Sneak Preview


Greetings, Friends! Here’s a little preview of some new features coming your way on Spooky Action At A Distance in the upcoming months.

Last year, I posted a serial horror story called Ningún Santuario. I presented it in 20 periodic installments over the course of 7 months, and each chapter was improvised without a preconceived outline. This seat-of-my-pants approach created a situation wherein I was often just as surprised at the rapid-fire plot twists as were those taking it in. One of the people taking it in was my good friend Tanya, a/k/a The Incurable Dreamer. In a comment beneath the story’s final installment, she expressed a wish that I would embark upon another such work of soap operatic fiction on my page. I agreed under one condition: that she would need to create some parameters for this story (not necessarily the actual plot, but perhaps the subject matter, writing style, etc.) and that whatever she came up with, I would accept the challenge, even if it is far outside of my comfort zone. Anyhow, Tanya has advised that she is almost ready to give me the specifics of this fiction challenge and I am really looking forward to doing it as much justice as I’m sure it will deserve. Obviously, I can’t provide you with anymore teasers about the forthcoming saga because I just told you everything I know about it at present.

But don’t absquatulate, philosophy fans! Despite the fact that I recently abolished a few overused multisyllabic words from my lexicon, I will continue to expound on abstruse metaphysical topics whenever the mood strikes me (with the additional challenge of finding synonyms for much of my mercifully retired go-to terminology). For those who might want to play along, I was kicking around the idea of becoming something of a philosophical advice columnist from time to time. I haven’t decided exactly how this would work, but it might involve taking questions from my readers who may be searching for input from an unbiased third party about matters of love, life, career, health or family. The questions themselves would be similar to those found in popular venues such as Ann Landers and Dear Abby, but my replies would be informed by knowledge and theories obtained from the study of philosophy and theoretical physics. I’m pretty confident I can make this work and if I really put out the effort, it might even make sense. Should anyone be game to send me a personal question you’d like answered, please do so via the Contact page or in the Comments after any of my posts. Your participation will be greatly appreciated. I’ll use the first question I receive as a trial run for this embryo of an idea and if it works out well, perhaps I’ll make a philosophical reply to a reader question a weekly feature. Again: I’m not thinking of questions like, “Curmudgeon, what do you think is the best method to alleviate mental delusion?”, but more along the lines of, “Curmudgeon: my boyfriend is wonderful in almost every way, but he has an annoying habit of biting his nails and he has to take his shoes off to do it. It’s embarrassing! Should I tell him how I feel?” I will then provide an answer whose purpose will be twofold: 1) to teach you something about your place in the Universe and how your misapprehension of phenomenal experience energizes and increases your neuroses; and 2) to gently point out that you probably wouldn’t be saddled with a toenail-chomping baboon for a boyfriend if you weren’t such an impetuous idiot. So hit me up, self-improvement enthusiasts, the therapist is on duty!

The other day, Bojana of Bojana’s Coffee & Confessions To Go requested that I write about a certain topic before I pointed out to her that I had already done so not too long ago. Briefly, she wanted me to explain why I currently choose to be single with the hope that in responding, I might learn a thing or two about my own psychology and unconscious defensive reasons for throwing in the towel on all things romantic. You’ve gotta respect her optimism in believing that she could break my unshakeable resolve to ensure that my blog not morph into a series of self-pitying diary entries, and I fully appreciate her curiosity regarding a middle-aged man’s atypical aversion to affectionate attachment. Therefore, I’ve decided that I will answer this oft-asked question once again, albeit in a radically different way than a self-psychoanalytical blog post. The last time I put even the slightest effort into finding a mate was in late 2015 with a half-assed, largely uninspired series of personal ads on and The upshot: I met about a dozen idiots, went on a second date with about half of those idiots just to confirm that they were indeed idiots, and slept with one of the more libidinally appealing idiots (an impetuous decision that I regretted before I finished my post-coital cigarette). In the next week or two, I am going to post another personal ad to a dating site and all of you, my dear readers, will be privy to whatever may happen as a result since I will periodically report on my progress (or lack thereof) right here on SAAAD. But to keep it interesting, this will be very different from my past experiences with online dating. I’ve decided to choose a meetup site that has the least likely potential of yielding positive results, namely (Technically, is probably the least likely of dating sites upon which one would expect to find a guy like me, but there has to be at least a slim possibility of meeting someone with a mutual attraction, so I made a compromise.) FarmersOnly proclaims that “City folks just don’t get it!” and this city boy is fixing to take them up on that challenge. Though I may not get any, I am quite confident that I will get it.  So brace yerselves, all you hillbilly hotties in Daisy Dukes — Curmudgeon’s crossin’ the Mason-Dixon Line in search of some lovin’!

Finally, I want to leave you with a pop culture epiphany I had last night while watching another episode of Comedy Central’s brilliant mid-90s cartoon Dr. Katz: Professional Therapist. Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this show was the prototype for The Gilmore Girls. I’m serious. The quirky speech patterns of Rory and Lorelai Gilmore that you all know and love are identical in their cadence, rhythm and deadpanned sarcasm to the frequent back-and-forths between Jonathan Katz and his son Ben. That’s it. I don’t have anything else to say about this. It is what it is. And as it happens, it’s also the incredibly clumsy and somewhat cattywampus way that I’m choosing to close out this post.

30 thoughts on “Sneak Preview

  1. Well, I am absolutely thrilled that you’ll be doing another serial–I loved that last one. And I am overjoyed that you aren’t putting yourself out there on one of those ‘swipe to the left or right’ sites–a farmer is much more promising! And the stories you’ll tell–that’s even more promising!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, how clumsy was that. Things seem a bit cattywampus with you as of late. Next thing we know, you’re gonna post a personal ad to a dating site.
    FTR, I’m incurably pessimistic. But somehow, for a brief moment, I could catch a glimpse of the two of you holding hands and I assure you, it was a mighty good scene.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. The philosophical advice column idea is beyond brilliant. You’re going to need a bigger blog.
    Don’t be afeared of them there farm girls, now. It’s many a city slicker risked his neck for a date with the farmer’s daughter.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. > absquatulate — you’re just being mean now. Besides, I would never absquatulate prior to reading down through the last blatantly discordant word.

    ChristianMingle might be just your venue of choice. Locate the other heterosexual there of appropriate age and gender who sports a cigarette and a disdainful look and, voila’, you’ve found your match.

    On the other hand, there must be the equivalent curmudgeona out there in the WordPress universe, no? Have you even bothered to look?

    Dear DC, do I bury the pistol WITH the body, wiped clean of prints (of course), or keep it and have it handled by my ex so that his prints are evident, implicating him and not my brother?

    Liked by 3 people

    1. In the event that I don’t receive any other advice column questions, I will use yours and treat it with as much seriousness as I can muster. The reason I haven’t attempted to woo anyone here on WP is because I’m really not looking to complicate my current life of extreme laziness with the addition of a romantic situation. That’s also the reason I’ll be doing my little experiment on Farmers Only as opposed to a more universally applicable dating site: the odds of me meeting and falling for a woman that would choose to advertise herself on Farmers Only are as slim as they can get. So there’s more than a 99% chance that nothing will happen to infringe upon my sofa-cartoon time, but I’m almost certain to get a lot of comic material out of the experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, absolutely. A farmer girl will expect you to rise before the sun, collect eggs, milk cows, and probably skin something for dinner that night.

        Although, it’s possible that the only thing I know about farm girls I got from reading and watching things before girls were raised on farms with automation. You might meet someone who just expects you to call someone on the grounds to check why the skinnin-arm in sector three has fallin’ behind production goals while you enjoy reruns of the Brady Bunch, again.

        Let me know how it goes. I’m following with anticipation. Can’t wait to see you in overalls!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh. My. Gah. For so many reasons I am happy I am finally getting my shit together enough to catch up with everyone by visiting their blogs. Umm, Paul, your advice column is something I am waiting for with bated breath. This might be the best thing since the invention of the tampon. Dude, seriously I can’t fucking wait. Oh, and at least you shagged an idiot in 2015, this is something I am aiming for in 2018 because my ex is haunting my dreams right now and I am convinced only a period of whoring around is going to cure it. Nobody needs to talk, so I don’t care if she is an idiot. Just shhhh. I mean, I don’t know how to be a whore, but I am sure I can figure it out. Right?! As for my task, it has been on my mind all day – I am close! This whole post just made my day. Thanks, Paul!

    Liked by 3 people

  6. BIG, big hugs for being courageous enough to try something new. 😘 I’m super-excited!
    I knew, deep down, deep-deep down, deep-deep-deep down (in the well of your soul), you wanted a sweet girl! FarmersOnly is a brilliant place to find a caring, gun-toting, conservative date. Best wishes on your entrepreneurial adventure! Two pieces of advice; never-ever smoke in the barn, and remember shot-gun weddings still happen out in the country! : ) (Buck shot hurts like the dickins!) 👍
    Therapist Paul is taking new patience! Reading these is gonna bring me much joy and laughter, an amazing healer!
    I love you, man! 😘

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Deanna! You raise a good point that I hadn’t thought of: if I start poking around FarmersOnly and find a bunch of T***p-loving gals posing with guns, this dating lark will never get off the ground. I’m after laughs, not another depressing reminder of how ignorant some people are. If FO ends up pissing me off, I’ll have to figure out something else.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Giving up so quickly … come on Paul, demonstrate your amazing resilience! The good ladies are worth the risk!!! I am a country girl, and I have never held or fired a gun. I don’t own one, or have a desire; and I certainly do not love Tramp! (That’s not a typo.)
        Be yourself – an animal loving man -who cares and respects everyone. It may turn out to be surprisingly enlightening! I would love to see you fly! : )

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Dammit, this post has all the makings of something that’s going to take me a half-hour to comment about, and you a half-hour to read, so there’s a good chance I don’t get it all out in time, and a better chance you won’t read it. But here goes:

    First off, I never noticed the acronym for Spooky Action. Was that intentional? Is this a cry for help? If it is I know a great, new advice columnist. If you want to send me a question, I will pretend it’s mine and we’ll get some advice from him on out to turn that SAAAD into a GLAAAD (glorious love and amazingly addictive delight) in no time. Really, this guy’s that good.

    Secondly, I literally lost my coffee (the way it went in) when I got to the line. Amazing build up, great punch line, and impeccable execution, as I expected. But I can’t help but think of all those lonely farmer girls and their fragile hearts with you out there making their search for love a joke. Nah, I’m kidding. Give ’em hell, kid! The next guy after you will thank you for sending them teary-eyed into the arms of another. Your account will blow up with gratitude notes.

    Okay, now the real thing. I have a problem I have been wrestling with. Bear with me, I’m actually serious.

    You know about my friends, and my political bent. You know we don’t share this particular political bent in common. Well, generally that’s not a problem. Except there’s this (fairly) new guy. He married into the group last year. His Trumpphilia is the worst I’m ever seen. And he’s not one of those “agree to disagree” types, he’s the type that will tag your name in every anti-Bernie Fox News Facebook post on the internet and say “what about THIS, Tom!” It’s annoying as fuck. And, when I challenge his sacred beliefs enough to actually prove them wrong, he just deletes the whole thing.

    Now, I love my group. Best bunch of folks I’ve ever run around with. They were all at my wedding renewal (including this guy). We had our NY party at his house (he’s rich as fuck). His bride is one of my best friends, and has been for several years.

    And, now, lately, I find myself in the press-position. He asks me simple questions, I go off on an anti-Trump rant, and he politely says he just wanted to know what I think. So, he’s obviously under my skin.

    I don’t want to throw the group away; they are family to me. But I’m struggling to deal with it. Honestly, last night I thought about my response to something he said yesterday and I couldn’t get back to sleep. So, this is on me. It’s a growth moment, I’m certain, but I ain’t growin’ from it, yet.

    So, hey, that’s what I’ve got. Can you work with it? Can you help me grow?

    On another serious note, I’ve always kind of looked at you as that person, anyway. Frankly, “replies … informed by knowledge and theories obtained from the study of philosophy and theoretical physics,” is what Paul is, to Tom. I know you’ll be the best philosophical advice columnist the WordPress universe has ever seen.

    To close this thing out I’ll admit to never having seen Katz or the Gilmores, and also admit that I can’t wait to see you start your serializing once again. Tanya, make it hurt. I kinda wanna see our boy sweat. 😎

    Somehow, I get the feeling there is no challenge too big for the curmudgeon, though.

    Thanks for listening, I’ll take my answer off the air! 😁

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Believe it or not, I hadn’t noticed the SAAAD acronym until I used it in this post. Not intentional…perhaps Freudian? Nobody really knows what the hell that means, so let’s go with that one. Your question for the advice column is about as perfect as they get. It probably comes as no surprise that I have much to say about that particular issue and it will take an entire post to do so — and I’m really looking forward to it. Thank you, Tom!

      Liked by 2 people

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