Category Archives: humor

19 Ways to Kill a Virus (with apologies to Paul Simon)


This problem is not inside our heads, said the TV

The answer is easy if we self-quarantine
We must work together in our struggle to be free
There must be nineteen ways to kill a virus

She said, we must all get used to solitude
I hope this message won’t be politically misconstrued
But I’ll repeat myself at the risk of being crude
Social distance is the first way to kill a virus
Out of 19 ways to kill a virus


You stay off that beach, Cheach

Wash those hands, Stan
You don’t need a new toy, Roy
Just help us get free
Hop off that bus, Gus
You don’t need to hoard that much
Just drop that key, Lee
And help us get free

Ooh, Walmart’s no go, Mo
Make a new plan, Ann
You can cook at home, Sloan

You just listen to me

Read new a new novel, Havil

Bake some bread, Jed

Listen to rock, Brock

And help us get free…..



Filed under humor, Life reflections, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

Folktale warnings: don’t let the old people die

when-is-grandparents-dayIn response to recent suggestions that the elders should die out and make way for the rest, please read the folktale of your choosing from this family. When an old person dies, a library burns, and if EVER we needed our libraries to rebuild…. the new world isn’t gonna run on stock markets. It will need gardens and home canning and people who have seen it all twice. In other words, our grandparents….

Folktales about why killing off elders is a bad idea – the link in case you have trouble with the above. Some people get error messages, some don’t



Filed under humor, Hunger Games, Life reflections, out of things to read, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

With apologies to Adam Mansbach

(Before you read this, my mother would like you to know she raised me right. It’s not her fault. ‘K? Thanks.)

STAY THE F@&$ AT HOME by Wendy Welch

(Parody of GO THE F$&@ TO SLEEP by Adam Mansbach)

The cats nestle close to their kittens,
The calves in the barn cease to roam
We are cozy and warm ‘round our hearth, here.
We will stay the f$&@ at home.

The windows are dark in the town, child.
No you cannot go to the shop
I’ll order your Easter basket online this year
You will stay the f$&@ home, so stop.

Screen time restrictions are out the window
Watch it all, watch it fast, watch it hard.
If you’ve got space out back, lucky you! Plan your garden.
Stay the f$&@ home can include your yard.

All the kids are home from school now
Bouncing on beds and screaming
Fuck no, they can’t go to a sleepover
Yes it’s tempting, but you’re still f$&@ing dreaming.

There were eagles who soared through Walmart and scored
The bleach wipes, the eggs, the tp
Chad has his whisky and Karen her wine.
So stay the f$&@ home, kids, and read.

Our parents fly forth from their houses.
From pharmacy to diner they roam
What part of my phone call was unclear, Dad?
I said, “STAY THE F$&@ AT HOME.”

COVID 19 doesn’t care who you voted for.
But when Trump speaks, the stock market crashes
Do please get the f$&@ out of THAT house, dude
Before we lose what’s left of our ass-uhm our assets.

Flowers doze low in the meadows
But the national parks are closed.
So let’s get online to share jokes by Zoom
And stay the f@&$ at home.

It sucks, but we’re up to this challenge.
We crochet, paint, write, and build things.
We stay the f$&@ home and make crafts from tp rolls.
And soon, like Italy, we will sing.

It’s okay, we’ll get through these strange times
With resilience, humor and pluck.
And when the coronials asked what we did in the crisis
We will answer “We stayed home to make you, dear.”

No photo description available.


Filed under humor, Life reflections, post-apocalypse fiction, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch

Baby Yoda’s Existential Writer Questions

84298025_3089609634383413_6129584940381110272_oWriters are known for seizing moments, protecting our writing time, drilling it out from between day jobs and family commitments and other stuff.

So when I had one half-day free during a two-week trip for work covering conferences, meetings, and funding seminars, how did I use it?

I speed-watched The Mandalorian on my friend’s Disney Plus account.

To my credit, I watched 8 episodes in about 2 hours, because I didn’t bother with the fight scenes and plot development, so it’s not like I wasted time. No, I went straight to the important bits, when Baby Yoda wiggled his ears or let his little eyes shine.

I fell in love with the little green guy the minute the memes started. In fact, when the semester began I embedded an Easter Egg in my syllabus asking students to make a Baby Yoda meme that reflected something they’d learned from the syllabus. That. Was. Fun.

What’s funny online is how many people are so very aware that the little green guy is nothing more than a Disney plot to sell the most plush toys ever. And the response of many a hardened cynic is the same: fine, here, take my money. We’re good.

He is soooooooo cute. And I’m sure the whole plot would be as meaningful as Disney ever makes it, but in the interest of preserving time, a writer’s gotta do what a writer’s gotta do. Now, with my cuteness load at full strength, I can get some writing done. Thank you, Baby Yoda.

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Filed under humor, Life reflections, publishing, Uncategorized, Wendy Welch, writing

There’s Ayewis Some’hin’

Jack is very late this week with his Wednesday post – – –

Following the thorough disassembling, cleaning and rebuilding of our dishwasher yesterday I got to thinking of all the things we’ve done here since moving in just over a year ago.

The first job was to install a cat flap so our felines could access the fully enclosed porch. Then it was redecorating the library and guest room. Soon after was when we discovered Paul, everyone’s handyman and he created our extra parking area off the driveway. Then I constructed our fire pit in the back yard.


Next was building the shed to house our riding mower –










And then trimming the trees that were about to bring down our power line and telephone line.


Replacing the washing machine was only thanks to good friends with muscle power!

Talking of friends reminds me that we’ve found many good ones here in Wytheville while managing to retain our existing ones in Big Stone Gap.

Two friends – one from near here and one from Big Stone – helped us replace our lovely Narnia style back yard lamp post recently.


Just before that we had two big trees taken down and another two trimmed back. They were all ominously close to either our house and garage or our neighbor’s.

I almost forgot the rebuilding of our antique and rotted benches –











Mostly it’s been just us, but sometimes with help and occasionally with professionals.

The next job will be completely re-doing the bathroom – so definitely professionals!


Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, crafting, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized

A Day Late and a Dollar Short

Jack fails to make it in time – again – – –


Well the latest big surprise yesterday was an email telling me that ‘Tales of the Lonesome Pine’ was voted one of the top three bookstores in SW Virginia by readers of a Virginia wide tourism magazine.

I thought to begin with that it was some kind of scam, but after exchanging a series of emails with a nice lady it became clear that it was genuine.

This immediately raised a few questions –

The bookstore closed over a year ago and the building is now a private dwelling again, and the new owners probably wouldn’t want hordes of folk knocking on the door or even just walking straight in.

There again – who voted and how did they not know we’d closed?

To be clear, we had the best time running that bookstore for fourteen years and made it into a real community hub. We made many friends along the way. The only reasons we sold up and moved was that Wendy’s job could be handled more easily from where we are now in Wytheville, it felt like time to move on and the building needed more TLC than a seventy-eight-year-old guy could contemplate.

I tried to find out whether we would have been first, second or third, but for understandable reasons we couldn’t be told. I also asked if our votes could be transferred to our good friends at Oracle Books in Wytheville but no dice there either.

Sometimes life is just weird – – –

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Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Freewheelin’ Doon the Brae

Jack creakily creeps over the line to get his guest post in on a Wednesday – –

So I turned seventy eight years old today (Wednesday) although it may be Thursday before this appears!


As far as I know the only two members of my immediate family to get beyond that are my Mum and my sister Margaret.

So I see eighty coming over the horizon and that’s quite a sobering thought. All the folk I know around my age are ‘old’, but that’s not how I feel at all. Despite smoking and drinking most of my life I seem to continue to be fairly healthy.

When I look back I’m surprised at how my life turned out and the twists and turns. When I was a house painter I never expected to become a lecturer in management studies or to gain an MBA from one of the most prestigious Scottish Universities. When I started singing in a skiffle group I never expected to make seven albums and contribute to three others.

Today I was equally surprised to see more than a hundred birthday greetings on facebook, which reminded me of how many friends all over the world I’ve made. Some are from way back and some not so far, and some only on line.


But the odd thing is that I’m very aware of friends and family who haven’t made it this far, and they’re actually the ones I’m thinking of today more then any. Among them are Margaret, Colin, Mike, Davy, Jim, Gordeanna, Anne and Maureen.

Since I do seem to be fairly healthy, though, I guess I should just get on with it and be lucky that I continue to make new friends and have a wife that despite twenty one years of sparring, somehow sticks by me –

Onwards and upwards!


Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, humor, Life reflections, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch