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A guide to greatness

I was once in a relationship. Four months in she decided we should get a cat. A little black fuzz-ball we dubbed Thelonious Gazpacho Jones. Here it is I thought, the start of much more.

My long held dream of being a cat handler could finally come to fruition. I pictured it. Our new cat would go on to win regional shows. Everything a cat ought to be. And on to districts. His likeness would become the Wikipedia entry for perfection, poise, and elegance. Then, dare I say it, Nationals. Eventually he's be studded out and sire champions. I pictured a small cottage by a lazy river all paid for by the cat food sponsorships. All this ran through my skull as we signed the papers in the beige lobby of the Humane Society.

Apparently raising winners is not as simple as high-quality food and words of encouragement. (Mom and Dad I see now what you were up against; a winner I did not become, but I was well fed.)

However my brief experience thus far in the competitive cut-throat world of Cat Pageants did teach me life lessons that I still use to this day. One, people who own more then 2 cats are slightly off. Two, that like learning to zip up the fly of your pants for the first time, failure hurts. It hurts bad. And three, again returning to my zipper/scarred-appendage metaphor/accident, I don't give up that easy.

As my relationship continued so did my desire to mold a champion. I poured my heart and soul into this simple animal. Did the rest of my life suffer because of this? Most likely. But fate has a way of bitch-slapping you when it feels it's necessary. Mine came just two weeks before the regional kitty expo. The front door was left opened and Theo, the scamp that he is, snuck out. Some say that's what animals do, his instinct were guiding him and when he saw an opening he went for it. Personally I feel that his flight was perhaps my fault. I pushed too hard. The expo was too soon. He wasn't ready. Either way, my little guy was out there on his own in this cold cruel world.

I would love to tell you that the story ends on a happy note. That Theo went on to greatness and proved to be extremely fertile and that his offspring are everywhere. Such is not the case.

We searched and searched for him but to no avail. We had just about given up hope when we got a call from a local Animal Hospital. Apparently the day he got out he was struck by a passing car. A neighbor boy found Theo and promptly took him there. He lived through the crash but was disfigured because of it. He lost the use of his right front paw and his right hip was thrown out of socket. They renamed him Bubba.

Although his experience in the "real world" was not a kind one he did make it. Although the possibility of amputation was there he managed to press-on without. His lumbering steps can be heard now echoing off our hardwood floors at all hours of day. He is the elder statesmen in our house, now filled with another feline and a shaggy dog. That girlfriend and I got married, had some offspring of our own and now reside in a full house, to say the least.


Cliff and Peg

Snug in a cozy bed, Cliff groped his pillow in dream. A dream he’d been having since May. Clad only in torn chaps and surrounded by ten of Miami’s finest hams, he’d sip his nog with Peg by a beach-side fire and avow his wild side a thing of the past. All the while, gazing at the ebb of the tide and discussing their plans to loot the Scuba Store after the next hurricane. They were desperately in need of a second swimmer’s fin. Of course, one was better than zero, but it made going straight awfully difficult.

Between the two of them they had hardly a peso. They'd been living for the last week off nothing but Holly-nog and grain. They were in debt to their eyeballs from the bank loans Cliff had taken to open his business as a flower dyer. Certain business would improve as he hones his skill, Peg found it within her id to support him. Cliff loved her for this and was grateful she didn’t nix another one of his hair-brained schemes, like the time he suggested writing a book on Hitler using only rune.

Just then a rogue wave washed over the two of them, extinguishing their fire and leaving Cliff gasping for air. As he struggled to breathe he felt Peg’s hand on his and heard her voice, softly at first, but then louder and louder.

“Honey…honey…are you ok?”
“Um…er…I guess it was only a dream.”
“Uh, yeah” Peg replied, and rolling back over thought to herself, “he always mixes that nog with too much damn rum.”


something was a miss

I woke up this morning feeling good. I slept a little bit later then normal, that extra 15 minutes is huge. I had a vanilla yogurt and got ready to leave still feeling spry. But as I pulled out of the driveway I noticed my youngest daughter in the front window with tears in her eyes. Just moments ago I had kissed her on her forehead and bid her a cheery goodbye and now she was all tore-up. It stuck me as odd.

On my drive in the gray clouds increased the closer I got to work. Then the rains came. Normally not a issue, but today perhaps because of my sunny disposition, I left the house without a coat. Once more on a normal day I would brush it off and accept that I would be a bit damp for the remainder of the morning, little did realize that I now put myself in the precarious position of attending an important meeting with the client soaked to the bone. The universe was shouting down at me. I wasn't listening.

It was not until my daily lunch ritual of browsing the internet did the A-bomb finally drop. It is with a heavy heart I relay to you that Calvert DeForest has left this earthly plane. You may remember him as simply as Larry "Bud" Melman. I will remember him as a comedic genius who put David Letterman and his Late Show on the map.

A great loss indeed. Goodbye my friend.

Larry "Bud" Melman

Scissor Cuts

I have an old friend, Tall Noreen, she used to work at a scissor factory. One day in casual conversation she told me about a "restructuring" that went on there a few years back. She said that there was a meeting where they actually said, "...cuts will have to be made." Cuts down at the scissor factory, I guess they should have seen that coming.

I laughed out loud and spilled a little bit of my coffee when I heard Noreen tell me this. Then she told me that she was one of the scissor jockeys that got fired. I stopped laughing right then.




The sun pushes me on my way
traveling the great rip in the urban tablecloth
strip malls and traffic lights laugh from above
concrete ceilings mix with moments of uninterrupted sky

hours later the sun once again
stands over me
leading me toward home


Lost Friend

I lost a friend today. It made me sad to think about this loss before it actually happened, and even more so when the realization that it was actually happening set in. This particular friend has been with me for ten years. I have been loyal to my friend and my friend has returned the favor many, many times day or night. Never did my friend bitch or complain about where I was going or who I was going with...not once. Sure, I had to spend some money on my friend from time to time, but what friend wouldn't be willing to do that for another when necessary. I felt as if I was betraying my friend today...when I walked away. I had to. I left my friend sitting there all alone. Maybe this is good for my friend too. Another chapter opens in one book...and one closes in mine. I know it was time to part ways with my friend, but it is still hard. I miss my friend already. I only hope that my friend will make new friends and that my sorrow will fade.

I say good bye today to my 1997 Jeep Cherokee Sport. This was the first car that I ever purchased on my own. I was living in Marietta, Georgia at the time. I have been to many places with this car as many of you have. Colorado, Kalkaska, Chicago, and Maine just to name a few. I really loved that Jeep and hated to part with it today. But it was time. The transmission went on it and that was the final straw. I could no longer support my friend financially. 137,000 miles proper. I am proud of my car for sticking with me for ten years, and proud of myself for doing the same. I will miss my old friend and always remember the good times and great transportation that was given to me.

Pat. The Norwegian Postman

My postman, he is Norwegian. His name is Pat. He is a tall, slender man with an above average mustache and an adequate head of hair. Pat seems to me to be a happy man, often whistling. I never quite know the tune that he whistles. I like to think it is a popular Norwegian folk song from the late 1800s. One that involves a buxom daughter, a ship, and a prank gone wrong played by some Norwegian teenagers. Whatever the tune, he is quick to stop his lip symphony and start up a conversation with me.

Whether it be the weather, or that smell of thawing garbage that tells us that springtime in the city is near, Pat seems happy to dispel his wisdom with a twinkle in his eye. The conversations never last too long, so they are never awkward. It's really a beautiful thing. He brings me my catalogs, chats with me happily, then pushed his tri-wheeled cart on down the sidewalk. Dropping rubberbands as he goes. Then as quickly as it stopped, the whistling continues. Same song. Didn't miss a beat. Come to think of it maybe he is composing this song as he goes, I still hope it is about a buxom daughter, a ship, and a prank gone wrong played by some Norwegian teenagers, because that is a song I want to hear.


Top this

How could I possibly top the last two posts? I mean a dude on a uni barreling down a mountain or the fact that once man finds his evening sustenance from a machine that spits out treats like a whore turns tricks. I mean really where else could you go to learn that w.j. DeBalt despises
movies or that SEACMCDI television commercials have officially become Mardi Gras's favorite. Less we forget that
is sweeping the nation.

Mr. Mountain Unicyclist

And just when you thought you'd seen it all...

Monday afternoon while on a hike at Red Rocks I saw something that left my mouth agape. We were returning from what was easily the most difficult hike of my young life. The trail was, in my estimation, about 65 degrees straight up. And each time we thought, certainly this must level out over the next bend, we'd get to that bend only to discover that the trail seemed to continue in an endless path to the heavens, kind of like in that Simpsons episode where Homer climbs the Matterhorn! Anyway, we were almost back to the bottom when we saw a man climbing up with a unicycle in one hand. After convincing ourselves it wasn't an altitude induced hallucination, a friend asked the obvious question. "You're not gonna ride that thing down are ya?" To which he replied, "oh, no. It has a device for measuring the mountain." Initially satisfied, we let the sarcastic bastard continue on his path, and we continued on ours. Before reaching the bottom though our embarrassing gullibility wore off and we were convinced of what we were about to witness. We turned around just in time to see this man, free of the restraints of any protective equipment, descend approximately 300 feet on one wheel! And he even turned around and headed back up as soon as I yelled, "do it again!" The whole while this is happening, only one thought was present in my head, and it's the one that's there now as I recall this event. It is simply "you crazy f_cker!"

the office

The office is killing me. And I'm not speaking in metaphors here. It's literally killing me. I'm a sallow ghost, drifting here, stumbling there. Wandering the industrial halls of Ferndale. Competely and utterly unrested.
You know you've made it when you are paying someone to prepare your meals for you. Oprah had Rachel Ray. Richard Simmons had several slender men in various stages of undress. I've managed to secure similar services at a tremendous financial discount. Although I suppose that whatever monetary benefits I may reap are tempered by a lack of sustainable energy, surprisingly stiff arteries, and a life expectancy somewhat south of the expected, even for the most underdeveloped, corrupt, and pestilence ridden areas.
To good health,


2 thumbs up for thumbs

My two closest friends are my right and left thumbs. I mean really, these guys have been with me through thick and thin. Always there for quick thumbs up and a"hey...nice job fella." or to pass judgement or subtly critique. Not to mention their aid in finger pointing and the proverbial "double bird." I can't begin to imagine the cabs I may have missed without them. I sucked one as an infant and now I use them for the space bar. And what about lighters, or coin flips, finger snaps or zipping your fly...thank god I have you two bastards


color scheme

I am currently enthralled by the combination of
651 U & 1797 U

(on your pantone dial)


You smell that?

Have you ever noticed that humans smell? And not just a singular odor like say, cheese. We got stank floating out of every orifice. A multitude of different smells of varying degree. That is the best part too, you never know what you are going to get. It could be subtle garlic-breath, your garden variety BO, or the much dreaded Mexican-for-lunch poots.

Whichever level it may be most of us are horrified and yet somehow proud. Unwilling to own up to the most basic of human functions, yet when caught, we admit to it with a sense of giddy.

"Oh man, was that you?"

"Ha yeah. I had broccoli for dinner".

It is time we stop the shenanigans and grow a pair. We smell. It's unavoidable. So join me today and wear your smells on your sleeve. You'll thank me.

My name is fAtHanD, and I smell. Bad.


Peripheral Fiasco has a few men behind the proverbial curtain. One of these men rarely emerges from his curtain. He does many things behind his curtain; I will not bore you (or shock you as the case may be) with a laundry list of everything he does back there. I will mention that one of the tasks carried out behind his “Cloak of Secrecy and Respect” as he refers to it, is to keep the PF contributors on task and on schedule with respect to churning out the incredibly witty and insightful cerebral candy you all stop by to consume. E.L. Huffer is consistently negligent in the timeliness of his posts, being frequently distracted behind his “Quilt of Insulation from the Impending Reign of SARS Related Death and Devastation” as he refers to it. What began as a non-PF correspondence from E.L. Huffer to this other man was realized to be aptly suited for yet another missed deadline, and follows here:

Subject: My new LP
I received my Mark Twang LP in the mail yesterday. There’s nothing like listening to “Don’t Leave Your Records In The Sun” on your record player.
Incidentally, I left this record in the sub-freezing evening environment of my mailbox. No waviness, warping, or other abnormalities were observed.


Oh the times, they are a changin'

It's funny how the times can change,
the planets shift and the clouds rearrange
and all the truths under them (as I know them to be)
are tried and disproved by a new mystery.


Chupa Blues

I never wanted my ass to be prickly. I merely wanted a way to keep coyotes from my tender ass meat. I made a deal with the devil. The New Jersey Devil. And what you see is what you get. And if you think my ass is prickly, you should see my rectum.


oh, gringo!

Unlucky gringo, you’re open and never to close again.
In your north of the border world this may be a boon-
Always ready to serve a customer or devoted friend
‘I can have that for you now’ is never too soon.

But here in the dirt by the gravel, behold
I speak metaphorically: you are face down
Quite sure the jaw is not wont to open so,
Eyelids stretched back like a peso clown

If never to close, then never to contain,
Your brains forever lack their former structure.
Out for a loaf of bread after an evening rain.
Not anticipating the cerebral-spinal puncture.

Oh, gringo! Opened you’ve been and empty you are.
They emptied you here and left you there.
Left in silence ‘neath a Mexican star.



Recently I have been waking in the middle of the night, usually between 3-4:30 am, walking to the kitchen, eating two cookies, and then returning to bed. I am quite awake during my little cookie stroll but at the stame time also in a very rested state.

These cookie dreams got me thinking and today I propose that we pay tribute to an often overlooked pioneer. Once a simple monster named Sid, he took his love for cookies and blazed a trail for cookie lovers everywhere. I salute you Cookie Monster, may the crumbs of a job well done fall on your well manicured blue fur and may the chips that you devour in your cookies be chips of pure bliss, for you my google-eyed friend have changed the world for the better.