Outsource This

I was a temp worker, doing brainless clerical work in an office. In the back of the same building, the company had their factory, churning out medical equipment. It wasn’t a high-tech product, because nobody manufactures high-tech in America, but it was “junior high-tech.” The guy who invented the device had founded the company, long […]

An App, To Buy a Candy Bar

The email to all employees seemed so darn happy: “Our newly-remodeled snack-room is now open! Stop by on your break!” So far so good. And then the next sentence: “A vendor rep is on-site to explain about downloading the app and setting up an account.” Confused but curious, I waited for the crowds to dwindle, […]

Eulogizing Elvis

It was the summer of 1977. I was fresh out of high school, living on my own, generally disinterested in the church but not yet an atheist. Once a month I attended the church I grew up in, and sat with my parents. They’d be happy to see me in church, and afterwards I could […]

If You’re Going To Do Something, Do It Right

My dad’s motto was, “If you’re going to do something, do it right.” He had a thousand inspirational clichés, but that was the one that stuck with me the most. “If you’re painting the wall,” he’d say, “don’t miss a corner and call it good enough. No sir, if you’re going to do something, do […]

An Old Movie That Changed My Life

I was about twelve years old when Harold and Maude came out, in 1971. At that age I only went to the movies if my parents took us kids to see G-rated dreck. I wasn’t much interested in movies, and never saw Harold and Maude, never even heard of it, until ten years later. Fast-forward […]

Breakfast at the Diner #5

A youngish white guy comes into the diner. He’s clean-cut and wearing a suit and tie, and he sits a few stools away from an ancient bald man who sometimes has oxygen tubes in his nose, but not today. I’ve never seen the young guy before, but the old guy eats here often, so I […]

Nuts

I’ve known a lot of nuts in my life. What’s the polite term? “Mentally ill”? “Emotionally disturbed”? “Has issues”? Nah, nuts. That’s the catch-all word for malfunctions between the ears. You’re probably nuts, and I’m absolutely nuts. When I open up and tell someone something I’ve been through, describe my honest feelings about something personal, the […]

An Introvert Walks into a Bar

Once a week I treat myself to breakfast at a diner. It used to be breakfast with my wife, but she died, damn it, so now it’s just breakfast alone at the diner. Same diner every Sunday morning, same waitress, same omelet and pancakes and coffee. A semi-friend says to me, “That diner you always […]

Why You Should Care About Waco

In the summer of 1992, a gun dealer named David Koresh sent a message to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF). He asked several questions about the regulations which cover modifying certain guns, and asked the ATF to send an agent to inspect his dealership’s inventory for any possible violations. The ATF never […]