My name is Joe Wright. My friends tell me I’m a clueless, old curmudgeon; set in my ways and hopelessly stuck in the 20th Century. I suppose there’s some truth to that assessment. I know I struggle to understand and cope with life in the modern world. I also find it difficult to understand the little woman and others of her gender. I seem to be missing that brain-to-mouth filter that keeps most guys from saying the kinds of things that, so often, has gotten old Joe into deep doo-doo.
Getting older is no walk in the park either. In the coming months I’ll be writing about those challenges. I found my colonoscopy less than exciting and I’m concerned about the medications I hear advertised during the evening news. It sounds like some of them will help me . . . if they don’t kill me.
I like to hunt and fish. I’ll be telling you how I feel about poachers, like my Uncle Herbert; what I think about the complicated fishing regulations in Maine; and what I imagine deer would say about hunters if they could speak. (I’m pretty sure they taunt us and enjoy a good laugh at our expense.) There’s a long list of things that confuse or annoy me. I’ll be happy to share them with you. I’ll explain why some folks shouldn’t wear spandex and that I think they should lengthen the season for deer, shorten the season for politicians and increase the bag limit for both.
To know me is to know my town—Smalltown. It’s the people, the schools, the churches, and the culture of this place that fostered the opinions, values, and attitudes that make me—for better or worse—the man I am today. As you get to know me, you’ll become familiar with the Smalltown IGA, Dan’s Market, Blake’s Esso Station, and The Miss Smalltown Diner, (a place folks go for their minimum daily allowance of caffeine, Crisco, and gossip).
You’ll also meet, and laugh about many of the fascinating characters who are proud to call Smalltown home. You’ll come to know my family, my beer drinking buddies—Walt, Roy, Munzie, Ted, and Barney, (who says: “If you weren’t supposed to drink 30, or more, beers in a day, they wouldn’t make 30-packs.”)—and Smalltown characters like Nuckie Leonard and crusty old Davis Doppen. By the way, if any of the stories I share remind you of anyone you know, or any true life event, it’s just a coincidence. This isn’t about you . . . honest. Heehee.
I’ve lived in this little town all my life (so far), and haven’t ventured far from here very often. So naturally, my perspective on life is that of an unworldly, backwoods bumpkin. I’m a simple guy trying, usually without success, to make sense of life in this modern world. I’m fairly certain my kids, (among others), think I’m a grumpy, unsophisticated stick-in-the mud, set in my ways, and oblivious to reality.
While I’m sure I’m guilty of all of the above, I don’t apologize for how I feel. Instead, I try to explain it. I’ve found I just cope better with things that annoy or confuse me if I write about them.
I hope, as you come to know me, you’ll better understand who I am and where I come from. Maybe Thoughts of an Average Joe will make sense to you. Maybe you’ll even agree with most of my thoughts. If not, well . . . I hate to say it . . . but you are just wrong.