My daughter-in-law

My daughter-in-law

This is Cassandra. She’s my daughter-in-law. When not pretending to be a giant bug with shiny black eyes and a striped body, she takes care of our boys in Tucson. Someday she’ll be a nurse, and that’s a good thing, as she can then take care of me when I get old and wander around the house mumbling the lyrics to Admiral Halsey while pissing myself. When my son and Cassandra were dating, she frequently left her underthings on the bathroom floor, …Read the Rest

Leaving FarmVille

Leaving FarmVille

I don’t like this. Ever since Facebook changed their privacy settings, I’ve been getting slammed. Words with Friends, Bejeweled, Jeopardy, Blackjack and Poker—everything my Facebook Friends are playing, I’m now being asked to play along. But the worst one is FarmVille. It seems like nine out of ten posts these days are unwanted information on new plots of irrigated farmland, planting statistics, crop harvests, and status updates for imaginary and improbable farm animals. I went back and read the fine …Read the Rest

Nineteen Cents

Nineteen Cents

I’m proud of my accomplishment. At forty-nine, the Nordic Warrior Queen and I have finally managed to save up a few bucks. It’s not a lot, but enough for a decent used car, perhaps, or a small nest egg in case she makes good on her threats to dump me and move back to Minnesota. That’s why I got so excited when I opened the mailbox the other day: there it was, tucked in between the Albertson’s flier and the …Read the Rest

At the Farm

At the Farm

To escape the photographs hanging unstraightened in the hall, the silent bedroom with its row of dusty clothes hanging behind the closet door so firmly shut, his broken wife weeping in the kitchen and the simple reproach of the empty place setting at the dinner table, my father would sometimes take me to his brother’s big ranch house in the country, with its painted shutters, its neat flowerbeds, its clanging horseshoes and brave flagpole and the six dogs who would run …Read the Rest

The Shoemaker

The Shoemaker

The twee little bastard. He’s been around for as long as I can remember, just round the corner, under the bed. He hoards his treasure and plays little tricks, stealing the change from my dresser and hiding my shoes. The tapping of his tiny hammer keeps me awake at night, until I am mad. And if I ever catch him, I’ll make him pay far more than a pot of gold. There at the end of the rainbow. P.S. The Shoemaker …Read the Rest

The Rattlesnake

The Rattlesnake

To be honest, the first time I met our new neighbors, I thought they were a real pain in the ass. After all, I had the house to myself: drinking a few beers and enjoying the remake of The Night Stalker. I had the volume turned way up, and was reminiscing about the original TV series with Gavin McLeod—as a kid, it scared the crap out me. And then the thing with the snake happened. The Nordic Warrior Queen was …Read the Rest

The Middle-Age Tramp Stamp

The Middle-Age Tramp Stamp

The Nordic Warrior Queen and I have been married 31 years tomorrow. I’m writing this a day early because I expect to be otherwise indisposed tomorrow night. Happy Anniversary, darling – it seems like just yesterday that we exchanged our vows. Okay, that last bit was bullshit, but it sounded nice anyway. In truth, we’ve been married a long damned time, and I feel every bit of it. In a good way, though, really. Thirty-one years. Wow. The Bureau of …Read the Rest

Smooshing

Smooshing

The Nordic Warrior Queen was the first to notice the ghost writing on the window. It looked something like “Smooshie’s Room,” and we laughed about it. We thought it was just some simple, “schoolgirl decorating her room” sort of thing. After all, Smoosh seems like a cute nickname for a girl, and if she chose to write it on her bedroom window in a broad, cursive, love-sick teenage stroke, where’s the harm, even if she did it with nail-polish? Irritating, …Read the Rest

Oozing All Over

Oozing All Over

According to Wiki, the flu kills 250,000-500,000 people annually. The Centers for Disease Control says that, in the United States alone, over 40,000 die each year from the flu. And once every 20-30 years, a particularly nasty strain of influenza pops up and proceeds to wipe out a couple million of us before epidemiologists can get it under control. Scary. Less than 100 years ago, the mother of all flu pandemics – the Spanish Flu – claimed somewhere between 50-100 …Read the Rest

The Wet Towel Affair

The Wet Towel Affair

It wasn’t my fault. Really. I mean, who hangs the bath towels inside the shower? I’ve stayed in a lot of hotels, but until now, I’d never encountered this situation. One might argue I should have seen them there before starting the shower, that sometime between hot-water-on and scrub-a-dub-dub, I would have noticed that the means for getting out of the shower was hanging in the shower. Sadly, this was not the case. By the time I achieved squeaky clean …Read the Rest

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