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KeithSpeak- November 2023


November 1, 2023
Let's say you're at a crossroads. If you thought you were going to be something but you're not, at what point do you either cling to the dream or admit that it's not happening and move on? Do you know when to quit? Can you quit? Or are you so sure within your bones that your determination to make it happen will eventually make it happen, that you laugh at the idea of quitting anything as valuable as your dreams. Ha ha. Still, just how committed (either way) are you? Have you even given this any thought?
November 2, 2023
When I watch the shitshow that American politics has become, it makes it impossible to remember the days when elected people were civil, understanding and genuinely interested in the welfare of the citizens they represented. I dunno, maybe that's revisionist history? Maybe politicians have always been phony douchebags, outright fools, charlatans, liars and morons screaming, Look at me! Look at me! Either way, if this wasn't Halloween, I would swear it was a prank.
November 3, 2023
For an alcoholic immigrant, Canada seemed like heaven. In his country, religion made it difficult to secure and imbibe alcohol which was a hardship on him due to his alcoholism so he applied for refugee status in Canada once he saw a picture of a well stocked liquor store and the knowledge that there was no limit on the amount of alcohol one could buy. Later, he would come to decry snow, freezing temperatures and the metric system, but so far, ignorance was bliss.
November 5, 2023
Overheard two grandmas in a retail store.
-- I need to find something for Maise. She turns two next week.
-- Two? Christ, don't waste your money. You could give that kid a stick and she'd be happy. Two is a ridiculous age to buy presents. You're on a pension, Leann. Save your money.
-- But they're having a party. I have to get her something.
-- Really? Ok look, over there, buy her those bongos. She'll slap that thing until it drives her parents nuts. That will serve them right for throwing a two year old a party.
-- You're in a foul mood.
-- If my daughter asked me to go to a party for a two year old I would laugh in her face. If she wanted a present to boot, I would laugh even harder.
-- But I just really want to get Maise something.
-- Bongos.
-- I don't know.
-- Don't be bullied, Leann.
-- You're bullying me, Carol.
-- Not me! Them!
-- Oh, I don't know.
-- Bongos!
November 6, 2023
I don't understand how so many of my old friends who were born and educated in the north now live in the south. North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana are all represented by fellows originally from New York, Ohio, Michigan, Maine and Minnesota. To my knowledge, none of them are bigots and yet... If any of them ever adopt a goofy southern accent, start dating their cousin, or keep their washer and dryer out on the front porch, I might have to, you know, re-evaluate our friendship. Too harsh?
November 8, 2023
Went to order a fridge. Was told it will be 8 weeks until delivery. Who can live without a refrigerator for 2 months? Sigh.
November 9, 2023
Overheard the same two grandmas days later at the grocery store.
-- Well Leann, did you get that kid some bongos?
-- What?
-- Did you get Maise a present for her ridiculous two year old birthday party?
-- Carol, I don't want to talk about that anymore.
-- Because you know I'm right.
-- No, because you're demeaning Maise.
-- No, I'm demeaning your stupid daughter who wants a party for a two year old - with gifts no less!
-- That's enough, Carol. Just drop it.
-- Sure, all right.
-- You know, you are always slagging off my family. Sometimes I don't know why we're roommates.
-- Because we can't afford to live alone, Leann. It's economics, plain and simple.
-- Anyway, please stop calling my daughter stupid.
-- Sure, all right.
-- Can we just shop now?
-- Whatever, Leann. You're the boss, Leann. You're calling the shots, Leann.
-- Oh stop the passive-aggressive shit, Carol.
-- You're no fun.
-- Not trying to be.
November 10, 2023
In the middle of the night I heard a crash outside. Hours later, when it was light out, I went to see what could have caused the noise. Turns out a large birch tree had fallen onto our driveway. Last night, I debated about whether to put the truck down in the barn so I could plug in the block heater as it was to get below freezing overnight. I'm now thanking my lucky stars I did because that birch tree came down in the exact spot I would have left the truck. That, my friends, is the very definition of dodging a bullet.
November 11, 2023
Oh baby, white wall tires, double breasted suit, mink stole - Benny and Beatrice showing how it's done! Of course, it's the middle of summer and carrying a fur is just showing off. And sure, they're at a funeral for a family of eight that got killed by a drunk driver so they certainly shouldn't be outside smiling. And okay, white walls aside, that car's shade of green was a hideously poor choice, but fashion wise, style wise, hubba hubba!
November 12, 2023
What! Did you see what he just did?
I sure did. That was incredible.
No, that was some jumping the shark shit.
You know, doing something so out of character it's preposterous.
That was preposterous.
This is my favorite TV series. Don't ruin the show for me.
I'm just saying his character would never do that.
But he just did it!
Which shows how ridiculous it was.
You know, this is exactly what happened to Fonzie.
Fonzie? Happy Days Fonzie?
Don't you remember that episode where Fonzie goes water skiing
and jumps over a shark?
What? No.
That show ran out of ideas and so has this one.
I love this show. Don't ruin it for me.
So you're just not gonna watch it anymore?
Yeah, kind of.
Kind of?
They jump the shark one more time and I'm gone for good.
So I'd have to watch it by myself. Our show, by myself.
So you are ruining this for me. Well fuck you, Fonzie.


November 13, 2023
I was at a mall kiosk shopping for a 2024 calendar. An old man next to me was doing the same. I was looking through dog and cat calendars when suddenly the old man gasped and held up a 'Famous Serial Killers of the 20th Century' calendar. He studied the pictures on the back and then said quietly, "They're all there. Gacy, Bundy, Dahmer..." Yikes.
Two things about this: 1.) What would possess a company to bring out a Famous Serial Killers calendar, and 2.) Who did they think would buy it? Other serial killers hoping to make the 21st Century edition? Wait a minute... I took a closer look at the excited old man.
November 14, 2023
Someone wanted to give me advice but it was from someone I didn't trust and whose opinion I didn't much care for. Should I have listened politely and then done what I was going to do anyway, or should I have said that I wasn't interested in what he had to say and ended it there? Alas, either of those would have been preferable to what I actually did do, which was tell him I didn't trust him or value his opinion. Funny enough, he spat his advice anyway. Enflamed by my personal denigration it was caustic and pretty much useless. An ill wind blew. That's called not dodging a bullet. Sigh.
November 15, 2023
Time ran out.
The buzzer buzzed.
She failed to answer the question.
The audience groaned.
$100,000 vanished before her eyes.
There was polite applause as she was ushered off the stage.
She was in shock. She felt like she was sleep walking.
It never got better.
Her failed answer haunted her.
She beat herself up endlessly.
She never got over it.
It became impossible to live with.
It gave her stress, regret, ulcers and finally death from all the self-recrimination.
She wanted that game show money more than anything.
More than life itself.
November 16, 2023
Someone else's mail was accidentally put in our P.O. Box. Leafing through the envelopes, it was a snapshot of a stranger - utility bills, a bill from a high end gas stove company, some personal letters from Chile and Venezuela, a small package from a local kitchen store, an Amazon box, a current copy of Gourmet Magazine and a few other pieces of advertising geared toward a foodie. I now knew something about somebody without knowing them at all. Odd, eh.
November 17, 2023
I saw a 171 pound dog this morning. He was handsome, sweet, enormous and impossible to miss. I chatted with the owner for 10 minutes and yet I can't recall a single thing about her. All I remember is that very big, very good boy.
November 19, 2023
Overheard a couple at a restaurant.
-- Nope, I'm telling you now. I am not going to your company Christmas party.
-- Why not?
-- Why not?! Have you forgotten about last year?!
-- No...
-- Have you forgotten how your boss had his way with me when I was passed out? How dare you! Why not... you're pitiful.
-- Just drink less. Don't pass out.
-- I told you, Mark, the bastard roofied me.
-- But he's my boss. He especially asked if you were going to be there this year.
-- The damn party is 6 weeks away! If he's asking about me now, can't you see what his intentions are?
-- He likes you?
-- My mother said you weren't very smart. I should have listened to her.
-- Lisa, come on, you know he's the owner's son. This will look bad on me.
-- You asshole! Your boss drugged and nearly raped me while I was unconscious and you're worried about how you'll look?!
-- Yeah...
-- Mark, hear me now - I am not ever going to any of your company parties again.
-- Lisa...
-- Subject closed.
-- But-
-- Talk to the hand, Mark.
-- Thanks for ruining dinner, Lisa.
-- What! an asshole.
November 20, 2023
She was a world class athlete in an international sporting event. When she found out that her boyfriend bet against her team, she was devastated. She equated it with a lack of love. He said he thought the other team was better. When they lost, she decided to dump him for his lack of faith and only reconsidered after she found out how much money he made betting against her.
Suddenly, she saw that as a strategy.
He could bet against them. She could help throw the game. They could be rich. 
Was this really worth considering? Hmm...
Would she destroy her sporting life and legacy for money?
Would she throw her unsuspecting teammates under the bus for money?
Was this really worth considering? Hmm...
November 21, 2023
Are you afraid of everything? Is your world view clouded with conspiracy theories and religious foment? Do you always fear the worst? Do you believe in the bad news and suspect the good? Are you cynical and hateful by nature? If any of this is true, you are a cancer. A cancer to yourself, to society, and to those who espouse a world view of harmony and love. You are a tireless agent for your own fears and spend way too much time projecting them onto the world. It's oppressive, repetitive, and caustic. It's often beyond any rational thought or common sense. But cancer can be cured. You can change. For everyone's sake, you can change. Question: Just exactly what do you get from holding onto your hate?
November 23, 2023
He wrote a book called Anything But That! and goes on for 312 pages not once ever telling what That! is. I can't decide if it's clever or clickbait.
November 24, 2023
Some friends were coming over for dinner. For some reason, I thought it would be a good time to be adventurous. I tried to make a savory dish that was both complicated and, as it turns out, beyond my capabilities. I ruined it completely. The charred, smoking remains would have had any professional chef fleeing the scene. But not me. I resorted to the fall back of all failed dinners - pizza delivery. It will be here in 20 minutes. So modern.
November 25, 2023
He was offered a football scholarship to a Big 10 Midwestern school. But his high school girlfriend was going to a small liberal arts college that had no athletic programs and he wanted to be with her. So he passed on the free ride to join her. They went to college together, eventually got married and had two kids. All of this was accomplished without the lingering effects of compounding concussions, multiple injury surgeries, performance enhancing drugs and CTE. They literally lived happily ever after, physically, emotionally, mentally. At the end of their careers, how many football players can say that?
November 26, 2023
Dear Keith,
Dear Francis,
Stop playing with your keyboard. Caps Lock is serious stuff. It should only be used by professionals. Your enthusiasm for secret codes will take you far, but frankly, we're worried for you. If you're just discovering Caps Lock, my god, what will you do when you find the tilde~? Can you see the problem, Francis? Can you?
November 27, 2023
Carmen loved her pets but the parrot was driving her nuts. The bird had learned to perfectly imitate the dog's whimpers and the cat's meows. Carmen now goes running from room to room never knowing if the dog is hurt, the cat is calling or the bird is trolling her. Frazzled, Carmen sat down on the couch to cry but then realized the bird would learn to imitate that and she would then think there is someone else in the house, but she couldn't help herself and started sobbing anyway. The dog tried to console her, the cat climbed into her lap while the parrot cocked its head and studied the sounds coming out of her.
November 28, 2023
I was sent a schedule for next year. It had all the dates and all the meetings on it. It made me unhappy to look at the many things I had to be present for. I should call somebody. Say something like, Schedule? We don't need no stinkin' schedule. Nice and tidy.
November 29, 2023
Overheard two kids in a store.
-- Don't tell me what to do.
-- I didn't.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
I expected a mother or two to step in and stop it.
But none came forth.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
Therefore I saw only two choices.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
Kill the children.
Or leave the store.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
-- Did too.
-- Did not.
At last, blessed silence.
November 30, 2023
Dear Keith,
What makes you such an expert?
Dear Curious,
Nobody knows you better than you, right? So ipso facto, that makes you the expert of your own life. Well, my life is really good. That didn't happen by chance. I figured I had something to say about that. That's all.

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