Friday, October 31, 2008

My Green Tambourine

Little Geordie wasn’t sure what his mother had in mind that Halloween in 1968 when she dressed him all in green and handed him a tambourine, humming a familiar song. “What am I supposed to be?” he kept asking. His mother laughed, slurring her words. “Honey, you’ll get shum candy in da bag and shum money in da tambourine.” Then she stood and stared at the wall for about an hour, so he went out trick or treating by himself.

He did get the candy, but he got even more questions about what he was supposed to be, and a fair amount of teasing for the green booties which were really sheets of felt and a couple of rubber bands. Oh, and a whole lot of confetti and a new nickname: Jiminy Cricket.

These days Geordie’s realized that even though it’s not that easy being green, there are a few costumes with instruments that actually yield major tips, and you're looking at one of them. He’s quite the fiddler, and averages enough most nights to be able to afford a bottle and his current street drug of choice, which it’s very easy to buy when you’re dressed like this.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

High And Dry

Beatrice was scarred early in life, when her brother came into the bathroom one day and held her head underwater as she struggled for a few horrific moments. It took months to coax her back into the bathtub, and even then she insisted upon wearing a cap and keeping her head above water.

Beatrice still insists upon some sort of protective headgear at all times, and is rather lax in her shampoo schedule, but she’s mostly recovered. Meanwhile, she’s spent years completing various types of martial arts training. When and if her brother ever appears in the bathroom again, she’ll be ready. Oh, will she ever.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I Wrestle With My Conscience

The McClatchy brothers were in pretty good shape, but always showed up for practice dressed just a little too loudly for most of the other kids’ tastes. It’s pretty obvious why people called them gay behind their backs. Umberto had extra issues because he was the short one.

The McClatchys still aren’t quite sure of the dress code, and have lost any hint of buffness they ever possesed, but like to keep things colorful and athletically-inspired. Poor Umberto lost a significant portion of his legs in an unfortunate encounter with a chipper and now has to be impressed by other portions of his anatomy.

From July To The End Of September

Starla and Esther lived next door to each other, across the street from the beach. They spent most of their lives playing in the sand and surf. They had tons of fun, but they didn’t have sunscreen.

But who cares, when you’ve managed to spend your life at a beach! Starla and Esther now share Esther’s home and rent Starla’s. They think they had a pretty good ride, and they’re oh, so right.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Buster didn’t like going to school, and often played sick in order to stay home, watch some TV and masturbate. He hated getting surprised by the camera, but his mother was relentless.

By the time Buster grew up and actually got sick, his mother considered him a hypocrite and had no more patience for him. She makes him do his own cooking, and even refuses to empty his bedpan. Worst of all, she still loves taking pictures of him caught in the act and saying, "Whatcha doin', Buster?" He can't wait for her to die so he can bust one out in peace.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Give A Hoot

No one thought Janice or Janine would ever become real musicians, but they were so cute walking around town in their matching outfits. And Janine had some actual talent…not a lot, but still.

Fact is, people are suckers for anything two of a kind, quality be damned, and the ladies landed a job with one of the better European orchestras. They share an apartment to cut down on expenses, and make a pretty good salary—at least enough so that they can still afford matching outfits, a slew of instruments, and indulging in their newest fun hobby: making the floor, ceiling and walls all match. These girls are a whole lot of good, clean fun, but you’re probably glad they don’t live in your neighborhood.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Gotta Song In My Heart

From the time Beau was just a little kid, he had this incredible ability to rock out. And the crowd reaction, even from immediate family members, was insane—there’s Grandma doing her closed-eye drunken dance, Dad checking to see if he shit his pants, and Mom laughing wildly. Meanwhile, Beau’s oblivious to everything but the sweet sound of his voice and his wicked guitar licks.

Today Beau’s really got that rocker mouth thing down pat, and of course he’s dressed in nothing but black leather since third grade. He spends at least two hours a day working out and posing in his walk-in closet. He still transports himself, and only himself, to another realm when he gets his music on, but he’s always on the lookout for fans. Where are the damn fans? That's what he doesn't understand. And it’s costing an arm and a leg to rent this auditorium on off nights and pretend there’s a crowd there, much less other band members. He can’t even afford the mike if he’s going to use the lights. Beau might have to give up the dream soon, and then something bad's going to happen.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The "It" Boys

Oh, the way the ladies used to line up to get a glimpse of this quartet. That’s Eric on top; his dark skin, muscular thighs and long eyelashes made him very popular with the ladies. The lovely lad in the white belted suit is Merle, whose massive biceps and sassy wifebeaters had women for miles around in his thrall. Kneeling, with a hint of the crotch-flash move that made him famous at the time, is Donny. And Kenny, trying as usual not to look stocky, is the fourth and maybe the most-loved member of this hot pile-up of fun.

They’re still hanging out together and enjoying the good times, bless their sexy hearts. Donny, on the far left, still flirts with the idea of a crotch-flash; so much so that he talked the others into joining him at a nudist colony. That’s Eric beside him, still quite the ladies’ man—he’s been cheating on his high school girlfriend for almost fifty years now. Then there’s Merle, whose biceps and breasts suffered a little after he gave up exercising. He only wears socks with sandals when his wife’s not around. And Kenny’s still trying not to look stocky. Good luck, dude! Ladies: any of these guys will still whip it out for you.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Accordion To Nancy

Nancy was a model human being, full of style, musical talent, metal, and pinkness. She played at all her cousins’ birthdays and weddings from the time she was twelve, and always assumed she could parlay her talent into a great career from the rave reviews she’d get. She felt popular.

These days Nancy’s faced up to the hard truth that accordions have probably already seen their peak moment in musical history, much like harpsichords, lyres and (let us all continue to hope) pan flutes. She plays in the courtyard of her apartment complex to mixed reactions and very few tips, but hasn’t completely abandoned the dream or the rosy memories.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Never Gonna Give You Up

Back in the mid-70s, his freshly-earned liberal arts degree tossed in the back of his VW van along with a knapsack and a tent, young Benjamin (“Scooby-Doobie” to his close friends) had only a few things on his mind: getting laid, getting high, and maybe getting a job. Someday.

The only thing that’s really changed about Benjamin (now “Ben” to his close friends) is his smoking methodology—oh, right, and his broken nose, and the nickname. He’s still got his van, the degree (which might as well still be fresh, unused as it is), the knapsack, the tent and the really short term memory. He is a true example of sticking to one’s guns, never giving up the dream, and having been lucky enough to meet his real true love at an early age.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Endless Love

When Rufus and Reggie got their first Big Wheels, it was love at first sight. Within days the neighbors had tired of the sound of plastic rolling along sidewalk, but they had to get used to it. The boys were hooked, especially Rufus, who can’t even keep his hands on his own big wheel in this photo.

Today Rufus (in the blue jacket) remains loyal to his Big Wheel love affair, although now he lets his wife join in the fun. He’s president and founding member of the local Big Wheel fan club. When Reggie (far left, in camo green) visits, he’s also out there burning up the streets, but Rufus still insists that he use “the wienie-mobile” instead of a regulation-sized Big Wheel, so a lifelong resentment continues to fester and bloom.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Marshall Artz

Marshall was never a popular boy, but he had enthusiasm and did an honest job, always giving his all. When he got his first gun at boot camp he was absolutely beside himself with giddy joy. He felt empowered, went out and kicked some ass, and the transformation from nervous boy to confident man was instantaneous. He fought bravely until a bullet completely penetrated his gluteus maximus and he was sent home in a wheelchair, lucky to be alive.

But Marshall also came home with an undiagnosed case of PTSD. His short fuse, intensely pungent body odor, and habit of yelling, “Git the hell off my property!” even when he was at the grocery store earned him few friends. Now he lives alone with his sore ass, fiercely defending himself against a world he's sure is out to get him.

Beach Boys

Trevor and Tracy loved the beach, and even though they didn’t know how to walk, they tried to make up for it with lots of exercise, hair dye, and enthusiastic smiles. They eagerly crawled their way to the shore each morning for some pre-work body surfing, and for years the crowds adored them.

Problem is, Trevor and Tracy never bothered learning how to walk, and they became more lax in their grooming and exercising routines, so people stopped paying as much attention. One day a big wave knocked both of them out, and they drifted to shore, where they lay senseless for an hour, then woke up in this position. Now they’re grimly hoping their nanny comes looking for them before high tide.

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Thrill Is Gone

Back in the day, Darlene was always excited at every gift-giving occasion. She hadn’t even wanted Pong, and look at, and admire, the degree of false enthusiasm she managed to muster.

These days Darlene’s not easily excited, even when she’s receiving a gift such as this one, which she’s actually really stoked to have. It’s sad when the innocence wears off, isn’t it?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Growing Old, Not Up

The elder two Brody brothers, Bobby and Barry, liked having their picture taken. Barry in particular thought he was a pretty handsome guy who should be looked at and admired. But the two younger brothers, Benny and Brian, were always hamming it up and ruining the shots. Well, the shots that Mrs. Betty Brody did not ruin herself with her intrusive shadow.

And here are the Brodys at a family reunion last summer. Bobby, who now goes by "Big Bob," is still a jovial guy who likes having his picture taken. Barry’s just glad he hasn’t gone bald yet. Brian learned to smile for the camera instead of scowling. But Benny is still a cut-up. There are probably only three photos of him that don’t show his tongue, and one is his driver’s license.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Whose Eye Beauty's Really In

When Artemis won the local Miss Tropical Foliage contest, her mother told her, “That’s why I named you after a goddess; I always knew you’d be beautiful.” Artemis soon took to wearing her costume everywhere, and men were always asking if they could take her picture. She was sure she’d be discovered and sent off to Hollywood, and when it didn’t happen her mother told her it was because she’d “given away the cow for free.”

It was years before Artemis learned what that phrase meant, but meanwhile, at her mother’s insistence, she started wearing clothes that covered and disguised her shapely figure. She refused, however, any footwear but sandals, believing that her feet were too beautiful to hide. She never reigned in her urge to strike a pose upon command, worships Charo, and can still walk into a bar and really rip things up.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You Shouldn't've

Alistair couldn’t believe his family never knew what he wanted on gift-giving occasions. Here he is the year he graduated from college and landed his first job. He’d spent hours in the stores picking out the perfect presents for everyone in the family, carefully selecting gifts that matched their personalities. And what did his mother wrap up for him? Some very girly pantaloon-like underwear. He was speechless.

And here’s Alistair on Christmas morning last year. He’s been disappointed by most of his gifts over the years, so now he's learned to hide that look of, "what the?" that he used to get. Still, he can't believe this is what his wife thought would be a great present. On her birthday, she's going to get a twelve-pack of toilet paper.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Trike, Trike Again

Shecky couldn’t figure out the bike riding thing, even by the time he hit double digits. That shadow is his father, documenting another of Shecky’s many painful and humiliating flesh-on-asphalt moments.

What no one understood at the time was that Shecky’s vision problems made it very difficult for him to keep his balance. He now pedals proudly, and hopes his dad is watching from heaven, because having the right ride made all the difference.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Who You Callin' Androgynous?

Leslie couldn’t control his temper when people weren’t sure he was a boy, and many of his classmates at the Pennsylvania Dutch School of Hex Sign Painting were subjected to what Leslie liked to call the neck nick.

Leslie still gets a little hot under the collar when anyone questions his sexuality, his food or music preferences, or his overuse of cologne, but now that he’s a little older he likes to think he’s refined the neck nick to more of a neck knock.


Celeste will never forget that perfect summer when all the good things in her life coincided. Rocco was making decent money, and most of the time he wore long sleeves to hide his bruises. Better yet, his mother, Amadora, who was visiting from the old country, broke her leg and had to stay out of the kitchen. And her little bambino, Giuseppe, was at the perfect age to find it vaguely amusing when Celeste “pretended” to give Rocco a little kick in the pants.

Now widowed and abandoned by her son, Celeste spends most of her time imagining the day when she finally meets up with Rocco again in heaven. Mamma mia!, she is gonna give him such a whacking for leaving her alone all these years.

Dropped By Dad

Dad always liked Eddie best; that’s why he got a life jacket and a safe poolside perch. But when Erwin said he wanted to learn how to swim, he got flung like a booger. Then Dad and Eddie laughed when he surfaced, choking back the tears and swallowing so much water that he threw up later.

Erwin eventually got over his aquaphobia, and had a successful career as a Wall Street broker, whereas Eddie inherited the family business, a bobble-head empire, and managed to run it into the ground within two years of their father’s death. Now Erwin lets Eddie rent the room above his garage and charges extra when he locks himself out.

Horsepower Head

“Damn it, Jerry, I know where I’m going,” Carla used to say. She always insisted on driving the boat, and basically every other aspect of Jerry’s life. She wanted to go fast, hard, and as long as possible. Unfortunately, that eventually led to their separating. Poor Jerry never stood a chance. Plus, Carla tended to be pretty abusive.

And that hasn’t changed one iota. Carla’s still going strong, burnin’ up the streets, and calling all the shots. If you ever encounter her on the highway, watch out, because she follows only one rule of the road, and she wrote it herself.

Get Back, Lauretta

Lauretta never liked bobbing for apples, especially not at all-girl slumber parties. Her friends may have thought they were too old for trick-or-treating, but Lauretta would have preferred to be out getting free candy. She could already tell Pam was going to freeze her bra again, and probably try to make her pee in her sleep with the old hot water trick.

Lauretta would now prefer to return to her slumber party years, and dresses accordingly most of the time. She tries to be a good sport and to do her part to make Halloween fun, but the thing is, she’s one of those people who hands out apples, and today’s kids hate them just as much as she used to.

Don't Just Sit There

Harvey was so happy with his hula hoop. He’d go sit under that tree, drink about eight or nine beers, then hula until the sun went down. No one else seemed to understand that, and he figured he’d always be alone, until he won the love lottery and met

Eleanor, who loved nothing more than beer-filled hula-hooping beneath the very same tree. This is proof that couples did sometimes manage to find each other without the help of eHarmony or And they stayed together.

Although these days Harvey’s a little more about looking at the water. Eleanor, on the other hand, has only grown more enthusiastic about her hula hooping over the years.

She gave up the booze after her third trip to the Betty Ford Clinic, and feels more vital than ever. She’ll be featured in the Senior Olympics next year!