Friday, May 8, 2009

Bloggers of Interest: Da Old Man

I'd like to introduce you to a little concept I call the "snowball of shame." It starts with something that you've been putting off doing for a while, and you're ashamed because you should have done it earlier. The "snowball" part comes in when you put it off just a little longer because you don't want to face the embarrassment of how overdue this task is, but then putting it off makes you even more ashamed to admit that you've been dragging your heels, which makes you put it off longer, etc.

For example: you're reluctant to call your mother because you don’t want a lecture about how you never call. So you put it off for a day, and then the next day you worry that you're going to hear even more about it, so you put off calling for another day, etc.

That's why it's taken so long to get to the latest entry in my Bloggers of Interest series. You don't want to know (well, actually, I just don't want to tell you) how long ago Da Old Man, the proprietor of the Crotchety Old Man World Wide Headquarters and Discount House of Worship and author of Crotchety Old Man Yells at Cars, was kind enough to answer my questions to be profiled as a Blogger of Interest. Let's just say that I'm finally sitting down to cope with a particularly big snowball of shame, and he's been incredibly patient.

Da Old Man's blog is interesting because of its aggressive outlook, no-holds-barred approach, and its regular photo caption contest. He covers a range of topics, including his courageous battle with hospital food and harrowing tales of embarrassing personal disfigurement. But he can tell you more about his blog in his own words.

What got you into blogging?

About 5 years ago I worked in a terrible job. We called my bosses the Incubus and the Succubus. Blogging gave me a way to tell off my bosses without losing my job. My co-workers could read the crap I was feeling, and usually would get a laugh or two.

Where did the names Incubus and Succubus come from? Were your bosses constantly trying to do it with their employees? Or was it a life-draining kind of thing? I always thought that while the Succubus... um, "drains it out," its male counterpart, the Incubus, is supposed to... er, "put it in."

Incubus and Succubus were chosen simply because they were perfect demonic terms, and we were sure we were working in the Social Services ring of hell.

How did you choose your blog's name?

I'm pretty crotchety, and I imagine if I live long enough, I'll be the insane old guy on the corner yelling at cars to slow down.

What were you like as a crotchety young man?
I just pretty much had a bad attitude every day. Lots of teen angst, mixed in with anger issues.

I'm going to assume that you count "crotchety" as having a good attitude these days, and skip on to the next question. When and why did you start the photo caption contest?

It almost gives me a day off. It is also a chance for the readers to get more involved. They really like it. Because my judges are my friends, it gets them involved in a fun way, too.

Why did you choose a Zucchini as a trophy?

There were so many glitzy awards being passed around, I wanted to give out something funny, and zucchini is the most humorous denizen of the vegetable kingdom.

Are you sure that the zucchini is the funniest vegetable? No love for the jicama, or the tomato, or the eggplant's snooty British cousin, the aubergine?

Zucchini is the perfect funny trophy worthy vegetable, no question. While kumquats, jicama, tomatoes, and aubergine are every bit as funny on their own, they lack the overall comedic stature that a zucchini projects.

Ah, the zucchini "projects," thrusting its mighty comedic stature forward to penetrate stodgy reserve of some of your readers. It's a dick joke, I get it. Next question: what does the blogosphere need more of?

It needs more originality, with more quality first person writing.

And more public service announcements on the dangers of buying secondhand truffles, I might add. What does it need less of?

Youtube videos, blogs about how adorable one's kids are, blogs written from the viewpoint of pets.

Where do you see yourself (and your blog) in three years?

I just hope to keep getting better and include more original photos, perhaps with frequent travelogue style posts. I'd also like to have tens of thousands of readers per day, so I can accept a bit of paid advertising and make a living.

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Da Old Man said...

Thank you for such a nice interview.

Stanley! said...

Please, thank you for your patience while I put it together. Also, thanks for writing such an entertaining blog!

The header image is adapted from a photo taken by Bill McChesney and used under a creative commons license.
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