A gift from The Hook (or why I tell him I don’t celebrate Christmas)

image They say the best gifts are the ones you never ask for. They also say to never look a gift horse in the mouth. While I agree with both of those sentiments, I have to assume “they” have never received a gift from Robert Hookey, comedic maestro behind The Hook and Rob Ford’s running mate for the 2016 Niagara Falls Moose Lodge presidential race.

Perhaps because he is Canadian and not subject to U.S. privacy laws, or possibly because he has an overactive imagination fueled by pure maple syrup, Hook claimed to have discovered information about me which — as a gift — he promised to keep quiet. However, because I believe in full disclosure, and because these were too funny to keep to myself, I have included his discoveries here, along with some explanations. Mostly because I don’t want Peter Dinklage kicking down my door.

I promise it will make sense later…


Dear Ned,
Your book may be open to anyone – for a price – but your past has remained a mystery.

Until now, that is…

Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Ned Hickson (As discovered by The Hook)

1) His position as a “journalist” is merely a cover for his role as the most deadly agent S.H.I.E.L.D. has ever employed. (Yes, I’m a hopeless nerd and no, I’m not ignoring the events of the latest Captain America movie; I’m merely sidestepping them. So shut up.)

(This is absolutely true. My code name was “Ned Flurry” because I was the one who made Dairy Queen runs for the S.H.I.E.L.D. office.)

2) That mustache? Airbrushed. Ned’s actually as hairless as Dr. Evil’s cat.

(Yes and no. But without getting into details, exactly where I’m hairless is no one’s business. And it’s no accident.)

3) Ned’s book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is the first tome under his true identity, as opposed to his more recognizable pen name, E.L. James.

(Obviously, this is ridiculous. Ned Hickson is my pen name…)

4) Some men weep after coitus. Ned breaks into a Broadway medley.

(After looking up the word “coitus,” singing A Lot of Lovin’ from “Bye Bye Birdie” still seems appropriate)

5) It’s no secret that Ned worked as a corporate chef, but do you know the truth behind his “secret sauce?” No, seriously — do you? Scientists have been trying to unravel it for years; at the cost of several hundred lives, I might add.

(Let’s just say Wendy’s Burgers owner Dave Thomas didn’t die of natural causes…)

6) He’s been down many a road, but Ned’s greatest love will always be his first job: Ron Jeremy’s back shaver.

(Partly true. But I only shaved it once, and was fired shortly after I got distracted and went against the grain.

7) Ned’s part-time job as Justin Bieber’s life coach is going down in flames.

(I really thought I had learned from the mistakes I made with Miley…)

8) He is on the “short list” to replace Letterman when he retires next year. (By the way, Ned, maybe now you could help me achieve my daughter’s dream of breaking into television. Do you have Ellen’s number?)

(Only partially true. Ellen is actually replacing Letterman; I’m replacing Ellen. Yes, it’s going to be a weird show…)

9) Speaking of short list… Ned’s other part-time job? Peter Dinklage’s stunt double on Game of Thrones.

(It’s true. And my knees are killing me…)

10) How does Ned manage to juggle all those balls in the air? Well, that’s not something he likes to discuss in mixed company. But as for all his part-time jobs, his secret is simple: He’s a vampire.

Just don’t tell my wife, all right?

(I was actually a werewolf first, then switched to being a vampire because the kids got tired of poop-scooping the yard…)

And that’s all I know, kids — I swear.

You’re welcome, Ned.

(I’d like to thank The Hook for taking time to reveal these 10 things about me that no one knew. I hope we can all feel a little closer now because of it. Except for Peter Dinklage; I’d rather he keep his distance…)

Ned Hickson is a syndicated columnist with News Media Corporation. His first book, Humor at the Speed of Life, is available from Port Hole Publications, Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

80 thoughts on “A gift from The Hook (or why I tell him I don’t celebrate Christmas)”

  1. FYI, Letterman will be replacing me, and I will be replacing Peter Dinklage. They said they want someone snarky and evil, but easier on stunt double’s knees.

          1. Actually Ned, moving S.H.I.E.L.D. to Canada is a bit problematic. You see the NSA keeps a close eye on all S.H.I.E.L.D. communicatiions. Technically they can’t do that, sooo they hire us Canadians to listen in on S.H.I.E.L.D. from Canadian soil and then send the info to the NSA. However, being law-abiding citizens, we are not allowed to listen in on Canadian conversations. The NSA would be very upset if they lost their eavesdropping capabilities wrt S.H.I.E.L.D. And it’s not a good idea to upset the NSA.

            1. Very good points, Paul. We’ll just stick with our current undisclosed location in Weed, Calif.

              Ummm, I think I just blew our secret location.

              *Gets out map*

  2. I’m flabbergasted – I did not realize that Ned was a man (vampire) on the very cusp of greatness. I can see it all now. Please forgive my lack of appropriate awe in the past. A man such as Ned only comes along once a generation and should be treated with serious veneration. (note the rhyme – not bad, eh?) He is already known for his selfless cow removal, his sparkling sense of humour (that’s humor to some), his ability to hold onto sign posts in high winds, his fearless firefighting abilities and much, much more. And now, we discover through the sleuthing abilities of our good friend The Hookster, that all these good things are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the true nature of the man known as Ned Hickson – a man destined for illustriousness. His shy self-deprecating manner has shrouded his true greatness.

    Thank You Hook for unveiling The Real Ned Hickson. We shall be forever indebted.

    1. Paul, while I am very appreciative of your kind words and thoughts, I have to wonder if you would have felt the same if Hook had revealed this before Twilight came out… 😉

      1. Absolutely. I’m a dialysis patient and have grown used to having my blood removed about 36 times per week (in 3 sessions)- the only difference from Vampires is that dialysis puts it back when they’re done.Or at least they have so far! 🙂

        1. I’m sorry to hear that, Paul. The dialysis, not the putting the blood back part. You might want to give them a Post-It reminder so they don’t forget.

  3. My wife LOVES Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Is she great or what?! And you can ignore that Capt. America film all you want, but the rest of the planet didn’t. It made a record amount of cash for an April opening.

    The new Jim Jarmusch movie is about vampires. Ned is just now revealed to be a vampire. Coincidence or clever marketing ploy?

                1. Good point. At least you don’t have to worry about shaving anything on the hot dog before you attach the paddles.

                  Oh great, back to Ron Jeremy again…

  4. There is no way you are shaving Ron Jeremy’s back; there’s not enough time in the day to do that, post, and sleep. I hear it grows back immediately, like Tim in The Santa Claus.

  5. One of the best things about reading someone’s blog is getting to know them as a person. I can truly say that 1) I like you even more than before and 2) Did I even really know you?? I mean, if these things are true I feel like YOU should be the Dos XX man. Because Sir, YOU ARE THE MOST INTERESTING MAN IN THE WORLD 😉

    1. I am like an onion. The more you peel away the more you wish you’d ordered onion rings. Which, coincidentally, go really great with Dos Equies 😉

  6. Poor Mr. Thomas and to think he was worried about his daughter knocking him off for his fortune. He shouldn’t have taken the advice of his anti-nutritionist and avoided the post chef, volunteer firefighter, newspaper columnist types instead of encouraging them.

    1. I can breath easy, Hook. Thank you.
      Although I kind of feel stupid giving up our new S.H.I.E.L.D. headquarters location…

      Or DID I? Because it’s actually in Ontario! Ha-HA!

      Oh crud… I did it again…

      Gad you’re my pal, Hook 😉

        1. DANG IT!

          Oh well, off to Dairy Queen for Dr. Banner’s “Flurry” order. I really hope they get it right this time. I don’t like it when he’s angry…

  7. I suppose if you and Hook had a convention in Halifax and held it at Dalhousie University, it would be Dalkon S.H.I.E.L.D.

    (That may go down in history as the worst pun ever.)

  8. BTW, I returned your e-mail, pal.
    I’ll be offline soon, but I’m sure we’ll talk soon. Sarah appreciates your help, by the way.
    Her words: “He sounds like a great guy!”
    Kids, they’ll believe anything, right?

  9. I’m sorry Ned…I saw the photo of Mr Dinklage and you lost me.
    Love him, well, actually Tyrion Lannister is adored in this household, mainly for his one liners. As for Ned Hickson? Not so much, only one fan here.

    1. I can live with that. I’ve never actually seen King of Thrones, although it’s a concept I’m still trying to get my kids to accept when I’m on the commode and they want in because they’re too lazy too go upstairs.

    1. Thanks Abigail! It was a real treat to share the stage with Robert. He’s a good and funny man. Some day I want to stay at the hotel he works at; we could get into a lot of trouble… 😉

  10. You had me at Hook and kept me at Peter Dinklage.

    I am very happy I now know these things about Ned. I don’t know what I would have done otherwise.

No one is watching, I swear...

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