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Fall Down? Hmmm...Interesting
by Mike Calahan

Let me begin this by saying that I am not indifferent or completely cold (notice I said ‘completely’) nor do I consider myself a misanthrope (except in regards to individuals who are considerably better-looking than myself, or who possess a far greater talent. In my opinion, these people should rot). I do what I can to champion the underdog, fight the good fight, etc. Yet, with regards to the world around me, more often than not I find myself not a reactionary, but an observer--less the surgeon and more the heart monitor that beeps incessantly to the annoyance of the curmudgeon in the bed nearby. I seem to watch the goings-on of others in much the same way I would a courtroom drama: the only reaction being ‘I wonder what’s gonna happen next.’

Once, I was sitting at a crowded cafe (doing my part to stimulate the economy with a $2 coffee purchase) when a grizzled man got up and, as quickly as he stood, pitched forward to the floor. My initial reaction (as I sipped my coffee and thought that it could have used a bit more sugar) was not to lend assistance, but, “Hmm, I wonder what caused that? He doesn’t appear inebriated. I wonder who will be the first to lend a hand? The girl behind the counter, maybe? That seems a safe bet.” As a young man wearing a Misfits t-shirt kneeled down and offered his shoulder for the fallen man’s support, I thought, “Hmm, I was wrong. Interesting.”

Another time, as I sat on a park bench adjusting the laces on my shoes (so that the two ends were exactly even), a melee broke out across the street. Looking up, I thought, “That seems like an uneven fight. I wonder what caused it? Looks like that tall one might kick the other guy in the....Hey, whaddya know, I was right. One point for me.” --Moments later, I was walking back to my car, strongly considering purchasing new laces.

It’s not that I am indifferent, it’s just the Calahan nature. It was my great-great grandfather Francis Xavier Calahan who, on a trans-atlantic voyage in 1913, twirled his mustache as he thought, “I wonder if we’re a goin’ t’ hit that iceberg? Rather ominous-lookin’ thing it is. Let’s see if I can guess who’ll be the first t’ notice it... That lad in the crow’s nest, ay, my money’s on him.”

And, it was my great-great-great uncle (once removed) Eustis Dellacroix Calahan, the theater critic, who, while attending a play in 1865, let his eyes wander in search of something more entertaining and found himself ruminating, “Hmm, that’s interesting. Isn’t that the young actor Booth skulking around the President’s box? I wonder if he’s going to ask the President for an autograph? No, I bet he wants to have a moment of his time in order to discuss...”

“...A shot? I did not expect that, at all. Interesting.”