Welcome to the Chubby Chatterbox Newsletter, where I’ll be posting favorites from the Chubby Chatterbox archives. In addition, my complete thriller Return of the Mary Celeste will soon be serialized here for those who have asked for something beyond a regular post.

My novel is based on a true event, arguably the greatest maritime mystery of all time. In 1872 the crew and passengers of Boston brigantine Mary Celeste abandoned their seaworthy ship and its valuable cargo, vanishing in the middle of the Atlantic. Speculation over their fate has never abated. History records that after the Mary Celeste tragedy no one from that fateful voyage was ever seen again. History is about to be rewritten…

Return of the Mary Celeste


Tragedy struck the brigantine Mary Celeste on the morning of November 25, 1872. The hourly log was later recovered from the deserted vessel; At 8 a.m. the last notation was made. By 9 a.m. no one remained aboard to chalk the next entry.

Something had terrified Captain Benjamin Briggs and his crew, prompting the seasoned skipper to make a decision certain to affect not only himself, his ship and crew, but his family as well—his wife and two year old daughter were aboard Mary Celeste. Much ink has been spilled in fanciful and scientific attempts to explain the calamity that engulfed this perfectly seaworthy ship, yet all that is known for certain is this: in a matter of minutes Captain Briggs became convinced that the only way to save their lives was by ordering everyone into a hastily launched lifeboat. By giving the order to abandon ship, he also launched the greatest of all maritime mysteries.

On December 5, 1872, a month after leaving New York Harbor, Mary Celeste was found drifting on a calm and empty sea. The ship was in fine condition, perfectly intact with valuable cargo safely stored in her hold, but the crew and passengers had vanished. None were ever seen again.

Until now….

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Attack of the Spam

August 14, 2015


It’s bad enough that I constantly receive spam indicating that my manhood isn’t all that it could or should be, or that it isn’t working properly and the fix is only a mouse-click away, but now I’m being hounded to purchase a new product. Every day for the past three weeks I’ve sat down at my computer and faced an ad telling me that for a few bucks a month I can have a brand new, state of the art walk-in bathtub.


First off, I’m a shower guy. We have a big tub in our master bathroom but in the seven years we’ve lived here, I have yet to take a bath. Why do these people think I need a walk-in tub? Who’s talking about me? Is my hygiene being questioned? I now belong to AARP: have they sold my name? I now receive Social Security: has that agency been hacked, or have they likewise sold my name to someone eager to peddle me a walk-in tub? One ad showed Pat Boone in a bathrobe (looking faintly like the evil guy in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade who chose a chalice poorly) purportedly stepping out of one of these contraptions, as if I want to think about Pat Boone the next time I’m naked.



We currently enjoy a wonderful step-in shower with a tile surround and a frameless glass door. I admit that until recently I was lax about keeping the glass clean, and it got so bad that cobwebs hung from the ceiling and the glass became cloudy and only semi-transparent. But I decided to up my game; now I do a much better job of maintaining that shower.


First, I purchased special glass cleaner that applied with an SOS pad removed most of the scum clouding the glass. Now, when finished shampooing my hair and cleaning myself, I wipe down the tiles and squeegee the glass, rubbing everything dry with a towel. I don’t even want to think about that plastic liner at the bottom of the door that I clean on my hands and knees with my toothbrush (sometimes Mrs. Chatterbox’s). After drying the threshold, I cover everything in an anti mold and mildew spray. It’s a lot of work, and I often look forward to the three mornings a week when I swim laps and shower at the public pool. In the mens’ locker room shower, I don’t need to clean anything except myself.


Now that I think about it, cleaning showers is a pain in the backside. All that fuss and muss. Sitting in a nice walk-in tub would be luxurious, and so much easier to maintain than our shower. I wonder how expensive they are. Too bad I deleted that spam advertisement.


No problem; it’ll be back tomorrow.




I could probably have fun in one of these. Are you pestered by a particular type of spam?





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I hope your wife doesn't read your blog. Fortunately we just have a shower curtain, so nothing to squeegee afterwards. But I don't even remember the last time I took a bath. Sit in dirty bathwater? No thanks.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on August 14, 2015
Nevermind...you will only have to clean one of those as well! As usual it is another no win situation!
By: the broad on August 14, 2015
We got rid of our tub/shower combo last summer after I fell for the second time. Now we have a shower that has protective rails that enable me to stand and shower, and I have a stool in there, too, that I use when I am have to sit down to finish up. I haven't had a tub bath since a 1994 trip to England when I had trouble getting out of the slippery tub. My sister and I got to laughing so hard that it made it even more difficult to get enough purchase in the slick tub to finally get out. That was it for tub baths!
By: BethB from Indiana on August 14, 2015
They are always trying to convince that that they can make our lives better for a cost! And they still need cleaned........
By: John on August 14, 2015
Don't feel bad old friend... I get the same sort of spam. As for bathing perferences, I think most men prefer their shower without SPAM. Naturally I am compelled to share a short video about it. blob:https%3A//www.youtube.com/213089b3-5511-4d05-90e8-462431f84efa
By: Daniel LaFrance on August 14, 2015
I get an inordinate amount of offers to rid me of ugly belly fat. Rather insulting. (How do they KNOW...???)
By: Susan Swiderski on August 14, 2015
Amazon has me tagged as a sucker for books and men's underwear. Two years ago I ordered silk boxers as special, surprise Christmas gifts for the three men in my life. Since then, ads pop up monthly indicating it's time to order again, maybe sky blue this time, along with my next Evanovitch mystery.
By: Jo Barney on August 14, 2015
i've heard those are dreadful as you have to get in and fill them, then wait to drain them before getting out. eek! i don't have a tub - took it out years ago but these days of getting older, i'd sure like a nice soak now and again.
By: TexWisGirl on August 14, 2015
I keep getting ads for Viagra-like products---do you think that the fact that I'm female should stop me from trying them?
By: fishducky on August 14, 2015
My spam folder is generally full of stuff, but i pay no attention to it.
By: mimi on August 14, 2015
I don't get span but the ads on most pages drive me crazy.
By: red on August 14, 2015
Some of the spam is probably self inflicted-mailings from merchants with whom we left an email address! You will no doubt find a particular method or modus of operation in your shower cleaning that is the most time efficient and effective. Hopefully you'll share your insights as this is a dilemma for men and women with showers to squeegee.
By: Tom Cochrun on August 14, 2015
Oddly enough, it's mostly spam for "male enhancement", or steaks online. There would be much, MUCH enhancement needed, since I am a gal... The steaks. meh. I think I will just do some trading with the neighbors, it doesn't have to travel so far that way... Cat
By: Cat on August 14, 2015
Like Susan, I get the belly fat ads - along with anything remotely connected to recent internet searches. I'm really slack about our shower doors - we squeegee them after each shower, but they rarely get more attention than that. And cleaning the runners is a pain & I admit I let them get pretty disgusting before I tackle them. I used to take long luxurious tub baths while reading books - but ever since my hip trouble they just haven't appealed to me. Getting down there & up again is too much hassle.
By: The Bug on August 14, 2015
We lived in a house with one of those glass shower cabinets. I hated having to squeegee the damned thing.
By: Catalyst on August 14, 2015
That is a scary picture of Pat Boone. Pretty sure it is because I subscribe to MLB accounts I keep getting spam for male enhancements. They must think only jocks follow sports.
By: Akansas Patti on August 14, 2015
I follow the same procedure for cleaning the shower as you do. I believe that's the only reason my husband gets up before I do and takes his shower first (he just doesn't want to do the whole procedure). I've read that using Rain-X glass cleaner (meant for car windshields) helps with keeping the shower door cleaner since it's supposed to make the water bead up and drip off. If you try this trick and it works, let me know. And spam? Usually just from that Nigerian prince. Or Viagra.
By: Pixel Peeper on August 14, 2015
Back five minutes later... I'd like to add that I've never received spam for those walk-in bathtubs, but right after I finished my comment here, I signed into my Facebook account and IMMEDIATELY noticed the ad for one of those "Safe Step Walk-In Tubs." It's all your fault now!!!
By: Pixel Peeper on August 14, 2015
Only yesterday, i got one for "Hundreds of solutions for improving your abilities in making sweet love." I reckon I'm clean enough.
By: Val on August 14, 2015
Oh the wonderful things we get in email. The latest one I have been getting is a job offer to be a mystery shopper. I am not sure what put me into this spammer's sights. Sorry I didn't get over sooner Stephen. Thanks for visiting and look forward to chatting with you more. Take care.
By: Matt Shifley on August 14, 2015
I get pop up ads all the time and if I am not VERY VERY careful my stylus orfinger will waver over one of them and SHAZAAM I am transported to an annoying ad. Now I am going to take a bath in my old fashioned tub! Cheers!
By: Kathe W. on August 14, 2015
I don't get the tub thing, but apparently there are a lot of young ladies that see my profile on Facebook and thing they would like to hook up with an old fat bald man...who knew!
By: cranky on August 14, 2015
Oh I have seen these commercials but no Pat Boone thankfully. Does he wear his white shoes in the shower with him??:) He does look like that evil guy-Yikes! I thought that this tub does look good since I actually have major joint pain but then someone told me that you can't just get out of the tub. You have to sit in that thing until all the water drains out otherwise it will go all over the floor, By that point you are cold so nope-not the best thing
By: Birgit on August 14, 2015
I am dying laughing abou the cleaning with the toothbrush comment! Hey, that walk in tub looks great! I wrote a SPAM post awhile back and have another new one sitting in my folder for the future. Heck yes, I get a TON of SPAM .Mostly from psychics and people trying to sell my nail fungus cream!
By: Marcia @ Menopausal Mother on August 14, 2015
No, I get no special type of spam. As for the tub in the picture, if the water isnât heated, those jets will only too be be throwing cold water at you. I had a friend who had one. It sprinkled here yesterday. whoopeeâ¦
By: Snowbrush on August 15, 2015
But...but...how does the water stay inside if one side is open? There must be a door of some kind, but wouldn't it leak? Now, I'll be puzzling over this for days...
By: Lexa Cain on August 15, 2015
I get all kinds of ads including those for body parts that I do not have. I mark the as spam but a new address creeps in.! I have a huge Jacuzzi that i surreptitiously enter every once in a while. Some day it will no longer be a part of my life.
By: Tabor on August 15, 2015
no fancy glass shower stall for me. when the shower curtain gets nasty. I toss it and get a new one. easy maintenance.
By: Ellen Abbott on August 17, 2015
I use gmail, which filters out the most blatant spam and sorts a lot of special offers into a "promotions" folder that I may or may not open. On the other hand, ads now pop up on gmail, Facebook, and other pages, that reflect whatever I have visited, or written about, or purchased recently. And I regularly get actual snail mail from a local company trying to sell me a hearing aid. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that AARP sold lists....
By: Nancy/BLissed-Out Grandma on August 18, 2015
My shower needs a good cleaning too. Mine is one of those molded fiberglass numbers and cleaning the caulk cracks is a full time job. I never thought of using the spouse's toothbrush. And yes, Pat Boone frightens me.
By: Rick Watson on August 19, 2015
In my dream home, I will have a walk in tub!! That would be a priority. But I'd also have a glass and tile shower big enough to have a party in!
By: Bouncin Barb on August 30, 2015

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