The Man With The Iron
Al Teodosio

The speaker gave an inspiring talk about overcoming personal obstacles. Just before she finished, she made an appeal to everyone in the audience to find her after the event and tell her about one such obstacle. The implication being that she would then apply her 11-step method for overcoming the problem and you would see that it wasn’t a problem after all.

I found her in the lobby and asked her how to get rid of the man with the iron.

She played dumb at first. She said that it was nice to meet me and that she was saddened to hear that I’m having trouble with someone in my life. She smiled a lot. She wanted me to know that everyone struggles with things like this, and knowing that everyone struggles with things like this was step one of the 11-step method, and now I’m on my way. For example, she said, she struggled for a while to overcome the boundary of writing and publishing a book that outlines the 11-step method, something that apparently caused a great deal of turmoil in her life. But then she realized everyone struggles with these things, and then she had only ten steps left, all of which are clearly outlined in her book, Casey Otterson’s 11 Steps to Freedom: Overcoming Personal Boundaries and Finding the Life You Love, McDermott/Conway Publishing, $19.99 (before tax).

She would even sign it for me.

I played along. It’s not that I can’t figure out how to buy a book about overcoming personal boundaries, I said, it’s just that I would like to know how to get rid of the man with the iron. Well, was this man a roommate? No, this man was not a roommate. Had I lent my iron to someone who still hasn’t returned it? No, to the best of my knowledge my iron is home and resting comfortably in its assigned place. Was this man a member of my family? No, the man with the iron is not a member of my family.

There were always so many people to talk to at these events, she said.

The man with the iron has known me for about four years, I said. She said that was a good start, and, still playing dumb, asked how we knew each other. He just showed up one day when I was out walking my terrier, I said. Was the man a neighbor who ignores a property boundary? No, my neighbors all observe our property boundaries respectfully and diligently. You know, she said, I have to be getting over to the autograph table.

And there he was.

I really can’t stand all the extra ledges and ice builder things that most run of the mill freezers come with these days. I threw out my frozen peas and sawed out the second tier of the ice holding mechanism, but still I struggle with freezer space, which in these warm months really does a number on my electricity bill.


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