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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! And know these accounts are truewithout exaggeration!]

Regis“A technician is only as good as his equipment,” I declare, repeating wisdom I am certain must have rolled forth from Douglas Blackwell, brilliant metallurgical engineer and father.

In the world of ADHD, counters Screen Four, equipment is only as good as the guy using it.

Which means my equipment is worthless. As a case in point, I offer you ADHD-powered “lifelines.”

I love that show, exclaims Two. Ol’ Regis [Philbin] asks a difficult question on “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” and the panic-soaked contestant gets to request a “lifeline” call to someone who may have the correct answer.

“How do you know about ‘Millionaire’ when I have not hooked up a television in three decades?”

Two starts to tell me, but I wave him off by saying, “Anyway, I’m speaking of a different lifeline.”

The kind that keep you from plummeting 13 floors to your death? guesses Five, who already searched my thoughts and knows that is the answer.

balanceBernd (yes, that is the name of my co-worker, who once was a therapist back in his native Germany; no, I didn’t leave out any vowels in spelling his name) and I are installing a gigantic neon sign for the splashy, flashy, mighty classy Radisson Hotel. But knowing all too well that my balance is severely disrupted by The Accident, I am unnerved at finding myself 13 floors up in the air.

Even the number 13 does not seem wise, agrees One. Why would any hotel build that notably unlucky number of floors for guests?

Bernd, seeing my hesitation in moving about, has a ready solution.

“See zis?” he asks, holding up a thick hemp rope with a large hook tied to the end. “It’s lifeline. Hook zis side to roof vhere you are vorking

Speaking like zat must make one veary, snipes Three.

– and clip zis side into your harness. Zat vay, if you fall over roof or off scaffolding ve haf erected, you vill go zhort distance only. Zen, shnap!

Shnap?” repeats Five, not really liking the fact he must use italics in describing something that involves me. Black, is that “snap” the sound of the rope breaking your fall – or your back?

Bernd laughs. And laughs again. Ahh, those Germans, sighs Three. Such good-natured people.

My friend patiently hooks me into a second lifeline feeding off the scaffold platform, quickly quieting the fears with in me.


mountain goatsBy day’s end, applauds Six, we are just about invincible, running slim roof edges more sure-footedly than mountain goats scale rock cliffs.

Bernd laughs again, spills forth a vord to the vise. “Do not get cocky, my young friend. Zat is ven people get killed. Ven zey are too zure of zemzelves.”

Note to self, remarks Five: Do not grow overly bold. Also ask Bernd if Poligrip™ would help him pronounce his v’s and w’s.

Early the next morn, I step into my harness, fasten the five million hooks and catches, grab my lifeline, attach that baby to my back loops, and start my day of high-speed productivity.

No stopping us now! cheers Four. We are a machine in motion!

Bernd shows up minutes later. He climbs into the scaffolding manlift while I, footloose and fancy free, run – literally – the roof lines.

Sure, our balance is still terrible, grins Four, but we have no wobble worries! If we fall, we swing!

“Hey, Blackie,” Bernd calls up to me on the heights, “you zertainly move fast today.”

“Yes, I do!” Chest puffed, grin gargantuan.

“Remember I telled you, double-check your zafety gear? You remember zis?

“Do, and did!” I shout, then spin on the roof’s edge to impress him with the correctness of my connections.

He nods. Picks a lifeline up off the ground. Smiles.

And his point is? asks One.

Earthbound Bernd shakes just once the line he holds. That shake quickly wiggles along the rope toward the heavens, heading for me, and concludes its long, snaky motion by popping at my back.

Zis is your lifeline,” he explains. “Attached to you, yes, but to nuzzing on zis side.” The silence between us thunders. “Vell?

Not sure about you, Boss, whispers Two, but I vant to veep.


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Blackie’s Weekly Wonders

Will you settle for a lifelion?