The Most Luxurious Mammoth

The Most Luxurious Mammoth

When I was small, my parents would sing a certain lullaby to me. I don’t think I’ve heard it since. Like any writer, I took that tender memory and perverted for the sake of a story. I made a rough, funny character write and sing “The Whore...
I Missed an Off-Ramp on the Hero’s Journey

I Missed an Off-Ramp on the Hero’s Journey

There’s this thing called the Hero’s Journey, which is not the same as driving to El Paso with three kids in the back seat. It’s a type of story that is found in many different cultures at different times in history. In recent years Joseph Campbell explained it...
The Suicide Hearse

The Suicide Hearse

My wife and I dig Ghost Tours even though neither of us has ever seen anything in the least supernatural. We like enthusiastic tour guides, especially those playing costumed characters with conviction. We’ve ghost-toured in lots of cities such as New Orleans,...
Let Me Tell You About Canadians . . .

Let Me Tell You About Canadians . . .

We all know that most Canadians are polite. I now know why. They sublimate their fury. Canadians drive like enraged Mongols. They walk through public places like they were electrons pinging around in a supercollider. I can only confirm that’s true for the ones in...
Do You Want Fries and Souvlaki With That?

Do You Want Fries and Souvlaki With That?

When I walked into the restaurant last night my feet stuck to the floor. The smell of grease choked me up a little, and I couldn’t hear my wife over the pressure cookers and fans. I assumed the fans were there to keep the sole employee from exploding like a CO2...
Taking the Guilt Train to Little Rock

Taking the Guilt Train to Little Rock

I am objectively a lousy father. Compared to my father, I am a psychotic crack addict trying to raise orchids in a toilet. It started with a rose-colored memory of my family’s driving vacations when I was a boy. Swinging through the western states and the national...
The Problem With Explaining Grief

The Problem With Explaining Grief

I’ve been looking for a way to explain how I feel about my father dying. It’s as if I were born on a continent, and I played there, and I grew up falling, and getting back up, and figuring out how I fell. I went back there when I was proud. I went back...
You May As Well Laugh

You May As Well Laugh

There is a giant hole in the world shaped like my father. I can walk around it, but I can never fill it. He died this morning in his sleep, in his own bed, and without pain. Dying piles indignities on us, but he held on to more dignity than most. At age eighty-six he...
Celebrating Mom the Destroyer

Celebrating Mom the Destroyer

My mom passed away exactly 2.54 years ago today. To mark this anniversary I’m sharing a brief anecdote from her life, one involving violence, drunkenness, profanity, and murder. Incidentally, this explains a lot about my behavior. Mom always detested one of her...