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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: My Life as an Idiot Savant
By Marilee Alvey


Deep in the Heartland lies a sleepy little community that has been taken hostage on a roller coaster ride called, “The 21st Century.” Word meanings like “surfing” and “net” have mutated quicker than Brittainy’s hair, as many confused residents have done their best to simply cling to the spinning orb we call Earth. Case in point: one Judy Smith, a slightly arthritic, somewhat hefty, frequently bewildered female. Her spices are not in order. Her bills are paid in the order they fly off her lazy susan. She leaves notes around the house with important phone numbers on them but forgets to put a name with them. Judy Smith is a 56 year old, card carrying resident of the State of Confusion.

Yep, that’s me. For as long as I can remember, I have paused outside elevators, not knowing which button to press. Do I press ‘up’ because that’s where I want to go? Or do I press ‘down’ because that’s where I am? I hesitate to share this with you for two reasons: first, because, obviously, you’ll take me for a moronic simpleton and, second, because my daughter, a Summa Cum Laude, has told me that she wished I’d never told her that because, now, she will forever share in that moment of confusion. Now, you, too, can join us as we proudly stand…longer than necessary…...in front of the elevator doors.

How do those big airplanes stay in the air with thousands of pounds of fuel and so many passengers? I’ve watched the early videos with their comical attempts at flight. How can it now seem so effortless?

Why do hot foods get cold and cold foods get hot? Cold coffee is no good and hot ice tea is awful….unless you ice the cold coffee or heat the hot iced tea. Confused? Please join me in my world.

The health industry told us that butter was bad, but margarine was good. Now they inform us that butter is better because it has no trans fats. We were told that meat was a good source of iron and, as such, was very good for us. Now, the industry tells us to limit red meats. At one time, they said that potatoes and pasta were very filling, healthy food choices. Now they say that white potatoes and pasta aren’t healthy and could lead to a problem with triglycerides and possibly diabetes. The food pyramid seems to have undergone an earthquake! Every evening some newscaster comes on the screen with a grave warning: “Those health foods you are eating may be poisoning you. Which ones? Details at ten.” So, what’s for dinner while I wait?

Remember when we thought that we could buy a package of organic spinach without fear? Not so, anymore. I went to the grocery store the other day and couldn’t find ginger root. When I asked a clerk, he told me they’d been recalled. A dried up root?

Just last week we learned that many toys made by the big toymakers have lead in them. After all these years, we thought we were okay if we just kept our kids away from chewing on old homes that may have at one time been painted with lead based paints. Not anymore. Now, every rattle, every Dora, every Fisher-Price or Mattel toy must be considered suspect. I hear that bathtub ducks are particularly dangerous. The folks in TV land were actually suggesting that parents get a test kit and rub a Q-tip soaked in a special liquid on each toy to test it for lead. Yeah, right. Like that’s gonna happen. Just yesterday I saw a video about those Chinese manufacturing plants. Every worker had to wear a shower cap over their hair to prevent their hair from falling into the toys. Like that’s their biggest problem.

Why do the health insurance companies only want to assure your health if you’re healthy? There are two kinds of people: people who are sick and people who will be sick. We’re all gonna die.

I may seem like an idiot, but I’m smart enough to know this: there is Someone who has all the answers…..and I know Him….personally. Instead of being lost in the daily confusion I can allow it to remind me of how big my God is and how I need Him. God insures me. He covers me…and, in the end, he recalls me….to be with Him, so let the world spin. I rest in Him.

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This article has been read 912 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 08/23/07
You sound like me — especially the elevator thing! Hilarious. Also sad, but so true. Good work.
Kristen Hester08/23/07
Oh, this is a great read. I enjoyed the converational tone. Fun.
Jacquelyn Horne08/23/07
A lot of truth here. Especially the ending.
Joanne Sher 08/24/07
What a great, delightful read! So much truth here - and I loved the end!
Dianne Janak08/24/07
THIS was POWERFUL! I love it when the truth is presented in such a humble, humorous, and simple way and yet with such depth, profundity, and relatedness. I related to each and every thought, except it is not elevators where I freeze. I freeze at escalators. Fear of my foot lodging somehow in the movement, and causing a painful and embarrassing scene. Great last two paragraphs... and kept me interested.. BRAVO!!!!!!!!! a winner for me... gonna save this one...
Dee Yoder 08/24/07
You set the pace for a humorous look at life and you kept it up all the way through! The points you make are so obviously confusing, it's no wonder Americans don't know which end is up anymore. I like the direction you steered us in at the end, also.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/25/07
Your ending, after all the ironic humor, is fabulous!
Laurie Walker08/26/07
I'm with you every step of the way! May I join you in the State of Confusion? Maybe we can have a party.

I thought this was fantasmic!