Author’s suggested SUVs and piles of dung:of thee i sing

By Gus Bode

“Not Just Another Priddy Face”

I am an American.

I bought an SUV last Saturday. My gas mileage is terrible, it hogs the road, and somewhere a Californian is coughing and wondering why all of my emissions keep floating all the way across the continent to a cloud hovering over his house in San Bernardino. And still, I couldn’t be happier.

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I watched the Super Bowl this weekend as well. I can’t tell you what Tampa Bay’s team colors are, but I do remember the color of Kelly Osbourne’s hair in that “Ozzy’s Nightmare” ad. Of course, upon reflection, I do not recall what the commercial was for, either.

Not to worry, though. I am sure my subconscious picked up on it. Later this week, I will wander through the aisles of K-Mart, filling my cart with ridiculous purchases and items I don’t even know how to use because the TV told me to while I was eating nachos and giggling at the funny man on the screen.

Welcome to America, kids. It’s the land of opportunity. And, more importantly, it’s the land where you don’t have to worry about anything at all. Why spend all of your time fussing over that whole “make the world a better place for your children” mantra? I’m not sure humanity was one of those ideas cut out for the long haul anyway. Okay, so maybe we have wheels and fire and all that jazz. Hooray for us. And what do those things get us? Cars that burst into flames. I can’t help but think we were better off before.

Look at the cockroach. There’s a guy who has been around for eons. And I’m not sure life is all that different now for him than it was millions of years ago. You get up, you crawl around in dung, you eat your dinner there, and then you spread out on your little dung mattress and go to bed. Once in a while, you come across an abandoned cardboard box, and you lay eggs in it. Life is good.

Now I’m not saying I want to be a cockroach. It’s not a glamorous life by any means. But just look at their staying power. Meanwhile, I squander my rivolous human breath on eccentricities that would only bog down a roach’s enlightened lifestyle of survival.

I wake up every morning and drink a pot of coffee, which I don’t enjoy. I drive to work at eight miles over the speed limit. I get there exactly three and a half minutes late, because, as everyone knows, the time clock is three minutes behind, and who cares about that extra 30 seconds anyway? It’s like pumping $5.01 in gas. No one’s keeping track, and everyone’s doing it. That makes it okay.

I drive to work where I spend the entire morning staring blankly at a computer screen as a superbly mediocre idea evolves into a column, which I will also turn in late. Maybe it’s not the greatest living, but what am I, a cockroach? We can’t all get our acts together.

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Of course, I mention again, I don’t want to be a cockroach. I’m already here. I’ve already been born a human and raised as one; I have free will and opposable thumbs and even a remote control to confuse the importance of the two. I’m content.

But somewhere, off in the spans of time and space, I have to wonder if life is different. In some alternate universe, a five-foot-two beetle is desperately hitting the “Word Count” hotkey on his Microsoft toolbar and thinking wistfully about a life with no problems, no quest for meaning, and (squash!) … a decent apartment without those nasty little five-fingered critters scurrying across the floor and mating in his empty beer cartons again.

In the meantime, he relaxes on his couch with a plate of dung, turns on the big game and starts a K-Mart list. After all, this is America.

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