The Waiting Game

You know what they say that about good intentions.

This morning I posted my satirical, goofy piece titled “Castro Gives Me Gastro”.  I’ll admit it wasn’t my very best work, but it had some merits.  Most specifically, it was under 500 words, and that’s short for a windbag like me.

Normally when I post something, I check the various categories to make sure it showed up somewhere in WordPress.  Next I go to Facebook and make some witty remark about it to try to get some of the zombies there to pull themselves away from looking for unicorn eggs in Castleville and, I dunno, maybe READ SOMETHING?!  Then I go to Gmail and fire off the link to a bunch of coworkers and acquaintances who I’ve bullied and begged into giving me their email addresses.  Once that’s all done, there’s nothing left to do but sit back and wait to see if people read it.

After 30 seconds of that, I click the refresh button on the dashboard page and check to see if anything’s changed.  On a side note, this is the same way I fish.  I bait the hook, cast it into the briny deep, then 30 seconds later, reel it in to see if anything’s on the hook yet.  To those of you who don’t understand fishing, I’ll give you hint – that’s NOT how to do it.

Anyway, back to my dopey Castro blog.  If you didn’t read it, I’m about to spoil the one small joke that was in it, so you might want to avert your eyes – or better yet, click on the title link above and read it, then come back to this.  We’ll wait.

…. It’s only 400 and some words, how long can it take him?!…what the hell!…still not back?….I bet he moves his lips when he reads…Oh!  You there??…Great to have you back with us!

So as I was saying, the sad little joke I made in the Castro piece was about a news story where Obama is going to go to some summit and wear a guayabera shirt.  As I learned from the article, a guayabera shirt is supposedly originally from a region of Cuba.  Castro was not invited to this Latin Summit and he found it amusing that Obama would be wearing a Cuban shirt to a party that Cuba was excluded from.  I’ve never knowingly seen a guayabera shirt, but I’m guessing it’s one of those blousey numbers with the plunging neckline and puffy sleeves like Fabio used to wear on the cover of romance novels.  Obama will look dashing in one of those.

Anyway, my joke was to mix up guayabera with chupacabra.  The chupacabra is a mythical beast which supposedly terrorizes the desert southwest and parts of Mexico.  I know, it’s a pretty sad excuse for a joke.  Maybe that’s why I kept it under 500 words.  You can only beat a dead chupacabra for so long, even if you throw in a few Pamela Anderson references.

So anyway, now I’m waiting for it.  Under normal circumstances, I clamor for comments on my blogs.  I prefer witty ones from people who know how to use spell check, but generally anything will suffice to feed my pathetic ego.  This time it’s different.  I know that it’s only a matter of time before some person with good intentions writes me a comment which tells me that I got it wrong.  They’ll tell me they liked the piece, to put me at ease, then they’ll “just let me know” the difference between a Cuban shirt and a mythical cow maiming dog-beast.

"No my friend, you're mistaken. While your blog was humorous, I'm afraid you were thinking of the chupacabra. The guayabera is in fact a type of shirt.. Don't beat yourself up over it - it was an honest mistake." (Einstein image from uidaho.edu)

The longer I wait for this inevitable comment, the more my brain churns out strategies on how to address it.  I treasure each and every one of my loyal followers.  For the record, I have enough of them now to form a basketball team with substitutes!   I wouldn’t want to lose one by embarrassing him or her in the quasi-public realm of the comment section.  I’m thinking that maybe the best way to address it is to respond with some glib quip like “Ooops!  Ya got me!” or “I knew I should’ve read the whole article! Doh!”

The suspense is killing me.

Marriage 101: Constructive criticism

Having been married for quite a few years, I feel it’s my civic duty to give a pointer now and then about relationships to all three of my regular readers.  The marital status of you loyal fans is irrelevant, as I’m offering free advice for free, so stop whining.

I had written the first draft of my homage to St. Patty’s Day, and asked my wife to give it a read and see what she thought of it.  This woman is no stranger to me (obviously) and certainly no stranger to reading.  She plows through books constantly in what most would consider to be a thinly veiled attempt at avoiding having to speak with me any more often than absolutely necessary. She seemed like the perfect person for the job.  Plus, she was sitting right over there.

Hey Honey? As long as you're over there hanging that art on the fridge, why not whip me up a little something to eat? (Image from Good Housekeeping 1948)

My standard way of writing these masterpieces is to just spew every word and thought I have out onto this virtual paper.  Then I go back and filter through it, taking out redundancies and dead sentences and trying to make it flow.  My St. Patty’s Day piece was created in much the same way.  I had put it through the distillation process several times (alcohol-related pun intended – I’m just so clever) and thought that it was ready for a critical eye.

My expectation was that my wife would read it, stopping only to chuckle or dab the tears of laughter out of her beautiful eyes.  She would finish it, shaking her head in amazement at my creativity and savvy with the word-thingies.  She would pronounce it hysterical and ready for print.

She did read it, but there wasn’t a single guffaw the whole way through.  She did shake her head, but it was in more of a dismissive “I can’t believe you made me read that crap!” kind of way.  She proclaimed it “wordy” and suggested I cut out at least half of it.

I’m sure she meant well, but it still hurt.

If your child showed you a picture they drew, would you tell them that they need to work on their shading and composition?  Of course not!  You’d praise their incredible talent and put that hideous mess of crayon and marker right up on the fridge with the rest of their body of work.  If your wife asked whether a particular outfit made her ass look fat, would you say yes?  Of course not!  You’d tell her that the garment which is capable of making her ass look fat has yet to be invented, then you’d politely ask her to move her tiny derriere out from in front of the TV, as it looks like the Ducks might be going for it on 4th down.

So, when your ruggedly handsome, hard-working husband finally stops playing poker on the computer and looking at smut, deciding to write a blog instead, be thankful.  Then, when he asks you your opinion of what he’s written, try one of the following:

1) I LOVE IT!

2)You’re a genius!

3) Don’t quit your job to do this full time, it just wouldn’t be fair to those poor authors who don’t have the other marketable job skills that you possess.

4) Did you steal this from David Sedaris?!  It’s just so witty!

5) I think it’s great, Sweetie.  I’m going to put it right here on the fridge next to your drawings!

That wasn’t so hard now was it?