El Id

is a brat

Matt Paust

Matt Paust
Gloucester, Virginia,
December 31
Sorry - writer's block... BTW the "birthday" listed above is false. I prefer to keep that day private, but am not permitted to do so here, so I'm forced to lie.


APRIL 21, 2011 1:27PM

Follow the nightmare dots

Writer Sherry Hamilton's report in the Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal gives us a glimpse through the eyes of a man who experienced the moment of horror that killed his neighbor:

The Lee brothers, Brian and Travis, and their grandmother, Dorothy Sawyer, were sitting at the kitchen table last SaturRead full post »

APRIL 19, 2011 7:16AM

Deer neighbors

This family of four whitetail deer have been visiting our backyard ever evening at around 7 p.m.  The mother used to visit last summer, when she and her fawns were so wary they'd flee if they saw anyone even looking at them from a window.
Much more relaxed this year.  TheRead full post »
APRIL 16, 2011 11:04PM

Challenge: Finish this story...

Challenge:  You're part of a community of  twelve writers.  You open an email and suddenly you're confronted with several pages of a story that another in your group has started.  Your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to add several more pages and forward the accumu/… Read full post »
APRIL 12, 2011 3:04PM

Chicken Man (video)

I'd fire the cameraman for this abomination, but I'm a believer in second chances.  This might be the first video in the history of YouTube narrated by a pot belly.  I will say this in defense of the overall production:  it was done rather hurriedly without benefit of aRead full post »

APRIL 11, 2011 10:27AM

Friday midnight deadline

Contest entries must be dated no later than midnight April 15.  That's Friday, precisely the same deadline the IRS has set for filing federal income taxes.  A yin/yang sort of moment. 

To win you must correctly guess the OS blogging name used by Jason Giecek, author of Shame of theRead full post »

APRIL 6, 2011 10:26PM

No peace in the hen house

Unless you count me, our thirteen hens have been without male companionship for nearly a year. They're becoming a little anxious. Some of them. The others more so and have taken to assuming the position whenever I'm within mounting range.  I think I know now where… Read full post »
Editor’s Pick
APRIL 5, 2011 1:51PM

We're under a tornado watch

As I begin typing this the wind gusts are still tearing at our tall pines and sweet gums and I feel the house tremble on its foundation.  The storm started about 5:30 this morning with steadier angrier winds that bombarded our house with a relentless deluge of rain andRead full post »

APRIL 3, 2011 9:10PM

The Church drove me to think

You might know it'd be my dad, the atheist, who figured out the odd shape between the shoulders of the man seated in the pew directly in front of us was from the coathanger he'd forgotten to remove from his suitcoat.  After my dad whispered his discovery to us we quietly… Read full post »

MARCH 31, 2011 8:37PM

How to not be a dick on OS

How in hell should I know?  For all I know some of you think I'm a dick and that's OK because I just may think some of you are dicks, as well.  In truth, I do miss Cornflower Seed Woman, and don't we all?  Answer this wrong and you'll fndRead full post »

Comments are now closed for this post.
MARCH 28, 2011 1:35PM

Spiff up, help Japan

My new T-shirt with the beautiful blue paper tulip design by Gary Justis arrived this morning.  Soon as I got home from the Post Office I doffed the shirt I was wearing, donned the new shirt and...ta da...suddenly I felt like posing for a new avatar photo. new avatar

I'll admitRead full post »

MARCH 25, 2011 12:52PM

The girl with the violet eyes

By Margaret Gunning

We all knew it had to happen. For the past several years, reports on her health had been increasingly bleak. At the end, all we had were a few cruel papparazzi shots taken through the fingers of
Read full post »
MARCH 24, 2011 10:41AM

Are we tough enough?

 Isabel 2003

 Hurricane Isabel - September, 2003

The older I get the more I worry about the important things, the life changers.   Buying my first house marked the start of this new look at values.   From then on, the prospect of being sent by my newspaper to… Read full post »
MARCH 16, 2011 8:18PM

I couldn't color my vegetables

If Mrs. Henke, whom I called “Mrs. Hanky,” had instructed us to color the vegetables right away, I'd have done so. Raised by parents of mostly German heritage, I always followed orders. The problem with the vegetable assignment was that Mrs. Hanky gave us several days to finish it.… Read full post »

[Note: Fellow Open Salon writer Dom Macco came up with an idea awhile back about a fictional character named “Carl” who has recently died. In the story, other fictional characters have been asked to prepare eulogies for Carl’s funeral, but each has little or no actual knowledge… Read full post »
MARCH 11, 2011 3:28PM

Vows (fiction Friday)

They were outside on the second floor balcony now, overlooking the garden.  In the distance she could make out a few of the cemetery’s nearest stone markers.  Those she could see were mostly obscured by the low spreading branches of several trees among the rows and also by… Read full post »

MARCH 9, 2011 8:43PM

Don't wanna cross that Katmancross



He arrived in October with his first OS post

A pretty good tale about a skydiving host

Who screws up quite badly our man's first jump

Then gets shot rather dead while taking a dump

If it hadn't been fiction… Read full post »

Dear Friends,  It's only $5,000, but if enough people vote online here for volunteer Chris Clifford in the Cox Conserves Hero contest, his county, my county - GLOUCESTER COUNTY, VIRGINIA - will win five big ones. 

A drop in the bucket in today's strangled economy, I know.  State and l… Read full post »

MARCH 7, 2011 6:50AM

Cop at the door

Unless I'm in bed, fixing a meal, doing chores or watching a football game on television, a hypothetical floating webcam searching for me is apt to stop and focus right where I am at this moment. I'm seated at my laptop in my office, which is located above our garage,… Read full post »

MARCH 5, 2011 4:52PM

For Shame, a critical look

You may be aware of a contest here on OS.  One of our members has published a novel under a name other than the one he/she uses here for blogging.   The novel, Shame of the Father, was published about six years ago.  Our contest is to help sell a few… Read full post »

 A $2,000 fine that's been hanging over my head and each of those of my 39 fellow rebels for more than two years has been lifted today by the Virginia Supreme Court.

In so doing, the Court upheld the right of free speech as guaranteed by the First Amendment to the… Read full post »

MARCH 3, 2011 12:53PM

How High the Moon

Somebody sent me these amazing photos.  I don't

know to whom the credit belongs for this

enterprising photography, but I'll post them

anyway for your enjoyment.  Here they are:


kick the moon

make a wish

moon dance  moonball


catching the moon



moondribbleRead full post »

alfred e. neuman


So we treat our teachers like dogs.  So what?  This is what we're creating:

This post was inspired by Snippy the Grammar Dog.

  Read full post »





He keeps a close watch on this place of ours.

He keeps his eyes wide open at all hours.

He keeps  promoting new bloggers that he finds.

At thirty-nine Crank walks the line.

He's always there to lift you

Read full post »
FEBRUARY 26, 2011 10:54PM

Shame of the Father: A reading (video)

So.  Here we are again.  Click on the YouTube video and you can watch and hear the old goat reading Chapter 4 of  Shame of the Father.  If you listen real carefully you can hear chickens in the background discussing my performance.  I assume they were saying kind things about… Read full post »

I've been commissioned by the Open Salon Unauthorized Literary Council to announce the advent of a contest to identify the OS blogging name of the person who wrote Shame of the Father, which was published nearly six years ago, before Open Salon was even a gleam in one of Kerry… Read full post »