Monday, April 24, 2023

The Muppet Caper , Redux

I first wrote this fictional piece in 2010. I stumbled across it the other day when 99 comments Google had determined were SPAM showed up in the Spam file, but were not really. Some dated back as far as 2008. It made me chuckle.

It was a first sentence prompt flash piece.

Anyway, here it is again.

 The Muppet Caper

As soon as he heard the cell phone notify receipt of the text message, he knew there was no going back. Manta glanced at his Glock; Safety was off, silencer wound on tight. He didn’t want the damn thing falling off like it did that time he was just drawing a bead on Curious George. This time Manta was ready. Without another thought, the murderous manta ray kicked in the door of Apartment 5G.

When the door exploded, Fozzy Bear dove for his weapon. Too late. Manta did a perfect tuck n roll, coming out of it with his laser sight centered on Fozzy’s face. The bear stopped and put out his paws. 

“Dude, whatever they’re paying you, I’ll double it. The Muppets gig has treated me …………” 

Fozzy’s head exploded into a cloud of cotton stuffing.


“Ray, Why do they call you Manta?”

Manta looked up from the beer sitting in front of him. 

“Gee dumass, maybe it’s my head. I mean come on. It’s flat and my eyes are on top…………Oh, I see. You think it’s because of my first name. Well Mom and Dad might have been nothing but a couple of hammered sharks, but they did have a sense of humor."

Manta returned to staring his beer down.

“Well Ray, uh, I mean Manta, you followed through wonderfully. Taking Fozzy out is one more Muppet down. The folks over to Sesame Street will be thrilled."

Manta wasn't interested in having his butt kissed. 

“Just pay me and I will be on my way. ...... While your stupid internal feud with The Muppets has been a real hoot and great for my bank account, I think I am done now. Blowing away puppets just doesn’t seem right. I think it takes a harder man than I am to execute children’s toys. Or maybe I’m finally locating some moral high ground. ....... Imagine that?”

“Manta, You can’t mean that? Come on Ray.” 

Manta turned and stared hard at the puppet speaking to him. He said nothing, he just stared.

“ Oh sorry Manta. I keep forgetting. its Manta instead of Ray. There’s a reason they call me Forgetful Jones you know. ……"

Forgetful took off his starw hat and scratched his head. His eyes hardened.

"Manta, I don’t think you understand. You are done when I say so. Maybe you ought to take a peek at the photo again.” 

Forgetful Jones tossed a tired and frayed Polaroid picture on the bar.

Manta did not move. The one eye on the right twitched, turned and gave Forgetful Jones one of his infamous and disconcerting one eyed side long glances. 

“Yeah I know. You have Cabbage Patch. So what? She’s old news and a ho’ anyhow. I have a new squeeze now. One you assholes will never be able to hold over me.”

Forgetful wasn’t that easily putoff. 

“Oh yeah? Suppose I give Oscar the Grouch a call. He’d like nothing more than for me to flip the green light de-stuffing the bitch. That sick puppet just loves eating button eyes and nibbling on dainty doll shoes……with the feet still attached. Christ, he lives in a garbage can.”

Forgetful Jones paused. Looking up to the end of the bar, he raised his puppet hand in that universal gesture, “Hey barkeep, need some beer here.”

Leaning in close, Forgetful Jones whispered into what passed for one of Manta’s ears. “Bub, you can be the tough guy out here in the real world, but we both know you have a weak spot for Cabbage Patch.” 

In his stubby four fingered hand, Forgetful clenched a plain pink envelope. He slid it across the bar in front of Manta.

“Your money is inside. So’s your next hit. Same money. Get it done or Cabbage Patch gets slawed. Beer’s on me.”

Forgetful Jones tossed money on the bar, stood up and left.


“So it is you they sent. I knew it was coming. But why you? We have history Manta. Must be a big paycheck waiting for this hit.”

“No Clarissa, this job pays the same. I hope you know it’s just business. Nothing personal………Aht aht aht…….please don’t move.”

Clarissa stopped as if frozen. She smiled. “You know Manta, you are the only one of my many lovers I allowed to call me by my given name.” Clarissa straightened up and turned to face Manta. Still smiling she continued, “I hate to tell you this, but..........I really will miss you.”

A trap door under Manta opened. On his way down he pondered just how he hadn’t seen the ole hole in the floor trick coming. Damn that Miss Piggy. She was one smart pig.


Hmm ........ Music for this one. Let's see .............. Easy Peasey. Here is The Muppets and their famous cover of "Jungle Boogie"

Saturday, April 22, 2023

Jane Elliott

This is one awesome lady. In your face righteous indignation regarding Racism.

The notion that humans are members of different races has been accepted universally for over 250 years. Before that time we were one race made up of different colors with different physical features that were results of different environments, available foods, what climate we lived and grew up in. We all can trace our DNA back to Africa.

I think it was in college when I first heard the truth. Recently, I have been reminded of the truth that flies in the face of well entrenched common false perceptions.

Scientific efforts to break down Humanity into different races really gained momentum in the 19th century which conveniently coincided with efforts to justify the marginalization, conquest, exploitation and enslavement of people who were not white.

The uncomfortable questions regarding the European assault on the rest of the world had to be justified to keep mamby pamby do gooder losers from stirring up a bigger fuss. Nip it in the bud so to speak. These questions could no longer be brushed off.

The golden age of Science and Technology had begun. Scientists were called upon to study and justify scientifically, the racial assumptions used at the time  that European and American leaders used to excuse the rabid exploitation of the rest of the World. They were expected to prove that non-whites were less than human. These poor wretches would only prosper through the stewardship of the superior White Men of the West and their obviously surperior religion, Christianity.
 With Science and Christianity at their backs, the status quo was easier to maintain and cement into law and even expand.

These new "scientific" explanations became some of the bedrock principles of modern day White Supremacy. Their doctored "proof" contended 
the planet would be better served under White leadership. White folk were superior Homo sapiens; they just proved it, did they not? As the white locusts invaded and subjugated the rest of the World, they created noble and grand reasons why it was preordained that Caucasians should be in charge.

Here we are approximately 250 years later living and still dealing with that lie that we are not all the same. And sadly, along with accepting the idea of multiple races, we seem to have allowed the ugly baggage of racial superiority to continue to poison human relationships based on stupid lines drawn up by scientists putting a conclusion first and then creating the facts to support that conclusion.

**A few days ago, I came across a 30 second abridged video on Facebook that focused on this subject. An educator named Jane Elliott insisted that we are one race, not several.

I looked into her background and she has walked the walk since at least 1968 when she came up with the “Blue eyes & Brown eyes” exercise; an exercise that now days if she tried it in a third grade classroom, she might not just lose her job, but probably be in serious legal trouble also.

The “Blue eyes & Brown eyes” exercise was an exercise she came up with the day after Martin Luther King was shot in 1968. She wanted to teach her class of white third graders what it might feel like to be black.

On a Monday she broke the class into two groups: one group, kids with blue eyes and the other, children with brown and green eyes. The first half of the exercise would last the rest of the week. She told the brown eyed kids they were better, smarter, and prettier than the blue eyed children. Everything about them was better than those blue eyed losers. The following Monday she switched the groups around and insisted the brown eyed kids were now the inferior children for the week. At the conclusion of the exercise, she asked all of them how that separation made them feel. Predictably, they were not impressed when they were considered inferior. They did enjoy though the feeling of being considered superior. (Note- one version I read said the test was all in one day. I stuck with the one above)

Jane Elliott did not make any friends in her little town of Riceville, Iowa. She was ostracized and vilified from both sides of the political spectrum. What she did was considered too damaging to those poor white children’s minds. Regardless, she eventually gave up teaching children and took her show on the road and has been running workshops, meetings, and lectures for adults in government, the corporate jungle and neighborhoods ever since.

Jane insists that if not for the expansionist assholes 250 years ago who built arbitrary and fake barriers based on irrelevant standards like skin color , where someone came from, etc., the planet would be in much better shape and our populations, much further along in their advancements, socially and politically.

Jane has dedicated her life to her "One Race" idea. She has written numerous books and recorded many of her exercises and interviews over the years. Check her out. She is a very interesting lady.

That which divides us was forced on us long ago. It is time we stopped buying into the multi-race lie.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..................................................


Music Prompt - "Music about Racism" - And this popped up. From a music festival from over 40 years ago, here is Bob Marley with "War". And just because I also really like this other tune, included for  the two-fer on this post is War with their tune, "Why Can't We Be Friends".

Friday, April 21, 2023

Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly

A day or two ago Space X fired off the "Starship" from a launch pad on the Texas Gulf coast. At just shy of 400 feet long, it is the largest rocket ever built by Man. In what many considered a failure, the rocket blew up about four minutes in. At least that is what most folks I know thought of it. Some intermittent snickering and jokes aimed at Elon Musk were the result.

Apparently though, the company line is the launch was a success and they used optimistic terminology to describe the explosion, calling it a "Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly". That made me laugh, chuckle, chortle and I am still smiling whenever I think of that term.

Which brings up the language used by organizations, governmental, religious, charitable and private. No matter how awful or wrong the situation might be, these groups always try to put a positive spin on that negative situation by the way they manipulate our mother tongue.

Bureaucracies, no matter whether they are public or private, never want to use plain English when disorienting and confusing "Doublespeak" can take its place. "Rapid Unscheduled Disassembly" ranks right up there with some of the newer terms like "Alternative Facts", "Negative Patient Outcome",  "Enhanced Interrogation"; the list is endless. 

The word "Doublespeak" is a combining of ideas taken from the famous novel by George Orwell, "1984".  They are "Doublethink" and "Newspeak":

  •  Doublethink describes the ability to hold two contradictory ideas in your mind at the same time and accept the result. 
  • Newspeak is language designed to limit a range of thought.
  • Doublespeak is a hybrid of the two that seems to describe the overall goals of Doublethink and Newspeak.

 The main thrust of all of them is never speak the truth, always speak around it. Truth and facts are the enemy. Dimming the inner light folks are blessed with is the goal and makes them easier to control.

Changing the descriptors from plain English to the hybrid English does nothing to change the situation or event, and almost never changes the perception by anyone with half a brain. Yet the bureaucrats, cubicle clowns of industry, and the purveyors of the Politically Correct all seem to think it is okay to take out or ignore the words they feel are too harsh for our sensibilities or too factual for their own comfort. It is as if they feel creating new verbiage can somehow slip their sleazier efforts right by us. Sadly, oftentimes they are correct.

Most of the time their makeovers of the Lexicon to satisfy their specific group needs is nothing but comedy. Lately though, this messing with our language is getting out of hand. I can't seem to keep up, what with the need now to learn how to use pronouns in a specific way so as to not hurt someone’s feelings. Or maybe now I am expected to accept "Alternative Facts" as a viable option to "Real Facts". 

We are not just fucking our country up worse than ever with culture wars, religious wars and who can be the dumbest wars, we are also dragging the language we cherish down with it.   (537)

Life does not need to be this complicated ........................................


Again Rage Against the Machine comes up with the tune that satisfies. It is called "Testify" . It is a tad dated, but very relevant and on point sorta. These lyrics point to what The Machine, The Deep Pockets, the Thought Police and The Over Faithful want. 

They tug us this way, that way in an effort for us to live life their way.

Who controls the past now controls the futureWho controls the present now controls the pastWho controls the past now controls the futureWho controls the present now?

Monday, April 17, 2023

Audiovisual Cornucopia

Recently on Facebook, I find myself watching more and more of those short videos. They can really suck me in. Thousands and maybe millions of them are created daily by amateur and pro filmmakers that break down slices of Life into a 30 second video bites that suit our new 30 second attention spans.

Everything one could think of and not think of shows up on these video threads. The short films can tug the heartstrings, make us laugh, piss us off, and make us say "Far Fucking Out". I never know what the next video will be about.

This "Saving a Baby Bear" video is a perfect example of the arbitrary subject matter of the videos streamed. It combines a comedy with tug of the heartstrings undertones, resulting in a happy ending for all. A feel good piece for sure.

I have been introduced to creatures I never even knew existed; been fed new information regarding creatures I knew existed, but under a different spotlight. There's been accident moments caught on camera, Good Cop, Bad Cop videos and then there's the out of this World, never in a million years would I have considered it, if I had I not seen it in one of these videos.

It views like a crazy person's out of order visual encyclopedia. Often, I have to fight the urge of losing myself in the audiovisual cornucopia.

I have been online since those early days in the1990s when we paid a lot of money per minute for access to the World Wide Web. It only took me a New York minute to understand I will never understand nor be able to imagine all the possibilities of a World interconnected as this planet has become.

Seems lately though, I tend to focus more on the negative the Internet has dropped into our lives than the opposite. I know full well the Internet's positives probably outweigh the effects of the Evil that lurks around every corner and under every nook and cranny in the ether. Good, Bad or Ugly. The World Wide Web is a good reflection of what Humanity is in all its triumphs and its downfalls. (352 )

Later Gator ...............................


The first song to pop into my head was "Video Killed the Radio Star", by the Buggles. It was the frist music vedeo aired by MTV in 1981.  I watched it later that year with a co-worker on a lunch break in his Biddeford aparrtment. The tune has stood up to Time pretty damn well. Just this lyric keeps it in my mind: ..............

"We can't Rewind, we've gone too far"

Friday, April 14, 2023

What I Am

I ran across this meme not many minutes ago. I liked the in their face nature of it. This is what they are and kiss their ass if you don't like it.

I decided I should come up with something similar. So I wrote down the assertions below. They are not cast in stone; more of a refelection of how I see myself at this point in my life. 

I definitely have a piece of mistletoe firmly attached to my ass now. Giving up worrying what people think is so liberating.

I'm a Peckerwood Boomer Male.

I'm a Libtard and proud of that fact.

I believe in Equality, period.

I believe in Freedom of Choice, period.

I smoke the shit out of weed.

I am an agnostic who hates organized religion.

I piss off disagreeable people whenever possible.

My Existence is a trivial concern.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ........................................


Music ----- Hmm.

"Somewhere Over the Rainbow" - Sung by IZ. Best version of that tune ever.  A song of hope when hope seems far away. ....... Enjoy.

Sunday, April 09, 2023

Honoring Easter, Redux

This is the first Easter that has fallen on the 9th of April since 1950. It also happens that this is the first Easter that has fallen on my birthday while I have been alive and kicking such as what I call what I'm doing now, as kicking. More of an active shuffle would be more accurate.

If I was a religious man, I might feel the need to be indignant that God did not feel I was special enough to share more Easters with my birthday than he/she did.Well, God can breathe a sigh of relief. I have no issues with his/her offering me the cold shoulder. After all, it was me showing God my cold shoulder first.

In order to have aa happy birthday, I will refrain from posting the post I had wanted to. Instead, this is rerun of "Honoring Easter", a post I first wrote for Easter, seven years ago.

Hope you like it. 

"..... And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made."

"And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it."  ~~~ From the beginning of Chap Two - Genesis

Grouped together to the side of the Church entrance in small clusters of 3 or 4, the ladies hug and exchange gossip while carefully checking out what everyone is wearing.  Their white gloved hands hold small handbags in one hand and in the firm grip of the other hand, the wild child from their brood pulls hard like a dog on a leash.  They speak in whispers and cast secretive glances at the women in the other circles.  Their Sunday bonnets  are carefully placed to accentuate any movement of their heads while starched dresses swish, sounding like a soft wind passing through a picket fence.

The men, stiff in their Sunday go to Meeting best, stand across the main walkway in small groups smoking and speaking in low voices.  Their macho affection is passed hand to hand or the occasional squeeze of a shoulder.  An irreverent laugh is heard from one group or the other causing some of the flock to purse their lips in disapproval.  How dare levity be allowed to break the solemn moments about to come.

A church elder opens the two big doors.  Organ music flows out to the crowd announcing this week's broadcast from Station WGOD is about to begin.  Cigarettes are crushed, ties adjusted, and dresses smoothed.  The two genders come together on the main walk and re-group with family and close friends.  They head into church to find their seats.

This is how I remember it.  Not this exactly. but something like this happened every Sunday in the first 13 years of my life.  And though my parents were haphazard Episcopalians, Sunday was still a big deal in my youth.   Such a big deal in fact, I soon realized at about age 8, that if this was supposed to be a day of rest to honor our creator, then why did we spend the better part of an otherwise perfectly good day not following the example he had set.  God was taking a breather, then by jeezus, so should we.

Spending an hour getting ready to go to church, another 30 minutes in the car to get to church and then an hour plus alternating from sitting to kneeling and back again.  Back in the car and another 30 minutes home ......... well, in my childish mind, this church going activity could hardly be considered restful.  Not for me, that was for sure.   Going to church was the most work I did all week.  The six other days of the week I was busy being a kid wearing holes in my knees and not washing behind my ears.  Church on Sunday for me as kid was an obligatory punishment like sitting in the corner at school.  Only I had done nothing wrong. I had broken no rules.  Why was I being punished?

When I grew older and decided that God really didn't keep very good tabs on us, I went my own way.  But just in case he was there and paying attention to the silliness of me and what I got into,  I hedged my bets and honored his command to not do anything on that seventh day of the week whenever I could.

On Sunday, Laziness is next to Godliness ................ That's my take anyway.

Happy Easter


I plowed through more than a few bad Christian Metal tunes to find this song from Golden Resurrection. It is called "Identity in Christ". It aint great, but it is some of the best of Christian Metal I could find in less than an hour of browsing. I though a Heavy Metal twist on the Lord's message might make the message more palatable for me. ................................ Didn't work.

Thursday, April 06, 2023


use Blogger for the structural set up of my blog. I know there are better, more hip platforms out there, but well, Blogger supplies me with more than I need. When I set this all up in 2004, all I wanted was to replace the many partially filled spiral notebooks and occasional scraps of paper I was using to archive my knee jerked thoughts and concerns.

Blogger gave me exactly what I wanted. As I began to waste megabytes on a regular basis, I learned that Blogger was more than just a publishing machine and archive. Most of the extraneous features available I had no interest in at the beginning, yet now I have a passing interest in some.

Creating this blog gave me a platform upon which I became what I wanted to become - a better writer. I make no claims of even being a mediocre writer now, just a better writer than when I began the blog. Of the over 1600 posts I have published, some people found my drivel good enough to at least read, while some even took the time to comment. Comments are like gold in the blogging world as well as any other interactive platform out there.

On the Dashboard page, which is where everything starts on a Blogger Blog, all the features and tools are listed in a sidebar. If used as proposed, a blogger can track visits, organize comments, monitor the traffic and even give the blog a makeover whenever one wants. As basic as a Blogger Blog is ompared to other blogging platforms,  a Blogger blog can be a virtual rabbit hole of infinte volume.

The only sub surface section I really have any interest in is the Comments section.It breaks down Comments into three parts:

  • Comments "Awaiting Moderation"
  • Comments "Published"
  • Comments designated as SPAM
In the SPAM section I can go through the comments to check that they were indeed SPAM. I check this every so often, maybe once a month. I then decide for myself what was SPAM and what was not; just like Email accounts.

The SPAM file has only ever had at most, maybe ten, eleven comments any time I checked. This morning, 99 comments appeared out of the Internet Ether, some missing 16 years. All in all, Blogger actually does a fair job here. I always find one or two solid comments that had been misdirected and ended up in the SPAM can. It is a small price to pay versus so many spam comments weeded out. 

Besides the pain in the ass drudgery of going through 99 comments, having them out there lost in the betwix and between fog between designated points of contact all those years reinforces up the contradictions of Human Tech. Anything we humans took part in creating will never be perfect. We can only reach for perfection. It will always be just out of reach.

Keep it 'tween the ditches ..............................


Yesterday, I found this often irritating one hit wonder from back in the day. It has absolutely nothing to do with the post. .............. So what?  Please enjoy, uh... or at least grin briefly as you listen to "They're Coming to Take Me Away", a tune that topped out at #8 in the Top Ten in 1966. It created quite a bit of controversey at the time. In some areas, complaining parents caused it to be yanked from the local station's play list. I was 14. I thought it was a hoot. But be advised ...... It certainly won't pass the AR* PC standards of today.

* "AR" - Anal Retentive

Wednesday, April 05, 2023

Damn Dog

We had a scare yesterday evening. When my wife got home around six, she was prepared to fend off Maggie's daily enthusiastic greeting. Maggie is always happy to see us if we have been away any time at all. Yesterday evening she wasn't. My wife said Maggie did jump out of her chair but landed awkwardly. She stood with legs splayed and her head locked to the side. A panicked look on her mug completed the picture.

I was fixing pet suppers at the time. Usually, I have to sharply rebuke both the cat and the dog for getting in the way as they both seem to think their interference somehow speeds up the process of getting food to their bellies.

No Maggie. I paused a moment and called for her. Again no Maggie. BA and I looked at each other. I said, "Something's wrong". I went out to the living room to find Maggie back in the chair and looking very scared. When I tried to pet her, she withdrew like I had been beating her. 

I managed to convince her to come to the kitchen. She walked stiffly with her teeth bared in a way that it looked like she was grimacing in pain. I placed the food bowl in front of her and she did eat, but not with the voracious zeal she normally exhibited at meal times. Several times she would stop, sit and chew on her rear legs and hindquarters.

Last night I stayed awake as long as I could to monitor her. I passed out sometime around 4:30 AM. All through the night, Maggie appeared to become incrementally better.  When I awoke around 8:00 AM, she was full of piss and vinegar like any other morning. Life was beautiful again and I was saddled with blurry eyes and a foggier brain than usual from lack of sleep.

I was very grateful, yet very pissed at the same time. These animals we bring into our homes work their way into our hearts and just when we think the relationship will last forever, we are faced with the fact their mortality is even more fragile than ours. Last night I hovered over her and anguished over the possibility of losing her and how would I get on without her.

This morning with a clearer mind I became angry. Not angry at Maggie, but angry at my sorry ass selfish self. All that concern I pretended was for Maggie was really about me and my emotional well being, not hers. I spent my time wondering what I would do without her in my life. I was angry at how I felt helpless to improve her condition. Again, it was about me and my feelings, not her laying there suffering; both of us without a clue how to fix it.

I imagine my feelings and thoughts here are nothing unusual. Grieving for any being we love might include what I went through last night. Most of us have had to deal with it at least once or twice in our lives. Knowing this certainly does nothing to diminish the deep sadness we inflict on ourselves when faced with the hard times of a loved one. I guess it is just one of the rules of being human. To look at what another's pain is doing to us. Selfish maybe. But maybe a needed part of protecting us from falling apart.

So, we will monitor Maggie for awhile and hope she doesn't scare the shit out of us again like that. 

Damn Dog.

Hmm ........... What to pick for music? Music about dogs? Music about Grieving? 

Here is a nice little blues number from Pink Floyd called, "Seamus". Short and sweet with some nice blues riffs on piano. Enjoy.

Monday, April 03, 2023

My First Kiss

I was not quite nine yet in the early Spring of 1961 when I was informed the family was attending and taking part in the marriage of my oldest brother to the sister of the mayor of Indianapolis., Dick Lugar. He would later make a career in the U.S. Senate.

I was not impressed. I knew it would mean hours being dragged through several department stores while my mother outfitted me with just the right clothes. All I could foresee was boredom and too many adults in my business.

My attitude changed dramatically when we walked into the posh Severin Hotel in downtown Indianapolis. The lobby was incredible. It had high arched ceilings with the biggest chandelier I had ever seen dangling in the middle of it. Guys in uniforms stood near the front desk with their gloved hands clasped waiting for luggage to lug. Sharply attired men with flowers in their lapels stood behind a massive white granite counter and responded to people checking in and checking out. It was an awesome sight. 

After we had settled in at the hotel, we were "summoned" to a banquet room to, as Mom put it, "Pay Homage to Hoosier Royalty". She followed up with softly uttered expletives attesting to what comprised the upper crust in Indiana. My dad told her to cool it, while knowing she was just getting warmed up. Sparks had flown between her and Ann's mother the first time they met, months ago. Bertha had the nerve to be dismissive of my mom who was herself  Royalty, but from the Bay Area in California. 

We went into the cavernous banquet room and sat down. I could tell there was a cloud amassing already as the only thing in my mom's sight was Bertha Lugar as she made her entrance with the kind of flourish only someone heavy with self importance could. She smiled graciously at everyone she passed. Then she locked eyes with Mom. She smiled even more broadly and stopped. They exchanged strained but polite niceties while my dad sat rigid and uncomfortable in the presence of these two Grande Dames.The exchange of judgmental glares only lasted a moment and then Bertha was back on track. She preceded to rule over a scheduling meeting among the hired help and wedding party members regarding all the pomp and circumstance they would be expected to attend or stay away from. She scared the shit out of me.

The next morning, the children of the wedding party and guests who were staying at the hotel were corralled, put in a limo and driven to a Lugar affiliated house somewhere in a neighborhood of mansions. A woman wearing what I think now was a kind of servant outfit took charge of the six or seven of us for the day. Our presence was restricted to the yard, the porches, a big room next to the kitchen, and the kitchen itself. Absolutely no wandering around inside without an adult escort.

That poor woman had her hands full for sure. She did her best, but soon discovered she needed to focus more on the smaller snotty noses than myself and a dark haired girl named Kim. We were allowed outside and reminded to not leave the yard. The immense yard was surrounded on three sides by a thick border of manicured woods. It would be enough to satisfy our curiosity that day.

When we had been introduced back at the hotel, we both grunted at each other and looked anywhere but at each other. The fact that Kim was a girl and a stranger allowed me to ignore her without guilt. I was pleased when it appeared Kim felt the same. After all, girls were yucky. No good came from interacting with them. They always got me in trouble for one thing or another. So, we kept a mutual distance from one another that first hour. I will always regret that wasted hour.

We would argue later who first saw the tree in the back yard. It was the perfect climbing tree. Long rugged branches wide enough to walk on hands free if one dared. It was also as tall as it was wide, with top growth that would challenge even the most expert of tree climbers.

I was the first one to climb on board. After some hemming and hawing, Kim scrambled up like she was born to it. I found out later, her hesitation was because she was wearing a new dress and brand new Mary Jane's on her feet. I was also clothed in new duds and shoes, but well, I always prided myself in how fast I could break them in. Nothing did it faster than climbing a tree.

The activity of climbing broke our initial silence and we , or maybe it was me who started bragging about how I was the best tree climber on my street back in Maryland. Kim answered that challenge by climbing right by me.

A girl was not going to best me, the champion climber of Augusta Street. I took off after her. At some point I remember feeling my butt begin to pucker as the branches I was putting my faith in became scrawnier and scrawnier. I was a couple of feet higher than Kim, so I stopped. The look on my face must have told her I had hit my limit. She smiled and carefully with determination, climbed until she was a head above me. 

It was at this point, the nice lady looking after us hollered that lunch was ready. I will always remember the look on Kim's face and how it looked like I felt. Now we were going to have to climb down. For a moment, we were both cats stuck in a tree looking for any way out. 

The lady in charge spotted us swaying in the upper branches of that tree and immediately became hysterical. Her blathering only made the two of us more nervous which prolonged our failure to locate the balls we needed to actually begin our descent. 

I remember swaying in that tree long enough to consider it might be a firetruck and laughing firemen getting us down. That thought combined with the earlier embarrassment of a girl managing to out climb me put a fire under me. She wasn't going to beat me down. By the time I reached the ground, I decided she was as cool as any boy I ever knew. We cemented our friendship while being restricted to the porch the rest of the visit. The woman brought out a card table and dumped a ga-zillion piece puzzle on it. Kim and I talked the afternoon away and did some respectable damage to that huge puzzle.

Over the next couple of days, we became inseparable. During and after the Rehearsal dinner, we discovered that the last thing on any adult's mind was what their kids were up to. I discovered my first pleasures of Anarchy. We became sneak thieves who existed under tables clad in white cloth and fancy candles. We rode elevators  just to keep the operators busy. We had a blast.

After the wedding and just before the ceremonial toss of the Bridal bouquet, Kim challenged me to try to catch it. And I did, snatching it right out of the hands of an unmarried friend of the bride. Everyone laughed. I was pulled out of the crowd and the bouquet was tossed again. In the meantime Grande Dame Lugar snagged me and promised severe grief on my part if I did not behave. Kim stood by, her hands clasped, innocent and polite with a shit eating grin on her face. Mrs. Lugar shot her an angry glare.

"I know you had something to do with it. I will deal with you later." 

Kim's face went from that irritating cat ate the canary look to a face of real fear. Mrs Lugar was obviously a dangerous matriarch. You don't cross her. She was my mom with a different hairdo.

The reception fired up and was in full swing when Kim nudged me and pointed to the table holding many glasses of champagne. The champagne distribution tables were near a back wall in the banquet hall. Waiters came in a regular flow to refill their empty trays and drop any empty glasses they had. One person was in charge of filling the glasses and lining them up for pick up. There were moments when the table was unattended while the pouring attendant disappeared through a door with trays of empty glasses, then coming out with more champagne and clean glasses.

Right next to the tables, chairs had been set up along the wall so the folks making merry could take five between their manic moments of revelry. Kim's plan was to wait for our chance and when no one was looking, climb under the table and snatch glasses when ever we could. 

The plan worked flawlessly. I am not sure how long we were under that table, but it was at least long enough to drink several glasses of champagne each. We snickered and laughed. We kissed. It was awkward and I felt very odd after. I wonder if it was the booze or the kiss. I would never know, for we were discovered and routed out from under that table. The rest of that night was an unpleasant blur of spinning rooms and puke for me as I guess it was probably the same for Kim. 

My mom wouldn't talk to me the next day until we landed at National Airport in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC.


I started trying to find a tune about first kisses. Didn't like any of the ones I picked out. I realized this story ended up being more about early transitions, including that first kiss. It was also the first time I got shitfaced at a wedding. Weddings would later become tough events for me to deal with when there was an open bar. This trip to Indianapolis was also a trip of discovery. Girls could be cool and there were other mothers even scarier than mine. A life event that helped me on my way.

So here is "Light My Fire", by The Doors. The connection to the tale might be tenuous, but it made sense to me at the time.

Saturday, April 01, 2023

The Bullshit Pit

This meme passed through my Facebook page earlier today. It is a general statement with no context, no proof, nothing but a knee jerk thought supposedly from a famous author. 

Actually, according to Snopes, Fyodor did not say this, write this, or insinuate the idea in public ... ever. Just another quote misattributed to a famous person to support current political or cultural hyperbole. In this case it is an obvious effort to support the "logic" of "Cancel Culture".

As soon as I read it, I thought something smelled. In my several efforts to slog my through Dostoevsky's writing over the years, I am pretty sure he never used one sentence for anything when five or more would do. He was a Russian author and so very long winded. My shorter than normal American attention span hated every word I ever read of his. Not his fault. That is on me.

All this points up there is no relief from the constant barrage of bullshit used by various groups, cultural, political and religious, to make their points and push their agendas. Truth relying on facts no longer matter. Whoever is the loudest, the most over the top and tells the baldest lies gets the lion's share of the limelight.

It matters little that the Right has been the worst of the bunch, the Left does it also. And until we can bring some calm and sanity back to our interactions on the Web and out in the World, we will need to practice due diligence and check everything we read, hear and even see with our own eyes. 

Believe nothing.

Happy April Fools .......................................


It was easy to find a tune that fit my attitude towards the Internet and all that it contains right now. I googled, "music about bullshit". My second listen was the Dune Rats wonderfully anarchistic tune, "Bullshit". As much as I know I would probably not live through the recording party that ended up as a video, I would so much like to have been there. Defintiely brought back memories, good and bad from back in the day when I was often both good and bad. Again it is a tune best enjoyed at WOW.