To NotGraphs, Thanks for Everything! —Dale Thayer

Hey there, Icers. By “Icers” I don’t mean cans of Icehouse brand brewski, though I still call those Icers, too. Icers is what ol’ Dale’s been calling his acolytes lately.

“Acolytes” is a big word, isn’t it? Meaning has to do with something religious, I think. I do not mean to claim that all you Icers come to worship in the Church of Dale or something. I just kinda mean that we’re all in this together, you know? It’s a term of friendship, the way I mean it. Hell, I’m an Icer, too. We’re all just human aluminum, chillin’ out in this big Coleman cooler we call “Earth.” Some of us are soon to be cracked open and chugged up, the rest of us’ll be left in here ’til the ice melts. Huh: I guess that’s a metaphor for global warming or something. Listen to me, gettin’ all metaphorical and whatnot. Seems like every time I talk to you Icers on the ol’ NotGraphs modem here I end up gettin’ wistful or woozy or nostalgic. I guess that’s just a part of me; I guess that’s just a part of NotGraphs.

So, y’all’ve probably heard by now that NotGraphs is goin’ outta business. Gettin’ foreclosed upon. Happened to my uncle back in the early aughts—his house got foreclosed upon, I mean, or he did, or the mortgage did—however you wanna put it. He passed not too long after.

Maybe it’s not accurate to say that NotGraphs is gettin’ foreclosed upon. Maybe it’s more like high school ending or something. You have a lotta fun, drink a lotta Icers, learn a little something’, make a bunch a friends. Shit, some of those people you were friends with in high school, it feels like no one has come close to those kind of friends since. Nobody’s known you or accepted you like they did. That’s how I feel about all you Icers out there. Where else could I recount my unexpected adventures, ballpark tours, trade secrets, or other existential-type moments?

A wise man once said—he said it, like, yesterday—he said, “‘Don’t read the comments’ is bullshit. ‘Write for people whose comments you want to read’ is the real answer.” Well, Dale don’t really write so much as he speaks into this NotGraphs modem thing while throwing back some Icers, but let’s just say that Dale speaks into this modem for the other Icers out there that he wishes could speak back. If you Icers have anything that you want to say, just say it. I’ll hear it. I’m like Tom Joad, kinda. Wherever they’s Icers takin’ big ol’ bong rips, wherever they’s a Coleman chock full of cold ones, I’ll be there. I’ll be in the way that every Icer yells for another double and in the way they go down to meet the overflowing shot glasses like a hummingbird over a blossom. And when the Icers start up a new website of their own and email me a modem so that I can speak into it—why, I’ll be there, too.

Ol’ Dale’s been pretty lucky in his life so far. Gets to throw a baseball for a livin’, gets to live in sunny SoCal, surrounded by good-ass Icers of both the alcoholic and human varieties. Winked at Alyssa Milano at Dodger stadium one time and am pretty sure she winked back. That’s lucky livin’. Not least of all, Dale’s lucky to’ve found a home online at NotGraphs. The ol’ NotGraphs-a-roo-ski. But now it’s comin’ to an end now. We’re all about to graduate. Some of us’ll go off to college, others’ll get drafted, and some will slowly start to blend into to the barstools in the darkest corners of the shittiest bars—like our fathers did.

Oh hell, ol’ Dale don’t mean to be so dark. There’s a whole lotta world out there, Icers. A lotta internet, too. There’s room for all of us to move on and spin our yarns somewhere. I’m sure we’ll cross paths again, too. Until then, I just wanna say thanks, keep on, and stay cool. I love ya.

We hoped you liked reading To NotGraphs, Thanks for Everything! —Dale Thayer by Robert J. Baumann!

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