My Endless Shrimp: 90 Minutes of Red Lobster Glory

27th July 2016 by admin No Comments
None of us knew what was about to happen, and it wouldn't have helped if we did.

None of us knew what was about to happen, and it wouldn’t have helped if we did.

For those of you who not familiar with the crimson crustacean, or don’t feel the need to eat yourself sick on occasion, “Endless Shrimp” is a semi-annual event at Red Lobster where for about twenty bucks, they’ll keep serving you shrimp until you tap out.

One day, Red Lobster sent me an email that said “Endless Shrimp is almost over…”

It’s not over until I say it is, Red Lobster. Do you hear me? I’m coming, Red Lobster. And all Hell’s coming with me.

Here’s the story of my ninety minutes at Red Lobster, and my ongoing battle with the concept of “Endless Shrimp.”

Spoiler Alert: I lose. Everyone always does.

3:42 pm – Let’s do this. I pull into the Red Lobster parking lot, and loosen up my belt. This is a day for the ages, my friends. This is the kind of day they make movies about, if “300” had been about gluttony.

3:47pm – My waiter, Bob, approaches the table, and doesn’t even bother to ask if I’d like an appetizer. “You look like you’re ready to go,” he says.

Yes, Bob. Yes, I am.

He gives me no extraneous conversation, and we get right to business. I make my order, I start with the Teriyaki Grilled Shrimp and the Hand-Breaded Shrimp.

Bob asks me if I want fries. Hell yeah. Then he asks what kind of salad dressing would I like?

I dispatch Bob with a scoff and a wave. This is not a day for salad. This is a day for victory.

Bob heads to the kitchen and leaves me sitting there giddy with anticipation. I’ve never been so happy to get too much of something.

3:51pm – They bring me the Cheddar Bay Biscuits. I don’t want one, but I have to have it.

By the way, I doubt anyone would ever name a bay after a cheese. It makes no sense. It would be like naming your dairy farm after a fish.

The woman at the next table is from somewhere on the East Coast, and orders chardonnay with her meal. That just seems wrong for some reason. This is a Red Lobster, ma’am. That’s like asking for the wine list at Denny’s.

3:55pm – I realized I should have eaten something before I came, because I just inhaled a biscuit. I have no memory of eating it, but it’s gone, and there’s a vague taste of cheese on my breath, so I must have devoured it. A prosecuting attorney would have a field day with me trying to deny my involvement in the disappearance of a biscuit.

4:01pm – The first round arrives. I almost pull it out of Bob’s hands.

Shrimp Count: 21

The beginning of a fantastic meal. Also, morbid obesity.

The beginning of a fantastic meal. Also, morbid obesity.

Cost per Shrimp (at $16.99): 80 cents

4:03pm – A moment later, Bob comes back around to ask me if he can get another round started for me. I would take a bullet for Bob right now.

This is good shrimp to start with. The Teriyaki Shrimp is sweet, and the hand-breaded is…fried. It’s delicious, but the fact that they refuse to just call it “fried” bothers me. Embrace your identity, Red Lobster!

4:07pm – I get ten (10) shrimp scampi brought to my table. I power through them, then dunk one of my Cheddar Bay Biscuits in the leftover scampi sauce. It’s horrible for you, but absolutely delicious if you don’t mind hearing your own pulse pounding in your ears.

I eat a few bites of fries and rice to form a landing pad in my stomach for the shrimp so they don’t get lonely, and start to riot.

Shrimp Count: 31
Cost per Shrimp: 55 cents.

4:12pm – Ten more fried shrimp arrive. I go back to the well for the Teriyaki Grilled, then immediately regret it because it’s only five shrimp. I feel like eating this much seafood in a row has affected my ability to do math.

I feel like I need to eat faster. When the shrimp is “Endless,” it becomes less of a tasty dinner and more of a challenge, a task to overcome.

Shrimp Count: 41
Cost per Shrimp: 41 cents.

4:17pm –Bob, who looks a great deal like Mad TV’s Will Sasso, sets up another round while I finish what I’ve got. I consider putting Bob in my will. I’m surprised at how tasty the shrimp is because, let’s face it, Red Lobster is not exactly renowed for five-star dishes. You don’t see a lot of Red Lobsters set up on beachfront lots.

4:23pm – I start to experience a lull, where I wonder what I’m doing with my life. Unprompted, Bob brings me some fresh Cheddar Bay Biscuits, and my moment of reflection vanishes.

At this rate, Bob will be able to pay off his student loan with my tip.

4:26pm – Bob brings me the Teriyaki Shrimp and asks if I’d like another round. I tell him yes, and he pauses before he pulls his pad out of his pocket. I feel like Bob is starting to doubt me. He’s thinking I’m going over the edge.

I’m not even to the suburbs of the edge yet, Bob. Stand back.

Shrimp Count: 46
Cost per Shrimp: 37 cents.

4:32pm – I begin to feel like Red Lobster has pulled the throttle back on me. Maybe they’re slowly hand-preparing my Shrimp Linguini in the back, but it sure feels like they’re easing back in some vain attempt to either save some money, or keep me alive.

4:33pm – Ten more fried and a whole plate full of shrimp linguini arrive. I realize I’ve been here a half hour and I haven’t used my fork yet.

Shrimp Count: 72
Cost per Shrimp: 24 cents.

4:35pm – I realize the Shrimp Linguini Alfredo is very cheesy and very tasty, and also very much a trap. It’s like eating Sakrete, it’ll fill in the cracks and crevices left in my stomach. Then when I take a drink of tea, it’ll expand into a regulation size basketball. I’m going to need to do some emergency spot eating here.

I momentarily lose track of how many shrimp I’ve had because I think I’ve accidentally eaten my pen.

4:37pm – My next round of Teriyaki Shrimp arrives and for a moment, I have three different plates of shrimp in front of me. And I don’t feel bad about it at all. I think that’s one of the first signs of mental illness.

Shrimp Count: 77
Cost per Shrimp: 22 cents.

4:41pm – Bob comes by and looks at me and says “So what are you thinking?” I tell him to hit me with the Hand-Breaded again.

Bob pauses a beat, then says “Okay.”

I can tell that Bob and I have spent enough time together to form a real relationship, and he’s really growing concerned. I feel like at some point, instead of coming back with a plate of shrimp, Bob will come back with my friends and family so they can all tell me how my gluttony has affected them personally.

4:45pm – I burp, and it feels like it opens up an entire new stomach within me. I wonder if this is what marathon runners feel like. Or maybe cows.

I have a brief moment of clarity. When did gluttony become manhood? Eating far too much food doesn’t equate to slaying a dragon, or building a bridge. Why is this something we aspire to? A hot-dog eating contest shouldn’t be how we elect our leaders.

4:49pm – Another waitress delivers a plate of Hand-Breaded, and I order another round of scampi. Bob is off with the waitstaff singing “Happy Birthday” to the woman from New York who ordered the chardonnay, which means she’s also spending her birthday in a Red Lobster. Her afternoon gets weirder by the moment.

Shrimp Count: 87
Cost per Shrimp: 19 cents.

4:51pm – We’ve now passed the point where Bob is concerned about me, and now he’s actively cheering me on. Bob asked me if I skipped breakfast to get ready for this, and I tell him that’s not how it works. I’ve been training for this moment for weeks. Or maybe all of my life.

I order two more rounds while we’re chatting.

4:52pm – I go to the bathroom to wash my Teriyaki-stained hands, because they have reached levels of adhesiveness only seen in Spider-Man comic books. There’s no danger of me skipping out on the bill, of course. I’m not really a threat to dine-and-dash. I couldn’t even dine-and-roll at this point.

As I come back, I notice new faces at the tables around me. Then I realize those are the third families to sit down and order since I walked in. I’m going deep in the count for this one.

Lonely is the man on an Endless Shrimp quest.

4:58pm – My latest edition of scampi arrives, and as I approach triple-digits, I genuinely become concerned about the life decisions I’ve made.

I look up and see a limousine pull through the parking lot. I assume it was the birthday girl, which makes the afternoon even weirder for her.

Shrimp Count: 97
Cost per Shrimp: 17 cents.

4:59pm – Bob comes back by and asks, “What’s next, brother?”

It’s good to have him fully onboard.

I tell him I want another skewer of Teriyaki Grilled. He reminds me I’ve got one coming already. I say I know, and to keep them coming. Bob nods and heads off.

I feel like I’m learning to drown in food. Somewhere Aquaman is plotting my demise, as public enemy #1 of the oceans.

5:06pm – Five more Teriyaki shrimp show up, which puts me over the top. And I have more coming. From the way Bob is acting, when I finish they’re going to give me some kind of a championship belt.

Shrimp Count: 102
Cost per Shrimp: 17 cents, still.

5:09pm – I finish the grilled, and I’m waiting on the scampi. Bob comes up and asks me if I want any more. I tell him I’d better stop, since I don’t want to be late for dinner. He laughs briefly, and then looks at me to make sure I’m kidding.

I just stare into his eyes until he feels uncomfortable and hurries away.

5:14pm – My scampi arrives and I am both hungry, and very much done. I officially tap out and Bob tells me three times to “Come back any time,” which makes me feel like there’s some kind of wager going on in the back room as to how many schools of shrimp I’ll finish, and Bob is the grand prize winner. I’ve been the highlight of his day.

Shrimp Count: 112
Cost per Shrimp: 15 cents.

5:21pm – I sign the check, double the bill for Bob’s tip and plod to the car. I tapped out at 112 shrimp, and I understand that I will be ill for a couple of days.

Every great now and then it’s worth it. If anything goes really wrong, I’m sure Bob will send a wreath of Teriyaki shrimp to my funeral.

— Reid Kerr only does all-you-can-eat when it’s seafood. And he’ll keep telling himself that, like it matters.



Relaxative

16th July 2016 by admin No Comments

Some people like to drink a lot of alcohol and go to a club. I just drank a lot of Miralax and I’m going to Walmart.

La vida loca, amigos.

— Reid Kerr is 46, and afraid of fifty.



The Spam Wars, Round Two

7th July 2016 by admin No Comments

As I’ve proven before (evidence here), there are some days I literally have nothing to do other than sit around and jack with spammers who are trying to do the same to me. I was recently friended on Facebook by a classic fake account, pretty girl, one picture, no friends in common. I was ready for almost anything, and they didn’t disappoint. Apparently, this one account was used by a whole pile of spam douchenozzles, since they kept coming back to me days and days later without realizing they had already tried.

Disclaimer: All of these things really happened.

Spammy O’Spammerson: hello how you doing and how is your family and friends.
Reid Kerr: Great! And you? How’s your pets and neighbors?
Spammy: hello
Reid: Howdy!

Spammy: how is your day and how is the weather over there
Reid: The weather is wonderful! No snow, but it’s as wet as Aquaman’s underpants. How are you?

Spammy: im doing good
Reid: That’s great! My granddad always said it was better to be doing good than feeling good or looking good or going good, and we wound up electing him to Congress before the scandal about the Cool Whip lobbyist and the Great Dane.

Spammy: woow that’s good to hear
Do you have time to talk
Reid: Oh, absolutely! That sounds like more fun than what I was going to do today, I had planned to go down to the park and feed the ducks to the homeless.

Spammy: ok and where is your state
Reid: I’m in Kentucky. Northern part. Right up here where Jack Daniels took most of his lovers. Geographically, I mean, not in terms of positions. And where are you from?

Spammy: well im in ghana
have you ever been in ghana befoere
Reid: Not that I’m aware of.

Spammy: ok and how

(hours later)

Spammy: hello there and how you doing
Reid: I am doing well! And how are you doing things?

Spammy: well doing good too
Reid: Good! And how are things going for you this time?

Spammy: all is good here
and you
Reid: All is good here! All the time!

Spammy: and how are your famile again
Reid: They are again good! And yours?!?

Spammy: well i live alone
Reid: That must be fun. No one can eat your leftovers.

Spammy: well been dirvoced
Reid: Good for you! Best investment I ever made. I got one of those lawyers from the TV commercials that drives a tank to handle mine.

Spammy: is hi a friend
Reid: He’s a great friend! We go fishing a couple of times a year, up on Lake WannaLikkaShlong. We fish for seabass, orca, trout, things like that.

Spammy: i wish i where there
Reid: You’d love it there. The mountains in the distance by the incinerator piles really light up at night.

Spammy: ok
and did you have a pic of your friend
are you with me

(hours go by)

Spammy: hello
Reid: Yes, and you?

Spammy: well am doing dood
nice talking to you again
Reid: And me too!

Spammy: you are more much welcome
where do you live
Reid: I am from Cincinnati, currently. But I moved here from Fungus, New Mexico. It’s beautiful there. The summers are so mild you can make salsa right in your mailbox. Where are you from?

Spammy: canada
how old are you
Reid: I am 37. I can always remember that because I share a birthday with Bo Peep. How old are you?

Spammy: 27
you married
Reid: I am married to a wonderful woman! Her name is Inga, and she is my soulmate. We share a single heart, eyebrow, and soul. We have three kids, once of each. Are you married?

Spammy: What do U do for work?
Reid: I’m a malefactory engineer, I work down at Cincinnati Amalgamated Refuse. What do you do for a living?

Spammy: I stay home and take care of my sick mother.
Reid: Good! Modern medicine is doing wonderful things these days with snotgrafts, Glad she’s doing better!

(the next day)

Spammy: Hello
Reid: Howdy!

Spammy: hello thank you for accepting my invitation thank you
Reid: Howdy!

Spammy: coment are you?
Reid: I am coment fine! How are things on you?

Spammy: yes of me is jenifer you?
Reid: Very much! I am of Jennifer very.

Spammy: How old are you? what do you do beautiful in life? you have children? you love what’s beautiful? you’re single for how long?
Reid: I’m 27, single all my life and living it! I sleep under a bridge, no kids, just a chicken. How about you?

Spammy: I a girl of 7 years
Reid: Can you drive a car?
Spammy: yes of course requests and why you think that?
Reid: You said you were 7 years.

Spammy: I am the caps you?
Reid: Caps? Of course! And you?

Spammy: I do hairstyle
Reid: Cool. I usually have hair. What’s your favorite fruit? I like the tambourine.

Spammy: I like orange
Reid: Delicious! Also a good color. Grapes should just be called purples. Except for the green ones, I mean. Those should only be taken rectally.

Spammy: ok you live alone?
Reid: Yes, ever since the fumigation. Do you?

Spammy: I life with my daughter. that you are looking for here?
Reid: I are looking for things that here are usually found on not the way.

Spammy: I am a woman such a little reserved intelligent single comprehensive open to other shy tolérantes- very good cook I support in difficult times and other moments of joy and would love to meet you and talk with you a dialogue further…
Reid: That sounds wonderful to meet! I have plenty of room under the bridge. Where do you living?

Spammy: in canada but I sent Ivory Coast with my daughter and you?
Reid: I’m in Montana. The state that means well. Is that too far away to meet for dinner? I’m already defrosting some wildebeest steaks for you.

Spammy: ok what do you do in life?
Reid: I’m a pallbearer. And you?

Spammy: I do hair and tell me what you like in a woman?
Reid: I like a woman to have hair, definitely. In some places more than others. What color is your hairs?

Spammy: You see (sends obviously fake pic)
Reid: Ah, that’s nice. is that a Vera Schlong dress? Very pretty. Burrito.

Spammy: yes i do
Reid: So what are you looking for?

Spammy: I look for a man with whom make my living
Reid: So some guy who’ll just pay you to style his hair?

Spammy: you speak of?
Reid: Verily, I speak thereof. Hair for the future. The hair up there.

Spammy: you talk about that in the end because I do it’s more what you tell me

(finally looks at my Facebook account)

Spammy: but I do not understand you then you called me not all the truth about you I see that you are 45 and you being married but you called me contrais everything I saw there????
Reid: This is my brother’s account. He’s undercover with Shield. I’m not supposed to talk about it.

Spammy:  but tell me and you, you do not have a Facebook account
Reid: No. I have a MySpace, though.

And finally, they gave up.

— Reid Kerr owes a Nigerian prince money. You can find his first book, “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape,” on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.com, or if you’ve already purchased it, in your hand.

 

 

 

 



Signing Up For The Free Newsletter

23rd June 2016 by admin No Comments

Good news on the publishing front, as well as the humor front, sarcasm front, and any other fronts I may be a part of. Based on my growing frustrations with Facebook as a marketing platform, I’m starting an email newsletter.

Long story made short, I put a lot of work into sending my comedy bits and other random posts out through Facebook (and Twitter), and I’m realizing they aren’t getting seen. My views have gone from thousands to, oh, eleven. That’s not something I can put up with, so I’m doing this myself.

Here’s the link to the signup page for the new email newsletter.
And my promises to you? I will not spam you. I will not send more than one email a week to you. In fact, I’m usually so far behind, I’ll be lucky to get one out a month. But I’ll definitely send out an email when I’ve got something you might be interested in reading.

For example, over the next six weeks, I’ve got a book coming out (“I Hate It Here: A Love Story,” the travel humor book that’s Swiffering the nation). In the newsletter, I’ll do sample chapters, audiobook excerpts, cover reveals (including the cover that was so hilariously awful, I bought it anyway), and other bonus content. So go ahead and sign up for the newsletter now.

By the way, on the newsletter sign-up form, it asks you for your address. If you don’t want to give it, I understand completely. I promise, I’m not going to show up at your house and ask to crash on the couch and do laundry for a weekend. But as you probably know if you follow me on social media, I wind up in a lot of weird places and I love to send postcards, so everytime I go somewhere to write, I’ll just randomly send out postcards to people who’ve signed up for my email list. It’s just my little way of saying thank you for encouraging my behavior.

It’s low-stress, you can sign up or unsubscribe as you’d like. The link again is ThisIsMyWinningStreak.com, feel free to send it to lovers, friend, enemies, people you meet at Target, bus stop companions, etc. Every little bit helps. Thanks again.

— Reid



The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape (Slight Return)

6th March 2016 by admin No Comments
The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape

The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape

Some big news on the publishing front. My novel, “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape,” is once again for sale. The fine folks at Crossroad Press have picked it up, so it’s available at Amazon.com and also their website.

If you’ve already picked up the book and left me a review, thank you very much. If you just got the book and didn’t leave a review, thank you, albeit a lesser amount.

And if you liked the book, there’s more good news. There will be a sequel. Another book, set in the trailers of Jennings County, is on the way.

And now that I write it out like that, “The Trailers Of Jennings County” might not be a bad idea for a title. But that’ll be decided later.

The second book will be coming out on Crossroad Press, more details on that to come.

Up next will be the travel/humor book, “I Hate It Here: A Love Story,” which is in production right now. If you find me even slightly humorous, you’re really going to love this book.

— Reid



The Night Of A Thousand Laughs

2nd January 2016 by admin No Comments

The holiday season officially came to an end last night in pretty much every way possible, so happy new year to all.

My two twelve-year-old nephews have been staying with us, which is fun. They’re twelve, they’re funny, it’s good having them around even though they’re basically two small hurricanes that spend most of their time playing X-Box. We’ve had a week to all hang out, and they’re going home early Saturday morning.

Here’s how the last 24 hours have gone.

One of the kids ate four hot dogs, not three, and won’t admit it, thus causing an all-night back-and-forth debate between the two kids over truth, gluttony, and every other time anyone in the family got something that one of the other kids didn’t over the past twelve years. I don’t know how they do in school, but they certainly have an encyclopedic recall of exactly every perceived wrong that has occurred in their lifetimes.

Since they don’t do dishes, they just dump all their dirties into the sink where they sit until someone whose name rhymes with “Schmeed” can clean it up. Somehow a small glass got set in the wrong side of the sink, the one with the garbage disposal, then enough dishes landed on top of it that it got pushed through and when I turned it on, it detonated like an IED. The disposal no longer works, even after I painstakingly removed about 50% of the remnants of the glass from the blades while using 110% of my available profanity.

We discovered this morning that the bathroom they’ve been using is out of toilet paper and has been for three days, during which no one has mentioned it to us so we could replace the empty rolls with full ones, which are located literally eight feet from the bathroom. In that time, the kids have been using bathroom wipes to clean themselves, and then dropping them into the small trash can in the bathroom. So that bathroom has a certain “truck stop next to a Mexican restaurant” ambiance to it.

They were leaving early this morning, so neither of them slept a wink. The insanity of the night was accentuated by a fairly regular system of running and screaming and crying, about 70% of which was from the kids, and the rest from adults fruitlessly telling them to shut up and lay down.

The kicker of the evening was at 4:30am. One of the boys made a bowl of Hormel chili around midnight, it seems. Then at 4:30 he became sick to his stomach, because that’s the purpose of Hormel chili. It says right on the can, “Chili With Beans…Enjoy Your Stomach Cramps!”

Rather than turn and step five feet into the bathroom to hurl, he ran the length of the house to the kitchen, producing a sound as if a team of Clydesdales was attempting to curbstomp a fully loaded clown car to death.

For some reason he thought the proper procedure was to skip the toilet and throw up into a trash can. And thankfully, he got off the carpet and onto the hardwood before he exploded onto the floor, sink, trash can, wall, pantry, and exterior door to the garage. Like a yard sprinkler filled with retch, this boy created some impressive performance art.

My wife cleaned it up, because I pretended to be asleep and she realized it was probably a good idea if she also pretended that.

So happy new year everybody! Like I always say, a year you start burning through two cans of bleach wipes cleaning up vomit is destined to be a good one.

— Reid Kerr realizes that the more male children you have in one small area, the more dangerous they become.



The 2016 Diet

2nd January 2016 by admin No Comments

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Midnight, New Years Day. That’s a peanut butter sandwich, BBQ potato chips and a Dr. Pepper with a soup bowl full of M&M’s waiting in the wings.

We had a good run, 2016 diet plans. That was a fun 24 hours. See you in 364 days.



The Long Christmas

26th December 2015 by admin No Comments

In 2015, I attempted something sweet, and also quite stupid. Because of various scheduling difficulties, my Christmas season began on the last day of November. It was 26 straight days of the holiday season, and it was one I barely survived, much less enjoyed with yuletide glee. Here’s the day-by-day rundown on The Long Christmas.

Day 1: Picked up my daughter Pup today, packed the bags, and we head to Texas tomorrow for the holiday season to start. And thus begins…The Long Christmas.

Day 2: Went to bed at 2am in Sugartit, Kentucky. Set the alarm for 4:30am, so just enough time to lay there and fall asleep right around 4:27am. Four hours in airports and three on a plane (on “Crying Child Airlines”), five hours in a car and a half hour eating Dairy Queen tacos. Pup and I arrive in Beaumont, TX, for a plate of my dad’s famous stew and it is bedtime, amigos.

Day 3: A large present that was supposed to be delivered on Friday was actually sitting on the porch of my mom and dad’s house in a light drizzle when we arrived, so we had to/got to give them that one early. So it’s disappointing, but actually good news because we get to watch the games on their new TV for the rest of the week. Also? Whataburger.

Day 4: How was my holiday weekend? The drawstring on my lounge pants just exploded.

Good times with family, even if it doesn’t feel anything like Christmas outside. Which is fine, because we can celebrate with the best BBQ in the world. My blood is currently about 35% sauce. And I regret nothing.

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Day 5: I get depressed around the holidays sometimes. Today I watched a drunk guy get cuffed, arrested, and hauled off from a Gander Mountain. That seemed to help my mood a lot.

Day 6: Bad thing about having Christmas in Beaumont: Sore from working in the garden. Good thing about it: It sure beats shoveling snow. Even better thing? Fish and shrimp for Christmas dinner while we put up the tree. Deck ’em, y’all.

Day 7: Popped into HEB in a mad hurry for one item. Got into the 15-Item line behind a woman with a buggy full. Full. Top and bottom. And then to finish it off, she bought six different Christmas cards. Which all had to be rung up separately. The cashier told her what she owed, and then she remembered she had a dollar-off coupon, which she had to find through a long term deep-sea purse excursion worthy of Jacques Cousteau.

Final tally, seventy-five bucks and eight bags of groceries in the express lane.

To stay calm behind her, I was humming Christmas carols under my breath, but they all came out sounding like Motörhead.

Merry Christmas! I didn’t kill anyone today. At all.

Day 8: Long day spent running around finishing things up. We end the evening playing Uno (and the Kerr-family-tradition Screw-no, which is even more awesome.) A great ending to the Beaumont portion of our holiday. Here’s to life, my friends.

Day 9: Another long travel day, but well worth it. Kerr Christmas part one is over, and a great time was had by all. Wonderful seeing my mom and dad, without their love, I wouldn’t have made it. I would have been just a free-floating cloud of unhappy sarcasm. Love you guys. See you soon.

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Things I don’t want to see: My pilot getting on board with a bag of Wendy’s food. If something goes wrong on the plane, I don’t want the headlines to read “Flight Downed By Baconator.”

Day 10: A travel day finds us up at 530am Central Time to hustle out to DFW airport, and I wake up with Warren Zevon’s “Keep Me In Your Heart” stuck in my head. Which isn’t exactly the good kind of foreshadowing. Just for future reference, if anything bad happens to me today, I’ll be the one wearing my “The Flash” underwear.

Safe travels to all, especially us.

Day 11: Home again and back to work on the dozen projects I still have to finish before the holiday. Even better, I now have a sore throat, with a side order of low fever. Merry Christmas! Pa-rum-pah-pum-bleah.

Day 12: Movie Idea: “Sorry Actually.” It’s an ensemble rom-com where couples are forced to reexamine their relationships after one partner forces the other one to watch “Love Actually” every year on the pretense it’s a holiday movie.

“Sorry Actually,” coming to theaters next Christmas, starring everyone you’ve ever heard of.

I just got carded buying a bottle of wine. Apparently there’s been an outbreak in Kentucky of that Benjamin Button disease.

Day 13: This was a long, slow day of rest in hopes of getting over this sickness, made much better by several bowls of Lovely Wife Kimberly’s beef stew. And I may or may not have eaten a loaf of bread with it to sop up the bowls. At this point I’m only three weeks behind in shopping for Christmas, but that’s a problem to handle when I’m well. Or well-ish.

Day 14: Merry Christmas, chain-smoking pregnant woman outside of Target. You’re right, no one has ever done any research to show those two factors together indicate bad things. And thank you for reminding me that Kentucky is the Walmart of states.

Day 15: Just an awful day. Wretched. Couldn’t have gone worse if I had awoke to find the Elf on the Shelf cooking Meth in my Desk.

Day 16: The Christmas Blues have officially set in. I am neither holly not jolly, and merry is right out of the question. I’m in the kind of mood where if you start demanding your figgy putting and telling me you won’t go until you get some, I’ll probably slam a bowl upside your head.

Day 17: I’m not going to say Christmas time is frantic around our house, but I just realized all I ate for dinner last night were croutons.

Day 18: Finally some good news! I found out today that not only am I running second in the Presidential polls in Iowa, it now looks like I’m in line to start at quarterback for Texas A & M in the Music City Bowl.

Day 19: Just splurged and used some of my Christmas money to buy a new battery for my laptop, since I just found out my old battery lasts about as long as the flavor in gum. I went somewhere to write, and by the time I had it unpacked and booted up, it was already out and turned itself off. I like for my laptop batteries to last longer than my anger at them.

Day 20: Success! I finally found a Lego toy set honoring the most valuable member of the Dallas Cowboys organization this season.

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Day 21: I couldn’t get through Christmas without my friends and family, wherever you guys are. Merry Christmas to all of you who make it possible. Especially Chuck McKinley and Roseanna Bolla for the Lewis Grizzard book! Love Grizzard. He was right up there with Bombeck and Barry for me. Thank you guys so much.

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Day 22: It’s always good for my holiday spirit to remember I live somewhere people have to be reminded not to put their kids in a big enclosed playroom and then fire up a pack of Marlboros while they watch the little hellions run and climb and do other activities that cause rapid breathing.

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Day 23: It dawns on me I forgot to send out Christmas cards this year, so please print out my Facebook profile picture and put in an envelope, then open it, smile briefly, and throw it away. Thanks for all your help.

Day 24: It’s very true, especially at this time of year, that the smallest of joys can be the greatest of presents. We should all remember that.

Also the greatest of presents? Actual presents, which explains why that woman in Target trying to get to the video games was throwing elbows at me like Karl Malone in the paint. Thank you, ma’am. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like fresh upper-body bruises around the tree.

Day 25: This seems like a lot of people doing their Christmas shopping at the gift card section of Kroger on Christmas Eve.

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There are two kinds of people in the world, people who don’t understand how anyone could ever be depressed at Christmas, and the rest of the world who has experienced it, and struggles sometimes, even more so around the holidays.

If you’re one of those people, I love you. Because I am you. And for my friends and family, both live and on Facebook, you mean more to me than I can articulate sometimes. Thank you guys and gals for all you do, for the little moments and connections that even in brief passing, make a huge difference.

If I’ve made you laugh this year, or you’ve thrown me a “like” or retweeted something of mine, thank you for condoning my behavior. Merry Christmas, everybody.

Here’s to life.

Day 26: Christmas is finished in all fronts. Presents opened. Halls decked. Yuletide Gayed. Victory.

Q: What did you get for Christmas, Reid?
A: The Glengarry leads.

We’re done here. See you next year.

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The Rejection Chronicles: The Forgotten Pile-On

16th December 2015 by admin No Comments

Just in time for the holiday season to become totally crushing, I received a rejection email today from an agent I couldn’t even remember sending a pitch to. I had to go back and check my records, it was almost six months ago. It’s a long-delayed “nope,” or perhaps just an early Christmas present. Getting a rejection letter from an agent you don’t even remember sending a query to is like stepping on a mine from the Korean War.

What they said: Thank you for your submission to (Agency). We’re afraid your project isn’t quite right for our lists at this time, but we encourage you to continue editing and querying other agencies.

Thanks again, and best of luck in your search for representation.

What I heard: Thanks for taking the time to send us something, we’re going to respond with absolutely zero thought or effort. Your project doesn’t seem right for our lists. Whatever those are, you’re not right. Our list of authors we represent, list of books we sell, grocery list, list of people we’d loan money to, list of bipeds, nothing.

We encourage you to keep trying, because we find it funny as Hell.

— Reid Kerr sometimes feels like he only has business cards to win dinners from siding salesmen.



The Rejection Chronicles: Suddenly Indie Again

6th October 2015 by admin No Comments
The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape

The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape

Yesterday, I was an author.

Today, I am an indie author.

It’s a new chapter in my writing career, and one that comes as quite a surprise.

Last week, I got an email from Dave at Biting Dog Press, who published “The Great Texas Trailer Park Escape” (and also “Fresh Blood and Old Bones”) telling me they’re discontinuing their e-book department.

That means my book isn’t for sale anymore.

First off, I’d really like to thank Dave and everyone else who’s been a part of BDP. “Trailer Park Escape” never would have happened without Dave, who after reading my Shade story in “Fresh Blood and Old Bones” asked me if I had anything else with a “wise-cracking protagonist.” Luckily for both of us, that’s pretty much all I ever have.

Dave and BDP have been great to work with, I’ve really learned a lot over the past two years. There were some great writers under that banner, and some really good people, too. No regrets at all, and I wish them the best.

But for now, that leaves me without a publishing home for my first book. If you’ve got a copy of “Trailer Park Escape,” thank you very much for buying it, and hang on to it. It appears you now have a rare e-book, if such a thing actually exists. It’ll be back for sale soon (hopefully). I’m going to explore self-publishing, which is actually something I had in mind for a couple of projects anyway. This just moves up my timeline, I suppose.

It’s just a brief setback, but I’ll admit it’s certainly an odd feeling to be published on Sunday, and homeless on Monday. There’s a good bit of “starting over” to deal with, even though the book was for sale for almost two years.

So now while I’m working on my regular gigs, two more audiobooks, and rewrites for the new book (“Goodbye Joinerville,” a chick lit road trip), I’ve also got to do some investigating on independent publishing. I’m probably going to add a couple of things to it I originally trimmed up, and add another short story or two from Jennings County. Might as well make it a good value while I’m back in the old neighborhood.

For now, I appreciate everyone who has supported me in the last couple of years, whether it’s been through Amazon, my sports/humor columns with the Tyler Morning Telegraph and Project Shanks.com, or just “liking” and forwarding my stuff on Facebook and Twitter. Thank you so much for encouraging my behavior, and there’s more coming up soon, I promise.

And by the way, for more on what it’s like to be an aspiring writer, check out my new feature here on Reid About It.com, “The Rejection Chronicles.” It’s a little example of the kinds of things you have to do to stay sane in an industry geared around a lower acceptance rate than Ashley Madison.com.

— Reid Kerr is getting back to work, at a lot of things.



The Rejection Chronicles III: Yes and No

21st August 2015 by admin No Comments

One thing is starting to become clear to me, if the writing process was a book, it would be far too depressing to read. It is, by necessity, a culling process. “Culling” in this instance means “a series of punches to the taint designed to discourage everyone.”

Last night I took the new book, “Goodbye Joinerville,” to a Writers Group and read the first ten pages. It killed. I got great feedback, and I was really encouraged by how much they liked it. It was a really good experience, in a situation where that’s certainly not always the case.

GoldenGod01Today, I get up feeling great. I am a Golden God!

And then I get a rejection notice from an agent who had requested the book.

I am no longer a golden god. I am now worthless vermin fit only for extinction. Back to work I go.

Which is really what I should be doing, of course. A book isn’t finished until it’s on a shelf somewhere, and last night I noticed a couple of things I should fix up. Still, rejection is a killer. It’s always frustrating to realize you’re not automatically universally loved and adored, and you didn’t get a return email full of praise and twenty-dollar bills.

How do I deal with it? Sarcasm. Steve Earle. And another episode of the Rejection Chronicles. Here’s another rejection letter I’ve received in the past, and what I actually took it to mean.

EMAIL: Thank you for your query. (Agent) asked me to reply after he evaluated your submission. We’re afraid your project does not seem right for our list, but thank you for thinking of (Agent), and best of luck in your search for representation.

What they meant: Thank you for sending us this vile refuse. My boss read it and threw himself out of a window, so I’m replying to you in hopes you stop before you injure anyone else.

We’re afraid your project doesn’t seem right for humans. Thank you for thinking of us, please stop thinking of us. Or thinking in general. Best of luck in your search for representation, or meaning in life.

— Reid Kerr found that listening to “The Revolution Starts Now” as loud as possible helps with the healing process.



The Daily Life of a Freelance Writer: Mail Call

14th August 2015 by admin No Comments
Being a writer requires a mailbox that can take a punch.

Being a writer requires a mailbox that can take a punch.

Ah, the glamorous life of a free-lance writer. For those of you who’ve been seduced by our portrayal in movies and television, here’s a little daily routine I’ve grown accustomed to.

1) I sing a happy tune all the way to the mail box.
2) I open it, reach in, look around twice and make sure there’s no checks in it.
3) I mutter profanity as I stomp all the way back to my front door.

Repeat daily six days a week. Take Sundays off.

— Reid Kerr wishes he could pay his bills the same way, but the electric company is somewhat less than sympathetic.