If you are a long time reader of these pages then
you are probably accustomed to my more than occasional bouts of writer’s block,
which is a most annoying affliction to suffer from, no two ways about it, and
leads me to look at blank pieces of paper in much the same way someone
suffering from chronic constipation looks at toilet bowls; relief will come
when the page or the bowl is full, but getting from here to there is a
Sisyphean labor in reverse. I wish I knew
when these dry spells were coming, but life does not reveal such things for
reasons best known to itself. You wouldn’t
think that it would be hard to write satire at a time like this, when the
former junior Senator from Illinois and his malfeasant crew of hacks, henchmen,
and horse thieves are falling all over themselves trying to deny that the
public has caught them with their pants down around their ankles in the middle
of Main Street USA, but writer’s block is a vile condition that respects no
condition save illiteracy and spares no sufferer from its ongoing psychic
distress, and so the public nudity of our prairie solon must go uncommented on
for the time being.
People familiar with my unending fight with this
horrid condition understand just how much I loathe its never-ending mental anguish
and try to help, offering me all manner of solutions to the problem. I should try, for example, to suffer through
the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and by taking a pencil to this sea
of troubles, end them, which is a nice way of saying that I should write
through the dry spell as if it wasn’t there as well as showing that they’ve
actually read Hamlet. This is a nice
idea if you want to drape the occasional bit of Shakespeare over your cocktail
party conversation, but I don’t go to cocktail parties, largely because I have
all the personality of a wet newspaper, and Hamlet, if you remember the play,
winds up dead at the end of Act V, a consummation devoutly to be skipped, if
you want my opinion, and to be skipped for as long as medical science can
arrange the skipping. And, of course, if
I could write through the dry spells I would be writing and not suffering
through the tortures of writer’s block.
In short, if I could, I would, but since I’m not, I ain’t. That’s just the way this puppy floats.
People who know about this sort of thing also
suggest that I should restrict my intake of caffeine. I must admit that this particular line of
reasoning took me surprise; I had never heard that caffeine ingestion caused
writer’s block, ingrown toenails, or any other malady that I had ever heard of,
although I do suppose that caffeine probably causes cancer in laboratory rats,
but then again, at this point what doesn’t cause cancer in laboratory rats?
Laboratory rats seem susceptible to a whole slew of diseases that ordinary rats
seem to shrug off without any problem, so it seems to me that laboratory rats should
probably stop hanging around laboratories so much; it’s clearly not good for
their health. In any case, let me just say that while I appreciate the
suggestion, cutting back on the caffeine is not going to happen. My intake of Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi will
continue at its present ridiculous pace and no amount of do-gooding by
well-meaning friends is going to change that.
The science on that may not be settled, but my opinion is and my opinion
is the one that counts here.
If I wanted to I could blame the block on my
encounter with the knockout game, an activity in which socioeconomically disadvantaged
urban youths wearing hoodies and shorts polish their boxing skills on unsuspecting
passersby, but that hardly appears likely; the young practitioner who tried
this on me didn’t even manage to knock my glasses off, much less knock me out,
and I doubt such a feeble attempt would have caused writer’s block of such
longevity. I mean, really, if you have
the advantage of surprise and you still can’t knock a gimp’s hat off of his
head in one mighty blow then you should learn to play something that is more
your speed, like Chutes & Ladders or Parcheesi.
So I must sit and wait this thing out, I fear,
and my apologies to one and all who come here. I realize that my wild inconsistency
in posting must be irritating in the extreme, and I assure you that no one is
more irritated about these seemingly endless dry spells than I am. Having the syrup and not being able to pour,
to use Gertrude Stein’s quip about a blocked member of the Lost Generation, is
frustrating to the nth degree. I do promise, however, that I will be back
posting just as soon as the dry season ends. Really. I mean it.
Labels: bad weather, baked goods, excuses, Roberta Vasquez, satire, writer's block, writing