Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Missing Manual: What to Do (Life)

If Life came with an Owner's Manual, all the pages would be blank.

That comes as a bit of problem when you hit a crossroads and you just have no clue as to which path might be the right one, the more correct path, and the one that leads to a spike-filled pit. Besides being devoid of text, Life: The Owner's Manual also lacks proper maps. And really, I'd settle for a simple contour map, something I can point to and say to myself, "Here, this is the high point then there's a bit of a valley then a bit of a plateau..." and plan things around those highs and lows and in-between parts.

But because the pages are empty, you never know if the path you're on is leading to a pointy demise or a fun Friday night with the ghosts of celebrities from the 1920's.

Clues can be found, of course -- a wagon with a broken axle or a bag of money or a fluffy pillow -- but one would have to observe and pay attention to such clues because maybe it's not too late to run back down the road you've travelled and try another path.

Life is no LucasArts adventure game, where I can wander in and out of conversations and situations with the knowledge that there's no way I can make a wrong move. Life is more like a Sierra adventure game, where I can miss some crucial step along the way and simply stop progressing or worse, die. (I'm looking at you Leisure Suit Larry II and your damn spinach dip!) Imagine if you were standing in line at the bank and because you forgot to go to the bathroom before getting in line your bladder explodes. Life is kind of like that: it makes no sense and you'll occasionally soil yourself.

So, anyway, Life is going to happen. It's immutable and forever pushing us forward (or pulling us, depending on your point of view) and if we don't make the choices, explore the forks, we simply get run over by Life's size 14 boots.

I don't even know what the hell I'm typing any more. All I can say, is that there are choices and you need to make them. Not making a choice is worse than making the wrong choice. And that the blank Owner's Manual gets filled in along the way with the past and present -- no matter how many pages you flip forward, they'll still be blank.

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