Tuesday, April 22
OK, am I really down to writing cat stories to fill this Geezer’s Diary?
Have things amid our lockup become that desperate? Will my cat, Jasmine, get her moment in the sun due to this diarist’s creative bankruptcy?
Warning: This is likely.
More than a week ago, I put out the plea: After hammering out more than 20 diary entries I was running out of material and needed help. A couple of readers stepped to the plate.
Jerry, who I’ve known for decades and is roughly my age, suggests that I plumb the frustrations of tracking Internet passwords. He wrote of forgetting passwords, remembering passwords when it’s too late, making handwritten lists of PWs, then losing the lists, and much more. I can relate. I did the same things for years.
But my older son, Ben, a year ago set me up with Lastpass – a site that eliminates password hassles. (As long as you remember LP’s PW). Now that keeping track of passwords is easy, there is no story to write. Nobody wants to read about stuff that works.
Jerry also hearkened back to a piece I had written some years ago on the frustrations of ripping through the bubble wrap and industrial-grade tape that encases packages from Amazon and elsewhere. Many seniors, armed with scissors or knives as frustration mounts, have sustained injury opening birthday and Christmas presents.
And now it’s worse: You have to disinfect everything before the hacking process even begins.
Then, Jerry concludes, there are the problems of clothes shopping with the new “slim styles” for men. For me, this is not a problem: Being cooped-up, I wear the same stuff everyday. And, as nobody comes to visit, I don’t mind wearing some of it for the better part of a week – or until my dog starts giving me looks.
Also, I bought most of my clothes years ago, when “slim styles” were not a thing. And for me, of course, “fashion” has neverbeen a thing.
Next Diane, a long-lost friend, reconnected on my birthday. And she came with a gift: A 10-point list of potential diary topics.
A few of her suggestions:
Kid stories: Recount the “crazy, funny things” my two sons and daughter did in their younger years. “If they object,” Diane says, “tell them you’ll have go out in search of stories – in downtown Jamestown without a mask. Problem solved.”
Nature walks: Yes, I take a hike every day. And, asks Diane, “Why not describe every single thing you see?”
Except, I do have problems with story length (Just ask any of my many past editors). And if I chronicle every dogwood, lily, eye fly, mosquito, meat bee, poison-oak patch, cedar snag, trash dump, seasonal creek, butterfly, mountain misery thicket, manzanita grove, wild turkey and squirrel, raven and buzzard…Well, I can already hear the yawns.
But if I cross paths with a mountain lion (This has happened three times in my 44 years on Yankee Hill), I’ll deliver a thousand words – and some of them might even be true.
Guest writers: Recruit others to write the occasional diary entry, Diane ventures.
Sure, and if the promise of instant fame doesn’t work on my would-be pinch hitters, I’ll agree to deliver a pro-rated portion of my lucrative salary for this job. Which should instantly end negotiations.
Then let your cat try it: Yes, Jasmine has been known to tread over my keyboard.Here’s her latest, delivered today: “ati9o908iiuhnlobgl;. /©†fr0]7u’jggvj memncv euwygtwu” And she was just getting started. Also – did you notice? – Jazz slipped a copyright character into her sentence. (I wouldn’t even know how to type one of those!) So I’m not even sure that using my cat’s stuff is legal.
Regurgitation: “Why not reminisce about the round-the-world trip you took back in 1981 and ’82?” asks Diane. Or even post the nearly 40-year-old stories you wrote about the trip verbatim? “Just think, many current readers have never seen them,” she reasons. “Older subscribers will enjoy reading those pieces again. And really older people may think they are reading them for the first time.”
Kind of like those “classic” baseball and football games that sports channels are airing non stop these days. And, when I really get desperate, I’ll start running my “classic” coverage of 1970s-era county planning commission meetings.
A cat story: “Everyone loves a cat story,” insists Diane. “OK, not everyone. OK, some people hate them.”
OK, I’ll admit it, for decades I was one of the haters. But now I’m a cat guy. So how did I become one? That could be a story. Maybe.
Screw ‘em: “Hey, you have a captive audience,” Diane reasons in her tenth and final suggestion. “Where are they going to go? Write whatever you want.”
Yeah, those folks are captive like I am. They’re cooped-up until further notice. Which doesn’t mean they have to read my offerings. Face it, there’s lots of good stuff on TV.
So, out of desperation, yes, I just might serve up a cat story.
Which is something I never thought I’d say.