I backed my car out of a tight slot between SUVs at Walmart. My wife screamed, “Look out! Look out!” arms waving; scaring the living shit out of me.
I slammed on the brakes. The car rocked at my sudden stop from .00006 miles per hour. The huge guy reflected in my rear view mirror lumbered behind my car on his way to the cheap groceries. Never even gave me a glance.
I checked my five rear-view mirrors before backing up. That’s right, five. A center mirror with auto-dimming and a compass, two side mirrors trimmed to the side lines of the car and two parabolic to cover the blind spots. Fuck me. The Walmart slug walked right out from behind the Dodge Durango and across my path. I was moving extra slow with my back-up lights on. No matter he was a mouth breathing Deliverance refugee he was still a Presbyterian. If I ran him over it would have dire consequences in Penalty Points.
“Jesus,” I said to my wife, “you scared me half to death.”
“Didn’t you even see him?” Her voice a couple octaves above civilized conversation.
“How could I? The asshole came out of nowhere. He was oblivious. If he was conscious he didn’t give a shit, just kept on walking. Figures to retire on whoever hits him at Walmart. The fuck.”
“Please don’t talk that way. Be more careful in these parking lots.” She was calming down.
Fuck ‘more careful,’ I’m thinking. The Gulf oil spill is caused by the people driving these goddamn SUVs all over. Mix SUVs with idiots and you have a stupidity slick all over the Walmart parking lot. I’ve already got five mirrors.
I go down to my local auto store and order a set of back-up sensors. These attach to the car’s rear bumper. Their function is, while the car is in reverse, to Beep with increasing frequency as I get close to an object or person. It will be impossible to get behind me without me knowing. I drive my car home and do a test on a garbage can. They work.
Two days later I’m back at Walmart picking up some items made by children locked in a Quonset hut in Sri Lanka. I get the stuff and return to the lot. Parked on one side of me is a panel van. On the other side a Dodge Power Wagon with tires bigger than my car.
I back out of my slot veeerrry carefully. Like some perverse choreography an asshole walks from behind the Power Wagon and into my path. ‘Beep, beep, beep,’ go my backup sensors. I stab my brakes. The tires give a squeak. The asshole jumps back, startled, and gives me the finger.
Well now, I think, throw the car back in reverse and start for him again. Beep, beep, beep. He dodges. I correct. ‘Beep, beep, beep, beep.’ I don’t even need the rear view mirror. He is sprinting back down the aisle. ‘Beep, beep, beep, beep, beep.’ I can home in on him while backing up without even looking. Beep, beep. There’s a satisfying Thump! The car rocks slightly; like over a speed bump. I pull forward and ‘Beep, beep,’ pick him up in the sensors again. Shift back in reverse, ‘Beep, beep, beep.’ Thump! Over him once again for good measure.
On my way home I’m thinking, these fucking backup sensors are really cool! They are the action-oriented solution for bovinity!
I backed my car out of a tight slot between SUVs at Walmart. My wife screamed, “Look out! Look out!” arms waving; scaring the living shit out of me.
I retired here. A conscious choice. Not like, I’m done working so I’ll just stay here, type bullshit. Rather, it’s quiet. There’s a hunting season but I live inside the city limit so you can’t discharge a gun; except during a family dispute. Even then it’s only fifty-fifty you’ll get off.
During hunting season I hear the guns go off outside the city limits. Most of the deer around here have a higher IQ than the hunters. Even if they happen to get shot the deer get more points in the spread because they’re sober. So the word for this place is bucolic. Our town is well maintained. We mow the grass and plant flowers when the snow melts. All that. Kind of like Oregon; we don’t wish you were here.
In addition to hunting season, the other loud thing we have is Fourth of July. There are three firework displays in easy driving distance. I don’t go. I can hear the distant subsonic thumps. Been there done that. Sometimes I see the sky light up with the display closest to me. Fuck that. That’s close enough.
Last couple years we’ve had an air show. Our airport is regional. Regional means when you call in for weather the guy at the airport goes over to the door, looks out, says, “Yep I can see the water tower.” This visibility check means it’s OK to bring in whatever Maude Frickert shitbird you’re flying.
I watched our regional air show for a couple years. I live out near the two strip airport. Sat outside on a folding chair. Had a cocktail. I’m partial to straight vodka but wife made me cut that out. Anyway the air show was mostly Crop Dusters who couldn’t get it up. Harley Riders who came into some money. Wing walkers who hadn’t fallen off. Shit like that. I lost interest.
This year I was mowing the lawn while the air show was going on. I sharpen the blade after every mow. You wouldn’t believe how good the lawn looks.
How the fuck was I supposed to know they had a Tomcat signed up for the show? It’s hard for me to tell you about planes when you’re a ground guy like me. A guy who likes the smell of dirt. It’s hard for me to tell you about noise when you’re a fucking dweeb that grew up in this town. For you, noise is the fourth of July.
The Tomcat came in from the Northeast. Me mowing the front yard didn’t hear it until it was past me; a shattering boom. Going away the Tomcat pilot lit his afterburners, two red evil eyes. In the jungle booms always came just before the napalm storm. That boom was the four horsemen; the end of days.
I filled the gas tank on the lawnmower before I started. It’s why they found me so quick. I left it running on the front lawn while I dug a hide hole under the bushes in my garden shrubs.
My neighbor across the street is a sweetheart. She told her kids when the flashing lights were here, “Mr. Bronson was looking for something in his garden and got stuck under the bushes. They had to help him get out.” That’s for fucking sure. I was looking for my former self. I was looking to not be caramelized.
Anyway, I’m better now.
As they rocked in his recliner the baby boy plastered on the front of him slept. A humming noise he made in his throat insured the kid remained unconscious. He remembered the noise from rocking his own long-gone son who had also fallen asleep right away when rocked while he repeated this noise over and over. Too bad he couldn’t bottle and market the recipe. A surefire baby soporific would be worth a fortune.
The kid, Otto, squirmed in his arms seeking another comfortable position. He’d been asleep for twenty five minutes now.
Otto’s mother, Gloria, who lived upstairs, trusted him with occasional short babysitting assignments while she made a quick run to the store. Daytimes only. After all he was eighty five years old. Gloria didn’t want to take a chance on his staying power after five in the evening. No matter. He enjoyed Otto, feeling his short baby breaths as they rocked. He made the noise for Otto. Hmmm, hmmm, hummm, hum, hum, hum. He paused before the last hum. Two quick hummm or hums, pause a beat, and then the third hummm or hum. Rhythmic.
The rocking kept him from realizing he was slipping into a meditative state. He’d always associated meditation with sitting still. Gloria had only asked him to watch Otto a few times over the last couple of months. During Otto’s last two visits he had zoned out while rocking the kid without even realizing what was happening.
Today Otto was making little noises harmonizing with his hummm and hums and after about ten minutes he felt away from himself, above himself, somewhere outside, in the sky. He was in a trance yet alert, realizing he was going somewhere important, reaching, journeying toward understanding of a higher truth so long lost.
It came to him, a flash, bright, clear, enveloped him, washed over him, with a power of certainty he had not felt in many years, it flabbergasted him with its immediacy and he knew it for all it meant. Otto had done a load in his diaper.
“Hey man, let’s go down to the Pub and grab a pint or three,” says Gropinski . His jeans are dirty from working on the docks.
“Can’t. Got a pickleball game.”
“A what?” He says.
“Pickleball. My Ayurvedic counselor turned me on to it.”
“What’s…?” He begins, but I give him my full gig. “I go there because my therapeutic Qigong routine was leaving a gap in my perception.”
“…pickleball?” He leaves his mouth open after finishing, fish-breathing, flopping on the intellectual dock.
“Kind of a racket sport. Not a racket like slot machines. Although slots aren’t really a sport, if you know what I mean. I’m trying to design my next 50 years. Trying to match up the classical mythology that lingers beneath the surface of this modernity.”
“Racket? Let’s just grab a brewski.” He’s exasperated. He lives a simple life, the docks, an occasional woman of questionable morals and brewskis.
“Can’t drink beers right now I’m toting up what’s right with me. Working on my self-worth Building a kayak. Going to a wheel-throwing class. Gonna’ throw a plate. Sharpening up for that with Aikibojitsu. I yell, Hi! Then throw the plate. You know?”
“Jesus,” he says without reverence.
“Don’t do him. Maybe Buddha if I get some time. Tried Zumba but it was too distracting. Too much bouncing. Too many women. Stuff bouncing. That’s living on shaky ground without a disaster kit prepared.”
“What’s that fucking smell?” Gropinski wrinkles his nose.
“Aromatherapy, man. Combines with my cannabis salves and infusions to level me out. This week it’s garlic. Keeps the panhandlers off.”
“Christ! Do what you want. I’m going to get a beer.”
“Don’t do Christ either. Maybe Allah if I get some time. Probably trip on that thobe thing though. Have to think about it. You need a few garlic cloves, help you drink in peace bro? Bro?”
But Gropinski’s disappeared around the corner, going to a brewski, where he often needs to go.
No having much knowledge of politics in general or politicians in particular, I was startled by this late night thought; a thought so clear I turned on the TV to see if I had heard it on the News.
The thought was that Republican candidates for President are all either idiots or dangerous egotistical psychopaths.
Maybe the News was the spark. Newt Gingrich indeed.
On one side we have the heir to the maelstrom and people who want to give everything to everybody gratis. On the other side are the people who don’t want to give anything to anybody other than maybe a bottle of Scrubbing Bubbles to a sixth grader with which to clean the bathroom.
What’s a moderate independent to do?
I have always liked Barak Obama’s equanimity but I’m sure there are things I should dislike about him. I do however think it sad seemingly no one else in the entire country wants to do anything even remotely generous.
Powerbrokering warmongers have managed to get us into a deep hole that will be difficult to exit. It’s useless to waste time assigning blame to either the weak or dishonest politicians who, it seems together, make up the entireity of government. We need a coldhearted, results oriented leader who is at least a devil we know to help extricate us from our LaBrea tar pit.
I nominate Rahm Emanuel.
I think he might have even been born in the United States.
I call him a Staffordshire terrier. You call him a pit bull. Some people say he’s lovable. Other people say he’ll bite your face off without thinking too hard. I suppose both opinions are logical. Let me tell you a little about him and you can draw your own conclusions.
After popping a few deserving members of the human race for Mel and his employers I felt a little tensed up. One day at the dentist I’m reading Ladies Home Journal to take my mind off the sounds of the drill down the hall and to keep me from looking at the horse-faced lady sitting across the waiting room who may be waiting to be fitted for a bridle.
In Ladies Home Journal is an article about all these goofy looking dogs. They call them hybrids or designer dogs; a mix of two breeds combining the best genes of each. Since the breeder can control copulation but not DNA helixes they don’t mention the result can be a guard dog poodle who smells like a wet Labrador, but that’s another discussion.
What gets my attention is a line in the Journal article claiming, ‘Petting a dog can lower your blood pressure more than ten points.’ Holy shit! Ten points! Between trying to shake my gambling addiction and dealing with Mel and his ‘targets’ I’m on edge all the time. The edginess no doubt helps my writing career. It hasn’t been helping my teeth. I grind them at night while I sleep. I ground a cap off which is why I’m in the dentist’s office. The doc will fix my tooth and fit me with one of those NFL things you bite on so I won’t screw my teeth up when I grind them. I bet the whole thing will cost a grand. Now I have money I have dental insurance too, so what the fuck.
The blood pressure thing about dogs gets me thinking. As a kid I always wanted a dog. A dog was a big ‘no’ at my house. Seven kids in my family kept my dad hopping before we blew apart. While he was still around dad said to me,’ If you want a fucking dog, play with your brother Eddie.’ So, no dog for me; although dad, half right as usual, pegged my brother Eddie as an animal.
Now I‘m on my own, free and clear. Do what I want. Even better The Ladies’ Home Journal gives me a medical reason. On the spot I decide, dog time.
The dental appointment goes OK. I have to say the guy never hurt me. What with my addictive-compulsive personality I wonder why I never got addicted to pain killers. Good thing I hate drugs. They make me feel out of control. My problem with gambling; I always felt in control, even when I clearly wasn’t. I guess this all would indicate I’m a little delusional too. The delusion problem helps me with writing.
After the dentist I haul ass down to the animal shelter to get a dog. I choose the shelter because my sister got a dog and she told me the shelter is the way. Save somebody. Fair’s fair I thought. Just as somebody saved me, much as I am unsure of Mel as a fit parent.
Toward the end of the movie ‘Apocalypse Now’ Marlon Brando speaks a line, “…the horror, the horror.” I don’t remember the words exactly. But the line, in tone and mood and underlying implications, sums up how the animal shelter hits me. So few will survive. So many undeserved deaths. So much heartache and pain. Despair. I resolve to save at least one of them. I will be like the kid throwing stranded starfish back in the ocean who, when told by an adult his efforts wouldn’t matter to the hundreds of starfish stranded on the beach, threw another to safety in the waves and said, ”I guess it matters to him.”
Too many dogs are in the shelter. Too many older ones seem to know they are past cuteness. Too many lost and hoping to be found. All in all, heart rending. I will do some good. My eyes light on a squirming pile of puppies. All various combinations of black and white, sticking together, nipping, wiggling and pushing. Milo is in the midst of the pile. The white top of his head matches his chest, his tail tip and his paws. The rest of him, jet black. He could grow up to be a headwaiter. He seems assertive and proud, yet relaxed and ready to play. I like him.
“I’ll take the one in the middle.” I say to the shelter guy, Marvin, who opens the cage door and scoops him up.
I didn’t know his name was Milo when I got him. I still don’t know if his specific, intended name is Milo. When we got back to the front of the shelter arranging and confirming all the inoculations and procedures, the woman at the desk said, “The little girl with the people who dropped these puppies off was upset. She named all of them at birth. She gave me a list to give to whoever adopted.”
She hands me a piece of yellow lined paper. Eight names, block printed about third-grade size, in a column. I thought I had counted seven puppies. The woman must have seen me counting. “One didn’t survive,” the woman says. The list reads. Flo, Agnes, Rose, Millie, Jack, Buddha, Milo and Ely. Since I’m holding a boy puppy, four names are out. Of the four boy names I like Milo and Ely best. Ely sounds a bit biblical for me, so Milo gets his name. A gift from the sad little girl.
“Let’s go Milo,” I say.
Milo grows fast. His papers say Staffordshire terrier they don’t say pit bull. He doesn’t have a pedigree but a few people tell me he looks purebred. A fun guy. I scratch his little belly. He jumps around and does puppy stuff. For a while I think he might be fucked up because his head seems too big somehow. Then his body catches up. I treat-train him to heel and stay and not jump all over people. He gets a lot of love. While out walking, even as a puppy, people seem impressed by him. When we play in the park he tumbles like a little black bowling ball. I can roll him around, his hard body is like one of those polyester play balls. He gets bigger and I realize as a bowling ball in dog’s clothing he could easily take down any ten-pin he aims at, including me.
I also crate-train him. If he has to stay home alone during the day he is crated with his blanket and a pillow. When I’m sure he won’t eat the furniture or my computer or any of my manuscripts while I’m out I leave the crate door open and he hangs out in the crate, cozy and familiar.
One day as we walk in the park we pass a swimming hole near the river. Someone has tied a rope to a tree branch, kids swinging out over the river and dropping off into the water. Milo studies the jumpers intently and then, when the rope swings back over the river bank, he charges, grabs the rope and runs off the bank and over the water, hanging on by his jaws and growling with joy all the way. The swimmers look on, amazed. When his arc shortens on the land side Milo lets go of the rope, plops to the ground, rests and gets in line for another turn. The kids give him every other swing. A small crowd gathers. Milo becomes a park legend.
To give him some exercise I try to ride my bicycle with him next to me on leash. He pulls me down three times before we even get off our block and I give up.
One day, on a whim, I buy a child buggy intended to pull kids behind a bicycle. A shoemaker I know rigs a harness. I strap the contraption onto Milo, cram myself into the kid buggy and cleverly say, “mush!” Milo promptly runs me across a sewer grate, up and down a couple of concrete curbs and crashes me into a yard gnome. Bruised yet undeterred I beef up the rig. With an ample supply of treats for good behavior Milo learns to run merrily around the back streets of our neighborhood pulling me. I wear his ass out.
I had not seen George or Mel, thank you God, since I Swiss-cheesed Irv Finnenberg who, as planned, resides all-fucked-up in minimum security prison and will remain so for a long, long time. The cops have video of the whole melee but never exactly figure out what happened. All the investment money Irv stole caused a big outcry to apprehend the rest of Irv’s responsible cronies. I lay low, counting myself pretty damn lucky to have gotten through these Mel escapades with my ass in one piece and my balls still attached. Now I actively plot ways to get out. Perhaps Milo might help, I think. I could just have him bite Mel’s fucking head off. But I know I’ll have to come up with something better than this tempting solution.
As always, as soon as I think too hard about Mel he calls. ‘Wednesday, noon, at George’s’ he says and hangs up. His no ID, no manners phone call habit is continuing to piss me off.
On Wednesday I bring Milo with me to George’s. George is a hunter and outdoor guy. He loves dogs and dogs can tell. At least Milo can. Milo stands up and greets George with his paws on George’s chest. George retaliates by scratching Milo’s belly till he drops to the floor in ecstasy. Most people are frightened when Milo gets up on them. The dog books say you’re not allowed to let a dog hover over you because it’s a dominance trait and will make the dog think he’s the pack leader instead of you. I let Milo get up on me anyway. There are plenty of other ways Milo has been trained not to have the upper hand. In addition I feed him every day which sends a powerful message to any dog. For meals he has to sit down and pay attention before I release him to eat. He’s pretty attentive to my commands around these times of day.
Anyway, I like Milo and let him get away with all kinds of stuff but I never get the feeling he’s not my protector and when push comes to shove you better not be on the wrong side of him.
George likes him too and encourages a lot of behavior not taught in puppy training class. George pats his chest as an invitation and then gives Milo a belly scratch again while he’s up. The interesting thing is when Milo gets his paws up on someone he likes he puts no weight on them as he rests his front paws on their chest. He’s balanced and light on his feet, like a dancer. If he didn’t like you maybe it would be another story.
Having said hello and play-tussled with George, Milo sits down, cocks his head as George snaps open a Coors and hands the can to me. “What’s up?” asks George.
“Mel. At noon.”‘
“Oh.” George goes back to loading shells like this was news to him. I never know what anyone knows, or doesn’t know, in this crowd. So I sit back with my Coors. George works at his bench and I sip Coors until, about eleven fifty five, Milo’s ears go up; a knock on the door and Mel enters with his occasional sidekick, Art, in tow.
“Afternoon men,” says Mel. “You know Art. He’s part of what we’re discussing today.”
“And that would be?” I say.
“A guy is running guns into Africa from a base in London. Most of his product goes to Somalia, some into the Sudan. He supplies pirates, murderers and warlords. A good number of his wares are resold into southern Pakistan and the best pieces get to Afghanistan. We are going to give him a lesson in the volatility of world markets.”
“London? Christ, I’ve never been east of Long Island City, fucking London?”
“London loved your little old lady turn with Finnenberg.”
London? Loved? That’s enough. The little old lady body suit will be coming out all right but a lot sooner than London. A harmless looking little old lady is going to be trailing Mel around town and I’m going to find out who these assholes really are, or at least who some of them are. Once I do and can figure out how to steer clear of them, I’m down the road before something bad happens to me.
“I’ m glad to hear,” I grin. “I’ve never been to London.”
“No problem,” says Mel. “They speak English.”
George laughs. George seldom laughs in these briefings. “You might call what they speak, English,” he says with a snort.
“So how do I figure in?” I ask. “A skinny geek from north Jersey?”
“As the little lady, of course. You noticed we didn’t come by and pick up the bodysuit and holster after Irv? Did you think we left the outfit for you to wear on Halloween? We want you to reprise your performance in London. This mark is guarded. Tough to get close. But he loves Harrod’s and shops at the store frequently. We have a little skit rigged up in the store to take him out. Kind of like the routine we did on Irv. The older woman trick ought to be good for about three outings. He’ll never see you coming. Like a lot of the gunrunner guys, his network is all in his head. We knock him out, the whole thing comes down.”
“Here’s a print of the second floor plan for Harrod’s,” says Art, putting an eleven by fourteen sized floor plan on the bench. “The guy always stops here.” He points at a block labeled ‘Brooches.’
“He inevitably has a babe with him. A different babe each time. He buys them a trinket.” Next he points to a block across the aisle. “Right here, in purses we’re thinking some mature women will have a dispute over a marked down purse. Some pushing and shoving will ensue. You can figure out the rest.”
Art is an asshole just like Mel.
“Maybe you can bring your attack dog along to take the guy out,” continues Art unwisely. Milo looks at Art and Art leans in toward Milo and laughing, yells, “Woof!” Milo promptly bites Art on his calf. “Ow, ow, ow, ow!” Art screams, falling over backward, Milo still clamped on his calf, savoring the asshole taste.
I grab Milo by his head and stick my hand in his nose. Grab his jaw. He smells me and releases Art’s leg. Art reaches inside his jacket; we assume for a pistol and George hits him on the forearm with a rod he uses cleaning shotguns, Art yells ‘Ow!’ and curses, holding his leg, trying to favor his arm and giving us the evil eye. I look at his trouser leg. Milo has not even torn the fabric, although a Milo-mouth-sized drool mark spots his expensive slacks. He deserves worse.
“I wouldn’t recommend dicking around with Milo.” I say. “He didn’t even bite down hard. You’re lucky, you dipshit.”
Mel’s expression never changes. He has only stepped back a pace to stay out of the brief dustup. “OK. OK. Let’s stay on task here,” he says. On fucking task? He looks at me. He and Art both have a slightly different expression on their faces than the one they normally reserve for me. A bit more wary. I sense a turn in our relationship. I also sense how Milo weighed in on this particular turn. I decide to run with the ball.
“You know Mel, you call me up and act like some kind of dictator. Shove me around and put me in front of some real dangerous people even though you told me at the beginning how much fun I’d be having. Turns out to be no fun at all and even though I’ve gotten the job done for you every time, even taken a bullet, you just get worse as time goes by. So, fuck you Mel, here’s how it’s going to be. I may or may not go to London. Remains to be seen. I will however be going to a bunch of book signings and I have released my publisher to put a big head and shoulders photo of me on my new book jacket. So now, Mel, you have recognition issues with me. You’ll have to be a little more polite and careful, you cold-blooded twerp. Plus from now on Milo will always be with me and he smells bad intentions from a mile away. If you hassle me you might lose a leg or Milo might tear your head off, or whatever. Are we clear?”
Mel actually smiles slightly. “I’d say so,” he says. “Temperature’s a little high today for the rest of this. But I understand completely. For a little skinny guy with stupid glasses you turned into quite the piece of work.”
Takes another geek to know one you sanctimonious, quasi-intellectual dork, I think.
“Let’s go, Art.” Mel says. He opens the door of the shed. “This seems to me to be a positive development,” he says to me. “Keep that old lady suit pressed and ready to go.”
The door to the shed closes and George says, “Christ. I thought that shit would kick off world war three. Are you nuts?”
“No more than you, George. No more than you. Besides, Art had it coming. These guys think they can do anything they want any time they want. They better start disabusing themselves that notion.
“Whoa!” says George, “disabusing! We are getting to be quite the Norman Mailer aren’t we?”
“Thanks for the brew. I’ll be in touch.” I’ll let George wonder who I really am for a while. I’m definitely getting to be someone else.
As we walk out the door I say to Milo, “Dude, that was life changing!” He gives me that cocked head, “you bet your ass,” look, wags his tail and barks, once.
“You probably need a treat. Let’s go find one. I’m thinking maybe ice cream.” Milo wags his tail. He knows those words.
On our way out of the yard Milo pauses to piss on a rosebush.
Recently, in the Wall Street Journal, Fran Tarkenton, some quarterback from back in the day, suggested what a travesty the NFL would become if players were treated like US teachers and given tenure.
Some flaws in Fran’s reasoning emerge when one considers the performance requirements for entry to the two leagues are different. The NFL admits any idiot who can run, pass, catch or block. Some shoot themselves in the leg, shoot their dogs or shoot each other. Teachers are smarter and usually commit non-violent offenses. Plus they can read, write and sometimes add.
Infrastructure is always easier to blame than society for a problem since remedies can be made to sound so much simpler than reality proves. When you’re a quarterback the solution to every problem looks like a screen pass.
After reading Fran’s essay an alternative suggestion occurred to me. Why not structure the NFL and US teachers jobs like European Major League Soccer? Either win this year or go to the minors the following year with commensurate compensation. This structure might prompt NFL players and teachers to concentrate on their job skills and perhaps not make themselves out to be something neither are.
Oh, and like all good NFL writers, Fran makes the problem of US education somehow Barak Obama’s, who wasn’t even born back when this particular ca-ca began hitting the fan. If Fran practiced his football more than his fuzzy thinking he might have won a Super Bowl.
This blog thing obviously isn’t working out. Unlike the banana brains walking around constantly talking on smartphones, or texting, or sending blubber to facebook, or tweets to Kim Kardashian, it appears I do not have anything nonstop to say that cannot wait another day, or week, or even year.
I have come to suspect the ability to blog involves a heavy suspension of disbelief of any limits to one’s intellegence quotient since to comment even semi-cogently on everything, all the time, requires the knowledge of say, Sir Encel Brittanica or Mr. Merriam Webster. Or like that. Which I don’t have, even though, after a few rums on the rocks I might be willing to debate said point.
Speaking of debate, I saw where Glen Beck wrote another book. (God help us.) I don’t like Glen Beck but he’s written more books than I have, so there’s that.
I was talking to a friend about publishing a book I wrote and he said if I did I should create a facebook page and open a twitter account to ‘get some buzz going.’ I can’t even manage to post more than one picture at a time on facebook and my take on twitter is no one who twitters can read. So there’s that.
I may publish the fucking book anyway and sell it at NASCAR races. They don’t read there either except maybe for some numbers, but my book has pictures and lots of swear words. So there’s that.
Anyhow, my idea of a blog was a running commentary on items of import and interest resulting in a buildup of readership and eventually stardom. I have obviously fallen short on these goals, ephemeral though they may be and so plan to turn my attention to the vile, slanderous and scatalogical novel I have been working on with my friend Tom. An early reviewer called it ‘sophomoric’ which, if you’ve been reading anything lately, indicates it may become a best seller.
None of my attempted blogs have been pre-written, edited, spell checked then posted. I wrote them all in the little box here and pushed the ‘enter’ key. I must admit that is a little fun so I well may be tempted to do it again. There is that.
I feel like that Sublime song, “wha happend (to 9/1)?” We were busy 9/1 because a guy came to install a new sink for us. We need our sink to be deeper so we can chop up the newspaper delivery person in it if the paper gets thrown in the gutter again.
Today I painted part of a railing around our front porch. It’s a railing with pickets, like a picket fence. I haven’t painted a picket fence since Hackensack New Jersey. It’s a real pain when you use a brush. I’ll bet the modern professional sprays them. I’m just using a four dollar, two inch brush with synthetic bristles. If the brush was at least made out of pig bristles I could feel someone else was having a worse day than I was.
I’ve got two more sections of railing to paint. That’s why they call it Labor Day.
Life is tough – then you get snails in the garden. Snails are ubiquitous (love that word) around here. And they’re not even the edible kind like in France (?) Sluggo is the stuff that keeps them away but you can buy the active ingedient cheaper in other forms.
You’ve no doubt heard snails are slow. I would disagree. There are none at sunset and fifty eating your day lillies at sunrise. They should have a NASCAR team. Right now I’m looking into the edible thing again. Maybe a nice snail soup.
Sidebar on the soup: you can also catch snails by burying an empty tuna fish can up to its rim in the garden and filling it with beer. Snails love beer. they fall in, get drunk and drown. Sounds like soup, doesn’t it? You could pull them out of the tuna can and they’re ready to go, like brats in WI.
PS. would a nice microbrew make better soup? Top with sharp cheddar.