Thinking in Tens

The Top Ten Dumb Things Internet lists have made me do (one is a lie): 10. “Like” things that merely interest me 9. Assess the duplicity of others 8. Avoid work, especially writing 7. Scroll while driving 6. Scroll while biking 5. Groan aloud in public 4. Puzzle over others’ music interests 3. Read lists … Continue reading Thinking in Tens

Coming Out Ahead

I just bought a dozen Cadbury Creme Eggs at nine cents apiece. $0.09! Now, to Malta! "I don't buy eggs from Malta," he confessed... "I buy them in Sicily at one cent apiece and transfer them to Malta secretly at four and a half cents apiece in order to get the price of eggs up … Continue reading Coming Out Ahead

World Book Day

On Earth Day I pollute. On World Book Day I watch movies. If I list my favorites, it becomes clear that most actually started out as novels---even Cool Hand Luke (Donn Pearce, '65) and Midnight Cowboy (James Leo Herlihy, same year). Easy Rider ('69) is the exception.

Love and Protest

Amy’s Story by Anna Lawton sets a tempestuous romance against the turbulent half-century of global change that erupted in the 1960s and flowed across the land like a modern Great Flood. The novel plants the seeds of these decades in the post-World War One migration from Europe to the United States and reveals the newest fruits---poison … Continue reading Love and Protest

Earth Day for Dummies

What I plan to do for Earth day is drive a gas guzzler up the road tossing hamburger wrappers out the window and blasting Metallica's "Blackened" 'til Johnny Law hunts me down in his fuel sucking hot rod and hands me a ticket for speeding, littering, and noise pollution. Earth Day? What a scam! We should treat … Continue reading Earth Day for Dummies

Literature Only

Southwest. Demanding the best of its passengers. Headed home from the Keys, I dropped in this classic. It must be very strange in an airplane, he thought. I wonder what the sea looks like from that height? They should be able to see the fish well if they do not fly too high. I would like to … Continue reading Literature Only

Miles of Fun, Miles of Files

Paul Panepinto is bored at work. How could he not be? He’s a painter trapped by lapsed policies, cold chocolate in a Federal Funding mug, and long stints of muzak while on hold with Mortgage Depot. Also there are his smarmy daydreams of ‘better times’ with Suzanne Biedertyme to get him through the monotony. Panepinto … Continue reading Miles of Fun, Miles of Files

Swimming with Sharks

My first shark dive, over a decade ago, our group encountered half a dozen reef sharks in the Red Sea. The big monsters circled the coral an hour offshore. The sight stole my breath, my aqualung pumping furiously---not the best reaction at minus 30 ft. The white tip is a predator, though not likely to charge across open water for … Continue reading Swimming with Sharks

Poisonwood

A nightmare tree grows in the hammock jungle along Route One of Fat Deer Key. Poisonwood. Its touch will boil the skin; its toxin, when burned, will sear the lungs; its berries, if ingested, will sour the gut. At mile 56 the Poisonwood grows alongside its antidote, the Gumbo Limbo. Folk medicine has it the remedy should be … Continue reading Poisonwood

Tinfoiled Again

Flying out early tomorrow for Papa's haunt, Key West. A question he never considered on his many travels. My flight spans breakfast and lunch (DC-Buffalo-Ft. Lauderdale... don't ask, it was cheapest). The airlines have decided they can hide value by disappearing a reasonable meal from the fare. If it were me alone I'd tighten the … Continue reading Tinfoiled Again