Saturday, November 21, 2015

Sweet Sixteen

A rarity where I respond to anyone under 18 so as not to anger their parents, or Tipper Gore.  This is a situation that any number of my colleagues would refer to as a recipe for disaster.  This young woman is gonna be a writing star...

TO: Jim Patrick
From: Linz, Nashville, TN.
I'm 16 and really enjoy the stuff you write for the local blog scene only appears once per month.  Why??  You're FROM HERE.

I hope to be a writer eventually and notice that you include silly stuff about your family and friends a lot. My family and friends are crazy funny, stupid but I wonder how I can write about them and not make them mad at me.

I figure no one will pay attention to my writing till I'm older anyway. When did you begin writing and did people take you seriously?

From: Jim Patrick Pontchartrain Press
Dear Linz,

Once per month??  It's supposed to appear twice per month- someone's getting fired for this!  Unfortunately it'll be me.

I seem to have moderate allergies to deadline oriented writing assignments, according to Mike Klein, the editor.

On another note, I also have allergies to cats, which led to an eventual breakup between me and my Ex. She, likely, holds an entirely different opinion on this topic.

Let's get to the most important aspect of your e-mail-  Aren't there ANY sort of parental filtering systems on your computer? WHY would your parents allow you to hit that Nashville publication?

I'm happy that you did though and that you've enjoyed them- They probably won't scar you or anything...not too much.

If your parents take issue, no worries.  I'm perfectly accustomed to angering a young woman's parents- another topic where I believe my Ex might provide a treasure trove of information.

To answer your remaining questions: I don't have a clue.

Actually I'm not certain that anyone takes ME seriously to this day and I'm not 16.  But, life can be more fun that way Linz; It's less stressful quite honestly.

Don't be discouraged or doubt yourself because of your age, ever-  simply write what you feel whether or not someone will like it or not.  There'll always be someone who doesn't like another person's art.  I'm looking in the general direction of Nickelback.

When someone shoots your stuff down, deal with it bravely as I do...cry uncontrollably in the corner of a locked room and stage a hunger strike.  (both for people not liking your writing AND for the fact that Nickelback is still making music).

I happen to take you seriously, otherwise I wouldn't be writing back I suppose.

You're fortunate to have friends and family who are "crazy, funny, stupid."- get ready to create an arsenal of pseudonyms unless you're ready to be uninvited, unfriended and sit alone a lot.

I don't have this particular problem as my friends are crazy, stupid, funny...and usually drunk.

Note: Don't drink, smoke or watch the Real Housewives.  Make healthful eating choices, stay in school...oh, and always wear your seatbelt.  Also, stay away from boys until you're age 30.  

Pass along the following message to your dad for me...

"You're welcome."  

(He'll know what I mean.)

I would've attached some draft writings but I'd like to not end up on a neighborhood watch bulletin.

The truth is, I believe that most people have some form of talent and all people have dreams.  Sadly, so many don't take that first step.  But, you did.  Never stop doing that.  Keep at it...then watch what happens.

It may or may not be important to note: I am not a role model for young people, at least that's what I've been told.  But, I truly thank you for your email.


copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2015

Author note: Since she sent this email, Linz recently won accolades in a Nashville area school essay competition.  Congrats!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Family Tree Fell In The Forest

I learned from that I most certainly must have been drunk for visiting

I also learned that, in ancient times, many marriages were by capture, not choice - due  scarcity of nubile women, men raided other villages for wives.

This sounds like Braveheart mixed with Monday Night Football meets The Bachelor and a snuff film. Tru TV,  please add this program to your lineup!

Frequently the tribe from which a warrior stole a bride would come looking for her, fill out some paperwork I suppose and then it was necessary for these wacky kids to go into hiding to avoid being discovered; Sort of like weapons of mass destruction.

Sounds romantic.

I don't date as I enjoy a sane existence without crazy people but, if I did date, I simply like to go  for dinner, enjoy a nice stroll, maybe a concert and, perhaps, a few drinks- It never occurred to me to resurrect a tradition of tribal warfare on the first date.  I save that for the third date.

According to an old French custom, (and we all know what the French are famous for... obnoxiousness.)

The country of cheese, chain smoking, infidelity and wine asserted that as the moon went through all phases, a new couple must drink a brew called Metheglin (This sounds too close to Meth, which is Sooo Central Florida for my comfort level).

It's a concoction made from honey. Hence, we get the word honeymoon. Also known as it's all downhill from here.

I suspect that I would have been hanged, drawn, quartered and/or burned at the stake during this era.

Again, on MY rare occasion for a date and not necessarily in this order: We eat, have a few drinks, maybe film a pornographic video and I'll open doors for her.

I remember once, in my wilder days, I went on a date and at the end of the evening we happened across a mutual friend.

The three of us chatted for a bit (by chatted, I mean we had five shots of Tequila) and, before sunrise, we found ourselves on a plane,  400-miles away, at the beach in Boca Raton.

Yes, I realize that this sounds like a creepy plotline for a pornographic film.

Perhaps my favorite “date” visual comes from a friend of mine, Leigh. She informed that she once went on a double date and tooled around town in an MG- Even better, they went to a festival in Lower Manhattan and won “The Big Banana.”  Four people in a two-seater with a stuffed, 6-foot banana. I’m not certain what role the banana may or may not have played later in the evening and I didn’t ask.

There are some experiences that one can't receive from e-Harmony.

Even though my expeditions do not involve tribal kidnapping, nor the “Big Banana”- enjoying another’s company, whether it be over dinner, drinks, a multi state killing spree, etc.  I require no formal event title. It can be with a friend or it can be with someone with whom you would greatly like to see naked; No pressures or stigmas attached.

copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2015

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Dear Jim...not again!

Dear Jim, after consulting my list of Facebook friends, I decided that you were uniquely qualified to answer a question that has been foremost on my mind and I fear I will not sleep until I get a satisfactory answer.

Is it possible for every car insurance company to have the lowest rates? Thank you in advance for your help.

Best regards, your friend,

Dear Charlie,
First of all, allow me to dispel any over-confidence that I'm qualified to do anything above and beyond showering and dressing myself.

I'm equally shaky about consulting a Facebook friends list in search of any solid information  beyond learning that a friend's 2yr old just shit on the kitchen table or...
Viewing a tasty entree which is becoming ice cold as  Facebook friend is conducting a professional photo shoot in order to brag about some stupid dinner recipe they found on a Martha Stewart blog in order to cause the rest of us to feel inadequate about our miserable lot in life as we cram a box of Kraft Mac and cheese down our face while contemplating suicide.

You'll also see stupid pics of some vacation full of friends who never call, updated status from a friend whose grandpa also just shit on the kitchen table and a random blurb that  "Jenny is now in her 7-thousandth relationship" confirming what we're all thinking...that she is a whore. But,  according to her post, she is soooo happy.

That said, unfortunately, Pontchartrain Press adheres to strict "no endorsement" media values for objectivity appearances.

I greatly appreciate your email but I must retrieve my Tombstone Pizza from the oven. I plan to enjoy it with a frosty Amstel Light while watching an episode of The Blacklist, starring James Spader as part of NBCs Must See Thursday- 9/8central. If there's time, I might enjoy 8 essential vitamins and minerals via a bowl of Lucky Charms.

By the way, I DID save 15 percent or more in 15 minutes prior to reading your email.

Jim Patrick
Pontchartrain Press

Copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2015

Friday, November 6, 2015

Sext, Drugs

Sexting is quite the phone 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.

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

“And what are YOU wearing? LOL!”

Jim Patrick:
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?

Jim Patrick:
I did indeed. Can I show it to Jeff?

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

Jim Patrick:

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

Jim Patrick:Oh…sorry, how bout this?

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

Jim Patrick:

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

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

Jim Patrick:

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

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


Jim Patrick:
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.

Jim Patrick:
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.


Jim Patrick:
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.

Copyright Pontchartrain Press, 2015