Backtalk in Haiku. 7/26/14.


Day 13. Evolution moves quickly. The disclaimer is gone but still valid. These intros are getting longer. I’m still sitting by a campfire in Maine drinking a Vermont beer, thinking about the Folk Festival without folk music back near the Mass/New Hampshire border and remembering the bike rides I did in Rhode Island last week while trying to figure out how I’m going to work Connecticut into all this. Yup, I’m a true New Englander. I can name all six states. There’s talk of California and Texas splitting up into smaller states. Maybe it’s time for New England to become a mega state, like those construction trucks that joined forces in the Transformers cartoon. That’d be awesome. Here’s some haiku for you.

Art T’s alleged crimes.
Ain’t shit compared to these guys.
Can’t invest in that.

MB employees.
Always give chart topping service.
I like Artie T.

40-year shopper.
I can’t afford Hannaford.
Bring back Artie T.

BJ’s full-page ad.
Smart move with the MB stuff.
Artie S. take note.

Employees will lose.
Hurt feelings and distrust last.
No one wins in war.

Art S. hates us all.
Time to get our sweet revenge.
Buy gum with plastic.

Backtalk in Haiku, 7/25/14


Day 12. Got a letter from Tobes. He said the ratings are up and they need me to keep doing this. Is this how it feels to be Mick Foley? Please no, not the thumb tacks again.

At least I can do this anywhere. Currently I’m sitting at a campsite on Bar Harbor after a day that included an eight-mile hike and a 45-mile bike ride, both of which involved Cadillac. You know how sometimes you take your socks off and there’s enough cotton remaining on your foot to top an aspirin bottle? Let me know if you want me to bring some back for you.

By the way, here’s the haiku you’re looking for. Yup, no ‘s’ to make it plural. Why? Because haiku is a substance.

Pipeline is needed.
Unicorns ain’t worth a damn.
Only gas can work.

Whitey Bulger smiles.
Artie S. is more hated.
[that's all this dude said]

The new MB boss.
Fired a guy by currier.
Really a dick move.

Obamacare lost.
At least a little of it.
Why can they appeal?

Deval didn’t sign.
Prob’ly working with Art S.
MB wants kid scabs.

Fireworks ev’rywhere.
Cops were supposed to crackdown.
Crackdown my damn ass!

Corey Belanger: Purveyor of fine spirits, spirit…hope and goodwill.


Picture Gleefully stolen from CoreyBelangersVests


At the Lowell City Council on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Mayor Rodney Elliott made a motion requesting the City Manager have the Chief Financial Officer and Superintendent of Schools produce a report regarding the costs incurred to educate newcomer students.  Besides Mayor Elliott, Corey Belanger was the only City Councilor to speak on the motion.  The following is a verbatim transcript of what Belanger said: 

By Councilor Belanger:  Thank you Mr. Vice Mayor [Councilor Leahy was in the Chair].  I think this is a great motion.  And to get to Mayor Elliott’s points, that Lowell, we’ve always been a city of immigrants.  That is our foundation.  We have many nationalities here.  I visited many of the schools and it’s encouraging to see how diverse we really, really are, all the way to a young age.

But we got a problem that’s serious and it’s going to get far worse, of refugees, undocumented or illegal aliens, which ever term you choose to use, are pegged for Lowell.  We are on that list.  Many of which are unskilled and uneducated.  And they’re on their way.

Corey’s not saying we’re not the place for immigrants. He saying we’re not the place for THESE immigrants. We just need to hold out for the right types…you know, the 1850’s tired, poor, huddled masses types. And we have just the place for these types. We have a place in this city where they can warm themselves with a  bowl of hearty beef stew.  A place where the nectar of their homeland pours from 3 different taps. A place where the craic is grander than a Clare Island wedding party. A place where Tommy Makem’s (bless his soul) dulcet tones rain down upon thy guests like a spring shower.  A place so authentic you could convince yourself that Eamon De Velera once sat bar side watching a Red Sox spring training game hiding from John Bull’s informants.  A place…the only place, where you won’t be greeted by the words, “Wicked Irish Need Not Apply.”

To those folks we say, “céad míle fáilte!”

Backtalk in Haiku, 7/24/14


Day 11. I know this because I’ve taken a button off my uniform and have been using it to make marks on a cinderblock wall. Those old audio files I mentioned a few days back are now on Backtalk’s official page.

I hear some of the people who used to buy groceries at Market Basket have moved onto WalMart. Hannaford I can understand. But WalMart? What is wrong with you?

Anyway, here you go…

Sacrifices not martyrs.
Martyrs have purpose.

Nashoba Tech locked.
I want my tennis courts now!
I’m not a tax cheat!

Young people begging.
Standing in intersections.
Oughta be a law.

Deval owns mountains.
Just send the Mexikids there.
We can’t afford them.

The Pres forgets stuff.
Said the feds will pay for kids.
Tax payers are feds.

Detail Officers.
Getting the big ol’ paycheck.
Ain’t doin’ their job.

Backtalk in Haiku. 7/23/14.


Day 10. The old farts loitering at McDonald’s in the morning have a pretty good sense of humor about things and still get enough exercise from dope-slapping each other. Topics include whether to mow the lawn before a storm, the practical application of goats and whether or not a non-union workforce can go on strike. I like these guys. I wish they’d call in. Just to say ‘hi.’

Backtalk: 7/23/2014

Support the workers.
I’m afraid to shop there now.
The board makes me sick.

Art-T gone is bad.
Dropping guys there 30 years?
That’s just fuckin’ lame.

Bring back ATD.
He’s a man of the people.
Hoping for the best.

Screw corporate greed.
Workers deal with tons of shit.
You carry a purse.

Art-T’s a good guy.
Done a lot for this city.
We’re standing by him.

How much does it cost the tax payer to man the @MassGov Twitter Feed?
How much does it cost to the tax payer to man the Mass.Gov Twitter Feed? It doesn’t matter how much it costs, because the information that they are raining on my twitter feed is fantastic.  “Don’t stand next to a tractor during a thunderstorm”…duly  noted, sir!  Ever since their little “Sexual Assualt is avoidable” snafu, it’s been nothing but fastballs with no movement..right down the heart of the plate.

I thought I’d throw my hat in the ring just in the event that the maestro of @massgov account needs a vacation fill-in.

I’ll start it out slow with this one:

GravityI’ll follow up that captivating tweet with a helpful one for all you romantics:

sunsetThis next tweet would be categorized under “sanitation” and “plumbing infrastructure.”

fiberNow that I have you’re attention, I’m going to let the masses know that we here at the @Massgov twitter department have learned from our mistakes and are better equipped to manage the nuances and  sensitivity of discussing sexual assault in under 140 characters:

rapeThis summer is approaching half time, time to put down the remote and enjoy all the outdoor recreation that this great state has to offer:

bathtub  There’s a lot of anxious kids heading off to summer camp worrying about whether or not they’ll be able to make new friends:

fartKeeping with the social theme, let’s work on becoming more responsible as consumers:

weedAnd if the folks in the State Human Resources department haven’t escorted me out of the building yet:




Backtalk in Haiku. 7/22/14


Day 9. Once again only three entries. I checked the hardcopy at the library. Same deal. All three entries are pretty reasonable concerns about the Market Basket workers’ protest (guess you can only call it a strike if there’s a union involved). Where are the cranks? Why aren’t they calling? I… I need them. Here you go. See previous entries for the disclaimer. This just isn’t the same.

Market Basket fam.
Prob’bly gonna just sell out.
Slimy greedy jerks.

They should unionize.
That’s what will wake up the board.
Do it for Arty.

Purity Supreme.
Died off when the workers fought.
We’re all gonna starve.