Sunday, March 13, 2011

How I Do the Voodoo That I Do

  NOTE:  For those who came here expecting an exposé on Haitian witchcraft or the use of headless chickens to create an army of zombies, this is not for you.  I’ve merely chosen this title as a cutesy way of describing the thought processes (yeah, how ‘bout that-“thought?”  Go figure.) which affect my writing.
  Still, just to hedge my bets, I’m going to smear some goat’s blood on my front porch.  Can’t be too careful with zombies, you know.

  Many people...okay, a few...all right, mom...have asked where I come up with my ideas.  Convinced I have a rolodex of possible topics (actually the rolodex just contains my enemies list), they’re shocked when I tell them that I usually just blather on about what’s happening around me.
  Or, as I like to say, “How do you know I’m not coming up with a topic now?”
  Actually, my writing falls into several types of categories.
  First, I usually generate a blog from the most innocuous of everyday events.  The breathtaking beauty of a frosty winter morn, the awesome power of a thunderstorm’s rage, the debilitating paralysis of a fart in the frozen foods aisle...all have inspired me to one degree or the other. 
  Take, for example, the time I used heel balm to soothe my cracked heels.  (NOTE:  For those already familiar with my “Toe Woes,” feel free to take a break.  You’ve earned it.)   
  After I purchased a tube (packed in a brown paper bag for my privacy) off some guy from the back of a van, I noticed that one of its ingredients was something called “urea,” a technical term for mammal urine.  Rather than being horrified like a normal person, I was actually tickled at the thought of smearing monkey piss cream on my feet.
  Not only did it give me enough material upon which to wax lyrical (as opposed to wax “car”), it provided me enough mileage to carry on to this day.  Meaning that, whenever I get stumped about what to write, I can always fall back on the old reliable “pee feet” angle.  What’s more, as I appear to be suffering from a relapse of foot leprosy, it’ll probably come up again. 
  I really don’t mind talking about my fragrant dogs.  Just be grateful I wear socks.
  Every 7-10 days, I’ll write what I like to call a “Once Upon a Time…” story.  These true tales, glimpses of what it was like growing up in New England, are what I hope are humorous vignettes (snooty French term for “peekaboos”) of life during the 1970s.  And probably abundant source material for my therapist. 
  Of course, in the interest of not offending anyone or, more importantly, being sued, I’ve changed the names of all the characters.  Except for the neighborhood bullies.  Screw ‘em.  They can’t find me.  I hope.
  I also recently posted a travelogue about Belize.  It was great fun writing about a country about which few people are familiar.  Especially since I can then make a lot of stuff up open up a whole new world to people.
What? You were expecting women? Perv.
  After all, the world is much more than naked breasts in National Geographic.  As cool as those were.   
  It was such fun telling the story that I’ll probably give you a few more articles about countries I’ve visited.  In fact, I already have one written about Iceland which I’ll send along in the near future.  It was a pretty cool place (no pun intended). Even though their idea of fun is beating each other over the head with frozen fish, I enjoyed my experiences there.  Although they can keep their “Festival of Rotten Shark Heads.”

Next:  More Self-Important Yakking.  And...a new car!!!
Well, not really.  Who do you think I am?  Oprah? 


  1. You've visited so many wonderful and probably not so wonderful places. I'm did you become a world related, fun related...just what?

  2. You seem like you get to go to some great places.

  3. Actually, I was in the Navy for 27 years. The "See the World" part really got me. There was NO WAY I would have been able to travel as much as I did without signing my life away. The farthest I got away from Connecticut when I was a kid was Poughkeepsie, New York. Not to slam Poughkeepsie, of course. It's a beautiful place. Especially this time of the year.
    This summer will be the first time I've traveled as a regular "civilian." We're going to the Dominican Republic for a friend's wedding. And to see if we can pick up any pitchers for the Yankees.

  4. I don't care what you write about. I just like the silly distractions of this place.

  5. the 70's were a magical time.

    so were the eighties...

    just wish i could remember the 80's..

    wait...what? no i don't...

    Bruce and Tucker
    Bruce Johnson JADIP
    Evil Twin
    stupid stuff I see and hear
    The Dreamodeling Guy
    The Guy Book
    The Guy Book

  6. isn't it fun to just pull blog posts out of your ass? you seem to have themes common to myself - stories of old, embarrassing expose's about dumb crap you do & any other odd topic thrown in as they pop to the surface. like grease in the broth after you've cooked a chicken.

  7. When I pull blog posts out of my ass, they are just sh**ty!

  8. I went on a trip to a foreign country a while ago and everytime I spoke the locals thought I was from: Austria, Pakistan, Australia or New Zealand. The country I was in was America and I am from England. Get your fucking shit together.

  9. Tony, lol. They missed South Africa.

  10. you keep your enemies list compiled in a rolodex? so organized! mine are just scrawled on cocktail napkins and other scraps of paper. i should really get a system together...

  11. @Robyn: It's just a stroll through my brain. Just make sure you have a lifeline so you can find your way out.
    @Bruce: The 70s were also that magical time when we had serious wardrobe issues.
    @Eva: Two-ply works best.
    @Tony: Don't feel too badly. The knuckleheads over here argue over whether the Geico gecko is from England or Australia (I think he's from China. Isn't everything?).
    @Antares: Perfect! I'd really like to get a South African accent down. I'm looking forward to St. Patrick's Day this week when I'll affect an Irish accent all day. Oy.
    @manders: put the cocktail napkins IN a rolodex. People will think you're so crazy they' ll leave you alone (if they know what's good for them).

  12. @Sherilin: we are so alike in how we look at things. I don't know what it says about me that I have so many embarrassing stories. Yeah, I'm not just another pretty face. OK, I'm not a pretty face at all.
    @OT: And what's amazing to me is that some of those places will still let me back in (I change disguises a lot).

  13. it's funny who we find in the interwebs who we connect with. i've got gobs & plenty of embarrassing stories. i think most people have them, but they've got enough sense to keep them to themselves.
    speaking of stories, go read this one...

  14. Al - I need a new car!! I was a little disappointed that you couldn't provide me with a car, but hey, really, who can do that besides Oprah? :)
    I would really like to hear about all the places you have traveled to, especially because I haven't technically left the U.S of A! Don't worry I plan to change that asap!

  15. I hate that fart paralysis... It usually helps to point at the nearest person afterwards and say "That was for YOU."

  16. I carry a book with me, and ever time I write in it, my friends suspect that I'm writing about them for my blog.

    The best part about that is that sometimes they're right.

    Keeps 'em on their toes.

    Nice post! :-)


  17. @Sherilin: thanks for the suggestion. I visited and liked what I read.
    @jdracecar: sorry about that car thing, but I have all my money tied up with something called a 'ponzi.' The nice man in the back of the van said it was a macaroni importing company.
    @Dr. Heckle. Blame the dog, blame the dog. Or old people.
    @Pearl: yep, I cart around a book too. Whenever an idea strikes me (like how to tie my shoes), it goes in the book.

  18. I took a humor writing course last fall. If I had known you then, I could have saved the money. You wrote the book!