Life’s Little Lessons Vol. 1

December 31, 2009

"Cliche #46: Sunrise/Sunset." Available at Inspirational Stock Photography.

Sometimes events happen in your life and you know right away that they were meant to happen… to serve some sort of purpose, teach you a lesson, or help figure out who you are, or who you want to become. Other times they seem to happen to shape people’s perception of you, long after the critical first impression.

You never know when these will happen or what shape they’ll take, but when you they occur, you know that very moment that they will affect the rest of your life in some profound way.

And sometimes things happen that at the time seem horrible, painful and unfair, but in reflection you realize that without overcoming those obstacles you would have never realized your potential, strength, will power or heart. It’s only with the power of open-mindedness and hindsight that you will be able to look back at these events as horrible, painful and unfair. And if therapy is involved, prohibitively expensive.

Like when the clerk at the adult bookstore informs you that they have run out of black bags and only have two different types remaining: clear and promotional bags featuring the phrase “A Fistful of Dolly.” And you begin to question whether this was the best use of your lunch break and ponder the quickest route back to your vehicle, which is parked between a storefront daycare and the local NOW office.

Yes. Difficulties lie ahead but everything happens for a reason. Nothing happens by chance or bad luck. Sometimes your day just won’t cooperate. Perhaps it’s time to simplify. Consider cutting down on your carbon footprint by bringing in your own reusable (and nondescript) porn bag. Try marking it with something like “Adidas” or “Not Porn.”

So as you begin your nonchalant speedwalking, you hear your name being called. You turn around to see a recent ex-girlfriend who is apparently out shopping with your mom. You find them drawing closer and attempt to jam four DVDs and a half-dozen magazines into the pockets of your sports coat.

You can’t think of what to say. It’s all stuff no one would believe, like “It’s for a bachelor party,” or “I lost a bet,” or “It’s time for ‘the talk’ with my oldest son.” None of that will draw attention away from your colorful porn and the fisting reference. For that matter, you don’t even have kids.

Without these small tests, life would be like a smoothly paved, straight, flat road to nowhere. Safe and comfortable, but dull and utterly pointless. Can you feel the blood rising and your heart beating faster? That’s life right there, deflowering your dignity.

So after embarrassing yourself and everyone else, you head back to your car and drive to work, forgetting that you left your porn on the roof while you got into the vehicle. It’s gone now, but it will live on, causing many angry letters to be written to many editors by many perturbed parents and outraged NOW members.

The successes and downfalls that you experience can create who you are, and the bad experiences can be learned from. In fact, they are probably the most poignant and important ones, not to mention the most scarring and psychologically debilitating. You can expect some awkward phone calls from your mom and a mental (and mutual) restraining order from your ex-girlfriend.

Life. Too often we take these formative experiences for granted and try to “power through” them to get on with what’s left of our lives. It’s time to sit back and take stock of these experiences to better prepare ourselves for an often unpleasant future.

Thanks for reading.

Next on Life’s Little Lessons:
Your wife returns home from the local Christian women’s retreat pregnant. And a lesbian.



  1. Nothing says New Years Eve like reusable (and nondescript) porn bags.

    Great new feature CLT. I look forward to stories from the Christian women’s retreat.

    Happy (reusable and nondescript) New Year

    • As has often been said, “Hey, stay out of that nondescript bag! It’s filled with ‘Not Porn!'”

      Hopefully, this new series will prove as popular as all of the other series I have started and quickly abandoned.

      Great to see you, Don. Happy New Year.

  2. re: Your inspiring photo

    I once got into a way too long argument over whether one could tell the difference between a sunrise and a sunset. I held that given a photo of unfamiliar terrain, one can’t tell the difference. My interlocutors, Dan and Fitz, held that the light appeared different in the morning because it was “fresher” (whatever that means).

    I doubt either of the two read this blog, especially since Fitz returned to Missouri and lunged headlong into the type of alcoholism that makes the average man homeless and Dan returned to pining for a Pink Floyd reunion tour and became a cop. However, your inspiring photo settled the issue in my mind and no doubt would in theirs. I am right. Cliché #46 is equally inspires the relief of putting to bed a horrible year and the hope of yet-to-be-horrible new year.

    Happy New Year’s, CLT. Keep powering through until you get to the end.

    • Well, I’m glad I could clear up that whole sunrise/sunset issue. And just in time for the new year! It’s a post-xmas miracle!

      When I hear the name “Fitz” and the state “Missouri,” I automatically think “rock-bottom alcoholism.” I think it has something to do with the existence of Branson…

      Happy new year yourself, O/O. See you on the other side.

  3. Holy Mother of Pearl. Not quite “Been there, done that,” but it could happen . . . and probably should have, when I think of past history.

    You’re a hero, CLT. A twisted hero, sure. But is there any other kind?

    Happy New Year! You’re a killer!

    • My Heroes Have Always Been Twisted. They should make a movie out of that…

      Truth be told, mine have always been junkies. But close enough. Happy New Year to your own bad self, Dan. Great to see you.

  4. This naturally conjured up fond memories of porn like the time I procured a sweet little VHS collection for me and my third husband to enhance our love life which in actuality needed no enhancing at all. Fond memories of being in bed where we had donned sunglasses which we kept on throughout the movie and subsequent work-out (or whatever you want to call it). Not sure why we were wearing sunglasses as the drapes were closed, but this is neither here nor there and pharmaceuticals were probably involved. My comment isn’t really about porn. It’s about gamma ray bursts. The erudite, pedantic and occasionally extraordinarily difficult to read columnist George Will (this was not one of those times) wrote in today’s Washington Post how life and the Earth can essentially ‘take anything the Universe throws at them.” He goes on to discuss space, matter, time scales, tectonic plates, asteroids, extinctions, climate theory, religion, philosophy, evolution, the Founding Fathers and Newtonian physics (only George Will can so expertly weave such a tapestry) summing up that life marches on no matter how catastrophic the event. He does not mention gamma ray bursts which, if aimed our general way, could take out our entire solar system. What I am saying is that it could all be for naught. The humiliation over the transparent porn bag, the restraining orders, the introspection and the STDs. It’s all rather pointless in the end when the inevitable gamma ray burst obliterates us and our entire history. Why do we care so much and should we care (btw, I care deeply)? The only remnant of our existence someday may be Carl Sagan’s little Voyager plaque floating around who knows where.

    Happy New Year Capitalist and a traditional Scottish toast to ya: May the winds o adversity ne’er blow open your door!

    • As has often been said about the internet, “Information wants to be free. Especially when there’s too much of it.”

      Sunglasses, porn, George Will… where does it all end? Well, apparently in a burst of gamma rays. So we’ll need the sunglasses.

      Thanks for the New Year’s toast, elizabeth. Here’s to a better year and a better decade.

  5. Some people were meant to be fluffers…life’s weird like that. All the best in the coming year CLT.

    • Life: Still the world’s #1 fluffer producer. Thanks for that solemn statement, FJ. Truly an inspiration to the drunken sorority girl in us all.

  6. That was funny as well as inspirational. I also believe that everything happens for a reason. Even this thing I’m going through; it’s giving me a chance to slow down (literally) work on myself a little, take stock, reassess, and relearn patience and to appreciate the little things in life. Great post CLT!!

    • Glad I could set you and your damaged lower half back on the right track. Life’s too short to allow humiliating experiences to haunt us for years to come. In fact, life’s shortness could be considered a blessing, what with all the humiliation and haunting going on.

      Thanks for the compliments and the visit, Scott. Have a great New Year.

  7. I need your help, CLT.

    I’m starting a publication called “Oh Magazine” (not to be confused with Oprah’s “O” Magazine”), and I desperately need a columnist for my “A-HA! Moments” section (not to be confused with Oprah’s “AHA! Moments” section).

    I’d do it myself, but a) I’m too busy with the “OH RIGHT!” Moments and “HOLY FUCK I CAN’T BELIEVE I DIDN’T THINK OF THAT!!!” Moments, and b) I need inspiration from a guy’s point of view. And based on your rousing, inspirational and then rousing again post, it’s obvious that you are this guy.

    Anyway, I was hoping that you could write a few enlightening(yet still rousing) articles on the following-

    -“A-HA! Moments” For The Transvestic Fetishist’s Soul

    -“A-Ha! Moments” For The Erotic Asphyxiator’s Soul

    -“A-HA! Moments” For The Souls That Have Other Sexual Inclinations That Even I Won’t Discuss

    I know you probably don’t have personal experience with any (or at least all) of these, but you can always just make shit up if you have to. I’m not really all that big on “Journalistic Integrity,” if you know what I mean (I truly believe that it takes too much away from the story).

    Let me know if you’re interested, CLT. I may not pay well (or at all for that matter), but I need you on my team. And if that in itself isn’t an “A-HA! Moment” (or at least a solid “WTF Moment”)…well, then I don’t know what is.

  8. Bschooled,

    I’ll gladly take on the position of Rabble-Rouser-in-Chief for your fledgling “Oh” Magazine. We all know that the “O” herself is headed into a much-needed retirement which she will no doubt fill with many hours of money counting and spending some quality time with whatever the hell that is that she married.

    I’m not big on journalistic integrity or personal experience either. As long as I still get paid like all bloggers do (with Google Funbuxx), I will be more than happy to head up the “Making Shit Up” Department. It was what I was born, bred and raised to do. (I was raised in the wild by a pack of Bible-bearing con artists.)

    The third A-ha Moment on the list concerns me as it might lead to arrest and seizure of computers by the FBI and various glory-seeking members of the Justice Department. Be sure to beef up the Petty Cash/Bribery fund.

    Thanks for the job offer, compliments and for not discussing those “other sexual inclinations.”

  9. I never thought anyone would inspire me to have horrible, embarrassing moments. I’m going to start first thing Monday morning.

    • That’s the spirit, RR! No sense in waiting till mid-week to ruin your week.

      Good to see you.

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