on October 9, 2014 by in Golden News, Comments Off on A little something for those arriving late

A little something for those arriving late

If you are worried about me because I am retreading themes, and that I might be losing my grip, well, don’t be worried.

I hammer the same nails – like Smitty my dachshund, Jennifer my girlfriend, customer service representatives, lutefisk, hair loss, and constipation – partly because I don’t know when you came in.

This column is hundreds of columns old by now, but it might be just your first or second one, and maybe you really haven’t figured me out yet.

If you are new to “Quiet Desperation,” I can bring you up to speed. You will find a kindhearted man who is patient, generous, and tolerant. Who embraces life, and is outgoing. And who explores this beautiful world that God has created for us, and writes about it for readers like you.

It just won’t be me.

I am inert and cantankerous. Pessimism is my middle name. “Distrust is the foundation of a good relationship,” is my motto.

I think man caves and bachelor parties are dumb. Politicians give me the creeps. I despise the ubiquity of cell phones.

Motorists who tailgate should be pulled from their cars and hit repeatedly with a sock full of manure.

If you want Hallmark, I am not your writer. I’m a little more like H.L. Mencken, and if you don’t know who he was, look him up.

I can write about almost anything because if I don’t know what I am talking about, I can make stuff up, and it gets printed. Don’t tell.

If you were to say “gophers,” for example, I would start with the University of Minnesota. They are the Golden Gophers. It’s a Big Ten school. The Big Ten is made up of 14 schools, not 10, which should give you some idea about the league’s concept of mathematics.

Whenever my school’s league expanded they changed the name. At one time it was the Pac-8, then the Pac-10, and now it’s the Pac-12.

Those yahoos in the Midwest want to hang on to an inaccurate designation. I refuse to let my son attend a Big Ten university because of it.

The school’s colors, maroon and gold, were chosen by a University of Minnesota English instructor named Mrs. Augusta Smith. The colors are nearly identical to USC’s colors, and therefore I always root for the team that Minnesota is playing. Unless it is USC.

Bob Dylan was a University of Minnesota student for a little while, just before moving to New York, and turning everything around, including my life.

His songs are poems that came at me with shining, mismatched words.

“He shot a fire on Main Street and filled it full of holes.”

Dylan, 73, will be performing in Denver on Nov. 1. I won’t be there. Crowds make me uncomfortable, mostly because they consist of people.

If you didn’t know much about me 450 words ago, you do now. I am not very interested in simple recitations or benign observations.

That’s one of the reasons why Jennifer and I get along so well. Our conversations are usually full of non-sequiturs and word play.

But not all of the time. We both experienced very negative marriages. Hers was to a man she met at Xavier, where she was a soccer star. Mine was to vodka. I was on the varsity at Smirnoff State.

This is being written a month before our third anniversary, the evening we met, at the Curtis Arts & Humanities Center in Greenwood Village.

I was giving an oil painting demonstration.

Now we are a couple of disambiguous gophers.

So that’s my introduction, if you are new to the column. Thanks for reading, hang by your thumbs, and write if you get work.

(I stole that line. From whom?)

Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at craigmarshallsmith@comcast.net.


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