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Jeffrey Shaffer
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Jeffrey Shaffer's essays and fiction have appeared in a wide range of publications including The Christian Science Monitor, The New Yorker, Bark, The Wall Street Journal, and Year's Best Fantasy & Horror. A new collection of his work entitled 'Who Am I Today?' (Subtopian Press) is now available through most local independent booksellers. For more links you can visit his personal blog at:

Entries by Jeffrey Shaffer

Hello Drones, Goodbye UFO Hunting

(7) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 7:03 PM

The mystery of unidentified flying objects has suddenly become much more complicated and I'm very unhappy about it. The cause of the additional confusion can be explained in one word: drones.

The remote-controlled aerial devices are showing up everywhere. Their benefits are touted by a large and growing fan base...

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The Kids Aren't Alright

(2) Comments | Posted June 3, 2015 | 1:48 PM

My wife edged closer to me as we stared down at the Hunter. He had just emerged from the crawl space underneath the garden hut.

"You've been hearing the sounds for how long?" he asked, pulling himself into a sitting position.

"Hard to say,"...

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Pale Strider

(0) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 2:01 PM

It's time once again for my annual vow to the entire country: No matter how high temperatures rise in the months ahead, I'll never, ever leave home wearing pants that are anything but full-length. My thighs, knees, and calves shall remain permanently hidden from public view. This is my gift...

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Data Sharing: It's What's For Dinner

(0) Comments | Posted May 9, 2015 | 12:22 PM

A major prize is surely waiting for the person who figures out a way to precisely measure the financial impact of wireless communication devices on consumer spending activities during shopping trips.

I see it happening routinely in the grocery store where I work. A huge percentage...

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Facing Up to Demographic Destiny

(0) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 12:52 PM

I crossed a major life threshold on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. After buying a few groceries at my neighborhood supermarket, I looked at the receipt and noticed that some items had been marked down in price.

"What happened here?" I asked the clerk.

"That's your senior discount," she replied. "The...

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Great Grandpa's Brain Versus Back-to-School Night

(3) Comments | Posted September 11, 2014 | 2:25 PM

GG's Brain: Why did I let them talk me into this? I wanted to watch my Lawrence Welk videos tonight! Are we even in the right place? Why do they have all these plants sitting around everywhere? Is this a classroom or a fern bar?

Teacher:I'm honored...

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I Predicted Our Iraq Predicament

(0) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 5:41 PM

I'm not surprised that Iraq is in danger of breaking apart. I considered this scenario almost 10 years ago in a column published by the Christian Science Monitor.

My question then and now is the same: How will the US react if the Kurds decide their best...

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I, Mad Men Hunter

(2) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 6:05 PM

Don Draper may have won the opening skirmish but this war is just beginning.

When I kicked open the office door he was reclining in his chair, feet on the desk, staring out the window. Without glancing at me he said, "It's polite to knock first."

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Good News for My Neighbors

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 9:19 PM

After long and thoughtful consideration, I've made a significant lifestyle decision. I am NOT going to become the neighborhood curmudgeon.

Everyone in the boomer generation will know exactly the kind of person I'm talking about. The annoying individual was usually a feisty old geezer who looked...

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My Face Shouldn't Be Up for Grabs

(0) Comments | Posted April 12, 2014 | 2:20 PM

Here's an idea for all high-tech inventors in Silicon Valley and there's a pile of money waiting for the person who can make it a reality: Get me a personal cloaking device.

No, I don't want to become invisible. That would be weird and extreme. What I'm talking about is...

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Feds Want Warning Labels for Bridesmaid Dresses

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 4:50 PM

A long national nightmare may soon be ending for American women. The Bureau of Consumer Protection recently announced updated rules that would require all bridesmaid dresses to include a special warning label stating "One Time Use Only -- Not To Be Worn As Normal Clothing!"

"This is...

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The Liquid We Can't Live Without

(0) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 3:15 PM

Water is my favorite natural resource. I find it endlessly fascinating from a scientific and historical perspective. Having lived through the California drought of 1976-77, I can say without hesitation the best way to appreciate easy access to safe, clean water is to have the supply become so scarce that...

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IOC Awards All Future Olympics to Disneyland

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 10:31 AM

The Olympic flame in Sochi had barely flickered out when the IOC made a stunning, surprise announcement that all future games after 2024, winter and summer, will be held at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim.

"The Games are supposed to bring people of the world together in peace and happiness,"...

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Putin Says Obama Caused Russian Hockey Failure

(0) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 4:27 PM

Russian President Vladimir Putin is now blaming the dismal performance of Russia's ice hockey team on Barack Obama.

"This is Obama's legacy, his curse. It is the obvious conclusion," Putin was overheard saying to onlookers and reporters while watching his team getting eliminated from further competition in a 3-1...

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Warning Signs: Canine Control Edition

(0) Comments | Posted February 4, 2014 | 3:42 PM

I just read an article listing five reasons you should not own a dog and it included lots of information about personality traits and motivation and other psychological details. There was simply too much information. I think these kinds of articles need to be concise and direct. So here is...

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Requiem for a Frustrated Writer

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 10:35 AM

Hey Jackass! Yeah, YOU -- the lame, inconsiderate 'contact person' who keeps ignoring my e-mail queries (note to self -- do NOT send this; strictly a venting exercise).

Here's my simple question, Butt-Face: What does it take to get a response from you? Say again -- you don't recognize my...

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News of Me

(2) Comments | Posted September 22, 2013 | 11:33 AM

Omigod! I overslept! 6:03! Major badness! OK, I'm up, moving, fingers typing, getting the word out, notify the followers --"Eyes open, back in the game, ready for coffee!" Tweeted! Awesome. Do I want Sumatra or Tanzanian Peaberry? Hyper-local means you tell me! Vote now on my Facebook timeline while the...

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Keeping Myself Contained

(0) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 6:23 PM

During the past few years I've learned not to be alarmed by the sight of my own blood, which is good. What's not so good is how the learning process involves seeing the precious bodily fluid draining out of me more often than I ever expected.


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Confessions of an Aging Swing Kid

(1) Comments | Posted August 21, 2013 | 4:25 PM

I don't have a large backyard, but if I ever get one, I know exactly what outdoor feature will be on top of my 'want' list. It won't be a swimming pool, tennis court or fancy basketball hoop. No, the item that can bring me maximum pleasure day after day...

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Extremely Modern Family

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 11:17 AM

DAD: Alder, are you listening to me? I asked you not to touch things while we're in the store. You need to respect my authority, please.

MOM: Give him the instructions clearly. You need to be absolutely clear. Alder, don't look away!

DAD: When...

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