Archive for the May Category


If my reading of the calendar is right, today would mark a very bad day for the ultra pious in our midst.  Two things have gone violently astray.  On this day the President of the United States finally ended his evolving soul searching and announced that he would no longer oppose weddings of gay people.  I can only say that it took one hell of a lot of patience for this announcement to come forth.  If there ever was a no-brainer, it was the issue of same-sex marriage.  But Mr. Obama needed some time to wrestle with this question.  He almost wrestled it until his term had expired.  But now on this monumental day of May 9, the issue has been joined and Mr. Obama is now finally in favor of same-sex marriages.

For the ultra pious, this news must come as a horrible shock.  For nearly 400 years, they have been depending upon the warnings in Leviticus about same-sex marriage.  One way or another, Mr. Obama, a true believer in religious exercises, has cast caution asunder and has announced that he favors same-sex marriages.

Now to complete the second piece of bad news for the pious comes the announcement that it appears that if my guts and brains etc. will hold out for the next two or three months, at which time I will celebrate my 90th birthday.  Of the two announcements made today, this is by far the most earth-shattering.  Let us consider what news this brings to the ultra pious.

According to the King James Version of the Bible, there is a verse that applies to my specific problem.  It comes from Psalm 90, Verse 10.  In this verse the Biblical injunction the psalmist quotes reads, “The days of our years are threescore years and ten, and if by reason of strength, they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.”

You see that on this same day the decision to permit same-sex marriages was announced, it became clear that my plans include a celebration of my 90th birthday.  This announcement came about as a result of a tip from one of my grandsons who was reviewing the menu for this glorious occasion.  The fact of the matter is that my grandson and all of the other celebrants ought to be here consoling me because the upper echelons of the ecclesiastic ranks are highly pissed off at me.

According to my reading of the psalmist, he said that 70 years was plenty and we should then get out of here.  He also said that in certain cases, by reason of strength, some of us should hang around for the fourscore anniversary.  But he cautioned that those who hang around for the fourscore anniversary should get accustomed to travail of all kinds.

The reason of course that God, Allah, the Holy Ghost, and others are very much pissed off at me has to do with my exceeding even the upper limits of what the psalmist prescribed for human beings.  For all that can be determined at this writing, the psalmist must not believe I may hold on for another decade, which would make fivescore, an even one hundred.  I am well aware of all the heartache and illnesses that come with prolonged life.

I should say, “Boy, I am really aware of those problems!”  But I have no control over that matter and the next celebration will be on August 4, marking my 90th year in this “vale of tears” as my mother said.  I had no intention of sticking around this long and if life had really worked out in 1943 I would have, to use the Bible phrase, flown away through the courtesy of the German Air Force and the German anti-aircraft.  But I find that such a reason does not register in terms of excusing me for hanging around much too long.  I regret that the announcement of my festivities for my 90th birthday occurred on the very same day when Barack Obama announced that his period of cogitation was over and that same-sex marriages would be observed.

I had planned to have Psalm 90, Verse 10 for my sermon to warn others of the grave danger of sticking around too long.  But the King James Bible has been here for a little more than 400 years and if astute observers have not noticed what the psalmist had to say, I must assume that it is their tough luck.  For myself, I will spend the day in prayerful cogitation, hopefully not as long as the President did.  What I wish to cogitate about is this business of flying away.

Years in the Air Force of the United States have taught me that there must be a landing place when we fly away.  All things considered, the holy imprimatur is applied to the words of the psalmist.  I hope that the psalmist will take notice of my 90th birthday party on the evening of August 4, 2012.  I realize that the President and I have transgressed terribly but perhaps this essay will serve to soothe the frigid waters before we all must “fly away.”


May 9, 2012

Essay 654




Kevin’s commentary: and with this, we pretty much hit the last of the publishable 2012 essays. Going to dip into 2011 next, or maybe even mix things up and just start pulling from all sorts of places. I kinda like the idea of maybe running some super old ones alongside the 2011s, and of course new essays will continue to be published as they are written. I’m looking forward to it!

In further bad news for the ultra-pious, Romney just lost and I’m ecstatic.



As I am a non-believer in religious exercises, it may seem unbecoming for a fellow with my mind bent to raise the issue of the power of prayer. In this essay I do so not with an accusatory sense of purpose. My interest is purely curiosity. I do not wish to deride those who believe in prayer, which I have never done. In pursuit of this question, I would like to know whether the target of the prayerful considerations has been met and whether it is acknowledged.

I suppose that history will tell us that there has never been a shortfall of frauds who claim that they are acting on intelligence directly from God. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two Protestant preachers, fall into this category. Significantly, when they claim that they are acting in the name of some superpower such as God or the Holy Ghost, there is no acknowledgement that such is the case. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson can tell their followers that they have been directed by God to do something but there is no validation for that action. It is taken totally on faith in Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson and the thousands of other preachers whom I consider to be borderline frauds.

I spent 43 years in the communications business and I am here to tell you that I do not see how prayer is accomplished. In those 43 years, we have accomplished the means of transmission through wires or, in later days, by radio waves in the atmosphere. In short, I do not understand how the prayerful message gets from here to there and whether it is ever acknowledged. Parsons and preachers may tell you that the answers to prayers are delivered through the heart. To my knowledge, there are no listening devices in the heart or soul. So I must doubt this. Politicians are prone to say that they are running for elected office because God told them to do it. If you ever meet such a person, I hope you send him on his way promptly to avoid contamination from his esoteric ideas.

So you see, what I am asking in this fumbling essay is how the pleas of mankind are delivered to the Higher Power. As a general rule, prayer is conducted in a low voice that will not disturb others. There are several instances in which prayer is said in silence. I would like to know how the gods or the Holy Ghost is able to discern such prayers. When a god or the Holy Ghost answers the prayers of a politician, how are we to tell that the politician received advice from God to run? How are we to know whether the politician has made up his mind to do something and simply reports to you that God has ordered him to do it?

The best example that I can think of at the moment is George W. Bush. Mr. Bush contended, first, that his running for the Presidency had the approval of God. For a person such as myself, that would be an unlikely claim. If I am not mistaken, former President Bush started the Iraqi invasion under the same premises. What I am asking in this essay is how fellow Christians or even fellow citizens can tell that an action by a politician is God-driven. To be more specific, Pat Robertson has made at least one or two quests for the Presidency of the United States. Has anyone ever had the temerity to ask Pat Robertson for validation of his claim that his quest is God-driven?

To bring things closer to home, my father was a religious man. He attempted to read the Bible every evening before he retired. This of course became impossible once blindness set in. In fact, he was blind for the last 11 years of his life. My father was a taciturn man who shared his confidences – if he had any – with no one. But I suspect that the elder Ezra never prayed to God to lift blindness from him. As I have mentioned earlier in essays, he was unschooled and completed only the second “reader.” But he had undergone several procedures or operations in the hope that the loss of sight would be arrested, but certainly not cured.

In point of fact, my father understood that there was a physical and a heredity hindrance to his eyesight and as far as I know he never prayed for those hindrances to be lifted. Knowing what I know about glaucoma, the old man did the proper thing. He followed the advice of the Post brothers, two ophthalmologists, instead of appealing to a superior power. Even he, uneducated as he was, knew that there was no chance that his eyesight would be restored. Can we really believe the Biblical stories that eyesight can be brought back to those who have been blind for years? I tend to doubt it. I am willing to listen to explanations to the contrary.

What I am getting into here is where the miracles of the power of prayer stop and where the miracles of mankind tend to take over. This is a murky area and I suspect that in many cases the power of prayer may have been exaggerated. But at my age, which has taken on Methuselah-like proportions, I am willing to listen to almost any proposition that makes some sense. But I am not willing to listen to explanations that deal with a god or the Holy Ghost or the Virgin Mary suggesting that George W. Bush should have run for the Presidency.

For a number of years, I was very close to a telephone worker named Harry Livermore. There was a point at which I even roomed with Harry Livermore after the transfer in my employment from Kansas City to Chicago. Harry was one of the toughest men I ever knew. At the same time, Harry was pious to such a degree that he always recited evening prayers to himself. Following the death of Jean Livermore, Harry’s wife, he told me that he had appealed in prayer to Jean to save him a place next to her, presumably in heaven. I have never been able to escape from reality with the thought that I would put my trust in prayer. If Harry actually believed that Jean was holding a place for him in heaven, I would only say to my good friend Harry, “Go get it.” That is what he believed and it gave him comfort; so be it.

Before leaving this subject of the power of prayer, we must consider the case of Newt Gingrich. Gingrich is a fraud, and I mean a gold-plated fraud. Newt has a peculiar penchant for making people disbelieve. When he ran for the Presidency in 2012, he of course had to deal with two former marriages. On one occasion, it is fairly well documented that Newt Gingrich told his former wife, who was confined to a hospital bed, that he wished to divorce her. In my estimation, you can’t get much lower than that.

Newt presented himself to the American public as a candidate for the Presidency of the United States, saying that he had been forgiven or excused by God. I assume that the only way to reach God or the Holy Ghost is through prayer. No one has ever demonstrated a different source for reaching the top level. Newt presented himself in 2012 as a fresh-faced kid from Georgia who had been excused from his former sinful ways by no less than God. In my life I have never been involved in Republican politics. But if I had a vote, I would cast it overwhelmingly against Newt Gingrich. I believe him to be a liar, a mountebank, and a complete fraud. But Newt is Newt, and in 2016 it is quite likely that you will see his likes on the campaign trail once again.

This is not the first time that I have addressed the subject of the power of prayer. In my last attempt to understand the power of prayer, I arrived at the conclusion that the main beneficiaries are those who pray. Those who pray think that they have done the proper thing and I support them. Whether their prayers go anywhere beyond six inches from their mouths is probably beside the point. In any event, an observer who reads these essays assured me that the power of prayer certainly resonated with the one who had done the praying. If that conclusion was appropriate three or four or five years ago, I am unable to improve upon it. If prayer proves comforting to the pious, I would have no argument with that conclusion.

But at the same time, I would hope that those who subscribe to the Gospels understand the position of a non-believer. In my own case, to use one example, I am perfectly pleased with the present arrangement, provided that the God-driven do not seek to convert me. I take great pain to avoid attempting to convert my believing brothers. I would hope that we could reach an accommodation that would be acceptable to all of us.

But in the final analysis, the power of prayer is elusive. Obviously, I put no trust in prayer. But that should impede no one in pursuit of prayer. I am basically a live-and-let-live sort of person. But in the final showdown, confirmation of the power of prayer seems to elude everyone at least that is my conclusion. I sometimes wonder how the Muslims, for example, can pray five times each day and yet show such hostility to the rest of the world, particularly Christians.

I suppose none of these questions can be settled within my lifetime, which does not promise to be too extensive. But it is food for thought, and the only thing that I firmly and totally reject is the idea that Newt Gingrich has been totally forgiven and that he will presumably occupy a place in heaven close to my box seats.

May 14, 2012
Essay 656


Kevin’s commentary: To me, this issue of how to contact God seems to have been best approached by the Mormons, who I’ve had on the brain a good bit lately. Their solution is just to put God on a star called Kolob a few parsecs away. That way, whenever any scientists or other thinking people ask them for proof of God, or how to talk to God or whathaveyou, the Mormons can just be like “hey, build us a fast enough spaceship and get some better telescopes to find Kolob with and you can go give him a high five.”

Definitely the most fun way to approach that question, in my opinion. Hats off to the cultists!

Regarding the power of prayer specifically I remember reading a pretty thorough scientific study that prayer doesn’t actually help, say, the sick whatsoever. It was done with control groups and random selection and a large sample size and all that, and it found either that it has zero effect if the people being prayed for didn’t know they were being prayed for, and an adverse effect when they were aware that they were being prayed for. This latter one baffled the scientists somewhat (who assumed that it would at least have the placebo effect) but yeah it turned out that people like, relaxed and didn’t fight as hard against the disease or something? I’ll try to find it.



A good many years ago my eldest brother married a woman named Rose Wilson. Rose may have been the kindest woman known to mankind. As my mother would have said, “She had a big heart.” Although I did not see much of Rose because of my living in Kansas City, Chicago, and New York, I had every reason to believe what my mother and so many others said about Rose Wilson Carr.

My brother died around the age of 60 and soon after Rose fell ill as well. During her terminal illness, Rose put her trust in the ultimate decider. As it turned out, when Rose and Charlie were still married, before Charlie’s death, there was a succession of churches that they attended. The fact of the matter is that my brother had a short temper, and if the preacher said something that Charlie disagreed with, he would then move to another church. But when Rose fell ill with what turned out to be her terminal illness, there was sort of a blessing here.

When I called Rose at the hospital in suburban St. Louis from my office in New York City, she reported to me that she had three churches praying for her continued life. It gave Rose considerable comfort to know that three churches were praying for her. Being a non-believer, of course I said nothing. My comments were to the effect that I knew she would get better. However, within a short time Rose died. Even with the three churches prayers and with Rose’s own prayers as well, the ultimate decider decided – if you believe in religious authority – to take Rose’s life.

My own guess is that Rose had a significant malfunction in one of her vital organs that may have been inoperable. In any case, the final illness of Rose Wilson Carr is the place where I ultimately decided to start this essay.

In this world there is an order of nuns that engages in perpetual prayer of the rosary. I believe that the Dominican nuns established this order perhaps 300 or 400 years ago. In the adjoining town of Summit, New Jersey there is a large convent which houses the local branch of the Dominican nuns. They engage in perpetual prayer and adoration, as I understand it, aimed at the ultimate decider in life, namely God or the Holy Ghost. You may recall an essay that I wrote after having read an obituary of a nun who had devoted her adult life to praying the rosary in the local branch of the Dominican nuns in Summit, New Jersey. The essay was a tribute to her sense of duty. After the essay was finished, I sent a copy to the nun in charge of this convent and I received a very lovely reply.

Finally, yesterday computers brought me the news that in New Delhi, India the monkeys were running amok. From all indications, their birth rates are greater than those of human beings. It has developed that some of the persons who worship these monkeys are confined to their houses while the monkeys have taken over their yards. New Delhi is the capital of India, a very important country, which makes it difficult for me to understand this news.

As it stands right now, I have only the news reports that monkeys in India have something to do with the soul when life is finished here. The monkey report was a new one for me in view of the fact that I thought that cows were worshipped in India. Now it turns out that both cows and monkeys are on the celestial level.

So here we have Rose Wilson Carr praying to the great decider as well as the Dominican nuns who are in perpetual prayer to the same God, as I understand it. And finally, according to believers in New Delhi, perhaps the ultimate decider worships a monkey. You may rest assured that a non-believer such as myself is thoroughly confused.

But there is one other entry that perhaps should be included here. It comes from the religion of the Mormons, also known as the Latter Day Saints. Last fall, a musical opened on Broadway called “The Book of Mormon.” One of the lead songs from this very melodic musical was called “I Believe.” The song goes as follows:

I believe that Satan has a hold of you.
I believe that the Lord God has sent me here.
And I believe that in 1978, God changed his mind about black people and you can be a Mormon, a Mormon who just believes.

So you see, the Mormons who have excluded black people from their membership for all these years, decided in 1978 that God indeed had changed his mind and he told his followers in Utah that they could admit black people without fear of grave sin.

I believe that these four cases of Rose Wilson, the nuns in Summit, the monkeys in New Delhi, and “The Book of Mormon” make my point. In the view of this complete non-believer, the ultimate decider is undecided. Much more than that, it has been my unshakable belief for many years that God, or whoever is the ultimate decider, is a product of man’s imagination.

In other words, there was no shouting down from heaven as to what should be contained in the Gospels. It was the Gospels that were written here on earth that created the so-called ultimate decider.

I am fully aware that my observations in this essay will not fit with the beliefs of many of my readers. But if those who believe can make up their minds about what they believe, I believe that I am entitled to state my own views. It is done without rancor. In substance, what I am saying is that the message did not come downwards from some celestial being, but rather it was man who invented God or gods with the intention to persuade others to believe what they had invented.

Well, so much for this essay that has been lurking in my mind for several years. I am glad that it is now dictated and will soon appear on paper. Finally, if you have the opportunity, please go see a performance of “The Book of Mormon,” so you can tell me about such lines as “God changed his mind.”

May 24, 2012
Essay 659


Kevin’s commentary: I’ve always liked when essays tie together so many seemingly unrelated things. The nuns in quesiton remind me of the Baba in India I once saw on television, who has kept one of his hands raised for fortyish years. To me it seems pretty crazy that somewhere in the neighborhood of a third of third of the world would probably feel that the nuns weren’t wasting their time but that the Baba was. I honestly can’t tell the difference. Same goes double for the regular Christians who make fun of Mormons (who are pretty damn cultish, let’s be honest) for their posthumous babtisms and stuff, but then turn around and consume what they believe to be the literal flesh and blood of a man who has been dead for several thousand years.  Most normal thing in the world.


It may come as a surprise to some younger readers that there was a time in this country when there was no such thing as instant communications.  As a matter of fact, my family did not have a telephone until some time in the vicinity of 1935.  My mother, who was home all day, was communications-less unless an emergency occurred.  She could not drive so it was out of the question for her to go to a store that had a pay telephone to call someone.  She relied on one or two neighbors who had telephones.  During that era, the standard form of communication had to do with the telegraph. Telepathy came before telecommunications.  When there was an urgent need, someone would send a telegram saying that there was an emergency or, occasionally, that we wish to visit with you this Sunday.

I grew up in this era before telephones were commonplace.  What I would like to discuss in this essay is probably the saddest telegram anyone could imagine.  I would grant you that this essay is being dictated at 5:30 PM on Memorial Day.  On a day like this, I am in a pensive and contemplative mood, thinking about the men we have lost in wars over the years.

Now, to carry this one step further, the older readers may recall that from 1941 until 1945 the United States was engaged in the Second World War.  It is at this point that the lack of communications together with the war are joined.

When a soldier or sailor or Coast Guardsman is lost, really killed in action, some men from the same service will put on their Class A uniforms and two of them will go to the address of the soldier who has been killed to notify the next of kin.  When they drive up to the former soldier’s home, anyone inside will know what is coming.  One of the soldiers or sailors will identify the next of kin who resides at this particular address.  Having identified the next of kin or the person to be notified in the event of death, the soldier or sailor will then recite words along these lines: “We regret to inform you that your son or daughter has been killed in action.”  This really is an abbreviated version of what the soldier or sailor has to say.  It is a terrible sad duty.  But it certainly is better than the form of notification that occurred during World War II.

As I have mentioned, not everyone had a telephone in those days.  It was commonplace for the War Department (now the Defense Department) to send a telegram to notify the next of kin that a serviceman had been lost or killed in action.  As you might expect, the person’s neighbors would most likely see the Western Union messenger who was sent from the telegraph office to the home.  If my memory is anywhere close to correct, in World War II we lost or had killed in action some 420,000 men.  It is heart-rending to contemplate the loss of so many men.  But consider the Russians or even the Germans, whose killed-in-action number ran in excess of two or three million people each.

I believe that you can see why veterans such as myself hold no brief for the Second Amendment champions who wish for us to engage in further wars.  The simple fact is that wars kill people, such as my friends from St. Louis.

But now let us get back to the contemplation and pensive mood that visit me on every Memorial Day.  In 1941 subsequent to December 7, we were engaged in hostilities with Germany, Japan, and Italy.  As I have reported to you in earlier essays, there were two young men of about 26 or 27 years who sat next to me in the St. Louis offices of AT&T.  These men were David Weiss and Bernie Wheeler.  Apparently they belonged to an Army Reserve unit and shortly after hostilities took place, they were summoned to duty.  As it turned out, Bernie Wheeler was killed somewhere in the Pacific theater.  Communications were such that we never really knew where all of this happened.  Not long after that, say in March of 1942, came the terrible news that David Weiss, our great and good friend who sat along side of me, was also killed.  On that occasion, we were brought the bad news by David Weiss Sr.  The senior David Weiss worked in the telegraph department of AT&T.  When he walked into our office, we knew that something terrible had happened.  Dave Weiss said simply that he and his wife “received the telegram last night.”

That message of course came from the War Department and it said, “We regret to inform you…”  In all of my life, I have never seen a more defeated man than David Weiss Sr.  He had lost his only son and there was nothing to be done about it.  That was nearly 70 years ago and the pain of David Weiss Sr. speaking to us has never left my mind.  This may have been one of the saddest occasions in my young life.  I believe that at that time I was 19 years of age.

Before the war was finished, there were two more “We regret to inform you…” messages to be sent to bereaved relatives in St. Louis, one having to do with Don Meier and the second having to do with my former boss, Ashby Vaughan.

As you know, there were four men lost from the St. Louis office. There were Don Meier, Bernie Wheeler, Dave Weiss, and Ashby Vaughan.  The death of those men has been on my mind continually.  When Memorial Day rolls around, I think of them with greater intensity.  They were such good men.  I regret to tell you that their lives were marked by the arrival of a telegram to the home of their parents or, in one case – Ashby’s case, of his wife, saying that, “We regret to inform you…”  I am certain that my mood will improve tomorrow, as it has always done.  But those guys – Ashby, Don, Bernie, and Dave – have a special place in my memory.

The next time a politician says that we should bomb Iran or take some other hostile action; I want you to remember that there are real people getting killed.  It may be that the actions in World War II were justified.  At least I must have thought so, because I volunteered for service in that war.  But can you imagine what goes through the minds of the widows or the mothers and fathers who receive a notice from the War Department, that is now called the Department of Defense, that says, “…your son has been killed in action.”

In the invasion of Iraq, we lost 4500 soldiers.  It was the most unnecessary war in which we have ever been engaged and we have the likes of George W. Bush and Dick Cheney to thank for it.  As I have said, my contemplative mood will probably change tomorrow.  But for the rest of my life, I will still think of Bernie, Don, Ashby, and Dave.  I sincerely regret that in three cases a mother and a father, and in the fourth case a wife, were required to receive the saddest of all telegrams which says, “We regret to inform you that your son or daughter…”


May 28, 2012

Essay 664


Kevin’s commentary: it is difficult to imagine how impossibly difficult it would be to give or receive this news. I am thankful that none of my friends or relatives are currently engaged in active combat and I very much hope that that remains the case.


It is fortunate that during World War II, a good many of the Allies spoke English.  Of course there were the Brits, who included the Scots, the Irish, and the Welsh.  Then there were the Australians and the Canadians.  All of them spoke English.  My thought here today is to recognize the forms of address, basically of military origin.

In the American military there was a common form of address when the speakers did not know each other, which was often.  For better or worse, the form of address was “Joe.”  No one took offense at this and it was widely used.  Nobody knows who Joe was.  He was widely recognized in the form of address used by GIs in World War II.

The British form of address was always “mate.”  When an American for example would question an English or a Canadian or an Australian soldier, he would address him as “mate.”  It always seemed to me that “mate” was a lovely term and its use should be expanded.

When the English, Canadians, or Australians wished to address us, more often than not they would use the term “hey, Yank.”  For better or worse, I thought the use of the term “Yank” was equally pleasant.  I liked it.

Then there were the forms of address that have to do with several people.  In the American Army, several people would be referred to as “GIs,” meaning “government issue.”  In the British Army, and to an extent in the Canadian and Australian armies, the term would be “blokes.”  The term “blokes” still strikes an affectionate mood in my heart.

A good many of the “blokes” and guys and “GIs” never lived to welcome in the year 2012.  I have no military instincts in my body.  Indeed, I think militarism has a long way to go.  On the other hand, it gives me some comfort to remember the forms of address used by the English-speaking soldiers.  There was “bloke” and “Yank” and, most of all, “mate.”  I have no way of knowing whether those terms are in common use in the military of today.  But if I were addressed by a person saying, “Hey, Yank,” I would regard it as a great compliment.  And so I say at this point mates, it is time to retire this essay.

Before doing so, my general outlook on life would be improved during an English, Scottish, Irish, or Australian saying, “Hey, Yank, thanks for the use of your spanner.”  A spanner is a wrench.



May 24, 2012

Essay 661


Kevin’s commentary:

So, I think etymology is a pretty neat subject. Couldn’t read this essay without wondering why on earth we are called “Yankees”

Courtesy of

1683, a name applied disparagingly by Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (New York) to English colonists in neighboring Connecticut. It may be from Du. Janke, lit. “Little John,” dim. of common personal name Jan; or it may be from Jan Kes familiar form of “John Cornelius,” or perhaps an alteration of Jan Kees, dialectal variant of Jan Kaas, lit. “John Cheese,” the generic nickname the Flemings used for Dutchmen.

It originally seems to have been applied insultingly to the Dutch, especially freebooters, before they turned around and slapped it on the English. A less-likely theory is that it represents some southern New England Algonquian language mangling of English. In English a term of contempt (1750s) before its use as a general term for “native of New England” (1765); during the American Revolution it became a disparaging British word for all American native or inhabitants. Shortened form Yank in reference to “an American” first recorded 1778.

If that’s correct, you really have to hand it to the Dutch and English for taking disparaging terms that applied to them and successfully turning them onto other groups.


At the moment, I am involved with this essay on the horns of a modest dilemma.  The dilemma has to do with the Republican Party whose candidate in the year 2012 in all likelihood will be Mitt Romney.

As it turns out Mitt Romney is a Mormon.  This may be hard to be believed in this day and age but the Mormons believe that there is a spirit world floating around somewhere in the universe.  I have had trouble comprehending the angels of the Christian faith.  Now it appears that, if Mr. Romney is elected, we will have to deal with the Church of Latter Day Saints spirit world.

As my readers know, I am a total non-believer in religious affairs.  I do not envisage that at Armageddon the graves of my parents will open and they will emerge dancing.  That is a bad mistake I made in my effort to be all-inclusive because the fact is that my parents never danced one step in their lives.  It was against their religion.

But here we are, about to witness the campaign of Mitt Romney, who was a bishop in the Mormon church.  From what I have been led to believe and what I have read in the newspapers, it appears that the spirit world is a lively place to be.   Apparently the Mormons have an obsession about the Jews.  Quite recently the Mormons were accused of reading the obituaries of Jews and in some way converting them to Mormonism.  I hope that you will forgive the ignorance on my part as to how a dead person is converted.  But that is the fact of the matter.  I must be a terrible reader because as a non-believer it would appear that my soul or spirit or whatever would be a prime target for the Mormons to come after.  Can you imagine the singing and dancing that would occur if old Ezra, a complete non-believer, were to be converted to Mormonism after the expiration of my life in this vale of tears?  But if the Mormons can convert dead Jews to be among their faithful, I can only presume that it is a matter of time until they come after those of us who are non-believers.

So much for personal concerns about my thoughts and non-beliefs.  My basic point in this essay has to do with my mother who was an ardent Christian and who also chewed Copenhagen snuff.  If the Mormons ever attempt to convert my mother who expired in 1961, they should be aware of her habit of chewing snuff.  This inquiry is being made by a dutiful son who wishes to preserve his mother in the spirit world of the Mormons.  I know about the Mormon beliefs as to alcoholic beverages but I am wondering at this moment if the Mormons prohibit the chewing of snuff for those who are still alive and more importantly if they disapprove of chewing snuff in the spirit world.

I know that this may appear to be an esoteric question but I want my mother to have the very best of everything as she enters the Mormon spirit world.

The snuff that was chewed by my mother was called Copenhagen Snuff.  I am at a total loss to explain how this snuff had anything to do with the capital of Denmark.  But the fact is that the leading brand of snuff here in this country is called Copenhagen Snuff.

If there was anything that could turn a young man off from chewing snuff, it was the need to expectorate fairly frequently as the snuff was chewed.  In my own estimation, chewing snuff is as unsanitary as you can get.  But the fact of the matter is that in all of her nearly 80 years Lillie Belle Carr chewed snuff as did at least one of her sisters.

Really, what I want to know is whether, after her death and subsequent conversion to Mormonism, snuff would be available for my mother’s consumption.  I might wish to understand where those in the spirit world could spit. Presumably those in the spirit world could spit and it would be burned up on its long great voyage toward Earth.  But as a dutiful son, this is a question that troubles me before any conversion attempts are made to convert my mother to Mormonism.

A transient thought at this point is whether Mormons try to make use of the warring factions in the Vatican City to convert.  I know that the world of Jewry has been the object of Mormon conversion attempts.  Why not turn this to the factions of the Vatican that don’t seem to be able to get along?  As I said, this is just a transient thought.

But my final thought is that Lillie Belle Carr is going to be a tough nut to crack for the Mormon apostles.  Even if they offered her a tub full of snuff to chew, my guess is that they would be told to go peddle their papers to someone else.

All of this leads us to watch the Presidential race as it unfolds, particularly with respect to Mormon beliefs.  For myself, I can only conclude that after my expiration here in this vale of tears the Mormons will make an attempt to convert me to their faith.  When that happens, I would like to know whether they would break out some champagne to celebrate this victory and I would also like to know whether champagne goes well with snuff.



May 28, 2012

Essay 663




Kevin’s Commentary:

Wait, wait, posthumous conversions are a thing?

Doesn’t that mean I don’t have to pay attention to Pascal’s Wager anymore? I mean not that said wager wasn’t utterly stupid in the first place, but now even if you buy it then everything’s fine. For those unfamiliar, the basic idea is that if you can either choose to believe or not believe in god, then you should default to belief because you get saved forever if you’re right and nothing happens if you’re wrong; conversely nonbelief leads to nothing happening if you’re right, and eternal damnation if you’re wrong.

There are uncountably many problems with this type of reasoning. I think the last time someone mentioned it to me was at dinner at a debate tournament in highschool, and I believe I was on argument six when the other guy decided that the discussion should be finished. But now, we can disregard all the standard problems, because if you can convert after you’re dead, we’re all set!

Here’s how I see it: get a clergy member of every religion that believes in some capacity of heaven or reincarnation. Have them come by cemeteries one at a time and convert the dead to Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, or whatever in turn.  Ostensibly only one of these religions is going to be true, because they’re pretty much all mutually exclusive, scripturally speaking.  So as soon as the correct religion’s representative posthumously converts me, my immortal soul should sort of poof into existence in heaven, at which point I have conscious thought again and can opt to remain a part of whatever religion turned out to be right. Or me and everybody else at my cemetery can send some sort of divine signal down to stop subsequent conversions.

The reason this subverts the aforementioned Wager is that you can live life how you feel is correct as opposed to how you have been instructed to live by a given ancient scripture, but then you can still get the benefits of eternal salvation provided you can get someone to posthumously convert you, which shouldn’t be all too hard.



One of the most interesting features of the English language, or I suppose of many other languages as well, has to do with the term, oxymoron.  The word is taken from the Greek words for sharp and dull.  The definition is a figure of speech in which two incongruous or contradictory words exist side by side.  For example, in one case we might use the term “deafening silence.”  Another oxymoron would be a “mournful optimist.”  Others would be “found missing,” “alone together,” “old news,” or, to use a term from out of my past, “awful good.”  As you can see, oxymorons have always had a special place in my mind or, if you will, in my heart.  To be frank, I don’t know what in the hell the oxymoron is doing in my heart, but there it is.

There might be one more oxymoronic definition.  That would be when the batter hits the ball out of the park and slides into second base.

But when push comes to shove, the following thought about old age is the exemplar of understanding.  The oxymoronic thought that is expressed in this sentence is a classic.  It would be, “growing old gracefully is the ultimate oxymoron of the English language.”

I would like to assure those who are looking forward to the golden years that the gold has become tin.  When asked how we are getting along, all of us oldsters can say, “Pretty good” or “Just fine.”  But the facts are somewhat different.  Growing old gracefully involves the sacrifice of the things we used to do without effort but now come at a heavy cost.  But as an example of the absurdity of a long life, I can think of no better thought than that growing old gracefully is the ultimate oxymoron of the English language.  If this thought can be successfully translated into other tongues, I suspect that the outcome will be identical.  But growing old gracefully seems to hit the oxymoron target squarely in the middle.



May 14, 2012

Essay 657



Kevin’s commentary: Per usual, I don’t get Pop’s baseball analogies. No surprises. there.  I think this is the shortest essay we’ve had on the site to date. I wonder if the number of essays per year dedicated to aging increases as Pop ages. Once I’ve read all seven hundred, I’ll try to report back.




I have never been known for clear thinking on ecclesiastical matters.  As a matter of fact, I am perhaps the last one to catch on to the fact that God is a Republican.  I could have deduced that from my own reasoning, but a cloud of uncertainty hung over my identifying the Republican Party and God.  All of that is gone now and I am here to say that without doubt, God is a Republican.  I could have and should have come to this conclusion much earlier but at least I have finally gotten it right.  The simple fact is that God is a Republican.

For the eight years that it took for George W. Bush to serve out his term, he made several references to God.  I should have known that his God-like references were inspired by the Holy Spirit.  But my mind refused to recognize the obvious.  During the 2004 campaign, George Bush made a speech to all the students of the Bob Jones University in South Carolina and seemed to wallow in righteousness there.  As an aside, Bob Jones University forbids interracial dating and it is obvious that dating between sexes is not contemplated by the Bible and thus is suspect.  I should have known that God is a Republican for the obvious reason that when George W. Bush elected to run for the Presidency, he claimed that the inspiration for such a move came solely from God.  Clearly the last person that God and George W. Bush would consult would be a non-believer like me.  But that does not alter the fact that it is clear that God is a full-fledged Republican.

All doubt was removed as I listened to the entreaties by the Republican candidates for the nomination in 2012.  It is clear from the utterances of such stalwarts as Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann, and several others that they had the endorsement of God himself.  I believe that there was one occasion or perhaps more when Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas, offered to pray for his nomination.  It is absolutely clear that Mrs. Bachmann is on the right side of this election which has celestial overtones.

Then there was the interesting case of Herman Cain, who was known previously for his involvement in making pizzas.  Herman Cain is blessed with a fine baritone voice, which he uses to sing spiritual songs.  It might also be noted that it is claimed that Mr. Cain was involved with several women simultaneously.  I am certain that these dalliances with these females come under the heading of righteous conversions.

Then there is the case of Rick Santorum.  Mr. Santorum is a former Senator from the great state of Pennsylvania.  He is also the advocate of boisterous Catholicism.  He points proudly to his six or seven children.  This establishes the fact that there were few instances when Mrs. Santorum used birth control.

Mr. Romney who will probably emerge as the nominee for the Republican Party has said very little on the religious front.  But his views are well-known and you may rest well-assured that Mr. Romney welcomes God into the ranks of the Republican Party.

This leaves two contenders for the Republican nomination.  For all intents and purposes Ron Paul is not a contender on the side of religion.  On the other hand, Newt Gingrich apparently has regular conversations with celestial powers.  He claims that God has forgiven him for the three divorces that have occurred.   Apparently God does not issue vouchers when a divorce is forgiven but in any event Newt Gingrich must be in constant communication with the top person in the universe because of his indiscretions in marital relationships.

I would have known that God is a Republican if I had studied the writings or warnings of Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell.  One or both of these pastors claimed that the manifestation of the hurricane that nearly killed New Orleans resulted from the nakedness of the female breasts during the Mardi Gras parade that year.  It now becomes clear to me that the candidates for the Republican nomination would not have undertaken such a major operation without approval of God.  And it should have been clear to me that Hurricane Katrina, which almost wiped out New Orleans, was a result of the showing of the female breasts during the Mardi Gras parade that year.  I don’t know how I could have been so dumb.

Now in the Republican chase for the nomination, Ron Paul has made so little noise that you might suspect that he is not a Christian at all.  Mr. Paul claims that he is a libertarian, which goes to explain his lack of action on the religious front.  Mr. Romney could probably be excused because he spent a year in France whipping up support for the Mormon Church.  Mr. Romney spent his year abroad seeking converts to the Mormon faith.  I would suspect that very few French are Mormons because of their desire to drink wine.  Wine of course is forbidden to Mormons.  But we must point out that God has election returns at his fingertips and he knows that Mormons are only a small part of the American electorate.

One more thing comes to mind having to do with language.  I suppose that when God speaks with Pat Robertson or Jerry Falwell or any of the Republican candidates, the language that is used is English.  Two thousand years ago, the proper language was Aramaic.  I am wondering now who will take credit for teaching God English so that he can support Republican candidates.  The Republicans, as you will recall, are dead set on everybody learning English.

As you can see, the news that God is a Republican has finally become evident to this non-believer.  Everyone else knew that God was a Republican and I suspect that that [sic] news was kept from me because of my religious views.  But now everyone knows and I cannot wait to hear the confidences explained to God by the operatives of the Republican Party.  So I will await the developments in November, realizing that the righteous path is always the path of the Republican Party.  I do not know how I could have been so ignorant over the years.



May 5, 2012

Essay 651



God/Satan theme for the day.  I’m actually really looking to pushing into the Bush administration years, just to see the sheer volume of essay criticizing him.

As for who taught God English, I suppose the only logical answer is Joseph Smith, who traded god a dictionary when he received his golden plates.



Those of you who follow the news from abroad or, more specifically, from Vatican City may be aware that the Pope’s butler is in a heap of trouble. Apparently the Pope’s butler, who has access to the body of His Holiness, was alleged to be the person who has leaked salacious gossip to the Italian press.  If my understanding is halfway correct, the Pope directs an army of high-level workers in Vatican City.  There are those who think that with the ecclesiastical calling of the Pope and his brethren, there would be no gossip.  But apparently that is not the case at all.

But now let me give you some background which comes from years of watching developments inItaly.  As anyone might suspect, the staff at all levels in Vatican Cityare Italians.  This is fine with me, but there is no love lost between the Italians and the Germans.  And His Holiness happens to be German.  I am a pious observer in that I was the recipient of hospitality and warmth on the occasion of my escape from the German prisoner-of-war camp during World War II.  If anyone is interested, those events were recorded in an essay called, “They Never Betrayed Me.”

But that was nearly 70 years ago and we have a new crop of prelates manning the forts in the Vatican City.

Now, as a matter of full disclosure, in my estimation the Vatican City/state is not a city or a state at all.  It is merely the headquarters for the Roman Catholic faith.  Somehow, the United States treats Vatican City as though it were a full-fledged state.  It even appoints an ambassador there.  If I were President, which I am not, one of my first moves would be to incorporate whatever we had to do with the Vatican into the job description of the Ambassador to Rome.

But the facts are, basically, that the full staff of the Vatican is populated by Italians.  This seems to me to be just fine, in that I am not a Catholic nor am I Italian either.  However, in recent weeks the press has noticed clear signs of infighting among the officials of Vatican City.  I hesitate to mention this to my readers, many of whom are Catholics, but what takes place in the Vatican is not necessarily all a matter of love and happiness.  Apparently there is a title of Secretary of State in the Vatican which is a powerful position but also one in which a good bit of controversy resides.  In recent months, it has become clear that someone inside the Vatican is feeding stories to the press which are critical of other people, including the Secretary of State and the Pope as well.

As it turns out, I know a little bit about Italian affairs. What we have here in the Vatican is an organization presided over by a chairman, the Pope.   One way or another Joseph Ratzinger, who was the head man of the former office of the inquisition, welcomed all of the cardinals to Rome when there was a Pope to be picked.  As I said, I am not a Catholic but I said at the time that it would be my guess that Ratzinger would wind up being the Pope.  And in fact that is exactly what happened.  It was a lot like the situation in 2000 when George W. Bush asked Dick Cheney to help him find a vice president.  You may be surprised to know that in the end, Mr. Cheney offered himself as the very best bet to be the vice president. I suspect that the same thing happened when the Cardinals were in Rome to pick the next Pope.

But it is clear now that tranquility does not obtain in the affairs of Vatican City.  There are jealousies.  No matter how you cut it, there was a mole at the highest level inVatican City.

This may account for the recent attacks on American Catholic nuns.  The nuns, who go by the name of “women religious,” are an organization of some 60,000 and they are an easy target for the prelates who govern the affairs of Vatican City.  They are accused of being sufficiently irreligious because they are not following the dictates of the Vatican right down to the last tee.  It seems to me that when there is a controversy, rather than dealing with the controversy, the tendency is in Vatican City to attack someone else.  Sinners like myself are accustomed to being so attacked.  But for the love of Mike, I cannot figure out why Ratzinger and the rest of the high muckety-mucks of the Catholics would go after American nuns.

This is a moving story and I suspect that several more chapters are left to be laid out.  The mole, as we understand it, now appears to be the Pope’s butler.  Apparently he has saved some letters or correspondence which reflect poorly on such people as the Vatican Secretary of State.  But this is an unfolding story and unless someone tries to stop it, I suspect it will be sort of a salacious story as well.

This essay has gone a bit off track in view of the fact that the author intended for it to question whether the Pope had worn a tee shirt, shorts, and flip-flops.  When I could see, I never saw the Pope in anything but ceremonial garb.  Apparently he has a personal butler who is in charge of picking out his garb for the day. What I was wondering was whether the Pope, who is Joseph Ratzinger, ever permitted himself to wear tee shirts, short shorts, and flip-flops.  I know a little bit about the weather inRomeduring the summer months and it can be quite warm.  Judging by photographs of the Pope, he always seems to have a heavy robe around him.  Now I would like to ask a very impertinent question.  Does the Pope sweat?  If he wears those elaborate costumes during the summer months in Rome, he must sweat.  On the other hand, the Pope may have a de-sweating device concealed under those monstrous robes.

Now that the butler to the Pope has been identified as the mole, do you think that he will be purged?  If he is so purged, is there an ecclesiastical penalty that goes with his purging?  Would he be required to spend an inordinate amount of time in Purgatory before he reaches the heavenly gates?  These are questions to be answered.  We do not know the answers at the moment.  But I am studying them.

Now as we wind up this essay, I am struck by the same thought that must have occurred to theologians at the time of the Protestant Reformation.  On this occasion, my thoughts go back to October 31, in the year 1517, when Martin Luther found that the Pope was selling indulgences, which exonerated people from sin.  If I may be excused for this thought, it seems to me that there are those in the Vatican who somehow never became aware of the Protestant Reformation which took place more than 500 years ago.  They don’t want to recall Martin Luther’s “Ninety-Five Theses” that were nailed to the door of a church at Wittenburg.

I do not know why, when I started out to write about the question of whether the Pope ever wears tee shirts or flip-flops, I was distracted to a discussion of other matters.  I can only conclude that this is a matter of divine intervention and I am simply the instrument through which this divine intervention has occurred.  If that is the case, I would submit to the head man that he had better keep me around for a while so that more divine interventions may be brought to the attention of the readers of Ezra’s essays.



May 28, 2012




Pop follows Vatican affairs more closely than most Catholics I know. I have begun to suspect that he does this simply so that he does not miss out on a good opportunity to mock them.


I am well aware of the fact that the three essayettes to follow may be called a trio of essayettes.  But I have elected not to do that.  I have elected to call them a polygamy of essayettes.


There is nothing wrong with trio or, if there is a fourth essay, calling it a quartette.  What I am trying to do is to broaden the definition of polygamy which at the moment is confined to the Mormon Church.  An examination of the definition of polygamy seems to say that when men and women have multiple spouses, it is called polygamy.  But that is a grave misnomer because there is no record of women acquiring multiple husbands.  The bigger intent seems to be when men acquire multiple wives, as in the case of the Mormons.  What I am trying to do is to bring back the definition of polygamy to include several somethings, whether it is wives or essayettes.  This seems to me to be a noble pursuit and I will ask my friend Sven Lernevall of Stockholm, Sweden to submit it for a prize from the Nobel Committee.


The first essayette has to do with Evangelical Protestant churches in this country addressing fellow worshippers as “sister” and “brother.”  In the beginning, my parents attended Southern Baptist churches, Pentecostal churches, Nazarene churches, and, finally, there was an interlude when we attended the Free Will Baptist Church.  As I have told you before, when I was a small boy my parents compelled me to attend these churches and I loathed every moment of the experience.

But there is one thing that I brought away from this churchly experience.  These four churches or congregations generally referred almost exclusively to each other as brothers and sisters.  It made no difference whether the congregants were on speaking terms with the brothers and sisters.  Typically in these churches, the pastor was addressed as “brother.”  In those days of the late 1920s and 1930s, there were no such things as female pastors.  I suppose that the church goers wished to underline their plebian roots.

In these churches there were absolutely no aristocratic tendencies at all.  In the uptown churches, the preacher was uniformly called a doctor of some sort.  I am speaking here about the Protestant churches with no reference whatsoever to the Catholic or Jewish faiths.  My thought was that the brother of the flock in worshipping and the congregants would always refer to each other as brother and sister.

That was not a total loss for me personally.  In my case I find that over the years I have often used the term “brother” in the course of a conversation.  It comes very naturally to me.  At one supermarket, the manager of the fish division is a Haitian.  His name is Yves.  Somehow or other, Yves and I hit it off immediately.  I suspect that the reason was that in our first encounter he referred to me as “brother.”  In non-church situations such as the encounter with Yves, I am very happy to be referred to as “brother.”

So you see that as I have gone through this long life, I suppose that I have retained one of the customs of my former days as an unwilling participant in church services.  During my long career with AT&T, there was a man whom I detested intensely.  He came nearly at the end of my career with AT&T and he carried the reputation as a back-stabber.  I found him to be all of that.

However, he frequently used the term “brother.”  I never returned that designation to that colossal fraud.  But he was an anomaly and all things considered I have no objection to the use of the terms “brother” and “sister.”   For the record, I have never used the term “sister” referring to a female.  But if the indictment is that I have used the term “brother,” I plead guilty on all counts.


For the second essayette, let us go to the issue of multiple homes.  For a time, I was an associate of a gentleman who had a home in the Poconos and a second home in Myrtle Beach.  It seems to me that having two homes to take advantage of climate differences is acceptable.  However this gentleman – and he was a gentleman – complained that whenever he was missing an important paper it was always in the other home.  That must have been a turn-off for him.  In my case, I have lived in only a single residence at a time.

On the other hand, wealthy individuals seem to regard it as a status symbol to have several residences.  The reason here is that one of the Democratic contenders for the Presidency had at least four or five homes.  He was the man who married into the fortune of the Heinz Foundation, so I give him a very small pass.  John Kerry was his name.  On the other hand, John McCain was asked about his homes situation and he could not really remember.  I believe that Senator McCain and his wife had 11 homes.  The current contender for the Republican nomination is a gentleman named Mitt Romney who is a bit of a piker in that he only owns four or five homes.

When the dust has settled, I really have no objection to people owning multiple homes.  On the other hand, it has not occurred to me in this long life that I needed a second or third or fourth home.  Can you imagine what Senator McCain or the Democratic contender who had five or six homes would do if he lost an important piece of paper?  For example in the case of Mitt Romney, he seems to own houses in New Hampshire and/or California.  What would he do if a piece of paper were lost?  Would he have to visit each of his homes in an effort to locate that piece of paper?

Those are my thoughts on multiple homes.  I have never seen the need to invest in a second or third or fourth home.  The fact of the matter is that I could not afford the second, third or fourth home.  But I remain baffled as to why someone needs four or five homes.  I suppose that it makes cocktail chatter interesting to say that I lost my piece of paper either in New Hampshire or California etc.  But I am not into the cocktail circuit chatter and I will let the matter rest as to why people need multiple residences.


And now we turn and finally we come to the matter of different shoes.    For several years I have bought sneakers from a place called The  Sneaker Factory.  It is an unpretentious place on the main street of Millburn, New Jersey.  The clerks at the Sneaker Factory seem to know what they are doing.

I have observed that the cost of the sneakers in the years that I have been buying them has gone from about $45 to more than $90.

When my last pair of sneakers, which I use on the treadmill and in all of my exercise activities, began to show signs of wear, I visited the Sneaker Factory one more time.  The Sneaker Factory had ordered me a pair of size 13½ sneakers, which I needed because the older sneakers were pinching my toes.  Unbeknownst to me, the last pair of sneakers I bought were highly decorative.  As you know, I am blind so one pair of sneakers is very much like another one.  In this case, the man at the Sneaker Factory sold me a pair of sneakers that must be something to celebrate.  As best as I can determine, the sneakers have brilliant red soles and the upper shoe is fairly extravagant with a few colors.  But red is the predominant color of the trim.  Mind you, all of this makes no difference to me as to the color situation because I see nothing.

The first day I wore the new sneakers, I accompanied my wife, Miss Chicka, on a shopping expedition to the Whole Foods store located in this town.  I am acquainted with a good number of the people who work there.  None of them had much to say until, at the end of our visit, we talked with Alrick S, an old friend.  I am not quite sure about Alrick’s position with the Whole Foods Corporation.  He seems to be a clerk of some magnitude.  When he saw me with brand new sneakers, he simply said, “Those are pimp shoes!”  My only retort was that if I was wearing pimp shoes, when would I start getting paid like a pimp?

But that was not the end of the story.  There was Jackie, a husky woman, who appeared on the scene.  Jackie is a long-time friend and when Alrick pointed to my new shoes, she agreed that they were, in fact, pimp shoes.  She advised me that I should take them home and cut them into small pieces and throw the pimp shoes away.  Jackie is a very good friend and I hesitated to tell her that I would do no such thing.

As for Alrick, he is a Jamaican.  He served in the Jamaican army and was stationed in Great Britain.  Over the years, I have questioned Alrick about the Jamaican army’s method of saluting which involves a sidewise gesture which could result in inserting the thumb into the ear of the soldier saluting.  I have never contended that our forces were superior because of their method of saluting.

Nevertheless, old Alrick still contends that I should rid myself of the pimp shoes.  In that quest, he is joined by Jackie.

I hope that you can see that I treasure my friendship with Alrick  and with Jackie.  They are real people and I suspect that if I were in trouble, they would be among the first to come to my aid.  But on this Sunday afternoon, I am clad in my pimp shoes.  I will continue to wear them until I get paid like a regular pimp.

And so we come to the end of this polygamy of essayettes.  I should have warned you at the beginning that none of them had any relation to the ones that followed them.  Each one stands on its own.  But more than anything else, I hope that you will use the term polygamy to identify things that come in multiples.  I should have told Alrick and Jackie that I was going to buy two more of the pimp shoes so that I could use the term polygamy.


And so I leave you with three essayettes which I hope that you will find inspiring.  If at the end you find them uninspiring, you can go to the Millburn Whole Foods Market and consult with Alrick and Jackie.  I am quite certain that you will come away from that conversation inspired or at least laughing.  You should also go to the Sneaker Factory and try to find some pimp shoes for yourself.



May 13, 2012

Essay 655



A long essay, clocking in at 1800 words, so it’s the only one I’ll upload today. I’m wondering if I should change some names to protect the innocent, so to speak. Judy tells me that that will become necessary sometimes if I am to continue uploading these, and I see no problem with that.

I also wonder if, now that Pop has a way of broadcasting his thoughts to the whole entire internet, his suggestions for additions to commonly-used English will take off. I certainly hope they will.