July 25, 2013

Ten 'Til Ten (Part 6)

Blogging's changed a lot over the last ten years. A real community grew around ideas and lives and humor. That community still exists but on Facebook or Twitter instead of home-grown websites. That's kind of sad to me but, hey, life goes on and things change. A perfect example of this was Stick Stuff On Your Head Day 2007 when so many of you participated in my somewhat odd idea of, well, sticking stuff on your heads.

February 2, 2007

We here in the Cactus-Fish abode like putting stuff on our heads. The tradition is rich and strong. Why? Well, let me see if I can explain. Stick with me here, okay?

When I was a kid growing up, my parents, and therefore I, had some great friends - two couples (Vivian and Steve, Hugh and Sara) who, with their kids, we hung out with every chance we got. We went out to dinner almost every weekend - I distinctly recall one night smashing plates while dancing through a parking lot around a Greek restaurant. We headed to Vivian and Steve's lake house for long stretches at a time most summers. We spent five days and nights rafting down the Rio Grande through the deserts and canyons of west Texas.

Vivian and Steve had two sons, one of whom was learning disabled, the other autistic. Hugh and Sara had two daughters. Hot daughters. They were a couple of years older than I which turned out to be a really pleasant surprise when I hit 12 (Sexual awakening, party of one? Your table is ready.) Oh, where was I?

One December day, Vivian and Steve's autistic son, Stephen, decided, for some unknown reason, that it was time to depart this world. He ended his life. The rest of ours lurched to a screeching halt.

The funeral was terrible. They were Catholic and we were essentially told during the service that hey, he was a nice guy and what happened really sucked but he's going to hell anyway. The reception afterward was the exact opposite. It was hysterical. After the excess hams, official food for funerals everywhere, had been packed into every conceivable space in the refrigerator, someone had the bright idea to head to the closest bookstore and find the filthiest joke books ever written. Then they were read aloud. The gut-busting laughter filled by such base crassness lasted, literally, all night long. It was cathartic. It was perfect. You see, Stephen reached out through his autism to tell jokes. It was the only way he communicated. Just jokes. What we were doing that night was celebrating his life but, perhaps more importantly, we were shooting our collective middle finger at Life, capital F. The life that goes on in spite of the good or the bad that happens, often with little or no sense of humor.

I've never forgotten that and to me sticking stuff on your head is the easiest, silliest way to thumb your nose at Life, to put it in it's place when you've had a shitty day. So I urge all of you to take a minute today and stick something - anything - on your heads. Let life know you're not its bitch. And if you've got a camera or cameraphone handy, snap a shot and sent it to me at rudecactus@gmail.com. Or post them on your own site and send me the link. If I get enough, I'll work a little Photoshop magic and see what we all, collectively, come up with. Come on...you know you wanna! Make February 7th Stick Stuff On Your Head Day!

...and you did...

On a different night, and lest you think I forgot, I give you the participants of Stick Stuff On Your Head Day 2007. You all rock. Hard.

Posted by Chris at July 25, 2013 8:13 AM

...and there I am. I forgot there was pictorial evidence of me on your blog. Also, I've been reading since 2007? Has it really been that long? Wow.

Posted by: Martin at July 25, 2013 3:53 PM