Carlson

John Carlson: An Ominous Awakening

By John Carlson— This morning I woke up seventy-years-old. All I could think was, “Uh–oh.” As ages go, seventy seems a sobering one. If you die at seventy, people who liked you will say, “Well, he lived a good long life.” People who didn’t like you will say, “It’s about time that nitwit bit the big one.” Either way, your mortality won’t surprise anybody. Also at seventy, you are acutely aware of time’s passage. Not that I haven’t already been…

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John Carlson: On Your Mark! Get Set…BAKE!

By John Carlson— Being cranky old duffers long set in our ways, Nancy and I follow an invariable routine for weeknight Netflix television-watching that illustrates something of the dichotomy in our viewing tastes. First we watch two or three short episodes of “Forensic Files.” This provides my daily minimum requirement of blood, guts, murder and mayhem. My having always been a fan of televised blood, guts, murder and mayhem, TV shows about cops and criminals are my favorite. Then out…


John Carlson: Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Food

By John Carlson— What is it about fiery food that makes some of us consider eating it a personal challenge? Moronity? OK, I’ll buy that. Beats me how many times I’ve entered restaurants anticipating a pleasant, filling but ultimately dull meal. Then something on the menu strikes me like a duelist’s slap across the face, daring me to try it unless I’m some kind of little wussy boy. Then, despite being some kind of little wussy boy, I do try it….


John Carlson: Hedging Your Bet On Shrubs

By John Carlson— Countless people admire stately shrubbery sculpted to within an inch of its life, but not me. I am more into what you might call “impressionistic” shrub sculpting. This was not an artistic passion purposely pursued. Rather, the realization struck one day after gazing at the shrubs ringing our little circular driveway and noting they were what the uninformed might call “crappy looking.” In my defense, I had never owned shrubs lining a circular driveway before we bought…


John Carlson: Passing Cars, Passing Time

By John Carlson— There are certain beliefs and mannerisms most residents of Central Indiana are thought to share. We’re all Hoosiers. Most of us are devotees of Peyton Manning, high school basketball and breaded tenderloins. Plus, we believe when we die, we’ll be welcomed to heaven by angelic hosts singing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” while handing us free 16-inch Pizza King Royal Feast pizzas for all of eternity. In keeping with that belief, we’re obviously not the sort of highfalutin snobs…


John Carlson: Too ‘Saxy’ For My Talent

By John Carlson— There was a time in my early adulthood when I fancied myself a future singer-songwriter, someone on the order of Gordon Lightfoot or Paul Simon. Then one day, the hard truth dawned on me: In my noble, artistic quest to become a sensitive, idealistic, highly paid professional troubadour whom women pelted on stage with their underwear, I’d bought and sold five guitars without managing to learn a single chord. Plus the noise erupting from my mouth whenever…


John Carlson: Words With Tomatoes

By: John Carlson— You know the coronavirus pandemic is getting to you when you start talking to tomatoes. It’s even worse when they begin talking back. In my life now, I am pretty much at that point. Oh sure, I talk to Nancy some. “Hi, B******,” I’ll say, using our embarrassing pet name for each other, which if I revealed it here she would quit cooking my suppers. “Hi, B******,” she’ll respond in kind. OK! OK! We call each other…


John Carlson: On the Road and Under Study

By: John Carlson— Nancy and I have recently been driving around town with a hitchhiker. Not someone with an outstretched thumb, though. It’s an on-line hitchhiker. Our insurance company hooked us up with this squat little plastic guy, who is stuck to our front windshield up near the rear-view mirror. On the plus side, he promised to help lower the cost of our car insurance and doesn’t ever call me names like Johnny Flabbyton, Mister Flabster or The Flabmeister. Nevertheless, in…


John Carlson: Being Taken for a Ride

By: John Carlson— In the wake of closures due to COVID-19, plenty of families are happy that amusement parks such as Cedar Point remain open. Me? I’m way too old to care. My age isn’t the only reason, though. I also blame the lingering psychological effects of the cruel deception played on my sister Patty and me, one that tainted our formative years in the pivotal area of amusement park appreciation. See, we grew up about an hour east of…


John Carlson: Eat ‘Em If You’ve Got ‘Em!

By: John Carlson— When it comes to life’s simple pleasures, it’s hard to beat corn-on-the-cob. Maybe not for everyone, though. Whether it’s for genetic, physiological or psychological reasons, these days you can find somebody somewhere who is allergic to literally any food you’d care to name on God’s green earth. Broccoli, gravy, croutons. There are probably people out there who spend their lives in fear of fatal encounters with a Milk Dud. That being the case, you can surely find…