Wildwood Daze – Kites – Part 2

So I needed another kite. I knew my mom wouldn’t spring for it. So I used what little allowance I had to get another one.

It had to be this:

The Baby Bat! This was a cool kite. Probably the coolest kite Gayla ever made. Black, with flaming eyes, and the lower edges looked like real bat wings. It too was only a dollar.

I loved my new, cool black kite. The eyes were stickers you had to put on yourself, so the spacing had to be perfect upon application. You didn’t want your bat looking cross eyed or weird. It needed to be cool and menacing.

In hindsight, I think the better name for this kite would have been the Manta Ray, because it better resembles a ray than a bat. Just saying…

Our next idea was to buy more twine. Let’s connect two or more spools of twine and make the tether even longer than 200 feet. Let’s go for 400 feet of string. It became less about the simple whimsy of flying a kite as a restful activity, and more about let’s see what these kites can withstand.

But, this is what boys do. Let’s just see how far we can take an idea before something breaks, or we’re injured. As kids we used to engage in activities that endangered our health and welfare on a daily basis.

It was called the 70’s! Nobody wore seat belts in the car, and nobody wore helmets when they rode their bikes. It was like the wild west back then. Look at jaw breakers candies. Perfect choking hazard for any child. But when you’re young all you ever think of is “I”.  I’ll be fine. I’m Indestructible. I’m Immune. I’m Immortal. You never think anything you do will have any consequences, until you start seeing kids wearing casts on their arms and legs for broken bones.

Good times!

So, I tied the string together, and wound the second spool of 200 feet of string to the first one. Now I had 400 feet of tether. My kite will go higher than ever! My kite is going to go so high, a plane or even a helicopter could crash into it. Now that would be a spectacular day of fun for a couple of boys. Nothing like causing a good old-fashioned air disaster to get the blood up.

We head down to the beach with my new Baby Bat kite and a giant spool of string. The wind is up and blowing north. We follow the path through the bushes to the open beach.

Once there, we let it rip. The string is going out like mad and the kite is rising high into the twilight sky. The sea air is invigorating as I watch as my great ebony vessel rises higher and higher. I decide to place both of my index fingers into the ends of the spool and just let that sucker spin. The cylinder of twine is a blur in my hands as the line goes out like mad. It’s as if I have a fish on the line. (That, or a giant bat!)

The bat is going so high, it’s getting smaller and smaller. Soon it’ll be just an inkblot in the sky. I’ll have flown the highest kite ever!

Now, you have to keep tension on the line so that the kite stays up. If that pressure is off the kite could fall. But the wind is carrying my kite higher than I’ve ever seen a kite go. The spool spins on my fingers.

The line… still going out.

Once it reaches the end, it’ll stop, and the kite will soar even higher. 400 feet is just seconds away! My beautiful brand new kite soars like a bird.

But that didn’t happen.

What I failed to realize was that the string on these spools isn’t tied to the spool. It’s simply wrapped around it by a machine when it’s manufactured.

The final feet of the twine go out, and I’m left standing with what would be equal to an empty role of toilet paper in my hand.

The kite is so high it continues to fly. But it’s so far away and we’re on a beach, so I can’t even see the string as it slips away at high speed. I watch as my brand new  Baby Bat flies away on it’s first, and final mission. My friend is laughing hysterically as we watch the kite fly over the channel as it heads out to sea.

It probably crashed somewhere across the channel in Stone Harbor, five miles away.

So, that was the end of that kite.

I owned a few more Baby Bats that summer. I think it was my favorite kite design. Most were destroyed in sky battles or tangled in electrical lines and lost. I remember my mom saying, “You went through a kite a week that summer!”

Ahh, what a grand time we had as children each summer. Living by the sea, in the sunshine, and getting our exercise. Those experiences build strong, healthy minds and bodies. Better than any video game you could imagine.

One night, there was a land breeze from the west and my friend and I were flying the latest kite. It was a red Sky Raider.

Exciting fun for all ages! Boys, girls, and apparently old guys who smoked pipes! (for only one dollar!)

We were sitting up in the lifeguard chair. Which is the coveted spot to sit on the beach at night. You’re probably 7 feet in the air and it definitely feels like a position of power for a couple of kids.

Ogunquit Beach Lifeguard Chair at Sunrise Ogunquit Maine Photograph by Toby McGuire

I got tired of holding  the string of my kite, so I tied it to the chair. The red kite sailed high over the Atlantic Ocean. Normally you don’t stay long on the beach during the day when there’s a land breeze. It brings all of the green  flies from the bay to the beach. They aren’t like the annoying pests you get in your house in the summertime. These suckers are bigger and ‘bite like horses’, as my dad would say. But by nightfall they’re usually gone.

So my buddy and I are just chilling in the lifeguard chair and chatting. We’re watching the red kite as it flies and dips over the sea. But at some point, the wind died down, and the kite vanished below the waves. At that point we didn’t feel like hauling in all of that wet sandy string, so we just broke the string and let it drift away. I remember before it sank it looked like a big red shark’s dorsal fin before it slipped away.

Another dollar and a half well spent. Taken by Neptune.

I wanted to change up my game. I needed a better kite.

I had heard from one of the other kids that there was a bigger and better kite that was made by Gayla. It looked like the Sky Raider, but it was bigger and had a metal controller you held to maneuver your kite.

Kind of looked like this, but much bigger. It had a six foot wing span. It was called…

The Invader!

Rare 1962 vintage Gayla kite The Invader Kites with box | #1821116875

I had to have it. It cost a whopping six dollars!

I scraped together what little allowance money and change I had to get that kite. It was bigger than any kite on the beach, and it had the cool metal controller included. I scampered over to the store and bought it.

I quickly assembled my great bird and was ready for action. The controller is simply a wire frame shaped like an hourglass that you hold horizontally like an airplane controller. (Don’t get too excited. Think, cheap-ass, coat hanger bent into a metal bow tie.)

Flying Fish Kiting Team: Radcliffe Conversion

You actually needed two spools of twine to operate the kite properly. They were both hooked to the controller and the other ends were attached at two different points on the kite’s brindle. This is so you could steer and maneuver your amazing kite.

I was about to become the Lord of the Skies in Wildwood.

I made sure the string was securely tied to each spool before I hand wound them both back onto each cylinder. I affixed the ends of each cord to the appropriate spots on the kite.

I was ready.

We took my vinyl Phoenix to the beach for it’s maiden voyage to the heavens. The wind was blowing from the south which was perfect. This way, if anything happened it wouldn’t crash in the sea. It would land on the beach north of where we were standing.

I slowly let out the string, and my great winged toy was carried upward. It looked enormous. Some people who were still on the beach at dusk, looked on with pride and amazement at the kid with the amazing kite.

I was so proud as I watched it sail higher and higher. Such an enormous pull on the strings. Huge kite. More wind resistance coupled with great aerial strength and elegance. My beautiful winged beast flying high. It’s glorious six foot wing span, like some great albatross, controlled only by my willing hands. I held the controller and watched as my kite flew higher and higher. We were coming to the end of the string.

This was it.

That moment where the line would become taut and the kite would fly even higher on the tension of the lines. I would proudly steer it along the beach as startled onlookers watched the glory of my passing.

The Sky King.

The Invader!

The anticipation was exhilarating as the end of the spools approached. Within seconds, the strings went taut.

The force was so great it yanked the controller from my tiny hands.

I watched in mute protest as the controller flew from my grasp and bounced down the beach.

My friend and I gave chase. Running as fast as we could in an attempt to catch the bouncing metal frame as it bounded down the beach. It had enough weight to keep the kite aloft, but was light enough to escape from us.

We eventually ran out of energy as the kite flew further and further away.

Another kite had made its escape. It would probably crash like the last on the other side of the channel in Stone Harbor.

My kite…

Snatched from my hands like my fleeting childhood.

 

I’ll always look back on my times at the shore with fond memories. Some of my greatest moments happened on that sandy stage.

 

Here’s a great song that serves as a soundtrack to this story.

 

Here’s one gentleman’s obsession:

http://gaylakitememories.blogspot.com/2012/07/introduction.html

 

Why couldn’t this have happened to us?

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new books, Phicklephilly 2 and Sun Stories: Tales from a Tanning Salon are now for sale on Amazon!

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Wildwood Daze – Kites – Part 1

Back in the early seventies the world was a different place. Kids played outside. The only time you stayed in was when it rained. That meant playing board games, and dealing with your sisters and brothers.

When we were children we were always coming up with creative things to do. No one had any money, there were no video games, cell phones,  internet, or social media. We could spend a whole day making boats out of whatever we could find, and watching them float down nearby Tookany Creek. We spent so many wonderful hours playing in the woods.

One day, my friend RJ and I found some old trash bags. We tied strings to them and attempted to make kites out of them. We were probably 9 or 10 years old at the time. There was a vacant lot at the end of our street that served as an entrance to the factory, Peerless Steel. We were always hanging out in that lot because it lead to the railroad tracks and beyond that, the woods. We began our foray into the world of flight in that vacant lot.

RJ and I were a couple of creative kids. We were always making things. We had high hopes for our experiments. It was a windy day and that was probably our inspiration. We tied the string to the bags and attempted to make them fly. We thought with a bit of a breeze, our creations would become aloft. But without any knowledge of aerodynamics, our trash bag kites were merely crappy, trash parachutes.

They twisted in the wind and spent more time on the ground than in the air. We continued to modify the design of our bag kites, but to no avail. Once the bags were snagged in the barb wire on the fence that surrounded the factory, we abandoned our experiments.

 

Each summer after 1970, my family stayed at our summer home on 8th street in North Wildwood, New Jersey. Living a block and a half from the beach, there were plenty of places for kids to play. The kid who was my age who lived next door became my summer friend. He and I spent a great deal of time together.

The year was probably 1972.

Over on 10th street, was a grocery/variety store called Botto’s. One day, my sister and I were over there with my mother. They sold all of the things you’d need for your time at the shore. Groceries, snacks, candy, soda, sundries, and beach toys. The usual seashore corner store fare.

But we noticed a box among the other products that held kites! They were made by a company called, Gayla and were rolled up in long cellophane packages. We both picked out the ones we liked and my mom got them for us. Back then, each kite cost a dollar. The twine was probably a quarter or .39 cents. So, not much of an investment for what could be a world of fun.

Janice picked out a blue one, because that was her favorite color. It was called Sting-A-Ree. It resembled a stingray, with cute eyes on it. Here’s a photo I found which will give you an idea what these kites looked like, and also that attractive price point.

I got a white one, called Sky Spy. It had big flaming eyes on it and I dug it’s bright, menacing intensity.

The one in this picture must be a later model, because my kite was the same size as my sister’s with the standard 3 foot wing span. (Also, only one dollar!)

Like it says on my sister’s kite’s packaging, it was literally ready to fly in seconds! Each kite came with a wooden dowel that you placed the ends into the kite horizontally to create the cross spar. You tied one end of the string through a reinforced hole in the brindle. (Which is the triangular guide piece that extends forward from the spine of the kite. Once that was done, all you needed was a good breeze. Kite flying is fun!

Of course, my friend next door immediately got one as well. I don’t remember which design he went with. Possibly a yellow one called, Sky Raider. But I could be wrong. It doesn’t matter.

So we kids would go to the beach in the evenings when all of the tourists were gone, and fly our kites on the beach. I liked that it was still light at night so you could see, but the heat of the day was gone. The cool breeze rolled in from the sea, but the sand was still warm under your bare feet.

My sister Janice never seemed to have any problems getting her kite in the air, and the blue Sting-A-Ree glided through the air with the greatest of ease.

Of course, my friend and I being boys were always having problems. Strings getting tangled, and kites colliding in mid-air. Kites getting hung up in electrical wires, or crashing into the bushes on the dunes.

I think trying to make kites out of trash bags was a creative way to play. Creativity is the highest form of intelligence, and can’t be taught. Funny, how all the stuff you learn in school is just memorizing the memories and words of others who have come before you. History written and spun by the winners.

Kids back then had to find their own fun to keep from getting bored. Making things filled the time, and lit up our young minds. But flying store bought, manufactured kites was easy. As long as the wind was blowing, these kites would take right off, no problem. They looked really cool flying in the air high above our heads. You simply let out the string, and the spool it was wrapped around spun out and the kite rose higher and hire like a bird. You held the string, hoping it wasn’t to windy, because if the string went out too fast it would burn your fingers as it went. (I guess that’s why they had the parental notice for 8 and up on the package.)

But for young boys, once your kite’s in the air, it’s a little boring. So, we of course devised ways to make the experience more interesting.

One of the things we did was, once the kite was fully aloft, we’d pull a special move. Realizing if the line was slack, the kite would fall. Without the tension on the string, the kite would tumble back to earth. That defeats the purpose of flying a kite. But… what we started to do was this. I would place the spool under my arm and hold it tightly in place. Then I would start to pull on the string. I would haul it in arm over arm, and the string would pool at my feet. All the while keeping tension on the line. Once I had about 40 or 50 feet of string in a pile at my feet, I would grab the spool from under my arm and let go of the twine in my hand. This would release the tension on the kite and it would start to fall. Well, not just fall, sort of nose dive toward the ground. The string on the ground would rapidly go out, being pulled by the falling kite in the wind. But there was still no tension. Once the string ran out, and the line tension returned, the kite would once again soar back up into the sky.

Exciting!

It was really about how much wind you had blowing, and how much string you pulled down onto the ground in front of you. It was cool to watch the kite begin to fall from the sky like a plane that had been shot down. The slack line would go out, and once it hit tension again, that sucker would shoot back into the sky before it hit the ground. The key was to let it fall as far as it could and as close to the ground as possible before it took off again. (Even if you had to run in the opposite direction to get the tension back in the line!)

This was super fun and exciting to watch the kite fall aimlessly towards a potential crash, and at the last minute take off again. It was glorious to witness. But more times than not, the kite never recovered, and would crash and be destroyed in the bushes two hundred feet away.

My buddy would always volunteer to go get the fallen vessel. He had the most amazing callouses on the balls of his feet from being barefoot all summer. I mean, this dude was like an Indian with those feet of his. He could step on broken glass and not get cut. I think he did it to show off, but I was happy I didn’t have to trudge through the bushes and dunes on my tender tootsies. (I once watched him put out a cigarette with his bare foot as a teen.)

Fun to watch, but risky. There’s nothing worse than trudging through two blocks worth of heavy bushes loaded with mosquitoes, flies, and whatever else was alive in there to retrieve your fallen kite. You would hold the line, and simply follow the string to your fallen toy. More times than not, the kite was irreparably damaged in the crash. A tangle of string and ripped vinyl. If the wooden dowel snapped, your day of flying kites was terminated. All in the name of your own foolish quest for young boy thrills.

But… when it worked, and your kite flew back up with seconds to spare, it was an amazing thrill. An exciting rush. Cheering, we felt like stunt pilots.

But was that thrilling enough for a couple of 10-year-olds?

You’d think it would be.

But no…

It wasn’t.

We began to have air battles with our kites. It was cool to watch them crash into each other. Most of the time they would get tangled together and crash back to earth. But then we came up with the idea to tape a long carpenter’s nail to the nose of the kite.

So this for boys was like strapping sharp spikes to a rooster’s legs to inflict more damage on his opponent during a cockfight. Think about it. Kites are boring. They look pretty floating through the air, but for 10-year-old boys, that’s boring. Let’s have full on, air battles with metal spikes. Now it’s fun! We have goals. Those nails will do some serious damage!

The order of the day… Destroy your opponent’s kite at all costs.

Due to our destructive nature, my Sky Spy was destroyed after a week, and so was my friend’s kite. But we had fun doing it. We still liked flying kites as something to do at night on the beach.

We headed back to Botto’s to get new kites. All the while, Janice’s kite flew unhindered high above us all.

 

More tomorrow!

 

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 7

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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How To Have A Zoom Game Night

Now that the majority of the country is practicing social distancing, the way we entertain ourselves has drastically changed. Musicians are streaming concerts on YouTube, comedians are going live on Instagram, and people all over the world are using Zoom well after their work calls are over in order to spend time with loved ones. But if your video chat hangs are starting to feel a bit repetitive (read: You’re drinking way more wine than usual), a game night on Zoom may provide a much-needed reprieve.

“Using video conferencing technology to have fun, to engage with other people, and to connect socially, reminds us that we are not alone and that we have people there to support us,” Dr. Josh Klapow, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and associate professor of public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, tells phicklephilly.

Hopping on video chat can be a great way to feel less isolated. Folks everywhere are propping up their phones while they cook together, watch movies, or simply have conversations. But the fun of a game night, in particular, can make these quiet evenings seem a little less strange and a lot more nostalgic. Battling it out with friends might even ease coronavirus-related anxiety, at least for a little while, as you focus your mind elsewhere.

Here, a few ideas for ways to have a Zoom game night, so you can stay connected from afar.

1. Trivia Night

You may not be crammed into your favorite bar booth with five of your closest friends, but you can still recreate trivia night by playing together on Zoom. Start by assigning a host (like yourself) and coming up with questions. Aim for five or so categories, with about eight questions each.

From there, figure out how you’ll communicate. Each team will need a private space to whisper answers, like a breakout room, but you can all meet back in the main “bar” area on Zoom. Give everyone 30 seconds to deliberate, and then have them submit answers via DM.

Of course, as with any trivia night, you’ll want and need rules. Remind players to stay off Google, to put their phones down, and to only get answers from teammates — not their roommate, who is a fount of 90s music knowledge. And just like that, you’ll have recreated trivia night from the safety of your homes.

2. Punderdome

A rousing game of Punderdome can easily be played via Zoom. To begin, gather at least three people, ensure that someone (again, probably you) has the deck of cards, and spend an evening making awful jokes.

To play, the “prompter” draws two cards from the deck and then reads them out to the rest of the group. Everyone has 90 seconds to create the worst pun they can come up with that combines the two prompts.

The prompter then chooses the pun they like best. The first person who gets 10 pairs of cards wins!

3. What Do You Meme

The “adult party game for meme lovers” is another one you can play from afar. If you’d like to show your cards, simply angle your camera so everyone can see what’s on the table. Get creative with this, and it’ll feel much more interactive.

What Do You Meme is all about matching up photo cards with caption cards to create your own meme. Similar to Cards Against Humanity (we’ve all played that, right?), the winning puns will come down to personal preference and can lead to heated debates over what’s funny and what isn’t.

Since you can only play with up to six people, it’s a great game to try on video chat without feeling too overwhelmed. Drinks, snacks, and other social distancing comfort optional.

4. Truth Or Dare

This classic game is a fun one to try from the privacy of your own home and can be played with as many people as you like. Ask your friends “truth” questions to learn more about each other, or go for a “dare” if your goal is to crack each other up. The possibilities are endless, as long as they all involve staying inside.

5. Charades

In case you need a reminder, charades is that game where you act out a word or phrase without speaking, and your teammates have to guess what it is. To do it over Zoom, simply move your camera when it’s your turn, so everyone can see what you’re doing.

You’ll need two teams, a list of suggestions, and a timer. Each person will get a chance to act out their word, while their team tries to figure it out. You might get something like “gardening,” at which point you’ll get down on your hands and knees, dig in the dirt, plant flowers, etc. Use your imagination.

You can’t, of course, mouth the answer, make noise, or use items in your room as clues. That’s some hardcore charades cheating, right there. But you can think back to your high school theater arts class, and put your old miming skills to work.

6. Dungeons & Dragons

The cool thing about D&D is it’s an imagination-based game, making it something you can easily play on Zoom until you can meet up with your friends in real life.

The majority of the work will fall on the game master (probably you) since it’ll be important to consider ways to keep everyone involved. But it can be done! Just pretend you’re all sitting around the same table, as per usual, and continue your story.

If a player needs dice to roll, they can do so online with a quick Google search. There are also fancy virtual tabletops you can try out. But you may want to keep things simple, especially if you aren’t too experienced with the game or have never tried it before, and stick to fun, light-hearted role-playing.

7. Mind Meld

Have all your friends sign on to Zoom, then take turns going in a circle while trying to “meld minds,” aka say the exact same word at the exact same time.

Two players will start by counting down from three and then saying any word that comes to mind. One player then turns to the person “next to them,” and they count down from three, then say a word that the two previous words made them think of. And so on.

It’s basically a game of word association, and if you play it right — where no one’s trying to be funny or saying random things just for a laugh — you will eventually hone in on the same word, and it’ll feel like magic.

8. Never Have I Ever

This is a classic drinking game that can be played with or without alcohol over video chat.

Have everyone hold up their hand as players take turns sharing something they’ve never done before. If someone in the circle has done it, they put a finger down (or take a drink). Go for spicy questions to keep things interesting, and to make it less likely that everyone’s done it.

Ideas: Never have I ever fainted. Never have I ever bungee jumped. Never have I ever had a paranormal experience. Never have I ever had a one-night stand.

The person with the most fingers remaining up at the end wins!

9. Quiplash

The rules of Quiplash are super easy, as there are no rules or correct answers. All you do is answer prompts within the game, then everyone votes on the wittiest answers.

According to the game’s creators, you can play with up to eight of your friends, as well as up to 10,000 participants in the in app “Audience.” Playing on a stream? Your viewers can join in and participate in the game, too.

10. 21 Questions

Woman using a laptop in the night sitting on a couch in the living room at home
Shutterstock

Get to know your friends even better by playing a game of 21 Questions. To get things started, have everyone come up with a list of 21 Qs, then roll a die, and have the person with the lower number answer first.

The person who is asking should start with easy questions, like, “What did you have for breakfast this morning?” Then move onto ones that are more risqué, if your friends are OK with that.

You can ask “what if?” questions, pose interesting scenarios, ask about dreams and fears — or whatever else sounds fun.

11. Two Truths & A Lie

Two Trusts & A Lie is another party game that focuses on telling, well, two truths and a lie. Each player will have a chance to share two facts about themselves plus something that’s entirely made up, and the goal is to correctly guess which one is the lie.

To throw everyone off, choose two truths about yourself that people might not know, or two things that seem a bit outlandish or out of character for you. Mix those in at random with a lie, which can be equally outlandish, and chances are everyone will have a hard time figuring it out!

12. Read My Lips

To play Read My Lips, have the person who is “it” turn off their microphone. They will then say a series of words in a given amount of time while everyone else reads their lips and writes down what they think they’re saying. The person with the most correct guesses is the obvious winner.

13. Pass It Along

This game is all about creating a story together, one sentence at a time. Start the story, then pass it off to another friend who will add the next sentence, then someone else will add the third sentence, and keep going until it feels like the tale has reached a natural conclusion.

You can be as serious or as silly as you want, but think about the plot, remember to add in characters and details, so the story is interesting. Try to recall what was said before you and work together to create a narrative with rising action.

For an added element, record the story and listen back afterward to hear back how utterly ridiculous it was.

14. Scavenger Hunt

If you’re hosting this event, create a list of things people may (or may not) have around their apartment. Add everyday items to the list, like a coffee mug or a box of pasta, as well as a few unique items, like an antique watch or a Slinky. Set a timer, share the list, and see who can come rushing back to Zoom with the most items on the list.

15. Drawing Challenge

Pick a category, form teams of two, and have one person from each team do a Google image search of abstract shapes or pieces of art that fall within the category.

Go into Zoom breakout rooms so you won’t be talking over each other, and then be as specific as possible as you describe the image to your partner, so they have a better shot at drawing it on a piece of paper, with paint — whatever medium you’ll all be using.

Give everyone five minutes to draw, then come back into the main chat and vote on the winner.

16. Last Letter

If you’d like to keep your brain sharp during this time of social distancing, play Last Letter with your friends. All you need to do is choose a category — ’90s movies, flowers, states, colors, etc. — and say a word within that category. The next person will say a word that starts with the last letter of your word, and on and on you’ll go until someone comes up blank. That person will then sit out the next round. Keep playing until only one player is left standing.

17. Would You Rather?

Ask each other “would you rather” type questions, such as “Would you rather have really long arms or really long legs?” or “Would you rather have super strength or super speed?” Be creative and have fun!

If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and coughing, call NHS 111 in the UK or visit the CDC website in the U.S. for up-to-date information and resources. 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 5

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

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Life Before Quarantine – Part 4

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Life Before Quarantine – Part 1

During quarantine I’ve been fairly productive. I get my energy from people but I really enjoy my alone time. My daughter agrees. We’re both perfectly happy being on our own. I was looking through some photos the other day and I got some great memories of when we were all allowed to come out and play. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I’ll run this series every week until I run out of photos! If you see yourself, hit me up!

I’m very fortunate to have met you all and enjoyed the times we had together. Thank you!

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Cassie – Chapter 4 – Saturday Night Special

The doors finally open on one of the elevators and like lemmings we all sausage into the space.

Cassie is so curious and wondering what’s happening after sitting in a noisy Irish tap room for an hour. “What is this new, mysterious place Charles has taken me to?”

Ten years ago I was with a friend, and it was Center City Sips.

Center City Sips is a nightmarish program that the city has come up with to extend the bar/restaurant week out in Philly.

They figured if the offered $3 beers, $5 wines, and  $6 cocktails, ever Wednesday from spring through fall they could extend out the week and keep business going in the summer when it’s slow here in Philly.

What they created was a night when young people with little money came out and drink their faces off on every Wednesday at most of the best mainstream spots in the city.

The industry people hate it, because they’re over run by young drunk people that don’t tip properly and they only make money on pure volume.

But the sad point is, if the bar/restaurant doesn’t participate in this shit show, they can’t be a member of restaurant week, which is another shit show of losers being able to come to their restaurant and get a three course meal for $35.

Its all been created by idiots to think they’ll generate more income for their bars and restaurants during the slow season, but the staff lose money and hate it all.

I get it, and have done my best to deflect from these places during the season when I can.

Which leads me to R2L.

I was with a co-worker of mine and we wanted to go out and blow off some steam when we worked for a major news company in the city. I told him everywhere was a shit show, and he asked if I knew of any place that we could go and drink to get away from all of the drunken youth.

I took him to R2L

“Why do you know about this amazing place and you never told me?”

R2L is a premier spot that has such a great view that it’ll blow the doors off whoever you’re with guaranteed, if they’ve never been there.

The view of all of west and south Philly is glorious. The bar is dark and posh, the entire place quietly screams discretionary hook up.

Not for me tonight because I don’t roll that way, but let’s lay the ground work for the future.

Cassie is captivated by the place immediately.

Of course… I’m the master of cool dating spots.

“Oh my god! This place is awesome, Charles!”

Baby heads to the bathroom and quickly returns.

The bartender asks what we’d like to drink. I tell her just to get me a Manhattan. Cass tells me she wants the same.

Impressive.

I tell her I need to stop and use the facilities.

(A couple of Victory Summer Love beers get the middle-aged bladder going.)

I get back and see my drink. It’s perfect.

Things are going well tonight. I ask her about my Manhattan.

“Bulliett Rye with a brandied berry up.”

“Oh my God. That’s my go to. You too, Cass?”

“Yep.”

Our glasses clink and we sup. I really like this girl.

But let me just step back here. Cassie seems really nice. Cassie seems really fun. But Cassie still stinks of damaged goods. (sorry)

She mentioned at Bonner’s how the last time she was back in L.A. she saw her emotional and physically abusive ex and spent time with him.

Red Flags are burning the sky at this point. I look to the the heavens and all I see is red flags.

I could have fun with this flight attendant but there’s some serious mileage on this sports car.

Cassie drives through her first Manhattan with great vigor. This is a party girl. She’s 31 in her profile at the salon but look much older, which could be booze and coke mileage on this sweet lady.

I don’t care, and I’m happy to be with her today on my loser day off.

We have some truffle flatbreads and another round of Manahattans R2L which I know will cost us a small fortune. That’s the singular reason I never go there anymore. That, and the mediocre food.

Cass is supposed to meet some girlfriends at 7:30 and I’m ready to be done. All good, but I just cant do long sessions with anyone anymore except my friend James from the talent agency. I could hang with him for a week anywhere in the world. Because he’s an interesting guy.

We call for the bill. It’s like $98 of nightmare. That never happens in my life anymore. I never see a bill over $30 because of my influence.

The beauty of this moment is Cassie whips out her credit card and pays half.

I know I have been writing this damn blog for over three and a half years and you all know me. I got killed on so many dinner bills with so many women, I was never able to connect with, it made me feel so empty.

Cassie kicked in and it just felt healthy, fun, and right.

We close out and head to the elevator. We ride it back to earth and are both feeling the glow of a great afternoon.

We step outside and are standing under the awning with several other guests.

An insane rainstorm begins.

I heard it may rain, but not the insane, bullet droplets, complete wash off the city deluge, that’s crushing everyone.

We’re huddled under the over hang with other people that are clearly already soaked. Cass is trying to get an Uber. She has to meet up with her girlfriends!

Cassie doesn’t know the city, so when she calls her UBER, she has know idea where he is especially in the rain.

“I’m not from here. I don’t know where that is.”

Looks at me in panic.

“Give me your phone.”

Me: “Hey man. What do you see? H&M? Okay. Turn your flashers on. We’ll come to you.”

I grab her hand. “Come with me.”

It’s pouring raining. I’m navigating my girl to her Uber on her phone. I lead her through the soaking rain, and puddles at 16th and Chestnut as a complete stranger. A girl I just met.

We arrive at the car. The driver smiles at me. I hang up on her phone. I look at her and tell her that I’m dropping her somewhat wet phone in her bag to protect it.

It’s pouring.

I expected nothing.

I yanked the passenger door of the Nissan Maxima open to place my lady inside.

Cassie grasps me before she gets in the car and kisses me on the lips.

Off her car goes, and the rain intensifies. I scamper to a Septa bus stop for shelter.

The rain kills the city with it’s intensity. I’ll just stand here until it lets up.

Maybe I can go to Marathon bar and grill and beg for a lost umbrella.

I don’t really care. I actually had an awesome day off that turned into a sweet date.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

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17 Clever Insults to Keep Cretins Out of Your Life

Try them out on your friends!

 

  • 2
    People - I'll bet you're the kind of guy who sets fireworks off in the middle of the day so they're .easier to see.

  • 3
    Dish - You're like the end pieces of a loaf of bread. Everyone touches you, but nobody wants you.

  • 4
    Clothing - You're not pretty enough to be that stupid.

  • 5
    Text - Look at you, standing there with your elbow half way up your arm/and your teeth in wigh ide your mouth.

  • 6
    Text - If I wanted to kill myself, l'd climb up your ego.and jump to your lO 60 80 100 120 140 IQ

  • 7
    Text - Tenvy everyone you have never met.

  • 8
    Talent show - brought to you by FOR THE TATHERNE would love to insult you but rt Come I'm afraid I won't do it as well as nature did.

  • 9
    Text - Somewhere out there, there's a tree whose single purpose on edrth is to replace the oxygen you waste... Go find it and apologize.

  • 10
    Incandescent light bulb - You're not the brightest bulb in the box, butyou are the sharpest.

  • 11
    Text - EUSO Not saying I hate you, but I would unplug your life support to charge my phone.

  • 12
    Text - I can only explain it to you. I can't understand it for you.

  • 13
    Performance - Life is full of disappointments, just ask your parentş.

  • 14
    Submarine - You're about as useful as a screen door in a submarine.

  • 15
    Helmet - Go get your helmet and wait in the car. 10 Ue

  • 16
    Text - Like Ron Swanson oncesaid, just call them the wrong name. It lets them know that you do not care enough about them to remember what their name is.

  • 17
    Wicker - Cupcake. Nobody likes being called cupcake when they're pissed off.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Andrea – 2014 – S&M Girl

“Hi Lorelei. Daddy’s just going to take this fat, drunk bitch back to his room and tie her up. Then you’re going to hear a lot of slapping and squishing sounds. You’re also going to hear Daddy say a bunch of really foul sexually degrading things to this woman, so you better put your ear buds in and crank that shit up.”

One night a couple of years ago, I was out with a friend of mine. We were having drinks outside at Misconduct at 15th & Locust. He was telling me a story about this girl he met on Tinder. Pure hookup. She comes over to his apartment. Sadly, she doesn’t look like her Tinder pics. Which is not good. That’s like seeing a photo of a car you want to buy in the Auto Trader and when you get to the lot to check out the car, it’s an older model and a little banged up and maybe even a bit more car than you saw in the photos.

But he was drunk and up for the foul deed. He said she was a thick girl but he went to town on her anyway. Like my tinder profile says: “If you don’t look like your photos, you’re going to buy me drinks until you do.” So he said it was good sex except for one thing. He didn’t like that she wanted him to spit on her and hit her. There’s nothing wrong with what two consenting adults do with each other behind closed doors. Especially if everyone’s on board with what’s happening. But he didn’t like it. Just not his thing.

He told me that he wasn’t comfortable with that situation. He said at that point no matter what he was into or what he would do, he couldn’t do that again.  It just wasn’t him. (He didn’t spit on her or hit her at all) At that time, back in the beginning of 2014, I had just come off a break up and told him to send Andrea pics of me. Because I was up for whatever she wanted dished out. The key here is when it comes to dominance, be firm…not mean. There’s a big difference. I would discipline and correct her if necessary. And remember, the submissive party is ALWAYS in control. They have the safe word and hold the power to cancel the fantasy at anytime. That’s the rules of S&M play.

Well, nothing came of it. Until earlier this year when she connected to me on LinkedIn. LinkedIn of all places! Can you imagine with all of the dating websites out there, LinkedIn brings me the crazy S&M chick? So we chatted and did some texting. She wanted me to text her all of the things I was going to do to her, so I did. I have a pretty good imagination. She said she was getting really turned on and that we should meet.

I set it up that we should meet at the Ranstead Room. It’s just a good spot normally to hideout with somebody. I get there and I’m just chilling with a drink. She arrives shortly thereafter. My friend was right about her. In her Tinder pics she looks really hot, but in real life she is a lot bigger, and what was with that low tranny voice? Not good. I just wasn’t feeling it. I would have to drink a LOT of cocktails for Andrea to start to resemble her profile pics on Tinder. So I figured what the hell, I was already here and the drinks were flowing. She wasn’t that hot but at least I was someplace where nobody knew me.

Then the manager from the restaurant where my daughter works suddenly comes through the door and walks right up to me and says hello using my name.

Now I’m made. He can see who I’m with and now everybody there knows my name.

Andrea starts telling me about her life. She hates her job and wants to leave Philly. (Probably a good idea for us all.) She was seeing some crazy drug dealer loser guy. He’s suicidal, and does tons of coke. It’s bad, and she’s not much better.  I always thought if you did a bunch of cocaine you were skinny. Certainly not the case here.

After awhile we’re getting pretty tipsy. We went outside for a cigarette. She was on me like a northern pike hitting the bait. So I’m making out with her and people are walking by on Ranstead and she just pulls her boobs out. She’s losing her shit. She wants to take me back behind the building and give me a blowjob.

Yea. Great. I’ll just go stand behind my daughter’s manager’s Mercedes-Benz and you can give me oral. What if he walks outside and sees that shit? That’s not going to be good for me or anybody. Now, if this was Los Angeles and it was 1982, yea I’d be down for that, but not now. That’s gross. Sure, I’m flattered that she’s turned on enough from my words and the alcohol to want to blow me in a filthy alley, but no. Just no. I don’t roll like that.

She’s drunk. We go back inside and we’re in the vestibule and all sorts of things are happening with lips and fingers. If somebody comes through either door, we’re going to jail. So after that brief encounter, we go back inside. I kind of want to go home. In the right environment, some S&M play could be fun with her, but I’m just not getting a good vibe from her in this moment. She’s calling me daddy and all that shit. She says she loves older men, etc. I tell her I have an early sales meeting in the morning that I have to travel to so we should wrap it up. (A bold-faced lie)

She wants to go back to my place and have sex. Great idea. I can see it now. Me walking through the door to my apartment with Andrea and my daughter sitting on the sofa.

“Hi Lorelei. Daddy’s just going to take this fat, drunk bitch back to his room and tie her up. Then you’re going to hear a lot of slapping and squishing sounds. You’re also going to hear Daddy say a bunch of really foul sexually degrading things to this woman, so you better put your ear buds in and crank that shit up.”

No. Not happening. We pay the bill, and we walk over to 18th Street. I hail her a taxi and send her on her way. I was actually relieved when she was gone.

If somebody I met and was in a relationship wanted to experiment with some things, I’d be down with that, but Andrea just isn’t that person.

Update! She appeared at the salon tonight for a tan before she goes to L.A!

She’s leaving Philly for good!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish Monday through Friday at 8am EST.

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