12 Angry Pilgrims (Reach A Settlement)

“All rise! The case of Chief Ousamequin of the Wampanoag Indians v. The Pilgrims is now in session. The honorable Willie B. Upright presiding.” Judge Upright: “Before I discharge you to the Jury Room, I want to remind jurors that there is to be no discussion of this case beyond this courtroom.” Juror Five: “Does…

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Wanda Get Your Gun

Deer hunting season opened this week. To some, those six words trigger the same autonomic response as waving a liver and onions blue plate special under Hannibal Lecter’s nose. After spending months waiting, an army of glassy-eyed hunters is charging into local fields and forests with enough firepower to topple Honduras. They are toting tree…

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Hangin’ At Ol’ Merle’s Barbershop

I don’t really remember who cut my hair the first time. I’m certain that I cried, because I still do. My first haircut outside the home was likely at Ol’ Merle Wininger’s barbershop on Iowa Street in my hometown. I’m not sure why I mention Merle’s being on Iowa Street, except that I always marveled…

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The True Story of ‘Hi When’

Not terribly long ago, I had the opportunity to walk around the campus of my alma mater. I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone. It was the middle of summer, and the whole place was deserted. The likelihood of a chance encounter in this academic ghost town was implausible. So when I walked by the tennis…

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A ‘Brief’ Near-Death Experience

I don’t know if this is a curse or a blessing, but I’m pretty certain I know how I’m going to die. I can hear the coroner’s pen scratching now: Cause of Death: Extermination by Underwear. I figure it would only be manslaughter. I don’t think my underwear have it in for me, but who…

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Putting Backspin On A Mouse

There’s a mouse in my pantry . . . and he might just be staying there. Living with the countryside right out my back door, it really isn’t strange that a mouse has set up lodgings inside the cozy confines of my larder. In fact, I count on it happening two times each year. For…

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A Night of Make-Believe

Close your eyes. Wait a minute! What am I thinking? That won’t work. How are you going to read the rest of this experiment if your eyes are closed? Let’s start again. Make-believe that your eyes are closed. That’s better! And it is a perfectly acceptable preamble to what’s coming next. Because from this point…

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The Reality Of TV

I’ve been dog-sitting. My brother and his family are on their way to Michigan for a well-deserved vacation. When you own two dogs, have twin 2-year-olds, and a loving wife for whom your term of endearment is “Commander,” Michigan may not be far enough. (As a quick aside, I’m praying that my sister-in-law has forgotten…

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