2014 was not a very good year. As a matter of fact it sucked balls. Seven shades of suck to be exact. It was scheming and duplicitous, it's chicanery boundless. If I’d heard it laugh I’m sure it would have sounded like “MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA”. 2014 was Snidley Whiplash.
We started referring to the year in review as The Show, an abbreviation of The Horror Show, The Shit Show, The Gong Show…take your pick.
It started out of the gate with the loss of my father. It was sudden and unexpected, but not entirely surprising. My old man was a larger than life character: big voice, big laugh, and appetites surpassed only by his girth. Compromise and moderation were completely foreign concepts to him. He was a man of excesses, and unlike Jenny Craig or the Bill Collectors, they finally caught up to him. He lived life by his own terms, right up to the end, and that gives me some comfort. Pops was a good dude, and I’ll miss the stubborn, ornery, fat bastard.
Not done with me yet, in a move that critics described as “below the belt” and akin to “pouring copious amounts of salt into a raw, gaping, oozing wound that also happens to be located below the belt”, 2014 was the year I lost my best friend and family pup of 14 years. To some she was The B-Dog, to others Buffy, but to us she was simply The Boo, and she was tits. Again this was unexpected, out of the blue. One day she was there, the next, her Neighborhood-Watch Post an empty bed of dander and memories. Those of you who have been with me long enough know that I put more stock into animals than I do people and The Boo was a member of my family. 14 years of unconditional friendship and companionship, she brought us nothing but happiness. We had a great run Boo, we will miss you too.
A lurking, skulking 2014 recognized I was limping like a wounded gazelle ripe for the culling, and next targeted my meager finances.
I was forced to make some emergency repairs to my humble domicile; The Bat Cave needed an unplanned, unforeseen overhaul. The leaking Bat-Windows needed to be replaced, and the antiquated Bat-A/C and Bat-Furnace both went tits up and new ones needed to be installed. Add to this the funerary and legal costs from my father's abrupt exodus and the absoludicrous veterinary bills I incurred out of desperation, for a grand total of $You're Completely Fucked. Cleaned out. Destitute. Sprinkle all this with a technological upgrade cluster-fuck of unprecedented magnitude at work that has rendered my once meaningful and satisfying job mind-meltingly insufferable, the passing of a family friend, and the escalating desiderata of a bat-shit crazy mother and I give you 2014's World Famous Sodomy and Offal Pie.
I'm not looking for condolences, cliched words of encouragement, or <hugs>, although I'm not adverse to anyone sending a homemade lasagna, or bawdy photographs (not you WaxMyMonkey69, respect the court order). My old man used to say to me before he left this shitty world that you can find sympathy in but one place: between “Shit” and “Syphilis” in the dictionary. Sage words fat man, sage words indeed. I’m only telling you this to let you know where I've been and assuage your concerns. I've not been maudlin, mired in melancholy, or wallowing in a wading pool of what should have been. I'm not listening to The Smiths Greatest Hits or suddenly given to prose. I wasn't absent due to a chronic case of the Mondays. I was just fucking exhausted. I was tired and couldn't give it my all. I didn't want to be the equivalent of seasons 7 through 9 of The X-Files. The world has become accustomed to an expected level of Awesome from me and I wasn't going to half-ass it. I mean too much to you.
But now I’m back. Give me some sugar, baby.
Death is a part of life, the part that makes living worthwhile. And loss serves as a reminder of what you still have.
Sometimes you gotta get knocked down just so you can come up swinging. Perspective. So when you climb aboard the Pork-Chop Express and are barrelling down the freeway of life, and you think you see Snidely Whiplash in the rearview twirling his mustache, you just drift those 18 wheels of mayhem onto the soft gravel strewn shoulder and give that greasy fucker a good old fashioned dustin’ and just keep on truckin'! Only look back to see how far you have come and what you have left in the dust. Just remember what ol' Jack Burton does when the earth quakes, and the poison arrows fall from the sky, and the pillars of Heaven shake. Yeah, Jack Burton just looks that big ol' storm right square in the eye and he says, "Give me your best shot, pal. I can take it."