Who am I, why am I here … and why have I had so many jobs?

I’m a deep thinker from way back. As a small child, I recall wondering, for example, why my first grade teacher was so unhappy. Her name was Mrs. Sullivan and she didn’t seem to like first-graders.

Since then, I’ve discovered that teaching is a profession that can make it difficult to appreciate any age group, from 6 to 26. I added teacher to my criminally long list of jobs a few years back. They might cough up a clue or two to explain me.

Buckle up, Medium readers, you’re in for a bumpy ride.

1. Delivering newspapers (The Washington Times)…


The tragic story of a beautiful person wrongly accused of murder, and her life on the run.

Lawrencia Ann Bembenek was a tall, striking young woman. She could have chosen nearly any career, but she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. He had briefly worked for the Milwaukee Police Department, and from a young age she wanted to become a police officer.

The youngest of three girls, she grew up Catholic in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the 1960s. She ran the hurdles on her high school track team and took up the flute, graduating in 1976. For a couple of years, she attended junior college before working as a waitress and model. …


This is a story about how I bought your $14.99 skateboard

Dear Tony/Walmart,

How’s it hanging, guys? I guess business must be pretty good because I recently cruised over to Dick’s Sporting Goods to buy a skateboard and was shocked to have this convo with the customer service guy, Guy.

Me: Hi, how are you?

Guy: Hey, how’s it going?

Me: Pretty good. Say, where can I find a skateboard?

Guy: We don’t carry any.

Me: (Searching the cavernous environment). In this whole, giant store?

Guy: (Shaking his head). Nope. In fact, there aren’t any in town.

Me: What?! In all of Hot Springs? That can’t be true?

Guy: I’m afraid…


If I’m so competitive, shouldn’t I be winning?

To Whom It May Concern:

I woke up on Thursday to a haze lifting, and through the fog I saw the outlines of a giant letter. It was an A! Yes, I’ve won! But as the thick clouds receded, the sun shined to reveal the whole sign:

You are a Type A

Noooooooo! It can’t be true. I got out of bed anyway, an exhausted beta wolf ready for another day of hoofing it to keep up with my type A pack mates. I’m a B, raised by a group of As…that‘s been my store lo these many stressful years.


I provide counseling to a fellow online Scrabbler

It’s a truth commonly accepted among Scrabble players that the game, like any other human activity, can lead directly to murder, mayhem, and atrocious manners. There are probably gambling rings of Scrabble nuts who sacrifice kittens, but it’s the poor social skills that will make you want to call their moms or beat them to death with a dictionary.

If you despise the ad-heavy Words With Friends, you can go scrabbling at isc.net. That’s short for Internet Scrabble Club. Or possibly International Social Catastrophe.

Because you wouldn’t believe the weird-ass behavior. Okay, you’ve been online. You know. But these are…


One teen lost his life, the other is charged in his murder

In late February, 2015, police responded to a burglary in progress. Neighbors had reported a strange vehicle, and several men breaking into a house on their street.

The five teens pillaging the empty home had begun their crime spree in Montgomery, Alabama the day before. It started when they attended a house party where one of them shot someone.

Lakeith Smith was the youngest in the group of five, just 15 years old. His friend A’Donte Washington was a year older. Jadarrien Hardy and Jhavarske Jackson were both 18 and their fifth friend, Le’Anthony Washington, was 17. Party-goers saw one…


Was he victimized by a racist system, or have we forgotten the victims?

In 1974, William R. Horton and his two friends netted $276 dollars in a robbery in Lawrence, Massachusetts. They knocked over a gas station, stabbed the teenager working the night shift 19 times, and wedged his brutalized body into a trash can.

Joey Fournier, 17, died from blood loss.

Horton was 23 years old at the time of the crime. He claimed he only sat in the car and never went inside the gas station.

He and his accomplices were arrested but blamed one another for the murder. Authorities believed Horton, who’d already done time in South Carolina, was the…


DNA proved Bryan Miller was more than another cosplay geek.

Investigators added him to their suspect list based on his proximity and the nature of the crimes: random stabbings.

They found the two women in the canal that delivers water from California to Arizona through the Central Arizona Project (CAP). The water isn’t particularly deep but cuts a dark path that snakes through the city and desert beyond, a lonely stream where there should be none.

It is not a scenic canal, but a practical one. Next to it, a treeless bike path links together the far corners of the Phoenix metro area.

The canal supplies drinking water to Phoenix…


We should be careful what we worship now that we are woke

In the book Light on Pranayama, the famous yogi B.K.S. Iyengar explains the yogic conception of the universe. Iyengar lists the various forces that affect all of us. Unfortunately, I was brought up short when he explained that semen is one of the universal seven constituent elements.

It is tempting to believe that an accomplished yogi has all the answers, or at least some of them. I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, but his schema may be … incomplete?

We owe it to ourselves to question ancient wisdom if we want to be “woke.” Wokeness…


You’ve changed your diet, but how do you keep it up?

If you are eating more fruits and veggies, avoiding sugar, cutting back on alcohol, and choosing healthy sources of protein like organic, grass-fed meats and more legumes, and nuts — you’ve accomplished a huge undertaking.

You are also swimming against a strong tide of unhealthy food culture, wearing little more than a skimpy bikini.

You have educated yourself about which foods are healthier, and you’ve gotten past the hurdle of how to integrate “real food” into a busy schedule.

Now for the tough part: making it more than a temporary diet.

This is the danger zone, where most people fail…

Jean Campbell

Writer in true crime, humor and poetry. For more, check out my web page at https://jxcampbell.com

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