Ted Wilson Reviews the World: Earl’s Spine

★★★★☆ (4 out of 5)

Hello, and welcome to my week-by-week review of the world. Today I am reviewing Earl’s Spine.

Unfortunately, I now know what Earl’s spine looks like. Earl is a guy I met immediately after he’d been hit by a car. For a guy who had just survived the blunt impact of an automobile, I have to say his spine looked pretty good. Except for the fact that I could see it.

Earl couldn’t see his spine himself, since it was behind him. There were no mirrors nearby for me to grab and show him how good his spine looked. The closest mirror was zooming away at around 45 mph, which is much faster than I can run. I usually don’t even drive that fast. When someone is in shock, as Earl was, you want to calm that person down and assure them everything is going to be okay. If I had been able to hold up a mirror and say, “See, look how good your spine looks,” he might have relaxed a bit.

The mark of a good spine is that it be full of marrow, and Earl’s seemed to have a surplus of the stuff. There was marrow everywhere. Foodies would have loved it.

Earl’s spine didn’t seem to be as useful as it had been a few minutes earlier. Whereas before he was upright and running away from an oncoming car while the driver screamed, “I’m gonna fucking kill you, Earl,” now his spine was causing him to writhe in pain on the ground.

I thought a spine massage might help ease the pain but every time I touched it Earl would scream out in pain and ask what was happening. I said nothing was happening, but also probably the pain he felt was his spine healing. It was better to fill him with confidence than to make him worry about the guy he just met touching his spine.

As I leaned in for a closer look, I began to feel uncomfortable. I was probably the first and only person to see Earl’s spine. It seemed too intimate a moment for him to share with a stranger, and I felt a sense of guilt as if I didn’t belong.

I didn’t want to see the spine anymore, so I leaned over to see Earl’s face. He couldn’t talk now, but he could still make eye contact. I stared at his eyes and wondered who he was, who he had loved, and where those people were at that moment. Why was I there instead of one of them? With our eyes locked onto one another, I began to cry, and Earl did too. Then his eyes somehow stopped looking at me but without closing. Earl died out in the open where anyone could see. I took my shirt off to cover his spine.

BEST FEATURE: His spine really hung in there for a long time.
WORST FEATURE: The things it did to me emotionally.

Please join me next week when I’ll be reviewing The Price is Right.

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