It’s Sunday, and I’m thinking about having flashbacks

We all have skeletons, right? Here's a promotional ad from The Post in Centre, Ala., in 2003.
We all have skeletons, right? Here’s a promotional ad from The Post in Centre, Ala., in 2003.
OK, so I’ve found myself in the office on a Sunday. For a priest, that’s pretty normal; for me, it’s a sign of the apocolypse. However, with my family away until late tonight, I figured it would be a good opportunity to work ahead and emerge into Monday morning knowing I — ha-HA! — have the upper hand.

And after talking with a good blogger friend at Polysyllabic Profundities, I came to my senses and realized:

Hey! It’s SUNDAY!

Good intentions should be good enough.

Not to say I don’t plan on getting anything accomplished. For example, I’ve made a pot of coffee.

I also came up with an idea I’d like to run by the rest of you. I’m calling it “Sunday Flashbacks,” and it would essentially be a regular Sunday posting of some of my earliest columns and blog entries, back when the only “likes” I had came from other people with the last name Hickson.

And Mrs. Fever, my first official follower. (Thanks, Mrs. F)

Dumb idea?


Unsure of how you got on this blog?

Let me know.

In the meantime, here’s the inaugural entry for “Sunday Flashbacks,” complete with a “flashback” newspaper promo ad (above) from The Post in Centre, Ala., in the 2003.


Go ahead.


But they don’t make “Sylvester” bath mats anymore. And I still have mine.

So who’s laughing now?

(Happy Sunday, everyone…)

“Dignity is easier to swallow with hot sauce”

Within our lives there are certain moments that inspire a deeper understanding of ourselves. I experienced such an epiphany yesterday morning during a quiet moment of introspection; crouched in the backyard; sprinkling dog poop with hot sauce.

To clarify, I was not attempting to create the world’s most disgusting Cajun appetizer. According to a book on canine behavior, this would train our dog to avoid eating his “leftovers.” It was in that moment, while clutching a bottle of Tabasco and trying not to be seen by my neighbors, I came to realize that somewhere along the way providing our dog with decent manners had become more important than maintaining my personal dignity.

How did this happen?

I’m a grown man who survived the diaper phases of two children — both of whom were heavy eaters. I’ve had my share of high profile, low-dignity diaper changes, one of which required quick thinking, commando-like precision, and a paper plate. I’ve sat across from my four-year-old son at a busy restaurant in downtown San Francisco, handed him a cheese stick appetizer, and watched him yak up what appeared to be everything he’d consumed since graduating to solid foods. I tried to salvage the situation by waiting for a lull in gastrol activity and then racing him into the men’s room. And let me just say had the rest rooms been clearly marked, we probably would’ve made it.

What got me through those times, of course, was knowing, as a parent, I could look forward to eventually becoming an embarrassment to my children once they entered middle school.

However, as I crouched over Stanley’s latest pile with my Tabasco bottle at the ready, one thought kept running through my mind:

You can’t embarrass a dog. Particularly one with questionable intelligence.

This meant I had either (a) matured to the point of not caring what others thought of me based on their own one-dimensional perception, or (b) succumbed to the realization that the last of my dignity had been wrung out into a mop bucket in San Francisco.

In either case, it meant I had moved on to a new phase in my life. A time that will eventually prepare me for my later years, when I’m secure enough in myself that the opinions of others — or even the basic rules of traffic — no longer matter. However, reaching that level of self assuredness is still years away, which is why, after noticing I’d been crouched over the same pile for several minutes, I quickly sprinkled it and moved on.

As far as I can tell, Stanley is no longer interested in his “leftovers.” I know this because he has stopped coming in from outside and standing with his tongue in the water bowl. At the same time, it’s proven to be a trade-off since I can’t put Tabasco on my eggs without getting queasy.

The important thing is that the experience has allowed me to achieve some personal growth thanks to a few moments of introspection about fodderhood.

(You can write to Ned Hickson at, or at Siuslaw News, P.O. Box 10, Florence, OR 97439.)

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Ned's Blog

I was a journalist, humor columnist, writer and editor at Siuslaw News for 23 years. The next chapter in my own writer’s journey is helping other writers prepare their manuscript for the road ahead. I'm married to the perfect woman, have four great kids, and a tenuous grip on my sanity...

42 thoughts on “It’s Sunday, and I’m thinking about having flashbacks”

  1. Great idea, Ned. I’ll be looking forward to flashing backward. (Huh?)

    And btw, as the owner of two brain-damaged dachshunds, I can tell you that there is not enough tabasco sauce in the entire state of Florida to enable me to accomplish what you were trying to do. They not only manage to hide half of their deposits from me so that they can sneak back to them later, they also don’t understand that there is ANYTHING on the planet that isn’t edible, if you take it one bite at a time. That would include, but would not be limited to, every dog toy known to man (even the ones designed to stand up to Rottweilers), tennis balls, entire socks, any kind of fleece blanket, washrags, hardback books, an entire computer mouse with all attached wiring (looked lovely on the x-rays–like modern art!), dead lizards and squirrel heads, an entire bowl of candy coated almonds, a whole platter of cheese appetizers (in three seconds flat), half a wicker basket, and a partridge in a pear tree. (I made that last part up, but they WOULD eat one, if they could find one. And the pear tree, too.)

    And we wonder why cats consider themselves superior?

    1. Hahaha! Wow, they must’ve slurped that mouse cord like spaghetti! This is probably TMI, but I had a husky that ate a strand of twine without me knowing — at least until the next morning, when I saw her moving around the yard like she was making a web from her behind. I had to go out and… well… help pull the rest out. It looked like a magic trick. You know, the one with the scarves? Yeah, good times… blechhhh!

      1. Oh, I’ve had that experience, too, but with cats. We learned not to hang old fashioned icicle tinsel on the Christmas tree one year when Mark commented, “Oh, look. Huey has decorated his butt for the holidays!” Nothing like performing a tinselectomy to say Merry Christmas in grand style! This is when you know you are true animal lover, and nothing…not even web-making huskies or cats with decorated butts can change that fact.


  2. Great start on the Sunday Flashbacks. Probably not a good idea for me to read them while my husband is painting the living room, though. I laughed so loud he messed up the trim. Look forward to more.

    1. That’s like picking up after your kids when they leave their stuff around; they’ll never learn if I do it for them. Case in point: Once I started putting Tabasco on their stuff, they started cleaning up after themselves… 😉

  3. For some reason I first read that as “Sunday hot flashes.” But the really funny part is that it didn’t strike me at all as odd that that would be a title to one of your posts.

  4. Usually flashers have nothing worthy of display. However I’ve enjoyed the body of your work! I sat opposite my 6 year old son in a busy restaurant one Saturday. He had wolfed down a cream cake and a large coke. Then I saw his colour change. I hurriedly emptied my groceries onto the floor and stood by him, waiting for his “treat” to reappear. As you can imagine, I’d attracted a bit too much attention by shouting “hold on” and emptying the groceries. We all waited. He squirmed in obvious distress.Then he let out the loudest, longest belch I’ve ever heard, looked at me and with shining eyes said “Wow,did you hear that?”. Great thing was he was my second child so I could actually enjoy the moment.

    1. LOL! It reminds me of “Mike” from “Monsters Inc., when he swallows his mic, holds up his index finger, waits, then smiles and lets out a loud belch that lasts long enough to bring the mic back out. I love how your son asked, “Did you hear that?” as if there was any chance anyone within a three-block radius might’ve missed it 🙂 Glad you liked the “flashback,” and thanks for the kind words.

  5. Love this idea! And the inaugural flashback was an excellent choice. Having just gotten over the stomach bug which involved my 3 year old having an exorcist style projectile incident at the local Friendly’s, I truly appreciated the imagery of your own restaurant humiliation. 🙂

    1. Thanks, DG 🙂 I have a feeling just about every parent can relate to that experience. And, as a parent, you have to wonder how so MUCH can come out of something so small?! It’s like they swallowed a clown car — things just keep coming out even when you’re sure it’s empty!

  6. I vote for Flashback Sundays.
    Also, Stanley “may” be of questionable intelligence? I have finally given in and realize Mudd (rottie/lab/miniature horse mix) isn’t actually stubborn, he’s just stoopid.

    1. Hahaha! Interesting bloodline 🙂 I think it’s the Lab part that tipped the intelligence scale toward the low end like a bag of rocks. Sweetness, though, is on the high side.

  7. I think that everything wrote made a bunch of sense. But, what about this?
    suppose you were to write a awesome title? I ain’t suggesting your information isn’t good.
    , but what if you added something to maybe get a
    person’s attention? I mean Its Sunday, and Im thinking about having flashbacks | Ned’s Blog
    is kinda vanilla. You should peek at Yahoo’s front page and note how they write post headlines to grab people to click. You might add a related video or a related pic or two to grab people excited about what you’ve
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  8. I will never understand the things people do for their pets, nor will I ever be able to put hot sauce on anything I eat…EVER again. The upside is that I am laughing, while secretly saying this is reason 2,487 ” Why I don’t own a dog”…so thank you, I think?

    1. Thanks so much, Kristin. I’m just glad you weren’t eating hot sauce when you started laughing. And trust me, there are times when, like you, I can think of sooooo many reasons not to have a dog. It’s too late for me, however… so save yourself! 😉

      Thanks for reading, Kristin!

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