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.

MARCH 5, 2014 11:28AM

What to Give Up for Lent

WASHINGTON, D.C. The Federal Reserve delayed release of its “Beige Book” this morning after Chair Janet Yellen asked for additional color choices for the cover of the central bank’s report on economic conditions.

“Did Alan Greenspan ever accesorize with an Hermes scarfRead full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C. District of Columbia Police had their hands full today as they removed demonstrators protesting a proposed oil pipeline from the White House only to see a crush of notary publics rush in to take their place.

“Can you hurry up? I’ve got a wedding that starts atRead full post »

PAMPA, Texas. Duane Dunham hasn’t had a day off in two weeks, but the twenty-two-year-old native of Hereford in Deaf Smith County isn’t complaining. “It’s great to be workin’ agin,” he says in his flat, uninflected drawl. “My pappy thought the good times w… Read full post »

An Oregon State University study indicates that xanthohumol, a substance found in hops, a principal ingredient of beer, inhibits a family of enzymes that can trigger prostate cancer.

It was getting late, around 10:30, and I was beginning to feel tired. I took a sip of Bud Lig… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2014 9:28AM

With Friends Like These--

Our friends can be a source of companionship and understanding to get us through tough times, but they can also be a major pain in the you-know-what when they don’t return your curling iron or hedge trimmer. Finding the right balance is why people turn to “With Friends Like These,”… Read full post »

I get so excited on Oscar night. It’s the one night of the year on which an undiluted fascination with glamour, glitz and glossolalia is tolerated in this Puritan country of ours.

Glossalalia: “Who are you possessed by tonight, dear?

What’s that–one of those things is… Read full post »

BOSTON. Evan Zaremba is a cutting-edge director who is sought out by theatre companies around the world. “He brings a very personal approach to everything he does, even the oldest warhorses,” says Donald Mayerson, a theatre critic here.

“Twelve Angry Men” as cast by ZRead full post »

MARCH 1, 2014 2:43PM

His Hanging Nailed in Agony

Modern man . . . thought-riddled, could not share their belief in others’ discharge through his hanging nailed in agony.… Read full post »
MARCH 1, 2014 11:42AM

My Yogurt Jones

Like most addicts, I can remember my first time–over forty years ago–as if it were yesterday.

I was working the grill at a snack bar at the University of Chicago when a guy named Manny–who claimed to be a vegetarian despite a gut that impressed even the campus cops–offered me… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 28, 2014 10:24PM

My Gall Bladder is Really Warm Today!

The English phrase “Nice to see you” translates into “My gall bladder is really warm today” in Berik, a language of New Guinea.… Read full post »

QUAD CITIES, Iowa. Sally and Jed Griffin like to think of themselves as cosmopolitan, even though they’ve spent most of their lives in the Midwest. “We lived in New York for a few years when Jed was just out of business school, so our tastes go beyond NASCAR and… Read full post »

I suppose there can be no happier mistake,
And one that I was shocked to make,
Than to look with longing at a female leg
And thinking yourself a rather bad egg

For admiring the calf and the well-turned ankle–
A crime that makes the divorce bar thankful–
Then allowing your gaze to… Read full post »

She was calling, she said,
from the bowels of a library
on a college campus where she
hid each night and slept among the
stacks. She’d been living that way
for years, moving on when she was
discovered to someplace else
where she would blend in
with the scenery and pass
undetected among the young.

%IMAGE… Read full post »

A recently-deceased Boston-area man was a member of the Business Forms, Labels & Systems Hall of Fame.… Read full post »

CONCORD, New Hampshire. Breaking a deadlock that had brought it to a standstill for weeks, the New Hampshire legislature today approved a law that will change the state’s motto from “Live Free or Die” to “Breakfast Served All Day.”

“‘Live Free or Die… Read full post »

BOSTON. Mark Overton is about to complete the purchase of a pricey white-on-pink French-cuffed shirt at the Brooks Brothers store located in Boston’s financial district when Niles Howard, the salesman who is waiting on him, suggests that he add a $75 yellow foulard tie with miniature red and b… Read full post »

NEEDHAM, Mass. Yvette Bobolak is a 63 year-old “empty nester” who likes to spend her time on FriendSpace, a social media website where readers chat and exchange ideas. “Here’s a quick ‘n easy ‘comfort food’ that’s also CHEAP!” she types as she a… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 24, 2014 8:56PM

The Pet Set

Pets are both our friends and members of our families, so when something is wrong in the doghouse or litterbox, we want to make it right. Here are some of the more interesting problems that surfaced in the world of fin, fur and feathers this month:

Dear Pet Set:

Clyde,… Read full post »

TYSONS CORNER, Virginia. This booming suburb is situated on a watershed point between two clashing American subcultures; conservative Southern Baptists, many of whom have ancestors who were “f.f.v’s”–members of the first families of Virginia, and newcomers drawn here by infor… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2014 9:26PM

Blue Heron, Wellesley Dump

As I made the turn up the hill
on my early morning walk,
trying to steel myself for the day ahead,
something caught my eye in what I took

to be a drainage ditch to my right:
a blue heron, standing on one leg
in a poor excuse for a marsh, down
the road from the… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2014 10:20AM

The Prodigy

There once was a young man who from date of birth
Showed promise of one day achieving great worth.
His parents sure thought so, his teachers did too–
He’d really be something when upwards he grew.

It might be in science, or maybe the arts
He wouldn’t end up like the… Read full post »

In Sweden children are protected by law from spanking and are becoming the chief decision makers in homes at very young ages, leading some to fear that the country is turning into a nation of “ouppfostrade,” loosely translated as ”badly raised children.”

Badly Raised Kids? SwedRead full post »

FEBRUARY 22, 2014 12:12PM

William Faulkner, Insurance Agent

At The Hartford, we’ve been in tune with businesses for more than 200 years. (. . .) We’re here to help them, so that when the unforeseen happens, you don’t just endure–you prevail.

Advertisement for The Hartford insurance company

I believe that man will not merely endure, he wRead full post »

FEBRUARY 21, 2014 10:03PM

On Being Guilty of Schadenfreude

Schadenfreude is a word you may have heard before,
Meaning: to derive pleasure from misfortunes of friends.
Today when I went to the bagel store
I met a man I hadn’t seen in ten years or more
and we talked of old times and new trends.

We parted and said “Let’s do lunch”&md… Read full post »