Category: humor

Sharp Dressed Man

I have never liked “Sharp Dressed Man” by ZZ Top. Frankly I’ve never really cared much for ZZ Top. It’s not their fault. It has less to do with “Sharp Dressed Man” than with a string of similar-sounding 1990’s country songs. It’s hard to explain.

Maybe I don’t like “Sharp Dressed Man” because I myself am not a sharp dresser. The song doesn’t speak to me, I guess. I doubt that I hate the song so much that I’ve adopted non-sharp dressedness as a lifestyle.

It’s not that I don’t like dressing in nice clothes every now and then. I flat-out refuse to tuck in a shirt and no one can make me though. I fold it in such a way to make it look tucked in. But I’m in a wheelchair. I shift around a lot. A tuck tends to be impermanent when you’re in a wheelchair. I’m not a slob or anything. It’s just that “unwritten rules” in general confound me. That includes the unwritten rules of sharp dressedness.

I’m not going to run around in sweatpants and a polo shirt or anything like that. I did, one time, wear a gray cardigan sweater with a neon green collared shirt underneath which I called my “Mr. Rogers at a rave look” though. The “rules” just strike me as more than a little subjective.

You’re not supposed to wear black pants with brown shoes – something I am not at all ashamed to admit I just became aware of a few weeks ago – but you can wear dark navy blue pants with brown shoes all you want even if the pants are so dark navy blue that they might as well be black. But you simply mustn’t wear black pants with brown shoes. Unless the shoes are a certain shade of brown in which case it’s okay.

What makes it okay? What shade must they be? No one knows.

Conversely, if you are wearing brown pants, then black shoes are fine. You don’t see a lot of navy blue dress shoes walking around. You sure as hell aren’t going to wear brown shoes with brown pants.

You know what I do? I wear black pants with brown shoes. I’m not going to wear my black shoes with my black pants. I’m going to work, not a funeral. I have some light colored grayish shoes but I rarely wear them to work because they make me feel like I’m about to get on a yacht or something. I suppose that is my hang-up, though.

And I will never understand why a certain colored shoe is forbidden with a certain colored pair of pants, but there is a different set of “rules” governing the wearing of certain colored shirts vis-a-vis pants. And while that second set of “rules” makes more sense to me, overall I’m probably hopeless. Thankfully I don’t care at all what “every girl’s crazy” about. I only care about the opinion of one “girl” and she’s my wife. She tolerates me. She encourages me to do what feels right when it comes to clothing. She probably has to fix my collar before we leave in the morning a little more often than she should have to (I swear I’m not a slob) but otherwise she understands I gotta be me.

If you’re looking for a freelance writer who will break the “rules” that need to be broken, I’m your man.

Happy Quarentine’s Day

I spelled it wrong on purpose. That’s “Quarentine’s” which rhymes with “Valentine’s.”

You see, over the last few weeks, couples have learned a lot about their relationships, it seems. For these couples, being at home together all day, every day has brought to the forefront an assortment of minor annoyances that maybe aren’t so minor when you are suddenly forced to confront them all day, every day.

Full disclosure, my wife and I have just as many squabbles as any average couple, I’m sure. And we’re not even shut in together as I am still working my day job Monday to Friday. But it straight-up shocked me when I started hearing all of the talk about how divorce was going to skyrocket in America as a result of this ordeal. Then I started hearing actual couples after actually being shut in together for just a couple of weeks talking about how impatient they were getting with each other. It’s mostly a nation-wide running joke at this point, but all jokes, no matter how exaggerated, have at least a morsel of truth in them.

Not that I don’t think my wife an I might be at each other’s throats from time to time if we were together all day every day, but this whole situation has got me thinking about why we get married in the first place.

Why we choose to spend our lives with the one person that we choose.

Why we refer to it as “spending our lives together” at all.

I think for most of us it’s because she or he is the one person with whom we feel like we really could do just that. With that in mind, I want to tell you the story of the night I met my wife.

We met on an MSN chat room (remember those?) in the fall of 1999 and our first conversation was an argument. You see, that night, I was just in their killing time, as was she. Neither of us were “looking for love”. My wife’s very first impression of me was that I was a jerk.

She was not wrong.

At the moment I was publicly roasting some guy for the way he was openly flirting with women. My wife told me off, I defended my actions and we went back and forth. We ended up talking privately and eventually I made her laugh and convinced her I wasn’t really a jerk.

I mean, not really.

We talked for a while but left it at that not really thinking anything of it. Fast forward a few nights later, and I saw her in the chat room again. She was using the same name as the night we’d met but I had changed mine. So when I asked her if she remembered me, she said she didn’t. Though I gave her a few details of our conversation, she is a cautious type. Even if she did remember me, she said she didn’t.

I had actually changed my MSN chat room handle a few times since we’d met. So I had to rattle off a few different, increasingly embarrassing monikers until I finally said the one she remembered, at which point she conceded that she did, in fact remember me and the rest is history. We spend the first four years of our relationship going months on end without actually being together.

Had I not been able to come up with that name before she got tired of dealing with me, she may have put me on ignore if that was an option. We would never have spent those four years mostly apart learning how much we did not want to be apart anymore. She would never have become my wife.

We don’t know if at some point we will also be experiencing this current hyper-togetherness, and for how long. For you, if nothing else comes of it, may you at least be reminded of what it was about your significant other that made you want to actually and really “spend your life” with them.

Happy Quarentine’s Day!

How To Crash Your Wheelchair Like a Boss

A few weeks ago I “almost” had my first wipe out in “the company vehicle” (my new wheelchair). Today I had my first actual one.

I hit something with my front caster and the whole chair stopped. I fell forward and had no choice but to somersault onto the pavement. My wife held my chair and I got right back up and we carried on.

She said that even though she knew I was crashing, and it happened too quickly for her to do anything about it, a part of her wondered why I was doing a somersault while we were taking a “walk” around the block, just to be a goofball.

To anyone reading this who is concerned for my safety, you needn’t be. My wife spent many minutes afterward marveling about it being “the most well-orchestrated crash” she’d ever seen. I’ve had plenty of practice over the years and even though its been a few years since anything like that has happened and I had no intention of crashing today, when I did, something kicked in from previous experience and I took action with precision, almost by muscle memory, in order to crash in the way that I know to be least likely to lead to calamity.

So I submit to you, how to crash like a boss:

  1. You’ve hit a bump or a crack or a pebble or whatever. You’re going to fall. There is nothing you can do to prevent it. Might as well make the best of it. You have to stick out your dominant hand to break your fall.
  2. The secondary reason it has to be your dominant hand is that arm has to be strong enough to at least very briefly support your entire body. If you are in a wheelchair because your legs are paralyzed, you are merely protecting them right now. While you fall out of the chair, it may very likely begin to slide out from underneath you which could easily lead to your entire weight falling down on top of your legs if the scenario unfolds wrongly. So you have to momentarily have that other hand available to deal with that possibility.
  3. It can also only be the one arm you plant down because now that you are doing a handstand with your butt in the air, your legs are now in a free flop. You have to get a hold of them with the other arm.
  4. Then you have to make a decision based on your individual ability and the position you are currently in. Do you bring yourself down on the shoulder of your dominant, planted arm, or do you tuck (your neck) and roll? I’ve been known to do either one in a pinch but if possible, I think the shoulder is the safer way to go. Generally speaking, unless you really hit something hard and your whole person went goes flying ass over teakettle, you don’t need to somersault and probably shouldn’t. Just be sure to not let all of your weight come down on your elbow. You have that padding in your shoulder for a reason.
  5. Immediately after, you have to be careful to let your legs touch down gently without banging or getting scraped on the pavement. Depending on the surface you’ve fallen on be careful with any and all bony parts of your lower body when you momentarily are left sitting there, and when you are sliding yourself back into your chair. It can be a humiliating experience, though I’ve learned to laugh it off. But your instinct is probably going to be to get back in your chair as quick as possible. Make sure your arms and legs and back and head and neck and everything are all where they should be first.
  6. Bring the chair back behind you, and secure the brakes. If you don’t have them, if someone is with you please have them hold the chair. If you have neither, roll it up against a curb. If nothing else roll it up against whatever you hit that made you crash in the first place.

Keep in mind this all happens within the blink of an eye. It comes with practice. Though I do not hope this happens to you a lot, it happens to some of us more than people think. So we get a lot of practice, and thankfully know how to deal with it safely. I am not as agile or physically resilient as I used to be so I am grateful that I am able to at least do this in such a well-orchestrated way.

Keep rolling, my friends. Be well and take good care of yourselves.

The Evil Leprechaun Who Haunts My Apartment

Most people are unaware that there is a counterpart to the leprechaun in Irish mythology called the clurichaun. They are known to be surly, drunken little tricksters, mischievous fairies who usually haunt breweries and wine cellars and the like. Okay so he’s not really an “evil” leprechaun, per se. Just kind of a jerk.

Like leprechauns, they are known to guard hidden treasures. So I was pretty well convinced, being the mischievous bounders they are, that a clurichaun was responsible for the various items that had gone missing in my apartment of late with no plausible explanation.

The missing items included:

  • a flashlight I had used almost every night to read before I slept, which I would put in the same place every night when finished
  • one of my favorite caps which I bought because it reminded me of my grandfather
  • my favorite t-shirt, and the one tangible piece of memorabilia I brought home from my most enjoyable vacation
  • a whole damn card table

That last one is no joke. Months ago it occurred to me and my wife that neither of us had any idea where it was. We live in a two bedroom apartment, and the way we have our living space arranged, there really are very limited places to store such a thing, all of which would be quite visible.

Total mystery to both of us.

Then, about a week ago, as mysteriously as it disappeared, out of nowhere, my wife noticed the table, legs folded up, and leaning against the side of our living room sofa. Which we spend a good deal of time on, by the way. Then probably the next day, when doing some spring cleaning she discovered my flashlight in an area which was of course the most obvious place for it to be, but because of that, also the most scrutinized area in my previous search for it.

In any case, there it was.

Still no sign of my t-shirt or my cap. Maybe when the clurichaun gets bored with his mischief these treasures will be relinquished back to me.

Until then, because of how absolutely freakish the table’s reappearance was, I am reminded by this ordeal that human beings have an uncanny ability to not see what is right in front of their eyes.

Maybe if I approach my apartment from just the right angle, I will find my missing belongings.

Maybe if we all look at our lives from a different point of view, all of the missing pieces will come into view.

In any case, I don’t know what a clurichaun would be doing in our apartment. We don’t keep a lot of liquor around and none of what we have has gone missing.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone.

Gone: “Viral”

Coronavirus (Covid-19) is no laughing matter. We don’t know how many people’s health will be affected, or how much it will disrupt our lives. But it is easy to get overwhelmed with worry about what could happen, if you think about it too much. I found myself in a heavy funk on the way to work yesterday, allowing some rather apocalyptic scenarios to dance in my head.

Throughout the day I decided that while I plan to be as cautious as is prudent right now, I will not entertain “worst case scenarios” if all it’s going to do is deplete my peace of mind.

I came home last night determined to write something, if not uplifting, then at least light-hearted. With that in mind, I’ve been thinking we should hold off on using the phrase “gone viral” in reference to social media. Under current circumstances, the words just carry too much weight. And again, it does affect our peace of mind to think about negative situations too much.

Covid-19 is nothing to make light of, but it is a fact of life that the way we are doing things is at least temporarily shifting. So long as that is true, there must be other ways to talk about a post, picture, video or what have you, that spreads far and wide on social media.

Here are just a few off the top of my head:

  1. Warped: Remember Super Mario Bros, how you’d be in that underground brick room and you’d find the secret door and suddenly you’d be in the sky jumping across tree tops? I don’t remember if that was how it went but the point is you’d warp, and out of nowhere you’d take a giant leap forward. (See also, “Leveled up”)
  2. Hulking up: I don’t know how old you are, but surely you’ve seen Hulk Hogan back in his day when he’d rip his shirt off and go into that whole head shaking, finger wagging, convulsive sweating routine. When he did that you knew he was about to go off. Now when you hear “Hulk” most of us probably think of the Marvel comics Hulk. Same deal. When he went off, big things happened.
  3. Gone Poprocks and Coke: Since I am clearly in throwback mode here, though I wouldn’t recommend it: You know that thing where you dump a whole package of Poprocks in your mouth and then you guzzle some soda and your whole face explodes or whatever? Yeah. I think that is a fine metaphor for how quickly a good post can be everywhere.
  4. Uncorked: Same concept, much less dangerous with proper eyewear. Celebratory in nature.
  5. Kardashing: Why not name it after the people that made viral social media posts a thing in the first place? It just feels right.

    I’m sure you have some better ideas. Let’s hear them. If nothing else this could be an exercise in finding different ways of doing things. Again, we don’t know how much our lives are going to change at least for the immediate future. In the meantime, please take care of yourselves, and watch out for each other.

Strange Days Indeed.

This month is full of contradictions. So much so that the whole thing started last month, on February 29th. “Leap Day.” We gained a whole day.

We coasted off that momentum right into March 4th, “the only day that tells you what to do.” March forth! It is also known as “Do Something Day!” meant to be a day of positive initiative. Just in case we didn’t make good use of February 29th.

Yeah, but then a few days later we “lost an hour” when we Spring(ed) – (sprung? sprang?) – Forward. Nobody ever has anything positive to say about that day until they start to realize they’ve got more daylight after work. Then it’s all just lovely again.

Now, then. After we’d leapt, marched and sprung, the other night we had a full moon. I am not a superstitious person, but for those who are, the ominous implications of the full moon are likely to cancel out the extra hour before sunset, all of the marching forth they’d done, and (did I mention?) their entire extra day!

Just in case it doesn’t though, this Friday is “the 13th.”
Double….whammy….

Fear not, though. Because I assure you that if you manage to evade the perils of these two most inauspicious days, St. Patrick’s Day and the “luck of the Irish” will be right around the corner.

For your sake, I hope you are Irish.

I’m kidding. Just as whatever it is that is unleashed on a full moon and on Friday the 13th does not discriminate, on St. Patrick’s Day, everybody is Irish. So everything’s going to be fine. Then all you’ll have to worry about is what your friends have in store for you on April Fools’ Day.

“Lenny”: A Film Review and Social Commentary

I do have a bedtime. Normally. Normally I’ll watch a late night talk show monologue and call it a night by 11 pm. Last night being Sunday, I was flipping through the channels looking for something else to cap off my weekend.

I happened upon “Lenny”, the Dustin Hoffman biopic of controversial 1950’s-60’s comic Lenny Bruce. For one reason or another his name had just come up the day before in conversation with my wife. I put the clicker down and was glued to the TV until the film ended at exactly midnight.

I am a proponent of free speech in all media. Granted, there are things that, just like anyone, I wish certain folks wouldn’t say. But they’ve got a right to say it. So free speech pioneers like Lenny Bruce are important to me.

You could say Bruce was a beat journalist of sorts. He was also a bit of a sociologist. To my knowledge Lenny Bruce did not tell “dirty jokes” for the sake of being “dirty.” If what he said bothered his audience he wanted them to think about why that was. Part of Bruce’s thing was that what makes dirty words dirty words was in the eye of the beholder.

In one scene in the movie, Hoffman as Bruce was on stage the night after being arrested for saying a certain word. He began this post-bail performance by greeting the many police officers in attendance, then conducted a focus group with audience members wherein he repeatedly used the word “blah” in place of what he was obviously talking about. And the police could not do a thing about it. At one point he remarked that this was “the filthiest show [he’d] ever done” demonstrating that it was not the word, but what was in the minds of the audience that was filthy.

And how do you censor that?

But it went deeper than that.

A second prominent theme in Bruce’s most controversial bits pointed out that we censor words, meanwhile our kids are watching people kill each other on TV and nobody says anything. This sentiment was echoed years later by John Lennon, another great pop-sociologist who noted “we live in a world where we have to hide to make love, while violence is practiced in broad daylight.”

Lenny Bruce went so far as to say that if it came down to a choice between a stag film and a dramatization of The Old Testament, he’d rather allow his kids to watch the stag film. The reason being that the first portrayed consenting adults, and the latter involved so much violence and bloodshed.

As I watched the film last night, the anniversary of Lennon’s death passed. I made a mental note that both of these men died at age forty, and that both were provocateurs in their own way to make people think about what was offensive. In 1967, a year after the comic died, Lennon chose Bruce as a member of the “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” collage, linking the two forever.

There Are At Least Two Sides To Every Writer

I am a versatile writer. No really, I am.

I suppose in some ways it depends on how I am feeling at the time I am writing. But I can also craft a mood.

I know what you may be thinking. Isn’t that inauthentic?

Understandable that you’d ask. But I think that because I, as a ghostwriter, am not attached to your business, naturally I make it my job to distance myself from the writing, to a healthy extent. It helps me present you and your business as you are, while shining a light on the best of what you offer.

After all, I am attached to MY business – let’s be honest – and as such I want to do the very best job for you that I can.

And there is nothing I love more than creating a mood in a post.

When I just blogged to tell my story, not professionally, I wrote about disabilities issues, and spirituality. Because these two things were of the utmost importance to me, I took writing about both very seriously. But, with both I came to find that if I was really taking the writing seriously, I had to find the humor in it or I wasn’t doing it any justice.

I mean there was a time and place for it, but still…

In short, there is humor in everything (well, most things), and there is beauty and inspiration to be found in everything.

Yes. I am that kind of freelancer. It is a joy for me to dig up those aspects of the subject matter I happen to be working with.

If I freelance for you, I understand that it’s your business that I am writing about. It’s your baby. And I will fully respect your vision for how you want it to be represented. I will make that the foremost factor in crafting your message to your audience.

Check me out on Facebook (Dailey Freelance Blogging) or contact me today at daileyfreelance@gmail.com, and we’ll talk about that message.