In the wake of the mayhem

Let me get this out of the way first: This is not a post about gun control. Okay, now we can move on. As I write this, the Mass Shooting Tracker has logged 373 mass shootings in America this year. Check here to see the current number. The tracker defines a mass shooting as any […]

The Case of the Sullied Samsonite

A snowflake was allegedly spotted 30 miles southeast of our city, so we’re on DEFCON 1 around here. Schools and a lot of business are closed. Since we humans no longer have to worry much about saber-toothed tigers or the Bubonic plague, I think we’re secretly excited about the dangers of puffy snow. But what […]

NOW: Never before seen iconic photographs

Dear Smithsonian American Art Museum, You guys are doing a great job there, storing old stuff adults can drag their kids to see. But many young ones don’t care. Imagine the carbon dioxide generated from all the dramatic sighs. If you combine the CO2 buildup contributed by your young visitors with that of the bloviators on […]

An open letter to my seamstress

Dear Chumkee, We don’t know each other, but we have a lot in common. I just bought a new shirt at Stein Mart. Because you sew a ton of shirts every day, there’s a chance you made mine. Small world, huh? All my apparel originates from exotic locales. When I visited a small South American city […]

Our dog: the gift that keeps on giving (on our bed)

The Smith family is precariously close to dispensing with all Christmas giving pretense and getting our own gifts. This year, we spent an inordinate amount of time sending photos to each other. We did this to make sure we gave exactly what the other person wanted. Which shirt color do you like? Take a closer […]

Thirty-seven years later

It didn’t hit you when you lost an old relative or a pet. It hit you when you lost someone your age. A good friend. Sixteen years old. Back when you still believed in Forever. When you finally understood that life was finite. Death transmuted from an amorphous concept into something so real it eviscerated your heart. […]

A River Adventure in Two Parts

April 1979 River Outfitter Guy The Current River (or maybe Jacks Fork) Somewhere south of Jeff City Dude, Awesome weekend! Hey man, I don’t know if I stayed at your camp, but I’m pretty sure I stayed someplace. I was the dude wearing the Springsteen shirt, and I had a can of Busch in each […]

Dear college my daughter attends

Before I get to the crux of this letter, my daughter had a great first year of college. She acclimated well. You challenged her academically. She felt safe on campus. For all of that, her mother and I are grateful. Now, about the letter you sent us—the one asking us to give to the Parents […]