Fun with words and words for fun

Coming Soon: A New Novel novel

Rose’s Story is framed by a former Georgia Senator suddenly killed just two weeks before publishing a scathing report linking high-ranking Georgia officials and Georgia’s Child Protective Services (CPS) to child trafficking and child prostitution.


The Senator’s death is reported as a murder-suicide by her distraught husband. Yet it  looks more like a double murder to prevent the publication of her report.  Shockingly, local police and FBI never  explore the double-murder possibility, never seriously collect forensic evidence. Why?

Rose can hire any writer at any price. She chooses Murph to stay low key and undetected and she asks Murph to familiarize himself with the Senator’s death to explain her rationale. Rose  must  tell her story, yet she fears the repercussions of directly challenging CPS.

Look for Rose’s Story to appear this month.

Fiction Outtakes 124: Bill Wynn 109

kitchen-4If anything, the cold season brought Suburban’s help closer. The kitchen’s heat was desirable and waitresses found themselves coming around by the Garland side of the line to absorb the heat. If they could, they’d stand by the charcoal grill next to the Garland and warm their hands, even lean over it and let the heat run up through their upper bodies. That oppressive heat of the summer was no longer oppressive.

Business did not slow down. Sure, there were snowy nights when business was beyond slow, times when they could sleep just about the whole shift. But OSU sports brought plenty of customers and basketball season easily replaced football season. The individual crowds were smaller but the games more frequent.

Bill, Mary and Bea opened every morning along with Tommy. Bea and Mary waited in Bea’s car—they came and went together—and Bill waited in his. When Tommy arrived they all went in through the front, Tommy opening with his keys, Bill going down the hall to switch off the burglar alarms. Then Bill, Mary and Bea went through the dark dining room lit only by the red exit signs into the dark kitchen where they woke up the beast. Waking up the beast meant switching on the exhaust fans and the lights and lighting the broiler and back ovens. Bea started a small pot of coffee on one of the Bunn machines, not in the big urn.

It didn’t take long for the kitchen to heat up, so when they came up from downstairs, not only was it already warm, but they had fresh coffee to drink. Changing, since they had all seen each other naked and more, was now done in the hall. Bea would toss them the uniforms and Mary and Bea would strip to their bra and panties then don their kitchen dresses. Bill would strip to his underwear and don the pants, then the short sleeve kitchen shirt they used there. Mary or Bea, or both, might cop a feel if they were in a playful mood. Bill would too, sometimes of both Mary and Bea at once. Sometimes it was more than just a quick feel.  Sometimes it was an intimate embrace in an intimate space. Sometimes, if Mary or Bea went up first, Bill and whoever was left would fool around. Sometimes it just worked out that way. Sometimes those early morning quickies made the day more bearable.

Back upstairs, they all took coffee. Bea sat on her stool and read the newspaper. She turned to the racing page and picked her horses. Mary stood by her a moment, finished her coffee, listed out things needed from downstairs. Bill went down the line. He lit the fryers and made sure everything was okay. Then he checked both reach-ins doing a mental inventory of what he needed to bring up from downstairs or what needed to be done. Cases of French-fries and onion rings were down in the deep freeze. They had to bread the shrimp and pickerel, but the shrimp and pickerel were also in the deep freeze, so if there was not enough breaded for the day, Bill would have to bring up the boxes from there for defrosting.

Bill had  not popped that acid, but he still had it stored in his locker. He had just gotten some new weed from Doc, his supplier, and he’d gotten some new acid too. He was dying to try both. He’d brought some of the weed, but he’d left the new acid home.

Having laid out the morning’s work, Mary and Bill started into it. Bea had more luxury time than them. She sat on that stool, drank a second cup of coffee, smoked a cigarette.

The steamship round had to go on first. Henry Lee had not brought it up and Bill went down for it. Henry Lee had not cut it either. Bill hoisted the huge chunk of meat on his shoulder and dropped it down gently on the cutting block. Good morning to me, he thought. He opened the drawer to find the bourbon and took a drink.

Coming Soon:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide


Coming Soon: A New Novel

Carla and Murph return.


Rose Friedlander tells her story, a story of murder and depravity, a story about what goes on behind closed doors in the worlds to which we are generally not privy.

Money and privilege have allowed the people in Rose’s life to create their own rules. Worth nearly a hundred million dollars herself, Rose believes her father has killed her twin sisters and her mother. The man she marries has unusual proclivities, a gross understatement. Rose is about to detail how even the most sacred of sacred can be bought and how the weakest and most vulnerable of us are never truly safe.

Rose’s story will open your eyes, hurt your heart and restore your resolve.

Look for Rose’s Story to appear this month.

Fiction Outtakes 123: Bill Wynn 108

kitchen-4The bad and the ugly were bad and ugly. Boredom seeped in quickly in the kitchens for Bill. He learned everything and after learning it what remained was just simple practice, teaching the hands to do the same thing over and over the same way every time. Over the years he would accumulate story after story of how much he had to practice for certain things, and if in retrospect they were funny, also in retrospect they were thematic in that they all exemplified his innate ineptitude in eye-hand coordination matters.

The bad? Idle hands make the devil’s workshop. Bill learned anything a good cook did would be tolerated as long as the cook could do his job. More than anything would be tolerated if the cook was great at his job, and Bill was a great broiler cook once he’d learned the job. He was great at it because it depended more upon his mind than upon his hands. He had to remember orders, what went with what and how things were cooked, and Bill could do this. In fact, he excelled at it. In fact it made him a great line cook and prep cook too and what Mary saw in him was his likeness to Yulie, whom she had loved, not only in his abilities but in his substance abuse. Mary had no option but to fall for Bill.

So being bored and being young and at the peak of his sexual prowess, Bill discovered that not only was he interested in waitresses and kitchen girls, but he could get them if he wanted. Henry Lee taught him that. Henry Lee taught him he could have anyone he wanted. The bad? Even though he was engaged and living with his fiancé, Bill discovered that he wanted.

The ugly? Everyone was fooling around and they were all willing to fool around with Bill. Interestingly, Bill had metamorphosed from a dorky, four-eyed, chubby kid with a crew-cut to a thin, very desirable twenty year old in a position of power and desirability. That was a lethal combination.

Eleanor, no longer at Suburban, had happened accidentally. Bea was just Bea, middle-aged, not getting any at home and horny as hell. Alfreda was angry at Henry Lee who was currently hittin’ it with Marie. Alfreda was out for paybacks and Bill was readily available. Ugly all around, except she was cute and Bill was cute and there it was. Norma was thrust upon Bill by Drenovis. Drenovis maybe was the ugliest of all because he used his power-position to hit it with every waitress, or most of them anyway, and Drenovis tried to use Norma to get Bill to fight with Lorraine. That backfired and instead Bill got with Norma and still messed with her from time to time. Norma was a put-it-anywhere girl.

Lorraine did not figure into any of this. Lorraine was hired by Tommy, not by Drenovis, and she was just an innocent bystander. She had managed to stay apart from it all, to just do her job and go home to her kids. Lorraine had a story and it was an ugly one, Bill would learn, about an abusive husband who drank too much and beat her up. Unfortunately, this was an all-too-common story for those days, for all days, Bill would discover. Lorraine had not been with anyone for several years, and so when she offered herself to Bill, it was a complicated issue. Bill could never be sure it was to keep her job safe. He could never be sure if it was out of  job-insecurity and her need to support two daughters or simply, like Bea, because she was a middle-age woman not getting any and really wanting to get some.

The good, the bad and the ugly permeated everything in the kitchens. Huh Glory and Lord Have Mercy. Mercy, mercy me.

Coming This Month:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide


Fiction Outtakes 122: Bill Wynn 107

kitchen-4Bill didn’t mean to spend some twenty-five years of his life in kitchens.  He didn’t mean for being a cook to be his career, and up until the day he’d met Robert, huh Glory, it wasn’t even a thought in his head.

From the age of fifteen, Bill wanted to be a writer. As it worked out, he wasn’t suited for much else, or so he supposed. His best friend, the one who always beat him twenty-one to nothing at foosball, was the first indication that he was not a good eye-hand-coordination person. That friend picked up a pair of drumsticks and a drum pad and could just naturally play the drums. He went on to become a recording engineer. Bill went to college.

Bill wasn’t great at reading either. It was a laborious task for him. He’d known from his first ophthalmologist, the one who had performed his eye operations, that his eyes did not coordinate correctly. He’d never known exactly what that meant. In real-life terms, it meant he lost to his friend at all hand-eye games. It meant that he had trouble moving his eyes over the words along a line of reading. It meant that he didn’t gauge things well, had trouble finding things that were on shelves directly in front of him. He had a much easier time finding them when they were to one side or the other.

Only later in life, when he was aptitude tested, did he discover he was “spatially retarded.” What that meant was that he scored lower than the test’s measuring scale started, or that his spatial-relations capabilities didn’t even reach the beginning rung of the testing scale’s measuring ladder. The counselor who had tested him suggested he rule out things like becoming an architect.

In the kitchens Bill had learned that practice makes perfect. It wasn’t his first lesson in this. His first lesson in this was on the football field in high school when he was second-string center but felt he should have been the starter. So he worked hard, more than any of the other linemen. He hit the sleds harder, took extra turns, practiced, practiced, practiced, over and over, repeat, repeat, repeat, until one day the head coach was standing over him on the four-man sled and Bill hit it directly under him.

“Who was that?” the coach asked.

Bill stood up so the coach could see him.

“Go over and work with Nicoletti,” the coach said. Nicoletti was the second-string quarterback. A week later, he and Nicoletti were the starting quarterback-center team.

Life! Who’d have thought his mother would have died suddenly? Who’d have thought that the track of his life was switched on him, that he wouldn’t know it or realize it until it was already a done deal, and not a good deal at that?

Kitchens were therapeutic for Bill. Robert, huh Glory, had saved his life in a sense. Just having a job was therapeutic. Bill’s mind was occupied in the first few months because he had to learn everything there was to learn at Suburban and that included the good, the bad, and the ugly. The good, of course, was that he got a trade. He went from dejected, broke and down and out to useful, needed and with money in the bank. Huh Glory! (Robert was known to, every so often, in the midst of everything, stop dead, do a little shuffle-dance and yell out “Huh Glory.”) Bill re-learned that practice did make perfect and even though he wasn’t particularly talented at it or even adept at it, he could get good at all the things he had to do in kitchens by hard work and practice. So he worked hard, harder than anyone else.

The bad and the ugly were bad and ugly. One manager, later in his kitchen career, would scold a waitress after she complained that Bill had pinched up her skirt with his tongs. That manager, not much better than Drenovis, told the waitress to leave his cooks alone. “Ten waitresses equal one cook,” he’d said to the waitress.

Coming This Month:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide


Th-Th-Th-Th-That’s All Folks

that's all folksPolitics! The last few years have been consumed by politics. Recently the United States is even more consumed by politics, and the joke is it’s a joke, we are a joke. One would think we, in all our stupidity, are the laughing stock of the world.

One has to ask him/herself: what other country puts non-citizens and illegal aliens ahead of its own citizens and ahead of its own citizen taxpayers?

One has to ask him/herself: what other country allows an illegal alien to sue a city and collect a large monetary award? makes the legal taxpayers pay the award?

One has to ask him/herself: what other country even entertains a city suing the Federal Government for money when the money is attached to a bonafide law and the city is publicly violating and advocating against that law?

One has to ask him/herself: what other country spends nearly as much money per capita on education as the United States spends yet performs as poorly in worldwide standings?

One has to ask him/herself: What other country has spent the amount of money we have spent on a war against poverty and has seen no real, tangible change in the poverty rate or the demographics of the poverty?

One has to ask him/herself: what other country allows spending billions of dollars on elections when some of its people are starving?

One has to ask him/herself: what other country blames violence on handguns as opposed to the users of the handguns?

One has to ask him/herself: what other country pays for the research into a given topic and then prosecutes non-government-paid scientists whose findings do not agree with the government’s paid-for findings? Or: one has to ask him/herself: what other country allows science to be skewed and then demands its people agree with the skewed science?

One has to ask him/herself: what the hell is going on here?

 The questions above hardly scratch the surface of the idiocy in which America has become steeped.


Why have we reached a moment in America when greed and selfishness are at a height perhaps never seen before and where personal interests supersede the better interests of the country? Why have we come to this self-searching moment, a moment where all of us, collectively and individually must decide if certain political power aims and ambitions are more important than the welfare of the people who are supposed to be represented? than the welfare of the country itself?

Just a few names: Al Gore, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama.

What happened to those like Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush Senior and Junior who, whether you agreed with their politics or not, did their jobs and left the government quietly to become supporters of worthy causes and advocates for the government?

The contrast of the groupings of people is representative of why we are where we are and what we have become.

Man is by nature selfish and greedy.

Over and over we are seeing this in this period of America’s limited history. If we don’t do something to curb these qualities in our leaders, in our people, it will be as Porky Pig said: Th-Th-Th-Th-That’s All Folks!

Fiction Outtakes 121: Bill Wynn 106

kitchen-4Changing the French-fry grease was the last thing Bill did at night. He did it while he was finishing up any late orders that came in and after he had scrubbed down the line. Everything from the steam table he set on the counter in the back. All that had to be done with those things was for them to be covered and put into the walk-in box.

Changing the grease was a laborious task. This was before the days of liquid grease, so Bill, every other night, had to cart up two boxes of grease, fifty-pound cubes of it set in plastic in cardboard cases. Then he had to shut down a fryer and drain the liquid grease which was at three hundred seventy-five degrees. The slightest pop or splash that hit his wrist or arm blistered instantaneously.

The draining was the worst part. He took a kitchen pot and placed it under the drain which was in the bottom compartment of the fryer underneath the gas jets. He had to open the drain, fill the pot, close the drain, empty the pot into a big fifteen-gallon stock pot then repeat the process over and over until the fryer was empty. Then he had to empty the stock pot by dumping the hot oil into the grease barrel outside the restaurant. That grease was resold. Next, he had to clean out the fryer, rinse it with water, drain the water, empty the water, again pot by pot into the stock pot, and finally empty the stock pot into the pot washer’s sink. Last, he had to unpack the fifty-pound cube and lift it into the fryer. It sat upon the heat lines until he re-lit the gas jets and it slowly melted into fresh, clean, fryer oil.

Two fryers, he had to do it twice.

It was sloppy work but Bill knew he couldn’t be sloppy about it. The only way to safely do it was to do it carefully, meticulously, and with his full attention.

Bill was on his knees busy at it and didn’t notice Lorraine standing at the end of the line by the knife sheath attached to the counter there. All the knives were in the sheath now since Bill had cleaned them. She was holding a beer for Bill. She did a clear-her-throat thing so Bill would look up, which he did.

“Bebe sent this,” Lorraine said.

“Leave it there,” Bill said.

“I’ll bring it over.”

Bill stopped what he was doing. Lorraine came through the line to him and handed him the beer. “You closing?” he asked.


“Long day for you.”

“You too.”

“I do it every day.”

“Well it’s empty out there. So it’s easy for me. Let me know if you want anything.”

“I’m good,” Bill said.

Lorraine lingered by Bill. She stood leaning against the steam table. He was on his knees by the fryer.

“I’d really like to thank you for being easy on me today.”

“Don’t tell anyone.”

“Mum’s the word. But I meant to thank you.”

“I know what you mean. Like I said, we’re good.”

“I guess I have to throw myself at you.”

“You give it a few days, maybe a week. We’re good as is. You still feel like you want to fool around, look me up. You know where to find me.”

“Gonna do me a favor then, huh?”

“Gonna finish this grease, do the next one, finish cleaning up and putting things away, and then I’m going home.” Bill started back to work. “Bring me another beer when you get to it.”

Lorraine walked back to the end of the line. “These knives very sharp?” she asked.

“They’ll shave you. Don’t touch ’em, please.”

Lorraine left the kitchen. While Bill finished in the kitchen, she set up the dining room making sure all tables were in ready-to-go shape. One young couple came in for hamburgers. Then they were done.

Bill walked Lorraine to her car. Tommy walked Bebe, the barmaid, to hers.

Another day. Another night.

Coming This Month:

The Ghost Writer, Rose’s Story: A Look At The Worlds We Hide