Tag Archives: Karma

Lobster Boy by Harry Margulies

1CircusTentThe man behind the towering makeshift ticket booth snatched the dollar bill from my hand and nodded toward the somber circus tent pitched behind him. I had paid for the right to see what anyone with a spare buck would feel compelled to see, especially those who possessed an easily strong-armed, obligingly browbeaten sense of curiosity, like mine.
2CoffinI made my way through the tent’s dark portal, my heart racing, my head bathed in a pool of anticipation and iced in a gooey layer of dread. There it was, I supposed, inside the floodlit, coffin-shaped box: The World’s Largest Rat? I approached carefully, certain anything so gargantuan, so rodent, might easily swallow me whole.

Once I’d screwed up the nerve, I peeked inside the rat’s cage, 3Rator stage, or home – I wasn’t sure which, and I really didn’t want to know – and peered at it. I agreed. World’s largest? Quite possibly. If not, maybe ginormous? I trotted from the tent, satisfied that it had been a dollar well spent and smug with the knowledge that I had seen something very few people would ever see, or would ever dare to see.
Sometimes I look back on that day, seemingly long ago, but in actuality just last summer at the county pita chip show and festival, and I long for more such encounters. 4FreakShowBannerClassic sideshows barely exist anymore, eradicated alongside such derogatory, politically incorrect designations as freak and weirdo. I understand. It really isn’t proper to stare at the unusually dimensioned, or the multi-headed. And to 5SideshowActspay for a glimpse? Yikes. That would surely erase about a million karma points from my already modest stash.

So, what can be done to resurrect this beautifully disgraceful branch 6CarnivalBannerof the entertainment industry? We all crave to look at things so unusual and so extraordinary that they only exist when a carnival banner informs us of such. Someone needs to start collecting and exhibiting to the public Close-up of an one dollar bills(for no more than a dollar a peek, please?) the things we would otherwise never encounter. I thought about doing this myself, but I wouldn’t know where or how to assemble my inventory of freaks.

I did however come up with a list that I’m certain would draw crowds of intrigued people, the kind of folks with an expendable dollar in their pocket and already bankrupt karma account. Imagine walking into the stale darkness of a sideshow tent, a singular bright bulb illuminating the peculiarity on stage, or in the box. Things like a car with a working blinker, a person wiping down a piece of gym equipment they’ve just sweated up, a pile of money actually won in Las 8Banana:Umpire:Cars:Sword Vegas, a week old banana that’s still yellow, an umpire who doesn’t move the strike zone with whimsy, an airline service representative responding to a complaint letter, a telemarketer checking the Do Not Call list, a bird that poops only on abandoned cars, a small child sitting quietly in an airline seat, a sword swallowing wife, and a one-faced politician.

9LobsterWouldn’t you shell out a buck to see these anomalies? I would, if only they existed. My heart’s racing just thinking about it – my conjoined, lobster-boy heart.
Photo Credits: Human Freaks Banner courtesy of Jack Delano, for the Office of War Information,
Umpire courtesy of Trevor Grieve, Abandoned Cars courtesy of Famartin.


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Harry Margulies is the author of The Knowledge Holder and the recently released The Weight of the Moon. When he’s not writing about romance, money, women, and other subjects he thoroughly enjoys but knows nothing about, he’s frittering his precious time as a cartoonist.


Filed under Humor, musings

Robbed!! — by S.M. Senden

My neighbor called the other day to say he had been robbed.  Just the thought sent a shudder through me.  He told me they had broken into his garage, breaking the door, and into the car, prying open the door and doing so much damage the old car was considered totaled by the insurance company, forcing him to get a new used car.  It seems our neighborhood has been the target for thieves as another neighbor said they took the copper from their AC, causing more damage than the copper ws worth.

One of the worst feelings we can experience is being robbed.  Someone violates our sacred space, our home, and takes away things that do not belong to them.  I have been robbed a number of times of late, and it is a feeling that leaves me looking over my shoulder, and has prompted me to keep a hammer close at hand, in the case I have to confront someone who has broken in.  I do not own a gun, and do not want one.

Though I write about murder, I do not want to kill anyone, not even a robber.  I may want to rearrange their knee caps and have them think twice about coming back here again, but I don’t want to kill them.  However, I do want them to hurt for the violation of my space and safety that they breached.  I do believe in Karma, even if I don’t get to see their payback, I believe it will come their way sooner or later.  Karmic payback can he the worst experience!

A sad note to the first robbery I suffered was that my grumpy, drug abusing neighbor sat and watched making no move to call the cops as they hauled off things from the porches.  Mostly they got old tools and ladders.  The thieves came back a number of times to see if I was stupid enough to replace the items and leave them out in the same places for the burglars to come back and take them again.

When I discovered what had happened, I called the police.  I have become good friends with the police recently.  The police say they can do little about this sort of crime unless they catch someone in the act.  We have a good police presence in the area, and my house is three blocks from the police station, yet, they can not be everywhere at once.

I look for the lesson, and for what I can do with this negative experience to turn it into any sort of positive at all.  It is an experience that I do not want repeated; however it can be put to use as I create characters and situations.  My sense of loss, violation and a lingering fear that I may not be safe in my own home are frustrating feelings that can help me write a better character, add depth to a scene and dialogue.

These robberies have left more than the invisible, psychological scars.  Sadly the damage the thieves leave behind in their wake is a problem that leaves the homeowner having to shell out money to replace and repair what they ruined.  As I cry in my beer about my dilemma, I thought some good comfort food would help get through the conflicting emotions firing inside of me as I write this blog.  Below is a great recipe for a pizza that will do less damage than the thieves.


1 (8 oz) package of full fat cream cheese, room temperature
2 eggs
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup pizza sauce
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
toppings – pepperoni, ham, sausage, mushrooms, peppers
Garlic powder

Preheat oven to 350.

Lightly spay a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray. With a handheld mixer, mix cream cheese, eggs, pepper, garlic powder and parmesan cheese until combined. Spread into baking dish. Bake for 12-15 minutes, our until golden brown. Allow crust to cool for 10 minutes.

Spread pizza sauce on crust. Top with cheese and toppings. Sprinkle pizza with garlic powder. Bake 8-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.


Filed under writing