Tuesday, May 21, 2019

"The Big Trade-Off"

Well not really that big.

But a blogster eager to maximize his following must consider what would intrigue readership more?

“The Trade-Off”? 

Or “The Big Trade-Off?”

Thus explaining my decision.

Not “The Great Trade-Off.”

Fearing lingering letdown from a piece that could conceivably have been labeled simply “The Trade-Off.”  You cannot go too far with these things.

So, “Split the baby.”  Leaving us,

“The Big Trade-Off.”

Which, having built the suspense – hopefully just the right amount – I now climactically illuminate my meaning.

What I am talking about is making the balancing determination of doing sufficiently enough to have sufficiently enough to write about.  A necessary requirement as, temperamentally, I innately prefer to do nothing.

But then – screaming dilemma! – what would I write about?

Venn Diagram (or thereabouts):

“Writers who do stuff have stuff to write about.”

“This writer prefers to do nothing.”

“This writer has nothing to write about.”

Do you see the dilemma?

A Clarifying Distinction:  Though my preference has solidified with age, where, now, going upstairs is an irking annoyance, it is not really because I’m old that I prefer to do nothing.  I have always preferred to do nothing.  While others were driving and dating and pledging fraternities of questionable distinction, I watched endless hours of television at home.  It turned out I was subliminally learning to write television.  But it looked suspiciously like doing nothing at the time.  And who’s to say that it wasn’t?

“Staying put” is my natural proclivity.  Though we are assured that most accidents occur in the home, I suspect that’s a lie promoted by people who make no money unless you go out.

Adding to this anchoring resistance, living in L.A. – where driving great distances is needed to do something – leaving the house seems a virtual impossibility.  It’s like there’s this powerful Force Field keeping us grounded in place.  Though – full disclosure – if I was tardy paying my bill and the powerful Force Field was turned off, I would stay grounded in place without it. 

I was starting to think this hermitical predilection was congenitally “just me”, when  I was spared that mistaken assumption by comedian John Mulaney, opining cleverly on that concern in one of his Netflix comedy specials.

Mulaney compares the reaction of children and adults (by which I suspect he means male adults, as women, in my experience, seem more willing/borderline/eager to go out, possibly to escape their dullard companions who insistently won’t.)

Mulaney accurately observes that kids classically complain,

“We didn’t do anything!”

On the other hand, ask a man on Monday what they did over the weekend, and a sly grin joins the self-satisfied word,

“No… thing?”

The problem is, they don’t write posts five days a week.

I mean, it’s not like I never do anything.  I went to The Oxford Experience last summer.  Not to have something to write about; I really wanted to go.  You will notice, however, the experience was not “juiced up” for your blogatorial amusement.  A hired car drove me both ways.  There was no sensationalizing “I Skateboarded To Oxford.”

The thing with the stuff you did and you wrote about is you already did it and wrote about it.  I could reminisce, I suppose.  But at some point, I will have to move on.

And then what? 

Do a whole bunch of new stuff?


It’s not like that doesn’t come up.  I can’t seem to stop it.  Ideas for trips, or local excursions.  Sometimes, I get close.  Actually thinking about it.  But in the end, it’s…

“Yeah.  I don’t know.  I guess, “No.”

Leaving me nothing to write about.

One good thing.

While I am pondering this wrenching conundrum, I can happily stay home.

Problem alleviated.

Till tomorrow.

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