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.


Welcome to MacRathWorld, if you like premium blends of mystery, action, and suspense. From Caesar's Rome to Seattle today, the twists fly at the speed of night. If you're unfamiliar with my work, I recommend starting with the new Seattle BOP mysteries. Here's the link to my AuthorPage on Amazon for a detailed look at the variety of 'rides' in my amusement park.


Umberto Tosi said…
Most amusing, Reb! I can relate. I'd attempt my own contrapuntal list but my Stupid would run too long for this format. Is it too late to say Happy New Year?
Sandra Horn said…
Dear Reb, we're all all of a piece and people who only do Savvy (if there are any such) would be unbearable. Laughing at ourselves when we're dumb is an essential human attribute. You're absolutely amazing just the way you are, Stupid and all.
Reb MacRath said…
Thanks, Umberto and Sandra. Happy New Year to you both--from the two of us!
Eden Baylee said…
Hi Reb,

Such a delightful post! Much needed and very enjoyable, especially in between all the political and serious shit I'm reading.

That you learned to plunge a toilet 2 years ago is astonishing. Did you have someone else do it for you, or did your toilet never back up? Regardless, you can do it now! Yay!

If you've been a fool with money, I hope you had fun spending it ... on women.

You can never learn enough about computers. Hopefully with lockdown, you'll be able to spend some time figuring it out. It gets to be fun eventually, promise.

As for music, try Youtube, it's fantastic to discover music every week for my Music Monday blog. Google it and you'll see.

Be well,

Reb MacRath said…
Thanks, Eden, for the tips and kind words. I dunno about the music, though. The one tie I tried adding Spotify was such a horrible experience that I'll never try it again. It's a damned shame that we can't all be as computer-savvy as Bill Kirton.
Eden Baylee said…
hahaha Reb, I'm sure Bill will get a kick out of that. Ask him how he loves coding, heh.

Try youtube or iTunes or even Amazon music, they're probably a bit easier than a dedicated digital music service like Spotify.

Really enjoyed this! I'm always amazed how easily fixed things can be once I start to actually do it! Thanks for the reminder, it was really quite a balanced list, I would say!
Reb MacRath said…
Thanks again, Eden. MAybe Savvy will help me yet though I can't understand how to play the music except for sitting at my laptop. My goal would be to listen to BTS while I'm writing or working out.

Thank you too, Maressa. I'm pleased that the lists are reasonably well balanced, not giving Stupid more light than he needs or deserves.
Wendy H. Jones said…
Brilliant blog as always, Reb. I can identify with many of the things you say and I believe we are all a mix of savvy and stupid. Thanks for the reminder that we are not alone.
Kirsten Bett said…
Love it! Savvy and Stupid work best together. And Stupid always can be redeemed while collecting laughs on the way.

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