Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Mermaid’s Purpose

I don’t believe in mermaids. Try to say that without smiling. Of course it sounds crazy, but next week a cable channel will air a show that suggests the existence of mermaids. I can’t imagine what the show’s producers will present as scientific fact. Since most people would scoff at the idea of actual mermaids, maybe the show’s definition of mermaids will refer to young ladies (with legs) who love water. Skip the tail. If, after you see the show, you begin to think that mermaid might possibly exist, the producers have a hit show. 

Why do people believe in UFO’s, Bigfoot and mermaids? As usual, I have a theory. Hold on, we’re going to get deep. Basically, I think people want to belong and be connected to something beyond their ordinary existence. The idea that something otherworldly could exist helps people believe that there’s more to life than working, sleeping, shopping(?) and eating.  The thought of a real mermaid causes us to consider timeless questions. Be patient while people in this video answer the easy questions, then watch their responses to the interviewer’s third question: 

I hope the video didn’t bring you down. The life’s purpose question caught everyone off-guard and their responses made me sad.  Did you feel the emptiness? No wonder we’re drawn to stories about mermaids! Let’s skip the obvious question about your life’s purpose. Consider a different one: Why do we struggle to answer the what’s-your-purpose question?      

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Two-Ply or Not 2Ply?

Whether driving across country on vacation or whizzing around town for chores, we quickly notice atypical license plates. While some plates shout a clear message, others knock our brains into overload with a slew of seemingly meaningless numbers and letters. Do you think vanity plate owners care if we misinterpret the names and messages displayed on their fancy plates? One wrong interpretation could cause a lot of strange looks.

For instance, earlier this week I noticed a license plate that read: I lik 2ply. Really? How surprising that someone enjoys bathroom tissue enough to publicize it on a license plate. Sure, we all have opinions and preferences regarding brands and softness, but who wants to bring it into a public forum? I mean, besides me.  So, after pointing out the license plate to my mother, she read it aloud, “I like to play” (kudos to her because she kept a straight face). Oh. I got it. “I lik 2ply” meant “I like to play!”  Hmmm, maybe the owner of that plate is a wonderful musician or a great athlete who likes to broadcast their talent to the world, or perhaps they simply see themselves as a big, fun-loving person. I always want to hear the story behind a good vanity plate but, after seeing this video, maybe I’m better off not knowing.

Here’s your chance. If you could create your own vanity plate using seven letters, what meaningful name or message would you want fellow drivers to read?              

Friday, May 11, 2012

Animals Do It, Can We?

Almost weekly the news features invasion stories about how wild animals creep into our neighborhoods to hunt for food, explore backyards and renegotiate territory. Several years ago,  I saw two baby foxes on their hind legs pawing at one another and frolicking in our yard as if they were on the prairie. I felt like a ranger in a National Geographic episode. And that’s not all. Every so often, a small herd of deer race through our yard as if they’re being chased by lions, sometimes they pause for a snack. I admit that seeing them is a special treat, especially the young ones. 

As residential and commercial development continues to encroach upon our wooded areas, we’ll see wild life show up more often. Bears, rabbits, turkeys, foxes and Sasquatch (just seeing if you were paying attention) are invading our backyards, parks, towns and cities. Let’s take a peek at where the wild things are: 
I found it interesting that coyotes will stick with their mates for a decade. Nowadays, as people move to find employment or care for elderly relatives and relocate for military assignments or to go to college, coyotes have better opportunities to maintain long-term relationships than we do. Have you kept in touch a non-family member for ten years or more? If so, what’s the secret to staying connected?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Those Special Eyes

When’s the last time you had a thorough eye examination? I’m referring to the exams where the eye drops dilate your pupils causing you to cower from the sun like a vampire. During my recent eye exam, I heard about the “yellow” drops and I thought that meant the medicine had a yellow color. It did. After I dabbed the liquid from the corner of my eye, I saw that the medicine was more than yellow—it was neon yellow. Moments later, waiting for the drops to work, I looked in the mirror and discovered that the white part of my eyeball had turned yellow, too. That’s when I saw the potential for a new product. Remember the contact lenses that changed the color of your pupils? Why hasn’t someone marketed a product to color the whites of your eyes? Young people and trendy fashionistas would love it.

Eyeball tattoos are not as foreign as they might sound. Several creative folks have already forged ahead and tattooed their friends’ eyeballs. Let’s take a look at their handiwork:

I’m back-pedaling. I thought people would love eye tattoos, but they’re far too risky to be a widely popular trend and the possibility of infection and blindness outweighs fashion. One comment from the inmate caught my attention: He might be one of four or five people in the world with eye tattoos. His statement sounds like a yearning for uniqueness. News flash! We’re all special and unique; unfortunately, too few people realize it. 

Given all of the things that make you unique, what’s the one thing that makes you feel extra-special?