Jan 21 2014

A happy kind of pain

A few years ago while I was mourning over a recent death I went out to see my friend and mentor, The Bob. As we kicked around the farm doing random chores we took cover from the frigid January rain inside one of his many out-buildings.

Very seriously he said, “I wish I could hurt for ya, brother, but I can’t. But you will get over this.”

“Yeah,” I said non-commitally.

Then quite jovially he said, “But not as fast as I will!”

And then he burst out in big, booming laughter.

If you didn’t know The Bob, or if you didn’t know our sense of humor, you might think that to be rather cruel. In fact it was quite the opposite–it was really quite a relief.

Few things are as hurtful and angering to someone in pain as to minimize what they are experiencing. Instead of saying something like, “It’s not that bad,” The Bob’s statement was a brilliant (and morbidly hilarious) affirmation that yes, it really was that bad, yes, this was a really painful experience, and yes, it was going to be painful for a long time. Plus, he acknowledge a very simple truth: I really would eventually get past it, and he really would get over it before I would.

That kind of honesty and acknowledgement of pain was really refreshing.

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Jan 30 2012


Think about the lyrics, and you will realize that Mmm-bop is the unfunniest metaphor for death.

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Jan 27 2012

I’m just going to have to find myself a new giant

André the Giant died 19 years ago today.

André was always one of my favorite wrestlers. When I was a kid, we didn’t watch wrestling at our house. Whenever we were at Grampa’s (my Dad’s dad), every Saturday morning was Bugs Bunny followed by, as Grampa called it, rasslin’. This was back in the early 80’s, with Hulk Hogan, Ricky the Dragon, Jake the Snake, King Kong Bundy, and of course, André.

The only match I remember was between King Kong Bundy and André the Giant.  Bundy was obviously the heel (villain), as evinced by his shaved head, his black unitard, and his being 500 lbs. He did a splash (jump from the top rope with arms and legs out, landing flat) on André like five times, breaking the giant’s sternum. I remember after the match when you saw André walking out, you could see his sternum pressing against his skin. I already thought KKB was bad, but to break a man’s sternum? Pure evil.

At least that’s the way I remember it. I’ve done some searching around online and found out that that was a kayfabe injury. In wrestling lingo, kayfabe means that whatever happens inside the ring is presented as real, but in real life it is not. Examples: The Undertaker is not really dead and Kane is not really his brother. In and out of the ring Vince McMahon really is a jerk, and Mick Foley really is hardcore. In wrestling lingo, a mark is a fan, and a smart mark is a fan who knows wrestling isn’t real. I was not a smart mark.

At any rate, I still don’t know how they did that sternum thing.

Anyway, celebrities die all the time (who doesn’t?), and it’s not like you actually know any of these people, but it was really sad when André died, like we really had lost the 8th Wonder of the World.

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May 2 2011

Arab hipsters

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Aug 9 2009

Pettin’ the zebra

‘Pettin’ the zebra’ is a metaphor for being stuffed and mounted, and, more specifically, dead; it was coined by my brothers.

They were discussing how unwise it would be to ever attempt to burglarize the house of one of our relatives (the relative in question is a hunter and a taxidermist). While he has a number of mounted animals, including fox, badger, alligator, and puma, I don’t remember whether he actually owns a zebra or not. But here is the story:

“You’d break in, and then when you got caught, nobody would ever hear from you again. You’d just be standing there pettin’ the zebra.

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Apr 13 2009

The debt that all men pay

Due to a death in the family, blogging will be light to nil this week.

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