Lacking Motivation

(Monte Dutton sketch)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 1:08 p.m.

Some days are diamonds. Some days are stones.

Etc.

By Monte Dutton

Yesterday morning, I awakened, and Keith Jackson could have been announcing the occasion. Whoa, Nellie! He came to the living room ready to write! Get some coffee in him, and it’s Katie, bar the door!

Keith was always good with the women.

I was clicking. Why people click in such moments, I have no idea.

I wrote the seventeenth chapter of an upcoming fiction project that is to be called Life Gets Complicated. That’s because it does. I then added layers of detail to my outline, and that is penance for the sarcasm I have just unleashed on an unsuspecting, and only mildly interested, future readership.

The world has too many writers who begin consecutive paragraphs with “I.” I am duly embarrassed. Not enough to rewrite one.

I also wrote a NASCAR column for a website. Then I went to Dollar Tree and spent the money.

The Red Sox won. Jon Ossoff lost. The Sox play the rubber game in Kansas City in less than an hour. That’s another reason I’m not getting much done today.

I have, however, watched an exciting episode of Columbo, and, recently, between YouTube videos and looking up Gene Kelly on Wikipedia, witnessed English horse racing from Royal Ascot.

I proofread and edited a chapter of another project called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. It’s going to be the shining star of today’s firmament.

I forgot to change channels, and now some fishermen are pulling sting rays out of water. This is the sixth paragraph beginning with “I” in the past eight. The others started with “The.” I know its definition exactly as well as Bill Clinton does “is,” which is well indeed.

By the time Mookie Betts leads off, I should have this posted.

 

 

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

I’ve Still Got My Guitar and the Red Sox Going for Me

My favorite guitar, under construction. (Vince Pawless photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, May 17, 2017, 8:54 a.m.

By Monte Dutton

Middle of the week.

Last night traded one kind of music for another. A trip to Charlotte to see my favorite band, Reckless Kelly, fell through, but I visited my nephew’s lovely children – held them, made faces, sound effects, tossed the older lightly in the air, anything to make him giggle – and then, on a lark, stopped by David Bagwell’s rustic horse barn, where folks are prone to sit around and play songs on Tuesday nights.

(Monte Dutton photo)

It filled the need of getting my mind off politics. I wish I’d thought to sing “Moaning the Blues.”

Where else could I sing harmony? Not here in the living room with Boston Red Sox Baseball on NESN on.

Now I’m writing a blog with All in the Family on. But soon I shall be working on a novel, once this – yes, this – gets me in the proper mood.

I got back in time to see the Red Sox break up a tie game in Saint Louis.

Here’s what’s changed this baseball season. During commercials, I used to switch to other games. Now I switch to see what’s the latest on our president. After Red Sox games ended, I used to switch to games on the West Coast. Now I check on Trump. Vin Scully’s retirement may have had a little to do with it.

Watching the news gets me down, so I watch the late-night talk shows to hear the hosts and guests joke … about the news. The upshot of all this is I seldom forget to say my prayers, even as I tumble to sleep with my eyes closed, listening to Seth Meyers.

Perhaps there is cleansing in this. It’s been a while since the country has been this passionate about politics and government. Perhaps some sense of reason will emerge from the unreasonable. Perhaps the middle ground will grow. At the moment, both sides say mainly to the other, “I’m smart. You’re not.”

On the other hand, I got to sing and strum.

And the Red Sox won.

(Steven Novak design)

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Lightning in a Bottle, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written six novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

LightningBottle_CVR_LRG
(Cover design by Steven Novak)

Lightning in a Bottle is the story of Barrie Jarman, the hope of stock car racing’s future. Barrie, a 18-year-old from Spartanburg, South Carolina, is both typical of his generation and a throwback to the sport’s glory days.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Cowboys Come Home is a modern western. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

Signed copies of Lightning in a Bottle are on sale at Emma Jane’s (see ad above). Signed copies of all my fiction are also on sale at L&L Office Supply in uptown Clinton, South Carolina.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

The Old Snow Days Just Ain’t What They Used to Be

img_0233Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, January 7, 2017, 10:28 a.m.

The snow hasn’t completely covered the grass I probably should have cut one more time before it stopped growing. It fell in hits and misses, and here it mainly swung and missed.

It’s fallen in greater amounts most everywhere else, and TV tells me that one or two more bands – the Allman Brothers; Earth, Wind and Fire – are en route.

This morning I awakened to find snow falling, but the heavy stuff was on local TV, where two anchors and a weatherman left the WSPA-TV 7 studio to take turns sledding down a five-yard hill, and, out in the wild, a pretty young reporter rode around and around in circles in a golf cart. What could have made it even better were a dozen dwarves skipping and singing, in high-pitched voices, “Follow the snowy white road!”

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

WYFF-TV 4, recently returned to DirecTV after “an impasse,” offered more sober and sensitive coverage. Or, perhaps, that was based on the skewed perspective of what I saw.

Enough of this frivolity. Black Ice, which seems as sinister as the Black Plague, based on fervent admonitions from those advising us to stay inside and off the deadly roads, is bound to descend upon the asphalt-coated thoroughfares. Meanwhile, I consider making it to the mailbox without busting my ass.

An interesting term, “busting my ass.”

The rare snows of my youth were greeted with more reckless abandon. I wonder what would happen if, today, I hitched the tractor (I’d have to have a tractor, okay) to the upside-down hood of 1949 Dodge, and drug a load of my friends all over town, swinging it out wide so that my friends would tumble into ditches, and, and then, one of them would insist on taking my place on the tractor, so that I could be the recipient of The Big Payback.

Not only would we all be thrown in jail, but I would be committed to an asylum. I’m 58 years old. It would be justifiable.

No one ever got hurt back in the old days. We were limber youths. And the usual driver was my father, who’d had a little something “to knock the chill off.” Later, I learned that a man can sip brandy in the snow for hours without feeling the slightest bit impaired, then walk inside, sit down in front of the fire, and pass out in 30 seconds.

As I once told my mother, “They’d throw you in jail now,” and as my mother replied, looking at me over her reading glasses, “They throwed you in jail back then.

“But not your daddy.”

Rest in peace, Jimmy Dutton.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is on sale all January as a Kindle download at amazon.com.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

Even Though It Don’t Hurt Nothin’, I Reckon …

The sun also rises. Supposedly. (Monte Dutton photo)
The sun also rises. Supposedly. (Monte Dutton photo)

Clinton, South Carolina, Monday, January 2, 2017, 8:20 a.m.

I don’t believe in New Year’s Resolutions. I believe in resolutions when the need arises. I judge my resolutions on an individual basis, without regard for race, creed, national origin, or whether or not the football team is owned by Jerry Jones.

I am trying to curb superstitions.

By Monte Dutton
By Monte Dutton

I’ve never been superstitious, which might come as a surprise to those who have seen me always put my right shoe on first, or eat all the split pieces before any of the drumsticks in a plate of wings, or sing the national anthem before a ballgame not because of patriotism, per se, but for good luck.

They’re habits. I have, however, known people I respect who swore by them. I cling to those habits just in case there’s something to them.

But that is ridiculous. Even though I persist in performing repeated acts of absurdity, at least I recognize it. I’ve got that going for me.

I try to reserve slots in my prayers for people I know. If I paid attention to Facebook, I’d never stop praying, and, frankly, it’s a job just keeping up with likes, loves, hahas, sads, shares, and, occasionally, even comments.

I really hope the kid in Idaho miraculously recovers from the dread disease. It gives me pause. I just don’t think Jesus consults his pollsters before He performs miracles. I’ll pray for people in general, even kids in general, or world peace, or even the softening of hard hearts. Prayer lists are much longer than Christmas lists. The world has enough stress without worrying over whether Uncle Earl’s nephew in San Pedro had to get his stomach pumped because I forgot to ask God to bless him last night after the ballgame ended.

This is hard. This requires discipline. If I have a rotten day and realize I didn’t recite The Lord’s Prayer, it’s going to be tough to pass it up the next evening. The Lord’s Prayer, in case you’ve forgotten, goes like this:

Ahfahthuhartinheavenhallowedbethuhname, thykingdomcomethywillbedone, onearthasitisinhebn, givusthisdayowdailybreadandforgivusowtrespasses, asweforgivosewhotrespassaginus, ledusnotinnatemptation, buhdeliverusfromevil, thinusduhkingdomthepowerandglory, foreverever, amen.

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

Actually, I hold the “amen” and then move into my personal entreaties of the Almighty. I always – always! – ask the Lord to forgive my sins, admitting that they have been many, and that’s not  superstition, friends, that is the truth.

I am genuinely religious. It’s just that my religion doesn’t match many others, apparently. I call – once again! – on the gospel of the great Tom T. Hall, who wrote:

Me and Jesus got our own thing going / Me and Jesus got it all worked out / Me and Jesus got our own thing going / We don’t need anybody to tell us what it’s all about.

He also wrote:

I know there’s a lot of big preachers / Who know a lot more than I do / But it could be that the Good Lord likes a little picking, too.

I’m banking on Tom T.’s wisdom, but it’s never failed me so far.

This is going to be tough. Religion is just the tip of the iceberg. For instance, I’ve got to quit thinking that a coin flipped in my living room is going to affect a penalty flag on television of a game nearly three thousand miles away.

This flies in the face of the events of autumn 2004, when, early in my guitar-strumming career, I discovered that instrumentals ended New York Yankee threats and the great Harlan Howard tune “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” ignited Boston Red Sox rallies. I could understand the instrumentals part because, truly, I could barely play at the time. “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” was one of the few songs I could play without squinting at a sheet of paper containing the proper chords.

The Red Sox were a miracle of their very own in 2004. They would’ve won had I been playing “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog.” As proof, let it be known that “Pick Me Up on Your Way Down” hasn’t worked in all the years since. If it had, Furman University would have won a lot more football games.

I’m going to kick superstitions. Knock on wood.

cowboyshome_fullcvr343-page-001

If you’d like me to mail you a signed copy of Cowboys Come Home, or any of my other novels, you can find my address and instructions at montedutton.com. (montedutton.com/blog/merchandise)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

I’ve written five novels and a collection of short stories. I’ve also written a number of books about sports, mostly about NASCAR. You can find most of them here.

Crazy of Natural Causes is on Amazon sale all December for $.99.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

The Kindle versions of my books, where available, can be found above. Links below are to print editions.

My new novel is a western, Cowboys Come Home. Two World War II heroes come home from the Pacific to Texas.

I’ve written a crime novel about the corrosive effects of patronage and the rise and fall of a powerful politician and his dysfunctional family, Forgive Us Our Trespasses.

I’ve written about what happens to a football coach when he loses everything, Crazy of Natural Causes. It’s a fable of life’s absurdity.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

I’ve written a tale of the Sixties in the South, centered on school integration and a high school football team, The Intangibles.

(Joe Font cover design)
(Joe Font cover design)

I’ve written a rollicking yarn about the feds trying to track down and manipulate a national hero who just happens to be a pot-smoking songwriter, The Audacity of Dope.

I’ve written a collection of 11 short stories, all derived from songs I wrote, Longer Songs.

 

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (more opinionated and irreverent). I’m on Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Instagram (TUG50), and Google-Plus (MonteDuttonWriter).

 

 

A Trucker, a Slugger, and a Bloodsucker

The new Captain Kirk.  (Monte Dutton sketch)
The new Captain Kirk. (Monte Dutton sketch)

Times are changing. The Republicans are acting like the Democrats. The Democrats are having a fine old time watching. Next week, I expect, the Democrats will act, in response, like Republicans used to.

And I’ll be glad that all I’ve got to do is vote.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)
By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

I didn’t watch much of the GOP — when I was a little boy, I thought that must stand for Government of People instead of Grand Old Party — because there were more important activities to watch, such as the most interesting game Fenway Park is likely to host this year and trucks racing on dirt in behalf of God, country and Camping World.

I paid attention to what the Republicans were doing via Twitter, which is like Cosmo Kramer (of Seinfeld) hosting the NBC Nightly News.

C’mon and let me take you on a sea Cruz / Hoo-wee, hoo-wee, baby, hoo-wee, hoo-wee, baby …

I switched over while the Red Sox were changing pitchers for the fourth time and watched Mrs. Cruz being spirited out of the arena amid jostling and insults, and Donald Trump, looking like Broderick Crawford in All the King’s Men, waving bye-bye at Ted Cruz, looking like Christopher Lee in Dracula Has Rise from the Grave.

In Boston, an 8-0 lead had dwindled to 8-7. Near Rossburg, Ohio, Kyle Larson had gone from two laps down to take the lead. In Cleveland, thousands were booing a man for saying they should vote their conscience.

Hanley Ramirez hit home runs in his first two at-bats. In his third, a San Francisco pitcher beaned him. On the way to first, you could read Ramirez’s lips: I’m gonna get you. In his fourth trip to the plate, he homered off that right-hander, whose last name was Suarez. Crisis averted. The Red Sox won, 11-7.

I heard a good line this morning: The only thing in Washington disliked more than Ted Cruz is a cash bar.

Barack Obama marks the first time the United States has had a president younger than me. If Trump is elected, it will mark the first time the United States has elected a president who knows less than me.

That should make me feel proud. Somehow it doesn’t.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

Stop by L&L Office Supply, 114 North Broad Street, Clinton and buy one of my novels. Buy either Forgive Us Our Trespasses or Crazy of Natural Causes, and you’ll get a volume of my short stories, Longer Songs, absolutely free. Tell ‘em Monte sent you, y’hear?

(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)
(Cover design by Jennifer Skutelsky)

Kindle versions – you don’t have to have a Kindle, just a free app for your electronic devices – of most of my books are available here. Links to print copies are below.

Forgive Us Our Trespasses is the latest. It’s a tale about crooked politician who wants to be governor, whatever it takes, and another man trying to stop him. It’s outrageous.

Crazy of Natural Causes is about the fall and rise of Chance Benford, a Kentucky football coach who reinvents himself. It’s original.

(Melanie Ryon cover design)
(Melanie Ryon cover design)

The Intangibles is about the South in the 1960s, complete with racial strife, bigotry, resentment, cultural exchange and, of course, high school football.

(Crystal Lynn cover photo)
(Crystal Lynn cover photo)

The Audacity of Dope is the tale of Riley Mansfield, a pot-smoking songwriter turned national hero with a taste for the former and a distaste for the latter.

Longer Songs is a collection of 11 short stories that all began in songs I wrote.

Follow me at Facebook (Monte.Dutton), Twitter (@montedutton), Google+ (MonteDuttonWriter) and/or Instagram (Tug50).

A Flashback to Those Glamorous Days of Air Travel

(Monte Dutton sketch)
(Monte Dutton sketch)

 

I don’t dream that much — that’s while sleeping, mind you — but I’ve been doing more of it lately.

I bought this miniature guitar to take with me to places like the Pacific Coast.
I bought this miniature guitar to take with me to places like the Pacific Coast.

There’s no deep-down analysis. It seems as if the 11 o’clock news seldom passes without at least one short feature on the nightmare of airport security. I used to fly 50,000-80,000 miles a year. I’ve been on four planes in three years, and they were all on the same trip. It’s hard for me to see how it could have gotten much worse, but, then again, it got worse and worse for twenty years, so maybe it’s not that surprising, after all.

I never had a flight as nightmarish as Riley Mansfield's in The Audacity of Dope. I dreamed it up, though. (Joe Font cover design)
I never had a flight as nightmarish as Riley Mansfield’s in The Audacity of Dope. I dreamed it up, though.
(Joe Font cover design)

Anyway, I didn’t have the dream because I missed my old job. Nor was it because it reflected a current confusion in life. It was entertainment. It was a suspense thriller wrapped in a madcap comedy.

Last night I dreamed I breezed through security and was sitting in the lobby, undoubtedly thumbing my phone (the modern equivalent of twiddling my thumb), when I suddenly realized that the reason everything was going so smoothly was that I had no bags. I had no laptop. I was wearing shoes and maybe even a belt.

I hurried back outside and hailed a cab, which took me back to the hotel, where there was a madhouse of people crowding the halls, struggling to get packed for trips home, and I had an unbelievable amount of luggage. For instance, I had both a guitar and a set of golf clubs, when, in reality, when I started playing guitar, I stopped playing golf. For some reason, I had a retractable flag pole — because who travels without Old Glory? — that I managed to stuff into the golf bag. It reminded me of a very small woman who traveled with a very large amount of equipment and was frequently on the same flights as me, uh, “back in the day.”

Did I make my flight? No. I awakened, and, after a few moments of utter confusion, I realized I was back in the world where I seldom travel anymore.

I took a few deep breaths and put some coffee on.

ForgiveUsOurTrespasses [444427]
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
              Most of my books are available here, in Kindle and print editions.

              The following links are for the print editions.

              Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a crime novel about corruption in high places, or at least as high as places get in South Carolina. Dad’s a monstrous crook. Kids are on drugs. An improbable rise and calamitous fall, written just in time for the Age of Trump.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

              Longer Songs is my collection of short stories, all expanded from songs I’ve written. Try them. You like them.

              Crazy of Natural Causes, set in Kentucky, is a fable on the absurdity of life, told through a football coach who loses everything and finds ways to cope. Most of the time, it’s Jesus. Sometimes it’s weed. Chance Benford just tries to get along.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

              The Intangibles is set in the 1960s, with desegregation, civil rights, bigotry and upheaval all around and a high school football team at the center.

              The Audacity of Dope is a freewheeling tale of an unlikely hero and his girlfriend leading the Feds on a wild chase across the country. Riley Mansfield is a pot-smoking songwriter. Melissa Franklin is a schoolteacher ready for a change.

              My sportswriting is mainly on display at montedutton.com. Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (a bit more irreverent and philosophical). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at TUG50.

 

She Said, ‘Mama, Got a Note Here from the Harper Valley PTA’

(Monte Dutton photo)
(Monte Dutton photo)

Tuesday was another walking contradiction, particularly since I didn’t do much walking.

I’d been paying attention to really important matters on Monday — a rained-out stock car race about which the Bleacher Report pays me to write, college baseball regionals, general early-week angst — and the grass needed cutting, and I’d spent Tuesday morning writing about the aforementioned stock car race.

By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)
By Monte Dutton (John Clark photo)

In short, I got caught behind, and the world just kept right on whirring.

Rain had pushed back South Carolina’s regional baseball game until 2 p.m., so that’s what I had on television when I got through turning hot laps on my riding mower.

It occurred to me at about 7 p.m. that primaries were going on, and, for a moment, I thought a 24-hour news channel was showing reruns.

Republicans were talking about stopping Donald Trump. That train had left the station long ago, I thought.

I knew Trump had made racist remarks about a federal judge born in Indiana. So what else is knew? That’s every time Trump stands behind a microphone. He wants to ban Muslims from America and torture them abroad. He’s going to build a wall around my house and make ME pay for it. If I don’t like it, he’ll waterboard me. At Guantanamo.

The new Captain Kirk. (Monte Dutton sketch)
The new Captain Kirk. (Monte Dutton sketch)

Donald Trump is the best at everything. He makes the best deals. He’s the best divider and the best unifier. He’s the greatest “militarist,” and if he’s president, our foreign policy is going to be both predictable and unpredictable. You’re going to love it. It’s uuuuuggggge. He pokes fun at everyone who is not he. He loves the poorly educated. Everyone who disagrees with him is a loser, a bozo, a joke, going out of business, and he’s about to sue him, her, and it.

His supporters eat that stuff up. He is uuuuugggge. Every day he tells them what they want to hear, and they think he’s telling it like it is.

Somehow, the idea goes, the Republicans are going to go through the Rules Committee and declare that, as a candidate, Trump is not fit. It’s the “Harper Valley PTA” solution. (Can’t you envision Sarah Palin doing a video of that song, by the way?)

Trump can’t even let Hillary Clinton lock up the Democratic nomination in peace. She’s just the first woman ever nominated for president by a major party. It’s insignificant when compared to the possibility that America could elect a dictator. For those who dispute this notion, I ask for them to tell me realistically how this man could govern as anything other than a dictator.

All the staid Republican leaders who reluctantly endorsed Trump over the past few weeks are now shocked and appalled again. The Tea Party seemed like such a good idea, right up until “Meet John Doe” wound up being a billionaire.

Who knew?

ForgiveUsOurTrespasses [444427]
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
              Most of my books are available here, in Kindle and print editions.

              The following links are for the print editions.

              Forgive Us Our Trespasses is a crime novel about corruption in high places, or at least as high as places get in South Carolina. Dad’s a monstrous crook. Kids are on drugs. An improbable rise and calamitous fall, written just in time for the Age of Trump.

(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)
(Cover photo by Crystal Lynn)

              Longer Songs is my collection of short stories, all expanded from songs I’ve written. Try them. You like them.

              Crazy of Natural Causes, set in Kentucky, is a fable on the absurdity of life, told through a football coach who loses everything and finds ways to cope. Most of the time, it’s Jesus. Sometimes it’s weed. Chance Benford just tries to get along.

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)
(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

              The Intangibles is set in the 1960s, with desegregation, civil rights, bigotry and upheaval all around and a high school football team at the center.

              The Audacity of Dope is a freewheeling tale of an unlikely hero and his girlfriend leading the Feds on a wild chase across the country. Riley Mansfield is a pot-smoking songwriter. Melissa Franklin is a schoolteacher ready for a change.

              My sportswriting is mainly on display at montedutton.com. Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (writing), and/or @wastedpilgrim (a bit more irreverent and philosophical). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at TUG50.