Waiting at the Sonic

Waiting at the Sonic

The Nordic Warrior Queen and I took a drive to Tucson the other day to visit family: my son the Rocket Scientist, Cassie and her toothless dog, the two boys. We hadn’t seen them for a while; Cassie’s getting big as a house with Baby Logan, and Jake needed help putting together the crib. I wanted to get some work done on the computer, so I let her drive, even though that meant two hours of country-western: Sugarland, The Wreckers, …Read the Rest

Bathtime for Bella

Bathtime for Bella

Since the Sister Wives left me, I’ve had to fend for myself. While they’re off visiting relatives in Minnesota—people who unselfconsciously say words like uff-da and puh-tay-toe, and who consider Leinenkugel beer a food group—I’ve had to do my own laundry and wash my own dishes. I draw the line, however, at dusting and vacuuming. The dirt can wait. And since the Nordic Warrior Queen frowns on too frequent patronage of the fine dining establishments across the street, I’ve had …Read the Rest

At the Pharmacy

At the Pharmacy

The Sister Wives went shopping at the local CVS pharmacy last Tuesday. Debbie needed some Neosporin for her new cat tattoo—she calls it her “little pussy”—and the Nordic Warrior Queen had to get a prescription refilled. Since the pharmacy is just down the street from the Sandbar, my wife told her sister that, yes, they could stop for Happy Hour on the way home; she hoped that the promise of beer would keep Debbie calm while shopping. So while Diane …Read the Rest

Chip

Chip

I like to think that most of us, while growing up, meet a few people who touch our lives in some small way, who help to repair—at least a little bit—the fraying tapestry of our troubled youths.  Chip Proshek was one of these. I first knew him as Dr. Proshek. He was an orthopedic surgeon, and while I was still struggling with the many challenges of training-wheels, he was performing surgery on my mother’s back. With today’s medicine, that same …Read the Rest

On Peas

On Peas

Excerpt from a text discussion with the Nordic Warrior Queen while traveling   Wife: Are you at dinner? Me: I found a new pub. Durty Nelly’s Wife: Big surprise there Me: Did you know Shepherd’s Pie is Irish? Wife: What’s Shepherd’s Pie? Sounds gross Me: It’s delicious. Lots of peas, however Wife: Yuck Me: Peas, in gravy, are delicious. Peas rolling about on a plate, quickly growing cold and soggy? Not so much Wife: I see Wife: Have you been …Read the Rest

After the Jihad

After the Jihad

I wrote a story last year for an online writing class. I wish I’d known then how much trouble I would get into because of that story. I never would have done it. My fellow students and I were supposed to model our stories on the work of famous authors. In this case, it was Campbell McGrath, a poet. We were told to copy the writer’s style. This seemed a bit like plagiarism to me, but I did the exercise …Read the Rest

Esmerelda and the Soap

Esmerelda and the Soap

I’m not a very eco-friendly person to begin with. I don’t recycle, I drive with the windows down and the AC on, and I print reams worth of documents. Let the future fend for itself, I say. But I admit: when I travel, I’m a real pig. I laugh at the hotel’s request to conserve laundry—SAVE THE PLANET: PLEASE REUSE YOUR TOWEL—Ha! I gleefully chuck my sodden towel on the bathroom floor after a single shower. I leave all the …Read the Rest

Riding the Union Pacific

Riding the Union Pacific

Johnny sprinted after the westbound Union Pacific, stumbling over the small rocks and blackened scree bordering the tracks. The engine was a distant rumble ahead, rising in pitch, and Johnny knew he would soon be left behind; worse, he would be prone to terrific ridicule from his twin brother later that night. He tripped and nearly fell, but with a final gasping effort reached out to catch his brother’s hand. Charlie swung him up to the rail, clapping him on …Read the Rest

Dark Lord

Dark Lord

Do not be deceived by her innocent face, the angelic smile, or suffer my fate you will. No, the girl carries within her an awesome power, one capable of destroying the resolve of even the most steadfast grandparent. The encounter was mercifully brief. She wheeled up to me, running over my toe without an ounce of remorse, and uttered a single word. “Papa.” My heart lurched. That black hoody, those piercing eyes. I cringed at her unmistakable authority—to persuade, to demand, …Read the Rest

Sunflower

Sunflower

Like most boys, I’ve always wanted to be a firefighter. Who wouldn’t? All that gear: the shiny metal axes, clanking oxygen tanks, rubber boots and yellow helmets and facemasks made of high-temperature thermoplastic. And never mind the pumper trucks with their shrieking sirens, the water gushing from high-pressure hoses, vehicles so huge they take two burly men to drive. Wow. Over the years I’ve started some fires (it was an accident), and I’ve burned away most of my facial hair …Read the Rest

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