Valet Confidential

Find out what I've been keeping under my hat


@Midnight #RuinAChildrensBook

Children's LibraryComedy Central’s @Midnight show has a feature called Hashtag Wars, where they come up with a hashtag, usually some bastardization of something well known (books, movies, candies, etc). They then ask the viewers to keep things rolling by tweeting their own examples. A couple of weeks ago the hashtag was “#RuinAChildrensBook” – and I just couldn’t help myself:

@midnight Where the Wilding Things Are #RuinAChildrensBook
@midnight The Hooker in Times Square #RuinAChildrensBook
@midnight The Phantom Tollbooth Gloryhole #RuinAChildrensBook
@midnight Harold and the Purple-headed Dildo #ruinachildrensbook
@midnight Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret Thatcher #ruinachildrensbook
@midnight Charlie and the Great Glass Butt Plug #ruinachildrensbook

I’m really quite proud of a couple of those.

Feel free to play along in the comments.


I do not embarrass easily

Over on the Facebooks the other day, Michael J. Epstein (of Darling Pet Munkee, Michael J Epstein Memorial Library, et al) posted this comment to his own post regarding workplace harassment training: “Training Pro-tip: You should never write anything electronically that you wouldn’t want your mother to see.”

I am reminded by the differing responses I got from my teachers and my parents when this letter appeared in the local newspaper.

Get Cosmic - The Followup Letter

Which was a followup to this letter, written by a friend of ours:

Get Cosmic - The Original Letter

As I remember it, our followup appeared in the paper the day of a school district open meeting of some sort and I guess some parents were quite upset. The next day my English teacher asked “What do your parents think of that?” And I had to be honest, “They thought it was hilarious.”

My father, a Presbyterian minister, would occasionally accost my friends & me as we walked down the road, rolling down the window of his car and jokingly yelling “HEATHENS!”

Another thing I was reminded by the “pro-tip”: my mother made me a very accurate nun’s habit for a costume one year. I went by the name “Mother Flucker”. Mom thought that was great. Somewhere there’s a pic of me in costume – I sure wish I could find it to share with you all. I wore it for the Chorallaries of MIT “Concert in Bad Taste” one year, and I think maybe it showed up in The Tech.

Also, her favorite Chandler Travis song was “Where’s My Glasses“.

For the most part, I really don’t think about what my mother and father would think about what I write here, twitter, or facebook. Then again, perhaps maybe I do after all, I just know that they’d be OK with it.


Clean as a Whistle!

The Colon

I had my very first colonoscopy on Thursday and the doc gave me a clean bill of health – YAY! I have a healthy colon, and don’t have to do this again for another 10 years!

Not all that bad, really – and yes, the drugs were very nice (they used propofol on me).

Apparently, part of the procedure is to inflate the colon.  In the recovery room, this leads to the nurses telling you in the nicest way possible to fart as much as possible.  “Just keep pushing that air out”, they say.

They even gave me pictures (of the procedure, not the farts!), which I feel semi-obligated to share … consider yourselves warned!


A Very Special Valentine’s Day For Me

Surprise!You think you have big plans for Valentine’s Day this year?  How about this – I scheduled my first colonoscopy yesterday, and the available date was Thursday, February 13.  Woo Hoo!


A Colonoscopy Haiku

Now in my fifties
Standard procedure, my ass
Knock me out good please


Is it appropriate to bring your colonoscopy doctor flowers?


Aww … who told them?

AARP Membership

A mere 18 months after I turned 50, I finally got my first mailing from the folks at AARP today.  I remember my mom being amazed because she got a membership plea from them something like the day after she turned 50.

I wonder how they finally figured it out …


This Week in Copyright Infringement


A couple of months ago I got a phone call at home that went something like this:
me: hello?
person: Is this Fred Boak?
me: yes it is
person: I’m calling from the Cape Cod Chronicle, and I’d like to interview you for a story about you
me: uh … um … why?
person: well, aren’t you a member of [looking at notes] the Chandler Travis Philharmonic?
me: oh sure, yeah, I sing with them
person: well, this is a feature about people you might see around town and that’s why we’d like to talk to you.
me: oh I see – sure, I guess I’m game!

Read More


Apparently, my ancestors had very weak stomachs

I have a Google search for “boak” that sends me updates whenever it finds a new web page that mentions the word. Mostly, I’m just curious about other people named “Boak”, because it’s just not that common of a last name. There are a few people that come up fairly regularly: a writer for the Chicago Tribune named Joshua Boak, a senior designer for Martin Guitars named Dick Boak, and a few others.

The last couple of days, there has been quite a bit of activity on the website of The Herald Online, “the website digest of Scotland’s leading quality newspaper”; read ’em & weep (for me, from laughing, whatever floats your boat):

War of words

Sick joke

Dutch boak

The Full spectrum of boakery

Did you read ’em all? Comments, too?

Now, I can’t say I’m at all surprised by this, though that was really a whole lotta boak in those pages! Over the years, I have heard tell that my last name, “Boak”, meant “to retch” in Scottish – mostly an old usage, from what I was told. A few years back, I even heard a friend of mine from Pennsylvania say “oh, I don’t drink Rolling Rock anymore – I drank too much and boaked behind the barn at parties way too many times in high school” (at the time, she didn’t know my last name). However, until I read those pages from The Herald, I’m pretty sure I had never seen quite so … umm … colorful a discussion of the word.

I leave you with excerpts from the wikipedia dictionary entry for “boak”:


From Proto-Germanic (not attested in Old English); cognate with Dutch bulken (“bellow”) and German bolken (“to roar”).


to boak (third-person singular simple present boaks, present participle boaking, simple past and past participle boaked)

  1. (obsolete) To burp.
  2. (Scotland) To retch or vomit.

addendum, October 23, 7:05 pm:

But wait! There’s more discussion of “Boak” at The Herald:

Enough to give you several boaks