Author Archives: Sterling Eisiminger

Sterling (Skip) Eisiminger was born in Washington D.C. in 1941. The son of an Army officer, he traveled widely but often reluctantly with his family in the United States and Europe. After he finished a master’s degree at Auburn and took a job at Clemson University in 1968, he promised himself that he would put down some deep roots. These roots now reach back through 40 years of red Carolina clay. In 1974, Eisiminger received a Ph. D. from the University of South Carolina, where poet James Dickey “guided” his creative dissertation. His publications include Non-Prescription Medicine (poems), Felix Academicus (personal essays), Omi and the Christmas Candles (a children’s book), and Wordspinner (word games). He is married to the former Ingrid (“Omi”) Barmwater, a native of Germany, and is the proud father of a son, Shane, a daughter, Anja, and grandfather to four grandchildren, Edgar, Sterling, Spencer, and Lena. Author Photo: Ingrid Eisiminger

The Idol Quartet

“Born in the Great Depression, John and his six brothers grew up at the base of ‘Eitel Mountain,’ a few miles east of and downhill from Boone, NC. A hillock in reality, the rocky farm in the quilted community of Deep Gap (est. pop. 100) was dubbed ‘mountain’ by John to give it a modest […]

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Holding for Customer Service to Complain about Customer Service: Complaints

“In the 1960s, Clemson professors typically posted their final grades outside their offices, so anxious students could attend to their grades instead of waiting for the post office to deliver them. A couple of days after his posting, Caskey went to his office to do some end-of-semester tidying up and discovered someone had written ‘nigger […]

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Hams That Cannot Be Cured Must Be Canned: Acting

“I finally appeared on stage as a chorus member in a production of Euripides’ Hippolytus. The school critics thought I’d made a creditable Horatio in Hamlet but, in Twelfth Night, they were expecting Alec Guinness and met instead an uncured ham. One night, after a friend carelessly wished me good luck in my portrayal of […]

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Submerged Cables: Intuition

“Arthur Koestler compared intuition to an underwater chain whose ends are visible on opposite sides of the ocean. As my title indicates, I prefer the image of a submerged cable, for today it is through unbroken fiber-optic cables, not open links susceptible to corrosion, that information is transferred across the globe at near light speed. […]

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Claiming One’s Baggage: The Confessions of Friends

“Other acquaintances have cheated before my eyes to win a penny-ante pot, filled a purse lined with aluminum foil at an all-you-can-eat restaurant, and confessed to routinely shortchanging customers. I didn’t actually witness the latter, but the unforced admission was just as strong as if I’d been standing in the kiosk behind her as she […]

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Every Which Way: Direction

“Before humans devised atomic clocks, a network of Earth-orbit satellites, and the Global Positioning System, we suffered a directional disadvantage compared to our scaly, furry, and feathered kin. But even with the best GPS device, I’m not sure we can compete with the Manx shearwater.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger (For Anja and […]

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When Cucumber Vines Tangle with the Concubines: Malapropisms

“My German-American parents were similarly afflicted with what the Germans call Zungensalat or ‘tongue salad.’ Mother was forever yelling at me to shut the scream door, and Father worried I wasn’t getting enough Arabic exercise.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “Simply put, a malapropism is impropaganda.”—The Wordspinner CLEMSON South Carolina—(Weekly Hubris)—6/29/2015—The first time […]

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Tried and Found Wanton: The Language of Sex

“So, exactly how do humans reproduce if we don’t bifurcate, pupate, or molt? I’m glad the answer to the overwhelming question of my adolescence was not left entirely to my parents.”—Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip Eisiminger “The mad, white fish of the oval realm/often led me to ask, ‘Who’s at the helm?’” “The […]

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It Wasn’t the Theft of Fire but the Promethean Boast: Hubris

“In 1910, many in this country would have lynched heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson for not ‘knowing his place.’ When ‘the Big Smoke’ was stopped for speeding in rural Georgia, he told the officer who presented him with a $50. fine, ‘Here’s a hundred—keep the change ‘cause I’m comin’ back the same way.’” —Skip Eisiminger […]

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Black & White Zebras in Lion-Colored Grass: The Absurd (Redux)

“In 2013, the visual absurd seems to be losing its impact since its origins in Europe during World War II. Perhaps the best known work by the Belgian surrealist René Magritte is his self-portrait with a Granny Smith apple suspended before his face. The Everyman of the cartoon universe typically greets ‘Grandpa Smith’ wherever he […]

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