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Essay: "Too Close for Comfort"

by John Hobbs
There have been several times in my life where events were considered unfavorable and to close for comfort. Like the time when I was 6 or 7 years old and my Grandma caught me with both hands in the fish bowl trying desperately to catch one of her guppies. When caught in the act and asked just what in tarnation did I think I was doing (still today I don't know what "Tarnation" is but apparently Grandma did) I replied in all, deer caught in headlights look, seriousness, "Washing my hands." To further my point I immediately began rubbing my hands together in a washing motion that was causing a small tsunami in the fish bowl. Of course, like Grandmas do, she pretended to be mad while trying not to smile but other wise let me make it. But to a kid that was to close for comfort because had my mom caught me, whooh wee, there would'a been hell to pay!

Several of my TO Close for Comforts have to do with nearly dying. Like the time, as a child, I ate a bottle of heart medication because I thought it was candy. Luckily my sister, a year older, wouldn't eat any when I offered to share and told our Grandma when I lost consciousness because of the sudden overdose. A few years later she saved me again from electrocution. This was back in the days when kids had toys that were heavy, durable, and sometimes required electricity to operate. My sister and I had such a toy (I don't remember what it was) but we couldn't play with it because our mom said we couldn't play with it in the front yard (where the electrical outlet was located) and had to play with it in the backyard (no outlet). This would discourage a lot of kids and perhaps bring on a crying fit. Not with me. I see it as an opportunity to be an electrician. After all, I had seen my dad wire up a lot of things by twisting wires together and applying black tape. I didn't have any black tape but there was miles of old wire and extension cords piled up by our garage, that was to be sold for its copper. I was halfway there. I pulled out pieces and twisted, tied, and wrapped ends together until I had a long extension cord that reached from the front yard to the back. The plug in was located on our patio which was wet from our water fight earlier in the day -- I was bare-footed. I think you know what happened next. When I plugged in my contraption the electricity hit me and knocked me down and I became tangled up in the wire. My sister came running and grabbed me to pull me away and got knocked on her butt. Being badly shocked is a strong deterrent not to grab a hold of something or someone again. But let me tell ya something, my sister was a hard headed, determined, little girl -- and she loved her brother. She got up and grabbed me again...and again...and again...each time she grabbed me she would get knocked down on her butt, but she kept coming back until she finally pulled me away -- and then went to get help. It took nearly three weeks for her hair to lay down and become somewhat manageable and still today when she has a bad hair day she blames it on me...that was a little to close for comfort for both of us, I think.

But what I find, above all else to close for comfort is men's briefs. You know -- the Speedo. Also known as butt huggers, Tarzans, crime fighters and Dun ta Duns. (SO named due to the music that accompanies a super hero when on the TV screen to save the day...Dun ta Dun!). There is something about the "confinement" of these that doesn't appeal to me...and there's a lot about the way I look at them that doesn't appeal to my girlfriend! And besides, let's be real. In my current environment (prison), Butt huggers are not the attire to be sportin' around!

So to me, the ol' Speedo is entirely too close for comfort!

- John Hobbs