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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Nasty Weed

April 13, 2015

 

“I don’t want it in our house!” Mrs. Chatterbox shouted.

           

“It’s MY house, too.”

           

“I thought we’d settled this once and for all.”

           

“I guess not,” I said, “because here we are still talking about it. Frankly, I don’t see what the problem is. Lots of people use it. It’s no big deal. You see it all the time on TV. Famous celebrities and athletes are into it.”

           

“Casual usage is one thing, but you can’t seem to get enough. You started with just a tiny amount, but then it was more and more. Now you’re hooked, and trying to grow your own.”

           

I leered at her. “No I’m not!”

           

“Really? Are you willing to admit there are no plants on our property?

 

I didn’t answer. She had me there.

           

“Why don’t you cut back? Clean out your system by staying away from it for a few weeks?”

           

“Why should I? There’s no victim; nobody is being hurt.”

           

“Consuming vast quantities can’t be good for you. Explain why it’s so important?”

           

I shrugged. “I feel good when I see that green color, and it makes everything taste better.”

           

She looked at me with disapproval. “I’d say everything tastes good to you without it.”

           

I ignored the less-than-subtle reference to my chubbiness. “Why don’t you give it a try? You just might like it.”

           

“It might surprise you to know I have tried it,” she admitted, “several times when I was alone. I don’t understand the appeal. It didn’t do anything for me.”

           

“That’s because you’re too uptight. You need to relax and enjoy it. If you expect the worst, that’s what you’ll get. C’mon, what do you say? All my friends are using it. This is something we could enjoy together. You want us to enjoy more things as a couple, don’t you?”

           

She sighed deeply, the sound of her soul leaving her body. “Alright. To save our marriage I’ll go along with your abhorrent request. But I won’t promise to like it.”

           

I was ecstatic. “I’ll get my paraphernalia and we can have some right now.”

           

“In the middle of the day?”

           

“Why not? I’ll make you a delicious omelet. Wait and see how much better it tastes with the magic ingredient.”

           

“I still think it’s a nasty weed.”

           

And that was how I got my wife addicted to—PARSLEY.

 

 

My secret garden.

 

 

 

 

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Comments

28 Comments
I was wondering what kind of plant it would be - really didn't think this was leading to pot. Funny, we use it dry, but don't think we've ever used fresh parsley.
By: Alex J. Cavanaugh on April 13, 2015
Lovely plant, fresh or dry!
By: John on April 13, 2015
Ha ha! When I started reading, I was immediately taken back to our forbidden "weed." Mint! My husband hates it because I planted a variety of mints one year and it took over. You couldn't even get rid of the plants. I still love 'em!
By: Cherdo on April 13, 2015
I thought for sure it was going to be Kale which is all the new rage. Maybe you can segue to that???
By: Tabor on April 13, 2015
My bet was kale also. Parsley? Nasty garnish to be thrown away. Now maybe I need to try it. I was hoping for a real surprise and find out you are a closet pothead.
By: cranky on April 13, 2015
Hahaha...My weed wasn't parsley but I hear it's great for bad breath! Lol
By: Bouncin Barb on April 13, 2015
i was waiting for basil or something like that. :)
By: TexWisGirl on April 13, 2015
That parsley monkey on your back can be a killer.
By: Al Penwasser on April 13, 2015
Well written indeed. Of course, all of us were thinking of a different kind of "weed" especially given that you live in Oregon.
By: Michael Offutt on April 13, 2015
Parsley, yes. Cilantro, not unless i can't get them to leave it out, and in my own home, absolutely no!
By: mimi on April 13, 2015
oh bwa ahah! I love parsley now too!
By: Kathe W. on April 13, 2015
Ah welll, at least you weren't smoking it :)
By: Jenny on April 13, 2015
You had me thinking of another weed! Now I'll be honest, I don't like parsley.
By: red on April 13, 2015
The email address of one of my granddaughters used to be parsleyhater (followed by 3 numbers)--apparently there are a lot of them out there!!
By: fishducky on April 13, 2015
I have never tried parsley..even when it has been served on my plate at a restaurant. I usually remove it immediately. I guess I always have thought of it as "grass". :)
By: Terri @ Coloring Outside the Lines on April 13, 2015
Awww, here I thought it was something that would make "2001: A Space Odyssey" even more mind-blowing.
By: Catalyst on April 13, 2015
WAIT! You can EAT parsley? My next-door-neighbor Sally told me it was just for looks, and that if you ate it, people would know you were stupid.
By: Val on April 13, 2015
Ooh I was afraid that you were going to say KALE. Blech! :)
By: The Bug on April 13, 2015
I was wondering where this might lead us...did not expect parsley!
By: Pixel Peeper on April 13, 2015
Once you start, you can't stop. Sad, so very sad.
By: Jerry E. Beuterbaugh on April 14, 2015
Ha ha, , I bought in all the way( you can tell where my mind goes) and you totally fooled me. Well done.
By: Akansas Patti on April 14, 2015
Yes, couples have been enticing each other to share things from the garden for a LONG time.
By: Leenie on April 14, 2015
how can you not like parsley? perhaps you should try her on cilantro.
By: Ellen Abbott on April 14, 2015
Oh boy... you had me for just a short while and I began to wonder where and what this sideshow was going! Good Gawd!!!
By: Daniel LaFrance on April 14, 2015
Very clever, but I think I agree with your wife's first impression!
By: Tom Sightings on April 14, 2015
The mystery revealed! All in good fun!!
By: Michael Manning on April 14, 2015
Parsely? You're more wild than I thought. We Jews eat it at Passover. It's really not that big of a deal. Silly man!
By: Robyn Engel on April 14, 2015
Have you ever tried smoking it?
By: Mitchell is Moving on April 15, 2015

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