Monday, April 1, 2013

So Long, and Thanks For All the Dorkery

I was going to do this big fake-out today, but it turns out it just isn’t in my nature to be deceitful like that. I don’t like being messed with and I don’t like messing with people. It’s just not a thing I’ve ever really been able to get behind. So I wrote this whole thing and about halfway through decided I couldn’t do it. But I’m not one to waste perfectly good writing, so it’s still my post for today.
Also, there’s a certain grain of truth to this. A portion of what’s here is always on my mind at least a little bit. But I can’t imagine changing who I am or what I do. So read on and laugh at how ridiculous the whole thing is.
I said last week that I had a big announcement to make today, and I do. It’s not that I’ve been hired by some big, corporate website to be their hip, funny toy/pop culture guy. It’s not that anybody from Nerdist contacted me and they want to fly me out to Sand Diego Comic Con this year to cover the show. Geek and Sundry didn’t call to say they would be interested in a YouTube show featuring Phantom Troublemaker.
It’s not even that I will be at Dragon*Con as an Attending Professional due to the countless hours I spend writing, photographing, posting, podcasting, and editing.
None of those things happened. Nor will they ever.
I’m out.
I’m done with the geek game. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately and while so many great things have been going on over the past year; I’m finally realizing that I need to focus on more realistic goals. It’s time to move past all of these childish, material things that are sucking away all of my time and money. Don’t get me wrong – I’ll always have a soft spot for this stuff and I’ll definitely keep track of the toy world through Lil’ Troublemaker. But it just isn’t practical for me to be involved in this sort of thing anymore. Not only do I spend thousands of dollars on toys, movies, and video games every year; I have this massive collection just sitting in the Man Room… Well, the basement… collecting dust and doing me no good.
I’ve got a fortune down there. And it could be doing me some good rather than just compelling me to waste more money on such things. So in addition to halting my collecting of toys and comics, I’m putting the collection up on eBay. I’d much rather sell it all at once to an individual, but so far the quotes I’ve gotten are ludicrous. Everything I own is loose, so I’m going to make at least three times as much selling lots and pieces on eBay than I would selling to a dealer.
I know this all sounds crazy, but it’s been brewing inside me for quite some time. When I look at all of the money I spend on toys, cons, costumes, comics, and even just web hosting it is overwhelming. And what do I get in return? A house full of junk and the occasional pat on the back from a guy in a Spider-Man costume. Don’t get me wrong – I definitely have fun doing what I’ve been doing. Heck, I love it. But it’s just self-destructive. There are so many other things I could be investing my time and money in.
One of the key things that led to this is Monstrosity Championship Wrestling’s upcoming shows at Six Flags of Georgia’s Fright Fest. There will be shows every Friday and Saturday in October and because of my shitty work schedule I will not be able to host all of them. And I don’t want anybody else doing it. That’s my fucking job and if I can’t do every one I don’t want to do any. That’s what it comes down to with all of this. I can’t give these hobbies everything I’ve got, so what I am putting into them seems like such a waste. I have to keep the day job (that is also a night job). No choice there. And the reality is that it will always interfere with the things I want to do. As long as I pursue these hobbies I am never going to be satisfied. So I am going to stop those hobbies and just change my expectations. Life isn’t about goofing off and buying He-Man figures and reading X-Men comics. It’s about working hard and maximizing your financial intake while minimizing your output. This isn’t something I want to accept, but I have to.
And no – I can’t just scale down. I’ve always been an all-or-nothing guy. When I quit smoking I quit cold turkey and never looked back. When I go on a diet, I follow the diet. No cheating, no cookies when nobody’s looking. I have to be the same way with this. As long as I have a single toy in the basement my brain will be able to justify buying another. As long as I have even the smallest stack of comics I will be able to talk myself into buying more. Just look at the Saga situation from last year. That one book allowed me to rationalize the continual buying of over twenty books a month. That doesn’t even make sense, but I know how my mind works. Same thing with the podcasting. As long as I am expected to talk about geek stuff every couple of weeks I will be able to justify involvement with the toys, comics, and books. And it all just has to stop.
I’m going to be thirty-seven years old next month. I have responsibilities. Long gone are the days when it was reasonable for me to put a mask on and go to a convention. Or hunt down a toy online or at retail. I could be doing so many more productive things. With the amount of time I invest geeky hobbies I could have a second job and be pulling in real money. Even if it’s just a little part time retail, that’s money coming in instead of going out.
So while I’ve had fun being a grown-up kid these past few years, it’s time to grow up and face reality. I truly appreciate every single one of you that has visited Needless Things and I know there are hundreds of other sited out there that can scratch your dorkery itch. Probably better than I ever did.
I’m not taking the blog down. I am proud of what I’ve done here and I want it to remain as a record of the last several years of my life. Same with the Facebook page. No reason to take it down. I’ve had a lot of fun as Phantom Troublemaker. I’ve had a lot of fun interacting with you guys and taking pictures of toys and making fun of lousy comics and movies. I’ll miss it all, but it’s time to move on.
Ha! April Fool! What a load of nonsense. I’ll never grow up. Come back tomorrow for more GI Joe stuff.


  1. My terrible habit of skimming text online made this April fool's joke last a few hours longer than it should have. Bravo sir!

    1. Heh. I give people shit for that all the time. Just the other day one of my co-workers asked me a question that had been answered in an e-mail I had watched him read not five minutes prior.
      Skimming's bad.

  2. Damn it! I just caught it today, so the thought of it being April Fool's didn't occur to me! I applaud.