Whose Blog Is It Anyway Poster

The Swimming Gorilla – Mark

This is cutting edge improvisational blogging. We call it –

“Whose Blog is it Anyway ?” 2 – The Unanswerables

We have written this for FUN, not serious, to amuse ourselves and our readers, and help promote our blogs. Please read with that in mind.

Commenters – Please DO NOT post outbound links whilst the event is going on AND please DO NOT post comments if you are a moron. Whose Blog Is It Anyway Poster Whose Blog Is It Anyway Poster

Whose Blog is it Anyway? 2 – The Unanswerables

Why “The Unanswerables” ? Because the titles assigned to my guest improvisers don’t have an exact scientific answer or they are just zany and off the wall.

Do not expect fact here. Do not expect the truth here. This is creative writing for FUN, HUMOUR and for those with a SENSE OF HUMOUR. It’s cutting edge IMPROVISED blogging, not science weekly or the historian’s gazette.

The guest improvisers were assigned titles by me, and are therefore NOT necessarily experts or even actually FOR the topic they are writing about. They all did however “YES, AND” the challenge which is the spirit of improvisation and what we’re doing here.

We’re not interested in your critical appraisal, it simply isn’t required. It is in fact IRRELEVANT to the context of improvised, for fun creative writing. Stop taking yourselves so seriously.

So without further ado …


His Highness – The Fantastic And Superb Syracusian Journalist

Mark first came to my attention via some photography on his blog, and the fact he seems to spend more time on my blog than I do. I didn’t for a long time realise he’s a journo, just hadn’t crossed my mind, as he’s so polite and down to earth !

Mark is an accomplished writer and blogger of note. He was actually recommended to enter the challenge by a mutual friend. So I gave him a little push and here we are 🙂

Mark has an excellent submission on one of our unanswerables, and a cool angle on the swimming gorilla thing …

You can find Mark at the Mark Bialczak blog.

Please give a warm welcome to Mark.


Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing Warning Improvised Writing

The Swimming Gorilla


My one-year anniversary with is approaching quickly. The big, wide world of WordPress has taught me much about writing differently than I did in my decades of covering music and entertainment news and writing feature stories and concert reviews for the big daily and its sister web site here in Syracuse, N.Y.

I’ve discovered that I can learn a lot from writing about myself.

So I agreed when my fellow Syracuse blogger, Christopher S. Malone, suggested I may find participating in this second chapter of Don Charisma’s impro exercise rewarding.

I look forward to establishing new WordPress relationships.

Go ahead, let my have it.


My assigned topic is ‘The Swimming Gorilla’.

This gorilla by the name of Magilla befriended American youth in comic book and cartoon form, thanks to Hanna-Barbera
This gorilla by the name of Magilla befriended American youth in comic book and cartoon form, thanks to Hanna-Barbera

I grew up on Long Island, that piece of land that sticks out to the east from New York City.

Many people do not know that in fact, two of the five boroughs that comprise New York City — Brooklyn and Queens — are geographically located on Long Island.

It is indeed a long strip of land, some 118 miles from the western tip at the East River, to the eastern tip at Montauk Point. And it is 23 miles wide.

For my teen years, my family lived about midway out from Long Island, in Stony Brook. We only had to travel five or six miles in my father’s wood-paneled station wagon to get to the Long Island Sound on the north shore. The Atlantic Ocean was about a half-hour’s drive to the south. We went often to both.

My high school, Ward Melville in Suffolk County, had a pool. Many of my neighbors had backyard pools.

I do not know how to swim with any confidence, to this day.

Oh, I’d go in the water, off the rocky beach of the Sound and the smooth sands of the Ocean. But I’d never venture out further than neck-high. I was always wary of the undertow, that infamous out-going tide that can suck you off your feet and out into deep water.

In a pool, you’d find me cooling off in the shallow end. Deeper than 5 feet, I was the guy never more than one quick leg kick away from a comforting clutch to the side of the pool.

Put me in a small boat in deep water, and I demanded a life jacket.

I’ve gone through my 56 years with this Swimming Gorilla on my back.

It’s become my Magilla, the cartoon character that I encountered as a kid.

Magilla was never as much fun as Fred Flintstone or George Jetson, but hey, I learned to live with him.


At this point in my life, I am quite ready to support this Swimming Gorilla on my back hereafter.

I will not be taking swimming lessons.

I’d rather stay in shallow water.

BY Mark, blogger extraordinaire at the Mark Bialczak blog.

Notes for commenters:

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

DO NOT post outbound links in my comments whilst “Whose Blog is it Anyway? 2” is in progress.

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma

34 thoughts on “The Swimming Gorilla – Mark

  1. I can only perform a mean back stroke, but that’s about it. Otherwise, I’m in the same boat.. or out of it for that matter? Great job with the metaphorical take. Your creativity is fantastic as always, Mark.

    Cheers from your friend,

    Grape Ape

    Nah, it’s just Chris Malone

      1. Yes I do but my husband who is from the UK is in the same position as you. I’ve taught him to swim sufficiently that he can float around but he would never swim outside the flags or where he couldn’t reach the side easily.

  2. Psssst! I never learned how to swim, either (and I grew up a block away from the ocean). I also remember watching Magilla Gorilla (although he wasn’t one of my favorites). Great impro from a writing pro.

  3. Great ‘story’ 😀 Sounds like you should make acquaintances with Madeline very nicely – maybe she can organise you a diving kit for if you ever need to go near water again 😉

  4. i loved magilla. and loved this post because i have always been a ‘near drowning level’ swimmer myself. like you, i have come to terms with it and don’t intend to do anything to change that status. good choice calling mark in as an impro, don.

  5. OK, Sharon, one more recollection to share and bare. I was probably 9 or 10, in the community pool. My father was pissed that I was not the next coming of Flipper. After I refused to sign up for the free lessons again, he said, just jump in from the low board. Sure, it’ll be over your head, but it’s only a couple feet to the ladder on the side. You’ll dog paddle. It’ll come naturally. So I jumped in from the low board. I still remember the panic that set in during those seconds it took me to naturally rise to the top. I did make it to the side ladder safely. But, Dad got the opposite effect. Thereafter I knew I would NEVER sign up for those lessons, or jump off a diving board into 12 feet of water again.

  6. I learned to swim just enough to hopefully keep drowning at bay (tried that once when I was five and decided there were better ways to die). Thanks for sharing (or is that baring?) your secret.

    1. You are welcome, I told the whole world that I’m neither a leg or a breast man on my sunshine award couple of days ago… I left out the what-man I am for the sake of my readers decency, for now at least, but I think you’re clever enough to read between the lines 🙂

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