What’s So Great About Being The Hook Anyway?

This year marks forty-six years of my presence on this glorious mud ball we all call home.

Yes, time really does fly when you’re haranguing guests, flaming out as an author, annoying your family and bringing everyone on the blogosphere and Twitter to their knees, thank you for asking.

The passing of my “special day” (sounds almost like male PMS, doesn’t it?) set my mind abuzz with self-reflection, which, has in turn, led to some self-love.

Not that type of self-love, perverts. I’m referring to recognizing the good qualities my psyche holds rather than just focusing on my weaknesses for once. As many of you can attest, I spend far too much time spotlighting my failures (yes, I’ve had more than a few) instead of looking at the victories I can lay claim to.

So let’s look at some of those wins, shall we?

 1)  I’m alive.  A single swimmer defied the odds, beat out the competition and made it to the Promised Egg. Ironically, many years later my own swimmers were incapable of replicating that feat without a significant boost from science… but this victory stands on its own.

2)  My childhood wasn’t exactly The Wonder Years… but I survived.  Without going into detail, I had some pretty messed-up moments as a kid, to say the least, but I’ve learned to say, “So what?” Granted, some of the points I’m going to raise later on are the only reason I can afford to be so cavalier about childhood trauma.

3)  I’m tall.  Seriously, I’m a redwood with a patch of hair on top. Yes, it may seem like I’m reaching (see what I did there?) but my height has always been counted as a plus by society rather than a minus, so there.

4)  It’s true what they say about  tall men, ladies.  But on the downside, we hit our heads a lot and we have a tough time fitting our oversize frames into tight spots, so you have to be realistic when planning carnal encounters in small spaces.

5)  I’m white.  Now before anyone starts screaming the “R” word, hear me out. I can’t dance, so I’d make a lousy brotha. I hate spicy food, so being Indian would be a gastronomical disaster. I hate gambling, so that leaves the other type of Indian out. I was destined to be a pasty, balding member of the Caucasian race, my friends.

6)  I’ve never seen the Kim Kardashian sex tape.  For that matter, I’ve never watched a “Kardashian show”. Uunless I Am Cait counts.)

7)  My ears have never listened to songs from the following “artists”:

  •  Kanye West.
  •  Drake.
  • Justin Bieber.
  •  Paris Hilton.

Which helps to explain why I’m not a total douche.

8)  I’ve never walked away from my nerdy past.  I used to walk an hour uphill (both ways, naturally) through the snow to get to Len’s Odds and Ends in St. Catharines when I was a wee lad of the Seventies, just to score the latest comics on my pull list. That spirit still resides within me today. And yes, I’ve had actual sex with an actual woman, so shut up.

tumblr_no9jjmIaRB1rn55nzo1_500What more could a could a young boy ask for?

9)  The “Big Guy” has blessed me with the best damn family anyone could ever ask for.  I don’t say much about my wife or daughter, but they make my life worth living. On one hand, I’ve been ridiculously-depressed about the non-status of my writing career, more than I’ve ever been in my adult life. On the other hand, my personal life has never been more fulfilling.

My family keeps me centered. They keep me (relatively) sane. They validate my continued existence. And in return… I drive them around the bend.

It’s a fairly equitable arrangement, wouldn’t you agree?

10)  I’m every HR director’s worst nightmare brought to life.  A colleague recently had an ugly run-in with a cheerleading mom. He was flabbergasted that the mother (and she was a mother, if you get my drift) in question actually fought back.

“How come you can say whatever you want to guests, Hook… but I can’t get away with a single remark?”

The answer is simple, really. I merely stated the truth of my existence as the world’s most outspoken bellman:

“Hey, do you actually think I became The Hook overnight?  It’s taken me years to cultivate my particular style.  And truthfully, dumb luck is as much a part of my success as anything else. My advice?  Just be yourself… there’s only one Hook, buddy.”

Even if I get called on the carpet – which I rarely do – I’ve always walked away smelling like hotel lobby flowers. In fact, in every case so far, someone else has wound up being written up or even fired. Sometimes I feel like Rick Grimes; I survive what gets thrown at me. Unlike Rick, though, I know better than to get too overconfident.

the-walking-dead-rick-grimes-greatest-kills-334888You’re going to write me up?

11)  I just won’t give up.  Even though the Universe is sending me some pretty clear messages. As a husband, I won’t ignore my responsibilities to my wife as the breadwinner. As a father, I sometimes feel like a complete loser who fails every time he tries to make his dreams a reality. What message am I sending to my daughter?

But as a man, I can’t ignore the dreams of my childhood. Even though my soul is literally aching from the beat downs I’ve been taking lately, there will always be a part of me that has to dream. To live any other way is to lay down and die.

I once made the decision to die, something I’ll never do again. I’m in this life, failed dreams and all, for the long haul.

And on that mixed note, I’m out.

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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51 Responses to What’s So Great About Being The Hook Anyway?

  1. vickgoodwin says:

    Enjoy your special day!

  2. Natasha says:

    Happy 46 years of earthly presence! I hope you haven’t listened to Miley Cyrus either?

  3. 1jaded1 says:

    This is one of my favorites, raw and real…they all are but this one roars. Happy 46. Your daughter likely sees you as someone who doesn’t give up, not the failure word. You are teaching her to reach for her dreams and not stifle them. That is huge.

    JB has never assaulted your ears? Drake was on a show called “Degrassi” or something. He did his music there, a bit.

    How tall are you?

    So glad that I found your blog.


  4. Tara says:

    You said you were spotlighting your positives, and yet you still dipped into a teeny tiny bit of the failures (or, rather, you tempered your positives by slipping in the negatives too)…. don’t do that!! You are a terrific writer – I so enjoy what you share in every post – and I for one am grateful that you aren’t “perfect.” We often spend too much time in comparisons and defeatist attitudes – but like you said, there can only be one Hook. All that being said, I really appreciated the vulnerability in this post. You, like me, are in your forties – and you illustrate that no matter how old we get we still have the same insecurities or desires for some illusive success. I don’t know exactly what you think you need to accomplish with your writing… but LOOK at all the “hits” and followers (plus you’ve appeared in film!). I have been writing since I was 10 years old, and I still don’t have that many hits… and sometimes I feel down because I haven’t published a book or found what I perceive is success as a writer. HOWEVER, I LOVE to write. It fulfills something in me that nothing else can. I imagine it can’t be too much different for you. Thank you for being The Hook. Happy Birthday!

  5. davidprosser says:

    Penblwydd Hapus for whenever it is Robert. Thanks for the in depth introduction to your life, I’m glad the one decision you made to depart this mortal coil didn’t come off or I’d have lost some fine entertainment. Yes, it’s all about me, me, me,.
    I’m sure you’re a very good husband and an excellent father, doing all the appropriate things correctly ( as a husband certainly once at least) but a failure is only how you regard yourself not how you appear to others.
    Some of us have published a number of books without significant success. It’s a case of writing more and living with patience and hope, a failed comedy double act.
    Best of luck with whatever you do.

  6. Happy Birthday my sweet friend 🙂

  7. No 7 makes you a founder member of the People Dunk Admires Club. However, I’m the President, so don’t get ideas above your station

  8. Paul says:

    Happy birthday Hook! Hey Dude, how’d you get such an easy life? You got pull with the big guy or what?

  9. Congratulations on your birthday and the joys and blessings in your life!

  10. Happy Birthday, Robert…. I hope you have a very easy day… but if not, write about it. Please. 🙂

  11. Sofia Leo says:

    Happy Birthday to a fellow Aries 🙂

  12. Happy Birthday, Hook! Make the most of it!! 🙂

  13. BroJo says:

    Happy Birthday Hook! Enjoy your special day!

  14. renxkyoko says:

    I see that you have a very fulfilling life. What is most important is you love your family. Happy Birthday.

  15. C.E.Robinson says:

    Happy Birthday, Robert! 🎉Not surprised that you slip into some negatives in your positive post. That’s you, the humble being! It’s also what we as followers like about you. Makes for good “hook” writing. An excellent writer, you are! 💛 Elizabeth

  16. Doug in Oakland says:

    Happy birthday young man! (I get to say that, having been born in 1960)

  17. kunstkitchen says:

    Happy birthday and many more! Just caught up on my Hook reading. Thanks for the unending observations on society “as is”…Can’t put a price tag on that or something…you are hilarious. Where can your book be purchased?

  18. JMC813 says:

    Happy Bday ya hilariously outspoken bellman.

  19. Becky says:

    Happy birthday!

  20. Happy Birthday. Glad you’re here! And thank you for bringing laughs and entertainment into my (and many others’) life.

  21. Happy birthday fellow 46-er! (Sorry, it’s belated!)… Wait, I think I’m 46… I’ve klnda lost count. I was good til I turned 10, then the math started getting complicated. Is the math easier if you’re born in 1970? Damn we’re old. Anyway, hope you had a smashing day! And yes, thanks for all the laughs! (Here’s to following your blog for another 46 years?!)

  22. Ya darn tootin’ Skippy!! Happy Belated birthday dearest Hook! We all loves ya! 😉

  23. curvyroads says:

    Happy birthday youngster! Keep focusing on the positives, please! Your admirers think you’re awesome, so keep entertaining us, ok?

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