Like a Turd in a Punch Bowl, It Just Doesn’t Figure

I have cleared my desk. Pens and pencils pierce the sheet rock walls. What remains of my Hemmingway 2000 typewriter, circa 1948 rests in pieces on the floor. Ferret (1)Mangled chunks of keyboard, motherboard and any other board which resided in my desktop are strewn around the room.

Having done this for one and one reason only, I had hoped we could bypass the waves of technology and simply talk.….You know, I say something, then you say something…… And before you know it, a conversation breaks out.

Okay I’ll start.

I had a hankering (hankering is southern US slang for wanting to do particular thing) to tell you about Floyd. I became good friends with Floyd somewhere around my 20th year when he came to live with us.

Having limited space we were forced to bunk together. This would not have been such a bad arrangement, had Floyd paid closer attention to his hygiene. In fact he just plain stunk. The smell was tolerable during the day. We would frolic through the fields, play hide and seek and just about everything else best buddies would do together.

Then came the night and It was Katie bar the door.

It got to where I could stand it no longer. I demanded that he bathe every day. This stench had to stop. At first he tried to stonewall me, but he knew down deep that I was right and bathe as he might, the stench was there to stay.

Did I mention that Floyd was a ferret…… I didn’t?…… I just assumed with thc picture and all…… Oh well.

Now if you’re considering ferret ownership and choose to purchase a male, make sure it has been castrated and the anal glands removed.

If purchasing a female and all you need worry with are the anal glands.

If you’re wondering why removing the anal glands is necessary, it helps the animal smell better.

But do you know what?…….It doesn’t work!

These creatures are curious, delightful, friendly and make wonderful pets, but the fact remains, that with or without their naughty bits, they still smell like a rectum.

Other animals have anal glands that are closely related to the ferret. Skunks, minks, otters to name a few. Thank goodness that ferrets are not able to express theirs like a skunk.

Even man’s best friend is equipped with a pair. So if you see your dog scooting its butt across the carpet, its anal glands are impacted and time for a trip to the veterinarian. If Rover ever starts leaking that juice you’ll rename your ferret rosebud.

I had Floyd for several years until he escaped and ran into a dog, who evidently wasn’t put off by his smell.

I still think back fondly, of a stinky little fuzz ball who would pull entire plates of food under the couch

Okay, now it’s your turn. So speak up, don’t be shy.

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Beer Googles…..No Thanks, I Have My Own…..But a Pair of Ear-Plugs Would Certainly Do the Trick

If you take the time to think about today, as opposed to yesteryear, in the context of your own life, you’ll notice quite a bit of growth. At least “growth” is what we hope to see and certainly that of a positive nature.beer fishing

Some people grow very little, comparatively, because they were mature as children through puberty and into adulthood. Not that they never made a mistake–it’s just that their mistakes were more like, “Oh no, my library book is overdue,” or “I’m ten minutes past curfew.”

That being the right hand meant there was plenty of room for a multitude of left hands. If you were a left hand, it didn’t matter if you were a mature child or mature through puberty. Once you hit young adulthood, your mistakes included words like: bail, full coverage and “what do you mean you’re two weeks late?”

I was somewhere in the middle. Had a good childhood, made it through puberty, but when I reached young adulthood, I embraced an unequaled love for the great outdoors.

For instance: I was especially fond of drinking beer on the back porch. The front porch was as equally enjoyable; as was the tailgate of my truck, the woods, sitting on the well top eating crabs, and just about any place my rear end would fit was a good place to sozzle down the suds.

Several years earlier, I learned of a whole new world–the wonderful world of fishing. Wait a minute… Why not combine the two? Now I was literally beside myself with joy. One of me was drinking and the other fishing. The next major discovery was of a place where the water contained salt, larger fish, and things called waves. These were special places; places that required extended travel and room rentals for overnight stays.

What a revelation! This meant I could actually take my suds swilling, rod reeling, show on the road, and take it I did.

Now, during this time that I like to refer to as “fermentation enlightenment,” another beast was rearing its rather attractive head. This particular beast arrived on the scene with its name forever sewn into its tighty whitey waistband–that name, “rock ‘n roll.”

You see I had started playing guitar at age 11, and to the best of my figuring why not incorporate this, “rock ‘n roll” into the fold. So what do you know, now I have a reason to guzzle that golden beverage on the inside.

First, you get together with friends who are of a similar mind but play different instruments. Once you have begged, borrowed and pilfered your way through musicians of the same caliber, you will eventually hit that magic number. This magic number I am referring to is the amount of bodies needed to play all the necessary instruments which enables you to refer to yourself as a “band.”

Now you can begin that long journey down the road to rock stardom. I learned early on that there were two paths to achieve this goal. Dedicate yourself to the craft, work hard, practice hard, live rock ‘n roll and maybe one day, you’ll make it; or pound down enough of the golden beverage so that you’re oblivious to the way you sound, which in turn means you’ll never make it, but you really don’t care.

Guess which one I chose… You got it… Bottoms up!

That’s just the way it goes. Sometimes in life even though we strive for mediocrity, we’re unable to reach that lofty goal.

Thankfully, somewhere along the line (before my liver packed up and moved into a retirement home) the golden beverage transformed into ionized water and green tea.

Writing is my passion, but on a cool clear night, if I listen closely I can still hear my Les Paul whine as my fingers sizzle down the ebony fret board…….Nah, it’s just the neighbor’s cat.

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I’m so Hungry I could Eat a …..

Some days the words slide out of your brain like oil across a greasy slab of ice. Today ain’t one of those days. I find myself distracted, staring out the window at our neighbor’s cocker spaniel. This little pooch spends as much time at our house as he does at his own. Of course, this special dog is so friendly it’s a pleasure to have him around.boa and mouse

Interaction with this captivating canine brings to memory a blog I posted several weeks ago, about my pal Wilbur. The story chronicled the friendship and high jinx between a boy and his alligator.

As I sat, memories of pets I had owned began to fly through the window of my brain, not unlike Dorothy’s visions in the Wizard of Oz as she spun round the interior of a tornado.

I finally reached the abyss which houses all things animal. Knowing that any resistance was useless, I closed my eyes and plunged into the dark recesses of my mind.

Note: To find vegetable and/or mineral, search: http\www.lynn\brain\vegetable\ mineral\cobwebs-detour sign.ug

Once I hit bottom, I was a young man again, old enough to drive, but too young to have developed a sense for the value of a dollar. What does one do in such a case as this?

I cannot speak for others, but this enterprising young lad slapped good money on the counter for a brand-new boa constrictor and what would become said constrictor’s first home cooked meal.

Imagine my excitement when I arrived home and began rearranging one corner of my room dedicated solely for my, as yet, unnamed pet.

An aquarium provided the general living quarters, blue gravel carpeted the floor and a piece of slate, suitable for hiding under or sunning oneself, with an all-inclusive light bulb mounted on the ceiling.

I set the scaly little beast into his new abode. Eureka! I had created a showplace including one happy little reptile of the slithering variety. I gave him a day to get used to his surroundings and then began to tackle the necessities this creature would need to survive. After all, a pet owner must be responsible and responsibility was job one as far as I was concerned.

Due to the miracle of the written word, it is now 24 hours later.

And now for that first home cooked meal… I’ll have to admit that the last statement isn’t totally accurate. It’s true that we were at home and that a meal was forthcoming; but to say “cooked” is a bit of a stretch. It’s more like rare… Okay, it’s raw and maybe even alive. I’m having a hard time determining the “alive” part. It won’t stay still long enough for me to catch it.

All right, I confess. I’m about to feed a living creature (a little white mouse) to a ravenous beast, probably among the most hated in the world–the deadly boa constrictor.

I remove the top and drop the poor little defenseless mammal in. I sit and await the carnage. The primeval battle of “hunter” versus “hunted,” which plays itself out thousands of time each day, is now unfolding before my very eyes.

At first, the prey stands very still, sensing something’s not right. The hunter, waiting, partially hidden beneath the slate, his forked tongue dancing left to right tasting the air. Then movement. Slow and cautious to begin with, turning to fast-paced whimsy as the mouse frolics around the aquarium.

He danced around the snake, over the snake, on the snake and in what I saw as the ultimate act of defiance, he bit the snake.

Needless to say I removed the mouse and a day or two later the deadly boa constrictor morphed into the dead boa constrictor.

I wonder why they literally go belly up? It’s probably a sign to remind people (such as myself at the time) who feel they have nothing better to do with their money than to purchase silly items, start a savings account.

When all was said and done at least the mouse had a nice place to live.

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Somebody’s Gonna Pay for This Hangnail and it Ain’t Gonna be Me!

Each week I pause from my usual writing and take time to pen a blog. ambulance chaserIt’s a nice respite and gives me a chance to vent in a humorous way. It’s nearly impossible not to repeat subjects, if for no other reason than the volume of blogs I write.

Occasionally, a repetitive subject will slip through the cracks and make its way into another blog, usually and thankfully in a different format.

And then again, some folks make repetition easy. They spread their fodder thick, leaving a trail of fuel for anyone to pick up and run with.

So is the case with this week’s post.

As with most professions, the majority of participants are upstanding in their fields and deal with their clientele in a respectable and ethical manner.

And then, just when I thought it was safe to enter society again, the meat wagon chasers are back out in force. I think what gets me is there is obviously no shame, in their eyes, as to which direction their vocation happens to take them. As long as that rectangular piece of paper with the picture of a dead president is involved, most anything is fair game.

Did you realize that now there is the potential for cancer if you overuse talcum powder? Who knew that this innocent box of slick, white, comfort could cause such calamity? I’m certainly not an expert on such matters, but I did wear a constant coat of the fine powder on my bottom as a baby and my son, wanting to follow in the footsteps of his father, did the same.

During the summer months, after a day’s work and a shower, what’s better than a few shakes of the plastic bottle; not to mention the chafing relief to be had from this miracle powder?

What’s the next deadly product heading down the pike?  Denture cream.

It seems as though an overuse of denture cream has been linked to neurological problems due to the zinc used in some products… I don’t know. Never had a lot of experience with such items, but I find myself having to ask a question.

Do we have to sue for everything?

Most products, whether prescription or over-the-counter, carry with them warnings. I guess I’ll answer my own question. Greed, just plain greed. It all goes back to the dead presidents I mentioned earlier. Of course, the gut-wagon feeders attempting to drum up business don’t help the overall situation.

What I really want to know is how did, Hamilton and Franklin get mixed in with a club almost exclusively meant for deceased commanders and chiefs? Although I’ll have to admit that Franklin has become one of my favorite pieces of paper.
Once again I’m gonna wrap this thing up. I’ll start by admitting that I’m loaded with more faults than I could possibly count, given a lifetime to do so.

But (never start a sentence with but), I work for one who has no equal and a retirement plan that’s out of this world.

Did I mention he has lots of openings?

And (never start a sentence with and), boy do I sleep good at night.

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If I Sold This Stuff, I’d Make a Fortune

Have you ever wondered who reads what and how much of it they read? finalsaleWell, if you have a moment I just happen to have a few figures tucked away in my belly button… Here we go. Did you know that nearly 17% of readers choose thrillers, while about the same number prefer a good science-fiction novel? Romance accounts for 18% and mysteries top out over 30%.

What we have here are plain and simple percentages. Never had much use for them myself, but then again, they’re a fact of life and oh, what a fact they are.

You’ll find percentages in everything from political poles to nautical charts, school blackboards and hot dog carts.

I guess if I had a pet peeve, it would be percentages and commercials.

First, let’s determine exactly what a peeve is and whether or not it would make a desirable pet.

I imagine one as a nasty little fuzz ball that growls and attempts to remove a chunk of your flesh at any point in time it deems convenient.

Now that we’ve hashed out the worthiness of the pet peeve pet we can get down to business… I’m having difficulty remembering… That’s right, “the consumer commercial.”

Do you ever get tired of…

“Today only we’re marking 30% off of each and every suit, but that’s not all. Buy one shirt for the regular price of $74 .99 and get 10% off the next five purchased.”

Or, “We’re having our New Year’s, Valentines, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day sale, August 1st this year. Save 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% and up to 90% one day only. On August 2nd we’ll celebrate M.L.K. day, Presidents’ Day, Columbus Day, Yom Kippur, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, Grandparent’s Day, Toddler’s Day (just in case such a day is enacted, I wouldn’t want to offend anyone) and Groundhog Day, where we’ll increase prices 20% to 90% depending upon the item.”

And who could forget? “This Saturday at C K Hacks: 20% off all pocket books, 30% off all shoes, 40% off all Clump-Skunker skirts and tops and 10% off, your choice of any item for a grand total of 100% off. Remember, that’s one day only at C K Hacks, under the overpass at Knuckles Road and South Posey Drive. zip code, 11ty12″

And my favorite:

“Only at the Eyeball Barn, purchase Lasix surgery for one eye and get 50% off the second eye. We guarantee our work for 795 blinks (that’s for each eye, an unprecedented warranty in the eye surgery game) extended warranties available.”

I guess after all is said and done, the American consumer is going to purchase whatever it wants whenever it wants, regardless of all the retail hype. We’re a savvy bunch in that respect.

Which reminds me, I’ve only completed 40% of my first set of rewrites on my latest book. I best get busy before I’m looking at 0% sales. Of course, if I slash the price in half, I’ll probably sell twice the number of books that I would, had I left the price intact.

So, in essence, I’m reaping twice the benefits with only half of the work. And, what really makes this a sweet deal is the bottom line. 0% sales equals 0% sales. Cut that in half and you have 0% sales less half. What does all this mean? I’m ready for next April 15th, nine months in advance, because the paperwork is done.

Why I didn’t think of this earlier…

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Hmm…Good Friends, They’re All Edible

I have a reoccurring character that just happens to be an animal. alligatorNot the type of animal you would normally think of, if you were thinking of animals. This particular critter is roughly the size of a wolverine. It has two unusual characteristics.

Number one: Its yellow eyes curve from the front around to the side of its head.

Number two: It talks.

Animals bring about a wealth of emotions. These emotions are different for each individual, just as finger prints.

Allow me to tell you of some of my early experiences with our four-footed friends.

I’ve always had a special place in my being for animals of the reptilian variety. My first exposure to these scaly creatures came in the form of an alligator named Wilbur. In actually Wilbur was probably a caiman, but when it comes to a twelve-inch long mouth with needles for teeth, does it really matter?

When my buddy Wilbur joined the household, he wasn’t exactly the warmest of pets a seven-year old could possess, but then again in my circle of friends I had reached a pentacle that could not be topped.

Wilbur’s living arrangements consisted of a white plastic tub covered in rat wire to prevent escape. Wilbur would float in his custom accommodations happily munching on raw hamburger.

When the lacerations on our hands had healed sufficiently, we could pull Wilbur out of his cage and the bloodletting play time would begin.

One day we walked into the bathroom and Wilbur didn’t look quite right. Instead of his jovial self, he was acting as though he had ingested LSD.

Shortly after the drug like episode, Wilbur left our family for good. I found out later that the constant turning on and off of the light, fried poor little Wilbur‘s pea size brain. He never had a chance. With a hole in my heart and numerous holes in my fingers I set about planning his funeral.

I made a cross, a piece of wood with his name carved into it and a shoe box wrapped in a plastic parachute. I dug a hole in preparation to accept the body of my lost friend. I erected a cross and head stone. With a tear in my eye I personally selected the mourners (my sister) for the ceremony.

The funeral procession consisted of myself and one reluctant mourner. We marched to the grave site, where I solemnly placed the shoe box. Covering the hole with dirt I began my eulogy.

“Wilbur was a good alligator.” It was then I sensed (due to barely audible giggles) one of the people in attendance were not as sad as I thought they should be.

In order to help put her in the mood, my fist found the large target, that was her back, and then, we all properly grieved for our deceased pet.

I don’t want you to think that I was a demon child growing up. I had my share of dogs and the like (what most people would deem normal pets) up until just a few years ago when our last dog died.

I have my wife and kids for companionship and don’t want to fuss with anything that can’t feed or water itself.

I still consider myself an animal lover, but of the type that slide on to grills, into ovens and swim in gravy.

I think of my good friend, Wilbur the alligator, from time to time. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on who’s tooth is doing the biting)  I have acquired a taste for blackened alligator tail.

Hmm, I wonder why that is?

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The End

When it comes to ending your novel do you know how it will conclude before you begin?CONSUMER-PROTECTION-LAW Is it because you have carefully outlined the book from start to finish?

Perhaps you outline sections of the book so that the ending will not be apparent until you’ve begun the last section?

Or maybe you fly by the seat of your pants, not knowing what will happen from the time you start until the time you end? (This one works best for me)

On a side note: Why did novels, back in the day, actually end with, “the end?” Did the reader not know they had reached the end of the book when they ran out of words?

All this talk about ending brings several thoughts to mind; the first being–things end.

The second being; if you wait long enough, everything ends.

Now, this is going to seem like an extremely odd segue into today’s topic, but that’s only because it is. And, if you view the topic in the context that everything has an ending, then this entire post will make perfect sense…I think.

Why do commercials portray us as inept and then become our best friends by the time the commercial ends? (Notice how I unexpectedly slid “end” into that sentence)

Case in point:

Watch someone slice a tomato before they purchase the advertised knife. Tomato guts splatter everywhere. Once the manufacturer of said knife convinces you that the purchase of this miracle product will cure all your slicing ills, you will be able to saw through anything (cinder blocks, engine blocks, etc.) and still slice tomatoes so thin, they only have one side.

Example number two:

What does America have an obsession with? Answer: Weight loss. We can shake it away, we can purchase pre-packaged food to eliminate our flab or we can ingest various supplements that guarantee results. Unfortunately, some supplements can cause heart attacks, liver and kidney problems–all in the name of weight loss. Then again, we can slide in a DVD and exercise like a maniac on crack.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that your average American consumer is not as stupid as they would like to think we thought that they thought we thought they thought we were…Once again, I think.

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