NJ STATE AQUARIUM © Wm.M.Hoffman Jr. Click More Camden paintings

SORE LISTENERS
© Port Whitman Times 1999
     Didja ever talk to one of those guys who constantly punches you in the arm while he's making his points? Oh yeah, I remembered them from the seventh grade, about the time we were going through the "you flinched" phase of developing personal relations. You remember too, dontcha? Yeah, they'd come up to you and make a move as if they were going to let you have one in the kisser, fistwise, and if you so much as moved a muscle to avoid the facial disaster, even if their rooker came right up to within a fraction of an inch of your nose, then you "flinched", and had to take a shot on the arm. (Needless to say, this was a boy's game, as the girls' arms were not up to such punishment, and no self-respecting female would put up with that business anyway.) Then the arm punch, no matter whether it was just a grazer, or a knuckled clout, would be "wiped off", and the little game was over, unless of course the hitter forgot to wipe off, in which case turnabout was fair play, then you, the punchee could become the puncher and take a penalty shot. Or start the game over by making the other guy flinch, if you could lift your arm. This went on well into the seventh or eighth grade, when we started noticing the girls.
     Well there are adults, I'm sorry to say, who seem not to have forgotten the game, though now without the "flinch" part of it. They give it to you all the time while they're carrying on a friendly conversation, requiring you to extend your friendliness considerably just to put up with this indignity. It's not innate meanness that fathers this intimate mini-mayhem, but a sincere desire to drive one's point across, thinly veiling an unrequited sadistic bent; certainly I can appreciate wanting to get your point across, but I would prefer that they go in my ear, where there is an opening meant for gists and particulars to enter, rather than in my arm, where they have to be propelled through muscles meant to protect rather than accept. Henry Francisco

New Camden Times

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© Port Whitman Times

Open minds consider
The ultimate bidder,
Ideas to think up
Then drink up
Even the thoughts of a kidder

Comicbooks of life
Drawn strikingly, rife
With cartoons of behavior
Could be the savior
Of spheres locked-up in strife

Reaching old age
Cheating death's page
One laughs in the face
Of attempts to displace
Current life with sin's wage


Eternal vows of love
Rise to clouds above
Then when they've rolled by
Might cease to apply
To a marital union thereof


Life: a lot of decisions
Often to skirt collisions,
With which we're encumbered
Until we're outnumbered,
Thence a reward one envisions

To do that at which 
One finds a niche
Where no one else would
Or possibly could, 
Really scratches an itch

Henry Francisco

Henry's Ice Cream is the place, you
Stick the ice cream in your face
Gobble it down and ask fer more
    At the Henry's Ice Cream Store         Take some home too, just in case...

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