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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Many Thanksgivings ago, my parents decided to inaugurate a new family room by serving the holiday dinner there instead of in the kitchen area. 
Everything was done -- and everyone was sitting around waiting for the main event.
My father, who was in charge of turkey carving, conscripted me to assist him, and off we went. We grabbed huge oven mitts, peered in the oven one last time and smiled because the bird was picture perfect.
I opened the oven door and Papi grabbed the oven rack, gave it a gentle tug.
To this day I'm not sure exactly what went wrong, but in that nanosecond during which the rack was moving, the turkey flew off the pan and straight out of the oven.
Whump! The turkey was on the floor. The eagle had landed, big time.
Papi's eyebrows shot up towards the ceiling. "Don't tell your mother!" he hissed, and grabbed the slithery bird with the oven mitts, plopping it onto the carving dish.
Several voices came from the other room -- and loudest was my mother's plaintive, "What happened?"
I yelled out, "Nothing!" while Papi busied himself propping up the beast, which had flattened quite a bit. I grabbed towels and cleaned the evidence from the kitchen floor.
"I won't tell her, I promise, I won't tell her," I said over and over, doing my level best to keep a straight face. At this point Papi brought out the electric knife which neatly covered up my occasional snorts and muffled laughter. The bird looked like it had been de-boned.
However, nobody was wiser that day, anyway.
Years later my mother and I were reminiscing about my late father and I finally told her the story.
"I knew something happened as soon as I heard that noise," she laughed, Apparently, later on she had found a piece of the bird somewhere in the line of flight. "I never told your father, but I was wondering how long it would take anyone to say something to me."
I was stunned. She was nonplussed. "The turkey tasted great," she smirked.
Amen, and pass the cranberry sauce.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


For the past week all the tweakers are tweeting about Twinkies, the spongy, "creme" filled concoction marketed by Hostess for umpteen years.  That the sticky sweet is the epicenter of an us vs them economic struggle that is not yet resolved pales in light of the publicity this innocuous inanity has received in the last few days.

People are hoarding them, people are lamenting them, people are stuffing them into their faces before the supply runs out.

But has anyone noticed that few, if any, are damning the demise of as yet another Hostess delicacy, aka the SnoBall?

These things are really vile, my apologies, but yes, they are. At their center lurks the same gelatinous, white glue at the heart of the Hostess line, but this is surrounded by a layer of chocolate cake. Adding insult to injury, SnoBalls are coated with coconut flakes dyed alarmingly the same pink as Pepto Bismol.

I don't hear anyone grousing about how these might disappear from supermarket shelves, or stocking up large quantities in underground bunkers.

The last time I ate one of these I did so unwillingly. A bunch of us were hanging out at a local watering hole where I had arranged with the owner to present a steady stream of Snoballs with birthday candles on them to my friend N. 

Okay, it was NOT her birthday. 

The first one came out, everyone laughed, N blew out the candle. Ditto for the second one. 

The third one? Smushed right into my face, my just deserts for joking around.

Amen, and don't pass the Snoballs, please.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


I did NOT want another cat.

I had lived with Merlin -- did I say feisty? did I say she has a penchant for bringing me live bats? -- for quite a few years when for some inexplicable reason I went on one of those pet finding sites.

And, well, there was this photo.

Nope, I did NOT want another cat. Certainly didn't think I wanted to cope with introducing a little bitty thing to Merlin, who can be quite a handful. The bats, remember 
the bats
I did NOT want another cat.
Two days later I was on the road to Middleborough where I was going to meet those ears, right about this time of year at a local shelter.

The arrangement was that I would check him out, see whether or not he would be something I wanted to deal with and well, you know, I thought I had nothing to do that afternoon and the ride would be fun.

I went into someone's living room where a bunch of kind folks who foster small kittens bring them in hopes that their little charges will be adopted.

At the time, he weighed all of seven ounces, most of it ears, paws and nose.

I took one look at him and was about to turn away -- when he stood up on his hind paws right in front of me.

Morgan now weighs 16 pounds. Merlin is okay with him. And I thank Middleborough big time.

Amen, and pass the kibble.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I purchased a new eyeliner pencil.

Nothing radical here, folks have outlined their eyes with kohl type substances for thousands of years.

This was marketed by Givenchy, one of the old and classic cosmetic lines. Givenchy does a pretty job of packaging -- the pencil arrived in a shiny black box with silver lettering. Inside that box was the pencil, the silvery cap for it, and a pencil sharpener. 

The latter was a nice touch by Givenchy considering many companies now force you to purchase a sharpener to fit their sometimes unusually sized products. 

I was about to ditch the fancy packaging when something forced me to flip the box over and look at the back side.

That resulted in one of the best laughs I've had in quite some time, with tears running down my cheeks.

In simplistic drawings (three of them in fact) the folks at Givenchy presented directions, yes, directions as to how one might use a pencil sharpener. 

I mean, really? Directions on how to use a pencil sharpener?

How stupid are we becoming that an action a mere child can accomplish is now something that marketing geniuses of what is arguably a sophisticated company believe must be explained to us?

Never mind that presumably the persons using this product are at least humans that have grown past the age of reason and should know how to do this?

Amen, and pass the mustard

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...

We've just finished an election cycle that has most of us reeling in its wake, not to mention the majority of the Northeast United States is coping with the aftermath of late season Hurricane Sandy.

And let's not talk about the alleged hijinks of a highly placed military official. 

A worker's strike is forcing parent company Hostess Brands, Inc  to shut down three of the plants where the gummy, not easily digestible goodies are made. The potential for a Twinkie shortage had talk shows atwitter this morning, images of aficionados/addicts stockpiling cases in a basement bunker. 

Think on it -- Twinkie prohibition! Speakeasy style eateries could mushroom right in your own neighborhood, spearheaded by savvy, internet connected kids with access to smartphones and tablets working out of a treehouse in the backyard. Almost like the Keebler elves.

The best part of this enterprise is the shelf life of Twinkies (supposedly 25 days according to Hostess) but anyone who has ever had them in the house knows is way longer than that before kids will stop eating them. Twinkies will be saved by the children and adults who should know better: they land like cement blocks in the stomach and stay there for quite some time. 

You can ask Nuno, a former colleague of mine who entered a Twinkie Eating Contest with me at work (I fed him the treats and he chewed slowly and methodically as his face got more and more ashen) that having more than one or two is not a smart move.

And did I add Hostess claims it takes forty five seconds for a Twinkie to explode in a microwave? Bad eats and entertainment, how much more can you ask of a product? Start stocking up now, America.

Amen, and pass the antacids, please.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Election Night, 2012 -- and change is once again not in the air.
At least, not in Rhode Island.
Presidential politics aside -- and that's a big one given the polls have yet to close and much could happen -- what drives me to blog at this moment is the same old, same old sensation I'm getting about the politics in my own state.
Rhode Island -- with the worst business climate in the US, the second highest unemployment to boot, and fiscal headaches of epic proportions -- with one exception (and that's a big if ) is once again going to re-elect most of the people who have been in assorted offices for several years.
Depending on your viewpoint, at least in my own, this virtually means that those politicos who may be somewhat responsible for the current fiscal mess Rhode Island "enjoys" (including cities hovering on bankruptcy) will be on the front page tomorrow after getting themselves re-elected.
Simple stuff. Someone gets elected and hires his or her "people" to their staff. And those same people every couple of years spend a lot of time and effort (supposedly on the sidelines) pushing their candidate's re-election. Job security, you know, something you have to worry about where there's not many of them to go around.
Meanwhile the faces change very little -- once a stronghold is established, few let go -- and the more time spent hanging on, the harder it is to oust them.
Outside of this group the rest of Rhode Island -- hard working people who don't get days off so they can spend them campaigning and posting photos of themselves on social media -- is sinking under its own bureaucratic weight.
What if Rhode Island voters actually did clean house? That would be incredible -- the stunned looks on the hangers on would be priceless. 
But that's unlikely to happen. 
Amen, and don't pass the mustard, this whole thing has made me lose my appetite.