A Brief Message From The Hook.

About the lack of content on this site of late, there’s a good reason, well. it’s a reason at least. The truth is…

I’m broken.

I am a broken down never-was writer with a bad knee, no prospects and a following that is dwindling fast. Boy, I sound like a real catch don’t I, ladies? Unfortunately for the female population of cyberspace, I’m taken. Though to be perfectly honest, I’m fairly certain my lovely bride has had enough of my funk.

I just can’t rise above a relentless wave of images and truths. My mind is constantly flooded with visions of my friend, his broken body tossed back and forth across the breadth of the Niagara river like a discarded rag doll, his fate one of his own choosing. I feel the effects of this wave every single day.

So where does that leave me?

Incidentally, I don’t have an answer, I’m actually asking, where does that leave me? Every day I struggle to be the man I remember but that man died with Rockin’ Ronnie Stevens. Now I need to redefine myself, though it’s proving to be a struggle to say the least.

That doesn’t mean the original Hook is completely gone from my being, far from it.

CLUELESS ASIAN GUEST:  (Standing in the doorway of his room.)  I’ve never done this before, Robert… 

THE HOOK:  Choose your next words carefully, sir…

CAG:  What? I mean I’ve never used a bellman to bring my luggage down before. Is there a charge?

As a bellman I dread that query. A guest that is preoccupied with monetary issues is not a generous guest. But all a bellman can do in a case like this is bear down (no wonder my teeth are being ground to dust) and move forward.

THE HOOK:  There’s… no actual charge… sir. Though you can certainly leave a gratuity if you like.

CAG:  I don’t have any paper money, and I’m leaving right now. Sorry about that, buddy!

Not as sorry as he was going to be.

THE HOOK:  Since we’re on the subject of education, sir, here’s an invaluable tip that will serve you well over the course of your future travels. Always be sure to inform a bellman that you’re planning on not tipping him, and this next part is key… after your bags are safely downstairs and in your vehicle.

CAG:  Why?

THE HOOK:  A lot can happen between here and your trunk, sir. Especially in an empty service elevator.

His face told the tale. He realized the potential horror that could be awaiting him. And so I left him there to stew in his own juices as I headed down to the valet deck. With his bags in my care. And his toothbrush.

I’m not done evolving.

But I’m getting there.

See you in the lobby kids…



“Let me give you some advice, kid… it turns out you really can take method acting too far. And never stiff The Hook!”



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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50 Responses to A Brief Message From The Hook.

  1. Awww, Robert…I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time with…well, life and death in general. I’m afraid I’m in much the same frame of mind these days. I suspect you handle it the way I do. Hide it as much as possible and cover it up with humour the best you can.
    If I am honest, I hope you never evolve fully, it gives me great joy to think of all the things you could have done to that guest’s belongings on the way down the elevator. Somehow, it is just satisfying. Also, I am glad I have always been a rather generous tipper.

  2. It is stupid to announce you are not going to tip. It’s like sending food back at a restaurant. You never know what you’ll get next.

  3. Well that guy was dumb but hopefully he won’t make that mistake again. See it as paying a past kindness bestowed upon you forward to the next bellman he gets the privilege of using. Toothbrush not with standing 😉

  4. Kay says:

    I’m so, so sorry about your friend. I can’t imagine what it would be like to live with that. But I strongly disagree about your being a broken down never-was writer. Don’t know about the knee and prospects, but you and Jenny Lawson are my hands-down favorite bloggers. Please don’t stop, and know that there are many of us out here who appreciate you so much.

  5. Victo Dolore says:

    And this is why I always keep my toothbrush with me in my purse when I travel…. 😉

  6. I am so sorry about your friend Robert.
    Take heart that you have friends in the blogging world, friends you have made smile in the past, and friends who will now rally round you. Take time to grieve. The rest will follow when you’re ready.

  7. I lost a friend five years ago to Cancer. I can somewhat understand how you feel. (no one can really) All I can say is moving forward is the best way to leave shit behind. Loved the Asian story.

  8. Marion Hardy says:

    Well Robert you know how I feel about your blog and how much laughter you have brought to my life.
    The look I imagine was on his face made me laugh. Don’t evolve too much!!

  9. umashankar says:

    Hook, you are the jack Reacher of humour! No wonder you value toothbrushes highly!

  10. myrosesindecember says:

    I am so very sorry about your loss. There really is nothing to say but to offer support and understanding. I will be following when you are up to writing again. Take the time you need to heal and get the knee checked. Some are lucky enough that a brace helps. Other times, surgery is the only answer. Peace.

  11. Allie P. says:

    I agree with Kay. You remain exceedingly talented in my mind no matter what you want to say. I am however so very sorry for your loss.

  12. We all have our struggles – thank you for letting us know yours. I’m sorry you are in a funk right now, but I hope you do the things that help ease you out of it. Things like writing your witty guest stories – they bring a giggle to so many of us.

  13. Hook. Ever noticed my callsign/blogname here? Know why it’s that? Ponder on it. It doesn’t matter too much as long as you continue to write. That’s the important thing. Writing. That’s always the thing. Writing. It’s very important. Those of us who have doubts about ourselves, we KNOW how big the idea is.

    We know Hook. We know. And we know the courage, the sheer fucking effort needed.

    We get it.

    • Tara says:

      Yes! What you said!! Those of us who write and feel deeply have an innate NEED to write. There’s just no way around it. I too have that nagging little bug in my mind that can’t let go of wondering if anyone is really reading me or even if I’m relevant. However, in the bigger scheme of things it doesn’t matter to “us”… because without our writing we’d be deeper into psychosis (well, maybe I’m being a bit dramatic). It’s our therapy. I HAVE to write. I NEED to write. And remember, even if you’ve only touched one person – you’ve still made an impact on SOMEONE today. (Even if that person is only yourself.)

  14. Theresa says:

    Hook, I am so sorry that your friend ended his life the way he did. I’m sure it is not an easy thing to have happen in your life, especially since you haven’t been feeling well and your knee is breaking down. I’m sure he had issues he never shared with anyone. I do hope you will turn a corner and find the light that comes with peace. Please know that I think of you often and keep you in my prayers that your burdens will be lifted and your heart will be light again.
    Much love!

  15. shimoniac says:

    I’m sorry that you’ve lost your friend and that you may have lost your way. Grieving is a personal process that doesn’t really follow any time line. You may be suffering a perfect storm of life events. You’re aging (we all do), your body is breaking down (your knee), you’ve lost a friend to his demons, you’ve lost loved ones to time, your own demons are still in the back of your head whispering at you, and you’ve (apparently) come to believe that your life is effectively over.

    I’m sorry, but I’ve got nothing. I’ve got no perfect answers to pull out of my flabby white ass. I can’t dazzle you with my brilliance, but maybe I can baffle you with my bulls**t.

    You’re in a rut; mentally that is.

    You’ve succumbed to the dark side. You’re concentrating on the negatives. You’re focussed on your, for lack of a word, downs. You’re concentrating on Ronnie’s last moments, your increasing decrepitude, the fact that your stellar writing career ain’t happening, etc., ad nauseum.

    It’s time for some of Shimoniac’s Patented Cognitive Therapy. That’s where you do all the work, and I get all the credit.

    The next time you start on a loop of down: Ronnie’s suicide, your knee, your writing career that isn’t, whatever; stop. Don’t feed the beast.
    Turn your thoughts to your ups. Like your incredibly wonderful Broadway-loving spawn, your incredibly sexy Significant Other, your incredibly cute animated dust mop named Chelsea, your other friends aka the family you choose, the beauty of nature etc.

    It may help, it may not. If you have a family doctor, make an appointment to see them, it could be that like many of us other mere mortals, you’re suffering from depression and talking to a trained therapist or counselor might be helpful.

    No guarantees explicit or implied, no money back, results not guaranteed, batteries not included, accessories sold separately, results may vary, could cause uneven tire wear, might cause smiling.

    Don’t let the dark side win, Hook. 😥

  16. Doug in Oakland says:

    Life is a powerful thing, and I predict that you will prevail, and there will come a day when you look back on this as “that time I was all screwed up and couldn’t write for a while”, which is a paraphrase of what my sister told me after my stroke…

  17. jlheuer says:

    New knee over here. One year as of Sept 20. And I am so glad I did it but before that happened I got some good relief from injections. More specifically, something called Synvisc. It worked until I developed bone spurs which injections can’t help. Good luck.

  18. StillWaters says:

    You wouldn’t have “rescued” an electric toothbrush with a round head by any chance? I need a new one. Problem is, I bought a new one, didn’t set it up right away, parked it “somewhere” while I had guests, and now I can’t find the buggah.

    Keep the faith, Hook.

  19. Tara says:

    I’m so sorry for what’s going on in your life right now. I look forward to reading your posts, even those where you’re baring your soul. It humanizes the great Hook. I can’t recall if you’ve ever mentioned this before, but have you consider talking to a counselor? Just to get your thoughts sorted. I do it periodically and it’s nice to have someone listening who doesn’t just tell me to shut the hell up and get it together. ❤

  20. And there it is: up and down. You’ve been trained by the elevators at work. Knew it. Humans beware – just remember they can’t really do script well. TV or formal writing style. Machine work is just a bit to perfect..the tip off it’s not human – don’t be fooled. Be the flawed species – it’s what makes living life.
    That’s all I got, Hook. A little smile maybe?

  21. Purpleanais says:

    Someone is being far too hard on himself!! Hang in there, man – it will be ok in the end

  22. curvyroads says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, Robert, and I know showing up here a month and a half later doesn’t sound like I care, but I do…I truly do! I hope you’re feeling better in real time.

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