Where'd You Get That Idea?

It's not that it happens every day in the shower although I shower virtually every day. But yeah, it happens pretty frequently, with some occasions more noteworthy than others. Why in the shower? A host of factors. Certainly, being alone plays a major role. I mean, if others were in the room (or even outside with the bathroom door open) there'd be no way I'd even contemplate such a thing, opaque shower curtain or not. Then there's the sound of running water, a real mood enhancer, for sure. Just something about the steadiness of the droplets hitting the porcelain that gets my juices flowing. Add in the luxuriating warmth of the water raining down over my entire body and my mind is off and running to places I hadn't thought of just moments beforehand. So, anyway, that's where I come up with many of my ideas... But then, you knew that's what I was leading up to here... right?

No doubt, an idea is a pretty amazing thing. Kinda like the Big Bang, one minute there's nothing then... boom!... it's fully formed, right there in front of you. First, you're Paul McCartney singing "Yeah, yeah, yeah" back-ups and then you're at the piano composing "Hey Jude". At the outset you're Andy Warhol hanging out in The Factory, minutes later you're painting images of Campbell's Soup Cans and spouting off about everyone's fifteen minutes of fame. In the beginning, you're a totally ambivalent Charles Dickens and then you're turning "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times" into the classic "Tale of Two Cities". To start you're just Harvey Schmenkel, havin' a beer and shootin' the breeze with your buddies, then seemingly out of nowhere you've invented the reversible, all-weather, machine-washable, permanent press, evaporative cooling vest with adjustable pockets, lapels and zipper/button combo... Hey, they can't all be great ideas.

Indeed, the unique aspect of an idea is how refreshing it is from the humdrum existence of everyday life. Let's face it, we as a species spend the bulk of our time just reacting to stuff. I mean, we're driving down the road, see a red light and hit the brakes. A pesky fly keeps zooming around our head, we swat it away. Our anesthesiologist asks us to count backward from a hundred, we give it a shot. So when we get an invite to our obnoxious neighbor's kid's graduation and come up with an idea as an excuse not to attend, concocting an elaborate ruse involving not one but two separate sting operations that the authorities have asked us to participate in on that date and time, each, if pulled off successfully not only will capture an insidious drug cartel kingpin but go a long way to ensure the safety of the neighborhood, our obnoxious neighbor (and their obnoxious kid) included, we're kinda pumped... Oh, sorry, was that part just me? Bottom line: If you're lucky, reacting to stuff can sometimes produce a great idea.

Clearly, mankind has a fascination with the concept of the idea. So much so that the word is used in an abundance of ways to convey a multitude of different meanings: "Whose bright idea was this, anyway?" indicates that someone screwed up big time and we're not gonna stop 'til we get a name. "I have no idea" means that not only do you not know but you're totally baffled to boot. "Don't get any ideas" connotes that whatever you have to offer?... yeah, not interested. A suggestive look and an "Oh, I have a good idea" is a way of saying a person's fairly sure that something's true but can't quite prove it. It helps, too, if said person is twirling their mustache as they're saying it. "You got a better idea?" is code for unless you've got something more effective, keep it to yourself. And if you're really annoyed and trying to push the issue, "You must have some idea!" is designed to force some information from someone who most certainly has no idea whatsoever.

Another trait regarding ideas: they're both fleeting and fickle. They'll dart in and out of your head instantaneously causing immediate consternation and frustration. And with no real point of origin, good luck getting 'em back. It's kinda like they're playin' the ultimate mind game, proclaiming, "Tough luck, chump, I gave you your shot and you blew it!" So a word to the wise: when you're fortunate enough to get a great idea, write it down immediately... Oh, and speakin' of great ideas, got this one this morning as a perfect button to end this blog. Let's see, what was it... Was gonna jot it down but my pen ran out of ink earlier and I forgot to get a new one... It was really clever, too...Just sort of pulled everything together... And funny?... I actually cracked up out loud which is something I rarely do... Let's see, there was a part about the first idea ever... Or was it the difference between a bad idea and a good idea?... Or maybe comparing ideas?... Damn... Hold on a sec. Just gonna run a shower...