Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo found an odd spam comment in his filter this morning that read, in part, “Janice rolled her eyes and groaned, fought to regulate her temper then stabbed her forefinger at Musica.”

By a remarkable coincidence, I had just been groaning, fighting to regulate my temper, and stabbing my finger, too, although I was stabbing it at my checkbook as I completed putting together amended tax returns for 2016.  (It turns out somebody had muffed a withholding on a payout, and Uncle spotted the discrepancy.)

Anyhoo, once the returns were sealed up, I toddled over to our local branch post office to mail them out.  It features one of those touch-screen do-it-yourself scale and stamp-generator contraptions, and when I had finished weighing things and buying the postage, its screen lit up with the words, “Thank you.  It has been a pleasure serving you today.”

Who knew the USPO had contracted with the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation?  (I wouldn’t have been the least surprised if it had murmured “Share and Enjoy” as it spit out my stamps.)  At least it didn’t try to serve me a small plastic cup containing a liquid that was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

Still irked at having Uncle dip his hand into the Robbo pockets again, I said, “Go stick your head in a pig.”

The fellah in line behind me looked…..distinctly alarmed.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo learned this morning that this week marks the 40th anniversary of the original release of “Animal House“.

I must admit that I’ve never thought it an especially good movie, but of course I love all the iconic lines that have survived the test of time and made their way into the cultural vocabulary.

Well, welcome to 2018 and the Neo-Jacobin attempt to establish the new Reign of Terror.  Legal Insurrection has an article up reporting that the SJW Committee for Public Safety are now gunning for AH.  I can’t cut and paste the excerpts from the articles cited by LI, but the general tone is “OMG, how can anyone watch such blatant celebration of alcoholism, sexism, toxic masculinity, yadda-yadda-yadda, in this day and age?  And what kind of example does it set?  We should all throw this movie in the trash! REEEEEE!!!!

Ol’ Robbo has a modest proposal:  Don’t like it? Don’t watch it.  But leave me the hell alone.  After all, I have never suggested the censoring of your modern homages to pedophilia, rape/bondage fantasies, or pornographic Dungeons and Dragons, as much as they disgust me.

But of course, that assumes a mere difference in artistic sensibilities.  And as I mentioned in the post below about Civil War reenactors, this is really about the biznay of control.  In the end, the SJW’s don’t really give that much of a damn about the underlying substance.  Instead, they’re all about the Will to Power.  And doing away with wrong-think – in this case, juvenile party-hardy wrong-think – is very much a part of that.

Well, as I say, I never thought “Animal House” was all that great a movie.  But when I read this article, I was immediately prompted to skitter over to the Devil’s Website and buy a copy of the DVD.  While I was at it, I also picked up Mel Brooks’ “Blazing Saddles“.  Again, this is a movie that I don’t think is all that great as a whole (it has nothing on “Young Frankenstein“, which is pure Gene Wilder genius), but which contains numerous individual grains of comedy gold.  It’s also another movie that could never be made today, and which is sure to raise the ire of the SJW’s.  I also picked up the series of Christopher Guest’s mockumentaries.  These all happen to be gems, but again are likely to run foul of the New Jacobinism.

Better to get the disks in-house before they’re suddenly disappeared in the night.

(A glass of wine with J.J. Sefton manning the Morning Report over at AoSHQ.  Which report, by the bye, has become my go-to morning nooz round-up.  I haven’t looked at Drudge in months and months.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Regular friends of the decanter may have seen this NYTimes article on the Decline of the Civil War Reenactor.  (The pics that accompany the article are pretty neat.)

Enthusiasm for this sort of thing peaked in the 90’s, but apparently has been tailing off since then.  Shifting demographics and distracting alternate forms of entertainment are mentioned, but it’s pretty clear that the New Woke Jacobinism is at the heart of things:

The military details are meticulously researched and recreated down to the stitching of a uniform, but the broader social and political realities of the Civil War — the profound struggle over slavery and emancipation, racism and equality, citizenship and disenfranchisement — are largely confined to the margins.

Still, those issues can’t be ignored. After a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, where demonstrators wore swastikas and carried Confederate flags, and where an anti-racist protester named Heather Heyer was killed, at least two smaller Civil War re-enactments were canceled. That the battle flag Confederate re-enactors carry is still used as a means of intimidation makes it hard to defend as a purely historical object, independent of its racist implications.

Hard to defend if you have the intellectual capacity of a five-year-old and rely for guidance solely on Muh Feels, that is.

I’ve never done this sort of thing myself, although I’ve watched a few reenactments. (Indeed, I accidentally almost got caught between the lines at a reenactment of the Battle of Droop Mountain one time when I thought I was just going there to hike.)  But it seems to me that if somebody is going to invest that much time, energy, and money into such a hobby, one is probably also going to find oneself thinking about “the broader social and political realities of the Civil war” – the article cites no data to support its assertion to the contrary.  If you’re going to go to the trouble and expense of decking yourself out as, say, an authentic, dirt-poor, foot soldier in the 10th Alabama, you’re probably also going to try and get into that fellah’s head – the real one, not the one assigned to him by some smarmy 21st Century NYTimes soy-boy.

But of course, that’s not what this is about. The New Woke Jacobinism is not interested in the complications, partial justifications, or nuances that make up historickal realities.  Instead, it deals in absolutes.  And wrong-think, including historickal wrong-think, is not to be studied or put in context, or otherwise allowed to exist in any form whatsoever, but is to be completely eradicated.

Because the New Woke Jacobinism is all about control, not about truth.


Incidentally, it wasn’t like that even until very recently.  I have Tony Horwitz’s Confederates In The Attic, which explores race relations and includes several chapters on Southern Heritage and the Civil War Reenactment movement.  It is perfectly clear that Horwitz does not agree with some of the attitudes and justifications he finds, but he at least has the honesty to delve down into the roots of said attitudes, to frankly admit that the issues generally are a lot more complicated than an absolutist position can accommodate or even comprehend, and to recognize that you can’t deal with history that you don’t like simply by trying to erase it.  For that, I respect him greatly even where I don’t necessarily agree with his conclusions.  (I find the same thing in his other books I own, including Blue Latitudes and A Voyage Long and Strange.)

(And no, Ol’ Robbo is not a Southern Apologist.  My people were Scots Presbyterian Abolitionists.  The family ran a station on the Underground Railroad in southwestern Ohio, and my great-grandfather was a lieutenant in an Ohio artillery battery that fought in the Atlanta Campaign.  So, there.)

And speaking of such things, Eldest was telling me yesterday about some people who are claiming that Charlemagne never really existed but was an invention of the  Church and the Holy Roman Emperors?  To her credit, the Gel said, “There’s even written documentation related to Charlemagne from the goddam Chinese, for Pete’s sake!” Heh.

A glass of wine with The Puppy Blender!

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Our Maximum Leader, in his meatspace manifestation, tagged Ol’ Robbo on FacePlant the other day with a literary meme.  Says my liege:

I was recently challenged….to post the covers of 7 books I love. These photos are to be without reviews, explanation, or other comments. Like [my challenger], I will post my covers in one go. Also, like [my challenger], I will break the rules in a number of ways. I am going to post 8 covers rather than 7.

He then invited me to play along.

Well, as I remarked in a post below, I really don’t bother with FacePlant much anymore, except to check out all the vacation, graduation, and college move-in pics posted by family and friends.  Also, to be honest, I wouldn’t even know how to post photos on FB in a way that wouldn’t take years to accomplish.

So I thought I would transplant the meme over here, where I have a better grasp of the technology and also a bit more room to express myself.  Although I may incur the Royal Displeasure and a one-way ticket to the Tower for doing so, I am also going to include some brief commentary along with my choices.

Finally, I would hasten to point out that these are not necessarily my eight favorite books (the instructions don’t call for that, and anyway I don’t think I could winnow down such a narrow list), or even necessarily my favorite books by these particular authors.  Instead, they are eight books that I have read over and over through the years and keep coming back to because I get that much more entertainment and insight from them at each visit.

Ready?  In no particular order, then:

France and England In North America, Volumes 1 & 2 by Francis Parkman.  Colonial history from the very beginning of French and British exploration (with a side of Spanish activity in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas, most of it pretty bloody) up to the withdrawal of the French after their loss of the Seven Years’ War.

The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse.  It and Right Ho, Jeeves rank, to me, as the very best of the Bertie and Jeeves stories.  Also, a pro tip about Plum:  His peak years ran from around 1933 through the 1940’s.  If you’re looking to jump in, start there.  The earlier schoolboy stuff is an acquired taste, and the later stuff tends to run to retreads.

The Complete Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant.  Even apart from his military achievements, I just like Old Sam.  So modest, and yet so determined.  One of the truly greatest contributions Samuel Clemens ever made to books was to persuade Grant to write his memoirs even as he was dying of throat cancer.  (Not only did said persuasion give us this book, it also provided for the financial comfort of Julia Grant after Sam’s passing.)

H.M.S. Surprise by Patrick O’Brian. I’ve read the whole Aubrey/Maturin series many times, but this book (the third) is where I think POB really hit his stride.  (I enjoy all of the books following, up to and including The Wine-Dark Sea.  After that, it seems that POB started sickening of the whole biznay, as the later novels become much darker and more bitter – as well as more formulaic.  I rarely read past WDS anymore.)

That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis.  The third of the so-called Ransom Space Trilogy,  Lewis’s foray into science-fiction.  It seems most apropos these days, since it explores at great length (through the workings of the N.I.C.E.) the diabolical underpinnings of all exercises in totalitarianism, including those which claim to seek the Public Good.

The Dog of the South by Charles Portis.  I agree with those critics who argue that Portis is the most infuriatingly under-appreciated American author ever.  Portis wrote five novels altogether (including True Grit, which is unique in the canon because of its historickal setting, whereas the others take place in the 1950’s through 70’s). Each one is my favorite while I’m reading it, but I think this one has to top the lot when I stand away.

The Sword of Honor trilogy by Evelyn Waugh.  I will only say here – and there is so much more I could say -that I find the whole episode of Apthorpe and the “thunder-box” in Men At Arms, the first book, to be one of the funniest sequences I know of. “Biffed” indeed.  Also, I’ve always wanted to write a paper exploring the development of Waugh’s anti-heroes, from Paul Pennyfeather in his first novel through William Boot, poor old Tony Last, and culminating in Guy Crouchback in this series.

The Complete McAuslan by George MacDonald Fraser.  Semi-fictional humorous (and sometimes more serious) stories of GMF’s service as an officer in a Highland Regiment posted to North Africa just after WWII.  I like his smut-as-cover-to-indulge-Victorian-military-history Flashman Papers series very much too, of course, but I think these are actually better written.  (McAuslan is described as “the dirtiest soldier in the world” and a “Tartan Caliban”.)

So there you have it.

Comments are, of course, more than welcome.  Those of you with blogs of your own? Consider yourselves tagged.  (And yes, I will be checking!)

UPDATE:  Sorry, this post crashed about half-way through composition and I lost several direct linkies in the titles.  When I went back to try and edit them, WordPress went hinky on me.  Rather than lose the whole post, I just bolded them.  I reckon if you’re interested enough, you can always look up the titles for yourselves.


“Haaaappy BLOG-day! Missster….Robbo…(tee-hee, *hic*)”

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

I would invite all of you to fill your glasses, gunn’ls under, and raise a toast with three times three and no heeltaps, because today is the tenth anniversary of Ol’ Robbo’s pulling of the cork here at The Port Stands At Your Elbow.  Huzzay! Huzzay! Huzzah!!

As a matter of fact, I can’t really believe it myself.  On the one hand, it seems I’ve been slogging along forever.  On the other, seems like just yesterday that I decided I needed my very own bloggy platform away from the Llamabutchers.

I was musing on this blog-framed decade last evening.  What’s the same now? Well, Mrs. R and I are, of course, still manacled together. (A joke, people.  A joke!)  I swam the Tiber the Easter before I started here, and still consider that to be one of the best decisions I ever made.  I still live at Port Swiller Manor, although we’ve done a lot to it in that time.  I still have the same job, which I really enjoy, and which would be a positive gold mine for posting material if I didn’t care about losing it.  (Oh, the ridiculous stories I could tell.  Think John Mortimer.  Perhaps if I’m still blogging when I retire……)

What’s changed? Well, the Gels are pretty much all grown up now.  We’ve had various family losses. Friends have come and gone, both on the Innertoobs and in Meatspace.  Society has become downright psychotic.

In other words, Life has gone on….

So, what about this place?

First, I know perfectly well that there aren’t all that many of you ’round the table, but I truly appreciate those of you who drop in for a dram, either regularly or even only now and again.  You have all certainly had an impact over the years on me, and I like to think that I have had at least some small impact on some of you.  Cheers!

Second, I feel I should apologize again for the feebleness of my posting, especially lately.  As I said in the gardening post below, it’s been a rough year for me, and sometimes I have slapped things up here knowing perfectly well I was only phoning it in.  Also, I have been loathe to get too deep into some subjects near and dear to my heart due to the toxic politickal climate that has existed for some time now.  Curiously, even as it seems to be reaching a point of frenzy, I actually feel less concerned about the consequences of saying exactly what I think.  Perhaps I’m finding a second wind to get back into the Culchah Wars.  Perhaps I’m just getting too old to care much anymore about potential fallout.

Which leads me to Thirdly.  It’s my hope to start putting out better quality posts going into this second decade – more in depth, more substantive, more thought-out ahead of time instead of served on the half-volley, more topical.  And more organized.  Alert friends of the decanter may have noted that Ol’ Robbo recently has got into the habit of throwing up a regular Saturday Gardening Post.  I find this regimen really helps me focus and concentrate, and very shortly I hope to start doing the same thing on Sundays with regular posts on Matters Religious.  On the other hand, I’m not yet at the point of trying to assign out specific themes for other days of the week since I don’t want to give up spontaneity completely and I also find that the traffic rate really doesn’t warrant more than one post a day.

Finally, who knows what we’re going to see going forward in terms of the future of blogging in general.  I doubt that we’ll ever quite get back to the Golden Age of the early 2000’s in terms of ubiquity and interconnectivity, but I do like to think that the general disillusion with other social media platforms like FacePlant and Twooter (I almost never post on the former anymore, and have never had an account on the latter) might push people back towards the good ol’ Blogsphere, at least enough folks so as to re-establish some of those nifty little circles that were such a joy back in the day.  Whether this pans out or not, I plan to be around at any rate.

So once again, pray raise your glasses!  Here’s to the next ten years!  Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzay!!


(**NOTE: About the pic, just in case you were wondering, Ol’ Robbo wouldn’t have had anything to do with Marilyn if you’d served her up to him on a plate with watercress round her.  Never, ever understood the appeal.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Yesterday Mrs. Robbo took the two Younger Gels to San Francisco for a couple nights sight-seeing, leaving Ol’ Robbo home with Eldest.

A day or two earlier, we had noticed that the eldest of our three cats (she’s about 13 or so) was suddenly, ah, spewing rather copiously from, ah, both ends.  So Mrs. R decided to take her to the vet.

After trying to fleece us**, the vet decided he didn’t really know what was wrong with her other than some kind of bowel irritation.  He nonetheless prescribed some meds that he hoped would clear things up.

Just before she left yesterday, Mrs. R said to me, “Oh, you’ll have to give the cat her meds while I’m gone.  She gets a squirt of this liquid twice a day, and this pill once a day. You’ll have to force the pill down because if I put it in a pill-pouch, she just nibbles around it.”

Well, Ol’ Robbo tried to implement this regime.  Once.  In case you were unclear, I’m here to tell you that a cat does not take kindly to having a syringe stuck in its mouth and squirted.  I didn’t even bother trying with the pill.

“Damn this,” I said. “The cat’s probably fine, anyway.” ***

“You’re not going to give her the meds?” asked Eldest.


“But Mom said you have to.”

“Look, it probably won’t matter, anyway.  Why don’t we just not say anything about it.”

“But Mom said.”

This is a girl, you have to understand, who for most of her life completely ignored the very existence of our cats.  In fact, for a long time she didn’t even bother to remember their names.  Now suddenly she’s Florence Nightengale of the Animal Kingdom. Oy, vey!

“Well, you saw what happened just now.  Do you think I want to go through that same song and dance and risk getting my wrists torn open twice a day? No bloody thank you!”

Then, the Gel suddenly had an inspiration.

“Why don’t you just mix it into her food instead?  She gobbles that down so fast, I’m sure she won’t even notice.”

Brill. Yant.

And it works!

So now Robbo’s happy, Eldest is happy, Mrs. R will be happy, and the cat doesn’t even have to care one way or another (which should make her happy, not that she’d ever let on of course).

** We have some kind of pet-care health plan.  It covers check-ups, teeth-cleaning, and basic diagnostic stuff.  But when Mrs. Robbo got to the vet, he started carrying on about x-rays, ultrasounds, and other non-covered procedures that quickly would have added up.  To her credit, Mrs. R was very firm: the cat is already middle-aged, and although we like her, she’s not so central to our lives that we’re going to shovel out large amounts of coin on her for extraordinary vet care.  (Mrs. R did say, however, that if it were the case of our dog…….)

*** I really do believe this, by the bye. She’s got a thick brindle coat and I think the heat just gets to her from time to time. (She insists on spending long periods of time out on the porch even when it’s very hot.)  She’s been fine with the cooler, drier weather this weekend.




Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ma Nature decided to cut us a break from the cycle of storms and high heat n’ humidity we’ve been enduring for the past two weeks or so.  It’s a sunny, cool, dry day at Port Swiller Manor, so Ol’ Robbo was up early mowing, trimming, weeding, and taking down some nasty chicken-wire from the top of the garden fence that I don’t feel the need to endure anymore because the deer seem to have stopped coming into the yard since we got the dog. (I’m still keeping my rose bushes penned, though. Rabbits and groundhogs, y’know.)  And to top it all off, I even took the time to whack back the forsythia hedge.  (Which, true to form, although it grows like a weed, had a thoroughly anemic bloom this spring.  I’m finally going to try experimenting with plant food to see if I can get any more lead into its pencil for next year.)

When Ol’ Robbo is that far along his list of priorities this far into the summah, you know it’s going to be a winning year in the garden.

It’s a curious thing, too.  If you’ll pardon my going all Internal Robbo on you for a moment, I should note that it’s been a very rough time for me since the Mothe died.  (It’ll be a year ago a week from tomorrow.) Although I only now and again still get those fits of the blue devils that absolutely sandbagged me for months, I still feel like I haven’t completely reconnected with the world – family, friends, church, work – and I also haven’t yet much picked up on those things that I really enjoy in life – like music and so forth.  I say all this not out of self-pity, but just because it seems (as I say) curious that I have done so well in the garden while still feeling relatively removed from everything else.  Perhaps zer ist zum gunnegshun in zee mind, ja?

Anyhoo, enough of that.  The garden itself is really coming into its prime, with the Buddleia and Joe-Pye in full bloom and absolutely covered in bees and butterflies as I had intended.**  Also going great guns is Ol’ Robbo’s Prairie Cup Plant.  Its history is rather interesting, and if I have told this story before, which I don’t recall, it was so long ago that I feel at liberty to tell it again.

As you might gather from its name, the Cup Plant is primarily a denizen of the high prairie.  (Now that I type this, I do remember telling this story before, because I recall a commenter tsk-tsking at me about the eeeeevils of introducing non-native species into one’s home environment.  I can assure whoever that was that the local ecosystem remains intact, and my garden visitors really seem to appreciate its presence.  Also, at least according to Wiki, it is native to the Great Commonwealth of Virginny, so there.)

This particular sample, however, had quite the strange odyssey, because it (or its parent) originally was discovered by Mrs. Robbo’s brother-in-law in a roadside ditch in the Boston suburbs.  (God alone knows how it wound up there.) Being a gardener himself, he stopped, dug it up, and took it home, where it thrived so well that he divided it up and spread it all along various back borders around his yard.  I noticed it when we visited and complimented him on it.  He immediately separated out a couple offshoots, wrapped them up, and presented them to me. I, in turn, brought them home and planted them here.

This must have been eight or nine years ago.  For the rest of that summah and on into the following year, they did very well.  But then they went into a decline and died away, and I saw nothing more of them for some time.

Then, about four years ago, I suddenly noticed that a cup plant was coming up again.  (Their square stalks and cup-like leaf base are easily recognizable.)  Since then, it’s got bigger and stronger each year. (About seven feet tall and six wide, now.)   And as I say, it’s going great guns this year.

The one thing it hasn’t done yet is self-seed, which is too bad, because I’d really rather like to have some more of it. Indeed, I am now toying with the idea of simply going out and buying some companion plants to put in other corners, even if they wouldn’t have the same family connection.  Perhaps I’ll wait one more year for any seedlings before I do this, though.

In the meantime, I think I’ll have another glass of iced coffee and sit on the porch watching the butterflies…..

**”Prime” is a relative term, here. My plot is still largely scraggly and under-developed, but when it comes into bloom it takes on a certain dryad loveliness, especially when, like this year, I am able to keep the morning glory and other weeds relatively at bay.  For years I have fought off successfully Mrs. R’s desire to level it and install a tennis court instead.  (No, my garden is not the size of a tennis court.) Since she has recently taken to gardening herself, however, we are now talking about plans for raised beds, balanced soils, proper groupings of seasonal plants, a formalized path, and, of course, the latest defenses against the beasties.  (And yes, I plan to save some of its current occupants, too.)

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

Ol’ Robbo found himself behind a car this evening that had a sticker on the back window which read, “Loved Baby On Board”.

Of course, “Baby On Board” has been with us for a long while now, but I don’t think I’ve ever noticed such a sticker with “Loved” added, and frankly found it a bit odd.  I mean, “Loved” as opposed to what? “Unwanted Baby on Board”? “‘Mistakes Were Made’ on Board”? “‘Baby I Don’t Really Give Much of a Damn About One Way Or The Other’ on Board”?

And is the implication that without specifying that the baby is loved, other drivers should feel free to go to ramming speed?


I had a friend in college who had a bumper sticker on the back of his car that read, “Baby In Trunk”.   I still think of this every time I see one of these stickers, and admit that I also still chuckle about it.

Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

The household inventory of Port Swiller Manor, at least on paper, contains about a dozen bath towels.  A spot audit this evening, however, produced no more than one of them present and accounted for, and that one already damp when Robbo jumped in the shower.

Of course I questioned the Gels afterwards as to whether they were possibly taking multiple towels and squirreling them away in obscure corners of their closets rather than hanging them up and reusing them until they needed to be washed.  And of course I was met with stout denials and even incredulity that the question should have been posed in the first place.

Nonetheless, the vast majority of our towels remain MIA.  So, where are they?

I have a couple of working theories:

♦  A wormhole in space.  Somewhere in our galaxy, there is a planet devoted totally to the comfort and maintenance of towels, reachable via tiny and secret interstellar portals.  From time to time, towels from our world and others simply slip quietly away to enjoy this happy Towel Eden. (A glass of wine with Douglas Adams.)

♦  The Underpants Gnomes have decided to diversify. (Step 1: Take towels. Step 2: ? Step 3: Profit!)

♦  Big Cotton has finally come up with a biochemical agent that causes their fibers to disintegrate after a short period of time, reducing a towel to nothing more than a small pile of dust and forcing their customers to buy more.  (I believe Big Cutlery has made a similar breakthrough since our forks and spoons disappear on a regular basis as well.)

Well, if the Gels profess their innocence in the matter, it has to be one of these alternatives, right?  What was it Sherlock Holmes said?  Once you eliminate the impossible, the improbable, however unlikely, must be the answer.


**  Yes, I’ll bet that was an easy one.


Greetings, my fellow port swillers!

The Ewok (PBUH) had a post this afternoon about a new NBC poll that, among other things, puts PDT’s approval rating at 45%. The poll purports to survey the feelings of registered voters.  Ol’ Robbo would suggest that no, it in fact only surveys the feelings of registered voters who choose to participate in the poll.   I’d be willing to bet several dozens of port that there are a whole lot more such voters out there who actually prefer to keep their cards close to their vests and their heads down, especially given how polarized and poisonous the times are.  I’d also speculate that a substantial percentage of that silent faction probably have the same general opinion.  So while comparing these polls against themselves over a period of time may illustrate upward or downward trends in opinions, I doubt seriously if any one given set of numbers means very much in and of itself.

I bring this up because Ol’ Robbo is often accosted by hipsters with clipboards during his lunchtime walkabouts, eager and bright-eyed young things who can’t wait to “engage” me on behalf of their favorite causes.  Usually I just keep walking, perhaps giving a brief shake of my head, a disarming wave of my hand, and a murmured “sorry, not today” as I pass.  But every now and again, especially when I’m dealing with one of the more determined and aggressive members of this band, I’ll stop, look him or her (or “xer”) in the eye, and say:

“All right, I’ll hear what you have to say.  But before you start, know that the three things you absolutely will not get out of me are my name, my opinions, and my money.  Okay? Now…fire away.”

They usually don’t bother.  (I suppose that’s part of street-corner clipboard solicitation training 101.)  However, once in a way, some intrepid spirit will soldier on, thinking they can talk me round to coughing up said responses.  Those who do get nothing more for their pains than the famous Robbo scowl squint.**

Stupid hipster-doofuses.

**Just trying to enjoy myself.  (Spot the quote.)


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