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My Anxiety Has a First Name, It’s Richard

Recently I was in a car with another man. (Yeah I know. This is getting good already). He was driving us to New Orleans for some nerdy “recreation” when we started doing something that is totally socially unacceptable in most states. We were talking reasonably about politics and religion. Both! I know right? WHO DOES THAT ANYMORE? But we were two men alone in a car with no witnesses. We might not have this chance ever again. I won’t fill you in on the details here because I don’t talk about politics or religion online because the internet is dark and full of trolls.

Once we started getting into the greater New Orleans area, our discussion turned to why I was a little nauseous and trying to press my foot through his floorboard. When I explained that I had “some anxiety issues”. He said he understood and it was pretty impressive that I hadn’t beaten him over the head, thrown his body into the back seat, and then taken control over the vehicle. I DO like to be in control and mentioned that, but I was working on it. He mentioned that I could probably benefit from some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, but that sounded like a LOT of work. And quackery. And potentially expensive. So when something is hard, expensive, AND made-up I am probably not going to take part in it. Probably.

I tried to explain that I had at one point thought that I was coming down with Adult Onset Attention Deficit Disorder because I was getting to the point that I couldn’t read more than a sentence at a time (especially with email) without giving up to do something else. I couldn’t focus, and on occasion I would feel like I was vibrating internally like my chest imprisoned a miniature demon that would constantly rattle its cage (my ribs) with a tin cup. There was one day that I could literally draw a line diagonally down my torso dividing the sections of my body that did and did not feel like they were vibrating. It was disconcerting.

One of the problems with my Adult Onset Attention Deficit Disorder theory was that I couldn’t find anything suggesting that ADD had an Adult Onset component. Yeah, it seems that I couldn’t find anything about Adult Onset ADD because ADD doesn’t have an Adult Onset component. Someone should put this down somewhere that can be easily accessed by people that can only read twenty words at a time. When I was in primary school as a child I could focus like mad, and if you ever have ADD, you’ll have it as a child. Many children outgrow ADD, but others do not and so Adult ADD is an actual thing, just not Adult Onset ADD.

My wife was working as an MIS Support Specialist at a local mental health facility around the time I was struggling with my search for what the Hell was going on with me. She found out through completely unrelated conversations at work that ADD and Anxiety are often misdiagnosed as the other. In fact ADD, Anxiety, OCD, and Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome all have similar symptoms. The mechanism for ADD is different than the other disorders but they are all similar to a degree. Symtematically. Having had NO luck looking for information to help me with ADD (that I didn’t have) I found a book titled Anxiety, Phobias, and Panic. Whereas I never could relate to any of the books on ADD that I found, this one spoke to me before I completed the introduction. I finally figured out what was going on with me.

Now I’ve never been properly therapisted, so I can not say exactly what my deal is, but knowing what was generally wrong with me, knowing it was real, and knowing that it wasn’t something to be ashamed of helped significantly. I started to practice a lot of the relaxation techniques and while it would take six years for me to have my first real panic attack, the techniques paid immediate dividends. That said, simply knowing about my anxiety doesn’t really help attacks to not happen, but I am more prepared to deal with them when they do. And they do.

One thing we anxious have in common is we often have vivid imaginations. I’m going to try to explain how exactly this can be detrimental with an example that still sometimes shakes me, and I’m going to share how I was able to finally shake the worst of it. Basically I had accidently stumbled upon that CBT thing that probably doesn’t exist. Before I start though there are a few things you need to know. 1) I have a vivid imagination. Sometimes I can picture a thing so strongly that I truly experience it. 2) I am very empathetic, meaning I honestly sometimes do feel your pain. This is particularly true if you hurt your fingers, but my empathy is not limited to digital pain. 3) I have a little girl. Luckily I started learning about dealing with my anxiety before she was born (another story that), but I still have some tough times. Basically I love my little girl without end. I love her before she existed and until nothing remains. Parents understand this, the rest of you will just have to take my word for it. Also know that we moved to the country to be safer for her and to be closer to her grandparents.

After moving to the country, my commute is now about 30-40 minutes, but that’s OK. On my commute is a property I call Five Oaks that has (wait for it) five oak trees around a nice single story country home. I’ve dreamed of owning that property. I could raise ten families there and be content to never leave. When driving home, the property signals that only about three minutes remain on my commute home. Then one day while passing the property and looking at one of the giant oaks, I got one of those instant images in my head. This one was of my little girl laying dead in the street having been hit by a car, and I am the one to discover her. I knew this was just my imagination, but the image was so powerful that I began to mourn. Not a lot, but just a little. The problem with anxiety is that the brain starts a type of feedback loop that feeds itself and grows. So my imagination triggered my fear which triggered my imagination. Wash, rinse, repeat. Seconds later I had tears in my eyes, my heart was in my throat, I was trembling, and the fear was a living thing charging on its black stallion of shadows toward my happiness intent to utterly destroy it forever. The closer I’d get to home the more likely I was convinced that the image that flashed in my brain was going to be true. I honestly wouldn’t wish this on anyone.

Naturally I’d round the final curve in the road and see that there was nothing amiss. My relief would be palatable but I wouldn’t trust the logical side of my being until I saw my girl smiling and playing. And that is only a part of what it is like to suffer with anxiety just a little. My logical brain still functions and yet while it would scream things to bring me back to Earth, my emotional anxiety ridden side would retain control until I could prove the anxiety wrong, which doesn’t always happen quickly. And I haven’t gotten to the worse part yet. Now that I had a very strong, very emotional experience on my commute that first started purely by coincidence while looking at one of the trees on one of my favorite properties on this green earth, that tree became a trigger that would cause me to re-experience the entire scenario. I’ve mourned my child’s death more times than I can count. I’m sure none of them would come close to the real mourning I would experience if God forbid something were to actually happen to her, but it was really wearing on me. Then I stumbled into CBT.

In a vain attempt to NOT have the tree on my commute trigger the whole scenario for the umpteenth time, I tried something different. I would replace my previous ridiculous imagery with something similarly ridiculous. When approaching the property with the tree that I once so loved, instead of allowing myself to experience the completely imagined horror of my normal anxiety attack, I forced myself to imagine my wife and child greeting me as I pulled up each sporting giant insect heads.

I didn’t think it would, but it worked.

I saw, for the briefest of moments in a clarity I have yet to recreate, both of my loved ones with giant fly heads like something out of a bad 50’s horror movie. I literally laughed out loud. Now on my commute despite the fact that I remember the images that triggered my anxiety I also remember the images of my family with fly heads. Since that day I have been able to counter this specific trigger with either logic or silliness.

So despite being able to (now) deal with my somewhat mild anxiety without drugs or expensive therapisting (yet), I can still attest that anxiety is definitely a dick.

Review: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson

Where to start? Ah yes.

Go buy this book. Now. It’s that good. You don’t have to read this review, just trust me. Buy the book. Read the book. Laugh your ass off. Finish the book. Go to www.thebloggess.com and read her blog. Go to www.audible.com and then buy her audio book. Listen to the audio book. That’s her reading it. Yup you get to hear HER talk about HER vagina in HER own voice. HER! I’m getting ahead of myself though. Go get your copy and I’ll wait for you.

Did you buy a copy yet? Yes? I don’t believe you. Why? Who stops reading a blog post to go out and buy a book? So unless you already own a copy I call shenanigans. If all you are going to do is lie to me, you really should read another blog cause I’m the only one that gets to lie on THIS blog buddy. OK technically I guess I have a few friends that have accounts as authors that could lie too, but I’m the only one that will ever post anything, so … whatever.

Since you won’t run off and just buy the book without any more information, I’ll just have to try to convince you.

First of all, Jenny Lawson is The Bloggess. I can’t even begin to describe her. While I could come up with a variety of phrases and adjectives that might all be true none would suffice. She’s a native Texan who grew up dirt poor, has a crazy imagination, is ALL about the best internet memes (plus Will Wheaton whom I refuse to like because he’s mean to Sheldon Cooper. Excuse me, DOCTOR Sheldon Cooper. I didn’t mean to be rude), and uses only the finest language. And by finest language I mean while her sentence structure is excellent, it is used to frame words like fuck, fucking, fucker, shit, and vagina. So classy. Oh I guess I should warn you that the book and this post about said book contain some “blue” language. There. You are warned.

Next you need to know that the book is all mostly true accounts of the bizarre crap that happened from her earliest memories to much more recent events by the end of the book. Her childhood memories mostly revolve around her father who seems to this humble reader as fricken awesome. In reading these accounts, one can get a real sense of how difficult it actually is to permanently harm a child when you are harming them with love. OK that might be bad to suggest, so don’t anyone take that last sentence as a challenge. Mess with the kiddos and I will destroy you. OK probably not, but only because I’m a total coward and probably can’t find you. Just don’t do it.

As the chapters progress, Jenny transitions from child to awkward preteen to awkward teen to awkward college student to awkward wife to awkward mother and somewhere along the way finds the internet and begins to kick some blogging ass. That last part isn’t so much a part of the book as it is my personal evaluation of the author. But you get the sense that the author has had moments where she was pretty awkward and riddled with insecurity. That awkwardness and insecurity lends the author a kind of vulnerability that is endearing. Plus all that awkwardness lends itself to the development of a personality that is both a little frightening and very interesting but only in the best way. If there is a best way.

Some of the chapters are a little sad, some have a kind of moral or positive life message at the end, and many are laugh-out-loud funny. I laughed to tears more than once, but I admit I am a laugher. One point in contention that I have with the author or perhaps more correctly her editor was the exclusion of the chapter “Balls” from the regular book. This chapter was bonus content in the audio-book and was presumably withheld from the print version because it just wasn’t good enough. That chapter was in my top three funniest and most fulfilling of chapters, and I laughed out loud as much in that chapter as any other.

But in the long run YOU have to decide to check out this book for yourself. If you don’t, You are a murderer of laughter! (Bonus points if you know what movie I got “You are a murder of …” from. Ok it is Dan in Real Life. Awesome sweet movie staring Steve Carell. Steve’s character, Dan, is sweet guy and father of three girls who meets the first woman that has actually interested him since his wife’s death. Unfortunately she isn’t exactly available. I don’t want to give anything away, but the ride is worth the watch. I’ll tie this into Jenny’s book by saying that Dan comes across as being a little awkward at times, but like Jenny ends up being quite the hero at the end).

Wait I have to end with something about the book. Preferably something about the book and modestly funny … hmmm … ok here goes.

If you have reached this far into this review, then you are the kind of person that simply cannot make up your own mind. Since you are so seemingly easy to manipulate I will insist that you check out this book. In fact use the following link and go buy it for your Kindle RIGHT NOW! Kindle version of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir) OR if you prefer to kill trees, use this link and go get the nature destroying paper version. Nature killing version of Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: (A Mostly True Memoir). When you are finished you can send me cash as a way of thanking me for turning you on to something so awesome.

P.S. This chick has a serious hard on for The Little House on the Prairie. Just a warning.

P.P.S. I’m so stealing this schtick from her.

P.P.P.S. I don’t care.

The King’s New Clothes

I work for a software development house. I’ve been at this location for the past six years, and the last time I bought new clothes specifically for work was when I started the job. Six years later I can barely fit into some of those clothes. Then tragically while getting in my Jeep to pick up my wife for lunch one day, the very pants that I interviewed for my current job ripped at the seem. Ripped. At. The. Seem.

Those were my lucky pants. I got the job of my life (to date) in those pants. I KNEW I wasn’t going to get my current job the day I interviewed but those pants won me the day. Well those pants and my winning smile. And awesome personality. And someone was drunk that day, and it wasn’t me (I’m sure – mostly). In reality, my self esteem tells me that my smile isn’t that winning, and while I am The King, my personality isn’t THAT awesome. Well not awesome enough to risk hiring someone without a college degree for a professional gig as a programmer. Oh and nobody had been drinking, so it MUST have been my lucky pants. MUST have been. And I ripped them.

Buying new pants is nothing new. As my waist expanded so did my pleats. Most of my pants I out grew and replaced but my lucky pants remained. Until I killed them. With my ass.

So there I was lucky-pants-less when I found out that the big wigs on my current project were coming for a visit. Now each person in that handful of people could individually crush my career with a hastily formed email, and they were going to visit. For a week. I’m not a vain man, but when I considered that I would be unable to wow anyone with my split lucky pants, I knew I needed some new clothes.

I don’t buy clothes. I’m generally just not that into the whole process, but the wife and I went to the mall. I asked if someone could measure my neck and sleeve length for some new shirts, and the lady in the men’s clothing section of the store I was in called over a twenty something young man that smelled of flowers. I think his name was Loras Tyrell. Seems I’m an 18 1/2 neck and a 37/38″ sleeve. Yes I’m fat AND tall. It is an odd combination. I found some decent shirts in some colors that said “American Male!” but stayed away from “American Metrosexual Male!”. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Next I asked for my inseam to be measured. Twice for some reason. The Loras was very helpful and polite. I knew what my inseam was then, but I wondered why my left was different from my right and so he remeasured my right and I completely forgot the number. I really wasn’t paying attention. I promptly thanked the young knight and paid for my shirts.

I tried to find some shoes at the various shoe stores in the mall, but all they had were shoes that made me look like I was in my nineties or the shoes that said “I’m a rebel, and I don’t care what you pay me.” I couldn’t have my shoes undercutting my potential pay. My low self esteem does that already.

After giving up on shoes I thought I might look for some pants and instantly regretted not paying attention to anything Loras said while taking my inseam for the fourth time. Then while passing a store that is so hip that I generally avoid even looking at the people that shop there, I noticed some District 3 shoes that were both professional enough to look good in the office and young enough to allow the the illusion that I have not yet turned into my father. Live the dreams that you can when you can folks. So I bought my District 3 shoes with the stitches that one might imagine to be barbed wire tastefully worked into the design and all but ran out of the store of too-much-hipness.

When I got home I unpacked my new shirts and bad ass shoes with my inseam fully measured six times. I was (and still am) really tickled about my shoes. Giggly. You’d think I’d had my inseam measured eight times and not seven. I’m not sure why I’m so fracking happy about my shoes but I am.

The visit with the big wigs went well, really well. I spend five days with those folks and got my ego stroked. Most importantly no one utilized their powers of Firing Joe, which I count as a MAJOR win. The only thing that was common each day of the visit? That’s right, my shoes. Good bye Lucky Pants. Hello Lucky Shoes! Lucky Shoes with the bad ass barbed wire design tastefully worked in to shoes that are simply too hip for me.

Giggidy!

Revelation: Angry Birds Are Terrorists

I almost fear writing these words, but it occured to me today as I, like perhaps millions before me, was in the process of playing Angry Birds and knocking down some poorly built pig structures when I realized that the Angry Birds are terrorists. Look at the evidence.
1. The Angry Birds launch suicide attacks at their enemy’s structures in order to try to kill the occupants.
2. The pigs obviously represent the fat, lazy, war mongering, resource depleting Americans. You can tell by the hats on the generals and the Ulysses S Grant style mustaches on some of the pigs.
3. The birds are obviously foreigners cause they chant that crazy “Anh Ranh Ranh RaNH!” at the beginning of each turn and foreigners ALL chant crazy stuff all the time. Additionally the birds don’t speak the same language as the pigs, so obviously the birds are foreigners because everyone that lives in America speaks the same language. Obviously. Finally the birds are angry, and everyone knows foreigners are all angry. Angry all the time.

The horrible(r) thing is that we fat, lazy, war mongering, resource depleting Americans have been hornswagled into not only participating in a fantasy about joining a foreigner rebellion, but we’ve been convinced to either pay for this privilege or at the very least allow them to advertise to us for this privilege. That’s like the bully at school getting you to joyfully give him your lunch money and then apply several self-wedgies at the same time. Then the bully rates your wedgie performance by giving you both gold stars and a measure of applause encouraging you to do it even more!

Well played Angry Birds. Well played indeed.

Now normally, as a gamer, I’d be all “Don’t you DARE! stick your dumb ass stigma to an innocent game!” but this theory isn’t coming from some random nut-job, it’s coming from THIS nut-job. Oh and as any nut-job can tell you, the nut-job is always right. Always.

Oooooo! There’s a space version now! SQUEE! Time to get all all stars once again!

We All Use Lady Soap Now

So today I helped my Father-In-Law take some parts off an old Ford F150 he owns. During the course of torture … er sorry … During the process I got rather hot, tired, bruised, and filthy. When getting cleaned up I realized something that I’ve been ignoring for a while now. Men and women are exchanging equipment.

Now we’ve been exchanging roles for quite a while, sometimes due to need and sometimes due to the pure simple joy of being “bad”. Now during the course of swapping roles we’ve swapped gear here and there. Generally I tend to think that this gear swapping has been temporary. While a man is doing a lady role, he often uses lady gear. While a lady is doing a man role, she often uses man gear. It is all very understandable – probably more so than the idea of lady roles and man roles in this day and age, but I digress. Somewhere along the way we’ve become quite used to using each other’s gear.

One example is bathroom soap. Here you can see how I came to this observation now. When I was growing up the manliest of soaps was Lava while the ladies used Lux. You knew Lava was for men because they ground up volcanoes and put it in the soap. Volcanoes! Lux soap on the other hand had no crushed rock in it. In fact you could buy Lux in powder form, that’s just one step away from being a liquid. Lava smelled like a forest. Lux smelled like flowers. I’m not pointing these things out to try to illustrate how much better or worse men or women are to the other, just that during one point in my life men and women had distinctly separate gear.

Fast forward thirty plus years and while Lava is still around, men are about as likely if not more to use something called a Shower Gel. Shower Gel doesn’t have ground rock in it. In fact at least one Shower Gel smells like chocolate. At the risk of sounding sexist, men should NOT smell like chocolate. Well, not everyday at least, and certainly not ALL over. I won’t say how I know this, but many Shower Gels have scents not based on the forests but rather fruits and sometimes even vegetables. Fruits and vegies may not be flowers, but they also aren’t very foresty either. I also won’t admit that I realized that previous bit while using a luffa.

Now some of you will probably say something like, “But Bruce Campbell/Isaiah Mustafa uses my shower gel”. I can understand why you might not think you are using a lady soap, but you are wrong. These men are simply very manly men who advertise for a lady soap. Ok, Old Spice isn’t a lady product in general, but shower gels are. Sorry for the harsh reality check. If you use a shower gel and feel the need to man up, go get some Dove bar soap. Dove bar soap is manlier than any shower gel. Why is this such a revelation? Because the soap is called Dove! (Dove is a lady word).

So in conclusion, we all use lady soap now. Maybe this is for the best. I know after a day of being me, I often smell pretty rough while my wife seems to be smell not so rough. Granted it could be because her lady soap works better than my “man soap”, or it could be because I sit all day in a methane cloud of my own creation. I don’t know. What I do know is that I need to get some Lava.

Politics

I don’t do politics here. I don’t do politics for two basic reasons: 1) I want people to be entertained and 2) there is just SO much that is asinine about politics that I would end up drowning the blog in meaningless dross. Wait, don’t I do that second one anyway? Regardless, I don’t do politics.

What I will do here is to complain about the process of politics! I think that I can make THAT entertaining, and I think we can all agree that the process as it stands sucks.

So here’s the deal. I could easily take a stance, pick one, any one. The general discourse today would be for me to state my opinion, throw a lot of facts, pseudo-facts and outright lies out at you, and then do some sort of written power move that equates to me saying, “Your ass just got served”.

Now if you happen to hold opinions similar to mine own you’d probably overlook all of my pseudo-facts and outright lies and fixate squarely on the facts I’ve presented. Additionally you may comment to whatever I may have said and add your own facts, pseudo-facts, and outright lies. You may also present supposition and hearsay as if it were fact. After all, even a blind squirrel finds a nut on occasion.

If you happen to hold opinions that differ from mine own you’d probably overlook all of my facts and concentrate exposing on my lies and making my pseudo-facts appear to be outright lies. Additionally you may comment to whatever I may have said and add your own counter facts, counter pseudo-facts, and counter outright lies. You may also present supposition and hearsay as if it were fact as well.

Personal attacks will ensue on everyone living and dead.

Now after a while a trend will form that will show support for one side or the other. Some will take this trend to mean that a majority of Americans, or a majority of the Intarweb, or a majority of readers agree with whatever side the trend favors. They are of course, wrong. The trend means that the majority commenters have out commented the minority commenters with regard to the current post. In clearer terms, the trend means … wait for it … absolutely nothing. And yet some news organizations will report the trend.

Now at this point I should introduce the fact that someone will inevitably throw their religion or their prejudice against a (or any) religion in the mix as well. This inevitability is one of the founding aspects of the Universe. God, Buddha, and Darwin all agree on this matter. The science and dogma have been written and/or proven, so of course there is no more discussion on the topic. Ever. Because when we know we are right we close our minds.

I SAID EVER!

There are other tangents to throw into the mix as well. All of which are distractions. In fact too often the entire topic at hand is a distraction from some fundamental political topic that if the general populace were to realize then those in control might find themselves retiring from their positions of power, wealth, and influence to their lifetime pensions and paid health care a tad early. What was it I said about corruption? Oh nothing. It was in hover text so it doesn’t count.

Oh crap. That reminds me. Since when have we started to allow politicians, heck anyone outside of sixth grade, to get away with splitting hairs as finely as politicians do now? Hell I bet nanotubes were discovered when politicians started splitting hairs so finely they found they could build light-weight superstructures out of their compounded lies. Sorry, not lies. Promises. Misstatements. Dithering. Flip flopping. Lies.

Let me take this moment to point out the only reason that I’m not insanely mad at the entire process that I must scream is that I’m currently grooving to “Kalimba” from the album Ninja Tuna by Mr. Scruff. Yeah that’s right, I groove. Additionally I would like to point out that ridiculously-compounded sentences AND one sentence paragraphs do in fact rule.

Now back to topic.

Mind you I call out everyone on this. EVERYONE! None of you are exempt, and not even I. That is why I don’t do politics. We are too much of a Us vs. Them, Home vs. Away, Red vs. Blue, and Adventurer vs. Goblin – society. Additionally we all have our favorite topics, people, and/or ideas that we turn a blind eye towards. Many of us, if not all, additionally have our favorite topics, people and/or ideas to attack. Combine these two natures with the tendency of people to almost always think that they or their own are smarter/more capable to know right from wrong than anyone else and frankly any discussion is doomed. DOOMED!

It is due to the above observations that voting has forever been tainted for me. I do continue to vote anyway because for at least a short period every couple of years I can delude myself into thinking I’m making a difference.

Now as tainted as voting might be for me, media coverage of anything political is all the more tainted. I trust the media (pick an outlet, any outlet) about as far as I trust those curbside proctologist exams that homeless guy gave me back in ’02. You know a proctology tangent is an apt divergence for this topic. Painful proctology.

Anyway, if you’ve ever wondered why I don’t do politics here (or go to the proctologist anymore) now you know. In the end, it’s just too painful.

On Turning Forty

So, on December 27, 2010 I turned forty years old. Forty. Four decades. Four zero. Four-oh. Ten-Ten-Ten-Five-and-Five. Well you get the point; it can be said lots of ways including: The Big One. Over the Hill. The End of the Beginning. The Beginning of the End. And finally something that can only be described with sobs and bubbling tears. That said I can hardly remember when I started this post or what I was going to say.

Joy.

Humility

Man I love the way I write. Really, I do. If there was someone that wrote like me consistently, I think I could read that crap almost as consistently.

I come to this conclusion because after a few months of relative silence I’ve come back to the site, and I’ve fallen in love with it (and me) all over again. Damn, I’m good. Well at the very least I’m entertaining. (Do NOT do your research here! Like the government I’ve told you all you need to know. You will know the frequency of my posts and entertainment quality when you buy my eventual book.)

I often wonder how it is that someone like me could garner so few readers, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my problem is humility. I’m simply way too humble, and I think you people realize that simple truth. So while we all now agree I’m not quite capable of self-promotion due to my utter lack of arrogance, it is then ultimately YOUR fault I don’t have more readers.

Really people! Get off your asses and get people to this site to read what I have to say. Didn’t you see what I wrote earlier about me being a really entertaining writer? (I’m not going to say GOOD writer because that implies technical expertise, and well frankly, I can only pull your leg so far without breaking the suspension of belief that you have been so kind as to provide me over the almost dozens of posts I’ve thrust upon you).

So now I charge all of you to go out into that crazy world of ours and each point at least one new person to this site. One person. That’s not so hard is it? Heck today I caused two people to visit my site damn near accidentally. I’m not even trying to sell anything (here, yet). There are no ads (yet), no self promotion (*cough*), and absolutely no pictures of my private parts (thank God! for some good sense). Then when the person that you point here ultimately says, “Wow funny guy” you can tell that person, “Yeah and he’s really humble too”. Your friend will be all the more impressed. That is when you pounce! Get that person to also get at least one more person to read the blog, and so on, and so on, and so on, and reference to really old commercial here. If you actually manage THAT Herculean task, I suggest you also attempt to sell some Amway to said individual, because come on – when you have sucker that big on the hook, you gotta milk it for all it is worth.

Fame

If there is a single thing less worthwhile to strive to obtain, I know it not. Fame is the messy by product of doing something well. It should never, ever be a goal. In fact if your main goal in life is to be famous, I seriously think you should not belong in the gene pool. Vile dictators serve a higher purpose than you. Really, find a greater purpose. I beg of you.

To Bail Out a Mockingbird

I don’t know if you know this or not, but bailing someone out of jail is boring. You arrive at a location at a particular time and talk to someone then wait. Eventually a bail bondsman will appear, take a random amount of money from you, and you wait. You may get an update and wait. Finally the bail bondsman will return, and if you are lucky you get to leave with your delinquent. Sometimes, like my experience, you find out that your charge was arrested in another town. This will require that the bail bondsman deliver the paper work you’ve just waited hours to have filled out be delivered to some other people an indeterminate number of miles away. Oh and during that time you get to wait. And if you are really lucky like we were, both offices are really busy and you get to wait even longer. I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this before, but I HATE waiting. Finally, a mere eternity after you’ve arrived, your charge is released unto the world to wreak havoc anew. Yay everyone!

Oh! What’s even better is that the whole process isn’t sexy at all. Where are all the scantily dressed hookers? The flamboyant pimps? The tough grizzled cons? The rich murderesses with straight scarlet hair and legs up to there? Nowhere!!! In reality it seems most perps are young thugs that don’t know when to walk away. Even the druggies and alkies are really just kinda sad and not entertaining at all. Hell even the female cops make Cagney and Lacey seem steamy. I will say the guns are sexy. I only saw one gun in my purgatory of waiting, but even an ugly gun is sexy.

Everyone was really nice, sure, or at the very least businesslike. I think that’s because the whole thing is a business. Our bail bondsman was a young black guy with the voice of a grizzled old white guy. It was really cool to experience, and he was really nice. There was another bondsman there too, an older white guy who should have had the voice of the young black guy. So that I don’t have to type young black guy and older white guy anymore, I’m going to call them Slim (ybg) and Hoss (owg). If Slim’s voice was any indication of who should have appeared that night, he should have been tall, slim, Caucasian, and had skin tough as leather. He would have stark white hair and been more than three score years of age. He could even have worn a bandanna in a manner that said “all man” and not “trying too hard”. If Hoss’s voice had a little stronger twang to it and if he wore cowboy boots and hat maybe with one of those giant WWE belt buckles, he would have been 100% Texan. He was also a really nice guy. I think you have to be a nice guy to work in that business due to always coming to someone’s aid when the person you are helping may not exactly be the best of people. In the end though, who are the best of people? We all have those friends and family that seem to never be able to get things straight, and more often than not we somehow tolerate those actions, marginalizing the actions to some degree if not outright denying that the person could ever do such a thing. Maybe working in that business casts a little additional light onto what it is to be involved in the Human condition. Or maybe being really nice is how you get repeat business. Guess which one I’d like to believe in and which one I do.