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We Begin 2023 With ‘Uhh, Sorry’

I wish all my several readers much happiness in 2023 and at the same time beg forgiveness for my behavior at the AVA’s annual New Year’s Eve Party. 

My actions was inexcusable, although none (or at most only a few) were genuinely illegal or require consultation with a lawyer, much less law enforcement. So please don’t. Seriously.

I begin with humble and heartfelt apologies to the students and teachers at local Ukiah elementary schools who labored diligently, and with great skill and dedication I might add, in their efforts to make Christmas a little merrier for refugee Ukrainian children. The gift wrappings alone would have gladdened many hearts, and I stress my sorrow for their loss and destruction.

All those fabulous gifts? Poof! Gone! Very upsetting, let me assure you.

It occurred during my ill-advised “Magic Disappearing Christmas Tree” act, which I shan’t repeat, ever. And it looked so easy on the Penn & Teller TV special.

Further apologies to anyone offended by my crude, boorish impersonation of Joe Biden during my standup comedy routine. Nothing funny about those stricken with Alzheimers, dementia, senility, Parkinson’s Disease, memory loss, bowel control, or lack of motor coordination. 

It was also inappropriate to suggest Mr. Biden continues to “sniff” women’s hair, fondle them in Senate hallways, or remember their names. Or his.

Next, allow me to admit I was wrong, wrong, wrong! to attempt to persuade my completely honorable colleague, Brenda, to “dress up like gifts so we can get laid under the tree.” Especially since she works in payroll.

It was the gin talking, and to show I’m serious about making changes in 2023, my New Year’s resolution is to switch to a more expensive brand.

The gin had been artfully concealed in the eggnog so it’s also responsible for my rantings about contrails, genetically modified foods, the Battle of Little Bighorn and whether the Walrus was Paul. The nog-heavy regurgitations several hours later were disgusting, and I trust my advance payments at Master Cleaner dry-cleaning shop on South State Street will cover stains and damages.

Lacing brownies with hallucinogenics and mild sedatives was not my idea, nor did I provide the additives. My friends within the Hell’s Angel Garden and Social Club have persuaded me to decline identifying potentially culpable parties who may have been involved.

In a related and equally embarrassing event, I wish to make clear all my efforts to raise bail for Mr. Sam Banks-Friedman were to be understood as humorous, and that plans to give the money to the previously mentioned Hell’s Angel Community Services organization were never discussed. Speculation that proceeds would fund couriers in the narcotics trade is misleading at best. 

In any event, and at my request, much of the money has been recovered. Forgiveness on the part of those whose bank accounts were hacked would be greatly appreciated, and in fact insisted upon by my parole officer. Thank you.

My karaoke performance was inexcusable, and I would like to state on the record that adapting a rap song to the “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” parody was an utter failure. The cheap, vulgar lyrics were furnished by my old pal Pat Walsh, who requested anonymity. 

Finally, in the spirit of reconciliation and healing, let us give thanks no animals were harmed in the writing of this column.

To The Darkroom

I was startled and saddened by the recent death of Stephen Caravello. 

We met in Ukiah’s 1970s swampy mess of those who called themselves “artists” but might as well have decided they were accountants or astronomers. I sized Steve up as the lone experienced talent in the crowd. Competition was not stiff however, with others being dilettante poseurs, amateur frauds and worse. Some wore berets.

It may have been the first time in history that people who called themselves “artists” didn’t know a palate from a palette or which end of the paintbrush to grab. Steve Caravello, armed with plenty of photo and darkroom savvy under his belt, stood out like a mighty oak in a lot full of weeds.

We worked on plenty of projects together from our days and nights at the Mendocino Grapevine to his providing artwork for one of my books. Steve was brilliant and creative while simultaneously reliable and serious.

But he was more than my media accomplice. Steve was a well-rounded man, funny, articulate and able to talk politics, cars, music, books or baseball, despite being a Yankee fan. He was my friend.

Stephen Caravello was old enough to have seen it all, and young enough to hate being left out of anything. He demanded inclusion in whatever his family was up to.

Which leaves us to wonder what he makes of his current situation. 

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