Apr 022014
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Lesson One

Lesson One

Back in the day, when Justin and I created Cantankerous Old Coots we were naive. I won’t speak for Justin but, for sure, I was naive. I misjudged our audience. I thought that everyone aspired to be a cantankerous old coot. All they needed was inspiration and a little nudge to move on from their bland, complacency to outright rebellion against conventional go-alongism. Now, nearly four years later it is apparent that go-alongism isn’t so easily dismissed. We have readers aplenty but along the way, only one hardy soul embraced our mission and neither Justin nor I would dare to claim that Bob was inspired by the content at COC. Bob is an original piece of work and an inspiration to Cantankerous Old Coots everywhere, even though lifestyle change has limited his contributions lately. Life moves. Even Justin the mastermind behind COC has turned his attention elsewhere leaving me to hold down the fort. So, in the absence of leadership from the top, I’m stepping into the void to attempt a bit of refocus.

Is it time to throw in the towel? Given the number of years COC has been blazing a trail of non-conformity, you might conclude that everything new has been said. How much creativity can one Coot stir up? Maybe it’s time to retire? That’s what bland conventionalists would say but Cantankerous Old Coots aren’t bland conventionalists. Conventional Old Coots see an opportunity and are prepared to seize it.

Being a keen observer of humanity and it’s foibles, I learned long ago that our readers have the attention span of gnats. They may appreciate the wit and wisdom displayed here but 20 minutes later their minds are a blank slate. All this time the crack writing staff at COC under the ponderous micro-management of Justin have labored to create fresh, witty and insightful deathless prose thinking that success would be measured by fresh, high quality content. Au contraire! Fresh content doesn’t mean shit.

Given our readers, we could probably use the same post over and over and they would be just as happy. This gives me inspiration and a plan to follow- we will recycle old content. To get started I turn to the Cantankerous Old Coot’s Lessons compiled by Justin and me early on. While they never inspired our readers to cantankerosity as we hoped, they did fill space and as space-fillers they certainly can continue to be valuable here at COC.

After that long-winded introduction, I can’t be sure that any reader is still with me but cantankerosity means never accepting the reality of defeat so I press on. I’d like to reintroduce the set of Lessons to our reader’s attention. Newer readers may not know about the lessons and older ones will surely not remember.

Lesson One – Let it out, is the foundation of cantankerosity. Numbed as we are in conformity and agreement these days, actually forming a contrary opinion is a challenge and expressing that opinion scares the shit out of normal people. Without learning and acting on this lesson, life has no more meaning than running a treadmill. Read this lesson. Then take action quickly because 20 minute later you will have forgotten it all and your life will return to the bland conformity you have embraced.


Ralph is the inspiration for Cantankerous Old Coots and is our Grand Duke of Cantankerousness

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  2 Responses to “Cantankerous Lessons Redux!”

  1. Ralph, Ralph, Ralph, I have not forgotten you or the coots, I am expressing my cantankerosity through complete apathy. and that isn’t working either. I think you must be right, we can post the same old crap over and over with the same results that we have gotten for the past 4 years. Maybe we should post some some compromising pictures of Bob in his natural habitat to stir up some discussion, or maybe….well…I don’t know. What I do know, I just got a dog and a cat to train together….I am sure something cantankerous will come from that. The cat is plenty cantankerous, maybe he should be a guest writer. But of course, he just likes to give me the figurative middle finger and that is probably cantankerousness enough.

  2. Interesting pastime- training a dog and cat although I don’t quite picture it. Running a marathon or perhaps weights – a cat lifitng and the dog spotting. We have only a cat and she is great at spotting, thankfully now mostly in the laundry room instead of the carpets.
    Good luck with the apathy while the crack writing staff steers off the cliff.

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