Newer Secrets #1

Flavius Octavius Bradley came into the world ten months ago, the son of an unwed high school Latin and biology teacher, L. Bradley. F.O.B. is not who I am writing about. After all, he is just a rug rat who has made no mark on the world except in his soiled diapers. No, this is mostly about his mother, L.

There used to be a lot of speculation as to what the L. stood for, because L. was not from West Lumbago. Some guessed Leslie, some guessed Lois, a few guessed Leeanne. Once L. became the center of town gossip, due to the pregnancy, my Aunt Martha, from whom all badmouthing flows, took it upon herself to grill the school secretary for L.’s first name. Her name is Laura. But she likes to be called L.

L. is a private person, and that drives Aunt Martha bonkers. She found herself lacking in information about the baby, specifically his father. So, she decided to float various ideas to see which seemed most reasonable and most likely to be repeated. What good is a vicious guess if you can’t share it?

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

First, she counted backwards on her fingers nine months from the F.O.B.’s date of birth and thought that maybe L. had taken a cruise to the Bahamas and had indulged in a shipboard fling. L. had returned to town from vacation wearing a great tan and many smiles. But she was silent about her trip.

While the cruise story was spicy, it wasn’t sordid enough for Aunt Martha. She gave it more thought and decided to spread the rumor that every second or third weekend L. would drive to Lincoln where she would pick up men in bars and treat them to her treats. From one of these trips, according to Aunt Martha, “The little bastard was planted.” Aunt Martha was sure that L. did not have a clue who the father was.

Despite the rumors being spread around town, the school board did not fire L. Teachers of dead languages are not easy to find in rural Nebraska. L.’s reaction to the rumors was to let it be known that if she was told the name of anyone spreading the rumor, she had plenty of dirty diapers to wipe on the faces of the rumor monger(s).

Crowd Pleaser Teaser

I went to the last West Lumbago

Football game last Friday.

It almost felt like

Photo by Geoff Scott on Unsplash

I was back in school

Standing on the sidelines.

Except I was in the stands

Watching Phil and Candy’s

Daughter Clio

Cavort in her skimpy

Cheerleader uniform.

Causing most of the players,

And other students,

And faculty members,

And quite  a few parents

To squirm uncomfortably

With unintended lust.

It made me wish

I were a kid again,

And not working in a bar.

Old Secrets III

West Lumbago, Nebraska

Barely crawled out of the 1950’s,

Let alone the ’60’s, 70’s, and all the others 0’s.


That’s why Lucy

Was not allowed to graduate

With the rest of us.

Photo by Arteida MjESHTRI on Unsplash

She gave birth

To little Todd

And gave him to her aunt.


No one except Lucy knows

Who the father was,

And maybe not her.


Her aunt, Betsy

Raised Todd as her own.

He’s in prison now.

Surprise, Milo!

Yesterday a guy hit on me at work.

It isn’t the first time it has happened.

Usually it is a guy from out of town

Photo by Robert Mathews on Unsplash

Who is drunk. Sometimes it’s a gal.

Who is drunk.


But this time it was Milo

Who I had met at the

Community College in

A class about existential literature.

Yes, it was a boring class.


Milo asked me to go out

When I got off work, and I said yes.

He bought a six pack to liquor me up

And drove to the reservoir.

We drank, we necked, we petted,

We got naked. Imagine his surprise.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha!!

Surprise, Milo!


Old Secrets II


Scotty lost his cussing finger,

His right one,

In shop class one year

When we were in high school.


They say he used it

Once too often

In the boy’s locker room.

But who knows.


His girl friend, Sally

Was devastated because

That digit had brought

Her pleasure many times.

Photo by Sneaky Elbow on Unsplash


He never told who held him

Or who wielded the saw.

Or was it bolt cutters?

And he cursed forever

That he wasn’t ambidextrous.


Old Secrets I


Wendy went to Church Camp one summer

And came home pregnant.

There must have been more than swimming,

Photo by Joshua Earle on Unsplash

And prayer, and campfires,

And prayers, and singing Kumbaya,

And prayers. There had to be

Intense fellowship.

Pastor Mike called it immaculate conception

Just before he left town.


Wendy called it the biggest mistake

She had ever made

Despite loving her daughter, Bethany.



When We Were Younger

I closed the bar and sat in a booth

Drinking Jim Beam on the rocks

And thinking about high school

When we were younger.


Sharing kisses and strokes with Jock

Who was a star half back

But who wanted to be in the marching band

So he could play his instrument.


Stealing kisses and caresses with Connie

Photo by David Streit on Unsplash

My best friend who

Smelled like bubblegum and shoe polish.

Don’t ask me why.


And to this day I get aroused

When I hear a tuba,

Or chew a piece of Bazooka Joe,

Or see a shiny pair of shoes.

And then I’m back in school,

In the back seat of a car

With Jock or Connie or maybe Max,

Depending on who bought the beer.

Bounty from The Orchard

sign cThe Little Elbow River runs

Through the center of town

When it floods.

Right past Connie’s house

Where she grinds up

Peach pits to poison

The neighbor’s dog.


She tried it first on her

Husband, Stan, by putting

It in his tapioca pudding,

but he just ate it and belched like always.

Still, she wants to poison, Frisky,

The neighbor’s pooch.

So she grinds away.

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