No, no, Submitted for YOUR Pleasure

I once scored a lucrative job from someone running a mysterious company that needed a creative writer. Creative is a term that, to me, involves humor. Which is why I’d submitted the following:

Water balloons prevent total, absolute slaughter of pumpkins

A school district in West Virginia of over 1,000 students began a mass slaughter of pumpkins in pursuit of science.

“Organizers say the goal of the event is not to make the squashes go splat, but rather to provide some pumpkin protection…” when dropped from 40 feet.

“It’s an applications process, it’s a physics process,” said one big wig where the demonstration was held.

The winners used a variety of materials. One group used “…milk cartons instead of cups” along with cardboard.

Another group of students found that water balloons, traditionally the weapon of choice for certain middle school and high school enthusiasts, provided adequate pumpkins protection.

Calls made to the Pumpkin Anti-Cruelty Society for a comment were not returned.

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Things To Do In Jamaica Plain – a reprieve

Please note: this is not journalism (exactly true per se), but rather a prose poem that I performed some in Boulder, Colorado in 1994-95…and then published in a magazine at Harvard University .

Things To Do In Jamaica Plain

Connie painted that mural on the wall of the fish market.  The one with the big happy multicultural family in JP.  Everyone buys her cards and T shirts and thinks they’re lucky to have such a great local artist.  She hates me.

These lesbians I forget their names want to be known as The Lesbians of JP.  They have synthesizers, televisions and cartons of cigarettes in their apartment. They inhale with their noses and mouths and talk about art like it’s a board game written in Portuguese.  They pretend to be characters from a Tarot deck and all I can do is cough from the smoke.  Therese slept with them all then moved to Cambridge.

Jane’s at the Art Mart.  She says,” I painted all the platforms red and now everyone’s coming in.  And I made new labels: the Our Lady of Lourdes Bath Salts, the San José love potions, the dog chains.  I swept the floor.  I even washed the damned windows.”

C. Shafton lives up to his name.  He’s a lawyer and everyone’s a victim except for the women who rent an apartment from him.  He once screamed Continue reading

How to Have a Baby

The first time I heard the phrase “mind like a steel trap” was when my father, PigPen, had a quiet sit-down with my siblings.  My mother was elsewhere. Likely still asleep in her bed.

“Mom’s been sick in the mornings lately. You’ve noticed, I’m sure,” he began.

We had only one bathroom back at the tiny house that had what my mother described as “cardboard walls”.  We nodded to PigPen, yes.

“So it’s only in the mornings.  And her appetite is weird. And she’s gaining weight. Sensitive about all that. Which means…” He waited.

“She’s pregnant,” I answered.

He pointed to me like I was a contestant on the Price is Right. “Mind like a steel trap,” he said. Continue reading

The art of winter, or how to cook a squash

The art of cooking a squash begins with the right kind of information

We go to the Jean-Talon, the premier outdoor market in Montreal, to fondle produce before driving back home.

It’s no longer summer, that message made loud and clear by the decrease in foot traffic.  The chill.  The ease in parking.  The brick and mortar shops surrounding the market sporting snow tents for their doors. It doesn’t feel like a party any more.

We hop out and head towards the vast indoors, the weather being about 12 Celcius, but I stop at an outdoor offering, staring at a gaggle of asparagus and thinking about the color of urine. What could I make to go with it? Continue reading