Throwback Thursday: Mostly harmless 1

Going through our archives, we came across this great post by Dr. AnnMaria De Mars from December 8, 2016 “Mostly harmless” that we wanted to share in case you missed it the first time around.

I often think we admire the wrong traits in people. On the long (three hour!) drive from Fort Totten to Minot in the snow, my mind had a lot of time to wander, when I wasn’t concentrated on staying on the highway I could barely see under the ground flurries.

Ground flurries, for those of you lucky enough to spend all of your life in non-snowy places like Southern California, Honduras or Australia (does it ever snow in Australia? Quick! Somebody let me know!) Ahem, ground flurries happen when it is not actually snowing from the sky any more but there is a whole lot of snow on the ground and wind that blows the snow around so you have snow flurries anyway. If it blows the snow into a mound, that’s called a snow drift, and the highway had those, too.

I digress. I was going to talk about a couple of people I like who crossed my mind in my wanderings. I like both of these guys and since I call everyone who shall remain nameless Bob, let’s call them Bob1 and Bob2.

Bob1 is somewhat successful in the entertainment business and every time I talk to him, he is telling me a story about some famous person he has been with or some other famous person he knows. Some of my more judgmental relatives (you know who you are!) might call Bob1 a name dropper and might not like him. He IS a name dropper in the sense that he always wants to make sure you know that he knows Mr. Famous who won three Oscars, a Grammy and a megaphone.

However, Bob1’s stories are actually pretty interesting and always true. They’re about how he and M. Famous were doing this movie in Thailand and they decided to go to ride elephants and since Bob1 had been a gymnast in college and so was Famous, after a few shots they were doing handstands on the elephant. Okay, I totally made that one up, but you get the idea and Bob1 could definitely do a handstand on the back of an elephant after three shots of Jameson, which is one thing I like about him.

The thing I like most about Bob1 is that he is not only amusing but he is completely harmless. Most people think of that as not a particularly complimentary term, but I mean it that way. I’ve never known him to say a false thing about anyone, to do a single mean thing. He isn’t rude to waiters, doesn’t kick dogs, wouldn’t take advantage of you in a business deal and would feed your cat while you were out of town. Can you honestly say that you’ve never hurt anyone? If so, you are a better person than me.

Bob2 is very similar. Also very rich. Every time I talk to him, he is telling me how much money he has and about the new thing he just bought. For some reason, I find this hilarious. I know he does this to impress people and, again, some people might think he’s kind of a jerk for that, but again, he’s harmless. I AM interested sometimes in the new Lamborghini or Van Gogh or whatever he has bought himself. Not in a “oh, you are so awesome, I wish I was you” but honestly, like, “Oh, so that’s what that looks like. ” Or, “So, that’s where you would go to buy a customized genetically modified Christmas tree shaped in your own self-image.” Bob2 made his money the old fashioned way, by working, and if he wants to spend it on the world’s largest ball of string, he’s not hurting anyone.

Before you jump to conclusions and say, “They’re not helping anyone, either” I would disagree with you. First of all, you don’t know that and secondly, you’re wrong. They do help people in various ways, sometimes a lot. That’s not the only reason I like them, though. Plenty of people who give to charity or help out their friends are awful human beings who made their money on things like predatory loans to poor people on whom they then foreclosed and sold their homes for pennies on the dollar, or as lawyers defending those practices.

What I find funny is if you asked Bob1 why I liked him, one of the reasons he tells you might be all the famous people he knows. Not only do I not care but I don’t know the difference between a Grammy and and Oscar and I don’t think a megaphone is an award but I don’t care. I’d be just as interested in his stories if he was hand-standing on elephants with my neighbor, Shannon, next door. If you asked Bob2 why I liked him he would immediately tell you it’s because he’s rich followed by a summary of how much money is in each of his investment funds and bank accounts. The truth is that one of the things I like about both of them is that they are harmless and I think that is a good thing.

And if you recognize yourself here, please don’t stop working into the conversation every time you see me, “You know, I’m really rich” because I find it hysterical.  


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One thought on “Throwback Thursday: Mostly harmless

  • Michael ripple

    so this is the sort of drivel that occupies your head space when you are driving?
    …not the hotly debatable origin of species, quantum realities, or even human behavioral tendencies driven for eons by the fantasy that is organized religion???
    PHd, huh?