May 16, 2022

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…

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No News From Doodlebug Island…by William F Jordan

What began among friends as a surprise birthday celebration for a valued member of the Doodlebug Island community, Hazel Britt, became so widely known there was simply no way to keep the secret. The reason was simple; the lady is held in such high esteem among young and old alike, the party should have been announced as a public event to be held in the town plaza! Hazel’s popularity springs from her generosity and willingness to help, but is augmented by a peppery attitude that expresses itself so buoyantly as to lift the spirits of the most dour and pessimistic….

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PRESIDENT RASKOLNIKOV

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…

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Secret Consultant’s Report Revealed

First there was a visit to the Mazatzal Testicle Festival south of Payson to interview some of the more impressive visitors. Next came a tip that a group of rich, white Arizonans had been caught smuggling themselves into Mexico to pick melons. Then word reached a Special Excentric Task Force that someone had squirted Mary Guaraldi, Canyon Moon Theatre’s Producing Director, with of all things, a squirt gun. “Why?” is the burning question! And you, gentle readers, think that Excentric correspondents just sit around sipping Bombay gin martinis all day long? But those newsworthy items pale when compared to the…

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Hops by the Zentner

European countries, prior to the development of the metric system, used an interesting array of measures to quantify daily life. One of my favorites is the zentner. A zentner is an old unit of measurement used in Northern European countries from Germany through Scandinavia which was tied to agricultural products. A zentner is 100 units, where the base unit can vary widely, but was commonly associated with the old German pound, or pfund. The one agricultural product most often associated with the zentner was hops. Since hops really only have two commercial uses, beer and decoration, the zentner is therefore…

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Lindy Would Have Blushed

It never fails to amaze me how focused our species can become when the subject becomes the misery of another. Case in point: the Dottie Hariass trial. Hariass was accused of luring her boyfriend into the bedroom, having sex with him, then carving him up like a Christmas turkey before shooting him in the head and stuffing him into the shower. Her trial concluded this month with a guilty verdict followed by three resounding huzzahs from the wired-eyed crowd of onlookers camped on the courthouse steps. But they weren’t the only ones transfixed by the trial’s endless stream of lurid…

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“Advanced Soul”

Chances were moderately good that had the meeting of the Doodlebug Philosophical Society ended right after it began–or at least soon after the majority of participants agreed that of all living persons having any possible claim they represented a select group of advanced souls–everyone would have gone home highly content with himself and his fellow man, satisfied that the earth is in proper orbit, and the Creator, their only superior, secure upon His throne. But it didn’t end quickly enough. Burwood Fernbaum, apparently not content with the high-level abstraction which assured his membership and that of other society members, asked…

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Family Values

Politically, the verdant acres of Doodlebug Island, surrounded as we are by the lapping waters of Oak Creek, constitute a Democratic stronghold–that is, if we had not already disassociated ourselves from Sedona, Arizona, and the United States. Actually, since our secession exists largely in our minds, we do vote in local, state, and national elections. And we vote Democrat. That is to say, most of us vote in that manner. Bessie Turnbow doesn’t. She slipped into the gentle clutches of dementia about the time George Bush Senior established the family policy of going to war with Iraq whenever he or…

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The Unclaimed Sculpture

Residents of Doodlebug Island were recently surprised to find a new sculpture adorning the plaza, but no one appeared to understand what it was supposed to represent. Some thought it looked like granite flames emerging from a Yule log, while others said it reminded them of the rock-ribbed erosions of Bryce Canyon. Well, if what it was intended to symbolize was a mystery, the question regarding responsibility for its being there in the first place was even more so. Conjecture ran like Spring winds, touching everybody as if to accuse each one of the deed until the real artist could…

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Brews, Brats and Bats

This month’s typical Excentric Reader is our good friend, Tom Buroojy, of New Jersey shown here with Bernie the Brewer, mascot to the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. Bernie seemed to get excited while looking at the Big Picture Page. Tom, never without a copy of his favorite publication, stopped by the concession stand for–what else?–a brewski when he bumped into Bernie, who never passes up a photo opportunity. Soon, they were arm in arm singing the theme song to Laverne and Shirley. Related posts: Typical Excentric Reader Typical Excentric Reader Typical Excentric Readers

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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…

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Pixie Seen on Judi’s Patio

Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. — Douglas Rigby That great rounder, Doug Rigby, offered these words and some others before he departed for the Wrenwood in the sky where the gin is free and clear, and where gimlet-eyed realtors and land raiders bulging from their four-button silk suits are unwanted. “The inescapable dramatic situation for us all is that we have no idea what our situation is,” he told a friend before departing our village forever, thirsty boots and all. Wait a minute….

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Spring Planting

FINALLY! Winter has ended and spring is here. Time to plant the garden! Gardeners the world over look forward to planting time and the promise of a long bountiful growing season followed by a lush harvest of nature’s gifts. What could be more satisfying, more in tune with nature? I spent the entire weekend planting my garden. My hands are chapped and dried out. My fingernails are so encrusted with rich fertile soil I don’t think they’ll ever be clean again. BUT the garden is in and nature is beginning to work its annual miracle. This year, in addition to…

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Men Love to Gossip

It is a widely-denied fact that men are equal to women when it comes to gossip, and those given to a troublesome regard for truth say they enjoy a superiority. This is sometimes obfuscated by the nature of the gossip in which men engage–for contrary to women who like to discuss events, men like to discuss their friends and neighbors along topic lines or themes. The general discussion may be structured around domestic disputes, natural disasters, errors of judgment, or physical capabilities, and the men will use their friends, neighbors, fellow workers, or acquaintances to define, illustrate or round out…

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Apologies

“Never apologize and never explain.” –John Wayne Despite rumors to the contrary, the Duke’s words that were spoken during the John Ford film “She Wore a Yellow Ribbon” live beyond the grave. Like cheap gasoline, truthful politicians, and well-mannered people, those rarest of words, “I’m sorry. Please accept my apology,” are fading into memory’s mists. Some may think it is too soon to acknowledge their passing. Not so, gentle reader, not so. Even a crack Special Excentric Task Force was tardy in uncovering this megatrend. Never again will it rent space in Fort Sedona at the “Y”; it was too…

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Pterodactyl Spotted Near Here?

Pictured above is a photo of a pterodactyl spotted over the waters near Sedona. A new project at the Sedona Waste Water Reclamation Plant aka Sedona Wetlands Preserve is now the Sedona Sewer Lakes. The lakes will attract larger species of birds, never before lighting in or around Sedona. No one could foresee that pterodactyls would also find the newly created lakes appealing. There is something about the ripeness following a busy holiday Sedona flush. Evidence that Sedonans knew that their effluent was going to be offensive is the plant’s location–well outside of town. by Blodwyn Smythe, Large Bird Reporter…

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Campsite Cuisine…by Brendon Marks

I think the smell of charcoal lighter fluid must produce some sort of chemical reaction in men’s brains that causes them to think it is necessary, or even that they are capable of cooking. Or it could be their fascination with open flame. This may explain the need to constantly poke and stir a fireplace, even if it has gas logs. For those men who don’t have a fireplace, this need may be satisfied by constant use of the TV remote control. I have it on good authority that the TV remote control was invented by a man who couldn’t…

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That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks

After my “sleeping on the ground” experience my spouse and I decided to invest in one of those aluminum and plastic caps (or shells) that fits on the back of a pick-up. We thought we’d just throw a piece of foam rubber in the back, drive wherever we want, and crawl into the back to sleep. It’s a good theory. The problem is, wherever you can drive, somebody else can drive too, and if they can’t get there in a vehicle, they can on a dirt bike or ATV. We finally found an area unattractive enough so that nobody else…

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The Mother of All Yard Sales

Esmeralda and I just finished having the mother of all yard sales. Technically, you could call it the “aunt of all yard sales” as Esmeralda’s aunt was at the root of the thing. Under normal circumstances, I stay away from yard sales, whenever possible. And hosting one is completely out of the question. As a shopper at yard sales, I have discovered I possess little will power and am constantly vexed by whatever sort of clutter is being offered. I can’t tell you how many times I have left on a Saturday morning hoping to return with a small sack…

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Venus Fly Trap for the Religiously Unwary

While it is clear to those who form the small enclave of agnostics on Doodlebug Island that Christianity is the means by which middle-eastern confusion was introduced to the western world, that same insight hasn’t disturbed the thinking of any of the many denominations to be found here. But something happened recently which did disturb their thinking, and the rippling effect is only now beginning to subside. It seems that an ecumenical spirit, flushed with success among Muslims and Hebrews, found its way here, and it prompted the dog-gondest outpouring of conviviality to be witnessed anywhere. All at once, and…

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