The Meaning of 42

little Toy Trio

I get goofy ideas for blog posts when I am reading other blog posts, when I am reading books, and when I am letting television suck the smart out of my brain cells.  I was first inspired by reading this blog post from In My Cluttered Attic.  He was talking about why he chooses to blog in the face of a plethora of common-sense reasons not to.  “Good idea for my own blog post!” said the insane voice that inhabits the dark space behind my mind’s own creative filing cabinet #42 in the second dungeon under my memory.  I immediately filed the idea away in that cabinet because the cabinet was close at the time and I might never find it again later.  Then I leaped to a post by The Off Key of Life in which I found a beautiful song beautifully sung that made me trip over another file cabinet that was behind the mechanical letter-sorting machine on the stairway landing to the sub-basement of the second dungeon.

Some old memories spilled out on the stone steps because I used to sing that song to my three babies when I rocked them to sleep twenty years ago, fifteen years ago, and thirteen years ago.  That song, and “When You Wish Upon a Star” from Disney’s Pinocchio.  Both of those songs are about one day finding the key to happiness… or possibly the key to understanding… but definitely about the search for the key.  I always believed that those songs would give my children sweet dreams… and I prayed that the songs would never become the source of nightmares.

And then I was watching Hulu, an episode of Arrow in which Oliver Queen must decide on the reason why he was doing the whole superhero-vigilante thing and risking his life constantly.  Unfortunately I didn’t find the file box that has superheroes in it that I was looking for in hallway leading to Area 51 in the upper dungeon.  But I knew the topic was going to be “Why I Blog”.  That settled, I began to write and paste in all sorts of random stuff.

“What is the meaning of 42?” you ask?  How clever of you to ask that!  In Douglas Adams’ seminal series of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books

the_hitchhikers_guide_to_the_galaxy 42 is revealed to be the answer to the ultimate question of Life, the Universe, and Everything.  Practically everything that he adds to that epic trilogy of five-or-so books is basically random.  And yet, it is not.  He is telling us about the apparent randomness of Life, the Universe, and Everything while carefully explaining how all this random madness that is Everything actually fits together in a very random-mad way.  There is a certain asymmetrical symmetry about it all that has a certain contradictory sort of beauty, if you get what I mean.  (A certain ugly beauty if you don’t get what I mean.)

So why do I blog?  Good question.  I don’t really have an answer to it.  I blog because my first publisher told me I had to do it to promote my book, Catch a Falling Star.  My book has netted me $28 so far, as long as I am not fool enough to start subtracting all the money I have spent trying to advertise and promote my book.  I’m not fool enough.  I stay out of that corridor in the maze of my complicated little mind.  I blog because I can share all the private drawings and poems and insane nonsense that fills the filing cabinets in my mind without paying a hefty psychiatrist’s fee.  Your underwear drawer needs to be aired out once in a while even if you do remember to wash your underwear.  And it is liberating to walk around figuratively naked in front of an audience that potentially includes little old church ladies, God, and everybody.  I blog because writing is something that I do, have always done, and will continue to do until they put my smelly corpse in a pine box and bury it under the garbage pile out back.  All that scribbling has to count for something sometime.  And maybe that sometime is now.  If you are one of those poor souls suffering from Serial-Mickey’s-Blog-Reading Disorder (a condition the CDC has taken to labeling SMBRD… not to be confused with small-bird flu), and you actually read the posts and look at all the random junk piled into those mad paragraphs, you may just accidentally stumble across that key we have all been searching for for eons… and unlike the majority of the world, you will be giggling insanely for a reason!

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Filed under humor, Paffooney, writing

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