Hornet queen

Gamma: Dad, how big does a hornet queen get?
Dad: Usually only this big, like about half a hot dog. But I knew one once, when I was your age, that was the size of an economy car. Wouldn’t have fit into this kitchen. Couldn’t fly because she only had little bitty regular hornet sized wings. Same with the legs, so she walked really, really slow. I was scared of her at first because she was so big, but we soon became friends. She had a very acute sense of hearing. And boy, did she love to eat bacon.
Gamma: Mmm, bacon.
Mom: Please, no Luegengeschichten, it’s barely six in the morning. I haven’t had my coffee yet.
Dad: Hehe.
Gamma: Hehe.

Last night, you know, last night I lived in a treehouse at the top of a sequoia and a condor soared around with me in its talons. Clear to the ocean and back.

Phantom limb

1867, say. Summer night. He insists on sleeping in the upstairs bedroom same as he always did. He leaves his crutch hanging from a peg in the entry way downstairs and uses the railing to climb the stairs.

At first he thinks, hopes, it’s crickets that wake him. They’re the first thing he hears, then the clock ticking, then his wife’s even breathing. But it is his leg again, the one they cut off in the war.

Christ, was that tent a slaughterhouse. And did it stink.

He climbs back down to the porch, leaning on the railing on either side of the stairs with both hands and swinging his real leg from step to step. He’s as fast as he ever was.

He sits in a chair in the cool breeze and lights up a pipe and watches the smoke disappear into the moonlight.

The leg itches, the one they cut off. Twenty times a day he catches himself reaching down to scratch it. Only to find his pantleg rolled up and pinned over the stump.

They used a saw, it was off in less than a minute, less than thirty seconds. Two burly soldiers held him while the doctor sawed it off. It must have hurt but he can’t remember that. Just this itching, and this presence.

Driving to work, I think of him when I reach over to the passenger seat to whack Beta on the leg, or when I say something out loud and expect her to make some witty response, and remember she’s in France.

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St. Valentine’s dirty little secret


It’s obvious. We’re glorifying the wrong organ, people. We’re giving our loved ones chocolates in prostate-shaped boxes. Perhaps red, mylar prostates filled with helium.

The Valentine’s Day limerick contest is open for a few more hours. I’ll announce winners today or tomorrow. Depends when Beta enters, if she enters.

Finally, a link to the Acme candy prostate maker:

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Simple pleasures

When I was a boy, my parents made me wash their cars once I was tall enough, so I never had the pleasure of sitting inside a car at the carwash and make up for it now.

The first time I took the Dobl

The year of corny jokes

Him: Happy year of the cock, baby.
Her: Rooster, honey. Rooster.

Happy year of corny jokes.


Beta has made good on her threat and started a blog of her own.