diflucan review

Butler, Minnesota – Feature Film Turns 20

20 years ago I directed a small feature film that I wrote and produced with my brother, Justin Spafford. I owned a DVD production company for ten years and never got it on to DVD. Go figure. Friends at Cine-o-Matic finally put it on DVD for me in 2015. This version is ripped from the DVD. At some point, hopefully before another 20 years we’ll go back to the print for a higher quality version. I thought with all forms analog coming back, it would be appropriate to screen this version in RetroVHS™ quality. For your screening enjoyment, don’t go full screen with this baby.

A recent thought has been to rework the story for stage (no musical numbers at this time). We’ll see where that goes.

You can click on the link below to view:


ATVs and Rock Picking in Eagle River, WI

I love to vacation in Eagle River, WI. I never considered myself a guy who would get into ATVing, but that all changed this summer. However, I came to ATVing in a less conventional way.

As a child I spent a lot of time in Eagle River not even knowing anything about the full on vacationing going on there. We lived thirty miles away, on a potato farm outside of Rhinelander, and came up many Sundays to visit my grandparents, Bob, Sr. and Caroline Croker on their farm – Maple Ridge Farm on Croker Road.

In the 1970s, I didn’t even realize that there were lakes only a few miles from the farm that could be used for swimming, and reportedly also boating or fishing. I have great memories of coming to Eagle River, but most are of visiting with my grandparents and relatives. My grandfather was a great storyteller. I heard stories about old timers with names like “Happy” and “Barefoot Charlie”. It seemed like he was always only one name away from a list of Snow White’s BFFs.

There was no swimming or boating – only haying and stories. My dad always put on his Sunday best to get out of any haying work. He picked up this gentleman farmer routine after throwing his back out years earlier while haying, only to have to work on his own farm the following Monday. His pristine white 1970s slacks assured that there would be no weekend slinging of hay bales.

As kids, my brother and I would help with haying occasionally, but it was the rock picking that we loathed. Yes, rock picking. Every farm kid knows it. While “vacationing” at my grandparents, a couple of days were spent following my grandfather and a Bobcat bucket around the field picking rocks. The following year the rocks seemed to reappear. I suspected my grandfather of spreading them around the field the week before we arrived. He seemed to know where they all were.

Until this summer, I could safely say that I enjoy every form of recreation over rock picking – save for one. I have never had an interest in ATVs and the like and would rather be on a hot dry field picking rocks eternally, rather than fill my lungs with the thrill of trail dust.

Almost 20 years ago my parents moved to Eagle River and now live right next to Maple Ridge Farm. My wife and I and three kids make the 5 hour journey from Minneapolis as much as possible. And now, with no rock picking field work, I have more time to explore the Eagle River area in a way that I didn’t know as a kid.

Only a few years ago we began taking advantage of the public beaches in the area. One such beach is on a little lake only a few miles from my parents. We normally take Croker Rd, past my parents’ house, to the end where it becomes a dirt road. To the left is Deer Lake Road.  The difference from the 1970s and even a few years ago is that Deer Lake Road is now a road / ATV trail.

Deer Lake Road was our path to an afternoon of swimming at the lake. We were packed into our minivan – the kids, my wife and I and my sister and her daughter – all seats occupied. As we headed down the road I was grumbling to my sister about the condition of the road. It seemed like it was becoming more trail than road and the minivan suspension was not built for this. At about a mile in, the road turned into something from yesteryear. I felt like Pa Ingalls moving his family wagon to a new place where I would have to build a new cabin – by myself – again.

We were travelling at about 10 mph and the road had become a motocross track (from yesteryear). I hadn’t been on the road since last summer, and was amazed at its current condition. I was cursing ATVs and UTVs and any other kind of “TVs”. Our VW minivan, which was really only a Dodge Caravan with a German accent, ambled up and down the hills of the road, tip toeing around the sand potholes, trying not to complain.

As we crept up a hill, an ATV came over the hill and the woman on the back stood up and gave us an excited thumbs up. She appeared to slur some kind of “Yee Haw” that appeared to me, for some strange reason, in slow motion.  Good God, contain yourself, woman. I could only think. They seemed to be going too fast for the condition of the road and I wasn’t sure what the thumbs up and exaltation was all about.

Next, we approached a UTV and the driver pulled over and just stared at us as we drove by. Finally, some respect for my vehicle on this road that had been torn up by the likes of their “TV” kind. The pulled over driver’s expression was mixed with confusion and fear and that seemed odd to me.

My sister broke through my intense road concentration and asked,

“Don’t you think we should have been back out to the black top by now?”

Then it hit me. She was right. Even though we were going slower than usual, we should have crossed the other road by now. I realized that the road went left a few miles back and I had thought it was the trail. I veered right to stay on the road, which was actually — the trail. For the past few miles, we had been four wheeling in the Northwoods with our minivan. I had invaded their trail with my big minivan. I was actually the crazy one, not the Yee Hawing woman. She must have thought she was speaking my crazy language, her brief attempt to try to communicate to me.

The thumbs up ATV woman was simply being inclusive and encouraging our choice of our 7 seater VWTV option. That must have been what “Yee Haw” meant. I guess she was just very excited for our experience. On the other hand, the pulled over driver showed concern about the size of my terrain vehicle. I believe I scared him with my recklessness and he may never look at that trail in the same fun loving way again.

The VWTV in the Northwoods

My sister and wife were laughing so hard that tears were streaming from their off-roading faces and the kids were laughing and cheering as my suspension system finally bounced us back onto a black top road a few miles away from where we wanted to be. As we pulled onto the black top, we looked back at the sign that marked the ATV trail. Sure enough. We had just done that.

I have always felt that Pa Ingalls was sort of crazy the way he picked up his family continually chasing the need to be on some kind of frontier. Now I was like crazy Pa Ingalls of the ATV trails.

I  have a new love for the world of ATVs, trail riding and maybe even Pa Ingalls. I’m thinking about opening a shop that rents minivan terrain vehicles (MVTVs) for those looking to ride the trails in minivan luxury. In fact, the next time I go MVTVing I’m going to take a page from my dad’s book and wear a nice white pair of slacks. I’ll be a gentleman MVTVer.




Jason Spafford

Spafford 2016 Christmas Letter

As we find ourselves at the brink of 2017 I would like to look back on 2016 and give an update. Sometimes my Christmas letters have been funny – maybe even verging on ridiculous. In the past, Cynthia has been very tolerant of my ramblings.  Even when I strayed from the important facts pertaining to our children, she saw that the people really enjoyed my letters. A good number of you were amused and gave me the attention I so needed. I think you really loved my letters.

Well, I’m older now and even though I know the things to say that touch the funny bone, Cynthia and others want me to be respectful of the tradition of the Christmas letter. I’m in a unique position in my family. I’m the one who has been elected to write our Christmas letter. Albeit, most in our household didn’t really participate in my selection – with some of the non-participants even complaining about my selection – but the person who chose me believes that I will now rise to the occasion and cast off my old jokey ways. The jokes are what got me where I am today, but I can easily make the adjustment and deliver our 2016 news in a respectful and serious manner.

I’ve been really wanting to write this Christmas letter all year because we had no Christmas letter in 2015. I wanted to write one, but I was so busy and no one else could do it. I’m really the best Christmas letter writer. We really needed a change after 2015. 2015 was just a really, bad year. The worst. Absolutely the worst.

Let me start by thanking all of you for reading this letter. I want to say you’re going to really like this letter. I think you really are. I don’t think anyone has ever written a Christmas letter quite like this one. My wife is amazed by my Christmas letter writing skills and my children tell me I’m a great writer.

My kids and my wife have been with me all of 2016. Cynthia, my incredibly beautiful wife, has continued to teach art at high school. She writes all her own lessons. The best lessons. These are really, fantastic lessons that she writes. She does this all herself. Sometimes she collaborates and maybe another teacher will contribute to a lesson. This is what these teachers do and it’s great.

Lila just turned 14 and should be getting her braces off soon. She’s going to have tremendously straight teeth. Hoyt is 9 and has joined the Cub Scouts. The cost to join the Cub Scouts is $50, and with that he gets a monthly magazine. I told him that amount is nothing. I’ll probably donate much, much more. I do that a lot. I really do. Our youngest, Iris, is now 6 and she’s doing phenomenally in gymnastics. The coach said she’s really, really, strong. Probably the strongest in the class. And there are some pretty, strong kids in that class. If she stays on track, who knows, one day she may compete against China –  and win.

We travelled in 2016 and went to our cabin in Wisconsin. It’s really, beautiful at the cabin. Some people are saying – I don’t know who, but I just hear that some are saying the cabin is the most beautiful cabin they’ve ever seen – and they think we’re really, very lucky to go there.

For 2017 I have the most incredible plans. We are going to do some unbelievable things in 2017. I’m going to be giving you all the details very soon. I have everything totally planned for this family. In 2017, we’re going to do things very different from how they’ve been done and this family is going to win bigly. We will make Spaffords great again.


Jason Spafford and Family



Of Rats and Men and Caddyshack

Many years ago in a far, far away galaxy named Madison, Wisconsin I was single. In between pints of beer I thought it would be acceptable to meet and date somebody. One night through mutual friends I met a woman who I thought may have had the best sense of humor I had ever seen (actually heard – although she seemed to handle slapstick with equal competence). I laughed so much the first night we met that I asked if she would like to get together again.

She said she was available the next night and I should come over to her apartment for dinner. What? No shampooing of the hair? No other plans for the next six weeks? Wait. Maybe this is telling something about me. I said yes immediately. Then she suggested that we watch her favorite movie of all time. Oh, no. Here it comes. What could this be in 1988 – Dirty Dancing? Pretty in Pink? Beaches? So, I asked with teeth invisibly clenched what that movie might be.

She responded with “Caddyshack.”

It sounded like she said Caddyshack. Like a cross-examining attorney with the whole case on the line, I asked her to repeat her previous statement. Once again, she responded, “Caddyshack.” I thought it would be an extra measure of caution for me to clarify that this was the Caddyshack I was thinking of – you know, Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, just in case there was a black and white French movie of the same name.

“Caddie Chiac” could have been a movie about a trolley (Caddie) that is owned by some people who speak a mix of French and English (Chiac). The whole movie would have the prerequisite amount of “I love you, I hate you lines” and the screen filled with fog – no, wait. That’s just cigarette smoke. In the time I asked the question and before she had a chance to answer me, I had played the trailer of my make-believe movie in my head. I had also realized that even if this was the film, I would still show up.

“It’s a Cinderella Story,” she said.

I was stunned from my black and white dream.

“What did you say?”

“It’s my favorite line from Caddyshack.”

Now we were truly talking a “Cinderella Story”. I believe my eyes may have batted like a girl Rankin/Bass Reindeer. I exhaled a sigh of what I thought could have been love, which I would find out later was mostly composed of relief commingling with lust.

Before we completed our plans for the next evening she said she had an important question for me. The question was if I liked pets. Of course, I like pets. Who doesn’t like pets? If she had asked if I liked feral cats I probably would have said “sure”. The term “pet” assumes that said creature is paired off with an adorning human. I can most certainly get behind that. If she had asked if I would like to have a pet, that may not be a simple answer – but in this situation I could probably, once again muster up agreement with her particular leanings, based on the intonation of her asking voice. That’s sort of the beginning of any healthy relationship – right?

The next night I showed up with a bottle of wine that probably was bad, but neither of us had any knowledge to determine one way or another, so we drank it. We had dinner. Most likely spaghetti. Then it was time for the movie.

Before starting the movie she said she wanted to show me her pet. It was in her bedroom. OK. I followed her into the room and the late setting summer sun threw thick orange light in from the outside. I saw what looked like some kind of cage in a shadow in the back of the orange room. I sensed that the pet was going to be a guinea pig or maybe a hamster. I was starting to talk myself into maybe touching my finger to the top of its little rodent head.

“Hey, Ben!” She said with the kind of excitement that warrants an exclamation point.

We approached the cage and I could see that it was actually made of glass, like a large glass fish tank. I didn’t see anything in the tank.

“Do you see Ben hiding?” She asked.

I didn’t see anything. So technically, I guess I did see Ben hiding. If that’s what she meant. She approached and deftly reached in under some kind of plastic bridge. I was right behind her. As she grabbed at this unseen pet I could only see her back – until she wheeled around with said pet in hand – actually both hands.

I was face to face with the biggest, oddest looking guinea pig I’d ever seen. Then I realized that this guinea pig looked remarkably like a huge mouse. But the moment she kissed the top of Ben’s head I realized that Ben was in fact a rat.

I think she was thinking that I was thinking that I might want to pet the rat on the top of the head – maybe even in the region that had just been kissed – by the same lips that she might use to kiss a human person. I pulled myself together to gingerly pet its little bony rat head a couple of times.

Kind, pet friendly animal loving reader, this was in a time well before the lovable rat from the movie Ratatouille broke down the walls that kept rats from being highly successful French chefs. The time of my first pet rat encounter was in a time closer to movies like Willard and Ben, when rats were sort of bad.

Well, that was fun. It was now time to watch the movie. And she carried the rat with her to the living room. The rat – Ben, that is – perched on her shoulder as she got the movie and put it into the VCR. We took a seat on the couch together. And when I say “we” I mean me, her and Ben. Ben was on her lap as the movie began.

Eventually, she put Ben on the floor to wander around and get some exercise – I guess. Things were getting better. I had put Ben out of my mind. At some point during the movie we kissed. I even put the rat kissing lips out of my mind – because I’m a guy and that’s the kind of thing guys can do.

As we were making out I realized that her petite slender finger was running along my leg. I knew wearing shorts was a good idea. Her finger weaved back and forth along my leg like nothing I had ever felt. Out of nowhere she pinched me. I paused mid kiss and pulled back slightly.

“You like to pinch?” I said coyly.

“What?” she replied.

That second I knew to look down. My leg was bleeding and Ben was sitting on the couch next to us. Ben had bitten me. I saw his long tail weaving around and realized it was not her sexy little finger on my leg but Ben’s big ratty tail. I jumped up. I startled Ben and he scurried away – you know, like a rat.

“Be careful. You scared him,” she said.

“He bit me,” I countered.

She kissed my leg where the blood was. Now the blood was on her lips. I hate to dwell on this, but once again, those same lips that kissed the rat that bit me.

“You must have sat on his tail or something. I have some Band-Aids in the bathroom cabinet if you want. I’ll pause the movie.”

Some kind of bandage made sense. Cover the wound so the tetanus or whatever other rat disease could stay in there and do its work. I went into the bathroom and found the Band-Aids and applied one to my rat bite. An odd odor caught my attention. It is a bathroom so not totally unexpected.

The shower curtain was pulled shut and it seemed taut at the bottom, like weight was being applied all along the bottom of the curtain. Just great. I needed to look behind that curtain and there was really no way around it. I pulled it aside at the top and peaked behind. I spotted a couple of banana peels on top of what looked like seven inches of spaghetti filling the entire bottom of the tub. Then I looked closer. That spaghetti appeared to be moving. That spaghetti was not spaghetti, it was an entire bath tub of mealworms. Undulating, wriggling mealworms.

For a brief moment my dinner spaghetti almost made an appearance on top of the spaghetti of mealworms. I composed myself and went back out to the living room. Mentioning the mealworms seemed as natural to me as mealworms ridding one of their banana peels.

“You have a tub half full of mealworms,” I opined.

“Yeah. That’s where I compost.”

I stared for a moment.

“I shower at the gym,” she added.

That’s where things ended. No matter how funny you are, a bath tub of mealworms doesn’t add up. Throw in a biting rat and you’ve got a solid deal breaker. I would like to say that I had a heart to heart with her explaining how a rat bite and a bath tub of mealworms just didn’t work for me. I would like to say we exchanged a warm hug and bid our adieus, agreeing that it just wasn’t meant to be. But I didn’t.

She was really attractive and we had Caddy Shack on pause. I sat down next to her and watched the rest of the movie with one eye looking out for Ben the rat and keeping the information in the back of my mind that there was a tub of mealworms in the bathroom.

We went out two or three more times. One of those times involved bringing Ben along on a picnic at a park. The other couples were playing Frisbee or fetch with their dogs and we were freaking everyone out with a huge rat on our picnic blanket.

I don’t even think we officially broke up. We just stopped hanging out and doing things together. It’s possible she just thought I wasn’t that funny. You know, not pulling my fair share of the funny weight in the relationship. Or she could see that I was a rat hater and didn’t have a gym membership for showering.

I saw her a couple months later in a bar and we said hi. Later that night some guy was obviously hitting on her and I could tell she was ok with it. When she went to the bathroom I thought I should go and warn the guy about the rat and mealworms. But who was I kidding. He was a guy. She probably had him at “Caddyshack”.

Sadly yours,

Jason Spafford

Hurricane Trump Headed for Florida

Enormous amounts of heated moist air twisted high in the atmosphere. This is how my son explained the formation of hurricanes per his second grade classroom research. Just the discussion of twisted hot air made me think of the current state of Republican presidential politics.

A lot of people have been piling on Trump and I feel bad about that. I should clarify. I feel bad about that not happening earlier, because now we have a full-blown category 5 bashing the shores of this country, set to make Florida one of its next targets.

I wanted to write something earlier, but this political stuff is not my sweet spot. I was too fascinated by the brooding storm to turn away and look at my computer screen – coincidentally where my typed words appear. Besides, who wants to hear another opinion? But I thought, what the hell. Maybe I’ll just weigh in as the non-political pundit, non-celebrity AND the guy who came up with this little analogy comparing Donald Trump to a Hurricane. And watch how I do that without once comparing his wonderful hair to a swooping, spiraling hurricane pattern. That’s solid integrity, if I do say so myself.

So, are you sick of the analogy? Yeah, me too. Why don’t I just finish it off? But, first let me ask if any readers are voting for Trump. Just raise your hands. Not like you’re taking an oath or anything. If you are a Trump follower you’ve at least got to admit that when Trump made people pledge to him that they would vote, it looked a little German 1930ish. I apologize for that comment and I don’t blame you Trumpeters if you stop reading now. Just let me get through the next paragraph. I’m even using the more royal name of Trump and have not gone to the Drumpf side. Give me a shot.

I grew up on a farm and went to farm auctions with my dad and uncle. That’s the fun of farming. Everyone is on the brink of going out of business and when your neighbor goes out of business, you feel bad, but go to his auction to see if you can get a deal on something – to help keep you from going out of business.

Can you imagine running into someone like Trump at a farm auction? Of course not. But if you did, that guy might be called a “Blowhard”. It’s sort of a funny word when it’s written. Most of the common sense oriented people I grew up knowing and know today would think a “Blowhard” is a guy who might say outlandish stuff and be all about themselves. Sometimes the “Blowhard” might even say what’s on your mind but you couldn’t bring yourself to say it. Possibly, because it was really something that shouldn’t be said (ah, and maybe deep down you knew that it shouldn’t be said because it was wrong, misinformed and not very nice –that’s really why you didn’t say it – except to your circle of friends who also said the same stuff and knew deep down it was wrong and not very nice).

Am I convincing any of you Trump friends to unfriend him? I thought probably not. But, bear with me. I think you’ll like how this hurricane analogy ends. I’ll give you a hint. There’s sunshine on the Trump fans.

We had a local blowhard. I remember my dad smiling at him and nodding and listening while looking for an escape route. Sometimes these blowhards can work themselves into a county clerk position or even make it up to higher levels of government. And that is a real shame, because these people will say anything to advance themselves. You could say this of your most hated Democrat or most hated Republican. Hell, I bet you’ve got a couple of names rolling off your tongue right now.

For good or bad, these politicians believe that what they are doing is for the good of the country and they generally stay a course. The blowhard – who makes you pick up your pace, so as to not bump into at the auction entrance – will say anything for the good of themselves. The blowhard has no time to listen. I guess that’s because he’s busy blowing hard. Hot air coming out of him to no possible end. Some will call the blowhard fancy words like “authoritarian” or “narcissist” or less fancy like “con man”. But we know he’s just a blowhard. Sometimes he may go by the moniker of “Loudmouth”.

Most of us wouldn’t be tricked into making the blowhard from the auction President of the United States. In my modest opinion, we also shouldn’t elect a blowhard from a TV show or a blowhard building contractor to be the president. If I were voting for Tump I would worry for my grandchildren that one day some Russian leader will make fun of his small hands. Then you’ve got President Trump offended and launching missiles with one of those tiny fingers (For the record, I never noticed how small his hands were until he held them up at a presidential debate and explained his whole situation to the American people). See what I’m saying, people? Pure blowhard move.

As usual, I digress. I promised to wrap up my analogy. You get it. Trump is the hurricane because he’s twisted hot air. Back in July of 2015 it looked like he was just regular blowhard hot air. But something happened. People at the auction started showing up and listening to him, more or less entertained and seriously irritated by the other people talking.

The other thing I learned from my son’s second grade class is that the hurricane can’t just happen on its own. You’re way ahead of me. You got it. There needs to be a “pre-existing disturbance” like, for example, a Tropical Depression. Maybe just really depressed and frustrated people for this analogy. And finally, there needs to be a large body of water feeding the hurricane. I guess we can say FOX news is that body, but that would not be fair and balanced. CNN and any other news outlets, where the name Trump could be heralded, were happy to feed the growing storm.

When Pat Paulsen ran for President five times (those under 40 may need to Google this one) between 1968 and 1996 no news outlets carried any of his speeches – and he was really funny. I think it was because he just didn’t seem like a serious candidate. He may have become a serious candidate had most news outlets covered all his speeches. Sorry, Pat. The news people of the time were not interested in that kind of fun news. However, things have changed.

Now everyone is running for their cars, grabbing bread and water off grocery store shelves and boarding up their windows. Meanwhile Trump supporters are standing in the eye of the storm with the sunshine of Trump smiling down on them like that big sunny, giggling orange faced baby in the Teletubbies (those over 40 may need to Google this one). I would say he’s preying on a group of people who are fearful and tired of the slow workings of a democracy, and in turn putting at risk many ideas held dear in this country – all in the name of having a blowhard get his way.

I would hope that Trump supporters will not go with the blowhard, but I find solace in the fact that I believe the hurricane will dissipate. I don’t think that he will ever quit – he shouldn’t, he’s winning. He’s in the process of being a winner. He’s a totally big winner with what looks like about 15% of the voters in the country picking him.

In true political fashion, the uncharacteristically large egos of those seeking the presidential title should diffuse each other. You know, like two negatives make a positive. The Republicans will do all in their power to wrestle Trump’s mantle away from him pre-convention or during convention. If unsuccessful, the other leading candidate will run as an independent. If Trump can’t get his tiny hands on his party’s thrown he will run as an independent.

In my optimistic view Trump will not become the next President and the hurricane will blow through having done its damage. I hope I’m right. But I’m still preparing for a long storm. I’m guessing my words may not have dissuaded any Trump fans. If Trump does become the Republican nominee, I’m planning on turning this essay into a reality TV show in an effort to get it in front of a larger audience.

My bigger concern is for the next hurricane season. It looks like it’s fairly easy to dupe the American people in a major way. And now all the news channels see how great the frenzied media pulls in the ratings and money. All that’s needed is a better looking man or woman with good, normal looking hair, regular sized hands and a willingness to say anything. Be on the lookout at the next auction you attend. You could find a blowhard who will be the next political hurricane and possibly our next President.

Sadly Yours,

Jason Spafford

The Lisp for Kegel Exercises

Dear readers, here is my new celebrity cause: The word “Lisp”. Let me be clear with you. I have a couple challenges right out of the gates. First, I’m not a celebrity. Eventually, we can only hope that the cause catches the altruistic eye of some celebrity with an abundance of celebrity style time on their hands. My second challenge (see how I’ve avoided the word “problem” for all you positive people) is that I don’t really care about the actual affliction of the lisp.

I could actually care less if someone makes a “th” sound when they are attempting to make an “s” sound via their mouth. I don’t have a judgmental bone in my body when it comes to how someone pronounces or doesn’t pronounce an “s” sound. I say “potatoes”, you say “potatoeth”. We are all equal – well, except for the extra teeth marks on the top of your tongue, which happens to lay too close to the front of your mouth.

Let’s back up for a second and explain that not only is this type of speech impediment known as a “Lisp”, but it can also be known as “Sigmatism”. I guess “Lisp”, for the afflicted, is the lessor of the two evils, with Sigmatism turning into Thigmatithm and lisp only being lithp. With this speech impediment, it is not only “s” sounds, but other sibilants (yeah, I just learned that word, too) like “z”, “ts”, and “dz” that are misarticulated.

The word “lisp” has several possible roots going back to Greek, German, Danish and old English. The origin of the word will need to be discussed by more knowledgeable sorts. I’m only here today to point out the problem and offer a solution we can all agree on.

What I’m concerned about, and find to be cruel and unnecessary to those speaking with a lisp, is actually the word. The word “Lisp” is like some vicious taunt. I should stop for one moment and say that on the flip side, for those that embrace and love their lisp, that simple descriptive term can be a point of pride.

“Damn right, I don’t say “etheths”. I have a lithp and I’m proud of it, thuccer!

But it seems pernicious to the group who sees the lisp as a speech impediment to be overcome. Those who only dream of being able to denote plurality by an “s” sound or others put off by all the extra work that goes into the “th” sound. These are the poor souls whom I shall dedicate my life – or at least a few minutes here. So, maybe I shouldn’t have said my life. My bad.

How sadistic is it that the very name of the affliction has to be “Lisp”. The sufferer of said affliction is not even able to talk about the problem without being forced to use a letter “s”. I am here today to say that we need to change the name of this impediment from the overtly insensitive name “Lisp” to something more appropriate and easier for the lisping community to say.

Cordial and learned readers, having the word “Lisp” portray the event taking place when the “s” sound is represented by the “th” sound is paramount to having the made up word of “Stttuttutter” represent the word “Stutter”. Image the unadulterated horror of a person struggling with a stuttering speech impediment having to use the word Stttuttutter to talk about their personal issue. Talk about rubbing one’s nose in said affliction.

I have, of course, given this some grave thought and after a whole bunch of minutes thinking about this problem. I’ve come up with a solution. I’ve come up with a better name. The beautiful thing is that this new name is not a made up word. Sure, I thought about just changing the name from “Lisp” to “Lithp”. That makes everyone say it the same. And, this may be a back-up if my plan A solution can’t be easily implemented.

Plan A takes an already popular word and merely has it swap places with “Lisp”. Here it is. We take Kegel, as in Kegel exercises, and swap it with Lisp. The affliction where the “s” sound turns into the “th” sound becomes “Kegel” and the exercises associated with strengthening pelvic floor muscles turns into “Lisp exercises”. As many of you know, these exercises are used to prepare for or recover from child birth and used to treat urinary incontinence. To be fair, the exercises can also be helpful for men with bladder control issues.

There will be some challenges with the swapping of the terms. For example, everyone is pretty used to “Lisp” referring to Lisp and “Kegel” referring to a certain exercise. However, I think a major word “search and replace” throughout the internet should be easy enough. Think about all the attention that these two topics will receive upon the decision to move forward with the word swap.

The Kegel exercises came to be by Dr. Arnold Kegel in the early 1940s and he has received much praise for his early work in the gynecological field. This can’t be taken away from him. After all, it’s not like there’s a Dr. Lisp out there. I bet if he were alive today he would think that it’s time for his name to be associated with something other than pee control exercises – not that this hasn’t been important to millions and millions of women. But, I’m just saying maybe his decedents would be ok if their name wasn’t only known for preventing urine leaks. Not to mention, I think we can all see how the term “Lisp” is more relatable to the description of a leaky bladder.

The important thing here is how much sense this actually makes. All people with this speech impediment should be able to easily say the word “Kegel”. I do realize that there will be a small number of leaking bladder women that may be faced with using the term “Lisp exercises” who are not able to easily make an “s” sound. AND we’ve added the word “exercises” with two additional “s” sounds. Bummer. The good thing is that they have options. They can refer to them with other terms, such as “pelvic workout” or “leaky bladder workout”.

I’m super bushed from pointing out this problem AND finding a solution. I might add, all in one day. I’ll leave it up to you to take the movement forward – at least until there can be a reliable celebrity spokesperson signed on to carry out the plan. My last input is that I think it would help advance the cause immensely if the celebrity is a woman with a lisp, suffering from urinary incontinence.



Sadly Yours,

Jason Spafford

The Farmer: Episode 1 – Part 7 of 7

This is the final part of Episode 1.  Episode running time of approximately 60 minutes. Episode 2 coming soon.


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Gotta Look – A Poem

Hey you with your books
Don’t gimme your looks
Off your high horse
And talk to the pawns
We don’t live in fastidious times
Puttin’ down hideous rhymes
But to get to the point
We’ve gotta look around
To get to the truth
We’ve gotta be found
Love is like
The longest hike
A blackboard with writing
Two kids play fighting
The tide and the moon
Makin’ an agreement
Dove being sent
You paying rent
Cherry bombs
With a vodka furnace
It’s gonna churn us

Hey you with your books
I’ve got my hooks
And ladders that shatter
The windows above
The mercury will give ya a shove
Fire on the second floor
Kills the third floor
Fire on the first floor
Squatter on the dirt floor
Bustin’ up chifferobes
Dancin’ like Hazel Motes
The prophet dotes

Hey you with your books
Call ‘em chefs or call ‘em cooks
When the sun hits the pan
Egg’s gotta fry
When the boy hits the street
Mama’s gonna cry
Love is like
A cruise missile
Gotta blow the whistle
Lay in my bed
Of silk and thistle
Held back by the bottom
Pushed down by the top
You’ve got your presidents
But we’re the residents

Hey you with your books
What’s your favorite hymn
This life is crooked
It needs a shim
Sham is to the public
Shiv is to the rhetoric
Wake before you go
To sleep
Shut up before you go
To weep

Hey you with your books
It’s your move
Queen me with your rooks
Catch your breath
Take my breath
Knock this world
Inside out
Books make the route
Move over
Hey you move over
I’m comin’ up
I’ll eat those books like fire
Spit out the words
My mouth’s for hire

Hey you with your books
I’m comin’ up
I’m givin’ the looks
And makin’ them mine
It’s all gonna be real
Real fine.



The Farmer: Episode 1 – Part 6

Tommy meets Dos and has a flashback to the beginning of phone phreaking.


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Marry Me – A Poem (Click to hear song below)


Down by the creek doors always open
I said marry me
You said ferry me
To the other side of this wide life
You’ll be my wife
Little white church
In a green green field

Dancin’ in the aisles when the prayin’s done
Rippin’ an’ shoutin’ like the Lord wanted
Us ta have fun til the morning sun
Sunday’s here, Saturday’s gone
But you and I can’t be wrong
Down by the creek doors always open

Pretty pretty woman
Gonna be my bride
Goin’ down that river side by side
Dressed in white
My heart high like a kite
Pull my strings

Dancin’ in the aisles when the prayin’s done
Rippin’ an’ shoutin’ like the Lord wanted
Us ta have fun til the morning sun
Sunday’s here, Saturday’s gone
But you and I can’t be wrong

Doors always open
Put on those rings
Down by the creek
Find what you seek
Little white church
In a green green field

Stands so quiet for us to arrive
Then makes us dance when the prayin’s done
Floors creakin’ to the beat of our hearts
Just like the good lord wanted done
You and I have become one

Little white church
In a green green field


Click on link below to hear vocals/music by Rob Meany:

Marry Me

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