The Suitcase Lady


February 21, 2017, 11:17 pm

Today marks the start of  the eleventh year of The Suitcase Lady Blog. It began as my personal antidote to the Iraq War frenzy. All my favorite people and I were consumed with grief over that foolhardy venture. I turned to writing about positive things as a brief weekly escape into happier worlds.

Now, eleven years later, our country is in a far more dangerous place than those horrific war years. Many of us are struggling to find effective ways to resist the injustices and Constitutional carnage being spewed out daily by our new leaders. And we are also struggling to keep our personal lives balanced in this surreal environment.

I intend to keep writing about some of the things that bring joy to our lives: nature, art, travel, books, friends, food and humor. I do believe all is lost if there are no moments of laughter.

In that spirit, I wish to share four short passages from the book I just finished, Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey. I laughed through the entire 334 pages, a most welcome respite from the present American disaster.

In the first passage, Serge A. Storms, Tim Dorsey’s Florida history-loving character, has taken a temporary job as a grocery clerk and has been assigned to sell Florida Lottery tickets.

  • Another customer stepped up to the counter. “Six quick picks, please.”
    “Jesus, don’t buy lottery tickets,” said Serge. “The store won’t tell you this because they’re in on it, but the whole thing is a fool’s bet. It’s a tax on people who are bad at arithmetic.
    “What the hell is going on here? Just give me the tickets!”
    “Buy food instead,” said Serge. “That’s a sure thing”.
    “I am buying food.” The man set an item on the counter.
    “I’m buying chips”.
    “But you’re buying the twelve-pack of small individual bags! It’s the worst possible cost-per-ounce scenario! Work the numbers, man!


  • Traffic stacked up on a lazy, hot stretch of Old Dixie Highway running south from Miami to Homestead. A carpet-remnant outlet just held its eighth going-out-of-business sale, but the turnout was so anemic that they had to go out of business.


  • The number one rule in life is when people point out that you lied, just flatly deny it. Of course The Daily Show will run clips of you saying it, but nobody’s paying attention. Don’t you follow elections in this country?


  • These new babies are now called smartphones. I don’t know how I managed to get along without one! Tap, tap, tap. “I’ve never possessed a cooler gadget in my life, and I’ve only begun to scratch the surface of its potential. But from what I’ve seen so far, these phones are the pinnacle of human achievement. Forget nuclear fission and stem-cell research. Every culture on every continent now has instant, around-the-clock, multiple media platforms to share with the rest of the globe that cats like to sit in boxes.

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