Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Welcome to Nebraska...

Ever been to Ogallala, Nebraska? Well, neither had I before I so stupidly answered my phone last Wednesday afternoon. My boss called me about 3:00 last Wednesday and said I need to be in Ogallala by 3:00 Thursday morning and be ready to go to work.
Hell, I didn’t even know where they were sending me. In the old days, I would have looked it up on the map. But now that finding things on the internet has become so simple that even an old guy like myself can handle it, I googled it.
Crap! It’s clear out in western Nebraska. It said it was a 7 hour, 441 mile trip. So off I went. I took highway 75 north to Nebraska City where I took a left onto some other highway that took me to Lincoln where I caught I-80, headed west and drove and drove and drove.
It was one of those hell trips. I stopped one time in Grand Island for gas and to go to the bathroom. Other than that, I just sat there, smoking, steering, and pouting. I was really jacked out of shape because of the late notice they’d given me. But most of all, I guess I was jacked out of shape because of where they were sending me. Why in the world anybody would want to go anywhere in Nebraska was beyond me.
Well, that was a week ago. To tell you the truth, Ogallala, Nebraska is a pretty cool little town. And from what little I’ve seen, Nebraska’s a pretty cool state. I’ve met a lot of good people out here. Like people everywhere today, they’re very concerned about the economy. That’s probably the biggest issue everywhere I go. For the most part they’ve been willing to help an old, out of town guy out with directions to the next stop and a lot of them were quick to ask about Topeka. I’ve had several conversations about our esteemed Governor leaving for Washington. But I also found out that if you’re wearing a Jayhawk T-shirt while eating supper at the local Valentino‘s, you’re going to attract a lot of attention. It’s kind of like wearing a Bronco’s jersey at Arrowhead. You’re surrounded by a sea of red. Even that went okay. Well, there was that one drunk guy, I’m pretty sure he was serious when he told his friends he ought to kick my ass. I’m just glad his girlfriend was there. I think next time, I’ll leave my jacket on just in case though.
They have their problems too. That was driven home on my second day up here. I met a guy named Bob (not his real name) and his wife the first day I was up here. They seemed like any married couple I’ve ever met. The guy I was working with told me later about the big fight they were having. I guess there were a lot of money problems. But you know, what married couple hasn’t had money problems, right? Anyway, we did our thing and told Bob we’d see him in the morning. He told us to have a good day.
We got to our first stop at 4:00 the next morning and rang the bell. The guy I was with was a little irritated when Bob didn’t answer the door as fast as he normally did. He rang it again then called the store. The lady who answered apologized and said she’d open the door as soon as she could. No problem, he told her. About five minutes later she opened it up. The guy I was with jokingly asked her, what’s the deal, Bob call in sick again?
You could see it in her eyes there was something wrong. She told him Bob had gone home yesterday around lunch time. Evidently he called the store and asked his wife to bring home an ace bandage. It was almost quitting time anyway, so the boss told her to go on home if she needed to, said he’d see her in the morning.
She stepped in the house and the first thing she saw was her husband lying on the floor. He had stuck a shot gun in his mouth and blew his head off.
I didn’t know either one of them and I know it’s none of my business. But damn! I’m not trying to pass judgment here either, but how anybody could do something like that to their husband or wife is beyond me. I guess knowing the world we live in today, it’s a good thing he didn’t kill her too.
Look, I know life can kick us in the gut from time to time. But suicide isn’t the answer. Yeah, I guess it gets you out of whatever mess you’re in at the time. But what about your husband or wife? What about the kids? How are they supposed to go on? What about your mom and dad? What’s it going to do to them when they have to bury you?
Sorry to bum you out this week guys. But this really bothered me. I’ve had two good friends commit suicide and I never have understood why. It’s been said before but it’s worth repeating. “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Want to talk about it? Stop on by the blog: or e-mail me:


  1. What a horrendous story. That is a just plain selfish solution to nothing. Selfish in that that person was thinking of nobody but himself. I'll give him the bad feelings, but hey man, some of the rest of us have been there and not taken that way out. That sucks.

  2. Pretty much the way I saw it too tsduff. And I loved your summary too. " Plain selfish solution to nothing." Well said. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Sometimes it's pure selfishness, like the guy who takes himself out instead of facing the big embezzling indictment or whatever. Or, even worse, the investment banker who FAKES his own plane crash! Anyway . . . I see it from both sides. There are times when I have sincerely believed that I am a blot on the world and that people closest to me would be happier if I were dead. But, now, ironically, and perhaps fortunately, I am 24-hour life support for the best friend I've ever known. I didn't think anybody could even like me. But she does. And we have enjoyed each other's constant company since 2001. I'll be here as long as she'll have me. And that's about all I know.

  4. You call this a blog. It's more like the last roundup for you and your two or three loser friends.
    Why don't all you pathetic, right-wing, losers do the world a favor and take the lead from the losers who've gone before you and blow your friggin brains out.
    The world would instantly become a better place. I'm just trying to help. Remember, love always wins.

  5. Thanks, anonymous, for reminding me of Chaucer's Prioress in "The Canterbury Tales." She's wearing a sign on her clothing that reads "Amor vincit omnia," which means "love conquers all." As usual, Chaucer is being ironic because that statement is not true and the merest consciousness of even a single day of real life provides ample evidence of that. I give you an "A" for guts, Anonymous (on the web anyway), but a solid "F" on your education. As for your fantasy about the world becoming "a better place," I recommend that you read "The Dhammapada" by Siddhartha Gautama, the Buddha. You might also try "Striking Thoughts" by Bruce Lee. Yeah, that Bruce Lee.

  6. You put a hell of a lot more thought into your response to our cowardly, anonymous friend than I was going to Fred.

    I would have probably told him (I'm now assuming he's a him) he's just bitter bacause he has such a little dick.

    Actually I'm glad he stopped by. He hasn't dropped in for a while. I was worried something had happened to him.

    Anyway, about your friend. It takes a good man to be able to give someone that kind of care. I'm not sure I would be up to it. But we really never know what we're capable of until such a situation presents itself, do we?

    Sounds to me like you and your friend need each other. And there ain't nothing wrong with that...

  7. I've actually researched penis size (in books and stuff) and have learned that most of us do, in fact, have kinda small dicks. But Anonymous should realize that it's nothing to be ashamed of. I'm not bitter about my small dick. I used to be. But I found the right woman. Maybe that's what Anonymous needs. Or the right man ;)

  8. Anonymous dosen't have a little dick, just really big hands. Makes it look small.

    Back to the original topic. Suicide is the easy way out for you, but hard on anyone that knows you. Hell Kevin only knew this guy for a day and it bothers him. Family will blame themselves and wonder what they could have done to prevent it.

    Life isn't always easy and we all have our problems to deal with. If you ever feel this is a solution, talk to the closest person you know. They won't think you are nuts or anything. I'd be willing to bet that we have all thought about it once. No problem is too big that a better solution can't be worked out. It might not be as quick or easy as a mouth full of lead. But it will get better.

    I can think of one time in my life however that I didn't think suicide was bad. I had an uncle that had terminal cancer. One night he took his 22 and left us on his terms. It was the quick and easy way out, and it did hurt those that knew him. But the ending was going to be the same either way.

  9. Another great article my friend. I have agreed to post anonymous articles from my anonymous friend too.

    Interesting read for all those religious nuts.

    My anonymous is one of those end of the world folks.

    Myron Holter
    Topeka KS

  10. Good to hear from you Open Road. You brought up a lot of very good and thought provoking points today.

    You nailed it when you talked about family members blaming themselves and wondering what they could have done to prevent it. More than anything, It's so hard on the kids. And it doesn't really matter whether they're little kids or if they're full grown. I've seen first hand just how bad a kid can turn out after his dad did himself in. They just give up and who can blame them.

    But you added another twist to the story by telling us about your uncle. Honestly, I'd really never thought about it from that angle. To tell you the truth, I can't say I blame him either.

    Thank you for stopping by today and thank you for giving us another perspective...

  11. Hi Myron. I'll check out the blog you mentioned.

    Before I do though and since we're on the subject of suicide. I gotta tell you, when you were posting things on your blog like you own obituary and showing off your hearse I was a little worried you were thinking about doing yourself in. Glad to know I was wrong...

  12. Sad to hear about that. It is something like an achoholic who drinks to forget about their problems only in this case they think their problems are permanently gone. Nothing is so bad that it is worth taking your life. There is always someone to help. In my own life, I have felt that low. It's definitely not the right answer.
    I pray for the family left behind that they can go on with their lives.

  13. My thoughts exactly Mark. I thought it was paticularly bad that he called his wife with the ace bandage excuse. He did it knowing she would find him laying there. Pretty cruel in my opinion.