twice the smartass, half the laughs
The Art of Self Doubt
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Is that a good title for this blog? Will people think it's stupid? Where will I go with it? Will it be funny? Why do I even do this?

I'm like, the most self conscious person I know. Especially when it comes to writing blogs, sending emails, and basically doing anything that will be seen, read, or heard by any other person. I constantly scrutinize every word of every sentence over and over again, wondering "will they get it?", "will they laugh?", "does this really convey where I'm coming from?". It's not that I think you, the reader, is incapable of comprehending the great depths of my humor or insight. It's not that at all. It's that I don't trust myself to adequately convey my thoughts in a way that is enjoyable to read by other people. Like now. I'm reading what I just wrote and am shaking my head that I used the word "convey" twice so close together (um, make that three times). It's a wonder that I get anything done at all. I swear, I'll have read this thing twenty times before I'm even done typing it. Each time, I'll toggle between thinking it's okay, and thinking that there's no way in world anyone's going to like that. Is it just me? Does anyone else get that feeling of dread just before they hit "send" or "post"? The weird thing is that, generally, in my everyday life, I don't really care what anyone thinks of me (see wearing a shirt with my own face on it). The weirder thing is that I genuinely enjoy entertaining people. But, man, does it make me nervous. From the time I was in the seventh grade, I've been in and out of bands (I'm a completely....well, I was going to say average, but that would be, I guess average guitar player). I've played I don't know how many shows, and I can't think of one where I didn't feel completely sick before we went on (well, there might have been a couple, but I can't remember them - know what I'm saying? glug glug.) Wait, I take that back, I never got nervous when the bar was empty (and I played quite a few of those). Even when I was in Voodoo Grove, and was part of a five piece ensemble, I still got wicked nervous before we played (though, admittedly, that was partially due to the admonishing looks I got from Dave whenever I screwed up). I don't know what it is. Performance anxiety I guess. But, what can I do? I guess I'll just keep at it (until Tenacious D comes around and tells me whether or not to continue). Just keep putting it out there. And hope, just hope, that one of you out there is amused.

Now, in that vane: A quick word on shitting in the workplace. Everybody does it right? I mean, even if you train your bowels to stay put during your work day, there will come a time (whether due to excessive coffee ingestion or having eaten the wrong thing the night before) when you'll be pressed into that unholiest of actions, that shame within shame: the work day shit. And, no matter how sly you are, no matter how sneaky, once you secretly slip into the bathroom, and are secure in the stall (all potted up - as it were) you have no control as to whether or not someone is going to come in after you. So, this is a message to the potential pooper, and the potential walker-inner: Consideration is key. For example, in my workplace, there are quite a few cans of air freshener in the stall (Which should be mandatory in any business where more than, oh say, one person works). So, what I like to do (not that I ever defecate at work - that's horrible) is, if I can get in there alone for a moment, is to spray a hefty amount of air freshener above, below, and all around the stall (Well, the second thing I do. The first is to sanitize the seat. Nothing against my coworkers. I'm sure they're all clean as a whistle. But, in my humble opinion, only a fool puts bare ass to seat without first prepping the area). A buffer, you know, for the stink. That way, the unfortunate soul who wanders in while I'm taking care of business won't be subjected it (Hopefully anyway. I'm sure some must cut through. But I digress). Now, to you, the walker-inner. Here are some tips to help your fellow employees out when you catch them in the act:

1. Pretend they're not in there (specifically, do not make a big deal about how bad their shit stinks, though I'm sure yours smells like sunshine on a summers day).
2. Stay as far away from the pooper as possible (if at all possible choose a urinal or stall at least two spaces away. Nothing tends to freeze bowels up like that shoe that magically appears next to you).
3. Try to make some noise (like whistling, or singing. Silence is the pooper's worst enemy (unless it's the silence of no one else in there - oops, an aside within an aside. I'm pretty sure I just opened up a vortex.))
4. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCE DO YOU TRY TO ENGAGE THE POOPER IN A CONVERSATION (seriously. I don't care if you see the stall's on fire - just let it burn).
5. You may hear a splash. The urge to laugh may be unbearable. Do so, only if the pooper laughs first. (Same with gas. Though with gas, this tip also applies to the pooper.)

Finally (for all parties involved) please god, wash your hands. This is general consideration. If you're not going to wash your hands, then please just run the water and pretend you are. Please...for me. So, if we can all just be considerate of our fellow employees, then I think we all will make the world just a little better. Just a bit.

Well, that's it for now. Hopefully you all enjoyed it. Hopefully it made you smile, maybe laugh, maybe cringe, but did something. I just read the whole thing again, and I find it really drags until it gets to the shit bit (which I am well aware, has been done to death). I'll keep trying though. For you, the reader (and for me - I need the outlet. Yes, I know I have issues).

Until next time: If you're free you'll never see the walls. If you're head is clear you'll never freefall. If you're out right you never fear the wrong. If you're head is high you never fear at all.

Clenching at work,