Doodling is when the brain needs a new battery or an oil change or something. It is a state when one is compelled to think about something when there is nothing to think about. This is a major disease for mariner. Think of Atlas holding up the world; mariner can hold up the world, too, so he has time to doodle.

Take the issue of snails. When mariner was young, he was playing in Grandmother’s garden with his toy soldiers and trucks when he came upon his first garden snail. He was mesmerized by the odd shape, funny face and the just ‘trotting along’ nature it had. The snail is a wonderful item to doodle about.

Did you know snails are hermaphrodites that can bear children alone? Thank goodness – no time for slam, bang, thank you ma’am with snails.

Doodles can be brought into a dimensional world by sharing them with others. For example, he is blessed with a good friend as his PCP and with his staff. Upon each visit, mariner will stop by the office space where administrators and nurses are busy with their computers. HeĀ  clearly interrupts things to introduce any silly topic, usually a silly puzzle or a pun. For example, “What does the world look like through snail eyes?

On one occasion, mariner pondered, “Are any of you old enough to bear children?” (trust him, they all were). “Here is a simple puzzle you may take home to your children to see if they can solve it:”

A man stands on one side of a river; his pet dog stands on the other side of the river. The man calls the dog to come and the dog comes across the river to his master. What is interesting is that the dog is completely dry when it arrives beside its master. There were no bridges or boats, etc., how did the dog cross the river and still be dry?

[The reader may take time to doodle]

Everyone at the nurse’s station knows the deliberate, annoying interference by mariner upon very busy folk is a joke and as such has been accepted; it has become a fun tradition. The rule is to keep the whole experience to less than two minutes.

Doodling is best, though, keeping it to yourself. Hmm, what does the world look like to a snail? Snails and humans both know a good cabbage when they see it. Hmm, does the snail ‘see’ with its foot? Do snails have smell? Did humans first discover cabbage with smell or taste just like a snail? Does a cabbage leaf look the same to a human and to a snail?

Ancient Mariner

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