Thoughts I Had While Digging a Hole

brian spaethI wrote this for you.

During either high school or college, my parents sent me to some kind of therapist/testing facility to figure out why I wasn’t trying, what I was supposed to do with my life, etc.

I don’t remember much about it except two things:

1) There were a series of factual type of questions, and when the testing woman asked me what the population of NYC was, I said 4,000 people.

Somehow I’d just frozen up on that question, and forgotten everything I knew about numbers.

If she’d asked if that should be something more like 4,000,000 or 400, either one could’ve seemed right.

That snowballed into immediate embarrassment, and I tried to cover by asking some unintentionally nonsensical question about whether she meant houses or apartments.

This particular query stuck in my mind, and I think in hers, particularly later when the IQ Testing probes literally exploded upon touching my skin.

2) A psych profile of sorts followed, and one of the first questions was what my greatest fear was.

In as mundane and matter-of-fact of a manner as possible, I answered “monsters”.

Had this woman been more astute, she could’ve finished my analysis right there with a big stamp that said, “LIKES TO GOOF OFF,” and a sub-stamp that said, “FUNNY, CREATIVE, HANDSOME, POTENTIAL DECEPTIVE MUSCULARITY CANDIDATE”.

Instead, she told me I needed to take this seriously, because my future was important, and worried parents, and etc.

Despite my charms, I was the type of jerky kid that was hesitant to embrace authority, and I asked how she would feel if a Frankenstein came barging through the door.

Before she could answer, I added that this was purely a hypothetical, and that if she didn’t at least admit she’d be scared of a real, live Frankenstein, I’d consider her one-part liar, two parts fraud, and refuse to continue the exercise(s).

I was thinking about all this yesterday as I dug a hole in the clearing of a public park.

My goal was to see how deep I could dig the hole before someone either asked me what I was doing, or a park official tried to stop me.

After some six hours and an equal number of feet deep, this older gentleman stopped and asked what I was doing.

I told him I was digging an hole – yes, I said it like that – and then he left. He did note that it looked like a hole, so it’s good to know I didn’t accidentally create a trench.

What does it all mean.

Probably nothing, but the sum result of that testing said I was supposed to be…an environmental engineer.

Whatever that lady and me did that day was right, and maybe I should’ve listened. Or not.

In any case, if you need a manmade lake or a pitching mound or something in your yard, I might have an innate ability to design that for you.

  • Well, I do have a molehill that I would like made into a mountain, which I suppose means that I will also end up with a lake, which would be quite alright by me, except that my next door neighbor is the head water guy for the state DNR and he might get all weird if a duck landed on it or a cattail sprung up and I wanted to put in a dock or one of those swimming platforms after that.

    But if you could come over and fix my molehill, I could knock off 2 things on my bucket list which are scuba diving and mountain climbing.

    Oh, and I don’t want to sound like too much of a skeptic, but are you actually afraid of Frankenstein? I mean, I know he was a mad scientist and created that horrible patchwork person and all, but I think that if you really got to know him……….

  • yep i am afraid of both dr frankenstein and his scary monster

  • Clowns Brian. What about clowns? Or what about the Easter Bunny at the mall? No one really knows what’s inside that fake fur. Probably a clown.

  • this was beautiful