“Thank You” Will Never Be Enough, But It’s All I Can Afford on a Bellman’s Salary.

My daughter loves Discoms; she can’t get enough of them.

(“Discoms” is a registered trademark of Hook Inc. At least it would be, if I knew how to register such things. Either way, feel free to use the term, but don’t take credit for it or I’ll unleash a bloodthirsty Shih Tzu on your butt.)

Where was I?

Oh yeah, Discoms. In the Disney world, kids long to be grown up and independent, free of the shackles of their adult oppressors – who, coincidentally, treat them better than any normal child could ever hope for – and so Disney kids get into one mishap after another, one episode after another. Of course, in the end they learn their lesson and all is well.

Until next week, that is.

What I believe The Walt Disney Company is trying to say to kids, in their own money-making way, is that we’re stronger together then we could ever be alone.

Which brings me to my point.

In the last few days of my waking life I have been caught up in a whirlwind that has touched every significant aspect of my life.

As a father:

  • I’ve had to deal with a sick child, who, truth be told, hasn’t really been any trouble at all. In fact, Sarah has been overcome with joy at the reception her post has gotten. Incidentally, the post was a complete surprise, albeit a welcome one.
  • Still, she’s been a sick little bugger, overcome with the effects of an engorged lymph node and two subsequent trips to the ER, but she’s come through it all like the adolescent trooper she is.
  • Truth be told, her pain was routinely interrupted by outside stimulus; our local ER plays host to some rather colorful individuals, ranging from homeless guys in stereotypical trench coats shaking their fists at God and whoever will listen to strippers with sprained ankles. tourists who have no idea how much a stay in a foreign emergency room is going to set them back, and even the odd well-adjusted, normal but injured human being. (Unfortunately, those folks suck at helping a scared young lady ignore the radiating waves of pain emanating from her neck and throat region. But they mean well.)

As a husband:

  • I’ve found myself faced with a wife stricken with laryngitis. (Funny thing, it hasn’t proven to be the blessing most people expect it would be.) Somehow she’s managed to maintain her crazy mom regiment despite feeling like something you’d find on the bottom of your shoes.
  • No wonder I love that woman.

As a blogger:

  • My little virtual hideaway has been thrust into the WordPress spotlight, courtesy of a spot on the Freshly Pressed lineup for two days. (They say kindness is its own reward. They’re right.)
  • I’ve made dozens of new friends, who I intend to connect with over the next several weeks.
  • “You’ve Been Hooked!” has seen many of these new friends subscribe for regular doses of hospitality-inspired goodness.
  • “An Open Letter to Ellen Degeneres” was reblogged more than 40 times, a record I’ll never surpass, I’m sure.

As a bellman:

  • The summer season began with the white hot intensity of a million exploding suns as thousands of tourists descended upon Niagara Falls for the Fourth of July. (There is nothing more patriotic than celebrating your country’s fight for independence on foreign soil, is there?)
  • I haven’t been run off my feet, I’ve been rolled over, trampled and left for dead. Such is the lot of a Niagara Falls bellman in July.

And so as I find myself wrapped up in the hysteria of another summer, my mind is equally overwhelmed by my mission to land my little girl an opportunity of a lifetime: sitting opposite the most popular daytime talk show host in TV Land.

And so I’ve arrived at my point.

My colleague Le Clown has recently published his own personal Declaration of Independence from the pressures of blogging fame. (When you’re popular everyone wants a piece of you. Or so I’m told.) I sincerely hope this beautifully written plea brings him some inner peace. (Le Clown is a good egg and could use a break from the Big Top every once in a while.)

As for me, well, I want my name shouted from virtual rooftops and whispered in the darkened basements of grown men still living with their parents. I want people to discuss my latest posts while congregating at water coolers in corporate sweatshops. It would give great pleasure to know giggling sorority girls are squealing my name during lingerie pillow fights in dorm rooms. (That is what sorority girls do, right? They have pillow fights while clad in flimsy Victoria’s Secret undergarments, correct? That’s what I believe, at least.)

I’ve been overwhelmed by your support, folks, and while I understand Le Clown’s feelings on privacy and common courtesy, my position is reversed; I’m the guy who needs the Web Wizard of WordPress to help him reach Kansas (Kansas in this case being the set of the Ellen DeGeneres show.)

And so far I’m on the right track. But I won’t get Sarah where she needs to be on my own. I need all the help I can get, and believe me, I’ve been getting it.

And so I thank you for your kindness, your support and above all, your friendship. We have become acquainted across a virtual reality through the use of barren, lifeless fiber optic cable and satellite connections, but the human connection we’ve established is far from artificial. Sarah now has hundreds of aunts and uncles she can rely on.

And so Sarah thanks you.

Chelsea thanks you.2012-08-22 11.46.44

And hopefully, someday Ellen will thank you.

Now get back to the business of living your own lives and try to have some fun doing so, all right?

About The Hook

Husband. Father. Bellman. Author of The Bellman Chronicles. Reader of comic books and observer and chronicler of the human condition. And to my wife's eternal dismay, a mere mortal and non-vampire. I'm often told I look like your uncle, cousin, etc. If I wore a hat, I'd hang it on a hat rack in my home in Niagara Falls, Canada. You can call me The Hook, everyone else does.
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80 Responses to “Thank You” Will Never Be Enough, But It’s All I Can Afford on a Bellman’s Salary.

  1. Le Clown says:

    The Hook,
    Congratulations are in order: Congratulations.
    This is great news for you. and your daughter, and that hotel of yours, and those waterfalls, and Canada. Maybe, even, Geddy Lee will write a song about it.

    As for me, yes. It was a particular weekend, with a few vitriolic emails because I wanted to reclaim some personal space. But the storm has subsided, so now it’s life with my Family, on Facebook, and with the greatest carnies of this planet on WordPress. And it’s even a sunny day. It must be a sign.
    Le Clown

    • The Hook says:

      The sun is beginning to shine here in Niagara as well, buddy. I hope we both get everything we want from life.
      All my best to the family and the carnies, of course.

  2. Jennifer says:

    Woohoo, you got FP’d! Well done. I hope your girls get better soon and life settles into some kind of normalcy. 🙂

  3. Nikitaland says:

    Dear Hook,
    I just recently started following your wonderful blog and I had to say that you inspire me. Your effortless way of writing just pulls me into your posts and I just wanted to say “thanks”. Greetings from Cleveland, OH!

    • The Hook says:

      Cleveland rocks!
      (Sorry, had to be said!)
      But seriously, thank you for the support, but trust me, my writing requires more effort than ever these days!

  4. Way to go !! So excited that your post about Sarah’s wish was FP’d! 🙂 It’s an awesome way to spread the word … hopefully Ellen will listen!
    Hope and pray the family is feeling better and glad you survived two trips to the ER … that can be a scary place!

  5. Chatty Owl says:

    Congrats!!!! I like seeing the sun shining brighter over there for you!

  6. Nicole says:

    Ohhhhh Hookster,
    I have been trying to get on WP from my iphone since last week, but the stupid app isn’t working and I have been so sick with a stupid summerJuly cold.

    I want to let you know that when I read your post last week about Sarah to Ellen, I swear you were writing about my 14-yr-old Caitlyn. She too has a wonderful heart and see’s the beautiful in all things. She also loves to read, and spends hours and days writing books, she always is sending me chapters for my critiquing (sp)?

    While most children when asked what they would like to do on a Sat aft noon, would choose a day at Canada’s Wonderland, a movie, a new video game or a shopping spree at the local mall. Mine simply asks to go to Chapters, to peruse and get a few new books. Her other love is Hockey, her goal in life is to be the next great female goalie on the team Canadas Olympic team, and if that doesn’t pan out, she has great aspirations to be a novelist!
    We should get Sarah and Caitlyn together sometime,,,hey,,maybe they could even meet Ellen together.
    When, I get home from school today, I intend to reblog your Ellen letter (stupid computer at school won’t let me on the WP site).
    Have a super awesome day at the Falls!

    • The Hook says:

      You’re the best, Nikki!
      Your Caityn sounds like a wonderful soul as well. I hope she gets everything she wants from life; I’d root for her in the Olympics!

  7. mairedubhtx says:

    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. Well deserved! I hope Sarah and Jackie are recovered by now. I’m glad to see so many people reblog your letter to Ellen. It was superb. Best of luck, Robert. I mean it, you know.

  8. Wow, Hook – you’re some kind o’wonderful! I hope Sarah makes it to Ellen’s show…how amazing would that be if someone’s words on the internetgooglewebs makes a little girl’s dream come true?

  9. 2 trips to the ER zoo? (shiver) Laryngitis? (UGH. horrid pain – and just as bad when the pain leaves, but the voice doesn’t return. Please don’t let her try to talk – healing takes longer if you do…been there. Frustrating)
    SInce you already deal with the public at work, perhaps notoriety – I meant fame – will be deftly with wit and skill (appalling that Le CLown is having to deal with undeserved anger)
    In any case, to the point. All a child needs is devotion and caring parents. That gift last lifelong and makes a difference in her view of herself, the world, and possibilities.
    You’re doing good, dad.

    • The Hook says:

      That’s great to hear. Thanks, beautiful.
      The girls – and Le Clown – are well on the road to recovery and I’m sure they all thank you.

  10. Matrone Bell says:

    This part made me laugh out loud, The summer season began with the white hot intensity of a million exploding suns as thousands of tourists descended upon Niagara Falls for the Fourth of July. (There is nothing more patriotic than celebrating your country’s fight for independence on foreign soil, is there?) I hope Sarah, and your wife are both feeling better. Keep writing 😀

    • The Hook says:

      They’re doing better and I intend to keep moving forward. Although truth be told, my creative engine stalls pretty often these days, but I’ll never stop. Thanks!

      • Matrone Bell says:

        Yes, I stall often as well. Its frustrating, but I suppose even Hemingway suffered through dry spells 😀

  11. monica923 says:

    I wish you the best of luck for all of you. Don’t give up.

  12. Katie says:

    I’m glad things are looking up despite the illnesses, and I’m not remotely surprised by all the reblogs. I’m sure there are 40 more in the future. You deserve it and so does Sarah.

  13. You get “Freshly Pressed”, I get “Freshly Flushed”. Where’s the Justice????!!!! 🙂 Way to go, my Brother!

    I used to be a “Media Celebrity” (although it was just to a few hundred thousand people at time where ever I was working) and I can relate to the “need to get away from it all”. On the other hand, what an honor that so many folks would find me “cool” enough to be my fans. What I did I for a living (Radio D J, TV Host, TV Commercials, etc.) was just a job to me, a way to pay the bills. I was very good at what I did, but sometimes the demands on my time were exhausting. But, you know what? Being in the public eye was a blessing – it reminded me that I had a God-given gift to share with people and I tried to do so with humility. I was nothing special – I just had a cool job.

    May all the rewards of being “Big Time” be yours. I know that you will accept them with humility, grace and gratitude.

    BTW…need an agent? 🙂

  14. I saw that post had been FP’d! Well someone told me it had, and then I saw! Fantastic, congrats! I didn’t reblog as such, but I mentioned it on my post and linked to it, so that’s almost as good right? But if Ellen hasn’t seen it yet, then our work is not done! Hope the sick ladies are now better 🙂

    • The Hook says:

      That’s definitely good enough! I’m not sure if Ellen has seen it, but I hope she’s impressed when she does! And the girls are recovering slowly but surely. Thanks!

  15. Why is it that trouble usually comes in …groups, as if one isn’t enough? Could it be that some force out there feels that “Ah, he looks strong enough, lets see how much he can take!”! I hope troubles are all clear now and the the force has decided to let you off …the Hook!!!
    Be well and, as Le Clown says: “Congratulations are in order!” 🙂

  16. jmlindy422 says:

    Duuuuuuude! FP’d!!!!! Congrats. Well deserved. BTW, I was a sorority girl. I don’t remember the lingerie pillow fights. There were panty raids, but never of my panties. I recall doing shots of Jack Daniels at the sorority house before going out to the bars so that we wouldn’t have to spend so much on beer. I recall falling off a sidewalk while in a drunken state and being on crutches for a few days. In short, I recall being drunk. A lot. Often.

  17. djmatticus says:

    Hooray for an abundance of aunts and uncles! Other than grandparents, they really are the best relatives. 😉
    So ordered, duly noted, and I will do my best to follow – fun will be had. I hope your daughter and wife are already feeling better. I hope the tourists tip well and provide you plenty of blogging and writing fodder at the same time this summer. I hope Ellen notices what you’ve started on behalf of your daughter and her people contact your people and magic happens. (You have people, right? If not, I volunteer.) I hope you are making sure you follow your own well wishes and make sure you have some fun too!

    • The Hook says:

      I’ll try, buddy.
      As for Ellen, I’ve never wanted anything for someone else so bad in my life. No matter how things work out, I know I have some great friends out there and that makes me feel like I’ve already won.

  18. Hook, you always make this professor chuckle–even when it’s not supposed to be funny!

  19. The Cutter says:

    So when do we get the post detailing the humorous bellman incidents from the extended holiday weekend?

  20. The Guat says:

    Duuuuuuuuude congrats on being Freshly Pressed! Definitely well deserved, my friend. I don’t have a water cooler to go to, but I’m definitely talking about your posts 🙂

  21. BuddhaKat says:

    All I want to be certain of is that we will all be “in the know” when Sarah has scheduled her appearance on Ellen’s stage… That’s a show I SURELY don’t want to miss!!!!
    I really admire you putting yourself out there, like that just for the sake of your daughter. You ARE a good dad!
    And Sarah has the privilege of knowing the import of goals and dreams early enough that she can direct her energies, rather than being a forever seeker, not really knowing what she wants! You guys gave her that, too and it’s a great gift!
    OK, gonna tweet your post again and make sure Ellen’s handle is included (since I know she doesn’t follow me!)… (that was brilliant adding all that contact info for Ellen in your post!)
    The world is your oyster, Sarah… and your dad and mom are great at finding pearls, it seems!!

    best to all…


  22. Jo Bryant says:

    Well Hook you finally got FPed…must be a happy man

  23. Daile says:

    Congrats on being FP’d it couldn’t have happened to a nicer person with a more lovely post. I really hope your Sarah’s wish is granted!

  24. Michael says:

    Congrats on being FP’d! And, I will say, Ellen’s show is not my preferred genre, as that’s either superhero shows or murder mysteries solved by quirky yet lovable detectives; but if Sarah gets on it, I will watch it. That’s a promise. Good luck!

  25. Hook – I’m new to your fold, love your natural, down to earth style (being an Aussie – I appreciate it) – looking forward to reading & getting to know about you (you have a good name around the site) ooops think that was meant to be a secret. Congrat’s on the FP’d too btw.

  26. Deborah the Closet Monster says:

    You rock, Hook.

  27. Littlesundog says:

    Congratulations, my friend! You are meant for greatness.

  28. TBM says:

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. You deserve it. I hope all the women in your life are feeling better. You are a wonderful man handling all of this at once. I work at home with my dog and cat. I will tell them all about this post. The neighbors already think I’m crazy.

  29. Rohan 7 Things says:

    Congrats on being Freshly Pressed, and 40 reblogs is amazing! Ellen or not, you are developing a great community of friends and fans!

    I wrote a comment a while back regarding guest blogging, I’m not sure if you got it. I’d love to share a funny story of mine on your blog if you ever need to fill a slot. I know you’ve got loads going on right now but if you’d ever like to have me over let me know, twould be an honor 😉

    Sending good healing vibes to the sickies, hope they’re feeling better soon!


    • The Hook says:

      We’re keeping a close eye on them, Rohan, thanks!
      A guest post would be awesome and very much appreciated, mate. Just let me know and I’ll gladly yield my corner of the web to you.

      • Rohan 7 Things says:

        Ah brilliant! Thank you for offering to have me, I’ll be in touch soon then and we’ll work out the details 🙂

        All the best to you and the fam!


  30. Carrie Rubin says:

    I didn’t realize your little one was sick. So sorry to hear that. I hope things are improving. It’s difficult to watch our children go through illness. Painful, even.

  31. Cayman Thorn says:

    Congratulations to you sir. And best wishes/get well soons are going out to the women in your life. As for sorority girl pillow fights, I think Victoria’s Secret is the official uniform . . yes.

  32. Well the wife (me) has her voice back (but not in full force yet). You will soon know when that is my loving husband. LOL!!! As for the little bugger – she is still curled up in her bed snoozing the day away. Lucky girl!!! Keep going and don’t give up with Ellen. As you said, you never know what can happen.

  33. I don’t know if you would have said that yesterday when I was cranky and you were cutting the tree down, but so would I. Love you and see you tonite!!!

  34. Author Catherine Townsend-Lyon says:

    The WordPress Family Award ~~ *I LUV your blog so much, and your wonderful Humor, I have Nominated you for a *WordPress Family Award* all the details are on my blog at: http://wp.me/P3xH1g-ar CONGRATS! You Well Deserve this award 🙂 God Bless, Catherine 🙂

  35. Cameron says:

    “Discoms” is a little bit brilliant. And I’ve been away, living out my own private Divine Comedy. I’m hoping someone lets me know when I’m out of the Inferno. And look! You’re getting all famous. Love it.

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