Con Chapman's Blog (1,980)

Happy Belated Hairball Awareness Day

A chilly, sunny April Saturday. There’s just me and two cats, Rocco and Okie, three sullen males grunting their way through the day–as usual–while the wife’s running errands.…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 29, 2017 at 5:31am — No Comments

A Day in the Life of a Texas High School Prom Dress Coach

A high school in Texas requires female students to have prom dresses pre-approved by a school coach.

The Wall Street Journal

As I looked out the window of my tiny, bare-bones office onto the mesquite-speckled shrub land that rolled away to distant mountains, I had to ask myself–why the hell did I ever decide to become a high school prom dress coach?…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 28, 2017 at 4:31am — 2 Comments

Everything You Know About Belly-Button Lint is Wrong

I’ve noticed a trend recently.  The East Coast newspapers I read, such as The New York Times and The Boston Globe, have taken to lecturing ordinary schmoes like me on a regular basis that things we believe to be self-evidently true are in fact false–when you look at them in the sort of nuanced, sophisticated way that writers for these rags are capable of.



“I can’t believe I’ve been so stupid all these years!”

Headlines for articles in this vein are…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 27, 2017 at 4:45am — 3 Comments

Winning Philosophy Essay: Unexamined Life "Totally Awesome"

NEWARK, Delaware. When Mahlon Grenier got the call telling him he was the winner of the American Philosophical Society’s undergraduate essay prize, he says he was as surprised as the next fellow. “In my apartment the next fellow is my roommate, and he didn’t think it was that big a deal,” says Grenier.



“In a wet t-shirt contest, the wetness of the shirt is more important than the wetness of the bodacious body.”

 

The distinction comes with a…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 26, 2017 at 4:37am — 5 Comments

Ella Fitzgerald and Chick Webb: Jazz's Odd Couple

We live in what we congratulate ourselves to be tolerant times, but we have nothing in the current world of music to compare to drummer William Henry “Chick” Webb and singer Ella Fitzgerald, born a hundred years ago today, two misfits who first came to public attention in the 1930s, now recalled as some sort of dark ages compared to the present.…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 25, 2017 at 10:59am — 9 Comments

My Lonely Struggle Against Preauricular Sinus

For me, the weekends are the hardest.  Not because I’m lonely, like Charlie Rich, who sang that he made it all right from Monday morning to Friday night, but oh–those lonely weekends.



Charlie Rich on Thursday night, getting ready to be lonely.

 

No, I’m not lonely on weekends, if anything I have the opposite problem.  Wherever I go there’s a walk-a-thon, a bike-a-thon, people…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 25, 2017 at 4:40am — No Comments

As "Whole Language" Yuppies Move In, Phonics Junkies are Forced Out

BOSTON.  The neighborhood here known as the South End has historically been a transitional stop on the way up–or down–the social ladder.  “We got the winos and junkies who lost their last best hope of realizing the American Dream,” says long-time bar owner Michael “Mickey” Flaherty, “and then we got the freshly-minted MBA’s who work long hours and can’t afford the suburbs yet, or ‘yuppie scum’ as I affectionately refer to them.”…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 24, 2017 at 5:00am — 7 Comments

Ode to a Bespectacled Optometrist Maiden

Dorothy Parker, just for a lark,

wrote a poem we remember

for what’s now called “snark”:

“Men seldom make passes

at girls who wear glasses,”

rings down through the years

and one guesses its laughter is watered with tears.…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 22, 2017 at 5:53am — No Comments

My Chequered Career With Older Women

In retrospect, I wasn’t ready to leave home yet. I was full of myself and thought I could handle the wider world that my older siblings had set out to see before me.

But I soon found myself lost, adrift, not knowing how to deal with the many slings and arrows that come flying at you once you set out to make it on your own. I retreated within myself, and became sullen, moody, withdrawn.



“Yer damn right I gargled in the boys’ room!”

 

I…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 21, 2017 at 5:00am — No Comments

Fed Chair: Sports Tchotchkes Next Bubble to Burst

WASHINGTON, D.C.  Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen warned Congress yesterday that a speculative bubble in over-priced sports “tchotchkes” threatens the nation’s fragile recovery, and could hamper more tasteful decorating schemes of female consumers.

yellen

“It was this enormous tacky gew-gaw with a little statue of somebody named Tom Brady.”

 

“Price stability and decorating…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 20, 2017 at 4:42am — 2 Comments

Pain of Divorce Leads One Golfer to Repay His Debt in Kind

HYANNIS, Mass.  The self-absorption of many amateur golfers is a phenomenon too widely-known to require comment, but Dan Norkrantz, a “serial entrepreneur” who has built and sold many businesses at a handsome profit, was unaware of his failing in this regard until he was served with divorce papers by his wife of twenty years.  “I had no idea I bored her for two decades with stories about my toughest shots from sand traps, and I genuinely regret it,” he says as he shakes his head ruefully. …

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Added by Con Chapman on April 19, 2017 at 4:40am — No Comments

Some Cry Foul as Skinny Guys Again Dominate Marathon

BOSTON. The Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual marathon, attracts runners from around the world every Patriot’s Day, a holiday on the third Monday in April that serves as an excuse for local bureaucrats to take the day off.  “Running Boston is my dream,” says Ngtmbe Jpksgzi of Kenya, whose name was cobbled together from surplus letters left behind by American “eco-tourists.” “Perhaps if I win, I can afford a few more vowels.”



McKelvey: “It’s not…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 18, 2017 at 4:36am — 2 Comments

For One Marathon Runner, Race is Not Always to the Swift

HOPKINTON, Mass.  The rows of portable toilets that line the streets of this bucolic suburb on the morning of the Boston Marathon see heavy duty just before the starter’s gun goes off as runners nervously empty their bladders before the race, but one contestant who emerges from the turquoise and white enclosure stands out from the crowd.

Image result for porta potties hopkinton

“I know I’m different,” the male runner who identifies himself only as “Sam” says to this reporter, “but my needs are the…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 17, 2017 at 4:40am — 2 Comments

The Love Affair of Adam and Eve

We too often miss an essential fact about the biblical first couple: They’re in love.

The Wall Street Journal

It seems like only yesterday the whole freaking world revolved around me.  Then God had to go and make that other . . . thing.  Have to admit, she’s more attractive than the swarms of living creatures who were here when I arrived, especially the great sea monsters and the creeping things.  I mean, I don’t mind creeping things, but they seem to…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 16, 2017 at 7:10am — No Comments

Avant-Garde Director Has Some Green With Envy

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 Zaremba.

 

Zaremba’s specialty is reworking plays in a unique and often controversial fashion that departs from the playwright’s direction, such as his “Oedipus Rex” set in a St.…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 15, 2017 at 6:22am — No Comments

IRS Turns to Eunuchs for Tough Tax Cases

HAZARD, Kentucky. Ray Bob Suggins, a career revenue officer for the Internal Revenue Service in this small town at the confluence of the Tennessee and Ohio Rivers, thought he had seen it all in his thirty years collecting taxes for Uncle Sam.

“I’ve seized a family’s satellite dish, I’ve put a lien on a guy’s blue tick hound–everything,” he says with a laugh. But his face clouds up with the latest directive from what he refers to sarcastically as “headquarters”–the national office of…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 14, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments

Ask Mr. Car Person

Spring is here, which means driving fun time, unless your vehicle is a garbage truck or there’s a guy in the back seat with a gun who demands that you take him to an Eagles reunion concert.  How do you keep your car in tip-top shape?  Ask Mr. Car Person!…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 13, 2017 at 4:44am — No Comments

My Poetic Nemesis

April is the cruelest month, wrote T.S. Eliot, and as a poet he knew whereof he spake. (Archaic past tense provided at no extra cost.)  April may be Poetry Month, but April is also the month in which the rejection letters and no-you-didn’t-win-the-Alice-Wambsley-Memorial-Poetry-Competition notices from the autumn submission cycle arrive in the mail.



Eliot: “Darn it—I lost again.”

 

But I’d been through all that before, so last fall I put on a…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 12, 2017 at 4:46am — 1 Comment

Ask Consuela, Your Love Chaperone

Dear Ones–

The waters of romance are treacherous seas. Consuela is prepared, once again, to serve as your chaperone through the shoals and eddies of love’s tempestuous currents. Here are the distress signals she received this month:

Consuela

Consuela *sigh*

Dear Consuela–

I have been seeing a very “special” man–a sales representative for a large frozen food company–for several months now. We have become so close that I recently felt…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 11, 2017 at 4:30am — No Comments

For Francis, Busted Bracket Has Shattered Myth of Papal Infallibility

VATICAN CITY.  It’s been a week since North Carolina won its sixth NCAA men’s basketball championship, but there are still hard feelings–not among the fans of Gonzaga University, which lost the final game by 71-65–but halfway around the world in this, the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church.



“Why in the world did I pick Kansas to go all the way?”

 

“Frank has been…

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Added by Con Chapman on April 10, 2017 at 5:28am — 3 Comments

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