World Full of Plus

Mendel (trust me, it’s his real name) grew tired of seeing a world of plus wherever he went. It started when he was a very small boy in school. Some children got anplus signs A on their compositions, but Mendel often could do no better than B+.

The way Mendel looked at it, if his grade was good enough to have a plus sign after it, why wasn’t it good enough to go all the way to an A?

The plus sign is supposed to indicate that you’re getting more, but Mendel felt that was not always the plus it was made out to be. Take Plus Size clothing for example. When Mendel became a pudgy pre-teen, he was compelled to wear Boys Husky clothing. This was well before the advent of what we now call Plus Size clothing. Whether you call it Husky or Plus Size, it still means you’re above average --- in the weight department that is. It means you have more of something than others around you, but is that really a good thing?

Mendel could cite another example of plus gone wrong ----- Jon & Kate Plus 8. It was a reality show about a couple that had 8 adorable children, but we all know how badly that turned out. Jon and Kate were obnoxious enough by themselves, but then they had 8 children and shoved the whole menagerie on TV with predictable results. Jon and Kate are kaput and the 8 kids have most likely been scarred for life. Mendel wondered where the plus was in that outcome.

PC Plus, Life Plus, CarePlus, MedlinePlus, MessengerPlus, Tires Plus, H2o Plus, SuperLotto Plus, Juice Plus, Affinity Plus, Mail Plus, Clarisonic Plus, PlayStation Plus, CNBC Plus, Pert Plus……they all promise more, more, more. More cheese plus signwhat is the question that Mendel kept asking.

The final insult for Mendel was the trend for advertisers and demographers to constantly refer to Mendel and his cohorts (literally) as 50+. Plus what? Plus 10 more years? He might make it to 60? Plus 20? He could make it to 70 years old and collect a nice social security? Plus 30? That would make Mendel 80 years old and he could have whatever he wanted because that’s what 80 year-olds get. Forty more years? Fifty more years?

It was grade school over again, Mendel thought. He had been given the plus, but he still yearned for the A. Plus stood for the promise of more, but it was never clear how much more or even what the more was. Typical, thought Mendel. In life, there are no easy A’s.


Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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