Say Hi to My Friend Stupid--by Reb MacRath
I'd have had a different headline--one loved by my friend Stupid--if I'd placed a comma after the word 'friend'. But Savvy, my other friend, came to the rescue. The two are seldom far apart. Savvy has his moments and has served me well through the years.
A few of Savvy's strengths and achievements:
--A small rainbow of belts in martial arts, Hapkido and Aikido, before my back retired me, gave me physical confidence and serve as a motherlode for fight scenes in my books.
--Street smarts acquired through life in a half-dozen big cities and retail acquaintance with scoundrels and thieves of all sorts.
--Copywriting and journalistic experience
--Stoker Award for best first novel.
--Moving experience gained from a half-dozen cross-country moves.
--Writing, proofreading, and editing experience gained from a dozen published novels and an advertising background
--From my classical studies, a passion for complex structure, brevity, and word play.
--From my close study of Ira Levin, sharpened literary claws for mystery games of cat and mouse.
So I have a respectable skillset. But, oh God, here he comes again.
A few of Stupid's worst moments and blunders:
--In 2019, at long last, I learned how to plunge a toilet.
--For much of my life, I've been a fool with money.
--Times two-squared wth women.
--Times ten-squared with computers.
--More than once I've paid steeply for trusting and/or confiding in someone about whom I had doubts.
--Just a week ago, I'd had enough of a bookcase with loosened shelves, resulting in my keeping most of my books and DVDs in storage. The hell with that! What did I need to repair the shelves? Shelf supports? Shelf pins? Finally, I found 'shelf pegs' listed on Amazon--and three days later the bookcase shelves were fixed.
--For years, my friend David North-Martino has tried patiently to explain to me why he doesn't need to buy CDs to listen to music. But Stupid reigns supreme here: I continue to need explanations of his explanations.
--I still haven't mastered the art of ruling a room the instant that I enter.
--After all these years, I still need to spend months to outline each book.
The past couple of years Savvy raced to the rescue more often and with greater force. He wants more than a simple alliance with Stupid--Savvy's fighting for dominion. And more often than not his urgings are right on the money. Don't cave in so quickly, for instance. Try Googling under 'shelf pegs.' Or: Hey, before going for the required Independent Medical Exam for that insurance claim, try Googling IME or YouTube and learn what to expect. Or: Hey, Reb, how about if you don't show up at that writers' convention in a 3-piece suit...the way you did--Remember, Reb?--in 1989?
Yeah, Savvy's a good pal of mine now. And the more I listen to him, the more smoothly life seems to go. But I've come to accept the fact that Stupid will never entirely quit the scene. And maybe in a way that may not be such a bad thing. While Savvy teaches me to better use my gifts, Stupid makes damned sure I never think that I'm God's gift.