It is, as you might justifiably concur, my eternal ignominy to arise late in the morning. The tardiness violates every prescription for health and advancement advanced by Benjamin Franklin to modern day Naturalists. I might also include Immanuel Kant and his doctrine of transcendental idealism. In any event it really doesn’t matter the day of the week, whether a business day, Saturday or a religious day. I haven’t any longer a commanding perception of the day of the week particularly now that retail is unabated and I am an infidel. More rudimentary no longer have I the blaring alarms of prep school or the exigencies of a law practice to preserve me from Protestant disgrace. Even the awareness (or at least the well-founded suspicion) that my long-standing friend MIchael Tweedie JD (an avowed and published jurisprude late of the Superior Court of Justice) arises regularly before dawn hasn’t as yet had a persuasive effect upon my progressive indolence.
German sociologist Max Weber, in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism (1904–05), held that the Protestant ethic was an important factor in the economic success of Protestant groups in the early stages of European capitalism; because worldly success could be interpreted as a sign of eternal salvation, it was vigorously pursued. Calvinism’s antipathy to the worship of the flesh, its emphasis on the religious duty to make fruitful use of the God-given resources at each individual’s disposal, and its orderliness and systemization of ways of life were also regarded by Weber as economically significant aspects of the ethic.
I aim to rise by no later than nine o’clock. But this is but a relaxed and unconcerned ambition. Often the flow of my soporific creek laps upon the shores into ten o’clock or possibly as late as 10:30 am. And by the time I’ve accomplished the requisite ablutions, wiped my spectacles, cleansed the plastic cover and protective wrap of my iPhone (or, as I did this morning, diverted myself to polish the Johnson Matthey & Mallory 20 Oz Tr .999 bar of silver I keep as a paper weight), I am approaching the eleventh hour. And there still remains steel cut oats and prunes to digest.
2017 marked the 200th anniversary of Johnson Matthey. Back in 1817 we opened our doors as assayers, testing the purity of precious metals, and the business quickly expanded thanks to the vision and determination of our founders.
Admittedly the speed of things accelerates noticeably once I’ve begun tucking into the oats. And depending whether I am reasonably close to the noon hour I may have the spiralling advantage to anticipate a routine dose of Tylenol. Thereafter it is assured I shall endeavour to expiate my guilt by tricycling about the neighbourhood. Now that we have the Rebounder set aside for indoor emergency I comfortably satisfy myself to prophesy equal offset of whatever immorality may then poison my being and impending voyage across the River Styx to eternity.
In Greek mythology the Styx is the chief river surrounding Hades, the land of the dead. Its waters flowed around Hades seven times and were sacred to the gods; by the Styx they swore their most sacred oaths. The souls of the dead who had been properly buried were ferried across the river by the boatman Charon. The cost of passage was a small coin called an obolus. These coins were placed on the tongue of the dead person; it was believed that otherwise they might be kept waiting a hundred years on the brink of the river.
The Styx (river of hate) was the most important of five rivers that watered Hades. Into the Gulf of Tartarus flowed the Acheron (river of woe), the Phlegethon (river of fire) , the Cocytus (river of wailing) and, somewhat removed from the others, the Lethe (river of oblivion).
Laughable though I make it, the morning exercise is a critical part of my day; hence, the Rebounder. With the unfamiliar prospect of winter looming before us, it was a breakthrough nonpareil to have located Acon’s high performance trampolines. As I am pleased to report, “They delivered!” The supreme delight and self-satisfaction afforded by the Rebounder is exceeded only by swimming in the sea; and that novelty is for the time being something to reserve for another time.
The reward for my athleticism is a drive to Stittsville for a car wash. Though I’m an addict of exercise, I love to drive. Additionally this nod to obsession assuages my psychology and accommodates my immobility (which ironically increases with exercise and only retards if avoided for at least a day or more). Today marked one of the few days lately when the car is actually filthy and genuinely in need of a wash. The recent snow squalls and crests of salt imposed upon the roadways by the large yellow trucks have ensured a shabby appearance. Propelled by this sanitizing mission, tranquillized by the analgesic and anticipating the depurative cermony of vacuuming, it is invariably a gratifying drive to Halo® car wash. During the short jaunt (I’m guessing no more than 45 Kms there and back) I entertain myself to test as many of the functions of the automobile as I might safely do – or be permitted to do – while driving. Thankfully I have kept pace with the yearly improvements of the passenger automobile which is now nearing autonomy and which connects to all one’s internet and related devices. Still, as I importantly commented yesterday to another car buff, the thing I cannot hesitate to applaud are the windshield wipers. I won’t annoy you, dear Reader, with the insignificant details of this trifling issue except to observe the wipers on the Cadillac work the way you think they should, not with the preposterous conjunction of water and wipers that Lincoln has incomprehensibly chosen instead. I mustn’t persist! Already I have too many eviscerations I’d prefer to render Lincoln. As the quip goes – this to restore my balance – “How do you spell disembowelled?”