Aardvark Art Park

Where everything begins and occasionally ends with a cherry on top

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To Sleep Perchance to Snore

To begin with, I spend more time thinking about sleeping than I spend time thinking about any other subject. Some people might call that process...
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Chan Shake Snapshot Plus

There's a great line in the Grateful Dead's United States Blues. "Shake the hand that shook the hand of PT Barnum and Charley Chan." Now if you shook...
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Learning to Misunderstand Sex

When I look back at my childhood, I'm staggered by the innocence. I grew up deep in a city in the time that it was inevitably turning into a war zone...
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Fuller Grasp of Filler

In order to attain a fuller grasp of the concept of filler, we must detour through anacondas, alligators, dinosaurs, LSD, and birds. Ready? Every so...
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Terri, William and Barbara

My wife was telling me about the intoxicating smell that came from the packaging of Barbie dolls and Barbie accessories back in the day. I related...
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Story of the week

Afternoon Angel

I know for sure it was a Tuesday afternoon. I don't know if it was the first time I smoked weed, such moments are hard to pinpoint. Today is also a...
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Addicted...Ignoring a Warning From Wolf

In my first years of teaching, I was always suspected to be "some kind of nut" because of the length of my hair. Apparently, I didn't "look"like a...
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Doin' The Dean

You've had a tough day. Nothing traumatic but deadly in its own way. Repetitive. Uninspiring. Marginalizing. Alienating. Too listless to even qualify...
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Wild Bill From Babylon

I'm starting to wonder how long I will last. I'm already older than I deserve to be; based on the way that I've conducted my life. I want to give...
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Into the Evening

I was fortunate enough to score a moonlight interview with Dr. Darlene Carr. Dr. Carr has achieved notoriety for her well publicized theory of death...
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Full

At first, I was a "when are we gonna get there" type kid, like every kid on early journeys. The monotony of every journey was interrupted by stops at...
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Skinning the Cat

The swing set was on a hill overlooking the crystal water of Canandaigua Lake. Nothing fancy at all. Two swings suspended by thin chains. We had...
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Uncommon Common

Once upon a time, we were playing Bingo in a Fire Hall. Suddenly, an amazing fire burst out across the street. I had never seen anything so powerful...
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How Thornton Met Sadie

I found out tonight that my second wife was born in Pleasantville, Pennsylvania. How ironic ! It's as if Richard Nixon was born in Honestville,...
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Cheeseheads and the Carcass of Martha

Andy and his brother Pete heard the word through telegraph, a modern marvel in 1898. The final flock of carrier pigeons, 250,000 of them were...
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Thumbs Up on Sunday

Okay, I got this. It took awhile but I got it. Last Sunday I left the teevee off while the national anthem was playing. I went into the kitchen and...
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Road to Enlightenment

My road to enlightenment passes through Buddha and the Buffalo Bills. Buddhism lacks an almighty God figure but provides a gateway to enlightenment...
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Jeremiah Starfish

Like millions of others, I’m done reading Fire and Fury and half done with Daniel Ellsburg’s Doomdsay Machine. Very disquieting how they over lap...
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Donald Trump in the beginning

In the beginning, there was kayfabe Back in the days before professional wrestling became sports entertainment/performance art, bad guys were ALWAYS...
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Class of 1917 Reunion

1967 was a very good year for Sinatra. I was a junior in college and at the top of my undergrad game. I was still young enough to rock and roll. I...
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Dangerous Times For Men and Women

Yeah, I'm gonna survive. I know there's a difference between survivor and victim. I've been both. I've got the grand slam. I've survived cancer. I've...
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Adverb Angst

Call me Very. I'm an adverb. I'm angry about that. I'm common. I'm used and abused all the time. I don't even get the complimentary "ly" that some of...
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Showdown on Main Street

Every so often, I'll find a volume in my office library that takes me by surprise. I don't remember acquiring the book so I don't remember the moment...
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The Old Ball Game

One of my colleagues, a guy named Fred, got into as much trouble as I did for having classrooms that were not quiet. Neither Fred nor I thought the...
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A Trickle and a Former Pickle

I look at my work and see that it's good. Gawd, I'm a great writer. One of the best I've ever read anywhere. And then an internal strawman advocating...
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In Vanishing Valley

Thirty years ago, on a startling, clear August afternoon, I was smack dab in the middle of everywhere, the Grizzly Mountains of Montana. To be more...
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Pick of the Month

Daddio Returns

DADDIO When I was a pre-school child I played with miniature plastic cowboys and Indians. My parents referred to them as “characters”. I liked ‘em...
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Waiting for Wild Bill

One remarkable afternoon, I was sitting at a booth in Kennedy airport slamming some suds with my brother Deke while waiting on Wild Bill to pick us...
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Two Photographs

While watching PBS last night I heard an interesting story from a British photographer who had photographed both Putin and Trump. When Putin walked...
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To Fear Fear and Worry is Madness

The only thing we have to fear is to fear fear itself. Why do we fear fear? Fear is an involuntary response to the possibility of pain or death. Fear...
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I'm Just Writing a Story on the Computer

On balance, I'm not a fan of the word "just". "Just" as an adjective is fine and in the case of this sentence, it is fine as a noun. "Just" as an...
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Our Market

Religious divisiveness/decisevness continues to thrive in America and remains among our greatest challenges as well as vulnerabilities. Clearly, we...
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Panic with Pen and Paper

I'm writing this on paper with an orange RIT Alumni Association pen. I like these pens. They have a friendly flow which tends to make my handwriting...
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Henry the Barber

Just as dogs were once wolves, barbers were once doctors. I remember going to the doctor before I remember going to the barber. Perhaps this is why I...
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Selfie at the Circus

Monkeys chattering in my brain Minimize the gain of pain While I form a Congo line Of I , me, myself and mine And we sit as one for our group shot...
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Merle's Midnight Fall

Merle Seton was a dreamin' bout sittin' on a dock Five feet above soft rocks that were covered with warm Lake Water. Merle slipped gently off the...
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Prior to embracing Ambiguity

I remember a time before I decided to embrace ambiguity and make it my life work that I felt a weird sense of relief that Albert Einstein had come up...
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Validation at Fast Phil's (Yeah Yeah Yeah)

As already confessed, I have a predilection towards singing the words "wild cherry cola" over and over in my brain. When I mentioned this to my wife...
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Thank God for Aristotle

A penny. A stinken Lincoln One hundredth of a dollar. One gazillionth of a phantom five hundred dollars. Several bottles of ouzo disappeared from Ari...
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Vin

Yesterday was my father's 93rd birthday. Of course, he wasn't around to enjoy it; that is if you consider these mortal coils by which we're bound a...
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Yes, We Have Cancer

Yes, we have cancer. Who are we? We are I, in all my different hats and moods. We are all those who love me and all those whom I love and all those...
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The Doctor's First Dozen Words

On the way to our reckoning, our memory connectors were on alert and searching for omens. We found one almost immediately. Two minutes from our house...
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Too Much Radiation Information?

The seventh day of radiation proved to be informative. Maybe too informative, if ya know what I mean. The night before, I was up all night because of...
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Ava's Shower

When we moved to Tumbleweed, we had to enroll Mary in a brand new school. She was in third grade and had a broken leg. She arrived in time for school...
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Resistance and Rejuvenation

Today's the day. Last night was the night. I only had to steal one mirror last night so I got my first half way decent shuteye in months. At this...
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Mothers Die

Mary was born on Christmas. I was her first born son, 25 years and five days later. Mary's father died when she was sixteen. She raised her two...
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Full of Poison

I'm about as full of poison as I'm going to get. I'm twenty five blasts in with three to go. Lethargic guilt is such a pitiful condition. I'm...
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Midnight Mary

Today is the first day in Rochester that we can all wear shorts. Thank God. Today is also the 25th birthday of my youngest daughter Mary. Mary was...
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Top Drawer

The old wallet died characteristically as a hero. Ice had walked the four rows down from his VIP seats at Citi-field in order to snap a shot of Aaron...
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Champion Hills

This is a true story of golf, cancer and human nature. On my third day I couldn't stop thinking of Champion Hills. Champion Hills is the country club...

Still in the Game

I'd miss Mr. Baseball more if I didn't dream about him so often. I dreamt about him again last night. He was laughing and healthy. I remember telling...

Erika From A Distance

Sometimes it's important to see things through the eyes of others. We received this letter from a niece named Erika who lives in North Carolina. Lynn...

We are Afraid

We are afraid. We've been cat scanned and bone scanned. Our secrets photographed. Even the secrets of our secrets are now up for inspection; an...

Radiation

Today was my first day of radiation. The beginning of active warfare against the terrorist cells hiding in my prostate. The whole deal took about...

Waffle Iron Mystery

Luck? I'll tell you about luck. In November my wife ordered a wafffle iron through Amazon. Time went by and no waffle maker. We were getting...

Piss Brigade

When we re-learn how to sleep, the difference between night and day becomes negligible as the piss brigade activates. Here's how it works. I'm peeing...

Otto and the Dude Reel One

This is the first reel of a film that's playing in my imaginative recall with two reels to follow.

Otto and the Dude Reel 2

So me and Ice sat there like twin particles ready to collide at the edge of a black hole. Something was about about to happen but nobody knew exactly...

Otto and the Dude Reel 3

And just like that, except for reflection and analysis minus thought and regret, it was pretty much over. Dude never looked back. He finished his...

Dryden Dude Faction

Call me Otto. Clearly, I’m not as stupid as I appear to be or pretend to be, that wouldn’t be possible although it might be preferable to the...

Golf For the Book

As I prepare for the release of my book, I get the opportunity to bring together snippets of stories and gather them together to look like the way that I imagined them in the first place. The short writings are like scenes. You shoot all the scenes and you put the movie together. This one is gol for the book.
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The Last Game of Numbers

Towards the end of sandlot days, we had trouble getting eighteen guys on the field for pick up baseball games. We invented a truncated baseball game...
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Mike For the Book

Here, at long last as publication approaches, is the complete story of Famous Mike. Never been fully posted before. I tried my best.

ART and ARTists

The New Detectives, The FBI Files, Notorious, Autopsy, Investigative Reports, almost anything on Reelz Teevee; I've been watching WAY too many of...

Naked Younger and Older

I hadn’t seen my face in 50 years. My children have never seen it. Since I was 22, I’ve had that full beard. It started as a bet. Everybody else...

A Common Language

Thirty five years ago I was working in a Continuing Ed program. Computers were not yet omnipresent, we opened up a computer lab in the school and...

Goodbye Roseland Forever

I don't know what this. It's a story for sure but it breaks into poetry all the time on its own even as it tries to resist. This is what happens when we remember the tender pains of our lives.

Romance Lives in Dreamland

We have blizzard conditions in upstate New York. On polar vortex days like this,we hibernate and daydream of Summers past and Springs to come We...

Lucidity in Disguise

Suddenly someone is there at the turnstile, a girl with kaleidoscope eyes. Lucid dreams are a whole different subway system. In a lucid dream, the...

Basic Extinct

We're not extinct yet so I think I'm smart. How else can I explain my recent, rather rude attempt to disrespect the intelligence of Dinosurs just...

Southern Central Air (cool baby cool)

Tom met Ellen in 1950. Tom was a 19 year old sailor boy from up Albany way. Ellen was a Southern gal from Memphis which is where they met. Tom was...

A Vulture On Speed Trap Corner

My name is Jem Masters. Here’s some things you should know about me before you decide upon my reliability as a narrator or as a hero or as witness or...

Starlit Human Nature

I didn’t feel like working one Friday night at the Starlite Drive-in. I wasn’t too concerned because we were playing yet another in a long line of...

Mendon Sea Cruise

As in the case with most epics, many colorful events occurred during my final days at the Starlite. Most of those colorful events were driven by...
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300 A perfect Example

I've heard it said that deciding to become a teacher is like deciding to open up a bowling alley in your mind. I'm a much better teacher than I am a...

On the Last Day of the Wallet

This is the shit that was in Cash’s wallet on the wallet’s last day. Some of this stuff was not gonna make the transfer. His library card. A ticket...

Sand Wedge

Hate and Heat Is there a place where they meet? Better believe, goddamned right The home of fire, the birth of fright. A nightmare grid for damned...

The Shape of Ample Breasts

Before I wrote my first novel, I had a feeling I was about to write a novel so I sought out a purported novelist to help me along. The course was...
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Venting, Inventing and Preventing Beardism

We all know that isms exists. Some isms are active but, seemingly polite. Most isms are simply passive. They hide themselves in etiquette even as...

52 Years between Avalons

My life changed in 1958. I was a kid. Clarabell had said goodbye. Elvis had said hello. Davey Crockett had died at the Alamo. I had never heard an...

Prodigious Piles of Penguin Poop

Prodigious Piles of Penguin Poop Is this a change? Yes, yes it is. This IS a change if you don’t believe in recurring cycles. This is the first time...

Dinosaurs Tripping on the Supernatural

I have no trouble taking the small evolutionary crawl backward from the dormant state of alligator behavior to the general intelligence or lack of...

Two Men in Texas

Shelley Seton was expecting, expecting. Shelley Seton was expecting twins. Why wouldn't she be? Shelley had an identical twin named Kelley. Kelley...

Elvis, Poker Chips and Grapes

Now that I'm broke, I'm constantly thinking about money. This one of the great benefits of being broke or as we refer to it "vita derelictae est vita regi". The life of a derelict is the life of a king. I currently had 35 cents worth of discretionary cash to last me the next seven days. Thrre dimes and five pennies. As I looked at them a few moments ago, I realized what a thing of beauty is a dollar. Even more beautiful than a grape
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Fifth of July

My mother was an independent and self-sufficient person. She was my transportation for many years. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why I so...

Radio Daze

Once upon a time in the fifties, Vin and Red went to New York city and brought me back a portable RCA Victor radio. My portable radio became the talk...

Sky Catch

We played catch constantly on the Avenue and in the field. If you're gonna play baseball, you've got to be able to catch the ball. We all loved out...

Seymour

I’ve almost forgotten how much fun it was to drink beer with Seymour, my pig. Remember those delicious meatball sandwiches that only existed at drive...

At the All Star Game

That's Hank in the middle with Mr. Crown right and Johnny to the left.

A Big Deal Out of Nothing

Many years ago, in a far less enlightened time, I was nearing the end of my incarnation as a single Iron John kinda guy. I attended a lecture by...

Yes; Essay, I Say

An essay is a recounting of thought processes. All essays begin with, include or accentuate an idea. An idea is a collection of thoughts that relate...

Asping Cleopatra

Since vocabulary is destiny, let me change the fate of everyone who reads this by introducing a word that I rediscovered recently. I love...

Food for Thought

Who knew about the BFF relationship between baboons and impalas? When I think of a baboon, I think of a screeching, red butted pain in the ass...

Crosswords

Way back in another lifetime, when I was teaching kids how to write, my class used to do the New York Times crossword puzzle together every other...

Old Man Deridda

I have writer's block until I sit down to write. I write right here. I don't sit in wistful park with a sketch pad, long fingers and beatific aura. I...
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Wow In Deed

Aaron was our righfielder. Aaron was a dead ringer for Daniel Day Lewis in the Last of the Mohicans. Tall, lanky, long dark hair, all around...

Pizza Mind

I got to my dorm room before my other roomates. The room had a bunkbed and a single bed. I didn't know which bed to take or whether I should wait for...
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We Gotta Get Out of This Place

Sitting in the Merchant's Bar and Grill at last call. Dino, the bar tended, has changed his shoes and he's ready to go home which means we are as...

Ironic Foolish Clowns

I've been dedicating a lot of foolish thought to clowns lately. Apparently, at least in the Shakespearean model, more clowns exist on this earth than...

The Doodle That I Do

I doodle. It's always awesome when I find out that others doodlers do the doodling that I do and even more awesome when the doodlers who doodle what...

Singulars are Plural

The doctors asked the old question in a new way. "what's the difference between ignorance and apathy?" We answered the new question in our old way. "...

Urgent Mirrors

Hello friends. It's nice to be back. I've been stealing mirrors and seeing men about horses for the last 10 days. I subscribe to the Vonnegutian...

Fatigue

Fatigue is the enemy of both urgency and connectivity. Urgency and connectivity are essential elements of writing. We have an idea, we've got to...

OOOOHWEE Look at me

OOOOHWEE. Look at me. It's three minutes after three and although I kinda have to pee, I'm still awake and feeling a little better every day. I even...

Sick and Tired and Strong

We're sick and tired. Lynn is sick and I'm tired. Lynn has bronchitis. I have radiation after effects. Lynn coughs. Lynn has a headache and a sore...

Indulging in Faith

As you've probably guessed, I grew up a Catholic. Big time. Altar boy, bell ringer, candle lighter. Cassock and supplement Nuns and priests for...

Krell Loses his Wallet

Last month, my grandaughter Eva saw a woman right after the lady had been struck by a hit and run driver while jogging on Washington Street in...
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More Carnivore

I remember my first Thanksgiving in a previous wifetime. We had been married a month and a half. We had built a chicken coop together. We had horses...

Supernatural Ends

Should we fear the supernatural? Oh yeah. We are the supernatural. We are the only conscious existences on earth. God damn it And he/she did…. as we...

Operation Eagle Claw Alternative

When I think of all that could have gone wrong, I'm even more proud of my small role in Operation Eagle Claw. We came in with eight Sea Stallions and...

Joe Baron

It was the first professional wrestling card at the brand new War Memorial. My father had two ringside seats. In hindsight, he might have got them...

Faction is the New Fiction

As our president demonstrates each and every day, alternate truths are just a click away. Trump has already presented more than a thousand versions...

A Tale of Two Marys

I chose my Christmas gift 25 years before I was born. I chose wisely. On that day, Mary Keenan, who had just arrived bag and baggage in Rochester,...

Hi, Lynn

Mr. Baseball remained in his coma for months. It was the bottom of the ninth and his team was behind by 100 runs and there were two out and two...

Reading and Breeding

After a few billion years, we finally learned how to read. This "paragraph" for example is nothing more than a collection of data with each letter...

Hey Asshole, Don't Call Me an Anteater

Hey, I'm an aardvark for God's sake. Don't start calling me an anteater just because I eat ants. I eat termites too. If you called me a termiteater...

Bagman Bruce

Family plays a big factor in my friendship tree. I knew Crown and Wild Bill. I introduced them to Deke. Deke is my brother. Deke, Crown and Wild Bill...

Forward Whoa......8/26/80

In a recent unpublished survey entitled "Forward Whoa" by prominent factoids Merle Seton and Jem Masters, it has been revealed that 24% maximimum of...
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Man in Orbit

I had been in my Blake Hall dormitory for about a month when I got a visit from Vin. We walked around the quad. In order to walk around the quad, the...

Up, Up and Away

Just before we release our books, it is important to answer the question "what's it about" in a way that will introduce not only the content but the process within the book that will be both invigorating and inspiring. It will serve as the introduction. Here's mine.

At The Rainbow Wok

John Doe found himself in a Chinese restaurant called the Rainbow Wok. John sat at a long table along with four of his former in-laws. Upon first...