John Brizzolara’s Last Column

“Hey, brother. Can you give me a clean pee sample?”

This will be the last “TGIF” column. It has been a great 12-year run. Well, mostly. Lord knows there were some turkeys in there over the years, but you can’t hit ’em all out of ...

This Reminds Me of December

It took me years to learn that the books I had sent home were unread and gathering dust.

Associations with December: too many. I will economize on my reflections. My birthday is in December, as is that of my good friend, writer and elementary school teacher Elizabeth Cullen, as well as historical and ...

I call spare change “spange”

I once bought a half-pint of whiskey with a fiver I borrowed from a colleague in a 12-step program.

I am constantly revising my own rules regarding panhandlers. I can’t seem to stick to one policy with any consistency. For a time, my rule was to give some money — never a great amount ...

Gross-Out Contest

So, Thanksgiving. I’m guessing I’ll have my son bunking here, and I don’t know how to roast a turkey. Going out to dinner sounds like unnecessary stress. I’ll see if he will go for a ...

It Was Supposed to Be a Suicide

“I was gonna get drunk and kill myself. I figured I’d do it with the oven, you know?”

This is a true story. This was told to me by a man I’ll call Tom Fuller. The story came to me outside of a meeting hall where an anonymous group meeting had been held. ...

A Happy Chorus of Small Voices

“I was walking through the park/ goosing statues in the dark/ If Sherman’s horse can take it so can you.”

“San Diego is not a town for heavy thinking.”

I have always enjoyed writing about Halloween and/or Day of the Dead, but I’d like to take a slightly different approach this time. For all I know both may have passed by the time this ...

City Heights, now East North Park

“I vowed long ago never to move east of route 805!” my friend C.C. admonished me when I told him I was looking for an apartment in an affordable area. My first choice was North ...

A Bit of This, a Bit of That

Once, Dennis Miller commented that Steely Dan looked like Ben and Jerry just out of rehab. They must look stranger than Jagger and Richards by now.

I intend to take the shotgun approach to this column. To be more descriptive, let’s say the scattergun approach. No single topic seems burning for my attention today, but there are several items of interest. ...

A Pig’s Orgasm Lasts 30 Minutes

Growing up in the Midwest, in or around Chicago, I would hear the phrase “Indian Summer” annually and about this time of year. As a kid, I approved. After all, the word Indian was just ...

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