Danny Mendlow's Blog

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It’s time to stick our fingers under our armpits.

The other day I was at work and it was cold. Really fucking cold. My fingers were wet from the rain and the hail and the wind was blowing colder than I can remember it ever blowing on the west coast. I tried rubbing my hands together, blowing on them, but these were just short term fixes. The cold came back quickly and I couldn’t feel my icy digits any more. Then I remembered a trick my mother had taught me as a child. I stuck my numb, frozen fingers in my armpits. Believe it or not, this simple action led to an epiphany.

An analogy leapt into my odd little head. It seemed to me, the perfect metaphor for our species and our society. Hear me out! You see, the fingers and toes are out on the edge of the body, we even call them our ‘extremities.’ When you think about it, they do most of the work. The really important stuff is almost all done by the fingers. But they are also the most vulnerable. The least protected. Do they get a nice, cushy envelope of protective fat, skin and hard bones like the vital organs? No! They’re out there every single day doing all of the hard work, while the brain sits up top organizing the body. The brain you see, is the government of our body. And when the fingers get cold to the point where they just can’t do anything anymore… the brain tries to help them out. It decides it will bail out the fingers, by pumping out bucket loads of excess body heat. But like a bail-out, none of the money, I mean heat, ever reaches the fingers… the ones who need it most.

Imagine that, the fingers, without who the rest of the body cannot be useful and fruitful. The fingers, who do all that important work that the rest of the body benefits from. The mouth would never get to eat without the fingers. The muscles wouldn’t get strong, the words wouldn’t get written, the shoes wouldn’t get tied… indeed, the fingers are vital. But they get no heat. They are left out in the cold to fend for themselves.

“I’m doing what I can,” says the useless brain, and yet the fingers remain cold.  The brain pumps out even more heat, until it can’t even function any more.  It has given itself a fever.

But, you know, with all that excess heat being pumped out of the brain into the upper body… the ruling class. There’s a lot of heat going to waste. You just have to know where to look. Maybe change how you look at things. Maybe don’t be so embarrassed about some stupid social conventions and just stick your fucking fingers in your fucking armpits!

You’ll be amazed what happens. It’s a shock to the system at first for sure. So unexpected, the overheated and the frozen meeting in this dark, sweaty underbelly of the body. But that doesn’t last long. Real quick they both realize the enormous benefit to the whole body. The armpits are cooled down to a reasonable temperature. The brain calms down and goes back to doing whatever the fuck it does all day. The fingers are given a chance to warm up and get out of the cold. Hey, it’s the least we can do after all the hard work they’ve done for the rest of us. Think of all the great things fingers do! They’re awesome!

So let’s stop treating fingers with disdain when they need it most. Let’s not push them so hard for so little and then when they come to us in a time of despair leave them all wet and cold with no real solutions. We can’t just expect them to work so hard and not share in any of the benefits of being part of the body. Let’s not drive them to the brink of insanity, let’s not push them until they ache and freeze and are forced to beg for assistance or revolt.

Come on society, let’s stick our fingers in our armpits!

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December 22, 2009 - Posted by | General Society Ramblings

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