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I stood erect and with considerable dignity, if I might say so, and walked slowly back to my bedroom, pausing to carry my copy of John Bunyan with me back to bed. “Fine,” I tossed over my shoulder, “No French toast! Excuse the heck out of me!” The day did improve.

And so, following these cues, one should reasonably expect a full and gratifying weekend. One may also learn a couple of safety tips (oh, also, Pam seems to be quite as flammable as napalm; you might want to watch for that) and leave the cooking to say, women or some other minority with nothing better to think about. Have a prosperous workweek.

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EricBlair April 9, 2008 @ 6:58 p.m.

Brother John, I once lived in a "Junior One Bedroom" apartment (read studio) in La Jolla. I put a french bread pizza in the oven to cook, and dozed on the couch. I was awakened by the blaring of the smoke alarm.

Rather than being smart, like your son's friend, and simply putting the smoking carcass of the pizza on the cookie sheet in the sink, and turn on the water, I triggered the little fire extinguisher I had.

Yellow clouds of gritty nastiness everywhere. But no fire. On the other hand, I could have just dunked the cookie sheet in the sink two feet away.

But you are right about one thing: a weekend like that makes the workweek seem like a holiday!

Thanks for the story, my friend.

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JenniferCooke April 18, 2008 @ 2:07 p.m.

Hi John, Ya know, I just read this column last night because I am way behind on my Readers. And I know nobody else cares, obviously, because no one commented on it. But I just have to tell you that the line "...leave the cooking to say, women or some other minority with nothing better to think about" truly knocked me for a loop. I'm a longtime fan, and particularly in the last year or two, have really followed your column with interest and care. I identify with a lot of your struggles, as a parent, as an alcoholic, as a writer--and sometimes a line you write takes my breath away so much that I have to jot it down. The one that springs to mind most readily is: "On the other hand, almost everything I have ever wanted has led down a corridor so dark it not only eclipses light, but, like a black hole, lets none escape." So I guess it's fair to say that I feel included in your audience. Or I did, until I read the above column. See, I'm not only a woman, but a minority woman. So apparently you're not talking to me.

I'm not one to 'cry racism' and I could give a s*** about political correctness. But coming from your column, that line struck me as so incongruous, so out of nowhere. It hurt my feelings, and I just wanted you to know.

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EricBlair April 18, 2008 @ 4:54 p.m.

Dear Ms. Cooke:

I am guessing that John Brizzolara has replied to you separately. But I have to tell you that I have known John since 1988, and there is not a single racist or sexist bone in his body. Truth.

It is also true that the written word (or blog entry) lacks all other "cues" we enjoy in conversation or even on the telephone. John doesn't need me or anyone else to defend him, but I wanted to suggest that he was just trying to be ironic.

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John Brizzolara April 24, 2008 @ 1:19 p.m.

Ms.Cooke -- I just saw this response today, April 24th. I am so sorry you took offense there. I thought certainly that the comment was so obviously moronic (women a minority?) that it would just provoke a laugh. I over estimate my own humor; Mr. Blair was correct when he said it was my attempt at irony. Please don't give up on me -- at least not on the basis of racism or sexism. There are probably several other good reasons to do so but I'll let you discover them. -- Brizzolara

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JenniferCooke April 28, 2008 @ 10:41 a.m.

Hi John (and thank you also EricBlair for your thoughtful response), Thank you for responding. I'm a fairly intelligent person, and I did indeed try interpreting the line with varying degrees of irony, tongue-in-cheek-edness, etc. I just couldn't find any type of alternate reading that explained it. I know that you didn't mean any harm, and I certainly won't give up on you, as I get a lot out of reading your column. Thanks, Jennifer

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