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Dear Todd Parker - (08/05/15)

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(On August 2, 2015, writer Jim LaPierre posted a piece titled 'Why Todd Parker is a Genius' as part of his 'Recovery Rocks' blog on the website of the Bangor Daily News. This is Mr. Parker's response.)

Well now. That was awfully nice.

It's rare for someone like me to have my genius recognized in my own time. It's even rarer for said recognition to be so unambiguous. 'Why Todd Parker is a Genius' I can't say for certain, Jim my man, but you may just have named my forthcoming autobiography.

You may not be aware of just how apt your 'Dear Abby' comparison is I've been known to sit in for Ms. Van Buren from time to time. I've been told by numerous editors that my written impression of her is downright uncanny except for the liberal usage of salty language. They're usually pretty good about cleaning up after me, though I do love it when an elusive f-bomb makes it through.

And many thanks for recognizing the value of the service I provide. Telling people the unvarnished truth isn't an easy thing to do; I only get away with it because I'm a stranger who wears a bag on his head and generally acts like an a-hole. And of course there's the whole 'For entertainment purposes only' vibe that we like to throw out.

Human nature dictates that every once in a while, we all need someone who will tell us when we're being morons or generally screwing up without fear of repercussions. And since most of us have at least one self-described 'straight shooter' of a friend/acquaintance whose bluntness has led us to some real resentment, it's nice to have a (literally) faceless person to whom we might vent.

(Seriously: if you've ever described yourself as someone who 'tells it like it is,' the odds are good that you're a terrible person and many of the people in your life find you unpleasant to be around. Being blunt is no excuse for being rude unless you're me. The more you know)

In addition, while there's something genuinely gratifying about the acknowledgment of my unique blend of practicality and empathy, it needs to be said: Todd Parker is all man, baby! My ability to speak truth using juvenile insults and censored swear words springs from the combination of brusqueness and emotional availability that marked the environment in which I grew up. Long story short, I am definitely a dude. I've got all the bits and everything.

Here's the thing: ultimately, what I do is a joke; entertainment purposes only and all of that. It might not even be a joke that you find funny, but who cares? As my main man Alan Thicke told us with the theme to 'Diff'rent Strokes,' what might be right for you might not be right for some.

You have to give it up to Mr. LaPierre for daring to acknowledge the greatness that is Todd Parker. However, at the risk of coming off soft, I'd like to acknowledge the many dedicated, caring people out there devoted to dispensing life advice and helping guide others to positive choices. Sure, they're no Todd Parker, but really - who is?


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