Posted by: canaryinacoalmine | May 10, 2006

chicken heart

I had about managed to keep my jaw from dropping around my ankles while D. turned blue. John, ya – we’ll call him John, was telling me of recent company events. His superior was out of control and needed to be stopped or punished. I could go with the flow – but this was absolutely out of line. This was on par with, say, finding out the president of the United Nations was a sucker for crack whores, the moon was made of green cheese, and the sun only rose in the morning because of this complicated system of levers and dials overseen by an encampment of the master race direct from The Wizard of OZ cast.

“People really do that kind of thing? “

“Happens all the time.”

“I thought it was an old good ‘ol boy legend that had died out with promiscuous sex and creative corporate accounting.”

“No, that’s what the company is known for. It’s expected when the Europeans visit.”

There was another pause, maybe I was supposed to ask what he meant by that, but I didn’t want to know anymore. I didn’t want to picture fathers, uncles, grandfathers, and brothers taking part in such corporate schmoozing. As the silence lengthened I realized the tension level was rising. He is a friend, and the silence I allowed to lay between us made me want to spew Fourbucks all over his Brooks Brother’s shirt and busy tie while his face flushed with ridicule.

“I suppose it’s kind of like schmoozing your clients in Vegas and not having to foot the bill.”

He relaxed as I gulped my Fourbucks and hurried the conversation to G-Rated pastures.

Suppose this type of thing or something similar happens in the world of everyday business. As a society we accept the value of a corporate dollar at the expense of one’s own personal moral system. Let’s face it, indulging in what is forbidden is delicious. The temptation creates passion, the anticipation is thrilling, the heart races, breath quickens, the mind becomes one-pointed, the senses attuned like a wild animal hunting prey – anxiety amount at the thought of being found out, guilt and the giddiness of freedom pump through your temples. These, my friends, are the delicious fruits of the forbidden.

The forbidden is not exactly the same as dangerous. Often the forbidden is perceived as dangerous, but the essence of forbidden is that an authority is imposing a prohibition on the act. The power relationship this sets up strokes our desire to challenge the rules placed upon us. It’s one of the oldest stories told, Adam, Eve, and the Apple.

When something/someone is forbidden as in; the moment a cheaters lips touch another, a scar the shade of crimson blister is etched on one’s core. As a teenager I always wanted to ride a motorcycle and envisioned myself strapping on a helmet as I swung my leg over the side and grabbed the waist of the bulky rider in front of me. My Very Holy Mother would have none of this. She told me a horror story of a high school friend who had died violently after being flung into a tree while riding a bike. I never have ridden a motorcycle and only recently learned this story had been embellished and stolen from a newspaper headline.

What drives us to not take some chances when we see the flares ahead while other times we see the flares and assume they are only speed bumps?Is it fear? Is it listening to your gut? I’ve learned my gut’s wrong. Listening to my gut gets me stuck in a habitual self destructive pattern of revisiting the same issues over and over. My caution, heck – I’ve thrown that to the wind so many times cruise ships now use it for motors. So what is it? The fear of losing everything one has is enough for me.

isn’t anybody editing me?


  1. It’s hard to lose an elephant. They’re pretty big, you know. And they are said to have an amazing memory, so it probably wouldn’t get lost either.

  2. i say it’s fear, albeit different fears for different situations:

    fear of being alone
    fear of getting hurt
    fear of social settings
    fear of what others will think of you
    fear of dying some painful death
    fear of the unknown

    they’re are what keeps us from killing ourselves and can drive us completely insane at the same time.

  3. Please say it ain’t so… are you really using the Fourbucks thing like that? Make it stop please. You know I’m sensitive to this right? Okay, cool.

  4. That’s right Egan – in Seattle it’s Sixbucks.

  5. Wait, did we find out what nefarious deeds were going on, or do we have to use our imagination?


  7. Sounds like some shitty things were going down. That is not cool at all but it seems that it is not all that uncommon in the big bucks corporate world. Got to love the old boys club eh?

    Oh, and about this fear thing… I used to live my life dictated a great deal by things that I was afraid of. I am really trying not to do that anymore!!


  8. Sass, ouch. It’s not Sixbucks here. My wife is going to have nightmares.

  9. The world is full of such sleaze to the point it is expected and accepted. If you are not on board with it you are looked at as the moral oddball.

  10. corprate good ol boys have you paying 4 dollars for a cup of coffee…

  11. ive found that editing is something you gotta do yourself. others can help, but ultimatly the story is yours and you gotta decide how its gonna go.

  12. Forbidden and dangerous are definitely different things. Sometimes we lose sight of it. Great post!

  13. How is it that you say everything and yet nothing that could chase you down? How is it that you can spin beauty and not let us inside? I have m ore questions, sister. I know today was foiled by the Windy City visitor, but soon, yeah? Yeah, soon.

  14. new jersy, red head……

  15. Do you have an RSS feed address?

  16. Nevermind. I’m dumb.

  17. Justin, do you need some assistance finding other RSS feeds? 😉

    Sass, your posts are really giving me a lot to think about. It might be hurting my brain, but I thank you for it.

  18. The Other Half filled me in on similar events with Europeans. I, too, am astounded that this actually still happens. I want to go back to being blissfully naive and clueless that corporate dollars are still spent on “entertainment” while the worker bees toil away putting booze in the rich man’s flask for minimum wage…

  19. At one point, I thought it was the right thing to do. The romantic thing to do. To forget my head and follow my heart. However, I recently found that doing this screwed me over badly.

    So now I’m going to take a new approach. I’m still going to follow my heart, but I’m also going to listen to my head – allow it to protect my heart from falling blindly into disaster.


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