Column: My new life goal is to be man under glass

Mar. 10, 2013 @ 09:26 AM

They say Venezuela is going to keep Hugo Chavez’s body on display under glass.

How Soviet, I thought. Very retro. Just as no one builds Art Deco skyscrapers anymore, you just don’t hear nowadays about dictators being embalmed and placed under glass like an enormous butterfly, except not pretty, and not impaled. When was the last time? Lenin? Maybe that was the only time. I couldn’t think of another.

But as I thought on it, I had another thought.

I want to be under glass.

But I don’t want to wait until I die. Just go ahead and slide me into a glass box, but with a hole in the side to slide a tray through. Give me some hot wings every couple days. And beer. Leave the TV on, and give me the remote.

I’ll hear a knock on the door, footsteps, the door opening, followed shortly by a mumble, and then my wife’s answer. “I’m sorry, Guy is here, but he’s in a box.”

Which reminds me, unlike Chavez, I don’t want to be on display to the public. Who needs all the gawkers? “He’s in a box.” “Oh, that’s OK, I can talk to him through the glass.” And then in the person comes, leaning in, breath fogging my glass while I try to pretend I wasn’t ALL that interested in the Carolina game. (People who aren’t basketball fans: This is a hint. The ACC Tournament starts soon. Check the schedule before you either come see me or call me on the phone.) Is it OK to suck the wing sauce on your fingers while talking to someone through glass? It’s a whole new field of social traps.

Why would I want that? What’s the point of being under glass if you still have to interact? I’m not the boy in a bubble, I’m a man under glass; I’m not yearning to breathe free, I’m yearning to get away.

Of course, I couldn’t stay behind glass the whole time. The idea of using a toilet under glass, even if no one is in the room, doesn’t appeal. I’d have to come out. Ditto for showering.

I saw something on Facebook about tying yellow ribbons on the leashes of dogs that don’t get along well with people or other dogs. I need one of those, I thought. Why can’t I wear a yellow ribbon? Let people part like the Red Sea when they see me coming. “Uh oh,” they’d think, “that one has a yellow ribbon. Give him a wide berth.”

So then maybe that’s the solution. I don’t need to be under glass the whole time. I could come out to shower and use the rest room, maybe go out to dinner now and then, but I’d wear a yellow ribbon. I guess I might have to take it off for the waiter to come near the table. But before the check comes, the ribbon goes back on.

“So, could I interest you in some dessert?” the waiter says. I lean my head to the side to make the ribbon prominent, maybe point to it. The waiter backs slowly away, averting his gaze – eye contact can be threatening to an animal wearing a yellow ribbon.