Four years between posts. You can't really call that a blog, can you?
If I’m going to be this neglectful, I can hardly get worked up about all of the Spam bot fan mail I’ve had to remove in the intervening years.
I imagine an alternate universe where I might have a relationship with the authors of such missives as:
- “Another great post, I appreciate all the work you put into this site, helping out others with your fun and creative works.” –From Lipozene Reviews
- “Hello ... I'm bringing 3 new people into my system this month and I thought you might be a good fit” –Anonymous
- “How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family? I wish to inform you that ECOWAS have been having a meeting with the IMF and UNITED NATION for the past 1 month now which ended yesterday in regards to innocent individual who have been a victim of scam…”—Didn’t catch the name
- “Hey, your product sure sounds swell. How about if I trade you one of my poems for a tube of Lipozene, whatever that may be?”
- “Wonderful! Sign me up right now. Without a doubt, I am a good fit.”
- “Gosh, I don’t even know what to say! Give my regards to ECOWAS.”
Actually, I don’t even have to try that hard to imagine that alternative universe. Once, years ago, lonely and unemployed, I stayed up every night drinking cheap beer, eating beans, playing guitar and watching reruns of Hill Street Blues. About 3:00 am, an ad would come on offering free Mormon Bibles. I must have ordered 20 of them, and they sat unread on my shelves for years, along with the Big Book from AA.
It was September, the neighborhood boys had gone back to school, and we had had to discontinue the Whiffle Ball league I started. They were losing interest in the dog days of a 162 game season, and anyway, their parents didn’t much want them playing with a scruffy, unemployed guy. So, in my loneliness, I began to welcome Elder Matt and Elder Steve with a caffeine-free beverage every time they stopped by.
They were nice guys, fulfilling their Mormon mission years in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, of all places. I asked them why they hadn’t signed up for some place exotic like Tahiti, but then it dawned on me that they couldn’t drink and screw around anyway, so what difference did it make?
Such was my thinking at the time.
I don’t know if they were disappointed, resigned or just moved on to their next potential convert when I finally got another job and went back to work. I never saw them again, in the same way I haven’t watched Hill Street Blues since then, and that I have an aversion to canned beans. We didn't keep up through letters or anything, but I imagine they went on to very wholesome and productive endeavors. I don’t know what I finally did with all of those Bibles.
I did, however, get an actual fan email once, which I have archived to this day.
It was from a seventh-grade girl, who mistakenly sent it to me, instead of to her idol, Tim Hawkins, the Christian comedian. Or I should say, the real Tim Hawkins, the famous one, not this one.
“Dear Tim Hawkins,” she wrote. “Our teacher said we can do a research paper on anything and I choose to do you. I needed some more information on your Christian standpoint in life, your family, and upbringing. I am a big fan of yours. I love your comedy…It would mean a lot to get a response from you.”
I had to respond to such a heartfelt request, of course.
“Thank you so much for the note,” I wrote. "I’m really touched to have a fan. Anything that you want to know about me, my Christian standpoint in life, my family and my upbringing can be found in my autobiography. It is called Wanderings at Deadline and can be purchased with your parents’ credit card for just $14 on my website.”
All of this leads to my New Year’s resolution: Blog more, sell at least as many books this year as the number of Mormon Bibles I ordered, interact with some real human beings instead of Spam bots, consider changing my name from Tim Hawkins to Wesley Lexington Bainbridge III, keep avoiding Hill Street Blues and canned beans like the plague.
Elder Matt, Elder Steve, the Whiffle Ball league players, who, by now, must be nearly 40-year-old men with beer bellies and aversions to canned beans of their own. I miss you guys.
All the best in the new year.
That’s all I’ve got for now.