Thursday, June 30, 2016


In Vaudeville days, if the audience wasn't responding well to a performer, a large hook would appear from the wings and pull the performer off the stage. Every performer knew it could happen and prayed that it wouldn't. Or did they? Maybe this is just a trope in comedy and cartoons. Plenty of people have yelled the phrase, "Get the hook!" But did anyone, other than a muppet on The Muppet Show actually get the hook? I honestly don't know.

Most of us can speak of an experience in which we were hooked off our stage. One minute you're singing or dancing and the next you're sitting on your ass off stage wondering what happened. The hook is the death of someone you thought would always be there. The hook is someone betraying your trust. The hook is a cancer diagnosis. The hook is an expense you can't cover. Either way, you're derailed with absolutely no idea how to recover.

But you do. You recover.

There are times when you hook yourself out of a situation. The relationship is never going to be healthy. The friendship will always be one-sided. The family member can only see you as a caricature. The workplace has no sense of your value. The lover never laughs with you. You have to go. You have to hook yourself on out of there. 

So, you do. You go.

I believe people become more interesting after they've gotten hooked. They have more depth. People who have experienced the feeling of being off balance or left out in the cold develop character and nuance. If they're fortunate, they become softer and more willing to help others. But even those who don't can be fascinating to know. 

Have you felt the hook? Who was on the other end?

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