January 18, 2017

  • will durst

    Top 10 Comedic Stories of 2016, by Will Durst

    It’s the month of December and all over the nation children dance while grandparents twitch with anticipation. Which, admittedly, isn’t that out of the ordinary. During this festive season rife with traditions, none is more hallowed than that magical moment when the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the year are unveiled. Truly this is the most wonderful time of the year. Please be advised that the Top Ten Comedic News Stories of 2016 are not in any way, shape or form to be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2016. No. No. No. They are as…

  • guns santa

    Santa’s Xtreme Makeover!

    SEDONA, AZ. “The Amazing Race,” “American Idol,” “The Apprentice,” “The Bachelor,” “Wife Swapping,” “Fear Factor,” “Last Comic Standing,” “Survivor,” “Trading Spaces” and “Extreme Makeover” are a few of the television shows replacing sitcoms as America’s prime-time viewing choices. Capitalizing on the popularity of the sometimes racy, mostly inane shows and the viewing public’s obvious need for entertainment at par with bobbing for fugu, Santa Claus, the real one, not one of the department store imitators, has decided to shoot a reality show in the once rustic, tranquil Sedona, Arizona. “Sedona, a city recently jolted by the onslaught of progress, is…

  • g and s

    Happy Holidays–It’s Not as Bad as It Sounds

    By the time your ink stained hands have riffled through this month’s Excentric, searching madly for my monthly column, I will be squatting Asian style on a white sand beach somewhere off the coast of Thailand, with only my fears of a tidal wave separating me from tropical nirvana. Yes, for those who have followed my sordid escapades over the last decade or more, you know that when the holidays hit, I split. Pukapuka, Sri Lanka, Cocoa Island, Ihuro and my present paradise, the Similan Islands off southern Thailand, have become my vacation home as I do my very best…

  • javelina leap

    Big Wines Need a Big Dog

    I’m going to delve back into the developing local wine scene and introduce you to another of Northern Arizona’s young wineries. The locale in question is known for making big red wines from big red Zinfandel grapes. That, and a really big dog. Javelina Leap Vineyards and Winery  is located at 1565 Page Springs Road just south of Sedona on the outskirts of the town of Cornville, just across the road from the fish hatchery. It’s the labor of passion for owner/winemaker Rod Snapp. Of course, he’ll give all the credit for any success to his partner and better half,…

  • pulitzer denied

    Rumor That Took Off Like A Rocket

    When I started the rumor that I was being considered for the Pulitzer Prize in literature, I was just having what I thought was a little innocent fun. But like most rumors this one took off like a rocket aimed at the moon, and before I could quell the whole matter, I found myself being feted from one end of our little island kingdom to the other. People were equally divided between congratulating me on a personal accomplishment, and congratulating themselves for living in a place soon to be made famous. I tell you, if I had the capacity for…



You’re an Old Sedonan…

Dec 20, 2016

When you buy a computer to send email to save on postage. When you count your Bingo losses as church offerings. When you are told your memory bank has been burglarized. When asked about liquid assets, you search the stock in the liquor cabinet. When a prune juice wine cooler is your favorite beverage. When your skull x-rays are mistaken for those of an extinct not-so-great ape. When you check into a motel and suffer motion sickness while reading the Bible on the Magic Fingers vibrating bed. When you go to an All-U-Can-Eat buffet and the hot food is cold…


Who Is Reading What These Days?

Dec 20, 2016

The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the country and who are very good at crossword puzzles. USA Today is read by people who think they ought to run the country, but don’t really understand The New York Times. They do, however, like their statistics shown in pie charts. The Los Angeles Times is read by people who wouldn’t mind running the country–if they could find the time and if they…


Haunting Phenomena

Dec 20, 2016

Q: With Halloween just behind us, I started wondering about my house being haunted. It is over 100 years old, so many have come and gone from here. I know some hauntings feature a single phenomenon such as a door slamming shut repeatedly while others consist of different phenomena, ranging from odd noises to full blown apparitions. I read where there are 16 signs a house might be haunted. I also know they include strange animal behavior and unexplained shadows. If both of these occur simultaneously are the chances greater that your house is haunted? A: Sure. Two out of…


Zulu Mystery Cave

Dec 20, 2016

Dear Sister, I have told you before, I have this Zulu friend, whose name is Saki, who likes to call himself a Sedona resident, and I myself may be the only man around who actually knows where that residence is. It’s a cave, believe it or not, deep underground among our famous Red Rocks, very handy to the waters of our beautiful Oak Creek. He likes to swim a lot, and takes a thirty-foot dive before he actually hits water, close by an official sign that states: “Dangerous Currents – Do Not Swim Here.” Just a cave? Well, it was…

norris-van gogh

Vincent Van Gogh’s Relatives?

Dec 20, 2016

His dizzy aunt … Verti Gogh The brother who ate prunes … Gotta Gogh The brother who worked at a convenience store … Stop N Gogh The grandfather from Yugoslavia … U Gogh His magician uncle … Where-diddy Gogh His Mexican cousin …  Amee Gogh The Mexican cousin’s American half-brother … Gring Gogh The nephew who drove a stage coach … Wells-far Gogh The constipated uncle … Can’t Gogh The ballroom dancing aunt … Tang Gogh The bird lover uncle … Flamin Gogh An aunt who taught positive thinking … Way-to-Gogh The little bouncy nephew … Poe Gogh A sister who loved disco … Go Gogh And…


Cyanide Cloud

Dec 20, 2016

MENTAL ENVIRONMENT NEWS: Authorities arrested a woman who told people at gas stations and hotels in the Village of Oak Creek, near Sedona, AZ, that they needed to evacuate because a cloud of cyanide gas was approaching from Phoenix. There was no cyanide cloud, and 55-year-old Christine Ann Long of Scottsdale was arrested on charges of disorderly and unreasonable noise. The only cloud turned out to be the fog in the woman’s mind. SUCKING NEWS: A 70-year-old man was charged with grand theft after police watched him siphon off more than 900 gallons of gasoline from underground storage tanks at…


Rejected Sedona Treats

Dec 20, 2016

Ahhhhhhhhhhhg! The Sedona City Council is busy with sticky issues. Recently, they voted to reject a number of proposed treats Uptown vendors were preparing for this Halloween’s annual Uptown Trick or Treat Night. The rejected confections include: Black Licorice Street Lamp Blocking Masks Sugar Coated Shilajit Squirrel Turds Organic Alien Fingers Crystal Crunchers Jell-O Beans Petrified Popcorn Puffs Red Licorice Alien Brains Splenda Dipped Juniper Bark Daffy Taffy Slide Rock Ultra Slim Jims Smoked Trout Farm Balls Page Springs Mesquite Logs Road Kill Fritters On A Stick Trail Mix From West Fork Trail Smoked Gristle Stardust Sprinkled Red Rock Succotash…

crossing street

Retiring in Sedona

Dec 20, 2016

You are asked to sign a “hold harmless” agreement before Boy Scouts help you cross the street. You pimped-out your golf cart with training wheels. Instead of “air guitar” you show off with “air harp.” You have to quit your arts and crafts class because the glue and paint are making you dizzy. Your idea of Trail Mix is a mixture of soy nuts, Tums, aspirin and dried prunes. You consult your psychic about removing one of your kidneys in hopes that you’ll have to pee less often. Hanging around a vortex seems to make your “senior moment” last for…

will durst

The Bright Sides of a Donald J. Trump presidency

Nov 21, 2016

Well. That happened. Donald J. Trump didn’t just perplex the pundits, pollsters and his own progeny with a stunning electoral pummeling of Hillary Clinton, he pelted them with showbiz shock and awe. It was a wake- up call that surely rolled Beethoven, who was deaf, and is now dead. The new shot heard round the world. Planet- wide, liberals are slashing wrists and bashing brains and gnashing teeth and curled in a fetal position begging for their blue banky. The city of San Francisco is working through the five stages of grief but it’s going to take a while, because…


The Pros and Cons of Napping

Nov 21, 2016

HEALTH STUDY NEWS: In the largest study to date on the health effects of napping, researchers tracked 23,681 healthy Greek adults for an average of about six years. Those who napped at least three times weekly for about half an hour had a 37 percent lower risk of dying from heart attacks or other heart problems than those who did not nap. Of course, those found napping while driving ran a far greater risk of dying from an automobile accident. RECORD BREAKING NEWS: More than 6,000 couples kissed simultaneously at midnight one Saturday in the Philippines with organizers of the…


End of Days and Mayan Prophesies

Nov 21, 2016

Q: I’ve been seeing a lot of books, magazine articles, television shows and movies about Armageddon, the End of Days and the Mayan Prophesies of December 21, 2012. Even if there is only a major shift in the thinking and spiritual activity of mankind, could all of this cataclysmic gobbledygook paranoia actually cause something horrible to happen? I don’t mean volcanic eruption, earthquakes and floods, but might they manifest manmade disasters like wars, genocide, species extinction and famine? A: Wow! Now I’m totally confused. I was preparing for the Harmonic Convergence. But if the end is coming, I have to do…


The Advantages of Marrying a Momma’s Boy

Nov 21, 2016

Dear Frankly, I love your columns! I am planning to marry the man of my dreams next June. We have been dating for over a year and are sooooo much in love. We want to have a huge outdoor wedding in Sedona. Although his parents are wonderful, I’m a little concerned about the role that they still play in his life…particularly his mother. She still does my fiancé’s laundry, cooks his lunches daily and cleans his house. What do you think? Marching to Marriage Dear Marching, My fifth husband also was a momma’s boy. I suggest you marry him, let…


Exorcisms in Sedona Area

Nov 21, 2016

Q: I found an article that stated there was a shortage of priests who can perform exorcisms and the United States’ Roman Catholic bishops are sponsoring a conference on how to cast out evil. It claimed that only a tiny number of US priests have enough training and knowledge to perform an exorcism with dioceses nationwide relying solely on these clergy who have been overwhelmed with requests to evaluate claims. Are you aware of any exorcisms in the Sedona area? A: Not personally. I’m not sure about demons and evil possessions, but there are some people I would like to…


Asian Form of Sasquatch

Nov 21, 2016

Q: I recently read where villagers in Shennongjia, Hubei Province in China have been wondering about the presence of a Bigfoot ever since a man named Ding Fei, 33, found mysterious thick curly hairs with transparent roots at a location called Swallow Hole on a local mountain. Is it possible an Asian form of Sasquatch exists? A: It’s possible. I presume an Asian Bigfoot would wear about a size 7. Q: I saw an article about a Bosnian man whose house has been hit six times by meteorites claims aliens are targeting him. The white-hot rocks have hammered a man’s…

Doug (Rabbit) Sutherland - Not dead, just rehearsing!

Doug (Rabbit) Sutherland…Minister of Reality

Oct 29, 2016

BUT NOT DUCK The adjectives abound these days To grapple with a schmuck — The man who we all recognize As “Donald” (but not Duck)! The word, repugnant, can’t describe This man whose life is built On pompous, self-aggrandizement, Without remorse or guilt! — A man without compassion who’s A loser and a pimp, A man who puts down others who’s A bully and a wimp, A cowardly misogynist, A bigot and a fake, A narcissistic idiot, A crass, unworthy flake, A xenophobic demagogue Who’s dragged us through the muck — Inadequate pejoratives For “Donald” (but not Duck)! Related posts:…

will durst

Crash & Burn . . . Repeat

Sep 21, 2016

We might as well be watching a 30- car pile- up the way Americans are holding hands over their eyes trying to avoid the grisly bits of the most grotesque presidential race we have witnessed in this, the second decade of the 21st Century. Of course, it’s only the 2nd election during that time, but still. That is not to say 2012 wasn’t genuinely gruesome with more than its share of cataclysmic collisions and demolition derby debacles but this time they’re headed downhill faster than an 18- wheeler with burned out brakes carrying a load of nitroglycerine on the western…

will durst

The American People . . . by Will Durst

Aug 14, 2016

So the conventions are over and we’ve entered the penultimate stage of this presidential demolition derby and your muted murmurs of “yippee” and “hooray” have been duly noted. That’s enough, put the horns away, this is not an overly large celebration. It took a year and a half, but the presidential field has winnowed down to the major political parties’ two anointed nominees: the Donald and the Hillary. Let us pray. And more polarizing figures could not be found with the superconducting magnet at the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva. Thus far the process has been everything but pretty or…


Venison Jerky . . . by Will Durst

Jun 21, 2016

If the goal is to cause both sides of the political spectrum to quiver and twitch and shiver and shake like a raccoon clinging to the outside of a cement mixer speeding through a railroad yard, just casually throw out the term, “gun control,” and step back. The left considers all guns the reprehensible tool of warriors, criminals and primitives, while in most of red state America, the definition of gun control is using two hands and hitting the target. Then some addled- brained, flippo- unit actually uses those techniques to take out a bunch of innocent people, and the…


Amassing? . . . by Doug “Rabbit” Sutherland

May 19, 2016

AMASSING? I woke up from a nightmare in A black, depressing chill! The president had just decreed All rivers flow uphill! “Don’t worry,” he was heard to shout, “For it will be amassing!” (Amazing with bad spelling? or Just presidential gassing?) But, then, the Mississippi turned, As millions dropped their jaw, Flowed north to old St. Louis then Northwest, to Omaha, Amassing, in a world class flood, Then, surging on, upstream, Pushed on along the Mighty Mo, And quickly gathered steam, Transforming my Montana to An inland sea of sorts!– The shoreline lined with parking lots And Donald Trump resorts!…


My Pod . . . by Doug “Rabbit” Sutherland

Feb 19, 2016

MY POD The podcast of my life is out On iTunes and online. So, if you’re tired of living yours, Rejoice! You can live mine! Experience your birth again That brutal, freezing day, As doc Berg drops you on your head And sends you on your way! And, soon, you’ll be rejected by Your teachers, friends and peers, Unable to learn basketball And laughed at for your ears! Then, taste humiliation’s dust Through years of workplace hurt, As colleagues soar ahead of you And leave you in the dirt! The podcast of my life’s for sale At all the podcast…

That Really Bunches My Panties


Growing A Winter Coat, by Brendon Marks

Most women will only admit men are superior in three areas: opening jars, killing bugs, and producing methane. But there is one area where men truly have no equal. That is pogonotrophy. This is not a horrible misspelling of pornography; pogonotrophy means ‘the growing of a beard.’ I know that there are many women who can mount a serious challenge in the mustache department or a hairy old mole, but I’m talking about a real beard. The average man will grow twenty-seven feet of hair out of his face during his lifetime. I’m not sure how they determined that. Can…


That Was My Idea!…by Brendon Marks

Jeff Hostetler was in town the other day. I saw him at a fast food restaurant. Jeff is a professional football quarterback. I don’t know which team he plays for now, I lost interest in his career when he abandoned the New York Giants. The shirt he was wearing was black and silver and had some sort of pirate theme. He looked very different without his uniform. Those guys are so covered up even their own mothers wouldn’t recognize them. Not like basketball players who run around virtually naked. I pointed him out to my dining companion who snorted, “That’s…


What Was The Question…by Brendon Marks

As a friend was helping move a dresser the other day, I asked him, “Can you handle that end OK?” He replied, “Is the Pope catholic?” I wasn’t sure what that had to do with anything, but it reminded me of several other questions of the same type, such as: Is the Pope Polish? Does a duck have lips? Does a bear sleep in the woods? These are serious questions that deserve answers; I decided to get those answers. Initially I had trouble researching the two questions concerning the Pope. Obtaining information about the current pope was easy, but none…


Buying A New Car . . . by Brendon marks

New car dealers spend a lot of money on advertising. I used to think many of the ideas were pretty silly, but I always knew that no matter how silly the idea was, next week there would be one to top it. I didn’t believe these silly ideas would have any impact upon who would buy which car or when, until a friend told me that he was going to buy a new car. “What kind?” I asked. “It really doesn’t matter,” he said, “There’s a dealership down the street that has a giant inflated football helmet out front. That’s…


Small Town Culture . . . by Brendon Marks

I grew up in small towns and I like them. They stay forever small because of their names. A name like ‘Cook’s Falls’, ‘Fish’s Eddy’ or ‘Peaksville’ would never survive if the town became large. The politicians or the inhabitants who came later to swell the village beyond its beginnings would undoubtedly not be descended from the Cook, Fish or Peak families, and would change the name to something more suitable for a thriving metropolis. If you hear names like that, you just know it’s a small town somewhere. Typically these towns are situated beside a railroad line or where…


Unlicensed and Untrained…by Brendon Marks

The government recently released the “alarming results” of a study that determined the majority of young children are not receiving day care from trained workers; instead, they are being cared for by “unlicensed and untrained” providers. Who are these heinous perpetrators? They are relatives–mostly grandparents. Government workers are particularly alarmed that grandparents are “unprepared” for the nurturing of young minds at a particularly vulnerable age. Well, if these loving, but “unlicensed and untrained” grandparents are so dangerous, where was the government when my generation needed them so badly to protect us during our formative years? If they’re not qualified to…

If this is even tempered, God forgive us if he gets upset.

Watch and Write . . . by Brendon Marks

A guy once said, “Don’t knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn’t start a conversation if it didn’t change once in a while.” It has been attributed to Kin Hubbard, but when you stop to think about it, who said it is not important. What’s really important is that somebody wrote down that somebody said it. Does the guy who wrote it down ever get any credit? Mark Twain was another guy who was always saying pithy things like that and not once was it ever recorded that he said, “Hey, that was pithy. I guess I should write…


It’s Only Water . . . by Brendon Marks

Water is amazing. Take two chunks of hydrogen, one chunk of oxygen, slam them together, and the result is a substance unlimited in its usefulness and versatility. Occasionally it has a down side, usually when a lot of the combined chunks get together and move from one place to another, but generally it’s pretty handy. Its popularity is widespread, and humans flock to it, more so on warm weekends. Any realtor will attest to the fact that humans are attracted to water. Oceanfront, lakefront, and riverfront properties always have the highest price tags. One whole state seems obsessed with the…