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Jim Daniels vs Ghostsniper: You Bring Out the Boring White Guy in Me

Standard Issue Boring White Guy

Jim Daniels writes :

You Bring Out the Boring White Guy in Me
the Ward Cleaver in me. The Pat Boone
in me. The K-Mart in me. The Slurpee
in me. The boiled hotdog in me. The mac
and cheese in me. The Tang in me.
You bring out the Hamburger Helper
in me. You bring out the Twinkie
in me. The Cheez Whiz in me.
You bring out the bowling trophy
in me. The student council in me.
The parliamentary procedure in me.
The missionary position in me.
You bring out the canned vegetables
in me. The Jell-o in me. The training
wheels in me. You bring out
the lawn edger in me. The fast-food
drive-thru window in me. The Valu
Meal in me. You bring out the white
briefs in me. You bring out
the cheap beer and weak coffee
in me. You bring out the 15%
tip chart in me. The sad overweight
weekend golfer in me. You bring out
the ex-smoker in me. The jumper
cables in the trunk with flares
and the red flag to tie to the window
in me. You bring out the Tony Orlando
in me. The canned situation comedy
laughter in me. The elevator music
in me. You bring out the medley
of TV commercial jingles in me.
The Up with People in me.
I’ve come to a complete stop
at the stop sign. I’ve got my
emergency flashers on. My doors
are locked, baby,
I’m waiting for you.

—Jim Daniels, 2003

ghostsniper responds:

This country, and that article above, seem to be obsessed with food. Have you noticed? Of course, you do. I remember back in the ’50s, ’60s, and even ’70s, everybody was skinny. Everybody. Now? The opposite.

When I venture out into society I marvel at the size of people. My wife and I chowed down at 5 Guys burger and fries recently in Bloomington and we each had a junior burger and a small drink and split an order of small fries and still ended up throwing some away. Yet there we were surrounded by huge people engulfing enormous sums of graar as if they do it every day.

Here in the compound, we don’t eat 3 meals a day and never have. We have 1 meal, our supper, a very light lunch, and no breakfast. Lunch might be half a sandwich or a small portion of leftovers, or a piece of fruit. Lately, because they have been in abundance, I’ll scarf down a pair of medium size locally grown tomatoes out on the side porch, and throw the cores to the wild creatures. If I’m feeling froggy I’ll take a salt shaker with me but usually not. They is good as is.

I think easy access to “fast” food causes lazy people to magnetize to it. Prior to 5 Guys I don’t remember the last time we ate that stuff. Maybe a month or more. Maybe 2 months. The closest joint is about 7 miles from here, a McDonalds – which I’ve eaten at exactly twice since we moved here 12 years ago and didn’t care for it, and after that, some serious driving must occur to get some. So fast food doesn’t happen much around here. And we’re not much into the more regulated sit-down type of restaurants, which to are long distances away.

So it’s routine to eat maybe 1500 calories a day, my wife eats less, around here. With the constant physical movement, it gets burned all day too. We only drink 2 things, filtered water, and coffee, made with filtered water. I stopped buying soft drinks about 8 years ago and maybe 3 times a year I’ll drink a cold tea. I had a green tea at 5 guys but couldn’t stand the fruitiness of it, so I only had a few swallows.

Snacks? Rarely. At least not sweet or salty junk-type snacks. My “breakfast” this morning was 2 strawberries. Yesterday I ate a banana. Don’t eat much in the morning cause it slows me down and I hate the backward drag. Just a strong cuppa mud 1st thing and then large quantities of water. I’ll also have mud midafternoon sometimes.

Driving thru a medium size ‘ville it’s stunning the number of cars at ALL the food joints is. How in the world do people afford that stuff? And why? Is it pure laziness? And look at the people that work in those places, the people touching all over their foods. -shiver- All tatted and pierced all over the place, I wouldn’t let them mow my yard. You can’t help to wonder about the diseases and lack of hygiene. Jayziss

We don’t watch much TV, no radio, no streaming, and little other exposure to modern media so we are not pummeled by advertising which might be a contributor to the inducement to consume food. But in the end, each person has to choose to put that construct in their head cave and accept the consequences. And there will be no argument from me about it, but I do wonder.

ghostsniper August 31

“We may have the means to get out.”

After you “get out” you’ll deeply regret not doing it sooner.
Seriously, life begins in the absence of society.

Think about it. Everything in society is geared toward people. Boring assed people. It’s a very narrow subject. There is so much more available. But you have to want it. You have to believe you deserve more than any society can offer.

People tend to appreciate each other more when they’re not up in each other’s mugs 24/7.
When we see each other we’ll act like we haven’t seen each other in a long time, cause we haven’t.
My best friend lives 2 doors down the road but we haven’t seen each other in about a month or so. In that time we’ve exchanged 1 email, no texts, no phone calls, no carrier pigeons, nothing. When we finally get together again we’ll shake hands, smile profusely, and appreciate every minute we’re together. Cause we won’t know when we’ll see each other again. When we are together we don’t answer phones or texts cause we are busy being with each other.

You gotta like being alone, doing your own thing, or things. If you are needy, and high maintenance, you won’t like it out here. You’re on your own for the most part. You have to find things to do by yourself. You know, be an adult. Discover, create, imagine, do. When you take away the illusion of, or the distraction of, society a whole nuther world opens up. You recognize the silly plasticness of the built society and its fakeness. I don’t miss it and will never go back for to do so would be my demise.

Looking out the window and seeing a neighbor’s house. Hearing the people across the street playing music or conversing. The smell of vehicle exhaust. The sound of commercial vehicles. Visitors visiting. The lights at night time. Everybody in society is afraid of the dark and turns all the lights on all the time. All these unnecessary and wasteful distractions. Cumulatively they drag you down. Big time.

At 6:15 am every day of the year I stand on the deck with my mud in hand and stare upward at the Big Dipper. I watch it travel across the sky, moving as it does all year. So clear it is right here, all mine. I listen to the hoot owl. Sometimes it’s not there, but most of the time it is. Cold winter is best. Stand there in the snow and sounds travel far reflected off the snow. When the hoot calls I can hear its raspy in-draw of breath. Sometimes I’ll call back and I hear its breath get excited. Can it hear that in mine?

The leaves crack,  a deer steps. If I don’t move, at all, it won’t notice me. I turn ever so slowly in its direction, barely moving, not blinking. Finally, I see it. The leaves are gone and the ground is covered in snow, I can see for miles. A mama and 2 babies, partially grown now. We watched them all summer and fall. The babies are almost as tall as mama. They nibble the bark and keep moving, slowly, stopping frequently. Unlike busy people in society. Hurrying to their next destination.

Here, we have our whole lives to get to nowhere, and we don’t care. The journey is the destination, but you have to want it. Wilderness high. Every day.

{ 14 comments… add one }
  • Ron Swanson September 22, 2022, 7:54 AM

    An ideal night is stepping onto my porch area and grilling up a thick slab of something’s flesh.

  • OldTexan September 22, 2022, 8:04 AM

    I like this vs. stuff and I am old and identify with both sides since I grew up in the 1950s’ and when I went back to work in 2009 for the health insurance, which was great for and early 60’s guy with a few cancer battles and not old enough for medicare, when the younger folks had car trouble I was the man with jumper cables and air compressor in my truck along with a tow rope and come along if needed. Damn the olden days were good days to be young and skinny.

    Now that I am retired in my late 70’s I can relate to ghostsniper, My wife and I have a few good friends we share meals with a couple of times a month and I enjoy my days alone feeding birds and every week or so driving ten minutes to the gun range to shoot some steel targets usually by myself opening it up because I am one of the members of that old, over 158 year old range, some history there. At times I take my 12 ft plastic john boat with small electric trolling motor out to eat local lake and kind of fish for a bit, I don’t care if I catch anything but it is peaceful to be on the water early in the morning on a weekday when not others are around, I do enjoy my own company.

    As for entertainment, no broadcast TV anymore, don’t give a crap about sports events, what overpaid supersized people do with their balls no longer interests me, I read books, hours each day when I am not working in my yard trying to keep my roses alive and not being eaten by the deer in the dark of night. As for food we do low carb and eat at home, one or two eggs and a little bacon in the morning, lots of fresh fruit, a bit of cheese and meat, cold ham or chicken for lunch and then a nice meal in the evening, we do not spend money eating out and we can afford good ingredients for nice, low carb dinner (I did call it supper when I was a kid in the olden days).

    Next month we will drive from our Hill Country area of Texas to Gunnison, Colorado to visit our sone and his family and we will take our food in a cooler with us, no need to stop at a burger place for barely edible crap, two days of snacking out of a cooler is easier on our old people guts and our brains. A simple life is a good life. One last thing, the only hamburgers I have found edible for years are cooked in a Mexican owned food truck out on the edge of I-10, it is always fresh, juicy with nice extras (very similar to the 1950’s burgers I remember) and picnic tables to sit with the working type folks. As for the political stuff, I am conservative however fixing this stuff that is going on is way beyond my job description and skill set, for me and my wife, beyond voting we are best being as aware as possible of the stuff going on and staying out of the way, we don’t do crowds and we dislike most all politicians, the ones on the right slight less than the left. An observation is that the world never recovered from the two World Wars in the last century and there are so many mixed up, messed up people all over the world that another reset will happen during the next few decades which is what humans have done since forever. This time around it most likely will be messy for the USA, possible worse than the Civil War in the 1800’s. I don’t know, but I do know that we have a good life right now and it’s best to live it with gratitude and joy for the years we have left.

    So like the vs. stuff above, I have fond memories of the 1950’s ~ 60’s and on up and I have adapted to my circumstances as an old man who slid into home plate doing all right and doing what I like doing which a lot of days is nothing.

    • Vanderleun September 22, 2022, 8:32 AM

      “. . . what overpaid supersized people do with their balls no longer interests me. . .”

      Stop with the straight lines already.

      But I love the burger place and the sliding into home plate.

  • ghostsniper September 22, 2022, 8:05 AM

    I don’t remember writing any of that. But every word of it is true, still.

    Starting to get chilly around here in the morning, supposed to be in the 40’s tomorrow morn.
    Can’t wait! I’ll stand out on that dark, cool deck at 6am sipping my mud and breathing it all in. Haven’t heard a hoot owl in months, maybe tomorrow morning? This year there is a mama deer and 2 babies again, maybe I’ll hear them tomorrow.

    Yesterday I opened one of the overhead doors on the workshop and lo and behold a nice fat, juicy copperhead was stretched out on the concrete stoop in front of the door. The sun was reflecting off the white door down onto the whole back of that 4′ snake and it was in heaven. I let it alone and pulled the door back down. Then I walked around to see it up close and personal. Not everyday I get to check out a snake in full size like that. Never cared much for snakes, their movement seems to defy reality. This one just laid there as I walked up to it and I video’d it with my phone. Got up kinda close and it reared it’s head up, tongue flicking, sensing. I backed off but the spell was broken and it turned back on itself and started moving the other direction from where it was facing. Amazing. It was moving without appearing to do so. How in the world??? It went around to the side of the workshop then down into the woods. My BIG excitement for the day. Last night during supper I popped a USB drive in the TV and spun up that snake for the wife to see. She doesn’t like snakes and asked if I killed it. I told her I don’t kill snakes no more. Natural things deserve to live and it has a purpose. She reminded me she don’t like em. I shrugged it off.

    So yeah, the leaves are falling. Not in the full frontal assault yet, but by mid Oct they will be and that’s when my mighty Stihl blower will go to work. I like the fall. Probably my favorite time of year. Watching the slow change that doesn’t seem slow after it has occurred. I wear shorts and a T most of the time and I continue to do so into the fall as long as I can stand it. I think it builds up my tolerance for the coming cold. Each passing fall day becomes a little more difficult to endure, temperature wise, and my tolerance builds thicker. By Nov I’ll probably start wearing my down vest.

    When I lived in southwest Florida I never paid much attention to the seasons because they weren’t very different. Here they are diff and very apparent. They serve as a sort of natural calendar that can’t be ignored. We have a small ceramic chicken in the kitchen that sits on a corner of the upper wall cabinets. There are 12 corners on our wall cabinets, the same number of weeks in a season, and each Monday I move the chicken to the next corner. I don’t have much need for real calendars because individual days don’t have much meaning to me in the larger picture. The kitchen chicken is my seasonal calendar and that’s all I need. Or want.

    Society? It’s out there, somewhere, if I ever have the urge to delve. But for the most part society goes in the same box I keep calendars in and a host of others things that for a long time I thought I needed but found out late in life that I don’t. Life sure cleans up and declutters when society is removed from the equation and frees up so much space and time for other things that make a diff. I’ll never again live in societies prison.

    Forever Autumn

  • Dan Patterson September 22, 2022, 11:17 AM

    Daniels’ word torrent does have food references, doesn’t it? Not good ones, either. And Ghost has rightly noted that and compared the present day and all its plastic to a better, serene, thoughtful one, a time with more contemplation and observation, less frantic; more Zen and berries, and less Ben and Jerry’s. And there is a lot to be said for such a comparison, and for removing the many distractions that plague the dimension we live within.

    But removal of distractions uncovers a wound, a sort of original sin among modern men: The intellect we possess demands we either do something with it or dull it to keep it quiet. Lower primates are not saddled with powerful abstract brains nor Biblical burdens, thus are too busy finding food and making babies to be distracted. Our higher intelligence does not discard the instinct for basic needs, and it is easier to swing through Bo Jangles than to scald and pluck a chicken, so evolution takes its course and its toll. By making hunting obsolete we make ingesting masses of starvation calories convenient, and sating hunger becomes recreation instead of survival. If someone decides to make their life one of slavish devotion to the convenient over the practical, then increased BMI and decreased life span is the price.

    Like Ghost I am fond of quiet, undisturbed space, simple things, quality craftsmanship, all the things people of past generations valued. I choose to not participate in crass entertainment and do not worship golden calves and have no patience for tribal atavism, but I am not a majority voice. What is a young man to do being brought into today’s world where his home is a stack of concrete housing units, or some bland pile of drywall and studs? How is a single mom to teach a boy the value of patience and the price of indifference? What guidance does he have to make discoveries like those? I came to my decisions after layers of callus, yards of scars, and deep disappointment in myself but also in my fellow man. Jaded, some might say, or cynical but practical and realistic are my chosen pronouns. Not many souls being lit today will have the insight to seek wisdom, or the chance to make sound decisions; their time is wasted for them, and their energy depleted before they roll out of bed.

    Roll out of bed to do what? There is the dulled intellect again, battered by constant exposure to noise from earbuds and indoctrination from tyrants, its edge wasted on jealousy, envy, and rage. All the positive and uplifting characteristics of a civilized society are eroded in a fraction of the time, and with a fraction of the sacrifice, it took to create it. We see it anywhere we care to gaze if we can bring ourselves to look up from our smart phones. Daniels was not paying a compliment with his verse but commenting on bland and empty lives devoid of passion.

    The Amish and other sects have something very positive going for them, and many of us outsiders do not. The lifeline might be the US Constitution. It gives us the freedom to be individuals with personal codes of honor and duty that we may follow, it allows us to cling to any doctrine we chose, and it provides us the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. One trick is to learn from the mistakes of others rather than wasting time re-discovering the same ones. And we can both blaze and follow that path whether in a rural cabin or an urban project.

    Please encourage anyone you know to make such a journey for themselves and armor themselves against the Cheez Wiz and Big Gulp world. Learning to spiritually hunt or farm is hard, but the prey you bring home and the crops you will harvest will feed you for much longer and better than anything from the drive-through.

  • MMinWA September 22, 2022, 11:25 AM

    How about the motorized carts in grocery stores? What’s it say when you’re so damn fat that pushing a cart is too much?

    And good grief, take a peek at what they’re buying. Chips, sweets, soda, boxes of processed foods, empty carbs, sodium nitrate meats, super sugared breakfast cereals…it’s no wonder our medical care system is over loaded. I don’t get into them much lately but you’d think inflation would pare down buying this crap but you’d be wrong.

    Worse yet, how do MDs deal with just about every illness? Pharmaceutically. You’re prescribed drugs that will mask your symptoms. Doses will increase as your body builds up tolerances. Higher doses cause side effects which require more drugs.

    Eventually your body says fuck it. Happens to 10s of 1,000s every year. Add the 100,000+ that self medicate themselves to death with fentanyl.

    • Mike Austin September 22, 2022, 5:40 PM

      Obese folks have always made me sick. Why would someone let himself go to the extent that he could be in a freak show as the Fat Man? Corpulence is a choice. In time of civil war and economic devastation the obese will die first. They will starve to death.

  • Steve (retired/recovering lawyer) September 22, 2022, 2:01 PM

    I wondered how it was possible that I could have written all these comments, and especially why I used the nom de plumes of Ghostsniper, Dan Patterson, Old Texan and especially MMinWA. Then my head cleared and I realized I hadn’t written any of it, but all and I do mean ALL of it sounded like something I had thought, said or heard Wifey Dear say to me over the course of the past few days. Fancy that.

    • ghostsniper September 22, 2022, 2:16 PM

      vulcan mind meld

    • Mike Austin September 22, 2022, 5:35 PM

      Yeah, Ghost has the talent of writing things that most folks would be hesitant to admit, but what they need to hear. Ghost himself does not give a shit if some reader does not like what he writes.

  • jwm September 22, 2022, 6:05 PM

    How we live:
    No television. No radio. No newspapers. No cell phone. No E bike. No vax. No mask. No automatic transmission. Crank windows. No air conditioning. No fast food. Snacks? maybe tortilla chips & salsa. No fat on me or my wife. Every piece of art on our walls or shelves is hand made by me, my wife, or our artist friends. No power tools. Parties with no stereo. Holly brings the guitar, and she writes her own songs. (her cousin is Bonnie Rait) Even so, the gatherings run late and loud, and our friends will travel a long ways to attend.
    We’re doin’ without to the best of our ability. Some folks think we’re weird. We are.


  • Boat Guy September 22, 2022, 7:30 PM

    Hardly weird JWM; though certainly more disconnected than we are; we use the “stereo” (CD’s?) and DVD’s for movies. We live on the outskirts of a middlin-size western city but have a refuge elsewhere. The city has grown and we are becoming disenchanted, but business will keep us mostly here for a while. Unless. Until.
    Meantimes we cook for ourselves and enjoy the stars and each other’s company.

  • MS DOS September 23, 2022, 12:04 PM

    (Hey, this is fun)
    You bring out the Texas Instruments calculator in me. The blacklight in me. The Rolled up jeans cuffs in me. The toast and butter in me.
    You bring out the save document in me. The velvet Elvis poster in me. The wife beater t-shirt in me. The 2 Tacos Meal with Potato Nuggets in me.
    You bring out the floppy disk in me. The Escher poster in me. The polyester Lee pants in me. The Kool Pops in me.

    signed the non-poet,
    Casey Klahn

  • Christian September 25, 2022, 7:41 AM

    We retired to Ecuador in 2017. The bodies here generally remind me of the ones in America when I was a kid in the 60s. There is US-style junkfood available, but it’s more an occasional treat than a steady diet.

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