Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 -- Goodbye Crappy Year

What a year 2018 was, right? It doesn’t matter who you are, we can decisively declare 2018 a year of huge ups and downs. And, if we’re not being artificially cheerful, as we so often are, not wanting to be a major downer to our friends and family, who are so sensitive and perturbed when we’re the least bit honest, which I believe is their problem, not mine, our conclusion on 2018 would have to be something like this, It was bad.

With some good in it, no doubt, don’t get me wrong. I can’t actually recall a year in my ever-lengthening life that I'd sum up as all bad; even the most dismal years, true for each of us, when it seemed like there was no up, no good, not the slightest redeeming thing about it, even then if we looked real closely, examining it with as detached an appraisal as we could muster — perhaps squinting — we could find positive aspects. But enough about 1968, am I right?

Yes, 1968, 50 years ago we were saying goodbye to a bastard of a year. But that’s a long time ago, I know, before most people were born. And every year since then we’ve had bastards of years that lots more of us have experienced, including, naturally, the most immediately recent years, say, after 2000. 2001 was a bastard year, we all remember that, or they’ve told you about it. 2002 was then shaded by 2001, and 2003 by 2002, and so forth. I suffered quite a bit between 2004 and 2017, with the less said about that, the better.

Finally, 2018 was upon us, and, frankly, there was no reason to expect much out of 2018. Once burned, twice wary, Grandma used to say. And as far as I’m concerned, I’ve been burned every year. I remember the year I broke my leg; I’ve crossed off that year. Then my arm, the same thing. But if you can make it through childhood, you feel like you can do anything. It’s a remarkable feeling! Till you become an adult and realize, it’s all the same. If it’s not your arm or leg, it’s your heart, your soul, the whole crushing weight that life itself makes you bear. The strain can be too much. But think of one of the happiest people in history, Samson chained to the pillars, straining with all his might to fulfill his last wish, to bring down the building and crush the Philistines. You could argue Samson was the last living person to have a happy new year, but he had to die in the process.

Am I optimistic about 2019? Of course I am. I'm dizzy, drunk with optimism. No less than were I standing in a beautiful meadow on a bright sunlit day, my dog also running free, able to poop without the neighbors looking to see if I picked it up. My soul even now is soaring, higher and higher, looking for the heights and hoping to exceed them. My body may be tied forever to the ground. But I can dream of jumping so high I could take wing and leave this gravity-restricted existence behind. But alas, gravity gets the tie-breaking vote, not in your favor. But just think how terrible it'd be to jump so high you were trapped in the stratosphere; the breathing there is very thin.

It is my hope that this indeed will be a happy new year, 2019. And I will keep believing that with all my heart until the first sign of turmoil touches my sensitive nature. Keep me in your thoughts... It could be any minute now.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Barbarian Bowl

Like a lot of guys, I've been watching a few football games during the holiday season. The big bowls are something of a national pastime. We're just doing nothing, so to pass the time we watch them. They’re interesting to us, and give college athletes something to do.

Of course to enjoy these games you have to be able to overlook your scruples. And I regret to say I’m just as guilty, not any better. But at least I have regrets. I need to work on that, make it a New Year’s resolution, that I will be more socially responsible. And principled. It pains me to say I’m not quite there yet.

The problem’s obvious to everyone who’s looked at it objectively, the whole issue of land resources, especially in light of the human tragedy of homelessness and so forth. In short, friends, we’re running out of room. There’s more population than room to warehouse or provide living space for everyone. And we haven’t made enough headway on prevention, like regulating the sexual habits of people of childbearing age.

As tough as it'd be, that’s where I'd start, because I think our ability to go cold turkey sexually is stronger than our willingness to give up sports. I’d actually recommend a two-pronged approach. Not playing football games and regulating sexual activity. Then if we make progress, it's a win-win. And if we don’t, we'll just have to bear down more and continue some serious work on the problem. What's the alternative, to shrug and say, "We give up"? That's no alternative. In that case, our reign as the dominant species on this planet is over. We will have sex and go whole hog with sports until we’re extinct, dead as cheap door-nails.

If we devote so much land to football fields, basketball courts, and golf courses, we’re confessing that our priorities are shortsighted, just the fun of the moment and the future be damned! We will play our way into the grave, and no doubt at some point even run out of grave space, a loss of cemeteries, because of so much real estate foolishly dedicated to sports.

Even now I’m watching a bowl game and shaking my head. 1) How can I be so much a part of the problem as to enjoy this disgusting display? And, 2) How can those people sit in those huge stadiums unaware or uncaring about the issue, that there's a stranglehold on our ability to use land responsibly. The football lawns look so well manicured, it’s ridiculous, while the people needing land for basic living are a mess. I drove by a yard right here in the Big City with so much illegal dumping, you’d think we'd simply given up, and it's true.

As for basketball courts also wasting land, strangely that's not as obvious. Because we’re stupidly used to the idea that buildings are different, essential. Setting aside the obvious fact that buildings have to be built somewhere, also taking land that is so desperately needed. But instead of getting a grip on ourselves and doing it right, we have lost our way. If we can't get a grip on ourselves, what hope do we have in the long run? Zero hope, that’s the only conclusion.

It’s been in the news that we might even be colonizing Mars very soon. I’m just hoping that when we get there we reflect on what we've done. If we've despoiled the Earth, can we at least learn the lesson for outer space? We don’t want the other planets to be misused, too. Right now, we must pass a law restricting the building of sports arenas, football fields, and golf courses in outer space. Keep our previous space resources for what's really needed, a place for everyone to live their lives with dignity.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

The Most Oversexed People

I'm closing out the festivities for the year with my version of everyone's favorite party game -- feel free to quote it at your New Year's orgy -- Who are the Most Oversexed People?

Oh yeah, this makes me warm just thinking about it... I'm looking around, hoping no one notices me at my table. I'm typing this in the public library. It might be hard, even embarrassing, trying to account for my flushed look or the uneasy shifting in my chair, trying not to bump into the lower part of the desk. Keep it up like this, I could make next year's list. But, no, dirty old men didn't make this year's list. There's something wrong with their trying too hard, one surmises; they're overlooked out of spite

I've been thinking a long time who would make the list, so I'm sure I've got it right. By the way, the list is in no particular order, because all of them are oversexed. With the notable exception of Auctioneers. Auctioneers are by far the most oversexed people. Enough foreplay, here's the list:

Dads who take their kids out too much -- Yes, I know what you're thinking, There's no one more adorable than Dads who take their kids out too much. I know, that's the point! Why do you think they do it? Certainly not out of a great maternal instinct suddenly kicking in. You could argue they want to be a good role model for the kid, they want to spend quality time with the kid, or a dozen different idiotic things that depend on innocent motives. Don't be fooled! Dads have two basic interests, fooling the wife and impressing the ladies. Of course the wife always has her suspicions. At some level she knows her husband's devious mind. She knows he's into these fantasies. But even she can be fooled when he voluntarily, even eagerly takes little Johnny out on a snowy night. No innocent man would ever do that. That's one husband who's purely oversexed and looking for more. He doesn't mind being a little cold if it means he'll be snuggling up real soon with a hot neighbor gal.

Clowns -- I grew up liking clowns. Before movies wrongly portrayed them as psychos and killers, the exact opposite of a few clowns I've known. But even I know that to classify clowns as oversexed is 100% accurate. Let's set aside the negative spin they've gotten as killers and psychos. The only thing I'm interested in is how oversexed they are. I think it's obvious. Look how defensive they are. Face paint and costumes are clearly an attempt to hide their true person and motives. Talk about wearing your diagnosis on your sleeve! The big flouncy costume, the face pain, the tiny hats and flowers; you have to be aware there's a real person hiding under all that. No doubt someone with the vilest instincts who'd act on those instincts given half a chance. To me it's all sexual. They back you into a corner -- which with flowers and a nice meal might be welcome -- then you find out... They have only one thing on their oversexed little mind, sex. And maybe spawning a few someday-clowns.

Police -- I keep my eye on the police. I've been watching a lot of videos involving the police, car chases, and other arrests. And I notice one unifying thread with our protectors in blue, As long as the camera's running, They do it by the book. That is, they're perpetually on the straight and narrow way. There's a protocol and they aim to keep it. There's a pecking order with the force, and the slightest variance from what is expected, demanded, is enough to demote them so far down they'd need to personally solve three or four bank robbery cases a day to ever again see the light of day. Whenever you have that kind of pressure, you counteract it via the instincts. Number One of which is sex. I don't know what it'd be like to be a police officer's spouse, and I don't want to find out. I'm pretty sure it involves a lot of mock arrests, continually "reading their rights," and a lot of searching for the evidence, usually including strip searches. The police have one thing on their mind during the day, the strict law. But at night, it's all lawlessness, forbidden fruit up the yin yang.

People Who Point At Others -- This one is more nebulous, people who point at others. But in a way I see the same rationale I had with the police. It's the old psychological lore, that those who are "moral to a fault" themselves have plenty of faults. Like in the song Harper Valley PTA. My own pointing out of other people's faults is coincidental and only done for educational purposes.

Nude Cherubs -- See that little New Year's fellow in the buff? He's got clothes, he just chooses not to wear them. In this case he's a little too close to the clowns. By intention!

Auctioneers -- Then there's auctioneers! Know what I mean? If I made a list of the most oversexed people for the last 50 years, no doubt auctioneers would hold the Number One spot every year. I could write a dissertation on the subject, but I'll try to keep it brief. Ask yourself what auctioneers are good at. First, no one appraises value and desirability like an auctioneer. They have an eye for the good stuff. They know the psychological ins and outs of selling what they've got. They might have a broken desk for sale, but they've been through its drawers and they know there's still lots of good use. Second, they're fast talkers. Just try to resist an auctioneer's charms, they'll plead, wheedle, and beg, a whole eight pages of begging squeezed into seven seconds. They just open their mouth and in the next breath you're in bed, and the auctioneer has rung up the sale. Daddies, keep your daughters out of auction barns.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

China -- Complicated Damn Place

The older I get, the more I want things simple. I’m near crazy with complicated arrangements, family matters, and personal struggles. Take Grandma's house as the worst example. As I speak, it's in pieces at the city dump. And who knows when it'll be fixed? These are the problems a young man should be facing, not an old bastard like me. It's too complicated! Then there's my memory. It's getting very funky, I can’t even remember what I was going to say.

But I probably wanted to make the point that the less complicated things are, the better. I believe I mentioned before my memory, that it's getting very funky. It’d only complicate things and make me dizzy to go into great detail as to what happened. I’ll just say I was a Good Samaritan, helping a guy in the winter. Near the end of helping him, he fell and so I fell backwards down some stairs and hit my head on a rock and saw stars. Stars may not be accurate, more like a speeding white galaxy soaring the distance between my medulla oblongata and forehead. I was hoping if it did any damage it’d be super powers. But it affected my memory. Vastly complicating the future, I think. It's possible I'm still lying there, that same day, waiting for an ambulance.

But I've gone on as though this is reality. And now when I need to do something I have to sketch it out, and like Santa Claus, check it twice. Or I will have forgotten the whole thing and feel confused. So the less complicated things are, the more I’ll remember to do it.

Let’s take one of my fairly recent adventures, which also slipped my mind. It was a quick trip to China to meet with a dour aging spiritual princess, part of an arrangement with a guru type-of-guy I met, whom I’ve mentioned before, Wolf. He was going to guide me on my shamanic path. I almost forgot him, but he intrudes on my thoughts every once in a while, from afar. I haven’t seen him in the flesh since a fateful night in September. Now, though, once a day or more I get telegraphic mental counsel from him. It’s complicated. I wake up and know it happened.

Little did I know I’d be going to China. I’m not that great at making travel plans and following through on them. But I went to a particular airfield, as seen in the vision, and went to a place, China, they say. The princess was there, and various underlings, No. 1 underling, No. 2 underling, and so forth. By the time I was through, I was making a mad dash back to the plane, pursued by underling 35 through 48. With 49 and 50 close behind. I was huffing and puffing like a madman, and escape was so tight for me, I just couldn't stand on ceremony.

It was too damned complicated for me; you get it? The bump on the head, the galaxy of lights, have intruded so completely in my mind, I can think of little else. How could I possibly go from my normal life to China? It's ridiculous. And when I was there, how was I to know that constantly asking them to repeat things was something they hate? My Chinese is terrible anyway; so I'm reduced to reading body language and discerning between the lines (guessing) what they’re saying. Then when I ask for clarification, it looks like I’m having a seizure, another no-no. Ask any Chinese you happen to meet, but be prepared to run...

The princess had two chief stewards and they were staring daggers at me. Then it went beyond cross-cultural problems with eye contact and actual daggers were flashed. The princess was banging the gong (but not to get it on), and dreaded Chinese minions scurried around the palace. They were more confused than I, and I was a total ball of confusion. I slipped beneath a hanging rug/tapestry and exited stage left toward one of those pagoda type of doors that tells you you’re in foreign territory. The gong repeatedly sounded, minions pulled out swords. It was a complicated mess, just the thing I hate.

With everything I had, though, I ran like a maniac and got the hell out of there. Chinese cowboys and indians were chasing me across a field the size of a football field toward the plane. I was thinking, That pilot (Gus) better be there. When, true to his charge, he had been watching in case of a quick getaway. As honorable Chinese say, "Him-know-me-too-good." That one thing wasn't too complicated. Gus saw how frantic I was, and compassionately kicked me in the nuts to calm me down. Then taxied down the runway and we were in the air in no time, just making the border, and missing a mountain by that much.

On the way back, Gus asked me what the hell happened. I had to say, “Don’t ask, I don’t even know!” The only thing I knew was this was not a place I should've gone, not a task I should've accepted. I didn’t even remember what the stinking task was, or why on earth they'd tab me as the guy to do it. The only thought that kept running through my head was, “I can’t have these complications in my pathetic life!” No matter how important the mission is, friends, someone else has to do it. I can’t be expected to do so much. My personal life’s a mess as it is without a million other complications to keep track of. I’m not your boy, folks, draft some other schmuck...

As for China and her people, the Chinese, if I ever hear of them or from them again, it'll be something on my schedule that I personally and with malice aforethought told them not to put there.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Stupid Stars of YouTube Police Chase Videos

The police chasing you, how satisfying that must be!

It turns out there’s not much to do in my golden years. Yes, life's always complicated and a mess in certain ways. Grandma’s house was completely dismantled and carted off to the dump. The insurance is supposed to cover the damages, as long as I'm not found responsible for the bacteria getting a foothold, which later multiplied and consumed the place. In the meantime, I’m holed up in the Big City, trying my best to survive until the verdict. It’s a good life.

One of the things that makes my golden years more satisfying is my daily rendezvous with the seamier side of YouTube. Yes, I’m talking about police chase videos. I used to watch them occasionally on TV when they were live. But those were the local channels and local chases, only a few. Now I've got the world and many chases at my fingertips. So I'm glued to YouTube, rooting not only for the police but to a certain extent the bad guys. If he or she could only prolong the madness, so much nicer for me...

Of course I myself would never be involved in a police chase. All such crazy mistakes are totally beyond anything I'd do. Those people snapped. I don’t snap, I barely stretch. Really, I maintain something like a 3D omniscient perspective on what I could ever do, and knowing those limits, I don’t snap. If you ever hear of me doing something like that, read it again, it's someone else. One of these days I’m going to my grave, of course, but it won’t be from a chase on the freeway or the cops gunning me down when I'm trapped at a dead end.

That said, it's so extremely interesting that others aren’t as reserved. And that they have no restraint whatsoever when it comes to their personal safety, reputation, future, the law, and concern for others. How I was ever lucky enough in the wide time-frame of existence to be born into a world that would invent the internet and allow for YouTube and endless videos, I’ll never know. Big praise for whatever is Good, Eternal, and Ultimate out there, because I’m daily entertained by a never ending parade of total losers and schmucks.

In the last few days I’ve seen a man eluding the police for probably 20 minutes, a journey that eventually took him off the road and across various fields. Finally, he abandoned his vehicle and made his way into a river, in which he waded as best as he could. Then he was climbing on the bank, slipping in the mud. He was surrounded, but instead of wisely surrendering — all hope was lost — he optimistically persevered, stripping off the waterlogged rags that bound him. Until, if memory serves, he was mostly nude and still striving to slip and slide his escape, though he was only about five feet in front of the law. They captured him, duh. How do you spell D-U-M-B?

As alluded to above, there was another guy who starred in his own police chase, but lacked the foresight to not get trapped in a dead end cul-de-sac parking lot affair. But did he give up peacefully when every shred of hope was lost? Hell no! He had a truck eight feet wide and thought he might barrel it through a five foot gap between the police and a fence. Which meant it was his day to die, a very stupid death, no tears, no last rites. I did make a mental reminder, If I’m ever that stupid (and I won’t be), dear officers, aim for the heart!

The last chase I saw yesterday was mostly dismal, just another arguably mad woman on the interstate. It wasn’t memorable enough in and of itself to remember everything clearly, just more sheer stupidity run amok. I do remember when watching it that I was actually critical of the police, not understanding the method to their apparent madness. They kept surrounding the alleged perp, then pulling back. Which later looked like it was meant to give her the confidence of escape every time she had one apparent path of survival. So when she approached six lanes of the road with backed up traffic and one lane with a police car and the next lane open with a spike strip in it, the only close thing between her and precious freedom, she took it. (There were open lanes farther to the right, but she ignored those.)

Damn that mistake! Part of me wanted her to keep going, but most of me wanted it to end. Because these people are monumentally stupid and dangerous to others, they may as well be stopped. But she hit the spike strip, then was riding on the rims the rest of the way. She was quickly nabbed in a parking lot, unceremoniously captured, never to be heard from again.

It’d be a better world if people wouldn’t take their lives into their own hands like that, and of course if they weren’t endangering the rest of society. But I have no say on whether they do or not. Guys and gals, if they’ve been doing it till now, are likely to keep going ballistic, then ending up in complete and total trouble. I don’t know how they ever live it down. Any theories? I don’t know how they’re able to cope socially from that point on. They surely lose their license, but maybe it doesn’t matter. They didn’t follow the law before, why would they now?

As long as people go ballistic, I’ll be sitting here watching them, shaking my head, and saying to myself, “How can they be so stupid?” I’m also a little critical of the police, since with my superior brain I naturally always know better and can't believe it takes them so long to catch these perps. Do we not have the atomic bomb? Why should they live another stinking day?

Friday, December 21, 2018

To All The Children I Never Sired

Today's one of those bittersweet moments for me, not quite sweet, not quite bitter. Certainly sweeter when I’m not thinking about it, and a lot more bitter when I’m not not thinking about it, which I am now.

It could just be something that goes with the holiday season. All the little rugrats that would’ve gotten their little gifts from me over the years are once again not looking at anything under the tree. My shopping list remains unchecked, for there aren't any to list. Little Bertha, Edna, Tommy, Daniel, Wally, Florence, and Red, they’ve never seen the light of day, let alone worried about their gifts. Damn! That hits me hard, especially Red and Edna, two names I’ve always had a thing for.

I probably should leave this article for some other time, some better time. But when would that time come? That’d be just like me, shunting aside the pain and refusing to address it. But aren’t the holidays a time when you should be happy and raise hell, party, and blow party horns? That’s what I should be doing instead, not lamenting my lack of horny output, ruing my paucity of progeny. So there’s no hell-raising this year, no partying, with my party horn already blown, the opportunities all gone.

That’s something to think about. Are my opportunities really gone? This isn’t like women, you know, whose biological clock’s batttery’s shot by the time they’re 40. I’m a full fledged male person, and I’ve at least heard we’re capable of shootin’ the moon well into our 70s. But when it happens at 65-70 it’s a sad accident. Old man has sex, then a stroke, in that order, but with the last ounce of his life-force manages to squeeze out little Rodney. Who grows up always questioning ‘why Papa doesn’t live with us,’ then learns the bitter truth and ends up in a home for perplexed kids, eventually featured in TV ads for that home, begging for just 63 cents a day so other kids won’t lack a dad. What would they do with the money raised but fix old guys like me?

I’m glad I used the name Rodney. Since I hate that name and would never name a kid Rodney. That gives me some comfort, some shelter from this feeling of dread, the dread of lost opportunities. I hope it gives me not just that one step, but 10 steps toward leaving this terrible funk! Maybe I could think of what people who have kids go through. Childhood illnesses, injuries, mistakes, crimes, desires, various resentments, the whole slate of life’s misfortunes.

I was downtown the other day and saw some random beady-eyed shrimpy kid tramp looking at me, like “I’m gonna steal your wallet, mister.” Maybe it was my imagination, but I got the hell out of there, and reported him as a malevolent street urchin. He should be in jail now, and it’s a pity if he isn’t. He’s definitely some stupid dad’s kid! At least I haven’t given life to such a creature! I’m a good person...

That’s a good way to get rid of the pain, Eureka! Balance it out, the pain of nothing, no wild honyocks to worry about, and by none I mean nil ... against the pain of actual flesh and blood duplicates, who’d likely as not have deep-seated resentments of their own, and be just the kind of willful little morons who'd take it out on me mentally and physically for giving them life, and I would’ve been done in by now. The way kids are, I'd be a goner. Why would they allow me to live to a ripe old age? I’d be dead. A corpse rotting away...

Happy holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Homeless Seeking $ God Bless

With me in the Big City, everything's getting very real. Oh boy, what an eye-opener it is, the dregs of society. And that's just me, but there's plenty of others, standing on this corner, that corner, and of course freeway ramps. I thought of doing it, but don't want to get caught encroaching on another guy's territory.

I was staking out a place one day for panhandling, more like checking it out, trying to picture how I'd look this time of the day or that time. I don't want the sun in my eyes, definitely, and the less sunburn the better. I would want everyone to see me, if not for my financial benefit, then not to be run over. But I haven't brought myself to do it yet. I'm not up on the etiquette or logistics, and a big thing with me is doing it right.

In the picture above, the handwriting is from a couple signs I found. I expect they'll be a decent model for me for composing my own stuff. Even though I'm above average in religion, I don't think the religious approach toward an effective guilt trip is the best approach. Society's so secular these days, the tried and true assumptions of long-ago need to be updated. Frankly, instead of Jesus, I'd more readily mention Buddha or Hindu yogis. Because I think Big City people appreciate a global approach; it's beyond their expectations, which would probably pay rich dividends.

And look at the handwriting, just a damned scrawl. Which, I'll give 'em this, it's more effective than an overly-produced computer printout with picture-perfect fonts. But a certain amount of neatness counts. Too sloppy and the suspicion is you're too far gone to be helped. There's a happy medium between sloppy and overdone. Especially if you had a Buddha, let's say, and your handwriting recalled the mystic look of the East without being obscure. What would be really cool would be a Hindu ochre (orangish) robe and an occasional apparently-sincere mudra. Out in the open, naturally, chest high; you're not scratching your muladhara chakra by any means!

I've been watching a bunch of YouTube videos. And I came across a bunch of anti-panhandling guys there. Who park in the lonely corners of Walmart and zoom their cameras in on panhandlers infesting those environs. Who are there so often they've worn away the grass! You can't tell me that's a good look. Anyway, the YouTubers are doing real reconnaissance, documenting the panhandlers' lives and finding that quite a number of them aren't indigent in the least. Which they hold against them.

I guess I can sort of see their point. Which is that people who pretend to be homeless or pretend to be poor could very well be making it worse for others. First, am I homeless or poor? Well, going by the technicalities. I'm technically homeless as long as my house back home is leveled and they never get it fixed. There's so much mold, mildew, backed up sewage and odor, along with vermin, parasites, rats, and the occasional fly, that a guy is easily fed up with it. When I left the last time, those weren't dry heaves.

In the Big City, yes, yes, I have a place to stay. Big damned deal. There's more to being down on your luck than whether you're homeless or not. Yet you about have to use the word homeless on your sign, because, look at the problem, you can't have a sign too complicated. I couldn't tell everything about my dismantled house. It's funny, but I myself barely look at panhandlers at all, I definitely haven't got all day to read the signs. Sheesh, it's all words, words, words, meant to create an atmosphere and push buttons, not be to be technically true, like you'd have to be in a court of law. This is where the YouTube thought-police cross the line.

Remember, I haven't panhandled at all. So if I had, of course I'd have more knowledge on the subject, what's effective and what should be avoided. And I never give anyone anything, so I haven't had extensive contacts with them. (A little, which I'll mention later.*)

But speaking as a layman, I have to think you want to come across as totally personable, kind, soft spoken, sincere, and not apparently putting the squeeze on folks. Watch the eye contact -- not too much -- and respect people's boundaries and keep them comfortable. Oh yes, this is getting me excited. I'm rubbing my hands together even now in glee at the haul I'd no doubt make! Being the nicest guy you've ever met. I believe I come across as someone without a selfish bone in his body. If I were standing at the off ramp, I'm sure you'd see me as someone doing you a favor. I'm just so intrinsically honest and pleasant, begging would make me a millionaire overnight. My pockets bulging out, a big sack like Santa Claus on my back, so full of money I'd have to hire guards to walk me home. Very soon I'd be strictly turning away all change in favor of more lightweight bills. A matter of policy.

Eventually I'd use some of the money to buy better clothes. So I'm panhandling during the day, probably an hour tops would give me enough to live well, then I'd be out at fancy restaurants at night. In my new clothes, some of the same people would see me and think I looked familiar, but there's lots of guys who look sort of like me. If they approached me in my off hours, I'd raise my hands and giving them a solid no comprende every time. Nicely, of course.

*Here's the reference to the panhandler I met when I got to the Big City. I was out scavenging soda/beer cans and cashing them in at the salvage yard. And I got a bunch of cans under bridges, right near this guy who was panhandling day after day. I'd also already met another guy in his circle, who was going to help guide me on the Shamanic Path; I called him Wolf, he called me Grandpa. So I was in the vicinity of the bridge where Wolf said he lived, but he was gone. The panhandler was letting me know where Wolf went, which was "That way." In our other meetings, he told me the direction Wolf went, "That way," and that was nice. I don't think my panhandler is rich, etc., but maybe he does go home at night to a nice place. I wouldn't begrudge him that. It'd be great.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Junk Calls -- We Must Be Merciless

You probably saw me at one of the local parks here in the Big City, standing on a boulder, holding forth in speeches and one-on-ones with others against junk phone calls and messages. I kept going till I lost my voice, and it wasn't easy. Because some of the junk call centers knew all about it, and dropped by to plot a little revenge on me and my allies with junk calls even as we rallied. They know their time is short, but only IF...

Yes, IF... Friends, I remember when I was little, an old man took me aside and told me IF is the biggest word in the English language. That baffled my ignorant little hayseed self, leaving me entirely confused and in a daze of stymied mentality, yet trying desperately to put it together in my minced-meat state of mind, still so common yet today when new truths batter my ramparts seeking entry. The old geezer said, "Son, IF is the biggest word in the English language, because it's so hard for people to believe they have the power to accomplish anything. IF only this, IF only that ... and the motion fails for lack of a second." He went away cackling, but I pondered it...

True, true, so true. Nothing gets done, but IF we came together. Let's say we actually joined forces and did something. Say we hogtied the political forces that are against progress. Say we then hornswoggled them beyond that. Then blindfolded them and sent them to a deserted island on the north pole of Mars. Finally, at long last, we'd be able to get something done. What would it be? you're wondering. Finding a cure for cancer? Medicare for all? Humanity's hope for worldwide peace? Yes, yes, yes, all those things in good order. It'd all get done...

But first, we'd take on the junk call industry. I don't have to recount for any of you the scourge the junk call industry is to human society. You know it in all its pathetic vastness on a daily basis, with daily intimacy. We finally secured the miracle of phones for everyone, a phone in every pocket, unlimited calls with a relatively low monthly fee, messages up the wazoo for everyone. You can message someone, "W'sup?" and they know just what you mean. You're in intimate contact with everyone you want, anytime you want, no holds barred. And what do we get? Junk calls!

Well, whatever they're selling, I'm not buying. But they keep calling. You're watching TV, you're out sightseeing, you're sitting in church, you're stripped down in a sauna, and there goes your phone yet again. Someone from out-of-state, someone spoofing the area code and local prefix where they think you live, etc., all trying to cheat you out of something, and definitely screw you out of your time and energy. It's depressing. But my hope is that Society will become mean enough, bad enough, and angry enough to finally put the screws to the junk call industry once and for all. Close 'em down, and if they try to come up for air, cut off their air, and let 'em die!

Are you with me? You are, unless you're one of 'em. Tell me you're not one of 'em. But if you are with me, here's the plan: We mobilize, we tell our representatives, senators, the president, the first lady, whoever, this has to be the priority. And it can be. Remember World War II? We mobilized and made the world safe enough to have unlimited babies, the Baby Boom. Remember the Interstate Highway project? One day we decided to do it, the next week there were super highways everywhere. A week later they were clogged and needed work. But they were great that first week.

We can bring that same determination and resolve to shutting down the junk call industry, to jail the bosses, to rehabilitate our fellow citizens desperate enough to take jobs pushing their buttons, and then to burn down the entire works. Saving only a few of their evil computers and other infernal equipment in museums, explaining how humanity was attacked and yet rallied against them.

The last thing I want to get is a junk call. It rings -- oh, it's a junk call, click the button, don't take the call. But why should any of us be doing that day after day, continually, without a break? We shouldn't. Those were the calls that were supposed to be illegal all along, because it wastes your minutes. Even with unlimited minutes, it's still wasting my minutes. Shut the industry down!

If they won't shut it down for those reasons, the next thing is to treat it like an invasion of rats or the spread of the plague. With merciless combat. The plague, I don't know how we'd combat that, but we wouldn't be happy. Some of us would be standing on picnic tables, our pants legs rolled up. The rest would be carrying super-powered blast cannons, or makeshift blowtorches, doing major damage against those ugly little rodent bodies. I'd love blasting them, but I have to admit, I'd need a break; I'm seriously prone to the vertigo that comes from the same patterns over and over and the weird shifting it'd have to be with rats dashing helter-skelter everywhere.

Merciless, though, that's the key word Society needs to know. Because there's nothing beneficial to society about junk calls. Beyond the salaries the various ones get as they do their dirty work. But those who don't go to prison could find gainful employment doing something else, maybe serving as lunch ladies in middle schools. Since they're already used to a bad reputation. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

Speed Reading Bixby

Wow! Even I can't believe the speed I'm attaining -- and the intellectual fruits of my labors -- when it comes to reading Bixby! It's awesome, good, and extremely decent. I'm so proud, I feel like polishing my fist and shining it on my sweater. And if I don't get a grip on myself, that's precisely what I might do. Ha ha, it's funny, every time I'm doing something proud like that, someone inevitably walks in on me and I'm embarrassed. She shows up at the door -- the lady across the hall -- and there I am, either rearranging myself after going to the bathroom or polishing my damned fist from some new accomplishment.

And I've actually been down in the dumps, too, you know, with all the personal commotion I've experienced in the never ending travails of Grandma's house needing major repairs. They literally put me out, physically picked me up and set me in the street, off my own property! You tell me, is that fair? Of course it's not fair. You think you own a property and that's when "The Man" shows you who's really boss. "You are officially evicted, get the hell off this land, get out of town, goodbye, good riddance, and if we never hear from you, so much the better." The bastards. Of course they want the quarterly property tax payment, pay up, pay up. But what would I be paying for? I can't live there. It's a mess. OK? So any little thing I can feel proud about, stand back and let me indulge myself...

Anyway, here I am in the Big City, and the lady across the hall is always showing up to make sure I haven't stolen something, I guess. I never steal anything, of course, but in these fleabag quarters the first thing they haven't got is trust. They don't trust nobody. If the Good Lord Himself showed up, they'd need to see the scars on His hands, His side, and if He ever had His appendix out, that scar too! Such bastards, treating the Lord and me like this. But what can I do? Life is one indignity after another, no delay, no slowdown, no dragging its feet, instant! Just like that...

So what am I so proud of today? A new speed reading technique I came up with for reading Bixby! You probably don't realize that an intrinsically smart dude like me is also a very slow reader. But it's true. I've started so many books, gotten to about page 3, then given up. Every book in my library's the same old story. If you ask me what happened in the first three pages, I'm a scholar. But you want a quick synopsis of page 5, you'll have to give me a few minutes. I just can't read fast, page 4, page 5, page 6, none of it, including Bixby! This is the truth, so help me.

My speed reading technique, then... Take a look at the pile of words in the next paragraph. Looks like nothing more than a jumble of letters at first glance. But once you know your goal, which is speed reading Bixby as fast as you can, you've got it. My eyes travel the page like a dog to hamburger, just faster than the speed of light. With barely room for improvement.

Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby Bixby

The technique is multi-faceted. Leave out all punctuation, first. Then pile the Bixbys in there good and thick, terribly thick, just as many as you feel like you can read. When you do it just right, you're not only reading them at lightning speed, your comprehension is through the roof. Like the chimney on my house used to be before they took out it and the roof. But that's sorrow for another day.

Because today I'm happy! I've finally discovered a technique that is all that and more, more than I could've dreamt of. Although, you never know, I might fall asleep and dream of something equally great. Don't put it past me. 'Cause those who doubt me, like this old shrew of a neighbor on my ass, are doomed to keep speed reading Bixby the old fashioned way, i.e., slooooooow as molasses.

Here's another paragraph to test out the technique. I have to admit, I'm not getting the same speed I got with Bixby, but it's still pretty darned good. But I keep stumbling over Walter; Walter seems to break my pace. Here's my solution: I speed read everything else first, then go back and pick up all the Walters in quick sequence.

Fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter fricassee shivaree curiositee chef boi ardee Walter.

Or you could just say Walter eight times fast, then speed read the rest, speed skipping the Walters. My comprehension increases something huge when I do it that way.