What's on your endangered species list?
August 06, 2008
So co-worker Tom, a/k/a Tommy-boy and I are out blowing off a little steam and more or less groaning about how tough it can be to write, write, write and then try to write a column.
We're telling Chuck that it's difficult at times because we've both been at it for so long. Tommy-boy has 17 years in the business, I've got 14 behind me. At one time, we tell Chuck, we both really liked writing columns. It was the chance to get a little personality out there; a place to have some fun, an opportunity to voice an opinion that otherwise wouldn't appear in print anywhere else in the pages. Sometimes, we commiserate, we'd end up giving too much of ourselves away and that can never be taken back and then it leads to the old "who cares?" thoughts. We tell Chuck that writers' blocks the size of semi-trucks appear. On the side of the semi-trucks is "what makes you think anyone wants to read about your lawn mowing, family vacation, vegetarian ways, struggles, bills, etc. etc." in big, bold black lettering.
Chuck says he likes when Randy writes a column because they're usually funny. Of course he says nothing about my weekly ramblings or Tommy-boy's occasional insights. Rather gallantly, I must say, we both gloss over this fact.
Instead, Tommy-boy and I harken back to the days when we, too, enjoyed writing funny stuff. Seemed to be easy, too. We like poking fun at ourselves and didn't mind sharing it with the world because after all, some of our faults and foibles are funny—and perhaps even universal. We're human just like everyone else out there and what's more human than getting a laugh at ourselves, predicaments, situations, and whatnot?
Except when you have that semi-truck and its huge black message rolling back and forth in front of the gate. There's nothing too humorous about that.
So I tell Chuck that I agree with him. Tommy-boy does, too. So we both start trying to come up with funny stuff that we could possibly write about. I tell Chuck I heard something funny from an artist I know and actually told him I might have to steal it. So that's exactly what I'm doing right now because I can't come up with anything hilarious to say about mowing the lawn, paying the bills, cleaning the house, trying to think of something to write about and waking up to do it all over again the next day.
Anyhow, the artist greets me by responding to the pat question "How Are You?" with a not-so-pat answer:
"I'm getting control of the roller coaster," he says.
"It's been a wild up and down ride right now but I think I'm coming out of a manic phase—at least my shrink says so," he grins.
He goes on to say some funny things about himself and the state of his psyche, which he refers to as "crazy-and-I-know-it." After a long stretch of what he's not really sure was "depression," he says he's feeling a little more even-keeled.
He tells me his wife has come up with a new way of referring to him that he's kind of fond of. Once he gets it out, I find I'm rather fond of it too.
"You know, she always used to call me her 'bear,' and now she calls me her 'bi-polar bear,'" the artist says. "And you know, bi-polar bears are on the endangered species list."
For some reason, this tickles me. I think it's rather clever. It also strikes a chord.
Crazy is as crazy does, I suppose. I'm laughing like a luna-tick. Suddenly craving some pine-nuts. Want to run right out to Canada and spend a few loonies. Feel like taking a swim in la-la-land-o-lakes on another planet where bi-polar bears run free and don't have to worry about luna-ticks or any other type of ticks. Or whether or not any of the foregoing is even remotely politically correct (or not) or will offend anyone (or not) or whether it's even the least bit funny (or not) or entertaining (or not) or contributes to the good of the universe in any small miniscule way.
Maybe I should just back that big semi-truck up again. Maybe there's something to be said for writer's block. Could be it happens for a very, very good reason.
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