Monday, July 25, 2022


Here’s how it works . . .
     The first blade pulls the whisker away from your skin, allowing the second blade to cut it even closer, before it snaps back.
The third blade scrapes away the years that have passed since you could still sport a few days’ growth and not be mistaken for someone who lives on the street and shaves when he can.
     And the fourth blade is for everyone who needs to shave four times faster than their grandfather did, one-third closer than those poor three-blade schmucks, and anyone who upgraded to the five-blade system the moment Gillette released it.

Inspired by another story entitled Progress. Image from this Trac II commercial from the early 1970s.

Thursday, July 21, 2022

“I have to post this.” (1517)

“Martin, you're just sitting there, thumbing through their horrible comments. Go outside and get some air.”
     “I will, Kath, in a while . . . almost done . . . I have to post something. These ‘influencers’ drive me crazy. They take people’s money and don’t care what hell they unleash. They try to monetize absolutely everything. It burns me so—”
     “Martin. Calm down.”
     “No! I won’t tolerate their indulgences a second longer. I’m going to post my reply, today, consequence be damned . . . Have you seen my hammer?”
     Thus Martin Luther set out to nail his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the church in Wittenberg.
Inspired by Progress. Image from Luther und dessen Reformation by Baron von Löwenstern, 1830.

Sunday, July 17, 2022


Written storage of knowledge began on clay tablets, which can still be read. Ancient Egyptians used papyrus scrolls, which can still be read. Ancient Romans used scrolls of parchment, which can still be read. Ancient China used bamboo, which can still be read. Rome left the codex, parchment sheets between pieces of wood, which can still be read. Gutenberg’s books can still be read. Old paperbacks can still be read. Then the Internet was developed, making collective knowledge available to everyone. Then it failed, leaving no communication of the knowledge. That was because of maintenance. How far we have come!

Inspired by History Class. Image from the Penn Museum.

Monday, July 11, 2022


Delia will tell you she doesn’t dance anymore—her body broken by wear and tear. Yet her every move is liquid grace. Her ugly feet are grounded on the earth, but the rest of her glides through the world, never too fast or slow, never jerky, but also never staying in one place for too long. The most still part of her anatomy is her shielded face—not a trace of what she’s thinking or feeling—merely a slight lift of her chin, as she surveys, like a Queen, the scene around her with benign disdain, or is it fear?

Inspired by The Quarters All Dancing. Photo by sankla on FreeImages.

Wednesday, July 6, 2022

The Quarters All Dancing

Perhaps the last story my father ever told me was of the poker he’d played on a deep-sea fishing trip off the Jersey Shore, pushing through the waves to where the fish were, with the quarters all bouncing around on the table.
He’d come to Toronto for his first visit in years, and though I was still too young to share a beer with him, I must’ve told him of the penny-ante games I’d play with my friends.
     I’d like to think now I could drink him under the table.
     I’d like to think now I could whip his ass.

Inspired by History Class. Image by the craiyon AI.

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