ethan-hawke1Yes I am referring to Ethan Hawke, which is the same Ethan Hawke that was responsible for things like Gattaca, Alive, Reality Bites, Dead Poets Society, and last but not least the most ingenious and greatest film from the Ethan Hawke library of cinematic works, the brilliance that is…Explorers, which taught a generation that rock and roll is here to stay.

cdA few weeks ago I went to the library and checked out copy of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel Slaughterhouse-Five on CD. Yes, occasionally I’ll get a book on CD to listen to because even though I love to read there are those times that I know I shouldn’t, case and point, while I am driving. I’ve found that listening to a book on CD is a nice way to pass the monotony of my drive to and from work.

So what does this have to do with Ethan Hawke? As it turned out Mr. Hawke was the token celebrity voice that would be reading Slaughterhouse-Five to me as I drove. It wasn’t until the morning of the second day that I realized something very important about Mr. Hawke and his reading. Just as reading a book while you drive is a bad idea, it is just as bad and dangerous to listen to Ethan Hawke reading a book while you drive. I call it the EHR (Ethan Hawke, Reading) syndrome and it is an epidemic that is sweeping this nation…ok, ok, so maybe it’s not sweeping the nation, but at the very least it is making my commute to work each morning a minor inconvenience. I can only handle about 10 minutes or so before I feel compelled to pull over and take a nap just so I can make it to work. I’ve already been tardy twice because of EHR.

Sure EHR sounds like a joke, and, well that’s the point, BUT it’s also almost real. Ethan’s reading style carries with it a tone of smooth edges and a fluffy soft pitch that equates to the verbal equivalent of valium.
valium-denialOn a plus side, you feel like everything is fine, but at some point you lose all control of your verbal retention. I’ve had to listen to the same damn chapter four times in a row because his reading made me space out and dismiss every single word he read. I’ve found that EHR can cause an individual to lose anywhere from 5 to 15 minute periods of time without any recollection of what you just heard and, in some severe cases, did.

Side note: EHR is a pretend condition that I just made up, so to all you frat boys reading this article, please do not try to use EHR as an excuse for the “black out” you keep referring to in an attempt to avoid explaining to the Dean how all that pot ended up in your sock drawer.

EHR, if used correctly can be a wonderful experience. If you suffer from insomnia and need that perfect auditory conditioning to prepare you for a full night of restful and relaxing sleep. Like wise, EHR is great for making those morning calls to let the boss them know won’t be coming into work that day. Although I do recommend you write down the following three things before experiencing EHR.

  1. The phone number you will be calling. There is a high possibility that you will be unable to locate this number after experiencing EHR.
  2. The name of the person you will need to talk to. As with number one, there is a chance that you will be unable to recall this information right after EHR.
  3. Finally, the reason for the call. A sentence saying, “tell them, I’m sorry I cannot make it in to work today.” is all you need to write. The residue of EHR will automatically handle any additional questions.

Then enjoy 10 minutes of EHR and make the call. You will be so displaced and discombobulated that it will be abundantly clear you should not come into work. This also work perfectly well for canceling dinner plans, dates, art shows, or going to the opening of a new documentary that you said you’d like to see, but you only said that to be nice because the friend asking knows someone who knows someone who slept with someone who met someone at a party that had a small part in the film, but it was cut in the final edits.

haikuMade up, or not, EHR is real. Believe me when I tell you that listening to EHR should never be done for the sake of retaining any information, be it story, plot, subtext, conversation, haiku, or any other information that Ethan Hawke is reading to you. Additionally, only allow yourself to experience EHR while in a comfortable position, and never while operating, sitting in, looking at, or thinking about machinery and, never while handling hot… actually, yeah better make that any beverages regardless the temperature. It’s just not worth it.

If you choose to experience EHR, do it on your terms not anyone else. See this:
That is a sick, sick person.
Do not let that happen to you.