When President John F. Kennedy died, he took the brown Catholic air with him.
The brown Catholic air was in the corners and stairwells of Catholic schools in the working-class neighborhoods, along the brown wood bannister, and it was across the street in the church, in the brown corners, where the sexton hadn't pushed his broom deep enough to ...Read more
Out there in Nebraska, where the air is clean and pure, up there in Minnesota, where they have those gosh darn cute accents, federal investigators found 30 teenagers working overnight shifts at meatpacking plants. The kids, some of them as young as 13, were alleged to be employed cleaning all sorts of shiny dangerous equipment. As a treat, the ...Read more
Trumpism pauses at the gates of the city, teeth bared, howling, swords flashing, warhorses prancing, and then slinks away.
Time after time.
Ah, the triumph of that first unimaginable glory, when Trump, loser of the popular vote, squeaked into the White House on a white horse that turned into a mouse, on which he fled, knees high on his too ...Read more
Don't read any more polls, not even if the midterms are nearly here.
Well, actually, you don't "read" polls. You "look at" polls. They're just numbers, although you can read a newspaper column containing poll numbers written by a guy like me, particularly if the guy like me needs to write something about an election that hasn't happened yet.
When I was a kid, what my parents said about spirits was, "There's no such thing as ghosts."
When someone in my extended French family once used the French word "Loup garou" to mean "werewolf," I asked my father what it meant.
"It's a werewolf that can't speak English," my father said.
People of my parents' generation were proud not to ...Read more
I don't live in Rhode Island. I live right next door to Rhode Island, in Massachusetts. This means that I don't vote in Rhode Island, but I am deluged with television ads for their political candidates.
Right now, a woman named Ashley Kalus is running for governor in Rhode Island, and every morning, somewhere between my first coffee and my ...Read more
About 20 years ago, after dark on a chilly October weeknight, I went a local discount store to buy a tie. They have cheap ties.
When you walked into the store, you came through the outside door, and there was a small area and then a flight of five or six stairs, and then the door into the store. In between the doors was a bench built into one ...Read more
MAGA is the NAACP for a lot of poor and working-class whites. It's a pressure group started to single-mindedly address the concerns of one group of people who believe they are sweltering in the heat of injustice.
Its leaders are very often a combination of preacher and politician, and its members have marched on Washington. They're the ones out...Read more
My hardy pioneer ancestors showed up in America back in the 1600s and started cutting down trees.
That's what they did with their lives. They walked into the forest and started cutting down trees. They used some of the trees to build their house. Some of the trees they cut down so they could grow crops. They cut down more trees to make firewood...Read more
I think I may have mowed my lawn for the last time this year. It was hot and very dry this summer, so I didn't have to mow it too many times, and now fall is closing in day by day.
My idea of lawn maintenance is to mow the thing whenever it gets ankle-deep.
I don't have a big yard because I live in a city, and I own a 100-year-old three-decker...Read more
Ya let me down, Mike. Ya let me down bad.
I'm not a fussy guy. Third-rate is good enough for me. When my car gets dented or scraped, I don't get it fixed. I like canned spaghetti. When I buy beer, I make my purchasing decision based solely on price.
So, why would anyone be surprised that I don't care about pillows?
I like hotel pillows. I ...Read more
Thirty years ago, I interviewed a former factory owner who was pushing 80. I was working for a midsize daily newspaper and the story was that, every few years, he'd give a party for his former employees. He rented a function room at a local restaurant, paid for a buffet and mingled with his former workers, reminiscing about the days before the ...Read more
Like the numerous old, scared white men currently disrupting America's ongoing lurch toward equality, I was frightened.
My wife, Deborah, who is to me what the Goddess of Mercy is to several religions, talked to one of her friends on the phone. As a result, Deborah downloaded an app that tells you if the food you eat and the personal hygiene ...Read more