Thursday, October 21, 2010

New less-zany YouTube video - a nice one to promote my books

  Recently, the administrator of a UK forum locked out the post of  my Zany YouTube video about cats  created  for me by artist Neil Deegan. (  The administrator has company becasue I got some hate mail over this from various sources.
 I posted the following reply on the UK forum.
Title: A less Zany YouTube video - a nice one
Dear Administrator,
I told our old friend Hodges that you took umbrage at my sponsorship of Deegan’s “cats-in-the-stockade cartoon”.
As you can imagine, his response was immediate. “What?” he asked, cupping his ear because he couldn’t hear me. He’s quite deaf now, but I nonetheless described our dust up to him.
In the end, I settled for shouting your name at him in my biggest voice. He obviously heard me because his eyes became lively and he smiled. I waited. Then he spoke. “Who?” he asked.
So much for Hodges. In his day, Hodges would have skinned you alive for assailing Deegan’s work and developing an arbitrary standard for excluding the art of the edgy- out there on the edge where creativity expands and nuance is not extinguished by tradition.
Hodges would have told you that Deegan’s modest parody of Swift’s “Modest Proposal” was a work of genius.
But then, as you and I will surely agree, Hodges was always full of shit.
I’ve had Deegan publish a new, nice cartoon that Hodges assures me you will approve. The Link is :

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

See Jamaica on five German words

The only promise I make to myself when I travel abroad (I make this deliberately pretentious because it happens so seldom) is that I will not be -I must not be - that same ugly American I am at home. As a result of that firm resolve, I become the recipient of inept service, inflated checks and cold food. I refuse to permit the native population to add me to the statistics which, when summed, present the profile of "the American tourist".
But quite serendipitously (aren't all great discoveries?) on this trip to Jamaica, I stumbled across a formula for not further eroding (perhaps improving by comparison) the image of the American and at the same time preserving intact my basic churlish nature - a proposal so simple that any American of World War II vintage should be exiled for not having apprehended immediately: Blame it on the Germans! It's so easy and so practical!
After several days of near groveling before Jamaican hotel clerks, bartenders and even telephone operators who refuse to be understanding or understood, the ugly American in me was tearing at the bars of his cage. The waiter or waitress approaches and says: "Mon, youcanhave desaladandanappetizer, youcanhave deseafood platteroftheyday? Only the question mark at the end is clear. The question is patently designed to humiliate me for being an English-speaking person who refuses to understand plain English. I feel like the immigrant to America who lived on apple pie and ice cream because that was all he could order. 
But at last the critical accident occurred. After a spectacularly mediocre dinner at a highly touted restaurant in Montego Bay, the waitress arrived to, as I later learned, explain that the dinner check and the bar bill were separate. At my blank stare of complete lack of comprehension, she turned to my wife and in a lilting cadence inquired, "Doesn't he speak Engliesh?" Before my wife could respond, the flash of genius struck! "Ich speache Deutsch" I replied with some authority. The waitress looked hopefully at my blonde Aryan-looking wife: "Do you speak English, then?" "A little" she responded with the best German accent she would muster. Thereafter, dealing with the native Jamaicans was a piece of rum cake!
The very next waiter who confronted me with a run-on sentence in accents totally alien to the midwest, was confronted with "Was sagen sie?" His air of supremacy was shattered. We were equals at last. His German was no better than my English.
And so ("und so") some twenty years after the fact, I begin to collect my first dividends on tuition paid for a near-major in German at the University (make that Universitat) and the discomfort my father-in-law felt crossing the Rhine in a rubber raft under shellfire.
I could never understand a hotel or restaurant bill in my best English-speaking days, even in my own country. But now as a German, disadvantaged in an "English" speaking country, I felt completely at ease demanding detailed explanations of all charges, and believe it or not, those explanations were in such clear and concise English that the real me inside the German me, understood completely!
Dealing with street peddlers became an absolute joy! To the man offering the hand-carved coconut in the form of a man with an enormous penis, "Nein, ich hat das gekauft" was an absolute stopper! Those readers who really speak German have already discovered that an actual command of the language is completely unnecessary to play the game. I found "meine mutter muss butter kaufen" (my mother must buy butter) perfectly satisfactory in most situations.
There are a few caveats of course. First, if the menu contains a notation "Wir Sprechen Deutch" the ploy may not work. Someone on the premises might in fact speak German. Probably not, but why take the chance? Just fold your menu and go to a different restaurant.
The same course of action is recommended if there is a blonde-haired, blue-eyed couple at the next table who are speaking in a language you are reasonably sure is not English.
Apart from my previously announced prejudices you may ask, why pick on the Germans? Well, as everyone knows, Joyce Cary in his celebrated Memories of Bogate, describes the Germans as "the friendliest of travelers." (If you don't believe me, look it up.) Why should they enjoy that reputation while we are "ugly Americans".
And besides, should World War II involve (as such numbered wars traditionally do) the U.S.A. and Germany as foes, I shall have done my bit to insure that Jamaica throws in with us. In addition, I don't speak any French (or, apparently, English).
If these reasons do not satisfy you or if you can't afford a crash course in German at Berlitz, there is the easily memorized sign language of the hearing impaired in the appendix of every Boy Scout Manual.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

FREE new novel: The Magician's Wrestler

FREE PDF download of my, Roger E Craig's latest Kindle book, the first of the Magician series "The Magician's Wrestler" . Find it on the home page of my publisher's website
Download the file and Email it to your Kindle and feel free to send the link to your friends or to forums.

Or buy it on Amazon Kindle
[[ASIN:B0047DW7BG The Magician's Wrestler]]

Roger E Craig
Four novels on Kindle:

The Vetowich Wall       -   - The inventor is too clever and may get himself killed
The Last Aborigine            - Danny Doyle has crossed the Detroit mob and has to flee to Australia
 ERG Unit of Power          -The US President has formed a Secret Army with surprising results
The Magician's Wrestler    - Eric, the Magician/ Lawyer is holding his life together.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I admire crows. Crows don't take rot from anyone. Even a sickly falcon could whip a crow.
   But the crow - he just doesn't care.

Crows remind me of the Cossacks, the Vikings, the Tartars and the Samurai (did I miss anybody?)

   Those folks got their butts kicked from time to time, but like Jake LaMatta, they went down swinging.

Terrorists, ---terrorists on the other hand, don't stand and fight. They spy on you. Find out where you are or where you're going and then they blow you up.

   Terrorists are cowards. Their roadside bombs are cowardly devices.

Unlike our drones.


Photos in the Everglades near my home in Naples

Cypress Tree in the Swamp

Mother Alligator at Kirby boardwalk

New book Oct. 2010 The Magician's Wrestler

Click to go to to purchase the book for $2.99.
The Magician's Wrestler

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New Book: The Magician's Wrestler

Just published on Kindle and Smashwords my new book, the first of my Magician series.

The Magician's Wrestler

Roger Craig's first of the series brings together a quartet of diverse entertainers who live together as a family.
Eric Hightower is a magician and a lawyer who at one time or another drowns both careers in alcohol.
Ellen, his wife, is the "Beautiful Magda" on stage with him. Offstage she is the business manager for the act and Eric's personal Carrie Nation. Insuring Eric's sobriety is her mission statement.
Jack Bellow, fighter and actor, turns the domestic duet into a trio when he helps Eric and Ellen fend off rowdies who invade the stage at a State Fair.
The three become four when Jack discovers Deanna, a trapeze artist, at Circus-Circus.
When Jack is charged with murdering the man who assaulted Deanna, Eric brings his magic to the courtroom.