Saturday, June 16, 2018

Do I Want Some More Whiskey?

I’m currently on a three-day bender, woo hoo! Didn’t know it’d go this long. Figured a day or two and I’d be sated. Turns out I was wrong. I don’t see an end in sight, unless it’s tomorrow; that’s likely; it can’t go on forever, can it?

Look at my typing. You tell me, is this making any sense? To my eyes, it’s a chicken scratching on the computer. I’ve got the font blown way up, compensating for the blurriness. And there's hallucinations. I hope that’s what they are. My flat white bedroom walls are an outrageous exaggeration of their normal selves. Settle down! I can’t tell if they’re coming at me or trying to get away. We haven’t discussed it, nothing beyond me telling them yesterday about this time, “You stay on your side of the room and I’ll stay on mine. I don’t want any trouble, and I don’t think you do either. But you tangle with me, I can't be responsible. I will stab the life out of you; I’ve done worse!” I’m fairly sure the walls are OK. We’re at an impasse.

Wow, my head is spinning. But it’s a good spinning, good ha ha, not bad boo hoo. “I’m Loretta Young!” I heard myself screaming like a maniac. Then I toyed with the name Loretta. Try it next time you’re faced. “Loretta!” It’s hard to get it slurred out. It’s a very guttural name when you’re temporarily under the weather. But conversationally still interesting: “So you’re Loretta Young. THE Loretta Young.” “Yes, sir,” I think I heard her say at the usual pauses in any conversation. The Loretta Young who used to be on that old TV out in the garage, back when it worked, our first TV? “Yes, sir.” She elaborates “I was simultaneously on millions of sets, coming out in a lovely dress, spinning for the audience.” I took a drink and exclaimed, “I thought I knew you from somewhere! You’re Loretta Young!” The TV broke again and she was gone.

This is damned good whiskey. And, yes, that's whiskey with an E. I’ve seen it both ways, and there’s some explanation for that, albeit lame, something to keep dictionaries busy. I remember when I was first “turned on” to whiskey; it’s been a while. I was in my 20s and given to massive misbehavior not in keeping with the values the den of wolves raised me with. Mostly blowing off steam, much like I’m doing here. Woo hoo! But, thinking back, it was whiskey, along with all the other stuff they serve, that first loosened my talk tapes. Considerably!

I remember one old boy. This was 45 years ago. He was in his late 60s or mid 70s then, so he’s got to be dead today. Just like 45 years from today, I.... I’ll return to this point later if I think of it. Anyway, the guy was ancient. And what did he happen to have, a baggie of something. Even now I’m reluctant to tell anyone precisely what happened, so let me gloss it over with a sincere, Nothing happened. I said, “No, sir, I’m drinking whiskey! Along with other draws and mixed drinks. Boilermakers, which is whiskey followed by a draw. Back then I was a gulper, get it down fast as possible. Now I’m a sipper. Do I ever pick up steam? Of course. Till Loretta Young shows up. Which, it could be Loretta anybody, I wouldn’t mind. Loretta Lynn. Isn’t there a famous Loretta Luperca? No, it's Luperca Latouche, Finnegans Wake. Another sip of whiskey!

Think I’ll have one for my health! Pour it, pour pour pour, perfect, 1 tablespoon. Here's mud in your eye, slowly sipping it. To my health. I’ve always thought I was in great health. I've never had much wrong. But lately I’ve noticed in the mirror that I look thinner. I usually can't see myself as I am. In the mirror, I’m one thing. In photos, another. But it has come to my attention, somehow, that I look thinner than ever in the mirror. So, like the old boy above, the guy in the bar with the baggie, 45 years from now, I will have crossed over the rainbow bridge, which I’ve learned is what modern dying pets cross over too.

I’ll thin down to the point that I’m like one of those long green stick bugs. Then keep myself from breaking till I get to the destination, where the rainbow bridge is. I’ll stand there, waiting my turn. Kids are off in the bushes watching their pets set foot on the bridge. I’ll wait and wait and wait, thinking, “Good God, why are there so many dying pets?” It’s because there’s an endless population of them. Every dog has 14 puppies. And cats. They have nine lives, which means nine deaths each, so they’re clogging up the bridge worse than anyone. Just when the coast is clear, I try to get up and one of my thin legs snaps. That hurts. But thankfully I have a little whiskey to pour on the wound. Suddenly the bridge is clogged with a nursing home that just happened to burn down 10 minutes ago. Everyone died. Again, I wait my turn, dousing the leg and alternating with a drink.

Sounds like I’m in no hurry to die. I have reasons to live. This blog’s a big one. I haven’t found anyone to take it over. Everyone that comes to me wants to load it up with ads, but I refuse. Online advertising on blogs is one of the sickest sights I've seen. Then you have to be churning out little blurbs. A paragraph, an ad. A paragraph, another clump of ads. So you stick to two paragraph posts because you need to have many posts, so you’ll have lots of ads going all the time, popping up everywhere, “You’ve won this or that bullshit.” Anyway, don’t get me started on that subject. “No, sir!” I cry out. Then I settle back in my chair, have a drink of whiskey, and the rainbow bridge comes again into view.

Back at the rainbow bridge: A turtle I had in the 1980s just died and swam by. How about that? I found a turtle and took it home in the 1980s. I was living in a town. Then it came time to move and I took it back and released it with a word of blessing. And now I catch sight of it after all these years on the rainbow bridge. “Hey, whatever your name was!” And another sip of whiskey.

These little measuring cups you can buy to drink whiskey out of, they have a disclaimer in the store, “This measuring cup is intended for use in cooking, not for the serving of alcoholic beverages.” “Hey, baby,” I say — fingering in the general direction of the measuring cup company — “this IS cooking!"

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Comfort Schmomfort

Comfort, Schmomfort. Schmomfort isch my teasching. Eschew Comfort, Choose Schmomfort.

Where hasch Comfort gotten usch? We're lazschy, clinging, never schatisfied, deep in debt, peeking out the blinds, the schades. That's the firscht thing I do, schurely every morning.

Yesch, it'sch scho! When all the time -- in plain schight, no lessch, and open to all -- Schmomfort opens wide thosche schmomforting arms, schaying, pleading, "Schmomfort, Schmomfort my people. Lischten to Schmomfort and rescheive Schmomfort in rische abundance." All the schmomforting Schmomfort you need and more. Schmomfort, scho musch that no one can schmomfortly take it from you. Let 'em try, huh?

Friends, let me schmestify: As I write thisch schmestimony I'm schitting in a broken chair. It'sch wobbly, appears to be on itsch last legs, and it isch. The armreschts, they're schtill a place to rescht my arms -- but there'sch scho much brokennesch that the rescht is schistory. I'm honeschtly nearly provoked to throw thisch chair away and get a new one. Only one thing schtands in my way: Schmomfort!

That's juscht me. What about you? And, no, I'm no one schpecial, just another schmo. But I can't schmomfortably let you go! I would tossch and turn and barely schleep if I tried. Maybe I schould let you go, and schettle myschelf schmomfortably in my own Schmomfort. Who wouldn't, if you know what I know? I'd have it all to myschelf! Can you guessch what'sch holding me back? Schmomfort itschelf, yes, the schame. That's Schmomfort, brother, schister.

Because Schmomfort isch without end. Comfort, too, of coursche, but Comfort takes us to a falls schend. True, huh? You go for Comfort, you getsch a falsche end. A big fat falls schend that you'll be schitting on forever. It's scho true! I've scheen the ravages of Comfort. Schtarts off with schitting a schpell, then on and on. Butt time fails me to schow and tell the whole teasching. Schuffice to schay, when you need a bigger schair, by then it'sch too late, butt time fails you two...

Have you already schlipped away? Are you scho far away you're outta schight? Have you drifted scho far, then hit the rusches of Comfort? Perhaps crasched on the schoals? If scho, what can I schay, go on, take your rescht. Don't let me dischturb you.

Schtill, friends, I have to believe there are schome here today -- schurly many -- who would be able to agree and schay: "Yesch, I hear the voisch of Schmomfort!" And you're ready to take the firscht schtep. Until it'sch schtep after schoothing schtep, all the blessched way on the scherene path to meet for yourschelf and know Schmomfort and Schmomfort's perfect peasche.

Pleasche, schtep out now.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

A Mosquito Tent O'er My Grave

NOTE: The following is an imaginary scenario, assuming that I will buried in a grave after my decease, and that I have a wife, children, and loved ones.

Who likes mosquitoes? I don’t. They’re the bane of summer. They prove the point I've believed from childhood, that there’s nothing in nature completely good. Summer looks like it'd be fantastic, known for warm temperatures, beautiful weather, and summer vacation. Then come mosquitoes! Along with their cousin bugs, ticks and the entire sad messy disgusting crew, evolution's Trump-like jab at existence.

I have a mosquito tent. But I hardly ever put it up. One, I’m not that tempted to be out in the summer. Two, they’ll bite me while I’m putting it up. The only good way to do it would be to put it up in the garage and walk it out to the yard, but by the time I got there the wind would kick up and blow both me and it away.

Still, whatever inconvenience I face has to do with me being alive and present in the world. I firmly believe that I didn’t face any of these issues before I was born, which was billions of years. It follows then that I won’t face them when I’m gone, regardless of how long that will be. Still, it’d be at least symbolically a good thing — forever preaching my doctrine to the world that mosquitoes suck — if I had a mosquito tent o’er my grave.

OK, let me make a few keystrokes on my Last Will and Testament.doc and it’s done! It’s now in my will, which is inviolate. No matter how inconvenient anything is — burdensome, uncomfortable, or outlandish — the heirs have to do it. Enter my two sons and daughter. Along with the wife, if I should predecease her. And the way she raises that rolling pin when I’m the slightest bit late after a pleasant evening at Joe’s Place tipping back a few cold ones, then getting home before the mosquitoes are thick, she might truly outlive me.

The big day comes. I croak. Now the fun begins. They argue, they fight. “We have to get a mosquito tent for Dummy's grave?! But only in the summer. Which, knowing him, means strictly the first day of summer and not to exceed the last.” Yes, along with other complications. It needs to be o’er my grave, which can be tricky, since no one’s there to guard it. Kids are always stealing stuff on graves, or messing with it in some way. My estate might need to buy several tents in a season, which could get pricey.

Then there’s the optics. The cemetery board will obviously have a problem if it’s blowing across the field, or not staked down properly, or not secured from the other elements. The last thing the board wants is an eyesore. Which I get. A cemetery is a place of solemn dignity, remembering everyone from town. There’s some guys out there I remember as a kid. Guys who dug sewers, ran gas stations, sat in lawn chairs across the road, and others. All good memories. If they were to speak up and say “We knew that kid would grow up to be a nuisance. Now he has a tent encroaching on our mound," that'd make me feel bad.

Anyway, the kids and wife will have to really devote themselves to the task! Like in the old song, “See That My Grave’s Kept Clean and My Mosquito Tent's Presentable.” So there it is. But then indeed it does blow around a few times. The board complains. The family tries to comply. But the wife dies, the kids have other problems. The board relents, the wind after all is an act of God. Then the family argues, “You were supposed to do it!” "No, no, it was your year to handle it!" Suddenly the kids aren't speaking to one another. And no one’s watching out for anything. Then the kids are on the road, get hit, and now graves are popping up all around me.

Finally, the groundskeeper takes it upon himself — and he’s not reprimanded in any way, in fact applauded — to haul my ratty mosquito tent to the dump. My grave is now unprotected and ignored. The Lord returns. I’m resurrected. It just happens to be June 21, at which point my spiritual body is immediately attacked by resentful hungry mosquitoes. With me itching through the entire last thousand years judgment. Sad ending, but every word true.