I REALLY LOVE THE JUNGLE! Believe it or not, these were the opening lyrics to a popular song of the 1930’s. (The second verse was….”Bongo Bongo Bongo, I don’t want to leave the Congo!) If you ask me, these verses were sinfully bad. One might say “vice verses.” It would certainly be difficult to get much verse. By the way, I know a lot about versailles because I went to musical school in upstate New York. (Sing Sing) While I was there I wrote a soap opera. Would you like me to hum a few “bars” All right, enough Sunday morning puns…. let’s move on, as we have a lot of ground to cover. (Fear not, I am a gardener and I’m familiar with ground cover.)
Item One: Hocus pocus, try to focus…. I really am heading for the jungle. After I finish this blog, I will be packing my knapsack with mosquito repellent and Kaopectate! Why for? Because I am heading to the jungles of Belize and Honduras in search of a lost Aztec civilization of cannabis and head-hunters. I do not expect to be successful. (Mainly because the Aztec Indians lived in South America.) Nevertheless, I will be exploring some remote regions with my intrepid band of A.P.E.S. (Austin Poker Enthusiasts & Sailors) Assuming that I am not eaten by a horde of Piranhas, I shall keep you informed of my whereabouts. Those piranha fish are very smart. I hear they’re always in schools. (And they hate to play “hooky.”) Sound dangerous. On a “scale” of one to ten, this will be a ten. If it was a five, it would be a “fin.” (Something fishy about this routine!)
Item two: The book signing that was scheduled for Tegucigalpa has been cancelled due to the fact that our local host (a pleasant drug cartel gentleman) will be incarcerated for the next twenty to thirty years. I’ll let you know if he gets an early release or escapes.
Item three: MURDER ON MAIDEN LANE (my second mystery novel) has just completed the first round of literary scrutiny (i.e., editing) and has been returned to the publisher for a second check. Hopefully, we will still be on track for a publication date of March 1st. (I know your lives are on hold until then.)
Item four: I did not receive an invitation to the Inaugural Ball, so I called the White House to find out why. The receptionist told me not to hold my breath. That made me blue. (Whenever I feel blue, I breathe. Always helps.) Anyway, I missed the big party. Truthfully, I thought the First Lady looked very pretty, but I did not like her new hairdo. (To me it was sort of a “hair-don’t.”) However, she did get some “bangs for her buck.” Cute cut, but she looked like one of the Supremes. (No, not the judges!)
Item five: I only have one thing to say about the debt ceiling problem….. “Money is the roof of all evil.”
Item six: I had a delightful book signing/speaking engagement in the town of Gonzales, which is about an hour south of Austin. If you ever drive down there, check out the Memorial Museum and then head to the historic downtown center. If you enjoy Mexican food (who doesn’t?) grab some lunch at the Matamoros Taco Hut. After eating there you will not need to stop for gas, so I would walk around town and take in the sights. (Gonzales, for you history buffs, is where they had the famous cannon with the banner “Come and take it!” Those Texians were a tough group of boys. (Big shots, too.) The cannon still works, so don’t stick your head into the barrel. (Takes forever to get loose.)
Item six: Congratulations to my dear friend Leigh Ann Woodward, who finished 5th in a MAJOR poker tournament up in Choctaw, Oklahoma. The woman is charming, lovely, and a fierce competitor. Well done, madam! We (your poker buddies in Austin) are very proud of your accomplishment. (Send me some money.)
Item seven: A big American patriotic THANK YOU to Matt Houser, who is soon to be deployed in the service of our country. Matt is the husband of Sarah (Williams) Houser, who was one of my very best students at St. Edward’s University. Sarah and Matt are the type of young folks that make this country great, and I am proud to have them as friends. Best of luck, Matt! (We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers.)
Item eight: Another round of thanks to my dearest travel mate Barbara Talbott. (Barbara, as you might know, was “Miss Indiana” during her younger days in Munchie, I mean, Muncie.) She recently bestowed upon thee a very appropriate gift…. a shirt that read…. “Stay Clam And Proofread.” Sad, but true. (I wear it almost every day!)
Item nine: In case you’re keeping track, I have been doing very well at poker. Playing under the nom de plume of “The Cobra,” I finished 5th and 6th in the last two poker tournaments here in lovely Austin. Today, Sunday, I will be playing in the Central Texas Poker Invitational Championship Tournament. (Try fitting all that on a shirt!) The tourney starts at 3 o’clock and should be a lot of fun. (Especially if they let me deal.)
Item ten: This one is going to hurt….. Guess who is ranked number TWO in the overall poker standings??? No, not me. I’m not even in the top ten! However, The Corpus Christi Crusher (a/k/a Patty Yanoff) is ranked number two and very close to taking over the top spot! I tell you folks, life ain’t fair. All of the poker academy graduates…… Max, Barbara, Susan, Jeff, Jorene, Sharon, etc…… Well, they are all playing better than the snake! What’s up with that?
Well, dear friends and followers, I must bid you adieu. I see a stack of pancakes with my name on it, so duty calls! Have a wonderful week and try to laugh a little.
Love to all,