In some ways I truly am just a guy.
A comic's stereotype of a man.
I love, love, the remote control. I love the sensuous way it fits into my hand. I love the feeling of power it gives me. And I love the connect between the eye and the finger that makes it possible to judge a show in a half second. But I also love how the flicker sometimes pauses, when you are distracted, on an odd station. And there are some really odd stations.
Interupted from 'flipping' by the phone, I landed on a fishing show. They have shows about fishing. Hook, line and sinker, fishing. Wow. Who knew? Everyone on the show wore hip waders and they talked very intently about ... fishing. There was this guy on the programme and he was talking about fishing strategy. Outsmarting a fish. Tricking a trout. Fooling a flounder. My attention became rivetted. He said that "you gotta upsize your bait". The guy he was talking to looked dumbstruck - like Moses looking at the burning bush.
"You gotta upsize your bait."
I knew immediately what he was talking about.
A friend of mine growing bald and pudgy had bought a really expensive, really little car. He was upsizing the bait.
My dog used to whine and be annoying sometimes but when that didn't work, he switched tactics he looked up at me with adorable doggy eyes - the little bugger just upsized the bait.
I watched in fascination as a female friend of mine put herself together to go out to a conference get together -it took her forever, and she stressed over everything from earrings to pantihose - but now I realize she was upsizing the bait.
This philosophy has worked for people with disabilities too. I remember working with a mom who desperately wanted help motivating her child to use a spoon. I watched as the kid grew frustrated as peas kept falling out of the spoon. Peas!! I said, 'hold on' left her home went to the grocery store and came back. "Let's try again," I said pulling chocolate pudding out of the bag. That kid's motivation skyrocketed. Why? Peas to pudding. I upsized the bait.
It works. I didn't know what to call it then, but I knew it worked.
Today I was reading in a report about some guy moving back from the institution to the community. He's fearful of the move, grown comfortable with captivity. It struck me, 'we gotta upsize the bait'. We can't just show him a picture of a home - a room of your own is a mass of responsibilities - vacuuming, cleaning, bedmaking - all of which is done for him now. We gotta show him the colour of the community, the flavour of neighbourhoods, man, we've got to advertize, to hell with Febreeze, give him a whiff of freedom. Upsize the bait.
It's not as if we don't have the goods.
The community is amazing. Yeah, it's daunting, but it's amazing. Given the small lives that so many lived in institutions - it ain't difficult to upsize (say it with me) the bait.
I'm going to suggest we get together and figure out what he likes, looks forward to, dreams about.
Then we've gotta, wait for it ... 'upsize the bait'.
A fishing show - who'd have thought that the water would be that deep?