The Art of the Handshake

September 15, 2022 by Ed Decker

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed, as a socially incompetent person, I have the same issues as most other awkward people like poor eye contact and an inability to engage in small talk . . . but one thing I really struggle with is handshakes. I know it seems like a silly, small thing but . . .  I always feel like I’m too limp or crushing their bones. I’m so bad at it, I get anxiety every time someone sticks their hand out. Any advice or am I too far gone? Tom from Schenectady, NY

I must admit, Tom, I initially thought this was a bogus question. It didn’t seem reasonable that a person could have such anxiety over an activity that, to my mind, is as effortless as a smile. Then I remembered that, for much of my youth, I couldn’t smile.

Read the full article → 1 comment

‘I Have a Crush on a Woman Who’s Out of My League’

August 18, 2022 by Ed Decker

By Edwin Decker

Dear Ed, I have a thing for a woman who works at a nearby Starbucks. She’s beautiful, sweet and funny and everything I ever wanted in a girlfriend but she’s out of my league. My friend says go for it. This is a guy [who] has no problem dating and is always reiterating the famous Wayne Gretzky quote, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” That may be true but in my heart, I know I have no chance. What do you think?

Sincerely, Marvin from Point Loma

Dear Marvin, it depends on how far out of her league you are. For the record, there is some debate over whether Gretzky coined that phrase. Either way, I never liked it. For one reason, you can’t “miss” a shot you don’t take because “missing” requires, duh, an attempted shot.

The second reason is its implication.

Read the full article → 10 comments

Dear Edwin: My Husband Wants to Name Our Daughter ‘Karen’

June 16, 2022 by Ed Decker

By Edwin Decker

Dear Decker, I am 7-months pregnant with a girl and my husband wants to name her Karen after his grandmother. He says that he’s been wanting to name his child after Nanna Karen for as long as he’s known he’s wanted to have a daughter. I say no way and have put my foot down. I truly feel bad about it, but I am vehemently against giving her that name because of all the stigma that comes with it. Do you have any suggestions?

Carla from Escondido

Wow, Carla, what a dilemma. As someone who happens to be named after someone special (my father) I can relate to your husband’s wishes. I also relate to yours. And the worst part is that it’s one of those situations without compromise. Or is it? More on that later.

I’m going to assume that your concern over naming your daughter Karen isn’t because you think it will magically turn her into one of those Callous, Rude, Abrasive, Pushy (aka CRAP) Karens from the YouTube videos.

Read the full article → 4 comments

Just Another COVID Power Trip

November 19, 2020 by Ed Decker

Straight Up With a Twist

By Edwin Decker

I received a few moderately angry emails in response to the tone my last column. The emailers believed I was downplaying the mortal dangers of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For the record, I am not against all the measures taken, however I do worry that the harm of these rolling shutdowns may exceed the harm of the virus – not the least of which is relinquishing too much power to government. And shortly after the writing of that column, I had an encounter in a bar and grill that reinforced my concerns.

November 7, 2020 (Red Tier) – With my trusty disposable mask (that I never dispose of) firmly affixed, I asked the hostess if a seat at the bar was available. I knew it was a long shot but the bar is my natural habitat and I really didn’t want to sit alone at a table. As expected, it was full, so she sat me a shorty in the dining room.

Given its low height, I’m guessing it was a wheelchair table, which wouldn’t normally be a problem if the chairs had been short too. However, all the other tables were cocktail tables, and the only seats available were bar stools. Whatever, I thought, these are the times in which we live and ordered an Ultra because, you know, I have my modeling career to consider.

While sitting on my tall stool hunched over my short table taking sips from my tasteless, beer-like beverage, I scoped the bar which was about 15 feet away. So close and yet so far,

Read the full article → 60 comments

The battle of Yuletide Hill

December 23, 2010 by Ed Decker
Thumbnail image for The battle of Yuletide Hill

Editor: CityBeat’s Ed Decker – who writes poetry for the OB Rag and has promised us a column – is organizing “Armies of the War on Christmas mount a comeback”. By Edwin Decker / San Diego CityBeat Thanks to a spate of failed ACLU lawsuits, Bill O’Reilly and his ilk are claiming they have “won the […]

Read the full article → 4 comments

This Poem Needs Sanding

August 2, 2010 by Ed Decker

by Ed Decker
This poem needs sanding:

The sentences are jagged and protruding
The verbs have burrs
And the nouns are coarse.

Read the full article → 8 comments

Cracked Black Pepper – Poems of OB

July 16, 2010 by Ed Decker

by Ed Decker

A jet flies over Muir Avenue
and a palm tree
scratches her belly.

I am happy to be here today
while the rain gently sweeps
the street ….

Read the full article → 9 comments

The Cats of Ocean Beach (An ode to the homeless – of any species)

July 1, 2010 by Ed Decker

by Ed Decker

Matted, greasy fur

on sickly, skeletal frames

Pupils red like rats from Hell

Disease bubbling from their innards …

Read the full article → 11 comments