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Stanley Jacobs, CPA, and The Price Is Right by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

I watched a lot of TV game shows as a kid.  I won’t bother listing all that I remember, as I’m sure many will be cited and discussed in other Retro stories.  And, for whatever reason, I have absolutely no interest in watching game shows now — even “Jeopardy,” which I have always considered quite…
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I Wouldn’t Want to Belong…. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Cliques and Clubs

/ Stories

This week’s prompt reminds me of the famous Groucho Marx line (apocryphal or not): “I wouldn’t want to belong to any club that would have me as a member.”  Indeed, I would not be surprised if some of the other Retro writers also cite it this week. In any event, to the extent it applies…
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What’s In A (Dog’s) Name? by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Naming Pets

/ Stories

One of my favorite anecdotes —  I wish it were my own, but it was told to me years ago by someone else — is about a dog’s name. And I have no idea if it is apocryphal or not.  In any event, per the teller of the anecdote to me, he had a friend…
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Radios and Radiators by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Remembering Radios

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I had a vivid recollection of my first radio, and found an image on-line, right down to its bright yellow and red plastic exterior.
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The (Local) Politics of Recycling by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Recycling

/ Stories

One of my favorite adages is: “To a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” This adage really applies to so many situations.  And, as a political junkie, I would amend it to read: “To a political junkie, everything looks like a political act.”  I certainly feel this applies to COVID-related issues such as wearing a…
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And To Think That I Saw It….. (RetroFlash) by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

When I read as a kid I loved most Dr. Seuss. His words opened new worlds They just set me loose.   And his pictures – oh my! They so captured his rhymes. As I met these new creatures Just so many times.   And my favorite by far Was “Mulberry Street.” And all that…
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The Shop and The Court by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

My mother always worked.  Not because she had to, but because she loved to.  Indeed, at the time of her death at age 81, she was still running her own museum-style gift shop, Natural Choice, which I have written of previously.  Here is one of my mother’s postcard ads from Natural Choice (I come by…
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COVID YEAR 2.0/Post-Vac by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Vaccination

/ Stories

Got both my shots at Fenway. Sweet as the Sox Sweeping a doubleheader. Then a free “lam job” at Staples; Best “Get Out of Jail” card evah!   First taste of post-vac freedom: Return to my barbershop to undo My year of DIY haircuts. Paul works his magic, as we chat away. Now I’m ready…
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Nick Burns, Your Company’s Computer Guy by
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(119 Stories)

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Two independent threads intersect for me here: my own skill, or lack thereof, as a techie, and Saturday Night Live sketches. 
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Wonder Boys. Wonder Boys. Wonder Boys. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Rewatchable Movies

/ Stories

I love watching movies and there have been many movies I have loved.  But I almost never re-watch a movie.  Why?  To state the obvious, I’ve already seen it and life is short.  I feel the same way about re-reading books, even the ones I’ve loved. The only movie I recall seeing twice growing up…
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Knives Out and Go Fork Yourself by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Manners

/ Stories

As this prompt wisely notes, there are manners (both good and bad) beyond simply table manners.
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White Privilege – RetroFlash by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Inequality

/ Stories

There is racial injustice. I learned that early From good parents. “Limousine liberals,” to be sure (as am I, even driving an Accord). But I learned it.   All through high school I tutored and taught programs For poor Black kids in New Haven, Along with dedicated Black educators.   I’d like to think I…
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So…. (A RetroFlash) by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Pet Peeves

/ Stories

So... So many grammar peeves. So where to begin?
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DIY Haircuts (COVID Story 2.0) by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Haircuts

/ Stories

Having recently written my COVID story, this minor aspect of it came immediately to mind when I saw our current haircut prompt. Back in March of 2020 (i.e., COVID Year 1 A.D.), I realized, sadly, that I wasn’t going to be getting haircuts at my neighborhood barbershop for a while.  And this was to be…
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Pandemic RetroFlash by
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(119 Stories)

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Damn COVID!  Doesn’t deserve more than 100 words. Here goes: Tragedy:  Worse than it had to be. (Thanks, Trump.)  So may lives taken and families wrecked.  In so many ways. Personal silver linings: Streaming galore. Family and friends Zooming.  Zoom mastery.  Immersion in non-profit boards (via Zoom, of course). Immersion in on-line courses (especially music…
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Jingles Singles by
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(119 Stories)

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For whatever reason -- probably because of my high NQ (nerdiness quotient) -- I have always been fascinated with commercial jingles.  Actually, my brother may have been my main influencer on this. 
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The Old Man and the Sea – RetroFlash by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By First Memory

/ Stories

Finally we drove down the road past our house Onto the dirt part. (We’d always turned off there.)   We drove on for miles. And came to an old man With a small house and boat by the ocean.   The old man was quite friendly.  A relative? We ate at a table outdoors. He…
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Valentine’s Day RetroFlash Doggerel by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Valentine's Day

/ Stories

Roses are red, But sometimes they're pink. My best Valentine's story Can be found at this link.
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Inauguration Organization by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Inaugurations

/ Stories

At first, I was stumped by this week’s prompt.  Sure, I’ve watched plenty of United States Presidential inaugurations, and even still have a pretty clear recollection of the one in 1961 when poor old Robert Frost stood shivering outside reading his poem and rich young JFK told us all to “Ask  not….”    But, as…
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Goodie Goodie Trouble by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Good Trouble

/ Stories

It’s tough to get in good trouble when you’re a goodie goodie. And, for better or worse, I have always been a goodie goodie. And who/what exactly is a goodie goodie? It’s someone who tries so hard — too hard —  not to get in trouble in the first place, good or bad. Guilty, as…
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Brother Tom by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Reconnecting

/ Stories

Obvious choice: reconnecting with now-wife decades after junior high crush.  Lovely, but too obvious. So….brother Tom. Not unfriendly, but distant for many years.  Dynamic bad with my then-wife. Then, our mother dying.  Brings us closer together: during and after.  Tom’s lovely relationship with my now-wife makes bond even stronger. We’re still very different, but tight…
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I’m the Uncool Cat in the Hat (RetroFlash) by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Hats

/ Stories

(With deepest apologies to Dr. Seuss.) We looked! Then we saw him Step on the mat. We looked! And we saw him. The uncool cat in the hat. And he said to us, “Why do you sit there like that? I know it is wet And the sun is not sunny. But I know with…
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Pictures Not At An Exhibition by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Having been an anthropology major (in the bowels of the Peabody Museum in Cambridge) and then  -- formerly -- married to the President of the American Museum of Natural History, I've got a lot more I could say about natural history museums than art museums.
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Songs in the Key of Life (RetroFlash) by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Dear Teenage Me,* Good news: lots of songs to come.  Not-so-good news: songs get worse (even per my daughters). Lessons from songs? Beatles?  Great songs, but nope. “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”  (Really? That’s All? What if she’s just seventeen?) “She Loves You” (But how do YOU feel?) “Please Please Me” (Opposite problem.)   Stones? …
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I Love Letters. Annotated RetroFlash. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Thank You

/ Stories

I love letters.  Especially love letters. (See my 1/22/20 story.) But all letters. Even condolence notes. (See my 10/17/20 story.)  And letters from old college pals. Thanks, Suzy.  (See Suzy’s 1/18/20 story.) Mom taught me right.  Write.  Including thank you notes.  Emails are not thank you notes.  Thank you notes are written on paper or…
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I Stream, You Stream….. by
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(119 Stories)

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I stream, you stream. Here’s a list of much that we’ve streamed:   Outlander A Place Called Home Ozark New Tricks Vera The Crown The Detectorists Shakespeare and Hathaway Etched in Glass Schitt’s Creek Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears Hamilton Borgen The Queen’s Gambit Midsomer Murders In Vino Roadkill…
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Things That Go Lum in the Night by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Hello Darkness

/ Stories

Lum.  Family dog for decade.  Big, oafish Lum. Size and features of Newfoundland.  Fur and coloration of German Shepherd.
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It Was Great the First Time! by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Interviews

/ Stories

Unlike many other things in life (including in my own life), my very first professional interview was also my best one.
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What A Difference A Year Makes by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Holidays

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One of the main impacts that this annus horribilis has had on all of us has been the severe limitation on our options. 
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Telling Tales/Spelling Tales by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Spelling

/ Stories

With no single interesting spelling recollection, let me just share a number of spelling "vignettes" (for lack of a better word).
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The “Duty” of Volunteerism by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Volunteering

/ Stories

Too often, I see a new prompt and my first reaction is, in effect, “I got nothin’.” Then I somehow cobble something together — usually too much — so that I end up with “plenty of nothin’.” (“Porgy and Bess” earworm right now.)    But this week, on volunteers, I could have way too much…
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Hula Dodge (Dodge Hula?) by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Fads and Trends

/ Stories

I, along with the other kids in my neighborhood, were swept up in the hula hoop craze of the late 50’s.  But we took it one step further. Our house was on a corner, so it was usually a school bus stop for a lot of us.  At some point during the craze, to kill…
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Random(?) Acts of Kindness(?) by
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(119 Stories)

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Let me note at the top that this a terrific, thought-provoking prompt.  Indeed, for me, perhaps too thought-provoking. First off, a wee bit of analysis of this concept. (Apologies; it is the crit lit in me.)  Per Wikipedia: “A random act of kindness is a non-premeditated, inconsistent action designed to offer kindness towards the outside…
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Electile Dysfunction* by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

I can think of three elections that, for different reasons, really depressed me.  Let me set them forth chronologically below. The first one was JFK.  No, not his election in 1960; that thrilled me.  We even got to stand by our house and wave to his passing motorcade when he was going from one campaign…
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Nuthin’ on Buttons by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

This will be a pretty short story because, as my title pretty obviously foreshadows, I don’t have much to say on this prompt, grammatically or otherwise.  For reasons I will discuss below, I have just never been into political buttons and the like. As Retro readers must know, I am not lacking in political convictions,…
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The Good Old Days? by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

When I first considered this prompt, I realized I had already written three stories that fairly heavily addressed the issue of life pre-computers.  Two are stories about how I did not learn how to type, and the third was about snail mail and love letters. However, I am reticent to re-publish older stories if I…
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I Choose Shoes by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Shoes

/ Stories

Freud either did or did not say “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar” — or was that Groucho Marx? In any event, I have generally believed that “shoes are just shoes” and not metaphors, icons, status symbols or whatever.  However…. As I pondered this prompt and how it related to me, I realized that…
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Tennis Mom by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Final Farewell

/ Stories

My mother loved tennis.  There was much more to her than that, but that was a very important part of her being.  When thinking about this “Final Farewell” prompt, I realized just how prominent tennis had been in our farewell to her and thought this could make an interesting story. First, some relevant backstory.  My…
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My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Rites of Passage

/ Stories

I have had my share of the usual rites of passage: no bar mitzvah, but two weddings, some funerals (not mine), and a ton of graduations.  Of these, and passing the inherent sadness of funerals, I can quickly identify which was the worst experience for me: my law school “graduation” from Columbia Law School (“CLS”)…
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Puzzled by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Brain Games

/ Stories

Talk about prescient.  Before this prompt was posted (I swear it), in writing my “Lost and Found” story about how to find lost stuff, I noted the following: “A seeming digression which isn’t really a digression. In fact, it is really the whole point of this story. If any of the other Retro members reading…
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How to Find Lost Stuff by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Lost and Found

/ Stories

I am a very methodical, organized person, or at least try to be. A place for everything and everything in its place kind of guy.
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When John met Sally. And Tom. And Hillary. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Fame

/ Stories

Say what you will about Woody Allen, he wrote a movie about invisibility among fame, “Zelig,” that not only resonated at the time, but created an eponymous term for a phenomenon that has endured. (Think also “Machiavellian,” “Quisling” and “Benedict Arnold.”) (Zelig and friends.) And so, when I consider the concept of fame from my…
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Black Thumb by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By The Garden

/ Stories

I have always loved gardens and flowers.  Looking at them, that is; I’m absolute rubbish at growing them, or just keeping them alive.  So not a green thumb, but a black thumb.  Hence the featured image. In college, I was so bad about keeping plants alive (try as I might), my roommates presented me with…
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I’ll Never Become a POFA! by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By I Swore I'd Never

/ Stories

A few days before my Harvard College commencement in 1971, there was a loud knock on the front door of our suite when I was there with most of my roomies.  To refresh recollections from one of my earlier stories, the featured image is what we looked like then.  (I’m No. 29 in your program,…
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Orderly Birth? by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Birth Order

/ Stories

First of all, I need to make clear that I agree with all those studies indicating that birth order among siblings does — or at least can — have an impact on the siblings.  I saw this up close with my former wife and her younger sister, my wife and her two younger sisters and…
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Forgiveness by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Forgiveness

/ Stories

For better and worse, I have the mind of a joke teller.  Indeed, I was told a few years by a prominent Russian-American writer that my last name translates, more or less, to “jokester” in Russian.  (“Shutki” is apparently the Russian word.) Thus, when Pope’s famous line about forgiveness was cited in this week’s prompt,…
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Not Yet Ready for Bunny Slippers by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Pandemic Summer

/ Stories

This is a horrible time.  Arguably, it is worse than when we originally wrote about COVID in the spring and everyone assumed that we would be getting back to “normal” in a few months, even if we never believed any of Trump’s nonsense about COVID magically disappearing or that everything would open up again by…
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Chicken S—- by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

When we were kids, my brother and I had a huge compendium of age-appropriate jokes entitled, originally enough, “Jokes, Jokes, Jokes.”  Between us, I think we can still recall one hundred percent of the jokes, jokes, jokes.  This week’s prompt particularly brought to mind the following: Teacher to kid: “Your handwriting is atrocious.” Kid to…
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My Little Bit for the Movement by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Protests

/ Stories

Not surprisingly, I can check the boxes in terms of attending the Vietnam protest marches during our college years: the rally on the Boston Common in October 1969, various marches and meetings at Harvard in the spring of 1969 and 1970 and, of course, the massive March on Washington in May 1970. But my participation…
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Deconstructing this Prompt by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Chance Encounters

/ Stories

This is a great prompt.  And it is also very difficult, at least for me, to respond to.  So let me try to deconstruct it instead.  Though I do this with some reluctance. The last time I tried something like this, it was on a consumer protection final exam in the second semester of my…
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Blueberries and Pork Chops by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Embarrassment

/ Stories

To me, the essence of a truly embarrassing moment is that the mere recollection of it, even years later, causes one to cringe.  I have one of those. So much so that I can truthfully say that this is the first time I have ever disclosed it to anyone else (parents, spouses and sibling included). …
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It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad Mad World by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Magazines

/ Stories

Well, no awards for originality this week.  Not only is Mad Magazine referenced in the prompt, it is the prompt’s featured image (that great cover of Alfred E. Neuman carved on Mt. Rushmore).  But that only means that great minds think alike (wink, wink, Retro administrator) because, at least for us Boomers, there was no…
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My Uncles, the (Possibly Unwitting) Gangsters by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Aunts & Uncles

/ Stories

This story is part of my family lore, passed on — and quite possibly embellished — by my mother’s younger brother Paul.  Uncle Paul was quite the raconteur, and also a bit of a wheeler-dealer, so it must be taken with a huge grain of Kosher salt. The story concerns Uncle Paul and his older…
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Putting the “Me” in “Memorabilia” by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Memorabilia

/ Stories

It is not as though I have not saved a fair amount of my stuff, dating back at least from high school.  And I have not (consciously) thrown any of it out over the years.  Indeed, when I retired at the end of last year, I had to set up additional file space at home…
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Scent of a Woman by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

This week’s prompt has not exactly motivated the Muse of Creativity to come and seduce moi.  Sure, smells are evocative — I mean, they are one of only five senses, right? — and I have hardly been immune to their evocation.  But do I have any truly original memories of smells? Who among us non-olfactorally-challenged…
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Home, (Pretty Damn) Sweet Home by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Part of the fun of writing for Retro is knowing that, given our relatively shared demographics (age, education, affluence, political persuasion, etc.), we are likely to hit very common chords in our stories. Stories that will resonate — be they happily or sadly — with each other.  Layer on top of this the lives we…
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Watch Out For That Bird! by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Superstition

/ Stories

This is not a good prompt for me.  I am, or like to think I am, a thoroughly rational creature.  No superstitions for me.  No “knock on wood” or “lucky” shirts to wear for tests or, conversely, fear of walking under (non-tottering) ladders or crossing of paths by black cats.  Bah, humbug! So I needed…
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Dugan’s Man! by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Door-to-Door Sales

/ Stories

As mentioned, I grew up in a rural town in Connecticut called Bethany.  Bethany was only about five miles (actually five and six-tenths, as I recall the directions my parents would explicitly give out) from the New Haven line, but truly was “the sticks” at that time.  It had only two general stores/gas stations.  So…
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That Damn Dream by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Dreams

/ Stories

I hate to be prosaic, but the simple fact is that the only dream I have had that comes to my mind in response to this prompt is that damn one about not having studied for the exam (hereinafter, the “Dream”).  I have had the Dream regularly ever since — surprise, surprise! — junior high…
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Mrs. Spykman by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Particularly as I get older, and possibly more maudlin, I see the risk of idealizing earlier life experiences.  Not only does memory fade a bit, but who would not want to embrace a warm recollection of youth?  That said, this is one of the warmest for me, and I’d like to think it was just…
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Mad Dog by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Nicknames

/ Stories

Not surprisingly, I was called “Johnny” as a little kid.  Didn’t love it; didn’t hate it, but it almost entirely disappeared at some point in elementary school.  Only my family and close family friends continued to call me that from then on, and I always allowed them to.  Indeed, it is sad to think of…
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House Arrest by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

It is too early in the COVID-19 crisis, at least for me, to have any real “war stories” about it, other than to acknowledge — as even Trump finally has, if not all of Fox Nation — that it is a crisis.  So I thought I would try to extrapolate instead with some predictions about…
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A Tribe of One’s Own by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Finding Your Tribe

/ Stories

Groucho Marx famously wrote, “I don’t want to belong to any club that would accept me as one of its members” in his resignation letter to the Friars’ Club.   Though I consider myself a very sociable extrovert, I have often felt the same way.  And I may come by it honestly, or at least genetically. …
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I Care. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Caregiving

/ Stories

This week’s prompt is a toughie for me.  To be sure, five years ago, we moved my wife’s mother, then 90, up from Florida to an assisted living facility very near where we live in Massachusetts. Caring for her since then — she is now in the dementia unit, though her physical health remains remarkably…
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Leap Year Anniversary by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Leap Day

/ Stories

I can usually come up with a story about a Retro prompt, though sometimes not without a further, well, prompt, from the Retro Administrator/Muse.  But I really came up empty on this week’s prompt.  I’m an August baby, but early in the month, so I don’t even have to deal with the sort of half-birthday…
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The Old Man by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Family Myths

/ Stories

As we know, not all myths are happy ones.  And that certainly goes for family myths.  So let me tell you about my maternal grandfather, one Albert J. Fleischmann.  Or, as my grandmother referred to him, “the Old Man.”  Or simply “that SOB.” If I ever met the Old Man, I was too young to…
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Kids’ Cartoons: The Real Stars of the Shows by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Deep rumination about this week’s prompt — and, yeah, a bit of tactful noodging by the Retro Admin to put my storehouse of childhood trivia knowledge to even greater use — has compelled me to write another story on the kids’ cartoons of our youth. I don’t think what I have to say here is…
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The Early, Early Show(s) by
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(119 Stories)

/ Stories

This week’s prompt is, for me, like a hanging curve ball thrown right into my wheelhouse.  Boy, do I know from children’s TV shows when we were growing up!  As Billy Crystal said in the movie “Forget Paris” when they gave him a paper cup and a copy of Playboy at a fertility clinic and…
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Not the Retiring Kind….. by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Retirement

/ Stories

My long-standing default mode, for better or worse, is smart ass (“SA”).  Thus, I was tempted to only write in response to this week’s prompt something to the effect of, “Look, as I write this, I’ve been retired for a grand total of five weeks, half of which was spent on an incredible cruise in…
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A Political Movement by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Moving Day

/ Stories

Simply put, we were desperate to move back to a deeply blue eastern state.
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Semi-Super Bowl Memories by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Super Bowl

/ Stories

The Super Bowl does not generate in me the sort of  "Where were you when?" navel-gazing that JFK's assassination and the first moon landing did.
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Love Letters. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Snail Mail

/ Stories

I too have always loved snail mail letters: the inherently personal nature of them (especially handwriting), the tactile nature of them and the sheer anticipation of them.
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My Zelig-like New Year’s Eves by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By The New Year

/ Stories

As "First Gentleman," I was able to enjoy a Zelig-like side life of hobnobbing with NY's rich and famous ("R 'n F").
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The Irishman, a/k/a Deja View by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Three and a half hours is a long time for any movie, especially for those of us with BBB ("Baby Boomer Bladders"), and my wife had no interest in seeing it. But then the Movie Gods happily intervened.
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Card-y Hearty by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Holidaze

/ Stories

"My mother always stressed to my brother and me the importance of cards for "connection" -- staying close to other people in one's life, both near and far."
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The Lost Cousin of Milwaukee by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Cousins

/ Stories

Linda had inherited my aunt's role as the matriarch of the family -- the unofficial historian and part-time yenta who always knew what was going on with everyone.
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Charity Begins At Home Redux (with apologies to Betsy) by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Charity

/ Stories

I really do a lot of non-profit work and always have.  But, in many ways, I feel as if it was a non-choice given my upbringing.
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You Must Have Been A Beautiful Baby… by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Baby Books

/ Stories

When I saw this week's prompt, I immediately thought, in NFL parlance, this would be a "bye week" for me.
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Who the F*ck Is Bernie? by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Surprise!

/ Stories

Who the f*ck is Bernie?  Hint: it's not the guy in this photo.  
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Harmless Old F*rt by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Ageism

/ Stories

Here's where ageism really grates: when you know that you are viewed by those around you as a harmless old f*rt. 
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The Dog Who Caught the Car by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By The Crush

/ Stories

When I think of crushes, and their implicit unattainability, I always think of the adage about dogs who chase cars. But what would they do if they ever caught a car? 
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What, Me Worry? by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Hacks and Scams

/ Stories

I don't understand what the big deal is with this week's prompt.  Hacks and scams?  OK; I've had a few, but too few to mention.
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The Road to Hell Game by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Games People Play

/ Stories

We concluded that it was a really dangerous game to play - a "Road to Hell is Paved With Good Intentions" game...
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Those Lazy – Hazy – Crazy Days of Summer by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Road Rage

/ Stories

This story has a road rage component, but... it is just one component of a memorable day for which the title seemed quite apt.  Though maybe more crazy than lazy.
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Zeph by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Zeph was beloved by all in Lowell House, at a time when administrators were not exactly beloved at Harvard.
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Recess and Snack by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Kindergarten

/ Stories

I really have only two distinct memories of kindergarten: recess and snack.
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And the Home of the Grave…… by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Genealogy

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I have no interest in being buried in this cemetery. I'm thinking that cremation sounds warm and cozy.
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My Favorite Neighbor: TR by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Neighbors

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This is sort of a trick story, since my titular neighbor had been dead a long time before I became his neighbor.  His name was Theodore Roosevelt; you may have heard of him
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Dud by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Fireworks

/ Stories

But, whether related to this initial aversion or not, I have always been reluctant to embrace metaphorical fireworks either.  Just something too ephemeral and excessive for my "all things in moderation" view of life.
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Life Savers by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Honesty

/ Stories

My mother, of course, overheard this and immediately turned the car around, while explaining to everyone that we were going back to the store and that Johnny (what I was called then) would return the package and apologize to the store manager.  Her voice was controlled, but I knew that she was angrier at me than she had ever been in my life.  The other kids moved away from me as if I and/or the Life Savers carried some highly communicable disease. 
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Holy Matrimony by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Honeymoon

/ Stories

Thus was I presented with the first moral struggle of my marriage, not yet 24 hours into it.  I knew I had a hole in one of my socks. 
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Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow? by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By First Dates

/ Stories

Just a great slow dance song, so who was I to complain?  Blessedly, Susan seemed happy to dance it with me, slowly and closely.  And the touch and sweet smell of her still slightly damp hair as she rested her head on my shoulder were intoxicating. I pondered the song's title question as we danced, as well as thinking of another, totally incongruous song title, "I Could Have Danced All Night."
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Bethany and Beyond by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By My Hometown

/ Stories

How small?  Well, 2,000 residents at that time - - and, arguably, even more cows and horses.  That said, it was not quite like that proverbial town that was so small that the "Now entering ____" and "Now leaving ___" signs were painted on the opposite sides of the same sign. 
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Pre-Law? Naw! by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

I knew enough about the process to know that, unlike pre-med, there was really no such thing as "pre-law."  In fact, I was amused that the only guys who seemed to label themselves as being "pre-law" were these huge college football players introducing themselves before games on TV. (See illustration in Featured Image.)  I was pretty sure that these guys were more likely to end up as members of the NFL than the ABA.
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Ultimate PE by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

We quickly realized ,,, that the rules of touch football could easily be adapted to Frisbee, so off we went to our high school football field -- turf none of us had ever set foot on other than those in the marching band -- to play what we called, at the risk of obviousness, Frisbee Football ("FF").
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Blue Book by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Exams

/ Stories

" [T]he final grades [were to be] based solely on the grades of the papers, but...any student opting for this waiver nonetheless had to show up for the final exam, sign his/her name in a blue book and remain in the exam room for at least half of its 3-hour duration before being allowed to be dismissed.  [The section leader] was apologetic; many of us were apoplectic...
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Driving Blind by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Learning to Drive

/ Stories

Growing up in the suburbs, getting one's driver's license was perhaps the second most important rite of passage in teenagerdom after puberty itself.  In fact, an argument could be made that, without your license, you might as well not even shave (anywhere). 
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The Grand Tour by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Spring Break

/ Stories

My mother had a very privileged upbringing.  As a result, she still believed that families should take "The Grand Tour(s)" of Europe (hereinafter, "TGT") when my brother and I were growing up, even though this was already a bit of an anachronism.
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“Polly; just Polly” by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Women We Admire

/ Stories

I was initially stumped by this week’s prompt.  As with “betrayal,” I take the term “admire” very seriously, and was having a hard time thinking of any woman (other than Eleanor Roosevelt or my mother) to write about.  But then Suzy, knowing a fair bit of the backstory, emailed me and said, “What about Polly?” …
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Like, You Know, Betrayal by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Betrayal

/ Stories

I view the term ["betrayal"] as representing a very devastating act.  You know; like Caesar getting the shiv at the Senate. And, while I'd like to think my life has been pretty interesting (at least to me), I  was skeptical that I had ever been party to something that truly traumatic. 
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A (Very Small) Room of My Own by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By My First Apartment

/ Stories

It required a convertible sofa, as there was no way that a regular bed could be put in there and allow for any other furniture.  I used to semi-joke that it had the advantage, when the sofa was unfolded, that you didn't have to get out of bed to go to the bathroom...
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Take the Money and Run? by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Close Calls

/ Stories

I checked the WSJ for the stock price, did the math and took a deep breath.  Gentlemen don't tell, of course, but the resulting number was deep into eight figures, and that was before the decimal point.
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Not My Type by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Good Riddance

/ Stories

"...if I were still chained to a typewriter, not only would I not be writing this story (duh), I probably wouldn't be writing any damn stories at all."
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Applesauce Cake by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Recipes

/ Stories

Ironically, applesauce cake is sort of the "Holy Roman Empire" of cakes.  At least my mother's recipe contained virtually no applesauce, and you certainly couldn't taste it. 
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Cakequake by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Disasters

/ Stories

"[D]isasters" are inherently subjective; they are in the eye of the beholder.  As Mel Brooks noted, "Tragedy is when I cut my finger.  Comedy is when you fall into an open sewer and die."
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Independence Daze by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Independence

/ Stories

"I have long thought about the interplay between personal responsibility and personal independence and the arc of them through life.  At birth, one has no responsibility and no independence.  As one becomes an adult, one has (or should have) greater independence but also greater responsibility.  And I remember thinking in college that this was the optimal point: huge independence but with very little responsibility (so long as one didn't flunk out)."
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You’re So Vain…. by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Hair

/ Stories

And my point is this: men are just as obsessed with their (ideally long, straight) hair as women are, and I am (or was) Exhibit A.
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Shower the People by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Babies

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"...apologies to all for my being guilty of a veritable hat trick of semi-venal sins in this piece: bragging, name dropping and laziness."
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Book -ish by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Libraries

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"...at some point my mother, observing my compulsive reading, suggested that quality, not quantity, might make me a happier reader in the long run. A wise mother."
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I’m Not the Type…. by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

Like all good boomers (especially Jewish ones), I still blame my mother for my own failings; in this case, my lack of typing skills.
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Watergate Vignettes by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Watergate

/ Stories

Let me just offer the first two personal vignettes that come to mind...
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Softball Wizard by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Sports

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[Being captain] required a steady stream of memos to be circulated around the firm (by uniformed messengers; these were pre-email days), and I did my best to lard them with incredibly stupid puns and many humorous riffs
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Roomies by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Roommates

/ Stories

Roomies -- sometimes it just works out right...
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Mustang Katy by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By My First Car

/ Stories

Boy, Mustang, beautiful girl. Life is good.
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My One Drive-In Movie Story by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Drive-Ins

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Here is my one drive-in movie story. It could probably form the basis for a John Hughes movie. I would have the Anthony Michael Hall role.
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Me On Cream (or vice versa) by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Concerts

/ Stories

I was not big on going to concerts, for various reasons, so I particularly recall going to a Cream concert my sophomore year of college.  That said, while it was either at Tufts or Brandeis, for the life of me I can’t remember which one (or how I managed to find the venue in those…
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My Father’s Advice, In Brief by
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(119 Stories)

Prompted By Father's Day

/ Stories

My father was a brilliant and pretty complicated guy, and I could go on at length about him.  Although a doctor, he was at least as much a writer (starting with journals he kept when he was in China during WW II) and did not suffer from a lack of opinions, or a desire to share…
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Doing Time on the Group W Bench by
100
(119 Stories)

/ Stories

I was on the Group W Bench... This was the place where all those mother rapers, father stabbers and father rapers who were considered morally unfit to join the Army and kill people were made to sit, possibly forever
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A Cast of Thousands… by
100
(119 Stories)

Prompted By Friendship

/ Stories

If I get the chance, I intend to write more specifically about my own friendships later — including my side of one of the previously written about friendships (though I couldn’t have said it any better, and feel exactly the same).  But I first wanted to publish my somewhat quirky take on the permanence (or not) of friendships, It…
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