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That Ole Dog is Me

“How can that dog be barkin’ in the backyard…”


Dateline: 1/2/2012….205.1 LBS

Take this as my suicide note.

Bye-bye cats … I’m about to go.

I am:




I am:

High Cholesterol.

High Blood Pressure.

Prostate Cancer.

And I did all of this to me.

Take this as my suicide note.

I’m killing me.

This ole dog won’t hunt much more.

Take this as my suicide note …

If I don’t change.


“… we ran over him years ago …”


So on this first full day of 2012, the 60th year of my life, I am going to take the extraordinarily hard step of trying to avoid killing myself.

Someone else may kill me, but in print and in whispers, I promise this to my family, both the family I live with, and The Family Of Us, that to the best of my ability, I will not continue to kill me.

And I want you to take the same promise, not that you won’t kill me, which I’m hoping you don’t, but that you promise to quit killing your-ownself.

I have Old white Guy Disease … and truth be known, you probably do too. Here’s how I can make that diagnosis fairly easy: go to Google and type exactly this in “Don Barone,” (use the quote marks around my name to limit all the hits that Google thinks is me but ain’t). Now when all that me stuff comes up go up to the top of the page and hit IMAGES. Wait 0.72 seconds and then go to looking at me.

Click on any image. If you look anything like ugly ole me –  fat, round, wider than taller, OBESE – then dudes, you’ve got Old White Guy Disease.

And if you are some other shade of human, do it too.

You don’t have to be beige to be killin’ yerself.

You don’t have to be me to be writing your own suicide note.

“How can that dog be

runnin’ by the backfence…”


To The Family, Of Us, listen up. We need every moment this universe will give us on this planet Earth.

And we don’t need it for us; we need it for them, for those we love.

We especially need it for those who will follow us.

Follow you outside.

Follow me about writing about you.

Don’t matter none why it is you go outside and bring those you love, and others, with you. What matters is that you go outside.

Out there, right outside your window, is where health is.

It is so close to all of us, we can touch it, just open the front or back door, and step outside.

I’m going to be doing this new health thing myself. I won’t be listening to anyone but me since I’m not good at taking orders. Those giving the orders don’t know me none so they can’t be specific.

Me to me, I can get real specific. I have pretty much figured out that experts are only experts about their ownself, and not my ownself, experts in general only are experts about how they do what they do, and not so much how others do what others do.

Read up about this stuff all you want, but listen. Listen to that voice inside of you, the one you’ve been ignoring all these years. I freakin’ hear it so I know you must too. The voice is the voice of the universe telling you how to stick around.

My whole approach to health rests on one simple idea.


I’m going to open any door I can to get outside, be it the front or back door, the garage door, or the door of my 4Runner.

And I’m going to close and lock the kitchen door where the donuts and cookies live.

Take nothing I say as anything remotely medical or scientific, don’t do a damn thing without talking to your doctor, attorney, or life insurance dude.

If I could write you a prescription, this is what it would be and the one I gave myself.

Take an ugly picture.

Of yer-ownself.

The grosser the better.

Freak yourself out.

Disgust yourself.

Then tape it to a place you will be everyday.  A place where the truth shows, a place that hides no lies, a place where the you, you see, is the you, you get.

The bathroom.

The John.

Stick it up on the mirror, stage left.

Stage left, the ugly you.

Stage right, the you as you get to be the you, you want/need to be.

Look at it.

Get pissed off.

Do something about it.

Fix it.

Fix You.

“…we ran over him years ago…”

Now if you are like me, all this Rah-Rah stuff may last just until the Krispy Kreme neon donut light goes on, so I’ve got a plan for me to stick with this.


Beginning this first day of 2012 (first full day of being awake and not sleeping off that there last day of 2011) I declare this:

At 6:45 a.m. when I stepped all “nekid” on the fancy see-through glass Weight Watchers scale and after a couple attempts of trying to peer over my ever-expanding belly I saw exactly this:


As in pounds.

Pounds of me.

I saw the worried look on my wife’s face when I announced that I have now added 80 pounds to what was once our 245 pound marriage.

Barb has added some to the marriage as well – 2 pounds.

I still have her as she was and has always been, she now has 1.75 times me.

I don’t think I will ever get back to the weight I was when I got married – 120 pounds – but what I will do is to get off the chart that lists my body mass, me, as obese!

My body mass is massive for someone my height. If I could somehow shoot up to 6 feet, 4 inches, where the longitude and latitude of me would match my weight, I wouldn’t be needing to dump all the cookies in the garbage.

But I do.

So as to keep on track of trying to throw less of a shadow behind me, I’m going to do it for the money.

I am going to donate a pound of flesh to Tackle The Storm Foundation, and since I sort of run that foundation and don’t want to be cutting off skin and fatty stuff and trying to deposit that in the bank, I’m going to make it easy. I’m going to donate $8.50 of cold hard cash for every POUND of me that I lose.

I picked that amount for a special reason. For $8.50, Tackle the Storm Foundation can place a rod and reel into the hands of one child.

Every pound I lose will turn into the magic wand of childhood, a fishing pole, for some child somewhere.

My goal: 50 magic wands to 50 kids.

Every Sunday morning I will weigh myself and post the weight on If you would like to help me, you can hit the donate button and donate what you can per pound of db losing db.

You can follow my progress on three websites that friends of mine own and run, friends who let me write on their pages, friends who I know care for me … and care about you as well.

Look for “How To Survive As An Old White Guy (or whatever shade of human you might be)” on:

These sites will run the stories, not because it is a story of me, but because it is a story about, The Family, Of Us.

Us, those who love the outside, and me who writes about those who love the outside.

About the why we are out there.

And I know you know why you are out there.

The why is them.  Those folks.

To honor the memory of those who took you out there in the first place.

To make memories for those who you now take out there.

And to do that, you need to be able to go outside.

With Them.

And not writing your own suicide note.

To Them.

Make the memory.

Instead of being one.


“…ghost of a dog

barkin’ in the backyard.”

Ghost Of A Dog

Edie Brickell & New Bohemians