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Bruce Willey
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Came to your party/ drank all your beer/ we’re a bad trip. —Camper Van Beethoven By now we are well familiar with the splendid machinations of the Tea Party. This well-publicized movement of fear and hate that has co-opted their attention grabbing demonstration theater straight out of a University of California protest manual, has by now managed to strike the fear of Darwin in every good-hearted believer of freedom and democracy. Obama is finally striking back against these purveyors of insanity and so should we. Which is why it’s time for a wholly different protest party. Tea and coffee are already spoken for. Herbal tea is nice, but maybe too nice. Wine would be good, but liberals have already been... Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2010 at Bruce Willey
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At the risk of paying myself a backdoor compliment, I can think of no better story to print for the first issue of Matchbook Story than a story which calls the whole enterprise into question. Whether he knows it or not, or whether he'll cop to it, Bruce has written a metafiction--a story about writing stories--which is signaled here by the self-referential title, To Light a Cigarette, Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2010 at Bruce Willey
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Mar 15, 2010
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For the past year I’ve watched my grandmother succumb to dementia. In truth she has full-blown Alzheimer's, but there’s no doubt in my mind she’d prefer the term dementia if she indeed knew what was eating her brain from the inside out. She’s proper after all, hailing from a generation that says “intestinal fortitude” instead of “guts.” Pushing well into 90 years on this good earth, my grandmother is ox-like from the neck down. Her brain, however, has lost all of its capacity to remember what happened five seconds ago. Though it sounds unfairly cruel, I’m trying my best to forget how she is now. Tried to forget how last Christmas, she asked me, “is your mummy still alive?” while... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2010 at Bruce Willey
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Can’t change the past; it wasn’t built to last. Can’t change the way it goes, nobody answers cause nobody knows —Michael Houser Those who regularly follow this column (thanks Bob, thanks mom) may recall with certain fondness that, under the influence of nitrous oxide, I predicted we would be blessed with a black man in the White House. Spinning in a dentist chair more than two years ago with a laughing gas coursing through my neurons and a drill whirling into tooth number 21, I also predicted a woman vice-president. That didn’t turn out to be true. But since Hillary is in the White House a lot nowadays, I’ll give myself a tie score. Astrologers do it all the time.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2010 at Bruce Willey
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Originally appeared in Adventure Sports Journal and portions found at National Geographic Adventure.comAside from the hum of spokes and the rattle of a loose fender, the forested hinterlands are deadly quiet. The cycling trail I follow, dubbed the Berliner Mauerweg (“wall way”), often utilizes the patrol roads that once ran alongside the Wall. A mere two decades in time separate my journey from German Shepard hunds nipping at my pedals and a hailstorm of machine gun fire. This former bonescape of searchlights, guard towers, barbed wire, and trigger-happy soldiers possessing shoot-to-kill orders, has faded into a mostly harmless bicycle path. Twenty-year-old pines and birches seem intent on both smacking me in the head and smothering the incriminating memory of this... Continue reading
Posted Dec 21, 2009 at Bruce Willey
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I don’t know why, but my hand shot for Jimmy. Might have been my interest in regional dialects or my taste for peanuts for all I know. In retrospect, it doesn’t really make a lot of sense. As the kind of student who sat at the back of the class, hopelessly drowning in a horny ocean of pre-adolescent hormones, this would have been last thing I would have normally done, much less volunteer for. Standing up in class, impromptu, was enough to cause a life’s worth of priapic mortification. Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2009 at Bruce Willey
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Originally appeared in Adventure Sports Journal and portions found at National Geographic Adventure.comAside from the hum of spokes and the rattle of a loose fender, the forested hinterlands are deadly quiet. The cycling trail I follow, dubbed the Berliner Mauerweg (“wall way”), often utilizes the patrol roads that once ran alongside the Wall. A mere two decades in time separate my journey from German Shepard hunds nipping at my pedals and a hailstorm of machine gun fire. This former bonescape of searchlights, guard towers, barbed wire, and trigger-happy soldiers possessing shoot-to-kill orders, has faded into a mostly harmless bicycle path. Twenty-year-old pines and birches seem intent on both smacking me in the head and smothering the incriminating memory of this... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2009 at Bruce Willey
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The first 10 feet of the slide, my reckless indifference toward runout slab remained fairly intact. By the time I slid past the belay -- while being skinned alive by the flaky granite -- and registered my wife’s sweet hands clenching the rope, I’d lost most of my enthusiasm for climbing in shorts. Twenty feet more, and slab-mongering had lost most all remaining luster. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2009 at Bruce Willey
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There is, after all, nothing worse than a gaggle of gardener’s wearing overalls and floppy hats, fondling their hoes outside a 7-11 and asking strangers for a spare, heirloom tomato. Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2009 at Bruce Willey
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