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Imagine yourself in a multiplex movie theater. Curiously, no walls separate the half-dozen theaters that form the multiplex. Miraculously, you are watching six different screens all at once, thoroughly understanding and enjoying every scene, word, character.

Welcome to ADHD. 

[You in the Real World, be sure to click on the red underlined hyperlinks!]

Bottom time 1      This photo is explained below, so I’m not writing a caption. Take that!

You five readers who somehow have endured more than one of these weekly “ADHD Powered” columns need no explanation of “threads.”

But newcomers to these true-life stories, says Screen Two, pity in his voice, may require a quick introduction.

“Threads” find their origin in margents, the witty and cutting MARGin commENTS handwritten years ago on typed family letters by my older twin sister.

Older? repeats Three. Inaccurate. She’s your twin.

No, corrects One. I mean, yes, she IS Blackie’s twin, but she’s older, having arrived on Earth precisely 300 seconds ahead of the runner-up.

“Did just you call me ‘runner-up,’ One? And you make us sound as though we’re aliens.”

Don’t get distracted, Black, nudges Five. They’re screens. Nothing more.

Typewriters and margents eventually give way to e-mail and – well, to threads. These threads occur when one Blackwell transmits the initial electronic e-mail, photo, video or doctored document. Extended family recipients respond with a compounding (and merciless) exchange of whoops, wonders and wahahahahahas!

Don’t you have one too many “ha’s” in there? asks Four.

I publish such threads every so often just to help you understand that my ADHD really cannot be blamed for everything you read in these columns. This particular thread starts with a note from Barry, one of the world’s finest speargun crafters and youngest of that unruly Blackwell brood  …

Bite-Size BubbaBarry [aka “Bubba”]: Good morning. My buddy is a terrific freediver. [See photo at top … the one with no caption.] He was practicing in some of the springs here and came up with this idea for a photo. He is down in 100 feet of water. Bottom time of 2 minutes 45 seconds. The guy is good. Anyway, thought you might get a kick out of the photos.

Old Man WinterTed [aka “Thor”]: WAY TOO COOL. I can’t believe you get that kind of sun 100 feet down. He looks like Aquaman. Those have to be specially designed freediving fins.

MichaelMike [aka “Spike”]: WAAAAY TOO COOL. One of the coolest underwater pics I’ve seen.  I can’t even imagine the [pressure of] 100 feet on the ears while freediving.

Can YOU do this, Bubba? I’d love to see a pic of that! Pleeeeeeeease (beg, beg, beg) …  can you/will you take me scuba diving there?


Dianne [aka “DiAnnie Oakley”]: Look at what you started, Barry! Me too, me too!

’Course, I can’t breathe on land, so I might have to practice a bit.

Thor: Welcome one, welcome all! Welcome to Den and Ted’s Diving School.

Let us provide the expertise to help you dive deeper than you’ve ever dived before, all without [the safety of] patented technology developed across a century of combined years of field testing.

anchorJust tie this [see equipment at left] to your leg, then let Den and Ted do the rest of the work for you.

Please sign the life insurance waiver prior to diving.

DiAnnie Oakley: LOL !!  I presume the life insurance is made out to you?

Thor: Life insurance to Ted? Yes.

DiAnnie Oakley: And Den, see how he ropes you in?

Thor: And how WE rope YOU in …  hahahaha.

Mike:  Niiiiiice school, Ted. And don’t let it worry anybody that the school is about four minutes old.

But as a Life Insurance Porfessonal for 25 years, BEFORE you go diving with Ted and the oh-so-innocent Dennis (NOT), please send me the ORIGINAL paperwork for your life insurance policy. I will make sure it gets put in my – ummmm, Ted’s name … or any other you would prefer.

DiAnnie Oakley: Define Porfessonal for me, Mike …

Thor [aka “Theo”]: You spell like Theo, dude.

DiAnnie Oakley: And you, Theo, talk about yourself in the third person?

Thor:  Yeah. Theo da man! Now, how tight you want that knot around your ankles? Breathe deep …

Blackie [aka “Dennis”]: And so I’ve just returned from visiting distant counties and found an explosion of e-mails from those Blackwell ruffians and Strete sirens …

Here I was going to write my own little ditty about the flash flooding we’re experiencing in the aftermath of a huge snowstorm and a 66-degree temperature differential within just 24 hours!  

I went to the basement and, of course, found it absolutely flooded with sparkling, cold, fresh water. Didn’t think it was THAT deep until I’d already bailed many buckets’ worth …

And found Barry freediving.

Mike: Barry IS in your basement, but he says the water is toooo deep to freedive, so he has a tank on.  Do you need anything brought up from the basement while he is down there?

Thor: I’m so sorry, bro. We were hit, too. But very, very lucky for me, the water wasn’t able to get in the house THIS time because I just had my foundation graded. (We got an A !!)

DiAnnie Oakley: Save the water! Bring it when you visit. I’m sure it beats my well water!

Thor: Urine beats your well water. Not that I’ve tasted urine and can reference it. I think your plumber used a closed-loop pipe for the water of the house.

DiAnnie: That must be why I never run out of water

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Postscript: Three family birthdays are here. We celebrate Pop’s in joyous recollection; Barry roars toward the half-century mark; and Barry’s lovely lady, Miss Lisa – well, gentlemen reveal neither female ages nor weights.

Especially after Barry’s warning last year, whispers Screen Two.

Barry [aka “Bubba”]: My beloved Lisa is having a “significant” birthday. I highly recommend no jokes, no “comments,” no digs, no jabs. You get the picture.  Just quietly put your peace offering at her feet, mumble something that cannot be clearly identified and gently move away while never initiating any form of eye contact.

Blackie: Miss Lisa, rather than use our conventional method here at the “Celebrate Sequoia” Citadel – that of cutting you open and counting your rings – we shall simply wish you a fine remembrance of days gone by.

Lisa: Thank you, everyone. Bubba is treating me like a queen – which, granted, isn’t different than most days. But rumor has it there will be an extra special bottle of wine waiting for me at home tonight. Your brother has made my life … my EVERY day … so precious and sweet that I feel like I’m the lucky one.

Thor: What a great note, Lisa. Exactly WHICH brother were you referring to, though? Did Dennis say or do something nice? Did Mike? I know I didn’t. I wonder who you are talking about.  😎

DiAnnie Oakley: I’m not a brother. I guess that leaves ME out of the picture for making Lisa feel special. I’m gonna go eat worms.

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Humans aren’t the only freediving critters

Friend helps fellow hockey player score

Spectacular freedive of Blue Hole