January 5, 2000



I'm Not Dead Yet


Hold on there, Sparky! Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated. My last entry's "Goodbye" ending was very much tongue-in-cheek, simply my last words if the Y2K bugs brought civilization to its knees. They didn't, cockroaches don't rule the earth, so here I am posting again -- with a new design, no less, because I'm already tired of the old one's color scheme. So stop throwing dirt on me already. As it was so eloquently said in that most-quoted of movies, Monty Python's Search For The Holy Grail: "I'm not dead yet!"

And then, just as people are pronouncing me dead and lamenting my retirement (Two people lamented. Two. I am popular. I am, damn you!), I stumble across this. And then this. First I've retired, then these two kadodies start hacking on me and harshing my mellow? What the hell?

I can almost understand it coming from Mike because he's from Tennessee and... Well, he's from Tennessee. I used to live there, so I know what it's like there in the land where the phrase "kissin' cousins" isn't just a figure of speech. I got out, he didn't, and you can just see what growing up in one of the notches of the Bible Belt will do to a man. Factor in Murfreesboro on top of that and, well, it isn't very pretty.

But from Steve... Well, I'm a little surprised that this sort of underhanded attack should come from him, considering the times we've spent together, but I suppose I should have seen it coming. On the surface it may seem that we're neck-and-neck on many Life Issues -- we're both married, homeowners, have a daughter apiece -- but the fact of the matter is that envy gets the best of everyone from time to time.

You see, Steve used to live here in the Big City before he headed out for the dusty environs of our northern suburbs, and I guess hindsight makes a man bitter. He's been to my home a few times and now he's clearly missing those little conveniences of modern life he so blithely left behind. Little things like paved roads and supermarkets and, well, indoor plumbing. You've all seen him refer repeatedly to that "pipe" he needs to fix, haven't you? Well, I don't want to embarrass him, but let me clue you in: outhouses don't have pipes. Just FYI... I'm guessing there's a new pit that needs digging out there in suburbia.

But the whys of it don't matter much, now do they? What matters is how one responds to the japes of such knaves. (Big words courtesy of Bartlett's Roget's Thesaurus, $19.95 from My first instinct was to doll up a revenge entry with silly graphic spoofs involving their faces Photoshopped onto $1000 bills, but then I decided such flaunting of prosperity would be unseemly, not to mention that it would take me hours to do it.

My second instinct was to go on a months-long tear of daily entries just to "show them," but again discretion got the better of me. I've achieved a delicate balance here, expending minimal effort crafting a diminishing pattern of entries while holding onto a nervous core of readers who are probably still here only because they're too lazy to change their bookmarks. Why tip things over into increased expectations from an increased readership lured in by increased output simply because a "barefoot boy with cheek" and a cheeky boy with a bare foot on his page dared take me to task for my output?

So: no. I will not be swayed, I will not change my routine. I have too much pride, too much integrity, too much invested in the almost complete lack of give-and-take between me and my readers to risk it all by posting every single day just because of these two fellows. Besides, it would be too much work. I will instead maintain, and I know you're as happy with that decision as I am.

So I'm not dead yet -- it just looks that way.