July 2004 - Losers Incorporated

Been a while since Iíve been around these parts...

Letís see if we canít find something interesting to say, shall we?

Iíve been thinking lately. Iíve been working on a puzzle of sorts. Itís a strange little puzzle, because it doesnít really have any pieces. Iíve also been working on a story about a dwarf named Wally who for varying reasons becomes a professional hitman. I was going to put up the dwarf story this month, but Iím thinking that maybe Iíll just ramble for a bit, as the story isnít quite a fair retelling of Wallyís life, and I donít want to misrepresent anything or anyone.

So letís leave Wally for next month, and this month Iíll just do whatever it is that I do, and weíll see where we end up from there.

Losers Incorporated

Iíve decided Iím going to start a company. Iím going to call it Losers Incorporated. The goal of the company will be to sell inflatable palm tress and other sorts of poolside paraphernalia. Mostly inflatable palm trees though. At bargain basement prices.

I remember when almost everyone I knew had an inflatable palm tree in their basement, but now itís all big screen TVís and such.

Inflatable furniture will also be a staple of Losers Incorporated. Couches and coffee tables and such. Big flashy colours and all of that.

Now you may ask yourself, why try to sell inflatable decorations and furniture?

Well let me answer that for you then.

If youíre walking past a store and you see an inflatable palm tree, or an inflatable chair shaped like a car, and you can own either of these fine products for the paltry sum of only, say $15, are you really going to be able to walk away?

I mean, my God, it will be like having the beach right inside your house! What could possibly be better?

Youíre not getting this yet, I can tell...

Letís try this then. Imagine yourself sitting in your basement on a Friday night in January, sitting in an inflatable car chair, several palm trees surrounding you with a vhs tape of monkeys playing on your TV while you sip on a tropical beverage of your own choosing. Now tell me that Iím wrong here. See, you canít.

Iím serious though, this is a part of the master plan now. I will unveil more details as time goes on, but for now, letís just say that Iím looking into purchasing a couple of factories nicely nestled away on the pacific rim.

As for now, being that this company will obviously quickly explode into a raging success, I will need staff. Feel free to e-mail me with an explanation as to why you would be well suited for a position as an executive at Losers Incorporated, and Iíll see if I canít find a placement for you.

Losers Incorporated is an equal opportunity Employer.

Here we go again...

So Iíve been noticing a disturbing trend of late. This isnít to say that I havenít been aware of it for some time, but itís really been brought to my attention in the last little while. So letís play with that for a bit. Kick it around and such.

A couple of nights ago I went out with some friends and spent the evening in the strangest of ways. First of all, my only intentions for the evening were to make an appearance and then proceed to imbibe a couple of wobbly pops before heading to bed.

Which, as a matter of fact, I did.

But I also did a whole lot more.

A little background information before we get too started.

The people that I went out with are the type of people that I like to refer to as "beautiful people". Now beyond the obvious, what that essentially means is that these are the people who walk into a room, and most of the other people in the room immediately take notice and wish they were them. These are the beautiful people that have everything going for them, are bound for success, and overall represent the "ideal".

So needless to say, I knew I was a bit of a misfit. Used to that though, so itís all good.

Iíve met most of these people through friends of mine, and to say that I see them more than once every six months would be a gross overstatement, but Iím ok with that because as I said, I am decidedly not a "beautiful person". This was only made more clear by the fact that of the 5 guys at the table, there were only two of us who didnít seem to feel the need to flex our biceps, beat our chests and invariably try to bring the conversation to some sporting event.

But whatever.

So I sit down and strike up a conversation with a couple of the people there that I know and like, and that was all good, but then I noticed a strange thing happening. A good number of the beautiful people were trying to talk to me about one thing or another. Now not only did this strike me as odd because at that point I was as much in the bag as anyone, but more importantly, it struck me as odd because I was what should have been seen as "the loser" at the table.

Eventually, our little group migrated to yet another of Calgaryís fine drinking establishments, and thatís where I was taken largely by surprise. Not 15 minutes into settling down at the bar, several of these beautiful people came up to me at different times and started conversations that inevitably led to the same question.

Ready for it? I sure was taken aback.

Almost all of them wanted to know why it was that I am such a together person (I know, I know, like I said, I have no idea where they got that idea...), and why were they so much less than what they wanted to be.

To be clear, these people, who have the world in the palm of their hand by and large, were asking me why their lives are less than they wanted. Now just to be clear, I work a low paying job that barely covers my expenses, I live in a tiny apartment, and Iím chasing after a dream that more and more seems is made largely of pipe. To be sure, Iím happy with that, but when it comes to the department of being a raging success, I have less experience than say, a Mariah Carey movie.

And the one thing that struck me the most was the fact that despite all of these peoples success, they had absolutely no sense of their own value. Iím not talking monetary value, Iím talking intrinsic value. I spent most of my night trying to convince these people that they do in fact have worth, which was by and large a concept that at least a couple of them were completely unfamiliar with.

Odd really.

But since then Iíve been thinking on it (as I said earlier on, repetition being one of my larger flaws) and Iíve come to realize that the number of people that I know who dare to think they matter is pretty small, and the number of people that are convinced that they are nothing more than some unlucky cog in a machine bent on crushing the spirit out of everyone and everything is only growing.

The reasons vary, but I find more and more that a lot of people are constantly thinking that they arenít good enough. For what? I havenít a clue. I find a lot of the time itís being good enough for another person, or an old lover, or something of that sort.

So allow me to jump up on this soapbox that I keep so handy for a sec...

Thereís a flawed logic that infected us some time back, and itís worse than any other fatal disease that our species has ever stumbled upon. And that logic is simply the measuring of the value of ones life by using other peoples values. There couldnít be a greater way to rob a person of their sense of self worth. This notion of being "good enough" for anyone other than yourself is absolute garbage. Not to say a person doesnít have to be brutally honest with themselves and be willing to examine all of their faults and mistakes, because they do.

It does mean that comparing yourself to the airbrushed version of humanity spewed out by whatever from of media is a recipe that wonít add up to anything other than a person focusing on all of their perceived flaws.

Hereís the bottom line...

Life is short. We have a very limited time to try and make something out of ourselves. Why in Godís name would anyone want to try and be someone elseís version of perfect and waste what little time we have? Whether or not a person actually succeeds is irrelevant, what matters is that the person tried to be who they were and went after what they wanted, not what they were told to be or what they were told they should want.

And if someone else canít see that, to hell with them.

So next time, when youíre in the midst of beating yourself up for all the things that you think that youíre not, try and take a look at the things that you are, that you made. And if thereís not enough of that, well then rather than let the bastards continue to grind you down, go and make a little something. The bottom line is that we all have a distinct value to ourselves. Sure, weíre also all fucked up beyond all reason, but that doesnít change the fact that we are all unique, and as long as an individual is trying to become their version of better, to hell with the rest of them.

Want proof?

Iím the original fuck up, and because I know it and Iím ok with it, this particular loser spent his evening telling the winners how to win.

Course, Iím the one still living off of Kraft Dinner and ichiban, so what the hell do I know?

And on that note...

So itís a short one this month. Deal with it. It was either this or late by two weeks again. Now if you donít mind, Iím going to go spend some time with a Dwarf. Heís got an assault rifle fitted with a night scope and heís wearing a dress, so quite frankly Iím not one to argue with him.

You know where to find me...

Nate@natepike.com