I tried logging into Humor Bloggers Dot Com the other day only to be informed that my membership had been “blocked.”
Blocked. As in kicked out. Eighty-sixed. Tossed aside. It’s-not-me-it’s-you, but we-can-still-be-friends. All my belongings stuffed in a cardboard box and left outside the homepage where a LOLZ cat committed an act of personal hygiene in one of them.
But why had I been banned? Had they discovered that I’d once smoked a cigarette eight meters from the front door of a public building instead of the nine meters required by law? Did Avril Lavigne finally take out that restraining order? Was it because, in clear violation of the Terms of Service at Humor Bloggers Dot Com, I had neither signed in nor written a single post for over two months?
Actually — that last one sounds about right.
In any event, it was over. Chester had weighed me, measured me, and found me wanting. Our relationship, almost two years old, was over.
However, while breaking up can be hard to do (Sedaka, 1962), it can also provide a strange feeling of relief. I’d never really intended for my blog to get into a relationship in the first place. At least not like that. With readers, fine. People leave comments, you answer them — you’re in a relationship.
But that kind of relationship is organic. My relationship with Chester felt– well, kind of institutional.
Not that institutional relationships are always bad — in fact, our relationships with institutions form the background for many of our happiest experiences: public school, high school, college, Girl Guides, Boy Scouts, classical theatre, little theatre, and endless others.
But institutions generally require regular commitment. Admittedly, all Chester wanted was a post or two a week, and for these posts to be predominantly humorous, but when it comes to writing, if I have to produce articles on a regular basis, I like to be paid.
Besides, I’d never intended for this blog to be exclusively humorous. Not that it was meant to be a brooding, serious blog, merely a blog where I could say things that, if said under my own name could get me fired. Or at least heavily censured.
Now, however, I’m free. Free to do whatever I want, and it doesn’t have to be funny. Not that I’m swearing off humour or anything: considering how often people laugh at me when I’m being perfectly serious, I don’t think it would be possible.
But I’m taking this opportunity to start all over again, and to launch this new start I’m officially retiring all Avril Lavigne references. I’ve now gone to the “restraining order” joke, and to be honest, there’s no place to go from there — at least not without sacrificing any semblance of good taste.
I hope my few regular readers will continue to drop in, but I’ll not be promoting this blog through any other means, and certainly not by joining another group.
Actually, the timing is perfect. Not only am I no longer with Humor Bloggers Dot Com, but I’m not even living in the same city anymore. For the first time since 1968 I am living in a house.
With my 81-year-old father-in-law.
In the suburbs of a small town miles away from Toronto.
I mean, if that isn’t the perfect opportunity for a reinvention of self, then I don’t know what is.