Friday, March 26, 2010

Hail to the Coyote

We've seen countless self-help books on the market, whole aisles of book stores full of such pearls like "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff", the brilliant "Who Moved My Cheese" and the aptly titled "Self-Help for Dummies". Countless examples and anecdotes to revitalize the depressed and bummed out reader, but at a cost of 10 quid. Help was never free was it?

Wile E. Coyote.Coyoticus Famishus or coyoticus super-genius. Probably the only agonist of a show, besides Death Note, that everyone sympathizes with. Not that we want to see the Road Runner being eaten, but heck, that's the way Nature intended it. Not to mention when the poor guys falls off ravines atleast five times, blown up with TNT three times and suffers a concussion from a ten tonne anvil or boulder two times per episode, it melts even the hardest of hearts. Mine included. But there's some powerful symbology behind the coyote and roadrunner that we should easily identify. In this blogger's humble opinion, the best role models aren't your parents, Obama or even Einstein. It should be Wile E. Coyote.
Let's see why.

The Roadrunner

This fast and adept bird blazes along the road, leaving behind a trail of fire in its wake. The roadrunner represents our life ambitions, our aspirations and our expectations. And yet as we chase after it, we realize that sometimes, despite our best efforts, it always stays one step ahead and just as we are about to catch up, it, like the roadrunner puts in another spurt and races away. But Wile never gives up. Bring out the Acme products.

"Acme" it up

Wile realizes that he can never catch the roadrunner without employing further resources. He consults the Acme catalog and goes to work on his contraption. We need to be resourceful and creative in order to face the challenges of life. Of course the source of Wile's funds and how Acme goods are delivered to the desert is an unanswered question.

Plan it well

Every evil scheme Wile comes up with is a result of a beautiful blueprint outlining the steps he will use to catch that pesky bird. But bird seed on highway with "Free Bird Seed". Hold up a boulder dangling precariously from the edge of a cliff. Push boulder over roadrunner. Haha. To take life by the horns, we need to plan and plan well. The fact that roadrunners can't read signs is of course a moot point.

Get back up and do it all over again

We plan, we execute and we fail. That's how life works. Despite our best intentions and planning, we can crash and burn. Wile has fallen off canyons countless times, been smashed under a boulder, crushed by an anvil, blown up by a can of TNT( in its characteristic red can) and been run over by a bus while being super-glued to the highway. In spite of these setbacks, he always gets back up, never complains and never utters a word of complaint. Rinse and repeat is Wile's mantra. If a cartoon character can show such zeal towards his goal, why can't we?

Coyote For The Win

If we can follow the principles of the coyote, we can surely conquer whatever life tosses at us. And metaphorically speaking, catch and cook the roadrunner. Let's see you go Beep Beep now, you damned bird.

*This post was inspired by a conversation with my best friend Raju, who is studying automotive engineering in RWTH, Aachen.

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