Eggcorn genius

My friends from South Jersey are different than Okies. They eat hoagies instead of subs, dip their ice cream cone in jimmies instead of sprinkles, and they vacation at the shore rather than the beach. And, if they ask you for a drink of water, you might bring them back a lumberjack. Language is fascinating to me, even when diction is thrown into the sewer and meaning tossed to the hogs, we still generally understand what our loved ones are trying to convey to us. And it’s the odd outliers, rather than preciseness, that spice our language with unique personality … Continue reading Eggcorn genius

Questions without Answers

My son spent every waking moment of 1996 as a three-year old child repeating one word, “Why?” Why are there big red balls on some electric power lines and why can’t he wear his socks according to thickness instead of color and why do arrows on signs point up into the heavens where cars can’t go anyway? Since I miss my son who is in Germany, I’ve been collecting why questions in his honor. I don’t really have any answers, but here are some of my favorites questions: What do you say when someone says you’re in denial, but you’re … Continue reading Questions without Answers

The Funniest People: Tom Achey

My brother-in-law lives near the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens. His 56-year-old hair lives on the edge of a Bon Jovi mullet and a Lynyrd Skynyrd hippy frazzle. His laid back demeanor along with the hair masks the fact that he is one of the funniest people I know, while belying his career choice which is distinctly blue-collar lunch-pail, a heavy equipment operator for several New Jersey road and development contractors. Tom’s Father always wanted to go west to Oklahoma and once the kids were all grown, he and Mrs. Achey, Tom’s mom, headed west. They never reached … Continue reading The Funniest People: Tom Achey

The Funniest People I Know: Introduction

When I began writing again this past December, my intention was to shed light on good things and good people. Isn’t there enough angst already? Yesterday, an idea lit my corpus callosum like a pin ball machine hitting 100,000 points. I’ll write about the funniest people I know. They are everywhere…you just have to look and listen. So here is a teaser paragraph from the series which I’ll post from time to time, until I exhaust my supply of funny people. Send me stories if you like and refresh my memory. My brother-in-law lives near the edge of the New … Continue reading The Funniest People I Know: Introduction

There’s a tornado in my coffee

My son is writing his undergraduate thesis for Honors Meteorology on the topic, The Genesis of Tornadoes. I was wondering if The Revelation of Tornadoes might be easier to write. Tornado prediction is a non-linear dart tossed into the misty morning fog. It’s fraught with downdrafts of hope and gusts of unfounded certitude. Yet we want to know. The weather man even trumps the sportscaster on the evening news because we want to know. We want to know what to wear, how to plan, where to hide, when to hide and what to cancel. My son says that we examine … Continue reading There’s a tornado in my coffee

Mosquito Dancing in the Fire Hall

My wife Karen was born in Trenton, New Jersey and spent most of her childhood in the small town of Tabernacle on the edge of the pine barrens about halfway between Philadelphia and Atlantic City. I first visited her home during our courtship and I remember the drive from the Philly airport with Karen and her sister Dawn crossing the Ben Franklin Bridge, escorting me through my first impression of the Garden State which was Camden on route 70 and the neon bars and XXX dives that did not seem to reflect the state motto. We arrived at their home … Continue reading Mosquito Dancing in the Fire Hall

15 minutes of fame and paranoia

A had a fifteen minute interlude yesterday at the airport that began in relational euphoria and ended in paranoia. Moments occur daily that signal my grasp of human relations, the mastery I have in moments of stress, the ability to charm and placate, to create world peace with a warm smile and a few charming words. In my formative years, personal skills centered on the wisdom of Norman Vincent Peale’s, The Power of Positive Thinking, and Dale Carnegie’s, How to Win Friends and Influence People. The power of positive thinking became the panacea, the cure-all balm for every social and … Continue reading 15 minutes of fame and paranoia