Oz Never Did Give Nothing to Moulty: A Bucketa Massachusetts Accents

There is nothing nicer than when a Massachusetts accent just happens. Continue reading

The True Protest Is Beauty

leonard cohen
In an unlikely series of events, the true machinations of which are known only to that mysterious and terrifying organization, I have become president of the Board of Directors of my local Unitarian Church in the scenic, doughnut-rich, and fire-scarred Verdugo Hills of Southern California. As such I am called to write a monthly column for its newsletter. What better way to begin the year than with The Slaughter of the Innocents? Continue reading

Tales from Above the Law (First in A Series)

Gordon Thunderfoot Is Not Allowed 2
I’ve noticed that people are admitting things and I feel left out.

Lately I’ve been reflecting on the blameless life I’ve led, congratulating myself that the only people who would “come forward,” “take to Twitter,” or “retain an attorney” concerning anything I’ve done are people who regret not having praised me enough. Continue reading

Your Hip, Hapless Child

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From Edward Gorey’s “The Hapless Child”


There’s a knock on the door and my son answers it. An adorable three-year-old girl is there with her dad, who asks my son if his mom or dad is home. My son calls me by my name, which he does when he’s nervous.

“There’s someone here to see you, Marty,” he says.

It’s missionaries, I think. I always talk to missionaries because they can at least put me down as a “maybe” and get more mission-kibble. But I’m wrong. Continue reading

Upon First Looking — Really Looking — at My Newly-Paralyzed Dog’s Anus

GORDONFCE1This story, about our dog, has a happy ending.

Over the course of 18 hours one day last month, our beloved dog became paralyzed. Continue reading

The Bathroom At Connie’s Wedding

The Bathroom At Connie’s Wedding
An I love you with all-a my heart, if I don’t see-a you again soon, I’m-a gonna die poem for Valentine’s Day

godfather-valentine
Sorry, Sally, no can do
Fredo, this heart’s not for you
Yes, Bruno once felt my embrace
And ‘pollonia lit up the place
But now there’s someone who, I feel
Would not eff up my birthday meal.

My love pours forth as if from holes
And I feel sunny, despite the tolls
It will not stop! It comes unbidden
As poor Carlo’s trashcan liddin’
Like Clemenza loved his cannoli
You’re my Ragazza, One And Only.

O, you’re my little Red Barchetta
And, ’til I die in some vendetta
You’ll mean a great deal more to me
Than the peas of Frank Pentangeli.
(But if you see me in your bed
Don’t act like I am Khartoum’s head.)

Christmas in L.A. Is Officially Over

forest-lawn-glendale

Following a 16-year study of measurable Christmasing trends, I have determined that L.A.’s Christmas season runs from just before Labor Day to Super Bowl Sunday. Continue reading

Today You Will Wear Jean Shorts

jean-shorts-barrettLet’s be reasonable — It’s bleak, but it’s not hopeless. You have many pants choices. And each one is safe, thoughtful, and flattering. To wear jean shorts today is a step backward into despair, yes?

No. It’s an assured, progressive step. It’s still too cold for them, and that’s why you should do it. Instead of wearing pants to the post office and supermarket, greeting your neighbors as if you are embarrassed of your shins and calves, dazzle them with the Mary Kay Rabbit Lab brightness of your winterized legs. Legs that say: It Is the Festival of the Unconquered Sun, And Wintertime Will Soon Be Over, Especially in Los Angeles Because, You Know, Let’s Face It.

You will wear jean shorts because you are jumpstarting the world.

You say, “But they will identify me as a dad by my jean shorts.”

What’s wrong with that? You are a dad. If you were in the 18th Street Gang, would you cover up that huge “XVIII” facial tattoo and eschew the blue and black colors that represent your connection to the ancient Sureño barrio gangs? No. You might be murdered. If you were a dog, would you dress as a cormorant? If you are the Pope and are readily identified by your skull-fitted zucchetto, would you instead don the conical white koukoulion of the Greek Orthodox patriarch of Russia? Of course not. Are you high?

Neither Kristy McNichol nor Bucky Dent were ashamed of their jean shorts.

You will wear jean shorts because you are so proud of being a dad that you say, “Not only am I a dad, but I can be one again, anywhere you like. Behind those trash cans or in the Von’s dairy aisle. Just give me a minute.”

Today you will wear jean shorts, and you will every day that ancient protocol — like a coronation or moon landing — dictates that you don’t. You will wear jean shorts. You will be the guy who wears jean shorts. There will be memes and hashtags, and maybe a multi-city protest, but you will wear jean shorts.

Oh, look! There is a five-dollar bill from last August in my jean shorts.

Tucumcari Tonight: Lowell George’s “Willin'”

willin-lowell-george
Here’s what a great song is all about: I love the song “Willin'” even though I am neither a truck driver, drug trafficker, substance abuser, nor commitment-phobic. It’s among the most noncommittal and narcissistic of love songs, and yet you feel that the singer, Lowell George, is really trying. Continue reading

Let Despair Be the First Celebrity Death of 2017

Isidorus of SevilleDoes the fact that a bunch of people died, that the 2016 campaign was particularly awful and hopeless, and that nearly half of those who were eligible actually voted make you despair? Well stop. That’s what they want. Don’t go over the Rainbow Bridge just yet. Continue reading