My Hometown

I won’d disclose his name or the city, but my friend, Vic, described it, and the city of Spokane, as delightfully as thus.  Come to Spokane!  Drinking, gambling and shoveling snow. That’s how we roll.  He’s trying to keep the tourists out.  He could also have added Chinese food and karaoke on the brochure.

His statement also reminded me of the great Mark Twain, or Samuel Clemens.  His observations were limitless, yet wildly shrewd.

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Gifts We Shall not Forget

Annually, my wife asks me what I want for Christmas.  I respond annually with this.  1:nothing. 2: A Mad Magazine, and 3: an orange.  I receive the magazine and an orange every year.  That’s what our mother would place in our stockings each year.  I miss her dearly and daily.

Happy Hollidays

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Mother Hood

My wife and I are proud parents.  She is proud as can be of our animals, (me, not so much) and I am a Spokane Washington raised hood. She believes our animals should be in the Feline and Canine Hall of Fame.  I believe they should be in prison or Spokane.  I don’t know which is worse.


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Puppies are Us

My wife is a chew toy.

Since we can’t have children, many people say we are lucky.  My wife and I aren’t feeling so lucky with our new puppy.  Just the other day, my wife was heading to the Hanford Nuclear Power Plant for a job interview, and before she went, she told our puppy to not go to heaven…quite the opposite.  Our puppy was tearing at my wife’s coveralls before she left the house. It was a spur of the moment reaction where I had to put my wife, fully clothed, in a cold shower.  She needed to cool off.

After my wife finally cooled off and put on some overalls, I secured our dog so my wife wouldn’t be further threatened, and later arrive at the interview with only scars on her hands.  She landed the job, because she is fairly sharp, and quite simply, they felt sorry for her.

I spent a portion of the evening pulling one of my razor blades out our dog’s mouth that I had placed in a garbage can with no lid.  She’s so smart.

Who is dumber?

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Just the other day, I was asked if today was the lack of talent show at the local middle school. I had to say, I’m a bit sad to miss both teaching and whatever that show was for… talent or embarrassment.  This person inquiring didn’t know I hadn’t been teaching for several hundred years…..or so it seems.

Let me digress.  I’ve been thrown out of bars, one of which my brother owned,  stadiums, restaurants, haunted houses, and even my own 20 year class reunion.  But, I’ve never been tossed out of a talent show.  Perhaps, that’s because I never entered one.  After watching the Gong Show, I just knew better.

Teaching English for roughly 15 years, I was forced to suffer through one hundred and eighty deplorable displays of children attempting to perform in front of their peers, parents, neighbors, and local enemies.  It always ended in a blood bath of boos, followed by the teachers waving goodbye, heading to the nearest bar which ultimately ended in a blood bath of booze.

Some of the teachers would remove themselves from the auditorium before the students were five seconds into their display. I found that somewhat rude.  Once, I tackled a fellow teacher, bound and gaged him, and forced him to watch a dance and song routine which would make a billy goat vomit.  It was basically a pole dance making everyone uncomfortable.  It was essentially similar to a car crash. You didn’t want to watch it, but you did have to gawk.

I hope those brave students received a degree in anything other than talent.  Otherwise, they are screwed.

On a positive note, I did enjoy the piano players actually playing the piano.  Following their performance, I would make it a point to provide appreciation to someone with talent.  Thank God was the only praise I’d deliver.

I would also clap for those brave souls without talent on stage.


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Chicken Lenny and the Shadow

Chickens don’t run around because they are afraid.  They run to avoid conflict and danger, but when summoned to provide assistance, chickens will always be willing to provide a fist, or a beak.

My friend, and my brother’s best friend, Michael Linerud aka, Chicken Lenny, was no chicken even in the Spring.  In our neighborhood, where we played baseball, tackle football, sans the pads, and even boxed in a basement full of harmless blood, Chicken Lenny ran like a chicken, but could cluck like a truck.  I never saw fear in his eyes, but, rather a gleaming spectrum of recognition and intelligence regarding his surroundings.  It was nice knowing he was on our side.

Growing up as the shadow amongst six older brothers, I would often look to Chicken Lenny for that soft, yet tough touch.  Many of my older brothers’ friends would pick on me.  They’d call me names such as tow head, reject, gimpy, lumpy, little bastard, and even muffin top.  While my brothers would laugh, knowing I could handle it, Mike, sometimes, would step in front of those wisecrackers, and say, “Hey, we are four years older than him.”  He would then provide the age old wonderful statement any hero would add at the age of 12, “Pick on someone you own size, namely me.”  My brothers would always have my back, but Chicken Lenny was the guy they could defer to if they had others to deal with when bartering candy on Halloween.  Never a fist was thrown, and I was safe.

Years later, when the others were entering high school, some of us were left behind in the neighborhood mob.  After elementary school would dismiss us, many of my older friends were attending high school and preoccupied with athletics or detention.  Therefore, I would decide to roam the neighborhood on my bicycle.  It was like tossing corn to some of the chickens in our valley.  I was fair game.

Never being a participant of idolatry, I did ,however, have heroes.  One of my heroes showed up one day to provide assistance when I was in trouble.  Chicken Lenny had broken his hand, and fortunately for me, he had taken the day off of school for a doctor’s appointment.  He lived close by, and was taking a walk in the street when he found me being picked on by someone twice my size and twice my age.  I was willing to fight, but my chances in Vegas ruled me a billion to one underdog.  Just like heaven sends us Angels, Chicken Lenny was mine that day.  He diffused the situation immediately with his clear sense of anger witnessing a young friend being picked upon.   The fear in the bully was obvious,  and not a person was harmed.  Chicken Lenny even walked me home that day.  No one followed.  Chicken Lenny and his Shadow were both safe.  I’ll never forget it.

I wish I’d have written this before his demise.  That’s the damnedest of it all.


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Seattle Public Univerisity

We just received a bill from Seattle Public Utilities.  It was for 0.00 dollars.  The check is due on May 7th.

I think we’ll save the check and the stamp.

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Stink Holes

Sink holes are nothing to be challenged with, especially when county workers are attempting to fix the issue.  There is currently a sink hole on our street.  Since we live on a dead end road, we had no way of exiting our house, even to get toilet paper.  I went down to visit five “workers”.  Four of them were doing nothing…..I mean Nothing, and the other one was awake. That’s progress.

Holding my hand up with contrition, I worked for the county one summer while attending college.  As a rookie, I was instructed not to work so hard.  The county veterans said I was making them look bad.

I finished the summer while county veterans, on the county clock mind you, were spending the first three hours of the day traveling to a local convenient store collecting doughnuts and chicken gizzards, followed by finding a secluded park where they could eat their meal and read the paper, and then it was nap time for them.

While the 70 year old I was “working” with was snoozing in the park, I walked around picking up garbage just to make myself feel as though I didn’t have to attend confession after work.

We also had Fridays off.  Sweet deal.  I still found a different job.

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Teachers at Large

Armed teachers?  On the way to school, you may as well give them a bottle of tequila on the way. This is not the way to solve this school shooting issue.

I don’t carry a gun.  As a former a teacher for fifteen years, I was involved in one lockdown only resulting in one death.    The boy took his life before entering our school.

I hate making light of this issue, because there is no light.  I know teachers.  If you arm them, they will end up shooting one another in the staff room.  Teachers can be as dangerous as the troubled children we teach.

I once threw a ripe orange at one of my best friends in the staffroom.  It hit him square in the forehead.  Just think if I’d had a gun.  You do the math.

Shootout at the middle school corral .


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Juice Bags

A friend of mine, whose name, Jeremy, will remain nameless was recently cut off by a driver he referred to, out loud, as a “Douche Bag”.  With a momentary lapse of verbal judgement, he forgot his three elementary children were in the back seat.  One of them asked, “Dad, what’s a “Juice Bag?”  I think he got off easy on that one.

As a loyal friend, I’m going to reveal the true story to his wife when his and her boys start calling people Juice Bags.

There are just too many juice bags in this world.  One of them is currently trying to run our country.

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