Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Barmy and Brent... and Brian (But He Didn't Know)

There's a dude, "Barmy" Rootstock, who writes a brilliant website and blog - one of those blogs that is both deliciously hilarious and deeply, fundamentally loving - called I've Become My Parents.  It's really good, but, that's beside the point.  "Barmy" writes anonymously, he has a fake FB page for his blog and his pseudonym, that's how much he wants to remain so.

You may remember that I once wrote a piece about wishing I'd started out that way called "If You Didn't Know Me."  I still wish I had, and, I'm jealous that "Barmy" is so much cleverer than I.

Here's the thing, I tried to find out who he really was, I mean he lives in Canada, that should narrow it down, right?  Nothing.  I tried for, like, ten minutes, on Google, no dice.  And then, and then, I saw this slinking in the trash:

I immediately knew it was a picture of "Barmy" all grown up:

A short confession stapled to the back reads:   

Hi!  My name is lester.  I am a varey (very) good craftsman.  I live in a little cotig (cottage)  by the Hillside.  one day I got an order from the king!  He wanted 3 hats by the therd (third) sunrise.  Deep I thot (thought).  I wint (went) to work.  I finishit (finished) the first at the first sunrise!  I fisist (finished) the secont (second) one at the secont (ibid.) sunrise!  I fisilsht (oh for God's sake) the last one at the last sunrise.  The king was varey (ibid) happy.  He toled (told) me to work with him at the casal (castle) in a cra7tsman shop!

"Barmy" Rootstock is really Lester the Hatmaker, Cratfsman to the King.  He's making this all up, folks.  His not even an artist, he is but a craftsman.  He went so far as to hire a kid to pretend he was his endearing son telling all about the befuddlements and intricacies of some game, allegedly on the innerwebs, called Mineshaft, or Minecraft or Hatcraft or Hatshaft or whatever - which I am sure he made up as well - and he taped and posted the entire scripted event in this post.  Like anyone is going to believe that a twelve year old is that sweet and comfortable with his seemingly hapless, hilarious dad.  I ain't buyin' it.

And why, dear Lord, is this information addressed to "Mom?"  Is she auditioning new husbands?  Is there a vacancy opening up soon?  What the hell!?  Why is my son drawing pictures of "Barmy" Rootstock?  My brain hurts.

You know what?  While I'm at it I'm gonna call out another dude who is clearly made up as well.  No one could be as picture perfect, as sweet, as talented and, just, well, as keen, as "Brent" at Designer Daddy.  The website is perfect, an old-timey refrigerator door and those magnetic letter magnets you make cusswords out of spelling out the title.  It's cool and fun and... no one person could possibly do all that has been done there.

"Brent" did this great post using magnets as a clever device to voice his support of gay marriage.  It's insanely witty and refreshingly unbombastic.  "Brent" wrote a song, that is both catchy and sweet and he tells a story about where the song came from that is so thoughtful and sincere that I teared up at the strength of his love for his beautiful son.

Maybe, maybe, I'll buy all that, but, really, he sang The National Anthem in front of the Supreme Court building as the DOMA decision was coming down.  C'mon!

Clearly Designer Daddy is a consortium of some sort, maybe ten or twelve really talented guys pretending to be one wonderful, enlightened, talented and generous gay man.

Also, and this is the kicker, does anyone believe that one person could have had the time, the vision, the insight and the audacity to do this piece called "The Father's Day Gallery of Greatness".  Right, one guy did this for so many, with nothing to really gain but awesomeness.  Impossible.

(Yes, thanks for asking, those are pictures by my boys called Still Life One and Still Life Too.)

So, I need to show you this, "Brent", some designs "I" did:

Cincinnati Candles

Seattle's Silver Spotted Leopards

The American Maroon Meercats
The Yellowsone Yellow Yettes

Yep, some professional sports team logos.

Yellowstone was on a budget ...

Also, out design this, "Brent."

Yeah, I thought so, your whole design team couldn't do this in a year.


Well, that's all said and done and, now I go a little deeper.  I'll drop the attitude and I'll tell you something I have come to realize, something important.  I have been deeply affected by both of these fine men, they are ennobling a medium so often maligned and shorted.  Good things are going on in the blogarena, funny stuff, heart-wrenching stuff, honorable stuff, enlightening stuff, decent stuff.  And, here's the hard part, people aren't seeing it.  And, that's too damn bad.

I'm not in charge of fixing this, I really don't know who is, but, I can point the way, pay it forward as best I can, and I can be sure that these guys and so many others know that they have inspired me, fed me, taught me, empowered me and made me a better person.

There's another guy who seems made up to me, but, I know he's not.  He's just an expat in New Zealand who tells stories so lovingly rendered and so carefully crafted that he renders me breathless at times.  His words are on a blog (more a memoir, really) called Dadding Full Time.  If there is a more intelligent, thoughtful, funny and loving piece than "Cussing Kids Are Clear Thinkers", I haven't read it.  He is the real deal, pop on over there and have a lookabout, you'll be glad you did.

Thank you, Barmy, Brent and Brian.  I mean that.


  1. This post makes me want to send you a toaster.

    1. Send me the metaphysical equal in mind-bending energy and undeniable wellness. Wait, I need a toaster oven, pretty big one though, I'll go get the measurements... wait a sec...

    2. You do know that we (the royal gay "we") get a toaster for every person we "recruit," right?


    3. That is very funny DD, I did not know that.

  2. Dude, I'm speechless.

    Well, actually, I'm not because that would be pretty much impossible. But still, I see Brian's toaster and raise him a George Foreman Grill.

    Thanks for that--it really does mean a lot.

    1. Dudes, I have a very small kitchen... I'm thinkin' cash. My pleasure, Barmy, I think the world of your talent and especially your attitude.

  3. You downplay your design talent by sneaking in a few awesome pieces by your kiddos. Those are some funny, creative kids you're raising... Can one design a child? If so, I'd say you're winning all the awards. :)

    Thank you for the nice and very encouraging words. And the Yellow Yetis are totally my new favorite team!

    And since the other guys are throwing in appliances, I'll have to send you a cool, designery one.


    1. Someone so good at design should not be so clever with words as well. Really, how many are you?
      (It's so, well.. azure.)