May 16, 2022

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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Local Guy Gets National Holiday

Pictured left is a photo of a credit card machine much like those used at most retail stores, grocery stores, warehouse stores, pharmacies and now by individuals with smart pones and tablets. The customer simply swipes their card, signs their name and awaits approval of their new purchase. Even if the cashier asks to see your card, they are usually looking to see that the name signed on the back of the card matches the name embossed on the front of the card. There is nobody checking to see that the person signing is the actual card owner. How could…

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Bleat Jazz and Other Poolside Distractions

by The Brown Monk of Sedona I’m at Poco Diablo Resort being lulled by the aftermath of warm pool water, listening to the strains of music being piped out of poolside speakers. The music bubbles up like a feng shui fountain in the spaces between the words of guests and the sounds of splashing water. I have a habit of naming the innocuous strains of elevator music played there to keep track of tanning time. When “Variegated Vapid Air” followed by “Mexi-Sexy Melody” had finished, that was my cue to turn over. Friday afternoons in the summer are busy time…

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Soundsational Eye Opener

Excentric Things To Do Just seconds after the sounds began, Holly experienced a flood of violet against her closed eyes. And then her third eye appeared and stared intently back at her. Although a bit unnerving, she was too engaged experiencing the multitude of sounds surrounding her body to let it bother her much. Her sound bath by Shaman Akal Jaggs of Sedona Red Rock Tours was an orchestra of tones and vibrations, chanting, whirrs and drum beats, high pitched tings and earth shattering horn blasts that resonated all around and through her, blending and harmonizing with the remnants of…

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Doc the Wandering Cowboy

Excentric People Doc the Wandering Cowboy has been seen pacing the pavement of Sedona in the same outfit for over 14 years now. Wearing spurs, a vest and a cowboy doc’s hat embellished with what looks like an owl feather, you might see him hanging out in Uptown, taking a smoke or looking for a horse. Doc doesn’t seem to have a whole lot to say, but he’s sure hard to miss. He could be a time traveler or just overly nostalgic. You be the judge. But he sure brings the Old West back to Sedona like no one else….

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Merlin’s Wand

by The Brown Monk Merlin the Magician still has a few tricks up his skirt, even today. Although there are those would like to think otherwise, very few men throughout the history of time can make the claim to truly having brass balls. Not so for Merlin, that enigmatic sorcerer of yore, who had the audacity in his time to use magical subterfuge to ensure the conception of King Arthur, save Briton from chaos and anarchy and dabble in the affairs, politics and intrigue of a far more treacherous time time. Memorialized by local sculptor, John Soderberg, Merlin the Magician…

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The Liberal Use of Coal Oil and Sugar

The Smallwood family has a handsome farm just about where the two branches of Oak Creek pinch Doodlebug Island down to swimming properties, and old man Sedge and his wife Emily have an abundance of children who have known only the care, the tutoring, and the doctoring of their parents. Emily assumes responsibility for the first two, but the doctoring is purely the province of Sedge himself. Not that he’s ever taken training to diagnose illness nor dispense medicine. No, he’s had only the rough experience of farm life with its compilation of bumps, bruises, broken bones, contusions, gorings, maladies,…

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