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Painting that spot behind the toilet


Tags Media and CulturePhilosophy and Methodology


Sometimes it takes the odd event to allow two unrelated thoughts to become synthesis. Last night, as I sat watching the TV show "24" for the first and last time, spontaneous synthesis occurred.

As the "24" president and Jack - the main character - engaged in a desperate phone call, the president casually noted the destructive perimeter of the exact amount of the explosive C-4 that Jack claimed to be holding. It was then I realized that those who rise to the office of president are truly omniscient.

Not only is this president an expert on explosives, he is a political genius and strategist, and a real life walking wiki; the Renaissance Man on steroids. The modern president, as the now-popular myth goes, is the brain capable of keeping the bloated bureaucracy that is government from certain chaos; he sees all and knows all. That's why we sleep soundly. 

Thesis: I had recently received an eight-by-six color photo of Emperor GWB thanking me for my "steadfast support." GWB also noted that "(w)orking together we are building a better, stronger, safer America." Now I try to be a good husband, father, and employee, but I never considered my actions vital to this nation. What exactly had I done to deserve such an honor?

Antithesis: Not too long ago, I painted the kid's bathroom in my house. You know that spot behind the toilet, right in the center of the tank; the spot that is seemingly out of reach, no matter the angle or length of brush? Well, I painted it. Yes, even though no one else would ever look back there, I took the time to apply a coat of new paint. I had been good. Yet, in the back of my mind, I wondered if anyone would ever notice.

Synthesis: Just like Santa and the president on "24", GWB obviously knows who's been good and who's been bad. And, I had been good; hence my reward.

All good and well, yet there is a nagging thought that I had been played; conned by GWB. Maybe he doesn't consider me his essential teammate; my doubt being the product of the note and envelope that came along with the photo. This troublesome note said I could use the envelope to acknowledge receipt of my honorary photo by including a generous check; suggested amounts thoughtfully included.

Was I the dedicated patriot, or simply a potential campaign donor? I decided not to allow my thoughts to wander there. I had painted the spot behind the toilet, which alone is worthy of honor from the president. Isn't it?

Jim Fedako, a business analyst and homeschooling father of seven, lives in the wilds of suburban Columbus. Send him mail.

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