Trigger warning: image of child abuse:
Could someone please alert UNICEF?
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A Book of Oh, Barf
“It’s tough to handle this fortune and fame,
Everybody’s so different I haven’t changed.”
(Life’s Been Good, Joe Walsh)
Trigger warning: this post contains strong opinions, vulgarities and strong language.
“I have a love/hate relationship with ____________. “
That’s what I would say; that’s the standard (read: worn out) phrase I might employ, were I to describe something about which I am ambivalent. Except that when it comes to the topic of literary fame and publicity, my feelings are definitely one-sided.
My loathing for such was rekindled Monday morning, as I thumbed through The Arts section of The NY Times, looking for the crossword and KenKen puzzles.  A full page ad opposite the puzzles trumpeted an upcoming reception celebrating the release of a new book by what I refer to as one of those TWAB POTS (scrambled acronym for Authors Who Have Started To Believe Their Own Publicity). Here is the ad’s description for the book of what is likely to be a slim volume, given the subject matter: 
“______ (TWAB POTS’ name) has inspired millions with her wisdom, courage and honesty. Now she has selected 100 of her most popular and inspirational quotes for ______ ( pretentiously terse book title), a new volume she calls a “book of yes.”
“A book of yes.”
Really – and, dang! Yet another of my working titles stolen. So now I have to call my collection of 100 of my most obscure and disheartening quotes, “A Book of, Fuck No, What The Hell Were You Thinking?!”
Yet again, I digress.
The ad further informed me that I may “hear the NY Times best-selling author discuss the twists and trials of her remarkable life” – an offer I shall decline, given my suspicions that author’s twists and trials have been somewhat calculated so as to procure book contracts.
Okay; I could be off-base about that previous opinion. But one thing I know for sure is that it is not good for one’s sense of self to voluntarily or otherwise  be subject to fawning adulation – no matter what the reason and no matter what your profession.
Honestly, how truly wise and courageous is it to allow yourself to be hyped for your wisdom, courage and honesty?
Our society revels in gleefully harping on the pomposity and egomania of celebrities. I am no exception, and oft mourned in this space what I see as the celebritization of authors. Surrounded by such public relations horse manure hyperbole, how does or can you maintain a sense of perspective and modesty re your place in the larger world?
Fortunately (and, obviously), in my case, that question has never been put to the test. Still, were I to show up at a reading of one of my books and see a larger-than-life head-shot of me  on a banner, accompanied by a description of how my remarkable life and writing has inspired millions, no Sharpie ® would go uncapped in my efforts to bring the proceedings down to earth.
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The Return of the Asshat
Trigger warning: this post contains opinions, language and pictures that may be offensive to people who watch reruns of Hee Haw and sigh, Now, that’s entertainment!
Let’s say you are a corporate CEO who employs a stable of intelligent and accomplished engineers. Do you utilize their technical experience and skills to find and/or create sources of renewable energy, or upgrade devices to remove pollutants from the air we all breathe…or maybe just design a more energy efficient window defroster?
Nah. You use them to cheat : Volkswagen Emissions Scandal Widens
You pay them to find a way to break the law and thus facilitate even more spewage of toxins into the atmosphere. 
Volkswagen, this Asshat of the Week award is for you.
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Department of Non Sequitur Segue to a Smoky Wee-wee Anecdote
Trigger warning: smoky wee-wee anecdote.
Dateline: First Day of Fall, out for my morning walk. Passing through a certain neighborhood, I noticed the air smells like what I can only imagine a bucket of piss would smell like if you put in under the lid of one of those BBQ smoker contraptions.
Not the autumnal aroma I was hoping for.
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Trigger warning: If you think phrases like “trigger warning” should be posted before strongly worded or controversial opinions, you shouldn’t be reading any blogs and definitely should not be browsing the internet.
Son K is (re) taking up fencing (he and his sister, Belle, took a fencing class many, many years ago). He has signed up for a couple of trial session with a local fencing academy, wherein one can drop in on ongoing classes. He returned home Tuesday night, after the first session, and said that although the class he attended is listed as for adults, at age twenty-two he seemed to be one of the elder class members.
When I asked if that bothered him, K smiled wryly and replied that it didn’t. At 6 ‘3″+ he was one of the taller students in the class; thus, his reach far exceeded that of his kiddie opponents, most of whom were longtime students, obviously more experienced and skilled than he. K confessed to taking petty pleasure from sparring with the younger, shorter fencers, because at some point he’s just reach his blade over the top of their heads and, to use his sound effect, bop.
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Trigger warning: I really like saying bop.
I wonder if Little Bunny Foo Foo can be adapted for the scenarioI have going through my head?
You’re singing it now, admit it.
* * *
Trigger warning: Giddyap, boy, head for the hills while you can – that crazy ass cowboy plans to stuff you and put you in his museum!
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May you enjoy more than your share of petty pleasures,
may your life be trigger-warning free,
and may the hijinks ensue.
Thanks for stopping by. Au Vendredi!
 Which the NYT oh-so-conveniently prints side-by-side on the same page, for us puzzle lovers.
 Insert hissing sound effects.
 I assume an author of her ilk has some input if not total approval of her own PR.
 For which you will never find me posing.
 Is this the fifth footnote? What a letdown.