Archive for the Short Category


I have just finished dictating a small essayette on husbands in a homosexual arrangement referring to each other as my husband. From that point it is logical to proceed to the Mormon practice of polygamy. As a means of getting Utah into the United States, the Mormons were forbidden to take multiple wives in the practice of polygamy.

I have never understood the doctrine of polygamy. In the Muslim faith, I believe that each man is entitled to four wives. The issue of polygamy lives on. When Osama bin Laden was killed, he had at least two of his wives on the premises.

But in the interest of fair play, what is wrong with women having multiple husbands? Man has practiced polygamy for years, but, again, in the interest of fair play, one should believe that religion or some custom should dictate multiple husbands for each woman.

This is a suggestion which I believe will not be taken seriously by the powers that be, but I think it has a great deal of merit. I do not buy the argument on the right wing that marriage is between one man and one woman. We can accept the practice of homosexual relationships. What would be wrong with a woman having multiple husbands? I am not interested in a confrontation over this point but it seems to me that in the interest of fair play, females have a right to contend that they are being unfairly treated. For myself, I have one wife and she has one husband. It suits both of us pretty good. I believe that the idea of multiple husbands is a thought that is worthy of consideration. Significantly, I do not believe that any religious organization would take up the cause. Apparently, the idea that multiple wives or polygamy is practiced may draw some shame from the religious authorities. But in any case, the final analysis seems to be that one wife and one husband is the ideal arrangement. That is all well and good, but even here, my vocabulary is so limited that I would not be able to find a term for multiple husbands. And so I leave you there on this essayette, pondering whether the idea of multiple husbands is worthwhile.

August 15, 2011


Very egalitarian, per usual.

Worth noting: this essayette was not completely finalized, and I think that deserves a disclaimer. Pop may not have been happy with me for publishing something that wasn’t completely up to his standards, but I think it was worth putting on the site regardless, because the message is good. There are a lot of double standards out there, and the very fact that the word “polyamory” (just meaning ‘many loves’) generally will first bring to mind a one-man-multiple-women scenario means that it’s worth questioning this sort of thing.

Here’s the unfinished section in particular; I redacted the second sentence. If anyone can guess what he meant and could fill in the word in question, that’d be very appreciated!
I have never understood the doctrine of polygamy. I am certain that capsites (?) meaning multiple wives are legion. In the Muslim faith, I believe that each man is entitled to four wives. The issue of polygamy lives on. When Osama bin Laden was killed, he had at least two of his wives on the premises.


At this late juncture in a long life, it must be observed that this country in 2003 is much more divided now than at any time in my memory. The bulk of the blame goes to George Bush whom the Supreme Court anointed as president. Bush caters to the basest elements of the Christian faith. When he signed the bill recently on so-called partial birth, his audience included Jerry Falwell, the most obnoxious preacher in captivity anywhere. Along side Falwell was Cardinal Egan of New York who has barely escaped so far, the law in Boston which resulted in the resignation of his former boss, Cardinal Law. There were two strident right-wing radio personalities reminiscent of Rush Limbaugh in the Bush photograph. In another photo opportunity, Bush was surrounded by Congressional legislators which caused the Newsweek writer Anna Quindlan to observe that there was not a womb in the house. In all of Bush’s bowing to his religious supporters, there were no African-American people, no Jews or representatives of the Hindu or Muslim faiths. This, my friends, was a show exclusively for his right wing Christian followers. And this was the candidate who preached that he would unite fractures in the American body politic.

When Anna Quindlan says there was “not a womb in the house,” it might also be pointed out that no veteran sits at the highest levels of government, let alone a combat veteran. What Bush knows about war must have come from movies. He doesn’t read books or newspapers, so his idea of combat comes from Hollywood, I suppose. Sad, sad business.

Interesting one! Not a real essay from the looks of things — I wonder if this was the start of another piece, a letter, or what. God knows what Pop would have to say about Trump. Maybe he’s a unifier, in that people of both parties are starting to see his insanity for what it is, and come together in opposition?


My essay writing these days has now reached somewhere in excess of two hundred. In perhaps four or five of those essays, I have commented about women. That is not a surprising development in view of the fact that my mother was a woman, my wife is a woman, my daughters are women, my sisters were women as well as my aunts and my nieces. During a long career with AT&T, I was associated with thousands of traffic operators in St. Louis, Kansas City, Chicago, New York, and Philadelphia. Throughout my career as a working person, women, including my secretaries, have been there to help me. Whatever success I may have achieved is attributable largely to women.

You may recall an essay I wrote some time back which started with the first verse of “The Waggoneer’s Lad.” The verse goes:

“Hard luck is the fortune of all womankind,
They’re always controlled, they’re always confined,
Controlled by their parents until they are wives,
And slaves to their husbands for the rest of their lives.”

My problem has to do with the final line in that first verse. There may be husbands who demand that their wives be slaves, but in the final analysis, it appears to me that there are simply not enough husbands to go around. If we were speaking about the era of World War II, it would be easier to understand in that more than 400,000 men lost their lives in that war. These would have been 400,000 potential husbands and fathers. But in the ensuing years of perhaps five or six decades, there seem to be women of all kinds who are not finding the husbands to wed. I am not in the matrimonial business but I mourn for the thought that there are so many loving women who would like to be wed and are unable to find a willing and acceptable suitor.

Perhaps it is like “The Waggoneer’s Lad” says in the first line, that hard luck is the fortune of all womankind. That is not the way it should be. Everybody should have a chance at happiness and I deeply regret that so many women are denied that opportunity. If that makes me a bleeding heart liberal, so be it.

So you see that as time goes forward, my sentiments are entirely in favor of womankind, which is not only wise but equitable as well. In time, it is my hope that we can do something about the unfairness toward women suggested by “The Waggoner’s Lad.” If we can bring democracy to the Middle East, we surely ought to be able to provide a level playing field for the women of this county.

July 23, 2006
Essay 202
Kevin’s commentary: I don’t think it makes him a bleeding heart liberal, it just makes him a feminist. That’s a good thing. Absolutely nothing in this essay is unreasonable. That said, things are consistently moving in the right direction lately.


These are transient thoughts; there is no continuity between one thought and the other. Now one of these transient thoughts has to do with baseball. For many years, Sunday afternoon professional baseball was banned. So you can imagine the thoughts that would go through a believer’s mind as he encountered a team nicknamed the Angels.

As a matter of fact, this year, the team that was defeated by the New York Yankees before they became the top team in the American League was called The Los Angeles Angels. But no one seems to have noticed.

A few years back, certainly within my lifetime, Sunday baseball was banned because of the serious damage to our souls. I can imagine that in those days when Sunday baseball was barred, a team nicknamed The Angels would have drawn condemnation from pulpits throughout this nation. Now we have The Angels playing baseball and we have The Devils playing hockey on a major league level. I can assure you that the end of the world is near and that Hell is our next stop.


A long time ago, I had a friend who worked for AT&T in St. Louis who went by the name of George Knickerbocker. George is the person who insisted that the word “miscellaneous” should be pronounced as “miss-kell-aneous.” He was serious about this stuff and at the end of the baseball season when the World Series was involved, George had an appellation for that series as well. He referred to that as the “world serious.” They don’t make them like George Knickerbocker was and, for all of his mispronunciations, I hope that he is still around.


Now we turn to the Afghans. In the run-off for the Afghan elections, one of the contestants was called Abdullah Abdullah. I have been missing a bet here that I could have run for office using the name of Ezra Ezra. How I could have missed a bet like that I will never know.


These days, I have depended heavily on the advice of preachers and other do-gooders. They have counseled me to quit thinking about girls, shacking up and one night stands. Now that my mind is free of those thoughts, I suggest that in the future, there will be more transient and random thoughts. As they occur to me, I will attempt to write them down so that they are not lost to the memory of man and may be shared with those who are hungry for random and transient thoughts.

November 2, 2009
Essay 419
Kevin’s commentary: I wonder if George has any relation to Bruce Knickerbocker, my Chinese teacher for several years.


Vladimir Putin, the head man in Russia, took his wife out to attend a ballet performance.  At the intermission, he was asked by a reporter, first, how he enjoyed the ballet and, secondly, if he was going to become divorced soon.  In a display of modesty for Vladimir Putin, he announced that he was indeed seeking a divorce from his wife who was standing by his side.

Most of the divorces in this country take place in a fit of anger.  But Mr. Putin was very matter of fact about his divorce.  There was no discussion about why the Putins had taken this course of action.  I suppose that these are subjects that the prevailing winds in Moscow tend to avoid.  The remarkable thing about it is that most divorces take place as a result of anger.  What is perhaps reassuring in the Putin divorce is that it is taking place in a sea of civility.

The fact of the matter is that Vladimir Putin and his wife appeared in public to announce a very painful decision that they did intend to be divorced.  I sincerely hope that Mrs. Putin is monetarily covered adequately in the divorce settlement.  But no matter how this is sliced, the fact is that Vladimir Putin and his wife appeared jointly at the ballet performance and announced that they were indeed heading for the divorce court.  Perhaps the Russians are setting a model for future divorces.

I do not know whether there is another woman involved or whether Mrs. Putin has her eye on a settlement.  Both matters are beyond my inquiry.  So I will let it go with the thought that Vladimir Putin invites his wife to attend a ballet performance with him and uses that event to announce that he intends to divorce her.  Perhaps the Russians have something here.  If everything is going as smoothly as it seems to be, I would say, “Hurray for Vladimir Putin and his wife ending their marriage in a sea of civility.”  If that is true, I applaud the Putins.  But if it is not true, as many facts from Russia seem to be, I apologize.  But it may be a model for those who do not love their spouses anymore. May I state that this seems to be a matter of great civility with both sides attending a performance of the ballet to announce that she was being pushed.  Who would have thought that the Russians would ever be full of civility in matters of the heart?

June 11, 2013

Essay 750


The various commentaries on countries is one of the things that I can never quite figure out with some of Ezra’s Essays. For instance there is nothing that strikes me as surprising when it comes to Russians displaying civility.

If we believe the Kremlin then the whole thing was not staged, but let’s be honest here it seems like if it weren’t staged then he would not have answered.


When I had an exalted position with AT&T, I would refer baffling questions to my secretaries.  Three of those secretaries remain in touch and I would probably refer my current Father’s Day bafflement to them.  Those three are Althea Scheller, Pat Impellizari, and Lorraine Grant Murray.

My first bafflement has to do with the term, used quite often in news reports, “some skin in the game.”  When this expression is used, my mind automatically goes to circumcision.  As best I can figure it out, “some skin in the game” means taking a risk.  If I were to bet against you in a poker game, I suppose I would have some skin in the game.  If, on the other hand, I were a soldier in Iraq and survived that experience, I might live to tell you of my work there which was backed up by my skin in the game because I had been there.  My three former secretaries are much more attuned to the thoughts of younger people, so I would refer that question to them.  But always remember that when I am told of “some skin in the game,” I think of circumcision.

My second thought has to do with a non-bafflement situation.  It has to do with the expression “a carbon copy.”  Those three former secretaries would have no trouble whatsoever with this question.  It used to be that when typewriters were used, a thin piece of carbon paper was placed between two sheets of paper; that is the way we made a second copy.  There were instances in which you were dictating a lengthy memo and having it typed.  It would be necessary for me to make a change or two, in which case the secretaries would have to erase or alter the four or five copies behind the original.  I knew that secretaries disliked doing this and I tried always to keep subsequent thoughts and alterations to a minimum.  But I wish it to be clear that “carbon copy” is not part of my Father’s Day bafflement.  I understand that term completely, even though it has gone out of fashion.  In addition to understanding “carbon copy,  I even understand what “Wite-out” means.

Now, as Father’s Day 2010 draws to a close, I ponder whether Tony Hayward is wondering whether he will have a job come the morrow.  It is fairly clear to me that old Tony has become a monstrous embarrassment to the BP Corporation.  The yacht racing that Tony enjoyed following his testimony and return to England is a complete bafflement that defies any logic.  My guess is that Tony, the Chief Executive Officer of BP, might consider locating his nearest office where he can enroll on the dole, as the English have it.  He testified that he made $6 million in his job as CEO last year, but I doubt if that will go on much longer.  The baffling question is why they have kept Tony Hayward on for so long.

And finally, can anybody explain to me what “spot on” means?  I hear commentators on radio and television using this term, but its meaning completely escapes me.

And so those are my bafflements this Sunday evening.  My former secretaries will read this essay and will conclude that old Ezra is as dense as ever.



June 20, 2010

Essay 467


Kevin’s commentary: I’m sorta glad that ol’ Tony has been off the map for a while. That guy was just a constant mess.

“Spot on” just means “exactly” or “precisely.” I think it comes from the same sentiment as hitting the nail on the head.

Finally with “skin in the game” I think football — the old pigskin. But I don’t know much about that either.


This essay should properly be called, because of its shortness, an essayette.  Cerumen is a reasonably important health problem and I would not want the shortness of this essay to detract from its importance.

If the truth were known, it would disclose that the proprietor of Ezra’s Essays is now prepared to throw its readers a curve ball.  Cerumen is, in point of fact, in common parlance called earwax.  I am a copious producer of cerumen or earwax, and I hope that the production of cerumen will continue until I become an angel.

I believe that the people who practice the art of ear, nose, and throat medicine will tell you that if earwax builds up, it will block your hearing.  I have also been told by physicians who practice that art that nothing should be inserted into the ear to remove the earwax.  Over the period of my long life, I have ignored that advice and have used hairpins and/or paperclips to remove the earwax as it builds up.  And my hearing continues to be normal.

A few years ago I went to the specialist of ear, nose, and throat at the Summit Medical Group because I thought that earwax was building up and impairing my hearing.  His assistant gave me an extensive test, which apparently I completed successfully.  The physician, when he looked at my ears and the results of the tests, said to me, “What are you doing here?”  In spite of the rough beginning to my interview with the physician, we became fairly good friends.  He agreed to clean out what he could find of the earwax that had been building up or so I thought.

In recent days, I have begun to be curious about cerumen or earwax.  There is no medical emergency of any kind but I pursued this subject purely out of curiosity.

The Mayo Clinic has a web site that should satisfy my curiosity.  Here is what the Mayo Clinic says.  The web site says that cerumen is healthy in normal amounts. It is a self-cleaning agent with protective lubrication and anti-bacterial properties.  The web site goes on to say that as we chew, the excessive amount of earwax is moved toward the outer ear, making it easy to remove.

So earwax is a lubricating device with anti-bacterial properties.  I did not know that earwax served such an important function.  When I remove my excessive earwax with my bobby pin, I will discard it with much more respect.

Well, this is a short essay which will be called an essayette.  The fact that it is so short will not detract from the importance of the topic.  And if I really threw you a curveball, I have few regrets because of the importance of this subject on health.  On top of that I expect that very few of you knew that the proper name for earwax was cerumen.  In that way, I have contributed to your cultural edification.



October 11, 2010

Essay 504


Kevin’s commentary: Pop’s expectations were correct.

On a side note, I have no good category for this essay, aside from “short.” That will have to suffice.


There are several conditions and practices in the world that authorize men to have multiple wives.  In the western world where Christianity prevails, we limit one man to one woman at a time.  A knock on Mormonism is that for years the Mormons insisted that their followers could have multiple wives.  It seems that Orrin Hatch, for example, the Senator from Utah, contends that he is a product of a Mormon marriage wherein he was the son of the number two or three or four wife.

In the interests of equality, it would be significant for me to find out if there is a religion that practices multiple husbands.  Certainly there must be some hot-blooded women who could handle two or three husbands at a time.  Currently that is against the law in the United States but I see no reason why the issue of multiple husbands could not be explored.  It has always been my interest in seeing that females were accorded equal opportunity.

The purpose of this essayette is to explore the possibility of multiple husbands for women, much as the Muslims provide multiple wives for their adherents’ marriages.  I do not expect that this thought of multiple husbands will sweep the country but in the interests of fairness, what could be wrong with looking into the possibility that some women desire and prefer multiple simultaneous husbands?  Yes, I know about the right-wingers who contend that a marriage should be between one woman and one man.  But I dismiss the thought processes of right-wingers.  As a matter of fact, they have no thought processes.

So this essayette is provided simply for the purpose of exploring the possibility that somewhere, some time, somehow there may be a religion or a practice that authorizes multiple husbands for women.  If love is a wonderful thing, what could be wrong with one woman having multiple husbands?  So I will leave you with those thoughts, recognizing that not many people will follow such a practice, but in any event I think it is worth considering.



August 3, 2011

Essay 569

Kevin Shepherd:

I wonder how many husbands Pop thinks that Judy ought to handle. I do wonder though, if there’s ever been a matriarchal culture where this was standard practice. Surely there has to be at least one?

Also, read more about Pop’s thoughts on this subject here.


A few weeks back when Herman Cain was still in the race for the Presidential nomination, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain sat down for what was laughingly called a debate among themselves.  Actually it was not a debate at all but a mutual admiration society.

Given the facts of the matter about their past philandering, it struck me that if this were a horse race, it would be called the race for the Philanderer’s Cup.  In professional hockey, the contestants vie for a prize to be awarded to the champions of the hockey league called the Stanley Cup.  In yacht racing, there are an abundance of awards, all named after cups, such as the South Hampton Cup or the Brighton Cup.

So when Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain bare their records of serial philandering and engage in a debate or a love match, it strikes me that the world should know that this is a contest that should be named the Philanderer’s Cup.



December 4, 2011

Essay #613

Kevin’s commentary: back in highschool, I was on the debate team.  Two of the debaters on the local circuit were dating, and if memory serves they would always just refuse to debate each other, because it didn’t make sense. They were on the same side, so to speak. So instead of spending the round saying “well my boyfriend did make some great points, but here are even more points!” they just flipped a coin and were done with it. I feel like some politicians could learn from them.


This is a philosophical essayette on the condition of mankind.  A learned gentleman once remarked within my hearing that he would prefer to remain in control over his intellect in the final days before his body gave out.  This assumes that the human condition is comprised of body and intellect.

The learned gentleman to whom I made reference is Tom Scandlyn, a fellow I have known since 1958.  I find no fault with his logic.  As a matter of fact, I heartily endorse the logic of Tom Scandlyn as it refers to the eventual playing out of the human condition.

So we start with the premise that we have the body on one hand and the intellect on the other.   Now for the sake of argument, I would cite a woman of my years who seems to have suffered damage to her intellect while her body remains reasonably strong.  So we have here a bit of a conundrum.  On one hand we have the case where the intellect remains intact of being able to measure the decline of the body.  On the other hand we have the decline of the body which goes unmeasured or unrecognized by the intellect.  Needless to say, my body is not as good as it once was.  I believe it would be fair to say that I am not half the man I was at the advanced age of 75.  But there is no choice but to live with it.

The lovely woman whose intellect has failed her has no choice but to continue to live with it.  Similarly, those of us who have retained our intellect are required to put up with our failing bodies.  There is something to be said for the case involving the failed intellect in that the person whose intellect has failed is largely unaware of that fact.

But in the final analysis, I hold with my good friend Tom Scandlyn with the thought that it is better to retain control over the intellect even as our bodies falter.  I realize that this essayette has settled nothing with respect to mind over body.

There are some who would retain control of their intellect and there are others who would want to retain control over their bodies.  But when push comes to shove, I always stand with a pianist, composer, and entertainer par excellence.  He knew that “One never knows, do one?”  This was the philosophy of Thomas Wright Waller, better known as Fats Waller, who lived from 1904 until 1943.  In profound cases such as this question here, I cannot help but repeat, “One never knows, do one?”



October 28, 2011

Essay 588


Kevin’s commentary: I’m holding out for the put-my-brain-in-a-robot-body option. The only way to go!