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Will Cantrell (a pseudonym) is a humorist, author, and speechwriter. He is a graduate of Georgia Tech and a former banker. The legend is that at an early age he wandered South, got lost and, like most males, was loathe to ask anyone for directions. He was recently sighted somewhere close to I-285, still lost and saying that he was trying to “...write his way home.” Of course, there are a lot of people who suspect that “Cantrell ain't wrapped too tight” but hope that he keeps writing about his experiences as he finds his way back to the main highway.
Will has recently completed a first book entitled "The Color Fuqua — a mostly true collection of modern tall tales." He is currently involved in writing a second book, "Nouns and Other Issues."
Below, is what one recent editor said about him:
Will Cantrell has issues...and ideas... and questions---big ones---- and they often keep him up at night. Cell phones, fast food restaurants, intrepid weathermen, egg yolks, volcanoes, color blindness, election polls, ketchup and “…the hell why doesn't Martha Stewart teach people something useful like how to make their own gasoline instead of how to make lemonade.” These are just a few of the things that trouble him. He's also puzzled about why people talking loudly on cell phones ALWAYS manage to sit next to him on the bus … as well as everywhere else. Will’s got a host of other issues, too numerous to list here. And while all of this is unlucky for him, it’s fortunate for us because he writes about them all in that hilarious way that is only Cantrell’s.
Lucky for us, Will's issues are the same ones that vex the rest of us too. And Cantrell “comes with solutions.” Be warned though, Will Cantrell does not think like you and me. Through Will's quirky way of viewing the world, and everything in it, he's come up with different kinds of solutions for life's issues and problems. Or, as Cantrell says, he has “…different problems for life's solutions.”Now that you've been warned, be prepared to be delighted as you follow Will Cantrell's romp through life and his search for answers to the questions that baffle, befuddle and puzzle us all.
Number of posts: 74
Email address: email
Subscribe to my RSS Feed: http://likethedew.com/author/wcantrell/feed/
Posts by Will Cantrell:
a brief & sordid history
You promised yourself you would not get involved this time. You knew all about the probabilities … the impossibilities, really. You knew all about the odds against success, heard Nate Silver — or somebody — use five dollar words like “implacable,” “infinitesimal” and “asymptotic” to assure Charlie Rose the odds were ridiculous. And yes, you knew it was a Fool’s Notion for a grown man — someone who should know better — to think he had even a ghost of a chance of predicting the outcome of a 63 game string. There were too many X-factors a mere mortal couldn’t possibly know. Even the players and the hangers-on had no clue. Not even that Neil DeGrasse Tyson guy or Johnny Cochran, if he were still alive, could manage it.
Moments before, I’d accidentally dropped the TV remote. The thing must’ve flopped on the floor at some crazy-ass angle and flipped the channel to something else. I’d been laughing at a Saturday afternoon Three Stooges Marathon. Now, at the very top of the hour, an announcer, Jim McKay tells me I am about to enjoy “…the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”
Every Blue Moon or so, comes another heretofore unfathomable, unthinkable, damn near frightening moments that causes me to come to the stark realization that life as we know it has very likely just changed forever — and nothing will ever be the same. The first of these moments I remember came in the Seventies when somebody came up with the bright idea you could actually charge people fees for stuff that had previously been free forever…
The Hawk has come South and Hell has frozen over.
I can’t prove these two events scientifically but I am very sure both happened in the last few days. Suddenly, the area to the south of the Mason-Dixon line is the freeze-framed Land of Petrified Cold. Mother Nature has turned into a frigid, heartless, cold-blooded shrew.
It hasn’t been this cold since…
Dear Fate (aka Pure Dumb Luck): A few days back, out of what must have been millions upon millions of contest entrants, you choose to smile broadly on a lady living in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Statisticians tell us that ‘Ms. Stone Mountain Big Winner Lady’ (not her real name) has a better chance of being struck by lightning than winning the Powerball Lottery. Ms. Lady is extraordinarily lucky TWICE last week then. First, she doesn’t get struck by an electric bolt out of the blue yonder and second, she wins ONE HUNDRED TWENTY MILLION DOLLARS!
in these crazy days
I’ve been doing the grocery shopping at my place for awhile now. An arrangement that came about when ‘the management’ (as I sometimes call her) grew weary of me carping about the monthly food bill. So I take her’ double-dog dare’ to”… see if you can do any better, Buster” And of course, the way these kind of things always go, I couldn’t. But I did learn a few things…
Roger’s Fine Foods (not it’s real name) is one of those bigger box national grocery stores located in close proximity to Atlanta’s Little Five Points area.
Who'll Be Infallible?
Black Pope Cometh? Yankee Pope Goeth?
Lately, I am especially intrigued by odds and probabilities. This recent fascination can be traced back to last December when I was pondering whether to pay bills or buy Christmas gifts. The ultimate decision hinged on the odds of the Mayans being right in their prediction of an upcoming Apocalypse. Not long into the deliberations, I was poking around one of those gambling websites that handicaps various events. When it came to Mayan’s predictions, the site promised there “…is a better chance of the Pope quitting or a meteor hitting Russia next February than the chances of…
Real Life Tales
“It’s 12:00 noon for crying out loud. What do you mean; I’ve got to wait for my fries? How can you be out of fries…at this time of the day,” I asked the young woman barking orders behind the service counter at BigBuckle’s, where they boast over 30 billion served.
BigBuckle’s Burgers and Fries Fast Food are nearly ubiquitous as pine trees or television evangelists.
Confession. I’m a junkie. There, I’ve said it. I’ve bared my soul. But it’s the truth, I’m addicted to print. I’ll read anything that happens to be in my line of sight no matter who put it there: bestsellers, bathroom walls, drug store rags, Proust, skywriting and self-help books (though it’s arguable any of these have ever worked on me). Non-fiction works, the works of Scott Turow, the fine print on bottles of analgesics…
Certified Funny by Trevor
That damn cat is back.
I spied the black and grey stray lurking about the backyard on the first morning of the New Year. I’d seen him months before and shooed him off any number of times, but he’s back again. I bet he thinks I wouldn’t notice, the same bet I have about the latest ‘just under the radar news’ story. Maybe the ones who make the Rules of the Road thought we wouldn’t notice…
It's Better To Give
“Not bad,” I say to myself, taking inventory of this year’s Christmas spoils. It’s the “night after” and I’m standing next to the nine-foot loblolly pine felled from the woods out back. I’d had my eye on the thing since the dog days of summer and finally gave it the axe the day after Thanksgiving. After a good, proper and practiced “TIM-BERRRR”, I managed to wrestle the tree along with its sticky, cumbersome limbs through the front door to a spot inside, a few feet from the fireplace.
You’re concerned. And you have every right to be. Every right.
You feel threatened.
You figure even though bin Laden is dead and no matter how good Obama is at aiming those predator drones, there’s still plenty of stuff making you lose sleep at night: Iran, North Korea, deep space asteroids that could be headed for Earth, rising tensions in the Gulf, the Kardashians and the Republican Party just to name a few. You worry about global warming. You’re also terrified that those people over at Microsoft will go through with their threat to roll-out a new version of Windows soon.
Finding anything named after the Deity ought to be easy… very easy… a lead pipe cinch, you say to yourself. After all, its namesake is rumored to be… well… EVERYWHERE. You figure globs of the stuff to be dripping from the branches of trees, oozing from swamplands, being swept from concrete carport floors and dusted from the tops of wing-tipped shoes, like pollen during the high season. The Bohemian side of your nature – and everyone has at least a little – hints you might even find… some of ‘em frolicking, like hippies, in a nearby meadow,“nekid” as jaybirds and “up to sumthin’.” It will be easy, you again say to yourself.
For the record, Don Cornelius danced down the precocious gauntlet of the famed Soul Train line exactly once, in 1973. Mary Wilson, then of the Supremes, was his partner.
You’d think that the man who invented the idea would’ve more frequently joined the festivities. But that was not Don’s way …
He was lyrical, emphatic, ‘to the point’ and above all, ‘too cool for school.’ I also noticed, at least I did at certain times, that he had a gleam in his eye that conveyed, not arrogance but the idea that ‘I know something that you don’t (…and I’m still the coolest cat in the room’).
I confess, I took Etta James for granted. I mean it seems like she’d always been around. Like the Moon. Like the Ocean. Or maybe like that monument out on Easter Island. Then comes the sad news: she’d passed away.
The news of her death wasn’t a complete shock, of course. She was ill and had been hospitalized for awhile. I guess that I just subconsciously assumed that she’d pull through. Then I remember the old adage we’ve all heard by now about what happens when one ‘assumes’. Still, I am a little brokenhearted.
Even all these weeks and days later, I can think of him only as “Red.”
It’s one of those “days after.” The market has misbehaved and the Dow is down a gazillion points.
I am at Five Points Station and not far away approaches a man who is anonymous except that he is covered from head to foot in the blood red clay-turned-to-dust of the Georgia drought. The man wears no hat and no boots, but from the look and smell of him, he’s been working hard at something.
Stuff Found Under A Tree
So, for Christmas I get one of those spiffy new E-readers. The gift box just materialized under the small Douglas fir that is this year’s Christmas tree, left there by some Secret Santa.
Several days later, no one has claimed responsibility for the gift though I have a short list suspects.
My new prize was wrapped in a small book-sized (ironic, hunh?) box, cleverly enveloped in gun-metal red gift foil and tied with a wide green felt ribbon complete—and I swear this is true– a bough of holly.
Eye of the Beholder
Almost five hundred years later, after everyone including Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown and a plethora of Popes can’t quite figure it out, along comes an amateur who cracks the code. New York based, amateur artist Ron Piccirillo claims the enigmatic expression painted on the Mona Lisa’s face is envy. What’s more, he says, there’s a bonus: if you look at Mona “just right” you can see all kinds of mischief going on behind her back: animals and secret codes and such.
The air is crisp and cool, Christmas music blares throughout the entire free world and even France. These are the signals that a favorite time of the year is upon us, once again: PBS Pledge Week.
Every year, I can hardly wait to see what new scheme the PBS people will try to guilt us into coughing up unholy amounts of cash so they can sponsor even more Doo-Wop Reunions and also televise stuff like the Bowel Cleansing Yoga-Diet Dance Method over and over again.
A few years ago, during Pledge Week, PBS went about shaking us down by digging up the bodies of a bunch of old Rock ‘n’ Roll stars and forcing them onstage to give one last performance.
There are germs in the air.
And stories too.
A writer never knows what winds will carry a seed. Or where a wind blown seed might land. Story germs, I call them and they are found most everywhere: planes and trains and bus stations and bars. Hotel rooms and yard sales and subway stations and barber chairs. I once ‘found’ a story seeded in one of those long, slow moving, interminable automobile tag lines before the days of online renewal. A piece about a grandmother and the tattoo of her new Ferrari was there, just waiting for me.
Lately, I’ve become as fidgety as a small kid riding in a car bound for a place he’s never been.
“Are we there yet?”
The destination is the End of the Recession. Until we get ‘there,’ I am tumbled about in the backseat of an old roadster careening down a bumpy and pot-holed Recession Road. I am hanging on, bouncing up and down, praying that whomever is driving will sober up — and that we’ll get there in a hurry.
I had no interest in seeing the movie, “The Help.” I’d read the book – TWICE —and as any avid reader knows ‘the movie’ is never as good as the book. Never! For one thing, one of the great problems in translating the written word to celluloid is that the film medium typically removes entirely, or drastically changes some of the elements the book’s author left to the reader’s imagination. (You say “TO-MA-TOE” and I say “TO-MAH-TOW, as it were.) Then, there are the inevitable dramatic effects added by Hollywood in order to make the screenplay more bofo at the box office.
There‘s always one thing or another going on with me.
I guess that it’s just the nature of things and as my late Uncle Copernicus would say “Kid, if it’s not one thing, it’s two or three of ‘em.”
My current problem is musical. For the past few days, there has been a song rattling around inside my head–like a couple of loose marbles. I can’t seem to turn it off, at least not for very long. Good songs and sometimes even bad ones are like squatters, the common cold and a few of my relatives: they show up and stay until they decide it’s time to leave …
“You’ve got a weird brain, Cantrell. You really do. ”
I’ve heard the above quote long enough so that I am beginning to think that my accusers may have a point. Well, at least some of the time. Nevertheless —and maybe it’s just me — but now that Hurricane Irene has come and gone, my brain is (still) left with three ongoing mysteries:
When will the National Hurricane Center learn to properly name monster storms in the Atlantic Ocean? In the three day run-up prior to Hurricane Irene (later Tropical Storm Irene) hitting the East coast, various and sundry authorities spent a lot of time urging the 65 million or so Americans in the storm’s predicted swath to “…get the hell out, Irene is coming.”
I have an Aunt Irene and I suspect …
Normally, I’d avoid sticking my nose into a scrap, especially an ongoing scrap at City Hall. However, I bear at least some responsibility for the latest mess, especially since not everyone I voted for in the last election, lost. (An unusual occurrence , one can be sure) On top of all that, I am an expert in recognizing ‘not knowing what the hell you’re doing’ looks like when I see it. Since I’ve been in the circumstance so many times myself, I am even familiar with what not knowing what the hell you’re doing smells like. The latest dust-up looked and smelled like one of those situations and I figured that the City Hall boys could use a little help.
“Look, how shinny and glossy I’ve gotten the dining room table. You can see your face in it …”
“Yeah, I see …but what’s that behind your back?”
“Oh this thing? It’s just an old rag.”
“Lemme see…. gimme that. This is no rag. Is this what you used to polish the furniture? You’ve been using my lucky T-shirt as a dust rag!? Woman, do you realize that I scored the winning touchdown …
I held my breath.
I always hold my breath when the scientists at Harvard sound the bell and tell us to gather round.
Harvard scientists are always up to something, studying one thing and then another. You can never know what they are going to come up with next. Whatever it is though, you can bet that it is going to be life changing; some fun activity that you’ve done all your life and that you better drop immediately or face the prospect of grim death. Or they’ve come up with some new super food … that you have to start eating in order to add about fifteen minutes to your life expectancy.
Worthy of Comment
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