Everything’s Groovy…No ,Really

Trust in your calling, make sure your calling’s true
Think of others, the others think of you
Silly rule, golden words make practice, practice makes perfect
Perfect is a fault, and fault lines change”

(REM – ‘I Believe’)

Are you OK ?


No really, are you OK ?


You can say if you’re not OK. OK ?


Yes, you agree you’re not OK ?


Are you sure ?


Quite sure ? You can tell me.

Well there is this one thing….

I knew it ! I knew you weren’t OK ! Bloody knew it ! So what is it ? Work ? Finances ? Relationships ? Family ? The THING ? What’s annoying you ?


That was the gist of a conversation I had this week with a guy who was trying to keep my deposit for a self-help/personal growth weekend that had to be cancelled because of the THING , and would now take place next June. Within 30 seconds of his call I’d agreed to keep the booking, but then he wanted to find out how I was, was there anything troubling me, any aspect of my life that needed help, in order that they could tailor my indoctrination, sorry self-exploration, better when the weekend actually took place.

He seemed disappointed that I wasn’t fitting into his dove with a broken wing  profile. Eventually he asked why I’d signed up in the first place and my answer of “Because Richard kept banging on about it , and up until this phone call I’d assumed he wasn’t completely untrustworthy, and I said I’d go out of curiosity.”

He seemed even more disappointed. He said I could call him anytime. We both knew I wouldn’t.

I’m still planning to attend the conference/abduction next year, but now my curiosity is tinged with a slight dread that it’s either being run by Opus Dei, or timeshare sales people.

I’m just curious, easy going and generally happy. I just hide it very well at times. And when I haven’t felt OK , mentally, I haven’t been afraid to seek help…as three broken therapists will testify.

But now I’m OK…for now.

I was listening to a Guy Kawasaki podcast by accident this week and that reminded me of two other curious episodes, one involving a penguin , and one involving Mr.Kawasaki himself.

Guy Kawasaki is an author, venture capitalist, the good kind, an early Apple employee, he marketed the Mac in 1984 , and started the ‘Apple Evangelist’ era, more recently a Wikipedia board member, and just an all round decent good human…who I threatened with a Cease &Desist letter in 2013..but I’ll come back to that.

When I say I was listening to his podcast by accident, I mean that I was listening to Life’s Rich Pageant by REM , yes, the Deluxe Edition with all the Athens demos, I know, I know, the ‘Begin The Begin’ one , you’re in the room , right ? Oh, yes, so I was listening to that and reached over to grab something and knocked it on to the podcast.
This one featured Sarah Frey, who is so charismatic she might burst into a star some day, and she was talking about being attacked by a chicken when she was a child, and a memory immediately popped into my head of the time a penguin bit me in Dublin Zoo. Again, it was curiosity that drew me to reach through the fence and gently poke or pet an Emperor penguin and it bit my finger. I ran to tell Mam and she gave out to me for annoying the poor penguin.

Mam loves penguins. And when there are no penguins around , Mam  loves me.

And the Cease & Desist episode ?

Well that was way back in 2013 and Mr.Kawasaki was on the conference circuit promoting his latest book, A.P.E., Author-publisher-entrepreneur, How To Publish A Book. I saw him a number of times and it was either while at a conference in Paris, or somewhere else while talking about staying in Paris that he jokingly complained about the small size of the towels provided by his incredibly lavish hotel.

I’d had some email correspondence with him a few months previously when I asked him to talk at our Border Bizcamp in Monaghan…for free. He kindly agreed and then had to cancel a day later as he’d forgotten another gig. So , me being me, considered us friends, and after hearing his towel complaint I sent him the following email :

From Me – December 16th 2013 8.10am
Cease & Desist Order – Small Towels manufacturers Association
Dear Mr.Kawasaki,
I represent the Small Towels Manufacturers Association and would like to
formally request that you cease and desist from making disparaging remarks
about our  manufacturers products.
We serve a niche, primarily normal sized Europeans, and , to be honest,
, its a shrinking market. There isn’t much money in it and we
persist simply out of sheer love and devotion to the craft of making tiny
We are sorry that our petite finely crafted towels did not provide
sufficient soakage for your ample Yankee frame on your recent Parisian
excursion but we would beg the question, why not use two ?

We do not want to make an enemy of you ,Mr.Kawasaki. God knows we have
enough trouble on our hands with the Regular Towel Manufacturers
Association, not to mention the downright dastardly treatment we get from
the Large Towel Manufacturers Association . But, be warned, we will fight
for our right to manufacture , display and distribute small towels through
out the world …Muahahahaha !

Yours Sincerely,

Montague Hastings-Luverly,
President For Life,
Small Towels Manufacturers Association,

Reply from Guy – December 16th 2013 , 3.51pm
You should aim to fill bigger niches.


From Me – December 16th 2013 , 4.22pm
Hmmmm…you may be on to something there Mr.Kawasaki.
I know !
Publishing !!
Yours Sincerely,

Montague Hastings-Luverly,
President For Life,
Small Towels Manufacturers & Cold Hearted Publishers Association,

Reply from Guy – December 16th 2013 , 4.24pm
It’s probably big, unlike your towels.

From Me – December 16th 2013 , 4.47pm
How about offering a free small towel with copies of APE ?
For some strange reason our biggest customer, Marriott Hotels, France, have been asking for preposterously larger towels since last week and we could do with the business.

Montague Hastings-Luverly,
President For Life,
Small Towels Manufacturers & Cold Hearted Publishers Association,

And that was that, never heard from him again.

Hmmm, maybe I could do with that self improvement / mind-meld/ indoctrination weekend……….

You are no.6 !

I am not a number ;I am a free man !

Stay Classy !


P.S. Don’t be shy ! I’m a very insecure writer, please fell free to reply if anything makes you laugh, makes sense, or makes you dream of a better land…or boys in a better land, you’re always talking ’bout the boys in a better land

Author: paul

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