Tag archives: Ernie Witham

How to Prepare for a Writers Conference
By Ernie Witham   |   July 2, 2024

I spend a lot of time alone in my office. It gives me time to contemplate the oddities of life. Like why my printer suddenly refused to print the workshop materials I needed to bring to the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.  No matter how calmly I coaxed it – “You stupid #%&^#*^%#! I ought to […]

Doing Shots
By Ernie Witham   |   May 21, 2024

When I first moved to California, I met a bunch of friendly people my own age who lovingly indoctrinated me into local customs. “Welcome to Santa Barbara. Let’s do some shots. Now, lick the salt off your hand, down this tequila, suck a lime, and say ‘hootah.’” Gasp. “Hootah!” Gasp. Turns out, these ancient local […]

No Doors? No Problem…
By Ernie Witham   |   March 19, 2024

That surely can’t be it I thought, as we walked across the tarmac toward a Volkswagen Beetle on skis with a long purple tail and a spinning propeller on top! Oh, and NO doors! I looked at Pat. She was zipping up her sweatshirt and adjusting the flotation device strapped around her waist… “We will […]

Are You Looking at Me!
By Ernie Witham   |   February 13, 2024

Many times in life I have gone virtually unnoticed. Not only could I stay safely under the radar, I could have set up camp inside a radar dish and only gotten spotted when I fired up my charcoal grill. “O. M. G. There’s a flaming meteor about to hit earth… ah crap, never mind it’s […]

I’m Dreaming of a White Elephant…
By Ernie Witham   |   December 26, 2023

This year, X-mas, formerly known as Twitter-mas, is “almost” failure-proof for me. How is that possible you readers of my Christmases past, want to know? Simple, three wise men (actually, it was my stepdaughter, Christy) proclaimed that the only gift required this year is one white elephant gift! For those of you unfamiliar with the […]

Training Days. Sacré Bleu!
By Ernie Witham   |   November 21, 2023

The driverless Metro flew into the station and stopped on a euro. The doors opened. There were so many Parisians crammed into the front car, I thought it might have been an AI-generated crowd image. Trois got off. Dix got on. Including moi. Yeah! But not my wife. Oh-oh!  She mouthed, “See you at Saint-Sulpice.” […]

Walking the Walk and Talking the Walk
By Ernie Witham   |   October 10, 2023

After my first date with an attractive young woman named Pat, she told a friend that she’d never met a guy who talked as much as I did! My strategy was to regale her with as many stories about myself as I could think of in hopes that something I said was clever and endearing. […]

Glass Ceilings, Glass Floors, Wine, and Hot Dogs
By Ernie Witham   |   August 15, 2023

“Wow, what a view, huh?” my wife said. “Nice,” I said, leaning against the wall as far away from the tall glass panels that slanted outward at a disturbing angle and had a gap on either side large enough to put your arm through. A family walked by, a little kid climbed up onto the […]

Lots of Cones, but No Ice Cream
By Ernie Witham   |   July 11, 2023

I was at my computer looking at one of the local online news services when I spotted an exciting headline. “There’s no construction scheduled on Hollister Ave. today,” I yelled to my wife. Pat ran into the kitchen and grabbed the car keys. “To the waterfront for lunch and ice cream,” she said in a […]

Where’s Ernie? Noah to be Seen
By Ernie Witham   |   April 4, 2023

It finally arrived! Freighter delays, they said. Lack of experienced labor. Cost overruns. Sound familiar? But a giant truck pulled up in front of our condo today and delivered my IKEA easy-to-assemble, all-parts-included, fully-illustrated-plans-provided… ark. That’s right! I’m going to save the world from the great flood! Or, at least a few hundred people from […]

Getting Into History
By Ernie Witham   |   February 21, 2023

There are several things I dread hearing when I’m on a docent-led excursion. “If anyone here is acrophobic, you may want to reconsider today’s steep hike up Mountain Goat Trail.” Or… “If anyone here is aquaphobic, you may want to skip the kayak experience down ‘Devil’s Muse Rapids.’” But I wasn’t worried today. We were […]

Van Gogh, Canals, and Cannabis, Oh My!
By Ernie Witham   |   December 20, 2022

Seems like there was always a guy in Dam Square in front of the Royal Palace with a microphone.  In our three days in Amsterdam, we had watched a group of protesters freely protesting their lack of protesting rights. A drunken magician, who spent more time cursing out the crowd than actually performing tricks. And […]

Rock of Ages
By Ernie Witham   |   November 1, 2022

It was raining now and blustery. The temperature, which had been hovering around nippy, was heading toward less romantic sounding terms like “freezing my tuchus off.”  “According to legend,” our guide was saying at a volume that came with weather-related experience, “the Rock originated in a high mountain located around 20 miles north of here […]

The Fickle Finger of Fate
By Ernie Witham   |   October 11, 2022

The woman up the aisle from me was staring at the floor of the LUAS tram, now speeding toward Dublin. I followed her gaze and spotted the three large drops of blood she was fixed on. Would she call the police? Would Cassie Maddox and Rob Reilly of Dublin Murders television fame be the ones […]

Let the Ibuprofen Games Begin!
By Ernie Witham   |   August 30, 2022

“Why are you grimacing?” my wife asked. “Shhh. I don’t want the others to know I’m injured.” Pat looked around. “By the others, you mean…” A couple of eight-year-olds walked by. I quickly stopped rubbing my shoulder, smiled confidently and whispered, “that boy was good, but his sister caught a dozen pom-poms in a row.” […]

Getting There is Half, a Quarter, Hardly Any of the Fun
By Ernie Witham   |   August 2, 2022

Our plane from LAX to Charlotte was late. “We will begin boarding as soon as the arriving passengers are off the plane,” the gate attendant announced. “What’s the holdup?” I asked. Before he could answer, the scheduled departure time advanced by 30 minutes. “It needs to taxi to the gate… as soon as it actually […]

It’s Illegal in Alaska…
By Ernie Witham   |   June 28, 2022

…to drop a moose from an airplane. Seriously! It’s the law. Apparently, the Moose Union is strong up north and parachutes are not. How did this law come about you may wonder? Years ago, a small town in Alaska came up with a contest that involved painting a bunch of moose poo(s?), putting numbers on […]

Pat and Ernie’s Wild Ride
By Ernie Witham   |   May 17, 2022

…proceed to the route… proceed to the route… proceed to the route. I took out my gun and I shot Siri. “Actually, it’s against the rental car company’s policy to shoot holes in the dashboard,” my wife informed me. “According to page 15 of the rental form, they charge extra for that.” I looked at […]

A (Mostly) Truthful Tall Tale
By Ernie Witham   |   April 5, 2022

I’ve always wanted to be taller – I still remember getting measured for my high school graduation robe. “Five feet, eleven and three-quarters inch,” the gown guy yelled out to the gown sizing note taker. “Come on,” I said. “Put me down for six feet, willya?” But no. Gown measuring administrators take their measurements seriously. […]

Looking for the Best Pot
By Ernie Witham   |   March 15, 2022

Bonsai pot, that is.  I gave up the other kind of pot when my last lava lamp died. “Dude, Check it out. I think it’s just as groovy when it doesn’t do anything.” “Righteous.” I sold all my bongs at a yard sale. “Excuse me, did you use reverse osmosis water in this one or […]