Things I liked when I was in fourth grade:
My dog. He was a big boxer dog named Joey. He had big black jowls and sad brown eyes, and he loved me.
My mother. She was a bank bookkeeper. She used to take me to downtown Taunton, Massachusetts, on Friday nights, back when the whole world got paid on Friday, and she would buy me a limeade at the ...Read more
If there's one thing Vladimir Putin's mob has in common with the warriors of the American white nationalist movement, it's that both groups like killing civilians, and neither group does well against soldiers.
"We'll take Kyiv in six weeks!" the manifesto of war declares.
They do not. They start killing old ladies and 11-year-old girls because...Read more
I am not frail. I go to a gym. I lift weights. I walk pretty fast. I carry in the groceries when my wife, Deborah, comes back from the market. We live in a second-floor apartment, so the grocery carrying is harder than it sounds. I haven't lost my hair.
All that age-denying ego puffery aside, I turned 65 yesterday, a little after 7 p.m.
And my...Read more
I'm not sure who still pulls the wishbone when they eat turkey. The tradition belongs to "throw salt over your shoulder America."
Briefly, when you have turkey, say, on Thanksgiving, you let the turkey's "wishbone" dry out for a couple days, and then one of you takes hold of one end, one of you takes hold of the other, and you pull until the ...Read more
There are only two really "American" responses to war anywhere in the world.
1. Let 'em kill each other. We can't be the world's police.
2. Let's get in on this!
Generally, American foreign policy begins with the first and ends with the second. Sometimes, we take Berlin. Sometimes, we take off out of Vietnam like a scalded hound.
In a nation...Read more
Having snuck past the tequila of my 20s, defeated the heart-cracking stress of my reporter days, and still peering out from under a lifetime mountain of pipe tobacco, I am less than a month from turning 65.
This is unimportant. The head-to-toe black and white nuns at St. Jacques School long ago assured me that my life was unimportant. Death is ...Read more
If that stupid coach hadn't cut us from our high school football team, we'd have made quarterback, we'd have played in college, we'd have played professional ball, we'd have married a cat-eyed model named Shiloh.
If we hadn't gotten married, and then the kids, that Harley in the garage might not be something we ride on Sundays when ...Read more
I remember young love. I remember young lust. I remember young pain and young pleasure, when the moon was yellow as gold and my nerves were very close to the skin. Everything that didn't arouse me either hurt me, or made me laugh. I was young, flat-bellied, prime-y and rooster-ish.
Me and my buddies talked about girls who weren't women yet, and...Read more
If he squints his eyes just a bit, tilts his head back slightly and sticks his jaw out just a little, Alex Jones can look defiant.
Faced with a lawsuit, Jones folds up like a toy, tries to buy off the people suing him and, like any ordinary junkie, doesn't show up for his court appearances. If everyone showed up for every court appearance, most...Read more
Ever been to a college swim meet?
Yeah. I knew it.
You go to a "swim meet" in this country, the people in the stands are usually blood relatives of the kids doing the swimming. I oughta know. I was on my high school debate team. You didn't have to buy a ticket if you wanted to see us compete.
But let one "dude in a dress" or "dude in a one ...Read more
Writing columns about Ukraine makes me feel inferior to the people in the vests that say "PRESS" on the front. They're the reporters living and dying the story. I'm an ornamental jackass whose work appears way inside the paper, so no one will make a mistake and think it's news.
I'm a cat in the window.
I say that because I play a senseless ...Read more
Where I live, it's impossible to get heroin that isn't laced with fentanyl. In fact, most of what is sold as heroin is fentanyl.
If you use it as directed, fentanyl kills you. So does regular heroin, but it takes longer, which is a great benefit for the person who wants to get high as many times as possible between now and when he gets buried ...Read more
Let's remember life.
I woke up before the alarm went off this morning and stretched under the blanket, enjoying the small victory of turning off the alarm before it rang. My wife was already up, but she'd left some warmth in the bed.
I stooped to pet a cat on the way to make coffee. The cat purred. The coffee maker burbled. I sat on the couch,...Read more