Sep 21, 2009

How Long Can You Do This?

This month marks the 10th anniversary for the Geezer concept. Who'd have thought that an idea based on irritating readers to generate letters to the editor would have lasted ten years? Not me.

The whole Geezer with a Grudge concept was born after I was introduced to Troy Johnson and Erin Hartman at a party for a long-dead music magazine. My oldest daughter wrote some music reviews and was an editor for that magazine. I'd written a couple of social commentary (really loosely defined as such) articles for the same rag and that earned me both an invitation to the party and the nickname "butt crack guy." Maybe I should have stuck with that name instead of the Geezer thing. My latest column for the music mag was about obscenity. My take on the concept was that if anything is obscene it's a fat guy standing in line at a Fleet Farm with half of his hairy ass exposed. Why anyone would object to pictures of naked beautiful women and not go totally ballistic over an ugly fat guy's butt crack exposed to the world and impressionable young children still baffles me.

Whatever. "Human logic" is the ultimate oxymoron.

With that introduction, Troy and Erin and I met at this same drunken backyard punk rock croquet bash and after they realized I wasn't another old fart on a Harley we engaged in a long conversation about motorcycles and writing and magazine publishing. They described a magazine that was going down the tubes due to a lack of advertising revenue and evidence of readership and I made them an offer they didn't refuse: to write a short article that would piss off a few dozen people and prove to advertisers that someone read MMM (Minnesota Motorcycle Monthly). It wouldn't pay much, but I wasn't doing it for the money. The whole idea was pretty much fueled by good European beer, my recent croquet defeats, and my macho (Spanish for "stupid") confidence that I had an indefatigable ability to piss people off enough to move them to action.

I wrote the article that night and emailed it to Troy and forgot about the whole thing.
A month later, Troy emailed me to say that the magazine had received more mail about my article than it had received in the entire history of the magazine. I wrote him back offering to try to do the same thing on a regular basis under the half-baked, tentative title of "Geezer with a Grudge." For some crazed reason, he took the bait and I'm about to enter my 2nd decade as a "motorcycle journalist" of sorts.

Of all the wacky, semi-profitable things I do to turn a buck these days, the Geezer column is by far the most fun. Thanks for the last decade and thanks for being my friends and advisers and, especially, for reading what I write.


Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your tenth 'Geezer' anniversary!

Thanks for all the thoughts and smiles.


Anonymous said...

A little common sense and cynicism among all the 'yes' men that make up the vast majority of motorcycle journalists never hurts.

Congratulations, and long may you continue.

Cas. (Northern Ireland)

Anonymous said...

Notoriety is as good as fame any day - either way it's just people paying attention, after all.


T.W. Day said...

Thanks for your kind comments. The last year has been particularly enjoyable. The response to this blog is a big part of that fun.