Genghis Can’t

Genghis Kahn killed between 10 and 60 million people. Now he’s after my to-do list.

I can’t stop listening to this podcast about him. It’s 5 hours long; I’m already on my second go-around. It’s fascinating. Gripping. Horrifying. Awe inspiring. But listening to historical podcasts, especially of the intense variety, is not conducive to doing anything else well. Except for ironing. Which I, of course, have not done — the 10 million shirts awaiting my attention notwithstanding.

I’ve tried multi-tasking. The results have been universally poor. Listening to the podcast has hurt my driving, (“he chopped their what off with a battle axe?” Beep BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Screech!!!). It’s been awful for my grocery shopping, (“excuse me, stranger in the nut aisle? Oh, no, I’m fine. It’s just — um — 60,000 virgins just killed themselves to avoid him, see, and — oh. Ahem. Have a nice day too.”) I learned this morning that it’s disasterous at Ikea, where the furniture names sound vaguely Mongol, the meatballs look like little severed heads — I ate twelve, mind you — and the chair displays look like great, heaped up piles of bone. Lastly  — as I said in my previous post — it’s inappropriately distracting while shopping for toddler birthday presents. Three-year-old girls don’t want swords. They want tea sets. Or maybe they don’t. I have no fucking idea, and none of it seems to matter when you think of the scale of destruction the 13th century people went through.

Then there are the things that can’t be done with earbuds in. These are being fully neglected. I need to call my mother, a few old friends, and my mortgage company. Not happening. I need to locate a party rental place. Because, did I mention? Myra-Jean’s birthday party is in two weeks and I’ve invited the equivalent of a small town in Nebraska to come. I should be planning food, considering themes, preparing gift bags. But how can I? It’s too sad. It’s ridiculous. These kids today. They have no idea how good they have it. Gift bags? They’re lucky not to be chattel! Maybe that should be the theme. Non-chattlement. “What’s in the sack? Your freedom. Now quit whining, kid.”

It won’t make me popular. It will, however, make the get-together memorable.

If it happens at all. Because right now it’s not looking good. All I want to do is sit on the couch — an Ikea Säter, I might add; gah! — and stare into space as I listen, shake my head, and try to imagine what it was all like. It’s a weird kind of imprisonment: totally self-imposed, but effective nonetheless. Maybe I need one of those gift bags myself.

Or maybe I just need to give in and head for the ironing board.

6 thoughts on “Genghis Can’t

  1. Jeff

    “Kids today…” Did you ever imagine yourself saying that when you were younger? I certainly didn’t but now I find myself saying it all the time. “In my day” will be next, I imagine.

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