This Is My 200th Story! Will It Be My Last?

Image by Karma Willow Designs

It’s amazing! They said it couldn’t be done! I’m going to throw a party to which you all will be invited. I’m going to hire a sky-writing plane to fly over Manhattan and cover the heavens with this announcement: Neil Scheinin, a grand slacker, somehow has written 200 stories for his blog. A miracle has occurred!

And after all of that I might just hang up my writing boots forever. Why? Because writing mentally exhausts me. I mean, after I finish a piece I’m so limp you’d have no trouble folding me up and squeezing me into a goldfish bowl. I’ve gone through this 200 times now. Maybe that’s enough.

And if it is enough, that wouldn’t be so bad. With writing no longer on the menu, I’d devote the extra time on my hands to my living room sofa, where I’m already spending an average of 10 hours a day. The sofa is where I do my best kind of work anyway, you know. By which I mean that I am a master at twirling the handful of hairs remaining on the crown of my head while stuffing my maw with boxfuls of Cheez-It crackers. I love my sofa. My gratitude for having the comfiest place in the world to rest my ancient ass is eternal.

To write or not to write, that is the question. Making the decision isn’t easy. Which is why I’ve recently sought guidance from three individuals. The first conversation took place a week ago. It was with my esteemed editor, Edgar Reewright.

“Neil, the exorbitant fees that you pay me for my services are crucial to my financial stability,” Edgar screamed over the phone after I laid out my thoughts. “Do you hear me? Crucial, I say. My stable of writers has been shrinking like a Greenland glacier. Without you on board I don’t know what I’d do! Oh, why was I born? Why was I born? I should have listened to my parents and majored in philosophy in college. If I had, then I’d know the answer to ‘why was I born?’ Shit, maybe it’s not too late. Where are those volumes of the collected works of Plato and Aristotle that I occasionally glanced at years ago? Ah, I remember. They’re under my dog’s mattress, firming it up. Spot! Spot! Get off your bed! Daddy needs to get something.”

“Later, Edgar,” I said. “I’ll be in touch.”

Edgar’s situation is no joke. Though not many people depend on me, he definitely does. Conversely, my psychiatrist, Dr. R. U. Forereel, is someone upon whom many people depend. Including me. The day after I spoke with Edgar I attended my bi-weekly session with Dr. Forereel.

“Doctor,” I said to her after seating myself in her patients’ chair, “I know that we normally discuss issues that have their roots in my misspent childhood, such as why in my 71 years of existence I’ve never once bonded with a cat. If I weren’t so sphinxlike, maybe by now we’d have uncovered an answer or two to that one. My bad! But today I need your opinions about my creative outlet. I’ve been writing steadily for almost four years, as you know. My next story will be my 200th, a true milestone. But I’m weary, doctor. Writing has taken its toll on me. I’m thinking of ending my career.”

Career?” Dr. Forereel immediately exclaimed. “What career? Neil, the essays and other pieces that you produce are trifles, no? And you receive how much in payment for them? Wait, let me guess. The answer begins with a z and ends with an o and has an e and an r in the middle. Am I right? Neil, what you do with words amounts to nothing more than a hobby, a way to pass the time. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but it’s important to look at things realistically. I have no couch in my office for my patients, only a chair. But you, Neil, have a wonderful couch at home, as you’ve told me many times over the years. Take further advantage of that sofa. It’s one of your very best friends. Writing means little in comparison to the peace of mind that your sofa brings.”

At the end of the session I thanked the good doctor and then went to my car. Her advice echoed through my mind continuously during the drive back home.

Later that day I poured out my heart to my wife Sandy. Edgar Reewright had implored me to continue writing. Dr. Forereel had said, basically, “why bother?” What were Sandy’s feelings?

“Listen,” she began, “it’s entirely up to you. But I’ll say this: At least you’re not getting Cheez-It crumbs all over the couch when you’re at your writing desk. So that’s a good reason, in my opinion, for you to keep turning out your stories. However, there are how many projects around the house that you’ve never gotten to? Twenty? Thirty? Seems to me that starting a blog might be what you came up with to avoid doing what needs to be done around here.”

Valued readers, I’m in a quandary. I’m going to have to look deep within myself over the next several days. There’s plenty for me to ponder. Maybe I’ll be back on these pages. Maybe I won’t. Time, as always, will tell.

(Yo! Despite the uncertainties presented above, please don’t be shy about adding your comments or about sharing this story. Mucho gracias.)

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186 thoughts on “This Is My 200th Story! Will It Be My Last?

  1. Lynette d'Arty-Cross February 11, 2019 / 12:34 am

    I’ll also be missing your stories! I hope you continue to entertain us with your wonderful musings. 🙂

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Still the Lucky Few February 11, 2019 / 12:48 am

    Okay now, that’s enough, Neil. Listen up—I’m about to speak my mind. Don’t you dare, I mean don’t you D.A.R.E. give up writing! You are a talented writer, and your blog is enjoyed by, let me guess, hundreds, if not thousands of readers. But your interest in blogging may be flagging, especially since you’ve reached the dizzy heights of 200 posts! So my suggestion is—and this may blow your mind—write a book instead. At any rate, you have a choice: keep on writing the blog, or start a book, but DON”T give up writing! Whew, I’m beat. Giving advice is hard!

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 4:58 pm

      Thanks, Diane. This story was kind of tongue-in-cheek. I don’t have what it takes to write a book, but I’ll continue to write stories for the blog. See you!

      Like

  3. MELewis February 11, 2019 / 12:53 am

    It is entirely clear to me that this blog is saving you from potentially life-threatening projects around the house as well as keeping the crumbs out of the couch. What more inspiration can a fellow need? 😜 Very funny post.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:01 pm

      Bon soir. Thanks for the visit. I’m often pretty low in inspiration, but I’ll write stories when inspiration hits. See you!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glen available February 11, 2019 / 2:15 am

    Like the gambler who swears they’ll never enter a casino again then finds their love of roulette and poker has them coming back thru the door like an obedient slave the very next week, I’m pretty sure you and well-written blog posts will be duet partners for a number of years yet.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Cindy Frank February 11, 2019 / 6:20 am

    Whatever your final decision, it’s been a pleasure, Neil! Your wonderfully lively and innovative posts have given so much joy to your readers. That’s a marvelous achievement! Thanks much and all best,

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:03 pm

      Hi Cindy. I really appreciate what you say. But stay tuned to this website, because more stories will be appearing.

      Like

  6. Robert Parker February 11, 2019 / 6:58 am

    Congrats, I enjoy your off-kilter stories, and you should keep writing
    There, that’s settled
    And lay off the Cheezits before you turn as orange as The Big Cheeseball in Washington
    Sorry to sound bossy but no slacking or artificial cheese is allowed, and Happy 200th! Time to shoot for 1k, then you can put one of those marathon stickers on your car.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. chorravel February 11, 2019 / 7:04 am

    Congratulations Neil, your 200th ! You can’t stop now, especially with an international readership.
    Alan from Paris

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:08 pm

      Hey there, Alan. Merci beaucoup for stopping by. Yeah, I’m going to continue to write.

      Like

  8. Stars On Flames February 11, 2019 / 7:28 am

    I like your humour in this post. It’s a kind unkind humour. I don’t know if you know what I mean. It’s the smallest hint of dark with a lot of light. I like that. I hope you keep writing, clearly have a knack for it

    Liked by 4 people

  9. pjlazos February 11, 2019 / 7:56 am

    No way out now; you’re stuck for life, Neil. You’d miss the excitement and we’d miss your musings. The house chores can wait (and wait, and wait…). ;0)

    Liked by 4 people

  10. George February 11, 2019 / 8:20 am

    Keep writing or an endless hell of home improvement projects will sap your mortal soul!

    Liked by 4 people

  11. Joanne Sisco February 11, 2019 / 8:40 am

    With characters like Reewright and Forereel I’d say your imagination is alive and well 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:14 pm

      I wouldn’t be surprised if both of them make appearances again on these pages. Thanks for stopping by, Joanne. Appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. enchirist February 11, 2019 / 8:56 am

    Congrats on your 200th story! Every post takes effort and that’s an awesome achievement. I reckon your blog’s pretty neat Neil. Best with deciding! I hope we see more of your writing — even if it’s shorter stories or snaps in future. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:19 pm

      Hi. For now anyway, I’ll continue to turn out the same kinds of pieces that I’ve been doing. Don’t have a clue what the next story will be about. As usual, I’m waiting for inspiration to strike.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Almost Iowa February 11, 2019 / 10:05 am

    Neil, I produced over 300 boiler-plate essays before taking up the question of whether to continue with my dog, Scooter.

    Scooter was not the least bit interested at the time and shown no interest since. I thought of asking others, but when you can’t leap over the low bar of a dog, there is no use trying to jump any higher. So I continue to write. Not because I have hopes or dreams for my writing, rather if I spend my time doing that, I spend less time on household projects and honey-do’s.

    At least you have a couch and Cheez-its to fall back on. I envy that.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:21 pm

      Hi. Try the extra toasty variety of Cheez-Its. I’ve really gotten into them since they were introduced a few years ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Marie Rogers February 11, 2019 / 10:09 am

    Neil, if you’re like me, you have no choice. Yes, writing is exhausting, but if I go a few days without writing, I suffer withdrawal. To write or not to write–either way, you suffer. At least if you write you have something to show for your suffering.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:22 pm

      “To write or not to write–either way, you suffer. At least if you write you have something to show for your suffering.”

      Marie, those are brilliant lines!

      Like

  15. sniderjerry February 11, 2019 / 10:16 am

    Hi Neil, How about another 200 essays then rethink handing up your pencil. all the best. Jerry

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:23 pm

      You know me, Jerry . . . I’ve got nothing better to do, so I’ll keep at the writing game.

      Like

  16. Jacqui Murray February 11, 2019 / 10:29 am

    To write or not, the answer is clear, Neil. It’s in this very post: “folding me up and squeezing me into a goldfish bowl.”, “shrinking like a Greenland glacier”. You are a man who can’t even spell “ordinary”. Buck up. You know this answer.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. everythingsundry February 11, 2019 / 10:36 am

    We will miss you if you go away Maybe just cut back to a few times a year or to when the spirit moves you?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:26 pm

      Oh, I’ll keep turning out the product, as long as bolts of inspiration hit me now and then.

      Like

  18. Sam Gridley February 11, 2019 / 11:07 am

    My advice: Keep writing. If the sofa needs counseling, send it to Dr. Forereel, who needs one anyway.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:27 pm

      After the way that Dr. Forereel spoke to me, I think that maybe she needs counseling!

      Like

  19. greenpete58 February 11, 2019 / 11:46 am

    I really hope you keep writing. If not, who else will document Philadelphia truck art? Also, you’re the only person on WordPress that appreciates my kind of music (Incredible String Band, the Roches, etc.). Just pop some amphetamine with those Cheez-Its.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:28 pm

      Hey, you should write to the Cheez-It company and suggest that they start lacing the crackers with speed. It’s an idea whose time maybe has arrived!

      Liked by 1 person

      • greenpete58 February 12, 2019 / 10:15 am

        BTW, I read the Oliver Sacks “New Yorker” article “The Machine Stops.” He expresses everything I want to express, but much more eloquently. Now, I plan to read the E.M. Forster book, as well as Dr. Sacks himself. Thank you… I guess. This dystopian society of ours has me a little depressed. I think our humanity is seriously slipping.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah, Another Blogger February 12, 2019 / 10:56 am

          I’ve never been optimistic about the prospects of the human race. Too many people, too much hatred, too much inequality, too much warfare, etc.

          Like

  20. Debra February 11, 2019 / 11:51 am

    Mazel tov on your 200th blog! Keep on writing. Sandy needs you out of her hair at least sometime during the week. If you need a kick in the pants, I volunteer to be the first in line to administer it.

    Liked by 2 people

  21. kalison0515 February 11, 2019 / 12:10 pm

    I’m inspired that you’ve had 200 posts! This year I have doubled my output from 2018 and 2017, which means I have two posts this year so far. I’ve blogged as long as you have and, as you can see, have not been nearly as prolific. I’m going to keep plugging away at it. I think my writer’s block has lifted a bit. Stay inspiring!

    Liked by 2 people

  22. Elizabeth M. Soltan February 11, 2019 / 12:25 pm

    Congrats on your 200th post! Remember the song, “That old rockin’ chair’s going to get me…”? You’ve updated it to that “comfy couch,” but the danger is still there.

    Tell Sandy not to be mad at me…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:32 pm

      Liz, I saw Jim and Mary today in the building where I volunteer. Glad to see that she’s pretty mobile. Bye till next time!

      Like

  23. betunada February 11, 2019 / 12:48 pm

    ’twas funny, punny, et. whuddevur awl. i’m almost @ 200, but the (a)muse has the “a” firmly attached, so the muse ain’t loose. you and the couch and the cheetoez — we must share some sort of sordid psychic bond …

    Liked by 2 people

  24. smilecalm February 11, 2019 / 12:53 pm

    when moved to share
    please do, blogger!
    many come & go
    after experiencing
    wordpress connections 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. joyce hamilton February 11, 2019 / 1:10 pm

    FYI . .Do you know that you can make a pie out of ritz crackers that taste just like apple pie?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      Hi Joyce. Your comment reminds me that something I haven’t eaten in a million years is Apple Brown Betty. I used to love that. I wonder if anyone makes it anymore.

      Like

  26. JT Twissel February 11, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    Golly. I try not to count all the time I spend writing. I guess I could be golfing. But I like being with my stories – they’re good company.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. andrewcferguson February 11, 2019 / 1:40 pm

    Neil, you must keep going! Your readership demands it! And trust me, there are poetry magazines with a smaller circulation than the number of people that have bothered to press the like button on this single post. I know, I’ve been in them…

    Hasta luego, good buddy

    Liked by 2 people

  28. Apple Hill Cottage February 11, 2019 / 1:51 pm

    Writing? or Cheez-its on the couch? or House Projects?

    Seems like you could probably squeeze them all in. You know, write about your house projects…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:39 pm

      Hey there. Thanks for adding your thoughts. You never know . . . one of these days maybe a house project will find its way into one of my pieces. Have a great week!

      Like

  29. tylerus February 11, 2019 / 1:54 pm

    No-ooooooooo, say it ain’t so, my friend. Don’t leave me/us! , I’ll buy you (bribe you with) a crate of Cheez-It crackers if you’ll continue. Aim for 400! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:41 pm

      Thanks, Tyler. The stories will continue! I have no idea what the next one will be about. I’m interested to find out.

      Like

  30. Lyn Douglas February 11, 2019 / 1:58 pm

    Congratulations on your 200 stories Neil. Yes writing blog posts can be a lot of work. I agree. Sometimes I wonder why I continue but then I remember, oh yeah, I like it even though it can be exhausting. Maybe have a break and see if you miss it. I know that many people will miss your stories. Good luck. Lyn

    Liked by 2 people

  31. Cristina Crawford February 11, 2019 / 2:16 pm

    Congratulations on the milestone. And for the early EARLY April Fools joke. Like…um….right?! Seriously, I admire and enjoy your writing and hope that you’re not putting the cap on your pen any time soon. Besides, I’ll selfishly admit that reading your words keeps hope alive for me… in my paltry efforts to write something vaguely coherent or interesting every now and again…

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:46 pm

      Evening, Cristina. Yeah, I hadn’t thought of this story as an early April Fools joke, but that’s sort of what it is. But even though writing poops me out, I’ll keep at it. Like, I’ve got something better to do?

      Like

  32. Ann Coleman February 11, 2019 / 2:35 pm

    Keep writing, Neil. You’re good at it and we would miss you if you were gone. And time spent writing, like time spent reading, is never wasted. Not everything can be valued in terms of money!

    Liked by 2 people

  33. lexklein February 11, 2019 / 4:05 pm

    Congrats on your accomplishment! I have no idea how many posts I’ve done; I might have to go and check … in any case, I totally get the effort it takes and I’m afraid I’ve been more than a little lazy lately. (I do have an excuse since I write all day on other projects!)

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 5:50 pm

      Hey there, Lexie. I’m glad to hear from you. Yeah, writing is pretty hard work, but so are a million other things. The main thing is that it’s fulfilling (usually). I’ll be seeing you!

      Like

  34. ckennedyhola February 11, 2019 / 6:09 pm

    I really enjoyed this! And, I see by your comment above that this is NOT your last story, so whew! Yay! Here’s to 200 more! Oh, and the sofa can be used for writing as well. It’s convenient for rewarding yourself with Cheez-Its or a nap when you finish a paragraph, a sentence, a word–whatever. Cheers!

    Liked by 2 people

  35. The Artist's Child February 11, 2019 / 7:22 pm

    Fantastic achievement! Keep it up.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. Alyson February 11, 2019 / 7:40 pm

    Congratulations Neil – Quite a feat to have pressed the publish button 200 times, especially as you write quite lengthy essays which must take quite a bit of time and effort.

    We all know you’re not going anywhere soon though! It’s a really special place this, where virtual friendships can be struck up with all manner of like-minded people. Yes those jobs need done around the house, but we need more Neil-isms too. Here’s to the next 200.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 9:00 pm

      Thanks, and hi. You’re right about meeting like-minded people from all over the world, via WordPress. That’s a really good and fun thing.

      Like

  37. carpe diem Eire February 11, 2019 / 7:46 pm

    Well I for one will completely give up the internet should you stop writing. I mean, what would be the point? Have you really never bonded with a cat?

    Liked by 2 people

  38. Helen Devries February 11, 2019 / 7:48 pm

    Congratulations on your 200..but it’s work!
    However, between doing something tiring but enjoyable and buckling down to household projects there is no choice and by continuing to write you are economising both on Cheez- its and elecricity for the hoover which will not be needed to suck up the crumbs.

    Liked by 2 people

  39. uglyscarftravelblog February 11, 2019 / 9:33 pm

    Congratulations on 200 posts! Also on retiring from blogging! Or not, depending… good luck! J ☺️

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 11, 2019 / 9:54 pm

      Hey, I’ll be back. I was just sort of goofing around, although there were plenty of my true feelings mixed in with my fantasizing. Thanks for stopping by this little dot in cyberspace. See ya!

      Liked by 1 person

  40. Joe February 12, 2019 / 4:04 am

    Dump the Cheez-Its and keep the blog. Bravo on 200!

    Liked by 2 people

  41. Steve Higgins February 12, 2019 / 5:16 am

    Holy smoke. 200 posts? Is that all? I used to look up to you but when you come close to my 336 posts then you’ll have a reason to feel tired of blogging. Get out that notebook and get started on post 201!
    As for your household jobs, like I say to the missus,they will get done, you don’t have to keep reminding me every six months!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 12, 2019 / 7:11 am

      336 posts! You’re setting a pace that few can keep up with. Have a great week, Steve. Bye till next time.

      Like

  42. Christy B February 12, 2019 / 1:48 pm

    Congrats on 200 stories, Neil. And you better be back or we’ll all be sad!! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 12, 2019 / 2:37 pm

      Yup, I’ll be back. I was joking around a lot in this story. But I don’t know when #201 will appear — Coming up with story ideas is often a big challenge for me. Take care, and enjoy the week!

      Liked by 1 person

  43. viewfromoverthehill February 12, 2019 / 2:39 pm

    Hey Neil: You’ve asked a lot of people, but I’m the one who can really give you advice. If you want to keep your wife, stick with the writing. If you DO make the time to take care of all those neglected jobs needing doing around the house, she’ll discover how inept you are and leave you. But the main thing is if you concentrate on sitting on the sofa eating those cheese thingies, there won’t be any left for me! As always, a fun read. Cheers, Muriel

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 12, 2019 / 4:37 pm

      “If you DO make the time to take care of all those neglected jobs needing doing around the house, she’ll discover how inept you are and leave you.”

      Muriel, you’re a genius! You’re the only person who ever figured out why I shy away from projects around the house.

      Like

  44. selizabryangmailcom February 12, 2019 / 3:14 pm

    This one was a knee-slapper! From lack of cat relationships discovered in twice-weekly psych visits (That’s a LOT!) to various folk giving you conflicting advice….lol !! Best way to wake up while drinking my morning java. Perhaps you’ve raised the bar on yourself……..?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, Another Blogger February 12, 2019 / 4:40 pm

      Hi Stacey, and thanks. I’m glad you got some laughs from this story. I’ll be seeing you!

      Like

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