The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

In a seminal article collected in “Jazzmen,” E. Simms Campbell pointed out that there was once (in 1939) as many styles of blues piano as there were American cities with black musicians and pianos in them; there was of course, New Orleans style, but native strains developed in Memphis, St… Read full post »

GLENDALE, Arizona. As the NFL considered fines against the New England Patriots and their head coach Bill Belichick for under-inflating footballs in last week’s AFC Championship Game, insiders say the league has ignored evidence of cheating by the three-time Super Bowl winner for years.

Read full post »

JANUARY 24, 2015 10:24AM

What's a Man For?

It’s an age-old question, that defies analysis,
and leads to a certain mental paralysis.
One I ask myself as I stare out the door:
“What, after all, I am here for?”
If the wife’s within earshot, she’ll promptly respond
With an answer that won’t strike most ears as fond:… Read full post »

Pat Patriot, the mascot of the New England Patriots, has been arrested in a prostitution sting.

                                  &nRead full post »

It’s happened to me twice lately.  I send someone a gift, in one case a book of my poems because a woman asked me for it, in the second a copy of A.J. Liebling’s The Sweet Science because a young man I’ve sponsored on a trip to South America told me… Read full post »

JANUARY 21, 2015 7:38PM

The Greenfather

Italian authorities seized $1.9 billion in “green” investments made by La Cosa Nostra to launder money.


I’ve been recycling since a college roommate first introduced me to the activity that has become a secular religion for me. Whenever my wife throws away a plastic ketchup… Read full post »

Accountancy has a good claim to being the world’s oldest profession.  

Edward Chancellor, Wall Street Journal review of “Double Entry” by Jane Gleeson-White


We were hanging around, me and my buddies Ug and Nutz, trying to resist the inexorable tide of evolution.&nbs… Read full post »

Dolphins and elephants can recognize themselves in a mirror, an ability that has made them seem humanlike.

The Moral Arc, Michael Shermer

“Humans have feelings?  Scree!  That’s a good one!”


I was hanging around the pool, enjoying myself while I waited for the… Read full post »

NEW YORK.  The National Football League’s investigation into whether the New England Patriots improperly deflated footballs in their 45-7 AFC Championship Game victory over the Indianapolis Colts today hit a snag, literally and figuratively, when it was determined that D’Qwell Jackso… Read full post »

NATICK, Mass. Lines began to form outside The Gnarly Gamer, a store in this suburb west of Boston, at 4:30 this morning in anticipation of “Grand Theft Auto: Massachusetts”, the latest release of one of the most successful videogames in history. “It’s gonna be wicked awesome,&… Read full post »

Dance, according to Robin Collingwood, was the original art form, and are you really going to argue with a guy who has been referred to as “the best known neglected thinker of our time”?  I didn’t think so.

The Dance Class, by Edgar Degas


All things considered, if… Read full post »

JANUARY 18, 2015 4:22PM

Me and Jim the Wonder Dog

A trip back to my boyhood home in Missouri presents me with an opportunity to visit with Jim the Wonder Dog, the most famous native of my hometown with the possible exceptions of Dale Carnegie and Scott Joplin.

“C’mon Jim–let’s go conjugate some irregular French verbs.&Read full post »

JANUARY 18, 2015 12:12PM

The Grade School Fixer

Like many citizens of the over-regulated nation that America has become, I didn’t even realize I was a criminal until after I’d read the law. My third grade teacher gave everybody a little pamphlet entitled “An Examination of Conscience,” and it was only after scanning down to… Read full post »

NGORZSKL, Freedonia. The Freedonian Bourski, the central bank of this land-locked European country, announced Friday that it will no longer back the flemux, the official currency, with weasels for the first time since the nation was formed after World War II with parts of Poland, Czechoslovakia and… Read full post »

Supermodel Gisele Bundchen had “to hold really still whilst makeup was applied to her armpits.”

                    The Boston Herald

It was 6:30 a.m., and my CD player-alarm clock sounded the op… Read full post »

JANUARY 15, 2015 4:56PM

Your Food Freshness Safety Advisor

Have a question about a multi-colored piece of cheese in the fridge?  Stomach rumbling from a heaping helping of leftover tuna noodle casserole?  Before you head for the bathroom, ask Your Food Freshness Safety Advisor for help!

Dear Food Freshness Safety Advisor:

Yesterday, I made… Read full post »

BOSTON.  A year ago, Emily Nednick was a rising star at the law firm where she worked, churning out billable hours and working on sensitive assignments for established clients.  Then, a casual comment caused it all to come crashing down around her.

“Why didn’t I stick toRead full post »

SEPULVEDA, California.  Thomas “Tom” Freeb, bass guitar player for My  Unicorn’s Knightmare, an antacid rock band of the 60′s, died yesterday of  complications from adenoid surgery.  He was 71.

Tom and Tim Freeb with guitars in their first Read full post »

MALCZW, Freedonia. In this land-locked, vowel-starved country, many residents have never even seen a lawyer, much less retained one. “It is both a blessing and a curse,” says tribal chieftain Mzrz Glzorp. “We do not have to listen to boring dweebzskis in wing tips, on the other hand… Read full post »

JANUARY 13, 2015 8:19AM

Scooter & Skipper Blow Things Up!

Okay--you've been following the adventures of Scooter & Skipper on Open Salon since the second administration of the second Bush--for free.  Now it's time to pay the piper, or at least the crazy guy on the corner banging on the plastic buckets.

 Scooter & Skipper


Today is release day for SRead full post »

NEW YORK.  For Fred Hollingsworth, an investment banker whose four-and-a-half-decade career will come to an end tonight at a farewell dinner that will be attended by scores of colleagues, it was never about the money.  “I always told young kids starting out to take the long view,&rdqu… Read full post »

JANUARY 12, 2015 8:22AM

I Am the Cheap Man

It happened Saturday night, as it has before.  My wife and I had taken our seats at a nice restaurant, and the waiter asked if we’d like to order drinks.  My wife asked for a glass of chardonnay–whichever was oakiest–and I ordered a malbec.

“We have two,”… Read full post »

(With apologies to Waylon Jennings, not that he needs them)

They’re hard to love and even harder to hold.
They’ll give you a poem instead of diamonds or gold,
Hardcover Gatsby or even an old paperback
Instead of a sweater from off the markdown rack.
As each night fades into a new day
They&rsquo… Read full post »

JANUARY 10, 2015 12:39PM

The Sylvia Plath Foreclosure Sale

I grew up surrounded by females. My dad owned a women’s clothing store. Both of my sisters were girls, and my mom was a woman. We had two female cats whose names–Big Kitty and Baby Cat–could have been taken straight from a Eudora Welty short story. As far as I know,… Read full post »

JANUARY 9, 2015 8:23AM

Drive Women Wild--the B.O. Way!

If you’re at all like me, right now you’re probably looking back over your life and asking yourself–“Why the hell didn’t I take Anne Gyorgy up on her request to teach her how to play the harmonica when she came into my room the first week of college and literally saRead full post »