The last thing I expected on a rainy day was a visit from my “Inner Critic.” If you don’t have one–you should bow down in thanks. The regular group was at the door, plus some uninvited guests. I brought in lawn chairs from the garage.
To make matters worse, my two dogs were bored–there would be no morning walk. They checked in with me every half-hour to see if conditions had changed. Why were The Stooges here? …With Curly Joe, the funnier Stooge, and not Shemp.
By way of explanation, my “Inner Critic”– is a concoction, liberally seasoned with advice from my parents, grandparents, my drill sergeant, a crusty old farm hand, named Floyd, a pinch of Don Rickles and John Wayne added for extra zing.
“State of the blog, state of the blog–Hey Moe, that rhymes with frog. State of the frog, state of the frog,” Curly Joe chanted. “Shut up you imbecile,” Moe slapped Curly on the back of the head.
“Is this the place?” Larry asked. “This is the place,” Moe answered.
“Well, if there’s no other place around the place, this must be the place, I reckon–Nyuk, Nyuk, Nyuk,” “Get outta here you moron,” More mayhem, some eye pokes, more head slaps.
Moe led Curly out the door by the ear. Larry followed. I wasn’t sorry to see them go. Slapstick comedy wasn’t what I was looking for this morning.
“What’s up with taking more risks and getting fewer rewards?” I asked.
“What do you mean, Dear?” Grandma asked.
“I don’t want this blog to get stale–so, I tried some new stuff.”
“That’s nice, Dear–it’s going to take time.” “Just don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.” “I brought you some sock monkeys.”
“Thanks, Gram,” I answered.
“I almost called this post, “Thoughts on a Rainy Day,” but changed my mind.”
“I’m glad you did,” Said my drill sergeant. “That’s too wimpy.”
“Just write what you want to–what you feel is right,” Said Floyd. “If the xxx-xxxx idiots, don’t like the xxxxx-xxxx-xxxx–it’s their xxxxx problem, not yours.”
“Aren’t we all faking it? I mean everybody does it–everyday. Acting like we know what we’re doing–whether we do or not. We do it at work, in public, when raising a family.”
“That doesn’t make it right,” Mom said. “It’s the same thing as lying.”
“But, Mom–It’s not really lying. It’s showing confidence in facing the unknown. Because, for most people, showing weakness is a liability they can’t risk? Could it be, that some people are more afraid of failure, than success?”
“I’m glad you brought that up, Pilgrim,” John Wayne answered. “Acting is nothing but faking it. Movie sets are fake. You have to convince others, that what you say, is genuine and real.”
“Mr. Wayne, Did you ever feel insecure? That some day the bottom might drop out?”
“You’re damn right I did–many times! I tried not to show it. I guess that’s what you mean by ‘faking it.’ The day I first met with the head of a movie studio to sign a contract, my knees were shaking. There was a lot at stake.”
“That’s what your mother and I tried to teach you,” My father said. “There’s no reward without taking some risks. You shouldn’t attempt anything expecting to fail. Be confident, shoulders back, eyes straight ahead–let the chips fall where they may.”
“I’m hungry,” Grandpa said. “Where are we going for breakfast? We’re not going to get anything around here.”
“Come on Rickles, you’ve been unusually quiet, Said John Wayne. “Duke, the sloppy sentiment around here’s killed my appetite. Maybe some coffee. Let’s go to the IHOP.”
My guests, gathered their things and left. Don Rickles got in the last word–like he always did.
“I’m outta’ here. Don’t make me come back. This place is a dump. You oughta’ clean it up, sometime. And I don’t want to see you doing sock monkey puppet shows–either. Because that would be sick. You’re a sick man. Nobody really likes you anyway–you know.”
Tangled in the falling vines
Waiting for a punch line
I’ve just been fakin’ it
I’m not really makin’ it
This feeling of fakin’ it
I still haven’t shaken it