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Dear Readers,

It's January. Hop in de ass, as my grandfather, may he rest, used to say after a glass of two of home made muscatel. Time to remind you of the resolutions you should be keeping although you won't, why should this year be any different?

1. Take stock of who has what you want, and how badly you want it. Kiss up accordingly.

2. Figure out who wants what you have. Decide whether or not you want to give it to them and what they have to do to get it.

Lots of times the same person ends up on list 1 AND 2. Then it depends which list they are higher on.

3. To hell with diets. Especially one that doesn't know the difference between good bread and the crapola that most places pass off as the staff of frigging life. Please.

4. Don't let me stop you from exercising, but don't come crying to me when you find out you've jammed up your knee or given yourself a hernia.

5. Family first. Now this isn't always possible, there are a lot of real crumbums out there and they have to be related to someone. In that case, you might be better off taking whatever heat comes from putting them second.

6. Screw guilt, and regret, too while you're at it. In my book they are just barely above pity in the Waste of Time Hall of Fame. So you made a mistake, ok, you meant to do it, whatever, take your lumps, learn and move on. For the love of Pete spare everyone your whining about rigged juries or narcoleptic attorneys. No one wants to hear it.

That's going to take care of 90% of your troubles. The other 10% is gonna come no matter what, usually you won't know what hit you. In which case, no point in losing sleep. God bless, Donna

Dear Madrone,

My husband is old and so am I. Our health is good enough considering we still remember when you were lost you needed to have a dime and find a phone booth, because he was too stubborn to ask that man who looked like he lived in the neighborhood and the maps were kept in the trunk of the car, because what use are they and the piece of paper my nephew Lou wrote the directions on blew out the window when we stopped for a calzone. But we know we can't go on forever. Here's the question. If one of us wakes up and the other one is dead, who do we call first: police or the funeral parlor? Winter chicken, Boseman

Dear Chicken,

How well do you know the funeral parlor director? If any, you know, "work "is needed before the cops show up, that would be your best bet. However, if you are not connected to any morticians in any meaningful way, you're going to have to take your chances with Officer Friendly.
God bless Donna

PS. Why aren't you concerned that you've run out of things to talk about?

Dear Madrone,

Would you publish this public service announcement? Our organization is dedicated to helping families throughout the nation become stronger and better, our hotline number is open 24 hours and all calls are confidential. Your good help is much appreciated. Dr.Samuel Viafly, Founder, Gazing Globes for a Stronger American Family INC

Dear Dr. Viafly, With pleasure, nothing says family better than a display of garden statuary. And nothing says garden statuary better than a pink flamingo and a solar optic iridescent chameleon gazing globe on a polyresin Roman column. Readers, call this number immediately.


God bless, Donna




Pamela Bongiorno Monk is a full time faculty member of Penn State University, where she teaches creative writing, both fiction and non fiction. She pursues freelance writing, authoring plays and feature articles. She has broken nearly as many rules of family as she has enforced.

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