Monday, April 07, 2008

Meridan of Doom: The Violet Seventh Reject!

Remember this poem by Jenny Joseph?

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Now, that's fine. And really, so are the stated aims of this organization:

Still, this is a poem about women who have never misbehaved, and a society for women who still have a crush on Donny Osmond.

I've been invited to join the Red Hats twice already, and I've declined both times. Neither do I see myself rethinking that decision any time soon: my definition of 'breaking out' does not include sitting in a room full of former office managers all wearing red hats and purple dresses, all of them just old enough to have some really gruesome gynecological disorders to recount, and just enough martoonies on board to recount them in detail. No no no no no.

When I am an old woman, I shall dye my hair purple
when I get tired of the violet-blue; neither color will suit me anyway.
And I probably won't have a pension, although I shall hardly need one
because I'll be growing ganja up a small canyon in Eastern Washington.
I will still sit down on the pavement when I am tired
I will continue to gobble up samples in shops
and carry an aluminum bat in my car, and clamber up on public railings
and drive too fast, and turn up my music too loud, as I did in my youth.
I shall wear my 'Fuck Off And Die' t-shirt in the rain
and gank cuttings out of other people's gardens
and teach my grandkids to spit.
I already wear terrible shirts over my fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only spaghetti and burritos for an entire week.
Plus I hoard pens and pencils and weird shit off the sidewalk.
But now I've got some clothes to tie-dye
later I'll write some porn and go swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We might have friends to dinner . Or we might lay around all stoned and naked, eating chili cheese dip and watching subtitled films on the Sundance channel.
But maybe I ought to get started on my new ink?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I show up on my Sportster with my entire left arm covered in tattoos.

When I visit my father in law at the assisted living place I look around and wonder how many of the people around me might have, up until that point, lead lives of unrepentant misbehavior? How many of these folks would really rather not be playing bingo for stuffed toys, or listening to kids from the local grade school warbling Christmas carols? How many of them might have been, say, founding members of the Interstellar Space Brotherhood, or nudists or drug smugglers or street buskers or artists or drag queens or mack daddy kings? Where do the funky people go? You don't spend a whole life being wild and then suddenly wake up one day and decide 'well, I'll go out and subscribe to Readers' Digest magazine, I guess'. Is that dementia? Is that what Altzheimers does? It turns you Republican?

.....Oh sweet fuck; I think I'm onto something here. I've always suspected the typical conservative had a head full of something other than brains and now I know what it is: refined bauxite.

I've always thought that I'd like to spend my twilight years in an old Airstream trailer in my daughters' back yard. I'd have some of those inside-out tire planters, and I'd stick old Barbie doll heads on the fence. In the mornings I'd roam around out in the yard in my ratty pink bathrobe shouting at people on the telephone. Maybe have a few red chickens running around in and out of the house. Grow a bunch of dope out by the street. Every time the police come by to yank it out I'd make a big screaming old lady scene. I am REALLY LOOKING FORWARD to making lots and lots of screaming old lady scenes. There is nothing like a screaming old lady scene. They are always the best ones. I figure its probably because once you hit a certain age you have a lot of really good material stored up and it's all on a hair trigger.

"That's dope? That ain't no fuckin' dope! It just grewed there! What the fuck am I supposta know know about no maryjewanna? I'm a hundred and fifty fuckin' years old! I don't even know what this rash here is on my ankle! Are you accusing me of bein some kinda hippie? I have a rash! I cannot believe you comin up on my property accusing me of being no communist fuckin' hippie! I ain't got no idea how it got there; it musta been something the birds crapped out. Go arrest the goddamn birds! Why in the hell you think I put all them goddamn Barbiedoll heads on that fence! Fuckin Barbie! I hate Mattel! They make them plastic butts for the AK-47s you know! Them and General Electric, man, look what they did to that Paris Hilton! She was chairman of the board of Pepsi at one time! But they sent up them Chinese satellites that got her, and now I got birds shitting out heroin all over my yard! I probably need a camel! This country's just GONE TO HELL! ITS THE CANADIANS! THAT'S WHY I DON'T GO OUT AT NIGHT ANYMORE! DO YOU HEAR ME????

It's a nice fantasy. Of course it presumes that I'll be outliving my Biker and obviously that's not allowed to happen.


  1. fuck, i left my "first nations translations dictionary" at home... i'll take a stab in the dark here... ummm... hope your crop circles are going well and the fbi has stopped following you so close.

  2. voices: boy are you quick on the trigger!
    that wasn't a comment on your performance, i meant
    oh forget it.

  3. oh man. please tell me you'll be wearing CLOTHING under the robe. And you know, you have a lovely son to go live with. Really. Great guy, nice to old folks and puppies alike.

  4. I aim to grow a huge beard and very long hair, smile aimabily and when people ask me if I'd like to play father christmas for the children give them a full throttle ex navy mouthful of tourettes...

    My wife kindly cackled and pointed out 'your hair is going white' when I stood contenplating my allotment on Saturday... I hope to look like Rutger Hauer, but probably end up like the Doc off Back to the Future...


  5. When I am an old woman, I shall move in next to Nations, and together we shall moon boys on their way to Catholic school and take acid trips on the lawn and piss in the by then long-deceased Old Knudsen to whom we have erected a statue with an enormous polished bronze phallus, of which we shall ride upon and yell YAHOO!

  6. People should do all those things now if they want to. I don't like sitting on the pavement though - a dog might have weed there.

  7. Oh, heck! Did that dumb poem at my place kick this off?
    Y'know, I think you may be right about the Alzheimers thing...I mean, do you actually know any left-wing ladies in that group?( Hilary C. does not count.)
    I still plan to do raunchy numbers in a smoky jazz club when I'm 70.

  8. I MEANT to say "piss in the by then long-deceased Old Knudsen's CAP"... not the long-deceased Old Knudsen.

    Although I suppose we could make an ashtray or something out of him.

  9. that red hat thing was cute when i first saw it, but then, damn, sugar, you nailed it...for the majority of women who joined this was their big leap into the wild side...anyway, fuckit, i'm too wacked out/crazy to change now. i figure, i can only get better with age. xox

  10. When I am an old woman, Nations and I will invite Beast over for Grinder Bread Sandwiches, and we’ll casually drape our legs over the backs of the kitchen chairs, giving Beast a good look so he can see that we’re wearing no knickers, and he’ll spew forth Old Lesbian Number 6 ale all over Nations’ floor and we’ll have to make him get down on all fours to mop it up.

    Not that I’ve given this any thought.

  11. When I am an old woman, I shall realize, too late, that I have forgotten to have children. Therefore I must borrow Nations' offspring so that I may embarrass them publicly as is the right of any parent.

  12. When I am an old woman, I shall remove my dentures for the right man.

  13. Man, I gotta get me some grandkids. There's just so much spittin' left untaught.

  14. I think that if you had an old Airstreamer in your daughter's backyard, I would be driving some 800 miles every summer to come see you. You could blame them funny plants on me as I will have full blown dementia. Every day would be a new day.

  15. Anonymous6:58 PM

    i'm guessing ssa is hinting at you going to live with someone other than her when you hit your dotage.

    you could always come to the south. there are so many crazy old folks down here, one more added to the mix won't change anything.

  16. Right now, I need some oxygen, for I am close to death from laughing.

    I don't understand these people who save all their pent-up freakiness for old age. It's great fun being the scary young-ish lady whose house people hurry by, and have neighbors make a dash for their front doors at my presence.

  17. as far as saving the crazy for old age, I say, I could die tomorrow in a freak jet engine accident (d. darko) or a flying toilet smushing (dead like me), so why not be a fucking nut today? the crazy tends to keep solicitors and mormons away from the house anyhow!

  18. Anonymous9:58 PM

    i forgot to ask - why are you blaming everything on the canadians again? i thought we were blaming everything on beast.

  19. I shall turn up at the Post Office every day, demanding my pension and hurl abuse at passing van drivers.

  20. Oh yes, I'm looking forward to next week.

  21. When I am old I will make your garden fence Barbie heads nice alice bands and embroider rude things on them that unwanted visitors can only read up close.

    My Dad is getting quite good at it - if anyone is sitting next to him on the train or bus yakking really loudly on their mobile (cell) he starts reading his book out loud, really loud until they either move or finish their call. Then he glares and says 'thank you!' in that really cross British way. Very funny.

  22. I am gonna be old grouchy and skanky , and living in the SSA's back yard as well. MJ you think your gonna be the only one hanging your legs over the back of the chair with no undies..... your in for a nasty shock :-)

  23. beast, is this where the (!) happens?

  24. hey! I have an idea! lets ALL move in to my daughters' back yard when we're really old! she'd LOVE IT!

  25. hell, beats the fuck outta the home my kids keep saying the found for me in the middle of MONTANA, sugar! ;)

  26. You are Paul Delegardie, who once said, "I am getting old, and my sins are deserting me, and if I could only have my time over again I'd take care to commit more of them."

  27. Could we just move into her yard now and avoid the wait? I know a trailer park being evicted, we could get old singe wides really cheap.
    Oh, my wife joined Red Hats. She goes every few months to do exciting things, like lunch at the Liberace Museum. (yea, that's what I thought too). But then I got to go to the Doctor's house (see my post) and all was forgiven (almost)