Friday, September 22, 2017


Now that I'm old & decrepit I don't have to serve.  I have been called for jury duty three times & actually got on a jury twice.  The first time I was excused because I (honestly) told the lawyer interviewing me that my husband was an attorney & so were two of my nephews.  At that time, the court believed that close relatives of lawyers or police could easily sway the jury.  Things have changed!!  The following is from the Christian Science Monitor:

"Former President Bill Clinton was willing to serve on a case involving a gang-related shooting when he was called in 2003, but the judge dismissed him. Then the defendant, convicted and sentenced to 18 years, appealed, claiming he was deprived of his rights because Mr. Clinton was excused.
Sen. John Kerry served as the jury foreman on a two-day personal injury trial in Massachusetts. Senator Kerry said he enjoyed himself but was surprised he was not stricken from the case, having been a Middlesex County prosecutor in the 1970's.
Former federal prosecutor Rudolph Giuliani served as jury foreman on a $7 million personal injury case while he was mayor of New York in 1999. In fact, after New York passed a jury reform law in 1995 that eliminated exemptions for lawyers and other professionals, Gov. George Pataki, Woody Allen, and Spike Lee were called, though none served."

The second time I was called (& the first time I served):

About fifty years ago I was summoned to the Beverly Hills courthouse & was hearing a concealed weapon case.  It seems that after a traffic stop the police found a baseball bat under the front seat of a cab. The other eleven jurors & I decided the cab driver had a right to protection so we ignored the law & found him not guilty.

While there I slipped on the marble floor & hurt my left thumb. It was in a splint & I couldn’t put on a necklace or button my right cuff.  Bud left for work before I got up, so I asked another prospective juror to help me.  I would hold out my right arm & say, “Please dress me, Mommy.”  She did, & we clicked.  We became best friends--& still are. 

The last time was in Ventura:

I cannot remember what the case was about but I do remember that it ran for a week.  I was driving back to our Los Angeles home, feeling that I had done my civic duty.  I found myself at the wrong ramp to enter the freeway home.  I saw the police car but not the no u-turn sign, so I made a u-turn.  The cop saw me (I was right in front of him) & I got a ticket.
He was not impressed with my fulfilling my civic duty.

You could probably get out of serving by declaring that you are a staunch advocate of capital punishment, even in traffic cases. If that doesn't work, here are some excuses from
People will try say anything to get out of jury duty, said lawyer Paul Millus. It could be a vacation with a nonrefundable ticket, a teacher with papers to grade, a language barrier or a hearing problem.
But there’s one trick that usually works no matter what.
“The sophisticated jury escape artists know that if they say they cannot be fair, that is it,” he said. “If they stick to their guns, either both lawyers have to concede or one of them will move to dismiss.”
A person who said, “I only trust one lawyer, and he is dead,” was excused as well as a potential juror who had this unique scheduling issue: “I have to report to prison next week.”
One prospective juror stated an especially jarring bias against the plaintiff. “The juror said he could not be fair because he did not like black people so much.” The judge looked like he wanted his head and practically threw him out of the courtroom, telling him, ‘You make me sick.’ ”
One woman made sure the court knew jury duty might interfere with her upcoming surgery. “I asked, ‘Would you like to step outside to discuss this in private with the defense lawyer and myself?’ ” The lawyer recalled. “She said, ‘No, it’s just a boob job.’ ”
Some excuses are truly out of this world. One juror with a geography issue said simply, “My planet does not believe in the jury system.”
A lawyer once recognized a juror as a professor who appeared in a Ken Burns documentary. The case involved a personal injury claim against a restaurant, and the professor “falls asleep right in the middle of it. His head was back, mouth was open, he was snoring really loud. There were 30 or 40 people [there], and no one was listening to me. They were all looking at him!” he said. “He just did not want to be there. He checked out on his own terms.”

For a funny look on jury duty, click here.

In my opinion "Twelve Angry Men" was the best movie about jury duty ever made.
You may be able to see the movie by clicking here.

This is a live version.
It runs 1 hour & 5 minutes.

This guy wants to serve:

This has nothing to do with this post, but I was just wondering, do turtles ever get claustrophobic?----fishducky


Thursday, September 21, 2017


(Reworked from an October, 2012 post.)

Yesterday I resolved to do absolutely nothing.  I’m not through yet.

Someone I dearly love, who shall remain nameless (not my daughter), sometimes has trouble with multisyllabic words.  When she told me she had to get her “mammyogram” I had a mental image of an Aunt Jemima-type lady, bandanna & all, slapping her boob on the machine & saying, “Y’all go ‘head & take yo’ picture, honey.”  (I’m sorry if I appear racist—believe me, I’m not—but I couldn’t get this image out of my head.  Please forgive me, President Lincoln.)

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could dream in chapters?  Then, if we were awakened in the middle of a good dream, we could just program it in & continue enjoying it the next night.  If the dream wasn’t so good—we could just delete it & open a new “book”!!

Our children joined us, along with our Best Man & Maid of Honor, for brunch at the Four Seasons to celebrate our 57th anniversary. I love that place!!  I raised my glass & said, “I would like you to join me in a toast to my wonderful husband, but I guess we’ll have to toast Bud, instead!”  I guess our marriage is going to last, but I have to admit my husband shook me up several years ago.  The kids were small & had gone to bed.  Bud was working on something in his home office & I was watching a special on TV about divorce & how so many women found it difficult to cope afterwards.  I went into his office & said, “We’re never going to get a divorce, are we?”  He immediately answered, “NO!!”  I asked him how he could answer so quickly.  He showed me our financial statement (which is what he had been working on) & said, “Because I can’t live on half of this!”  For years, on the rare occasions when things would get uncomfortable between us after that, I would remind him of his comment.  One day I did just that & he whipped out a new financial statement & proclaimed, “Be careful--I can live on half of this!!”

Some of you may have been wondering how I became a fishducky.  If you don’t care, go ahead & skip this paragraph.  The truth is, I’m a product of a mixed marriage.  My father was a fish & my mom was a ducky.  The real story goes back again to when our kids were very young.  (I have done some interesting things since then, like taking a zero gravity flight, but that has nothing to do with this story.)  Picture family dinners where the mommies have to wait to take the kids home because the daddies aren’t through with their pinochle game.  The kids are getting cranky.  One of the mommies (me) draws pictures to amuse them.  One of the kids asks her if she can draw a particular animal—I forget which one. She tells them no, but she can draw a ducky.  She does--& her “logo” is born!!  Since that time, her house has become full of duck crap art, such as statuettes, paintings, etc.  When she got a computer & needed an email address she asked for DUCKY.  It was already taken.  She didn’t want to be DUCKY 947 or even DUCKY 2.  Her name was Fran.  Her last name sounded like fish & she liked duckies so one of her kids suggested FISHDUCKY.  She liked it.  

          Speaking of names, when my first grandchild was born one of my sons 
thought I should be called “OLD GRANNY FRANNY”.  
I thought not.  I am just "Grandma".

Let’s not forget Grandpa.
This picture of him is hanging in our kitchen:

Shortly after we bought our beach condo, I was in the kitchen.  I opened one cupboard & closed it.  I opened another & closed it.  And another.  And another.  My husband asked what I was looking for.  I asked him (in all seriousness), “Where do we keep the pots & pans?”  Women seem to find this funny.  Men, not so much!!  I figured he was planning to retire—I just beat him to it!!

You think I have a weird writing style?
According to this test, I'm another Ernest Hemingway!!
 Click here.

* Or I may just give it (my brain) away:


Wednesday, September 20, 2017


(I did not write this post.  It was written by the Plastic Mancunian, who published it 6/25/17.  I'm sure I would agree with every word if I were a Catholic.)

I’m a little puzzled by religion, if I am brutally honest.

I was brought up a Catholic. I was baptised in a Catholic church at a time when I had no say in the matter. In fact I may have screamed as the Holy Water hit my forehead, which some people might have considered a bad thing – after all, don’t vampires scream when you throw Holy Water at them?

I had to endure confession, when I was a child and found myself struggling not to laugh as I lied to the priest about my sins simply because I couldn’t think of what I had done that was wrong. My penance was to say the “Our Father” and “Hail Mary” multiple times – there’s a lot of trust in this punishment because you can simply just sit there and think about what you are having for dinner tonight rather than reciting prayers.

First communion was strange too because I was a child and was offered bread dipped in wine – although initially I don’t think wine was involved because we were all underage.

I then acquired a new name as I was confirmed. I chose John because it was common – not because I admired John the Baptist as I told the priest when asked (another lie).

None of this made me a better person. Worse, there was no proof that any of the teachings I was indoctrinated with were actually true or based on fact. I started to realise that the teachings of the Bible were in fact rather contradictory, which is no surprise when you think about it.

The word of God was written by man and of course, as we all know, man has the uncanny ability to exaggerate to prove a point – I do it on this blog all the time. If you think about it, the Bible has been translated numerous times and even reinterpreted and modernised so some of the stories, as fascinating as they are, are bound to be enhanced for dramatic affect.

My scientific mind has been questioning the logic of what I was taught ever since I was a teenager and I have a relatively clear picture in my mind.

Some of the stories in the Bible basically teach us to be good to each other and not be arses. Whether you believe all of the amazing things that Jesus did is up to you. It’s a stretch to believe that he could turn water into wine, cure leprosy and raise a man from the dead but the words he supposedly spoke and his deeds are worthy of consideration.

I am therefore not anti-religion, despite my mockery of it.

On the contrary, if it makes people happy then I’m all for it. If you are a person who can made happier by spending an hour in church every Sunday praying to God and as a result feel a deep sense of fulfilment and happiness then that’s terrific.

The same goes for other religions too. For example, I have known Muslims who are lovely people and pop off to pray at regular intervals during the day and worship at their mosque. I know Sikhs and Hindus who are content with their religion and happier because of it.

If your religion can make you happy then that’s a beautiful thing.

What I don’t like, though, is when religion is used as an excuse to cause harm. Over the years, I have seen this happen many times. People who look down on me because I am a Catholic, for example. People who actually prefer to mock me for confessing my sins to an “old man in a frock” (their words not mine) are not helping anybody – especially themselves.

Worse, there are those who actually harm people in the name of religion because their views are different. This has happened throughout history and is happening right now.

Aren’t we all past that?

Most if not all religions are peaceful and promote moral ideologies. Yet there are people who interpret the teachings of their religion in a way that suits their twisted minds, even in some cases, harming people with supposedly the same religion, just a slightly different flavour.

And I am not singling out Islam here, by the way – Christianity has a bloody history of doing exactly the same.

The bottom line is that religion, if you choose to believe, should make you a better person, eager to promote happiness and a willingness to help others. It should make you happy in your own belief and if you can turn to it in a moment of despair for comfort and security then that is fantastic.

When religion promotes peace, happiness and prosperity then it is a good thing.

If it is used to oppress and harm people then it is a bad thing and people who use religion to exploit and harm others are using religion nefariously.

By the way, I do not count Scientology as a religion and that is a prime example of how a so-called religion has been used to control and exploit people. It is the opposite of what a religion should be.

I’ll just finish by telling you all that I haven’t been a practising Catholic for almost forty years. I wonder what I would say to a priest in a confessional booth? And how long would I be in there?

I’ll leave you with a joke by the late great Dave Allen. Like me, he was a Catholic and courted controversy with his jokes about religion. Here is one of them:

If you can’t laugh at religion then there is something wrong. I like to think that God has a sense of humour.

Since IO didn't write this post,
here's a lot of Jewish & Catholic humor:

Carol Wyer's newest book, "The Missing Girls", is, I believe, the best in this series so far.
There was no way I could have predicted the ending!!
It's available on Amazon for only 99 cents for a short while.
UK πŸ‡¬πŸ‡§

Forgive me Father, for I have published this----fishducky