Sunday, October 07, 2012

Iquitos, Peru: Words of Wise Advice to a Young Traveler from Idaho

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In meeting after a long lifetime on the road a man from Idaho I found myself in something of a state of rapture, and the first thing that came to mind in this euphoric state was what always comes to the mind of an old guy: to give advice. A young man who has made his way from a state in which few men travel away from home, a young man on his own and doing well at it, a man from Idaho, he was the perfect candidate to give advice to, and this in part because as an old guy I have the common degeneration of the brain that afflicts most old guys, i.e. the brain dissolves around the prudence and good manners part of the organ till there is no stopping a continuous dribble of advice leaking into the blurt section of the brain as surely as urine dribbles into ones shorts during the course of a long day. Giving advice is as biologically determined in an old guy as is being grumpy. It is the way of Nature, and nothing can be done for it by modern medicine to date. Old guys just have to give advice, uncontrollable, like when one laughs and finds oneself also farting. And too being a writer I must write. Thus, after talking with my young compatriot and giving him endless advice he politely asked my to put in all down on paper, as it were, to preserve it for the benefit of all other young men from Idaho, if not for all of eternity and the good of mankind. I do so here.

First bit of excellent advice:

Don't kill anybody unless they probably deserve it.

It's tempting to kill arseholes on sight, but then what do you do with the remains? I mean with the emotional remains of the guy you killed, he staying in your mind rotting there forever. If the guy stinks in real life, you don't want to carry him around in your mind for all of your life. And you can't undo it unless you have some rare talent that others will look at as a sign they should hang you up to dry for a few days till you too are dead. This is not to claim you should never kill arseholes. Sometimes it's the right thing to do and you cant help yourself, in which case don't worry about it. You can always come up with an excuse for yourself.

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 A gentle reminder that my book, An Occasional Walker, is available at the link here:

And here are some reviews and comments on said book:


Pastorius said...


You should call this

Summa Cum Farting While Laughing

Dag said...

You can give advice like that because you're a geezer, too. Of course, I'm more a geezer than you, so I can crank it out all day, and dribble, too, while I do so.

Pastorius said...

I'm definitely getting there.

Dag said...

The best part of becoming a geezer is that you don't have to work at it. You can lay in bed eating K.D. from the pot and watch t.v. and before you know it you're a geezer just as old as the rest.

Man, do I ever know stuff!

Unknown said...

I'm moved by your post. And I literally laughed out loud when I read the part about how advice dribbles out of an old guy like urine in the pants.

Although humorous, what you've written is true. Idahoans have a unique and rugged heritage and we are just about as far away from the rest of the United States as we are from Peru. Most Americans I've met around the U.S. have never met an Idahoan before (and often they don't even know where Idaho is.)

Idaho has a reputation for being racist and ignorant but on the flip side all of these so called experts running our country and the countries of the world are, more often than not, complete idiots who would make just as much of a difference in the world if they were just dumb hillbillies from Idaho. In fact they would probably do less harm.

I'm traveling the world and the experiences are life changing but above all I know and hold close to my awareness that I truly know nothing.

Now I'm not condoning ignorance or racism and I'm not saying that because you're from Idaho you will walk around with some kinda socratic humility. No. Idahoans are normal people too with normal problems. I am only emphasizing the point I dunno cus I'm from Idaho and there's nothing wrong with that because that is the key to being young again, to becoming impressionable, and always learning and growing (and in old age dribbling a bit in the pants of course.)

Thank you very much for writing this and I do plan on buying your book when I get back to the states. After 40 years of traveling, your stories must be amazing and something about the way you write is so damn Idahoan that it really resonates with me: the humorous, childlike naivety painted over a deep ocean of experience and complex, sometimes almost melancholic, emotion.

It was a pleasure meeting you Dag!

A fellow Idaho man

Dag said...

The pleasure in meeting was all mine, sir. I've longed to meet a fellow from Idaho for decades, sometimes fearing who I might find, someone disgraceful, someone disillusioning of all my hopes and dreams of our place personified; but you did it well, being a true and decent man who makes me proud of you, our home, and our nation.

I write often of America of the Mind, that due to so long away that mostly all I have is attitude and memory, the Idaho of my being carried from a distant past to keep me entire in a floating reality of different peoples and places, an Idaho and an America I can call my home and place. when I am confronted by the absolute strange, I ask, "What would we do back home?" I can at least start from that solid foundation of the good, and if I mistake it all, at least I had the chance to stand on solid moral ground to begin. No one can take that away, and I take it with me wherever I go.

Meeting you was a confirmation of the good I recall. Thanks for all of it, and my best wish to you in all the coming years of your long travels through life.