So. I want to be light hearted and happy, and I have every reason to be so. It’s spring for one thing, and I love spring. But I love summer and fall too, and I at least like winter, so loving the season isn’t enough to break my bad mood.
I’m harvesting tomatoes from my garden and that is one of my greatest joys in life. But even plucking and eating and sharing the acid-filled lovelies of the soil can’t break the feeling of dread that seems to have invaded me.
For the last few years, I have been telling you guys about Texas Governor (P)Rick “Pass-the-Stupid-Bill” Perry. I have attempted to illustrate the basic, pure evil he represents. I tried to tell you how he is ruining my state and I have warned you that he wants to take his act to a bigger stage.
I have a friend and long-time business associate, a very Christian, very conservative landscape contractor who owns one of my compost business’ largest customers. He is an honest, upstanding, intelligent and thoughtful man. Whenever I want or need to hear sound thinking from the other side of my liberal coin, I call him to meet. Any time he feels the need to gain info from the lunatic fringe, he calls me.
We have dinner or lunch on what might be a semi-monthly basis. He went to Baylor University, the Baptist center of higher education up to Waco. Since I went to the University of Texas, many of our meetings are set to settle the small bets we make on sports games between our alma maters. Other times we meet to talk business, but usually we meet to just talk.
I had been feeling good about things. Like I said, my tomatoes are coming in, my sex life is solid, my Gram has been occupied with development of some new potions based on Streaker Jones new psychedelic mushroom strain, which gets her off of my ass, and the Texas state legislature has managed to mire itself in a cauldron of its own shit. I have even managed to fix most of the problems with my webber and bloggie.
Things have been so mellow for me that the Squirt and I have been spending time trolling for a cat who will adopt us. That’s the endeavor undertaken as the end game to get ownership of the Squirt transferred to me, and move her from “almost-my-puppy” status to where she becomes Squirt Am-Johnson”. We have to find a cat before Dr. Sam I. Am will allow the deal to become official.
So Squirt and I have been making the rounds of animal shelters, abandoned barns and crazy cat lady houses in the effort to be adopted. I thought this would be an easy task, but who knew. Cats are seriously fucked up. They think everything involving a batshit nuts old man and a talking dog is dangerous.
But we enjoy the cat hunt and have met some very interesting people. Like the woman with a hundred cats. Ever smelled the air in a house shared by a hundred cats? Which reminds me to tell you something.
I have a keen sense of smell. It seems that many ADD and ADHD sufferers have a keen sense of smell. I have been told that it’s my smell senses that make me a good cook since smell is the largest base component of taste. All my life I’ve been the taster of my family. Ever since I can remember, someone has been sticking a spoon in my face and saying, “Here, Mooner, tell me if this needs more salt,” or, “Taste this, Mooner, and go sit inna corner. I need ta see iffn I got too much mushroom juice in this batch.”
I’ve had this theory that many of the same odors that make one thing a pleasing smell make others nasty. Our trip to the hundred-cat lady’s house must have been stuck in my mind because this morning when I fixed my coffee I had a revelation. I fix my coffee with espresso-ground, French roasted Costa Rican coffee beans. I have a one cup filter dealie that sits atop your mug and you make filtered coffee by pouring the almost-boiling water into the top of the filter unit.
I put three tablespoons of ground bean powder into the filter for one cup because I like my coffee strong. I love the bitter taste and rich aroma of strong coffee.
Anyway, as I’m standing there with my coffee brewing– waiting for the first batch of water to make room in the filter for the second batch, I had an epiphany.
Wait. You need to know that I make my coffee with three distinctly separate batches of water. I fill the filter each time and allow the first two to fully steep and drain before applying the next. This allows me to soak the best from the coffee into my cup. I always smell the drained filtered coffee after a water application, a deep breath to both enjoy and determine timing for the next application of water.
Holy shit am I digressing. Look, when I was making coffee this morning, I noticed that one of the basic odors in truly great coffee aroma is the same odor that makes skunk venom so pervasive. Check it out.
So, my Christian buddy called me yesterday morning when I was feeling so good about things and said, “Mooner, we have got to meet. I need to tell you something.”
We met at the Eastside Cafe, this nifty place that grows much of its own food in a garden on the cafe grounds. We exchanged pleasantries and he got straight to the point. “Look, Mooner. I never thought I’d say this, but you are right about Governor Perry.”
Huh? After years of trying to talk sense to my Christian right buddy and him telling me I’m crazy, I get confirmation.
“Huh?” I said aloud. “After all these years you telling me you finally agree?”
“Yes, Mooner, I’m saying you have been right all along and it is scaring the poop out of me.”
He said, “poop,” guys. That’s worse that me saying, “Rat-butt fucker.”
I’m not saying what put him over the edge because I need to investigate the story. But I will say that if he’s right, I’m getting ready for Jesus to return.
So, drink Carta Blanca beer responsibly, and savor every drop because we might not have much more time.