Why 'Runner, Writer, Father, Guy?'

Okay, maybe it’s time to explain the tag line on this blog – ‘Runner, Writer, Father, Guy’ – as more than a few people have questioned why there is not a ‘husband’ tag in there. A couple people have also offered additional suggestions, but these have been politely declined as most were not suited to a G-rated blog.

Most people that grew up reading spy thrillers from the 70’s will have a list of authors embedded in their brains – writers like Alistair MacLean, Robert Ludlum, Frederick Forsyth, and Ken Follett. All became international best-sellers. As did a man named Fleming, creator of a spy named Bond.

George Smiley was the antithesis of James Bond or Jason Bourne. A bureaucrat in the British Secret Service, Smiley played a cerebral spy handler beset with moral doubt about the rightness of his cause.

 John le Carré was the author that wrote the novels. His Karla Trilogy culminated with Smiley’s People. This is the only le Carré novel I've ever read. It's the last book in the Karla Trilogy but I've never gone back to read the other two.

The first of the trilogy was Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy.

The le Carré novels were everywhere when I was growing up but they were dark, and lacked heroes. Like most boys, I wanted to be a hero (still do, as a matter of fact) so I found other diversions, among them James Bond and, for fans of old, old sci-fi, the Grey Lensman.

So why did I choose a novel I didn’t read to mimic with my tagline?

The rhythms. Can you hear them?

Tinker, tailor, soldier, spy.

Runner, writer, father, guy.

Same beat and bounce.

And it captured an essence, in four words that can sum me up.

Runner – I am, by the measure that counts. I get out the door and, when I can’t, I ache to.

Writer – A recent development that surprised nobody that knew me. I think everyone thought I would eventual try to write. Once I had something to say, I did.

Father – A conscious decision that if I was going to good at one thing in my whole life, I wanted it to be this. I could have been better but I was there when my girls needed me.

Guy – More specifically, her guy. I told her I loved her when I was seventeen. Meant it then. Mean it more now. I’m her guy until she throws me out. Since I outweigh her by a bunch, I don’t think she can do it, so she’s stuck with me.

So, it’s not really a tagline. It’s the shortest description of a life you’re likely to ever see.