The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

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

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.


BOSTON.  It’s spring, which can only mean one thing for viewers of WGBH, the local public television outlet here; an interminable pledge drive designed to close the station’s budget deficit.

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“For a pledge of $100 I’ll take off this stupid hat.” 

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MARCH 9, 2015 8:39PM

Me and Rahm at the F**kin' Ballet

It’s Monday night and I’m standing outside the Opera House in Boston, checking my watch. The wife’s out of town so I’ve got two ducats to the Boston Ballet’s Lady of the Camellias, and I’m holding one for Rahm Emanuel, the first balletomane ever to be elected Mayor… Read full post »

LOS ANGELES. Rodney Gage spends his day hunched over a photocopy machine at a 200-person law firm in Century City. “You wouldn’t believe the crap I have to put up with,” he says as he staples an 80-page bond indenture together. “‘I told you to do it two-sided,’ or… Read full post »

The name of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association was incorrectly given as the Upper Wharefedale Fell Rescue Association in a Page One article Thursday about ferret racing.… Read full post »
MARCH 7, 2015 10:36AM

Your Neighborly Advisor

Our neighbors are often our best friends, although sometimes they can become a gigantic pain in our rear ends. How do you walk the fine line between your adjacent lots? Ask the Neighborly Advisor!

Dear Neighborly Advisor:

Recently my husband Ed and I went on vacation, and I asked

Read full post »

FRAMINGHAM, Mass.  It was, many on the scene said afterwards, a situation that simply got out of hand.  Rival gangs had assembled outside the Barnes & Noble bookstore here last night for a verbal “cutting” contest, a battle of rapier wits instead of stiletto knives.

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BOSTON.  Bike messenger Tyler Oberg and his friends are models of disaffected youth, with tattoos that will be impossible to conceal as they grow older and numerous body piercings that cause their net worths to fluctuate wildly in tandem with precious metal prices.

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CLEVELAND. Kyle Thatcher is, at 47 years old, the youngest CEO in the history of Prothonotary Bank & Trust Co., a sleepy institution he shook into profitability with innovations that rocked the staid banking community here. “I decided to take a shot at staying open after 3 p.m., and… Read full post »

It’s a snowy day in Boston–what are the chances of that?–so a good opportunity to catch up on the paperwork that piles up on the desk of your average entertainment lawyer, and sometimes on the desk of below-average members of the guild like myself.

I attach binder clips to s… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2015 9:47AM

At the Boston Tanning Bed Party

The Affordable Care Act imposes a $2.7 billion tax on indoor tanning salons.

 The Boston Herald

As we poured out of the Old South Meeting House into the cold March night, our hearts were burning with passion, set ablaze by the inspirational words that Samuel Adams, Wh… Read full post »

MARCH 2, 2015 4:08PM

Your Philosophical Love Advisor

Love is one of the great mysteries of human existence, so who better to answer your romance-related questions than the Philosophical Love Advisor!

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Arthur Schopenhauer:  “So you think crème rinse would help?”


Dear Philosophical Love Advisor:

I have been dating thi… Read full post »

LEOMINSTER, Mass.  Cheryl Lynne Pettrucelli is running late for work, and so she has shifted into high gear in her efforts to make herself look presentable by the time she reaches her employer, Micro-Precision Tools.  “It’s ten to nine, so it’s gonna be close,” she s… Read full post »

It is Saturday night in the suburbs west of Boston–no better place to view man’s inhumanity to woman. As my partner Pancho Sanza and I drift wearily from one upscale restaurant to another, we see on the looks of the husbands indifference bordering on cruelty as an endless parade of wives… Read full post »

SAN DORITO, California. Students at this modern high school sixty miles north of Los Angeles perennially achieve high test scores on standardized exams, a fact that has caused educators around the state to try to replicate its methods.

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San Dorito High School: Home of the Fighting Taco Chips

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NEW YORK.  On the surface, Amelie Bernard seems content enough as the 68-year old widow sits alone in her Bleecker Street apartment surrounded by memorabilia from her youth.  “We were young, we were in love and mad for the world and all its glorious prospects,” she say… Read full post »

Wealthy suburb Wellesley, Mass. has hired constables to collect unpaid lunch money.

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FEBRUARY 25, 2015 8:49PM

A Cockroach in the Museum of Fine Arts

Am I mistaken in thinking that cockroaches are attracted to art galleries for the warmth rather than the pictures?

Review by Raymond Tallis of Eric R. Kandel’s “The Age of Insight”

It’s been a while since I took my cockroach Archy to the museum. I tend to get “mus… Read full post »

MUSZRKLIA, Freedonia. As he looks back on a career that spans a half-century, Norkd Vneliak laughs and shakes his head at the transformation he's undergone. "I was a nice Byellorussian boy who wanted to grow up to join the Freedonian space program. My dad owned an appliance store,"… Read full post »

MAYNARD, Mass.  In a darkened room, Rose Alba Mercurio sits in a comfortable chair and repeats the words she hears on a self-hypnosis tape especially prepared for her by a local support group.  “I don’t need another . . . I don’t need another,” she says in… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 23, 2015 8:39AM

At the Brooks Brothers-Hip Hop Summit

In recent years, rap kings such as Jay-Z and Diddy have displayed their swagger with looks that were more boardroom than bling. 

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WELLESLEY FALLS, Mass. Beth Upshaw is both a painter herself and an intrepid soul who helps others make a living in the traditionally hand-to-mouth world of the visual arts by operating an art gallery in this upscale suburb. “I know I could make more money at a nine-to-five job,”… Read full post »

SHEEPSHEAD BAY, New York. This working class neighborhood in Brooklyn has given birth to more than its share of professional comedians, including Larry David, Andrew Dice Clay and Elayne Boosler, but it is also known for a different kind of wise guy; members of La Cosa Nostra such as Thomas… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 20, 2015 8:30AM

Me and the Other Blue Nuns

It’s Friday, which means a day of preparation for a gig tonight with my band, The Blue Nuns, the only (I’m pretty sure) Chicago-style blues band in America that dresses in the habits of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, the religious order that ran my grade school.

We’re a tribute… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 19, 2015 9:32PM

Apache Dance With a Fellow Commuter

It is 7:20 p.m., time for the last train from South Station to the western suburbs of Boston. My point of embarcation, a once-proud civic landmark, is despite its grandiose re-christening as the South Station Transportation Center, a scene of degraded desolation. Over there, a homeless man mumbles to… Read full post »