Come On Down!

In my profession as a traveling hypnotist, I have the luxury of many week days off. I have a routine for these mornings which includes the staples: coffee, cigarettes and The Price is Right. Years of this routine has left me with a series of questions, namely: “How fucking old is Bob Barker anyway?”

I mean c’mon, the man hasn’t aged a day in twenty years. His skin just gets tighter and his hair gets whiter. Is it possible he's a cyborg? The only caveat in this theory is his use of witty observations and comic relief. I actually saw him say to someone this morning that if she wins, she’d be the most undeserving contestant to ever win a prize on his show! Now that’s funny!

Well as it turns out she didn’t win, in fact she was one of those losers who were left with nothing but shame, embarrassment and some lovely parting gifts. How horrible it must be to go through life knowing that if only you’d bid one dollar, things might be different. You would have had that “neat set of his and hers scuba gear” and a one year supply of Little Debbie Snack Cakes…and maybe more! But no, you had to listen to Wanza in the front row, despite the fact that given her dimensions it’s unlikely she’d know the going rate for scuba gear.

Anyway, at least she realized her dream of “coming on down” slapping fives with a random sub-section of America’s finest who are somehow delighted that she won and they didn’t. They’re just happy to be on TV and wave at the camera with ignorant bliss while secretly cursing her in their subconscious, knowing they may never have the pleasure of spinning the Big Wheel or being on the showcase showdown with a chance at the elusive golden grail the double winner!

And isn’t obvious to anyone else yet that the showcase with the clever little story, like “Amanda’s trip to the supermarket” or whatever the hell it might be, is the one they should bid on. Or do some people really want that charming bedroom group and exciting exercise equipment that are somehow valued at $18,000. I don’t care if all 8 of Bob’s bimbos come with that bedroom group, it’s not worth $18,000. And I’m pretty sure a can of Campbell’s Tomato Soup isn’t $2.69 either.

Anyway, I seem to have gotten a little off track here. Really I was just wondering how old Bob Barker is, because…damn, that man looks good!


tuesday the twenty fourth

geist - v. to stab in the neck with a sharp object, preferrably in a sideward, overhanded motion. "I'll geist you, with Brandt as my witness..." Also used as a noun, as in "That was one helluva geist..."

margeistky - v. an action where the gash left by a geisting (see above) is then penetrated with a male sex organ. Can also be used as a noun: "A margeistky is illegal in 3 states, one of them being Ohio of course..."

boppledupe - n. a type of viking-clown. A full explaination would be too unsavory for this venue, and that is saying quite a bit in light of what's already been written. Suffice it to say, once boppledupe has carried out his signature move, he is known to pop the victim's collar and proclaim: "You've been boppleduped. Bitch."


Why you looking at my nut?

Dear KY Smooth,

I am glad that the rubber band ball has encompassed your entire being causing you to ponder many things. This was not at all my intent. I really just wanted to make a rubber band ball so I will consider this a happy by-product.

Now on to the bad news...all work has been suspended on said ball of band until the chief engineer returns to the continental United States. Unfortunately the Canadian government views rubber bands like we treat Sars.

Work is scheduled to resume late Wednesday evening and I promise you that your patience will not be in vein.

However I will take this time to answer your questions.

"all I can think about is that intriguing ball of rubber bands." - Hypnotic, ain't it?
"I wonder how big it’s become today." - Not very
I wonder when they’ll run out of rubber bands. - No time soon, its a big-ass bag
I have some rubber bands I’ve been saving at home, I wonder if they want ‘em. - Sure. All we've got are the beige ones you see. If they are bands of color, bring them on, I say.
I wonder how many rubber bands are in that ball of rubber bands. - 143
I wonder why this is all I can think about. - You need a hobby?

So Feast Your Eyes Upon My Nut

I know it’s my day to write,
but all I can think about is that intriguing ball of rubber bands.
I wonder how big it’s become today.
I wonder when they’ll run out of rubber bands.
I have some rubber bands I’ve been saving at home, I wonder if they want ‘em.
I wonder how many rubber bands are in that ball of rubber bands.
I wonder why this is all I can think about.


Day 2

Much progress.


Day 1

When your mom gives you a humongous bag of rubber bands and tells you to make a rubber band ball, you do it.



To the heady crowd today is a day of much celebration. But let's not allow the cannabis to cloud our minds (too much) because today is also the day my dog entered, Stage Left. Sofie turns 3 today. Yeah!

In human terms the typical tyke at this stage in the game is talking in complete sentences, weights in around 25 to 44 pounds, is sleeping anywhere from 10 to 12 hours a night, and is using the toilet with some help. Sof is the stark contrast of that in every way. She don't talk, she's a dog stupid. She is a slender 103 and averages 16 hours of sleep each day. The toilet thing she's had down for awhile now, although still does occasionally forget to flush.

If you take a sec and look at her specs she aligns more with someone in their late 70's. But she's a dog not a grandma and when you do all the computations she comes in at 21. Legal drinking age in most states. I do not condone the consumption of alcohol by canines so tonight I will drink to her vitality, prosperity, and longevity. I ask that you do the same.



For the last week or so, I have had a song stuck in my head. I didn't really notice it until yesterday, but it has been there since at least last Wednesday, maybe longer. It has been at the tip of my tongue when I need to speak, the back of my throat when I have to hum. Dancing around my brain in a way that only Petula Clark can. Today it has really come to a head, whenever there is quiet time it leaks out, no longer just in my head but now on my lips... It's Downtown... Down where the song haunts you... Downtown.

The funny thing is I don't really know all the words, I have been singing this line over and over. "Downtown, down where the town is down..." I am fairly certain that isnt right but when you are singing a concert for 1 it's all great!

A lot of times when you have a song stuck in your head it is a bad thing. Torture. This time it isnt so bad. Downtown is a good song. My knee-jerk reaction was to try and eclipse it with another song and on my way to work today I briefly did that with "Love Shack" but that song is way more annoying and I am glad that it didnt take. I now see that this isnt a curse but a blessing, I welcome this wonderful tune into my mind. I hope it sets up shop and bounces around in my head for awhile, because it would be nice to forget all my troubles, forget all my cares... and go DOWNTOWN....

Maybe this will infect you too. Maybe it will be a different tune... say Huge Calculator... Maybe not. Either way you can find all the words below, but I recommend making your own up. And if you do wind up going Downtown, let me know because I heard they have movie shows.


Just listen to the music of the traffic in the city,
Linger on the sidewalk where the neon signs are pretty
How can you lose? The lights are much brighter there...
You can forget all your troubles; forget all your cares, and go
Downtown -- things will be great when you're
Downtown -- you'll find a place for sure
Downtown -- everything's waiting for you

Downtown .... Downtown...

Don't hang around, and let your problems surround you,
There are movie shows

Maybe you know some little places to go to
Where they never close

Just listen to the rhythm of a gentle Bossa Nova
You'll be dancing with 'em too before the night is over,
Happy again...
The lights are much brighter there,
You can forget all your troubles; forget all your cares, and go
Downtown -- where all the lights are bright
Downtown -- waiting for you tonight
Downtown -- you're gonna be all right now...




And you may find somebody kind to help and understand you;
Someone who is just like you and needs a gentle hand to
Guide them along...
So maybe I'll see you there,
We can forget all our troubles; forget all our cares, and go
Downtown -- things will be great when you're
Downtown -- don't wait a minute more
Downtown -- everything's waiting for you...

Downtown...Downtown (fade)


Kilgore Trout eats a Braut

The news of Kurt Vonnegut's demise last week came to me pool-side. Basking just above the 30th north parallel the modern age allowed me to read the news through this very blog. Just prior I sat writing a piece on another author that deeply touched me. That is not to say that I did not enjoy, nor find immense inspiration from Mr. Vonnegut and his work. In fact I looked into TIAA-CREF simply because he appeared in one of their television spots. I didn't put my eggs in that basket but I do feel I owe that man a lot. Instead of waxing on about his influence on me and the sadness of the loss, I will post what was swimming around my think-tank at that time and offer it up, set ablaze like a funeral pyre.

On a train from San Francisco to Stockton on a hot August day I was reminded that humans are truly an unpredictable bunch. I was there on vacation with my girlfriend. We had spent a few days in the city and we were on our way back for the remainder of our stay in the land of Schwarzenegger. Just sitting there unassumingly; she thinking about the few days we spent, I wondering what type of dinner awaited us as the scorched California landscape flew by. I assume it was our bohemian appearance or perhaps it was the pull of all things cosmic, a man, who I at the time could picture myself becoming in 15 years, approached. It did not feel odd or threatening, as an unsolicited conversation with a complete stranger sometimes can. It felt as natural as if it were all down in a script and we were simply acting the part. Without as much as an introduction he handed me a book and said flatly "I think you may like this" and returned to his seat.

I was intrigued so I began to read the book. Revenge of the Lawn, a collection of short stories by Richard Brautigan. I had never heard of him. It was a green hardcover no bigger than 15 books of matches dunked in water and rolled into a ball. I took a sip of the first, and title story, and immediately it captivated me. It was charming and funny and sincere all within the first few paragraphs. As the train made love to the tracks so did I to the pages. I drank in more, woozy. It was as if I uploaded my profile for an ideal story to Match.com and this came back. We met, fell in love, got married, and now appear together in their latest TV spot.

Just as the train slowed to a stop I finished the 6 pages shellshocked. Never had I read anything that spoke to me so completely. I walked back to the bearded-stranger-on-the-train, thanked him and handed him his book. My girlfriend and I got off at that station and headed toward the doleful streets of Stockton.

A few days later still drunk from the Lawn I found myself in a shopping mall located directly across the street from another shopping mall in a book store who could be named after a 18th century Ornithologist. Down the B isle in the Literature section I found her. In the one instance where modern society's excesses are a good thing the collection I sought was leading the pack of two other Brautigan books.

In the 9 years since I have read many more his books but Revenge of the Lawn and that chance encounter on the train has shaped my life. That is what a good book and a great author can do.


It's all your fault!

I blame it on the Bush administration,
On the war and occupation of Iraq,
And on the impending confrontation with Iran and North Korea.

I blame it on high gas prices and global warming,
On the corrupt political system and terrorism,
And on Osama bin Laden, Britney Spears and Oprah Winfrey.

But I blame it on the little guy too.
On bad drivers and uppity bitches,
And every “my son’s an honor roll student” bumper sticker.

I blame it on my job,
On my bosses and the beemers,
And every stupid customer’s stupid questions.

I blame it on the ex.
On the lies and the cheating,
And the menace of a dog you won’t discipline.

I blame it on my parents,
On their parents and on their parent’s parents.
And on the genes we should’ve altered so many generations ago.

Finally, I blame it on the snaggle-tooth, nappy-headed,
Convenience store clerk who just can’t figure out the change from my $20.
“Yes, the big ones are quarters…twenty-five cents.”

I blame it on all of you, and dozens more I’ve chosen not to list.
I’m going bald you fuckers…and it’s all your fault!


stuck inside of baghdad, with the moustache blues again

As near as I can figure, today begins week 11 of my shaving-strike. The ‘stache area has been trimmed a couple times to keep it out of the mouth area, although I have now forgone this practice in lieu of training the hair out towards the sides rather than downwards.

Some things you should know about it:
• I have it on good authority that it made a 12 year old girl uncomfortable over the weekend
• I just ate a morning doughnut. Glazed. The glazing is stuck in the hairs
• It continues to look really horrible

I’m not sure how much longer I can hold out. I feel like my venture into the world of beardom is akin to our occupation of Iraq: there is no timetable for withdrawal. If only I had an elected legislative body to force my hand… At any rate, I should probably set some kind of date (and plan some kind of ceremony) for “taking it all off”.

Then again, perhaps the best course would be 5 different styles, presented in 5 different acts - Monday through Friday, slowly whittling away hair each evening in order to grace the office with a brand new look each morning. My face would be my canvas, my facial hair the colors of my pallet (strangely, a pallet unmatched to the hair that grows from my scalp). Clippers and a razor would be the instruments through which I plied my craft. Friday would be a joyous day indeed, with nothing but below-the-nose-bunting to greet the weekend. Or perhaps that day would see me with only the left side of my face free and clear, and the right side left perfectly intact? The possibilities are near endless.

Further bulletins as events warrant…


Sketching assholes on the other side.

The news it came to me today in the form of a watered down newspaper designed to feed the need for news in a society with an eroding attention span. Kurt Vonnegut had passed. My stomach fell a little bit, and it wasn't the homeless smell drifting from the corner of the train this time. This was a man, who genuinely changed the way I looked at things (Vonnegut not the homeless guy, although I must admit, I have never read any of the homeless guys work). There were others before, I remember writing something similar when Ken Kesey died and certainly John Hartford. But Vonnegut was different. He fed me. He motivated me. He led me on adventures that were as ridiculous as they were beautiful. His cynicism spoke so loudly, and somehow it was never bitter, that is just the way it was. He spelled things out for you in all their absurd glory, then he tipped them on their side just to put everything in perspective.

I remember buying Cat's Cradle at the San Francisco airport. I started reading it when we took off, I finished the last words just as we touched down in Detroit. The wings could have fell off that plane, I would have never known... I wasn't there. I was with Newt and the Hoosiers, learning to embrace the end of the world. I was hooked. I have read three other Vonnegut books in one sitting and believe me this is no testament to me, it is all on him. The tales are so insanely structured, so gloriously ridiculous, but at the same time rooted in the simplest of topics.

I think above all what I learned from Kurt Vonnegut was to question what you think you know and to feed your imagination. Just because someone tells you something is someway or you read it in a book, Don't take it as fact. Learn it for yourself. The way he presented the absurd with such reckless abandon, but somehow made it seem common place. He noticed the deliciousness in the ridiculous and he help the reader appreciate it too... and in many cases notice it for the first time.

The thing I have said many times about reading a Vonnegut novel is this. I try every time to get him, to catch something that he will leave unfinished, a question left unanswered a plot left unexplored. He sets up this wonderful circus of tangled insanity, lets it dance around like a drunken clown and like then at the end... OH, the end, he so magnificently takes every little drop of beautiful wackiness, even the tiny mouse droppings, and wraps it up into a nice neat little easily digestible package, puts it in your lap, then smacks you on the back of the head while he smokes a cigarette and complains about the weather. You can do nothing but sit there in amazement or call him a "Bastard." The latter being the bigger compliment.

I have no doubt that he is somewhere right now asking questions that are spot on, making comments that are even more profound and sketching assholes with the mighty flaming tornado in the sky.

Kurt Vonnegut, quite possibly the person that I never met that I least wanted to keep that way. If I would have met you, I would say "I'll miss you," since I hadn't I will just say, "Good luck with the beaver mag that is eternity."

So it goes.

god bless you, mr. vonnegut

I know everyone has their own beginning. It started with Sirens of Titan for me. And wow - that was it. I had heard of him before, but really knew very little. And to be honest, I had seen a picture of J. Garcia with a copy of Sirens. At that time in my life, if he had been into something, I wanted to try it.

The Rosewater ventures, Kilgore, labor strikes, Dresden inferno, RAMJAC, Ice Nine (incidentally the name of the Dead's publishing company), space travel... Again, wow. So much to think about, so much to enjoy.

But this is what we do. We spend some time during our stay here, and try to leave some kind of mark. Then we move on. That's everyone's story. Some just tell a more darkly comedic story than others.

God bless you, Mr. Vonnegut
1922 - 2007


Mexican food: The day the light went on.

I had one of those rare moments in life when you question the person you've become. You flash back to that young kid filled with hopes and dreams and ask yourself, the you-now, if the you-then would be pleased with the decisions and choices that you-they made. How I came to this startling notion is really quite odd.

I was in a car with two coworkers on our way back to the office from a meeting. It was coming up on five so as you can image the three of us had quitting-time on our minds. The dream of homemade lasagna or pot-roast dancing around our belly's as well.

My one cohort having been in this predicament before knew that a Del Taco lie just outside our route. Not enough to create chaos but outoftheway enough for us to leave the safety of the freeway. The driver of the vehicle must have been on a few of these excursions before because he didn't bat a eye when Del Taco was brought up. He willfully got off the freeway and headed west. I was in the backseat and truly not aware of the detour until I noticed that we stopped. At a traffic light. Odd I thought. This is not the way I would head back but to each his own. It was at this point that the Del Taco initiator began to shower us with the virtues of said fast-food joint. I, a Del Taco virgin, was rather intrigued.

As we pulled up to the drive-through the Initiator asked us both if we wanted anything. No was our reply. He pleaded that I, the chaste should at least try a taco so without much resistance I conceded. From the front-passenger seat he recited his order that consisted of, I kid you not 4 veggie burritos, 3 soft tacos (one being mine) and a large Mr. Pibb with no ice. Turns out he was ordering dinner for the Fam, but what's most amazing here is that he ordered a Mr. Pibb. A Mr. Pibb!

What's even more astonishing is when we pulled up to the window they actually handed him a Mr. Pibb. No ice. Hot Damn. Mr. Pibb! I couldn't get over it. I used to drink this stuff like it was going out of style and that's when it hit me like a positive score on a paternity test. I drank it...I have not seen Mr. Pibb in years....like it was...like that actor that shows up on the Law and Order rerun that you thought was dead...going out of...I didn't think they made it anymore....style! Here it is, Mr. Pibb, out of style. It was my fault. I'm to blame. I drank the shit out of it and now the only place you can get it is at a Del Taco in Dearborn. My me-then is not happy with the me-now.


Excerpt 3

What are composite trees? Well that’s simple, you docile little slut. Generally speaking they’re a cypress, aspen blend used primarily in gymnastics for the uneven bars and such. I’m pretty sure they were invented in the Eternal city by a man that lived with his family in some old turret.

Pardon me if I interpose Hank, but you look a little stiff. Is it the noise factor from that “Girls Gone Wild” commercial, or is it otherwise inexplicable?

I apologize Chula, but I’m fantasizing about using a bean stalk right now, and only the Penates alone are keeping me from devouring that girl there and the rest of the wolf pack she runs around with. If you cohabit with me long enough you’ll learn that though I may look solemn, my hormones are like a raging bus. Now hand me the manual so I can figure out how to inflate this stoop ball.

Hank do you realize that right now, down at the dry-dock, one of our offspring is having relations with a mannequin he picked up at the five-and-ten…and those things usually don’t have limbs!

Well he’s clearly no diplomat, but there’s no need for moral decree. Not everyone can be as well put together as that four hundred day clock over there. I’m quite certain with a little vigilance we can parch him of his craving for mannequin love.

With that being said, Chula threw a slice of rasher on the griddle and proceeded to doff her evening gown. Though he found the sight quite offensive, he made love to her anyway in a manner that could only be found in heroic verse.

hell is most certainly a place without gymnastics

In refernce to the aforementioned "exercise", I think the short stories are all terribly interesting. I also think everyone would agree that what initially seemed like a fun little bit of literary erector set assemblage soon revealed itself to be quite the undertaking. To keep a cohesive idea moving along while following the "rules" took some mental manuvering to say the least.

Aside from the stories themselves, I had also looked forward to seeing how different people would interpret each word. We could not change the word at all; "mannequin" could not become "mannequins", "cohabit" could not assume "cohabiting" or "cohabitation", et cetera et cetera. But there was some wiggle room. I was interested to see if the earthy Kentucky Smooth would return to his rural roots and use his "stalk" to describe an unending field of corn, knee-high by the fourth of July. Would Fathand, the self-proclaimed "man who framed O.J." use the same word to describe how he followed Nicole and Ron back to that southern-California hacienda? No one knew, and that made it exciting.

I doff my urine-soaked stetson to all of you,


Happy Easter, America.

a blast from the past... as written for "Blatant misuse of a conundrum: Pigeons don't soar with eagles" ~circa 2000

I eat a Taco Bell
Almost everyday now
I seem to be hopelessly addicted to the chalupa.
The Chalupa?
I'm afraid
I know the long term risks, eating at this poisonpit presents
and I know the ingredients
and I don't like Mexico
Still I eat... and eat
Chalupa's by the three
my stomach stands the test. How?
I don't know, or care.
People always say to me, "I don't believe you don't smoke cigarettes!"
Fuck those people
I eat at Taco Bell
That's worse
I just don't have to put up with the negative propaganda.
like you
you American pig
Did you know that the American pig kills 800,000 people a minute?
... if you let it
what does Taco Bell do?
Tell me that on television.
With your snappy death ads, and your scary afterthoughts.
Tell me something new!

I have to suspect a Mexican restaraunt that is closed on Easter
No matter how fast it is
why Easter?
why the Chalupa?
Was Jesus Mexican?
or even a coneseur?
Hot sauce can't cover this
Tell me I'm wrong.

3 beef baja chalupas with a large Dr. Pepper
that's $4.37
at the second window
Happy Easter, America
Jesus Christ!


What in the Gymnastics hell?

You may be wondering, "what the hell is going on with these semi-nosensical stories this week at PF?" You might also be wondering, "Do my co-workers know about my carmel fetish?"...

Well, I can help you with the first one.

Last week a message came through the pipes at PF headquarters from Huffer. He suggested an exercise. We here a PF are pretty much anti-exercise, but he was talkin' bout a mental exercise. Which we are always in favor of. Basically this is what he had in mind.

Here are the rules:
- you must use all the words provided in the list
- the words must appear in your PF post in the same order that they appear on the list
- each sentence of your post must use at least 2 of the words from the list more if you want to "go for it"
- the title of your post should be created using any of the list words, but only words from the list

Below is the list of words, in order and randomly chosen from the Random House Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged Edition by an attractive and blindfolded co-worker of mine. We are using the 1979 publishing run, because it will hopefully capture the vernacular of our youth.

Best of luck,

Stoop ball
Off spring
Heroic verse
Four-hundred-day clock
Wolf pack
Noise factor
Eternal City


Knowing this, feel free to skip back and re-read the weeks entries. The words from the list appear in bold in most of the stories... or if you are over this little vocabular mombo feel free to get back to that carmel fetish.


Shrubs in the Eternal City

Dear Mr. Scorsese,
I have submitted for your review excerpts from my new and arguably groundbreaking script “Chula” that chronicles the love affair between a docile former gymnastics teacher (Chula) and a crusty turret-ridden Navy man (Hank).

Excerpt 1
[Hank and Chula sit talking on the front porch swing; Hank reminisces. Chula itches her ass on account of her recent bout with an unidentifiable form of scabies]

…The ocean made me stiff (gently touching his crotch), always did, so I joined the Navy. To my mother it was inexplicable. She knew only the roar of the Penates on a dusty day. But me, I yearned like a whore to cohabit with the waves, to sail the seas, and shoot Japs [Bang!] and Japs [Bang!] and Japs [Bang!] [Bang!]. So I signed their papers, jumped on that shit of a bus and…

Hank, honey, you should’ve stuck with Jersey stoop ball. Sure you shot the Japs but that that was yesterday, today we’re old and bored; the offspring of some shadowy gravedigger. My ass is peeling off in shelves and you’re playing soda jerk in some five-and-ten war fantasy.

Well shit, there’s the religious decree! Mary Magdalene is a Judas, an itchy Judas, who would piss on a man’s vigilance to summon a dollar, a dime, to her waiting and ever sagging bosom! Well, green dollar! You take the bosom, I’ll take the rasher! It’s my heart and her… her…Tet Offensive! May the heroic verse read: Straight outta high school Bitch and Sonofabitch doff the crown of sanity for a roll in the hay!

Chula [sweetly, sincerely, gently touching Hank as she speaks]
Honey I’m parched, pass the lemonade.

Excerpt 2
[Hank takes Chula on vacation to Branson, MO. They sit lucidly on a bench in front of Baldknobbers Country Music Theater. Chula’s scabies are more easily managed]

Chula [internal monologue]
Oh Hank. If they made a four-hundred day clock I’d buy them all. Then we’d stay here forever; you the American Diplomat, me the sexy JC Penney mannequin.

Hank [internal monologue]
My ship’s run aground and Branson is my dry dock. But don’t patch the hole honey, don’t even read the manual. It is my solemn vow that we’ll never return to the world, the wolf pack, all that contrived mess of yesterday.

Chula [internal monologue]
But you would be the naughty American Diplomat, you’d stalk me through Menswear and down to the basement, my tight mannequin buttocks flashing red on your sex radar.

Hank [internal monologue]
In Branson all is quiet, truly sans the noise factor. Out there (his eyes look homeward) even the birds interpose. The damn robins, well, just like the Japs, they flit and flut about on a happy seven dwarves kind of mission: to keep me from the Eternal City. The city of happiness, all warm and held to the water by the cypress.

[A large semi-truck creeps slowly by. It has taken a wrong turn and mistakenly entered the pedestrian district. Only Chula seems to notice. Hank remains in his eternal city dream. Chula watches the truck, slightly disturbed. The text on the large semi-trailer reads “Branson Composite Trees and Shrubs”

Chula [now speaks]
Hank, what’s a composite tree?


Stiff Gymnastics or: How I Learned to Love the Leotard.

Melza was a docile creature, too short for her weight, she had long red hair and was especially fond of gymnastics. Melza was particularly interested in gymnastical fashion, everywhere she went she wore a leotard, with her red locks done up in a bun she looked like a misshaped pillow with a tomato turret for a hat, a stiff smell followed her almost always. All this being said, Melza’s carissma was inexplicable for she was the direct decendant of two mildly regarded penates.

One day Melza woke up particularly refreshed, put on a new leotard and set out to find a partner to cohabit the old bus that she lived in. Her journey brought her to a vibrantly colored house with a group of people out front playing stoop ball with what looked to be the offspring of a volleyball and Art Garfunkel. Melza decided that she would go with the flow, she siddled up next to Paul, one of the Garfunkel ball players, and asked him what his favorite numbers were. Before she could even finish he yelled “Five-and-Ten”, which almost made Melza jiggle out of her purple sequenced leotard, she saw it as a decree from the heveans. Melza whispered something into Paul’s ear about bacon grease and a “special” leotard and his once mighty stoop ball vigilance quickly eroded into a lust for flesh and rasher. On their way back to Melza’s, they continued their courtship by reciting their favorite offensive heroic verse poetry.

When they got back to the bus, Melza quickly and gracefully disrobed, she was always one to doff a leotard and let the good times roll. In no time flat, she and Paul were at each other like Lance Bass on a cosmonaut. Spandex was stretched and landings were stuck, after such vigorous carnal tomfoolery the young lovers actions began to parch the bus to the point where the four-hundred-day clock simply exploded. Being the constant diplomat Paul offered to buy his new tubby tantric tumbler a new one and suggested that they turn on the teley and watch his favorite movie Mannequin. Melza had to break the TV out of dry-dock as she hadn’t watch television since the 1992 summer Olympics, she even needed a manual to get the thing turned on. As the two of them sat there watching Mannequin they both realized that they were meant to be together and as the credits rolled they stood in all their naked (and leotarded) glory and swore a solemn oath to each other. They vowed that nothing not, wolf pack, nor tainted celery stalk, nor the noise factor from their own fornication would ever interpose between their love for each other.

Moral of the story: The Eternal City wasn’t built in a day, neither was any city to my knowledge, take your time and do what you love. Before you know it you will find your soulmate and together you will grow to be as mighty as the mightiest cypress tree in all the metaphorical cypress swamp. If that doesn’t work there is always the one-piece, lyrca-poly composite garment of the gods, the leotard. Embrace it.


Dry-dock in the Eternal City

I ask that you remain docile for the next few minutes as I spin a tail where gymnastics and an on-the-fly turret play a prominent role. I understand that the words you just read may have caused you to become stiff with fear, that I'm afraid is inexplicable. But do not fear these Penates that cohabit your mind, for once this whole story is digested its meaning will hit you like a bus.

Twas a sunny day and I was deep into a game of stoop ball with the offspring of the neighborhood butcher. We were just outside the five-and-ten when the local troupe of gymnasts came down the sidewalk and began to shout in unison the following decree.

Vigilance against all who promote the use of rasher as a form of currency! We are on the offensive!”, they bellowed as they began a long diatribe of heroic verse.

I stared on as one by one they began to doff their unitards to reveal not the trim physique of athletes but roll after roll of blubber. I began to parch as the sun beat down on us; furthermore my four-hundred-day clock decided to expire right then, 293 days shy.

The eldest butcher's boy, who himself had the girth of three men, being ever the diplomat, walked right up to the mob and stood amongst them as still as a mannequin. He remained there for what seemed like days, as if he were a freighter stuck in dry-dock, then suddenly he began to lurch about uncontrollably like the shifter of a manual transmission on the fritz.

As I looked on a solemn air fell upon the hoard of hosiery-clad girls and they reminded me of a wolf pack that unexpectedly lost its Alpha male. Like the stalk of a bean plant captured by the lens of a high speed camera the eldest butcher's boy rose up to tower over the group who had now began to scream and shriek, intensifying the noise factor of the growing crowd. If I might interpose a personal remark here, you may find this hard to believe but having seen this for myself, time stood still and that boy surrounded by a hoard of gymnasts resembled an ancient tower found in the Eternal City. Like a cypress growing in the desert this story is a composite of many meanings and themes, mainly though it is about completing an assignment that was given to me.


inexplicable five & ten gymnastics

Cesar could be found nightly, reclining in his easy chair, quietly observing the spectacle through the bending of the fishbowl glass (he could tolerate only the most docile of animal companionship), content to suffer the mental gymnastics that are the price of admission to watching one’s mother recreate Mary Lou Retton’s bronze medal effort on a set of shower curtain rods. From his armchair turret, no adult beverage – no matter its country of origin, no matter how stiff, could give explanation to the inexplicable. He often wondered aloud what he had done to incur such wrath from the Penates, forced to cohabit these 42 years with a woman who’s mental chassis was, at best, long overdue for a good oil-lube-and-filter service. It was nights like this that had him literally on his knees, begging for the 210 Bus Line out of Yardley to veer wildly out of control, suddenly (and of course permanently) putting an end to her next stoop ball match.

Cauterizing his reproductive tubules the previous night guaranteed his lack of offspring, but the five-and-ten utensils he used to do so guaranteed his decree of vigilance over his scarred and festering rasher-like male organ of copulation. It’s true, the new smell that now rose from his nether regions was quite offensive, but some would say the same about heroic verse, or pickled cabbage, or his “collection” of amputee hookers that littered the basement of mother’s house.

Speaking of such, Cesar longed for the days when he’d doff his urine-soaked stetson, roll a j, and quench his parch-laced throat at the Martin’s Nest before trolling the side streets of Auburn Hills and Pontiac proper – his wrist-sized four-hundred-day clock providing a steady backbeat to one seriously fucked up night of recreational drug use and sex-for-hire. On the nights that his “foreign diplomat” ruse proved too transparent, he’d end up balling the mannequin he kept in the trunk of his 1975 Renault. And on the nights that the mannequin was far too incinerated for great, golden copulations, he’d dry dock his love boat and perform a manual jerk off ala el duderino (for those of the anti-brevity persuasion).

Some things you should know about the solemn Cesar and his wolf pack mentality work habits:
- He once used a corn stalk to increase the noise factor in his powerpoint training seminar
- He attempted to interpose banana daquiris between 2:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. as a legitimate “alternative-to-coffee” coffee break because "he heard it was all the rage" in the Eternal City

Speaking of Rome, if you’re ever in that hamlet, be sure to visit Vicolo Uomo Selvatico, named in honor of Cesar’s prowess with a Cypress bough (non-composite cypress, mind you).


Sucks to the rules!

Debalt and Huffer were a couple working stiffs, inexplicably cohabiting with a pair of twin mannequins just outside the eternal city. From the composite I’ve rendered, this harum-scarum foursome was little more than a hungry wolf pack, who would stalk their prey and interpose their will in a manner less than diplomatic.
One sunny afternoon, I was minding my own business watching the girl’s gymnastics team (undress) practice for the upcoming event. I was feeling rather parched so I headed into the hall when I saw this hottie apparently waiting for the bus. Well before you know it I had dry-docked her beneath the bleachers. I sort of had to stoop ball though because she was pretty short, but she was awfully docile. We had a couple rolls so things heated up quickly. Well, anyway I was really giving her the old rasher, you know, the big cypress. And believe me, she was singing heroic verse. We were having such a good time, neither of us even considered the noise factor. Just then, in walks the wolf pack looking all solemn saying “just be patient young ones” and “practice vigilance” and a bunch of other crap that just really ruined the moment. I was immediately like “I decree this day wolf pack asshole day” and started putting back on the clothes I’d doffed.
It turned out not to matter much anyway, the first of our offspring was born just nine months later. Now we’ve got two boys ages five and ten. The big one we call Manual, because we learned how to raise him straight out of a book, like a new baby owner’s manual. The youngster’s named Turret for the way his head was shaped when he was born. Anyway we love ‘em to death, but I’ve sworn to the Penates that soon, when that four hundred day clock chimes, Manual and Turret will find this wolf pack, steal the mannequins and do something REALLY offensive. You’ve been warned!

Docile Diplomat

In my youth I was a different man, strong and docile from years of gymnastics. These days I move like the turret on my lathe, stiff and creaky from years of ware. It’s inexplicable to me how the Di Penates of my home would allow me this wench, this bastion of evil with whom I cohabit, that has so clearly aged me.
I remember back in Brooklyn, waiting for the bus and playing stoop ball with her and the other fortunate offspring of Joey (the Hair) and Sandra, proud owners of the neighborhood five-and-ten. I would decree that very day that extreme vigilance would be necessary to keep me from the rasher aroma and offensive appearance she so readily protruded. But alas, she was not a girl for Heroic verse, but would simply doff her dress for a roll in the hay until we were both parched and ready to wind the four-hundred-day clock.
In time, I became a diplomat, and she practically a mannequin, and our relationship was dry-docked from the start. Albeit through the manual alphabet, I took a solemn oath with this woman despite her angry wolf pack courtship methods. I swear she would stalk me relentlessly and wail at my every indiscretion until I’d submit from the noise factor alone. Lately it has occurred to me that perhaps a nice shiny metal object might interpose, and together we could find a quaint resting place for her back home, in the eternal city, beneath an aging cypress. Of course when the witnesses are called upon for the composite sketch, what they would most certainly recall is a different man, one strong and docile from years of gymnastics.

The beggar and the fat man

Out in the work shed is some composite material consisting of cypress, pine and number of other evergreens. I acquired it in Rome, the eternal city, when I happened upon a beggar and a fat man quarrelling over the remains of a ground-score donut and felt the need to interpose. Surprised by the noise factor these two men were creating over half a donut, I investigated further and saw their fight was also over a well-aged stalk of celery. As I approached, the argument escalated until they appeared as a rabid wolf pack, solemnly devouring a fresh kill. It was obvious to me these men had lived hard lives of manual labor, perhaps down at the dry-dock, and I wanted to help. When I tried to speak with them, the fat man just stared like a mannequin, but the beggar spoke as eloquently as a diplomat. He told me of his life, and how he used to work for an evil man building four-hundred-day clocks out of parchment. It was grueling work but he felt it was his chosen roll in life and vowed to never doff this proverbial hat. His employer would certainly not be found in Heroic verse, an offensive, berating man who paid hardly enough to provide one rasher a day. Through constant vigilance the employees were able to avoid group molestation which the employer had decreed a team building exercise. He recalled that fateful Christmas eve at the five-and-ten when he, out of desperation, attempted to steal for his only offspring the stoop ball he couldn’t afford. Finding it more difficult than he anticipated for a man to hide a ball under his shirt, he was delayed and missed his bus to work causing him to lose his job and subsequently the home in which he, his wife Wanda and son Billy did formally cohabit. He swore the Penates had abandoned him for some inexplicable reason. He was stiff with anger when he spoke of how he and his family had been living ever since in the turret of a dilapidated old fortress by the coast. Then he said how much he missed watching girls gymnastics, with those docile little ladies bouncing here and there. Though I thought that last part was weird, I gave the silly sap-story sucker twenty bucks and he gave me this really nice piece of composite material consisting of cypress and those other evergreens.

Play ball!

Today, it's officially spring in my book.
Everything is new, everything is even, everyone has potential and everyone has hope.
Everything is right with the world.
Shut your eyes, you can hear the pop of the mitt, the muted shout of the ump, you can smell that pine tar/peanut shell mixture and you can feel the excitement.

When I think of opening day, and baseball in general for that matter, I think of being a young boy going to see the Tigers play at the old ballpark. Our seats were usually in the upper deck. We would climb those huge ramps to get up to our seats. Normally the thought of being turned loose in that place with a skateboard would be enough to blow a 9 year olds mind... but not on these days. These days were about baseball! We would finally find our section... and at old tigers stadium in the upper deck you had to walk the catwalk, basically a fenced plank, to get out to your section. That short walk will forever be the essence of what it is to be at a baseball game to me.

As you walk out, you hear all the sounds that are associated with the ballpark... "Peanuts", "Cold Beer", "Hot Dogs"... Ernie's voice being piped over the loudspeakers, in all it's pregame beauty... You can't walk, you gotta run... and when you start to see the sky... to a 9 year olds eyes, it has to be the bluest sky you have ever seen... then you get closer... and you see the outfield grass... Never have you seen such green in your entire life... then the infield dirt... it is so perfect in a hue that only manicured dirt can be... it is just all so perfect!!... and somehow, it being kept under wraps as you walk that catwalk really gave it that extra BANG as you finally see it... it is all hidden, then all of a sudden POW!!! In one moment it is there in front of you in all it's glory... undeniably beautiful... undeniably pure... undeniably perfect... That to me, is what baseball is all about. That is the backdrop that fueled my dreams... that is the background that will continue to fuel my memories until my last breath... And although the old ball park has began to grow over itself, it will always live on in my mind as the perfect place... one where your hero's always won, whether or not they really did on the field or not. I've been to other parks and loved alot of them too, but under it all the reason I love them and baseball in general is that feeling... running down that catwalk, the blue sky, the green grass, that perfect dirt... That is what baseball is about to me.

Happy opening day, everyone... for the next six months the lows arent really that low, and the highs are almost surreal... Everything is right in the world...

For, lo, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone;
The flowers appear on the earth;
The time of the singing of birds is come;
And the voice of the turtle is heard in our land.
--Song of Solomon (as read by Ernie Harwell)

Go Tigers, God Bless Ernie Harwell and root, root, root for the home team...