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|In the first week of January, Outskirts Press invited fans of its Facebook community at www.facebook.com/OutskirtsPress to submit poetry, short stories, excerpts, recipes, or anecdotes for free publication in the first Outskirts Press Facebook anthology. There is still time to submit your work on our Facebook wall.Fans were also asked to vote on a title for the book. When the polls closed, the title had been determined by our social community: Fandemonium: Selected Short Stories & Poems From Talented Facebook Writers Then votes were held to determine the charity to receive book sales proceeds. Outskirts Press will donate royalties from the anthology’s sales to the American Red Cross on behalf of its Facebook community. Thank you to everyone who voted. The American Red Cross thanks you, too.
Vote are now being accepted for the cover design of Fandemonium. Here are the four choices:
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FOR YOUR ANTHOLOGY PAGE
PLATO WAS A NAG, TOO!
By Jan Marshall
TO NAG: FROM THE DANISH WORD NAGGE
FROM THE JEWISH WORD-NUDGE
FROM THE ENGLISH WEBSTER TO ADVISE, COMPLAIN, SUGGEST, INSTRUCT, RECOMMEND, ENLIGHTEN AND … TELL
IN DEFENSE OF NAGGING
Don’t holler! I know you have trouble with this word and its previous image. Believe me; nagging has simply received bad press. Nagging is an art and has been misunderstood. It is in fact, the second oldest profession. History teaches us that Repenta, the Yenta stopped a harlot in a hamlet and asked empathetically, “What’s a nice girl like you doing in a place like this? Tsk, Tsk. Get off the streets, make a list of your good points and send it by a pigeon to the next village. Oh, and don’t eat the mutton at Prometheus’s Cafeteria”.
What’s more the most admired nags of their day were called philosophers. Yes, PLATO WAS A NAG! (Plato and the Platitudes were the first successful rap group of modern civilization.) Was it not Plato who said, “We do not learn, we only remember?” This concept concludes that virtue comes with knowledge. Well. How can one know if one is not told or reminded? That is where I come in. I like to tell. I have the right to educate. Still, since this is America, no one actually has to listen.
One of the most respected nags was Confucius who was always warning his disciples of this or that consequence. “If you went to bed with one thing at night, you’d wake up with another thing in the morning.” The man had a dirty mouth.
What he neglected to mention, however, was that if you add MSG to your Mu Shu Pork, you would bloat the next day. I would have told you. To be fair, however, men can really hold their own when it comes to nudging. Look at Aristotle, Schopenhauer, Dr. Laura and Cruella Coulter, (Oh, you didn’t know?).
Since we are at the mercy of life’s apparent serendipity, nagging for cause is taking charge of that part of our lives that we can do something about. This may not always be obvious to the nagee. CAUTION: Information not given goes directly to the hips.
Lest you think Repenta was the only nagger in the past, see the following historical document recently discovered in New Jersey.
TO: BEN FRANKLIN, Private and Personal
July 4, 1776
Why haven’t I heard from you? You know I worry. If you had time to sign all those declarations, while you had the quill out couldn’t you drop me a line? Sure I received your thank-you note for the Chinese urn I sent, but I was hoping for a real letter. Not that your letters are always cheerful, believe me. If you’re so smart, why didn’t you tell your father that an ounce of prevention was worth—well, never mind.
Everyone here has heard about your little escapades and if you’re not careful, your wife—what’s-her-name—is sure to find out. I’ve learned about the new one you’ve been sneaking around with, Penny Worthington. Ben, listen to your mother, I’m telling you for your own good. The next time you are with her and you hear your wife approaching, you’d better hide her in the vase. Believe me, a Penny urned is a Penny saved. Oh, stop groaning.
Sometimes I feel your parentheses are going the wrong way. Frankly, Ben, I think you need counseling which is the actual purpose of this letter. I’m worried about your instability. Look, you’ve been a cartoonist, a printer, an editor, an inventor, a scientist, a philosopher, a statesman…I mean, how do you think that looks on your employment application especially in these bad times…
I heard about a wonderful new therapy group. Some of the people attending may be in even worse shape than you. One of them is a woman called Marie Curie who insists on being called Madame, of all things. Anyway, her husband persuaded her to attend the meeting. He says every time she goes into the kitchen he hears pots rattling and things bubbling on the fire, but when he asks “What’s for dinner?” she says “Nothing!” It is driving him nuts. Then there’s a man named Morse. What a nervous Nelly he is! Can’t sit still for a minute without tapping his fingers—on tables, chairs, anything he gets his hands on. Just don’t sit next to him unless you need a massage.
All in all, I think this 12 stepper would be good for you. Listen, Ben, I only want you to find yourself—to be happy. Perhaps if you listen to your mother, you’ll amount to something. Remember what you told me. “If a man empties his purse into his head, no one can take it from him”. What the hell does that mean? Get help! LOVE, MUMMY
“STRETCH MARKS: Ageless Wisdom for Sexy Old Broads”
A Playful Humorous Endurance Book of truth, fantasy and actual Survival Techniques
JAN MARSHALL’S WRITING IS SO FULL OF HUMOR AND A ZEST FOR LIVING. HER BOOK LITERALLY SINGS. SHE IS THE WORLD’S GREATEST NAG AND I AM THE SECOND. WE BOTH HAVE BACK SEAT DRIVER LICENSES”