There’s an old (please pardon the redundancy here) saying that’s been around for years that goes, there’s no fool like an old fool.
And as a good friend of mine is wont to say, I resemble that remark.
Okay, story time…be patient, children, I’m going somewhere with all this.
A couple of weeks ago, April 23rd to be precise, in a fit of rampant despondency, the result of spending a few hours/days/weeks wallowing in a slime-pit of self-pity, I posted a brief item here on the Welcome Aboard The R U Kidding blog (since taken down) that said, basically, I quit.
No mas, that’s the ballgame, sayonara, turn in your badge and squirt-gun as you leave, hasta yo’ mama, I am already gone, on the road full-blast and top down, I quit.
I gave the middle finger salute to the whole thing and walked.
I was depressed (depressed my ass, I was irritated) about the “metrics” (stats…metrics just sounds like I know what I’m talking about) of the WATRUK website…they never seemed to go up (i.e., more visitors to the site, more readers), even after doing several months of Facebook advertising and constantly self-promoting on FB, Twitter and Instagram to the point that I feel like a shill for myself, the daily/monthly page views and visits just haven’t increased, and in fact occasionally have dropped a bit. (It was like watching the trading on a new stock you plunged your life’s savings into last year that’s now going nowhere, praying with your fingers, eyes and toes crossed.) And I got discouraged.
Now I’m not looking to be Dave Barry or even that Hershowitz guy here, but shit, come on already.
So I said fuck it and decided that, huffing and puffing and bloviating all over myself, I can find better things to do than bust my ass writing a blog that has, maybe, two dozen regular readers.
Good-looking readers, too, I will add, not like those ugly oinkers that read other humor bloggers.
In the meantime when all of this self-pity wallowing was going on, a curious thing began to happen.
I’ve gotten to be friends with one of kids that works with me at the Publix grocery store down in Trinity FL where I’m a part-time “bagger”; I helped her through a rough patch in her life last year and she laughs at my dumb jokes. Out of the blue one day recently, I get a Facebook “friend request” from her. I laughed at the idea, because most of my FB friends are contemporaries of mine, namely, old people. (Think tortoises and redwood trees.) But she’s a great kid (about 20), so I thought, why not?
Next thing I know, through that miracle of social media, like ripples on a pond, I now have this little group-cluster of 20-somethings, all fellow workers at Publix, all as my new FB BFF’s.
They remind me a little of those kids in the movie The Goonies.
So last week, again out of the blue and into the Black Sabbath, I get another FB “friend request”…
…and this one was from another co-worker, a young lady named Raneem, who is a friend of Sarah’s, a little pixie with a sweet, silly smile who is a member in good standing of the above-mentioned fellow workers/FB friends/Goonies groups (above).
Now let explain about Raneem, best I can…I believe she’s about 20, college student, works part-time for Publix as a cashier, good worker, beautiful young woman, seems like a nice kid…and one I was pretty sure didn’t particularly like me. (It must run in her family, because her older brother works as a part-time cashier with us as well, and he hates my guts, which is okay, ‘cause I ain’t all that crazy about him either.) I mean, she and I haven’t passed six words to each other in the last year, never had a conversation about work or politics or what assholes some of our customers are or the Dodgers or anything. We’re like Tow Mater and Sally Carrera in the movie Cars…they’re both cars and they both live in Radiator Springs. And that’s it. Ditto Ms. R and myself.
Now I’m not well-versed in the fine art of subtlety, so the next time Raneem and I worked together, I walked over and asked her, point-blank and quote, why the hell would you want to be FB friends with an old fart like me? (I would have accepted the “because you’re obviously a pathetic, lonely old man with no life and a rather prominent nose, and I just felt so sorry for you” answer, albeit reluctantly.)
So this beautiful young woman looks at me and says, well Sarah told me about your blog and I read it and I liked it.
I immediately went in the office and called the local Sheriff’s Department, to come and arrest this girl for Assault with a Friendly Weapon.
I. Was. Stunned. Wash, rinse, repeat…I. Was. Stunned. I had absolutely no idea that she even knew about “the Cap’n” and/or the WATRUK blog and, bigger surprise, that, Holy Compliment, Batman, she liked it.
And it hit me, just like that, oh, Cap’n, you screwed up big.
I thanked her genuinely, telling her how flattered I was by what she said. Twice.
Oh, that thing that hit me? The realization of what I had done when I quit being “the Cap’n”.
I’ve said many times that I would write this blog even if no one read it, and despite my abrupt departure on 4/23, I still believe that. I am also not a believer in false humility…in my own stumbling way, I know I can write and that I’m funny; moreover, I like what I write, and I know some others that do as well. But being my own biggest fan should be enough.
All that I ever intended for the WATRUK blog to be is a place where my readers could go from time to time and a have a laugh or two in the face of all the horror and the fears and the worrying and the cruelty and the insaneness of our daily lives. (Yes, I know, you think I should have used the word “insanity” there, but I thought that “insaneness” portrayed what I was trying to convey more better.) A brief bit of levity to bring some cheer to someone’s passing hours, an oasis in a desert of everydayness. (Poetic, huh?)
Raneem isn’t the only person who has ever complimented me on the WATRUK blog; I’ve had a number of them over the past two-and-a-half years that I have been editor-in-chief. (Her’s just came as such a surprise.) So if you know that people (a few anyway) enjoy what you say here, that it brings them a moment or two of happiness from time to time, then aren’t you being a bit of an asshole, Mr. Selfish Pants Cap’n John, to decide to take your ball and bat and go home, just because The Huffington Post isn’t banging on your door, begging you to write a regular column? And I’m pretty sure she wasn’t just blowing smoke up my skirt, although if she had been, I would rather she had waited until I had my Little Bo Peep costume on, the one with the bonnet and the, well, never mind that now.
Anyway, I changed my mind…the Cap’n, after a short-lived and mostly below average retirement, has returned.
And the crowd went wild.
Maybe not every week like I’ve been doing for some time now…biggest problem with weekly posting is, as I like to call it, the disease of “writerius blockosis”; sometimes I just don’t have any idea what to talk about, and I’m bright enough to know to keep my big yap shut when I have nothing pertinent to say, unlike our President, who’s never had a thought he didn’t just blurt right out with a regularity that is astonishing. Hey, Mr. Trump, speaking of quitting, any possibility you’ll just get tired of the whole mess and go back to being a mendacious, obnoxious, woman-groping reality-show host and let America go find a real President? Huh? That likely?
Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Love and a woman’s prerogative to change her mind,
Post Script…hey, Raneem, thanks again. Much appreciated.
You’re a lot nicer than Sarah says you are. (Please insert winky-face here.)