If you guessed The Mamas and the Papas from the title, you guessed right. All the way back to 1965. Great song and I hear it even in quiet moments.

I bring up this music because it is a keen substitute for a term that I really don’t like — the bucket list. I really dislike that term because it has certain implications that I just don’t want to recognize. For example, it implies someone has some unfinished business/entertainment/travel/topics to take care of before your term in office expires, so to speak. For that reason, pure desperation to clear the slate, I just don’t like that term. I liked the movie, but you can skip the term, por favor.

Derek gets a new hole

So, some months ago, Patti and I were here in Murphy and I told her that I wanted to talk and she should probably have a seat before I started. Well, you can imagine the look she gave me. We sat down across from each other at the breakfast table. This was serious.

‘What’s this all about?” Patti likes to cut to the chase, particularly when I approach her that we need to talk.

‘Well, there is a decision that I have made, and I need to discuss it with you.”  Ok, I didn’t cut to the chase.

Right then and there, I got ‘the look.’ That meant, cut to the chase.

“I want to get an earring.” There, I said it and I was out with it.

“What? WHAT?!” I got Patti’s look of surprise.

“You know, I’m not working any more. For a very long time, I’ve wanted to have a tasteful earring, like Harrison Ford.” I told her that if Han Solo and Indiana Jones can wear an earring, then so can I. When I saw Harrison Ford wearing a very small, tasteful circle-style earring on a talk show, that was my sign. Ok, I can imagine what you’re thinking. If Harrison Ford went out to a pasture and ate a cow patty, would I do the same thing? Hell no. At my age, I would like to think that I am a rational thinker.

Patti sat there for a few moments. She laughed once, then twice. I could tell that what I said was circling her cerebellum.  Then, “You know, hon, if you want to bad enough, go for it!” Not that I was asking her permission, by any means, but in respect for keeping her informed.

I told her that when I was working as a management consultant there is no way I could call on clients with an earring. Just no freakin’ way. And I certainly didn’t need any complications as a consultant to win assignments and instill confidence in clients and contacts. So, at the time, the earring was put on hold.

Like I said, I didn’t revisit it much the past few months because it was not really a priority, just a want-to … until December when I visited Casey down in Austin.

I was in Austin to have some work done on the car by Jerry and Scott, my Pit Stop friends who work on our cars. I told Casey about my discussion with her mom, and then Casey took this on with a vengeance. She told me that a tattoo/piercing parlor has more restrictions for safety and cleanliness than a Claire’s. She found a place and we went there for the EVENT. It was her Christmas present to me. Isn’t that just so endearing — a piercing for Christmas. How touching.

So, there I am at Diablo Rojo, having my LEFT ear pierced. After all, I knew enough about it to understand that “what’s left is RIGHT, and what’s right is WRONG.” I wanted to make sure that I got the CORRECT ear pierced. I mean really!

Derek's new 'hole'

So, at Diablo Rojo, the attendant, who must’ve had her entire life story tattooed on all parts of her body, was my clinician. She had ear disks that looked like two UFOs levitating around her head.

So, the magic moment of the prick came, and it really stung. Not a baby, I did not cry, but, hell, it did sting.

The attendant told us about how to care for the ear after the piercing, and I’ve been following those instructions ever since.

So, the deed was done. So, am I happy? You betcha! So, am I glad to have an earring? Yes, I am! Am I smarter for having an earring? No, of course not. Are my brain cells draining out of the new hole? Maybe. Do I look or feel like Harrison Ford? No, you must be kidding Am I catching hell from friends and family? Of course I am. Do I still hear The Mamas and the Papas? Yes, of course. Always will.

But now, I hear the Beatles singing “Fixing a Hole” too, and I love the earring!