Being Brave Enough To Comment And Respond


With the possible exception of finding spare change under your sofa cushion, and a pair of socks in your sock drawer—without holes in the heels…

Nothing puts a smile on a bloggers face more than finding comments at the end of one of our posts. Unless you don’t own a computer or a blog—in which case you probably could care less.

But, as for the rest of us, comments at the end of any post are almost always guaranteed to bring a smile to our face.

Even when that comment comes from one, Angus (The Big Mouth Troll) MaGillicutty, who it seems regularly leaves me nothing but negative comments.

That’s right, Angus, I’ve got your number—until it becomes unlisted.

Yes, it’s nice to know that something as simple as a comment at the bottom of a post can actually bring a smile to your face.

In fact, the smiles your comments bring to my face are even bigger than the smile that crossed my face when my wife first announced that she was gonna continue to let me take out the trash—even after the kids move out.

Yay! Less to take out then.

Anyway, I’ve always felt comments were the real bread and butter of any blogs—especially mine. Apparently Mrs. Mildred Hogbottom of Terre Haute, Indiana agrees.

She writes: “Paul, thank god for the comment section of your blog. Otherwise, I would have left your blog years ago.”

You see folks, comments are what make doing a blog so much fun. For example: Try to imagine my blog without your comments? What blog you ask?


If it weren’t for all your comments, I’d have no blog. It’s sort of like saying it’s the clothes that make the man—unless you happen to be a woman. That’s what its like when you comment—they make my blog.

And that’s why I can’t wait to see who’s gonna try and ring my bell next. Uh, the bell up in the right hand corner of the screen—’cause that tells me someone was brave enough to comment.

And Viola! A real post is born.

No wonder visitors to my blog always say, “Paul, the best thing about your blog is your comments section.”

And that’s why I say with full confidence, that it’s the comments, yours, mine, and even non-bloggers that make yours and my blog the best blogs … in this price range.





Pauly The Clod: Creator Of Neat Sheets.

It’s true, I am the creator of neat sheets—just only AFTER I’ve pressed that publish button. And even then my polished copy still looks a lot like Sweeney Todd had at it.

This is a story of reconstructive surgery—the blogging kind. On any given day you’ll open up your WordPress account and find bloggers from around the world, each of whom have written sheets and sheets of clean polished copy. All to be examined by you, the reader.

But before that can happen there’s a process called… editing.

Before every blogger publishes something, they go about sewing up their original draft. They do this by making a few new word incisions here, and a couple of sentence resections there.

Everyone except me, that is.

The skillful blogger will remove misspelled words, poor punctuation, bad grammar, and replace each with grammatically working parts. This they do, all BEFORE they press the publish button.

But not me…oh no.

Most bloggers will not submit their poetry, daily drama, photo essays, or humor until their writing has undergone an extensive amount of x-ray like proof-reading. This is likely followed by a little fact-checking before they prescribe some well tested, and time honored  grammatical remedies.

And this whole operation is scheduled and completed on time, so that the readers can get on with their daily lives. Again, all BEFORE… they press that publish button. How do they do it?

These bloggers are skillfully trained pros at what they do. Some have even attended four year universities and demonstrated their education by dissecting their post, BEFORE submitting it for public viewing.

They may even have served an internship writing copy for some big name magazine or newspaper. Some may even have gained some valuable experience in private practice—working on a novel or short story.

And then there’s me…

“The Butcher of WordPress” way too skilled in the art of skewering the English language to even be mentioned in the same breath as the a fore mentioned group of SKILLED PEOPLE.

You see, in my case, the entire act of cutting and slicing away of diseased copy from any post, has become something of an arduous never-ending task. Akin to a surgeon who faces malpractice suits at the drop of a pair of Metzenbaum scissors.

However, this does not exonerate WordPress and their administrators either—including their chief of staff.

They too, are guilty of some atrocious cases of malpractice themselves. They might even be bigger quacks than myself. Why one routine examination of their numerous platform changes could tell you that.

Yet… am I a qualified and successful writing specialist, worthy of being included on the WordPress staff of writers?

Qualified? Are you kidding? I barely graduated Pre-Read! The only residency I’ve ever done was Post OP (Post Operation on a article after pressing Publish). There, I’m an expert in private practice as I perpetually correct every post I write—but unfortunately…AFTER I’ve pressed the publish button.

Meaning: none of my posts are ever finished.

In fact, many of my articles (try all of them) fall prey to reconstructive surgery LONG AFTER I’ve pressed the publish (PANIC) button. Making changes in my text, totally visible to readers.

LIKE SCAR TISSUE—you can’t miss them!

Am I proud of this kind of corrective writing surgery? Sometimes, but I do confess, it often looks like I’m still stitching the piece together after agonizing over the original post… for all of three minutes.

But you must remember, when you leave a scalpel in the body of your work (or post as the case may be), you should still try to go back and perform surgery and correct your mistakes. Yes, it may prove to be a little uncomfortable for the patient—sort of like, performing major surgery without anesthesia—but you may avoid that writing malpractice claim.

This may explain to my readers (patients all) why my posts, and their appearance, seem to evolve like poor Meg Ryan’s face has over the years.

It’s like getting schooled in the art of editing… and yet it still looks bad!

Naturally, this whole post will likely rewrite itself in about a week. Why this sentence alone is proof of that—since I added it just this morning, along with numerous other changes.

So, if in a week you come back to take another stab at reading this gobbledygook—if you are into that kind of torture—you might just discover a whole new post.

The clean up blogger of neat sheet? Uh… well sure… AFTER I’ve made thousands of corrections AFTER pressing the publish button—thus sending the post out uncleaned and unpolished into the blogosphere.

Why, I’d even bet there’s some joker out there right now muttering to himself about how this post still looks grammatically wrong. As always, that mutterer knows best.

That’s because… I’m STILL revising this post even as we speak, and might continue to do so right on up until the end of time!










I Really Have Got To Catch Up On My Reading


For the last three days, I’ve been busy entertaining family and friends. When you consider I have virtually no talent—my wife says’ there’s no virtual about it I just have no talent at all—it was amazing!

There our relatives politely sat—for 72 hours—trapped on my sofa, while I performed my song and dance routine. After they left, I asked my wife “Well, how was I?”

She responded, “I haven’t seen facial expressions like that since my brother told me he was going to have to have all his teeth extracted—and without Novocain!”

I must have been better than I thought.

Anyway, this pleasant little weekend detour (plus one), has forced me to get busy and catch up on my work this morning—if only to receive a paycheck. Of course, this forced us to miss out on acquiring that nice little airy unfurnished property that we were eyeing underneath one of our local overpasses.

But, my wife doesn’t seem to be too distressed about it.

However, because I had to perform this weekend and help out the employers too—who are so needy—I had no choice but to avoid catching up on my reading.

And that made me think; when someone says they have to catch up on their reading, I wonder what reading they’re actually talking about?

I sometimes wonder if they’re referring to that 5000-page textbook they’ve been avoiding all summer? Or maybe they’re talking about their attorney’s brief on that impending plea deal he’s planning on their behalf, in order to get them off of a murder conviction.

Perhaps they’re avoiding having to read those divorce papers issued to them on behalf of their ex. Then again, maybe it’s the volumes of paper sent home with your child, explaining all the school rules your kid has to adhere too in order to avoid serving more than a one-year sentence—say like… summer school.

I mean, I find it hard to believe they could possibly be talking about reading a novel by a popular novelist who could care less about them. Or who couldn’t be bothered to take the time to send a personally autographed copy of said novel to them?

That’s right, I’m talking about you, Ernest Hemingway! Refusing to respond to my request for an autographed copy of  “For Whom The Bell Tolls” is only going to result in my not buying another one of your books. So think about it, will ya!

But as I was going to say, when I tell you that I have to catch up on my reading I’m always referring to you folks and your blogs.

When I feel compelled to do a song and dance routine for relatives who are about to have all their teeth pulled, instead of reading a post by you, or go bail out one of my employers by doing them a favor (because they can’t conduct business without me), you are the ones who suffer.

So my eyes are about to get busy reading all you’ve written this last weekend. And just let me say; after seeing the volume of work you’ve done—I think reading the Bible all the way through…might actually prove to be a faster read!

The Writers Cloak Of Invisibility


You love writing, you do it every chance you get. Bathroom stall graffiti… no problem. Scribbles on the blank wall of a public building? You bet, maybe even in color. Autographing someones yearbook… uh… without their knowing it? Sure!

Writing, it’s what you love, it’s what you do. Then along comes someone who says, “You’ll never be a writer.”

Naturally, you’re devastated. But, then who wouldn’t be, right?

Well you for one, because you realize just how stupid that individual was. And so to make sure this person doesn’t make that mistake again… you spray paint what a great writer you’re going to be, all over their forehead.

Still they’re not impressed. But writing consumes your life and a writer you will be.

You think back to how it all started. Your mom and dad bought you crayons to draw pictures and write the alphabet with. The bedroom wall became your stationary. You thought; “Why waste paper?” Soon you branched out to living rooms, kitchens, and ultimately… the bathrooms.

Hemingway, Steinbeck, and Dr. Seuss were your mentors. You tried to let them know this by writing in the margins of their books. Okay, so the librarians weren’t impressed, but that didn’t matter, because you’re a writer.

Soon you graduated to writing love letters—to every bill collector who ever requested money from you. The collection agency’s became enamored with your masterful use of profanity. You know this, because they kept sending you more statements of their affection.

You reasoned that they must have thought, “What a magnificent four letter vocabulary you have.”

Publishers couldn’t wait to get their hands on your manuscripts—they just didn’t know how. This might explain why none of your manuscripts ever get rejected.

Your skill at writing also extended to writing on other peoples hands; particularly girls you wanted to date. “For a good time, call me.” That’s when you discovered girls didn’t know how to use the phone. What other possible reason could there be for your phone not ringing?

Then you started a personal journal.

Although, your sister never fully appreciated you reading her diary, you were comfortable in the knowledge that she loved the funny remarks you left behind! Why else would she scream (literally) about it to mom and dad?

Finally, your writing was getting noticed.

How could you not be a good writer, especially when all your teacher’s used to say “I want you to write, on the board ‘I will not write (with permanent marker) on my fellow classmates new clothes’ 100 times each.”

Then came the internet. Google! The world was about to become your oyster.

This thought seemed pretty funny to you at the time (but to no one else) since it had absolutely nothing to do with your writing—but you couldn’t resist putting it into this post anyway.

The magical day was at hand. The one when you discovered, you could start a blog—and it was absolutely free! You were impressed… even if WordPress wasn’t.

Now you could spread all your pearls of wisdom (yeah right) before swine—although, why you would ever want to spread your writings before a bunch of non-reading pigs is still a question, not to mention other ne’er-do-wells—instead of reaching out to the more intelligent readers out there…

Like those who watch foreign movies for the subtitles.

Yes, you’ve finally become what you were always meant to be; a virtually invisible, disrespected, unpaid grammatical menace to readership around the world. And even more inexplicably; better writers, seemed to have fallen under your spell!

Which is why you now wear the cloak of invisibility.  You also get to wear it with pride—because you’re the only one who has one!

Where Is The Good Greatsby?

Paul JohnsonOh where are you Paul Johnson? If you read the backs of milk cartons, study bulletin boards at your local post office, or are a fan of missing person reports on the news then you no doubt are aware that, “The Good Greatsby” has vanished.

My idol is missing. We all need our heroes and I am sure that if you’ve ever read a post from Paul Johnson, then you like myself are now frantic with worry. At this point I am almost out of fingernails.

Getting through a week is hard enough without having to do so by not having our good-humor man to guide me to the weekend. The tears shed by me alone have not been able to keep the drought here in California in check, but I like to think so.

Whenever a post would arrive from “The Good Greatsby” I would deny myself until Friday to eagerly devour the content. I would reason there’s no better way to start a magnificent weekend. Fool that was, I always assumed Greatsby would be there for me.

Since his disappearance, though, I have had to rely on reruns of previous post to get me through this horrible ordeal. Since having read “Hello my name is Intern” whereby Paul was asking for an assistant, there has been nothing. Leaving me to ask, “Did he find one, and if so, how bad must that assistant truly be?”

Maybe Paul became offended by not getting Freshly Pressed or Freshly Pegged as often as he would have liked. I find this highly unlikely since someone like Mr. Johnson probably prefers money to such adulation.

I could, of course, read other excellent blogs like “Ben’s Bitter Blog” where I have learned that it still rains in Seattle, fostering all kinds of negativity. Perhaps I could read “She’s a Maineiac” where I’ve learned Maine is conducive to better writing, or even continue reading “” where I love reading Susannah’s insights into all things New York.

However, it has been nearly eight months since that last post by “The Good Greasby.” In fact, this coming February 22nd will mark the fourth anniversary of the blog that I’ve held up as an example of satirical excellence. That is, unless of course, you have a humor blog like myself, in which case, you’re probably self-absorbed.

But I don’t want to be that into myself, at least not at the expense of a blog that I had come to  begrudgingly accept as better than that of my own, after all none of us are “The Good Greatsby.”

the good greatsbyLet us face facts.

We will never have a smoking jacket—not one we would ever pay for anyway. Nor do we wear black-rimmed glasses—at least, not publicly—for fear of being laughed at… although that never seemed to bother Paul. And none of us write for the “Huffington Post”—not that we’d have an aversion to getting paid to write for them.

It is everything I can do just to crowd out the horrible thoughts of what might have happened to him.

Did we lose gravity, thereby forcing Paul to write for some great alien civilization on another planet out in the vast universe.

Was he shanghaied? But I have since come to doubt that scenario, as Paul and family already live in Shanghai, China, so what would be the point.

Or did he go all Edward Snowden on us, possibly stealing secret documents from, thus forcing him to go rogue.

All I do know is, I now sit in front of the warm glow of my computer screen hours at a time, waiting for a post. Or until my wife puts a pillow under my head and wheels me, swivel chair and all, into the bedroom.

If you or anyone does know what became of “The Good Greatsby”—alias Paul Johnson—please contact us…uh… me. That, or you can contact me personally here, “In My Cluttered Attic” so that I can selfishly read his post—before the rest of you do.