The Norman Transcript

September 20, 2013

Stop. Don’t sit on that


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — There are times when we have to wonder about “them.” They, of course, are always people other than us.

Is it possible that a large portion of the human inhabitants of this planet are walking around with empty craniums? If that is the case, then that vacant space is wasted and ought to be put to good use, such as storage for knickknacks. On the plus side, an empty cranium means that folks who are predisposed to engaging in frequent vehicular encounters of the crunchy kind will not suffer concussions, brain damage, and other brain-related injuries.

But if, in fact, everyone’s skull does contain a blob of gray matter, then we have to wonder why said gray matter is not put to use more often. As a matter of fact, such periodic stimulation of the gray matter could be considered beneficial accidents.

Mind you, this discussion has nothing to do with those so-called “blonde moments,” but rather the increasing condition we will refer to as “relaxed brain syndrome.” This is a condition experienced by those who engage the brain just enough to get by and not enough to overtax themselves. From time to time, they may use that soft blob of gray matter as a seat cushion.

How else can we explain lapses in reason and correctable errors? Surprisingly, those afflicted with relaxed brain syndrome belong to no particular social class, gender, or occupation. They simply allowed their gray matter to become flabby and smooth. Is it possible that their brains are simply incapable of doing any heavy mental lifting? Probably not, but they must be willing to try.

Let’s look at a few examples of relaxed brain syndrome.

A friend planned to make a pasta salad for dinner and purchased a box of Trio Italian pasta — a mixture of green, orange and white pasta. To simplify matters, there was a recipe for “Mediterranean Veggie Salad” on the box. Her frown of confusion became increasingly pronounced as she read the ingredients for the veggie salad, which included salami. Exactly what kind of vegetable is salami supposed to be? Is it a root or does it grow on trees? If it is a tree, I want one for the backyard.

The pasta is produced by a well-known and successful company. In light of the mistake on the box, you could conclude that the company bottom line was more important than the image of sloppiness this exemplified. Probably not how the company wants to be perceived.

One explanation for the relaxed brain syndrome is that people become lazy and take the easiest route. Correct spelling is one of the casualties of this ailment. Some people blame Twitter, Facebook, and texting for the inability of a significant portion of the population to spell correctly and to form coherent and complete sentences. Today, misspelled words are multiplying like mosquitoes in a stagnant pond. Even businesses make blatant spelling errors. Guess they never heard of Spell Check.

If you think it is easier to write short-brained (I mean shorthand), the answer my friend is not so much. Consider the poor grandparent who is trying to send a text to his or her grandson and can’t remember the “easy” acronyms. That poor text may never go out in its short-form or otherwise.

Finally, on a well-travelled highway to Houston, there is a restaurant which advertises itself as a fabric free establishment. And why is “Wispers” noteworthy, you ask? They misspelled the name of the establishment, of course.

Some people have equilibrium issues when their allergies act up. As the woman stood near her desk leaning on the back of her chair, her boss asked, “What’s the matter?”

“I’m very dizzy,” she replied,

“Well, sit down.”

Great idea. Why didn’t she think of that? Perhaps she sat on her brain again.

Brains are awesome, use them.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on amazon.com. Visit her website, www.elizabethcowan.com.