Blogging: The Best Cheap-Ass Therapy I Can Afford On A Bellman’s Salary.

HOOK’S NOTE:  I haven’t been feeling like myself for a few days. My IBS, which has plagued me for over two years but has just been diagnosed, has me feeling washed out, fed up and angry. (Yes, I have a condition they advertise drugs for on TV. Yay, me!) So please forgive me if this post is less than stellar.

As I type these words on a soulless machine of plastic and metal a song is playing in the lobby. It is a jaunty, upbeat tune that asks a simple question: What do I stand for?

Now, I’ve done my research and it seems I am under no obligation whatsoever to answer the query in question.

But since I am still filled with such a feeling of despair/anxiety/blahness, what’s the harm, right? At the very least it should be a worthwhile distraction, right? Okay, so what do I stand for?

By the way, that wasn’t a rhetorical question… I really don’t know what I stand for. Does anyone, really? I mean, it’s not like it’s something you need to clearly define in order to get going in the morning.

“Do I eat here or grab something at the office? Like Sheila from accounting, for instance?”

“Do I wear a skirt or pants?”

“Do I tuck my Batman t-shirt in or leave it untucked and risk the wrath of my wife?”

(I actually ask myself that question all the time. My wife hates an untucked shirt.)

But back to the question at hand: What causes do I rally behind? What do I consider an act of evil? In which direction does my moral compass point? Who the hell am I anyway?

Helluva question to ask as I’m drifting through a thick spiritual funk, isn’t it? I can barely write or tweet at the moment and here I am attempting to lay my soul bare for all the world to see. Okay, so maybe “all the world to see” is a stretch. Shut up.

But here’s what I believe in.


Welcome to my nightmare, (otherwise known as my consciousness) ya filthy animals…

Universal health care.  I don’t care what country you live in or what it’s economic situation looks like, a government’s number one priority is to look after the citizens that put that structure in place to begin with. We have three main political parties in Canada, several independent parties and a gazillion politicians; if we can afford to fund such a colossal enterprise why can’t we afford to provide at the very least, basic medical services to every single citizen who requires them?

Of you’ve ever spent any time in a hospital you understand where I’m coming from, right? Many of them are dirty (when they should be anything but) woefully understaffed and run by people who have become so jaded and desensitized to human suffering they’re in need of care themselves.


Access to porn for every citizen who has reached the age of puberty.  Roll your eyes all you like, but I’m talking about good old-fashioned, mainstream pornography like mom and dad used to keep hidden in their bedroom closet.

But with far less hair, of course.

As long as a person has been raised right and possesses a healthy understanding of human sexuality they can watch the collective works of Julia Ann, Kenna James, and of course, Mercedes Carrera, without being convinced all women are bisexual sex kittens and the pizza person can be paid off with coitus.

Life is hard (pun intended) and too many of us are wound tighter than a Cherokee drum. Without an outlet, a release, these citizens will eventually snap. I say it’s better to explode than snap. Again, pun intended.

Screw, Buddha, I maintain that this is the greatest relaxation technique ever conceived by the human mind.


Respect and financial assistance for old folks.  Sure they may smell like old cheese and unrealized dreams, but seniors need deserve to be treated with dignity and to be cared for by those of us who are still able to bend over without snapping a vertebrae.


Never raising one’s hand in violence to a child – especially your own.  I have a particularly personal connection to anyone who has been abused by a family member. This is a betrayal that cannot be categorized as evil, for it goes beyond that.



Rape is the ultimate evil.  If I need to convince you of this, well, there’s nothing more to say, is there? Incidentally, I’ll never use a term like “sexual assault”; that’s a sanitized term some coward made up to make himself more comfortable discussing the most violent, degrading act one human being can perpetrate upon another.



Coca-Cola is ambrosia.  Thanks to my stomach issues pop (that’s “soda” to you Yankees) burns my stomach with all the white-hot intensity of a thousand suns – but before that I loved it like no other beverage I’ve ever consumed. I have given it up forever but my love endures.


You are beautiful and deserve to be loved.  Every human being does. Even Sean Spicer. (Though I’m assuming his beauty is hidden under many, many, many layers of snark.)


We need to halt the extinction of animal species.  Hunting for survival is one thing but hunting just to be able to mount a creature’s head on your den wall so you can brag to the boys at the country club is just ludicrous.


Anyone who doesn’t tip wait staff, bellmen, or anyone who provides them with a service is a douchebag.  I don’t care what your argument is (that’s your opinion, this is mine) if you can afford to go out and eat or take a vacation you can afford to tip. Governments allow employers to pay workers in gratuitous positions minimum wage – and sometimes less – so tips can make all the difference in the world. And workers take these tips and spend them at businesses these non-tippers work at, thus stimulating the economy, so the wheel goes round and round. So there.


I could go on.

But I don’t feel like it.

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 Blogging: The Best Cheap-Ass Therapy I Can Afford On A Bellman’s Salary.

  1. Good points for sure.

    • The Hook says:

      Thanks, Kate.
      You’ve lifted my spirits at a time I really needed them buoyed.

      • We live for your stories! BTW I’ve had IBS since I was 20. Never goes away but it does peak and wane. However, the peak timing always sucks.

      • The Hook says:

        It started out 2 years ago as a mild burning stomach.
        Now I’m bound up every day (thrilling conversation, right?) and while the medication I take reverses that ( and how!) the “cure” is actually worse than the disease in many ways. Unless you like spending hours in the bathroom, that is…

      • I have the other version where I go frequently. My cure is to bind. I know where every bathroom is in every mall, restaurant and pizza place (God! those are the worst!).

  2. Doug in Oakland says:

    “gratuitous positions” sounds sexier than it really is. As a line cook who was never paid more than $9/hr for many years (and started at $6/hr), those tips the wait staff kicked down at the end of the shift were all of the spending money I had most of the time.

  3. Marion Hardy says:

    I love your blog and tweets and look forward to hearing from you. So sorry you have been feeling unwell and living with a chronic condition is a pain literally and figuratively it can be done and I am living proof of it!! All the best.

  4. michd74 says:

    Oh I love this. To the last thought I agree wholeheartedly and have had countless arguments on the subject, however I have come to realize lately that I am handing money out hand over fist for shitty service ( I am an exceptional tipper).

    For instance I was in Vancouver last week and got a taxi, the driver did not greet me and he talked on the phone the entire time in another language. The only time he acknowledged me was when he handed me the debit machine to pay. I decided not to tip…and that was difficult for me. On the way back to my condo a taxi driver picked me up that was upbeat and engaging. Inquired about my day and shared with me stories about his move from India. I gave him both tips!!

  5. Becky says:

    This is very relatable. (It’s interesting and inspiring to read others’ “bare it all” posts. Kudos for sharing.) Seems to me that you do indeed know what you stand for. Hope you feel more like yourself soon.

  6. davidprosser says:

    I’m sorry to hear about the IBS Robert, I know how down it can make you as my daughter has suffered for years.I also think service staff should be tipped well and that it should be totally tax free.

    I’m not happy at your blasphemy though. as a child of the fifties and part of the sixties I know for sure that Pepsi is the King of Drinks…these days Pepsi Max and it may be that declaration that has rendered my stomach IBS free.

  7. Lead. Follow. Or get the heck out of the way. I think you manage to do each at the appropriate time in a positive constructive fashion. Takes insight and skill (and having being trained by dog/kid does help)

    Breaking the Coke habit is actually difficult – but good.. A Coke a day really adds calories over the year – waistline inches as metabolism slows with age. (Real sugar is better than the sweeteners used in modern Coke). The carbonation is also not good for kidneys or body. And there’s always the old science experiment of putting nails in a bottle of Coke and leaving them for a week…come back and notice the nails are eaten away…or at least badly rusted by the acid levels.

    So be good to yourself – get through the cold turkey going off coke headaches.

    Remember, artists and writers must suffer…..HA HA!
    Hope you bounce back quickly.

  8. From IBS to tipping hotel staff in one mighty bound. By the way, there’s no reliable drug treatment for IBS, but quite a lot of evidence that dietary changes can help.

    • The Hook says:

      I’m waiting to see a specialist and then I’m sure I’ll be making some drastic changes.
      Until then… I’m screwed.

      • I wish I could say it would be easy. It won’t. Depends on the symptoms. Paradoxically, increasing soluble fibre intake can ease diarrhoea. Dunno. Just saying. Need a bit more guidance before you see the specialist? I’ll do my best. I know what I talk about, and it’s not cosmic vibrations or natural frequencies being damped by negative influences.

  9. IBS is such a pain in the ass! I hope you’re back to normal soon and things either stop or start and go back to being regular.

    I’m with you on all of your points, especially the porn. Orgasms are much cheaper than anti-depressants. It’s exactly what this world needs right now … things seem so tense.

  10. granny1947 says:

    For someone who is down in the dumps that is a great blog!!!

  11. Ha! What don’t you want to release? Well, that’s what my spiritual teacher would ask…has asked. My typical response is “Nunya.” I have suffered from this disease since high school, and that’s quite a few years to where I am in life now. But I have learned so much from coping with it. Amazing how crap forms our lives, in more ways than one.

    Your list of things you stand for is stupendously awesome! Isn’t it interesting that as writers, if we don’t write — hold our creativity in — we get depressed and angry? And, as humans, if we hold our waste in, we get depressed and angry. Maybe the Marquis de Sade had something going when he used his feces to write on his prison walls. Hmmmm. All I can say is the symptoms of IBS will pass — bad turn of a phrase, I know. And it gives you the right to tell people to keep their BS to themselves because you have more than enough of your own to deal with.

    BTW, my daughter and I met Ron Jeremy one night at a local strip joint in a Nebraska corn field. LOL…more on that later. Take care, and hang tough! 🙂

  12. I’d tip you Hook.
    I have always meant ask, is it rude to ask for change when you tip someone? Cos sometimes when we have just arrived in a country, we don’t have coins or small notes….
    Anyway, another great post with interesting points for thought. One day I will write a post about the ‘right’ to free health care and what ‘free’ health care really means, but that would be a bit too heavy right now. 🙂
    Does this mean you are going to wear a different placard each day when you are working at the door of your hotel? Hehehe.

  13. If this is what ‘less-than-stellar’ looks like, then I’ll have what you’re having.

    “You are beautiful and deserve to be loved.” Spot-on, Hook. I use a similar mantra “we are all worthy of love and belonging”…somedays, that’s the only that keeps me going. That, and Coca Cola 😉

  14. StillWaters says:

    You’re a good man, Mr. Hook. I hope you get a handle on your IBS soon.
    Write on.

  15. Abbie says:

    Some very good points, Hook. Respect.

  16. curvyroads says:

    For a man not feeling his best, and thinking you’re not sure what you stand for, you rocked the life priorities list, my friend! I’m with you on all of them except the Coke…I feel fortunate to not have that vice. It’s ok, I have others. 😂
    Hoping you feel better soon, Robert!

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