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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

SAY WHAT? : Russia Leads World in Fight Against Inertia




Humans have become a lazy, sedentary race.


Look at us! We go jogging in the morning because we move so little otherwise that, had we skipped that everyday loop, our limbs would have forgotten which way to bend. Our ears are so under-trained that when we listen to music, we play it so loud that our neighbors call the police on us.


Forget telephones - we have invented speakerphones. Now, not only do we not need to leave the house to speak to a friend, we don't even have to pick up the receiver.


We decided that having children is difficult - so we invented birth control. Even having sex became too much of an effort for the most immobile of us - so we found a way to reproduce without it.


If our scientists continue to invent things that drain momentum from our lives at their current rate, it won't be long before we all die of asphyxiation because we forgot how to breathe.


But no matter what happens, the Russians will be the last to go, because here we have plenty of people who never tire of restimulating the population into a rat-race fervor whenever things look slow.


Take, for example, the heating utilities. Last Thursday, for the second time since the air temperature outside plunged below zero, they turned off the heat in my apartment - motivating my family and me to perform truly heroic acts.


Usually, when the heat is on, I sleep till 10 a.m., and then sit around with my coffee for another 40 minutes before finally getting dressed for work.


But with the help of my local heating utility, I spent much less time in procrastination. For three days in a row last week, I rushed to the kitchen to turn on the oven at 8 a.m., carried an electric heater from the bedroom to the living room and I swear I've grown muscles from wrapping millions of sweaters around my son and myself.


As the temperature plummeted again Saturday, my boyfriend set out across town to pick up another electric heater at my parent's house. That last effort must have persuaded the heat suppliers that we are a reasonably mobile family, after all, because the second my boyfriend stumbled in with the device in his arms, the heat in our apartment was turned on again.


With the heat back on, one would think my body is now in danger of losing its stamina again. I have also considered this possibility, so I underwent arm surgery last Tuesday to head off the inertia.


During surgery, the doctor stuffed uncomfortable bandages into my five wounds. Every day now, I have to go to the clinic, where the surgeon takes the old bandages out and stuffs fresh dressing into the bleeding matter. The doctor, by the way, is not just some doctor, but the former chief surgeon for the Baltic Fleet, who had been working with courageous sailors all his life. No wonder he never uses anesthetics!


It is hard to describe how stimulating this daily procedure is. It helps me resurrect the long-forgotten, atavistic ability to be aware of my own body 24 hours a day.


Well, not really. But it does make me get my butt out the door and walk to the drugstore to buy more painkillers.