I Though I’d Died and Gone to Heaven


When I was very young I wanted to be a proctologist. I thought that being an asshole was a good way to go.  But as you can imagine my parents and my friends were somewhat dismayed.  “Where on earth did that dumb ass thought come from?” they said? 

As it turned out I joined the Navy and spent my entire working life devoted to the maritime profession.  And while I loved the Navy life dearly some of my colleagues would say that either way I got the shaft.  Perhaps I did but it did take me awhile to glob on to the military life as I had a plethora of civvie jobs when I was young but with paucity of ambition and get up and go to go along with it.  In that regard the Navy’s routine addressed a restless nature, which seemed to be a perfect fit for me, somewhat like a proctologist’s glove.

How I love those two words: plethora and paucity. To me they sound like adjectives for the evil Roman twins Romulus and Remus.  Or perhaps more like the words flora and fauna.  And I took Latin in high school for 5 years. I was… veritably good at it.  Then again I wanted to be a proctologist too: the Latin word for asshole.  Somewhat like the word organic: also a Latin derivative meaning grown in pig shit.  But I digress.

When I first heard the words “plethora” and “paucity” I thought, “What on earth. Speak clearly man.” It brought my mind back to my elementary school days, grade eight to be exact, where a classmate of mine by the name of Big Maxx loved to show off his literary skills with those flowery descriptive essays that we had to write from time to time and read to the entire class.  He didn’t realize just how funny he could be ranting off to the class; proud of his literary skills with words of art that reflected anything but those big flowery descriptive texts for his words were always in the wrong context or with the wrong meaning.  He would write: “I had a flora of jobs when I was young but with not a fauna of ambition or get up and go.” Big Maxx wasn’t too smart back then but he did try very, very hard. And those were the days when one could fail a grade. I think Big Maxx had to repeat Grade 9 a plethora of times.