Donkey and H for half-assedLove this word, though the real words for half-assed are almost as good as the fun one: desultory, offhand, perfunctory, careless, superficial, half-baked, haphazard, slapdash, and sloppy. I originally was going to go with “help” as my “H-word,” but this one’s more fun. Plus, essentially all I had to say about help was “If you need help, don’t be too proud to ask for it. And accept it.”

That’s all I really got on that.

But half-assed. Well.

[Beware that I’m writing this as pure stream of consciousness, so chance of coherence is slim. And I ain’t gonna bother editing it beyond a quick spell check. Regardless, I hope it’s mildly entertaining.]

Like all parents, I hate when my children half-ass their chores – especially cleaning their rooms. While I feel like I’m living in the middle of a fucking cliché when I have the conversation with my girls about cleaning their room, seriously, how damn hard is it to ensure that uneaten food (at a minimum) is removed to a proper receptacle downstairs for disposal?

Seriously. Sandwiches. Candy. Wrappers. Crumbs. Half-drunken cokes. I tend to chaos and clutter. I find those easy to forgive. But food? Lord help me from sounding like a bad sitcom parent in those moments. The worst part is, the bad sitcom is usually funny. Little buggers.

I’ll admit to having half-assed things in the past. Usually as a half-assed attempt to make an attempt. Usually once I get going on something, I focus and pay attention and put in a good day’s effort. If you don’t actually attempt, but only make a half-assed, half-hearted attempt to think about attempting it, that’s not really a half-assed effort though, is it? Because you didn’t actually make an effort at all. That’s just full-ass lazy. Or something.

I’ve half-assed work before. In one of my summer jobs in college at the Port of Lake Charles, college kids were matched up with regular employees. That essentially meant we did any work that particular day.


These guys were getting paid shit, barely more than us college kids. The maintenance staff – they did all the painting, carpentry, electricity (I think) around the port facilities to keep the it running – had perfected the art of doing the bare minimum during the week so that they could come in and work overtime on the weekends. It was genius in a way.

I think over the course of 10 or so weeks of 40 hours weeks, I probably did about 100 hours of actual work. I remember riding around the port for an entire morning smoking a joint with the guy I worked with all summer. It’s amazing how much time you can spend driving around maybe 5 miles of road if YOU REALLY TRY.

We were half-assed working – for sure, but we were full bore on making sure we looked like we were getting work done. My favorite was having to paint some poles one day. Got the paint and whatnot, drove to the poles, got everything out, painted ONE POLE. Repacked everything. Drove around – the long way – got a coffee and a snack. Repeat. Took us about 3 days to paint a row about 100 yards long.

One of the problems I have when I create content is that I don’t half-ass it, but agonize too much over it. (Hence one of the main reason I’m doing this A to Z thing and also do those Stream of Consciousness Saturday exercises.) I’ve got too much filter and the “no one gives a shit what you write” voice in my head. I’m trying more and more often – and getting more accurate – at punching that voice in its taint. The real world still might not give a shit, but at least I’ll know for sure.

Not that I’m quite sure that’s better . . . .

I don’t think I half-assed this one. But, my 20 minutes is done.


  1. I had a college professor who used to say “you cannot achieve vast goals with half-vast effort” – Great job working your way through this Bryant but I think you still owe us a “D”


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