The Hook’s Rules (Ten Of ’em, At Least.)

Once again, the American Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and you know what that means, right?

Tons of well-intentioned, super cool – even from Ned Hickson – holiday posts.

Well, this isn’t one of them so don’t get any ideas. If you want some holiday-themed yucks and sentiment go check out those over-medicated nut bars at Long Awkward Pause, they’ll be happy yo help you. As for yours truly, I’m… well, I’ll explain what I am in a moment. Right now, I want to wish everyone a happy Yankee Turkey Day. Even you, Ned. Though you still owe me fifty bucks.

Let’s begin with three words that speak volumes, shall we?

I’m. Still. Here.

The last few months and a few more failures/rejections have changed me beyond measure, and I cannot say when or if I will ever return to a regular blogging schedule, but at this moment, the mood has struck me and so here we are.

So without further bullshit adieu, I present to you now the Tao of The Hook.

1)  Wake up every day.

   It’s that simple. As a lifelong resident of Niagara Falls I have seen the horror that accompanies the act of suicide and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. (More on that later, by the way.) To be clear, I would never judge those poor souls who have taken that step – I’ve literally been to the edge myself – but no matter what the problem, there is a solution.

   The key to that solution? Surviving long enough for it to present itself. Find a coping mechanism that doesn’t diminish your body and soul and hang on for dear life.

2)  Don’t have a worst enemy.

    Or any degree of enemy, for that matter. Unless you’re a spandex-clad member of the superhero set, having a nemesis will bring you nothing but heartache and it will rot your soul faster than any evening with the Kardashians. And besides, would you even know what to do with an enemy if you did have one? It’s a losing proposition, man.

   Sure you could fight them with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, the only way to win at personal warfare is to not play the game at all. And yes, this advice comes to you courtesy of a man who has gone toe-to-toe with many a colleague and guest over the years, but those battles were one-offs, not full-blown campaigns.

Make love, not war; it’s not just a slogan spouted by long-haired, drug addled freaks, but a way of life.

3)  If you can afford to hire a contractor to handle home repairs… do so – always.

Screw your pride – and the entire DIY industry – not everyone is cut out to be handy with a hammer. (Quit giggling, this serious business!)

However, if you do find yourself motivated to tackle such endeavors, heed my words of caution…


I’m sure I don’t need to explain myself, do I? And speaking of costly mistakes…

5)  Don’t fear your inner Dumbass.

There resides within each of us, a dumbass, a failed version of ourselves that will rear his or her ugly head from time to time. Don’t fear your inner dumbass; God put it there to remind of your humanity – and how fragile it actually. Learn from your dumbass. Adjust for its presence. Live with it rather than against it.

Bear in mind this advice is coming to you courtesy of a world-class dumbass, so…

6) Hookers, strippers and porn stars used to be little girls.

Yes, I realize I just deflated more than one erection, but in a society obsessed with sex, that needed to be noted. I’ve seen thousands of sex workers in my career and I’ll see thousands more before I’m through – and each and every one of them had a heart and soul. Somewhere in there.

7)  Honesty is the best policy.

Yes, I sound like an After School Special, but so what? The classics  have never go out of style. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve avoided spending the night in the dog house by revealing the truth before it came out. Which it always does, sooner or later. So be smart, kids, tell the truth and it’ll set you free, apparently.

That having been said…

8)  You’re going to spend time in the dog house.

Inevitably, we all screw up – some more than others – and whether we’re in a relationship or not, we all spend time paying for those mistakes. So keep an emergency kit handy at all times. And always be prepared to suck it up and move on.

9)  Always take time to enjoy the little things.

We rarely inject a dose of perspective into our daily routine. We just put our heads down and hope we come out a winner in the rat race. And we rarely do. So never forget to enjoy whatever makes you happy – if only for a moment or two.

For example, I know this will make some of you happy…


And this will do it for some others…


And finally, this will appeal to some truly special souls…








Is anyone still here?

Yes? Wow, you’re troopers, aren’t you? All right, that type of perseverance deserves a reward. Here now, is my final rule, the one that has defined my life and set me upon the path to greatness.

All right, stop laughing. I may not be a legend, or successful, or rich, or even respected, but I’m not a total D-bag, so this rule has served its purpose.

Here we go…

Oh wait, we’re out of time. Sorry.

See you in the lobby, kids…

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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44 Responses to The Hook’s Rules (Ten Of ’em, At Least.)

  1. Norm 2.0 says:

    Really I could’ve done wihout a naked pic of the Hoff, but I’ll say good post anyway 😉

  2. At least you’re in the US. This insidious holiday ritual is making itself felt in the UK, and it’s pissing me off.

  3. Kay says:

    Loved your rules – they are both profound and hilarious. And don’t be discouraged by rejections. You are a wonderfully talented writer and as a voracious reader for many years, I know what I am talking about here.

  4. Kay says:

    Oh, and Happy Thanksgiving to you!

  5. krazykris71 says:

    I embrace your blog with a hearty hug. No amount of ridiculous American commercialism could ever tempt me to celebrate Thanksgiving by over eating ginormous amounts of foul. That being said, I hope this holiday sees you healthy, happy, and grateful for the blessings bestowed upon your life. I am Hooked 🙂

  6. Awww….I loved this! Honestly, I’ve been staying off WP more than usual because of writing on my book. I’m all done, so I’m spending some time getting caught up this morning. What a blessing to find your words right here. Thanksgiving holiday or not, your inner gratitude and resilience shine through like a beacon. Your rules are spot-on. As far as your book, I have no doubt that it will find its perfect place.
    *note to self: find Robert when I’m going through the same rejections

    My favorite rule as #5…I’m going to embrace my inner dumbass today..with bells on!

  7. Paul says:

    You’re introspective on this fine holiday Hook. Cool rules – I like them. You know, I don’t usually comment on spelling or grammatical errors for two reasons : 1) the writer does know the correct version and thought it but was going too fast and accidently made a mistake and 2) I make mistakes all the time so I get it and don’t wish to have my errors pointed out. That being said – I could not help but notice that one of your rules contained a particularly poignant error: “Lear fro your dumbass” that pretty much says it all. Ha!

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours Hook!

  8. You are a terrific dude (and happy american thanksgiving) xo

  9. likeitiz says:

    The naked photo of David Hasselhoff nearly ruined it, even with the cute pugs. But, I survived. Happy thanksgiving!

  10. That naked picture r.u.i.n.e.d. my day–not, almost–ruined. Ugh.
    The rest was entertaining reading as always. 😀

  11. 'Tis says:

    LOL!!!! that made my day! 😀

  12. markbialczak says:

    Keep your head up and your typing fingers flying, Hook. Damn the rejectors. Their loss. Your list is admirable, as usual. Happy Thanksgiving Day up there from a guy States-side of the same border (Syracuse, N.Y.) I’m sure you get enough of us yahoo-ing over in your beautiful space this day, too. When my wife and I were eating our wedding night dinner six years ago in The Love Boat (did it close?) after we eloped and had our ceremony in City Hall on the States’ side because it was easier law-wise, I asked the waiter why your side of the Falls was so much nicer all the way around. He simply said that the U.S. didn’t get the memo.

    • The Hook says:

      The Love Boat is still operating, my friend.
      BTW, I love your waiter’s comment!
      And yours, for that matter!

      • markbialczak says:

        I’m glad it’s still operating, Hook. We went back in late Octobert 2013 to celebrate our fifth anniversary, and it was closed tight. We feared it was not seasonal. Now we can return to that quaint little spot again. We greatly enjoy Niagara Falls, Ontario. I shall let you know the next time we return. 🙂

  13. 1. I prefer a coping mechanism that does diminish my body and soul. Maybe an addiction or two.
    3. Find a next-door neighbor that can build or fix anything. Even then, just do fairly simple stuff. With his help, things don’t go twice as fast; they go about 5 times as fast.
    5. Great advice. Live with it indeed.
    Don’t quit writing, whatever you do, Hook.

    • The Hook says:

      I’ve taken a beating lately, but that’s the life of a writer, isn’t it? Not to worry, I’m not going anywhere. Most likely.

  14. Love the list Hook. They are so very true. I do hope you keep writing cos I really enjoy having a laugh everytime I come to visit. We don’t celebrate thanksgiving here down under but I am thankful Hoff has never been big in Australia.

  15. stephrogers says:

    Hahahaha. My brain = “lesbians in the shower woooot!…..eeeek the Hoff… eeeeewwwwwwwwww”
    Happt Thanksgiving xx

  16. Pingback: Apparently it’s time to be thankful? | She Said What?

  17. Ned's Blog says:

    The fact that you are able to make this list proves you are already “rich” in the area that matters most., Robert. No, not THAT area (laughs uncontrollably). I’m talking about the area of the heart. I’m glad to call you a friend. At least when no one else is around.

    Peace, cheers and my best wishes to you and your family 😉

  18. I’ve come to think of our Thanksgiving in October as … well … Thanksgiving. The American Thanksgiving is really just the feast to prepare you for Black Friday. From what I hear Black Friday starts right after dessert on Thursday. Of course, I have a feeling more than a few of your readers passed on the desert after that gander at the wrinkle pup poster.

  19. curvyroads says:

    Happy Thanksgiving, Hook! I am thankful for your good advice, and ready to unleash my inner dumbass for the day! Heh heh!

  20. jblondie says:

    Naked Hoff and puppies? …I’ll be revisiting this blog. 😀

  21. girlseule says:

    Wise words Hook! A naked Hoff with rolly-dog puppies always makes my day! I agree with not having enemies, who can be bothered. If I meet someone I don’t particulcarly get along with I just be polite to them if and when I do see them, and avoid them where I can and go hang out with my mates instead.

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