Yup. I didn’t have a dollar before and now I have a dollar. Dolla dolla make you holla, y’all.
Yup. I didn’t have a dollar before and now I have a dollar. Dolla dolla make you holla, y’all.
Natalie and Walter sat comfortably inside a G-6 private jet, on their way to the London leg of the international publicity tour for their upcoming book, “Jaws of Death: The Inside Story of the News Duo That Took Down the Toilet Gator.”
“Cheers,” Walter said as he clanked his champagne glass up against Natalie’s.
“To you,” Natalie said as she raised her glass. “For all the advice and wisdom you bestowed on me. I’m so sorry I kicked you in the balls, and I’m even more sorry that I got us both fired.”
“No worries,” Walt said as he flicked a piece of lint off of his flashy Italian suit. “The severance package was generous and the payout will get even bigger when Network News One settles my lawsuit.”
“Your lawsuit?” Natalie asked.
“Sure,” Walter said. “You’re suing because you were sexually harassed. I’m suing under the theory that they canned me to cover up what Kurt Manley did to you.”
“Wow,” Natalie said as she sipped champagne. “You have got to be the smartest cameraman I’ve ever met, Walter. Still, I’m sorry I couldn’t get you an interview with a Hot Ass Blonde Chick with Big Titties.”
“That’s ok,” Walter said. “There will be other hot ass blonde chicks and other big titties.”
“Is it me or are you losing weight?” Natalie asked
“It’s not you,” Walter said as he patted his slimmer stomach. “I’m off the snack cakes. Thirty days and I haven’t touched a single one.”
“Bravo,” Natalie said as her cell phone began to ring. “Hold on, I’ve got to take this…hello?”
The voice of a very gruff Australian man came through on the other end. “‘Ello, mate. Roscoe Whipplethorpe here to talk to Natalie Brock if you’d please and thank you very much.”
“This is Natalie. Wait, did you say, ‘Roscoe Whipplethorpe?’”
“Indeed I did, love.”
“The Roscoe Whipplethorpe?” Natalie asked. “As in the owner of Network News One?”
“The one and only,” Roscoe said.
Walter flashed Natalie a big thumbs-up.
“Thank you for calling, Mr. Whipplethorpe,” Natalie said. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”
“Well,” Roscoe said. “Here’s the skinny on the big old pile of digeridoo we’re all wrapped up in. This is one sneaky pickle, aint it? A little bit of the koala in the romper room if you know what I mean? A right horrible sticky wicket, this is. Try to climb out of this muck and you’ll get pulled down in it, pull, pull, pull and before you know it, Bob’s your Uncle mate because it’s all over. It’s all over and the wallaby has put you in her pouch and whisked you away into the sunset.”
“Sir,” Natalie said. “I’m sorry but I have to idea what you just said. I don’t speak Australian.”
“Crikey!” Roscoe shouted. “Well, let me break it down in for you in Amercian-speak, yeah? Look, Kurt Manley was a real knob and it was time for him to go. You did the network proud for making that happen as far as I’m concerned. There’s never been any love lost between Kurt and I, especially since Kurt got drunk and motorboated me mum at me own body wedding.”
“That sounds like something Kurt would do,” Natalie said.
“Your lawsuit’s the top of every other news channel’s broadcast,” Roscoe said. “Anyone who is anyone is saying that NN1 is a company full of sexist, chauvinistic iiperverts.”
“Well,” Natalie said. “No offense, but it is the house that hot ass blonde chicks with big kitties built.”
“Right,” Roscoe said. “So listen, I hate lawyers. You hate lawyers. Bunch of lowlife, bottom feeding cuttlefish if you ask me. Let’s take the lawyers out of this and settle this fuss by yourself, what do you say?”
“I’d like that,” Natalie said. “What do you have i mind.”
“It’s simple, really,” Roscoe said. “Kurt Manley is out. Natalie Brock is in.”
Natalie broke out into a cold sweat. “I beg your pardon?”
“I want you to read the news, love,” Roscoe said. “Come on back to the states first chance you get because the time for a shiela in the anchor’s chair. Only codition is you’ve got to settle iWhat do you say?”
“Mr. Whipplethorpe,” Natalie said. “I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
By: Professor Horatio J. Nannerpants, Official Bookshelf Battle Blog Literary Correspondent
Ahh, there’s nothing quite like Paris in the summer, 3.5 readers. The streets are awash with with inspiring sites, the cafes are filled with delectable aromas and my poop? Why, it sticks to the wall effortlessly whenever I fling it, the warm weather makes it extra sticky, you see. It’s all science, really, and as my former colleague, Dr. Hugo von Science has been known to say, “You can’t argue with science.”
Now then, good people, and also you people reading this here…have you ever been down on your luck? I should assume so. After all, if you were a very lucky person you wouldn’t be spending much time reading this pitiful excuse for a blog now would you?
But seriously. Have you ever been stuck in a rut? Down for the count? Perhaps you’ve felt like the world has turned its back on you, that life isn’t going your way, that it would just be easier to lie down and give up rather than keep trying and failing?
Balderdash! Whenever my poop misses its intended target, do I give up? Nay! I just fling another poop and try, try again.
And you should too. In fact, when you are down in the dumps, you should peruse a copy of Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea.” It’s a short read, but full of powerful inspiration.
If you’re very obtuse, you might see it as a tale about a crusty old bastard who caught a fish, but it’s so much more than that. Let us discuss the various takeaways, shall we?
Getting Out of a Rut Takes a Lot of Work and a Long Time
At the start of this tale, the old man has gone eighty-five days without catching a fish. That’s a long time to try and fail at something. His fellow Cuban villagers have begun to see him as hopeless. Don’t misunderstand – the old man is loved by his people. They would gladly feed him and look after him, but he is too proud not to at least try to fend for himself.
Whenever you face any kind of problem, be it the inability to catch a fish for eighty-five days, or perhaps to put it in real world terms, an addiction that’s killing you, or perhaps the inability to find a job, you can’t quit. You must always keep trying, even when things look bleak and it seems foolish and useless to continue to try.
Know two things. To get out of your rut, it will a) take a long time and b) take a lot of effort.
After his eighty-five days of failure, the old man hooks a big, fat ass fish, a thousand pounder. Over the course of several days, the old man and the fish struggle against one another. It’s hot. The old man is far out at sea, isolated, little food, little water, exhausting himself physically and mentally just to catch this fish.
At any time, he could have just cut the line and set the fish free but no, he didn’t. He was tired of being a failure. He wanted that victory, to feel like a somebody again. So he didn’t bail out when opportunity presented itself. He fought the fish and he won.
Apply this to real life. If you’re an alcoholic, it’s going to take a long time and a lot of effort to get off the sauce. The effort might come in the form of attending Alcoholic Anonymous meetings, finding more kosher pastimes outside of the bar – working on your body and mind, getting yourself in better physical and mental condition. You’ll have to tell your enablers to shape up or take a hike. You’ll have to stay away from whatever triggers you to take a drink.
It will also take a long time. Don’t feel depressed if it’s been a couple of days without a drink and you still feel like you’d give a hand job to a hobo for a sip of beer. Maintain hope that the longer you stay off the hooch, the less you’ll want it.
Can’t find a job? Same idea. Work for it. Put out those resumes, applications and cover letters. Go forth and seek out key figures in your field and find ways to get your foot in the door. Network. Seek volunteer and intern opportunities to boost your resume. Seek the necessary education and credentials. Take some job, any job, just to have money coming in and to be able to say you’re doing something other than playing video games all day when you finally land that interview for the job you really want to do.
Whatever the problem is, your opportunity will come one day (i.e. the fish). Will you puss out and cut bait and run from that opportunity, or will you be like the old man and wrestle the shit out of that fish until you can finally bonk it on the head with an oar and tie it to the side of your boat?
Haters Gonna Hate
Sharks. The buttholes of the sea. Once the old man bags his fish, sharks swim up to his boat and chow down on the old man’s prize even though they did none of the work required to land the fish. The old man fights them off desperately and managed to land some powerful attacks on them but ultimately, it is too late. There’s nothing left of the prize fish but a skeleton.
As you venture forth to solve your own problems, there will be many “sharks” who will get in the way. People will try to take advantage of you while you’re down on your luck in order to improve their own stations in life. They’ll try to make you feel worthless and hopeless and they will do shitty things to set you back.
Be like the old man. Try to steer your hypothetical boat away from them, fight them off if left with no choice and if they do get the upper hand, just take a deep breath, calm down, then go back to work on trying to solve your problem. Do not be deterred from your ultimate goal.
Knowledge of Your Success is Its Own Reward
People struggle with their own internal plights all day. They rarely, if ever, advertise to the world what’s bugging them. That person you know who seems like he has it all together might very well be a basket case on the inside.
The villagers are generally aware that the old man is going through a rough patch, but it’s doubtful that anyone other than Manolin, the old man’s little buddy, knows how badly the old man’s pride has been wounded.
Thus, when you do reach your goal, it is unlikely that anyone is going to throw a big party, or parade, or celebration in your honor. Even worse, you might get what you were always after only to have life pull a George RR Martin (maybe Hemingway was GRRM before GRRM) and do something totally unexpected that tanks your victory – i.e. you finally catch that fat ass fish…only for a bunch of sharks to do a drive-by on it.
Throughout the story, we await the victory moment. We yearn for the old man to arrive on the dock and show everyone who ever doubted him his giant fish. He gets it, of sorts, as he is able to bring the skeleton, so everyone knows he’s not a failure anymore…but he doesn’t get the joy of bringing that big fish ashore for everyone to see, posing for a photo with it, carving it up and getting a big fat stack of cash for it.
But he’s cool with it. The old man is very zen. He knows he won his own personal war against failure. He’s content. At peace. His pride is intact once more.
So, one day you might finally no longer desire booze anymore…or you might finally land that dream job. Don’t be offended if everyone doesn’t drop what they are doing and lead a parade in your honor. Everyone is too busy with their own problems. Find inner peace with yourself. Be content that you know you won your personal battle. If no one will be your cheerleader, then be your own.
Appreciate Those Who Don’t Stop Believing in You/When You Can, Help Those Who Helped You When You Needed Help
Manolin, a young boy, was once the old man’s helper, fetching his fishing equipment and cutting his bait and all that bullshit. However, his parents have demanded the he drop the old man and find a luckier fisherman to help. Sigh. Haters gonna hate.
But even though Manolin goes to work for another fisherman, he still drops by the old man’s house, bringing him food, newspapers, and words of encouragement.
Yes, when you lose for a long time, you’re going to get the losing stink attached to you. Some people, like Manolin’s parents, will steer clear of you for fear your loser stench will rub off on them or their kid.
Still, if there is someone who still believes in you or hell, even if they secretly don’t believe in you but are kind enough to pretend like they do…be there for that person, help them if you can, and appreciate them back.
Whereas we evil modern day people would probably catch a giant fish and lord it all over everyone who ever doubted us, then spend all our fish money on titties and beer, one gets the sense that the old man is not like that at all. Early in the story, he talks about wanting to help the people who have helped him. He talks about how if he catches a fish, he will share it with those who gave him food when he couldn’t afford to eat.
Bottomline – if you do solve your problem, try to pay the world back and help others solve their problems. You got off the booze? Good. Help someone else get off the booze. You found that dream job? Awesome. Help someone who can’t find work find a job.
What a great world it would be if we all help each other.
Make Memories While You Can…and Hang Onto Them
The old man wasn’t always a failure. Arguably, no one in his village even thinks of him as a failure – just that he’s an old man who is past his prime and his best days are behind him.
But the old man did some shit in his day. He had a wife. She’s dead and he puts her picture face down because he starts to miss her if he looks at her. Also, he once worked on a boat that sailed across the world. His travels took him to Africa, where he saw lions fighting and playing on the beach – lions so rare to see that it’s like staring at unicorn or something.
And, one time, the old man participated in an arm wrestling bout with an opponent so fierce that the match lasted an entire day – and he came out the winner and ended up as the toast of Casablanca.
One day you will get old and you won’t be able to do things like you used to. The older you get, the less opportunity you have – so stop feeling sorry for yourself and start getting to work on making your dreams reality.
Ask that hot babe out for a date. Go on that dream vacation you’ve been putting off. Go to that rock concert. One day, when you’re old, the memories of what you did will be in your mind and will give you some solace and peace. Whenever the old man feels sad, he remembers how awesome it was to see those lions and to have once been an arm wrestling champ.
Don’t forget to keep making memories for as long as you’re still kicking. The old man might not be able to arm wrestle or visit Africa anymore, but he will no doubt be consoled by the memory of his big fish catch for whatever time he has left.
Don’t Kick Yourself for Your Mistakes…Learn from Them
Throughout the story, the old man makes a number of blunders. He doesn’t bring enough water or food. He didn’t expect to catch a fish that would fight him for days. He didn’t bring a weapon to fight sharks.
But that’s ok. He thinks on his feet and improvises. He crafts a shark fighting weapon out of what he has on the boat. He rations his water so he doesn’t drink it all. He catches some smaller fish and eats them raw – gross, but better than starvation.
Then, when he gets back, he talks with his buddy Manolin and makes preparations. Next time I’ll need a badass anti-shark weapon. Next time I’ll need extra food and water. You get the impression that the old man has learned from his encounter with the big fish and the sharks, and perhaps if he is ever put into this position again, he’ll know exactly how to fend off those sharks and protect his fish.
Don’t get down on yourself for your mistakes. Learn from them. Do better next time.
You stopped for a drink because you just couldn’t avoid stopping at that bar you like on the way home from work? OK. That was stupid. Realize it was dumb, then move on. Take a different route home next time, one that doesn’t pass a bar. Can’t find a route that doesn’t go pass that bar? Hell, walk in and politely tell the bartender you’re a booze fiend and beg him not to serve you. Better yet, tell a loved one about this problem. Ask them to check on you at a certain time. Perhaps the embarrassment of being at the bar when they call will keep you out of the bar.
Did you screw up that job interview? Did you say the wrong thing? Make a note to not say that thing the next time. Did your potential employee find your resume lacking? Find out why and seek out the experiences your resume requires.
Your Opponent Doesn’t Always Have to Be Your Enemy
The genius of Hemingway is you don’t just feel bad for the old man…you also feel bad for the fish. You get the sense that while this old man is playing out his own real life drama, trying to catch a fish after a long dry spell, this fish is fighting for his life. The fish may not be able to vocalize exactly what is going on, but he knows that same shit is transpiring, and if he doesn’t keep trying to break free of this hook in his piehole, he’s going to end up on a plate as the old man’s dinner.
So it’s two titans, locked in a struggle, one for pride, the other for his life. Perhaps the fish’s fight is even more sympathetic than the old man’s. At one point, the old man even goes so far as to tell the fish that he loves him and he’s sorry that he has to kill him…and he means it. It’s not the heatstroke talking.
Not every opponent is your enemy. There are limited resources in the world. You can’t expect that people won’t try to get the same thing you want.
That person who applied for the job you wanted is a competitor, but not necessarily the enemy. You don’t have to hate this person. If he gets the job over you, be respectful and move on. You don’t need to call him a dick. If the situation were reversed and you got the job over him, you wouldn’t want him to call you a dick.
If you’re fighting alcoholism, your old booze buddies will most likely try to drag you down. “Come on, come out with us, one little drink won’t hurt.” There’s a lot of psychology behind this. Most likely, they really do enjoy your company and are afraid of losing you if you lose the love of booze you once shared with them. Or, quite possibly, they regret their own inability to get sober and will try to sabotage you because it will become less easy for them to believe that quitting is impossible (thus they are blameless for the own addiction) if they see you succeed.
Just keep on, keeping on. Try not to hate those people. Just see them as obstacles in your path. If they won’t get out of the way, you must go around them. No need to argue or fight but if they can’t respect your wishes then they can’t be in your life anymore. You need to keep moving towards sobriety.
If you’re life’s been flushed down the shitter, it’s not too late to pull yourself out of the bowl. The old man did it and you can do. Read this classic tale whenever you are feeling sorry for yourself. Personally, I feel sorry that you have nothing better to do than read this awful, awful blog.
Hey 3.5 readers. I have been cartoonified!
I’m reaching a deadline to decide and I need your help as they are all so good I can’t pick one.
Let us refer to these as “Set 1” and “Options 1 and 2”
Let us refer to these as “Set 2” and Options 3 and 4
For me, I think it is basically down to Set 1, Option 1 vs Set 2, Option 4. I’m banging my head against the wall though because I feel like to pick one I lose the other and I worry whatever I pick I’ll wish I had picked the other.
So give me some insight.
If it helps to know what I’ll use this for – I’m going to put it in the introduction section of all my books and in my social media and as my author photo so imagine it being used for that.
Hey 3.5 readers.
I’m sorry. My book is like my baby and I’m one of those parents who makes a post every time his kid poops or burps or does something he finds adorable but most people think is lame.
Anyway, I received my first review! And it was a 5 star! So thank you, reader. You have exceptional taste in books and you are an astute reviewer of books because honestly, BQB’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts really and truly is a 5 star book.
Skippy was stunned, but not down for the count yet. He reeled from the explosion, which bought the gang just enough time to retreat into Pemberton’s Hardware store. After Sharon picked the lock, everyone ran inside and hid behind the counter. Their clothes were sopping wet, dripping water all over the floor.
“Are you going to be ok without your oxygen, my little cumquat?” Burt asked
“Cumquat?” Cole asked.
“Yes,” Maude replied. “I can’t go all day without it but I should be fine for a few hours, my handsome stallion.”
“Handsome stallion?” Cole looked to Rusty. “When did that happen?”
“Last night,” Rusty said. “Oh, by the way, good job Burt.”
Burt and Rusty exchanged a high-five.
“Nothing stops him,” Sharon said. “We’ve tried bullets, grenades, trucks, explosives.”
“Speaking of that,” Cole said as he pulled the detonator stick out of his pocket and pressed the red button a bunch of times. “Moses really screwed the pooch here.”
“What a pussy,” Rusty said. “Turning tail and running out on us in our time of need.”
“I don’t know,” Cole said as he pulled out his phone and sent a text message to Moses. “Why…won’t…C4…work…and…failure to send. Shit, Hurricane Dakota Rothschild has shut everything down.”
“Just like a rich socialite bitch,” Rusty said. “Everything is about her.”
The gang took an hour. They rested. Dozed off. Loaded their weapons. Raided the hardware store for supplies. They even helped themselves to some beef jerky and chips set up near the counter in an impulse buy display.
“What’s next, fearless leader?” Rusty asked.
Cole stepped over to the store’s front window. The complete lower half of the building was now submerged in water. Parked cars, downed utility poles, assorted debris, everything out on the street looked as though it had been magically transported to the bottom of the ocean.
“The hurricane to end all hurricanes,” Cole said.
“At the same time as the gator to end all gators,” Rusty added.
“Just our luck,” Sharon said.
Cole draped his arm around Sharon’s shoulder and looked out at the town underwater. “Story of our life, babe. If it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all.”
“I don’t know about that,” Sharon said. “I feel lucky to have you.”
“Gag,” Rusty said.
“Pussy!” Maude shouted.
“Yeah, Cole!” Burt said. “You big pussy!”
Cole glared at Burt.
“What?” Burt said. “Sorry. I just wanted in on the fun.”
“Look people,” Cole said. “Sharon and I are back together. Anyone got a problem with that?”
Maude pulled out a flask and took a swig. “No problem. It’s your life. I just think you’re a pussy for taking her back is all.”
“There were extenuating circumstances,” Cole said. “We’ll explain when Mother Nature and a thunder lizard aren’t conspiring to destroy us, OK?”
Rusty squinted into the grimy water through the store’s dirty glass. “Where the hell did old snappy jaws go anyway?”
“Good question,” Sharon said. “I don’t see him.”
“You think he’s gone?” Rusty asked.
Maude emitted a boozy burp. “That sucker ran away with his tail between his legs. Probably half way to Cuba by now.”
“I don’t know,” Cole said as he stared into the water. “Something about this doesn’t seem…”
WHAM! Out of nowhere, Skippy pounded his head into the window and roared. The gang let out a collective scream. “Ack!”
Hey 3.5 readers.
I’m trying not to be that guy, you know the “Oh look at me I self-published a book guy!” but sometimes this blog is more for me than for you, although I’m happy to have all 3.5 of you.
Often, I forget what I write and surprise myself with forgotten memories years later. So I’d like to record this one.
I sold my first book! I’ve given 120 copies away for free but now someone actually parted with money to read my book. Huzzah!
Priced at 99 cents, I have an entire 35 cents coming my way (Amazon gets the other 64 cents.)
What should I do with my newfound 35 cents, 3.5 readers? (Hmm…is that a sign, since “35” is just 3.5 without the point? Interesting…)
I thought about cashing it out and wearing the coins in a little sack around my neck. It would probably impress all the ladies at da club.
But instead, I think I will save it. I’ve got an empty mayonnaise jar on my desk and it is labeled “BQB’s Malibu Beach House Party Featuring Scantily Clad Women of Ill Repute with Loose Morals.”
35 cents in. $999,999.64 to go.
Anyone want to pay me $999,999.64 for a book? No? OK just checking.
Thank you first person to buy my book. I hope you enjoy it.
Hey 3.5 readers.
Just a reminder that today is the last day of my free book giveaway for BQB’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts.
If you like my blog, like my work, if I’ve ever brightened your day with my witty banter, please mosey on over to Amazon and pickup a free copy. The more books I can give away, the more my stats rise, the more people discover the book and so on.
You don’t have to pay any money, you don’t even have to read it although you should because it’s funny…you just have to download the book for free and that’s it.
Thanks 3.5 readers.
Hey 3.5 readers.
I know. I’ve become “that guy.”
The guy that repeatedly tries to give away his book instead of coming up with something new and interesting to say.
I can’t help it. I’m like a proud father and this book is my baby. So, just reminding you all it is free this weekend – totally FREE, so download your copy today and check it out.
That’s it. I’ll zip my lip about it for a while. Well, I might remind you tomorrow, possibly Monday, but that’s it. Scout’s honor.
Check it out, 3.5 readers:
I’m #14 in the Top 100 Books in the Free Writing Skills Reference Category.
Can we drive this higher? Bookshelf Q. Battler’s Big Book of Badass Writing Prompts is going to be free all weekend. Why not grab a free copy, give it a badass review, and work on some of the prompts and share your results with your blog audience?
Tell your friends, social media followers, etc.
I’m not getting any younger people. I know. I read your blogs. You’re all like “Oh la dee da I’m in the writing game for the artistic wonder of it all” and I’d like to say that in it for that but, you know, also…fame and fortune. And parties in Malibu mansions filled with scantily clad women…parties that aren’t going to happen unless you download your free copy today.
3.5 READERS: Oh, that’s awesome BQB. We love you so much and we’re going to thank you for all the free entertainment you’ve provided for us over the years by downloading your book for free.
Thank you 3.5 readers. I love you too. Download my book for free here.