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What A Lovely Couple!


Seeing this guy Jesse Cook playing flamenco guitar on PBS takes me back a decade and a half to quite nearly back in the day, when a friend of mine who was living way down in Providence, Rhode Island suggested we go out, just he and I, and take in a little culture. A flamenco guitarist, name of…I can’t remember…was playing at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts This-or-That, near the Middlesex County Courthouse in East Cambridge.

My friend was an “ol’ drinkin’ buddy,” a blue jeans-wearing regular joe with whom I’d attended untold numbers of rock concerts. For whatever reason, we both dressed in our finest (casual) clothing – something slightly north of denim – with button-down shirts and actual shoes instead of sneakers. Both of us had managed, by this point in our 30s, to fall under the spell of red wine, with all its bewitching powers and subtle nuances. And cheese plates.

Needless to say, once seated at our table, we ordered a nice bottle of wine and a plate of cheeses, and maybe even some fruit (minor detail that’s only somewhat relevant).

After the flamenco stuff, a woman came up to me and my smartly-dressed 30-something drinkin’ buddy, with whom I’d just spent an hour and a half watching a flamenco act while sipping wine and eating cheese. Said she to us, “Are you married? My son is married.”

We were, in fact, married, but not to each other, having gotten hitched to women in that boring, old fashioned sort of way that men had been doing for centuries.

That was the last time my friend and I ever went to a flamenco show. (Not that there’s anything wrong with it.)

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I Quintuple That!


You think you have a hoppy beer, but sorry, it’s just not hoppy enough for me. I don’t care if you’ve tripled the IBUs. That just makes me laugh!

Can I tell you something? I’ll out-hop you if it kills me.

Quadruple IPAs! Then dry-hopped with my own special (ultra-hoppy) blend. You think Gillette and Schick have an arms race going? Just wait ‘til you see what my hoppy attitude does to brewing. And then everyone will realize that the current wave of ultra-hopped beer is just the tip of the iceberg. And also that I have invested heavily in hops production behind everyone’s backs, making me a financial winner on all fronts. Even if you attempt to out-hop me, well, sorry but those are my hops you’re buying.

I’ll see you in court.

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"The Non-Confession"



This is what I’m calling the first ever “art-gag” piece, which is a sort of practical joke with written plans that can (and will!) be bought and sold like a commodity long after I’m dead. I’m thinking that spending some of my free time working on this performance piece will be most effective way of getting Gag Art into the public eye. Here’s the plan:

I will enter a church confessional during normal confessional hours and will knock on the little screen to wake up the priest from his midday slumber. “Bless me Father for I have sinned,” I'll say. I’ll wait a bit, breathing deeply, which will give the Padre a chance to say something like, “Go ahead my child.”

Then, with my voice cracking, I’ll blurt out something like, “Father, I…I…I k-k-killed—no!”  

The art happens when my associate, pretending to be the next confessor in line, uses his smartphone to get video of the priest emerging from his confessional and chasing me, then using his own smart phone to call the cops. My associate will then string together all the scenes of priests in various cities across the US and Europe running out of their churches to see who had just (nearly) confessed to a murder (which never actually happened!).

Obviously, this piece will require a substantial budget, and I’m hoping to find one or two arts organizations with deep pockets to foot the bill for the travel costs to cities across the US and Europe. Also, I’ll need a per-diem for lodging, meals and incidentals (beer), plus daycare costs for my kids while I’m on this Gag-Art jaunt.

Finally, I’ll need to have a lawyer on retainer for the inevitable incarceration or two I’ll face when a particularly spritely man-of-the-cloth catches me before I’m able to run off.

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Bad Kitty! (Litter)


My local waste management men, good people who come to take the bags of leftovers and unwanted things from my house on a weekly basis, arrived earlier than expected this Tuesday, causing me to run out with a kitchen bag in one hand and box of half-eaten pie in the other. They love this kind of interaction, and so do I. I get to throw my trash into the massive truck, pretending, if just for a moment, to be one of their number. Meanwhile, they get to pull out a bag of spent cat litter from my garbage barrel in dramatic fashion and inform me that “we can’t take this.”

Huh? This is Boston, where they toss your neighbor’s threadbare sofa into the truck right along with the 1950s fridge you set out by the street. Need to trash an old washing machine? Put it by the curb. Oh, sure, some things require special pickup, but unless it’s an unexploded WWII munition, the city will eventually come and get it.

But not cat poo-poo and the little pellets into which the turdlets are laid to rest. “The chemicals set off the alarms at the dump.”

I see. Needless to say, I felt compelled to check with the city on this little-known ordinance, given that several hundred thousand other residents of Boston were likely putting their kitty pee-pee clumps in the trash as I was.

A quick call confirmed my suspicion that my friendly waste managers didn’t have all the facts: “Put it back out there. The inspector says they’ll come back to collect it.”

Of course they will. And while they’re at it, I have an oven I’d like them to take.

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