Category Archives: Paffooney

Aunt Minnie’s Love Seat

This is a story about an innocuous piece of furniture in Great Aunt Minnie Efram’s house.  It was a little brown loveseat with carved wooden monster feet.

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As the story begins, the little loveseat was sitting in the parlor in front of the small black and white television.  During the monthly Efram family card party, the love seat was the only place for the two of them to spend the evening.  But he was ten and he hated girls.  He had a reputation with the guys at school as a girl hater, and he couldn’t have it known that he was sitting on a loveseat with Uncle Henry’s stepdaughter, the one the guys all said they had seen eating her own boogers.

She was also ten, and in his class at school.  She liked to watch him more than any of the other boys.  But she didn’t know why.  She liked unicorns and the color pink, but she also kinda liked the way boys looked at her when she wore shorts.  And she liked seeing him in PE class at school, wearing shorts.  He was athletic and often won games in PE.

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After two years of monthly card parties happening during at least three different months every year at Aunt Minnie’s place, he had discovered that girls didn’t actually smell bad, and this one actually listened when he talked about playing football, and how it made him feel when he scored the seventy-five-yard touchdown.  In fact, the more he talked about football, and the closer they sat to each other, the better she seemed to smell.  He liked that smell.

She liked that he didn’t only pay attention to her at the card parties anymore.  He actually said, “Hi” in public.  And she liked his smile, even when he got braces.  He let her pick the shows they watched on the old black and white television while seated on the loveseat.  She actually worked up the nerve to tell him that she had told Jane at school to ask him if he liked her, and stupid Jane had completely forgotten to ask him, or maybe Jane was just too chicken to ask him and used the excuse that she forgot.

He said that if she liked him, he liked her.  But if she didn’t, he didn’t either.  “Like” her, he meant.  Which he did because she did.

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After two more years and six more card parties worth of scootching behinds closer together on the old loveseat, something different had happened.  And it was about time too.  Aunt Minnie had bought a puppy, and that not only was a bad thing for the seven cats that lived with old Minnie, but it was hard on the loveseat too.  One of the little couch’s monster feet was lost, and the numerous instances of terrified cat claws digging in were beginning to have an effect on the upholstery.  And that danged dog wizzled everywhere.  The loveseat had one purpose in life, and it didn’t want to give in to wear and tear before achieving that purpose.

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But the very next year brought disaster.  He apparently told the members of the freshman football team that something had happened on that old love seat that really hadn’t happened.  The football team was impressed because they all thought she was pretty hot stuff, and he was generally thought of as a lame-o dweeb.  She heard about it from Jane who heard about it from Nanette’s boyfriend who was on the team.  And she got mad.  How dare he say something like that when it wasn’t true?

In January of that year, Aunt Minnie passed away in her sleep.  The loveseat was sold at auction to a farmer who liked to do re-upholstery as a hobby.  It got re-done in red velvet and leather with wheels replacing the wooden monster feet and sold to a car dealer in Des Moines who placed it in the lobby show-room for customers to sit on.

But the story has a happy ending.  She would later make his locker room lie into the truth on Prom Night (fortunately with protection) and then went on to marry him when they both were sophomores in college.   Of course, it wasn’t always, “They lived happily ever after,” because they didn’t.  They got divorced once and got re-married shortly after… to each other.  They had three kids.  And the loveseat didn’t ever learn any of that.  Because it was a loveseat.  You didn’t really think loveseats could know anything, did you?

 

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Filed under Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life, humor, goofy thoughts, nostalgia, finding love

A Peek Inside the Portfolio

Here’s a bit of the file called Novel Pix (illustrations for my novels);

from Stardusters and Space Lizards
from AeroQuest
from Sing Sad Songs
from Snow Babies
from Fools and Their Toys
from When the Captain Came Calling
from Superchicken
from Catch a Falling Star
When the Captain Came Calling
from Snow Babies
from The Baby Werewolf
from Recipes for Gingerbread Children

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AeroQuest 5… Scherzo 14

Scherzo 14 – Spaceheart Joins the Space Opera

She was the size and shape of a blond-haired human girl of about fourteen years of age.  She wore one of those tech-level 25 armored space bikinis, and Dr. Hooey had to admit she looked pretty appealing in it.

“So, they issued you that armored bikini instead of the usual Time Knight’s eccentric, colorful costume?”

“Oh, yes, by my special request,” said the girl.  “It’s fully functional as a space suit, putting atmosphere around me inside an electromagnetic bubble that will also shield me from radiation, lasers, micro-meteors, blades, microwaves, nuclear blasts, and even slug-thrower bullets.”

“Ahem, yes…”  Hooey wasn’t sure whether he should be harsh with his evaluation, or just charmed with her natural enthusiasm.  Her enthusiasm alone was of a kind that could defeat space criminals, evade alien attacks, and charm world leaders.  And that happy grin could certainly kill a grizzly bear at thirty paces.  “Prepared for practically anything, aren’t we?”

“Well, being prepared is the key to everything you have accomplished Dr. Hooey.  I studied you carefully while I was in the academy.  You more than any other Time Knight we discussed.  I prayed to the Seven Goddesses of the Pleiades that I would be chosen to be your companion on this next journey through time.”

“Ahem… your name is Spaceheart, I believe?”

“Yes.  That is definitely my preferred moniker of the moment.”

“I suppose I can’t just call you Becky or Alice or something?”

“No, please.  I like Spaceheart.  It is a cool pulp-fiction sort of science-fictiony name.”

Hooey almost said, “Ahem” again, but he was running out, so he decided to save the last few for later.

“So, one of the main jobs of the time-travel companion is the keeping of order inside the time-ship.”

Spaceheart looked around at the mess inside the Star Wars.  She shuddered.  Wires were hanging from the dark space where the ceiling allegedly was supposed to be.  Burnt panels covered the control console with melted buttons, charred thing-a-majiggs, and a grossly detached doodle-ma-whoop.  You couldn’t make the chronometric time jumps without a re-attached doodle-ma-whoop.  And you would need to replace every single thing-a-majigg in order to prevent the Time Knights inside the ship from prematurely aging or turning back into babies.  A glitch in either direction could pop you out of existence without warning.

“It got damaged a bit with that last mission, huh?”

“Oh, yes.  It actually killed me, so that I had to reboot myself with an entirely new and better-looking reincarnation.”

“But, the Lizard Lady was successful before she died?”

“Well, technically…  Um, she’s not actually dead yet at this time… er, the relative dimension in time and space she currently inhabits.”

“Oh, that’s interesting…”

“Yes, um… she’s in position to help us win the battle at Outpost.  So, our job is mainly to correct whatever goes wrong with the ancient device that Ged Aero is trying to send to another universe.”-

“I guess I better get started on the clean-up and repair procedures.”

“Ahem… yes, I didn’t mean to use up that one, but if you don’t mind… I would like to pull up a lawn chair and watch you work.  Um, you are going to wear that armored bikini, right?”

“Um, yes…?”

“Can I take pictures too?”

Spaceheart smiled at the dirty old man who turned younger again.

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Filed under aliens, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, science fiction

Why I Need to be Naked

Yes, I am a nudist. I am a member of the AANR (American Association for Nude Recreation). I have been publicly naked in places where other naked people are, and I will do that again if I can. But, if you are wondering why in the heck I want to be that, well, maybe I need to explain. Maybe, even, if you aren’t wondering that.

I have spent a lifetime overcoming childhood trauma. At the age of ten I was grabbed by an older boy, dragged off to a hidden place, de-pants, warned not to yell or tell anybody ever about what had happened, implying he would seriously hurt or kill me, and then he gave himself pleasure by twisting my private parts, making me hurt while being forbidden to call for help.

What does that have to do with being a nudist? Well, as you can probably imagine, what remained of my childhood and all of my puberty was turned into a nightmare. I shut down the memory of the incident as a defense mechanism, but it was still with me to the point that I would wet my pants during seventh grade classes rather than risk going to the bathroom in a school where there were eighth grade boys bigger than me. PE showers after class were a nightmare I wasn’t allowed to avoid. I not only had to conceal my privates as much as possible, but also the burn scars on my back that I gave myself as a punishment for any sexual urges I might have experienced. I lost the ability to be comfortably naked anywhere that I might’ve been seen by others, especially girls. This was a horrible, self-hating sort of thing that brought me to the brink of suicide in high school. Thank god for the Methodist minister who provided me with actual sex education and my friend Ronny who talked me out of killing myself without ever knowing that that is what he was doing.

I missed out on a key time in my development as a boy when others get an unmolested chance to wrestle with their own sexuality and identity. I had to struggle with the things I learned about child molestation. Of particular concern was the notion that victims of sexual molestation can grow up to be molesters. And a good deal of religious education tries to make you believe homosexuality was a grievous sin that could cause you an eternity in Hell. I spent too many hours fearing I would become exactly what I didn’t want to be.

But starting when the Reverend Aiken taught me about the biological science behind the facts of life, I began learning the truth about sexuality and what had happened to me.

I fully remembered the whole of my childhood trauma when I began studying human sexuality in college (and I mean book-learning, not the kind of hands-on practice that went on in the dorms.) I learned that those who become abusers after being abused were mostly children who were routinely molested, not the one-time-only sort of assault that I endured. I was not set up mentally to become some sort of sexual predator or pedophile. Instead, I was drawn to a career path in education where I could use what I had learned to prevent such things from happening. I did not try to have my abuser arrested and punished for two reasons. One, because I was still vulnerable and reporting that you had been assaulted like that was probably even harder at that time for a boy than it was for a girl. And it was hell to be a girl confessing to having been raped. But also two, because I knew my abuser was married and had children, and I had never heard any other reports of him having done such a thing to anyone else. It wasn’t for him that I didn’t report him. My family and his family were friends. They were good people whether he was or not. And protecting them is the reason I still will not name him as the person who assaulted me. Now that he is dead, and I have forgiven him, no one needs to know.

I need to be naked now in the telling of these inner secrets that no one but me knew for so many years. I need to not be shy about any of this. Primarily because anyone who has ever undergone such a thing as I did can benefit from knowing what I went through and survived in spite of. That factual nakedness is here in these paragraphs for anyone who needs to see it. It is the naked truth.

The first person I told about what happened to me at ten was the former girlfriend who actually introduced me to nudism and naturism. She was a coworker in the Cotulla school district who, like me, had family living at the time in the Austin, Texas area. We would spend weekends in the Austin area with me staying at my parents’ house in the Austin suburbs, and her staying with her sister’s family at a clothing-optional apartment house on Manor Road in downtown Austin. We would enjoy seeing the sights in Austin, taking in the available nightlife, restaurants, and things to do in the 1980s. We also enjoyed time spent with family. Of course, the uncomfortable thing was that spending time with her family meant being surrounded by naked people. They allowed me to remain within the clothing option, but they worked on me and reasoned with me about why trying nude living was a good thing.

They made it clear how being nude leads to many good and healthy things. Sunshine provides Vitamin D which is necessary to be happy and fend off depression. They made it clear how being naked makes it easier to trust others and feel trusted by them. You learn, even with clothes on, that you should connect with people eye to eye. Genitals were never the focus of your attention, and practicing that relieved a lot of the body-horror my ten-year-old mind had imposed on my soul.

They say that dolphins, living completely naked in the oceans are surrounded their whole lives by sensory joy and a zest for life unmatched by most humans. And they also say being a nudist wrapped only in sunshine and gentle breezes is nearly the same thing.

So, I eventually tried it for myself. (Only after I retired from teaching, though, as many parents and principals would not be particularly keen about a nudist English teacher teaching their precious ones.)

My wife is not overjoyed with my choice to be a nudist. It’s not so much that she disapproves, but she is completely devoted to a religion that does. And my children are embarrassed by it and don’t want to talk about it. But it has become a good thing in my life never-the-less.

I have learned to accept my body as it is, and my past experiences as they are. I know I am not a homosexual, though I also know it is not an evil thing to be one. I know I am not a sex-fiend or a pedophile because I have committed no crime that would make those labels apply to me. I haven’t, in fact, ever committed a crime that I was aware of. I am aware of the beauties, especially in art, of the nude human form. I am also aware, having seen other nudists, that no amount of wrinkled or saggy or freckled or sunburnt or boney or fat actually takes away from that inherent beauty. I like to draw naked people, as you have often seen in this blog. But I am not the sort of nudist who has to show you constant nude photos of myself. I am not an exhibitionist or an advocate of nudism that thinks his own nudity is the best advertisement there is for being naked.

But I need to be naked. Naked stories, naked essays, naked confessions, naked pictures… because being naked is a good thing to be.

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, humor, nudes, Paffooney, strange and wonderful ideas about life

Foopty-Hoodooloo

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I’m a Mickey, yes, indeedy…

Foopty-Hoopty-Hoodilly-Hoo!

Chicken-ninja throwing stars,

Hit their targets thrown from Mars…

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And when the pandas drive their cars,

Their tire treads are candy bars!

Take that truth from me!

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Foopty-Hoopty-Fiddly-Ho!

Being a Mickey is a rabbity thing…

As if it were Bugs who taught us to sing,

And unmusical music we all start to bring…

Because we use only the words that we know!

Foopty-Hoodilly-Fling-a-ding-Ding!

castle carrot

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Filed under goofy thoughts, humor, Mickey, Paffooney, Paffooney cartoony, poetry, rabbit people

The Teacher Crisis

This is a class exercise moment, not monkey-house behavior.

Schools are starting this school year with too few teachers to adequately do the job. I got a call asking if there was any way I could come back to work, even as a substitute teacher. But it just isn’t possible. I am still alive, but far short of well enough to teach for even a single day. And I have spent the entire week watching teachers on YouTube telling the world why they have quit. It’s complicated. I have watched teachers tell angry stories. I have watched teachers cry. I have watched teachers make jokes to keep from crying. And this isn’t just the same old thing about low pay for an extremely difficult job. Chuck Todd says the problem is a 280,000 teacher shortage nationwide.

A painting of my first year as a teacher

Kids’ behavior is surly, rude, and out of control, but nobody explaining why they quit as a veteran teacher named this as the reason for leaving . They still love the kids. Nobody who becomes a teacher and lasts for more than five years does the job without at least secretly loving their students more than money, fame, and peace of mind. Realistically, if the kids don’t eat a teacher alive by the time five school years have passed, they secretly love that teacher too.

As an experienced middle-school teacher, I realize that every kid with their hand up in this picture got a candy bar after the photographer clicked the photo. And the empty seats in the back would be filled except the principal doesn’t want the actual class sizes revealed. Floor sitters and window standers have also been removed.

The biggest roadblock to veteran teachers in red States is interference from the radical MAGA governor who wants to burn some of their school library books and edit what words come out of the teacher’s mouth over things they have basically made up like, “Critical Race Theory,” “Don’f Say Gay ,” or “Sex is something that exists.” And this comes with additional threats at school board meetings, school assemblies, or sometimes even surrounding the teacher’s or administrator’s home with torches, signs, and AR-15s because MAGA parents don’t just get angry, they do something about it.

Another huge factor comes from the way that schools are funded… or not funded as is increasingly the case. Back when Rick (I’m smarter with glasses on) Perry was Emperor… err… Governor of Texas, he had a multi-billion-dollar rainy day fund at the same time when school districts in Texas were all suffering from a lack of funds. Rainy day, right? Not according to the Emperor… err… Governor. While he fiddled with presidential-run preparations, he let schools cut arts programs and lay off teachers and increase class sizes. Teachers were encouraged to pay for classroom supplies out of their own pockets. Teachers were required to do more with less.

And then there was the pandemic. My time as a substitute teacher came to an end as teaching became potentially a death sentence for me. My wife got the opportunity to teach kids by Zoom calls, and then teach both in the classroom and by Zoom calls at the same time… for which no additional pay was offered, though the added requirements for the teacher’s efforts were all mandatory.

So, education in America is in extreme crisis. You can go be a teacher if you have some college hours in any subject area. and you can be a substitute if you are still alive. I don’t know if they would accept a zombie or not.

And it looks like everybody is soon going to get everything they deserve… except teachers, of course.

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Filed under angry rant, education, feeling sorry for myself, humor, Paffooney, red States

Dragon Paffoonies

Part of the joy I find in the family Dungeons and Dragons game is in making Paffoonies, the story-based pictures that illustrate and elucidate the characters and other things that enter spontaneously into the game.

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I don’t invent every part of the image and concept myself.  Some inspiration comes from the game books and published adventures, while others come directly from the players and the way their imaginations shape characters and events.

Many of the Dungeons and Dragons Paffoonies began life as character sheets.  That’s why there are numbers, strength numbers, intelligence numbers, character levels, dexterity, skill sets, and magic items listed all around the character image. They more or less morphed over time into illustrations done in colored pencil on colored paper.

I enjoy drawing wizards and apprentices, warriors in action, castles, and dragons.  I have used the game as an extended excuse to draw vast quantities of them.  And now I have a resource to mine for Paffoonies to lace my blog with.  They provide a sort of sugary spice that I love the taste of, and I will continue to share them until the end, even if they disagree with you and give you reading indigestion.

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I am working on a new piece that is D & D Paffooney- related. I will keep you apprised of the the progress here until it is finished or until you get fed up with it.  Whichever comes first.

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Paffoonies are my own thing… pictures and stories melted together… loony, cartoony, balloony, pink baboon buffoons brewed together in a big pot.  And I will continue to use them for acts of Dungeons and Dragons nonsense.

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When the Old Mind Wanders…

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When the old mind wanders…

They tell you you’re just too slow.

But thoughts like mine drift everywhere,

And the edges of the universe… are a place to go.

 

Maybe I should write in red.

And argue with the voices

That rhyme inside my head.

And break the rhyme scheme 

Here and there

Because of what they said.

Eden

Or maybe I should write in blue

Because I’ve been thinking in the nude

And laying all my secrets bare

Which really might be rude.

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But the old mind wanders…

In the form of a poem,

And breaks and squanders

Tallest waves in mere foam.

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Filed under artwork, clowns, goofy thoughts, humor, nudes, Paffooney, poem, poetry, strange and wonderful ideas about life

AeroQuest 5… Canto 144

Canto 144 – Digging In

Outpost was abuzz with activity.  The airless world had only limited defense from attack.  The primary protection had always been the secret of its location.  As an airless world, the surface could easily be lasered or bombarded with no atmosphere to interfere with the destructive force.  Tron had ordered the mirror fields raised, hoping that some laser fire could be reflected into the surrounding darkness.  He knew, however, that the only hope he had was in his fleet.  If they could somehow use the dinosaur-shaped starships made with Ancient technology to destroy enough of Admiral Tang’s fleet to make him feel the losses were no longer worthwhile, then maybe the ground-side installations could survive intact.

There were still very talented corsairs able to fly fighting ships.  Elvis the Cruel and Apache Scout were both peerless star warriors.  But Tron had to believe that Admiral Tang had a few potent killers left to his name too.  There was every chance that the situation was hopeless and would end in a massacre.

Still, there were a few unknowns on Tron Blastarr’s side.  The crazy alien starship known as the Megadeath was the most agile killing machine that Tron had ever seen.  The goofball rock-and-roll crew that flew it for Trav Dalgoda was now very adept at handling the alien thing, and Tron had kept them to help in his mad last stand.  They were not smart enough to be scared of the upcoming battle.  He was able to send his son onward to Don’t Go Here, the planet where the newly formed New Star League gathered its forces.  So, hopefully, Artran would be safe and carry on the Blastarr name long after Tron and Maggie’s bones littered the airless sands of Outpost.  

“Boss,” said Hassan the Elf, breaking Tron’s train of thought, “I have made something that I think might be of help.”

Tron looked at the child-like Peri and the invention he was now holding up.  “A suit of armor?”

“Yes, boss.  A special kind of suit of armor.  It is made up of nanites.”

“What?  Nanites?”

“Yes, microscopic robots that share a command pulse and can reform themselves into any sort of armor that might be needed.”

Tron looked quizzically at the bluish suit of nanite armor.  “How do you make it work?” 

“Well… for instance, if you want it to form an anti-grav pack on the back, you just say, “FLIGHTPACK.”  The suit rearranged itself at Hassan’s command and an anti-gravity flight pack instantly took shape on the back side of the armor’s breastplate.

“Does it have weapons?”

“FUSIONGUN!” said the elf with a grin.  A man-portable fusion generator and discharge barrel formed on the pauldron.

“That’s really good, Elf.  That will help.  But one isn’t going to be enough to save us.”  He grinned sadly at the small Peri Space Elf originally from the planet Djinnistan.

“Oh, that’s the best part,” said the Peri.  “Nanites can replicate themselves from raw metal ore.  Since the planet is mostly metal and crystal, we can set them to making a million copies of themselves in an hour.  You have to specify the number, though.  We wouldn’t want the little buggers transforming the entire planet.”

“Amazing,” sighed Tron.  “If only I had a million commandos to fill them with.”

At that moment Maggie came trotting up to him with a handheld communicator.  “The call is for you,” she said, looking grim.  “Arkin Cloudstalker has finally found his way back to this system.  And that Lazerstone rock-guy is with him. Admiral Tang is sure to follow.”

“Yes.  Sure to follow,” said Tron automatically, still gazing at the grinning elf and his newest invention.

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Filed under aliens, humor, novel, NOVEL WRITING, Paffooney, science fiction

Dolly Pics

I like taking pictures of my doll collection. Those pictures are then qualified for Art Day posting. So, here are random pictures of dolls, most of which are from the doll shelf in my bedroom.

Not all of my dolls are on the doll shelf.

Chilly Willy here is a carnival prize that was probably won in a basketball-toss game at Six Flags and purchased by me for five dollars in a garage sale. He is technically not a doll. He is a stuffed animal.

So, let’s get back to dolls.

More stuffed animals, as well as ponies and paper dolls to add to this immense doll collection.
Creepy Captain Action lurks behind mint=in-box Emma Watson as Belle while he looks for his lost hat. But Bo Peep and Wonder Woman are keeping an eye on him.
I had to stop here as the caveman Minion had to go and start a fight with Peter Rabbit. Leave it to a mindless Minion… “Oobah Dee?” “Sorry, boss.”

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Filed under artwork, autobiography, Disney, doll collecting, humor, Paffooney, photo paffoonies