Tailgating the Popemobile

This past weekend I spent some time working on my trusty VW van.  It has an issue with the turn signal.  The right one works fine, but the left signal is pretty spastic.  It either blinks as fast as a strobe light, or not at all.

One solution, of course, would be to stop making left turns.  It would be quite tricky, though, to get where one wants to go by only making right turns.  Even if you do arrive at your destination through a series of right turns, you would be forced to stay there forever, as your journey home would be all left turns.  Better to fix the turn signal.

Doing this repair made me wonder, What if we had turn signals ahead of us on the road of our lives?  What if there was a vehicle we could follow that knew the way our lives should go and would lead us accordingly?

The best vehicle for this job would have to be the Popemobile.  First of all, it’s a sweet ride.  More importantly, however, it’s driven by the Pope, or at least he tells the driver where to go, probably with a cool walkie talkie: “Pope to driver, turn in here at the McDonald’s drive-thru.  I feel like a Big Mac and a Dr. Poper.”

I mean, if our lives were a car on a road, why not follow behind the wisest, most in-touch-with-God guy on the planet?  All you’d need to do is get a walkie talkie with enough batteries to last a lifetime, then learn Latin, and you’d be set to go.

As you traveled your life road, the Pope would give you his wisest advice on all your life decisions.  He would say things like, “We’re turning left ahead so that you can take this particular job,” or “Bear to the right here so you can go to this school and earn your degree,” or “Marry that woman standing by the side of the road.”

What do you think?  If you had the option to be guided to all the right decisions in your life, would you do it?  Or would you put your foot on the accelerator, pass the Popemobile, and say on your walkie talkie, “Thanks, Pope Francis, but I’ll make my own life decisions.  I’ll never know for sure the right way to turn.  I’ll certainly make mistakes.  But right or wrong they’ll be my own free decisions.”

Thank you very much for reading.  I wish you a wonderful trip down the road of life.

Brent

 

Report: Still Time for Old Year’s Resolutions

If you’re like me, and you haven’t got around yet to making resolutions for 2015, take heart!  There is still time!

With that being said, however, time is beginning to run a bit short for Old Year’s resolutions.  If you are determined to eat better or exercise more or drink less, you should probably start making good on those resolutions soon before 2015 goes the way of the dodo bird.

There are still several good hours to make those big life improvements for the old year.  We have the rest of tonight (Tuesday) and then all of Wednesday to fulfill our resolutions for 2015.

Thursday is New Year’s Eve, though, so don’t worry about your resolutions then.  It’s a day to celebrate and let yourself live a little.  Give yourself permission to enjoy it.  You will have earned it by living well for a solid 36 hours out of the 8,760 hours in the year.

Best of luck as you change your life for the better in 2015!  Make it a great year!

All the best,
Brent

Ichabutt’s Tail, part 4: New Purpose

Yesterday’s story snippet involved a tragic event. We learned how Ichabutt’s great uncle Ichabob met an untimely demise after a piece of farming equipment fell on top of him. Sometimes, however, misfortune and fortune are intertwined.

Such was the case in this instance, for as fortune frowned upon Ichabob, it smiled upon his great nephew Ichabutt. The day after Ichabob was laid to rest at Sleepy Graves Cemetery, his lawyer paid a visit to Ichabutt’s house. There he informed the young man that his great uncle had left him his farm in his will.

As you can imagine, this unexpected turn of events changed Ichabutt’s life immediately. The death of his great uncle gave him a new life. Ichabutt wasted no time in packing his few belongings and moving out of his parents’ house to Ichabob’s farm.

Finally free from the cruelty and humiliation that his parents had dealt him on a daily basis all his life, Ichabutt flourished. He had been at the rock bottom of his life since dropping out of high school, but now he climbed steadily out of that pit by pouring himself into his new farm.

Ichabutt checked out every book on farming available at the Sleepy Hollow library. He determined to learn all that he could about how to raise crops, so that he would be ready to work his fields as soon as spring arrived. When his eyes glazed over from reading, he would go out and simply walk in his fields, simply marveling that they were his fields.

*this tale in hibernation till next Halloween

Thank you for reading!
-Ichabrent

Ichabutt’s Tail, part 3: The Death of Ichabob

When we paused the story yesterday, Ichabutt’s life was spiraling out of control. He had dropped out of high school and was leading a reckless lifestyle, including stealing more pickled eggs than ever. Just when his life threatened to fall apart, though, fortune turned his way. Alas, in turning toward him, fortune turned against another.

Ichabutt had a great uncle named Ichabob. He was a farmer, as well as an elbowless horseman. One day Ichabob was in his barn working on a piece of farming equipment. His horse stood nearby, munching on some hay. The horse grabbed a mouthful of hay, and in so doing uncovered a mouse, who squeaked in surprise.

The mouse startled Ichabob’s horse so much that she leaped backwards. She knocked over the farming equipment that Ichabob was repairing, and it fell onto his chest, pinning him to the ground with his arms at his sides.

Now, the equipment that fell on Ichabob was not all that heavy. Any average, elbowed adult would have been able to reach up and bench press it off of them. Because of his lack of elbows, though, Ichabob could not escape in such a way.

So he lay there on the barn’s dirt floor for days on end as his life slowly drained away. To add insult to his injury, Ichabob loved Halloween, as most people in Sleepy Hollow did. His most prized Halloween decoration hung in his barn. It was a wind chime made up of a real human skeleton that he had come across while plowing his field one spring.

As Ichabob lay dying, the wind chime hung directly in his line of sight. It was October when this happened, and the chilled autumn air rushed through the open barn door, causing the skeleton to rattle almost constantly.

During his long, agonizing entrapment, Ichabob spent hour after bleak hour staring at the skeleton. Even at night he could see it shaking in the moonlight. Most of all, Ichabob’s gaze fell upon the skeleton’s elbow joints as they creaked back and forth, an ever present reminder of the body parts that could have saved him.

to be continued…

Thank you for reading!
-Ichabrent

The Tail of Ichabutt, part 2

When we left off yesterday, a teenaged Ichabutt had just got busted for pilfering a pickled egg from the Sleepy Stop, a convenience store in Sleepy Hollow.   A few days later, he had to appear in court for his offense. Unfortunately for him, the judge assigned to his case was a grumpy fellow who hated teenagers. He gave Ichabutt a severe punishment, sentencing the young man to use a wooden saddle on his horse for the rest of his life.

Soon after that, Ichabutt dropped out of Hollow High School, unable to bear any longer the teasing and the bullying that plagued him constantly. Just as bad, he found no refuge at home, for Ichabutt’s parents were icky butts, to put it nicely.

After leaving school, Ichabutt spent more and more time riding his horse, a painful endeavor now that he had to use a hard wooden saddle under his uncushioned tailbone. His behavior became more and more reckless as well. In fact, Ichabutt would surely have ended up in jail or in an early grave were it not for someone else who did end up in a grave at just the right time.

to be continued tomorrow…

The Tail of the Buttless Horseman

Sleepy Hollow is a quaint little town made famous by one of its residents, a noggin-challenged horse rider. How this man ever got his riding license when he obviously can’t see where he’s going is not for me to speculate upon. My job here is to tell about another of Sleepy Hollow’s citizens.

Another horseman, in fact. That doesn’t narrow it down much, though, as most of the population of Sleepy Hollow is made up of horsemen, horsewomen, and horsechildren. You would recognize this particular man, though, if you saw him. That is, if you saw him from behind, for he had no bottom.

He lost it in a freak playground accident at a very young age. To make matters worse, his parents had named him Ichabutt. Of course, that is not the best name to have under any circumstances, but especially if you are doomed to a bottomless existence.

Growing up in Sleepy Hollow, little Ichabutt had a rough go of it. The other kids at school teased him relentlessly about his missing bottom. As a result, he withdrew from everyone and spent all his free time riding his horse (equipped with an extra-cushioned saddle) along the many trails in the woods surrounding town.

By the time he reached his teenage years, Ichabutt had become an angry young man with a disdain for rules of all types. One of his favorite rebellious acts was shoplifting snacks from convenience stores to take along on his horse rides. Eventually, though, his luck ran out, and he got caught stealing a pickled egg from the Sleepy Stop.

to be continued tomorrow…

Presenting “The Radish”

One of my favorite websites is “The Onion.”  Whenever I’m down and need a laugh, I know I can always head over to their site for a bit of instant encouragement.  Their brand of dry, witty humor is my very favorite type.

Unfortunately, The Onion is not hiring writers, so I’ve decided to set up my own little shop of satire right here on blargsblog.  I am calling it “The Radish.”  The posts will all show up on my main page, but I will label all of them with the category “The Radish.”

Without further ado, here is the first radishy post:

the radishLocal Family of Corn Cob Holders Busy Preparing
for Long Vacation in Back of Utensil Drawer

Welcome!

Hi, and welcome to my brand new blog! My name is Brent Searle, and I live in the state of Virginia. Not to be confused with The Virginia Ocean, which it will be called if the rain doesn’t stop soon!

Most likely you are wondering about the title “Blargsblog.” I will dedicate this first post to explaining why I chose that name. It all started on a cold, snowy day in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. The year was 2006, and I was working for the resort, teaching little rug rats how to ski. I had a day off, so I went snowboarding with my friend Erika.

We were riding the Pony Express chairlift together, and as our chair passed over a ski run, we saw a guy below flying down the mountain. As he skied, he saw a stand of fir trees and must have thought it would be fun to ski through them, because the next thing Erika and I knew, he turned sharply and headed straight for them. The man disappeared from our sight as he entered the thick trees, but we heard him yelling as he lost control and then fell down.

Now, I thought the guy had simply yelled “Aaaaahhh!” Just a plain old, generic yell. Fortunately, Erika’s keen ears were on the job, because she translated the yell as “Blaaarrg!”

And so the term “blarg” was born. The rest of that day, Erika and I must have said “blarg” to each other about a thousand times. Mostly, it was at the beginning of a sentence and spoken like a pirate. For example, “Blarg, matey, where should we ski next?”

Erika and I soon taught the term “blarg” to our friend Amy. She caught on quick, and we were off and running. As the winter wore on, the three of us started using “blarg” more and more. It evolved into an all-purpose word. We even called each other “Blarg.” As you might imagine, communication got a little confusing at times. We would be sitting around the table eating a meal together, for instance, and one of us would say, “Hey Blarg, could you please pass the blarg?”

If you think about it, it’s the same predicament the smurfs used to be in. If you’re around my age (I’m 40), you probably remember lots of Saturday mornings watching the smurfs on TV. Not only were those little guys called smurfs, but they also used the word “smurf” as a substitute for all sorts of other words.

My friends and I knew we couldn’t be outsmurfed by a race of tiny blue creatures. If they could use “smurf” as an all-purpose word, we could do the same with “blarg.” After all, humans should be a lot smarter than smurfs, right? Consider the following comparison: Let’s say you’re a zombie who loves Halloween. In fact, you love Halloween so much that every year about this time you put brain-o-lanterns on your front porch. After you’ve scooped out the gunk from a brain, look at the space in there. You could fit three or four whole smurfs inside a hollowed-out human brain. That’s how much smarter we are.

Now that I’ve explained the name of my blog, my next post will be about its purpose. Don’t worry, all my posts will not have zombies and brains, but it’s October and I couldn’t resist.

Thank you very much for blarging my first blarg.

All the best,
Brent