gabba gabba hey


It was early June, 1980. My cousin Gary, his fiancee Maria, some friends and cousins of hers, and I went to Great Adventure to see the Ramones in concert.

To pass the time before the main attraction, we went on some rides.

I was within earshot of Joe Jag, Victor and Vinnie when they started singing Blotto’s “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard”.

A few days after the concert I went to the nearest Sam Goody and got a copy of Blotto’s “Hello My Name Is Blotto. What’s Yours?”

The Ramones were good but that song is still just too much.

Thanks to Ted Strutz for this week’s Photo Prompt and to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields, our fearless leader, for Friday Fictioneers.

what’s the news across the nation? we have got the punctuation

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “By the Dots.”

Having always been quite compulsively articulate, I take punctuation very seriously. To my credit, I honestly don’t think I have too much of a problem with it.

The exclamation point doesn’t doesn’t often strike me as being necessary. It’s quite like the word “actually” or “literally”. Each of those words is obscenely over-used. Relatively few sentences absolutely require exclamation points.

The comma truly makes a significant difference. If someone claims to have met John Paul, George and Ringo, he’s met one of two popes, and two Beatles. If he claims to have met John, Paul, George and Ringo, he’s met all the Beatles. I’ve always thought it would be nice to write a play named “It’s Time to Eat, Aunt Gertrude”, and sell it to a group of cannibals, who could promptly change the title to “It’s Time to Eat Aunt Gertrude”.

Lately there seems to be quite a lot of controversy over the Oxford comma, often called the Harvard comma, series comma, or serial comma. That’s the one that’s placed before the conjunction in a series of at least three items. I can’t see how it necessarily matters whether one refers to England, France and Spain, or England, France, and Spain, unless of course it’s unavoidably mandatory to clarify the question of whether or not France and Spain are engaged in some sort of collusion. If each country is acting separately I should use the Oxford comma.

I don’t seem to have many occasions, in my everyday life, to use the ellipsis, though I have, over the course of several college classes, used it in order to cite references to long passages. It’s quite difficult to allude to something, in its entirety, from the collected works of someone like Jane Austen or John Stuart Mill. Therefore, a well-placed ellipsis often comes in handy under such circumstances. It can be misused though. I read a few years ago about some anti-Catholic liberals who, in order to besmirch the reputation of Pope Pius XII, and to depict him as a Nazi sympathizer, deceitfully used the ellipsis to give the impression of his having said and done other than what he really said and did. With an ellipsis, context is all.

The question mark and period are both pretty much easy. Declarative and interrogatory sentences are most of what I write anyway.

The occasional dash or two comes in quite handy. Often it pays to insert a qualifying passage into a sentence in order to clarify a thought. I appear to have a habit of quite often using a tilde instead of a dash. Under unofficial circumstances, there appears not to be any harm in that. Parentheses work well for this too~hence the term, parenthetical aside.

For some reason, I virtually never use semicolons. According to my understanding of semicolons, they are supposed to be used in order to link two independent clauses without a conjunction. According to that definition, a semicolon is virtually synonymous with a period so I might as well use a period.

internet communication


“Oh, honey!” Laura boasted to Rob.
“It’s amazing how far mankind has come in the past two thousand years!”

“Don’t you remember, only until fairly recently, it was impossible to get back in touch with old friends from so long ago?”

“Now we can spend so much of our free time enjoying their company and seeing how they’ve turned out.”

Rob politely humored her as she gazed, mesmerized, at all the Facebook status updates.

Finally he admitted, “I’m so happy I have such an easy time finding out that my sixth grade teacher dreads standing on line at Dunkin’ Donuts.”

This week’s photo prompt is from Marie Gail Stratford. Rochelle Wisoff Fields leads us weekly in our Friday Fictioneers, in which each of us writes a hundred word story.

lucky break or what


“Oh no,” Clem stammered. “What could those policemen want me for?”

“I warned you not to pull that tag off our mattress,” Elvira reprimanded him.

He thought back, pallid of complexion and overwhelmed with anxiety, to all his early days with friends, doing drugs and playing with firearms. Perhaps one of the unexplained deaths in his crowd had finally been somehow traced back to him.

The cops pulled him over. “May I please see your license and registration, sir?” asked Officer Muldoon.

“This is just a random safety belt check, Mr. Schnauzer.”

“Thank you,sir. Good night.”

The photo is from The Reclining Gentleman. Rochelle Wisoff Fields is in charge of our Friday Fictioneers, a weekly 100~word attempt at story telling.

the kitchen on pine street


“What goes on in there?” George asked Rob as they passed the slovenly neighborhood hovel.

His friend explained, “That’s the only hangout many of the homeless in our county have.”

“We let them into our soup kitchen from 11:45 until 12:45 six days a week for lunch. The rest of the time they come here to talk and to get to know each other. Other than that most of them live on the streets.”

“We don’t butt into anyone’s private life. Just treat each one with respect. They’re quite a motley bunch of characters we have here.”

Thanks to David Stewart for this week’s photo prompt and to Rochelle Wisoff~Fields for being our ringleader for our weekly Friday Fictioneers.

statism and the cultural elite

I realize that I may very often tend to get more than somewhat annoying with all my anti-liberal moments but something has simply got to be done about these anti-social creeps. I’ve just read something about how the actress Helen Mirren has recently presumed to decide that men should be forbidden to put their arms around their girlfriends’ shoulders. According to her this somehow gives the impression of ownership. Lately I’ve also noticed attempts at the left’s determination to ban words like “Bossy”, “Hysterical” and “Sassy” (offensive to women); “Black”, “Negro” and “Colored” (offensive to blacks); “Retarded” (offensive to the retarded).

Besides that we’re now also confronted with the massive immigration of moslems into Europe. Isn’t it strange that all of them are strong, healthy boys and very young men between the ages of fifteen and twenty five? Exactly where, may I ask, are all the small children, sick and handicapped, women, and old people? Those are the kinds of characters one would expect to see when a population legitimately moves under these circumstances. Where are all the starving, shell-shocked people who normally take advantage of something like this?

Of course that’s not even counting the problems with abortion, euthanasia and homosexuality. In the June 29, 1992 Supreme Court decision, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania vs. Casey”, Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote, “At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life….Our system presumes that there are certain principles that are more important than the temper of the times.”

He ends his paragraph with “Belief about these matters could not define the attributes of personhood were they formed under the compulsion of the state.”

We simply must not let the state and the cultural elite control our lives.

traumatic september 11

On September 11, 1971, I moved from Jackson Heights, Queens, to Lindenhurst, in Suffolk County. It was five days before my twelfth birthday and I had a difficult time adjusting to my new circumstances. Always having gone to Catholic school, at St. Gabriel’s, I was forced, for two weeks, to attend Copiague Junior High School, the local public school,until I got into Our Lady of Perpetual Help. I ended up spending many decades in Lindenhurst but my early days there were quite a quirky trip.

On September 11, 2001, five days before my forty second birthday, the Moslem terrorists attacked the World Trade Center in Manhattan, and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.,also hijacking United Airlines Flight 93. People on the left still don’t quite seem to understand that Islam is ruled by Satan. I was at 9:00 a.m. Mass that day at Our Lady of Perpetual Help when Father Edward M. Seagriff told us about the attacks.

way down upon the susquehanna


“Hey this is neat! I feel just like the Injuns in those John Ford movies!” giggled Gondo.

Jane, though, wasn’t all that ecstatic as they prepared for their trip down the Susquehanna by canoe.

“Be careful,” she reminded him. “This river has a nasty undertow you can’t notice from the surface.”

She then showed him, on her cell phone, all the statistics involving people who got too brave.

He agreed to go no more than ten miles each way, and to sign up for a guided tour the next day.

She gave him his fishing license back.

Moocho thank you to Jennifer Pendergast for this week’s photo prompt, and for Rochelle Wisoff~Fields for being our weekly Friday Fictioneers fearless leader.

judy from brooklyn


“Mrs. Schwartz, you’s just gotta help me-I’m at my wit’s end with that lunatic kid of mine!” gasped Mrs. Krausmeier into the phone. “He’s in love with that Judy Connors girl.”

“She’s the prettiest girl from Bensonhurst to Canarsie,” her neighbor reminded her.”

“Yeah but she’s also a whiny neurotic.”

“That’s good though. You told me a few years ago he’s always enjoyed annoying neurotics.”

“Oh yeah, that’s right! He’ll have the time of his life with this one! He could rankle on her nerves like crazy!”

“Oooh I can’t wait to see what happens,” she giggled.

Photo prompt by Rochelle Wissoff~Fields who is in charge of our illustrious Friday Fictioneers group.