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07/01 Direct Link
“NO. TRY AGAIN.”

— “I can’t. I don’t—”

“You can! You said it perfectly only yesterday. Now: Try again. This time from the heart. With purpose. With passion! Feel your way there.”

— “I... I...”

+ “Father Juck, if the boy—”

“Out! Loiter if you must, if you absolutely must, but you’ll do so in the periphery, and silently. Otherwise: out, yes? Nothing in my instructions said I had to tolerate you, and I won’t. This is sacred work. Now. You: Come, come; with feeling. I know you can do it. There’s the boy.”

— “‘My name ... is John Snyder!’”

“Ah! Excellent. You see?”
07/02 Direct Link
“IS THAT... Is that really how I look? I mean...”

— “Yes. That’s really you.”

“So... fat. I mean...”

— “Well, I don’t know. You’re a stout man.”

“The muscle tone.”

— “All perfectly reproduced.”

“Oh, my God. Oh, my God.”

— “Would you like to touch him?”

“I...”

— “Go ahead.”

“He...”

— “He won’t wake until I wake him. Go ahead.”

“I don’t want to. I don’t need to.”

— “Very well. So? You’re impressed?”

“I feel like crying.”

— “Do you?”

“I don’t know why.”

— “Sometimes—”

“I feel such love for him. I want to rescue him.”

— “He hardly needs rescuing.”

“No, I...”

— “He’s perfectly safe.”
07/03 Direct Link
“AND WHAT’S MISSING in this picture? Anything?”

— “The man’s hat.”

“Anything else?”

— “Um.”

“You saw the hat right away.”

— “He was wearing it in the first one.”

“Is anything else missing? Take your time.”

— “Were there rabbit ears in the first one?”

“I don’t know. I don’t remember. Were there?”

— “Where I was they don’t use rabbit ears anymore. They don’t have them or anything.”

“OK.”

— “The brother is missing.”

“The other boy in the picture?”

— “Yeah, he’s his brother.”

“And he’s missing?”

— “I guess.”

“Anything else?”

— “He might have gone to the Apple Store.”

“Does he like to eat apples?”
07/04 Direct Link
YESTERDAY at summer school we set the chairs in a circle, painted the glyph in the middle of the floor, sat down, and sang. It took way longer than before, but finally the portal opened and we went through. I didn’t like singing that long at first even though I was in chorus every year from third through eighth. I quit because I wanted to do drums. Mrs. J. said I should have stayed in chorus and gone alto, but with drums and mom getting sick I had to say no. And anyway, I'm gonna be the next Chad Smith!!!
07/05 Direct Link
TRUE BELIEVER
By JOHN SNYDER

-----

“YOU Skip Bickford?”

— “Yup.”

“Where’ve you played?”

— “I seen it played. My cousin played it.”

“What?”

— “He took me down to see him play for the Cocoa Colts once. Bought me a frankfurter and a pop.”

“He did, did he?”

— “Yes sir.”

“And how was the hot dog?”

— “Pretty good. We called them frankfurters.”

“Uh huh. And a pop.”

— “Yes sir.”

“Well, son, none of that qualifies you to play Major League Baseball for the New York Yankees. You understand that, don’t you?”

— “No sir.”

“You don’t?”

— “No sir. John’ll write it up like I can play, and then I can.”
07/06 Direct Link
“HEARD YOU SIGNED Bickford.”

— “Kid’s got an arm.”

“Oh yeah?”

— “Damnedest thing. Walks in off the street, doesn’t know shit about the franchise—”

“What?”

— “Doesn’t know his ass from a strike zone, starts spouting religious mumbo-jumbo—”

“Jesus.”

— “And the next thing I know he’s burning them in. A hundred, hundred ten—”

“Bullshit, Bill.”

— “RIght up the line. He’s got a screwball that belongs in the goddamned funny pages. It just doesn’t miss.”

“Where’s he been hiding?”

— “Never pitched an inning, he tells me. He never played a game in his life.”

“You signed him.”

— “Yeah, fuck it; let’s see.”
07/07 Direct Link
“GET’CHR AUTOGRAPH, Mr. Bickford?”

— “Sure thing, kid.”

“Name’s Tommy!”

— “There you go, Tom. You play fair, now.”

“Gee, thanks, Mr. Bickford!”

— “Call me Skip.”

“Skip! Sure! Gee whiz! Thanks an awful lot!”

— “Ha ha. Thanks for coming out today.”

[Tommy runs off, eager to show off his prize. Hatted reporter resumes his questioning.]

“That was some game today, Skip. How’s the arm for tomorrow? You got an early show.”

— “I’ll be OK. Guess I’ll ice it. I look forward to tomorrow. Baltimore’s a fine team and they always give us a good fight, but we’ve got momentum on our side.”
07/08 Direct Link
“YOU DONE GOOD, Son.”

— “Thanks, Paw.”

“I don’t know how you done ‘er. You never showed a lick of interest in sports when you lived home.”

— “I guess that’s so.”

“But you made up for it. The New York Yankees!”

— “It’s a fine team. I’m a lucky man.”

“You always were modest. Light under a bushel, yer maw said.”

— “How’re you gettin’ on, Paw? Alone in the house, I mean. I wish you’d let me move you near me.”

“Can’t take the snow.”

— “So then you live in Arizona.”

“I got roots here. I live here. Yer maw’s here.”

— “But—”

“Let’s eat.”
07/09 Direct Link
ALL EYES are on Skip Bickford, adrift on the cafeteria stage. He’s never liked school assemblies. Spaced evenly behind him are the Yankees banner, the state flag, and the American flag. Lunch will be pizza, peas, and carrots.

“I’m sorry, son, could you please repeat your question?”

Mrs. Bender sees that Brian Warbler, fourth grader, is now too embarrassed to repeat his question. She gestures silently, and increasingly frantically, to get him to speak up. Classmate Lonnie Dorp breaks the standoff.

“He says, Skip, were you a famous baseball player when you went here!”

“Oh, John Snyder, no,” says Bickford.
07/10 Direct Link
“I THINK IT’S SWEET. He could have any girl in the whole world and he chooses her.”

— “He dated Vondine. I thought for sure they were going to get married.”

“That was for her publicity. No, he’s a romantic.”

— “All the good ones are taken.”

“Look, it says she doesn’t even follow baseball. She’s too busy grading papers. Isn’t that adorable?”

— “She’s mousy.”

“She’s not! She’s pretty. I think you’re jealous.”

— “Oh, like any of us would ever have a shot with Skip Bickford.”

“I don’t know. I might have. He never met me.”

— “You’ve got Lou and the kids!”
07/11 Direct Link
“THE DREAM again, Skip?”

— “Yeah.”

“Oh, Honey.”

— “I’m all right.”

“I can make you warm milk.”

— “No. I’m all right. Just a dream.”

“Oh, Honey.”

— “You’ve got to get up soon. I’m sorry. I’m all right.”

“I don’t mind. I’ll make it if you’ll drink it. If you want some, I mean.”

— “You’re sure?”

“I’m making it.”

— “Aw. OK, thanks.”

“You poor baby. I hate having bad dreams, so I know.”

— “Were you having a dream?”

“Just now? I don’t remember. I think I must have been.”

— “I’m sorry.”

“Sorry for what? Don’t be silly.”

— “Wait, come here.”

“What?”

— “Come back.”
07/12 Direct Link
“SEVEN YEARS with this New York Yankees organization and five World Series wins. His arm’s as strong as ever—”

— “Unbelievable slider—”

“Nothing like him in the annals of Major League Baseball, and he’s still relatively young at 31. Why wouldn’t he go for the money?”

— “Flip it around. Why would he?”

“He can write his own check. Where else is he going to go? Who else could possibly afford him?”

— “It’s not about the money.”

“He—”

— “For Skip Bickford this game is not about the money. He says he’s done and I believe him. He wants to make room; I say God bless.”
07/13 Direct Link
MAX: This the place?

FARLEY: Says here. Look, he’s coming over.

MAX: OK, let me do the talking.

FARLEY: Go right ahead.

SKIP: Afternoon.

MAX: Good afternoon, Mr. Bickford. Sir, I’m Max Happengill; we spoke on the telephone?

SKIP: From the club?

MAX: Yes sir.

SKIP: I told you I’m not interested. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.

MAX: Now, Mr. Bickford...

SKIP: I grow oranges, Mr. Happengill. I’ll sell you a bushel of oranges. Would you like that?

FARLEY: I like oranges.

MAX: Ah, now, Mr. Bickford, we’ve come a long way, but not for vitamin C. We need your help.

SKIP: Sorry, no. You don’t.

MAX: How’s that?

SKIP: John Snyder writes within us all. Know Him.
07/14 Direct Link
“GEE, how come you stopped wearing your cape an' stuff? You’re dressed like a regular guy!”

— “Did you prefer to see me in my cape, Tim?”

“Sure! An’ your big red J an’ like your boots and utility belt an’ the whole outfit! Everyone likes seein’ you fly by when you make that big blue swoosh!”

— “I understand, Tim. But sometimes a man likes to do things a bit differently than he has. It keeps his outlook fresh and gives his day a bold new feel. Does that seem fair, Tim?”

“I guess. I just miss the swoosh, is all.”
07/15 Direct Link
“GIVE IT UP, Mordrox! This asteroid’s staying in a nice, stable orbit. And you’re overdue for an extended vacation at Steelgate Prison!”

— “Never! I … Wait. What is this?”

“What?”

— “Why are you dressed like that?”

“My outfit is of little concern where you’re heading, fiend!”

— “Here. Here’s the launch key. You win. I surrender. But what’s with the street clothes?”

“I… needed a change.”

— “What change? Your outfit was iconic. What is this, Nordstrom?”

“Land’s End.”

— “Jesus.”

“Is there a backup launch key, or…”

— “This is everything.”

“OK. Thanks.”

— “You OK?”

“I’m fine.”

— “Because if…”

“No, I’m good. Thanks.”
07/16 Direct Link
Dear Lands’ End,

While I appreciate your company’s generous gift, forwarded by way of the Greenfield Recorder, I must decline it.

1. My credo prohibits me from accepting gifts from corporations, trade organizations, unions, and the like. I occasionally accept tokens of esteem from hospitals, schools, and municipalities (keys to cities and such), and these are managed and displayed by a trust.

2. As stylish and comfortable as they are, your products have proved vulnerable to flame, small- and large-arms fire, the elements, and other hazards I encounter daily.

I have forwarded this material, in your name, to the United Way of Franklin County. Please thank your team for me.

Respectfully, etc.
07/17 Direct Link
Ms. Polly Purdue
Senior Director of Public Relations
Lands’ End, Inc.

Dear Ms. Purdue,

I am informed today of your firm’s increased generosity in donating to the United Way of Franklin County a check for $50,000. I have no doubt the money will be put to immediate, excellent use.

Caring for those in crisis is work we all must put our shoulders to, and more importantly we must work together to rectify the conditions that allow crisis to take root in our homes, communities, and in societies.

Well done. Lands’ End rocks, Ms. Purdue. Here’s to your team, again, with thanks.

Sincerely, etc.
07/18 Direct Link
Editor
Greenfield Recorder

Beaming signal in via telepathy goggles today as am waging fierce battle for lives of royal family on Deneb Four. Renegade Andromeda Rangers seek throne for what they claim [will be] a constitutional democracy, but [I] have seen nothing in methods to give hope that ends will justify, etc.

Wanted posthaste to correct item I spotted, via goggle, in "Sunday Living": I am not, in any way, [a] spokesman for Lands’ End company. [My] recent battle with [Admiral] Mordrox saw me sporting company’s short-sleeve mesh tie-dye stripe polo, yes. That’s as far as it went.

Good luck with [the Greenfield Business Association’s] SummerFest!

Regards, etc.
07/19 Direct Link
“I GOTTA SAY, man: I preferred you in the suit.”

— “Yeah, yeah.”

“It was a good look.”

— “Thanks for your vote.”

“I’m just saying.”

— “Did I criticize you for getting that truck?”

“What’s wrong with the truck?”

— “Nothing, that’s my point. You don’t need a truck, you can’t afford that truck, but you like it, so, uh, hey. Good for you.”

“Excuse me?”

— “Live and let live. Cheers.”

“I can’t afford it? What the fuck?”

— “I mean…”

“How would you know what I can and can’t afford?”

— “How indeed.”

“Have you, been, like…”

— “It’s called arithmetic, Glenn. I never needed powers for that.”
07/20 Direct Link
ALSO BY JOHN SNYDER:

Time Skateboard

Dinosaur Joe, Kid Detective

Joey Grace, Space Expert

Joey Grace Meets King Arthur

Joey Grace, Sewer Commissioner

State Cloud Capitals

Science Frenzy! And Other Stories

Pip Nelson, Penguin For Hire

Pip Nelson, Circus Accountant

Pip Nelson, Dashing Grandson

Kevin Gill, Kid Wizard

Kevin Gill, Super Athlete

Kevin Gill, Acclaimed Artiste

Wild Hooves: A Sally Beauty Western Adventure

Return to Wild Hooves: A Sally Beauty Western Adventure

Witch Mane of Wild Hooves: A Sally Beauty Western Adventure

WITH LIONEL GRILLIG:

Lionel Grillig’s Grill Guide

Lionel Grillig’s Charcoal Gift Corral

Lionel Grillig’s Milder Sauce Grab Bag
07/21 Direct Link
AS WELL BY JOHN SNYDER

NONFICTION:

If It Itches, Scratch It!

Sweat Up a Storm in Connecticut

Sweat Up a Storm in Massachusetts

The Real Sweat Up a Storm on Prince Edward Island

What the Listings Didn’t Tell You About Arthur

What the Listings Didn’t Tell You About Herbie Goes Bananas

What the Listings Didn’t Tell You About Airport 1975

FICTION:

Rant, and Rave, and Chew; Nyarr, Nyeargh!

Adelaide Tipney’s Murder Mysteries

We Say ‘Unmentionables,’ Henry: Erotica in the Time of Corsets

NAPKIN SCRAWLINGS:

DL Morisette Jag. Lit. Pill (youtube?)

Dir. — hosp.

1-201-263-30 [smudged] gig

Kid wknd Aug [smudged]
07/22 Direct Link
“You!”

— “Hello.”

“Look, I don’t want any trouble.”

— “Me neither. Might I just look around?”

“You can look. If you’re leaving, on your way out, you can look.”

— “I love this guy. I love the fish.”

“Thanks.”

— “Do you know much about raising fish?”

“No. You probably do.”

— “I have a few. They’re in a nice, big aquarium.”

“Naturally. OK, you’ve seen the fish, so…”

— “And this! A lovely picture frame. I have the same one, as it happens.”

“You do?”

— “Yes. Mine has a picture in it.”

“OK, look; I can see where this is headed...”

— “You’re getting there, John. You are.”
07/23 Direct Link
“TELL ME AGAIN how it felt.”

— “Really?”

“You tell it different each time. I love it.”

— “I’m trying to pin it down. I’m not a poet. I can’t…”

“Please.”

— “It’s easy to say it felt like falling-but-not-really. Easy to say I tingled-all-over-but-not-really. There’s probably a way to say this so it’s closer. It’s like nothing I’d ever felt. Like being watched, maybe? Being watched so intently you, um, wake up? Something like that. It wasn’t a bad feeling. But it was.”

“And then what?”

— “Then I was a warm, gentle wave, cresting.”

“And then?”

— “Then I was on their ship."
07/24 Direct Link
“TODD WILHELM?”

— “Yeah?”

“Hi, I’m Todd Wilhelm, midlife replacement. I’ll take it from here.”

— “Already?”

“Yep! May I come in?”

— “Sure.”

“Thanks. ... Hey, nice place!”

— “Is it? Thanks.”

“Well, it’s got potential. Some of this could work.”

— “OK.”

“I actually am a day early. I brought along a questionnaire for you to fill out and I need to take some pictures.”

— “OK.”

“Would you please jump on this tonight? I'll be back first thing with my clothes and gear. You can just leave it on the kitchen table.”

— “I guess so.”

“No need to guess, chum. Now we do!”
07/25 Direct Link
“'The Contessa.'”

“Yes.”

“You’re lying.”

“Am I? Reason it out for yourself, McManus: Who else knew Buttertaub was due on the Lady Emily? Who else had a key to Buttertaub’s suite at the Plaza? And who else, darling, knew where he kept the scarab? It had to be the Contessa.”

“You’re forgetting one thing, Princess.”

“What's that?”

“Your cousin Knuckles. He hung out at the Plaza doing odd jobs for Boss Toblerone. He could have turned up the guest book. He could have run off a spare suite key. And he blogged about Egyptian scarab jewels.”

“But--"

“It was you, doll!”
07/26 Direct Link
COACH: Listen up! Here’s the play: Smitty gets the ball and runs it up the nine. Jack and Freddy go flank deep on each of the sixes, ready for the snap. Rogers — pay attention! — I need you here, kid, center hash, looking sharp. The rest of youse play it line by line: take your man and hold him until Richie waves hello.

ALL: Yes Coach!

COACH: We’re eighteen down, but that don’t matter. You got heart. I know you do. I don’t know shit about sports, but I know this team’s got heart.

ALL: Yes Coach!

COACH: Anybody want a sandwich?
07/27 Direct Link
“WHAT’S THIS?”

— “It’s a Snyder box.”

“Oh? What’s it for?”

— “Well, it accepts a quantity of procrastinatum here, then these leads form a circuit off these batteries. Close this switch here, see?”

“Procrastinatum?”

— “Yeah. And then depending on the nuclei, um. I forgot: You have to put in baking soda. That goes in this funnel. You can’t use baking powder; it has to be soda.”

“I don’t understand.”

— “Anyway you put all that in and then complete this circuit, and what happens — you also have to be wearing safety glasses and gloves, like this, see?”

“What do you mean, procrastinatum?”

— “It’s complicated.”
07/28 Direct Link
DUN DUN DUNNN
By John Snyder

“I REMEMBER Jaime Olivette.”

— “Who’s that?”

“This guy. Total asshole. Used to follow me around all the time making faces.”

— “I thought he was your friend.”

“Him? No way.”

— “You got along at the party.”

“What party?”

— “Terry’s, last summer. You were thrilled to see each other.”

“He wasn’t at Terry’s party.”

— “He works for that website? His wife is pretty?”

“That’s Mike Reynolds.”

— “I’m confused.”

“Mike is in the background. In front, flipping off the photographer, is Jaime Olivette. We hated each other.”

— “There’s no one else in that picture, sweetie.”

“What?”

— “Are you joking?”

“Are you?”
07/29 Direct Link
“WHAT ARE you drinking?”

— “Gin and tonic.”

“Oh, I love those.”

— “This is my second one.”

“Nice.”

— “How about you?”

“Just ginger ale.”

— “I used to love ginger ale.”

“Not any more?”

— “I don’t mind it. I don’t wind up drinking it any more. It’s not something I buy or order.”

“Did something happen?”

— “What do you mean?”

“You used to love ginger ale, and now it’s not something you seek out. Did something happen to change your taste for it?”

— “Not really. People change. Tastes change.”

“I don’t buy it. Something happened. Something you’re not telling me.”

— “Like what?”

“Indeed.”
07/30 Direct Link
“AND DURING this time you reported to Section Chief Paisley?”

— “Yes.”

“What was your portfolio?”

— “I ran misinformation and destabilization around our efforts in Natural Satellite Ambiguity. I had one intern and an annual budget of $75.”

“What was the aim of Natural Satellite Ambiguity?”

— “It was our task to convince the great mass of men that Earth has only one natural satellite.”

“The Moon.”

— “Yes sir.”

“When in point of fact Earth has seven moons.”

— “OK.”

“Does Earth in fact have seven natural satellites? Seven moons?”

— “I’m not an astronomer, sir.”

“Your honor.”

+ “Mr. Snyder, you are advised to answer counsel.”

— “Earth has what it has."
07/31 Direct Link
“DID YOU see this?”

— “What?”

“Hubble Proves Earth Center of Fixed Cosmos.”

— “No, I hadn’t seen that.”

“PASADENA—A scientific discovery upending hundreds of years of—“

— “Hold on. Before you get started, I just want to say that it wasn’t my idea. I wanted to tell you the truth years ago.”

“The truth?”

— “It was the only way, they said.”

“Who? What are you talking about?”

— “Sometimes, Pete, we just do the best we can with what we have. I made my peace with it because they said it was the only way to save you. I went along with it because I love you.”

“Uh…”

— “Keep reading.”