Boris, Al, Jim, and a Pinched Scrotum

It is late autumn, the aspen have turned. We crest the summit of the pass.

A strong tailwind pushes us as we begin our descent.


Me, Boris.

Boris Ballsack.

My new name, according to my wife, Kathy.

I come by the first name following a visit to a Russian market in Denver.

My new surname is prompted during a road trip with extended hours at the wheel, and ill-fitted underwear. As a man gets old, precious body parts sag, and when caught up by similarly sagging inner thighs and fabric… Continue reading

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Hash, Dogs, and Bean Sludge — A Man of the Pepple

I’m old, cruising into the home stretch. I don’t have a lot of time left. I couldn’t care less about most of the crap I deemed important years ago. I’ve dumped a lot of luggage at the roadside during this last leg of my trip.

I don’t require much now, so I take a spin as a temporary Man of the People. Or “Pepple,” as my friend Johnny says.

I’m in the MoP mode for a month.  Continue reading

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Ted, Madness, and The Veneer

Every three months I receive a page-poor promo magazine in the mail, sent from the school I attended — then a college, now a university —and at which I taught for a number of years. Note: a reader should regard “attended” and “taught” as generous descriptions of my activities.

The mag arrives today. I deploy a dropper’s worth of my pal Joe’s special elixir, whip up a refreshing beverage, and give the publication a once-over during the cocktail hour — 2 to 7 p.m. weekdays, noon to 10 p.m. weekends, though I intend to ask Wanda, my personal physician and consultant regarding all things physical and metaphysical, if it’s safe to extend the weekday block by an hour or three. Continue reading

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Take Note, Chip: Don’t Eat the Sushi

Trouble’s on the way.

I receive a warning as clear as a roar and rumble created in 1850 by 50,000 buffalo as they stampede across a wide plain towards a rickety wagon jammed with fever-blasted settlers. Listen! Here comes trouble: duck and cover, and hope for the best.

My indicator? Kathy is up at 6 a.m., at the piano, singing “No Ways Tired” at top volume, an octave too high. I cherish the Barrett Sisters’ version of the song; the only time I wept without restraint at a concert was when I heard the Barrett Sisters perform this song in the early 80s. Kathy’s rendition this morning could shatter glass. The tension is palpable, disaster of some sort looms. Continue reading

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