popsicles and success


I am Ralphie:

Perhaps I watched that movie a few too many times growing up.  Perhaps I over-identified with this nerdy, glasses wearing, bb-gun deprived kid.  Perhaps my relatives teased me about being just like Ralphie at every fucking family reunion.  I digress.

Lately I’ve been feeling like such a failure.  My own standards for success are high, I admit.  But they ARE attainable, and so – until I attain them, I cannot be fully satisfied with my efforts.

A while ago, I was at a comedy club doing stand up. There was a girl in the audience that I have a substantial crush on. It made me nervous to know that she was there. I had my heart set on totally killing it.  The previous night, I did really well at a different club – one that’s usually very difficult to get laughs in.  Thus, I had high expectations and they weren’t entirely without basis.  My set felt incredibly average. I got a few laughs.  Here is how I know that I totally failed:  the aforementioned girl did not drag me into the ladies room and give me a ravenous blow job after my set. I hated myself for 3 and 3/4 days after this non-incident.

I recently had a business meeting that could have some important implications. The potential client looked through my portfolio, gave a few brief, muted compliments, and then we were on to a new subject, including the next step in doing business together.  The client’s reaction was, in my eyes, underwhelming. Anything short of being dragged into the next room and being given a congratulatory blow job for my photographic accomplishments, was a failure in my eyes. Nobody was worshiping at the altar of my cock after showing my portfolio, and I was DEVASTATED.

“Paul, you are expecting too much!” , you might say.  “These things just don’t happen, you need to learn to be content with a nice compliment”.

NAY! , I say to you!  There ARE people in this world who are dragged into bathroom stalls, stock rooms, alleys, and 2012 A8’s by perfect strangers, and given congratulatory head.  This DOES happen to some people. Yes, it’s not common, and yes it’s a bit much to expect, and yes it’s sort of creepy, and yes perhaps even sort of dangerous, and yes a tad unreasonable and yes kind of narcissistic.  Yes, I know.

Don’t be such a dream squasher.

I won’t allow myself to be happy until I join those ranks. It’s nothing but PAIN, and SELF LOATHING, and endless MORTIFICATION OF MY SOUL’S FLESH until I my work is so brilliant that people cannot help but fellate me upon meeting me for the first time.

The sweet taste of success.

P.S.  I meet with lots of clients and I do comedy all the time, so don’t stress out too much wondering if you are the girl or the client. I might have even just made all of this up out of the dark recesses of my imagination.  Just move along. These aren’t the droids you are looking for.



Short URL: http://goo.gl/OYpjh

Brought to you by:

Paul Duane

Paul Duane is a photographer, writer, and talk show host based in Salt Lake City, Utah.


  1. Paul, Jory just showed me your site.  Your funny…and I must admit…I am HORRIBLY sad to have missed the Naked Bike ride….That looked EXTREMELY refreshing…:)  Good luck on your journey!  Rachel…www.livingmom.net

    •  @LivingMom Thanks Rachel :-)  The WNBR was an amazing and hilarious experience. I plan to do it again.  See you in Portland 2013?  😉

      •  @paulduane
         Dude, I am THERE!  Maybe I can even hitch a ride, if you don’t mind riding with someone your don’t know for 12 hours…..hahahaha!  It would be FUN to meet you.  Jory has told me a lot about you and I can only imagine some EXCITING subject matter we could discuss.  :) 

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