I Am Not Bert Reynolds

I am not Bert Reynolds. I say this, and you probably think, “It’s BURT Reynolds. The actor?” But no, that’s not who I’m not. Okay, I see your point. I’m not him either.

SOON, you may see my stories featuring the hapless “everyman” by the name of Bert “With An E” Reynolds. I say this with a certain amount of confidence, as I am the author of his stories. There are literally dozens of “Bert” stories in progress, which I fully intend to finish. Soon.

You will read the inevitable disclaimer at the beginning. You know the one. It says something like ” This is a work of fiction. All of the characters, organizations, etc depicted are imaginary…Any similarities with real people, places, events are strictly coincidental, etc etc etc.” It basically means, “Don’t get all litigious on me, I told you up front that this was not a true story. If you think you see yourself depicted in a most unflattering and perhaps painful way, blame yourself, you apparently aggravated the author at some point, and this is what happens.”

Yes, my upcoming book will likely open with that statement, and you will say the same thing I say every time I read it: “Yeah, right.” Because when we read, “I walked past the huge yellow neon letter and into the hamburger joint,” we all know the place. Am I McRight? Likewise, we know that the characters in the story are basically people the author knows in real life. They might be exaggerated, of course, but they’re real. And when the author uses first person (see the “I walked past the huge yellow neon sign” above), we know the author means himself, or herself. Right? Give the character any name you like, we know better. It’s YOU, the writer. You’re telling YOUR story.

That’s why I’m taking a moment to set the record straight. I am NOT Bert Reynolds. These will NOT be autobiographical stories. Bert is entirely a work of fiction. Let me convince you (I’ll even use bullet points for added emphasis)

  • Bert can usually be found with his foot in his mouth. He’s witty, or supposes he is, and often sarcastic. (See? SO not me.)
  • Bert’s got a big mouth; that’s how his size 11.5 (U.S.) foot fits, but he’s got an even bigger heart.
  • Bert works in an office setting, it’s tedious, and his mind often wanders.
  • Bert is losing his hair. (Ha! It’s very obviously not me now!)
  • Bert is divorced and lives alone. No pets. He had a bromeliad, but it died.
  • Bert isn’t especially successful with the ladies (see above item), and he doesn’t quite understand why.
  • Bert can often be found with a drink in hand, and it ain’t root beer. He spends a lot of time talking about drinking, even more time thinking about it, and then there’s the actual drinking. (I’ll be right back, I need more ice in my Never You Mind.)
  • Bert used to apologize for how he is, but he quit that habit.

I could go on, but research proves that once you go past 7 or 8 bullet points, you start losing people. It’s a little like real bullets.

I’m fairly certain by now that I’ve made my point(s.) I hope you’ll see Bert Reynolds for who he really is, “A work of fiction.” I hope that you’ll read Bert’s adventures and enjoy them as much as I enjoyed not experiencing them. And please, no lawsuits! My tedious office job doesn’t pay all that well.

Now that you understand who Bert Reynolds isn’t, next time let’s explore who Bert Reynolds is. Keep reading; I appreciate you.

Gary Kadlec