As the tsunami of vitriol rolls back out into the anonymous sea of the Internet, I received a handwritten letter. It meant a lot to me, and while I’ll protect the identity of the thoughtful person who wrote it, it got me to thinking.

Perhaps I need to stop and ask myself sometimes, “What Would Jim Morrison Do?” This way I could model myself after a childhood hero when dealing with a difficult situation, if it seemed appropriate.

I do, however, make this face on regular occasion.

Since I’m an unacknowledged Jim Morrison Scholar (he was more interesting than classes most days), and an unapologetic basher of the Oliver Stone film (I love Stone’s filmmaking style though his grasp of history is stunningly inadequate and purposefully misleading), I decided to dream up a checklist so that I can see if I want to handle a situation like he would.

The Checklist:

  1. Get Drunk
  2. Shout Profanity
  3. Public Urination
  4. Flip the bird at people and snarl
  5. Get convicted of public indecency

So Can I Commit to It?

I’m really good at committing to a bit. Ask my pal Craig! But I have to admit that maybe this wasn’t the best of ideas. I can handle the first two on this list any day of the week, in any order.

Number three is where my commitment starts to falter. I’m a bit shy with public bathrooms, I’m not sure I could go with all-out public urination.

Number four is really easy in traffic. It’s less easy when I don’t curse the jackass making me late for getting home from work.

Number five might have been fun in my youth, but I got kids and a mortgage, man. I can’t really go in for all that.

Besides

In all honesty, Jim Morrison really could be an a**hole. I don’t think anyone should handle difficult situations like he did. Try saying a prayer or talking things out with a good friend. I’m not ruling out numbers one and two from the list, but use them sparingly if you can.

I can recommend instead unwinding with Feast of Friends and appreciating a mad poet burning brightly for too short a time.

(Also it is easier to misbehave and be a jerk when you have a bunch of fans blindly devoted to you and begging for the chance of your acknowledgement. Go to Twitter someday and discover how this still holds true!)