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February 26, 2013 8:48 am


Written by Doug Blough

A pox on your house, Zuckerberg, for making everything so dang hard. Had I invented Facebook, which I probably would have eventually, it would be much simpler to navigate and less fraught with peril.  

That’s why I’ve only been a sporadic FB traveler these three years since I signed up…never quite knowing who will see what, and what will be misinterpreted how. But a curious thing has transpired recently: the upside of FB is slowly overshadowing the gaffes, pratfalls and inadvertent humiliations.

Until last week, I had never even “posted” anything in the blank space that asks “What’s on your mind” because I wasn’t sure who wanted to know. I finally figured out it’s sort of a “thought for the day” for all your FB friends to see and make comments like “I hear ya,” “So true,” and “LMAO” — initials signifying one octave funnier than just “LOL,” which means “Laughing out Loud.” (Research has shown though, less than 3 percent of those posting “lol” are actually audibly laughing at all).

So I posted my first-ever statement, “I stubbed my toe today. It hurts.” That elicited a smattering of lol’s, but even a few serious replies — one that actually suggested Epsom salts. But even though that post was only a jovial experiment, it’s no less dramatically dull than many others I see daily, like “I didn’t sleep well last night, (frowning face symbol)” or “Going shopping today, (smiley face).”

These people obviously spend a ridiculous amount of time on FB, which is a shame, really. I mean, don’t these people have TVs?

But I must admit: FB is priceless in reviving lost and forgotten relationships. Two years ago, it connected me to former Cody best friend Frank Rozek, who moved back to Chicago 12 years ago. I was certain our friendship was history, but now we write, speak and giggle frequently.   

And lately, old Pennsylvania acquaintances have been flooding back into my life like ants to a rotting melon rind, (and I use that reference to myself lovingly). Those renewed friendships have begat new readers to my columns, which has begat more activity on the Tribune website, which will most likely beget many raises and commissions to my paycheck. It’s a symbiotic chain!

It began with old buddy Dennis “Jughead” Marone (no relation to old pal, Donald “Pearhead” Sample) who wrote on my page that he’d read my recent columns online, and requested I send him others. Then Bruce Hollsopple wrote, “Did you ever write about the ‘Great Ice Cream Heist?’” I haven’t, but I shall:

Bruce, Larry Grandas, Tom Reckner and I had just left high school baseball practice and stopped at Helsel’s Market to buy chips, pop and other pimple food. When we exited, the back doors of an ice cream delivery truck could only be described as “blatantly wide open.” We loaded up huge tubs of assorted flavors, drove to Bruce’s house and gorged on free ice cream until we were bloated, moaning, and strangely sluggish.

I read a ribald joke posted on his site by another Pennsylvania character from 40 years ago, Larry “Animal” Graham. I didn’t lol, but asked, “Hey Larry, weren’t you with McVicker the night he cleared his own parking space outside the Village Inn?” Frank McVicker interjected that it was actually by Zabos Bar, and then Marone chimed in with, “I’ve never heard that story. You should write about it, Doug.” And write I shall:

Frank was a burly, boozing, brawling wild man back in the day, and he borrowed his long-suffering mom’s old Cadillac for a little bar hopping. He, Graham and Jimmy Hobba left Zabos and found the Caddy had been tightly blocked by other Zabos patrons.

Graham offered to go fetch the drivers, but Frank ordered, “Nah, get back in the car; we’re alright.” He then rotated between “drive” and “reverse,” repeatedly smashing into the offending vehicles until ample space and spewing radiator steam had been created. And the party continued amidst unbridled, out-loud laughing.

Another prime FB find recently was my high school sweetheart, Diane. I was a little surprised she accepted my “friendship request,” since I didn’t take our breakup particularly well back in ’74. In fact, I became a stalker before stalking was cool, (LOL)! But Diane took a leap of faith and has also been reading some of my recent columns.

FB really documents one’s life, and I see on Diane’s page, lots of photos of still-attractive Diane, her tall, successful husband, and a gorgeous college-age daughter who posted how proud she is of Mom’s 4.0 grade average and latest degree, (Summa Cum Laude, whatever that is). There are pictures of family vacations to Paris, London and some of America’s finest beaches.  

But of course, I didn’t need Facebook to remind me that women tend to achieve great success and soar to lofty heights after dumping ol’ Douger! My next FB post? “I suddenly don’t feel so good!”


  • Comment Link February 26, 2013 5:07 pm posted by Denny Marone

    Great job Doug, Nice to see my name appear but not with the cops. LOL

  • Comment Link February 26, 2013 7:32 pm posted by Larry Graham

    how you remember all this is amazeing keep up the good no great work we all sure had fun in the good ole days now when i wake in the morning i look out the slider in the beedroom all i see is a marsh full of egrets and other birds out the front is equally intertaining watching the sun come up over the atlantic tough way to start the day but someone has to do it

  • Comment Link February 27, 2013 6:01 pm posted by Frank Rozek

    Ruger, you just keep getting better. Love your column! Hope those raises and commission start coming in soon.

  • Comment Link March 01, 2013 10:20 am posted by Deb (Hobba) Ball

    Thanks to FB, I found your column, Doug.
    I'm loving it. Hope you get that raise!

  • Comment Link March 03, 2013 9:37 am posted by sammy shields

    Some bohunk blowin his horn here behind me. Im just lookin fer a place to cross over this parkway in pittsburgh. I saw a rambo apple stand back aways! Doug you still got it i really enjoy your colum. And really good to make contact with you.

  • Comment Link March 07, 2013 11:51 am posted by Diana Nan Temyer

    So good to get reacquainted again, love your work, and to others that might read this, I'm not that Diane LOL

  • Comment Link April 16, 2013 12:33 pm posted by Sam Rullo

    Finally I am not in any since I always come off looking like the dufus of the two of us. And if Blough gets a raise he will just squander it off on wine, women and song. And if you do get it, make sure you come back to Pa. asap so I can help you spend it...lol

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