Thursday, October 31, 2013

Out of Hell

I don’t normally post on Thursdays and I don’t usually post fiction, but here’s a fun story to celebrate the holiday. 
A shiver runs through me when I think back to the time when Tammy, my wife of five years, came to the conclusion that the gray tabby who’d lived contentedly with us since we bought her on our honeymoon, was lonely. Tammy convinced me that Sausalito, “Saucy” needed another feline to keep her company. On Halloween of ’79 we decided to purchase a kitten. Read (here) about the horrors that followed. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Ghost of Kilarney Park: Conclusion

Haunted houses and Halloween go together like dots on dice, but the haunted house on our street never did anything to attract trick-or-treaters. So why was there a light burning on Verna’s porch?If you missed the first part of this story, check it out (here).

Read the conclusion (here).

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Ghost of Kilarney Park

This story, a true tale from my memoir The Kid in the Kaleidoscope, has become a Halloween tradition here at Chubby Chatterbox. I hope you enjoy it:

Haunted houses belong in the realm of goose bumps, foggy nights and old neighborhoods, not pristine suburbs with freshly asphalted streets, unblemished sidewalks and immature trees. But a ghost lingered across the street, in a house where a man died. Read about it (here).

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Jerry was one of my best customers. He and his lovely wife Mary Anne had purchased a small fortune in bling from me over the years. I was polite with all of my customers but over the years I developed a real fondness for Jerry and Mary Anne. It helped that Mary Anne was a beautiful woman, shapely with cascading Pre-Raphaelite red hair, but I didn't know what to do when Jerry approached me with an unusual request. Check it out (here).

Friday, October 25, 2013

Man Up!

Years ago when I worked in a jewelry store the manager required all of his sales associates to pierce ears. I hated the idea of holding a needle-loaded gun to someone’s ear and firing so I managed to be busy when customers came into the store asking for this service. 

But one time I couldn’t get out of it. Read more (here). 


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

President Raisin

You won't believe who my eighty-eight year old mother has selected as her favorite president. Read about it (here).

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Other Woman

Rick said it best in Casablanca: “Of all the gin joints in all the towns in the world, she walks into mine.” Like Ilsa, my femme fatale had no idea I was here when she flew into town.

 Titian's La Bella 1536?

I read about her arrival in the newspaper. Titian’s La Bella had arrived in town for an exhibit at the Portland Art Museum; her smiling face filled an entire page. I hadn’t seen her in years, but she’d fluttered through my thoughts too many times to count. She’d aged well over the years, not that it mattered; I’d always had a thing for older women. Still, no expense had been spared keeping her preternaturally in her prime, no easy task since she was over four hundred years old. 

Read about the other woman in my life (here).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Good and Bad News

My dad was a professional mechanic who always kept our cars running like well-oiled clocks. Unfortunately, I didn’t inherit Dad’s mechanical ability, which skipped a generation to take root in CJ, our son. CJ is a remarkable mechanic who treats cars the way accomplished musicians treat their instruments. He can diagnose what’s wrong with an engine by listening to cars whizzing past on the highway. He does a great job of keeping our vehicles in proper running order, but he leads a busy life and isn’t always around.

Read (here) what happened when we took our car to a new repair shop.

Friday, October 18, 2013

The Power of Music


Regular readers know that my grandfather played a significant role in my life, but until now I haven’t mentioned that Grandpa and his two older brothers were orphaned when Grandpa was five years old. They’d been living on Terceira, a poverty-stricken island in the Azores and no relatives had the resources to take in three hungry mouths.
One brother was sent to live with distant relatives in Lisbon, another was shipped off to São Paulo, Brazil, and my grandfather came to America and settled in California’s Santa Clara Valley. The three boys had been very close and once they learned how to write they communicated with each other regularly. One of the things written about most was their determination to see each other again.

Sixty years would pass before they would see each other again. Read about it (here).

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Peculiar Picture #30

Although my writing has yet to reflect it, fantasy has invaded my artwork over the years. Many of my conceptual illustrations play on familiar tales like The Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs and Jack the Giant Killer, and I’ve created several paintings that visualize an imaginary world much different from that depicted in my published illustrations. 

Check (here) to see the entire painting. 


Monday, October 14, 2013

The Ceiling of the Seventh Heaven


Today is Columbus Day and I’ve no doubt many of my fellow bloggers will be airing opinions as to whether or not Columbus was a hero or a villain. I think it fair to say that never was the world changed so much by a person who didn’t know where he was going or what he was doing, but instead of dwelling on this I want to relate an experience from a trip Mrs. Chatterbox and I made to Granada, Spain.

Check it out (here).

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Not Yet Perfect


Some of you have e-mailed to ask how my books are coming along. Slowly but surely I’m progressing. I’m nearly through a collection of The Best of Chubby Chatterbox and I’m also working on a collection called The Ricky Delgado Chronicles. My progress is uneven but I’m determined to complete these books and make then as perfect as possible. When I consider their lack of perfection I’m reminded of other projects where perfection was not achieved.

Check them out (here).

Friday, October 11, 2013


Not all countries are blessed with an abundance of conveniently located restaurants. On a recent trip to India our tour bus drove many miles through desolate territories before stopping at roadside eateries deemed acceptable by our guide. At one such stop on our way to ride camels in the Great Thar desert Mrs. Chatterbox had an interesting conversation with the only member of our group whom she didn’t like. What happened next made me a believer in karma. Read about it (here).


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


 I thought Mrs. C. had lost her mind when she came home from work, excited at having won two tickets in an office pool for an event so outside my field of interest as to be laughable. “You won tickets to what?” I asked.

Check (here) to read more about how I ended up in a place completely outside of my comfort zone. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

This One Sold #7

I was looking for an illustration to post and I found this one buried in my picture file.  Created in 1995 for the editorial page of Portland’s main newspaper, The Oregonian, it accompanied an article dealing with the shutdown of the Federal government due to the feud between Republicans and another Democratic president, Bill Clinton. Based on the saying—what’s old becomes new again—I should contact The Oregonian and ask them if they want to run it again. 

Click (here) to see the entire picture. 


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Four Bits

I’m just going to come out and admit that I’m oddly shaped. My legs are short but my torso is long, so long, in fact, that whenever I’m seated at a group gathering I’m always the tallest person present, that is until I stand. Because my legs are short I experience a problem when sitting that most people don’t have: change is constantly spilling out of my pockets. The last time I gathered up the change beneath cushions in our house the amount totaled $128.00. 

Read (here) how I figured out a solution to my problem.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Yellow Submarine: Conclusion

Catch Part I ((here)

Ricky Delgado promised he wouldn't steal anything when we biked to the store to return my defective
Revolver album. Did he keep his word? Read the conclusion (here). 

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Yellow Submarine

Ricky Delgado promised he wouldn't steal anything when we biked to the store to return my defective Revolver album. Did he keep his word? Read about it (here).