Thursday, April 30, 2015
The Pink Professor and I bade a fond farewell today to the billionaire and Garrett Al. They're off on an extended honeymoon, and, frankly, aren't coming back, unless it's someday for a visit. The billionaire has exotic properties around the world, so of course he wants to treat his blushing new hubby well.
Life after a month of a whirlwind is slowing down. Pink was going by the university to try and get back on staff. Then he was going to check things at the bar, the Roadhog Roadhouse, and make sure everything was hunky dory. If it wasn't before, it will be with him there, him being a natural at keeping even a roughneck joint like that running smooth and pleasant.
That left me on my own, at loose ends, till I remembered some of my own responsibilities, including a brand new $20 million personal library on the west side of town! I know it's hard to believe I could forget something like that, but that's how crazy it's been. Also recall, I own a worm bedding company in Alabama, which also slipped my mind, but that sounds totally blah.
The library, though, I'm interested in. I've always had to make do with a few bookshelves around the house. But now, with this huge new facility, I'm rolling in space and shelves and books and all kinds of fun things. And I'm going to take advantage of it for my personal studies! And it won't really be for anyone else either, unless, sometime down the line, I bring in a "visiting scholar" for whatever reason. Maybe for some of my burning questions, like, How do you get to be a "visiting scholar"? I've gone by the nickname "Super Brain" for a long time and I've never visited anywhere.
But I will be "visiting" my own library, three floors, a basement, and stretched out width-wise too, pretty huge. Enough rooms that I can sit in one a day for an entire month and never run out! I have all my old books, probably around a thousand, then I have another thousand or so picked out from the Biggest Book Sale in the State, and from there, I shall build it into the greatest personal library in the world!
And, hey! There's something very "retro" about it that I'm going to do. This is exciting to me. The building will have no internet access. It's going to be like libraries in the old days. Anything I need to look up, I'll have to take the time to find it in a book. Frankly, I'm looking up too much stuff online, because I tend to have lots more questions when the answers are that close, that convenient. But this way, if I don't want to give the full commitment to find out about something, I'll just let it go.
When I'm done with my collection, why would I need the internet? I'm going to have a full set of every encyclopedia that's ever been published! We used to have the 1894 Britannica, and I learned more from those old books than I ever did in school. Except I had to be careful, because they go out of date fairly fast. That's why I need all the newer sets, too, to compare and contrast. But I can see myself maybe coming up with inaccurate information. Like, say, I want to know who's currently president. I can look it up in all the sets, then split the difference. It's Millard Calvin Ulysses S. Hoover John F. Nixon!
Of course the internet's good for one thing, definitely for sure, and that's wasting time. Such as Facebook, Twitter, and sites like that, and, as I well know, you can waste a lot of time writing blogs. I bet I messed around with this blog 60-75 hours this month, all this business with the billionaire, Geritol, Pink, and myself. Imagine, I could've spent that time reading about Siam. Or the Louisiana Purchase when it was the latest thing.
I'm stopping right now and putting my slippers and robe on and I'll be padding around this vast library. Full of echoes till I get it filled. I'm like a lonely Hugh Hefner figure here, except now I have books and shelves instead of bunnies.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
How do you like being invited into the bedroom of a couple bubbly newlyweds? It feels kind of funny that you're here, probably to you too, but since it was my idea, I guess I shouldn't complain. Anyway, don't touch anything. I don't know what The Pink Professor's packing, that is, in his luggage or what's in the dresser.
If I get chatty -- I'm try not to -- just remind me, There's places we shouldn't go, TMI! Really, though, we're all adults here, right? I wouldn't dare let anyone in under 18. Wouldn't want anything nasty to slip out -- accidentally or on purpose -- and damage their little ears! Like this pillow talk stuff. Which isn't meant to titillate -- honestly! -- but to inform. Really, to fill you in on mutual friends, since by now, we're all friends with the billionaire and his new husband Garrett Al (aka Geritol and Jor-el).
Last night was Pink's and my first official night here, but being longtime buds we have a lot of experience with this kind of chit chat.
Of course Pink wanted to know about me and the billionaire. Pink was in San Francisco when the billionaire showed up at the beginning of April. So what about us? Seriously, nothing happened! Yes, we were together so much that people seemed to think we were a couple. Like when we got the key to the city, even the mayor called us a couple! But it wasn't anything like that. He was just a very kind guy, and we hit it off like heart friends.
What about Garrett Al and the billionaire? They got close and I didn't even notice it for the longest time. I thought Geritol was maybe employed by the billionaire. But looking back, I'd guess Geritol was probably the aggressor in their relationship. The Pink Professor already knows how Garrett Al came on to me when we first met. Before he knows the boundaries, he tests them. The billionaire, being a straight ahead guy, no doubt liked his forwardness. Plus, remember, Jor-el is basically reformed and can be very charming.
Pink steered us to what could've been a sore point, a consideration of what to do with all our money. I said, "Well, it was a gift to me, but now that we're married, of course the assets belong to both of us." I figured Pink was not comfortable with that much money, close to $2.1 billion, plus it being a gift from the billionaire. But, really, it hasn't changed me in any way, except for that whole unpleasantness with the Biggest Book Sale in the State, when I wasted $10 million for 300,000 books. A real regret.
Pink broached the idea of us being generous with the money, to do good. Which is exactly what I love about him. He's the world's greatest optimist, and he has reason to be; he's seen much success in his work for other people's good. Obviously, I was agreeable. Selfishness with wealth is never really good. It can corrode your spirit and your feelings for community right away. On the other hand, waste not, want not. I sent $10 to the Cancer Society earlier this month, which ought to hold them a while.
Pink came up with an idea that's a great one, that we fund various programs on TV. I've always wondered what it'd feel like if they said your foundation sponsored the following program, like "Downton Abbey:" "This program was underwritten by a more-than-generous grant from the D.B. Kundalini and Pink Professor Foundation, who remind you, 'When in Mayberry, Gomer says Hey.'" We could have all kinds of cute ones. "This program was underwritten by an extraordinarily lavish grant from the D.B. Kundalini and Pink Professor Foundation, who want to give a shout out to the billionaire and his loyal spouse Garrett Al, aka Geritol and Jor-el." Then I'd hear from Geritol! "His loyal spouse?! You make me sound like a dog!" With the billionaire in the background, going, "Woof, woof!"
The Pink Professor asked me if I was still a big fan of Elvis. I smiled as if to say, 'Once a big fan, always a big fan.' "Of course I am. I dream of him almost every night, like always. But now that you and I are married, I promise not to!" He looked to see if my fingers were crossed, but since they weren't, I'm OK. Until I wake up singing "Hound Dog." But I might be thinking of Garrett Al...
Without giving too much away, it being our first night and all, I was very tired and wished him a good night. But I was suddenly roused to new life when I noticed ... feet on the ladder, coming down! "Mother!"
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
We have the world's greatest treat for you, as we near the end of this story. Which, as a story, now actually promises to go on and on, however many years of life we are granted, not just for The Pink Professor and me, but for our second happy couple, bubbling over for having finally discovered one another, the billionaire and Garrett Al (aka Geritol and Jor-el).
Old Maude, our kitchen help at the Roadhog Roadhouse was pure gold and true to her word, "With you guys' billions and my brains, we'll have the greatest double wedding this happy burg's ever seen!" Which was really saying something, because she's been around a long time. The historical society/museum has her out for special events, to share firsthand memories of the settlers who stole this land fair and square and proceeded to civilize it. (We made her the figurehead in charge, while the billionaire's people actually handled the massive arrangements.)
Festivities started at the courthouse, with Pink and I, and the billionaire and Geritol, holding up our marriage licenses for photographers and well-wishers. Next, we took our places in matching gold limousine convertibles, and with 100 motorcycles flanking us, biker friends from the bar, made our way slowly through town to the Roadhog Roadhouse. Workers, of course under Old Maude's supervision (wink wink), had the place so decked in flowers and ribbons, the breeze coming through made it like an optical illusion, the entire place in beautiful motion.
The official wedding ceremonies were quiet, traditional, and dignified. The billionaire and Jor-el took traditional vows. Garrett Al and I go way back, and as I watched him, I thought back to the early days, when he essentially molested me in my own yard. I was freaked out, but Geritol proved himself the truest friend in the years since, especially after he took on an extra-cosmic consciousness and began channeling (and identifying) with Jor-el, Superman's father on Krypton. The stories he can tell! And now here he is, a brand new wonderful chapter in his life, becoming the billionaire's husband. I'm very emotional -- this is true -- I had a lump in my throat the size of a grapefruit and of course "something in my eye."
For Pink and myself, some of our extended biker family have various kids here and there around the county and neighboring areas, so a bunch of them were with us, walking slowly and dropping pink rose petals. The bikers were extremely proud. Then Pink, accompanied by his mother, and I, carrying my dog Roughage, my other best friend, proceeded down the aisle. We veered off, his mom standing proudly to the side, and Roughage was well-behaved while working over a bowl of beef jerky, and the minister reappeared.
a 14-piece pool cue, and how we avoided huge trouble thanks to The Pink Professor. My point got a little mixed up -- I couldn't remember if the guy started with the tip and worked down or the handle and worked up. But I worked it out in the end when I looked Pink in the eyes and said, "Life's like that 14-piece pool cue, sometimes the pieces come together just right. And that's our life together."
The schmaltz over, the rings, the kissing, and the rice, we all retired to the courtyard, where there were beer nuts and bar pickles in vast quantities. The billionaire had also spent a cool $6 million to bring in the professional roadshow of "Grease." When the troupe did an encore of "You're the One That I Want" and "We Go Together," the wedding party and all the guests were up, everyone shaking their respective booties, totally working it out.
Old Maude and I also got down for a while. She can dance! I congratulated her on a job well done.
Monday, April 27, 2015
Our happy ending hasn't ended yet. We've got a few more days of April and we're going to milk it for all it's worth. Anytime anyone's happy, that's what you should do, because sadness, heartache, and pain are looming in the future for all of us. But today we eat, drink, and be merry! Let's live it up in April, and ... let May take care of itself.
We pulled the blimp into the new blimp port on the west side of town, just north of my $20 million personal library. Townspeople were all around to welcome us back. There were huge cheers for the billionaire, bigger cheers for me, more subdued cheers for almost everyone else, then extremely huge cheers for The Pink Professor. He'd been gone so long, they couldn't help themselves.
Construction teams had erected bleachers and a platform so we could address the folks about our splendid journey to San Francisco. For my part, I read verbatim my blog posts for the last few days. There were lots of oooos and ahhhhs in the crowd and excitement was at a fever pitch, particularly on some of the more harrowing accounts, like when I had to climb up the blimp ladder backwards like a crawdad.
We then were off for a gala whirlwind reception at the downtown coffee shop. The shop belonging to the billionaire, the employees were glad to see him return in one piece, so they'd get their checks. Next we went to Patsy's Steakhouse, also owned by the billionaire. The steaks were great, and, like the coffee shop, there was real relief that the boss was safely back and able to pass out checks. Finally, toward mid-afternoon we were at the Roadhog Roadhouse, which, I believe, either I or the billionaire owns. (I just checked, and I personally am the owner of the Roadhog, according to the post, "The Bikers Bar Is Now Mine." The fact is, when you're a billionaire it's very hard to keep track of what you own.) The employees there were glad to see both of us, but it seemed like they assumed the billionaire owned it. That's OK with me, I've a forgiving guy; I wouldn't forget their paychecks over such an understandable slight.)
The Pink Professor, who worked at the Roadhog for several years, before his disappearance to San Francisco, got the biggest reception. The place erupted when I raised his hand in victory and we kissed. A few others came in from the back court and we had to repeat the scene. The place erupted again. Then a few stragglers, who'd been in the bathroom, came out and we had to repeat it again. Three kisses, three grand ovations! Then I started going, "Where the hell's old Maude?"
One of the cooks confides in me .... he didn't think Maude was all that cool about public displays of affection .... of a certain sort. I thought, "Oh, I get it."
Let me say something important here. The whole story this month, I've been told, hasn't had very many female characters or interaction. Yes, I mentioned my mother once or twice, and there was Patsy from the steakhouse. But by and large, it's true, it's been male-dominated. And while old Maude can't make up entirely for that lapse, certainly she's better than nothing. So we're going to bring her out, and put her on the spot, and see if we can bring her around to celebrate our love.
The whole place joined me in chanting, "Maude! Maude! Maude! Maude!" Finally, out she comes, and the place erupted. She was wiping her hands. "Yeah?" she deadpanned. I looked at her, as if to say, You're our treasure. She came over, then sensing The Pink Professor and I were about to kiss, leaned forward and we both "accidentally" kissed Maude's cheek instead.
Old Maude brought the place down when she wisecracked, "See, you two can kiss girls!"
Sunday, April 26, 2015
Of course I'm delirious with my good fortune to this point, having received back the missing piece of my soul, 7% of its total, lost in San Francisco in 1975. Then my delirium continued with my ecstatic reunion with The Pink Professor. To think we're back together again! ... My mind is totally blown! Then, as well, I've had the coolest, richest friend at my side, the billionaire! None of this could've happened without him, the financing alone would've staggered me. Cool dude! I'm about ready to explode if anything else cool happens; don't try me!
Everyone's looking at us -- me and Pink -- and wondering what's next? And how does the billionaire fit in this picture? Since, naturally, everyone thought that he and I would end up together; we've been joined at the hip all month, so that would've been a pretty good guess. Yeah, yeah, he's still in the picture -- I'll put all rumors to rest. He's still in the picture as a dear, dear friend. Who did for me so many things that blew my mind. The whole month's been a mind-blower!
I don't know what else I can say, though, without making everyone entirely jealous. Because I know, one guy's good news is a source of pain for everyone else. People would rather see you dead than think they themselves somehow missed out. How can this guy be so happy, while I sit here in my same old boring life, missing out on everything? I'm not going to ask for a show of hands, OK? Just know, I know that's how the world goes 'round. I've felt the daggers shooting my way since way back, like when the billionaire gave me the $2.1 billion. The cattiness I got, I shouldn't say anymore.
Let's face it, though, not everyone's going to live their lives in such a way as to please you. Still, I know, at some point I have to let this story subside into obscurity, because from your point of view, it's nothing but rubbing your face in it, if someone else is too fortunate. I get that, I took Psych 101. It's why you never hear much about the lives of billionaires. You may see in the paper that a billionaire donated money to a political candidate, but that's it. Where they live, what they do there, etc., the papers don't print that. They don't dare, or we'd cancel our subscription. The lives of quiet desperation we typically live, we don't want their good fortune to be an added burden.
With me, then -- in this story -- it was only adding insult to injury that barely anything went wrong. And that's what people want when they get their grubby paws on a story. A falling out, a sad ending, and for me, the hero, to slink away licking his wounds, to the general merriment of all, taking on myself the derision of my peers, one who aspired to heights above his abilities only to crash to earth according to the spirit of divine justice or karma. Since that didn't happen, What a trite story! I'm chuckling a little. A story like this can go that way, and for most of you that would've been satisfying. But what about me? Oh, I know, I committed the unforgivable sin of being so wealthy my success was guaranteed.
With that out of the way, allow me to continue---
We were so happy in San Francisco. The Pink Professor said goodbye to his underlings/students under the bridge. The billionaire spent close to $4 million tricking out The Pink Professor symbol on the blimp, adding my symbol to it, to portray my soul-completeness and the fact that we were wonderfully reunited, something to celebrate.
We headed for home, one of the world's first journeys of this sort where there was a crew of galley slaves and not a single man was lost. I was virtually certain a few of them at least would've gone AWOL in San Francisco, only to be found in a bathhouse. Am I right? I know if I was a galley slave reenactor and got a free ride to Frisco, I'd probably bale. The hell with diddling nothing but oars, am I right?
A little more happiness to lay on you: (If you're the extremely jealous type, don't read any further.) It's not in the picture, but the billionaire spent an additional $30 million, maybe $40 million, to rent 40 additional blimps (without galley slaves, which was cost-prohibitive) to accompany us as far as the Wyoming area. Also, he notified every biker bar between the coast and home to come out and wave at us. They know The Pink Professor; he's the sun, I'm the moon. And they definitely love him! So they're all out along our journey, throwing pretty petals high in the sky, a lovely sight.
I became so ecstatically happy, I had to go to my quarters, lie there and think, think, think about The Pink Professor, and thank my lucky stars, of which I saw quite a few.
Saturday, April 25, 2015
This whole thing, I could've set it to ABBA music, like Mamma Mia.
I recently got the box set of their CDs, and I'm in tears with almost every song -- as Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid recall the various incidents in my life. My birth, "Take a Chance on Me." School: "On and On and On." The years of acne: "I Saw It in the Mirror." Adulthood: "Should I Laugh or Cry." And, of course, when I first met The Pink Professor: "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)." But in this present adventure, I've cued up one very special track...
The blimp's sound system blares forth the song "SOS" as we pass the mixmaster/tangle outside San Francisco, where I lost a piece of my soul in 1975, which in recent years drew The Pink Professor to it. So, yes! he's down there ... somewhere! We pass with searchlights invading, scattering about, and scouring the area, with our ladder dangling free in the breeze.
I can see a large group assembling, coming up from under the bridge, one by one, two by two, and others, with some going back down. Apparently underlings or students or devotees, certainly strays taken in by The Pink Professor, whose drive to nurture and mold character is strong wherever he goes. I can't wait to be with him again!
Our glad reunion is delayed, though, because turning the blimp around is not an easy thing to accomplish. I swear, we're about halfway to Hawaii before we've turned it around for a second pass. They might've prevented Pearl Harbor with nothing more than a blimp in the bay area on cruise control. We come back for another pass, and some of the underlings are once again out, but different ones. Then, in the long process of turning around again, I see the lights of Reno. Finally, we're back for another precious pass, and this time I behold the majestic figure of The Pink Professor, standing there tall, but waving us off, "No! No! Go away!"
I say to myself, "God bless him! He's so dedicated to his work, he's willing to sacrifice his own happiness." Out to sea we go again, back to the Hawaii area, with the Arizona memorial looking as beautiful as it did that first infamous day in 1941. Then we're back for another pass, but this time I've worked my way down the ladder and am hanging by my legs.
Maybe he actually wanted to stay there, but in an impulsive act, seeing my love was very thick -- thick as thieves -- the Pink Professor grabbed my arms and I managed to hold him as we passed Oakland. I have to confess, "Slipping Through My Fingers" ran through my fearful mind. But with an extraordinary effort he shimmied up my body and started up the ladder. Those on the massive vessel cheered us on. I, however, couldn't get myself turned around, so I was left with one dire option, to climb up backwards, like a crawdad.
Sounds impossible, I know, but they kept playing "SOS" and it gave me strength:
"When you're gone, though I try how can I carry on?"I love the driving guitar on that part; it gives me moves like Jagger. I'm telling myself, The love of your life is directly above you, climb with all your might, just as the crawdad makes his way under his rock, be it easy, be it hard. It's true, crawdads don't take days off. And like the post office, they simply aren't put off by the elements.
We docked for the night at the Transamerica Pyramid Center. If you know anything about San Francisco, it's a big building that tapers to a point, hence the name.
Friday, April 24, 2015
"Big blimps billow blissfully," I told myself last night as I tried to fall asleep. The galley slaves had climbed up into their quarters; without their rowing, of course, we couldn't make the same progress, but their argument was, 'We have to sleep, too.'
I lay awake on my cot, thinking of the weird confluence of past and present afoot in these strange days. We had narrowed it down to this fact, that the piece of my soul that I'd lost in San Francisco in 1975 was the center of the entire trip. I kept thinking back to my night there, under one of the highways, wondering what the morning would bring. I was hitchhiking out.
The soul split was unfortunate, and when morning came, close to 40 years ago, I should've looked for it more diligently. The truth is, I felt a distinct difference, but at that age how would I know how much soul I'd need? Or that decades later I'd have a friend and lover who'd obsess over it to the point of going there? I thought The Pink Professor was the perfect man -- and still do -- but, Get a calculator! Wouldn't it be smarter to stay home and enjoy 93% of my soul than leave to get by with 7%, or however much it was?
Now, of course, I realize soul splits can happen when you're confused, beset with worries, wondering about tomorrow, etc., "Oops, there goes another piece!" But as a kid you're dumb. You're immortal. You can always go to church and they'll give you 7%, or whatever, like a gas station. Little did I know, they're powerless to help you. If you feel your soul even appear to crumble, you deal with it right now; carry Super Glue if you have to...
So I spent that night clinging to my pack and possessions for comfort. And with morning, caught a ride. I spent the next night, a disastrous, cold night, outside Winnemucca, NV, and wasn't myself. I was totally freaked out when I crawled to the middle of a culvert under the highway and imagined scorpions and other animals crossing through there. It left me no choice -- split soul and all -- but to get out and spend the night wrapped in my space blanket, standing by the side of the road. A military general picked me up at daylight and said I looked like his son. He bought me breakfast and gave me $5.00. I have to wonder, if I'd had the rest of my soul, maybe I'd have gotten more.
Back to today, I knew at some point the blimp would be near Winnemucca. The memories of the old general are actually sweet ones, though by now he's probably dead, and his son old like me.
In other activity -- it wasn't all boring contemplation -- I tried one of the billionaire's other chamber suits -- this one meant to hone your mental acuity in the zero gravity chamber. My vision was sharp, hyper-realistic. I saw The Pink Professor, as in a musical, on his knees like Al Jolson, calling out to me, not "Mammy" but "Babyface!" Behind him was a large group of devotees, also calling out. I saw an underground shrine and a whole apparatus of devotion and sacrifice. The Pink Professor counseled two old derelicts, who were given an honored place in his group, the "Servants of the Beloved," the "Beloved" apparently being him, me, or 7% of my soul.
I shuddered and left the chamber. Because if one broken off soul shard is so important, I don't want to lose any more.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
The billionaire once again was true to his word, always giving 150% effort. I arrived at the construction site, and after just a few hours, everything had proceeded on a scale similar to the work long ago on the Egyptian pyramids. In this case we were building a blimp port and a blimp itself!
How impressive it was, too. This port isn't just a one-off temp thing. The billionaire bought land just north of where my $20 million personal library will be. This is a real facility. And it took them less than an hour to clear the land -- before it was a forest, while being in the city limits. We're in a hurry, with things to do!
As I approached, it took my breath away to see that majestic blimp docked above us, with The Pink Professor's unremitting pink symbol. This was easily the biggest blimp I'd seen all day. Off to the side was an elevator fit for NASA. The blimp itself has luxurious accommodations, with amenities too numerous to list. Including a zero gravity chamber in the center, for relaxing from the pressures of life. After we would load, the galley slaves would load, whose rowing would keep air currents at an optimal stream. Wait! Galley slaves? Sort of, they're a local galley slave reenactors group.
In my opinion, these guys were a little slow on the oars, but their argument is, If you rowed close to 2,000 miles you'd be tired, too. Perhaps. But I think a good old fashioned whipping would have sped them up; but these are the sacrifices we make for living in more modern "civilized" times. (If I seem critical, it's because I did my master's thesis on galley slaves, subtitled, "Those Were the Days." And I never have enough real-life opportunities to critique the practice.)
By afternoon, we were off! Headed for San Francisco, where, according to the billionaire's plausible theory, we would find The Pink Professor. Just like the Tony Bennett song, I told him once, "I left a piece of my soul in the San Francisco area." Obviously that hit him as a search worth making, and he left. He was lost to me, a relationship I never thought would end. Now I must find him.
I kept my seat till we were over Colorado, when the higher altitude started doing things to my head. I needed the refreshing tonic of a zero gravity atmosphere, so I left my seat and went into the chamber. To enhance the experience further, the billionaire had various suits we could wear. I picked one of the heavier suits, an amniotic sac simulator. That and floating in zero gravity gave me the world's best space to chill out. And drift.
Frankly, it was stunning. I witnessed my whole personal development -- phylogeny recapitulating ontogeny -- that whole scene. I remembered things about myself, things that can't be verbalized beyond "Goo goo ga ga." I felt so extremely thankful for my mother, whose body allowed a place for me so long ago and brought me forth. Now she's passed on -- in 2013 -- and I miss her terribly, but on the bright side, I've got this blimp, running a close second.
In the mix, in the stew, in the wash, in this kaleidoscopic array of mental and metaphysical wonderment, I also saw the development of the Pink Professor. His spirit towered over his physical embryo, a foot taller if it was an inch! I swear on a stack of ultrasounds. It could very well be that that's the way he is today as well, a larger spiritual presence hovering over a little literature professor's body. This insight I will carry to my dying day. It certainly explains his success with rowdy bikers. And the impetus of going to San Francisco to look for the missing piece of my soul. Once he got there, then, he simply had to serve. I would have to be careful bringing him out.
I stepped out of the amniotic suit and made my way back to my seat. Billionaire: "Things are going great." Me: "It feels like we're going a little slow. Where's the whip?"
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Whatever your troubles,
the Roadhog Roadhouse
the Roadhog Roadhouse
always makes things better.
The billionaire is everything a great friend should be, extremely rich, wallet always open, and when you need him, nearby. When I first met him, I said, "A guy could get used to this," and that early intuition has been confirmed time and time again.
That's not to say I don't sometimes want to use my own money. Just to clarify, I personally make about $450 a month in disability income (game toe), then on top of that I have around $2.1 billion, thanks to the billionaire. Some of that I'm saving -- the $450 -- in case the rest goes ... fizz.
Something happened this morning that for a second pissed me off at him, but I can't stay mad very long at such a good, rich friend. Although in a way I'm doing him a favor with my anger, because billionaires don't get that true gut reaction very often. Everyone's always kissing up to him, he probably likes being told off once in a while.
He came over very early, before I'd even been to the bathroom, before the dog had been out, and mousetraps checked, you know the routine. A guy wants his private moments without every billionaire in the world horning in. To make matters worse, he springs this news on me, that he bought the Roadhog Roadhouse bikers bar!
I was all up in his face, and pounded on his chest, crying, "You knew I wanted that bar!" Only I hadn't gotten around to it yet; the world of high finance is new to me; I didn't even know who to contact, Eddie, probably, since he's the owner. So I'm halfway cussing the billionaire out, "You son of a --! You rotten bast-- !"
His fun over, the stringing me along, he laughs and says, "I bought it for you, silly. I didn't want someone else to get it. Eddie wanted out." I started to say the obligatory, "I'll pay you back," but he waved it off. "What's the difference?" he said, which is true. When you're extremely rich, and you're friends with someone, the rest is just laughter and backslapping; no one's in anyone's debt, he's just happy to do it, and in that spirit, I accepted the keys.
We did get down to some serious stuff, when he said that friend and confidante Garrett Al (aka Geritol and Jor-el) filled him in on the whole Pink Professor situation. Of course I know the Pink Professor through the Roadhog; it's our basic rendezvous point. But he's been MIA, after an argument we had a few years ago over meditation practices. And I want him back, but where to look?
The billionaire said, "You know I stand ready to help with anything you need in the search. I want to wrap this up ASAP, because I don't want you suffering, OK?" I nodded and kept my head down. He saw that hint of pain and exclaimed, "OK, that's it! I'm now in charge!" I was speechless. What can you say when you have a friend so doggoned filthy rich and dripping with confidence, but "Yes sir!"
We sat and he said, "Tell me everything you know." The discussion went on for quite a while, as I shared with no real goal, since I didn't think I knew anything. "Tell me everything you've ever talked about, and don't worry, I respect your privacy and won't share it with Geritol." (Jor-el and I have a history, and whereas I'm not that hushed mouth around him anymore, it's nice to know my dirty laundry won't be hanging in plain sight.)
After an hour of sharing, the billionaire exclaimed, "I know where he is!" taking from our conversation this one little obscure nugget. "You were in San Francisco in 1975. You spent a night under an interstate bridge. You told the Pink Professor you left a piece of your soul there. Your argument was over kundalini meditation. He went there to find that piece and reconcile himself to you." I filled in the rest, "But he's blocked, and now can't come home, analogous to failing to attain samadhi in yoga, till he restores and completes me." The billionaire nodded, "I suspect as much."
He said he'd handle the preparations. I would spend the day tidying up the Roadhog bar -- Eddie left some dust bunnies behind -- while he would oversee construction of a blimp and a full blimp port. We would find the Pink Professor and bring him home in style!
That was a couple hours ago. I brushed my teeth, went to the bathroom, and for 20 minutes was sweeping up behind the bar -- thanks, Eddie, the dust bunnies were dinosaurs! -- then took a load of trash out back. Some guy's sleeping in the dumpster so I had to leave the wastecans next to it. Looks to be a good day.
Tuesday, April 21, 2015
A forlorner passel of professors than these guys I've never seen, tasked with finding The Pink Professor but returning home today with, unfortunately, bad news. No matter where they looked, he wasn't there. No one remembered seeing him in the various states they went through. An obvious question would be, How did you cover the entire country in one day and take that as a real effort? But I only asked them about the places they looked.
I was perhaps a little sterner than I should have been, putting my questions to them with abruptness. "Did you try the mountains? Did you try the valleys? The large cities, the small towns? Bars, churches, grottoes, fens, forests, granges, museums, parks, moors, deserts, garage sales, colleges, libraries, dives, monasteries, warehouses, bomb shelters, the bottom floor, the top floor, basements, rooftops, jails, nooks, crannies, and -- perish the thought! -- cemeteries?"
Yes, yes, yes, yes... they had tried all those places. One prof even thought of seeking him in chat rooms, and while he found no sign of The Pink Professor, for the next six months he has dates. So, from his point of view, my expenditures weren't a complete waste, just so someone's there to pay the medic after he's knifed or worse. Still, I'm glad he checked the chat rooms. Perhaps Pink had fallen so low as to seek comfort there. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes.
I was very morose through the afternoon yesterday, then certainly through the night. I tried to listen to music, but interpreted every song in terms of myself and The Pink Professor, and bawled like a baby. Including an old song sung by the Kingston Trio, "I Bawled," which goes, "And I bawled, I bawled, I bawled, I bawled, mon you should've heard me bawl!" But worst of all was Andrew Bird's "Armchairs:" "I dreamed you were a cosmonaut of the space between our chairs, and I was a cartographer of the tangles in your hair." That's our relationship. Which tangles ... I may ... never again see... Then "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" came on and I was gone.
But enough about me and that wreckage. I had to renew my confidence. I prayed, and in response the image of The Old Philosopher, Eddie Lawrence came to me [he's on Spotify], from his unrecorded song, "The Billionaire Philosopher":
"Is that what's got ya down, Moopsie? Well, you raise your head up high, and you get out of that bed, and you go forth with renewed confidence, and you will show the world! You'll show the world! That nothing can bring you down, and nobody can deny you your dear professor friend, as long as you got [BANG BANG] Billionaire Power!"Hell's bells, why was I down? Didn't the billionaire tell me, Money is power, achievement itself? He's demonstrated it enough times, and yet there I sat, thinking myself into the pits, writhing and twisting myself out of shape in poverty. It's ridiculous!
So this morning, that's why I could "show the world," when the professors came in with their sad sack story, telling me where they'd been, and that the Pink Professor was in none of those places. All I can say now is, We've eliminated where he's NOT. If I don't find him today, there's always tomorrow. And if I can't come up with a good idea, the billionaire's sure to know something. He'll hire better people, professors with a single brain cell to rub between them, instead of these local guys, good for the work, perhaps, of an intro course, or some idiot's job like sorting books, but not so good for a transcontinental manhunt, no matter what affinity they may share with The Pink Professor based on themselves being dedicated, albeit lacking, scholars.
A few days ago, I learned an important lesson, when the billionaire taught me that I indeed was a billionaire. And billionaires, while they can grieve as others, are smart enough to know they mustn't wallow. What's the use, when you have that much money? As a poor man, sure, I could never find The Pink Professor, and, believe me, I'd already checked out a few of those chat rooms. Not that I expected him there, but I did expect some of those guys to know of him and be lusting for him. I allow that; you can look, just don't touch.
Now that I have money, I swear, I'm going to have his unremitting pink shield vulcanized, made to emit powerful volts. Bringing pleasure and healing to himself and me, as we intuit its underlying power and know its subtle magic. But swift destruction to all adulterers, and those making even the slightest trespass. I invoke the spirit of Jamake Highwater's Mythology of Transgression.
No sir, this is one billionaire, speaking of myself, and polishing an apple on my vest, who refuses to waste away and watch his life wither on the vine. There's too much going on inside me-- to speak of something other than material wealth. That's where I keep the meat of the goodie, moxie on the ball.
As to what the Pink Professor may be up to? Maybe he mistakenly thinks I'm the kind of guy to carry a grudge. He surely doesn't. Maybe he thinks he was in the wrong and so is terribly embarrassed. I know neither of us was really wrong, and he surely knows that, too. Or maybe he has some other reason for being gone. Time will tell, and when I find him, I'll know.
Friends, I feel it in my bones, I've already pictured the happy consummation of this struggle, this search, in my mind. So let it be written, so let it be done. Roger Wilco and out. This bastard's goin' down! Tora, Tora, Tora! 54-40 or fight! Millions for tribute, not a cent for charity. Once I was lost, now I am found. Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt, fightings and fears within, without, my loving Pink Professor, my darling, I come, I come.
Monday, April 20, 2015
Right on time this morning, my team of university professors arrived and began their work of evaluating the 300,000 books, their task to choose out books I would want. They couldn't wait to dig in, which got my day off to a great start. A literature guy, a religion guy, a philosophy guy, as well as specialists in sociology, general scholarship, and even trivia, got down to brass tacks, a sight to behold.
I milled around the large sorting facility, and in watching them noticed many attractive qualities. Efficiency, confidence, intelligence, and delight for books, to mention a few. So I may as well say, I've always had a thing for professors, whether they wear the traditional mortar board and gown or prefer the more modern, non-scholarly garb. This group was a mix, which to me only attested to their confidence and how comfortable they are in their own skin. That is to say, there wasn't a dogmatic bone in their bodies, no judgment, just the love of teaching, learning, and being helpful.
You might know where this is going... Watching them, and these forces at play, had me, as it were, salivating, being so often provoked as I am in my spirit at the bitterness in our social affairs today. When professors could lead the way to something better. Then there was an additional reason for my salivating, the longing that arose in me for my own prof, The Pink Professor. O God, where can he be! If only money could bring him back, I've got all the money in the world! If I could, I'd apologize a million times, but of course he would silence me well before I could. It's all too much.
We had the most foolish falling out a few years ago and he left town. I say it was foolish, because we should've known better than to argue about "proper ways" of kundalini meditation/lifestyle. Even now I'm kicking myself in the muladhara. I was at a certain level and he was at a certain level -- without explaining the terms, the argument was over philosophies, the "Trash stratum" (Philip K. Dick) vs. "Sahasrara purity." It was quite the dispute, recalling Jesus vs. the Pharisees. Of course I was the complete libertine. I threw a cup of coffee all over his wall and he rolled his eyes at me, illustrating which of us expounded which doctrine. But doctrine be damned!
Later, in subsequent revelations, I realized we were both right (and wrong for insisting on rightness), and that I missed my man. By then it was too late. I sat at the bikers bar, where we met, for three weeks, and slept behind the bar on the floor like a dog, but he never returned. I thought our life had been complete. But it was all broken. If only I could find him. He's gotta be out there somewhere.
Flash! All my life I've had brilliant ideas when pressed. Now I'm a billionaire, they're even more brilliant. I looked up at that team of professors, nearing the end of their book sorting, and decided, These professors are the ones to bring him home! Like attracts like! Who better to track down a prodigal professor than other professors? One professor in hand might be worth two in the bush, but I don't know where--- [lost my train of thought] all that to say, The Pink Professor gets me ... here (chest bump).
I explained the whole situation and offered to finance a sabbatical like they've never known, if they'd only help bring him home. I set out the facts and shared his emblem (his unremitting pink shield) and they immediately knew who I was talking about, The Pink Professor. There were smiles of recognition all around. One of them, in addition to being a scholar in liberal arts, was also a math whiz, as he put 2 + 2 together really fast: "So you and him? Him and you?" I nodded, as if to say, "You got it, Ace."
Binoculars were handed out -- each responsible for his own pair -- and they became my Binocular Brigade. "Your only boundaries, there's no boundaries. Your only mission, to bring him back to me, or good information. Your only rule, Don't fall for him yourself, he's mine." With that, they were off! Leaving me very much alone, to look over the books they had so skillfully separated from the 300,000, and wait.
My Past with The Pink Professor
The Pink Professor Explains a Game of Pool
The Pink Professor -- The Biological Impetus
Bikers Bars Need a Pink Professor
The Pink Professor A Baton Twirler
Pink Professors Needed -- Immediate Openings
Body Language with The Pink Professor
The Pink Professor -- Someone's In Love
The Pink Professor -- The Rules of Love
Breakfast with The Pink Professor
The Pink Professor -- My Dreamboat
Sex Talk with The Pink Professor
My Real Life Pink Professor
The Pink Professor at the End of My Path
Proceeding from The Pink Professor's Open Zipper
Lovingly Bathing The Pink Professor
The Pink Professor -- Don't Judge Us
The Pink Professor -- The Heavenly Marriage
The Pink Professor -- Concerned About Our Health
The Pink Professor -- Beautiful Things, Beautiful People
The Pink Professor -- Gang War!
The Pink Professor -- Baby, Please Come Home
The Pink Professor -- All Night Long!
Sunday, April 19, 2015
I'll admit it, I freaked out yesterday, foolishly taking on myself the whole burden of disposing of the books from the book sale. I'm just used to my old life, where either I do it or it doesn't get done. But the problems I normally handle are small and a lot easier.
The billionaire came over and saw me sitting there, gnawing my fingernails to the quick, with a miserable look on my face, and asked what was going on. I explained my many predicaments, expecting some sympathy. But all he did was laugh his head off, having forgotten, he said, that I was such a newbie. At first it hurt to hear that, then I realized, I desperately need a second opinion.
He cleared it up in a second, "You don't need to worry about any of that! That's why we hire people, to do the actual work. Being filthy rich is supposed to be a pleasure. You don't see me weighed down like you are. We'll get some people in there for you right now. They'll hire other people, then step back and it'll manage itself." Just like that? Could it really be so simple? "Of course," he said, "that's what money's for."
And true to his word, he made one phone call and within the hour I had an actual company, staff, employees, and probably a loading dock somewhere, and I don't have a worry in the world. Basically it's a plug-in system. If I wanted to go and see what's going on, I could, but there's no particular reason why I should. Just let it go till everyone develops a routine. They'll not only take care of my current problems, they'll invest, diversify, and in no time, probably by this time tomorrow, I will have bought out an industry and be making a profit. I can't wait to see semis go by with my name on the side!
I should back up a bit. Remember the worm bedding plant in Alabama, with their strict rules, hesitating to receive my 300,000 books? The billionaire made a couple phone calls and I already own the company! Then there was all the business about interstate commerce, regulations on loads over 50 tons, etc.; the guys working for me have already worked it out, including procuring the train cars for transport and all the logistics. It's really easy when someone else does it!
They've also put together a panel of university professors -- just moonlighting -- to go through the books before they're gone, to pick out what they know I'll like. Someone scanned my existing library, authors and titles, and the professors, with computers and their own expertise, will make fast work of holding back what I would have wanted. Amazing.
That I want to see. If it's anything like I imagine, it'll be a smooth operation. But it's true: Why should I waste my time on it? Although, maybe I could get a few pointers, like if I want to thin out my library at home. I'm not hiring guys for everything ... there's still some things I want to do for myself. In addition to eating, sleeping, and brushing my teeth.
OK, lesson learned: "Being filthy rich is supposed to be a pleasure." I will live large. I'm going out for ice cream right now, and that's final.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
I'm suffering a weird, slowed-down miasma for my thought-processes today, no doubt rooted in a wild profusion of problems all pressing to the fore at the same time. And weighing me down. I know I'll make it through -- there's no problem big enough to keep me down forever -- but I want to alert you. If I come across mean, wicked, and surly, that's why. Being a billionaire, as I am, only seems to intensify the situation, likely because it seems like wealth should be a perpetual happiness machine, a steamroller.
The ironic thing is that my wealth is creating new problems all the time. Remember my euphoria at buying 300,000 books at the Biggest Book Sale in the State the day before yesterday? I backtracked on that yesterday, apologizing for ruining everyone's sale. Now there's questions about how I'm going to make it through the books, then what to do with the excess.
We were in touch with the worm bedding company in Alabama, and discovered that they have strict rules for what they'll accept. There's all kinds of safeguards they insist on, out of fear that the books might be infested with bedbugs, dust mites, various harmful larvae, and even the dried skin cells from readers, termed by them bookworms. Leading me to snap back, "Nothing's too good for a worm, eh?" Sheesh. But they have "high standards," and all the rest, any excuse to make people jump through a few more hoops.
Another problem, sort of the same, there's interstate commerce laws that shipments of books over 50 tons, particularly involving transport to Alabama -- damn the luck -- is subject to rigorous checking, verification procedures, and of course reams of paperwork. It's all pressing on me like the weight of the world, simply because a few measly earthworms are picky about where they sleep! Please don't write in; I know these are human regulations, based on this bureaucrat having a job, working for this bureaucrat, on and on, bureaucrats on the ground floor, extending upward forever. They're not worried about the worms.
Then even when we get the paperwork done -- and every Alabaman ass sufficiently kissed -- the train lines have their own regulations. Then there's the procuring of box cars, the logistics of all that, the loading, the overseeing of the job, right down to insuring the shipments for liability, I guess lest a hobo starts in on a good book and ends up with head lice! For crying out loud, they're hobos! They live in jungles, and you're telling me they're scared of books! Anyway, I saw a train going through town today and it boggled my mind; how'd they manage to ship anything?
Apart from those problems, there's a few liability issues of a different sort closer to home, also involving the book sale. Apparently we're being sued. Disgruntled customers are claiming all kinds of injuries in the lines involving the guys we hired to slow things down. Some were jostled, feet stepped on, toes stubbed, arms bruised, and one old guy -- 83-years-old -- claims one of our guys sexually molested him! Without getting explicit ... that's probably enough. Just the thought that this old bastard would think our team went out of their way to "get it on" with his little prune is absurd. Hell, I had a 81-year-old guy grab me one day in the park, and I was freaked out but overlooked it. But I haven't been back since.
You know something? I was happier sitting at home minding my own business. Which I should have been doing this whole week -- enjoying my $2.1 billion in activities like this, going out to eat, having a few ice cream sundaes, and maybe buying a new car. The garage could use new shingles. I'll have to check the old ones first, though, just to make sure there's no troublesome infestations. Usually old shingles are clean, thanks the sun pounding on them all day. That's what we could do with the books, spread them all over the half-acre for six hours at a time, and let the sun kill off the bugs, worms, mites, and other vermin. But I doubt if that's an authorized method.
I don't have time to mention two other problems, gold diggers and glad-handers. Glad-handers, too many. Gold diggers, none yet.
Friday, April 17, 2015
A few of you have already written in, complaining and pointing out the problems with my book sale scheme. And I have to say, I think you're right. What a fool I was! What possessed me?
The weird thing is, In all my thoughts and plans leading up to the book sale, I never once thought of the downside. Of course I knew it'd have some effect on others going to the book sale. And in a way, perhaps this was the real purpose, to screw them over. And let my money do my dirty work. Ouch. These are painful things for someone as normally saintly as myself to admit.
Beyond the psychological troubles I may have displayed in this whole episode -- and I'd first assign some of the blame to my recent $2.1 billion windfall -- there is the more practical consideration of whether undercutting everyone and buying 300,000 books, obviously a mixed lot, to get 1,000 books that I might actually want was a good plan. Now, looking back on it, I have to say the answer is clearly NO.
Frankly, friends, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. I went to a book sale one other time and announced I was buying them all. They told me I had a half hour to get them all out. Being a single person with a small car -- and no $2.1 billion with which to hire helpers -- I had to back out. Even then, I was thinking, Is this any way to build a personal library?
So here I am again, I promise for the last time!
Reader G.A. wrote in, "How much easier and satisfying, beyond the euphoria of screwing over hundreds of people, it would have been, just to spend your $10 million on quality books at quality book stores, or online dealers. The very dealers you called 'book hawks." Instead of excoriating them, you could have used their services instead of your logistics team, and come up with many thousands of quality books that interest you for a lot less than $10 million."
To whom I say, "Yes, you're right, G.A. Mea culpa. What an idiot I was. It was truly a $10 million boo boo. It had more to do with the euphoria of doing it than the actual books. And, as the old question goes, What price euphoria?" I see that now. It's funny that the logistics team didn't see this angle either.
So, point well taken. I feel sort of like God after he flooded the world. "What did I do? Maybe I am just the blind old demiurge the Gnostics talk about. I'm an idiot, guilty as sin. I shall never again flood the earth. If only one of the angels, the angel of logistics, let's say, had raised the slightest objection to my plan! What did I actually accomplish? I killed an entire planet of people just to commend one guy for his righteousness. And he wasn't really any better than the rest of 'em, getting drunk in the end and exposing his male parts to his family. On the other hand, What price euphoria?"
Can you put a price on euphoria? The weird thing about euphoria is it sometimes has a mind of its own. But apart from the book sale, I feel that I've made fairly good choices in life. For one, I'm 62 and don't have any "transmitted" diseases (trying to keep it clean for the kids). And there's nothing more euphoric than those events, I've heard, leading to such unnamed diseases. Those are experiences I shall never know.
Another reader, who was in line at the book sale, has a firsthand take on being screwed over:
Mary writes, "I'm a regular reader of your blog, but now that I've found out firsthand what kind of person you really are, I'll probably drop off. While you were perfectly within your rights to buy everything at the book sale, I want you to ask yourself, 'Was it the right thing to do?' Take into consideration the fact that some of us depend on getting books at sales like this and selling them for our livelihood. I have a daughter who will probably never know what it is to wear shoes, because I'll never be able to afford them now."
This hurts me for multiple reasons. Let me assure you, Mary, I am a nice person, and last night was an aberration. The thought that your little girl has never worn shoes, and now perhaps never will, including her adult life in the future, because of my actions, cuts me deep. I would like you to send me her shoe size and your address, and I promise I will lavish her with so many shoes you won't know what to do with them all.
As far as the books, if you could tell me what sort of books you sell, I will invite you over and give you a chance to look through them. You would probably object that, yes, I wronged you personally, yet I'm willing to do something about it. But what about all those I wronged who won't write in, and so will see no redress. These are great points, even if I had to put words in your mouth to make them. Write me.
Yes, I see everyone's point. I could've gotten more and better books by selectively buying them from dealers. And I hurt many booksellers by depriving them last night of new stock. Like God promising he would never flood the earth again, I promise I will never ruin another book sale.
Yes, I see everyone's point. I could've gotten more and better books by selectively buying them from dealers. And I hurt many booksellers by depriving them last night of new stock. Like God promising he would never flood the earth again, I promise I will never ruin another book sale.
No matter what they say, I've always known it was true that money buys happiness. And I proved it last night. As a result, I'm the proud owner of-- what must be 300,000 books and probably 8,000 records. Now it's just a matter of finding the time to go through them and pick out -- whatever -- maybe a thousand I want. The key thing for me is, finally, I didn't have to fight anyone for them, and now I can browse in peace.
I'm a long time customer at the Biggest Book Sale in the State, held every year at the state fairgrounds. But you not only have to wait in line for hours, you have to fight hundreds of others to get up to the tables, get your hands on stuff, and then build and keep your stash till you get out. And when I say fight, that's what I mean. Because most of these guys aren't just "book lovers" browsing, but dealers -- sharks -- who know what's good and what they can sell. As a regular joe you're no match for their quickness and domination, hegemony, at the tables. It's a terrible experience.
So for a long time I've thought, What if I were a rich man? And could just show up and immediately buy everything? And send those bastards packing. Well, I found out; what's long been a fantasy is now a reality. Thanks to the billionaire, and my own billions, it's becoming obvious, there's nothing money can't accomplish.
The billionaire had some people who worked out the logistics to make this happen. They hired some guys (probably 40) to stand at the front of all the lines leading into the building. At the last minute I would take the place of one of them, and the others would gum up the line any way they could, once the doors opened. The book sale being for charity, they're always looking for money. So it was arranged that the main man -- their guy in charge -- would meet me at the front door. The logistics team had studied the official filings of the organization and found what they normally make at the sale, which is only around $300,000, a pittance. But I was prepared to offer $10 million for everything. A generous offer, to say the least.
And that's the way it worked out. The lines were backed up, winding up the hill and around the sides. Guys had boxes, bags, tablets (to quickly look up stuff), towels with which to cover their books, to prevent theft, the works. It was the same as every other time, with all the usual complaints you hear in line, "Why don't they open early?" and so forth.
When the time came, I moved in, the doors opened, the guys were gumming up the lines, and the main man was at the door. I told him, "I am in the door, I am the first customer at this book sale, and I am offering you $10 million for everything. Please mark everything sold."
He saw the cashier's check and called immediately for the doors to be closed. We stood there as he consulted around, with his various lieutenants. They went through all the consternation you'd expect, as to what to do with the hundreds of people outside. One of them came and asked me about it. I said, "Once a customer comes in and buys something, it's his. That's all that's happening. But instead of buying one thing, I bought everything." They knew then, there's no more sale, it's all over; keep the doors shut.
Of course someone had to go out -- and they did -- with a bullhorn to explain the situation. "A wealthy benefactor has purchased all the books. From your point of view, this is a travesty. But the financial windfall for us is fantastic." From inside, I could hear their uproar, but book people tend not to riot -- so they had limited options. The police moved in to put the squeeze play on anyone who got out of line. And the deed was done.
[I was told later that the charity people had taken out enough donuts for the disgruntled buyers that most of them were happy by the time they left. There was grumbling, to be sure, because a few of them thought they deserved a few more. You always get hotheads.]
I stayed inside for a while, milling around, looking at my new books. And, as I knew would happen, I saw a lot of crap, stuff I wouldn't want in a million years. But there were the good ones as well, except this time I wasn't stretching just to have some book-hawk dealer snatch it up faster. There's no price you can put on convenience. The place was eerily quiet, with a few of the charity people still murmuring. I heard one guy murmuring, "How are we going to get everyone to come back next year?" Which, frankly, in my opinion, shouldn't be an issue. People can just ask around if I'm expected to show up, and if I am, they will know well enough in advance to just stay home. Maybe I'll take out an ad saying I won't be there, or that I will be, whatever.
There definitely is a lot of crap among these books. I'm not even slightly interested in most of them. But of course I'm interested in quite a few of them, and will be able to make some great additions to my personal library. Which, incidentally, will be moving out of my bedroom into a new building I'm constructing on the west side of town. I bought the old grocery store that's been decrepit for the last 20 years, and am planning something like a $20 million building as my own personal library.
The good ones from today's book sale will be there, of course. The rest, I don't know what will happen to it. I heard there's a fishing worm plant in Alabama that buys old books and shreds them for worm bedding. That's an option, so I'll recoup some of my investment. Making this a cheaper operation than expected.
Thursday, April 16, 2015
Billionairemania has overtaken the city, as the billionaire and I have spread our wealth far and wide. When they see us downtown or at the shopping center, kids are opening the doors for us and getting twenty bucks. Such good kids.
I've never been so popular or conspicuous, in a positive way, in my life. For which, all I can say is, Thank God for money. It's true what they say, the world kneels at the feet of a rich man. There's always someone nearby with his hand out and a look of sincerity, a beautiful thing.
This thing has taken on a life of its own, like a volcano. I imagine volcanoes gather their magma below in pools, and that it becomes super-heated, then somewhat confined, until it has to blow upward. That's what billionairemania's like. A little town with two billionaires in it brings out the fever and fervor, and it's packed tight, until, "Kerblooey!"
It has reached the highest levels, too. The city council a few days ago, in emergency session, came through with a long-rumored resolution that there simply must be a celebration, an event of some sort, to commemorate the billionaire's arrival, and by extension my favorite-sonship in the town. The billionaire's billions are his glory and my billions reflect his glory, being a gift. But some are warmer to me, because they imagine the billionaire eventually leaving but me remaining. And as long as I keep spreading the cash, I'll have a special place in their hearts. What a beautiful feeling.
So the ceremony was at noon today on the courthouse lawn. The townspeople were gathered, the various fathers of the city, and the one councilwoman we have, and the mayor. The mayor gave a few remarks about shared prosperity, then called us forth "as a couple" to receive the golden key to the city.
Each of us made our remarks of thanks. For my part, I noted, "This has been my home all my life. I have never known another home. In my opinion, and I know I'm prejudiced, this has to be the greatest town on earth. Friends, I receive this key in the same wonderful spirit in which it is given. It is the greatest honor I've ever received in my life. And I have a special place to mount it. Presently I have several pictures, wall-hangings, above my couch. But when I get home, those will all come down, and this key will take their place. At the present time, I am a very wealthy man, and it feels special to have this key. Who knows, though? Someday I may be poor, and if that happens I will still see this key as special, and think back to this day and you with fondness. You are my friends and neighbors, my people, and I love you very much."
Remarks like that are the best, completely sincere. Truthfully, I was almost overcome with emotion, by the power and sincerity of my own words. After the ceremony they crushed in on me and the billionaire. As a goodwill gesture, and as another way of giving thanks for the honor, the billionaire and I handed out fifty dollar bills till they ran out, about a half hour later.
Just as a follow-up, if I was uncomfortable with any of it, it was on one small point, the mayor calling the billionaire and me "a couple." I guess we are, but not in that sense. There's other things going on in my spirit, a sense of longing.
OK, enough of that. I have a book sale to go to -- the biggest book sale in the state. It opens tonight!
Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Well, folks, it's here, the day the average guy hates most of all, Tax Day. Oh yes, how well I remember it: The terrible dread, so you put it off till tomorrow, then the next day, and finally have to waste April 15 getting it done.
But now I'm a billionaire, so those days are gone. At least the dreading part. They still expect you to fill out a little form. As I understand it, they didn't always. But a few of you average guys found out about it and wrote to your congressman complaining. Since it was an election year, he was all over the issue, and even bragged about it in his TV ads. "He forced billionaires to pay taxes, just like you." The good news is, since billionaires are too big to fail, they make it very simple. And, frankly, if you end up paying anything, you did it wrong.
My problem this year is I've only been a billionaire a little over a week, after the billionaire gave me $2.1 billion, so I wasn't sure what to do. It was only a couple days ago that I learned the only reason he gave me the money was to avoid his own taxes. Which is OK with me! But he's been very helpful and connected me with a tax guy whose job it is -- we pay him under the table, that's how smart he is about taxes -- to help new billionaires do it right.
Some of the details are very hush-hush, because, frankly, the IRS is always lurking, sometimes as subtly as brown blight on shrubbery. According to the billionaire, they've always got him in their sights. So he dropped me off by a grove of trees, sent me across a field, then past a motel swimming pool that's been filled in (the concrete perimeter remains), and to a particular room. There, the guy came in with a low-tech pointer and a big pad of paper. And gave us the good stuff.
He goes, "If you haven't got at least one offshore account, get on it today. Go to Home Depot, buy a big plastic tote and some duct tape, load it with cash, and find a place offshore to bury it." I took mine to the river, a good place, where I know there's plenty of sandbars. Some of these sandbars have been there for years, not counting the late spring rains that tend to wash them away till June. Right now it's mid-April; everything will be secure till the middle of May. If we're fortunate enough to get global warming, I might not have to dig them up till August.
Everyone's heard of Swiss accounts. You bury a few totes with some Swiss cheese, and the IRS naturally assumes you meant Switzerland. It's sneakier. You make the claim, then eat the cheese, saving all the way. Then there's the setting-up of trusts for make-believe relatives. Like my cousin, Athlete Foote, and my godchild, Ware Wood Shovelby; and a guy from Africa I adopted, Udum Dolt. We met at a Nigerian Independence Day celebration and he looked like he needed a father figure. It's a good story, because at the very mention of Nigeria everyone assumes anything's possible.
Of course there's also any business losses you may have had. My main business is this blog. It's tough to serve the needs of 50,000 needy readers everyday. For example, I hire a dozen guys to handle the emails I get. Everyday there's idiots with dumb questions, like, "Is Strongheart dog food still available?" We Google it and answer him "Yes" or "No," whatever the answer is. Wasting time like that's a business loss. Hiring the guys is a business loss. And if they steal from me -- and I somehow lost a couple Beatles posters just this week -- that comes out of my taxes.
The other category of business losses is failed investments. You should always invest in businesses that are fundamentally unsound and die quickly. Like tea shops, independent mattress stores, furniture stores, and, above all, carpet stores. What these fly-by-night bastards steal is one of the good financial losses, for tax purposes. (At long last I know why carpet stores are always closing.)
The other killer tax shelter is, of course, charities. It takes about 10 minutes to start and register a charity. I've had this idea for some time. Remember, my parents both died of cancer. And the official Cancer Society, with their years and years of collecting for it, still haven't come up with a cure. This leaves me, according to the scheme, with no choice but to create "My Own Cancer Society." And since I own it, any contributions I make technically stay with me. And because no one actually expects you to come up with a cure, no one's the wiser, and cancer victims aren't any worse off.
This year might be a bad year for me, tax-wise. I might still need to pay on my $450 a month disability check, received before I became a billionaire. But by next year I will have rolled that into a charity for the cure of game toes, which is my disability. Because if I come up with a cure I believe I'll be able to live without the government's monthly pittance.
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Today, April 14, of course, is Billionaire Patriot Day, coming as it always does the day before tax day. And this year, as in the past, we billionaires want to remind all Americans that tomorrow indeed is tax day, with our message being, "Pay your taxes."
It is important for our nation to have a sound fiscal foundation upon which to rest and from which to grow. The billionaire cannot do it all on his own. As has been true from the nation's founding, it takes all of us if we are going to be the success in the world that we need to be. The billionaire shows he's got what it takes, "PLUCK ENERGY ENTERPRISE," and now it's up to the American people as a whole -- rich, poor, dirt poor, or somewhere in the middle -- to show they have those same qualities.
Everyone knows that the billionaire is exceedingly rich. He measures his money in numbers that are inconceivable to the average person. If it makes it easier for you, a billion dollars in dollar bills -- depending on how much space you leave between them -- would stretch from here to infinity and back, then make a circuit around the world 10 times before boring through the moon, skirting the sun, and coming to an end at points unknown. Try spending that kind of money; you have to do it in huge chunks if it can be done at all. And most billionaires have more than one billion!
It sounds like a lot, and it is. But the billionaires know the truth, that their wealth is actually a drop in the bucket compared to the combined wealth of the American people. Their combined wealth is so much that there's no way to illustrate the amount. Were we to plot a similar journey, how far it would stretch, there would be no end to it. It'd sound absurd, something like this, "Around the sun an infinite number of times, filling every crater on the moon an infinite number of times, and finally never coming to an end."
So while the billionaires of society are always heroes -- job creators, social exemplars, and patriots -- it is the American people who are the truest heroes, but only when they pay their taxes. If they're skirting the law and cheating America -- by itemizing deductions, etc. -- they're really only cheating themselves. They're throwing away their heroism, and leaving us very much ashamed.
It remains true, "All hail the billionaires!" That will never change. But we also must say, "All hail the good American citizen!" When he pays his taxes, he provides a solid foundation for everyone, in particular for the billionaires, to flourish, blossom, bloom and grow. The American citizen is the seed, and once he's planted -- faithful in his taxes -- from him shall always be a beautiful place for the exceeding good fortune of a few, we, your heroes, the billionaires.
You basically have 24 hours until April 15, to get your tax returns out, and correct any errors, misstatements, and outright fraud. 24 hours to be a hero and not a goat. 24 hours to avoid debtors prison, regular prison, and public shame. Make us proud, as you always have in the past. We want to be proud of you. And we shall make you proud of us.
Note: I have given my blog over to the above press release from the Billionaires of America group. But I want you to know, I agree with every word, and wish to assure you that I also will be proud of you for paying your taxes tomorrow. You know it's right, just do it. Don't cheat. Pay your full share. Then even if you go broke, at least you'll be proud.
Monday, April 13, 2015
The stories of families are the stories of up and down. You get one generation that's really disciplined and diligent, and invariably they're billionaires. Then you get the next generation, and they're a bunch of slouches, who can't be bothered. They while away the time, never caring to develop even the slightest discipline. And with them, the billions are soon gone. That's a billionaire's sorriest experience, to leave his money to a bunch of ne'er-do-wells, doomed to immediately lose it.
We just need to quit dying, people like the billionaire and me. Because if it wasn't for people like us, I dare say, the financial gods would've wiped out mankind long ago, and there'd be no one to carry on the ways of wealth. I see the bad side of things all the time, though. I can't give society a good report. The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and they haven't got a "give a damn" spirit. The spirit that motivated the pilgrims, the pioneers, and our other can-do ancestors. Back then, someone would say, "Do you give a damn?" And they'd answer, to a man, "Hell yes!" But not these days.
I look back, way back, and I'm happy with what I see in my own family line. Yes, we had a few rotten apples under the tree. But the rest of us were so completely brilliant that nothing they did could spoil the bunch. There's the generations I knew personally, billionaires of hardy stock, who earned their fortune the old fashioned way, through the sweat of their brow. And I heard the old timers telling about the billionaires before them, who remembered earlier generations, and on and on. According to one of my uncles, he traced our line back to Adam himself, using the Bible and Ancestry.com. The vast majority of those generations were billionaires.
Adam himself was of course a billionaire. Even if he didn't have a cent of money. How so? There was no money yet. But he owned the entire planet, every inch of real estate. He'd go out to check his world occasionally, when it was one solid land mass, which he named "Gaia." Then as folks were created and/or born around him, he'd sell them land, pocketing the proceeds and living frugally. He sold Asia to the hordes and never looked back.
As an aside, wouldn't it be fun to be a kid then, and be able to jump between South America and Africa? Always careful to not get trapped on the opposite continent if the drift was especially dramatic. I heard of some of the politics of those days. They had two basic parties, the Angels and the Devils. The Angels kept saying, "It looks like we've got a severe case of continental drift on our hands." But the Devils refused to recognize the basic science, saying, "That ever-widening wet divide isn't really there." True story, even if the translation from Ur-Language -- grunts with tonal variations -- is admittedly free.
The upshot of all this is, my people have always been billionaires, or on the verge of their first billion. You ask, Why did your family seem so poor in the Depression? I explain it like this: They didn't want to show up their friends and neighbors, so they put the big bucks away. Any display of wealth back then would have been seen as overly-ostentatious. So out of mercy, they pretended to have lost everything in the crash. But those "hard times" also helped my family, teaching them greater discipline. And added to their wisdom when the times were right to show their wealth once again, as well as making more, with everyone else in such dire need.
All in all, being extremely wealthy is very sweet.
So we go from the beginning of the world and Adam and all his billions up to me, banking $2.1 billion this past week alone! Certainly I'm very happy and have limited worries. If I need something, I buy it. That's how it is. If I don't need it, I buy it in case I actually do. It's all good.
Sunday, April 12, 2015
It's been a lazy Sunday afternoon. The billionaire's been hanging out at my place. He's usually a fireball of activity, but like everyone he has to cool his jets sometime.
This is what I like. It's what I liked when I was with the Pink Professor, doing nothing in particular, just hanging out like two old slippers. Small talk. Comfortable body language. I looked over at the billionaire, wondering what his dreams must be like. I hope they're not all of exploits and conquests, the next gold-laden rainbow, etc. As much as I like the billions, I'm still a romantic at heart, and like to slow down.
Anyway, there he sat -- the man himself -- a guy with the world on a chain. Even without the billions he'd be a great guy. I can picture him a total success no matter what. Having him asleep gave me time to think over the possibilities.
How about a dashing cowboy hero? Of course he wouldn't be from this generation. We have cowboys, but there's very little call for them to round up rustlers or head off bank robbers at the pass. In which case we would've never met. But he could've been in the Old West. He has his feet on the table at the saloon, dozing off. There's a guy there saying, "Even if he weren't a dashing cowboy hero, he would've been a success at something. Like if he lived in the far-off future, an important mogul in the world of high finance. I'm picturing him as an eccentric billionaire." Then the future goes fuzzy, our cowboy hero wakes up, tips a glass of whiskey, and takes off to protect water rights for the settlers.
Or he could've been a great talent in the arts. Since to be a truly great artist you have to let yourself go, and not be afraid to face the scorn. As for me, I've never let myself go in the arts, so I haven't painted any masterpieces. I've had a blank canvas for the last five year and I'm afraid to touch it with paint. The billionaire might've been born in France, like the guy in the illustration obviously was. He has that look of French insouciance. He's there in France, doing art, with many fans. One fan wonders, "If he weren't such a great artist, I wonder what he might've been. He's too eccentric to ever be wealthy. He'd waste his money in a second and be found drunk or dead in his garret. As it is, he needs a keeper! He'll get knifed in a bar yet!"
I can also see the billionaire as a brave soldier in battle. Brave in the extreme, because he has very little reserve; if he wants something he goes for it. His wealth proves that. It's no stretch to imagine him as instrumental to a major battlefield rescue. The commander says we need someone to run through that minefield and carry out our fallen battalion. He can't do it alone, so he goes to a farmhouse and barters for several stallions. Which he lashes together side by side, then he steps on the middle horse and drives them into the fray. The battalion sees him coming, and they're ecstatic, shouting their admiration like, "That crazy son of a bitch! I never seen such a beautiful bastard!" Even the enemy's beside themselves. Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse, the farmer's telling his wife the story: "That guy could've been anything, dammit, I'm tellin' ya! A cowboy! An artist! In the future, a billionaire!"
Finally, the billionaire could've been an average man of any little town. I have my doubts here, but there's no telling. My dad was an average man in a little town, and he was extraordinary in various ways. He met my mom, and believe me, other guys didn't! So who's smartest? Obviously, my dad. But the thing about the billionaire is, What would he have done as an average man of a town? Even he might not know. He would've paused, thinking, and really going over it: "Is there a place for me in the arts? Or perhaps the military? Anything would be better than this trash route! But it pays the bills, and people like me. They honor me each time as one of the nicest guys they know. And that's success as well.
I was about to go on ... forever ... when the billionaire woke up. Being a genius, he saw I had something on my mind, and goes, "What'd I miss?"