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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This Spaghetti is...Incredible!

September 30, 2013


The other day Mrs. Chatterbox made spaghetti. I like spaghetti well enough but this spaghetti was different. It was—incredible, so good that after a few mouthfuls I could barely concentrate on what I was eating. I finally set down my fork and said, “What’s different about this spaghetti?”


“Funny you should ask,” Mrs. C. said. “Do you remember when we went to Italy and I bought that special cooking oil in Sorrento?”


I admitted I didn’t remember.


“Well, I found it in the back of the pantry and thought I’d use it in the spaghetti. Frankly, I don’t notice much of a difference.”


“You don’t? This stuff is amazing, maybe one of the best things you’ve ever cooked.”


She beamed. “Glad you like it.”


I twirled another forkful of pasta and delivered it to my mouth. Yum! A strange phenomenon occurred while I ate; Mrs. Chatterbox, who I consider to be one of the loveliest women alive, suddenly looked even more lovely. In fact, she looked ravishing, and by that I mean deserving of being ravished.


When finished it took willpower not to lick the plate. “Is there any more?” I asked.


She shook her head as she pushed her plate in my direction. “You can have mine if you like it so much.”


At the time I was too greedy to wonder why she didn’t think this one of the best things ever to put in her mouth. A few deliciously nasty thoughts mushroomed in my mind. “Is there any of this oil left in the pantry?” I asked.




I needed to check out this magic elixir, but when I stood and pushed back my kitchen chair I was startled by the size of the tent on the front of my pants.


Mrs. Chatterbox’s eyebrows shot up. I mean, we weren’t teenagers; it’s been a long time since I pushed her down on the kitchen table and ravished her. I could see from her expression that she was having similar thoughts and wasn’t opposed to the idea. But first I needed to learn more about the miraculous substance transforming me into the god of testosterone.


I hobbled over to the pantry, pulled out the oil and read the label. “That explains it,” I said before clearing suitable space on our kitchen table.





That was hilarious! Save that oil for special occasions!
By: David Walston on September 30, 2013
Where do you get this stuff!!! Very funny.
By: Tabor on September 30, 2013
And I'm sure she didn't notice the label when she added it in there. Clearly this story needs to be the basis for a new series of commercials.
By: PT Dilloway on September 30, 2013
I think you may have embellished this story when you saw the label...at least I know I would have. Good stuff! The story also.
By: Cranky on September 30, 2013
Willy Dunne Wooters tends to have that problem with a flagpole in his shorts, but we don't have any special oil. At least not the kind you eat. Love, Janie
By: Janie Junebug on September 30, 2013
oh my goodness me.....I fell off my chair cuz I was laughing so hard....oh ahahah I wonder if we can oreder that online? Have a fabulous day and do have more spagetti!
By: Kathe W. on September 30, 2013
I couldn't stop laughing at this post. I never know what I will get to read when I visit your blog, Stephen, but it's always good. Thank you.
By: Sharon Bradshaw on September 30, 2013
bwahahaha!! whatever works!
By: TexWisGirl on September 30, 2013
I love spaghetti and your story but I've never had your 'reaction' during my meal.
By: Daniel LaFrance on September 30, 2013
Hahahaha!!! This story just reinforces every Italian stereotype I've ever heard of.
By: Nancy Felt on September 30, 2013
I thought that oil was available by prescription only!!
By: fishducky on September 30, 2013
You had a tent in your pants? I didn't know you were camping.
By: Al Penwasser on September 30, 2013
Stephen, you never fail to entertain me. whether your story is sad or funny. you write good. :)
By: Fran on September 30, 2013
What ever next?
By: red on September 30, 2013
Huh! I simply thought you'd had a bit too much wine until the defining tent moment.
By: Val on September 30, 2013
That was hysterical but now I can't eat spaghetti anymore because it's too boring. Unless....hmm! Lol
By: Bouncin Barb on September 30, 2013
That seems so much better than the blue pill. You can add it to your noodles and get cooking in the kitchen. A sexy reveal. Thanks for sharing. I wonder if I can find that stuff on EBay. xoRobyn
By: Robyn Engel on September 30, 2013
Who knew those 'little red peppers' were more than just 'tasty'!
By: The Broad on October 1, 2013
Hilarious. You really had me going. I was shocked when you told about the tent in your pants! Now everyone will want to "eat Italian."
By: Mitchell is Moving on October 1, 2013
Spaghetti will never be the same again......
By: John on October 1, 2013
You are hilarious - ha!
By: The Bug on October 1, 2013
Ohhhh....those crazy Italians! ;)
By: Scott Cody Park on October 1, 2013
oh my stars.....you never fail to entertain dear boy........
By: Oma Linda on October 1, 2013
Wonderful story, good sir. I will look for that oil the next time I'm in Italy and think of this great tale.
By: Michael Offutt on October 1, 2013
Sorry about that blank comment just above this one. I must have been stunned by your story!
By: Catalyst/Bruce on October 1, 2013
Oh my God, I didn't see that one coming.
By: Anne on October 1, 2013
*Makes flight reservations to Sorrento*
By: Pixel Peeper on October 1, 2013
I bet that oil is a big seller in Italy. I'd be careful who I serve that spaghetti to.
By: Cheryl P. on October 1, 2013
That oil should be terrific for making spaghetti hardonara!
By: Bryan Jones on October 2, 2013
Snortle! You are always such a treat. ;)
By: Hilary on October 4, 2013

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