A Bit of Happy, Weird News

I’ve been getting the map ready for the second collection of ghost stories, so I had to click over to the map of the first one to refresh my memory on what I’d done.  And, people, according to Google, that map has had 37,414 views.


It’s a private map, so you have to have the URL of the map to get to it.

I wonder how they count a view. Were you counted as a viewer of the map when you saw it on a post? Or did you actually have to click through to the map? I don’t know. But it still delights me. That’s a lot of views. If everyone gave me a dollar for every time they looked at that map, I’d be a thousandaire.

The Funniest Thing You Will Read in Tennessee Gubernatorial Politics Today

So, the state’s Angriest Gubernatorial Candidate went to talk to the executives at Eastman Chemical Co. In most places, executives at big corporations and the GOP go hand in hand. But after meeting with Wamp, Eastman CEO Jim Rogers says, “I’m guessing he’s never had a cup of decaf in his life.”

Don’t get me wrong. I really, really don’t want Zach Wamp to win. For starters, if he makes the whole state sleep with a gun next to its head, a lot of people in Kentucky are going to get squashed under the world’s largest firearm. And I like the people of Kentucky. Even the ones who send me mean emails.

But it’s no secret that he enjoyed using cocaine as a youngster. As have many folks. And that he says he has moved on from his cocaine use. Fine. Again, many folks can do that.

But I think we have to kind of hear that echoing in what Rogers is saying here, you know? That Rogers is trying to subtly signal that something’s weird here.

We could rephrase what Rogers is saying as “Wow, this dude seems to have some kind of life-long hyperactivity,” right? And once we’ve reached for the life history…

I think Wamp’s in a tough place. He’s been open about his past drug use. He says he’s no longer using. And he may just be a really intense guy. But it just doesn’t take much, especially among Southerners, to put quicksand under someone’s feet. This is the region that made “bless your heart” a phrase that could convey more information about a person’s shortcomings than a 5,000 word essay in most regions.

But that doesn’t mean that’s the only phrase that can say everything while leaving so little to object to. I think Rogers has shown us another shining example of how it’s done.

Bad Childhoods

The thing I find most frustrating is that bad childhoods are a dime a dozen. Everyone’s got stories and most of them are much worse than mine. But then, at least from the outside, most people seem to get to leave that shit in the past. Like, yes, things really sucked back then, but then I got out and I pondered my life and I realized how the shittiness affected me and I came to accept it and I moved on.

But very few people talk about what it’s like when you grow up and become an adult and your family is still comprised of ridiculous assholes. Only it’s worse because now you have to pay attention to them or they’re doing dumbass crap that can put them in the poorhouse or wind them up dead.

I really don’t know how to manage loving and adoring and worrying over these fucking fuckers.

It’s one of the things I appreciate about Jo writing about her family. Lots of people have managed big, dramatic “fuck you, I’m never talking to you again” moments.  But it’s nice to read someone else struggling with “god damn, will you break my heart every time or just every other time?”

I don’t know. It’s stupid, I know, to be this upset over what is, basically, four feet of garden. But every week, I upload pictures of my garden to Facebook for them to see. When they come visit, I like to talk about and show them what I’m growing where. I don’t know how many more ways I could have said, “This is important to me and brings me joy.”

And I’d like to think, as my dad’s daughter, that when I continually say, “this is important to me and brings me joy,” that a little, just a little, effort would be made on his part to not take a van and a camper right through the middle of it. Or, if that is for some reason impossible, for him to call me and say, “I’m sorry, but the only way to get the camper out of the yard was to take it through the flower bed. I didn’t want you to just come home and find it that way.”

But why would he do that when he can be clear to Arkansas long before I notice?

This, folks, is why I have forbidden them to read the blog. Not that anyone but my mom would. I don’t come from a family of big readers. And I know that, if my mom wants to do something, my dad will keep her from doing it if there’s any pretense. So, my saying “Don’t read the blog,” since he doesn’t want to, means he keeps her from it.

But I have forbidden them from reading it for exactly this reason. Because they have no respect for the things I love, that bring me joy, and they will ruin it because they cannot see it as important.

Anyway, yes, over twelve hours later and I’m still livid and hurt.

The rest of my week is filled with visitors, all of whom have said how much they’re looking forward to seeing my garden. Instead, they will get to see the giant gap where my dad drove his van through it.

That is so tight a metaphor for my whole fucking life that you shouldn’t even be able to call it a metaphor. There’s nothing ‘meta’ about it. It’s just the phor of my life.