Cruising the Green of Second Avenue

Wild Child Publishing has issued the second volume of short stories in Cruising the Green of Second Avenue. The tales take up where Vol. I left off — bringing back Klein the Biker, Straight Charlie and Sammy the Madman while introducing new characters stumbling over life’s difficulties in the late 60s. Vol. II is an e-book published by Wild Child Publishing that you can download, save as a pdf (Adobe) file and print. Read both volumes and see that life isn't all that serious. Find it at Barnes & Noble, Amazon and other online book sellers.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

“Who Dares Call It Murder?”

It’s murder when George Bush, the little emperor, sends kids off to Iraq to be killed. And it’s murder when healthcare costs mean neglecting a doctor because the rent is due. But is it murder when you kill your wife? Ah, but I hope you’ll read the whole story, “Who Dares Call It Murder?” at The Opinion Guy. It’s up at

Author David Levy (Love and Sex with Robots) caught my eye when he suggested that in the future, people will fall in love with robots. Robots won’t be cold, predictable machines, but actual lovers—precocious, sexy, remarkably humanlike in appearance… And in the progressive states, some people will even marry a robot.

Editor Seth Crossman said of this speculative fiction, “Hah! I don’t know what I like more, the depth of character you present in so few words or the frustration I feel at wishing I could see more of this love story.”

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Jersey Tawk

People not from the South Jersey shore probably think we talk—or tawk—funny. A long meat-filled sandwich is more often a hoagie (Jersey shore and South Philly) than a hero (New York dialect), sub (North Jersey), grinder (New England) or blimpie (commercial name). Similarly, the candies on an ice cream are jimmies instead of sprinkles and the tourists are bennies or shubies.

I was tawking with an in-law from Manahawkin last weekend, and he mentioned some of the shore towns have no parking areas. This is to discourage the shubies. Sometimes spelled shoobies, the word refers to visitors who used to bring their beach snacks in a shoe box. A bit farther north, say Point Pleasant, every kid knows the auslanders are bennies. The come, variously, to absorb the benefits of the Jersey shore or because they’re from Brooklyn Elizabeth, Newark and New York.

There’s even a language distinction that separates Ocean County from the hillier north counties. We call a truck with detachable trailer a tractor trailer, not a trailer truck. You fetch water in a bucket and not a pail.

As for the accent, there really is a Jersey-New York accent, according to Rutgers linguist Fay Yeager. Our accent lacks the “th” diphthong and the “r”, she says, very much like British English. And that was adopted in the 1920s by the upper—uppah—classes. “Finga” sounded classier than finger, apparently. If you’re still confused, give the Jersey speaker the finga. “We been true dis tree times awreddy.”

Thursday, July 2, 2009

International Relations Improving

One of the most amazing things happened when I submitted a short humor piece —excuse me, humour—to The Short Humour Site. Editor Brian Huggett e-mailed me from England an hour later with an acceptance and the piece already on the board. Wow!

I responded, “I’m totally amazed that you digested the piece and had it online within the hour! My writing isn't Dickens or Shakespeare. It's not like editors are knocking down my door, crying balefully for gripping stories.” I added that I would submit more, although America isn't a place that encourages warm humor or wit.

He answered, “We look forward to reading other submissions. Neither Dickens nor Shakespeare have submitted anything thus far, so you are ahead of them already.”

You can read “Tidings of Great Woe” at And a big thanks to my fellow blogger Avis for hipping me to this market.