And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.
I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and every highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.
– Frank Sinatra, My Way
Happy New Year, 3.5 Readers.
The Alleged Man
The Alleged Man here, but not really. Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.
There’s a nasty rumor that Bookshelf Q. Battler and all the characters on this blog are just one guy pretending to be a lot of people, but that’s just balderdash if you ask me.
Oh wait, you can’t ask me, because I’m not really here. But for a brief moment, pretend that I am.
Bookshelf Q. Battler and I began as one in the same. It was the handle I went by because I wasn’t ready to say hello in person.
Old BQB and I have a lot in common. We watch and review the same movies. He comments on the same pop cultural stuff I’m interested in. We are both big time nerds.
But at some point, BQB outgrew me. Maybe it was when he befriended Alien Jones. Or when he roundhouse kicked the Yeti in the face. Or when he became the caretaker of a magic bookshelf. Or when he died on the toilet after shooting lightning out of his butt and came back to life to go on an adventure. Or when he enlisted the help of a 1950s noir detective. Or when his hometown was overrun by a zombie apocalypse.
Whenever or however it happened, though we still share some unique inner traits, BQB’s life is just way more exciting than mine now.
It’s long been said that Kermit the Frog was Jim Henson’s alter ego. Henson was the smartest guy in the room but lacked the big ego one would need to go around telling everyone. He had a quiet air of confidence about him. He knew exactly what to do and when to do it but didn’t outwardly demand everyone’s respect, rather, they just gave it to him.
Kind of reminds you how the Muppest are always getting into trouble only to run to good old reliable Kermit to bail them out, doesn’t it?
Am I comparing myself to a great like Henson? No. But BQB and I are both nerds who wanted to be writers, did something else instead, and now we’re both trying to become writers again thanks to modern self publishing technology that’s made it possible.
We just differ in terms of motivation:
- I’d like to succeed at writing so I can stop feeling like I ignored my life’s big dream.
- BQB wants to succeed at writing to keep the Mighty Potentate from conquering Earth.
Either way, we both have our own personal “Sword of Damocles” to face and somehow, we often find ourselves watching TV and eating cookies when we should be writing.
Yes, like BQB I also:
- Feel like I’m pretty smart and often called on to help the people around me who don’t appreciate it…kind of like BQB’s relationship with the East Randomtownsfolk.
- Live in a fantasy world. BQB’s fantasy world is made possibly largely because of a magic bookshelf. Mine is inside my head. I find myself living inside my head often.
And like Alien Jones I..
- Wonder what technology is coming down the road. Alien Jones has seen most of it already because he’s lived so long and visited so many worlds. I can only dream about it and feel bad about what I’m going to miss out on when it is invented in a hundred years.
- Feel like I’m smart but still have to answer to the various people in the world who have bigger mouths than I do. (i.e. we all have our own Mighty Potentates)
And like Jake Dashing I…
- Feel like the world has changed so much that I must have fallen asleep and missed when it happened. Perhaps you never notice it. Perhaps it doesn’t all happen at once. It happens through daily gradual changes but every generation one day “wakes up” to find a much different world.
Sometimes like Uncle Hardass…
- I complain extensively but no one listens.
And like Dr. Hugo Von Science…
- I feel like I should be in charge of the world.
And like the Yeti…
- I get upset and yell incoherently. I’m all talk about wanting to run the world. I just want to blame other people for my lack of success then sit on the couch and eat cookies just as the Yeti is free to leave BQB HQ at any time but sits on BQB’s couch and watches TV and blames BQB for his shortcomings.
And there are even times when I’m like Video Game Rack Fighter and…
- Say screw it. It’s time to play Car Thief Mayhem.
But after being all over the place, I always come back to my BQB way of thinking…
- I’m pretty great, though there’s a long line of people ready to tell myself I’m not and ironically, I’m always at the front of the line.
- I can beat myself up forever for not being a writer yet or I can take advantage of the great tech out today and keep trying.
- And if it doesn’t work out, I can at least tell my older self I tried, just as BQB can tell the subjugated citizens of the new Mighty Potentate regime on Earth he tried too.
It was nice to step outside of the curtain for a moment to talk to you for a minute today, 3.5 readers. I have to return to the shadows now.
You see, I know what it is like to struggle, to be down and out, to give life a hundred and ten percent and only get ten percent back.
Through all sorts of cosmic tomfoolery, I ended up in a tough place and after years of hard work, crawled myself out of it. Where I am now is pretty good.
It’s not great. I wouldn’t consider anything great until I’m a big time successful writer.
But still, it’s good. And as anyone who has struggled will tell you, when you lift yourself up, the struggle doesn’t end. You just keep your head on a swivel, wondering what you can do next to make sure you never have to go back to the struggle.
You become a self struggler.
And more importantly, though some might say it is silly to worry about, we live in a world where it’s not a good idea to become known as “the guy that believes in aliens and magic bookshelves” until believing in aliens and magic bookshelves becomes profitable, should that time ever come.
So BQB will have to stand in my place and collect the 3.5 readers’ applause.
It’s ok. BQB has earned it.
He did save East Randomtown from a zombie apocalypse, after all.
Page Frank, because it’s time to do it…BQB’s way.