I’m in the midst of writing my second book and it’s bringing up some old but heavy shit.
Where the first book was fiction, this one is non-fiction, a journey through care giving a loved one battling cancer. In examining some of my beliefs and reactions through the process, I’ve gone back to examine how those beliefs and opinions were formed, which takes me back a long ways – to the age of two. I remember as if it were yesterday, a fall October day in 1958. My father was burning leaves (allowed back then) and Mom was doing whatever she was doing, one of those things being taking pictures of the 23 month old brat sitting on the steps playing with the carved pumpkin and sitting on the lawn watching dad burn leaves. He wore a black and white plaid peacoat and brown lace up work boots that looked more like army issue that fashionable, utilitarian footwear.
At one point my Mom went back inside and Dad walked back to the garage, out of my sight, to get something. He wasn’t gone but a minute or two, but I will never forget the feeling of loneliness and abandonment that washed over me, as if some invisible shroud of sadness drifted in and covered me. Sitting there on the grass between two giant maples, feeling like there was not a soul left in the world. I was two what did I know? Eventually these feelings would lead to all sorts of nonsense in later years, primarily paralyzing panic attacks that plagued my into adulthood.
I’ve done enough therapy to know where all this comes from and it’s not something I hold on to or get angry about, it’s just an old video tape I can put back on the shelf, realizing that it has no power – that was then, this is now.
This things I do for art’s sake…
Some people get impeached, some get fired. Others get RIF’d – which is the PC term for getting your ass kicked out of the door. Some even give a couple weeks notice. I did none of the above.
Handed in my stuff and walked out. I figured it was that or have totally inappropriate breakdown. Who needs that? It was not done with hysterics or emotion or ranting and raving or anything destructive. I was very calm in turning in my gear to HR and saying “See ya!”
Ballsy move you ask? Why yes it is. Certainly not without risks and trapdoors, but life is nothing without a little adventure. The Mrs. would debate that point but I assured her that there are many variations to peanut butter and jelly that can be employed and that I had it on good assurance that both dogs will willingly share their kibble – to a point.
There is always a plan B, of course. I was able to reserve a top-flight GE Refrigerator box at the local appliance store, complete with intact top and bottom covers and heavy inserts for stability.
As some of you may know, the past couple years have been a bit of a journey, acting as caregiver to the Mrs. who has been treated for brain cancer (she’s doing quite well – coming up on a year of remission). Part of this journey has had me exposed to the Mrs. daytime TV addictions; primary being Days of Our Lives at 1 pm EST. Following that these days is The Steve Harvey Show, a talk show that veers between copying Dr. Phil and the standard talk show fare. There is a segment of the show entitled “Ask Steve” where members of the audience ask Steve to help them with their personal quirks and foibles.
Today the questioner was a woman whose issue was “cussing”. She wanted Steve to tell her what words to use instead of cuss words. She couldn’t think of any. Now my unscientific research estimates around 200,000 words, plus or minus 50%, in our goofy language but this poor soul could not figure out good replacement words to use.
This is why Steve Harvey is hosting the show and not me. Steve has parlayed what started as a stand-up career into a multi-dimensional existence in sitcoms, game shows and talk shows. He is loved by millions and I certainly do not begrudge his success. Smart dude. But if I were hosting the show and this woman asked that question, my response would be to have Chuck Norris come on stage and shove this woman’s face through chicken wire.
Since this sort of behavior is frowned upon, I will take the high road and offer some alternative suggestions. Of course she never said which cuss words she was saying so I’ll have to make some assumptions here:
(I could probably stop right here because I doubt this woman ventured into expletives any stronger as these first two, but as a public service I will press on)
Ass……………wankle rotary engine
fuck…………..fuck (let’s face it, no other word really captures the right spirit)
Hopefully Steve’s staff presented this woman with her own personalized copy of Carlin’s Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.
Filed under dumbass, humor, TV
Darkly hilarious. The last line is the best…
Filed under humor, YouTube
I’m travelin’ down the road and I’m flirtin’ with disaster
I’ve got the pedal to the floor, my life is running faster
I’m out of money, out of hope, it looks like self-destruction
Well, how much more can we take with all of this corruption
We’re flirtin’ with disaster, y’all know what I mean
And the way we run our lives, it makes no sense to me
I don’t know about yourself or what you want to be, yeah
When we gamble with our time, we choose our destiny
Speeding down the fast lane, honey, we’re playin’ from town to town
The boys and I’ve been burnin’ it up, can’t seem to slow it down
I’ve got the pedal to the floor, our lives are runnin’ faster
We got our sights set straight ahead, but I ain’t sure what we’re after
Flirtin’ with disaster, y’all damn sure know what I mean
You know, the way we run our lives, it makes no sense to me
I don’t know about yourself or what you plan to be, yeah
When we gamble with our time we choose our destiny
Yeah, we’re travelin’ down that lonesome road
Feel like I’m dragging a heavy load
Don’t try to turn my head away
I’m flirtin’ with disaster every day
over the years, this has become one of our favorite christmas rock songs. all the more poignant this year with the loss of Chris Squire…
Filed under holiday, music