How to Have a Complex Life . . .

Actor J.B. Smoove and Shahidah Omar get their photos shot at a film premiere.
Actor J.B. Smoove and Shahidah Omar get their photos shot at a film premiere. | Source

Just remember,

being a complex man or woman does not always mean smoking cigarettes and holding them with your forefinger and thumb. Nor does it mean drinking only foreign coffee and wearing black clothing everywhere you go.

And it certainly does not mean that to be complex, you have to be alone, cold-hearted, and plant yourself by some isolated lake and just stare at the tadpoles all day long.

It was in 1987

It was in 1987 on a Wednesday night as I recall. My cousin (by marriage), Ronnie Goodson, Selma, Ala., and I were sitting around my living room enjoying some cold beer and talking about what most men talk about when they are just sitting around: work, taxes, girls, cars, work, girls, better jobs, girls, and life--with life leaning toward "the" number one topic.
We talked well into the night and still didn't solve any of the world's problems or contribute to the shaky economy of Third World Countries. Yes, even in 1987, there were economic problems in the world.

Then came that dreaded-time in the conversation when Goodson and I asked each other how we would describe each other's life. I dreaded that question for my life was as colorful then in 1987 as it is today in 2015. Na da. When Ronnie asked me how I viewed his life, I quickly answered, "complex." He looked stunned, but still, that is how I look at Ronnie. He seldom stays on a subject of discussion for long and if you think he will not do something, that is when he is more-prone to do it.

Actor Billy Porter's shoes. You ain't complex if you do not wear these.
Actor Billy Porter's shoes. You ain't complex if you do not wear these. | Source

'Hungry,' what a stupid name

I asked him what adjective best-described my life and he thought, and thought, and thought. Lit a cigarette, exhaled a draw, and said, "hungry." Hungry, I thought and with much mental anger. "Hunger? What does that mean, I eat a lot?" I asked.

"No, it is just that you are always in search of knowledge," Goodson replied stamping-out his cigarette. Now what percentage of people worldwide do not search for knowledge. I know what Goodson was doing. He was playing it safe as to not hurt my feelings.

What irked me was that he did not say "complex," like I prayed he would say. All I got was "hungry." Now can you see this happening: Me being introduced at my 50th high school reunion. John Tyra, a real guy from my class and a great lawyer from Tuscaloosa is making the introduction. "Now ladies and gentlemen it gives me great honor to present to you, the acclaimed writer and winner of The World's Best Writer for six years running . . .I give you, Kenneth Avery, a very hungry man."

Actress Anna Faris (L) and actress Allison Janney attend The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards Media Day.
Actress Anna Faris (L) and actress Allison Janney attend The 41st Annual People's Choice Awards Media Day. | Source

Hey, there goes 'Hungry' Kenneth!

If you were me, how would you feel? Stupid is all I can say. Hungry. Seriously, Ronnie?

Why did I pray (back in 1987) for Ronnie to say complex? Well, James Dean, Dean Martin, Gregory Peck, David Janssen and more of this class were complex. You could tell by the way they looked at you: deep, penetrating, and drawing thousands of conclusions by the second.

All in all and to offer a summation, there is just something about a complex man. Even girls of high taste in guys love complex men. I saw a serious film sometime in 1992 about a government diplomat who was very low-key and shy as to not draw attention to himself from foreign agents and he walked by these two gorgeous girls sitting at a bar sipping martini's and one said, "Ohhh, isn't that Carl from the third floor?" The other "bomb shell" replied, "Yes, it is. Ohhh, he is so complex that my nerves cannot stand it when he is near."Now do you understand why I longed to be complex?

Air personality, Jill Martin.
Air personality, Jill Martin. | Source

Sometimes it takes

a complex female who equals a complex man to stand up for herself. This girl, Jill Martin, has everything in her arsenal to combat a complex man who thinks that he is all that there is.

A Few Facts About Complex Men:

  • Complex men had little or no parental discipline. These guys learned the "Parental Game" early on. If they, the kid, broke down in sad moans and tears, the parents' hearts would soften and there would be no standing in the corner, no firm talks from the parents, just a Butterfinger to settle them down.
  • Complex men also learned the value of the tongue as their most-valuable tool of success. These complex guys realized that by using certain words and phrases, they could get by with or out of most any situation or job. "Say, uhhh, Billy Mack. I told you three hours ago to get those boxes stacked and you haven't touched them. Why?" This was Billy Mack, a grown man's boss talking to a lazy Billy Mack who has been dozing on his desk. "Well, shrimp! You need to butt outta my business right now. I know certain people who can take care of you. Understand?" is all Billy Mack has to say and a scared supervisor scampers away to hide in his office.
  • When it comes to hot girls, no good looking, rich, or smooth guy can come near a complex man when it pertains to scoring points or getting dates when he feels like it. Just watch and see.
  • "Hey, sweetie. You may not know it, but tonight, your life will change for the good," barks Jerry Scales, an up and coming assistant manager at his office. The "sweetie" he is flirting with is Margie Whitworth.
  • Margie: "My life will change? Is that what you said? How will it change for the good?"

Jerry: "Well, around 7:30 p.m., I will roll up at your pad, pick you up and take you to dinner and give you the best night of your life. A night you will tell all of your high school chums about. I do not promise this. I guarantee this."

Note: Until then, Margie had not been asked out on a date much less feel like a woman in the past 12 years. Oh the power of a complex man.

Pastor Isaac Canales of Misson Ebenezar Family Church attends a youth football game at Torrance High.
Pastor Isaac Canales of Misson Ebenezar Family Church attends a youth football game at Torrance High. | Source
Actress Sarah Hyland.
Actress Sarah Hyland. | Source
Actress Stephanie Pressman.
Actress Stephanie Pressman. | Source
Actress Caroline Flack attends 2014 BRIT awards.
Actress Caroline Flack attends 2014 BRIT awards. | Source
Blessing Mokgohloa actor.
Blessing Mokgohloa actor. | Source
Hollywood Elite: Gregory Peck and his buddies at a cocktail party.
Hollywood Elite: Gregory Peck and his buddies at a cocktail party. | Source

List of Memorable Complex Men and Women


Frank Sinatra
James Dean
Howard Hughes
John F. Kennedy
Harry S. Truman
Dean Martin
Peter Lawford
Michael Caine
Anthony Hopkins
Raymond Burr
Emmett Kelly
Red Skelton
Jackie Gleason
George Allen (Redskins football coach)
Tom Landry (Cowboys football coach)
James Garner
Ava Gardner
Lucille Ball
Elizabeth Ashley
Elizabeth Montgomery

Source: 2015 me, Ken Avery

So right now, I am going to unveil a few tips that were given to me by a few real-life complex men who were living "The Life of Riley"--getting their way no matter where they go, female companionship at will, and other pleasures of life . . .and I want to give them to you men (like me) who have dreamed of being a complex man, but never saw it materialize.
Here is . . .

How to Have a Complex Life

  • Use mild profanities no matter where you are at. When rational people hear someone using profanities, they know that the person using them has did a fair share of living a challenging life and they instantly respect them.
  • Interrupt conversations when the urge hits you. Sure, the people you interrupt will glare at you and some might threaten to whip you, but it is only empty threats. Complex men, remember, do not back-down from anyone.
  • "You call this meatloaf?" ask this question sharply to your waitress and look off into space. She will immediately take it back and bring you a plate of fresh meatloaf. Complex men know how to act.
  • If you are in a big crowd such as a P.T.A. meeting, and you get an itch somewhere on your body, well, stand to your feet and scratch it. Who cares if most of the stuffy crowd stares at you with your arm clear down your pants up to the elbow scratching an ant sting or something. After all. It's your itch.
  • Ask people at the table where you are eating, "What disease is this?" referring to a huge boil growing on the top of your hand.
  • When riding in a taxi cab, yell at the driver, "can this tin can not go any faster?"
  • If you, the complex man of the neighborhood, attend church regularly, try standing behind your preacher when he is delivering the morning sermon and when the church deacons try in a discreet manner to get you to sit down, look at them with "that" smart alec face and say, "I will stand where I please and it will take more than you wimps to move me. Got it?"
  • At your high school reunion you see a guy that (did you wrong in school) dancing with your wife. That is enough for you to walk up to him and bash him to the floor while laughing at him.
  • At that same reunion another guy who knows you walks up to you to have some small talk. As he begins to catch-up on some high school memories, you bash him to the floor in the style of Floyd "Money" Mayweather. Then you scold the crowd for staring at you.
  • When your life gets slow, get yourself thrown in jail for committing adultery with the mayor's wife. You already know that most girls love complex men who commit adultery and get locked up.
  • You get laid-off from your job for two weeks, but get hired by a company who digs ditches for municipalities. You show up for work in your outdated three-piece suit. The crew laughs at you and that did it for you as you by yourself, kick all of their butts until they have to head home. Girls love complex men who can whip more than four guys who made fun of him and he went to jail.
  • You are walking down the sidewalk and just happen to overhear two guys talking politics. You instantly get angry and throw the guy who is pro-Democrat to the sidewalk on his back then gloat, "we do not need people like you in this town, so why don't you and your family just move?"
  • One morning at 2 a.m. a neighbor catches you taking pieces of sod from his lawn to use on yours. "What are you doing this time of morning?" the upset neighbor asks. "What does it look like, you fool?" you reply and continue to work. Complex men speak their mind without fear of what men may do to them.
  • After weeks of begging by your wife, you eventually give in to go with her to the play that is being presented by your town's community theater. On the way to your seats, you say to one of the actors on stage, "you are going to act in a play? With that face? Please tell me that I am not at the landfill."

Warning: Complex men, many of them have flashbacks. Back to their schooldays. And this can be touchy. Example: Jack Willard, a very complex man, is parked near a fire hydrant which is illegal. A traffic cop sees this minor infraction and says, "Say, buddy. Want to move your car down the block. It is illegal to block a fire hydrant." Jack growls one time and his flashback carries him back to his tumultuous fifth-grade year. Listen, jerk. I don't have to anything you say. Got that?" Be careful what you say to complex people.

Severe Warning to Future Wives of Complex Men: if you are out on a date with a complex man and later that night you and him are having an intimate, intense talk and without as much as a warning light, he says to you, "babe, I cannot help what I am. I am a complex man."
If he says this or something similar to this, get out of his car, truck or off his motorcycle. Why? Life itself is complex enough. You do not need a human being living it out.

This 1953 file photo shows US actors Howard Keel (2R), Anthony Quinn (L), Ava Gardner (2L) and Robert Taylor (R) during a scene from the Hollywood film 'Ride, Vaquero'
This 1953 file photo shows US actors Howard Keel (2R), Anthony Quinn (L), Ava Gardner (2L) and Robert Taylor (R) during a scene from the Hollywood film 'Ride, Vaquero' | Source

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Comments 4 comments

Happy Moment profile image

Happy Moment 14 months ago from The Eastern Bypass

I always prefer living a simple life. Complex life can make me complicated


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 14 months ago from California

LOL! You have just confirmed that I missed the 80's, I didn't recognize a single actor until I got the last one. I wasn't even born in 1953. I had babies in the 80's, which is why I missed them.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 13 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Happy Moment, (love that name!)

You make a great point. And no argument from me. Thanks for commenting. Come back soon.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 13 months ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, tirelesstraveler,

Oh yeah? Wow! You were born in 1953? So was I? Nov. 27, to be exact. I only knew these guys and gals from their old movies which I like a lot of them and as for the 80's, I did not like much except maybe a few of the songs and "Miami Vice."

Thanks, sweet friend for your comment and please come back anytime.

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