Archive for June, 2013

Homegrown Tomato Maddness; Clarence Thomas- Old White Man

Friday, June 28th, 2013

 

So. Summer’s here and so are the big forest fires that burn and blacken our beautiful mountains. Just as the fire scorches the earth and consumes everything in sight, our US Supreme Court burns and blasphemes a hundred years of increasing civility with one sweeping act. Fires are blind and greedy; heartless and dumb. Fires are indiscriminate—fire consumes each and every thing without prejudice, without emotion, without thought.

Some of our Supreme Court Justices—the five assholes it took to strike down the most powerful tool we have to enforce nondiscrimination in our voting booths—have acted with extreme prejudice in turning a blind eye to the continued racial hatred and distrust that seems to have managed to refill the ranks of the new neo-conservative Republican and Libertarian Parties.

This Justice isn’t blind, it’s instead five old white men who have chosen to not see the truth. And don’t even start to tell me that Clarence “Marshmallow” Thomas isn’t an old white man. That brain-dead and gutless shithead is the worst of the five. Just as a former smoker is the worst of we anti-smokers, a former black man is the worst of all racists.

I can just hear the fuck head. “Why, nobody has ever discriminated against me. I kissed so much white ass that I actually turned white, like a chameleon. Those darkies need to get a grip.” Then that Long-dong Silver asshole would add, “What I meant to say is that all of me except my dick turned white. You know how the white women love black dick.”

How can Clarence Thomas deny that racism is alive and well in many, identifiable areas of the United States? How can five of those Justices live with themselves having made this decision?

Fuck the five of them!

Which reminds me. Did you know that dogs cannot tell a lie? They can fuck with you with evil intent and they can withhold pertinent facts, but they can’t lie. Don’t have whatever it is that allows you to lie. As the owner of two yakking dogs, I can attest to the this as fact. Many’s the time I’d take Dixie—my beloved Golden Retriever and first speeched puppy—out to help me troll for women, and many’s the time she’d say, “I’m not telling any unsuspecting woman’s dog that you’re a good catch, fuckhead. No way I’m lying for you.”

We’d watch cartoons together, and whenever a dog character was on the show Dixie would be a running narrative. “That is NOT what we say. I’d never say that, that Deputy Dog is a fake. That’s a human trying to talk like a dog”

And my sweet Dixie has a special place for Walt Disney characters. “And that Goofy. Someone needs to put that asshole to sleep.”

Dixie is old and has retired to live with my good buddy, Streaker Jones. Her replacement, the Squirt, came to me as Dixie’s protégées, and why, inthefuck, is a single follower and student a plural? Why isn’t Squirt a protege? Fucking French. I’m starting to think that most of the stupidity in the English language is all the French’s fault.

I do wish we’d inherited the way they flip their hands dismissively. I also like the way they say, “Oui-oui-oui-oui-oui…” softer and softer and really fast until they run out of breath. I’m always looking for apparently unoffensive ways to piss people off.

Anyway, I’m sitting on the portal with the dogs with a snoot full of beer and a head full of my favorite bud last night. I was looking at the little garden in the raised bed—the one I surrounded with rabbit wire to keep the dogs out of the tomato plants—and I noticed that the four heritage tomatoes that were days from picking were gone.

“Whuh?” I mumbled through the haze in my skull. “Where’s the tomatoes?”

Yoda sat up at my feet and looked at me like I needed a lobotomy, and the Squirt jumped from my lap and said to me, she said, “I’ve got to go take a crap,” and she trotted off across the little patch of grass and around to the side of the house where I couldn’t see her.

Like I said, I was, effectively, wasted, so it took me a minute to remember what it was that had me all consternated. I re-lit the doobie, dragged another thousand brain cells to the curb, and emptied the Carta Blanca bottle hanging in my hand between the index and middle fingers of my left hand. I’m a left-handed beer bottle holder when I’m smoking pot, and have you ever noticed how comfortable a long neck beer bottle is when fitted between index and middle fingers of a hand that dangles off the arm of a chair? The easy motion of bringing the bottle to your lips as you sit, slouched from brain fog, is something I need to remember to thank God for the next time They pay me a visit.

“Wait a fucking minute… Wait just a fucking minute!”

Now the goat dog looked like he was the one needing a lobotomization. He suddenly jumped up and ran around the house to join the Squirt. And don’t you grammar Nazis even start on me about my jumping tenses. I was, am, and always will be an ADHD-addled fuckbrain who did, does and will do multiple-track thinking, so you will, should and have to put up with the textural blending of my sequences.

If you can’t handle it, go the fuck on over to Glen Beck’s place and leave me alone.

Anyway, it finally dawned on me that the dogs had acted mightily funnily when I asked about my missing tomatoes, so I walked around and confronted the dogs. “I know how much you two like tomatoes. Did you two somehow find a way into the garden and eat my almost ripe tomatoes?”

They each looked away. “Well, did you? Answer me, Squirtie girl, are you the guilty party, little lady?”

“Na-na-na… Na-na-na-na…” Squirt stammered. She was sounding like a Frenchman with the Oui dealio except it was like she was trying to say “no-no-no”.

“Squir-rt?” I slowly queried, “you need to an-swer me.”

“God dammit, Mooner, you know I can’t tell a lie. Yes, we did it. We’re sorry, we didn’t mean to do it, but we love tomatoes,” she said with what was not a small trace of indignity.

“But why, little lady, you know you aren’t supposed to get in that garden area.”

“Humph,” she went, “we’re dogs, idiot, we can’t help ourselves.”

“But how’d you get in? I had rabbit fencing run both ways up and down. A snake would have trouble getting inside. There’s no way you could get in.”

Squirt stuck her chest out and said, “We’re smarter than you think.”

“Bullshit. I made that fencing dog proof. I’ve watched you for six weeks try to get inside of there. Somebody must have aided and abetted you. Did somebody fix you a way into my…”

Have I ever told you that my mother doesn’t really seem to like me. Did I tell you that she was here a week ago and how I was thinking that things have gotten better between us?

“Squirt, did Mother fix you a way to get into the tomato patch? Did she?”

She puffed her adorable little chest out even further. “We’re not squealers, asshole, we’ll never sing like canaries. Eat shit and die.”

Eat shit and die? When was the last time I said that wherein she picked it up to pitch back into my face?

It took a few minutes, but I found the place where someone had cut and bent the wire into a Squirt-sized opening and then pushed mulch over it. Seems the dogs uncovered and then recovered the opening as they came, and went. I repeated a conversation Mother and I had while she was here and I was showing her the back yard. “How are you going to keep the dogs out of your tomatoes, son?”

“Not a worry, Mother, I’ve dog-proofed it with two runs of rabbit wire. They’ll never get in.”

Once again I found myself forced to sing that Don Henley song. “Forgiveness, forgiveness, even if, even if, you don’t love me, anymore.”

I need to call my buddy BJ—talk to him about the great relationship he had with his momma. He just lost her and is going through those tough times, and I’m needing a support group.

Ugh. Manana, y’all.

Thinking Of Beej; RIP Polly

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

 

So. I awakened this morning at 2:30 am Mountain Standard Time, my head full of the normal ADHD-fueled swirling thoughts as usual. I wake most nights about that time to go into the bathroom to pee and also to assess whatever dreams have inhabited the swill filling my skull to that particular point in the night. As is typical with most of my normal rituals, my middle-of-the-night ritual is a planned routine—a somewhat complex set of steps that must be taken, in order.

Wake; ask myself where I am; realize I’m in bed; move Yoda from his nesting place in my armpit; sit up and scratch balls; stagger to the bathroom; check for night wood to avoid peeing on the floor; sit and pee while recounting my dreams. Should I miss any steps or take steps out of order, my ADD will consume the rest of my day. Missing steps of any obsessively compulsive routine in my life will, generally, fuck up whatever day I have left.

OK, stop. When it’s 2:45 am and you are writing about your life events that happened fifteen minutes before, do you say, “I awakened last night at 2:30 am…” or, rather, would it be more appropriate to say, “This morning at 2-fucking-thirty…”? That’s one that has always screwed with my head. When does morning actually take the day’s reins from night? Is it a specific time? Does it depend upon how long you’ve been awake? Does it really make a shit?

Tonight, the normalcy of this waking ritual was disturbed by a not normal line of thought. This morning’s first wakening thought was the same as the primary thought in my head when I lay down and snuggled the puppies into their nests at my side. I was dreaming the mangled imaginations that heavy emotions often place in our minds, and I woke with the dream surfaced in my conscious.

“BJ’s mother died, and he’s worried about me… Fuck!” I know I didn’t shout it, but both dogs jumped to alert status at my words.

“What the Hell’s wrong with you, Mooner? You got gas cramps again?” Squirt asked me.

The diminutive brown dog was at my side. “I told you to lay off the bean burritos late at night. You drop a bean burrito fart under the covers and I’ll have the goat dog eat all your new socks.”

I found a large display of thick cotton crew socks in the Size 12-15 Mens I require, and I bought them all. Four dozen plus an extra tube of three. When I unloaded my shopping cart and placed the socks on the counter, the sales lady said to me, she said, “That’s a whole lot of very big socks, sir. You a football coach, or something?”

I explained that they were all for me and how it is difficult to find the extra-large size and how I only wear cotton, and she said that fifty-six pairs of socks are a lot of socks for one guy under any circumstance, and then I told her it was only fifty-one pairs. She said, “Oops, but still a lot of socks,” and rang-up the five-sock reduction from my bill. I paid it with my American Express card—the one that says, “Member Since 1976.” I won’t tell you how many points I have, but I will say that I have never spent a single point in all these years. I’m saving for a first class ticket to Mars.

“It’s not terminal gas, sweetie, it’s sadness. Bill’s momma died and he’s concerned about my relationship with Mother. I just dreamed that God came to visit us again, and I offered to trade my live parent for BJ’s dearly departed. God told me to pull my head out my ass and get a fucking grip. And that’s a quote.”

God told me that He thinks I can learn a great deal about humility and love and forgiveness from my good friend BJ. Again, a quote.

“But I have trouble letting go of some of this shit, Ma’am,” I told God. “And really. Phyllis Diller? You had to show up looking like Phyllis Diller?”

God looked like the comedian, a personal favorite on my Way-Back Machine, and we were sitting on the fishing dock at the ranch back to Austin. “Came as Ms. Diller, dumb ass, to show you I’m serious.”

Some people have truly, deeply human relationships with their parents. Like BJ. And me, I find myself jealous of them. Truly. I think I need to fix that. Maybe manana, y’all.

Rest in peace, Evelyn Ruth Johnson. You are missed.

 

 

Hoeing Rows; Fuck Memory Lane

Sunday, June 16th, 2013

 

So. Happy Father’s Day, just for starters on this crisp early morning in Enchantedland. The sun is still a pale orange promise shading the backdrop of mountains, and I finally have the quiet than can only arrive after the debarkment of a houseful of guests. If you don’t like the word “debarkment” you can go fuck yourself. Much of the power embodied in the Poetic License I earned by writing a book, and scribbling over 2,000,000 words published herein, lies in the right to make shit up.

OK, that might have been confusing. My Poetic License—the physical presence of which hangs all framed and gilded on the wall facing me now—grants to me various authorities to make shit up. Make up words, make up new sentence structures, make punctuation abnormalities routine, and, likewise, we poetic licensees can lie with immunities to the criticisms appropriately leveled at a regular person’s writings.

Which reminds me. I have a favorite word. It became my favorite word the first time I said it aloud as I was hoeing a row of sweet corn back to Austin, Texas. I was five years old and I was weeding a row next to Daddy weeding a row next to Mother weeding a row, who was next to my Gram—a quite young and handsome woman of fifty fewer years than today—who was cutting okra pods from their stems and dropping them into a bushel basket.

Gram used a sharp, hooked carpet knife to separate pod from stem, and the slimy okra juice had stained her hands and clothes. Granddad was still alive and kicking, and he was over to the Callahans Feed Store shooting the shit with whomever squatted with him at the card table that sat next to the cash registers. Sister was just turning four and she dragged Gram’s wire-trussed wooden basket across the clumpy surface soil between rows.

It was early morning and the prior night’s dew still chalked the dirt chocolate brown, and my clothes were damp—almost wet—from rubbing against the taller-than-me corn plants. “Pastor Browningwell gave an inspiring sermon last night, don’t you think?” Mother said as she wiped sweat, or maybe dew, from her face. My mother was a pretty woman of superior social upbringing from coastal Virginia, a woman who met and fell in love with a Johnson man from Austin, Texas. Met right after the war when Daddy was stationed at the Quantico Naval Base and was commissioned to decommission the Navy ships made useless when World War Two was terminated by Mankind’s second most destructive force. Dropping atomic bombs on the Japanese shortened the useful careers of much military hardware and software alike.

Mankind’s most destructive force is bigotry, hate.

“What part are ya talkin’ ’bout, Mother? They was some a that shit I don’t cotton to.”

That was Gram, and the tone of her voice caused all farming labor to cease. I remember that I nudged my hoe into the bottom of the row and leaned into its handle the same way as Daddy would do during the brief breaks taken when weeding. “Me, I wasn’t too happy with the pastor last night. I’m a thinkin’ we might a hired us a Grade-A, Nummer One assholie. Me, I’m a thinkin’ we shoulda hired that Martinez fella from down ta Brownsville. He was real handsome and had some big, strong hands on him. Pastor Browningwell’s got parlor woman hands—all clean and not a single sign a hard work. Cain’t trust a man with parlor woman’s hands.”

Mother bucked at Gram’s words and thrust the chest of her breast-filled work shirt Gram’s way. Defiantly, Mother made her point in defense of Reverend Browningwell. “I especially liked what he said about how we Baptists are the only real Christians and when he quoted Timothy to condemn the Sodomites.”

My father was a good man—honest, helpful, hard-working—and he loved my mother desperately. My mother was, is and has always been a bigoted and vocal right-wing Christian. Daddy spent an inordinate amount of his time supporting and defending Mother. I do sympathize with Mother in just the one instance. It would be hard for any conservative socialite asshole to be married into a clan of near-communist, hedonistic Texans. But Mother chose her life and did so in adverse disposition to the loud and strong advice of her own family.

“Let it go, Gram,” Daddy would plead. “Please, just let it go this one time—just this once.”

And just this once, Gram did. “Fuck it,” she said, and went back to cutting okra pods.

“Yea,” I said with enthusiasm, “fuck it. Fuck it, fuck it, fuck it.”

I had no fucking idea what it meant, but I knew I had just fallen in love with a word. “Fuck it and fuck this and fuck that.” I started imitating a chicken, strutting and flapping my arms. “Fuck, fuck, fuc-kuk!” Daddy and Gram were finding my actions hilarious, so I pushed onward. “Fuck this, fuck that. Fuck the corn, fuck the okra,” and now I turned to Mother and said to her, I said, “and fuck you!”

The entire world went still, quiet. Seemed that funny had turned, suddenly, not so funny.

“Butcher Einstein Johnson,” Mother snarled as she grabbed my ear and twisted. “You will regret the day you were born!” and she started dragging me, by the ear, toward the house.

“Boy don’t know what he said, Honey,” Daddy pleaded. “He’s just a boy, Mother. Tell him what he did wrong and punish him next time—when he understands what he did was bad.”

Mother heeded not my Daddy’s plea and dragged my ass all the way to the kitchen, where upon she stuffed the dirty bar of Lava soap—used by the entire family to wash hands upon entering the house after work—deep into my mouth. I can still remember how it grated against my teeth and how I gagged when it rough-dragged against my soft palate.

“You’ll burn in Hell, Butcher, you’ll burn in Hell for certain. You’ve the Devil in you son, and it’s my duty to wash him out.”

You might notice that I was not referred to as Mooner in this story and your observation would be prescient. This was two weeks before my sixth birthday and a month before I started First Grade whereat I was nicknamed my first day in school. If you give a shit about that story, go buy my silly fucking book and read it for yourself.

“Muth ahs thon’th untherphannth, Muththr. Thwath ahth tho twronth?”

“What did you do wrong? What… Did… You… Do wrong??? You little heathen, you know exactly what you did. If you ever, and I mean EVER say that to me again, I’ll drop you at the orphanage and you’ll never see your family again!”

It seems that I stood frothing at the mouth and cramping all over my face for days. I cried and wondered what it was that I did wrong. It wasn’t until after we’d finished eating dinner that night and the dishes were cleared from the table that I learned I still had punishments to take. Mother pulled Daddy’s thin, black leather belt from the pocket of her house dress and said to us, she asked, “Who is taking the first licks on this boy for what he did to me this morning?”

The entire table looked down at their hands and said nothing. After a full thirty seconds of Mother searching for eyes with which to connect to her own, she slapped the belt on the table and said, “OK, I get it. Butcher, get over there and put your hands on the table. You know the drill, Buster.”

“But why, Mother? What did I do wrong?”

“You know what you did wrong, now get over there. Now!”

My mother hit me several licks and held out the belt to the table, and I started crying tears of hurt and misunderstanding. Family custom was that each person present could express a sentiment about the youthful offender’s transgressions and take a few licks in their turn. This time Mother stood alone with belt in hand, a slight to her that she took out on me. She whipped me harder, and said, “I asked who will be next.”

Again no answer, so she whipped me harder still. Daddy jumped from his seat and grabbed her hand. “That’s enough, Mother. The boy has had enough.”

Now Mother and I were both crying. “What have I done so wrong, Lord, that You curse me with all of this?”

Fuck is still my favorite word, and my mother left yesterday afternoon headed back to Texas from her visit to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe. It was a weird visit and not totally unpleasant. It seems that Sister and Anna spent the ten hours of drive time to Santa Fe asking Mother to be nice. I know that because Mother told me ten times a day, and I’m telling you this story because Mother told it Friday night at the dinner party I threw in her honor.

I invited all of my new Santa Fe friends for a roasted pig BBQ to meet Mother, Sister and her wife, Anna, and also my third ex-wife (the same Anna). I had to be asked several times “where is your ex-wife?” before it finally settled with those invitees not close to me that two guests were the same person. Again, buy my silly book for further elucidations.

Anyway, Mother told this story on me not for its long term humorous natures of childhood mistakes, but rather, to illustrate just what a hard life she has endured at my evil hands.

“Sometimes I wonder if Mooner pays people to befriend him,” she asked the table of diners. “I also wonder what I did for God to punish me so. My son is a heretic and my daughter a homo-sex-u-al. I’ve quite a cross to bear.”

Anyway, as I said, it was a relatively pleasant visit and I only wanted to slit her throat twice. OK, I wanted to slit her throat ten times but only envisioned the doing of it twice. I’m glad she came and I’m glad she’s gone. She’s losing more of her memory and she’s unsteady on her feet and maybe she’s loosing some of her mean.

Maybe. Manana, y’all.

 

 

The Square Root of 10; Musical Mysteries

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

 

So. I got a call from a good buddy last week inviting me to listen to some music, said he had an extra ticket to see Lyle Lovett and Robert Earl Keen out to the Santa Fe Opera.

“Hell yes,” I told him, “when and how much for the ticket.”

“Sunday at 7 pm, and your money’s no good in my town.”

That’s my buddy Doug, a man with a big heart and a photographic memory. He’s a man who remembers every slight word-for-word yet holds never a one against you. Me, if I had a photographic memory, I’d be extracting retributions.

“Hey, Sister, remember that time you ate the blue Crayola and I had to color the princess’s eyes brown? Well, fuck you… Huh, what’s that? You were only two-years old? Who gives a shit, you were an asshole and I never forget anyfucking thing.”

I was expecting Robert Earl to open as a solo for Lyle and his big, sassy band and found myself disappointed when we took our seats to find the stage set with two chairs, two mike stands, two feedback speakers, and four beautiful guitars racked—two beside each chair.

Did you know that Robert Earl is taller than Lyle? Not me. I always knew he was tall, but thought Lyle was the taller. Not that it makes a shit. My disappointment at missing the horns and saxes and backup singers dissipated as soon as the two men sat—their longtime friendship visible in the comfort they took with sitting at each others side.

A weird thing happened for me at this concert. OK, stop. Background is everything when you try to interpret the words of a backwards-thinking writer, so let me provide you with a little info. Due to my having been genetically inflicted with the dreaded ADD and its big brother, ADHD, my musical comprehension is incredible—for maybe ten bars of every song I have ever heard.

I can provide you a few lines of melody and/or libretto for anything in the catalogs of such varied artists as Harry Connick to Frank Zappa to Amadeus fucking Mozart. I can hum a couple bars of anything I’ve ever heard yet can’t sing you the complete verses of even my most favorite songs. Hell, I even have difficulty with the Star Spangled Banner. After six decades, I still mix up “Home of the free” with “Land of the brave”.

But what I lack in musical comprehension I have been spaded with human and emotional association connected with any song and my own life. I can tell you all the details of my life surrounding any song ever to pass through my brain. Take “In the Jungle, the quiet Jungle” as an example.

I had this tiny crystal transistor radio bedside as a young adolescent. I lay in my bed one summer night—the summer I grew 11-inches between school terms, and every bone in my body ached with the pain of their expansion rates. My legs and feet hurt the most, and this one night I was thinking I could actually hear my bones creaking and splintering as they expanded and extended under my skin. Each night I pressed the zero end of a yardstick tight to my sphincter and measured the distance to my foot—you know, that spot where the smooth skin of your leg turns into the rough sandpaper of heel. I’d mark the measurement on a Big Chief Pad, then measure again in the morning.

Most nights the increase in seam length would be small—discernible, yet quite small. But this one night I actually grew a quarter-inch overnight. Anyway, I was lying there on the cool cotton sheets debating the virtues of masturbation and whether I wanted to get up and make a date with my personal bar of Ivory soap, or just lay there and hurt. I remember that I was thinking about adding steps to my nightly yardstick ritual and see how much my pecker was growing and whether I should measure softy or stiffy.

I had just voted “stiffy” when that silly song squeaked from the paper cone speaker on the radio.

“The lion sleeps tonight, weem-a-wacka, weem-a-wacka?” I asked myself in the darkened bedroom, “What, inthefuck, does that mean? That might be the stupidest thing I ever heard.”

However, I must now edit my teenage thoughts by saying that I had not yet discovered Iron Butterfly at that point. “…Inna gotta da vida, baby…” Really?

So, the memory/emotional responses I got from Lyle and Robert Earl were for/from my buddies Squatlo and BJ. I laughed for Bob at songs such as “She’s No Lady, She’s My Wife”, and I teared-up for Bill with Robert Earl’s family stories. Bill’s mom is really sick and Bob likes silly shit.

And that reminds me that this woman at the Whole Foods asked me a question the other day. She somehow knew that I’d been married ten times and she asked me, she said, “Which of the ten was the sexiest?”

After a lengthy discussion about how each was quite sexy and the many different ways so, she asked me again. “OK, but which was the sexiest?”

I then had a question of my own, that being, “Why do you ask, you blue-eyed sexpot? Are you angling for a spot of Mooner?” a question that did not quite draw a slap to my well-sunned face, but did garner a look that might have shriveled the pecker of a lesser man.

And here I now sit, asking myself that self same question, and have come to an answer. The sexiest of my ten ex wives is as of yet unknown to me. I will, however, ponder the solution and report herein my conclusions. I can say for certain that if your idea of sexy is a woman having an insatiable appetite, then I must go with Roshandra Washington-Johnson, the gun-toting Nubian warrior guarding the headquarters of the Austin City Council. If mystery is your clue to sexiness, then maybe it’s number seven. OK, stop, maybe mystery would be number four, the shortest-lived of the ten. Then, again, mystery is a word of mysterious definitions in its ownself, and the understanding of the very word “mysterious” provokes a myriad of interpretive adaptations.

Ugh. Mother will be here in four days. Buy my silly fucking book and you’ll understand more. Manana, y’all.