The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.


SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 4:08PM

Nail Polish Strips: Best Invention EVER!

Best invention EVER: Nail Polish Strips by Sally Hansen.

                                         Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 9:09AM

Post-Labor Day Email-Inbox Clean-up

SEPTEMBER 2, 2014 8:58AM

The Allegorical Cocktail Party

I'd fallen  asleep Saturday afternoon reading John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress,” the undisputed heavyweight of allegories.  Bunyan is, to my knowledge, the only author in the canon who’s taken a position against napping; it’s right there in Book I:… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 5:00PM

The Last Beach Heather

At the end of each summer they would cross
Uncle Tim’s Bridge in Wellfleet and clip some
beach heather—sea lavender, some people
call it. Soft, pink-purple flowers, that
she would dry upside down and then put
in a pitcher or a vase, to give some color
to the apartment over a grey Boston
winter,… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 1, 2014 10:17AM

At the Painful Memory Erasure Lab

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology replaced negative memories of electric shocks in mice with the pleasurable one of mingling with mice of the opposite sex.

The Boston Globe

After working as an experimental subject for six months–half my lifespan–I was ready to… Read full post »

AUGUST 31, 2014 5:06PM

9 Months on the Picket Line

It has been more nearly four decades since I returned to work from a noon union meeting to find myself, along with about twenty others, locked out of the printing plant where we worked. Thus began a labor dispute that began in confusion, descended into torpor and ended in disarray.

The… Read full post »

OXFORD, Miss. This college town of approximately 19,000 was once home to William Faulkner, one of the greatest novelists of the 20th century, but before he became famous, Faulkner was postmaster at the University of Mississippi Substation Post Office here, a fact that endears him to postal employees… Read full post »

AUGUST 30, 2014 12:21PM

Ask Mr. Furniture

Refinishing furniture can be a fun–and profitable!–hobby for those who have a creative side and enjoy inhaling toxic fumes. Mr. Furniture answers your questions and helps you turn “gunk” to “glow” and “crap” to “crapola.”

Dear Mr. F… Read full post »

AUGUST 29, 2014 7:56AM

Let's Put on a Show!

Like every red-blooded American boy of a certain age–gay or straight–the first time I saw Judy Garland I fell deeply and tragically in love.  Those big cocker spaniel eyes; the quivering lip when faced with perplexity; the slightly pudgy midsection; the permanent wave that anticipate… Read full post »

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. First it was Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer, an inexpensive lager favored by poor rustic whites and immortalized in the country song “Red Neck, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer,” then adopted by hipsters. Then it was the music of Johnny Cash, whose rural noir look and tough… Read full post »

GLYPH, Garamond.  Internecine fighting in this war-torn region abated yesterday as Sans-Serif fighters from the province of Calibri took control of the capital of Garamond, previously held by Serif loyalists.

“Gimme a V!”

“We have been welcomed as liberators,” said… Read full post »

French poet Arthur Rimbaud wrote most of his well-known works as a teenager, then abandoned poetry for a mercantile career.

                             &nbsRead full post »

AUGUST 27, 2014 8:25PM

The Ferris Wheel

“There's nothing lonelier than a ferris wheel at night from a ways off,” he said.“You aren't at the fair, and you want to be.You hear the girls screaming from the rides, and you figure everybody's havin' a good time, and you're not.You want to get goin' before the carnival closes fo… Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C.  The U.S. Veterinarian General, the nation’s highest-ranking physician for animals, expressed concern today that sexually-frustrated poodles are putting the nation’s couches and reclining chairs at risk with aggressive humping that he said “destroys the very fa… Read full post »

NANTUCKET, Mass.  A blue-ribbon panel appointed to investigate a late August stampede on this tony vacation island has concluded that drastic end-of-summer markdowns on madras shorts, whale-motif ties and other “preppy” clothing triggered a crush of cheap WASP shoppers that left seve… Read full post »

At first, I had no idea I was in hell.  I was lying in the same street I walk every day at noontime on my way to lunch.

“What happened?” I asked the man who helped me up.

“You stepped off the curb without looking over your shoulder.”

It’s a tricky… Read full post »

AUGUST 25, 2014 9:42PM

This One's for Blanton

In an old joke a woman complains to her psychiatrist that her husband is uncommunicative.

“He never talks to me!” she exclaims.

“Take him to a jazz club,” the shrink says.

“What good will that do?” the woman asks.

“Everybody talks during the bass solo.”… Read full post »

This week many Americans will drop sons and daughters off for their freshman year of college.  The partings will be emotional; tearful mothers and fathers, sons and daughters fighting back outward signs of impatience as they whine inwardly “When are they ever going… Read full post »

Fairs–that is, open-air public festivals at which entertainment is provided for a price–are both a current phenomenon and a tradition dating to ancient Rome. Fairs tend to be held in rural areas–there is already sufficient amusement in cities–and they serve as occasions for th… Read full post »

BOSTON. It’s Saturday, but an unused jury room in the Old Courthouse here is filled with young men, behaving as adolescent males have when forced to endure instruction since time immemorial; cutting up, cracking wise, and slinging spit balls at each other as they await the arrival of an elderl… Read full post »

AUGUST 23, 2014 11:42AM

Don Byas, Master of the Sexophone

Don Byas, the tenor who forms the bridge that links the swing and bebop eras, used to say “I don’t play the saxophone–I play the sexophone.

You can understand his transliteration if you believe that the greater part of that basic human function is gentle seduction, and not just rock… Read full post »

AUGUST 22, 2014 9:35PM

At the Pink Ladies Taxi Stand

Pink taxis with female drivers that serve only women customers are catching on in cities from Moscow to Dubai.… Read full post »

GREEN RIDGE, Mo.  Sam Jones has been a grain buyer in this small town for nearly four decades, but he wears an expression of concern as he watches farmers arrive at the local grain elevator to sell their crops.  “If I had the money right now, which I don’t,&r… Read full post »

NATICK, Mass.  The start time for one of the Boston area’s many charitable walks is fast approaching, but while other fund-raisers are stretching and filling water bottles, one couple remains in their car, the distaff side with her head in her hands.

“Why did you have to say tha… Read full post »

As I stuff a load of glasses into the dishwasher I try to make enough noise so that people begin to get the message; they don’t have to go home, but they can’t stay here. It’s last call, and I don’t need the City of Boston Licensing Board coming down on… Read full post »