It’s Not That Bad… It’s So Much Worse

Last year I was in a bar, or pub, biergarten, club, or whatever, for my international followers. Don’t say I never think of you people. Though I still don’t understand why English isn’t English the world over, I still love and respect you. Actually. I’m not sure they use English in the southern US, but that’s a question for another day. Maybe after all that I should just bow out and continue.

IF You Want To Hear Me Read This Press PLay If Not Read On

Anyway, I was enjoying a happy time with my very creative, yet insane friends. We were all off our meds and having a great time when someone nearby, laughing at our banter, had the nerve to call me eclectic! I was taken aback. If I wasn’t stunned by the gall and the fact my friends were holding me back, I would have hit them. Actually, that’s a lie. She was wearing a T-shirt from some karate place and probably would have kicked my butt into next week. What I really did was made a little show, acted like I was relaxing, and then thanked the Lord she didn’t attack me. It was about that time Cindy, the teacher, informed that eclectic isn’t an insult. Who’da thunk it? So, the young lady was invited into our conversation and all was well. I’m still not she’s not going to kill me, but paranoia happens. Maybe, I should go back on my meds?

Eclectic, for those of you who aren’t, means deriving ideas, style, or taste from a broad and diverse range of sources. For people who don’t understand that, it means you like a lot of things. Well that’s true. I do like everything, and I read a wide range of other blogs, books, dirty jokes, graffiti, and cereal boxes to make myself, what I call, well read. This means I consume a lot of poetry. Like everything else poetry can be good or bad and I am not here to criticize it. However, I will say sometimes the imagery, ancient words that some poets love, and lack of any form or identifiable frame of reference can be a little much. Take for example a reading I went to just before quarantine stopped such things.

It was a rainy night and my wife was having an obligatory lingerie party. A friend of hers, Nancy, started selling the stuff and to show friendship, she had to have a party, and buy some naughty underthings. I’ll never see it. That stuff is uncomfortable. Don’t ask how I know that.  But we are good friends for supporting Nancy. Another question comes to mind. The purpose of lingerie is to attract men. Yet, when women get together to buy the stuff, they shoo all the men away. Consequently, they’re having a party to attract men, by throwing all the men out. For me the, party and purchases are completely unnecessary. They threw me out into a cold rain. I would have been a total slave to anyone who would have let me back in the house. Perhaps that’s too much information and either way, I’m getting way off topic. So, before I get myself in to trouble, back to poetry.

To shelter from the rain, I went to a local coffee house. Now I didn’t go there to fall in love, and I didn’t so it’s all good. Although the company would have been nice. I also didn’t go there for the poetry, and I certainly didn’t go for a double espresso light raspberry half soy mocha latte half-caf with whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top, but there I was. Besides, it was on sale.

I knew it was going to be a rough one when I saw the poets were from the local arts college. It’s one of those Art for Art’s sake places, where people stand on their heads for hours, in a cage spitting candy at the crowd, all to show the plight of some Asian dragonfly. They’re also good at putting four dots on a page and calling it a painting. These people really need to get out more. A Lot More!

Well I listened to the obscure verse with not a bit of comprehension, drank my drink and watched the crowd. Actually, I did understand one of the poets. Here’s what he had to say:

Never fear

The fart you hear

For you get the post

And can hold thy nose.

But when they pass

The silent gas

Without alarm

Your senses are harmed

Or something like that.

Anyway, that’s how the evening was going and I was mostly people watching. Some of the expressions were hilarious. As a comedian I was using the blank stares, sighs, and grimaces as a muse. Again, I don’t want to insult any of my poet friends. I love your stuff and it makes me think. The only thing I thought when this stuff happened was; What the heck happened?

Then a very large woman come up to the mike and announced she was going to read a poem called Red. It was a graphic ode to her first monthly visitor. Let’s just say this wasn’t the crowd for this piece. Boy, did it make the place uncomfortable. It was like the chairs were made of ants, and we were spinning in a Tilt-A-Whirl. It didn’t end. Three pages of verse destined to melt the elastic in your socks. Well when she finished, she did not get the expected applause. She got silence. Even the baristas stood wide-eyed. Nothing was heard except the hissing of the steam escaping from a lone espresso machine.

Then the strangest thing of all happened. As if that wasn’t the strangest thing of all. The woman asked if anyone wanted to read one of their poems. I recovered a bit faster than the rest of the zombies. Heard her, and realized this crowd needed a super hero to overcome the last rhyme. I focused my energy and channeled my greatest hero. I went to the stage, took the mike, announced I would be quoting one of the greatest dead poets of all, Dr. Theodore Geisel. I quoted the entire verse of One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.

It was amazing. People started breathing again. It was as if a painting had come to life. I was a healer. Spiderman couldn’t have saved the day any better than I did. However, there are plusses and minuses to everything. The lady who read the tome felt it necessary to yell at me for making fun at her angst.

Now I’m not exactly sure where an angst is. “Is that somewhere in the chest/ abdomen area?” I said since I didn’t know what it was, I couldn’t make fun of it. You know there’s just no appeasing some people. She didn’t like that either.

Well all’s well that ends well. She didn’t kill me, and I gained a whole new perspective on poetry. I thought it was used to promote peace and tranquility, and poets were calm, thoughtful people. Nope. You can start conflict even singing a sonnet to the trees.

I’m thinking about going back there when all this is over and doing it again.

Is That Bad?

Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer

Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On



19 thoughts on “It’s Not That Bad… It’s So Much Worse

  1. The Angst is located between the Cerebral Cortex and the Adolescent Process. In normal adults it falls off, is absorbed into the body and no one ever notices. In some people the Adolescent Process overgrows and feeds the Angst which then protrudes into the brain causing many strange patterns. There’s no way you could have known or protected her Angst. You probably helped it grow. Or so I heard someone in a white coat say one time. I think. Maybe.

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  2. Pingback: Book Chat: The People Under the Stairs – Marsha Ingrao – Always Write

  3. I was accused of being ‘eclectic’ once, a long time ago. Like you, at the time I had no clue what the word meant, but I looked it up before punching my friend in the face for the insult that turned out to be a compliment. Oh dear, I said that wrong, as it implies that I punched my friend in the face after reading a dictionary entry, which isn’t what happened. I think it’s best I stop here before I tie myself in knots; I’m told that it’s good, when you’re in a hole, to stop digging.

    I simply can’t prevent myself (believe me, I’ve tried, but it didn’t work, my fingers just keep on tapping the keys here) from pointing out that that one event a long time ago determined the name of the book that I published last year. It’s not exactly in the best-seller lists, and almost certainly won’t be until long after I’m pushing up the daisies (if then). It does contain some poems, though. The book is called ‘The Eclectic‘.

    May I take this opportunity to apologise unreservedly for this blatant act of self-promotion, and hope that you can find it within your good heart to forgive me.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I was brought up to believe in a meritocracy (my school’s motto was ‘Virtus non stemma’ – ‘worth, not birth’). It took me a very long time to recognise that the world doesn’t work that way. Far too many believe that our society is a meritocracy, and that rewards accrue to those most worthy; but the truth is an inversion, and a perversion: ‘Birth, not worth’.

        Still, I persist, perhaps irrationally, in believing that good ideas can, potentially, be recognised and that word of mouth will spread them. I always hope that, when an idea of mine is worthy, I will have no need to self-promote, as others will take up the banner and run with it.

        (One particularly good example, since you’ve given me permission to ‘blow my own trumpet’, is my ?Random Raiders! initiative. I may have set the ball rolling on that one, but it’s a collaborative effort. The theory is that, if it’s a good enough idea, others will promote it – and so, I won’t have to. ‘Build It And They Will Come’. It’s a nice theory.)

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