Friday, March 30, 2018

March Tweets of the Month

This time I put my favorite right at the top. Heck, my second favorite is No. 2! Maybe I should one day put them all in order. Really, I should be more conscientious about weeding out the stinkers or maybe making it a top 10 list. But that might lead to a lot more thoughtfulness than I’m willing to expend. So, sorry, you’ll have to sift the chaff from the tweet.

Follow me @8Days2Amish! Or don’t. I’ll make sure if I write something I think you should see, you’ll see it.

The picture, by the way, was taken in the Tin Lizzy dining room during a brief '15 interlude when the kitchen was vacant. It's been busy ever since. Stop in. The food and atmosphere are great. This picture always makes me feel vaguely Hitchccockian.

Happy Easter!

• The pious nudist will always feel conflicted about becoming a man of the cloth.

• I don't think people appreciate the ferocity of a nor'easter. It's the only weather system capable of blowing two of its letters into apostrophic oblivion.

• I used to read one competent newspaper for 30 minutes each morning and spend the whole day feeling informed and accomplished. Now, I read dozens of news sources all day long and live in a constant state of bewilderment. Thanks internet!

• Does anyone else wonder if all the other kids made fun of him because Jeremiah was a bullfrog?

• I’m not going to folo you just because you folo me & promise more paid foloers. Look, if I pay for relationship, it'd better involve sex.

• Experts agree Parkland making a difference to adults in Washington sensing maybe -- just maybe -- our gun laws might need adjusting. So to you hundreds of victims from Sandy Hook, Orlando, Vegas, Columbine, Blacksburg, etc ... Thanks for nothing!

• Happy 142nd Birthday to the telephone! Imagine how different phones would have sounded if they'd have been invented by Alexander Graham Horn. Honk! Honk!

• Given trajectory of men's grooming standards I fully expect to within 2 years see ads advising me how to get a really close shave on my armpits.

• Nostradamus used his visionary mind to predict the future. A seer who does the same thing using only a keen sense of smell is Nostrildamus.

• A clear, sharp mind is a brute impediment to enjoying so much of life's wonder and whimsy. Not my problem!

• I’ve been drunk and I've been pretty and I've been pretty drunk, but never once when I've been drunk have I been considered pretty.

• One of the trickiest parts of being a father is advising teenagers about the virtues of abstinence and sobriety when some of my life's happiest memories involve being drunk and getting laid.

• All my life people have been telling me, "Chris, you can't do this," or "Chris, you can't do that." Can't. Can’t. Can’t. Know something? They've been mostly right.

• Had I known how deeply having children would cut into my TV viewing time, my Facebook profile would today feature pictures of our hamsters, Josie & Lucy.

• Conor Lamb is my congressman. And what a pleasure it was to type that sentence.

• I’m so cheap my idea of taking my wife to a fancy restaurant is a place that does NOT have the robber-height tape on all the door frames.

• In normal times, this prediction would be utterly preposterous, but something tells me Trump will reach a settlement with Stormy Daniels and part of that settlement will stipulate that Stormy Daniels will replace Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

• Today is the day I predict @realDonaldTrump tweets that animatronic Trump at Disney's Hall of Presidents is a BORING HAS-BEEN and ought to be replaced by Darrell Hammond.

• Being commissioned to do roof repairs at Big Ben is bound to be lucrative. Everyone is always working over time.

• I’d tell you one of the keys to being well-liked is to talk less, but I don't want to say too much.

• I plan on devoting tomorrow to conducting comprehensive study on marketing breath mints. I'll call it, "The Tactics of Tic Tacs.”

• I’ve read that turning the last page of a good book is like saying goodbye to a good friend. It's particularly jarring to me 'cause none of my good friends are ever book sober.

• How about this for a new rule? The only time you're allowed to show me pictures on your phone is when the pictures are of me and were taken in 1987 when for one week I looked sort of like this … (imagine a picture of Fabio)

• It’s becoming clear porn actresses and Playboy Playmates will have cheap sex with boorish and uncouth men as long as they're wealthy. Question: Will they have sex with a poor man if the compensation is intimacy with a gent of ample grace and wit? I'm, er, asking for a friend.

• I’m growing oddly nostalgic for the days when GOP leaders used to say, "Now, hold on. Let's wait to hear what Sarah thinks.”

• I’m such an optimist that I hope if I do go to hell, it's in a hand basket. We could picnic!

• The abundance of today's school activities for our daughters coupled with my habitual days of hooky means I'm now spending more time in high school than when I was in high school.

• I wonder how many people are hanging on with the Trump administration solely because their spouses want to milk as many swanky Mar-a-Lago weekends out of the association before it all goes pfft.

• Marjory Stoneman Douglas high now requiring students carry clear backpacks means NRA will today begin pressuring law makers on the 2nd Amendment right to carry invisible guns.

• This all-too-often godforsaken world of woe is riven by hatred, injustice, tyranny and want. But on April 27 the peerless Van Morrison is releasing his THIRD studio album in SIX months. Lesson? It's a great time to be alive!

• It says something about American priorities that there are a plethora of erectile dysfunction ads, yet none proposing cures for the cerebral kind.

• I wonder how many times designers of the first drawing board had to go back to the drawing board before getting it just right.

• Someday I’m going to enter a house with a front porch “Welcome!” mat, sit on the couch, grab the remote & ask homeowner to bring me a beer and some chips.

• Something you'll never hear me say to a porn star: "Say, babe, you remind me of my daughter!"

• With so many people seeking to carry concealed weapons, I tried to figure how many times I'd shoot myself each week if I carried. I figure 3.

• I may not be the best writer, the most successful writer, but I have a website that misleads people into thinking I'm just that. Check out ! Looking snazzy with new page about my soon-to-be-released Arnold Palmer book. Thanks, Robyn @ApolloDesign!

• Greatest drag on US productivity could be reversed if docs said they were just jokin' when they said male masturbation was a health benefit.

• I propose they rename phone book "The Big Book of Names & Numbers of People You Don't Know, Will Never Meet & Will Never Call.”

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Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Random observations on 'Annie,' book orders, Uber deaths & who we should kill first if we're serious about killing drug dealers

• President Trump’s vow to mete out the death penalty to drug dealers has me thinking of applying to medical school. I sense we’ll soon be in critical need of fresh doctors.

Because this opioid crisis wasn’t instigated by shady dealers in urban allies.

No, this crisis was spearheaded by esteemed doctors and pharmaceutical executives who correctly sensed enormous profit in anesthetizing people who suffered from depression, sleeplessness, lethargy and other side effects of being human.

• I thoroughly enjoyed watching our daughter Josie and her Greater Latrobe High School cast mates perform “Annie” this weekend. I’m grateful to all the performing arts teachers who put in so many long hours helping bestow discipline and poise in our children. It’s acting, yeah, but the skills and confidence these kids earn will help them succeed in many professions. Bravo!

• I feel default terrible about the woman who was run over by driverless Uber and reserve the right to feel less so if it's revealed she was distracted walking when struck.

As a friend of mine pointed out, this robo-car had a designated safety driver on board. It’ll be another sad irony if it is revealed that as the car struck the doomed pedestrian, the safety driver was updating his/her Facebook status to, “I'm riding shotgun in a driverless car!”

• Frontrunner for @8Days2Amish tweet of the month: “The pious nudist will always feel conflicted about becoming a man of the cloth.” 

• Thrilled by all the friends who’ve pre-ordered “Arnold Palmer: Homespun Stories of The King.” This book is already doing so well I’m thinking of including the name “Arnold Palmer” in the title of each subsequent book. 

If this book succeeds the way I hope it will, my career is set. I just have to move in next door to another beloved American icon and spend the next 25 years ingratiating myself. 

• One quibble about “Annie” performance: The starring dog got way too much attention. Apparently the dog, “Sandy,” is a big deal and has performed the role on Broadway. La-de-dah. It’s one of those canines that behaves as if all the real dog has been trained right out of it. It acts like a dog would act if it were controlled by Uber.

Bad example. 

It’s maybe the one time I’d have rather had my stupid dog Snickers instead of a well-behaved dog. Oh, what fun it would have been to see these bright students improvising around the noisy mayhem of Snickers loose on stage.

The only thing more entertaining would be a monkey on roller skates, but that goes without saying. Put a monkey on roller skates in the mix and I’m even subscribing to the ballet.

• I wonder if the Uber car honked the horn before it ran over the woman. Think of all the things self-driving cars won’t need when they ditch human drivers. You won’t need mirrors, headlights, seat belts, fancy dashboards or even steering wheels. The car of the future will be like a rolling living room where we all sit around talking about how cool it used to be when cars were cars.

• I’m grateful to all who’ve shown interest in the “Homespun” book. Special thanks to friends Bob and Diane in Lake Wales, Florida, for ordering 12 books; 6 “Homespun” and 6 a combo of “Crayons” and “Last Baby Boomer.” I’m particularly pleased whenever anyone buys or says something nice about “Boomer.” It gets precisely the kind of reaction writers dream of when they’re working on their first novel. It hasn’t earned a wide readership, but I’m convinced it one day will. It’s my most proud professional achievement. 

• From what I hear from heartless friends, one of the more controversial parts of Trump’s opioid plan is the part that involves saving lives of dying addicts. I know many people who are adamant that we should let overdosing addicts expire rather than bless them with a nasal dose of life-saving Narcan.

One friend said they should get three strikes. “And they should tattoo a big ’N’ on their forehead so the EMTs know when they’ve had their share.”

What if it’s his son? What if it’s me? I don’t care if I wind up with a face full of “Ns” I want you to keep squirting that juice up my nose until I get my life straight or the Pirates endure another two consecutive decades of losing records, whichever comes first.

I advise these people to grow a heart, gain some compassion, to cool it.

I’d say take a chill pill, but I worry chill pills might be gateway drugs to addictions they’re ill-prepared to handle.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

WWJD? Egg McMuffins for Latrobe's homeless!

I was succumbing to a morning need for fuel when my conscience was confronted with a WWJD moment.

These happen to me all the time, mostly in places where the risen Christ wouldn’t be caught dead, places like the drive-thru lane at the Route 30 McDonald’s.

Now, I know better than that. I know McDonald’s is unhealthy, its entire corporate premise is environmentally belligerent, and it owes its colossal origins to Ray Kroc, one of America’s most despicable scoundrels. (I highly recommend the ’17 Michael Keaton flick “The Founder”).


He’d breakfast at The Youngstown Grille! 

Locally-owned, friendly, affordable, generous portions and it’s all delicious. 

Jesus hasn’t been there (yet!) but Arnold Palmer used to go there all the time for French toast. So if you can’t get a Yelp! review from The King of Kings getting a posthumous one from The King will have to do.

But on some days I just want fast fuel and that means fast food. I get a Sausage Biscuit w/ cheese and a small Coke for $2.32. How they do it for so little is a wonder. I donate the 68-cent change to Ronald McDonald House because it’s what I believe Jesus would do.

So I pull in and that’s when I see Latrobe’s homeless man. I’m sure there are many more and having even one is a defeat for a community I’m proud to call home. But this gent is our most visible one.

He pushes a Giant Eagle grocery cart that contains what I assume are all his earthly belongings. He looks maybe 50, but who knows? Elements of this harsh winter may have pre-maturely aged him.

I don’t know what Jesus would do, but here’s what I did:

In addition to my usual order I had them throw in an Egg McMuffin that set me back another $2.79 for a total of $5.11 (the Golden Arches charity scored another 11 cents so I was feeling pretty good about my pious altruisms). 

So I clear the second window and see the guy is on the move. He’s pushing his cart toward Rt. 30.

I roll down my passenger side window and shout, “Hey, man, I have something for you!”

He turns to look then coldly ignores me. His rudeness has me wondering if he’s a former literary agent. That’s a common literary agent’s reaction to my offers. He continues pushing the cart toward the highway crossing.

And the chase is on!

I’m stuck at the red light watching him hump it up the hill on the driveway between Sharkey’s and the Walgreens. I pass him and pull into Walgreens parking lot. I park the car and get out with that steaming 410-calorie gut buster in my hand.

He sees me again and keeps on going. It’s like I’m dealing with a skittish cat.

“Hey, I thought you might like an Egg McMuffin,” I say. “It’s still hot. Should hit the spot.”

Nothing. He keeps on going.

Me, I surrender. I did what I thought was my best and I could not break through. He was unwilling to accept my charity. I get back in my car and drive away and as I do, I give him one last look. What I see surprises.

He’s beaming at me. Honest, he’s grinning like I would if he’d just handed me a McDonald’s sack stuffed with $100 bills.

It’s very odd. I spend most of the morning confused by the entire episode.

What would Jesus do?

I like to think He’d persuade the man to get in his 2007 Saturn Vue with 197,000 miles on it and drive him home where He’d nurture him to soulful health.

I’m tempted to do that very thing. If it works out, it would be the best thing I’d do in my entire life.

But Jesus never had to ask Himself WWVD?

I do.

What would Val or any spouse do if I showed up with a disheveled stranger? She barely tolerates the hours I spend with drinking buddies who have somewhere to go when the bartender yells last call.

So I ended up tossing the Egg McMuffin in the trash and left Latrobe’s most visible homeless man to fend for himself, and me wondering if my good intentions will make a positive difference in my Judgement Day fate.

I hate to see the sandwich go to waste, but I’m one of those guys who worries about saving his figure while still saving his soul.

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