Piranhas in the Pantry


My youngest son was home from college for spring break a few weeks ago. Usually, when I’m expecting him home, I make a shopping trip to fill my refrigerator, and nearby pantry to their absolute, maximum capacity. Have you ever heard the proverb that says, “It takes a village to raise a child?” Well, I think it should say it takes a village, to “feed” a child. If you’ve raised children; you already know how expensive it is to fulfill all their unique and substantial dietary needs. Making my grocery list before my son’s visit, I paused to reminisce about what it was like to raise two extremely hungry boys. I then thought about how things have changed over the past few years. With my oldest out on his own, and the youngest in his final year of college; my food budget has been virtually sliced in half, and my vacation stash, has practically doubled.

To think that just a few years ago, due to my wife working long hours as a nurse practitioner in a hospital; I was doing most of the grocery shopping. To be honest – shopping is a tough job. I give a lot of credit to women or men, who balance careers, take care of homes, and raise children. I took grocery shopping seriously. I would clip coupons, look for specials at the supermarket, plan filling and nutritious meals, and do my best to keep the refrigerator full of an assortment of meats, cheeses, eggs, yogurts, and fruits and vegetables. My pantry would also be stocked with dry goods, assorted cans of soup, and basics such as sugar and flour. In my fervor to provide a balanced and healthy, but economical diet for our family, I overlooked one small problem. It seemed that I had piranhas in my pantry. Continue reading

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Simple Observations – Almost, Out of This World


Here are a few more snippets from my new book, Simple Observations – A Humorous Look at the Absurdity of the World Around Us. I hope you consider getting the book as a present for someone special in your life who is near and dear, but may be just a little messed up. My wife has already bought thirty copies for me. I keep telling her that I wrote the darn book, and I kind of already know what’s going to happen next, but she won’t listen. The book is available anywhere in the world. I was hoping to get a copy into outer space, so I wouldn’t be lying when I said, “Simple Observations, is out of this world.” Unfortunately, all the rocket scientists at NASA where so busy passing it around, and trying to figure it out, they forgot to put it on the last load of supplies for the space station.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you about my international book tour. It is so exciting. On March 23, I’ll be telling outrageous stories, passing out flapjacks, and signing copies of my book at the International House of Pancakes in Embarrass, Minnesota. This appearance will be followed by stops at the IHOPs in Mosquitoville, Vermont, and Intercourse Pennsylvania on the 25th and 27th. Wish me luck –  I’m going to need all I can get. Continue reading

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The Luck of the Irish



I just realized something. Saint Patrick’s Day is finally on a Saturday! Last year on March 17th, I woke to the sound of my alarm clock thinking, “This is going to be a fantastic day. I’ll put on a green tee-shirt, watch a festive parade, look for four-leaf clovers, follow rainbows in search of pots of gold, perform a few frenetic, traditional Irish dances with some lovely lasses, and partake of one, or two, or maybe…… eight or nine icy cold Guinness Extra Stoudt’s, or perhaps my favorite brew called, Kilkenny Irish Cream Ale. A few seconds later, as I hit the snooze button, I realized that it was a Tuesday, and I had to go to work. I then thought to myself, “I guess I’ll have to settle for wearing a emerald colored tie, watching people in green walk by my cubicle, picking a leaf off the plant in the lobby, listening to the sound of relentless rain, against the glass of the office’s windows, while day-dreaming of hitting the lottery, doing a spectacular somersault or two, after getting that promotion, and enjoying a few delicious Irish coffees in the cafeteria.”

Have any of you ever wondered how a solemn and religious holiday, which celebrates the life of a 5th century priest, who became the patron saint of Ireland, and helped bring Christianity to the emerald isle, has turned into a day of excessive drinking, making a fool of yourself, and being carried home by your friends at two in the morning? I guess it’s all in good fun. With all the problems in the world, maybe we need a day where we can all come together in peace and harmony. I was once told that on Saint Patrick’s Day – everyone is Irish. So, if you happen to be enjoying a wee bit of ale at your local pub; take a look around. Walk up to that nice young African-American man with the tee-shirt that says, “I’m from the Irish hood,” or that sweet, elderly, Hispanic woman with the beautiful green sweater, and do me a favor. Buy them a shot of Irish whiskey, or a pint of green beer, and say, “Patrick says hey.” Continue reading

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Storm of the Century


I have a few questions. How many of you regularly listen to meteorologists on the weather channel, or to local and national newscasters? Did they ever predict huge amounts of heavy wet snow, extreme cold, visibility reduced to mere feet, hurricane force winds, massive power outages affecting millions of people, and utter destruction, on a scale not seen for decades? Did these warnings of impending disaster continue for days, and lead to panic, fear, desperation and untold horror? Did you then get off work or school, spend the day in relative warmth and comfort, watch hours of TV, catch up on your reading list, and eat multiple slices of takeout pizza? Do you reside in more temperate climates? If so, were you ever warned by weather experts of approaching category five hurricanes, tropical deluges, dangerous lightning, tornadoes, or hail the size of golf balls? How many times were the meteorologists wrong?

I live in the northeastern United States, and for days we had been warned of the inevitable collision of a rapidly approaching cold, high-pressure system moving in from the west, with a moisture-rich low-pressure system moving up from the south, along the eastern seaboard. The day before the expected blizzard, I went shopping at the local supermarket for a few staples, along with some comfort food to help me survive days without power, frigid temperatures, and possibly, all-encompassing darkness. Continue reading

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Dreaming of Summer Picnics


This morning, after grabbing a hot cup of coffee; I looked out my kitchen window, and witnessed a desolate landscape. The temperature was in the low 40’s, the sky was a dark gray, and heavy rain was being driven by wind gusts of up to fifty miles-per-hour. At that moment, the lights began to flicker, the power in my house went off for a few seconds, and then came back on. I was reminded how lucky I was, by a reassuring ding, as the microwave reset itself. A northeaster had formed in the Atlantic Ocean, and was pummeling the entire east coast.

Looking at a dull lawn, still in its winter hibernation, an above ground pool covered in a big brown tarp, a barren and lifeless garden, and a deck bereft of any outdoor furniture; I sighed. I soon, began to anticipate a few months in the future, when my back yard would be a bright and lush landscape, filled with the sounds of birds chirping, and bees buzzing as they moved among the many bright flowers. The pool would be filled with crystal clear water, my fish ponds fountain would be spraying water over goldfish at the surface, as they anticipated their feeding time, and Burt, my trusty old grill; would be standing sentry, as he waited for the first hamburgers, and hot dogs to be placed on his sparkling, chrome surface. Continue reading

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A Little, Blue Bird Said…..



I just came across some of my old tweets from at least six years ago, but probably longer. They were written when the maximum characters allowed, were still at 140. I’ve decided to post a few of them as a change from my normal routine of writing simple observations of everyday life. I’ll be back to posting a new, and hopefully humorous, short story tomorrow. Please do me a favor, and keep the groans to a minimum. I did enough for all of us, when I put this post together. Some of  my one-liners may be a little corny, but remember; I was just, tentatively entering the frightening world of writing, and trying to develop my own unique comedic style. At the time, I attempted to pull some humor, from deep inside myself. Maybe, I should have dug just a little deeper.

Continue reading

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Little House of Horrors


This is a post from last July. Due to a crushing work schedule, writing my blog, and working on a new book, I’m rapidly falling behind. I apologize to my followers who have been with me for a while, and may have read it before. For all my new followers; I hope you enjoy the post.

Have you ever wondered why film companies, often spend millions of dollars making horror flicks? A few months ago, I watched a film called, “Life.” I don’t think it did too well at the box office. I usually wait a few months after a movie’s debut, and then rent it from one of those red kiosks you see all over the place, or stream it from Netflix. I just can’t see myself spending twelve dollars for a ticket, fourteen dollars for a tub of popcorn, and eight dollars for a soda, only to be disappointed by a sub-par movie. The plot of the film, revolved around a single-celled creature that grows aboard a space station from soil samples taken from the surface of Mars. The alien life form, given the name, Calvin, by the crew of the spacecraft, swiftly grows into a large, intelligent and rapacious monster, with a taste for human flesh. I heard the total cost of the film was close to 58 million dollars!

Even a recent, low-budget horror film called, “It Comes at Night,” using B actors, and with a bare-bones budget, had a final production cost of nearly 5 million dollars. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but it seems pretty expensive for a film about my mother-in-law’s last visit to my house for Sunday night dinner. I was wondering why she had those cameras following her around, and why they took etreme close-ups of our faces as we ingested her infamous, fish-head casserole. Continue reading

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


Every year, a publication called, “Travel and Leisure Magazine,” does a survey which is presented in their August issue. They use an online questionnaire, which this past year was filled out by approximately 300,000 of their subscribers, to determine the best cities as travel destinations, in terms of classiest hotels, night life, luxury shopping, sights and landmarks, culture, cuisine, and destination spas. Here’s something you may not know. The survey included cities in the United States that have the most attractive populations, and those, considered to have residents, you might not want to bring home to momma. To be honest, I find this to be a little insulting. Don’t they know that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder? Growing up, my mother would often say to me, “Son, beauty attracts the eye, but personality attracts the heart; and you have a wonderful personality.” I’d always reply, “Thanks mom……. I think.”

The last survey rating attractiveness that I could find was in 2016. I think the 2017 one, might have excluded this category after millions of supposedly facially challenged people like me, canceled their subscriptions. Personally, I think the survey’s methodology was seriously flawed. First of all; who are the people determining who is attractive, and who’s not. If it’s three hundred thousand middle-aged men with their best years behind them, traveling as tourists to warm, exciting, and exotic locations like Miami, Florida; then we have a problem. I’m not saying my judgement is great, and I’m no prize myself, but put me in a comfortable and colorful Hawaiian shirt, hand me a bottle of delicious and smooth rum, blare some wonderful Latino music, and then bake me in the sun for eight hours. I figure by sunset, you could put my dog, Chase in a string bikini, and he’d be fairly attractive. Continue reading

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Snippets from Simple Observations



Here are a few more extracts from my new book, “Simple Observations, a Humorous Look at the Absurdity of the World Around Us.” I am also promoting a book giveaway. I will be giving away (1) hardback copy, (5) softcover copies, and (10) E-books from Book Stub. All you have to do is send an E-mail to p.dykie@aol.com, and write “Simple Observations Contest.” If you are randomly picked as I winner, I will contact each of you personally, tell you of your prize, and ask for a shipping address. The prizes will be sent to winners, free of any costs, anywhere in the world. The contest will run from 2/22/2018 through 3/24/2018. I’m not asking for any reviews of the book. Just read it, and enjoy the stories. If you liked the book, tell a friend about it, or loan your copy to someone else. I have always appreciated those who have come here to read my posts. There are still free E-books available through BookGrabbr, and can be accessed at the top right hand side of my blog. Thank you. Continue reading

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Losing that Comfortable Feeling


Comfortable clothes

All of us, at one time or another, has had that perfect piece of clothing, or even an entire outfit. You know the ones. They not only feel comfortable, and fit perfectly, but they make you look fantastic! You could look like the Frankenstein monster on a bad hair day, and frighten innocent young children with impressionable minds; but put on the incredibly flattering attire, and you immediately have paparazzi reaching for their cameras, after mistaking you for a famous Hollywood movie star. Many of us, will futilely search our entire lifetimes for the perfect set of clothing, only to come up empty. Others, will by some miracle, acquire the magical combination of comfort, and beauty, but lose it along the way, and be left with only a wonderful memory.

A few years back, my wife had found a stunning outfit, at a small women’s clothing store, on the main avenue of a quiet, out-of-the-way village. The simple, yet magnificent ensemble, consisted of a silk blouse with an exquisite lavender floral pattern, a solid-colored, light gray knee-length skirt, and a matching jacket with padding to give the illusion of much broader shoulders. The outfit, was not only soft, and comfortable, but accentuated her classic beauty, appeared to take ten pounds off her already slim shape, and provided for a tiny waist, along with slightly wider hips, and a posterior which put Kim Kardashian’s to shame. I swear, it even made her look taller. I think I loved that outfit more than she did. When she wore it to work, I would often wait at the front door when she got home. I would then ask about her day, as I followed her around the house like a wide-eyed, tail-wagging puppy, begging for treats. Continue reading

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