Life on the edge

"A man has got to know his limitations,Ē my mentor ďDirtyĒ Harry once said. It seems like every time I forget mine, I just get embarrassed into remembering them again Ė a lenient sentence compared to the spectacular explosions, fire fights, and harpoon death scenes that get the mobsters and hoodlums back-on-track in the popular Clint Eastwood movies.

I think itís either because Iím lucky, or because my limitations are in fact so limited (stupefying may be a more accurate term), that over-stepping them isnít considered a hanging offense Ė but itís still exciting, well worth it, and really easy to do.

For instance, I recently ran out of Right Guard, so Iíve been pushing it for two weeks using an arrant stash of Ladyís Speed Stick. They say itís strong enough for a man, but any day now that ďpH balanced for a womanĒ disclaimer could kick-in, ruin my chances of ever being accepted by co-workers, and shame me into heading to the store and sniffing out a more suitable antiperspirant. Think about it; for no other reason than thrill seeking I could temporarily lose my self-respect, and gain a reputation as the guy who smells like a whopper. How extreme is that! And it required almost no effort!

It seems like too much information, but my deodorant situation is a good indicator of the usual extent to which I live on the edge.

However, my acts have become a bit more brazen as of late.

For the past few months Iíve only been sending in the minimum payment on my credit card. There, I said it and Iím not ashamed. In fact, itís a guilty pleasure. Nothing makes you feel more alive than knowing that if youíre even one dollar short the folks in billing will hunt you down, badger you with calls, and leave nasty voice messages notifying you that by skimping-out on that $1, youíve essentially stolen food from their childís mouth. Donít get me wrong Iím like you Ė money is no object. But why would I want to pay more than is required? Why hurry up to kill the monthly rush? Why lose the thought of your caller I.D.-less mother begging you to ďsave yourself,Ē while she fights back the blood thirsty creditors who are hot on your tail? If thatís not meagerly careless enough to start your engine and keep it running, I donít know what is.

My carís inspection expired New Yearís Day. Yup, Iíve been avoiding the law for almost an entire month now. And speaking on behalf of all fugitives and outlaws Ė paranoia is not a good feeling. I often cruise the back roads and side streets singing, ďNo Iím not gonna let emí catch me no, Not gonna let emí catch the Midnight Riiiiiiderrrr,Ē and get scared realizing Iím singing about myself.

However, having the courage to sustain a run from civic responsibility comes down to principle. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Thereís nothing wrong with my car. Iím going to avoid spending any money on it until itís absolutely necessary. Iíd say law or not, but once they get me (which if they read this column, will be this weekend or sooner), then Iíll give in. Until then: catch me if you can, coppers!

I donít need to jump from a plane, swim with sharks, or run with the bulls to get my kicks. There is enough life to scoff at from the couch, the chair, or the lazy chair.

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