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Effortlessly Average

Sort of half-heartedly leading the charge into mediocrity since, oh, let's say around 1987 or so.

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Location: Roaming (additional charges may apply), Argentina

Proof that with internet access and a powerful laxative, even insipid people will blog; the place where your excellence and my mediocrity collide; where my Karma whips ass on your dogma.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Five Reasons to Run Screaming for the Hills

I've been reminded several times by Jules that I have neglected answering the interview questions she sent me. What the hell, you might ask, am I talking about? The 411 is that this is a slightly different take on that whole meme thing that's been going around like a particularly virulent strain of syphilis. The way it works is, you read the answers to the five questions Jules asked me. Then, if you want to participate, leave a comment to this post asking me to send you five interview questions of your very own. It'll be your opportunity to feel like you're on Access Hollywood or 60 Minutes.

In your answers post, you link back to this blog, mentioning that I'm the one who sent you the interview questions and make the offer to others blah blah blah you know the rest. As you read mine and say to yourself "Gee [insert your name here], you should partake in this exercise in self-promotion too!" you might be tempted to raise your hand in request that I send you five pressing questions the world wants to know about you. But as you do, keep two things in mind: First, if you ask, you have to answer. Second, if you ask me to give you five questions, and considering what site this is, you never know the kinds of questions I might ask. So here we go.

1. Why do you consider yourself "average" when the rest of us consider you sub-par? -zing!- Ha, you kill you! In consideration of my answer I'm reminded of a quote by Jean Giraudouz, who said "only through mediocrity are we always at our best." Why do I consider myself average? Well, I've never broken the school record, won against losing odds, been on anyone's short list (at least not in the good way). I wasn't blessed with remarkable good looks (at least I don't think so), wasn't given a 12-inch penis, or the ability to stir others to thought or action with my words. I don't think I'm overly charismatic, remarkably intelligent, or naturally predisposed to excel at sports. I wasn't born rich, nor have I ever come up with a new twist on an old idea. No one's ever come into my office and said "I came across [insert opportunity here] and your name immediately popped into my head." As a side note, this particular attribute is worse for me because I married a woman so remarkable that "how'd you end up with her" is usually within the first three questions people ask me when they meet us.

I've never had a woman become speechless upon seeing me for the first time. I've never had someone remark "you've got nothing to worry about, you're [insert favorable quality here]." I can't think of any body part of mine -save maybe my eye color- that someone might call memorable. I can't recall a time when I've saved the day, come to the rescue, or stemmed the tide. I have no one famous in my lineage (unlike BuddhaWife, who is -I'm not kidding here- a direct descendant of Charlemagne, more royalty than a deck of cards, and whose ancestors came to America on the Mayflower).

Everything I've achieved in life I've done through exceedingly hard work and even then I'm not among the best, only slightly ahead of the rest. Being one of the bovine herd just seems to come naturally to me. I'm barely memorable and easily forgotten. In that one aspect do I never have to try. I'm average, effortlessly.

2. Do you really travel around the country with your family or are you on the lam from the law, and for what? I'd tell you, but then I'd have to skip town before you could notify the Feds. You'll never catch me alive coppers!! I told you, she never told me her age!Seriously, yes I do travel around the country in an RV with my family. For most of my adult life I was focused on the same thing as everyone else in U.S. society today: being the Jones'.

Then, a few years ago, nothing seemed to make sense anymore. We had all the stuff: the overpriced cars, the expensive house FAR bigger than we needed, taking expensive vacations, riding in limos to and from airports or meetings, working toward the purchase of my first vintage Ferrari (which I thought would signify that I'd "made it"), spending $4,000 a month on our American Express gold cards. But none of the purchases seemed to fill the hole I felt inside. Something was clearly missing.


I suppose some would say people envied the life we led (which I suspect is why most of us live the way we do: we don't really want the big house or expensive car as much as we want OTHERS to SEE us with the expensive car and big house). Yet, we were distant as a family. From this point on in this answer, we can all recite the story by heart. Say it with me: "I didn't know my kids. My wife and I were on autopilot. They barely saw me and when they did I was obsessed and worried about work all the time." The problem is that while we can all relate to that situation, so few of us step outside our next major purchase long enough to wonder how to change it.

All those years I spent working to make a bigger paycheck than last year's; it's so many years I wish today that I could have back. Anyway, while I pay a lot of lip service to the concept of being just "every man," I can say with modesty that I sincerely try to be the most kick-ass husband and father my family could ever want. I hope I'm succeeding. But in seeking to give them the best financial life I felt I could, I failed them by not being there socially, romantically, physically. It was always money money money and I figured with each new promotion I'd finally be happy. But it never happened, which made me do things I'll go to my grave loathing myself for. Then BuddhaWife -who has always been the best part of my conscience as well as my companion and lover- commented that if I were to take that final step of removing myself from their lives by having a work-stress-induced heart attack and dying, the only thing that would change for her would be that she'd then have to start feeding the dogs herself; everything else she already did alone.

So, as a family we resolved to recapture our life together. They, the three of them, reminded me that I used to have dreams for our family. Goals. Aspirations. Desires that stretched far beyond the material crap we could bring into the fold. But somewhere along the line I lost sight of those goals, blinded by the hollow, and unattainable, goal of corporate "success."

We sold everything we owned, pulled the kids out of school, bought an RV, and now spend every day we can moving around the country, gaining a perspective on life we'd only dreamed of before. This all sounds awfully preachy, I know. I find it hard not to sound a little sanctimonious when I recall all the lost time spent trying to climb the corporate ladder, knowing nearly all those with whom I battled are still engaged in that fight. I'll leave it to my former colleagues to chase that elusive goal of "freedom" by thinking more money is the only true path. As far as I'm concerned, I'm already there; but I'll save ya a seat.

3. How do you manage to travel with a wife and kids in an RV and not leave bloody body parts strewn across the roadside, or hang windchimes made out of ribs? Who says I don't? It's just that I've realized it doesn't have to be their body parts or ribs. Now that I think about it, that sort of gives more insight into Question 2, doesn't it? We manage to avoid killing each other by making sure we don't spend too much time cooped up in the small space of the RV. On line for 2007, however: a big, roomy bus!

4. There are you and two women left in the world. Rosie O'Donnell and Ann Coulter. Which one do you do? Yikes. Hmm... how about if I let Rosie do Anne and I just kill myself? But wait. Let's not be too hasty. I mean, the alternative is abstinence. So really, why would I eliminate my only alternative to dating my own right hand? The idea of never getting it again is worse to me than getting if from an loud mouthed attention whore (I'll let the reader determine to which I refer), and that ain't happening so what the hell, I'd nail them both. But only because they were the only two left. There are far better alternatives otherwise. I know, I'm married to one.

5. You said you were nominated as most likely to suck dick for money. I'm assuming you go down on your wife, so why is the idea of sucking dick so bad for you guys? And just how much money would it take? Cuz I'd stand in for you for half. Are you saying you'd go down on BuddhaWife for half the price I'd blow a guy for? Well alrighty then, I call that win/win.

I'm a firm believer that everyone -EVERYONE- has a price at which they'd do just about anything. It may take some a lot more than others to perform any given deed, but all of humanity is corruptible, so it's really only a matter of price in my mind. And I don't consider myself any different, so the real question here is "what's my price?" Hmmm... that's difficult to answer. I suppose it would depend on the guy; and if I could conceivably pick an alternative torture instead, like jabbing a fork through my eye or watching an O'Reilly Factor marathon on the Faux News Network.

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