Author Archives: Sterling Eisiminger

Dr. Sterling (“Skip”) Eisiminger was born in Washington DC in 1941. The son of an Army officer, he traveled widely but often reluctantly with his family in the United States and Europe. After finishing a master’s degree at Auburn and taking a job at Clemson University in 1968, he promised himself that he would put down some deep roots. These roots now reach back through fifty years of 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), The Pleasures of Language: From Acropox to Word Clay (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.

Deaf Grasshoppers & Hobbled Ants: Malpractice

“Though only about 15 pecent of American doctors are sued for malpractice, more than 250,000 patients die annually from their doctors’ errors, a statistic that ranks as the country’s third leading cause of death. My own definition of malpractice embraces all of the following: In 1985, my wife was charged $12 for two Tylenols and […]

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Pieing It Forward: Clowning

“In March of 2017 as I write, many Americans like myself are bewildered by a ‘jester’ who has seized the ‘throne,’ and it remains to be seen how the leveling will fare under his good-cop-bad-cop rule. Seeking some comic relief after Donald Trump’s election, I suggested to my wife that we ‘send in the clowns,’ […]

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Bemedaling the Drone Pilots: Heroes & Role Models

“The American psychotherapist Sheldon Kopp has cautioned, ‘If you have a hero, look again; you have diminished yourself in some way.’ I would not go quite that far because I know my reverence for DiMaggio made me a better ballplayer. I tried harder because I knew Joe would have. It was, of course, a disappointment […]

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Miming Emotion: Dance (Best of “Hubris”)

“Though I carried a can of dance wax to the high-school prom, I was ‘timber toes,’ ‘terminally Caucasian,’ and ‘a dog with four left feet.’ After the first slow dance, my date asked me how I’d made the box step a triangle. It was all part of a plan, I said, to make it a […]

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Damn Proud: Evil

“Exactly what is this abstraction that haunts us? The literature is vast and complex. Augustine thought a man’s erection was a revolt against God. Eighteenth-century Shakers decided intercourse had been Eve’s original sin. Nineteenth-century Scottish Presbyterians thought eating potatoes was sinful because they’re not mentioned in the Bible.” —Skip Eisiminger Skip the B.S. By Skip […]

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Game Changers: Fear of Change

“Fear of the latest technology is often assumed without proof of harm. While it’s true that industrial robots have killed several people working around them, the fault in most cases was the human’s. And while robots were building robots as early as the 1980s, HAL isn’t wearing the pants just yet.” —Skip Eisiminger Skip the […]

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Stardust Sprinklers & SOBs: Grandparents

“The relatively recent appearance (c. 1920) of what I call the ‘third generation’ has led to the poverty of idioms and proverbs alluding to grandparents. ‘Grandfather clock’ is solidly ensconced even as the clocks are disappearing. But ‘Don’t teach your grandmother to suck eggs’ is making a rapid exit probably due to salmonella and plastic […]

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An Improbable Fiction: In the Language of Shakespeare

“Marry, young Russet. Now, don thy hooded cape incarnadine and hie thee to the forest o’er yon high eastward hill. Keep to the path no matter how the harebells beckon, and, I beseech you, beware the fantasied forest. There a wolf named Lupus dwells, swift as a shadow, and thus beggars all other description. Verily, […]

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The Farther You Go, the Better It Looks: Home

“Clark Gable is remembered as a thrice-divorced and five-time married screen actor, but he understood what ‘home’ meant: a place you approach knowing someone inside is listening for your footsteps. Whether it’s an over-priced Silicon Valley mansion or a canvas tent pitched on a raft, home is a place where your heart has been marinated […]

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Textile Conspirators vs. the Skyclad: Naked & Nude

“My father, a charter subscriber to ‘Playboy,’ who never discussed the ‘articles’ therein with anyone except his golfing friends, apparently feared he’d left a gap in my education. He took me, therefore, to the Folies-Bergère in Paris when I was a 19-year-old enlisted man. The two of us sat there nursing our drinks as a […]

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