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June 24, 2024

Articles by Basil D.

[Nonfiction] [Opinion]


In Which HP Lovecraft, a Baseball Bat and a Balloon All Work in Tandem... (2004-12-04) nonfiction

Cover story.

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Meanderings 02 (2004-12-25) op_ed

In Which I Morph From Jolly Old Elf to Fat Nazi, Which Alters My Sleeping Arrangements.

Meanderings 04 (2005-01-16) op_ed

What do you remember most from taking your children to the amusement park when they were young? Is it the animals, the rides, the vomit, the bad food -- or a child's innocent questions about those two "wrestling" turtles?

Meanderings 05 (2005-01-23) essay

Mary's Tiger. A grown man in his forties should not be so attached to a stuffed toy, but Fluffy was special from the start.

Meanderings 06 (2005-01-30) essay humor food

Biscuit Evolution in My House. Food is wasted on the young! Stern admonitions from the doctor cause the evolution of lovely food like biscuits into unrecognizable objects that resemble roofing shingles.

Meanderings 07 (2005-02-06) op_ed humor family

In Which I Whistle for a Snoring Cure With Unexpected Results. From a seductive cat-like purr to something that sounds like a train braking suddenly, snoring has many times been cited as a major cause of marital discord.

Meanderings 08 (2005-02-13) op_ed humor family

In Which I Discuss My Hughes-like Peculiarities. I freely admit that I am a person riddled with peculiarities. My devotion to Don Knotts movies, my McDonald toy collection, my yo-yos, my book fetish -- it's enough to drive the average woman to distraction. My long-suffering wife has put up with a lot over the years, but there's one peculiarity of mine that puzzles and often angers her -- my refusal to use a public restroom.

My Last Day on the Dock (2005-02-20) Cover story, opinion essay

Over the course of my working life, I've started and left a number of jobs. Usually I leave with some regrets, mostly regrets about leaving my co-workers. I've left happily, sadly, angrily -- and once I left so drunk I could hardly stand. This is about that time.

Meanderings 09 (2005-02-27) op_ed, humor

Down With New Years Resolutions! Two months into the new year, how are you doing on your resolutions? For the first time, Basil is doing great.

Meanderings 10 (2005-03-06) op_ed humor cell phones peeves

At any time, wherever you go, you'll see someone with a cell phone clamped to their heads like it was glued there. That may not be troublesome if they're shopping at Wal-mart or walking in the mall, but what about if they're driving a 3000-pound SUV at 50 miles an hour through town during rush hour? Basil's got the answer. Boom, baby.

Meanderings 11 (2005-03-13) op_ed, humor, kids, pets

The Sad Demise of Larry the Pig. For a biting varmint, Larry the Guinea Pig had quite a bit of personality. When he passed, the holes he left in his family's hearts were larger even than the ones he had left in their fingers.

Meanderings 12 (2005-03-20) op_ed, humor, memoir

Planting a Cigarette Bomb. From an era when varsity high school students could smoke on campus with a permit from their folks is further evidence that smoking is not good for your health.

Meanderings 13 (2005-03-27) op_ed humor food diet

The Snot-Kid Diet. What could turn a blissfully "heavy eater" away from a paradise-like buffet? Weight loss is just one snot-nosed kid away.

Meanderings 14 (2005-04-03) op_ed

In Which I Revisit My Childhood, Courtesy of Sid and Marty Kroft. The seventies were a time of terribly drawn, poorly scripted Saturday morning tv shows, and yet there is still a little magic underneath the silly rubber suits in the Land of the Lost.

Meanderings 03 (2005-04-10) op_ed

In Which I Dispose of Wolf Blitzer, Scooby Doo and Seinfeld, Which Results in Doghouse Status for Me. Basil throws away a perfectly good television set and lives to tell the tale. Barely. First appeared 2005-01-01

Meanderings 15 (2005-04-17) op_ed humor food family kids

A Story of Mashed-Chocolate Love. Who knew that becoming a grandparent means eating candy could be such a chore?

Meanderings 16 (2005-04-24) op_ed humor food

The Curious Affair of the Seventeen Year Old Vienna Sausages, and Other Matters Worth Relating.

Meanderings 17 (2005-05-01) op_ed editorial

Check-out Girl. Once upon a time, back when the cold war was raging and ugly gold medallions were considered the height of fashion, I attended high school. One of the girls in my class, Ann, was funny, pretty and absolutely brilliant — a straight A student all through school. I found out recently that sometimes the brilliant ones don't make it in life the way you'd think. Sometimes they fall through the cracks.

Meanderings 18 (2005-05-09) op_ed humor family health

The flu-shot. Sure, skipping the flu-shot might seem like a good idea, but trust Basil, it's snot.

Meanderings 19 (2005-05-16) op_ed literature writing

On the Sad Death and Subsequent Resurrection of My Muse. A writer wrestles with block, only to find a cure in, of all places, the pages of James Joyce.

Meanderings 20 (2005-05-23) op_ed review humor essay

Bubba Ho-Tep and the Elvis Everywhere Phenomenon. The pop-culture phenom we see these days is hardly a flattering portrayal of the King of Rock and Roll. My case in point: the recently released (on DVD) movie of Bubba Ho-Tep.

Meanderings 21 (2005-06-13) op_ed humor gardening kids pets

April is a time of wind and rain, of bright sun and soft balmy breezes. It's a time for holes in the ground, blisters on the hands, thorns under the fingernails, and curses ringing in the air. Yep, April means gardening time.

Meanderings 22 (2005-06-20) op_ed humor high school smoking

In which Basil pays for his indiscrete behaviour in high school. Back in those days, it was good to be a student athlete — deferential treatment, hero worship, a chance to date cheerleaders. But there was one big drawback: student athletes were forbidden to smoke.

Meanderings 23 (2005-06-27) op_ed humor pets kids

In which Striker the snake moves into Basil's Household. Trained since birth to consider snakes "the enemy", Basil reluctantly comes to terms with his daughter's new pet.

Meanderings 24 (2005-07-04) op_ed humor health stress

Worriers come in many varieties. Some people worry about their health. Some people worry about the national debt. Some worry about terrorism and the threat of war. And then, there are those who worry about everything. These are the world-class worriers, the people who have it down to an art form. Basil is an artist.

Meanderings 25 (2005-07-11) op_ed humor pets

Benjy the dog was found wandering the streets, hungry, unkempt and dirty. All he needed was a warm home, perhaps a little dog kibble, and a dose of human companionship ...for him to poop on!!

Meanderings 26 (2005-07-18) op_ed humor

It's difficult to lose a loved one. The passing of a family member, the death of a beloved pet — these are traumatic experiences that take time (and sometimes counseling) to get over. I've recently suffered the loss of a long-time friend of mine. Someone I've counted on in times of trouble. Someone who's been there for me. Yes, my beloved Betty Crocker coffee-maker finally gave up the ghost.

Meanderings 27 (2005-07-25) op_ed humor

In which Basil attempts to blame his expanding waistline on anything and everything else and comes to a chilling conclusion -- what he eats just may actually be his own responsibility. A horror story.

Meanderings 29 (2005-08-08) op_ed humor smoking

Once upon a time, the world catered to the smoker. You could smoke anywhere in a restaurant, in any federal and state building, on the subway, and on buses. It was accepted everywhere, and if someone didn't like the smell of cigarette smoke -- well, tough stuff. Want to find the smokers now? Drive around in the wintertime and look at the small cliques of people huddled miserably outside in the elements, collars turned up against the harsh winter wind.

Meanderings 30 (2005-08-15) op_ed

The current of life carries you ever forward, and sometimes paths cross briefly, never to meet again. Jaimie-Lynn was different from the other children, and after second grade she was quietly removed from school. But you never know how even the most fleeting of contacts can impact another soul.

Meanderings (2005-08-22) op_ed humor pets

Fat. Mean. The terror of the neighborhood. His name was Kitty-man, and he died as he lived -- on his own terms. And if there is an afterlife, Kitty-man lives that way still.

Meanderings 32 (2005-09-05) humor boxing sports

It seems that the Mike Tyson Traveling Freak Show has finally clattered to a halt. With his loss to a journeyman fighter recently, Mike has humbly announced he's pulling the plug on what's left of his boxing career. We should be so lucky.

Meanderings 33 (2005-09-19) humor health

On the Circumstances Prior to My Recent Back Surgery (Part 1 of 4). Deep South home remedies and an ex-airplane-mechanic-turned-chiropractor who is obsessed with Vietnam, Star Trek and smoking prove inadequate to deal with Basil's back pain.

Meanderings 34 (2005-09-26) humor health

In Which I Discover That I Am Indeed Headed for Surgery (Part 2 of 4). Just who is this mysterious neurosurgeon, "Dr. Chong," that Basil is supposed to see? Basil's nights are haunted by dreams of the shadowy Dr. Chong slicing into his skull to remove chunks of spongy brain matter. Yeah. He's probably gonna wind up paralyzed, slurping up baby food and drooling into a bib.

Meanderings 35 (2005-10-03) humor health

In Which I Prepare for Some Early Morning Surgery (Part 3 of 4). You always hear about things going wrong in the operating room, so Basil decides to get his affairs in order. He double-checked on his life insurance. He talked to his wife about "persistent vegetative states." He spent extra time with his daughter. He rewatched his favorite Don Knotts movies.

Meanderings 36 (2005-10-10) humor health

In Which They Slice Me Wide Open, and Other Tales Worthy to Relate (Part 4 of 4). General anaesthesia, catheters, day-time television... the horrors of Basil's hospital experience are almost too many to enumerate. Thank heavens for pretty nurses. And drugs.

Meanderings 28 (2006-04-24) op_ed humor

A flashback from Basil's schooldays. The boy was Clay Plank. The bet was to drink 14 boxes of chocolate milk in seven minutes. Legends are born in strange ways sometimes, and the legend of Clayton Plank was born that day. (Originally appeared 2005-08-01)

Meanderings 01 (2015-05-11) op_ed

If you're going to steal a garbage can, at least take the garbage with you. But watch out. That can might be rigged to explode.

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