My “hook”.

Sometimes I think about my stories, and how I’ll be remembered in the future.  Life is long, but other people’s lives are infinite.  As my friends grow older and have kids, it makes me wonder what their life will be like. Their future.

I remember back to my childhood, and I do my best to remember the friends of my parents. I remember quite a few of them still, and I remember the ones that paid special attention to me the most — obviously.  Mrs. Broomhead – her real name, always had green seedless grapes at her house. We never had grapes. The Hills, The Hunts, The other Hunts and Vera MacDonald were the ones I remember most. They were all nice to me.

When I’m with my friends who have kids, I do my best to include them, be friendly with them, and be social.  To them, I’m Jeff, or even uncle Jeff.  In fact — no kids call me Mr. Goebel.  In my entire life, I can’t recall anybody calling me Mr. Goebel, except when calling me from the waiting room, or next up in a queue somewhere.  All the kids today know me as Jeff.  It doesn’t seem weird at all, except when I reflect.  I always called people Mr. and Mrs, while growing up. Even today I have customers I consider friends – but I call them Mr. Cooper and Mr. Harris.

Comedians have taught us, to be remembered, we need a hook.  Something that sticks out in our memories that identifies one person from another.

bodegasI watched a movie by Dave Chappel once, called HALF BAKED, and a particular scene in it struck a cord with me, and I use the philosophy learned in life. In this one scene, Dave enters a bodega (variety store) where the counter staff sells weed if the guy recognizes you. Dave realized the easiest way to be recognized every time, is to do something crazy. In the movie, I believe he enters the place and pulls his pants down.  The counter staff shows a face of recognition and sell him his weed.

I have used this concept in real life, to be recognized by others.  There are occasionally times when it may be important for a stranger to recognize you later.  My “hook”. When I greet a stranger in a situation I know I’ll see again, I’ll often put my hands to my ears with my fingers out-stretched, wiggling.  I say; Hey! Remember me as the guy who did this.  They give me an odd look at first, but hours or days later, I can re-do the same gesture and they immediately remember me. In most cases, it’ll make them smile – which for me is a bonus. I love when I can make somebody smile.

When I am with the children of my friends, I wanted to do something that would stick in their memories and become my hook for them. Even if my name wasn’t remembered, I’d be the friend of their parents that pulled my pants down every time they saw me.

Ok – that specific idea would be bad. It would probably get me arrested, but conceptually, I did something that would be remembered just as well, but without labeling me a pervert. A hook that made them smile, and made me stay in their stories for years to come.

helloAnother TV show that inspired me many ways in my life, was Seinfeld. In one episode, George and Jerry adopted an odd infectious over the top way of saying Helllloooo.

My version went a little further, and over the years, I’ve started using my own extended Hellloooo when greeting people, especially kids.  My “Helllloooo” is spoken almost as if you were trying to impersonate the Queen of England in a Monty-Python-esque mocking British accent.  At the same time, you swing both arms straight up like you had a gun pointed at you.  This has become my official “kids greeting” with the children.  Well Hellllooooooo!

Whenever I meet the kids of my friends now, we all do it.  It took quite a few visits. I was actually surprised at how many times I had to do it for them before it became an expected part of our visit. It was over a year before they started doing it back, and expecting it. It made me very happy.  Now, whenever we meet, we all swing our arms in the air and scream Hellllloooooo.  I know this is how I’ll be remembered.

That makes me happy.

I look forward to the future, and seeing how long it stays. When they are 18, will they still remember me, and greet me with arms held high?  I think they will.  I hope they will.

If I am long dead, and my name comes up in conversation somehow.  Will they throw their arms up and scream; Helllllloooooo?  I think maybe.

That makes me smile.

Cute vs Gorgeous.

A lot of talk goes into how life is different fir the beautiful people. As someone not in that group I can only speculate as to the truth of those claims. I will however, admit to treating beautiful people, more specifically beautiful women, differently.

However this has its limits. I fully agree that I enjoy it when I get the pretty waitress lend her attention to me, and politely laugh at my jokes. Equally  I am pleased when the line queue gods favor me and I get the pretty cashier or bank teller as my turn comes up.

Beyond those specific situations were the pretty girl is paid to smile and tend to me, I think beauty works in an opposite way. If the first contact is left to me, I will more often, avoid the beautiful people. Subconsciously, they appear superior to me, and any uneasyness I may experience is compounded. I become more nervous to interact with beautiful people. My obsessive mind sucks the joy out of it.

Today at lunch, I am served by the waitress that jsnt the gorgeous one. She is the cute one, and the one I can more jpiily relate to, share smiles without guilt or obligation, and enjoy.

It’s not that she has to try harder for the tips, slthough that may be the case, but she cones with a more friendly level if comfort because she seems close to my visual class and station. I am not embarrasses to be myself in front of her.
Outside the waitress / patron environment, almost all of my close and
U dear friends are not considered beautiful people. Many are fat and a few might even be called unattractive. I love them all.

My people.

TOSH.0 Inspired

A good example of how my brain works.

18338_enI was watching Tosh.O just now and hit PAUSE to write this.

TOSH.O is a TV show on Comedy Central (The Comedy Network in Canada) staring  comedian Daniel Tosh, who watches Videos from YouTube and makes fun of them.

In this moment, I watched a video of a young girl snow sledding down a hill, going father than expected, and ending up under a pickup truck tailgate, only to emerge laughing about it in a contagious odd, perhaps fake way.

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Flatery or Paranoia

I have mixed feelings when I see TV characters using ideas I have come up with previously. I should be proud by the validation, but envy and jealousy creep in.  It makes me sad.  Another lost opportunity.  Another idea I never followed through on.

Howard-wolowitz-the-big-bang-theory-16865313-930-1246Tonight,  On The Big Bang Theory, I watched Howard a therapy technique I developed years ago for stress and grieving and bad memories.  A philosophy I had hoped to include in my book one day,  will now be remembered as a steal from TV in 2012.  Even if I ever publish online, my blog will have a link to that scene on you tube. I will be considered the copy, not the original.

In the scene, something bad had just happened, and in an attempt to deflect from bad thoughts, Howard asked Penny to marry him. Then he declares; :One day,  this will be a funny story.  Why don’t we just think of that way  now.”

My entire premise, summed up perfectly by a nerd on a sitcom.

I’m sad, because it was of my most cherished theories.  A way to lessen pain, by converting reality into story. It’s a part of my whole life philosophy based around stories.

All of our existence is just the stories we’ve been told.

Once you give in to the idea that the stories are the reality, not the truth,  a whole new universe becomes available, and literally anything is possible, far beyond what we have been told.  The moment you realize your existence is just the stories you tell, you gain a whole new outlook, and a special power.

Reality is the story – not the truth.  The truth is just whatever story you believe.

The pen is mightier than the sword, because even when we lose a battle, history can tell any story it desires. All our history, up to this moment, is told as a story.

Look around you.  The people who get noticed are the ones who tell the best stories. The people that can turn any regular event into a story, and tell it well. They’re the best sales people, the most successful at business, love, and life.

I believe we remember stories more than we remember what actually happened. As we re-tell events, we can change them, and we get to choose how we tell our own stories. We have complete control.

When something bad happens, we choose how we tell that story, and we select whether we remember it as a bad thing, or with a positive slant.  Some people tend to always highlight the negative. Others are positive. I’m sure you can think of friends and family that fall into both categories.

When somebody dies, or faces another tragic story, we tell it differently in the moment than we may in a few weeks, months or years.  Understanding the concept of stories can help you realize that you are the author of your own stories, and you can choose to tell the “5 years from now” version of any event today. It’s empowering.

I often use lines similar to Howard’s. I try to teach people to think of how they’ll tell this story in the future, and use that version now.  Comedians say that “comedy is tragedy plus time”.  Positive lessons often come from tragic events. Understanding that helps us cope.

I think of tragic events and say to myself; How will I tell this story in the future?

That’s how I think of it today.