It wasn’t a very good idea to put a dead bee on his pee-pee. But he did it anyway. And you’ll never guess what happened: it stung him. Stung him right in the pee-pee. The bee wasn’t fully dead, as you must have suspected by now. It had been tormented into a state of shock, and lay in its hospice bed, making its peace with God, awaiting Jesus Bee’s appearance at the end of the tunnel of light and honey. With its last breath, the bee had its revenge on mankind, hoping to render at least one 1st grade boy infertile for eternity.

Portland Sucks

Anywhere would have, because, the summer I lived in Portland, my life sucked. Could have been in Hawaii or Paris and found fault with the disgusting coconuts and crappy crepes, the stupid palm trees and Awful Tower. As it was, I had decided to explore the Pacific Northwest after my sophomore year, before studying abroad in Scotland. What began as a good idea turned out to be poop on a stick. Don’t quite know what that means, but sorta captures my own confusion at how such an adventure could go so adversely.


Something a boy finds exciting.

What's in the DNA of little boys that causes them to take pleasure in destroying life? Is it a coincidence that the "Y" chromosome is shaped like a slingshot?


Cats cats cats. I’ve had so many cats. Some were small, some were tall; some were black, and some we killed. That one was an accident. We wrapped him in a slip and buried him over the hill.

The Curse of the "K"

Does your last name start with the letter K? If so, prepare to be offended, because we all know that you are such a weirdo.

Dead Tired

It’s possible to die from being tired, you know. In fact, I’ve come close enough to hear the pearly gates creaking—the problem is, I'm too tired to walk through. Once I made it partway through only to be called back by someone “on earth” who needed their diaper changed. Here is a sample of my near-death experiences this week:


My parents must hold the record for longest game of hide-n-seek—I think it's still going on. Basically it goes like this: my dad searches for a household object that he accuses my mom of hiding, taking, or moving somewhere irrational. My mom then seeks out the object, inevitably finds it, then exhorts him to hone his own seeking skills. Below is a sample dialog, this time related to some missing mustard:


HarvardHow could I not be admitted to Harvard's freshman class? Surely I was the only applicant wearing a 1980's Bruce Springsteen t-shirt and bellbottoms scrawled over with Chinese characters. (FYI, that's the ivy league's most troubling quota category to fill each year. I was a shoe-in.)

The Little Puppy

Every Christmas I asked for the same thing—a little puppy. In my dreams, it was a cocker spaniel nuzzling the lid of its gift-wrapped box, like in Lady and the Tramp. My Uncle Walt had a cocker named Goldie, and she was the first dog who inspired in me the hope of meeting my emotional needs through a beast. Goldie would stand on his chest, pressing her forehead against his as they “talked” to each other in whines and whimpers. I thought it would be nice to have that kind of relationship.

Fall Festivals

The Pumpkin Festival

“Are you going to the Pumpkin Festival?”
“Yeah! My mom’s in it this year. She’s selling those rice-crispie-treat-pumpkin-heads-on-sticks. I ate halfavum already!”

On the Road

If I was to run away undetected, I would have to use the escape ladder. And run away I must. You see, I was fifteen, and my parents were insufferable.


Never before and never since have I more deeply yearned to escape prepubescent society … than at camp.


Bethanie always got Ho-Hos in her lunch. Brendon got Lunchables. Adam got fruit roll-ups. I got oxidized apples and smashed PB&J.


And I don’t mean mini Girl Scouts. I mean the brownies laced with laxatives awaiting me at Becky’s 4th grade birthday party.

Grandparents Day

Every year our elementary school celebrated grandparents by having them come for a luncheon. In Art class that week we'd make crafts with construction paper or dry macaroni to present to them when they arrived. A couple kids from each grade would read little poems at the mic that made the grandmas cry.

But my grandpa was always dead on Grandparents Day.


How “Ranger” was voted the best name for the 2nd grade’s guinea pig, I’ll never understand.


The school secretary was round and glossy. She was also Caucasian. Her name was Pearl, and she loved that fact.


You could hear him coming by the jangle of his keys and the shortness of his breath. It was Digger. Digger the Janitor. He wasn’t “faster than lightning” like Flipper, and no bounce was in his step like Tigger, but boy could he buff a floor. He was hardy and hard-working, like a beef-stew-eating ox.

Miss Capillaro's Vein

Miss Capillaro flew a single-engine plane and had a monstrous forehead vein. It pulsated when she ate scrambled eggs.


Every Friday was “Chapel.” Girls had to wear a skirt or a dress, and boys had to wear a tie. I would rather have worn a tie because you can still play kickball at recess with a tie. In a dress you can only play with those banana-shaped scoopers and a wiffle ball.

Middle Schooled

After the Brownie Conspiracy I went to public school for 6th grade, to which several former classmates sarcastically replied, “Darn!” Over the course of the year, I missed more than two weeks of school from faked sickness and downright refusal to go. If I hadn’t maintained good grades, the administration would have held me back for so many absences.
harley 4(Our female Principal was sighted joy-riding one of these! Can you believe it?)


There’s a lot of corn in Western Pennsylvania, or at least there used to be before the Super K’s landed and popped it all. In fact, the only thing there was more of than corn was old people. Those two facts led to a regional form of adolescent terrorism. We didn't invent corning—it was more passed on by older siblings. I guess you could say we just grew up around corning, or that it grew up around us!

Student of the Month

I got this once because everyone else in the class already got it. I guess they didn’t want me to feel left out and then kill myself at 19.

A Night To Remember

In 5th grade a mob of pony-tailed girls threw me off a 10-story building then steamrollered my remains.

Nachos & Apples

I like slapping things out of peoples’ hands.

Aunt Peg

Aunt Peg wasn’t really my aunt. She was my grandma’s long-time friend, and “Mrs. Swanson” and “Peg” both shot wide of the mark. Her windows leaked, her car rusted, but she never aged.

The Wee Store


“3 lbs. of ground chuck, please, Mort.”


Yes, I have rode in a limousine. Twice in fact. It wasn’t for prom; it was for getting the most magazine sales!

Señorita Holmes

Call: ♫ “Como te llamas? Como te llamas? Como te llamas, tu?”
Response: ♫ “Me llamo Juan. Me llamo Anna. Como te llamas tu?”

That’s how I learned Spanish from our phenomenal, blind polyglot.

Hotels vs. Motels

I like hotels better than motels because hotels are higher than motels, which are not very high.

The Bus

I hated riding the bus. I hated it so bad. But you know what I hated almost as much? Waiting for the bus! Oh boy, that was the pits.