JeffR Archives

December 21, 2006

Jeff R.: From the Vault

Patrick O'Day, sportswriter for the Globe, was always borrowing from the rest of the staff. He was good for it; always paid in full on payday.

Which was today. At lunchtime, we all gathered around and compared IOUs. Jenny in features was owed $55, I had paper for $25, Jon and James, point-counterpoint columnists, each had $20 coming, and Liu, the intern, expected $8. Patrick arrived and emptied his wallet. As we counted the $127, Patrick quietly passed away from a heart attack.

At least I didn't have to work hard titling the obituary.

"O'Day: late, and a dollar short."

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December 22, 2006

Jeff R.:It's a Boy!

In the 60's, the CIA tried to assassinate Fidel Castro repeatedly using gimmicked cigars as their weapon: exploding cigars, poisoned cigars, cigars treated with chemicals to make his beard fall out.

All of these attempts failed, the cigars intercepted by Cuba's security teams, who then stored them in a warehouse in Havana.

Later on, when the Russian economic aid stopped flowing, the Cubans sold everything that wasn't nailed down, often not checking the records beforehand.

And that's why Ralph Romera's party celebrating the birth of his first son goes down in history as the worst disaster ever in Canterfield, Indiana.

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January 2, 2007

Jeff R.:'Round Yon Virgin Mother and...

It wasn't just that somebody had stolen the Baby Jesus.

Randy Vahn's pride and joy was the life-size Nativity he spent most of his post-retirement time building, displayed to the neighborhood for two weeks in December.

Vandals were always an issue. Lately, he'd been spending much of the off-season wiring security cameras and alarms. But none of that deterred this year's batch.

But it wasn't just that Jesus was gone, it was what was left in His place that puzzled and disgruntled Randy. What kind of perverse statement was being made, replacing the Prince of Peace with a prosthetic arm?

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January 4, 2007

Jeff R.: Bull Session #27

"Why I'm saying is that sic semper tyrannis ought be a general principle of international law."

"Good enough for Booth and Brutus, eh?"

"Well, sure, Booth was misapplying it, but Brutus was right about the House of Caesar's threat to the Republic."

"Sounds mighty Cromwellian of you."

"Regicides start out with a lot going for them in my book. What's wrong with Cromwell?"

"Ask an Irishman. 'sides, dude outlawed Christmas. Not cool."

"Well, all I'm saying is we should let a perfectly good principle vanish into disuse just because it was misused by a few historical asshats."


"Same difference."

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January 5, 2007

Jeff R.:Reading Her Mind

She's dreaming about school. I know this, and know the treatment worked. I go deeper.

She's got a bank account under her maiden name, opened years ago. She fakes it, most of the time. Not last night, though. Deeper.

She's been unfaithful, twice. One: a drunken pick-up two years ago. The other: Phil, just after the divorce, the rat. I hardly blame her. Deeper.

When she was twelve, her Uncle Jacob made things. She stirs, disturbed. I mentally tell her to forget, and she calms. Interesting.

I wonder... could I make Jacob hang himself? It's not a long drive.

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January 8, 2007

Jeff R.: To: Mrs Ekhard
From: Professor Emeritus Thwackwell-Sark

Please excuse my son's lack of today's homework. He did in fact complete it, but shortly afterward it was eaten.

Not by, as is stereotypically the case, a dog, but a highly dangerous grade-3 verbivore, who then consumed the sources used, the textbook, and eventually the concept of homework itself.

After a lengthy temporal excursion, we restored most of the damage, but then needed to visit Queen Titania of Faerie to persuade her to prevent Napoleon's second escape, a mishap of that excursion.

He would have re-done the assignment, but by that time it was (subjectively) well past his bedtime.

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January 9, 2007

Jeff R.: Surf and Turf

Not many people know that in the eighties, all major fast food chains were mob-operated.

So, when the Chicago crew that ran Wendy's brought in a retired assassin (and the Windy City's only ever 'made' woman) for a commercial, it was more than just a clever catchphrase: it was a pointed taunt at Burger King's owners, the Vegas crew, who's best enforcer Tony 'The Beef' Boffatelli had recently vanished without trace.

Ultimately the joke was on them, though: Boffatelli was in witness protection, testifying against all the families. They got him in '92, though; now he sleeps with the fishes.

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January 10, 2007

Jeff R.:A Better Life

Shelly Whitmore almost got out of Cornerville, Indiana, the summer after Junior year, but Billy's car broke down. They waited together all night for his dad's tow truck.

Then there was the pregnancy. Billy manfully gave her a ring, and they were on their way to being another miserable couple in the same miserable town their parents never escaped.

Until the miscarriage. Shelly dumped Billy in the hospital. Cornerville High let her graduate out of pity, despite her grades. The next day, she took the money behind her mom's macaroni jar, bought a bus ticket east, and never looked back.

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January 11, 2007

Jeff R.:Young Doctors In Bad Victorian Prose

When the rattle ended, Penelope gasped. "No! You can't! I won't let you!"

Doctor Conrad sighed. The case looked hopeless, but he continued to flog Petrov's heart. Where was Nate?

Nate, the intern, burst into the room, panting and wheezing. "The crash cart," he said between breaths, "Is on it's way."

"Don't just stand there," huffed Doctor Conrad. "Give him mouth-to-mouth."

Nate went to do so, but Penelope, who had been hyperventalating for some time, swooned and fainted, and Nate had to catch her before she hit her head.

"Breathe, damnit, Breathe," said Doctor Conrad, but Petrov never did again.

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January 15, 2007

Jeff R.:Illuminated Manuscript

Frank ran towards me, holding some old dusty tome.
"I'm telling you, Joe", said Frank, "This book is gonna answer everything."
"Like what?" I repleid.
"Like, enlightenment an' the real meaning of life an' all that." said Frank.
"It is? What makes you think that?" I queried.
"It says so right here." answered Frank,
"I don't think that means what you think it does."
Frank was always a bit too literal for his own good. Last month he got a hold of an engineering book, then spent weeks handling it with tongs, after seeing that it had an exploded diagram.

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