The Velvet Samurai

Nobu Go Den rested quietly on his knees under the branches of an ancient ginkgo tree, his eyelids closed, his mind on the verge of sensing. It was approaching evening, the sixth hour past midday by his reckoning, and the sun had slid behind the western walls of the Golden Torii Shrine, casting a hint of blue-grey over the garden within. A cricket sounded somewhere amidst the stones and low shrubs beside the wall to his left, the anticipation of the coming of eventide. Silence. Peace. Nobu Go Continue reading

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Introduction: Volume IV ~ (A collection of short-stories written to soothe the savage breast – Mine)

Childhood is a precious and wonder-filled time. Our experience of it was fresh and unfettered by the whims of the mind, and we were able to launch ourselves into the realms of daydreams, make-believe, and fantasy. When I was a child the pace of life, even in the larger cities, was slower then today’s craziness. Where I grew up there were fields and orchards to walk barefoot in, feeling the cool earth between your toes; barbed-wire fences placed there to divide and protect, but which were challenges to climb through hoping you wouldn’t get caught on the upper strand; fields of alfalfa you could run hell-bent through, and once spent fall down in with your face to the cerulean Continue reading

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The World’s 101 Worst Ant Puns: A Sampler

  1. Back in the ‘60s hippie ants were called Antacids.
  2. Ants who take the law into their own hands are thought of as vigilantes.
  3. Ant teachers are very often pedantic. Not all, but some just are.
  4. Ants with a tendency toward getting into trouble are headed for lives as deviants.
  5. There is an ant child’s game played on four squares and a rubber ball called “Quadrant.” (I know, it’s called Four-Square, but work with me here.)
  6. You can’t just assume that a disheveled, seemingly unemployed and apparently homeless ant is a vagrant. He may just be eccentric.
  7. You could say the ant wasn’t levelheaded because of his political slant.
  8. He had a terrible abusive childhood and it was no surprise the ant grew up to be a miscreant.
  9. The ant manager of the business had such an abusive personality with a total disregard for his employees they felt he was a tyrant.
  10. You knew the ant was from Georgia because he had a southern accent and said he was from Atlanta.
  11. The ant philosopher you have a hard time recalling was named Immanuel Kant.
  12. The old geezer ant never got along with anyone because he was so cantankerous.
  13. Question: What did male ants wear during the early 1700s? Answer: Pantaloons.
  14. When an immature young ant loses his temper we say he had a tantrum and needs a time out.
  15. The Right Reverend Father Ant was the primary celebrant during the high holy week ceremonies.
  16. Question: What is the cook ant’s favorite room in the house? Answer: The pantry.
  17. When Phoebe Ant primped and dressed up in a formal gown she was quite the elegant one.
  18. Everyone liked the TV weather ant and affectionately nicknamed him “Precipitant.”
  19. It’s usual just after an ant is born to refer to her as an infant.
  20. When you speak of “ant boots on the ground” you’re talking about the infantry.
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The Committee to Clean up the Woods

Mole hurried along the path back to the wooden gate and his job as the gatekeeper near the south end of the woods. Owl, the woodland mayor, had asked him to pick up some poultice from Squirrel for his aching bones and joints – he’d been in terrible pain recently, the result of age and wounds received in The Great War. Continue reading

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The Little Big Top

She held tightly to his large hand, and together they struggled against the strong winds and slashing rain. With her other hand she cradled a tiny cricket cage against her slight body. Her tattered cloak barely covered her, and she tried to keep it pulled around the fragile cage. The huge man Continue reading

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Thank you for your service…

This is a photograph of my father-in-law, Jack Knapp, Barbara’s dad. He was the navigator on a B-17 flying out of North Africa on reconnaissance flights I think over Italy – Once photographs were developed squadrons of B-17s took off from fields in Northern Africa and bombed those sites into oblivion.

It was on one return flight that a naval vessel on the Mediterranean below radioed the aircraft to identify itself, a standard operation in those waters. There was no response, and the challenge was issued again. Still no response. Apparently the radio on the Continue reading

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Anthology of the World’s 1,010 Worst Puns ~ Vol. XI

(Following is the Introduction to the projected Volume XI in the series I originally began as a project with my grandchildren. It began with a question from my eldest grandson, Casey, who wanted to hear “the world’s worst joke.” That launched a joint project between me and my four grandchildren, Casey, Venice, Xander, and Teiya, to produce and self-publish a series of books of puns. Each contained 101 of the “World’s Worst Puns” and the grandchildren drew illustrations for a handful in each volume. We self-published 8 such volumes through CreateSpace, an Amazon subsidiary, and these are available on When I signed a contract with Ulysses Press out of Berkeley, CA to pen the block of puns for “The Ultimate Book of Dad Jokes” published in 2017 I agreed to forego self-publishing volumes IX and X. The puns for the Book of Dad Jokes book were those of the 8 volumes plus the texts for the next two projected volumes for a total of 1,001 puns. Volume XI was to be an anthology of all eight of the original self-published volumes plus the two unpublished booklets. This was the anticipated Introduction to Volume XI.)

The world is made up of two kinds of people: those who appreciate puns for their sophistication and the sublime subtly with which they unfold in blatant disregard for the rules of language, and those conservative of mind who eschew coloring outside the lines and typically show their disdain for puns by the rolling of the eyes. The latter do absolutely love to hate puns and make it a supreme art to agonize over them. Those of you courageous of mind and spirit who openly profess a love of puns are cautioned not to gloat as this would be supremely unseemly and unkind to those lesser endowed.

This anthology pulling together in one volume the eight books of puns in print by this author is the result of a recommendation of my granddaughter, Venice, who thought it was a good idea to have a “giant book” of the world’s worst puns. She and my three other grandchildren, Casey, Xander, and Teiya, make up the talented crew of illustrators who adorned the pages of those nine volumes with their artful illustrations. At their own request they have submitted additional illustrations to add to the richness they created for the original volumes.

The writing of these 1,010 puns was a personal treat because it involved working with my grandchildren in a joint project. It was a challenge to think up this many puns but once the project started they came readily to a demented and skewed mind. The project moved forward because the grandchildren enjoyed reading the puns and actually laughed at them, and relished the challenge of creating images for those puns that somehow tickled their fancies. As a grandfather I couldn’t have asked for a better project to share with my grandchildren.


Gordon H. Nagai ~ Eugene, OR ~ Late Winter 2015 (original date)

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