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

Prologue

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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Bows and Arrows

July 3, 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just don’t get it.

           

Mrs. Chatterbox finds guys who shoot arrows sexy. Whenever we watch The Walking Dead, her eyes settle on Daryl and she has a peculiar look on her face.

 

 

 

           

“He’s dirty, and greasy, and grunts like a moron,” I tell her.

           

“Yes, but look at the way he holds that crossbow,” she chimes in. “He’s a protector, always saving women. He’s so cool.”

           

He isn’t cool. “It’s the arrows, right?”

           

She sighed deeply. “Maybe.”

           

Same thing with Lord of the Rings. She doesn’t like guys with long hair but when Legolas whips out his bow she’s the one who's all a quiver.

 

 

           

The other day we were watching The Avengers on TV, and when Jeremy Renner/Hawkeye started pulling arrows out of his quill, I thought she was going to lose it.

 

 

 

           

“How many arrows are in that quill?” I barked. “How come he doesn’t ever run out of arrows?”

           

She just scowled at me and continued watching.

           

I’ve seen all the Hunger Games movies and the fact that the heroine, Katniss Everdeen, is always armed with arrows doesn’t float my boat. To me, she’s just a moody female armed with sharp weapons—someone to be avoided.

           

Back in college, long before I had a wife who thought bows and arrows were sexy, I took an archery class to fulfill a phys/ed requirement. It was that or trampoline class, and the thought of bouncing and flipping around in the air made me nauseous. As with all sports, I wasn’t very good, but I did my best shooting arrows at bales of hay. Sometimes I’d hit the edge of the target, but usually I had to go looking for my arrows in nearby weeds.

           

One time our attractive young instructor was chatting with her boyfriend at the edge of the shooting range, and the student shooting beside me, who also was not cool, said something about the boyfriend kissing her and giving her some tongue. I was in the process of launching my mighty arrow and turned without thinking, unleashing in the direction of our instructor who, at the time, didn’t have anyone else’s tongue in her mouth. It was the only straight shot I got off all semester and I nearly impaled her.

           

Needless to say, I didn’t get a good grade in archery, but I think about my time as an archer when I see that look in my wife’s eyes.

           

“Have I ever mentioned that I once took a class in archery?”

           

Either she didn’t hear or she’s ignoring me. I want to be cool, but hoping Daryl gets eaten by walkers in the next episode of The Walking Dead probably won’t get me a membership card in the Cool Club.

 

 

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Comments

28 Comments
I am surprised you didn't mention the TV series featuring the Arrow. If Mrs C hasn't watched it she'll be happy whilst you continue working on your latest art piece!
By: John on July 3, 2015
I think it's a phallic thing. Freud would have a field day with this. And with me, frankly.
By: Al Penwasser on July 3, 2015
I'm with her...maybe it's a romantic wink at the past...it's a bit Medieval. Have a good weekend, Stephen!
By: Cherdo on July 3, 2015
Perhaps you could romance Mrs. C. by playing the William Tell overture and serving up an apple pie with a pastry embellishment of an arrow?
By: Kathe W. on July 3, 2015
I totally don't get the Daryl thing (or the whole WD thing). Daryl looks like a stringy-haired dropout with fleas & probably smells disgusting, and the WD is The Bold&The Beautiful with zombies. Ugh. (Glad you didn't kill your archery instructor...)
By: Lexa Cain on July 3, 2015
I took an archery class once, too, but I can remember the bowstring snapping against my face. Ouch! But in my younger days I did live a fantasy life as Robin Hood!
By: Catalyst on July 3, 2015
You always make me feel so much better about myself.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on July 3, 2015
Maybe you could paint her a likeness of that Daryl dude to hang over the bed...
By: Val on July 3, 2015
Yikes, you were pretty dangerous with the bow. So glad you didn't have to serve time for your error. I have an unused bow in my garage you are welcome to.
By: Akansas Patti on July 3, 2015
I'm still chuckling over your decision on archery vs the trampoline!
By: Tom Cochrun on July 3, 2015
Almost killed the instructor? Some people should not be allowed to handle guns or bows. I also took archery in gym...friggin bow strung ripped my arm raw. I sucked really bad. But I never shot my instructor.
By: cranky on July 3, 2015
I tried shooting a bow and arrow once, but I had the problem that the Amazons eliminated - only I wasn't that committed, so I just decided not to try that again. :)
By: The Bug on July 3, 2015
I'm laughing at the gym class option of trampoline. That sounds like a much better choice than square dancing, which was an option in my husband's high school gym class. Glad you didn't shoot your teacher with the bow. I'm guessing that would have gotten you an "F" in the class.
By: Pixel Peeper on July 3, 2015
#2 Son used to make his own bows and arrows. And i like guys with long hair, Legolas is one of my favorites. As for Mrs. C, don't worry. She was swept away by your superior charms long enough ago that you are safe.
By: mimi on July 3, 2015
I like the comparison you work in here and tell us what type of humor you have.
By: red on July 3, 2015
Ha-Ha! I must confess, I like a man with a bow and arrow in his hands and yes, I am a HUGE fan of Daryl. Your story is priceless! Have a happy 4th, Stephen!
By: Marcia @ Menopausal Mother on July 3, 2015
I don't care how he looks, or what his bow is like. I just want a man who can get it straight and hit the target at least once every other night or so.
By: Robyn Engel on July 4, 2015
Stephen it is simple, she has lingering fantasies. I believe Robyn Engel said it best. Some ladies like their men with a measure of bad boy in them... that can get it on.
By: Daniel LaFrance on July 4, 2015
This is your funniest piece thus far. Loving the abundance of one-liners and the images you have created. By the way, you need to tell you wife that lots of your blog readers think you are cool and many of them are females.
By: Tabor on July 4, 2015
Too funny! I took a class in high school and I walked right into an arrow that was stuck in the target (right at eye level)...fortunately, my eye saw it and it closed. but it still hurt like hell.
By: Laurel on July 4, 2015
must be a girl thing.
By: Ellen Abbott on July 5, 2015
The Amazons cut one of their boobs off so they could fire an arrow, just in case nobody knew what The Bug meant (BTW, GREAT tease, Bug!). That I even know that is a tad disturbing.
By: Al Penwasser on July 5, 2015
Oh but there's nothing sexier than an artist with a paintbrush in his hand!! I'm not into archers myself!! Lol
By: Bouncin Barb on July 5, 2015
Shooting arrows ... some symbolism!
By: Tom Sightings on July 5, 2015
Stephen: After reading this post, I need to rent "The Outsiders"! They were the cool guys.
By: Michael Manning on July 5, 2015
Hmm, I had no idea, but I'm glad you didn't kill your instructor. Now that wouldn't have been cool. Anyway, I can see from the comments above you have some fans, so I wouldn't worry too much. ;)
By: LL Cool Joe on July 6, 2015
If Daryl dies...we riot. Plain and simple. No hatin' on Daryl Dixon allowed Mr. Chatterbox.
By: Michael Offutt on July 6, 2015
That's interesting. I took an archery class in college too. I never got any good at it but it helped me get outside which I loved. You should probably steer her away from a Game of Thrones :)
By: Rick Watson on July 8, 2015

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