Monday, December 29, 2008

Zombie Dog!

Lets start the new year out right, shall we? Lets start the new year out with a story.

A story about the Meadows family.

Why is this the right way to start the New Year, you ask?

Because if you swallow a live toad first thing in the morning, nothing worse will happen to you all day.


I'm sure that at some point in the past Brendel the dog had been readily identifiable as a specific breed, and I'm guessing that it was some kind of a terrier situation. When I met him, though, Brendel was in such an advanced state of deterioration that he was only vaguely canine, and that only when stood next to a cat or a possum or a raccoon.

Brendel belonged to the Meadows family. Specifically, Sunshine Meadows.

Now, Sunshine Meadows was a person that I would have hesitated to trust with a toaster oven. That much was stark raving obvious before you'd even spent one full minute in her presence; she was like a fat, loud, functionally retarded Sue Ann Nivens, if Sue Ann Nivens had dribbled a constant stream of rat scabies and mushroom soup and evil. Nevertheless, someone actually took at look at this complete waste of skin and sold it a puppy. The only thing that can possibly explain this is that reincarnation exists and Brendel was Hitler before he was Brendel.

Brendel was about the size of a large housecat. I think he was originally a brindle dog, which the Meadows steadfastly insisted was spelled and pronounced 'Brendel'*; although by the time I made his acquaintance he was almost entirely white.

I have never seen a dog this old. Nobody knew how old he was exactly. In fact one of the common Meadows evening conversations centered around trying to figure out how old Brendel was by attempting to date him to different events.** If aroma was anything to go by Brendel was 800 years old. You KNEW when this dog was in the vicinity. He didn't smell like a dog, though; he smelled like burnt tunafish casserole. I honestly do not think this dog had been bathed ever. I mean clear geologic levels of filth on this dog that would fly off in discernable chunks when he got kicking. He'd always stop when he was done and sniff his toes. 'Hmmmm. 1954...a very good year.' And then he'd go around and vacuum up all the frag.

Oh yes.

He was drawn up into a perfect knobby half-moon shape, and tiptoed around on the ends of his claws instead of moving his legs. This made him look eerily as though he were a childs' evil decomposed pull toy rolling around. He always carried his head held low to the ground, glaring at you through eyes milk white with cataract tissue. His teeth met in a jagged cross stitch of fishbones and fangs on the outside of his lips and saliva drooled out of his flews in a perpetual stream.

He did not breathe. Not visibly. Not audibly. You could hold your hand in front of his nose and not feel a single thing, even when he was asleep.

The shape of every single bone in this animals body was clearly visible, and I mean right down to the separate bones in his tail. When he ate something you could literally watch as it lumped and bulged its way through his entire intestinal tract. Now this was not a symptom of starvation by any means...this dog ate like a machine. Anything. At all. Constantly. Dog food, dead robins, hamburger wrappers, tinfoil, old gum, sheetrock...

One time I watched this animal go down the side of the road vacuuming up smashed, blackened cherries out of the gravel. And he ate every single one, pits, skin, gravel and all, his head scanning back and forth like a zombie flamingo in the brine shrimp. He was completely blind, this dog, and yet down the block he went, looking like something that fell off Stephen Kings ass, with his muzzle just dusting the ground, darting and swallowing, trailing drool, and all the while this little dog is making this horrible burbling wet noise:

UHAGARK fffart WHIFFLEharf EEEEblargkaffkaff GORPslurp eeeeewaaaAK AK growfBURPooappsnorf snorf FFFfrapSNORKLEakbarfHATCHOOfrap

There was nothing natural or cleanly about this whatsoever.

Now despite being blind as a stone this animal would track your movements. As soon as you came into the room his little bald head would slowly rise and his muzzle would come around and point directly at you while you walked by. His eyes were like perfect moonstone opals, completely opaque, dry and hard. Obviously there was nothing wrong with his hearing or his sense of smell. You could call him from anyplace and he would come gliding up on his tippitoes and stop with his dry, dry nose touching your leg, and just stand there. "OK, boy", you'd say, and he'd come back online and glide off.

Nobody mistreated Brendel. Brendel was a vicious as a pirrahna. He did not want pets or love or to be a lap dog. He would come up and present a body part to be scratched; you scratched it, and then he rolled off, perfectly content. Any attempt to pick him up would result in Brendel going from completely stock still to SCREAMING RAVENING MAELSTROM OF CANINE DEATH and back to complete immobility once you decided not to follow through, or were in another state.

Screaming is no exaggeration either. The very worst, most unnatural, horrible thing about Brendel was his voice.

I was seated over at Sonnyboys house next door one evening right after I'd arrived back in town. It was about 2 in the morning and we were just smoking and talking and having some beers when suddenly I heard a....noise. I am not ashamed to admit that I gave a yelp and jumped for Sonnyboy.

"Isn't it horrible? We decided it sounds like a bum being tortured to death," Sonnyboy explained.

"Well is someone torturing a bum to death?" I asked, completely appalled. I'd never heard anything like this. It really did sound like a human in pain, or several humans in pain, and by pain I mean horrific agony, and by several humans I mean like the emergency waiting room at Harborview Medical Center late on a Saturday night. Horrible loud screaming and groaning and banshee wailing, with a distinct vocal quality to it:

Aoo wawawawa waaaaaa, BUFFA. Boov. VoooOOOO. Wuhwoo. UUOOWAAA aaa aaaaaaaaaaoooooo...oooooOOOOO

"Oh my God Sonnyboy we have to go see whats wrong, Jesus Christ now come on," I said. I was really panicked. I thought someone was in real trouble or something.

We both snuck out the back door and over the fence.

There in the moonlight, sitting on the back step of the Meadows shed, still as a statue, was Brendel. Brendel, with this NOISE coming out of him. His mouth never came wide open and he never hopped up off his front feet like some dogs will when they're all excited and giving voice just to hear themselves be goofy; no, Brendel was just sitting there still as a statue, moving his lips as though he was chewing.

Wumgum. Hmrmwmwmwmwaaaaaaaaaaa. WMWMaaaa. OOOO oo oo, RAIGH! AWRAIGH! AIAIAIauauaooooo. WHY! WAWHY! marowauOOOOOOOOOOOOOWAGGAWAGAAAAAA!

I backed into the fence and got tangled up in it. Sonnyboy nearly pissed himself laughing at me. I ran back indoors and stayed up for the rest of the night. Every time I'd try and sleep this fucking dog would start up again and I'd come up off the couch about a foot.

"Oh my God, if he'd just bark like a normal dog it would be one thing," I kept saying. "You could throw something at it. You wouldn't be afraid if it were just a normal dog noise. This is like...oh my God.
Somebody ought to do something. I mean, this is from hell," I exclaimed.

"Nobody in the whole neighborhood will say a word anymore,"explained Sonnyboy, "because then Sunshine shows up at your door. And NOBODY wants that. Brendel is bad, but Sunshine might play the accordion or something. And the thing is, I don't think you can actually kill Brendel anymore. He'd just return and put a curse on you."

Sad to say, though, it was possible to kill Brendel. It took a dump truck.

By this point I had resumed my campaign of evil and I was busily emptying the bank account of a useless cheating wad of fuck named Brae. Brae, although engaged to another girl, just knew he was Gods gift to women in general and me specifically. I knew that if I kept treating him like crap and holding out on him he'd get so broke trying to buy his way into my drawers that he'd have to re-enlist in the Navy. Which is exactly what happened but is another story. Ahem.

One evening he had picked me up at the Meadows house and we had just driven down to the end of the block when we saw a creature coming down the center line toward us in the headlights, eyes glowing, staggering along on three legs.

Apparently Brendel had wandered down the block to where a housing development was being built and one of the dumptrucks had gone over him; we found the dual wheel tracks full of dirt going right over the bloodstain on the pavement.

And the goddamned dog was still walking.

Brae stopped the car and we both got out and stood over the dog. "I can't touch it," he said. "I couldn't even look at the thing when it was OK, now its a mess. Jesus."
And Brendel was.
Brendel had a rib sticking out of his side, and that side was flat. One hind leg was completely dislocated at the hip socket and was broken in several places besides, bent at several strange angles like a paperclip, the foot hanging like a rag.
One ear was almost completely smeared off the side of its head and hung down on its neck attached to a strap of skin.
Part of this animals skull on that side was caved in.
And missing.
You could see this dogs BRAIN.
As we stood and looked down at it in horror, pieces of gravel fell out.
And yet this dog was still walking.

Brae wrapped it up in his coat and we put it in the trunk with the lid open; I sat back there with it while we rolled back up the street slowly. Brendel growled when I tried to pet him. I stopped.

Sunshine reacted like Sunshine did, which meant she giggled and dithered and laughed and looked around and blinked and flapped her hands and dithered some more and screeched "Oh my God! I can't decide! I just can't decide! What do I do! What do I do! I just don't know, I've never been good at deciding! Oh no!"

"We should take the dog to the emergency vets in Portland," I said. "It's down in Northwest."

Sunshine paused a half-beat and frowned down at me. Then she resumed her fluttering and dithering.
"Oh my God! I can't decide! I just can't decide! What do I do! Someone make this decision for me! Oh please! I just don't know!"
-And remember, all this time she's giggling, kids.

"We should drive down there and you can follow in your car," I said. "Just get in your car and we'll go. Go get your keys, here, here's your keys on the wall here, let's take them off the hook and put them in your hand, here, OK, and now let's go out into the driveway, here let me open the door for you, get in your car, OK, good, and now you start the car and you FOLLOW us into Portland, OK? You have to start the car-OK. Good. Now FOLLOW US IN TO PORTLAND."

Once at the vets she continued to be useless, and the doctor looked at us and we looked back and shrugged and rolled our eyes.

Brendel jumped down off the examination table and headed for the door.

The doctor tried to catch him. When his hands closed on him, Brendel came around like a wolverine and buried his teeth in the mans' hand.

We had to threw the coat back over Brendel in order to lift him back onto the table, and all the while this animal is fighting like a hooked marlin and SNARLING in hatred at the top of its lungs.

We all backed away and left Sunshine there. She just stood there looking down at Brendel, watching his brain oog around, giggling. "You're the owner so you have to make a decision," the vet said.

"Well I can't, I just can't, Oh I don't know what to do I just can't," she simpered.

"We're going to leave now," I told the vet quietly. "We got her here. I'm done with the bitch."

"Wait! Does she have transportation?" The vet looked a little panicked.

"Oh you bet she does," Brae laughed. "She drove herself here. The dog was bad enough. There's no way in hell I'd let that in my car."

We stopped at a gas station on the corner of Burnside. Brae cleaned out the trunk of his car and gave his jacket to a bum. Then we went to a bar and got shitfaced stinking, rompin' stompin', ratshit, motherbuttfucking, blind-ass drunk til that bitch closed doors down.

Brendel came back in the form of a handful of ash in a little box. Sunshine kept it on the mantle. When people would come over she'd lead them over and say "thats my poor little doggie Brendel Wendel," and then glare at me.

Apparently Brendels' death was my fault. I never was able to pin her down as to how exactly it was my fault that her blind senile dog that ran around the neighborhood at large had been run over by a goddamn dump just was. So whenever she pulled this I'd just grin real big like Alfred E. Neuman and nod enthusiastically.

This apparently was not the reaction she was looking for from me. She also seemed less than amused when the person she was attempting to zoom cracked up laughing.

The great thing about Sunshine was she had no clue that everyone had her number. None whatsoever.

*When I first heard this dogs name I thought they'd said 'Grendel' and I started laughing. "At least they have a sense of humor about it," I said.

Blank stares.

"You know, Grendel? Like Grendel the monster?" I said.

Blank stares. Some drool.

"....Oh. From Beowulf," said Eldest Brother.

Which was what finally made me decide to do him.

scene: dinner conversation, around the table. all family members and our narrator are present.

Dad-Brendel has to be about 22 now. Sure. We got him wasn't it right around the time when Eldest Brother had to get circumcized? Remember? Back when Kelvin spilled a pot of hot tea on his crotch and he got 2nd degree burns and all the skin sloughed off and it got infected and then he got pimosis and it closed off the end of his dick and he had to get an emergency circumcision?

Mom-No, I think it was back when Mysterion got her period. Wasn't it? Right around then? I remember finding a lot of bloody underwear in the laundry right around then...

Eldest Brother-No no no it was back right after we made Kelvin go live in the garage because he kept going in to Mysterions room at night. I remember we were putting up the wallboard when you brought Brendel home.

Kelvin-I never went into Mysterions room at night. That was a lie. She was lying.

Mom-She was not lying; we found your underpants right next to her bed, Kelvin.

Kelvin-Well, we didn't have Brendel then because I remember I had just started working nights and I'd come home and wake up in Mysterions bedroom and not remember how I got there.

Dad-I thought you said she was lying.

Kelvin-Well...well, she
was lying; I was never in there. Not really. And we didn't have Brendel then anyway.

-cue happy family laughter all round


Sunday, December 28, 2008

Reddish Obesity Man Owning a Trim Pale or Colorless: Have Slayer Go!

...ASL for 'merry christmas'. really. it is.

Well, it was my very first Christmas with my WHOLE family this year.

In stark contrast to Christmases in previous years.....
...those occurring from 1960-78, to be specific

...this Christmas was entirely free of seething resentment, vomit and emotional dramatics. I was so disoriented.

What we did have was snow.
This is the road on the way to the Stainless Steel Amazon's house. Somewhere. She lives up in the foothills of the Cascades, which are mountains, which were also covered with snow. We saw a possum.

The possum is in the middle of this picture here. He is waving. Hello! Now right at the very end of this long valley here is where the SSA and the Lucky Bastard live. Can you see them? They are waving. Hi!!

The little town they live in was a railroad and logging outpost, pretty much unchanged since the territorial days except for shit like electricity and whatnot. Then the hippies all moved in back in the 1960's and half of them disconnected the electricity, so it's actually retrogressed. This is a shot of the side veranda of the old bachelor boarding house in the town, with a snowman. He is waving. Hi!!

Check out the icicles! These are hanging all off my daughters house, on the original old part of the structure. Same deal as my house here; the original house was a small cabin-type place and then other people came along in later years and added a bunch of rooms and indoor plumbing and whatnot. Hers has a lot more whatnot than mine, though, and these huge fucking icebergs hanging off it here.

The backyard, about 3 feet deep in snow in some places. There is no possum in this picture.

I wish I were a better photographer, because this was actually a very pretty tree that my daughter did. Mere photography could not contain it, apparently.

....for the sake of my readers i have chosen an image which reveals only a side profile of the Arborist, in order to protect you from the almost intolerable levels of kickass smokin' rockatude going on there. you are welcome.

Every single one of my descendants is in this picture here. Yes, even the little black one. These things happen. Don't hate.

Official spokesdog of Extreme Christmas 08!!!!

I cannot resist a pretty tree. I have more pictures of pretty trees and plants and shrubs and shit than I do of my family. But I figure, hey; I already know what they look like, right? This tree could explode at any moment.

You know how there's always one in ever family? Yeah. This is what I found lurking in my camera waiting to spring like a jungle puma. It seems to be a map of the Bonneville Salt flats. There's even a burning race car there off to one side. See? It's just to the right of the San Andreas fault line there.
... Your tax dollars at work. Oh yes. You all paid for this ones' college degree. Yes you did. Doesn't it make you just swell with pride? Or something?

In closing, let me leave you with an image I believe depicts the true spirit of a warm family Christmas here at Rancho FirstNations. This was what my husband found in his Christmas stocking.
Someone gave this to my husband.
Ladies and gentlemen, let's all give a warm welcome to Jello Pig.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Young Knudsen Sez:

...Merry Christmas!

Now go find something productive to do with your time.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Green chicken make telling the airsickness bag!!

Junior high meant, among other things, no more recess. No. Now you had Physical Education. This meant trudging down into a dungeon-like basement room full of screeching idiots, some of whom came from really, really disturbing home situations, and getting naked whilst simultaneously experiencing puberty. This was called 'dressing down.'

It was absolutely humiliating. The only naked girl I'd ever seen up to that point had been myself! I had no idea where to look. I knew where everyone else was looking though: at me. Oh yes they were too. Up until then, one of my nicknames had been 'Stuffie'. After a couple of group showers the message shot through: the Kremlin was in fact real (and spectacular). Then the nickname became 'Boobs'. Boobs? Boobs,you say? May I ask, as long as we're on the subject, where yours are? Yeah, wow. When do you suppose that's going to happen, huh?

That was the only positive thing about the entire experience, in fact: being the only Barbie in a room full of Skippers. HA!

Otherwise, it wasn't quite the locker room scene in Carrie, but it was pretty grim for everyone concerned for the first couple of months, until the novelty wore off. Sanitary products were in fact tossed around; towels were snapped, ketchup was squirted in through the vent slots onto peoples' clothes, all the usual crap; all accompanied by the smell of dank, fungussy sweat dating back to 1925, while the asbestos dust sifted down from the plumbing insulation. Yeah, it was awesome. This building made it on to the front page of the Oregon Journal one year on a list of 'Ten Most Hazardous Public Buildings'.

The showers The showers beg a particular parallel that I hesitate to draw; suffice it to say that the soap was in fact soap and not a block of wood painted white. You could tell it was soap because there were other peoples' hairs stuck in it.


Back in the day, girls athletics programs were pretty much a joke. Underfunding and a general lack of interest by the district lead them to hire whoever would put up with the low pay and the unstable hormones, basically...and they definitely got what they paid for. In Jr. High our first PE teacher was Mrs. Marshall. She was small and rather a pretty woman on the downslope of 40, with the sudden, unpredictable temper of a rabid rat.
A rabid starving rat.
With scabies.

You never knew what would set her off. One minute she was a pleasant, smiling woman filling out the attendance sheet. The next, she's cutting loose like an air raid siren. Two bright red Pikachu spots would glow high up on her cheekbones and the whites of her eyes would actually turn pink. Whipped spit-froth would begin to gather in the corners of her mouth until it began to fly off in chunks as she screamed. I can recall her leaning out of the doorway of her office like the harpy hood ornament on Satans Pontiac, shrieking about some shit or other, and watching her neck go all strange. You know how when you strip the meat off a turkey leg and there's all these weird strappy cartiliginous quill-type things in there? She'd get yelling and her entire neck would look just like that; like a de-fleshed turkey leg. What was unfortunate was that she had this patchy skin condition shaped like the former Soviet Union that would color up during these tantrums, and you could follow it's course from day to day around her neck, chest and face.

I didn't come in for any more than my share of shit from this woman, oddly enough. I say that meaning that I was the kind of studious, asthmatic non-participant who usually came in for extra helpings of 'special treatment' from these types. I think Mrs. Marshall was just grateful that she had one less hormonal little beast to deal with. As long as I sat on the sidelines and kept my mouth shut I was let alone, unless she needed to include me in one of her sweeping, 'you all have the worst attitudes I have ever seen in 13 years of teaching' rants.

Midway through my 8th grade year Mrs. Marshall passed a length of gut during a tantrum or something; I forget what. In any event she had to be replaced.

Her replacement was the unfortunately named Ms. Hatleled, a spastic, evil chihuahua of a woman who looked like an eight year old boy with a moustache. Her other distinguishing characteristic was a pair of freaky, black, tam-o-shanter sized nipazoids you could see through anything she wore. It was impossible not to stare. And you could always blame them; they started it.

If she had ever cracked a book in her life (this is not counting perennial Gym teacher favorites 'Instigating and Encouraging Sadistic Group Behaviors' and 'Asthma, Allergies and Orthopedic Disorders: Nothing a Quick Three Laps Around the Track Won't Cure') I would be flat out surprised to hear of it.

Her idea of teaching was to give a speech at the beginning of class. About something. Anything. Like, say, a movie that she'd seen over the weekend or something else really PE-oriented like that.

Her idea of motivating a person was to fall into place behind them and start yelling and clapping only milimeters behind the back of your head "ONE TWO ONE TWO ONE TWO COME ON LIFT THOSE FEET LIFT THOSE FEET GO GO GO GO GO" and then actually come alongside you, and turn, facing backwards, still running, and continue this shit "LETS GO LETS GO LETS GO LETS GO" while everyone ahead of you sniggered and everyone behind you (usually no more than two people, in my case) sweated and puffed. I would have got down on my knees and thanked God if she'd stepped on a land mine, the fact that Milwaukie wasn't heavily mined at that time notwithstanding. I would have loved to have seen her blown into a fine, athletic mist. By the end of the year everyone else would have too. She was so heinous that even the flunkies and ass-kissers finally deserted her.

One of her favorite before-class pepper-uppers had to do with how unfair it was that she hadn't been allowed to do 'X' or 'Y' thing because she was a woman. She had a point; if you were female and athleticism were all you had going for you back then, that certainly was the prevailing reality and it had to rankle. But here she was with a job and benefits in her chosen field, so I didn't waste too many tears on her behalf. Besides, I was willing to bet that what had really held her back was a riproaring case of NABPD*.

She was a member of the 'abuse is motivating' school of teaching. Imagine your stereotypical sadistic ex-Marine sergeant football coach and you have her personality down. She genuinely believed that snarling insults into a persons' face would spur them toward greater achievement. Even if that person were turning blue from lack of oxygen. There she'd be, screaming 'You need to just quit faking it now and get up off your butt and get out here and sweat like the rest of us!' I guess she figured I would, I don't know... suddenly spring up, give myself a shake and say 'Thank you, thank you Ms. Hatleled; I was blind but now I see. Chronic respiratory illness really was nothing more than a character flaw on my part and I'll certainly never give way to that kind of weakness again!' and go run the Boston Marathon. I'm not the only person who got this treatment; she genuinely believed this shit. She knew if she could just scream loud enough, just shame us enough we'd snap out of that wimpy 'physical ailment' bullshit tout de suite. Just a sniffle was enough to spark off one of her scornful rants about 'you spoiled kids who think they're sick make me sick'. Oh yes. "All that stuff like allergies and asthma and cramps and things, they're all imaginary. Yeah, most of you girls what you need is a good smack."

Your tax dollars at work!

The beginning, middle and end of this womans' life was sport and activity in all its hideous permutations. By Christ everyone was going to participate ("You have a doctors excuse on file? TOO BAD! YOU'RE PARTICIPATING!") and everyone had better not whine and everyone had also better just agree with her that this was the best, most funnest, most favoritest part of their entire school day.

She labored under the misconception that each and every one of us was aching to be a hyperactive dull-norm just like her. All we needed to do was to admit to ourselves how fun playing flag football (wearing shorts and a thin cotton shirt, in the middle of winter) really was. I recall her telling us "Oh, I hated school. If it wasn't for PE I wouldn't have stayed. I hate reading and math and all that stuff; that's just stupid as far as I'm concerned. I couldn't wait to get outside and get moving!" I wanted her to get moving right in front of a corn auger.

It was inevitable that she was an enthusiastic proponent of Field hockey. Why this is even a sport eludes me, let alone a traditionally female one. Field hockey is a form of the ritual game that the Algonquins used to make captives play before they tortured them to death.* It is not fun. It was not meant to be fun.

At that time there was NO SAFETY EQUIPMENT WHATSOEVER. What Field Hockey amounted to back then, was handing the most vicious, bloodthirsty and deranged thing on the face of the planet (a pubescent girl) a club made of solid oak which has been sharpened on one edge and telling her 'now remember, no high sticking!' The Algonquins showed more mercy, I'm sure of it. You take one zit covered She-Hulk experiencing her first bout of PMS and give her a field hockey stick, and face her up against some quailing 65lb fawn of a girl who can barely lift hers, and there's going to be some damn high sticking, you can believe it.

I was a studious, artistic person with asthma. Naturally, Ms. Ratshithead HATED me. I don't mean she didn't like me, I mean she sank down to a grade school level and pulled deranged shit like sidling up to me and hissing some kind of evil comment just loud enough for me to hear and then slipping away with a mean smile on her face. At first this was devastating. But after I had a chance to think about it, every time afterward I was just instantly repelled-after all, this was an adult for the love of Christ. Any effect it might have had just ended.
I began retaliating.
I started with the psycho eyeball treatment.

1. Piss off a gint.
2.While they rant, simply stare. Do not blink. Above all, DO NOT TALK. Maintain absolute silence throughout. Let them ramble, let them rant, let them say what they will, at length, with illustrations if they deem fit.
3. Once they finish, hold that same gaze as they walk away, maintaining it through the inevitable point where they turn around and glance back and see you, and they do that kind of 'full body clench' thing and then try and play off the sudden unease by giving you a little more attitude.
4. Keep staring. Do not blink. Continue to remain absolutely silent. Gint will make a 'phff' sound and turn away but their shoulders will be all squinched up.
Make a sound. 'Hey!'
Watch them flinch.

Completely flummoxed the woman; I loved it. So did my sister members of the 'less than athletic' club. Those snickers were sweet sweet music to my ears.

Flipping her off as soon as her back was turned was just as effective, of course, but her toadies could see that and would nark you off. I found out the hard way.

Ms. Ratshitheads' idea of punishment was to make you run the track, so I ended up running the track for the rest of the class. Now by 'run', I mean that I walked, you understand. When that got boring, I boogied the track for awhile (kind of a Vegas showgirl thing with lots of high kicks and arm flinging.) I also flashed cars passing by the track (those snap-front shirts made for rapid deployment)... and when she finally gave up trying to make me mind by yelling herself hoarse from a distance, I sat down on the track. And waved at her every time she looked at me. Hi!
Oh, I had them rolling in the aisles. Nothing a bully hates more than laughter, particularly when the bully is also an idiot.

I'd taught myself how to make this strange demented noise in my throat. I even practiced it in a mirror and everything until I could do it without moving a muscle. It really freaked her shit out. Shed be lecturing the class and I'd give her a little 'WHOOPWHOOP!' every time she ended a sentence. "You girls have the worst attitude Ive seen in 10 years of teachinWHOOP! ...I've never seen a lazier bunch of fat, out of shape girls in my lifWHOOAWAWAW! .....I'd be surprised if any of you passed this class at the rate you're goinWHOOP!"

I loved it when she tried to face her way through it and it just failed miserably. After all, everyone else could hear it too, and they were all cracking up laughing. I'm going 'ooWEE EE EE EE OOOOOO aw! aw! awwwww!' like a brain damaged toucan off in the rain forest someplace, all the while looking around like 'who could that possibly be?'

It didn't stop there. I pulled out the stops... destroyed papers, vandalized the plumbing, dumped shampoo into her desk drawers. I wasn't the only one, either, but I was the first one. Oh, you bet; I waged a full-on guerrilla war against this woman. Did she once suspect me? She did not. Why? Because the ignorant dumbshit was a victim of her own preconceptions. I was not an athlete, therefore I was useless. Useless people didn't do things.

Useless people generally didn't have complete access to the entire building at any time of the day because they were painting murals on all the walls***, or know where the stage door access to the lower gym was, or how to jimmy open the breaker box and trip the power supply to any room in the building either.

I did, though.

*Nazi ass-bitch personality disorder

**true fact.

**They're still there, too.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Plaid squid mistake value of dear: Tulalip penny slots!!

I am being stalked. This is no shit. The lady down the street is stalking me.

We made the mistake of helping these folks about 4 years ago or more, back when we all lived in the same community.

Now, we live in the country. When you live in the country you help out your neighbors, and in turn they help you out, and it's all cool. Fine. So it was with these folks. If they had an emergency we babysat their kids. They needed to borrow a truck, no problem. At one point they were down on their luck and needed a car. We had one that was a runner so we 'sold' it to them for 5.00. Far from being unusual; folks have done the same for us in times of need. And these things were reciprocated; the husband gave us a hand with our deck and cars and whatnot.

We would not have done any of it had we known that his wife was a raving psycho. know what i'm going to do? i'm going to tell you about this one chick i totally hate who doesn't have any toenails; i'm going to do so at length and apropos of nothing. i am.

This is not to say that I was expecting anything different from the woman, just that I was kind of hoping against hope that I'd be wrong. This is the kind of woman to whom gossip is meat, who says the first ignorant thing that pops out of her mouth; no inner censor, no boundaries to speak of, bone stupid, loud, inappropriate AND a hee-hawer. The kind of person who brags about having been in prison (for meth, natch!) and in the next breath goes off on a rant about drug dealers and how the cops won't do anything about it. You know lady, whatever.

They moved to another town, and we breathed a sigh of relief.

Then they moved back into town here about four months ago now. Could they borrow our truck? Sure. No problem. Fill the tank, flip us a nug, it's cool.

As far as this broad was concerned, the Gravy Train had just pulled in to the station.

That's when it BEGAN. Every day there was phone call, and with every single one she was begging for favors.* Can I come over and whine about my apartment not being cleaned (no.) Can I come over and whine about how much the neighbors here hate me? (no.) Would you come over and help clean my apartment (no.) Would you help me paint (no.) Do you have any paint and brushes and painting supplies I can use (no.) Can I borrow your truck (no.) Can you give me a ride (no.) Can you babysit my kids while I go down to the check cashing place (no.)

Here I began screening calls.

She left messages: Can I have some cigarette money (no.) Will you run down to the store and buy me a pack of cigarettes (no.) Can I borrow 20$ (no.)

Then she started showing up at my door. Unannounced. Uninvited. More favors being begged. Will you drive me to my son's preschool evaluation (NO.) Can I have a Christmas party at your house (NO.) How about if I sit here and plan it anyway (NO.) Can we park our car in your driveway with a for sale sign in it (NO.)

Soon she was showing up with some skeezer friend of hers. AT 9:pm. In her fuzzy house slippers. In the rain. Could we help skeezer move? (NO) Could skeezer borrow our truck?(NO) Could skeezer come on over and beg for cigarette money? (NO) How about if ol' skeezer tries to sell me some prescription drugs she's ripped off from Christ knows where?(NO) Hey, how about me and skeezer come on by and just hang out for no apparent reason while I go on and on at length about people you've never heard of and how much I hate them?

And simultaneously the phone calls are mounting up, every day, until there's ELEVEN MESSAGES ON MY MACHINE some days.

We have a good reputation in this town. We are not criminals. We are not ghetto rats. So why suddenly do I have Chickenhead One and Chickenhead Two parked out in my driveway doing bong hits while I sit inside and look out the kitchen window and just about drop ass thinking "Oh my God what the fuck?! WHAT THE FUCK?!? Oh Lordy please; kill me now!"

The last time this woman called I took her for a drive. I told her "Listen. We are not an inexhaustible source of money and favors. We have family, and they come first, and we take care of them. Not the rest of the world."

Pretty clear, right?

And the next day this skag called five times. Wanting a ride into town. And cigarette money. And Christ knows what all.

It finally got to that point.

Obviously she wasn't listening; well and good. The Biker and I fronted up her husband out into the driveway one day, in the rain, stood him up against a car and gave him the rundown. I told him what his wife had been doing, and he blanched. Then my husband threw down. Now, chickenheads' husband is a smallish man. My husband, the large tattooed biker - and a none-too-happy one at this point- is up in his face hissing "We don't want that psychotic bitch of a wife of yours calling anymore, or at our door any more, her OR her loser friends."


See, I'd say that was pretty clearly put, wouldn't you? The guy got the message. Oh, I'd say he definitely got the message. And I know the message was delivered, because the calls and the visits stopped dead, for about a week and a half.

I kept my answering machine on, though.

I started getting a few exasperated comments from folks. "Are you still screening your calls? Oh geeze. Would you please pick up your phone? For heavens sake. How long has it been? Don't be paranoid."

Oh? Just wait. I grew up with people like this. I know how their minds work. Just wait.

And sure as shit, the calls started up again.

No messages. Just breathing.

She lives just down the street, right across from the city limits sign where the speed limit changes from 45 to 30. My machine picks up, and as I listen to her breathing, in the background I can hear a truck putting on its jakebrakes. Now my phone is in the front room next to the streetside window. And as I listen, here comes the same truck rolling past my door, still gearing down.

These calls went on for a month. One. Then two in one week. Then three.

Now we're up to three a day, with brief verbal messages. "Hi! How do you like the weather!"

Well gee, now that you mention it I've noticed its been kind of BATSHIT FUCKING INSANE lately."...tell you what,they arrested my cow ass for peeing on my neighbor's front step and even I think this broad's crazy."

So the next step is going to the husband at his place of work and having another talk with him. From there, the police. It may even get ridiculous enough to require a 'no contact' order. The last time I had one of those was over 20 years ago; there was a court appearance involved, then a visit to the county clerks office. It cost 75 bucks then, and that was with all the fees waived. I don't imagine that they've got much cheaper or more convenient in the interim.

Life was a lot simpler back when I handled this shit with a baseball bat.

*Unneeded favors, let me hasten to point out. That's the kicker. They have friends. They have family. They have a car and money. That's what makes this so incredibly creepy. She doesn't need this stuff...she's just doing it. Gosh I love being a freak magnet.


Z writes a sex blog. It's pretty goddamn hot, too. Anyway she wanted me to interview her so I bugged her with about a hundred emails and we hammered the following out.

All the bits with lower case letters, thats Z. I know you would have figured that out eventually but there ya go.


Nope, but I've done a woman.


Oh, sorry, did you want a bit more detail?


...It was a threesome, and it was fun. I hadn't been hankering after threesomes or girlies, and I don't have a mental checklist of Sexual Things To Do Before I Die - partly because I already did some of them by mistake.


...But hey, she's my girlcrush, and she was on the same continent for a change, so we had sex, and it was great. It's very unlikely I'd do it again (unless she turns up here again).


Are you trying to imply I'm obsessed with sex?




Actually, in some ways I'm more interested in writing about sex than sex.

...actually, that's a big fat lie.

NO! *ahem*

However, it's entirely possible that if I had a garden I wouldn't spend my time writing about sex


...and if I had more self-discipline and painted more I wouldn't write about sex...


...but none of these things would stop me having sex - and because I am too anti-social to be able to sustain the kind of relationship where you see the other person(s) more than every few weeks, sex tends to be very intense and concentrated, and I am self-obsessed enough to find
the differences between sexed-up me and everyday me fascinating enough to write reams about.
So yeah, mainly I'm just interested in sex, although my consuming passion is color, and I'm not sure that's terribly enthralling to read about.


SAY SOMETHING DIRTY. (well? I don't know what to ask! you want barbara walters here you're out of luck. on the other hand you don't have to put up with questions about trees.)

I don't really do dirty talk. But this morning in the car we were discussing the fact that my best-friend's sister's boyfriend moos when he wants sex, and sometimes bizarre beats dirty hands down.


I think hitting him with a chair is fairly restrained. I'd be wearing his balls as earrings.


It was a conversation that went on for a couple of years.
"You should write a blog"
"Yeah, that's a good idea"
"You should write a blog"
"Yeah, that's a good idea"
Ditto ad infinitum, until
"You should write a blog"
"If I have a blog, it'll be about sex"
"Fine. You do that"
"Fine. I will"
And then there was about two months of: "Fuckfuckfuck I'm writing about sex and anonymous people are reading it! What the hell am I on?" until you get to the point where you become so innured to it you think posting pictures of your ladyparts is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Truly, the more I go on the less I know why, and the less I think about it, because that way total fucking derangement lies.

However, there is one possibly sane reason: I wrote quite a lot on the internet, and always felt I was playing both safe and to myaudience, and I wanted to write something that came from the inside more. It may not be raw, what I write, but it sometimes leaves me feeling raw when I write it, and I like to take my masochistic streak out for a whirl every so often.


It sounds pretentious as hell to say it, but hell, I am pretentious at times, so I'll just say it: you haven't quite grasped the extent of my self-obsession. I don't write stuff so that other people will think I'm hot or fantasize over me, I write so that I feel pleased that I've managed to get something in my head out, and with any luck it'll be out and coherent. Plus, I tend to think I'm so interesting that people are just gagging to know the inner workings of my mind. (Sometimes, obviously, I write things that I think are crap, but press publish anyway, and then I have to box my own ears and go and stand in the corner until I have repented). And sex is a good subject to write about if you're introspective with a literary exhibitionistic streak, because you can throw emotions and relationships and self-image and quite a lot of misinformed opinions in there too. What I think I'm trying to say is, I don't have time to think about titillation, what with all this self-policing going on. Unless, of course, I post a picture of my legs, in which case everyone is welcome to forget about my mind and just concentrate on how hot and sexy carefully selected bits of me are.


...seriously great


I don't do it any more. I used to be a ravening political animal, but now I just read the fluffy bits of the newspapers and don't watch TV and it all floats over my empty little head.


My parents, my daughter and my friends know I have a blog. But when I say I don't want them to read it, they respect that because even though they think it's weird I don't want them to read what I write, they have come to terms with the fact that I am weird. If they found it... I dunno. Sophisticates though they are sometimes, they'd be shocked, and I doubt they would understand my reasons or justifications. Also, I don't think they would feel they needed to know that much about my sex-life, any more than I need to know what they would write on a blog about their sex lives.This is something that makes me want to just jam my fingers in my ears and yell lalala-I-can't-hear-you.


My father was a librarian, and I used to spend my time sitting behind the stacks reading my way through every single book there.


Well, Lady Chatterly's Lover, Anais Nin, Henry Miller - bear in mind that it was a school library. I had to buy Story of O myself from an actual bookshop. Luckily there was no Martha in those days, or I dread to think how my tiny mind might have been corrupted.


I was just hoping you wouldn't draw it to anyone's attention.


I went to a pretty up-market school, dropped out of university and finished my degree (Art and English) years later. But I come from the kind of family who, if we have to hammer in a nail, we read a book about how to hammer in a nail first, and then hammer in the nail ineptly because by now we're engrossed in a book about hanging a picture.


Well, I am a feminist, and I think that women who run around lisping: "I'm not a feminist but..." need a cattle prod up their ass. WHO DO YOU THINK GOT YOU THERE, HONEY? WHO CHAINED THEMSELVES TO THE RAILINGS SO YOU COULD HAVE ALL THESE CHOICES AND SIMPER ABOUT HOW EMPOWERING IT IS TO GET YOUR TITS OUT? WHO WAS FORCEFED WITH A TUBE DOWN THEIR NOSE IN JAIL SO YOU COULD SQUEAK ABOUT YOUR RIGHT TO BE TAKEN SERIOUSLY? DON'T FORGET YOUR ROOTS, BIRDBRAINS. And so on, until my capslock key wears out. But I have very little sympathy for bleating on about how the Patriarchy is keeping us all barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen when we could be kicking through the glass ceiling with our hobnailed boots. Grow up, sisters, and take responsibility for yourselves instead of blaming everyone else for your underachievements.


I think the some lady bloggers think I'm a scary bitch and they only throw things from safe distances, and some lady bloggers probably think I'm too trivial for my flibbertigibbet feminism to matter much.


I've never referenced The Simpsons either. I am a cultural-references wasteland.

...For ever curs'd be this detested Day,
Which snatch'd my best, my fav'rite Curl away! etc. etc.

I don't really know what to reply that. I just write the way I write, about whatever comes into my head, so long as it has a hook that makes me want to write it. I don't do journal entries, so there's no progression of: first we hooked up, then we went to the room, then he did this and I did that once I'd been talked into it, and then we did something else and then etcetcetc. Sometimes I get a flashback to something that happened 20 years ago, and I write about that, and sometimes the thing that makes me want to write is a pattern on a curtain, rather than "Guess what, y'all, I had really great sex at the weekend". (Yes, I am weird. It has been remarked upon).

There is all sorts of stuff I can't bring myself to write about: I can't go on about how fabulous anyone says I am because that would just be boastful and silly, and anyway I note that people are most inclined to tell me I'm a great fuck when I'm not actually doing anything, which makes one wonder if they are just relieved I've stopped doing things, and everyone I have sex with has access to the blog, so if I wrote about what a world-class cocksucker I was, I'd just get comments pointing out that I'm a notoriously lazy fellatrix. And I'm neither sentimental nor romantic, so I can't write lovey-dovey posts: I'm a Scot, and we're only mawkish when we're drunk, but I have to have a little lie down when I'm drunk, and am therefore unlikely to post anything dribblingly affectionate.


Yes, very - I quite often feel as though I'm writing the same stuff over and over. Plus, I won't write about some stuff because I don't think it's anyone's business but the people involved. Sometimes I think I haven't got the right mindset to be a blogger.


I'd write the perfect novel, and have a career sitting on my laurels. Because that's what I've always wanted to do. Or I'd be an interior designer because if you can't make sense out of what is in your head, you can at least make sense of objects in a space and make people happy inside
the space.


OK, you win. I shall come and paint your bathroom if you send a spaceship to get me AND let me take pictures of my ladyparts nestling in your nasturtiums.


Oh, c'mon! I could be a story on Snopes!

Monday, December 15, 2008

baby recipes

For Chaucers Bitch or whatever the hell she's calling herself now...because she wanted to know how to make a baby.

The woman married a sailor, right; you'd think she'd have that stuff figured out by now, but no. Apparently it takes the wisdom and advice of an experienced woman to bring these younger girls here goes.


....ah yes; sure 'n its the drinkin o' the green

Irish Red Baby....a tasty treat on a cold winter afternoon...served with a heapin' helpin' of boiled cabbage and a steaming glass of delicious mulled cabbage, it's the kind of homespun fare that will have them emigrating to Boston before you can say 'have some delicious cabbage'!!

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 1 tablespoon unprepared horseradish embarrassed by Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (sodium chloride may be substituted)
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar in which a human toe has been preserved
  • 1/2 gallon vegetable oil
  • 4 freight cars filled with spoiled butter
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion, chopped until its disposition changes from 'sweet' to 'distinctly irritated'
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced, browned in lamprey squeezings, chilled and set aside
  • 1/2 cup apple, peeled and chopped, ground, re-constituted in used motor oil, set on fire, rolled into a ball with some lint and set with pinecones, and a stick. And some rocks.
  • 3/4 cup pickled beet juice reduced to a quivering emotional wreck by merciless jeering
  • 5 cups cabbage, shredded (well duh, its an Irish recipe, gotta stank up the house with a bunch of nasty old cabbage up in here)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salted salt, extra saline
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, extracted using the Vulcan galvanized extraction system (allow for counterclockwise motion in the southern hemisphere)
  • 2 pounds baby, cut in 3 inch pieces
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups pickled beets, soured in the light of a waning moon
  • 1/2 cup not-so-fresh parsley, minced


  1. In a Buick hubcap, whisk together horseradish, Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and several grammes of cocaine cut with mannite. Discard.
  2. Whisk in vinegar very rapidly. Pretend that javelinas are eating your feet and jump around too. DO NOT OMIT THIS STEP.
  3. Slowly whisk in 1/2 cup oil until thick, tarry, and perfectly motionless. Set aside. Shun for several months. Refuse to accept calls.
  4. In Dutch oven, melt some plastic toy army men over the highest possible heat the settings will allow. If using a Finnish oven a 'Hello Kitty' figurine may be substituted for the army men. Deglaze with urine.
  5. Add onions, garlic and a potato bug. Saute until tender, about 5 hours.
  6. Stir in beet juice and scrape any browned bits from bottom of pan. Then fling the entire mess out the window. Use a backhand motion.
  7. Stir in cabbage and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a bubble for some unspecified reason. Let cook for three days. Because we wouldn't want the house to NOT smell like a Dubliners jock strap; please. This IS an Irish recipe after all.
  8. Cover and cook over low heat until cabbage is tender, yeilding, and somewhat slutty in appearance.
  9. Meanwhile, 1 tablespoon oil in skillet with a disdainful sneer. Add baby and brown. If baby is already brown, omit this step.
  10. Add wine to baby and tell it knock knock jokes.
  11. Cook until deviated from the norm.
  12. Slap Norm. Combine pickled beets with prepared horseradish vinaigrette. Pour into underpants.
  13. To serve, arrange several pieces of baby on each plate next to a mound of cabbage, since this is an Irish recipe and it wouldn't do not to have a metric shit-ton of fucking cabbage in it.
  14. Arrange pickled beets around the house and sprinkle each plate with tears of remorse.
  15. Go find a nearby overpass and start shooting at cars.

BEBE MAL DE MER (French for 'Never take take a baby on the Orcas Island ferry during March')

...oregon baby sez: a little dank before that rough crossing makes 'whoopsie tummy' say 'bon voyage!'

Surprise your friends this holiday season with this tasty, tangy treat! It's sure to tickle their tastebuds! Barring that, ram it through their stoma with a broomhandle; its a sin to waste food.

HINT: For a really festive effect, bring this into a darkened room a la flambe and watch their stunned amaze as the ceiling catches fire and flashes over onto that cheap plastic tablecloth you bought thinking 'Ooo, it looks just like lace; they're just a bunch of rubes, they'll never know the difference' only now its too late and everyones running around with their heads in flames and the cat is making that weird HORK HORK HORK noise.

4 ounces (1 stick) baby
3 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup very finely minced lean street person, unbathed
1/2 cup finely minced mincing mincers, minced like a big minced thing which is all mincey
3/4 cup mushrooms, finely chopped (minced)
4 tablespoons finely minced onion , camp as tits, wearing a tutu, doing its Katherine Hepburn impersonation WHAT THE FUCK IS IT WITH ALL THE MINCED CRAP GEEZE
4 tablespoons finely minced garlic SEE WHAT I MEAN?
1 teaspoon salt (minced)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (minced)
1/8 troy ounces cayenne pepper
1 cup rich beef stock, made from old wool sweaters COME ON FOLKS ITS BEEF STOCK. one assumes beef here. Go hunt down a beef. I'll wait.
Marrow sucked from the shinbone of a gnu
1/2 cup dry red wine or more depending on the success of the beef hunt; beer or Wal-Mart store brand mouthwash may be substituted
In a large heavy saucepan melt the butter over low heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring constantly, and cook until the ceiling is light brown. Quickly add the man, the box of #5 fuses, the dilithium crystals, mushrooms (minced), onion and garlic (make sure that shit is minced) and go rent a carpet steamer. Add the salt, pepper and cayenne and some crud out of the window tracks. Keep the mixture in a shoebox and gradually add more baby, an unbaptized infant elk, and a half cup of vasoline, stirring constantly to keep the sauce as smooth as possible which ought to be pretty easy given the vasoline. When the sauce is blended, stand in the back yard with no pants on and holler at kids walking by to come over and see your new puppy. When the police arrive run and hide. Makes 2 cups.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

What is your unusual talent?

hey kats and kittens! two new ones up at UJ!!!!!

I was up at 4am for some unfathomable reason this morning. That is a crappy hour to be awake on a winter morning, and particularly when you're all by yourself. I was lonely for some company, so I proceeded to try and roust the Yummy Biker. Since he sleeps in a separate room that is kept at arctic temperatures (you can literally see your breath in there; it's that cold) I wasn't tempted to go in and jump up and down on the bed. What I did was, I just wandered around and sang songs.

'Born Free' is an annoying song anyway, but it's really annoying when you kind of holler it like a tard.

'Granny's in the Cellar'* is a favorite of mine from my days at summer camp.

'Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road"....always sure to raise a boil.

Another perennial fave is 'Tiptoe Through the Tulips' sung in the character of Tiny Tim. I cleared my throat and warbled the first stanza, and was gratified to hear distinct waking-up sounds coming from the direction of the Bikers' room.

Then, Tiny Tim in mind, I suddenly remembered my special talent.

A certain very specific set of circumstances have to be met before I can express this skill: I have to be very well hydrated, I have to have taken decongestants an hour earlier, and I have to have just swallowed a glass of milk. But when these conditions are met, I can, at will, open my mouth, throw back my shoulders, take out a chair, and channel the spirit voice of BILLIE BURKE:

"Cooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooome ooooout, come oooooout, where EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEVER you aaaaaaaaaaaaaaare,
and seeeeeee the young laaaaaadeeeeee who

Imagine this delivered full voice in a bizarre, fluttering tremelo, using a falsetto that makes dogs howl in pain.

Good morning, darling! Aw, did I wake you up?



...Granny's in the cellar, oh lordy can't you smell her, making biscuits on her fucked up dirty her eye there is a matter that keeps dripping in the batter, and she whistles as the -(here you rustle up a wad of phlegm and go) *SNUUUUUUUURK*-runs down her noooooose!
DOWN her nooooooooose,
DOWN her noooooooose,
yes she whistles as the *SNURRRRRK* runs down her nose!"

Monday, December 08, 2008


One again I'm opening up the floodgates of mayhem and asking YOU to give me YOUR REQUESTS!!'ll never really know whats possible around here until you ask

Got a subject you've always wanted me to write about but have yet to see here? Well how do you know I haven't already? HIT THE GODDAMN ARCHIVES YOU LAZY

...I mean, REQUEST that sapsucker!! Remember: If you repress things like that they only cause all kinds of problems later anyway.
...people who do NOT make requests make baby jesus CRY.

Would you like some suggestions? Because I can come up with suggestions, yo. Believe you me, there is nothing wrong whatsoever with my ability to come up with ideas for things to do on this blog, kats and kittens.
...bald pussy? check!!

One idea I've had is, I've always wanted to do an interview with one of you. Or have one of you interview me. Another idea I've had is NO NO NO screw it now come on see, you thought you could trick me into doing this WHOLE THING for you like that. That won't work here. I'm on to you.


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

farting the national anthem, playing baseball spontaneously

note: a large part of this text is lifted from an email I dashed off to a friend the minute i had my hands on a computer. So person, if you recognize this, you're right.

Gather 'round, my darlings, for I am about to tell you of a wondrous thing. MJ, keep your hands to yourself. MJ I am serious now. Go sit in your chair. The one with your name on it. Right there. NO, right-just sit down.


I have to set this up for you.

I am an admitted scrounge, the type of person who leaves for the recycle place with a load of crap and essentially exchanges it there for the crap of complete strangers. I've never gone so far as to actually jump into a dumpster or wade through the squishy garbage dunes at the dump, right, but then that's why Edison invented the long stick too, isn't it.

Years ago, when I had my business, I could regularly be found striding (godlike) through the abandoned, accumulated evidence of college enrollment, sheer acquisitive stupidity, or extreme Obsessive-Compulsive hoarding, a salmon gaff in one hand and a spray bottle of bleach in the other, pitching and turning, looking for something that could legally be claimed as 'household goods of clear value' so I could put it in storage. (The way the laws ran then, a landlord was bound to store abandoned goods of clear value for 60 days before disposal; otherwise it counted against them as theft.) This dovetailed beautifully with my sideline - picking antiques.

I scouted out items that dealers were looking for, and then either re-sold them directly to the dealer or charged a finders fee when the object was too large to haul around, like a locomotive steam engine or part of a Bugatti. I have an eye for value. I knew the market and resale worth of items at a glance. I can tap an object with the back of my fingernail and tell you what it's made out of and how much it weighs. In short, I know my shit, and shit has been very very good to me. I have no fear of used. It's furnished my home, clothed and fed me. I have seen it all, handled it all, cleaned it all, and scraped it all off my shoe using the living room curtains.

Until last week.

My daughter in law runs a resale business down in Oregon.
...girl getty: 65 lbs of smokin' hot with an eye for a deal

When she isn't scanning Craigslist or other dark corners of the Internet* she's out garage sale-ing, buying low (or often not at all; people just load her van up and send her off rejoicing) and selling high.

She'd been telling me for months about one of the places she hits regularly for stock, a place she calls The Bins. It sounded legendary. Almost like a rumor, a faded 'X' on a timeworn map where vast Matterhorns of used goods gleamed in the sun with tiny little Swiss people yodelling from the summits.

The day after Thanksgiving we pulled into the parking lot. Before me was an enormous concrete warehouse, the kind of anonymous industrial box you pass by endlessly whenever you ride the train. The sign on the building read "Goodwill Industries Outlet Store."

Stop and consider that entire concept for a few moments. Roll the implications of that around in your brain.

When I was a child I remember my grandmother being rather appalled when she saw the charity trucks coming by to pick up household donations-to her, things were not meant to be disposable. Nothing was thrown away, everything was used, re-used, broken down for parts and used again. Not merely an expression of poverty or the times she grew up in, this was a moral virtue to her. You were conscious of what you purchased. You thought about what you owned beyond its immediate utility. As it so happened this building was located less than five city blocks away from her final resting place, and I thought of that and just shook my head.

We went inside and were confronted by a vast space, brightly lit by sodium vapor lights.

In front of us was a row of cashiers check stands. They stood behind a chain link fence that gated down access to the rest of the building to one small, guarded entrance barely a person wide, and one small exit far down at the other end, where people stood in a long line, shopping carts overflowing with their purchases, waiting to be cleared by a security guard.

I looked around. No obviously visible gun emplacements. Of course that means nothing.

The place was chock full '0 mutants. This was, in fact, the most concentrated collection of prime mutation I have ever seen in one place, and I attended public school in the 70's, yo. They wandered here carefree and proud, their native funk and corruption shed all about them like a path of glory trailing across the firmament, like Wilbur Whateley's twin brother, only visible and without quite so many tentacles and not three storeys tall.

In amongst them huge Mexican, Ukrainian and Guatemalan families roamed, complete with grandparents in wheelchairs, children in strollers and infants in rebozos. A few dealers passed among the crowd. They kept their shopping carts parked along the wall and covered with a blanket while they darted in and stabbed at prize items and then carried them away to their hoard. Everyone there in constant motion, circulating and circulating endlessly at a steady pace, picking and turning and flinging and inspecting and shovelling, rumbling through the stuff.

The store was arranged like this:

...clickie for the havingness of biggie

On the floor were long rectangles marked off with speed bumps. Each rectangle held a row of wheeled, waist-high bins, or troughs, about 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. These bins were for the most part brim-full of random donated CRAP. It came right off the collection truck out back (a GODDAMN SEMI, FOLKS), through the pack of feral radioactive howler monkeys** sorters, went into a bin and rolled out onto the floor.

Filthy, clean, valuable, shitty, normal, weird, tools, clothes, electronics, used medical supplies, roofing material, makeup, shampoo, agricultural implements... just.....CRAP.

Two workers would come busting out of the back sorting area AT A DEAD RUN, pushing one of these bins and shouting 'STAND ASIDE PLEASE! STAND BACK! PLEASE STAND BACK!'
Two more workers would already be standing ready to pull a picked-over bin out of an aisle (they were timed!) Meanwhile people clung to it and exclaimed 'wait! wait!' and were pulled along or forcibly removed from the side. As the old bin was slid out the new bin was wheeled into place with no space left between them.

As this operation took place, the aisle on either side was already lined with people, people with glittering eyes, flexing their fingers and glancing around, packed shoulder to shoulder. The instant the bin came to a stop one of the attendants would shout 'OK!' and everyone would FALL ON IT LIKE STARVING HYENAS.

This building was huge, remember, and jam packed with people. Everyone was in constant motion, circulating again and again as the bins changed out, many of them staying for hours, reaching and turning and pulling and moving down a step and repeating it all again. I went off to one side and watched for a few minutes. Suddenly I was stricken by what this reminded me of, and I mean no contempt by this, now, its merely a fact, this is completely accurate and describes the relentless constant activity perfectly-maggots swarming on a dead cat lying in the sun. That same slow, steady, teeming activity.

The only difference was, the cat eventually disappears.

Not this one.

Imagine it.

So everyone is just churning through all this crap, right, picking and flinging, pitch pitch pitch pitch, everyone with at least one shopping cart, some with two. (I caught several people picking through mine as I wheeled it along. Many people had blankets draped over theirs and were carrying sticks or bats to prevent this from happening. YES.)

Announcements periodically blasted forth from a glassed in booth: 'We are currently unable to accept personal checks due to a computer malfunction! Any children caught unattended will be detained in the office and their parents identified and expelled from the premises! Please keep the rear doors clear!' Security guards ambled through ejecting the troublesome, store employees snarled at unruly children and collected up abandoned carts. The cash registers were all working constantly, and when the computer went down briefly a palpable wave of nervousness went through the room.

We spent several hours there and I wasn't bored for one moment. I have never seen anything like this in my entire life. I am still trying to digest the whole thing. Here I was, surrounded by mostly average people, the majority of them completely lost in the purest expression of mindless acquisition I have ever seen in my life, like piranhas stripping a monkey. There was like an internal rhythm to it. Like a law or a rule-everyone shuffling along, picking and churning at the same ceaseless rate, not much conversation, kind of an unspoken rule of order happening but at the same time predators circling and darting, the same weak being pushed to the outside of the group repeatedly, the aggressive pushing forward for the first pick- goddamn. I mean, just, goddamn.

So if you're ever in America and you want a good, negative 'American story' to pass around to the folks back home, do give this place a visit. It's in Oregon. Tell everyone you know about it. You get to dine out on it, and hell, we have too much immigration as it is.

*like here:

...oh fine, those are my links. geeze.

**thanks due Muttley for the phrase!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

I'm baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaack

Didja miss me? Didja huh? Huh didja?

I was visiting my son in Oregon and it was supposed to be a surprise because it was his birthday. That's why I never mentioned it here. Then once I was there I remembered that Oregon is a very primitive and backward place; there was no Internet access and we had to club our food over the head with big rocks and start fires with flint and tinder and associated boolsheet, so I continued to not mention the fact that I was going to be away, and I already WAS away so there was that to consider too. Then a couple of days later it was Thanksgiving, so I figured 'what the hey' and decided to stick around for that. Then it was Black Friday. Tell you what, I just flat hid out from that action. So yeah, then it was Saturday, and there was a Mythbusters marathon on television, and obviously I was going to stick around for that, right; but Heineman still refused to drop goddamn trou for a bitch which seriously harshed my holiday mellow, so I figured 'what the fuck' and took it back on the road, and here I am.

Not counting side trips, I drove 660 miles this past week all by myself. Now, by 'all by myself' I mean that I was the only one in the car, you see; just me, a duffle bag, and a cooler full of human corneas. OH MY GOD! Can you believe it? Unaccompanied! Alone! By myself! JUST LIKE A REAL GROWNUP LADY!!!!

Yes, despite what some people fervently believe, I successfully performed the highly advanced, complex tasks of using a map and driving a fucking Buick. And the strangest thing happened: for the first time in I cannot tell you how many years, I took an extended car trip during which NOTHING UNUSUAL, UNSAFE OR LAME HAPPENED. I went there; I came back. Coincidence? PSHAW I say. Actually I said 'pft, yeah, right'.

Here are some of the things that did not happen:

Nobody grudgingly 'allowed' me to drive.

Nobody second-guessed every single fucking thing did. It was almost incomprehensible. The silence was eerie. I just decided to, you know, do something, and then I, you know, did it, and-steady now - IT TURNED OUT OK. WITHOUT ANYONE BULLYRAGGING ME FOR FIVE SOLID MINUTES BEFORE AND AFTER THE FACT COMING UP WITH 'BETTER' ALTERNATIVES.

Nobody gasped and clutched the armrest every time something wildly unusual like, say, changing lanes or going around a corner happened- AND THEN DENIED IT.

I was the only person watching the gas gauge and- guess what? My car did not run out of gas! Why? Because I never let the gauge run below half a tank. Unlike some people. I was ON FIRE. I was OUT OF CONTROL. GOD WILL SOMEONE STOP THE WACKY NUTTINESS AND MADCAP HIJINX?

Nobody insisted on doing the entire run in one fell swoop and got overtired and fell into a glazed state of road hypnosis and crossed the center line a shitload of times or nearly sideswiped random vehicles or ran over onto the rumble strips a hundred times or slowed down to 30mph repeatedly and DENIED IT.

I could actually HEAR THE RADIO.

...and while I was hearing the radio? NOBODY LISTENED TO GERIATRIC CRAPASS TOP 40 MUSIC ON THE RADIO. Why? Because I didn't play geriatric crapass top 40 music on the radio. AND WHAT I DID PLAY I PLAYED LOUD ENOUGH TO FUCKING HEAR.

OK fine, loud enough for people in other cars to hear too.

OK FINE loud enough for people in other states to hear too. Which was actually a very altruistic gesture on my part considering all the folks out there who have crappy taste in music. *Ahem*

The car did not develop any kind of worrisome mystery noise signaling immanent mechanical failure and subsequent bankruptcy due to huge repair costs. Not that I would have heard it; but then again if something were going to fail catastrophically I think I might have gotten the hint during the actual event. That event did not occur. Conclusion: I forgot what my point was.

Nobody kept the window on their side wide freaking open in subarctic temps and then bitched and whined like a whiny bitch when asked to close it because FROST WAS GATHERING ON THE INSIDE OF THE GLASS.


Yes, none of those things happened. None. I drove on a major interstate highway, crossed one state line, went through three major cities during peak hour all by my little lonesome self, without anyone 'helping' me; completely and totally engulfed in a solitary state of car drivingness.

How did I manage this? I must have; I dunno, prepared for it somehow. Got enough sleep. Looked up my route. All that complicated strategy 'Art of War' type stuff.

Yes, now that I have tasted the raw power of the open road I will never relinquish control. From this moment on resistance is futile. I am driving. 'You can take our cheese, but you can never take our freedom' will be my new motto. Or maybe 'This is Spartaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa' which I like better because it lends itself to being yelled out a car window doing 90,and you get to brandish a short sword and be topless. You know what, just fuck it; give me the keys.