I Was On The Road To Fame And Fortune But Somehow I Ended Up Here!
Facetious remarks, tongue-in-cheek comments, sarcasm and a touch of wisdom combined with a bizarre sense of humor are what you can expect from our new columnist who makes his debut in today’s Norton Patch.
"If you're going to be crazy, you have to get paid for it or else you're going to be locked up." ~ Hunter S. Thompson
The scented candle is to give me a sense that autumn is upon us, even though it isn’t and apparently won’t be for some time. As I write this, it’s 85 degrees outside and there’s scarcely a turned leaf in sight.
My door is shut because my two grandsons, Logan and Ethan, are out in the living room with my wife. Logan, a spirited 4-year old, is running back and forth between the kitchen and the living room on his hands and knees, barking and licking my son’s dog, Remy, who I suppose is technically my granddog. We’re dog sitting Remy for a week while my son, Chris, his wife, Karre and their 7-week old daughter, Clover, visit Karre’s family in California, which means I have to pick up dog poop from my side yard twice a day; a job I cherish.
Ethan is sitting comfortably on my wife’s lap belting out unintelligible grunting and screeching sounds that I suppose are commonplace for an 11-month old, but which don’t blend well with the implementation of the creative process, i.e. writing this commentary.
I don’t generally listen to music while I’m writing. I find it distracting. But in this instance, listening to U2's I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For is much more palatable than the intermittent baying of a 4-year old going by the name of Spot and Ethan’s incessant shrieking, which is only occasionally interrupted by short outbursts of whining for no apparent reason.
My wife tells me this is normal behavior for an 11-month old. “He’s a baby,” she insists, and I suppose she’s right. Of course, she’d be right whether or not I agreed with her. That’s kind of how it works. That’s how the universe is designed. She’s right. I’m wrong. At least that’s what I let her think.
I suppose one could say that’s the coward's way out, but life is so much easier that way. It took me 41 years of living with this woman to realize that, but hey; better late than never, right?
She wasn’t like that when we got married. She was always amenable. But women have a plan; a very long term plan, and they’re devious and extremely patient. They know precisely when to put their plan into action and once they do, things change.
Wow! I really didn’t mean to go there! How about if we get back to the subject du jour? Which is? Good question. I guess I was venting about not having as much peace and quiet as I’d like while I’m working.
You see, what my wife fails to understand is that the creative process is a very delicate thing. And writers are, well, let’s just say we’re different. Some are very different.
If you’re familiar with Hunter S. Thompson, who wrote, Fear And Loathing in Las Vegas – there’s a guy who defines the term different. And what about Truman Capote? Tell me he’s your average, run-of-the-mill dude! He was a brilliant writer, a genius, but he was a very peculiar man.
Esteemed author, Margaret Chittenden said, “Many people hear voices when no one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing.”
I think old Maggie pretty much summed it up, don’t you? What my wife fails to understand is that just because I work from home doesn’t mean I’m at ‘home’. Do you understand what I’m getting at here? If I’m in my office, I’m working! I’ve discussed this ad nauseum in my column, The View From Here, so I won’t get into it again, but I’ll say it just one more time for my wife and for my friends who call and email me during the day to shoot the breeze.
Listen carefully! If I’m in my office, I’m writing. I’m a writer. Writer’s write! Writing is my avocation. It’s real work. I get paid for it. To my wife: I never went to your office with a toddler; a baby and a 70-pound California Dingo in tow and set up camp next to your desk so please don’t do that to me. To my friends: I’m not available to discuss sports, the good ole’ days at Mansfield High, crazy things we did in the sixties or any other topic that may tickle your fancy in the middle of the day. I’m working!
Okay! That should cover it. Sorry, folks; just a little housekeeping.
So, this is my first column in the Norton Patch. You may be asking yourself, “What does this guy know about Norton?” That is, you may be asking yourself that if you frequently talk to yourself. I used to talk to myself, get into an argument with myself and lose, but that’s another topic for another day.
I grew up in Mansfield back in the days when the town dumped their sewage into the Norton Reservoir. I don’t know who ever decided that was a good idea, but thank God someone finally came to their senses and ended that disgusting practice. It’s possible that story is just an Urban Legend, but I heard it over and over again when I was a kid. If there are any old Norton townies out there who still have some semblance of a memory, perhaps you might enlighten me.
I have a bunch of relatives who either now live or have formerly lived in Norton and Chartley, but I’m going to keep them anonymous for the sake of their personal safety, should I offend anyone; which I can almost guarantee will happen. It’s what I do.
I never could figure out what the deal was with the relationship between Norton and Chartley, but Chartley has its own Post Office so it must be a real place. Go figure!
Two of my favorite places for comfort food are in Norton; a mere stone’s throw apart if you’ve got a really strong arm. There’s no better place than Wendell’s for wings and a cold draft. Okay, wings and several cold drafts, but who’s counting? Oh yeah, I suppose that would be my wife; another of her little idiosyncrasies – beer patrol!
The other Norton eatery where I’ve been known to strap on the old feed bag is the Norton Hot Dog Stand. Their cheeseburgers are top-notch and their super crispy fries are to die for, which my wife tells me is a distinct possibility if I continue to eat that stuff -again, with the idiosyncrasy thing! I don’t care though; I love their food.
Although I live in Easton, I frequently check out the other local Patch sites to see what’s going on and to get ideas for my columns. Back on October, 5, I chimed in on the heated and controversial debate over changes in the school lunch program at the J. C. Solmonese Elementary School. My comment was the last in a long line of comments from concerned citizens on both sides of the issue. I finally got in the last word! That would never happen at home.
Well, that wraps up my dazzling dissertation for this week. Hopefully, you’ve gained some insight into who I am. Don’t worry! I’ll grow on you.
Make it a great week!
Bob Havey is an Easton-based freelance writer and a consummate trouble-maker. His column, The Way I See It, runs every other Wednesday at http://norton.patch.com and his column, "The View From Here", appears each Tuesday at http://easton-ma.patch.com and on Wednesday at http://mansfield-ma.patch.com .