Stan’s Crisis

Regen (1)My buddy Stan called.

“What do you want?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he said.

This may seem like an odd way to begin a conversation but our calls often begin like this. Stan will call, anxious to say something, but won’t be able to say it. It then becomes my job to figure out what something like ‘nothing’ means.

“Are you fighting with Daphne?”


(In other words, that will be the topic of another call)

“Do you want to borrow something?”


(Check what is missing from the shed. If Stan does not want to borrow something, he already has)

“Do you want me to store something for you?”


(Check the shed to discover what is there that was not there before)

“Then what do you want?”


“Then why did you call?”

“Because everything is going good.”



(long pause)


“That’s not okay, it scares the crap out of me.”


“Because I don’t trust good.”


(long pause)


What may sound odd often makes perfect Stan-sense.

Stan’s natural medium is chaos. He thrives on it. He is so adept at dealing with turmoil that whenever there is no turbulence in his life, Stan becomes like a fish cast upon stone who flops around until he makes it back into the water.

Usually by doing something incredibly stupid. He knows this and that is why he called.

“Stan, whatever you are thinking of doing, don’t do it.”

“I dunno,” he tells me, “I need to shake things up.”

“Before you go down that route, think about what you might be ignoring.”


“The way I got it figured,” I tell him, “is that the reason you think things are good, is because they really are not.”

I could almost hear Stan’s pulse quicken.

“Yeah?” he said, “this is good stuff, keep going.”

“I’ll bet you got something really nasty going on under the surface and it’s so bad that you don’t want to admit it to yourself.”

“Like what?” he asked – with unmasked delight.

“Any outstanding warrants?”

“I don’t think so.”

“Any calls from creditors?”


“Old girl friends?”

“Hmmmm….. no, not lately.”

“How about the IRS?”

“What about them?”

“Are you current on your taxes?”

“Oh crap!”

“There you go. Now are you happy?”

“Gosh, I am. I thought it might be something worse.”

He truly was delighted.

“Glad I called,” he said, “Thanks buddy.”

I was about to say, anytime, but that is something you never say to Stan.

Author: Almost Iowa

31 thoughts on “Stan’s Crisis”

  1. I actually know people like Stan! If things are gong to smoothly, they will actually find a problem just to stir things up. They don’t realize they are doing it, of course, but the rest of us can see it quite clearly. And then begin to wonder if that’s what others see when they look at us……

  2. Stan sounds familiar … of my eldest son a teacher said ‘ unfortunately he finds the chaos easily’. I said in reply. ” I know my son better, he is his own chaos and when there is none he will make some.” Did you check the shed?

  3. Addicted to cigarettes or booze is one thing. Social media addiction’s another. But addiction to chaos? Could a whole nation go down Stan’s road?

  4. “I was about to say, anytime, but that is something you never say…”

    Ha ha – yes, best not to leave that door, or any doors to you barn, open. Sooner or later, chaos wins. Maybe Stan is just trying to stay in shape.

    1. Maybe Stan is just trying to stay in shape

      To be truly good at something, you must be born with potential and then practice, practice, practice. It is also what I told a guy who I accused of being an epic jerk.

  5. Who in their right mine thinks trouble with the IRS is good… I guess, He ‘in their right mind’ portion of that sentence answers the question. Poor Stan.

  6. Gosh, I recall a similar conversation with my sister once…….one of our few conversations……

  7. I missed Stan. You should dust him off more often. I know two people who have never filed tax returns. They are both in their sixties. They may get away with it.

    1. An old cop I worked with took me aside one day to explain the nature of crime. “When people discover they have nothing to do,” he said, “one guy will go fishing, the other will get drunk and start a fight.”

      It’s like Stan saying, “Because I don’t trust good.”

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