About two miles from my house, in the same city, there's a convenience store. It sells coffee, liquor, beer, lottery tickets, sandwiches wrapped in plastic and disposal lighters, and it offers two aisles of canned goods, toilet paper and disposable diapers.
There used to be a Hindu temple across the street, located in a former paper-box factory...Read more
Heavy lies the head that wears the turkey.
Pres. Donald Trump pardoned two turkeys just before Thanksgiving Day. It's a holiday tradition. Ever year, in a display of commercialized might, the president pardons two turkeys and a war criminal. The two turkeys go to some kind of turkey rescue facility. The war criminal gets a promotion, may ...Read more
In my home state of Massachusetts, where a wily state government has found a way to do everything except stop people from leaving the older cities, there is a war on flavored tobacco and vaping products. A ban of both is on the way.
Ostensibly, this is to protect our children, who are presumably lured into smoking by flavored products.
"Who do...Read more
I'm what used to be called a "regular guy." House. Wife. Job. Taxes. Scared of street crime. Frozen pizza. Flannel shirts. Draft beer. Used car. It took me six months to pay off the new mattress I bought.
But I don't like sports.
By that, I mean I have never seen a complete basketball or hockey game, I can't name five professional baseball or ...Read more
I write columns about politics, and about governing, and about Pres. Donald Trump, who is politics but not governing, and about poverty, which is always the result of politics but never the result of governing.
And, after retiring from a 36-year career as a newspaper reporter, I took a job with a local talk radio station. Callers sometimes call...Read more
Canines have had an up-and-down kind of month. Pres. Donald Trump noted some similarities between the death of a terrorist and the way a dog dies. That's an insult to every red-blooded American pit bull who ever went down snarling in an illegal dogfight sponsored by a professional athlete. That's why Trump gets booed at ball games.
But he did ...Read more
In the grocery store, they got the cheap hamburger, the good hamburger and the ground sirloin.
I come from a ground sirloin family. If we were eating the good hamburger, or (shame of all shame) the cheap hamburger, it meant my father was out of work. By the time I was 11, my father had traded the nightlife thrills and uncertain income of the ...Read more
An Irish immigrant friend of mine once told me that, in the Ireland of his youth, the word "noggin" was, as he put it "the most elastic word in the language."
"If my uncle said he had a 'noggin of whiskey,' that meant anything from a swallow to a quart," my friend said."
That kind of word is handy to know.
In America today, the most elastic ...Read more
Because I am old in the ways of sin, I dropped the butt of a $5 cigar onto the rain-darkened blacktop of a convenience store parking lot. I was going in for coffee, black, no sugar.
The owner, an immigrant American citizen from a former British colony, saw me from the front window of his small, but sincere, store. When I came in, he told me I ...Read more
The Brothers Grimm, Jakob and Wilhelm, were a pair of 19th-century Germans whose "fairy tales" often involved the cooking of children. Disney cleaned that up quickly, and the whacky brothers' fairy tales were a childhood staple until we forgot them in favor of British-accented pigs.
Always, in the tales, the princess sleeps or is in some kind ...Read more
I live in Fall River, Massachusetts, a dear little lost place. It's dear if you're from here. It's lost to everyone else. And it's much more little than it was 100 years ago, when the great gray granite cotton mills were lit up for the third shift. During the mill years, 120,000 people lived in the city. Now, it's 86,000 and, if it weren't for ...Read more
The vaping industry, tragically unrepresented by the National Rifle Association, is in danger of seeing its profitable berry- and s'mores-flavored business go up in smoke, or at least in vapor. The doctors say vaping kills you.
I'm an old-fashioned pipe smoker. Not so long ago, I was sitting outside at my job, peacefully puffing a pipe, when I ...Read more