January 23, 2018

  • No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

    Their ranks swollen by the addition of a fourth member as irresolute as themselves, the Geezers, as they are affectionately called by other residents of Doodlebug Island, lolled on the grassy banks of Oak Creek, taking the sun and paying only scant attention to their lines. “Fellows,” said Frank Gadston, “our credit is all used up, Spud’s and Fred’s social security checks aren’t due for a week, and our treasury amounts to little more than these poles and the clothes on our back. We gotta do somethin’ fast!” “We could maybe resurrect that idea you had about starting an escort…

  • That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

    Almost every article I write generates some sort of feedback, and I am amazed at the diverse range of the reactions. No article is universally liked or disliked, and almost every article elicits a response from one person saying it is the best I’ve ever done while another person says it’s the worst. Those two people are different from one article to the next. I’ve also gotten pretty good at predicting who will like or dislike an article. I have long since stopped trying to make every article appeal to every reader, because I realize it is an impossible task….

  • No Means No…by Will Durst

    An avalanche of revelations concerning public figures engaging in various sexual assaults has tumbled down upon our heads and the airwaves are consumed with accusations, recriminations, equivocations and ethical gyrations, not to mention the threat of career annihilations. And it couldn’t happen to a more deserving aggregation of guys. Since early October, after numerous women came forward to accuse Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually abusive behavior, huge numbers of high-profile males have faced similar charges and either been fired, allowed to resign, lost committee leadership positions, had projects canceled, entered rehab, become incapable of speech or were favorite to…

  • No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

    For three men so remarkably different from one another, Nebs Dolfinger, Howard Doaks, and Tracy Burliner were alike in at least one thing. They all wanted to know how the parking meter got from its moorings in front of the First National Bank of Doodlebug into the back of Rick Nesbitt’s truck. And Rick wasn’t saying. Island policeman Nebs Dolfinger rather thought it signaled a new wave of street crime. Prosecuting attorney Howard Doaks was of the opinion Rick had put it there himself, intending to rob it later; while Judge Tracy Burliner thought it could be either of these…

  • That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

    One of my former co-workers, Exudahagen (not his real name), X for short, can jump into any conversation and keep talking until every possible discussion point for that particular subject has been eliminated. He moves from one subject to another without leaving a gap, without even taking a breath. It’s impossible to hold a conversation with him–you can only listen. If you do decide to say something, you must watch closely for the signs that he is nearing a transition point. Usually he starts to talk a little slower. His brain is now furiously multi-tasking. Part is controlling his tongue,…

FEATURED SEDONA EDITION

Robbing Hood . . . by Will Durst

Jan 21, 2018

They’re partying at the Cracker Barrel. Wings are flying out of Hooters. The Olive Garden’s endless breadsticks have been depleted. Wherever Republicans celebrate, cans of Bud Light are being hoisted and the karaoke machine is smoking, because for the first time all year, the Party of Lincoln accomplished something. Despite being stymied by internecine warfare for 11 months, the GOP came together at the 11th hour to pass a landmark tax reform bill that President Trump referred to as “an incredible Christmas gift for hard working Americans.” Apparently, by “hard working Americans,” he meant everyone who owns a private jet…

Top 10 Comedic News Stories Of 2017…by Will Durst

Dec 28, 2017

Put down the nog. Let in the dog. Delay your spouse’s jog. Buy a mask for the smog. Alert the press in Prague. Because the eagerly awaited list of Top Ten Comedic News Stories of the Year has finally arrived. It truly is… the most wonderful time of the year. But first, a word of caution: these stories are not be confused with the Top Ten Legitimate News Stories of 2017. No. No. No. They are as dissimilar as Ruth Bader Ginsburg and strip poker. Like aluminum snow shovels and chocolate lava cakes. Oxblood wing- tips and tufted wrestling mats….

Democratic Pulse…by Will Durst

Dec 28, 2017

Let’s send a big fat congratulatory shout out to former US Attorney Doug Jones for capturing the Senate seat in Alabama, the first Democrat to be elected to that Yellowhammer State position since Richard Shelby won a second term in 1992, but then switched allegiances to the Republican Party two years later. Which, to be perfectly honest, is cheating. Democrats are hailing Jones’ upset victory over twice removed Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore as a rebuke to President Donald Trump’s agenda and anticipate transformative midterm elections next year on the order of replacing all the hounds of hell with baby…

Choreographed Twitching…by Will Durst

Nov 20, 2017

Sadly fascinating to endure another predictable dance performed on the national stage by our elected politicians in response to the recent horrendous concert shooting in Las Vegas. Well, not a dance, really, more like the choreographed twitching of an unruly mob. Both parties retired to their respective corners while spasmodically jerking and mumbling hushed gobbledygook that even first graders could recite verbatim in a show and tell version of Hypocritical Clichés. As surprising as milk- soaked hay after a missile strike on a dairy farm, Republicans slowly shook their heads somberly intoning that in the wake of such a tragic…

F’ing Chutes and Ladders…by Will Durst

Oct 23, 2017

Here’s the deal: You don’t start out by calling someone an “f’ing moron.” That’s a final exclamatory heave after exhausting all other slanders. Fool. Jerk. Pinhead. Nitwit. Idiot. Nincompoop. Moron. Until finally… f’ing moron. It doesn’t quite scale the heights of “total f’ing moron” or “banana faced monkey dribbler,” but it’s close. So Rex Tillerson must have been at the end of his rope when he flung that particular phrase of scorn and contempt at Donald Trump. Sounds like a spontaneous human explosion stemming from a well of frustration so deep it echoes. The sort of expletive one blurts out…

Hateful Haters Hating Hate…by Will Durst

Sep 23, 2017

Someone please tell the radical left to stop getting their panties in a bundle and quit calling our president a Nazi. Donald Trump proved himself a great friend of freedom when he promoted equivalency between the organized hate movement and people disgusted by them. Anyone who hates haters is equally responsible for hateful hating. That is obvious. After a riot broke out during a Unite the Right March in Charlottesville, Virginia, there was, according to President Trump, violence “on many sides.” He then sagely observed there are two sides to every story. Which is true. There are two sides to…

Thermonuclear Chicken…by Will Durst

Aug 20, 2017

Time to dig a bomb shelter. Stockpile some Kool- Aid. Nibble some Tootsie Rolls while catching a double feature at the drive- in. Pull out your pedal pushers and Hula- hoops. Stick a transistor radio in a front shirt pocket and Twist yourself into the ground replicating the gyrations of Elvis. Presley. Not Costello. Hipsters with clunky glasses and skinny ties should feel right at home as the world sinks back into the Eisenhower Era, with a new Missile Crisis currently and clumsily unfolding before our very eyes. It’s a knock- down, drag- out battle of incendiary rhetoric between the…

Make America Jurassic Again…by Will durst

Jun 20, 2017

President Donald Trump possesses a style described by friends as virile and intuitive and by foes as oafish and oblivious. Some see him a breath of fresh air, with a disarming directness and others consider him a blustering bully with the grace of a pile of crumbling cement blocks cascading off a flatbed truck. Passionate versus fool-hardy. Eager slash hasty. Swift or rash. But these are principally domestic arguments. The international community is not so divided. They view our new Chief Executive as a brutish barbarian whose goal is to antagonize the rest of the planet. Not just the other…

Family Reunions

Jun 20, 2017

Guess what? It’s time to start planning for that event that strikes a chill in the heart of every true guy. The dreaded Arizona Family Reunion! WOW, what a thrill. Here we go again, or do we? Remember last year when the kids had the famous lemonade fight in the back seat of the car? How about the time you took the wrong turn because your wife was holding the map upside down and you ended up in the middle of the desert? All those memories pale in comparison to the time you waited in a three-hour detour in 100-degree…

Gubernatorial Candidate

Jun 20, 2017

POLITICAL NEWS: In Minnesota, anyone who pays the $300 filing fee can get on the gubernatorial ballot. This year, Jonathon Sharkey, a blood-drinking satanic priest, who supports the impaling of terrorists, rapists, drug dealers and other criminals, and whose platform includes an emphasis on education, tax breaks for farmers and better benefits for veterans has thrown his kamelaukion in the ring. SAFE SEX NEWS: A Tulua, Colombia councilman wants to require everyone in town 14 or older to carry a condom to prevent pregnancy and disease, outraging local priests. William Pena said he will present a proposal to force all…

An Arizona Summer

Jun 20, 2017

The birds need oven mitts just to sit on a wire. The trees are whistling for the dogs for a little relief. The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance from store. Hot water now comes out of both taps. Ranchers are feeding chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying hard boiled eggs. You can make sun tea instantly, in the shade. You learn that a seat belt buckle makes for a pretty good branding iron. Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, “What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and…

Exorcism on Robin Hood’s Grave

Jun 20, 2017

Q: I read recently that a malefic force was emanating from the grave of Robin Hood, in a secluded woodland on the grounds of Kirklees Hall near Brighouse, West Yorkshire, England. Rumors of hauntings prompted a group of psychic experts to conduct a full scale exorcism at the grave in April, 2005. Could Robin Hood’s spirit really have turned evil? A: My guess is the people who were spooked by his essence were probably the descendants of the Sheriff of Nottingham or the Bishop of Hereford. Q: I just took a course on scrying, the ancient act of divination for the purpose…

Cornville Anniversary Gifts

Jun 20, 2017

Year 1 – Paper…Copy of your pre-nup claiming sheep possession Year 2 – Cotton…A small, wet t-shirt Year 3 – Leather…A loin cloth made with real loin Year 4 – Book…A checkbook balanced by a visiting relative Year 5 – Clock…A printout of her biological clock Year 6 – Iron…A seasoned frying pan Year 7 – Copper…Seven shiny pennies Year 8 – Bronze…A framed picture of you and your sheep Year 9 – Pottery…A cremation urn Year 10 – Tin…Beer cans saved from wedding limo Year 11 – Steel…A box of steel wool you stole Year 12 – Linen…A bag…

The Curse of 2611 West Highway 89A

Jun 20, 2017

View of Thunder Mountain from 2611 W. Highway 89A The Word Around Town Asking about Thai Spices restaurant moving from its previous location to 2611 West Highway 89A causes many people to just shake their head. “I don’t know what it is about that location,” you hear time and again, “but no restaurant ever seems to make it there.” Then the litany of restaurants that have occupied the single story building with views of Thunder Mountain begins: the old Osho Cafe, Savannah’s, Wild Orchid and, most recently, a French restaurant that only lasted about three weeks. Various reasons are then…

Strange & Cool Sedona Stuff

Jun 20, 2017

Painting My World: Gambel Quails and Swirling Skies Fri, 21 Jun 2013 We were pleasantly surprised by the Gambel Quail family that showed up while we had our morning coffee. First daddy quail came into view to check it out. We had out down some seed. Then he called for mommy and over she scooted with about 15 babies in tow … Gazing from the Vortex – Braco Live Stream Parties in Sedona Wed, 19 Jun 2013 Our first live stream party was when they were live streaming from Zagreb for Braco’s birthday from 8pm to 8am Sedona time. At…

Frosty No More

Jun 20, 2017

The Excentric World Special Task Force takes at look at the effects of climate change. While many politicians deny that climate change even exists, and others find no correlation between the deterioration of the protective ozone layer and pollutant emissions from the tools of humans, scientists have declared a potential state of emergency. A look at major cities around the world should be evidence enough that we are choking ourselves to death, never mind the dramatic rise in cases of basal cell skin carcinomas. Combustible automobile and truck engines, gas powered mowers and blowers contribute greatly to harmful particulates floating in…

Cross of the Sun

Jun 20, 2017

Although wine is my expertise, I’m an aficionado of all types of tasty beverages. And one item that I enjoy in particular is good quality tequila. While out wine tasting one recent afternoon, I managed to be in the right place at the right time and was able to taste some tequila that I can simply describe with one word: outstanding! Not only was it a taste treat, but it turned out to be a locally owned label, and is my feature for this month, Cruz del Sol Tequila. While the full name of the brand may be Cruz del Sol,…

PRESIDENT RASKOLNIKOV

May 20, 2017

The firing of FBI Director James Comey by the President of the United States slammed Washington with the suddenness of a two- story bowling ball hitting the South Portico after being dropped from a blimp. And the repercussions have shot across the Capitol like a flurry of Kansas tornadoes, causing the entire Beltway to chant, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.” A variety of reasons were given for the hasty dismissal. The FBI is in turmoil. Comey lost the confidence of the FBI rank and file. He did a lousy job. Way too tall. Has weird…

Father Knows Best?

May 20, 2017

cur-mudg-eon (cur-muj’un), n. [origin unknown] 1. archaic: a crusty, ill-tempered, churlish old man. 2. modern: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner. This month’s subject: FATHERING “There is too much fathering going on just now and there is no doubt about it, fathers are depressing.” –Gertrude Stein “The fundamental defect of fathers, in our competitive society, is that they want their children to be a credit to them.” –Bertrand Russell “Rich men’s sons are seldom rich men’s fathers.” –Herbert…

Meteor Strike in Russia

May 20, 2017

Q:  I, like many others, watched the video recordings of the recent meteor strike in Russia in amazement. It brought back memories of the story of the 1908 fire caused by an explosion in the Siberian forest. There was no crater ever found and the cause of the explosion, 1,000 times the power of the Hiroshima bomb, was never discovered. It is possible solar flares are reaching the earth and being covered up by government officials? A: There is a nut in Russia claiming the recent meteorite hit was the result of a conspiracy. He’s as crazy as politicians who…

That Really Bunches My Panties

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Almost every article I write generates some sort of feedback, and I am amazed at the diverse range of the reactions. No article is universally liked or disliked, and almost every article elicits a response from one person saying it is the best I’ve ever done while another person says it’s the worst. Those two people are different from one article to the next. I’ve also gotten pretty good at predicting who will like or dislike an article. I have long since stopped trying to make every article appeal to every reader, because I realize it is an impossible task….

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

One of my former co-workers, Exudahagen (not his real name), X for short, can jump into any conversation and keep talking until every possible discussion point for that particular subject has been eliminated. He moves from one subject to another without leaving a gap, without even taking a breath. It’s impossible to hold a conversation with him–you can only listen. If you do decide to say something, you must watch closely for the signs that he is nearing a transition point. Usually he starts to talk a little slower. His brain is now furiously multi-tasking. Part is controlling his tongue,…

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

I’d like to introduce you to a new term. The term is “scope creep.” This is not an obnoxious guy hooked on mouthwash; it has to do with the way projects are handled. Husbands should be very aware of this concept, because wives have a natural instinct for it. Wives ask husbands to do a project, husbands agree and start on the project, but long before it is completed, the project starts to grow arms and legs. This is “scope creep,” the “scope” of the project is “creeping” outward in every direction. An example will illustrate this concept. The week…

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Downsizing, rightsizing, reduction in force, no matter what they call it, the end result is fewer employees doing the same or more work. A side benefit of this effort is less floor space required. Another approach is to maximize employee density. Managers, working with the facilities department, have become very creative when it comes to packing more employees into the same or less floor space. Constructing cubicles with movable partitions has been an effective tool in this effort for the last few years. The initial idea was very simple–just make each cubicle smaller. But there is a finite limit to…

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

The seven-year-old daughter of a friend has reached a milestone in her educational program. She must learn to write cursive, or longhand, as some refer to it. We wonder why. As an adult I know that this is just one of many instances where it becomes necessary to learn something for no apparent reason. Take algebra for example. If it were not for my formal training I would not have been able to determine that the eighteen-ounce box of macaroni was actually a better deal than the two-pound box. But I wonder about cursive. When do you use it, and…

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

A few years back I was sitting in my office and heard a sound coming from the parking lot that I had not heard since I left the snowdrifts of upstate New York in April of ’82. It was the sound of a vehicle being shifted alternately between forward and reverse accompanied by the sound of spinning tires. I immediately looked out my Phoenix, Arizona window to see if it had snowed while I was in that last meeting. I was relieved to see that it had not. After all, how far do I have to go to get away…

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon marks

One Plus Five: By some standards, I grew up in a large family. I have five siblings. A generation before me, eight to ten was typical, and my parents came from typical families. My mother had seven siblings and my father had nine. I have some cousins that were older than my mom was. I was nearly eight when my third brother was about to be born. Counting my older sister and me that would make five. I was worried. My sister had told me that every fifth baby born in the world was Chinese. Of course, back then we…

Be Cool

Starting around May of every year, whenever I have a conversation with one of my relatives from some other part of the country, invariably I hear, “Well, I know it’s nothing like where you are, but it’s sure been hot here the last few days.” Arizona equates to hot. It’s just accepted. There are other places that are hotter, but no one knows anyone who lives there. To be accurate, not all of Arizona is hot. But most of the country thinks Arizona beef is medium-rare while it’s still walking around, chickens lay soft-boiled eggs, and you can just pull…