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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why I'm So Darned NASTY: My Sometimes Nasty Replies to my Critics, and the Long Tradition of Writers being extremely Nasty to other Writers

I just now heard an NPR report about an international computer hacking group called "Anonymous."  This made me think of the Anonymous writers of Comments on my "Bobs blog" stories, especially the highly critical comments about some of my activities, like dancing in dance clubs with, mostly, younger men and Goddesses.  Sometimes it feels as if the nasty Commenters have hacked into my computer, my blog, my head, and delivered a message of hostility and anger about the way I've chosen to live my life.  I never delete any of these Comments, even the nastiest of them.  I do, however, sometimes choose to respond in kind.

Some of my readers don't seem to understand why I would sometimes choose to meet anger with anger, vituperation with vituperation, nastiness with more of the same.  The purpose of this blog post is not to attempt a justification of my practice but merely to report the fact that writers, throughout the history of writing, frequently respond to nasty criticism with, well, nasty rejoinder.  Some of these writers clothe their nastiness in lovely language, but others are very direct, nakedly nasty.  I'll cite two of the many examples which amuse me.

Of the "nicer" variety, consider the interaction of two writers about Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Lee Masters and Carl Sandburg.  Masters wrote a scurrilous biography of our greatest president, in which he claimed that the president we all know as Honest Abe was "cruel to his mother and was mean to his 'unmoral,' 'shiftless,' and 'worthless' father.  He married for money and used Christian morality as a cover to drag the nation into the Civil War.  Masters concluded that Lincoln was 'unmannerly, unkempt, unwashed and untrustworthy.'"  B. Peschel, "Writers Gone Wild," pp. 104-05 (Perigee 2010).  Masters hated Carl Sandburg, himself an American icon of poetry who authored a famous biography of Lincoln which "made him wealthy and cemeted Lincoln as an American icon."  Id.  In retaliation for some nasty things which Masters said about Sandburg, Sandburg wrote the following private poem:

                                                   Lincoln and Masters one more fable,

                                                      One more conglomerate fart

                                           Lost on the anxious rumps of the west wind.

Now for the "nasty" sort, consider a speech Sinclair Lewis wrote and delivered at a public dinner for a Russian author.  At the dinner, Lewis was drunk.  He was also "still stinging over the critical slaps he received the previous year when he won the Nobel Prize for literature (see "Babbitt Does Stockholm," on page 33).  When he was invited to say a few words, Lewis stood and let them have it.

                                         'I feel disinclined to say anything in the presence of the son-of-a-bitch who stole three thousand words
                                         from my wife's book and before two sage critics who publicly lamented my reiving the Nobel Prize.'
                                       
                                         Peschel, supra. at 105-06.

The son-of-a-bitch was Theodore Dreiser, author of "An American Tragedy," and a man Lewis suspected of having had an affair with his wife, the journalist Dorothy Thompson, on a trip to the Soviet Union.

It gets better. The plot thickens.

"So after dinner, Dreiser confronted Lewis. 'I know you're an ignoramus, but you're crazy,' he said and dared Lewis to repeat what he said.  He did.  Dreiser slapped him and dared him to say it again.  Lewis obliged, but before Dreiser could commence a beat-down, his friends hustled him away."  Peschel, supra. at 106.

I cite these examples not so much as justification for my own occasionally nasty replies to nasty Comments from Anonymous readers of my blog but more so to demonstrate that such vituperative parries and thrusts are no unprecedented in the world of writers.  Someone might reply that these examples are all instances of professional writers attacking other professional writers, whereas my nasty Commenters may not be professional writers, perhaps not writers at all.  To that I say, I am not a professional writer.  I write for fun, not profit.  Also, I know nothing about my angry Anonymous Commenters, precisely because they ARE Anonymous.  They may not be professional writers.  From the poor quality of most of their rambling criticisms, I'd be surprised to learn that any of them were ever paid for a single letter put to paper or computer screen.  In any event, they cloak themselves behind a mother's skirt of Anonymity whereas I am exposed, naked, really, for all to see.  If I knew who they were, I might be gentler, more circumspect perhaps.  But maybe not.

I am happy about one important matter.  These Anonymous Commenters are at least taking time from their busy lives to read "Bobs blog" and take the time to file a Comment.  For that they have earned my undying thanks.

In a future blog post, I will write about the long tradition of writers who get into loud confrontations, bloody fights even, in bars and other academic venues.  This history interests me because of all the flak I've taken from my blog readers, many of whom conclude from my own bar-room confrontations that I MUST be mad (i.e. insane, not merely angry, neither of which is the case in most of my own confrontation stories).

94 comments:

  1. logorrhea ... who cares? Next stop, CVH.

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    1. Dear Logorrhea Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 6:48 a.m.),

      You ask, "Who cares?"

      Well, for starters, you.

      You care about my writing, because you read it and Comment. And as you know, this is not your Virginal Comment. There have been others.

      You care about my life, because you try, ineptly, to be amusing, again, with all your obsession with the state mental hospital, as if there's anything THEY could do to stop me from continuing to live my life as a free MAN. They can't. And neither can you, which I realize must frustrate you.

      Hey, dude, there's hope for a boy with your preoccupation with being "good" the way your Mommy and Daddy want you to be, at least as far as you think they do. You could become a government regulator, perhaps a member of the Saudi Arabian Morals Police or the Taliban counterpart. Fortunately for free MEN like me, America doesn't allow small-minded conformists such as yourself to have any power at all over other people. But if you can't tolerate the feelings this reality provokes in you, there's always CVH, or Saudi Arabia. I suspect you'd fit in either realm.

      All best,

      The Writer who uses just the right words, and the right number of words, for every occasion

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    2. Like I said, Bob, logorrhea. Didn't read it.

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    3. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 7:08 a.m.),

      Perhaps you didn't read it, or can't, but you did look at it long enough to discern that it's longer than your ability to absorb it. But your fascination with me and my life, and my writing, continues, unabated, to the point of, I think it fair to say at this point, obsessive. I accept the compliment.

      All best,

      The Writer and Man you just can't get enough of to satisfy your craving

      Delete
  2. Seems like your morning meds have kicked in. When they wear off this afternoon you're be back to your rude ranting self.

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 6:59 a.m.),

      Yes, I have taken my daily dosages of 1 calcium pill and 1 baby aspirin which my family doctor recommends. As for psychotropics, I stopped taking Remeron over a year ago, Wellbutrin last April, and finally titrated off the Prozac by early July of 2011. As the Baudelaire poem, "Be always drunken," suggests, one way to be excited, high even, about Life is to get "drunk" on life through poetry. I include in that category of natural intoxicants my activities of writing prose and poetry, club dancing, and stand-up comedy. Some use drugs, including alcohol, or virtue; I use neither of those means to stay alive to all the rich possiblities this life offers.

      A fair reading of your Comment suggests that you're a fairly rude ranter yourself. Suit yourself. I could care less how you live your life but I'm thrilled you're so involved in mine. Keep on peeping on my life. I promise you more and more vicarious thrills than your psychological voyeur can integrate into your own unenchanted existence.

      All best, Rudy Rant,

      The Non-Medicated Enchanted One

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  3. Mystery solved! He stopped taking his meds long ago!

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 7:28 a.m.),
      No mystery here, only a mystery why, since you're paying such close attention now, you failed to absorb or recall that I've written much about the meds I once was on, but no longer.

      But the question of the minute (since you write to me just about every 60 seconds) is this. You perceive me as calm in the morning but incorrectly thought it was a drug-induced calm. How now do you explain my non-drug induced calm, at least as you perceive my affect?

      Thanks for your intense interest, almost obsessive really, in my doings and writings. I'd be flattered except I don't know who you are, although I have only a minor curiosity about that.

      All best,

      The Non-Medicated Calm Guru-to-You

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  4. Hiding under the cloak of anonymity, a pure and total facist if I've ever seen one. While your censoring me and keeping me opressed bro answer me one question, riddle me this or riddle me that.. How do you get the dick out of your ass in the morning, warm water and soap or a tug job and climbers rope? Ha-ha, a clever pun if Madame Duffesrene has written one. BOOM

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    1. Dear Semi-literate Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 7:32 a.m.),

      Who's censoring you? I like your semi-literate hip-hop. Not particularly clever, but you do seem to be a Clevah' Legend in Yo' Own Mind, bro'.

      All best,

      The Literate Writer

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  5. the meds tend to tread,
    on the voices in his head,
    they are starving,
    malnourished,
    and need to be fed.

    please pick your poison,
    it is your call,
    proscribed therapeutics,
    or pads on the walls.

    the pads on the walls stifle the moans and the racket,
    yet it's hard to dance when in a straight jacket.

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    1. Dear Poisoned One (or Two or More, Whatever),
      At one time in our nation's legal and constitutional history, it is true that a Free Man with Big Balls living an unconventional lifestyle of dancing with very attractive young, and not-so-young Goddesses, and Mere Mortal Young and not-so-young Men, might be committed to CVH. Certainly, in Victorian times, the time of Freud, young sexually-active women were actually committed by their fathers to mental institutions for what was then called "Moral Insanity." This, essentially, is what Commenters such as yourself have against me. You don't like the fact that you are living conventional lives which feel to you like a straight jacket. It's unbearable for you to look at the life I'm creating and just wish me well and go back to doing what you feel you need to do to try to reduce the discontent you experience from the oppressive demands of civilization. So, instead, my life is the occasion, not the cause, because you chose your reaction, although unconsciously, of your becoming aware of just how discontented you are by these demands of civilization. I fully understand, because I used to be there also.
      Anyway, you then have fantasies of being in a straight jacket, putting me in a straight jacket, even though the one who is IN a psychological straight jacket is......YOU. I actually feel quite a bit of compassion for the fact that you can't now, perhaps never, extricate yourself from your so constricted life. I hope you someday are able to bail out of conventional society and LIVE, the way I have done and continue to struggle to do.

      All best,

      A Now-Free former White Slave

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    2. Why assume that it's about you? As an aspiring writer/poet, you know that such work largely comes naturally, while on some occasions it may stem from certain inspirations. It is an apt dialogue regarding social constructs prevalent within my own life.

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    3. Dear Anonymous March 7, 2012 at 8:11 a.m.),
      Finally, a breath of fresh air blows through the blog-o-sphere. An intelligent Comment. Pregnant with insight and provocation. Thank you, Dear Reader.

      Actually, I agree with you. My writing is only accidentally about me and my life. My life is the occasion of my writing but not its source. The source is really something like what Plato called the daimon of Socrates. I think "daimon" is the translation which Edith Hamilton's version of the "Dialogues" gave to the original Greek. The idea is that the artist is a kind of scribe for messages which pass through him from some divine place outside him. I prefer not to say this about my own, minor works of art, since I do not presume to claim that any of them, or the totality of them, is Art in the larger sense.

      It is more humble for one at the beginning of his writing career to simply say that he "has" to write. He can't help but to write. Such a locution suggests that the creative energy which drives the writer is a force which the writer experiences as being almost outside himself, or "inside" himself, but not wholly within his control. Something analogous to Freud's construct of "the Id," which in the Peter Gay discussion of the construct he calls "the It," which is also a better translation from the Latin to the English sense of what Freud must have had in mind with respect to the libido.

      I am unclear, but intrigued, by this final remark of yours: "It is an apt dialogue regarding social constructs prevalent within my own life." If you wouln't mind, I'd like to hear you talk more about that idea. It's a bit vague, as written, but most tantalizing.

      Once I hear more from you, I would probably also like to meet you to talk in greater depth about these matters. Yours is the first Comment in a while which has struck me with its intelligence and invitation to true dialogue about important issues for writers and other creative artists.

      Thank you very much for throwing me a life-line in a sea cesspool of mostly infantile cries by minds which hold little interest for me.

      All best,

      A Seeming Similar Spirit, I think

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  6. The anonymous comment was to the other brave poster who remains anonymous not to u Bob lol, the original anonymous poster whose identity continues to be a mystery I suspect is a nazi and I'm sure if we trolled the listing of registered sex offenders, we would find them. This person is an insecure man-boy spending time on playgrounds tryin to fit puzzle pieces together of why their childhood reads like a page from the book of Mickey Rourke, why their mother was too busy drinking scotch to give them a few extra hugs, and why their father was working 3 jobs while "mom" sat at home taking pipe from the UPS driver. It's a cacaphony of pitfalls

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 7:55 a.m.),
      No problem. Please don't worry that I get "hurt" in any substantial way by the haters. Sure, I feel some small discomfort. Who doesn't prefer to be liked rather than hated. But I actually do my best thinking when I'm challenged, pressed, pushed into a corner and have to fight my way out. Opposition actually energizes my mind and soul and spirit.
      That said, I SO value true friends. And you seem to be one of those, although I don't fully understand that "possible Nazi" guy, the one you suspect had such a horrible childhood. If he did, I truly feel compassion for him and hope he's able to re-tell his own story in a more life-affirming way.

      All best,

      An Appreciative Friend of Yours, bro'

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  7. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYdq0ABH3so

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 8:00 a.m.),
      Great song
      but
      you're
      so wrong.

      All best, Jimmy H. wannabe,

      The Man In the Aristotelian Mean

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  8. I cannot speak for others, however I suspect similar if not exact sentiments....I prefer to keep myself Anonymous as I fear if you knew my identity you might show up at my residence at 3:00AM dressed in your mother's clothes.

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 8:14 a.m.),
      I have no objection to any of you remaining hidden from my view. I see all I need to see from what you write, which is my main interest anyway. Attaching a face to a writing would satisfy my non-thinking curiosity but would add little to the dialogues on these pages.
      As for your fear, consider this. Freud wisely noted that behind many fears we have are wishes. Wishes that that which we fear be realized.
      Please don't worry, however, I'm no J. Edgar Hoover, either in the way I dress or in the way I approach people--I don't spy on people or keep files on them, as J. Edgar did, nor do I wear dresses.
      As for Momma's dresses, they're all gone anyway. Momma died in January, 2011. She was a wonderful person. May she rest in peace.

      All best,

      The Non-Cross Dresser who will not fulfil your wish that I appear in mini-skirt at your door in early a.m. Sorry, dude. I'm just not into your kind of fantasies. Also, my legs would not look anything like the hot-hot-hot long legs of those Sinister Girls and the other Goddesses I'll be dancing with the next four days. Dream on!

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    2. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 8:17 a.m.),
      As for your "skin?" Comment/Question, I, too, liked Hitchcock's "Psycho" when I first saw it at age 14 but I assure you my own mother's remains were cremated. For that reason, and others to obvious to mention, I am not keeping her mummified remains, including skin, in her bed in her home, as Norman Bates did in "Psycho" with his Momma.
      Like the previous Commenter, you, sir, have some pretty unusual fantasies involving your own mother. If you need the name of a good psycho-analyst to help you deal with your Oedipal issues, just let me know and I'll make an appropriate referral.

      All best,

      (Juris) Doctor Freudian Bob

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  9. Dear Bob- when I growing up in Middletown there was this weird old guy who used to travel around town on foot muttering to himself. Maybe you too recall this person. I didn't know his name, I don't think anyone did, but he was infamously known as "Middletown Mike". Anyway I can say with great confidene that you, Bob Dutcher, are the modern day Middletown Mike. Instead of the streets of the city you have chosen dance clubs and the internet as your venue to mutter around in. Someday our kids will be having this same conversation about you when some other crazy old coot replaces you. Every town has one.

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 9:00 a.m.),
      I truly loved your sweet recollection of Middletown Mike, from your childhood growing up here. I grew up in Philly, so I'm afraid I did not know Middletown Mike, but I wish I did.
      I am honored that you think I am the dance club and internet version of Middletown Mike and love the appellation too.
      A friend of mine from Southern California conceives of my spirit in a slightly different way. He says I'm Middletown's Zorba the Greek and he tells me to just "Keep on dancin'." I think I shall.

      All best,

      An Ab-Zorbing Old Coot, the Crazy Old Dancin' Hoot

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    2. Good for you. :)

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    3. Dear Anonymous (March 7, 2012 at 9:29 a.m.),
      How could a writer and Mere Mortal Old Man not like someone who writes such a sweetly supportive Comment. I love you, whoever you are.

      All best,

      The Beaten Up Writer, Poet, Dancer, and Comic :)

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  10. Your uncanny ability to project your own insecurities and neuroses onto others is remarkable. When Rush Limbaugh gets cancelled, there may be a market for your misogynistic ranting.

    Yes, your sexploitation of young women makes you a misogynist.

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March7, 2012 at 9:06 a.m.),
      A bit hostile, aren't you. Envious, perhaps, too?I have an uncanny thought about you. You wish you could be doing exactly what I do in the dance clubs, but can't quite figure out how I did it or how you could. Keep thinking and maybe you'll find your own path. I did.
      Good luck and thanks for your Comment.

      All best,

      The Blank Screen for your Insecurities and Neuroses

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    2. P.S.: Exactly how am I "sexploiting" young women? Unlike the other Mere Mortal Men, I take none of them home with me. I don't touch them, as many of the MMM do. I just go out and dance. If the Goddesses want to dance with me, they can. If not, no problem. Same with the MMM, many of whom want to dance with me the way men do in dance clubs, e.g. doing their own moves, mimicking others' moves, and showing off their dance club stuff.

      All best,

      The Man who Loves the Goddesses, Appropriately and in a Chaste Way

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  11. The way I see it your fate will be in one of two ways, (1) you'll be found dangling from a ceiling beam with the stool kicked out beneath you, or (2) you'll be found in an alley beaten to death outside one of your dance clubs. It'll be a sad and tragic end to your downward spiral of a doomed life.

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    1. rude. rude, but statistically probable

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    2. Dear Doom and Gloom Anonymous (March 7, 2012 9:38 a.m.),

      Those are some violent fantasies you have about me. As long as you aren't the one kicking the stool away or beating me to death in an alley, I'm quite confident I'll live a VERY long life. In any event, mine will have been an interesting life and I hope yours is, and will be, as well, if you want an interesting life. Also, I don't know whether God, the gods, or Mother Nature will give me, or you, or anybody else, another day to experience and enjoy, tomorrow. Do you?

      Have fun and I hope your rich but dark visions don't keep you up at night. Sleep well.

      All best,

      Raging, raging, against the dying of the light Bob

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    3. Dear Anonymous Assassin Fantasist (March 7, 2012 12:48 p.m.),

      Your fantasies about me are even darker than Doom and Gloom, for you have taken as your Nom de Plume that of an attempted assassin of a king. As long as you do not try to assasinate me, I doubt you have any reason to believe that Doom and Gloom's prophecy is statistically probable. I'd be most interested in your sharing the basis for your claim. What statistics are you referring to? How probable? Based on what evidence?

      In legal cases, courts do not want juries to hear what is called "junk science" from alleged experts who don't have any scientific basis for their opinions. In your case, Mr. Fantasy Assassin, your opinion is not even based on junk science. All it is is your fantasy.

      And why is Doom and Gloom being rude, rude, as you claim? Either he's right or he isn't. What makes his being right or wrong rude?

      I can guess the purpose of your sharing your fantasy with my readers and me, but it would be more interesting to hear directly from you about that. What's your purpose?

      Thanks for reading my blog and making a Comment.

      All best,

      Bob, the Writer and Man of Action who's Immune to Rude-ness in all its Forms

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  12. Bob,
    Unfortunately I agree with the terribly violent prediction that Anonymous writes. We will remember you as the lawyer who was terribly troubled and all of us will say "I wish I did more than read his blog and stay as far away from him as possible".

    Get help Bob. Take some medicine. Do it for your family and do it for yourself. Your family and friends will love and embrace you when you get yourself together.

    Rather than take the time to write back a witty and scathing response cutting me down and telling me how sick I am and how I should take stock of my life, take the time to examine yours. Make a comparison of friends/clients/family that you had around you 4 or 5 years ago and think about how many of those same people have stuck by you.

    Good luck Bob. Don't let the Anonymous prediction come true.

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    1. Dear Concerned Anonymous (March 7, 2012 4:01 p.m.),

      I don't see why you think it unfortunate that you agree with Doom and Gloom and the Fantasy Assassin, but I'd be interested in your fleshing out your thought a bit more so we can understand it.

      What makes you think I'm terribly troubled or troubled at all? I was troubled for years when I practiced law and interacted with my family, friends, and clients. I became terribly troubled about my old life during the Fall of 2010 when I wanted to kill myself for three months, from September to December of 2010. Since then I have had no such thoughts. In fact, my life is not one of play, not work, every hour of every day. Naturally, I feel some discomfort when drunks explode in my face without warning or people express hostility and anger for my choice to live a very unconventional life for a 62-year-old man, but after wanting to kill myself, none of those discomforts lasts long.

      While I am still a lawyer who gives plenty of free advice to those in need, I am now a writer, comedian, and dancer. So you are correct to remember the old Bob, when I practiced law actively, for money, as "terribly troubled." But that is not an accurate picture of who I am today. I am a non-troubled writer, comedian, and dancer. I am constantly putting myself in interesting and challenging situations and learning each day how best to allocate my limited time and energy.

      I have gotten the kind of help you undoubtedly mean. I saw a psychiatrist for psychotropic medication management from September, 2010 through early July, 2011, when I finally got off all psychotropic medication. I continue to see my psycho-therapist weekly. I began seeing him in September, 2010. As long as I can afford to pay him, I will continue to see my psycho-therapist because it's the way I hold my feet to the fire, to make sure I continue to make radical changes in my life.

      My old friends at the white church, some of them, lobbied me to take "mood stabilizers." I declined to follow their advice, in consultation with the psychiatrist I was then seeing. I assume that's what you mean by "take some medicine." Actually the "medicine" I'm giving myself is called Radical Life Change. It does not involve ingesting anything into my body. Instead, it requires that I overcome any resistance I feel to trying new things, having new experiences, leaving behind the baggage of my old life which was dragging me down to an early death, both physically and emotionally.

      The friends who matter to me continue to love and embrace me, and I them. There is not question that my immediate family, my wife and my children, do not like, or at least have difficulty with, the changes I have made to my life. But I have a wider family and receive quite a bit of love and support from them.

      [This will be continued in the next Comment window.]

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    2. [Continued from above Comment window.]

      I had no inclination to write a "witty and scathing response cutting [you] down and telling [you] how sick [you] are and how [you] should take stock of [your] life." (Pronouns changed from your Comment to fit the context.) That is a thought which occurs to you, probably because you DO feel that way about your life, an my radically-changed life is the occasion for you to have such thoughts. I suspect you'd like to make some changes in your life, see how much I've changed mine, and how much I enjoy my evolving life, and wish you could make some changes to yours, although probably not so radical as mine. Since I have no idea who you are, why did you fear I'd make such an attack on you. Just because I sometimes choose to be direct, honest, nasty, and harsh doesn't mean I always do.

      I have and continue to examine my life, deeply and thoroughly. Psycho-therapy is one way. Writing, another. Trying out new experiences, another. What ARE you doing, or HAVE you done, to examine your life? You seem to be quick to give me advice, so what gives you special expertise about what's best for me? Please explain in another Comment or send me an email to a12250@hotmail.com. Or call me on my cell, 860-759-9860, anytime, and we can either chat on the phone or get together for coffee in a public coffee shop.

      As for comparing friends/clients/family that I had around me 4 or 5 years ago, some of them are still there. Some not. But my life and how I feel about life in general is so much improved over how I felt about it 4 or 5 years ago. Consider just the fact that 4 or 5 years ago, even a year ago, before I left my law practice, I had to deal with the constant anxiety of drumming up money to help make my law firm's big payroll every two weeks. That alone was enough to drive any reasonable person crazy. It did me. I have none of those worries any more. Why would I possibly want to go back to THAT hell?

      You seem like a nice person. Give me a call if you'd like to chat or get together so I can take your measure directly and determine for myself if anything you recommend is of interest to me.

      As long as you don't kick any stools or beat me up in an alley, I'm not concerned about Doom and Gloom's Anonymous prediction about my future. Thanks in advance for your self-restraint.

      All best,

      The Un-Worried, Un-Anxious, Happily and Thankfully Retired from the Law Dude

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  13. Sounds more like you're having a late midlife crisis. What exactly does your family make of the new you? You don't live with your wife anymore so I assume she can't be too thrilled. What about your kids? Do they live nearby or did they move away so they wouldn't be exposed to your antics. I know if it were my dad I wouldn't want to bear witness to his mental breakdown. Do you think about them or is it only about you and your personal happiness? Being a father comes with lifetime commitments. How often do you see them? Are they afraid to leave their kids with you? If so I think that would be any obvious sign of concern for your well being...no?

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    1. Dear Anonymous (March 8, 2012 at 4:08 a.m.),

      Thank you very much for your Comment. You have asked excellent questions, the answers to which will, I think, clear away the underbrush which is growing up around me, snaring my readers and scaring the daylights out of many of them.

      I HAD a mid-life crisis, lasting from about 1988 until the Fall of 2010. I am now on the far side of the crisis and can only see it in the rear-view mirror.

      My family does NOT like the new Bob. You'd have to ask them to get a precise read on their views, but let me say this. I was not invited by my eldest son, K.C., to see my three-year-old grandson, Liam, at Thanksgiving at his in-laws' new home in Northern New Jersey. I was very angry at the time, but then realized that my new life was then too difficult for K.C. to deal with so I acceded to his wishes and stayed in Middletown. I spent Thanksgiving alone but had a wonderful time dancing the night before at Titanium and on Black Friday at the same dance club. You can see the photos and story on my blog and Facebook page.

      My son Tim is probably the most open to the changes but even he can only take so much of the new Bob, in all my freedom to do and say what I please, when I please, without regard to whether he is pleased.

      Son Jamie has little to do with me right now but that will probably change.

      Daughter Robin told me on her birthday, when she returned my message wishing her a happy birthday last month that I was imposing a "cost" on her and the rest of the family by the way I was living. I agreed but reminded her that she never wears a bicycle helmet when she rides all over Oakland and San Francisco. She was in an accident with her former boyfriend and another male friend of theirs last month, in which the male friend was hit by a car which turned into him. He was not wearing a helmet and was dressed in dark clothing. This was at night. Luckily he was not seriously injured. I told Robin that she needn't consider my feelings, but how would her mother, Susie, feel if Robin suffered a severe head injury, or worse, because she weren't wearing a helmet and got hit by a car? We all impose costs on each other, all the time, but just don't think about it.

      My father's father killed himself by gassing himself in his garage in Upper Darby, PA, in October of 1935. My father never recovered from the trauma of finding his father dead in the garage under the family kitchen. My father never resolved this trauma so I learned little about my father's inner life and next to nothing about his father. I would love to find a "Grandfather Dutchers blog" or a "Father Dutchers blog" like "Bobs blog." I don't care what it revealed about my ancestors, even if it turned out they were criminals and unconventional men. I rather suspect that my grandson, Liam, or perhaps his children will savor every word of "Bobs blog" if they ever get to read and view it. At least I hope they turn out to be that kind of person: open-minded, non-conforming, free.

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      My lovely wife, Susie, whom I married in 1970, and lived with for nearly 3 years before our marriage, is NOT at all thrilled with "the new Bob." She will tell you that she is getting used to the idea that the "Bob" she married, or thought she married, is mostly gone. I agree. And he needed to die. Trust me.

      My eldest son lives in Boulder, CO. Tim lives all around the world. Jamie and Robin live in San Francisco. "Old Bob" conveniently waited until all the kids were educated and had left the family nest before finally sinking into a deep depression and, upon awakening therefrom, transforming himself into the "New Bob." Poor Susie was still at home and had to witness all the ugliness of the change, as the pupa became a butterfly, but that's just the way life works.

      As for the kids witnessing my mental breakdown, in the Fall of 2010, they all knew it was happening, but only observed it by phone, from afar. It scared them, as it did my wife and my old friends. It's an interesting fact that everybody in my old life was extremely supportive of me when I was down on the ground, suffering, wanting to kill my body. But once I began arising from the dead, and living again, truly living, most of the old retinue was nowhere to be found.

      What a dumb question, although it's not really dumb of you, but merely ignorant, when you ask if I care about my family, my wife and kids. Of course I do, dummy. Every one of them has called upon me for something. Legal advice for them or their friends. Emotional support when they're down. As do some of my old friends and many of my new ones. I'm always there when they need me for whatever they need me for. But, and this is important, I'm not going to let them, or you, or anybody else tell me how to live the rest of my days on this earth. Look, I'm 62 years old. I've worked from the age of 8 until I was 61, continuously, in one paid job or the other. I've supported my family by slaving at The Law for the same law firm for almost 36 years. With the superb financial management skills of my wife, Susie, we've put three of our children through college (Georgetown and two Wesleyan), saved up a nice college savings plan if Robin ever decides to go to college, or my grandson Liam, or any other grandchildren. Robin got into Wesleyan, my alma mater also, but decided instead to pursue a clowing and acting career on the West Coast. She went to the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco.

      If I weren't trying to conserve Susie and my financial resources so I never have to work for money again, I'd fly out to see my kids regularly. I see Tim when he's in town and wants to see me. I went on a west coast trip last June and early July to see Jamie and Robin in San Francisco and K.C. and Liam in Boulder. Jamie and Robin camed back to Middletown and I saw them, briefly, when they were here. They do not now want to see much of me, and I respect their wishes and understand their reasons. I am not the "well-behaved white slave ass-kissing money-making machine trial lawyer" I once was, but even when I was there were things I did which made all of them not idealize me in the way some children idealize their parents, especially when the kids don't know anything about the parent's private side and occasional mis-behavior. My kids did not know me to be a "perfect" human being even before I had to do away with the "Old Bob." But I won't embarrass my family by telling you all of the imperfections in the old model.

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      Your final question gets right to the bottom line. Do my kids leave their kids in my care? Yes. I only have one grandchild, my grandson Liam, who is also known as Little Dude. I am also known as Big Dude. My lovely mother-in-law, Maribeth Price, heard that I had suggested to Liam that he call me Grandude whenever we do something cool, like camping or surfing or hiking, and Grandpa or Grandad when we're doing everything else. Maribeth has an artistic, imaginative flair and bought tee-shirts for Liam and me with Little Dude and Big Dude, respectively, printed in large letters on the front of the tee-shirts.

      When I was in Boulder in early July, K.C. and Devon, Liam's parents, left Liam in my care for hours at a time while they went on dates to the movies or shopping. Liam and I had wonderful times together. I've written recently on "Bobs blog" about one such interaction. It's the blog post about My Grandson Liam as the Little Philosopher in our discussion of the name and gender of Liam's Penguin humidifier. Read it. You might like it. I agree with you that their decision to let me take care of their precious child is the best sign that they felt I was not any danger to Liam. And K.C. is in a graduate program in psychology in Boulder, so he of all people would be alert to any sign of serious mental illness in me. K.C. has at times found me to be "too much" for him to deal with, now that I am much freer than I was before my depression, but he has always told me that he knows that in the long run our relationship will only improve. To say the least, I am blessed with wonderful children. Give all the credit to their mother for their good genes and wonderful upbringing. Anything you don't like about my kids, I guarantee you, it's my fault!!

      Yesterday, an Anonymous Commenter I called Doom and Gloom wrote that he was sure I'd either wind up hanging from a rope after kicking away the stool or being beaten to death in an alley. I disagreed with his prediction but I do agree with it in this one respect: I did have to kick the stool from under the feet of the Old Bob, so he could die and be replaced by what I am now creating, the New Bob, which is still a work in progress. And I also agree that I am being beat up, but not murdered, by many people who stir themselves up into a tizzy with all the freedom which is embodied in the New Bob. I am not doing anything to those people who are perplexed or frustrated or angered by me. There reactions are their issue, not mine.

      I am what I am. You are what you are. I am me. You are you. God bless me and God bless thee.

      All best,

      The Man who once found himself "in a dark wood at mid-life." Dante, "The Inferno," first canto.

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    4. Bob- thank you for you response. You did not have to share all of that pivate information about your family yet you still chose to. That is quite courageous of you. I'm sorry to hear abot your grandfather and the effect it had on your father. It must be difficult for your kids to see you in this fashion. All jokes aside, if the people who comment on your blog, such as myself, cannot understand you and your actions, I'm sure your children must be even more confused. The grew up knowing only of a father who was a professional and supporter. To now see him prancing around town making what would be perceived an ass of himself, well it must be hard for them. It sounds like they are all still relatively young, all in the 20's I'm guessing. So they themselves are entering a new phase of their life, one where they are suppose to be what you were to them.

      By the way, you know you just opened yourself up to an array of jokes by blogging how you daughter is going to clown school. LOL. As your daughter I'm sure she'll be the best clown ever!

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    5. Dear Anonymous (March 8, 2012 at 8:19 a.m.),
      You're most welcome. Of course I did not "have" to give you that personal information. I don't "have" to do anything, except, of course, if I want to live, breathe, eat, sleep, and not die, either naturally or otherwise.
      You again incorrectly fantasy information about me, which is why I prefer to be honest and truthful about myself. My sons are 34, 32, 28, and my clown but not clownish daughter is 22.
      You risk being wrong, a fool even, if you think that chronological age confers wisdom, tolerance, compassion, or understanding. My children are probably smarter than you are because they aren't so foolish as people who presume to know what other people "must be like" (hint hint about whom I'm thinking of, Commenter. Get it now?). Also, my children are nicer than you are. I doubt any of them would try to make fun of a 22-year-old woman who's trying to make a living as a clown and actress. Are you aware that clowning is the oldest form of communication. For example, if I were interacting face-to-face with you, son, I'd probably make faces. The reason is this. You don't communicate very well in writing, and you don't read carefully or intelligently. I suspect I could get farther, faster, with a limited-intelligence like yourself by treating you like an infant, and communicating with you solely through face and body language. Why don't we meet in a cafe somewhere and I'll show you what I mean. lmfao
      As for making an ass of himself, the way you express yourself does a wonderful job of making my readers, all over the world, immediately realize how much of an ass you are certainly perceived as, based on your Comments. You, son, just don't "get it" with me or my family. And given your IQ and EQ on naked display here, for all to see, you can't any longer hide the fact that you are, not a clown (because you don't have the skill that profession requires), but you are something else, clearly: CLOWNISH. Get it?
      Finally, you also are pathetic. I infer from your words and comments about my children, that you are chronologically older than they. But not everyone learns grace at the same rate as others. And you, son, are a graceless man who chooses to imply that my 22-year-old daughter (who got into one of the finest universities in the country, Wesleyan, my alma mater, but instead chose to move on her own across the country to test herself in ways you're probably too chicken-shit to do, to risk) is somehow less than you because she chose an unconventional, quite risky and daring path in life. And her father, Bob Dutcher, is simply recognizing the wisdom of her choice, some 4 decades later, by striking out on my own, on an equally risky path.
      Shame on you, oh Clownish but not Clown able, ASS. You sir, have mocked a 22-year-old young woman, which puts you in the same league as Rush(in) Lim(p)ba(lls)ug. And I bet, as demonstrate today in your Comment, are always a premature articulator!
      Thanks so much for you minor-league grade, graceless (about my quite intelligent and talented daughter) Comment,

      All best,

      One with Bigger Balls than You'll Ever Be Able Even to Dream Of

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    6. Wow, I honestly did not expect that kind of reply from you. Where in my comment did you pickup on any kind of insult? Yet you chose to lash out at me? Go back and read my comment and see how you may have misinterpreted it. I first thank you for sharing the information that you did. I recognize the fact that you did not "have" to do it but you still chose to, which I found courgeous in an admirable way however you somehow chose to take it as a slap in the face. Why I don't know. Cause you're a dick?

      Then I try to make some sense of your children's reaction towards your life changing behavior and you again take it as an insult. It's quite common and reasonable that young adults are still growing up and don't quite appreciate certain things, like mid life crises. I only assumed them to be in their 20's since you said hey graduated from college.

      And where in the hell did you derive in my comment that I was ridiculing your daughter's career choice? I only pointed out the fact the you may have opened yourself up to some obvious jokes (hence the "LOL" which should have been your clue to the fact that I was being sarcastic). And my final comment about her being the best clown ever was merely a tounge in cheek comment. I'm sure she will be a great clown, or whatever she chooses to be. Are you going to atttack me again for that comment as well?

      Why do you even bother to read the comments if you are just going to assume everyone is criticizing you? So you can get off going on a rant and attacking them when all they are trying to do is understand you? I suppose that's what I get for trying to sympathize towards you and your situation.

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    7. Dear Not-So-Honest-With-Himself-Nor-About-Himself Anonymous Commenter (March 8, 2012 at 9:45 a.m.),
      Not ass-umin', ass non-human.

      Try this for starters, "dick":

      "To now see him prancing around town making what would be perceived an ass of himself,"

      Hey, liar liar, in denial, I concede your point (if one YOU have), that I am, really have, a dick, while you, esquire, simply suck.

      All best,

      A Clever-er One than You

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    8. So what does your wife, if like most spouses knows you better than anyone else, think of you? Does she believe this is just some natural transformation you've gone through and love it or hate it (you've stated the later) it is what it is? Or does she, like everyone else (or the high majority at least) believe you have some serious mental health issues? If she reads these blogs i encourage her to respond and let us know herself.

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    9. Dear Anonymous (March 9, 2012 at 3:33 a.m.),
      You've asked an excellent question and, as always, I'll answer you with candor and total honesty. As a writer, no one will be interested in reading my writing if I am not both, at all times.

      The short answer is, Susie, my wife of 41 years and girlfriend for the preceding 3 years, does not like the changes I've made to myself. She fully expected I would retire from my law practice at about age 65, though before my depression I always said I'd never retire. In fact, at my birthday party at the law firm in January, 2010, I was telling my partners and staff about the former DA in NYC, Robert Morgenthau, who had recently retired from his prosecutor's position in his 80's I believe it was and taken a job in private practice with a law firm. That, I told them, would be me someday. I even joked that I'd probably speak at the retirement dinners of my younger partners, as a non-retired old trial lawyer. Well, the joke was on me, and Susie.

      Susie does NOT believe I have serious mental health issues. She would probably say I have serious character issues, but that's a different matter entirely. By that I mean this. I am NOT mentally ill. I do not have a mood disorder. I did when I was suicidal in the Fall of 2010, which I've written about extensively, but I am in a good mood almost all of the time. Obviously, if I act in a way which even I deem inappropriate, I am fully aware of any negative feelings which well up in me in response. You can see from my writings on "Bobs blog" that I have no thought disorder. I am quite rational and able to express myself clearly. I am not depressed and I am not manic. Some probably think my wild dance-partying, my confrontations in bars and with the police on occasion, and the like are evidence of mania. They are not. I CHOOSE to get into these situations, both to have unusual experiences to write about, and challenging situations to deal with and resolve, and to amuse myself. I do feel that I want to have less confrontations and put myself into venues where my brand of humor, of comedy, has a better chance of being well- or ill-received. For example, comedy clubs and similar venues.

      As further evidence that I am not mentally ill, I continue to see my psycho-therapist, Ray Oakes, weekly. That's partly because I am a writer, writers like to tell stories, and psycho-therapy is essentially story-telling. (Is your life 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? That's partly your actual life circumstances but also the story you tell yourself and others about it.) Ray Oakes would tell me if he thought I were mentally ill and needed medication or more intensive psychiatric treatment, as I did, in addition to talk therapy, when I was suicidally depressed in Fall, 2010.

      You are actually not correct when you imagine yourself a spokesman (or spokeswoman; I'm thinking you're probably a man, but that may be an incorrect story, or hypothesis) for "everyone else (or the high majority at least)" [your words] about my mental health or lack thereof. Don't you think Susie, or my psycho-therapist, or my former medical-management psychiatrist, Dr. Allan Jacobs in West Hartford, have a better handle on my mental health than you do, or anybody else who merely knows me through this blog or my FB writings? Even people who know me personally don't really know enough, or have enough expertise, or enough objectivity, to make those determinations.

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      What people have a hard time understanding is this: unconventional behavior is not necessarily a sign of mental illness. You can be mentally ill and unconventional, or mentally healthy and just choosing to be unconventional. I am the latter type. I was a conventional person, a well-behaved (as far as the world knew) lawyer, for the first 61 years of my life. I always had a dark side, an unconventional set of tastes and interests, which people had a vague notion about, because it's hard to hide all of your most intimate and inner thoughts from outside observers, but the bulk of my personality was conventional.

      That conventional stasis blew up when I began to slide into suicidal depression in September of 2010. It was preceded by anxiety in the Spring of 2010 and sleep difficulty in the Summer of 2010. During the three months of my intense depression, I had a hard time figuring out why I was depressed. Was it the job? The marriage? Turning 60 in January, 2010? My mother's death, also in January? Changes in the composition of my law firm? The intense job stress I was under in the Spring of 2010? Bad brain chemistry? Bad genes (my paternal grandfather killed himself in 1935)?

      Finally, it became clear, during the Winter of 2011 that I needed to leave my job. I thought for a while about getting a job as a salaried insurance defense lawyer, so I could get into court more, perform more, really, and not have to worry so much about generating fees to make payroll at my private law firm every two weeks. I began writing. Made some important changes in myself. Got a taste of being less inhibited, to the consternation of my law partners. And then, without having any other job prospects, and no certain plans for what I'd do in retirement, I decided to retire from my law firm. When I told them, in March, 2011, of my decision, that were relieved I was not moving to my former law partner John Montalbano's new law firm, in competition with my firm. My senior partner, Dave Royston, warned that I'd regret my decision. Why, he asked me, didn't I just take an unpaid leave so I'd have the option to return at a later date. I told him that would always be possible. If the firm wanted me back, and I wanted to come back, retirement would not preclude a new beginning at the firm.

      I took a memoir writing course at Wesleyan's Wasch Center in the Institute for Lifelong Learning, which is run by my old friend Karl Scheibe, a social psychologist emeritus at Wesleyan, my alma mater. I got positive feedback from the teacher, Sheila Murphy and the other students about my writing. I spent three weeks watching the trial of John Doe #2 vs. St. Francis Hospital, a high profile sexual abuse case, in Waterbury. I thought about writing a play about the case.


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      In late June and early July, 2011, I took a west coast trip to see relatives, my old girlfriend who dumped me the night before I went to Wesleyan in 1967 (I hadn't seen her in 45 years!), with Susie's knowledge, and to see my two children in San Francisco and my oldest son and only grandson in Boulder. In southern California, I went to Starbucks for coffee and began learning how to interact with strangers in a new way, which opened many doors formerly closed to conventional ways of introducing myself to others.

      Susie broke her neck and suffered life-threatening injuries from a bicycle accident on July 2, 2011, when I was still in Boulder. I returned on July 4, 2011. While she was in the hospital, I could not see her after visiting hours ended at 8 p.m., so I had lots of free evenings. In mid-July, 2011, as I detail in stories on "Bobs blog," I began dancing at Mezzo Grille in Middletown. That took a lot of courage, for me a least, because of my age. But I got a lot of encouraging feedback, so I continued to dance at Mezzo, on the outdoor patio and the indoor disco, essentially performing and enjoying the dancing itself.

      In mid-September, 2011, I began going to Titanium to dance in Middletown, again getting a lot of encouragement despite my age. After the New Year's Eve street fight debacle at Titanium (I was not involved in the brawl, at all), business fell off there, so I began going to Hartford dance clubs. That, again, was initially somewhat difficult for me. I had all the usual anxieties about being an older man going alone to new dance club venues filled with young people. But again, because I am an extremely energetic dancer with a youthful attitude, and because I keep my hands to myself and don't hit on female dancers, I was both accepted and encouraged. So I kept going up to Hartford and going to new dance clubs to see what they were like an how my dance "act" would be received.

      I've been doing stand-up comedy around town and wherever I travelled. Of course I've learned that my comedy act is sometimes not wanted by people who are just going about their normal routines. But this week I went to a community arts space for an Open Mic night and my poetry/stand-up ad lib comedy was very well-received. I plan to return next week. And I am looking for other similar opportunities. I've also recited my poetry at Middletown and New Britain poetry reading groups as well as at The Shadow Room in Middletown.

      My "Bobs blog" is getting more and more readers looking at stories every day. I began the blog in mid-July, 2011 and already have over 21,000 (twenty-one thousand) page views according to the tracking data the blog platform keeps for me. I also use FB as a social networking vehicle and to play around with language.

      As for Susie and the blog, she no longer reads the blog. She doesn't want to read about my dancing with young women. I fully understand. She also will not want to write on the blog about her perceptions of my mental state. If you called her, she would not likely talk to you about it unless she knows you well, as Susie is a dignified, intelligent, beautiful, but very private person. I came from a loud and open family (not fully open, but about a lot of things, yes) while her family of origin was quiet and very private.

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      I don't know what else I can do or say which will convince you that I am doing what I'm doing by conscious choice, not mental illness. I was anxious very often when I was practicing law. If you ever had to help make a payroll every other week based on your own efforts, you'd understand why I worried about the money coming in . There were also intense pressures to market, develop market plans, and generate business. There were constant deadlines that had to be adhered to strictly. There were the inevitable frustrations of absorbing and mastering new developments in the law. I just got sick of the practice, the business of the law, although I still love the law. You will recall that I have written extensively about some of the murder cases I've followed, and the legal and psychological issues raised by these cases.

      If you ever want to meet me in the flesh, just let me know and we can meet for coffee. I have nothing to hide, which is part of the reason I'm happy every day. Plus, I'm living out my fantasies, rather than hiding them inside me. I am an older man with a youthful spirit. I am no more creepy than any other human being. If I knew everything about your libidinous drives, I might be scared of you!

      If I haven't answered all your questions, just let me know and I'll try to be clearer on whatever it is you still don't understand about me. Thanks for reading the blog and posting your great Comment.

      All best,

      Bob Dutcher

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  14. Bob,
    I have taken the time to read your response to my post. Thank you for taking the time to respond in such an interesting and thoughtful way. I have tried to understand your thought process and have been unable to do so. However after digesting your words I now chose to accept you as you are rather than criticize and judge. I wish you luck and all good things with your new life path.

    I do want to be clear about how I feel and I can only assume (big assumption) that most of the others in your 'old' and even your 'new' life feel...Concerned. We don't want you to go back to those days of suicidal thoughts but we also do not want you to end up in either of the two dark predictions of the anonymous post either.

    How you conduct yourself is your business. However by being so public with your life and your activities you have opened the door for all of us and we now are left with the choice of wether or not to walk through it. By reading, posting, commenting, dancing or even running away we are all making a choice.

    I chose not take you up on your offer to speak or meet. I will have you know that in the not so distant past someone that I respect was with you in person and his experience was described as both embarrassing and uncomfortable. For these reasons I wish not to put myself in that position.

    Stay healthy and be well.

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    1. Dear Concerned Anonymous (March 8, 2012 at 6:00 a.m.),

      Thank you for absorbing my self-description, my self-explanation, and responding with understanding and concern. Of course it is understandable that people who care about me would be concerned with my unconventional life path choices. I am deliberately on a risk-filled road. But it is an illusion for anyone to thing life is not risky. How do we know we won't suffer a debilitating stroke and wind up in a nursing home with locked-in syndrome? ("The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" is a book, and movie, by and about a French middle-aged movie producer to whom this happened. Such events strike without warning, to even the most conventional people, in the safest places on earth. In that author's case, it was a rural French road, just after he dropped off his children at his ex-wife's home in the country.)

      I have surfed 12-foot high, 12-second period hurricane swell (August 23, 2009 at Point Judith point, Rhode Island. See the link on my blog to the YouTube video of comparable conditions at Ruggles off the Cliff Walk in Newport.).

      I have survived an encounter with a shark in my sea kayak in September, probably 2004, half-way across the passage between Nappatree Point, RI and Fishers Island, NY, with my former minister and still-good-friend, John Hall. We were 1 mile into the two-mile open-water crossing when John yelled, "Bob, shark." I thrilled to that sight. According to the expert I later consulted at the International Shark Attack File in Miami, shark we encountered is a type which has eaten people but it was most likely just curious about who we were and what we were about than interested in getting into a physical tangle with a trial lawyer and a minister. Probably professional courtesy to me explains the fact the shark backed off and dove deeper in the tide-change waters rather than try to take a bite out of me and risk getting punched in the eye by the Crazy Old Dancin' Dude (who then was far from being the dancin' dude I've become since that interesting encounter).

      I survived the two truly close encounters with death that I am aware of. The first was a solo kayak crossing I did at the same 2-mile span between Nappatree Point and Fishers Island, probably around 2005, in November. I was in my first kayak, a recreational model by Walden called a Vista Expedition. It was ill-suited for the conditions I found myself in at what's called Wicapasset Passage. That's a very rocky shallow area just east of the east end of Fishers Island, within visual sight distance from the Simmons Mattress Empire Castle at the east end of Fishers. I was wearing a wetsuit but it was November, there were no recreational boaters in the area in case I needed help, I was not carrying a two-way radio to call for help, and I did not then know how to roll my boat in the event I capsized. As I approached the rocks, my little 12-foot "wreck boat," as snobby sea kayakers for good reason call recreational kayaks, was being tossed up and down, back and forth, by the waves crashing against the big rocks. I was not wearing a helmet either. I was bracing myself against a capsize as best I could with my paddle to give me purchase against the liquid "ground." All of a sudden, a large wave came up and I instantly thought I was going to be thrown head-long into the rocks, get knocked out, and drown to death. But somehow, God or the gods or Mother Nature had other ideas. I braced, nearly tore my right shoulder apart, and stayed in my boat, got to land, and thanked Neptune for not pulling me down to the underworld that day.

      The other very close encounter with death was my suicidal depression in Fall of 2010.

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      I am sure that I, and all of you, have survived many more close encounters with death, but at times and places and in situations in which we did not even know we nearly got killed or died. For example, how many times have we nearly been hit by a car and killed whilt out bike riding? Overeating and getting fat. Not taking care of our health in other ways? Not using sun screen? Smoking? Drinking too much? You get the idea. Life is risky. And also, a well-known, but little-attended to fact is this: We are ALL, All of us, going to die. At a time and place not of our choosing. And that appointment with the Grim Reaper could happen at any moment. Today. Tomorrow. Any day you choose. But God or the gods or Mother Nautre will do you in or let somebody else or some natural event do you in. Perhaps you are not mortal. I am. The Goddesses don't seem to be to be mortal. That's why I love them so much, but not enough to ever want to take any of them home with me. Too much drama. Been threre, done there.

      I am happy you read my blog, think about my life, compare my life to yours, and send Comments on my blog page, which gives me something else to do every day, other than just play all the time, which is what my occupation is now: I play. I used to make money.

      As for the hostility I've expressed to some of my former, and current friends, that has two sources.

      First, I am angry at myself for disregarding the signals from my unconscious, over many years, to make big changes in my life. I am at times enraged at myself and choose to let it out, sometimes in the presence of other people. I've written about the rage of men on my blog, using the first line from Homer's "Iliad" as the spring-board: "Sing, Muse, the rage of Achilles."

      Second, people sometimes say or do things in my presence, directed at me, which I choose to respond to by getting myself pissed off and expressing it. There were two men in particular in my old white church men's group, the Jacob Group, who didn't like one thing or other about the changes I was making in my life and told me that my behavior was "inappropriate" and that I "needed" or "should" "go on mood stabilizers." I told one of them that, if he lost 50 pounds, which would do him good and avoid a premature death and grieving wife and children, I would then "consider" going on mood stabilizers, though I didn't think I needed to do so and preferred to manage my behavior through will power rather than medication. The next week he told me he would lose the poundage, so I'd now go on the meds, right? I told him, very directly, that he did not apparently listen to me. I had said that if he lost 50 pounds, I'd consider his recommendation. But I suspected that I'd probably never agree to go on meds to control my feelings and behavior. That, I said, is something I'll probably just continue working on with myself and my psycho-therapist.

      The other man at one time in his life engaged in some very unconventional behavior. He was now accusing me of acting "inappropriately," with "inappropriate affect," and similar accusations. I told him at one point that I suspected he envied my freedom which I was achieving at great personal cost. That was the final straw for this guy and he told me that I was being "abusive" and he would not tolerate being "abused" by me. I wouldn't feel too sorry for this gent. He's got quite a big share of worldly resources, a beautiful family, and much more in the way of material assets than most of the rest of the world. Anyway, he seemed to be okay with dishing out the verbal "abuse" to me, but quite the wimp when it came to me dishing out a tiny little portion to him.

      [To be continued in the next Comment window.]

      Delete
    3. [Continued from previous Comment window.]

      At this point in my developmental process, I like to tell people this. I used to be an rear-end-kissing lawyer. Now, I don't take no shi- from nobody! And I don't expect you to take any from me. That said, I have friends who respect me, even if they don't always understand me or like my intense energy, and whom I respect, even though they seem on the outside to be living very conventional lives. And I've told all of them this. If you ever don't want to keep talking to me on the phone, just hang up. Or leave their presence. Heck, I've encouraged my wife, Susie, to do this with me when I'm being too much for her. I'm trying my best to be "conventionally socially acceptable" in my speech and behavior when I agree that's a reasonable restraint, without anybody telling me to do so.

      Remember, discomfort can go both ways. I am probably thicker-skinned than most people but I can allow myself to experience "hurt feelings" when somebody says or does something which I choose to feel bad about. And I know that most other people are not accustomed to dealing with somebody who, as I now have re-created myself, sometimes choose to be open and honest about my feelings about issues and people in a way which I did not feel free to express when I was making a living as a lawyer.

      I hope that explanation is helpful to address your questions and concerns and fears about me and about interacting with me.

      All best,

      Odd Bob, Oddly, Free

      Delete
  15. I agree with these comments. I think everyone has Bob's best interest in mind. No one wants to see anything bad happen to him. His health and well being is a great concern especially when you consider his erratic behavior which he continously dismisses as some sort of self transformation that the rest of of us have not experienced and therefore are unable to comprehend.

    Everyone has the right and freedom to do what they want and believe what they want. Except when it involves another person...then this freedom and right ceases to exist. If I'm in the grocery store I don't want to goofball coming up to me and trying out his comdey routine on me. I shouldn't have to tell him this, it should be given that people don't want strangers coming up to them when they are shopping. It's called descretion. Comics in a bar don't want to be berated by a fellow comic. Men at night clubs don't want an eccentric older man talking to their girlfriends.

    You want to dance and crack jokes, do it until you are blue in the face. Just leave others out of it. It's wrong to assume they welcome it unless they say otherwise. Some people are shy, or even scared to speak up. This shouldn't be interpreted as "they like me and think I'm funny".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous (March 8, 2012 7:00 a.m.),

      I don't agree that everyone has my best interests in mind. Those who want me committed to CVH don't. Those who fantasy about my hanging over a kicked-away stool or being beaten to death in an alley don't. I mean, they may, or they may be express a wish that I die and go away. I don't know them so I don't know what's on their minds. The Comments here are not very detailed and I don't know anything about the Commenters, including you, except the words on the page.

      I agree that I have been using inappropriate venues to express my comedic impulse. I am going to try to reign that in and confine my act to willing audiences. Dance clubs are places where people engage in self-expressive, free-form dancing. Some may not like my energetic dancing, comedic even at times, but others clearly do. The promoters of these clubs invite me to the events, want me there. I am not inhibited about gettin the party going, all without artificial stimulants. I don't personally contribute much to alcohol sales directly, but I was told by employees at one club that alcohol sales increased when I danced there. My age may turn some people off. That's their problem. I refuse to be dispatched to pasture, or the nursing home, before I can't live on my own.

      I was well received in a performance club one eveing earlier this week and will return to do more poetry, comedy, and performing. That was a willing, eager even, audience.

      As for comics in a comedy club, think again. There's a long tradition of comics, like writers and other artists, nastily criticizing other comics, writers, and artists, especially when one of them becomes better-known or more loved by audiences than the others. As for the KKK (Koji Komedy Klub incident which I've detailed on my blog, including my subsequent arrest there, and eventual dropping of the charges) incident, in which I infuriated the other comics for apologizing to a black Goddess and her Mere Mortal Man whom I invited into the club, I would do the same thing if I were in a similar situation. It is entirely appropriate, whether anyone thinks so or not, for me to apologize to such a woman and her male friend for black comics using the "n" word the way they did and for several others to perform highly graphic sexual "funny" routines. Hey, it's a free country. If those black comics want to perform such racist "humor" for the real KKK down in Stone Mountain, Georgia, I'm sure the men in the pointy white hats and burning crosses would laugh uproariously.

      As for men in nightclubs and their girlfriends and talking and dancing with them, you can't possibly speak for everybody and every situation. All I can say is, your over-generalized "concern" and "objection" is not well-founded. But that's probably because you don't frequent dance clubs where the Crazy Old Dancin' Dude performs, to the amusement of some and the hatred of a minority, at least in my wealth of experience in these clubs. Remember, I go dancing and performing in these kinds of clubs three or four times a week, on average. How often do you go to such clubs and observe what you claim to know so much about? Certainly, you can speak for yourself but I very much doubt you are a kind of all-knowing god-head.

      lmfao, dude.

      All best,

      The Writer/Dancer/Comedian at the bottom, but climbing, always climbing

      Delete
    2. P.S.: I am engaged in a very exciting odyssey of "self transformation that the rest of of [you--or at least one of you, namely you, Commenter] have not experienced and therefore are unable to comprehend."
      You have stated, succinctly, the essence of the problem I create in your mind and soul.

      Delete
  16. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Will-lover Anonymous (March 8, 2012 at 8:19 a.m.),

      Oh, sage Commenter, you relieve tedium here and now, triggered by idiots replied whom needs I feign respect. To orient denser lecters, of non-hannibal but cock-and-bull variety, I give you Bard's few lines before those already shown. Only then can Mine own be shown.


      Hamlet:
      Swear by my sword
      Never to speak of this that you have heard.

      Ghost:
      [Beneath] Swear by his sword.

      Hamlet:
      Well said, old mole, canst work i' th' earth so fast?
      A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.

      Horatio:
      O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

      Hamlet:
      And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
      There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
      Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.

      Hamlet Act 1, scene 5, 159–167

      True it is: crazy I am, half-cracked, or not so, as he who claimed the question be not how drunk to get but be or not to be. And with your view I agree that Commenters mine be largely as limited, or thinly-smarted, as left-sided Horatio's knoggin. Strange, but wondrous strange, one hopes, am I. Once him was I, but now no Hamlet am. Old I am, and moldy, but am no mole, say I. Stranger am I, than dreams of little boys in grown mens' philosophy. Fie on heaven, I'll give the lie, on earth, to those who claim I am but ghastly ghost! Man I am, boy not, be not, groveling arse-kisser. Dear Ghost, I'll swear by Commenters' swords, they who have none but gaping woman's holes, for brains even, if any. As stranger in strange land, Dear Commenter, Bard-lover, you, and I, may never be, to they, wondrous strange, just strange.

      All best,

      One with Method in Madness (perhaps)

      Delete
  17. Bob, why don’t you just be honest with everyone and yourself? You were a lawyer for 30- 40 years and not a very good one at that. You were forced into early retirement by your fellow partners as they saw your rapid decline in mental health and you became a liability to the business especially when you started harassing the younger women in your firm. You went into deep depression as you found yourself with no job and no hope. Your wife moved out as she couldn’t take your crap anymore than anyone else. Now you’ve derived this “grand dude dancing persona” which is nothing more than a defense mechanism on your own part to self denial of the truth which is of course you’ve wasted your life and now that your 62 you cannot do anything about it. Which by the way is probably nothing more than your split personality finally coming out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Deluded and Envious Anonymous (March 8, 2012 10:44 a.m.),

      I chuckled as I read your poorly-researched, horribly-written delusional daydream.

      You think I worked 30 to 40 years, right? Well, nearly 36, to be exact. You obviously haven't had your fact-checker look at my blog post about why I left the practice. That post includes my resume which used to be posted on the firm website. For your information, bird-brain, I began with Dzialo, Pickett & Allen in June of 1975 and left the firm on March 31, 2011. I was not forced into early retirement. My partners will confirm that there hope always was that I would return to the practice once I recovered from my depression. For many years, I was either the highest money producer for the firm, or second to Dave Royston, our senior partner when I left. Exactly what "younger women in the firm" do you claim I was harrassing? And in what way was I harassing them? I'd be most interested for you to write another Comment and provide full details of your claim.

      When you say I became a "liability to the business," exactly what do you mean? Are you aware that a few months before I began my decline into depression, I gave up over in the high five figures of contractual buy-out rights to be paid after I retired, under our law firm owners' agreement? I did this without getting anything in return. My partner Jeanne Messick also gave up her buy-out rights. She and I were the FIRST owners in the history of the firm to offer to do this. My motivation was to make sure I would not become a financial burden to the younger partners and upcoming associate lawyers, who would otherwise had to pay me my share upon my retirement. Believe me, the younger owners of the firm are not exactly happy that the firm is liable to pay buy-outs to a number of former partners who left the firm, started their own practices, and retained buy-out rights pursuant to the agreement. I am under no confidentiality obligation or I would not share this information.

      You claim I went into depression because I found myself "with no job and no hope." Are you taking acid or ecstasy? Listen, numbskull, as I make clear in all my writings on my blog, and as you can confirm if you ask my former law partners David Royston in Old Saybrook, Jeanne Messick and Jen Zettergren in Middletown, they were shocked to learn from me in early September of 2010 that I was finding it impossible to work as a lawyer because I had fallen into a deep depression. I went to them, not the other way around. As hard as it was for me, for the first time in the then 35 years of my practice, to help my partners and associates to take over all my clients, I did so, with their help, and none of the clients' cases suffered in any way. While I was unable to work for most of those three months from September through December of 2010, except for a few weeks when I tried to return but couldn't really function effectively, my firm never fired me, laid me off, or otherwise penalized me. To the contrary, they were all very supportive and were truly hoping that I'd recover and return to full strength to my practice. The problem was, the key message from my unconscious which the depression represented was this: leave your law practice and find another role in life.

      [Continued in next Comment window.]

      Delete
    2. [Continued from previous Comment window.]

      As for my wife "moving out," when we finished building a new home in an over-55 community, Susie moved into the new house and I have remained in the old house, at least until we sell it. Whether we will be able to resume living together when the house is sold remains to be seen. In this real estate market, who knows when a sale will take place.

      I haven't "derived" a persona as Grandude, I gave myself that name, and my grandson loves calling me Grandude or just Dude for short.

      I haven't "derived" a role as a dancer, I've created it, out of thin air. In the same way as you've made up a fictional account of my life, out of whatever stale farts remain in your drug-addled cranium, assuming you even have one.

      The dancing is no defense mechanism. I have not wasted my life. I've had a very long and productive life so far, and most satisfying. My depression was a wonderful sign that my life needed radical restructuring but such breakdowns and reorganizations happen all the time in the business world, and in human beings. Of course, there's no evidence that you are a HUMAN being, so you wouldn't understand any of what I'm saying. Oh, you can cause letters to vomit forth from a computers screen, but that only shows that you are either a computer program or I-phone app; it does not show that you have human traits. If you are human, your mind functions at a low level, about on par with a pig, which science now says has a mind about like that of a three-year-old child. Children of that age confuse fact and fancy. The wholesale fabrication which you have created about my life represents just such a confusion of fancy for fact.

      It would be most interesting to hear the explanation of your professional libel of me that, as you allege, I was not a very good lawyer. Again, check out my resume and see the kinds of cases I handled and the results I obtained. Talk to any of my former law partners or associates. Talk to my opponents in the cases I handled. Talk to my clients. I had a very successful practice and was an aggressive, creative, ethical, and productive lawyer who obtained justice for a multitude of people and businesses in Middlesex County and all around the state.

      As for you claim that I can do nothing else than the law, that claim, also false, is belied by all the things I'm doing with my life and writing about many of them on my blog. I am finding new life, adventure, fun, and excitement in all the things I am doing and writing about. I don't have a split personality, but I do have a pretty interesting personality, I think more interesting now than when I was practicing law.

      I do hope you'll write again and provide some specific back-up for your delusions about me. Dream on, friend.

      All best,

      The Man with his Shit Together and in touch with Reality

      Delete
  18. Bob your an Awesome Dude!


    Most of these Anonymous people should not be throwing rocks in the house made of glass.

    I dream of when I reach the age of retirement that I can to party like a Rock STAR.

    I encourage more people to remove the shades of Anonymity and also post their itemized med list on the here before lashing out.

    Btw My Doctor prescribed no more than 3 pints of Ale a day on my last visit.


    -_^

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Marc,

      You, sir, have an awesome sense of humor! It would be interesting to see what people would say if they came out of the shadows of Anonymity. But it won't happen. They're fundamentally chicken-shits. But that's okay, as that enables the free men, like me, to show the slave-men the way to freedom, happiness, and nirvana on earth.

      I'm sure your doctor knows what she's doing, but as much as I like ale to beer, three pints a day would be the end of me as we know it. One 12 oz. ale, occasionally, is all I like and can tolerate. Getting high on life is preferable in my book. But to each his, or her, own. Far be it from me to tell anyone else how to live. I have enough trouble figuring it out for myself.

      Thanks for your interesting and funny Comment. I hope you write in again.

      All best,

      Bob

      Delete
  19. Hey Awesome Bob (AB)- I see you braggin' out der on FB that you gots 52 comments on your blog. Way to go man! You rule! Why don't u post of FB that of dem 52 comments more than half of dem is from you. De other 20+ comments are da' boys and da bitches f*ckin with ya. Not so cool no more huh? Getta p and go down will ya.

    -The Real McCoy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Awestruck McCoy,
      Why shouldn't I count my replies. I at least double- or triple-downed on each and every one of the Comments from my awesome and, as in your case, totally AWESTRUCK over me, readers. I spent some good time today reading and responding, in great depth, to those Comments. Of course my Comments count, dude!

      The Commenters are not fuckin' with me. Most of them are simply fucked up. They try, real hard, to get under my skin. But the way it always works, see, is this, Real: they never get under my skin, but I ALWAYS get under theirs. And the reason is simple: I can out-think and out-write All the people who wish they had the balls to live the kind of life I'm now leading, which involves one peak experience after another. Hell, when you get to be my age, McCoy, I bet you'll be sitting in a wheelchair in a Medicaid nursing home, if you even live that long.

      You are So WAY cool, yo', ait? Love ya', dude. I know you want to make out with me, son, but I don't do boys. Sorry to disappoint.

      All best,

      Daddy

      Delete
  20. Bob was a very good and competent lawyer. Lest anybody think otherwise.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Concerned (March 8, 2012 12:07 p.m.),

      Thanks, Concerned. Look, you and I know I was a very good and competent lawyer. I don't really care what other people think, especially those who, like Deluded Anonymous Boy, above, don't know me and are sub-human anyway. I feel great compassion for all sentient creatures, as well as those creatures like Deluded Anonymous Boy, above.

      Thanks for reading the blog and being so kind as to write in about my legal practice.

      All best,

      Bob Dutcher

      Delete
  21. Well, now that we're fleshing everything out, I have heard from multiple sources that you do nothing but scam on far younger girls in these dance clubs. You wonder why some drunk guy mysteriously gets in your face, as you talked about in a previous blog post. You should be ashamed of yourself, being a married man and acting inappropriately towards the young boys and girls at these dance clubs...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Bob, you should be ashamed of yourself....you dirty old man. Scamming poor defenesless women. Tsk tsk tsk.

      Delete
    2. Dear Virtuous-maybe and Scolding-definitely Anonymous (March 8, 2012 12:56 p.m.),

      You would have done well during the New England witchcraft trials as a small-town scolding school marm, m'am, or during the McCarthy era, I'm sure you'd be cheering on the paranoid senator from Wisconsin, after whom the black-listing Senate hearings were named.

      About all that unreliable hearsay you've "heard" about me from "multiple sources," what exactly are these unnamed informants claiming I did which constitutes "scamming" on far younger girls in the dance clubs. Far younger than whom? What do you mean by scam? Are you a native speaker of English? It's hard to tell from the way you write. But more importantly, it would be fun to hear the details of your informants' allegations about me. Please write again to fill us in with details and your explanation of the verb "to scam" in this context.

      I didn't wonder why the drunk got in my face, I said in that earlier blog post that at the moment he exploded suddenly at The Shadow Room I was chatting amiably with his friend, about age 35 and a woman slightly younger, who were not in any way drunk like their friend who blew up like a loose IED on the road to Baghdad. The drunk did not blow up at me because I was dancing with "far younger girls," whatever it is you mean by that odd turn of phrase.

      You also say I'm acting "inappropriately" towards young boys and girls at these dance clubs. Usually the people in the clubs are at least 21, so they're not young boys and girls. That sounds more like a pedophilic fantasy of pre-adults which you apparently have in your mind. Please let me know what it is which you imagine I'm doing in these dance clubs which is "inappropriate." What is improper about a married man who likes to get great exercise dancing, among attractive human beings of both sexes, many of whom are happy to have me there to entertain them with my energetic dance moves and comedic dance style? I'm not grabbing or groping or touching any of the women. I'm not talking extensively with any of them. If they ask who I am, I tell them I'm a retired lawyer with four grown kids and a wife, a writer, and a comedian who made a lot of money, got sick of doing that, and left the law to pursue other interests. Then I go back to dancing. I admit I'm a show-off and love to have people watch me dance, without inhibition, not caring how I look or how sweaty I get from dancing for hours on end without a break.

      For me to understand any rational part of your fantasies about me, you'll have to do a better job of clearly communicating exactly what you think I'm doing in the dance clubs and why it's not proper. Until then, I can only hypothesize about you that you resent the fact I've got the physical ability to dance the way I do and that you envy my freedom to do so despite the naysaying scolds like you, m'am, who don't take a shine to my act. Sorry, Haggard Old Goddess, but I don't give a flying fuck what you think of me. Sorry to be so direct, missy, but your poor writing ability leads me to conclude that you lack the mental equipment to comprehend a more subtle communication style.

      Thanks so much for writing in to scold me.

      All best,

      The Free White Man who's Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, I'm Free at Last!

      Delete
    3. A Bi-Sexual Humanoid wrote the following Comment, see above:
      AnonymousMar 8, 2012 02:43 PM
      Bob, you should be ashamed of yourself....you dirty old man. Scamming poor defenesless women. Tsk tsk tsk.

      My reply:

      Hi, Bi, But I'm not ashamed of myself. I'm quite proud of my dancing ability. I am a man. I am old. And since I still have to take a shower before going out to a dance club tonight for a wild time, at least I'm counting on it being CRAZY WILD, I am dirty. So I guess I've got to plead as follows: To the Count alleging I should be ashamed of myself: Not Guilty. To the Second Count alleging I'm a man, I'm old, and I'm dirty: Guilty. To the Third Count alleging I'm a Dirty Old Man: Not Guilty.
      To the Fourth Count alleging I'm "scamming" poor defenseless women, I move that the Mamby Pamby Commenter first explain what he means by "scamming." Then, I'd remind him that the women I've seen in the dance clubs I've danced in seem far from helpless. If any Mere Mortal Man, Young and Hot or Old and Not [that's me], acted inappropriately with any of these Goddesses, the Goddess in question could easily take any offender out with a good swift kick of their hot leather boots or pointy-toed super-spiked-heeled shoes in the you-know-what! I'd never even THINK of acting inappropriately with one of these Goddesses, let alone when four or five of them surround me to dance with me all together in a group!
      Thanks for your MOST AMUSING Comment.

      All best,

      The Clean Non-Scamming Old Dancing Dude in need of a Shower (of attention or water)

      Delete
  22. Hey bob, ever notice how no one ever comments on your Facebook posts except you? I am impressed that you managed to get over 300 friends but that's probably so the folks you send friend invites to just want to be informed for when you plan to walk into a dance club and start shooting.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, Anonymous (March 8, 2012 2:50 p.m.),

      That's a pretty stupid Comment, Goddess. I hate to tell a lovely lady like yourself how dumb-ass her Comment is but darlin', it's just so BAD and STUPID and UNFUNNY that you might want to erase it all with your #2 pencil eraser and start again. I promise I won't tell anyone about this little mistake of yours. We'll just keep it "between us girls," okay? Okay now, why don't you start again.

      All best,

      Daddy to my Darlin' Goddess

      Delete
    2. P.S.: It's not the case that I'm the only one who Comments on my FB posts, but I prefer when people Comment on the blog. FB Comments tend to be short and sweet and I prefer long and sour.

      As for shooting in a club, the only thing which shoots off is the sparks which fly when I begin dancing in the center of the dance floor, all by myself, at the beginning, before the alcohol starts kicking in to all the young people, their inhibitions lower, and they finally gain the courage to dance.

      You, Goddess, probably carry heat, or fantasize about carrying heat into a dance club and shooting it off. I don't own any weapons, except my dancing shoes, which are quite potent instruments for tearing up a dance floor. I hope your fantasy of shooting your wad in a dance club remains just that: a dream in your pretty little skull with peanut-sized brain, if any. All best, Daddy to my Darlin' Goddess

      Delete
  23. My former law partner and dear friend, John Montalbano tried to leave the following Comment on the blog, but I have not seen it on the blog, only on an email sent to me whenever a Comment is posted.

    John Montalbano has left a new comment on your post "Why I'm So Darned NASTY: My Sometimes Nasty Replie...":

    Bob-

    When I read your Blog for 3/8/12, I thought of the verse from the Bible about turning the other cheek:

    "“But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also”. Matthew 5:39.

    Rather than lower yourself to the level of your detractors, I urge you to turn the other cheek and take the high road....

    JMHO-

    John

    PS - Below is a website that explains this quotation far better than I could:

    http://provocativechristian.wordpress.com/2009/01/23/provocative-bible-verses-turn-the-other-cheek/

    ReplyDelete
  24. Dear John,
    You and I practiced law together from 1988 until you left the firm to go with Sean McHugh's firm in 2008 I think it was, maybe 2009. You know I love you like a brother. If anyone wants to know what kind of lawyer I was when I practiced actively and put all my energy into seeking justice for our clients, you're the man they should talk to.

    As for the biblical quote, I have two responses. While some may argue for a less literal interpretation, in this instance I say this. None of my detractors on the Comments on the blog has physically struck me on the cheek or anywhere else. I do not hit people and would not, unless I needed to defend myself from serious harm. But in this case, people are attacking me, detracting from me, in words. And I rarely shy away or step away from a VERBAL fight. It's not in the nature which God gave me when He knit me together in my mother's womb. Now that doesn't mean I HAVE to fight nasty words with nasty words. Sometimes I use humor, sometimes hyperbole, but often I respond with fire in my verbal jabs and slugs. I've been doing that since my brother and his friends gave me a hard time verbally when I was a young boy. All of that turned me into a verbal fighter. If God judges me harshly for the way He made me, well I'll argue the point with God if given a chance on The Other Side.

    So, I would argue that the quote from Jesus arguably only applies to physical assaults, not verbal. Even if to verbal as well, I'll plead my God-given human nature.

    One final observation. John, you are a litigator, and a skilled litigator at that. I've never known you to shy away from a verbal fight in court when your client is being treated unfairly. If you applied your argument to yourself, I suppose you'd have to give up litigation and move over into the trusts and estates department, writing wills, or real estate department and do closings. Somehow I don't think that's going to happen, my friend and brother! Fight on--verbally only, of course. And if your courtroom adversary strikes you on the cheek, call Mitch Ward's son, the High Sheriff of Nottingham aka Middlesex County!

    All best, my friend and brother,

    Bob Dutcher, Esq. aka The Verbal Street and Blog Fighter who don't take no (verbal) shit from nobody!!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Dear Grandude- just curious, but what brought your depression on? I mean someone doesn't just go from being a sucessful lawyer one day and into a deep suicidal state of depression the next. There must have been some triggering point. What was yours? And don't give me some crap about how it was built up over time and finally came about and use some greek methology metaphor BS. I want the truth. What specifcally happened in your life that made you so depressed?

    -Curious

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Hold-the-Crap Anonymous (March 9, 2012 5:51 a.m.),

      See the immediately preceding Comment and my extensive, detailed, non-BS reply for the answer to your excellent question.

      All best,

      Bob Dutcher

      Delete
    2. Sorry, the way the blog Comments are organized, the answer I was referring to does not appear immediately above your Comment but much earlier, even though I just wrote and posted my detailed reply. Go up above and look for following Comment and my extensive reply for the answer to your question.

      Bob Dutcher


      AnonymousMar 9, 2012 03:33 AM
      So what does your wife, if like most spouses knows you better than anyone else, think of you? Does she believe this is just some natural transformation you've gone through and love it or hate it (you've stated the later) it is what it is? Or does she, like everyone else (or the high majority at least) believe you have some serious mental health issues? If she reads these blogs i encourage her to respond and let us know herself.

      Delete

      Bob Dutcher aka GrandudeMar 9, 2012 06:42 AM
      Dear Anonymous (March 9, 2012 at 3:33 a.m.),
      You've asked an excellent question and, as always, I'll answer you with candor and total honesty. As a writer, no one will be interested in reading my writing if I am not both, at all times.

      The short answer is, Susie, my wife of 41 years and girlfriend for the preceding 3 years, does not like the changes I've made to myself. She fully expected I would retire from my law practice at about age 65, though before my depression I always said I'd never retire. In fact, at my birthday party at the law firm in January, 2010, I was telling my partners and staff about the former DA in NYC, Robert Morgenthau, who had recently retired from his prosecutor's position in his 80's I believe it was and taken a job in private practice with a law firm. That, I told them, would be me someday. I even joked that I'd probably speak at the retirement dinners of my younger partners, as a non-retired old trial lawyer. Well, the joke was on me, and Susie.

      [The rest of the reply can be viewed above, as I said at the outset of this Comment window. You'll find it. I just did.]

      Delete
    3. P.S.: Hey, Hold-the-Crap Anonymous, it's ironic you say that somebody doesn't just go from being a successful lawyer one day to depressed, there must be "a" triggering point. Then you tell me not to give you "some crap about how it was built up over time and finally came about and use some greek methology metaphor BS."
      You'd be wise to be a bit more subtle and nuanced, and realistic, in how you think about depression and its antecedents and its course. There are both triggering points for, and long slides into, depression. I did not experience myself as if a light were suddenly turned off. It's a much more complex and subtle psychological process.
      Your question, which is an excellent one, does make me realize that I should write a book-length account of exactly what the triggering points were and the slide itself. "Slide" is a better word than "crash," as I went into depression, really, over a several year time period.
      Some of the triggering points would embarrass my wife, so if I ever do write a book-length account, I'll have to wrestle with how to be truthful without being hurtful, if that's possible when it comes to a truthful, honest, and entirely convincing account of my own case. But thanks for asking your question.
      All best,

      Grandude

      Delete
  26. Dear Bob, Grandude, Crazy Old Dancin’ Hoot, Self Described Writer and Poet, or whatever titles you want to use to describe yourself,

    Sorry to break the news to you, but I have written most of the comments this past week. It’s probably bittersweet for you as for one you can be relieved to know there are not numerous individuals out there who are criticizing you just me, but on the other hand I’m sure you will sad to learn that you weren’t getting all the attention you thought you were. Instead of a sudden mass interest in you and your lifestyle, it’s been just me, one person though it seems my comments have influenced a couple of other for which I cannot take credit for.

    I’m sure your first question is why? Why would I waste my time writing comments to your blog? Why am I so obsessed with you? Let me start by stating I am not obsessed, but definitely fascinated. I’m fascinated that an intelligent human being such as yourself could suddenly change into someone, or something, radically different than the person they once were. If someone who knew you very well hadn’t seen you in 5-10 years came back to town and ran into you they wouldn’t recognize you, which probably happens all the time. You must be aware that this isn’t a daily occurrence, or a weekly, or monthly, or annually, etc. In fact I’d probably guess the majority of people out there have never known someone in their life who has so drastically changed as much as you have. With such a rare occurrence you could see my sparked interest. It’s like seeing a bird in the forest which you’ve never seen before. You focus on it and want to learn more. I guess you can say curiosity got the best of me.

    I wrote comments to rile you, challenge you, and try to get you to look at yourself the way others look at you. And in the process, as I had hoped, you revealed a lot about yourself. You’re probably asking yourself why didn’t I just call you, or email you, to meet and have coffee face-to-face instead of choosing to do so anonymously. Well I’d rather not, plus how would your readers have been educated? They deserve to know as much about you as I’ve learned.

    (Continued to next window)

    ReplyDelete
  27. So what did I learn? Probably nothing you didn’t already know yourself. For one you don’t back down, which is good. There’s still some lawyer in you and probably always will be.

    But most important I’ve determine you suffer from psychosis. For our readers psychosis is an abnormal condition of the mind where a person loses contact with reality. Depending on its severity, it may be accompanied by unusual or bizarre behavior (sound like anyone we know?).
    One symptom is thought disorder which describes an underlying disturbance to conscious thought and is classified largely by its effects on speech and writing. Affected persons show loosening of associations, that is, a disconnection and disorganization of the semantic content of speech and writing.
    More specifically you suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder known as Grandiosity. Again I will educate our readers as I’m sure you’ve already learned this from you psychologist.
    Grandiosity refers to an unrealistic sense of superiority, a sustained view of oneself as better than others that cause the narcissist to view others with disdain or as inferior. It also refers to a sense of uniqueness, the belief that few others have anything in common with oneself and that one can only be understood by a few or very special people.

    ReplyDelete
  28. The following symptoms are displayed by someone suffering from grandiosity:
    1. The person exaggerates talents, capacity and achievements in an unrealistic way….sort of like your self proclaimed dancing abilities.
    2. The person regards himself/herself as unique or special when compared to other people….like your self described “transformation”
    3. The person believes in his/her invulnerability or does not recognize his/her limitations.
    4. The person believes that he/she does not need other people
    5. The person over examines and downgrades other people, projects, statements, or dreams in an unrealistic manner…comes through on most of your responses to comments
    6. The person regards himself as generally superior to other people….ibid to #5
    7. The person behaves self-centeredly and/or self referentially….ibid to #5
    8. The person behaves in a boastful or pretentious way ….ibid to #5 as well as your FB posts




    Anyway I had fun this past week as you gave me plenty of laughs. I sense you too had some enjoyment. My heart filled apologies for offending you which I only did to solicit your honest reaction. I also want to emphasis, and this is important, that I was not in any way at all trying to criticize your daughter. I think her career choice is quite interesting and admirable. It sounds like you raised your kids well and for that you should be proud.

    Please us this information to do what you can to get better. Gone untreated you could slip even further away from reality and while what you are doing today is seemingly harmless, what you may become will not and you will become hospitalized becoming a further cost to your family.

    Perhaps someday I will take you up on that cup of coffee. But first I’d feel more comfortable if you did something to treat yourself.

    -Anonymously concerned person who really wants to see you get better for all the right reasons.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Because the above CVH patient wrote me such a long, rambling Comment, my Reply will take a number of Comment windows to post. Here's my Reply:


      Dear Anonymously Concerned Person (March 9, 2012 7:01 and 7:02 a.m.),
      Thanks for writing your self-revelatory Comment. I say self-revelatory because you seem to think I care what you thing of me or what categories you use to filter your experience of me, from my words alone, I might add, and not words from my mouth but merely from a computer screen. And then you come to a "diagnosis" of "me."

      What that shows about you is this: YOU do have a feeling of grandiosity about yourself. You demonstrate the truth of the old saying: "A little knowledge is a dangerous thing." You remind me of a man who considers himself a psycho-therapist, who makes money from holding himself out to be one, but as far as I can tell I would never want to go to him if I wanted to engage in the self-discovery process which truly is psycho-therapy. Like that man, you jump to conclusions about another human being, namely me, without (in your case) ever meeting me. In fact, although I've offered you an opportunity, an open invitation, to meet with me over coffee, in a public place if you're concerned for your safety, you've declined my most generous offer.

      You do correctly get the obvious things about me, which require no special skill or expertise in psychology or psycho-therapy. I AM unrecognizable physically to most people who knew me as a clean-cut lawyer. My choice of hairstyle, beard, and clothing creates a disguise, a new roll, as if the special effects department had covered my body in rubber masks.

      I don't back down. I AM still the hard-nosed, ball-busting lawyer that I learned to be over nearly 36 years of dealing with other hard-nosed, ball-busting trial lawyers, in and out of court.

      I AM a good dancer. People in the dance clubs frequently tell me so or ask me if I'm a professional dancer. This is not grandiosity, but it is observation I've made about my own dancing ability in these clubs, compared with most other dancers. Obviously, to parse exactly what I mean by "good dancer" would require a lot more words. And it would just be my opinion. You and others might disagree. But unless you saw me in the dance club environment, you wouldn't have any way to judge. But lack of available evidence doesn't stop a fantasist like yourself from coming to firm conclusions about things you actually know little about.

      I AM still a good lawyer. The trial lawyer I've referred my wife's bicycle accident case to, whom I consider to be THE best current trial lawyer in the state of Connecticut, Mike Stratton in New Haven, told me in writing that the referral package I put together about Susie's case against the liable party was "brilliantly" organized and presented. Mike gets lots of referrals from lawyers all over the place. And I was a trial lawyer for nearly 36 years, so I know my own ability. I won most of my cases and lost some. I knew and know my strengths and limitations.

      [see next window]

      Delete
    2. You claim I suffer from psychosis, a thought disorder. Here is the first thing you say about that: "One symptom is thought disorder which describes an underlying disturbance to conscious thought and is classified largely by its effects on speech and writing. Affected persons show loosening of associations, that is, a disconnection and disorganization of the semantic content of speech and writing." Now tell me, what exactly is the evidence of a "disconnection and disorganization of the semantic content of [my] speech and writing"? Anyone who reads this Reply to you, or all my other writings on my blog will not find my writing to be disconnected and disorganized semantically, whatever it is you mean by that rather confused and vague expression. Are you saying you cannot understand my words? That my sentences are incoherent? That my thoughts are not connected, one to the others? That I write in a disorganized fashion? Show me the money, as someone once said to a national politician in a debate. You can't, because you're incorrect, as well as incoherent and unclear.

      As for my speech, how do you know anything about my speech, since you've refused to meet with me. What are your fantasies about my speech? What evidence do you have that my speech is "disconnected and disorganized semantically" or in any other way? Are you hearing voices, and do you imagine that one of those voices is mine? What do I sound like when I talk? What have you heard me say? How does what I say make you feel? You might want to get yourself checked out soon because hearing voices is a sign of a psychotic thought disorder. I'm concerned about you. Get help today. If you can't afford professional help on your own, please go directly to your nearest Emergency Room.

      I disagree with your "diagnosis" of me as having narcississtic personality disorder. Let me address each aspect of the DSM IV-R diagnostic rubric which you've copied and pasted from the internet.

      1. You claim I'm exaggerating my talents as a dancer. I'm not. But how would you know? You've never seen me dance in any dance club. And as I've said, I've had quite a few people ask me if I'm a professional dancer. Also, my evaluation of my dancing ability is only my opinion. Anybody else may disagree and I would not call them to task for their ultimate opinion, although if the reasons they gave included inaccurate statements, I might argue the point. For example, if somebody called me a "klutzy and uncoordinated" dancer, I can demonstrate I'm not that.

      I do say this, sir. YOU exaggerate your talent, ability, and capactiy as a diagnostician and therefore YOU MAY meet the first criterion of narcissistic personality disorder. I say that because you fantasy that you have the special ability to diagnose somebody with anything, whom you've never met, based on observations you've never made nor had anyone report to you from their own observation. Now without actually meeting you and getting to know you, I reserve judgment, even as a non-professional, about whether you meet the first criterion for narcissm, but it's not looking good for you at this point. Please get some help, sir.

      2. You claim I regard myself as unique or special because of my "transformation." I think I correctly discern that the surviving my suicidal depression has given me a special internal strength which I did not have before that period, which has enabled me to take risks I never would have been able to bring myself to take. I don't claim that other people CANNOT take such risks, but merely, from my experience, most other people are not willing to do so. I could be wrong, because I know a finite number of people, but that is my experience.

      [see next window]

      Delete
    3. You, on the other hand, regard yourself as having a special talent of being able to diagnose someone else, namely me, with a psychosis, despite your never having met me and despite the obvious contrary evidence of my writing, which is not disordered or disconnected or psychotic. Again, YOU MAY meet the second criterion of narcississtic personality disorder. Get help before reading further.

      3. You claim I don't realize my limitations or believe myself invulnerable. That is hardly the case. There are plenty of things I cannot do and I am vulnerable to all kinds of things, from accidents, illness, sudden deterioration of financial condition if we have a depression; all sorts of things can happen to me or anybody else.

      Now you, on the other hand, believe yourself to have virtually limitless power to diagnose psychiatric conditions and disorder, as if by extra-sensory perception. You've never met me, yet you think you know me so intimately. Now that's a sign of a guy who thinks himself to have limitless, God-like powers of observation of things unseen. Please save yourself from harm. See a doctor--ASAP.

      4. You think I think I don't need other people? Heck, what would I do without you, sir? Who would read my blog obsessively and think about me so frequently? How about the friends at my new church? All the people in the dance clubs? My children? My wife? My brother and sister? And on and on and on.

      You really are delusional. Please get help before you hurt yourself or somebody else, sir.

      5. You think I downgrade or criticize people who Comment on my blog "unrealistically"? Sorry to break this to you sir, but I only call another person names, like Horse's Ass, when, realistically, really really really, they are. And you, sir, are a Horse's Ass Horse's Ass (much like I was a Lawyer's Lawyer when I actively practiced law).

      On the other hand, you criticize me as "psychotic" when you've cited no evidence therefor, so I'm afraid to break this to you, sir, but you are a person who downgrades and criticizes me, unrealistically. Thus, I hate to say, you meet #5. Please call the ER or CVH, post-haste.

      6. You say I regard myself as generally superior to other people because I seem to feel that way about my Commenters. Well, many of my Commenters don't present themselves as terribly smart or insightful, sort of like you, sir. Therefore, if the shoe fits, you've gotta wear it. And in your case, the glove also fits, so I must acquit myself on your 6th point.

      You, however, feel superior to me, without ANY justification, so you DO meet #6. If you didn't feel so inferior to me, you'd get over your fears and anxieties and identify yourself, come out of the psychological closet you've been hiding yourself in, and let us check out your background and make a judgment from a face-to-face encounter.

      [see next window]

      Delete
    4. 7. The person is self-centered and self-referential. Well I concede I'm basically a selfish person which is why I've let my wife know that I need artistic space and freedom for my work. Thus, I can't live with her or anyone else. That's a life-choice, a life-style choice, not a psychosis or character disorder.

      And at least I'm willing to meet you if you weren't such a chicken. But you won't meet with me. Instead, in analyzing me, you deny yourself a first-hand source of information about me: meeting me. That's pretty self-centered and self-referential on your part, n'est ce pas, Monsieur Anonymous? Please see a shrink, and fast!

      8. You accuse me of being boastful and pretentious. I AM proud of my career as a lawyer, my writing, my dancing, my church activities, my attempts at being funny, my disregard for money, and the great recovery I've made from being suicidally depressed. I don't think any of that is the sign of illness, but mental and emotional health.

      Hey, you're not proud or secure enough to risk meeting me, so you're definitely not a self-confident man, or boy, or whatever it is you are. Beats me, since you too scared to meet me or tell me who your really are. But you do boast and pretend to have special ability as an armchair diagnostician of things psychological, so I'd have to agree with your implication, from your writings, that you are one heck of a boastful and pretentious pretender to having psychological expertise.

      From the above I must conclude, sir, that you ARE the spitting image of that old Greek mythological figure, standing at the puddle, looking at yourself in the reflection off the water: Narcissus.

      Finally, I got NO enjoyment from any of your Comments. You're just not an interesting thinker and your writing needs a lot of work. Have you ever considered repeating 7th grade? It's never too late to improve those writing skills.

      As for offending me, I'm never offended by one of my intellectual and psychological inferiors. So don't worry, no offense was taken.

      I did talk to my daughter on the phone. I shared your Comment about her life-style choice and she was pretty devastated until I told her she just had to read the rest of what you wrote. And then she almost peed in her clown outfit when she saw the way you write and think. She's thinking of reading some of your stuff on stage in San Francisco, down by Fisherman's Wharf. She said she promised not to embarass you if we ever find out who you are, by idenfiying you, because Robin's a very compassionate young lady and would not want to have you torn apart inside by all the laughter she knows she'll get when she does your Comments as a kind of comic performance piece.

      With respect to your parting observations, I now realize why you want me to get treatment, perhaps even at CVH, the local state mental hospital. Now I know who you are. I am a good friend of some of the employees at CVH, people I handled workers' compensation and personal injury claims for. You are a long-term involuntarily committed in-patient at CVH, on the locked ward. No wonder you don't want to meet me. You can't get out. I'm so sorry, dear. Please take care of yourself and be SURE to take your daily meds.

      All best,

      The Well Guy

      Delete
  29. By the way, Bob, "fantasy" is a noun; I think you mean "fantasize." Also, writing things down at great length does not make you a writer; thinking that you yourself are funny does not make you a comedian. I've never seen you dance, so I can't speak to that, but I have read your stuff, and while it is competent reportage (although way too wordy), it is not good writing. And I know that if you started your "routine" with me in the grocery store or wherever, I would not be entertained (annoyed and a little freaked out, maybe). Your judgment about people's reactions to you is not reliable. And here's a tip, Bob: women do not like being referred to as goddesses. Doing so indicates that you think they are something other than human.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Dopey Anonymous (March 9, 2012 12:21 p.m.),
      You've now proven just how ignorant and stupid you are, Goddess. You've fallen into the brilliant trap I so shrewdly set. "Fantasy" is also a verb. Look it up. Better yet, given how much of a dumb-bell you are, I'll give you this link so you can see for yourself. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/fantasy In the verb form, which I use here, it means to imagine or visualize. In your case, it refers to your active, overwrought, and incredibly vacuous imagination.
      While I disagree with your grandiose judgment that "women do not like being referred to as Goddesses," as if you speak for all women, I do concede that, as a person without a penis or balls, you can certainly speak for yourself. And I know that you are a woman. Well, I have to clarify something I know about you, which you confided to me in an email. Although I promised you I would keep it a secret, I feel obligated now to share it with the world, right here on "Bobs blog": You were born with a penis and balls, as a man, but once you got to puberty, you knew you had to do something you always fantasied doing: having your penis and balls surgically removed and replaced with what sort of looks like a vagina. You sent me the photos, before and after. It was not at all clear from the before photos that you actually had a penis and balls. The penis looked more like a clitoris. And after the operation! Sorry, sir, I mean m'am, that horribly scarred hole looks more like the asshole of a male ape than a female human vagina.
      In closing, while I agree that Goddesses are part human and part divine, you are neither woman nor man, neither human nor divine. For that reason, feel free to continue to call yourself a goddess (with a small g), as you did in that horrible email you sent me, since I agree with your implication, that you are not human, and never were.
      All best to you, whatever you are,

      The Man with the Big Cock and the Even Bigger Balls

      Delete
  30. Hey Bobby Boy- your last comment was really a bit over the line, even for you. Nevermind rude, you're just plain an a**hole. You call yourself a Christian? Please print your last comment and have your pastor read it. In what world do you think any of it is appropriate? Any one of your formal collegues would be appalled to see such vulgar comments. I seriously hope your daughter doesn't see it. What kind of an example are you setting for her?

    Also, you think you're a good dancer? Some people have asked if you are a professional? Did it dawn on you they were screwing with you? You even admitted the people at Rookies saw you dance and inquired if you were on an acid trip. Not exactly praising reviews huh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Thin-Skinned Dummy Anonymous (March 11, 2012 8:06 a.m.),
      I'm getting under your skin, aren't I. It REALLY bothered you when you realized how ignorant of the meanings of English words you are. Please forgive me if English is not your native tongue. That's right, I've forgotten, you were born into an Esper-dumb-do family of ape-dwelling monkeys. So sorry I failed to take that into account when I laid that OBVIOUS linguistic trap for you. Remember? The one in which you fantasy that fantasy is not also a verb form. NOW you remember, dummy.
      I've never taken an acid trip but you, monkey-brain, ARE a real TRIP. lmfao
      As for "over-the-line," that sort of thing only applies to the Mere Mortal Men, of which you are not even up to that level.

      All best,

      Die Ubermensch, Beyond Good and Evil

      Delete
  31. I just realized you call yourself Grandude not becase you're a grandfather but because you suffer from grandiosity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Monkey-Boy Anonymous (March 11, 2012 9:55 a.m.),
      It's "because" not "becase," as the case may be, because that's English. What does "becase" [in monkey-speak] mean in Engish?

      All best,

      The Monkey Grinder

      Delete
    2. P.S.: How much will you pay me to set you up in some photos like the ones I've got with me and the gorgeous young women at The Shadow Room? I KNOW those pictures are eating away at you, 24/7. Lemme know.
      All best,

      The Stud in the Pics

      Delete