October 13, 2013
July 31, 2013
Sally deeply regretted quitting a secure job for the lure of the stage. Her jokes fell flat, her beloved English ballads were not greeted warmly by the crowd, who snickered derisively at her ill-fitting green shoes and and jester’s hat. Yes, she was definitely going through a difficult minstrel period
July 22, 2013
SHARK FISHING IN AMERICA
presented without interruption by Mel Famy of Xanga
“We were ready for our first day hunting the Predator of the Sea, the Scourge of Seven Oceans, Inspiration of many Deadly Cliches, the shark. The crew was scurrying about on deck, doing technical shark-catching things. “Sharkfin Don” was manning the helm, scanning the water ahead for God-knows-what, since we had a raytheon 5500 Shark Detector scanning the depths, where, you know, the sharks are. Frank “Jaws” Massey was adding a 20-foot wire leader to his line, while swapping lies with “Cartilage”(don’t ask), who was loading the chum cannon.We were pumped for this expedition, and I had just opened my 3rd beer when…..”
Say what?!? A chum cannon? There’s such a thing? How incredibly cool! Does Dave Barry know about this? Oh, he’s retired, and only writes occasionally now, and only about his late-in-life kids, or his memory. This is right up his alley, no one covers stupid stories quite like him.
Always shoot downwind, Like Jessie here
Yes, Virginia, there is a chum cannon. Kentucky, Ohio, time for bed!
Chum is defined as, and I quote :
“n. – Bait usually consisting of oily fish ground up and scattered on the water.” American Heritage Dictionary. From the same source, we get the definition of cannon:
” n.—a mounted gun for firing fish guts”.
Put the two together and you have something better than wedgies, food fights, and cow-tipping combined.
I guess it is important to spread offal far and wide in order to keep the gulls away from the boat, for obvious reasons (“We’ve got to chum over there, so they won’t slime us over here”) . Beyond the chum cannon’s use in overfishing our near-offshore waters, however, think about the possibilities. The mirthful, messy, and possibly illegal in Delaware possibilities. Drive-by chumming is less deadly than using Glocks or Tek-9′s, but just as effective in disrupting a rival gang’s street-level drug dealing. Who wants to buy their addictive substances from a slinger with fish guts on his do-rag? Dried scales on his Nike P-Rod 2 Colorways™? Not me! The police might find it useful in crowd control situations. Constitution aside, it would certainly inhibit freedom of assembly. Food fights would escalate to the degree that the UN would get involved.
I am sure that a shoulder-mounted version is in the works. This is the logical successor to PaintBall fights. Safe as milk, and it is actual blood and guts! No argument over whether you missed or not. In close games, one could count the flies on each other. And on Halloween? I don’t need to spell it out, do I? Invest in extra candy this year, is my advice.
“…..So, our trip cut short after Cartilage’s terrible accident with the chum-grinder, we started back to port, knowing in our hearts that we had enough beer to make the..”
What, they have chum-grinders? Cool! I guess it can double as a martini mixer, I bet the Sopranos would want one for Tony’s boat….
July 21, 2013
Greenboy here likes to relax on the side of my stucco-walled house to catch rays.
June 23, 2013
I spend a lot of time in the backyard with my homies….
Mr. Sourpuss here would not even acknowledge my presence
You talkin’ to me?
Anything you can do, i can do better…
No you can’t…
Yes, I Can!
Not every applicant is accepted as a citizen in my bailiwick. These guys are undergoing the screening process…
I’m molting, do you mind…?
Mama tried to raise some chicks in nest built in these reeds, but a blackbird raided the nest and destroyed the eggs
June 16, 2013
June 6, 2013
NO SECOND ACTS
Ben Hoyle- Unsucessful playwright, but one who never gives up
Dan Boyle- Unsuccessful playwright, who has just about decided to pack it in, and go to work in his dad’s advertising firm.
The curtain opens on a deli , a window overlooks Broadway. At a table by the window, two men are in the middle of a heated discussion…..
Boyle: You’re crazy! Who would pay to see a one-minute play?
Hoyle: No one, of course. But Boyle, what if 30 or 40 one-minute plays were presented in one night? Think of it! With set and costume changes, it would take two hours, a little more. With the attention span of the average American getting shorter by the year, no one would get bored. If one or two plays suck, so what? We replace ‘em, or do a rewrite.
Boyle (warming up to the idea a little): Rotate the actors, so they have time to change clothes.
Hoyle: And we all make some quick easy money!
Boyle: Yes!(excited, jumps up on the table, and begins to sing)
I will do it! I will do it!
I will write a one-act play that takes one minute to get through it
Hoyle: Let’s get to it, let’s get down to it
Boyle: Convince our writer buddies they should be a party to it
we will make use of all of our skills in
composing brief pieces that are thrillin’,
and chillin’, and will bring the crowds in
and make ourselves a killing, yes let’s …DO-OOOooOOO IT!
(Exeunt to the sound of furious typing)
April 22, 2013
….North Florida, that is. And I checked out a couple of them on my way back north after visiting with family
The Econfina River, near Perry, Florida, runs a mere 44 miles before draining into Appalachee Bay
The Chipola River is the largest tributary of the Appalachicola River, and sports 63 springs along its course
The Suwannee River, subject of song and lore….
Another shot of the Suwannee
The largest of these three would not cover a shirt button
These are tiny puffballs on a pine log
Back to the theme now, this is the Econfina Creek, north of Panama City. Econfina means ‘Earth bridge’ in the Creek Indian language. There is still a natural bridge over the river.
Mountain Laurel, now at the peak of its flowering
April 4, 2013
April is Mountain Laurel Month in north Bay Bounty. The bushes along the Econfina Creek are putting on a showy display, as the Wild Azalea and Mountain Laurel are blooming simultaneously
These Black Vultures thought I looked downright tasty….
The rains of late have swollen the creek
Saw the Azalea first..
The one flower just couldn’t stay awake
I should have more pics this weekend, when the bloom is at it peak.
March 23, 2013
March 19, 2013
I think I shall never see a poem as lovely as a tree
I’m unhip to any script with more buzz than a bee
I ‘ve never seen an eagle that was bald-faced as a lie
Nor was any essay I have spied as bright as fireflies
No one ever wrote a note as well-read as a beet is
No rumor’s near as scorching as August’s brutal heat is
No volumes of prehistory appear in pouches upon wallabies
Or Newsweeks in the yellow beaks of any birds of paradise
I don’t believe that sailors speak any saltier than a clam
And nary a bear was e’er compared to a lover’s candy-gram
I’ve never found a frescoe as sumptuous as a feast
Or met a metaphor sans flaws; the end, to say the least.
March 14, 2013
Iran has declared its intention to sue Hollywood over what they claim are unfair depictions of their country. Among the movies that have aroused the country’s ire are Argo*, 300 Spartans, The Wrestler(??), and “Not Without My Daughter”.
The lawyer representing Iran will be French attorney Isabelle Coutant Peyre, who has in the past represented Carlos the Jackal (Ilich Ramirez Sanchez), the imprisoned terrorist whom she has since married. Other clients include a serial murderer jailed for life in Thailand, Zacharias Moussaui, the so-called 20th 9/11 bomber (life in prison), and Roger Garaudy, a Muslim convert who denies the Holocaust as well as Israel’s right to exist (240,000 fr fine and a suspended sentence).
I guess Iran isn’t in this to win.
Stories like this make me want to do atrocious things to images of their prophet, just to see the apoplectic faces in the inevitable crowd reaction shots. I don’t want to do this out of pure meanness; or just to rattle cages, although both are factors. I don’t want to immerse a Mohammed figurine in a tall glass of HE’BREW beer, Photoshop a pic of him carrying his young bride’s books to elementary school, or with six-pointed stars tattooed on his arms and bared chest, I don’t want to do these things because I hate Islam, I don’t. Islam has been the fount of many ideas and acts that have benefited the world. Most Muslims just live their lives in the same manner as Americans, they work, marry, provide for their families, and hope for economic stability.
The image we have of Islam is that of the most media-hungry factions, the America-haters, the Jew-haters, the haters of their own fellow muslims who worship the same God in a slightly different fashion My modest goal is to make the head of those hard-core radical muslims explode, their blood vessels bursting in righteous, ideologically pure fury. So sue me.
Iran, I’m sorry, you only speak through your attorney? Very well; Mme. Peyre, would ask your client why, if they don’t like our movies, do they watch them? Why don’t make their own? Why did you marry a terrorist? Have you ever won a case? Have you no shame? Would you be interested in defending Tom Delay in his appeals process?
* Up for an award as the Clumsiest Phrase of the Month
March 13, 2013
Alienation is my normal state. Everywhere I go, I see people who are engaged, full of life, in tune with each other. At least, it seems that way from the outside. I suppose I look the same to them; a with-it guy, who makes trends instead of following them.
Most summer days, I throw a frisbee with a friend, Ray. Ray’s tan is even and dark, he looks like a lifeguard on Baywatch. I burn and peel, even though I use a sunscreen, a product Ray swears causes cancer and refuses to apply. Unless a girl comes along and watches us do our tricks. Then Ray will borrow my bottle, and ask the bikinied teen to put some lotion on his back. Before the cream has disappeared into his skin, they are laughing and know each other’s names. Then they either trade phone numbers, or just disappear between two beach houses to smoke a blunt. i don’t smoke, maybe I should, but I get all quiet and withdrawn. Actually, I just become more aware of my withdrawnness. Girls like guys that are confident, guys like Ray, who don’t withdraw, but laugh easy and touch their shoulder right when it is called for. Quite often, I am looking for a new frisbee partner a few minutes after Ray turns on the charm.
I saw Joanie, Ray’s conquest of the day before, at Swank’s beachside bar around noon. She was sipping a wine cooler. I was nursing a grudge; the doorman had let the group in front of me inside without paying the cover charge. They seemed like old friends, even though i had seen them pile out of a car with Kentucky plates. I closed the gap, and tried to laugh my way into the bar with the group. The bouncer caught my arm. “Two dollar cover charge, man.”
“You didn’t charge them.’
“I know them. Don’t know you. Two dollars, you’re holding up the line.”
“I come here every day. Me and Ray Willets. We play frisbee out back…”
“Is Ray coming today?”
“Uh, most likely, he’s already here…”
The doorman, his name was Jonas, let me by. “Tell Ray he owes me one.”
“One what, and why?’ I thought, ”For letting his little buddy in for free?”
I pulled four bucks out of my back pocket. “Here’s my two, and two for Ray, if he doesn’t come in the VIP door.” I stuffed them in his pocket, never taking my eyes from his. I could feel the girls in line behind me checking me out, liking the ‘tude I did exude…
No, that’s not how it went down. I walked past him into the dark foyer that opened into an over-sized tiki hut full of with it people whose clothes either fit perfectly, or their casual looseness looked right on them. Behind me, I heard Jonas laughing with the next bunch in line. I looked back, and they were all looking at me with big stupid grins.
I was standing at the corner of the bar, waiting for the bartender to decide it was time to take my order, when I saw Joanie. She was wearing the same almost-string bikini from yesterday. I remembered with a pang how good that butt looked walking away with Ray. They never came back.
“Hi, Joanie.” I had to tap her on the shoulder to get her to look at me. She started, as if stung by a gnat.
“Oh, Hi.” It was obvious she did not remember me.
“Dick. We met yesterday”. She didn’t look at me until I mentioned Ray’s name.
“Is he here?”
“Not yet. Can i buy you a drink?.”
She raised her glass to chest-level. I am so stupid.
“I’m waiting for Ray, too.”
Then a surfer-type nudged his way between us. “You ready for another?”
His gaze passed over me. I wanted to walk away, but didn’t.
“Friend of yours?”
She dismissed me with a quick shake of the head. “No, met him yesterday.”
Thanks, bitch. “Well, it was good seeing you again, Janie.” She did not even notice that I had deliberately mispronounced her name.
I took a swig of my beer as I walked away from the pair. naturally, some spilled down my chest. I was ready to throw the plastic glass at the wall and leave, maybe go next door to LandLubber’s, maybe to friggin’ New Guinea.
“Dick! Over here!”. It was Ray, and he was talking to two gals at the high end of his age specs where chicks were concerned, Twenty-nine to thirty-one, i pegged them.
“This is my good friend Dick. Dick this is Amy, and this, this is Darlene.” He put his arm around her as he said her name.
“Nobody wears cut-offs any more.’Amy said.
“I do, I get twice the life out of a pair of pants.” Ray laughed.
So did Amy. Then she and Darlene excused themselves. We watched them as they headed for the restrooms.
“Nice,” Ray opined. “Even yours.”
“Mine?” I felt defensive all of a sudden.
Yeah, I been chatting you up, chum. We can score with these two. They might even play with each other a bit. I have a sense about gals that munch carpet, you know…”
“Ray, I don’t need you to get laid.”
He popped me on the head with his frisbee. “Yes, you do, Mr. Jones. you need all the help you can get.”
He leaned in and in a whisper, he said “She’s a nice girl, Amy. Smart, reads. But she’s like you, too obsessed with her self-image to relax and enjoy life.”
I started to protest, and took another frisbee-slap. Someone laughed, I know it was me they thought was funny.
“Darlene is giving her this same speech right now, doofus. You just talk to Amy, don’t worry about whether or not you are gonna see those ta-ta’s, and you just might. I think she likes you already.”
“She laughed at your joke , not you.” He saw the girls making their way through the crowd.
“Here they come. One more beer, a swim, and then you tell them you’ve had enough sun. Darlene, or Amy, if you’ve done your share of talking, will then suggest that we get a drink up in their room.” You offer to drive Amy, And I will go with Darlene. the rest is up to you.”
“Damn, I can’t do this, I thought. And suddenly the girls were a few steps away, and Darlene whispered some final instruction in Amy’s ear.
“I wanna watch you guys throw the frisbee” Amy told me. Her friend and mine were studiously ignoring our interaction.
“Sure, if you want, I can teach you to throw.”
“Cool, I am ready to learn something new. Let’s go.”
While I racked my brain for a comeback, we followed the other two outside.
I gave up, and took Amy’s hand, she gave mine a sqeeze. It was going to be a good day after all.
If I don’t screw it up.
Once upon a midnight dreary,
while I pondered Weak and Weary,
a niche magazine, like Fishing Lake Erie
or the urologist’s rag, Peeing Clearly
They come monthly, along with others,
Bus Boy Journal, and Prison Mothers
I should unsubscribe, but it’s so hard
remembering to send the enclosed card
Thus, Tire Review and Commercial Lights
Go unread, until the day I have free nights.
My copies of Line Dance and Weave and Loom
Would fill nine or ten doctors’ waiting rooms
Don’t become like me, with all this mail
crammed into your box daily, without fail.
Please write deceased on the cover of each
copy of Reptile Retail, and Medical Leech
Foist stacks on old friends and boarders
Or risk accusations of being a hoarder.
March 10, 2013
This unfinished story just re-surfaced during a perusal of old forgotten files. I forget where I was going with this tale, but if I get enough encouragement, I will attempt to finish it…..
The end came faster than I wanted, but not as fast as I needed. Like a once-brightly shining nova, my luster dimmed until I was just another star in the night sky. I speak, of course, about the crazy years, the lost years spent in the studios of the best photographers, the crazy parties that lasted until we were dragged from the trendiest clubs in the most Now locales. The money that flowed through my hands, never reaching my pocket or bank account. But what did I care? I could always make more; I was a star, a commodity, my assets were a gold mine without apparent end, such was….
My Life As An Ass-Model
Never heard of an ass-model? Neither had I. Oh, hand models made a small splash in the fashion world, and there was more work for a hand model, it’s true. Look how many products need an attractive hand to hold them; not too many advertised items benefit from being clenched between buns, no matter how fine. And mine were fine, that’s not bragging, just fact.
No, ass models were more like stand-ins, substitute butts for the actors and actresses who leveraged their brand by appearing in ads for their own perfume, or line of clothing. Many actors and actresses can emote on cue, but surprisingly few have rear ends that can display arrogance, friskiness, sublime sensuality, or insouciance at the drop of a director’s megaphone. Mine could do this, and more, all within the space of a 1-minute intro for the latest exercise-machine infomercial.
My ass had attitude, was how Phillippe put it. Phillippe was my agent; he discovered my ass, and saw its potential right away. “Zose bun-muffins, in my hands, zey weel become legend.” This was not the kind of talk one looks forward to hearing in the shower room of a Detroit jail, where I was facing nine months and a day for stealing a pizza. I would have gotten away from the cops, I was a competitive runner and broad-jumper in high school, But the pizza-box was an aerodynamic drag. I could have thrown the pie away and made a clean getaway, but I wanted that damn pizza, a double-pepperoni with olives and onions, and some rookie cop managed to catch me as I scrambled over an alley fence that, sans 16-inch box, I could have sailed right over. Damn cops ate the evidence right in front of me as we drove back to the station house.
“How about I make you a legend right now?” I said as I whirled one hundred eighty degrees, fists out, ready to defend my as yet unsullied honor. Phillippe blinked, but I stopped my fist just short of his hawklike nose; he wore his towel over his shoulder, and I saw immediately that his interest was not prurient.
“Magnifique, tres bon.” He stepped back made a square with his hands through which he looked at me. ”Can you you do zat again, zis time right-to-left?” By zis, I mean this time, the men under the other shower heads were watching our interaction. One suggested that not hitting the little frenchman would be a sign of weakness, though he put it in less delicate terms. I knew he was right, but Phillippe was talking fast now. “Le fighting move. Can you do eet from either direction?”
“What is your game, man?” I was thinking the guy maybe liked rough trade, and that wasn’t my game.
“Phillippe, I am called”, He stuck out his hand, which I declined to shake, mindful that some bad characters were waiting to see how this was going to play out.
Then realization dawned on him. “Perhaps ees not best place to discuss rump” he says. ”Szhust meet me in cafeteria, later. What’s to lose?”
He had me there, I had 270 more days staring me in the face; might as well hear him out. “Okay.” I said. “We’ll do lunch. but you had better leave with me, or it’ll be your ass that gets talked about.
Over soggy fish sticks and mushy broccoli, Phillippe explained himself. He had been caught trying to take a jay of kind-bud on the 9:40 Air France Flight to Montreal, and given ten days in the hoosegow. He had been eyeing my backside for the last three days without my being aware of the surveillance.
“I am sorry eef I was too forward, but I did not want to get out before offering you a zhob, no, a career.”
“As what?”, I asked around a mouthful of stale biscuit.
And he made the pitch for work that would be my ticket off the mean streets. I never thought that listening to another man describe my rear end would get me excited, but I had never before heard of ass-modeling, either.
“From every angle ees ass of yours perfect. Needs tan, but zat ees all.” He asked me to describe my exercise regimen.
“Shit, I just survive, you know. I live in a 10th floor walk-up no elevator, but that gig is over now, me being a week late with the rent.”
He was writing on a pad. I read pretty good upside down, and saw the word ‘stairmaster’. “I snatch purses, do dash-and-grabs at department stores with a couple of black guys I know. He wrote “treadmill” after a 2 surrounded by parentheses.
“And you eat…” Yes dumb-ass, I do, I started to say before realizing he was asking me what I eat.
“The stores throw out their old veggies around midnight Tuesday, before the trucks bring in the weeks fresh produce.”
“You cook zese? You fry, saute, bake…”
“Raw, mostly”. He dutifully jotted that down on his pad. Then looked up at me. “How about bread, pasta, rice.”
“I like brown rice sometimes, never liked sandwiches, I just eat the patty out of a hamburger, Dad told me that noodles were made from worms, and that ruined me for any pasta.
“Starch goes straight to make ass bumpy like cheap white cheese. No salt, water retained go straight to derriere.”
“Ees good, you stay on low-carb diet”, he said, as he took the biscuit from its place on my tray.
“You go before judge tomorrow afternoon, non? I get out in morning. I make phone talk, you agree work for me, is places we go like never you dream of.”
And he went on and on, until the guards chased us out. He was a scout for a modeling agency. Several, in fact, he freelanced. He wanted to be an agent, and he felt that I, at least, part of me, would be Phillippe’s ticket into the hoity-toity world of high-fashion.
“We start little. Model for art classes. We get portfolio started, is little job on movie set. No, not porn movie. Is lead actor let himself go a bit, cottage fromage on cheeks, lack definition. Say yes.”
I did. Phillippe was true to his word. A lawyer I could not afford came to get me in the morning; he brought me a suit of clothes that smelled expensive. They fit me like they were tailored. Phillippe had a good eye.
In court, the lawyer testified as to my good character, although he had trouble remembering my name. Phillippe showed the judge the contract I had signed on the walk from the jail to the courthouse. The judge motioned me forward; when Phillippe stared towards the bench, she stopped him with a glare and a growled “Mr. Nivennes, you may not approach the bench!”
In a whisper that I could barely hear, the lady judge asked me, “Did you read this document before you signed it?”
“No, your honor.”
Well, you should have. But I’ve seen your record, and I don’t care what sort of business deals you make, as long as they don’t include Detroit, and you don’t ever come in front of me again.”
I started to thank her. “Don’t thank me, just turn around slowly, nice and slowly. Walk back to your seat, slowly, not too slowly, though, and flaunt what you got on the way.”
I felt cheap, used, but I complied. I head her mutter a ‘damnfine’ under her breath.
“Time served”, she banged her gavel. “Court dismissed” , And Phillippe and the nameless lawyer escorted me out the side door to the ‘processing:out’ window.