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Options, Man! Options!

Remember how all the Citizen Jim stories used to be really short and snappy? Probably not.

After writing about a hundred or so of those stories, they started getting longer. This is because I pretty much stopped working on anything else, so by the time I got around to writing any Citizen Jim story, I had a lot of sludge to blow out my creative pipes.

Today I wrote a Citizen Jim story that ended up being 2,000 words long. I knew when I got to the end it was too long, but I wasn’t concerned.

Then I sent the story link to one of my Twitter friends, and she let me know in no uncertain terms (because those are the only terms she deals in, and that’s what I like so much about her) that “The Royal Immigrant Problem” was “too long. People don’t have the brain stamina to concentrate for that long so you have to edit. Make it punchy. Like your pancake story!”

So I cut nearly 600 words from it. But kept the original version, too. It’s nice to offer people options.

So if you want to read the original, uncut version of “The Royal Immigrant Problem,” click here.

If you want the somewhat “punchy,” ADD version, click here.

While I’m on the whole subject of Citizen Jim stories, I guess I’ll remind you that you can buy the most recent collection of Citizen Jim stories.

Buy Great Tales for These Dumb Times



Houses of the Holy: Breakfast Edition

Here’s something to file away for future use: even if requested by a diner, a cook at Waffle House can be fired for making pancakes. Fired!

Where did I ever hear something so stupid, you may be asking yourself (because you can’t ask me directly)?

I heard this directly from the lips of a Waffle House cook who had just ironed out a delicious blueberry waffle for me.

So don’t even ask, not even if you’re so drunk there’s a chance you will lose your way to the bathroom and accidentally urinate beside the jukebox as it plays “Loser” by Beck.

Happy Holidays!

While trying to recover from my first serious cold in three years, I started re-watching “The Prisoner” on YouTube. My take on this time of year was summed up not far into episode two.

Character on “The Prisoner”: The amnesia case, sir—Cobb. He’s jumped out of the window. He’s dead.

Me (aloud): Good for him!

Einstein’s 20/20

I used to know this woman I called Kimmy of Long Island. It was a long time ago, back when online dating was just becoming acceptable enough to show up in NY Times wedding announcements. That how I discovered Kimmy, through one of those sites. We never met. It’s a long story.

Anyway. Kim had a friend who was a font of spoonerisms and mixed metaphors. If I’d known I wouldn’t feel like getting back in touch with this woman 15 or 20 years later, I would’ve written all of them ones down that she told me about.

The few I can remember are:

“Einstein’s 20/20!”

“A watched clocked never boils.”

“You’re singin to the preacher!” (I guess instead of, “You’re preaching to the choir!” So maybe that one could work either way round to my mind.)

I’m not sure why I even wrote this post. I guess because 2019 is almost over, and we’ll be headed into 2020 within a couple of weeks.

Best Tweets of the Week




One Last Thing on This, Francis Bacon’s Birthday

Nothing about Francis Bacon. Sorry.

It’s about this headline in an Australian newspaper that I stumbled upon.

Angus man who tried to fly drone into Perth Prison claimed Romanian circus stole his chihuahua

How does one even begin to unpack all of that? I haven’t read the story. I don’t think I want to. I’m pretty sure I never will.

It reminds me of another headline I saw once that became a really hot meme on Facebook (see below). I will never ruin such a great headline by reading the story that goes with it!

The Pressure of Writing for an Audience…

I need to hurry up and write something and post it before I start to get my second wind and end up not going to bed until after 11:00 like last night.

Aging bodies need more sleep, I am discovering (and lamenting).

But hey! Exciting evening. Dragged empty garbage can from the curb and toted recycle bins out to curb to be picked up tomorrow morning at some ungodly hour.

Lost three games of computer solitaire in a row. Closed program. I don’t need that kind of defeat and humiliation on a Monday.

Checked the south side of the house for Foxy’s return: no signs of her. She’s gone forever, I guess. Vanished without a trace or warning, just like Diane.

Book idea: The Presto Manifesto by Optimisto, the Positivity Magician.

Remember when they discovered those bits and pieces of a Roman chariot in Wales? I wrote a story that mentions that, and totally forgot about writing the story. You can read it here: Chariots of Ire.

Waffles tomorrow night with Candaleeza Pryopalooza.

Time to make notes for the first book in the Inspector Greenbrick series. I might finally have a cash cow on my hands. But it’s probably just bullshit.

I know you saw what I just did there.


Safe Space

I’m doing some autumn-based spring cleaning on my computer–deleting files, saving some to thumb drives, uploading others to Google Drive.

I found one old image I created a long time ago as a logo for a blog I had called Pop Waste. I don’t want to keep it, and I don’t want to upload to Drive, but for whatever reason (a reason I can’t really put my finger on), I don’t want to throw it in the trash, either.

So I’m going to put it here on this page for safe keeping.

For the Record (Before Records Became Cool Again)

I just remembered that the first time I saw Marilyn (Brian Warner) Manson on MTV I had to turn the channel because the video playing (“Sweet Dreams [Are Made of This]”) made me physically ill.

And when I say it made me physically ill, I don’t mean that metaphorically. I really thought I was going to puke.

I never acquired the taste for Marilyn Manson, and when I found out he had somehow convinced Dita (Heather Sweet) Von Teese to marry him, I felt sick all over again.

Probably not the average person’s reaction to a couple named Brian and Heather. But. It didn’t last, anyway, and they got divorced after two years. Which is probably more in line with the fate of couples named Brian and Heather.

The world has been a weird place for a long time.

I’m no longer sure why I wrote this post.

Brian and Heather in happier days.

Hold Your Horses!

I originally wanted to call this post “Hold On to Your Hats!” because of the exciting news it contains. But you’ll see why I changed my mind in a minute.

My residents and I baked cookies today! It was our first time using the awesome over-sized toaster oven donated to us by one of the residents’ daughters!

But wait til I tell you something else: they were peanut butter cookies!

And one of the residents told us a story about the time her pony got spooked and took off running, throwing her into a patch of prickly pear–but in such a way that not one prickly pear stuck her on any part of her tiny body.

It was a miracle!

My God, no wonder I’m so tired every day when I get home from work.

Cancel Everything

Earbuds–regardless of their style or size–have always hurt my ears when I wear them. That’s why I bought a pair of over-the-ear noise-cancelling headphones to have with me on the plane when I was flying out to Denver back in May.

I love them so much.

But I’ve noticed lately that sometimes I put them on and then forget to use them with my iPod or computer. And so I then feel kind of feeble-minded when I realize half an hour or forty-five minutes later that I’ve been walking around with them still on my head, piping nothing into my auditory channels.

So what?

At Least Someone Gives a Hoot

One of my co-workers has been a pretty–and by “pretty” I mean very–loyal reader of the Citizen Jim Stories. When she discovered that were no new Citizen Jim stories to read and that she would have to wait for the first mega-collection to be available through iBooks, she said, “I guess I’ll have to start reading the blog.”

That’s when I warned her: “The blog is a little boring.”

And that’s when she warned me: “Don’t write boring things on the blog.”

So you can imagine what a quandary I now find myself in.

That’s why, instead of finding anything interesting to write about on this night, I will just post an 18-second loop of the owl who stays in a tree outside my kitchen window. He’s a real good hooter.