It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and
then to loosen up. Inevitably though, one thought led to another, and
soon I was more than just a social thinker.

I began to think alone - "to relax," I told myself - but I knew it
wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally
I was thinking all the time.

I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment don't
mix, but I couldn't stop myself.

I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and
Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking, "What
is it exactly we are doing here?"

Things weren't going so great at home either. One evening I had turned
off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that
night at her mother's.

I soon had a reputation as a heavy thinker. One day the boss called me
in. He said, "Bobby, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your
thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the
job, you'll have to find another job." This gave me a lot to think
about.

I came home early after my conversation with the boss. "Honey," I
confessed, "I've been thinking..."

"I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!"

"But Honey, surely it's not that serious."

"It is serious," she said, lower lip a quiver. "You think as much as
college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if
you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"

"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently, and she began to cry.
I'd had enough. "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out
the door.

I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche, with the ABC
station on the radio. I roared into the parking lot and ran up to the
big glass doors... they didn't open. The library was closed.

To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that
night.

As I sank to the ground clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for
Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye. "Friend, is heavy thinking ruining
your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from
the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster.

Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker. I never miss a
TA meeting. At each meeting we watch a non- educational video; last
week it was "Porky's." Then we share experiences about how we avoided
thinking since the last meeting.

I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home. Life just
seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking.