Have I mentioned I live in Iowa? Oh, don’t cry. It’s all right. Really. Save your tears for starving and yet potbellied (how does that work?) Third-World babies. Iowa has its moments, and the American dollar goes quite far here. Plus, it’s not as violent as other parts of the globe. No one has murdered me yet, and I feel pretty lucky in that regard, because I can be a real wise-ass. I’ve always thought, most murder victims over the years have probably been wise-asses.
Remember that I’m from Iowa as you read on.
I once took a four-day motivational seminar. You know the kind: they’re all, “Come on, let’s all be really outgoing and figure out how to plaster a big grin on our faces every day when we go to work, because we all know, most of us would rather be at home watching porn or having sex!”
I must admit, the seminar was sorta fun. Lots of other people from work went, too. The boss was paying for it, so why not? I could see it was helpful for some of my coworkers who are a little on the shy side. I can’t say it did much good for me. I mean, as you’ve probably gleaned by now, I am about as outgoing as a person can get. If I were any more outgoing, my intestines would be on the outside of my body and I’d be flailing people with them as I walked down the street.
For a person like me, franchised lessons in being outgoing are kind of like teaching a hooker how to French-kiss. “Oh, really? Is that how it’s done? Golly, I never knew. Guess I’ve been doing it wrong all these years!”
One of the presenters was Canadian and he clearly had a talent for physical comedy, which he incorporated into his presentations. We talked a couple times during breaks, and I told him about my books. Apparently he looked me up online a few days later, because he found my e-mail address and sent me a message.
He told me, he was going to let his fellow Canadians know that Iowans are good, kind, friendly people. Or words to that effect. (See? I did get back to talking about Iowa.)
Now, I know he meant well. He was trying to be friendly. He’s a friendly guy.
But I was tempted to e-mail him back and say, “Why are you gonna tell them that? Is it because all you Canadians really think Iowans are all a bunch of hicks? Is that the deal? Oh, SNAP! Don’t make me break off an Iowa milk-cow’s hoof in your ass!”
Instead I told him, he should tell his fellow-Canadians that Iowa is in fact, the new Monaco and the Mississippi River is the new French Riviera. He should tell everyone in Toronto that the streets of Iowa are filled with rock stars and voodoo priestesses, and that every day is Mardi Gras times ten.
THAT’S the message he should share with others. After all, Iowa is trying to increase tourism.
Strangely enough, I never heard back from him.
Now, I was only being tongue-in-cheek with that Canadian guy, but you know…. Maybe I really had something there. Maybe I was on the right track. Maybe I was cooking on all four burners of my cerebral oven.
Maybe Iowa needs more attitude. Maybe we need to ditch the wholesome schtick and walk the whole Iowa concept upstairs. Maybe throw on some black leather.
Maybe it’s time to put the “Ow!” in Iowa. Ooooh, it’ll hurt so good.
Iowa’s could use a major image overhaul. Let’s sex it up! After all, Iowa has all those farmer’s daughters who people have been making bawdy jokes about since the days of vaudeville. Heck, why stop with the daughters? What about the farmer’s son … or the farmer’s randy old grandma? Or the farmer himself, for that matter! How about the livestock? Ever wonder where whipped cream comes from? Iowa bondage cows, baby!
I once took my own minor walk on the wild side. Out of the blue, I bleached my hair totally blond. Like sun-washed corn silk. And suddenly, everybody I knew was asking me, “What does this mean?” Someone I worked with even said, “You’re not even the same person anymore!” I said, “You’re right. My name is Lars now.”
So what did my transition really mean? Nothing! If anything, it meant I was bored with looking the same, day in and day out.
I think everyone needs to shake up their image every now and then. It makes the people in your life see you in a new light.
I challenge you, oh reader mine, to do something relatively dramatic — but not necessarily drastic — with your appearance.
Buy some clothes at a different store. Dye your hair. Get a piercing.
If you don’t like the final effect, you can always return the clothes. Or dye your hair back to its regular color. Or let the piercing grow back in.
Who knows, maybe your significant other will suddenly say, “Oh! So-and-so looks so different now! Why, when we have sex, it’ll be like having sex with a different person now! That’s HOT! Now I won’t have to have that affair I was thinking of starting next week!”
See? I just saved your relationship by prolonging your significant other’s interest in you.
No need to thank me! Remember, I’m your buddy.
Who’ll always love ya? Who’s always thinking of ya?
Mark McLaughlin, that’s who!
And, maybe your mom.