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“Escape From Venice”

by Myles and Maura | Monday, August 22, 2016

A few weeks before Steve was born, his parents Marley-Cat and Mako were setting off from Venice, Italy in search of a secret island that they could name after their son when he was born. They imagined a life of surfing on the beach.

The Government of Venice refused to let them leave because Marley-Cat was going to have a baby, but Mako ignored them and snuck out in the middle of the night with their crew and set sail in search of their island.

The reason the Government didn’t want Marley-Cat leaving was because she was the Queen of Italy and she was pregnant with a kitten who would one day be heir to the throne. When the Venetian Government learned that Mako and Markey-Cat had escaped in the middle of the night, they sent out ships with instructions to board Mako’s ship and take Marley-Cat back to Venice.

A few weeks into the trip, the lookout spotted a Venice-flagged attack ship. This frightened everyone and Mako ordered the crew to get to the cannons. As the attack boat drew near, Mako told Marley-Cat to get into the Captain’s Quarters and wait till the battle was over.

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  • by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, July 5, 2016

“They go flat,” she said.

“What goes flat?” I asked.

“The cats,” she said and motioned to the old black cat laying on its side on the deck. She sucked on the crab leg she was pointing with and continued, “They go flat in the summer.”

I looked over at the cat and it did kind of look flat. Like someone had a let the air out of it.

“Yup,” she said, “Darndest thing.

We were on the back deck of her house, eating crabs. The table was covered in newspaper. A few dozen blue claw crabs, smothered in old bay and steamed so that now they shone bright red, lay scattered amongst the headlines.

Sea Isle City’s Annual Baby Parade to Be Held July 19

She tossed the remains of crab she’d been working on and picked a fresh one from the pile.

“So, you hear from Sam lately?” I asked.

She pulled one of the claws off the crab and whacked it with a small wooden mallet and pulled out the meat in one piece.

“Looky there, will ya?” she said. She turned her attention back to the crab at hand and said, “Nah. Haven’t talked to Sam in awhile. Last I heard she was bartending down at Jake’s in the Villas.”

“She still with that guy?” I asked.

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 by David Todd McCarty | Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dear Men:

We have recently concluded an exhaustive study, including numerous discussions with persons of the female gender, and have determined that the once hopeful program, “Digital Genitalia Distribution in Order to Influence and Entice Women” through the act of sending pictures of your penis via digital means, has not only been unsuccessful, it has actually been a determent to our goal of attracting women in general.

Among the top respondents of the survey were the following:



“I don’t know how you live with those things.”

“Seriously? That?”

The good news is, despite the often repulsion that occurs due to the sight of our genitalia, they still seem to be interested in us as a species, so all is not lost.

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by David Todd McCarty | Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I’m not one to believe conspiracy theories. I think the world is fucked up enough by sheer human nature so I don’t believe we need to rely on theories of far-reaching conspiracies by the powerful. Greed and hubris are plenty reason enough to fuck up whatever order the world contains.

That said, through the powerful revelations by Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning, WikiLeaks, and generations of intrepid journalists, we now know that many outlandish geopolitical and domestic “conspiracy theories” are now truths of the modern world. So despite my lack of belief in most conspiratorial things, here are ten things that, while initially scoffed at as conspiracies, turned out later to be all too true. (Source:

1. The Gulf of Tonkin Incident

The Gulf of Tonkin incident, a major escalator of US involvement in the Vietnam War, never actually occurred.

The original incident – also sometimes referred to as the USS Maddox Incident(s) –involved the destroyer USS Maddox supposedly engaging three North Vietnamese Navy torpedo boats as part of an intelligence patrol. The Maddox fired almost 300 shells.

President Lyndon B. Johnson promptly drafted the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which became his administration’s legal justification for military involvement in Vietnam. The problem is the event never happened.

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A unique aspect of the quartier in Paris in which I live is its fascinating beggars. Over the years I’ve become familiar with their routines: daily, weekly and seasonal – some take a break in summer, others do so in winter. There’s the quiet young woman in a print headscarf who squats at the street corner on Sundays. She could, if provoked, overturn a cathedral with her voice. I know this because at four o’clock on her intermittent Wednesday beat she sometimes yells into her phone – a more recent model than the one I own – at someone who’s habitually late picking up the kids. Then there’s the man who hobbles on crutches and lives in scruffy briefs and a blue striped pyjama top. He keeps his face contorted and groans when you pass. But as soon as he crosses the Boulevard St Germain, his face relaxes into something almost pleasant and his crutch becomes an accessory. I once watched him give a sandwich to a less fortunate beggar; I wouldn’t have known it was him if he hadn’t been wearing those signature bottoms. Then there’s the mourner. His lament wakes me up on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He sustains the dismal face and plaintive cries all day outside the bakery. Come eight o’clock when the bakery shuts, he’s a happy chappy, and he hobbles off chatting with the friends that have come to get him. But my favourite of the lot is Fred.

Fred sits cross-legged by the cashpoint down the road. Beside him his phone charges on a photocell battery charger that he moves around in pursuit of sunlight. His begging bowl, a sardine tin, is half-hidden most times as if he’d brought it along as an afterthought. He has long twisted blond hair, a slim face ending in a pointy beard and the gentlest eyes on the planet. His look is never pleading, rather you get the impression he knows something you don’t, and if you lowered your head he’d let you in on the secret. Fred never speaks but always smiles. And Fred is the name I gave him; I haven’t asked for his name yet.

I pass him twice a week on the way to the market. He’s helped me with directions a couple of times, tracing out routes on my map with a tobacco stained middle finger. He also warns me when the cash point is out of order or eating cards – that’s what he mimes. Once I gave him some carrots and he displayed his teeth, the few left in his mouth; so I gave him bananas and peaches instead, which he carefully placed by his side before bobbing his head. Occasionally I’ll put a coin or two in the tin. He looks up with a smile as if to say “what a pleasant surprise”, as if he hadn’t expected the sardine tin trick to work.

Recently I discovered his watering hole, not for beers or spirits but for coffees. It’s the local Tabac and he’s a regular. When he’s amassed enough coppers, he goes over there, tips them onto the counter, and settles down to sip the coffee the coins get him. Someone will buy him a second or third when he’s done. The day I tried, he put up his hand, palm towards me: he’d had his fill. He twirled a stained finger forward: next time perhaps. I smiled and nodded.

I saw him stride out of a bank the other day and it didn’t surprise me. Nor would it surprise me if his bank balance was better than mine. He’s does less kowtowing than anyone I know and has such an air of laissez-faire about him that he’d be as unsurprising in the back of a Bentley as he is on his regular turf. Tomorrow is market day again. I think it’s about time I know his name. I’ll take a pen.


Instead of standing in the dark when the sirens screamed death the day 

after Pearl Harbor happened and those who were cheering for Hitler would 

never forgive the president FDR for his trick to defeat the 

isolationists but he too was fooled thinking the Japanese attack would 

be against the twenty soldiers or so he had in the Philippines protected by 

thick jungle and not Hawaii where many did die and those great haters of 

“the cripple” as they called him saying he betrayed his class that talked funny and 

felt compassion for the riffraff who were only good enough to shed their 

blood for the more valuable commodities called oil, power and greed, and 

then given a medal as payment to their families for having defended a 

nation’s self-interest. 

by David Todd McCarty | Friday, July 15, 2016

I’ve been a lot of thinking lately about a certain corned beef sandwich, preferably grilled with butter, on a nice sturdy rye, with mustard and melted swiss. There’s a perfect pickle there as well. It’s a fantasy that is currently knocking about in my head.

I’m on day six of what is a planned two week fast. I say planned because with these kind of things, it’s like the people in the rooms say, “You have to take it one day at a time.” I recognize the truth in this statement. I can’t think about tomorrow or next week. I just have to get through today.

No food. No alcohol. No caffeine. I gave up cigarettes almost five years ago and never picked them up again, so that’s one less thing. I currently subsist on a concoction of water, lemon juice, maple syrup and cayenne pepper. It’s a recipe developed by some nut who named it the Master Cleanse. It’s a thing. It’s not new. I’m not a disciple, just using it at the moment.

The first time I fasted was almost five years ago. I was on a shoot in Miami and at the end of the shoot the producer met me in the bar of this beautiful steakhouse we’d been shooting in. I was having a vodka, my third or fourth, and was getting ready to switch over to wine before ordering my steak dinner right there at the bar. He had a beer. He began telling me that he used to be fat. Had health problems from it. Then he discovered this juice fasting concept and lost fifty pounds. Got off his medications. Felt great. I was listening with half an ear, like you do when someone is telling you about their dreams, or trying to recap the plot of a book they just finished.

“That’s nice,” you think. “Why are you bothering me with this?”

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by David Todd McCarty | Wednesday, July 13, 2016

“So she looked at it and said, ‘What the fuck is that supposed to be?’ And I said, ‘I don’t know, this was your idea,’” said Dave.

The guys laughed.

Dave, Frank and Carl sat together at Fred’s on a Wednesday afternoon. They’d known each other since grade school. Sometimes they met for lunch and even though it was the middle of July, Fred’s was cool and dark. Frank had always complained that it was like a cave but in the summer when you worked outside all day, it could be a welcome relief.

The guys continued to chuckle as the bartender walked up.

“You guys need anything?” she asked.

“I’ll have another,” said Carl.

“Yeah, me too,” said Frank.

“Might as well make it three,” said Dave and he finished the beer he’s holding.

The bartender pulled three beers out of the cooler, knocked the caps off and put them down in the center of the bar. Each guy reached in and grabs their own then sat quietly as she cleaned up the empties and walked away again. Bob and Claudio both watched her walk away.

“Dude, you’re sister is still smokin’,” said Carl.

“Yeah she is,” said Frank.

“I don’t know what to tell you,” said Dave. “She has good genes.”

“We’re not just talking about her jeans,” said Frank.

“No, we are not,” said Carl.

“Mm-mmm,” said Frank.

“I still can’t believe she’s a lesbian,” said Carl.

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