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Tom Hyland

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By Tom Hyland
Last edited: Monday, September 04, 2006
Posted: Sunday, April 17, 2005

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KNOCK! KNOCK! HELLO? Is anybody IN there? Well Gals n' Guys, I just had another case of "cerebral diarrhea!" UGH! What a poigant phrase, huh?

GREY MATTER - some really serious stuff, huh? Amidst all of the following TRIPE, mayhaps you will find some semblance of intelligent reasoning? OR NOT! Do any of you ever ponder the magnificence of the human mind? OR, are you always running on "Auto-Pilot?" So busy, that you just don't take time to think about this process?

In the midst of all that befalls you in each day of your environment, please remember one thing:

"Take Time to SMELL the ROSES!" OKIE-DOKIE?


Copyright April 16, 2005 - Thomas K. Hyland, Jr.

Ever think about all the hundreds, or even thousands of choices you make, each and every day of your life? Perhaps tens of thousands you make in a single week? Hundreds of thousands in a month? Millions of choices in a year? Billions or even Trillions in a Lifetime?

Let us start at the end of a long day, just as you are about to go to bed, for some much needed rest. How will you awaken in the morning? Do you use a clock radio, or an alarm clock? If so, have you already set it for the time? Is it pre-set for automatic, or do you have to push a button, or slide a switch? Are you getting up at the Ďnormal" time, or did you just remember that early meeting you have with the boss tomorrow morning? Perhaps you rely on your loving spouse or helpmate to gently "nudge" you in the morning? Will she/he be reliable? Can you take the chance?

What are the consequences if you over-sleep? Questions, questions! Decisions, decisions! Choices, choices!

Ring! Ring! RING! There it goes! Up and at Ďem! Go get Ďem, Tiger! OKAY, first choice - are you really going to respond and actually get out of that nice warm bed? Or, shall we just roll over for a few more minutes? Can you reach that wonderful SNOOZE button, for a little extra "catnap?" Make a choice! Okay, okay, okay - Iím UP! Iím awake! Just stop that infernal NAGGING noise! Which side of the bed are you on? Which way do you roll? Right? Left? Will you crush your partner, or is she/he already GONE? Letís see, still a little fuzzy now, do I need to turn on a light switch? NAH! I can do it in the dark. WHAM! BAM! DAMN! Stubbed your great toe, didíja? Okay, next choice - do I have-ta PEE? YEP! Which way to the bathroom? Right, left, straight ahead? The bedroom door is closed. Shall I open it? YEP! OOPS! The bathroom door is closed, someone else is already in there! SHIT! Why me, Lord? Can I make it to the other one? For that matter, do we even HAVE another one? Where is it? Upstairs, downstairs, around the corner, or down the hall? I DUNNO! Lemme be!

AH! Here it is! Is the toilet seat up, or down? Am I a gal or a guy? Wait a minute, lemme check! Okay, who cares, the seatís down, and I might have to do a Number Two, anyway! AAAAH! That felt good! Now what did you do? Number one or number two, or both? Do you have to WIPE? Which place? How much paper? PAPER? What paper? Where in the hell is the paper? Itís all out! Donít you just HATE that? The last person didnít replenish the "musical roll." Where is the spare? Is it in the cabinet under the sink? NOPE! In the other cabinet up above the toilet? NOPE! Do you like to play "Hot Butter Beans?" Do you ever panic? Lose your cool? SCREAM out at the top of your lungs - "Johnny, Mary, Suzie, Donder, Blitzen - whatever the hell her/his name is - WHERE IS THE TOILET PAPER??? OUT? Wadda yew mean OUT? #%&(^.#. - perhaps you CHOOSE a few specific split expletives here?

OKAY, okay, okay! You found some Kleenex (or more properly, the generic term - tissues) - Is one WAD enough? NAH! Letís do two, or three even - who cares if I stop up the frigginí toilet?

I WILL GET EVEN! I wonít have to unclog it - she/he will! Next choice - Do you take a nice, hot relaxing bath? Or a quick shower? DECISIONS, decisions! Not enough time, so you opt for the shower. Did you TEST the water? YEP! Itís hot enough. AAAAH! That feels good! Now, do you need to shampoo your beautiful hair? Which bottle is it? KEY-RYST! Thereís only about 12-15 damned bottles in here - shampoos, conditioners, body oils, body gels, aroma therapy peach, vanilla, strawberry, chocolate - what the Sam Hill is this - a pharmacy, a soda fountain? OKAY - okay - okay - here it is! Do I want the regular? Or Dandruff-free? Aloe? Vitamin E? Or that new stuff from some kind of TEA tree? Whatever! Just get the job done, okay? EGAD! Somebody FLUSHED the damn toilet! Iíve got soap in my EYES! OUCH! That burns! SHIT! Wrong knob - thatís COLD! So, five minutes later, you make a choice, and DECIDE you are done. You reach out and find a towel. You dry yourself off - BUT - while doing so, you BANG your damned elbow against the hard ceramic tile wall! OUCH! You rub it gingerly, itís okay - the blood is returning to the spot - youíll LIVE!

So, you step out onto the cute little rug on the cold, hard ceramic tile floor, and BAM! You slip and fall halfway down, but luckily catch yourself by grabbing the sink. Next, do I have to SHAVE? Lemme check! You look into the steamed up mirror, grab a hand towel and swiftly wipe it off, banging your knuckles against that STUPID knick-knack from Aunt Heloise! DAMN! Did I break my finger? LORD! I ainít got time for this SHIT! Okay, okay, okay - so, if you are a male, you gotta knock those whiskers off your face. And if you happen to be of the so-called "weaker sex" then you might CHOOSE to shave your armpits, or legs, or maybe even that other THANG? Next, do we need to apply some after-shave? Skin lotion? Body oil? Perfume? Talc? Cologne? Lipstick? Make-UP? Eye-liner? What color? What shade? Which bottle? Which scent? How much? Is one splash enough, or do we want to smell like a French Wadda-Call-It today? Questions! Decisions! CHOICES! Hell, Darliní you ainít even out of the bathroom yet! IT GETS WORSE!

Back to the bedroom we go now. Which drawers or panties are we gonna wear today? What mood are we in? NUN? VIXEN? MACHO MAN? NERD? Do we choose the Speedos? The hot pink panties? Boxers? Plain? Plaid? Zebra stripe? Chinese RED? Black SILK? Those cute ones with SMILEYS all over? You know, the JOE BOXER ones, that have the word "NO" imprinted all over - until you turn the lights out - then the "glow-in-the-dark" YESSES appear? Or how about the plain, ordinary, mundane, dull WHITE "Fruit-Of-The-Looms? WAIT A MINUTE! How about one of those racy, sexy THONGS you own? YEAH! Thatís the ticket! Itíll be REAL comfy during that three-hour long business meeting, right?

AUTHORíS NOTE: - at this point, I must confess that we MARTIANS have just a teensie-weensie, slight advantage over the VENUSIANS, which ultimately, over a lifetime HAS to save us a lot of really important TIME. WE DONíT have to CHOOSE a matching, or contrasting B-R-A !!! What a BLESSING! One less CHOICE!

Next few choices: which socks or panty-hose, or nylons? What shoes? High heels? Flats? Pumps? Sandals? Loafers? "Tennis" shoes? SNEAKERS? Nikes? Black, brown, tan, blue, red, which COLOR? Penny Loafers? Dingo boots? Engineerís boots? DUCKS? ( HUH? Donít tell me itís RAINING outside! ), French-Toe Cordovans? Sleek Italians, with TASSLES? CHOICES!

OKIE-DOKIE ! We got the underwear and footwear settled - now, what about the REST of the BOD? Shirt or Blouse? Color? White, plain, striped, plaid, powder blue, yellow, green, pink, MAUVE maybe? Pants or Skirt? Almost same CHOICES - do we wanna match, or contrast? If matching, two-piece, or three-piece suit? NAH! Too formal, itís JUST the BOSS! Next, what TIE, or scarf, or bandana, or head-band, or hat? SHIT! I GOTTA GO SHOPPINí - I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR! Always a GOOD CHOICE, right, Ladies?

OKAY, okay, okay - now, weíre fully dressed, we check ourselves out in the LYINí MIRROR, and Lo and Behold, the HAIR is not combed, or brushed yet! Here we go again - which one? Do we need to TEASE IT? The HAIR, HON, the HAIR! Hair-spray? Gel? Thereís probably only another half a zillion more CHOICES available here, but you can use your own creative juices to figure this part out for yourself, OKAY?

SHIT! JUICES - I didnít EAT anything yet! Is there time for breakfast? Well, yeah, maybe a couple minutes, what do I want? Juice? Coffee or tea? Milk or soda? Perhaps a BOILER-MAKER, or maybe even a DEPTH-CHARGE? A SHOT and a BEER? How about a nutritious Irish CAR-BOMB? (Guinness Stout and Baileyís Irish Cream) - YUM! Buttered toast, or an English muffin? A cream-cheese bagel? A Pop-tart, or a cold Danish? Or, maybe, how about nice, hot WAFFLES? Bacon and eggs? Or should you have steak with your eggs? Do you put KETCHUP or CATSUP on your eggs? YUK!!! Cereal? Only a billion CHOICES here! Or perhaps some fruit? Orange, apple, or pear? Pineapple or strawberries, or blueberries? Passion fruit, or kiwi? SUCK on a LEMON? Can you say: BA-NAN-NA? OOPS! Watch that clock!

Now, while youíre thinking about all these CHOICES, let me ask an important question, Okay?

Did you remember yet to take your PILLS? Oh, my GOD, NO! Letís see now, we have: Vitamins A, B6, B12, B29, C, E, whatever - or just a MULTI-VITAMIN? PAIN pills? Aspirin, or Tylenol? Advil or Ibuprofen? MIDOLS? It IS that "time of the month" donícha know, you LUCKY DEVIL, YOU! Glucosamine? Metamucil? Heart pill? Kidney pill? Eye drops? Ear drops? Nose drops? TUMS or ROLL-AIDS? BIRTH CONTROL PILL??? or, are you on the PATCH now?

SORRY! Another note here - Donít you just LOVE all those stupid TV commercials? The ones where there are so many DEADLY DYSFUNCTIONAL WAIVERS that youíĎd have to be an IDIOT to even try that SHIT! WOW! After hearing what I MIGHT get, Iím happier KEEPING whatever I already GOT!

OKAY, okay, okay - so now you rush out to the car and it does start, thatís a PLUS! Now, check your ĎIdiot Lights" on the dash! Need Oil? Water temperature OK? Battery charging? OOPS! SHIT! You forgot to stop and get GAS last night! Running on fumes, are we? Where is the CLOSEST station? HMMM? Which way do I go? THIS way, or THAT way? OKAY, Iíll go THIS way. AW, HELL! Look at that frigginí line! Thatís okay, while Iím waiting Iíll just run inside and grab some CIGGIES real quick (forgot them too). WADDA U MEAN YOU AINíT GOT MY BRAND? I donít WANT to CHOOSE some other kind! Back to the pump, fill Ďer up, and off we go! Look out world!

BEEP! BEEP! HONK! HONK! TRAFFIC JAM? WHAT ACCIDENT? WHAT DETOUR? I donít know that way! SHIT! SHIT! SHIT! Gonnaí be late for work now. OH, I remember now, Iíll just cut through this back alley, shoot over to that street where the cute second-hand shop is, cop a right, and beat all the traffic! GOOD CHOICE! DAMN! DAMN! DAMN! I HATE SCHOOL BUSSES! And to top it off, this one is waiting for some disabled kid to hobble a half block down the street - WHY AM I SO LUCKY? ( THINK about this one a bit, OKAY? ).

All the while you are driving your car, your ears listen for traffic sounds, your eyes watch the road, helping you to keep your proper distance from cars around you, while looking out for possible obstacles, pedestrians, or stray animals running out into your path. Your nostrils are telling you to open a DAMN window before you suffocate from that frigginí ciggie. Meanwhile youíre sippiní your java and the stereo is blariní away some good ole Rock Ní Roll music. And, at the same time, you are rehearsing your speech to ask your boss for a raise, running it by your best friend, on your indispensable cell phone. WOW! WHAT CHOICES WE MAKE, HUH?

Finally, here we are at the company parking lot, and only five minutes late! You musta made a couple good CHOICES, huh? SPEEDING, running RED lights, STOP signs, NO turns on RED, no U-turns, etc. SHIT! What is that damn siren BLARING for? Yes, Officer! No, Officer! Thank you, Officer! YES - you have a GREAT DAY TOO! "FRIGGINí COMMUNIST!" Why donít these guys do something REAL, like catching REAL criminals, instead of picking on law-abiding citizens like US? Sound familiar? Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa!

So, now you are at work, in your seat, listening to the Boss ramble on about poor sales, budget cuts, necessary cut-backs in man-hours, etc. You donít realize it, but your mind is whizzing rapidly, like a high-speed buzz-saw. CHOICES are being made constantly, either consciously, or unconsciously. WHY? Because of your five senses, GOD Bless them! Like a video-tape recorder, each and every bit, byte, kilo-byte, mega-byte of information in your environment is being PROCESSED, CATEGORIZED, SORTED, STORED, OR DELETED - depending on your ATTITUDE and HABITS. Everything you SEE, HEAR, SMELL. TASTE, or TOUCH is either being UPLOADED or DOWNLOADED from, or to, MEMORY!

Have you ever even thought about this miraculous process? While someone is talking, your brain is telling the ears to listen, understand what is spoken, make a decision as to whether you are pro, con, or neutral on what she/he is saying - AND at the same time, formulating a hopefully sensible verbal response from you! Conversing, listening, speaking, debating, considering facts and figures, making complex calculations - all SIMULTANEOUSLY! Is this not absolutely amazing?

OKAY, okay, okay - just trying to "tie-in" the serious side of this essay on CHOICES, kinda like a "commercial" interrupting the comedy, WOT?

QUESTION - every time I write "OKAY, okay, okay" - can, or do you visualize the actor, Joe Pesce, in the "Lethal Weapon" films? Or how about Sir Anthony Hopkins, as Hannibal Lechter, saying with a vicious, all-knowing smile: "OKIE-DOKIE!" Which do you CHOOSE to recognize instantly? Is one funny, and one scary? Which CHOICE does your mind make? Or, had I not just asked the question, would you have no symbolism whatsoever attached to either phrase? Bet you will now - OKIE-DOKIE?"

Without continuing forever on this endless course of recognizing the CHOICES we make, I shall attempt a brief synopsis of just this ONE day we started, OKAY? So, you finished the meeting with the Boss, and did such a good job of explaining the good reasons why he should grant your raise, even in these tough times, that he DID! CONGRATULATIONS! Itís noon now, what are you gonna do for LUNCH?

Eat in, or go out? If out, where? Which restaurant, sub-shop, pizza joint, fast-food place, will you CHOOSE? ALTERNATIVES? Plenty of Ďem! What are you in the MOOD for? French, Italian, German, Polish, Jewish, Irish, Japanese, Greek, Szechuan, Cantonese, Thai, Korean, Spanish, Mexican, Chinese, Brazilian, Creole, and East Indian, just to name a few! Or, is your palate begging for a simple, quick American fix? Mickey Dís Cheeseburger and Fries, Taco Bellís Fajita, 7-11's ZA, Royal Farmsí Hot Dogs and Western Fries, The Colonelís Kentucky Fried Chicken with Mashed ní Gravy, Subwayís Cold-cut, Dominoís Pizza, or Papa Johnís, and ... ON, and ON, and ON... Whatís your CHOICE?

Should you call your helpmate, or best friend, or both, to see if they can meet you somewhere to celebrate your raise? Or perhaps CHOOSE to do that this evening, after work? DECISIONS! DECISIONS! So, you grab a quick bite somewhere, meander back to work, receive congratulations from all your happy fellow workers (who you just screwed over), finally reach your desk, and then have to choose: whoís calls do I have to answer? Whose do I want to answer? Which job should I work on? Can I finish up early and get out of here sooner? Is it three oíclock yet? Why is time dragginí by so slow? What can I do to at least LOOK busy?

I know, letís take a trip to the "John" now, I can work on that tough New York Times crossword puzzle thatís been stumping me! HELL, nobody will know - I can always say that I had the "trots" from that lousy lunch! Or maybe from the STRESS of this morningís meeting? Or that miserable lasagna she/he made me eat last night? It WAS like LEAD, you know!

AAAH! Time flies when youíre haviní fun! Itís almost three fifteen, gotta get outa here. Back in the car now, music is blastiní, sun-roof is open, tank is full - WHERE should I CHOOSE to go? I could get a haircut, or maybe even ALL of them? Nails? Pedicure? Go Shoppin'? Catch a movie? or perhaps just go home? Home early for a little "Afternoon Delight?" But, she/he wonít be home for another two hours! OOH! I know!

Iíll make some "Brownie Points!" Iíll stop and get a box of those SINFULLY delicious GODIVA chocolates for her/him, then prepare a nice, light, casual dinner for two, along with all the trimminsí - Candlelight - regular scented candles, or those "Aroma-Therapy" ones? Maybe both? Soft music - GEE, we only have a ba-zillion CDís now! Soothing violins, or fast-paced, deep jungle drums? You know, that really PULSATING stuff! OOH-OOH-OOH! Got it! Ravelleís "Bolero" - I KNOW IíLL GET LUCKY! UH-OH! Better CHOOSE to take my VIAGRA RIGHT NOW!!!

OKAY-OKAY-OKAY --- OKIE-DOKIE --- You DID IT! Scored Brownie Points, made a "TOUCH-DOWN" - made "All The RIGHT Moves" - CHOSE to take a nice, hot, leisurely bath BEFORE bed, and now itís time to "turn in." Did you CHOOSE to check the alarm? WOW! Weíre done our little exercise! OOPS! That reminds me, did you CHOOSE to NOT do your exercises tonight? Donít forget about that LYINí MIRROR now!

Bear in mind that we only covered a period of ONE day, approximately only sixteen hours! And we left out a multitude of other "normal" possibilities! We did not have any CHILDREN in this scenario - THAT really adds more CHOICES! Should you pack their lunches for tomorrow? Is it YOUR turn for the "car pool?" OH MY GOD! Tomorrow is little Suzieís ballet RECITAL! Did you finish her TUTU? And little Johnnieís Little League game is right after that! What about PETS? Did you walk the dog? Feed the cats? Cover the birdcage? Sing to your plants and flowers, and water them? Mow the lawn? Bag the clippings? Rake the leaves? Or, if winter time, shovel the snow? Clear off the car? Do the laundry? How many loads of wash were there? Double that for drying also! How about ironing all those clothes we DONíT have? HUH? WHATíS AN IRON?

THATíS ALL FOLKS! By now, Iím tired, and you are probably bored to tears, right? However, I just CHOSE to give you a CHOICE! You can EITHER:

A. GO back, re-read all this crap, COUNTING the rough number of CHOICES therein -

Then ADD a "Fudge-Factor" of 2.22% for intentional condensation,

MULTIPLY your result by 365 days in the year,

SUBTRACT your age,

VOILA! Your result should hopefully prove my estimations !!! OR --->

B. Send me a "Poison Pen" E-mail, saying how NUTS I AM !!!


CHOICES? YEP! Thereís a whole BUNCH of Ďem!



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Reviewed by m j hollingshead 4/20/2005
well done
Reviewed by Elizabeth Taylor (Reader) 4/17/2005
I think I would just go back to bed.


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Tom Hyland

Bawlmer, Merlyn - Home of The Hons

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