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In Which My Hometown Stands Revealed.

Max Burbank, reporting to you live (or UNalive... har! har!) from Salem, Massachusetts!

Laws, but I damn well love my hometown. And why not?

Say a whole busload of the most disreputable Carnie folk slammed at great speed into the National Museum of American History just as they’d convened their biggest black tie gala stuffed shirt capital campaign event ever, and you had to take the resulting mess and magically transform it into a geographical destination. The result might be something like Salem, Massachusetts.

Rich in Maritime history, home to Nathaniel Hawthorne, the very first place in North America to be visited by an Elephant, birthplace of Parker Brother’s Games; all regularly eclipsed by a very brief flirtation with Witch Hysteria followed by the execution of sixteen people based on spectral evidence. Small peanuts compared to Europe where you could roast marshmallows at an autodafe on every street corner for most of a century. (more...)



In Which I Reveal My Weakness.

I scream for ice cream.

Gentle reader; is there anything on earth more wonderful than the Ice Cream Truck? Whatever inane tune it plays, bent by distance, a siren song. Is it coming from the next block over? Is it getting closer or further away? Will it turn onto my street or should I go madly pounding through the neighborhood, a middle aged man in whatever clothes I had on at the moment, boney knees pumping, spare tire joggling, risking a heart attack? As a child I dreamt that music, chased it in my dreams from street to street, that always-elusive white and slowly drifting truck.

And here’s the thing. I don’t even really like the ice cream they sell. Good Humor products taste like paraffin, chemicals and sugar. Left on a counter, they soften but never actually melt. I am particularly appalled by the ice cream character heads on sticks with gumball eyes. Over the years, a stately, ever changing parade of whatever has captured the zeitgeist of the American Child for a summer, your Power Puff Girl, your Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, your Spider-Man, your Bratz Doll, a hagiography of ice cream heads dyed terrible colors no ice cream wants to be. (more...)



In Which I Share The Fruits of My Labor.

Road Skiing. Guaranteed to be as good as Road House.

Over the past few months some of you have asked, and I'm not making this up, when I was going to write a book. In fact I am working on one now and have a snippet of it for you to preview here. Writing the book is the part I know how to do. Finding an agent and or publisher is another matter entirely and one which I have met with something less than success so far, but never mind, that hasn't kept me from writing yet. Here's all you need to know to understand the chunk I'm throwing out here like spoiled meat to hogs (no offense). The subject of the novel is a family vacation. The Narrator is Jimbo, the youngest of the Gallagher clan. Alex, the oldest has suddenly departed the trip with his fiancé, the front desk girl at the hotel where they stayed last night. Others on the trip include Mr. and Mrs. Gallagher, their daughter Mallory and Gramaw Ginny. Frodo is their dog. (more...)



In Which I Ponder The Impact Of The Pregnant Man Upon My Life.

note: That's not Pregnant Man's new baby daughter in the photo. It's Max Burbank.

Gentle reader, the Pregnant Man has given birth. I suppose this means it is no longer correct to call him the ‘Pregnant Man’, that condition having ended with the birth of his daughter. This makes me sad, as I’d come to love the name ‘Pregnant Man’. It was certainly more pleasing than his actual legal name, Thomas Beatie. For a time, I’d hoped he would legally change his name to ‘Pregnant Man’, and not without reason, as Mr. Beatie is known to be in sympathy with changes in identity. Then I could go on calling him ‘Pregnant Man’ or even ‘The Pregnant Man’ (as in ‘The Batman’). Of course I can call him anything I want; ‘Pregnant Man’, ‘Oprah Fodder’ or ‘Sadie’ which is a name I like. No one can stop me. I’d far rather call him any of those than, say, ‘Mister Mom’. People could just call him Mister Beatie, but we all know they won’t. All that, however, is just so much chin music, and not what I wish to discuss. (more...)



In Which I Explain My Recent Absence.


Gentle reader, perhaps you have noticed I have been missing from these pages the last few weeks. Then again, perhaps not. It’s hard for me to imagine a you that does not monitor my comings and goings as carefully as a presidential physician, but I acknowledge the theoretical possibility. If that’s you, well, so be it. I probably wasn’t talking to you anyway. (more...)



In Which I Question Either The Science Or Vocabulary Of Denise Richards.

Little-known fact: that 'brain bug' in Starship Troopers DID suck out my brains in an early screentest!

"I don't want Charlie's prostitute-tranny-infested sperm." -Denise Richards, Quoted in the New York Post

I enjoy a celebrity dust up as much as the next person. Charlie Sheen and his ex-wife Denise Richards are in the midst of a prolonged custody battle, which is being played out, as all trials involving vulnerable children should be, in the pages of various exploitation rags and on basic cable. Mr. Sheen alleges Ms. Richards emailed him after their separation, asking him to be a sperm donor, a request he found intrusive. Ms. Richards claims the email in question is a fake and is perturbed that Mr. Sheen chose to share it with the media. So far, all well and good. Marital matters are always complicated, and it would be in poor taste for me to take sides. However, while I embrace Ms. Richards right to communicate her point of view to the media, I must take issue with her choice of words. (more...)


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