Idol of idiot worshippers…not so much brain as ear wax.
“If the cards are stacked against you, reshuffle the deck.” — John D. MacDonald
Sound advice from one of America’s most treasured authors–advice I’ve heeded more than once in my four-plus decades of existence. But in my experience, a reshuffle isn’t just a response to an adverse situation. Sometimes you need a change, and getting dealt a new hand may bring new challenges that serve as a catalyst for that change. For better or worse.
Case in point: Growing up in Stone Mountain, Georgia, I was determined to secure an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, see the world, and drive ships for a living. After seven-plus years in the Navy, though, I was ready for a change, so I resigned my commission to try my hand at civilian life. I reshuffled the deck…just because.
After a year as a deckhand on tug boats and a vending machine stocker in Savannah, however, I realized things didn’t pan out the way I’d envisioned. The tugboat work on the river was sporadic, and the vending routine was both lonely and mind-numbing. So I reshuffled the deck again. Only this time I played a wild card and asked the Navy to take me back.
I was dealt a hand I never expected. In the next 13 years, I married my best friend and the love of my life, had two great kids, lived in Italy, self-published three novels, and travelled more–to places I thought I would never see. Life was good. Hell, it was great. But when I was finally eligible for full retirement, I left the Navy behind and reshuffled the deck one more time.
I moved the family to north Florida, and now–it took me a year to say this with confidence–I’m a writer.
I’ll try to play out this hand as long as I can, because sometimes, if you’re lucky, even a good bluff pays off.
(Travis McGee’s houseboat “Busted Flush” from the cover of The Official Travis McGee Quiz Book by John Brogan)