Tag Archives: writing

64 fl. oz. Miracle Bubbles

The weather in Michigan this weekend was spectacular, warm but not too hot, cool but not too cold. I spent as much time outside as I could, doing manly things that involved an array of outdoor tools; shovels and rakes and brooms and axes, all the while sporting several days of unshaven stubble, old dirty jeans and a t-shirt, broken down leather work boots and gloves. A heavy flannel shirt was added in the evenings when the newly found Spring temperatures gave way to pleasant cool air that felt more like Fall. The peepers and other critters in the swamp behind our property sang spiritedly the whole weekend.

Part of Saturday’s workload, was cleaning out one of my barns, the one filled mostly with lawn equipment and outdoor tools and a diverse assortment of everything else you could imagine that needs a place to be stored. It was dirty work and over the recent long, cold Michigan winter, it had become a disorganized mess of shit piled everywhere that I could barely walk through without risking a certain trip to the emergency room.

It felt good to clean it out, to make space, to put tools back where they belonged, to throw stuff away. That’s probably the closest place I have to a man-cave, although there’s no television, no couch, no sports memorabilia, no cooler full of beer. But it is a place where I can go and tinker around and have a little solitude. The extent of the decorations dressing up the few rustic timbers that aren’t covered with tools hanging from rusty, bent nails; a dirty, old, yet still proud American flag that once flew from our house, a wall of our old Michigan and Massachusetts license plates, a stop sign that I picked up some time ago, and a KIMBERLY TERRACE street sign that my wife was given back when she was a teenager… acquired, I’m sure legally, of course!

I worked through the clutter, throwing away old spark plug packages, empty oil containers, cans of dried paint, pieces and parts of stuff that I didn’t recognize and figured if I have no idea what it is or where it came from, it must not be that important. Tools were sorted into tool boxes, screws and nails and bolts and nuts and washers were relegated to a recycled coffee can to be reused at another time. I learned long ago to never toss away a perfectly good fastener. The floor was swept of dirt and grime and oil and hay. I pulled a couple of old mowers out, stripped of their parts like abandoned cars on an urban freeway, and dragged them to the road along with a FREE FOR PARTS OR SCRAP sign, handwritten in black marker on a scrap piece of board.

Then I came across this:

bubblesIt was dirty and covered in spider webs and had been sitting in this same spot for who knows how many years. I picked the jug up secretly hoping it was empty so I could quickly toss it into the ever-growing trash bag. It felt full and I unscrewed the cap and looked inside to see about 2/3 of the container was still filled with the soapy bubble mixture that has given kids endless delight for decades. Without giving it a second thought, I started carrying the jug to the far back part of our property where I could dump out its contents, then dispose of the packaging in the trash.

But as I walked, I felt this profound pang of a loss of innocence… and frankly, more than a little sadness. Shovels and axes and several days of unshaven stubble and old dirty jeans and a t-shirt and broken down leather work boots and gloves… had been instantly trumped by a container of dish soap disguised as MIRACLE BUBBLES!

I thought of my two kids, surely who we had purchased this giant 64 fl. oz. jug of MIRACLE BUBBLES for many years ago. Neither of whom, I surmised, now grown up, knew or cared that it existed anymore. My daughter will be a senior in high school next year, and my son a freshman, the first time since elementary school that they’ll be in the same school again. I stopped for a minute, unscrewed the cap again, pulled out the MIRACLE WAND and watched as the warm spring breeze sent oily, rainbow tinted bubbles flying through the air. I dipped the wand three of four more times and watched as more bubbles soared through the air only to disappear in the blink of an eye the moment they landed on the grass or a log pile or the branch of a tree.

I questioned my decision to dump out the container.

Then it occurred to me that experts often recommend using dish soap if you are trying to get a new tire to seal to a rim while filling it with air. I dropped the wand back into the container, screwed the cap back on and turned around and headed back towards the barn where I set the jug back down where I had found it, still covered in dirt and grime and spider webs.

Because I learned long ago to always be prepared and who knows the next time I’ll need to seal a new tire to the rim of my mower or lawn tractor.

That’s why I kept the bubbles…

Really…

Okay, maybe not…

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Slicing bananas like a Fucking Ninja

My grandmother could slice up a banana over a bowl of cereal like a fucking ninja!

As kids, my two older brothers and I would be sitting at her large dining room table. The same table that now sits in my dining room. We’d pour the Rice Krispies from the box. We’d pour the milk from an old ceramic pitcher.

SNAP, CRACKLE, POP, CRACKLE, SNAP, POP, SNAP, POP, CRACKLE, POP…

Then my grandmother would walk in dressed in a 1960’s house-dress, uncomfortable shoes, panty-hose rolled down to just under her knees, a helmet full of bobbie-pins, a razor-sharp knife in one hand and a bunch of bananas in the other.

She’d walk up and stand next to you, pull out a banana… you didn’t have a fucking choice… you didn’t want a banana on your cereal? TOUGH SHIT… you were getting a banana on your cereal.

Then all you saw were flashes of silver blade and flying disks of perfectly sliced bananas and within a few bananoseconds you had a bowl full of Rice Krispies covered in bananas.

This story doesn’t really have anything to do with bananas.

Or Ninjas.

But it does have to do with peeling potatoes.

The other night I walked into the kitchen and my wife was peeling potatoes to make mashed potatoes for dinner. I watched carefully as she held the potato, her thumb on the top side, then she’d… GASP… DRAW THE BLADE TOWARDS HER BODY!!

scream

Granted she was using a vegetable peeler with a large rubber safety grip handle and covered by a few dozen OSHA regulations… but you can never be too cautious.

I quickly programmed 911 into my speed dial and waited for that catastrophic moment when she might slip and slice open her entire forearm or possibly slice off her hand or accidentally slip and jam the potato peeler into her heart.

I questioned her methodology of drawing the blade toward her body rather than away from herself as I had learned from all my hunter-gatherer friends that had trained me in my limited outdoor skills and blade-wielding techniques. While I pontificated, she continued peeling the potatoes. Rather eloquently I might add, with each piece of peel landing in a nice little organized pile in the sink.

I asked my daughter, who was standing nearby, how she peeled potatoes. “Do you pull the blade toward you or push it away from you?”

“I usually pull it towards me” she said, “but I do it both ways, I guess.”

Whoa…….

I’ve peeled more potatoes in my life than a boot-camp marine. But I peel potatoes like an elementary school age Cub Scout on the first day of summer camp, who has just earned his right to carry a pocket knife. Give that kid a knife and within an hour or two of slicing and dicing and little shards of flying wood, he will have carved a few dozen sticks into pencil shapes and a few logs into spears.

With any luck you’ll have only gone through a few band aids and no trips to the emergency room.

That’s how I peel a potato… like a Cub Scout on the first day of summer camp!

Pick up the potato, hold it out in front of you, and start swiping the peeler AWAY FROM YOU. Hunks of peel fly off the potato in all directions, similar to when you are cutting your fingernails in a hotel room.

Gross… I don’t really do that.

But that’s how I peel a potato. I’d never think of drawing the blade TOWARD ME.

That must be how the pros do it. Or how women do it. Or how professional chefs do it. Or how Ninjas do it.

Come to think it of it, that’s how my grandmother used to slice the bananas.

Like a fucking ninja!

Maybe this post really was about bananas.

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The Ladybug Song

In my ongoing effort to become a world famous author, songwriter and creator of content for children, I decided to write another song and figured you can’t lose with ladybugs. Everyone loves ladybugs and if you look at the number of published children’s books about our little spotted wing friends, writing about ladybugs is a sure thing.

So please take a listen and let me know what you think. It’s a cute little song, soothing and melodic with a great denouement at the end. See that big word I just used there? Only world famous authors and songwriters can use big words like denouement.

Thanks for listening, I hope you enjoy it… make sure you listen to the whole song though… you know, so you don’t miss the denouement! ;-)

What do you mean you sense sarcasm in my voice?!?

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Scenes from a McDonald’s Restaurant

The woman was probably about my age, late forties, early fifties and the man I guessed probably in his sixties. They both appeared weathered and rough around the edges as they stood smoking outside of a McDonald’s that I was headed into around lunch time to get a cup of coffee. My brain dug down deep into the filing cabinet of its synapses and pulled out the file of poorly thought out, judgmental perceptions about people’s appearances, education levels, lifestyles.

As I walked towards the building, the women spoke to me.

“How are you doing today sir?”

For some reason, rather than just answering the question with some vague, small-talk answer and moving on, I turned to the right a bit and approached them.

“I’m doing fine” I answered as I walked up and joined them on the sidewalk where they were standing. “How are you?”

She said something about the weather and how pleasant it was outside.

I could tell they were both employees from the uniforms they were wearing. The man was missing most of the top front row of his teeth and they both continued smoking as we talked. The woman went on about the weather and the three of us stood there and chatted about how nice it was to finally have a few warmer days, and how so much of the snow had melted and whether Spring was really here or if this last few days of 45-50 degree temperatures was just an anomaly in the middle of March in Michigan.

The man mentioned that it was still cold compared to where he was originally from.

“Where’s that?” I asked as the woman excused herself and went back inside.

It turned out to be Brooklyn and although I didn’t second-guess him, I thought about how it probably wasn’t very warm there this year. I asked him if he knew where Smithtown was on Long Island, where I grew up and he did. He told me he still had three daughters living in Brooklyn and that he had been relocated to manage this McDonald’s eleven years ago, but after getting tired of “babysitting the business” he had chosen instead to just be the maintenance manager. I told him I had run a small business before and knew where he was coming from. He seemed to be happy to have someone to talk to for a little while other than his colleagues inside.

It was one of those seemingly inconsequential, yet impactful conversations with a complete stranger that make me feel a little more connected to the world.

Then we went our separate ways, him back to work and me inside to buy a coffee.

“Will this be for here or to go?” the cashier asked as I approached the counter, no one else in line.

“Here… actually I’d just like a large coffee with two creams, please.”

She punched a few buttons on the screen.

“$1.69” she said.

I pulled out my wallet and fumbled around for my credit card before grabbing the two loose dollar bills that were folded in half in one of the inside pockets. I handed the money to the cashier and she handed me back the $0.31 in change which I stuffed down into my pants pocket.

A moment later the woman from outside, with a big smile on her face, handed me the cup of coffee.

I said “thanks”, walked to a table and sat down.  I looked around and felt like I was in Anywhere, USA. These restaurants all kind of look the same, even when they don’t. They smell the same even when they don’t and they’re all filled with the same people even when they’re not. I pulled off the top to the coffee cup and watched the hot steam evaporate into the air, then picked up my phone and started reading e-mails.

“Sir do you………………..” someone mumbled.

I looked up to see a young African-American kid standing next to my table.

“Excuse me?” I asked

“Do you have a…………………” he mumbled again and I still couldn’t get the whole sentence although I assumed he was asking for money. He seemed a little nervous and my brain starting frantically pawing through the same file of poorly thought out, judgmental perceptions of people and although it’s been awhile, I immediately put up the walls built from many years of being a suburban kid, living near big cities where pan handlers would ask for money as you walked down a sidewalk.

I felt the instinctual word “no” coming out of my mouth, then I paused and looked at this kid again. He wasn’t a panhandler and he didn’t appear to be poor or a street person. He was just a kid, probably in middle school or early high school, likely my son’s age.

Just a kid.

I politely asked him to repeat the question.

This time he elaborated and spoke more clearly.

“Do you have a quarter so I can get something to eat? I have a dollar but I don’t have the money to pay the tax.”

The walls faded away.

“What are you going to get?” I asked.

“Probably a hamburger or a cheeseburger” he answered. They’re $0.99 but I don’t have the money to pay the tax.”

It crossed my mind that if this kid was brave enough to approach me and ask for nothing but a quarter and specifically state that it was for the sales tax, that maybe he’d become a good salesperson someday and I should offer to buy him a Quarter Pounder meal or a Chocolate Shake. But instead, I reached into my pocket and pulled out the change that the cashier had just given me, a quarter, a nickel and a shiny new penny. I grabbed the quarter and held it up.

“I’ll tell you what” I said. “I’ll give you this quarter but you have to do something nice for someone today.” I handed him the coin.

He said okay and took the quarter, thanked me and walked away.

I went back to my phone, reading and typing and answering customer questions. About ten minutes later I had covered what I needed to cover so I got up and started walking towards the exit. I saw the kid sitting in a booth with a friend, talking and eating a hamburger.

This evening as I write this story, I wonder if that kid did something nice for someone today. Maybe for his Mom or a neighbor or a stranger he met and had a seemingly inconsequential, yet impactful conversation with. Or maybe not, I think to myself. After all, it was just a quarter and he was just a kid and we were just in a McDonald’s in Anywhere, USA.

But I hope he did.

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Two Couples

As the Maitre ‘D walked the two couples to their table, Jack took a quick glance around the restaurant, admiring the fancy marble decor and the classic red and white plaid tablecloths common in so many Italian restaurants. The place was packed full on this Saturday evening, alive with big laughter and big city life and Jack felt way too young to be in here.

“God damn, Jack Diamond, it’s so great to see you again” Eddie exclaimed as the four of them settled into their chairs. The table was small but was near the street and had a nice view as hundreds of people strolled by enjoying the warm summer evening, as hurried drivers honked their horns at the endless street traffic and as digital fare meters ticked away dollar after dollar inside the bright yellow cabs carrying passengers from somewhere to somewhere else.

“What’s it been, nine or ten years since we saw each other last?” Eddie asked. “Jack, you haven’t changed a bit, well, other than being a lot bigger and taller than I remember!”

“Well it was the summer after I finished third grade and you both finished fourth, that my family moved to Indiana” Jack answered. “So however many years that is. I’ve never been that great at math. I’ll tell you though, I’ll never forget the night my Dad pulled us all aside and told us he was being relocated.”

“I’ll never forget the day on the playground that you told me you were moving” Eddie added.

Jack turned and looked over at Eddie’s beautiful wife Brenda. He could still remember how all the boys were madly in love with her back in elementary school, at least as much as adolescent boys knew what being in love meant. It was Eddie who eventually scored the big fish.

“Damn girl, you still look as good as you did in third grade!” Jack said with a smirk.

“Oh, you always were a charmer” Brenda answered in her thick New York accent. “You were shy, but definitely a charmer. So tell us about this beautiful girl you have with you.”

Jack turned and smiled at Diane.

“Well, this is Diane” he began. “She and I met, literally the first day in our new neighborhood. She lived two houses down from our new house and the first day we were there, while unpacking the truck, she came over and introduced herself to me. I’d never have had the nerve to talk to a girl when I was that age. But she made it happen, and as they say, I guess the rest is history!”

The conversation was interrupted as a tall, handsome waiter dressed in traditional black and white approached the table. He spoke with a thick Italian accent.

“Ciao, Mr. and Mrs. Pasquale, it’s nice to see you again. Ms. Brenda, you’re looking as stunning tonight as always.”

He turned to the two new guests at the table and introduced himself.

“Ciao, my friends, welcome to Fontana di Trevi Restaurant, my name is Antonio and I’ll be taking care of your table tonight. You must have good taste in friends if you come in with the Pasquale’s.

Eddie chimed in.

“Antonio, this is Jack Diamond and his good friend Diane Jones. Jack used to live in the neighborhood, but his family moved to Indiana many years ago. We were best buddies way back then, but we haven’t seen each other in years. Jack and Diane are going to school at Rutgers this fall. Jack’s gonna be a big football star there!”

“Well, welcome to Fontana di Trevi” Antonio said with a warm, bright smile.

He turned to Brenda.

“Can I start you with a bottle of wine, Mrs. Pasquale? Red or white tonight? Or perhaps a bottle of Rosé instead?”

Without reviewing the wine list or taking any suggestions from the other guests Brenda ordered from memory a mid-priced bottle of Cabernet and a second, more costly bottle of Chardonnay, both from California.

“Kind of expensive choices don’t you think?” Eddie mumbled.

“This is a special night, we need to treat our friends to some upscale city life tonight” she said, defending her choices.

“Anyway, you were saying?” Eddie continued, changing the subject and encouraging Jack to continue his story.

“Yeah, so we were really just friends for a few years” he began again. “But then, what was it about seventh grade that we started dating?” he asked Diane.

“Yeah, it was seventh grade” she answered. “I had to ask HIM out THEN too” she said with a smirk. “But we’ve been best friends ever since, just two American kids growing up in the heartland.”

“And so, Jack, you’re gonna be playing football at Rutgers, huh?” Brenda asked. “Well hopefully now that you’re closer we’ll be able to see you more often.”

“Yeah, they gave me a nice scholarship” Jack replied. “I took a year at the community college, pretty much had just given up on football. That’s what people do there in small town Indiana, graduate from High School, maybe get an Associate’s degree, then go work at a factory or one of the seed processing plants. But then one day the coach at Indiana University called me and asked if I might reconsider playing Division One football. So I started to think about it again and I was getting ready to commit to going to IU. You know, it would have been close to home, but I guess Rutgers wanted me because they called a couple of months later and had their check book wide open. So I chose Rutgers and somehow I talked Diane into following me here to the east coast. I honestly wasn’t sure if she’d ever left Indiana!”

“That’s not true!” Diane argued, laughing at herself and her small town upbringing.

“So, enough about us”, Jack said, changing the topic. “How are you guys doing, fresh from declaring your vows, what was it two, maybe three weeks ago? By the way sorry I missed it, I’ve been buried with football training, plus Diane and I getting moved into our new apartment. It’s been a pretty hectic couple months.”

“It’s alright, it was mostly just our close families” Eddie replied. “It was quick and we didn’t give people a whole lot of notice. But we’re doing okay. It’s expensive, but we’ve got a nice little place in the neighborhood and I’ve been working at the local machine shop since I graduated. We’re just trying to make it work. You know, money’s been a little bit tight but we’ll be fine.”

We’re survivors right?” Eddie continued, glancing at Brenda with an unconvincing smile.

A brief moment of uncomfortable silence was thankfully interrupted as Antonio approached the table with the two bottles of wine. He skillfully and delicately cranked the corkscrew into the corks, then used the lever to extract each and set the bottles on the table.

“No need to taste” Brenda offered. “I know these are perfect choices as we celebrate reconnecting with old friends tonight. Go ahead and fill us up.”

Antonio glanced towards Diane.

“Red or white Ms. Jones?”

“White please” Diane answered.

“And for you Mr. Diamond?” Antonio asked while filling Diane’s glass.

“Red please” Jack replied.

“This place sure is nicer than the Tastee Freeze that Diane and I used to eat at back home” Jack joked. “Six pack of cheap beer and a couple Chili dogs is typically our meal of choice.”

“Sounds delicious” Eddie exclaimed, “kind of like Brenda and my old High School days at the Parkway Diner.”

Eddie spoke to Antonio who was waiting for the conversation to wane. “The usual red for Brenda and white for me please.”

Antonio filled the last two glasses and excused himself. “I’ll be back in a few minutes to take your order.”

“Is the Parkway Diner still open?” Jack asked.

“Yeah, it’s still open” Brenda answered. “This old neighborhood hasn’t changed a bit since you left, same families, same businesses, and same old problems. You’re born here, you die here, I guess.”

“Sounds like our little Indiana town” Diane spoke up. “Nothing ever changes. Everyone says they want to get out but no one ever does. Had Jack not gotten that scholarship we’d still be there too.”

“Guess small town rural America isn’t much different from urban America” Eddie added. “Whether it’s tall buildings or cornfields, it’s all just the backdrop to regular people trying their hardest to get by. But hey, you know what? Life goes on, long after the thrill of living is gone.”

“Let’s order some food, the pasta here is delicious” Brenda spoke up, trying to lighten up a conversation that seemed to be heading in a solemn direction.

She glanced towards Antonio who briskly approached the table.

“Ready to order Mrs. Pasquale?” he asked.

“We are” she answered. “Guest’s first please.” She motioned towards Jack and Diane.

Antonio went around the table taking each of the four orders. Unlike the clerks at the Tastee Freeze who wrote everything down on little pads of green and white paper, he used nothing but his memory to note the details.

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What kind of Sexual are you?

Disclaimer: This is not a post about SEX. If you arrived here looking for a post about SEX, I’m sorry you’ll have to look elsewhere. But please be sure you subscribe to my blog first.

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Lately I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of sexual I am. I’m not talking Heterosexual or Homosexual or Bisexual or even Asexual. I’m talking about these vague terms that describe the way we men-folk look and dress. Have you noticed, more and more frequently, there seems to be popping up (pun intended), lots of ways to describe men as “________sexual”.

Terms like Metrosexual and Ubersexual.

So I set out to do some research on what kind of sexual I am. I’ve often joked on this site about being a little bit Metrosexual. My nickname amongst my group of friends is “Metro” so I guess maybe I show some signs of fitting that bill. In small town Michigan I probably am a little bit Metrosexual. Put me in Manhattan and I’d probably be labeled frumpy.

metrosexual

Exhibit A: Metrosexual

According to Dictionary.com Metrosexual is defined as:

A heterosexual, usually urban male who pays much attention to his personal appearance and cultivates an upscale lifestyle.

Okay, that sort of works. I am heterosexual and I do often pay attention to my personal appearance as evidenced by the amount of hair product I go through every year. But I’m not really an urban male although I was for a little while many years ago. I guess sometimes I try to cultivate an upscale lifestyle although mostly I prefer my simple small-town lifestyle.

Maybe I’m more of a displaced Metrosexual, more of a Pastoralsexual.

I went looking for other possibilities and came across the category of men-folk classified as Ubersexual.

According to Dictionary.com Ubersexual is defined as:

A man who exhibits traditional masculine qualities as well as the caring nature of the New Man.

Huh?!? What does that even mean?!? I moved on.

Upon further research I discovered that a few months ago the category of men-folk classified as Lumbersexual started to become part of the vernacular. Now granted, how the terms “lumber” and “sexual” fit together is a stretch to most of us unless you want to make lots of jokes about hardwood. But I checked it out and it’s such a new concept that the term does not yet appear in any Dictionary.

But I found this tidbit on Gawker.com

To facilitate an easy discussion, it might help you to think of a Lumbersexual as a foil to the Metrosexual, the alleged nadir of masculinity from last decade. So, instead of slim-legged pants, envision pants with a little extra leg room (see: “regular cut”). Rather than be clean-shaven, the Lumbersexual has an unkempt beard. The Metrosexual is clean and pretty and well-groomed; the Lumbersexual spends the same amount of money, but looks filthy. Sartorially speaking, a Lumbersexual is a delicate tri-blend of L.L. Bean, Timberlake, and Sears.

Okay I thought, that sounds pretty good. Kind of a more rugged and manly metrosexual, an LL Bean type, who is allowed at times to be filthy. That sounded like it might be right up my alley, so I tried it out for a bit.

Lumbersexual

Exhibit B: Lumbersexual

It was all going great, I was feeling manly and filthy and lumbery.

Then one day a couple of weeks ago, I read about a new kind of man-folk called a Spornosexual, another exciting breed of masculinity sprung from the roots of the Metrosexual, and named from a combination of the words “sports” and “porno” and “sexual”.

Esquire Magazine described a Spornosexual as this, while referencing Brad Pitt’s appearance in the movie Fight Club:

The spornosexual is a more extreme breed of man than his metro forebear. He is just as plucked, tanned and moisturised, but leaner, buffer, more jacked and obsessed not just with “looking good” in the abstract, but with the actual physical proportions of his frame: the striation of his abs, the vascularity of his biceps, the definition of his calves.

WOW! That sounded exciting. Lean, buff, jacked, and looking good with striated abs and vascular biceps, whatever that stuff means. So I ripped off the heavy flannel shirt, took three showers to clean off all the accumulated filth, shaved the beard and started working out, three, four, sometimes five times a day. I’d finally found my calling. I was gonna be a “Spornosexual”.

Spornosexual

Exhibit C: Spornosexual

I had done it, I had found the kind of man-folk I wanted to be. I felt good, like Brad Pitt in Fight Club.

But then it all came crashing down. I was burnt out from trying to be something I wasn’t. I just wanted to just be a regular guy again, a husband, a Dad, a friend and a blogger. I wasn’t a Spornosexual or a Lumbersexual or a Ubersexual or even a Metrosexual.

I just wanted to be a regular guy. Because who needs labels anyway?

So, that’s what I did.

And you have to admit, there’s something sexy about that!

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A Valentine’s Day Song

So I’ve been working on a song for Valentine’s Day. This is a pretty big Valentine’s Day this year. It doesn’t often fall on a Saturday, plus with the whole Fifty Shades phenomenon going on should be lots of fun for couples.

It’s called “On Valentine’s Day You Don’t Get No Say”.

I think it’s pretty good, kind of a love song, country western kind of tune, you know, from the guy’s perspective.  This is just a draft. Let me know what you think!

I have to give some credit to Ross Murray at Drinking Tips for Teens for a little inspiration on this whole topic with his recent, very funny post about Valentine’s Day and Fifty Shades.

You can and should go read it here!

And if you liked this post, or even if you didn’t like this post, you might really like this Valentine’s post from a couple years ago: A Conversation Heart Conversation

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