“The Survival-Word Song”

Saying “no” is hard

but it’s The Survival Word –

and gets easier!*


  • (A college counselor without an office Alison “Bill” A. M. Masterson who walked point and a near-teen along Korea’s nasty ridgelines and who hung out in the Student Center – too small for a union or even a Rathskellar – and dispensed cigarettes, machine coffee and commuppance contrived for his own sick pleasures, taught an invaluable lesson for a Master of Arts Teaching-degreed former rehabilitation job-retraining specialist.  “No,” BAT Masterson would suggest, “is the only word you need to succeed.  It IS the survival word.  Keeps you unsheep.  Gives you time to research.  Gives you an escape.  It’s hard as hell the first time; maybe even harder the second or third or even seventh-hundred, but each time you use it to express your real self’s desire you grow that much stronger and soon you will giggle at the ease with which you wield your word, dancing to your own tune.  But mistake not: it will be just as hard to say no to a love, to a life, to a job or to a universe the very next time the question’s asked.  As it should be. – I deviated greatly but without any decisive turns off the highway Bill Masterson would have trod.  BAT was a famous shit-stirrer.)

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