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Essays

I’m not sure what you’d want to call them: photo-essays, memoir, feverish attempts at humor a la Lileks. I wrote these essays to amuse me, and I hope you’ll enjoy them, too.

Modern Kitsch: The Best of the Worst of Western Civilization
Cringeworthy ads, bizarre consumer products and other flotsum of our culture that made me ask “what were they thinking?

Delaware: The First State of Fun
My wonderful in-laws live there, and after several trips there, I’ve come to realize what a deeply weird state it is. You just have to look for it.

Life Before Wartime
A copy of “Mechanics Illustrated” magazine published a few months before Pearl Harbor is deconstructed for your amusement.

Scary Tales
Children’s books of the damned.

Moment to Moment: A Pre-History of My Life
Coming across this collection of family pictures taken before I was born led to ruminations on family, time and how certains traits are passed down through the years.

Bullets From Bouchercon: Short Shots From a Mystery
Convention

A report, with photos, filed from the Bouchercon mystery convention in 2002.

Conchy: Tribute to a Forgotten Cartoonist
In the 1970s, James Childress drew a newspaper comic strip about the off-beat inhabitants of an island, and in three or four panels ruminated on life, death and the human condition. He was ahead of his time.

Mouse Sails: Remembrance of Cruises Past
My family’s experiences on board a Disney cruise ship.

The Patriot Diaries: Fighting Alongside Mel Gibson for $125 a Day
For four days, I was an extra on the Mel Gibson movie “The Patriot.” I got to wear a uniform, fire a replica rifle, consort with stuntmen and get up at 4 in the morning. I had a blast.