What are friends for, if not to break each other’s crystal balls. I took a baseball bat to my buddy Eric’s today. Eric’s had some tough breaks recently. I mean tough. Not just stuff like it’s pouring rain, and your dog won’t do anything but sniff around, or after an evening of passion you notice that the empty condom packet in the wastebasket is labeled, “Made in China”…or the milk you just poured on your Cheerios smells funny. Eric’s had his head handed to him. Lady stuff. The kind of thing that has you staying awake all night watching ESPN’s six hour special called “Legends Of Miniature Golf.” He told me he woke up this morning and found his clothes scattered all over the floor…and he was still wearing them. He’s really down, and has been for a while. It’s called a depression. Most Louie-Louie Generation folks have had a few of them. They can make you feel like an exchange student from the Twilight Zone.
As you probably know, depressions are the result of burnout. And you probably also know that burnout isn’t necessarily caused by being over-worked. Burnout usually comes from being under-appreciated…and out of control. Too many times getting passed over for a promotion at work. Getting a notice from your credit card company that it has been so long since you paid them that they have now given you a two digit credit rating…and for the last two months, it sounds like the guy in the apartment upstairs has installed a bowling alley in his bedroom…for two damn months. Maybe even worse…you’ve spent too many New Years Eves just clinking your Champaign glass against your bathroom mirror…or too many winters just wearing wool socks to keep your feet warm…and you realize you can’t even remember the last time you felt something go bump in the night.
So you start beating yourself up. You start thinking things like, “Well, I buttered my own bread, so now I’ve got to go lie down in it.” Then next, you get so mad you start with the attitude stuff…”Well, I guess I can’t please everybody…but I sure as hell can give everybody the finger.” Not a help. That’s about where my buddy Eric was beginning to wander when he kind of looked down at his crystal ball, and said something that freaked me out. He said, “I am in a never ending depression.” It was time to break his crystal ball.
Dick’s Details Quiz. All answers are in the current podcast.
1- What’s the pickiness that portends powerful poopy pain ?
2- What do the rabbits around here do behind the scientists backs ?
3- What is the sound of an exploding sheep?
Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.
Some things just don’t make sense. You play hookey, and they suspend you from school. The state takes away your driver’s license, and then they arrest you for driving without a license. And we keep trying to figure out what we should do next, by endlessly thinking about what we did before. There’s a story about that in the Bedtime Stories Personal Audio CD. It’s called “On The Prowl.”
Her eyes, the way she walked, and the sound of her voice…no way a guy can forget things like that. You try…sometimes for weeks, or months or even years. Sometimes for the rest of your life. But you keep remembering… especially her eyes…always looking back…remembering her eyes. And eventually you get smash everything…and everyone…mad. Because it never seems to end…the looking back…seeing her eyes. Been there…done that.
“On The Prowl” is from the Bedtime Stories Personal Audio CD. If you like it you can just keep the current podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy, just download it from the Bedtime Stories icon on the home page.
My buddy Eric looked down into his crystal ball and said “I’m in a never ending depression.” Being a good Louie-Louie Generation buddy, it was time for me to smash every one of his nasty crystal balls. They were all looking in the wrong direction. Backward. So I smacked him with an honest thought. I told him he had no idea he was going to be in a depression over this lost romance back when his hormones started humming the puberty polka. It was a total surprise. And he has no real proof right now that his depression is going to last forever. It might. Or there might be another total surprise in store for him. Big Louie, his own bad self always says, “You never know when something fantastic is going to happen to you.”
Let me tell you a little story…or actually, I’ll let Proud Podcast Participant Gerry C. tell it to you. First a little background. When I was on the air at night, I used to like to do a little quickie fun thing I called a Light Hello. The idea was that I’d count to three, and everybody listening would flick their lights, and if they were driving honk their horns. The idea was that you might notice that the somebody very interesting who lives next door was also listening, which gives you something to talk about next time you see her. Or him. You understand. So now let Gerry fill you in with the story he told me in an email:
“If you remember the old Neponset Drive-In in Dorchester, you’ll get a kick out of this anecdote–I went there one nameless evening in 1964 with a date and when we exited just after midnight, the first thing we did was turn on your show on the car radio. Before we could get to the expressway, we had to get through the massive car-jam created by the few hundred cars that were piled up navigating the drive-in egress. As you said “If you’re listening on your car radio, honk your horn and flash your lights!” Within a split second, the whole mass of exiting cars was a maelstrom of honking horns and flashing lights, and everyone there was laughing to each other, rolling down windows and saying” isn’t that a riot!” It was a howlingly funny moment shared by hundreds of people who had never before known each other, an instant community of your fans. Thank you for that moment and a thousand others. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”
One kind of silly moment out of a long time ago. More than forty years to be exact. It could have been road rage time. In fact that’s what seemed to be cooking. But it ended up in laughs and maybe even a few instant friendships and who knows, maybe even a romance or two. So…I had to smash my buddy Eric’s crystal balls today. They were all pointed in the wrong direction. Backwards.
Big Louie’s right. No matter what your crystal balls tell you, hang in there. You just never know when something fantastic is going to happen to you.