Right Said Fred

I don’t know if it’s the quarantine or what, but the above tweet had some resonance. (NB in the Walter Mitty sense; I have neither the interest nor, probably, disposition to be an assassin.) I’ve been working on a short story and remain displeased with the opening sentence. It’s fine and all, but it ain’t […]

Referral Madness

“There are other reasons why officials are quitting, but there’s one consistent theme: a total breakdown of respect.” – “There’s a Shortage of High School Game Officials in Massachusetts, and Abusive Fans Are at Fault,” Boston Globe, November 1, 2019   I have a colleague who refs, and I asked him if he’d read the […]

House Rules

  “Show me a man who’s good at pool,” my mother would say, “and I’ll show you a man who’s wasted his life.” In my youth I played a lot of pool, and got to be pretty good. Maybe not Minnesota Fats good, but there were games in which I sank two and even three […]

Over Here

In a few months, more than 53,000 men died on the front, more than in the Korean or Vietnam Wars… the months of September and October were the deadliest in American military history, including the Civil War and World War II.   I read the above in Le Monde and thought: That’s incorrect. A commenter […]

The Southern Affront

  A famous Australian children’s author was detained upon arrival at Los Angeles recently. She described the experience: I have never in my life been spoken to with such insolence, treated with such disdain, with so many insults and with so much gratuitous impoliteness. I haven’t read her books, but even if they’re that bad, […]

Man and Zimmerman

  Recent news – and that’s “recent” in both the hebdomadal and geological sense – recalls this exchange: Cliff: I’m ashamed God made me a man. Carla: I don’t think God’s doing a lot of bragging about it either.   I haven’t heard all men talk, but I’m inclined to take a Menckenist view: No […]