Friday Night Clam Bake – #7: Bits and Bobs and a Candle That Smells Like Bacon

As I sit here at my writing desk (otherwise known as “that place where good intentions rarely come to fruition”), and the titular candle is crackling away whilst my mind is not, two feeble thoughts have managed to weakly spark in my cranium: One, it’s been a while since I did a Friday Night Clam Bake. (Such things were briefly all the rage here at Bonnywood, at least in my own mind. Why not revisit the fifteen minutes when they were popular?) Two, I’ve been babbling for a few months about gathering together some of my favorite comments and presenting them in a sparkling array for review.

Hmm. What to do, what to do? Which of these two ideas should I pursue?

As the flame of the cholesterol-tribute candle continues to dance, just like a welkin, reminding me of a certain exquisite sandwich in a certain folksy-but-charming restaurant in a certain laid-back town, none of which can be named due to a certain situation that occurred after the sandwich was gone, another thought enters my head. (The other two thoughts look up in stunned surprise, as there have never been three occupants in this cavernously-empty wasteland.) What if I combine the two ideas into one? A clambake where the visitors tell the story instead of the host, sharing words shared before?

This could be brilliant or another dreary example of what can go tragically awry when a certain person in a certain house is left unsupervised for a certain amount of time. I look at the clock and realize that it is nearly 10pm. This is not so terribly late in my writing cycle, as I typically scribble bits until 2 or 3am, but it’s dangerously late if I plan to have this prepped by midnight, which is my usual posting point. I’d best get busy.

Let’s shove off, shall we?

(Fair disclaimer: Some of these links will take you to years-old posts that have since been revised and thrown back out into the world, some of them with major overhauls, so the variance between pre- and post-fiddling might be eye-opening. On the flip side, you’ll get to see how my warped psyche works out the kinks.)


Marie Christine on Attack of the Giant Mary, 03/30/17

“And here I thought I was the only one who finds Bloody Marys to be life changing.”


vagabondtraders on 10 More Signs That Your Body Just Isn’t What It Used to Be, 05/10/16

“I can relate to the shower trauma. Only to add the part of trying to shave your legs in the shower by having to prop one outstretched foot at a time against the opposite wall, remaining upright and finishing without removing all the skin from your ankles and knees.”


barbtaub on An Open Letter to the Idiot with the Chainsaw, 04/26/17

“O I feel your pain! When we lived in the Middle of the Middle of Illinois, our next door neighbor Claude preferred to do not only his pre-dawn lawn mowing—which, despite the fact one good spit could water the postage-sized bit of lawn his wife had somehow neglected to fill with colored gravel—but also any and all available leaf and/or snow blowing. We never actually complained for two reasons. First, because Claude (who was, by my best calculations, 186 years old at least) was quite forgetful, he would wander down the street mowing/blowing everything he encountered including our sidewalks/grass/paths until his weapon of choice ran out of fossil fuel. His wife, Inez, would eventually appear in her bathrobe and rubber boots, following the trail of swept sidewalks until she found him and brought him home. The second reason was that Inez was about 80lbs of pure mean, and she was armed. She never slept, but spent the 23 hours/day (not devoted to retrieving Claude and his instruments of predawn torture) sitting behind a twitching front room curtain. Rumor had it she sat with a gun in one hand, the other hand on the 911 speed dial so police could be summoned if anything threatening occurred such as the exact same teenagers who walked to school the exact same way every day passed her front window, or if her neighbors’ (us) cat ventured onto her gravel, or if a Dangerous Stranger (i.e. anyone who wasn’t white) rang any doorbell in the neighborhood. None of us ever bothered with security systems or burglar alarms—we had Inez. My daughter made a sign for one of our windows “This House Protected By An Attack Crone” because, she explained, when it came to Inez, even burglars deserved a fighting chance.”


Kathy Simmons on Tulsa Flashback: Borden’s Cafeteria and the Church of Big Hair, 03/25/16

“Brian, and I thought I was the only one who still dreamed of the whipped mashed potatoes served in our high school lunch room! The “cafeteria lady” perhaps channeling a missed calling as an artist, crafted the most perfect circle with a quick wave and then press of her ladle.. poetry in motion! The succulent taste of that steaming gravy I still recall.”


Phil Huston on 10 Completely Random Things I Learned While Sucking Down Margaritas at Ojeda’s, 04/28/17

“Well, whiny loser time. Your Ojeda’s is much better than mine, save for equality in clientele. Up here? The portions are small, the beans are runny and everything starts with a solid foundation of salt. I mean salt lick con salsa. The same may be said of the Blue Goose just down the street, except for the parking lot there is full of bald spot gray haired ponytails and their hogs. Interpret that as you will. However, sans the name, the experience is much the same at a decent Mexican place that isn’t a satellite of the real one somewhere downtown or Southside. Children who may not have left the building with their parents, science experiments on the floor, tall, cold margaritas, sad music in a foreign tongue…We had to stop going to Don Pepe’s in Richardson. The booths are shallow, the aisles thin. When waiters and bus boys pass, there is enough contact that the sexual tension is palpable. On the last occasion a bus boy, a waitress and the solo troubadour intersected at our booth. In an effort to make way, the singing matador pushed himself into our table, his juevos and sausage sitting on the edge like leftover breakfast wrapped in black spandex while he was jolted repeatedly from behind by the other two trying to make it past him. Never missing a lick of “Guantanamera.” We haven’t returned. But this is Texas. Next sopapilla stop, please.”


Alex Daro on Writer to Writer: Running in Place – My Freefall Experience in the Land of Twitter, 09/15/15

“You had me at fried avocado.”


lindywhitton on 10 Survival Tips for the Next Appointment with Your Doctor, 05/03/17

“Having been on the other end of this encounter for years as a MRI tech I want to say there should be a limit to the number of questions patients are allowed to ask. My absolute most hated are the ones who sit on the edge of the table after the scan and ask ” anyway how does this machine work?” and won’t be fobbed off with ” it’s pretty complicated physics that took me 3 years to get a handle on and I don’t think I have a hope of explaining even the bare rudiments of it to you in the 2 minutes I have before I need to scan the woman with the huge brain tumour so let’s just call it magic and let me get on withe the ten gazzillion patients I have to cram in here before they let me out tonight”.
Just saying….”


Pickleope on 10 Reasons Why Mondays Are the Work of Satan, 07/28/15

“Wait a second, this was originally published in William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury!?! What did Faulkner care about Mondays? He didn’t have to clock in anywhere.
I think it would be a great idea to test out wearing that “certain leather outfit” to work. At worst, you’d have a new nickname, at best, you’d have the respect of your boss’s because you’re the badass wearing leather to work.
Mondays aren’t great, but Tuesdays are the days that vex me. Tuesdays are the sad little brother of Monday, trying to imitate his older brother who’s already a bully, so Tuesday really overdoes it to try to match his older brother.”


fatontheinsideblog on 10 Reasons Why the Texas Heat Can Lead to a Psychotic Break, 06/27/17

“Moist is probably one of the worst words ever invented. I’ve been told its because of the diphthong but I’m not sure if thats the actual reason. I prefer a good palindrome over a diphthong anyway. Wait. Where was I? Ah yes, the heat. It was 56 here yesterday. I wore a stocking cap and jacket but my husband still ran the air conditioning at night. Does Bisquick actually work as a foundation? I’m going to have to try that now that I’m getting older. Maybe it can be like Mrs. Doubtfire where I just peel it off at night and put it back on in the morning. TacoCat. Thats a good palindrome.”


mcowder on 15 Fun Responses to Irritate Your Annoying Food Service Technician, 04/20/15

“The dildo response was absolutely priceless.”


In My Cluttered Attic on Scotch on the Rocks, 04/27/15

“I am now looking at my dog and wondering what’s going on in her mind.”


leggypeggy on Past Imperfect – #42, 06/10/17

“Oh crap. I’ve laughed so hard I’ll probably fall off my covfefe later today, or trip over one, or stub my toes on one, or…”


Chris on Goodbyes and Hellos, 07/27/16

“Wonderful read. I love the seemingly tortuous (no typo 😉) route taken to reach our destination and yes, it is a strange realisation that having reached a certain number of years, we are actually free to do as we wish, within certain financial and perhaps familial constraints. Like you, I now spend most of my time writing – not professionally – however, although the hours are available, not much more is achieved since when 2 of you are retired, there is always someone else there, wandering in and out, going about their own interests, but nevertheless asking this or that, putting on the kettle, suggesting a trip out to this or that garden centre or ruined abbey not half an hour from your home that in all the 29 years you have lived here has never before insinuated itself on your consciousness, or the phone constantly ringing because people – family, mostly – now realise you have all the time in the world to chat, and so, yes, you are free to do as you wish, but the world and its brother may have other ideas!”


Osyth on Past Imperfect – #26, 06/09/17

“Sometimes I wish I bashed out my work on an old fashioned clack clack typewriter and could dramatically rip the paper out with disgusted aplomb and hurl it manfully at the overflowing waste You bin and then knock back a shot of Absynthe to dull the pain of seeking writerly perfection ….”


C.J.Hartwell on Past Imperfect – #15, 06/07/17

“First reaction: “Wha?!”
Second reaction: “Whoa, Brian is branching out!”
Third reaction: “OMG, an audience member is on stage!”
Fourth reaction: “MORE, MORE, MORE!”


It is with heavy heart that I must now try to wrap this up. I had originally thought this might be an innocuous lark, one processed rather quickly, but I’ve barely even chiseled at the behemoth travel trunks stored in the attic. (After all, I’m dealing with nearly 700 exhibits in the flora and fauna sprouting hither and yon on this site.) There will definitely be more posts in this series, and I trust (hope?) that those who did not get a shout-out this time around will not be offended by my lack of proper planning.

And this last bit is actually a post that has no comments whatsoever. Granted, back in the day, it was not unusual for me to have an extended run of posts without any interaction aside from a few taps on the “Like” button. (We’ve all been there, right?) Still, with all the poking around I’ve done in the archives tonight, and despite other pieces that are much better, this one caught my attention, floating quietly in the backwaters of Bonnywood. If you’ve understandably bypassed most of the links in this post so far (we’re all pressed for time, and extraneous clicking is a luxury), it would be swell if you could give this one a chance.”

Writer to Writer: Sowing the Seeds



22 replies »

  1. Dang. Can’t come up with a comment worthy of this post ! So, will settle for the like. But then, I already commented. Double dang.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, don’t worry, you’ve got some comments in the pile that I’m contemplating for Part II. I had to stop at 15 with this first post, but there are tons more. Stay tuned!… 😉


  2. Did I really say that? Don’t remember a thing … must be the Absythe 😉 Loved reading all these … you have a smart and sassy following. Be proud because it is you that provokes every single one of these gems 💎

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw, that’s sweet of you to say. And as for not remembering, I must confess that I often didn’t recall my OWN words as I banged around in these dusty conversations. I am going to pretend that it has nothing to do with my declining mental acuity and more the result of a nefarious plot concocted by shadowy people trying to manipulate pork belly futures on the stock market. Or something like that… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve come up with an incredibly brilliant plot to encourage more comments. I’m impressed. Deeply impressed.
    What’s more, I’m wondering if there’s a way I can steal this idea without you noticing.
    Maybe if I name it something else? Wait ’til you’re sleeping and slip it in, sneaky like?
    Hmm. That would’ve had a higher chance of working had I not mentioned it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, please run with the idea to your heart’s content. I actually really recommend doing this. As I mentioned in a few of my responses above, this was actually a lot of fun and I had to make myself stop. (But there WILL be additional versions of this, fingers crossed.) It was a pleasure reviewing the conversations and, more importantly, taking my time as I was doing so. I’m the first to admit that sometimes I rush through the comments due to other things that I need to accomplish on a given day, so it was nice not facing a “deadline”, and I got much more enjoyment out of some of the conversations (not that they weren’t enjoyable on the first run, mind you). The leisurely pace makes it a different experience. Go for it!

      Oh, I should mention this as a “methodology” tip: I limited myself to only one quote per person in this post so that I got a nice variety of thoughts and styles. (I could easily have done an entire post just on the exchanges between you and I, for example.) This also allows you to spread out your “appreciation” in a wider arc, as the whole basis of the post was to thank people for taking the time (and give them a tiny little PR nudge).

      Okay, I’m rambling. Signing off!

      Liked by 1 person

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