I’m almost normal — which really drives me crazy

I am one degree off normal.

Eighth-grade biology class taught me that normal body temperature for humans is 98.6 degrees. That’s 37 degrees in dog years, er, Celsius.

But my cold-hearted body generally percolates at 97.4 degrees (or 36.33 1/3 rpms). Or even all the way up to 97.6 — one full degree off normal.

This explains a lot. What, exactly, I don’t know, but it explains something.

(I must confess at this point that I am under the weather with the cold that’s going around the office. The thermometer shot all the way up to 98.6. Basically, I’m delirious. A-ha! That explains these meanderings.)

When I ponder the meaning of normal, I consider the guy I witnessed at a flea market in Geauga County in early 2020. Serious-sounding people on the TV (If you can’t trust serious-sounding people on TV on what’s normal, whom can you trust?) had just began advocating wearing masks in public.

Into the market walks this guy in his 50s, wearing a Lone Ranger mask. I looked for a fiery horse the speed of light in the parking lot. There was no white horse nor a Kemo Sabe, but he did sport a Dubble Bubble print button-down shirt.

That was the kind of normal to which I desperately aspired.

I looked up normal on the internet (If you can’t trust the internet for what’s normal, what can you trust?) and found these observations:

“I was always fascinated by people who are considered completely normal, because I find them the weirdest of all.” — Johnny Depp (If you can’t trust Johnny Depp for knowing normal, whom can you trust?)

“I walk around like everything’s fine, but deep down, inside my shoe, my sock is sliding off.” — Anonymous (If you can’t trust anonymous people dispensing life advice, who… Oh, never mind.)

“Someone just called me normal. I have never been so insulted in my life.” — Anonymous, but possibly me.

“I tried acting normal once. Worst two minutes of my life.” — see above

“Here’s all you have to know about men and women: Women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid.” — George Carlin. (Ah, light dawns on what constitutes normal.)

“I hate it when people ask me what I’m doing tomorrow. I don’t even know what I’m doing right now.” — anonymous (Sounds perfectly normal to me.)

Here are retorts I found on the internet that I wish I had said first:

Today I was in a shoe store that sells only shoes, nothing else. A young girl with a tattoo and green hair walked over to me and asked, “What brings you in today?” I looked at her and said, “I’m interested in buying a refrigerator.” She didn’t quite know how to respond; she had that deer in the headlights look.

When people see a cat’s litter box they always say, “Oh, have you got a cat?” I just say, “No, it’s for company!”

Employment application blanks always ask who is to be called in case of an emergency. I think you should write, “An ambulance.”

These sound perfectly normal to me. But it could just be the delirium brought on by registering 98.6. Or 37 mph metric. Normal drives me batty.

To avoid being infected by Cole’s contagiousness, don’t write him at burts eyeview@tribtoday.com, or the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at www.burtonwcole.com.


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