Ben Bromley


And now, the fake news

I’ve always said producing a newspaper would be easier if I could just make up the news. And every Christmas, I prove myself right.
Last week I sent out this year’s edition of the Bromley Blab. It’s a family Christmas newsletter written in the style of The Onion. For example, one year a story about my son was headlined, “Drew: Penn State or state pen?”
What’s beautiful about the Blab is that I get to make everything up. Sure, all the news stories are based on fact, but as reporter/editor/publisher/circulation manager, I’m allowed to take liberties. This is a fun change from my day job, which frowns on the fabrication of quotes by made-up sources.


Prepare for chocolate panic

This is a topic I hesitate to broach, because we all know how nutso American consumers can get, especially at holiday time.
The last thing I want to do is incite looting, hoarding or the kind of violence that broke out over Tickle Me Elmo. I believe in peace on Earth and goodwill toward men, unless you're standing between me and the last Xbox One, in which case you're about to be pistol-whipped with the nearest pricing gun.


Halloween's disappearance is scary

I used to rant when stores broke out their Christmas merchandise the day after Halloween. Now those seem like the good old days.
As my nine loyal readers know, I don't think the Christmas season should start until the day after Thanksgiving. As much as I love yuletide cheer, I don't think we need more than a month to celebrate - and shop for — Christmas. That's three weeks and six days more than any man needs.


This play wasn't that baaaaaad

I don't know what it says about me that watching a dream come true involved me donning a sheep costume and getting mounted. I'll leave that to mental health professionals. But I will say that seeing characters I created come to life before my eyes, to the delight of audiences, was a thrill.


Somehow, ’70s kids survived

Looking back, it’s a miracle we children of the 1970s survived the decade.
Our playgrounds were built on blacktop. No wood chips. No rubber base of recycled shoes and tires. If you fell from the jungle gym, you bled. Oh, and those metal slides so hot we could’ve fried bacon on them? We blissfully slid down them in Garanimals shorts, losing only a few patches of skin in the process.


Everything’s buy the book

I figured having a newspaper column written about me would result in readers learning things about me they didn’t know. Turns out I learned things about MYSELF I didn’t know.
What I learned is that I’m sitting on a gold mine. Well, it might be a fool’s gold mine.


So much for sumo

It’s a crushing blow when you learn that an institution you hold sacred is nothing but a sham. For some, it was the tooth fairy. For others, it was the wizard of Oz or a balanced federal budget or chiropractors. For me, it was between-innings sumo wrestling.


Summertime livin’ ain’t easy

You know the kids are home on summer break when you start running out of the food you bought yesterday.
Last week, I went to the cupboard in search of a sweet treat for dessert, and found Thing 1 and Thing 2, who had been out of school less than 36 hours, already had devoured the entire box of snack cakes I had purchased the day before.


Behold the super powers of parents

When it comes to parents, the Lord giveth and he taketh away. We lose our minds, yet inherit special powers. It’s as if God makes us Superman, only to hand us kryptonite.


Time to become Mr. Clean

As my sister-in-law handed over her cleaning supplies, I felt as if I had inherited Brooks Robinson’s mitt. I held the tools of a master, and couldn’t have felt less worthy.