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POPPYS SCATTERED MIND
Some of my students nicknamed me Poppy years ago and it stuck. Perhaps the nickname came because my scattered thoughts made the students think of me as feeble-minded, and Poppy was just a very kind term for absent-minded old goat. I must admit that racing thoughts are a constant in my life. Perhaps thats why Im interested in eclectic causes and activities.
Actually, age has little to do with my scatter-brain condition. As Lady Gaga would say, I was born this way. Mom was right when she nicknamed me Baby Goofus. Yeah, that name stuck, too. Some members of my family still call me Baby Goofus. But, lets face facts. Im just too long in the tooth to have a column titled BABY GOOFUS TO THE RECUE. Besides, that title would lack the assonance of ESKEW TO THE RECUE (And, youll undoubtedly note that I am rather fond of the musicality of assonance, especially when accompanied by alliteration).
Most of my columns will be humorous and, of such varying length that some could be thought of as a blog, others as short stories. And, though it will certainly be present from time to time, please dont expect an abundance of political satire herein. Thats basically because its so difficult to satirize policies that are already funny to begin with.
LINKS TO POPPY'S HUMOR COLUMNS
ALL MATERIALS HEREIN ARE COPYRIGHTED AND CANNOT BE REPRINTED WITHOUT PERMISSION
HELP! STRAIGHT MAN TRAPPED IN GAY PERSONALITY
Grandpa has a ball as a closet heterosexual
Contrary to local folklore, I harbor no homosexual desires. However, almost all of my males friends (and about half of my male relatives) are gay. Due to the fact that I’m, shall we say, definitely into my feminine side, some gay men simply assume that I too am a member of their royal family; others, who have a keen sense of gaydar know immediately that I’m pathetically straight.READ MORE
MY BODYGUARD BARBARA (SHORT STORY)
Madam X sports four-inch heels and knows how to use them.
My gay friend Maxwell misunderstands me. Im not his royal sister as he keeps insisting. Im a maverick. A fabulously rugged individualist. He boldly declares Im in denial. Denial? What denial? I freely admit to certain effeminate traits (as defined by some cultures). So, macho I aint. But gay? Granted, Im no superhero, just a guy who likes to feel safe, thats all. And I simply never feel safer than when Im bonding with a big, strong man. A buddy who can double as my bodyguard on New Yorks meaner streets. READ FULL STORY
NAME YOUR POISON: DRIVING OR HIKING
Thoughtless drivers hate deep thinkers.
Having always despised driving, I finally quit cold turkey and moved from Omaha
to New York City, a town deemed pedestrian-friendly. How could I lose? Ive
always loved walking. Do I miss driving? Sure I do. Like I miss dandruff.
I served a tortuous sentence behind the wheel. Im quite the thinker and Ive
always been blessed (and cursed) with a twisted twin I call Subby who romps,
rages and rides the rails inside my beautiful mind. READ FULL ENTRY
An octogenarian epitomizes how to approach ones golden years.
I sat at a family birthday party recently with my short, chubby, cherub-faced Aunt Chartreuse. Shes 81. The birthday boy was her frisky cousin Fred whod just turned 97. After Fred blew out the candles, I asked Aunt Chartreuse if she planned to indulge in a piece of his birthday cake. No way. Im trying to cut down on saliva,she deadpanned. Thats an old line, but then Im an old broad. READ FULL ENTRY
SORE TO THE CORE
Certain appendages are sooo sensitive.
As Jerry Seinfeld might say, whats the deal with sex organs? Prudes, you can relax. What follows may be valiant but its not vulgar. Hang in there for a frank yatter about the young, hung and handsome. READ FULL ENTRY
My twisted twin was nicknamed 'Eskew the Sexpediter.'
Some people dismiss me as the possessor of a considerably warped memory bank when, in briefing them on my background, I swear that, in my purple past, I enrolled in a course called Patience 101, a high school course designed for nut-cases in general, and for the twisted twin who resides just behind my frontal lobe in specific. Having flunked this nefarious course that was taught off campus at the University of Hard Knocks, I was impatiently fit to be tied. READ FULL ENTRY
Some grocery clerks can indeed be maddening.
Magnificent! Fantastic! Superb! Such gushing adjectives rate all but inadequate in describing the professional competencies of Judi Elson, who juggles with ease diverse duties as manager of our apartment complex.Functioning as receptionist, bouncer and secretary extraordinaire, she specializes in performing an abundance of other assignments not listed on her job description. Furthermore, an unidentified source confided to me that Elson, a feminist if there ever was one, even makes coffee. READ FULL ENTRY
To dissociate is frightening, not fascinating.
Powerless!, exclaims Gina. Thats how I feel. Powerless! People think this condition must surely be some kind of adventure. Oh, how interesting!, theyll say. Well, interesting it aint. It sucks tea bags. Gina belongs to a unique therapy group through Alegent Mental Health. Some members agreed to be interviewed in hope of clearing up some common misconceptions about the condition that Gina refers to above. READ FULL ENTRY
MYRTLES MAGIC MINE
The owner of the joint moonlighted as its janitor.
My grandma opened her nightclub during World War II, naming it Myrtles Magic Mine. It was still going strong in the early 1960s. As was Grandma. Outside the city limits in the wild and wooly countryside of Grand Island Neb., almost anything went down. The building housed a room filled with noisy pinball machines, slot machines and loquacious customers, one of whom was an infamous lush known for uttering one syllable that landed like a trumpet on ones ear. READ FULL ENTRY
TRUTH VERSUS FACT
How Myrtles Magic Mine was conceived
My grandma's real name was Sarah, not Myrtle (Myrtle is funnier to me). Also Myrt rhymes with Gert and Gravel Gertie is funny to me. The Gertrude character was drawn on my grandma's sister, who couldn't sing for shit, but was a charming whore and a disgrace to the family (her real name was Roberta and I liked her A LOT). READ FULL ENTRY
SOME SLOB STEPPED ON MY TONGUE
Stay Sober on New Years Eve Or Else!
Ah, I just survived another New Years Eve without swilling down so much as a thimbleful of alcohol. Thats not easy for a New Yorker who swells with excitement every time he sees the big ball drop in Times Square. As a devout Irishman, Ive had my moments with booze, believe me or at least believe me-criminal record. I simply got tired of waking up every New Years Day on a deserted sidewalk, f-f-freezing and feeling like some slob had just stepped on my tongue. READ FULL ENTRY
Science is about the changing nature of facts, not about Truth.
I'm brokenhearted. I lost my little cat Shoakie yesterday. She was an ideal companion and my longest living pet to date. She was the same age as my grandson, Thomas. She has shared over 16 years of wonderful living with me and I'll miss her forever. She inspired my imagination countless times. READ FULL ENTRY
TRIBUTE TO BACCHUS AND SHOAKIE
The ecstasy outweighs the agony of pet parenthood.
Poppys baby dumpling, my 16-year-old feline Shoakie, passed away in New York City on September 23, 2011. I bought her at Pet-O-Mine in Omaha on June 23, 1995. The owner of the shop had written on the carrier box that she had been born May 5th. She was a black and white Calico and she looked like she was wearing a mask, like a bandit. READ FULL ENTRY
Many retired baby boomers make fine madness.
Profiled in an earlier column, my Aunt Chartreuse still soars as a professional standup comic at 81 years young. I glory in her spunk. Performing standup comedy challenges even the young, hung and healthy. I know too well. In the late 1960s, I boarded the boards at New Yorks Village Gate, opening for a congenial black guy named Irwin C. Watson. READ FULL ENTRY
CELEBRATING LIFE EVERY DAY
Simply loving the alliteration of 2012 wont be enough.
Before plunging into serious (and thus far, continuous) sobriety in 2002, I experienced many delightful, drunken decades celebrating the annual "transitioning" of the old and new year. As apposed to many alcoholics who call New Years Eve "Amateur Night," I managed to get just as blitzed on December 31st as any (and every) other night of the year. READ FULL ENTRY
BUBBLES AND BITS WITH GRANDPA GOOFUS
As long as Poppy keeps ‘em laughing, they won’t lock him up.
I love riding my bicycle and I adore playing with my cats Shoakie and Shilalie. So, shoot me. Both activities bring out the kid inside of me. Makes me feel 70 again. The only times I ever feel more youthful is when I visit my grandchildren. But, alas, they live on the other coast (California), so such thrills as spoiling my cats and speeding my bicycle simply function as daily linkages to former fresh-faced glees. READ FULL ENTRY