Rounding one’s corners

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I’m such a square, my ears have corners. I drink eight cups of water a day. I make my bed every morning. Before going to the supermarket, I write a grocery list.

But this scintillating lifestyle has its drawbacks. I’ve started to notice how epic motorcycles look. I’ve started to think about taking up martial arts.

I’ve started to wonder if I should spend my money on something that isn’t retirement.

Sure, I take risks. Sometimes, when I’m finished washing dishes, I turn off the kitchen light switch with wet hands.

But I want to do something bigger, something greater. I want to jump a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon.

Afterward, I’d blow my retirement savings on hospital bills. But I’d have a heck of a story to tell the grandkids.

Right now, it feels like the only thing my future descendants will hear about is why you should chew 30 times before you swallow, or some tripe like that.

I have to turn my life around. I’m young enough to have a shot at acquiring an interesting past, and I’ll be darned if I miss my chance.

I could start by using stronger language. I mean to say, I’m young, and I’ll be danged if I miss… dashed if I miss… oh, never mind. I have principles, doggone it.

At least I’ve started being more spontaneous. Last week, just for kicks, I took a different bus route. I ended up 40 minutes late for work.

But I bounced over some new and interesting potholes.

And I chatted with some interesting people. I sat next to a gal who did stunts for small-time films.

She showed me a video of herself at work. It consisted of her falling down stairs, crashing through fences, and driving a car through every single mailbox on some street.

I don’t need to go to stunt school. I do all those things already, easy.

So I asked her about the coolest stunts she’d seen, and after a few minutes of such talk, popped the big question. You know, about jumping the Grand Canyon on a motorcycle.

She told me that it would be a darn silly idea, only in stronger language.

I know I look like the kind of person who brushes her teeth after every meal, I replied, but I’m trying to round my corners. I’m open to stunt work. Really.

She repeated that I couldn’t jump the Grand Canyon. She said it was impossible. Not to put too fine a point on it, she insisted that it measures 18 miles across.

That rather put a damper on my plans.

Then she told me that stuntwork isn’t for everyone. You get bruises. The pay isn’t great.

Sometimes you wish that you could wake up to a nine-to-five, rather than wake up because you’ve been hit over the head with a crowbar.

Her words made an impact on me, though not literally.

Risk is good. It adds variety. It expands your horizons. It’s a neat board game.

But the little, routine things we do? They help you be there for the bigger things, like your family and friends.

Drinking eight cups of water daily, saving money, and eating vegetables may be dull. But they let you acquire an interesting past because they help you live long enough to do it.

And they let you stick around for the really awesome things in life. Like when I jump a motorcycle over the Mississippi River.

Copyright 2024 Alexandra Paskhaver, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Alexandra Paskhaver is a software engineer and writer. Both jobs require knowing where to stick semicolons, but she’s never quite; figured; it; out. For more information, check out her website at