I just come from a fight you wouldn't believe with my wife who I love even though when we got home she threw a new toaster-oven at me and a chair. The main thing was, she was supposed to meet me and she was late. Corinna is always late. She just is. She thinks she isn't but if clocks come into the argument, I win. This time I finally blew up and she blew up right back, right there in the Jiffy Lube, and then we got in the car which had new oil and wiper fluid and we chewed each other brand new assholes which is the worst expression I ever heard which is why I'm using it because this was the nastiest, most ugly fight we ever had in our over thirteen total months of marriage. I look back at what I said and the way I was and I go what the hell is wrong with me. In my own mind remembering me, I was out of it. But I wasn't out of it. I don't do drugs, I don't do anything except a twelve-pack of Pabst sitting with Corinna but just on Sunday if the Patriots are on. Corinna just came in and read what I got so far and said to add it was scary. She's right. It was scary. Is there something we can do so it doesn't happen again?
Bing and Corinna
Dear Bing and Corinna,
I think I have some very good news for you. What the two of you took was a trip everybody takes from time to time. You took a trip to The Blowzone. It's a horrible place, The Blowzone. Just horrible. How can you tell if you have, indeed, entered The Blowzone? The signs are clear and obvious:
1. You're having an argument.
2. You feel you're losing. You reach into your Communication Tool Box for another tool -- uh-oh. Empty.
3. What You're Saying becomes What You're Yelling.
4. What you're yelling becomes a very distant relative of what you were saying.
5. You switch your primary goal from trying to say what you think is true to trying to say what you think will hurt.
6. With your own ears, you hear yourself becoming a child. An unpleasant child.
7. Things that aren't meant to be thrown begin to seem delightfully throwable.
8. A few of your cells, somewhere dark, find this event exhilarating, almost amusing, but the rest of your cells do not.
Sound familiar Bing and Corinna? Welcome to The Blowzone. It's a dangerous place. Horrible things can happen. Ducking toaster-ovens, for example.
Why do we behave this way? If you ask me, it's because evolution has made our advanced intelligence our ace in the hole. The skunk gets That Smell. The giraffe gets That Neck. The porcupine gets Those Quills.
Us, we get a less reliable problem-solver: The Ability To Reason.
And when our ace in the hole fails, when our words fail us, we're goners. We take our arms which used to be legs and we try to hit things. We take our voices which have been honed for making sense and we bleat and we howl.
We construct weaponry.
Bing and Corinna, there is only one law of the land inside The Blowzone, and it is as constant as physics: The longer you stay there, the worse things will get.
You must get out of The Blowzone. You must. You must get out.
And so it excites me to be able to tell you that there is a simple set of instructions for leaving the Blowzone once you realize that you have entered it, and it works every time, but it takes discipline and practice. Here's what you do:
1. You say, either out loud or to yourself, Uh-oh, I'm in The Blowzone. (It's acceptable to say Uh-oh, I'm in The Fucking Blowzone).
2. You turn on your heels, move your body away from anyone else in The Blowzone, the farther away the better. If you're being followed, pick up speed.
3. Sit somewhere. Relax. Wait for the lunatic we're all capable of being to climb out of you and to stagger away. You may wave bye-bye if you want.
4. When you're ready, consider the wording of an apology for the part you played in the horrors of your trip to The Blowzone.
5. Rise, continue with your Life.
And for crying out loud, practice. Practice, practice, practice.