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April 01, 2010

April Foolie!

Big News! Please Welcome Mary Higgins Clark!

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Today, the Book Tarts are pleased to announce the arrival of a new Tart!  Lately, we've needed an extra pair of hands around the offices of TLC, and the wonderful Mary has agreed to join us!  From now on, every Thursday, you, the loyal readers of The Lipstick Chronicles will enjoy the story-telling prowess of one of America's best authors of popular fiction.

But for today, you're stuck with me, Nancy.

Let me tell you a story. One morning when I was five, I helped my mother pour prune juice into my dad's coffee cup. I carefully carried the cup to the breakfast table, then scrambled into my chair and held my breath, waiting for the big reaction.

My father must have guessed what was up that first of April long ago, because when he finally reached around his morning newspaper for his cup of "coffee" and took his first sip, he gave a big reaction. Choke, gasp, bugged-out eyes.  For my dignified father to act this way was a hoot. I was delighted for the rest of the day.   

I think what really excited the five-year-old me was that I (having conveniently forgotten my mother's role in the trick) was suddenly empowered.  I had slain the dragon, so to speak. I had triggered a reaction--not by behaving like a good girl, but by causing trouble!

My new character--Roxy Abruzzo---is very big on causing trouble, challenging the norm, not restricting herself to behaving like a good girl.  Technically, she's a trickster character--that's writerspeak for a certain archetype, the mischievious protagonist who's a catalyst--causing the action rather than simply reacting to it. She's the one who makes things happen in a story, but also provides a few laughs along the way.  Think Eddie Murphy's character in Beverly Hills Cop. Most tricksters in popular fiction are male or crafty female children (I love Eloise!) but I really wanted to try making an amateur sleuth character more dynamic by introducing some trickster characteristics.

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A lot of Amazon reviewers still hate that about Roxy, but to hell with them.

Anyway, today I'm looking for tricks Roxy can play on the people in her world.  Help me out, dear friends.  Have any great tricks to share with me? 

Oh, and be sure to stop by next week to read what Mary Higgins Clark can bring to The Lipstick Chronicles.

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Comments

Nancy, I love that story of the prune juice.

My kids are exactly the right age to be plotting April Fool's tricks. Today I shall live in terror until 9 pm, their bedtime.

Oh! Welcome to TLC, Mary. I'm expecting you to share some hot beauty secrets, because I saw you a few years back at the Edgars, and you are seriously well put together. It's obvious that your prolific professional life is not fueled by chocolates.

I suggest Roxy put a Windows emulator on someone's Mac, and a Mac emulator on someone's WinDozer. Hilarity will ensue.

Can't wait for MHC and Her, Margie, to become acquainted.

This is not my trick, but one that an old boyfriend used to play on his mom, and tried on me but only amused me, never tricked me. He would call her, chat for a few minutes, then say, "Well, Mom, what did you call about? I should get back to work here." His poor mom was, shall we say, a little dizzy, and would pause to rack her brains over why she had called him.

Welcome, Mary. I imagine you'll be making some changes around here, but don't mess with the IOCHFTS crowd. Seriously. Not everyone shares your passion for Wedgewood cameos, delightful as we think they are on you.

Nancy, that story is adorable, like an episode straight out of Father Knows Best. Your parents probably talked about it for years.

Mary, I look forward to hearing what you have to say, and please tell your daughter Carol that I love her books, too!

With my screwball family and our conjoined warped senses of humor, today is Christmas, Halloween and everyone’s birthday rolled into one single, glorious day. Updates as the day progresses.

Considering how badly I behave on this blog, this may not come out as a compliment but Mary Higgins Clark is my role model. I’ve never been much for submitting my titles for awards, too much politics and bottom kissing to hold my attention long enough. However, the only one that would mean anything to me would be to get the MWAs award named after her. Here are the guidelines:

• The protagonist is a very nice young woman, 27-38 or so, whose life is suddenly invaded. She is not looking for trouble - she is doing exactly what she should be doing and something cuts across her bow (as in ship).

• She solves her problem by her own courage and intelligence.

• She's in an interesting job.

• She's self-made - independent - has primarily good family relationships.

• No on-scene violence.

• No four-letter words or explicit sex scenes.

While my protagonist, Penelope Drayton Spence, is a bit past the expiration date, in every other way she fits the profile. Because of this I can hand my books to my grandkids and my elderly mother and everyone in between without apologies or explaination.

I’ll get the good the good suit to the cleaners and promise to behave – at least on Thursdays.

The trick I used to catch my gal pals on all the time was to put a loosely wound ball of thread in a shirt pocket, then let the tail of the thread peek out, ripe for plucking. You know how good girlfriends groom one another--pick off loose threads, brush away crumbs, etc. (sort of like mothers do with children) So girlfriends were forever reaching over to pull the thread off. It just got longer and longer as it unwound. This resulted in many puzzled expressions as they thought they were unraveling my shirt. Badda bing. Badda boom. Maybe you had to be there. But it always worked and it always got a laugh.

Sheesh, I *almost* fell for this, Nancy. I really really need at least two cups of coffee (NOT prune juice) before I click over here.

The big grade school prank was to take a squirt bottle and thread a long piece of string through the nozzle and feed the rest into the bottle. Ketchup bottle got red string, soap bottles got white, etc.

One good squeeze and the string would fly out of the nozzle, looking for all the world like a perfectly aimed stream of ketchup or soap or whatever. Hilarity ensued on a constant basis; we were 8 or 9, it doesn't take much to amuse boys that age.

I taught this one to my younger brother. After less than a day, any and all bottles that squirted liquid disappeared from the house. I'm pretty sure Aliens from Roswell confiscated them.....

I like the use of the trickster character, Nancy. Proactive, not reactive. *Must remember this.*

I can't think of any tricks. Not one. How boring is that?

However, last night I had a dream that an ant was carrying a frozen turkey breast across my kitchen floor. The floor was sparkling clean, too, which proves it was a dream.

There seems to be a distinct lack of excitement about Mary's arrival! Yeesh, you guys are hard to please!

And, Margie? Was it you who put Saran wrap on the toilet? Who falls for that anymore?

Nancy - which part of this wasn't clear?

I’ll get the good suit to the cleaners and promise to behave – at least on Thursdays.

Me behave and put on a suit?

This is one of the giants of the genre! A legend! I told my wife (after I caught her in an April Fool) and she was excited. Well, as excited as a microbiologist ever gets.

Congratulations to all of the other Tarts. This is VERY COOL!!!

Man, Nancy. You got me. Good one.

Maybe not for Roxy, but when my daughter was younger, we played a small April Fool's Day joke on her dad. We superglued a few coins to the concrete right beside where he parked his car. It worked! He reached down and tried to pick them up. No luck!

Be aware, thought, the coins were there for years!

FYI: Nancy – If this announcement of Mary Higgins Clark, excuse me, THE Mary Higgins Clark is an April Fool then I will drive to Pittsburgh and smack you. Then I’ll go find Ben Roethlisberger more hookers and strippers until he is banned from the NFL for life and the Steelers never win another Super Bowl!

Hey writer ladies, if you want to play a trick on Margie, leave her this message:

"Steve called. He said to meet him at the place. Oh, and he found the kind you like."

She'll go nuts, I promise.

Love,
Cousin Rita

Someone--brother-in-law or friend--filled our car with balloons the night I got married the first time. It was a potentially fatal prank. The car was a cherry '57 Ford convertible (red and white, if you must know), and in order to get all the balloons in there, they put the top down, filled the car, and then replaced the top without latching it. We were driving along at 60 and the top suddenly snapped up. Fortunately, my first husband aspired to be a cop and he had very good defensive driving skills. If I'd been driving then we'd have had a shorter marriage than the 3 years it ended up being.

Rod, you're so naive. Huh. Never thought I'd write a sentence like that!

Like my ex, who I was able to convince that Yul Brynner was my great-uncle. Brenner was my maiden name, and my grandfather was also bald, so I insisted that Uncle Yul changed the spelling for Hollywood. He totally bought it, and I only spilled the truth because the darn fool was about to call his social-climbing sister-in-law to crow about his new "relation".

And yes, he was a scallywag and so deserved to be punk'd. Too bad I didn't keep on doing it. I was way too nice to him.

Cousin Rita--Her, Margie, hasn't shown up yet here at the office. So . . . maybe we've been fooled? Hm.

Actually, Steve really did just call the office. Now what?

Last night, Charlie was up at 3 a.m. taping clear plastic strips across Sam's doorway. This morning, Sam opened the door. Sighed. And ducked under them only to walk into the bathroom where a plastic cup filled with water fell from on high, missed, and cracked on the bathroom floor.

That's our April Fools. Every. Year.

BTW, not that any one cares, but it's the 3rd birthday Mr. Bigglesworth's, aka Fred the Basset.

Cookies and belly rubs all around.

Gotta love Charlie.

Happy birthday, Fred! I can't believe he's 3 already!

Wait a minute. I just took a call from the *other* Steve. What's going on? Those guys always just show up at the back door.

Karen - who is being naive? I gave the clue twice. Hint: You've known me for over 3 decades. Unless there was a body in a box or a ring going on a finger when was the last time you remember seeing me in a suit? (Before you say it, I wore a sports coat to Holly's graduation but only because she asked me too and said it would mean a lot to her so that one doesn't count). Me behave?! HA!

Nancy wasn’t getting much traction so I thought she needed a wingman to stir things up a bit. Didn't seem to help with this jaded crowd.

April Fool!

It's Me, Margie.

This is Holy Week, shit-for-brains. I don't do pranks when April Fools happens during Holy Week. Instead, I adopt the entire following week as AFW.

Now I have to calm down BOTH Steves before I take my Aunts to the Rosary Novena. Hope you bitches are happy.

Rita - look out sugar, or I'll sign you up to usher at the Easter Vigil (aka the night of a thousand saints). Plus, new Southern Steve has a brother. Call me if you're not already sailored for the weekend.

Now that I am here I will say a few other things:

1. And people think I am the dumb one
2. The rest of the Tarts are gone tomorrow afternoon - so guess who gets to blog tomorrow? ME. I already wrote it in case services run late tonight. heh. It's a STORY! That's right - the Passover Story. Now I have to go make sure I didn't use any big words.
3. Miz Martin: a low bow to your skill. I am impressed - which takes a lot from you artiste types if you know what I mean because jeez, could you put paper in a machine - any machine - once in a while instead of sending me emergency texts that "The thing is broken again."

There's the phone again - how am I supposed to straighten out this Steve thing if people keep calling the office?!

I love it when you call us names during Holy Week.

Best April Fool News story of all time. It lit up the internet 2 years ago and even made the wire service.

Dog-gone days for Fido: Cheyenne bans all pets

http://www.wyomingnews.com/articles/2008/04/01/featured_story/01top_04-01-08.txt

The Money Quote:
Councilman Tom Segrave called for a local pet registration that will charge existing pet owners $125 for each dog they own, $75 for each cat and $25 for other animals that are allowed outdoors.

The money will be used to keep files each animal's DNA to determine which animals are responsible for leaving feces on Greenways, in parks or at sporting fields around the city.

A Passover Story on Good Friday...definitely need to be here for that one. Fortunately I have the day off :o)
I'm not sure we had any standard April Fool's jokes, just the usual:"your zipper is down" type. Boring childhood, even with Clyde the neighbor's pet rooster who lived down the block and used to attack commuters on their way to the Rock Island station every morning.( A good case for NEVER giving chicks as Easter presents by the way)
I am however going to be on my guard when I go in to work later...some of my fellow booksellers have a wicked sense of the silly!
Happy Fool's Day everyone!
P.S.Amazon reviewers don't like Roxy? Shame on them...she's fantastic!

Margie -

Father Carm's hearing confessions this morning, special for Holy Thursday. I KNOW you haven't gone this Lent and then you won't have to go early to the novena tonight. Plus, the aunts won't be timing how long you're in the box. I'll swing by and pick you up in half an hour. Can you get the Steves straightened out by then? Its always best to get all your sinning done before you go to confession. Or during. Ahem. If Miss Nancy gives you any trouble, tell her that I said you're allowed to leave for religious reasons. Take it from me, no one ever questions an ex-nun.

Love,

Cousin Rosie

Good one! I was reading along and thinking, holy moly - what did Nancy do?

I totally forgot the date - now I have to play catch up.

I haven't been to confession in 30 years (yeah Cafeteria Catholic and that's as close as I get, especially lately.)

I may have to go after tonight - instead of the Holy Thursday service, where my brother-in-law is cantoring, I will be at Cioppinos for the opening of their new dueling piano sing-a-long.

Don't tell my Mom. Or my sisters either.

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend - starting tomorrow, I will be offline - fallen away as I am, Good Friday is still the Holy of Holy days for me. This year, I'll be spending it a Maddona Del Church where they still say some prayers in Latin and use the bells on the altar during the consecration. I like some of the old school stuff. No fooling.

It's true. My cousin is an ex-nun, and she's the Voice of Reason for the whole family.

I've been debating with myself if I should share the story of how we tricked our kids (at the time they were about 7 and 10) into believing they slept through Easter Sunday. Which, if I'm remembering this right, fell on April Fool's Day. They were utterly convinced, especially since they'd gone to bed really, really late on Saturday.

Oh, I'm so disappointed. And then, relieved. I thought--wow, they don't tell me ANYTHING!

Obviously, the Tarts have been working too hard if they fell for this one. It even says "April Foolie" right at the top! I'm better at this than I thought!

Boy, of all the headlines out today, I surely wish this one was a Foolie:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20100331/ts_csm/291560

Margie, Margie, Margie.....

You were raised better than this, bambina. Such a mouth on you, your Aunt Rosa (bless her sainted heart) would be appalled to hear you speak that way.

You need to invite alla yer friends to Uncle Sal's restaurant for some gabbagoo and some tiramisu. It's onna house, so youse all should excuse someone's language, today of all days.

Oh, hey lissen... when youse arrive, if there are some guys outside who, um, frisk yez, it's nuttin' personal, okay?

I clicked that link, Nancy. Wish I hadn't. The courts should call it even, and let it go....

Here is a comment from Debby, who is still blocked by Typepad.

I have never been into or any good at April Fool’s. However, there was this one time, years ago… a coworker had seriously declared that she had given up ALL chocolate for Lent. Yikes!!! We were very supportive, until April 1st came around during Lent.

We had attached Hershey’s Kisses all over her computer and monitor. Rimmed her desk in them as well. But that wasn’t all.

Any drawer that she opened had been crammed full of different chocolates, there was no escape. Mwahahaha.

And we had chocolate for months!!!!


Thanks!
Debby

I used to love April Fool's Day ...until the year I was 15. That year I decided I was going to play the biggest 'harmless' prank ever ... I thought it would be extremely funny to tell my parents that my (older married mother of 2) sister was PREGNANT. So I called them both AT WORK .. 'spilled the beans' and then hung up. I didn't tell anybody it was a joke until that night at dinner.... everyone laughed HAHAHA ... until a month later when my sister found out she was PREGNANT. Well you know that thing about KARMA (she's a big bitch all right).. my neice arrived the night before my 16th birthday ... and in true John Hughes teenage angst style .. my birthday was forgotten.... oh and to this day my sister "blames" me for having her 3rd child!

So I never play pranks on people anymore... I'm afraid next time I might blow up the world or something! LOL

PS ROD --I can't stop you from smacking Nancy ..although it's not very nice for a man to EVER hit a lady .. BUT I BEG OF YOU Please don't joke about the Steelers... they didn't do anything to you!

We did try and convince my daughter (at the time 11 years old) that it was so windy our 90 lb. black lab was lifted into the air and soaring around the house. We had her going for about 2 minutes then she thought about it and said no way. Now of course we tease her about it mercilessly.

Back in the days when my grandfather was working at the steel mill, my grandmother packed his lunch for him everyday. One April Fools day she placed paper inside his sandwich instead of lunch meat. They repeated this story to the family every year and they loved to laugh over it.

I still get a kick out of the BBC April Fools joke half a century ago.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/april/1/newsid_2819000/2819261.stm

It is the all time classic as every few years the story is repeated around April Fools day.

Windows emulator on someone's Mac, and a Mac emulator on someone's WinDozer
Tom, I didn't even know there was such a thing!! I just had a flashback to our school district's purchase of a grade/attendance program which, contrary to promises that it would work on Macs, required us all to use PCs. Our principal was so gentle and helpful with those of us with 20+ years using Macs, and promised guidance, but it was the students who really came through for me whenever I had a problem.
I had such wonderful students! Every time there was a weakness, a chink in the armor so to speak, they stepped up and helped rather than take advantage. I even sometimes taught with laryngitis, just wrote on the board, pantomimed, or whispered instructions to one student for repetition to the class -- and they cooperated. Amazing young people! We would share our dismay that so many times teen-agers are portrayed so badly. . .
BTW, I use April 1 as my internet birthday -- I don't give out the real one freely after the experience with I.D. Fraud (as magicians do not reveal their true names).

First of all to all those idiots who don't like (or more likely, get) Roxy---yer nuts. She rocks!

Okay, perhaps my only successful April Fool's joke (I was the baby of the family so I got pranked all the time)--I was 12 and my 17 year-old brother and all his buddies were over, bossing me around asking me to get them food and stuff. I loaded up a plate of Oreos that the night before I'd "prepared" by scraping out the filling and replacing it with Ultra-Brite toothpaste. They started cramming them in their mouths. Then, spitting them out. The looks on their faces were priceless. It was perhaps one of my proudest moments.

Message on my daughter’s Voice Mail. “Hi! If this is my father calling trying to April Fool me. Bite Me! Everyone else wait for the beep.” She obviously hasn’t got her morning mail yet.

I did get the significant other. We’re having work done on the house and have a lovely and stylish construction dumpster in the middle of our driveway. I convinced her someone had dropped something into it over night that was leaking and smelled bad. I even dumped water with some red food coloring on the driveway. Every bad TV detective show she had ever watched run through her mind before she caught up.

April Fool’s Day is a contact sport in our house but winning cost at a cost. It’s a good thing a man my age really doesn’t need to be sexually active to lead a full and happy life. Our anniversary is the end of June. I’m hoping her headache will be gone by then.

Paula - I love Ben and Troy but Hines Ward is a cheapshot punk.

Nancy, you totally had me - thank heavens I didn't get here until late :)

Hmmmm . . . Roxy and April Fools. Unlike some tricksters, Roxy does have a distinct moral code and a great heart. I can't really see her messing with Nooch. With her daughter, though . . . there's gotta be something good she can do with her and her boyfriend. Plus, she owes that orthopedist some serious payback for beating up his girlfriend, and 4/1 is a perfect excuse. Oh - maybe replace one of Loretta's (is that the right name? I'm terrible at remembering names after only 1 reading) frozen homemade lasagnas with cheap storebought? Or is that just too awful?

Dear Uncle Sal,

It's Me,Margie. Your guys know better than to touch me without an invitation. Remember about 6 years ago when they all walked with a limp for a week?

What kind of fish are you doing tomorrow? Because no one likes the baccala - even at Christmas. So don't go making someone do it and then try to force it on everyone like you did last year. Just sayin'.

Me, Margie

Rod ... I'm not Wards biggest fan either.

So have all of us gone over to write a review on Amazon about how much we enjoyed spending time with Roxy?

(uh, no not yet -- but I'm heading over there now)

I'm terrible at AF and I'm a bad sport. I did have a workmate remotely take over the desktop of another mate. We all stood around and marveled at the mates inability to regain control of his mouse and keyboard.

Holly, I wonder if that person could take over my keyboard today and do some quality writing for me?
;-)

I'll confess to not picking up on the joke -- partly because being invited to participate on the TLC blog would be an honor for anyone. In fact, I think someone should invite President Obama to write a Manly Friday blog . . .

I really wish that funeral link was an April Fools Joke -- double emphasis on the FOOL. There was some of that going around in Minnesota and I believe that a group of soldier/bikers would make sure the @#$%^&*'s couldn't get near the family.

I recall from a college class that a majority of Native American tribes have a trickster, who goes by many names and disguises -- I'm voting for Roxy to be the one for TLC.

I was looking at yesterday's post and am sort of in the cleaning spirit. I recall someone mentioning sending paperbacks to soldiers including kids books for them to read via the web. Who would be able to help me with that?

Sorry this is a little disjointed, didn't have time to get my usual caffiene source and had to settle for a different brand and it's just not the same.

Panic, horror and disbelief..ya that's right! I fell for the ruse..ya got me!
Call me Ms Gullible..what a surprise.
The best practical joke that I remember was not on April 1 but on a sunny random day in California.
My husband was visiting his two early twenty year old brothers. They had a troll doll on their shelf.
My husband stared at that doll and somehow the scheming had begun.
He somehow took possession of the ugly doll, rigged it up with a water squirting device.
The next day, for no apparent reason my accomplished, always debonair brother picked up the doll and water squirted in his face. Priceless!!
It was a little dicey visiting him for a little while but my husband says it was worth the experience and talks of it to this day. Only brothers could get away with this.
The only Roxy plot device that I could think of was to transform Roxy into a prim and proper girl with wardrobe changes and maybe a blond wig.
Roxy could be called away and voila her cousin could appear and make them wish that feisty Roxy would return very quickly.
This is the best that I can come up with.
Still recovering from the prank.
BTW my daughter had the same spirit as Pipi Longstocking when she was a kid.

I hope you didn't make the marinara yet, Uncle Sal. Nicky Socio gave me some really good herbs when I saw him on the street corner yesterday.

Love,
Rosie

My brother Chip is 10 years younger than I am, but by the time he was five, or however old you are when you get April Fool's day, he'd say to me, with terror in his voice: THERE'S A SPIDER ON YOU!!

Every year, he'd yell: THERE'S A SPIDER ON YOU!

And I would shriek. Every year. And fall for it. Completely. Every year.

He lives in Colorado. (And you know how old we are now.) So last year, he CALLED me, and as we were chatting, he says: THERE'S A SPIDER ON YOU!

And I shrieked and completely fell for it again. ON THE PHONE.

My nephew & his girlfriend had lived together for 20 some years. Knowing his Dad would be visiting the 2nd week of April, they got married on AFD but didn't tell anybody. They did put an ad in the classifieds tho & had a bunch of ads circled, gave Dad the paper to read while they fixed dinner. It took him awhile to read it," Brian & Linda got married on AFD! This is not a joke Dad!"
They had to show him the marriage license before he really believed them!
Maryann- do you remember the prank in the Champaign paper about 1972? They had a artist pix of a new building going up downtown, but they had the sides open & a giant crane on top, putting a mobile home in a slot on the 12th floor! ah yes, the future of trailer parks! (dumbshit ex thought it was real! LMAO)
Karen - I've done a sponge cake with a 9x13 piece of foam rubber, a 12 pk 'cake', but I think my 'forever landscaping neighbor' needs a stepping stone 'cake'! LOL
My friend is always calling her hub an asswipe, so the TP cake would be good for him!

Dang you, Margie. You're going to post a Passover story just as I take down the Passover banner and put up the Easter.

Nancy, I am freaking out over the Weird Baptists versus the Dead Soldiers link.

I'm a First Amendment fan, but man, this is maddening. And so bizarre! To target the grieving families of dead soldiers in the name of . . . homophobia?

You can't make up stuff this crazy.

Holly G. – I noted someone plagiarized your name on Nancy’s Amazon review page. I think we should pull a “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back” on some of those reviewers.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ClerksFanclub

Sadly the funeral thing is not an April Fools but a perfect example of the boorish stupidity of right-wing religious nut who like to go chant anti-gay slogans at a fallen soldier’s funeral. Throw in the incredible stupidity and unfairness of a judicial system that let’s figgin a-holes like that win a case in the first place. I’m not advocating violence but I’m all for locking the scumbag lawyers and the brainless judge involved in a room with Me, Margie and Xena.

Rod, I know far too many lawyers and judges who are ethical, passionate, and idealistic, many of whom forego big paychecks in order to be civil servants and/or do a lot of pro bono work. I don't know what the 4th circuit judges were thinking, but bashing the members of any profession, from lawyers to soldiers, bothers me.

The judicial system sometimes fails miserably, but show me a better one.

Harley - I couldn't agree more. Judging all Christians by those loons and all lawyers by this fiasco is unfair to both side but unfortunately the squeaking wheel gets to be all over cable news.

Hopefully the adults on the appeals court will set this right, at least in terms of the legal fees. Even in this Holy Week I see no redemption for those vile protesters though.

The best way to deal with The Church of Phelps is with encircling ridicule when they turn up. The Long Beach Wilson High kids did a great counter-performance a few months ago when Fred his hate squad appeared.

How about a bus-and-truck touring corps of hoofers and singers doing the big numbers from 'Rocky Horror' that could follow the Phelpsians to all their protests. NEA grant proposal, anyone?

Happy April Fool's Day, TLCers! The only trick I can ever remember doing (and this will date me) was telling my mother "your slip is showing." I thought that was hilarious, so I must of been in the 1st or 2nd grade! Hank, whenever anyone pulled the spider trick on me, I'd jump up and scream...just like I still do now. So I have a lot of sympathy for your sibling situation.

I'll sing. Can't tapdance worth a damn, though. I bet Xena would make us costumes.

When the Founders adopted the Constitution, they knew it wouldn't be a popular or easy document to enforce.

This is why some people have a problem with the ACLU, which sometimes takes unpopular positions in order to stand up for equal rights for all - even sometimes the most disgusting people in town.

In this case, I believe the trial court heard enough of an argument to make an exception, but that is not really the job of a trial court - their job is to follow the law as it stands. Appellate Courts have more flexibility, and ultimately, I think the Supreme Court will hear this case and we will see a modification of the ruling against the soldier's family.

However - it is up to the lawmakers to make significant changes. They just need to do so within the scope of what is Constitutional. All very difficult questions, especially in a case like this which seems to favor - sorry but it is true - homophobic nutwads. That is not a legal term, by the way, although perhaps it should be.

Where are the Patriot Riders? In the mid-west they attend any funeral that the nutwads are at. Most are veterans that look like Hell's Angels and they stand guard to keep the nutwads from disturbing the funeral. I just wish they could open a big can of whoopass on them!

Easy, and funny, April Fool's prank: use a rubber band to depress the spray feature on the kitchen sink. Whoever turns on the water will get a harmless spray. We did this for many years, successfully, until the year my father got pranked, and, in the midst of us rolling around on the kitchen floor laughing, he turned with the gushing sprayer and secured revenge. The kitchen was flooded, we were all soaked, and we laughed about it forever. The prank never worked again--everyone was totally "on-guard."

Re the Phelps story--the First Amendment protects jackasses, homophobes, and activists of all stripes. Don't mess with it; limiting the speech of assholes sounds great, but, in practice, legislation will be used to limit the speech of non-assholes. Community efforts preventing the hate-mongers' message from being viewed by the grieving family? Perfect. Sign me up.

That said, I cannot fathom how the court determined that the marine's father owes legal fees to the church. The father sued for infliction of emotional distress, won before the jury, and now has to pay fees? If anything, the lesson from this case is that a court's ability to impose attorney fees should be limited.

Rosie. Like, how many times do I have to remind you, meeting Nicky Socio on a street corner is just one little step away from the back seat of his car?

Anyway, what about all the oregano in the Writer Ladies' closet. Don't tell me that's all gone?

Love,
Cousin Rita

Tonight my wonderful youngest daughter and her husband (both Born Again Christians) are preparing a traditional Seder for a group of 30 or so of their friends of mixed religious backgrounds from Agnostic to Zen. This has become an annual event we normally attend but this year we’re get the joy of spending a quiet evening with our youngest granddaughter instead. From her three siblings we have learned that a squirming toddler and a lengthy supper are not the best mix.

To all of those on this blog, I hope you enjoy the rest of your day as much as I plan to mine. When I have Isabelle in my lap the world is a much better and simpler place.

I hope at this special time we all find the peace we are seeking.

God Bless.

And I'd just like to add to that, Becky, your slip is showing.

Harley, you said it perfectly, and Kathy echoed it. Our "System" really IS the best in world, but sometimes, it stinks. Or sucks. Or is so goddamn maddeningly frustrating it's beyond words.

It is unbelievably difficult to interview something that appears human, who has done horrendous, unbelievable things, and force oneself to keep in mind that even a creature like that has rights. Rights we have to support, whether we like them or not, whether we feel he deserves them or not, and most especially when one is having daydreams that Dirty Harry is not taking care of business, Charles Bronson is a wimp, and the single best solution is to kick a chainsaw up this animal's ass then yank the starter cord.

That's the crux; Rights are for everyone, even when what they think, say, or do, makes our blood boil.

Of course, you understand, I've, uhhhhhh, heard about that kind of thing.....

Whether we have a good system or a bad one all depends on whose ox is being gored, right?

I just wish everyone would use the Golden Rule as their life guideline, and then we wouldn't have so much insanity. How's that for an April Foolie?

Rod spending time with your adorable granddaughter sounds delightful.
We are babysitting some adorable dogs and a cat..almost like grandchildren.
William, amen on your comments. Living in a free country encompasses good and bad but it's our Country and I am exceedingly proud to be an American.

Harley, hahaha, especially since I have on cropped cargo pants. You make me smile, though! :-D

Judy--the stuffed Oreos?! Remind me to keep an eye on your activities around food when the HMOH group gets together!

Re: the funeral/William's & various comments, I'm all for the agreement to disagree when things are complex, for honest folks to hold honest positions that differ. What makes me ill and worried about our country's future and that of our children is when people claiming to be upstanding and hold the presumed more 'moral' conservative position gleefully tell harmful and destructive lies, and do so in such a way as to manipulate the public, and particularly those who are less informed. That has got to change.

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