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Confession of a Hubber...LOL
A plate of Sandwiches...
So, fellow Hubbers…Having prepared some more Thought (Sandwiches), I offer them for your consumption…
I have settled in nicely to HubPages.com or, at least, what my mind has conceived of, as HubPages.com. In matters of technology, I tend towards being a Luddite. My eyes glaze at the thought of USB cables, those sim-card things, and...other...things...technical...
The mere attempt to draw the unfathomable nomenclature to the front of my mind has caused my eyes to tear and that, in turn, has made it difficult to type. It’s like trying to conversate with an onion. Yes. Embarrassing.
(This is not, however, the confession that I have enticingly hinted at in the title…)
Like an old deaf man who screams his soup order in a noisy deli; I have sought out coping mechanisms to help deal with my infirmity.
My primary method of fending off techno-mental-shutdown (my own invented term… Thanks)…oh…right…has been to transform this ethereal web-based reality that is HubPages.com, into a rather imposing stone and mortar edifice that stretches several blocks across my imagination…Hubsville.
Indeed, it has assumed the proportions of the mental equivalent of a Winchester Mystery House.
Set in a rather seedy neighborhood of San Francisco… (The mental building—not my imagination)…the front door, masked in anonymity and crowded with sleeping homeless people, affords me egress. I have a specific destination in mind. The good staff of HubPages have given me an office cubicle which they thoughtfully decorated to look exactly like my home office. It’s nice, but that is not my destination this afternoon.
Taking the stairs two at a time, I am dressed for work. Cargo shorts, a t-shirt proclaiming “Save Shelter Dogs”, flip-flops, and my computer bag slung over my shoulder, I take a circuitous course through the building.
My flip-flops slap the vinyl composition tile as I avoid the third floor. Specifically...the Grammar Police Substation—Comma Division. A friend had warned me in a forum posting that they had issued a warrant for my willful misuse of the comma laws. Neither myself, nor my attorney were too concerned about this…only a misdemeanor.
More troublesome were the rumblings that they were contemplating the filing of felony fraud charges. The details--still sealed in the Grand Jury--were only hinted at when my attorney overheard the District-Attorney say, “This is not what the ellipsis was intended for!!” I was keeping a low profile. Still…my newly purchased internal CD-player switched on and Geto Boy’s “Damn, it feels good to be a Gangsta” fills my head…
(This is not, however, the confession that I have enticingly hinted at in the title…)
The Hub Pub…
I use my cubicle for storing research material, supplies, and what not. For writing, however, I need the occasional distraction in the form of other Hubbers. Writing is such an insular occupation, is it not? I have chosen a bar setting. Too Hemingway? Perhaps. My preferences trend towards Steinbeck. Regardless, I call it the Hub Pub.
As I am about to enter, the door swings open and I step aside to allow TheManWithNoPants and a group of his friends to pass. They appeared geared-up for a rally of some sort. TheManWithNoPants and I exchange nods (my nod proves a shallow affair… as I don’t want my eyes to dip too far below his shoulders…you know why…). They bustled off down the hall talking of important things in low voices.
I entered the room. It’s large (in another hub…this pub…may be small…today it is large…you know…narrative need). Stretched across the left side of the room was a beautiful maple bar. Behind it stood an even more beautiful bartender…she was also hella cool. Dark hair, strong features, prominent cheeks, pouty lips, rapier sarcastic wit…she was, as they say, a keeper. A sign hanging on the wall behind her proclaimed, “Remember…Hubbers don’t let other Hubbers…Hub-hop drunk!” Our eyes meet and she indicates a bar stool on the end. I purposely sit several seats away.
Our arrangement was this: I agreed to create her as a literary character, make her hot, make her cool, and give her partial ownership of the bar and in exchange…she would always tell me which seat had just been vacated by TheManWithNoPants. I’m a liberal…but still…a guy has his limits. The girl’s name is…nominally…Betty…neither of us is thrilled with the choice…we are still in negotiation on the subject…
“Hi Thought Sandwiches…usual?” She asked…her hands already a blur of motion.
“You rock darl’n,” I replied as I looked about the room.
There were several groups of Hubbers, clumped in threes and fours, sitting in comfortable chairs around low-slung tables. I didn't recognize any of them. What I did notice was a number of workers from the “Home Improvement” hubs swarming over the huge space that was, formally, a plate glass window the last time I was here.
“What’s up with the window?” I asked.
“Oh…last night…Five One Cows was getting liquored up…saw someone he wanted to follow and crashed through the window after them.” She reported while passing across my White Russian.
(No…my penchant for drinking White-Russians is not the confession that I have enticingly hinted at in the title…The look on Betty’s face suggests that it should be. I ignore the look.)
I smiled. I like Five One Cows.
“Did he get ‘em?” I ask.
“What do you think?” Betty responds blandly.
Getting to the Confession…
I moved away to a table, set my drink down, and opened up my computer. I ignore Betty’s profile (too distracting) as I attempt to concentrate.
I was taking a stab at Hub Title optimization….yeah…I pulled up a story that did not appear to be getting many hits…”I Don’t Like Leaving Meat in a Car: A Search for Controversy.” Hmm…I wondered…what is wrong with that title? Reviewing my notes…it appeared I should be looking for something that is short and easily Google-able….
“Hey Betty…you ever just happen to randomly Google the term “Car meat?” I called across to the bar. She didn’t answer.“ How about KIA Kabobs?” I tried. Still, no answer. She tends to ignore my more esoteric ramblings. I like that about her.
“I see how it is,” I muttered. I was coming up with other options when my concentration was shattered…
“LOL!!!” This came from across the room.
“LMAO!!!!” replied her companion.
“ROTFLMAO!! “ One-upped the last.
Giving up on my attempts to locate S.E.O friendly cuts of meat; I leaned back in my chair and sipped my drink while watching the exchange. The emoticons, acronyms, and superfluous exclamation points began flying thicker then…um…yeah…other things that fly thickly (yes…this is what Hub Title Optimization study does for my creativity…)
I suddenly had a disturbing thought. Leaning forward I closed “Car Meat,” moved to My Profile, scanned down to Hub Activity. ..hmmm… it would be in comments probably….
The horror dawned slowly…my frantic search indicated that I too was guilty of the wholesale abuse of the indiscriminant use of superlative punctuation and acronym exploitation!!! OMG!!! WTF?? BBQ!!!
Christ…I’m coming off here like a cheerleader in a wind tunnel on helium. Aw, snap.
The promised Confession…
In my everyday, everyday…I’m not all that demonstrative. I never want to be “that” guy…you know…voice a little too high?Too shrill? Indeed, on the whole “LOL” thing…I’m really more of a (giggle, snort) type of individual than an out-and-out LoL-er. The mental image I carry of a non-repentant LoL-er…is that of a person walking around with a silly grin plastered to their face regardless of the topic under discussion.
That being said, I find myself operating in an environment in which encouragement is encouraged and sardonic wit frequently falls flatter than my wallet after I have paid all my comma related fines.
I mentally attempted a more sedate accolade…
“I truly enjoyed your hub. It was excellent. You have it going on. ..(giggle, snort).”
Not bad…if I was on Thorazine. Hmmm…do I look derisive with the snort? Within the context of the giggle...the snort should be obvious…right? No derision...just humor. I don’t want to discourage or hurt…perhaps…just…(G,S) then? No…I’d end up spending the rest of my days trying to explain what (G,S) stands for…frustrating…
Final bites of the Sandwich…
I finished off my drink and replaced my computer in the bag. I moved my feet around aimlessly until they, like Christopher Columbus stumbling across the Western Hemisphere, discovered my flip-flops and slipped into them. I fish a fiver out of my pocket as I walk to the bar with my empty glass.
“I was thinking,” prompted Betty.“ How about ‘Natasha’ for my forever-name?”
I had to admit, she looked good as a Natasha.
“No. Too Rocky and Bullwinkle-ish. I was thinking maybe ‘Maite’.” I tried…
She just stared at me.
“You know…Spanish…means Rebellious-Harvester? Harvester? Bringing things in…? (giggle, snort).
“Did you just snort?”
“I think you just did.”
“Maybe,” I allowed.
“Hey,” she said (thankfully) changing the subject, “There was a cop in here the other night asking questions about you.”
I instantly entered into hyper-alert ninja mode. Ominously, my internal CD player switches on…”I Shot the Sheriff…” Bob Marley's version, of course.
“Who else,” she replied disdainfully. That was another thing I liked about her.
“So…give him any information?” I casually ask…
“You know I’ve got your buns covered Thought Sandwiches,” She assures me.
“You are the best darling!” I said, fully meaning the use of the exclamation point. “I have to actually go see my lawyer right now. Hopefully catch ya next time?”
“Well you better!” I like to think she meant the use of the exclamation point to be intentional as well.
In the hallway I consulted my watch. Oddly enough, outside Hubsville I don’t wear a watch but, somehow, I picked up the custom here. Again…narrative need…My appointment with my advocate wasn’t for another hour.
I decided to use the time constructively by going to the mental health hubs. In my mind i envision the conversation, "Yeah doc...I seem to be physically attracted to and, a little obsessed by, a literary character that seems to exists for the sole purpose of warning me about another man's genitalia trails? So...what's that about doc?"
I feared the short answer…mental masturbation. It was not my intention to confess THAT much. My Internal CD player makes a swirling sound before...Green Day's..."Longview"...