On junk phone calls and the ‘homosexual lifestyle’

Image courtesy of ph by way of a Creative Commons license.

Odds and ends from here and there:

Universal Bingo is sponsoring S.O.C.K.S. (Save Our Cats and Kittens), a no-kill kitty shelter, on Feb. 22 at 7 p.m. Universal is next to Kinfolks on Racetrack Road.

Get this: It’s 8 o’clock on a Saturday morning. I’m lying in bed, savoring my sleep-in time. The phone rings.

It’s somebody calling for a service group, wanting a donation. They ask me how I am.

“I’m in bed,” I answer tartly. “It’s Saturday. Eight in the morning.”

“Oh, well I’ll be brief,” the lady says and launches into her sales pitch.


More wire weirdness: The Associated Press reported that a Russian man in the Crimean village of Verkhnesadovoye, believed his neighbor to be a witch, walked next door, whacked her over the head with a hammer (What, no sickle?), dragged her to a nearby vineyard and burned her at the stake. The man was arrested.

After that, who knows? Maybe he ran for the School Board.

What’s with the doofs crying about Bill Campbell’s “Jewish defense contractors” quip?

All he said was the defense budget had so much pork in that Jewish defense contractors felt badly about bidding on contracts.

Hello? Does the world J-O-K-E ring any bells? Sheesh.

I got a letter last week from  a woman who said I once referred to the “homosexual lifestyle” as “exotic.” (Actually, I referred to a friend of mine, who was gay, as “exotic.” Plus, I’ve never known what the term “homosexual lifestyle” means. Do all gay people live the same?)

The woman wrote to warn me that the Bible doesn’t approve of homosexuality, and that practitioners are doomed to an eternity as Satan’s Charcoal Briquettes.

Sorry lady.

Your religion may hate gay people, but I’d wager God feels differently. Spare me the venom.

Confidential to the person who spiked all the Alternative Lifestyle books at the Destin Books-A-Million with Bible quotations scribbled on Post-It Notes: Hear that flushing sound? Bye bye, notes.

I have in my hot little hands the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook “73 Years of All-Time Favorites.” As editor of the Food section I expect to put it to use.

We don’t have a “food” editor per se, a person who knows a lot about cooking. I’ve joked in the past I could burn water.

But with this book, even I might create something worthy of eating. And not by the royal food-taster!

Jerome and Norma Capusan called with a question: How do you cook those pear-like fruits that grow on the prickly pear cactus? Give ’em a call at 651-6903. Call me too. We Food editors need to know this stuff.

Here’s this week’s installment of words that should be words: “aqualibrium,” the point where the stream of drinking fountain water is at its perfect height, thus relieving the drinker from (a) having to suck the nozzle, and (b) squirting herself in the eye.

This column was originally published in the Feb. 12, 1997 edition of the Northwest Florida Daily News and is used with permission.

About the author:

Del Stone Jr. is a professional fiction writer. He is known primarily for his work in the contemporary dark fiction field, but has also published science fiction and contemporary fantasy. Stone’s stories, poetry and scripts have appeared in publications such as Amazing Stories, Eldritch Tales, and Bantam-Spectra’s Full Spectrum. His short fiction has been published in The Year’s Best Horror Stories XXII; Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine; the Pocket Books anthology More Phobias; the Barnes & Noble anthologies 100 Wicked Little Witch Stories, Horrors! 365 Scary Stories, and 100 Astounding Little Alien Stories; the HWA anthology Psychos; and other short fiction venues, like Blood Muse, Live Without a Net, Zombiesque and Sex Macabre. Stone’s comic book debut was in the Clive Barker series of books, Hellraiser, published by Marvel/Epic and reprinted in The Best of Hellraiser anthology. He has also published stories in Penthouse Comix, and worked with artist Dave Dorman on many projects, including the illustrated novella “Roadkill,” a short story for the Andrew Vachss anthology Underground from Dark Horse, an ashcan titled “December” for Hero Illustrated, and several of Dorman’s Wasted Lands novellas and comics, such as Rail from Image and “The Uninvited.” Stone’s novel, Dead Heat, won the 1996 International Horror Guild’s award for best first novel and was a runner-up for the Bram Stoker Award. Stone has also been a finalist for the IHG award for short fiction, the British Fantasy Award for best novella, and a semifinalist for the Nebula and Writers of the Future awards. His stories have appeared in anthologies that have won the Bram Stoker Award and the World Fantasy Award. Two of his works were optioned for film, the novella “Black Tide” and short story “Crisis Line.”

Stone recently retired after a 41-year career in journalism. He won numerous awards for his work, and in 1986 was named Florida’s best columnist in his circulation division by the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors. In 2001 he received an honorable mention from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association for his essay “When Freedom of Speech Ends” and in 2003 he was voted Best of the Best in the category of columnists by Emerald Coast Magazine. He participated in book signings and awareness campaigns, and was a guest on local television and radio programs.

As an addendum, Stone is single, kills tomatoes and morning glories with ruthless efficiency, once tied the stem of a cocktail cherry in a knot with his tongue, and carries a permanent scar on his chest after having been shot with a paintball gun. He’s in his 60s as of this writing but doesn’t look a day over 94.

Contact Del at [email protected]. He is also on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, TikTok, Ello and Instagram. Visit his website at delstonejr.com .