Do you suffer from the ‘stillgottas’?

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Tyrades! by Danny Tyree

Despite my best preventive measures, I have spent decades enduring the “stillgottas.”

If you are unfamiliar with the medical terminology, it’s the why-can’t-it-be-terminal-and-give-me-the-sweet-release-of-death condition characterized by perpetually gasping, “I’ve still gotta grab item A and finish project B and clean item C and research the efficacy of an Epi-Pen after absent-mindedly ingesting mystery food D and…”

Some guys have a fabulous career releasing their inner drag queen, but all I can muster is being a third-rate Soccer Mom.

The stillgottas can erupt at any time of day, but for me they are worst between 5:00 a.m. and 7:15 a.m., as I rush to hit the road and join the rat race. (D’oh! Forgot to set the mouse trap!)

If I have awakened during the night, my mind has already raced to strategize everything that must be accomplished before I can wail, “Maybe I’ll do better tomorrow” and gallop to the SUV. I know I need to hit the ground running – unless one of the cats has produced a particularly viscous hairball, in which case I hit the linoleum skidding.

Fix that breakfast. Pack that lunch. Take those pills. Apply that deodorant. Charge that cellphone. Pay that bill. Spritz that eyeglasses cleaner. Check that tire pressure. Find that cleanest dirty shirt. Pay Kris Kristofferson royalties for that last remark…

The stillgottas are never satisfied. No matter how down-to-the-minute I schedule my morning, there’s always a surprise, like the load of laundry that was supposed to be dry and ready for putting away, but instead includes a mangled wad of soggy sheets and towels that apparently attempted to master the Kama Sutra.

Guilt feelings make the stillgottas worse. Even with a microwave oven, indoor plumbing and squeeze-bottle condiments, I’m always bemoaning my first-world problems. (D’oh! Took five whole minutes to scan those photographs of my ancestors plowing with mules!)

True, my mornings would be more laid-back if I didn’t try being a responsible adult. For my wife’s sake, I try to: hang clean, dry kitchen towels; get the coffee maker ready; take out the garbage; defrost her windshield; perform other chores and leave a nice note.

If only I had access to an “Amazing Race” Express Pass! (“Sorry I failed to flush, ate the last doughnut and left the cats’ water bowl empty, but I have this handy-dandy Exp…wait! What do you mean you’re sending my comic book collection on a one-way cruise???”)

I also burden myself with too many hobbies and obligations. I strive to speed-read at least three newspapers a day, post memories and memes on social media and answer emails. If all the people I’ve stalled with “Things have been crazy around here” met in one room and compared notes, they would surely conclude that I live with Jack Nicholson and Nurse Ratched.

I used to get perturbed at my parents for returning from exhibiting at the Nashville Fairgrounds Flea Market and just collapsing on the sofa. But I see now that staggering into one’s “castle” is just as daunting a task as leaving it. There are always perishable groceries to put away, receipts to file in a safe place, mail to sort before it gets lost, towels and sheets to refer to a crisis pregnancy center…

Ohhh…still gotta concoct a final paragraph! Writer’s block is just another word for nothing left to lose…
*Sigh* Here’s your &^%$# money, Kris!

Copyright 2024 Danny Tyree, distributed by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page “Tyree’s Tyrades.”

Controversial author Harlan Ellison once described the work of Danny Tyree as "wonkily extrapolative" and said Tyree's mind "works like a demented cuckoo clock."

Ellison was speaking primarily of Tyree’s 1983-2000 stint on the "Dan T’s Inferno" column for “Comics Buyer’s Guide” hobby magazine, but the description would also fit his weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades" column for mainstream newspapers.

Inspired by Dave Barry, Al "Li'l Abner" Capp, Lewis Grizzard, David Letterman, and "Saturday Night Live," "Tyree's Tyrades" has been taking a humorous look at politics and popular culture since 1998.

Tyree has written on topics as varied as Rent-A-Friend.com, the Lincoln bicentennial, "Woodstock At 40," worm ranching, the Vatican conference on extraterrestrials, violent video games, synthetic meat, the decline of soap operas, robotic soldiers, the nation's first marijuana café, Sen. Joe Wilson’s "You lie!" outburst at President Obama, Internet addiction, "Is marriage obsolete?," electronic cigarettes, 8-minute sermons, early puberty, the Civil War sesquicentennial, Arizona's immigration law, the 50th anniversary of the Andy Griffith Show, armed teachers, "Are women smarter than men?," Archie Andrews' proposal to Veronica, 2012 and the Mayan calendar, ACLU school lawsuits, cutbacks at ABC News, and the 30th anniversary of the death of John Lennon.

Tyree generated a particular buzz on the Internet with his column spoofing real-life Christian nudist camps.

Most of the editors carrying "Tyree’s Tyrades" keep it firmly in place on the opinion page, but the column is very versatile. It can also anchor the lifestyles section or float throughout the paper.

Nancy Brewer, assistant editor of the "Lawrence County (TN) Advocate" says she "really appreciates" what Tyree contributes to the paper. Tyree has appeared in Tennesee newspapers continuously since 1998.

Tyree is a lifelong small-town southerner. He graduated from Middle Tennessee State University in 1982 with a bachelor's degree in Mass Communications. In addition to writing the weekly "Tyree’s Tyrades," he writes freelance articles for MegaBucks Marketing of Elkhart, Indiana.

Tyree wears many hats (but still falls back on that lame comb-over). He is a warehousing and communications specialist for his hometown farmers cooperative, a church deacon, a comic book collector, a husband (wife Melissa is a college biology teacher), and a late-in-life father. (Six-year-old son Gideon frequently pops up in the columns.)

Bringing the formerly self-syndicated "Tyree's Tyrades" to Cagle Cartoons is part of Tyree's mid-life crisis master plan. Look for things to get even crazier if you use his columns.