I recently was lucky enough to acquire one of the newest Rockaway Times t-shirts, which, in my humble opinion, is the best design to date, especially with the iconic RT bicycle featured prominently on both the back and front of the shirt. I should also add that the color preference of our esteemed publisher, Kevin Boyle, still remains steadfast with bright, Day-Glo, orange.
My beloved Grace took one look at it and said, "That t-shirt's so bright you gotta wear shades!" I even mentioned to Kevin that had I gotten my hands on this t-shirt a week earlier I could have worn it in the recent Mermaid Parade! The ever sensitive Mr. Boyle immediately quipped, "You at the Mermaid Parade? There's an image I can't get out of my mind!"
Talk about a micro aggression! Emotionally devastated by Kevin's bon mot, I tumbled down a rabbit hole of angst and hurt feelings and found myself over in Princeton, New Jersey where, thank the gods of progressive academia, I was immediately granted access to a safe space along with some coloring books, Play-Doh and a dog to pet. I was assured that I could use this space to assuage my hurt feelings in a calm and supportive atmosphere among the similarly afflicted. I immediately had misgivings regarding my decision to visit this safe space as the dog was continually peeing all over the floor, the Play-Doh was stale and hard, they told me I could not keep my coloring book and the continual sounds of the Linda Ronstadt's "Poor, Poor Pitiful Me" pulsing from the room's speakers proved just a wee bit too much for me to endure. The real deal breaker came when I inquired if there was any cold beer to be had. I was firmly advised that only pure, healthy, mountain spring bottled water would be made available to sate my thirst.
I politely declined the offer of bottled water and calmly explained to the student that, although neither widely known by the general public nor advertised by either the government or bottled water manufacturers, he and his brother and sister snowflakes should be aware that their drink of choice contains dangerous levels of Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO), a colorless and odorless chemical compound, also referred to by some as Dihydrogen Oxide, Hydrogen Hydroxide, Hydronium Hydroxide, or simply Hydric acid. Its basis is the highly reactive hydroxyl radical, a species shown to mutate DNA, denature proteins, disrupt cell membranes, and chemically alter critical neurotransmitters. The atomic components of DHMO are found in a number of caustic, explosive and poisonous compounds such as Sulfuric Acid, Nitroglycerine and Ethyl Alcohol. I cautioned that DHMO is a very strong solvent. It is present in 100 percent of all poisons. Inhaled, it can kill you within four minutes. In its gaseous state, it can cause serious burns. I recommended that they do some research into this issue and read the history of another safe space advocate, Jim Jones, who killed 900 of his "Peoples Temple" cult back in 1978 down in his "safe space" in Jonestown, Guyana by having his followers drink copious amounts of Kool-Aid containing DHMO along with other dangerous chemicals.
After thanking the student supervisor and his dog for their hospitality, I headed back to Broad Channel, but not before I saw the bottled water being locked away in a closet and the student safe space supervisor quickly leaving the area heading to the university library muttering to himself, "Oh my God...DHMO, acid, burns, Jim Jones, Peoples Temple..." At the time all I could think was "Obviously liberal arts...no science or American history classes for this laddie!"
Having failed to attain emotional healing via university safe space visit, arriving back in Broad Channel I decided to follow the advice of Rockaway Times columnist, Helen Kilgallen ("Be Well Be Happy"), who recommends that, when emotionally stressed, we should all make special time for ourselves to retreat from our normal everyday lives...pause and step off the hamster wheel of life one might say...so that we may emerge once again ready to return to life with a new and fresh perspective.
Accordingly, I stopped by the VFW on Shad Creek Road for a couple of ice cold draft beers (containing safe levels of DHMO) and some rational conversation with individuals whose idea of a safe space is an armored personnel carrier. I emerged from my period of introspection an hour or so later onto Shad Creek Road refreshed and ready to tackle life once again. You might even say I was once again "well and happy." My sincere thanks to Ms. Kilgallen!
In closing and because I don't want anyone out there panicking and tossing their bottled water, DHMO is just another way of defining the chemical formula for H2O...plain old water!
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