The Museum of Sudden Disappearances

MUSEUM available as an ebook at Amazon Or, for temporal travelers, PAST IS PRESENT at Amazon.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Middle Class Miracle

Trump Launches Tax Bill

Congress and President propel tax-relief bill. Simplified tax code written on a single roll of paper towels. Working Americans rejoice.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Salvation Tip for Spiritual Dogs

Ready? Set? Get your Pet...into Paradise

Is there room for pets in Paradise? Of course. Would you want to spend eternity without your pet? No way. Heaven would be a hell-hole without Snuffles the dog or Muffy the six-toed cat.

"So," you ask, "how can my pet get kicked upstairs to the Sweet Hereafter? Wishing it will happen won't make it so. I want a guarantee."

What follows is a visionary tip. Read it here first, at the ever educational Museum of Sudden Disappearances. This is a simple, screamingly obvious, one-step procedure. Follow it, and Fido gets a ticket to join the angels.

The key step is baptism. A baptized baby has a shot at heaven, unless the baby grows up to be, say, Whitey Bulger, or goes through life saying the world's stupidest four words, "You got a haircut." An unbaptized baby, who grows up to be a world-class philanthropist, is still out of luck. No baptismal certificate? No heaven for you, buddy boy, you're undocumented.

Pooches with proper papers 
ride this escalator to Paradise.

The same applies to pets. Dogs and cats, once baptized, are eligible for Heaven. Unless they bite the mailman or crap on the carpet, which is a mortal sin, and may result in their heading in the wrong direction. In which case they'll spend eternity in Doggie Hell, tied to a post outside of Satan's Supermarket, stranded by the automatic sliding doors, facing the plate glass windows, whining, and wondering why their master refuses to exit the store after a million years. 

Trixie last saw her master back in 992,084 B.C. Still waiting.

Satan's Supermarket is open 24/7 x eternity. Once dog owners grab a shopping cart and enter, they never come out again. This is what's in store for Fido if he craps on the carpet, and then pretends he didn't do it and dummies up with that look on his face that says, "I've been framed!" Next stop: Doggie Hell. And it's Fido's own damn fault. There'll be no leg-lifting on the Big Fire Hydrant in the Sky for him.

Bunnie & Clyde, pantry robbers, 
paying the price in Doggie Hell.

Mr. Munchie peed on the rug, then blamed the mailman.
 Now he's inmate #6789X at Hades for Hounds.

Let's move on to the nitty.

You ask: "How can my pet get baptized? Because I don't think my neighborhood church provides this service."

holy water font

Solution: buy a lawn sprinkler at the hardware store, and a whole lot of garden hose. You may have to hit several Home Depots to get enough hose. Set the sprinkler on your front lawn. Connect the extremely long hose to the sprinkler, and run the other end into the River Jordan. If Lourdes, France is closer to your shack, access that. Or simply have your parish priest come to your house and bless your water tank or water pipes.

Now you're ready to rock the sprinkler. Turn it on, and watch holy water spray the air in oscillating waves. Your job is done. Go inside, watch TV. Nature is about to take its spiritual course.

It's a hot summer day. Dogs do what dogs do. This:

"Wow, Scooter, this hits the spot! Arf arf!"

Then the news travels around the neighborhood (this is why the sprinkler must be located in the front, for maximum visibility, not the back yard). Pretty soon...

"Yo, Baxter and Toodles, this is grrrrrrrrreat!"

Baxter: "Don't hog all the holy water, Chuckie!"
Chuckie: "I ain't."
Toodles: "Are so."
Chuckie: "No way."

And then everyone is in on it.

From across the street, the McMutt family drops by. As you can see, Mrs. McMutt believes that getting spayed is a mortal sin. "Don't get spayed," she said, "get sprayed."

Catrina Scratchowski, the next-door neighbor, joins the party.

Even the neighborhood trash can inspector arrives.

What happens when our furry friends get blasted with holy water? You guessed it: Rapture. Check these photos: two neighborhood dogs ascending toward that Fire Hydrant in the Clouds. Within five minutes, as they rose like balloons, neither dog could be seen with the naked eye. 

Scooter Adams (left) and Yo-Yo Schneider:

Fyodor Dogstoyevsky takes flight.

Charles Barkley waves bye-bye.

You ask, "What if the neighborhood pet refuses to run through the sprinkler?"

Answer: this is what happens when you dance with the devil.

Hell cat (for real)

Devil dog (oh, Hell yeah!)

No sprinklers for this little dude, and now he's payin' the price.

On the other hand, this guy (below) earned his wings. How? By never amputating the mailman's leg or doggedly sniffing people's zippers. Or breaking into the pantry, eating a two-pound bag of dry rice, getting diarrhea, redecorating the living room, and rendering the house into...well, an EPA-designated hazardous waste dump.

"My name's Sparky. I never made a mess. I knew how to hold it in...all day long!"

Finally, your holy water lawn sprinkler not only offers salvation, but signifies diversity. Which explains how this little nitwit got in on the action. His name is Gerald Jitters. Mr. Jitters is adjusting the water pressure prior to his baptism.

"I got every right to be here too," proclaimed Mr. Jitters.

Gerald Jitters demanded equal access to the holy water, which is guaranteed by the inscription on the Statue of Poochie. Gerald recited from memory:

Statue of Poochie
(on Belle Isle in the Detroit River)

"Gimme your tired, your poor pets, and your chewy toys. Your huddled squirrels yearning to breathe free in a tree or on a telephone pole. The wretched raccoons of your teeming garbage cans. Send these, the homeless hounds, tempest-tost kitties. I lift my hind leg beside the golden hydrant and shout, 'Life! Liberty! And Triple Flavor Kabobs!'"

BONUS: Within 60 feet of that sprinkler, all dead grass will rise from the dirt, like Lazarus. Lourdes meets lawn care.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Fake News from an Alt-Universe

Anthony Scaramucci, "the Mooch," the frisky White House communications director, addressed 40,000 Boy Scouts at their national Jamboree.

Here's the Mooch signaling to the kids that he's #1. Below is the complete transcript of the rhetorician's remarks.

MOOCH: "Listen up, you little zits. Yeah, filthy muh-fuh chicken pluckers! Now gimme me a 'Pee.' Gimme an 'L.' Gimme a 'You-See-Kay.' Wuss that spell?"

CROWD: "Pluck! 



MOOCH: "Go...pluck yo'selves! Pluck all you stupid plucks! Cuz I'm the effin meanest mama-plucker in town! I can pluck all nite long. I'm the dean of the lean mean pluck machines!"

crowd goes wild

Then the Mooch knocks it out of the park. "Eat yo' heart out...coz I'm a one-man pluck-fest!"

Jammin' at the Jamboree

EDITOR'S NOTE: Is this Emerson, Lake & Palmer? The Jimi Hendrix Experience or Nirvana?

Not exactly. Pictured above:

Left: Robert Pinski, Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the White House

Center: the Mooch

Right: Louis E. Gluck, Chancellor of the Academy of American Tongue-Twisters

Monday, June 12, 2017

America's #1 Cliche


Can this cliche be stopped?

Hospital ER's Overwhelmed by Verbal Tic Infection

Summer is here. You enjoy a walk in the woods. There's nothing like getting in touch with nature while wearing headphones (noise-canceling, killer cans the size of hubcaps), smoking designer weed nicknamed BrainBurst, while littering beer cans on the hiking trail and sending Zenlike texts to your friends, which cryptically say: K. As you know, that ticks them off.

Which brings to mind "ticks." Ewww. The woods are dangerous, filled with ticks and poison ivy. Perhaps a barefoot walk in your silk micro briefs with mesh ventilation wasn't so smart. At least the smoke from BrainBurst repels the mosquitoes and tsetse flies. Bravo: you had the sense to leave the other designer bud at home, the one called InstaComa. Let's face it, tripping on a dead tree stump crawling with maggots, then collapsing into a doob-induced, three-day coma in the middle of bear and rattlesnake country...isn't what Joni Mitchell had in mind when she sang Woodstock

I'm going to camp out (pass out?) on the land
I'm going to try an' get my soul free
We are stardust
We are golden

But you're nothing if not sensible. Still, you ask: What's the #1 tick in America?

Here at The Museum of Sudden Disappearances, we have no idea. But we can certainly reveal the #1 Verbal Tic in America. And deep down, you already know it. In a sense, it's so obvious, it's hidden. Hidden within plain sound. It's a cyst on society's sociolinguistic tongue.

Note the glazed eyeballs, 
symptomatic of verbal tic addiction
(see Physicians' Desk Reference, page 666).

Before we mention it, beware. Once you see the phrase written here, you will make note, and remember it. The problem? You can never again not hear it. So be warned, you will hear it at least several times each after day after day after day. And each time you hear it, your psychological well-being will take a hit, resulting in an unending erosion of your psyche. Think of it as the verbal equivalent of a cattle prod, a nasty jolt to the ears. 

Still with us? You've been warned. You can stop reading and hit the Museum's exit, hit the crash bar on the door and flee. Otherwise, at the end of the day, you may start to lose your composure. You may punch your head through a wall as America's #1 Verbal Tic grinds into your ears. Because...

Come on, people. How many times have you heard " the end of the day...blah blah blah." Turn on the TV news. The radio. Hear it in daily discourse. Over and over like a drumbeat. It's the go-to mindless mantra of our times. These six words, "At the end of the day," have replaced these six words, "When all is said and done." Remember that? Remember when everyone said, "When all is said and done..." Those six words were interchangeable with these six words: "When you get right to it..."

Why is it always six words? Consider this...

Book of Revelation. The Number of the Beast: 666. What if 666 is a Biblical, apocalyptic reference, foreseeing the three dominant verbal tics of the 21st century, which will usher in endtimes? Imagine the world getting incinerated, not by nuclear war, but by a widespread, verbal tic exploding our brains. A weaponized cliche which, after you hear it for the quadrillionth time, detonates inside your skull.

At the end of the day at the end of the day at the end of the day at the end of the day at the end of the day I want to drop to my knees and flat-out scream (like James Brown, live at the Apollo) because at the end of the day I'm at my wit's end.....

How creepy is this? An actual photo of a verbal tic getting under your skin. The tic flies out of your radio while you're listening to a sobering, educational interview on NPR. The tic lands on your ear lobe, burrows in. Now, each time you hear "...(because) at the end of the day," the tic torpedoes a little further along in your bloodstream, heading for your brain.

All we need is to be needed? Is this dude serious? No. All we need is to never again hear, you know, those...six words.

Yes, even Lebron James got bit by the tic at this year's NBA Finals.

No. Caption incorrect. It should read: Lebron says " the end of the day, we were down two games, but, you know, at the end of the day it's just day's end which is at the end of the day."

If you made it this far, if you're down here reading're infected. You're aware of the most overused, verbal crutch of the 21st century. Next time you turn on your TV or radio, be warned: the tick will fly out of the speakers and head for your head. It may take a half hour. Or seconds. 

tic transmitter

How will you regain your sanity? You have one option. It's a medical procedure not covered by your insurance. Blue Cross Blue Shield does not cover verbal-tic removal. So you're gonna have to pony up the big bucks. 

This poor dude (pictured below) turned on the radio, and within four measly minutes the tic flew out and hit him in the sweet spot. Mr. Lovejoy was rushed to Massachusetts General Eye, Ear and Tic Clinic, where a surgical team succeeded in flicking the tick. Per doctor's orders, the patient can never again turn on the news.

Perhaps you ask: "What if the patient goes outside and hears someone saying " the end of the day," and is again hit by the tic, and has a relapse? 

Well, we Americans are known for our can-do spirit. Look how Mr. Lovejoy and his son, Dudley, solved the problem.  

Whenever Mr. Lovejoy and Dudley emerge from the bunker, they're always dressed in their Calvin Klein beekeeper suits. In the (inevitable) chance that someone stops them on the street, and says, "Hello Mr. Lovejoy and little Dudley! Just so you two know, at the end of the day, I am at peace because my intentions are good and my heart is pure." 

Not to worry. The Lovejoys will be protected. That verbal tic will fly from the speaker's mouth, but bounce off the Lovejoy's beekeeper's masks. 

So you see, a beekeeper's mask can prevent Armageddon. It's important that this blog entry end on such a positive note (after such a litany of horror). Because here at The Museum of Sudden Disappearances...

...we're all about being super positive (six words).

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

go with the floe

Today, after several months, I opened my blog's door again. I hit the lights and looked around. Where have I been?

The South Pole.

Think of it this way. Ernest Shackleton, early 20th century South Pole enthusiast, (allegedly) placed this 1912 expedition recruitment ad. Imagine seeing this in your favorite tabloid.

Let's make two edits. Let's change the first word, "Men," to "You are." And switch "small" to "zero." Now the ad reads:

"You are wanted for hazardous journey. Zero wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.”

Presto! Shackleton, a snowshoe artist who was always "in the floe," unwittingly nailed the writer's world. Now the ad accurately describes the head-crushing experience of writing a novel.

Or here's the short version. These are the 12 words my muse coos when I begin banging out a new book. "Tighten yo' belt, ink-slinger, y'all in for a vertical-hair thrill ride."

At any rate, I just returned from the South Pole with my new novel. So, that's where I've been. I'll hit the lights on the way out.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

2016 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion goes to...Jurassic Jim

Last April, I received an email from out of the blue. It may as well have been a missive from outer space. Imagine SETI getting a blip from Pluto.

Emily E. informed me that the 9th Annual Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards were now open. KN was looking for the "...Best Books of 2015 and the Nominating Committee has identified Past is Present as a title we would be interested in considering. We invite you or your publisher to nominate this book at...The deadline is April 30."

Was I surprised and grateful? Hell yeah. I was...flattered. The F word. Did I submit and send Jurassic Jim Fleetwood down to Tennessee? Hell yeah. Did I think I had a shot? Hell no. I submitted in April, among a zillion other submissions, with the same confidence one has when buying a megabucks lottery ticket at the local beer store. 

Cass Corridor, Detroit (my old neighborhood)

I made no plans to attend. I couldn't afford it, unless I hitchhiked there and slept at the city park. Of course, that was okay because I had no chance of winning. So why fly halfway across the country, run up my AmEx card, and watch excited strangers pop out of their chairs, arms in the air as if they're surrendering in a war zone, and get their award amid thunderous applause? 


Get real, I thought. I have no publisher, no agent, no editor, no hardcover or paperback copy of my book. PAST IS PRESENT, which features the irrepressible Jurassic Jim Fleetwood (the most out-of-it man in America) is available only as a digital download on Amazon. Jim Fleetwood was going up against print books. In short: it ain't happenin'.

Detroit has a surreal edge

I'm from Detroit. I'm a realist. We Detroiters deal with hard, gritty reality. I'm a former factory rat. I did my time on the assembly line at Dodge Main, a filthy hellhole that, according to a TV news report, had the "highest homicide rate of any plant in the state of Michigan."

Dodge Main waits for the wrecking ball

I know which way is up. When people refer to my hometown as D-Town, the D does not stand for "delusional." It stands for "Damn ain't gonna zoom me. I'm zoom-proof." It'd take a world-class zoom-meister to zoom me.


But hey, I thought: good luck to all those nice folks down there in Nashville. It was nice of 'em to give me a shout to brighten my otherwise ho-hum spring. It's not often we Detroit expatriates get that sort of tip of the hat.

Then Earth wiggled on its axis. Were endtimes nigh?

Yearly "Dally in the Alley," Cass Corridor, Detroit
(best party in the world)

On August 15, I received another email. This sentence actually appeared right near the top of the missive: "And here's some good news for you!" That's no typo. Good news. G-O-O-D. 

I was a...finalist. Yes, the F word. I was thrilled. I laughed. I had urinary incontinence. How was this statistically possible? This news was light years beyond my expectations. I thought: good luck to all those nice finalists down there. But hey, I'm from Detroit. I'm a realist. We Detroiters deal with hard, gritty reality. Life is a roundhouse punch, then you fall into a valley of razor blades. No freakin' way I'm getting beyond finalist. D? I'll tell you what D stands for: Down-to-earth. Dispirited. Disheartened. Borderline depressed. But hey, we ain't no Ding-Dongs. We are zoom-proof.

My old apartment building in the Corridor, right side
(best alley in the world)

Last Saturday night the winners for the 2016 Killer Nashville Silver Falchion Awards were announced at the Conference in Nashville. I had no idea who won. Why? Because I didn't attend. Why would I? Jim Fleetwood and I had no chance. Jim, America's premier vintage deejay, really, really, really understands the D word. For Jim, life has been a nonstop assault by Murphy's Law. Jim knows all about getting Murphed. But this time, we weren't gonna get tricked by the Murph. We may be Finalists, but we are also Realists. The R word.

Australia, the land of larrikins 
(best sanctuary for Earth's eccentrics)

And then...early Thursday morning, I got an email from a wonderful friend in Australia, who congratulated Jim and me for...

Which explains this:

Another D word. Doctor.