25 Things I’ve Learned from Watching It’s a Wonderful Life

By Chris Gay1469975_10201000610079169_1984329585_n

1) In some bars, regardless of what you order you’ll get bourbon and like it.

2) During the time an angel is showing a man how his family and friends are affected by his no longer having been born, his current born/not born status somehow also determines whether or not it snows.

3) It’s a good idea for a financial institution to leave its safe, which is located in full view of the public and blocked only by a counter so easy to hurdle that its own CEO routinely jumps over it, completely unlocked and open.

4) Despite the almost comical number of Keep off the Grass signs a town places along the median strip of its main street, that is exactly where the townsfolk will choose to stand on or run across at every chance they get.

5) In response to being punched by a drunk who then runs off into the night, a senior police officer, while surrounded by hundreds of people, will pull his piece and, without really aiming, casually squeeze off multiple rounds through the center of town.

6) In some towns, snow will visibly remain on you and your clothes not only long after you’ve entered a home or business, but also while you’re submerged in a river.

7) When a man’s date is interrupted by an uncle driving up to him with urgent news, instead of offering her a ride back with them, he’ll leave the woman standing on the street in the dark of night wearing only a bathrobe.

8) A man who will otherwise do anything for anyone, will consistently mock and ignore the only friend in town who has, despite his annoying “Hee-Haw!” catchphrase, tried to legitimately make him rich throughout his entire adult life.

9) Unless you’re a relatively dim-witted angel, the type of tasks you’re assigned by Heaven to successfully complete in order to earn your wings are apparently not all that difficult.

10) A movie theater with the capacity to show only two films would rather its customers try and guess what the second feature is, instead of just listing it by its name below the first one on the marquee.

11) When a group of men arrive at a house to talk to its owner and find that neither he nor his wife are home, they’ll simply walk in and hang out in the living room.

12) The maximum depth of the Bedford Falls High School swimming pool is approximately four feet.

13) A town in which a man and an elderly angel can walk completely around and across in less than ten minutes needs a full-time taxi driver.

14) An uncle so daft as to forget his nephew’s wedding, which the entire town attends and occurs three blocks away, is the logical choice to be entrusted with handling the family business’s large cash transactions.

15) A police officer is able to leave a small town bridge during a blizzard and drive to the nearest airport to pick up a man who he didn’t even know was coming, then drive all the way back to that man’s brother’s house…in around eight minutes.

16) An old, blighted house with no windows intact, broken-fencing and a desperate need for grounds-keeping maintenance will be allowed to sit in its decrepit, condemnable state for years in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

17) An angel will somehow be able to acquire and read a book that was published 223 years after he passed away.

18) While on-duty, a town’s only police officer has plenty of time to spend on its outskirts hanging leisure and travel destination posters all over the house of a grown man.

19) A man’s impromptu workday can apparently be so busy, he’ll actually forget that he was married in an immense ceremony a few hours earlier.

20) A county will knowingly appoint its most unscrupulous, despised citizen head of the local draft board.

21) A man will get angry at his uncle for carelessly waving thousands of dollars around, even though both he and his wife did the same thing earlier in the back of a taxi.

22) A customer can sit at a drug store counter and eat the same chocolate coconut ice cream sundae for over an hour without it melting at all whatsoever.

23) There somewhere exists a newly married, nearly-broke man who would turn down the equivalent of a $300,000 annual salary plus extensive perks, to continue doing the same job for the equivalent $35,000.

24) A public financial institution is the best place for its senior officer to keep and let roam free his pet squirrel, raven, owl, dog and parakeet.

25) No one in Bedford Falls, including the owner of its only-and thriving- bar, apparently has enough credit to receive a small home loan from the town’s primary bank; begging the question as to how Henry F. Potter could be so filthy rich without seemingly ever lending out money to anyone. Even Ebenezer Scrooge lent money to the riff-raff.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay #1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, the novella Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective) and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth, fifth and sixth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota,  Something Witty this Way Comes and Politically Correct Movie Reviews.

Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

book2book1CJGSherlock1c

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012: Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009: Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

25 Things I Learned from Watching the ‘Rocky’ Movie Series

25 Things I Learned from Watching the Rocky Movie Series1469975_10201000610079169_1984329585_n

By Chris Gay

1) You can hold an internationally televised World Heavyweight Championship title fight in an empty arena and believe no one will notice, simply because you dimmed the lights.

2) There is a script writer who thinks Thunderlips is an intimidating name for a professional wrestler.

3) I would not want to be the fool that Mr. T pities for having the nerve to step into the ring with him.

4) It apparently is not astonishingly arrogant to hire a tuxedo-clad, five-piece band to continually play your own theme song to you while you train for a fight.

5) Spending a month’s worth of days punching the ribs of cattle carcasses with your unprotected fists will result in no injury to your hands whatsoever.

6) A 34-year old punch-drunk boxer can win a footrace against a chiseled, former NFL cornerback who is still in playing shape.

7) Chicago’s toughest fighter has no issue sporting a haircut that makes him look like a Pez dispenser every time his head snaps back from a punch.

8) There exists an actual thick, hardcover book listing the names, nicknames and statistics for every no-name, washed-up club fighter in eastern Pennsylvania.

9) An extremely shy, introverted “pet shop dame” can temporarily transform into the Knute Rockne of inspirational speakers whenever her uncertain husband has a chance to earn a huge payday.

10) Trained Paramedics will leave an elderly man lying on a locker room bench gasping for air, and provide no medical attention, until the end of a sporting event because the man says he wants to wait and see who wins.

11) At one-day old, you can have a thicker head of hair than Elvis Presley and Don King combined.

12) High-ranking government officials will publicly applaud a citizen of their country’s largest enemy-immediately after he completely embarrasses them on a worldwide stage-because he manages to slur a couple sentences worth of sentimentality.

13) The more vicious a beating a boxer takes, the more intelligent he seems to become afterward.

14) In the pre-internet age, a drunken loser with less intellect than a coffee mug can successfully re-program the generic, factory-installed voice of a multi-thousand dollar robot maid into one resembling a sultry nymphomaniac.

15) When realizing the man you consider a son is getting beaten within an inch of his life you’ll repeatedly scream “Throw in the towel!” at your fellow corner-man-who is standing there like a moron-instead of reaching out, grabbing the towel, and throwing it yourself.

16) It’s a good idea for a man, whose sole legitimate means of supporting himself depends squarely upon remaining healthy and intact, to jog multiple times around an ice hockey rink in street shoes.

17) Once a boxer becomes a multi-millionaire he will move his elderly manager into his mansion, but then draw the line at helping him finally upgrade a hearing aid that looks worse than a dollar store ear bud.

18) The final round of a Championship Title bout is apparently ninety seconds shorter than every round which precedes it.

19) The best way to avenge your friend and honor his memory is to fight the steroid-enhanced monster who destroyed him-and who also owns a foot of height and sixty pound weight advantage over you-for free, in his country, on Christmas Day.

20) The Pennsylvania Boxing Commission will sanction an internationally-covered heavyweight title fight between its sport’s current beloved champion, and an unknown, amateur fighter who is employed as a “leg-breaker for a cheap, second-rate loan shark.”

21) The Pennsylvania Boxing Commission will sanction a fight between the 24-year old World Heavyweight Champion and a 60-year old restaurateur, after being talked into it upon hearing the wise, sound words of the latter; the same man who once admitted to never using “condominiums” while sleeping around.

22) A punch-drunk boxer with no ability to pronounce even a single paragraph of monosyllabic words can, after reading a couple of dime store novels, transform himself into a suave, commercial pitchman with vocal skills and diction that Morgan Freeman might envy.

23) Apollo Creed’s boxing shorts are apparently ‘One-Size-Fits-All.’

24) After a life of poverty, if you earn a decent, one-time payday and then retire, the best things a man with no marketable skills whatsoever can do financially is spend the money on a posh house at first sight, and an expensive car he doesn’t know how to drive.

25) An ex-World Champ, who is relentlessly haunted by losing the Heavyweight Title, will spend months training the guy who took it from him so he can battle someone else, when it’s clear that his former adversary is so physically and mentally out of shape he could just fight him again and easily reclaim the Belt.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay #1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, the novella Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective) and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth, fifth and sixth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota,  Something Witty this Way Comes and Politically Correct Movie Reviews. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

book2book1CJGSherlock1c

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012: Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009: Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

The Sarcastic Writer Says:

By Chris Gay 1469975_10201000610079169_1984329585_n

1) Orange peels are waste products. Belts are waist products.

2) If you’re feeling blew, you’re almost certainly not feeling blue. Especially if you’re a guy.

3) The Book of Job is not the Bible’s classified section. It’s pronounced Jobe.

4) A pizza role is more like a product placement than an actual character portrayal. What you’re eating is a pizza roll.

5) Epitome is pronounced e-pit-oh-me. It’s not epi-tome; which I can only guess is some kind of First Aid device used on books with bee sting allergies.

6) You’re not sewing seeds. And if you are, you’re going to end up performing the least effective &/or most frustrating clothing repair job, like, ever. It’s Sowing.

7) The only time you’ll come across a windowpain is if you crash through one. It’s windowpane.

8) An undertoe might be some sort of unfortunate disfigurement, but an undertow is what you try to avoid while swimming.

9) Balling your eyes out sounds like an R-rated euphemism. If you’re crying hard, you’re bawling.

10) I’m no doctor, but I can guarantee you that no one in human history- no matter how sick -has ever fallen into a comma.

11) Looser is something that’s no longer as tight as it once was. A loser is someone who doesn’t understand the difference by now.

12) Wholly Trinity? Well that’s just stupid.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

book2book1

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

It’s a Wonderful Life II: Mr. Potter Gets His

By Chris Gay 1469975_10201000610079169_1984329585_n

It’s a Wonderful Life is a treasured celluloid classic, with its annual broadcast eagerly anticipated by many. However regardless of the typical happy Hollywood ending, many viewers are still left unsatisfied with the evil Mr. Potter nearly ruining George Bailey’s life out of pure greed only to get off scot-free.

This humor blog post/sequel seeks to address that issue by theorizing what may have occurred after the good tidings wore off. We pick up the story just after George is given the money, and the townsfolk have finished singing their rendition of Auld Lang Syne in the Bailey’s living room.

By Chris Gay

“Oh, George. Wasn’t this just the most wonderful surprise?! The town really came through for us tonight; I couldn’t be more proud.”

“Yeah. They did. Could you hand me my hat, Mary?”

“Your hat? Where could you possibly be going?”

As George buttoned up his overcoat he turned to Mary and, under the cover of the drunken revelry in the background, answered her.

“When these guys sober up tomorrow they’re gonna realize how much dough they just coughed up here tonight. And in the clear light of day and without the influence of Christmas and its spirits, they’re gonna be irked.”

“Whatever do you mean, George? These people love you; they’d never ask for the money back!”

“Maybe not. But from here on out every time I stop into Martini’s for a cold one, I’m gonna hear his cracks about how he “busted the jukebox” for me. You think Sam Wainwright’s gonna ever let me live down that offer of $25K? I’ll be hearing that damn “Hee haw” line till the end of my days. No. Wherever I go in this town I’ll see the looks; the stares. And the people pouring into the Building and Loan trying to guilt me into dropping the interest rate on their mortgage. I’ll never live this down.”

As Mary had made no move to get his hat, he stepped around her, picked it up off the desk, and put it on.

“That’s an awful way to think, George! How could you? These people are your friends! And even if what you’ve said were true, how would trudging out into the snow solve anything?”

“It won’t, Mary.” He paused momentarily to scoop a mug of rum-soaked eggnog out of the bowl, and then downed in two quick gulps.

“But Uncle Billy finally remembered about the eight-thousand. That idiotic simpleton just handed it right to Potter. And that evil bastard just sat there in his office and mocked me while I begged him for a loan. He had my cash the whole time! The son of a bitch even called the sheriff!”

Mary put her hand to her mouth in surprise. “Oh my God. That’s…awful.”

“You’re damn right it is. I’ll be back in a while, Mary. Save me some of that turkey in the icebox, will ya?”

“Wait, George. What are you going to do?”

“I’m going to find that bastard and take eight-thousand dollars out of his ass!”

“You can’t!”

“I can. And save me some gravy, too.” With that George pushed his way through the crowd of inebriated do-gooders toward his front door, opened it, and stepped through.

Bedford Falls, Bedford River Bridge

The snowfall had intensified as Mr. Potter’s car pulled to a stop at the toll taker’s cabin in front of the Bedford River Bridge.

Before it could proceed, George Bailey stepped out of the shadows and walked to its front bumper. There he stopped, remaining silent and stationary. The lanky 6’4” banker, standing there in his hat and overcoat, made for an imposing figure.

From the back seat of his car, Henry F. Potter squinted as he tried to make out the the identity of the man before them.

“Joe, check it out.”

“Yes, sir.” As Joe exited, Potter rolled down his window enough to be able to hear the upcoming exchange.

Once out of the car, Joe recognized the man now facing him. Knowing that he had, George broke the momentary silence between them.

“I’m not here for you, Joe. Sit your ass back in that driver’s seat.”

“You know I can’t do that, Bailey. Either back up, or you’re going down.”

“Not tonight, bitch.”

From the open window in the rear of the car, Potter’s raspy voice cut through the wind.

“Bailey? What are you doing here? Get out of the way and let us pass!”

“Listen up, Potter. I know what you did and you’re gonna pay, you avaricious ass-clown. Just as soon as I dust your pet goon here.”

Potter went quiet as the grave, and only the roar of the Bedford River could be heard as George sized up Potter’s bulky manservant. Joe had the build and oft-broken nose of a man who may have boxed at one time or another.

But since that information was never disclosed in the story or on the DVD liner notes, he had no way of knowing for sure.

As the chauffer moved toward him, George realized the best approach was to go on the offensive. As soon as they were face to face he slugged him in the gut, causing Joe to double over. Immediately George followed the blow with an uppercut to the chin, knocking his opponent backward where he laid sprawled out on the hood of the car.

With the bout over, Bailey walked around the side of the car toward the back seat. He stood on the narrow sidewalk, his back two feet from the low steel barrier of the bridge he’d jumped off only hours earlier. He looked into the automobile and locked eyes with his nemesis.

“Your turn,” he growled in a sinister, yet still awkwardly shrill voice. As he reached for the door he noticed at the last second Joe lumbering at him through the snow like a linebacker; albeit not a very good one.

George used Joe’s own momentum against him by lowering his torso so that when Joe struck him it was shoulder to waist. In one beautiful maneuver Bailey stood up, bringing the butler with him. He hoisted him six feet off the ground, and then neatly flipped him over the guardrail, sending him plunging headlong into the raging, frigid waters of the river below.

Having fallen into the guardrail in the process of dispatching the caretaker, George got up, dusted the snow off his pants, and resumed walking toward Potter’s car door. Just then, he heard a voice to his left. Turning, he saw that it came from the cherubic of his guardian angel, Clarence Odbody, AS2.

“You can’t do this, George. You know that.”

“Why not?”

“Because I won’t get my wings if you do.”

“Jesus, man. Is that all you ever think about you, selfish SOB? After three hundred years, did you ever think that maybe you’re not cut out to be an angel? Maybe you could be a heavenly custodian or librarian. It’s obvious you’re too incompetent for the position.”

Clarence shrugged at him sheepishly. “It’s for the benefits, mostly. With your wings you get full dental and vision coverage.”

It was then that Potter chimed in. “Do I need to be here for this? Why don’t you guys go down to Gower’s drugstore, get a malted, and talk it out.”

George turned toward him. “Shut up, Hank. I’m going to tear you a new one.”

“Wait, George Bailey! I can explain.”

“There’s nothing to explain. You took my money.”

“Yes, yes I did. I took it. But it wasn’t my fault.”

From behind them, Clarence seconded Potter. “He’s right, George. It isn’t his fault.”

“What the hell are you two talking about?” He shouted, flustered.

“I had to take it, George. It was in the script.”

“The what?!”

“The script, George” echoed Clarence, who then took over the narrative.

“There is no Mr. Potter. That’s Lionel Barrymore. There’s no real snow, no Building and Loan, no Mary. She’s Donna Reed. In fact, it was supposed to be Jean Arthur in her part, anyway. There’s no eight-thousand dollars. And ‘Uncle Billy’ isn’t really a simpleton. In fact, he played the intellectual opposite to your own naïve congressman just seven years back in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.”

“Don’t you remember, George?” Potter continued for Clarence. “You’re not even “George.” You’re Jimmy Stewart, a war hero from Indiana, Pennsylvania.”

George looked around for a moment, stunned. Then at last, he spoke. “So that’s why it’s snowing laundry soap in 90 degree weather; and why Mr. Gower looks so much like that guy who played Jesus Christ in The King of Kings.”

“Yes,” Potter jumped in. “I myself have played Ebenezer Scrooge several times. Hell, my great-niece was in E.T. Anyway, tomorrow the storefront sets come down, and you’ll go back to your comfortable home.”

George Bailey turned back to look at Clarence, as if to look for some further confirmation. “Clarence?”

“No, I’m Henry Travers. Soon, you’ll marry a model and live fifty more years. You see George, you really have a wonderful life.”

“I guess…I guess I do at that.”

“You’ve been given a great gift George. A chance to see what this sequel would’ve been like if it had been made in the 1990’s. All Steven Seagal-ish and whatnot.”

“Yes, I see. So what now Clarence? How do we fix this for the movie?”

“I don’t know. Maybe one of those cheesy dream sequences that sucked on Dallas but worked surprisingly well on Newhart. Anyhow, I’m an actor, not a writer. What the hell do I care?”

“And Joe?”

“He’s fine. He landed on a mat and then headed off to the commissary for lunch.”

“Tell you what,” Potter said, “let’s get out of here and head out for a few beers.”

“Sounds good to me,” Clarence said as the three of them walked off the set together. “By the way, Jimmy; where did you come up with “avaricious ass-clown”?

“I don’t know. I guess the line came from the guy writing this blog piece. Catchy though, ain’t it?”

The three of them shared a hearty laugh in agreement as the scene faded to black.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota  and  Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. His book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, is an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

book2book1

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

A Fabricated History of the First Thanksgiving

By Chris Gay 388982_3377538558968_401329802_n

Each November, millions of families and friends get together to give thanks on a holiday conveniently created for that very purpose. (October, if you’re Canadian. But that’s another faux history.) In honor of Thanksgiving, I’ve written a brief, albeit fictitious, history of Turkey Day. Enjoy.
 
The Freedom to Shop
 
During the early years of the 17th Century, Englishmen and women were subject to the overtly restrictive shopping guidelines set by the British Crown. When traveling out to purchase cheap, unnecessary trinkets for the upcoming Christmas holiday, the King’s subjects were limited to the few Royal strip malls that were mainly located around suburban London.
 
Most of the citizenry complied so as not to rock the boat, but for some who felt they should have the freedom to purchase as they saw fit, the frustration began to mount. These people were labeled “Pilgrims”, for their desire to be granted the right to make “Pilgrimages” to the United Kingdom’s big box stores deemed off-limits to the common folk.
 
The Secret Plan
 
These brave Pilgrims began to meet in secret to discuss ways to throw off the King’s heavy yoke, and end his persecution of purchasers purchasing unsanctioned purchases. Eventually, they opted to form a new settlement on the distant shores of the New World…America. But the burning question was, how could they ever afford a ship and the cost of supplies? Then, one day, it hit them. Sponsorship.
 
The Mayflower Compact
 
Ultimately, they were able to carry out their plan with sponsorship money from multiple sources. First, they contracted with the Mayflower Moving and Storage Company. This allowed them to stock the boat with food, clothing and first aid in exchange for the ship’s naming rights. Later, this became known as the Mayflower Compact.
 
The ship itself was built by materials donated by The Home Depot on the condition that upon arrival in Virginia, (the colony they were originally slated to settle in) the Pilgrims would grant them exclusivity rights to the entire Chesapeake Bay region. And also that the official Virginia state motto be permanently changed to “More Saving. More Doing. That’s the power of the Home Depot.”
 
The Voyage to America
 
In the summer of 1620, the Mayflower and her crew loaded on two sets of travelers; the British Shopping Separatists, and another group from Holland. The latter assemblage was added because the ship’s Captain, Christopher Jones, (No relation) thought the trip would go much smoother and the passengers more manageable if everyone on board had a steady supply of Dutch cocoa…and those tasty, cool-looking windmill cookies.
 
The trip lasted several long, arduous months, with the crew and passengers alike suffering everything from Cabin Fever to Scurvy. In fact, this might’ve been the one time a group of people would’ve been ecstatic if Life had handed them lemons. (Trust me, that joke will get funnier the more you think about it. Unless you’re stupid.)
 
At long last, the Mayflower came upon Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where it dropped anchor on November 21st. Captain Jones and future Plymouth Colony Governor William Bradford went ashore with a search party to find a Denny’s, as well as a place to establish their permanent settlement.
 
The question of why they didn’t continue south as planned was answered by Bradford’s journal entry dated 21 November 1620: “T’is unbearably cold. The journey took months longer than anticipated, and we are completely out of beer. Screw Virginia, I’ve decreed that we shall settle right here. Sorry, Home Depot. You win some, you lose some.”
 
Land Ahoy!
 
In early spring 1621, the remaining passengers joined the scouting parties on shore and built cabins on their new settlement grounds. Shortly thereafter, an English-speaking Native American named Samoset came by to welcome the settlers at the Plymouth Colony. He asked William Bradford if there was anything he could get them and, according to witnesses, Bradford replied: “Sure. How about some pumpkins, a little squash, a few turkeys…and the entire Eastern Seaboard?”
 
With the help of another English-speaking Native American, Squanto, the Pilgrims were able to not only successfully farm the land, but also pour the foundation for the very first Papa Gino’s fast food pizzeria in North America.
 
Summer of 1621
 
Throughout the summer of 1621, the Pilgrims labored furiously to erect their dream settlement. By early July, they had already constructed an Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday’s and, for a taste of home, Arthur Treacher’s Fish & Chips.
 
By late August, the ‘Plymouth Colony Mall & Buckle-Focused Haberdashery’ was completed in its entirety. Its grand opening featured a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Neil Diamond, who happily performed ‘Sweet Caroline’ for the assembled crowd.
 
The First Thanksgiving
 
In November, Plymouth governor William Bradford extended an invitation to Wampanoag chief Massasoit (namesake of Massachusetts) to join the Pilgrims at a banquet to celebrate the success of their initial harvest, as well as the completion of the glamorous new mall and adjacent 18-theater Movie Cineplex.
 
For the main feast, Massasoit sent four men to the North Truro Boston Market (then known as Boston Chicken) to pick up the dinner they’d called ahead and ordered the day before. Bradford had planned to make popcorn as an appetizer, until his wife reminded him that they’d left their microwave oven back in England.
 
When they returned, the Pilgrims and Wampanoags gorged themselves on turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes with gravy, cole slaw and the awesome macaroni and cheese Boston Market makes using that spiraled pasta.
 
Dessert was Dutch apple pie (forgot about that Holland group, didn’t you?) with a topping choice of Hood Cookie Dough ice cream, or Cool Whip.
 
Post-Feast Activities
 
After the meal had been eaten and the plastic plates and utensils placed in the recycling bin, the members of both groups retired indoors to watch the Dallas Cowboys play the Detroit Lions on a 52-inch HDTV Bradford had bought from Best Buy. By halftime, the effects of the poultry’s tryptophan kicked in and both the Wampanoags and Pilgrims alike had passed out asleep on the floor, and the three available couches.
 
Later that evening, both groups toasted each other continuously with huge mugs of Narragansett beer until Bradford broke up the party, announcing that he needed a few more hours of shuteye so he’d be rested enough to fight through the early morning Black Friday crowds.
 
The Day After
 
That Friday afternoon, after all the shopping had been done and the Christmas trees set up throughout the settlement, Bradford gathered his people around the ‘McDonald’s Gazebo’ in the middle of the ‘State Farm Insurance Town Square’ to address them
An excerpt from his journal entry that day chronicles his speech:
 
“Fellow Englishmen and Hollandaise; no wait, I think that’s a sauce. Fellow Englishmen and Dutch persons. Today we gather to celebrate the completion of a dream. We have at long last shaken off the reigns of Great Britain and here, in the New World, we can now shop where we choose without fear. This is what America is all about: Commerce. The freedom to buy what we want, where we want, when we want and in the quantities we want. However, for no reason whatsoever, aside from perhaps the perpetual annoyance of this blog post’s author, I resolve that liquor stores in the Colony of Connecticut will remain closed on Sundays for the next 400 years. Amen.”
 
And that my friends, is the fabricated history of the first Thanksgiving.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

1977287_10152267078273756_2109539589_n

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

Why Jaws is the “Quint”essential 1970’s Movie

By Chris Gay388982_3377538558968_401329802_n

Though I was only seven and change when the ball dropped in Times Square on New Year’s Day 1980, I still have a few fond memories of the Disco Decade. And while it’s tempting to write a piece on long gas lines, awful hair, absurd fashions, or the Bee Gees, I’ll instead discuss an often overlooked reality of the 1970’s; namely that it was America’s last ten years of naivety.

Some may argue that I’m a decade late; that that ship sailed in the 1960’s.  That using three that’s in a single sentence such as I did in the one prior is lazy writing. Not so fast. (On the former points at least. The latter may have some merit).

If all of the technological advancements created for use by the common (wo)man were combined, from the time we crawled out of the oceans up until slightly past the final out of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1979 We Are Family World Series Championship, they’d pale laughably by comparison to the thirty-eight years that have followed.

This made much of the 1970’s similar in that respect to the eras preceding it. The difference though was that by the time they’d ended, our world had taken its first steps toward an irreversible course regarding technology and the societal changes it brought.

At any rate, you may wonder what made a time period from our very recent past so vastly different from today. Since you’re still reading this, I assume you do. So I’ll proceed.

Consider that in the 1970’s:

  • Grocery stores had no register scanners. Consequently, you were stuck waiting for uninspired cashiers to type your order into a machine roughly equivalent to what Rutherford B. Hayes used to compose his inaugural address on.
  • The closest thing to microwave popcorn was Jiffy Pop. Although, it was way cooler to make.
  • There were three television networks for 227,000,000 people. So if a variety of TV programming was the spice of your life, the technical term for you was “SOL.”
  • Almost everything was closed on Sundays. I can only guess that that was so everyone could feel like they lived in Connecticut from the comfort of virtually any other state.
  • If your idea of tasteful interior design included a significant amount of the colors Garish Yellow, Avocado Green, and Something Kind of Like Orange, you had hit the jackpot.
  • You weren’t stuck watching a cheesy TV series like That ’70’s Show, which was a 1990’s sitcom set in 1970’s Wisconsin. Instead, you could watch a quality TV series like Happy Days; a 1970’s sitcom set in 1950’s Wisconsin.
  • Each December, in the spirit of good will, the secular and religious alike greeted each other with a festive “Merry Christmas,” and yet somehow managed to go on with their daily lives without media backlash or interference from agenda-driven protest groups.
  • Birthdays were celebrated using cakes decorated with real frosting; not a whipped cream concoction tasting like it was made by someone’s aunt giving a magazine recipe for diet desserts “the old college try.”
  • What’s known today as a Tamagotchi, was known then as a “Pet Rock.” The Pet Rock was great for apathetic people because it was impossible to neglect. And with its personality and intellect, there was also the possibility that it might get elected to some public office or another.
  • When you called someone who was already on the telephone, you received what was termed a busy signal. To combat that, as part of your unlimited monthly plan, Bell Atlantic offered you a popular feature they referred to as “Hang up & Call Back Later.”
  • Approximately no one had a home computer. It wasn’t that big a deal though, as you could easily snag a pocket calculator for around $150.00.
  • Although few people had VCR’s and DVDs were science fiction, if you’d managed to stay awake till 3a.m. you still might catch a re-run of The Six Million Dollar Man.
  • There was no X-Box, but there was Pong; a graphics-laden video game in which the difference between hockey and tennis was a few more vertical hyphens and the speed of what was, inexplicably, a square ball.

To be fair however, before we go on let’s look at a few things that were better in the 1970’s:

  • Even stupid people used decent grammar.
  •  Most people had a sense of humor.
  • The music was WAY better.
  • Lots more food was made with real butter.
  • No one knew or cared what Johnny Carson’s political affiliation was.
  • Quality TV shows were given more than 45 seconds to prove themselves.
  • 95% fewer ordinary, everyday events ended up in some sort of litigation.
  • Nosy busybodies had to work much, much harder to acquire gossip on their friends.
  •  More often than not, people disagreed with each other using their “inside voices.”
  • One could pump gas or patronize a urinal without being subjected to a product advertisement that there was no possible way to avoid.
  • Elton John somehow had less hair than he does now.
  • No one thought that either The Captain & Tennille’s Daryl Dragon or Cap’n Crunch were authentic Naval officers.
  •  Instead of a magical, portable telephone possessing nearly all the world’s collective knowledge, people carried around a Library Card. And somehow still seemed more informed than we are today. Not you though. You’re a smart one, you are.

So, what does any of this have to do with Jaws? Fair enough. Jaws is regarded as the first summer “blockbuster,” and it forever changed the way that movies were marketed and conceptualized.

It was also among the last non-period movies to perfectly capture the very essence of its own time period. There, preserved for all time, are scenes depicting the remnants of the old days we knew, yet would soon know no more. That it almost certainly did so unknowingly is inconsequential and, indeed, adds to its allure.

Here are some examples of scenes you would not have seen had Jaws been filmed just a scant few years later:

  • Beach-goers listening to music and ballgames on transistor radios similar to what MacGyver might have constructed out of a coat hanger and dental floss.
  • Quint ripping the pull-tab off his beer. Pull-tabs were the brilliantly-conceived, curled-up pieces of razor-sharp metal left over from carbonated beverage cans. They were typically dropped into the cans and forgotten. That is, until the consumer finished the contents only to discover he’d just given himself an involuntary tonsillectomy.
  • Any municipality actually thinking it could get away with hiring a shark hunter without nationwide press vilification and a public protest from PETA claiming that Jaws itself was the real victim.
  • Hooper crushing a Styrofoam cup and casually tossing it on the deck. Today, he’d be hauled in by the Green Police and heavily reprimanded for utilizing Environmentally un-friendly beverage containers, and then fined three figures for littering. Afterward, they’d go back for Quint to scold him about the waste associated with using the standard light bulb he dared to install in the lamp over the Orca’s dining table.
  • A mayor voluntarily wearing a suit publicly and on television that looked like it was stolen from Popeye’s closet.
  • Communications accomplished only through land-line phones, CB radios, or walkie-talkies similar to what I once bought at Radio Shack after saving up two-weeks’ allowance.
  • Amity’s beaches were re-opened after a confirmed shark attack for the sole purpose of maintaining profit; yet not a single lawyer endeavored to cash in at the expense of either the town or the bereaved.

Now, here are some scenes you might not expect to see regardless of the decade:

  • Any kid asking for coffee ice cream.
  • After spending hours in the ocean, a 20-foot wooden boat still remaining afloat with a head-sized hole in the hull a foot below the waterline.
  • A large group of people simultaneously deciding to throw caution to the wind and swim in great white shark-infested waters, simply because four cops and an oceanographer are cruising around the Atlantic Ocean on a couple of modified dinghies.
  • Quint seriously thinking the town council would even consider paying him $3,000 to “find” the shark. And then what; ask it nicely to stay put? Hell, Chrissie Watkins found it for free.
  • A newspaper publisher actually believing that the “grocery ads” are the least relevant section of the paper to its subscribers.
  • Quint attempting to catch a 25-foot great white shark on the open ocean using such sophisticated equipment as a rod-and-reel fishing pole, and in a boat that  I wouldn’t trust to get me across the Connecticut River during a mid-summer drought.

Well, that’s all for now. Thank you for taking a trip down Seventies Lane with me. Oh, and as if you didn’t see this coming: Have a nice day 🙂

* Though you may think it’s grammatically incorrect to begin a sentence with the conjunction “And,” in actuality there are different schools of thought on that. If you’re still drawn back to it however, there’s really not much I can do. Take heart that, at some point, you’ll most likely get past this.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2CJGSherlock1cKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

Excerpt from ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

Excerpt from ‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay. (Copyright 2013)

Author’s Note559744_4692505032308_1564390475_n-1

A short time ago I was given an extraordinary set of recordings to transcribe by a courier who stipulated that, in exchange, I must maintain his anonymity. After agreeing to the condition, I was commissioned to set down the spoken words in book form and then publish them under my own name. To this I also agreed.

We then listened to the audio (it had been transferred neatly onto a compact disc made from the antique tapes out of which it was recorded) so that the courier could be certain I fully understood the gravity of the content. When the disc had run its course I could barely believe my own ears, and asked him why I specifically was chosen for the task.

I was informed that he represented the wealthy British gentleman who possessed the original recordings, and to whom it was of the utmost importance that a foreign, overseas writer be utilized; if at all possible an American. That was the only explanation I received as to how I was selected for the assignment. After some consideration I thought it best not to ask any further questions, and so now that brings me to the matter at hand.

The words you are about to read were spoken well over seven decades ago by none other than Dr. John H. Watson, M.D., friend and confidant to the world’s greatest detective, Sherlock Holmes. With them, Dr. Watson explains that the decision as to whether the tale contained within his recordings should ever be published would be left entirely to fate. Clearly fate has at last opted to intervene, and has made its choice.

Not to belabor or overstate the point, but the story which lies ahead is simply astonishing. I’m not certain that I would have believed it had the words not come directly from Dr. Watson himself. I now invite you to decide for yourself whether or not you believe.

Christopher J. Gay

April 13th, 2013

Hartford, Connecticut USA

Foreword

In the years since the demise of my cherished friend, it has been frequently inquired of me just how many of our great adventures remain un-catalogued. While there was a long period in which I might confidently offer an accurate rejoinder, the present truth is that as more time passes even my best efforts can provide merely an estimate. Still, at this late stage I seem to find myself with more occasions to reflect on the rather diminutive selection of our stories that, for one reason or another, I had failed to chronicle. In point of fact, to be precise, one tale in particular.

As I now embark on my ninth decade of shuffling across this mortal coil, I have little doubt that the time is nearly upon when I shall once again have the opportunity to reminisce with my old companion in person. Time and its inexorable connection to mortality is a reality from which no man escapes. That truth being what it is I feel the moment has now arrived to set the record straight.

You’ll forgive me if I appear hesitant to continue, as I’m quite certain that this will prove the concluding narrative to cap off what has been called of late, somewhat to my amusement, the Sherlock Holmes “Canon.” (A generously over-descriptive noun which elevates my writing skills to an undeserved level) As such, I may linger somewhat in relaying the facts of this case, just as I might had I the foreknowledge that on a given day I would be viewing my last sunset.

As arthritis has stolen nearly all of my power to write, I’ll instead take this opportunity to use my Dictaphone to document what I am about to relate. This wondrous machine was a gift to Holmes, later bequeathed to me, in appreciation for his solving a case for the American inventor Alexander Graham Bell. That case in itself was worthy of the telling, and surely would have been if not for Holmes’s promise to Mr. Bell to forever maintain its secrecy. In that spirit, I too shall carry it to my grave.

Moreover, I will be so bold as to state that the following account will certainly prove to be the more memorable tale; in fact it’s likely to top them all. If you are wondering why it hasn’t been previously disclosed, the reason will become self-evident as the story unfolds. If not, it surely will by its conclusion.

As I have no desire to see the publication of this communication prior to my own end, once completed these tapes will be carefully concealed within my current residence in London. I shall leave it to fate that they should be discovered by some future owner and transcribed for public consumption. In the event they someday are, I should like to state for the ages that I have never known a more talented man; a greater champion of good, than my friend Sherlock Holmes. If only I could have measured up to his standards, I should have been much the better for it.

Dr. John H. Watson, M.D. 

30 June 1940

Chapter 1

     It was a seasonably warm day, which was to be expected as the calendar page had recently turned to July. I had only just entered my study and sat down when my housekeeper knocked upon the door.

“Come in, Sara,” said I.

“There’s a telegram for you, Doctor.”

I glanced around while simultaneously patting the breast pocket of my shirt, and realized I’d left my reading glasses in my bed chamber. Sara, having been witness to this same act of forgetfulness on my part for some time now, right away understood its meaning.

“Shall I retrieve your glasses for you, sir?”

“No, thank you. Please read the missive aloud and save us both some inconvenience. I apologize for having grown old and absent-minded in your care, Sara. The steady erosion of one’s faculties is indeed a nuisance.”

Having heard on many prior occasions my complaints on the matter; she offered a silent smile in acknowledgement as she unfolded the telegram.

“It is dated 3 July, Doctor.”

“Yes. Please do go on.”

Sara cleared her throat and proceeded. “Watson. My end draws near. If no bother I should like to say good-bye to my dearest friend. If you’re agreeable, please call on me soon. Holmes.” Sara read the last part with a slight tremor in her voice. She then walked over to my desk and laid the paper down upon it.

     “There, there now,” I offered in an attempt to comfort her; but my heart wasn’t in the effort.

“My sincerest condolences, sir. When will you be leaving?”

“At once.” I picked up a train schedule from the corner of my desk and looked it over. “There’s a 3:30 to Sussex; that’s the one. I’ll go pack.”

“How long will you be gone?” She asked in that same slightly quivering voice.

“As long as it takes, my dear. As long as it takes.”

*     *     *

     A motor-carriage taxi brought me to the station, at which point I boarded the 3:30 train for Sussex Downs. Once situated in my compartment I was finally alone with my thoughts. I am set to turn seventy-eight next week, and yet it seemed no more than a fortnight since Holmes and I had spent our first night together as flat mates in Baker Street. But as the saying goes, time and tide wait for no man. And as the wheels on the track drew me closer to my friend and his last dance with life before facing the inevitability we all must, I found myself in a state of reflection.

There were so many cases; so many adventures. Though I could not have known or at least appreciated it then, I realized now that I was indeed a lucky man; and in more ways than one. Having access to such a titanic intellect for so long was a blessing. Still, there was one thing on which I pondered greatly. A still-unsettled case that Holmes never fully solved, though on that fact I am quite certain he remains completely oblivious. The question became should I bother him with it, or let him go to his reward believing his perfect record remained intact? (While he has always considered the Irene Adler case a loss, I do not. And as Holmes’s de facto biographer, what I say literally goes.)

As the scenery rolled by I thought further on this; even moreso as the train reached the Sussex station. I hired another motor-carriage taxi to take me the rest of the way to the farm and it was there, on the final leg of my journey, that I decided Holmes should know. Moreover, that he deserved to know. At several times throughout our lengthy partnership he made it a point to mention that, for honour’s sake, I should register his mistakes along with his successes. And while I was reticent to do that, fearing a reduction in the high esteem with which the public held him; in this instance it was all but certain only he would ever know.

As the taxi took me down the long driveway to the main house, I could see the remains of Holmes’ once-thriving apiary. A few wooden hives, long bereft of bees, were all that was left of his post-detecting occupation. I was let out near the door and paid the driver. As he pulled away I turned and stared for a moment at the front door; at a threshold which I had not crossed for some time. I might have stayed in my stationary position for an hour longer if I didn’t hear a very familiar voice carry through an open window.

“It’s open, Watson.”

Without response I stepped forward and entered the dwelling; not sure in which condition I might find him. I walked through the front hallway and into his ground-floor living room, where I was surprised at the sight before me. If not for his affliction it might have been the 1880’s in Baker Street once again. Holmes stood near the unlit fireplace; pipe in hand, a fragile, gaunt figure leaning against its mantle for support.

My instincts as a doctor involuntarily kicked in and, without applying much thought, I chastised him. “Really Holmes; smoking during the end stages of cancer?”

He smiled. “The operative words in your rebuke are “end stages,” Watson. The fact is I would have been better served to have taken more seriously your reprimands on this filthy habit years ago. Now though as a man of medicine I must ask you: really, what difference does it make?”

      Of course he was right. “Not much, I’m afraid.”

     “To deny myself even the simplest pleasures at this stage would be utterly pointless.”

     “Quite so,” I agreed.

     ‘Now then Watson, please. Have a seat.” No sooner had he gestured toward an overstuffed chair did he break out in an ugly cough.

     “Goodness, Holmes. Let me call for your nurse.”

     “I’m all right, my friend. Besides I’ve dismissed her from her duties for the next week.”

     “Dismissed her? What on Earth for?”

“It was not an easy task, Watson,” he stated as if he hadn’t heard my question. “As I have been in decline for some time, she has been with me for quite awhile. And I am rather certain I’ll not see her again in this world.” Holmes continued. “What for, you ask? My answer is two-fold. There is no need for her to see the sight which will shortly come to pass, and surely you’ll be staying with me to the last. Who better should I hope to have by my side than the talented Dr. John H. Watson?”

Now it was my turn to smile. “A “talented” doctor who has long-since retired but, yes; of course I will be staying on with you as long as need be.”

“Excellent. Before dispatching my nurse with your telegram I asked her to prepare an upstairs bedroom for you. I trust you will find your accommodations satisfactory, Watson. If not, take comfort in that you will not need to endure them very long.”

“Come now, Holmes. A simple cot would be satisfactory. My only concern here is for your welfare.”

     “I’m afraid we are past that, my good fellow. Now, pray unpack your things and re-join me here for some brandy and reminiscing.”

     “Certainly. Ah, Holmes-“ he cut me off.

“Second door on your right, Watson. Do take your time.”

Want to read the rest? Click here to purchase your copy of Sherlock Holmes and the Final reveal by Chris Gay, either in paperback or on Kindle. Also available on amazon.com. All Rights Reserved. No portion of this book or excerpt may be reproduced in any way without written consent from the author.)

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

‘The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm’ by Chris Gay

CJG Full Kindle Cover For Promotions

The Bachelor Cookbook is the perfect (and likely only) addition to any guy’s collection of sarcastic culinary literature. If you’re between relationships and looking to make the most of whatever foodstuffs you’ve got until you meet that next special woman, then your prayers have been answered. Unless you’re an atheist; in which case coming across this book just means your luck was in today. For men looking for sustenance over style, I give you this spectacular cookbook. Well, I don’t “give it” to you, per se. You have to pay for it.

Featuring such taste-bud tempting recipes as:

Popcorn Salad

Meat on a Bed of Rice

Cheese and Crackers

Spaghetti Sandwich

Plus Miscellaneous Cookbook Humor, too!

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota  and  Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. His book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, is an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsKindle Cookbook Cover 7.12.2013

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Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

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https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Twitter: @chrisgay13

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

Anatomy of a Book Signing (Sarcastic Version)

By Chris Gay388982_3377538558968_401329802_n

I’m guessing that many-if not all-of you have spent long, strenuous hours at one time or another pondering exactly what goes into a book signing.  Or at least I’ll take you at my word you do. At any rate, the first thing to know is that there’s a difference between someone like Stephen King setting up a book signing and, say, Chris Gay setting up a book signing. There’s also generally a difference in both attendance and compensation. But I digress. Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? We shall.

The Great American Novel

It’s often said that everyone has a great novel inside him or her just waiting to come out. Actually, that’s not altogether true. What most people have is a delusion that they are a great writer and have, instead, a third rate pile of senseless rubbish waiting to come out. The problem is that the general public can’t tell the difference until they buy the book, and there’s only so much disposable income to go around.

Delusional ‘Writers

All people born after 1950 have generally been coddled from, approximately, their very moment of conception. Trophies just for participating, grading on curves, always being told “you’re special.” The obvious question left unanswered is that if everyone is ‘special,’ then who are all of these dull, talentless idiots you see around everywhere?

One unfortunate after-affect of this is that most people grow up thinking that they’re great when, in reality, they’re much more likely to be boring dolts, ignorant of history, science, politics and, especially, grammar. Wait-what did you just say to me? Whatever. I’m just the messenger.

Anyway, sooner or later some of these people will get to thinking they can write, and then do so. However adding words to paper doesn’t make you any more of a writer than successfully dyeing an Easter egg makes you Picasso. Then this claptrap is put out there where it ends up clogging up the literature pipeline like some kind of papery cholesterol. A lot of good writing gets lost within the sea of the inferior. That’s a lose-lose.

My advice, as once espoused by Clint Eastwood, is to know your limitations, and get the hell out of our way. Why not be a CEO of something instead? There’s good money there.

Moving Along

Okay, let’s say you’ve spent your two-to-thirty years writing and editing your novel and now it’s published, either traditionally or independently. Either way, congratulations; you’ve now been promoted to Head of Marketing for your own project. The hours suck and the pay is non-existent. However, your opportunity to run up significant debt is enormous. So there’s that.

All you need to do now is contact every place, everywhere, and ask them if they’d like to host you for a book signing at their venue. If, like 99.8% of writers,* they’ve never heard of you, that task is about as easy as slicing through a hot knife with cold butter.

With traditional book store chains, unless you know someone, or know someone who knows someone, or are sleeping with someone who knows someone, prepare to go through what has been known since the advent of this paragraph as the ‘Corporate run-around.’ Keep trying though, as there is a chance you can land a chain store signing without a name; same as there’s a chance to win yesterday’s Powerball with tomorrow’s ticket. (I didn’t say it was a good chance)

So, now what? You call everywhere. Hair salons, retail stores, financial institutions, health clubs, craft fairs, movie theaters, etc, etc. If you’re local, you stand a better chance. Also, mention that the promotion you’ll certainly do for it will bring the venue free advertising. A win-win.

Also, schedule radio and TV interviews. As an aside, if you happen to be great-looking, you’ll be much more likely to land these regardless of whatever drivel you typed onto Word, printed out, and glued between cardboard.

I’ve also heard that, if you happen to be an incredibly quick wit, that too may help you with getting interviews, as well as your ability to draw interest to your books through consistently humorous Facebook statuses.

Remember, you’ll need your own posters, placards, business cards, stands and cleverly designed bookmarks to leave out with your information on them. The latter, of course, is because everyone will take something made available for free regardless of its relevancy to their lives. Just ask anyone who passes out samples at a food membership club; those people who constantly hear things like,”I hate those pretzels. Oh, all right, I’ll try one.”

Be Prepared for Anything

Know that even if you have a great book for sale at a reasonable price, there’s always the chance you’ll make a huge effort for a signing, and then not sell a single tome. Don’t be discouraged. You’ve gotten the chance to get yourself and your name out there, and every little bit helps.

Also, console yourself with the fact that most people these days seem to be illiterate, anyway. Don’t believe me? Juste cheq the tipicahl sphelling on you’re soshul  mediuh websights.

Keys Points to Remember

As a favor to you I’ll recap the three most important points of this piece so you’ll always have easy access. Here are the best ways to sell your books, get interviews, and/or become rich:

1)      Be Incredibly Hot

2)      Be Incredibly funny

3)      Be Already Rich

In Conclusion

Be aware that if you’re trying to become a writer simply because you have the ability, and believe that writing is all you’ll have to do, think again. By the time you’re ready to start on your second book, you’ll notice that the easiest part of the prior one was just writing the damned thing. Go ahead, laugh. We’ll see what time tells. But in the meantime, as the French say: good luck. Only they say it “bon chance.”

*This percentage is a total guess, but it sounds about right. Maybe even on the low side.

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. He writes and broadcasts a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s also written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance and three humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and is currently writing his fourth and fifth humor books, Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota and Something Witty this Way Comes; the latter being a collection of pieces written for his humor blog. Look soon for his book Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective. Also, he’s writing the Ghost of a Chance sequel Perdition’s Wrath, and has written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2CJGSherlock1c

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

Exit 2016, Enter 2017

By Chris Gay

388982_3377538558968_401329802_nAs we bid adieu to another year, it falls to us writers/ humorists to throw something out there to elicit a laugh. After all, we don’t make anything useful, such as digital toaster ovens, so we might as well toss some words together for your amusement.

At any rate, here we are.  Once again, the earth has completed its annual 365 day journey around the sun. The unspoken truth is however, that it does this every day. For instance on December 4th, it had been  a year since the prior December 4th. But no one cares about that. (Except, of course, those who were born on December 4th. But it’s not very likely that that’s you.)

So now we all look back and take inventory of what went wrong, what went right, and how we might change things for the better. Also, we buy gym memberships that will be used less than an avocado juicer purchased while watching a 3 a.m. infomercial.

Resolutions

This is the time of year in which we make numerous promises to ourselves that have zero chance of being fulfilled. That’s okay, though. No one fulfills them. If it makes you feel better we all go through the motions. However if it helps, just set the bar very low. For instance, I’ve never smoked in my life. So I resolve not to smoke. Simple. But since I love junk food, I tend to avoid making those kind of unreasonable resolutions.

I also resolve not to listen to rap music or heavy metal, cliff dive off the Rock of Gibraltar, snorkel down to the Titanic’s wreck, or drive 580 miles per hour on the Bonneville Salt Flats. See? It’s easy-that’s if you know how to play the game.

Chinese Take-Out Food

On those New Year‘s Eves in which you find yourself either divorced or too lazy and/or uninspired to go out, Chinese take-out food is essential. Nothing goes better with a DVD, followed by whatever hack hairdo is hosting ‘Dick Clark‘s Rockin’ New Year’s Eve’, than a sea of sweet and sour chicken. Plus, while you’re waiting for your order, you can usually help yourself to a generously provided, free Styrofoam cup of tea, which completely wipes out any calories you’re about to consume. *

Live TV Specials

If you do stay home this New Year’s Eve, there’s likely to be a slew of year-end specials featuring untalented singers that, if you’re in your 30’s or 40’s,  you’ve never heard of. Or if you have, you could not care less about. (Though a few of the divas may be hot enough to justify some cursory viewing.)

Your best bet is to either throw in a DVD or watch whatever’s still taking up space on your DVR. Then around 11:50 p.m., switch over to watch the countdown. Though many stations will show it, who is kidding who? You’re going to go back to the network you grew up watching this Times Square spectacle occur on, ABC, with or without Dick Clark. (RIP) If you don’t remember doing that, you’re probably not reading this blog, anyway.

Times Square

At some point during the evening, you’re likely to reminisce on long ago promises made to yourself to attend in person the ball dropping on New Year’s Eve. Don’t screw with yourself. If you were born during Reagan’s first term or earlier, it’s just not happening. Who needs all of that hassle, anyway? Especially if you live in, like, Iowa.

Champagne

Some of you may wish to celebrate the Earth’s most recent revolution with a bit ‘o the bubbly. If so, more power to you. I’m a vodka man myself. If you’re home, or out with a group that includes a designated driver, whatever floats your boat. In point of fact it’s water that floats my boat; but there’s much less fun in consuming H2O.

New Year’s Day

When you awaken late morning (or more likely early afternoon) the new tradition is to watch the National Hockey League’s signature game, the outdoor Winter Classic. Or you can catch one of the TBS showings of 24 Hours of a Christmas Story. No, wait. Scratch that. I got my holidays mixed up. Give me a break; as I edit this it’s after 4 a.m. And also, May.

Biblical Implications

Technically, I’m an Agnostic Catholic. But I did attend Catholic school, and (blatant plug alert) wrote a theological, paranormal thriller novel. (Please see the even more blatant reference in my Author Biography.) So I’m fully authorized to delve into this topic with sarcasm.

You may not realize it, but our system of measuring contemporary time begins with the birth of Jesus Christ. It goes: B.C. = Before Christ, A.D. = Anno Domino, A.C. = Air Conditioning.

Having never taken Latin, I can only assume that the middle one translates to After Domino’s, & references how my early Christian brethren and sister-en ordered their more recent pizzas.

Anyway, what we’re actually celebrating each January is the number of years that have passed since Jesus’s birth. The only issue there is that He was almost certainly born in the spring. But that’s okay. Like all good writing, it got cleaned up during the editing process.

Plus it’s more convenient this way. Since Earth is over 4 billion years old, if we counted from the actual beginning of time imagine how long it’d take to write out personal checks. Not to mention the looks you’d get in the express line at the supermarket. I guess it will become an issue for those people living here in 8 Billion A.D., but who cares? That’ll be their problem.

In Conclusion

Just go with it. Enjoy the day, be responsible, and be safe. And if you sleep through it all, that’s okay. Super Bowl Sunday is only five weeks away.

* I’m not even close to a doctor, so there is a slight chance that my statement is wholly and completely inaccurate

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out Chris Gay’s new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

*     *     *     *

‘Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal’ by Chris Gay

#1(A!A)CJGSherlockHomesCoverCMYK1d

As the end draws near for long-retired Sherlock Holmes in Sussex Downs, he calls one last time for the company of his best friend and colleague, Dr. John Watson. What was meant to be four last days of camaraderie and reminiscing instead leads to the most shocking, explosive revelation both of the great detective’s career, and his life.

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal is a Holmes tale like none other ever conceived. Fans of Baker Street’s legendary detective will be left with the insatiable need to contemplate its extraordinary conclusion forevermore.

*     *     *     *

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

1977287_10152267078273756_2109539589_n

http://www.chrisjgay.com

Author Page on Facebook

Chris Gay Author/Writer/ Humorist on Facebook

Ghost of a Chance on Facebook

Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal on Facebook

https://chrisgay.wordpress.com

Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

Chris Gay’s Top 15 Christmas Movies

By Chris Gay388982_3377538558968_401329802_n

Typically the movie reviews I write for those particular columns on my blog are rife with sarcasm and humor. However this is the season of charity, and as such I’ll go fairly light on the satire here. (Though me being me; count on some) So here, in descending order, are my Top 15 Christmas movies of all time.

Oh by the way, to preemptively answer your two most obvious questions at the outset: the movies listed here are just that, movies; so you won’t see such obvious TV classics as ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’, ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’, or ‘Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer’.

Also, Elf is not on this list because it’s hard to understand how Will Farrell makes more than $2.99 an hour as a comedian. He’s not funny at all whatsoever.

Now, as Casey Kasem might say were he still with us…on with the countdown:

15) DVD of a Burning Yule Log. (4 Billion B.C.) You know, I’d bet you didn’t see this one coming. For those with a big screen TV but no fireplace, this is an awesome flick (or flicker, as the case may be) to behold. You just pop in the DVD, and then read or whatever else by the light of the TV fire and Christmas tree. Some go for as little as a dollar, and come with a flame level setting and optional Christmas music. What sounds like a joke is, in reality, a winner. And no logs to chop or mess to clean up after. You’re thinking about it now, aren’t you? Don’t even try to tell me you’re not.14.

14) Bad Santa. (2003) I’m not all that big into comedy based on vulgarities. It’s not that I’m offended in any way; it’s just that as a humor writer I find it to be mostly lazy and unfunny writing. This movie however, is the exception. It’s funny nearly from stem to stern. Billy Bob Thornton shines as a Phoenix, Arizona department store Santa who uses his job as a cover to scope it out to later rob. He spends most of his off time- as well as his on time- drinking, smoking, screwing and bumbling around. If you’re not easily offended, this movie, helped by a great supporting cast including the late John Ritter and Bernie Mac, will have you laughing till New Year’s.

13) Christmas Vacation. (1989) The third tale of the Griswold clan is the best in the series. This holiday staple, also starring a pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfuss, reiterates the time-honored advice passed down throughout the generations: before setting up, always check impromptu replacement Christmas trees for rodents.

12) Funny Farm. (1988) In my opinion, this is the superior and underrated of the two Chevy Chase flicks to appear on this list. At Christmastime a beautiful Vermont town, filled with residents of questionable intellect, band together to fake normalcy to prospective home buyers in exchange for a cash payoff from Andy & Elizabeth Farmer; who can no longer tolerate residing among them. The first time I watched the scene of the drunken, belligerent postman respectfully greeting the Farmers (in front of the new owners) with a linguistically perfect, “Mail, Mister Farmer” in order to obtain bonus money, I nearly fell off my couch laughing.

11) Trading Places. (1983) Outside the time of year it’s set in and Dan Aykroyd in a Santa Claus suit, calling this a ‘Christmas Movie’ is like calling Pepperidge Farms flavored goldfish “seafood.” However on a technicality…here it resides. Through the conniving, manipulative efforts of his sibling bosses and for no legitimate reason, wealthy, upper-crust commodities trader Louis Winthorp III is made to exchange places with broke, slick-talking con-man Billy Ray Valentine. After a short while, Valentine becomes successful at Winthorp’s job once he understands that commodities brokering is merely a more sophisticated form of con-game. When both realize they’re being played for fools, they team up to create a fantastic scheme to bankrupt the brothers while becoming millionaires themselves; with the help of a great supporting cast.

10) Die Hard. (1988) Bruce Willis’s Detective John McLane sends Alan Rickman’s superb villain Hans Gruber into the Oh Holy Night of Los Angeles; amidst a snowfall of ill-gotten bearer bonds.

9) The Muppet Christmas Carol. (1992) Laugh if you will, (and you will) but this gem of a take on the classic Dickens’ Christmas novel that features Michael Caine; among Britain’s greatest, most versatile actors, as Ebenezer Scrooge, simply cannot be overlooked. It also contains a roster of creative, original songs you’ll be singing long after the film’s completed. It contains both suspense & clever humor throughout.

8) The Ref. (1994) If you’ve never seen this Denis Leary comedy starring a relatively unknown Kevin Spacey, the first time you do expect to laugh so hard you’ll cry. Leary is a bumbling cat burglar who, through unforeseen circumstances, ends up stuck refereeing an endlessly bickering couple and their family in an affluent Connecticut shoreline town on Christmas Eve. Completely underrated, it’s one of the best Christmas comedies ever; if not the most tactful. (Only ‘Bad Santa’ is more profane)

7) Love, Actually. (2003) Never has a Christmas movie combined humor, romance and star power in such a way that all genre stereotypes are irrelevant. It’s a ‘Chick Flick’ that is very much suited for guys, too. This movie is a modern Christmas classic. (Featuring a who’s who of English talent: Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Bill Nighy, Emma Thompson, Martin Freeman, Andrew Lincoln, Keira Knightley Rowan Atkinson)

6) A Christmas Carol. (1984) The late, great George C. Scott is almost unparalleled as Ebenezer Scrooge. He taught England that, after 150 years, if you really want to showcase the full essence of a greedy, miserly CEO, hire an American and teach him a light British accent.

5) Holiday Inn. (1942) Bing Crosby debuted what is still the top-selling single of all time in any genre, ‘White Christmas’, at his Connecticut Inn that’s open only on major holidays.

4) A Christmas Story. (1983) Nothing catches the essence of a retro-Christmas of yore more so than this fantastically crafted, humorous tale of 1940’s Christmas in America. Along with a young man’s quest for the Holy Grail of Christmas gifts, the “official Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Which includes “a compass and a stock and this thing that tells time.” Darren McGavin masterfully showcases both the tough and tender side of parenting a year before portraying a wealthy, sleazy bookie from the same era in 1984’s ‘The Natural.’

3) It’s a Wonderful Life. (1946) The snowy winter scenes of the fictional Bedford Falls, NY (based on the real Seneca Falls, NY) were filmed during a record-breaking California heat wave. This classic film features the legendary Jimmy Stewart as super-nice guy George Bailey, who, after every one of his lifelong dreams are dashed due to his own kindness, becomes discouraged to the extent that Heaven dispatches amiable Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody to show him what his family and hometown would’ve been like had he never existed. It ends with the all-time tear-jerking line, “Remember-No man is a failure who has friends.”

2) Scrooge. (1951) There is no question that of all the adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic A Christmas Carol ever committed to celluloid, Alistair Sim is the quintessential-& best-Ebenezer Scrooge. His performance as the renowned miser is second-to-none, and may never be topped.

1) Joyeux Noel. (2005) This is the amazing true story of the impromptu WWI Christmas Truce across No-Man’s Land between Scottish, British, French & German soldiers over Christmas Eve and Day in 1914. A group of young officers decide they’re not going to fight each other over the Christmas holiday, and instead spend it burying comrades, sharing stories, playing soccer, and exchanging information. When their superiors became informed of the Christmas Truce, all parties involved on both sides were severely reprimanded. The “Great War”; the “War to End All Wars”, was a war over nothing, & cost humanity millions of innocent lives. It dragged on until November 11, 1918; Armistice Day; now known as ‘Veterans Day’. If you can get through this movie without shedding tears, you ma’am or sir, are a better person than I.

 

God. The Devil. The Bet. The Fate of Mankind in the Balance. Check out my new theological, paranormal crime thriller, Ghost of a Chance.

Ghost of a Chance Cover jpeg

What if a late 20th Century Jack the Ripper tearing apart a small Connecticut town was the result of a pancake shop bet between God and the devil? Imagine if Satan’s impact on the world in the new millennium hinged entirely on one police officer’s skill in hunting down a ruthless killer…hiding in plain sight. Detective Danny Seabrook is an unwitting pawn in a divine chess match with immeasurable consequences for all mankind. Set primarily in 1995, this action-packed suspense thriller features clever dialogue, humor and romance-with an ending you will never forget.

Jpeg front cover with bleedsbook1book2

Chris Gay is an author, freelance writer, voice-over artist, broadcaster and actor. For 7 years he wrote and broadcast a daily, minute radio humor spot in Hartford, Connecticut. He’s been published nationally in Writer’s Digest and has written the paranormal, theological thriller novel Ghost of a Chance, Sherlock Holmes and the Final Reveal, (an original, extraordinary short story on the great detective with a spectacular twist) and four humor books: And That’s the Way It Was…Give or Take: A Daily Dose of My Radio Writings, Shouldn’t Ice Cold Beer Be Frozen? My 365 Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota, and The Bachelor Cookbook: Edible Meals with a Side of Sarcasm & Another Round of Ice Cold Beer: My 365 More Random Thoughts to Improve Your Life Not One Iota. He’s written and voiced radio commercials, authored both comedic and non-comedic freelance articles, scripts, press releases, website, media and technical content, done occasional radio color commentary for local sports, and acted in a couple of movies and plays. His website is chrisjgay.com, and his humor blog can be found at chrisgay.wordpress.com.

http://www.chrisjgay.com

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Movies:

2012:

Hope Springs (Barfly)

2009:

Testimonies of a Quiet New England Town (Constable John Gilbert)

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