Sometimes once can be even more than enough

Some aspects of life demand obvious repeating to the degree that they become autonomic patterns in our lives. We eat, sleep, consume liquids, empty bladder and bowels and a few other things on a daily basis.

Other things we do a little more sporadically, but they remain part of the fabric of who we are. So, we make love every little once in a while (more often is better in my esteem), with frequency depending on the libidos of us and our partner (or partners, if you really get around), we quaff alcoholic beverages if so inclined, we grocery shop, to a restaurant for a meal, and we go on vacation, and so forth.

And then there are things we’ve perhaps done once, but would truly like to do again. This may include having gone to some exotic spot on vacation that persists in having an allure and draw, like Rarotonga in my case. And I would do that again if only it didn’t demand (due to economic realities) flying steerage on a 10 hour flight from LA across the Pacific. Add to that the three hours flight from Vancouver to LA.

And finally there are those things that I have experienced once and once only and for various reasons have no desire to repeat them. Here are my one-offs and I likely won’t go there again, or at least I ‘hope’ I won’t revisit any of them:

–         Ride a roller coaster: I was in high school and all the other guys were and I was loath to admit to being a craven coward, so I joined them. It was a remarkably unpleasant experience for me and I’ve never had any desire to repeat such a dubious pleasure. It reminded me of the tale a reporter friend once told me about making a run on an Olympic luge course. “I never knew there was such a thing as an instant laxative. Believe me there is, and it’s not a pretty sensation.”

–          Ride the Vancouver Skytrain. Sleek, state-of-the-art, ridiculously overpriced and hideously impractical (when compared with other rapid transit systems in other cities), and also much favored by knife-wielding young thugs. So, no, I don’t think the need will arise.

–         Ride in a jet fighter plane: It was extremely exciting when I got a newspaper assignment to write a feature on what it was like for a shmo like me to ride under the Plexiglas in a jet plane. It was all that it promised to be and more. What a rush. On the other hand, it also involved some 5 hours of pre-flight instructions that included how to eject and bail out. Bail Out! WTF? Anyway, once was enough.

–         Go on a drug raid with the police. Another reportorial experience that got the old ticker pumping at the time and resulted in a great story. But, there were also nasty, nasty dogs, and a certain potential for guys with guns being present, hence the flack-jacket I was compelled to wear. Thanks for the memory, guys. I leave it at that.

–         Do a social work tour of a maximum-security prison: This left me with one strong conviction. I do not ever want to go to prison. Prisons are really really awful claustrophobic places populated by some really bad human beings. The chill that goes through you when those heavy iron doors shut behind you can’t easily be described.

–         Go to jail: Once, when younger and much more foolish, I spent a few hours in a lockup. It was mortifying and frightening and I wasn’t allowed to leave when I wanted to, which was from the second that barred door slammed behind me.

–         Go to a senior prom: Arguably more stressful than my jail experience. All my adolescent anxieties came to the fore on that single night and my date was somebody I scarcely knew from school and we were utterly bored with each other in an instant. You know when you are dancing with a girl to some slow Johnny Mathis thing and she sticks her ass out behind her so that your hips will never come anywhere near to each other’s, and she devotes her time to looking over your shoulder to see if she can espy somebody more interesting, then this is not a match made in heaven. On the plus side, however, at that same dance I met the girl who was to become my steady for the next two years, so it wasn’t all bad.

There are likely more, but these will suffice for now. Feel free to name some of yours.

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3 responses to “Sometimes once can be even more than enough

  1. Well, I’d go skydiving again in an instant. My never again is much more prosaic than your list. I never ever want to spend a year cleaning out a hoarder’s apartment again. Evah

  2. What would I never do again…Live through being made fun of because other kids thought it was “cool” to humiliate me…I learned how to fight as a result, but that isn’t something anyone should aspire to.

    I’m with you on the prom, jail and rollercoaster…

  3. I must laugh that prom was mentioned as more stressful than jail.

    You have lived an exciting life! At least you have that to claim for yourself, right? It’s downright impressive.

    The one experience I would not want to repeat is jumping off a 40 foot cliff into shark infested waters in Hawaii.

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