“Don’t go speed your time away.” – Howard Jones
People occasionally tell me that they like my writing or that I’ve “missed my calling.” I appreciate the compliments and sincerity behind their remarks, but the truth is I’ve always been writing. It’s therapeutic for me in a way. I don’t think I’ve missed anything at all. Many people just didn’t know or maybe they missed it, but I’ve always been writing.
From the days of just using a pencil and paper in elementary school to using old-school typewriters through my high school and early college days, and then on to a desktop computer just before I graduated college, and now I write using my fancy MacBook Air (I feel like such a hipster sitting in Starbuck’s drinking my $5 latte, and banging away on my laptop with all of the other millennial’s in the place. All I’m really missing are a few tats and maybe a beard).
I wrote for my college newspaper at St. Gregory’s College in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I wrote a few high school football game free-lance pieces for a local newspaper in Tahlequah, Oklahoma while I was attending Northeastern State University. I wrote silly made up articles to make people laugh, to make me laugh.
“Time will wear away the stone. Gets the hereditary bone”
I can remember as far back as elementary school when I wrote a fictitious story called “Who Killed X.R.?” It was loosely based upon the greatest attempted murder in television prime-time history when the whole country was debating “who shot J.R. Ewing?” on the hit CBS drama “Dallas.” I cleverly had “X.R.” instead of J.R., and “Sue Fellen” instead of Sue Ellen. Even my nine-year old brain in 1980 didn’t want to be sued for infringement of intellectual property. Beyond that I don’t remember much of my cliff-hanger article that I forced my elementary school friends to read.
I wrote silly “articles” over the years to make people laugh notably making fun of one coach’s retirement, and another coach’s poor coaching that assuredly cost me millions on a sure-fire NBA career (I was barely good enough to play NAIA basketball).
I wrote articles about my friends and teammates. I wrote articles about my family particularly about my dad with one being his fictitious quest to become the third member of his beloved musical idols – The Righteous Brothers. The other article was after his 100th win as a major college coach and about how he should be bringing multi national championships to the tiny community of Macomb, Illinois when he coached at Western Illinois University (WIU winning a basketball national championship is about as improbable as me playing in the NBA).
“Raise a glass enjoy the scenery. Pretend the water is champagne”
I wrote on blogs that were so over-the-top pro-University of Arkansas and pro-University of Oklahoma athletics that they were just ridiculous. I took the term “homer” to another level by implying that the universities had the best coaches and players in the world and the only way they ever lost was strictly due to fluke accidents or poor refereeing. The posts dripped with satire and an unwavering loyalty towards the respective programs and teams.
Hell I even wrote 8 or 10 posts on one blog under the pen name of “Alan Greenpants,” an alter ego to Alan Greenspan the former Fed Chairman. The whole mission of that blog was to make fun of Alan’s successor Ben Bernanke. I, errr, Alan Greenpants blamed poor Ben in an open letter every week for anything and everything that went wrong in society and with the economy even blaming him for the break up of the original lineup of Van Halen back in 1985. The only thing Alan even remotely appreciated about Ben was Ben’s cool beard (which in retrospect, Ben was way ahead of the beard craze when he was rocking his back in 2006).
I’ve always thought that if my writing entertained myself then there was someone else that would be entertained and for the most part that has held true.
Thinking back to my earliest memory of writing, I was reminded recently of when I was probably 10 or 11 and lived in Seminole, Oklahoma. I used to sneak out of my bed (I probably had a 9 or 9:30 bedtime) and into the bathroom that was located within earshot of the living room. My parents would watch the news most nights in the living room so I would carry with me a piece of paper and a pencil into the pitch black bathroom and frantically write down sports scores and sports news as I listened intently from about 10:20-10:25 every night. The next day I would “produce” my own hand written sports news on basic lined notebook paper for my parents. I thought it was very cool.
This went on for a week, maybe two. Then one night I heard my mom coming down the hall. I didn’t have time to dart across the hall to my bedroom so I quickly jumped behind the shower curtain in the bathtub with my paper and pencil in hand, and prayed she wouldn’t see me or notice I was not in my bed. A few seconds later… “Kyle!” I came out of the bathroom slightly embarrassed, and pretty sure I received a quick whack to the backside right then. My days of a self-produced sports newspaper had come to an end and the “newspaper” was quickly put out of business.
“The old man said to me, said don’t always take life so seriously”
I don’t know who this old man is, but he’s obviously brilliant! As I’ve grown older I find myself more fascinated with 80’s songs that talk about life, or time, or specific events in time. Songs about sex and women are a dime a dozen in any decade so I find myself drawn to songs with lyrics that contain a little more meaning like this one by the English musician Howard Jones. I wasn’t particularly a big fan of his or a fan of this song when it was released in 1985, but like I said with age sometimes appreciation of things you didn’t think twice about creep up on you in unexpected ways – kind of like this post did.
The video for today’s featured song, “Life in One Day” (which only peaked at #19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100), is an utter mess if you ask me, but Howard does have some great, great 80’s hair for all to admire. Really his hair is probably the best part of this non-sensical video that is way more annoying than it should be. Anyway, I still appreciate the sentiment of the lyrics.
“Play the flute, and dance and sing your song”
Thank you Mr. Jones for your wisdom.
And as always, to you the reader, thanks for reading and don’t go speed your time away.