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C R E A T I V E   


Kangaroo Rabbits

and Galvanized Fences



These mini-essays, originally newspaper columns written for Shaw Media, describe a life of survival: surviving diapers, Pinewood Derby races, and middle school band concerts. Rick Holinger regularly throws his pseudonymous nuclear family under the bus because his children were too young to object, and his wife enjoyed the extra, though paltry, income. No one, however, sacrificed more than the author. Who else would expose his fatherly and husbandly incompetence by revealing in print the time he burned out the front lawn with First Apply Spring Fertilizer? Or wrinkling his wife's favorite wrinkle-free pants by leaving them untended and cooling in the dryer for five days? Or forgetting to screw in their inboard-outboard's drain plug before spring launch, thus owning a bathtub rather than boat?It takes a pillage to raze a family. But Holinger survived. Barely. This book tells how.


David Hamilton, Editor Emeritus of The Iowa Review, reviewed the manuscript: "[Holinger is] obviously a very alert writer, uses language well, has all sorts of inventive phrasing: “coercing a dyslexic to play Scrabble,” for a quick example.[The pieces] are wonderfully consistent, uniformly good.  They show how Holinger has perfected his form. Again and again he has arresting turns of phrase and quotable sentences.  Every single piece has at least one such in it, and I can imagine that he’s developed an audience that smiles with him and enjoys sharing his one-liners with each other. And of course we recognize ourselves in them, a great many of us.  The nuclear family, the suburban home, the family problems of home, yard, and teenage children, of keeping up with the neighborhood, of being a local citizen, a decent father and spouse. Holinger’s self-effacing good humor is another plus.  You wouldn’t listen to a braggart tell such stories; H. is closer to the reverse.  His moments of victory tend to be inward, observed by us but not always by his family, to whom he can seem more a lucky bumbler. It would prove a fine Christmas gift for friends and neighbors, for people who, like me, share this scene more or less."

“The writing is first rate and the goal is amusement.” --Wayne Fields, Ph.D., Washington University, St. Louis

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