Freudian Slips: August 2006

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

August 31, 2006

Fighting Fire with Fire

- a freak fire too close to home
Half past midnight, I sat at my computer editing a chapter of a manuscript that featured a dozen mentally retarded clients exiting their home on a fire drill. Both a writer’s block and a fierce electrical storm quickly moved into the area. Afraid of literary failure and a lightning strike, I shut down the computer to retire for the night.
I no sooner laid down into bed when all hell broke loose. A noise on the rooftop first dismissed as a rain of frogs turned out to be the thud of hailstones. A simultaneous crack of lightning and thunder got my wife out of bed to look around. Soon sirens could be heard in the distance. When my wife cracked a bedroom window and smelled smoke, I knew this was not the fictional fire drill I labored to pen. The sights and sounds of a firetruck going passed our house finally rustled me out of bed. I went to the backyard to see if our woods had caught fire. Nothing. By now firetrucks from three neighboring towns occupied our small cul de sac. My wife and I ventured out the front door to look around. I didn’t have far to look. I witnessed amber flames spilling out the roof of our neighbor’s house. By now, concerned neighbors scurried about in their pajamas.
Lightning had made a direct strike on a kid’s bedroom, in what an eyewitness described as a freaky horizontal bolt that jetted sideways across the sky. Everyone got out of the struck house alive but the children barely escaped injury. Frightened by the hailstones dropping on the roof, the children scurried to their parent’s bedroom right before lightning paid a visit. Thank goodness.
Storm gone and fire extinguished, the inspiration I lacked in editing the like subject matter returned to pay dividends onto my page. Sometimes you have to wait for enlightenment to fight fire with fire.


August 27, 2006

Nearly Invisible for Invincible

-Joe Tornatore acting nearly invisible under their noses.
After filming as a background extra on the set of Invincible, it took a year’s worth of production for the movie to move to the foreground and arrive in theatres. I waited the four trimester pregnant pause before seizing the opportunity to see if a discernable shot of my background work got left back on the cutting room floor. Without further adieu, the tale of the tape has arrived.
In the reenactment of a September 16, 1976 Eagles vs Giants game, I played a fervent Eagles fan. After Giants QB Craig Morton throws an incomplete pass, the camera switches to an atmospheric sideline shot of the Eagles bench players. I do not wish to get ahead of myself so cue the drum roll and roll out the red carpet. Please don’t dare blink or sneeze either because you will miss my scene stealer that is sure to leave Hollywood abuzz. Tinsel town rewarded my curiosity for acting in my first movie with a thousand one, thousand two, thousand three second cameo. Squinting is strongly recommended for the blurred obscure image of an Eagles jacketed extra cheering from the first row amidst a sea of fans, albeit many of them inflatable dummies. Background acting never felt so much like a botched holdup at the back door of a Philadelphia mannequin factory. While the actor may be nowhere to be found, a retro Eagles jacket hanging in my bedroom is now a single pixel display on the moving silver screen near you.
Upon reflecting on playing the part of a Philadelphia Sports fan, my acting could not have been more superb without garnering Oscar consideration for Best Extra Deep Cover. After all, my high expectations turned crumbling disappointment is…what being an Eagles fan is all about.


August 24, 2006

Leap Year

In 1972, our family migrated to Big Stone Gap, Virginia. My parents purchased a sprawling rancher on the affluent side of an otherwise impoverished rural town. We owned the only in the ground swimming pool in town. Although we thought the pool was no big deal, it caught the animal kingdom by surprise. In the dead of a memorable summer night, family members awoke from sleep to hear strange movement traveling across the rooftop. Not resoundingly peaceful with the night hours in a strange land anyway, the odd commotion right above my head caused a boy scare.
I fretted to myself, “Dear God, who or what could be on our rooftop?”
Other than my parents settling their children back into beds, I do not remember any further action taken by my parents. I only remember being scared until the sandbags of slumber superseded fright.
The next morning we discovered that our swimming pool became a watery grave to many frogs. As my father and I circled the pool, we noticed that the recently departed were by no means garden variety frogs. Huge bullfrogs sporting muscular Olympian legs littered the chlorinated water. As a wide-eyed ten-year-old boy, I remember being astonished by their stature. When frogs the size of squirrels can scale a tall building by leaps and bounds, something may have gone askew with the natural selection process. Trying to arrange extradition for the frogs, I lacked the strength to lift a single water-logged frog from the pool using a pole net.
A logical explanation never surfaced to remove this incident from the Tornatore X-Files. I can only imagine that our property was in direct line with the migration of frogs. The deafening noise heard on the rooftop must have been an incredible breed of frogs that could jump right over our single story house. I don’t like to jump to conclusions but...never move to Virginia during leap year.


August 22, 2006

Loves Fire

"If the heart is an organ of fire then love is the passion fanning desire. Burning passion is a radiant force. It melds respect. Respect its seductive powers and it will burn eternal. For love can sweep you up like the winds of fire. Abuse its power and the careless will get burned. If love dares to flicker over time, stoke the coals or put it out gently like a wick between fingers. Always recognize both its spark and the potential for flame. Compassion is the undying light to love’s fire. Show your love as if it is your last match to wet kindling."
–Joe Tornatore


August 20, 2006

A Hot Commodity

How will parents ever teach their children not to play in toilets with this candy craze? Posted by Picasa


August 17, 2006

Commercial Break

- Joe Tornatore in action.

The following is a paid commercial endorsement.

Last month, my casting company invited fifty background actors onto a closed set to audition for a commercial. For shits and giggles, I accepted the invitation and auditioned with no prior experience or expectations. I understand that standing behind a camera and having judgment passed is not everyone’s idea of a good time. It surely is neither my forte nor career choice. If I had something tangible to lose, maybe this audition would have been intimidating to me.

A steady procession of wannabe actors filtered in and out of the waiting room carrying their acting portfolios and pearly whites. When my turn arrived, an assistant used an erasable marker to scrawl my name on a giant cue card. As she handed me the cue card, my groping fingers smudged off the last syllable of my last name before the ink dried. So what was left of Joe Torna followed his escort into a small conference room. I stood on a mark answering questions into a rolling camera with simultaneous television playback capability to head honchos of a production company. My part ended after about seven minutes.

Weeks later, a telephone call placed to my home informed me that I “won the audition.” Forrest Gumping my way through life got a continuance. On the day of the shoot, I reported to an azalea garden in the park behind the Philadelphia art museum. At the picturesque backdrop, two crews fashioned different sets with a small makeup station situated in between the two places of business. One set shot B roll without sound and the other set displayed the makings of an outdoor movie set. I am not a slow learner but when you tell me I won an audition I don’t expect to find other actors on my set. In reality, a handful of other actors made the final cut for the commercial but sharing the pressure to perform only relaxed me more. Little did I know, juggling actors would become the order of the day.

Handshakes certified the introduction of cast and crew. A pen is plunged into my hand and I sign the straightforward contract on the dot. After the lovely makeup girl finished setting my hair and powder puffing my face, I moved to the next station to get sound miked. I struck up a conversation with another idle actor, who I recognized from the movie set of Invincible. Deep in my pant’s pocket, my cell phone rang to a prophetic X-Files ring tone. I lacked the gumption to answer it because it felt inappropriate to take a cell phone call on the set while being paid handsomely by the hour. Besides, the actor in my company offered distraction by engaging me in conversation about the first time he met actor Mark Wahlberg. After three rings, my incoming call was history. A minute later, a cell phone rang only it was not mine.

“So Wahlberg comes over to me and….I better take this.” interrupted the actor. “I am expecting an important call.”

When I heard the actor's end of the phone conversation, irony acted for itself. He replied with glee to his caller. “Yeah, I can do that commercial!" he beamed. "Okay, I’ll check my email tonight for specifics. Thanks.”

As if were replica actors, his cell phone returned to a pants pocket. Then he sheepishly informed me of the irony I should come to expect in my life. “I just got in on the Center Ice commercial. It’s shooting tomorrow.”

I countered, “Hey, what a coincidence. I got an invitation to do that commercial. I expressed interest but never heard back. Wait a minute.” I reached deep into my pocket and retrieved my cell phone. The caller ID revealed that my most recent call came from my casting company. I speed dialed them right back. The oddity of landing a spot on a television commercial while filming a television commercial still swirled in my head.

“It’s Joe Tornatore, returning your call. I suspect you called about the Center Ice commercial and let me just say that I can do it. Sign me up. Where do I report?”

“I’m sorry, Joe. Bad timing. I just filled your role literally a minute ago.”

“Did you fill it with an actor named Chuck?”

“Yeah why?”

“Chuck is standing right here in front of me. At least today, we are doing a commercial together.”

Freudian Slips might call that a commercial break.


August 13, 2006

The Double Swallow of Hard Candy

- Charles Carroll with New Jersey Govenor Robert Meyner in 1954
I believe that the truth is often stranger than fiction and fiction is no stranger to the truth. Freudian Slips is no stranger to irony but what you are about to read is not only strangely ironic and true but born entirely fictitious and ending up largely factual. The odds and reasons of how it turned out that way is incalculable, unfathomable and beyond my words.
In the 1980’s, I accepted employment at New Lisbon Developmental Center, an antiquated institution for the developmentally disabled carved out of the wilderness. For a twenty-four year old man, the work environment proved quite startling to my sheltered psyche. I never knew human beings so different from the normal populous existed tucked away from the front pages of mainstream society.
Holding a lifelong interest in writing, I started to pen a fictional novel about a morality driven psychologist who accepts a post at a similar institution for the mentally retarded. In creating characters within a storyline, my rich imagination intersected with only marginal writing skills. I devoted the next six years of my life inventing and writing, devising and revising. I titled the byproduct of my imagination Of Might and Manacle, a spin-off of the classic Of Mice and Men. In 1992, I copyrighted the manuscript where it has sat unpublished and untouched on a dusty shelf for the last fourteen years.
To properly tell this story I need to revert back in time to 1987, when my manuscript needed script. I took a group of clients for a nature walk in the neighboring Pine Barrens of New Lisbon Developmental Center. As a breeze jostled through the towering pine trees, something quite unusual came over me. Beneath the very ground that I walked and toiled for a living, I internally sensed an additional subplot for Of Might and Manacle. To escape the depicted injustices of institutionalization, I imagined a runaway attempt by two young brothers from the house of the unholy. During my invigorating and inspiring walk with nature, a picture book materialized in my head of what later became chapter eleven.
I invented two inseparable characters, uncommonly handsome twin brothers named Akeem and Kareem McNair originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey. Bonded by the same blood and bound by the same institution, I imagined the early life of the borderline mentally retarded incorrigible brothers. After a disastrous home life and a series of failed foster care arrangements, the McNairs became wards of the state and sent to dwell in a flawed institution. I sketched out one brother to be a gifted Special Olympics track and field champion. At the risk of rehashing Hollywood movie formula, I concocted Akeem shaking hands with the Governor of New Jersey months before this runaway attempt. Contrastingly, I fashioned the other brother as a juvenile delinquent, who often resorted to slashing his wrists in attempted suicides.
Convinced they would rather die then languish in an institution, the McNair brothers join forces to make a daring daylight escape. On a warm day, they take advantage of a lapse in supervision by indifferent staff members, including a fictitious staffer named Westly. Running across the white sands of the backyard courtyard, the brothers scale the perimeter fence then dart for the Pine Barrens. Reaching the sanctuary of the woods, the runaways “hide motionless and scared in the camouflaged brush.” looking back at the institution that held them captive. Under the threat of hound dogs, they trudge on. By nightfall, they scale a tree to sleep in a deer hunter’s tree fort, where they eat all of their provisions including candy. The brothers “marvel at the natural beauty of the celestial sky”. “Shortly after dawn the twins awake to chirping birds.” They sojourn miles on foot and even take up a cross-country run during which one brother is not able to keep pace with the other. Along the way, they celebrate their newfound freedom by disrobing their institutionalized garb to swim and frolic in a murky creek. Mother Nature reveals itself with the hooting of an owl, the indiscernible sounds of wild animals, and the odd broad daylight sighting of a white-tailed deer. Hunger sets in. The dense woods eventually thin. They share brotherly camaraderie and rival banter along their journey. While the love they have for one another is all they have in this world, it has never been enough. So they steal a hillbilly’s pickup in an attempt to return to Atlantic City, NJ where they last saw their father. My copyrighted version has the brothers caught by police after a couple of days on the lamb. After the brothers accusingly argue over whose idea it was to elope, they return to the same hellish nightmare they risked their life for to escape. End of chapter.
Enter the theater of the absurd with the world just a stage. On the very day, I decide to take my manuscript off its sedentary perch on the library shelf to endure another round of circumspect editing, I learn from a close friend of a 2005 published non-fiction book entitled Hard Candy by Charles A. Carroll. The subtitle Nobody Flies Over a Cuckoo’s Nest, is a spin-off on the movie classic. The author and his brother are former patients of New Lisbon Developmental Center. I Google search the book online. I find the listed book, book excerpts, and the author’s email address. Wasting no time, I email him with envy. As if the author is on the other side of a parallel dimension, Charles A. Carroll emails me right back. A flurry of emails follow back and forth across the country with all roads turning to New Lisbon Devleopmental Center. Irony fuels my car to the bookstore to purchase a copy of Hard Candy. I can take a hint with a hammer blow.
Hard Candy chronicles the aborted foster care placements of a handsome featured Charles and his behaviorally involved brother Robert, who became wards of the state and institutionalized. Of normal intelligence, Charles Carroll wrote Hard Candy years after my copyright arrived for Of Might and Manacle, a decade after my walk in the woods. I learn that what the wind placed on my pores for me to breathe during that leisurely stroll in 1986 actually happened. I somehow absorbed glimpses of real events and put them into prose through what I cannot explain other than osmosis. Whatever the case may be, it mysteriously inspired two authors to include mirror chapters in their novels. So excuse me if the following true account sounds redundantly like my work of fiction.
An entire chapter in Hard Candy details a 1954 summertime elopement by brothers from a cottage on the same campus grounds where I worked. In their escape, the brothers scoot by a sleeping staff member by the name, Mr. Westly. They advance outside the building to the sandy terrain of the backyard where they run with “the speed of Olympians” in a scramble for the Pine Barrens. They scale a perimeter fence separating the institution from the woods then hide “under a bed of golden leaves” where they “looked back at New Lisbon” As if art imitated life, the Carrolls stare back at the institution I used to work, from the woods in which I embodied their pangs of freedom. Unsure of what lies ahead of them but not deluding their chances for escape, the Carroll brothers are certain that they would rather die in the wilderness then return to their previous existence. At “the onslaught of daybreak the birds were giving us a throaty warning.” They walk for miles through the dense woods but wading through the underbrush poses challenges until the woods thin. By their lively dialogue, you can sense the profound sadness that each other is their only sense of family in the world. The brothers “stared at the stars high above us through the trees.” As their AWOL status eclipses the night, they have consumed all of their meager provisions. During their hiatus, the brothers climb a tree, listen for wild animals, talk about hound dogs, hear the hoot of an owl, watch a deer give the birth to a fawn, argue over incidental stuff, and while traveling through the woods the physically stronger brother urges the other to keep up. They even remove their clothes to swim in a swamp. Police capture the boys a couple of days later. After blaming the other for whose idea it was to runaway, the police return the boys to the same institution I worked at thirty-two years later.
The published words bore uncanny parallels to my printed manuscript. I canvassed Carroll’s non-fiction book to gain a broader perspective of the ironies from my fiction. Throughout my transfixed reading of Hard Candy, I was thunderstruck by the graphic descriptive similarities of two wordsmiths. While mere words were enough to frighten me in living color, the photographs included in Hard Candy convinced me unexplainable forces were at play. I stared incredulously at the wide smiles of the Carroll boys in a picture as they frolic in a lake realizing that this snapshot of freedom was the backdrop scenery embedded in my brain that fateful walk in the woods. I stared in disbelief at the 1954 picture of ward of the state Charles Carroll meeting Robert B. Meyner, the Governor of New Jersey, at a publicized athletic event several months before his ill-fated elopement. I could not help but recall my main character, Dr. Dex Margold, as I stared wildy at Charles Carroll pictured beside the staff psychologist who befriended him. The element of surprise was gone by the time I read of Robert Carroll’s homicidal tendencies to slash his wrists, behavior that led to his transfer to a mental hospital. So I only stoically read the epilogue citing Charles Carroll’s remorse about never reuniting with his biological father and of his 1959 institutional discharge, which led him to choose no other place in the world to live than Atlantic City, NJ, the hometown of my fictional set of brothers.
I closed the book at that point. The truth about Hard Candy remains difficult to swallow and I might not ever digest its content. So I ended another ironic chapter in my life realizing that I am never really out of the woods with coincidence.

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August 10, 2006

Slim Pickings

Two of my favorite pastimes are writing and eavesdropping. Pastimes recently collided while my pen idled with blank copy inside a crowded doctor’s office in downtown Philadelphia. As if summoned to stage, a peculiar looking hillbilly followed a regularly dressed man into the office.
After registering with the receptionist, the unlikely duo sat down within my listening distance. The hillbilly immediately came under everyone’s scrutiny from head to toe. Wrapped around the crown of his misshapen head, a dish towel crudely doubled as a bandana. On a ninety degree day stifled by humidity, he chose to fashion himself in a tee shirt and a sweatshirt. Below two layers of clothing, he wore dungaree shorts that looked like they had been artistically frayed by a pair of scrapbooking scissors. Color faded tube socks stretching to his kneecaps stuck out of combat boots. His unintentional appearance gave him no more credibility than a circus clown.
“I’m grateful for hiding me out on da boat on da river, boss.” thanked the hillbilly. “Da coppers never looked for me there.”
“Never mind about that.”
The hillbilly decided, “I’m right plumming to sharpen the machete when we get back to da shop.”
“You do that, Slim.”
Slim seemed to broadcast his every thought. “Maybe I’ll try out that new fangled machete by hacking da brush back yonder of da fence. It’s a sight for four eyes.”
“Four eyes? You mean sore eyes.” corrected the boss.
“No.” contradicted Slim. “I’m talking about me and you, boss. We’s got four eyes. Count’em.”
“Whatever. Just make sure all your work is done first before you go gangbusters.”
“Yessum, boss.” answered the hillbilly. “Work done before I get me to swinging the machete.”
A lull in the conversation allowed my pin backed ears respite while my scribbling pen kept up with the unfolding story. I knew I would be hard-pressed to invent a story this rich in character, this good in dialogue. Freudian Slips kept the live microphone on these characters.
As if wanting to prove he never earned a black belt in critical thinking, Slim invited more puzzling conversation. “I’m right fixing to pick poison ivy and swallowering me some of them there poison ivy leaves.”
The boss crinkled his newspaper shut and looked up for the first time. “Only nubian goats can get away with that. Why would you do that, Slim?” he asked disappointedly.
“One of my kin claims he made himself immune to the pestilence by eating poison ivy.”
“It sounds to me like someone in your family is trying to kill you! Don’t be stupid, Slim.” remonstrated the boss. “You keep flapping your gums with such nonsense in public and people are going to think differently of you.”
“I reckon that I’m gonna be different no two ways about it. So it might be hot doggie and kraut for lunch but I’m picking and eating poison ivy before dinner.” promised Slim. “Yep, gonna finally cure myself of da rash or croak trying.”
“Die trying is more like it. I’m telling you as your boss and as a trusted friend, don’t eat poison ivy on my property.”
“Don’t ya worry none, boss. I got me in my pocket that in-surance card ya gave to me. Just in case, ya know? Hospital has to take care of me with in-surance. They will put me somewhere if I eat poison ivy even this far from home. If I ate me poison ivy leaves in da big city what hospital da ya thin they would take me to?”
The annoyed boss concluded, “The mental hospital!”


August 08, 2006

What in Car Nation is That?

-When your car is longer than your home, your priorities are out of order.


August 06, 2006

The Una Plumber

While thrusting a plunger into a clogged toilet, my son stood behind me. As he watched my epic struggle plumbing, the scene reminded me of a childhood memory. I remembered standing behind my father as he tried to get a clogged toilet back on line in the 1970’s.
Like stair steps, my brothers and I were all born a few years apart. It should be known for the purpose of storytelling that there was more sailor in my father than there are Popeye cartoons. I can still hear the echo of his baritone voice rattling the clogged pipes in our downstairs bathroom. With frustration and his sailor’s tongue occupying cramped quarters, it made everyone's life miserable.
Father’s instincts suspected hanky panky from the first gurgling sound. With plunger shaking in hand, father gathered his four children for a confessional. He gave us his evil eye, a glaring stare that had a way of silencing staunch critics let alone scared children. When nobody admitted to any culpability, father returned to the bathroom wielding the plunger. Water could be heard sloshing around the dirty toilet bowl like an angry miniature sea. After a strenuous exercise workout, father reached down into that wasteful bowl. To almost everyone’s surprise, father lifted a mangled 8 inch Amazing Spiderman action figure from the murky recesses. Understandably, father’s face erupted to piping mad. He looked to his sons for a straight answer to explain away the crooked doll that had been wedged in a defacatorium. Short of paradise but knowing my own innocence, I looked to my three brothers trying to spring the culprit from the lair.
Father started a usual rant as he held Spiderman with a death grip. “What the %^&&? Who the %^$#? What the #$%$ is wrong with one of you?”
Father returned to the bathroom where he flushed the faulty toilet. To his surprise, the water level remained in the bowl. Like a defeated man plumb out of luck, father knew that one of his sons was responsible for drowning the super hero in this live caper. The Una Plumber was prepping to kill one of his own. But who? My younger brother Jim approached my father from behind to face the gauntlet. In a few decisive words, Jim summarized the watery depth of the problem in boyish tones.
“Don’t worry, Dad. I sent Aquaman after Spiderman.”
Dam the throne of parenthood.


August 03, 2006

The Biggest Catch of All

In 1984, I shared a work office with an energetic and attractive woman who became my wife early the following century. Allow me to digress. I have always been a sparkplug for orneriness that is combustible around easy targets. From the first time I met Diane, she sported a loveable bull’s eye the size of Wyoming.
Working in the field of mental health, our job responsibilities consisted of running errands and monitoring deinstitutionalized clients at residential sites. One day Diane asked me to stop at the local McDonald’s restaurant to bring her back a fish filet sandwich. After ordering my co-worker’s lunch, I could not leave well enough alone. Shame on me but I removed the actual fish filet from the sandwich and fed it to the birds. Back at the office, I watched Diane cry foul as she blamed a lousy McDonald’s worker for botching her lunch order.
“It’s hard to find good help these days.” I admitted to the tune of a disguised double entrendre.
Days passed by. When Diane asked me to pick her up another fish filet sandwich, a coy Cheshire cat smile engulfed my face. No longer inclined to disposing of the messy fish filet, I had thought of a way to perfect the practical joke. My McDonald’s drive-thru window order must have sounded like a crank call.
“I would like to order a fish filet sandwich. No fish patty, special sauce, no cheese, pickles, onions, or tomatoes on a sesame seed bun.”
“That doesn’t leave very much.” hinted the confused worker. “Are you sure?”
“Totally. Smear sauce over a bun and toss it into a paper bag.” I instructed steely.
Back at her office desk, Diane rifled through the bag to get to her piping hot fish filet sandwich. Fearing the worst on an empty stomach, Diane warily opened the foam carton like a coffin. She found the grave robbed, the bun naked.
“No fish! What again?” scoffed Diane.
If my laughter would have escaped me, it could have been heard clear across the flat plains of Wyoming. Diane could not believe her string of bad luck so I suggested we try another McDonald’s restaurant. After another run of fishless filets, Diane knew something was fishy so I had to admit to the caper.
Fast forward through marriages and divorces to other people. Time all but stopped on the starry night of our first date fourteen years later. Leaving nothing to chance, I chose an eatery famous for its ribs and chicken. Their menu offered no seafood entrées but that would not deter what premeditated mischief I had in store for my date. Using the greasy palmed bait of a $20 dollar bill, our waiter agreed to serve my new girlfriend a McDonald’s fish filet sandwich. I cod you not! Even at the expense of relationships, my practical jokes practically never exceed a statute of limitations. If this relationship stood a chance to work, Diane needed to get more than a taste of me outside of work.
I kept my poker face on through Diane’s mock ordering off of the restaurant menu. Comfortable conversation followed. It felt right. When the waiter plopped Diane’s dinner plate down, she sat flabbergasted. It really felt right then.
“What is this?” queried Diane like a bundle of nerves.
Wanting my lead, the waiter floundered and backed away from the table.
I argued, “Looks to me like a McDonald’s fish filet sandwich. What did you order?”
“Not this.” protested Diane. “I ordered a…Joe, did you? Oh, my God! There better be fish in that sandwich.”
I served Diane a complete fish filet sandwich for the first time and she has been hooked ever since. We courted then married three years later. Diane still has that same sandwich stored in the freezer as a keepsake from our first date. If nothing else, it tells the story of how I caught the biggest catch of all.
Happy fifth wedding anniversary, darling!


August 01, 2006

Healing Humanity

-If only world peace could be this easy.


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