Captain of the High School Swim Team or Maybe County Commissioner

Here are the reasons why I should do this: contributions are tax deductible, sleep late on Sunday, choice of two sides, king of this whole town.

What I had to do to get here: for an entire day give up meat and chicken but not fish, swing the big hammer hard enough to ring a bell, sleep late on Sunday, spend all night studying.

How long I expect to stay: waiting for the call-up to the majors, until the cows come home, I’ll find the exit eventually, no place else to go.

The ways my participation benefits others: can always be worse, not much to it but at least it’s forgettable, didn’t realize I was actually doing anything, if not me then you.

Tuesday is Tan Pants Day.

and a picture of Bob Marley

Middletown, Ohio Police Blotter

(From the Middletown Division of Police and the Middletown Journal):

Jan. 11

A furnace was stolen before 1:20 p.m. from a home in the 3900 block of Grand Avenue. The copper coil to the furnace, however, was not stolen. The home was vacant and multiple people have keys to the property.
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A Country Christmas Story About Dogs and Metal Buildings

I wish I could say it was a Merry Christmas. I wish I could tell you everything worked out all right. Okay, I’ll go ahead and play it like this: yes, in the end, everyone was fine and nobody got what they didn’t deserve.

For years, I’d been listening to that dog across the street. Most of the homes around here are spread out; there’s plenty of wide open space and not a lot of trees, owing mostly to the fact this is all “improved” former pastureland. Everywhere except on the side of the road opposite my own driveway.

I don’t hang out with those folks—not that I’m all that social with anyone around here. I smile and wave at the majority of my neighbors but also wonder if they’re going to line me up with a scoped rifle someday soon. Anyway, about the family across the street, we didn’t even make a bad attempt at being friendly. I can’t recall a single specific incident that could have caused a rift, but it just seemed as if our wiring was out of phase or something.
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dear clusterflock

Loss of control over WHICH BODILY FUNCTION do you find most comical? KEY TO YOUR PERSONALITY!

I’m a sucker for vomit. Vomit anecdotes almost invariably crack me up.
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Travel Planning: New Orleans, 2013

A friend and I are planning a road trip for August 2013: a drive from Chicago to New Orleans, where he’ll be speaking on a panel at the annual meeting of the Society of American Archivists.

The other night I dreamt about this trip, dreamt a dream that offered guidance worth sharing with my friend. Here is what I wrote him.

I do hope there’s been no misunderstanding over the business with the rifle. My insistence on retaining it was not motivated by a desire to “teach you a lesson” nor exact a petty bit of payback. Please know that I was not especially upset over your having hustled me onto that express bus at a moment when I was concerned over the fate of my missing wallet. Under the circumstances, your having opted to take the express to the conference hotel made sense, as you had a session you needed to get to, and my negligence, wallet-wise, could scarcely have been a concern of yours. Mildly hesitant though I was about the bus, I did not protest, as I counted on having an opportunity to hop off near that subterranean restaurant where I suspected I’d left the article, claim it, then join up with you later on. Whether or not you were aware that the bus would make no intermediate stops and that it would take us so very far from the restaurant is no longer at issue, being what you might call a “moot point.”

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And so, like, when I was in Texas last month, I stayed at Lou’s house for a couple of days. And she went with me when I dropped off my car to have the guys look at the A/C.

So I dropped off the Element and got into Lou’s car and then the guy who wrote up my order (Leon, I think it was) came out to say something to a lady in denim and big frosted hair. And then he came over to Lou’s car and I rolled down the window and he asked did we want to hear a sick joke.
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what it is what it is

Dreams of Small Recitals

You are caramel and hot wax. I am a new wool sweater with a bull’s eye on its back. The ladder in the yard climbs high into the air and I go up, up, up. I’m afraid to look down. The ladder stands unsupported as if it’s a flagpole. I remove bandages until the fabric coils like snakes, but nothing within is wrapped except old air. A woman in line at the deli complains: “My feet are killing me and I can’t stand for very long because it hurts my back.” I suggest she should wait instead for service at the shoe store. Strangers don’t appreciate it when you’re trying to be helpful.

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This Story is About Telling You Stories

The house is crap, although you can see that for yourself. Surviving eighty-plus Michigan winters punishes mankind’s endeavors, and the summers don’t offer much relief. The sandpapery asphalt siding is potato-chipped into curls. My back porch cants at a ten degree angle downward toward the lake. Anywhere else on earth, this place wouldn’t be rated for so much as lawnmower storage. Here on a bluff overlooking white sand beaches it’s a different prospect. I just made a joke.
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In the Loop

Rust. Irony can be found in iron itself. The carpet is not made of felt; the gray fibers are compressed years of fur, soil, and traffic. We organize a backyard BBQ and everyone brings potato salad. All of the potato salad is contaminated with e coli. What are the odds of that happening? You negotiated a 30% discount for your new tattoos but the artist used beige ink exclusively. Beyond normal expectations, we got it right! Unfortunately we are unable to locate, recognize, or analyze the data.
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