Both of my grandfathers died decades ago. One I knew very well and the other is just a hazy image floating around in the memory of a five year old boy. Both men did great things with their lives. They traveled across the ocean as immigrant children with no money and became successful. One owned a grocery store, and the other became the mayor of a small town for over 30 years.
Yet, when they died, their past died with them. Sure, they are remembered by older family members and friends, but most of them have passed away now. All of those wonderful stories or adventures told over dinner or a glass of wine are now lost forever. All that’s left are a few black and white photos with cryptic captions on the back.
As I sit here entering another phase of my own life, I wonder too if I’ll be remembered in years to come. Will my memories fade as friends and family move on? Probably. So very few of us are blessed with accomplishing something so wonderful or tragic that we make our way into the history books. Sure we’ll have Facebook accounts that live on for a few years and maybe even an obituary tucked into a photo album but, for the most part, we’ll all fade away like the colors of a painted barn.
So what are we to do with such a bleak destiny ahead of us? It’s one of life’s mysteries and I definitely don’t know the answer to that one. But I say there is something worse than being forgotten, and that’s never being known. Therefore, live each day to its fullest and share it with everyone and anyone near you. That’s the best we can do as humans.
It’s better to have been known and forgotten than to have never been known at all.
Before I get too far along with posts on this subject, I thought it best to post a blog that talks about the basics of raising hell. I decided to go back and analyze Lonny Nack, the main hell raisers in my book “The Art of Raising Hell”, and compile a list of what worked for him and what didn’t. There’s a good chance that I’ll update this list from time to time as other ideas come to mind. I’ve even left one number blank for you to fill in so please feel free to make suggestions.
Hopefully, these tips will help you along on your journey and maybe add a few years to your life. Not all of them may fit with your situation and that’s fine. But if you choose to ignore them all, well, all I can say is don’t let the door to heaven hit you in the ass as St. Peter kicks you down the stairs to hell. Continue reading →
One of my favorite movies is “High Fidelity”. I love all of the characters, but most of all, I love their Top Five lists. They have one for every occasion, whether it’s breakup songs, songs about death, or songs to play on a Monday morning. Considering this is a blog about raising hell, it’s only fitting that I present my own Top Ten list in alphabetical order. Instead, this time I decided to go all Baskin-Robbins on you and list thirty-one. Continue reading →
The biggest misconception about hell raising is that you have to be loud and obnoxious…and a man. I totally disagree. Although women usually don’t howl at the moon, get into car wrecks, or start bar fights, they have been known to let their hair down, wink at a few too many guys, and flatten the tires on an ex-boyfriend’s truck. In other words, they raise hell in their own way. Continue reading →
The middle finger is a very provocative weapon and should be in every hell raiser’s toolbox. Whether it’s subtly replying to a girlfriend who’s just told you that you’re getting fat or letting the guy across the field know what you really think about his football team, I can guarantee that this gesture will get your message across. Heck, in New York City, it’s a perfectly acceptable way to say hello! No matter how you use it, you’re bound to arouse attention. And, isn’t that what hell raising is all about?
When I turned eleven years old, my dad left a cozy job selling life insurance and bought a tavern. He ran it for fifteen years, but after his second heart attack decided to turn it over to my brother-in-law. The crowd soon transformed from old factory workers into young Harley motorcycle riders. Every one of them looked like they’d jumped out of a ZZ Top album cover. They were the quintessential beer drinkers and hell raisers. Continue reading →
“There are some people who walk on two feet and others like me that run on all four.”
This is the opening line to my new book and the mantra for this blog. Raising hell is an art form, pure, plain and simple. It can be practiced in many forms from running naked through middle of town to super gluing your boss’s favorite pen to his desk. It doesn’t matter whether you’re male, female, or something in between, we all have this inherent desire deep down in our souls to blow off a little steam every once in a while. Continue reading →