Real Men Have Wolverine Toenails



I have a hole new kind of writer’s block.

I thought I would write something all clever, if not hysterical, while the Missus is grocery shopping.

But I can’t think of anything except the fact that my left big toe is poking through a hole in my sock.

This has occurred because a) the blog has midget feet and has to buy cheapo kiddy socks and b) we have not trimmed our toenails since Obama was re-elected.

This is not a grass-roots protest or anything.

It’s more to do with winter and our stuck neck.

When the blog does cut our toenails, it’s normally just before getting into the bathtub to soak our aching neck. And our aching back. And pretty much all of our moving parts.

And that procedure works just fine when it’s warm.

But in wintertime, like nowadays Down Under in New Zealand, we cannot recommend sitting buck nekkid on the bathroom floor while cutting your toenails.

The Hiney Zone

This is because a) the blog’s bathroom heater sucks so b) there is every chance one’s hiney could freeze to the tile and c) in all fairness, we think b) is a good enough reason to avoid this.

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Questions That Haunt Me



Are you supposed to send checks to people who retweet your Twitter tweets and ponies to the people who give you Facebook likes, or vice versa? I need to know soon, because the ponies out back are getting really loud.

How can we have a SHRED of respect for so-called “Millenials” when they, overwhelming, have no idea who the Marx Brothers are?

How can Cher STILL be on tour? Surely every gay person in the world has seen her like 17 times? And she is, what, about 95 years old?

Do they cancel your Man Card when the “rehab workout” your physiotherapist recommends involves rolling on a tennis ball and lifting a bottle of shampoo?  I am asking for a friend.

Do you people have any idea how hard it is to walk around all day long, interacting with people and doing stuff, while pretending not to be a curmudgeon dinosaur? I am also asking this for a friend.

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Back Yard Oklahoma Fun Before There Were iPods

High Jump

Before there were iPods and iPads and computer games, there was the back yard tetherball pole and high jump pit.

Back in 1968, when I was 12 years old, I spent hours and hours and hours playing tetherball — trying to develop the perfect serve.

But the really serious athletic training involved the high jump.

That’s because I was inspired by Olympics high jumper Dick Fosbury and his Fosbury Flop.

That summer, I stood 4-ft-4 tall, on a stretch, and I was determined to jump that high.

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Do You HEAR Me Dripping Adrenaline?

Tasmanian Devil

It’s late.

I’m relaxing in the recliner.

Reading. Sort of. Zzzzzzzz.

Hearing aids are out.

Because I do not want to be disturbed.

Happy sigh.

But then I hear something disturbing.

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A Sad Thing Happened Today in New Zealand

It was crappy, cold, rainy weather.

Bumper-to-bumper, rush-hour traffic on Blockhouse Bay Road, my thoroughfare going home.

All I could think about was taking some Panadol, and crashing out with a heating pad on my aching neck.

So much bloody traffic.

Then I saw him.

A really old man, broken down on the other side of the four-lane road.

I could see that his front left tire was flat; that one of those emergency Jap tires was up on the sidewalk.

And the really old man was trying to remove his flat “tyre”, as they say in New Zealand.

Judging by his flustered face and exhaustion, I figured he must have been hard at it for some time.

I thought to myself, “surely somebody is going to stop and help that old man.”

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Toad Strangler Oklahoma Rain


I’ve lived in Singapore, and I don’t think monsoon rains come down as hard, or as sideways, as what poured down on me as a kid growing up on Nebraska Street.

When the skies opened up in Oklahoma, man, that was something to behold.

I remember water gushing out of the downspout so hard that it ripped up the grass and turned the yard into a mud bog.

The volume of water was so huge it would pour out over the sides of the gutter, and come down in absolute sheets.

If you ran underneath, it was like having a pitcher full of ice water poured right down your back.

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The Morning After The Night Before

blog church art

When I was young, the headline above referred to waking up with a monstrous hangover.

Today, it refers to being back in the world after a weekend of immersion in a spiritual retreat called the Eucharistic Convention.

I feel sort of like a sponge whose every pore had been filled with water, and then squeezed dryer than dry.

The hangover cure for me today is the same as way back when – hair of the dog that bit you.

But now, instead of that “hair” being booze, it was spending the morning with a wise, old priest.

I have a thing for wise, old priests. Priests who have suffered. Priests who are holy.

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