Showing posts from June, 2022

Pop Itch

Pop wakes up with an itchy neck. He calls Betty about it. It makes sense. She was a nurse for two years, albeit some fifty years ago. She says to him, “Try Ben-Gay.”  When he tells me what Betty told him, and he asks whether or not we have any Ben-Gay (and we do), I explain that Ben-Gay is for sore muscles and minor arthritis pain. The tube doesn’t say anything about treating itches. But since I’m not a nurse, what I say doesn’t matter. I’m just the chauffeur, housekeeper, bookkeeper, cook, errand boy, and human pill dispenser.  Pop smears Ben-Gay all over his neck. He says it works. It also stinks up the whole house.  I ask him (too late), “Why not use the hydrocortisone, instead?” Pop uses it to treat his itchy rump. Hydrocortisone exists, in part, to treat itches. It says so right there on the tube.  But Pop's pleased with his smear of Ben-Gay.  I say, “But the hydrocortisone doesn’t stink as bad as Ben-Gay.”  And Pop says, “I like the stink.”  18 August 2005

Spoiled Brat

Ladies and Gentlemen…  but mostly ladies…  BEHOLD!  This… this…  terrestrial …  body  standing  here,  right here,  upon this stage,  upon the Bard’s own boards  (figuratively speaking),  before you ,  in the flesh ,  albeit fully clad:  me.  Why?  Because:  I am  a one-hundred percent,  genuine   Spoiled  Brat.  I am,  in fact,  SO spoiled,  that I fully expect ALL of you to  laugh  uproariously  upon the conclusion of  each  and every one of  my sentences.  [VERY BRIEF PAUSE.]  Beginning now.  With that one.  Or, fine, with this one.  [BRIEF PAUSE.]  I SAID,  you must laugh  UPROARIOUSLY  upon the conclusion…  [BRIEF PAUSE.]  Oh. I see. I get it.  You believe that you’re all  spoiled brats  as well,  eh?  Hm?  Fine.  Shall we  compare   trust funds?  Hmm?  Pshaw!  No one here has a trust fund.  I am the only one.  AH, HA-HA-HA-HAH!  That’s right.  Most of you…  work.  I’d wager a small fortune that many of you hate your work. Detest it, even. Yes, on just about every day of the

Several Snippets

Once, Mr. C., who was one of my high school’s performing arts teachers, posed this question to the class: "Where do you go for peace and quiet?"  When it came my turn to answer, I said, "The beach."  Truthfully, whenever I sought “peace and quiet,” I’d go to my bedroom. Boring, right? Perhaps a sensible answer would’ve been the local public library. But the beach seemed somehow poetic. *   My lie impressed Mr. C., and that was my aim— to impress —because, in that particular place, and at that particular time, he was in a position of power.  In a way, he still is.  That teenage memory resurfaced earlier today, as I traversed a rocky beach in my bare feet. My eyes were drawn less to the gently lapping expanse beyond, and more to the broken beer bottles and castoff condoms strewn along the shore. ~  ~  ~ Here, from wall to wall, from floor to ceiling, from smell to sound—Pop, Betty, and moi—we're cocooned within a world of cozy vapidity. If not for the daily patron

S T R E A M # 9

The dog ate the tomato in the yard thanks to my neighbor to the East. The dog didn’t know any better. The dog loved to tease me about the path of righteousness he waged his tail father toward. In the morning I went to the store to get a pound of chicken shit that would, as advertised, not spoil. That’s got to be worth something, right? Something to use as a conversation-started at Passover this weekend. The coffee tastes better this morning for some unknown reason. Perhaps it’s the weather. The banner atop the paper read something like “Six months in the making: A 73-degree day.” But the radio said we’d only hit 72. When I walked down the driveway to fetch the paper there was the dog again with the tomato in his mouth. Thank God it wasn’t a cougar. They shot one to death the other day just south of here. It was a beaut of a beast. When I walked down the driveway to fetch the paper it was windy and well below seventy degrees. But the day is young. I squeezed a zit just above my right ni