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280 Dog Years


The Holy Grail Press is dedicated to promoting work that standard publishers... you know, those with standards, might be reluctant to publish, which pretty much leaves poetry.  And let's face it:  No one publishes poetry.  So in the end, we’re left with a lot of free time.



Word of the Every So Often  

May 27, 2022

wonk:  (noun)  often used derogatorily, a person who takes a particularly specialized interest in the minute details of a field of study, especially with politics.  You want to know about the influence of Russian immigrants on the passage of the infrastructure bill?  Then just ask Bill, he's our resident wonk.


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Saturday, January 3, 2009

A Real Son of a Vich
Rod Blagojevich has been reviled in the media, but let me come out and say it:  I love this guy.  He has cajones the size of Rhode Island.  He's the type of guy who could be caught naked in bed with another woman and deny it.  And you have to love his lawyer, Ed Genson, even more.  This guy would defend Satan.  "Sure, my client admits that he is the Prince of Darkness, but those tapes were gotten illegally.  Therefore, they cannot be used as evidence.  I see no other alternative than to allow Mr. Beezelbub to continue serving in his capacity as the Shining Star."

In honor of both of these fine gentlemen, I would like to offer the poem, "The Ballad of Cheatin' Chad," which you will find under Poetry.

10:25 am pst 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Undertaker

It’s an odd story.  A story my father used to tell.  Said he first heard it from an old man who used to live in the bottoms.  No telling where he heard it from.  It’s about this guy that shows up in this little town.  First person who can remember seeing him is the undertaker.  Come to think about it, I suppose the undertaker was the only one who ever saw him.


He was this odd fellow.  Short.  Didn’t really make eye contact.  Not completely.  It was as if he was always looking around for something else.  Something that he might’ve lost a long time ago, and was always hoping it would show up.  Maybe where he least expected it.  Someplace where he had never been.


He walks into the undertaker’s and says he wants to buy 532 caskets.  532.  In all sizes.  Says he’s willing to pay twice for what each one is worth.  Now that was a lot of money.  Cash in advance for the first one, and then cash in advance for each one after that.  So the undertaker says he would.  Because, like I said, it was a lot of money.


532.  It’s such an odd amount.  It was odd, but at the same time it was almost familiar.  And then it occurs to him.  It’s the town’s population.  And so he checks it.  But it wasn’t.  Not exactly.  But then the undertaker gets to thinking about it, and he starts thinking about everybody that’s moved in and moved away since the last census.  Everybody that had been born.  Everybody who had died.  Because it wasn’t a very big town, after all.  And the amount he came up with was right at 532.  Close enough that he just couldn’t be sure.  After all, there was really no way to count some of the families out in the Wilderness.  And the more he got to thinking about it, the more he was sure that it was the entire population of the town.  Everybody.  Every man, woman, and child.


But he makes the first casket just the same.  After all, it had been paid for.  Took him about a day.  It wasn’t fancy.  Mostly just a box.  Lined the inside with cloth, but nothing special.  If the stranger would’ve wanted special, he probably would’ve gone somewhere else.


But you see, here’s the thing.  The minute he gets it done, someone dies.  And when he gets the next one done, someone else dies.  In fact, every time he gets one finished, someone else shoves off.  Of course, the undertake didn’t put it together at first.  I mean, people die.  But after about the third one, he starts to figure it out.  After all, not that many people die.  Not every day.


And every time he finishes a casket, the stranger shows up and pays for another.  And another.  And another.  But the undertaker keeps making the caskets just the same.  He does this for about a year and a half.  Steady.  Until the only casket left to make is his own.  Like clockwork, the stranger shows up and pays him to make that one, too.  And, of course, he makes it.

12:00 pm pst 


I got to thinking about sloths this morning.  If you were a sloth, just how motivated could you ever get?  I mean, you could have great dreams, go to college, graduate first in your class, find the cure to cancer, end world poverty and suffering, and win the Iron Man... and you'd still be a sloth.  No wonder they just don't try.

11:58 am pst 

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Things I Think About
Why aren't there bird feeders for vultures?  You could probably use a bird bath if you wanted to make your own.  Instead of putting water in it, put in a dead possum.  Then sit back and enjoy hours of fun.  And it would be educational, too.

"Mommy, are those little ones babies?"
"No, honey, those are crows.  They like to eat dead things, too."
10:18 am pst 

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

So, I order a cup of coffee -- black -- this morning at McDonald's, and the guy immediately asks me if I want creme and sugar for that.  Doesn't he understand the concept?  I mean, you have to be two shades past seriously dumb if you don't know what a black coffee is.  Where do you grow up that there isn't black coffee?  What kind of childhood would you have to have had?  Maybe this was one of those kids that they find in the basement.  You know, the kid whose parents kept him locked in a chicken wire cage until he was thirteen.  You ever wonder what happened to those kids?  Seriously, it seems like a topic for Oprah.  That's a show I'd like to see.  And right there, in the panel of all these pathetic kids, right smack in the middle of them, would be this guy sitting there in a McDonald's shirt.
11:32 am pst 

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Honorable Leonard K. Bullfinch (Senator-at-Large) Newsletter

My Fellow Americans, 

Even though many years have passed since New Orleans was laid to waste, our government has yet to respond with an appropriate plan that will make our costal towns safe from the weather.  And next time, it might be a town that we truly care about.


Therefore, I have come up with a solution that will ultimately make every coastal town safe from hurricanes.  And I suggest that we first implement this plan on New Orleans, since God seems so intent on killing off that immoral pit of pestilence. 


What I propose is so simple it is elegant.  My plan is to put the entire city on giant train rails, and then, whenever a particularly ominous storm is approaching, we just back the entire city up 30 or 40 miles.  Most hurricanes lose their punch after thirty miles of Louisiana.  Fact is, most other things do, too. 


And it’s not like you wouldn’t have warning.  They usually know a couple of days before any of those Hurricanes are anywhere close to coming ashore.  Even if the entire city could only chug along at one mile per hour, we could still be half way to the Mississippi border before the wind even started to kick up.


I realize that there might be folks living out there that might object to an entire city running over their property.  But there aren’t many, and after all, doesn’t every American have the God-given right to complain? 


An addition bonus is that we would create jobs building what I would like to call the Inter-Coastal Rail System, or ICRS for short.  This is a system of massive rails that would eventually be able to move every coastal town into the heart of our great country at the slightest threat of danger.  Similar technology might even be feasible out west, where we could move entire communities away from forest fires.


In a related issue, I would like to propose naming all future hurricanes after biblical characters instead of random people’s names.  I offer you this simple reasoning.  Who will name their child Katrina ever again?  And what about those poor children who happened to be named Katrina?  What if the next Katrina was named Justin?  Or McKenzie.  Or Leonard.  Now consider your biblical names.  Nobody’s going to name anybody Nebuchadnezzar ever again.  As well, it would be an excellent way to teach our little ones just a little bit of bible history.  And that can’t be bad.


Thank you for time and consideration,


The Honorable Leonard K. Bullfinch

12:14 pm pst 


(or, is it possible to be Christian without being A Christian?)


For several years I have heard people say, “Christians believe...”  Or worse, “We believe....”  And whenever I hear that, I’m tempted to say, “All Christians?  Every Christian everywhere?  The Mormons?  The Catholics?  The Jehovah Witnesses?  The Amish?  The Mennonites?  Seven Day Adventists?  The Quakers?  Methodists?  The lady next door who believes, but chooses not to participate in any organized religion?”  The list goes on.  Of course, I already know the answer:  Of course not.  It’s only them.  Christians with a big C.  Everybody who believes exactly like they do.  It is only they, the ones who gotten it right.  It is only they who are truly Christian.


Truth be told, many self-proclaimed Christians aren’t even aware those other religions are Christian, too.  Quick test:  What’s it take to be a Christian?  Answer:  A belief in Christ.  That’s it.  That’s all.  Everything else is gravy.


So what we have are people who are Christian telling people who are Christian that they aren’t Christian because they don’t believe like the Christians they are believe.  Understandably, this has created some confusion.  It’s kind of like when I was a kid, if you dated somebody exclusively, you were “going steady.”  Nowadays, you’re just “going out,” which happens to be the same term for... well... just going out.  Confusing.  So, as a public service, I would like to end the confusion, both for Christians and for dating. 


Dating first.  When you date someone exclusively, you’re either A) Going Steady, B) Promised, C) Engaged, D) Married, or E) Doing Time.  That was easy.  Now on to Christians.


For starters, Christian is not a religion.  At least, it used to not be.  Christianity is a belief in Christ.  Those who have that belief are Christians.  All of them.  If you choose to believe any given dogma, then you belong to a specific flavor of Christianity.  Therefore, you should say, “Baptists believe...”  “Or Catholics believe...”  Or even better, “I believe....”  Not Christians believe – that is, not unless you’ve done a lot more reading than I have.


It’s not likely, though that Christians (with a big C) will stop referring to themselves solely as Christians  (i.e.:  I am, and you’re not).  This is because the confusion that it has caused has worked in the Christians’ (with a big C) favor.  They can claim a monopoly on truth.  They know what true Christians should do.  They know how true Christians should act.  And who wants to oppose them?  After all, if you do, then that means you’re not Christian, right?  A damnable offense.


In all honesty, I have a hard time understanding just what it is that Christians (with a big C) do believe in.  Yeah, sure.  Christ.  But other than that?  It’s more what they don’t believe in.  They don’t believe in same sex marriage.  As far as that goes, they don’t believe in being gay at all.  They don’t believe in abortion.  They don’t believe in sex education.  Porn.  Drinking.  Saying, “Happy Holidays.”  The list goes on.


To be fair, Christians (with a big C) claim an absolute belief in the Bible.  But even that is fuzzy.  For instance, there has been much ado about posting the Ten Commandments in public, but how many of those good folks who are in favor of posting the Ten Commandments everywhere can name them?  Heck.  I’ll give you a break.  Just name five.  Are they even aware that, depending on your translation, they may have a different Ten Commandments than somebody else, and that they may not even have ten?  No kidding.  Are they even aware that the Bible has been translated?  To paraphrase Charlton Heston, “Let it go!”


It’s not that I mind anybody believing whatever it is that she or he wants to believe.  You want to be a Scientologist and wait on the flying saucers?  Fine.  You want to believe that it is necessary for you never to cut your hair and live without electricity?  Fine.  You want multiple wives?  Good luck.  You want to make your kids do that, too?  That’s your right... I suppose.


But don’t tell me that I am wrong if I don’t believe that way.  And don’t go defining everybody’s beliefs based on your own.  And when you do, don’t be surprised when others refuse to join you.  You can only bully people for so long before, quite frankly, they get sick and tired of it.


It is the idea that they – the Christians with a big C – speak for every Christian.  It is the idea that they know what every Christian believes.  Or, even worse, it is the idea that they know what every Christian should believe.  They know.  They are right.  Therefore, if you believe differently, you are wrong.  You are not a Christian.  Not really.  Hopefully, you will only be pitied.


The truth is, anybody who claims to understand what God truly wants us to do – what truly matters to God that we do do – should be openly ridiculed.  Anybody who claims to know the answers should probably be locked safely away.  Because anybody who wants me to live by whatever rules they’ve decided based on what little reading they’ve done based on a second hand translation of a series of books that are confusing to begin with and contradictory at best – that person is nuts.  Certifiable.  Have some humility for Christ’s sake.


And, to be fair, it’s not just Christians.  It’s anybody who claims to have a monopoly on truth – any truth – be it music, social justice, the environment, or grammar.


In reality, the most you, or for that matter, anybody else, can hope for is to know what you believe.  And only you.  Should you choose to believe that you’re a Christian, fine.  Should you choose to believe any number of crazy things, who cares?  Just don’t assume that you speak for anybody else other than you.  And for God’s sake, don’t assume that your personal beliefs give you the right to pass judgment on anybody.


But before you do, come up with a name of your own.  It’s less confusing that way.  Achristian would work.  You know, like Atheist.  As in, “My belief is so right that it denies the possibility that any other beliefs can be.”  Probably not a name that will stick.  So let’s go with  Evangementalists.  A fine blend of Evangelicals and Fundamentalists.  Evangementalists.  It has a certain ring to it. 

12:10 pm pst 

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