A Child’s Play With His Father…

Watching live TV: My Dad came across Chucky TV show commercials…he’s never been a fan of magic or ventriloquism or horror. He sighed.

So I RSVPed this opportunity to make him feel better: “Oh: it’s not ventriloquism! Chucky is a doll imbued with the maniacal soul of a serial killer.”

A beat.

As we go through life we all have moments where we say things out loud we wish we could take back. Sometimes even as we’re saying em. I misread the situation…this was clearly NOT a teaching moment.


Sammy Younan is the affable host of My Summer Lair: think NPR’s Fresh Air meets Kevin Smith: interviews & impressions on Pop Culture.

My Pop Culture Week: Dave Chappelle’s Unforgiven

I got a hankering for McDonald’s french fries so I’ma keep this short. Gotta find pants and car keys. I’ve been slow but expect a few My Summer Lair episodes to drop soon. I’ve been recording just been slow releasing em: taking more mental health breaks from the computer.

Mentally it’s been a long hard year with one month to go. Thankfully breaks and McDonald’s french fries make this modern life much easier.

So! A comedy check-in with my Pop Culture Week.


On June 12, 2020, Dave Chappelle released 8:46 a short “comedy special” in response to police violence against African-Americans. His latest “special” Unforgiven is just under 20 minutes yet it extends his social commentary on the black experience in America. Though truly Dave Chappelle’s relationship with Chappelle’s Show is so complicated that it ah…”colours” the final product.

It’s a weird connection that probably reveals more about himself than it does for the audience: like the Will Smith beef with Aunt Viv. That’s about you; not us. Still: Dave Chappelle’s Unforgiven is stunning. I…just wow. I watched this mother twice. The callbacks, the efficient metaphors, judicious word choice: it was like watching Jordan play in the 90s. Behold The Spectacle. Wow.


My 1950s Submarine Dream

I had the strangest dream.

I dreamt that a bunch of us were trapped on a submarine (the watercraft vessel, not the sandwich food; this is a dream so either scenario makes sense. But yes the Navy submersible.).

Only on this submarine each of the rooms was decorated like a Leave It to Beaver 1950s style living room. Imagine the Wonder Years house mashed into a submarine.

And I was in this 1950s living room (in a submarine) on a couch trying to read a book and sip my tea when this strange woman kept pacing and panicking because we were all going to die. She was convinced we were trapped and we were running out of time and air.

Her panic was deeply obnoxious and unnecessary so I sighed and left the room. I got up with my book and my tea to the next room yet another 50s style living room and there was a 10-year-old kid on the floor playing video games on a handheld device with no headphones.

That’s it. When I awoke that’s all I remember. I ah…understand there’s some sexual connotations to dreaming about a submarine but the rest I haven’t a clue what any of that means.

I recently switched cereals…I ate a large bowl of Sugar Crip before bed. Could that be to blame?


Allergic To Logic

Yesterday afternoon in the store picking up supplies as the Will Smith Summertime song goes: “cause you’re invited to a barbecue that’s startin’ at 4!”

(Yesterday was deeply incredible…that heat was totally bbq inspired. As I driving I had all the windows down and stereo up cranking like Bowie’s Modern Love and MJ’s Off The Wall. Summer is beautiful and wonderful in that order.)

I picked up ketchup chips and was debating which gummies to pick up for the kids/myself when a young lass…maybe 13 or 15 sneezed.

It was like a shotgun went off and people froze like they’re bringing back the Mannequin Challenge.

Her face went all red…looking down at her faded red Cons she mumbled: “I’ve allergies.” Poor kid. She was instantly lepered.

I guess people with allergies now hafta start carrying that Joker “medical condition card” just to participate in our society. That sucks. Hang in there Red Con Kid (and others like her.).

Oh, and I went with sour patch kids.


The Library Is A Hell Of A Drug

After months of being separated, the Library and I reunited. And it feels so good. Cause we understood.

Only now the experience is like a cop TV show/Colombian cartel movie drug deal.

At the appointed date and time—you get a time and a date when the deal is going down. When your shipment has come in.

I step up to the table, make eye contact and wordlessly place my library card on the table and take 2 steps back.

She takes 2 steps forward, looks down at my card and she looks up at me: scanning. I’m not carrying a wire or heat: either a gun or coronavirus fever.

She nods. I nod back.

We good. She has the stuff and is willing to give it to me. Which is a deep relief because I’ve been jonesing since I quit cold turkey back in mid-March.

I step up to the table, make eye contact, and wordlessly place my library card on the table and take 2 steps back making eye contact the entire time.

It’s not said but I know: Make. No. Sudden. Movements.

I’m nervous. I wanna make a “joke” to evict the tension. I can feel a drop of sweat slowly sliding down my back like a lover’s gentle one finger caress.

I take two steps forward maintaining eye contact, in one sweeping motion grab the bag and grab the card turn and walk briskly to my car. In the car, I tear open the bag and yep…that’s the stuff.

Smells so good. I exhale. I didn’t realize I was holding my breath this whole time. I start the car thinking this should tide me over but the Library and I know…that’s not true. I’ll be back.

They got the stuff I want.


Don’t Suck At Self-Care

Dracula Takes Good Care of Himself!

People will always come to your door to suck up your time; they’re often out for new blood.

Hang in there; winter is not easy it can drive you batty and feels like the Sun will burn if you ever see it.

What does “Count” is the rest you get. Dracula: Dead and Loving It.

If a vampire is down with Self Care how you can not be?! (Dracula remains…as always an inspiration! Sure wish “he’d” put out a self-help book. Especially since he’s got a reputation for helping himself…)

(Image Credit: Marv Wolfman/Script; Gene Colan/Art from Tomb of Dracula (1972) #24)


Dollar Store Love

Strolled into the ghetto dollar store still shaking off my nap. (There are classy dollar stores and ghetto dollar stores…what you think all strip clubs are top shelf?! Same principles people.) After I picked up a few things I got in line behind this senior citizen.

She had a handful of Valentine’s Day cards and was clearly reviewing her selections before buying em. As she shuffled through em…I was like woah! These weren’t like #1 Grandkid big heart cards…these were like Hot Stuff Valentine’s cards. Is Granny juggling men?! Damn.

My Saturday night plans included going home and eating an entire roasted chicken while watching Uncut Gems on Netflix. It was then that I sensed the store’s P.A. system which was playing classic rock (a ghetto dollar store clue…) had just wrapped up Bob Seger’s Night Moves and launched into Journey’s Don’t Stop Believin’. Oh man; that’s a sign!

I’m not buying Valentine’s cards; I’m buying roasted chicken from the supermarket. I should make changes. And not just for myself but…for others. I can’t be the only one who feels this way. That kind of positivity is inspiring and we can all use more of that in our lives.

Of course, I’m still gonna eat the entire roasted chicken and watch Uncut Gems. You crazy? That’s a good day. But then yeah…after that…after I’ve washed all that delicious chicken down with Orange Fanta…then yes: I’ll carpe that diem.


PSA: Your Grande Insanity

Virtual Insanity is Starbucks’ attempt at atmosphere; it’s not a mid-day invitation for you to suddenly get up and mimic the MC Escher moves of the music video.

Especially if you can’t. Heed the fine print displayed at the bottom of every tv commercial: this was done by a professional do not attempt this at home.

You suck Grande:


Poop O’clock

Back to the land of people, passwords and ugh…pants. #DownWithPants

Even though my Poop Schedule is still on Vacation Time.

I may struggle silently but at least I do not struggle alone.


Here Comes The Future!

To quote Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapons okay-okay-okay. I’ve been saying this since the year 2000 but this year I really mean it: 2020 really does sound like some sort of sci-fi dystopian thriller humans versus Skynet future date.

Yet it’s here; we’re here!

Really hope one of y’all kept the receipt because this isn’t the future we will all promised. I mean do you know anybody who’s got third-degree burns on their butt from a jetpack?!

Welcome back to the Roaring Twenties: we’ve gone from flappers to transporters.


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