Monday, November 14, 2011

The Guy Who Runs the Cheezburger Masheen

by Laura Bickle

My beloved husband goes by many titles at our house. I credit him as my Chief Muse. He does an outstanding job of supporting my writing endeavors, above and beyond the call of duty. And far beyond what I deserve.

He listens to me when I wake up in the middle of the night with a harebrained idea. At least, he'll mumble something reasonably cogent before he rolls over and goes back to sleep. He’s the first reader for any of my work and carefully marks it up before it goes to crit partners or my agent. He can be pressured to edit a book in four days before a deadline. He tells me when things are working and when they are not. He’s more broadly-read than I am in a variety of genres, so I trust his opinion. One of his strongest editorial skills is looking for WTF moments:

 “Dude, your main character would have bled out fifteen minutes ago with that kind of head trauma. Don’t beat her up so much if you don't want her brains leaking out of her ear.”

“That guy is kind of a douche. I mean, I know that he’s supposed to be some kind of hero or some such stuff, but he’s a douche. I want to take away his man card.”

“This frankly violates the space-time continuum.”

“WTF is this platypus doing here?”

And he provides ego petting whenever I need it. When I’m in the throes of “I suck,” he’s able to give pretty rational-sounding reasons why I don’t. Sometimes, I believe him. 

A successful muse, all the way around.

But he’s not only that. He’s the Guy Who Runs the Cheezburger Masheen.

This is from the cats’ perspective. And, make no mistake, they rule the roost. They adored him from the moment they laid their eerily-reflective eyes on him. I knew he was The One because they didn’t barf in his shoes.

They sensed that he had supernatural powers.

He brought fish into the house. I’m not a seafood fan, but my husband will bring in all manner of things that I don’t like and which the cats adore. Salmon. Tuna. Scallops. And he shares. They look upon him with adoration for this simple fact alone.

But what’s more…he came with a Cheezburger Masheen. A propane-powered barbecue grill, which is something I lacked before he came into my life. He’ll grill a salmon filet specifically for the cat whenever he tosses one on the grill. I’ll turn up my nose and go scorch a cheeseburger. But he’ll grill them a tuna steak to the perfect temperature, allow it to cool so that they don’t burn their little tongues, and flake it into their separate dishes. He knows which cats prefer salmon over tuna, which ones like a little cheese on their burgers, and which one dislikes “well done” anything.

I think we all came out of this arrangement pretty well. I’m proud to have married the Guy Who Runs the Cheeseburger Masheen.


  1. Personally, I think a platypus is always a valid plot point. Your GWRTCM sounds like a fab guy. My cats say they want to move to your house now.

  2. He is a great guy. I'm very fortunate to have him in my life. Being nice to the furry critters was one of my non-negotiable criteria. ;-)

  3. Adorable. Simply adorable.

    He's cute, detail oriented in his affections, and knows how to seize the gruffer sex's man-card. ~cough~ Sounds like a keeper to me!

  4. Greatest title, ever. My cats are insanely envious. Oh. Wait. They all helped me eat my salmon at breakfast...maybe life isn't so bad after all.

    *I'm* envious, though, that he's willing and able to do an edit! That takes guts and great love.

  5. KAK, he is indeed cute, loving, faithful and tolerant. And I always know where he is on Saturday nights...usually playing video games or swearing at football. Definitely a keeper.

    Marcella, I'm amazed that he's willing to do edits, but he's very good and game. I make sure to make it worth his while with extra foot rubs, chocolate cake, and other goodies when he does 'em. ;-)

  6. Are you in the habit of randomly putting platypii in your manuscripts? ;-)

  7. Of course! It helps me make sure that he's awake when reading. ;-)

    And I'm very jealous that you get platypii in your neck of the woods, Tez! They're neat creatures.

    I have a purple plush one who I call "Platytude." He will have to by my platypus inspiration until I can see one in person.

  8. Any muse who wears a U of M cap and pampers cats is okay in my book. (Although my hubby's cap says 'Go Blue' along with the M.) You're a lucky gal, Laura.

    And Go Blue.

  9. I agree with Jeffe: platypi are always a valid plotpoint (as are zombies)
    And the cats are very wise!

  10. Heh, I had a friend-writer a ways back (who I was writing with at the time.) She had to be careful about leaving the Word doc up and leaving the room. There were several times when we'd be going over the writing, only to discover her husband had been "helpful" by adding his own bits. (Usually in the form of the male characters randomly making out or getting it on.)

  11. B.E., there's a whole lotta "Go Blue" in the man cave at our house. ;-)

    Sullivan, don't forget the zombie pigs! :-)

  12. LMAO...Allison, the Cheezburger Man does not do in-depth editing of the smutty bits. I suspect he skims those...

  13. Your cats, and you, have got a good thing goin' on there. Allison - that's hilarious about friend's husband adding bits. Also - shouldn't every good home have a platypus? Mine is missing.