My Life

Sunday in the Park with Brian: Therapy Session #28 (The Attitude-Adjustment Version)

Hyacinth Macaw, prosecuting attorney and generally unpleasant person, stood up at her document-laden table and made an announcement: “I’m ready to cross-examine the witness on the stand.”

Judge Pearline Soufflé did not stand up at her hand-carved bench, one that was not laden with anything because she was older than dirt, having seen it all at least twice and therefore had no need for reference materials. People stood for her, not the other way around. “You’re out of order, Ms. Macaw.”

Hyacinth: “But I haven’t even presented anything yet.” Her face squished up in that pinched expression that disagreeable people have when things don’t immediately go their way.

Pearline: “I’m aware of that. I’m merely addressing the fact that there isn’t a witness on the stand at this time. There is no one for you to cross-examine. Ergo, out of order. Now, in order for us to move forward and possibly forget your ineptitude, which I won’t, you’ll need to get a witness on the stand. At which point you can then examine the witness. The cross-examining will then be done by your counterpart at the other table, assuming he has any interest in the matter. Do you see how this works?”

Hyacinth, flustered, fiddled with a stack of notecards until she found the one that may or may not prove her savior. “Oh. I see where I missed a step or two. Thank you for the course correction. I’d like to call a witness to the stand.”

Pearline: “I think we’re all aware of that at this point. Let’s expedite this process before I declare a mistrial out of sheer annoyance.”

Hyacinth took a deep breath. “I’d like to call Brian Lageose to the stand.”

A collective gasp arose from the packed audience, partly because it was always fun to overreact in social situations but mostly because no one had any idea who this person might be. Heads turned and mouths whispered, speculation brewing. Was it some type of mafia person? A foreign prince? Maybe it was a porn star!

I suddenly stopped typing. Wait a minute. That’s my name. I looked up from my laptop.

Hyacinth, with her now-smirky face, and Pearline, with her never-ending boredom face, were both glaring in my direction. How either of them got in my house, never mind the entire courtroom, was a bit unsettling. Perhaps it was time I change the locks on the doors.

Judge Pearline, impatient: “Are you waiting for a red carpet to be unrolled?”

Me: “But… I’m the one doing the writing. And the plot doesn’t involve me. Because it’s a story that’s not about me. I’m really missing something here.”

Pearline, exasperated: “Well, sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you planned. Get off your ass and take the stand.”

I reluctantly did so.

Hyacinth and her smirk were not reluctant at all, rushing up to the witness box in a zealous manner, as if I was the last fried chicken leg at a church picnic. “How dare you deny the fact that you have not responded to comments on your last three blogs!”

What the hell? “I’m not denying that at all. In fact, on the third of those three blogs, I willingly admitted that I had been slow with the comments but I would make up for it.”

Hyacinth raced back to her table and snatched up one of her voluminous and beloved documents. “I have a copy of that suspect third blog right here. And there is no mention of why you haven’t responded to comments on the previous two blogs. This is an outrage and I recommend the maximum punishment, Your Honor.”

Me: “Yes, there is a mention. It’s down in the footnote, but-”

The audience gasped once again.

Hyacinth, riding high on the adrenaline of the self-centered energy that powers many of the delusional far-right conspiracy theorists: “No one reads the fine print, you worthless hack. No one!”

Me, becoming slightly desperate: “But the folks who follow my blogs are lovely people who generally read everything, at least in my own mind. I can’t imagine that anyone was upset by-”

Hyacinth was nearly apoplectic, on the verge of a self-righteous orgasm: “Lies! All lies! You owe the people of this country an explanation for your abhorrent behavior!”

This was entirely too much. I turned, with beseeching hazel eyes, toward Judge Pearline. She seemed a kindred soul, as we both did not care for annoyingly useless people. Sadly, she proved kindred in a way that I did not expect, nor relish.

Pearline: “I’m a blogger as well, having published my thoughts on Pearline’s Pearls for the last seven years.” (She turned to the court reporter. “Be sure to include a link in the official transcript. I better see a spike in traffic stats or you are not getting a raise this year.” The court reporter winked conspiratorially, because they tight.) She turned back to me. “I would never dream of not responding to comments. It simply isn’t done unless you are one of those wretched vanity-blog hooligans who don’t care about anything but pictures of themselves ordering sushi. Explain yourself at once.”

I gathered my thoughts while a string quartet, courtesy of the Hallmark Channel, began to play on the soundtrack. (Tori Spelling slipped into the courtroom and took a seat, giving me a thumbs-up before the Court Artist realized she was there and shifted his focus in her direction, sketching away.)

Me: “Okay. On the first blog that I didn’t respond to, the one where I got a bit emotional and fessed up to the pressures of posting a blog every day, I was actually overwhelmed by the comments. So many people were so kind with the thoughts they shared, truly kind, letting me know that whatever I wanted to do was good enough for them. As a writer, I can’t begin to explain how much that meant to me. I was at a loss on how to respond, as I wanted to say the same thing with every comment: Thank you so much for taking the time to be supportive and encouraging me to write with conviction and not a deadline. So, I didn’t respond, afraid that I couldn’t think of enough clever ways to thank them all without getting repetitive.”

Hyacinth, motioning for the string quartet to stop playing, because it might work against her, as if her attitude wasn’t enough of a deterrent: “Fake news! You’re only saying these things to spin the story and reinforce your deceitful agenda.” (Sarah Huckabee Sanders slipped into the courtroom and sat behind Hyacinth, giving another thumbs-up.)

Judge Pearline: “I suppose I might be softening a bit, which is hard to believe since I’m older than the invention of the telephone. But still, what about that second post where you didn’t respond to comments, the one where you actually kicked off a writing challenge and then went dark, not bothering to provide any further direction?”

I nodded. “I get that bit of perceived malfeasance. But it’s another example of me trying to avoid repetition with the interaction. My response to all of the lovely folks who volunteered was going to follow the same line: Once I dutifully provide the three random words to each participant, and they have created a lovely story involving such, they can either proffer their efforts by sending an email to or, if they are not comfortable with sharing their email address with me, which I fully understand, they can simply post the piece on their own blog and let me know of such, so I can then share it on Bonnywood.”

Tori Spelling, in the audience, raising her hand even though no one asked her to do so: “I fully understand having to explain yourself after a series of poor decisions, which is basically my entire life. I feel we should give Byron the benefit of the doubt, as long as he disperses the three words to the participants and agrees to only buy organic cheese.”

Me: “The name’s Brian, by the way. Anyway, I promise to start dispersing first thing in the morning, assuming that I leave this courtroom in something other than an orange jumpsuit, filled with the hope that everyone has read all of the posts involved with this mess and life will go on with some degree of sanity.”

Hyacinth, still on the cusp of self-righteous orgasm: “Lies! All lies! None of this fits my personal vindictive agenda and I insist on making things up that will sway the clueless into voting for me and-”

Judge Pearline: “Knock it off. It’s not like you’re the sitting president of this country. Still…” She turned to me. “I can’t let you off the hook with total immunity. We’ll leave it up to the people to decide, a refreshing idea that most Congressmen have long since forgotten. If you can get ten people to comment in a positive manner on this post, you can avoid the orange jumpsuit.”

Me, gulping: “I think that might happen.”

Judge Pearline: “You sound a little hesitant.”

Me, remembering what keeps me at the keyboard: “I know it will happen. I have the best followers, ever.”

Valerie Bertinelli, another Hallmark Channel alum, slipped into the courtroom and took a seat beside Tori Spelling. “Sorry, traffic sucked. Did I miss anything?”

Tori: “I don’t think so. Something about a guy with focus issues. But hey, this sketch artist is really good. Did you bring any sushi with you?”


Addendum: I initially forgot to mention that the name for the prosecuting attorney was inspired my Miss Gentileschi’s unrelated blog post, found here. I just couldn’t resist taking the name and running with it…


34 replies »

  1. Aw Brian – you know you’re going to get more than 10 – don’t you believe in the power of “The Blog Fairy” ? The Blog Fairy (TBF) always wants the good to succeed, and gives them special dispensation to do that in the way that is best for them. We ALL know you are good – hell, most times you’re even better than good, you’re great!
    So, just to clarify things, I read your footnotes, I understood when you were going to respond, and I am good with that.
    Life IS NOT driven by your blog, life is driven by what makes YOU happy. Sometimes life gets us wound up, or we don’t know what to say or how to say, but always true sincerity shines through. So either you are the most fantastical liar in the world, or you are sincere. I’m opting for the latter.
    P.S – you don’t have to be clever all the time (I’m usually not clever, and feel that lack when I read your comments and the folks that comment on your posts, but I am sincere and I hope that comes through.
    P.P.S Loved this format – but really, don’t doubt the folks who really “follow” you – we understand, we forgive human frailty, we embrace bloggishness in all it’s forms. Don;t stress.
    Much bloggy love

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Wow, the critics in your mind are really out of control. Hyacinth needs to take a pill. She obviously isn’t attached in any way to the real world. (I think it might be too early in the morning for me … I just had to correct the grammar in that first sentence 3 times!).

    Daily blogging? Three blogs? Ouch. You are a glutton for punishment.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I really am a glutton, no question there. But I really do enjoy working on these little stories as well as the interaction with other writers. I just need to find the right mix of satisfaction and sanity…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. While there are certainly blogging protocols and expectations, such as acknowledging the kind people who take the time to comment, I think most of us realize that even with the best intentions, life can get in the way—obligations, illness, fatigue, and the world-weariness generated by life in the era of trump. Sounds to me like you have self-flagellated over the comment chasm, and also written a creative post in which you gave a lovely blanket acknowledgment. I have it on good authority that even the Pope has given you dispensation. He outranks Hyacinth, Pearline, and Tori (not sure about Valerie, she’s America’s Sweetheart).

    Liked by 5 people

  4. I agree with Donna (and the other commenters too). Life isn’t orderly and although we humans try to impose order on it, shift happens. 🙂 Whatever it is that God or the Dalai Lama or the tree fairies love, it certainly isn’t order. Let yourself be okay with it, because according to the comments, your readers have. 🙂
    I loved your post, btw.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Thanks, Lynette. I’m one of those folks who are highly skilled when it comes to creating needless self-doubt. You’d think by now I would know better, but I’m also one of those people who are really stubborn… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m comment #7. Only three to go, and I can see that at three of the regulars haven’t weighed in (yet). It’s all good. We all get ennui time to time and nobody minds a retread now and then (obviously). Take care of YOU and the blog(s) (three? Oh yeah…Pie, Videos and Bonnywood…got it) will take care of themselves. And if you write? They will come. Now go off and have a massage or something equally relaxing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really am working on a better balance between digital life and real life. These last few weeks have been a growing experience as I force myself to stop worrying so much about my timeliness. It’s working, so some extent, but I do get a little blue when it comes to people like you who have been so supportive and kind. I feel naughty when I land on your blog and realize that I am five posts behind, and then I don’t have enough time to make clever comments on each one. Still, work in progress…


  6. Brian, please don’t worry!!!!!!! You blog when and if you have the time. I’m also sure that nobody here thinks you are rude for not replying to comments either. Now, go and grab some chocolate, put your feet up for a bit and just chill out.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. (ATTN: This is me leaving a positive comment, mainly because I don’t think you look good in orange. Now had it been a purple jumpsuit, well, that’s another matter. Purple is you, Brian. You own it.)

    Regarding your not responding to comments: I noticed. Of course I did. Then I remembered the content of that first blog and thought, “Well, duh! We all SAID he should do things in his own time and not worry about us, we’d be fine. Brian is actually following our advice! Go Brian!”

    So keep the good faith, Brian. We’re still with you. Carry on.

    Liked by 3 people

    • And why does it not surprise me at all that you are the mystical tenth comment that has prevented my incarceration? That kismet thing, again.

      And I’m keeping and carrying on. There are moments when I still get a bit anxious (self-induced, of course) but I’m managing to skip days more and more often, newly-brave little toaster that I am… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So many thoughts…
    – We, the readers should have made a pack to keep it at 9 until Brian Imploded
    – Brian is the new Orange
    – Yes you were waiting for the red carpet be rolled out
    – FACT CHECK: There never is a “Last” Fried Chicken Leg at a church picnic.
    – Possible Side effects of reading this blog may include snorting coffee while reading – “Beseeching Hazel Eyes”

    Liked by 4 people

    • So many responses
      – Luckily, we’ve already hit the magic number, or there would have been an implosion…
      – Brian is the new something, exact color or definition to be determined
      – Okay, yes, I was
      – Fair enough
      – But they really ARE beseeching, at least in my own mind

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That macaw needs a grape stuck in her beak. Period. Or full stop as they say in Britain. Or ‘point’ if we are going Gaelic with my Frenchness. We all get what I mean. Et voila! I am your 12th. There will be no orange jumpsuits for you, maestro. And yes, I noticed too but to be frank – may I be frank? – it’s been a teeny relief since I am uber overloaded just now (for reasons to be revealed with a huge fête d’Osyth moment in less than a month from this moment) and in the end I am the definition of selfish. So all is good, all is bright in your firmament and you need never worry – nor be prosecuted – your slavish devotees, your sycophants all get it. Really really we do. I mean – did Hemingway or Fitzgerald have to answer every sodding note … probably not – think big my friend, think yourself as big as you actually are 👏

    Liked by 3 people

    • As I have said so many times before, to the extent that I should simply get a t-shirt made and wear it constantly (and I may have even previously made the t-shirt comment as well) you always know just the right words to say that both placate and embolden me. (But apparently have no impact on my mystifying urge to create run-on sentences.) Now, more importantly, I am all aquiver with the prospect of your impending announcement. Does this have something to do with a definitive acknowledgement of your bloodline tracing back to Cleopatra? I do fervently hope so…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh, Brian! It’s so amazing that you were inspired by my post to create this – in my eyes at least 😉 – very impressive attorney (even if she seems in desperate need of some private time with whoever has the guts to be with her 😉)! And please don’t beat yourself up – everybody understands. 😊 And thanks very much for mentioning my blog! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • I greatly enjoy your blog, so the little shout-out was my pleasure. I love these moments in the blogging world where each of us inspires the other, perhaps unknowingly, to take a bit of this and a bit of that and create something new. And yes, Hyacinth is in sore need of some private time, once she figures out just exactly whom she might want to share that private time with… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aww – thank you, Brian! Your blog is a great source for so many things: deep thinking, hilarious laughter, inspiration, entertainment… The list goes on and on!
        And I love these moments too – we´ve got an awesomely inspiring community here and it´s so wonderful to know that we help each other in such a lovely way.
        Have a very Happy Easter! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I know full well that you read the fine print. Your posts are often packed with far more research than my randomly spontaneous creations, so I can’t imagine you not perusing every word of the pieces you choose to consume. I’m just happy that I have a small bit of space on your menu… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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