Yes, I am a wizard. That is a complicated thing to say. It is complicated because a wizard has to be a wise man, and wisdom has to begin with the idea that you know practically nothing about anything… but you can find out. So one version of me has to be my wizard D&D character, the wizard Eli Tragedy. This is because I know practically nothing about anything… but I am willing to not be stupid and look stuff up before I tell you anything and pretend it is a wise thing to say.
I have been thinking about who I am because I want to re-do my About the Author page. And that leads to the difficulty of explaining who Mickey actually is. You see, I am actually lots of different people in my head. Mickey is the cartoonist, the humorist, the clown. He is not the every-day me. He is the goofy and foofy and lovey-to-drawie part of me. And yes, I know some of those are not real words. Mickey is like that. He speaks Mickian Goof Speak. I have no control over that part of him. I am not certain where this Mickey-part of my soul originated, but it may be the result of too much TV when I was a kid.
And of course there is the Teacher-Me, Reluctant Rabbit, the person who stood in front of groups of twelve-thirteen-and-fourteen-year-olds for three decades and tap-danced, told stories, stood on my head, and begged them to internalize at least a lesson or two of what I tried to teach them.
And the wizard part of me was just barely wise enough to realize that a teacher can open doors, but you can’t shove a kid through. They have to take the critical learning step themselves. They have to want to learn something. But even though they actually do the learning themselves, they will come back to me in later years saying, “Oh, thank you, you taught me so much!” when really all I did was be a guide on the side and stayed out of their way.
And, of course, there is the Cowboy Me. I live in Texas. I was a Belmond Bronco in high school, but I became a Cotulla Cowboy for 24 years of my teaching career. I ended up as a Naaman Forest Ranger. I have worn the hat a lot in my life, being as much of a straight shooter as the Shakiest Gun In The West can be, always trying to shoot the six-guns out of the bad guy’s hands rather than shoot people.
So how do I explain a thing like that? Probably the way I just did it (ironically). I should use Paffoonies I have created over time and waffle about stupid stuff that might make people laugh when they realize how self-contradictory it is. And I should say it like I mean it… because I probably do.