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.


MADISON, Wis.  Gerry van Earle can remember the first time he agreed to be part of a medical experiment as if it were yesterday, even though it has now been twenty years since he first funded his Friday night beer run with the $25 he earned for his labors.  “It was… Read full post »

KANKAKEE, Illinois. Like many tribute band members, Sherylynn Lester knows it is unlikely she will ever live the rock star lifestyle. “My chances are slim and none, and Slim just left town,” she says with a giggle. “We’re out on the road night after night because we love to… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 18, 2015 8:54AM

With A-Rod in the Osgood-Schlatter Ward

YONKERS, New York.  This blue-collar suburb of New York City sits cheek-by-jowl with the Bronx, home of Yankee Stadium, but it is a rare occasion when a star of the greatest team in baseball history visits here.  “Just as many people who live in Manhattan never go… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 17, 2015 8:25PM

What to Give Up for Lent

Lent, the forty-day period before Easter Sunday, begins tomorrow. On that day, children in Catholic grade schools all around the world will be getting The Talk.

The Talk is usually delivered by a nun, who informs kids that the forty days of Lent represent the forty days Jesus spent wandering in… Read full post »

CONCORD, Mass.  Ethel Farley has been a teacher in the schools here for over two decades, long enough to be able to spot a young girl with a broken heart halfway across a crowded lunch room.  “They get a valentine from a boy and they read too much into it,” she… Read full post »

If the past is any kind of prologue, America’s white-collar work force will return to their jobs today or tomorrow through a kind of human resources mine field. Valentine’s Day was Saturday, meaning the next work day will be the launching pad for more violations of corporate Dignity in th… Read full post »

Jar Jar Binks, the inept Gungan general who starred in the Star Wars “prequel” movies, withdrew from public life after he was accused of perpetuating racial stereotypes. Bill Moyers is America’s most beloved public affairs windbag, known for his boring examinations of social issues… Read full post »
FEBRUARY 15, 2015 9:45AM

The ZaSu Pitts Look-Alike Contest

The weatherpeople got it right for once; blizzard conditions, a good omen for me. With more snow accumulation in Boston than ever before in recorded history (thanks global warming!) it’s harder to get into town, and the fewer contestants in the Men’s Senior Division of the ZaSu Pitts Look… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2015 10:24AM

Concerns Rise as Crusade-O-Phobia Spreads

WORCESTER, Mass. In this, the second-largest city in New England, the Crusades aren’t something children learn from history books, they are a part of the warp, woof, and weft of everyday life. “The Crusades were cool!” says ten-year-old Timothy Cullinane as he scurries through the… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 14, 2015 4:19AM

Several Ways of Choosing a Wife

Here’s a helpful suggestion for choosing a wife:
Don’t pick from the bin that says “Tragic view of life.”
Sure, she’ll share your love of Friedrich Nietzsche,
But I find that kind to be overly prietzsche.

While you wile away hours talking Schopenhauer
You could be ou… Read full post »

HOST:  Good evening once again everybody and welcome to Sympathy for the Horn-Dog, the show that brings you the truth the lame-stream media won’t tell you about world-class horn-dogs such as Hugh Hefner, Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd.  Tonight our guest is Dominique Gaston Andre Str… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 12, 2015 8:12AM

Valentine for a Homely Couple

Carl’s wife sits shotgun in his truck
Her doughy face baked whitish red.
He gets out and climbs the semi–
Smiling, he asks “How’s it going?”
We just grunt and nod our heads
at the auger hole, and how it’s stuck.

“Better you than me, boys,” he says.
&l… Read full post »

Surveys show that men will give women more than 36 million boxes of chocolate and 189 million roses on Valentine’s Day, making lemmings look like hip, Bohemian non-conformists.

Image result for lemmings cliff
Remarkably similar-looking non-conformists.

How do you make your gift stand out over all the other presents Su… Read full post »

WESTLAND, Mass. It’s 7:15 a.m., the time when Marci Evers would ordinarily be pouring herself a second cup of coffee and sharing a laugh with some of her favorite personalities on NBC’s “Today Show,” but this morning she’s having trouble hearing over an unaccustomed din… Read full post »

BOSTON. Todd Fleming is a commuter who actually enjoys his twice-daily train rides, even when inclement weather has others fuming. “It’s the one time of the day I get a chance to read,” says the father of two young boys who is an options trader by day. “If… Read full post »

HOLLYWOOD, Florida.  Ewell Norton has been a Latin teacher at Hollywood North High School here for over twenty years, but he’s never had to turn students away from his classes–until now.

“all-cay on ee-may!”

“Parents are finding out that just one or two… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 8, 2015 8:46PM

How to Have a Date by Valentine's Day

It’s coming: Valentine’s Day, after New Year’s Eve, the second most dreaded day on the calendar for singles, grade school Romeos, and philanderers. Thankfully, Cosmopolitan magazine regularly publishes tips on how to have a boyfriend by the time significant holidays roll around, and… Read full post »

The agency that oversees federal programs relating to mental illness recommended drinking fruit smoothies and line dancing.Read full post »

FEBRUARY 7, 2015 11:56AM

Masters of the Jazz Kazoo

FEBRUARY 6, 2015 10:10PM

Five Unemployment Myths--Exploded!

It was the mid-70’s, and I was working the night shift at a little typesetting shop in central Massachusetts. One afternoon the boss called me into his office shortly after I arrived–he never did that, so I knew whatever he had to say to me would be a big deal.

Holden,Read full post »

SEEKONK, Mass.  When the time came for Cindy Nowacki to decide whether to challenge powerful institutional forces, the choice wasn’t an easy one.  “I looked around my house and thought–I could lose everything I’ve worked so hard for, as well as a lot of cra… Read full post »

Mathematics genius Grigori Yakovlevich Perelman has refused over a million dollars in prizes for his work and has moved back home to live with his mother and sister. 

                     &nbsRead full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 9:04PM

Comparative Literature

"Do you remember the time I asked you if you wanted to go for a dip?” Roberta’s father asked as they pulled into the country club parking lot.

“Yes, Daddy,” Roberta replied with annoyance. Her father had recounted the story many times over the years, sometimes in front of dinn… Read full post »

FEBRUARY 5, 2015 3:04PM

Boston, City of Champions: How We Do It

Four major sports.  Fifteen years.  Nine championships.  Face it; after the Patriots won the Super Bowl last Sunday, Boston is Title Town USA.  It’s never been done before, not even in New York, where they have two of every pro sports team to our one.

How d… Read full post »

CHICAGO.  As a security guard tightens the lock around the chain-link gates of Snyder’s Novelties here on the city’s South Side, a grown man standing nearby begins to weep.  “It was the best job I ever had,” says Willie Newbill, who moved to the Windy… Read full post »