The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

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

SEPULVEDA, California.  Thomas “Tom” Freeb, bass guitar player for My  Unicorn’s Knightmare, an antacid rock band of the 60′s, died yesterday of  complications from adenoid surgery.  He was 71.

Tom and Tim Freeb with guitars in their first Read full post »

MALCZW, Freedonia. In this land-locked, vowel-starved country, many residents have never even seen a lawyer, much less retained one. “It is both a blessing and a curse,” says tribal chieftain Mzrz Glzorp. “We do not have to listen to boring dweebzskis in wing tips, on the other hand… Read full post »

JANUARY 13, 2015 8:19AM

Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!

Okay--you've been following the adventures of Scooter & Skipper on Open Salon since the second administration of the second Bush--for free.  Now it's time to pay the piper, or at least the crazy guy on the corner banging on the plastic buckets.

 Scooter & Skipper


Today is release day for SRead full post »

NEW YORK.  For Fred Hollingsworth, an investment banker whose four-and-a-half-decade career will come to an end tonight at a farewell dinner that will be attended by scores of colleagues, it was never about the money.  “I always told young kids starting out to take the long view,&rdqu… Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2015 8:22AM

I Am the Cheap Man

It happened Saturday night, as it has before.  My wife and I had taken our seats at a nice restaurant, and the waiter asked if we’d like to order drinks.  My wife asked for a glass of chardonnay–whichever was oakiest–and I ordered a malbec.

“We have two,”… Read full post »

(With apologies to Waylon Jennings, not that he needs them)

They’re hard to love and even harder to hold.
They’ll give you a poem instead of diamonds or gold,
Hardcover Gatsby or even an old paperback
Instead of a sweater from off the markdown rack.
As each night fades into a new day
They&rsquo… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2015 12:39PM

The Sylvia Plath Foreclosure Sale

I grew up surrounded by females. My dad owned a women’s clothing store. Both of my sisters were girls, and my mom was a woman. We had two female cats whose names–Big Kitty and Baby Cat–could have been taken straight from a Eudora Welty short story. As far as I know,… Read full post »

JANUARY 9, 2015 8:23AM

Drive Women Wild--the B.O. Way!

If you’re at all like me, right now you’re probably looking back over your life and asking yourself–“Why the hell didn’t I take Anne Gyorgy up on her request to teach her how to play the harmonica when she came into my room the first week of college and literally saRead full post »

Back in the 1940s there was a funeral home—Willis Mortuary–on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis. A piano player named Sax Kari worked there during the day, and at night he’d rehearse in front of a display casket on the funerary organ with a local guitar player.

The duo broke up after w… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2015 2:10PM

At the Worcester Zipper Hospital

It was the sort of thing that happens in an instant, but could change your life forever.  Or at least until you die.

I had just put on my half-zip pullover sweater and started to pull the tab up the front when, for some reason, things went horribly wrong.  “Ouch,” I he… Read full post »

JANUARY 8, 2015 8:04AM

Your Pet & Vet Conciliator

There is no love triangle more tangled than that which can snare a pet, its owner and a friendly but amorous veterinarian.  Thankfully, Your Pet & Vet Conciliator is here to free you from the snarls of an uncomfortable three-way pet-human-vet menage a trois!

“Say ‘Woof!&rsRead full post »

JANUARY 7, 2015 10:39AM

Father Kniest, Jazz Priest

BOSTON.  It’s the beginning of the charity ball season in Boston, and enterprising event planners try to “front-load” their galas on the calendar in order to catch affluent donors before they come down with a case of “empathy fatigue” as winter drags on.  &ldqu… Read full post »

Skin-care entrepreneur Tata Harper calls Tata Harper Rejuvenating Serum her “makeup must.” An article on Ms. Harper in Saturday’s Off Duty section misidentified the product as Glam Nation’s Rejuv Organic Facial Serum.

The Wall Street Journal

The Monday, January 5th edi… Read full post »

Paris Hilton is being hailed by conservationists for efforts to curb rice beer binge-drinking by elephants in India. 

Associated Press


“She’s late,” I said to my friend Rajah, an elephas maximus indicus.  We were standing on the corner of Hollywood and Vine, wa… Read full post »

JANUARY 5, 2015 8:56AM

Yours For a Song

It had been several years since my last physical, so the nurse had a number of questions to ask before the doctor saw me last week.  Was I taking any medication?  Was I allergic to penicillin?  Did I have high blood pressure?

“Do you have any recurring symptoms of smart-alRead full post »

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana.  Steven Burns is a professor at Purdue University’s medical school who specializes in sleep disorders; his wife Maria is an opera buff who often orchestrates trips to cities where she can hear her favorite tenors and sopranos.  “You marry the w… Read full post »

JANUARY 3, 2015 4:37AM

Ask Senor Besame-Mucho

The women of America suffer from a lack of passion in their lovers, the phlegmatic sons of Angles, many of which are 90 degrees, and Saxons, so stolid in their romancing. It is for this reason that I, Senor Besame-Mucho, answer questions from those who wish to be kissed much more… Read full post »

BOURNE, Mass. Like many high school juniors, Cyndi Cahill faces long odds as she looks ahead to next year, demographically one of the toughest in American history in terms of college admissions. “My guidance counselor told me I’d either have to get my GPA up or do something nice for someb… Read full post »

JANUARY 1, 2015 10:05AM

How to Cheer Up a Sad Poem

It is one of the most difficult problems of aesthetic philosophy: What do we mean when we say that a song or poem is sad? I’ve read Aristotle, Kant, Croce–Benedetto, not Jim–all the big names. As far as I can tell, nobody’s come close to answering the question.

BenedettRead full post »

DECEMBER 31, 2014 8:16AM

Upfaked Out of My Love Shoes

It was a New Year’s Eve in the ’90′s
and I was at loose ends. I decided
to skip the midnight show
and go to a party with friends.

After the obligatory dance with my hostess
to her then-favorite popular song
(If memory serves correctly, it was
Lionel Ritchie’s “Al… Read full post »

DECEMBER 30, 2014 8:46PM

Me and J.D. Salinger at Burger King

Newly-discovered correspondence reveals that reclusive author J.D. Salinger thought Burger King’s hamburgers were superior to those of other fast-food chains.… Read full post »

As I look back on 2014 and prepare the Gerbil Interactive Media Group (Gerbil News Network, Gerbil Sports Network, Gerbil Entertainment!) for a public offering in the white-hot stock market of 2015, it is appropriate that I give potential investors a candid and unsparing view of our business pro… Read full post »

DECEMBER 29, 2014 7:54AM

At the Post-Christmas Sponging House

It’s the week after Christmas, too soon for the dreaded envelope containing the credit card bill for ill-fitting and ill-advised purchases that have already been forgotten or broken, but which have yet to be paid for.  I’m sitting in our little colonial town’s sponging houRead full post »

WORCESTER, Mass.  This gritty central Massachusetts city is known to some as the Industrial Abrasives Capital of the World, and to others for its numerous railroad car diners.  What it is not known for, to the dismay of many, is its educational and cultural attractions.

MisRead full post »