So. I just got back from a four-day trip up to Colorado. The intentions were for this trip to be a short respite for the dogs from their daily grind, a chance for me to get my sweaty self in some cooler air, and I fully intended to play a lot of poker. As the old saying goes about good intentions, our road was paved to Hell when the six-hour drive took—and almost precisely—ten hours. Santa Fe to Denver is six hours any way you cut it, except and unless our fossil fuel-warmed planet decides to shit all over your plans.
Just south of Colorado Springs, my front seat companion says to me, she says, “That looks like a string of taillights ahead, Mooner. You better not get us stuck in a traffic jam… You know the goat dog gets sick in stop-and-go driving, and he got into the compost pile just before we left. Ate two of the rotten apples you let roll off the heap to the edge of the fence.”
The speaker was Squirtie Girl, my darling puppy harnessed beside me as our copilot, and the goat dog would be Yoda, eater of all things organic and not so organic, who was tethered in the back seat. The severe hail storm that never fucking happens in Santa Fe that happened a month ago banged dents and gashes in what apples it didn’t strip from the trees. I thought the remainder left clinging to their branches would make it to my kitchen to be washed and eaten, but as the sugars developed so, too, did the rot.
“How the Hell did he get to them through the fence?” I asked Squirt.
“You watched too much news about that shithead who tunneled his way out of a Mexican prison,” she replied. “He dug a ditch under the fence where you left a gap in the underground wire.”
“Jesus fucking Christ, Yoda. I’m not the one who beat you and slit your throat, I’m your savior. I’m the person who has made your life better. Why am I punished with your cleanup?”
In reply, my chastisement was met with a crooked grimace, an emotional whimper and a lick to my hand. The white-haired hair brain was formerly incarcerated in Oklahoma’s version of Guantanamo Bay for dogs—this puppy mill run by lowlife scum, Christians one and all. They beat much of the good sense from his tiny skull and cut his vocal chords to quiet his bark. What is left is a dumb and soft spoken dog that has become my beloved third son. Gram has talked me off the ledge several times as I packed for a quick trip to Oklahoma for some retribution.
“You ain’t never been in a single Okie jail, Mooner, don’t know any Okie lawmen neither. Me, I ain’t breakin’ yer ass outta no Okie hoosie cow. Talk bad ‘bout um over to yer blogeration an’ let it go.”
Good advice from my grandmother, and a clear sign that I still have the ADD. Since taking the trip to the Coors Beer and Legalized Pot State with the dogs, my focus is worse than that of a Brownie camera. Remember Brownie cameras? Only person I know who could make good pics with a Brownie might be my buddy Squatlo over to The Squatlo Rant. Brownie cameras are what took America’s middle class photos for nearly seventy years, and likewise what made Kodak an everyday name.
Of all the family photos I possess, it is a pic taken by a Brownie—a medium close-up of three ADHD-addled Johnson men—that is most prized. My grandfather, father and I had just finished painting the barn and were celebrating with icy-cold Carta Blanca beers. Arms on shoulders, beers held forward, toothy grins all around. I was thirteen and it was mid-July, maybe a month before the pedophile Baptist deacon Boy Scout leader raped me in the back end of an Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser.
That photograph holds a bundle of mixed metaphoric emotions for me. It reminds me to be grateful in my own life and to be thoughtful when looking at the lives of others. And it makes me ever vigilant for pedophiles.
The string of taillights, as things turned out, was caused by a line of severe thunderstorms that covered Colorado’s landscape (and highways) from fifty miles north of The Springs, all the way to our final destination. An hour of stop-and-go was all Yoda could take before disgorging a belly full of Costco Organic Kibble, two rotten apples and what looked like the remains of a baby sparrow. I think the neighbor’s cat left the sparrow, but who really gives a shit?
I cleaned the mess from the plastic cover I place under Yoda when we take long road trips, held him tight while scratching his head, and got back on the road to creep our way to Denver. Which reminds me.
America is starting to give me the creeps. Our political scene has become a fucking reality show for the benefit of, produced by, and paid for by billionaires. Billionaires whose amazing greed is so vast that they want ever more $Billions. $Billions they wish to strip from the crumbling infrastructure of natural and human resources of our once great country. $Billions stolen from we “commoners”. $Billions that half of our populace seems willing to give them—hell, eagerly give them. Some almost beg the rich to steal from them.
It’s fucking creepy, and that reminds me of something else. I have a slogan for the new female sex-drive drug:
“Puts the recreation back into recreational drugs!”
Someone needs to monitor Bill Cosby’s Medicare drug program—audit his purchasing activities. Makes me wonder if this new drug works like the mystical Spanish Fly myth from back to the 1960’s. I guess Cosby’s Roofies served as an actual Spanish Fly on all those women he (allegedly) drugged and raped.
Which brings up a question. How is a rapist like Bill Cosby any different from Jared the Subway Pedophile? Children are vulnerable because of powerlessness and inability to understand what is happening, the self-same conditions that are the side effects of a Roofie. And that brings to bear another reminder.
To the best of my memory, it seems that America was founded and settled by people who, A. Wanted to get away from the established religions of their European homelands so that they wouldn’t be forced to abide another man’s religion, or, B. Wanted to get away from the feral, oppressive class systems whereat the wealthy and well-born exerted great economic and political power to keep commoners under control. Those countries had indentured servants and slaves, feudal class societies, and a few very rich with many poor. People were executed for professing to the wrong deities. There were no middle classes in those societies.
Now, here to modern day Murca, we seem to be willingly pushing ourselves to become what we were founded to escape by killing our middle class.
And that reminds me that I seem to be doing a lot of writing about fuckhead Republicans and dog puke. Instead, why haven’t I told you that my blood pressure has been in the one-teens over the high sixties with pulse rates in the upper fifties? Why haven’t I mentioned that I’ve had six conversations in-a-row wherein Mother has been sweet as apple pie? Why haven’t I told you that God paid me a visit and told me that everything is going to be OK?
Why haven’t I focused my attentions on the positives in life? OK, I have no attention, what with the ADD and the giant grasshopper hanging to the rough stucco wall outside my office. He’s a really big sumbitch, which raises a question that I had in vacation Bible school.
We were studying the locus blight from the Bible and were told that the grasshopper invasion was a terrible thing. Earlier in the summer Buddy Tanner’s dad had come back from The Philippines, whereat he was on a temporary duty assignment for the Air Force. Buddy shared the various food-grade bugs his daddy brought back as a gift to show cultural differences. Candied and fried and pickled ants, grasshoppers and worms.
“That doesn’t sound so bad, Mrs. Browningwell,” I instructed. “Even if the grasshoppers ate all the crops, like you said, they could have eaten the grasshoppers. The fried ones taste like salted peanuts and the chocolate-covered ones aren’t any different from a box of Whitman’s Samplers. This sounds like a whole lot of bitching about nothing, like that Noah and the Ark thing. Do you really expect me to buy that load of crap?”
Second year in-a-row I was early dismissed from Bible school. And that reminds me to say, “Fuck Walmart!”