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Haunted Mount Washington – DunkleBits November 2015

Mt Wash Tavern 2


What is that rustling noise? Who opened the attic window? Why is the candle flickering? Who moved my car keys? …. Oooooo spooky scary!


Yes, neighbors, Halloween may be over, but our little village is full of strange spirits, and I am not talking about Uncle Mac’s homemade Huckleberry Absinthe. I’m talking about apparitions, spirits, hauntings, visitations, unchained souls trapped between worlds. I’m talking about … Ghosts.




And I want you to be the very first to know that DunkleBoos!TM, my guided ghost tours of Mount Washington, are now available every evening. Call for a reservation. And yes, we do offer a discount to MWIA card holders, yet another privilege of membership.


On the DunkleBoos! TM Tour you will hear the chilling tales of the many ghosts that move among us, including:


The Ghost of a Chance – the rather unpopular spirit of Martin O’Malley’s presidential campaign – undead before it really lived. Scary.


You will thrill to the ancient legend of the Ghost Train of Ken Oak Road. Who hasn’t sat straight up in bed, drenched in night sweat, after hearing that whistle blow as if it were right in your front yard?


You will shriek in horror at the legendary ghost of The Hairdresser Who Knew Too Much. It wasn’t her fault, there’s something about having someone else wash your hair that just makes you open up. But then late one night, right behind the salon… Can’t tell you, gotta buy a ticket!


All horse racing fans know that on certain nights when all is quiet you can hear the thundering hooves of the Ghost of Barbaro finally crossing the finish line at Pimlico.


A new addition to the tour just arrived this summer. The ghost of Robert E. Lee hovers above the dam at Lake Roland. In a Ouija board tweet he explained that he was “totally cool with changing the name” as he had no idea why they named it after him in the first place.  So scary.


Even my own home is on the tour as the ghost of Hechinger’s past still haunts my basement… weathered shopping bags filled with unused paint brushes and sandpaper and various screws and fittings that neither fit nor screwed.


Then there is the ghost at the Boy Scout Memorial that offers to help you cross the street, but when you turn to thank him he vanishes into the mist and there you are, stuck on the side of the street by the dark scary ravine, next to an enormous pile of mulch. Terrifying.


Oh yes, there are many more weird and spooky stories, including:

The Phantom of the Octagon;

The ghost of the northwest skating rink… tragically killed before its time;

The goblin that moves the neighbor’s mail into your mailbox;

The spirit of the missing half of that house on Falls Road where the cigar store is.


And finally we will meet and have espresso with the troll that lives in the tunnel under the JFX. Not a ghost, of course, but that troll brews a wicked cup of java. And he promised us we will Eat Roberto’s Pizza.

DunkleBits November 2014 “Ask Dunkleberger” Part Two

Ask Dunkleberger

Well, this AskDunkleberger thing was another mind-bending work of staggering genius.

Questions have been pouring in to me and the demand for my special brand of wisdom has been so overwhelming that I have been forced to launch! Subscribe to the mailing list by clicking HERE.

Oh crap, did that hyper-link break? Now I have to call MWIA Newsletter tech support.

“Hello, this is Bob. Have you tried re-booting the newsletter?”

Sigh. Yes…

“OK. Try ripping your mailbox off the wall and holding it over your head for 60 seconds, then rebolting it to your house. That should fix it.”

Oh forget it, just like me on Facebook.

Now about those questions:

Dear Ned,
I hate crime as much as the next guy. Is it appropriate to post videos on ChatTube, or YouTwit, or whatever, of lesser crimes I may have observed around Mount Washington, such as dropping doggy bags in a neighbor’s trashcan? If I don’t have any of these videos, should I film myself in the act?
Perplexed In The ’Hood

Dear Perp,
As everyone knows, the only videos worth watching are cat videos. So if you want to post video of yourself emptying a litter box into your neighbor’s trash, that is acceptable.

Dear Ned,
Mount Washington is the hot brand right now. People from all over town claim they live here even though they really live in Cheswolde or on Smith Avenue or as far out as Quarry Lake or Topeka. Now, I don’t want to be a snob, and I don’t blame them for wanting to live in one of the best neighborhoods in town. But what’s the etiquette here? Should I correct these people? Turn the other cheek? Snort derisively?
Yours truly,
Proud in Mt. Washington

Dear Snob,
I feel your pain. So I took some of your Advil. Now I feel better.

Ahhh yes, wannabes. It is important to remember that we were all once MW aspirers and now we live here and they don’t. Nanny nanny boo boo. Never mind that they are in a modern 3,200 square foot palace and you live in a van down by the Jones Falls. That van is in Mount Washington! I would choose snorting.

Dear Ned,
Is it OK to liberate veggies that have grown into public spaces, like alleys? It’s hard to watch all that potential die on the vine knowing I could make a mean ratatouille. But I know some people can be territorial…
Penny Pincher

Dear PP,
In the alley means in the belly! We call this activity “Night Gardening” and it also applies to various indigenous perennials. And some smaller pets. Just be cool and pass the gazpacho.

Well friends, as you can see I was born to do this. Can’t wait for John Prine to write a song about me:

“Dear Neddy, Dear Neddy, seems I’m at a loss, my column is ending and I’ve forgotten to floss.”

And don’t forget to send me your questions for next time.


Originally poublished in the Mount Washington Improvement Association Newsletter Nov/Dec 2014

DunkleBits September 2014 – Random Unsolicited Advice


The other day on Facebook a friend of mine posted some advice. “Don’t thaw your steaks before grilling them.”

Normally I would file away a bit of random unsolicited advice like this.  But this one pushed me over the random unsolicited edge. “What if I want to marinate my meat before I grill it?!,” I shouted, waking several sleeping kitties and sending them running for cover. They have seen these episodes before.  “Why the heck are you freezing your steaks in the first place? What about not eating red meat at all? Have you thought about that, my random unsolicited friend?”


I’m tired of advice. I’m sick of life hacks and 7 productivity tips to make you a NinjaWorkRockStarGuruTM (Number 3 will blow your mind!). I’ve had it with quizzes and surveys and ads that follow me all over the Interweb and apps that follow me all over town (although I’m quite proud of being named Mayor of Savetta’s Psychic Reading – two months running!).  But mostly I’ve had it with people giving me advice.


THEREFORE, I am going to start giving the advice around here. Welcome to the first edition of “Ask Ned,” wherein I will solve all of your problems and reveal my secrets for living a happy and fulfilled life (Number 7 will twist your socks and warp your spine! It is not approved for any purpose by the FDA. Fair warning.)


Amazingly enough, even though this is the first edition, I already have questions flooding in to Be sure to send yours in today!


Dear Ned,

I honestly don’t know where to turn, so I am turning to you for advice. Got any?

Yours Truly,



Dear Trudy,

Get a GPS unit.

Your Pal,



Well, that was easy! Let’s try another. This one is a bit trickier.


Dear Ned,

I currently have a decent job in state government but it will end soon. I am thinking about my future and beyond that my future’s future and I am wondering if you can help me. There is an opportunity I am considering applying for, but it is a bit over my head and is practically impossible to succeed in. However, it has great benefits and a solid pension, plus I would get my own airplane! So, should I run for … I mean, apply for this job?



P.S. Should I thaw my steaks before grilling them?


Dear Marty,

Oh, hell yeah! Raise a ton of money and chase that dream, but don’t spend too much of it doing so. I hear you get to keep the leftovers when you lose. And you will lose.  Then write me again for investment advice.

Your Pal,


P.S. Don’t worry about your steaks. You will overcook or undercook or forget to cook them anyway.


That was fun! Send me more, please. And don’t forget to floss.

DunkleBits May 2014 The Grass Haz Rizz

Via the miracles of modern technology we have been blessed with many truly wonderful things including microwave ovens, iPhones, painless dentistry, liquid soap, the invisible fence, tofu based dessert treats – the list goes on and on. And now, crypto-currencies, including BitCoin are poised to reinvent what we consider money.

While many of us long for the days on our Micronesian island when our wealth was measured by the size of the giant Rai stone displayed in front of our hammock, those days are sadly, long gone.

Rai Stones


As Al Gore once said, “it’s the microchip, not the Micronesian chip, dummy”. Anyway, as a resident of Mount Washington you are one of the lucky ones who will have the opportunity to get in early on the next big (invisible) thing. DunkleBitCoinsTM are here and I already have agreements with over 40 of the local hair salons (that’s almost half!)  to accept them in payment for your color cut and blow drying sessions.  Also, as soon as the restraining order is lifted, I will be proudly returning to the Local Taverns to get them on board. They will love it – it will be easier than ever to sneak in that 18% gratuity for a party of 1 or more.

Speaking of eating. Let’s do lunch!

As we head into summer please remember this: Just because winter sucked that’s no reason not to be able to complain about heat. So when someone tells you, and oh yes, they will tell you “You can’t complain about the heat, don’t you remember the winter?” Tell them that Ned said to keep fanning me and feeding me ice chips.  It’s always OK to complain about summer heat in Baltimore, in fact it is expected.

Preakness 2014 is just around the corner and I will do my complaining about that in advance. “OOO the blimp is so loud and it’s been right over my house ALL DAY”. Other than that it’s an amazing day and I look forward to seeing the bulimic midgets, oops, jockeys scarfing down French fries at the Tavern the night before.

Speaking of local watering holes, here is an observation. Live music is dead. Let’s have a seance! I have a Ouija board that I regularly use to summon the spirit of Earl Weaver just to ask him questions about the current Baltimore Orioles. Actually, it is a custom Ouija board with these characters just for Earl “@#$!&*#$”. But seriously, lets’ all get together and summon the spirit of live local latebreaking music. ( Dang it WBAL TV has me under their spell…) ahem, the spirit of Live Local music and find out where the heck it has been. I don’t want to hear the Sirius XM “Songs that jerk across the hall played to death in the 80’s” channel while I sip my Sasparilla, I want to see somebody acting out their dreams of a better life – with guitars!

Great news for the four legged lovers of frozen psychotropic treats – The NipsiclesTM truck is coming! Listen for the jingling collar bells as it comes down your street and bring out your cats! And your DunkleBitCoinsTM.

And one more thing. Mind your manners and be respectful of your neighbors, you may need to borrow a drainpipe snake someday and you don’t want your bad attitude towards the clearly mentally ill to stop them from lending it to you. Leave your torches and pitchforks in the garage and keep your side of the street clean, because so far, the only evidence of City Street sweepers that I have seen is a bunch of ugly signs posted on our otherwise lovely gardens. Which is cool, because street sweepers are scary!

And don’t forget to floss.