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Good Clean Fun


April 2006

Dear Madrone, I have been keeping company with a fine man, very nice family, makes good money. We are not spring chickens, that's for sure. Both of us have been around the block more than once, in vehicles, that I must admit were less than late model. But this time, I want to do it right, and he wants to do it now. This is a problem for would I not be giving the milk away, and thus preclude the buying of the cow?

Not so sad, but not so wise either, Marathon

Dear Not Let me get this straight? Are you the cow? And if so, how did you get smart enough to talk? If you're that smart, you are probably also smart enough to know that by speaking of yourself in this manner, you've already answered the question. Which is to say that cows, milked or not, owned by whoever, are not ever consulted on who their milk goes to and at what price. They have no choice, and mostly just chew their cud, and let the farmers duke it out. God bless, Donna

PS. Which is to say the fact that you even had to ask me in such a way means that the price of milk is too high.

Dear Readers

I was talking with my dear niece's teenage daughter, Stella, what a lamb, a real doll with the sweetest heart you can think of. We were talking about a certain couple in the family who were living together without, as the saying goes, the benefit of marriage. Now, Stella wanted to know what I thought of this, and I told her and I'm telling you. I have a list of things that annoy me, but that's not on it. The dear said to me "Madrone, you have a list?" Which until that moment, I didn't realize I did, but I do. So here it is. I don't say you have to agree, because I don't really care if you do or not. Get your own column.


  • Liars
  • Whiners
  • Ingrates
  • Cowards
  • Bullies
  • Brats
  • Cheapskates
  • Crepe Hangers
  • Wet Blankets
  • Nags


These can be classified as burrs on my a**, excuse my French.

I would like to begin a short series on how to deal with such nuisances.


FIRST,and this is key. You better be 100% convinced that they are lying. Because the really good liars lie to someone they know wants to believe them. I mean really. They'll look you in the eye and say, I can't believe you don't trust me. And YOU, palooka, will be doubting yourself, feeling all bad that you could have had suspicions.

Yeah, every one of you that's had a cheating boyfriend or a kid steal you blind knows exactly what I'm talking about.

IF the liar is a child under your control, just sit them down and say you aren't planning to move until you hear the truth, and you'll know the truth when you hear it. Then get the kid a bowl of pastini, take out your knitting and make like you can sit for one hundred years. And mean it. Sooner or later they'll crack.

IF the liar is an adult, or a child over whom you have no rights and you aren't the State District Attorney, you have a bigger problem. If someone is lying behind your back, you can always make them say it to your face in front of witnesses. They'll deny for sure, then you have the necessary means to label them a coward. If they are lying to your face, you need to decide if it's the ditch you want to die in. If it isn't.. well, they can either be dead to you or you never trust a single thing they say without checking. If it is, then you call them on it.. whatever it takes. Hire a detective, lay a trap, follow them yourself. The problem with all this is that you give them the power of your peace of mind. Depends on how big the lie is and sometimes, knowing the truth has its downside.

My cousin Louella had an inkling that all was not on the up and up with her hubby and a certain co-worker. A large inkling related to the fact the co-worker's husband called her to commiserate, and see if Louella was interested in revenge that came under the category of good for the goose, good for the gander, if you know what I mean. Louella confront her hubby, who denied. Now, Louella didn't really want to know. She decided to believe her hubby, who decided to break it off with his lady friend. Which I believe had something to do with the difference is body fat to muscle ratio between him and the other guy. (The reason I know all this is that the co-worker lady in question spent three hours sobbing at my Formica table, asking what should she do.. but that's another column) And Louella is very blissful, thinking that all is well. I'd tell her she was crazy, but she hasn't asked.

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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