by: Patrick Muldoon
I have read many stories and articles that state that if too many rats are forced to live in too little space they without exception begin to show extreme levels of stress, and anxiety that can cause them to begin murdering their young and becoming little lunatics. Our world has over 8 billion people.(I don’t know how many rats there are) When you consider the fact that less than 10 percent of our land is inhabitable , I think that we humans, like the rats are going to lose our minds.
Unfortunately in the USA it is becoming harder and harder to find a peaceful place away from the irritations of modern civilization, we are witness to every square foot of inhabitable land being developed or laid waste. We begin to feel increasing demands placed on our physical and mental abilities. We all suffer and need to escape. Those who have the money find places of solitude at an extreme premium.
The average family’s method of stress and anxiety relief is unquestionably insane. Why do we find ourselves slugging through the crowds of a hot sticky overpriced theme park seeking the much needed relaxation of a once a year vacation. This cure is most often worse than the disease and gives very little relief from the daily pressure of their lives. They fight the crowds, their ears suffer the noise, the parking is scarce and the motel rooms are uncomfortable accommodations. When you throw in a speeding ticket, constant backseat nagging of the children and the front seat nagging of a spouse . The blank faces playing video games, Text messages from work and an exhausting unrested sleep. A blitz of flashing lights, loud music, overpriced food and drink , very little privacy and sunburns and/or sand in your crotch.
We are become a nation of people hopped up on caffeine in the morning to handle a lack of sleep. We stress at work and many use anti-depressants, we use alcohol to relax and prescription drugs for sexual adequacy way too much. We feel pains in our minds that we can’t understand so we develop ticks to make them tolerable. Clinical depression affects so many and all of us at one time or another. We all struggle with an affliction through direct or indirect contact with afflicted family members.
I had an uncle, named Billy, he was a real piece of work. Like all my other uncles he was a jack of all trades and master of none, basically a chain smoking alcoholic.
One Saturday night he convinced my mother (his sister) to let him earn bus money to travel back home(about 200 miles)by painting the hall bathroom, now this was a 5 X 8 room, definitely a one gallon job.He left with my father at about 4pm to get the paint. They had not come back by 11pm when I went to bed.
I was up the next morning and went to the bathroom. I found a paint flecked shower curtain partially hiding 12 empty beer cans, the smell of cigarettes, alcohol and fresh paint was heavy in the air. I looked around only to find the tile walls smeared in places with a horrible green paint, the tiles were originally blue. The white toilet, now a green polka-dot a sink and mirror with paint roller marks on them. The sink top had a 2 inch burned cigarette mark on the soap holder and the sink held the used brushes and roller. The walls were half done as was the not to be painted white ceiling. I got off the commode and had paint on my rear from the toilet seat that I had lowered. The polka- dot toilet paper did not remove my butt paint but instead stuck to it.
My mom got up went in to the bathroom and shut the door. The sounds that arose from her throat as the full visage of painting horror were mixed with many colorful expletives. I peered through the crack of my door as she went back into her bedroom and slammed the door.
My mother chewed on my father’s ear for half an hour. Per her orders my father took me and my uncle to the Greyhound Bus station. Alonbg the way he was bragging how he had painted all of the houses in a sub-division we passed. I pointed out that the paint was peeling . My father bought a bus ticket for him. Billy had a big missing teeth grin as he said to us “I did such a great job she’s paying my way back home. I knew she would love it”.
You see Uncle Billy was insane and dealt with it by the fulltime use of alcohol and his denial of being incompetent.