My late dad and I shared a favorite bible story, the story of Dina. To sum that up, Dina, Jacob’s only daughter, takes a walk from the herder camp into the big city of Shechm. The prince sees her, decides he needs her, and takes her. The herders and the burghers negotiate terms so that the rapist could marry his victim and the two sides would have a trade deal. Then after a mass circumcision, two of Dina’s brothers killed all the men in the town. I thought the story would make a great musical comedy, even though I had a tin ear and knew nothing about writing a musical, but I got beat out by Anita Diamant and her “The Red Tent,” an excellent book.
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My second favorite snippet was the story of the Scapegoat. Every year, the Isaraelite High Priest would select two goats. The priest laid all of the sins of the camp on the head of one goat and drove it out into the wilderness. The other goat was dinner. SCAPEGOATS is the story of how these goats organize to relieve their terrible burden of bad deeds. Continue reading The Making of SCAPEGOATS
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The only good thing about this is that it confirms my back-of-the-envelope, off-the-cuff, seat-of-the-pants calculations, based on snippets of AMA, ALA, and census data regarding the relation between changes in coal and lung disease morbidity and mortality were pretty accurate. The government said this, so it’s got to be true. As if the mortality part isn’t bad enough, I’m on the hook financially for the morbidity part, since I’m in a tax-exporting state and Medicare and Medicaid pay for most smokestack and tailpipe-sourced irritants. My suggestion is to round up the pedophile priests and their cover-up bishops and put them on hamster wheels to generate power. Talk about pennance!
Andrew Paul Grell
“Last year’s was so lame. I mean. Really. A fake time capsule? How did that even get over?” We were assembled at an isolated row of benches looking down onto where the Grand Concourse and Boulevard smacked into Mosholu Parkway, close enough to school but far enough away that nobody would spot us, even if they were able to withstand the powerful aroma of the Ailanthus trees. In a school known for brains, Dina was a standout. Nerds lined up like lemmings to jump off her cliff. I should know. I got close to her when she ran for Student Body President. I was deputy campaign manager in charge of putting posters in high places. Dina was referring to a painstakingly forged journal of Der Bronck’s Bauer. It had been lovingly placed in a synthetically antiqued herring barrel, to be “discovered” by a dog digging a hole in Harris Field, across the street from the famed Bronx High School of Science, a/k/a the Nobel Prize factory. The journal listed the African slaves who dug the original pond that would eventually become the Jerome Reservoir and Aqueduct. The senior class sent a delegation to Gracie Mansion, the Mayor’s residence, to present a petition to deed the sections of Jerome and Reservoir Avenues adjacent to the reservoir to the black students at the school. John Mahaya got a chuckle out of that one. His dad, James Mahaya, had been a diplomat for the Obote government in Uganda, choosing a third secretary appointment in New York, rather than Minister Counsellor in some city which did not have a Bronx Science for his kids to attend. But when Idi Amin took over, the Mahaya family was stuck. I put in my tuppence.
Continue reading NURU
I had my first interview for SCAPEGOATS yesterday, conducted by the eternal (and eternally laboring) Sabina Mollot of Town & Village. And tomorrow, I’ll have my first press release!
So. I had some cards printed up to hand out to friends, neighbors, and the dog park folks; people who were in my corner during the process of getting out the door, or people that may be interested. Info about the book, Amazon link, that sort of thing.
I met a guy, his son, and their new puppy, Max. The guy asked about my vape, we had a long talk about vaping, smoking, exercising, and dogs, and then we introduced ourselves and I handed him a card. The kid’s name was Ronan, and I said it was a good Irish name, and Dad said he was named after Ronan Tynan, one of the three Irish Tenors. Get ready for the weird bit: I told him that I had a main character in the book, Siegfried Tynan, who is the fictitious son of Ronan Tynan. He’s gonna buy the book, don’t you think?
By Andrew Paul Grell
Copyright 2018 Andrew Paul Grell
Entry: February 18, 2017. The first entry of The Journal to Save the World, T. Lapyx Galanos. In my ancestors’ days in Crete, the Labyrinth was meant to keep things in which wanted to get out. Today’s Labyrinth, the circular streets and sudden dead ends of the District of Columbia, is packed with people desperately trying to stay in. Today a new Minotaur has been spat out of the domed center of the maze, set on eating the unready and unprepared. A cretin desecrating the knowledge, wisdom, and artifice of Hellenic Crete. Edward Valiant, the new half man, half bull, describes himself: “Every day I get up, go to work, and sue governments to make sure people continue to die for the enrichment of my patrons.” A paraphrase, of course, but closer to the truth than the original. The new Minotaur has been charged with the labor of keeping the air breathable and the water potable—the one half of him—while the other half seeks to ensure sufficient amounts of mercury and lead to course through the heavens and the deep. Family lore has it that we are descendants of Daedalus through his second (and smarter) son, Lapyx. This makes us related to Hephaestus, and through him, Zeuss. Consequently, Columbia, this new Goddess, is my cousin, and I therefore make it my task to rid the maze of the monster.
Entry: March 18, 2017. In the days of my Hellene ancestors, Athenian, Trojan, Spartan, Cretan, people lived or died by their honor. Just weeks into his residency in the maze, the Minotaur has perjured himself before the representatives of this new world’s so-called Democracy. And so many people seek to inhabit the Labyrinth that even Procrustes would be shocked at the price of a bed for the night. It turns out that the people in charge of profiting by keeping the air and water from becoming worse than the Augean stables have beds ready for their minions. Fifty drachma a day, compared to the 300 or more charged to lesser people.
Continue reading THESEUS 2017
American Writers Review, Summer 2018 Edition, “The Calm of the East River”
Surprised By Joy (Wising Up Press, due out August 2018) “A Christmas Break Miracle”