Category Archives: Childhood Traumas

Monsters’ Throwdown — A Blogger Book!

As a person with Crohn’s Disease, I have seen my fair share of toilets, and my experiences there have been memorable.  And sometimes life threatening (especially if Goliath was involved).

And while I fully expect to die on a toilet, I was not born in one.

The same cannot be said of Eleanor Tomczyk, who writes a terrific blog called How the hell did i end up here?  If you don’t already know Eleanor, go on over.  She always brings a smile, makes you think, makes you laugh.

The story of her life is written up in her memoir, Monsters’ Throwdown — from her disastrous beginnings being born in a toilet, through her triumphs.  Eleanor always managed, somehow, to keep her head above water.

Monsters’ Throwdown will make you cry, make you laugh, make you thank your lucky stars that you didn’t have to go through what Eleanor did to just survive.  But Eleanor did much more than that — she thrived.  And we are all the better for it.

Monster's Throwdown

Available at Amazon — which, coincidentally, is where I got this image.

In today’s world, where racism has become, once again, less hidden, Monsters’ Throwdown is a book worth reading, and its lessons of survival, people helping people, love and triumph leave me very hopeful.

The book is available in paperback and on kindle through Amazon at this link.

Well, what are you waiting for???????

 

 

 

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Books, Childhood Traumas, Family, Humor, Taking Care of Each Other

On Your Way Out

She’s leaving. What a shame. What a pity.

Can I make a confession? I think that Barbara Walters is largely responsible for the sad state of our news media.  She started the trend that became the norm:  news that focuses on the scandal, the people, the intrigue instead of the, ummmm, news.

Yup, I lay it all on Baba.

Before Baba, TV news was above the fray.  Remember Cronkite?  Huntley/Brinkley?  Howard K. Smith and Harry Reasoner?  News was news.  It focused on what happened. On the event and its place in the current day and its context in history in a serious way.   It was informative, not entertaining.  And that, I believe, is how it should be.  Because news is serious business and it should be treated as such.  Is it today?  I don’t think so.  Had Barbara Walters never existed, I honestly don’t think we could have the clowns at Fox — or on the left either.  News was news and sitcoms and variety shows took care of entertainment.

Since Baba, news has been completely people-focused. Everything is personality – nothing is action. I think that is very wrong.

Since Baba, news-folk have looked for the scandal, for the tears in the story — instead of the story itself. No story is complete without tears. Without scandal. Without some personality saying or doing something that can then be replayed, discussed, analyzed as if that matters more than the results of their actions.

Of course I’m biased.

I knew Harry Reasoner, slightly. One of his kids was (and is) a close friend of mine. So I was in and out of his house growing up. He was a great dad – involved but not intrusive. Interested. Humorous – very humorous.

I hung around his house when the folks in the Nixon White House took a particular dislike to him. That alone is a feather in his cap.

I hung around his house when he became anchor of the ABC Evening News.

[I once arrived at his front door in full makeup for a play – I had to borrow a prop from his daughter.  My makeup consisted of dirt, smeared on my face, a torn dress – a rag, really. Bare, dirty feet. He and his wife met me at the front door in formal attire – they were having a seriously fancy party. His comment was classic: “Why Elyse,” he said with a delighted chuckle (having already seen the play),  “you dressed so nicely for our party! Thanks for coming!” Mortified, I ran upstairs hopefully without being seen by the crowd of Who’s Who in the living room.

I hung around his house when Baba joined him. And when he went back to 60 minutes.

I had few substantive conversations with Mr. Reasoner. I never tried to learn the scoop. In fact, it was only years later that I understood what had happened to him.

Harry Reasoner was not, from everything I ever saw, a sexist. He was a newsman who cared about words and integrity and getting the facts, ma’am. He believed that the news should be the story. Not the person who deliverd the news He believed in getting the story right and in writing well. In letting the event tell the story.

Baba Wawa is retiring – at least in part.

But today will be her last time on “The View.”  But in the way she has done for five decades, Baba Wawa makes herself the story. And that is a huge part of the problem she created in the news industry. The story should be the news. Not the journalist.   Of course, Baba has been milking this retirement. She has been for a year now, and will for another year or so.  Probably until she dies.  Because, of course, Baba is the story don’t cha see.

She’s leaving. What a shame. Don’t let the screen door hit you on your way out.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Family, History, Huh?, Wild Beasts, Writing

Be Careful What You Say To Strangers

When Madam Weebles wrote about three rude teenagers who insulted her, I was incensed.  I wanted to verbally castrate them, but then they have no balls, not even metaphorical ones.  But I’ve been thinking about it all day.  I’ve never been able to stand people who inflict themselves on others like these girls did to my friend Weebs.

Because for most of my life, I’ve attracted weirdos.  People just say strange things to me, often for no reason.  Jaw dropingly rude.  Sexist.  Inappropriate.  Some of them are purely mean spirited, like in Weebs’ case.   All  uncalled for.  I’d like to get back at all the people who do that sort of thing.

Do you always think of just the right thing to say if it happens to someone else?  Or, when it happens to you, do you think of a clever retort five minutes after the person is gone?

Yeah, me too.

But sometimes I come up with just the right way to get the asshole back.  OK, maybe twice I did it.  This story was one of those times.  And I’m still proud of this moment.

***

It was long, long ago.  So long ago that I was still living with my Mom and Dad.  Circa 1975, I’m thinking.  And Mom had sent me to Medi-Mart, a drug store, on an errand.

I must have been waiting for something, because I was standing in the aisle with the paperback books when a heavy-set greaser-type guy walked up to me.

Who wouldn't want HIM? (Google Image)

Who wouldn’t want HIM?
(Google Image)

“Nice tits.  I’d like to get my hands on them,” he said to me.

I looked at him, my eyes widening in serious indignation.  My retaliatory options quickly ran through my head.  In that split second of decision, I knew that could:

  • Walk off in a huff;
  • Swear at him;
  • Hit him with my purse

I also knew that none of those options would be at all satisfying, so I quickly rejected all of the above.  Instead, I decided that I would make sure he was never quite so rude to any other young woman ever again.  Ever.  In fact, I wanted to make sure that the word “tits” would cause his balls to shrivel up and fall off.

So I started flirting with him.

I batted my eyes, laughed.  Tipped my head suggestively.  Made him think that a guy saying “nice tits” to me was just what I was hoping for in a man.

“Well, how about if I give you a call,” he said after an indecently short time.

“Sure,” I said, I stuck my hand in my purse as if looking for a pen to write down my number.  “Why don’t you give me a call, just as soon as …” I looked at him with adoration, “just as soon as your voice changes OK?

“OK,” he said, a bit confused right off the bat.  And then he realized exactly what I meant.

“Why you BITCH!” he shouted at me as I walked away.

Fortunately, my dog, Kling, a large, protective German Shepherd mix was waiting for me in the car.  Because you should never piss off a greaser  unless you have backup.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Dogs, Huh?, Humor, Stupidity

Both Sides Now

“The Season” makes me crabby.  Grumpy.  Irritable.  I’ve come to hate it.  Everything about it.  I hate the music, the crowded stores, the decorations.  I especially hate the decorations.

Last year a friend stopped by our house in the middle of December.  “God, it’s December 15th,” I said to her, “and the only decoration I have up is the wreath on the door!”

“I don’t think that counts, Lease,” responded my husband John. “You didn’t take that down from last year.”

“Oh, yeah.”

Tonight, I’m looking around at my undecorated house thinking, “uggggh,” not “Ho ho ho!”

It wasn’t always true, though.  I used to be one of them.  I was a veritable Christmas Elf.  I baked, I decorated.  I embroidered Christmas stockings for the whole family.  My son Jacob and I built gingerbread houses that did not come from a mix or a box and were actually made of gingerbread stuck together in the shape of a house!  My friends got a bottle of homemade Irish Cream liqueur.  Some used it to get their kids to bed on Christmas Eve.

But mostly, I sang.  The records, tapes and CDs came out on Thanksgiving.  From the moment I woke up the day after Thanksgiving, until New Years, I would trill away.  “White Christmas,” “Do You Hear What I Hear?” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”  I belted “Mele Kalikimaka” when I had an established escape route to avoid people trying to punch me.  I know the words to all 18,423 verses of Frosty the Snowman.  I would start singing in the shower and keep going until John tackled me and put duct tape across my mouth, usually at about 8:30 a.m.  Regardless, I’d start up again the next morning.

If the current, Crabby Christmas Me got a hold of the old Merry Christmas Me, I would slap myself silly.

So you see, I do understand the Christmas-sy part of Christmas.  The love, the joy, the traditions.

But now I see the other side.  And it’s that “tradition” part that is to blame.

You see, my family’s always been fairly competitive.  My mother and her sister Ruth were particularly so.  They’d argue at each shared Sunday dinner over a million things:  whose gravy was better (my mother’s), who cracked the best one-liner (always Aunt Ruth – she was a hoot), and most traumatically for me, whose young daughter was taller. (Duh, Maureen was almost a year older than me – of course she won every time.  But you’re not taller now, are you?  And you’re still older, Maur.  You’re still older.  How do you like it??)  Darn, I wish I’d missed the competitive gene.

When I was a kid, Aunt Ruth was high on the list of my favorite relatives.  Now she’s tops on an altogether different list.  And it ain’t Santa’s list, neither.

Because Aunt Ruth started a family tradition.  A competition.  But it’s not a family tradition I recommend, especially during the Christmas season.  In fact, it should have a warning, although I’m not sure where you’d put it:  Don’t try this at home.

You see, Aunt Ruth started the tradition of kicking the bucket on a major holiday.  What fun!  Great idea!  Not many families do that!  Hey, we are DIFFERENT!

Knowing Aunt Ruth, I’m sure her last thought was “Doris, you’ll never top this one!  I’m dying on Thanksgiving!!!!”   She was no doubt a bit miffed when my mother joined her a couple of years later.  Because, not to be outdone, Mom arrived in the afterlife on Easter Sunday.

Their party really got going when we reached Y2K, and my sister Judy died unexpectedly on my birthday in January.  Now, you might argue that my birthday is not, technically speaking, a holiday.  Not a paid day off for most folks.  But hey, in my book, this qualifies.  So there.

As time went on, there were fewer and fewer holidays I could celebrate.  The only big one left was Christmas.

Guess what happened on Christmas, 2000!  Yup, Dad reclaimed his spot at the head of the table with Mom, Judy and Aunt Ruth. Dad trumped them all.  Or because it was Christmas, perhaps he trumpeted them all.  Maybe both.

I must say I am rather ticked off about it all.  Sort of changes the tone of the Holidays, you see.  I plan to have words with all four of them, next time I see them.  And I will not be nice.

In the meantime, celebrating holidays, well, it just seems so odd to me.  Especially Christmas, because Christmas is so stuff-oriented, and most of my Christmas stuff is from them.  It takes a bit of the fun out of decorating.

For a while, I considered joining the Eastern Orthodox Church.  That way I could celebrate the same holidays, just on different days.  I could keep all my Christmas crap!  I could decorate!  I could bake!  I could sing!  But then I realized that the change would just give us all additional high priority target dates, and I don’t have enough family members left to meet the challenge.  So Eastern Orthodox is out.

At the same time, I also realized that, when Dad hit the Holiday Lottery, the whole tradition had to stop.  Because I’m pretty sure that biting the dust on, say, Columbus Day, just wouldn’t cut it.  So why bother?

Nevertheless, this whole thing has made me decidedly anti-Holiday.

There is one holiday I still look forward to, though.  Groundhog Day.  I just can’t figure out what sort of decorations to put up.

 *     *     *
When I first posted this piece two years ago, my blogging buddies didn’t know whether it was safe to laugh at it.  It is. 
This is a reprise — it’s one of the most healing pieces of writing I’ve ever done.  I re-posted it for the two new followers I have and the 1,242 robots who have started following me since I first put my blogging buddies in the awkward position of not knowing whether to laugh or cry.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Christmas Stories, Dad, Family, History, Holidays, Huh?, Humor, Mental Health, Mom, Music

Christmas Tree Bargains

This weekend when we got our Christmas tree, I became a poor imitation of my father.  It happens every year.  I don’t bargain the way Dad did.  I don’t cajole.  I don’t convince.

Nope.  I pay through the nose.

Still, I always feel him standing with me, laughing, telling his favorite Christmas story one more time.

You see, unlike me, Dad never paid too much, or even very much, for our Christmas tree.  Never.

Dad had a wife and five children, not to mention the other relatives who were still around for Christmas.  Dad also worked three jobs when I was really little, while studying to get his insurance license so he could start his own business (he did).

There wasn’t a lot of spare cash to go around.  But a wife and five kids needed a Christmas tree to celebrate properly.  And Dad, well, Dad was actually a total sucker for Christmas.  He tried to hide it, but Christmas was always special to him.

We lived in the city of Bridgeport, Connecticut, when I was very young.  It seemed like each corner sported a guy selling cut Christmas trees that had been brought in from more rural areas.  Mostly, the guy selling them was the same guy who cut them and who owned the land they grew on.  Dad had been seeing these same men every year for a decade.

As kids, we all knew that when they started appearing in the neighborhood, it meant that Christmas really was coming.

But whenever these guys would see Dad, they would purse their lips, remembering last year.  And the year before.  They didn’t remember Dad in a fond way.  Still, Dad would greet each one of them with his incredible smile.  His eyes would dance.

“Hey, Charlie,” Dad would say, “How’ve you been?” He’d say, shaking his hand.

“Fine Fred,” Charlie (or Joe, or Mac) would respond, as Dad would visit each of them.  They’d chat for a minute and then Charlie would go into his sales pitch:   “Got some nice trees here, this year.  Wouldn’t that pretty daughter of yours like this big one?  It would be hard to find an angel to put on top prettier than you are,” Charlie would say.

The pretty daughter Charlie (or Joe, or Mac) was talking about was Beth, my eldest sister. Beth was beautiful.  Black Irish — dark wavy hair and startling gray/blue eyes.

Beth’d cringe inside and give Charlie or Joe or Mac what looked like a shy half-smile but that was, in fact, a grimace.  She would rather have been anywhere else.  She knew the routine though, and she played her part every year.  Beth was the pretty daughter with the big blue eyes who never spoke; all the Christmas tree salesmen remembered her.

“I wanted to die,” Beth would laugh, recalling her childhood trauma.  “Vanish.  Dig that hole to the other side of the planet and crawl down to China.  Every year he’d take me with him.  I always tried to get out of it.”  In fact, it became a series of fond memories for Beth.  One of the times it was Beth and Dad against the world, or at least against Charlie and Joe and Mac.

They’d walk past the tree sellers for a couple of weeks, looking at the trees, with Beth picking out a beauty and looking hopefully towards Dad.

“No, Sweetie,” Dad would say.  “Not yet.”

Beth would accept disappointment gracefully, and they would continue on their way.

On Christmas Eve in the middle of the afternoon, Dad would place his wallet on the table next to the door, take Beth by the hand and say,

“We’re going to get our tree now.”

“It’s about time,” Mom laugh.  “Don’t let your Dad spend too much on it,” she’d say to Beth with a knowing wink.  They all knew what was going to happen.  Dad would just laugh as he and Beth would head to the nearest Christmas tree stand.  Charlie’s.

“Merry Christmas, Charlie,” Dad would say with a smile, reaching out to shake Charlie’s hand.  “Christmas just snuck up on me.  How did it get to be Christmas Eve so fast?”

Charlie would frown and shake his head.  He knew what was coming.

“I think that Beth and I would like to buy a Christmas tree,” Dad would say as if the thought had just occurred to him.  “Which one should we get?”

Beth would look over the trees and pick out the biggest, nicest one.

“Sure thing,” Charlie would say without enthusiasm.  “That’ll be $10.” (It was a long time ago!)

I’ve only got two dollars,” Dad would say.

“That tree costs $10.”

Dad would look at his watch.  “It’s 3:30 on Christmas Eve.  I’ve got $2.”  Then he’d look south down the street towards Joe’s Christmas tree stand.

Beth stood quietly, looking pitiful.  Wanting to disappear.

“I’ll give it to you for $5.”

I’ve got two,” Dad would say, looking north towards Mac’s Christmas tree stand.

Charlie would look at Dad, trying to stare him down.  Dad would look right back, with a mischievous look in his eye.  He’d hold up two single dollar bills.  He’d rub the two together next to his ear.  He’d rub them next to Beth’s ear.

After that, it was a staring contest.  Beth remained silent, in her role as pitiful prop.  Beth was dying of embarrassment and at the same time fascinated by the sport.

Charlie always took the two bucks, knowing that in a few more hours, that tree would be worth nothing.

“Merry Christmas, Charlie!” Dad would say as he and Beth walked away with the best tree.  “See ya next year.”

“Merry Christmas, Fred.” Charlie would say, shaking his head and chuckling.  “Next year, you’d better bring a fiver!”

I've got TWO bucks!

I’ve got TWO bucks!

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Christmas Stories, Dad, Family, Holidays, Humor

The Anniversary

I can’t add anything to what the President says here:

 

The residents of Sandy Hook are reluctant to have a crazy media-fueled circus in their town on the anniversary.  Rather, people there are encouraging each of us to offer small acts of kindness to others.

It is a good idea today.  It is a good idea this season.  It is a good idea all year long.

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Filed under Childhood Traumas, Elections, Gun control, Health and Medicine, History, Law, Mental Health, Neighbors, Taking Care of Each Other, Voting

The Truth May Be Out There … But it ain’t pretty

Well, it’s the moment of, ummm, truth.  Truth to tell, I don’t know exactly how many puns I can lie down in this here post before I get to the actual admission of guild.  Or guilt.

First of all, this five truths and a lie is a really fun thing to do.  Thank you Sips of Jen and Tonic!

Because, well, we all know so much about each other.  We have shared opinions, histories, illnesses, family – just about everything.  A quiz is in order.  Have you been reading my posts?  Really?  We will soon find out how well you know me.

Now I must fess up.  Damn it.

I asked you to choose which of these six items is a lie.

  • I once lobbied for the Koch Brothers.
  • When I met him many years ago, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black Supreme Court Justice, told a story about how he was once mistaken for the elevator operator by tourists in the Supreme Court building, and how he pretended he was the elevator operator.
  • I developed my interest in politics when I took a college course on the Kennedys only because I knew the professor would give me an “A.”
  • I attended an anti-war protest and had a front row seat for Peter, Paul and Mary.
  • My mother contracted polio when she was pregnant with me.
  • I grew up in a house that the whole neighborhood thought was haunted.

People seemed to like my Thurgood Marshall story, but they believed it.  They believed that my house was haunted, too.  So which is it?  Which is the lie?

Have I put off the inevitable confession long enough?

*     *     *

I DID meet Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1978.  I was in a small group of people escorting Justice Marshall to the elevator at the law school where I worked, but I was.  And he did tell this story to a small group of people.

Justice Thurgood MarshallPhoto Credit here

“Not long after I was confirmed,” he said, “I was in a special elevator at the Supreme Court reserved for ‘Justices Only.’  I was thinking to myself, “WOW! — I get to ride a special elevator!” when the door opened and an elderly couple stepped in.’

“’Basement, please,’ they said to me.  They seemed to think I was the elevator operator.”

Justice Marshall looked straight at me, smiled and said:

“So I shuffled.  Said ‘Yes m’am’ and ‘what floor you say you goin’ to?’”  And he shuffled his feet and swung his head to demonstrate.

Everybody in that little group was white.  There were several nervous chuckles, including mine.  Only one person laughed at the story  – Justice Marshall.

*     *     *

I took a great course on  “The World of Work” my first semester in college.  The professor was terrific.  It was a humanities class – designed to introduce business majors (of which I was one, albeit briefly) to real stories of working people and the things like government, society, economics, that impact workers.  The professor and I seemed to be the only ones interested in the class, actually.  But the syllabus was full of wonderful books chosen to instilling a more rounded view of the world in folks who would be focusing mostly on numbers and not people.  The professor liked me and suggested that I take a course he was teaching the next semester  — on the Kennedys.  He thought I was clever, and I participated in his class.  He was enthusiastic about my writing.  But I had no real interest in the Kennedys.  I only took it because I knew that I would get an A.  (I did.  And I got one in the first semester class, too.)  And it did open my eyes to politics, politicians and government.  The next fall I moved to Washington, DC.  And actually, one of the books I read for that class, The Making of the President 1960 by Theodore White, helped me get promoted in my next job.  So my real deep, abiding interest in politics came about because I wanted an A.  True Story.

By Theodore White A BRILLIANT book Barnes & Noble Image

By Theodore White
A BRILLIANT book
Barnes & Noble Image

*     *     *

I misled you intentionally with my Peter, Paul and Mary story, although it is completely true.  I DID have a front row seat at the Lincoln Memorial to protest the start of the Iraq War.  Me and a pitifully small crowd of about 300 other folks.  I brought a folding chair and plopped it down, front and center.  PP&M were wonderful, but sadly, they did not stop the Iraq War.  Bombs started falling the next day.  That night in 2003, me, Peter, Paul and Mary and the assorted small crowd looked up as Marine 1 – the President’s helicopter, circled over us.  Oh, for a stinger … Another true story.

*     *     *

My mother DID in fact, contract polio when she was pregnant.  But I lied.  Because it happened not when she was pregnant with me.  She was in her first trimester with my eldest brother Bob (2nd of the 5 of us).  Bob is the family member I rarely speak of — the only staunch conservative in the bunch.  I blame the electric shock and drug therapy Mom received when she was carrying him.  Yup.  That’s the reason he is the way he is.   You can believe me, I AM a fake medical professional after all.

*     *     *

And hardly anybody doubted that I grew up in a house that the whole neighborhood thought was haunted.  OK, so you guys are smart.  I can handle that.  My childhood home was located next to the railroad tracks.  The previous owner had been the guy who threw the switch to change the train from one track to the other.  He died on the tracks.  His sister who lived with him inherited the house.  But she couldn’t maintain it, and it fell into disrepair.  It was a mess when my dad bought it, sight unseen, in 1963.  Everybody in the neighborhood really did think it was haunted.  Part of me will always believe that it WAS haunted.  We moved in on Halloween and my Halloween candy disappeared that very night.

*     *     *

To those of you who believe that I would never, ever, ever, under any circumstances lobby for the Koch Brothers, I love you all.  Each and every one of you.  Because I never would have done it knowingly.  Certainly not if I’d known what they would become.  Or even knowing what they probably were back then (assholes, I’m bettin’).

And I am sooooooo ashamed.

The Catholic girl in me comes out at last.

The Catholic girl in me comes out at last.

Photo Credit

Bless me friends, for I have sinned.  It has been at least 25 years since my last project for David and Charles, but I did work for a law firm as a (very very low level) lobbyist.  And the Koch Brothers were, gulp, one of our clients.

Our energy clients were a bunch of small to medium companies – oil, gas, synthetic, alternative.  At the time I felt pretty proud that we didn’t represent any of the big guys.  Little guys (a category to which Koch Industries then belonged) were OK.  Right?  You there, Right?

Now some of you may have an inflated view of exactly what a lobbyist does.  The top ones – the ones who make the big bucks – pick up the phone and schmooze with big wigs.  They play tennis and golf with them.  Have lunch. Liquid lunches.

Me? I went to hearings and wrote memos.  ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.  I ate Milky Way bars in the hall waiting for hearings to start instead of going out to fancy restaurants for four martinis.

So it is safe to say that I did not plant the seed that became the Koch Brothers.  I didn’t water it.  I might have thrown dirt at them had I known what they would become, but I didn’t even do that.  I wrote memos about what was happening in Congress.  Not what should happen to facilitate the taking over of America by the crazy people.

It was only in the last few years when I read or heard about David and Charles that I went “OH SHIT” .  Because I remembered that they were one of the old firm’s clients.

David and Charles were different back then.  I know that even though I can say that for certain as I never laid eyes on them.  They hadn’t yet become the evil twins.  They were not yet trying to take over the world.  They didn’t even know that they could buy votes in such volumes.  It took Justice Roberts’ court to do that.  (Did I mention that I used to hang out with Justice Roberts years ago ? … And when he was nominated for the Supreme Court nobody asked me a single question about him.  Oh, never mind.)

And you want to know the weirdest thing?  The Koch Brothers were very secretive.  Even back then, when they had much less to hide.  I may be assassinated just for admitting that I once worked for somebody who once worked for them.  You never know with guys with that much money and no conscience.  If I don’t post in the next couple of days, please send help.

In the meantime, please send soap.  “Out, damned spot! Out, I say!”

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Filed under Bloggin' Buddies, Books, Campaigning, Childhood Traumas, Criminal Activity, Disgustology, Family, History, Huh?, Humor, Hypocrisy, Law, Mom, Stupidity