Friday, December 16, 2011

My Favorite Year

I generally feel that I’m a pretty good guy…other than the fact that I’m a complete idiot.

But, I cook, I clean up after myself, I’m fairly neat, I know how to do laundry, I open doors for the ladies, I don’t hate cats and I’m an above average Pictionary player. All of which, in my opinion, makes me a good catch for the ladies…or a serial killer. I can’t really decide.

I’m not sure that any of the above holds relevance to this article, I just thought I’d throw a little slice of randomness out there for my final piece of 2011.

Speaking of which, I receive critiques from time to time via reader mail and managing editor memos pointing out that my writings lean toward random and scattered at times.  I'm not random!  What are these people thinking???

Which reminds me…I really love the Muppets...and I believe that zoos pamper panda bears entirely too much.

Who wants to visit a zoo exhibit where you cant make so much as a peep, or a fart, so as not to disturb the delicate panda?  Besides, I love to peep...and farts make me laugh.

The helpful employees at the San Diego Zoo pointed out (just before throwing me out) that noise hinders the panda from mating.  There were even dozens of signs which pretty much made me feel that, if I so much as sneezed, the entire panda family would immediately die of massive heart attacks...thus killing the entire species on the planet!

Now that I think about it, don't pandas live in the wild???  Do the other woodland creatures know about this aversion to noise vs. mating? No wonder the panda is endangered. I LIKE noise when I’m mating…the more the merrier! What a bunch of divas!

So, I flicked my cigarette butt into the cage and made my way to the monkey exhibit.  Anyway, where was I?

Those hard working, kind and loving people (pronounced: evil) who edit my story lines and publish my writings throughout the year oftentimes shoot down ideas…especially when I try to write a serious piece.

I once submitted a treatment about a friend of mine who lost her job AND her boyfriend…all in one week. It included a healthy level of humor but it also included real life grit. I even made a joke about (according to her description) the size of his…uh, you get the picture.

It was shot down quicker than it takes Sarah Palin to make a stupid comment.

Since I’m perfectly comfortable with wearing the giant “random writing badge” here’s a small collection of random words from 2011 and some things that I’ve learned from time spent strolling through it, which might just validate that label.

I promise that it‘s Muppet-free. I may include the Pandas though…Just keep your noise level to a minimum…so as not to spoil the mating mood. (Cue the Isaac Hayes music)

On the surface, I found myself on numerous occasions wishing that 2011 would finally end...until I looked deeper to learn lessons and to find appreciation.

I moved into a new place, moved out and moved into another new place. Oh, in the interim, I gained and lost a girlfriend…which pretty much makes me a “carnie”…only I have all of my teeth and above average hygiene. And I don’t know the first thing about operating a roller coaster.

I finally let go of a 150-year collective pile of belongings in a storage unit that cost me approximately 8-million dollars per year.

The items belonged to my parents and grandparents. I remember, with vivid detail, how painful this day was.

To watch people pouring over one’s family heritage is not easy…until I came to the realization that the “things” don’t make the people…fond memories DO.  I suppose there are indeed some things which one can not purchase at a garage sale.

As I scan through some of my 2011 writings, there were encounters with people who exhibited hurtful behavior toward others...which provided several humorous passages in those stories.  

I discovered that Wendy’s “Natural Cut Sea Salt” French fries are absolutely deplorable.

I experienced situations where friends let me down...but realized that I've let friends down as well. 

In the entertainment world, I’m proud to exit 2011 successfully escaping “Bieber Fever.” Then again, I’ve always been leery of Canadians.

I came to the realization that, far too often, people speak and act before they think…myself included.

As a single mother friend of mine will readily attest, I learned that it is unwise to allow me to assist a young child with his homework assignments.  As a matter of fact, it will likely get him suspended from school for two days.**

**Note: I am NOT a role model for children.

I learned that love is hard to find and terribly easy to lose.

I also learned that Mike, the editor’s, favorite color is “sky magenta“…which confirms my suspicion that he’s clinically insane.

On the human relations front, I learned that far too many people have been in some form of a relationship where they’ve been told that they’re not good enough or have been made to feel insignificant at the hands of insecure, small minded people.

This creates a difficult playing field for the next person who becomes involved with this person.

I’ve recently learned that no truer words were ever written as those which hang over the facade of the U.S. National Archives building:

“Past is Prologue.”

It roughly means that, to get where you’re going, you must first UNDERSTAND where you’ve been so as not to repeat missteps.  It can also mean that one should repeat courses of action which bring about positive outcomes.

I discovered that my friend, Eric, has an odd obsession with midgets AND sexual relations with amputees.  Needless to say, he's a lot of fun to get drunk with.

I also learned that people talk too much...myself included. 

On a much deeper, personal note, I experienced finding love...and losing it.  Perhaps I can talk the great chick flick director, Rob Reiner, into making a movie about it.  The working title will be called: 

"2011, Jim Is An Idiot...A Carnie Love Story." 

Aside from all of the above, everything else is pretty much the same.  Which is to say that I still hate Nickelback and no one in New Orleans has yet to figure out how to use a turn signal.

2011 has taught me how to love, laugh, let go and...simply be quiet when necessary.

After all, it nurtures a better mating mood for the pandas.

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Adults Say The Darndest Things

"It depends on what the meaning of the word 'IS' is.”
                                     -Bill Clinton

Mike, the editor, often shoots down numerous writing treatments that I submit and I completely understand this.  Primarily because Mike is a mean and grumpy man who never has sex...with the exception of Internet porn chat rooms.  

Unfortunately, he never gets very far with his chat room trysts (pronounced 57-year old men, who pretend to be 19-year old girls.)  

I'm reasonably certain that Mike regularly slams into the cyber-sex brick wall because he corrects her...uh, him, for ending a sentence with a preposition. 

Factor in the forgone conclusion that I’m pretty much of an idiot, especially if Irish whiskey was involved in ANY way over the course of one of my writing sessions, and you'll have a crystal clear understanding of my working relationship with Mike.

I have so many writing pieces which have never seen the light of day. You see, I’ve long dreamed of writing about simple, real life topics...good, dark, uncomfortable, "feel-good" and X-rated (which will include a can of Dow Scrubbing Bubbles.)

I also want to incorporate the haphazard adventures of Skat the Flying Squirrel and a chronicle about former Senator and presidential contender, Bob Dole. 

If I can figure out a way to incorporate ALL of the above into one story I shall call it my "swan song" and die a happy man.

Indeed, I long for the day when I'm finally indentured from these writing shackles.  A glorious day it will be when I'll be free to write such stories which shall conclude with a "feel-good" socially responsible moral; much like that of “The Fat Albert Show” or the fabulous 70's sitcom “What‘s Happening”…only not as racially stereotypical.

Real life is funny, so long as one holds an open perspective...With the glaring exception of America’s Funniest Home Videos.

There was a popular broadcast segment, originally hosted by the legendary Art Linkletter, titled “Kids Say The Darndest Things.” It brilliantly illustrated the old idiom:

“Out of the mouths of babes.“

Translation: Adults have NO excuse.

If you listen closely in YOUR day to day life, adults can make kindergarten look like…well, child’s play. With that, I give you...

I live in an extremely interesting city where architecture, culinary fare and personalities are concerned.   Of course it's also a city with a celebrated history of people urinating on the sidewalks and where residents take traffic laws as a mild suggestion.

The colorful personality aspect is especially true as it relates to six particular gentlemen who live on my block.

With the exception of my friend, Cornell, I'm often amazed by some of the twisted life perspectives and logic which regularly spew from these guys.

Oftentimes I find myself walking down the sidewalk from the streetcar only to spy this “brain trust” in the distance solving the world's problems.  It's extremely important to note that several 40-ounce Budweisers are usually involved in their sidewalk logic.

As a side note, anytime that I see five drunk mental cases converging on ONE front stoop, I know one thing for certain...that it’s gonna be accidental and complete unabridged comedy at its finest!

Steve: I think Thanksgiving is TWO weeks from tomorrow bro

Evan: No, no, no…it’s three weeks from today

Eric: I think Steve's right.

Jacob: You just agreeing with Steve cause' he bought ya' that Budweiser.  DAMN!  Look at the ass on that little girl over there!

Cornell: Y’all are all stupid

Sammy: Yo’ Jim! What day of the week does Thanksgiving fall on this year?

Cornell: Here we go…

Me: (Wearing an expression as though this is a practical joke) Uh, it's on a Thursday

Steve: That can’t be right dude! What day was it on last year??

Me: (Now thoroughly convinced that the “Punk’d” camera crew is nearby) Uh, Thursday.

Ernest: We celebrated on a Tuesday last year

Cornell: That’s cause’ ya' cousin had to report to jail on Wednesday last year.  How's he doin' anyway?

Steve: (Distracted by a woman approaching down the sidewalk)  Awww...look at this old scowlin' bitch comin' up here.

Cornell: That's your wife!!

Steve: I know...I thought she was gonna come home late tonight!  Now I gotta go inside and listen to a bunch-a bitchin'.

Me: I really need to go upstairs now. I’ll talk to you guys later.

As these things go, suffice it to say that, my tiny little block is never boring. Imagine how much fun Columbus Day is.  

From street sense to nonsense, silliness knows no matter who you are. 

Guys, allow me to confirm for you that any conversation initiated by your lady which begins with:


Is not going to unfold pleasantly for you...whether or not a 40 ounce Budweiser is involved.

As a matter of fact, if the word “so” is followed by:

“…I’ve been thinking…”

You should consider a mild plan of evasive action. Such as:

a) Rapidly consume a 40-ounce Bud
b) Shoot yourself in the face
c) Move to Afghanistan
d) Pre-meditated homicide 
e) All of the above

The office place is often filled with interesting characters. There always seems to be ONE socially awkward" co-worker.  Unless you work in the hospitality/service which case it's the entire establishment. 

I'm convinced that there must be some sort of "Parole to Prep Kitchen" program between mental institutions and the food and bar service industry. 

In a recent personal experience, our office misfit was a gentleman named William.

William was a nice guy who kept to himself and lived with his mother. Even though he was 45, I held an open mind.  He never bothered anyone;  Will was, as they say, the quiet type. 

Since his house didn't have a crawl-space, I wasn't overly concerned that CNN would be sending Wolf Blitzer down anytime soon to report the startling news of 50 dead tranny prostitutes resting in shallow graves beneath his house.

Will often exhibited somewhat of a peculiar personality in the office. For instance, he ate the same thing for lunch every single day.

Kraft Lunchables
Campbell’s Smokey Bacon & Bean soup 
Kit-Kat Bar

He also collected Star Wars action figures (dolls) and had an odd obsession with The Lion King Broadway musical.  

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but I’d often witness him yelling at his penis at the urinal in the employee restroom. Nothing too disturbing though.

Will was a hard worker, as evidenced by his regularly showing up 3-hours early for work and he often volunteered to baby-sit for the single mothers in our workplace.  He also held a summer job as a youth camp counsellor.

My co-worker, Trish, once exclaimed:

”Will is creepy! I think he’s gonna show up one day and kill us all. He’s a hard worker though.”

Now that I think about it, if I’m gonna be killed in a brutal workplace rampage, I’d take great solace in knowing that my executioner put in a hard day’s work before shoving the barrel of a semi automatic rifle up my anus, forcing me to sing the theme song to Three's Company before pulling the trigger. 

The knowledge of his strong work ethic would ease the humiliation for my family upon learning that, after shooting me in the anus, he engaged in sexual relations with my head, dismembered my limbs, lit me on fire with a Zippo lighter just before affixing an explanation note on the office door which squarely placed blame for his actions on the fact that his mother’s cat explicitly instructed him to carry out his mission.

I once worked with a guy who hosted a late night radio talk show…his name was Dan Davidson.

While Dan was a great “fit” for late nights, he was a bit socially awkward during the waking hours. We simply chalked it up to his, likely, habit of listening to Pantera CD's while torturing small animals.**

**Translation: He ingested meth on a regular basis

While most of our staff were accustomed to his randomness, he managed to catch me and one of my producers completely off guard one evening when we got off the air:

Dan: I saw the memo about the employee Christmas luncheon…You guys gonna go?

Me: No; I’ve gotta go out of town.

Dan: I never pass up free food.

Me: Normally I wouldn’t either.

Dan: Hey, do you know if the police can trace semen?

Me: (speechless…and, again, scanning the room for the Punk’d television cameras.)

Here’s a recent favorite life or death question…

Shelly: Hey…which cord on the ceiling fan shuts the light in the guestroom off?**

Note to Mike, my editor:  Notice that young Shelly ended her sentence in a preposition. 

I helpfully pointed out to Shelly that she had a solid 50/50 shot…and further offered comforting words, assuring her that there was no trap door beneath her feet if she made a mistake.

My ex provided a moment of comic levity late one evening as we searched for an agreeable dinner option.

I’m convinced that the Apollo astronauts reached the moon faster than we settled upon a restaurant choice.

That being said, I’m also convinced that the Titanic rescue operation went much more smoothly than our evening. To reinforce my theory, witness the following exchange:

Me: We’ve been looking for dinner for an hour…so far you've shot down every single place.  

Ex: Oh...I've got it!!!  Let’s go to Damon’s! I should've thought of that earlier.  I love that place!!

Me: Okay.  Damon's sounds good to me.

Ex: I just don’t want steak, Italian food or seafood.**

**Note: It’s important reference information to understand that Damon’s sign reads as follows:

Seafood, Steak & Spaghetti!!

We ended up eating at Taco Bell as I recall...and I slept on the sofa.

Guys, here's a bit of advice which I hope helps to keep you safely and soundly in the bed and off the couch…

When it‘s THAT time of the month for your lady (Pronounced: WHEW!!!!) You should consider moving out of the house as a preventative measure so as not to say or do anything stupid (Pronounced: being a guy.)

Girl: I’ve got my special visitor…ugh…can we just go to sleep?

Dumb Guy: (Slyly rubbing his guy parts against the girl…acting as though it’s an accident)

Girl: I’m really ready to sleep…And I’m not feeling well. Please put your boxers back on.

Five minutes later...

Dumber Guy: Well…there’s no need for ME not to release a little bit of stress. Can't you just touch it for a little bit??  It won’t take long…I promise I'll make it quick. 

One time, at a bar tending job, I encountered a woman who entered the bar and asked the following:

Me: Can I help you?

Woman: Do you work here?

Me: Nope…I'm wearing this bar towel under my belt-loop and carrying this beer bottle speed opener because I'm a professional alcoholic.  And, I just murdered the real bartender.  He's on the floor behind the bar if you wanna go check it out. 

Before writing this story today, I visited a with friend who shared the following fun little story about the time when she witnessed a young mother who was breast-feeding her 3-year old son at the table of a Mexican restaurant.

My friend is a server and arrived at the table to take the order just in time to witness what I can only describe as a special bond which only a mother and son can share.  Of course, I asked the logical question on anyone's mind:  Did she have big boobs?

My server friend offered an interesting angle which I never considered:

"If your kid is old enough to eat a quesadilla...he's too old to be sucking on your boob."

I hold a different perspective in that I'm a grown man and I LOVE quesadillas AND, uh...never mind.

On a personal note, ANY story that includes boobs and a quesadilla is worthy of my FULL attention.

I flatly avoid any and all political, religious or racial discussions which come up at the pub.  For the record, I also avoid a young woman named Maria at the pub...but that's an entirely different story.

As a case in point example, I submit the following transcript:

Pamela: Isn't there a bowl game at the Super Dome this weekend??

Ed: Yep, it's the Bayou Classic.

Pamela: Who plays?

Jeff: It's always Grambling and Southern.

Pamela: Who's that???

Jeff: It's two predominately African-American universities.  Big rivalries

Ed: Yeah?  Well if white people held a predominately "white" sporting event we'd be called racists.

Me: (Quietly switching the pub television to the Sunday NASCAR race.)**

Note: I'm told that this is a classic example of what my former teachers described on my report cards as "mischievous"

The list of adult verbal stupidity goes on and on and on and on (As evidenced in Nickelback music...and anything that Lindsay Lohan says.) 

I love witnessing and sometimes engaging in silliness and stupidity because It keeps me young at heart in a sometimes troubling world.  Plus, it's fun.

Hey, Hey, HEY!!!  That sounds like an excellent storyline for a reunion broadcast of the Fat Albert Show!!

One final, and favorite, example of those fun loving kids trapped in adult bodies.  It's borrowed from an old joke..."What's the last thing a redneck says before he dies?"

Hey y' this!!
copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Windshield Love Note. Xoxo

I received a helpful parking pointer (via windshield note) from the redneck who lives on my street. He, specifically, lives next door to my place of business. After giving his note thoughtful and due attention, I decided to leave this gentleman a very kind return letter.

“Please park where YOU live so that I can park where I live. Thank you.

Any questions? See RESIDENT.”'s my response.


I would like to begin my response to you by setting a positive tone in following your direction by completely capitalizing the entire word “resident” in my salutation.

I’d also like to commend you on, what I can only enviously describe as, excellent handwriting!

My penmanship is absolutely deplorable. I attribute this unfortunate fact to sleep deprivation as a child. It’s a rather long story, but it had much to do with me being afraid to sleep while my creepy Uncle Leonard lived with us for a couple of years.

I always locked my bedroom door at night but, somehow, he always figured out how to pick the lock. **

*Note: He’s in jail now

Anywhooo…It was extremely negligent, as a neighbor, for me to not properly introduce myself after living on the block for years…

I DO, in fact, park where I live…which is located a couple of doors down from YOU** **Heretofore noted as “The RESIDENT.”**

Notice that I am paying literary homage by using numerous capitalizations. xoxo

Actually, now that I think about it, I also WORK on the block, which is quite helpful in that I have a very short commute to my place of business…located next door to your house.

As a side note, not having to drive to work is quite fortuitous for me as Presidents Obama and Bush’s failed energy policies, coupled with continuous caving to the greedy price fixing tactics employed by OPEC, have skyrocketed fuel prices to their highest in history.**

**Note: Unless you watch MSNBC. They factor in inflation vs. dollar valuation statistics into the equation in order to blame President Regan…and to garner cross-promotion ratings for their financial sister network (CNBC.)

I’m sure that Dick Cheney has something to do with these greedy oil bastards as well…according to NBC’s Matt Lauer.

From what the other neighbors tell me, you seem to feel strongly that you OWN the public, city-owned, LEGAL, parallel space in front of your house.

I suspect that this is likely a direct result of this being the first home in which you have dwelled that is not on wheels…thus making you extremely (and understandably) territorial about parking spaces.

I become, similarly, angry when I visit the Wal Mart as it relates to those who drive silly looking, pimped out trucks with 10-thousand dollars worth of rims and stereo equipment…especially when they take up two parking spaces on the front row so that no one can ding their doors.

I especially HATE when these people park in the fire lane! What would happen if a fire occurred at the display table being manned by one of those people preparing free samples of Pepperidge Farms Spicy Sausage Balls???

Now that I think about it…WHY would someone driving a Honda Prelude with 500-thousand dollars worth of custom body and stereo equipment be shopping at WAL MART anyway??? It seems to me that they have enough money to shop at Target?**

**Note: Target does NOT offer Pepperidge Farms Spicy Sausage Balls

I appreciate your dispatch, as I am accustomed to only receiving pizza delivery fliers on my windshield. I would point out that a more effective means of communication to relay the deep love which you clearly hold for this rock-star parking space would be in the form of a landmine.

The United Nations continues to unearth numerous such devices from Kosovo and I’m sure that they are available through the black market for very little money.**

**Note: The United Nations security checks and balances system is very lax.

While I have no questions, as per the helpful directive in your note, I WOULD still love to visit with you sometime so that we might enjoy a cup of hot cocoa and a game of Scrabble.

I take mine with Irish whiskey. (The cocoa, that is.) Which will squarely give you a distinct advantage in our Scrabble match.


James Patrick

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Too Much Information!

I blame Fox News for making my life miserable in the final days of my broadcast news tenure.

It’s become standard operating procedure to “one up” competing news outlets which, in turn, triggers an absurd trickle down effect as to the content delivered on broadcast airwaves.

The recent coverage of hurricane Irene in the northeastern United States being a prime example:

CNN News Anchor: You’re looking at a live shot of the arrival of hurricane Irene from Capitol Hill…if you look closely you’ll see that a pine cone just violently slammed into this parked Volvo!

I was, in fact, happy to hear that reality star, Snookie, (pronounced: Criminal Annoyance) made it through the storm relatively unscathed.

While the brain trust which comprises network newsrooms were scrambling to get a live shot of potential catastrophe in New York or DC, the storm delivered a surprise punch.  As a result, we now have only 48 states because Vermont got swept into the ocean.**

**Note: Because Vermont sits to the inland west, they took New Hampshire with them. 

No one saw THAT one coming, which makes me sad...primarily because maple syrup and cranberry juice now cost $2-thousand dollars a bottle. 

My writer friend, Todd, met me for lunch recently at a fast food establishment where we pondered societal absurdities where information overload is concerned.

Case in point: a simple job application.

WHAT’S WITH ALL THE QUESTIONS??? When did we become THAT nosy?

Back in my dad’s day, and his father before him, jobs were attained by means of a simple interview process:

Employer: Are you drunk right now?

Prospective Employee: No

Employer: Can you be to work tomorrow morning at 8am and work until 6pm?

Pospective Employee: Yes

Employer: You’re hired.

Out of curiosity, Todd requested a job application from the fast food cashier. We'll call this lovely cashier Cheryl...primarily because her real name is Christine and I want to protect her identity.

Because Todd and I are abundantly mature, we applied for the job.**

**Note: For legal purposes, and to protect the identity of this establishment, I’ve carefully censored the company logo

(Name Censored) Corporation is an equal opportunity employer. Applicants are considered for employment without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship status, or any other basis prohibited by law. 

Position sought: Sous Chef with aspirations of advancing to flambé chef and, ultimately, Executive Onion Ring Chef

Name: James Patrick

Social Security #: Withheld until the United States Congress passes more stringent identity theft laws

Present Address: Street City State Zip

Currently in between residences. It’s a long story which has to do with an incident that took place while cat sitting for my landlady as she was on holiday in Europe. Sadly, Pookie is no longer with us.  I took up residence with my girlfriend shortly thereafter, but, she has since kicked me out.  I assure you that these unfortunate events have nothing to do with my cat sitting abilities nor my ability to kill thousands of people via heart related illnesses by preparing delicious and economical fast food products

Telephone No. (504) 259-XXXX**

**I prefer to let people guess the last four digits. You have 10,000 mathematical possibilities. It’s like the ultimate Sudoku puzzle!!!  Sometimes this game can backfire on was the case with a young woman who I met at the neighborhood pub last year.  We had several evenings of, what I will call, "relations."  At any rate, she solved the phone number puzzle, which ultimately prompted me to file a restraining order.  It's also important to note that this woman is clinically insane...But, The "relations" portion of my encounter was nothing short of spectacular!!!

If you have resided at your present address less than three years, list your prior address:

Butternut, Wisconsin. I stayed briefly last summer visiting my crazy Aunt Cora.  I had no intention of staying with her because she's old and smells funny.  She also collects ceramic- faced dolls.  I found myself unceremoniously ejected from the vehicle while on a road trip to Chicago with some friends.  By the way, Aunt Cora had a ton of wild poppy plants growing naturally around her front porch.  Did you know that state DEA agents frown upon people who grow large quantities of the beautiful poppy plant?   They questioned my aunt extensively, then they destroyed her plants!! Seriously??? They thought that my Aunt Cora was an opium dealer?   It’s a good thing that they didn’t find my Uncle Leonard's marijuana plants!

Have you ever been convicted of or pled guilty to a crime?

Does “No Contest” count?

**(Conviction or plea will not necessarily disqualify applicant from employment)

Are you available to work:

Full Time: YES
Part-Time: YES
Temporary: YES, but only if my paycheck is left on the nightstand under a cheap bottle of whiskey.
Are you available to work overtime when necessary?

YES!!  I find that working insanely long hours for little money or appreciation builds character.

When are you available to start work?

1-hour and 47 minutes from right now. I would be available sooner, but I have a previous commitment

Are you a U.S. Citizen or an alien legally entitled to work in the position(s) for which you have applied?

I am a US citizen**

**Note: I presently have an application for Canadian citizenship under review

Have you filed an application here before? If yes, give date(s)


How were you referred to our restaurant?

The young woman, Christine, who works the counter for you, gave me this application.  By the way, she hates working at your establishment, as evidenced by her droning complaints.  You should know that she frequently ingests large quantities of vodka in the walk-in cooler; at least that's what the fry cook told me.  Heads up...she plans to quit next week so I wanted to seize the opportunity for an immediate opening. 


Circle last year completed: 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

I was completely unaware that there were, in fact, nineteen grades.

High school major:

No one EVER informed me that we could select a major in high school! I suppose this happens somewhere between the aforementioned 17th and 19th grades...which I suspect explains my current unemployment status.

Average grade:

On a scale of 1-10, I’d give my high school experience a six. I’d give it a 10 had Leann Batey placed her hands down my pants on junior prom night.
College name & location:

If I had completed college, and found myself applying for a fast food position, I would definitely punch my professor directly in the nut sack.

Number of years at college: 43 days
Major: Art History

Other schooling or relevant training, including professional licenses or certifications:

Masseuse license.  I believe that massage therapy skills would serve your organization quite well because, as you may or may not know, your drive-thru staff seems to be quite edgy...and quite selfish with dispensing ketchup.  I believe that a limber workforce is a happy workforce.  I also hold a certification which confirms that I have an actual star in outer space named after me.  It was a gift from my Uncle Leonard.


Typing speed, words per minute: 7,743

Do you have Computer or Register or Keyboard Skills? If so, which systems?

Extensively fluent in operating an Android and Facebook...especially while I'm at work. 

Internet fluent?

Yes, but I'm uncertain as to how that will be helpful in making delicious charbroiled burgers.  Unless your corporation plans to offer "virtual" food in the near future.  If so, I'm sure that it would still taste much better than your competitor's "Natural Cut" sea salt fries.

Word processing fluent?

I sometimes have trouble processing words, but that seems to be due to a minor binge drinking problem.  I've recently cut back and switched to Vicodin after an oral surgery.  My friend Amanda hides them from me and only dangles one in my face as a treat, but only if I’ve been real good.  By the way, your cashier, Christine, purchased three Vicodin tablets from me when I requested this application.

List types of programs that you use most often: Halo, Angry Birds, Grand Theft Auto and, as a guilty pleasure, Guitar Hero and Just Dance.
PERSONAL REFERENCES (List the name and telephone number of three references who are not related to you and are not previous employers).

Mike Klein 504-xxx-xxxx.  Mike is a literary editor and will probably not say nice things about me, but I don't mind if you contact him...he's a lonely man.  If you do speak with him, take painstaking efforts to use proper grammar.  Mike is a bit of a word snob who regularly beats his children for ending sentences in prepositions. 
Starting with your present or most recent job, list your employment experience. You may include job-related military service assignments and volunteer activities that reflect your qualifications for employment.
Employer: Dewey McFarland's Dude Ranch & Riding Trail, Cheyenne, Wyoming

Employment Dates & Kind of Work Performed:

Apprentice horse whisperer: August 12 - August 15
Duties included being kicked in the rib cage, scooping up enormous piles of horse doo doo, purchasing large quantities of Jack Daniel's whiskey for Dewey and being violently thrown from and bitten by untamable, insane equines.

Reason for Leaving: Accidentally started a stampede

(If you need additional space, please continue on a separate sheet of paper.)

May we contact the employers listed? If no, indicate which one(s) you do NOT wish us to contact, and state the reason why.

None of them...Primarily because contacting my previous employers would negatively affect your decision to hire me. 

List Any Hobbies or Special Interests:

Amateur ventriloquist, collecting bright blue bottles, worshiping the Lord Jesus Christ.


Submit in person or electronically

Unfortunately, I've yet to receive a call back for an in-person interview.  I suspect that they might have classified me as over-qualified for the position.

In the meantime, I'm looking for a new place to live.  If you have room let me know...I'm happy to cat-sit for you if need be.

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Stay Tuned...

The earthquake, hurricane and the introduction of Nancy Grace to the cast of dancing with the stars has rattled me significantly. Sorry for the delay, but a brand new article is coming next week. Stay tuned to find out what happens when I apply for a fast food restaurant job, fill out a dating service questionnaire and apply for Canadian citizenship.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Answer Is Always No

It might come as a surprise, but, I’ve been told “no” a lot in my lifetime.  Personal rejection dates back to as far as I can remember now that I think about it.

“Mom, Can I stay over at Mark’s house tonight?”
“I need a raise.”
“Can we make a sex tape?”

Equally, I’ve also answered “no” to many requests over the years:

“Would you like to go with me to Michelle and Victor’s housewarming party?”

"How about a Michelob Ultra?"
"Would you like to go see Nickelback with me tonight?"

A girlfriend, who LOVED to engage in a series of hypothetical questions, once asked:

“What would you do if I became pregnant???”

It’s times such as these when I like to recite a thoughtful little prayer that my dad taught me at an early age:

“Dear God, please kill me…Amen.”

But, instead, I answered logically and honestly:

“I’d absolutely do the right thing sweetheart. I would likely flee to another country so that there would be more room for the new addition to the household. Besides, you don’t need me getting in the way.  Also, I don't know the first thing about changing diapers.”

As a follow up, this woman eventually broke up with me for some reason.

At the risk of sounding like a "glass half empty" person, there are many circumstances where the answer is ALWAYS no.

One recent example being my visit to a fast food drive-thru:

“Would you like fries with that??”

Bucking my personal philosophical system, I answered “yes.“ This, in turn, prompted the following helpful piece of consumer feedback to the Wendy‘s corporation:
To:       Wendy's International, Inc.
             One Dave Thomas Blvd.
             Dublin, OH 43017

From:   James Patrick
             #2 James Patrick Cul-de-Sac
             Apartment Mmmm
             New Orleans, LA 70116

I am writing to supply feedback with regards to my recent Wendy’s dining experience. Actually, I wouldn’t necessarily call it an experience as much as an ordeal.

Fortunately, my overall experience had little to do with Wendy’s and its thrifty, but legendarily, tasty menu.

In fact, it had everything to do with the fact that I was trapped inside of a 1997 Honda Civic (heretofore known as “The Honda Sh*t Box”)

It all started because I was drunk and mistakenly assumed that I was the fortunate recipient of a sober ride home.

While streetcars in New Orleans are economical and convenient, they can be quite irritating when seeking out a safe ride home. 

Did you know that the New Orleans streetcar system along St. Charles Avenue is the only rolling national monument?   Making them even more of a national treasure, they are routinely packed with drooling, puking, drunk tourists late at night.

Due to the fact that my front door stoop is usually occupied by drooling, puking, urinating, drunk locals, I can only tolerate so much over the course of one evening.

Much to my dismay, I woke up to realize that I was in the middle of an 8-million mile road trip in the Honda Sh*t Box with three of the most miserable road trip companions that God has ever created.

At one point during the road trip I seriously considered grabbing the steering wheel and forcing the vehicle from the roadway over a 50-foot Interstate overpass. But, I felt that being killed in a fiery explosion would be an unfitting punctuation to my legacy.

I want to die in a more dignified fashion; such as catching some third world mosquito-borne viral infection which causes me to expel vital internal organs thru my anus while sitting on a dirty truck stop toilet as I bleed profusely from the eyes and nipples.

At any rate, we were getting hungry and did what any group of four amiable, low-maintenance road companions would do…we stopped at four different take out establishments.

With a corporate motto asserting “Quality Is Our Main Ingredient” I opted for Wendy’s. Who wouldn’t??

For some time now, being inundated by a spate of television advertisements during the Judge Greg Mathis program, I’ve found myself especially eager to sample your new “Natural-Cut” sea salt French fries…which are touted as being better than McDonalds.**

**Note: This assertion especially captured my attention because McDonald’s French fries are better than crack cocaine.

I’ve never tried crack cocaine, but I’m told that it is extremely good…until one finds themselves without cash, stealing money from family and friends. 

At some point, they eventually begin performing sexual favors in a filthy bathroom in the back of a seedy bar in a poor section of town in order to purchase MORE crack cocaine.

Since I don't find sex in a dirty bathroom appealing, I figure that the most economical alternative for me comes from a 99-cent value menu.  Oh, and I don't feel that crack cocaine is right for me.  I'm more of a heroin man.**

**I'm kidding, of course, I would never do drugs so as not to anger Nancy Reagan.  I WOULD have sex in a bar restroom for free long as it's clean (and not with Nancy Reagan.)

As a side note, I’m thoroughly convinced that my lady friend’s 4-year old son is on crack cocaine, as evidenced by his intolerable behavior…but that’s a long story.

In a nutshell, I found your new “Super Crack Fries” to be limp, soggy, cold and only slightly salty…much as that of a dead hooker who washed up on the seashore in New Jersey.**

**U.S. Geography Fun Fact: New Jersey is known as “The Garden State.”

I’ll give you credit for the sea salt not tasting as robust, as this might be (according to Al Gore) due to Global Warming.®

Because I always search for ways to accentuate the positive, I found your chili to be quite enjoyable and tasty…unlike the burger and chicken nuggets that my friend purchased across the street from the Mc Doo Doo’s value meal menu.

By the way, have you ever heard the urban legend that Chinese restaurants use cats and dogs in their entrees?

I never believed it until I had to have my cat put to sleep four years ago. The veterinarian’s office was located next door to…you guessed it…a CHINESE buffet!! Coincidence? I think not.

On a personal note, I don’t trust any country which creates a round checker board.

Now that I think about it, I would probably have chalked up my experience at this particular Wendy’s establishment to the staff having an “off” night-- therefore reconsidering the potentiality of giving the dead hooker fries another chance.

However, coupled with the fact that the drive thru girl treated me as though I’d murdered her entire family and urinated on their dead bodies because I asked for ketchup and a napkin, I‘m a little shaky about the prospects of a return visit.

According to your website, your company “welcomes and appreciates” customer feedback and suggestions.

My suggestion would be to never, EVER take a road-trip with my friends. Oh, and NEVER outsource the manufacturing of your chili to the Chinese.


James Patrick

I've yet to receive a response from Wendy's, but I'll keep you posted.

In the meantime, I plan to enjoy a nice Kung Pao Chicken at the Noodle House this evening...Rest in peace Cilla!

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Tip Of The Hat (cap)

I received a nice email the other day via the reader feedback/contact button on the website which I REFUSE to maintain.  I thought the blog site was going to be a storage place (i.e. online filing cabinet) much like the paper shredding office at the Pentagon.

But, the following email was brought to my attention two years ago and, in the interest of timely response, I finally responded.

To: Pontchartrain Press
From: Annette

Hey Jim, Annette here from Pennsylvania just wanted you to know that a friend just gave me a copy of some of your stories and they made me laugh I sent you a face book request also BTW, I noticed that you're always wearing a hat in your pix…how come? I’ll def be checkin back to read more of your writing…Peace.

To: Annette
From: Pontchartrain Press

Dear Annette,

Thank you for taking time to email the longest sentence in the history of writing.  It's worth noting that I'm a huge fan of longevity.

Actually, I get the hat question quite often, primarily from people who possess entirely too much discretionary time…like stamp collectors, Comic Con attendees and professional butterfly watchers.

I've never understood the concept of studying butterflies.  They lie around in a cocoon for weeks before emerging as a flem-like  pupated substance, (like Jabba the hut...or Steven Tyler.) 

Then they blossom into a brilliantly, multi-colored creature, gracefully flitting around through the gentle spring breeze...unfortunately, they die a week later,  usually on the front grill of a Ford Escort which is owned by a college student who will be re-paying student loans until they are 75-years of age.

Not that I don't appreciate butterflies, (or indentured college students), I do.  I stand in awe as I watch them wistfully float from perch to perch, their beautiful colors and markings come to life, almost from within, as the sun casts its rays on their delicate wing span...illuminating colors which are almost surreal.  Then I spray them with a can of Raid.  (College students AND butterflies).

But, everyone should have a relaxing and fulfilling hobby, such as this case, hat wearing speculation.

My hobby, by the way, is collecting blue, glass containers. (I.e. SKYY Vodka bottles)

Truth be told, I simply wear the caps as a distraction-- to draw unwanted attention away from my incredibly, devastating physique.

It’s been a tough road for me throughout life, being ogled and objectified. Just once, I wish someone would engage me in meaningful conversation rather than awkwardly strand together incongruous conversation vignettes so that they might spend more face-time, fantasizing about my Earth-shattering incredible body. 

There's more to me than  my body, you know???

So, I figured a baseball cap would better serve as a means of going “incognito.”

Here’s a recent picture of me to better illustrate the pain and frustration which comprise my existence:

Thank you for taking time to read my absurd little stories. And STOP staring at my pecs!

The catalyst for my wearing a hat or a baseball cap is steeped in a rich, celebrated and storied history…of simply being a lazy underachiever.

When I began the freelance writing and broadcasting chapter of my life years ago, I found myself indentured from the shackles of an office cubicle or broadcast studio.  Sort of like the guy in "Roots,"  Only I wasn't beaten with leather least for free.

I could dress as I pleased, rather than don a wardrobe deemed as stuffy or "business casual."

Business casual is one of my favorite terms.  It's usually comprised of khaki pants and a Polo shirt or a sport coat, dress shirt and nice jeans with Dockers.  Translation: Someone who frantically races to get the early bird special at a Piccadilly Cafeteria and then purchase a rum-runner and a hooker before retiring to bed for the hilarious Jay Leno Tonight Show broadcast.

Yep, working alone lifted the burden of dressing up.  Plus, I could fart without devising a plan of subterfuge or finger pointing, such as blaming it on Martin (the weather man who shared the cubicle next to mine.)

I was finally free to write and broadcast from non-conventional locales without dressing up or worrying about how my clothes or hair appeared:

On the sofa in the living room in my boxers

From a coffee shop

A pub

Outside the neighbor’s window at 3am (in my boxer shorts)

Simply put, I employed the Einstein method. He theorized that folks exerted an inordinate amount of effort and time in selecting clothes from the closet each day.

Not me.  My daily work routine is simple and stress free:

Wake up to the alarm in order to make an editing or assignment meeting

Go back to sleep

Wake up again, 1-hour later

Take a shower

Brush my teeth

Begin to get dressed

Find myself distracted by whatever is on Tru TV

Put on a pair of jeans

Find myself distracted by The Judge Greg Mathis court TV program

Smoke a cigarette

Return to the TV in time to see Judge Mathis explain how ALL guys are shady and women should RUN for their lives just before delivering a decisive, yet witty, verdict

Put on a shirt

Head for the door

Put on a baseball cap to cover my unkempt hair

Arrive as the meeting is concluding

Snag a couple of cinnamon rolls leftover from the meeting

Listen to an editor yell at me for a minute or two

Go back home and take a nap

My favorite sports question is: 

“Are you FROM Boston?”

I get this question more often than you might think...all because I'm wearing a Boston Red Sox cap.  Huh?

Me: No, I'm not, in fact, from Boston.  By the way, do you work for Aeropostale or do they have a baseball team that I'm not aware of?  Or, are you just wearing that cap to show solidarity in the high hopes that Major League Baseball finally offers Aeropostale their long overdue opportunity to file for an expansion team slot?  (So long as their players possess super-model looks at 115lbs)

I suppose I shouldn't cast stones, as I, too, find myself judging or steering clear of people who adorn certain hats or caps.

For example, I would never, ever go near ANYONE wearing an Abe Lincoln stovepipe hat...for fear of NEVER being able to attract a woman and/or being assassinated.

I also refuse to socialize with those who wear a cap with the following emblazoned across the front:

God is my co-pilot
Bikini Inspector
New York Yankees
Juicy Couture
Sarah Palin 2012. You Betcha!!
I (heart) Bass Fishing

And my personal favorite, I'm NOT making this up:

I (heart) My Husband

I also avoid people who wear floppy fishing hats.  If it's a legitimate's okay.  I'll wish them a safe expedition and a bountiful catch.  Hoping that they don't find themselves in the middle of a dire situation as that of the great George Clooney in "The Perfect Storm."

I especially judge the early 20's guys who wear the floppy fishing hat.  Nothing screams "I bring nothing to the table" quite like a 22-year old in a floppy hat.

As a general observation, early 20-something guys in floppy hats translates to the following:

a) I have a dime bag for sale
b) Do you have a dime bag for sale?
c) Dude, I just got fired again
d) Can I borrow $20 bucks
e) Can I crash on your couch tonight?
f) All of the above

Avoiding these people is simply a precaution, for my personal safety.

Back to the original email...Annette, I wish that there were some outlandish, dubious or purposeful explanation about my hat and cap wearing tradition.  It would be cool if I were able to explain it away with a story such as

 "There's a space alien of organic nature incubating under this lid in order to repopulate the earth after the giant meteor (or the United Nations) brings about the end of the world as we know it." 

Truth be known, the explanation is simple.  There's no such thing as a bad hair day in my world...plain and simple.

With that said...I've decided to share a photo of me without a cap. 

 copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011

Friday, June 24, 2011

What I Meant To Say Was...

I maintain a file which contains much of my interaction via text, email and instant messages.

Sometimes I look back on them for story ideas, but mainly I figure that keeping such files will make it easier on legal officials when they come for me. It seemed to work smashingly for President Nixon.

Another Blown Deadline:

From: Mike
I know you’ve been off for a week, but your 1st draft of the next piece was due Tuesday

From: Jim
Could you specify which Tuesday?

From: Mike
You know which Tuesday. This past Tuesday.

From: Jim
Your incorrect present-past subjunctive use of the words “This” and “Past” have confused me. Please clarify.

From: Mike
Tuesday, the 5th

From: Jim
Of which month??

From: Mike

From: Jim
Very well. Sorry about that. I’ll have something for you on or about this previous, past Tuesday-week...oh, in the month of October. Sorry for the confusion.

In the meantime, I just ordered a very nice (leather-bound) day-planner for your Christmas present/past/future!!

Admittedly, I have an aversion to doctor visits, which is precisely why I was kidnapped and forced (at gunpoint) to “go for a ride.” I had been avoiding it for a while. Here’s the way it unfolded one afternoon last fall, via text msg:

Um, we’re goin to the doc tmrrw

Can we go for a late breakfast and then visit the huge thrift store on Jeff Davis Pky also? The savings NEVER stop at the thrift store, don’t you agree?

Yes, and anything else you can think of to put off going to the doc

I’m actually feeling better. I have a friend who can get me a prescription from Canada.

You’re going to the doc TMRRW!

Why do you hate Canada?


I need to run a few errands first. Can we make a couple of stops?

I suppose so…where?

Baton Rouge, Memphis, Pensacola and Houston

Breakfast, doc’s office and, if you behave, the thrift store

I think I have to help a friend of mine tomorrow actually

With what??

He’s moving his entire house. The crane is scheduled to arrive @9am.  I suggested he just light the place on fire but he's scared of his insurance adjuster.  Primarily, he's scared of going to prison for insurance fraud.  Actually he's afraid of prison sex.  Not long as it's with the right person.

See you at 9am!

Do you think Cialis is right for me?

Do you have erectile dysfunction?

Only when the old lady across the street undresses in front of her window. BTW, if my erection DID last for 7-hours, I would definitely call my doctor...she's smokin' HOT!!!

I’ll see you at 9am.

I’m really feeling much better. Honest.

I absolutely hate being invited to Halloween parties, mainly because I don't want to dress up.  I usually show up in regular clothes and, inevitably, someone asks "What are YOU dressed up as??" 

I usually inform them that I'm dressed as someone who wants to be left alone. 

Are you dressing up for Halloween??

Yes and No


Did your computer key stick on the question mark?????

Very funny…I meant what does it mean that, yes and no, you’re dressing up for Halloween

I knew what you meant…I just wanted to make you type it…and so, I just won a bet that you would do so.  It's pretty boring here this afternoon.

Glad I could help. How much did you win?

17-thousand dollars.

Nice! So how are you dressing up and NOT dressing up?

I’m going nude this year. So I AM and, technically, am NOT dressing up for Halloween.


Of course not…I’ll wear shoes. Do you think Doc Martins make my feet look too big?

Funny! What’s the theme of your costume…what are you supposed to be?

Social misfit…with shoes.

You gonna wear socks?

Judging by the expected weather forecast, as it relates to the evening temperature, yes…most likely on my private parts.

You gotta take pics!!

I’m confident that the authorities will have that task covered. Can you bail me out of jail later Sunday evening?



I like the latest writing proof. Very funny stuff.

Thank you...and now I shall walk away from it and continue tomorrow morning, provided that I don’t find myself brutally murdered before then.

Is there a non-brutal way to be killed?

Depends on who you ask. For instance, if you're reading politically skewed numbers from government crime statistics, brutal crimes are down.  Try telling that to the guy who just got beaten to death with a window washing squeegee in an altercation at the local gas station.

How do you know someone just got beaten to death with a squeegee @the gas station?

Because I asked him to pull forward 2 times at the pump so I could get gas.  I don't ask three times...I take action.

I don't know why I even bother asking for your logic.  Are u watching the World Series at Finn's this afternoon?

Not sure yet. I MAY go downtown in a while…Its nice outside

When you texted a minute ago, i was sitting in the gazebo with a book and a butterfly was wistfully flitting around me.

Did you kill it??? I hope so

nah, it was panicking, looking for a way out of the gazebo's netting. i just watched it frantically searching for an exit

Sounds like my life

yes, the metaphor was not lost on me either

The Savings NEVER End!!
I’m lucky to have thoughtful friends, especially when they text to ask if I need anything from one of those super-crazy DEEP discount stores.

From: Leigh
Hey, I’m at Sam’s Club…didn’t you say you needed something the other day?

From: Jim
Indeed…I said I needed to have sex.

From: Leigh
I was thinking more along the line of retail needs

From: Jim
I’ll pay for it.

From: Leigh
LOL. If you think of retail store items, I’ll be here for a little while, just text me.

From: Jim
Yes, I need some Creole mustard…how much is it?

From: Leigh
$2.00 for a small jar.

From: Jim
AMAZING!!! At a price like that, I’ll take 50 of them! HOW DO they do it?? So many low prices and not enough room in my pantry!!

From: Leigh
I’ll get ONE. Hey, they have some pretty cool candles for cheap…you want one??

From: Jim
No, I still have several candles left over from the ritualistic sacrifice. Hey, do you know what works best to remove blood stains from fabric, flooring and counter-tops?

From: Leigh
I’ll check the cleaning aisle. I‘ll stop by on the way home to drop the stuff off.

From: Jim
Excellent. Grab some pop tarts too if the Sam’s Club is running one of their “We’ve gone insane with our prices in order to destroy small business” sales.

Tell Me A Little Bit About Yourself...Ugh!!
 I’m very uneasy about contributing to an autobiographical piece. I never know what to say about myself…at least anything that’s appropriate for print.

I’m working up your bio for the publisher guy and have some questions. Do you think you can behave long enough to answer them?

Absolutely. I’m just chillin’ eating some Doritos and bean dip. How DO they make these things SO damn tasty? BTW, Judge Judy is being kind of a bitch today.

I need a subject line for the proposal follow up email

Subject line: FREE ORAL SEX!!!

please tell me you're kidding and give some real guidance on the subject line…I’m running late

While I think that my previous suggestion would make for a good and effective subject line...let me think of something which would be more acceptable. I’ll do so by keeping my mother in mind as a filter template

i need to wrap this email up…hurry

Subject Line: My son has only 5 days to live…PLEASE HELP!!!!


I like to involve an urgent call to action in a subject line…too strong??

Just a little

Do something serious, something that will compel him to read it.

Subject Line: There’s a bomb located on the first floor…read further for instructions

Yeah, just what we need…do something that doesn’t threaten the guy’s life please?

Subject Line: There is a bomb located in your wife’s car…read further for instructions

How about this... Subject Line: Follow Up Email

Brilliant!!! That is a true, compelling work of art!! It is, indeed, both an email AND a follow up message…how did it come to you to place the two together in a subject line?  You're like a Reese's peanut butter cup of the literary world.  Bravo!!!


Glad I could help. How about this…

Subject Line: Please read this as it took 10-minutes to come up with a subject line

I don’t think so. I gotta go to the restroom…brb

Number one or number two?

Love is in the air...and online:
I made a new Internet friend. She emailed me in response to a bogus Craig’s List personal ad that I posted.

You’re cute…So, what is a typical date like with you?

I like to dress in a pirate costume that I wore for Halloween when I was 13. Sure, it doesn’t fit…but, it doesn’t fit in the right places if ya’ know what I mean.

I also own a submarine so I like to take my date to the bottom of the lake where we dine on Mrs. Paul's fish sticks and seaweed salad.

After dinner I put in my all time favorite movie, Finding Nemo. Then we retire to the bunk beds (I like to be on top BTW.) Then, ideally, we sing the entire soundtrack to the little Mermaid.

Uh, ok…that sounds interesting. What exactly do you DO for a living. Just curious.

I’m a roller coaster operator at Disney World.

Oh, you live in Orlando?

No. I would never live in Florida, I’m scared of sand…and retired people.

I’ve been using my spare time working on a master plan to overthrow the Neighborhood Association because I'm much too lazy to overthrow a government. Besides, in overthrowing a government, genocide is just too messy for me.

BTW, since I’m on several law enforcement watch-lists, you would be perfectly safe with me at all times. Plus, my therapist thinks a date would do me some good.

Would you like to have dinner soon??

The strands of instant messages, texts and emails go on and on and on…But, I figured I’d close with a few birthday sentiments.

Anyone who knows me well is aware of my deep desire to write greeting cards for one of the major card companies. Therefore, I practice on my friends so that I might be able to hit the ground running when I get that BIG call from Hallmark:


Greetings!!  Since I happen to know that you’re a voracious reader, and I’m suffering from writer’s block, I was tempted to bang out the traditional “quick hit” (Happy B’Day) sentiments.

After careful consideration, I decided to share a little birthday story about a friend of mine.

We’ll call him Terrence. Primarily, because that’s his real name.

Terrence happens to share the same birthday as you, April 4th! Since I’m reeeally bad with remembering dates, this makes it easy to remember YOUR special day.

Yes indeed, April 4th…The same day in which the world was introduced to the delightfully splendid force which embodies the fortunate existence of Ms. Rikki Gee.

For Terrence, it wasn’t such a happy day at all.

You see, Terrence struggled for money over a better part of his life until, one day, it all turned around when he hit the Deuces Wild poker machine for $1,500 at a Mid City bar.

He employed the financial logic to which many New Orleanians subscribe; he threw caution to the wind by forgoing basic physical and discretionary necessities in life…

Children’s school tuition
Dancing With The Stars

He inserted his entire paycheck into a poker machine.

Upon collecting his unexpected reward, Terrence tipped the bartender and did what anyone who comes into a large sum of money would do…he purchased a hooker at the corner of Tulane and South Cortez Street.

Shanda** and Terrence hit it off quite famously!

**Not her real name-- In the interest of protecting her customers; including an unnamed United States Senator from Louisiana. (Which rhymes with “Twitter’)

Due to some wise investments on Terrence’s part and Shanda’s booming business (She’s really good at what she does…Um, I’ve been told) the happy, entrepreneurial couple lived a comfortable lifestyle.

They decided to reward themselves by taking a long overdue vacation to Venice, Italy for Terrence‘s birthday.

At this point, It’s important to note TWO characteristics about Terrence:

He’s 6-foot 4-inches in height and weighs about 128-pounds.**

**Picture a pool cue with a head, ears and big feet. Oh, and a really dumb looking moustache and eyeglasses.

He also has a wandering eye…especially for ladies in low-cut blouses.

As Terrance and Shanda enjoyed a birthday gondola ride through the serene and romantic waterways of Venice, a lovely young woman caught his eye from the top of a levee.

Sadly, in the absence of his forward attention, Terrence was instantly decapitated by a waterway bridge on this magical day…the date of birth which you both share.

Shanda was horrified as she held Terrence’s severed head in her bloody lap.

She quickly scrambled to the back of the gondola, trying to escape in Jacqueline Kennedy fashion as the row-master frantically tried to pull her back into the boat.

In the tussle, Terrence’s head accidentally dropped to the boat deck and bounced over the edge into the magnificently, mystical Venetian canal where it was immediately eaten by a school of hunger ravaged intra-coastal sea bass.

Since I am a well known animal lover, Terrence had always made it perfectly clear that his beloved weenie dog (Beanie) be remanded to my custody. He also left me his pornographic DVD collection.

In other birthday news, sadly, Beanie passed away this morning at 7am.

He was struck by a Zapp’s Potato Chip delivery truck** as he was doing his business on the corner of South Broad and Canal Street.

**I just LOVE the kettle cooked Cajun BBQ chips! 

Anyway, I’ll let you get back to your celebrations. By the way, I have a real bizarre story to share with you when I see you later this evening.

In the meantime, I bid you sincere wishes for a happy birthday.

Glancing at the calendar on my phone today, I noticed that it’s your special day!!!

Noticing today’s date also triggered thoughts of deep importance that I feel strongly about sharing with you, since you’re a very dear friend…

I need to pay my cable bill.

I must admit, I have a terrible memory when it comes to dates…especially on or about the 1st of each month; a fact which my landlord will readily confirm.

Happily, my new, fancy phone has helped me to remember things a great deal more these days.

My mother and father tried to break me from my calendar mental block, employing such tactics as rubbing my nose in dog poo. This method didn’t help me to remember dates at all, and it is the primary reason that I do not like dogs to this day.

Somehow my next door neighbor, Elizabeth, thought it would be a good idea for me to look after her pet cat, Pookie, while she went on vacation last month.

It’s important to note two things:

1. Elizabeth is aware of my forgetting important dates
2. Elizabeth has incredible breasts

Oh, and Elizabeth’s cat had a medical condition which required a strict schedule of life-saving medication as she recovered from some disease which I cannot pronounce.

Sadly, Pookie has used up her allotment of 9 lives.

I don’t want to spoil your special day so I’ll make a long story short. Plus, there’s a slight legal action pending and I’ve been advised to say as little as possible about the topic.

Anyway, I’m glad that I remembered your birthday and I hope that it is a wonderful day filled with all that you desire; surrounded by friends, family and, hopefully, disease free felines.

By the way, if you try to call me, I’ve lost my phone somewhere this afternoon.

Happy Birthday!

And more bit of fun with Mike, the editor.  By the way ladies, he's single!  His hobbies include being obtuse, collecting ceramic Asian figurines and line-dancing. 

When he's not busy picking apart those around him, he loves spending long afternoons in the park flying box-kites and generally giving female joggers the creeps.

His favorite foods are Kraft Lunchables and the souls of aspiring writers...and he's an above average domino player.  Hollah!

Against my better judgment, I’m sending you an email; I should just post this directly to your Facebook page or blog…since I know it’ll end up there anyway. Can you call me this afternoon please?

That’s rather presumptive of you. I have no plans to publicly post your emails to the Internet. As far as the phone call, I cant call this afternoon.

Why Not??

I just watched a report on CNN which provided rock solid proof that cell phones are directly tied to brain cancer. I’m scared to use my phone now.

Just ONCE, do you think it would be possible to submit a writing draft on time???

Speaking of cell phones, I want to do a story about AT&T. They’re not raising the bar…they’re lowering the bar as far as I’m concerned. It’s like a virtual limbo contest trying to get a signal anywhere in this town!

Stop changing the subject…your drafts are always LATE.

They’re fashionably late. It’s an endearing quality…according to the cornerstone of numerous “chick flicks.”

It’s NOT endearing in the least.

Tell that to film directors Rob Reiner and Penny Marshall.

Yeah? Paris Hilton subscribes to “fashionably late” philosophy, and you can’t stand HER.

Yes, but she’s a ho. I give ho’s a free pass. Speaking of ho’s, who was that woman I spotted you with in the French Quarter on Friday night???

Uh, that was my sister a**hole! She’s visiting from California.

Can you give her my cell phone number? I would consider ignoring the CNN cell phone/cancer report for her. Not for Paris Hilton though. Please inform your sister that this is a major compliment to her.

Can you pleeeeeease submit a draft this week??

You misspelled please.

The next piece is for MONEY. What part of getting paid doesn’t appeal to you??

I’m independently wealthy. Btw, you tend to overuse the question mark a lot. Are you sure that you’re a legitimate editor??????????????????????

Independently wealthy, huh? You borrowed $50 bucks from me on Tuesday!!!

Which reminds me…can I borrow $30-dollars???????????????????

I give up. I’m calling you right now.

Give me 5-minutes…I need to send your sister a friend request…and I need to post your emails to my Facebook page.  

copyright Pontchartrain Press 2011