January 17, 2019

No News from Doodlebug Island, by William F. Jordan

One of the more fascinating aspects of being in the newspaper editing and publishing business is that it provides a ring-side seat to the news or to the lives of those who make the news. Equally interesting is the business of publishing biographies, but either or both of these fails to rise to the interest level involved in publishing autobiographies. Here are recounted not only the factual results of someone’s life but his or her more intimate feelings, reactions, and attitudes about those results. More intimate yet are the regrets, blunted dreams, wishes unrealized, achievements missed, or ambitions unfulfilled It…

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The Three Fs by Brendon Marks

So you’re suffering from the three F’s: fat, forty, and frustrated–well, help is available. I can’t do much about “forty”, except suggest you slap on a coat of Oil of Old Lady, to cover your basketball complexion so you don’t look forty. And you’ll have to get “frustrated” advice from another source, but “fat” is right down my alley. Before everybody starts writing letters, let me say that I am not saying that you’re fat. I’m also not saying there is anything wrong with being fat. I’m just saying you may think you’re fat and you may have decided to…

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The Unwritten Word . . . by William F. Jordan

It had been one of those weeks nothing happened that rose to the level of printable news. The blank pages of my newspaper, the Doodlebug Island Run-on, seemed to stare mockingly up at me as if to confirm the little good all my past efforts had achieved, and the extreme likelihood that the future didn’t auger well for anything better. Phone calls to service organizations like Kiwanis and Rotary produced nothing. No group was planning anything beyond its weekly meeting, and none was convinced that programs lined up represented anything more than a ho-hum speaker made tolerable by the comraderie…

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I May Get Around To It . . . by Brendon Marks

I’m a world class procrastinator. I should join Procrastinator’s Anonymous, and I will, someday. How do they get any members anyway? If someone were really a procrastinator, they’d never join, and if they join, they’re not really a procrastinator. Maybe they should call it Very Nearly Procrastinator’s Anonymous. I suppose some are not really procrastinators; they just suffer from BFS (But First Syndrome). But First Syndrome is not the habit of always entering a room backwards or letting your husband take the lead; it’s the problem of allowing a new task to interfere with finishing an earlier one. For example,…

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Plasti-Pack, by Brendon Marks

I predict that you will never see a utility knife for sale in one of those clear plastic, form fitting, clamshell packages, because if you don’t own a utility knife you can’t get the package open. And if you own a utility knife, you don’t need another one. Other tools can be used to open these packages, but if you don’t own a utility knife, the chances are you won’t own a chain saw or axe either. This ingenious package design encloses a purchase item between two pieces of plastic like a sandwich. This clear, hard plastic shell is either…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F. Jordan

It has become the practice of my wife and several of her girlfriends to conduct a fall shopping expedition to New York, where they stay at one fancy hotel or another, consume late afternoon maitais following many hours at Macy’s, Borgdorf’s, and Bloomingdales before dressing for an evening at the theater and a late dinner at Sardi’s. Contemplation of the next extravaganza begins follows hard on the heels of their return, and involves a critique of their recent triumphs and those things they mean to improve. Needless to say, we husbands are less than enthusiastic about these annual pilgrimages. In…

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THE ZANY SIDE OF THE GOP DEBATES by Will durst

To the one thirteenth of all Americans who watched the latest GOP debate, congratulations on surviving the political equivalent of the 24 hours of Le Mans. You just climbed Campaign Everest. Strapped to a pair of debates. Or to be more precise; a pair of mind- numbing, marathon, 4 and a half hour, endurance- test, butt- fall- asleep debates. Not just for the 15 candidates and viewing public, but also the CNN correspondents, many who needed a shave by night’s end. It was the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy Labor Day Telethon of debates, only later in September with the cause…

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Marble Poisoning, by Will Durst

It’s a race to the outside. Avoid the middle like the plague. The goal is to not be one with the pack. Even the most conservative of Republicans knows that he/ she/ it has to move beyond rock- solid, standard- bearer of the party line. Anybody who wants the nomination today has to show some flash, be a rebel, an iconoclast, wear a puffy shirt. Wild and wacky is the new name of the electioneering game. Maybe it was the proliferation of reality shows that convinced Americans that real life should be entertaining, but this country now has the same…

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Man The Lifeboats, by Brendon marks

A few years ago my wife and I went on a cruise to Alaska, and I highly recommend it. If you think you can’t afford one, don’t worry. It’s no more expensive than riding a Greyhound bus three times around the world, while staying in fine hotels and eating in fancy restaurants. But the cruise is worth every penny. Although the room you share is the same size as a bus seat, it does have a TV, and if you’re lucky, a window, except on a ship they’re called portholes. At least that’s true on the left side of the…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F. Jordan

Long-time residents of Doodlebug Island Dwayne Murchison and his wife Peggy are just returned from a trio up the Rhine River during which they had the pleasure of continuing their pastime of pleasant disagreements. For, though they are devoted to each other, each finds pleasure in different things. While Peggy is buoyantly optimistic and devotes herself to finding spiritual connections with the people she meets and the beauty of her surroundings, Dwayne has a more detached and philosophical perspective that more than somewhat borders on the skeptical and sardonic. “Bill,” he said to me, “Every little town or village in…

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MORE THE MERRIER, by Will Durst

Got to congratulate Donald Trump for how fast he’s become more annoying to the Republican Party than a mouse in an air conditioning unit. Like that popcorn husk that gets stuck in the back of your molars and you can’t pry it out with a cord of toothpicks. Almost as grating as the Kars for Kids commercial. The aerodynamically coiffed real estate developer recently announced that if the GOP Big Boys don’t stop saying mean things about him he might run as a third party candidate. “Be nice or I’ll poop on your parade” is pretty much the bombastic billionaire’s…

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No News From Doodlebug Island, by William F Jordan

When members of the Doodlebug Island Chamber of Commerce chose a new president, they turned to Riley Curtis, a stalwart and indefatigable member who had performed yeoman duty in virtually every chairmanship capacity to which he had been appointed. Whether it was membership, finance, advertising or public relations, he had stood to his post and accomplished chamber duties in a creditable, even stellar way. So, it came as a surprise to everyone that whereas he smoothly assumed his new duties, he nevertheless managed to be a source of consternation to other members. With his first speech, it became apparent that…

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LIFE’S TROPHIES, by Brendon Marks

A trophy is an everlasting symbol of one’s conquest over an opponent. The practice started centuries ago when some inedible part of the vanquished foe was lopped off and nailed to the wall over the fireplace. During times when you had no house guests these trophies prove very utilitarian for such activities as drying your socks on damp winter evenings. Trophy collecting has endured in spite of the efforts of several camera manufacturers to replace the activity with “moments frozen in time”. The concept has been modified slightly to allow for those instances where the loser may be reluctant to…

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No News From Doodlebug Island by William F. Jordan

Like many people, Darwin Wilkens, who has weathered fifty-three years on Doodlebug Island, is inordinately fond of sharing his experiences, insights, political views, and philosophy of life with anyone willing to risk the encounter. And, if no one volunteers for the job of listening, he is known to leave the park bench that from long use has born the imprint of his presence and insinuate himself into the conversations of people simply strolling through or socializing with friends. All he appears to need is the merest wisp of the matter being discussed, and he’s off like Man of War. “I…

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Just Pop Out That Cup Holder by Brendon Marks

How did we ever manage BCH (Before Cup Holders)? I’m sure that the inspiration for the first automotive cup holder was a direct result of a prolonged bout with ADD (Another Drink Dumped). The truck I drove for years was PCH (Pre-Cup Holder), so I know of what I speak. I had one of those neat little console things that sat on the transmission hump and collected screws, nuts, bolts, gum wrappers, and used tissues, mocking me with those indentations that were supposed to pass for drink holders. They could handle a soft drink can all right, but forget about…

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No News From Doodlebug Island by William F. Jordan

Franklin Hempstead was a man who could have gone off to the hereafter loved and respected by other Doodlebug Islanders, missed by all who knew him, remembered for his quiet, sober reflections. But he almost ruined what could have been and should have been cherished recollections of his generous, giving nature by bequeathing his assets to the church of which he had been a member for sixty-five of his seventy-three years, and stipulating that the funds be spent in the acquisition of an organ, “unless the congregation should decide to expend the money on what they perceive a more pressing…

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Coffee Cups, Etc. by Brendon Marks

Since the birth of Mr. Coffee every office with one or more people in it has a coffeepot. Where there are pots, there are cups. Many people use a foam cup so they don’t have to bother with details like washing or keeping track of where they left it. These cups are handy when you must attend a boring meeting. You can do many things with them to stay awake. 1.) Break little pieces off and drop them inside to see how far down you can go before what is left is full. 2.) Use a ballpoint pen to doodle…

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Check With Your Doctor, by Brendon Marks

The TV was on, but I wasn’t paying much attention. I was vaguely aware that an advertisement for some prescription medicine was encouraging me to ask my doctor if it was right for me. My first question was: “Shouldn’t he already know?” Then the side effects were mentioned, and that got my attention right away. They were headache, nausea, vomiting, muscle aches, blurred vision, and diarrhea. I?m not a real big fan of any of those maladies, separately or in any combination, and I have a short list of diseases that I would trade for them, so I don?t see…

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No News From Doodlebug Island

Dinner conversation among friends gathered at Wally’s restaurant was running to the usual regarding the inane doings of the Arizona Legislature when someone mentioned retirement, and the conversation shifted to what could be anticipated. “Ted and I are going to travel to those places where religion isn’t the excuse for killing one another,” said Susie Higgens, a petite first-grade teacher. “Yeah,” added Ted, “places where citizens know they’re in the twenty-first century and not stalemated in the twelfth. In short, we have no plans to visit Israel, the middle east, or Africa! Maybe we’ll see what the French or our…

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Truck Wreck, by Brendon M. Marks

My wife asked, “Are you not a farmer anymore?” “What are you talking about?” “They say that you’re a farmer if you look out whenever a car drives by the house, even at night. You used to look out all the time, but you don’t anymore.” “That’s because I can tell who it is just by listening.” “Are you serious? Do you expect me to believe that?” “Well, sometimes I have trouble telling the difference between Mary Lou’s Durango and Amy’s Dakota, but it’s all in the same family, both the vehicles and the drivers.” “Who’s going by right now?”…

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