Clown shoes


My name is Mike Kandinsky and I manage a carnival. We tour the Midwest, mostly, and parts of Canada. My sidekick is Maude Lemon who used to be the bearded lady. We have a kid together–she’s living with Maude’s Aunt Polly in St. Paul.  Maude shaved and changed careers and now manages a couple of the attractions.

An Actor’s Tale: chasing Chaucer


Hurrah! The conclusion of An Actor’s Tale is finally here. And you who have waited with bated breath for the finale. It only appears long. It is not nearly as long as a game show or that last leg of a drive home when you can barely keep your eyes open. Continue reading

The witch and the dragon



Today he felt better than he did all week–having cleansed himself in an ocean of blood. The demons were gone–perhaps never to return. That in itself was well worth the effort. He could hear the screams of rancor and derision–spitting on his countenance in a fury of profanity…oh, they were angry. Continue reading

The Terrible Two’s


“You smell terrible. What happened?”

“I’ll tell you after I bathe Roger and I take a shower. I’m beat right now….”

“You can’t come in. The storm knocked out the electric so you can’t take a shower. There are horse flies buzzing around you.” Continue reading

An Actor’s Tale: infinite jest


Dexter Pinenter enjoyed reading Shakespeare, but he loved going to the plays. Eventually he became an actor–a well-paid, highly sought-after, Shakespearean actor. His favorite role was that of Hamlet. Dexter could do crazy at the drop of a hat. He could be mean; he could be funny; he could be dying; he could be slaying. But of all the characters he could portray, Dexter was at the top of his game as Hamlet. Dexter’s career was exceeding his expectations. He was a devout follower of himself. If he’d had a magic mirror he was sure it would affirm that he was the best actor of them all. Until that dull, dimwitted, British historian rolled in like an oily, thick fog…. Continue reading

Walking on the Sun

Nazca Desert, Peru

Nazca Desert, Peru

“Yes, hello?”

“Ma, it’s me.”

“Me, who?”

“Very funny. You left a message. Said it’s very important?”

“Not too important, DeDe.”

“Ma, I’m in the middle of nowhere in the Nazca Desert, bouncing this expensive call off a satellite heading for Jupiter. What is it?” Continue reading

Favors and Other Lovers


“Stewart are you in here?”

“What do you want, Whitney? Make it fast, I’ve got to take the Ferrari out for a spin. I tightened up a few things and I want to make sure they don’t come loose.”

“What things? Like what?”

“Whitney, if I told you, you wouldn’t understand. Let’s just say it had something to do with the steering distributor system, okay?” Continue reading

Artifact: A Carny Point of View

My name is Mike Kandinsky and I manage a carnival. We tour the Midwest, mostly, and Canada. It’s a substantial show, and while other carnies are trimming down, and cutting their venues, we just keep on growing. It all comes down to scheduling and demographics. And a nephew in economics at MIT doesn’t hurt. Continue reading

Icing on the cake

DSC_0075Winter Racing At Aqueduct Racecourse


“Well, He does work in mysterious ways.  Seems like it’s all here. Wherever did the penniless Lucas Vang get $7000 cash?”

“I suppose that’s a rhetorical question, Mr. Snake, so I won’t bother answering it.”

“Suit yourself. We’re done. Take your fine self out of here.  See he leaves, Guido.” Continue reading

Fine in Finland

The following is a broadcast transcript

Now the news from Lapland, Finland


“I’m here with Mrs. Rose Shapiro…”

“Mrs. George Shapiro, honey.”

“Right, Mrs. George Shapiro, a widow from Brooklyn, New York who, along with her son, David, have been touring the Scandinavian countries…” Continue reading

Sins of the father


Arthur Arensdorf and 11 other members of a jury of peers, convicted Richard Nixon’s grandfather, Dick the trickster, who lived 525 years ago, for gross negligence which led to the suicide death of Leonard Hoffman, former owner of the Watergate Tavern and Inn. Continue reading


Archie McLeod was speechless.  He could see now why his granddaughter loved her job.  When they got back to Spokane, Archie went to his room and quickly called his old friend, Dick Morehouse…

“I’d seen some big ones in my time, but this one…this one was huge!”

“Come on, Archie.   Nothing’s as big as old Herb.” Continue reading

Massacre on Mars

“Captain Hong?  Can you see this on your screen?  It’s on Hatch 3.”

“Roger that, Albright.  Looks like an insect of some kind.  It’s big!”

“I can see it on my heads up.  It’s 45.7 cm in length.  It’s a foot and a half long, Hong!  Anyone got a can of RAID?” Continue reading

Fun House

My name is Mike Kandinsky and I manage a Carnival.  We travel the Midwest, mostly, and Canada  (see:  A soliloquy).   At the time of my story, we were still hunkering around the heaters, waiting out the frigid winter, getting set for our Season.  Oh, and Maude Lemon, our bearded lady, decided she wanted a career change. Continue reading

The note

“That’s $10, Sylvia. That’s a big cookbook. It’s in good condition.”

“It has all sorts of yummy recipes, Karen. Thanks so much.”

Sylvia Kronenberger supported the local charities as much as she could on a teacher’s salary. The cookbook was a real find.  Someone had collected monthly, laminated, recipe pages which were placed in the lovely, custom binder. Continue reading