The Written Word, Short Stories

America At It’s Best

Comments Off on America At It’s Best 08 April 2016

I left a meeting, got in my car and tried to start the bastard. Lo & behold the goddam thing wouldn’t turn over. At first the radio worked, which was perplexing. What could it be? The first thought – the battery; but why would the radio work? It couldn’t be the starter because it wanted to turn over.

Luckily (I guess) upon further tries the radio stopped working so I knew I needed a jump. I panicked and called a lifeline asking for a hand-out. She had better things to do but, most importantly, I could figure this shit out on my own.

I thought – ‘Why not walk down to the gas station?’. They probably have a garage. Get a mechanic, offer some $ and he’ll drive down and jump your car. On the walk to the corner I called Cornish to see if I could catch him on his ride home.

Cornish was still at work and the gas station proved to be pretty limp. Luckily I saw a cab at the gas station. I walked up to the window and offered $10 if he came down the street and gave me a jump.

He hesitated at first then, ultimately, agreed. Would an uber driver? I jogged back down the street, he followed, and he graciously helped jump my car. Almost pleading with me after ignition:  “Don’t turn it off. Whatever you do, don’t turn it off.”

I was happy to give him $20 for his time. To his credit, when I handed him the $20 he started looking for change. No need. In a forward thinking world caught up in being in the future this was a throw-back experience. He took 10 minutes to do me a solid and, some would say, I overpaid. The favor really helped me out and I’m sure he was satisfied with the compensation.

There’s a simplicity about this situation that often goes lacking. America at it’s best.


Sexy Memoirs, Top Ten

Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up

Comments Off on Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up 11 February 2016

February stinks. Football is over, Valentine’s day is depressing and/or expensive plus it’s got a smug, silent letter. It’s the only month where the number of days are mucked around with on a seemingly random basis. Speaking of – no leap year has been skipped since 1900 and no others will be skipped until 2100. Spooky.

What gives with this goddam month?

We don’t know either, but we’re 100% with you on having a case of the frumps. Staffers have been moping around the HQ doing the sad dad dance now for going on 2 weeks. SO, we called a staff meeting and put our heads together to come up with the Top 10 Things To Do In February to Buck Up:

10. Learn some swear words in Esperanto

9. Watch the Coldplay halftime show for like the thousandth time

8. Do Djokovic-approved squat thrusts

7. Use your finger in a way that maybe you haven’t

6. Try a new Salad dressing (salad dressing Raphael perhaps?)

5. Read Sexy Memoirs Chapter 5: Brown House with Pink Shutters 

4. Work on new candle scents like “post nasal drip” and “moldy box of playboys”

3. Start research for your cell phone upgrade

2. Celebrate a holiday you have never celebrated before and go big.  Maybe host a party?

1. Intertwine things you want with things you need

Sexy Memoirs

Chapter 7: Case of the Withering Azaleas

No Comments 14 February 2015

Roses and Valentine’s day are like fried chicken and MLK day.  You need them to make the holiday complete and because of that your gonna pay a premium.

But this year I was not giving into the over priced clique just to get my valentine to ride my baloney pony. To avoid the crowds at the flower stores and needing to rack up my gas rewards I went to the local Stop & Shop to see what alternatives were available.

Even there the shelves had been scavenged like the 4th season of The Walking Dead, but in the back of the case was a lowly pot of azaleas.  The price was right, the color combinations were dynamite and as long as I gave it enough water, these things would be withering no more. So I make the purchase and continue onto the most essential need of V day, alcohol.

Dinner cooked, all 4 ice trays filled, and Pandora set to the Keith Sweat station nothing left to do but pop my horny goat weed pill to offset that bottle of Macallan I drank in anticipation of tonight’s events.  I walk over to the medicine cabinet and grab the bottle – it’s light and as I take the cap off I realize it’s empty and as I sulk in the magnitude of my mistake she walks through the front door pronouncing…”Happy Valentine’s day!  Oh are these flowers for me?”

The Written Word, reins, Short Stories

A Haitus – Skipjacks Return…and Immediate Exit

No Comments 08 July 2014

Some of you may remember our beloved music columnist Skipjack Mackilwanny. He has been on long term leave of absence for almost 3 years now after being diagnosed with stage 4 Homo Sapian Irritability. Occasionally current members of The Shade are able to pull him from the depths of despair and bring him to a concert of his choosing in hopes of bringing him back to the staff full time. Galactic opening for Widespread Panic might do it and the Facebook invite was sent and accepted.

It was a relatively cool night as it had just rained and there was a slight breeze blowing off the water but Skipper couldn’t quell the perspiration. Galactic performed a strong set although the both of us prefer them in a smaller room where there sound can resonate. During the break we waited in a beer line and we didn’t realize it at the time but that’s where our troubles would begin.

We nonchalantly talked of upcoming endeavors, both already planned and hopeful, that would round out the summer and even encompass much of the fall. When the lights dimmed we headed back to our seats and Panic took the stage.

As we moved about letting the crunchy grooves take us over I suddenly noticed Skipper in conversation with someone entering our row. A gentleman was gesturing for Skipper to leave the row and told him to find his own seat. He then pulled out his ticket, pointed at the seat behind him and said, “By order of the fine folks of Blue Hills Pavilion I have been issued this seat right here. What I did was match up the numbers and letters on this paper thingy that I was given in exchange for money. You should try it, it’s really great.”

As it turns out they had the seats next to us and his girlfriend looked mortified that this was the way that her man chose to introduce them to us (Us!). A little more than halfway through Panic’s terrific 3 hour set our intermission conversation came back to bite us. The young lady who seemed embarrassed as could be with her boyfriends antics earlier leans over our dancing and comes out with, “I overheard you talking earlier about Phish in Vegas. These guys are better and plus JB (a founding member of WSP and guitarist not the left footed soccer player out of RI that specializes in toe bombs) is a way better guitarist than Trey. He has talent and is a nice guy. Trey has talent but is an asshole.”

Skipper’s eye twitched a little and the metamorphic conversationalist in him asked, So you know them both personally?

Chick-Well, no.

Skipper- So your reality is perception based or fact based?

Chick- Well someone told me that Trey was an asshole.

Skipper- Do you think someone told that person based on something that someone else said or was it a personal experience?

Chick- I don’t know.

Skipper- Yeah that seems pretty concrete. Can you acknowledge the fact that there are 6 very talented musicians playing a venue that Phish could never play because it’s too small and if you look around there are still plenty of good seats available? After you do that, let’s both acknowledge that everyone is here for this show that has nothing to do with Trey or Phish. I’m not shocked that something you like is better than something someone else likes but for the sake of every fuck in existence can you pay attention to the thing you came here for (the music)? Or did you come here hoping to overhear 2 people talking about a possible future endeavor and shit on it. If you came for the latter…well then. I’m sorry for jumping to conclusions and I hate your shoes just as much as your haircut.”

She turns back to boyfriend, ignores eye contact remainder of night. Panic ended with Zevon’s Lawyers, Guns and Money- fucking awesome. Thanks for coming Skipper, hopefully you get better and we see you soon.


Sexy Memoirs, Short Stories

Sexy Memoirs Chapter 6: Buy 1 get 2 free…the ultimate coupon

No Comments 28 May 2014

With summer quickly approaching, the pressures of landscaping, manscaping and getting those lungs in shape for the Gaspee day 5k are bearing down hard on this finely tuned body I’ve worked so hard on for the past 10 business days. Be that as it may nothing gives more joy during the longer daylight hours then a trip to the local fireworks store 92 miles away. This one was gonna be a real treat, for I received a coupon for their buy 1 get 2 free event and like every other situation I prepare myself for, I was going to take advantage of it to my fullest.

It started off like previous trips – 6 pack of natty ice, vaporizer full of hash and plenty of duvets to cover the contraband. I stop at Master McGrath’s for the celebratory 3 shots of whiskey, nothing beats purchasing firepower on a whiskey buzz, then head over to the destination. With my cart of assorted gunpowder and a smile from ear to ear, I come across a familiar face. It was Greta the college hussie that everyone had a turn at.

Her cart was busting at the seams along with her white tank top and as we struck up a conversation we quickly realized that our love for pyrotechnics had the same flushing affect on both of us. We agreed it would probably be best to check out here and check in to the Seabrook Inn on the beach and fire off on each other’s merchandise.

Our clerk completing the transaction is the owner, Beatrice. She recognizes me from many trips over the years and shows interest in joining us for our adventure. At the beach we fill the sky with more then silver peonies, red dahlias and blue chrysanthemums. And like any great firework show I was left yearning for another wick to light.

Rayburn Schlitz

The Written Word, Music, Short Stories

Live Music Review – PUSA

No Comments 15 April 2013

I went to see The Presidents; not the leaders of various countries but the band.  As I sidled up to the bar not only was I greeted by a very attractive barmaid with blond hair, green eyes, and a short dress that hugged all the right places (the kind of woman that looked like she could really throw down a solid “warrior 1”) but also, quite possibly, the drunkest guy in the place.

She asked the typical question, “What can I get for you?”  So boring, I was hoping for something more.  Just then Leonard, the inebriated, looked over and asked a much more illuminating question, “Do you like The Presidents?”  I promptly ignored the beauty and turned my full attention to Leonard.

“Yes, I do like them.  How about you?”

Leonard nodded yes and proceeded to give me a fist bump.  After a few seconds he turned to me and asked, Do you like The Presidents?

To which I said, “I’m familiar with their catalog but I’d have to see them live before I make my final decision.”

“Yo, they are playing here tonight.  They’ll be going on in a few minutes,” Leonard informed me.

“Wait, they’re playing here tonight?”  I questioned.  “Shit bro, must be karma.  I’ll finally get to see them to make the ultimate decision.”

Leonard turned toward the stage and then back to me.  He then came out with something I thought we had covered but perhaps not in the detail he had hoped for, “Do you like these guys?”

This prodding made me profess my true intentions.  “I don’t like them.  I’m not fan.  I enjoy paying money to attend live concerts to boo and heckle the entire show.  You know, to make everyone else have a bad time.”

He shook his head repeatedly and now wanted some answers to “real” questions like; “why would you do that,” “but seriously do you like them,” and “why would you do that?”

The only logical answer was, “I enjoy other people’s misery, don’t you?”

Leonard then ended out interaction with another fist bump and said, “I’m gonna go work my magic.”

He wandered off into the crowd never to be seen again.  The band came on and played a solid set.  I’ll go see them again.


The Written Word, Sexy Memoirs

Chapter 5: Brown house with pink shutters

No Comments 27 February 2013

As I set out on the last Tuesday of black history month I wanted to represent my hatred for white supremacy in the utmost way…seducing a female negro.  The task would be harder than it seems for my wardrobe was full of hoodies and my profile hindered my online confidence but, like MLK I had a dream to pursue. ..and as determined as he was I would fulfill that dream twenty fold.  The staff at the anonymous skin bar was darker than my suppressed childhood memories but thanks to the advancement in non-prescription drugs I was able to segregate the difference between wrong and what I can probably get away with.  I may have been the first choice for her, but she was definitely my last.  Defying the odds she seduced me to her underground railroad and laid into me as if I was going to ejaculate reparations.  But in a surprise simple twist of faith nothing but my good olde fashion white man jerk showed its true colors and had her screaming and running back to the cotton fields. Fortunately for me she left her dashiki behind for cleanup and the search for the next Lincoln apprentice became an underrated task of passive public opinion which is what any historian thrives on. And just like useless common law, gay rights, and gun laws the month ends with plenty to reflect on and dance to…Shamon!

Short Stories

Speaking of Apples

No Comments 15 February 2013


I don’t really know if he was french or not but but the kids in the neighborhood pronounced his last name ‘Sool-yay’ because thats what their parents did. He was a nice man, an old farmer. He’d always let us cut through his orchard on our way to McKinley’s ball field. He wasn’t like those goddam migrant workers that would shoot salt rock pellets at anyone they caught cutting through their field.

When Mr. ‘Sool-yay’ would drive his weekly bushel to town we kids would ride up along side his truck and ask for apples. He would always accommodate. He’d say ‘sure kids, sure. I’ve got some nice seasoned ones for ye’. Then he’d reach in the back and toss out a bag full.

I hated the ‘seasoned’ ones because they were always so soft and mushy. When it was just me I’d always get the crisp red delicious kinds. The ones you could hear someone bit into a mile away. But when it was the group we got the ‘seasoned’ ones.


I musn’t have been more than ten when it happened.

I always hated quince because they were so goddam hard and the most sour things you’d ever put in your mouth. But my mother loved the flowers that bloomed in the spring. So we kept the big bush at the end of the driveway.

I was held late at school that day so when I got home I threw my bag on the porch, grabbed my bike and headed to Mohawk lake as fast as my legs could peddle.

My driveway was long and straight as an arrow. I could usually pick up a good head of steam by the time I got to the end. As I reached the end I had to take a wide turn around the quince bush to head down the hill. The last thing I saw was the truck’s grill coming right at me. Of course I didn’t remember that then.


They tell me I was out for about 10 days. I remember sitting in my hospital bed reading over all the cards my classmates sent me. Looking at them now the stick figure renditions of me getting hit by the trucks are a sight. But I’ll never forget the one from Todd Burningham. I should’ve seen it coming but I didn’t know then that he’d become my nemesis for the next 5 years. His card read “Bill, you must be pretty stupid for getting hit but a truck – Todd”.

I guess he was right. But at the time it didn’t make me feel too good.

When I woke up the doctors wanted to know the last thing I remembered. It was hard to remember because my head hurt so bad. But as hard as I tried all I could remember was me riding my bike behind Mr. ‘Sool-yay’s’ truck asking if I could have an apple. I remember seeing his face in those long rearview mirrors those old Ford’s used to have on the side of the door back then.

“Watch out boy, I’m backing up and if you don’t move I’ll hit ye”

Thats all I remember, and thats what I told them


I didn’t find out for many years later that the man who did hit me had stopped, gone into the house to get my parents, and waited at the hospital day after day until he know I’d be alright.

I just knew that Mr. ‘Sool-yay’ stopped riding around the neighborhood as much as he had. In fact I almost never saw him again except for a few Sunday’s in Fall at the market.

Sexy Memoirs

Sexy Memoirs Chapter 4: The Night Tony Petrarca Couldn’t Predict

No Comments 14 February 2013

With days notice. and little on hand, society flocked to the shelves of our life like desperate bridesmaids to a future divorcee’s bouquet(statistically speaking). But we had all we needed.  Readily stocked on booze, lube and thigh quivering literature is a priority of mine throughout the winter months.  It started like any other Friday night – tuning in to the local news to get the low down on the cretins, declining economy and general whereabouts of the senior citizens. But it was all done in anticipation of the main event…senior weatherman Tony Petrarca, with an aggressively subtle use of the mock turtle neck and Doppler radar, confirms the storm of the century. His educated guess on the effects of our high & low pressure colliding was vastly underrated.  After a timely shower and a casual but easy going dozen drinks the power left us in the dark. Prompting us to do what we do best.  We gather all the blankets and duvets we can muster and take solace in the fact that although the snow is falling outside it’s hotter than a jar of jalapenos in the bedroom.

Sexy Memoirs

Sexy Memoirs Chapter 3: If You Want to Fuck a Peach, Ask for an Apple

No Comments 07 February 2013

While entering my local market I grabbed my hand basket and started walking up & down the aisles of life. As I came across the produce section she catches my eye, the woman stacking the peaches.  She must have been new. I hadn’t seen her before and she was doing it all wrong. But her form was great.  I approach her with a simple question – “Can u show me where you keep the apples?”. Rescuing her from that mundane task and allowing me to strike up a conversation on the walk – and that is all we would need. I had her flushing as much as she had me lusting.
I place my overflowing basket where we stand and follow her outside.  I ripped off her smock and ravished her in the cool summer night as if she was being punished for her peach pyramid building skills.  As quickly as it began, it ended.  Nothing left to do but check out here.

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