Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Write Stuff...Wrong Time

I received a very nice email via one of our sites. It’s a helpful directive/critique of my writing.

I’ve highlighted a few key points:

To: Jim
From: Concerned Citizen

You really think you are going to be a big time Author? A little peice of advice.….you right too much and NEVER get to the point. People hate reading on and on and on. You might make it...but you really aren't that great

To: Concerned Citizen
From: Jim

Excellent points indeed. Words cannot fully convey how thankful I am for readers such as yourself.

Since you are apparently forced to read my website against your will as some sort of torture program, I’m really glad that you made the best of a painful situation and forged extra time to offer assistance.

As you indicated, I’m really not that great indeed…except when it comes to making chili. Would you like to cook together sometime? 

Your e-mail reminds me what I've always feared...that I would, one day, “write” too much. My plan is to immediately abandon that silly pipe dream and take YOUR suggestion. From this point forward, I’m embarking on a new and exciting career in “righting.”  

Righting vs. writing sounds most fulfilling if you ask me.  I'll be like a one man A-Team,, I mean, righting injustices within the confines of a stale plot line designed for prime time television...minus the big, angry black guy.

I'm also quite embarrassed that I never knew “author” was a proper name until receiving your missive. Perhaps I could change my name and call myself arthur, the Author.  I‘ll buck the system and refuse to recognize Arthur as a proper name. 

We’ll start our own little 1960’s protest and not bathe.  We'll also burn our bras, smoke a bunch of weed and listen to Stones cd's.  By the way, I don't wear a bra...not anymore.  Oh, while I'm thinking about it, do you own any bellbottoms?

I’ll also take positive steps, as per your direction, in adding more periods to the ellipses.

By the way again, in “righting”……using an ellipsis often indicates the omission of a word, words or thoughts.........Are you keeping something from me??? (Sorry for my overuse of the question mark.)

As you indicated, I’ve been told before that I stray from the point sometimes in my “righting” but I just don’t see it. I’ll pay attention and try to be more cognizant.

Speaking of Australia…………………….I absolutely love the wallaby, don’t you? Of course I love all macropods. Would you like to visit Australia with me to go on a wallaby safari after I finish my next book of “righting??” I also absolutely LOVE Outback Steakhouse. Since we’re bucking the system, let’s just call them Outback STAKEhouse.

Thank you for your peice of advice. I found peace in your piece and wish for an abundance of peeece on earth…….oops, I meant, Peice.

I always felt that the I before E rules were designed by the “man” as a clever way of keeping me down and, thanks to you, I’m breaking free from those shackles. My former teachers can eat it!

Wishing love and a blessed day………………………………..................................Jim

P.S. I love you......and if loving you is rong, I don't want to be write!
copywrite...uh, copyrite, crap! uh....                        
copyright Pontchartrain Press 2010. All Rights Reserved

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Leftovers Anyone???

Thanksgiving means different things to many people…myself included.

Thanksgiving was originally steeped in deep religious conviction-- a time to give thanks to God for a bountiful harvest and for safety in a strange, new land.

While the precise historical origin of the holiday is often disputed, most commonly, Americans believe that the first Thanksgiving happened in 1621 at Plymouth Plantation in Massachusetts.

After Section 8 housing was approved, English neighborhoods became over-run with bad apples and an inordinate amount of rent to own stores and payday loan clerks. 

Upon belief that the west side was safer, the Pilgrims packed up their belongings and, after shopping around for the best deal, they hired a Mayflower truck rental and told the King of England to eat it. 

Since U.S. border control policy has been ineffective since 1621, the Pilgrims were able to slip past the giant fence. 

The Indians** witnessed the landing of these strange new immigrants and immediately called to complain on several Fox News programs.  As an historical anecdote, this event immediately prompted the opening of the very first U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service office...where some of the original Pilgrims are STILL waiting in line for their citizenship papers.

** Indian Clarification Note: The Indians who later had their land stolen…Not the Indians who are abundantly proficient in advanced mathematics and refuse to eat hamburgers. 

After taking an ESL and citizenship exam, the Pilgrims unloaded every species of animal, two by two, and burned their Mayflower rental...figuring that they would NEVER get the deposit back due to the unbearable stench from a metric ton of feces. 

They then decided to throw a gigantic party…right after burning a couple dozen witches at the stake and constructing the Liberty Bell.

The celebration between the Indians and the Pilgrims is well known. The two groups gathered together to make funny hats and outfits, they traced their hands with art pencils, fashioning cute little turkeys on a piece of construction paper to be affixed to the refrigerator and then, after an apple juice and playtime, it was nap time.

When they woke from their nap, the Pilgrims and Indians joined hands and partook in a cornucopia** followed by a level of discomfort and awkwardness as the last set of tacky in-laws lingered at the end of the party.  No one knew of a polite method which would encourage Fred and Stella to go home.

** Historical Note: Contrary to popular belief, there was NO cranberry sauce at the first Thanksgiving, as no one on the Mayflower thought to bring a can opener.  Fred DID, however, get real drunk and stumbled into a Teepee and knocked it over.

Pilgrims came to America during the seventeenth century for the same reasons immigrants come to America today - to do odd jobs, harvest fruits and vegetables for $1.80 per hour, to hang drywall, drive taxi cabs, operate convenience stores and to open mobile taquito stands.

I would love to have attended the first Thanksgiving. Primarily because I have a slight fetish for women in a black and white two piece skirt/ bodice and a bonnet. This speaks largely as to why I don‘t get many dates. **

** My friend Ed suggests that I might consider moving to the Amish country

Thanksgiving is a time for giving thanks, a time for reflection and a celebration of life, family and friends.  It's also a time when it's perfectly okay for a man to watch a parade without bringing speculation as to his sexuality. 

I use it as a period to organize my computer and desk file folders.

So that I might effect order and tidiness to my cluttered life for the coming year, I spend Thanksgiving week discarding topic ideas and suggestions, random thoughts (scribbled on bar napkins) and various lines or paragraphs which didn’t quite make the publishing cut over the previous 11 months.

Believe it or not, unlike many people who post things to their social network page, I DO have a filter as to what I will post to the Internet and in my books.  (Unless I'm drunk)  This is largely due to the fact that my editor is a gigantic buzz-kill and is sexually repressed.

Facebook Example: OMG!!!  I'm having the BEST bananas foster cheesecake right now!!!  Yummm!

I feel strongly that I speak for the silent majority when I say...Uh, who cares?? 

One will gain larger, wide audience interest if he or she posts a picture eating bananas foster cheesecake...naked.

To the untrained eye, my writing notes are completely random and, perhaps, sometimes bizarre.  I know what they mean but someone else, say an FBI agent, might take them as a warning sign from a person who, somewhere down the line at a crime scene, might be described by neighbors as "A nice and quiet guy who always stayed to himself." 

Here are a few examples from the “Working Story Idea” folders that shall now become trash.  I like to call them leftovers:

“Suckle her teats”

I found this lovely little gem scribbled on a post-it note and vaguely recall that it was a line which was suggested by a writer friend.  I was to somehow supposed to work it into a story.

I’m not sure what we could have  remotelybeen talking about that evening but I suspect alcohol was involved.

I'm fairly disturbed that I even saved that little note, but I DID manage to work it into a story just now so I shall chalk it up to a challenge accepted and accomplished!

In looking at some story lines and suggestions submitted by friends, I have asked Santa to bring me some restraining orders and a new set of friends for Christmas this year.

Speaking of Christmas, here’s a nice little idea that I somehow thought to be appropriate:

Design a Christmas Card with a photo of my bare bottom with a caption which reads…

                                 “Merry ChristmAss”

I’m pretty sure that If my mother and father were alive they would attest to the fact that I usually ended up on Santa’s “Naughty” list.

Earlier this year, I was asked to write a stage skit for a Christmas production. The producer had been reading some of my work and somehow still thought it to be wise for me to be involved in the project. I stumbled across a file in my computer titled ‘Twas the Night Before XXX-Mas.

In it, I wrote a beautiful nativity scene, complete with the baby Jesus. It was a placid scene from a silent, magical Christmas eve of centuries…punctuated by three Wise Men who constantly farted.

My contribution will not be making it to the final stage version and I was unceremoniously dismissed from the production. (insert flatulence here)

After going through a tough breakup, several friends encouraged me to write a serious piece.  A piece which might help to clear my mind and lay some poignant feelings on display (in the Manger) for all to read. Perhaps something loving, encouraging and deep?  That's for the reader to decide. 

I began writing the story but I suppose I became distracted and never made it past writing the title:

I Hate You And Hope You Are Ravaged By A Pack Of Mountain Lions 
              (A helpful guide for dating women named Lisa)

This is one of several fine examples as to why a children’s book publisher from New York will never entertain the idea of accepting drafts from my children’s short story series.  I suppose I'm gonna have to develop a "pen name" for those stories.   

I finished writing a novel early this year. It’s a touching story of love, self-destruction and inner strength as our lead character sinks to the lowest possible point in life and courageously climbs from the depths of pain and strife.

In short, it’s a redemption story about a character (Chris) who, after long mistreating himself and neglecting loved ones, family and friends, finally finds his place in a difficult world.

It’s common to submit a “working” title to a publisher, which leads me to the next note that I found as I was cleaning out the folders:

“Chris Is A Big Fat D**k Head”
            (a love story by Jim Patrick)

My editor (Mike) never allows me to communicate with publishers anymore.

I keep a notepad by my bed, right next to the Shake WeightÒ  and the video camera, in case I wake up with a writing "prompt."  Sometimes I may scribble down a dream to include in upcoming stories.  Such as the following:

I had a dream that I was hanging out with the big E (Elvis) last night.  The King and I made a peanut butter & banana, bacon, Lortab, salami, fried egg, Oxycontin, prime rib, BBQ, vodka sandwich. And then he sang one of his beautiful renditions of a southern gospel standard while he brushed my hair and constantly referred to me as pretty Lisa Marie. 

I probably ate some spicy food that night.  Spicy food usually gives me weird dreams...especially when I wash it down with four shots of tequila.

Which reminds me, as I was filing this story online, a friend of mine snared me into the following instant message conversation:

You're welcome to come over for Thanksgiving dinner if ya want

Will you be serving Anjara and Sambusas?

huh???  What's that??

They're traditional dishes of Somalia.  Sambusas is my's deep-fried triangular-shaped dumplings usually filled with meat or vegetables.

What do those things have to do with Thanksgiving dinner???

Somalia has been steeped in a vicious civil war between clans since 1991 and has no central government.  President Regan initiated methods to stabilize the nation in the 1980's, followed by his successors, to no avail.  It is a strict, nomadic, vigilante environment which flatly prohibits the consumption of alcohol.  Haven't you ever seen Blackhawk Down??  Jeez.

Again, WHY would that be on a Thanksgiving dinner menu?

Because I'm thankful I don't live there.  But, I love deep-fried triangular meat and veggie filled thingies.  Minus the murderous war-lords of course.

You are NOT normal.  We're doing turkey breasts...if that's OK with you.

I LOVE it!  I'll be there.  I love succulent, plump, melt in your mouth breasts. 

We're still talking about turkey, right?


As I sift through countless folders of "not ready for public consumption" over the coming week, I shall take time here and there to be thankful for many things.  Some of which include:

I don't have separation anxiety where pumpkins are concerned.  Seriously, it's time to remove the pumpkins from your office lobby or front porch and say goodbye to your sagging little orange friends.

I'm thankful that I'm not married to my friend Todd's wife, Melissa.  I'm also thankful that Todd hasn't killed himself yet.

I'm thankful for Irish Whiskey (a contributing factor as to why Todd hasn't killed himself yet)

I'm also thankful for the people who take time from their busy schedules to read this stuff.  I'm equally thankful for an abundance of genuinely wonderful friends in my life.  They are people of impeccable character who never miss an opportunity to push and encourage me in all that I do while holding me to a higher standard.

I'm thankful for the men and women who serve a higher cause, at home and abroad, to protect  and uphold ideals upon which our country was built. 

Even though the Pilgrims were sexually repressed we were somehow able to move past those dark times and build a country where we celebrate independence with a GIANT mattress sale and zero down automotive deals. 

While my immediate family is long gone, I'm thankful that they were a part of my life.  (With the exception of Uncle Leonard.)

Finally, I'm thankful that a compromise has been reached between me and my friend Carrie...she's going to make the deep-fried Sambusas, stuffed with turkey!!  Yummmm!!

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2010

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Out Of Con"text"

On a recent late Sunday morning, I strolled down to the pub to grab a coffee and, most importantly, to snag a table so that my friends and I could watch a noon football game.

One of my friends had been feeling under the weather so I sent her a text message, asking the following:

U feeling better 2day? Still comin out?

A few minutes passed when I received her response:

Y Xzzz Omw

If you don’t know what the above abbreviation is, you can either sit back and feel as though the world of technology has passed you by or go pry a 10-year old away from their X-Box and ask them. 

Fortunately, I was able to figure it out somehow, with the exception of Xzzz.  

My friend's text translates to:

Yes. Extra sleep, on my way

And, according to my electronic translator, it’s also a vulgar word in Mandarin Chinese.

I’m all about shortcuts which save a step or two…or nine. Those who have mastered the art of paving the way for as much discretionary time as possible, facilitating more time to take part in meaningless, non productive activities, are my heroes. If said activities are reckless in nature and include nudity, count me in. **

**Ref Note: I’ve saved all of my exit interviews, employee separation notices and school transcripts, lending credibility to the above statement

I sent my friend a return text, informing her that I had secured a table for the game and congratulated her on her impressive savings of 12 letters…and for possibly offending 1.3 billion Chinese people.

I’m not an old man and I’m fairly tech savvy, but text abbreviations have gotten a bit out of hand if you ask me. I DO know the meaning of the standard abbreviations:


And, of course, my personal favorite:


I’ll let you look that one up on ur…oops, your own.

Last night I was talking with a friend via text and it went something like this:

Omg! I just won $1k on a lotto scratch off!

Very nice! BTW I believe that the letter “g” should be capitalized when referring to a deity.

Oh yeah?

Well, at least when referencing Christianity’s God.  In such case the word god is a proper noun.

Chris: it's OMG!

Not so fast...It just occurred to me…you and I have never really discussed religious views…for all I know, your non capitalization of “G” in god might be correct if you worship a non traditional god…such as Dionysus.


Using ALL caps for WHO indicates an acronym for the World Health Organization.  Anyway, Dionysus, the god of wine, parties, festivals, madness, drunkenness and pleasure. If he ran a Taco Bell that would complete the heavenly circle!!  As far as gods are concerned, this guy is a non stop happy hour. Imagine how much fun it would be to hang out with Dionysus!!!!  Especially if topless dancers followed him around!  OMG!  I mean...OMD!!!

Were you beaten, tortured and locked in the closet a lot as a kid?

What do my experiences staying at uncle Leonard's house have to do with anything?

Hehehe. Funny!

Not when you’re 12. Hey, can I borrow some of your winnings for my therapy session on Tuesday?

I also see absolutely no need for sending a response which simply says “OK” unless it is clearly necessary:


John Doe:
Hey wanna meet up before the show at 6pm?

Jane Doe:
Sure, just let me know where and I'll meet ya then

John Doe:
I'll meet you at The Kerry on Decatur St.  See ya' then.

Jane Doe:


And now, the correct usage of the "OK" text...

Hey, what is the postal abbreviation for the state of Oklahoma?

When questions are answered or plans confirmed succinctly, it seems to me that an “Ok” text is not only a waste of time, but a distraction…especially when I have to divert my attention from the roadway while driving-- because I'm not completely comfortable with running over a vagrant or too many animals.

On that topic-- I don’t like to text while driving. I save my drive time to eat a rack of BBQ ribs.  Besides, texting while driving is should be comfort food, based on my recent physical.

The text conversation which won’t end is a lovely little slice of 21st century insanity. They usually begin with the question which makes me want to gouge my eyes out:

Whatcha doin? :)

I can immediately sense that these text conversations will likely outlast the existence of the universe.  It will be a series of back and forth, which could be easily covered in two or three transmissions:

Well...I'm sending a text back to you at the moment.

Er...I meant before that. Lol!

I was actually waiting for your text to ask me "whatcha doin."  It's a slow day.

Very funny.  You wanna meet up after work and catch up over drinks...haven't chatted with ya in a while

Sure...I'll meet you around 6p at Finn McCool's

In Mid-City? 

No, the one in Belfast, Ireland.  Do you have a passport?  BTW, They're 6-hours ahead of us.

See you in Mid City.'ve u been doin?  Anything new and exciting in the works??

I'm well...yes, something brand new and exciting actually.  I'm meeting up with you at Finn's at 6. 

Very funny.  See you at 6.


Sexting has become quite the cellular phenomenon. I went out with a girl, Alicia, for a short while who loved to engage in the occasional "sext" message.  I don’t think I’m very good at it actually.

I've tried to take the sexy, provocative cell cam picture and it usually looks pretty stupid.  No matter how sexy the pose, there's nothing natural or sexy looking about someone taking a self picture with their arm extended outward (to take the pic) as though they're trying to block a pass from Kobe Bryant.

I usually don't aim the phone correctly anyway and end up with a beautiful shot of the lamp or the wall behind me. matter how sexy the shot, when taking a dirty cell phone picture, it's important to know the landscape in the frame.  A half naked body shot with a lovely framed portrait of your 900-year old grandparents on the nightstand in the background is NOT sexy.

One day my phone beeped and, out of the blue, there it was…a very suggestive picture from Alicia, with the caption:

“And what are YOU wearing? LOL!”


A pair of jeans, a white tee-shirt, a belt, boxer shorts, Doc Martins and a Red Sox cap.


LOL! Uh, I wasn’t being literal. Did you like the pic?


I did indeed. Can I show it to Jeff?


Um, NO!  So…do U have a pic to send? xoxo



Alicia:LoL! Who IS that???  I meant, do you have something a little more "R" Rated to send?

Me:Oh…sorry, how bout this?

Alicia:Um…I meant more like explicit in HUMAN nature...Lol!


Uh, how about we go with something a bit more daring.  Something you wouldn't just show to everyone.

HAHA! Very daring…but I’m thinking more like a REAL human pic.  Something dirty. :)


How about one of YOU??  Something suggestive...with YOU in it.

Jim:Oh, now I understand...How about this?


It is suggestive in that the photo “suggests” that I am about to do harm to this defenseless little kitty cat.


How bout we skip the pics for now and, since you’re a writer, why don’t you just write something sexy.  Cute cat btw.

Ok, here goes... I would never, of course, do harm to a kitty cat. I love kitty cats…I enjoy petting them, loving them and kissing them.  I especially love having a kitty cat straddling my lap, by the fireplace on a chilly evening, on the sofa, on the floor, on the staircase...anyplace actually.  As kitties go, sometimes they jump off my lap after they feel that they need a break, but they always come back...sometimes three of four times.  Which is fine with me...because I am always up for accommodating the kitty cat several times per day if necessary.


That was euphemism sex-talk. Pretty good huh?  Now I'm really worked UP!  How bout U?

I don't hear from Alicia anymore...I suppose she's a dog lover.

Perhaps everyone has someone in their world who can only be classified as the impatient texter.  These are people who send a text and, when you don't respond within about 1/1000th of a second, they exhibit bruised or apprehensive feelings.  OMg!!

Hey, we're all goin to the game tonight...I've got an extra tkt.  Wanna go?

You get my text?

U mad about something?

I'm not mad.  I'm upset about plenty of things though.  I wish my neighbor would disrobe in front of her window more often.  I'm not thrilled about health care reform or the current state of backbiting in Washington.  I also hate that they only have the loaded potato soup at the deli when I don't want it.  I wish I had x-ray vision.  I hate it when I go to the restroom and come back to find that someone is in my seat.  I wish that Nickelback's bus would careen from a cliff...with them on it.  I don't like cauliflower or my editor, Mike.  Actually, if I were forced at gunpoint to eat cauliflower in order to make Mike go away, I'd be more amiable to cauliflower.  Oh, I also wish that I had a million dollars...but I don't.  Which makes me mad.

Uh...ok.  You want to go to the game?

I'd love to go.  Sorry for the 3 minute delay in getting back with you.

I write a lot of silliness, but, then again, I enjoy a lot of silliness…whether it’s in person, in writing or via text. No matter what anyone tells you, LOL is good for the soul. Even when you’re under the weather:

Ugh. I feel like crap.

Amanda: Stopping at the store. You need me to bring you anything before I head home? Soup, medicine?

Jim: Yes, cough syrup, please.

Amanda: Sure. Anything else?

Jim: Thanks, nah, that's all I need. Unless you're in the mood to pull an armed heist. In such case, I could use about 8 or 9-thousand dollars. I’m not greedy.

Amanda: I knew I should have packed heat tonight

Jim: Oh, and some thongs and a basketball. I'm going thru a bit of a fetish stage.

Amanda: Leather, silk, or lace?

Jim: Barbed wire

Amanda: K. I'll pick up some Bactine too

Hehehe. Truly the best medicine if you ask me. BTW…my latest cell phone bill:

Message from AT & T Wireless--
Text Package Includes: 3,000 texts
Text Usage: 8,009

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

And now...a word from our sponsors

More silly stuff coming soon. In the meantime, please feel free to browse the blog for your choice of over 50 columns from the previous 24 weeks. I'm working on pesky publishing crap since my bill collectors apparently do not accept sexual favors as a form of payment. With the exception of my landlord.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Bed Bugs EAT Little Children (A Bedtime Story)

I know a gentleman who runs a small publishing company out of town that specializes in inspirational stories and children‘s books.

Before you rush out to purchase anything from this noble little company, it’s important to know that, after a few cocktails, he asked if I might be interested in writing a couple of short bedtime stories which would be suitable for kids.

I feel that this writing request speaks directly to the publisher's credibility.

The very nature of this gentleman's proposal reminds me of the time when the local Budweiser representative thought it to be a sound idea for me and my buddies, Mike and Shane, to staff the beer tent at a music festival.

That’s the only job I ever had where I needed a designated driver in order to get home.
As I recall, we violated about 18 local alcohol statutes that night, but we all got dates out of the experience. For the record...Shane ended up with the girl who peed her pants and threw up all over his car.

I emailed my writer friend, Amanda, feeling that she would make a much better candidate for this project. Reminding me that she is far more responsible than I, Amanda insisted that I give it a try…to stretch my wings and expand my horizons...

This is precisely why I hate Amanda.

It’ll be fun!!! You can do this.

I don’t know how to explain things to kids…especially in the form of a bedtime story. What do kids like?

Adventure! Excitement. Fantasy!


Not the kind YOU’RE thinking about.

Excitement huh? How about this? “The asshole literary editor who picks people apart due to sexual repression...AND locks little children in his mother's basement.”

I don’t think so. And, I don't think Mike, The Editor, would like that too much.

He's an editor...he doesn't like anything.

Try this as an exercise…use descriptive phrases to tell a story which holds a moral and teaches a lesson…indirectly. Kids tend to learn things when they think they’re NOT overtly being taught a lesson. They like to “randomly” discover lessons in life.

Sort of like the way politicians win elections? Or how one talks someone into having a one night stand.


Here goes…

…It was a cold, windy evening as Billy slipped into bed.

He wondered if the “noises” would haunt him on this evening as they had so many nights previous.

He heard the same squeaky sound just outside his bedroom door…at first, faint, then growing louder and louder, increasing in cadence with each passing minute as the R. Kelly song blared in the background.

Um, I don’t like where this is heading…

…The squeaks grew violently loud, accompanied by woeful screams from his parents. Billy was terrified, it sounded as though someone was doing great harm to his mom and dad.

His mom could be heard pleading, as though she were fighting for her very life.

“OH GOD! GOD! OOOOOH GOD!!” Billy’s mom screamed. His father screamed back “You’ve been very bad, haven’t you? NOW you‘re reeeally gonna get it good!!!”

OH NO! Billy thought. Dad was punishing mom for something terrible she must have done. What could it be?? Billy wondered.

I think I’ve read enough…

Wait! I’m getting to the M. Knight Shyamalan twist!

…Billy asked his father about the violent episode which he'd heard emanating from the bedroom the night before. His father seemed bewildered. Suspiciously prying Billy for more information, his father grew visibly angry by the minute.

You see, Billy's father wasn't home the night before...he’d been away on a quick business trip at the gun and knife expo.

…Uh huh

Billy now lives with his grandparents and often wonders what happened to his mom and dad after the authorities escorted him to his grandma and grandpa‘s house.

His grandfather no longer speaks. He sits for hours on end in the back yard, staring blankly into space, aimlessly pounding a stick at the ground.

His grandmother cries a lot and simply tells Billy that mommy and daddy had to go away. The End.

Please tell me that you NEVER plan to have children. Please?

While Amanda has little faith in my abilities, I found an inner motivation that afternoon and decided to submit a couple of little bedtime stories. What’s the harm in that?

Many children’s stories seem to hold a lesson, cleverly hidden within the plot. Lessons about life, love, civic pride, community service, acceptance, etc. Sort of like the "Fat Albert Show" or "What's Happenin"...only not as racially stereotypical.

I decided to tackle a very important issue which would help parents in potty training their child:

Little Miriam woke in the middle of the night to a foul and horrific odor in her bed. Her sheets and clothing were covered, as though she’d fallen asleep with a gallon of double chocolate fudge ice cream (which had melted) and a rotting dead animal. She began to cry.

Her parents had urged her to do number-2 before bedtime, but Miriam was morbidly terrified of the toilet. In trying to train young Miriam, her parents grew frustrated, using every tactic they could imagine to potty-train her. Including rubbing her nose in her own poo, since it seemed to work effectively with the dog...and grandpa. (He's 98)

Her fear goes back to when her uncle Steve babysat her and told her of the child-eating sewer monster which snatches little children through the toilet bowl, dragging them deep within the depths of the narrow pipes.

The monster never devoured the little children alive, he waited until they drowned in a rancid mixture of organic compounded sludge, feces, urine and contaminated water-- since many people continue to illegally dispose of used motor oil and household chemicals in city drainage lines, causing irreparable environmental damage.

Storyline/Plot Note: Uncle Steve voted for Al Gore. He's also a radical environmental terrorist who spends most of his days plotting to blow up factories and large discount department stores which build on or near protected natural rights of way or near Indian burial grounds.**

**(Not the Indians to which large corporations outsource…the drunken casino owner Indians.)

When Miriam would act up, uncle Steve, never having had children of his own, employed the only method he could devise in order to make her behave. He would dangle her, precariously, above the bowl. Her feet barely met the water line as uncle Steve warned her of the child-eating sewer monster that eats little children who misbehave.

One day Miriam’s parents arrived home early, catching Steve dangling Miriam above the toilet. Steve spent the next 3-weeks in the hospital, eating from a straw. He's also no longer allowed to baby sit, for many reasons. One of which includes his being arrested in a joint FBI and Department of Homeland Security raid for environmental terrorist activities.

Miriam, on the other hand, still poops her pants from time to time but, over the past 26-years, psychological therapy, adult diapers and Xanax** seems to be helping her to make great and positive strides.

**Ask your doctor if Alprazolam is right for you

She is now a successful assistant director of the Municipal Sewer and Water Board and tirelessly works to clean up the city’s watershed pollution problems.

You see, Miriam stayed in school, she “Just said NO” to drugs, she didn’t have sexual relations until she was in a loving marriage and she ate all of her veggies so that she would grow up to be strong and healthy.**

**She steers clear of foods which contain natural laxatives and people who are named Steve...for obvious reasons.

The End.

I figured that I should submit two stories…so that the publisher could gain a better grasp of my writing versatility.

Kids seem to relate better to stories where animals are involved, so I felt it to be wise to include a little story about acceptance and the rewards of pushing forward in the face of adversity which life inevitably serves.

Here’s one such story of a young little girl and her bully next door neighbor. This is the story of Joanna and Geoffrey the Giraffes:

Joanna (Jo) realized at an early age that she was not like all the other giraffes in the herd.

Her growth was stunted and she was confused about her sexuality early on in life…much like the character played by the talented and under rated Nancy McKeon in “Facts of Life.”

Her neighbor, Geoffrey and his friends constantly teased Jo for her small stature and her fondness for playing softball.

Day in and day out, Jo wondered what ridicule would dog her at the hands of her mean, taller bully of a neighbor and his friends. She decided that she would empower herself…refusing to cower to the much taller giraffes.

What they held in impressive height, they lacked in brains. Sort of like Paris Hilton.

A game of softball!! Yes!

She would challenge the bullies to a game of softball. Hoping to finally squelch the hurtful words from the bully-giraffes, Jo figured that this was the only way she could show them once and for all.

It was a hard fought game with back and forth scoring throughout. The game reached the final inning with a tied score. Jo and her team badly needed a game-winning run.

Jo was “at bat.” The pitch was level, sailing perfectly across the plate. She swings and makes contact! The ball soared like a graceful bald eagle (even though there are no bald eagles in the Serengeti Grasslands of Africa.)

The crack of the bat projected the ball like a bullet, piercing the late afternoon sky. The ball sailed just past second base toward Geoffrey and his fellow outfielders.

They anxiously waited-- the cradles of their open gloves pointed upward to the brilliant azure sky as they raced deeper and deeper into the outfield…where a helicopter was landing, carrying a full load of tourists.

As the helicopter softly made contact with the delicate amber reeds which dot the majestic Serengeti, Geoffrey and his fellow outfielders were instantly decapitated by the rotor of the chopper blades, piloted by an old alcoholic tour guide.

Blood, teeth and severed tendons splattered in the punishing, whirling chopper blades, slinging the horrific, bloody mess across the beautiful field...and all over the windows of the chopper.

Terrified tourists screamed and cried, frantically exiting the chopper as a pack of rabid hyenas ravaged the freshly decapitated giraffe corpses.

Geoffrey’s severed head landed squarely against the outfield wall. And so, the price for being tall had been paid in full.

The “short jokes” no longer seemed so funny to anyone on that field on this particular Fall afternoon as Jo and her team won the game; never again to face senseless ridicule for her height or love of flannel shirts, women's league FIFA soccer and Melissa Etheridge Cd’s.

Remember…from the seed grows a root then a sprout. From the sprout, the seedling leaves. From the leaves, the stem. Around the stem, the branches and, at the top, the beautiful flower, which was not decapitated by the punishing blades of a helicopter due to hurtful, narrow-minded mentality.

We cannot say that the seed causes the growth, nor the soil. We CAN say that the potentialities for growth lies within the seed in mysterious life forces, which , properly fostered, take on different forms.

In this case, an aging, drunken helicopter pilot who landed too closely to a herd of giraffes.

The End

It’s been 4-weeks since I submitted the requested samples to my publisher friend.

I haven’t heard anything yet, and he’s not returned any of my calls…but I understand that publishers are busy people. I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, I’ve begun my new children’s piece. This one will be geared toward early teens. It’s titled:

“Jennifer and the missed period.”

It’s about a young woman who doesn’t do well in English Composition class. I feel very good about it!
copyright Pontchartrain Press 2010