🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Karen in Control ⌚
What podcast? 🎧
In the winter of 1993, I went to a comedy club with a friend and, in the spur of the moment, decided to be one of those who came forward to join the fun and be hypnotized. This was decidedly out of character for the John I had become at that time, as I much preferred to be out of the limelight and in the background of any social situation.
But on that night, I did things that made people laugh, and I felt great. There was this moment during the process of being “put under,” that I was like, “Yeah, right. This bullshit ain’t gonna work on me. I don’t care what this dude says. I could open my eyes if I wanted to, lift my hand if I wanted to, move my leg if I wanted to.” And so I tried to do each of those three things in succession only to find I could do none of them.
Then, I just sort of went with it.
I found myself in a similar moment yesterday evening, sitting in a comfortable chair in front of an audience of only one this time, a professional hypnotist named Karen who said she thought she could help me get rid of this nasty taste I’ve had in my mouth since November 2020 that I’ve associated with COVID only because the two appeared at the same time.
I had met with Karen on Tuesday for a talk about everything going on in my life now, everything going on in my life then, and the difference was stark. My then was pretty freaking crazy and not at all positive. We were smack-dab in the middle of a pandemic, my two doggies had both recently died, my father-in-law had just had open heart surgery followed a day later by a COVID diagnosis that ultimately would take his life, Wifey Poo was beyond stressed, I had just started a new job and I was carrying a Sherpa-sized load of emotional baggage from problems known and yet-to-be known.
As I related all this to Karen, she dutifully took notes, her pen all but smoking on the page as she furiously tried to keep up with the pile of ugly crap I was laying on her.
Yesterday, Karen and I talked for a bit and then began the hypnosis process. There was soft music. The lights were low. I heard the noises of cars going by on the street outside, the hum of the air conditioning, a voice here or there, and then I just sort of went away. I arrived at that moment I had on stage nearly 20 years before — doubting that what this woman was saying was actually happening. Once again, I was proven wrong.
I have vague recollections of what happened during that hour or so. I know there were some extremely intense emotions that bubbled up, and she carefully and compassionately guided me through. By the time I came back to full awareness, I felt better. I’m talking a lot better. Now, the problem I went to see her about — my mouth — is, indeed, largely improved. There’s still an “it” there … that goopy feeling I’ve had for nearly two years now. But that sharp metallic nastiness is much less pronounced and nowhere near as irritating.
I have had a variety of experiences over the past year-plus that are hard for me to comprehend and even harder for me to explain, which typically is a sign that I’m not ready to share them yet. But they are profoundly good. During hypnosis yesterday, I had another one of those experiences. And today? Today I feel like I’m living the life I’m supposed to be living now. For that, I’m grateful. And happy.
In a few short hours, Wifey Poo and I will be whipping around a racetrack at around 55 mph on go-karts for our weekly date. I gave Wifey Poo coupons for Christmas for a variety of things — one eight-hour day with no one else home buy her, a night of total remote control, a gourmet meal cooked by her hubby and, pertinent to this, a fully planned “adventurous” date. “Adventurous” at age 48 looks different than it might have at, say, 28. Back then, we climbed rock walls and, in her case, she jumped out of a freaking plane. For us old fogies, high-speed go-karts are pretty adventurous.
The track is inside Worldwide Technology Raceway, where Boy The Elder and I went last weekend to watch the Indycar race. These karts aren’t your typical amusement park thing. They move. I watched them zip around their track while the Indycar race was going on. I love racing, in general, and being in the driver’s seat awakens a competitiveness in me that I historically only felt when I was the mound as a baseball pitcher. There’s a good chance that, if Wifey Poo is feeling a little too racy, I end up putting her in the wall.
Not sure that would be a great thing to do on our date, but hey, rubbin’ is racin’.
I tend to see things a little differently than most these days. For example, had one question after reading about this story …
A woman in Rhode Island was preparing to drive to her job in Massachusetts an hour away. She started the car, forgot something inside, got it, returned, popped on a podcast and set out for work.
When she got there, she got out and casually looked in the car’s backseat … where she saw a nearly naked man curled up asleep.
What does “nearly naked” mean? Good question. I wondered the same thing. Turns out the dude’s shorts were on one leg and he had a shirt wrapped around one arm, and that’s it. It seems as if the guy, who was said to have consumed a “large” amount of alcohol and weed, climbed in the back of the car when the woman went back inside to get whatever it was she forgot.
The one thing I want to know is this: What freaking podcast was she listening to? Because here’s the thing: Were it Wifey Poo who ended up in the backseat of a stranger’s car like that and had she happened to wake up during the drive, if it was a good murder podcast, she would have silently laid there listening to it for as long as the driver was driving.
Ya know what pisses me off? Bumpa stickas. Der I was da otha day, drivin’ down da street in my sweet-ass 1981 yellow T-top Camero, mindin’ my own business and listenin’ to some Pantera, when alls of a sudden, like a bat outta hell, dis frickin’ Maazda comes flyin’ by me and den cuts into…Keep reading
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- Time to school Wifey Poo on the race track.
- The weekend is almost here!
- I know I sound like a broken record, but I can’t underscore enough how much I’m looking forward to fall.
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Censorship 🍈🍈Newspaper Talk 📰Toothbrush 🦷 I did my first actual “work” thing at my new job yesterday. The first two-plus days have been filled with meeting new people and learning about the kazillion awesome products we sell so I can talk somewhat intelligently about what we do. But then Nu Bossman…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Hitler Talk ⚖️Chicken Postscript 🐣Green Seats ⚾ I wonder when the average German in the 1930s/1940s said something akin to “Oh shit.” There has to be a point when the rational, sane sauerkraut-lover realized that perhaps his or her vote for a certain mustachioed politician was a really bad idea. For…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Take Me Away🛀Period Tracker🩸Choose Wisely💒 Arriving for the first day at a new job is kind of like showing up in a new town after throwing away your old identity. It’s a blank slate, and you can be anyone you’d like to be. Want to go by a different name? Go…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racist Billboard🐲Roe Silence😶Guest Bulldog🐶 Driving out of rural northern Arkansas today to return home after several days in a cabin in the boonies, I passed a billboard that was startling, to say the least. It starts off innocently enough with a very true statement: “It’s not racist to 💗 people.” I…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Uranus Sleeper🔭Cabin Rules🩲Taco Seasoning🌮 What does Cuba, Uranus, Sleeper, Doolittle and a billboard saying “If we don’t return to 2 Chronicles, than were finished” have in common? They all were on the route from my Humble Rural Missourah Home to the cabin in the boonies of Arkansas that is my home…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Check Engine 🚗Declined 🥡Murder Suspect 🔪 Every once in awhile, life throws you a pleasant surprise that seems to even the score a bit. Wifey Poo’s car is up for an emissions inspection this year. Her “check engine” light has been going on and off for a year or so, and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩River Thoughts 🛶Little Annoyances 😠Birthday Boy 🎂 I didn’t know what a float trip was until I met Wifey Poo. I’m not even sure today that the term “float trip” is used outside Missourah. But if you’re a Missourahn, when someone says, “Wanna go on a float trip?” you know a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Boys 👨👦👦Work Drinking🥃Feeling Good 😎 I’ve understood since seventh-grade science class how a child is a somewhat random and yet somewhat traceable mish-mash of his parents and their parents and their parents ad infinitum. It’s so cool to see that play out with my own boys. Boy The Elder is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Stinger 🦂Inflation 🎈Housing Costs 🏘️ There’s something quite amazing about witnessing a human dinosaur be thrown through a stack of four tables. That was just one of the scenes from last night as Boys The Elder & Younger and I attended AEW Dynamite and Rampage. The biggest news from the…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shitty Goodbye 💩Bald Is Beautiful 👨🦲Housing Market 🏘️ It’s official: My duty ensuring the continued breathing of roughly 20 chickens for Wifey Poo’s and Boy The Younger’s vacationing friends is over. Success! All birds were present and accounted for this morning, as I said goodbye to my new friends — Gertrude,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩CrytpoStupidity ₿Coffee Seltzer ☕Chicken Update🐓 I like to make fun of Matt Damon. I know this comes from a place of deep-seated insecurity because Matt Damon is, well, Matt Damon and I am not. Yet it’s fun to make fun of Matt Damon, precisely because he is Matt Damon — all…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Meatloaf🦎Ugly Fish🐟Chicken Update🐓 You can buy insurance for many things. Your car. Your home. Your boat. Your health. Your eyes, teeth or brain (which, for some reason, is separate from your health). And now, according to a Missourah court, you can buy insurance that pays you if you contract a sexually…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Kentucky Fried Idiot 🍗Johnny Boy Marketing✏️Airplanes!🛦🛦🛦🛦🛦 There’s a scene in the 1979 film Rocky II in which the titular character (sorry, I’ve always wanted to write that …) is tasked by his trainer Mickey with chasing a chicken. Rocky was pummeled into oblivion — though somehow managed to eek out a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Rogue Golfers 🐝Nay Voters🐟Chicken Day🥤 Golfers are known as being a genial sort. Whereas a basketball player could maul an opponent driving the lane, leaving him bloody and unconscious, and still complain about the foul called on him, golfers actually call fouls on themselves! Yet the world of professional golf is…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bees Suck 🐝Bees As Fish🐟Cup O’ Pee🥤 I hate bees. Yes, I know they’re somehow the lynchpin on which our species’ survival will turn, but seriously, if we’re so fragile that we’re depending on a stinging invertebrate to keep us going, well, perhaps we’re not really so special after all. My…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poultry Responsibilities 🐔Fine Dining🥩Crappy Year For Music🎵 I am many things. I am a husband, a father, a marketing guy, a storyteller, a jokester, a damn good parallel parker and a guy who played on a basketball team that lost 135-3. What I am not is a farmer. I left my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩NASCAR President ₿Creepy Coffee☕Chef BTE 🍖 We all know that just about every politician at any level is, in some way, bought and paid for, right? I mean, perhaps your local school board representative isn’t (though she might be owned by her kid), but when you reach the state and national…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Dessert, Not Desert 🍨Happy Belated Birthday, McLovin 🎁Men Kissing 🏳️🌈 I started out my career in the news business and quickly learned that people suck. I mean, back in the mid-1990s, the internet was just becoming a thing — we even capitalized it … Internet … and wrote “e-mail” instead of…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩New Job🧑💼Happy Times🤗Small World ⚾ Buckle up. It’s story time. Today I made a reservation for Ruth’s Chris steakhouse on Sunday for me, Wifey Poo and Boys The Elder and Younger. The Core Four is getting dressed up. Keep in mind, we are not Ruth’s Chris people. It’s not that we…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Pants on the Ground👖Pimp Slap✋Pissin’ in the Wind🌬️ I had occasion to wear a suit yesterday. This was notable because I evidently hadn’t worn said suit in about a year. Over those 365 days, I’ve lost roughly 30 pounds. Thus, I showed up to the engagement necessitating a suit looking like…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chainsaws Suck🪓Early Arrival✈️Shrimp on the Barbie🦐 I awoke bright and early this morning, kissed Wifey Poo on the forehead and went outside ready to put chainsaw to felled tree. I live far enough out in the country that crankin’ up a chainsaw at 6:30 a.m. on a holiday morning isn’t a…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Racin’🏎️Heat☀️Gorilla Guy🦍 When I was a small boy, the Indianapolis 500 was must-see TV. I’m not sure exactly how it started, but it must have been around 1978 — when I was a 4-year-old boy who loved Matchbox cars and big wrecks. It was around that time that Pops brought home…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩My Fullback 🚑Sicky Poo 🤒Helium Shortage 🎈 I don’t get paid anywhere close to enough to deal with St. Louis traffic when it rains. Not that St. Louis drivers are uniquely bad. I would imagine large swaths of drivers in other cities react just as poorly to the presence of moisture…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Taking Toys Away 🔫Checked Out ✈️Windsurfing Kid 🌬️ Many moons ago, I had a toy rubber snake. That my parents would have allowed such a purchase is shocking, given that Mother Dearest was terrified of anything remotely reptilian and Sister wasn’t that far behind. Yet there, in the depths of my…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shut Up🤫Waffle House 🧇Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes🤗 So here’s something I don’t quite understand: Why is anyone, especially our political leaders, expressing “shock” over what happened in Texas yesterday. Dude … the sun rose yesterday. The sun has risen every single freaking day for the course of humanity. The sun will rise tomorrow. That’s…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Subway Obsession😞Guard Dog 🐶Chainsaw John🪓 Every child is peculiar in his or her own way. It’s an early indication we all should recognize that none of us is normal. We’re all weird. And that’s OK. Boy The Younger has always had his peculiarities. As a small child, he was fascinated with…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Musical History🎹Why Write? 🖊️Loser Level😔 We finally have only one piano in our house! Now, don’t get to thinking we’re this uber-musical family. We’re not. Wifey Poo, from what I hear, was a helluva clarinetist back in her day and did, indeed, take piano lessons. Boy The Elder is really good…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beyond Tired😫Busting Ass 🐝Covid Sadness😔 Everything is knowable. When I look back at the pace of change in my life, I think that’s the biggest difference between my life as a child and my life as an adult. Back then, if you wondered something, you just … wondered it. I mean,…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sad Anniversary😞My Back! 😳Dachau😭 Thirty-five years ago today, my first grandparent died. Grandpa was my favorite grandparent, and in looking back, I think it was because of his willingness to join my world. Grandpa played games with me endlessly. He taught me how to play rummy. He would spend hours on…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bye-Bye BTE✈️Rival Riot Rumble 🤼♂️Old Man John🤕 In a few hours, Boy The Elder will board a plane headed for Germany. He just completed his sophomore year at Mizzou, and now he’s going overseas for a two-week study-abroad session in which he’ll allegedly learn more about food science and fermentation and…Keep reading
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Double-U🧸Big Sis 🦸♀️Preggo Healer 🤰 Anyone remember Speak & Spell? If you’ve seen E.T., you’ve seen it before. Don’t know why, but I was thinking about this toy the other day. For some reason, spelling wasn’t school if you had one of these things to play with. I can still hear…Keep reading