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Friday Night Clam Bake – #11: Surprise Salamis, Shakespeare, Sartorial Situations, Styling and Sad Satiation

Howdy, Clam Bakers.

Before we get to tonight’s entertainment program, I feel compelled to mention something that surfaced at our last staff meeting during happy hour at Monique’s House of Sushi and Slammers. We have very few regulations here at Camp Bonnywood, and we strongly encourage the healthy exploration of alternatives and experimentation. After all, our name alone is affirmation that we just want all our guests to be firmly happy.

Despite that, please be advised of this: It is perfectly fine if you should choose to change your assigned bunkhouse for the evening. However, we strongly encourage you to ensure that all participants in your new sleeping adventure are aware of this arrangement and have agreed accordingly. This is especially important if your slumber preparations include performing the “Alas, poor Yorick” scene from Hamlet whilst completely nude and clutching a salami instead of a skull. This is a soliloquy that not everyone wishes to review, especially after a long night of drinking elderberry wine and possibly revealing more than you should to the person on your left.

Now, having dispensed with such, let’s proceed with this evening’s exhilarating pageantry. I have invited three members of the Literary Arts enclave at Bonnywood Manor to present one of their recent works. I’m sure this opportunity will be embraced by everyone around the campfire. On the off chance that you are not completely swooning with desire for such, might I remind that we still have plenty of elderberry wine conveniently located behind the old oak tree with the yellow ribbon. That should do the trick.

Our first artist this evening is the lovely and talented CJ Hartwell, an up and coming member of the Phoenician Fictionistas writing group. She will be doing a mixed-media presentation which offers her take on a story we thought we knew. There may only be seven basic plots in the world, according to certain scholars who spend their time researching instead of actually writing, but as any good scribbler will tell you, even if there are only seven basic stories, the variations on the seven are infinite.


Biblical Stories in Text: Samson & Delilah


Tex 1 S&D

*** *** *** ***


Text 2 S&D

*** *** *** ***

Screen Shot 2017-07-08 at 7.28.46 PM

Text 4 S&D

*** *** *** ***

Text 5 S&D

Text 7 S&D

            Three missed calls




Next up, we have the effervescent and beguiling Margo, with a personal reflection on the nostalgic whimsy of fashion and parenting. I should mention that Margo has, of late, been honing her talents in the charming artist colony of San Miguel Allende. She was gracious enough to book a charter flight to Bonnywood, having just arrived this afternoon, exuding an air of international flair and the pungency of the delicious local cuisine, as we should all strive to do. Please enjoy.


Long Term Plans?

I read a funny and painfully true post on The Shameful Sheep blog about the embarrassing things  mothers/parents do (  and I was reminded of my mother’s obsession about hair styles, among other things.

As small children, the female head of the household didn’t pay much attention to what we looked like. She saw to it we were clean, and had clothes to wear, but such hygiene habits like brushing our teeth, combing our hair, or learning the techniques of makeup application did not appear on her radar.

Her lack of interest in such things may have something to do with the amount of time left in each day after she and Dad put the papers ‘to bed’. Because they were newspaper publishers, and deadlines, press breakdowns, paper deliveries, etc. consumed close to 16-18 hours each day. This left my two sisters and me to create our own entertainment and the freedom to explore various ventures unencumbered by parental oversight including the way we looked.

However, once we passed the magic age of 25 and were out of college, Mother began scrutinizing our hair length, our hem lengths, and our overall appearance. She had more time for such observations, and wanted to share her vast amount of expertise with what she often thought were her ‘unkept’ daughters.

We laughed and complained often about this behavioral turn around because she unsuccessfully tried to be diplomatic and subtle in her advice giving.

I remember visiting Mother when I was well into my 40’s. She took a brief look at me, and asked, “What are your long-term plans for your hair?”

After a moment’s pause, I quickly answered, “to have it.”

What was she talking about? Who makes long-term plans for their hair?

But, of course, she didn’t care about my hair plans, she was telling me to Please Make Changes to my unacceptable coiffure.

Laughter was the best way of diffusing this strange dialogue and letting her know that my styling would remain as currently worn, until I had a written strategic plan to be voted on by Margo’s Hair Style  Evaluation Committee that meets twice a lifetime and on which Mother does not serve.

She nodded, knowing full well that she was not permanently silenced. After all, she had friends on that Committee.

Good grief, I love Mother.



For the final panel in our triptych, we have a heartbreaking selection from Hexom Breen, a misunderstood artist who some accuse of being the alter ego of a writer you may or may not know. Certain ongoing court proceedings prevent me from clearing up the mystery, but what I can say is that Hexom’s free-verse poem is a serious meditation on addiction. As such, I would behoove you to give this oratory its somber due and therefore not slurp so noisily as you guzzle the elderberry. It’s a short piece, so I trust that you can be human for three minutes.


An Homage to Fromage

In this epic struggle called life, full of rife

I know that my downfall, incipient, preordained

Will be brought about by

I can barely give form to the word clawing in my throat

But I must expel it


I love cheese, fervently

It darkens my waking and colors my night, I dream about cheese

It taunts me constantly, I cannot rest

Yet Cheese is fickle, even cruel

Caring not about my blocked arteries and stunning weight gain

The friends I have lost who can no longer dine with me

Ashamed by the grunting and salivating I release, the pawing of plates not mine

Our relationship is unhealthy, the Cheese and I

The bloodwork stats do not lie, but I do, to myself

I keep coming back, soul bared

I writhe eternally, surround by the rinds of aged gouda

I wish I knew how to quit you

Piece out



Okay, Happy Campers. That ends tonight’s remarkable journey, at least here on stage. You are more than welcome to remain around the campfire and discuss the illustrious proceedings, especially if you have been bogarting the elderberry and the thought of rising at this point is a bridge too far. Sit a spell and spin the tales. And remember, no naked Shakespeare unless everyone in your bunkhouse agrees.



11 replies »

  1. I tried to find Garrison Keillor’s rendition of “What a Friend We Have in Cheeses” but alas, could not. Sorry. I blame MY own cheese addiction on my mom, who when confronted with a two-year-old who still took a bottle to bed, gave me cheese instead. One hunk in each hand. Or maybe it’s genetic. My seven-year-old granddaughter loves cheese as well, especially when combined with carbs of any kind. Bless her heart, she has no idea of what’s to come in 40-50 years.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Garrison’s rendition sounds familiar, indicating that I may have stumbled across it at some point or my memory has reached the point where the recollections are starting to merge with one another and everything I encounter has an air of familiarity. (I’d put my money on the latter.) As for my own cheese provenance, I don’t recall any formative cheese experiences in my youth or any relatives with a particular gusto for such, so I’d have to blame this situation entirely on myself… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Gosh, take one internet-free day and look what happens. Suddenly you’re proclaimed an up and coming and now your head is filled with images of long salamis. My life will never be the same. 😉
    As for the sad cheese tale, alas, I know it well. My arteries are fine, clean as a whistle, but an ever-so-slight lactose problem turned a full-fledged monster. It’s a cruel, cruel, world. But at least we have salami.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, we still have our Parisian salami, but at what cost? What risks do our travails entail? Most importantly, what shall happen if you rise above your local impact with the Phoenicians Fictionistas and attain global prominence? These pensive thoughts are brought to you by the letters C and H… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

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