Friday, December 2, 2016

Ug and Craythur -- That Old Time Religion

Everyone probably knows I'm heavily into religion, with a slight difference from your everyday fundamentalist; to me, it's all good, with a few caveats, a big one, that it be life-affirming. There's nothing like a little transcendentalism to start your day. That's the way I get going, with a big difference being that now that I'm losing my memory, I have a hard time remembering later in the day what spiritual stuff I did. I only hope it's still cumulative in my various spiritual centers without me having to consciously recall it!

That's not my idea today, though, although that would be a great one someday. Today, I'm thinking of a time way back, way back before any of us were alive, in fact even before Cain and Abel were around, when there was another pair of first brothers, Ug and Craythur. (Look in any good encyclopedia of religion for more on that particular dynamic duo. My picture of Ug or Craythur -- scholars on divided on which one it is -- has him tapping out a message, presumably a message of affection for the other.)

I mentioned religion. This memory hit me today: Ug and Craythur, like Cain and Abel, loved whichever deity was current in their time. There's an old song we used to sing in Sunday School, "Give Me That Old Time Religion," that had a interesting (and revealing) verse:
Give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion, give me that old time religion, it's good enough for me.
It was good for Ug and Craythur, it was good for Ug and Craythur, it was good for Ug and Craythur, it's good enough for me.
But enough about that. I feel the need to riff on their names. Ug and Craythur go into a comedy sketch, centering on their names:
I'm Ug.
I'm Craythur.
Craythur is craythur than Ug.
But Ug is pretty crayth.

How'd you get to be Ug?
My mom looked at me and said Ug.
How'd you get to be Craythur?
After Ug, anyone would be Craythur!

Friday, October 7, 2016

It's Incredulous, But I Believe

I made the mistake the other day of allowing the old song "I Believe" to strike my sense of hearing. It just happened. I was messing with my phone, then before I could stop it, it was playing this song. I heard the first few words -- which actually is all it takes -- before ripping the earbuds from the thing. It was too late. So since then, it's been with me. "I believe that every time I hear this song, there's no escape!"

Well, since I'm infected, let me invite you in. You must remember it anyway: "I believe for every drop of rain that falls a flower blooms..." And it goes from there, rising in intensity till the heavens are swaying in agreement; this one guy's wondrous belief makes the planets spin, the various rings that are their motions through space happen, and in the end all is right with existence. Starting with just a single drop of rain.

Now I'm singing it. The past few days I've been singing it, the bits I remember. And all day today. I've only come out of retirement at this blog to write this post and hope that it helps break the song's curse. It's got hold of me and bad. I don't make graphics anymore -- to tell the truth -- but I went back to it today to make the crummy pelican graphic above. Also part of what I hope helps break the curse. I think the song mentions birds, maybe it does; let's say it does; I'm not listening to it to find out. If you write in, don't give me the lyrics or the context, just a "Yes it does" or "No it doesn't" will suffice.

Today while singing it I went into variations on the theme. Such as, "I believe for every drop of rain that falls, it makes me pee." A little juvenile, I know, but everyone does it. I haven't got to the point that rain makes me automatically pee, but I suppose it could happen in a few years. Everyone's getting older. Then, continuing this version, it seems I was going, "Ladies, drop your pants, men your flies, and join me in this urinous song with a steady stream to show that all of us, today and evermore, simply BELIEEEEVVVE!" Then, magically, it quit raining and that was that; my pants were still dry.

That wasn't the end of the song and its curse. I'm hoping that comes tonight. Working through curses is not something I've perfected, so we shall see. But "I believe it can be done, the race is run, the peeing's done, so that's why I -- yes, I, that's why I, little old I -- I believe!"

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

I Can Tie My Own Shoes

Some of my handiwork

As I get older, I've been more appreciative of the lessons of the past that really "took." I'm the first to admit that I didn't learn everything they taught. It probably wouldn't be too far off the mark to say, in fact, that most of it ("whoosh!") ... went over my head. Even so, I can balance my checking account, change channels on the TV, and sit up and take nourishment. Life is good.

Everyday I get out of bed. And my dog Roughage is sleeping in the crate by my dresser. Because I want her to stay asleep -- which she usually does -- I dress in the dark. Which is harder than it sounds, because with the least lack of attention I'll get my shirt on backwards. Every time that happens, say I need to reach to get my phone, it looks like I'm scratching my armpits. Embarrassing when someone sees.

Part of dressing is putting on your shoes and tying them. OK, so there I am in the dark, literally tying my shoes without seeing them. It's amazing, but the lesson learned in school of tying my shoes really "took," since I can do it without the slightest difficulty. At least you'd have to admit they're tied good enough for a guy to pad around the house in the early morning hours, although, I'd still claim it's a good enough job even for public display!

In the photo, I believe that's a shoe I bought once when I was on an exercise kick. I seem to recall it was a Tuesday, after a long weekend of eating myself sick (probably a holiday), and resolving, "I'm gonna die if I don't do something." I bought the shoes secondhand, and who knew they had shoelaces long enough to make a sturdy noose. So I had to double-tie them. You can see the lump in the middle is twice the normal girth. Which I never actually learned, but I was still able to improvise and accomplish it.

My usual shoes, which I have on my feet even now, are tied in the classic single tie manner. I'm not tooting my own horn -- not much, anyway - but they're tied beautifully! And all done in the dark, again, so as not to disturb Roughage in her dreams. With me thinking, literally as they're being tied, "Wow! I"m very good at this! They taught me, perhaps someone said I'd never get it, I don't know ... But I did!"

I don't know what else to say about it, except maybe just to repeat as sincerely as I can, I'm not bragging, that's not what this is about. Maybe I'm encouraging someone. Say you're someone who had trouble learning, and now you wear only slip-ons, and you're afraid someone will find out your secret, that you just didn't get it about the shoelaces. The encouragement would be -- it'd about have to be this -- that you'd figure out how to tie your own shoes, too, and do it completely on your own. It doesn't have to be in the dark, unless you want your dog to stay in bed.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mother's Brewing Company

I was just inches from the Mother's Brewing Company's truck. Leading me to think, Everybody's gettin' in on the act! With their own brewing company, since beer is so extremely popular, and has been ever since they overturned Prohibition.

Beer was never popular at our place, though, growing up. The idea of my mother having her own brewing company would be ridiculous. She hated even the existence of beer and never had a good thing to say about it. Grandpa was a mean guy when he was drinking, and Mom said he used to keep a bottle stashed in the outhouse and she'd pee in it occasionally. Which might've been what made him mean. I'd be mean, too, if someone pissed in my hootch...

But mothers aren't all equally made. Of course there's mothers who are up for anything. Which has to be the story behind this mother starting her own brewing company.  But can she stand the competition? Does she even foresee it? From father and the children.

That's the set-up. We now have a scene where mother walks into the room and says she's got her own brewing company, Now we're all set. But father isn't one to be shut out, since he's the man and thinks he's in charge; I've got the damned schlong and it'll be a schlong damned time before you get the best of me! He walks into the room and says he's got his own brewing company, too, Father's Brewing Company. Bold move, especially when he announces, Now we're all set, our family's complete. Because that only rankles the kids, who immediately get together with their pals -- the boy's club and the girl's little clutch of friends. The kids step into the room and announce they've also started breweries, the Son's Brewing Company and the Daughter's Brewing Company. Now, at long last, the family is complete. Everyone's got something they're in charge of.

I like this part. To me this is where it gets interesting. Because it shows it's basically endless. No sooner does it pass the lips of the girl that "Everything's complete" when through a series of doors come Grandma and Grandpa. Who announce that they also now have brewing companies of their own, or the intention to start them. Being shortsighted, however, through the same set of doors appear their parents, older Grandma and Grandpa, with older Grandpa cackling, "Don't put the cart in front of the horse; you're not putting one over on us!" Brewing companies for one, brewing companies for all!

Never let it be said that I myself am shortsighted. I'm nothing like this older Grandpa, who's thinking Now all is complete just because I and older Grandma have our own brewing companies. I can see the implications, with an even older Grandma and Grandpa -- withered and badly bruised from decades in the afterlife -- coming through the door, with even older Grandma cackling malevolently, "Not so fast! You've forgotten us that fast?!" It's true, why wouldn't they also want their own brewing companies?

OK, it goes on like that, even older Grandmas and Grandpas popping in from the afterlife, each generation looking worse than the one before. Until, when you get back too far the degeneration into corpse soup is so pronounced that someone just opens the door and flings in a bucket of slop. It's about there that the generations' desire to have their own brewing companies comes to an end.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Thousand Years From Now

Here's a self-help exercise I thought of earlier tonight. Which has helped me put a few things into perspective, so now I'm not nearly as bummed out.

I was really feeling lethargic and even depressed. Everyone has "real lives," and in very short order they can become clogged up with various demands on you, this or that person holding something against you, criticizing you, and basically getting you in a corner. So every damned day seems like it's just dragging along. I'm still a bit depressed, but definitely not as much. Not as long as I'm daydreaming and singing about a thousand years from now!

This little song I started singing dirge-like to a very slow version of the tune of "You're In The Army Now." Thinking ... once again, of those glorious far-off days of a thousand years from now, when everything about me, everyone else, and every problem I either have or think I have will be so definitely forgotten ... it's basically ridiculous to even think about it now.
"A thousand years from now,
A thousand years from now,
Nobody then will even care...
A thousand years from now."
That's the basic gist of the thing, but I'm tossing in some riffing on the words, like "No one will even know my name," "No one will care and that is true," and "No one will give the faintest shit, a thousand years from now."

In addition to singing the song I'm thinking how true it is. A thousand years ago was 1016, OK? And I assume some guy like me, probably pounding out shoes for the horses of a village, was having some problems with others. Couldn't get the metal ... or his reputation had taken a hit; a horse crapped on him during a fitting and he shot it in the ass. Something harmless like that. Well, a thousand years has now passed, and we have no idea about that guy, who he was, who his friends were, what the horse's name was, whether the horse ever walked again, anything! A thousand years has passed and it's all completely forgotten.

Because a thousand years leaves zero witnesses. They've all moved on. A thousand years from now even Lee Harvey Oswald won't raise any immediate thoughts. But they'll speak his name and a computer will regurgitate something. But it's not going to be mentioning me ... with the relatively little reputation and problems I have. Even though they feel big to me right now. And even though I'm down in the mouth, going through the motions, all lethargic, yawning, etc. A thousand years from now heals everything.

"You did what???" "I don't know. Is it even gonna matter ... a thousand years from now?"

It actually won't matter -- none of it -- 30 years from now. I'm sure it won't. I'm 63, and as we all know I'm going to die when I'm 85. That's only 22 years away! Meaning, in 30 years I'll already have been dead eight whole years. And I find it hard to believe anyone's going to still be complaining about me then. The average guy dies now and you're immediately forgotten after they've scattered the ashes.

You got a problem? Put it in a larger perspective. What difference will it make a thousand years from now? It won't make any difference at all.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year: Circle The Wagons

Friends, I've taken a big step for myself. After all these years of being at everyone's mercy, being tugged and pulled, rather relentlessly, and being all things to all people, I've resolved at long last to "Circle the Wagons." From this point forward, everything changes. I'm going to make soul progress, find my perfect place.

This is a rather personal, spiritual statement, I realize. But having spilled my guts so often on the blog as to my dissatisfaction and dissolution, I feel it helpful also to note my progress, the things that will make for satisfaction and perhaps even healing. Maybe it will be of benefit to others also deciding to Circle the Wagons. I feel I owe everyone that chance.

The Wagons is my term for That Realm above. According to sources, you can profitably visualize it directly at the top of your head proper, or, as I've chosen, between two and four inches above the head. The connector, as it were, is said not to be merely imaginary, but an actual (unseen with the eyes) channel of the subtle currents of the body. Being seen in artwork as a circle made up of petals, and everything in wonderful order, containing currents/energy, those are my "Wagons," not just unconsciously but consciously Circled. Protecting and providing.

Sounds weird, I know. But, seriously, you wouldn't expect me to carry on the way I've been, not if I can make things better, whether it's weird or not. I look at it this way: Either you've got the tail wagon the dog or the dog wagon the tail. It's not just a case of six-of-one half-dozen-of-the-other; it makes a difference to the dog who's wagon who. If the tail's wagon the dog, the dog could end up permanently propped against a tree, the elimination instinct never satisfied. Whereas if the dog's wagon the tail, he'll pee and get on with his day. My dad used to say, "Piss or get off the pot," and that's good enough for me.

There is, however, a time for everything. Who knows the adjustments we go through? When it's mid-year, I might be mired down with the tail wagon the dog. But New Year is a time for a new start, and hopefully with a determined follow-through it will be so. And so, let it be stated: From hence forth, from this day, this dog's wagon the tail, the Wagons being decidedly Circled! I believe it shall be done.

I started it this morning, visualizing a thousand (alternately 10,000) Wagons in a perfect circular arrangement, a lot like in old westerns, holding off the slings and arrows -- mostly arrows -- of the enemy. "I am impervious behind my Circle of Wagons! No man -- regular guy or savage -- can pierce this line, this Circle!" (If you remember one of my earlier resolutions -- I believe it was 2009 -- I had much the same scenario, except it was based on the Gingerbread Man ("Can't touch me, I'm the Gingerbread Man!"), but this time I hope to keep it. And, frankly, I like a Circle of Wagons more than 10,000 Gingerbread Men; that daily suggestion led to substantial weight gain.)

There are wonderful truths at work here, much like Horatio or someone said in Shakespeare, "Something something something dreamed of in heaven and earth." Right there's the validation, all the validation I need, to press on, Circling the Wagons, and having all the defense/offense I need ... for January 1, January 2, January 3, and beyond.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

An Official Tax Write-off Post

We're almost at the end of the year. And for the most part my blog has been inactive for a number of months. Which, according to sources, puts me in a rather precarious tax situation that, frankly, I would rather avoid.

My tax guy, Jeremy, the same guy who gives me most of my life counsel, including quite a bit of bad stuff, but mixed with much good, looked into blog law going back roughly to the 1600s. To be more accurate, blog law at that time was mixed in with newspaper law -- I'm trying not to be too arcane. Columnists at that time, then through the centuries since, were the same as bloggers, and newspapers came into full compliance with tax restrictions by writing "An Official Tax Write-off Post." That's what this is.

Jeremy counseled me to be more diligent in 2016 with my posts. If you post the bare minimum, the exact figure of which he doesn't know, presumably something between 1 and 31, you can get away with more. The officials will overlook a lot if they see some actual effort's being made. That effort, and keeping your nose clean in general, turns them away, smooths official ruffled feathers, and your tax bill is usually nullified. Think of it as Passover, he said. Objectively there's nothing sacred about animal blood, but if that's what they ask for, that's what you give.

Times being what they are, of course, and blogs having nothing to do with religion, once the force behind the most typical tax poobahs discerns an effort, that's when they lower their metaphorical guns of attention. I'm not saying anything that most people driven by instinct don't know. You might sweat out getting any particular task done if you aren't compelled, but once that compulsion is there, it's an imperative. Look at me right now! I'm fluent! And, honestly, I haven't been able even to whisper for the last month. I'm desperate to set the record straight.

I may as well say it, I've been down. I even qualified for a home health nurse to visit my house a couple times a week. I ate most of the sandwiches they gave me if I took it slow, but would only blow bubbles in the soup. Again, on the advice of Jeremy, to keep them coming. To put it bluntly, I've been virtually comatose, a few times to the point of twitching and babbling and messing. Not pretty. Cindy my Nurse tried to keep Jeremy out, but he came in through the bathroom window when she was out for a smoke.  And told me, It's the end of the year! The taxman draweth nigh! I roused, "How nigh?" He blurted out, "Like a wolf at the door!"

That was this morning. Since then I've been fighting with my occupational therapist, "I've got to get to the damned computer!" She protested, leading me to cry and kick and bluster, and mess myself again. Here it is now, early to mid afternoon, and I'm stuck! If the taxman was drawing nigh this morning, like a wolf at the door, what's he doing now? He might be out of control, looking for someone to destroy. And if I lose everything, I'll never make it. I need this house. It's winter. I can't be out in the cold, I'll die.

So there you have it. I don't want to be here, that's for sure. I don't want to spill my guts like this, for the gawking eyes of an ungrateful public. Hell with it, I say! What business is it of anyone, my travails? It's no one's business...

Thus I hath begun, and thus hath been published, and thus hath ended My Official Tax Write-off Post.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

The Great Piss Storm of '013

I'm wistful today. You see, it's the time for the Holiday Extravaganza, a wonderful event that's timed every year to coincide with winter and Christmas. Which was fun to go to until they changed some of their policies.

Someone asked me to go several years ago. And they were right, the various handiwork holiday crafts were nauseating to see, but, as it turned out, were especially a delight to piss on.

This is true. It's one of the few Craft Sale/Holiday Extravaganza-type events I'd ever seen that had a lenient policy on pissing on the merchandise and exhibits. Which was especially welcome to me, because when I see a lot of that stuff, Santa Clauses with the rounded heart bored in his chest area, denoting the heart of Santa offered up to the world, etc., I experience one of two reactions: 1) A spinning feeling that makes me feel faint; and, 2) The need to piss on it, thereby expressing my revulsion.

But enough about me. Except to add, I went to the first Extravaganza I heard about, and was unprepared for what I would see. Which is to say I'd relieved myself sufficiently at home, then when it came time to express my feelings I could only muster a few minor tinkles, something like an eighth of a cup were it measured. Hardly worth my time.

The second Extravaganza was in '012 (Ought 12). Again I didn't make a production of it, just enough of an output to say I had one. Because, frankly, these days no one cares, really. You tell someone what you did and they always answer with something they did. Leaving my story to wither on the vine and get no kudos. I hate that about life these days. It's almost enough to make me strain real hard, like right now, till my face turns red, and, oops, there went about an eighth of a cup...

The third Extravaganza was in Ought 13. This time I didn't care what anyone thought. So I crammed for it. I knew -- by now I knew what they'd have -- I'd see lots of those Santas with the rounded heart, PLUS -- and this was really what got me going -- some touching sculptures of Santa kneeling at Jesus' manger. I had drunk probably three pots of black coffee. The level in me was something like this, starting at my groin and going to my nostrils. I was noticeably yellow with jaundice, the liquid I was packing.

Long story briefly told, I got to the Extravaganza and was amused to see a few of the better pissers taking little demur tinkles on the merchandise. Just enough, really, to season them, but not enough to put you in the books. But it's a big place, with plenty to piss you off. Like the little old ladies -- who were cool hippie chicks in the '60s -- fidgeting with their tablecloths, etc., and rearranging the merchandise for the best psychological presentation. I saw that -- and these are all things that push my buttons -- and went into a whirl.

When you go into a whirl, it's a brain function, I'm guessing. But it starts in the gut. You get a queasy feeling, kind of like what a volcano feels. You know you've got to do something; this thing is inexorable. Similar to having to sneeze when the sun's out. I took in the whole panorama of the place. The little old ladies, the holiday sprays, the "old-fashioned" children's horses, trees trimmed with ornaments, and especially those Santas with hearts bored in them -- tiny hearts, medium ones, and big hearts... Oh god!

What a terrific memory this is for me -- although for the others, I'm sure they regretted the normal liberal pissing policy. I went into a spin -- I was stirred in the depths -- and essentially lost my consciousness, having trained it nearly completely on the task at hand, destroying their Holiday Extravaganza with such a prodigious gushing output. It rivaled a small town's water tower rusting through, if it's not too immodest to say so.

I crossed my eyes and could see the yellow in my own eyes, the level sloshing back and forth as I walked. Walked? I strode, unzipping in a most determined, focused way. It'd ruin my pants if I didn't get it out. This son of a bitch -- if I'm permitted one vulgarity -- couldn't be stifled, couldn't be stymied. It was like a train coming through town; you might make an ordinance against it in the future, but it's vain to try to stop it in the present moment.

I literally saw the heavens opened, but I cried out, "Not now, Lord, I've gotta go!" And ... I did. Everyone dove for cover and I did what had to be done. Spraying, dousing, flooding that arena with so much piss -- they've literally got a marker on the walls 10 inches from the floor denoting the level. I know it was such a mess I got some on me and had to wash my jeans after all.

This was no small deal. The merchandise -- the good, bad, and in-between -- was all ruined. Leading to the rules change in Ought 14 banning pissing on the merchandise all together. Which I heard about from others, since the bastards banned me.

Ah well, and today's the day. I saw it mentioned in the paper just as I was finishing my third cup of coffee, and thought, "If only..." But it could never happen. Not again. Because I'm a good guy and respect the rules. Live and let live. I'll just pee later in a more appropriate place.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Share The Cocky Coin

Yea! The story of me being cast into poverty and deprived of property has a happy ending! All is restored, all is right in my cozy little world! Thanks to the very real power behind miracle graphics like this great one, "Share the Cocky Coin." The Cocky Coin struts into view, everyone looking, everyone's pointing, "He's the man. A dollar that knows his worth. Gives wealth and happiness. And never been known to fail."

My troubles started in a similar way, but with the blessing reversed into a curse, when I foolishly posted the "Share This Empty Wallet" graphic. At that time you could've called me a skeptic, a non-believer in the various Facebook posts people make. Share pictures of wads of money and you'll have money, all that. But as I found, to my regret, there's actually something real going on there. The Empty Wallet graphic wiped me out. I lost my house, my garage, and 99% of my possessions, quickly, just like that.

In poverty then, it's remarkable that I didn't think of immediately counteracting it with a money-making graphic. Although it's entirely likely that the Curse Blob, the power behind these graphics, wouldn't have blessed me. It's more likely he clouds your mind to that possibility until, in the negative case, he's dealt you some destruction. Otherwise, as is easy to see, people would be trifling with him like an on-off switch. Still, he's apparently a lot more into blessing than cursing, since "getting money" graphics far outnumber those taking it away.

Whether there was any clouding of my mind that went on, I don't know, except in my experience I felt like I was kind of in a haze. But with the passing of time I really set my mind to making things better. Which led to my Elvis Presley pilgrimage, all the way to Mobile, AL. Frankly, I thought that would instantly restore my property. It didn't, although it turned out to be an important step in clearing my mind -- giving me Elvis-like powers to think it through -- which then opened my mind/heart to sharing the Cocky Coin.

How many times have I seen the Cocky Coin graphic on Facebook? Hundreds of times! Not necessarily from people who went from riches to poverty, but from those already in poverty. But I didn't know their experience. So I ignored it. This time, my mind completely cleared, and also blessed by Elvis, I shared it, then stood back ... and watched in awe.

OK, you have to picture this. I'm on the half acre of land I inherited from Grandma and Grandpa. The garage is gone, the house is gone. All I can see is a big patch of bare space where the house used to be, along with a hole for the cellar (not taking up the entire foundation). I shared the Cocky Coin on a neighbor's computer and rushed back across the road. What I saw next, you won't believe. But every word is true.

There was such a swirling of energy over the site, I nearly had to close my eyes in the glory of a presence. And dust. It was noisy, there was shaking, and everything started coming together, this piece to that piece, materials appearing and joining themselves. I beheld walls appearing from nowhere, and pictures on the walls and furniture. The covering of the outside of the walls and the roof and its covering came into view. It was like sinews and skin forming. I literally held my breath in fear. Behind me the garage assembled itself in seconds. And not to be outdone, although presenting a more humble spectacle, my old shed reappeared, as shabby as ever.

I went into the house and everything I had lost was restored, including my computer. But nothing seemed especially improved. The SHIFT key on my HP computer, which broke off less than a month after I got it, was still missing. Pretty good computer design, HP -- Huge Piece of crap. The Curse Blob, now the Blessing Blob, had a sense of humor there. But he was more gracious with the meat in my freezer. Nearly everything previously freezer burnt was immaculate and delicious-looking!

I checked my credit union accounts online. What previously was zeroed-out was restored, just as though nothing had happened.


Now I call you, neighbors, to rejoice with me! I'm a very good person, there's no question of that. I deserve everything I have. And I have learned my lesson once and for all: Whenever I'm not happy with what I have, I know where to get more.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

My Comeback Special

Pix of me recreating Elvis' Guitar Man production number

It's been terrible being homeless and broke. I've always had trouble in my life, of course, but nothing like what came from the "Share This Empty Wallet" curse. The Curse Blob took away everything I had, short of the clothes on my back and a few incidentals. I found that life's a bitch, a real bastard. But it also reminded me a lot about myself, the stuff you don't think of till you're down and out. One pleasant surprise I got was, I'm still an incredibly fast runner, given a drumstick in good enough condition and a camp of emaciated bums on my tail. Age hasn't slowed me down.

Among the other things I learned, or was reminded of was, This is no way to live. Which is why I spent some time looking deeply into myself to find a way back. Curse or no curse! And for me, there's one constant, one source of strength and renewal, as true now as when I was 5-years-old, Elvis Presley. Just the sight of Elvis, or the sound of his voice, or being reminded of his great songs and movies, is all I need. If push came to shove, I could literally hulk out over Elvis, OK?

Then I started thinking of the '68 Comeback Special, and immediately set out after my own comeback. In one of the hobo jungles I traded a moldy (albeit well-scraped) donut for a guitar and took off. Standing at the edge of town I sang a plaintive, "Nothingville," bidding a fond farewell to my "rat's race-snail's pace" hometown. Middle finger up, "Sayonara, suckers!" Because it took me a while to get a ride, I lapsed into Three Dog Night's "Easy To Be Cruel," an old hitchhiking tradition of mine since the '70s.

Going all the way from the upper Midwest to Mobile, Alabama, is one ambitious hitchhike. But it had to be done for the sake of my comeback. I had so many rides with oversexed tubby men -- my least favorite variety among sexual opportunities -- that I stopped in this one joint for a decent rendezvous with the ladies. They immediately saw I had the old Presley swagger on and were on me, me encouraging them with "Let Yourself Go." "Cool it, baby, you ain't got no place to go, just put your arms around me real-tight, Enjoy yourself, baby, don't fight. All you gotta do is just ... let yourself go." Ummm! That's the sweet spot, baby.

I got stuck along the way and needed to pick up a few bucks. I've done this before -- such as with Manpower -- and you never know what you're going to get. This time I met this big bastard at a bar, who told me to come over and move some boxes for him. When I say "bastard," I know bastards very well. This guy was treating his lady badly, very typical stuff, but something that still gets me. My inner-Elvis, naturally, was riled up and I ended up in a no-holds-barred fight with "Big Boss Man." "Well, you ain't so big! You just tall, that's all!"

But it turned out his lady saw more of a future with the big boss man than a guitar man like me, even though I sought to convince her with "It's Hurts Me." "It hurts me to see him treat you the way that he does. It hurts me to see you sit and cry. When I know I could be so true, if I had someone like you. It hurts me to see those tears in your eyes." I fought Big Boss Man, but the squeeze stayed behind, foolishly choosing that lunk over me. Which really did hurt me.

Anyway, I had Mobile, Alabama in mind. I would keep going -- the highways lit up through the night with headlights and taillights -- as long as I physically could. Finally, though, I had to have a decent meal, and got it by performing at this joint that also featured a stripper called Little Egypt. One look at her and I could tell why the Egyptians have had such an enduring culture. Her dance, yummy, delicious, made me think of the shifting sands and the great pyramids.

With a bit of money in my pockets as well, I thumbed my way all the way down to Mobile, Alabama, and did a couple Elvis gigs at a club they call Big Jack's. Reflecting on my challenges since the Empty Wallet Curse, I came to embody my "Trouble." "You're looking for trouble, you come to the right place. You're looking for trouble, just look in my face. I was born standing up and talking back. My daddy was a green-eyed mountain jack. Because I'm evil, my middle is misery. Yeah, I'm evil .... So don't you mess around with me." I do this real sultry pronunciation of evil like "Evolll," sneering my lip up real cool.

So that's how it went. I didn't need to be there forever. I just had to know I'd been there, I'd made the full pilgrimage. By the time I got home, I knew I'd have the answer. It worked for the original (and there's only one) Elvis Presley, my hero, my spirit guide, and possibly my true father, on the off chance that my mother met him in 1952, which she didn't. She was in the same room with Elvis, backstage in 1956, but by then I was already 3.

The Guitar Man was headed back home, awaiting his answer. Cue the music, "Also Sprach Zarathustra," for a new day's at hand! My comeback's nearly complete!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Life's A Bitch, A Real Bastard

It's been a tough few days, like an eternity of torment, ever since I was stupid enough to share the Empty Wallet graphic and lose my money, my house, and my life to The Curse Blob. Hell, I even lost my garage! If there's a plus side, I've seen how tough life can be, and I'm ready for it to quit. Get me back to normal!

Here's what I've concluded: I've personally suffered more than any other person alive now or anyone who's ever lived. Were I held down, depantsed, and tickled till I peed straight up, it couldn't be any worse. I've cried out to whatever gods there are or that may have ever existed, "Kill me, kill me now," but life's a crap shoot, it goes on like it or not. I'll tell you one thing, if I ever get out of this mess, I'll be selling T-shirts that say "Life's a bitch, a real bastard." Don't anyone steal that line -- it's my copyright -- and I believe that's how I'm going to pay for retirement.

As it is right this minute, though, those plans are for a day hopefully still to come. As things stand now, I'm in the depths of depression, the slough of despond, and the pits of p-- rottenness. With no way up, no way out. Are there others around me? Yes, but their suffering doesn't appear to be as great. Even in the muck and mire of hellish torment, at least they're still rolling around, enjoying the fleeting pleasures of one another's bodies. I guess it's pleasure, but I for one am not going to add disease to my current misery. That's how I've always been.

One thing that's beneficial, I guess, is I've been able to see how others live. To think I used to sit and stew that my house wasn't as good as other people's. Now, if I could have my old rundown place back -- it's last major maintenance having been performed in the mid '70s before Grandpa died -- I'd feel like a king in a well-maintained palace, various workers tilling the soil and bringing me radishes and an occasional quart of blackberries. This life is for the birds, sleeping outside, under bridges, and the horrible noises of others all around, disturbing the peace.

That's right. I made my way over by the railroad tracks, where they go around the corner near all those trees. I got a tip that's where you go -- a guy at a bar told me about those who live this sort of life. I showed up and every eye turned to examine me. Was I a railroad dick? Was I some authority? My gray hair sticking down from my cap and covering my ears, I must have looked quite distinguished, and, yes, perhaps like an authority from one of the governing boards. The ragged people scatter when authority arrives, because they're usually flashing nightsticks when they do.

But I held my hat meekly and sought admission in the gentlest of terms, appearing quite abashed to be needing a handout from those already down. But no matter how far down people fall, they come up with something to feel proud about, even if it's only giving suspicious glances to some other bastard who's descended into their camp. Would I pass muster? I didn't know, and in a way I didn't care. I do OK on my own, but if you're accepted into a camp like this, it's more likely you'll have something to eat. There's a couple kids they send out to steal stuff from the man. The man that runs the roadside stand three blocks away.

Nighttime's the worst time to be in a community like this. People saying random crap, like one guy who keeps going, "Oh, forget it! Forget it!" Then there's the snot-nosed kids, crying all the time and banging the railroad signs with their sticks. Too much stuff like this. This is where my grief would be greatest, except when I first got here it didn't take long till I sneaked out. I don't mean to give any indication that people care if you're here or not. But if I'm with people, I like to honor the relationship. This time I put up with it as long as I could, then stashed my stuff under my arm and left. I found a fairly decent culvert down the line and boarded there. I plan to go back when I figure the kids are back with the man's food.

Now, you've heard how it's been. You tell me -- I'll believe you -- Is life a bitch, a real bastard?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

My First Day in Poverty

Like Patches in the old cartoon panel "Patches & Green," literally till yesterday I had enough money to get along pretty well. I wasn't wealthy, exactly, but I was never hurting. Then came Share This Empty Wallet, topped off by The Curse Blob taking away everything I had, even to the point of disintegrating my house, garage, and car. It's been a tough few days, with me ending up with nothing.

Basically nothing. I have a gnarly New Testament, the clothes I was wearing, and an empty backpack. I'm allowed to scrounge here and there, wherever I happen to be, and fill the backpack to my heart's content. This is all at the allowance of The Curse Blob, the power behind The Empty Wallet curse. By sharing that damned graphic, in three days I went completely broke, just as it said.

This also means my computer's gone, you understand. Meaning, I'm using the computers at the library, and their graphics capabilities suck. It took me twice as long to make pix for this post, and even then the cartoons are basically lifted from other guy's site, with a few changes on the captions. If you know him, don't rat me out.

But of course I have bigger problems. It's damned tough to live in total poverty. I don't have a single cent, this is serious. You might think it's romantic to wander the streets, looking for bits of a sandwich here or there. It's not how you imagine it at all. Finding a place to sleep, having nothing, is also tricky. But I have some experience with that from back in the '70s when I used to hitchhike around the country.

So it was the same last night as it was back then, I went out to the interstate and slept under one of the bridges. Wasn't too bad, about like I remember. I stuffed some weeds in my backpack and that was a good pillow. But I didn't have anything to cover up with. And just as I remember, it's always around 4 a.m. when it gets coldest. The biggest difference is now I'm 40+ years older. I was a kid then and looked cool like Tom Sawyer. Now I must look as pathetic as usual, only worse.

Since the interstate's just south of where I used to live, it wasn't tough getting there. Then today when I went back into town I surveyed my home place, looking for something that might've escaped the devastation. The Curse Blob was very thorough. I couldn't have cleaned the place out any better if I'd had Service Master out. Or maid service for a year, like they sometimes give away on The Price is Right.

No TV, so I won't be seeing Price is Right much till I stumble across an episode somewhere already in progress. I'll check the hotel lobbies. It could be -- you know, if I played this thing smart -- I might do a little work, like at Manpower, and get a little money. I've always been a hard worker, although I've taken it easy in recent years, getting disability because of my game toe. But I can still work, I'm not too proud. Then, let's say, I do manage to get a little money, I'll hit the antique stores, find something to put online, and I'll be back in the green in no time.

Unless, and this is a very real possibility, The Curse Blob isn't done with me. It could be this poverty thing is my reality for the foreseeable future. He's probably watching me right now, knowing what I'm scheming. I'm looking around the library. Nobody seems to be paying close attention to me. I feel smelly, maybe that's why; they're giving me wide berth. I didn't get my daily shower this morning. And these pants I was already wearing for four or five days. Fortunately the undies were fresh yesterday morning.

Anyway, whatever, I'm sure it's like anything else -- being dirt poor -- you get used to it. I've always been good acclimating in life, I suppose, not that I'm bragging. I've had very little a few times, and I've had a lot. But I never actually had nothing. Still, as terrible as it is, don't get me wrong, it's not without its fascination. The food thing's the worst. I think I'm going to need to hit some cans and find something decent.

Remember, when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose. I'm going to play this eating out of cans thing very smart. None of my usual pickiness. I'm willing to take what I find and make the best of it. Same as when I used to hitchhike, even though I always had a little money taped to my leg, since some of the rides were bastards.

The old library marm's looking at me. I guess my hour's about up. I wasted too much time on the cartoons, so I've been typing this thing like crazy. I'm not too sure they like to see ragged people in here a lot, which now includes me. Still, I'm not like the guy across the room, slumped on the bench and dozed off. Where's your pride, man?

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

I Meet The Curse Blob

The Empty Wallet Curse took an unexpected turn when I met The Curse Blob. And it wasn't very hard to do. In fact, I didn't do a thing; suddenly he was there, at my home, revealing himself. I know now I would've never figured out the mystery, thinking of a literal blob big enough to take up the top floor of a tall building downtown.

These are the facts. He wasn't gigantic but extremely small. He glowed, that much I expected. And as it turned out, also expected, he was very powerful. All along I felt like I was in the presence of some unusual strength and majesty. Before we talked together, just seeing him, I figured he'd zap me, but he didn't.

If you've read this far without knowing what I'm talking about, let me catch you up: I posted a graphic a couple days ago called "Share This Empty Wallet." It promised/threatened that anyone who did share it would go broke in three days, adding, "It's never been known to fail." I thought it was something funny, merely funny, and shared it. Suddenly it hit me there wasn't anything especially amusing about it. Meaning, I was immediately paranoid, afraid I'd go broke. Then, indeed, my money began disappearing, both the physical money in my house and money from my credit union account.

And now, here it was, right before me, the super power behind it all, what I called The Curse Blob. But, instead, he was more like a living coin, like a burst of conscious fire. I don't even know what he is. I know he shows himself as small and/or alternately my size. His fire is non-consuming, he's quite conscious (maybe infinitely so), and speaks in a kind, benevolent tone. I was reading the paper when I heard a still small voice calling out to me, "Could we have a word?"

I about lost it, of course, but edging closer to what showed itself as a kindly presence, I regained most of my courage. Maybe this was the friend I've been looking for all these years, I didn't know. (It's true even though I don't say it very often, I've been looking for my soul double, a heart friend, a fellow super-brain, you name it. I wasn't leaping to any conclusions with this entity, but it was at least a lead.) "Pick me up," he said. I was reticent because of the tiny golden flames, but he was quick to allay my fears. "Don't be afraid, upsy-daisy."

Holding what I continued to think of as The Curse Blob, I felt a real heft in my hand, the little bugger with enough girth packed inside him, hell, for all I knew he could've been a black hole. Which, according to science documentaries, are tight as a tick, the heft of the heavens making up their substance, and are packed so densely that not even light dare hit the exits. The Curse Blob had me transfixed.

Another observation, he had a lot of runny watery slime stuff on his underside, I thought probably a cooling mechanism. But, no, it turned out he's been headquartered in my cellar, which is overly wet thanks to the rains of late. Which explained, by the way, my bathroom slippers being moist in the mornings. The Curse Blob was leaving the cellar at night, coming upstairs, and trailing cellar water everywhere. I love it when mysteries are solved!

"Could we have a word?" he repeated calmly. I was almost put off by his friendliness. "I'm here on a mission," which he got right to, "to share with you the beauties of poverty." Naturally I was put off by that, but I'll spare you all my now-boring and senseless ejaculations of umbrage and protest. Suffice to say, I objected for three solid hours with only two bathroom breaks. Finally, I broke down in tears and said yes. One, I knew the penalty for having shared the Empty Wallet graphic, that I'd go broke. Two, his description of it as "beauties" and "glories" made me think, Why not?

I also thought of some of the things I've heard about poverty -- St. Francis, Jesus, and a guy I met fresh off a freight train once -- and, in the latter case, if someone gives you free potatoes, it can't be all bad. Then there was the book by Alan Watts, "The Wisdom of Insecurity"; I once read the first few pages. I could be a totally poor guy, wandering around reading that. "Wrong," said The Curse Blob, "you will have nothing." On that we had to negotiate, with him eventually allowing me to possess the clothes I had on, my gnarly New Testament, and an empty backpack. Over time I'd be allowed to fill it, but I'd have nothing else. (All kinds of loopholes there.)

That's about it. The Curse Blob became a glowing man about my size and we shook on it. Then he vanished and I stood there watching my house disappear around me. The "curse" literally came true; I was completely broke.

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Curse Spells Ruin

How could I have been so stupid! On a lark, to have shared the cursed "Share This Empty Wallet" graphic. It guaranteed financial devastation, but I didn't know the damned thing was true. Now I know, but it's too late. Everywhere I look, no matter where I go, what I do, I'm in ruins. The curse is too much for me.

Woe is me, me, who until a couple days ago didn't have an atypical care in the world. Now my worries and woes are extraordinary, one big singular mess. Because my money is vanishing, evaporating, withering away, all at once. Believe me, once my wallet had true girth, now it's frail, dessicated, entirely puny. Another day like this and I won't have a cent to my name. And I'm too proud to dive in dumpsters. I might have to build rabbit traps like we used to just to survive. This damned curse...

I checked my account, $2,000 is gone -- Poof! -- with not much left remaining, around a thousand. If only I could zero in on the curse beam! The perfect conclusion would be to go there, face down a hundred storm troopers in the hallways, then burst in on the blob and have it out in one final slimy offensive. "Take my money, you greedy beaming ectoplasm? I'll send you back to hell from whence you come!" That's a vain fantasy...

I don't even know for sure where the beam's coming from. Although I felt more zapped when I turned north. That told me something, until I realized it was just wishful thinking. For soon I was feeling more zapped from the south, west, and east, take your pick. Either wishful thinking or ... could the thing be omnidirectional? That'd make it potentially divine, perhaps literally from hell. But surely the nature of existence isn't one big joke, curses of empty wallets...

I still think the thing has to be at the top of the tallest building in town. That makes a lot of sense. But just as likely, it could be coming from the basement somewhere, or even underground. The air, the earth, it's all the same; each obviously would make a terrific carrier for a decently powered curse beam. These are thing I've known all along, so why would I toy with a curse like this, "The Empty Wallet"? My playfulness got the best of me, I foolishly forgot how life has millions of consequences. You can't play in traffic, as an example.

One terrible idea I had was a variation on the "safety in numbers" theory. Which doesn't say much about my morals or compassion. What if I tricked more people into posting the graphic? While they'd be suffering miserably, the beam likely would lessen its hold on me. I decided against it in the end. Not out of goodness, but there simply isn't enough time to do it right; my money's quickly going down the drain. I'll need others to have money in case I'm reduced to theft.

At the very least, typing this isn't a waste of time. I need to leave some record of what's going on, in case the beam has deadly consequences. If I'm found penniless and dead, this is why. Financial ruin, let me tell you, isn't much fun. My eyes, once so merry when I was romping in the green, are now bloodshot, my sockets sunken, the eyeballs naked to the world, bug-eyed. I'm a mess from the top of my gnarly head to the bottom of my wet slippers. I must've sweat up a storm last night, tossing and turning. I literally could die.

Let me say something meaningful, and I hope powerful. This goes out to the curse itself: "Curse, I curse you! You big fat, money-sucking amorphous blob, I know you're out there, pulsating, glowing, and voracious, with only one focus -- not for good -- money-sucking. All day, everyday, for eternal moments, with no real destination, no real need, just exercising your supposed prerogative, sucking, sucking, sucking the money of people stupid like me. You can choke on it, you bastard!"

If I die from this curse, someone please see that my gravestone has etched in it one word and one word only, "RUIN."