I’m a simple person. Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to entertain me when I’ve made up my mind to check out. A boring church service, dinner with my in-laws: I’m gone.
While most people ruminate over their portfolio, I’ll focus on what life would be like if I were born with certain “beneficial” birth anomalies. I wonder how life would change if I had “eyes in the back of my head …”
Having both eyes looking straight ahead is supposed to be one of man’s greatest advantages over the species. However, having both eyes in front of my head has always made it easy for class clowns to tape “kick me” signs on my back.
Having eyes in the back of my head would allow me to survey where I’ve been and debate how I might have done things differently. It would cut down significantly on speeding tickets, as the police wouldn’t be able to sneak up on me anymore. Of course, there could be a number of disadvantages, too.
Getting a haircut would be a much trickier proposition. One false move with the scissors could result in catastrophic consequences. I’d also have to seriously modify my stride. I’d either have to constantly be looking over my shoulder or contrive some sort of mirrored contraption to wear around my neck while walking “forward”.
I can also see the value in “being all thumbs”. After all, having opposing thumbs is what sets man apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Hitchhiking would have more possibilities: instead of the having only two positions to choose from (forehand and backhand), 10 thumbs would present an infinite number of variations.
However, I think being all thumbs would present more challenges than benefits. First, there are those dexterity barriers: I’ve never had much success picking my nose with my thumb. And imagine how difficult it would be to remove your contact lenses with no index fingers.
I’d like to have a “grin from ear to ear.” There could be a lot of advantages to having a mouth that hinged an additional six inches. Getting my teeth cleaned would be a snap. I could just fold my head back in half and relax. Of course, since my mouth would be so much wider, I’d probably have 20 or 30 extra teeth, so it would probably cost more.
And kissing could be risky. Anyone getting a hickey from me would be facing a life threatening welt.
If I had my way, I’d also like to be “all ears.” If I were all ears, I’d have a head covered with pinnas, leaving no room for eyes or a nose. Which begs the question of how they would be distributed. Would they flower concentrically around a logical center, or would they be layered like shingles on a cottage roof?
Where would I park the ends of my sunglasses? If I were all ears, I’d be able to hear things that are currently beneath my perception, like who was it that passed that gas in the elevator? On the negative side, just keeping up with the Q-tips would kill me financially.
In addition to body part anomalies, I wouldn’t mind being able to assimilate different colors: “green with envy,” “tickled pink,” or “white as a sheet.” If I were really capable of becoming green with envy, I’d make a fantastic Army infantryman. I’d blend naturally into the landscape. Unless of course, I was sent to Iraq. If I were “tickled pink,” people would always mistake me for being sunburned and smother me with SPF 150. On the other hand, if I was “white as a sheet” I’d be forever getting tossed in the laundry hamper.
Beyond all of these, there are a host of other anomalies that I don’t have time to get into, like “being beside myself”, letting the “cat get my tongue”, “having a frog in my throat” or “putting my foot in my mouth.”
Wouldn’t life be much more interesting if we were all built completely unique? But since I don’t have that choice, I guess I’ll have to be content with accepting an ear on either side of my head, two eyes next to my nose and my lowly mouth above my chin. In the end, I guess I have to admit that my creator did a pretty good job designing me just the way that I am.