John in Wonderland


I recall as a child being fascinated with mirrors. They could redirect sunlight to brighten up a darkened corner and when placing one mirror in front of another, rows of the very same mirror would reflect into a long shaft to infinity. However the more I aged, mirrors lost more of its fascination. Why? because they don’t lie. Whatever is placed in front of it, will be perfectly reflected back.

I often envisioned what it would like to be able to walk through a mirror and enter into a parallel universe. Unlike the fairytale character Alice in the Looking Glass, my side of the mirror for me holds greater sway. On the opposing side of her mirror, she continually interacted with outlandish characters, talking heads, and a world that was crazy and surreal. Alice and I have something in common. I am grounded in the present while living among the surreal.

What I see beyond my mirrored edge is a world that doesn’t make sense. If I were to manage the world, I wouldn’t be beginning road work the day before the busiest holiday travel day of the year. I wouldn’t be squeezing a three lane highway down to one lane with a plethora of orange road cones causing insane traffic jams.

Last night while visiting a local retailer at the height of the Christmas season, not one cash register with a human soul could be found. Each shopper was relegated to bagging their own goods and checking themselves out. Even during this shopping “experience” not one sales person could be spotted. Apparently all the store’s money spent on wages, is better served in buying cameras to watch their customers exit strategies.

I am amazed that despite Thanksgiving being written in stone each and every year on our calendars, most individuals choose to shop the day before. The ensuing result is a mass of humanity rarely seen except in Disneyland or Japanese water parks. If I was a manager of a store, wouldn’t my mission be to improve the flow of traffic? Apparently my manager’s decision making processes is akin to a squirrel on psychedelic mushrooms trying to find places for his nuts. The whole store was rearranged for the busiest shopping day of the year for shopping cart chaos.

I envision the morning team meeting the Monday beforeThanksgiving. “Okay earthlings, today we’re going to put the bread section where the healthy food was, we’ll place tuna and sardines with exotic international foods, and we’ll mix toenail clippers and sundries with pet supplies. This should improve the shopping experience. Also, let’s play hide and seek on Wednesday so customer service can be non-existent. ”

This week my mailbox was full of flyers and catalogs promoting Black Friday deals. One of the items advertised at a local retailer I wanted. As I entered the store and inquired about the advertised kitchen appliance, the salesperson said, “Sorry they’re are all gone.” As he began to walk away, he muttered, “We only got five of them in the store anyway.” Why would a store pay for a massive advertising mailer touting deals, if their supply chain is five?

This season more than others I am finding less charitable and happy people, and why not? 

Everything in 2020 appears to have been made for frustration and chaos. Roadways, stores, the presidential election, Covid numbers. Yet, while everyone else is stressing over EVERYTHING, on my side of the mirror it’s a whole different world.  

On my side there’s logic and optimism that brings hope. It’s the polar opposite of what I’m seeing in the parallel universe. My struggle each day is striving to keep these two worlds apart.

In my childhood mirror, it was only me, and sometimes in my present life, it still is. For in my mirror I still find joy, peace, love and humor in abundance. My world may seem like fantasy to others, but I don’t care. For me, it’s the antidote to a world gone mad.

About enthusiasmiscontagious

I am an individual who analyzes all facets of life in the hopes of squeezing out some of the humorous parts.
This entry was posted in The Lighter Side Newspaper column and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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