03 December 2008

Zero To Sixty in Sixty Days

Today was a workday, kind of like the other workdays (which are stringing too close together) that have made me want to stand on my desk and just start hollering. Like the guy from ‘300’, except maybe not as buff. Just stand on my desk and ROAR.

(Them) This is madness!
(Me) No, this..is..GUMBO! (Kicks in computer screen, dives out window)

Okay, that is what I wanted to do. What I actually did was sit in my chair, grind my teeth and convince myself I could stick it out until 5:00. This has become increasingly hard for me as of late. I have always had a knack for bullshit, can spin it pretty good when I set my mind to it. A quote from some movie I saw years ago sprang to mind: “Never bullshit a bullshitter!” This was the predicament I found myself in. I know very well when I am not being honest with myself, and this was one of those times. I also find it easy to speak the truth that I know, when I know it. I was talking to myself, like one of those guys I’ve seen pushing shopping carts in downtown Baltimore. Do you know how weird it feels to be arguing with yourself, two voices, one out of each side of the mouth? One saying “It’s not so bad” and the other saying “Clock punching for someone else’s dreams grows tiresome”. I imagined it to be a running dialogue between Stuart Smalley and Dieter from Sprockets.

So it was that when I left work, I was all prepared to come home, stuff some groceries down my neck and then pound out a profanity-laced screed about being oppressed by the Man and overwhelmed by ennui not giving a shit. I was going to follow all this with a serious bout of plopping my butt down on the couch to watch something, anything, on TV.

That was the plan. I had forgotten that tonight was PAYNIGHT, which meant grabbing dinner out after depositing my hard earned slip-of-paper-that-isn’t-money-but-stands-in-for-money. As if I wasn’t in enough of a snit, the thought of having to turn around and head right back out the door, The Spouse and The Wee Lass in tow, just turned the screws a little bit tighter. I was feeling, what’s the word?, MISANTHROPIC to a very high degree. Fortunately for me, my daughter had other ideas for Gumbo the Grump. I bundled her in her car seat and we set off in search of pizza. The car hadn’t gone thirty feet when I heard this loud squeal of delight from the back seat:

“Let’s look for Christmas lights! Will we see Christmas lights, Mommy?”
“Probably, sweetie.”
“YAYYY! Look, Daddy, it’s a reindeer!”

One of our neighbors has a wicker deer on their front lawn, the kind strung with lights and a motorized head that bobs slowly up and down. It was dark already, and the white lights had the whole house front awash in the glow. Wee Lass was so enthusiastic I felt myself starting to crack. On the way to the pizza joint, and on the way back, she was eagerly looking out the window, calling out decorations and lights when we could see them on passing houses. In the face of such unself-conscious delight, I felt the hatin’ just drain out of me. I was still plenty tired, but not nearly as wound up. I felt like a human being instead of a clock spring.

I was mildly surprised to realize that this is my sixtieth post in sixty days. I was going to write a screed tonight, as I mentioned. Good for me and for you, dear reader, that I had the Wee Lass to hit the reset button. She brought me back on center and made it possible for me to ENJOY writing tonight. It felt good to reach a milestone on a positive note.

60 in 60 days. Whew. I had no idea it was in me. Thanks so much to everyone who has laid eyes on my creative overflow. Between the Wee Lass and your interest, I have been inspired and encouraged to keep at it. Something cool is just down the road, and I appreciate the help in getting me to it!


  1. Lets have a big HO-HO-HO
    for the cristmas lights
    bring um on
    they make me feel good

  2. Yeah, I know what you mean. Mine's a GENIUS at making me forget my bad moods. God bless her.

  3. Congrats, Gumbo. And if you start coming up with reasonable arguments for killing your co-workers, maybe time to talk to someone.

    Oh, and I've never heard of an Anchor Steam so I had to go with Guinness. Hmm, that reminds me I have some Tsing Tao in the fridge from my father in law. Thanks!


"Let your laws come undone
Don't suffer your crimes
Let the love in your heart take control..."

-'The Hair Song', by Black Mountain

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