Many of us older folks will remember a Milton-Bradley board game entitled “The Game of Life,” a pleasant way to pass a few hours in those days before Ars Electronica ate the world. You would select a little plastic car and push it along the convoluted pathway on the board according to the spin of the Wheel of Fortune. Along the way you would pick up a Significant Other and a pack of children after landing a job. At the end of the game you would either land in Millionaire Acres or the Poorhouse... the end of Real Life’s game having been considered a little beyond the intellectual capacities of its young players. Nevertheless, Milton-Bradley’s automotive analogy was - and still is - is a valid one.

Every single one of us has a consciousness - a soul, if you will - bound up in the flesh of our brains and carried around by our bodies. I think of it as driving the Meat-Mobile.

Each of us pilots a Meat-Mobile along the highway of life. There is room for only one passenger, although other Meat-Mobiles may drive alongside us for long stretches of our journey.

Some of us tool along at a leisurely pace. Others drive like bats out of hell, running off the road and ending their trips prematurely. If we are fortunate, we get to look at beautiful scenery along the way. Others drive along with gritted teeth and hands gripping the wheel, navigating through the traffic with singular intent.

The road goes on forever, but our fleshy vehicles do not.

Despite regular feedings of the finest fuel and careful maintenance at the recommended intervals, the miraculous meaty machines that transport our souls will break down. Sometimes the problems are easily remedied with a quick fix along the shoulder or a few days in the shop, after which we resume our journey. Inevitably, though, the machine – as do all machines – will no longer function. This is a rule of the road, a rule of the Game of Real Life.

Alas, we have not yet figured out how to escape our individual Meat-Mobiles and hop into new ones when the old ones no longer serve. This is an inconvenient fact, especially considering that my Meat-Car has thrown a rod.

But, damn it, I’m coasting as far as I can while the scenery is so wonderful!


  1. This created an image of my head of a sedan made out of raw beef.

    But I get it. Too well. Lately, I've had to remind myself that the whole point is the trip and NOT thinking about the the inevitable breaking down and the rust and the junkyard. We pass some cool sights, and I really need to pay more attention to that as I go...

  2. Gobsmacked, Guv’nor! You know your onions! THIS is brilliant, Sir Colander.

  3. As always, a thought-provoking way of looking at things.

    I once saw something to the effect of "You aren't a body carrying around a soul. Rather, you are a soul briefly occupying a body." Similar concept.

  4. I had a whole different image of the meat wagon... You are not there yet... Take your time.

  5. There is room for another passenger, but said room is very temporary & can't be reclaimed once vacated. Like a sidecar, but one that only lasts 9 months...I mean miles...

    1. That image of a short-term passenger riding in a sidecar is just beautiful!

  6. Keep on keepin' on. By doing what you do, for you it will not be as Bill Shakespeare said:

    "The good is oft interred with their bones."


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