Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Read, follow or get the hell out of the way

A little praise can go a long way. It doesn't take much to knock someone who thinks they're relatively well grounded in reality regarding their abilities and limitations off their stride a little bit. It really shouldn't be a surprise when celebrities lose their marbles, being surrounded as they are by people whose jobs are to tell them how good their farts smell.
Such (sorta) was the case for me just the other day. I got a phone call from a woman in New Mexico. I was at work so couldn't talk to her in depth but she mentioned that she'd seen my blog and was very impressed and that she was seeking me out in regards to a matter relating to cancer research. After agreeing to a later time to talk, she said good bye and hung up.
Seeking me out! Impressed by my writing! Needing my input on cancer research! "Well, sure", I thought to myself, after processing all that positive feedback. "Why the hell not?" This was at the end of a week where for some odd, unknown reason my sportswriting efforts at Raw were getting accolades plus people were being extra lavish-y with praise for what they were finding here, some of it from people I've never even met before. "Yes, why not indeed? I'm awesome. I know for a fact that I am tremendously popular in Cleveland, Ohio. If that's not proof that I'm a great writer, what is? I'm approaching a tipping point!", I thought. "I'm on the verge of being a star...of some kind."
I started gameplanning for the follow-up phone call:
"So you're probably wondering about the tremendous success of Muffinquest. I don't blame you; it was kinda a big deal and it's a pretty remarkable achievement, if I say so myself." Then I had to try to think of ways to make that whole process sound a lot more complicated and difficult than it was, which was basically:
  1. Have a friend who runs a coffee shop and an impossibly high tolerance for your idiotic stunts.
  2. Don't be afraid to look like a jackass.
  3. Have generous friends and acquaintances of high character.
Really, that's all there was to it and I was prepared to answer the question relatively honestly and somewhat unembellished when she called back. I was not prepared for the proposal she actually presented, though.
" I mentioned earlier, I've read the things you've written on-line and I'm very impressed. I did some additional research on Google and I really think you're the person to help me,"
"Well, thank you for that. That is tremendously flattering." (I know it's important for overnight sensations to be humble and to show gratitude)
"You're very welcome. Now, I'm not sure I mentioned this earlier, but I'm preparing for a seanate sub-committee meeting."
"Wow! Okay." (Wow! Holy shit!)
"It's really a pre-meeting that I hope will lead to a hearing eventually. And your writings on the effects of the use of Agent Orange and how that leads to the development of cancer and cancer-related illnesses is where I'm looking for your expertise."
"Oh. Hmmm." (Huh?)
"Is there a problem?"
"Um, I'm pretty sure you have the wrong guy. I don't write about Agent Orange. I never have, anyway. Or any agents really. I make jokes about goofy human behavior and stuff I see when I'm out and about."
"This isn't Clark Brooks, investigative reporter in Maryland?"
"No, this is Clark Brooks, clown boy in Florida. You're looking for a real person; I'm a cartoon character in that I'm two-dimensional. On a good day."
"Oh, I'm sorry to have wasted your time. Good luck with...what you do."
"I do have a muffin named after me..."
And with that, I landed solidly back on the ground again.


RottenMom said...

Me? I'm looking for clown boy from Florida!

And yeah, you DO HAVE A MUFFIN named after you which in my book is far more interesting than investigative reporting!

Native Mom said...

You love me . . .you love me not. So it goes i reality

Why, it's Clark! said...

Thanks, moms!

Jessie said...

By the way, there's a fresh batch of Clark's at the Bunker today... :)