Committing Myself To New Years Resolutions


As a child growing up in 1950s Texas, I never understood the need to put myself behind an eight-ball with proclamation’s I had no way of keeping. New Year resolutions were the worst of them all.

My parents made them by the dozens and broke them without batting an eye.

My mother was the worst of the family bunch. Every year, on the eve of midnight, she would make a grandiose announcement to the family, usually after a few glasses of sparkling Cold Duck wine or too many Old Crow eggnogs. She made many resolutions in her day, but her yearly favorite was “kicking the ciggies.” She smoked like Bogart, one in each hand with a third, lit and waiting in the ashtray. My father, a lesser smoker, was a rank beginner compared to his bride. As a result, our household had more ashtrays than dishes. My sister and I also enjoyed the mild smoke from the ever-present Chesterfield cloud that hung in every room. Mother finally kept her favorite resolution at the age of 74, with some help from emphysema.

So, here I am at 72, and for the first time, I am considering making a New Year resolution or two.

I’ve been kicking around the less painful ones, easy things like giving up red meat or sugar. But then, Ovaltine contains sugar, and there is no way I can sleep without my hot Ovaltine, usually taken between 1 and 2 am, which is also my writing hours so that one is out. But, on the other hand, red meat can give me gastronomical grief, and I like fish more so that one is still doable.

Abstaining from distilled spirits? Now that’s tough, but it seems to be the national favorite.

It’s immensely satisfying to hold a crystal snifter of Jamesons or Tullamore Dew while sitting on my patio admiring the beauty of our local mountain, Comanche Peak. Good Irish whiskey settles my nerves and fuels my literary creativity. Jack Kerouac and Truman Capote will attest to that. Reaching old age without dying is hard work, and suitable rewards are in order. So unless I plan to stop writing and live out my final days as a nervous wreck, that one is kaput.

Attending a non-denominational house of worship with my bride. I can do this one with a few exceptions. Firstly, how does the word “none” go with denominational? There are hundreds of organized religions out there, just pick one and go with it.

Secondly, I’m old school church. I need to hear “the word of God,” not some big-haired pastor with an expensive haircut using the bible as a Cliff Notes report. I don’t dance hip hop in the isles, or clap, or sing songs projected on a screen, or enjoy hearing a choir of off-key screeching women whining about their personal tradgadys to the accompaniment of a Led Zepplin tribute band. I need that old-time religion to soothe my soul. The bubble-haired lady playing that Hammond B3 organ; that old rugged cross hanging on the wall next to the velvet Last Supper painting. A yelling red-faced slobbering preacher that points to me and says I’m going to Hell in a used Honda if I don’t change my sinful ways, and then expects money for admonishing me in front of strangers. Uncomfortable seating is a must. I can’t be a Baptist again, that would require me to give up my Irish whiskey, so it’s best to move on to another resolution or consider becoming a Catholic.

Improving my health. Maybe the easiest one of all, except for the sugar Ovaltine thing and the Irish whiskey thing. I possibly can do this one and make it stick. I beat the snot out of Cancer, so what’s left that could get me?

My doctor is young and hip. He wears one of those Apple watches that keep you alive and listens to TED talks in his wireless earbuds and drives a Tesla. He recommends, walking, hiking, biking, going to the gym, meditating, using fewer medications, and eating less of everything that tastes like food.

I reminded him that I need a knee replacement and major back surgery, so the walking, biking, hiking, and gym are out. Using fewer meds? He’s the idiot that put me on them. Sorry doc, I am not eating bagged weeds, Kale, plant-based meats, or gluten-free anything. Lactose-free milk is as woke as I get. I could only achieve a meditated state after a pipe full of Maui Wowie and Cat Stevens on the stereo.

By writing my resolutions down, I realize that nothing has changed since I was a kid. I’m not standing behind that eight-ball at this age.

“RESPECTIVUS” “For the Rest of Us” A New Holiday Coming Soon


In 1966, Maulana Kereuga, a member of the Black Panther Party (the one that Forest Gump messed with), invented a holiday to celebrate African culture in the United States, but not Africa. “Kwanzaa” became the alternate secular Christmas for some black Americans, but not all bought into it. The citizens of Africa think Kwanzaa is a made-up hot-mess of a holiday and had never heard of it until the late 60s. They celebrate Christmas, like most of the world. I’m betting Forest and Jenny didn’t know about Kwanzaa.

“Festivus.” A Sienfield made-up holiday to bring attention to the over-commercialism of Christmas. Held on December 23rd, it celebrates no giving of gifts, feats of strength, airing of grievances, and questionable miracles, as well as a fine meal of meatloaf and mashed potatoes. In place of a traditional tree, there is an aluminum pole carried by the family elder. Frank and George Castanza convinced Jerry, Elaine, and Kramer that Festivus is a viable and authentic holiday. It makes more sense than Kwanzaa, and at times, Christmas.

Festivus

So if anyone can make up a holiday, get it printed on a calendar and plastered on television, why can’t I? Well, just hide and watch.

I propose a new holiday that celebrates the elders of our families, the old and almost forgotten, except when birthdays and Christmas roll around and their children expect them to dish out wads of cash on useless gifts for their grand kids.

Poor old used-up Parents.

I’m talking about the senior parents and grandparents. They have toiled in the corporate salt mines, served in the military, died in wars, slaved in the factories and retail stores, walked those miles of isles in Walmart, changed those thousands of bedpans, paved the roadways, built the buildings and houses, and worked the land that provides the food that all our children and grandchildren enjoy. If it wasn’t for Grandma working in that computer chip factory for thirty years, little Johnny and Chelsea wouldn’t have that expensive video game or smart-ass phone that cost a cool grand.

As of today, December 28th, 2021, I proclaim the period between Christmas and New Year’s Eve the holiday of “Respectivus.”

Six humbling days of showing respect and gratefulness to parents and grandparents for all they have made possible for their loving family. Shower them with expensive gifts and fine wines. Send them on all-inclusive cruises to warm climates, and maybe pay off the mortgage that they borrowed against to pay for their children’s college education.

Sure, there will be a few million or more that will send their parents a gift card from Walgreens or maybe a jelly of the month membership or a new sleeve of tennis balls for their walker. Those would be the cheapskate brats that threw a conniption fit when they didn’t get a trophy and a pizza after they lost every game, and now their kids do the same when they don’t get the latest techno-gadget under the.. good God, it’s hard to even write it… “Holiday Tree.”

Implementing this hew holiday won’t be easy. It will take a banding together of old folks to make it happen. Marching in the streets carrying signs, some saying hooray for our side, protesting at the post office and in front of city hall, burning our driver’s license at the polling prescient, riding our personal mobility scooters like a biker gang on the freeway’s, and chaining ourselves to the columns of the White House. The old guy in there should get it; he’s older than we are. Us’un old ones have to stick together like we did in the 60s. So put Steppenwolf on the 8 track, and let’s roll.

I am excited about the tennis balls I might be receiving.

“Another Sunday Night In The Twilight Zone Between Christmas and New Years”


Photo by Captain Kirk

I feel like I’m living in a black and white telecast of the Twilight Zone. The ghost of Rod Serling is sitting in my den telling me stories and smoking Camels. That “dead zone” between Christmas and New Year has arrived.

Christmas can be such a damp squib to one’s spirits. Yet, throughout December, we anticipate the evening of the 24th and the 25th. Plans are made, food and wine are consumed with friends and family, phone calls made, presents exchanged, all in a whirlwind of excitement and frivolity. The world is at peace, life is good, we are all out of debt, and the family members we disliked a week ago now sit in our den spilling beer on our new carpet and double dipping the queso.

Then December 26th arrives, the tire goes flat, the cake goes stale, and the wine is soured. A whole week of angst lies ahead. I stock up on Valium and Tullamore Dew to fortify my journey.

I sit in my cushy recliner, slack jaw, drooling, staring at the ladybug on my ceiling. Pat Sajak is droning in the background, and Vanna is marching across the stage, turning those damn letters. The poor lady loses the car over a pause of 2.5 seconds. Sajak is an asshole. The lady goes home, her predicament goes viral on the net, Audie gives her a car, and Wheel of Fortune comes off looking like the dipshits they are. Why doe’s Vanna White even have a job?

My wife and I have doctor’s appointments this week. She, physical therapy, and me for a sinus invasion. We talk of going to the mountains, the ocean, or anywhere, there is no cedar. Christmas kicked our senior butts. We are as broke as 1930s sharecroppers. So I’m searching for old reruns of the Twilight Zone for insight and inspiration.

The coming Friday evening will bring a welcomed end to the year from Hell. According to the newscast, we will be walled into our homes within a few weeks and most likely deceased by February because of the Omicron bug. New Year’s Eve brings revelers blowing their little paper horns, drinking champagne, groping each other’s butts, and making drunken fools of themselves, but come morning, nothing has changed, and no one gets a pass to start all over. So put on your face diaper and shut up.

I think Rod Serling had it right. “Live every day like you’re in The Twilight Zone;” come to think of it, we are.

Is Christmas Over Yet?


My great great great something, Belle Starr.

Christmas Eve 2021 is upon us, and there is no escaping it.

I’m aware that my advanced age drives many of my phobias and fits of melancholia. Still, with our country going to complete crap in a Crate and Barrel wooden box, it’s impossible to fool me into becoming a smiling Father Christmas sitting around the fire drinking hot chocolate while reading “The Night Before Christmas” to our wokie grandkids. But, of course, they wouldn’t understand why someone would write such a fairytale. They are much too smart for their young age, thanks to Google and iPhones.

Yeah, I’m an old school guy with old school thoughts, when I can remember them. My wife says she is worried about me; I don’t remember things she says she told me ten minutes earlier. I tell her, “well maybe you didn’t tell me but thought you did.” It goes both ways. Then I find my car keys in the refrigerator, next to my reading glasses and wallet.

I used to laugh when my father asked me what day is it? Now, I am my father and my son laughs at me. Aging is not for pussy’s. It takes a real man to survive it.

That’s why I write short stories and blog, it keeps my mind sharp, and my wit acrid. The brain is a muscle that craves stimulation. I would think the number of medications I take would do that job, but creating fictional characters and predicaments based on my street rat crazy family makes me a whole person.

Who needs genealogy? I don’t. My grandmother, mother, aunts, uncles, and other relatives tell my sister and me that we are related to the famous female outlaw; Belle Starr. Also to Chief Quanah Parker and Will Rogers. Of course, they have no written proof, only hearsay delivered around a campfire or a supper table. I sent some spit to a genealogy outfit and they sent me a report. It wasn’t what I expected.

Northern European, Russian, English, Scottish, Irish, Welsh, and Neanderthal; not one molecule of American Indian, even though my Granny was born and raised on a reservation in Oklahoma and lived in a teepee. I called them up. The nice lady said the American Indigenous tribes are secretive and don’t give out information. She assured me I was probably a Cherokee and could go on acting like one if it made me feel better. Stupid ass lady. I do feel better.

Chief Quannah Parker; I inherited his hair

Have a Merry Christmas and may you live in the land of good water, bountiful game, and cold beer.

“A Fort Worth, Texas Kind of Christmas”


A personal recount of my childhood Christmas memories.

Photo by: Elf -O-Mat Studios

Riding a ceiling-mounted “Rocket Train” to nowhere around the basement of a department store doesn’t seem like a Christmas thing, but that’s what thousands of other Texas kids and I did every year in the 1950s.

Leonard Brothers Department Store occupied two square blocks of downtown Fort Worth real estate and was known as the Southwest’s Macy’s. They offered everything the big shot stores in the East carried, and then, hundreds of items no retailer in their right mind would consider.

If you had a mind to, one could purchase a full-length mink coat with optional mink mittens, the latest women’s high-fashion clothing line from Paris France, an Italian cut-crystal vile of Elizabeth Taylors spit, James Dean’s signature hair tonic, Rock Hudson’s autographed wedding photos, a housebroken Llama, an aluminum fishing boat and motor, a new car, a pole barn, a nice two-story craftsman home “build it yourself kit” delivered to your lot, chickens, barb wire, hay, horses and cows, a 30-30 Winchester rifle, a 40 caliber autographed General George Custer Colt pistol, a bottle of good hootch and a Ford tractor. That’s about as Texas as it gets.

The Christmas season in downtown Fort Worth was internationally recognized for its innovative and wonderous decorations. The righteous city fathers figured the best way to out-do Dallas, a full-time effort, was to line every building with white lights from top to bottom and install large glowing decorations on every lamp pole, street light, and building fa├žade available. If that didn’t make you “ooooh and ahhhh,” then you needed to go home and hide in a closet.

A week, or so, after Thanksgiving, my parents would take my sister and me downtown to see the decorations and visit the Leonard Brothers Department Store. Santa just happened to be in their basement taking advanced verbal orders from every crumb cruncher that could climb the stairs and plop on his lap.

My sister, in between screams and crying fits, always asked for the latest doll. She was scared senseless of “HO-HO,” but she somehow managed to spit out her order. Like clockwork, every year, I asked for a Daisy BB Gun with a year’s supply of stainless silver ammo ( for killing werewolves), a full-size Elliot Ness operable Thompson Sub Machine Gun, or an Army surplus Bazooka with real rockets and a long, razor-sharp Bowie knife encased in a fringed leather holster. It was a 1950s boy thing; weapons were what we longed for. How else could we defeat Santa Anna at the Alamo or win World War II, again? Our neighborhood may have sported the best-supplied “kid army” on the planet, and jolly old Santa was our secret arms dealer; parents non-the wiser. I finally got the BB Gun, but Santy was wise enough to not bring the other request.

Walking down the stairs to the store’s basement was the thrill I waited for all year. There, hanging above my head, was the beautiful red and silver tinseled sign, “Toy Land,” kid nirvana, and the Holy Grail all in one room. The smell of burned popcorn and stale chocolate candy wafted up the stairs, and I could hear the cheesy Christmas choir music and the sound the Rocket Train made as it glided along the ceiling-mounted rails. I almost pissed my jeans.

Hundreds, if not thousands of parents jostled down isles of toys, pushing, grabbing, snarling like a pack of wild dogs fighting for that last toy; the holiday spirit and common courtesy was alive and well. The queue of kids for the Rocket Train snaked through the basement like a soup line.

There, sitting on his mini-mountain top perch, sat old red-suited Santa Claus and his elfin apprentices, herding kids to his lap at break-neck speed. Each child got about fifteen-seconds, a black and white photograph, and then it was off the lap and down the steps. Kids were fast in those days; we memorized and practiced our list weeks before our visit for maximum impact. “Ho-Ho” had better be writing this stuff down. Kids don’t forget, squat.

Two Santa visits, four Rocket Train rides, and three popcorn bags later, our family unit departed Leonard’s for the new and improved “Leonard’s Christmas Tree Land,” located across the street from the main building. Thanks to the demolition of several winos infested abandoned buildings, the new lot was now the size of Rhode Island and held enough trees for every person and their dog in Texas.

Thousands, if not millions of fresh-cut trees awaited our choosing. Father, always the cheapskate, chose a sensible tree; not too big, not too small, yet full and fluffy with a lovely piney aroma. My sister and I pointed and danced like fools for the “pink flocked” tree in the tent, that cost the equivalent of a week’s salary. My parents enjoyed our cute antics. The sensible tree was secured to the top of our Nash Rambler station wagon, and we are homeward bound.

Pulling into our driveway, it was impossible to miss our neighbors extravagant holiday display. We had been away from home for 6 hours and returned to a full-blown holiday extravaganza that made our modest home look like a tobacco road share-croppers shack.

Our next-door neighbors, Mr. Mister and Mrs. Mister were the neighborhood gossip fodder. The couple moved from Southern California for his job. He, an aircraft-design engineer, and she, a former gopher girl at Paramount Studios. The Misters reeked new-found money and didn’t mind flaunting it. They drove tiny Italian sports cars and hired a guy to mow their lawn. His wife, Mrs. Mister, always had a Pall Mall ciggie in one hand and a frosty cocktail in the other. Father said she looked like a pretty Hollywood lady named Jane Mansfield, but Mother said she resembled a “gimlet-assed dime-store chippy.” I got the impression that the Misters were quite popular in the neighborhood.

Their Christmas display was pure Cecil B. DeMille. A life-size plywood sleigh, with Santa and his reindeer, covered the Mister’s roof, and 20 or more automated Elves and various holiday characters greeted passersby. Twinkling lights covered every bush and plant in the yard, and a large machine spat out thousands of bubbles that floated through the neighborhood. This was far more than Fort Worth was ready for.

The kill-shot was their enormous picture window that showcased a ceiling-high blue flocked tree bathed in color-changing lights. There, framed in the glow of their yuletide decor, sat Mr. and Mrs. Mister with their two poodles, Fred and Ginger, perched on their expensive modern sofa, sipping vermouth martinis like Hollywood royalty. This display of pompacious decadence didn’t go unnoticed by my parents.

Father hauled our puny tree into the living room and began unpacking lights for the decorating that would happen tomorrow evening. Mother hurried my sister and me off to bed. Visions of spying Elves, sugar plum pudding, and dangerous weapons danced in my head; Christmas was upon us.

Sometime after 10 PM, Father got hungry. Searching for sandwich fixings in the kitchen, he found a bottle of Jim Beam bourbon. Then he found a fresh half gallon of Egg-Nog, which of course, he enjoyed with the bourbon. While searching for bread to make the ham sandwich, he found two “Lux Laundry Soap Flake” boxes, with a dish-towel in each one. Then by chance, he discovered the food coloring. This gave him an idea for our sad little tree.

I awoke in a start. The sun was shining in my face, which meant I was late for school. I ran into the living room and was stopped in my tracks.

Our formally green tree was now flocked in thick pink snow, as were the curtains, the fireplace mantel, two chairs, the coffee table, and my father, who lay on the couch, passed out, with a half-eaten ham sandwich on his chest. My Mother sat a few feet away, sipping her coffee and smoking a Winston; my Louisville slugger lay on her lap. I was reluctant to approach her, but I had to know.

I timidly put my hand on her shoulder and asked, “Mom, is Dad going to be alright?” She took a sip of coffee and a drag from her ciggie and said, “well, for right now, he will be, but after he wakes up, who knows.”

What Is Christmas Without Charlie Brown?


Since I don’t subscribe to expensive cable television anymore, and my wimpy HD antenna receives only when it feels like it, I missed the annual telecast of Charlie Browns Christmas show.

Actually, there are only two parts I like; when they are dancing to ” Linus and Lucy” by Vince Guaraldi and when Linus recites his Christmas speech under the spotlight. The rest is also fun, but those two scenes make the show. Now I’m bummed because I missed it, and the networks along with Disney, who owns the rights, so they show it once a year and don’t let anyone know when, until the last minute. Sort of like Cong-television. Pop-up entertainment.

“Things That Keep Me Awake On A Sunday Night, But I Forgot To Write About Until Monday Night”


Jeez-al-mighty, the radicals have kicked Joe Bee to the curb. He is officially a useless old man that has outlived his pecker. Willie Nelson said it first, and he should know; he’s much older than JB and has access to better weed.

With Joe Bee soon to be in the memory care home, that cute dancing Latino congress girl from New York is now free to roam the hallowed halls of Congress and possibly the White House acting like Castro’s daughter while bossing everyone around. But, of course, Jill ( not a doctor) Biden doesn’t give a street rat’s ass if she does; she got Joe Bee to sign everything over to her, even Hunter’s laptop and collection of ancient Mayan crack pipes.

Since a handful of NFL games were canceled, ratings are up!

My wife and I thought we had the Omicron. Watery eyes, coughing, tearing up, a snotty nose, then we realized we were watching The Sound of Music. I’m better today.

Senator Manchin just bitch slapped the radical Democratic party. He saved the country, the economy, and every God-fearing citizen that lives here. Hats off to Mr. Manchin. The only thing that would be sweeter would be for him to sucker punch Pelosi while she’s drinking her Gin and Tonic ice cream float.

I visited our local on the square bookstore today; I purchased a Christmas gift for my wife. It’s a hometown place with a great assortment of the latest books, hot tea and biscuits, and friendly folks. The business was great, and the place was packed to the walls, and not one person was looking at their phone. Imagine that.

“It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Last Christmas”


Cub Scout Den BR549 from Queens has had enough of the shutdown and demands Santa does his job.

New York City is shuttering Broadway for a second year. The Rockett’s were sent home with a fruit basket and a frozen Turkey, and Saturday Night Live is going on with its infamous Christmas show minus a live audience and limited cast and crew, which would improve the performance. So instead, Omicron has arrived in grand style with the highest ratings yet for a virus.

Why was there no “Omicron” balloon in Macy’s parade? An ” Omicron” dressed as Santa sitting in his sleigh would have made the kiddies squeal with delight. DeBlasio knew it was in his city, waiting patiently to make a late but well-timed entrance, descending a gold lame’ staircase like one of Truman Capote’s society Swans. The pesky bug is full of itself, flexing its Christmas muscle and looking every bit, the superstar that it is.

Maya Sharona, head correspondent humanoid for NPR, caught up with a few typical New Yorkers in Times Square that voiced their displeasure with the new shut down and mandates.

Mustafa De’ San Angelo, a well-known homeless beggar, and famous Times Square criminal, told Ms. Sharona that his business is down by Eighty percent since last weekend, so he will have to start robbing other beggers or resume mugging the elderly. Ms. Sharona offered him a twenty-dollar bill, but he punched her in the face and snatched her Gucci purse. A nearby cop promptly wrote her a ticket for bleeding on the sidewalk and crying in public.

The New York Post of the Salvation Army, in its attempt to make the organization more white and less racist, sent all-white employees home without pay for the rest of the year. When asked if the Army would be hosting the annual feed the homeless Christmas dinner at Madison Square Garden, their spokesperson said, ” we don’t have anyone left to work, and they took all their food home with them.” They put in a call to Joe and Jill Biden about donating some grub, but they are not returning calls.

This Christmas may be better than last year. Right?

God Help Us All….Biden Say’s We Are Going To Die This Winter!


After hearing president Devo’s dire prediction today, “It’s going to be a cold winter of severe illness and painful deaths.” Taking his prediction to heart, my wife and I are making our final arrangements. Well, not really, but maybe. The drama around the country is so thick you would think the Kardashian’s are writing sniffy’s teleprompter speeches. So our little statement is a wokie stab at black humor. Can I say ” black humor?” Is that too racist? Am I canceled?

It’s not every day our government, meaning head elf Fauci and president Poopy Pants, tells us we are doomed and will likely expire within a few months due to the Omicron BR549 Virus. The vile little bug, engineered to be quite intelligent and talkative, says it doesn’t matter if we are jabbed, the vax is a juvenile joke, and it farts in our general direction. Such a cheeky little bugger.

Our rotting, and recently retired carcasses will be found in our fancy new leather recliners, a melted cocktail still clutched in our skeletal fingers, and Netflix running on the television.

Come to think of it, I don’t believe any American president has given such a grim forewarning to our country. His wife ( not a doctor ), Jill Biden, is busy fielding angry emails on Hunter’s new laptop while making sure Ole’ Joe has plenty of diapers. Prince Charles’s wife ( never will be queen ) Camilla sent JoeBee a Costco UK membership and a coupon for a year’s worth of free Lavender scented adult diapers. For a commoner, she has such a royal sense of humor.

To save money and lessen the grief of our family and friends, when we do expire from the Omicron, after Christmas, we are holding a wake and celebration of life for ourselves. Of course, we won’t be dead quite yet, but this way we can hear the nice things folks say about us and be able to enjoy the excellent food, booze, and lovely gifts. We hope to see you at the gathering.

“What In The Hell Is Going On with The Salvation Army?”


Photo by Santa Claus

The Salvation Army, the one outfit I have relied on for the past 50 years to do the right thing, is now going full-blown BLM, Biden-loving butt-kissing wokie bullcrap. Those red kettle bell ringers outside of Walmart and Hobby Lobby can count on nothing from me and most likely a few hundred million other Americans. I regret that this Christmas season, I have already given around fifty dollars to these beggars, and there is no way to get it back. The holidays tend to bring the soured cream to the top of the milk fat. It’s a sad day.

The news is that the Salvation Army hates white people. Well, guess what Salvation Army, it’s the middle-class white folks that give to the organization that allows you to exist and to help others.

Have a Merry Christmas and kiss my non-donating rear.

Maybe Santa can fill your red kettle. Well, maybe the Dallas Cowboys can send a few wokie bucks your way. Morons.

Did I say too much?

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