BLOG, Every Day Episodes

Good Dog Day Afternoon

At my office, employees are encouraged to bring their dogs into work. By that, I don’t mean that employees are encouraged to bring the dogs in to do work. Rather, they are encouraged to treat the office as a dog-friendly environment.

The dogs are well-behaved and free to roam around, sleep under desks, and turn anything they find in the waste baskets into a toy. At times, they alert the office to such events as a FedEx truck arriving, a UPS truck arriving, or even a USPS truck arriving. Clients and strangers alike are greeted with wagging tails and bright eyes of enthusiasm. Often, this enthusiasm is reciprocated by way of pats to the head and/or baby talk Q&A that is invariably one-sided: ‘Who’s a good doggy? You are. Yes, you are. Are you a happy dog? Are you? Yes, you are.’

Tired of his owner communicating in baby talk, Abner Poodleday takes matters into his own hands. At least in prison they’ll talk to him with some respect.

In a dog-friendly office, it’s easy to forget that not everyone likes dogs.

Continue reading “Good Dog Day Afternoon”

BLOG, Childhood = 100 Years Ago

When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be a Rerun

Throughout the history of academic-enforced writing assignments, one of the more tried and true topics doled out in elementary schools is the one that asks children what they want to be when they grow up. “In 200 words or less, describe your dream career. Remember that this will likely define your value to society, determine your friends, your spouse, etc. And pretty soon you’re 54 and living in a studio apartment with a couch you found on the street, wondering if you made the right choices in life, getting buried under a mountain of debt stemming from ballooning student loans and maxed out credit cards, occasionally glancing at the fine print on your life insurance policy for the word ‘suicide’. But, no pressure, children. The point is to just have fun.”

Carly Donaldson erases ‘I want to be’ and replaces it with ‘I WILL be’ in her career essay, confident that it would solidify her future as a magic ballerina fairy in the land of Gumdrop Island.

The problem with making these requests of children is that maybe 1 in 1000 have an inkling what they want to do as a vocation. For me, the “ideal career” changed almost week to week. Occupations were usually sourced from such professional career sources as Nick-at-Nite or channel 20 on basic cable.

For example… Continue reading “When I Grow Up, I Wanna Be a Rerun”

BLOG, Other Articles

Because I Haven’t Got The Legs For Dancing

Published by Backhand Stories

Why do I write?

I’ve been asked to explain this on more than one occasion, often in a Yuletide forum by relatives who want only what’s best for me. These questions are presented with a roll of the eye or an unassuming furrowed brow and often contain the words ‘what’, ‘in’, ‘the’ and ‘hell’. Each time the question is posed, the more difficult I find it to answer. As time passes, the reasoning that once seemed so black and white, morphs more and more into a menagerie of Freudian color and malformations, looking less like the once straight forward presentation and more like the aftermath of a drunken war of paintbrushes between Pollock and Neiman.

"Write what's in your heart, Billy. Write for you. Then, and only then, will you be so poor that this rock is all you have as furniture."
“Write what’s in your heart, Billy. Write for you. Then, and only then, will you be so poor that this log is the closest thing you’ll have to furniture.”

Continue reading “Because I Haven’t Got The Legs For Dancing”