So. I was on my back in bed with the covers tucked under my pillow, pulled over my face. The Squirt was stuck on my right hip and the goat dog had jammed himself under my right arm pit, his head resting on my bicep and us two sharing the same four inches of breathing space under the covers. I’d made what I call garlic shrimp for dinner—a large sauté panful of tasty crustaceans consumed by man and dogs alike all the way the surface of the skillet, wiped clean with the accompanying loaf of crusty French bread.
One pound of shrimp (I like the big ‘uns, deveined but with shells still stuck tight), one large and hot Jalapeno, one sweet red pepper, a bunch of spring onions cut in little discs, one julienne-cut zucchini, lemon juice and zest, and one (or a couple) full heads of garlic, diced. Sauté the peppers in olive oil first, add garlic and onions for something like thirty seconds, add the shrimp ‘till the first side pinks-up, flip the shrimp and add a quarter-cup of white wine and cover for another half-minute, and turn off the heat.
Spoon a big lump of the jasmine rice you remembered to cook into a big soup bowl, sprinkle chopped parsley, lemon juice and zest, slather a bunch of olive oil on the entire mess, then serve with some crusty sopping bread. As we like it garlicy and I had recently purchased some processed garlic that had each head cleaned and vac-packed in plastic, I used three packets. I worried that whole peel removal and plastic storage would allow sufficient flavor to fly away to require an additional dose.
It was great. Squirt told me when I mixed with her kibbles it was, “Better than caviar.” Yoda displayed his desire for more by staring at me forlornly for the next four hours. Squirt told me, she said, “He says he’ll eat the shells if that’s all that’s left.”
Little shit would eat the shells, the plastic bag and brown paper wrapper the shrimp came in, and likely the frying pan as well. Did I ever tell you guys about the time my favorite wooden spoon went missing? Thick, long handled sucker with a broad head with an edge worn flat from stirring. I loved that spoon. Had darkened areas showing the outline of my hand from use.
Found it two days later when I was picking up dog shit before mowing the grass.
If you’re a garlic eater like we are, you know the subsequent gastro-intestinal drill. You start burping after maybe forty-five minutes, then your stomach gurgles and grumbles, and then blue gas buildup begins slipping out at the four-hour mark, which was just about bedtime. If we’d spent the evening drinking beer and cutting up, the three of us would have been sitting out back on the porch lighting garlic farts and cutting up. Last night, however, as we’d been drinking beer and shooting flies with our Bug Assault gun, we hit the sack early. Spring has sprung wet and full of flies.
At 2:36 am I awoke from a dream, drowsy and confused. I dreamt I’d been locked into a filthy dumpster ripe with the smells of rotting seafood and garlic. When I banged on the sides of the metal container and yelled to be let out, my mother yelled, “Trump won, asshole, you lost it. You’re people didn’t vote, ha-ha-ha! Mr. Rice failed!” then someone opened the dumpster door and threw in a match. Somehow I managed to wake before it exploded. Or did I woke before it blew up? Awakened maybe? Fuck it, let’s go with when I woke up.
Reality was that the little white puppy and I were sharing garlic breath, each breathing in-and-out in unison in a comforter cocoon. Three hours of our garlic farts had cast a blue haze in the bedroom as thick as mist, and I was worried someone was going to going to actually light a match. Foggily, mournfully, I thought, “Mr. Rice failed.”
Back when I was in high school over to William B. Travis High, our Senior Civics Class teacher was this giant, affable guy at whom other teachers looked toward askance. What many of my classmates called mulatto, Mr. Rice looked like one of my son’s best buddies does today—offspring of a white Texas father and Kenyan mother. My own mother thought him a communist—actually a modest thinking in view of some others’ minds—and many students’ parents asked the man be fired for his subversive teachings. It wasn’t that Mr. Rice ever suggested that communism was a solid form of government or socialism either, nor did he advocate efforts to overturn any American governmental system.
What this man did was attempt to drive deep into his students’ minds the concepts of questioning authority, demanding actual truth from elected and appointed governmental authorities, holding them accountable for their words and actions, and finally he demanded of us that we participate in our Democracy.
Oh yea, and that whole critical thinking bullshit that we subversives use to undermine our great country’s religious and thin white-skinned institutions.
“If you don’t participate in your Democracy—if you don’t volunteer to run for office, any office, if you don’t question authority, if you don’t think through all the information you get and find the truth of it, and if you don’t vote…—you’ll lose your Democracy, your freedom,” Mr. Rice said at the close of every class. I remember his words same as I do the Boy Scout Motto and each with quite different memories attached.
As this was the mid-1960’s, Mr. Rice used Hitler and Nazi Germany as his lesson plan for what happens when Democracy gets lost. And maybe because Mr. Rice was a man of visible mixed-race heritage, he used America’s slavery history to bring home the images of ultimate loss of Freedom. And he used the American Revolution and Reverend King to demonstrate the extent people must go to be free. Since Jim Crow was still flying high at that time, we spent considerable class time discussing voters’ rights.
“You must demand truth from every elected official and you must question their words at every turn. You can’t let them get away with any lie just because the lie suits you. Only liars lie. And because greed is such a powerful force, and American corporations so large, those corporations have the power of thousands of votes, maybe millions. Before we, the People, can truly control our elections, every single American needs to be allowed to vote, and every American needs to vote.”
Mr. Rice was an outcast. The only teachers who sat with him in the faculty lounge were the choir teacher—a suspected “homo-sex-u-al”, as Mother spoke it, and the art teacher. Mother said that the art teacher was a slut, and, “Well, you know what they say about black men.”
Mother actually used the word Negro, which considering her Virginian upbringing was a huge accommodation in 1966. The semester I took Civics Mother daily questioned me about every day’s Civics lessons, drilling me for punishable offences committed by Mr. Rice. At that point in my life I was astute enough to not give her anything she could use against another human. How Mother punished Sister and me for our indiscretions was not something you willingly shared with others.
I believe the dumpster dream symbolic of where electing Trump has put America—in the dump. I believe that men like Mr. Rice no longer teach Senior Civics classes. I watch as our country’s elected Republican leaders gag on Trump’s filthy swill but swallow it just the same, and I still can’t understand why none of them has come forward to say, “You, sir, are a liar and a thief and likely a traitor.”
OK, so I just farted for the first time since awakening, and I’m thinking I might have colon cancer. Long, noisy sucker that bellowed like some guy with elephant lungs blew through a wet douche bag. Ever smelled something that stank so bad it made your ears ring?
Ugh. Fuck Walmart, liars and theives.
Archive for the ‘FuckWalmart’ Category
So. I was on my back in bed with the covers tucked under my pillow, pulled over my face. The Squirt was stuck on my right hip and the goat dog had jammed himself under my right arm pit, his head resting on my bicep and us two sharing the same four inches of breathing space under the covers. I’d made what I call garlic shrimp for dinner—a large sauté panful of tasty crustaceans consumed by man and dogs alike all the way the surface of the skillet, wiped clean with the accompanying loaf of crusty French bread.
So. The dogs and I have now been back to Texas for three months, and we’re finally settled in. Our little Texas ranch-style abode required little for us to successfully, comfortably live, save and except, for the addition of a cover for the back patio and a new fence, and notice that rather than call it a “portal”, it’s a “patio”. The grammartizations of logistical differences between New Mexico and here to Texas can be important. The cover is to provide protection from the hot Texas sun—not Santa Fe’s cold—and also to provide shelter from the rain so the Squirt isn’t required to get her dainty feet wet when she goes outside to do her business.
“Shove it up your ass, shithead, I’m not getting my feet wet,” she told me the first time it rained after moving in. “You start crapping in the shower and I’ll consider it.”
As a compromise, I’ve let her use the covered front porch as her outhouse. Since I park in back and don’t use the front door for anything else, we’ve had the side benefit of not having any salesmen or religious nuts buggerating me. There’s maybe a dozen various churches surrounding our neighborhood, so my street is prime hunting ground for new parishioners.
And that reminds me of this apartment I rented this one time back to college—the one I got just before Streaker jones and I got the house over on 45th Street. It was half of a one-car garage. Seriously. You’d open the front door that swung into the left wall where a single clothes rod hung to serve as closet. The single bed was immediately on the right. The rest of the space was filled with a modular steel kitchenette featuring sink, two-burner stove, tiny oven and storage space, all-in-one, which sat opposite with a ship’s style head.
The bathroom consisted of a rotted green shower head that sprayed directly down onto the commode, and a too-small drain in the floor that constantly backed up. What makes this story germane to the ramblings herein is the simple fact that this apartment was so narrow I could shit, shower, shave and cook breakfast without ever lifting my ass off the toilet.
Which reminds me. I was over to the Kroger yesterday morning to do some shopping. It was a nice day and the store wasn’t crowded at all. The wide aisles were freshly polished and brightly lit. Since I always start grocery shopping from right-to-left, in this particular store I began in the deli section in right-front with the fresh seafood and meat in the back. I selected my just-baked sandwich roll, some Swiss cheese and a whole chicken in near-record time, buzzing through the area without impediments. As this store is oddly arranged, I had to pass around the wine and beer section at the back of the next three aisles to get to the veggies, which are located at the front of the store, but not back-to-front. Or front-to-back.
I needed some asparagus, tomatoes, lettuce and limes. This store is new to me and I stopped to survey so as to best utilize my time. There were maybe a dozen shoppers in produce and they were all clustered in front of the organic lettuce and asparagus, save—and likewise except—for this one gigantic woman who had obviously read “Kroger” and seen “Walmart”. The woman was maybe 5’6” in height and was absolutely that wide. She had two kids in tow—one in-basket and the other was tethered to the dirty, twisted tail of her “Make America Great Again” tee shirt.
OK, while all I could read from the tee shirt was, “Ma/mer/aGr/in,” as the red cotton fabric folded in-and-out of her folds, mayhaps I jumped the gun as to her political leanings. The four of them—woman, kids and basket—somehow managed to take up the full aisle in front of the citrus on the one side, and the organic cherry tomatoes I buy this time of year on the other.
Because I’m practicing the fine art of Patience for the improvement of my poker game, I stood, silently, awaiting an opening. After five minutes the large woman moved on, without choosing a single thing. I commented silently to myself about that one, and moved behind her for my tomatoes, required to squint my eyes at the smell of moldy arm pits and shitty diapers. After inspecting each of the thirty-one clear plastic tomato pints, I managed to not find one suitable. So, I spent a couple minutes mixing-and-matching from six buckets, and did manage to make myself happy.
Having completed tomato hunting, I turned back towards the lettuce and asparagus only to find the Walmart woman entourage filling that space like too much silicone caulk oozing in blobs and blurbs the way it does when you seal the tile surround on your bathtub. I took a deep breath (from twenty feet away), asked myself if I really needed lettuce and asparagus, decided I did, and then made another decision to shop elsewhere first, then return to produce. There are times when retreat is a viable option.
I headed back through the booze area to find a quite attractive lady setting up a wine tasting. Never one to let an attractive lady go un-shopped, I stopped to see what was up.
“It’s a wine tasting, silly. Like the sign says.”
After sampling a snifter of her six choices, I bought one of each. Some women appreciate a man’s fine taste, and my hopes were that this was one of said. Moving on without a scheduled date, I decided to get some Thai noodles. I found the right aisle, turned my basket into it, and ran smack dab into Walmart Woman’s cart. It was parked cross-wise in front of the Thai noodles, with Fat Ass and Snot Nose filling the remaining aisle space.
When I attempted to get by and my cart lightly tapped hers again, she whirled to face me, and with this incredible sneer, she yelled at me, she almost shouted, “What are you doing? Can’t you see there’s a baby in that basket?”
I started to tell her exactly what I was seeing, instead said, “Sorry, ma’am,” turned and headed back to veggies. I got my remaining vegetables and decided against Thai noodles and chose to have pasta for dinner. Pasta requires the proper pre-cooked tomatoes this off season, so I headed that way for a glass-jarred, two-cups of tomatoes.
As karma would have it in for me, Whale Bitch and the Spawn of Orca were blocking the full width of bottled tomatoes aisle. “Oh for Christ sakes,” I murmured, “does this woman have no concern for other shoppers?” Then I said to the lady, and no, I didn’t quite shout it, “Walmart is down the block, asswipe!”
I’ve never before been asked to leave a Kroger, and luckily it was a temporary ban, so I guess I’m making progress with my patience. My ADD usually takes up all the patience I’ve got.
So, Fuck Walmart and some Walmart Shoppers!
So. I was over to the Firehouse Sub shop on Cerrillos Road, Santa Fe’s busiest local business street. Cerrillos Road is filled not with fancy jewelry stores, $200-a-plate eateries or cowgirl-centric boutiques like the downtown tourist areas. Nopers, our Cerrillos Road has your tire stores, Wendy’s and Kohls. Almost to a store, the big national retailers are there on Cerrillos Road, and my Subaru dealership as well. It was because I was headed to see if there were any add-ons for my little WRX hotrod that I could install without voiding my quite comprehensive warranty that I landed at Firehouse Subs. Sandwich shop is next to Olive Garden in a building it shares with one of the big cell phone stores.
There were not additional modifications under warranty, and when making my way back towards La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe, a hot sub samich spoke to me. I parked, entered the store, cringed to the shouted, “Welcome to Firehouse,” and grabbed a place in line.
I hate to be greeted that way by anyfuckingbody. Say to me, and politely at that, “Hey, man, how’s it hanging,“ or, “Come on in,” or, “What tha fuck you doing here?” But don’t have a counter full of seventeen-year-olds yelling “Welcome!” at my ass. If the sammies weren’t so good I’d go to Jimmy John’s place every time.
So I ordered my Number 4 medium combo on white—fully engulfed—and filled the drink cup and sat. Fully engulfed means with everything on it. While I waited, four—I think or maybe more—State of New Mexico Troopers entered to stand in line. Which brings up another point.
We Americans enlisted the English language from the Brits as our official tongue, then fought a war with them to solidify that usage. So why do we say, “In line,” when they say, “On line.” OK, and they say, “Queue,” which, when I spell-checked, showed to also be a crockadile, another point in the altogether.
One of the State trooper guys was in the street clothes I associate with an investigator, one was dressed like a Major, and two were in Patrolman outfits, one of whom looked like a giant flaming asshole. Big guy with a buzz cut, muscles showing, and his pistol in a quick-draw holster—you know, a hard case with no strap to hold it in, and way too fucking much handle showing. As I sat glowering at this guy I noticed two young men staring at his holster, but with a different look than mine. While I was pissed, they seemed interested, like, “Maybe I could pull that cannon from Shithead’s hip and shoot him before he could shoot me.”
I came quite close to saying something, remembered that I have yet to be arrested here to Santa Fe, and ate my Number #4. I finished, cleared my table and walked out. I drove around the building to enter Vegas Verdes Street, accelerated towards the light and was forced to slam on my brakes to avoid hitting a shirtless man. Skinny white dude clutching baggy jeans with his left hand and holding what appeared to be a cell phone high in the air in his right, and running hell-bent-for-leather at what appeared to be his full clip.
My first thought was that he held the phone high as a counterbalance, keeping him from falling because he couldn’t let go of his pants. My second thought was, “Holy shit, there’s five cops and two kids from the phone store chasing that dude. Run dude, run!”
A giggle was forming inside my head when the big cop with the quick-draw holster whipped his gun from his hip right in front of my car. This man had a look-to-kill plastered on his angry face and was yelling something at the shirtless man, taking aim as he ran. My brain told me this quick-draw cop was going to shoot an unarmed man in the back.
“Don’t shoot,” I screamed at my windshield, and one of the other cops seemed to yell at the gunman to don’t shoot, because he lowered his weapon and didn’t shoot. Dude was caught maybe thirty yards past me, wrestled to the ground and manhandled into cuffs. I watched as knees were jammed into his back when he must have resisted. Right, he must have resisted? I was getting honked at so I needed to move along. I was a mile away when it dawned on me that I should go back. I did and it was all over.
I witnessed just how easy it is to be unarmed and shot in the back by a cop. I saw the heat on the faces of those officers as they lay chase to some dumb freak who wanted a free cell phone. Were they so pissed because the kid interrupted their Numbers 5, 8, 3, and a second number 5, or was it excitement at the possibility to get in a little target experience? Does one of them have stock in Sprint, looking to save a few dollars for the bottom line?
In reflections, I realize just how lucky I have been in my life. I’ve been in some pretty tense situations with cops and guns, but the worst injuries I ever had were bruises and tiny burn holes from Taser spikes. I’ve had cops who I knew without a doubt wanted to shoot me, yet they contained their egos, anger, emotional ties and personal maniacies, and did not shoot.
And like that dude yesterday, the running man, I’m mostly white. What if that kid was black or brown or wore a turban? How might things have gone? What if he had pointed the cell phone at the asshole cop? What if I weren’t white? If my skin was ebony black, I’d likely be dead by now, shot or beaten by some bigoted Texas lawman.
I witnessed a man in a potential death scene, a situation one wrong move from death. Death comes too easy these days. Too many guns in the wrong hands. Bad cop hands. Too much anger fueled by too much hateful rhetoric. And all too often it’s the wrong people getting killed. Unarmed people in the wrong places with the wrong cops. But there was at least one good man in uniform that day, the man who called the gunman down, so you didn’t see this story on your evening news.
Now I know just how fast, and how easy, people get shot by cops. And even though it’s inappropriate for me to say at this point, let’s all Fuck Walmart!
So. On this fine Sunday morning Santa Fe has awakened to crisp 51-degree air with crystalline skies serving as a canvas for the flat clouds of grey moisture typical of this season. For our part, the puppies have shit-showered-shaved and eaten their first meal of the day, and I’ve been awake long enough to have consumed three cuppa Joes, played two quickie poker tournaments on the Inet, walked the perimeters of La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe in search of flies, killed three of said flies with my salt-filled air gun custom-made for fly killing, and still, and at that alas, and had no fucking Sunday newspaper.
My paper always arrives before five in the am, except, heretofore, on those rare occasions when the press breaks or it snows so much the delivery personages cannot get about. That consistency of delivery result results in certain expectations in me, said expectations counted upon within the confines of the obsessive/compulsive regimens woven together into the fabric that somewhat controls my fevered ADD-addled mental processings. It is the morning structures of event stringings that carry the most weight in my attempts to wrench control of my focus and concentrations from Mr. Evil, the madman who lurks deep within my psyche.
Said another way, I have specific routines, which when properly followed, assist me to spend less of the day that follows in the State of Fucked. Having said that, those of you who know me have a clear understanding of what my day does, and will continue to look like, now that I’m visiting the State of Fucked while under the controls of Mr. Evil. I hate visiting the State of Fucked, and as I have aged, Mr. Evil’s presence has become more aggravating than you can imagine.
“Hey Mooner. Yoo-hoo Mooner! Hey you, fuckbrain, stop writing and look over here at me…You know you can’t ignore me, your newspaper is late!…No, look over there…Did you turn the burner off with that last cup of coffee?…When was the last time you saw an actual nekid woman?…Did you hear what Trump said?…Ali McGraw on your left!”
There’s another reason for my consternations in spite of this beautiful morning. We put La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe on the market for sale—what I thought a solid yet unremarkable effort made by me to appear concerned about my family back to Texas—thinking there would be no sale at my price and I could say, “Sorry, Gram, sorry Sister, I tried but the real estate market is too soft here right now. I’ll try again in 2020.”
Two showings, two contract offers. The first was less than asking price and I rejected it summarily. The second, well the second was for full price, which forced its acceptance, and we’ve had two more showings wanting to know if the contract falls off. A Christian would look at these events and say, “That’s God’s hand, son. He works in mysterious ways.”
Me, for my part in all of this, I realize that my understanding of the housing market has surpassed my knowledge and I’m unlikely to have any reasonable excuse for not moving back to my family in Tejas, home of Guv’vy Abbott sans Costello. Nothing funny about that prick.
The Squirt and I were talking about this conundrum Saturday night as we sat with cold beers, smushed avocado-not guacamole with chips and handmade by us salsa, and pain pills. The pain pills were in response to Squirt’s reoccurring spinal condition wherein she loses operational benefits of one, or both back legs, and the beer was Stella Artois—both situational events out of my control. As a Carta Blanca drinker since birth, it aggravates the shit out of me to not find it, and as a father I’m sad to the bone I can’t help my puppy live forever.
I was mooning and fretting and whimpering on, and on, so Squirt told me, she says, “Stop fretting, dickwad, there’s good news in all of this. You’ll get fresh veggies from Gram’s garden, SAC Ellen still lives in that little place over on the Fifties, and you can spend more time with Mother.”
“Not comforting, sweetie pie. Santa Fe has a great farmers’ market, the last time I saw SAC Ellen she locked the door in my face, and as for Mother…”
“Jesus, but you’re a half-empty Bozo. OK, think of this. My back will be better in the warmer climate.”
Can’t argue her points, but I’m still not more happy than not happy. Then, again, maybe I can gain comfort in the fact that I’m making a major decision based upon the needs of others in my life and not on my own whims. Maybe this is the first ever time I’ve done so and therein lies my rubs. Maybe sacrifice for others is such an uncomfortable garment because I’ve never fitted it to my frame. Maybe I can’t find pleasure because I’m too conceited and center-self’ed to have joy in helping others.
Maybe I’ve never matured as a man, or grown to know the value of putting others first. And maybe I’m an ADD-addled fuckbrain who can’t get out of his own way. And maybe we should all:
So. Today is a new day in my life. Today shall, and will, be a full day filled with personal reflections, familial considerations and in the end- decisions. The fulfilling of the filled fulls of this day are the culmination of a years-long mental pilgrimage from full enjoyment of the isolation afforded by refuge here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe—the walled compound within which the dogs and I can enjoy that special sort of nekid peace and reflective solitudes–and ending the journey feeling isolated by those same separations, having allowed said full enjoyments to be cycled, and recycled, through the fevered mind of an ADD-addled fuckbrain.
And, while these writings, so far, seem reflective of Old Abe’s Gettysburg addressings, it only seems seven and scores of years in reflection. Reflections. It would be plural and I’m guessing Old Abe popped into my head because we were over to the hardware store the other day and this nice lady was attempting to assist us with a paint purchase. “Does the color sky blue ice or blueberry shake better match?” I asked her.
I held a swatch of leftover fabric from the spare bedroom curtains to the color charts. The dogs spend much of their quiet time when I’m out of residence nesting on the bed and staring out the bedroom’s window. Because of their connection to the room, I try to defer to their wishes when decorating.
“Squirt here, she likes blueberry shake—says it picks up the color from the feathers in this guy’s tail,” I told the nice lady while pointing at a Blue Jay’s fat ass on the swatch. “Me, I’m thinking we should go with the Oriole blue rather than the Blue Jay, don’t you? I think the Oriole is one of the prettiest of all birds, don’t you? And Blue Jays are a menace, don’t you think?”
I took this sales training course years ago and was taught that it is smart to end questions or declaratory statements with what they called a “tie down”. Tie downs would be words that obtain tacit agreement from even an unwilling prospect, like “don’t you”, or “wouldn’t you agree”. Or “You’ll go to jail if you don’t”. Those sorts of dealios.
“Look, sir, we’ve been through this before, or don’t you remember?” The attractive woman advised, “Trust your dog’s judgement. Her taste seems far better than yours. Honest Abe.”
I was struck with both a flashback and likewise with wonderment if “don’t you remember” and “Honest Abe” were tie downs used therein.
“Honest Abe? Really, Honest Abe?” I said to her. “I haven’t heard that phrase since junior high school when Gloria Ledbetter used it on me when I had trouble taking “No” for an answer. Me, I thought we’d make a great pairing for the Spring Prom. Gloria- not so much.”
“No, no, no,” Gloria had told me, and I now told the paint lady.
“Honest, Gloria? You’re tall for a girl and I’m thinking you’re ready for some slow dancing.”
“Look, Mooner. I asked my mom and she told me you’re a bucket of trouble. Remember when you set the girl’s locker room on fire?”
“I did,” I reminisced to the impatient hardware store lady, “and I told Gloria it was an unfortunate accident. Wrong-place, wrong-time to be playing with cherry bombs. Was it my fault the trashcan spontaneously combusted?”
Gloria told me, “My mother said she’d put me in a nunnery before she’ll let me date Mooner Johnson. Honest Abe, that’s what she said.”
“But you’re Baptist, Gloria, we Baptists don’t have nunneries. And wasn’t Lincoln the guy who freed the slaves and saved our Union so that you and I can slow dance?”
The nice, attractive, foot tapping paint helper lady called for, “Assistance in Paint Department,” then asked me, she said, “Look, sir. We don’t want to ban you from the store, so why don’t you go now and come back for your paint at Noon.”
The three of us moved here not to get to, but, instead, to escape from. While New Mexico is The Land of Enchantments, for the dogs and this knuckleheaded loony, our adopted state offered us refuge from the harsh politics of Ted Cruz, Texas Governors Perry and Abbott and their ilk. Said another way, we didn’t move here because Santa Fe is so great, instead we came here to feel less oppressed by the political climate in Texas. Not that we don’t like it because we do.
OK, and I really needed to put a little space between mother and son.
In the four years since the move, we have realized that we are no different from the millions of refugees who have been either forced from their homes at gunpoint—like Palestinians from the West Bank—or those fleeing from violent, oppressive forces such as the refugees in flight from Syria. While the circumstances of our exodus are far less oppressive than of those unwilling travelers, the pulling desire to return to our homeland is, I’m thinking, just as strong.
Which reminds me. What is it about giving something up that makes it all the more attractive, inviting, desirable? Never has a woman been more enticing to me than when she divorces my ass. Just the knowing I’ll not know her mysteries again pegs my pecker meter to full stop.
And that reminds me that I have one thing to say to anyone who claims that our Presidential election is a choice of lesser evils—Clinton or Trump, the lesser of two evils. You folks remind me of Paulie Kraspar, a kid whose father was KKK and jailed for raping a black girl back to when we were in junior high.
We were studying WWII and Hitler’s atrocities when Paulie stood tall and told us with some rancor, “Well, FDR, that asshole, he was just as bad as Hitler. They were both evil.”
When quizzed by our quite confounded teacher as to the logic of his comparison, young Mr. Kraspar responded, and here I’ll attempt to put the words back in his mouth when I quote him, he said, “My daddy says FD-fuckin’-R was a womanizin’ drunk who put innocent Germans and Japs in prison just ta keep ‘em from talkin’.”
For some reason our Media have decided to pit twenty-four years of unproven allegations against Hilary against the known, proven lies and bankruptcies and failed ventures, racism, bigotry and treasonous behavior of Trump. False equivalences at their worst.
So, to you “lesser evil” dumbasses, please allow me to say, and with considerable gusto, “Either pull your heads out your asses, or: Fuck you and Walmart too!”
So. I’m sitting here to my desk at 5:15 in the AM wondering what went wrong. I watched the live news coverage of the black man shooting Dallas police—apparently an insane reaction to recent police shootings of black men—and this morning I’ve been at this mental endeavor since I got out of bed at 2:17—three hours and two minutes ago—when the Squirt had finally had enough of my fidgeting and nudged me out of the bed.
“Jesus Christ, Mooner, get up and go do something productive,” the small, brown-furred bundle of piss and vinegar almost growled in my face. “Get up and leave us to sleep or I’m telling the goat dog to start licking your face.”
While I do sincerely love both of the little Chihuahua-mixed puppies that are my companions, the Squirt is a pain in my ass, and Yoda’s spit is so corrosive it can dissolve the silver coating off a plated serving spoon, and smells bad enough to drive a pig off a bucket of swill. These things I know as facts.
“Well now, Mr. Johnson, just how might you know those tasty morsels of information to be, as you say, ‘facts’?”
“Well, Missy Tamara (Tamara is who the name tag claims her to be), the spit part was learned when I used this old serving spoon—a silver-plated jobbie whose matching knife and fork had long ago disappeared—to slop a blob of peanut butter onto a toasted English muffin. The peanut butter was organic from the bulk aisle over to Sprouts, and the muffin from this nifty bakery down to Austin, Texas. As the Squirt was in the other room watching Oprah with Gram and Streaker Jones, Yoda got both first and second dibbies to lick the remaining thin smear of goober spread off said spoon.”
Missy Tamara looked at me like I’d lost my mind and said to me, she says, “And?”
“And nothing. I put the spoon over to the counter next to the sink with intentions to hand wash it, hand washing a needed action after the goat dog’s tongue touches anything you wish to reuse, like dishes, flatware or faces. Little shit licked my underarm to get me to roll over in bed this one time and I got a dreadful rash right there where the bottom part of every shirt sleeve rubs. It was very uncomfortable.”
“The spoon, Sir. Did you have a point?”
“Oh, that. Forgot to wash it until the next day. I remember my Gram getting all up in my ass about it. ‘What in all God’s green pastures is this here?’ she asked me. The spoon looked like I’d dipped it in a vat of acid. It was all green and florescent and shit, and you could see the cheap pot metal showing through the silver coating.”
I love Trader Joes, I truly do. Their staff is always so friendly and interested in you. I’ve had several of these pleasant conversations with Tamara as she checked me out. And she always makes naughty innuendos when it’s time to insert my chipped credit card into the slot of the reader.
“It’s time, Mr. Johnson. Steady, straight and gently. Push it all the way in and then don’t touch it until it tells you what to do next. If you move it too soon you’ll have to pull it out and do it all again.”
Tamara has short, curly hair, light brown doe eyes, and a fearsome grin. And a girlfriend. Why is it that I’m so attracted to lesbian women? Put me in a dating mixer with a hundred interested straight women and one lesbian who doesn’t actually like men, and I’m making time with the lesbian in six minutes flat. What’s up with that shit? I love lesbians so much I forgot to tell you the pig part of my puppy’s spit stuff. And what’s up with my focus?
Did I tell you I have the dreaded ADD? I mean recently? I sat down now three hours and forty-five minutes ago to tell you that I think my country has gone all to Hell, and back, and I still haven’t told you about the time Yoda licked all over the galvanized tub used to feed Rush Limbaugh the pig. First and only time I saw that hog turn his nose up at food.
OK, and way back up there when talking about the spit and the spoon, I used the personal “whose” when referring to the spoon’s former mates. I really wanted to use “which’s”, as I feel with absolute certainty that it is Spoon’s mates which whom are missing. Then, again, maybe there are times when inanimate objects can take on human qualities. Like this one time when my Gram’s mushroom juice caused my Boy Scout pocket knife to carve the miniature Jesus off the faceplate on Mrs. Browningwell’s Sunday school lectern.
The term “He Is Risen”, painted in gold leaf above the carving, sort of fell flat after I’d whittled a crater where that old bag’s precious cherry wood Savior had once rested. Speaking of that entire “He Is Risen” dealio, a person close to me recently told me that she has figured out the entire set of mysteries revolving around Jesus dying on the cross, getting buried and then coming back for a farewell dinner with his boys.
“He didn’t die,” she told me with a look of sheer delight plastered all over her face. “They didn’t have modern science to check if he was actually dead, did they? There were no stethoscopes back then, they didn’t know to put a mirror under his nose to see if it fogged.”
Maybe I haven’t yet gotten to my point because I’m so frightened of it. America is this close to electing a racist, bigoted, braindead and greedy misogynistic failed businessman as President. Racial tensions are as high as they’ve been in my lifetime. America has enough military-styled rifles on its streets to arm the French Army. And representing our fellow citizens in public service has become one of the ten highest-paying jobs you can land, and the highest-paying job with no requirements for intelligence, integrity or common decency.
We were headed in such a good direction coming out of the Sixties and into the Seventies. Now we’re at the “Last Days of Pompeii” stage, where our hate, greed and gluttony are consuming us.
It hurts to say this, but my best effort to fight back is to simply say:
So. Having been absent from the pages herewith, hereat, or maybe even herein, I find myself in reflections as to why. Why have I not spewed, why have I not shared, why for fuck sakes, have I not communicated and unburdened my tortured soul? And, just for your grammatical edifications, “hereat” is too a word. If “whereat” can be a grammatically accepted word—if, in the greater scheme of Life, the generality of a specific location can have named validity in the form of “whereat”—then the very specificities of a specific location shall, likewise, have a proper name. That name is hereat. Take away the “w” and we know whereat we wonder that we are.
Think about it. Webster’s unabridged can sanction a word for a questioned attempt at specifying a location, yet cannot provide equal treatment for a known, specific spot on the map? Fuck Webster. Fuck Webster hereat, and whereat you may be.
For my part, I have no specific answer(s) as to my absence from these pages other than to say I have too little, yet too much to say. Maybe the answer is simple: I’m an ADHD-addled shitbrain. But, I have been busy with some personal shit, and I learned that someone close to me had a dangerous and painful firearm accident, and I do know with absolute certainty that I hate guns. I don’t care how smart, how well trained or how careful you think you are, when a gun goes off accidently, the shit hits the fan.
And when that shit happens with a gun, your fan ain’t big enough.
Maybe it’s because I’m overwhelmed with politics. Maybe the corporate ownership of our media has finally managed to finish its intended lobotomy of my pre-frontal lobe. Just the other day I saw a man in a red “Make America Great” hat make a sneering comment at a kid with rainbow hair and three pounds of metal stabbed into her head, and I let it go. Said nothing. I shook my head and walked to the deli section of Trader Joes to grab a package of their uncured ham. Tasty, clean pig meat at half the price of the same at Whole Foods.
I used to be in love with Whole Foods. It started in Austin and for years was a great place to shop. Helpful and enthusiastic workers who felt loved and respected by company management, fair prices for what you got. For years I felt that Whole Foods management actually cared about my and their employees’ welfare. Having learned that John Mackey is nothing but one more corporate asshole has turned me into a detractor. So, while fucking stuff, fuck John Mackey and Whole Foods.
And fuck bigots. Fuck Donald Trump and fuck anyone who supports him. Especially Piss Ant Pauline Ryan. “Donald Trump’s remarks are the very definition of racism, but I still support him.”
Really, Mr. Speaker? Really? Has anybody realized that second in succession to our country’s Presidency is a man with no actual backbone? People who claim to know him say Paulie is a “good man”. Riiight. Like all the good men in Germany back to the Thirties and Forties. “Oh, well, I know Herr Hitler is a racist, but he’s so good for Der Mutherland and so much better than the alternative.”
Condone. Condone is an interesting word, Mr. Ryan. “Condone: to approve by overlooking; to forgive; to tolerate; to accept by not rejecting; to make allowances for.”
The entire Republican party—all of those who do not condemn Donald Trump—have condoned his bigotry and racism. And when you approve or tolerate or make allowances for Evil, you are by definition, Evil your veryownself. The second in line to become President is, by his condoning of bigotry, a racist bigot.
“But he’s a good man, Mr. Johnson, a good, Christian family man.”
Really? Is that your definition of a good Christian family man? To any who say, “Yes,” I say, and with extreme emphasis, “Fuck you!” And me, as I have managed to condone bigotry in the fresh veggie aisle over to Trader Joes, “Fuck Me!”
How has it happened that we’ve gotten OK with all this bigotry and hateful public discourse? When did the entire country start accepting Southern racism by condoning it? How has it happened that America’s fall from its high perch as the beacon of freedom come so fast? Why is our mirrored reflection that of The Wizard of Oz? When did we become a brainless, heartless, cowardly bully? Did this happen quickly, as I see it, or have we always been?
Anyway, I’ve still too much, and too little, to say. But I can say with absolute certainty, “Fuck Walmart!”
So. I’d promised a Johnson Family update some weeks past, yet, as of this date I’ve been unable to string enough cogent thoughts together re: said family to create writings that might provide any useful information, thereof. Maybe that should have been, or better said, “…provide useful information, thereabout.” And now, having spent the last eight minutes cogitating over the proper placement of commas in that last sentence, I find myself wondering if I have enough mental alacrities to cogently speak to any subject.
OK, do you speak cogently “to”, “of” or “about” a subject? And while we’re stopped in grammatical reflections, allow me to pre-apologize for my ADD.
With alacrities used herein to mean quicknesses, take, for example, last names. I’ve been forgetting people’s names and mostly their surnames. The worst memory faults are coming with last names of people with simpler first names. Like Bob, or Jim, or Barbara. Or Anna. Yesterday I was speaking with this nice lesbian couple over to the line to purchase Powerball tickets at the Chevron station. I was maybe third from the back of the line and they were in front of me. As the line was slow moving, and I’d overheard the nice ladies talking about their pending wedding, I interjected myself into their conversation.
I caught that they are from Austin, visiting Santa Fe as a sort of pre-honeymoon scouting trip, and that they were having difficulties identifying an Austin venue for the actual wedding. Me, always the helpful sort even when unasked, inserted myself into their conversation.
“Pardon my interruption, ladies, but my sister and her woman were married out to the dock at our place there to Austin. Anna did all the party planning and I bet she’d be willing to help.”
The one woman looked at me like I’d just shit on her head, but the second quickly moved between us and said to me, she says, “It would be really helpful to speak with someone who knows the town. We just moved to Austin and are yet unfamiliar. We have joined the local community, but haven’t made friends yet.”
“Well,” I started, “Anna’s a big wig with the Austin Lesbian Club, or whatever it is they call the lesbian confab that meets on a Thursday over to Guerro’s Taco Bar, and she can help you with that as well.”
That caught the interest of the other lady, and she says to me, she asks, “Anna who? What’s Anna’s last name?”
“Ah, uh, ah…” I was flummoxed.
Took me maybe thirty seconds to say, “Oh yea, it’s Johnson. Anna Johnson.”
Now, the new readers hereof might not think this such a big memory thingie, but it actually is. See, Anna was born Anna Johnson. Then she married me—the third of ten suffragettes—and divorced me to marry my sister, Sister. Having completed the surname trifecta, Anna Johnson-Johnson-Johnson is all Johnsoned up, factual information that should make the remembrance of her name a simple mental task.
I can’t figure what it is that’s causing these lapses of synapsis. Is it simply the process of aging and my olderating? Did The Great Radiator alter my brain functions as well as those of my alimentary tracts? Worse of all, might I be getting the starts of a genetic dementia passed from Mother to me?
OK, let’s stop for a second. I know with certainties that the alimentary tract involves the processing of solid wastes in our bodies. Is our urinary system also alimentary, or is it considered to be a totally separate tracting? Me, for my part, I consider that since both liquids and solids, and solids containing liquids, enter all through our mouths, then the two systems are conjoined at least from the start. A well-oiled digestive tract will remove the liquids to be used elsewhere then eliminated through the bladder, so I get that there are two separate spigots as terminus. But, does having differing last stops mean separatenesses in total?
It’s like a subway system to me. Two guys get on the train together at Broadway—one guy the swimming coach and the other is executive chef for the Dean of Women and both from over to Columbia University—and travel over to the Greenwich Village area, whereat the swim coach transfers to a train to Yonkers and the other guy keeps on to New Jersey. In comparison to the alimentary track analogicals, first guy’s a liquid rider and the second a solid. Both start at the same entrance, one—while still inside the hidden chambers and transportations of the system—exits the initial tracks to head to a not that unpleasant bedroom community, and the other, Mr. Solids, travels all the way to the end of the original tracks and into the shitter.
What I do know is that my personal solid and liquid waste systems have been fucked into dysfunctionalities since contracting the dreaded prostate cancer and having endured the attendant multiple visitations to The Great Radiator. Hell, one side effect is that sometimes when an urge to purge hits, and the hitting is with significance, I know I’d best sit for relief, as my body’s subway system sends conflicting signals to the tracts. You know, the sign says, “Yonkers,” but travels instead to Paramus.
Likewise, I can say with purity of heart that the occasional urgencies plagued upon the middle of my body will affect my mental stabilities and alacrity of thought with great effects.
Do not stand, or otherwise tarry, between me and a bathroom when an urge strikes. I’ll run your ass right on over and not stop to apologize. I’ll seek you later to make amends, but I’ll not stop, or even attempt a, “So sorry,” over my shoulder.
Anyway, having found myself with difficulties rememberating the last name of an ex-wife—said ex having my same lastie, and thrice times at that—it has dawned on me that maybe I’ve never been good with names. I can remember the color of the stains on the edge-worn white panties Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson wore the first time I personally removed them from her flanks (green from the grass in which she squiggled), and the first two words Sammie said when I eagerly placed my face where panties had formerly resided (“That tickles,”), and her first words after that first sexing (“Interesting,”).
But I can’t remember my own last name when it sits behind my third ex-wife’s first.
Ugh. Total fucking ugh! What’s next? What part of me will show its deteriorations next? Eyesight weakening, memory fading, prostate withered like plum to prune, knees aching with Morning’s rise.
“Dear God, please don’t let it be my pecker. Please, pretty please. I swear I’ll make better use of it if you’ll just let me use it. Amen.”
So, while it’s still working, let’s all fuck Walmart with my pecker!
So. I’ve awakened to a landscape plastered with snow. As all the fruit trees here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe were covered with blooms yesterday afternoon, we’ll likely have little fruit again this year. Hard freezes this weekend are certain to kick harvests right in the ass.
Another sucker punch by NOT Global Climate Change effectively screwed up the weather. What a fucking surprise.
I had a full day planned—a day filled with outdoor activities—which is now shot all to Hell, so I decided to take a leisurely approach to my day. I had missed reading yesterday’s newspaper, so the two pages of actual newsie information contained therein had escaped my view.
I miss the days when newspapers were kings of all information media. A Sunday paper that was a half-day read in past days is now a four-minute perusal, with breaks to sip coffee. I miss the times when having the byline “Associated Press” meant that the voracity of a story was a vetted, accurate depiction to be absorbed, and hopefully understood, without concern that it was a “planted” fake. Like the 147 FBI agents looking at Hilary Clinton’s emails.
Really? Even my Gram ferreted that lie. “Them fuckin’ Fibbers ain’t got that many agents smart enough to catch Hilry. Didn’t assignation more an a dozen when they killed JFK. Assides, who really gives a shit?”
So, I poured a dram of brandy into my coffee cup, stoked match to twisted paper end, sucked a full breath and opened the previous day’s paper. OK, maybe it was two drams, and upon first seeing the snow from my office window, I had chewed, and swallowed, three of the dried mushroom buttons I have hidden in the bottom of the cedar chest that sits as a dog half-way station from floor to the heights of our bed. The mushrooms are a variety from Malesia sent to me by Streaker Jones—the remains of maybe two pounds dried provided on his last visit—and they are nestled comfortably at the bottom of the cedar chest because Yoda is nicknamed “the goat dog” for actual reasons.
And why, inthefuck, isn’t it spelled “Malasia”? Nobody says, “Ma-leezia,” dammit, it’s said as, “Ma-laisya.” Asshole fuckface smelly-assed fascist grammar shitballs.
Having said all that, you could rightfully contend that this would be one of the few bloggie postings I have written while stoned. I always tell you of these occurrences and they truly are few. I don’t drive any motorized vehicle while impaired in any fashion—while I do enjoy being driven—ever since my arrest some thirty years ago. Scared me straight knowing I might have hurt someone. Think of it this way: ADHD + ADD + Stoned = Oh no!
I harbor the same restraints for KUI—Keyboarding Under the Influences—as I’m less likely to thoroughly edit my words before posting, an act leading to multiple consternations. Read consternations hereat in its synonym “bewilderments”. OK, maybe worries would be another. One of these days I’ll post some unedited musings for your enjoyment.
Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson, psycho the-rapist to the stars and me, tells me that having been arrested for parking our Caterpillar 960 front end loader—its 12-yard light-weight bucket filled with turkey shit—on the front steps of the offices of Sewell and Petty Law Firm, was a sign for me to not imbibe and drive. I heeded that advice and thanked my stars that Texas didn’t have mushroom juice or pot on its Breathalyzer scales. Blowing 1.02’s-worth of Carta Blanca breath was enough to get me into a world of trouble, so I can only imagine how bad it might have been.
The loader was the big one from out to Mooner’s Compost Plant and the turkey manure was from this giant place over to near College Station that organically fattens its turkeys and lets them play outside for a few hours each day. While in Texas, I purchased all my turkeys from those guys. Birds were smaller overall since they got no growth enhancers, and I was especially impressed with the size and quality of their organs. Smaller, firmer and with better color, and even if it was psychosomatic, had far better taste.
Ever watch domesticated turkeys? As smart and shifty and wily and interesting as wild turkeys can be, the domesticated varietals are as opposites. Bred all the brains right out their skulls, we did. They seem to be totally paranoid, scared of their own shadows. Literally scared of their own shadows, looking over their over-plumped shoulders and jumping sideways.
Something about a turkey’s diet creates eye-watering odors. Even though turkey shit is one of the more pungent varieties of shit, it wasn’t my first choice. First choice was grease trap waste, but I’d have puked to death on the eleven-mile drive from the plant over to east Austin with 12-yards of that stuff. I can wear a Haz-Mat suit and still smell grease trap waste. Hell, typing “grease trap waste” stirs my gag reflexes.
But the turkey litter—they call turkey shit “litter” in the poultry industry—proved an effective tool as I managed to empty the entire building within maybe seven minutes. First officers arriving at the scene called the Sheriff right away. “Hey Woozie, its Mooner Johnson and you want to be here for this one.”
I shot the Sherriff a full moon and he tazed my bare ass.
Anyway, I opened the paper and read as I sipped from my cup. Sipping because it was too hot to drink, I didn’t spit a mouthful of brandy-laced coffee when I saw the headline, I merely sprayed a spritz similar to one of those tiny atomizer sample thingies at department store perfume counters.
I read the one paragraph story, reread to insure its actualities, and exclaimed, I shouted, “Hot damn!!!” and raced to my computer. I opened Googleate and typed in my query. I peered down the listings, found The Motley Fool, clicked there and found a headline that lifted my spirits to even new heights. There, on my computer screen, was proof positive that a grass roots consumer advocacy effort can be effective. I read, reread and read again.
“Hey, Squirty girl, come in here and looka this!” I shouted. “You’ve gotta see this, kiddo!”
The small brown puppy came running and jumped into my lap, read. “Holy shit, Mooner, you’ve won!”
“War’s not over yet, Sweetie Pie, but we’re winning some big ones.”
We celebrated what we read, as there, on my computer screen, was this:
“Walmart Is Falling Apart Before Our Eyes
Wal-Mart is no longer the popular retailer it once was and beneath the surface it’s starting to show the same cracks that brought Kmart and Sears to their knees. “
As an atheist, I didn’t thank God for this gift, I thanked you, the readers of the drivel posted herein. Thank you, thank you, and thanks some more. My plans to topple this giant of American retailing greed is working with all of your help! Not that our job is completed because fucking Walmart will not be a finished task until Alice Walton applies for food stamps. Now that we have them on the ropes, it’s time to apply evermore pressure. Speak loud and proud. Say it aloud with me. Say:
Fuck Wal-mart! Fuck Wal-mart! Fuck Wal-mart!
So. It’s a wondrous and quite interesting weekend of reflections for me as my ADD is a-swirl with the multicolored whirls of the criminally insane. Like the twisted views from the small end of a kaleidoscope, my thoughts are the rainbow’s colors presented without filter or screen. And why, intherfuck, isn’t it spelled “wonderous”? It isn’t a “wondreful” day dammit, it’s wonderful, yet I’m required to see it as wondrous. I have enough trouble typing and editing my ADHD-addled thoughts without the need to spell correct every tenth word.
Like fourty. Who was the genius on that one? Ninety works, eighty, seventy as well. But does fourty work? Noooo, it’s “forty”. Like the origin of four tens comes from an early settlement in the American West that represents a person moving from Wyoming to a big city. Country boy goes to Saint Louis for fame and fortune and city folk find him “forty”.
“That Smithson fella is right forty. You can take the boy out of the Fort but not the fort out of the boy.”
Which reminds me. Asshole Michigan Governor seizes control of Flint, strips that once fine city of its culture and pride, poisons its citizens with toxic water, then begs Obama to pay the way out. This is so fucking ironic my skin is crawling.
For starters, where was Cloven Bundy when the Guvmint took over an entire town? Where were the armed “protectors of freedom” when actual peoples’ rights were consumed in a fit of right-wing power? Silly fucking separationists were likely sucking on cans of Red Bull, unfiltered ciggies and Uncle Sam’s tits.
For second helpings, what if the citizens of Flint had taken up arms and occupied their own town? Would the Governor have sat quietly on the sidelines?
For thirdies, thirdsies maybe, there was knowledge aforethought that the replacement water supply was poisoned. Who will be prosecuted, who will be held accountable for the gigantic costs in human suffering, long-term health care expenses, and cleaning up this mess? Does the simple goddamn fact that lead stays in the human system to do terrible damage not resonate with a man like Governor Ricky Snider? Somebody fill his kids with lead and see his reaction. And actions.
To fix this without prosecuting those responsible is just as reprehensible as bailing-out big banks and not sending those fucking Banksters to jail. Please Mr. President, don’t half-ass this dealio.
Which leads me to my fourthie, not herein called “forthie” whateverthefuck Spell Check says, and that after-the-third thing is the still continuing saga of my car bidness. I have reached an amicable agreement with the automaker and await final disposition. Should they fulfill this last promise I’ll allow them to make, I’m satisfied. More to follow.
And that but leaves the real reason I’m writing today. OK, maybe that should have been, “And that leaves but the real reason…” However, as I hate leaving butts hanging, and leaves are sometimes pretty, I find myself in the honored position as the responsible person for forcing a major social change to the good of common man.
I, with the help of all of you, have finally made an impact on one of the most insidious scourges to American society. My unflinching campaign to bring halt to the rampant growth of this menace has finally taken purchase. Your support for my cause has created a ground-swell of powerful messaging that has, at last, bore fruit. I can’t say it better than the headline I saw in the New York Times. It said:
“Walmart to close 269 stores worldwide.”
It came to me last night as I was going to sleep. I lay on my back—left hand scratching Yoda at my hip and right hand cupping (clutching maybe) my balls—and rethinking my day. As I finished ruminating I started thinking just how comforting it is to scratch my tiny white dog while holding my scrotum in preparation for sleep, and wondering was this another sign that I’m just not right. The Squirt was at my right side with her head resting on my chest, so I asked the brown puppy her opinion.
“Squirty girl, you awake?”
“What now, asshole. You still wanna debate whether Cruz or Trump is the bigger shithead?”
“No, I’m good on that one. I’m wondering if I’m crazy for holding my balls and scratching the goat dog to relax for sleep.”
“For shitsakes, Mooner. When a person is crazy, by definition all things they do are crazy. Shut up and go to sleep.”
Somehow Squirt’s logic is, like my balls, comforting. Acknowledging that I truly am crazy, I can stop worrying if I seem crazy for things. I can just accept lunacy for what it is and move on. Spend my time on more productive thinking.
Like new and more creative ways to: Fuck Walmart!
So. Here we all are the day after Xmas sitting happy, sassy and overstuffed with holiday good cheer. At least those of us fortunate to have money for food and gifts, the safety required for peaceful enjoyments, and the freedom from oppression to have honest expressions, are happily sitting. For the several billion of us humans without the money, safety and freedom needed to enjoy a happy holiday season, today is simply one more day of misery, or maybe simply drudgery.
For my part, I’ve been watching too much TV whereon people keep thanking God for every sort of thing. Things great and small, important or silly, good and not so very good. I’ve been especially impressed with the American Christians whom I’ve witnessed thanking their God. I was looking for this one soft-core porn movie and passed by the Pat Robertson channel and paused long enough to get the gist of old Patrick’s message.
“The all-knowing, all-powerful God of Christ makes everything happen that ever happens on this, his divinely-created Earth. Be grateful for all He does for you.”
If I could remember the name of that movie I might have missed Pat’s message. It’s the one with Kim Whatshername. The crazy one who was married to Alec Baldwin. And have any of you guys ever been tangled into a love affair with a person like that—gorgeous, sexy as all get-out, and as looney as three-peckered Billy goat with a belly full of Viagra?
I had this one wife—the one I never write about out of fear for my life—who was so fucking crazy that she would hide in my closet, and. Well. Ah. Like I said, she was sexy as all get-out.
Anyway, just this morning as the Squirt and I were finishing our cuppa-Joe, we saw this one woman from over to Birmingham, in the Alabalamaba, describe her elation at having been spared from the tornado that ripped though there Xmas day. She told the TV camera, she said, “God is responsible for all things and I’m so grateful He spared me, and mine. Roll Tide!”
“Don’t start, shithead,” Squirt advised me, “that lady’s got a lot on her mind. Not her fault God decided to kill somebody else and spare her. She’ll worry about the less fortunate after she finishes celebrating a football win and her survival.”
“Alright, little lady, for starters if she’s an actual Christian lady she’d be way more concerned for the souls of the killed and injured and lives devastated than she is for her own family as they sit, safe-and-sound. And the fact that she’s a fan of Alabalama double-downs her insensitivities, if you ask me,” I told her.
“OK, maybe that should be ‘doubles-down’. Or ‘doubled-downers’.”
“Yea,” she admonished me, “but why don’t you give her the benefit of just a little doubt? Didn’t you notice they interviewed her in front of a Walmart store?”
How had I missed that? I never miss a chance to say Fuck Walmart, so I said, “Fuck Walmart, and that’s a big called strike three, little lady. That woman’s an ignorant-Christian-Walmart-shopping-Alabobbaloola-rooting-brain-dead…”
The Squirt barked at me. “Jesus, Mooner, give it a fucking break already. Don’t you ever get tired of ranting about religious people?”
I do get tired of it, really tired of it. But we must stand up to the face of hypocrisy, bigotry, and ignorance in the name of faceless Gods.
“I am tired of it, Squirty girl, but the stilted beliefs of religious extremists are dangerous. If that woman had said, ‘God is responsible for all things so I want to thank him for sparing me and mine, and likewise give Him praise for killing them fourteen folks a couple blocks over, and for creating a hundred million dollars of damage just in time to ruin this holiday for ten thousand…’ You know, if her God is responsible for everything, thank Him for the fumble as well as the touchdown.”
Nine and a Half Weeks. That’s the movie, and Kim Bassinger is the formerly sexy actress married to a Baldwin.
So, once and again, Fuck Walmart!
[Editor’s Note: I had fully intended to post this before I left for Texas, yet and alas, I forgot. My further intentions would be to write, and post a follow-up. Good luck to us all on that one.]
So. I was over to Katy’s place at Fascist Dyke Motors making a response to one of her postings, and as my ADD was in full winter bloom, my eyes wandered out the window and fixed upon the sight of my small, brown puppy. The Squirt was in full huntress mode—neck bowed, chest out, eyes steely and Devil’s grin plastered to her face—watching a mouse squiggle a red slinky upon the three-day old snow.
OK, for an early interruption, why isn’t it “…the three-days old snow,”? Word informs me it is “three-day old” snow even though the snow has lay grounded for three consecutive days and not lay a day, go away then lay again for a day, leave and come back. OK, and why not three-day olds, likes spoon-fulls?
The little mousie has lived the summer and autumn somewhere in my, or the neighbor’s back yard, and has lived off my garden and compost patch. Since most of the garden was ruined by a spring hail, I’m assuming it was the food scraps I compost that supplied most of his rodent daily required nutritional values. I, once and again, assume that he was getting his full and complete daily needs as he was a plump little shit with keen senses and quick feet.
“OK, Mooner, I’ll block his route to the shed and you scare him to me,” Squirt told me last month after she’d spent the better part of a day keeping the mouse trapped inside our garden enclosure. She alternated all summer between chasing the mouse and catching the giant green grasshoppers our wet summer brought.
“No, dumbass, use a stick to prod him,” she admonished when I opened the gate to step inside the enclosure, “He’ll get around your slow ass, so use a fucking stick!”
I poked and prodded at the mouse and finally got him to bolt. He jumped through a gap in the wire and did a perfect head-and-shoulder fake leaving the Squirt snarling and bitching at his shadow.
“Dammit, Mooner, you chased him to my left side. You know my right side is my faster.”
“He’s a right quick little shitbird, my chick-a-dee. No shame in losing him again. You’ll get him one day.”
My adorable mix of Chihuahua and miniature Dachshund must have captured, tortured, viewed with pride and then consumed a hundred or more grasshoppers as practice for catching this small rodent. While I missed the chase, capture and initial tortures, I made first sighting as she sat like Snoopy waiting for Charlie Brown to load the feed bowl. As the mouse made pathetic efforts to run away with a severely mangled back leg, the red loops were growing smaller—just as a Slinky does when stretched to length.
I typed a few words of description of this event as a comment to Katy, then watched the rest of the death play. Mercifully, Act3 came quickly as the Squirt picked the mouse up by its head and pranced to the back door. I heard her bark, repeatedly, and ignored her, repeatedly. She came to stand outside the office window, barked. I ignored her there.
“Hey shithead!” I heard, muffled. “I’ve got a present for you.”
With that she sat like a bunny on her back haunches and held the bloodied mouse aloft. The she set it down to Slinky circle again, nudged it with her nose, picked it up and slung it across the snow. It slid, then banged to a stop against the rock wall. I banged on the window and hollered. “Don’t play with it like that. Either eat it or put it in the garden to compost. I won’t have you waste it, and it is NOT coming inside.”
That’s when I deja-vued my childhood, the memory hitting me like a brick. I was sitting at Thanksgiving dinner between Aunt Hilda and Mother, not my usual spot. I sat here because the buttered Brussels sprouts I didn’t eat Tuesday were still sitting on my plate Thursday afternoon. As the lone occupant of my holiday dinner plate, the small, now brown cabbage halves were getting worn thin from my moving them around with my fork.
“Stop playing with your food and eat it, you disruptive little shit. You’ll not get another morsel until all those greens are eaten!”
My mother’s voice was seething with anger, hissed through half-clenched teeth. I’d endured a second whipping at breakfast for refusing to eat the now cardboard-like vegetables. I was then threatened with a third.
OK, that was waaaay off point, and likely my ADD-addled brain’s method of dealing with the simple fact that I’m headed to Texas for T-givers. It’s been awhile since I saw my maternal unit and I’ve those mixed emotions one has at these holiday memory moments, still comment way off subject.
What I meant to ask is this. Why do other animals play with their captured food and we humans scold for same? Mother lions and cats and dogs teach their kids to play with their captured prey yet we punish ours for pushing a few green things around a plate with their forks. I get that we humans don’t capture our vittles any longer as all our food has long been products of systematic incarcerations. But why must our kids eat everything we want them to?
My guess is that should we still be chasing our breakfast, we’d be a thinner population by miles. Hard to be 5’8” and 300 pounds after hunting pigs all day.
Anyway, may you all enjoy this best holiday and fuck Walmart for some added joy.
So. Have you guys ever noticed that you are crazy? Totally, lock-me-up-to-the-Looney Bin crazy? Has it ever dawned on you that you might just be the missing link in a Darwinian chain of counter evolution—the member of your species containing that initial flawed chromosome that spawns the regression of all mankind, marching the Homo Sapiens Sapiens genetics backwards to our knuckle-dragging beginnings?
Have you ever wondered to yourself, thought out loud, “Mooner, what, inthefuck, is wrong with you?”
Our boy Bert Einstein famously said that to repeat the same action, repeatedly, while expecting differing results, is the absolute definition of insanity. If you agree with the famous scientist on this matter, then E=My Insanity Squared, and Insanity is my middle name. Me, I keep doing things, saying things, which I have high hopes will change some particular situation—make a positive impact not previously made, influence another’s bigoted ideas, or change my own flaws.
Take, as an example, my New Year’s Eve resolution for 2015. Drunk as a skunk and stewing in my own mushroom saturated juices as the dogs and I sat in front of the TV waiting for the Ball to drop, I made my resolution.
“Well kids, I’ve decided that I will not flick anyone on the nose or ear this year. That’s a childish response to conflict and I always end up in trouble as a result.”
Speaking of dropping balls, have any of the rest of you noticed how your balls drop towards your ankles as you mature? Much as a woman’s breasts reach towards the center of the Earth with age, a man’s testicles tug his scrotum ever downward.
My own balls often need to be moved so I can put on my socks, and don’t you younger guys go getting all excited about enlarging sexual organs. This isn’t enlarging I’m addressing, like where things grow in mass. Nopers, here we’re discussing more of a stretching thingie—think of a rubber band. First time a new rubber band is stretched it goes a little and springs back. Next time it stretches a little farther then springs back with slightly less enthusiasm. Keep repeating and eventually the rubber band stretches to ten times its original distance and has no spring left. Stretch it one too many times and it breaks.
I’m concerned that my scrotum has reached its breaking point. I can see the sunlight through it when I’m drying after a shower, and the blood vessels look as if they’ll expose themselves to that same sunlight. Can a scrotum drop off? Like a skin tag on your neck that you twist out of aggravation until it stretches too far and breaks off at the skin line. God knows I’ve twisted and tugged and abused my scrotum over the years.
I bought this book from the back of a girlie magazine when I was in junior high school—“Party Tricks for Lovers” is what I remember it was called. One of those cheap paper, eight-page flimsy publications so very available for $5.95 plus postage. Had all these twisty maneuvers you could do with your pecker and balls to make silly shit. Like balloon twisting, you could make animals and shit with nothing more than the simple instructions in the pamphlet and a matched set of pecker with balls.
If my tired old memory serves me, twist your junk a certain way and backlight it in a dark bedroom, and you can cast an image of Winston Churchill smoking a cigar onto the wall. Mother caught me practicing this one time, mistook it for masturbating.
“You’ll end up in Hell for sure, you ingrate. I’ll never, and I mean NEVER, understand what I did to deserve you.”
Me, for my part, often wondered what it was that I could have possibly done to deserve her. Sometime during that same junior high school year I took my Sex Education Class, wherein I learned precisely what it was she did to deserve me. One of my most vivid childhood memories is when I told the entire Johnson clan the specificities of how Mother deserved me.
Sitting at the dinner table at The Johnson Family Ranch back to those days required the following of my mother’s routine. As a public educator, Mother mandated that Sister and I each elucidate that school day’s events in some detail and be finished before the plates were cleared. While I can’t remember what Sister’s conversation entailed, and she always went first as ladies always go first, I can remember the contents of mine.
“Well…” I started, “Coach Pepworth whacked me with his 2X4 because I kept hitting the two hole instead of the three hole, but that was Jimmy Simpson’s fault. Jimmy kept blocking the wrong way putting the halfback in the wrong hole, and I wanted to knock the shit out of Ronnie Peters. Linebacker’s job is to knock the shit out of the running back even if he comes through the wrong hole. And don’t even get all up in my ass about saying “shit” because that was Coach Pepworth’s word, not mine. Coach also said, “Knock him totally fucking senseless, Mooner,” but you guys notice I didn’t say “fucking” as I can still taste Ivory Soap from last week when I asked Mrs. Browningwell what a vagina and clitoris was in Sunday School. First chapter in Sex Ed was all about vaginas. Chapter two was peckers, except they call peckers penississes. Like Mississippi, but with a “p” at the start.”
(Editor’s Note: Please excuse the improper use of quotation marks in the prior paragraph. It is somewhat simpler to write this explanation than to correct that.)
“Anyway, I continued, I solved a mystery for you, Mother, something you said you’d never, and I mean NEVER understand. You deserve me because you let Daddy stick his pecker all up into your vagina and you rubbed it back-and-forth until Daddy ersaculated. Wait, immaculated, maybe. Daddy’s pecker spit out some sperm—millions of those little suckers—and one of um managed to get to your eggie.”
Deep breath. “I never knew you lay eggs like a chicken, Mother, even though Daddy says you cackle like a damned hen, but the egg turned out to be me. Why didn’t you keep my shell? I’d like to see my shell. Must have been the same thing for making Sister. Teacher says sometimes people practice having babies for fun, but she laughed and said that was a joke. You deserve me because you incorporated with Daddy. Teacher says a lot of adults don’t know as much about sex as I will when class is done. Maybe you can ask me your sex questions because I already seem to know more than you. OK, it wasn’t immaculated, it’s ejaculated. And the other word sounds like incorporated but with a couple. Maybe you couplerated. Back to that whole deserving thing, tomorrow we study masturbating, you know, beating off. Teacher told Ricky James he was crass for saying that, then Ricky asked was jerking off less crass. It isn’t. But Teacher said, and I asked her twice if she’s sure about this one because it’s pretty important to me. Teacher says I will not burn in Hell for masturbating, nobody does because everybody does it, beat off I mean, and, well, then everybody would burn in Hell. That simply can’t be because some folks get to go to Heaven, right, and if everyone goes to Hell for masturbating then there’s nobody left to go to Heaven.”
My ADD aside, Mother still thinks I’m burning in Hell and, well, I flicked the off-cell-phone ear of this teenaged twat standing in line over to the Starbucks. Prick’s arguing, loudly, with his mother about skipping school. I ask him to zip it or go outside, twice, he gets louder with my requests so I give him a little flick, he drops his phone and starts whining, loudly. I’m asked to leave without my coffee and he gets poor-sweet-babied by this cute barista.
No justice in this crazy world. So, Fuck Walmart!
So. Spring has sprung and all my fruit trees are low hung with the colorful blossoms that promise a bountiful harvest of cherries, pears and apples. Then again, our average last freeze is April 15th, and a hard freeze on that date will nullify that promised bounty. Having said that, colorful blossoms hung without care brings to mind the phone call from Gram last night. When my caller ID informed me that “Gram” was on the line, I punched the speaker button, and answered.
“Hey, baby, how’s it hanging?”
“Loose n low, shithead, like ya had ta fuckin’ ask. But tha major dominatrix question here is how’s yers a hangin’? Yer aint Hilda said she was reading somwheres as ta how them atomic blasters kin put a serious hurtin’ on that tiny pecker a yurs. Makes yer shit shrivel right on up. Do I need ta send ya one a them magnaphone spy glass dealios? Hate ta have ya loose sight a yer manhoodie an’ get yerself all googlated.”
The chicken cackle giggle of my randy old grandmother filled my ears. Filled my heart as well. If there is a person breathing who can make my troubles go away with a simple laugh, it would be my Gram. And her slaughter of the language brings extra joy.
She went on, “Er, maybe ya could tie a string on it an’ pin tha string ta yer zipper, cluck, cluck, cluck. Yer pants zipper, not the pecker zipper.” Her giggles were near maniacal.
The referred-to pecker zipper is a longish story that ends with me living my life since childhood with a chunk of the rusted zipper from a pair of men’s coveralls pinned in a small, twisted scar on my penis. The fact that my Gram can poke fun and laugh at it makes her all the more endearing.
I tell her, I say, “Me, I’m hanging long and lean, old woman, and ready for action. Two megatons of X-rays aren’t nearly enough poison to kill this Johnson’s johnson. Can’t seem to stop peeing long enough to find suitable company yet, but that situation should change soon.”
“Why’nt ya call tha Sacster an’ have her bring tha stunner gunnie. That oughtta git yer man meat started right on back ta work.”
Again with the sounds of happy chicken. I’m unsure if I know another person, besides me, who says “man meat” in that context, and it always makes me laugh coming from her. That thought hit me, and then I realized where the majority of my genes had originated.
“I love you, Gram, and I miss you terribly.”
There was a pause, and then Gram said to me, she said, “You OK, Mooner? Don’t you be a tellin’ me tha fucking cancer came back. I’ll kick yer ass if’fn ya still got tha cancer.”
“Nah, I’m OK, just missing your mangy old ass. We’ll know in a couple months if the treatment worked. Really, I’m doing alright. Besides. SAC Ellen likes her job and The US Department of Homeland Security does not even like me.”
“Well, if yer OK, why ain’t ya called yer crazy fuckin’ mother?”
Oh, for shitsakes. I call Mother most days and sometimes more than once.
“Oh, for shitsakes, Gram. Do I need to send you a phone bill to get everyone off my ass? I hung up from Mother less than an hour ago. Better yet, check that loony old martyr’s phone bill when you next go visit. Highlight my numbers for her and call me in the morning.”
Dementia is hell when you are living with a loved one who has it. OK, a mostly loved one in this particular case. But imagine what it must be like to be the demented. I freak when I misplace my keys, so I can’t imagine losing decades of memories. Or the last ten minutes. I’m looking forward to when Mother can’t remember who I am. Then I’ll be, “That nice young Johnson fellow who calls all the time.”
Which reminds me. Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson gave me the name of this acupuncturist lady who says she successfully treats the side effects of radiation therapies. Me, I find myself quite reluctant to visit any alternative medical facilities, as having a witch doctor for a grandmother has created bias. However, having the need to carry a gag and muzzle for myself those times I must pee in a multi-fixtured public bathroom, I was willing to try anything to ease my symptoms.
Arrived the ten minutes early I was asked so as to complete my paperwork, I walked into an empty reception area. An open door to my left revealed sight of a skinny man in his undies, bent and twisted into a pretzel, and the sounds of his grunts were accompanied by the aggravating noise of his Germanic-voiced tormentor.
“Find your chi, Robert. Passt auft, Robert, pay your attention!”
I stood and wondered, for not the first time, why “pay attention” sounds so like “pissed off” in German. I walked to a chair and sat, and before I could ask that question aloud, Herr Zen Master stuck face around the door jam. I was surprised to see a smallish woman’s face and not that of a six-foot SS officer. “What you want? Who are you? What is your name?”
I had to think. “OK…Ah, well that would first be nothing from you even if my appointment is with you. I’m next the man who has a 10:00 appointment at this address getting interrogated by a rude person, and finally, name’s Mooner Johnson, man-about-town and general bon vivant.”
Pretzel man snickered, the head disappeared, door slammed and, “You tink dats funny, Robert?”
Later, as I lay on a table impersonating a victim of porcupine assault, I heard the sounds of one of those humming bowls humming and the terse German voice saying. “Find your chi, Robert, and find eternal harmony.”
The yoga lady next door might be a terrific stretching and Zen teacher. But for my money, I want my lessons in soft French vowels and sloppy consonants rather than the crisp, harsh German dialect. “Lick my titties,” in German sounds like a scold. Try it, say it aloud with a German accent: “Kusse meine Bruste.”
Anyway, my lingual bigotry aside, I did the new patient intake, which from my perspectives was an outlay, and only made a few minor, yet intemtional, misstatements as to my personal habits. I did tell the lady doc about my urination issues, but I’ve long ago learned that medical professionals lack the constitution to hear that one human can consume an ounce of weed, half-a-pound of magic mushrooms, and a case of Carta Blanca beer each week. Doesn’t help to tell them that you aren’t a binger, that you pretty much enjoy average doses daily. They all remember a bad acid trip from back to their college days and get all preachy on your ass.
But let’s not let my ADD get us waylaid even though a waid lay would be my first lay in months. When the nice lady needle poker told me to get up and put my shoes and socks back on after my treatment, I asked her, I said, “Did you get all the needles out? Several spots still sting quite a bit.”
She gave me a quite sweet shit-eating grin, and said, “Of course, Mr. Johnson. How amateurish would it be for me to leave needles in your person. Acupuncture is powerful medicine. It would be dangerous to you and I’d, well I’d never. Those stings are the powerful chi working on your issues.”
Spent the rest of the day scratching the stinging itch at my right ankle and bitching to the dogs about it. Then, when I had undressed last night and sat on the pot for a last pre-bedtime pee event, the Squirt came in to ask what we were going to do today. This is our daily routine, as the little brown puppy likes to sleep on the next day’s plans so as to determine any alterations she might find suitable.
Instead, she stared at my ankle for a minute and then said, she asked me, “You have some stun gun sex today, shithead?”
“Huh?” my reply. “What are you even talking about? Gram mentioned it on the phone, but I took no actions.”
“Looks to me like you had some electrified sex and one of the barbs is still attached to your ankle.”
Sure enough, I could see the blue-green plastic top of an acupuncture needle boinging in the air as I bent to take a look. I pulled the little fucker out—which action hurt—and held it up to see. It was bent about 3/8ths-of-an-inch from the end where is was stuck in my flesh and twisted at a 90-degree angle by my sock. It had been like that since 11:00 yesterday morning.
I’m leaving now to go apply for a refund. Powerful medicine my rosy red ass. And by the way. Fuck Walmart!
So. As Thanksgiving has managed to pass through the American landscape with barely a thanks given to the actualities of its foundings, we are now under siege by the actualities of what has become Xmas. My local paper—a lightweight tabloid of maybe seven ounces average arrival weight—hit our driveway Thursday at a hefty two pounds and four ounces. Filled with the advertising fodder of every fucking retail and service outlet within an hour’s drive, the actual newsprint seemed like a dust jacket for the War and Peace of coupon cutters.
When I unwrapped the parts I was to read and tossed the balance into the cardboard box I use to recycle newsprint, the Squirt said to me, she says, “Hang on, asshole, don’t you need to find some coupons for your presents for me and the goat dog?”
As I am one to always look for ways to better father my charges, I explained to the small brown puppy that, “It’s better said Yoda and me, sweetie, you should have said, ‘…the goat dog and me.’”
I’ll not tell you that she growled at me because that is forbidden between us. I will, however, say that she gave me her best “eat shit and die” look while saying, “Look’a here, butthead. If you plan to leave us with that nut-ball dog sitter for ten days while you explore the Oregon coast, you’d better give us some really good Christmas presents. Otherwise, I’ll tell Yoda to eat her furniture and it’ll take $25,000 to bail us out when you get home.”
“Look, Squirtie girl, please don’t use the word ‘Christmas’ when referring to December 25th. A major component to my plan to unravel excessively right-wing Christians is using ‘Xmas’ and ‘Happy Holidays’ instead.”
“Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!” was her reply. “Christ-mas, Chrrr-ist-masss!”
I spent the day Friday examining Thursday’s and Friday’s ad supplements with the two dogs looking over my shoulder. OK, in actualities, one would sit in my lap while the other parked ass on the chair pulled tight against mine and both with chins rested on the table’s edge. I don’t allow dog feet on my dining table and I’m pleased to say it’s the one rule they obey routinely.
“Hey, there are some attractive ladies at that place, Mooner. Are they for sale? Maybe we should go over there and do some shopping for you when we finish here.”
“That’s a Hooter’s ad, silly rabbit, those girls aren’t for sale,” I told Squirt.
“Could’a fooled me, Bwana. Looks like all their assets are sitting on the meat rack and ready to serve.”
How do you argue with that logic?
Did I mention I was drinking Carta Blanca beer and enjoying a touch of Raspberry Kush medicinal pot as we couponed? I had the TV on as we perused and was down to the last two retailer’s packages when the Squirt told me, she exclaimed, “Look, its A Christmas Story!”
As the last two sales papers were for Walmart and Hobby Lobby, I told her, “Let’s take these papers out back. You guys can do your business on them for me and then we’ll watch Ralphie. I’ll pop some popcorn and you guys can share a jigger of beer.”
They did, I did, and we lounged before the big screen to watch my favorite Xmas Movie. I try to watch that film anytime I catch it, sometimes as many as four times each season. This time when we got to a scene when Ralphie has to eat the bar of soap, a childhood memory of my own flooded into me like an emotional dam had burst. Bursted? Why don’t we say bursted? If it “burst” when actually breaking, whyinthefuck don’t we say “bursted” when referencing the event in past tense?
“Holy shit, guys, I just remembered an event quite similar from my own past.” This said as tears started leaking from the corners of my eyes. It seems that learning of my cancer has brought new levels of emotional tidings to me this holiday season.
I blew my nose and wiped my eyes, and paused the movie with my new pauser dealio on the TV remote, and recounted the remembered memory to the puppies. I was five and it was either a Sunday or a Wednesday, and I know it was one of those days because each of those days of my childhood included visits to The Reverend Browningwell’s Baptist church. His wife, Laticia, would later become my teacher in several grades. We never got along and she is the mold from which I cast most every right-wing conservative Christian bigoted asshole I have encountered since.
In those days, the 1950’s, after each Baptist church service the pastor and his wife would stand on the church steps and shake hands with each parishioner and they would shake each down for tithes or service or some sin recently committed. Leticia was an enigma to me even at that age- things I heard her say and things said about her behind her back. I likewise lacked any social filters as a young boy, a trait upon which I’ve not managed any significant improvements even yet.
On this particular Sunday or Wednesday, I remember watching Laticia interact with people as we made our way through the line as Gram, Mother and I waited our turns. I remember how my hand ached as Mother gripped it like a chicken neck in a vice. I think the fingers of my left hand are still blood-swollen from Mother’s attempts to control my movements as a kid. My ADHD in her firm control, I kept trying to pull away to watch the preacher’s wife by peering around the folks ahead of us. I peeked and peered between legs and around poofy dresses and jacket tails anxiously as I had a very important question to ask the preacher’s wife.
When we finally got to the head of the line, I remember Pastor Browningwell said something to Mother—likely something pleasant, as my mother was, is, a perfect Baptist—and then he said something to me. For my part, I didn’t hear a word of any of that because all the attention I had was focused upon his wife. I’d recently heard something about her and my curiosity was killing me.
In my anxiety to speak to an adult, I blurted out, “Does it hurt, Mrs. Browningwell?”
“Huh? Oh, it is you, young Mr. Johnson,” said with a not varnished contempt as she and I already had some history. “Of what, or which, are you speaking, young Butcher?”
She called me Butcher because that would be my actual given name and this was before I had earned my nickname. And why isn’t it “knickname”?
“Does it hurt that you can’t fart?” I elaborated.
Getting no understandable verbal responses, I continued, “My Gram says you’ve got a corn cob pipe stuck so far up your ass you can’t fart. My tummy hurts when I can’t fart.”
Back in those days, ranchers and farmers would wash their clothes in Twenty Mule Team Borax detergent, and sitting by every sink was a lunky bar of Lava hand soap. Lunky is now a word, and a perfect descriptor for this bar of soap. The grit and lather was/is perfect for removing the grease and oil and barnyard gunk of everyday work with animals and machines. As a child, we had Lava bars at the old pump head next to the big barn, at the sink in the wash room where we entered the house after working to wash hands and remove soiled clothing, and by the kitchen sink. Seems this particular, egregious offense mandated a sentence to be carried out standing beside the barn.
“You stand here and think about what you said, you disruptive little shit. I’ve never been so humiliated in all my life!” That was Mother as she jammed the grease-and-cow-shit-blackened bar of Lava in my mouth. “And I’ll be watching you through the window, Butcher Einstein Johnson. Don’t you dare take it out until I say!”
As she walked away, she flipped over her shoulder, “Einstein my rosy-red ass. Your grandmother missed that one entirely”
The reason my eyes teared with this memory is my crazy old grandmother. She’s who named me and later that night, after dinner, she corralled me to go out to her potion pantry that was the smaller barn on our property. All my previous trips to the cellar where she brewed her psychedelic mushroom potions were for times when I’d been injured or poisoned, real or imagined. This was the first visit when the invitation was a curiosity to me.
My Grandmother started laughing on our walk to the pantry as soon as we were out of sight of the kitchen window where Mother was washing dinner dishes. “That might’a been tha funniest fuckin’ thing I ever did hear. Yer mother’s got no sense to a good humor, sonny boy, and she never did.”
Once inside the storage cellar of her potion pantry, Gram searched the shelves looking for a particular bottle. “Little fucker’s here, I jist know it.” She grumbled and groaned as she reached and stooped and crawled the shelves to find what she sought.
“Here it is!” she exclaimed. All I could see of her was the bottom of her Keds poking out from the heavy plank shelf where she was deeply planted.
She held the medicinal-brown pint glass bottle to my face for a close look, then set it on her work counter. “I made this un fer tha boys when they got back from tha big Dubbie Two. That war broke them boys right on down, Butcher. They needed a pick-er uppie when they got back ta home.”
She turned the label to her own face and read me the label. “Fuck Hitler and Tito too- Mooseie Boy’s Done Already Dead!”
I now know that she was referring to Benito Mussolini, the best effort the Italians could make at a modern wartime dictator. I’ve always thought the Italians spent all their real warrior vitriol back in the Times of Rome. Too much amore in modern Italians to conger-up a true mirror image of old Adolph.
I just stood in rapt anticipation of what my Gram might say next.
“Here, boy, let’s give ya a double doser. Ain’t used this shit in ten years and I’mma thinkin’ it might a lost its pow’r.”
Gram squeezed a first dropper into my opened mouth, I swallowed and then accepted another. She looked at me and said, “Fuck it,” and squeezed several full droppers into her own mouth.
“Let’s us go sit onna dock an have a cold one.”
We did, my first entire cold beer sipped while my grandmother told me stories about war, and Baptist preacher’s wives and my mother. Maybe it’s time for a repeat performance.
Fuck Walmart this Xmas season!
So. As hard as I try I can’t seem to manage either my technologies or my life. It appears that the harder I work at it, the worser I become. Let us begin with the technological side of this unequal fucking parallelogram. Don’t you love that word “parallelogram”? It was one of my favorite words from geometry. OK, it was my favorite word in the entire mathematical schedule of my formal educations. “Quark” was my favie in physics, and Malaysia my favorite in geography. I loved Malaysia because it means “bad Asia”, and that thought may be making a statement on my mental fitness, and in English my favorite word was “run-on sentence”.
My favorite word of all words is, of course, the word fuck.
In the last year I have upgraded both my technologicals and my life stylings and, having said that, I’m reminded that while upgrading those, I have downgraded my upholsteries. Now that I am re-retired from an actual job, I’ve stopped shaving routinely and wear only the clothing I deem appropriate. Don’t like my three-day growth of facial fuzz? Go fuck yourself. Paint stains and wrinkles on my tattered Mooner’s Compost Plant logo work shirt put you off your feed over to Dr. Field Goods café? Go fuck yourself. Me, I think the pizza sauce pasted in your nasty blond beard is repugnant, and you didn’t eat pizza today, shithead, you had the goat sausage special.
So fuck you once, and then again!
And what is it with MSNBC? I was trying to watch Morning Joe and they had the pompous pompadoured prick, Texas Governor Little Ricky Periwinkle, on the show. Joe Scabblurry, or whateverthefuck his name might actually be, starts this effusive mumbo-jumbo about how the Prickster is the second coming of Ronald fucking Reagan.
Really, Joseph, you’re saying that on MSNBC? Fuck you and MSNBC as well.
And your milk-toast pretend liberal cohost—Annika Sorenstam, or whoever the fuck she actually is. Who knew Elizabeth Hassleback had a clone pretending to be a progressive woman?
And now, a word from our sponsor, Attention Deficit Disorder:
“Do you ever have bouts of excessive loss of concentration? Have you ever forgotten you were having sex and asked your lady friend to get you a fresh beer? Do peoples’ eyes glaze over in the middle of your stories? Was your childhood nickname ‘He’s a Disruptive Little Shit’? Have you ever forgotten to wipe when your cell phone rang in the other room and you were expecting a phone call from your batshit crazy mother? Do you speak and write in incomprehensible allegories? Have you ever asked yourself, ‘Did I really say that?’
Well, folks, if you can answer, ‘Yes, Mr. Deep-voiced Announcer Man,’ then you, dear friend, might be afflicted with the blight of the dreaded Attention Deficit Disorder.”
Which reminds me. When I purchased a new cell phone—my first intelligent communication apparatus—I was conned into likewise buying the insurance for it. As I am both clumsy and foolish, I felt—after having ruined numerous $200 dumb cell phones—that the $15/month a wise investment to cover a $500 smart unit. As expected, I dropped the silly fucking smart phone and broke the face glass, said glass being a flat sheet of transparent molten sand with a replication cost of three-and-a-half cents. As I dropped and shattered said glass during normal business hours, I drove to the phone store to get a replacement glass.
Did I tell you that I sliced my finger when the damaged-glass phone rang as I was driving to the phone store? Can somebody answer me why, precisely, is the best way to answer one of these things to rub your finger across a piece of razor-thin glass? Why not require us to lick it? Makes as much fucking sense.
Anyway, I arrived to the phone store to stand in a line of maybe sixty other already glad-to-be-there phone patrons and started the hour-long process of waiting. Each asshole in line had: 1. a phone issue; 2. a unique and aggravating ring tone; and 3. what seemed to be forty-three calls per hour coming in over the cell tower radar beams. I felt my ears would burst, my brain microwave blister, and my patience lose itself on this shithead who had decided that “Girls, Girls, Girls” was an attractive ring tone when blasted at 88 decibels.
I finally made it to the front of the line and told the nice lady my problem, and that I had insurance and asked, “How long will it take to get a new glass thingie and do you have a Band-Aid. I have about another thirty minutes before I shove that guy’s Samsung Android up his ass.”
“Oh, sir,” she replied, “we aren’t allowed to administer medical treatment and we can’t replace the glass. You must purchase a new phone.”
Then she smiled at me like I was a moron for even asking. Moron I am, I then said, “That’s pretty fucking stupid—waste a $500 phone for a nickel’s worth of glass. But who really gives a shit, I’ve got insurance.”
She stopped smiling, stepped away from the counter and shouted, “Manager!”
Turns out that my insurance policy has a $175.00 deductible for “user damage”. Pig fucking greedy-assed cell phone companies. The phone is now sitting on my work bench and is in process of my gluing it back together. I need a new, better magnifying glass to tweeze this shit back into use.
Then again, I’ll likely not be satisfied with my glass reconstruction. If so, I’m grabbing the big sledge hammer sitting by the front door and marching out to the street to have me a cell phone party. If that fucker is rendered useless with a broken glass, then the phone company will have exactly zero used parts from it. Broken glass, broken fucking phone.
So. As I’ve been playing poker like a dumbass and losing my hard-earned dollars at the table with great alacrity, I have banished myself from the casinos for three days to give me time to reflect upon just whatinthefuck has happened to my game. I’m spending the daylight hours of these three days in intense psycho therapies and self-reflections aimed at a recapturing my lost poker skills. The three nights are investments in drug and alcohol-fueled reflective bliss, the aimless targets of which I cannot vocalize, other than to say, “That’s simply how we roll, baby!”
What I want to tell you today has to do with last evening’s boozy revelations, but I can’t tell that story without background. As “Full Disclosure” is my middle name, please allow me to elucidate.
OK, for starters, Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson is writing a new book and she has asked me to assist her with reviewing her words before she sends them off to her editor. She thinks she has me fooled with the Guinea pig wool over my eyes, but I know for a fact that she is using me as her test subject for the premises of her silly fucking book. Having been the test pigeon for many of her prior experiments, I can tell when I’m being had.
Getting had? Do you get had or be had? I know you get head, but then, again, you let it be.
Whateverthefuck, I have been the subject for previous of the mad Doctor’s trials and having said that, I’m now guessing that the subject word is “be”. If I’ve been the subject, then, and therefore, I was “be” in it as the original tense. Now I’m tense and starting to grind my teeth.
This newest tome from my darling first-of-ten ex-wives is all about a person overcoming the anxieties and self-defeating thoughts we older farts have in the second half of life. Somehow she has found a way to distinguish between the anxieties we personages suffer from birth to fifty years of age and those we suffer thereafter. The good Doctor’s distinguishments perplex me.
“How the Hell do you draw the line at fifty?” I asked her when I first read and proofed her introduction. “I’ve worried about ‘is my pecker big enough’ since the first grade and on a continuing basis ever since. Did I ever tell you about when Streaker Jones and I went to the YMCA to try out for the basketball team and met all the boys from Carver Elementary in the shower?”
Texas schools were quite segregated when we were kids and my first exposure to segregated peckers was an eye-opener. “I’m just glad I was a late bloomer, Sammie girl, otherwise I’d be all fucked up over my pecker.”
She laughed into the Skype machine. We Skyper my therapies when in differing cities, and this morning we were at differences. “When you are reflecting later this afternoon, Mooner, I want you to think about your pecker and self-inspect back on your ten marriages—see if you can find any correlations between the eleven.”
“Bitch,” I called her. She really can be a bitch.
“Bitch all you want, Mooner, but you need to realize that your poor poker playing is all about your late-life anxieties.”
See, I told you guys she can be a bitch. Always turning my shit back into my face. Anyway, last night the dogs and I were laying on the couch flipping through the eight-thousand channels on the TV when a commercial for one of the armed forces came on. As we were a few beers, two joints and three mushroom buttons into our evening’s reflections, I can’t tell you which branch of our military service was touting its goods. What I can tell you is the message.
“We’re defending Democracy throughout the world.” That’s the tagline, the message conveyed. They said, “Defending Democracy,” several times throughout the thirty-seconds of advertisement and I felt myself flinch each time. My flinching disturbed the goat dog, as he was perched upon my chest, and disturbing him unsettled the Squirt as she nestled between my legs at the crotch. Yoda jumped and bolted to the floor and stepped on Squirt in the process.
“What the fuck is wrong with you, Mooner. You know he’s a jumpy little shit. We’re here to relax and reflect, shithead, so be still.” This was said to me through the hooded eyelid countenance of the fluffy, brown puppy perched in my lap.
“Don’t look at me that way, little lady. Makes me queasy,” I told her. “Besides, listening to that commercial makes me wonder just what fucking Democracy those people are defending.”
The squirt looked at me like I’d lost my mind—hooded eyes narrowing to slits. “I said don’t look at me that way. What I’m trying to say is that this ain’t my daddy’s Democracy, Squirtie girl. In fact, I don’t even know what a Democracy is anymore.”
That led her to tell me to get out the dictionary, and I did, and the only one I could find was the Student addition I had back to college—the one before I invested in the big fifty-pounder Unabridged model. I love that big dictionary. It has every word said by man until 1968. I was relieved to read that my memory was spot on. I was saddened to see how far from Democracy’s truth my country ‘tis be. ‘Tis are? ‘Tis is, maybe, and let’s stop the presses right now.
What, inthefuck, does that song mean? “My country, ‘tis of thee.” Really? Tis means “it is”, right? So my country, it is of thee? Thee is you, so my country is of you. Really, you are my country? Who the fuck do you think you are?
Maybe I’m still a touch stoned from last night. I found the student dictionary and Webster’s Student Dictionary defines “Democracy” as:
“Main Entry: de•moc•ra•cy
Pronunciation: di- mäk-r -s
Inflected Form(s): plural -cies
Etymology: from early French democratie “democracy,” from Latin democratia (same meaning), from Greek demokratia “democracy,” from d mos “people, the masses” and -kratia “rule, government,” from kratos “strength, power, authority” –related to EPIDEMIC
1 a : government by the people; especially : rule of the majority b : government in which the supreme power is held by the people and used by them directly or indirectly through representation
2 : a political unit (as a nation) that has a democratic government
3 : belief in or practice of the idea that all people are socially equal
Upon reading the full definition to the Squirt, she said to me, she says, “We’re screwed, Mooner. Democracy isn’t what it used to be, is it?”
We are screwed, aren’t we? Like our early years’ anxieties differ from our worries of the second half of life, Democracy barely resembles its veryownself here to modern America. Our Supreme Court has re-determined what “We the People” means, and that new definition is mean, inhumane.
Ugh. I need more beer and drugs. So, please, once and for me…
So. It hit me as we sat watching Masters of Sex on the TV last night. Actually, several things hit me as images of sexual experimentation washed across the screen followed by a scene wherein Dr. Master’s wife witnesses a truckload of white assholes pitch a beaten black man from the back of a 1956 Chevy pickup. What hit me first was that it’s been awhile since there’s been any two-party sexing in this neighborhood—this hit happening with the sex stuff visuals on the TV show—and the second was how proud of myself I was to have both recorded and replayed a video using my new Comcast internet cable system.
I’d switched from Dish when the inclement weather, and a super special price dealio from Comcast, made Dish an untenable choice. Not that my new “bundled” price for phone, Internet and cable TV is an actual bargain. Anytime your entertainment budget equals the lease payment for a Mercedes sedan you, dear friend, have been shit upon by big business.
As a technological dumass, I took great pleasure when I announced to the dogs, I told them with great pride, “See there, guys. I am smart enough to both record and play.”
“Only smart thing you did, shithead, was to spend seven hours on five calls to Comcast for instructions. The three days of watching you fiddle with that remote before calling Comcast for help was painful to watch.”
The tiny brown bundle of brown fur and prissy attitude I call “Squirt” had actually nailed the nail on the head. OK, she hit the nail’s head. Maybe it would be better said to say she “nailed it”.
“You are right on the money, little lady,” I replied. “I was smart enough to get assistance before smashing $500-worth of last month’s technology with the sledge hammer.”
I have a quite nifty sledge hammer—a Kobalt brand twelve-pounder—my weapon of choice for sitting by the front door. Seventh Day Adventists tend to shy from the door of a giant-headed crazy man holding a full-on sledge hammer in one hand, a cold beer in the other, and a fat, smoldering joint hanging from his lip. Add to that a pair of yappy Chihuahua mixed breed puppies bearing sharp fangs and vicious snarls and you got yourself quite the unwelcoming party.
Last pair of churchy visitors knocked my old gate off its hinges upon their spiritual departure from the heavenly courtyard here to La Casita Johnson de Santa Fe. I put down the hammer and the joint and grabbed a fresh Carta Blanca, and the dogs and I went to sit on the curb by the mailbox. These days a man can legally sit on the curb in front of his house with a smoldering dube as the Santa Fe City Council has made it OK to do so.
“Evening, Officer Lopez. How’s it hanging, baby?”
Officer Lupe Lopez is one of Santa Fe’s finest and the afternoon dick on patrol in my neighborhood. Lucky for both of us she’s already married. I’m unsure how my lifestyle and that of a police person would work in cohabitation.
“Must you answer the door just to torment them, Mr. Johnson, can’t you just wait them out in a backroom and not scare them to death? You know they are true believers and just doing what it is they think God has asked. My Sargent is asking me to run you in next time. Wants to see if he can get you to behave.” Officer Lopez has a softened steel in her voice as she lectures. Not once has she gritted her teeth while asking me to behave.
Seen many law enforcement officials grind their teeth to dust in my presence.
“I’ve not been behind bars for a couple years, my little whole wheat muffin. But tell your boss I’ve been jailed for any number of different things, including murder, and just look at me—free as a fucking bird. Wanna toke?”
The last thing that hit me struck when we saw the black-man-from-the-tailgate lying on the pavement in the TV show. “Goddamn but white people are mean, bwana Mooner!” the Squirt scolded the TV.
OK, and it hit the Squirt first, and I answered, “White people have got a fucking mean streak in um, Squirtie girl, and just like the old hymn, it runs deep and wide. And the Christian religion seems to make it worse.”
We discussed how Christian white people have done terribly inhumane things to other humans over the course of the history of Christendom and how here to the good old US of A we continue those shit-headed ways to this day. We had four centuries of slavery here to America and now, more than a hundred-fifty years after slavery’s end, we’ve got millions of white assholes still wishing to appeal the Emancipation Proclamation. And now we even have a racist majority in our Supreme Court perpetuating the white elitist agenda of wealthy white assholes who are literally spending $billions to push it.
From my perspective, I am starting to envision a not too distant future wherein people of color will join with the rest of our poor and middle class Americans and take our Democracy back from the oligarchs. Take it back the hard way. Not pushing for it, my precious NSA observers, just watching the coffee grounds.
But really, what inthefuck is it about we white persons that makes us so damned mean? Is it the lack of melanin? Does melanin soothe the soul as well as add pigment to our skin and enlarge our peckers? Can it be that the tendencies for Lilly white skin to sunburn likewise burn deep scars into an old white farts’ civility? Is it because for centuries we’ve had asshole preachers telling us we’re “The Chosen”? Seriously, what the fuck makes us act like giant flaming assholes?
Makes me want to get an all-over tan and change my name to Lopez and take melanin injections. Can’t have too big a pecker. Which reminds me. I have agreed to ride on Senator Udall’s parade float in the Fiesta Parade this afternoon. Udall is a fine man and we same page it 95% of the time. But, after committing to ride the float with other supporters, I discovered what this fiesta is all about.
Speaking of white Christian folks behaving badly, this particular party is in celebration of the fucking Spaniards recapturing this chunk of the New World back from the Native Americans who had lived here for centuries before Columbus figured that the Earth might have rounded corners. The native peoples had chased the original Spanish invaders back to Mexico in much the same brutal fashion the Conquistadors had taken the land. The recapture was an even terrible-more bloodletting of the indigenous residents.
Goddamn shithead Spanish goat fucking Catholic asswad white men. Same sorts of scenarios have been repeated worldwide as white fuckballs from Europe spread their diseases and greed globally in the name of their beloved Christ.
Happening here to America all over again and not even for the first time here. Like I said, what is it with we white folks?
Wake up white people before it’s too late. Fuck Walmart and mellow the hell out. We are not God’s chosen. Trust me, She told me so Herself.
So. The dogs and I have just returned from what should have been a relaxing trip down to Ruidoso, New Mexico. Ruidoso is a beautiful little mountain town, situated dead-center of the state, with a big horse racing track, ski hill and a casino. The Apache Tribe owns the casino and, as it turns out, fucking Texans own everything else.
“Holy shit, Mooner, look at all the Texas license plates. It’s like we never left Asshole Land!” the Squirt exclaimed to the crowd in our Mini Countryman stuffed to the gills with the three of us plus enough dog provisions to support the two small puppies for a year. Packing for weekend trips with the small bundle of brown fur and bad attitude I named “Squirt” has become worse than back to when I was married to an opera singer.
“Ahh needhs eenouff klo-theengs to match eenie ohhcashhh-ion, Moo-near mon cheri amour.” That was how my mocha brown skinned ex-wife had put it to me as we stood at the Delta Airlines check-in counter, her thick French accent dripping with sex and honey.
“But, my darling wife. It’s gonna cost an extra thousand dollars for the last six chunks of luggage, and we’re only going to be gone for a week,” my meager attempt to save a thousand smackeroos.
And that reminds me. Santa Fe has what is truly a world class opera. Set rather than inside a stuffy closed box with acoustics that have been enforced with the rigid, manufactured materials sound engineers use to make things sound “natural”, our opera is housed in an open-roofed natural amphitheater that can deliver the actual sound of a sharp intake of breath from the stage all the way to the last seat a hundred yards away. OK, maybe it’s eighty-six yards.
But who really gives-a-shit, right? Eighty-six or a hundred yards, it’s all the same dealio.
We were just arrived into Ruidoso and were stuck in quite heavy traffic there to Sudderth Street—the main drag when entering town from Roswell, the direction Texans enter to shit on our pretty state.. “You’re right about the Texas plates, little lady. I haven’t seen so many Cadillac Escalades since you jumped out of the GTO at the Austin dealership to chase the fucking cat.”
Honor, said and same fucking cat, had decided she was unhappy about something that cats get unhappy about and had left the car when we stopped for a red light over to Research Blvd. Now, and as I’m reminded to tell you, Honor has been AWOL for what is now a month. Last two fish skeletons have gone without her attentions, and if I don’t stop this brain swill right now, my ADHD will drive us right on over the cliff.
Seems that Texans have invaded central New Mexico and centered that invasion on the environs of Ruidoso. Texans everywhere—at the motel where we stayed, the restaurants, stores and the casino wherein I played. I was playing no limit Hold “Em Saturday night with a table full of cowboys just finished with a day at the horse races. And let’s be clear here when I say that maybe one of these sanctimonious assholes was an actual Texas cowboy. Rest were typical pretenders to cowboydom, the standard Texan’s posture. Maybe that should be “cowboyness”.
After they bored of talking racing horse stories the subject turned to the terrible crisis they think Texas has with the invasion of brown-skinned children. I endured maybe fifteen-minutes’ worth of their bigoted bullshit before I’d had it.
“Here’s a foolproof way to stop all those little urchins from crossing your border, guys, and I’ll give it to you for free.”
I guess my having taken several of their stacks with superior holdings gave me some deference as they all looked my way for this supposed solution. I made them ask several times before I said to them, I carefully explained, “OK, here’s what you do. Pack all your shit and every Texan from around the world goes home from wherever-in-the-fuck it is they are that isn’t Texas. Stay there and mow your own lawns, clean your own houses, pick your own fucking cotton, dig your own ditches and work in the fertilizer plants your own damn selves. That’ll solve your immigrant issues and mine as well.”
And that reminds me of what I meant to tell you in the first place. I’ve long been monitoring this entire charismatic Christian bullshit wherein some are claiming that the second coming of Hey-soos is just around the bend. Seems I’ve discovered another sign that they might be on to something. Every day our local newspaper prints the previous day’s police blotter and I read it each day. Last Friday’s Santa Fe New Mexican police blotter had an entry, and I swear to God this is the truth. It read, “On August 10th, a burglar stole twenty pieces of gold from a home at …”
When I read the listing to the Squirt she told me, “Looks like some asshole is preparing to shit in Jesus’ mess kit a second time.”
We laughed until it dawned on me it might be true. So fuck Walmart while you still have the time.
- And So. I’m having trouble with my Word Press website. What happened is that I updated the silly fucking thing and now it makes a complete and total mess of the first paragraph I try to print by dropping some random number of the first few words and then printing the start of each bloggie dealio as a numbered format, like it’s an outline. I’ve been trying to fake it out but with no luck. So, and once more again, I’ve typed some additional words to begin this silly shit in an effort to get things to read correctly for you. Maybe this time I’ll succeed in outsmarting it.
Then, again, I don’t have a good record with outsmarting technology. Like the time back to college when I manufactured a sixty-foot long aluminum foil antenna extension for the little Zenith TV that Streaker Jones and I watched. For some reason the TV reception there to our little rented duplex was terrible and I had finally strung enough shiny balled foil out the window and around the eaves of the house to bring the picture’s state to what we called “somewhat fuzzy”.
The lightning strike was indirect as it made initial contact with a neighbor’s tree, splitting off a huge oak branch that fell on a Volkswagen Karman Ghia parked on their dirt front yard. However, that much metal strung that close was simply too much for a lonely lightning bolt to ignore. My best buddy and I were stoned out of our gourd and watching coverage of the Viet Nam War on our nightly news when lightning struck.
“Fucking farrrrr out,” Streaker Jones calmly stated when the TV exploded in a blast of dust and glass and this really stinky powder. “I knew we’d git better reception when ya hung yer new antenna, Mooner, but holy shit, man. It’s lik’ they brought the war to our livin’ room.”
Me, I’d ducked and covered as my personal impression of the event was that the North Viets had invaded Austin, Texas through our TV set and it was all my fault.
Anyway, so my sister Tammy died in the middle of the night Friday to Saturday morning. She was alone and her poor husband didn’t go check on her until early Saturday evening. He told me that he overslept and didn’t get the messages from Hospice and I believe him. I called and left numerous texts and emails for him starting early Saturday and they always went to voice mail. Or text mail. Or whereeverinthefuck an unanswered text sits. Fucking smart phone bullshit.
It would be fashionable to be pissed at him for not sitting at my sister’s side—his wife’s side—except for when you factor in the simple fact that he is schizophrenic. A tortured soul who has spent too many days locked up to the Loony Bin while wearing the fashionable laces-in-the-back outerwear found in abundance in such places. Man fears hospitals with a certain ferocity, and while the hospice facilities are not a hospital, they are quite hospital-like. To hold my brother-in-law accountable in such circumstances would be to demonstrate a callousness beyond that of a passionate, caring human.
A callousness such as that possessed by my mother. I’ll not get too deep into Mother’s behavior these last weeks other than to provide you with the transcript of a phone call from Friday afternoon several hours before Tammy died. “Ring-ring,” rang my phone:
Me: “Hello, Mother.”
Mother: “Why won’t anyone tell me Tammy is dead?”
Mother: “I saa-aa-id, why won’t you tell me Tammy is dead?”
Me: “She isn’t dead, Mother, what’s wrong with you?”
Mother” “People go to those places to die. She needs to be dead. Her hus…band (husband said with a disgust dripping with sarcasm) should be at her side twenty-four and seven.”
Me: “Jesus-fucking Christ, Mother, you’ll get your wish soon enough. Go play bingo, or in the street, but leave your son-in-law and me alone.”
Mother: “She should be dead by now and you need to tell me! And where are you?”
Me: Sound of punching the red “End” button on the phone.
When I replayed that conversation with Dr. Sam I. Am-Johnson in this morning’s Skyper phone psycho therapy session, she said that I need to understand that people deal with death differently. After an hour of discussing how I feel about Mother’s method of dealing, and some of the stunts she pulled while at my sister’s death bead, Sammie said to me, she said, “We’re off the clock now, Mooner, and I want to say something off the record.”
“OK, but if you threaten to send me back to the Loony Bin again, I’m throwing a hissy fit.” I hate the fucking mental hospital just as much as my brother-in-law, and just exactly what is a hissy fit? Is that where you hiss incessantly—“hissssss…hissss…hisssss—until somebody gets so tired of it they give in to your hissy fit?
My lovely ex-wife took a huge cleansing breath and said to me, she said, “Off the record, I must say it’s a miracle you aren’t all fucked up.”
As we were Skyping this session, my eyes had wondered to my ex-wife’s nipples—plumped raisins poking at the silk fabric of her kimono-style robe. Those beautiful fruits are why I schedule my sessions early of a morning.
“Jesus Christ, Mooner, don’t you think of anything but sex? Stop staring at my nipples and focus on your issues,” she scolded.
“Oh for shitsakes, Sammie. You said we were off the record. Besides,” I said with a sly grin, “you used to like it when I was focused on your breasties.”
Which reminds me. When I first got to Las Vegas and Tammy was still in the ICU, I counselled with her cancer specialist. As we spoke, he kept looking at me in that curiously funny way we use to study curiosities that confound us. He’d say something like, “No, Mr. Johnson, the cancer has spread too far to do anything about it. Your sister waited too long to…” and then, wordlessly, he would ogle my face—acting as if he wanted to reach out and touch it. He would lose himself staring at my face while he “Hmmmmed and Ooohed.” OK, maybe it wasn’t wordlessly, but the oohs and hmms were hummed rather than spoken.
I got fed up with it and asked him, I said, “Whatthefuck is up with you, Doc. I’m not gay and you sizing me up is making me uncomfortable.”
“Oh, sorry, sir,” he told me. “Professional curiosity. It’s just that you have a solid dozen pre-cancerous spots on your forehead, and a fat basal cell carcinoma right there on the side of your nose.”
He reached for said nose and poked the spot that has been sore and shedding skin for a few months. “Ouch!” I whined like a kid. “That fucking hurt.”
“Look at your sister over there in the bed, Mr. Johnson. That little sore spot on your nose can put you under the covers with her if you don’t get it taken care of. I have a friend in the business in Santa Fe. When you get home, call and tell her I sent you. Do it first thing.”
I did and saw her—the dermatologist—the Friday morning Tammy died, last Friday. Please notice that I have only used the word died. Not passed or succumbed or deceased or expired or even croaked. My sister is dead goddammit, and that means she has died. She didn’t “pass”, like she took a test to end her life, and she didn’t give up on life—the cancer fucking took it from her. It pisses me off when people try to make all nice-nice when there is a death. She was 59-years old and she’s dea-fucking-d from smoking cigarettes. You face it and help me face her death as well.
“Dr. James from Las Vegas referred me and he said for you to see me pronto,” I told the receptionist when I called for an appointment.
“Oh, you’re the man Dr. James told us about. I’m very sorry to hear about your sister, Mr. Johnson. Smoker’s cancer is a terrible disease.”
“Well, thanks for the kind words but if I were you, I’d not make any further mention of my sister Tammy. She’s gone lawsuit happy on her death bed and wants no mention of her after death. Made the threat to sue me several times with too many of her last words.”
Anyway, I’ve now got a forehead that looks like it was spiked by football cleats, and the left side of my nose looks like someone stubbed out a fat cigar quite slowly. Nose has an ugly scab the size of a nickel. One of those oozy, multicolored jobbies. So much was removed to rid me of the basal cell tumor I was worried that I could cover my nostrils and still be able to nose whistle.
And that reminds me of something I want to say about death. You know how you never seem to know what to say to people who have lost loved ones—right? At least those of us who actually give a shit, we seem to not be able to find words of comfort that don’t sound like either a silly fucking Hallmark card or the plastic words of some asshole Baptist preacher.
Here’s my advice. Say something about how you’re sorry for their loss, ask them if you can do anything for them besides go the fuck away, and then say, “This is really shitty and I hate it for you.” Say it just like that.
Because death is really shitty, and if you actually do care for me you hate that it has happened. You will never go wrong with those words. And:
Fuck Walmart because the Waltons are really shitty.