Winter hatred

Maybe the Storm Chaser sequel should be about a blizzard instead of a tornado; I've got plenty of experience with snowstorms. We got clobbered pretty good last night by half a foot or snow of wet, heavy snow on top of a couple of inches of rain -- lots of slide-offs, power outages, trees down and such. It's not over yet, either: The roads are in horrible shape.

I have a feeling the Midwest is about to have the kind of winter the East Coast had last year.

We got in the bullseye, this time

Nothing like being the lead story on The Weather Channel. Here's the view from my front door this afternoon:

Looks like Tommy Leatherman's going to have a busy night pulling people out of the ditch:

Here's a look out the back door:

But at least things look warmer inside (Emily took this photo):

Be careful, people: It's not getting any better for awhile.

Storm Chaser book signing at Freedom Acres, Cromwell, Indiana

Freedom Acres in Cromwell will host a book signing Friday, December 9th, featuring local author Mark R. Hunter.

            Hunter, whose romantic comedy Storm Chaser was released this year by Whiskey Creek Press, will be at the Freedom Acres general store at 3343 N 900 W from 5-8 p.m.  In addition to signing copies of his novel, Hunter will give away a Christmas themed original short story, set before the events of Storm Chaser, to anyone who stops by.

            Freedom Acres offers holiday gifts and Christmas trees during the season, and also gives families the opportunity to learn the workings of a mini-farm that includes horses, cows, chickens, and ducks. Visitors can learn about managing and maintaining a farm, pet the animals, and stroll along a natural pond and wooded trails.

Mark R. Hunter lives in Albion, and his humor column has been running in area newspapers for two decades.  In January, 2012, one of his essays will appear in the humor anthology My Funny Valentine, and in May Whiskey Creek Press will release his collection of stories, Storm Chaser Shorts, which feature characters from the novel. He’s a member of the Albion Volunteer Fire Department, and is working on a history of that organization.

Storm Chaser, a romantic comedy involving an Indiana State Police officer and a disaster photographer, is set in northeast Indiana. You can learn more about the novel at the author’s webpage,, or at the website of the publisher, Whiskey Creek Press:

The Facebook events page for the Freedom Acres book signing is here:

More on Storm Chaser, by Mark R. Hunter:

The black funnel of an approaching tornado makes all other troubles seem small. But when Indiana State Trooper Chance Hamlin “rescues” Allie Craine from a twister, his troubles are just beginning—Allie, a disaster photographer, rescues him when he drives into the storm’s path.

Chance doesn’t like being rescued, he doesn’t like photographers, and he definitely doesn’t like being stuck with Allie when she wants to stay in calm, peaceful Indiana. Too bad his family, friends, and even the other members of Chance’s volunteer fire department think she’s great. Suspicious of Allie’s motives, he decides to drive her away out of sheer boredom—but that’s not so easy when someone begins causing fires and other catastrophes around the area. That someone might be Allie, who has plans of her own...

sorting through boxes

I spent a large party of the weekend going through old photos, looking for something to use for the fire dept. history book (when not eating turkey and putting up Christmas decorations). I've officially gone over from worrying I wouldn't find enough good pictures to wondering how I'll ever choose between them. Too bad I only have a few images older than the last few decades, though.

Speak of the Devil: Let Me Get This Straight... The Sleazy Weasel Is T...

William's list of the sexiest women alive:

Speak of the Devil: Let Me Get This Straight... The Sleazy Weasel Is T...: Before I get things started today, I thought I'd direct you to a blog I did over at Lyn Fuch's blog Sacred Ground, which you can find by cli...

The Paperback Pursuer: Review # 65: Box of Rocks by Karla Telega

Great review!e over Janet Evanovich

The Paperback Pursuer: Review # 65: Box of Rocks by Karla Telega: Description: Middle-aged Maggie and Cher are best friends and complete opposites; but when Cher feels that Maggie is heading towar...

Father of the Bride


          My daughter got married this month.

          I know what you’re thinking: “But Mark, you’re not old enough!” Darn tootin’. The scandalous truth is, I’m only five years older than my daughter. Yep. Scientists are mystified.

          The other scandalous truth is that my main concern wasn’t the event, or pining away for my little girl grown, the way fathers are supposed to. No. I was stressed about what would go wrong.

          There seems to be some kind of big Karmic thing going on for me this year: “Okay, Mark: You finally got your first book published, so we’re going to make the rest of 2011 living hell.”

          And that’s exactly what happened. Illness, injury, death, fire, accidents – you name it, it happened to my friends and family this year. I lost so much blood in 2011, I thought I was in an IRS audit. (As I write this there’s a tornado watch and heavy thunderstorm going through. In mid-November. See?)

          So I knew – just knew – something would go horribly wrong. Not some little something, either. Big fight; plane crash in the parking lot; male guest wearing a dress that matches the bride’s. Something big.

          After all, two three year old boys were in the wedding, and if that’s not a recipe for disaster you’ve never tasted my steak tartare. How was I supposed to know it doesn’t include tartar sauce? I mean, it’s in the friggin’ name.

          So the day before the wedding I walked down to the basement to change the laundry around (I do the laundry, my fiancée does the cooking – see above about steak tartare, which by the way my insurance will totally pay for those hospital bills). There I saw water standing around the sewer drains.

          My fourteen regular readers are well aware of my ongoing fight with roots and backed up sewer lines, a problem I solved permanently a few years ago with a torn up back yard and a four figure plumber bill. Or at least, I thought permanently.

          I cried, a little. I cried more when we had to use the Jaws of Life to get me into my fire department dress uniform, which I wore as father of the bride in lieu of paying for a tux – I mean, because dress uniforms are really cool. Except for the no longer fitting part it really is cool, too: Shiny new badge, 30 year pin, nametag, “AFD” pins on my lapels …

          All of which had disappeared.

          Luckily I had a spare badge (read: Old) and nobody really looks at the father of the bride anyway, so I got by. Really, the worst clothing malfunction I had the whole weekend was the wet spot after a huge deer walked in front of our car on the way to the rehearsal. We figure about a ten point buck, which led to me thank Vince, the new groom, for working on my brakes a few months ago and saving us from a face full of deer antlers. I would think by now Vince is getting tired of fixing things for me, which is why I elected not to mention the sewer, for fear he’d call the whole thing off.

          Apparently my luck didn’t rub off on the happy couple, because the wedding did indeed go off without a major hitch. Later I dumped a 55 gallon drum of drain cleaner into my basement (you should have seen the look I got from the guy at the store), which has never worked in previous “events” but, somehow, did this time. Maybe it was all about building up stress to see if I’d break: I didn’t.

          However, I came close on the way home from the wedding, when I took a different route to avoid the buck, then missed a female deer by two feet.

          And now, because I believe in recycling, here’s the speech I gave during the reception, which was followed immediately by a sigh of relief that it wasn’t longer:

As many of you know, I’m Charis’ father and so now the father-in-law of Vince or, as I like to call him, “skilled family labor”. I’ve encouraged my children all their lives to someday marry someone with home maintenance skills. Whether Charis’ choice was a coincidence, or if she learned from growing up with a man who has no such skills, I don’t know.

          I’m a volunteer firefighter, as you can see by the outfit, and I know something about fear. Not from firefighting: from parenting.

          There’s nothing quite so terrifying as being a parent. In fact, three of the most stressful events of a person’s life are having children, getting married, and winters in Indiana. Charis and Vinny, you’ve chosen to enter all three. My advice: a duplex in Florida.

          Barring that, you need love, patience, and Tylenol.

You tied a knot that is never meant to be untied; your individual lives are no longer as important as the two of you together, and although you’ll always remain members of two other families, you’re now a family of your own, with all the good things and scary stuff that entails. Families are made in different ways, of different things, but in the end they’re all about banding together in love. Embrace the love. And don’t forget the patience.

          One more thing. As parents of twins – God help you – you might be wondering what I learned about that terrifying thing call parenting. Well, I learned it doesn’t get less scary, it doesn’t get less challenging, and you never know if you’re doing it right. The best you can hope for is that, someday, you’ll stand in a place like this, see an adult where your child once was … and be just as proud as I am now.

fire history book finished; on to Storm Damage

My final polishing of "Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights: A Century or so With the Albon Fire Department" is DONE. So, it's finished, right? Nah. It still needs to be line edited by someone else -- someone who hasn't gone over the manuscript fifty times like I have -- and I still face sorting through piles of photos to find the right ones to go into it.
Still, it's a huge milestone that releases some time for me to work on other things. The "Storm Chaser" Christmas story I'm giving away at the book signings on Dec 3rd and Dec 9th still needs a little polishing, but I'm ready to start the outline for my "Storm Chaser" sequel. If all goes well, I'll start on the first draft by the beginning of next month.

Um, I mean Nook ...

I mistakenly said Storm Chaser is available for Kindle at Barnes & Noble; that company's e-reader is actually the Nook, of course. But the listed title is up, and I hope to get a few sales to bring the ranking up and show everyone I'm there!

Storm Chaser available for Kindle at Barnes & Noble

Storm Chaser is now available for Kindle at Barnes & Noble:

There's an issue with the listed title ("Storm Chase"), but my publisher is getting that corrected.

Honk if You're Blowing Your Own Horn


            I’ve been working on a press release for my second book signing, and it made me think about wind instruments.

            You see, I was brought up to think bragging is bad, and modesty is good. Not false modesty: The real kind, where you don’t blow your own horn and you’re embarrassed when someone else does. It’s not a concept understood in Washington or Hollywood, and it seems to be going out of vogue pretty much everywhere else.

            Here I am, continually getting into situations where I have to blow that horn, or at least a kazoo. In July I held a signing for my first novel, Storm Chaser, and sold 15 copies (which is good for a book signing, especially for a first time novelist). Overall I’ve signed over 100 copies, sending some to other states and a few to other countries. Awhile back I signed a copy of the Albion New Era next to my column, as a surprise for a fan in another state.

            A fan. Can you believe that? I have fans. At least one.

            So now I’m getting ready for a new book signing, On December 3rd at the Brick Ark Inn here in Albion. Not only that, but there’ll be another signing on December 9th at Freedom Acres near Cromwell (!/pages/Freedom-Acres/191818937563511?sk=wall ) and still another in late January, at the Noble County Public Library. I don’t expect to sell as many copies as the first time – all my relatives who read have already bought a copy – but it’s nice to get out and meet readers, and it’s nice to support local establishments.

            But I’m not supposed to be nice. I’m supposed to be bragging.

            I can brag about being modest (there’s a contradiction for you), but I keep getting myself into situations where I have to sell – myself. Writing, running for office, proposing to my fiancée … all involve asking people to affirm I’m a guy worth having around. Most recently the answer from the voters was no and from my fiancée yes, which I much prefer to the other way around.

            Writing is an inherently egotistical business, which makes it especially odd that writers are often shy and unassuming. At one time they could afford to be; but these days, with publishers doing less promoting and self-publishing becoming more popular, writers have to force themselves to toot that tuba. Even before that they had to work hard to sell themselves, if only to agents and editors.

            It took me decades to sell my first novel, which was hard on the old ego and tended to keep me modest. Now I’m a Professional Writer with my own website and business card, and I even have a short story collection coming out next May. Think about that. What am I saying?

            I’m saying, “Look at me! Look at me!”

            Gah. I hate that. But I’m going to sit there and hand out free copies of a short story, which I wrote as a – what? Reward? Treat? A thank you for showing up and touring the Inn? (Do tour the Inn, by the way – it’s beautiful.)

            Okay, I could see people picking up a two thousand word Christmas story – it’s free, after all. And I can see people reading my column, because it’s there in the paper anyway, and don’t we need a few smiles? What freaks me out is the idea of people wanting to spend their hard earned money and a couple of weeks of their time reading a novel written by … me.


            Okay, I’m going to throw away any shred of modesty and tell you people are raving over this book. It got nine 5-star reviews on Amazon. It got five 5-star reviews on GoodReads and four 4-star reviews. (What, you shorted me a star? How dare you!) It’s a nice affirmation, because I don’t know if it’s any good – I have to take other people’s word for it. Every time I do something for publicity or promotion, a little voice in my head screams, “Seriously? You think people want to read your stuff, when there are 70 cable stations? They’re just being polite.”

            I keep expecting angry readers to figure out I’m a fake and show up with tar and feathers. And not nice quill pen feathers, either.

            Yet I’ve actually signed copies for people who don’t know me. I keep warning them that it might affect the book’s resell value, but they ask for it anyway.

            If I plan to someday be a full time writer I’m going to have to hit the brass section harder and tell people I’m a talented and interesting writer. Or at least tell them my writing’s interesting; in person I’m dull as a January overcast.

I don’t even own a horn.

I live for the day when I make enough money to hire a publicist, so I can go back to writing and let them handle all that stuff. (Most writers never make that much money, so don’t bother submitting an application.)

            The irony in this case is that the innkeeper of the Brick Ark Inn – there’ll be room for me in the Inn this Christmas! – is way more humble and unassuming than I, and deserves the publicity and business way more than I do. So maybe I’m going about this the wrong way: maybe, when it comes to doing a book signing at a business, I should blow their horn and just be there to take advantage of the tune.

            Yeah, I like that. Forget the rest of it: come to the Brick Ark Inn’s open house on December 3rd and Freedom Acres on December 9th! I’ll be there after 1:30 for the former, and from 5-8 p.m. for the latter … and if I’m not, it only means all this ego stuff finally got to me, and I couldn’t fit my head in the door.

a few snapshots from my daughter's wedding

I was too busy most of the time to take a lot of photos at Charis' and Vince's wedding, but here are a few snapshots Emily and I took along the way:

This is just me and Emily at the reception. I wonder if the twins thought I was Mr. Conductor? Usually my dress uniform is a bit fancier than this; my badge and other "hardware" turned up missing, and it wasn't until we were on the way over that I realized they were on my less formal class "B" uniform. Who'd have thought a spare badge would come in handy?

The first dance ...
Emily took this one, and had a lot of trouble in the low light getting something from a distance. Right after this my grandson Brayden ran up and started screaming at us, apparently unhappy that Mom wasn't giving him enough attention, so the rest of the dance involved three dancers.

The DJ is a professional air personality who goes by Chris Cage ... but he's also my brother-in-law, which makes these three helpers my nieces and nephews. They lost their home to fire a few months ago, but it's being rebuilt and everyone's doing fine. Christian (on the right) is wearing a shirt that came all the way from England, courtesy my good LJ friend .

Family! That's Emily with my brother, mother, and step-father, and standing in the background is my chocolate brother Martin. Hey, that's what we call him. My grandmother is in the back table, to the right.

The Groom's family! Emily and I were a bit occupied when the photo of the bride's family was taken.

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Storm Chaser short story giveaway and book signing, Dec 3rd

I suppose this isn’t of great interest to anyone who doesn’t live in northeast Indiana … although I’ll give a copy of the Storm Chaser short story to anyone who buys Storm Chaser between now and the end of the year. The Facebook event page for my next book signing is here:!/event.php?eid=259287170786932

            The Brick Ark Inn will host a local author book signing, including a giveaway of an original short story, as part of its Christmas Open House on Saturday, December 3rd.

            Just in time for Christmas gift giving, Mark R. Hunter will be signing his novel Storm Chaser from 1:30 p.m. until 6 p.m. at the Inn, at 215 N Orange Street in Albion. The Inn’s open house is part of the Albion Chamber of Commerce Christmas House Walk, and will go on all day, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

As a holiday themed gift for anyone who comes to the open house, Mark will give away an original short story featuring some of the characters from Storm Chaser. The story’s set in Albion and takes place before the events of the novel, so nothing’s given away for those who haven’t read it; everyone who comes is welcome to a copy, as is anyone who previously bought the book. Mark will sign copies of Storm Chaser, whether they’re bought at the open house or were purchased previously.

            Also at the Inn will be Carol Bender, author of the children’s book Doctor’s Little Stowaway and her new release, In Quest of Gold, and Doctor’s Little Stowaway illustrator Darlene Bender. Signed copies of Michael McCoy’s wartime history Everytown: USA will also be available. Refreshments will be served at the Inn, one block north of the Noble County Courthouse, for everyone who wants to take a tour, do some Christmas shopping, and support local authors.

Storm Chaser, a romantic comedy involving an Indiana State Police officer and a disaster photographer, is set in northeast Indiana. You can learn more about the novel at the author’s webpage: or at the website of the publisher, Whiskey Creek Press:

For more information on Christmas activities at the Brick Ark inn, contact Tammy Luce at 636-6181, or visit More information on Albion’s Christmas activities can be found at .

More on Storm Chaser, by Mark R. Hunter: 

The black funnel of an approaching tornado makes all other troubles seem small. But when Indiana State Trooper Chance Hamlin “rescues” Allie Craine from a twister, his troubles are just beginning—Allie, a disaster photographer, rescues him when he drives into the storm’s path.

Chance doesn’t like being rescued, he doesn’t like photographers, and he definitely doesn’t like being stuck with Allie when she wants to stay in calm, peaceful Indiana. Too bad his family, friends, and even the other members of Chance’s volunteer fire department think she’s great. Suspicious of Allie’s motives, he decides to drive her away out of sheer boredom—but that’s not so easy when someone begins causing fires and other catastrophes around the area. That someone might be Allie, who has plans of her own...

Summer Leads to Falls


            Author’s note: I wrote this column in late summer, and kept it as filler in case, for some reason, something happened to keep me from writing a new one. Now, in early November, my fiancée is getting over the flu and I’m coming down with it … once you’ve read this, you’ll get the irony.

            Frankly, at this point I’m afraid to move.
            This summer was, in my family, a variant of Murphy’s Law that reads, “Anyone who possibly could get injured, will be.” Now, I don’t recall in exactly what order these things happened; I took notes, but when I tried to retrieve them I stabbed myself with a pen.
            But the highlight, for me, was when my fiancée received such serious injuries that people who didn’t know us thought I must have beaten her up. (People who did know us figured that if it was a fight, I’d be the one all bruised and bloody.)
            We were taking a walk, which is something people do for recreation when they can’t afford a private jet. That particular area had no sidewalk (personally I think streets without sidewalks are a travesty; but as far as I know that section of street never has had one, and you can do only so much with without money. Unless you’re the Federal Government.)
            I’d just handed Emily my cell phone, and she was talking to my sister-in-law as she walked beside me. Then she disappeared. Emily, I mean. Just – gone.
            I looked down in time to see what appeared to be a baseball maneuver: Emily appeared to be sliding into – I don’t know, what bases do players slide into? Third?  Fifth? In any case, she belly flopped, arms outstretched, half of her onto the pavement and half onto the very sharp gravel on a berm, which we hadn’t noticed was now a few inches shorter than the street.
            It actually looked kind of graceful at first glance. Unfortunately, Emily hates sports.
            Luckily, I have some experience in first aid. Stop laughing. We removed gravel, applied antibiotic ointment, bandaged wounds, and did all that other stuff I usually have to do on myself. I don’t recall the last time I saw road rash on someone who wasn’t riding a wheeled vehicle when they went down, but before I could tease her about reaching for the fly ball my sense of self-preservation kicked in.
            Just another day in the Hunter household.
            She also jammed her thumb, which I attempted to pull out while avoiding jokes about passing gas. At some point, some guys figure out what humor is appropriate and what isn’t, and I’m getting better at that. We thought it worked, until she ran into the whole problem of being utterly unable to move it. Hitchhiking? Out of the question. Not that I was about to let her get close to the side of the road again.
            We got an X-ray, which was inconclusive. Apparently it was only a Y-ray, which revealed the hand might have a little chip broken from one of the bones, but maybe not, and they sold really nice knee and elbow pads at the pharmacy.
            She was still in the healing stage when my mother called. “I just wanted to let you know before anyone else told you, that I broke my foot.”
            You huh?
            My mother had fallen. But this wasn’t the time for someone to just fall, nor was it the time for her to just break her foot. She broke it so badly it had to be operated on. She broke it so badly the surgeon remarked on how unusually bad it was, and how if she didn’t remain perfectly still for the next thirty days that very same foot would turn itself completely around and kick her in the butt.
            I’m paraphrasing, of course.
            But wait, it gets better.
            I’ve hardly mentioned my own various injuries because, let’s face it, me getting hurt is old news. I did learn during this same period that kneeling on the ground, while throwing bricks laterally onto a pile when the heat index outside is 100 degrees, will result in dueling problems. Basically, when I regained consciousness I discovered I couldn’t use my elbow without screaming in agony. Once the neighbors were sure I hadn’t fallen off the roof, they went on their way; me screaming is not a new experience.
            (The doctor later diagnosed lateral epicondylitis. See? I told you it was bad. Sounds so much more serious than tennis elbow.)
            It’s amazing how much you can hurt yourself just by tossing several dozen bricks to one side while blinded by sweat. Okay, the amazing thing is that I didn’t lose any windows.
            Meanwhile, Emily was getting an ear infection, which was not only bad itself but also might interfere with an upcoming dentist appointment. The doctor, wondering what could possibly happen next, was surprised to discover she didn’t have an infection at all. Good news – that was different. Maybe she had TMJ issues? TMJ means … um … the jaw joint. Yeah, it means Too Much Jaw. Yep. She’d be X-rayed by the dentist the next day, so maybe he could check it out.
            These guys are in the same building, by the way, a building that started glowing just from Emily’s X-rays.
            So the dentist discovered Emily has … get this … wait for it …
            A dislocated jaw.
            I’m telling you, this woman has a high threshold for pain. She wouldn’t even have noticed the bricks.
            Apparently she landed so hard that her jaw actually bounced off something, maybe her own shoulder, and she didn’t notice because of the pain elsewhere. That’s one tough cookie. That’s tougher than my cooking, which has also dislocated jaws.
            Jeez, it’s been a rough summer. I can hardly wait for fall … um, autumn.
            Uh oh – I think my sister-in-law is still on the line.

            See? I should also note that since completing the original column, I fell out of a tree … but I guess that’s fuel for a sequel.

Here comes the bride ...

My oldest daughter Charis is getting married this coming Saturday! You should see the twins in their little three year old tuxes. I mean, the twins are three, not the tuxes. I, on the other hand, tried on my dress uniform for the first time in a year -- and will be eating nothing for the next five days.
I'll likely be a bit sparse on the internet for the next week, but rest assured I will put some time into the writing biz along the way. By the way, Charis' fiancee gave a wedding gift to me (a dowry?): my furnace is now up and running thanks to him, and just in time.

hand pumped fire engine in action

I'm polishing early chapters of "Smoky Days and Sleepless Nights", my history of the Albion Fire Department, and there are numerous mentions made of Albion's first, hand-pumped fire engine. I thought you all might want to see what those engines looked like in operation, so I found this online:

Bad night in Mark Town

Feeling a bit better now, which means I can't have what knocked Emily down for the last week. Vinny (Charis' fiance) came over and installed a new vent system for our furnace yesterday (heat, yay!).  I wonder now if all the dust from his drilling and sawing and such didn't turn my little head cold into a full-blown dust allergy attack. Breathing in dust can clobber me like getting hit by a truck.

On an unrelated note, I also got to experience the wonder of back muscle spasms last night, possible a long-term result of pulling a ceiling at the house fire Sunday. I've lived with chronic back pain for over 25 years (also as a result of a fire), but that's skeletal; this was something *very* special.

 Wasn't a good night.

A Modest Proposal

 Looks like I've got the same virus/crud that Emily had ... just as she's starting to get better. I'm staying away from work in the hopes of keeping everyone in dispatch from getting sick, but before I collapse I wanted to see if a dollop of satire would make me feel better. For those of you who recognize the title: Yes, it is a shout-out to Jonathan Swift.


            I’ve paid more attention to the Occupy Wall Street crowd since they were endorsed by the American Nazi Party, the Communist Party of America, and Iranian university students. Anyone who thinks protestors can’t accomplish much should remember that in other countries all three of those groups started out with protests, and all three accomplished great things.
            I mean “great” as in big, world changing things, mind you, not great as in “wow – chocolate ice cream!”
             I understand some protesters call themselves just “Occupy” now, in the modern “Madonna” like spirit of being known by only part of your name. It goes without saying that most of them are not racists, communists, or Iranian, just as most Tea Partiers are not from the fringe elements spotlighted on TV. In fact, both groups are similar in ways they’d rather not admit, right down to being against something “Big”. The main differences seem to be that Hollywood loves Occupy, and the Tea Partiers are less messy.
            My gut feeling is that the Occupiers may be protesting the right people, but in the wrong order. The really bad guys, both in screwing up the economy and being dangerous in their power, belong to the category of Big Government, and it’s the Capitol Building that America’s citizens should again occupy.
If politicians bow to those who give the most money it’s because we, the people who have the ability and responsibility to get rid of bad politicians, don’t. It’s an American’s right to get rich within the limits of the law (and if a huge corporation legally pays little in the way of taxes, then we need to change the tax law, don’t we?) It is not a politician’s right to spend our grandchildren’s money for thirty years without worrying about his constituents kicking his butt to the curb.
Of course, it also goes without saying that if an American gets rich outside the limits of the law, he needs to be called on it. That once again brings us to Congress, which has the responsibility to pass and repeal laws (and come up with a budget, but I guess they forgot that). No one should be above the law.
(“No one should be above the law” brings us again to Congress.)
Still, people are mad at the rich, and class warfare is right around the corner. So, I’ve come up with a modest proposal which I believe will go a long way toward solving many of America’s problems:
I propose we eat the rich.
Now, hear me out.
There’s a terrible drought going on around the Texas area, and that’s one big area. Farmers in that area have had to sell off livestock because there’s nothing growing that they can feed their animals. The result, over time, will be skyrocketing meat prices.
An e-mail has already circulated in New York threatening to kill the wealthy. Roseanne Barr suggested we oil up the guillotine. If we’re going to off them anyway, why waste all that nutritious meat? Sure, it might be high in fat, but so is Roseanne’s head.
The Obama administration believes anyone making over $250,000 a year is rich, and since that’s over eight times what I make I’m inclined to agree with them. That’s about 1.3 million corporate CEO’s, lawyers, athletes, entertainers, and people who got their cash from Mummy and Daddy. Even once you’ve removed the inedible, such as Charlie Sheen, you’re left with enough supply to stock every McDonalds in the world for another billion served.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But Mark, doesn’t that include people who provide jobs in America?” Sure, but that’s the beauty of it: Many job creators are so spooked by upcoming and present government regulations, and threats to their bottom line such as Obamacare and proposed new taxes, that they’re sitting on their capital rather than investing it in new operations and production – and thus jobs.
That’s only part of the problem, but in any case the money will be freed up once they’re shaked and baked.
I figure their replacements, who no doubt will accept an extreme pay cut to avoid the other kind of cutting that includes being served with a baked apple in their mouths, will be younger and more willing to take chances. They’ll also want to keep someone from poking them to see if they’re done. That’ll free up money, which can go half toward new jobs and half toward taxes, and all toward everyone being happy.
Except the rich, and they’re only 1%. Well, actually those making over $250,000 are closer to 2%, which means one percent is hiding in the enemy camp of 99 Percenters. (So that’s what Michael Moore is doing there!) Maybe we could cut those people (pardon the pun) a break: Since the 2% currently pay 43% of all federal income taxes, we should probably keep half of them around until the combination of increased corporate spending and lower food costs improve the economy.
There are other advantages to my Eat the Rich idea:
One out of fifty of America’s homes will soon be unoccupied (after all, if one person’s rich, isn’t everyone in his family?), which will give all the remaining people a place to live.
The rich, having eaten rich food, will be not only nutritious but delicious.
Rich people will no longer buy their way into public office; the closest they’ll get to a victory party will be on a hors d’oeuvre platter.
We can sell all their belongings to pay off the debt.
The removal of all the most popular athletes and entertainers will level the playing field for newcomers. Who knows? Sports might actually become sports again.
There is one downside, though: the official income for Congressmen is … under $250,000.
No plan is perfect. Bon appetite.

Columnists | Detroit firefighter honored for rescuing family | The Detroit News

Columnists | Detroit firefighter honored for rescuing family | The Detroit News

"Into the Fire" going up everywhere

Posting my "Storm Chaser" prequel, "Into the Fire", on my regular Facebook and other social networking sites now. I'd meant to do it Saturday, one week after it went up here, but between Halloween and illnesses in the house I'm running a few days late again.
On a related note, I'll have some short story news soon to go along with an upcoming book signing ....