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Oh no, not another one! Something must be wrong with me! Every night for the past several months now, my dreams have been populated by people I went to high school with! Now, this wouldn’t be so bad if these were people who had been important to me — old girlfriends … guys I hung out with and stuff. But that’s not the case. Most of the people that have been showing up in my dreams are just weird, insignificant nobodys! Like Kerry Holmes, this guy who was in my tenth grade homeroom. When think about Kerry Holmes, I can barely remember him. All I can see is his hair — the back of his hair, to be specific. It was always combed into this perfect ducktail. Yeah, Kerry Holmes had great hair. But y’know — so what! What I want to know is, what he’s doing playing a major role in my dreams?!

Or what about Lee Anne Qualls — a girl who I said hello to maybe twice during high school. Yet last night, we were the only two people left alive on earth after the Apocalypse! Wait a minute … now that I think about it, Lee Ann Qualls didn’t even go to my high school. No, I went to junior high with her! Good God, that’s over thirty years ago! So what, pray tell, am I doing surviving the end of the world with her?

Look, I realize that all this might sound a bit silly, but to me it’s serious! Is there a doctor in the house? A priest, perhaps? Someone who knows something about this particular syndrome? Someone who can tell me why people like Duffy Wenz, Scott Thomas, Mickey Holzman, the Pierce Twins, Lynn and Laurie Stratford, John French, Dennis Mendenhall, Rich Phillips and Chris Hinshaw are doing showing up in my dreams night after night?!

A brief digression. Do you remember a book that came out some years back called The Peter Pan Syndrome? It was another one of those stupid self-help books — one which dealt in particular with people who (according to the book’s author) refuse to “grow up.” I never bought the bloody thing, I just gave it a quick read while standing in the bookstore. It was chock full of the standard psychological gobbledygook — how people with the “syndrome” live lives of fantasy … how they refuse to accept the responsibilities which would constitute them becoming “adults” … you know, all that sort of hooey.

As I stood there reading, I continued to grow more angry by the moment. Sure, I recognized a lot of the Peter Pan Syndrome’s symptoms in myself. … but so what!? These damn psychiatrists were always so free when they flung about terms like “adulthood,” “maturity” and “reality,” as if any of those words actually had any discernible meaning (outside of the author’s personal opinion).

The way I figure it is this: as long as I pay my bills … as long as I manage to deal with the plethora of numbskulls, dunderheads, jerks and morons who I have to put up with each and every day (through no choice of my own) without erupting into screaming, babbling fits of frenzy … as long as I make it through the day without running down the streets throwing grenades at people or slitting the throats of the countless backbiting, vicious, mean-spirited, soulless swine who have no other purpose on this earth but to make life lousy … as long as I do that, then I’m dealing with reality just fine, thank you. And I certainly don’t need some half-bright gimp with a few letters after his name telling me that I need to “grow up” … whatever the hell that means.

Sorry, I didn’t mean to get excited, but books like that really bug me. The thing is, now I’m wondering … has the Peter Pan Syndrome come back to haunt me? If not, then why are these high school dreams playing themselves out on the interior of my poor, befuddled cranium night after night after night?

Am I trying to relive some unfinished piece of business? Is this the beginning of some twisted Oedipal scenario in which I’m attempting (albeit subconsciously) to return to the womb? (Please, Lord, no! I don’t want to have to go through this whole thing again! Once is enough already!)

Then again, perhaps these dreams are a reaction to the fact that recently I attended my first high school reunion. (I’d skipped the first two, and I figured if I didn’t do it this time, that was it). I must tell you in all candor, it was not a particularly pleasant experience. At the reunion, I encountered the actual people I went to high school with in their real, present-day bodies. It wasn’t a very pretty sight. Crows feet, bulging stomachs, balding craniums and neck wattle (not to mention a frightening array of really bad wigs) were in abundance. Many a once proud pair of breasts were now in permanent droop. All in all, it was fairly depressing. You see, in my dreams, none of these people have aged! Rather, they continue to walk around in their 1960-something bodies. All I kept thinking on that ill-fated night, was that it couldn’t be possible! These couldn’t have been the same girls I’d once groped in the backseat of my ’57 Plymouth at the Winnetka drive-in! No way! And these old men … they couldn’t possibly be the same bunch of guys I’d smoked cigarettes with in the boys’ bathroom or who gleefully threw erasers at our poor besotted English teacher! No, it was impossible! These people were … monsters! And of course, the most depressing fact of all, was that I was one of them!

Wait a minute! I think a revelation is at hand! What’s obviously happened is that I have taken on the burden of keeping this particular group of aging cronies young forever! Kind of like what Michael Jackson tries to do by sleeping in that stupid hyperbaric chamber of his. Of course, that’s it! My dreams are a veritable fountain of youth! Thus, I am the lone torch carrier for approximately 350 flabby, middle-aged, not particularly interesting people who — at least in my head — remain eternally beautiful, youthful, up-and-coming something-or-others. People who have not yet had the zest for life stomped out of them by the world, but rather, who remain poised on the brink of whatever it is that kids in high school are perpetually on the brink of.

Does this explanation seem plausible? Am I a modern day Proust, so obsessed by a portion of my past that I am doomed to keep reliving it forever? I ask you this because the truth is, I really haven’t the slightest clue as to why I keep having these high school dreams!

Still, if my theory is correct, then all hope is not lost. Because maybe, somewhere … somebody is dreaming of me back in my pristine, high school days. And for a guy with a king-sized Peter Pan Complex, well — that’s pretty darn close to paradise.

So listen, if you happen to be the one who’s dreaming of me back in all my youthful glory, I’ll make you a deal. It’s simple: like the old Dylan song goes … I’ll let you be in my dream if I can be in yours.

THE FAIR GAME MAILBAG: Let me take my tongue out of my cheek just long enough to say a sincere thank you to those good people who’ve been e-mailing me each week. And that doesn’t mean just the people who tell my they love my column … no, I’m also talking to those fine, upstanding citizens who’ve been rattled enough by my rantings that they’ve taken time out of their lives to bombard my poor, overstuffed little e-mail box with many and sundry ventings of their collective spleens.

Seriously, I’m truly humbled. Not simply by the sheer volume of feedback I’ve gotten, but by the fact that the columns have evoked such, ah, spirited reactions … from both ends of the spectrum. Also, a special thanks to those of you who’ve told me that my words have caused them to “rethink” their take on things. I can tell you that for a columnist whose goal is to “shake things up” (which really means to cause the reader to re-examine their own conditioning), there is absolutely nothing more rewarding than having someone pay you this particular compliment. On top of all, I’ve been blessed — during my short term as a WND columnist — to have made a small, core group of people (you guys know who you are) who, though we’ve never met in the flesh, I consider to be friends.

THE TONGUE IS COMING!: And now it’s time to do what everybody else on the Internet is doing … hawk my wares. My forthcoming website, entitled (and very aptly, if might add) “The Tongue” (as in “Life and death are in the power of …”) will shortly make its debut in that vast wasteland called cyberspace. I don’t quite know how to describe in any meaningful fashion what this site purports to be; however, I can say with a great deal of assurance that there’s nothing on the ‘Net (at least as of this moment) that can touch it. “The Tongue” is, in essence, a modern-day muckraking journal. It’s been modeled (stolen is the proper term) after the original muckraking newspaper of the late ’30s entitled “The Ripsaw” — a wonderfully offensive paper that was eventually forced out of business due to the sheer volume of libel suits which were brought by the many and sundry victims of the Ripsaw’s band of verbal cutthroats. Frankly, what with the web being what it is, I think it’s the perfect time to launch such a project. Though it’s being touted as an “alternative” to the mainstream media, for my money, most of the stuff on the web (I’m talking about satire, humor, or “alternative news” sites) is the same old crap. What WND has done so well — and I believe this is the reason for its success — is to break the mold. Joseph Farah, and the people he’s surrounded himself with, have one goal … and that’s to get at that elusive thing we call “the truth.” And the reason I know they’re sincere, is that although WND could sit back and rest on its laurels, that’s not what’s happening. Rather than that, they’re going out of their way to hire columnists with “opposing” points of view to that of their core audience. What paper in its right mind would do that?

Sorry, I don’t mean to sermonize, but had it not been for WND, I wouldn’t have had the courage (by courage, I mean that I quit my “day job” — the gig that put bread and butter on my table) to start “The Tongue,” which has turned into a 16-hour a day labor of love. That’s how much I believe in this venture … and in the lost art of muckraking. When I use that term, I simply mean serious, honest criticism. No punches pulled. Satire is one form which muckraking takes, but it is not an end in itself. Thus, I’m not the least bit interested in doing yet another (so-called) “parody” site like “The Onion” or “Tabloid.net.” For my money, that stuff is as insipid as the material it attempts to poke fun at. Which is a nice way of saying … those sites (and the dozens of others like them) suck.

In addition to muckraking, the second tier of “The Tongue” will consist of an information brokerage site. Since both myself and my partner work as private investigators (actually, my partner is a cop, as well as a PI), between the two of us, we have access to a variety of “sources” that the average guy on the street would never be able to get his hands on. We’ve decided to share (some of) these sources with our readership. This means that by logging onto “The Tongue” you will be able to secure access to certain databases and otherwise “off-limits” material … information which normally can only be obtained by law enforcement officers, licensed PI’s and/or attorneys.

For all of you hardcore Goldman fanatics, “The Tongue” will include a complete archive of my work dating back to 1975. Moreover, “The Tongue” will feature the writings of a highly diverse group of columnists. These range from a highly regarded television producer, to an ex-FBI agent … to a gentleman who’s currently serving a life sentence for murder (he happens to be a terrific writer). Additionally, “The Tongue” will feature columns by one of the world’s top jazz pianists, the author of a series of
best-selling true-crime novels, as well as a bi-weekly column written by an ex (well, that’s what she tells me, anyhow) hooker. A highly eclectic group, I think you’ll agree.

I’m warning you guys right up front: “The Tongue” will be a “members only” site. You don’t pay, you don’t get to play. I don’t care if the web has nurtured an “everything is free” policy. In this life (my life anyway) there ain’t no free rides.

Currently, “The Tongue” is seeking experienced copyeditors, proof-readers, transcribers, as well as a webmaster. There is also a position open for a house attorney. Finally, the “Tongue” is actively seeking solicitations from freelancers for stories, breaking news, investigative reportage, humor, satire, and/or potential writers for new columns. We’re not interested in your credentials or your portfolio. If you think you’ve got something to say, send us a pitch letter or email.

Finally, “The Tongue” is seeking donors. As the parent company of the website is currently being set up as a non-profit entity, all donations will be totally tax deductible. Obviously, I don’t expect people to send money for something they haven’t yet seen (however, if just happen to be in a check writing mood, make ‘em out to Harsh Reality Productions, PO Box 8268, Calabasas, CA, 91372 … and have at it!). I promise you won’t get a “boiler plate” letter in response. Any donations of over $100 will receive a free lifetime membership to “The Tongue,” as well as 50% off on any and all products sold in our online storefront.

THE GRUDGE REPORT

For those of you who’ve been asking what’s up with my current site: (“The Grudge Report”) all I can say is, please take it with many grains of salt. The site is a total mess … half the links don’t work, and some of the stuff up there looks like the jabberings of an escapee from a mental institution. You have my apologies. Basically that page is something I just threw up (literally) on the web so as to have some kind of presence. Oddly enough, the site has now been picked up by six other (and much more well-known) web sites, thus outdistancing the other Grudge Report (a banal piece of garbage) which has deservedly sunk into second place.

JUST CALL THE HITMAN

OK, one last thing, and I’m outta here. Of late, I’ve been getting more and more suggestions from you as regards potential candidates for a Goldman hatchet job … that is, people you’d like to see raked across the proverbial coals in my column. A partial list includes Maxine Waters, Ralph Nader (is he still around?), Alan Dershowitz, James Carville, Hillary Clinton, Roy Masters (sorry, I happen to be a fan of Mr. Masters), Betty Friedan, Newt Gingrich, Howard Stern, Woody Allen, Steven Seagal, Dr. Deepak Chopra, Judge Judy, Mike Wallace, Barbara Streisand, Jerry Seinfield, Barry Diller and David Geffen, (two of the higher-ranking members of the gay Mafia), Rupert Murdoch, Willie Brown, Leslie Abramson, Gloria Allred, Anna Nicole Smith, Bill Cosby, Quenton Tarantino, Bill Gates, Ben Stein, Jerry Falwell, Dennis Miller, Keanu Reeves, Aaron Spelling, Tori Spelling, Dr. Joyce Brothers, and the venerable (and always gaseous) Jerry Spence. Actually, I’ve been wanting to “de-fringe” Mr. Spence for awhile now, and since he’s got a new best-seller on the stands (how do books become best-sellers when they’ve only been out for a week?), I think the time may be at hand. In any event, I simply want to encourage all of you to keep sending your suggestions for additions to the Goldman hit-list. If your candidate deserves it (I’d have to say that just about all of the above-mentioned people are in need of a good public spanking), I’ll be more than happy to engage in a bit of good-natured character assassination. And if I don’t get to your personal choice in “Fair Game,” The Tongue” will feature a regular column entitled “A–hole Of The Week,” thus providing myself and my Mongol hordes ample opportunity to begin the bloodletting poste haste. So … keep those cards and letters coming folks!

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