It was a Sunday morning in June 1995. David’s head was pounding from too many drinks. He’d attended a few college graduation parties the day before. Copious amounts of booze were consumed this time of year, and a twenty-one-year-old like David still had much to learn about self-control. He was a year away from earning a degree in Accounting from a local state university. David maintained a C average, which was good enough to receive a diploma, but not good enough to receive any decent job offers in his field of study after graduation. The Accounting field was extremely competitive…


“Hello?” I answered the hotel phone, trying to sound awake and certainly not hungover.

“Man, you’re still sleeping?! It’s 2pm,” Sharon snickered on the other end.

“Hey, I didn’t think it was kosher to make phone calls on Shabbat,” I said, understanding that observant Jews turn off their phones and other electrical devices on Saturday — “Shabbat” in Hebrew — the Jewish day of rest.

“Listen, I’m at my neighbor’s house right now. They’re Christian. I handed their teenage son the name of your hotel on a piece of paper, and he called your hotel for me. He’s holding the…


Helen and I grabbed our bags and scampered through the front doors of the hotel. A broad-shouldered, average height man with impressive pearly whites stood behind the front desk.

“Welcome to the Bell Boutique Hotel. My name is Moshe. Are you checking in?” asked the man with the good-looking teeth.

“Yes, we are checking in, Moshe. Your hotel is beautiful,” Helen added.

“Thank you, may I please see your passports?” Moshe responded.

He inspected the passports in the same diligent manner as the lovely El Al security agent in Barcelona. His inspection process was no mere hotel formality. …


Our flight to Israel was as comfortable as a four-hour flight could be. Helen read every magazine and newspaper she could get her hands on — she even flipped through a couple newspapers written in Hebrew.

As for me, I relaxed with a couple Gold Star beers. The extra TLC that we received from the delightful El Al Security Agent during pre-boarding was worth the torment, I thought.

We were scheduled to land in Tel Aviv at 7:45PM/19:45 Israel Standard Time. …


I was furious. I yelled, “I want to speak to your supervisor right now! I demand a full refund for our flights!”

A female Iberia Airlines customer service agent, who was just doing her job, responded, “Sir, the Federal Aviation Administration has not issued any travel restrictions from the U.S. to Israel. We are not issuing refunds for flights to Tel Aviv. If you and your travel companion do not board your scheduled flight, you both will forfeit your seats and will be charged the full fare.”

“This whole thing is fucked up!” I shouted, but before I could carry…


True Story

Day 1 (Wednesday)

I was showering when my wife barged into our master bathroom screaming, “I lost it! I lost it! I can’t find it!”

“What, Lori, your sex drive?” I responded sarcastically.

“No, I lost that a long time ago!” she responded. “Marc, you are such an asshole sometimes! I’m talking about my diamond! I lost my diamond! I can’t find my diamond! Get out of the shower and help me look for it!”

I immediately jumped out of the shower and shouted, “You lost your diamond? When did you lose it?”

The missing diamond was a nearly…


I have been a software developer for 40 years. I started out as a VAX Macro programmer in 1977. Software development has been my life’s work, and it has brought me admiration from my peers. I have won numerous programming awards, and have written several books about Java multithreading and concurrency. Over the years, other software professionals have referred to me as a 10x programmer, a term given to a programmer that is 10 times more productive than the average programmer.

Sadly, my software development skills have diminished considerably over the past 12 months. My mastery over Java, a software…


I grew up in a small countryside village outside Guadalajara, Mexico. I was three years old when I started helping my mom in the kitchen. She desperately needed assistance in the kitchen to cook for our family of eleven children. I was the third-youngest and I instinctively knew my mom needed help in the kitchen to cook for my brothers and sisters. My father was useless around the house. He worked during the day, and drank at night. The vato loved his tequila.

My mom was the best of the best. She made any sacrifice required for our family to…

Marcelino Raygoza

Chicano. Girl Dad. Futbolista. Raider Fan. Carnegie Mellon Grad. Short Story Junkie.

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