"What do you mean you don't have dry erase boards?" I bark at the elderly woman sitting behind the Customer Service counter at Home Depot. "I can buy a cement mixer, hot dogs and a heart-shaped toilet seat but a glossy plastic covered piece of fiber board is beyond the scope of Home Depot? I mean the building only covers the same ground area as an international airport. In fact, between the plants and the fountains, this place probably functions as its own eco-system, but where on Planet Depot would you find room to fit something practical?"
Contained within: the magic of overcoming writer's block.I am answered with the empty stare of bewilderment. This poor woman after 80 years of bare knuckle boxing her way through life, two world wars, The Great Depression, disco, Pearl Harbor the event and Pearl Harbor the movie, has now resigned herself to a bright orange smock and a name tag because she needs the health insurance to cover her litany of chronic illnesses trying to fuck her out of seeing the first black president lose a general election. And now she has me to contend with, badgering her about an item no one really needs unless they're giving a lecture on thermodynamics or using it as a prop in a movie about someone giving a lecture on thermodynamics.
Google is especially dangerous because it blankets you in the illusion of productivity. You are on a quest for information and information is power! I am searching for a dry erase board because I have writer's block. And through the flawless prism of logic that I have constructed, a dry erase board will obviously assist me in constructing hysterical yet thought-provoking narratives. How, you ask? Because I can pace around my apartment wearing a button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, squeakily scribbling anecdotes and synonyms for penis in black marker, stare at the startling data I have produced, place my thumb and pointer finger against my chin, tilt my head slightly, then "Eureka!" I will circle the pertinent scribbles, step back and smile in ungodly awe of my accomplishment—I just wrote Catcher in the Rye II.
But realistically, I don't suffer from writer's block for two reasons. One, writer's block is a term attributed to serious authors, not a term used for someone who scribes columns on the exploits of Lindsey Lohan. "She does coke and she's crazy." Wow, that's so ambitious of you, Bill. Shitting on a former child star with mental health issues and kicking her while she's down is so avant garde, you truly wield your pen like a sickle hacking its way through the swaths of nonsense to reveal the low lying sprouts of truth. Oh, that's right, I just remembered, that's not writing, it's called being an asshole. I always confuse the two. And reason two, because I can write if I want—I don't have writer's block, I have writer's distraction. Most of my blame falls squarely on the Internet.
Distraction #1: Facebook.
If you are trying to be productive, Facebook will surreptitiously tip-toe into your room and softly press a pillow over the face of productivity and smother it to death. Do you log in to Facebook anymore? Do you even need to use a password? If not, then you are like me—a broken human, continually plugged in. You have now fully integrated with the social network. You are a fucking appendage of your Facebook status update: "Bill Dixon is the slave drive breathing machine attached to a newsfeed….also, go Eagles lol! wtf ! look at me please!! Validate this banal existence fml khasf?!"
Distraction #2: Google.
Google is especially dangerous because it blankets you in the illusion of productivity. You say to yourself that you are on a quest for information and information is power! You start telling yourself you are looking for a chili recipe or a news story about the midterm election and 12 hours later you find yourself dehydrated, shaking, and concluding a 300-page Wikipedia entry about monarch butterflies. Another day wasted…but did you know the monarch butterfly is believed to have reached some of the islands it has colonized by hanging on to the riggings of ships?
Distraction #3: Everything Else on The Internet.
YouTube, Chat, eBay, blogs, podcasts, etc. All of these things distract from a well-lived life. You can go on YouTube and literally not enjoy anything you watch for six hours but continue to search anyway. You can have a chat conversation with an old friend that takes three hours to type, yet fail to comprehend that the same conversation uttered in our native tongue would take three minutes. Ebay is a great way to not only blow a day but $500 as well. No, you don't need a collection of soup spoons used in the Roosevelt Room of the White House during the first Bush Administration… but throw in the linens and you might have yourself a deal.
So, you are reading this right now, which means I have at least temporarily evaded distraction, pushing myself above the tidal wave of extraneous bullshit to take one giant gulp of air before submerging into the sea of Lady Gaga and cat videos and non-descript photos of mishaps with "fail" printed in power font across the bottom; I still have only a vague understanding of what that means but if you spend more than 30 seconds looking at it, someone should stamp "fail" on your forehead.
So I have written this, and you are reading it. Oh no…you have gotten lost on your path to getting directions to Red Lobster. You have been trying to update your resume for weeks now, for fuck's sakes; I can't help you with that! Snap out of it, can you hear me! Run as fast as you can, shut this thing off and throw it through your window and scream at the top of your lungs, "I'm bored as hell and I won't take it anymore!"
But before you hurl your MacBook, shattering the glass prison that enslaves you, into the infinite opportunity that awaits outside your apartment, friend me on Facebook and click on a few banner ads! I love Chase Bank, did you know you can deposit checks using your iPhone! Wow!
If I were you, I'd consider investing in a dry erase board.