Friday, September 25, 2009



A reader with whom I correspond regularly has started sending me getting-to-know-you questions; I’m not sure whether to be flattered or put a restraining order on hold for future use. Is this just an average Joe/Joanne who merely enjoys my writing and wonders what makes such a twisted mind tick? Or will I wake up one morning shackled to my bed by a sledgehammer-wielding stranger who claims to be my biggest fan?

I jest. This reader has confessed to being a fan, but not in a kidnapped-and-hobbled, Kathy Bates kinda way. Her questions range from whimsical – “Would you rather fly every time you pass gas or wet your pants every time you laugh?” – to sensible – “If you went back to school, what would you study?” The beautiful thing is that I can respond however I choose – poem form or pig-Latin or straightforwardly; there are no wrong answers.

I answered her latest query, “Why did you become a writer?” with this laundry list of coulda-been professions:

* I considered becoming a ballet dancer, but I couldn't pass the barre exam.

* I tried pro golf, but my performance was below par.

* So I switched to bowling. It wasn’t up my alley.

* I worked as a dolphin trainer, but there was something fishy about my boss (an ex-Marine), so I got fired on porpoise.

* I tried being a wedding photographer, but I got tired of waiting for my prints to come.

* I studied dentistry, but I couldn't sink my teeth into it.

* I worked as a bank teller, but I didn’t have much interest.

* I went into archaeology, but I didn't dig it.

* I went into carpentry, but it board me to tears because I wasn’t in the right frame of mind.

* My tenure as a janitor wasn't a sweeping success, either.

* I wanted to join NASA's astronaut program, but the requirements were out of this world.

* I applied to be a nanny, but the job came with too many little problems.

* I tried my hand as a Las Vegas dealer, but it just wasn't in the cards.

* I got hired at a brewery and had high hops that this was my true calling, but I could barley stand it.

* I was a clerk in a cheese shop, but I was no Gouda at it, so I Bleu it off.

* I thought about applying to beauty school, but I couldn't makeup my mind and missed the deadline.

* I was a mail carrier, but thankfully, I was delivered from that post.

* I joined the police force, but I copped an attitude with the chief and he refused to give me another shot.

* I took a job as an elevator operator. It had its ups and downs.

* I toyed with the idea of being an Egyptologist, but that's ancient history.

So, with all other options exhausted, I went into journalism, where I’ve been told I have the write stuff. It hasn’t brought me fame and fortune, but it’s kept me in the headlines.

Friday, September 11, 2009



Normally, I try to steer clear of the hot topics du jour and decomposing horses still being flogged, post-mortem. But my silence about the Jon and Kate debacle has gone on long enough. I think my sentiments would be expressed best when sung (in abbreviated form) to the tune of “American Pie,” with deepest apologies to Don McLean.

'Twas not so long ago
I can still remember
How the Gosselins used to make me smile
Residing in a modest house
Homemaker Kate and Jon, her spouse
And babies that went on for miles and miles

But as she toiled to raise her litter
Kate appeared to grow embittered
Jon seemed more aloof, yes
(Turns out he's just a doofus)

I can't recall the moment quite
When I knew divorce would be their plight
But I knew that I'd called it right
The day the marriage died

So bye-bye, to the Gosselin tribe
'Cos this season isn't pleasin'
No more can I abide
I can't watch your show or read the constant headlines
Sayin' Jon claims Kate does nothin' but whine
And Kate says Jon is out of his mind

While Kate's fans wave books to sign
And as Jon works on his clothing line
Does a nanny watch their eight?
The cash they rake in from their show
I hope they're saving up that dough
'Cos therapy's no doubt their children's fate!

Well, it's true that Kate's a control freak
And a germophobe who tends to shriek
If Jon were more laid-back
He would be comatose, in fact

Now he's a playboy bach’lor, he likes to flirt
Rides a bitchin’ bike and wears Ed Hardy shirts
But deep down, I'm sure it hurt
The day the marriage died

So now I'm sayin'
Bye-bye to the Gosselin tribe
Once your ratings were inflating
Now I'm watching them slide
Them good ol' fans are fallin' by the wayside
And waiting for your 15 minutes to die
For your 15 minutes to die

Wed for 10 years, two spent on this show
With perks that most people never know
'Cos stardom has its luxuries
First, a tummy tuck for post-natal Kate
Then some plugs for Jon-boy's balding pate
And a big Hawaii trip for free

Oh, and between hulas and luaus
The Gosselins renewed their vows
All at the network's cost
(Jon had his fingers crossed!)
So it seems this show has jumped the shark
Turn it off and put the gear in park
It's time this program fades to dark
And let the madness die

So I'm singin'
Bye-bye to the Gosselin tribe:
Mady, Cara, Hannah, Collin
Alexis, Leah, Aaden and Joel
I pray someday a normal life you will know
Once they pack up all the cameras and go
Pack up all the cameras and go!