Vehicular Means of Expression

The Chinese have fortune cookies.

The Japanese, haiku poems.

But for brevity and short U.S. attention spans,

you just can’t beat a bumper sticker.

We know you’re a 1960’s era Archie Bunker,

if you have an “America, love it or leave it,” sticker.

You grew up in the Disco 70’s

if your rear bumper sticker says,

“My other car is up my nose.”

A “$hit Happens” sticker tells us

your vehicle is a 1980’s model.

Another 1980’s one is, “Honk if you love Jesus.”

That era also gave us, “Honk if you’re horny.”

I’d have loved to have seen both stickers

proudly displayed on the same bumper.

You’re a parent in the 1990’s if your Minivan

had a sticker that said, “Baby on board.”

Were we supposed to congratulate you

for your ability to procreate?

At the peak of the “Baby on board” craze,

I saw a sticker saying, “Baby in trunk”.

In the 2000’s the family SUV’s rear window stickers,

featured a stick figure representing each family member.

My favorite one is of a stick guy humping

a woman stick figure with words

stating, “I’m working on it”.

One sticker had a helicopter firing missiles

directly at a stick family drawing saying,

“No one cares about your stick family.”

High schools give out bumper stickers

to their honor roll students.

Parents proudly display them.

Then we have the parent, likely to raise a bully

displaying his utter stupidity with his sticker saying,

“My kid just beat the crap out of your honor student”

That really shows the world the typical American attitude.

I don’t miss such bumper stickers as “I brake for Unicorns”,

“Obey gravity it’s the law” or “Don’t laugh it’s paid for.”

You’ve seen the guy in a rusty crapbox beater

with the sticker, “My other car is a Ferrari.”

I want to follow him home and say,

“I’d love to take a look at that Ferrari.”

If you drive a beat-up Pinto, belching black smoke,

you shouldn’t have a sticker about saving the planet.

A co-exist sticker has no place next to an NRA sticker.

“Jesus saves’ and a “Don’t mess with Texas,”

are almost always on the same car, or rather, truck.

You might see the angry, in your face sticker

“If you ain’t Texan you ain’t shit.”

Which means if you are Texan you are shit.

At least most vehicles with, “Save the Whales”

and other environment stickers are much easier to pass.

I hate the road rage style drivers

with “How’s my driving?” stickers.

Then you have the guy who cut you off

with his, “What would Jesus do?” sticker.

Perhaps, Jesus would use a turn signal

and thank you for letting him merge.

I saw a bumper stickers with a fair warning about the driver.

It proclaimed, “You are behind an angry religious right-wing extremist.”

If the bumper sticker on your Silverado, Ram or a PT Cruiser

shouts, ‘Take my American flag off your foreign car,”

you need to remove it as your vehicle was made in Mexico.

Team bumper stickers are quite popular.

It’s for the same reason guys wear team jackets.

They’d rather live in some athlete’s glory than none at all.

Their team bumper sticker is really declaring,

“I’m not a random blue-collar loser! I’m a STEELERS FAN!!!

Stoners put on a “Drugs Kill” bumper sticker.

Alcoholics a “Love is a Sober Driver” sticker.

It cuts down on getting stopped by the police

in those late-night roadside checkpoints.

My son is serving in the US Army” is good

for an additional 15 mph over the speed limit.

If you drive a Chevy Equinox or a Ram pickup

you definitely need a bright-colored bumper sticker.

That’s because these vehicles are like belly buttons,

so a sticker will help you find your car in a sea of lookalikes.

A study showed that drivers of cars with bumper sticker,

window decals, personalized plates and other territorial markers

are quicker to get mad and use their vehicle for road rage.

The personality transformation people have

behind the wheel of a car can be very scary.

My wife has said that I’m an aggressive driver.

I’ve explained to her that I’m only doing it because

other drivers are jerks who don’t know how to drive.

Drivers like me, are just trying to increase the overall quality

of driving on our highways by passing slow drivers

in no passing lanes, tailgating, using obscene gestures

and running people in our way off the road’s shoulder.

In the end everyone will become better drivers because

of the actions of us aggressive drivers.

As for bumper stickers, if their message makes your blood boil

it has conveyed the car owner’s intended message.

These folks are narcissists trapped in their crappy car.

They want you to know their shitty point of view.

The rustier the car, the more stickers

and the stronger their angry opinions.

It’s obvious they hate their car, family, ex-spouse,

crap job, crap life and are living in their mom’s basement.

Let’s be honest with bumper sticker drivers and tell them,

people don’t need bumper stickers to share their opinions.

We have Facebook, which gives us more privacy and safety

when we are sharing our ignorant, hateful offensive views.

Besides, we don’t have time to read your bumper stickers

because we are too busy texting while driving.

Lonnie Holley: “I Threw My Headback”

“I Woke Up” 

“Impatience often makes us patients.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana





















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Recliners, Orthotics and Bifocals

Every day at work seemed like it would never end. Then in what seemed like a blink of an eye you were old enough to retire. It didn’t really sneak up on you. You could have easily recognized the signs of aging. Remember when you were young and entered the workforce and thought about a keg party on the weekend. Now KEG has been replaced with EKG. You use to buy killer weed then you became a homeowner and were now buying weed killer. When you were young you felt invincible like Superman. You now feel like Superman after a double shift at the kryptonite mine. You now turn out the lights for economic reasons not romantic ones.  The snap, crackle pop sound that was your breakfast cereal is the sound your limbs make getting out of bed in the morning. You use to feel bad only from a hangover from a night on the town. Now, you feel that bad daily and you haven’t been anywhere the night before. Hell, your back now goes out more than you do. A night out at this age means sitting out on the patio. Happy hour now means a nap. Your job had become less fun and now that you’re retired fun has became a lot more work.  You’ve slowed down so much that it takes you two hours to watch, “60 Minutes.” You have become wise enough to watch your step but feeling too old to go anywhere. You also don’t want to fall as breaking a hip seems to be mandatory as you get older.

In retirement you will learn to do without a lot of things. That is because your feet are so tired you can’t stand in line for things. You’ve lost all your energy so you now procrastinate. A solution is to make to do lists of things you’ve already done. You’ve also gotten grumpier and can’t stand people who are intolerant. If a sales clerk tells you, “Have a good one” you reply, “I’m old I no longer have a good one.” You are now in AARP which gives you things like discounts on travel. That’s a waste as at this age you get travel sickness. You will also get discounts on getting your taxes done. You of course now don’t make enough money to pay taxes. You are now officially an old fart and when asked for donations reply, “I’m on a fixed income.” Discounts on drugs are a great benefit! You don’t do mind expanding drugs like you did when you were young, you now take memory enhancers. You are now on so many meds you’ve built an extension on to your medicine cabinet. You will be getting cortisone in so many body areas that you will think about alternatives. Perhaps, you should have your blood taken out and replaced with cortisone. That way you can just pinch the area hurting and activate the cortisone.

There are some things you can buy to make your retirement better. First off you will wonder when they started making chairs you couldn’t get out of. That is why you will need a good sturdy reclining chair. One that electronically raises and dumps you out is worth considering. If you and your wife are still getting along you can purchase a reclining sofa. You won’t have to sit next to each other as the center section does not recline. Also, get a reclining bed platform. This is great for reading or watching TV in bed. Raising the back slightly will cut down on the snoring from sleep apnea that you or your spouse definitely has. Get a great mattress that will ease your arthritic filled body. I usually buy local but could not find a mattress I liked. I’d recommend an online Pangea or if you’re flush with cash an Avocado mattress. Setting the platform to zero gravity will also help with the pains you have after your gym workout or chair yoga class. Those are both courtesy of the Silver Sneakers card your advanced age has provided.

Get some comfortable walking shoes. If you wear a wide EEEE like me I’d recommend shoes by Brooks, SAS, Drew or PW Minor. All are over $100 and will be deep enough for you to put your $500 orthotics in. You need these because of the bone spurs in each heel. At least twice a year you will get cortisone shots in your heels. You will also be getting these shots in your hips, back, knees and shoulders. You will have money for expensive shoes as you no longer have to buy clothes for work. You use to love going from store to store clothes shopping. Now you buy all your clothes in a medical supply store. All you need now are loose fitting diabetic socks, two long sleeve dress shirts, two casual short sleeve shirts and four colored t-shirts. Two of those must contain printed comments. I’d suggest statements like, “World’s Greatest Grandpa or Glam Ma.” You need one pair of navy or tan dress pants. You will also need two bark denim pairs of jeans. One can be tighter fitting but one must be baggy. That is the pair you will wear when you visit the orthopedic surgeon. You can easily roll them up for that cortisone shot in your knee or have access to have it drained (an experience you will not forget). Optional clothing is shorts accompanied by black high socks and sandals. Buy cheap bifocals and leave a pair in every room in the house.

There is a fine line between hobbies and mental illness. Home gardening and being a guy who mows his yard every other day is a mental illness. Get a hobby where you can get out and meet others of all ages. Impart some of your wisdom on younger generations and learn new ideas from them. You’re never too old to build community. Mark Twain said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter.” I say, “Work with others on issues that matter, no matter what your age is.”

World Party : “Ship of Fools”

“Private Revolution”

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.” ~ Betty Friedan




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Wondering About the Senses or a Sense of Wonder?

We see 60 images per second

and a dragonfly can see 200.

Reindeer can see UV light.

Sharks posses a homing device that guides

the shark even in the darkest, murkiest water.

The barn owl can pinpoint a sound

to the millimeter using their ears.

Dogs can hear a whistle that man can’t.

Jewel beetles can sense a pine fire tens of miles away.

Bumblebees use hair on their legs to detect

a flower’s electromagnetic field.

Elephant’s feet and trunks are sensitive enough to pick up

vibrations created by elephants as far as 10 miles away.

Bloodhounds can trace footsteps even in the worst weather.

Silvertip Grizzlies can smell you from 18 miles away.

Homing pigeons need no maps or compasses.

Millions of North American monarch butterflies

fly 1500 miles to the forests of Mexico every winter.

Arctic terns fly 1.5 million miles in their lifetime.

That is 3 round- trip flights to the moon.

Wild animals as a means of defense,

flee as man approaches them.

That motion is a comment on how

they have been treated by man.

They’ve heard that a bird in the hand

is worth two in the bush.

We use the term dumb animal.

Perhaps, the animal is superior to man.

We have subtle sounds we can’t hear,

rays of light we can’t see,

Yet we talk about the 5 senses

as if we posses any of them.

We have not further developed these senses

since our ancient cave dwelling past.

Yet, man thinks he is the pinnacle of civilization.

A blind man can develop a better sense of sound.

It’s as if Mother nature takes from something

not utilized to give to something needed.

Facilities considered dead weight

shifted to facilities most necessary.

As I remember reading Homer,

he never saw paradise until he was blind.

I appreciate a six sense, the sense of heart hunger

It drives men to look for soul-qualities

in others that we don’t posses,

that will complement our own soul.

Love might be the best sense because lovers

in completion with each other

to see who can love the most

can be the planet’s transforming force.

I hope some of this makes sense.


Astrix: “Beyond the Senses”

“If you are what you eat, you are what you see and hear.”
― E.A. Bucchianeri

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Worshipping a Psychopath


My mother was in her mid-eighties

and to use an old fashion term,

no longer used, failing to thrive.

She ended up in the hospital for weeks.

She loathed everything about being there.

The open at the back light cotton hospital gown

to her a clothing store fashion buyer,

was the height of utter humiliation.

She claimed there is a reason hospitals

have you wear them and also why

you are confined to lay horizontal in a bed

while the doctors and staff stand tall

next to you lying helpless in a bed.

The reason is to show the patient who’s in charge

and to signify you are at the hospital’s mercy.

At the funeral home for my mother’s showing

I heard interesting comments from women her age.

One said, “God took your mother

because he needed a harp player.”

This woman obviously didn’t know mom

as my mother had no musical skills.

Mom did like to listen to records on the stereo.

Ones by Barbara Streisand and Nat King Cole.

Another woman said, “God took your mother

because he needed another angel.”

These kinds of comments

invite my attention.

They also, frighten the Hell out of me,

pun very much intended.

Am I to understand that God

is killing us because he is recruiting

angels and his band needs harp players?

This makes him sound like some kind

of a murdering psychopath.

I think he’d be better off hiring

a human resource manager

or put a help wanted ad in Craigslist.

The priest at the funeral said that,

“God closes doors but opens windows.”

Personally I prefer doors

because I don’t fit through windows.

Peter Mulvey: “What Else Was It?”

“To emphasize the afterlife is to deny life. To concentrate on heaven is to create hell.” -Tom Robbins


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Deplorable Pizza for Deplorable People

Papa John blamed protesting players in the NFL

because his game time pizza sales fell.

Pizza Hut said they saw no drop in clientele.

The NFL players, black and white knelt in unity,

angry about cops shooting blacks with impunity.

Papa was only concerned with sales opportunity.

Papa worried about making the megabuck

said when he was a young Indiana buck

blacks were dragged behind a pickup truck.

He then proceeded to use the N word

which was recorded when it was heard

and he was dismissed from Chairman of the Board.

“Awful pizza, awful person. Papa John”.


Papa John’s has now been replaced by rival Pizza Hut

as the “official pizza of the NFL, that’s the scuttlebutt.


American Nazis want to make Papa John’s

the official pizza of white supremacists.

They want the name changed to Papa Adolph’s.

Add the slogan, “At Papa Adolph’s

we put the sauce in swastika.”

It will be made from white bread

and feature a crust like a border wall.

Hearing these Nazis speak, you think

so much for “white genetic superiority.”

Much like the GOP and Trump

Papa will not denounce the Nazis.

As pizzas go, Papa John’s is a felony

against all your taste buds.

Papa John is just as shitty as his pizza.

I’m all for Nazis eating shitty pizza.

Deplorable pizza for deplorable people.


Papa, worth $720 million won’t go away and be silent.

He penned a letter to his former employees.

It might have been written from the desk of his

$20 million 40,000 sq. ft. Kentucky castle

featuring a 22 car garage

complete with car wash

and a motorized turntable driveway.

Or it could have been written from

his $6 million condo in Naples. Florida

or his $23 million condo in Deer Valley, Utah.

Perhaps, he wrote it in his Citation 750 Jet

the fastest civilian business jet in the world.

The note to his former employees is because

Papa John was betting that they’d have his back.

It said, “Know that in every minute of every day

you are all in my thoughts and prayers.”

He cares about his employees so much that he fought

against healthcare and a minimum wage raise for them.

He cut his employee’s hours so he wouldn’t have to pay

health insurance when Obamacare was implemented.

He’d prefer his employees sneeze and cough

all over your pizza than help them to see a doctor.

It’s now the official “employees you can die

before we help you with health care pizza.”

Less healthcare bigger mansion, Papa John’s.


Papa thinks his pizza is so damn wonderful

that consumers will overlook his public racism.

Papa could have done wonderful things with his money.

Like rival the late, Mike Ilitch founder of Little Caesars.

Ilitch paid Rosa Parks’ rent for the last 11 years of her life.

That is a real contrast to greedy racist Papa John.

There are local pizza shops that need your business,

and don’t force you to eat racist crap

as a topping on your pizza.

Let me be very precise

and offer this advice:

Boycotting Papa’s crap pizza is no sacrifice.

It’s better to buy a local fresh pizza slice,

as you’ll think you’re in paradise

and be striking a blow for Civil rights.


Shady Things About Papa John.

“Pizza makes me think that anything is possible.” – Henry Rollins






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It’s Out of Our Arthritic Hands


Things happen to us as we age

that are totally out of our control.

We hit that age where we realize

everything is not going to be alright.

We get bored with pain and suffering.

We are no longer the architect of our life.

We no longer possess

a right knee and right hip

or left knee and left hip.

Just a bad knee and bad hip

and a worse knee and worse hip.

If you tell others who are your age

about your aches and pains

it turns into sufferer VS. critic.

They will robustly put their pain

in direct competition with yours.

I will compromise with you

and I’ll feel bad about your pain

if you feel bad about mine,

instead of playing tit for tat.

Nothing when dealing with health

is ever the perfect choice.

It becomes very hard to be practical.

It just leads you to your next step,

being uncertain about the future

which makes finding peace impossible.

Death is the one universal fact we all share.

Though we are older we have not

nor will ever grapple with death.

We will have moments of grief,

struggling with discomfort and disability

while trying to still be humane.

For now I’ll personally benefit

from lots of personal denial

about the process of aging gracefully.

Judy Collins: Cook With Honey

“If I knew I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” ~ Mickey Mantle


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A Welcoming Community

It is a hot July 80 degrees here in Ohio, so we make a silly decision. We head to Charlotte, North Carolina, where it is even hotter. We are going to see our daughter, who moved there a few months ago. The biggest part of our drive is through West Virginia. The scenery is beautiful but hard to study while you are driving on very winding roads. This is a state where you will find roads named Possum Hollow Road. A driver of a black SUV is going way over the speed limit. He is whipping from lane to lane. He cuts right in front of a semi truck as if the semi could stop on a dime. I’d like to get a look at the SUV driver. I suspect it is Charles Bronson because he has a death wish.

We stop for gas at a busy service center trying to be the Breezewood, PA. of West Virginia. We get some sodas and go to the register of the convenient store. A jittery bouncy toothless woman with a teenage girl’s body and an eighty year old woman’s face says,”What do you mean you’re all out of fountain energy drinks.” The young man at the register looks at energy woman and says to us, “It’s going to be a crazy day; ya all have a great day now.” A tavern sits next door with a sign that states, “You can’t buy happiness but you can buy a shot and that’s close.” A strip club called, “Southern Exposure” is on our left as we reenter the highway.

We drive through Virginia only for a small section. It needs no welcome sign; you are greeted by a state cop parked in the intersection every square mile. Virginia is for lovers and speeding fines. I was once stopped in Virginia and had to pay a big fine because I had a radar detector. I was treated like I was trying to bring a kilo of cocaine into Virginia. I am growing weary of left lane bandits who ride in that lane while driving under the speed limit. The driver of a car ahead of us has his arm sticking in the air. He is giving the I love you sign and does it for about three miles. I’m happy to see he has Ohio plates but wish he had both hands on the wheel.

You know when you have arrived in North Carolina. You’ll see places like an Exxon station featuring peaches, peach pies and a butcher shop. It’s also where you’ll find restaurants that don’t understand the reasoning of unsweetened iced tea. Charlotte drivers putter off from a red light but once they are on Jeff Gordon Expressway or Dale Earnhardt Boulevard divers seem required to drive like they are on a NASCAR track. Highway 3 is named after the car Dale was killed in. Your GPS system will also be confused by twelve roads named, Sharon. Sharon Road, Sharon Lane, Sharon Amity, Sharon Road West, Sharon Lakes Road etc. They are all named after a region in the Bible. A coastal plain in West Israel, extending from Tel Aviv to Mount Carmel.

You will find every denomination of churches in Charlotte. The biggest growing one is Elevation which is a mega church auditorium. Its thousands of members are referred to as Elevators by outsiders. The church takes in $25 million a year from its 17 locations with 9 being in the Charlotte area. It is one of the fastest growing churches in the USA.  Senior Pastor Steve Furtick and his wife built a 16,000 sq. ft. house with 7.5 bathrooms on 19 acres of land in Waxhaw, NC, a suburb of Charlotte. The house and land are valued at just under $1.8 million. The church will have a hard time changing the world as the pastor’s wife has told members they shouldn’t have friends outside of fellow church members. Former employees say they were paid low wages, worked long hours and were expected to give total access to their personal lives to church leaders.

We finally reached our daughter’s apartment building. In her parking lot a young boy plays unsupervised. He climbs a hill sits in a wheeled office chair and flies down the hill. Somehow he avoids crashing into parked cars. I later see the chair parked next to the garbage dumpster. It is hot out so our daughter takes us to the apartment complex’s pool. In the pool, two teenage Spanish-speaking couples are dancing to Spanish music. One couple gets in the pool and the boy tries to make out with the girl. She says in English, “Chill out there is kids in the pool.” He replies, “Oh come on baby.” She sings, “You say, “Hello.” He sings back, “And I say goodbye.” A big part of the apartment complex is made up of Latin American immigrants. I learn that there are currently over 3,000 international refugees from over 40 different countries living in Charlotte. The middle schools here teach over 12,000 students who speak over 160 different languages. Between 2004 and 2014, Charlotte was ranked as the country’s fastest-growing metro area, with 888,000 new residents.

In 2012 there was a rally to protest the growing Latin American population in Charlotte. The rally was organized by Neo-Nazis and the KKK. These groups were confronted by a counter demonstration by the Latin American Coalition. These counter-protesters dressed like clowns and brought squeaky toys, whistles, noise-makers, red noses and flour–every time the Nazis and Klan mentioned “white power” the counter demonstrators sprinkled white flour in to the air. The “Send in the Clowns” action worked and the white supremacist realized they were being drowned out and mocked as clowns and left.  The Latin American Coalition said, “While racism and hate are serious business, hate groups coming to our city is just ridiculous.  The type of rhetoric these groups espouse does not work to move our country forward. We reject such divisiveness. Take your hate somewhere else, there’s no room for hate discourse in our community.”

My daughter’s boyfriend drove us to a nearby South Carolina flea market. There were lots of Latino vendors. We see fresh veggies including cactus, chili pepper plants and green beans a foot long. A black man buys a speaker from a white vendor wearing a shirt with a rebel flag on it. A biker is buying a $5 helmet. I wonder if he thinks a $5 helmet will protect his head. Probably more than the silly do rag he is wearing. I love seeing a white man vendor speaking Spanish to a woman wearing a Guatemala t-shirt. A Hispanic elderly woman is selling Tupac and Fred Sanford t-shirts. Upon leaving we pass a giant fire station. Probably needed with the mix of 100 degree heat and abundance of fireworks wholesalers.

We learn that downtown Charlotte is called “uptown,”much to the confusion of tourists. The city of Charlotte now has over 199 neighborhoods. The very first Family Dollar opened up in Charlotte in 1959. Within 10 years, it turned into a 50-store chain. By 2013, 78,000 Family Dollars had emerged in 48 states. One every 3 miles in Ohio it seems. Charlotte’s Museum of History shut down. It ran out of money as people were not willing to pay to visit it. A young Charlotte resident commented on the closing saying, “Charlotte has a past. It’s just not living in it.” We leave knowing we will miss our daughter but I am comforted by that comment and the peaceful, humorous direct action confrontations of the Latin American Coalition. I am grateful that our daughter is only an eight-hour drive away. I feel for those immigrants in Charlotte that are thousands of miles away from their families.  Our daughter has found a new home and we hope young people like her will make Charlotte a welcoming community.

Teach Your Children~ CSN

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” -FDR














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