So. It seems that I have become one of those missing-in-action blog posters about whom my friends bitch—a once prolific writer of obnoxious drivel posting daily entries into cyberspace now posting monthly at best. Having just mistyped “cyberspace” as “cyber space”, I’ve been informed that cyber isn’t an actual word yet, and alas, cyberspace is.
OK, whatinthefuck is that all about? How can a nonexistent entity not exist yet have space? How can nothing occupy space? Other than in situations like Rick Perry or Sarah Palin’s brains, wherein skull vaults contain empty emptinesses.
Which reminds me. My across-the-street neighbor—a most interesting woman born in Holland and Americanized for the last forty years—invited us over to a dinner party last night. Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson is in town for a visit, so when I say, “…invited us…,” I mean the brain doctor and first Mrs. Mooner Johnson joined me for the party, not the dogs. The dogs are pissed to be left at home alone when Agnes, said and same neighbor, has a party.
“Look, shithead,” the Squirt said, “Agnes has the most interesting friends, and the goat dog needs some socializing with a refined cultural element. Take us with.”
“No, little lady,” I told my tiny brown puppy. “Things will be too crowded and you’ll be under foot.”
“Fuck you, asshole. You’ll pay for this one.”
Am I the only parent who finds themselves revisiting the quality of their parenting skills at constant intervals? I raised three well adjusted, interesting, honest and productive kids as a much younger man, and yet, with the experience and maturity of an older man, the net results of my efforts to properly raise this miniature dog have resulted in the Squirt.
I was asking Dr. Sam earlier this morning, I asked, “Why is the Squirt so fucking headstrong, demanding and why does she stick to her principles like Gorilla Glue? She is the most exasperating person in my life.” I was taking advantage of my lovely ex wife’s visit by attempting to sneak a little free psycho therapy action into coffee time.
She answered, “For starters, buster, I just punched the clock and I’m now charging for out-of-town, weekend, holiday, emergency and crisis rates. Those rates are charged by-the-word at $25-per word. After I tell you that you have somehow managed to parent a formerly sweet young dog into a mirror image of yourself, know that if I stop now, you’re bill for this morning’s session has already cost you $1,775.00”
I thought for a moment. “Jesus Christ, Sammie, you’re charging me for prepositions and pricing contractions as two words! You are such a bitch.”
“And you, my dear ex husband, are a nut case. My free diagnosis of the day.”
Anyway, and before my ADHD drives this train into a gorge, we went to the party last night and had a ball. Everyone in attendance not named Mooner Johnson was an interesting and spiritual person and an actual artist producing incredible art, or an interesting, spiritual and renowned psycho therapist. The entire roomful of us thought Rick Perry is a brainless sack of shit, and when I said, “Fuck Walmart!” the room cheered.
Which reminds me. Dr. Sam I. Am is crazy about this private label Chardonnay wine from Costco. Since Costco is the polar opposite of Walmart—treating employees with respect and dignity while profiting still mightily—I was happy to visit Costco for a case of the wine when I was in the ABQ. I’ve agreed to help write and supervise the implementation of a five-year business plan for my buddy who owns the roofing company, and I’m in New Mexico’s largest city often.
Costco was crowded with holiday shoppers, and after bumping and bustling through the store to get the case of wine and industrial-sized buckets of red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and olive oil, I went to check out. The shortest line had six overly-filled baskets waiting and I took my place at the rear. There were two, or more, persons with each basket, save-and-except the one immediately in front of mine. That immense and spilling-over cart was unattended. I looked for its keeper and finding none, moved it ahead of me as the line shortened. Nosy bastard that I am, I spent my time waiting in line searching the store around me and guessing who, and where, the cart user might be.
OK, I was also thinking about the five-year business plan, wondering what item from my Costco shopping list I had forgotten, trying—unsuccessfully—to not look at the ample bosom spilling from the holiday sweater on the lovely lady in the line next to me, and likely spurred by the ample bosom, was wondering if I was clever enough to talk the good doctor into joining me in an evening of sack time. For those of you interested in my sex life, the answer is, as it always is, “No, shithead, your ex wife is far too well adjusted to sex it up with the likes of you.”
I was now at the point where I had to either push the abandoned cart aside and start putting my own basket’s contents on the black rubber conveyor belt for pricing, or wait and piss-off the now seven carts-worth of shoppers behind me. Just as I had grabbed the cart’s handle with both hands to lift it aside, a short, plump Catholic woman walked up and said to me, “Oh, thank you, sir.” She started putting her items on the black rubber belt and added, she said, “And Merry Christmas.”
You might wonder how I knew she was Catholic, right? For starters, she had maybe seven crosses hanging from chains around her neck, I saw the edges of a wear-worn Bible poking from the giant purse she’d left in the basket, and pinned to the breast of her sweater was one of those little buttons that show a pair of tiny feet. With the personal experience and knowledge that that particular button is a favored demonstration of a violent Catholic strain of anti-abortion fervor, I pegged the lady as Catholic.
“Happy Holidays,” I responded, full of holiday cheer and proud that I hadn’t pushed the nice lady’s cart aside.
“Merry Christmas,” she said, and again.
Thinking she hadn’t heard my first response, I responded with a somewhat louder and quite more cheery, “Happy Holidays!”
Wait. Would I have spoken more cheery, or would it be more accurate to have said my louder voice was cheery more? As accuracy and crystal clear communications are my life’s goals, me, I’m going with Cheery more.
“Merry Christmas!” she said, and again, this time through gritted teeth and with not a small level of menace.
Oh, now I get it. This crazy bitch is worried that America is killing her sacred holiday.
“And a Happy Holidays to you and yours,” I said as delightfully as I could say it.
“I saaa-i-ud Merr-ry Christ-mas.” Christmas was said as two words with a heavy emphasis on “Christ”. Her eyes had turned feral, like in a horror movie when the Devil posses to scare you into pissing your pants.
“Happy Holidays,” brightly said by me, and merrily so. It has been many months since I have enjoyed the special pleasure it is to poke and prod Catholic Anti-abortion Protest lady into spitting at and slapping my ruggedly handsome face. I do miss those times and felt this the perfect chance to push another silly Catholic woman off her kibble.
“How dare you blaspheme my sweet Saviour’s birthday!” she snarled. “He!!!” shouted now, “is the only reason you have a holiday and I will not let you disgrace His name.”
I was winding up my favorite three words for an occasion such as that when the Costco clerk managed to pry the angry woman away.
“Fuck your Jesus.” I whispered my anti-Fuckhead Christian mantra to myself in true holiday spirit. I always emphasize the “your” part to distinguish the various Jesuses apart. Some Jesuses are loving and accepting while others must be total fuckbrains, and often the lines blur for me.
After a fantastic party and great time, Sammie and I walked back to Casita Johnson de Santa Fe and opened the door to a frightful sight. The entire living room was covered in the shredded remains of a week’s worth of newspapers. Two piles of dog shit had been deposited on the laces of my snow boots that sit by the door, and everything that formerly sat on top of the coffee table was strewn amidst the shredded paper.
“Happy fucking Holidays, Mooner.” It was the Squirt. She and Yoda were sitting on the rug that sits half in the dining room and half in the kitchen. They were wearing the jingle bell collars that are my Xmas decorations. “Fix us some eggnog and light the fire, Bwana. Lets get in the spirit.”
I love my puppies, New Mexico and good friends. Happy Holiday, y’all.