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Essays from My Former and Failed Blog, Rejection Syndrome


Important Note: This page is a work of fiction. Seriously, it really is fiction. All inaccuracies, all misspellings and every punctuation and grammatical error are carefully crafted by design to give the impression of home spun humor and that it was created by an amateur hack. Anything that is well written and truly funny was actually written by the real Rod, not by the made up guy. The real Rod is writing this "Important Note."  Everything that is poorly written and is lacking of merit was not written by the real Rod, but by the hack, who is the make believe writer of this blog.
Important Note 2: No one was ever actually hurt in the writing of these blogs.
Important Note 3: This blog is no longer in the form it originally was in. The original blog site was continually and maliciously hacked [this is actually true too] and I was forced to either spend a lot of money on security or give up. I gave up. So, that blog is now a part of a bigger blog that is created by the real Rod who is writing these important notes about this made up blog that you may continue to read in a minute or you may give up because of these ridiculous important notes.

Blog 1, Introduction

[A few of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described even if it actually occurred. I have a tendency to embellish, forget, get it all wrong (please contact the Mrs. for more accurate descriptions of actual events), tell stories and put words in people's mouths.]

Welcome. Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog and read the content. By the way, I got a haircut for an interview so the photograph looks like I looked a week ago, not now. But then again you may be reading this a year from now or two and who knows what I look like, perhaps a maggot infested dead guy, or a weathered vacant eyed published author who is tragically dying of consumption.  Anyway, I did my best not to cut it so short that I now look too respectable. But I digress.

This blog is not designed to help anyone. It is a therapy suggested by my Dr. Schmidstmann at Sunny Days Institute. The nursing staff let me out of my jacket to write although I’ve been told by the orderlies that I don’t need to be out of the jacket to think. I was sent to SDI with early onset Curmudgeon Associated Complex Angst (CACA). The Mrs and the rest of the family were confident I had all the symptoms and was full of CACA. After a battery of tests all certified by bonafied gastroenterologists and reputable psychiatrists I was determined to be full of it. So in between my pills served in those little paper cups (several of them laxatives) my therapist suggests I attempt to write as an alternative to less positive presenting behaviors, like uncontrollable weeping or anger, sort of like what happened to the old Spiderman in Luhrmann’s 2013 retelling of the Fitzgerald classic, The Great Gatsby. I have only thrown the computer against the wall once thus far.  And I cried again at the end of An Affair to Remember. But I digress.

When it comes to dealing with your own rejection the only advice I endorse is my own, and I do that with great hesitation. The best antidote for rejection is laughter and umm, you know. I suggest you find a spouse who enjoys tickling you and umm, you know.  Be thankful that there are funnier film alternatives out there like Junior and It’s Pat, The Movie (on the packaging it says, “the outrageously funny adventure” so you know it is guaranteed to be full of laughs).

Blog 2, Getting started.

[Some of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come from my imagination. OK, most of it is untrue. Alright, alright, it is all lies just to make me look good. I know the attempt at comedy is a "Fail!"]

My daughter starts college this fall [She has finished Year 2 and has a 4.0—proud papa here]. We are fortunate in that she has won several scholarships. However, even if you have a full ride, there are expenses. For DD (darling daughter) it is her desire to study abroad. It ain’t cheap. [She went to Oxford and took two classes Summer 2015]

Lacking skills and being best buddies with Artie Gout, options are limited.  I stood a better chance winning the lottery. Unfortunately, Alabama doesn’t participate in the lottery and that makes the odds of winning even more astronomical.

So I did what thousands before me have done, and what I have done dozens of times in the past, I typed in online money into my Google search engine.

I eventually stumbled across an article, “How to Make a Niche Review Site that Earns You $1000/Month.” Well that isn’t get rich quick. So I read the Dearblogger article. Greg Narayan is a kid and I’m old enough to be his dad. I stopped at “Step 1: Begin by looking at your passions.” Well I’m a passionate guy--I think so anyway, but I’m not sure how the Mrs. feels about that.

The first line, “You’ll be writing A LOT on just one subject with this new review site of yours, so you had better enjoy it.” Greg is good. See how he capitalized “A LOT” for emphasis. But he stumped me. There really aren’t but a couple things I really enjoy, and I’m not sure about writing about any of them. I really love my blue recliner. With laptop on lap, well actually on one of those lap trays, it is something I like to do, sitting on my derriere enjoying television. Not sure whether there is enough about my chair to blog about more than 3 or 4 times.

The second thought was the movies. Yeah, I love the movies. I could see myself as Roger Ebert or Gene Siskel. “Sweet,” I thought until I remembered they both also wrote for major newspapers and now the two are dead from cancer, I think. The Mrs. would definitely warn me about the cariogenic dangers of sitting in stadium seating. Besides I don’t have enough money to buy all those tickets.

The one thing that gets me quickly out of my blue recliner is the call, “Dinner’s ready!” The Mrs. knows exactly how to get a rise out of me.  I could see myself traveling the country sampling restaurants, dives and drive ins.  The Mrs. was just now looking over my shoulder, “What you doing?”


“Writing to whom?”


“Yeah right.” She looked over my shoulder again, “There already is a show for diners, dives and drive ins. And that guy is cool. You aren’t cool.” She patted my shoulder, looked down in pity and walked back over to the couch where she was reading a mystery novel, Murder under the Hair Dryer. It is the sequel to Murder with Clippers and Combs.

I read along further, the article. He suggested doing the following:
  1. When you’re not working or at school, what are 3 topics you always think about?
  2. Write them down.
  3. Now ask yourself this: Which of your topics are universal? Which do others think about too?
  4. Eliminate one item that is not universal.
  5. Now a final question…Which topics are profitable? Are there purchases surrounding it? Most importantly, are these purchases being made online?
  6. Pick the topic that is both universal and generates online sales.
So I thought:

What’s for dinner? Am I going to get lucky tonight? And I’ve failed at everything I’ve attempted.
Yep, that is exactly what I thought.

I wrote them down.
  1. Which are universal, I asked myself? Umm all three, well all three if you’re a man. What went on in the brains of women I was totally ignorant. They confuse me. Some women certainly ate their share, at least based on a general survey at Walmart. As far as getting lucky, it is my understanding that that is a male thought. It doesn’t cross a married woman’s mind except on birthdays, anniversary and Valentine’s Day, if you’re lucky. The rejection thing who would be interested in that?
  2. So, I eliminated them all.
  3. Which topics are profitable and are purchases being made online? Well that gave me an excuse to return to Google. The answer was found at Yahoo Answers where everything that needs to be known can be known, “12 percent of all Web sites are porn 25 percent of all search engine requests are for porn 35 percent of all Internet downloads are pornographic.” That’s a lot. And income of the porn industry ranges from $½ to 10 billion (I think I read that in Forbes, but don’t quote me). But perhaps that means the internet is already saturated. And besides I doubt if the Mrs would approve. She walked by my blue recliner, “What are you doing?” “I’m doing some research on hosting a pornographic blog to make money.” She boxed my ears. Perhaps that isn’t an option. I told her that I needed to select a blog that I thought about a lot, that was a universal and that I had some expertise. Sex. When she heard that she laughed hysterically.
  4. That left me with one possibility, but it certainly wouldn’t generate any online sales, rejection.
See that’s what I know best, rejection. I have written a novel, short stories, non-fiction articles and have enough rejection slips to wallpaper my house. I have been rejected by publishers, contest judges, editors and agents. They all agree with my wife. “Do you really think anyone will read that?”
And so I begin my blog on rejection. Look around my blog site. I know it is small now, but read a story, provide some feedback, or leave your own story and if you have money to waste, or click the donate button. I take Paypal! Or of course go to an advertiser and click on them! If not, smile or roll your eyes. And remember you need not return if you are an eye-roller. It won’t ever get any better than this.


What do I call my blog? Well,,,, were all taken. That left me with rejectionslips or rejectionnotes. As an exceptionally creative individual whose creativity and imagination has yet to be recognized by anyone other than my daughter when she was 7, I came up with a long list: unfortunately I was afraid it’s be mistaken as a weight lose blog. We just celebrated Independence Day DD (darling daughter) liked this one

So, I settled on rejection notes. It actually goes further back into my past. When I was in 8th grade I sent one of those notes to Becky. “I like you, do you like me? Check yes or no.” It came back to me with a giant X through the “No.”

Through the entire process I kept thinking about Julia and Julie and tried to determine who would play me. Meryl Streep could play the Mrs, of course, Michelle Pfeifer would be a good option, or Selma Hayek, Jessica Alba or maybe Natalie Portman. The Mrs. walked by me as I sat in my blue recliner reflecting: “What are you grinning about?” she asked.

 “I was thinking about Selma Hayek playing you in my autobiography.” She stopped, looked at me and boxed my ears. “Oww,” I whined.

"Selma Hayek and I have nothing in common.”

“I know. She’d never box François-Henri Pinault!” She took a step toward me and I cowered.

 “And what would you call your life story, “The Adventures of the Old Fat Man in His Blue Recliner?” Actually that sounded like a pretty cool title except for the old fat man part. I opened up a Word document and created a new “Ideas” file, “The Adventures of the Blue Recliner.” I got a winner!

I told her, “Thanks, hon.”

“And who would play you? John Candy is dead. He always made a good fat lazy baffoon. ” I ignored her clever response.

“I was thinking Jack Black.”

“So you are going to put Jack Black with Selma Hayek?”

“If she can star with Kevin James in 'Here Comes the Book,' she could play you.”

“Maybe Steve Buscemi would grow a beard and gain 100 pounds to play you!” “He’s a great star and character actor. He’d do!” The Mrs. rolled her eyes and walked off.

“Yeah, Selma Hayek…..” I whispered, my ears still hurting from the boxing.


[A few of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described even if it actually occurred. I have a tendency to embellish, forget, get it all wrong (please contact the Mrs. for more accurate descriptions of actual events), tell stories and put words in people's mouths.]

I read somewhere that you must have at least 3 blogs. So I got three, and a few of my stories.
When I told my wife my plans and shared my blogs she asked, “Are you sure you want to set yourself up for more rejection? Who’s going to read this drivel?” [Actually, my wife, Carolyn is very sweet. She said, “If it’s free and you want to, why not? However, it is much more funny writing it this way.]

“This time will be different. There are billions of people just like me all around the world.”

“How many of those billions read English?” She was ever the realist.

“It’s easier to read a foreign language than to speak it.”

“How much is it going to cost?”

“Not much, I’m going to put it at”

“Is that supposed to mean something to me?”

“Greg Narayan said it was a good blog host.”

“And who is Greg Narayan?”

“He’s a blogger. And he wrote an article, ‘How to Make a Niche Review Site that Earns You $1000/Month.’”

“And this is a niche review site?"

"Umm, no."

"And you expect $1000 a month?”

“No, I’m more realistic, maybe $500 a month?”

“When are you going to stop daydreaming?”

“When I grow up.”

“You are a middle aged man, over 50 who drives a 1993 Chrysler New Yorker! When are you going to grow up?”

“People will love it.”

“Yeah, you’ll quit after 5 posts.”

“I already have 4 written and several of my stories.”

“Are you going to put those stupid stories on this blog?”

“Yes, I am and people are going to like them.”

“OK, OK, Magnum P. I. reruns are on you keep writing.”

I come from a family of writers. My mother wrote excuses for my sister and me when we were sick. My Dad wrote reports to his commanding officer while he was assigned to various naval ships. My uncle was an aircraft engineers so he wrote specs for planes. Another uncle was a teacher so he marked test scores. I had yet another uncle who was a trainer so he wrote curriculum. My great grandmother was a preacher so she wrote sermons. My Dad’s cousin’s wife is published, self-published I think. Sorry, Linda, if you are a best-selling Random House author.

My Daughter has a completed novel, several short stories and writes extensively Fanfiction. She is working diligently on a new urban fiction series. She was interested in writing a query letter concerning her novel. She asked me! Of course, I had to tell her I’d give her lots of advice, but that none of my query letters had received positive response, she said, “That’s OK, Dad, I’ll ask cousin Linda.”

Here in Birmingham, on the eastside and to the south, the Cahaba River meanders. To me it serves as a metaphor for life, especially life in the old South.

There is much to be despised in the old South, and sadly some of what is to be despised lingers still. However, there is also much and equally sad to be missed. I miss the slow summer days of my youth when on the last day of school our shoes came off and stayed off until school began again the day after Labor Day, and of course on Sundays.

I remember the rules of summer, out of the house after breakfast, a quick return at lunch, water drank from hoses, and home again when the street lights came on. There was baseball played in vacant lots, bikes ridden in the streets, soda bottles collected for deposit, cashed in for penny candy. Life was simple. You could lay back in the grass and identify the menagerie in the clouds. Best of all it was not really too hot until you turned 12.

I have collected a few stories and called the anthology, The Cahaba. Some of them are based on old family tales and others out of my imagination and things I have heard over the years. "Look Out Below" is a favorite adapted from a story told best by my Uncle Johnny.

The stories are connected not only by the River, but by a sweet relations of Grandfather and granddaughter.

“Papaw, I got to use it.”

“I need to use the bathroom.” Papaw took advantage of every opportunity to share wisdom, whether the depths of Southern Baptist theology, life lessons, the wisdom of the ages (or aged), or correct English grammar. Being Southern and being from a small town are not excuses for poor language skills, he thought and said frequently.

Squeezing her knees together, Layla cried, “Papaw, I got to use it.”

“I need to use the bathroom,” he corrected her again.

This continued for several more exchanges. Finally, Layla in exasperation responded, “Papaw, I know you have to use the bathroom, but I have to pee and I got to go real bad!”

Papaw pulled into the Hamburger Heaven on Highway 280 and Layla bounded, pigtails bobbing, out of the truck, into the restaurant and to the restroom. At that moment, for some reason, she reminded him of Calvin from the now retired cartoon. He did enjoy Calvin and Hobbes and missed them. Why would Watterson retire at the height of his career? Papaw ambled after his granddaughter who was just old enough to use it all by herself. At the counter he ordered a vanilla shake for himself and a strawberry shake for her. She was his pride and joy, and was growing up so fast.

When she exited the bathroom, relief on her face, she saw him seated in a booth, fraternal shakes in front of him. “Did you wash your hands?” She held up water streaked hands and smiled. At least she rinsed them. He gave her the look. Thinking he knew her secret she turned and skipped back to wash her hands. She would not be young like this forever.

As they both pulled on the thick shakes Papaw did one of the things he did best. He told her a story, a story with a lesson. Her favorites were Aunt Bertha stories. Aunt Bertha, was Papaw’s mother’s sister. She was buried across town in the church cemetery in Concord with the rest of the family.
“When your Aunt Bertha was young she had a best friend, what do you call them now, b-b-fs. She was a colored girl who lived up the street. . . .” Poor Papaw didn’t understand that you weren’t supposed to use the phrase “colored people” any more, and he meant nothing bad by using it.
Dottie was a little colored girl who lived up the hollow. Her mother braided her hair tightly with little bows and dressed her in dresses she made by hand, without the help of a machine.

Dottie was Bertie’s best friend, although it wasn’t supposed to be so. Albert, Bertie’s Daddy, was a builder and he hired several colored men to work for him.

Dottie’s Daddy, Oscar, was a painter. I was told that he once laid down a $20 bill when his skills were challenged. Twenty dollars was a lot of money back in those days. Today it won’t get you a plastic bag full of groceries at Walmart. Anyway, Oscar told his challenger, “If a single drop of paint falls, you pick up the $20. If you cannot find a drop, you send everyone who needs a painter my way and you call me, sir.” Chuckling his adversary agreed.

It was a 12 by 12 room, so it didn’t take Oscar long. The job was quickly finished, efficiently, and spotlessly. The agreement was honored and Oscar stayed busy with painting jobs through referral, providing his family a good lifestyle, and earned the nickname, Surrey. Surrey scrimped and saved and eventually bought his own place with cash. He wanted more for Dottie than what he had.

Interestingly e’nuf, one day Dottie went off to college at Tuskegee and then went on to become a Doctor of Philosophy in Education. She ended up a college teacher at Spelman College in Atlanta where she influenced many students leading up to the Civil Rights movement of the 60s.

Anyway, Bertie and Dottie enjoyed few things more than listening to adults’ talk. An assortment of women gathered a couple times a week to eat cornbread, collard greens and fried pies at Granny Belle’s. Sweetpea, you never knew Granny Belle. Let’s see, I think she would be your great great great grandma. I don’t know maybe that’s too many greats. Well she still lived at the old home place, an old farmhouse, back then. She had animals, always bantams, lots of cats, and occasionally a piglet or two she raised to slaughter for meat. The old men laughed and said Granny Belle had the best hams around. [Papaw always would laugh and laugh when he told that part of the story.]

There was a crawl space under her house. It was cool under there, but it stank of old, wet and earth. It was not so horrific that you wouldn’t go under there or so bad that you wore the stink for the rest of the week, but bad enough. Bertie and Dottie would crawl under the house, under the kitchen, and listen to the women gossip. There was always a lot to talk about and the small gathering of women came from different parts of town and went to two different churches so they spied on different events from different angles. So their gossip became entertaining stories for the girls, stories about people they knew and stories about things they were too young to fully understand. The girls enjoyed the cool underbelly of the house, despite the odor, because they were listening to that which was forbidden. Forbidden fruit is always sweet.

One afternoon Granny Belle was telling a particularly funny story and all in attendance were cackling. Granny who would have wowed an audience today as a stand up comedian was in rare form that afternoon. And the girls below couldn’t stifle their giggles. And their secret was discovered.
“Who’s down there?” Granny called.

In the darkness the girls looked at each other, seeing the whites of their eyes. They remained silent.
With all the southern drawl her tongue possessed Granny called down between the loose floorboards. “I know you are down there girls. You come out of there.” The girls were quiet. Granny winked at her guests and Nettie Jane began to tell what she had heard at the beauty parlor Saturday. Soon everyone was all ears, including Dottie and Bertie.

Granny interrupted. “Girls, you come out of there. We still hear you.”

How they could hear them down there, the girls did not know. They were as quiet as hiding mice. The voices continued above.

Now what the girls could not know was that Granny knew that they were still under the floorboards. Granny laughed. She was known for being not only funny, but ornery. “Girls if you don’t come out I’m going to flush you out.” Granny giggled.

They remained as quiet as they could be. To the surprise of all present Granny stood, spread her legs and squatted in her ankle long dress over a knothole crack in the floor immediately above the girls. “If you don’t get out now, I’m going to pee on you.” Dottie and Bertie looked at each other in disbelief, “No,” they whispered in unison; “she’d neve. . . .”

To the surprise of the girls below warm droplets splashed on them. Granny hit the crack in the floor with the perfect aim of a 12 year old boy spelling out his name in yellow ink in the snow. As droplets became a small stream they splattered on Dottie’s forearm. She jerked away and banged her head on the floor joints above with a thud. Bertie scrambled too, but in the wrong direction and the yellow fluid splashed her head darkening her little bows with moisture. She too jerked away, bumped into Dottie who then again banged her head on the floor joint. Both groaned in unison.

The squeals and moaning below tickled Granny Belle’s naughty funny bone and she laughed. Now, Sweetpea, sometimes with those who are young and those who are advanced in years, the muscles that pinch the urethra spasm with laughter releasing the flow even more and without control. This happened to be one of Granny’s many physical problems, this one real and untreatable by a sugar pill. So as she laughed she could not stop the stream. The girls were not quick enough, too shocked and clumsy to get away. The more Granny laughed, the more she peed and the more she peed, the more she laughed.

While they could not be seen from above their movement below was known to all as they made their escape, their heads thudding into the floor joints above them, all accompanied with groaning. They managed to scramble out from under the house and from the flood.

“Sweet pea,” Papaw drawled, not in a country but in a southern gentleman accent, “when you listen in on things you shouldn’t be listening to, be careful, for you might get more than you were expecting.”


[A few of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described even if it actually occurred. I have a tendency to embellish, forget, get it all wrong (please contact the Mrs. for more accurate descriptions of actual events), tell stories and put words in people's mouths.]

It sounds weird but I was thinking of Ed Norton this morning. Not Ed Norton the actor, Ed Norton the character played by Art Carney the actor. I know some of my readers have no idea who the Honeymooners were. Not the 2005 remake that I so hoped was going to be funny, but didn’t make it, no the original. There was a great standup comedian back in the 40s, 50s and 60s named Jackie Gleason. He created a comedy sketch that later became a sitcom in the 50s. It was about two working class guys, Ralph Kramden (played by Jackie) and Ed Norton (played by Art Carney) and their wives. Since I was born in 1959 I watched the reruns and the cartoon spin-off, The Flintstones.

Anyway, Ed was as goofy as they come, wore a silly hat, and was a sewer worker. Ralph drove a bus. Neither was bright, especially Norton. However, he on occasion had a few words of wisdom, “Like we say in the sewer, time and tide wait for no man.” And, “When the tides of life turn against you, and the current upsets your boat. Don’t waste those tears on what might have been, just lay on your back and float.” Except when someone poops in your pool then you can’t even lay on your back float. The number one problem with pools is not number 1 but number 2.

I have the rotund physique of Ralph Kramden and the success of Ed Norton. Not that Ralph was much more successful than Norton. I certainly wish I had Norton’s disposition. He got frustrated at times, but seemed to see life positively. Not a direct quote, If manhole covers were pizzas then the sewer would be paradise. See what I mean, that’s putting a positive spin on it.

It’s odd but I seem to be more positive about others than myself. It has been suggested to me that I just give up trying to publish in the legitimate press (doesn’t that sound cool) and self-publish. I just can’t do it. I know there are some editorial issues that I can’t seem to find when I do my re-reads. So I need help. It’s funny how you can identify the problems in other people’s work and not your own. And I’m too poor or cheap to hire a proofreader.  I’m thinking about posting it here as a free eBook, accepting donations after it’s read.

I wish good ole Norton was my neighbor. He’d see the silver lining. “Like we say in the sewer, if it weren’t for all the rejection letters sent to authors there wouldn’t be so many plugs in the system and we’d be without a job.” Maybe I should flush them instead of file them.


[A few of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described even if it actually occurred. I have a tendency to embellish, forget, get it all wrong (please contact the Mrs. for more accurate descriptions of actual events), tell stories and put words in people's mouths.]

“If you can’t cut the mustard get off the bread.” I don’t remember whether it was Mr. Ed or Mr. Roddy who first delivered this line. I don’t think I was the object of the comment, but you know how selective memory works. It’s become a favorite idiom of mine though I don’t believe I’ve used it more than a time or two. It’s one of those you keep locked up in your head. Hmm, maybe it was directed at me.

I worked for Kroger through college and grad school. When I hear people reflecting about the good ole college days, I only remember working, sleeping in class, and the drone of the fan while I tried to sleep in my dorm room during the afternoons. I worked nights.

My great aunt Mimi was the secretary to the president of Kroger. By the way, she is turning 100 in November. Guess how I got my job? Yep, it’s nice knowing someone. I was probably the only bag boy known by the regional manager. He’d speak to me when he visited and asked me about my aunt.
The manager of our store was Mr. Roddy and the assistant manager was Mr. Ed. I don’t recall Mr. Ed’s last name. I doubt his last name was Ed and I know we didn’t call him Mr. Ed to his face. The late 70s were still too close to the show that aired from 1958 to 1966 by the same name. When you think about a show with a talking horse running for 8 years no wonder the Brady Bunch was so popular. Anyway, we were careful about calling Mr. Ed “Mr. Ed” in his hearing.

Mr. Ed was former military, bald and tough. Not that every bald guy is tough but Mr. Ed was. I don’t remember him ever smiling, just brooding over the store. Mr. Roddy was much more laid back. It was Alice who managed the front end who really ran the place. At least that’s what it seemed like to me.
It was one of the two (Roddy or Ed) who said, “If you can’t cut the mustard get off the bread.” I did a google search of the idiom and didn’t pull up an exact match. I was surprised. The “cut the mustard” part of the phrase seems to be the common figure and not the bread part. The origin of “cut the mustard” goes back before railroad days, but it became popular in the 1800s out of the railroad lingo. Maybe it was a reference to the menial task of cutting back the wild mustard that grew along the tracks. As I understand it goes back to the mustard making process and its curing. Whatever the origin the point being made was do the job or get out of the way. Despite understanding the idiom, when I write or say, “Cut the mustard,” I giggle like a 3rd grade boy. “Hehe, I just wrote cut the mustard.” Then I think of things like Grey Poupon and baby poop. By the way, this video parody is hysterical,

For some reason I keep wandering off on rabbit trails. Do you know where that idiom originated? I think of a hunting dog chasing down the scent of a rabbit that had just hopped around aimlessly a few hours before. I guess I should google it, but I need to finish this post.

Now returning to where I began, “If you can’t cut the mustard get off the bread.” When it comes to writing I suppose I should just quit and stick with reading. At this stage of life it’s not about whether I am good or not, writing is cheaper than paying a therapist. And every old man likes to tell stories. It’s a requirement for entry into the club and of course most of them aren’t true. I do wonder if I am the American Idol contestant who explains to the judges they have had years of lessons and Simon replies, “Sue them to get your money back.” I do miss Simon. And you don’t have to answer.


[A few of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described even if it actually occurred. I have a tendency to embellish, forget, get it all wrong (please contact the Mrs. for more accurate descriptions of actual events), tell stories and put words in people's mouths.]

I like dates. Not crazy about the giant pits, but I like them. Scott, my boss a few years back, introduced them to me. He also reintroduced me to figs. Good figs and dates aren’t cheap, but they are sweet like candy. He also introduced me to some very strange things, like drinking algae and eating ginger. I don’t remember what you called them, but they were sticky nuggets and made of ginger. Now I haven’t found a single one of DDs friends who like dates, I mean the fruit. I gave one to Catherine who timidly and politely took a bite and then spit it out. What’s wrong with young people today?

Speaking of dates I was not very good at dating in my youth. Not anything like Tim. At least I think his name was Tim. He was Asian so I don’t want to say Chan, Chen or Chang, but it could have been. If memory serves me correctly he was from Miami. All I remember is he appeared to me to believe college was a smorgasbord, a buffet of babes. I attended a religious college. So I suppose buffet of babes is/was an inappropriate metaphor. [As she read this the Mrs. buried her face in her hands, shook her head and wondered out loud, “Why does he write this stuff? Why does he embarrass me?” OK, Tim dated around. Dear, is that better? No, she responds and now she wants to know if I am living vicariously through him, and no I can’t get that red Miata.  Wives sure spoil all the fun by being so practical. Mazda needs to make a hybrid Miata. “Honey, it gets 35 mpg.”

I didn’t date around. There was reason for that. The first, it seemed I always had a girlfriend back home. The girl who I had left behind when going off to college didn’t send me letters or call me, but we had dated through the summer and I considered her a girlfriend. And I hope if she reads this she feels bad about that. Just kidding, I’m over it, Dear! Second, I got nervous. I’m not into rejection. And getting a date is like sales. You only get one date out of ten asked. Reader, that wasn’t your experience? It was in my case. I had quite a stack of those rejection letters, “I like you, do you like me? Check yes or no.”

I remember calling up a girl to ask her out. Let’s say her name was Sally. Sally’s roommate answered and called for her to come to the phone. When Sally picked up the receiver and said hello, I hung up. Thankfully I had enough sense not to give my name. While that actually happened there were many times when I asked a girl out and got rejected.

Let’s stick to the name Sally (change the name to protect the innocent, and besides it was so long ago I’m not sure of the name). I thought Sally II was pretty, but not out of my league pretty. I knew her from a few classes and actually new her from my hometown. So I asked her out. “I’ll let you know tonight,” was her response. Whenever someone postpones responding you know it isn’t going to be good. It’s like the parental, “We’ll see.” Yep, that means no.

Sally II actually called me, which was mighty nice of her, “I prayed about it and God told me not to.”
Now how do you respond to that? “I’m sorry, Rod, but I just got off the phone with God and we are in total agreement. You are overweight, wear your hair combed funny, need binaca, and are a destined to be a loser.”

How do you respond to that? “Well, OK, if either of you changes your mind let me know.”
A similar response came from Sally III (also not her name and not the same one as before) who worked the school’s cafeteria. While she was wiping down a table I asked her if she wanted to go to a play. “Are you going to be a missionary?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I responded. I was a sophomore, and in keeping with the name (sophia + moron= wise moron) I didn’t know much.

“Then, I can’t go out with you. I only date missionaries.” She ended up marrying a pastor, I think.
I remember asking Sally IV out. It was to a formal event because I had to buy tickets. No, she scolded me. “You can’t ask a girl out at the last minute and expect her to say yes!”

I lowered my head looking down at my toes as they traced in the dirt. “I’m sorry.”

“You should be.”

I deserved it I was only giving her three weeks’ notice.

Then there was Sally V. We had just finished mid-terms and an activity of some type was going on Saturday night. No, not a wild party, probably a ball game. I was a little desperate so I decided to ask out a smart girl who fit the librarian stereotype.  Actually I asked her out, outside of the library.
“No, I have to study,” was her answer. A Saturday night, after mid-terms, and she had to study. Right.

Then, there was the time I got the first date with Sally VI, but none after that. I asked Sally VI out to a basketball game. We were playing in a tournament as I recall. She was pretty and I had a beautiful singing voice. I think I made a mistake when we won; it was a last minute buzzer beater. I turned to her and gave her a hug. It was innocent. She looked at me horrified and later explained that the only man she intended to hug was her husband. I thought about explaining that could be me, but wisely kept my mouth shut. It might be a slappable offense to say that, and I didn’t know the rules.

Things did work out eventually. Over 30 years ago I married the Mrs. and we have been happily married for most of them.  Oww, my ears just got boxed.


My problem as a writer [I mean story teller] is two-fold.  I lack talent and skill. It’s actually pretty simple, isn’t it?  Skill involves something learned and over time implemented almost naturally. Talent, on the other hand, is an ability you are born with. You can make it without one or the other if you are also tenacious and lucky, but when you are lacking both, then you might as well bang your head into a wall.

Expect rejection.

In the US the major publishing houses receive 4-5,000 unsolicited fiction manuscripts a year. That’s just the big well known ones.  And that's around a hundred a week.

Some publishers no longer look at unsolicited manuscripts. Where they do look at manuscripts, only the best looking ones, about half get attention. Of those 90% are rejected on the first page and 98% by the end of the first chapter. That leaves 30-50 manuscripts. In a good year ten of those might be published. In a bad year, less than five.

The odds aren’t that great, but they are still better than the lottery. So, if you lack talent work on skill. There is actually a standardized rule for become good at something, 10,000 hours. This is explained in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. Of course this has been recently challenged. The researchers concluded, "The evidence is quite clear that some people do reach an elite level of performance without copious practice, while other people fail to do so despite copious practice." So no matter how much practice, if you don’t have some talent, odds remain against you.

Oh well, maybe we can start a blog, only 6.7 million do. The Mrs. laughed when I read this to her.
The hardest things about a blog, isn’t the writing but the mechanics. For example, every time I log into the dashboard, I try to figure out how to enlarge the donate button! Unfortunately, at the moment I have nothing to sell. I got rejected by And I haven’t figured out how to even add the “Donate Now” button. Well that is as of this writing of this entry. Hopefully, by the time millions are reading my blog (yes I have a vivid imagination and why should they all pay for online drivel when they can get it for free here, plus a small voluntary donation) I will have figured it out and created one.
[The button above is for illustrative purposes only; it doesn't actually work. Stop tapping it, you'll ruin your touch screen. At present I just accept cashier checks and cash. And unlike most quickie marts I accept large bills.]

“Rod,” an imaginary antagonist asks, “don’t you feel bad begging for donations?”

Absolutely not!

First, we assume that someone will actually read these words. I’m not convinced that I’m just taking up space on a server somewhere. One of my fears is that Wordpress [Dear Reader: Notice that I now am with Blogger.] will discover my blog and discontinue hosting me because I have violated the agreement with them. You know the small print on page 73 of the legaleze. “Do you swear on the life of you mother and sister, that you are not going to use Wordpress to hold worthless gibberish, rubbish, or balderdash? If discovered you are in violation, you are eligible for termination, a $10,000 fine, or 7 years in a federal prison.”

Second, the chance of a reader’s finger slipping on the donate button, accidentally typing in their account information, and then fortuitously clicking the final “Yes” button is about as probable as human beings evolving by accident from an amoeba. Hey, wait, all the smart people believe that, then just maybe…..

Third, this is just the voluntary redistribution of wealth without the government getting in the way. What could possibly be wrong with that?

I wonder if I could just stop the blogs half way through and then promise to unlock the rest after the donate button is clicked. Hmm, I wonder--If I can’t figure out how to add the donate button what are the odds of figuring out how to unlock the second half of a blog after donating?

If this doesn’t work then that leaves me with one alternative, delivering pizzas.  But for whom, Dominoes, Papa John’s, Pizza Hut, or one of the smaller local pizzerias. Decisions, decisions.


I Need a Little Cheese with my Whine

It’s Monday morning and everyone deserves to read their favorite blogger whine. To date my loyal followers are holding strong at 0. Not even the Mrs reads my blog. If only Mom could use a computer I might have a follower. I suppose I should advertise. “Are you tired of the standard drivel you get at most blogs where brainless people write about the transitory? Then switch to a blog where a halfwit curmudgeon drones on about his miserable life. At times dull, most of the time silly, and rarely funny, there’s something for everyone!”

I like quaint old sayings, Beauty is skin deep but stupid goes all the way to the bone. I may not be tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, wise, talented, successful, height weight proportionate, skilled, athletic, suave, clever, strong, or courageous, but at least I’m not as stupid as a rock. Forrest could run; While I can’t run, am pitiful at ping pong and I can’t remember all the lessons Mom taught me, I do have all my hair and I’m just short one wisdom tooth. Things are looking up.

I am also cursed with a lousy IQ. I’m smart enough to know that I’m not smart enough. By the way, most people don’t realize that W and Obama have very similar IQ’s, both higher than Reagan, but neither anywhere near as high as Nixon.  No hate mail please, facts are facts. There are great mysteries and questions in universe, things I do not understand. How could the universe inflate into existence, faster than the speed of light, and organize without a causer? What exactly is dark energy and dark matter, why is the universe filled with it, and why can’t I find one single ounce of it in the back yard? Why does every Tim Burton movie have to include his wife and Johnny Depp? Strange, isn’t it? Why can’t bigfoot researchers accept that there are bears in the woods? Why do ETs just kidnap rednecks in trucks or early model cars and not from MIT, Duke or Sanford? When it was decided upon that I should be a nerd, why did I have to be Dudley Dawson and not the Silicon Valley techno-variety?

Speaking of stupid, I enjoy watching America’s Got Talent.  I cry when someone who has been struggling all their life gets recognized for their talent. I also shake my head in bewilderment at judges Heidi K and Mel B. There is so much they don’t get. It’s fun to watch them blankly stare at hysterical comedy, and respond, “I just don’t get it.” Now I don’t mean to suggest that they aren’t easy on the eyes. They are both extremely attractive women, but they could race with Forrest sans the folksy wisdom bequeathed to him by Mama.

Now somewhere in this post is a point. After starting off rather glum, I guess I’m coming to see the silver lining, at least I don’t have to shave my head bald to hide the fact that I have alopecia.


[The situations described in this particular article are fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described and probably never occurred. “Honey, I put a disclaimer on this entry, are you happy now? I’m sorry. You look great in those slacks. Can I rub your feet? Do you need a ride to get your hair cut?”]

The Mrs. came home from work and asked me about the blog. I told her no one had visited yet and that I felt rejected. She said, “Don’t feel bad, maybe your mother will find out about the blog, read it and like it.”

Now my mother and the Mrs. are not alike. I missed out on that, marry someone like your mother. And I actually thought that kind of advice was a little creepy. So instead I married the Mrs. I suppose I still would be single if the Mrs hadn’t asked me to marry her.

I remember finishing up dinner early on, awaiting her to take away the dirty dishes. When I inquired, she just stood there looking down on me with arms folded across her chest, “You got two good arms and two good legs.” That was it.

So I did what every other stupid newly married guy does, “But my mother . . . .”

The strategy failed immediately, and I was singed by the fire from her eyes. I learned one of a couple key maxims for a happy marriage that day.
  1. Never, never, never compare your wife to your mother. Don’t even think it because sometimes what you think comes out of your mouth. While she never explained this first one to me, the following have been explained to me:
  2. Second, a wife is not your maid.
  3. A wife is not your hostess.
  4. A wife is not a sex object.
  5. A wife is not a dish washer.
  6. A wife is not your chauffer.
  7. A wife is not laundry mat.
  8. A wife is not your cook.
  9. A wife tells you what to do.
  10. The best way to avoid nagging is do what she tells you the first time.
Having been married forever, I have learned that these phrases make for a successful marriage:
  1. “Yes dear,”
  2. “I’m sorry, it’s all my fault,”
  3. “I’ll get dinner,”
  4. “That one looks great on you” (the key is being decisive and realizing she’ll then select the other one),
  5. “I love to rub your feet,” or “Please, put your feet on my lap so I can rub them,”
  6. “You’re right my friends are creepy; you’re right about everything,”
  7. “No, you don’t look fat,”
  8. “I’d love to wait as you get your hair cut,”
  9. “I’ll walk the dog.”
  10. “The garbage is already out.”
  11. Oh, and a daily, “I love you. I would be even more of a loser than I already am, without you.”
Now where were we? The Mrs came home and asked about the blog and responded with something about my mother. She looked down upon me in pity, “How does it feel to be rejected?”

I responded, “I try not to think about being rejected because it makes me sad.”

She rolled her eyes sat on the couch and turned on Magnum P. I. “His shorts are really short,” I told her as I worked on my latest post. She made a soft sweet sound created by her tongue quickly moving and redirecting spittle my direction. It reminded me of a little boat motor.

Perhaps I dwell upon my feelings too much. I internalize them. The Mrs. tells me what she thinks and boxes my ears. She has a great vehicle to relieve tension in her life. My ears hurt, but she feels better. Instead I mope.

The Mrs. doesn’t like my moping. Somehow she feels responsible. I have gone as far as to give her some suggestions about how to perk me up. In response I got my ears boxed. Fortunately, I had tinnitus before we met, so I can’t sue her for damaging my eardrums.


[The situations described in this particular article are fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described and probably never occurred.]

There is a statistical correlation between being a loser and the amount of television you watch. The correlation coefficient is .375 on the Aiye-Gouphee-Louzser Scale. The correlation increases if one watches SCI, H2H, HIS, NG, BBC, PBS, DIS, SYFI. The value increases again if you record shows on these channels. My correlation coefficient is .931415. I asked the Mrs and she certified by anecdotal evidence the statistical findings. “Yeah, you’re a nerd.”

DD walked into the family room the other day and found me watching TV. Not an unusual occurrence. Both her walking into the room and finding me watching TV.  “Seriously, Dad, seriously! [When she talks with me she uses the word “seriously” a lot. Now why would that be?] You are watching reruns of ‘Finding Bigfoot?’ They still haven’t found him. That’s so lame.”

“Or her,” I added, a reference to the possibility that Sasquatch is female. If it wasn’t for fathers would daughters ever have a reason to use the word, “lame?”  I grabbed the remote which is always handy to big blue (my recliner) and rewound (that’s probably not the right word, but the back button on my remote looks like the rewind symbol to me; I belong to the cassette generation) the program a couple minutes. What did we do before remote controls and the ability to pause and replay live TV, or record TV? (I deleted the word I wrote before I rewrote “record.” It was “taped.”)   “Honey, listen to Renae howl, it’s great. I think she’s gay.” I played a clip of Renae howling.  “She’s not supposed to believe in Bigfoot and yet she howls in the woods.”

“Dad, she’s not gay, she’s a lesbian.”

“Aren’t they the same thing?”
“No Dad they aren’t.”

“Are you sure?”

She sat down on the edge of the couch and began to explain things to me. I suppose I have a pretty good relationship with my daughter if at 18 she can sit down explain the difference between gayness and lesbianness. And I guess I had wrongly assumed that gay was the general equivalent for homosexual. It wasn’t like I don’t know what a lesbian is. I mean I’ve seen Ellen on TV.  I even know what transgender is. I’m at least a wee bit worldly wise, at least as wise as I can be watching the world comfortably from big blue. However, an old man like me can never be as wise as his 18 year old daughter. The one who I attempted to shelter all these years and now I’m scared to death since she is going off to college in a couple weeks.

Well after my lecture she wandered off I did a little Google research. While you hear the phrase “gay and lesbian” with the word gay referring to men and lesbian to homosexual women, the overwhelming responders at Yahoo Answers, which is the arbitrator of truth for our times, said there is no difference between the word gay and lesbian, homosexual women are both gay and lesbians. So, I was right!

But this post is not about sexual orientation nor Finding Bigfoot. It is supposed to be about television. With 100s of channels on satellite and cable, the world has changed since the 3 networks of my youth. PBS came along in 1970 to make it four. But I was beyond Sesame Street and not into news programming.  When we lived in Virginia I did watch a fledgling Christian UHF station that would one day become the media giant CBN. “Hey Sissy, Remember? Jim and Tammy, Box 111, Portsmouth, Virginia, 23705!” You shout the last 5. I can’t believe I still remember that after 45 years.

Any way I think I need to just turn off the TV and do something productive. Hmm, maybe I can go see a movie at the dollar theater. I think there’s a Tom Cruise thriller playing. Anyone want to go? I hear Carmike theaters are remodeling with comfortable high-back rocking luxury seats, retractable armrests and convenient cup holders. Who needs an old blue recliner!


[The situations described in this particular article are fictional and come out of my vivid imagination. Not every personage named and event recounted is accurately described and probably never occurred. And if it did occur I guarantee it wasn’t nearly as funny as it might seem here, and here it isn’t really that funny at all. Actually the actual (these two actuals are actually here on purpose and should not be actually edited out by the editor, if, of course there were an editor who would improve this blog by deleting the totally unnecessary words, phrases, sentences, paragraphs and parenthetical comments, and so now you have to go back to before this parenthetic comment begins to get the flow of the sentence this parenthetical comment interrupted; is that clear or should I explain more?) event was extremely dull, even duller than it seems here. It’s probably just a waste of your time to continue reading at all. Instead you should read a classic, a short story by O Henry, or a Jane Austen novel and not some pitiful hack who is lucky to string coherent words together. ]

When You’re Married to a Loser: Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?

Question: “Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?”
Answer: “Do I have to?”

I don’t understand the Mrs’s question. We all know that when ranking attributes desired in men, right after tall, dark, handsome, wealthy, suave, chivalrous, and good hair, is a sense of humor. I believe that comes from a non-scientific survey at, If you couldn’t tell, I made that site, so you probably shouldn’t go there to check it out. Well, one thing we know, it’s not a porn site.

Isn’t that funny? When I read it to the Mrs this morning while she was packing her lunch for work she didn’t laugh, not even a smile. She just stared at me and then continued slathering peanut butter on bread.

“Isn’t that funny?” I asked again. A mistake on my part. I should have kept my mouth shut. The stare and the slashing motion of her knife destroying the bread slice should have indicated to me that something was wrong. I should have leapt up and assisted her, but instead I kept working.
Blogging is now a part-time job even though I only have two followers and for all I know two readers.  One of those is my sister, the only family member who can get online and half way understand my sense of humor, well her and Aunt Nancy, but I don’t think Aunt Nancy gets online, so she isn’t a follower. If she does read this, “Hi, Aunt Nancy!” The other is an old friend, well she’s not old, I’ve known her from her childhood. So I’m not making any money yet blogging, but sometimes you have to work before you get paid and sometimes payday is years away.

“Isn’t that funny?” I asked. We men can really be stupid some times.

“To a man.?” she responded.  I wasn’t sure whether it was a question or answer. All I know is the bread was getting punished. I wisely didn’t respond verbally, I just sat cowering in fear unsure what would happen next. Oh, and I was typing as rapidly as I could to capture this golden moment for you my two readers.

“Honey, I’m running late; why don’t you help me?” she asked. She still wasn’t smiling. And then it happened.

I asked a stupid man question, one that should only be asked by a husband in his first year of marriage (because of course he is ignorant and doesn’t know any better), or else by a chump like me, “What can I do to help?” I knew the answer to this question before the words escaped my lips. She wasn’t requesting dialogue. This was the preamble to pain. Gosh, I’m so happy there is humor so I can laugh at the pain later.

“Nothing!” she replied as she gritted her teeth. Yep, I could have told you that would be her answer.
This is the time, if you are a man, you never know what to do. If you hop up and help it will not be allowed. You meet the blocking comment, “I only want help if you initiate it all on your own!” No, the Mrs didn’t say that but we’ve been married a long time. So I did what I do best, I sat in big blue.
“Why did you make a stupid comment about porn?”

Before I could respond, “It was a joke,” I had to duck from the thrown knife. Never fear dear readers it was a butter knife, so no sharp points. Besides after all these years of practice her aim is still awful. And I was wearing my glasses so it wouldn’t poke out an eye. I wonder if I’d like the nickname, Patch?

I did have to deftly knock the butter knife out of the air because it was heading for her favorite side table where it could potentially knick the finish. That would be so bad for me.  I’d be in real trouble! “Why didn’t you just let that knife hit you and protect my favorite side table?” would have been her response. Yep, she would have been ticked at me.

The Mrs re-gathered her poise and continued, “You know what women really want?” I didn’t have time to answer that question. My answer would have been a sarcastic, “No, of course not.” I have been married for over 30 years so I do know what women want. They want a man to rub their feet and wait for them at the shop while they’re getting a haircut.”

Without providing a moment for me to answer she continued, “Women want men who clean up after themselves, and who clean up after their wives, sometimes.”

Dang, I would have missed that. She had finished packing her sandwich and was now busy wiping the table.

Without pause, she asked, “What else do you want to know?”

Without waiting she told me. “Why don’t men put garbage bags into garbage cans after they empty them so the wife can throw things away while she is getting ready for work in the morning?” Yeah, it’s garbage day so I had emptied the garbage can but not put a new liner in the can yet. Oops. Um, not the first time either.

So, women want a man who prepares lunch for them, knocks flying knives out the air so they don’t knick favorite side tables, change garbage can liners in a timely fashion, clean up after themselves and after their wives (on occasion), rub their feet, and wait for them at the shop while they get their haircut.

She was now in rhythm rattling off questions like a middle school teacher, “Why does he still sit in the chair staring at the computer?”

I didn’t dare tell her I was writing down the dialogue as quickly as I could for my blog.
Finally, the questions stopped and the commands began: “She better come home with the house cleaner than she left it!” By the way, I work from home, I’m not just one of those lucky freeloading husbands.

As she left she gave me a peck on the lips, “Goodbye, honey, I love you. See you tonight.” And then poured milk on my head. Actually she isn’t that stupid. She knew if she dumped the milk it would still be there when she got home.

When it comes to reading the Mrs the first paragraph of my blog, I need to be a little more careful of timing. Never ever read it to her while she is scurrying around in the morning, making her lunch and getting ready to head out the door to work.

OK, she’s gone, where was I? Oh, yeah, “Can’t you be serious for one minute?”

Question: “Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?”

Answer: “No, it’s my escape mechanism.”

This isn’t a winner either. Inevitably the Mrs wants to know why I need to escape from the living bliss I experience whenever she is around. Someone has said, you make your own heaven and hell. I better not comment any further on that in case the Mrs reads the blog.

Can’t you be serious for one minute is actually a good question, right up there with, “How does gravity work?” “Why do we call green, ‘green?’” “Why do box cake brands taste different?” “Why do we drive on the parkway and park on the driveway?” And, “When will the burgers on the grill be ready?” While I have enough intelligence and creativity to provide some pretty sweet balderdash in answer to all these questions, the bottom line is I actually don’t know. However, I am sure my therapist would tell you the inability to be serious for one minute is an escape mechanism.
Question: “Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?”

Answer: One minute is a long time. For example, hold your breath and count to 60. You can count silently or out loud because it makes no difference. You will find out that one minute is a long time. You need another example? OK, empty your mind of all thoughts. Now that will be easier for some than others. Of course, if you are reading this blog you are sophisticated and discriminating so you will find this exercise extremely hard. Your mind is full of knowledge and wisdom. So you will have to ask your spouse or significant other. If in the extremely unlikely case you are in your youth, I say that because I’m an old man with a teenage daughter and know I’m not funny, then just ask a friend. Everyone knows someone who has the IQ of a rock. Now empty your mind and keep it empty for an entire minute. Try it. See it isn’t easy. Here’s something to think about: If you believe in an evolutionary model of the creation of the universe then a great deal takes place in just a couple minutes. A minute is a long time.

Question: “Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?”

Answer: “Humor is valued.” While I don’t go to comedy clubs, I do pay the cable bill every month. So, I laugh every month and tell myself to invest in Charter. By the way, did you know that Jeff Daniels and Jim Carey are so desperate that they are doing a sequel to “Dumb and Dumber?” The trailer was stupid. Let’s hope stupid translates into funny, like the original. But I think they would be better off doing another “Bad Grandpa.”

After reading this to the Mrs: “Dear, of course, I didn’t think ‘Bad Grandpa’ was funny. The humor was lame and sick and perverted.”

Question: “Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?”

Answer: “Humor is medicine.” And that’s straight from the Bible. Of course when I say to the Mrs, “Honey, I think I have a tummy ache,” she gives me a Tums and not a little wine. Since we don’t drink, inhale nicotine (not even second hand anymore, isn’t America great), take illegal substances, the options for medicine is what is covered by our insurance provider and Walmart’s discounted medication plan. That means laughter is essential to my pain relief.

Question: “Can’t You Be Serious for One Minute?”

Answer: “Why?”


[Actually there are neither fans nor followers so this continues to be pure fiction.]

Questions from my fans and followers:

Do you really think you are so smart?

That’s a tough one. I mean I know the score of my IQ test. I also have copies of transcripts. However, I really don’t think I’m very smart. If I was real smart I would be giving Bill Gates a run for his money, instead of writing a blog no one reads. So no, I don’t think I’m smart. Divide the mass of humanity into two groups. Put those to the right of the bell shaped curve on the right and those on the left on the left. I’d be in the right group.

Why don’t you get a real job?

There’re are many reasons. But I suppose the main one is no one has hired me.

It seems like you spend an inordinate amount of time writing posts since no one reads them. What motivates you?

Good question. If it wasn’t for the moniker, I mean modicum, of self-respect I’d create dozens of false email addresses and enter them all as followers. And then send in questions for me to answer. Thankfully Aunt Gertrude follows me. She provides very positive feedback and gives me fried pies to help me maintain my physique. I suppose the reason I continue to write for my blog is because it provides me yet another forum to express myself to more of those who aren’t listening and could care less. It’s the nature of all those who have little to say of importance. I can be very verbose so instead of boring people with the spoken word I have chosen to do so with the written word. Some of those who are like me, who have much to say, but of little value, become politicians and world leaders. Others of us become actors in Hollywood. And the rest of us write blogs for no one to read. Let me phrase it this way, alcoholics drink, drug addicts snort, agoraphobics panic, and I write articles that no one reads.  My therapists describes it as yet another compulsive behavior. They can prescribe me medication.

Do you feel bad never having made the sexiest man lists?

No. I wouldn’t trade all my outstanding qualities for something so shallow. Outstanding qualities, you may ask? Certainly. Besides my family, I have a pool. Would you trade a pool for being sexy? I also have a 1993 Nissan truck. Would you trade a classic like that for good looks? Even though someone cut out the catalytic convertor when it was broke down on the side of the interstate and it now sounds like a mufflerless Harley I wouldn’t trade it for the world, maybe the first $2000. I also have what Ron Weasley would call a wicked sense of humor. Would you trade a sense of humor for US News and World Report’s sexiest man? Besides if I were the sexiest man alive the Mrs would have to stop boxing my ears and I'd have to put up with constantly being badgered, "Honey, it's time for bed...."

What do you do with your spare time?

Sleep. Since I often watch TV and listen to music as I work I don’t do those kind of things with my down times. I do occasionally read what other people write. However, that makes me feel bad because when I read a good book I understand why I’m not published.

[I have gone back to school, too. After my first class and submitting my portfolio I was not kicked out, so I count that as success.]

Someone compared you to a contemporary Mark Twain but without his wit, talent, or success. Could you respond?

I think it was because I have a mustache even though it isn’t bushy. Beyond that, it’s the most ridiculous and stupid thing I have ever heard in all my life. Besides I hate wearing white.

If you could redo life what would you do differently?

That’s a really good question. I suppose the simple answer would be, everything. [To the Mrs and DD: It’s just a joke!]
What’s your favorite color?


Why would anyone in their right mind read your stuff?

They wouldn’t. Next.

You’ve written that in your youth you were an outstanding athlete. What professional sports did you participate in?

I believe you have me confused with Bo Jackson. It’s a very easy thing to do and it happens all the time. I barely made the JV football team. I played the position of tackling dummy.

What do you think about the recent discovery of the Higgs-Boson particle?

While I am not a physicist, I do watch the science channel and I must admit that finding the God particle is interesting. I smile every time I think about it. Higgs reminds me of Higgy Baby on Magnum P.I. (the Mrs’s favorite show) and Bozo from my youth.

Speaking of Magnum PI, I’m one of your female fans, do you have a hairy chest?

Yes, I do, and a hairy belly, and back. And yes, hairy arms and legs. It’s light though, so I’m not mistaken as a Squatch. The Mrs likes to run her fingers through my chest hair, give me that come hither smile, and then pluck one. That hurts. She laughs.

Do you stay up with current events?

Yes, I believe we elected the first African American president recently.

Are you a Republican or Democrat?

I live in Alabama.

Was it hard growing up a Navy brat?

No, I think I would have been a brat no matter what profession my father chose.

Do you think you are funny?

Definitely not. I wouldn’t be a follower of a blog like mine. I have way too much important stuff to do than read drivel.

Keep the questions coming. I will address more as they come in and when I can’t think of anything else to write. And if you don’t send them, I can always make them up, and attribute them to you.


The Mrs got around to reading some of my blogs. She flicked my ear (didn’t box them) and explained she felt she was misrepresented. I told her I put a disclaimer at the beginning of every blog and that no one would take anything I wrote seriously. I explained to her that anyone who didn’t know me would quickly come to the conclusion that everyone that knows me knew. I’m a lying scum bag. Dang, I just realized I didn't write the disclaimer at the beginning of this one!

She then explained that wasn’t entirely accurate, the word “scum” doesn’t apply. She said, “You’re just a liar, dear.”

I nodded sheepishly admitting she was right and that I had exaggerated.

When she left the room I stuck my tongue out at her.

Relationships aren’t easy especially when you are imperfect. My imperfections put me at a serious disadvantage. I am perhaps the most imperfect person I know. Well with the exception of the dog. He occasionally pees on the floor and I haven’t peed on the floor in months. Unless you call those little droplets that sometimes happen around the edge of the toilet. Yeah, I know, TMI.

Dogs are good. They always like you except when they don’t like you and they chase you while you are riding your bike and then bite you in the butt. Do you sense a story here?

It’s amazing how events from the past stay with you. When I was 3 I was bit in the butt by a dog. I remember running, the dog chasing me. I was filled with fear. It’s interesting how different childhood memory is from adults. I was told the dog was playing and nipped me. To me, it seemed it was a vicious law enforcement attack dog.

I wasn’t very bright as a child (that probably explains why I’m dim now). A year or so later I remember watching bigger boy playing baseball. I needed to go home but was afraid of getting hit by the ball. So when the pitcher threw the ball I ran, right by the batter, who swung and missed the ball and nailed me. That hurt. I remember the boys taking me home, I was crying and in pain.
It’s interesting that the pain was both caused indirectly by me and directly to my lack of information.
So the pain of life is often caused by… [oww she was looking over my shoulder and boxed my ears! For some reason she didn’t like it that I stuck my tongue out at her.]


[Some of the events described in this article are purely fictional and come from my imagination.]

I was the little freckled faced red-headed boy who stared out the window during school and day dreamed. I kept a notebook of monsters I created based on puns on ordinary words and phrases. For example, the Gullet Bull was a large bellied bull that you could easily trick. The psycho-analyst was a big bottomed crazy creature that lived under couches. I created a couple note books full of these monsters. I wish I still had them, but they are lost to time, yellow and brittle, compost in a land fill.
  As old as I am they have probably provided nutrients to a tree that has already grown full and cut down to make paper.  Most of the time my day dreams were not very interesting, dreaming of playing professional football was the most common one. When I never managed to reach over 5 foot 6 that became an impossibility.

I still day dream. One of my favorites involves what I’d do if I won the lottery. The problem, as I spelled out in a previous post, is that Alabama doesn’t have a lottery. So that makes it rather difficult to win if you don’t buy a ticket. And then there’s the point that I never bought a ticket when I lived in states that participated in the lottery. Again, complicating the possibility of winning. It’s an athletic maxim, you can’t win if you don’t play. If I were to win the lottery (or inherit millions from a rich relative that I didn’t know I have) I’d set up a couple foundations, the first for family. So if anyone in the family needed anything they could approach the foundation and ask. I’d not be on that board. The second thing I’d do would be create a foundation to help good organizations. I’d travel around interviewing good organizations seeking a grant and decide who should get the money. Third, I’d purchase a resort in Florida, a small one, where families could get away, rest and relax. No, not Disney World.

Now I have strange night dreams too. You know the typical one of running around school or work in my boxers. Yeah, extremely frightening, and not just for me. A few nights ago I dreamed of dropping my daughter off at college, that was a nightmare. We’ve invested time and energy to raise her to survive on her own and now that she’s taking that first step away from the nest. Night dreams do provide great story idea, unfortunately they are much more interesting immediately after you awaken than the next morning. I put a pen and paper next to the bed once so I could write out my dream. I did so, but when I awoke in the morning I had written gibberish.

But I think dreaming is good.


Men are different than women.

What men value is different than what women value.

What guy wouldn’t be tickled to death to say to his buddies while standing around his truck, “Yeah, my wife married me for my body” (turn and spit out some tobacco juice).

A little sheepish squirrely dude, doing his best to be accepted, “My wife married me for my brains, and sense of humor. Did you know that in Cosmopolitan a survey reported that 85% women prefer men that are intelligent and have a sense of humor.” He stuck his grease encrusted finger into his nose, pulled out a slimy one with a crusty center and flicked it onto the ground.

“Dang, Ruddy we all know you got one of those gold twisty things hanging around your neck when you graduated from high school. And everyone knows its hysterical watching you light your own farts. What’s that gas called.”


“Yeah, like propane, but it’s called methane.”

Short fat bald headed guy, “My wife married me for my sense of humor.” He spits out the toothpick that he was using to dig out pulled pork, a problem exacerbated by receding gum line. She says I remind her of Fat Albert.

Thin bespeckled guy in a suit, “My wife married me because she thought I’d be a great provider.” He pulled out a beautifully folded handkerchief with his monogram and coughed a hunk of phlegm in it caused by his allergies. He’s sophisticated and would never hock one on the ground.
“Losers,” the first guy laughs.

Then me. I don’t have any of those things going for me. “My wife married me because I have a full head of hair.”

They all laugh in unison, like a church choir number.

Since I’ve never been a part of the conversation between women, I could only imagine what happens.

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