Raising Hellions

aw1My Aunt Sarah recently came for a visit……

And she promptly messed
everything up for me, man.

It had taken twenty some years,
but ….

I had just about convinced my kids
that I had been nominated for
Sainthood as a child–

— that I was a paragon of virtue.

One weekend visit
from my sweet Aunt Sarah,
and all that hard work
dubbleand propagandizing
has gone for naught.

And to add insult to injury,
she brought proof,
in the form of pictures and 8mm movies,
that would prevent me from ever denying:

that she knew the real skinny
about the kid version of Chris —

—– or that I even HAD an Aunt Sarah.

pogoWho was that again?

Oh, yeah…
getting back to my
(really wonderful) Aunt Sarah.

She had the
unfortunate pleasure
of knowing me
and being around me as a kidschwinn
…. a lot.

It’s a wonder
she hasn’t gone blind
or crazy by now.

she’s only about 7 or 8 years
older than me,
— but that’s enough —

and boy,
does she have a good memory.

Scary good.

I’m sorry to tell you this,a2
but apparently,
I’m already pre-dis-qualified
from sainthood.

Damn it,
I couldn’t have been THAT
much of a hellion, could I ?

According to my Aunt Sarah, yep.

That and two family size bags of chips.

And yes,
sure —
I had a pet chicken.
And yes,
sure —
I learned a lot
from the “Manchurian Candidate”
about training him.
(And Parrot Jungle for that matter)

She also regaled my kids
with stories about me:

a3burying her copy of
“The Seven Minutes”
in the back yard ……
(for posterity)

stealing her “Partridge Family”
and “Bobby Sherman” albums ……
(to make fisbees out of them)

— how she remembered me:

hiding behind the French Doors
of her closet to watch her snogg
around with her boyfriend
( I got caught because I was
breathing too loud,
but my Aunt Sarah really
did have a cute figure) …..bears

trying to set all the bears
“free” from their enclosure
at the Philadelphia Zoo….

spitting salted pumpkin seeds at pedestrians
from the back seat window
of my Uncle’s 1964 Buick,
(and convincing her to do it, too) ….

tearing out all the pictures
of nude natives in “National Geographic”a1
and hiding them under my bed….

— not to mention, me :

cutting my brother’s hair (while asleep)
with a pair of pinking shears…..

using my Uncle’s lathe to create a re-usable,
retrievable slug for candy machines….

trading with other kids in the neighborhood
those mini bottles of booze
my dad would bring home from trips
in exchange for dirty playing cards….

digging holes in the local cemetery lawn
looking for ‘lost treasure’ ….beattime

smoking up 4 of my Granddad’s cigars
and then denying it …..
(despite being
a distinctively nauseated shade
of GREEN from the experience)

swiping bottles from the back of the corner store,
and returning them in the front
for the deposit to play pinball …..

telling my Great-Grandmother Ida
how lousy of a cook she was,
kidsizeeven for an Irish one….

taking my Great-Grandfather’s jalopy
out for a spin even though
I couldn’t reach the pedals….
( I hope he had insurance on that thing…. )

getting so sick eating illicit
(and unripe) crab-apples
from my neighbor’s tree
I had to have my stomach pumped….

creating so much acrid smoke
experimenting with my chemistry set,
they had to open every window in the house,
despite it being freezing outside……

breaking my Dad’s watch
hellcatsso I could figure how much
of a lickin’ it could take,
and still keep on tickin’……….
( not much, really )

While I might,
in a rare moment of clarity,
admit that perhaps just maybe
she is remembering these things correctly,
I have to say in my own defense police
that I was a spirited child.

I’d like to point out
that even though my Mom,
my brothers and my sister
had to live through much worse–

— since they had to live with me all of the time —

they have always had the good taste
to keep a lot of this stuff to themselves.

Or maybe it was fear
that kid was still around somewhere, I dunno.

( And he is, I promise. )



Playing Those Mind Games

stungEditors Note: 
If at any time, you get bored
during this read, you can click
on any of the conveniently
located musical links that
the Muscleheaded Blog has
so thoughtfully provided.

Just sayin. 

To get a straight answer
about anything these days
is quite a daunting task,
ya know…….

If you’re having a problem
getting your prescriptions filled,a1
you might call the pharmacy…

who tells you that
it’s not THEIR fault,
— it’s the Doctor’s office
who dropped the ball…..

the Doctor’s office verifies the script,
and says it’s an issue
with the insurance company.

The insurance company says
the paperwork wasn’t filled
out right by the doctor,
or the pharmacy, either.

Not their problem.z1

Man, I don’t care
whose fault it is —
I just want it fixed, right?
But nooooooooo–
on and on,
over and over it goes.

And I guess you could
say that mind games,z3
blame avoidance, and

the old run-around have
all become just another
part of our culture……

you’re actually surprised
these days when
something works–

–you get good service
somewhere, or z2
someone says ‘please’
or ‘thank you’,
and you’re ready to have
a social orgasm.

Why IZ dat?

How are you supposed to
get anything done that way ?

so, while I started off this post
sounding like just another rant,z4
it’s actually an intricately
formulated introduction
to our latest evil plan
for a post —

It’s called
” Cerebral Conundrums”
or if you’d rather,
simply —
” Mental Mind Fucks ” .

It’s easy to play.z5

Just answer these 10 elementary questions
that will demonstrate exactly what I mean
about this culture.

(Yeah, I know there’s 11…
….. that’s part of the mind fuck. )


– you asked for it.

1: If something is
‘new and improved’,
does that mean the
previous product

was ‘old and flawed’? 

2: Do stairs go ‘up’ or ‘down’?

3: If the package of
a piece of gum

says that it’s 10 calories, fool
is that amount just
chewing the gum,

or also for swallowing it?

4: What’s the difference
normal ketchup
and fancy ketchup?

5: Why doesn’t any product
that claims to be ‘grape flavor’
smell or taste like grapes?

6: How far east can you go
z7before you’re heading west?

7: Exactly what is someone who 
says they’re a
force to be reckoned with‘? 

8: If an ambulance is on its way
to save someone, and it runs
somebody else over, 
does it stop to help them?

9: In the middle of a conversation,

when a person uses the phrase:   
to tell you the truth“, question
what were they telling
you before that?

10: Why are hot dogs sold
6 to a package,
and hot dog rolls 8 ? 

And finally —
Just how do you
know for sure 

that the little light in
your refrigerator question

actually does go ‘off’ when
you close that door ? 

Questions, questions..

Well, ok-
it’s probably better
not to think about it,
you’re right.

!!!!!! HOY !!!!!!!!!!


Blanche Wagstaff says:


“If I think of you,
I quiver from head to foot.

If I think of you
tears flood my eyes.

If I pass you my heart quickens
to suffocation
and the blood seems to leave my body.

If I look into your eyes
a sudden fire burns in my veins.

If I touch you
I am as one possessed with madness;
my arms tremble and
my limbs totter beneath me.

To love you is to suffer
the pangs of an intolerable agony.”