gawdy centerpieceGood Morning Denizens of the Salad Fork,

This weekend was served up like over boiled cabbage soup and banana pudding spilled in my lap with pants around my ankles. I shall not go into the first part as it involved someone I euphemistically refer to as “The coke whore.” You can conjure up what you will here, but suffice it to say, I don’t care!

I had an opportunity to attend a formal gathering/reception for an old friend of mine who was being honored for his many and varied accomplishments and retired his jersey as it were. It was held downtown Denver at the Hilton Hotel forcing me to break out the coat and tie.

It was a lovely soirée with ice sculptures, open bar, and a snappy little quartet playing ‘Dillon’ music. The event began with cocktails and a rich variety of hors d’oeuvres such as Artichoke & Spinach Filo Tartlet, Beef Wellington, followed by one of my favorites, Thai Curry Samosa. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves as only 50 separate conversations could signal.

VT firmly in hand, I began to wander around looking to join a discussion that would facilitate my particular brand of piffle. Doing my best ‘Cliff Claven,’ I managed to introduce myself to three women and a wimp-ish looking fellow with a limp-wristed handshake. As it no doubt surprises few, I broke in primarily due to the genetic distribution of the women’s assets.

Leading the chatter not caring what the topic was, I sensed the women were a bit put off. From what I could gather, they were discussing proper dinner etiquette and the woeful ignorance of those charged with setting up formal occasions.  In a formal dinner setting my only hope is to escape without creating stains on my tie or shirt and/or avoid spilling wine on my pants or onto the floor.

To pretend I knew anything about place settings, table settings, Wedgwood vs Noritake, or whether to use Sterling Silver or Platinum would most certainly expose me as the slug I am. My goal was to see if I could turn the conversation to Art & Design.

Sally politely updated me as to the topic being discussed and asked if I agreed. With everyone waiting for a reply, I tried to remember something I’d heard my ex-wife say about a center piece being too large for the table and blurted, “Have you seen the centerpieces on our tables? They’re HUGE! It looks as though someone barfed up a flower garden! All it lacks is a Pig’s snout with an apple in its mouth, jeez.”

The planted smiles all disappeared. In fact, Sally looked nearly ashen. I got the feeling I’d just stepped in dog shit. But before Sally could utter a word, a little hostess was ringing a bell to announce that dinner was being served.

As everyone was being seated, I began in earnest on the ugly center piece thinking I was on a roll. Sally was giving me a look reminiscent of my ex, so I highly suspected I was in trouble and backed off. Sally was obviously irritated as my attempts to make conversations were mostly ignored.

At the end of my friend’s award ceremony the host began to thank those who donated time and/or money. Sally was asked to stand where she was thanked for the BEAUTIFUL CENTER PIECES! While the crowd acknowledged her contribution, she again looked at me with a definite “Go to Hell” look.  Stupefied, I shrugged my shoulders and politely gave my heart-felt applause, at which she looked away. I tried to apologize, but obviously the damage was done.

The moral of this accounting is not so much in knowing which fork is the salad fork; rather, make sure you understand the proper way of extricating one’s foot from one’s mouth! Jeez.


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ZUKI COMES UP BLANK…….inspiration goes someplace else

bulbGood Morning Builders of Things,

I was looking for inspiration for today’s posting as I’ve been suffering from grand illusions.  These self-administered vision quests tend to be all absorbing because I feel my life will change for the better!  Can you believe that even after 65 rotations I’m still that naïve? Thank God there are enough shoes ready to drop, reality checks and naysayers to keep this in check.  This all reminds me of what Mark Twain said, “Why shouldn’t truth be stranger than fiction?  Fiction, after all, has to make sense.”  That’s the rub!  Things rarely make sense!

Like sitting in a screening room…yes I’ve been in one, visual images rolled by as I went down the list of usual suspects; Blondie’s, work, dating, studio, and the day to day ridiculousness that makes up life’s rich pageant–yet continued to come up blank.  What do I write about?

Evidently, and according to medical web sites there is NO medical affliction that causes “Writer’s Block!”  I’m reasonably certain the two or three of you reading this nasal drip have on occasion suffered from this malady.  You remember….well maybe not…depending on the last time you sat down to write a letter (do people write letters anymore?)….wait don’t go…please hear me out.  You’ve stared at a blank screen or sheet of paper for hours typing and deleting, walking around, looking out a window, until finally you go back to “Candy Crush” something you really understand!

I literally can’t get started because I can’t decide on what story I’d like to tell.  Eventually I’m jammed before I even start!  While completely observational, I think the problem stems from my dependency on the same sources over and over again. I cling to these for inspiration and input. Simply stated, I’ve gone to the well much too often.

When I don’t feel it I question the story’s importance and am reluctant to waste your time as well as mine.  Yet I persevere….

I have zillions of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, so they all fizzle out.  There are those ideas that don’t last beyond a few paragraphs, and then there’s the idea I thought could be a novel, but can’t even put a short story together.  The thing is, ideas are dime a dozen; at best pedestrian some would say, so that one idea that gets me fired up with goosebumps running down my spine itching for the keyboard are less forthcoming but no doubt hiding in plain sight.  I just have to keep looking!

I was on a roll the day before, a free flowing whirlwind of promising developments and clever bits. And then when I open Word today I have no idea where any of it was going.  I thought I’d left things in a great place to pick up the ball and keep running, and now I can’t even see the next step.

As you may have surmised I’m at a loss for words today.  I promise to bear down and come up with something fabulous for the next posting.  Meanwhile on your next attempt to write, just go ahead on back to the well.


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abby normalGood Morning Exiguous Notions,

Our very own Bagwan has been contemplating life’s rich pageant of late and posed the question to we the unwashed,… are you normal?  Given his ascendance to uncertainty  we collectively should not only read his profound message….but “Be all you can be” as normal is an elusive mistress.  Please enjoy:


I think it is normal to consider yourself normal. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that guys like Cush and Charlie Manson think of themselves as normal. If forced to come up with some things about myself that aren’t normal off the top of my head I can identify two. One that surprised me is that according to AMA guidelines my alcohol intake is well above normal for an adult male my age. However, it would be considered normal for 3 adult males my age. The second abnormality that comes to mind is my obsession with Joseph A. Banks ads and the glee I feel when they run the ultimate “Buy One get Three Free.” That is abnormal because I have no intention of buying anything at Joseph A. Banks.

I’m going to have lunch this week with a very dear old friend who I haven’t seen in over 20 years. Bill Collins is in his mid-70’s and just recently buried his wife who was either the 3rd or 4th Mrs. Collins. You’ll have to excuse my confusion but I asked him and he’s not even sure. Bill Collins is memorable for his calm demeanor and his abuse of cannabis. Bill’s father was an old hillbilly who had a clear take on what is normal and what is not.  He would hear about someone like a John Wayne Gacy who was convicted of raping and murdering 33 teenage boys and burying their bodies in his basement and sum up the situation with his standard comment: “You know there has to be something wrong with somebody who would do something like that.” You wanted to scream, “NO SHIT!” but the polite thing to do was just nod in agreement.

Ever since my self-imposed exile from Curmudgeon Corner I have taken off in search of the perfect bar. I haven’t even come close but I have met some interesting people along the way and I have also encountered more difficulty in figuring out this whole “normal” thing.  Over at a place called Monahan’s there is a bartender by the name of Victoria. Victoria is 28 years old and if you squint real hard she kind of looks like Senta Berger in an old Matt Helm film. Victoria and her current boyfriend (Eddie) have custody of their combined output of 6 children. No two of the children have the same two parents. Victoria’s 3 have 2 dead fathers and 1 missing. Eddie’s exes tend to be in jail or substance abuse programs. Here’s what gets me, as abnormal as that “family” sounds, when I went in last Wednesday Victoria was doing the most normal American thing I can think of — planning a trip to Disney World for all eight of them.

I am tempted to say that there is no such thing as normal but that’s not true. There is a normal heart rate and a normal body temperature. There is a Normal, Illinois which got its name for being the home of the state teachers college, which used to be called normal schools. There is the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws which goes by its trying too hard acronym of NORML.

Maybe the problem is that there are too many “normals” and just when you get used to what you think is normal someone comes along and tells you there is a “new normal.” One piece of Bagwan advice: anytime someone runs out the term “new normal” on you, be very wary. If something is now the new normal it was just recently considered abnormal. The chance of this being good news is about the same as the chance of getting good news after someone asks, “Are you sitting down?”


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goat for dinnerGood Morning Bovine Aficionados,

It seems there are NO limits to what man will do for sexual gratification.  I think most of us have heard the twisted stories of men putting their penises in vacuum cleaners, pool filters, shop vacs, gopher holes, and any other entry point with potential for ‘getting off.’  Well we can now add one more orifice to the list; drop calves.  Yes, it’s true.  I read an article detailing a police officer’s day in court:

“During a bizarre hearing there yesterday, a Superior Court judge dismissed animal-cruelty charges against a Moorestown police officer accused of sticking his penis into the mouths of five calves in rural Southampton last year, claiming a grand jury couldn’t infer whether the cows had been “tormented” or “puzzled” by the situation or even irritated that they’d been duped out of a meal.”

You can’t make this up!!

Tormented or puzzled?  That’s one hell of a defense and perhaps the best way to thwart PETA’s idiotic viewpoints.  If one chokes a chicken, or chases a goldfish with a pencil do the animals get irritated?  Cruelty to animal’s charges has just been handed their defense on the proverbial silver platter!  It’s open season on goats, sheep, as well as all other beloved farmyard animals.  When will it end?  Who’ll stop the madness?  If it becomes that easy to satisfy those urges, go ahead and lock up the livestock and be prepared to defend the honor of your animals with the business end of a shotgun!

While I’m not opposed to hooking a trout from time to time, unlike Cush I don’t consider my would-be meal as a sex object.  Given the fight most fish put up while being reeled in, I think it’s safe to assume THEY ARE ‘tormented’ and perhaps a bit ‘irritated,’ thank God fish don’t scream.

In these days of “Global Warming” now referred to as “Climate Change” I think it’s important one is able to at the very least, conduct themselves with dignity as well as those we intend to romance.  I’d like to believe the two or three of you reading this suppository would agree.

I was relieved but not surprised to discover that one of our own has set an example for the rest of us.  Suffice it to say our associate is an animal lover and consumes ‘mass quantities’ of beer.  I heard from a reasonably reliable source that our good friend took a goat to dinner last evening using the outside patio to accommodate his lovely (Capra aegagrus hircus).

Our good friend was overheard calling the scantily dressed goat ‘puddin cup’ more than once while noshing on a head of lettuce.  After several bottles of wine and a dozen Coor’s Lights much to the collective shock and horror of the other dining patrons, they left together w/goat on a leash.  I can only imagine what ensued because our fellow ‘rules committee’ member refused to be interviewed.

While I have no official word from God on this but I’m pretty sure he/she frowns on this sort of thing, but I’ll ask.  Meanwhile should any of you be tempted to impose yourselves on farm animals, please seek council from the Bagwan as his experience transcends sucking Bovidae.



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GOD TELLS ZUKI TO BUILD A CHURCH IN KONA ………donations move slowly

Mark Twain conmanGood Morning Pilgrims,

Religious Dogma be it Mormonism or Buddhism is, generally speaking, handed down from one generation to the next completely biased.  Most of us end up with one particular religion imprinted on us from birth so it’s rare someone converts to a different dogma as an adult.  I read an article over the weekend featuring a televangelist named Pastor Creflo Dollar.  I find his name appropriate given his conniving plans to have his congregation pay for a new Gulfstream private jet.

This genre of “Pastors” is nothing more than conmen.  There’s no difference between Bernie Madoff and Creflo Dollar except Bernie is spending the rest of his days in prison.  Dollar pulls his con off in a tax exempt (meaning we subsidize it) church over the airwaves.  He’s asking $300 from anyone who actually believes he speaks with God to collectively raise $65 million for a new G650 Gulfstream!  He makes no apologies—explaining he spoke to God and God said it was good.

Does God actually require a $200 million gathering place?

The Dalai Lama said, “This is my simple religion. There is no need for temples; no need for complicated philosophy. Our own brain, our own heart is our temple; the philosophy is kindness.”

My idea of spiritual growth falls more in line with Napoleon’s… “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich”

Ironically we were warned about these nefarious assholes in the New Testament! Matthew 7: 15-16 says, 15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.  16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

Creflo Dollar joins a substantial line of con men sucking the life blood out of millions under the guise of being ‘men of God.’  Oral Roberts locked in a tower until his congregation raised a cool million to get him out! Who could forget Jimmy Swaggart’s tearful (phony) confession for a life-long obsession with whores?  Jim Baker, Billy James Hargus, Robert “Put your hands on the TV set” Tilton, and Ted Haggard’s miracle of overcoming homosexuality after 30 days of rehabilitation—clearly these are men of God!

Look, please don’t get me wrong.  I’ve met many who live their religion sacrificing portions of their modest resources to a local church/pastor without larceny in their hearts.  These folks tend to pray in private and quietly go about personal spirituality in their own way.  I respect that.

It’s disturbing to know that literally millions of people are so void of spiritual fulfillment or desperate enough that they fall prey to these cons!  They truly believe writing a $1,200 check and putting their hands on the television set will heal a chronic pain or be showered with riches.  These morons are also part of the problem….C’mon wake up and smell the lucre!

I suspect the two or three of you reading this piffle are smart enough to see through the horseshit and hang on to your respective wallets.  Having said all this though, I’m not one to sit on my hands when opportunity knocks.  I see a fortune to be made off of these poor delusional suckers…I mean people and plan to start my own church.  Don’t worry….God told the good Reverend Marzuki that he needs to build a church in Kona, HI….the poor Polynesian polytheistic pilgrimage needs guidance.

To get ‘Marzuki’s Church of Unabashed Fleecing’ off the ground, particularly in Kona will require I visit the Big Island regularly—asking God to direct me to the location he/she would prefer.

All of this takes a rather large sum of money.  So get on board and join me in this “mission from God.” Please liquidate all assets, drain your bank accounts, and have a ‘garage sale.’  Then catch the first flight to Vegas and walk straight to the nearest Roulette Wheel…..put it all on black.  Don’t doubt this remember….God told me to do this.

See you in Kona for the ‘Turning Water to Wine’ mixer!!!!




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