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Wrong Way, Feldman · 8 May 2021


I want to walk (or run) the wrong way down a one-way aisle.


There are direction arrows just about everywhere you go now. They tell you which way you are supposed to go through the supermarket. They tell you which way to go through the department store. They tell you which way to go down the hall of your school. And of course, they tell you to make sure you are six feet apart from everybody else.


I see these one way and social distancing signs every day at our school. (They have actually disappeared from the stores, but the intro would have lacked something without them.) There is even a dividing line down the middle of the hallway to try to keep people from going down the hallway the wrong way. It works for the most part. After all, the school is housing a little under fifty percent of its enrollment at any one time. But there are those who just want to break the rules and go the wrong way down the hallways. And as strange as it sounds, some of those who actually do break the rules are teachers.


(By the way. I am pretty much a rule follower. Or at least I purport to be so. Still, I am like everybody else when it comes to telling me what to do. If you tell me what to do, I will want to do the opposite. However, if you ask me nicely, I will at least consider it. I suppose it is human nature.)


Another thing (that is only slightly related to the story). I like to tell people that character is what you do when nobody else is looking. So when it comes to those one-way signs in the hallways, I must not have any character. I like to walk the wrong way down the hallway when there is nobody else there. I like to zigzag between the social distancing signs and hand sanitizing stations. And naturally, I like to run down the hallways. (Actually, I do not know that we have any rules against that. I just like to do it on occasion. But that is a completely different story.) I suppose it is not really a lack of or lapse in character, it is more just trying to be normal in a not very normal situation. After all, I like to take up the whole hallway when there is nobody else in sight.


At any rate.



I actually did see somebody going the wrong way down the hallway the other day. One of the teachers was running down the hallway the wrong way during passing period. (And it was not me.) It has actually been this particular teacher’s norm for many years. “Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through.” She has only so many minutes to get to the restroom, fill up her water bottle, and get back to her classroom. And she is the farthest room away from all the amenities. Well, almost the farthest away.


I wanted to say, “Wrong way, Feldman!” but I realized it would probably fall on deaf ears. After all, has anybody watched Gilligan’s Island in the last forty years? Would anybody know that Wrongway Feldman was a character on that wacky show? I do not even think that the unnamed art teacher running the wrong way down the halfway crowded hallway was old enough to have ever watched that show. So the reference would be lost. She would just reply, “Who?” If she even realized the comment was directed at her. Ah well.


In all seriousness, I do not really mind being told which way to go down the supermarket aisle. After all, if everybody went the same way, there would not be any need for the occasional, “Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through.” A trip to the supermarket would be a pleasant train of people walking through the store in single file. Or so it would seem. I do not even know that it was that way when those signs were on the supermarket floors in the supermarket aisles. Ah well.


I know that I should be setting a good example at school for the students and other staff members. And when there are people in the hallway, I do. But when it comes right down to it, I just want to go the wrong way down a one-way aisle (or hallway).

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Are You Following Me? · 1 May 2021


Supposedly, you can turn social media friends and followers into blog or vlog followers. I wish I knew how.


When I read the title of this blog post, I think of some paranoid person on the street furtively looking over his or her shoulder to see if that person in the trench coat is still there. Following at a distance. Following with a menacing look. Or I think of a person turning to face purported follower to ask, “Are you following me?” Either of those might be blog posts that others would write, but all I have to say on those topics is contained in this one paragraph. (At least for now.)


So how do people use social media to get blog or vlog followers? I do not know. I asked you first. Actually, I obviously do not care that much. After all, I have been blogging for quite a lot of years and have not leveraged my few facebook and twitter followers into regular readers. Or at least I do not think so. My readers tend to be a closed lip lot. They rarely post feedback, good or bad. So I do not know now many readers (either real or imaginary) I really have. (I guess the question is really about real readers since I am wondering about how many I REALLY have. Imagine that.)


At any rate.


When it comes right down to it, I have not spent enough time investigating how to turn readers into followers or subscribers. One thing that I have refused to do on my YouTube channel though is to ask people to subscribe. Oh sure, I did so for a time, but I decided it was obnoxious and unnecessary. After all, people know how to subscribe if they have been using YouTube for more than a few minutes. Besides, everybody else tells everybody watching their videos to subscribe, so why should I do the same? It seems pointless and unnecessary. And redundant. (I may have already said one or more of those things.) So I no longer ask people to subscribe.


The other thing I refuse to do is keep promoting myself. I know I am just trying to become MediocreMan. I know that the bar is high. After all, one of my friends keeps telling me so. But as much as my family might think that I am blowing smoke with the next statement, I really do not like to puff myself up. Really. After all, I know that when I do puff myself up, people who know me well, will just take all the wind out of my sails. Which is as it should be. After all, nobody likes a braggart.



Which is the crux of the matter of promotion. I cannot really brag on myself. At least not seriously. I can say I am great, but only tongue in cheek. Only when kidding. I really am just MediocreMan. Or trying to be that good. So can I truly promote myself? I do not know. After all, does anybody really wants to follow a mediocre man?


I suppose that I will never be a great self-promoter. After all, whenever I do brag on myself, I know I am kidding. After all, I really am just trying to live up to my self-given moniker. Which is probably why I do not spend any time trying to promote myself to get more readers and followers and subscribers. As much as I want people to read and watch my stuff, I cannot tell them to do so.


When it comes right down to it, I really do not wish I knew how to get more followers. I just write and post, and hope people read. I just make a video and post, and hope people watch. And I am happy when they follow or subscribe.


By the way, there is one benefit to not really trying to get more readers and watchers. I will never sound paranoid, because I will not ask, “Are you following me?”

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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Running Gags · 24 April 2021


I may or may not have written about running gags before, but I am going to write about some of mine now.


If you read my blog post about thinking it strange that people read my writing, you came across the following parenthetical paragraph:


(By the way, if you have not been reading my blog for very long, you might not recognize the running gag. I have talked about real and imaginary readers since almost the beginning of my blog. So when I mention readers, I keep the running gag going. I suppose that is because I like running gags. Even if they are just inside jokes. Even if they are not so funny. I suppose I continue to do them because they tickle me. Even if everybody else just rolls their eyes when I do them. But that is another story. (Which is also a running gag.))


In it, I mention or use three of my favorite running gags. Or maybe not favorite, but certainly most used.


The first running gag that I started almost from the beginning came about because I knew that I really only had a few readers. So whenever I mentioned readers, I threw the parenthetical note: (real or imaginary). It stuck. One of my friends even noted that I certainly had more imaginary readers than real ones. Probably by a large margin. It was probably his encouragement that has kept me foisting that first running gag on my readers (both real and imaginary).


The second running gag I used in the parenthetical paragraph is my reference to another story. I have often used the phrase, “But that is another story,” in my blog posts. And sometimes I even have another story. If I had stayed true to my thought I had many moons ago, I would have linked all my dead end “But that is another story” comments to a certain blog post explaining the other story. But alas, I am not that clever or dedicated to that other story. Which is, of course, quite another story.



The third running gag in that parenthetical paragraph is more subtle. But it is obvious to me (and maybe a few of my readers (both real and imaginary)). The parenthetical paragraph is in and of itself one of my running gags. As is the parenthetical thought inside the parenthetical paragraph. (Actually, parentheticals are probably more correctly categorized as a writing device that I like to use, but I will still call it a running gag.) I am not sure when I started doing it, but I use those parenthetical paragraphs like playwrights use asides. I want to tell my readers (both real and imaginary) that I am going off topic and giving some explanation just to them. Usually those new to reading my blog.


(By the way, if you are new to reading my blog, I hope that you become a regular reader. I hope you stick around beyond this rather odd post.)


To make a short story a little longer, there are many other writing techniques that I tend to overuse. But I thought I might explain a few of my running gags. After all, I use them enough that those who only occasionally read my blog or those who just happened to read by accident might not understand them. Or at least might not understand that they are running gags.


I hope that explaining the running gags does not diminish them like having to explain a joke to somebody. But then again, people always laugh at me when they need to explain a simple joke that I did not get. But that is quite another story.

© 2021 Michael T. Miyoshi

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