November 18th, 2002


The first step is to admit you have a thinking problem...

Status: RO
From: "Shawn" <>
To: <>
Subject: On being a heavy thinker
Date: Thu, 14 Nov 2002 11:28:57 -0800

(I've been a lurker for so long... sorry for intruding, but I saw this
an instantly though of FoRK)

On being a heavy thinker ...

It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and
then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and
soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it
wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally
I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't
mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka.
I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What is it
exactly we are doing here?"

Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned
off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that
night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me
in. He said, "I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking
has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job,
you'll have to go elsewhere." This gave me a lot to think about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I
confessed, "I've been thinking ..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But, honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver. "You think as much as
college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if
you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry.
I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out
the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with NPR on
the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the big glass
doors. They didn't open. The library was closed!

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for
Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining
your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from
the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a
TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video; last week
it was "Dumb and Dumber." Then we share experiences about how we
avoided thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed... easier, somehow ... as soon as I stopped thinking.