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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Endurance (03/22/04)

By James Snyder


Quandaries come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors. As someone who is somewhat of a connoisseur in this area, I can readily attest to this. However, many do not realize quandaries come in two categories.

First are those quandaries that come about through no fault of the person in said quandary. For all practical purposes (and those in a quandary are usually not practical), it is impossible to adequately prepare for such an event in life.

Second are self-imposed quandaries. This, unfortunately, is the area where I founder the most. To be perfectly honest, and I'm not suggesting that I'm perfect, I have created most of the havoc in my life.

Believe me, I would like to put the blame on someone other than myself in many of these situations, but, alas, I am to blame. What I am about to relate belongs to the first category.

I found myself in a quandary recently through no fault of myself. And yet, I'm not able to prove it. This is the most discouraging thing. I know it wasn't my fault but nobody will believe me.

Through the years, I have adopted a certain nocturnal procedure. When I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom I keep my eyes closed.

There is a simple reason for this.

One, I know exactly where I'm going, so I don't need to open my eyes.

Two, I don't want my body to know that I'm awake. I want to fool my body into believing I'm asleep.

I used to do what everybody else does. Get up, open my eyes and go to the bathroom. However, whenever I did, my body thought I was up for the night and try as I might, I could not convince my body to go back to sleep until I made one trip to the kitchen, and you know what that meant. Exactly . . . the refrigerator.

This kitchen appliance holds no appeal for me, but I do enjoy the contents. Moreover, my body knows this only too well. So, I devised a plan to outwit my body.

Some people would let their body dictate to them, but I am not of that breed. When I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I am careful not to open my eyes.

With this strategy, I am able to get up, go to the bathroom and return without my body being aware of what is going on. My plan worked quite well without a quandary in sight for years, until one night recently.

About 2:37 a.m., according to the digital clock by my bedside, the urge to go the bathroom came upon me like a roaring lion. Being careful not to arouse my body I slinked out of bed, wary to keep both eyes closed.

Everything chugged along quite well and then, all of a sudden there was a resounding "Whack," a flash of blinding light and a twinge that danced from my right eye all the way down to the soles of my feet, only to return.

Quickly following this, a loud squawk emitted from my mouth. All this commotion completely aroused my body to a state of full awakeness. By this time, my body, my wife and me were wide-awake.

As it turned out, someone, and I'm not mentioning any names, left the bathroom door open. It opens into our bedroom and I had run smack, dab into it. The result was a black eye to beat all black eyes.

There are worse things in this world than running into a door - like explaining to your devoted public how you got that black eye.

While my right eye was throbbing, I never gave any thought to how I would explain it. However, it was a quandary and it wasn't of my doing.

"How did you get that black eye?" a friend asked me the next day. It was a perfectly innocent question so I cheerfully (if you can be cheerful with a black eye) said, "I ran into a door last night."

I thought this would be the end of the matter. Boy was I in for a shock.

"Sure, you did," my friend replied sarcastically. Then he winked. I soon realized I was in for some trouble. You can only do so much to hide a black eye.

Another friend: "What happened to your eye? You talk back to your wife or something?" This is usually followed by that insidious laugh, "Tee, hee, hee."

Why is it that when a person gets a black eye from running into a door nobody believes him? After all, I'm not in the habit of telling outright lies.

I may exaggerate or rearrange the facts, but I never would outright lie about anything. Especially if related to my wife.

While feeling a little blue over my black eye, I discovered something in my Bible. David knew of quandaries and wrote many Psalms celebrating this fact of life.

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me." (Psalms 138:7 KJV.)

It is inevitable that quandaries will come. Some from out of the blue and some of my own creation. The comforting truth is, God will always "revive me" in His own special way.

Member Comments
Member Date
Dori Knight03/29/04
very entertaining, james - good job! i also walk around with my eyes closed, except i do it all day. beats housework. thanks for this! blessings!
Donna Anderson03/30/04
So, do you open your eyes now or just make sure the door's closed before you go to bed? lol This is way too funny :) thanks for the laugh - I needed it!
Linda Germain 03/31/04
If I kept my eyes closed, I might step on the cat, and then there would be more than a black eye to explain! Good analogy. The lesson to me is: if you walk around with your eyes shut, you may run into something that could hurt you!Thanks for sharing your pain. :0)
Leticia Caroccio03/31/04
This cracked me up. It was very entertaining. I really enjoy reading articles that mix truth with humor and that reflects many aspects of my own life that I can identify with. Your title was awesome. It drew my interest enough to want to read it. Great job. Thank you.
Corinne Smelker 03/31/04
I am so glad to see you enter this contest - let the games begin!!
Melanie Kerr 03/31/04
I thought i was the only one who did that. I know how important it is not to let the body wake up! I haven't walked into anything yet.
Lynne Cox04/01/04
Ha! I got a kick out of this, I love humor even though I can't write a stitch of it.
Anthony David04/02/04
A good read indeed!
Kenny Paul Clarkson04/02/04
Good eye opener
Christine Rhee04/03/04
I really like your style, James. Well done!
Kenny Paul Clarkson04/04/04
Dave Wagner04/04/04
Once the story gets going, it is flat out terrific. I would trim about 90% of the text up to where you begin to describe your quandry, since most of it is either unnecessary or redundant. Also, the end feels a bit forced - trying to apply that particular scripture to fit the story...

But the tale itself is priceless:

>> Two, I don't want my body to know that I'm awake. I want to fool my body into believing I'm asleep.<<

That is an absolute gem. I laughed and shook my head at that one. That kind of thinking always strikes me as genius for some reason. I don't know why.

>> This kitchen appliance holds no appeal for me, but I do enjoy the contents.<<

That line is worth the price of admission. What a terrific line.

I love your style, once you get going. I'm gonna go see if you have anything else submitted.

Great post.