Writes So Good He Cleans Toilets to Keep Him Humble…and, You Know…to Eat
A New Beginning Accompanied by the Spilling of Guts
Um…hi. Welcome back to mockable.org. It’s been a while, huh? Anyway, I’m metten. I have missed almost all of you guys, as well as the emotions that most humans refer to as “happiness” and “laughter”. I want very badly to re-establish my connection with most of you while reintroducing an abundance of the two aforementioned emotions back into my bloodstream.
However, I need to tell you guys a story first that I think might make it easier to understand where I am coming from as well as what I hope mockable.org will eventually become. The hilarious, talented, and consistently supportive Jeff Kay (has given me his blessing to use the site, so I figure we should at least make an effort to tap into its vast potential. Here goes:
I hesitate to tell this story as I was raised by, and later chose to surround myself with, people who care a great deal about what other people think. Some of these people go so far as to iron their jeans before going to WalMart, lest one of their dentally-challenged regulars think ill of them. Others spend an inordinate amount of time constructing amazingly creative scenarios in which they embarrass themselves in front of people who don’t know them and couldn’t give less of a shit about them than they currently do. My loved ones then spend the remainder of the day destroying their stomach lining while inaccurately handicapping the odds that their mental scenario will become reality. Despite the fact that I find vanity to be among the ugliest of human traits and as a result, many of my own ugly personal traits have come into being after overcorrecting so that I might avoid becoming vain, I love these people very much. I do not wish to hurt them.
Neither do I wish to withhold the truth from you, dear mocker. I need your trust…and the only reason to bend the truth even slightly is to get a laugh. The new first rule is to be funny. The new second rule is to be genuine. My vanity, pride, and desire for continued positive relationships should not be protected at your expense. The final analysis prescribes that I tell you the unabated truth (with the possible exception of stuff that might get me in trouble all over again) and hope that all involved can forgive me later.
There are three types of people in this world: there are those that find a way to do what they are passionate about for a living. These people are referred to as “lucky assholes”. Other people sell their time and skills so that they might finance their participation in activities that they are passionate about. These people are generally referred to as “regular people”. Finally, there are people whose surroundings, for one reason or another, only permit them to be passionate about their daily survival. They don’t get to mountain bike, write novels, mime it up in the park, or even have weird sex fetishes. All they seem to be allowed to do is walk around with a really hungry look on their face while dodging machete-bullets.
Anyone not in the third group should be considered a lucky asshole as they have found their way into environmental conditions that are at a level of evolution in which they are not likely to be a victim of genocide or food for something that is stronger and faster. Of course, lucky assholes like us never think of life in this way. If one approaches a random stranger on the street and asks them what they wish for, not a single one of them will claim to be a completely satisfied individual who wants for nothing. I am no different. My lifelong desire is to be employed in any capacity that allows me to connect with people through art. While my patreon page discusses this phenomenon in greater detail, my efforts to reach this goal through unconventional means and various other paths less traveled have left me a broken shell of a human being. Back when I was playing by the rules, I was profoundly unhappy. I am profoundly unhappy right now as well. At least back then I had a six-figure salary.
Jeff might have a different answer, but on the surface, I believed the purpose of this site was to use our extraordinary God-given talent to go out, observe the world and mockingly report back to you guys on the stuff that we found ridiculous. It seemed like the kind of thing that would appeal to Surf Reporters while attracting new readers who might want to forward the link about people who wear cologne around the office in a passive aggressive plea for justice. Sadly, it never quite caught on.
Below the surface, I believed the site was an effort to build a large platform of friends and supporters with whom we could poke fun at the world, and eventually sell our books to. His book, Crossroads Road was almost ready to go. My book, Smelling Melville, had been done for a few months (or so I thought). As you probably know, the site met with a mixed response. Despite a few years of genuine effort, we never really clocked more than a few thousand unique visitors per day. Smoking Fish released Crossroads Road and it did pretty well thanks to strong writing and support from Surf Reporters. Smelling Melville continues to exist only on my hard drive and in a couple of different landfills, after being delivered there because some literary agent’s first tier reader elected to chuck it.
Though mostly a coincidence, I spent the following years trying and failing at different plans, strategies, and professions that all featured an apogee where I was either employed as someone who entertains people or rich enough to be an amateur person who entertains people full-time. The only other thing these activities had in common was that their Rube Goldberg complexity was matched only by their stupidity. I sunk lower and lower with each failure. Eventually I quit writing. Then I quit reading. Then I started smoking cigarettes again. Then I quit taking important medicine like insulin. Then I employed unfair and unduly harsh criticism in order to ostracize myself from people. After that there was only one thing left to take care of…
I couldn’t do it. Nobody stepped in at the last minute and convinced me of the value of human life. No one made me realize what a lucky asshole I truly was. Despite multiple loud and unproductive nervous breakdowns, no one drove me to a hospital and put me into a padded room where they watched my every move. None of those things happened. In fact, I was left alone for entire days and provided a myriad of avenues through which I could get the job done. I still couldn’t do it. I was too much of a coward to take the coward’s way out. I had failed at the ultimate failure. I owe my life to the fact that I am a pussy.
It actually gets worse than that, but that’s enough for today. I’ll pick it up in a future installment. I guess the point is that there are few things more mockable than a 40-year-old man with no real job prospects and no money in the bank, who refuses to let go of childhood dreams despite multiple warning from friends, family, and apparently, God Himself.
Expect future posts to contain similar, yet slightly less depressing memoir-type stuff, bloggy updates, and rants about shit I hate even more than me. How’s that for a specific blog niche?
Patreon subscribers (and my wife, if she sticks around) will get access to what I hope will be my carefully-considered, conservatively managed return to sanity, solvency, and perhaps even prosperity as well as other stuff designed to exceed the value of their participation.
If you need someone who knows words…someone who, in fact, has possession of and the rights to assemble and distribute the best words – please go give me money in exchange for them here.