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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

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Sue. I once had a girlfriend named Sue. She treated me pretty badly. But not nearly as badly as the Sue who was about to come into my life. My life and that of my twelve-year-old son, Ben. This new Sue was running late for her first day on the job as a waitress at McCarthy’s Restaurant, and, consequently, was driving a bit too fast for the prevailing road conditions.

We had had a big snowfall in the night, and Vermont Route 100 between Stowe and Morrisville was a mess. But Vermonters don’t miss youth hockey games because of a little snow; so here we were, picking our way carefully... Read More

He’s pretty dead now. I thought he was dead already. But he wasn’t. He is now. So I started reading The Catcher in the Rye today.

There is a reason I'm doing this, and it's not just because he's some famous author who died. That's not my style. Actually, it's quite a story. You see old JD’s death reminded me of sixth grade. I had this friend, well not really. His name was Clark Shangle. My understanding is that he is dead too. Alcohol. I never saw that coming back in sixth grade. I figured if anything he’d live to annoy people at least two hundred years if not a day.

By the way,... Read More

Hank Paulson is now ready to enlighten us all about the near-collapse of the financial system, with his new book On The Brink. I kind of wish somebody had pushed him OFF that brink, preferably with cement blocks on his feet. But no, here he is, with a book explaining how difficult those times were for poor Hank.It was stressful. He suffered bouts of exhaustion and nausea. He read Bible verses and prayed for divine assistance. Barf.Here is one of my favorite passages, describing a conversation with Sarah Palin:"Right away she started calling me Hank... But for some reason, the way she said it... Read More

I am in a mixed marriage. I'm a Democrat, my wife is a Republican. This used to work okay as long as we recognized that partisan politics had nothing to do with building a life, raising kids and running a household, and indeed should seldom be discussed by people who have work to do. But all that has changed.

We've fallen on hard times. We both used to work for General Motors, and invested our money with Bernie Madoff. We refinanced our home 37 times and now owe approximately eight times its worth. This has not only strained our marriage, but has subjected it to partisan politics.

... Read More

I was sitting at the bar of an upscale new seafood restaurant, feeling kind of poor relative to the menu prices, when who should come along but Bob and Karen Weiss, looking brown as two berries. I got up to greet them. “Hey, you two. What’s doin’?”

“Hey, Alan,” Bob answered, giving me a hug. “Not much. Heading down to Aruba in the morning for a little R and R.”

“Heading down?” I said. “Looks like you just got back.”

“This?” said Karen, running a hand down her beautifully tanned arm. “Tanning booth. We don’t like to get off the plane looking like a couple of ghosts.”

... Read More

The week that we moved to Stowe, Vermont, the featured crime in the “Police Blotter” of the Stowe Reporter had read: “Woman reports that someone entered her pasture and braided the manes and tails of all of her horses.” Ever since that first week, so very many years ago, it has been my dream to headline in the “Blotter”.

It is not difficult to find one’s way into the police blotter. In a town with two roads, fifteen policemen and over thirty bars, a significant percentage of the local population has appeared as recipients of DUIs. But it was not as a drunk that I hoped one day to... Read More

Moving is a traumatic experience for most of us. It's the same routine every time, the packing, the unpacking, the trying to figure out where you got everything from and why in the hell you still have it. Moving is traumatic and if you have a pet it's even harder.

Imagine my surprise, when I and my cat Fred moved into a house with three other cats and everyone got along instantly. A couple of sniffs, a high five and Fred was eating from the same bowl with the other cats. The only thing left was to teach Fred to be an indoor/outdoor cat and to use the cat door. He was now an indoor cat... Read More

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