Miller Time

Break-Up (Part 1)

UNITED STATES—In a time like this, you get by on your vices. One of mine is ganja. I initially thought this was going to be a three-doobie pandemic, when we began in April. Now it is February and I have lost count. I was going to go Saturday night to pick up a gram or three from the smoke shop...

The Cottage Chronicles: A Million Columns

UNITED STATES—I was just reflecting how wherever human beings are involved, there are contretemps. Now during the height of the demonstrations this cottage was like the house at the corner of the revolution. And the dog got to be taken very seriously as a protector. He got to be let out to yap and snarl as those dogs with...

Secret Lives

UNITED STATES—Some sudden pizza's infused my psyche the moment I learned that a very great fan of my books was going to be passing through Los Angeles on a moving trip with her husband and a 52-foot truck en route from Washington state to Sun City, Arizona. This is the kind of thing to put any budding author into...

Parables

The New Cities UNITED STATES—First I came for the dream. The dream was the thing, and for the dream I could afford anything. I could sleep on a wooden sidewalk –a sign of civilization then. Somebody one night offered me a blanket. After that I slept with a blanket and the crook of my elbow was a pillow while the blanket...

Adventures With DeVille

UNITED STATES—Dogs can be our best friend because they can't talk. Nevertheless, I entertain the notion that dogs really do think and feel like Snoopy in "Peanuts." The thought bubbles are always riding up, unheard. DeVille has been moping around a lot lately, but he got a visit from some old friends, a poodle named Woolly, and a little yorkie,...

The Two Buddhas And Other Sketches

UNITED STATES—1. The Two Buddhas. “Are you, as a teacher, able to learn something new?” asks Buddha #1. “Yes, of course I am,” smiles Buddha #2. “You need to give people a chance to take off their shoes before you suddenly bark out the very instant they cross the threshold, ‘TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES!'” says Buddha #1. “Look at you, you came...

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...
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