Lisa Piasecki.




(Inspired by a story by Veronica Rocha)

Of course the drunk and screaming part was true, I don’t deny it.

But listen to my side of things – won’t you please just try it?

Because of snow I started out by missing my connection,

Which caused me to indulge in quite a bit of grim reflection.


And then they lost my luggage and the damn security

Had me strip so they could search for some impurity.

Next, the food they served me was still frozen crystal clear –

Do you wonder I took scotch and chased it with a beer?


I waited 20 minutes for the bathroom, just to find

The toilet clogged with paper and a curling orange rind.

The holding pattern took us round and round the airport towers;

Is it any wonder I began to scream for hours?


Do not tell me you have not been on a flight from hell;

One that left you old and cracked just like the Liberty Bell.

Such tortures were not meant to be endured by human being;

I only took the plane to do a bit of fun sightseeing!  

Ballad of the Catnapper.


(Inspired by a story by Paul Walsh)

My true love wanted kitty cats for Valentines’ this year,

And so I burgled PetSmart  to find one she’d hold dear.

Alas, she didn’t like it and she told me I’m a thief,

And so I took the kitty back to PetsSmart with relief.


Then she asked for diamonds, so to Wixon’s I did go.

I swiped some ice to show her that I was her constant beau.

She said the stones were horrid and I was an awful cheat.

I returned the gems inside their mailbox, quite discreet.


At last she said that money was the only thing that mattered,

And so a vault at Wells Fargo I pummeled and I battered.

I set her up with millions and she told me in return

That she could only love a man that crime would always spurn.


But would she let me take the money back? Oh no, indeed!

Instead she called the cops on me with avaricious speed.

So now I sit in Stillwater while she lives in Edina.

I’m collecting cobwebs as she collects bone china.


13 Ways to Get Publicity from a Journalist.


Journalists may not be dyslexic, but they often seem to have short attention spans. Or maybe they are just fussy like little kids. Be that as it may, when you want a journalist’s attention because you have a product or service or story you want them to take notice of, you just may be out of luck. Breaking news may keep your interesting item from ever being noticed. Unless you know how to grab their attention.

1. Offer them money.  Oh sure, there are some finicky people who think such an offer is unethical. But who said it has to be cold hard cash? Offer them a free wine and cheese bar at your new branch office opening. Print your story on a nice t-shirt and send it to several reporters; one of them is bound to follow up with you.

2. Join Alcoholics Anonymous. You’ll meet a lot of journalists there. Ask one of them to be your sponsor; then they’ll publish your story.

3. Forget the journalists. Start your own blog and make your story go viral. It happens all the time.

4. Offer a free timeshare to the first journalist who writes about your real estate company. (Of course, the timeshare is in Hoboken, New Jersey — but so what?)

5. Get hired on a newspaper so you can write the story yourself; journalism school takes four years, so START NOW.

6. Bypass the journalist and go to his or her editor; review steps 1 and 2 above.

7. Create a snappy headline to focus their attention.  Something like “I AM CHARLIE SHEEN’S LIVER” or “WE INTERVIEW THE CORPSE OF P.T. BARNUM!”  You’ll hear from some writer, no doubt — even if it’s only one from MAD Magazine.

8. Picket your local newspaper, with a sign that reads “This Pewsnaper is Ufnair to Dyslexics!” You’ll be interviewed for your story on your way to jail.

9. Did you know journalists are underpaid? Why don’t you give them a cushy job in your company?  All they have to do is write their last story about your product or service. (Wink. Wink. Nudge. Nudge.)

10. Buy your local newspaper. At the rate they are failing, you can pick one up for a song — and then have the journalists working on it sing your tune.

11. Hold a press conference. Invite the mayor or other politician to it; they will make sure it gets covered for you, the big showboaters . . .

12.  Outsource!  You can outsource customer service, manufacturing and technical support to some third-world country very inexpensively — so why not get a journalist from, say, Cambodia or Nicaragua to write up your product?  Of course, only people who can read Khmer or Spanish will know about it.

13. Start doing family history. You will inevitably find a distant relative, still living, who is a journalist or who has some connection with a journalist. Look them up, take them to dinner, give them a sad story about how your company desperately needs the attention of a good journalist, and let them do the rest. And if they don’t . . . well, at least you can fill in another part of your family tree.


Politicians Take a Vow of Poverty (a Fantasy in Three Stanzas).


(Inspired by an article by David Zahniser)

A campaign promise uttered in the heat of battle must

Remain a fragile object, made of moon beams and of dust.

Giving credence to a pledge by any office seeker

Leaves the body politic both gullible and weaker.


So when a politician vows to take a cut in pay

If elected, my first impulse is to laugh away.

They might as well affirm that they will swim through wet cement

As promise to give up a single solitary cent.


If only ev’ry baby kisser vowed sweet poverty

When they ran for office – think of what might come to be!

Bag lunches down at city hall and hitchhiking lawbreeders,

With lobbyists thrown out of work and stealing from birdfeeders.  

The Ballad of Two Shoplifters, or Crime Doesn’t Pay But the Hours are Good.


The wind chill, it was bitter; the snow had drifted down,

When the Bad Girls drove in to the prosp’rous little town.

They ate a meal at Denny’s, and paid the check with cash;

Then at Kohl’s Department Store they collected their first stash.


Oh, they were very clever; these daring racketeers;

They boosted dresses left and right, and swiped five chandeliers.

Their vehicle was parked away from prying spying eyes.

They had no trouble packing up their predatory prize.


Next they struck a Walmart, and stole fine jewelry;

The clerks were careless, on a break, or some tomfoolery.

Their luck held with Cabela’s; they looted it in style,

Secluding tons of spinner baits as they walked down the aisle.


At Target it was cell phones; at Lowe’s a sack of nails.

At Barnes & Noble they made off with books about Versailles.

Their crime spree wasn’t over; they couldn’t stop themselves –

They had to visit Walgreens and swipe Bag Balm off the shelves.


Their car was near to bursting, but one more heist they gaily planned;

They’d sneak into Schmitt’s Music to kidnap a baby grand.

Although it was fantastic, they did turn the trick by golly –

And even got a salesman to transport it with a dolly!


Their wiles were subjugating the whole retail industry;

Was there no way to prevent their sad skullduggery?

The big box stores laid traps amain, but it was all in vain;

These female kleptomaniacs had good fortune as their swain.


But at last the fates decreed these women bandits must

Be thrown down from their pedestal and eat a peck of dust.

(For ev’ry epic ballad must detail the rise AND fall

Of the bad and prideful, of the tyrant or gun moll.)


And so it came to pass that our two scofflaws one day went

Into a nearby dollar store to buy some Pepsodent.

But force of habit made them hide two tins of plain sardines

In the pockets of their stolen, stone-washed Levi jeans.


Alarums sounded ev’rywhere and cops showed up in haste.

They put the two offenders in a dim cell, cold and chaste.

They’re locked up until sunshine comes in many hues of green,

Until the big box stores decay . . . and Congress grows serene.