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Funny Messy Life

80 EpisodesProduced by Michael BlackstonWebsite

Stories about life, relationships, and culture delivered in a way that will help brighten your day or at least make you ask, "What is he smokin'?" But don't worry. It's all in good fun and it's family friendly. I'm Michael Blackston and these are tales from my blog - in audio form - all based on rea… read more


Thanks, COVID-19! - 043

   One president is famous for saying, “Change is good.” He’s also famous for such gems as, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” and “It depends on what the definition is of is is or isn’t is.” And I don’t agree with that former president. I’m not a fan of change. It also turned out that he did have relations with that woman, by the way, and the definition of “is” happens to be “is.” Unfortunately, just because I don’t like change, doesn’t mean I’m exempt from it in desperate times and that’s exactly where the world now finds itself - in desperate times. Even the stretch of time between this episode and the last one is a testimony to how hard I fight against change, but I’ll get into the details of that later.      For now, strap yourself in because thanks to Covid-19, I’ve gathered a list of changes we’ve had to make and how I feel about them, but also a few changes I think are due to come by the time all of this is behind us.
   I’m Michael Blackston and this is an infectious episode of Funny Messy Life.

   In a history of my own creation, a wise man once said, “Pandemic, Shmamdemic. Just get out of my way in the buffet line.”
   Well, let’s start there in our discussion of what I’ve been dealing with as a writer. Because the fact that restaurants closed their lobbies wasn’t as big a deal to me for the same reason it was to most people. I don’t mind eating at the house or outside the restaurant where I just picked up my order. I don’t mind trying to balance a hot bowl of Chicken and Gnoci soup from Olive Garden on my knee while driving 75 miles an hour through Atlanta traffic. While most people I know were over eating at home after the first two meals and moaning incessantly about having to cook or get delivery, “The pizza guy’s taking too loooooong. Life is so haaaaarrrrd.”, I was brought to a screeching halt when it came to my literary creativity. In other words, I couldn’t write unless I could go into a restaurant and sit down.
   Apparently, I’ve conditioned myself that way over time and when I tried to settle into a cozy nook of my living room with my laptop, I couldn’t conjure up a single cohesive sentence. I’ve complained before about trying to write in a restaurant and having people come up to talk to me, which I don’t mind, but I want the conversation to be short so I can get back to writing while I have the creative juju. And since in my own home I’m supposed to be the master of my domain, I should be able to make the juju flow like sweet, buttery, buttered butter. But I’m not the master of my domain at my house. I’m the guy that hears my name called every ten seconds, whether it’s the “Dad” moniker or the “Honey” one so that my juju turns into some gummed up, old gummy gum that all the good was chewed out of and then stuck under the seat of a subway car in 1972, one year before I was born. That ain’t writing juju!
   I didn’t intend to set myself up to only be able to write in a restaurant, but I did and this is only getting written as I sit alone at lunch in a diner for the first time in a few months.
   So thanks to Covid-19, we have been forced to forage for our own food like neanderthals who can’t write because they’ve got old, dry, gummed up caveman juju.
   Another thing that has affected me big time is the movie theaters being closed. Even at this writing, they’re still closed. I realize that movie theaters are cesspools of filth and if you took a black light and shined it on the seats and floors, you’d find disgusting stains and stuff that resembles my writing juju. But a man has needs and one of those needs for me is a bucket - no - an enormous vat - of movie theater popcorn that’s been buttered on the bottom, the mid bottom, the middle, the upper middle, all over the top, and every dry spot that’s left.
   But Michael - you, sir, are a diabetic. Do you not know that what you just described would kill a healthy buffalo?
   The answer is yes. I do know. And I’ll die with high viscosity and a thick layer of oily butter all over my mouth and chin. A mouth that will be smiling because of all the oily butter.
   Let me tell a quick nugget about that so you might get a proper visual. I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before.
  Once while enjoying a movie with my bride and scarfing down huge handfuls of dripping, buttery popcorn like an ogre, I realized I needed to go to the restroom. I eased my face over to my wife’s ear and whispered the usual line.
   “I gotta pee.”
   She nodded and off I skipped to the restroom quickly so that I could get back before I missed anything good and also because there was more sloppy popcorn to devour like a starved dog.
As I came back into the theatre, I caught my wife’s eye and the light from the screen must have hit my face just right so to cast a glorious beam on me, filling out every detail. My wife started to laugh hysterically, although there was nothing funny happening in the film.
   When I got to my seat, she was still guffawing and couldn’t seem to stop. So I asked her the usual line I do when she’s laughing at me uncontrollably.
   She leaned in and through great yucks and the tears that were in her eyes, said, “Your chin is completely covered with butter. It’s so greasy from all the popcorn you’ve been shoveling into your pie hole, that it shines like a diner sign. You look ridiculous.”
I had walked out into the lobby like that. I’d probably said hello to someone while sporting a chin dripping with popcorn butter.
So that’s a change I’ve had to get used to thanks to COVID-19. No movie theater popcorn.
   I could go on and on and on about the first world struggles we’re having to endure, but you know them. You lived them yourself and a bunch of them have been discussed ad nauseam on Facebook and Twitter. Things like the worldwide toilet paper shortage and the fact that people seem to believe that the cans of soup that were on the shelves would be the last cans of soup ever made. Except for Cream of Mushroom. Nobody wants the Cream of Mushroom.
   So instead of boring you with any more problems you already know about, I’ve searched deep into my creative mind where, because I’m able to write in a restaurant again (by the way, I had to stop a while back and this is being written a couple of days later while sitting in an Olive Garden where I have Chicken and Gnocci soup dripping all over my chin {Squeee!}), I’m now feeling my juju getting pliable, like somebody pulled it out from under a table and started chewing it anew. I can foresee some things we might be having to deal with in the near future, thanks to COVID-19.
   1. People will pass out in streets, on sidewalks, and in Walmart aisles at the sight of so many mouths. By the time we, as a nation, feel like this pandemic is safely behind us, we will have become used to seeing so many face masks covering up people’s mouths and chins, it will be utter shock at the sight of so many lips - beautiful lips and chins, ugly lips and chins, lips and chins smothered in oily movie theater butter because the cinema is back open. It’ll be like that episode of The Twilight Zone where the woman’s face is unwrapped and to the viewer appears beautiful, but she’s horrified at the sight because in her world, normal people look like that sculpture of a face you tried to make with clay in art class.
   2. Speaking of the movie theaters opening back up, you’ll be able to finally go see Fast and Furious part 68 - Hobbs and Shaw Open A Deli, but it’s gonna cost you $82 for a single ticket because Hollywood’s been shut down this whole time like the rest of us and they have to recoup their money somehow. And because concessions is where the theaters make the money to keep the lights on, your popcorn, which was already highway robbery, will now cost you an additional $80 for a small. The good news is that you will have the option of getting the large bucket for a $20 upgrade and if you want the combo, which includes the bucket, two large soft drinks, and the candy of your choice, you only have to pay three easy monthly installments of $99.99.
   3. But wait - there’s more! Toilet paper! TP-ing somebody’s yard will become a federal crime. Why? Because of the Great Toilet Paper Shortage of 2020. I guess I have to mention it because this will be devastating to teenagers. According to my source, Principal Schmelton of Tallyho High, Old Man Schmelly to his students, kids all over the country will receive marks on their permanent records after the first offense. This will not apply to first year students, who will only be given demerits, due to their being, as he puts it, Fresh Meat.
   And there’s more to come. There’s a lot more that we’ll have to stomach and accept as the - dare I even say it? - New Norm. And the sooner we prepare ourselves for that, the better off we’ll be. Welcome to the world after 2020.
   Thanks, COVID-19.

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