I’m a huge fan of Eddie Izzard. It would be absurd for Me to even attempt to filter through MY favorite clips (though the Death Star Cafe is, in fact, MY favorite…today), or to fill the blog with MY favorite Izzard quotes. Suffice to say, he’s on the short list of people I want to be able to talk to but am far too small to be seen from the cliffs he stands upon. Regardless, I was reminded of his Cake or Death bit today while on MY way to a lovely journey through rain and 50 mph wind gusts to the Federal Courthouse buidling in downtown Atlanta. It was made all the more unfortunate by the fact that I had only remembered today was April 13th 45 minutes before I was supposed to be at the courthouse. Why the courthouse? Well, today was the day that I was grilled before the trustee of the bankruptcy court to finalize the petition for bankruptcy for Wordsmiths Books. Not something I was overly-elated to experience, but one that I had been aware of for about a month. Yet, somehow, I managed to convince myself it was scheduled for tomorrow, not today.
Such is the nature of ME.
So, there I was, 45 minutes before I was supposed to appear, at least 30 minutes drive away, and a storm blowing through. Just like any sane person would have envisioned it. So, I ran into the closet and got dressed with the first clothes that stuck to me, spoke nonsensically to Alice, and then blitzed out the door with a little over 30 minutes to go. I got out of the apartment complex and headed up Dekalb Industrial. There’s a light about a mile or so that way that intersects with Ponce de Leon Ave (which means a whole hell of a lot of nothing to those of you who live out of town, I know). I was a bit antsy, and contemplated turning right on Ponce to cut off the time I would have to wait to go straight. As the light had already turned green and then red in a matter of 5 seconds, and the line was backed up, and I was running late, I thought it a good idea. However, the light turned green and I resigned MYSELF to going on through and making do. Well, as expected, the light turned red again 5 seconds later–again. Not sure what was up with that light today. It never cycles through that fast.
Anyhow, I figured enough was enough. I jumped into the turn lane and sped off down Ponce. I noticed that the first light I encountered was not functioning, obviously indicating that none of the lights going forward would be either. Frustrated by that, figuring that no matter which way I went, there would be delays, I continued on. I made it as far as the next corner before I noticed a large Oak sprawled across the road, power lines clipped, poles bent at awkward angles, and tree debris splayed across the pavement. It looked as though the tree was settling, but I settled on the wind as the culprit, flittering through the limbs perhaps, and made a quick u-turn to speed back the way I came.
Interestingly, the light at Ponce and Industrial were now out. I pondered that for exactly 3 seconds before my need to hurry on overtook me. After all, if I was late to MY bankruptcy meeting, surely some horrific fate would befall ME, yes? Perhaps the trustee would admonish ME in public and threaten to take away MY dog (NO!), or inform MY creditors that MY absence gave them the right to pursue MY personal wealth (MY what?), or perhaps he might just negate MY claim because it apparantly wasn’t important enough for ME to attend. Yes, I have an overactive imagination. Yes, MY fears are a bit absurd. But what if it was Judge Wapner, or that angry Judge Judy woman that was presiding over the case? What if MY case was reassigned, and I wound up on some horribly produced Real World type reality show, where I was forced to earn MY bankruptcy by boxing a kangaroo, or by seeing if I could build a tree house faster than an orangutan? (this is a valid fear, by the way. I don’t trust monkeys.)
How about this one? If, in the time it took for me to turn right on Ponce and drive a quarter of a mile, the power was clipped by a ginormous tree that had fallen across the road, then isn’t it more likely that I might have found MYSELF under it if I had turned right when I first wanted to? Now, isn’t that something to fear? Isn’t that something to ponder? I mean, what if–in true Eddie Izzard style–there had been someone at MY side while I sat there contemplating a turn on Ponce, who turned to me with a wry smile and tapped me on the shoulder, and said in triumphant British tones:
“Bankruptcy or Death?”
Surely I would have responded, “I’ll take the bankruptcy, please.”
Surely, I would have.
I don’t qualify it as a near-death experience. But it surely falls into a nice tidy corner of MY mind, headed simply, “You might die any day and this could have been it right here, you stupid ass moron.”
As a farewell today, I offer you, first, a photo I took at the Atlanta Zoo on Saturday. I took this photo because of Eddie Izzard. I’m very fond of it.
And this is why I took it:
And, why not? Here’s Cake or Death for a little context. A bit longer, but so worth it, especially if you a fan of history:
Enjoy, and try not to take right turns if you can avoid them.