Gregor Spanks Geezers, Just a Little

GregorGregor has been handing out a lot of spankings lately. He thinks there is something in his well water that makes this happen.

Today, he wants to spank geezers, just a little.

Gregor is a geezer, so he knows the wayness of old. He cannot be deceived by studies, rumors, or philosophical debates when it comes to geezerness. Gregor has experience and he will not be silenced by conventional wisdom.

There are some aspects of geezerness that are good, some not so good. Gregor understands the yin-yang dwaddle of all things. So, he’ll try to stay balanced.

Whining. Gregor does not like whiners of any variety, at any age, under any circumstances. He also believes that geezer whining is the worst. It should be made illegal. Geezer whiners should be taxed, heavily. Now, Gregor understands that geezers may have cause to whine, at least in their own minds. Lots of geezers have aches, pains, bumps, grinds and lousy bowel movements. So, what? Since it’s the nature of geezerness to have these issues, why tell everyone in the world about it? Everyone already knows about these things. Gregor suggests that his fellow geezers lighten-up and quit stating the obvious. No one appreciates a bore. No one wants to read the same chapter over and over again.

GeezerStay slow. Rushing around is for the young. Gregor used to keep the pedal to the metal, every day in every way. But he’s gotten wiser over the years. There’s a deep beauty to slowness, to proper pacing. It’s like Tai Chi. Better to do it slowly than the alternative. Gregor believes that the destination is in the journey. He likes to look out the window, wonder at the passing scenery. So, why all the rushing around? Makes no sense to Gregor. Keep it easy, friend geezer.

Don’t be cheap. Gregor’s not talking about money, he’s talking about sharing yourself. If you have something to share, why not just put it out there? If you live long enough to see something important, say so. Don’t be cheap with all the stuff you’ve collected over the years. Gregor wants you to share, carefully. He shares, carefully. Sometimes, geezers have something to say that’s not whining. When they do, it sometimes makes sense. It’s good to offer wisdom to others, so long as they ask for it. Don’t just hang it out there like a dead fish, unannounced. But, when someone asks, give it freely.

Stop acting like Judge Judy. This is the worst of the worst for geezers. Always judging, always interpreting according to ancient, hackney customs and styles. What’s that all about? People are different, thank the gods. Just learn to accept it and stop being threatened by these differences. Geezers should know better. After all, if you’ve been around this long, why not develop some tolerance for differences and diversity? Everything doesn’t have to be in accordance with those ancient, perfect, flawed visions of your younger years. Why not enjoy change, just a little? It won’t kill you. Gregor doesn’t appreciate people who mock his failed lobotomy or judge him by his head wrap. Would you? So, don’t be one of those draggy old geezers.

Make some young friends. You’ve got to have some good cards to play if you want to stay in the game. You don’t want nothing but a vast sea of old geezers from which to draw inspiration. Keep in touch with the younger folk. They usually have much more interesting things to offer, and they typically don’t repeat themselves so much. Instead of focusing on tricky bowel movements and the good old days, why not learn about something a bit more contemporary? Check out the younger generation. They’re the movers and shakers, just like you were a long time ago. Find out what’s happening in the real, bigger world outside your wrinkles.

Boo HooNuke the nostalgia. Gregor hates nostalgia. Now, that doesn’t mean remembering is a bad thing. It’s helpful and sometimes interesting. But, all of this longing, pining away, for the good old days is pure doo-doo. It’s a complete drag for everyone involved. Those days were yesterday, remember? Learn from them. Share the memories if asked. Never bore the universe with verbal tales of past times that wind around the mountain and end up at the same old trail head. It’s just plain dull. It’s nostalgia at its worst. You know what I mean, don’t you old geezer? Are you guilty? Well, stop it!

Humor. Yep, it’s the magic pill of old age. Lose your humor and you begin to shrivel like last month’s mushroom. You need to laugh, every day. Find a way to make that happen and then spread it around. It’s your job to find the fun in life and share it. If you can’t uncover a good laugh, blow your nose, take your enema, and try a little harder. Of all the supplements you could take, humor is the most powerful, the most long-lasting. Gregor likes to laugh. Don’t you? No? You better get with the program, stuffy geezer. You need to laugh to get on the train to somewhere.

Don’t be a know-it-all. Since everyone you meet already understands that you don’t know it all, why try to convince them that you do? Silly old geezer. Relax and learn. Listening is an art, so give it a try.

Get techie. Gregor understands that tech stuff is difficult for geezers. He struggles with it all the time. But technology is here to stay, and it’s wonderful. Dip your toe into the pool and learn to swim around with others. It’s powerful, empowering, and it’s very “today.” Techies know stuff, very interesting stuff. You still want to learn, don’t you? You don’t know it all, right? So, get techie and see what you can pick up along the way. Have some fun. Make some friends. Get groovy for a change.

Comrade Barking OrdersKick fear in the ass. Remember when you were young? Remember that feeling of invulnerability? Well, that’s yesterday, so quit worrying about it. There’s nothing more to fear today unless you keep searching for it under every rock and shadow. Shed the worry skin and take a good, long look at all the potential fun and interesting things around you. How about those fascinating people that cruise through your life? Aren’t they more meaningful than fretting about whether your thyroid will blow up if you eat too many clams? Perspective is a good thing. Balance is even better. Keep to the middle and spank those frivolous fears. They’re nothing more than the ghosts of an uninvolved, starving mind. Step out and stretch a little.

Live large. Gregor knows that geezerness is a winding road. But it’s also a chance to reach out, to try something new and fun. You may be riding a mule rather than a quarter horse, but it’s still a good ride. Take it to a new direction, to a place you’ve never been, toward that dream you filed away so many years ago. Live large, every day. You’ll be a much happier geezer if you get involved and live it up.

Gregor lives here.

Gregor’s Home Town Goes Big Time

Gregor lives near here

Gregor lives near here

Gregor is shy, most of the time. His keepers don’t let him roam around too much. They would be very upset if Gregor went missing, given the perils of his lobotomy.

But Gregor does like to party from time to time.

Each year, during the second weekend in July, Gregor is allowed to attended a massive event in his home town. Normally, it’s a quiet place, nestled in the woods. But once a year, the town struts its stuff for the world. That’s when Gregor can be seen in public. It’s the only time.

ParkThis is where Gregor can be found over that special weekend. It’s just him and about 20,000 of his closest friends.The event is held at the town community park.

The rest of the year, it’s impossible to find more than 20 folk roaming the street. There are no sidewalks, so street-roaming is common. Gregor believes it’s an idyllic place to live and not be harassed about his lobotomy. He has many friends.

What Gregor likes best about this park is that it’s completely community-owned and volunteer operated. That’s right. No taxes, no bureaucrats, no fuss, no muss. Just Gregor’s friends out there putting on a big party and taking care of the park. Gregor doesn’t like bureaucrats but he certainly loves this park.

There’s all sorts of interesting stuff going on at the July celebration. Gregor wants to tell you a little more.

Log RollingLogging is a tradition in Gregor’s home town. It used to be big business, back in the day. The traditions still live on with competitors from the local area and folks from far away.

There are many logging events, lots of excitement. Gregor has been known to swoon at some of them.

Gregor is especially fond of log rolling. If you look closely, you’ll see Gregor among the crowd in the background. He’s the guy with the white head wrap. Can you see him? Look very closely. He’s there.

Lawn Mower RacingHere’s a picture of another of Gregor’s favorite events. It’s lawn mower racing.

This is fast-paced, competitive and action-packed fun for everyone. These mowers are not your Mama’s mowers. They have been specially designed, tweaked, and made very fast. If you look closely, you’ll see Gregor’s head wrap sticking out of the helmet.

Do you see him? He’s there.

ParadeThere’s also a great parade through town. All the locals come to party. Folks from all over the area line the street. The parade is open to all. Since there’s only one street, no one ever gets lost.

Old cars, new cars, fire trucks, log trucks, bikes, motorcycles, tractors, and even horses all line up and romp through town. It’s a big, big show. Gregor is always at the parade.

Look closely behind the old-time car. Can you see him?

MusicThere’s lots of music. All kinds. Rock, folk, bluegrass. Players, singers and strummers from everywhere entertain the party-goers throughout the weekend. Gregor likes the music, very much. It makes him want to throw off his head wrap and dance, dance, dance.

You can’t see Gregor in this photograph. But he was there. He’s sitting in the very front row, tapping his feet.

Best of all, there’s food everywhere. All kinds of food. Real country food. Gregor likes it all. He moves from place to place, eating and drinking, meeting his friends and making new friends. Gregor always fattens-up on that weekend.

Gregor has a great time on those warm July days. If you should be in the neighborhood, Gregor hopes you would stop by and say hello. He would be pleased to show you around the park. He thinks you would love his little town, especially when it throws such a big party.

Otherwise, you’ll have to wait another year to meet Gregor and examine his head-wrap for yourself.

Here’s a hint.

Gregor lives here when he’s not at the park.

Great Literary Bleemersnarks: The Hitler Diaries

"Hitler's Diaries Discovered" (Stern)

The recipe is simple but the preparation may take some time. Start with your favorite slices of fraud, hoax, scam or forgery. Mix well with several cups of greed. Garnish it with the essence of a failed self-lobotomy. Simmer until done. Serve while hot. That’s a literary bleemersnark.

Today’s favorite recipe: The Hitler Diaries

When and Where: 1983, in West Germany. At the time, Germany was still a divided nation.

The Bleemersnarkee: Stern, a widely-read and once adored weekly news magazine. Founded in 1948, it reached a circulation of more than 8 million readers in Germany and across Europe. With Stern’s publication of the Hitler Diaries, it is generally agreed that an all-time low in German journalism was achieved. This moment became Stern’s undying literary legacy. Of course, Stern was not the only bleemersnarkee in this nifty twist. The victims were many and renowned, not to mention every one of Stern’s readers.

The Bleemersnarker: The mysterious “Dr. Fischer,” who claimed to have smuggled the Hitler Diaries out of East Germany and directly into the waiting hands of journalist Gerd Heidemann. There were more. Wait for The Reveal.

The Plot: Stern announced the too-good-to-be-true find in April 1983. The diaries were allegedly discovered among other important papers recovered from an airplane crash in Dresden, in April 1945. For well over a year preceding the announcement, negotiations with “Dr. Fisher” and others supposedly went on behind the scenes. After finally collecting the documents, three separate handwriting examinations were made of one page of the diary. Each expert claimed that the handwriting was, indeed, that of Adolph Hitler. At the time, no forensic tests were made. Two noted WWII historians were brought in to further verify the material. Both agreed that the diaries were genuine.

Since the diaries consisted of some 60 volumes, it was hard to believe that they were all forgeries. However, as soon as Stern made their infamous announcement, skeptics and doubters crawled out of the woodwork. On April 25, 1983, Stern held a news conference to reveal the publication schedule of the diaries. Suddenly, the whole cake began to fall. The two historians backed away from their previously enthusiastic support of the material. Author David Irving produced photocopies of another fake Hitler diary that he claimed was from the same collection as the Stern cache. This debacle forced a more thorough, legitimate forensic examination of the diaries.

You guessed it. They were forgeries, all of them. Forensic experts agreed that they were fakes, and not especially good ones at that. Woops.

The Fallout: The two Stern editors involved in this bleemersnark got the ax, allegedly self-imposed. So did an editor at the Sunday Times, scheduled to also run the Hitler Diary series. And, William Boyles from Newsweek, an American bleemersnarkee. Lesser heads rolled freely. The two noted historians lost their bite among all other historians, and the public. Oh, and let’s not forget the lovable Rupert Murdoch, who was up to his eyeballs in this bleemersnark.

The Reveal: The diaries had been carefully prepared by forger Konrad Kujau, well known in the Stuttgart environs for his previous artistic endeavors. And the money (9 million marks)? Well, no one knows for sure. However, journalist Heidemann began to live high on the hog rather suddenly. Kujau was fed well. Both men were sentenced to nearly 4 years in prison, which was just long enough for their money to collect a healthy dose of interest. When Kujau hit the streets again, he opened his own business specializing in “original Kujau forgeries.”

Dear Gregor, Am I Italian?

GregorGiovanni, thanks for writing to my Head Wrap Advice Column! You’ve posed a profound and probing question. I want to make sure that I get this one right!

I noticed from the postmark on your letter that you live in America. This means you must be at least somewhat Italian in your soul. Whether it be by diet, movies, art or hand gestures, if you’re American you have become a bit Italian somewhere down deep. But, that’s not an adequate answer to your powerful question.

Let’s move a bit further.

I’ve discovered a self-test that can help answer your question. It’s a simple test and takes only a moment to complete. Still, it’s powerful. The results will tell you whether or not you have an Italian soul, which is what really lies at the heart of your question. The test has two parts: hand gestures and required phrases.

IGestures ClassicHand Gestures. Take a look at the visual that I’ve kindly provided. This is a classic collection of important hand gestures from the wildly popular book, Canon Andrea de Jorio. It is the definitive guide to how the Italian hand is meant to express and enhance fundamental ideas.

Now, you must be totally honest with yourself, Giovanni. Study these images carefully. If you find yourself using one, just one, of these gestures, you have an Italian soul.

Pay particular attention to image #5, my personal favorite. Do you recognize this gesture? Have you ever, even once in your life, used this gesture? Be honest.

Required Phrases. Once again, Giovanni, honesty is completely necessary. Read the following phrases carefully. Study them. Since this is a family-friendly column, I’ve taken some editorial license to ensure that no reader is offended. However, the intent of the phrases should be clear.

The question to ask yourself is this: Have I ever, even once in my life, used even one of these phrases? If you answered “Yes!” you have an Italian soul.

Ready? Here goes.

Il mio asino è guasto (My donkey is dead.)

Dove disfaccio di questo corpse del bellboy? (Where do I dispose of this bellboy’s corpse?)

Aricchi du porcu (You are like the hair on a pig’s ear.)

Ho fatto una cazzata (I screwed up! Requires appropriate hand gesture.)

Io non mangio in questo merdaio (I refuse to eat in this house of doo-doo.)

Finally, there is one other important point to consider. Is pizza Italian? Have you ever eaten pizza, even a single slice? Pizza was invented in Naples, you know. Naples is in Italy, you know.

Well, have you ever eaten pizza?

Hope this advice has been of some help, Giovanni. As always, I love to hear from my readers.

Gregor, the Head Wrap Advice Columnist

Gregor lives here.

Gregor’s Dominatrix Cat

Cat Dominatrix (John Lund)A while ago, Gregor was confronted with a troubling issue. He received a fan letter asking whether or not the writer’s dog was an alien. His reply is here. Gregor was able to address the problem with aplomb.

However, it all went sideways a few days later when Gregor re-read the letter. The writer had raised the question of cats, which Gregor failed to address.

He will do so now.

Gregor has limited experience with cats. His taste runs to the canine flavor, mostly. However, Gregor does live with a single cat, and he has learned that his cat is a dominatrix. This has caused Gregor great concern and significant embarrassment.

Gregor recognizes the difference between an alien and a dominatrix, for the most part. However, he also realizes that both aliens and dominatrixes may cause difficulties in the family unit. Gregor wishes this weren’t so. Gregor prefers simplicity in all things.

Comrade Puss in a resting state

Comrade Puss trying to lure Gregor

Gregor named his cat “Comrade Puss,” along with a variety of less publishable aphorisms  He is unaware of Comrade’s origins. She simply appeared some ten years ago and never left. This made Gregor wonder if she could be an alien, just like his dog. Time provided the answer.

Gregor kept watch for UFOs, abductions, and other alien phenomena  None, nada. The truth of Comrade Puss eventually became obvious.

Comrade is an unquestioned dominatrix. She has all the right qualities, the perfect attitude, and even dresses like a classic dominatrix. Comrade is especially stunning in her leathers, which cannot be shown here because of the G rating. Sadly, Comrade Puss also suffers from Overlord Personality Syndrome (OPS), which is something Gregor has seen before and associates with dominatrixes.

As expected, the cat claims the best of everything. Gregor’s favorite chair, the most luxurious surroundings, high quality food served on her own schedule, and much more. She sometimes demands physical stroking and just as quickly will ignore Gregor’s pleas for reciprocity. She manipulates him mercilessly. Yet, Gregor continues to come back for more. Is this not the predictable outcome for a successful dominatrix? Gregor thinks so.

Comrade Puss in full dominatrix mode

Comrade’s full dominatrix mode

Gregor has mixed feelings about this relationship. He loves his cat but he isn’t sure how she feels about him. Gregor fears the possibility of physical confrontation. Comrade gives him mixed signals, all the time. Gregor feels as though he has lost control of the relationship. In fact, he can’t recall ever having any control in the relationship. The Comrade has always been in charge.

Why should Gregor suffer so?

Because Comrade Puss is a dominatrix. That’s why. It’s the natural order of things, the way of the dominatrix. Gregor must learn to adapt because Comrade will never budge, not one inch. Gregor needs to stop whining and get into the swing of things, so to speak.

Gregor is pleased that Comrade Puss is not an alien. He is relieved. He understands that this complex relationship will take time and effort to achieve fruition. He is willing to wait, to dwell under the thumb of his dominatrix.

Gregor lives here.

Gregor Spanks the History Channel

GregorGregor is very upset with the History Channel. He thinks they deserve a good spanking.

Gregor understands the concept of “history.” He suffered through the subject many years ago in school, back in the days after the automobile was invented. Gregor knows that history is fraught with errors, like Columbus discovered America. He has always sought the truth behind history, the real meaning of things past. Sadly, the History Channel didn’t fill this need. In fact, it has made Gregor more frustrated than ever.

Gregor points to these gaping history holes never filled by the alleged History Channel.

Giorgio Tsoukalos Ancient Aliens

Ancient Aliens. Gregor knows all about aliens. He lived with one for many years. He’s been abducted, tested, sent through time, bred and otherwise maltreated by aliens. None of this is history. It’s current events. It belongs on CNN, MSNBC, or Fox News. Worse, Gregor objects to the belief that our ancestors were too stupid to build nice structures and beautiful temples. Gregor’s ancestors were not stupid. He isn’t stupid. If it wasn’t for his lobotomy, Gregor would certainly have been a noted historian. Gregor is not pleased that the History Channel makes his ancestors look like a bunch of Neanderthals.

Swamp People. What’s this obsession about people who live in swamps? Why pick on alligators all the time? Where’s the history in that? Gregor thinks this is not historical, and not even particularly interesting. He believes the History Channel is creating history, not imparting it. He knows that swamps have been around a long time. He understands that alligators are frightening. He even likes Cajun food. But Gregor believes this is a silly way to fill-in the blanks between commercials. He thinks one show would have been enough to cover the history of swamps and alligators. Gregor wants the History Channel to get out of the swamps.

The Bounty Hunter (K-9)

Big Bounty Hunters. OK, so there are bounty hunters running around. They show off their muscles and use all kinds of alleged tactical tactics to chase people all over the countryside. It’s the overused good-guy bad-guy thing regurgitated as history. Gregor has seen many Westerns in his time. He thinks the six-gun packing bounty hunters were a lot more fun. They didn’t need to show off their muscles or tactical prowess. They just shot the bad guys mano-a-mano. How are these new guys historical? Aren’t they just copycats? Gregor says once is enough. Cut down on the filler and get back to history.

American Pickers. So what if some guys can pick out good junk and make money doing it? How is that history? Shouldn’t this be on the Yard Sale Channel?

Life After People. Now, Gregor has to put up with history in reverse. History is supposed to look back, tell us about the good old days. But, no! This series looks ahead to a time when we’re all dust and history-less. Gregor liked the graphics, and he was very happy that all those animals survived our stupidity. But what has that got to do with history? It belongs on the Future Armageddon Channel.

Armageddon. Yep, they stole this one away from the Future Armageddon Channel. Gregor has seen the 4,354 ways we will all go to hell in a hand basket. The History Channel has made it clear that everything is doomed, destined for oblivion. OK, so how’s that history? By the time it happens there won’t be any history any more. That means the History Channel will also go away.

Gregor wishes the History Channel would just get down to business and do the right thing. These shows have nothing to do with history. They’re all over the map, showing Gregor all kinds of stuff that may or may not happen, that probably or likely did not occur, that titillate but not inform, that speculate but never hit the bottom line. Gregor believes the History Channel may be nothing more than a profit-oriented operation that has lost its historical roots. He worries that he will be co-opted and lose his links to the past.

Gregor will continue to spank the History Channel until it gets things right. In the meantime, he will try the Home Shopping Network, where real history is made.

Gregor lives here.

A Hero On My Doorstep

Mystery

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Also, in all ages. The nice thing about heroes is that they never consider themselves to be much beyond the ordinariness of the rest of us. They go about their heroism quietly, easily. It’s the essence of their uniqueness, their strength. It’s how we know, in our hearts, they are true heroes.

Here’s one of my heroes. Can you guess his age? It’s all there to discover.

Sensible works. He likes to keep it real, to roll it around in his mind until it makes sense. Now, some things don’t fit perfectly, won’t yield to sense right now. But that doesn’t end the story. What doesn’t make sense today will probably do so tomorrow, or next month, or next year. Eventually, it all comes together if you just work on it. That’s called optimism. That demands patience. Who can resist that kind of thinking? Isn’t that the way to keep yourself on a steady path through life?

Intensity is fun. I feel it and I want you to feel it also. Life is an exercise in passion, not just thinking. Feelings matter. Passions count. Intensity magnifies experience, excites new ideas, is the mother and father of fresh thinking. It’s also contagious. Without the feeling, life can get pretty bland, right?

Freud's diagrams from 'The Ego and the Id' (1923)

Exit the ego. Life is not all about him. He’s just a player and he understands that role. Sure, life is personal. But it’s personal for everyone. Other people share that same feeling about life and he recognizes that reality. His ego is just right. Not too small to be painful, not too large to be overwhelming. It’s a good fit because it views others with their unique worth and role. He doesn’t need to scream to be heard. A whisper is good enough.

Trying will get you there. It’s all about moving ahead. Sure, the past provides important lessons, both fun and painful. But that’s not where he wants to spend his time. It’s all about the future. Getting there takes work. Trying works well, sometimes. Sometimes, not so much. But he knows you get nowhere without the engine running, without keeping on. Even first gear can give you a good ride.

Even bad times are good. There’s good stuff everywhere, he says. You just have to dig a bit deeper sometimes. Yep, it’s that old optimism thing at work again. That’s an infectious attitude, something that is hard to resist. Of all the gates in the world, small and large, each has a bit of a smile emblazoned on the lock, he tells me. This is the best part of looking back, remembering, mulling over those times. It’s a powerful form of inspiration. At the soul of everything there lurks some nugget of goodness.

Everything is interesting. The world is alive with fascinating people, creatures, events, encounters and possibilities. You can take any one of them, no matter how tiny or seemingly insignificant, and find a new point of interest, another view of it all. The jigsaw goes on forever and it’s forever fascinating. Want to talk about something? Go ahead, pick the subject. He has something to say because he knows there is always a small mystery sleeping behind the obvious. Life is full of endless surprises.

Nobody should suffer forever. Bad times happen, he says. We all get the bumps and bruises. But none of this goes on forever. We tough it out. We know there will always be the next moment, the next day, the next opportunity. No matter how badly it hurts, we will heal, someday. It’s the lesson of patience and the power that comes from always looking ahead, wondering about that next horizon.

No, he would never recognize himself as a hero. Just another one of us milling around, fumbling and discovering, wondering and hoping. He’s taking the ride along with the rest of us, working out the details along the way, always hopeful and forever interested.

But isn’t that a good definition of hero?