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Aggravation: Is it a board game or a way of life?
Danny  Tyree

First off, Louis Armstrong was right about it being a wonderful world. And I realize many people suffer far worse troubles than mine.

But still...I would die of shock if I ever experienced 10 consecutive minutes of comfort, serenity and dignity. (Okay, anesthesia gave me two of the three; but instead of Doctors Without Borders, we need to mobilize Procedures Without Hospital Gowns.)

Through a combination of overcommitment, aging, Murphy’s Law and innate klutziness, I am a man of constant aggravation.

True, I have outgrown zits, dandruff, warts and absent-mindedly locking my keys in the car. But aches, pains, frequent bathroom visits, sinus pressure and mild asthma play tag team to fill the vacuum.

Ten minutes after I bypass a Nail Clippers R Us kiosk, I spontaneously develop the Mother of All Hangnails. Half an hour after I’ve scrutinized myself in my bathroom mirror, acquaintances are abruptly exposed to a nose hair that resembles something a junior high P.E. class always dreaded climbing.

I faithfully strive to look presentable in public, but inevitably I transform into what my mother would call “slouchy.” There is a pants leg crammed into a sock, a smear of who-knows-what on my eyeglasses, a mysterious food stain from an animal that was hunted to extinction 150 years ago and a trousers fly that is 95 percent zipped but will elicit a Good Samaritan’s shout from across a crowded room, nonetheless.

Jeans that fit perfectly yesterday suddenly have me tugging at them like I’m a (slightly) more svelte “Matt Foley, Motivational Speaker.” And I dread going to my own version of the “van down by the river,” because there is always a seatbelt buckle that gets slammed in the car door, a sideview mirror that (truth in advertising!) gives me a panoramic view of the side of the car and a towering pile of food wrappers that show the calorie content in hieroglyphs.

Granted, I have seldom experienced the classic toilet-paper-trailing-from-the-shoe humiliation, but I believe I could unerringly step in dog poop at a Garfield Look-alike Contest.

Similarly, I have a sixth sense for seeking out staplers without staples, sticky notes without stickiness, and battery-operated devices without batteries. I’m glad I’m just flirtin’ with disaster, because if I tried to write down her phone number, the pen would promptly explode in my pocket. (“Wait...I’ll just memorize it...after deleting extraneous information. There. Hey, didn’t I used to know how to drive a stick?”)

Coins and keys relentlessly create holes in my pockets. Receipts can’t wait to wiggle out of my wallet. Notes containing brilliant column ideas somehow defy gravity and escape from my shirt pocket. (Surely it was aftereffects of anesthesia, but I thought I heard my left nipple cheering, “Nobody’s looking - let me boost you over the top to freedom.”)

Honestly, I try to live a simple life. For me, a “three-way” means the cat is throwing up on IRS documents at the same time the unbalanced load of laundry goes “whomp whomp...” and an altruistic individual calls to Make My Day with an extended warranty on band candy.

Thanks for letting me vent. I could ramble on a lot longer, but I see by the clock on the wall...allow for not springing forward...remember you’re running three minutes fast...

*Sigh* Only I could get nostalgic for zits, dandruff and warts.

Danny welcomes email responses at and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”