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Dorien Grey

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The Rocking Chair
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Find a well lit room and keep a friend nearby. This story will have you peeking out the window from under your blanket...  
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Short Circuits: a Life in Blogs

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His Name is John

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Blogs by Dorien Grey

Reality and Perception
8/2/2010 2:47:54 AM    [ Flag as Spam or Inappropriate ]

Why does it always come as a shock to realize that what we expect is not always what we get?

*****
From Dorien Grey and Me, http://www.doriengreyandme.com
*****


Little epiphanies pop up unexpectedly, like the prize in a Cracker Jack box, and I always delight in them. I had occasion, a minute ago, to think of Frank Morgan’s line from The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy, standing in the Great Hall of the palace of the wizard, pulls back the curtain to see a little man frantically working levers and pushing buttons: “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

And it suddenly occurred to me that Dorien, my alter ego nee pen name is “the all-powerful Wizard of Oz,” and Roger, the "real" me, is a flustered Frank Morgan. And that got me to thinking of how, even in childhood, things which went so smoothly for others as to not create so much as a ripple on the little pond of their self-confidence would be, for me, rather like dropping a bowling ball into a cup of tea.

Children’s radio programs during World War II often offered “prizes” and incentives to buy the sponsor’s products. Decoder rings were a popular prize, though I loathed rings even then and would never send off the required product coupons to get one.

There was an air of mystery to these prizes, and they were supposedly the key to let you in on the program’s protagonist’s secrets and inner thoughts. You could, by drinking several gallons of some unappetizing liquid to collect enough coupons, receive a Captain Midnight Decoder Badge. At the end of each program, the announcer would read off a coded, personal message from Captain Midnight which only those with the decoder badge…Captain Midnight’s pals, as it were…could decipher. I sent off for a badge and stood by eagerly, pencil in hand, awaiting the first personal message from my buddy Captain Midnight to me. It said: “Drmpf Freqitlgm Smpretreb.” Excuse me? I’d written down every single letter or number or whatever it was the announcer read, and diligently did whatever the badge said to do to decode it. “Drmpf Freqitlgm Smpretreb.” My friend Jerry, who had also gotten the decoder badge the same day I did, had not one whit of trouble. “What did Captain Midnight say?” I demanded, feeling really hurt to have been left out of my hero’s confidence.

“Drink Delicious Ovaltine,” Jerry replied. I threw the badge away.

Another time I sent off for a Jack Armstrong Pedometer which fit on your belt and would tell you exactly how far you’d walked between two points. I got it and wore it proudly to school. When I checked how far I’d walked it said “3,246 miles.”

Considering that none of the other kids ever seemed to have any problem at all with these wondrous devices, is it any wonder that I have occasionally tiptoed perilously close to the edge of paranoia?

So that’s why I created Dorien. To be all powerful and all knowing, and to get messages from Captain Marvel saying: “I love you and want you to be my special friend forever.”

*****

Thanks for stopping by. I'll be posting another entry next Monday, and in the meantime you're invited to stop by my website (http://www.doriengrey.com)
and/or drop me a note telling me what you think of these ramblings (doriengrey.att.net).


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