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  • Jeff Eaker

Polka Makes It Better


He was a failure, as a sailor.

Every ship he ever sailed on sunk.

He was a flop, as a cop.

Because he showed up for every shift drunk.

He was fired.

For being tired.

From his job at the coffee shop.

He was let go.

From a Petco.

For dancing the Bunny Hop.


If you don’t mind, I’d like to begin with a few random thoughts.


1. The most adrenaline ever produced occurred in 1982 when the band Survivor played "Eye of the Tiger" for the first time in their rehearsal space. Can you imagine what that must have been like? That song has been on heavy rotation for the last 40 years. I still get pumped when I hear it.


2. You can’t be a neo-Nazi and a Holocaust denier at the same time. That’s like saying you love the Beatles but only for their film work. Nick Fuentes is a giant pile of horse dick.


3. Juice boxes should be made in adult size. I want 64 ounces of high-fructose corn syrup and a giant, pointed bendy straw that could be driven through the heart of any neo-Nazi who would dare to deny Hitler his biggest accomplishment. Without the Holocaust, he’s just a guy with a funny mustache who invaded Poland. Not that hard.


The world is a wildly unpredictable place. A common theme you may notice in my writing is a recurring frustration with things never going according to plan. Nothing ever fucking works out the way I think it will, want it to, or believe it should. There will always be a turd on the table at some point during the meal. A proverbial floater that shows up out of nowhere to remind me that the universe is keenly aware of my seemingly noble intentions but, at the same time, gives zero fucks about my desired outcome.


It may come as a surprise to some readers, but in real life, I’m actually a huge optimist. My wife will back me up on that. It’s one of her favorite things to tease me about.


I always think that things are going to work-out great. I’m always convinced that the next project will be the one for me. The next script is going to be the best thing anyone’s ever read. When I set out to do something with my kids, I always think that everyone will have an amazing time. When I go off into left field on one of my crazy ideas, I just assume it will be enthusiastically embraced by anyone who sees it.


But I am often wrong.


I’m wrong a lot.


I’m usually wrong.


So, I wind up getting disappointed constantly. It’s a burden. It’s depressing. I would probably benefit from being more doubtful. More dubious. More skeptical. But I just don’t have it in me. On here, I can get pretty negative. But in the real world, I sincerely always believe everything is going to be wonderful. I’m downright perky. It’s annoying.


It’s also a foolish way to live. I don’t recommend it. There is perhaps nothing more dangerous than optimism. It gives you way too much confidence. It makes you take chances. Which sounds good on paper, but I believe it’s possible we’ve been dangerously misled on the overall success rate of risk-takers. Just do it is a great tagline but trust me— I speak from extensive experience when I tell you that there are a shitload of things that I just did when I probably should have just passed.


In times of doubt, I look for the patterns. I lean in on the basics. I search for the things that I know tend to yield positive results.


Breathing is a good one. I highly recommend, unless under water, breathing at all times. There are many situations in life where breathing comes in handy and can greatly increase your winning percentage. I’ve breathed my way through some really shitty stuff. I’m still here. Breathing works.


Move around. Just get up and do shit. I fucking hate sitting down. I can’t sit down for more than ten minutes at a time unless I’m writing. When I’m writing I can make it for about an hour and then I need to stand up and kinda shake it out a little. I try to move around as much as possible. I stand until I can’t stand it anymore. And then I lie down. Sitting is for chumps. Laying down is where the action is. Less blood in the ass and more in the brain. That’s gotta help.


Pray. Pray to God if you’re religious. Pray to something else if you aren’t. Ask the universe for help. Talk to the sun. Carry on conversations with the dead guy who used to own your house. Whatever. Create an internal dialogue with something or someone that you feel has more power than you do. If nothing else, it’ll humble you enough to realize how utterly miniscule you are in the grand scheme of things. In a world as well-stocked with such massive problems as ours, sometimes the only solution is to think small.


Finally, if all else fails, put on some polka music. Polka is the bacon of music. It makes everything better. At least that’s what I told Sara Starling when she said she was recording another one of my stories and wondered if a little music might help move the dialogue along. So, along with her engineer husband Leon, they put together this wonderful recording of a piece I wrote quite some time ago called It.


I hope you enjoy It.




Happy holidays if you celebrate.

Peace on Earth if you don't


Thanks for reading. I'll see you again real soon.





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