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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA



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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Now I Wonder Where I Can Get a Rubber Chicken?

It’s one small step for man; one giant blog for drooling lunatics everywhere!

Well, fuck it. Just fuck it.

No, really. Sit down, take a deep breath, and say it. ‘Fuck it! F. Uck. It.

Feels good, doesn’t it?

Oh, wait. I forgot. The written word is really pretty bad about getting across inflection and subtle nuance. If you were here, and you saw me sitting, and breathing, and saying, ‘Fuck it!‘, then you’d know what kind of exclamation it is. But you’re not here. Which is probably good, all things considered. Oh, I’ve got pants on and all (for once), but still, I’m just saying ‘Fuck it‘ over and over again, like some sort of potty-mouthed Rain Man. It’s not something you’d probably want to actually witness in person. Plus, this room’s pretty small. I doubt that all of you would fit in here at once.

(Who am I kidding? All of my readers would fit in a refrigerator, and there’d still be room in the salad crisper. Eh.)

Anyway, I should probably explain, rather than just flinging profanities at you like so much poo.

(Um, that’s the swear words that are the poo, not you fine folks. Just to be clear, you know. I would never compare anyone reading my blog to poo, or any other sort of excrement. Really, I hold you in the very highest esteem.)

(Is it any wonder I don’t get a lot of hits? *groan*)

All right, so back to the explanation. This is not an angry ‘Fuck it!‘ I’m not throwing down the gauntlet, or registering for any guns or anything. It’s not like that. This is not a ‘Fuck it! That’s it; I’m goin’ postal and gettin’ up in all y’all’s bidness!‘ Not at all.

It’s also not a frustrated ‘Fuck it!‘ You know, like when you really want some pickles, but the lid on the jar is too tight, and you struggle with it, and bang it on the counter, and run it under hot water, and finally it — still doesn’t open. At which point, you say, ‘Stupid poopy pickles, anyway. I don’t even like pickles. Never mind; I’ll eat potato chips.

And then you walk over to where the chips are, but of course, you leave the pickles out on the counter. You say you’re done with them, but you know and the pickles know that as soon as you get to the chips, you’re going to leap back and give it one last shot, because dammit, they’re just friggin’ pickles, and why does life have to be so goddamned hard, and I must have loosened the damned lid by now, and arrrrrrggh!

Nope. Still not open.

And that’s when it comes: ‘Fuck it! Just fuck it, man. I’m never eatin’ pickles again. Bitches!

You know what I’m talkin’ about. We’ve all had our pickle Waterloo. Or Custer’s Last Jam-Jar Stand. You’ve been there. But — this is not that kind of ‘Fuck it!‘, either.

No, this is the other kind of ‘Fuck it!‘ This is the reckless, ballsy kind of ‘Fuck it!‘ that leads to so much trouble and embarrassment in the world. It’s related to the drunken sort of ‘Fuck it!‘ that often ends with the speakers losing money in games they’ve never heard of, or eating items on a bet that were never meant to be ingested, or sleeping with someone that’s of a gender — or a species — not normally preferred.

(My ‘Fuck it!‘ is related to that sort, you understand, but it’s not the same. I hope not, anyway. I’m still crappin’ gravel from the last time I took a stupid bet. Winning twenty bucks never hurt so bad. Or so many times.)

Anyway, myFuck it!‘ is the kind that says,

I’m goin‘ for it. The odds are against me, and I don’t know what the hell I’m doin’, but you know what? Fuck it! I’m goin’ in, anyway. If I’m not back in three days, send somebody in to find me.‘

And that’s the best kind of ‘Fuck it!‘ there is, folks. There’s nothing quite like the heady mix of adrenaline, adventure, and fear masquerading as false confidence. It’s intoxicating, in a Windex-y sort of way, complete with the shaking hands and sinking feeling in the stomach. Okay, so there’s not quite as much foaming at the mouth involved, and there’s no blue stuff coming out my nose. Fine, so it’s not exactly like a Windex buzz. Damn, it’s only a metaphor. Chill out.

So, what’s behind my cheeky new attitude? Well, recently I’ve gotten damned little done. Shockingly little. So I decided it was time to take charge of my life again. Every so often, it seems, I have to shut the autopilot off, and take the wheel, and spin around to a new course. Clean up loose ends, and then sail off for bluer waters. That sort of thing.

So a few days ago, I took inventory of my current situation. Wife, check. House, more or less check. Dog, check. So the really important stuff was pretty okay. That’s a good start. The type of foundation from which I can get really cocky and get myself into beaucoup trouble. So, what else?

Job, not-so-check. The search is going pretty slowly, and my interest waxes and wanes like Oprah’s weight. Or Pinocchio’s nose in a game of ‘Truth or Dare’. Or… you get the idea. Health, also less ‘checky’ than I’d like. The past few weeks have seen a lot of burgers and beer come my way, and I’ve turned down very few of either. And sitting on my ass all day isn’t improving anything, except maybe its ability to double as a paperweight. And my general attitude lately? Eh, check, more or less. But subdued a bit. Easily distracted. A little mopey. Clearly, what I needed was a life change.

So, I decided to make some mid-year resolutions. Why the hell should I wait until the middle of winter, anyway? I made Autumnal Equinox Resolutions, or something. August twenty-sixth or so has got to be some kind of holiday or other, right? Shit, every frickin’ day’s a holiday these days — it’s probably ‘Undersecretary of Defense Day‘ or ‘Plant a Geranium Day‘ or ‘Toasted Marshmallow Day‘ or some shit like that.

(Damn, I just looked it up. Turns out the marshmallow thingy isn’t until the thirtieth. So, you’ve still got time to get ready for that. Thank heaven, huh? Interestingly enough, though, the twenty-sixth really was ‘Make Your Own Luck Day‘, which — if I ever get around to the freakin’ point — is sorta what I did. Pretty damned cool!)

Anyway, where the hell was I? Oh, resolutions. Right.

So, I made all the predictable vows that a man in my position should make. I’m gonna eat better, and exercise, and lose some weight. Less barbecues and volleyball two days a week ought to help with that, so I’ll be well on my way in just a week or so. And I pledged to find a damned job, or at least work harder at it. So I did — I got word out to some friends that might be able to help, and I’m cruisin’ the job sites again, and I plan on workin’ the phones and schmoozing more to try to find a good place to land.

But then — then, I made one more resolution. I decided, you know what? If I’m gonna look for a job, why the hell don’t I also check out the one I’d really like to have? Why don’t I hoist myself by my own petard (other than the fact that I wouldn’t know where the hell to find it), and see if I’ve got the stuff to live the dream? Maybe I do, and maybe I don’t. But I’ve never tried to find out. And that’s just wrong. So wrong. So, I resolved to check it out, and took my first baby step this morning. I signed up for a class, where I can find out more about it, and learn about how it’s done, and practice a little bit, and see if I’m any damned good at it. At the last session, I’ll even get a chance to go out into the real world, and give it a trial run.

I’m gonna do a standup comedy routine. On stage. In early December or so. In front of real, live people. At a bar. And after six weeks of class. How fucking cool is that?

I’m nervous, I’ve got to admit. I think I can do it, and maybe even be pretty good at it, but still, it’s working very much without a net, isn’t it? No backspace key, or editing, or deleting the stuff that’s crap. I’m just hoping to learn enough about preparation to be cool with it. The class starts in late September, so I’ll let you know how it goes.

So, that’s the surprise I mentioned in passing yesterday. From your perspective, maybe it’s not really cool enough to call a ‘surprise’. Just another post full of drivel, with a few more ‘fuck’s than usual thrown in. But for me, it’s pretty exciting. Nothing may ever come of it — it may well get relegated to the Things I Tried Once list, alongside skydiving and moshing and raw oysters.

(Not all at once, of course. That would be foolish. And dangerous, and besides, the cocktail sauce would spill all over the place.)

But you never know until you try. So, I’m tryin’. Or rather, I will try, once the class starts and I see what it’s all about. And what’s the absolute worst that could happen? Oh, um, yeah, that’s right. I guess I could get electrocuted by the mike and die in a sizzling heap, right there on stage. Uh, yeah. Thanks. Don’t know what I’d do without you.

But what’s the worst that’s likely to happen? The dozen or so people that show up for an open mic night boo my ass off stage? Fine. I’ve had worse at spelling bees. (Not to mention my own wedding.) I can handle that. And then I’ll go back to being a mild-mannered software engineer, and at least I can say I tried.

(Or more accurately, I can say I said, ‘Fuck it!‘, and then, ‘Aw, fuck it.‘ But that’s still better than most.)

And in the meantime, maybe this blog will get a bit better. Maybe the punchlines will be punchier, and the gags will be gaggier. Or less gaggy; I’m never quite sure which way that one’s supposed to go. So in the end, you, my dear reader(s), are the real winners. I’ll put my ass on the line trying to get funnier, and you’ll be the ones reaping the benefits, assuming there are any. You can thank me later. Like when I’m big and famous, and you need a favor. Just keep track of your IP address, so I can confirm you’re not some lying hack just pretending to have known me when I was just a two-bit blogger who said ‘fuck’ too much. Fame does tend to attract the greedy random nutbags, you know.

So, we’ll see how it goes, and I certainly appreciate any advice or encouragement along the way. Maybe I can get some from the relative strangers who only know me via this site, anyway. But there are also a few of you out there who know me in real life. If you’re not one of those folks, then this post is pretty much over. Take care, and drive safely on your way home tonight. Oh, and don’t forget to spay or neuter your pets. People always say that at the end, don’t they?

For you other folks — the ones who know me in real life — I just have this to say. Look, you’ve played sports with me, and drunk beer with me, and lunched and dinnered and partied and hung out with me. You’ve seen me tell jokes, and pick on people, and talk about my dog. So you already know I’m not funny. Just don’t ruin it for the other people, all right? Keep it to yourself. They’ll find out one way or another, but for now, don’t say anything. I wanna let ’em down easy. Thanks. I appreciate it. Now get outta here before I start trying out material. You don’t wanna be anywhere close by when that happens. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that. So shoo! Shoo!

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