Thursday, October 2, 2008

3 by 4 by 7

Yesterday in yoga class I was compelled to recognize how I had blown my inner peace. Anger is a poison that you give to yourself hoping to affect someone else. Martha, our instructor, is a really sensible, down-to-earth person, and she says these things (reading from various books) at the end of class while we are in Savasana.

It all started when I realized that the lumber store (a national chain of discount lumber) had short-changed me. The boards come in bundles, and it seemed like a lot of wood when I went to pick it up. So I didn't realize the problem until Tuesday. The facts were simple: I ordered 335 square feet and they gave me 265.

I've read that our brains are segmented according to evolutionary stages. The primative part of the brain prompts us to breathe and reacts to pain and pleasure. The newer part tends to favor one book over another and makes us want to be cool. When we get into unfamiliar territory, like cavemen lost in the woods at night trying to get back home, we tend to rely on the older part of the brain.
I had the facts straight when I called the lumber store. The bundles are 3 boards wide, 4 boards deep and 7 feet long. We learned this math in grade school so I didn't expect an argument. But on the phone the store manager assured me that I was wrong. He said he was looking at the paperwork from the home office--it was the final word. I tried to walk him through the math, and he would follow me to the end but then retreat into denial. The man was either a fool or...
Then something in the brain snapped. You do this for a living, goddammit! I shouted into the phone. I won't repeat the rest of the conversation. I did threaten to sue him at some point, so I can assume that the newer part of my brain also got in on the act. If reincarnation is a reality, I probably have moved from coming back as a toad to coming back as a worm.
About 30 minutes later I got a call from the regional supervisor who apologized, and today I will go to pick up the extra wood. May God have mercy on my soul.

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