I meant to move out to the boonies. That wasn’t a mistake, and though there have been times when it’s been less than entirely enjoyable I’ve never wasted a second regretting it. This is where I belong.
And yeah, I knew there would be a substantial sacrifice of physical comforts. I don’t have the money to do it “right.” If I did, believe me I’d do it that way. I’m not, by nature, an ascetic. This was the only way I could get what I most wanted in life, which was peace and quiet, peace of mind, a maximum of physical freedom in a decidedly unfree world. In short, in the life I’ve built for myself here, for the most part authority figures leave the crazy guy with the beard the hell alone. Yes, I’ve had some hassles. Yes, there were a couple of times when I wondered if I wasn’t going to freeze to death, and no, that wasn’t in the original plan. Yes, it would be nice to be able to go grocery shopping any time I want to. But all in all, I haven’t paid a single price I feel the least bit bad about.
Now: With that so-serious buildup, I’ll bet you didn’t guess this post was going to be about Pinky and the Brain*.
Three winters ago, my daughter sent me a box set of Pinky and the Brain DVDs. That was my first winter alone here, and it was a long, cold one. Pinky and the Brain were a big help in getting through that. Not just because the cartoons are hilarious, but because they were a pleasure that she and I shared ‘way back when and I enjoyed the memories. A couple of weeks ago I dug out that box and watched them again, and got to thinking that winter’s coming on and there are a lot of other episodes: There must be other box sets. I looked on Amazon, and sure enough there are three in all. I wanted the ones I don’t have. I can afford them. I’ve even got a piece of plastic right here that would enable me to buy them.
Calvinist Joel raised his righteous fist and roared, “Are you mad? Think of the wheat or rice or oatmeal or propane or ammo that could buy! Will you waste your surplus on such fripperies? What next? Ruffled shirts? I remind you there are things the Lair requires!”
To which I replied, “I like Pinky and the Brain.”
“Surpluses are for saving for emergencies! The day will come when you will rue such a calamitous decision! Rue, I say! Rue!”
And it occurred to me that I had gone too far. I had become so used to doing without shinies that I had come to view them as some sort of sin. I had become an ascetic.
And that’s when I logged onto Amazon. I may be a crazy hermit, but I am not a crazy hermit ascetic, and I’ll buy a frickin’ DVD if I want to. And three or four used Barbara Tuchman books. And a new multitool, goddammit, I’ve been wanting to replace my PST II since I damaged it on M’s Dome over two years ago. Calvinist Joel can go straight to hell.
*If you don’t know about Pinky and the Brain, you should take immediate steps to rectify that. You’re missing out on one of the great things in life. Here’s a sample: