Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 11

Yesterday I told you about Hare the Horrible, my fourth grade teacher. I only had a few bad teachers. Most were at least adequate. My favorite teacher was Mrs. Jeanne Parrish. She taught me 12th grade English at Manatee High School. Let me give you a little background. I’m not like Uncle Sid. I’ve always been very honest. I spent many years as a student, and I only cheated once. That was in Mr. Anderton’s 8th grade English class. Sandy Aldridge, the prettiest girl in school sat behind me. One test day, it was a multiple choice, she poked me and said “Buddy, what’s the answer to number 3?” What was I to do? I gave her the answer.

It was 12th grade, and Mrs. Parrish gave us a test. The next day when she returned the tests I noticed that she had graded mine wrong. She gave me an “A” when I deserved a “B”. After class I told her. She said “Buddy, I’ll never forget you.” She never did. I loved her dearly all my life. About a year before her death at age 97, I was down in Florida and I was fortunate to take her to lunch and spend the day with her. That was the last time I saw her. Here we are at my 50th high school reunion:


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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 10

Speaking of behavioral difficulties, I want to show you something from my youth. When I’d read a book, I’d write down words that I wasn’t familiar with. I came across this recently:

What I want you to notice is not the words, it’s the penmanship. (This is for all you elementary school teachers) When I was a child I had a hard time paying attention in school. If it were today (Subjunctive case. More about this later.) they probably would have had me in a special class. I was constantly being reprimanded, particularly in fourth grade. The teacher was Mrs. Hager. I think she hated me. There were so many times I had to miss recess or stay after school and write a hundred times I will not misbehave in the classroom or something to that effect. (Notice that the bitch didn’t know enough to make me write shall in place of will.) As a result of Mrs. Hager’s incessant hypercritical punishment, my handwriting was ruined. I would scribble as fast as I could. Usually it was on the blackboard so when the other children came in from recess they could see what happens to the criminally inclined (me), and use it as an example. Check out my handwriting on the vocabulary sheet. I was about 20 years old when I wrote that. I still can’t write script legibly. I can’t even sign my signature. More later.

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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 9


I had my underpants on backwards all day. I noticed it this morning, but I forgot. It’s hell getting old.

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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 8

I’m leaving this coming Saturday. Frau Grace is dragging me to Das Vaterland. I’ll give you a blow by blow when I’m there, assuming die Hütte we stay at has wifi.


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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 7

If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, I announced a new collection that’s now available. I’ve also listed it on the Books and Stuff page. I’m going to start work on the next collection soon. What years would you like me to put together? Email me.

Did I ever tell you that not only am I the World’s Smartest Genius, I’m also the World’s Greatest Cook. I know what I’m talking about. I ought to know. I’ve had a lot of experience. I’ve been eating for over seventy years! OK, now that you’re convinced, here’s my recipe for:

Sautéed Shrimp à la Buddy

Buy about a pound of unclean shrimp. Fresh is better than frozen. (Unclean doesn’t mean socially inferior like in the Caste System. It means they still have the shells on. It’s best if the heads are attached too.) Do not wash the shrimp. If they’re frozen, don’t soak them in water. When you clean the shrimp, toss the heads in a plastic bag. Put the shells and legs in a bowl and the shrimp in another bowl.

If the veins are full of shrimp poop, you can cut that out. (Sometimes you can grab the alimentary canal at the neck and pull it out. That’s just another little hint from me, remember, I’m an expert.) So now you have a plastic bag full of shrimp heads (and maybe shrimp poop), a bowl full of unwashed shrimp and a bowl full of unwashed shrimp shells. You don’t want to use the heads because they are full of stuff that tastes worse than the poop) Chop up a small onion and two good size cloves of garlic.


Sauté that and the shrimp shells in a half a stick of butter. Don’t burn the butter.

When the onions are well cooked, push that mess through a strainer to retrieve the now delicious butter.

Here it is. I had to add a little more butter. Use a total of about half a stick, 4 ounces.

Toss the used onions and shrimp shells into the plastic bag with the heads. The heads will stink pretty soon, so what I do is I put that in the freezer until trash day. (If Frau Grace isn’t around I put all that stuff down the disposal. She thinks shrimp heads will break it. Geeze.) Return the butter to the same pan and add the shrimp. Add parsley. Be sure not to overcook the shrimp.

If you ever boil shrimp in the shells all the flavor is washed away. The only reason you should boil shrimp is when you make a shrimp cocktail.

The same thing is true for scallops. Never wash them. All the flavor is in the liquid. By the way, when I was a kid I fished scallops and sold them. I always felt sorry for scallops because they have eyes and they try to swim away from you. I also dug clams and sold them.

Back to Earl. I always liked this joke.

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Big News

There’s a new collection available. Ernie and the Piranha Club 1997-1998. As you might guess, it has all the dailies from those two years. I tried a different publisher this time. I’m hoping that the quality will be better. And I have a new format that I like more. It’s 8.5 x 11 and 4 strips per page. I had to charge more. The publisher has a higher minimum price. Sorry. But if you order directly through them there’s a 20% discount. It’s $12.76. I’ve ordered a copy which should come within the next couple of days. So wait till you hear from me after I proof it. Here’s the link…

Here’s the cover:

Here’s the back cover:

Here’s a sample page:

Next Saturday I’m leaving for a vacation, and then I’ll be up north through the month of May. I may have trouble keeping my posts up to date.

Speaking of 1997, here’s a Sunday for all you cat lovers from then:


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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 6

My friend, Bob, fell out of one of my palms:



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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 5

These palm trees amaze me.  They get to be about a hundred feet tall, and they are about eight inches in diameter. There are more just like them all over this part of Florida. How the heck do they keep standing? Last year they went through a hurricane for crying out loud. And you never see one of them blown over. Amazing!


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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 4

Big news on Sunday.

Hey. This is what I have to worry about. Loinfruit had a job interview about 100 miles north of me here on the West coast of Florida. He hates his job up north. So I worry. I’m his dad and dads are supposed to worry. He’s been waiting for them to do a background check. Text messages:

Last Sunday from Loinfruit:

I figured what’s up with the job offer. Saturn is holding up the background check. If I am patient it should be smooth sailing. I have both Mars and Saturn (fire and ice) fighting for me to get in down there.

Loinfruit doesn’t give up information easily. Me on Wednesday:

What’s the news? You know that I’m worried.


It is out of your control so worrying is irrational. Let the Universe work itself out.


Dammit! Just tell me if you heard anything!


No. We would have a much better and closer relationship if you didn’t worry about me.


Maybe you should call them. And I can’t help worrying.


Hey! What a relief!


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Earl’s Behavioral Difficulties 3

My local community swimming pool regulations. I highlighted the most important part.


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