Monthly Archives: September 2014

Like Moths to a Flame

Take my beautiful, adoring women. Please!moth

According to the advertisements I get on line, there are literally dozens of beautiful women eager to have me invest in foreign currencies. Of course, this is all understandable as I know the purchasing-power parity condition, e.g.,

Price of Big Mac (denominated in dollars) = ($/Euro) * Price of Big Mac (denominated in euros)

However, I already have a wife who would love me even if I didn’t understand foreign exchange. So, I don’t need these beauties and their euros and yen. I’m sure my wife would feel the same as well.

So, visit me on Facebook and claim one of my admirers. It would be nice, if at the same time, you purchased one of my novels. I mean, fair is fair.

I could have had a really cool photo of a 5 lempira note from Honduras but I’m having problems with my scanner. Sorry.

– Paul R. De Lancey,  Dreamer

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on



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Spotlight on Robin Savage, author of “Stand Up and be a Lady”

Chapter One


The Trouble With Tremorssavage


Firsts are always memorable.  They may not be great, but you always remember your first kiss, your first time getting drunk, and the first time making the sweet and tender nooky, which, hopefully, were three separate occasions. Stand up comedy is no different.  My first time on stage was terrifying. I was afraid of shaking in front of people, I was afraid of not being funny, and I was afraid of looking really stupid.  When the time finally came, all three happened on the same occasion.

What I didn’t expect was the adrenaline rush.  Doing stand up comedy for the first time is a lot like riding a roller coaster. You close your eyes, take a big gulp, and let out a blood-curdling scream the entire time, but when the ride stops, you want to go back again and again.

There is something about making people laugh that is very addicting.  It is attention, affection, and power, all in the same response.  When you realize that your words can cause a visceral reaction in other people, it is pretty amazing.  It makes you feel that your sense of humor is your life’s calling.  It’s like the ending scene of the movie “Boogie Nights” (spoiler alert for anyone who hasn’t seen the 1997 flick).  Dirk Diggler, the porn star played by actor Marky Mark, exposes his enormous penis, and you realize that to him, his huge wiener is the greatest gift he has to offer the world.   In the story, Dirk is being used in the worst of ways, by the worst of people, but he sees his giant endowment as something that makes him unique and worthy of love.  This scene breaks my heart on a million different levels, but every person who thinks of themselves as funny feels about their humor  the way Dirk does about his giant schlong.  It is our secret weapon against the world. It is our blessing that makes us stand out from everyone else.  It is the essence of what makes us special.

When I was a kid, I didn’t have a lot going for me. My brother Olin—who’s four years older than me—was the smart one. I was a tomboy and had no interest in being a “girly-girl.”  After I turned eight, my wavy blond hair turned brown, course, and unruly curly and my complexion began to resemble a large Meat Lover’s Pizza. Needless to say, Mother Nature pretty much concurred that beauty wasn’t going to be my path in life.  I was always funny, though.  I remember being in second grade and doing an impression of Jimmy Carter during recess.  In hindsight, I was actually doing an impression of Dan Akroyd’s Jimmy Carter, but I remember it being a hit.  I was high-strung and constantly talking.  The television show “Mork and Mindy” was popular at the time.  My classmates starting calling me “Mork.” I am not sure if it was meant to be an insult or not, but I took it as the highest of compliments.  I even had my Mom buy me rainbow suspenders. In my extremely awkward adolescent years to come, I would wonder why I was never asked out much.  This should have been a huge clue.

In addition to all my quirky personality issues, I also have a neurological condition called Essential Tremor.  It makes me shake like a leaf on a good day. When my adrenaline gets pumping, I tremble uncontrollably.   I can’t remember not shaking, even as a little kid.  The doctors told my parents it was hypoglycemia, so for a long time I couldn’t eat any sugar. People—adults and children alike—would always comment on my quivering hands.  I remember getting my feelings hurt a few times when kids at school teased me about it. I got good at avoiding games like “Operation,” the egg toss, and “Jenga”, the most heartless of all activities for those with a movement disorder. You may ask how playing a game like “Jenga” could possibly be a stressful activity. That’s easy. It requires players to take turns removing one block at a time from a tower constructed of 54 blocks. Each block removed is then balanced on top of the tower, to create a progressively taller, but less stable, structure.  No one ever wanted me to be on their Jenga team at a party, because the shaking of the table by my trembling hands would have toppled the tower before I even took my turn.

I kept hoping my tremors were something that I would outgrow, something from which I could move on.  That never happened.  I remember getting frustrated and thinking I would never get past the shaking.  In some ways, I never have. I still have the tremors. They only seem to get worse with age.  I have grown to hate them. I hate my tremors in the same way that I hate my allergies.  They are both two internal forces within my body trying to dictate what I can and can’t do. Sometimes I want to rebel against my own anatomy—rough it up in a back alley, let it know that I am charge, demand it stop being a bully. “Fuck you, body…you don’t know me.”

I remember the first time I realized that being funny could be rewarded in  school, rather than get me sent to sit in the hallway after being “hilarious” in the classroom. When Olin was in high school, he joined the Forensics and Debate team. He was fantastic. He was the LeBron James of debating.  He was a beast at both the pros and the cons, and he could do rebuttals like a champ. He would always win.  It was apparent that he was having his Dirk Diggler moment when, ever-formidable in his dark gray JC Penney suit, he destroyed his opponents one by one.

I enjoyed watching Olin, but I thought the actual debating part was boring.  I would sometimes watch other people who did Forensics and thought it looked like fun.  It was acting with just one person.  The Forensics participants recited poetry, prose, and dramatic and humorous monologues.  So when I started high school, I joined the Forensics team. I was hoping that this would be the avenue that would validate that I had a real gift.  I could prove to the world that I was indeed funny and not just the class clown.  My “Boogie Nights dick” was trying to peek out.

I competed in the fables and storytelling division.  I found an old Swedish fable about wind and why wind blows from different directions.  The winds in the story were personified, and I gave each one its own accent.  I made the West wind have a surfer accent, while the South wind had a drawl, the Northern wind was Canadian, and the East coast wind was a wicked awesome Bostonian.  I thought it was very clever.  Unfortunately, my tremor was still very present.  I would always get last place because the judges had seen the shaking and interpreted the tremor as anxiety. On my evaluations, they’d write comments like “Don’t be so nervous” and “She was shaking the whole time.”

Also in my freshman year of high school, the Drama Club decided instead of doing a long play that they would do “An Evening of One Acts.”  I tried out for the lead in one of the comedies, called “The Man in the Bowler Hat.” My role was Mary, a frumpy housewife with a boring husband who has to confront and apprehend an intruder in their house.  I was worried that my shaking would prevent me from getting the role. I decided to just to go balls to the wall and give it all I had.  If I didn’t get the part, at least I would have tried my best.  It has been 30 years, and I still remember the huge laughs at the audition.  I asked the drama teacher about my shaking. She said as long as I had my lines memorized and my blocking correct, no one could really notice it from the stage.  She was right. I got the part. It was a great run for two weekends in my little high school.  One of the teachers said that watching me was like watching a young Carol Burnett.  What a compliment!

I remember thinking that maybe I had finally found my destiny.  I dropped out of Forensics and took Drama class in my sophomore year.  The teacher from the year before had quit. A new teacher had taken her place.  The new teacher wasn’t very attractive and couldn’t say her “R’s.” She talked like the cartoon character Elmer Fudd.  I remember not liking her at all, and I wondered how a person with a noticeable impairment could try to be a performer. The fact that I was a weird-looking teenager with a tremor was lost on me, and the irony that she was kind of like me didn’t occur to me until I got older. I didn’t stick with Drama. I went on to making hanging out with my friends and being the class clown my main priority in high school.

But as the years went by, I found myself still performing in front of people.  There was something about being in front of a crowd that kept drawing me in. In my late twenties, I had climbed my way up the corporate ladder by a rung or two.  I had a thankless, shitty call center job and managed to get promoted to a trainer position.  I learned how to use politically correct language to teach loads of other people how to work a thankless, shitty call center job, but I was being paid to speak in front of people. It wasn’t theater, it wasn’t stand up, but I could still make people laugh.

Initially being a trainer was fun, but it was very stressful.  My first class began to notice my shaking. Rather than asking me about it, a bunch of students went in as a group to Human Resources. They wanted to complain that I was trembling.  The class had observed it as a sign of weakness.   Human Resources went to my boss, who ripped them a new one.  She wanted to know why HR hadn’t asked the students if they had approached me about the tremors.  Had HR asked me about the tremors?  From then on, I was instructed to inform each new class that I had Essential Tremor.

It was humiliating.  I didn’t know how to bring it up.“Hey, class full of newly hired employees, I have something wrong with my brain that makes me shake as a reaction to my own adrenaline.  Now who wants to hear about their benefits package?” I kept wondering whether, if I were in a wheelchair or had missing limbs, I would be asked to address that before every class of new hires.

I was a trainer for only five years.  My life continued to evolve, and I eventually had two children with my husband.  I stayed home with the babies initially.  My son and daughter are only 19 months apart.  I love them with all of my heart and soul, but being at home and devoting myself only to caring for them was slowly driving me crazy.  One Sunday afternoon, I was looking through the newspaper and saw a schedule for a local performing arts center. I’d been thinking about a toddler music or dance class for my then-two-year-old son, but suddenly I noticed information about an adult stand up comedy class. Something in my head told me that if I didn’t try it right then, I never would.  It was the same little voice I’d been ignoring for years.  I could usually shut it up by justifying and procrastinating, but now it was now calling my bluff…. “Come on, you Pussy! Are you ever gonna put your money where your mouth is? You think you are so funny and so special, but you’ve never tried stand up comedy, not even once…it’s now or never.  Are you gonna be someone or just someone’s Mom for the rest of your life?”  My voice in my head can be a dick sometimes.

I took the class. At first, I didn’t even tell my husband it was a stand up class. He thought it was just another class that I was taking in my endless pursuit to get my Bachelors degree—which I still haven’t earned. I didn’t tell him because I wanted an “escape” clause or one of those “chicken” exits that they have on the roller coaster lines at amusement parks.  I wasn’t a hundred percent sure that I had the chutzpah to actually go through with it. I performed in class for the first time and confessed to my husband that it was stand up class I was attending on Monday nights. After performing in class, I went to one open mic, then another and another and another. Stand up went from being an escape/hobby to being a calling. I soon began emceeing and then featuring. I even occasionally headline.  My tremors have been a constant battle all the while.  I noticeably shook when I was a novice.  I have tried every approach to deal with it.  I’ve held the mic with one hand, held it with two hands. I’ve not held it all and kept it in the stand.  I’ve written and performed material about shaking, and other times I’ve gone on stage and never uttered a word about it. I’ve consulted other comics. In the end, I’ve just gotten so comfortable with being on stage now that the tremors lessen.  I still deal with them in my daily life, but when I have a mic in my hand and hear the laughter, nothing else seems to matter.  It is like the happiness of soul trumps the limitations of my body.

The big picture of my life is pretty amazing.  I have a great family, a few people I can call true friends, and a gift for making others laugh.  Just as in “Boogie Nights,” my show will go on. I’ll strut my stuff and display my prowess for all the world to see.

Robin Savage Writer’s Biography

Robin Savage is a Mother of two school-aged children by day and a Stand-Up comedian by night.  She has been known to mix the two up and offer her kids a two-item minimum while helping a heckler with his homework.  Robin has played comedy clubs and festivals across the country.  She won a Best Actress award for a comedy short that she co-wrote in the 2014 St. Pete Comedy Film Festival.   When Robin isn’t performing comedy, she can be seen, late at night, Googling her own name.

Robin on Twitter is @kwirkybird

Robin on Facebook

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Zen Chef Haikus

Avoid tears while cooking.TRex-
Cut onions underwater.
Take  deep breath. Get wet.

Have a pound of dill.
Nearby chefs are so jealous.
Defend home with mace.

Zen Chef wants pizza.
Make me one with everything.
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Batter stay on. Stay on.
I will not impress my guests.
When you fall off meat.

Where’s the sour cream?
Where the measuring spoons? Cups?
Where’s the mixing bowl?

T Rex is hungry
Why don’t you share some of your
tasty cheeseburger?

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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South African Custard Pie (Melktert)

South African Dessert



2 cups flour (1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons more later)
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt (¼ teaspoon more later)
½ cup chilled butter (1½ tablespoons more later)
¼ cup water
1 teaspoon flour


4 eggs
4 cups milk
1½ tablespoons butter
½ cup sugar (½ cup plus 1/4 cup plus ½ teaspoon more later)
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cornflour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon sugar


2 9″ pie tins
rolling pin
electric mixer or beater
sonic obliterator

Makes 2 pies. Takes 2 hours 40 minutes. Well, it should take that long, unless of course, while in the midst of preparation someone drank some of the milk you needed for this recipe, so you rushed to the store to buy milk and just before you got to the checkout stand four people rushed their carts in front of you, and then you got home only to find you had to take your child to sword-swallowing lessons. In this case, preparation will take longer.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Add 2 cups flour, baking powder, an¼ teaspoon salt to large mixing bowl. Mix with whisk. Grate ½ cup butter or cut into small pieces. Add grated butter. Use hands to blend grated butter with flour mix. Add water. Use hands to smoosh, a new culinary term, water into butter/flour mix. Form mix into dough ball using hands.(Add additional water as necessary to keep dough ball together.)

Dust rolling pin and surface with 1 teaspoon flour. Split dough ball into two. Roll out each dough ball into circles into a 10″ circle. Place a dough circle into each pie tin. Poke pie crusts a few times with a fork. (This releases excess air.) Bake crusts for 6-to-10 minutes or until they start to turn golden brown. Keep oven at 400 degrees while you prepare filling. (Depending on the number of mixing bowls you have, you might want to clean them as you get the chance.)


Separate eggs. Add egg whites to small bowl. Beat egg whites with electric mixer set on beat until they stiffen. Add egg yolks to another small bowl. Beat yolks with fork.

Add milk to pot. Bring milk to slow boil using medium-high heat. Stir constantly. Add 1½ tablespoons butter, ½ cup sugar, cinnamon stick, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir as frequently as you can.

Add cornflour, cornstarch, 3 tablespoons flour, and ¼ cup sugar to new mixing bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add about ¼ of the hot-milk mixture (about 1 cup to this bowl. Mix with whisk until well blended. Add egg yolks. Mix again with whisk. Add vanilla and entire corn flour/flour/sugar/hot-milk contents to simmering pot. Keep pot simmering using low heat for 10 minutes or until mixture thickens. Stir as frequently as you can. Remove from heat and let cool for 15 minutes.

Lower temperature of oven to 375 degrees.. Add egg whites and ¼ cup sugar to pot. Mix with whisk. Pour filling into pie crusts. Bake for 15-to-25 minutes or until filling sets. (A toothpick inserted into the middle should come out clean)

Remove pies from oven. Add ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon sugar to small bowl. Mix with fork. Sprinkle pie with ground cinnamon/sugar mixture. Let cool for 15 minutes and then chill for 30 minutes in the refrigerator. (Note: some people favor serving this dessert warm. A fierce debate rages.)

Congratulations! You’ve done a lot to make this wonderful dessert for your guests. Relax with a nice, cold root beer or even something stronger. If your guests do not appreciate your heroic efforts, zap them with your sonic obliterator. You don’t need that negativity in your life. ☺


1) Hippos can get sunburned!

2) No wonder hippos kill people crossing rivers. Sunburns make them cranky. I got a bad sunburn recently. Made me cranky, I can tell you. But I didn’t kill anyone. Yay for me.

4) Hippos need sunscreen. Who would apply the sunscreen to these creatures? Someone brave.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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Bad Artist #5, Words


Haiku to Heteroskedasticity

Some words are quite long
Is one of those those.*

* = “Those those” because the last line needs five syllables. Haikus aren’t easy to write either.

– Paul R. De Lancey,  Bad Artist

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on



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Zombies, Shoes and the TSA

   I’d think zombies would like flip-flops over shoes with laces, what with their missing fingers, decreased motor skills, and all. I’d think this would be particularly important with increased TSA security at airports. I mean how would you like to be late for that flight for the Tucson Tamale Festival and have a zombie fumble for all eternity with his shoes.

And pity that poor zombie. Not only has he encountered nearly universal prejudice from the living, but he now must face  the same from weary travelers at airports. So if you see a zombie fumbling with his laces, give him a flip flop or Croc. You’ll have made a friend for undeadness.

And you’ll make your flight, too.

– Paul R. De Lancey,  ace reporter.


My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

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Madagascan Coconut Milk Chicken

Madagascan Entree



4 chicken breasts
4 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon salt

2 medium onions
2 Roma or small tomatoes
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter
½ tablespoon ginger
13½ ounce-can coconut milk
3 cups cooked rice


Dutch oven


Cut chicken breasts into 1″ cubes. Add chicken, lemon juice, lemon zest, cayenne pepper, pepper, and salt to mixing bowl. Marinate chicken cubes in lemon juice/spice mix for 45 minutes.

While chicken marinates, dice onion and tomatoes. Mince garlic. Add onion, garlic, and coconut oil to Dutch oven. Sauté on medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Add marinated chicken. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes or until chicken is only slightly pink inside. Stir occasionally.

Add tomato and ginger. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 3 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add coconut milk. Simmer on warm heat for 30 minutes or until sauce starts to thicken and chicken is no longer pink inside. Stir occasionally. Serve over rice.


1) Madagascar produces more vanilla than any other country.

2) However, Madagascar’s vanilla shacks invariably seem to be on the other side of the stream.

3) But Madagascar’s streams often have crocodiles in them.

4) Crocodiles have been known to eat people. In all fairness though, people often eat crocodiles.

5) However, this is not to say you want to be eaten, far from it.

6) But you still want that vanilla on the other side and a vanilla substitute won’t do.

7) Hence the Madagascan proverb, “If you cross the stream in a crowd, the crocodile won’t eat you.”

8) At least not the people in the middle of the crowd.

9) The previous two tidbits explain why it is considered bad manners to ask people to cross rivers with you.

10) So there you have it. You can’t cross a Madagascan river to get vanilla, but you can’t ask someone to cross with you.

11) Bummer.

12) Now, however, AmazonTM is apparently considered producing drones to fly products from one spot to another.

13) Critics pooh pooh this idea, saying America’s skies are too crowded for the safe use of commercial drones.

14) However drones would be ideal in Madagascar for shipping bottles of vanilla from the wrong side of the crocodile-infested river to you.

15) This development would be great for Madagascans who want to live. Bad though for the country’s crocs who wish to dine out.

16) So where would Madagascar’s hungry crocodiles go to eat?

17) Tennessee. Tennessee has lots of rivers and not only that the locals there know nothing about even the most basic anti-crocodile measures. Lots of people would be eaten.

18) Being eaten while crossing a river would be a great excuse for not turning in homework.

19) But you could only use this excuse once.

20) The state of Tennessee does not consider breast feeding to be nudity. Crocodiles don’t have breasts. They are reptiles. Only Mammals have breasts.

21) So an undressed crocodile would be arrested by Tennessee’s law enforcement.

22) Let’s hope crocodiles never develop a sense of modesty.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on

Categories: cuisine, food, humor, international, recipes, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fixing America’s Health Care With the TSA

Our country lies way down the list of developed countries in terms of effectiveness and in cost of our private health-care system. Moreover, many Americans complain quite bitterly about Obamacare, the president’s solution. America’s second biggest beef is the invasive full-body pat downs of the TSA at airports. What to do?

Simple. Give all the TSA personnel medical training. That way when they paw our breasts, squeeze our testicles, and probe our butts we could be getting tested for breast and prostate cancers FREE OF CHARGE.

We all know that prevention is much more effective in keeping us healthy than treatment after coming down with diseases. Thus, it is plain my proposal would save each American family thousands of dollars every year in lower medical bills.

Another benefit of my system is that health care could only get better with each different terrorist attempt to smuggle weapons onto a plane. Suppose, a no-goodnik smuggled a deadly explosive by shoving it way up his butt, it WOULD BE GREAT NEWS to all of us over 50. We’d get free colonoscopies from the hands-on folks of the TSA.

Now, if we could only get the TSA to recruit from Hooters and Chippendales.

– Paul R. De Lancey,  medical reporter.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on



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The Chicago Cubs, The Greatest Threat to World Peace

The greatest threat to world peace is the Chicago Cubs. They last won a world series in 1908. Since then America has fought two world wars,  and other wars while not as big as these two, still replete with distressing levels of violence.

Since the last Cubs’ last World Series win our boys have fought in: France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany, Italy, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia,  Russia, South Korea, North Korea, China, Philippines, Micronesia, Romania, New Guinea, Indonesia, Burma, Haiti, Santo Domingo, Grenada, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, USA (against the Japanese), Japan, Somalia, Vietnam, and Panama.

This doesn’t even count all the countries where our Air Force has fought nor all of our special ops. My apologies to veterans who fought in a country that escapes my feeble memory.

But the unassailable fact remains; America has been doing a heck of lot of fighting since the Chicago Cubs last won the big one. The conclusion is obvious. Because of the Cubs steadfast avoidancel of excellence, violence stalks the globe.  If ever there were a time for a global-prayer day, it is now. Pray for world peace. Pray for a Cubs Series win. It is the only way it will ever happen.

And did you know that the Louisiana Purchase of 1803 is closer to the Cubs’ last world championship than it is to present?

– Paul the Historian

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on



Categories: history, humor, international | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Bad Artist #4, Murder



Ah, the good old days.

– Paul the Bad Artist


My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on


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