Today is Wednesday (stated merely for the benefit of those who keep track of such things). I rarely do.
Wednesday’s only claim to fame is that it marks the halfway point between weekends. We always feel a fleeting sense of accomplishment when we reach midday Wednesday. It’s very similar to what pioneers in the 1800s who were struggling along the Oregon Trail must have felt when they finally got to the South Pass in Wyoming at the Continental Divide. Sure, they were happy to have gotten this far without getting cholera or scurvy … but then they would realize that they still had a lot of Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon to get through. There would still be plenty of opportunities to get cholera, dysentery, hypothermia, or shot (which the travel brochures had lumped under the bullet point of “…excitement and adventure for the entire family!”).
Not that I’m comparing the tribulations of the modern workweek to the hardships faced along the Oregon Trail. After all, how does one compare paper cuts, PowerPoint poisoning, low toner in the copy machine, and bad tasting coffee in the break room to the threat of constant death along the Oregon Trail? One doesn’t. Not without risking a loss of credibility.
I’ll be the first to admit that I would not have lasted a mile on the Oregon Trail back then. There is a high likelihood that my fellow travelers would have voted to chuck me over the side of the covered wagon just a few miles into Kansas. What good is an ersatz comedian to a wagon train of emigrants making their way across the rough and dangerous terrain of a wild, untamed country? My fellow travelers would have had a clandestine meeting one night and the trail boss (played by George Kennedy) would have said, “Look … we either gotta get rid of the mime or the comedian or the interpretive dancer.” The Festus-type character (played by Ken Curtis) would shout out in a stage whisper, “The other day I saw him writing words on a birch log … though he called it a blog!”
Well, that would settle it. The vote would be unanimous and at some point along the trail, when I least expected it, I would be heaved bodily over the side of the wagon, narrowly missing the wagon wheels as they slowly churned their way westwards. After that I would have to rely on my wits to survive (i.e. the credits would begin rolling as I wondered off in search of a pastrami sandwich).
I exaggerate, of course. But only a little.