Very Special People Part I

I interrupt this labor and delivery broadcast to bring you one announcement:

There are some Very Special People in my life that have helped shaped me into who I am today (crazy) and without them, I wouldn’t be doing anything.  Literally nothing.  Probably sitting at home and beating on empty buckets with sticks.

Anyway, one of those people is John McNally.  I met John when he was my instructor for a fiction workshop class at the University of South Florida.  He’s one of those people who has layers, like people who look totally normal but are actually doing really cool awesome things but are too humble and down to earth to ever bring up, like having a great book of short stories published while working on one of my favorite books ever

In class, I noticed his dry sense of humor and quick wit (which I obviously hated) and wondered what he was all about.  I was browsing our campus bookstore one day, and happened upon Troublemakers, which I bought immediately.  I read the entire book that day and probably skipped his class  which made my head explode a hundred different ways. 

I went to two of his classes without even telling him I read his book, and I felt like a total idiot.  To me, real “celebrities” are people that do stuff to make the world a better and more enjoyable place.  Richard Blais is a celebrity.  Tim Gunn is one too, since he’s trying to rid the world of unfashionableness.  (Still angry at you, Mr. Matthew Robison, I know you’re reading this.)

And because I loved his writing so much, John McNally became an instant celebrity in my eyes. I could chat up pretty much any actor/musician/TV star with ease *cough John Cena cough* but if it’s someone I actually admire, I can’t form a sentence.

So it took me at least another week to even speak to him, let alone tell him that I read his big book full of words and found it enjoyable. 

He ended up being one out of the two instructors that I met with outside of class during their office hours.  (And look at me now, all advisorlike with my college kids saying, “Meet your instructors!  Talk to them!  They’re people too!” ) He was, and continues to be, one of the nicest and coolest guys ever. (He’ll wince at that last sentence, I promise you.)  It’s my belief that his letter of recommendation was the only thing I had going for me when I applied to grad school for counseling, as it surely wasn’t my stellar interview—I’d answered “Dr. Phil” when asked if I read any counseling or psychology literature—or GPA. So thanks for my education and for pretty much everything I do now, John.

Since meeting him, he’s been kind enough to not tell me to fuck off humor random ideas for books that I’ve had. In fact, even if I wrote him an email that said, Hey John, I’m thinking of writing a book about the metaphysical structure of the chair I’m sitting on as it relates to the world outside of my realm, he’d probably write back, “You might have a good idea there, think some more.  Cheers, John,” although he and I both know that no one would read one word out of that book (actually, there might be a couple of people and they definitely haven’t gotten laid in the last ten years) let alone publish it. 

So thanks John, for being in my top five list of Very Special People. And guys, guess what else?  He also just had another book published, and I’m sure he’d send me a copy if I asked him nicely. But being that I haven’t talked with him since he quit Facebook started writing his new book, I can’t just email him and start demanding things. So I’m going to purchase it right now on Amazon instead.  I know he’d do the same for me if I had a book.  Which I don’t right now. This is when John will start checking his emails only once a week instead of daily, and “accidentally” delete one that might arrive from me.


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