Years ago, after seeing the video of the exploding whale for the first time, I was given a book written by the reporter who gained television news fame by covering this infamous story.
If you are unfamiliar, dead whale washes ashore on the Oregon coast. Locals have no idea how to get rid of this rotting carcass that is smelling up the beach. One of the state agencies decides to blow it up in hopes the small pieces will be carried away and eaten by seagulls. No it does not go to plan. In the end, they bury it.
The book had throughout his other stories a good account of how that all played out – the decision of going with explosives to rid themselves of the whale problem. It wasn’t an easy decision or their only consideration for a solution. It went beyond the video to show how the truly intelligent people came to the decision this was the right solution for their dead whale problem.
I often watch the video when I need reassurance about how things are going – when problems seem much bigger or solutions don’t seem to work. Instead of dwelling on what didn’t work, I instead think “at least I didn’t blow up a whale” – cause the guy, who made that suggestion, well, he’s got problems. He’s forever known as the guy who blew up a whale…..and when cameras were rolling too.
I think it’s always good having things that give you perspective of the situation. Things that make you realize you could have much more complicated and difficult problems.
And yeah, you could go straight to “at least I don’t have cancer” but why say that? I mean, yeah, ya don’t. But do you really want to throw Fate the finger by saying that outloud. Because then Fate will go, “oh yeah, now let’s see what you think now!” And then you’ll have the issue you are dealing with, and cancer – and you’ll be like “WTF?!? Why did that happen to me?” and Fate will be over there shaking his head going, “you should never fuck with me, I got powers that I’m not afraid to use if you don’t respect me in public.”
Sure a friend of mine would call it “manifesting what you didn’t intend” but I like the Fate image better.
My point – and I do have one – is that sometimes, something will happen in your life that is so incredible absurd it is almost like the universe is giving you some perspective – in an instant.
Case in point (not case and point):
This was mine:
We won’t ask how she got up there – my crazy Maggie dog. Sure the speculation is way too absurd and crazy itself. But here is the larger question?
How do I get her down?
So while my oldest is videotaping it in between hysterical laughter – and my youngest is exclaiming “How is she up there?” over and over again as though somehow a magical answer would appear – I, I was standing there dumbfounded trying to answer my own question of “how do I get her down”??
While knowing how she got up there would have maybe helped us get her back down safely, that roof has very little safety with it. It’s at an insane pitch so I’m just happy she didn’t slide off the roof walking around on it. All I knew was that somehow I needed to get, by myself, an 80lb puppy off of the roof. Preferably without killing myself or her in the process.
I stood there at a loss. And realizing that the stupid projects at work? Not so bad. Sure they don’t move fast or the way I want them, but at least I’m not trying to get a dog off the roof. That annoying conversation I continually having with an acquaintance? At least it’s easier than getting a pitbull puppy off the roof. The tax analyst that I could kill with one toss of my coffee mug to her head? Still easier – but a close second.
Perspective is good.
And sure, I could have gotten angry and frustrated and all about the fact that this is happening to me at a time when I didn’t have adult help. But, the fucking dog is on the roof! How can you do anything but laugh between those moments of being dumbfound?!
In the end (despite us discouraging her), Maggie simply jumped down, banged her chin good on the deck, then came running to us with her goofy pitbull grin like ‘didya see what I did??’.
And I guess that was the final lesson in all of this: sometimes we think we must solve something that isn’t ours to solve – sometimes we have to wait for the person to take action. And like with Maggie, all we can do is keep vigil until either she figured it out or we came up with a magical solution. Because sometimes, the solution comes at the right time – which may not be your time.
I should mention that we do think we figured out the “how did she get up there” question. There really is only one option – and the kids in their haste didn’t notice that one window was open. But still, she has skills climbers would wish they had given the fact she didn’t fall.
As for Maggie, the crazy dog is fine. Little bump on the chin – but still running and jumping and doing her usual crazy antics. I guess we can add “part cat” to her list of other breeds she is part. Right now, she is part pitbull and kangaroo – but yeah, part cat isn’t too far off now.
And lastly, yes, steps are being taken to prevent this from happening again. I do not recommend or advocate this kind of perspective getting in this method.