January 17, 2019

Just Do It…by Will Durst

The English language has a healthy share of euphemisms for lying. Fabrication. Falsification. Making stuff up. Inoperative statements. Alternative facts. Big fat fibs. Untruths. Spinning. Puffery. Flummery. Fast food advertising. NFL owner profit/ loss statements. But they all mean the same thing: saying out loud things you know are not true. No matter which polite term you prefer, America in the middle of a Lying Renaissance. And we have President Donald J. Trump to thank for perfecting the practice of public prevarication to an art form. He is the Picasso of hogwash. Throughout his career, Trump has deflected trouble by…

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Russia Nesting Squalls…by Will Durst

Whoever said that a week in politics can be a lifetime, was living so far in the past, they probably have a drawer full of sock garters. Today, in the Land of Trump that time frame has been compressed to an hour. And considering the stormy week we just survived, every one of us ought to have grey hair, be eligible to collect three or four social security checks and have all our earthly possessions catalogued in a living will. Instead of luxuriating in the rave reviews following his speech to Congress that the 45th President recited in his newly…

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Two Heads are Better with Wine

The current growth in the Arizona wine scene can be traced back to a handful of pioneers. The original pioneer arguably being Gordon Dutt who recognized the potential that Sonoita and Elgin held for vineyards in the late 1970s. A small group sprang up during the early- to-mid 1990s to join him, and this core group was the true forefront of the Arizona wine industry as it stands today. I return to the Arizona wine roads to introduce you to one of those pioneering labels and tell the story of its current owner and winemaker. The label is Dos Cabezas…

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Believe This or Not!

“Beware the Jabberwock…the frumious Bandersnatch!” –Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass For many Sedonans down through the diaphanous years, blaming the planet Mercury in times of stress became a major way to pass the day–and better than actual work, for sure. Forget the mortgage payment, the rent, food for the javelinas, the hair appointment, whatever–Mercury is in retrograde. And when Mercury is in retrograde, Sedonans are flat-out not responsible for memory lapses or bizarre behavior. It has always been easy to mock certain things–tawdry films, fatuous local elected officials–but always with a pen dipped in vinegar, nothing more potent. For two…

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Life of Dan

A black sheep, aside from its more utilitarian virtues, serves to reveal just how white white sheep really are. Of course, the thing works in reverse and in other fields, so when we find someone on Doodlebug Island of a virtuous eccentricity, we take note of him. He’s likely to show the rest of us as real oddities. Dan Piedmont, owner of the Doodlebug Hardware Store, is a man whose actions are noteworthy. His life seems to have been cobbled together out of the parts of other lives, yet he is one of the happiest and most exuberant men on the Island….

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The C C & R’s

Many of us live in complexes or communities that are governed by a thin layer of bureaucracy referred to as a homeowners association.  Most associations use a set of rules and regulations as a guideline for making decisions about our everyday lives. These rules are called “The C C & R’s.” According to the board of directors this stands for Covenants, Conditions & Restrictions, but I found out it really means Convoluted, Confusing & Really stupid. I will go over a few of the rules we live by and the real reasons for having them. Some of these rules may…

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Blind and in the Dark

I’ve seen a few stories recently about trendy gimmicks in the dining world. My favorites are the restaurants that serve dinner in the dark or make patrons wear blindfolds as part of the meal. While I don’t advocate eating with the lights off, as it’s a recipe for spilling and slopping all over yourself, it does emphasize a key concept in the world of sensory perception. People in general are extremely visually dominant when it comes to the five senses. After sight comes hearing. That leaves the senses of  smell, taste and touch lagging behind. The average person is quite…

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Picking a Fight

Thom Swingel’s repeated request for more favorable advertising rates in my newspaper, the Doodlebug Island Run-on, irked my past remembrance of those few religiously induced tolerances suggested to me at my mother’s knee and my father’s woodshed, and I finally told him to take his business elsewhere. Well, he did, but was soon back. “Rates at other Sedona newspapers are no better, Bill. Do you guys get together?” “The truth is we don’t, and actually, there’s no need. Publishing costs are the same for all of us, and that, after all, is what drives prices.” After he left, I got…

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An Editorial from Excentric World

For more than 24 years, this paper has never used its position in the community to pontificate on any serious topic except to satirize it or hide it within the satire. Today, I make an exception due to the anger pervading in our country over the slaughter of innocents versus the individual rights defined in the 1st and 2nd Amendments to the Constitution of the United States. The initiative to draft papers representing a Union began when the Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787 to revise the Articles of Confederation. By…

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Robots–Don’t Look Now . . .

By Bishop, Special Excentric Winter Scribe A room without books is like a body without soul. Cicero To Sedona’s most articulate author and war-time hero, Alan Graham Collier, “the purpose of education is to make people think for themselves.” Over coffee at a coffee house in Flagstaff, he was shaken to discover that this maxim isn’t always appreciated, celebrated or understood. It had been some time since he’d been to this celebrated place for coffee and gossip but his memory was clear enough to remember that most everybody was reading a book. Not this time, no sir. This time everyone had laptops, no one had a book, at all…

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It’s All a Matter of Waste

Pictured above is a landfill–the place where unwanted waste is disposed of. Huge mounds of waste are dumped into behemoth holes in the earth dug specifically to hold everything  discarded by humans. While much of what people toss into heaps is recyclable, people choose to bag it  and  drop it in their garbage cans along with a large amount of compostable waste, purely for convenience. Only around 25% of recyclable materials currently make it to recycle centers due to human laziness. Now, some haulers are trying to capitalize of people’s lack of knowledge and dump their recyclables in one container while…

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Barbecue the Sacred Cow

Recently I saw my neighbor Gee Gee and noticed she had a long, gloomy face. I debated whether or not to ask her what was wrong. I knew that if I asked I would be capitulated into a cerebral wasteland, listening to her mind-numbing monologue, and waste another half-hour of my life, a half-hour I would never get back. While these thoughts raced through my mind, she walked over and stated, “Guess what happened to me?” Gee Gee is the kind of neighbor you only seek out when your life needs a little soap opera excitement. If she is not talking…

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New Psychologist on The Island

A psychologist of some renown bought a house on our fair Island a couple years ago, and, after moving his family into it, hung a shingle on the front porch advertising his services. He waited a great many days for even a single patient to appear, but no one came. At that point, he began to enquire why this should be so? Several people from whom he sought answers suggested he contact me with an eye to advertising in The Doodlebug Weekly Run-On, which I edit. The first thing I knew, this gentleman was seated before me asking about rates,…

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Real Guy Quiz Time

Have you ever looked in a “girl” magazine? They’re full of these stupid quizzes like, “Does your man really love you?” Or, “How can I tell if I’m REALLY in love?” Here, at last, is a quiz that makes sense for GUYS! 1. What does your wife/girlfriend do when you remind her that it’s goose season? (A) Launder your camouflage (B) Run to her mother’s house (C) Clean your shotgun (D) A and C 2. When your truck breaks down in the woods, do you: (A) Scream to the heavens, “Lord, why me?” (B) Start walking (C) Look in the…

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From The Bottom…by Brendon Marks

Someone said to me the other day, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart.” I said, “You’re welcome, but what does that mean?” “What does what mean? The bottom of your heart.” “You know, it’s like thanks a lot, I really mean it.” “Well, what if someone says ‘Thank you from the top of my heart.’ Is that better or worse?” “But people don’t say that.” “I know, but what if they did? Now to me, bottom has a negative connotation. People don’t say ‘Bottom of the morning to you.’ Showing your bottom to moon someone is an insult,…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

Exactly how a discussion of an ideal political system morphed—perhaps it should be more properly be said ‘descended’– -into individual descriptions of belief regarding totems was impossible to say, The Doodlebug Island Philosophy club had been well on its way toward solving the world’s problems when it was sidetracked by a sudden penchant of members to provide detailed explanations of attachments to those physical or imaginative symbols of which each seemed to be possessed The diversion was afterward lain at the feet of Herb Collins, a pharmacist by training; a mystic by nature. He announced that on the night prior…

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Skewered and Plattered by Will Durst

Shattered. Splattered. Scattered. Battered. Tattered. Skewered and Plattered. Barely mattered. That was the Democrats after November’s election. But surely in the months since, they’d come together to stand aligned in the face of the flaky imperiousness of our so- called President. You’d think. And ripe bananas make a fine masonry grout. The Democrats have lost their direction so completely they need a compass to wipe their butts. Incontestably, incontrovertibly and incredibly… useless. We are not speaking of a trifling of uselessness here. “Totally and utterly and unconditionally useless”- barely scratches the surface. The exact extent of the uselessosity exhibited by…

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Long Live the Occult

Where no hope is left, is left no fear — J. Milton Riding the technological bandwagon, life is changing seemingly faster than time itself. Truth be told, the rush to the Internet has created casualties in our daily lives. Harken to the words from The Stone, a philosophical volume of small circulation but enormous power. Indeed, as we learn new skills from Tweeting to Texting to preferring the virtual to real action, other proficiencies are going by the wayside: the art of conversation, the art of being present, the art of looking at people, and that’s just for openers. Nonetheless,…

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National Rival Association, Turning a Deaf Ear and Putting Out Fires

Doodlebug Island fire chief Claude Finnegan has at last solved one of his more perplexing and reoccurring problems, and it has lightened his load appreciatively. He has begun calling the Caldwell household each evening to learn whether the wife, Laurie, or the husband, Dave, is cooking dinner. If he learns that it’s Dave, Claude feels free to close the fire station and go home to his own dinner. But, if he hears that Laurie is cooking, he or one of his staff remains on duty for the emergency call he knows is inevitably going to be made. Now, it’s not…

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Manifest Destiny and a Thief’s Remorse!

This contribution to the Valley’s premiere news and literary journal will take us to the deepest of the Baja for a dark and sordid tale of power, obsolescence and man’s deepest yearning for an effortless life and frozen tropical drinks. It is a tale of manifest destiny and a thief’s remorse. It is also the story of a small creek, a big dream and the realization that nothing is forever. The time is the turn of the century (the one before this last one – Y1.9K). And the situation is one that is as tenuous as it remains today. As the story goes, a…

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