December 11, 2018

Ravens and Helicopters: Competition in Sedona’s Skies…by James Bishop Jr.

From time to time, the skies above Sedona can be busy with ravens and helicopters. As the New Year looms, the truth must be faced: citizens likely know more about helicopters than they do about ravens even though ravens have been around as long as time itself and are much more interesting. Since prehistoric times even, back when there were Greek and Roman gods it was believed that ravens had divining powers. Nordic mythology, for example, places two ravens, one is thought and one is memory, on the shoulder of the god, Odin. At dawn, the birds flew off to…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

Recently one of my siblings (we call him 3-of-6, except our sister, 1-of-6, who calls him 2-of-5) took to social media with a rant regarding package delivery services. Apparently after delivering a package to 3-of-6’s front stoop the miscreant sneaked off without ringing the doorbell or knocking, leaving the package unattended to the delight of stoop thieves who have been ramping up activities as the holidays approach. Even though 3-of-6 was able to retrieve the package before any absconding took place, he wondered when the policy had changed. Many of 3-of-6’s followers reinforced his frustration and one in particular wondered…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

Of all the eloquent speakers who live among the leafy wonders of Doodlebug Island, none is more eloquent than a man who doesn’t speak at all! Struck dumb and with total hearing loss through what his doctors called “brain fever” when he was but a year old—a disease now more familiarly known as scarlet fever—Al Kinesian retained his sight and an inventive mind with which he has developed a language of his own, one that depends on gesture and intuition rather than sound. Furthermore, it is a language filled with more nuances than the average person would deem possible. To…

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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…

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Scientific Team Creates Synthetic Sperm…by Blodwyn Smythe

For years, a small team of women scientists have been secretly working on the invention of synthetic sperm that could be inseminated into a woman’s fallopian tubes. As the ovulation process occurs, the spermites (as they are currently tagged by its creators) would then swim upstream on a quest to fertilize an egg. Women have argued for decades that the primary reasons for the existence of men was to mow the lawn, open jars with stubborn lids and provide sperm for procreation. Now that riding mowers are more affordable and an electric jar lid remover has hit the market, the…

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F’ing Chutes and Ladders…by Will Durst

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…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

A peppery centenarian, James Watchkiss, celebrated another birthday this week, and was given a ticker-tape parade through downtown Doodlebug, riding in a rickshaw pulled by barmaids from Barney’s grog shop. “Take me where you will, but I’m like an old library book and must be checked back in for my afternoon nap. Orpheus won’t wait!” Well, the parade ended at the plaza where we gave him a noisy welcome and where someone had arranged a microphone. There were a couple speeches short in length but long in praise, then James was asked to speak. “This has been very nice,” he…

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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…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

Opening my mail one morning last week, I found what I considered a pointed but rather humorous ‘Letter to the editor’ written by a fellow Islander Monte Mastel, and, after much soul-searching, I created space for it in the next edition of the Doodlebug Run-on, which I edit and publish. The latter comes out weekly although the exact day of the week is something of a crap shoot. Tuesday is the target day, but if nothing newsworthy has announced itself, or if a story is taking its own sweet time coming together, Wednesday or Thursday will do just fine. And,…

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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…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

While watching Jeopardy, that TV quiz show where they give you the answer and you have to make up the question, I started to reflect on another of life’s little inequities. On this particular occasion I was doing pretty well with the answers, but such is usually not the case. I thought about how, if I were a contestant, I would look pretty much like an idiot unless I was fortunate enough to get a bunch of categories that I knew something about. That’s what started me thinking. I know some pretty smart people that would never stand a chance…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

When Dylan Thomas wrote: “Do not go gentle into that good night; old age should burn and rave at close of day; rage, rage against the dying of the light,” it’s unlikely he had in mind a group of older men meeting to rail against advancing age and its load of ills, but whether or not he did, a group like that has formed here on Doodlebug Island, and they carry on in a fashion that Dylan would most certainly approve. They call themselves, “The Railers,” and they meet the first Wednesday of each month unless one of their number…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

A quiet, modest man given to personal reflection, Emerson Godspeed has spent the bulk of his ninety years fixing things for people. Things that clog or break or that won’t work gain new life under his hands; and what is true of physical things is true of people, as well. For, in the calm waters of his presence, troubles seem smaller and more manageable, and those who seek his help seem to come away with a renewed confidence and an ability to deal with their difficulties. “Life is a classroom,” he’s fond of saying, “and we must learn how to…

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The Ping-Pong Effect…by Will Durst

Donald J Trump has many tools at his disposal. Both Houses of Congress. The support of rural America. Friends in high places. His family. A supermodel. Twitter. Fox News. The Russian Federation. A signature scent. And… Executive Orders. Along with executive determinations, memorandums, proclamations, suggestions, aspersions, insinuations, innuendos and doodles. An Executive Order is a Presidential shortcut to impose regulations or reinforce policy with the extra- added attraction of bypassing the tortuous labyrinths of Congress. And face it, any day without talking to Mitch McConnell is a victory. EOs can be historic, as in the Emancipation Proclamation; pure patronage, such…

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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…

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Bizarre Invasion Nears

Each day should pass as though it were our last.  –Publilius Syrus (ca. 50 B.C.) While citizens fret about the timid national press, dysfunctional politicians, high speed roads through once tranquil Sedona neighborhoods and alien landings in Cornville, what you are about to read may propel you, gentle reader, into the swelling ranks of the Nervous Nellies. It can be reported for the first time that a Special Excentric Task Force dedicated to guarding human health has discovered a potential threat. Reminiscent of a grade B horror film, even as you read this, countless creatures could be scrambling around looking…

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Making Sense of Reality

They say travel broadens the mind; but you must have the mind. –G.K. Chesterton Now that the War on Poverty has come and gone again and powerful political movements are splitting like oak logs under the axe, and tourists in the Swiss Alps have found lakes where glaciers once were, the time has come. Yes, gentle reader, the time really HAS come to examine a momentous development that’s thus far unreported by the effete snobs in control of the Elite Eastern Media Combine: The times really are changing. Friend Dylan, you see, was just a few decades early. My faithful…

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Angels of Accord Dwelling Midst Residents

When one is surrounded by the beautiful green trappings of nature and a lovely stream is playing soft music all around, it’s hard to find something about which to be discontented. And with angels of accord dwelling midst residents of this tiny Island nation and salting the very earth with harmony and happiness, it’s difficult to entertain discordant thoughts and negative emotions. Not impossible, understand, just difficult. Seated in my office at the Doodlebug Digest and lulled by nature’s lullaby, I was just nodding off when Pansy Hastings came in twittering about the high school prom held the night before….

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If I Survive This, I’ll Give Up Drinking…

Charlie Huffinger had spent the evening bending an elbow at the Faithless Dog saloon in Clarkdale and arrived back at Doodlebug Island in the not-so-wee hours of morning, driving more by instinct than by regulation. Truthfully, he wasn’t sure which highway he’d taken to get home, and he was only vaguely aware that he’d arrived home at all. His immediate problem was which of the three bridges he saw leading to the Island was the correct one? He debated the issue with himself, then chose the left one and promptly drove off into Oak Creek. Early risers jogging along the…

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The Sedona 25 Revealed . . .

by Bishop, Special Excentric Socio-Anthropologist Something wicked this way comes. —W. Shakespeare Now it can be revealed amidst the numbing glare of quick-hit, social-mediated bits and bytes, clouds of tweets and rapid thumb texting: The Great Gatsby was NOT great. Actually, by calling his character “great,” F. Scott Fitzgerald was being sardonic, even sarcastic. Sound familiar? Indeed, great is the word many citizens toss around Tourist Town from Wrenwood to Rene’s, when they talk of Arizona’s great legislature, great Sedona City Council, great mayors and city managers in the Verde Valley. Ponder, for a moment, the flip side of the…

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