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Things that were left undone


Fri, Mar 2nd, 2001
Posted in

Monday, March 5, 2001

I have reached that time of my life when I have done everything that I have ever wanted to do. Could this be the end of the line? Are there no new frontiers left? Will I drift aimlessly upon the sea of life? Could there be something that I have overlooked, something that I may have wanted to do at one time? Well, when I come to think of it, I have never climbed a mountain. Now let us suppose that I was dumb enough to climb a mountain; what would I do when I got to the top? I think that it is quite possible that my first concern would be how I was going to get back down. It is quite likely that the descent could be swifter than the ascent. I think that I will leave the mountain climbing to those that have nothing better to do with their time.

When I was very young, I used to dream of Kabul and Kandahar and joining the camel caravans passing through the mountains. Well, Kabul and Kandahar are located somewhere in Afghanistan and I have read that in Afghanistan, visitors sometimes get themselves shot. Why would I spend all of that time and money when I can stay home and get half shot for little or nothing?

I have never explored the Arctic and walked up to the North Pole and I can’t think of any good reason why I should do so. I have seen Polar Bears and Penguins in the zoo and it gets just as cold here at home as it does in the Arctic. I am afraid that if I should walk up to the North Pole, I should feel obligated to walk down to the South Pole. Let’s face it, right now I don’t feel up to walking out to the mail box.

I thought that I might enjoy the coral reefs off the coast of Australia. All that I would need, once that I got there, would be some Scuba diving gear. People who have visited those reefs tell me that they are a sight to behold and that I shouldn’t be overly concerned about the sharks. They said that most of the divers that have been attacked by sharks usually make it back to shore more often than not. They said that I would have just as good a chance of being struck by lightening as I would have of being nibbled on by a shark. I think that I will stay home and take my chances with a lightning bolt.

I have thought of traveling through space and enjoying the wonders of the Universe. I have thought of being cooped up with four or five people for months at a time without so much as a change of socks. I think that I shall enjoy the wonders of space travel and the Universe via the pages of The National Geographic.

When I was in France, I almost ate a dish of Tripe until I learned that it was made of a cow’s stomach. I also learned that the good people of Marseille are fond of Bouillabaisse which is made of fish heads, bones and trimmings. I didn’t go to Marseille. When I told a friend that I was considering a trip to Scotland, they told me that I might enjoy a Haggis or two. I thought they were referring to a brand of Scotch. They were not! I found out just in time that a Haggis is made up of chopped sheep’s heart and liver mixed with onions and oatmeal, stuffed into a sheep’s stomach and boiled to perfection. I have decided that if I want to eat ethnic foods, I’ll drive over to Ostrander and scarff down their Lutefisk. It couldn’t be any harder to stomach than the Haggis.

There are things that I have not done. But, like Doctor Frankenstein, I have learned that certain things are better left undone...

John Flaherty

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