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Once upon a time there was a young man who landed an audition for a television game show called “The All-New Dating Game.”  The format of the show was simple: a beautiful young lady or attractive young man would sit on one side of a partition and lob questions dripping with sexual innuendo at three hot contestants of the opposite sex on the other side of the partition.  They, in turn, would ad-lib predictably risqué (but funny) answers.  The object was for Beauty to pick one contestant to take on an all-expense-paid super date funded by the show.   It was all good, clean-ish fun.

How the young man…let’s call him Rupert – Rube for short…ended up in Los Angeles where the audition was being held is irrelevant.  Suffice it to say that one fine day (most days were fine in L.A.) there he was, standing in line outside of a television studio with 100 other guys like him.  An hour later, he was still there, still with 100 guys, except most of them were behind him instead of in front of him.  Eventually he made it inside, where he waited another 30 minutes to be invited into the bowels of the building.  There he found a table with five or six people seated behind it, a chair in front of it, and a doctor’s privacy partition to the side of it.  A young lady behind the partition (she sounded young anyway, but in Hollywood you never know) asked five or six of the kind of questions Beauty was going to ask.  He responded as wittily as he could…and got the gig. Continue reading KOOL-AID

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Here we are. In the last four months we have lost our homes, our businesses, and our country and it’s January of a new year, a time to be hopeful. How do we do this exactly?

Well, an extended hiatus from the clueless, noisy gong/clanging cymbal, sound-and-fury-that-signifies-nothing, noise-machine political media and a little distance from the two tragedies of a devastating flood and devastating election have allowed a few thoughts to surface which may be useful. One of the main ways we deal with new challenges is through simile. Something new comes along, either good or bad, and we say, “Oh, this is like that other thing that happened to me or to my aunt, or to my brother ten years ago, or last month, or last week, therefore I kind of know how to respond.” Unfortunately, for most of us, there is no simile for a thousand-year flood and an American white supremacist child-dictator-president. There are no words in the lexicon of ordinary mortals to even describe that recent experience and this current situation. All you can do is shrug and try to deal with it. Continue reading HAPPY NEW YEAR?

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Before summer ends stroll out to the tip of the long pier that slides like a spear into the Gulf of Mexico from the Biloxi Lighthouse. Quiet your mind and open your senses. The sun embraces you, the water gently slaps the girders below and a steady breeze strokes your face and tosses your hair. Squadron after squadron of brown pelicans glide serenely by, sometimes as high as you can throw a rock, sometimes only inches above the water. If you sit there long enough, you begin to notice individuals surfing the currents mid-air, scanning the surface below for fish. All of a sudden one of them pulls in his wings and curves into a 60 foot high dive! He disappears with a small splash, immediately bobs back up, and floats like a cork for a few moments. You imagine that he is either knocking back the fish he’s caught or reviewing his flawed technique. While he is floating there a second one a little farther off dives, and a third. Then the first pelican pushes his wings back out, beats back gravity and climbs into the late afternoon sky. At intervals the other two leave the surface for the sky, and, in a kind of ballet, the three birds repeat the sequence over and over and over. Continue reading PELICANS AND REALITY