I’ve been quietly working on the expansion of my 2014 chapbook, What’s in a Butch’s Purse. My vision is to have a longer book that maintains the humorous nature of the original publication but that allows for serious moments. I’m hoping to add some gravitas with the expanded edition to avoid a work that is all punchline humor. Real humor needs character, situation, and story.
I’m still working on a title. Right now I have Butch’s Purse Redux but I would love any suggestions, especially from those who have read the original. But anyone, please join in.
Although the original chapbook is out of print, I still have twenty copies or so if anyone is interested in obtaining one.
Below are a few excerpts from the expanded work, which I hope to publish in 2019. I would like to every so often test out some passages to see if they spark your interest; thus my test kitchen. Feel free to tell me what else you might like to read about in terms of dating or family humor.
The Hottie in the White Shirt with the Big Red Drink
This one was blonde and buxom and needed to drink Cape Codders to get through a date with me. I do not remember this woman’s name. Let’s call her Jezebel. Jezebel lived in the next town over from me, so I had really closed the geography gap this time. Not only had I flown all the way from Boston to California for a blind date with Claudia years back and traveled throughout New England for myriad dating opportunities, I even flew a couple of blind dates up to Boston so we could meet: Ms. Arizona, Ms. Tennessee, and Ms. Georgia. They couldn’t afford the flights so I paid. All disastrous attempts to find love.
The Over-Prozac-ed Girl
She lurched forward as she walked across the parking lot, as if she would expend too much energy should she stand completely upright. I don’t remember her name, but let’s call her Stacy. Her hair was prematurely gray, messy, shapeless, and brittle. Stacy was a woman in her early thirties, yet skinny wire-frame glasses balanced below the bridge of her nose like she was somebody’s grandmother. Her face was pock-marked and drawn. Behind her spectacles, her eyes were glassy. I was oddly mesmerized by how unattractive I found her.
I can’t recall what led to this date after communicating with her via internet, but I assume it was my desperation to meet someone who could be the next love of my life. Apparently, in my mid-thirties, I would meet anyone “just in case” she was “the one.”
I was not pretty and I smoked in those days, so I knew I was no prize, but Stacy was unabashedly unattractive. As I watched her jerky movements toward the restaurant door where I waited, I hoped she might be a sparkling conversationalist.
Haulin ‘ The Fridge
Jan lives in a crumbling little Lowell apartment that occupies the top floor of a very old house. She lives near a factory, and the smell of the sewage it spews into the nearby river reeks into her upstairs hallway. She doesn’t seem to notice. She owns the house and rents out the first floor. Jan is a small-time mogul of dilapidated real estate: the collapsing cottage in Maine, the stinking house in Lowell, and the freaky and ghoulish two-family rental she owns a few towns over in Beverly, with the kind of attic where you hide your crazy old auntie.
She says, “If I end up alone, I plan to live in the attic.”
Jan has no plans to sell any of these houses; they make her feel secure. She’s on a mission to fix them up, find a wife, and live happily ever after. She spends an inordinate amount of time buying hardware at the Home Depot, starting projects she rarely finishes. Last week, she tore the back porch off the house in Lowell. A few weeks back we hauled a top of the line toilet up to the broken cottage in Maine. Last weekend, she peeled the old wallpaper from the attic apartment in Beverly, by hand, a little at a time, talking about our future.
Thank you for reading.