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lawyer

Filed Under , on April 29th, 2017

Dandy

By Seth Kabala

I’m becoming a Dandy.

You know what I mean? Those dignified, fancy dressed types from the early 20th century, Brylcreem in their hair, moustaches waxed to curled perfection that would make the builders of Santa’s sleigh proud. I feel this way not because I’m rich, but because I’m lazy–cautiously lazy.

Amy and I were walking to Target. It’s a mile-and-a-half from our house, far enough for a decent bump in heart rate, but not so far that I feel a renewed kindling of my desire and ability to become an Olympic curling champion. You walk from our house, down the side of a two-lane road for a couple blocks, avoid the idiots crossing the double yellow line and swerving around cars, transition to bike bath, then transition to sidewalk.

Before this last transition, you can choose to dash across the road to take a nature trail, which will shorten the trip and wind through some manufactured wilderness next to luxury apartments and man-made lakes (the professional’s alibi for avoiding real hiking. But I have trails right out my front door!).

Skipping the first road dash, however, doesn’t exempt you from the second Oh-my-God-I’m-going-to-die! experience of crossing the road, and this second crossing is assisted with a crosswalk, which seems to function more as target practice than a pedestrian safety measure. Being the cautious folks that we are, we opted for the second crossing.

A few blocks later, you have a second chance to shorten your journey and join the nature trail by hopping a two-foot-high barrier, descending an embankment, stepping over a narrow stream, and following the trail the rest of the way to Target, or you can continue on the sidewalk, adding about 10 minutes to your journey (upping cardio, getting closer to that curling dream). Rather than take the chance of falling on my face in the stream (that probably couldn’t drown a flea), I decided to go the long way. Because I’m lazy? Yes. But there’s more to it than that.

I was protecting my dandified reputation. The trail was empty, but I knew that as soon as I fell face first into the stream, my entire network of professional contacts would round the bend and see me in my failed state, forever blackballing me from future opportunities.

This is the way I think: Well, Bob. He made it over the barrier and down the embankment, but he couldn’t handle the stream crossing. That says a lot about his ability to read a situation and succeed without looking like a jackass–without making us look like jackasses. The fact that he was on his weekend break says even more. Do we want to be business partners with someone who chooses the embankment over the sidewalk while on their way to Target? I think not.

What the fuck?

Honestly, these are the kinds of irrational thoughts that go through my head. I know they’re stupid. I know there’s slim to no chance (and slim’s out of town. Thank you, Virgil Flowers) that my Sunday morning walk to Target, whatever route I choose, will affect the course of my professional ambitions, but those thoughts remain.

What to do about this? Find a new way to interpret my avoidance of these minor obstacles, of course.

Barrier–People without sufficient training have been known to injure their genitals while leaping across tall, skinny barriers. Therefore, by avoiding this obstacle, I am ensuring the reproductive capacities of future Kabala generations.

Embankment–People without sufficient training have been known to have heart attacks while traversing steep terrain, whether up or down. Therefore, while avoiding this obstacle, I am doing my part to keep down insurance premiums for my employer. You’re welcome.

Stream–People without sufficient training have been known to drown in as much as an inch of water. Pay no attention to the fact that these insufficiently trained people are typically babies left unattended in tubs. The fact remains–I am showing good life sense, doing everything I can to stay the fuck alive. Water hazards be damned.

All of this proves me to be a cautious, measured, and strategic decision maker. If it takes Brylcreem, mustache wax, and avoiding seemingly innocuous obstacles in order to stay alive, call me a dandified, lazy sonofabitch any day.

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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, musician, family man, and juggler of balls--big ones. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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