Tag Archives: New York

Meet Hanger Duggins ©

Hanger Duggins love of agricultural aircraft started one March
day when he spied a JN-4 Jenny gliding low over “Ol’ Man”
Connolly’s potato field. Hanger had a spare nickel (a rare
occurrence) and was walking into town to buy a soda when he
spotted the airplane. Craning his neck, Hanger watched as a faded
red bi-plane swooped low to spray fertilizer on a field of potatoes. It
was then he knew he wanted to be a real-life superhero and learn to
fly.
After that day, when Hanger walked into town from the country,
he always hoped to catch a glimpse of the crop-dusters. Standing
still and gawking up at the sky, late one afternoon, Hanger didn’t
notice an old man approach. The man pulled off his hat and wiped
sweat from his brow.
“Watcha lookin’ for son?”
Startled, Hanger looked down. “I was hopin’ to see the ol’ Jenny, is
all.”
“Sorry, son. Those crop duster planes only come around once a
year.” Replacing his hat on his head, the man said, “Name’s Bruce
Connolly. I own this here farm.”
“Hanger. Hanger Duggins.”
“Hanger, huh? Nice to meet ya. Live round here?
“Up the way. Out by the Haskinses.”
Come fall we could use a hand harvestin’ these spuds.”
Hanger spent the next five summers planting and digging with “Ol’
Man” Connolly and his crew. Every year, he worked in the fields and
watched for Jenny to come buzzing through the sky. Every time he
saw her, the urge to fly like the superheroes had read about as a kid
swept over him. He read books about flying went to and all the
picture shows that had planes in them.
John, the bi-plane pilot, whom Hanger met when he was fueling his
plane, regaled him with stories of flying Stearmans as a U.S. Army
pilot. As time went on John showed him how to work on an ol’ girl
like Jenny.
Hanger was a pretty decent airplane mechanic by the time he
graduated high school. Then he joined the Air Force and spent the
next 30 years at various Air Force Bases repairing first piston –driven
aircraft, then jets. One of his favorite stations was Mitchel AFB in New
York. On his days off he’d go to LaGuardia to relax, eat a burger at
the airport diner, and watch the planes come in.
One day while he sat there sprinkling salt on his French fries, Hanger
saw something beautiful and miraculous. She took his breath away.
He felt like he had when he first laid eyes on the bi-wing airplane
years before. Hanger wanted to learn everything he could about
the girl with the emerald eyes and fiery curls who walked toward him
carrying two suit cases.
He approached, fighting to keep his voice light, “Hello, miss. Let me
help you with those bags?”
Merry, an attorney with a large New York law firm said later that she
thought that the young man was quite handsome. He was also
courteous. She accepted his offer, and they walked out of the
terminal together.
That encounter turned into a year’s worth of dates. Countless
bouquets of flowers from Hanger led, eventually, to wedding vows
and to two sons, Paul and Tommy. Air Force mechanic Hanger
Duggins and his family were stationed in Canada, England, the
Netherlands, and many bases in the United States. For Hanger it was
the life of the caped-crusaders and heroic aviators of his youthful
dreams.
After nearly two decades of traveling the world, Hanger and Merry
decided to put down roots in the Midwest. The two boys, Paul and
Tommy are attorneys and are following in the footsteps of their
mother and have a family law practice in New York. Merry e-mails
advice when she isn’t volunteering at the courthouse, as a guardian
ad-Litem, and a kind word and a smile for kids who need it.
And “Old Man” Duggins, as he is now affectionately known, is
supervising mechanic at the Letongaloosa Regional Airport. He
oversees a crew of young whippersnappers and regales them with
tales of his travels as a young Airman. And even though he may be
old, Hanger is learning to fly an ol’ Ag-Cat he affectionately calls
“Jenny,” and on weekends he soars through the air like the comic
book characters he loved so much.
-30-

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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They Beam It Into Your Cortex ©

 

 

Back in 1994 somebody at the New York Times said:

Frankly I don’t give a tinker’s damn how we distribute our

information; I’ll be pleased to beam it to your cortex.”

 

I was standing at the heavily laden buffet table in Healthy Hanks

International House of Hash. It was All-You-Can-Eat-for-$4.95

night. I was loading my plate with a heaping helping of Hanks

Healthy Hash Browns™ when the beam hit my cortex.

A tiny green LED turned on inside my head. Then I heard a

“ding, ding.” It was the kind of sound your computer makes

when you receive an e-mail.

“Darn!” I said.

“What?” asked my wife. Emmaline was standing next to me

at Healthy Hanks buffet table. She was putting three baby

carrots, three pieces of broccoli, and a small slice of turkey on

her plate. Healthy Hank always makes money when Emmaline

comes to All-You-Can-Eat night.

“The New York Times has just beamed some information to

my cortex,” I said.

“Well just ignore it,” said Emmaline.

“I can’t. That little light they installed in my head is blinking,

and a little bell keeps going ‘ding, ding,’” I said.

“Can’t you turn it off until you finish eating?” asked Emmaline.

“No.”

“Why not?”

“They must not have perfected that part of the technology

yet. I guess they figured they’d perfect the cortex-beaming

technology first, and worry about customer reception issues

later.”

“Well why in the world did you sign up the service in the first

place?”

“It took fifteen years and cost the New York Times a billion

dollars to perfect cortex-beaming information technology,” I said.

“The least I could do was to subscribe to the service. With the

New York Times Cortex Beam Information System™ they beam

the latest news straight to my cortex,” I said.

“And I have to eat alone so that you can find out that Barack

Obama has just named Billy Crystal to be U.S. ambassador to

Botswana.”

“I’ll just step outside. I’ll be right back.”

“Go to the men’s room.”

“I might lose the signal.”

“@#$%^&,” said my wife. She rarely swears, but Emmaline

hates to eat alone. I headed out the door to download my

cortex-beamed information from the New York Times.

I walked toward Emmaline’s new car, a Lexus 300XTC.

Just as I started to activate New York Times beamed-to-my

cortex newsline, a gruff voice spoke behind me.

“Don’t turn around. I have a gun,” said the voice.

“Don’t shoot,” I said.

“Give me your wallet and the keys to your Lexus,” said the

voice.

“It’s not my Lexus,” I said.

“I saw you park,” said the voice. “Now give me the keys.”

“It’s my wife’s car. She’s back at the restaurant. I don’t have

the keys.”

“Jerk!” said the voice. Whack! There was a blow on the

head. I was out before I hit the asphalt.

When I woke up my pockets were turned inside out and my

wallet and watch were gone. I stood up. There was an eggsized

lump on my head. I was leaning against Emmaline’s car

when I noticed a little green light and heard a “ding, ding,” in my

head.

I made my way back to Healthy Hanks. Emmaline was

standing near the cash register tapping her foot.

“I got mugged,” I said. “They whacked me on the head and

took my wallet.”

“Oh darling,” said Emmaline, and hugged me.

The police came and I told them what happened. I refused

to go to the emergency room. My head ached, but I didn’t want

anyone to know I was seeing green lights and hearing “ding,

dings,” in my head. I was afraid they’d take me straight to the

booby hatch.

When we got home Emmaline asked, “Well, was the news

worth getting mugged for?”

“What news?” I asked

“The cortex-beamed information from the New York Times.

Was it important?”

“Bless you,” I shouted. “Bless your heart!”

I had forgotten about the cortex beam! What joy! They

wouldn’t drag me off to the booby hatch after all.

I activated the New York Times Cortex Beam Information

System™. It was a story on the latest developments in

hemorrhoid research.

 

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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The Naked Truth©

“We must have hit something, Sancho, the dogs are barking.”

Miguel Cervantes, The Ingenious Gentleman Don Quixote of La Mancha.

Theodore “Ted” Boneworthy was a bachelor farmer who had eked out a living on the rocky soil of his hard scrabble acreage by working hard and learning all he could from agricultural extension agents. Then one day Ted ploughed up a very large gem quality garnet and became a wealthy man. Folks in his district had always thought of Ted as an odd duck, but they figured that if he was lucky, he might also be smart, so they elected him to the State House of Representatives.

During his time as a state legislator, Ted Boneworthy worked unsuccessfully to pass laws that he thought society needed to be right and proper. He sponsored a bill that made it illegal to recite nursery rhymes backwards. He tried to make it a misdemeanor to swat flies with ones bare hand. And he sought legislation that would punish people for sticking chewing gum under counters and tabletops in restaurants. Understandably, none of these bills were ever voted on by the House.

Ted chocked up to his colleagues’ not supporting his legislation to their being a bunch of small town bozos.

So he ran for the U.S. House of Representatives. His opponents ridiculed the national chewing gum initiative. Men’s groups called his stand on bare handed fly swatting “sissified,” and teachers’ organizations claimed that putting in practice his ideas on nursery rhyme recitation would stifle creativity.

The mass media were another problem. Radio, television and newspaper reporters mispronounced and misspelled Ted’s name. More often than not they called him Sid Stoneweary or Rich Blatherly instead of Ted Boneworthy.

He lost the election by a historic margin.

Ted had been an only child. His mother and father were arch fundamentalists. The farm couple in Grant Woods’ painting, “American Gothic” look positively jolly by comparison. For Ma Boneworthy everything in society was wicked and sinful or nasty and vile.

After being ridiculed in the state legislature and losing his campaign for the U. S. House, Ted abandoned politics and entered what he called “the real world” to launch his biggest, weirdest project ever.

Ted urged Americans to stop letting animals run around naked.

Ted hired a New York law firm at twice its normal fee to form an organization called “The League to Clothe Naked Animals,” with him as the league’s sole officer. Then he hired a top flight national advertising agency to buy full page ads in leading newspapers throughout the country. The ads called on the nation’s fair-minded citizens to “stand up and fight the scourge of animal nakedness.”

The public reaction was volcanic. From the posh penthouses of America’s great cities to the humble lunch counters of its smallest villages, people took up the cause. They inundated radio and television talk shows. Everyone wanted to be heard on the topic of naked animals.

Less than 24 hours after Ted’s ads were published, nearly all the enormous public reaction could be put into six categories:

A. “Stand up for dignity. We MUST clothe naked animals.”

B. “Animals are born naked. Leave them alone.”

C. “It’s a government power grab.”

D. “It’s a Wall Street power grab.”

E. “It’s a communist conspiracy.”

F. “Clothe Naked Animals, are you kidding me? Where’s the hidden camera?”

Within 48 hours of the launch of what Ted thought would be an anonymous campaign, reporters from all over the world converged at his farm. They scared his livestock. They trampled his crops. They harassed folks for miles around asking questions about him.

Then just 72 hours after the first “Clothe Naked Animals,” ads appeared in U.S. newspapers, the issue was dead. The mass media had identified another “big story.” Coverage switched from the controversy about naked animals to news of a married couple in Salt Lake City who had won $588 million in the national lottery and had announced that they intended to give all the money to the United Nations.

 

Dr. Larry day is a retired J-School professor turned humor writer. His book, Day Dreaming: Tales From the Fourth Dementia is available for purchase via his website: http://www.daydreaming.co

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