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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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Monday, September 28, 2020

The End of Sagging

It was in the summer of 2022 that the dress fashion known as "sagging" came to an abrupt end.  As one fashion critic stated, sagging, which featured wearing one’s trousers no higher than somewhere well below the crotch, “was just taken too far.”  A group of young men in Detroit began the short-lived fad of “dragging,” which was simply putting only one foot through one’s trousers and then dragging them as one walked. The fad lasted a little over two weeks before others, seemingly all at once, came to the sudden realization of just how fantastically stupid that was.  What followed was the equally sudden realization of just how stupid sagging was, as well.  And that was followed by what became known as “neo retro anti-sagging,” where the trousers were increasingly worn higher and higher in an effort to prove that the wearers definitely were not sagging, and that anybody whose trousers were worn lower than theirs was considered sagging, and that person was therefore what one fashion pundit described as “dweebified.”  Wearing a belt around one’s neck was briefly popular, and surprisingly very few people were asphyxiated.  The fad peaked with the adherents wearing their trousers so high that they had to unzip their flies to see.  A few purists, who became known as “those assholes who keep running into everything,” refused to peek out of the fly, stating that it was demeaning.  The height of one’s trousers suddenly became irrelevant by the spring of 2024, when the craze of church hats – a miniaturized, sanctified steeple that one could wear on one’s head, and thus be in church always – captured the public whim.

8:03 am pdt 

Wednesday, September 23, 2020



October Grasshoppers

blithely ignore all prognostications
as they scatter like errant leaves
before an indifferent wind
on the dry and broken grass
of the roadside

Those incontrovertible signs
The woolly caterpillars
and the persimmons
and the buckeyes
The leaves that turn from green to red to brown
before falling like lost souls
cast out of perdition

How many more days
before the hoarfrost
finely dusts the ground
like nitre on catacomb walls

They pay no heed to the obvious
until the obvious pays heed to them
and their frozen bodies
crunch beneath the feet of passersby


11:16 am pdt 

Monday, September 21, 2020

Therapy Session

At open, Hitler, in full uniform, except for the hat, is lying on a psychiatrist's couch. Sitting in a chair next to him is the Doctor, wearing a white lab coat. He is holding a notepad and taking notes. Hitler speaks without an accent. The Doctor will have a heavy German accent. You've seen the movies.

Hitler: Thank you, doctor, for seeing me on such short notice.

Doctor: Most certainly. What seems to be the problem?

Hitler: Well... it's just that lately... well... I've been having doubts...

Doctor: Jawohl?

Hitler: Well... I've been thinking that... maybe... trying to conquer the world and to exterminate everybody who's not just like us... well... that it just might not be in the best interest of humanity. You know... everybody. I mean, the French may be annoying and the Jews may be... Jewish... but that's really not a good reason to kill them... is it? Isn't this all just greed? Aren't we just being really mean? Even if we win, how can anybody - even us - ever look back on any of this and say it was a good thing? I guess it comes down to: Are we doing the right thing?

The doctor rises from his chair and takes off his white lab coat, under which is a dress uniform of an upper-ranking Nazi officer. He then puts on the classic Nazi hat.

Doctor: Of course we're doing the right thing, Mien Führer. We're making Germany great again! These doubts you're having should be recognized for what they are - Liberal Propaganda! Fake news generated by the Deep State! Germany must come first! Unless we stand up for our way of life, it will be taken away from us. And that is why our enemies spread these lies. The Reich is Right! (doing the salute) Heil, Hitler!

Hitler: (standing, also saluting) Heil, Me! (beat) Thank you, doctor. I feel much better.

Doctor: Gut! Regular time this Thursday?

10:41 am pdt 

Thursday, September 17, 2020

One Fine Day in the Mid-Nineteenth Century Deep in the Woods of British Columbia

Richard: There! Mark it down, my good man. A new species of bird! I think I'll call it a Tit.

Peter: And a fine name, Sir Richard. But what kind of tit?

Richard: And right you are, Peter. Bloody well done. There can be lots of different kinds of tits. And when we run out of tits, we can call them Boobies!

Peter: Brilliant! But what shall we call this one?

Richard: It was in the bush, so I say it's a Bushtit. Now doesn't that just make you giggle. Like the Dickcissel. Now there's a silly name. After all, it's not a truly good name if it's not just a bit silly, too, now, is it? Now let's be off, and if we're really lucky, we'll find a pecker or two before nightfall.

11:08 am pdt 

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Grammar Alive!

Good evening, my name is Alistar Riley, and this is Grammar Alive!  The show that seeks each night to challenge its viewers with not only what is right, but what is also grammatically correct.  Tonight we tackle what some have called the most tragic miss-use of the English language since “gate” was deemed a suffix.  And that of which I speak is none other than the miss-use of the word “fact.”  Our first guest is Doctor Cranston Edelfice, editor of the very popular Dictionary of Every Word Ever Said And Why You Shouldn’t.  Tell me, Doctor Edelfice, and may I assume that we are not speaking in terms of a medical degree?  Very well.  Tell me Doctor Edelfice, just why is it that you’re getting so bloody agitated over the misuse of the word “fact”?

Well, Alistar, if it mayn’t be too presumptuous of me to call someone by his first name who has yet to receive his doctorate?  Very well, then.  You see, it’s a fact that people are using this word without even thinking about it.  And words without thought... what’s the point of that?  Take my previous example.  I stated that it is a fact that people are misusing the word “fact.”  Of course it’s a fact.  If it exists, it is a fact.  A rather pointless use of the word, I would say.    And then, of course, is the phrase, “It is a known fact.”  What other kind of facts are there?  A lot of good unknown facts are going to do anybody.

I’m sorry, Sir Edelfice, if it may not be presumptuous to call somebody by a term of nobility that is based solely on land, but are you saying that unknown facts cannot exist?

Certainly not, A.R., if it may not be presumptuous of me to call somebody by his first initials because he’s not man enough to tell me to my face if he didn’t.  It exists on the same continuum as known facts.  If they’re unknown facts, they remain facts just the same.  Whether the adjectival modifier negates or confirms matters little.  It is still nothing more than a modifier and it doesn’t change the condition of the noun.

Well you ignorant polymorphatic abstraction, if it’s not presumptuous of me to openly insult you because there’s no one in the entire educated community who would take your side unless a bottle of very fine Scotch were involved in the transaction.  But isn’t that the precise intention of modifiers, to change the condition of the noun?

You know, Crany, if it may not be presumptuous of me to reduce your name to nonsense because it so much better suits your personality, I say the hell with this and we go open that bottle of Scotch I’ve been saving for just such an occasion.  This is Grammar Alive! and we’ll be back after the break with Dr. Hortland Howl, whom, it is a well known fact, is the world’s leading authority on semi-colons, and author of the nearly best-selling novel, Semi-Colon of Desire.  Stay tuned, why don’t you?

9:54 am pdt 

Monday, September 14, 2020


Bum Steer 

8:09 am pdt 

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

International Talk Like a Pirate Day

International Talk Like a Pirate Day began sometime in the prehistory before 2002, when two guys, John “Ol’ Chumbuucket” Baur and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers, really for no good reason, began talking like pirates.  And if they can talk like pirates, then why not everybody?  Or just enough people to make it profitable.  So they came up with International Talk Like a Pirate Day on September 19.  The 19th was Summers’ ex-wife’s birthday, and since he really didn’t have much use for that date anymore anyway, it just seemed appropriate.  Then, in 2002, author and self-proclaimed guy Dave Berry mentioned Talk Like a Pirate Day in his nationally syndicated column.  From that point on, we’ve been stuck with the holiday.

So plug your bung hole you lubber, and fetch the brass monkey before its balls freeze off, or you’ll join Davy Jones after paying ye dues to Jack Ketch!  Aye!  There’ll be no booty for ye!  Arrr!

Translated:  Put a cork in the rum barrel, you person who prefers land, and bring in the cannon ball holder before the cold weather causes the brass to contract, which would cause the cannon balls to fall off, or we’ll throw your dead body off the side of the ship after you’ve been hanged by the hangman, and you can forget any cut of the plunder.  Pardon me while I clear my throat.


Plundered From

Baur, John “Ol’ Chumbucket,” and Mark “Cap’n Slappy” Summers.  Well Blow Me Down!  A Guy’s Guide to Talking Like a Pirate.  2004, The Pirate Guys, LLC.

10:51 am pdt 

History of the Future:  The Passing of Political Parties

Political parties officially ended in the United States of America on Tuesday, November 5th, 2058, when Leonard K. Bullfinch III won the Presidential election by only eleven votes.  The election, however, was considered a landslide, since only 17 total votes were cast.  President-elect Bullfinch then didn’t even bother to show up for the Inauguration, which most major networks had already decided not to cover, even if he had.  Said Bullfinch, “Really, there didn’t seem to be much point in it.”

Perhaps one contemporary historian summed it up best when he stated, “We just got tired.  We all just sorta asked at the same time why we were always arguing over the same things no matter who was in power.  It was kinda like war.  I mean, if war really works, why do we keep having them?  Besides, it had been nearly 24 years since any major broadcast network had shown anything other than a campaign commercial.”

To nobody’s concern, the government continued on just the same.  Everyday business just seemed to get done, and whenever anything really big came along, it was argued over and voted on by whomever happened to show up at the time, which turned out to be pretty much the exact same kinds of people who were there before, only now they didn’t need to be paid.

As always, America’s government was just as incomprehensible as it ever was to every other country in the world.  Only now, it was equally incomprehensible to Americans as well.  “And that,” said one citizen, “is a comforting thing.”

10:50 am pdt 

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

History of the Future:  Gluten-Free Gluten

On March 20, 2028, Franz Josef Von Spekelburgenstein was awarded a patent for Gluten-Free Gluten, a substance that he marketed under the trade name “Taste Again.”  Said Von Spekelburgenstein, “It’s a gluten-free gluten that allows you to eat everything with gluten in it, but still be smug about it.”


Less than a year later, on February 7, 2029, Gluten-Free Gluten-Free was introduced for those “who wanted to be sure.”  Sold primarily in health food stores under various trade names, it was said to neutralize any of the reported side-effects from Gluten-Free Gluten that might’ve inadvertently been introduced into your food.


This was soon followed by Freer Gluten-Free Gluten,  Freer Than Free Gluten-Free Gluten, and Free the Gluten Five.


However, by the end of the fourth quarter in 2032, it was reported that every company that had been marketing gluten and gluten-free additives had gone out of business.  As well, demand for all gluten-free substances had all but disappeared.  Said one consumer, “It’s not that we still don’t care.  We just got confused.”

7:42 am pdt 

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