My First World Problems: Only one shot at this

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Harry Menear | Entertainment Editor | May 1, 2012 

We watched a video in Bio this week. It documented – in intricate, stomach-turning detail – the inner workings of the human body from birth to death. In between showing the class some very high-definition footage of feces, mid-way through its squelchy journey from top to bottom, and (with a certain morbid glee, I thought) portraying morning sickness from the inside (brace yourselves for more squelching), the narrator mentioned that we reach the peak of our physical fitness and well-being is in our twenties.

Speaking as someone so rapidly approaching his biological prime, this scares me; that I have another three fourths of life to go after its highest point. It really is going to be a long, slow, slide into oblivion.

Photo courtesy of 101 Project

Following this somewhat disturbing realization, the old adage “You’re only young once” comes bounding to mind. This, I assumed when I was young, was a useful excuse for doing some very stupid things. Now I think there might be a little more to it.

I personally would love to believe in a higher power, reincarnation, or some cosmic score-keeping system. Unfortunately I have been presented with no sufficient evidence to contradict my current ruling: I am an insignificant speck of animate carbon, sitting on a damp rock, hurtling round a giant ball of burning gas at over 60,000 miles an hour, and fairly confused by the whole affair.

Woah dude, it's like. . . Space. . . Wait, actually I'm pretty sure it's just my desktop. Never mind, guys. (Photo courtesy of that large, faceless corporation we all know and love.

I can only presume then that, as I have no experience of the world before I arrived, I will have no experience of what it’s going to be like when I leave. While it’s a relief that, as Alan Watts said, I’m “Not going to have to put up with everlasting nonexistence, because that’s not an experience”, this does tend to put me in a predicament when choosing how to spend the precious time I have as me: Sentient Carbon Ape Thing # 6990000000 and something or other.

I’ve got one shot to do things properly; to perform the actions for which I will be remembered for all of time; to ask Kaeleigh Morrison to prom.

TL;DR: We are all insignificant specs of matter floating around a pointless, godless, hopeless universe. Kaeleigh Morrison, will you please go to prom with me.


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