Archive for September, 2010

Twitter Me This

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

 

So. I had my ass surgery and have mostly returned from the fog of anesthesia and prescribed pain medications. I stopped taking the Vicodin this morning because I was so stoned that my distractions started suffering distractions of their own. I started to take this time to tell you a funny story about this one drug-induced dream I had, but it can wait.

Instead, I want to talk about something I find both funny, and sad.

As a writer of a first book, I am encountering all of the obstacles unknown entities face when attempting to break through publishing barriers, and get into print. As a businessman, I understand the risk undertaken by a business anytime it decides to take on a new product or employee, or a new philosophy. I realize that a publisher takes a huge risk anytime it signs to produce a book.

Publishing a new book requires huge investments of time, labor and contact resources. Likewise, I get it that publishing an unproven writer ratchets the risk of loss on those investments to uncomfortable levels.

As an observer, I have studied publishing to educate myself as to my options as a new writer. I see that new writers are nearly impossible to publish in a standard house. While my personal style is to knock the door down if my knock goes unanswered, I always try to make sure someone is home first. My method always works, unless nobody is home to field my queries, or their doors are too heavily fortified to yield to my boot-jack kicks.

Obviously I’m still a little stoned from the meds because that makes no sense. Let me try again. Standard Operating Procedure for me is to:

  1. Study my options.
  2. Evaluate said options.
  3. Prioritize choices.
  4. Act.
  5. Don’t take “No” for an answer.

 

My research into publishing has led me to the conclusion that it is a jumbled world of disparate business models, old and new. I have found publishing industry people to be just like those in any business- some good and some bad. The establishment has professionals with high quality skills and dedication, and so does the new wave of self publishing companies. Likewise, both have their share of asswipes.

Unlike many of the other first-book writers I have encountered, I’m not angry about any of this. I won’t kick your doors down because I am not going to do any more knocking. I give a shit, because it is controlling my universe of choices, but I don’t take it personally. This isn’t about me, it’s about an industry in turmoil.

Publishing is no different from any other industry that has technology’s bullseye on its back. Like Blockbuster Video, publishing is vulnerable to computer-aided work output. Just like the classic pen-and-paper graphic artist is at risk to the computer graphic whiz kids over to 99Designs.

Imagine spending days laboring at your drafting desk at Disney Studios, sweating to get this animation cell of Micky Mouse, carrying the bucket of water in Fantasia, perfectly synchronized with the previous cell you completed last week. Today’s computer graphic designers can do that in a few minutes.

Everything is changing. Hell, the entire Earth is in a state of rapid flux, it isn’t just publishing.

I accept my plight. I’m OK that I can’t find any agents to read my queries. I know my stuff is weird and different, and that it will be very hard to sell even if it is good reading. But I don’t know if it’s good reading, or not. I won’t know until someone qualified to pass judgment reads it and comments.

It’s OK with me that this endeavor is difficult. What right do I have to expect anything else? So what if it’s hard to get published. The finer the sieve, the smoother the sauce. Quality products are a condition precedent for any industry to survive.

Maybe quality products are conditions subsequent to industry survival as well.

Last week, I commented about some of my publishing industry observations, both positive and negative. I explained how I have come to realize that I am either not a good enough writer to grab the attention of the classical publishing movers and shakers, or I don’t fit the mold of what sells. I’m not already successful, my celebrity is local, not national, and I’m not a vampire or cowboy writer.

Self publishing is my only current option, so I’m taking that route. Steinbeck didn’t have this choice, but thank God it’s available to me. I’m OK with doing it myself, and now excited to learn the process. I think I have found the people to guide me along the way and will report on my experience.

So, get to the point, Mooner, you are boring the shit out of me, right? Here’s the point. Since posting about CreateSpace Publishing last week, I have had my Twitter account blocked from following numerous accounts of publishing establishment professionals. I have been following the Tweets, blogs and writings of various industry people in my efforts to learn about the industry. Some have decided to attempt to keep me from watching them.

As one said to me in a private note that accompanied her de-Twitterating me as her Follower, “We thought you were one of us, Mr. Johnson. How can you support the germ that has invaded fine literature. How can you feed it the money it’s using to consume the flesh of our centuries-old profession?”

Me, I’m wondering if this is one of those “feed a fever” sort of discussions, when she continues. “I reject you, Mooner Johnson. I reject all there is about you.”

Seems some people actually enjoy the process of rejecting writers. But how can she reject me when I made no submission to her? I reject your rejection, Madam. I’ll not stand for it.

The other person, an agent, who wrote to explain why he was rejecting me as a Follower said, “I think you are funny and your insight is spot on. Nobody knows the future of our industry and you might have some hope. But my boss just told me to nix you from my lists. Goodbye, Mooner.”

They’re going to teach me, right? I already set up a dummy Twitter account and listed them to follow. Because of technology, they can’t get rid of me that easily. Kicking down the back door in this case.

Now, I’m starting to sweat and swoon from all of the antibiotics in my system, and my butt is starting to throb, so I’m going to make my point. If I can figure what it is. I want to say something smart. You know, moralize this dealie in such a brilliant way as to make the shitheads who have blocked me hide their faces in shame.

Instead, I’ll just say it’s funny, and sad. It’s funny that I can get such a strong response from someone I said nice things about. And it’s sad that they can reject me because that support isn’t 100%. Block me because you think I’m a moron. Block me because I fray your moral fiber. Toss me from your Twitterland because my writing is unreadable.

But, when you throw me out of your club because I don’t agree with you 100%? That’s what right-wing religious fuckballs do.

I need a cold Carta Blanca.

Manana, y’all.

Still Dum After All These Years; F Rick Perry

Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

 

So. I am really dumb. I thought that St. David’s Hospital and all of it’s affiliates were Catholic. Turns out that St. David’s is Episcopal, not Catholic, and that means that much of my anxiety with my ass surgery was mis-focused. My new bloggie buddy, Doug, just informed me of my error.

Now, I need to clean up after myself by first apologizing for all of the nasty Catholic thoughts I had about the folks over to St. Davids. I guess them not being Catholics explains all the missing Catholic stuff.

I am sorry.

Second, I need to figure out if I should have been anxious about the Episcopalians. I don’t know anything about them. I have been married in just about every brand of church there is, but not Episcopal. I couldn’t tell you if the Episcopals have priests who wear robes and sashes and shit, nor could I swear they’re actual Christians without the strong hint from the “Saint David” dealie. My research tells me that only the Christian faiths have Saints in the classical manner.

Somewhere in my addled brain are memories that maybe the Episcopals were Catholics who weaned themselves away from the Mother Church. You know, like how the Second Baptist Church splits off from First Baptist when the deacons start arguing over whether or not to fire the pastor for diddling the church secretary on the pulpit steps.

So, I again apologize for thinking you were Catholic, but reserve the right to have felt anxious about you as Episcopalians.

I wonder what the Pope thinks about Episcopals. I know how the Baptists feel without checking, since Baptists think anyone who has a Saint of any name is an idol worshiping heathen, and doomed to hell. Does the Pope think that Episcopals are doomed to hell as well?

But I think I’ll quote my Gram here, and say, “Who gives a shit? We’re all going to hell if we can’t wrestle control of Texas away from the fucking right-wing Republicans.”

I feel too puny to finish this rant, so I’m headed to a sitz bath. And since I took the last of my prescribed antibiotics last night, I’m taking a cooler of Carta Blanca beer with me.

But let me finish with this:

Fuck Rick Perry.

Manana, y’all.

Out of Surgery; Out of my Mind

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

 

So. My ass surgery has been completed, and that is good news. While it seems my fistula was a nasty little beastie, Dr. Ashworth found no suspicious growths or leaky bowels, and that is great news. I didn’t have any bad reactions to my anesthesias, more good news, and I didn’t get arrested or Tazer zapped- great news.

I think I might have offered to trade sexual favors for Insurance deductibles after they put me under, but my memory is fuzzy there. I guess no body was offended because, like I said, no arrest and no Tazer-inflicted woodie.

The staff at North Austin Surgical Center were fantastic, which is good news, and bad. First for the good news, because the good news is the bad news. These guys were nice, supportive, thoughtful, funny, tolerant, informative and well trained. Every person I encountered, and there were many, was a professional.

And a human.

From the minute I was checked in, I saw nothing but smiles. Not those shitty fake smiles like lawyers give you when they pretend to understand, or care about, what you are dealing with. Nope, these smiles were the ones that come from the heart, and use the face as a vehicle to communicate the sentiment. These smiles were sincere.

Each looked me in the eye when they spoke to me; they answered all of my questions directly; they detailed every expected event of my procedure, and carefully explained possibilities of unexpected events. I have already detailed for you the very high regard in which I hold Dr. Rodney Ashworth, my surgeon. He and his nurse, Christine, are remarkable examples of good bedside manner and empathetic medical care.

Somehow, all the guys in the Surgical Center were cut from the same Hypocritical cloth as the Doc, and I am herein expressing my gratitude. Thanks to Stacey, Shelly, Rene, Anna, Evelyn, and Linda and Ann. Those women, ladies one and all, were my nurses, and Doctor Gras was my anesthesiologist. Thank you for everything.

I must admit that I lost the paper on which I had written everyone’s name, and I needed Stacey to look them up on my chart. When I told her that I had the blog posting all ready except for their names, she said to me, she says, “Well, Mooner, if you can’t remember our names how can you remember what happened. You were knocked-out big time, buster.”

She had a good point, but I can’t let the truth stand in the way of a good story. Anyway, everyone was great.

“OK, Mooner, how can any of that be bad news?” is what you are all asking, right? You want to know how I can find bad news in such good news. Fine, here’s the deal.

See, North Austin Surgical Center is owned and operated by Saint David’s Hospital System, a money-generating business for the Catholic. Part of my pre-surgery anxiety was seated in my personal bias towards the Holy Roman Catholic Church. I assumed that the Catholics would run this business with the same brain they use to run their religion, and that I would have Catholic doctrine infused into my already heightened uneasiness over getting my ass all chopped up.

I was prepared to do my best to ignore all of the Christs-on-crosses and religious posters that would be hanging everywhere. I visited a Catholic church with a buddy back to grade school, and his church had this giant Christ-on-a-cross statue. It was on the wall behind the Priest and it was lit by floodlights, each of which focused upon an unsavory aspect of the crucified Christ. The lights punctuated His bloody wrists and ankles where the spikes pegged him tight; the open wound on His side with the blood graphically flowing.

In the brightest light of all was the statue’s face. Christ’s countenance was the sculpted feature that messed me up really bad. This was the “Face of Christ’s Agony” look, and all of you Catholics know what I’m talking about. I sat there, staring into the eyes of the Son of God, and I could feel every torturous act inflicted on his body as if I were one of the thieves who hung beside him.

I could hear the slaps of whips, the pounding of spikes with heavy wooden mallets. I could feel the weight of my body jerk at wrists and ankles on those spikes as the Roman Soldiers roughly dropped our crosses into their crudely dug, rocky holes. Halfway through the service, as I imagined the sharpened blade about to slash my side, I freaked out and ran screaming from the church.

I still see that statue’s face in bad dreams. I had numerous witty remarks planned for when I encountered the lobotomized nurse who I imagined was going to tell me that, “God is going to be assisting Dr. Ashworth today.”

And I was especially looking forward to my visit from the priest. Oh yea, I had a full load of shit to drop on his head.

I didn’t realize until I was coming around after the operation, that much of my anxiety over this business was centered in my expectations that St. David’s would get all Catholic on me. I was worried that I would get preached at, and looked down upon, by sanctimonious asswipes.

The thought of having my naked torso exposed to people who have already condemned my heathen soul to an eternity of fiery hell, made my stomach twist up. I was also worried that one of the Catholic women who protest routinely at the Planned Parenthood location over to Anderson Mill would be my nurse.

I was petrified that the protester would seek her revenge on me while I was under the knife, and perform the promised castration she threatened when I disrupted her protesting this one time. She was mightily pissed that I joined her sign-waving crowd with a sign of my own. Their signs had all of the typical anti-abortion crappy and trite sayings, like, “Honk if you want to save babies,” and “Kill abortionists, not babies,” and “Catholics Against Birth Control.”

Mine said, “I’m an abortion and I’m OK!” on the one side. Other side said, “Fuck the Pope!”

So anyway, I’d been laying up at night worrying that the one lady would be one of my nurses.

I had planned to spend this time telling you about my terrible experience surrounding surgery, and follow that up with the misery of recovery. But only the misery of recovery part would be accurate. The entire experience at North Austin Surgical Center is as good as it could be without them having icy cold Carta Blanca beer as one of their post-op drink choices. I chose Coke for mine, but it lacks the power to punch through the taste an operation leaves in a person’s mouth and throat.

It takes more than sugary bubble water to cut the anesthetic aftertaste, and that nasty-assed way your throat feels after they remove the breathing tube.

Anyway, I feel like crap, but the worst should be over. Manana, y’all.

On The Eve Before Ass Surgery

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

 

So. I’m thinking I might not be handling the entire ass surgery thingie very well. I didn’t sleep well last night or the night before, and I always sleep well. I have slept well ever since the time I got caught in this big lie as a kid.

Streaker Jones and I snuck into Gram’s potion closet out to the barn, and helped ourselves to a taste from a few of the small, dark-brown medicinal tincture bottles Gram uses to package her products. You know those bottles- like Whole Foods uses to bottle liquid herbs. With the squeezie dropper tops. I think we were drinking one of Gram’s Church Lady potions. You know, like she sells to religious types.

I remember that one of Gram’s best sellers was Spare the bacon and bring home the rod. The time we’re talking here was the middle of last century, before the invention of Viagra. I guess men have been having pecker problems for at least a few generations. I know it wasn’t long after this event that I experienced my first adolescent woody, so I’m thinking that Spare the bacon was one of the potions we snuck into.

And I know Streaker Jones and I should have sneaked, but we’re country boys, so we snuck.

Anyway, we overdid our sampling and got a touch wasted with magic mushroom juice. I guess our pupils dilated so completely as to disappear. I lied when caught and questioned, but Streaker Jones told the truth.

Gram thanked Streaker Jones for his honesty, and sent him home with some fresh baked cookies. Streaker Jones’ momma abandoned him and his daddy just after his birth, so Gram always tried to send him home with something home baked.

Me, I endured the application of redneck punishment- the razor strap, applied first by Gram, and then by Daddy when he came in from the fields.

I haven’t told an important lie since. And I also attempt to do what I think is right, because I believe to not do the right thing is the same as a lie. When you always do what you think is right, you have one of those clean consciences so vital to good sleep.

Not sleeping well dirties my conscience, and I have a mean conscience. Think about it. Normal folks have one or maybe two thoughts in their head at any given moment. What with my ADHD and associated obsessivenesses, once my conscience starts bothering me, it’s a major league bother.

Imagine feeling bad about fifteen thoughts all at once. And isn’t obsessivenesses a great word? Almost better than Mississippi. Might be better.

Not sleeping well disturbs me. It causes me to look for what it is that I have done that was unprincipled. I’d been racking my brain to figure the cause for my insomnia, and I could only conclude that it is not my recent actions. I have rethought everything I have done the last few days, and that took all night last night. I couldn’t think of a single do-over moment from the recent past.

Sleepy and disgruntled when I dragged my butt out of bed this morning, I have managed to grouch at every living thing I have encountered. It started when I opened my closet door to get some shorts and a shirt to wear, and Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry were still dozing away on the floor.

I toed Rushie in the ear with my bare foot and said, “Get your lazy ass out of the closet and go outside in the sunlight. You and that feather duster both.”

Now I towed the the pig in his ear again, and lightly thumped the ostrich on his butt with my foot. Then I finished by berating them for being lazy chicken shits for hiding in the closet in the first place. “Go outside and take your medicine like men!”

I must have yelled the last part, because Rush the pig starts crying and snivel-snotting, and the ostrich Rick Perry started eyeballing me with daggers. Scary sight when a 300-pound bird with eyes the size of billiard balls is staring daggers at you.

“Oh, for shitsakes don’t cry, Rushie. I’m sorry. I’m just a little out of sorts.”

Rush just kept sobbing, but my ostrich said something I need to get translated. I’ll ask the Squirt when I pick her up later, but I think he said he wanted to stake me to an ant hill.

By the time I finished my breakfast, I had insulted Gram, Mother, Aunt Hilda and Dubbie J all four. Then I got pissed at that tea bagger woman politician who was on the TV saying something stupid, and I tossed my English muffin. It stuck jelly side to the screen, so now I’m cursing marmalade as I clean the mess.

Guess I grouched at living things and inanimate objects as well.

So, I’m bitching and griping at everything in sight, and I guess my Gram had heard enough.

“Oh, fer shitsakes, Mooner. What’s done crawled up yer ass this morning? Yer act-tating like a cry baby.”

I apologized and explained about not sleeping and worrying about having done something wrong, and all of that shit. In unison, the three Johnson family elders looked at me like I was a moron. Gram says, “You wanna tell im Hilda?”

My sweet, demented Aunt Hilda, whose face always carries an angelic smile says to me, she says, “It’s the surgery, shithead. Dubbie J saw it right off.”

Dubbie J is a Nineteenth Century African shrunken head my crazy old aunt keeps in a velvet-lined mahogany box. He’s been Hilda’s constant companion ever since she and Gram were girls on a Baptist Mission to the Congo early in the last century.

“You mean I’m worried about my ass surgery?” I asked.

All I got was three old women giving me that look that says, “Well fucking duh!”

“Oh, God, you’re right. I’m frightened to have Dr. Ashworth cutting on my ass.”

Actually, I realized I’m petrified. I have been delusional about it, thinking that I’m only concerned because the cutting will take place on my beautiful bottom. But I’m just plain scared to have invasive surgery done on my body. Sissy boy scared- scared in the way I promised myself not to be.

I need to call my buddy Lloyd Lebow, or maybe contact George Takei and get some advice on how to take this like a man. Or maybe Colleen Lindsay. Maybe one of them can help me deal with this.

I have this terrible sense of dread that has crept into me.

Ugh.

Now I find out that Jenny Legun with CreateSpace Publishing is from, and still located in, the Charleston, S.C. area. Not New York City. So I got a terrible read on that, which also might explain why I did so badly at the poker game the other night. I guess worrying about my surgery is screwing up my people skills as well. Can I say, “Ugh,” again?

Ugh.

I need a Carta Blanca beer.

Manana, y’all. Or maybe it will be manana de la manana before I can get back to you if I’m slow to recover.

CreateSpace Still On Target; Ass Surgery Deadline Looms

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

 

So. As we were discussing yesterday, I’m giving CreateSpace Publishing the chance to earn my publishing business. Ashley Regan promptly responded to my original request for assistance and sent me a naire with eight questions to answer yesterday.

I’m not talking about the hair removal product that stinks so bad. I’m talking about the word that means, “A form, formatting device or platform used to list questions or opinions. As in questionnaire.” I’m growing to like the word naire. It’s one of those words that doesn’t sound settled or comfortable when you use it. It rattles around in your mouth before you say it and tries to stick on your tongue. I like using words and phrases that make you uncomfortable. Like right-wing religious Republican fuckballs.

I thought carefully about my answers to the naire’s questions because I like getting good scores. I answered all eight questions satisfactorily I assume, since she then asked me to set a time for a personal phone call. I said, “Any time before Friday is fine with me.” Friday is out because of the ass surgery I have scheduled with Dr. Ashworth.

Ashley suggests to me, “How about Wednesday at 3:30 pm Eastern Time?”

I say, “That’s 2:30 in Austin, and fine with me.”

It’s now Wednesday and 3:00 pm Austin time, 4:00 Eastern, and I just got off the phone with Jenny Legun. Jenny is my Publishing Consultant, and a Senior PC at that. Ashley assigned me to Jenny, and Jenny made the promised call at precisely 2:30 pm Austin time. You pronounce Jenny’s last name to sound like Regan except with “L” as the first letter, and I felt special because Jenny is a Senior PC.

Jenny has that sexy telephone voice that a confident woman develops when she moves to New York City. I don’t mean to say that Jenny is overtly sexy acting, but rather that she has a depth of character and no-nonsense cadence in her voice that makes a person listen to her every word.

I don’t think she’s a native Manhattanite. I don’t think she got her confidence growing up there. She didn’t have the natural impatience with my ramblings exhibited by most native New Yorkers I’ve encountered. Come to think of it, she sounds a little like SAC Ellen, so maybe she’s from the near mid-west. Ohio, maybe.

Would you say, “Manhattener,” instead?

Anyway, Jenny walked me through all of the many services offered to struggling newbie writers, like me. She carefully explained what she can do and answered all of my questions as we went. And she didn’t step into any of my traps.

See, I am basically distrustful of sales types, and Jenny is just that until I sign on her dotted line. It’s Jenny’s job to counsel me into publishing with her company. Once signed, others will do the production stuff, and she’ll counsel by holding my hand.

As an un-trusting kind of guy, I like to set traps for sales types when I first meet them. What I do is say unkind things about their competitors, and then see how they react. How a person handles these traps determines if I will move forward with them.

Like when I told her of my unpleasant experience with her direct competitor, she didn’t respond at all, which was the best response. She could have said that she was sorry I had the bad experience, but that she knew the competitor had helped others successfully, which would be a solid response. But to have said anything negative would be strike one.

To rant about her competitor and tell me horror stories would have been strikes two, and three.

When I told her my conventional agent story, she didn’t berate conventional publishing practices at all. Instead, she said very supportive things about them. She explained why the market has developed for her company’s self publishing services by telling me how difficult it is to be an agent or a big publishing house in today’s economic environment. She actually had me feeling sorry for the burdensome job professional book people have.

And she used real, factual evidence. Like how many new manuscripts there are and how expensive conventional publishing is, and how 70% of those books published lose money.

She hit it out of the park.

I told her I would like to see what kind of package of services she could design for me, and she asked me some questions about my needs. When we hung up the phone just before 3 pm my time, Jenny promised me an Email, “In about 30-minutes time.”

Then we set a date for next Wednesday to discuss her proposals by phone. I can’t do it before then, what with my surgery and recovery time, and Jenny can’t do it next Thursday or Friday because she’s a bridesmaid in a wedding. I wonder what color the bridesmaid dresses will be. Since Fall just hit, I bet they’ll be one of those strange purple-brown colors.

Guess what. At 3:26 pm Austin time, as I was writing, “70% of those books lose money,” I got an Email ping announcing that my proposals arrived from Jenny. Hoo-yah!

Now, I’m starting to wonder if Jenny is located in NYC. I assumed so, since she’s in publishing, and on Eastern Standard Time. Isn’t Amazon up to Washington State? But I’m here to tell you that Jenny did not refine that voice in Seattle, Washington.

Look, I can’t worry over the origins of Jenny’s voice. Like Gram always says, she’ll say, “Who gives a shit.”

I’m going to celebrate possibly finding myself a publisher, and crack a cold Carta Blanca beer. It’s time for my second dose of Gram’s surgical potion that tastes like ostrich shit, and Carta Blanca is a great chaser.

Manana, y’all.

Publishing Dilemma; Customer Service?

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

 

So. I seem to have chosen the most confusing of all times to become a writer. I’m getting ready to publish my book, performing my due diligence on the many choices available. I think that in the case of a writer investigating his options for publishing a book, it should be called doo-doo dillegence.

What a crock of shit.

For starters, computers and the Internet have turned the entire publishing industry upside down. The future is so uncertain that everybody is pulling the headless chicken. E- books and Kindles and Lulu have given writers viable choices over, what I have discovered to be, a very snotty-nosed conventional publishing crowd. You would think that the established procurers of new work would be scrambling to identify and sign new writers.

But, unless you are a celebrity or an already established author, or your first book is about vampires, agents and publishing houses don’t have the time of day for you. A writer buddy of mine asked me what kind of response times I was experiencing in getting replies on my queries.

“What response time?” I answered. “Someone would need to reply back to me first.”

I can’t even get anybody to write back to tell me I’m full of shit and should find a real job. Which surprises me when you consider that traditional publishing is losing its grip on books. I follow dozens of Twitter and blog accounts of agents, writers and publishing people. Everybody is concerned about the future of the publishing establishment. You would think that agents, especially agents, would knock themselves out when they get a query.

And don’t go getting all snarky on me. I’m not saying all agents are doofusses. Doofusi, maybe. It’s just that the only agents that have accepted my queries have yet to be responsive. I follow many of the better agents, but none seem to handle my variety of writing. I see agents holding Twitter conferences with writers, assisting them with how to contact agents, and how to do a good querie.

There are good agents out there. And good publisher reps as well.

If my compost customers were leaving me to go buy from a competitor, the last thing I would do is ignore their inquiries. Even if I didn’t want to sell to you, I would still respond. I’d say, “Thanks for calling Mooners Compost Plant. I am disappointed to tell you that I can’t help you, but you might try calling those ignorant fuckballs over to Baily’s Compost. They’ll sell to anybody.”

You know, make a thoughtful response and try to help the poor sap. You never know when a kind deed will be returned to you. It’s just the right thing to do. Like this one time I had a young kid come out to the plant. He was driving an old pickup truck so rusty it looked painted brown. I think the original paint might have been that funky looking green color they were painting trucks back to the early 1970’s.

Sister bought a 1971 Ford F-150 in that color, and it was the ugliest thing I ever saw. But I think lesbian women must like weird shades, because several of Sister’s buddies had trucks that same color. I can ask her about it. Maybe the preference for ugly-ass colors is a genetic marker in the lesbian gene. She and her wife, Anna the Amazon, wore these matching wedding dresses in a color so ugly you wouldn’t see it on the bridesmaid’s dresses at a straight wedding.

When Gram got her first look at the expensive, lacy finery, she said, “Looks like a pig done wallerd on yer dresses.” Then she eyeballed the girls up and down, and added, “But, who gives a shit. Yer in love.”

My God my ADHD is on the fritz. So, this young kid in the rusty truck of questionable color comes in and wants a tour of my compost operations. I’m thinking to myself that this will be a waste of time, but maybe the kid will grow up and be somebody some day. I also love to show off my facilities to anybody willing to take the time, so I showed him around.

He’s asking questions like a two-year-old. “Why do you do this, and what does that machine do, and what is the benefit of using compost.” Question after question for an hour.

When we finished, he handed me a business card and said to me, he says, “I’ll be getting back to you sir. You’re the only man in town willing to give me the time of day.”

That kid turned out to be the owner of what is now the largest landscape company in the state, and my biggest customer.

Which brings me back to my due diligence. I found the conventional agent and publishing house book printing model to be unavailable to me, so I turned to the new methods. What I found there was totally different in form, but most similar in function.

Do it yourself publishing is a wonderland of options. When you type, “self publishing,” into Google, and then hit the search button, you are told it found, “About 43,000,000 results in 00.47 seconds.”

I haven’t checked out even one percent of the sites yet, but I can assure you that it is confusing. The choices are staggering and confusing. I tried to learn how to do it myself with one of the self-publishing companies, and was ready to pull my hair out five minutes into the exercise.

The instructions were so computer geeked, I couldn’t navigate my way through the first page. I got so frustrated that I sent an Email to their support team asking for help. I await their response now, two months later.

So, I’m all geared up to blast everybody in the entire publishing industry for being snot-nosed shitwads, when I get a ping to my mail system telling me I have new Email. The ping occurred as I was typing the word “geeked” up in that last paragraph. I finished the paragraph and logged on my Email account, and there, I found renewed hope.

See yesterday, I got to the low twenty-thousands of the about-43,000,000 Google search results for self publishing. Number 21,236 was for CreateSpace Publishing. I got on their site yesterday, and not only found it easy to use, but they also offered things to help a writer figure things out.

They had a free things-you-should-know booklet, which I downloaded and found helpful, and then they had a “contact us to discuss stuff” button. I figured it was a waste of time, but I clicked it and filled-out the questionnaire anyway. Why are there two n’s in questionnaire? What the hell is a naire?

The ping I got when writing “geeked” was from Ashley Regan of CreateSpace Publishing. It was a thoughtful response with an eight question naire. It promises that if I answer the eight questions, and tell her when I’m available, that she will call me on the actual telephone.

That’s right, she says that she will call me in the first person on the phone of my choice and at a time that works for me.

Totally screwed up a good rant.

As I was finishing the responses to her naire, Gram came to my office to give me the first dosing of the potion she made to prepare me for my ass surgery this Friday. Its about time Mooner pissed on his ownself is my grandmother’s first attempt at a chelated formulation.

She hands me a tincture bottle and says, “Here, Mooner, swiggle this, sweetie. This is tha first a three dosin’s you’ll be needin fer yer sugicals.”

I took the cap off the little bottle and stuck it to my nose. “Oh for shit sakes, Gram. What’s that smell?”

“Jist shut yer yap and drink it down.”

I did, and had trouble keeping it down. “What the hell is that taste Gram. It tastes like the ostrich Rick Perry just shit in my mouth.”

The old gas bag gave me a toothy grin, and said, “He did. Now go an brush yer teeth.”

I did, and rinsed with mouthwash as well. Gram is always a good person to bounce things off of, so I told her about how I was all wound up and ready to blast the entire publishing industry. Then I told her about how Ashley Regan had spoiled my pity party and ruined a good bloggie posting.

When I told her I didn’t know what direction to take with my story she said to me, she says, “Who gives a shit, Mooner. This is one a them winner-winner-chickin-supper dealies fer you.”

I asked her to explain her logic. “Look at it this a way. If this Ashley does a good job, ya can praise her. Iffn she don’t, then ya put the horseshoes to her.”

“Don’t you mean I can put the screws to her if she messes up?”

“Don’t be silly, Mooner. You got a girlfriend already. I mean ta put her in a gunny sack with a mess a horseshoes, and drop er inna lake.”

Redneck justice.

But I get Gram’s point because this is a win/win for me. I’ll just report to you guys here to bloggie world and tell you about my experience.

Ashley is a girl’s name, right? Isn’t the man’s version spelled Ashly?

I need a cold Carta Blanca beer to cover the taste in my mouth.

Manana, y’all.

Enter at Your Own Risk- An Ass Surgery Primer

Monday, September 20th, 2010

 

So. I’m organizing the week around my big ass operation scheduled for this Friday. I’ve got to be to the surgical center by 6 am sharp, wearing loose-fitting clothes and having had nothing to eat or drink since midnight Thursday. Gram and Dixie have agreed to take me.

That means that I need to eat everything I plan to eat before Thursday night and do some laundry. I figure loose-fitting means sweats and all my sweats are dirty. It also means that the three of us will be crammed into Gram’s Ferrari for the trip both ways.

I wonder if my post operative care includes packing my ass in ice.

I’m nervous about this surgery. I mean nervous in a way that’s different from what everyone goes through when they face an invasive procedure. See, this is my ass we’re talking about here, not my brain or my face or my heart.

My ass is where I make my money. If it wasn’t for my beautiful ass, and my ability to display it in stirring fashion, you would not even know who I am. There would be no book, no blog and no stories to tell.

Simply put, without my ass, there would be no “Mooner” in Butcher Einstein “Mooner” Johnson.

My butt is my identity. My entire life revolves around my ass. I would be lost without it. I’d have no place to hide my head when I get stupid. I’d have nothing out of which to pull miracles, when I get cornered. I’d be lost.

I guess this would be like if Pamela Anderson had lumps in her boobies, or if Angelina Jolie had a lip problem.

For new readers, the surgery is to investigate my anal cavity area to seek answers as to why I continue to have “seepage” from a previous surgical site, said site resulting from efforts to provide relief to infected anal glands.

Dr. Ashworth’s explanation of the procedure went like this, “We’ll need to find a spot to enter the area, Mooner. A place that provides access and causes as little harm to the surrounding flesh as possible. Then, we’ll cut a pathway as we go, working our way around any significant structures. We have to go deep into the cavity, explore all or that territory to root-out problem spots. We’ll mitigate the problems and then we’ll work our way out.”

Sounded like he was going spelunking.

I was reminded of Junior High School History Class when we were studying about explorers. Admiral Byrd was one guy I admired as a kid. But he explored the flat, icy extremes of our planet. Stark, naked and frozen extremities were his specialty. I think Admiral Byrd was a stark-raving lunatic.

Actually, I think most of the old timey explorers were lunatics. You’d have to be crazy to do some of the shit they did.

The explorer I began to focus upon was Francisco de Orellana, the Spaniard who discovered the Amazon River in 1541. The symbolism between navigating the Amazon River the first time, and my anal cavity surgery, is scary. Think about it. He was a crazy fucking Catholic Spaniard and went about converting all of the natives he found.

“It’s Christ, or die, you heathen.”

Some took the Christ option and many died.

Anyway, I’m worried that I’ll get some nasty scars on my ass that will limit my ass shows. There’s only so many ways to use Frankenstein and Scarface in a moon show.

And speaking of Catholics, my buddy, Bobby, called me all pissed off. He caught a bunch of flak from when I mentioned his name in that bloggie posting about St. Louis of France Cathedral and the screw job they put on Temple Beth Shalom for Yom Kippur.

“My family knows we’re buddies, Mooner. Why’d you have to use my name?”

Turns out his sisters, Sarah Elizabeth and Mary Catherine, both attend over to St. Louis.

“SE and MC came to Sunday dinner,” Bobby instructed, “and you need to be prepared, Mooner. They think you went too far with all that stuff you said about the Pope, and all.”

Then he asked me, “Did you really say the Pope was homosexual?”

Ooopsie. “Well, I didn’t exactly say that he’s gay, Bobby. I just said that I think it likely that the Pope would prefer bedding Prince Charles over the Queen.”

“Oh sweet Jesus and his virgin mother,” Bobby almost cried. “Please don’t use my name in your propaganda again.”

“Well look at how he dresses, Bobby. He dresses gayer than the Follies Bergere.”

“Don’t make it worse, Mooner.”

“Sorry,” I told him. “I won’t do it again.”

But propaganda?

Is this one of those times when I have managed to fuck up commonality of interest, again? I don’t know if I’ll ever get that one right. Just because you have something in common with a person doesn’t insure they’ll be interested in what you say. Or that they’ll like it.

Then, Gram came to see me just before I started writing this posting. “Mooner, honey, I’m gonna formie-late ya a potion fer yer proceedins.” She handed me an empty Carta Blanca bottle and a cork stopper.

“Now go an piss inta that bottle an cork er up.”

I went to the bathroom and did as asked. When I handed the now warm bottle back, I asked, “What’s that for. Gram?”

“I’m expeir-mo-latin with one a them key-lime-o-late dealies, Mooner. Callin this one It’s about time Mooner pissed on his ownself.

“It’s chelation, Gram, and it only works for pregnant ladies.”

“Who gives a shit, Mooner. I been wantin ta try this fer a time.”

I wonder if the chemical structure of my urine will effect the medicinal properties of the magic mushroom juice that is the foundation of all my Gram’s potions? I wonder if I get really stoned on Gram’s potion if I can do the surgery without any added anesthesia. It might be fun to watch Dr. Ashworth tunnel through my anal cavity.

I could drink Carta Blanca beer and cheer him on while he works on me. Maybe bring some nachos.

Fact is, my ass hurts now, so I’m going to crack the first Carta Blanca of the day. Manana, y’all.

Local Catholics Screw Pooch- Spoil Yom Kippur

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

 

So. Try as I might to remove the Catholic Church from my gun sights, they keep pulling silly stunts and placing the bullseye smack between their own eyes. This time, a local Catholic congregation, St. Louis of France Catholic Church, has managed to turn an act of kindness into a rank act of stupidity.

Here’s the deal. Temple Beth Shalom, a neighboring Jewish congregation to St. Louis, sometimes needs more room than they have on special occasions. This weekend’s Yom Kippur service is one of those occasions. Being good neighbors, St. Louis of France has allowed Beth Shalom to use their building on several prior occasions.

Love thy neighbor, and all of that, right?

But guess what. Two days before the scheduled sharing of facilities for Yom Kippur, Bishop Joe Vasquez, local Austin high muck-a-muck for The Holy Roman Catholic Church, decided to withdraw the invitation to use the church from Beth Shalom. The reason for this last minute change of heart- Rabbi Alan Freedman, Temple Beth Shalom’s high muck-a-muck, is on the Board of Planned Parenthood.

For whatever it’s worth, I bet Bishop Joe was Jose Vasquez before his promotion to Bishop. His birth name was likely Jose Dominguez-Vasquez, or Jose Vasquez-Rodriquez.

About ten minutes after I read the article, front page news on the Austin American Statesman, I started laughing. I had moved on in the newspaper, and was reading a Metro Section story about a DUI trial, when it hit me. Now look, don’t go getting all pissed at me. My chuckles were not directed at the terrible corner the Temple was backed into. I am very sad that the silly fucking Catholics pulled the rug from under the Temple.

But I couldn’t help myself from laughing- the Catholics crack me up.

Think about this one. OK, the Holy Roman Catholic Church is founded on the belief that Jesus Christ: was born the Son of God, birthed by a virgin mother; produced many miracles and said many wonderful things; was crucified and died and arose from the dead; willingly made that sacrifice so that the rest of us could be saved and have everlasting life in heaven, therefore fulfilling all of the important prophesy from the Old Testament; giving all of those Catholic Saints reason to write their books (that would be some of the New Testament); and a bunch of other stuff.

Basically, the faith that Jesus is who the Catholic Church says he is, is the nuclear core that powers the Catholic faith. Maybe that should be a capital “W” Who.

For the last 2,000 years, the Catholics have spurned and burned anybody who even appears to doubt their faithful tenants. Hell, back to the Dark Ages, the Catholics would rip your body into pieces on the rack if you so much as questioned a Church edict.

The Jews, on the other hand, don’t buy any single premise of the foundation of the Catholic religion. Christ was just another nice Jewish boy, a virgin is a virgin, heaven is a confusing concept, and so on. The Jews don’t doubt that Jesus existed, they simply don’t have any faith that he is the prophesied one. Prophesized one? Prophesated, maybe.

Did I get that right?

But, even though the Jews think the entire Catholic experience is based on a bunch of balderdash, it’s OK for them to camp-out in our Sacred building over to St. Louis of France Church. Even though the Jews think we Catholics are totally full of liturgical bullshit, they can borrow the facilities. Even though Mel Gibson, a Catholic Man held in high standing, has blamed the Jews for so many of today’s problems, Temple Beth Shalom is still welcome over to St. Louis of France.

However. You support Planned Parenthood? Now you have gone too far!

Are you fucking kidding me?

Am I the only one who thinks this is funny? Say I’m Catholic. You call my entire religion a joke, and that’s OK by me- I’ll welcome you into my home with open arms. But if you support an organization that provides counseling to women and girls, and said counseling offers birth control as one option for preventing unwanted pregnancy, you are not welcome at all.

Or said another way, “It’s OK to crap all over my faith, just don’t stick your pecker into a condom.”

Very funny shit. I have a Catholic buddy and I rag on him every time his church pulls one of these bone-headed stunts. When I called him after reading this story, he answered the phone by saying, “We didn’t know he was on the board of Planned Parenthood, Mooner. Now get off my ass.”

I let a moment of silence pass before I said, “Bobby, you need to think this one through and then call me back.”

Maybe fifteen minutes later he’s on line two. When I pick it up, all I can hear is him laughing. “Well,” I told him, “You seem to have caught my angle on this one,” and I started laughing too.

“Yea, we screwed the pooch, didn’t we.” Then he laughed some more and said, “You know Mooner, I wish we could stop with this all or nothing stuff. It makes us look stupid.”

Bobby is a good man and a good person. Maybe not such a good Catholic in the eyes of his Pope, but the kind of Catholic the church needs if it is to survive another millennium.

“I hate giving any credit to your criticisms of my church, Mooner. But here recently, I can’t find fault in your logic.”

“Keep the faith, baby.” Then I added, “Maybe the next Pope will have compassion as the spark to his mettle.”

Anyway, it’s Friday and that makes tonight Date Night. I didn’t have my ass surgery today- it’s delayed until next week, so I’m planning to take SAC Ellen someplace special. Maybe the Salt Lick for BBQ.

She finally started talking to me, and I don’t want to fuck up, again. I got some flowers and a box of chocolates, and a sickly-sweet greeting card too. I’m going to stop off for SAC Ellen first, then go by Dr. Sam I. Am’s office to pick up the Squirt. I’m not going to make the same mistake as last time, and show to the SACster’s door with the dog in tow.

Nope, I’ve got my priorities straight. And I’ve got the Carta Blanca beer iced in a chest in the trunk, because the Salt Lick has no beer for sale. I haven’t eaten all day so I can get my money’s worth at to the Salt Lick.

Manana, y’all.

Elizabeth, Queen of England; Pope Benedict, Queen

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

 

So. Coincidence being what it is, after several days of me venting my spleen at the Holy Roman Catholic Church, up pops the Pope. I’m sitting at my breakfast table out to the ranch, eating my multi-grain muffin, reading the paper and half-assed watching Good Morning America from the corner of my eye.

What with all of my butt problems, I’m eating a super fiber-rich diet. I still use real butter on my muffins though. I’ll never give up real butter. Or half-and-half. Super strong coffee with half-and-half.

The images on the TV captured my attention because they looked familiar. I went to a drag queen show a few weeks back, and I had a blast. Some of those ladies crack me up. My favorites are the impersonators, like Madonna, Cher, Katie Couric and Queen Elizabeth.

It was my memory of the hilarious Queenie E skit, performed by Ms. Louie/Louise Laramie, that dragged my eyes off the Op Ed pages to the TV. At first, I thought they were playing film from the DQ show I saw. Here was the impersonator dressed all frumpy, carrying that huge Queen Elizabeth purse and wearing the Queen’s public expression. And Louie/Louise’s Pope character- that of a frumpy old queen in a frilly gown with multiple layered skirts, stooped with the weight of all the religious jewelry around his neck.

And wearing the same Queen’s facial pose. I’m thinking to myself, I thought, “Old Louie/Louise has got himself a longterm gig with this act.

You guys know the Queen’s expression, right? That’s the one where she practices her look by tying a half lemon to a string, and puts the lemon into her mouth. She then swallows the string and has a servant slowly pull the lemon out of her ass by the string.

I love that look of dignified indignity. That look says, “I’m the Queen, I’m bored, and you are a fucking commoner. When will you go away?”

Anyway, the Queen impersonator was on the TV, dressed as the Queen and greeting himself dressed as the Pope. I figured it was one of those Photo-shopped dealies that TV technicians can do. You know, like back with Bewitched when the good witch, Samantha, would be talking to herself, the bad witch, Agatha. Darrin, the husband, would be in a suspended animation jungle scene about to be eaten by a lion. His fate would be determined by whichever witch had better powers.

Except things are so much more sophisticated in TV Land now that you can’t see any screwed-up pixels, or any fuzzy lines between the characters. At first view, I thought somebody had done a masterful job transplanting the two images together. It was so lifelike the way the two half-dead acting characters interacted.

Fake grimaces, rubber-fish handshakes, molded plaster faces. Me, I’m patting the L/L on the back and wondering who does his makeup.

Then, I hear George Stepanopoulis say, “ … blah, blah, blah.., the Pope’s visit with the Queen marks the first time, blah, blah and blah.”

“Holy shit!” I exclaimed as I jumped from my seat to point at the TV screen. “That’s the actual Queen and Pope!”

Gram spit her grapefruit juice in a spray across the table, and Mother almost fainted at my outburst. “What inna shit is wrong with you, Mooner. I done spittered my juicie all to hell an back.”

“That’s not Louie/Louise doing the Pope and the Queen, Gram, that’s the fucking Pope and the fucking Queen!” I told them. “Holy fucking shit! They’re twins!”

“Who gives a shit, Mooner. We all know tha Pope issa queen. Now sit down an finish yer mufflers afore yer mother has a corny rarie.”

The Pope is the twin of the Queen of England. If not, there’s two strings of non-maternal, identical DNA floating around out there, and that is a statistical impossibility. OK, it’s possible, but excessively not probable.

Then I got to thinking about how the Pope dresses. I commented the other day about the Catholic clergy’s elegant robed attire, and how they should disrobe and come out of the Dark Ages. Looking at the Popester on TV, it dawned on me that the higher a guy’s rank, the more elaborate his costume. Like the difference between how Friar Tuck is dressed compared to La Pope.

Look, I know Friar Tuck was likely a Church of England guy and not Catholic. But you get my driftings. But looking at the Queen and the Pope on TV reminded me of when I saw Cher and Lady Gaga together at the video awards the other night.

Which of those two fashion icons wore your favored ensemble? Very similar style, identical sexual teasing, same facial features and robust bodies, and both dressed in high kitschy glamor. Me, I’m with Cher. I had sex dreams about Cher back to when she was still the “and” part of Sonny.

Plus, Lady Gaga’s meat outfit disturbed my pig and ostrich. I tried to get them to see that she was just expressing her artist license, and not drying meat in a dark, a satirical way. Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry remained unamused.

Now, compare the Queen and the Pope. Twins, I tell you.

Look, don’t take my word for it, go to www.telegraph.co.uk/news/damianthompson , and look at the photos Damian has posted. He’s got several shots of the twins you can use to compare. Then look at the pithy comments left to Mr. Thompson’s newsy story.

The British crack me up.

Anyway, now my ADHD is fritzing and I have a million things to say. But I need to focus and get to my point.

Here’s what I’m wondering. I think I know how to fix many of the world’s problems. At least fix some of England’s and the Catholic’s problems. Let’s put the Queen and the Pope in a bedroom with rubber sheets on the bed. We’ll dose them with Gram’s sex potion she calls Drop Them Knickers Darlin- Ain’t You Never Been On A Date Before?, and give them a few cases of Carta Blanca on ice. I’ll have SAC Ellen pop the Pope a good jolt from her stun gun.

Then we’ll just lock the door and come back manana.

Except maybe we’d need to put the Pope in with jolly Prince Charles, and stun old Charlie. I remain unconvinced that the Popie-Poo even likes girls. The way he treats women makes a man wonder.

In that case, we’d need to find a man for the Queen. I’d volunteer myself, except for me having a committed relationship. But I’ve never had sex with a queen. I bet she’d be all bossy and shit. Might be fun to role play with her though.

I did have sex with a real Princess, though. Married her, in fact. But that’s in my book, so enough said.

But here’s my point. The Pope said something while he was over to England that might have been almost smart. If I understand correctly, he said something like, “The focus of the church will be on helping the victims of abuse.”

That is almost smart because heretofore, the Church hasn’t had any focus except to focus on hiding the truth and avoiding dealing with the issue. I say it is almost smart because, just like any epidemic, you must treat the infected and the carriers alike. It does no good to treat only the sufferers if you keep infecting more to suffer.

But I chose to be encouraged by the Popester’s message, and await the follow-up statement. Call me Pollyanna, but I really would like to think the Catholics are getting it.

Anyway, enough of that shit. It’s Carta Blanca time!

Manana, y’all.

Gay Marriage Proposal- I Vote For Lloyd Lebow

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

 

So. I alerted my buddy Lloyd that I was posting about him yesterday by sending him a draft of the posting. Of course, his response was touching and thoughtful towards me, and it made me cry.

He told me that he is writing the last chapter of his current blog story line, (which you can find at www.lifeslessonslearnedlate.blogspot.com ), and he asked me a question that stunned me with its naive simplicity. Lloyd asks if people will feel that he has the right to speak to the issue of gay marriage. He wanted to know if I thought he had the authority to address the issue.

“If not you, then who, exactly?” I responded.

I mean really, where would you find a better person to speak about gay marriage? Lloyd has been in a committed relationship with the same man for decades. He and his husband adopted two young girls, saving them from Child Protective Services and the horrors of foster care. Those young women have made him a doting grandfather. He is smart, and thoughtful and sexy. SAC Ellen and I agree on the sexy part.

And he came out of the closet in 1972, for shitsakes. Who could better speak to the issue?

OK, maybe I could make an attempt. My sister is lesbian and married to one of my ex-wives, there are ten ex-wives, I attend many gay oriented groups’ activities, and I vocally support insuring that gay people enjoy all of the same benefits of American citizenship as the rest of us.

Plus, during the entire time I was married to Anna the Amazon, a woman, I was sexually attracted to her, a woman, while at the same time Anna was attracted to my sister, another woman. I think that means that I was in a same-sex marriage. At least we both had the same sexual orientation.

Actually, it was a conventional marriage for a short time, and then Anna realized that she was in love with Sister. So maybe I had a same-sexual marriage, or a interested in the same sex marriage. Maybe that would be a bi-sexual marriage. Or would you call it tri-sexual, what with the three of us involved?

Who gives a shit, I still vote for Lloyd as spokesperson.

Which brings us to my burning points of interest. In today’s Austin American Statesman, two articles ruffled my feathers, and both of the Catholic persuasion. The first details how our local Catholic backed university, Saint Edwards, banned a gay rights organization from participation in a campus event to find volunteers. The Campus Ministry refused to be involved with Equality Texas, because ET advocates same sex marriage.

Why would you allow any gay organization on your campus, and then prevent them from participation because they support gay marriage? Isn’t that one of those, “Well fucking duh!” kind of dealies?

Now me, I don’t have the capacity to understand why a gay person would even wish to attend a Catholic backed higher education facility. Higher education, by definition, seems to hint at higher levels of intellect. Since it gained its early momentum in the early days of Christianity, the Catholic Church has had its head stuck so far up its ass, the collective Catholic intellect hasn’t seen the light of day since the Dark Ages.

Dim wits in enlightened times. Prove me wrong.

Then, a page or so later, is another Catholics behaving badly article, this a follow-up story on the fifty years of child rape committed by priests in Belgium. That country’s Catholic leaders acknowledged the widespread abuses, and pleaded for more time to set up systems for punishing the abuser rapists. Belgium’s Most-High Catholic Muck-a-muck, the right reverend Archbishop Andre Mutien-Leonard, whined, “… a feeling of anger and powerlessness has taken hold of the church.”

I’m so sorry, are you angry? Do you feel powerless? You don’t know what to do, and you are bewildered by the treachery committed by your shitball men of God? You are hurt by the actions of your sanctioned leaders?

Well isn’t that just too fucking bad.

Now you know the sense of hopelessness an eight-year-old boy feels when a clergyman, a man he trusts explicitly, pokes his God-anointed dick in the kid’s innocent face as prelude for a game of hide-and-seek. Now you can share the anger the rest of the world has for your head-in-the-sand attitude during the last fifty years.

You dress yourselves in your fine robes and sashes and cutesy little hats, and adorn yourselves with golden crosses and medallions to represent yourselves as the chosen ones. You hold yourselves up to your followers as God’s handpicked few, and you promise to sacrifice all of your worldly wants in God’s service.

Bullshit.

If you were what you say, you would not be struggling with how to handle this issue in the year 2010. If you were honest, you would have developed a system to ferret-out and punish offensive priests decades ago. If you were honest, your beloved Pope would take a real stand, and actually fix the problem.

But, like Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry, you hide in your closet, feeling angry and helpless- powerless to deal with the problems you caused. My barnyard animals can at least plead ignorance and stupidity, which they do. They are quick to admit they don’t know any better.

But you do know better. You Catholics need to strip off your sacred robes, store them in plastic garment bags, and get your ass out of the closet and into the light of today. Allow the sun’s cleansing rays to burn through some of your hypocrisy. Stop trying to cloak your issues of sexual abuse behind doctrine.

When I talked to my pet pig and ostrich last night, I read them Lloyd’s coming out story. By the time I finished, we were all crying. Rush Limbaugh, pig that he is, was crying so hard he was blowing these giant snot bubbles from his snout.

Rick Perry was making this sound that I can only describe as keening. I am unsure if I really know what keening sounds like. But if I were to make-up a word to describe the sound of my sobbing ostrich- keening it is.

“Wah, wah, waaaaaaa,” was all Rushie could get out. Big, sticky pig snot bubbles were bursting as he sniffled. He had his head in my lap, and my jeans were slimed.

Ricky, who was sitting behind me with his long neck wrapped around my shoulders, had his head draped on top of mine so he could look right into my eyes.

“EEEEEEEEEEEUUUUOOOOOOOLLLLLLLLL,” is my best spelling of ostrich keening. Half-cup sized tears spilled from his billiard ball eyes and mixed with my own, raining down my face and soaking my shirt.

I was crying, but not boo-hoo’ing like my closeted pets. “Don’t you want to come out of the closet now, boys?” I softly asked. “Doesn’t Lloyd’s story make you want to be better men?”

The only response I got was more snot and tears. I guess that Rick Perry and Rush Limbaugh are no more willing to do the right thing than the Holy Catholic Church. At least for now.

When I got up this morning, the two of them were snuggled up together on the floor to my closet, spooning and covered with my dirty shirt and pants. I should have rinsed my clothes last night. Pig snot leaves a tobacco-brown stain, and dried ostrich tears smell like cat urine.

Male cat urine.

I wish this story had a moral to it, a clever thought I could use to make a point. I guess my point is that there is no point in hoping the Catholic church will change its evil ways. Two millennium of oppression forges strong chains. Parking your head up your ass gives you shit for brains.

As for getting Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry out of the closet, as long as Gram is gunning for them, they’re not coming out. If Lloyd can’t talk them out, they aren’t coming out.

Ugh. I need a Carta Blanca beer.

Manana, y’all.

Another Hero- My Buddy Lloyd

Monday, September 13th, 2010

 

So. I have repeatedly told you about my college buddy, Lloyd “Curtis” Lebow. He was, and always will be, Lloyd to me. He is the man I most admire, with George Takei and my dad a strong second. Interestingly, except for my father, the men I most admire are gay.

They are gay, and proud and unerringly decent men. Decent in every way where decency counts. Golden hearts, diamond sharp minds, and the desire to find the silver lining in any darkness, mark the treasures these men are to me.

Lloyd has started a blog- www.lifeslessonslearnedlate.blogspot.com , and you should do yourself a favor and check him out. His most recent posting is his coming out story, and it’s a must read. As the brother of, and ex-husband to, gay women, I have heard many coming out stories. Some of those stories are remarkable. But Lloyd’s story is special.

Hell, all of his postings are must reads, so don’t just read this one.

This incredible man has a story of hope, and spiritualness and love that will open your eyes. I think his blog should be required reading for any person wishing to join a Christian church. Then, maybe, some fewer Christians will harbor the idiotic hatred of homosexuality that seems so rampant in their ideologies.

When I compare myself as a man, to Lloyd, I am embarrassed. When I compare myself to him as a human, I am ashamed. When I encounter a difficult situation, I usually get slapped, stun-gunned and arrested, or pitched into the Loonie Bin.

Lloyd deals with difficult situations with grace, and a selfless solution. When I think of how he has lived his life, I cry. Tears of appreciation for him. Tears of disappointment in myself.

In the last ten years, my only tears not spilled for a lost love one, have been spilled over my sense of what I lost by not staying close to Lloyd.

I let Lloyd escape from my life almost forty years ago. Not because he was gay, but because I have always been consumed with my own shit. I knew he was a good man, but I lacked the maturity to understand how he enriched me with his presence.

I wonder if I’d be a better man if I were gay. So many gay people share Lloyd’s traits that I often wonder if the DNA strands containing gay genes also carry traits for extra humility, and humanity.

Do yourself a favor. Read Lloyd’s blog. Be enriched.

When I get home tonight, I’m going to read Lloyd’s coming out story to Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry. Maybe they can find the strength from Lloyd to come out of the closet themselves. And I’ll feel like I’ll have done what Lloyd would do.

I need a Carta Blanca beer to cry in.

Manana, y’all.

ADHD is a Terrible Thing to Waste; Not a Camel Toe Story

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

 

So. I am a jumbled mess of ADHD thoughts. My psycho therapy is not going well, I’ve managed to place distance between me and my sweetie, both the dogs in my life are pissed at me, and the search results for my bloggie are disturbing.

And all of this shit comes rolling my way during the start of college football season. I don’t do well with distractions and aggravations during football season. I am a Texas Longhorn football fanatic. I’m a certified, lunatic supporter of my team. I am such an awful fan that I lost my season tickets long ago because of my foul mouth and animated antics in the stands.

I rag the refs, the coaches and other fans. I don’t rag the players unless they make stupid, flagrant plays that result in injury to another player. I was a player many years ago, and I have the keen understanding of what the young players feel and think from having been there.

But if some asshole referee makes a boneheaded call, I’m there with a, “What the fuck was that, you shitball?”

Or, if we run fifty consecutive plays without a single play-action pass, and our receivers are suffering from blanketed coverage- I’m up the offensive coordinator’s ass. “Run a fucking play-action pass, dumbass.”

And if one of the fans around me starts getting on an eighteen-tear-old corner back for making a mistake in front of 100,000 screaming fans, I’m at my worst. I think what I said was, “If you think it’s so easy fuckwad, try tackling this.” That was the particular remark that ended with my loss of season ticket holder status down to the Stadium.

And subsequent arrest.

I can’t help it. So, now I watch Texas football while locked away to my bedroom. Alone, because nobody can stand to be near me when I watch.

But my football mania is but the backdrop for my real problems. My ADHD has gone to DEF-COM 8 on the brain fritz meter. My synapses are scattered and smothered and covered and burnt to a crispy well done. I have so many divergent thoughts spinning around that I can’t hang on to anything tangible.

Another ingredient in my problem pie is my psycho therapy sessions. Dr. Sam I. Am is on this, “Mooner, you must learn to develop commonality of interests with people. You have got to start building concrete bonds between yourself and others. Healthy bonds.”

I told her, “Easy for you to say, psycho-babble breath. I keep putting myself out there and all that happens is that I get slapped.”

When she gave me that look that said she was winding up for the payoff pitch, I added. “And arrested.”

“Mooner,” she started, in her calm therapist voice that makes me want to kill myself. “You need to stop excusing your bad behavior by placing the blame on others.”

“Fuck you and your commonality of interest both.” I’m thinking I knocked her off kilter with that one. “You always blame me for my troubles.”

Now, I’m getting the “I’m a patient psycho therapist and you are crazy” look.

“Bitch.” Well said, Mooner.

Then, with a smile, and that patient psycho therapist tone of voice that makes me want to choke her, she says to me, “Ahhhhhhhhh. You’re angry. Now we are getting someplace. Find the center of your anger, Mooner, and let’s talk about it.”

“I’m angry that my psycho-fucking-therapist is a tacky amateur fuckball, and she’s ruining my life,” I almost yelled.

“Oh,” she answered. “I thought you must have received the notice that I’m increasing your rate by $25.00 per hour.”

The bitter filling in my pity pie stems from my relationships with the two dogs in my life. Dixie is pissed at me because she thinks I have abandoned her- traded her in for the Squirt. All I thought I was doing was taking some pressure off of Dixie and letting her enjoy her golden years doing what she likes best.

I have let her do everything she asks, and without a single complaint as to any negative effects on me. Using Squirt as a translator allows me the pleasure of the little shitbird’s company. But untangling a seven word sentence spoken in four languages can be trying.

Like when I was trying to get the ostrich Rick Perry to take a bath the other day, and the Squirt was interpolating for us. I asked him why he was refusing to take a bath and Ricky started crying and sniffle-snotting. His answer sounded like the the background track for a slasher movie, and would have disturbed me if I wasn’t already used to his method of communication.

“What the hell did he just say?” I asked Squirt.

“Dijo, sie versprach kaufen baadhi yake Bwana Bubble. Nein Mister Bubble, senza bagno.”

“Oh, for the love of God, Squirt. I know I promised to buy him some Mister Bubble. But would you please try to stick to no more than three languages at a time?”

She waggled her tail and grinned up at me. “No difficotta, Senor Mooner. Ich werde se adhieren a the romantik jezykach en todo.”

I started to tell her that neither Czechoslovakian nor Swahili are romance languages, but why bother.

Then I’m talking to Gram about Dixie at the dinner table last night, and she says to me, she said, “Ya need ta call yer dog an tell her ya miss her, Mooner. She thinks ya done aband-molated her, and give her off ta Streaker Jones.”

“Oh for shit sakes, Gram,” I responded. “Can’t she tell I’m just letting her do what she wants? I thought she wanted to be with Streaker Jones.”

“Who gives a shit what you think, Mooner. You don’t know diddly-squat when it comes to a woman.”

Well fucking duh!

And to finish with the women in my life, I managed to piss off the Squirt and SAC Ellen both at the same time, with the same actions. Actions which I thought were thoughtful to each.

When I got back from Dallas last week, I picked the Squirt up from Sammie’s place on my way into town, and took her with me to get SAC Ellen for our date. That was convenient for me, helpful to Dr. Sam I. Am, and I thought what SAC Ellen would suggest.

Then, I brought Squirt with me to go on the date. I do this often and usually at the SACster’s request. But this time, I show to her door with the cute little dog, she grabs the dog and slams the door in my face.

I guess that SAC Ellen spent the entire evening bitching about me, and the Squirt didn’t have any fun. So now she’s pissed at me too.

Now, I have an appointment to have the specialist fix my tooth on Monday, and I’m scheduled for the ass surgery on Friday, first thing. With my luck, I’ll end up with a cross-hatching of stitches that will ruin my look back there, and a snaggle-toothed grin in the front.

Good thing I got my ass insured.

Then this morning I’m reviewing my bloggie stats and I get this e-mail from a reader. She wouldn’t do a comment so I can post it, she personalized it in an Email, and asked me not to use her name. What she did was bitch at me about, and here I’ll quote her, “… all of this Internet activity you are stirring up with your tasteless camel toe stories.”

So, as I’m thinking of possible pithy retorts, I checked my viewer stats and discovered that 75% of all my visitors first find me through some variety of camel toe search. Something less than ten percent of my postings are camel toe stories, yet three-quarters of my readers find me that way.

That’s not right.

I don’t want you to think that I rely on pocket poochie stories to garner readership. I must admit that I am an admirer of ladies who pack their meat in their pantie lunch pail, but I don’t think I have overdone it. Do you?

I don’t make any of that shit up just to snag another adolescent-thinking man in my webber of blogging. Which reminds me. I asked Sister and Anna what they thought about the entire camel toe dealie as an issue among the lesbian community. I don’t mind fist fighting with lesbians when they start the fights, but I do want them to respect me for my principles.

“What a silly question, Mooner,” answered my sister, Sister.

“Yea, Mooner. Straight ladies check out a man’s package. Why would you expect us to think any differently just because we’re lesbians?” This from my ex-wife, Anna, and now-wife of my sister, Sister.

Even still, I want to feel bad about liking camel toes. I just can’t.

And that leads me to wonder about my impulse control. It’s like not looking at a car wreck, or a five-hundred pound man in a Speedo. Except it isn’t disgusting. What’s so wrong with admiring a woman’s stuff when she stuffs it in your face?

Ugh! Maybe I need to take a lesson from Gram and say, “Who gives a shit?”

I need a cold Carta Blanca beer.

Manana, y’all.

John Kelso Spoils Mooner’s Post; No Problem

Friday, September 10th, 2010

 

So. John Kelso beat me to the punch today. He wrote this piece for today’s Austin American Statesman about that silly fuckball down to Florida with the plans to burn Holy books. It was a good, clean read and it provided John’s typical veiled insights. At least they seemed veiled to me.

Some of you might think that John’s insights are cloaked. You know, insights wearing heavy winter coats. Me, I read him all the time, so maybe it’s my familiarity with his writing that sheds the bulky outer garments, leaving me to peek at his insights through flimsy, lace undies.

Speaking of lace undies, SAC Ellen modeled the new under garment line we’re debuting next spring. Streaker Jones developed this hemp and bamboo blended fabric that feels like a chamois. Looking at the SACster in a lavender push-up bra and matching bikini undies makes me glad I’m a man.

OK, a man who likes women. Wait. These undies are so sexy I might appreciate looking at that figure skater guy wearing them. What’s his name, Johnny Weir, I think.

I like how John writes, and let me say it again- I don’t know how he manages to express himself so well without ever getting inappropriate. He deals with many inappropriate subject matters, just like I do. But he never seems to be getting slapped by some sweet old lady for his views on the Baptist church. And I haven’t heard about him getting banned from a strip club because his grandmother started a fight. And got the place all busted up.

Doesn’t seem to get arrested like me either.

I also like John as a man, at least the man I think I know from reading him. I think we might share some traits that could provide a true commonality of interest. Of course the entire ADHD dealie can ruin any friendship. Takes a special person to put up with my shit.

Anyway, today’s posting was to be my thoughts about this weekend’s big book burning. But I won’t waste your time. All you need to do is read the John Kelso column in today’s newspaper. Add cursing, a few anti-right wing Christian rants, and use the matches to set fire to the pastor’s pompadour rather than light to a grill, and you have what I wrote.

I can’t let John do this to me anymore. It takes too much out of me to write this shit only to delete it when I open the paper and see Kelso’s sanitized version. Today’s original writing was 1,930 words and was a nifty take on the subject.

Maybe John and I could compare our schedules to each other’s. That way he won’t be disappointed when I file an expose on ass fistulas and ruin his 1,500 words on a sore bottom. Or maybe I’ll write about this one time I caught a case of the crabs down to Mexico and spoil his story about unspecified drippy body parts.

When I talked to Gram about it at breakfast, she says to me, she said, “Who gives a shit Mooner. Nobody reads yer posted toasters anyways.” She ate another bite of her huevos rancheros, then added, “Stop wastin yer time on that silly bloogie a yers. Do sumthin hepfull an find me that damned pig.”

Gram’s still got it in for Rush Limbaugh. He and the ostrich Rick Perry are hiding from her in my closet for the last couple of months. I told her, I said, “Look, Gram. With all of your church attendance, can’t you find it in your heart to forgive my pig? Can’t you be a bigger man than that asswipe Florida pastor?”

“I’ll forgive yer fuckin hog when he’s a sittin in tha middle a tha table with crunchy skin an a apple in his mouth. Him an that feather duster both.”

I hate to admit it, but I bet Rush would make a tasty roast pig. The ostrich is another thing altogether.

I need a cold Carta Blanca beer. I wonder if John Kelso drinks Carta Blanca. I bet he drinks one of those non-alcoholic beers, just to be safe.

Manana, y’all.

What the Hell is a YA?

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

 

So. I went to a writers’ group here to Austin in an attempt to connect with that whole commonality-of-interest dealie. Both Dixie and Dr. Sam I. Am preach at me to understand and practice the concept in its full width, and breadth.

They seem to feel that I spend too much time with my own ADHD-addled thoughts, and don’t put enough effort into understanding other people. They have been beating this concept into my head for months now, and I think I’ve got it.

If I grasp the practical aspects of the concept, they are that:

  1. Commonality of Interest is the foundation of human nature which says that people will connect easier and quicker, and form tighter bonds, with other people who appear to share their same interests.
  2. Finding common ground with another person, and therefore the implicit support for your own thoughts and ideas, helps with your sense of self worth. This is the basis for Dr. Sam I. Am’s psycho therapy support groups.
  3. As a salesman, you can get prospects to feel comfortable with you if you can find some common ground to discuss. Show the prospect that the two of you could be buddies.
  4. Said another way- people like people who are like themselves.

I think I get the idea. The problem I keep having with this commonality dealie is this: the harder I try to find things I have in common with other humans, the more differences between us crop up; the more differences I discover between us, the more likely it becomes that a situation could unravel; the more things unravel, the more likely it becomes that I will spend some time in jail.

Take last night, for instance.

I was excited to be meeting with a group of local writers, and some of them actual authors. I distinguish the two in this way. I am a writer- I’m full of shit and find myself compelled to put thoughts to print. An author is a writer who doesn’t realize he’s full of shit, and feels compelled to use big words and confusing literary concepts to distinguish himself from us writers.

But, I harbor no resentment for writers or authors, either one. I can either like or dislike both with an unprejudiced eye. Same way that I like Carta Blanca beer and detest Dos XX.

However, I think I’m an amateur at getting along. For starters, as soon as I arrived at the meeting, the commonality of interest I sought was divided down the middle. Half writers and half authors. Then, I discovered that we word-smiths require additional layers of separation beyond writer vs author. Are we fiction, non-fiction, self-help, memoir, biography, children’s or young adult? Young adult is the infamous YA category.

In last night’s group, we had four writers and four authors. We had one fiction writer, me, and seven non-fiction. I have always thought of myself as a biographical memoirist. The group decided that I am a fiction writer after reviewing my webber and bloggie.

Of the seven others, one was self-help, four were memoirists (memoirators, maybe?), one historian, and the last a biographer. And each and every one of the seven was a Young Adulterer. Young Adulterator? I’m something like two minutes into the meeting and I realize that I have almost nothing in common with this group.

So, basically, I was a group of one, and segregated from the others by several invisible barriers. Confused? You should have been there.

These guys were all in their late twenties and older. Average age, I’m guessing, was maybe forty-three. And even with all of the commonality of interest they shared with their YA cohorts, these silly guys are fighting over everything.

“You simply cannot categorize vampire themes as anything other than YA,” this one guy says. “I’ve done the research.”

He was maybe fifty and was dressed like my college lit professor back to 1967. Long mop of stringy hair, thick black eyeglasses, tan cord pants with those shiny spots where they get rubbed with use, and this vintage wool blazer with elbow patches. This guy I had pegged as an author.

Now me, I’m thinking, “What research?” and, “This yahoo has his head totally up his ass.” That’s when I hear, “Oh, pull your head out of your ass, Johnathon. Last year when you were writing adult sexual fiction, vampires were for adults only. I appreciate your attempting to fit in, but try to say something smart. Stop being such a yahoo.” This from a writer, a handsome younger woman who said she writes for the lesbian and gay YA audience.

I have met her several times before, when I attended Sister and Anna’s lesbian meetings. Lisa is her name. I think she was the date of the lady who hit me with my own Carta Blanca beer bottle in that little scuffle we had over to Guerros Taco Bar that one time. That last fight- the one I didn’t start.

I have been accused of starting several fights while attending my Sister and her wife’s lesbian support and action groups. Once I actually said something I wished I hadn’t said. All the other skirmishes were caused by simple misunderstandings.

Like, for example, the difference between “more manly”, and “manly more”.

Lisa then turned to me and said, “Yo, Mooner. Of everyone here, I think you have the best perspective since you’re the oldest.” Her look was challenging. “Give us your erudite thoughts on the subject.

Maybe she’s an author.

Now all eyes are on me. “Tell us, Mooner. Are vampires the exclusive property of Young Adult writers?”

“Well,” I started. “I watched my first vampire movie to the drive-in theater back in 1958. Scared the shit out of me and gave me bad dreams. Then last Sunday night, I watched True Blood over to HBO with SAC Ellen. All of that neck sucking gets the SACster all randified, so I know vampires are in her wheelhouse.”

I took a sip of coffee, then added, “But who gives a shit anyway? Don’t you want a broad range of people to read your stuff even if you do write to a target audience?”

Am I wrong?

Of course Mr. Elbow Patch pipes in, “Well, I can only speak for the serious authors among us, but missing your target audience is a sign of immaturity and failure.” He sniffed, adjusted his cuffs and added, “A dismal failure, Mis-ter Johnson.” He emphasized the “Mis” in Mister and this little bubble of spittle flew from his mouth onto his sleeve.

Then everybody starts opinionating and the conversation turned to shit.

It seems to me that, as a group, we’re one angry statement away from a fistfight, when this little lady sitting across from me starts slapping her hand on the table. “Stop it. Stop it right now!”

Things got real quiet and she says, “Now listen to me, everyone. We had a nice group here before this fiction writer barged in. I know who he is.” Here she looks me dead in the eye and says, “I know you Mooner Johnson. I go to church with your mother and Gram.”

Now, she stands up and points her finger at me. “You are a heathen and a disruptive shit. Go away and leave us alone.”

“And you, Mrs. Ellis, are a right-wing Baptist religious fuckball.”

How’s that for erudite?

That’s when little Mrs. Ellis came across the table at me like she was a rabid raccoon and I was last week’s leftover chicken carcass.

I held my hands up and backed away. “No need to get violent, Mrs. Ellis. I’m thinking that maybe I need to find myself a different group to bond with.”

They clapped, and I left.

But it wasn’t a total waste of time. I got to thinking about this YA business. If seven out of eight writing persons are focusing their works on Young Adults, that sounds like a marketing trend to me. Maybe I can start slanting some of my content their direction and get more readership.

I’m going to call John Egloff and set a meeting. I bet he can help me with this. But answer me this if you will. What, precisely, is the definition of a Young Adult? I’ll twitter tweet that one.

Manana, y’all.

Truthout.org Got It Right; F Fox News

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

 

So. I want to thank you all for your thoughtful and creative submissions on ways to castrate Rick Perry. Your imaginations have gone into overdrive in your efforts to help me. I was especially intrigued with having three different people offer methods using a Veg-A-Matic. I still have a Veg-A-Matic and use it often.

I bought it back to when Ron Popeil still had hair.

If I ever decide to separate the current Texas Governor from his balls, your thoughtful suggestions will come in handy. Of course, you’d first have to help me find Governor Perry’s balls. It seems that the fine folks at The Southern Baptist Convention up to Dallas have them secreted away in a locked box somewhere.

They probably hold Ricky’s gonads in the same dank dungeon where they keep their own compassion.

What I needed from you was a how-to for removing testicles from an adult, male ostrich named Rick Perry. It must be rutting season for giant black-and-white feathered African birds, because the Rickster is getting all randy and shit.

He keeps snuggling up to Rush Limbaugh in the closet where they hide from my Gram, and their spooning is starting to make me uncomfortable. Just last night I was having another of my celebrity camel toe dreams. In this one I wasn’t a judge for the contest, I was the “plumper”.

Best way I can describe what a plumper’s job entails would be to compare it to what a fluffer does in porno movies.

Anyway, I was getting all the ladies plumped up for the swimsuit competition when I was distracted by a commotion from the the audience. I was working on Oprah, who looked absolutely ravishing in a zebra skin one-piece. When the noise ratcheted up a few notches, Oprah said to me, she says, “Mooner, Sweetie, will you please see what that is. You know I can’t do my best with all of that distraction.”

That is how I know Oprah doesn’t have ADHD. If she had my variety of ADHD, she’d understand that all of her work, best-to-worst, would be completed under distractions.

I looked out to see what was up, and there were Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry in this big lovers’ spat. Rick was snuggling Rush from behind and Rush was attempting to ward off all of the attention. Rush was grunting and snorting like a pig, and Rick was making this noise that I can only describe as unsettling.

“Oh for Heaven’s sake, Mooner. What the hell is that?” Oprah had quickly drawn a bead on the noisy couple. “Here’s my credit card. Take it out there and tell those two boys to get a room.”

Then she says to me, she said, “I thought I’d seen it all, Mooner. But Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry making out at Radio City Music Hall?” She looked into my eyes, and then back-and-forth between the boys and me several times. “Take me now, Jesus. I think I’m ready to go.”

I have long wondered if Oprah would be a good wife. She has her positive and negative attributes both, but she is a strong woman. Oprah has her own identity, like it or not. Those are my type of women. Strong, opinionated and happy.

I had started daydreaming in my dream about what marriage to Ms. Winfrey would feel like, when the ruckus from the audience became too loud to ignore without action. Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry had started fighting. They were rolling around on the floor with Rick trying to hard spoon Rush, and Rush trying to escape. Then there was a crash as they rolled into a big set light, and it crashed to the floor.

That’s when I awoke from my dream, startled by the racket, and reaching for the Glock pistol kept in my nightstand. I don’t like handguns- I wish they were illegal. I keep this one to combat the many rattlesnakes that find their way to our ranch house. I keep it loaded with Gram’s homemade cartridges, a special load she calls Ya Don’t Rattle Me Snakie Boy.

It’s a rat shot load and Gram soaks the little pellets in an hallucinogenic potion of the same name before loading the cartridges.

I came to my senses as Rush Limbaugh the pig comes slamming out of my closet, the ostrich Rick Perry clamped to his back like a monkey on an elephant’s back at the circus. It would have been funny except for the look of stark terror on my pet piggie’s face.

They came to a screeching halt when I pointed the gun in their faces. Rush stopped so abruptly that his hooves shredded the small oriental carpet in front of my dresser. The ostrich was pitched over his shoulders and landed on his back with an, “Ooof!”

“What the shit are you two doing?” That’s when I realized I was pointing a 9mm pistol at my pig. “I might have shot the two of you. What the hell are you thinking?”

Now, I realize all of my questions are rhetorical because I didn’t have a translator. Dixie was over to New Mexico with Streaker Jones and the Squirt was spending the night with Dr. Sam I. Am. That’s Squirt’s regular home.

Regardless, I was ready to read the ostrich the Riot Act when he started crying. At least it seemed like he was crying. He was making this “Boo-hoo” sort of sound, and his entire body was shaking. I sat down beside him and scooped his head off the floor and laid it in my lap. Giant, hot tears leaked from his eyes and soaked into leg of the boxer shorts I wear to bed when I sleep alone.

Actually, the undies were what are called ‘boxer-briefs” on the package. These were made at our hemp clothing factory over to New Mexico. The same one to where Streaker Jones and Dixie are visiting. We make the legs a few inches longer than the major manufacturers, like Hanes, and Fruit of the Loom.

“Don’t cry, Ricky. Shush now, you’ll be OK.” I’m stroking the fine, soft feathers on his chin and neck while I try to calm him. “It’s OK big guy. You’ll find yourself someone to love. Maybe I can find you a girl ostrich in the newspaper.” Then I got to thinking about how I would tell a girl from a boy ostrich, so I asked Rick Perry.

He showed me.

But that isn’t what I wanted to tell you guys about. My buddy Lloyd sent me a request from www. truthout.org that asks you to boycott Fox News. That’s not a problem for me because it’s been blocked since I had a blocker on my TV.

Even my reasonable-thinking Republican friends won’t watch Fox News because they are such fuckwads. All of that anger and poison.

Please join me and my buddies over to www.truthout.org and shout:

!!!!!!!!!!!!! FUCK FOX NEWS !!!!!!!!!!!”

Now, let’s go relax and have a cold Carta Blanca beer. Manana, y’all

Dental Hygiene; How to Castrate Rick Perry

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

 

So. I’m a crybaby. A Certified and bone fide, ADHD-addled, lunatic, printed on recycled and tear-stained paper crybaby.

Remember me telling you about Gram’s potion for gum disease called Ginger I’m Invitin Ya Ta Go Away? That’s the one she brewed to promote pink gums. We started doing some clinical testing on it out to our laboratory in Dripping Springs. That’s the testing that got Gram sued by the American Dental Hygiene Association. I did a postie here to the bloggie on May 22nd if you want to refresh your memory.

Getting served with the papers caused Gram to load a couple moose slugs into her big shotgun for a trip to our dentist’s office, and a face-to-face with Melissa. She’s our dental hygienist for twenty years from over to Dr. Kelly Keith’s place. Melissa is the sweetest person I know, and has never mashed my lips between my teeth and her instruments of torture. She never causes any more pain than is needed to clean your teeth.

That’s right, never once in twenty years has she brutalized my mouth.

The underlying reason for bringing up this dental stuff, is that I need to tell you about the other health issue I’ve been dealing with these last two weeks. I’m screwed up at both ends, folks. I’ve got the fistula dealies on my ass, and I need a root canal in my mouth. The tooth started throbbing two weeks ago, the night before I headed to Dallas to start what I can’t tell you about yet.

Dr. Kieth, of course, was down to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, basking his Lilly-white butt on the beach while I suffered. When he returned my call to his emergency number, he said, “I’ll give you a prescription for an antibiotic and some Vicadin for the pain, Mooner. Come see me when you get back.”

I could hear the surf and surf girls in the background of the call. But I couldn’t hear an appropriate level of empathy in his voice.

I tried to explain to him the problem I was having with the tooth pain and the ass pain and the entire sitting on not-church wooden benches dealie. But he was too busy enjoying himself to have any sympathy for me.

“Oh, stop acting like a baby, Mooner. Take your pills and see me when you get back.”

I called Alma for an appointment for this morning, and I just got back to work from making it. Alma is the industrial strength Super Glue that holds the dental office together. When I called her, she said to me, she says, “Now look, Mooner. I’ll move things around any way that I can to accommodate you. But call me to tell me if you need to move your time.”

I have to admit that I was just a little worried that Melissa would be laying for me when I showed up for this appointment. I had to warn her that Gram was on the war path, and about the whole lawsuit thingie back to when Gram was headed Melissa’s way with a shotgun back in May. I felt compelled to tell her that Gram was locked and loaded and headed her way when I stopped the attack. But I had no need to worry.

“No problem, Mooner. Your Gram is a sweetheart.” See, I told you she’s a gem.

I didn’t have the heart to tell Melissa that I hadn’t stopped Gram from shooting her until I tackled the old gas bag as she was opening the door to her Ferrari. If I hadn’t caught my grandmother before she got under way- well Melissa would have a different opinion as to the flavor of Gram’s heart.

Anyway, I sat for an hour-and-a-half while Dr. Kieth attempted to do a root canal on my tooth. I’m resistant to Novocaine, so he has to shoot three full vials into my gums to deaden me. Basically, he numbs me from my chin through my mouth, into my nose and sinuses, up into my eye and eventually into my scalp.

After a ten-minute wait, I look and feel like a man having had a recent stroke. One side all dead and out of control. Makes me hope I never have a stroke. Maybe we should shoot smokers full of dental anesthesia all up and down one side of their bodies- keep them numb for a week, or so. Make it a requirement to get health insurance.

So, he’s drilling and looking, and drilling and water blasting, and drilling some more. He’s a little frustrated. This I know because he always chatters with his assistant, Kelly, as he works. He’s describing everything he does, and why he does it, as he goes. I think he does this as much to update the patient as he does to speak with his helper. It’s reassuring.

Anyway, he gets the first of the three canals drilled and cleaned of dying root with minimal trouble. But his frustration mounts as he attempts to find the other two dead root tombs. He suddenly stops the work, puts his tools on the tray and pulls his face mask down.

“Well Mooner, we have some good and bad news both.”

I fucking hate the entire good/bad news dealie.

Dr. Keith went on, “Good news is I finally found the first root chamber, and that one is done.” Then he added, “But the other two canals have calcified down to over 14 millimeters, and that’s bad news. I can’t drill any more without risking breaking or damaging your tooth.”

“Wha thah thit, Dother? Ah nee mah theeth.”

I know, Mooner. That’s why I’m stopping here.” he said. “I’ll send you to the specialist and see if he can save it for you.”

Now, my week will be ass doctor on Wednesday morning to plan a general ass surgery, and then Thursday afternoon to the tooth root doctor for that shit.

I think I’m going to lock myself in my room with a few cases of Carta Blanca and a bunch of my favorite movies. I need to spend some quality time with my pig and what has started to feel like my ostrich. The pig was mine from the start. The abandoned ostrich has felt like an outsider until recently. Gram didn’t find them hiding in my closet while I was gone, but Rush Limbaugh and Rick Perry were getting a little stir crazy. Maybe I’ll take them boating.

Speaking of the ostrich Rick Perry, does anyone know how to castrate an ostrich?

Oh well, I need to get back to work. Manana, y’all.

The Joys fo Labor (Day)

Monday, September 6th, 2010

 

OK. I had planned to take today off from bloggerating, but my Gram’s sharp wit burst that balloon. We were to the dinner table last night, each talking about our plans for today, Labor Day. SAC Ellen and I are going to take sitz baths together; Streaker Jones and Dixie are headed to New Mexico to look at the drafts for the spring 2011 clothing lines for If You Can’t Smoke It, Wear It; Sister and Anna the Amazon are working over to the Gay and Lesbian film festival and they have some meetings for that; Gnat is going boating with her new beau; and Mother is going to be Mother, and find something to martyr about.

If a gambler gets busted, why isn’t a balloon bursted?

During the conversations over our Labor Day plans, Gram suspiciously avoided the subject. Each time we looked at her, she would avoid our eyes and put more food on her plate. Last night’s dinner was roasted chicken and fresh garden veggies- all grilled on my big outdoor kitchen, Mother’s homemade ciabatta bread, and a big bowl of frijoles rancheros. The Mexican cowboy-style beans were Gnat’s date’s contribution.

He’d brought enough of the tasty, spicy beans to feed two Johnson Family dinners, and by the end of the meal, they were all that was left. After maybe the eighth averted-eye serving Gram had dished to her platter, she blurted out, “Awright, fer shitsakes, I’ll tell ya what I plan ta be doin’. Otherways, I’ll blow tha house down from eatin’ all them beanies.”

“An don’t be getting yer feelers all rankleated on me, young man. Them’s tha best free-holies I had since that time me an tha late Mister Johnson was down to Venice Whaler.”

She jacked her shot of Hornitos tequila and slugged a long drag of Carta Blanca before continuing. Gram always drinks Hornitos shots with grilled chicken. Always has.

“All a this Labor Day bullshit is gittin my girlie parts ta thobbin. Mother was a beached baby an it took me four days ta git her pushed out.” She poured another shot, knocked it back and chased it with Carta Blanca.

“All us Johnsons got big heads. I ain’t walked right since.” Another shot, beer chaser and a ninth scoop of frijoles rancheros.

Now Mother can stop looking for a martyred cause, and she starts this series of deep, emotional sighs that mark the beginning of a crusade. She gets this look of emotional long suffering where her face elongates, her nose pinches along with her mouth, and her eyes resemble what I imagine a Russian woman’s eyes to be in a Tolstoy novel.

She looks like an aging blood hound who has lost his sense of smell. “How many more times will you torture me with this story, Gram? Isn’t you ruining my Mothers’ Day enough payback?”

Now Mother gets into full swing. “You’ve never forgiven me for being born, Gram. Maybe we’d all be better off if I hadn’t.”

Now me, I’m thinking neither Sister nor I would be better off without our mother’s birth. Anna is starting to feel the same way as she would lose both a husband, and a wife, if our mother was not to have been born.

Anna says, “Oh Mother, you know we are all glad you were born. Me, I would be especially sad.”

Of course Mother avoids this reassuring compliment and uses it to drive additional nails through flesh and into cross, a hallmark of any Mother martyr event.

“I don’t know why Gram hates me so bad for weighing 7 pounds when I was born. How could that be so bad?”

Now wait….. wait…….. wait. Here comes the payoff pitch.

“How can she have had it so bad with me, when Mooner was a ten pounds and came out butt first? I had the worst birth in medical history and my own mother has no sympathy.” With this, my mother gets up from the table and goes to the kitchen with her dirty dishes.

“Oh quit yer bitchin, Mother, an git me another beer while yer up.” Quick shot, short drag to empty the beer bottle, and then, “Asides. Who gives a shit iffn Mooner came out ass first? That’s what started him on his butt movies. First thing tha little shit done was flash that cute tushie at us.”

Now SAC Ellen enters the fray. “I always wondered when the seed was sowed that grew into the Mooner I love. You can take all the credit, Mother Johnson. You made him what he is today.”

Deep sigh, deeper sigh and the clink of a beer cap opened and hitting the granite counter top. “I don’t harbor any satisfaction in how Mooner turned out, Officer McClellan. My son is going to spend all eternity burning in hell because of what he says about the Baptist Church. And it’s all my fault.”

She walks back to the table, places Gram’s new beer on the coaster and says, “You’d think a boy that was Baptized twice would have turned out better.”

Then the conversation switched to a debate on the merits of Mooner. But I’m OK with all of that because my family can’t hurt my feelings anymore. I know they love me, and I love them. But I am digressing from what this posting is about.

Labor Day is a unique celebration. Every human on the planet can justify their inclusion in a day that glorifies work. Work is good and workers are great!

Let’s all celebrate with a day off, a pat on our backs, and a cold Carta Blanca beer.

Manana, y’all.

#ColleenLindsay, Still Hero; #MoonerJohnson, Crybaby

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

 

So. I have been debating the wisdom of sharing the coming topic for the last two weeks. I’m actually proud of myself for keeping it to myself for this long, and I’m debating whether I’m ashamed of myself for feeling compelled to speak of it now.

I have always been a manly man- proud, dependable, thoughtful, stable, human. I have endured many hardships throughout life without many complaints, and I have suffered many fools without killing any of them.

OK, without killing any of them on purpose.

I get that I can be whiny and act like a baby at times when I’m hurt, plus I also get that I speak my mind almost every time something bothers me. And I do understand that I get hurt often and bothered always.

If you got your pecker caught in a zipper would you cry like a baby?

As for all of the bothers that bother me, imagine if you had, let’s say three, individual trains of thought working their way down the tracks of your synapses, all at the same time. Right there you’ve got three times the bother, right?

My brain has been tested and shown to hold as many as twenty separate and distinct thought patterns simultaneously. They measure that by scanning your brain to see which parts are active. The software was written to detect a maximum of twenty brain wave patterns because no previously tested individual had shown more than four separate thought patterns. Basically, I am that rare character who uses his entire brain to think.

But the bother to that lies in the fact that, rather than focusing all of that wattage on a single thought, my entire skull is filled with myriad, disparate thoughts, none of which receive enough attention to be well thought out. If you don’t have my kind of ADHD, you simply can’t understand what it’s like.

Why that bothers me is, well think about it. What if you used 100% of your brain rather than the typical less than 15%, and you were still dumber than a rock? What if you utilized almost seven times the normal person’s brain power and you still screwed things up all of the time?

What if you had started this bloggie posting with the intention of praising Colleen Lindsay, and before you knew it you’d spent 400 words crying like a baby because you have ADHD?

Look. At dinner last night, I was talking to the family about what I wanted to say in this posting. Mother and Gram were there, Gnat came solo, Dixie and Squirt, Streaker Jones, Sister and Anna the Amazon came over, and Sheriff Woozie Wozniac dropped by to serve me a summons.

Woozie always tries to serve me with my summonses on a Thursday night. For as long as I’ve been alive, Mother has cooked her famous mashed potatoes and cream gravy for Thursday dinner. And the Sheriff loves Mother’s, as Gram puts it, “Taters n gravy.”

When he stops by on a Thursday night, all he eats is that. He plops a giant pile of potatoes in the middle of his plate, and pushes a big cup into the center with the serving spoon he uses to eat. The potatoes look like a fresh white cow patty that someone stepped in. Then, he carefully measures the gravy to ensure he gets a potatoes-to-gravy ratio of 3-to-1, based on volume.

Then, he consumes the pile one serving spoonful at at time, and each trip of spoon to mouth is accompanied with a swallow, and a, “Mmmmmm, Mother Johnson. These ‘r mighty fine vittles.”

After maybe the first dozen spoonfuls, I’m ready to kill him with my fork, and Holy Shit guys, I’m digressing the undies off us all. Make that re-digressing us to nakedness.

My point is to say that Colleen Lindsay is one of my heroes. Check her out on Twitter to see why.

Me, I’ve been sitting on hard wooden benches for the last two weeks (not wooden benches in a church), and I feel compelled to tell you what’s bothering me. I wish I could stack myself up to Colleen’s height and suffer quietly, but I cannot. And here’s the deal.

Remember me telling you about the significant infection I had in the non-colon-non-prostate parts of my ass? The parts that lie between anus and coccyx? Remember me telling you that 80% of all sufferers of the malady healed without further problems, but that 20% developed fistula?

Me, I’m a twenty-percenter.

I was talking about it to the dinner table last night, and attempting to describe what it looked like. I kept trying different descriptive words and analogies, none of which seemed just right.

Since Gram had inspected it for me just before we sat down to eat, she said, “Who gives a shit Mooner. Just write that it looks jist lik that Crack Yur Toe Jam volcano over to Iran. Ya got tha one big ‘ruption, an then there’s them three little crates offn to tha sides.”

OK, for starters let me interpolate. What Gram said was that my ass looks like the Indonesian volcano Krakatoa with lava bubbling from three smaller craters on its sides.

To boil all the bullshit out of this, I have an active fistula, and I will need major surgery to be rid of it. That means stitches and donut-ring seat cushions and sitz bathes and drainage and pain.

I have been trying to stop feeling sorry for myself and be more of a man about this, but I can’t seem to shake the dread. I want to be like Colleen Lindsay, but I don’t know how.

I want to talk to her to find the source of her strength and grace, but I won’t bother her with my bothers. I’ll just suffer in semi-silence and keep you guys posted.

I’m gonna need more Carta Blanca though.

Manana, y’all.

I R Dum and a Liar

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

OK. I need to come clean with BlogCatalog. When I signed up with them, my name was alrerady in use. So, I had to put a name and I asked Streaker Jones if he would fill everything out like it was his account, and then tie it all into my bloggie. This reminds me of the time back to third grade when Woozie Wozniac had been made to wait for a bathroom break, and peed his pants just a little. Woozie is now our Sheriff here to Travis County.

Mrs. Browningwell, our teacher and Pastor Browningwell’s wife, was a nasty old hag, and asked Woozie if he’d had an accident. I piped up and told her that I had squirted him with the squirt gun I had secreted in my pocket. Saved Woozie a world of discomfort, and it only cost me three swats.

Anyway, I lied. I’m sorry for lying to BlogCatalog. I don’t like liars and I’m a little ashamed for this one. I think it is justified because I planned this full disclosure and confession when I realized what I needed to do.

I think maybe a right wing Republican fuckball is using my name at BlogCatalog. Streaker Jones will find him and properly deal with the problem.

Again, I’m sorry for the lie and promise to not lie again.

Manana, y’all.

#Blogcatalog- Mooner’s New Toy

Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

So. Help!!! I just added a new dealie to my webber and bloggie and I’m more lost than ever. Squirt and I have been sitting here for the last four hours working on BlogCatalog, and she’s ready to shoot me.

“Ach la hell est tu doing, Mooner. Estudio the instructiones mit der BlogCatalog en issen fill in the blanks for shitsakes.”

I told her, “Listen here young lady. I’m doing the best I can, and you stop cussing.” She opened her mouth but I stopped her with, “And don’t start that shit about how much I cuss. Invalid point.”

Anyway, I got Twitter and can’t operate that, got Facebook and hate it- won’t use it, and now BlogCatalog is distracting me to another Carta Blanca beer.