May 26, 2004

I have discovered the source of all my problems:

Thinkers Anonymous

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then -- to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought led to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker. I began to think alone -- "to relax," I told myself -- but I knew it wasn't true.

Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.

That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't mix, but I couldn't stop myself. I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it exactly we are doing here?"

One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job."

That gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I confessed,"I've been thinking..." "I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking, we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.

She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama.

"I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot with NPR on the radio and ran up to the big glass doors... They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night.

As I sank to the ground, clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinkers Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a TA meeting.

At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.

Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.

Posted by Tim at May 26, 2004 08:50 PM

didn't we sign a no thinking agreement when we entered RUC?

Posted by: Stewie at May 27, 2004 12:18 PM

If by thinking you mean disco dancing than yes. And by thinking I mean disco dancing.

Posted by: Tim van Alstyne at May 27, 2004 04:51 PM

This seems familiar. Have you posted this before?

Posted by: Tuning Spork at May 31, 2004 07:29 PM

I did a search on a couple words in the post and nothing else came up. Maybe I linked to it sometime in the past though. I wouldn't put it past me.

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