Update on NOTEFLIX’s production of “Troubles in the Garden”: What’s this? Our hero, the Multicolored Bluebird of Happiness is Hovering above the Piazza? He can’t be flying. Everybody knows Stuffed Animals can’t fly – and our hero, oddly, has such small wings he could not fly, even if he could. So. what’s up?  Is Hovering becoming the ‘Next Thing’? Come back next week for more action.


  • READING:  I read that in 1983 Television News, at last, outstripped the news delivered from Newspapers.  Word is people are reading less and less as we move into the future.  Americans between 16 & 74 read below 6th grade level.  (This is ‘on average’ – not you dear reader)
  • WORDS:  There is a Language Gauge, The Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level Index which showed Former President Trump spoke at the 2nd Grade Level during the Presidential Debates.  And he won. On average he spoke at the 3rd Grade Level at public events during his presidency; which ended January 20th 2020, according to some.
  • FORBIDDEN:  I read in China they have a list of FORBIDDEN behaviors, intended for those in positions of power, or authority.  “FORBIDDEN:  throwing trash from car windows, parking illegally, getting other people to ghostwrite documents and making empty promises to the masses.  Bullying people, getting them to carry your bags, open your car door or pour your tea also are frowned upon.  Don’t suck up to your boss, don’t use jargon when making speeches, don’t act high and mighty, and never smoke or pick your teeth in public.  Party officials…to reduce extravagance…” Of course I agree with all of this and I suspect the list was inspired by how we Americans behave in these matters…I would suggest they add:  Not abusing Uighurs and Not scaring the Taiwanese and Not cozying up to the Russkies…but then they might say snide things about us and then we could end up with lousy trade agreements – so let’s leave well enough alone.
  • THINK CUPS:  This is a term I invented. It is a renaming  of “THINK TANKS” which are funded by political parties, the purpose of which is to improve their chances of victory at the voting booths – no matter what. Maybe “THINK THIMBLES” would be better. For example, one could say…”Former Congressman ‘So-and-So” who now works at the QAnon “THINK THIMBLE” suggests “the IRS is an armed gang of thugs out to steal your money”…(Sophomore Grade Level chatter. Also see FORBIDDEN, above.)
  • AMAZON gets 40% of all e-comm sales. Only a few years ago they were primarily selling books.  AMAZON is getting into the health care business.  Pretty soon, if past is prologue – and I’m not saying it is, AMAZON will be the biggest for profit business in the health care industry.  I do not want to besmirch one of the world’s richest humans; but what if, just what if the morality of Ethical Care is overcome by Economic Concerns – especially for profits?  (My editor tells me to make a ‘humorous comment’ at the end of this –  but I am having Writer’s block)


And now a few words from our Resident Rodent Guest Columnist MATHUZALA:


“Where were we? At the end of Bacci’s successful convention of the RAT/PAC (Political Action Committee) held in the basement level of the Plaza Hotel, where there were thousands of Rodents and almost a hundred Humans (including our hero Benedict)….Bacci levitated and then hovered above the crowd for several minutes and then, remarkably, vanished into the dark air.  This act, demonstrating Supernatural Powers, and being the stuff of dreams – mostly nightmares –  cemented the conviction of all in attendance that they were on the right side of what was soon to happen.”

-Ed.note: If you want to be ‘on the right side” …go to Amazon (go to ‘BOOKS’ – not HEALTH CARE)  or go to Barnes & Noble and buy ‘THE RAT PAPERS”


  • I read there are only 50,000 permanent residents left in Venice. Apparently residents are leaving, or have left – due primarily to the large numbers of tourists. Tourists  are a big source of revenue for Italian cities…and a big source of woe…it is becoming a love/hate relationship in some areas. In our little town of Greve in Chianti, the shops, the cafes, the restaurants all depend on tourists.We, here in Greve, like our tourists; but they are not crowding us out and they only stay about seven months a year. (More on this subject in future posts)

A quote:

  • “”What is this wine made of?” -A question asked to a tour guide at a local vineyard. We hesitate to tell you from which country this questioner came from.

We will leave it well enough alone from here. Until next week then…and a fond “Hello” to Inis …wherever you are…

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