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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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Thursday, January 28, 2021

Groundhog’s Day

Groundhog’s Day appears to have roots in old European traditions, though they used badgers and bears.  Those traditions, in turn, probably go all the way back to the Neolithic period in Ireland, when the date, Imbloc, had special significance because it fell between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox.  As a consequence, pretty much everybody to ever come out of Ireland has found some reason to celebrate something on this day.  The Gaelic dudes, the Celts, the Pagans, and the Christians all whooped it up or continue to whoop it up on or about the second.  Not even the Wiccans are left out.  The second of February represents one of their eight holidays.


The first specific mention of celebrating Groundhog’s Day in America – with a groundhog on February 2 – was from a diary entry in 1841 Pennsylvania.  The reference, though, was to an older German custom, which is pretty much the entire custom as we know it – a medium-sized, furry animal emerges from its burrow on Candlemas Day (which is the second), and if it doesn’t see its shadow, then there are six more weeks of winter.  Candlemas, by the way, is the day that commemorates when Mary was certified clean after giving birth to Jesus, as was required by Jewish law.


Though many communities (including those in Portugal, Germany, Serbia, and the UK) celebrate Groundhog’s Day in their own, unique ways, Punxsutawney Phil, from Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, is undoubtedly the most famous Groundhog of them all.  2021 will be his 131 appearance, which is a pretty nifty trick for a rodent whose lifespan, at best, is only about 14 years.  Supposedly, Phil’s longevity is attributed to sipping “Groundhog Elixir” every summer, which magically extends his life for another seven years.  The heck with his predictions; I want some of that elixir.


At best, the prognosticating rodent seems to be correct about 40% of the time…if that.  On a “will-or-won’t” proposition, you could get better odds flipping a coin.  Groundhogs, by the way, are the largest member of the squirrel family... if anybody asks.  And if anybody asks, Phil saw his shadow in 2021, so we'll have another six weeks of winter, putting the first day of spring on or about March 20...where it always is.




Work Cited


“Candlemas.”  2009.  New Advent.  29 Dec. 2011.  http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03245b.htm


“Groundhog Day.”  29 Dec. 2011.  Wikipedia.  29 Dec. 2011.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Groundhog_Day


Groundhog Day – February 2:  Punxsutawney Phil.  29 Dec. 2011.   http://www.gojp.com/groundhog/


“Groundhog Day History.”  2011.  Groundhog Day:  The Official Site of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.  29 Dec. 2011.  http://www.groundhog.org/groundhog-day/history/


 “Imbloc.”  5 Dec. 2011.  Wikipedia.  29 Dec. 2011.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbolc


“Punxsutawney Phil.”  7 Nov. 2011.  Wikipedia.  29 Dec. 2011.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punxsutawney_Phil

8:54 am pst 

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Why I Hate My Job:  Interview #111:  Professional Game Show Contestant

Me?  I’m a professional game show contestant.  I mean, I’m not really a contestant.  I’m just one of the people in the audience.  I don’t work for any show in particular.  I work for an agency, really.  They call if there’s a game show that doesn’t have a full audience.  When the camera scans the audience, they want to show a packed house – like people actually care for “Who’s the Lunatic” or “What Price Your Soul.”  It’s pretty steady work if you’re willing to dress like an onion.

Really, it’s not that hard, especially since they never zoom in on the audience, unless, of course, you happen to be standing next to somebody’s brother-in-law.  The trick is to act like it actually matters.  Like somebody is really going to get to take home $12,000 and the camper.

Thing is, though, I can never be an actual contestant.  Ever.  That’s part of the contract.  It’s like sitting on the bench and knowing that no matter what the score, no matter who gets injured, you’re never getting called into the game.  But I do get to be on TV.  I’ve appeared in 1,293 game shows.  Not very many people can say that, you know.  It’s steady work for an actor, and you don’t really even have to act at all.

9:13 am pst 

Friday, January 22, 2021

The History of the Future:  The Eradication of Marijuana

November 30th, 2098


Marijuana is declared to be extinct,  completely eradicated from the face of the earth, less than two years after it was declared universally legal by every nation on the planet.  Said Günter Umpwhurst, of the World Toking Federation, “Wow.  I guess nobody thought not to smoke it all.”


9:15 am pst 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Inauguration Day

"The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January... and the terms of their successors shall begin."  (20th Amendment of the Constitution, ratified January 23, 1933)

"Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: -- 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.'"  (Article II, Section One of the Constitution)

'Tis a privilege to live in a democracy.

8:09 am pst 

Sunday, January 17, 2021


Sneaker Wave 


12:12 pm pst 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Vaccinations:  The Truth Can Be Told

After studying the facts, there is no other conclusion than vaccinations are, indeed, a government conspiracy.  The government is forcing everybody to be vaccinated so we will not die.  They don’t want us to die so we can keep paying taxes.  The more we pay in taxes, the more they can raise their salaries.  And that’s the same reason why they make us wear seatbelts and motorcycle helmets.  It’s why they have laws against drunk driving and illicit drugs.  It’s why they want everybody to quit smoking, especially in public.  It’s the same reason that they’re suddenly so concerned with the environment.  It’s why there are a Food and Drug Administration, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and many of those other agencies that are all telling us what we can and cannot do.  It’s all so we can pay more and more taxes.

But we have a choice!  We don’t have to listen to the government!  There are all sorts of nasty diseases we can catch.  And once we have them, it is our duty to spread them to everybody possible.  We can ignore traffic signals and step out in front of a bus.  We can ignore “Wrong Way!  Do Not Enter!” signs.  That’s just more of the government telling us what to do so we can stay alive.  Don’t wear seatbelts.  Don’t wear a helmet.  And especially don’t wear seatbelts or a helmet after drinking!  If you don’t smoke, then you should start, and if you do... are you really smoking as much as you can?  You can smoke a cigarette in ten minutes.  That’s six an hour.  You could go through four packs a day easily.  All it takes is determination.  And not only are you killing yourself, but think of all the others you could be taking with you.  Trust me:  They’ll thank you.  Because nobody likes paying taxes.  Let’s see them tax a corpse!  And even if they can, when you’re the corpse, that will no longer be your problem.  It’s time we all took a stand against the government and died!


9:07 am pst 

Monday, January 11, 2021


It was on December 4th, 2022, that Seattle shop owner Felix MacGoogan, tired of the nightly “tagging” of his business’s outer walls by rival street gangs,  just left cans of spray paint outside for them to use.  Said MacGoogan, “What’s the point of even trying?  I paint over their graffiti in the morning so they can put graffiti over my paint at night.  Besides, what do I care what colour it’s painted?  Paint is paint.  And this way, I don’t have to do it anymore.”


Soon neighboring businesses joined MacGoogan and left paint out as well.  Shortly thereafter, the entire city stopped trying.  Seeing shop owners set out paint cans at closing became a common sight during the winter of 2023.  It wasn’t long, though, before the gangs couldn’t tell their graffiti from even their own.  Said one gang member, “It never really made much sense, anyway, but this is ridiculous.”  The only way they found to stake out their territory was to completely paint the businesses in solid colours with tastefully coordinating trim.  The practice quickly spread, and before long every gang in the city spent their evenings painting local businesses. 


Said a former shop owner, “You never knew what colour the shop was going to be each morning.  Sometimes it would be red, sometimes blue.  You never knew.  But they always cleaned up after themselves.”  Indeed, it became a sign of power to have the best looking blocks.  Soon roving bands of youth were brazenly planting shrubberies along the sidewalks.  The sound of a weed eater was common at night.


In the spring of 2024 officials from other cities began arriving, trying to recruit Seattle’s gangs to come to their towns and wreck all the havoc they wished.  Chicago and Indianapolis had limited success, but it never quite caught on. 


Then, just as suddenly as it began, it stopped.  Said one gang member, “Hell, that’s work.”  It wasn’t long afterwards that the city fell into disrepair.  Having gotten used to not having to do any maintenance on their property, nobody did.  Pleas were made to the city gangs, who had all moved to the suburbs and bought homes of their own.  Perhaps DJ Weeder, the head of the Toro gang summed it up best, “Man, nobody wants to hang out in the city.  That place is a dump.  Besides, who’s got time?  I’ve got a yard to mow.”

9:00 am pst 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Tought of Day:

If you were a professional criminal, you could be both a pro and a con. 

9:35 am pst 

Monday, January 4, 2021

Elvis Presley’s Birthday

Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, making him 86 years old in 2021.  There are many who believe the King died on August 16, 1977.  However, consider this:  Elvis, Lives, and Levis are anagrams.  Need I say more?



Work Cited


Lorna, Editor.  “Celebrity Icons Wearing Denim Throughout History.”  DenimBlog.  DenimBlog (13 Nov. 2012): n. pag.  Web.  11 Jan. 2016.  http://www.denimblog.com/2012/11/celebrity-icons-wearing-denim-throughout-history/

8:45 am pst 

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