August 19, 2018

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

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Almost every article I write generates some sort of feedback, and I am amazed at the diverse range of the reactions. No article is universally liked or disliked, and almost every article elicits a response from one person saying it is the best I’ve ever done while another person says it’s the worst. Those two people are different from one article to the next. I’ve also gotten pretty good at predicting who will like or dislike an article.

I have long since stopped trying to make every article appeal to every reader, because I realize it is an impossible task. As long as the positive feedback outweighs the negative, I put a tic mark in the good column.

Occasionally I get questions as well. I saved some of those to answer here.

To “BD” in Oak Creek Village: Yes.

“ARF” in Cornville: First question, no, second question, 7, but who’s counting. By the way, is there any significance to the fact that your initials remind me of a dog? And to “RJ” in Camp Verde, (who had more of a suggestion than a question): Physically impossible.

Now we can deal with the questions that can be printed. I won’t give names or initials, because you should be able to recognize your question.

The most frequently asked question is “How do you think of things to write about?” That’s simple, I don’t think of things, they just happen. As I alluded to above, humor is in the funny bone of the beholder. Almost anything is funny to somebody, it’s just in the way you look at it or write about it. In case you hadn’t noticed, things rarely go the way we plan them, and when something goes wrong, somebody will think it’s funny. If enough people think it’s funny, I’ve got it made. Actually, I’ll settle for enough people not thinking it’s un-funny.

The next most frequent question is: “Did that really happen?” Answer: “Yup, see previous paragraph.” Even if it didn’t happen, I can’t have people going around thinking I make this stuff up.

Situation and time frame make a big difference; here’s an example. The two maintenance guys (Carmine and Raffaele) at our condo were up on the roof cleaning a kitchen drain with a big power auger. They were three stories up with a hundred-foot auger cleaning the drain all the way from the roof vent to the main sewer line. As the tool was being withdrawn, they were standing next to the drain, cleaning the cable as it emerged from the vent pipe. When the end of the auger appeared from the drain, there was a big fat snake wrapped around it.

That was just about the last thing they expected, and they nearly had heart attacks bouncing off each other trying to get away from it. It was a rubber snake, but when it popped out of that drain, nobody even considered ‘rubber’ and there was just about as much pandemonium as two guys can create. It’s funny now, but it was heart-stopping scary then, and I learned some new Italian swear words.

I also get comments from people about how something similar happened to them, or a different idea along the same line. Many of them would have been great additions to the article had I known about them beforehand, but that’s how I know that I’m writing about things people identify with. The little things that happen to me are not much different than the little things that happen to most people, I just write mine down.

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