Wednesday, October 29, 2014


                           PRINCE CHARMING
                                     By Doc Walton

And they lived happily ever after.

If by ever after I mean about a year.

You see the thing is kids, and you might as well learn this now, Princes on the whole are not really a settle down and live happily ever after kind of royalty.  At least not the young ones.  They are generally handsome, they are generally rich and they are for the most part a fun loving bunch of fellows.  And seriously, why wouldn't they be?  Given that handsome and rich part there is not much in the way of fun that isn't available to them.

Take the case of Prince Charming for example.  You all know Prince Charming.  He's the one that went in search of the foot that fit the glass slipper Cinderella left at the ball.  He finds it, of course, with Cinderella attached and bibbety bobbety boo off they go to live happily ever after…end of story.  Well that's what they would like you to believe kids; they being the writers of happy endings.   What really happened is a whole nother story.  Who here wants to hear it? 

Everybody?  Alrighty then, I can't give you all the gritty details because you are too young for that, but I'll give you the story in short and you can fill in the rest when you are older. 

Cinderella - let's call her Cindy - was in fact a beautiful young woman, especially so when her fairy godmother was seeing to her, but no eye sore the rest of the time either.  For awhile this was enough to keep the prince interested.  He was particularly enchanted by Cindy's lovely little feet which was, after all, why he had hunted her down in the first place.  He would spend time every day caressing, fondling and kissing them.  Cindy, for her part was still flummoxed and bewildered that she was there in the palace for real, so whatever the prince wanted to do was okay by her.  She did, though, secretly wish the prince would move along to other, er, ah, entertainments a bit faster.  Let’s call it dancing.  The prince was a pretty good… dancer.  Months go by and Charming’s foot fetish wanes some and the difference between his upbringing and Cindy's becomes more and more apparent.  He has been highly educated and she barely.  I mean they can only dance for so long and then talking is usually required.  It turns out they have little in common to talk about.  The prince rattles on about history, foreign lands and politics, boring Cindy half to death, because what she wants to talk about is the terrible mistreatment she had undergone at the hands of her step family.  Neither one is interested in the other's day to day chatter and what with that foot thing occurring less and less often, the prince decides that riding about the countryside is more fun than hanging around the house.  Cindy for the most part doesn’t miss him.  She simply reverts to old habits and spends her days cleaning tapestries and polishing the armor of knights long past that are assembled upright in corners here and there about the castle. She has lots of pretty clothes and although it is not a great life, she thinks, it is better than her old one.   

And this, children, is where the story takes a turn.

Bored Prince Charming is out riding one day in a part of the forest that was surprisingly new to him.  He thought he was familiar with every rock and tree but here was a part of the woods he hadn’t seen before.  What he didn’t know was he had wandered into an enchanted glade where a beautiful princess had been cursed by an evil witch and now lay asleep unable to wake for a hundred years unless kissed by a handsome prince.  Curses in those days had to have an antidote and the witch had figured that finding a handsome prince and getting kissed…well, you know, what were the odds?   
Charming wanders around in the magical glade delighted by the birds chirping and flitting about, the squirrels winding themselves around trees, bunnies hopping about and unicorns grazing on the plush forest floor, all the things anyone could ever expect in an enchanted setting and here it was in Technicolor, which as you know kids, is better than real color.  A beam of light beyond a near stand of trees catches the prince’s attention and he wanders over to see what’s what.  There on a bed floating slightly above the ground lies the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.  The prince dismounts and kneels beside her.  After gently shaking her shoulder and urging her to awaken he realizes the woman is in some sort of coma.  He decides he needs to ride back to the palace and get help, but before departing he plants a deep, serious kiss on the woman’s lips.  He figures why not.  After she wakes up she might not like him, so this may be his only chance.  He also notes that she has really nice feet.  What he doesn’t know, kids, is that the princess was dreaming in the moment before the prince kissed her and what with her being in her late teens and all those crazy hormones that wash over a person of that age, her dream had taken a quite erotic turn.  I’ll explain what hormones are later.  Erotic too.  She awakes to the prince’s kiss and kisses him back with a passion he had never experienced before.  This kissing part goes on for awhile and then what ensues after that is a serious episode of what I will call shenanigans.  Don’t raise your hands all at once, I will explain shenanigans at some later date when you are older… much older.  What you need to know for now is the prince and the princess agree to meet on a regular basis there in the enchanted forest until they can figure out what to do with the prince’s principal problem.  You know her as Cinderella.

Well this carrying on carries on for a couple of months until our Wide Awake Beauty declares she is tired of living in the woods even if they are enchanted and she doesn’t lack for comforts.  She wants a roof over her head and a castle to princess about in.  She has learned all about Cinderella and she wants the prince to make up his fickle mind.

Charming, for his part, is getting a little tired of trekking into the woods each day to attend to his paramour, that’s girlfriend to you, kids, whose name by the way, is Aurora, so he sneaks her into the palace.  Oh, and here’s another by the way, a palace is actually just a fancy castle.  He takes her to a wing of the building far removed from where Cindy mostly hangs out.  It is, I hafta tell ya, a really big castle. 
This new situation suits the prince for a couple of weeks, but in truth he grows somewhat tired of slipping about and making excuses for his absences.  He declares to both women that he has to go away for awhile on tax collecting business.  The upkeep of a castle requires some funding, he tells them, but he will return shortly.  The fact of the matter is the prince is loaded and doesn’t need money, but it is the best excuse he can come up with that will get him out of the castle without having to take one or both of the ladies with him.  Tax collecting, everybody knows, is dangerous work.

He wanders alone deep into the woods, far deeper than he has ever gone before and one day, when he is nearing what he thinks should be a turn-around point, his steed crests a hill and the prince finds himself looking over a spectacular valley.  He sees on the far side of this splendid basin a cottage nestled among a grove of trees.  As he watches, seven little men exit the cottage in single file all carrying one sort of digging tool or another.  They disappear whistling into the trees to the left of the cottage and the prince notes that as they do a lovely looking woman appears at the cottage door and waves them a cheerful goodbye.

What happens next, kids, is what we now have come to expect, but not precisely in the manner expected.  The prince rides down to the cottage and introduces himself to Snow White, who it turns out, has been hiding with the dwarves for fear of an evil step mother who wants her dead.  Step mothers, you should know, children, are not all evil, just the ones in fairy tales and probably yours if you have one.  The prince is invited in for tea and what with Snow being another extraordinary beauty one thing leads to another.  All right, all right, I’ll explain.

You see, Snow had also reached an age where romance is generally desired and although each of the seven dwarves had made their advances, she couldn’t actually settle with one and break the other’s hearts.  Besides that she had her own idea of what a suitor should look like and it was here that tall, dark and handsome factored in.  The prince fit THAT bill exactly.  Seduction ensued.  Okay, okay!  It means she put the moves on the prince and, of course, horn dog that he was, he caved right in.  Before the day was out and the dwarves returned Snow and the prince were riding off together, hell bent…I mean heck bent for the castle.  Things were about to get complicated.
Like I said kids, it was a very big castle.  Snow White was tucked into yet another wing far removed from the others.  The prince merrily returned to his bed hopping ways.   

What?  Oh yeah, that means he didn’t always sleep in the same bed.  Hey come on kids, he was a prince.  Who cares if he had weird sleeping habits?

Anyway, just like before, he quickly grew tired of this arrangement.  But this time, unlike before, he decided to not ride out but simply bring the women together and select once and for all which one should be his true princess.

Well, you can imagine how that went.  First the ladies got after each other like alley cats over a fish bone, each declaring they were Charming’s one real love.  Eventually, though, they calmed down as this was getting them nowhere and it became clear to all three the decision was really the prince’s to make.  They gathered ‘round him ominously and demanded he choose choose CHOOSE! 

But the stubborn and spoiled prince wouldn’t do it.  He would not commit to one princess and one only and let the others go.  He was, like I told you at the beginning, accustomed to privilege and here were three ungrateful ladies – as he saw it - who he had rescued from dire circumstances now trying to tell him he couldn’t do exactly as he wanted.  He was getting riled and somewhat miffed.  What’s that you ask?  Oh, sure.  Miffed means just a little short of angry.  The prince turns his back to the more than miffed princess wannabes and walks to the nearest castle window.  It is there that he sees something that clears his head and makes him decide what he truly wants to do.
“Guards” he cries out!  “Guards!”  And faster than you can say Rumplestillskin six armed men enter the room.  “Take these women to the tower,” he commands, “I don’t want to see them again.”

The stunned ladies are escorted out while the prince hollers after the guards.  “Put them in Repuzel’s old room.  And make sure they keep their hair cut.”
The prince returns to the window just in time to see the young woman he had spied  a moment ago disappear into the forest.  She’s carrying a basket and is dressed in a bright red, hooded cloak.  Hmm, he thinks.  I do believe it is time for me to ride out again.   

“Guards,” he shouts anew. “Ready my horse.”
And that, kids, is the whole story.


The prince follows - I guess you could say stalks if you want to be accurate, kids - Little Red Riding Hood for a couple of days and learns the location of her grandmother’s cabin.  He thinks it would be a great idea to go there, charm the grandmother and thus smooth the way to getting the girl.  He arrives at the cabin on an overcast, gray sort of day about an hour before Red Riding Hood is expected.  He figures that is enough time to get all his charming done.  When he opens the door he finds it is quite dark inside.  There are no lanterns and what with the day being dark, there is no light coming through the windows.  He can barely see Hood’s grandmother across the room.  She is sitting in a rocking chair.  From what he can tell at that distance, she has large eyes, pointy ears and, when she smiles, quite large teeth.

“Hi there Good Looking,” he says to her in his best oily voice. “I’m Prince Charming from the castle beyond the woods.  Mind if I come in?”

“Please do” says the grandma. “And come closer, I can barely see you.”

Doc Walton  October 2014





Thursday, October 02, 2014

Steps on the Stair

                                        STEPS ON THE STAIR
                                                            By Doc Walton

He remembers it now. 
His had been an aggressive and pervasive fear, always there waiting to spike at the sound he dreaded, the sound of steps on the back stairs.  The moment the first footfall touched wooden plank, his attention would sharpen, his hearing become focused and acute.  Was it the heavy tread that presaged pain or the lighter one that meant an evening of minding his Ps and Qs and making it safely to bed?  The measure of the steps on the stairwell foretold all.  
The solid whuck of a car door slamming in the drive was the first tell.  He would stop and drop whatever he was doing and become "all ears."  The big man’s tread on the old wooden steps spoke to what the night would bring.  A light brisk, regular footfall meant sobriety and, perhaps, an evening free of violence, an evening in which Mommy smiled and Daddy smiled and he, the good, obedient child, only spoke when spoken to.  A heavy, uneven series of thuds on the stairs meant brace yourself, steel yourself, there would be pain and, perhaps, even blood.  Daddy was home and he was drunk.  Again. 

Daniel was his name, born and dubbed so some twelve years ago to an abusive father and a beaten down mother too frightened to intervene.  His reality from the moment he understood the concept was simply fear, fear of hurt, fear of harm, fear even of death.  And the face of that fear was Danny’s father, a hard man who strode nightly through his house, his kingdom, with the attendant I-am-lord-and-master attitude.  He was a thick man, strong, fearsome and, as Danny was taught over and over, NEVER WRONG.  So take what you had coming and try not to say a word.  Cry a little, cringe a little, show that it hurt, hurt a lot.  If you didn’t, the blows would increase until you did.  Squirm, beg even, but never act defiant, no never defiant, or your life, young Danny knew, could be ended. 

Twelve, though, is an interesting age.  For many it marks a "coming of age," a time when bright kids realize that some decisions are actually theirs to make and they are not just puppets dancing to their parents’ will.  Self determination, at least in part, becomes a goal if not an immediately accessible reality. 
Considering his circumstance, though, it would be harder for Danny to achieve his psychological emancipation and even more difficult his physical one.  Running away, he knew, would not work.  He would be caught and brought back to a hell worse than the one he now occupied.  Telling someone was also out of the question.  Who would believe him?  And even if he was believed, who could take action before his father put his fists to him?  There was in Danny’s mind but a single choice that could free him forever.  Since he couldn’t go… Daddy had to.
His plan was simple and seemingly accidental enough that even if it failed Danny couldn’t be blamed.  In fact it was Danny’s own misadventure, tripping on a low stair and falling, that gave him the idea.  It was winter and snow would fall.  Shoveling the heavy, wet white was his job and he did it diligently.  Along with the sidewalks and driveway the back stairs, all twelve of them, had to be cleared.  What if, Danny thought, Daddy was to slip from one of those stairs, he would surely be hurt, wouldn’t he?  The bruises from his own fall were proof of that.  And what if he slipped at the very top? Wouldn’t he be hurt more, hurt really bad?  Maybe break something?  Maybe even his head?   He could be so hurt, Danny thought, he might be unable to stop what would happen next. 
And so this boy, tired of pain, tired of fear, tired of groveling, waited impatiently for that one day when the snow would come and the temperature would fall and a weatherman promised more of the same.  On that day he would act.
And so he did.
Danny shoveled and then swept the stairs of every last flake of snow.  Not a trace remained.  The water he poured on the landing and top two steps froze instantly and was quite invisible.  His bat, a hefty Big Papi model, was propped inside by the door.  Danny was warmed to a sweat by his work but nevertheless felt chilled inside; cold and determined.  The day was Friday.  The day his dad was always drunk.
The car door slamming was later than usual and, to Danny’s attentive ears, louder.  It was an hour or so past most bar Happy Hours and quite dark outside.  Danny had purposely left the house back lights unlit. This he knew would infuriate his father, but an angry, drunk, careless man was what Danny hoped for.  Muffled footsteps reached his ears as his father stumbled the short walk from driveway to back stairs.  It was with the first step upward that the big man’s cursing began and Danny’s hope and fear shot up simultaneously.

Cluff cluff, the first two stairs.  “Son of a bitch, I’m going to beat the crap out of that little fucker.”  Cluff cluff, the next two.  “Goddamn it, I can’t see shit.”  Cluff, cluff, two more.  “I am truly going to bust his ass.”  Cluff cluff.  Seven and eight.  “Come out here you little bastard!”  Then quickly, cluff cluff, cluff cluff.  “I’m going to teach you, WHAT THE!”
With his ear pressed to the door Danny then heard…was it two or three loud thumps?  He wasn’t sure.  He flipped the back light switch to on, turned the knob and opened the door warily.  His father lay crumpled at the bottom of the stairs, his head twisted at an unlikely angle.  The bat, Danny knew at once, wouldn’t be necessary.  He turned then, back into the house.  “Mom” he hollered to his TV engrossed mother.  “I think Dad has hurt himself.”
Yes he remembers it all now, some 15 years later and he remembers it with no regrets.  Why should I feel bad, he thinks, the man was a monster.  If he hadn’t died me or Mom would have.  He was certain of that.  He pushes the memory aside as he hears the sound of laughter ring out from the next room.  His twin sons are happily engrossed in their video game.
“I told you boys to go to bed,” Danny shouts at them with menace in his voice he doesn’t actually feel. “Do it right now.” He knows they will piddle around a little longer until he actually appears and hustles them up to their room.  He doesn’t mind.  They’re good kids.  He thinks, though, for a second, what his father would have done.  He has heard it said, after all, so often, “Like father like Son.” He ponders that for just moment and then his next thought spills out aloud. “Yeah, well not in this house” he declares. “Not now, not ever.”  
September 2014  Doc Walton



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Feel Like Writing, Don't Know Why

Maybe it is because I have been dodging it for a few days, avoiding having to make stuff up that is, or maybe it is because what I had been writing is about an unpleasant subject, child abuse, or maybe it is just the end of a spurt of laziness - make that a wave of - but I do feel like writing this morning.  Nothing grand, nothing notable, just spit out some words and see them there on the screen so I'll know for sure the whole writing thing is possible.  Here goes that.

I read earlier this morning that Fannie Flagg said her wanting to write is like a one legged man wanting to tap dance, it is so hard, but she, nevertheless, wants to.  I feel the same way.  And someone else of note, I can't remember who, said writing is a way of talking without being interrupted.  Both comments are, in my opinion, pithy, which inspires me to think is now my turn to write something pithy...

as soon as something pithy comes to me.  

Or is it I just like saying pithy?  Possibly.

In the meantime, while we are waiting for the pithy to arrive, it is best we don't hold our breath. 

I did have a nice moment while talking to a couple of bible thumpers the other day.  Wait!  That's derogatory.  Let's call them door to door proponents of "Good News," to use their term.  Their good news, unfortunately, was simply a belief they held for which there is no proof.  "A belief " I pointed out, (pithily)"without proof to substantiate it, is nothing more than opinion."  

Granted, not as good as my best pithy which remains, "Old men like old whiskey, old women like dessert" but it is in the running for Best Pithy Saying About Something Other People Have Said Better. 

(I wonder if there is anyone anywhere who lacked a lisp and said don't be so pithy?)

And now, for a change of subject, see my next post.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I'm not feeling at all clever this morning.  I slept well.  I had my morning coffee.  I'm awake.  I feel good.  Everything, as far as I can tell, is as it should be but...I'm not feeling clever.  Does this ever happen to you or is cleverness not one of your particular priorities?

For me it is a question of mental agility.  You know, the ability to see the odd, the skewed, the usually unnoticed, and especially the funny.  Where would life be without the funny?  (Nowhere I want to go, that's for sure.)  And maybe that's it, my lack of cleverness this morning. The funniest man on the planet, Robin Williams, is gone and I and the planet are feeling his absence.  What a loss.  He was 63.  We should have had at least another decade of laughter from him. 
So I'll pass this day clever-less and maybe a couple more as well.  I'll just enjoy the many clips of Robin's brilliance that are certain to be aired and put aside my small bits of funny to appreciate those of a true master.  I will miss you Robin and so will a world that needs laughter more than ever.

Rest in peace. 



Saturday, August 09, 2014

Addicted !

When I read writing that is better than mine, which is everything I read, because I won't read anything that isn't good, I wonder why I write at all and yet... I persist.  Clearly, my inner psychiatrist suggests, I have an addiction. 

Alrighty then, what to do?  

My first thought was to quit cold turkey.  I abandoned that line of reasoning almost immediately when the phrase "cold turkey" led me down an imaginary failed Thanksgiving dinner that I knew I would have to write if I lingered long on why the turkey was cold.  If I went to the expanded phrase, "quitting cold turkey," leftover and deli sandwiches would come into play for that is where cold turkey most often appears and I would be hard pressed to do much with that subject.  I also wondered why "cold turkey" was used to describe a way of ridding oneself of an addiction by applying  will power and no other aids. What the hell do turkeys have to do with that, let alone cold ones?

Tapering off didn't work either.  Watch I'll show you:  Tapering off doesn't work either. See I'm still writing.

I was left with only one choice, WA, Writers Anonymous.

Hello, my name is Doc Walton and I am a writeaholic.   I spend hours a day getting into a numbed out, trance-like state in which I ignore the reality around me.  The damage to myself, my friends and family is incalculable.  I know this as I once tried to calculate it and came up with twelve and I have no idea what that signifies because we writeaholics don't do well with numbers. What's that you say?  Twelve is the number of steps it takes to complete the program?  Okay, then. I'm clearly in the right place. What exactly is the first step?  Get rid of my blog!  You people are Effing Crazy?!

I'm outa here! 


Monday, August 04, 2014


During yesterday's PGA golf tournament Sergio Garcia hit a shot that went awry and clipped the hand of a woman spectator.  The woman was unhurt  but the golf ball knocked her engagement diamond from her ring. When a subsequent search failed to discover the ring, Sergio told his caddy to get the woman's name and address and he would buy her another diamond.  

 Woowoo Charly suggested to me that here was story potential.  Her view was that a fictional golfer experiences the same situation and upon meeting the woman at an agreed upon jewelry store the two are attracted to each other and shuffle off to a nearby place for lunch and cocktails. From there, of course, they fall in love and the golfer ends up buying two rings, one to return to the woman's former fiancee and one to give to his new love. 

A decent plot line but not exactly one that is up my alley.  Up my alley there are weirdos and winos, some of whom may or may not be golfers, and either humor or horror is about to be afoot, at hand, at arms reach, or some other close body part of your choice.  Romance is less likely but not out of the question if you pose the question properly as in, "So Doc, any chance of a love affair in your story of an alcoholic werewolf who only savages people named Jack Daniels?"  The answer right off the cuff and other parts of my clothing would be no, but it would give me pause later, because there is something in the word pause that if spelled differently could lead to a sexually titillating scene and that is a scene I might be inclined to write. (I have learned that writing from an inclined position causes blood to flow away from the brain making that organ less functional which, as it turns out in my case, is usually a good thing.)

So anyway, back in real life where I occassionally but seldom willingly live, the woman's diamond was eventually found in the rough bordering the fairway, hence the title of this blog.  The discovery of the rock ended any chance for a romantic liason between Sergio and the woman which is too bad. Had the stone not been found the woman might have been bitten by a wolf, turned to drink and, well, you know the rest of the story.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Emails have been answered, Facebook scanned -  too many Salons and UpWorthys, too many Shares from others, too few actual people messages - ball scores noted, news perused and lo, wouldn't you know, I am ready to blog...sort of.

What I mean is the decks are cleared. Cleared of distractions and mental bric a brac.  You know, the usual things decks are cluttered with.  I am now ready, willing and...not quite ready to go.  I need the spark of inspiration that precedes action.  (It is a spark, isn't it?  I may actually require something larger, a bolt perhaps or a jolt. Or a big, freaking blow upside the head of my imagination.) Hang on a minute, will ya?

It's coming, coming, coming and HERE IT IS:

I got stung on the back of the neck by a bee the other day.  I had taken the dog outside so he could offload his cargo and when we returned to the house the bee came along for the ride on the back of my neck.  I was unaware that it was a stow away. (I used "cargo" and "stow away" to tie this in with that clearing the decks naval metaphor I used earlier. You got that, right?) The bee waited until I was seated comfortably before alerting me to its presence by inserting its stinger in the heretofore mentioned back of my neck.  I did what any highly intelligent human with a Nobel Prize winning intellect would do in the same situation. This action, of course, might also have been duplicated by a near brain dead imbecile on life support but let's go with the first category for the hell of it.  I swatted the bee away.  It landed, wounded and ungracefully on the floor where it began to crawl about.  Now here's the interesting part.  (From the crowd a cry of, "I sure hope so Doc because you haven't got there thus far.) (I replied, "I like the use of 'thus.' Very clever to avoid two 'so's in the same sentence.) Because I am blinder than a bat with a little white cane I could tell the critter on the carpet was a bug, but I didn't know of what sort.  It could have been a spider or it could have been a tiny alien from another planet here to implant the eggs of its species in the nearest host.  To identify the creature and thus determine its intent (See I can use thus too) I grabbed a magnifying glass I keep nearby for just such occasions, stooped over the beast and said, "Ah ha! It's a bee of the bumble variety" in my best Sherlockian voice which, if I may say so, is quite good.  I then proceded to slay the beast and the case was closed.

Or was it?  Two days have passed and the lump on the back of my neck remains.  Is it possible that an alien DISGUISED as a bee might have left a colony that is even now working its way toward my brain?  And if so. wouldn't some say that was a good thing?