insomnia: The best time to chat on line with most of my relatives is about 3:15am–4:45am, or 4:45am–6:57am because we all get insomnia about the same time and after exhausting TNT (naw, I’ve seen that episode of Angel/Charmed/Pretender five times already), AMC, (Imitation of Life, AGAIN? Okay, I love Claudette Colbert, but any movie that ends with "I want my quack-quack" gets stale eventually), TCM (My God! When Turner bought EVERYTHING in the catalog, he sure as hell did buy EVERYTHING — who the hell is that playing Philo Vance THIS TIME? And how can a full length feature film have a running time of 57 minutes, counting credits?) — well, you get the idea: when we’ve seen it all, we turn to our primary addiction. No, not the internet, the keyboard.  I dont have a notebook computer with me here at the luxurious Garden Hilton Hotel in Milpitas, CA where the future of hospitality meets the aroma of the landfill, and my daughter’s computer is designated "WORK ONLY" by the fine folks who paid for it — her employers.  In the middle of the night, when personal demons are more ubiquitious than Law and Order reruns, it’s the kinetic sensation of touchtyping that calls to me. I don’t know if there is an official name for it, but i’ve termed it a "personality adjustment compensation strategy" comprised of distinct stages and attributes:

TYPISTOMANIA — the channeling of one’s nocturnal manic phase into productivity via typing.

TYPISTACAUCUS — this is several nocturnal manics commiserating together while typing.

There are subgroups, of course, such as "TypeATypingTrype" and there are even a few of the rare "OralSubmissivesFingering" which is very dangerous — obsessive fast talkers using voice recognition software,   I think my nephew Tod falls into this catagory, as voice recognition software will render "Sally, you are fondly regarded," as ‘Sadly, you’re a fuctard."  Then again, Tod speaks with exceptional clarity. Maybe Sally is sadly a "fuctard" after all.  At this stage of the conversation, (or monolog), my weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet. (For God’s sake! Don’t sing THAT TV theme!) I think it is time for me to take a nap — after all, it is 6:11pm and I’ve had my keyboard fix.


  1. Lee Goldberg

    “in Milpitas, CA where the future of hospitality meets the aroma of the landfill”
    I choked on my caffeine-free Diet Rite reading that lines. It’s a keeper, Uncle Burl. Save it for your next novel.

  2. DAave Zarkin

    If you ever find “The Return of Philo Vance,” let me know. I used to watch that till my mind went number on KXLY-TV in Spokane. Seems like PRC and Monogram pictures were all that was available at that time. Incidentally, Mrs. Phillips is the perp in that one. I recently added to my DVD collection with “Getting Gertie’s Garter” and “Up in Mabel’s Room,” two 40s comedities with identical plots. Don’t ask.

  3. Burl Barer

    The same plots? Hmmmm….must have been produced by Samual Z. Arkoff for American International! I know it wasn’t, of course. But i did go to a double feature from that fine studio…a car race film and a motorcycle race film: same plot and EXACT SAME SCRIPT. Seeing them back to back was a unique media experience.


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