Thursday, September 30, 2021

Sept. Tweets of the Month

And here at the end of the month it is the customary time to post my wrap-up and ask the question, as I always do, geez, does anybody even read these?

If you can't live without them, sneeze! Really loud so I can hear and know you care.

Ready? In 3 .... 2 .... 1 ....

Thank you! Have a great day!

• If a couple sets out to get hitched and guests agree it went off without a hitch, did it ever really happen?

• I’ve been a complete idiot for so long the adjective has lost all its meaningfulness. I now consider myself a mature idiot

• When Jesus brought Lazarus back from the dead, did Lazarus's father have to go through the whole buy-cigars-for-your-buddies custom and if so, did he try and get Jesus to pitch in on the cost?

• It’s going to take a lot of commitment I fear we cannot summon, but if we all become less intent on such mass agitation, the calm before the storm will one day become the calm before the calm.

• I sometimes wonder if Earth has antagonistic feelings towards its inhabitants, like if 2,000 or 3,000 of us get wiped out in some natural disaster, Earth doesn't sigh and say, "Ohhh ... now THAT feels better!”

• I never bother following orders when ever someone sassy tells me to go to Hell. I'm not being defiant. Just efficient. I know in this life sooner or later Hell comes to you.

• Women who purse their lips put their mouth where their money is.

• We live during a time when there is so much emphasis on visuals that the people who'd rather face the music now outnumber those of us who prefer just listening to it.

• I like that you can't spell the word "hear" without the word “ear."

• Exploding toilets may cause plumbers' lives to flush before their eyes.

• One of the most challenging aspects of fatherhood for  me has been to with a straight face extol the twin virtues of chastity and sobriety without ever once acknowledging some of the best times I've had on the planet involved gettin' drunk and making out with total strangers.

• Much is known about Sir Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table. Less so about their unheralded contemporaries, Sir Lanceafew and the Knights of the Rhombus Table.

• As we perch on the cusp of the bewitching season, I know I'll every day be fated to wonder why beer and mirror rhyme yet devil and evil don’t.

• That a prairie state like Iowa can send to Washington a Senator named Grassley gives me hope that one day Wisconsin voters will be represented by a Senator Cheesey.

• Most TV shows feature people I don’t like doing things I don’t care about arriving at plot conclusions that make me think the writers are distracted by opportunities to produce more pointless drivel about people I don’t like doing things I don’t …

• It had a handsome leading man, an earnest sidekick and international intrigue, but there was something about Ohio Five-O that never caught on. Oh, and Ohio Five-O had scenic corn locales.

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Thursday, September 23, 2021

Thoughts on dinosaur sex


(621 words)

Some fathers talk birds ’n’ bees with their daughters. The wusses.

When I have “the talk” with my loved ones, we go big. We go Old School.

How old? We’re talking Jurassic.

Big? How does 14 tons strike you.

It all started when our eldest (she turns 21 Saturday!), asked me if I knew why the dinosaurs quit having sex. The question was class related

I gave it a moment of thought and speculated maybe the “Seinfeld” episode about the overdue library book was on. My wife and I have delayed romance for that reason on occasion. The “Bookman” episode really cracks us up. 

I don’t know why she’s studying the recreational mating habits of Jurassic monsters, but I was immediately energized.

I’ve been consumed with thoughts of sex ever since I hit puberty, a biological condition from which I feel I’ve yet to emerge. But in all these years of thinking about sex, I’ve never once wondered how dinosaurs do it.

But when you think about the nuts & bolts mechanics of the mega-ton creatures you wonder how they did it without a fleet of forklifts and several dozen disposable teamsters armed with blanket-sized wet naps at the ready. 

Apparently, paleontologists are stumped, too. I was told there are no fossils of dinosaurs mating, leading some paleontologists to speculate the lack of sex contributed to the dino demise. That would do it.

At this point, I must interject another pet peeve of mine, one that has to do with the word paleontologist, which is the study of dinosaur bones.

Paleontologist is difficult word to spell. Paleontologist is a difficult word to say. I propose we address paleontologists with a word that imbues the twin virtues of clarity and simplicity.

Call ‘em boners!

Here’s what one boner said about, well, another.

“The actual moment of copulation was probably very brief, to minimize the mechanical stresses on both partners. The male may have thrown one leg over the female's tail and used a relatively long, extendable penis to reach the female's genitalia.”

What? No foreplay? No poetry? No romance?

The idea of a candlelit dinner can be excused, given that the the invention of the Zippo lighter and other pocket fires was eons off. 

That bit about the “long extendable penis” piques my curiosity. What’s “long” to a 40-foot creature? Was it comparable to a four-person kayak? An NFL first down?

Given the anatomical challenges of mating with a partner of such posterior girth, he’d need to be well-endowed to achieve copulation. Dinos have huge booties.

Jurassic Park?

More like Big Ass-ic Park

Probably because it is more relatable, caveman sex is even more fascinating. 

Remember, this was 200 million years ago. There was no how-to internet porn to brush up on. Sure, you could pretend you’re the pizza delivery boy, but without the Domino’s shirt it’d be a hard sell — and how do you pull off pizza delivery boy without pizza?

It must have for one and all been a cruel existence. 

True, all the carbon-based life forms had the biological opportunities to screw one another’s walnut-sized brains out, but that was for purely procreative reasons.

It’s the difference between making love and having sex. 

For all intents and purposes man/woman have been having sex since the beginning of time. But we didn’t start making love until 1967 when women began to set fire to their brassieres. I can assure you that was the case in my conception.

I’ll be sure to keep you apprised of any further need to bone up on dinosaur sex. 

And as any old boner will tell you, when you’re talking dinosaur sex there’s no better time when the bone is up.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Reflections on nearly 30 years of staring out the window

 (583 words)

I spend an inordinate amount of time wondering if my decision in 1992 to skip the whole career thing was a wise career move.

I wonder this a lot because, geez, I have so much time on my hands.

I meet strangers at parties. They ask what I do. I tell them I stare out the window for an hour, type for about 90 seconds, then resume staring out the window. I then repeat the process throughout the day until about 3:30 or about when kicking off the Happy Hour is socially acceptable to avid day drinkers. 

Who knew that doing squat for years at a time would essentially pay squat?

I look back on the last 30 years of my life and it’s like I’m the star of one long beer commercial. There’s joy, laughter, camaraderie and deep in the background a whispered admonition to “Please Drink Responsibly” that me and my happy band of sudsy co-stars knew was not meant to be taken seriously. 

I have so many people who really love my books, my inane posts and pointless little musings. Sample: “Fashion experts who work to ensure ample bosoms fit snugly in frilly brassieres are rack-contours.”

Took me about two whole hours of staring out the window to come up with that one.

Know what I did once I’d composed and posted it?

Took the rest of the day off!

I did. I was feeling the same sort of tangible accomplishment I do on the days when I find a quarter on the sidewalk.

Of course, there’s the inevitable awkwardness when you stroll through the front door and the family wants to know how your day went.

How many fathers are going to respond with bold honesty, “It went great! I came up with a really nifty tit pun!”

I sense just how much people want me to succeed. It’s not uncommon for readers to ask me if I yearn to be famous.

I can’t get them to understand my entire aspiration is simple break-even solvency.

Perhaps my new novel will be my big break, the one I anticipated would happen in 1998.

The new book is sort of the Romeo & Juliette story, but instead of her being on a balcony in Verona, she’s in Heaven and he’s in Hell. In order for their love to flourish, she’s going to have lower Heaven and he’s going to have to raise Hell.

Their names are Evan and Elle. 

I’m calling the book, “Evan & Elle in Heaven & Hell: A Long Distance Social Media Afterlife Love Story.”

Please, hold your applause.

As I learned so cruelly with my first novel, a clever premise and snappy writing do not guarantee success.

This book could be an abject failure, and in some way each of my books have been just that. In fact, by some bottom line standards, you could judge my last 30 years in that same harsh light.

I choose not to.

Despite decades of evidence to the contrary, I persist in believing the bet I made on myself in 1992 will one day pay off with me hitting the solvency jackpot.

And on that day, I’ll stare out the window and to my everlasting delight, I’ll see you approaching, you and so many others whose cheer has buoyed me through so much bewilderment.

Together we’ll simultaneously lower Heaven and raise Hell.

A good time will be had by all.

All I ask is that you please drink responsibly.

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Thursday, September 9, 2021

Happy Birthday, Arnold Palmer! (excerpts from old interviews)


Had we not lost him in ’16, tomorrow would have been Arnold Palmer’s 92nd birthday. It has me wondering if had he lived I might have finally been able to beat him golfing. Probably not. 

Feeling sweet nostalgia, I went through some of my old interviews with him from his Latrobe offices and am happy to share some of the more lively exchanges right here. Questions include what it was like to ride an elephant down Main Street in Sri Lanka, who’d win a wrestling match between him and Clint Eastwood, and when was the last time he helped build a snowman.

As you can surmise, when I was privileged with the opportunity to talk to the great Arnold Palmer, golf was far from my mind. 

CR:  Are you ever sorry you didn’t give that paint salesman thing in 1954 more of a chance?

AP: No. There was some thought I’d need to persevere with that occupation. You never know and I needed to have a back up plan and that’s just what that was until I won the U.S. Amateur that same year. Was I good paint salesman? Obviously not! If I’d been really good, I’d still be there selling paint, wouldn’t you think? I’m thinking I chose the right path for me.

CR: What’s your idea these days of a really great night and does it differ from one say 30 years ago?

AP: Well, I think a great evening is a couple of drinks, a very pleasant dinner with friends or loved ones, and then a few more drinks and then early to bed. It’s been the same as it was 30 or 40 years ago only with maybe a couple more drinks and a little later evening. It’s very similar.

CR: Didn’t your  1976 ‘round the world flight record include an elephant ride?

AP: It did. It was in Sri Lanka. We stopped there to refuel. They met me at the plane with the elephant and I rode into town for the golf awards and then back. He was a gentle giant. Friendly.

CR: So on a race to set an around-the-world aviation record you still found a little time to do some elephant riding?

AP: Yes, it was a busy 55-minutes in Sri Lanka!

CR: Does Arnold Palmer have a bucket list?

AP: I’ve done a lot of the things I’ve wanted to do. Flying was a big part of that. I don’t fly myself anymore, but I’m still very active with flying and work with aviation organizations as part of the American way of life. There are a couple of places I’ve thought about visiting with Kit, my wife. One is Alaska. I’d like to spend some time with her there. Having played golf my whole life, I’ve been to most of the nice warm places on earth at one time or another. I haven’t been to the French Riviera and that’s a place I’d like to visit. But I’ve traveled so much that I really enjoy just being home in Latrobe and home in Orlando at Bay Hill. I really am looking forward to spending whatever time I have left in those two places.

CR: You may have golfed more than any man alive. Most people are delighted to have you play their courses, but can you remember the last time you had to pay for a round? 

AP: I’ve never really paid for playing golf anywhere except one time I went to golf with some friends at Bandon Dunes. I can’t forget the guy there saying, “That will be $100, Mr. Palmer.” I guess that’s become sort of a slogan there. But I paid $100! I won’t again! The course was very interesting and very tough. 

CR: When was the last time you flew commercial?

AP: I flew from Los Angeles to Sydney, Australia, a couple of years ago and the comfort on that flight was outstanding.

CR: I’m guessing you didn’t have the middle seat, did you?

AP: No! I had a bed! It was Qantas. My wife and I had our own bed. It was very nice.

CR: If you were to go on a private jet golf trip for a week around the globe, which courses would you like to see included in the schedule? 

AP: Once again, Troon is one of my favorite golf courses. I like St. Andrews for a change from time to time. Wentworth is a course I enjoy. Domestically, there’s Augusta, Oakmont, Winged Foot, all of the greats. On the Pacific I’m going to try and play Cypress Point when I’m out there next week. Not so much in the Far East. I won the Australian Open at the Royal Queensland Golf Club in Brisbane on the Gold Coast. That was very nice. But I think I’d stick with the tried and true.

CR: Would you ever go on “Dancing With the Stars?”

AP: No. I’m not a dancer. That’s not for me.

CR: A lot of people talk about Tiger returning from this back surgery and trying to beat Jack’s record of 18 majors. You know, don’t you, that there are a lot of people who would like to see you come back from your back troubles and win the next 12 majors in a row. What do you think of that?

AP: I like it! That would be a lot of fun for me.

CR: I understand you were on the verge of having back surgery, but your experts decided you’d be better suited for therapy. How’s your back doing? 

AP: I am undergoing physical therapy. I have a therapist that comes three days a week and she was here today for an hour. It’s very rigorous. She really works me out.

CR: Wanna wrestle?

AP: I’m game! You know, I used to be a pretty fair wrestler. I think she has me in shape to go again. Let’s just see how the rest of the interview goes.

CR: How important was your 1954 U.S. Amateur win to your overall career?

AP: Its importance can’t be overstated. It set the standard for my whole career and it’s the victory that convinced me I could play and play well enough to succeed on tour. I have book out about it and I called that book, ‘The Turning Point.’ That’s how much that victory meant to me.

CR:  Let’s get the most important question out of the way first. You’re leaving Latrobe just about as the weather’s about to turn nasty. You’re flying to Orlando to spend the winter in the warm sunshine. The question is: Will you take me with you?

AP: Sure! You’re welcome to tag along!

CR: When was the last time you spent a whole winter in Latrobe?

AP: Oh, gee, it’s been so long. It’s been since clear back before I turned professional. I’m thinking the last one had to be about 1947. I’d winter in Florida because I couldn’t golf here.

CR: Do you ever worry that lack of exposure to Pennsylvania’s biting winter — the snow, the ice — is going to make you soft?

AP: Ha! No, I don’t worry about that one bit.

CR: When you started winning frequently on the tour and particularly the majors, you became a celebrity. As your star began to rise, were you treated any differently by locals when you went home?

AP: No, I was always just Arnie. It’s one of the reasons I never left. I still knew the same great guys who played football, or wrestled. I’d see the same people in the stores and restaurants. They were the people with whom I grew up. They always made me feel like I’d always be just one of the boys.

CR: And was there a point, a particular year or after a particular victory, perhaps, at which things shifted for you in terms of how you were treated wherever you went?

AP: None that I ever noticed. I think it’s always because I never stopped treating people any different than before I started winning. It’s the way I was raised.

CR: We have a story about cowboys in the summer Kingdom… When you were a kid, did you ever want to be a cowboy?

AP: In fact, I’ve always been a cowboy. Wanting to be a cowboy is something you never outgrow. And I always wear the white hat! I always loved playing cowboys and Indians.

CR: Did you watch many Western movies growing up? Any favorites or favorite Western actors? 

AP: “The Lone Ranger” was one of my favorites as a little boy. I love every John Wayne movies. John Wayne was always great.

CR: Ever meet The Duke?

AP: No, I never did.

CR: How about his sometime co-star, Jimmy Stewart from nearby Indiana, Pennsylvania?

AP: Jimmy and I did meet. We talked about Indiana and western Pennsylvania. And aviation, too. He was a pilot who flew in the service. I’m still a big Clint Eastwood fan, too. We had dinner last Saturday night. We talked about his old show, ‘Rawhide.’ He’s the same age as I am. About the same condition, too.

CR: What would happen if the two of you wrestled?

AP: Oh, I’d kick his ass. He has all those seconds do that stuff for him. I still do all my own stunts.

CR: Last question: When was the last time you helped build a snowman?

AP: Oh, it’s been a while, all right. I’ll tell you what: I’ll be here for a week around Christmas. If it snows come on by and we can all get together and make a really big one. That’d be fun!

Many of these anecdotes appear in my book, "Arnold Palmer: Homespun Stories of The King," (Triumph Books); signed copies of this and other books available through