Right brain, left brain, ‘light’ brain, no brain

I realize this column is probably a bad mistake but I’m going to forge ahead in the interests of journalistic integrity, the First Amendment and the fact that it’s 4:17 and I need to have a column written by 5.

It’s basically about how stupid I am. I asked our 15-year-old if I should write it and she gave me the look she inherited from her mother and said, “like people don’t know that already.”

There are some things—really simple things—my brain just won’t let me do. I’ll bet I’m not alone in that although I’m prepared to learn that I may be.

One of them is turn the lights on at The Rockdale Reporter.

We have this big old breaker box with two parallel rows of switches which operate stuff. For everybody else it’s just a bunch of switches. For me it’s a torture chamber.

One row turns on by flicking switches to the left, the other to the right. Some switches have to be left on all the time. The others operate various lights, plugs, computer thingys, coffee pots and the plutonium rods which power our nuclear reactor.

This morning when I came in, Cliff “Mr. Fix-It” Dungan was working in the back. He had turned two switches on because he only needed light in a corner.

I needed to turn lights on in the entire building. I f lipped switches what I thought was the correct way.

Two lights went on in the front, one of the lights that was on went off and the rest remained dark.

I quickly studied the situation, flipped all the switches in one row to the left and all in the other row to the right.

Half the lights were now on and half were off.

Okay, I’ve got it now, I thought. I reversed what I had just done.

And the lights which had been off came on. Unfortunately the lights which had been on went off.

Close to panic, and really needing at least the restroom light to be working, I reasoned if I flipped every single switch to the right, I would at least know which row controlled which side, simply by which half of the building lit up. Smart. huh?

The entire Rockdale Reporter plunged into darkness.

Cliff, who was busy and needed this comedy show to end, felt his way to the breaker box, went click, click, click and every light in the place blazed on.

I mumbled something about needing to go to my office.

This kind of stuff happens to me in crazy ways.

For instance, I don’t know that Temple and Taylor are different cities.

I’m serious. I use the words interchangeably. I’m always saying one for the other.

My wife, who moved here from another state, spent about five years thinking there are nearby cities called “Tem-uh-Taylor” and “Tay-um, Temple.”

This is probably the worst, considering for six decades I’ve been buzzing up and down US 79 in Rockdale.

My brain doesn’t know the order of the buildings on the south side of the highway in the western part of town.

It’s really bizarre. I’ve scooted right by the Chamber of Commerce’s rock house when going to it because my brain thinks it’s west of McDonald’s somewhere.

The other side of the street I have no problem with. Talk about right-brain, left brain.

Wonder if it’s because when I was a kid there was nothing on the south side of the highway out there except a pear orchard?

Okay, I feel better for confessing even if you don’t. Because it’s you who may encounter some idiot going west on the highway, one headlight on and one off, and a puzzled look on his face.

Heading for Temple.

I mean Taylor.

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2011-11-17 digital edition

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