Miller Time

Panic Alley

UNITED STATES—"Uh hrm," clearing throat diffidently. "I think it's time to talk about a r-r-raise again." "A raise?" "Yes, again." "We just talked about that a month ago." "I was checking the calendar and it was eight years ago." "Surely you must be mistaken. In fact it was two weeks ago and I told you to wait until the Fall." "I'm astounded..." "Well I would...

Jack Benny Show: The Covid Episode

UNITED STATES—I figured we all needed a vacation. So I am inviting the eternal Jack Benny to guest star in this week’s Miller Time, which will be light and fluffy. Sorta. Which is just what we need. I know Burt Bacharach said the world needs Love, Sweet Love. Maybe it just needs some bad gags to get us through...

This Can’t Be Happening Here

UNITED STATES—John Steinbeck was no fool, but he did write one foolish thing in "Travels with Charley." The novelist of the American Road, born in Salinas, set forth the true measure of our country being healed from all its racial strife. We would know we had overcome and transcended when a person could conduct a conversation with somebody on...

News Dislodges A Traumatic Memory Of A Police Killing

UNITED STATES—Nine minutes of video brought many White people a sudden awareness that different treatment for people of brown and browner skinbn was a real thing. Say the name, George Floyd. I was not a newcomer to that unequal treatment. When a friend of mine, a widely traveled Rhode Islander, came to Los Angeles for the first time five years...

Sweeping Changes

UNITED STATES—A good pandemic is not being wasted: it is sending science racing for answers and fresh ideas are not only being heard, but being implemented. For instance, on busy thoroughfares like Sunset with heavy foot traffic, pedestrian crosswalk buttons were suddenly phased out. Something I'd been dreaming about, especially as in recent times, as you'd have groups of...

Lost (6)

UNITED STATES—Upon the purple divan under a pile of fleeces, the erstwhile ‘80s star, Rhett Thornton, sat propped up on front of the tryptich of three massive widescreen TVs. He was wound up. Sleep happens when there is no life. And having no life, he had taken three Corvalis trying vainly to woo sleep and all it did was...

Lost (4)

UNITED STATES—Meet Eliza’s accomplice: Roger worked for a production house in Hollywood and had slickly edited together breaking news flashes about a terrorist group that was going to release a geriatric bomb in different parts of the globe. From the Hollywood Hills to Lake Cuomo, in Italy. Flashes appeared of people in black ski-masks that revealed only their eye-holes...

Lost (3)

Author’s note: This continuation of the unfinished story “Lost” is the order of the day. Even as we are thrust by brave new times into deeply moving explorations of the new and near, as we are keeping close to that seldom enjoyed place home, I take it upon myself to carry on also with the old and dear and...

I’m Wearing A Mask, er, Bandana

UNITED STATES—Listen, I’m wearing a mask, er bandana until I can find a mask. It’s been weird and amazing these last eight days of quarantine. I see it all from my pinhole, onto the world, Hollywood, USA. Weird times. Like I wouldn’t be surprised if somebody stopped me at Hollywood and Vine and offered to sell me a circus. But I...

Lost (2)

UNITED STATES—A phone call came at the least appropriate moment from Rhett Thornton. “Rats,” she gasped. She knew better than to take that call. Rhett would go off on some tangent or tirade. She would be stuck on the island of traffic, frantic over horn honks, being gifted the finger and besieged by mean sneers. There could be no more...
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