ll be chatting away with someone, then realize I’m way off on a tangent, so I’ll ask the other person, “What was I talking about again?” and oftentimes he or she will reply, “Sorry, I lost track a while ago,” and without skipping a beat I’ll say, “I was taking the train to Philadelphia years ago but we were on the wrong track, and there almost was a big crash, and we ended up in Harrisburg instead…” and then the other person will say, “Excuse me, but I have to be at work on Monday,” and I’ll say, “Yeah, me too, and I’m hoping to clean up my office on Monday because it’s a real mess, but every time I start to sort through the piles of papers I find something really interesting to read and I get distracted, and then— Hey, where are you going? I didn’t finished telling you about the orange juice.”
So, I don’t know. Maybe I am getting senile. Or maybe I have so much clutter in my head that I just have to work a little harder at bearing down and focusing—which I think is what the oranges do when they concentrate.
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