Archive for July, 2011

Paring Down And Catching Up

July 30, 2011

Friday July 29th, 2011 – Cary, IL/Fox Lake, IL

More running around today, but I have to catch up with all the things I’ve fallen behind on in the last month. Even though I took time off, my bills didn’t. I’m going to have to be extra thrifty in the next little while to make it through, and anything I can unload for cash is a must do. I don’t have anything that isn’t replaceable, but right now I need to simplify.

It deeply saddened me, but I sold my 1983 Cadillac. I just don’t have room for it at the present time. Storing it would cost money I’ll need to use for stupid frivolous things like food, clothing and shelter and I couldn’t justify keeping it. I found a guy who has a garage that fixes older cars near the Wisconsin border and he offered me $600 cash. I accepted.

I paid $1500 for it and it was worth it. I didn’t have to stick a nickel into it and took it on several road trips all over America. It drinks gas in the city, but on the highway I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers. It was a great buy and I got my money’s worth and more out of it. I’d love to keep it, but right now I need the scratch so bye bye it goes.

I don’t think it’s a bad thing at all to pare down and live lean. Possessions mean zilch to me as I get older, and everything is replaceable. If I really have a burning need to drive an old tub of a car, I think I’ll be able to find one. For now, I’ve got other priorities at hand.

Two of those are filling my body with quality foods and my brain with quality thoughts. I’ve been pounding down so many salads and vegetables lately, I think I’m going to start peeing vinegar and oil any day now. Everyone I see lately who hasn’t seen me for a while immediately says how much better I look, and it feels fantastic. I know I’m succeeding.

My blood sugar is right where it’s supposed to be, but I’m just getting started. I’ve been reading all kinds of books on diet, exercise, diabetes and good health in general and I see just how much of a commitment there is in keeping one’s health in top shape. I’m willing to make that commitment, but I’ve got a lot more studying and work to do. It’s a process.

Another process is filling my head with quality thoughts. I have stacks of books that are doing nothing but gather dust, both in a storage unit and at home. I took an hour to begin actually reading them, and need to make that a regular part of my day. Reading is crucial, as is listening to audio programs both in my car and at home. I have enough for decades.

I’d have to read non stop a solid eight hours a day, seven days a week until my prostate rots off to put even a teeny tiny dent in my stash of materials. If I don’t devote one hour a day at least to packing my skull with brain chow I might as well torch it all and get some heat out of it. Otherwise, it‘s a complete waste. An hour a day will be an attainable goal.

Books are meant to be read, and audio is meant to be heard. I’ve got a backlog of hand picked stuff I’d love to delve into and have been meaning to for years. Now’s the perfect time to start building new and better habits, and that’s what I intend to do. It’s exciting to see all these steps come together. Before long, I might actually be able to build a nice life.

Morning Blending

July 30, 2011

Thursday July 28th, 2011 – Milwaukee, WI

Lots of running around today, but it was all productive. First it was up to Milwaukee for a return visit to ‘The Morning Blend’ on Today’s TMJ 4 with the sweetheart hosts Molly Fay and Tiffany Ogle. They’re both delightful to work with, as are everyone from camera operators to the assistants to the producer. It’s a total pleasure to be a part of that show.

There are always laughs and fun going on in the studio, even when the camera isn‘t on. That’s a healthy sign a staff gets along, and in my opinion the way it should be but is not on many occasions. I’ve been in some situations where it felt like a morgue off the air.

The Bob and Tom show was like that. I always felt a dysfunctional vibe in that studio a lot like the one I felt whenever my father was in a room. Everyone was on edge, awaiting the wrong thing to be said that would trigger the psychotic explosion. It was raw tension.

I was on that show maybe six or seven times, and whenever they’d go to a commercial it would be very awkward because they’d all get up and leave without warning to go have a smoke or get a cup of coffee or something, and I’d sit all alone in a chilly radio studio.

It was never fun or comfortable, and every time I left that building I never knew if I did well or not. I’ve heard other comedians say the same thing, and in my opinion that isn’t a way to get the most out of a guest. I believe it’s a good host’s job to keep everyone loose.

Craig Ferguson was extremely friendly. I only got to meet him for a minute or two, but he made me feel at home immediately. He’s a friendly person and I happen to think he is also very funny. He didn’t talk down to me in the least. He treated me like I was a peer.

Molly and Tiffany are like that, and I think this was my third or fourth time on the show. They make it very easy to shine, as did the other guys on the ‘man panel’ that we were on. They were all radio hosts from AM 620 WTMJ, so I felt flattered to be part of that group.

I listen to the station regularly, and had met two of the three guys before. Greg Matzek is half of a new sports talk team along with Trenni Kusnierek, and I hadn’t met him until today. He has a world class deep baritone radio voice and does a fine job with Trenni who I do know. She’s also a sweetheart and I wish them both the best on their brand new gig.

James T. Harris was also on the panel, and I’m a huge fan of his talk show. That guy’s a big time talent, and shakes things up. He tells it like it is, and the only complaint I have is I don’t get to hear him more. He’s entertaining, informative and knows what he‘s doing.

Dan O’Donnell was the fourth guy, and we were on the last panel together. He sounded great and cracked off some one liners that made us all laugh, as did everyone. It was a fun segment, and that’s how it’s supposed to be. I’d go back there anytime, and I do hope they ask. I ran errands the rest of the day, and knocked out a lot of things I’d been intending to do for weeks. Starting the morning with such a positive vibe ended up lasting all day.

Preparing For Battle

July 28, 2011

Wednesday July 27th, 2011 – Cary, IL

Time to take some comedy inventory. Yammering on about how the business isn’t what  it used to be won’t pry me out of the precarious predicament I‘m presently planted in. I’ve got to look at what all my options are, and make an intelligent decision to move forward.

On the good side, I’ve got a lot of experience. I’d go as far as to say I’ve got as much or more hands on experience with standup comedy than 90% of headliners working in clubs today. No situation rattles me, and I’m able to adjust to virtually any scenario imaginable.

Off stage, I’m not a drinker or drug user, and I’m extremely low maintenance. I’m not a diva and don’t whine on about things like the colors of my M&Ms or that there’s not any caviar on my deli tray. I show up and give my very best show, then I’m always willing to meet and greet any fans afterward who might want to meet me. I think that’s important.

On the not so good side, I’ve been known to polarize people and there are some that are not now and highly doubtful in the future to ever be in my corner. A flaming example that haunts me often is the Bob and Tom radio show. Apparently I’ve pissed them off so badly I’ll never be on again, no matter how hard I try to apologize. That bridge has been nuked.

I still don’t know what I did, but in their eyes I’m the devil. Whatever. I’ve tried to say I was sorry, and I meant it. They didn’t accept. I’m off the show, which is heard in a lot of markets across the country. They’re not big markets, but they have a lot of exposure that’s perfect for what I do. I would KILL on their tours, and would have made a lot of money.

But alas, that’s not to be so I have to get over it. The other people I’ve pissed off are not nearly as high profile as Bob and Tom, but word gets around the block and I can tell I’m a bit of a pariah in some circles. Again, I can’t change what people are going to think, and I always try to make things right if I’ve hurt or offended someone. Sometimes they reject it.

What I need to do now is see who’s in my corner and who isn’t, and who has something to offer and who doesn’t. Plus, I need to expand my scope of focus WAY past only doing comedy club work. My booker friend Marc Schultz has been telling me that for years, and I know he’s right. I need to market myself to people who can pay a decent wage for today.

That’s nearly impossible to get in comedy clubs these days. I’ve said it before, but it’s a fact – I need to make myself a draw. That’s much easier said than done, but it’s still a long way from happening. I’m not a household name, even at my house. That’s a big problem.

I also need to take inventory of my whole onstage presentation too. I’ve got hundreds of pages of ideas in a giant computer file and there’s stuff in there I know I could polish into some great bits. But, they’re like songs on a music album. Which ones will become hits?

This is like the second half of a ball game. I’m making adjustments in the locker room, now it’s time to go out and execute that plan. The second half is where games are won.

Career Concern

July 27, 2011

Tuesday July 26th, 2011 – Kenosha, WI

I like to be positive whenever I can, but I have to say I’m not optimistic about the future of comedy as not only I see it, but my peers too. I’m in an extraordinarily difficult spot as far as career goes, and I‘m not alone. It’s a hard enough road being an entertainer, but the business as I’ve come to know it for over a quarter of a century is shriveling up. And fast.

Like a lot of industries, it just isn’t what it was and the prospects of it coming back are getting slimmer by the minute. I feel like the guy (and I know there’s at least one around) who’s sitting on a warehouse full of leisure suits, or his partner who’s got another full of parachute pants. Both may hope those items make a comeback, but it’s highly doubtful.

I got a call from Nick Gaza today. Nick is a funny comic from Indiana right around my age who recently moved back to the Midwest after slugging it out for many years in Los Angeles. He’s from my comedy generation, and we exchanged tales of how it‘s changed.

It used to be a small percentage of people made livings as comedians. It was a whole lot less when we started, and our generation had a few years of a boom before it was infested with hacks, idiots and wannabes which caused it to come crashing down in the early ‘90s.

Then it kind of built back up again, but not to that fever pitch it was in the golden years of the magical ‘80s. During that time, there was a mass exodus of comics who moved to L.A. in hopes of hitting the jackpot. Many did, as development deal money seemed to get handed out like Halloween candy. A good many road dogs got a taste of major moolah.

They were making sitcoms then, and standup comics were the hot thing. I’m sure actual actors weren’t too thrilled about that, but that’s how it went. A lot of those people weren’t heard from again, even though they’d managed to haul in a nice chunk of coin for a while.

Nick and I are from that generation, but never got close to that windfall. He was in L.A. trying to get seen, and I was farting around doing radio, road gigs and trying to stay out of prison while being accused of a bank robbery I didn’t do. I never got my shot at any deals.

Now, all that is ancient history. Reality TV is what’s being cranked out like rabbit turds in a pet store, and comics aren’t the darlings we once were, either in Hollywood or on the road. Most towns are infested with an overabundance of delusional pinheads who actually think they’re professional comedians because they made ten bucks opening for karaoke.

Journeyman performers who’ve earned their stripes have a much harder time squeezing a living out of the road because the local clubs quite often exchange quality for not having to pay for motel rooms for competent acts. I’m feeling that pinch big time, and so is Nick.

So are a lot of others from my generation and even previous ones too. It was never easy to be a good act and survive the road life, but now it’s really getting rough. There are way too many bad acts and even more halfwits who hire them, and the good acts suffer for it.

Vicarious Victory

July 26, 2011

Monday July 25th, 2011 – Palatine, IL

I’ve got all kinds of inconveniences with my car to deal with, but I’m not complaining a bit. A month ago I was laid up in a hospital bed, not knowing whether I’d come out a boy, girl or something in between. Knowing my manhood was saved puts me in tip top spirits.

Now, it’s back to the real world. What I thought was a transmission problem turned out to be a bad wheel bearing. It cost me $250 instead of $2500, so that was a break I needed right about now. The battery was also on it’s last legs, so that set me back another $97. It could have been a lot worse, so I’m going to say thanks and move on to the next chapter.

Between running around all day I was able to share a wonderful moment with my friend Jim McHugh. Jim has been an exceptional friend for years, especially during this patch of bumpy road I’ve been going through. He’s been nothing but supportive, and calls often to see if I’m ok. Many others have done that too, and it’s given me strength to keep going.

Jim and I are both big sports fans, and his son Connor plays American Legion baseball. I’ve known Connor for years, and he’s a hard working super sharp kid. Jim invited me to see the championship game this afternoon in Palatine, IL. I knew it was a big deal to both Jim and Connor, so I went to show support for all the times they’ve both shown it to me.

I like baseball, so it was no problem. Jim’s eyes lit up as he saw me walk up to the field, and I knew I made the right choice. He was glad to see me, as I was glad to see him all the times he showed up to get me from the airport when I returned from my cruise ship gigs.

The game was well played, and very exciting. From a baseball standpoint alone I wasn’t sorry I went. Connor made a nice catch in the outfield and hit the ball sharply his first two times at bat, but right at someone. I could see Jim’s frustration, but I was just happy to get a chance to be there. My old man never came to see me play baseball, or do anything else.

The game was tied 2-2 going into the bottom of the 9th inning. Fate had Connor coming up to bat with two outs and two men on base. It was the ideal situation to be the hero, and have that special bonding moment between father and son. I sure didn’t want to inflict my  horrendous luck anywhere near that moment, so I walked away from Jim as a courtesy.

The situation got tense as the count went to full, and I was hoping with all my heart that Connor would get any kind of a hit and have a lasting memory. On the next pitch, the left handed batting Connor launched a rocket over the third baseman’s head and the fans went crazy. I was cheering wildly, and I could see Jim brushing a tear away. What a moment.

I got a high five from him that felt like it broke my wrist, and then he put a bear hug on me that would have made Hulk Hogan proud. Tears were flowing and I didn’t blame him, but then he told me this would have been his father’s birthday and how special it was and I started crying myself. The roots of a family tree are thick, especially to those of us who never had a chance to experience it. I can’t be any happier for Connor, Jim and Jim’s dad.

Another Dead Idiot

July 26, 2011

Sunday July 24th, 2011 – Cary, IL

The only real surprise about hearing Amy Winehouse is dead is that it took this long for it to happen. She’s been a consistent favorite in dead pools for several years now, and I’m sure quite a few of those ghoulish bastards scored big points upon hearing of her passing.

Wait a minute, I’m one of those ghoulish bastards myself. I’ve been playing in two dead pools for several years now, and every January 1st I make out my lists for the coming year. I mix them up and don’t submit the same lists to each pool. It’s not easy to pick winners.

I had Amy Winehouse on one of my lists for a couple of years, then I gave up when she outlived everyone’s predictions. It’s harder to pick younger people, and in one pool I’m in there are extra bonus points given depending on how young a person is. It’s like a morbid game of fantasy football or baseball, but there isn’t nearly as much boring maintenance.

All we do is compile our lists by the deadline (no pun intended) in January and then see how it plays out during the year. The one with the most points at the end wins a couple of bucks, no great shakes. I won a few bucks one year, but it all goes back into the game as I used it to pay my nominal entry fees each year. It’s more of a chance to mix with friends.

More than a few tightly wound self righteous do gooder types get highly offended at the thought of anyone even thinking about a dead pool, but I guess I’ve grown a thick callous as a comedian and it doesn’t bother me in the least. Morbid? I guess so, but death is a part of the human experience and we’ve all got to face it – NO exceptions. I didn’t invoke that.

I heard once where Keith Richards chose himself in a dead pool. True or not, that’s very funny. There have been all kinds of jokes about death through the years, probably because it’s a way to soften the fact that none of us alive really know for sure what’s over there, if anything at all. I’d like to think this life isn’t all there is, but I won‘t know until it‘s over.

What I do know is that this one isn’t fair, and  Amy Winehouse is yet another flamingly obvious example. Apparently she had talent, even though I wasn’t a fan. But, I have zero sympathy for the fact she pissed not only whatever talent she had but her whole life away, and for what reason? She was too stupid to stay away from booze and drugs. How boring.

That’s the same thing that killed Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin Kurt Cobain at 27, and a whole lot more of all different ages. Why can’t people stay away from what’s been proven to extinguish lives for many years? If someone is dumb enough to think they are above anyone else and it won’t affect them, tough toe tags. They’re just another stiff.

I have to admit I’m a little irked by all this. Here I’ve spent as long as she was alive out on the road slugging it out night after night with nobody caring if I live or die. There are a lot of other entertainers of all kinds doing the exact same thing. But, some temperamental tattooed skinny booze hag pops up out of nowhere, and the world worships at her feet like she‘s a queen. Now she’ll become a ‘tragic legend’ and a ‘tortured artist’. My aching ass.

Stage Withdrawal

July 24, 2011

Saturday July 23rd, 2011 – Cary, IL

Another Saturday night without a gig and I’m getting antsy. I was supposed to be out in Tucson at Laffs this week, but I didn’t know if I was up for it with my recent health issues so I cancelled. I never like to cancel work, but I wasn’t sure I could bring it with all I had.

If someone pays to see me perform, I take it seriously. I want to be able to give my very best effort at any given time, and I also don’t want to cheat a booker either. I doubted my ability to be able to give my all right now, so I was up front with Gary Bynum who books the club. He’s a very astute businessman, and I respect that. I didn’t want to phone it in.

He was very cool about it, and in this economy it wasn’t difficult to find a replacement in milliseconds so no damage was done. A lot of bookers hold a grudge whenever there’s a cancellation, but sometimes it happens for legitimate reasons. This was one of them and I highly doubt it will prevent me from a future rebooking. I’d love to go back to Tucson.

In a perfect world, I’d book a few clubs in towns I enjoy and do it for the fun of it. I like Tucson a lot as a town, and I also like Salt Lake City which isn’t all that far away. A mini tour of those two cities with maybe a San Francisco, Sacramento or Seattle on the end of it would make a nifty little western junket. There are also a few casino gigs out that way.

Three or four runs a year wouldn’t be bad to do on the road, but only at nicer joints like Laffs in Tucson or Wiseguys in Salt Lake City. I fit in very well in those places, and there is minimal drama because they’re well run. Money has gone down all over though, so it’s important to add on as many casino one nighters as possible to make it worth my while.

It’s getting harder and harder to squeeze a buck out of the road , not to mention the fact it gets to be a brutal grind after a while. Gas at four bucks a pint doesn’t help either. It’s a rough go for the road comic these days, and I have no idea how openers and features hang in there. It’s tough enough for headliners, and I’m living proof. This is not an easy living.

Still, I enjoy performing for quality audiences who are there to see a show. That doesn’t always happen, but after a month on the sidelines, I’m itching to get back out there and do some shows. I might not have been ready for a trip to Tucson this particular week, but I’m sure ready to start doing even some guest sets in clubs around here to get my chops back.

Comedy is a craft, and any craftsperson needs to practice their craft to maintain a level of growth and proficiency that only comes by doing it. The old adage of “use it or lose it” is unfortunately all too true. It takes constant work, and even though I’ve had a nice little break to clear my head and rest up, if I don’t get back on stage again soon I will atrophy.

Most audiences would never know that, but I would. I don’t want to go up there and be off my game and give a bumbling half ass mish mash that passes for a show. I want to be at the top of my game for as long as I can stay there, and that’s not forever unfortunately. It now becomes a race against the clock, and every time on stage becomes significant.

Happy Funkin’ Birthday

July 24, 2011

Friday July 22nd, 2011 – Cary, IL

Today is George “Dr. Funkenstein” Clinton’s 70th birthday. Or maybe it’s 71. I’ve seen his birth year listed as either 1940 or 1941 for years, and I have no idea which is the right one. But with a super cool nickname like “Dr. Funkenstein”, does an exact year matter?

Anyone who knows me well knows I’m a huge fan of his for many reasons. I really like the music, but it’s more than that. He’s not only a master showman himself, he’s also able to bring out the very best in the musicians he works with. On top of that, he’s able to melt all of their individual talents together and oversee the chaos on stage during live shows.

He’s also the one who came up with most of the wild concepts that put them over in the ’70s, most notably the infamous space ship gimmick that landed in the arenas they played then. I never got to see one of those shows live, but always wanted to. I didn’t see George in person until the late 80s, right when he was starting to put together his comeback run.

There were all kinds of lawsuits going on at that time, and the band names ‘Parliament’ and ‘Funkadelic’ were tied up in court so the show was billed as “George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars“. It was basically the same members of both groups, and the first time I saw them live I was hooked. It was a four hour show at the Cabaret Metro in Chicago.

There were no spaceships landing, but the musicianship was from another planet. There were more people on stage than I could count, and they were all dressed in costumes from a sheik to a cowboy to a guy in a wedding dress. I’ve seen some shows in my day, but I’m always going to be biased toward the P-Funk. They grabbed my attention and still have it.

While the band is full of supremely talented players, it’s George that keeps it going as a collective touring and recording entity, and I have no idea how he’s done it for as long as he has. I’m not even 50 and I’m growing weary of the road as a single act. He’s at least 70 and still out there hitting it hard with several dozen people on stage to have to manage.

That gets my respect right there. I don’t know how he does it, but I’m glad he did it for as long as he has because it brought me and millions of others fantastic entertainment for decades. To me, that’s a life very well spent. I want to do the same with any talent I have.

It’s time for me to get back out there and make something happen with what I’m doing. I want to be the comedy version of George Clinton in that I surround myself with talented performers and let them do what they do. I know I can fill a similar role as George and be the coordinator and overseer to shape a sellable product out of what seems like anarchy.

I’ve got all these projects on hold like producing James Wesley Jackson’s DVD and the potential tour with my friends Don Reese, Dwight York and Dan Still. I also want to keep teaching comedy classes and also develop my King of Uranus gimmick. If George can do it and do it well for as long as he has, I think I need to give what I’m doing my full energy and not give up. Hopefully someone will write about my successes when I turn 70. Or 71.

Double Car Trouble

July 22, 2011

Thursday July 21st, 2011 – Cary, IL/Joliet, IL/Minooka, IL

Three weeks of focusing on all positive vibes and upbeat thinking can get wiped out in less than a day. This is where the real trick is, not letting myself slide into a negative vibe after having started on such an excellent path. Right now I feel like jumping off a bridge.

The 2004 Chevy Cavalier I bought recently from my childhood friend Tom Orlando has been having some transmission trouble. It won’t shift into the freeway gear and when I go over 50 miles an hour it sounds like a giant blender on full blast. I keep expecting to hear a loud pop and see a cloud of smoke billow out from under my hood. I’ve seen it before.

There’s never an ideal time or place for transmission trouble, unless it happens in one’s own driveway right before that person leaves on a weekend getaway and there happens to be a discount auto repair shop right next door that’s having a one time only 99% off sale.

Other than that, it’s a major kick in the ball joints and a nasty hassle. Tom lives down as far south as I live north, and it’s an 80 mile one way trip to his house. I’m not angry about the situation, it wasn’t Tom’s fault. He originally bought the car for his sister and he’s not going to try to pull one over on her, or on me either. I’ve known the guy since 7th grade.

It’s just an ill timed glitch, and mechanical malfunctions get fixed. I trust Tom, and the guy he has fixing his vehicles is a very competent mechanic. I’d rather drive it down there than pay some grease monkey I don’t know through the tailpipe up in my neighborhood.

I arranged a lunch with Marc Schultz and Tim Walkoe at the Old Country Buffet on the way south, and it was a lot of fun as usual. I ate two big plates of vegetables, some broiled fish and had some delicious vegetable soup. I think it was by far the healthiest meal at one of our hang out lunches I’ve ever had, and we’ve been doing them for years. I was proud.

I nursed the car down to Tom’s house, and we went to where his mechanic was in a tiny town called Minooka. I bought a Ford Contour at the Waukegan Auto Auction by mistake a while back, and Tom’s mechanic was going to sell it for me to help get my money back. I didn’t need it after I bought the Cavalier, but today it would come in handy as a loaner.

Tom and I dropped the Cavalier off in Minooka and got into the Contour. We took that back to a grocery store near where Tom lives to pick up some fresh fish and vegetables to eat for dinner. Tom is a great cook and we always enjoy hanging out whenever we can.

We got in the Contour in the parking lot of the grocery store and it started making funny noises, but not ha ha funny. These were grinding noises and neither of us were laughing. Try as we might, it would NOT restart, and there we sat in the heat with our education.

I ended up renting a car, and we had a delicious healthy dinner at Tom’s house but after this kind of stuff happening so many times in my life, it’s really getting old. What do I have to do to catch a break once in a while? Now I have two cars down, eighty miles from home.

The Moon Ingredient

July 21, 2011

Wednesday July 20th, 2011 – Cary, IL

Today marks the anniversary of the first (alleged) moon landing in 1969. We (allegedly) went back just a few more times, and that was it. There are all sorts of rumors flying in all directions, and I’ve always wondered what the truth really is. Something doesn’t add up. I don’t claim to have concrete answers, but there has to be a reason why it all just stopped.

There are some pretty wild theories I’ve read about. One says we never went there at all and it was all a big hoax to fool the Russians that we had the technology and the means to execute it and they didn’t. Allegedly there is a photo of a Coke can that was left sitting on the sound stage where the whole thing was supposed to have been faked that leaked out.

It supposedly made it into a few newspapers and then was discovered and fixed and the can was cropped out of the picture. Do I think it’s true? I don’t know, but I think it makes for a great conspiracy theory for wack jobs like me to read about on the internet at 3am.

Another even wilder story I’ve heard is that we did actually go to the moon, but several groups of aliens that were already there told us not to come back. We only saw the edited version of the landing, and apparently that had happened a while before the public saw it. That was a different time, and it wasn’t as tricky to fool the masses who didn’t question.

Both of those are pretty far fetched stories, but I have to admit they both got my full and undivided attention. I clearly remember the moon landings from when I was a kid and it’s always been a source of wonder and interest. I was a little young for the first one, but I do remember some of the later ones, and I never understood why they were just abandoned.

I know Apollo 13 dodged a major bullet and that threw a scare into everyone, but we’ve come so far with technology since then I’d have thought for sure Six Flags would’ve built a theme park up there by now and McDonald’s would be selling green cheeseburgers. It’d be a great tourist destination, as they wouldn’t need to advertise. We’d all see it nightly.

Even as a kid, I didn’t believe what I was told that no life could exist anywhere but here and the moon and all the other planets and their moons were dead and without any kind of life whatsoever. Up Uranus with that noise. There might not be people, but I still think we are not the only forms of life in the universe in general and our own solar system either.

I have no tangible proof of any of this and I’m not saying I buy into the tall tale of aliens bullying us to leave their turf on the moon. However, doesn’t it seem just a little fishy that nobody has gone back to the moon in all these years? I’d think someone would want to do it, even if only to do something stupid like claim it for Allah or put advertising signs up.

I’m not going to lie, I want to go to the moon and all the planets too. I can only hope I’ll get abducted some day, and even if I have to withstand a pickle sized green finger wedged in my black hole it would be worth it to take that tour. If I was able to make it through my recent surgery, there’s no reason I can’t handle a full medical examination from an alien.