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  • Writer's pictureCJ Murphy

Spontaneous Human Combustion

Yes, it's that time again. Time to pass on some Positive CJ Thoughts or PCT's as I like to call them.

There are times in life when something happens, that while in progress, isn't all that funny. In hindsight, that same event can be hysterical. I'll give you my most recent example.

I live in one county and work in another about fifty miles away. In order to get my hours, AND get home at a reasonable hour to accomplish farm tasks, I leave around 4:15 AM.

Since we moved to the dream home on the mountain, we lack the garage that we used to have. Now, I trudge out and start a cold truck to begin my day. At this time of year, mornings can still be quite nippy and range at below freezing to fifty degrees.

The saying here is, 'if you don't like the weather, wait fifteen minutes, it will change'. This particular morning, I threw on a jacket and zipped it up against the cold.

Usually, by the time I make it to the main road, I'm ready to shed it.

The reason I'm ready to shed it is, well, I'm at that point in my life where I become a raging inferno without notice, several times a day when the hot flash hits.

Ladies, you know what I'm talking about. When that hot flash hits, it's like someone threw a fresh shovel of coal in the kiln and your body is that coffee mug your wee one made you in forth grade art class.

About seven minutes and thirteen seconds into my morning commute, a conflagration hit and I immediately grabbed for the zipper on my coat to start shedding.

I've perfected the art of shimmy-ing out of said garment while still managing not to kill myself or anyone else on the road.

At 4:00 AM folks, I am flat out on autopilot, the truck knows the way. (Uber's self-driving car has got nuttin' on my Tacoma.) Coffee in large quantities, is the only thing keeping the synapsis in my brain to fire and keep me between the ditches. (Mornings when I have to have fasting bloodwork are HELL)

Back to my story-

I tried to pull the zipper down on my coat, but it wouldn't budge. I tugged a little harder and it still failed to perform its intended operation. By this time, my internal temperature dial is on the rise, the needle headed into the edge of the red warning area.

I switched hands and tugged frantically on that metal tab, sweat rolling out from under the ballcap I'd thrown on over my bedhead. I sailed that hat across the truck, hoping like hell, it would act like a pop-off valve on a hot water tank. No such luck. I felt like Old Faithful at Yosemite getting ready to blow.

The warning buzzers and sirens were wailing, as I kept one eye on the road and tried to figure out what the hell was wrong that I couldn't get the damn thing unzipped. Alarm bells like in that in the 1979 disaster movie, The China Syndrome, started going off. For those who have remember, it was just like in the scene when the turbine containing the radioactive core was at a dangerous level.

I was headed for a nuclear meltdown, trapped in…

a jacket.

Imprisoned, by a three-dollar zipper that somehow sucked in a piece of fabric and locked down on that puppy like MaMaw on laundry day and I had a day off work. No getting out of it, we'd be folding socks, underwear and sheets for hours.

I was damn near in panic mode at this point. My stomach was queasy and I was sweating like a member of the Westboro Baptist Church on a vacation in a wilderness area that was hosting Lesbian Lumberjack Contest. Worse yet, they'd set up their camp site in the axe

throwing area.

It was NOT pretty and fairly dangerous to life and limb.

The robot from Lost in Space was waving its arms spouting, 'Danger, Danger, Go Will Robinson'.

It's a really good thing I don't carpool because the next stop would have been the psych ward at the local hospital where they would have extricated me from the jacket I was wearing and fitted me for one with really long arms and buckles in the back.

Thank the heavens above for whoever the hell it was that created electric windows. I rolled those things down and flipped the air conditioner on high for the remainder of the drive. Slowly the alarm bells started to fade and I managed to make it to work without further incident.

It did require me to remove said jacket like a sweatshirt and use needle nose pliers to put the jacket back into operational form.

The moral of this strange Positive CJ Thought, PCT, is that even when it seems you are at your limit, there is another option. It may require you to calm down and think, even when the pressure is the greatest.

When the crisis has passed or during if possible-LAUGH!

When I posted the short synopsis of my catastrophic disaster aversion, it got a lot of laughs and comments because it was something so many of us relate to.

We aren't alone in this world and I guarantee, someone has been through that same situation. Finding a way through it and then using humor to temper the sting, makes it something we can all rally around.

It's not that we don't recognize the seriousness or even at times, the sadness in a situation.

The real key is how we handle it and how we help others through it. Shared experiences traverse all walks of life. I'm not saying join hands and sing Kumbaya for everything, trust me. We all have a story to tell and others who will be able to find themselves in that story. It's when we all add in our individual versions that we find community, common ground and can write a tale that we can "replace the names" to see our own story.

Laugh folks, do it as often as possible.

Did you know that laughing truly is the best medicine? That's not just a quote that's origins can be found in Proverbs 17:22, 'A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones'.

It's also a scientific FACT. An article in psychology today from 2005 cited a meeting of the American College of Cardiology, with speaker, Michael Miller, M.D., of the University of Maryland. They did a study of twenty healthy people. I'm guessing they must have tickled them, told them jokes and had them watch romantic comedies for a period of time BECAUSE, they said that laughing does as much good for your arteries as your Zumba class. Their study reported that it laughter is important to good health! You can read the study at the following link.

I'm positive there have been many studies since and will be many more studies conducted on how laughter can make you a healthier person. It releases all those feel good hormones in your system.

Hummm, I wonder if I can just laugh my way through menopause and never have to take hormone replacement therapy or delve into the wonders of herbal medicine??

Heck for that matter if they ever make marijuana legal in West Virginia, maybe my neighbors can cut our death rates from heart disease and diabetes so we won't always be top of the heap when it comes to those lists of unhealthiest states.

I've watched those old Cheech and Chong movies; those guys were always laughing or at least they didn't care what was going on around them.

On second thought, we probably won't move off the list because that would just make them want to snack more on

Doritos and cookies.

Oh well, I think I'll go put in a good Sandra Bullock movie and laugh my way through my episode of spontaneous

human combustion….

Which is happening now....sizzzzzzzzle.....pooooof.

As always, I hope you enjoy this musing. I am hard at work in the editing process of the snipit I shared with you last week.

If you haven't had a chance to read my debut novel, 'frame by frame', it's available at all your favorite purchasing options.

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Reviews for 'frame by frame'

Absolutely Fantastic 

 I was right there in the story. It has strong characters and the individual personalities are remarkable. I love the deep family bond and Ree is someone I absolutely adore. I really am impressed with this debut novel. An outstanding and exciting romance. Read it and I’m sure you won’t regret it.- Goodreads 11/30/17



If there were 10 stars, I would choose 12

This is a happy ever after story, one we would all use, especially now. This is a debut novel for this writer and all I can say is I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR MORE. If these were 10 stars, I would choose 12.



Beautiful Story

This is the first book I have read from this author and I loved it. I really loved taking the adventure with to strong women that both were dealing with a past.... I definitely recommend this book.



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