Carlson

John Carlson: Another Burnin’ Ring of Fire

By John Carlson— The other day I put together our new fire pit. “Honey!” I called out, alerting Nancy when I was finally finished. “I’m bleeding like a stuck pig out here!” These days, that is how I often alert Nancy to the fact I am finished with any minor home improvement project I foolishly undertake. This is because I am both a monumental klutz, and suffer from a neurological disorder commonly known as “handyman dyslexia.” Being a monumental klutz,…

Read More

John Carlson: Days When the Music Dies

By John Carlson— Our favorite rock ‘n’ roll stars are dying. That’s been happening all along, of course, but the recent death of Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts brought that fact pointedly to mind. For most of us, these musicians’ passing comes as a shock, especially if they died in the prime of their lives and careers. Think of when Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson died in a plane crash, if you can remember that…


John Carlson: Another Summer Slips Past

By John Carlson— Summer feels like it’s winding down, something we don’t need a calendar to figure out. Our tomatoes tell the story. Last year our tomato plants looked like refugees from the set of a science fiction movie. By that I mean the kind of science fiction movie where, far from leveling everything, an atomic blast inspires otherworldly growth in common living organisms. Our cherry tomato plants were a perfect example, lying thickly draped across several yards of ground…


John Carlson: Goodbye To Another Good Man

By John Carlson— You know how it is. You’re mindlessly scanning some obituaries and, suddenly, one jumps out at you. Maybe you even loose an involuntary gasp. That happened to me recently, learning of the death of “Mr. Phil.” When Nancy and I were his customers, Phil Christy was the second-generation owner and director of Muncie‘s first private daycare facility, Pla-n-Stuf, a down-to-earth and friendly place where he seemed a larger-than-life presence. Pla-n-Stuf was a single-story building in a quiet…


John Carlson: I’ll Take That, Plus An Operation

By John Carlson— Years ago, in another lifetime when I answered to the name Chowhound, I was paid to eat while writing restaurant reviews. This was not because I had a discriminating palate. Sure, I had eaten at some of Indy’s best restaurants, including St. Elmo Steak House, where slurping its infamous, fiery shrimp cocktail sauce was akin to undergoing electro-shock therapy. Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse was another favorite of my fellow nutcase Mark Di Fabio and mine, with our long-suffering…


John Carlson: When Your Tresses Are Messes

By John Carlson— If there is one thing seven years of retirement have taught me, it is that senior citizens are the primary victims of “bed head.” Well, those of us with some hair left are, anyway. Not surprisingly, I got to thinking about this just the other day. What spurred it was I inadvertently caught my reflection in a window and gagged. Then estimating my total length of retirement so far, I calculated that I have walked around with…


John Carlson: There’s No Arguing With These

By John Carlson— I’m of that generation which, early in life, got used to being addressed by inanimate objects. Well, my kid sister Patty is, anyway. Do I mean TV or radio? No. I’m referring to a certain doll Patty received for Christmas one year. Was it Whizzy Wanda? Peein’ Petunia? Little Baby Poops-a-Scoop or something? No, wait! It was Betsy Wetsy! That was it! Betsy Wetsy. Hanging out together with their chapter of The Betsy Wetsy Fan Club, my…


John Carlson: What About Things With Wings?

By John Carlson— If a guy were to equate the dudes he hangs out with to assorted bird species, many buddies of mine would be be falcons, hawks and eagles. You know what I mean? Nobody to mess with. But me? Realistically, I’m much more of, say, a chicken, or maybe a yellow-bellied sapsucker, or possibly even a fluffy-backed tit babbler. Yeah, that’s it. I’m a fluffy-backed tit babbler, which is my way of saying my intimidation factor roughly equals…


John Carlson: Who’s Worth What Out There?

By John Carlson— It’s no secret that the more nebulous jobs our economy creates, the more desperately we need traditional workers whose familiarity with, say, plumbing runs deeper than knowing how to flush a toilet. If I might cite a personal example … Experience has shown I couldn’t replace a toilet float if my life depended on it. On the other hand, four years of college sociology, which is the study of group interactions, never put a single Cheerio in…


John Carlson: Give Out a Shout to (Not) Gout!

By John Carlson— Recently, my feet fought a slug-out with gout. Or not gout. Some hip young medical people told me it was NOT gout. Supporting their contention was Nancy, who it turns out is a rabid “anti-gouter.” She insisted I couldn’t have been felled by gout, a medical condition historically attributed to loutish lifestyles of the rich and famous. However, another incredibly ultra-hip young medical person thought it WAS gout. So who knows? Whatever it was that struck me…