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.

OCTOBER 6, 2014 8:56PM

It's Academic!

The world of academia can be a hostile and forbidding place, with English professors telling you to use “an” before “hostile” as soon as you get the bloody words out of your mouth. Here are some of the issues that have been troubling our correspondents lately.

Student c
Read full post »

FOXBORO, Mass. New England Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick, known for his obsessive preparation for games, could be excused if he looked a little bit tired following his team’s 43-17 drubbing of the Cincinnati Bengals last night.

“We had a tough week,” Belichick… Read full post »

BOSTON, Mass. In pre-dawn raids designed to catch grocery stores by surprise, the Massachusetts National Guard seized retail stocks of Kool-Aid, the flavored drink mix, hoping to avert mass suicides if the New England Patriots lose to the Cincinnati Bengals tonight.

Briefing at 0800 hours

&ld… Read full post »

WELLESLEY FALLS, Mass. In this affluent suburb of Boston, churchgoers at the Wellesley Falls Presbyterian Church tend to look like they stepped out of the pages of a Brooks Brothers catalog, or perhaps the shop window of the Talbots store down the street.

No shoes, no shirt, no Sunday service.Read full post »

Then he would on occasion give Marguerite Flynn, his secretary, a note for her to type. And she would be the only person who could possibly decipher his handwriting.

Hale Anderson, Jr., colleague of Wallace Stevens at The Hartford Accident and IndemnityRead full post »

OCTOBER 3, 2014 10:51PM

The People Who Won't Get Back to Me

Literary agents, also editors,
But most assuredly not my creditors,
Someday they won’t mean jack to me—
The people who won’t get back to me.

Old girlfriends I find on the web—
One’s named Robin, the other’s a Deb.
I wonder whatever attracted me—
To the wome… Read full post »

The tale of the quest, in which a hero travels great distances and overcomes many obstacles, is common to the literature of every nation; Homer’s Odyssey, King Arthur and the Holy Grail, Jason and the Argonauts, Hootie and the Blowfish–wait, they belong further down in this article.

%IMAGRead full post »

OCTOBER 1, 2014 9:36PM

My Yoko Ono

Physicists currently believe that all rock bands–nay, all human groups composed of four men–can be broken down into elemental particles first identified by study of The Beatles through an electron microscope.

There is the Cute One–Ringo. The Dreamy One–Paul. The Actu… Read full post »

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  Breaking a drought that began before many of them were born, the Kansas City Royals made it to baseball’s post-season last night for the first time in 26 years, touching off a locker room celebration by players who sprayed each other not with expensive champagne… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 30, 2014 8:52PM

Quitting Smack

It was the early 70’s. The Vietnam War was just coming off its peak, and the traffic of young men back and forth between America and Southeast Asia brought new, cheap and exotic goods back to the states for consumption by those deferred, rejected or too young to fight. The products… Read full post »

SOMERVILLE, Mass.  This densely-populated near suburb of Boston is known as the Rebuilt Engine Capital of the World, in much the same way that Rome is the City of Fountains and Paris is the City of Lights.  Still, the glamour that comes with that renown is meaningless to the young boys… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 8:27PM

Of Poems About Figs and Farts

When Prince Rainier III asked an expert whether there was a literature of Monegasque, the native language of Monaco, her research produced a suggestive ode to a fig and a poem about a fart.

The Wall Street Journal

“You couldn’t have stifled it until the photo shoot was over?”Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 29, 2014 8:22AM

Releasing Your Inner Bigfoot

“A”                                “B”

Dorothy Parker once observed that Katherine Hepburn’s emo… Read full post »

Darling, believe me, we’re all getting sick
of reading about your boyfriend’s dick.
I’m sure the thing can spring to glory
but must you include it in every story?

If your intent is to shock and awe
by revealing the thing that he likes to paw,
frankly, my dear, I find it a bore.
I&… Read full post »

Saturday morning: my usual routine–swim, town dump, dry cleaner, coffee–is brightened today by festivities on the lovely greensward that graces the center of our town, like so many others in New England. I don’t mean our greensward travels around to other towns, they have their own;… Read full post »

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Responding to criticism from elite institutions of higher learning, U.S. News & World Report today announced that it would include female leg and armpit hair as a factor in its annual ranking of the best American colleges.

“We have been rightfully chastised fo… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 2:04PM

The Cockroach Lawyer

Franz Kafka, author of The Metamorphosis, was also a lawyer.

One morning when the cockroach woke from troubled dreams, he found himself transformed in his bed into a horrible vermin—a lawyer.  He lay on his pajama-clad back, and if he lifted his head a little he could see that his be… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 25, 2014 8:31AM

At the Juvenile Bubonic Plague Telethon

Rahere, founder of St. Bartholomew’s Church and Hospital, was Henry I’s jester, and had a special talent for mimicry.

                            &nbsRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014 9:25AM

I Got More Dog Than You

         Somebody knocked on Gavin Bushnell’s door at three o’clock in the morning.  He opened it and there was Sidney Bechet, with his dog.  Sidney said “I heard that you had a dog that you said was more dog… Read full post »

The Holy Trinity of bebop in the popular theology of jazz consists of Charlie Parker on alto sax, Dizzy Gillespie on trumpet and Thelonious Monk on piano, but jazz is a pagan art form and so admits of polytheism. Earl Rudolph “Bud” Powell is an alternate deity on the piano,… Read full post »

Imaginary friends who I make up for purposes of poorly-sourced articles often ask me “What’s it like to be a published playwright whose works have been performed off-off-off-off-off-off-off (continued in footnote) Broadway?”

Broadway: Not there yet

“It’s not every… Read full post »

SEPTEMBER 22, 2014 9:00AM

The Last Days of the Lab Rats

          Bioengineers are trying to replace the lowly lab mouse with insentient but biologically sophisticated substitutes. 

                    &nbsRead full post »

SEPTEMBER 21, 2014 4:45PM

All the Charisma of a Shark

The great white shark is “one of the more charismatic, popular sharks in the world.” Greg Skomal, Senior Biologist, Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries.

The Boston Herald

I was walking along the beach in Hyannisport, enjoying the warmth of the fall sun, when I spotted a bas… Read full post »