Carlson

John Carlson: It’s Shaken, Not Stirred

By: John Carlson— Not to say I am an unsophisticated lout or anything, but the first time I ordered a bottle of wine with dinner at Vera Mae’s Bistro, I nearly sent it back. “Holy crap!” I complained to Kent and Steve. “There’s a cork stuck in it!” Ha–ha! Just joking. While admittedly a 99 percent wine-from-a-spout guy, I knew that cork was jammed in the bottleneck on purpose. It was with that sort of unfortunate faux pas in mind,…


John Carlson: Life Behind The 8 Ball

By: John Carlson— A friend recently offered me a refresher course on playing pool, but all I needed help with was that part of the game involving hitting a ball with a stick into one of those tiny holes in a felt-covered table. The rest I had down pat. Like, the look. Having set foot in a number of saloons over the years, early on I learned to approach pool tables with sad, wizened eyes that seemed to have seen…


John Carlson: Young Typist Lacked Touch

By: John Carlson— The other day on Facebook, I saw a meme or whatever you call it that asked how many people remembered high school typing classes? I sure as heck do. Once, I even took such a class. This was due to the fact that, because of the many school activities in which I was involved, I had neglected to register in a timely fashion for the advanced physics and calculus classes my guidance counselor urged me to take….


John Carlson: Redoing The, Gulp, Kitchen

By: John Carlson— After 36 years of marriage, I have finally figured out what separates the women from the men, the ladies from the gents, the chicks from the dudes, the babes from the … well, you get it. Redoing your kitchen. Greg, our neighbor and head guy from Richard’s Kitchens, was over recently taking measurements while Nancy peppered him with questions. What about the countertop options? What about improving the lighting? What about moving the microwave housing? What about…


John Carlson: Breathe Easy, Darling

By: John Carlson— An interesting thing happened to me the other night. I nearly died. OK, that’s probably a little too dramatic, a slight exaggeration. But within three or four minutes, had my wife Nancy not been around, I might have drifted up to my heavenly reward. Given my history of good deeds for humanity, that reward is likely to amount to a crappy black-and-white TV set with rabbit ears antennas, so I’m in no rush to collect it. What…


John Carlson: It’s a fact! Burlesque is back!

By: John Carlson— One recent Saturday night, Nancy and I and a couple hundred other people attended the Star Follies burlesque show. I am pretty sure the production made a nice haul for Muncie Civic Theatre, and in doing so fulfilled a worthwhile goal. Was it fun? Sure. Was it shocking? Naaah. I mean, it was racy enough that I wouldn’t have wanted to be there with either of my late grandmothers. Somehow it just stood to reason that proper…


John Carlson: Skiing to Heck And Back

By: John Carlson— The other day I was nursing a beer at The Fickle  Peach while watching a preliminary Winter Olympics qualifying event for the biathlon. You know the biathlon, right? It’s the event that combines cross-country skiing with shooting. The contestants scoot long distances over the snow with rifles slung from their shoulders. Upon reaching a series of targets, they stop skiing, aim their rifles and try to shoot bullseyes. I have never competed in a biathlon, but I…


Carlson: Addiction? No Butts About It

By: John Carlson— Opioid addiction is far more horrific, I know, but I’m always amazed by the addictive power of cigarettes, and what big business fighting that addiction has become. Kicking cigarettes was the hardest thing I ever did. I have a creeping feeling this was because I had my first smoke so young, maybe some weird chemical reaction knocked a screw loose between my ears or something. My buddy Dougie and I were six, maybe seven at the oldest,…


John Carlson: In Praise of Chicken Gizzards

By: John Carlson— Every now and then I get an overpowering urge to eat a food so deliciously down-home and wholesome, I just have to go out and chomp some. By that, of course, I mean chicken gizzards. No, no. Not livers. Can’t say I’ve ever been much of a chicken livers fan, though I know perfectly respectable people who love them, including some of America’s glitziest food junkies. But as with any dish, I always ask myself a simple…


John Carlson: For The Love of Groceries

By: John Carlson— Once I heard a story about a Russian visitor to the United States back in the Cold War days, a woman who was sure tales of our country’s abundance were merely government propaganda. Even while casually strolling through an American supermarket, she staunchly maintained her righteous sense of Soviet doubt and denial. It wasn’t until she wandered into the toilet paper aisle and saw 30 varieties of cottony soft two-ply and four-ply rolls – none of them…