Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

Archive for the category “Satire”

Who is the Man of a Thousand Faces?

320px-Keanu_Reves_in_Mexico_2(Photographer: Ron whisky)

396px-Lon_Chaney,_Sr._The_Miracle_Man

Nicholas_Cage_-_KirkWeaver(Photographer: Megapixie)

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Jean Desjardins Is Free Today

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No, I’m not talking about someone being released from prison.

It’s the title of my novel, you see.

For those who do read it, and like it, a review would be greatly appreciated.

Respecting Tradition

Tradition demands a break be taken the month one started one’s blog.

Therefore, I will be completely off the radar until July.

Please take the opportunity to look at older posts if you haven’t already.

Have a great month!

Zero Dark Thirty

I have finally got round to seeing Zero Dark Thirty.

Although the director, Kathryn Bigelow, says that torture did not lead to the location of Bin Laden, the beginning of the movie had quite a bit of it. Considering it received a Best Picture nomination, one can only assume that skin-flaying will figure prominently in next year’s choices.

Martyrdom_of_Saint_Bartholomew_at_MNACJosé de Ribera – The Martyrdom of Saint Bartholomew

The Gang of Four

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OkraBucket_of_raw_okra_pods(Photographer: Bill Tarpenning)

Cuttlefish800px-Sepia_-_Ojos_Negros_(Teruel)(Photographer: Mover el Bigote)

Liver744px-Pig's_liver_with_sauteed_onion(Photographer: FotoosVanRobin)

Coconut739px-Brokencoconut(Photographer: Tom Woodward)

The Prodigy

Although I sat in the back of my 10th grade typing class and in no way resembled whatever image if any is conjured up when the word typist comes to mind, my teacher was absolutely delighted to discover there was a prodigy in her midst.

I’ve always felt it some sort of cruel twist of fate to be so gifted at something that is valued so little.

Like so many others, I worked my way through university. (For some reason we have to pay for our education. Of course, every society has its priorities, and ours happens to be this.)  Anyway, I had any number of jobs throughout the many years from start to finish – a decade in total – one of the most frequent of which was as a typist. Every job interview began with disbelief and ended in wonder.

The IBM Selectric was the Stradivarius of typewriters (though I had great respect for the Olivetti).  A picture of my instrument:

Selectric(Photographer: Oliver Kurmis)

It was not my first typewriter. In fact it was never my typewriter. My dad had his own business, much of the time operating out of our basement, so I had access to it. In grad school I was fortunate to be able to rent one from the library.

 My first typewriter was a Smith Corona. It was as cheap as the Selectric was expensive so it’s probably not fair to complain that the keyboard was like playing

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instead of

Vibes_joelocke_koeln2007(Photographer: Nadja von Massow)

And while I always loved the sound of a typewriter forming words, others might prefer hearing the vibraphone, which I should add is a favorite instrument of mine.

Reviews Wanted!

The statistics could be analyzed, but that would mean some sort of mathematical ability on my part and as I no doubt have mentioned along the way my last math class was 10th Grade Geometry, in which I was so bored that my mind had become one of those oddly named shapes, let’s say a concave polygon.

150px-Simple_polygon.svg(What Geometry Did to My Mind)

I won’t bore you with a lot of numbers just to say that although Jean Desjardins is in the possession of 175 people I have only 2 reviews. If you have read it, and liked it, I’d appreciate when you do have time if you’d review it and post it on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Thanks!

Hotcakes

Ignore the Amazon ranking for Jean Desjardins at #431,554 Paid in Kindle Store and just imagine it’s selling like hotcakes.

800px-Hot_cake(Photographer: Potesara)

Would you want to miss out?

Methuselah

For the wine aficionados among you, I’m not talking about the six-liter bottle but rather the man spoken of in Genesis.

Recently I was asked (as you are) if I really believed that Methuselah had lived to the ripe old age of 969.  Using the tried and trued method of answering a question with a question, the effectiveness of which should be evident to anyone who has read Jesus responding to the Pharisees, I asked, “What do you think?”

After being told, no, I responded by saying what I found difficult to believe was not his age but that he had been struck down by a taxi cab.

The Drive for Empty Space – December 27

As you can imagine, it’s difficult to find a picture of empty space so I have improvised accordingly.

 

 

My drive for a Bentley shall we say has crashed. Don’t get me started on that wonderful villa in Lugano that I set my heart upon.

Empty space, however? At present, it still appears to be free. My novel will be as well on December 27. I’m going to begin playing with the price from Monday so be forewarned. If you wonder why a $.99 novel is suddenly priced at $99, you’ll understand. By the way, what would you rather be in possession of an electric chain saw or a novel? Please, don’t answer.

chainsaw

cover

Vanished

Lest you think I’m doing this:

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I’m going to enroll Jean Desjardins in KDP Select and as a result, I’m not supposed to have more than 10% of the novel on my blog. Never having been particularly good at math and not particularly inclined to count percentages, I’ve deleted the extracts I earlier posted on this site. Uncle Joe would be proud of me.

The Death of a Salesman

With apologies to Arthur Miller, whose play The Crucible should be required reading everywhere.

I’ve done any number of things to support myself through the years, and feel lucky to have spent only a minority of my working life hoeing beans, washing dishes, and standing on an assembly line. But there was nothing dishonorable in any of the jobs I had.

What was I thinking? To apply for a job as a salesman? I couldn’t sell myself out of a paper bag.

My profile, which surely did not match the one advertised, might have read: He doesn’t feel the need to convince someone of buying something they may not want, need, or be able to afford; he doesn’t think anyone should be harassed until they give in out of desperation.

With regards to the latter point, I do wish someone would break the news to the mobile phone companies as I’m about ready to rid myself of my cell phone, and retreat to a cabin in Massachusetts.

The place was packed. Standing room only. A hum of voices. Young people gathered hoping to find employment. One might have thought that it was offering a hefty salary or great benefits. (They were once actually available, believe it or not. Even the less than lucrative jobs I had, nearly all of them, provided one with some semblance of health care. Alas, a thing of the past.  Swim or sink. Dog eat dog.  What a society has become ours.)

A handsome, well-dressed man appears. Using all the charisma at his disposal, which by the look of the audience was considerable indeed, he began giving a job description in rather hazy terms. Periodically, however, he would be interrupted by the phone that rang in his office. He excused himself to answer it:

“Is that so? And remind me how many weeks you’ve been in the field? Unbelievable. You’re doing great work. Yes, it helps if you’ve got a great product. But don’t undercut yourself. Fantastic. Better than you could ever have imagined? I was straight with you, wasn’t I? No, thank you!”

When he reappeared, his face wore such transcendence that I could probably be forgiven for thinking he must be uniquely familiar with the writings of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

He told us of a Mr K. who had been in the field only a short while and had already been making incredible sales.

As he sketched out more and more of the job, it was still not clear exactly what we would be selling and how.

Then I heard, “They won’t notice. That’s the beauty.”

It dawned on me. We would be delivering products to companies that had not ordered them.

I myself saw a beast, and looked around to see the reaction on other people’s faces, and seeing none, rose, and made my way to the door, which was being blocked by a heavy-set man who could have easily been David Crosby’s twin brother.

“I’m leaving.”

“The gentleman has not finished his talk.”

I gave him a look that must have given the idea that the gentleman might be very well displeased if I happened to cause a scene.

As he unlocked the door, and I slipped out into the hall, one could hear the death knell of my life as a salesman.

Author’s Profile

Thomas Simard was born somewhere at sometime in the past, not the future, which I imagine will come as relief to all. He’s always had a love of books, languages, and cultures.

While he probably missed his calling as a contortionist or at least a typist with an extraordinary dexterity on the Selectric, the profession he has chosen has fortunately given him plenty of time to write novels and poetry.

The Drive for a Bentley

Remember you are not only buying a book but a Bentley.

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I calculate I’m still $159,586.95 short.

Pandora’s Box

I had made the final changes to the novel, still not perfect, but probably as good as it will ever be and was planning to look through it one more time and push the publish button today, when lo and behold, the buzzer doesn’t ring, and I find myself signing for my new computer or rather the three-month-old computer, which is now in possession of a new hard drive whose life I hope is longer than one of those nuclear materials that unfortunately haunt rather than illuminate desert areas. At the time, I had to make a decision – carry on using the old computer, or open the box, and see what in the world I was in possession of.

Barney Oldfield’s Race for a Life

I haven’t been tied to the train tracks like Mabel, but I have just finished talking with the tech rep who has told me in so many words that my hard drive was not snatched from an ongoing train in time.

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