Friday, July 31, 2015

Take The Prison Pledge

We had a major prison break recently, a little while back, and as it turned out there was an "inside job" component to it. One of the folks working at the prison couldn't be trusted, becoming, let's say, a little too chummy with the inmates. This is something that must never happen again. And I believe it won't, if everyone who works at the prison takes The Prison Pledge.

(Maybe you don't work for a prison, but you still want to be ready for it if called upon. You're invited to recite this opening sentence:)

"If I am ever entrusted with the duties of serving in a prison, I hereby pledge not to become so friendly with the inmates that I will do anything illegal for them, recognizing as I do that that's what put them there in the first place and would put me there with them, only then without a salary."

The rest of you who do work in a prison may now raise your right hand and pledge:

"I pledge that I will not become emotionally attached to the inmates or in any way psychologically dependent on them for validation or my personal sense of self worth. I recognize that their attention and purposes are very likely to butter me up in order to get favors that would lead to their escape, and my complicity in their crimes.

"As a prison employee, I value my job and the well-being of society enough to forgo whatever so-called comfort the inmates can afford. I pledge that I will instead seek out the services of a trained psychologist or counselor, or will use self-help methods such as yoga to clear my mind and increase my sense of self-worth, or, at the very least, will look in the mirror and sarcastically question myself, 'Really? You're really tempted to go down this vile path?'"

One of the worst details of the recent prison break had to do with sexual favors rendered. But if I were to be any more graphic, I'd be getting into some serious blue material, so I'll leave it at that. Except to say that it involved a hole cut in one of the prisoner's long coat for ease of access. Disgusting!

"I pledge not to make myself available to them for any sexual favors or services. This pledge is made in the full knowledge that anyone can be tempted, particularly when you factor in the inmates' great appeal, being murderers, cutthroats, and selfishly calculating one hundred percent of the time. They do not have my best interests at heart. I pledge to remind myself often that the fact that they're locked up for 40 consecutive life sentences indicates that any sexual favors extended might be related to their desire to go free. And that even without an escape plan, prisoners are perpetually horny and not always strictly following safe sexual practices."

Friends, fellow guards, and future wardens among my readers, I sincerely believe that the more of us who take this pledge and abide by it, the safer the world will be. And the more secure our jobs will be.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Newsletter -- Mother Whistled For Me

Friends, I'm sorry to report, this is going to be bad news. I've lost -- I'll repeat that -- I've lost all control of the newsletter. It is now in the hands of my former staff lady, Myra Kula Electra.

This is a disaster of the most gigantic proportions, not to be equaled (in my opinion) by anything in all of recorded history. I'm thinking of the time I fell through the ice when I was about 12 and almost froze to death. This is worse. Because I loved my newsletter, I gave birth to it, I expected to grow old with it. If you were lucky enough to get a subscription, I'm sorry, it's gone, finito.

I've been out of touch on the blog -- and I know you've been wondering what's going on -- but it was through no fault of my own. I was more or less unconscious (in a hypnotic stupor) for the last few days. Yes, I have had scattered moments of normal consciousness, which I have had to use wisely, leaving no extra time for blogging. In a stupor of this sort you lose control of certain bodily functions, which means extended periods of unpleasant clean-up. Made worse in this case by having to go out for baby wipes and not making it home till the next day.

Here's what happened. One, Myra Kula Electra is one duplicitous so-and-so. I suppose I should've seen it coming when she was willing to have sex in public with four prisoners on July 4. I don't know what I chalked that up to entirely, although I saw the prisoners as the aggressors. It looks now like she wanted me to get mad at them, as I did, and send them back to the work release farm, as I did, leaving the field to steal the newsletter wide open for her.

With the prisoners gone, she and I had a good couple of days, growing in a tender friendship, I thought. Once I have a relationship like that, I'm very open; it's a family weakness. I want to make a good impression and I see total honesty as the way. So I went on and on, sharing the stories of my life. Not even once thinking she might ever use it against me.

What an idiot I am! This was Myra Kula Electra I was dealing with! THE Myra Kula Electra! Who writes the famous scandal stories in the Daily News, front page stuff. Teachers seducing students, treasurers embezzling millions, deals made through bribery, penis pictures in the legislature, children cheating in the spelling bee, sordid, lascivious, disgusting, terrible stuff, you name it. Why would a guy in his right mind -- me -- feel comfortable telling someone like her his weaknesses? He'd have to be an idiot!

I told her how easy it is to hypnotize me, which was my biggest mistake. Because who better to misuse that information than a strong scandal-mongering woman like her. We're not talking about a fainting violet in Myra Kula Electra! No, she's as tough as they come and she knows it -- compared to her nails are spaghetti. So I'm easy to hypnotize. And then I gave away the whole store, revealing that "Whistler's Mother" is my Kryptonite. If I just glance at "Whistler's Mother" I feel faint, but I still have the power to turn away. But if it's right in my face, let's say, I'm a goner, open to anything that ... say ... someone with an evil agenda might suggest.

Thank goodness I didn't tell her the one thing that brings me out of it! Because that's what saved me. And I'm only glad I even got hungry, because the short periods of consciousness were getting fewer and farther between. Mostly taken up, as I said, by personal hygiene. But after a few days of it I was mostly cleaned out, and feeling hungry again. When I instinctively opened the freezer and caught a glimpse of freezer-burnt round steak, and that was it -- I completely snapped out of it! That's the only antidote I know of.

The whole thing was now instantly clear to me. Like the guy on Queensr├┐che's Operation: Mindcrime album, "I remember now..."

Myra had gone out on errands, I was in the house. I saw her pull in later and go into the garage. She messaged me to come out. And when I did there were large copies of "Whistler's Mother" hung everywhere, with Myra blocking the door. Then when I was in a stupor, she directed me, "Sign here," etc. Which were legally binding contracts, signed unwillingly, yes, but I can't prove it! I'm stymied! I'm looking at my copy right now. Fortunately she stopped at just the newsletter or I wouldn't have a place to sit my butt, as I am now doing, to cry.

I know I let everyone down. You were expecting a newsletter, and now what? It's gone! She even thought of a non-competition clause, that I can't start a new newsletter or serve on the staff of one till my death, at which time, face it, it'll be moot.

I hate, despise, loathe, and curse the name of Myra Kula Electra. She disgusts me like few things do. But I won't allow her to get the last word. I'm cancelling my subscription to the Daily News. Putting a dagger in that puppy right now...


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Newsletter -- We Inked a Pact

I love it so far. Myra Kula Electra and I are a Mutual Admiration Society, fully in love with one another, in the professional sense. We really had it out last night, with a very pleasant talk after I revealed that I knew who she was. Until recently I only knew her as The Lady. But an astute neighbor filled me in on the lowdown, the real story, the whole truth enchilada, the real weed, that she was THE Myra Kula Electra, as though there could be two!

I'm still saying her name, repeating it to myself, as I eat, nap, shower, take the dog out, and in all sorts of life situations, "Myra Kula Electra, Myra Kula Electra..." She said she doesn't care to hear it, so when she's not around I'm complying, reluctantly, with her wishes. Is she the world's only Myra Kula Electra? Apparently so! I googled her and the first 1,000 hits I got were all her, no other. Which is kind of amazing, because when you google me there's about a dozen different DBKundalinis, and 99% of them aren't me.

Myra's a hotshot writer, of course, so the world been beating a path to her door forever. She's worked for the Daily News for years and she's received a bunch of awards. It's all wonderful stuff, the scandals she's well-known for. When a paper has a good scandal story, they feature it on Page 1, they put the writer's name in big print, they specially copyright it, and they're the envy of the other papers.

Personally, I love reading scandal stories, thinking of how delicious it is to know the subject of the story's writhing in horrible agony, "What a fool I was! Why'd I think I'd never get caught? With Myra Kula Electra around?!" No matter what it is it's very salacious: teachers in relationships with students, or the more modern scandal, average people leaving dogs in hot cars. The big difference today -- and Myra's straddled both worlds on this, having been a writer since well before the Internet -- is it all goes "viral" -- a good sickness -- meaning she's been sought out by the best papers in quite a few of the more well-known states.

Like I said, though, we've got a Mutual Admiration Society going here. I thoroughly complimented her for her talents all these years. And she's been thoroughly complimenting me, buttering me up one side and down the other. I haven't had this big a head since, crap, I can't remember when. Like her, I'm a writer. I always wanted to be a writer since I first learned to write. I took a creative writing class and got a C, so I was hooked. In 2008, then, I started this blog, and the rest is journalistic history. I've kept it all very humble, not seeing that many awards. It's like I always say, You can't lose if you don't enter. The big difference between a blogger like me and a newspaper gal like Myra, there's millions of blogs but the town has only one newspaper. And with a million guys out there making payoffs to the big judges, it's all very corrupt; it's hard to win prizes.

That said, I have received awards. I don't want to go through the whole list. It's off-putting to have a guy crow about himself too much. I'll just mention the one I'm most proud of, which was the prestigious Gorton Fisherman Award for Writing Excellence in 2010. Other than that, the "award" I get everyday is the satisfaction of 10,000+ regular readers, each one basically stepping over the next, trying to get to the blog first. And some of these folks I actually know! There's a couple of town criers right in my neighborhood who shout it over the fence. They're busy refreshing their screens, like 24 hours a day, and when there's a post they shout it out and the shouts go 'round town like a round robin little village kind of thing.

Myra told me her basic mission in getting a job on my newsletter was to be in position to do a scandal story on the work release farm. They're sending out sub-par prisoners, like the guys I had, and she's thinking there's some kind of crime syndicate action at play. But then she found out she likes working with me, so she's agreed to stay on and we'll be a team! We inked a pact on it just this morning, her name and mine, signed in blood on a blank paper, with me to fill in the details of the agreement as they come to me. Heh heh, I might throw in some real zingers. She don't know me too well, do she? Any little favors I might desire, heh heh, although I'm not really that lascivious, but I'm a nice guy, the guy my mom raised.

I seriously think there'll be no stopping us. With Myra Kula Electra's reputation and stunning looks, and my reputation -- my biggest priority since being caught with dirty pictures in 9th grade -- and superior brain power, we'll be an unstoppable team.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Newsletter -- Myra Kula Electra

I've had a decent couple of days around the office, with the ouster of most of my newsletter staff. The peace that descended from above was a welcome change from the rancor and continual outbursts you get when prisoners (work release farm) are on the premises. So this has been good for me. I've been getting back to myself, getting my head cleared after ... must have been a month and half of their crap.

The only outburst today came when I learned something about The Lady, my only female staffer, that blew my mind. You have to remember, I never knew The Lady's name. I actually took her on the staff as a kind of token woman, and even if I stood in a court of law with my hand on a million Bibles, I wouldn't have be able to tell you how I got her. The best I could've guessed would be, for some reason she was simply there and I hired her. Weird, I know.

Well, it turns out that is true. Now that a lot more's been revealed.

One of my neighbors was walking his dog by earlier -- my dog and his were nose to nose and behaving themselves -- and asked how things were going with the newsletter. I started telling him about the firing of the men and he waved me off, being a reader of the blog. He then said something that blew my mind, "How's Myra?" Myra? I'm wracking my mind trying to think of a relative named Myra, a neighborhood dog, anything, and he saw my thrashing about. I go, "Who's Myra?" "The Lady, you do know her name, don't you?" I'm waving my hand, for "Details, details." And he says, "I figured you knew Myra Kula Electra."

It hit me like a ton of bricks, a huge wall of bricks, toppling like they're in an earthquake. "Myra Kula Electra? You're full of it!" But he didn't break character, he was serious. He goes, "If she ain't Myra Kula Electra, what's her name?" And I had to admit again, "I don't know, I never asked." "Did she give you a fake name?" "No," I said, "I didn't ask and she didn't say." He went away chuckling, with his little well-behaved dog, and left me alone with my thoughts.

I picked up the paper and headed for the house, and glanced down. The byline on the top article was by her, Myra Kula Electra, of course. She's a well-known staff writer, and maybe an editor, at the local Daily News, known mostly as an in-depth investigative type. If there's a scandal somewhere, and someone feeds her the dirt -- along, presumably, with her own digging -- it's a Myra Kula Electra scoop. The newspaper's the same as most local rags, lots of ribbon-cuttings and guys shaking hands and passing out big checks. But they're also on the look-out for scandal, when they bring in ... The Lady.

Sitting alone with my thoughts, of course I was hashing it out: Is Myra Kula Electra about to sink me? Did I treat her right? Could she have misinterpreted some of my displays of affection? Is she going to nail me for any alleged mistreatment of the prisoners, Dashing Danny Whrfr, Spud Tuber, Stanley "Tipsy" White, and Cannibal? I treated those bastards pretty good, all things considered. Gave them a taste of freedom, a chance to do something productive with their lives, a little self-esteem, trusted them to run around in my name and for the newsletter, and even took them to the July 4th celebration ... where ... each one of them nailed MYRA KULA ELECTRA! at my feet ... But that wasn't my idea, and, frankly, she seemed quite into it!

Oh my God! I started thinking, like I always do when there's a crisis afoot, What do I do now? How do I get myself out of this mess? Then I remembered some of my own teachings given at seminars, and which would make a good newsletter blurb, If there's a problem in your life, take a deep breath and wait and see what might happen. I breathed deeply, It'll all be OK. And, I thought, even if she does nail me in an article, I can surely come up with a good enough explanation that I won't have to leave town. Seriously, Myra Kula Electra's nailed people and they've left town, that's the kind of shame that really happens.

Once calmed down, I started thinking, How about that? My Lady's Myra Kula Electra! I really loosened up, listening to some music, taking a shower, lounging around the house in my bathrobe. I sat in my chair and started saying The Lady's name, over and over. I said it, must've been 100 times, till it flowed off the tongue like .... smooth, baby, smooth as silk ... "Myra Kula Electra, Myra Kula Electra, Myra Kula Electra, Myra Kula Electra...." It's a very calming name, all the A's, like poetry. Very calming, except for the poor bastards who end up in her articles.

"Myra Kula Electra, Myra Kula Electra, Myra Kula Electra," I repeated, when I heard the key turn. It was her!

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Newsletter -- Cannibal's Consumed

With Cannibal back in town -- he'd been away on assignment for the newsletter -- I called for an all-staff dinner, part of a secret plan to feel him out, to decide whether to forgive him or bounce him from the staff. I wanted to see how he related to The Lady. Was the sickening sexual display we'd endured on the Fourth of July still on his mind or had he merely followed the others in ignorance?

To this point Cannibal didn't know a thing about Danny, Spud, and Tipsy being gone. His assignment had taken him up just northeast of Silage City, where people don't ordinarily go, to get a feature on a cannibalistic cult in the backwoods. He was so far out there, and in such a dangerous place, I was a little afraid I'd never hear from him again, but not only did he come back, he seemed healthier than when he left.

I had a place at the table set for everyone, including the missing three. As we gathered I said, "I wonder what happened to Spud, Danny, and Tipsy, where they are." Cannibal goes, "Don't look at me, I'm still hungry." Seeing that he had no idea of any problems here, everything was just right for the test. Our time together was actually lovely, with nothing untoward in regard to The Lady. As we ate we shared in pleasant chit-chat about the cult and some of their practices, such as abducting people from nursing homes and giving them a fit send-off in their ritual. Cannibal said he made some important contacts for future articles.

Naturally I'm thinking, I believe I could forgive Cannibal for July 4. It was mindless sex, he didn't mean anything by it; he was simply weak and so easily swayed by the others in their lust. But then, after we'd eaten and The Lady was working on the dishes, I came back from the office and overheard him with his shrill grating voice coming on to her. "It's just you and me, baby. And this time I'll have you all to myself!" I sprang into view and declared that he was as guilty as the others, who had all bit the dust. "So you're not the completely withdrawn clueless cannibal you pretend to be!"

It quickly became very unpleasant, of course, as in the heat of encounters like this the bile flows so freely and has to have its way. Now fully exposed, Cannibal revealed himself as a thinking creature indeed, and a nasty one at that. "No, Kundalini, and you're not the mastermind Super Brain you pretend to be!" He revealed himself as fully conscious, amazing for one always hiding behind a clueless facade. He belittled the newsletter as "blurbs and trivial anecdotes of your pointless life!" The topper came when he declared of himself, "I'm the one with the true life! A life The Lady will share!"

That was it! In my opinion, a cannibal isn't that far removed from a vampire. And just like Dracula, this little bastard -- who literally feasts on human flesh -- absolutely intended to replenish his centers of power by one or more love noshes -- which could of course prove fatal to The Lady. She was already in his thrall, staring blankly ahead, like a shopper so fascinated by the bargains at a department store that she can't move and so is trampled from behind.

This was when it got scary. I started to move, but Cannibal twisted his hand in my direction and I was frozen in my tracks. I stood like a statue, motionless. But I still had my Super Brain and years of meditation to draw on. It came to me, that a little movement of energies would help loosen his hold. I used a technique called Diverting Thoughts; at a time like this it's concentration that means certain death. So step by step I set aside Cannibal's power by refocusing my thoughts. My thoughts weren't even of him. I quietly reaffirmed my resolve to put out the best little newsletter possible, and also, to be very personal, I thought of my mother in heaven showing me a power fist of solidarity.

I was of course gaining all the time and began mentally toying with Cannibal. Sweat broke out on his furrowed brow and his twisted hand pulled in on itself and he was gripped in pain. I saw in his evil cannibalistic eyes at that moment something I'll never forget, the look of absolute fear. The tables had turned! I returned to diverting my thoughts, thinking now of how much rain we've gotten and mentally complaining how high the grass is. Am I right? While extending my powerful hands and shooting rays and holding him transfixed in my grasp. "Take this, you cannibalistic bastard!" He sought in vain to shield my fantastic power. But in my mental grasp I was able to move his head close to the table, then up and down -- thump thump thump. That'd be painful for anyone, like the pain I feel mowing the yard twice as much as normal.

I stepped forward boldly and pulled the Lady to safety. She was free to return to the dishes. Then I bore down like I've never bored down before. Cannibal's narrow beady eyes bugged out of his head in fear. To be released, he would've sworn to anything I demanded: absolute fealty, worship and obeisance, free articles for life, no coffee breaks, vegetarianism. But I broke my grasp and left him panting and writhing on the floor.

I was surprisingly gracious at the end: "I'm not going to kill you, Cannibal, although I probably should. Instead, you shall live out your life with the terrible knowledge that, thanks to my newsletter, your name will forever be mud. Your shame shall endure as long as the newsletter and the world itself abide. As far as your personal fate, you shall be forever trapped in a purgatory of your own making, and no one will like you. You shall slog out your remaining days in the work release system, until eventually they march you to a small cell, then shoot the only key to its door into the farthest reaches of outer space, where only black holes abide. An existence I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, which by the way isn't you. You're not even worthy of that distinction. My worst enemy is forever the fear of missing the next deadline for my newsletter and blog."

The black prison bus arrived to take Cannibal back to the farm. From a mile away I could see him, looking out the windows at folks that, had he been free, he might've enjoyed.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Newsletter -- The 900-Foot Lush

My staff greatly reduced after Dashing Danny's demise and Spud's degradation, I considered forgiving Tipsy and Cannibal. As idiots, surely they only followed the others when they had sex with The Lady. If I forgave them I'd still have a newsletter staff worthy of the name. But two minutes later I walked into the office and saw Tipsy lightly chucking The Lady under the chin and giggling like a drunken schoolboy. That's it!

I thought Stanley "Tipsy" White was a docile soul who couldn't be bothered with the concerns of our sober world. But he was truly focused on the best of both worlds, a little hooch here, a little hots there. And as for the newsletter, what could he contribute? The time of loveable lushes is past. No one's charmed now or open to the fun and frivolity of the lives of drunks. This is a newsletter for today, not 40 years ago. Tipsy doesn't fit in, he's got to go.

He came out of the garage to relieve himself in the yard, when I confronted him. "Taking a leak, Stan?" I said angrily, causing him to stop immediately. He was clearly concerned, because till then I'd been very gentle. "Go away!" he slurred, waving me off. I went berserk -- it was rage -- and belittled him for his excessive drinking, his red nose, his staggering gate, and all the rest. I spat out, "Your place isn't here but the gutter!" I saw him as the last dregs of a bygone era, unworthy of even the succor of rotgut. Amazingly, he was OK with the stream of insults, but mentioning rotgut made it personal.

We confronted each other without coming to blows, just circling and snarling, glaring at each other. "I'm very disappointed in you," I spat. "I thought you believed in the newsletter." He was honest but full of bluster, "I never cared for your ... newsletter." He said it like it was a dirty word. "But one look at The Lady and I had to have her!" I responded through clenched teeth, "Tipsy, I hope you're clearheaded enough to understand what I'm about to tell you..." With that I charged in and let my fists do the talking. If his head was clouded by drink, it was double-clouded with the chaser.

Then, at once, inexplicably, as if by some kind of ancient warrior instinct, he ran to the far east end of my half acre and I ran to the west. We removed the shoes from our feet, knelt solemnly, and prayed to our ancestors. Then standing again, he pulled out the celestial conch Foster Brooks and blew it, its deafening call resounding as far as the east is from the west. I was shaken, but I also had a celestial conch, Lady Love, and sent its deafening call as far as the north is from the south. The din was so great, Tipsy dropped his conch and about a dozen small liquor bottles rattled in his vest, vibrating, and clattered to the ground. Then he sounded his conch even louder and I sounded mine louder yet, with both combatants in this battle so shaken -- it's embarrassing to say -- that we ejected urine and excreta*. Of course Tipsy ejected mostly urine, with me providing the other and even making up what he'd lacked.

We then charged one other and struck with pummeling blows. "You're a guy who wants his kicks!" I cried, and spun in mid-air, kicking my way to glory. His head now matched his red nose. I saw my advantage and took it, pouring it on, violence begetting violence. Tipsy was on his hands and knees and appeared to be spent and was finally helpless. When, and this was a major moment, like the mighty sailor man reaching for spinach, he pulled out instead an extra-small bottle of hooch from an inner pocket -- this wasn't one of the standard brands, but something concocted by a distiller mage.

This is completely unbelievable, I know, but I swear (or affirm) every word is true. Tipsy swigged that small bottle down, which seriously might've been only 10 or 12 drops, and he was transformed. Everything about him was enlarged. He was vast in size! I looked up and beheld a 900-foot Tipsy White! The local airport threw up their hands. The National Guard was powerless. Even the local cop shop, always so ready to rumble, shrunk back. IT was loose! I had to do the responsible thing. I ran into the garage and secured The Lady, then returned to tangle with ... IT ... a big tipsy IT!

The colossus was making his way downtown, about to destroy the city. I climbed his foot and clutched a pant leg for dear life. Then I remembered the oldest saying known of drunkenness, "Hair of the dog." When he was busy enlarging he had dropped the tiny bottle of power and I had picked it up. But there was only one drop left, one and a half drops at the most. I shimmied down his ankles and to the foot, working my way nearer, ever nearer his big toe. As he stomped along I sweated it out, working my pocket knife, hacking a tiny puncture in his gigantic toe. Looking up, the water tower came into view. If he stomped the water tower both I and the city itself would be goners. I wasn't yet ready but I had to take my only chance, dripping that tiny drop and a half of power into the miniscule hole.

If this didn't work, frankly, there would be no tomorrow. It'd be all over. The Lady would be gone, my vengeance against Cannibal, and perhaps the world itself. But after a few tense seconds I heard and felt an enormous rumbling and roar. The air was sucked dry and there was nothing, then air from 100 miles away came rushing in. Later, I heard that hundreds of pimples in middle schools had popped themselves from the pressure drop and powerful reversal, so this was huge.

I craned my head and looked up toward Tipsy's face, past the clouds. The best I could make it out, I saw the look of fear, then simultaneous transformation. He shrunk so quickly, everything snapping around me, I certainly would have been crushed had I taken even one second longer to leap. As it was I ended up under his normal-size foot, just where I didn't want to be. The optics were embarrassing. Because who should come to my aid but The Lady Herself, bringing down an empty wine bottle on Tipsy's head, and I was freed.

The black prison bus came and took Stan "Tipsy" White away, my gain, the work release farm's loss.

*Mahabharata, Book 6.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Newsletter -- Spud's Eye for The Lady

My newsletter staff was in the mood for love that night, taking down The Lady on the Fourth of July, and I've been in the mood for revenge. Big, violent, terrible revenge, the kind you don't come back from. And I'm confident my grievances will be satisfied. If the righteousness of my cause counts for anything. These guys knew what they were getting into. They knew my rule, "Hands off The Lady!"

With Danny's demise yesterday and exit from the scene, I had to choose, Let us see ... who's next? Suddenly a thought flashed in my mind, How about Spud Tuber? They had The Lady on the ground and that's where potatoes come from. Spud was burrowed down with her and stripped to his skin that night in lovemaking. I've been practically consumed with rage ever since, and now as I replay my memories of her in the grasp of my least-favorite Tuber, that's the topper. It's time to uproot and ship him out.

I have to tell you, folks, rage is a killer. I haven't eaten, I haven't slept. All I can do is pace the floor and cuss the heavens. I'm usually a guy respectful enough not to take the Lord's name in vain, but in endless rerunning of this sickening memory I've spewed so many oaths and imprecations that it certainly would've brought down the storehouses of thunder and lightning on my head if I didn't know within myself such treasures of grace. It's good to be loved unconditionally.

Maybe that's why The Lady allowed these prisoners all over her, just too loving a nature. But that doesn't make sense. She can see, she has feelings, she can tell they're the scum of the earth. The other thing I can't see is how the Potato Man could have had any illusions about his chances with The Lady, due to his hideous form and equally clumsy personality. It's ridiculous. I can only conclude it must be the same for Spud as it is for many other losers, they never see how inexcusably horrible they actually are.

But I've also been thinking, it doesn't seem like a case of a loving nature. She could've flirted with them and left they high and dry. That would've been funny. Instead she willingly succumbed to Tuber that night, and I'm endlessly appalled.

Was there some underground chthonic allure simply too powerful for her? Was it Tuber's connection to nature, the call of the wild, the charm of the primal? Maybe a guy like him looks better to a lady in the dark; certainly in the light of day this potato's not blue ribbon stuff. Whatever it was, there they were, him with his big spudly hands, similar to The Thing of comic book lore, pawing the goods, every beautiful piece of her under the filmy fabric of her dress.

Now, about the newsletter... Danny managed to fill Spud's head with notions, as he was parroting the same line as Danny, "Ahm gonna take your newsletter and make it mine. Ahm gonna take The Lady and make her mine." I had to laugh to myself, thinking, I never thought Potato was that into writing a newsletter. I mostly wanted him for grunt labor, to carry boxes of newsletters to the post office. His talents are few. Yes, he may have the instinct to breed -- and that's where the Lady would come in -- but every three-legged idiot dog knows how to do that. But you have to admit, when it comes to newsletters neither three-legged dogs nor potatoes are any good.

When I confronted Spud about The Lady, I believed I had the upper hand. But as it turned out he wasn't about to go down easily. I vowed I would slice him into enough french fries for an army. He glared at me and I glared back. Then all hell exploded, and there we were, in fierce hand to hand combat. Spud had me in a bear hug and was about to squeeze the life out of me, when I pulled a knife from my pocket and plunged it in his back. He released me and staggered back.

Regaining his strength, Tuber lunged at me, got hold of me and lifted me, and was about to break me in half over his knobby knee, when I pulled out a second knife and plunged it in his mid-section. He staggered back again. And again -- potatoes never learn -- when he lifted me again above his head and was about to thrust me against the broad side of my garage and to a certain death, I pulled out my last knife -- and this is unpleasant, but it's what you sometimes have to do to a potato -- I plunged it in and cut his eyes out. If I'd been hungry he was ready for the microwave.

I fell to the ground and watched Spud Tuber fumbling about on the ground, like Samson, looking for his eyes, as if his Make-a-Wish was to take one last look at The Lady before complete blindness overtook him. But it wasn't to be. Even had he found his eyes, The Lady was inside retyping a new article, on my parents' teachings on pacifism. And I wasn't about to authorize a coffee break.

With Tuber down, I delivered probably the saddest words I've ever spoken to another living creature: "Spud, I once believed you would be my right-hand potato. It really bums me out to slice you up like that. But look on the bright side, you're not crinkle-cut." I put in a quick call to the work release farm and the black prison bus came and took him away. From three quarters of a mile away I could see him shedding a tear, his tear ducts now completely open air and probably running 24/7.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Newsletter -- Dashing Danny's Demise

July 4th marked the end of my newsletter staff as I knew it. Each member of my staff -- Dashing Danny, Spud Tuber, Tipsy White, Cannibal, and The Lady Herself -- betrayed me. So now it's time for paybacks. Which will be sweet, as I systematically destroy them.

I thought, Dashing Danny Whfrf's obviously the ringleader, he's the one I'll take out first. All I knew about was the sexual stuff Danny was involved in with the rest. But in confronting him I soon learned it went far deeper -- amazingly! -- that he planned to take over the newsletter, to steal it and issue it as his own and the Lady's!

In confronting him, I caught him, red-handed, with my notebook of newsletter ideas and The Lady. We stood on the lawn, glaring at each other, The Lady cowering behind the Dashing One. I chose to take a mournful tone, not a strident tone, which would've inflamed things and likely precluded answers. "Danny, I thought you were the one redeemable prisoner on my staff, the brains of the outfit, you alone ... but here we stand."

He seemed perplexed at my sorrowful words, but also knew any advantage he might have lay in a strident response. "What you think or don't think is of no concern to me. You have what I want, I'll take it!"

I kept up the mournful pose. "Of course you mean The Lady, that much is clear, but now the newsletter as well? It's not enough that you find a Lady of your own and start your own newsletter; oh no, that would be too much!" I had crossed into the no-man's land of sarcasm, a place you can never return from, where there's nothing left to hide behind.

"You're right about one thing, Kundalini," he said sharply, "I am the brains of the outfit. Whatever success the newsletter would've had had nothing to do with you. Your blurbs on the minutiae of your daily life hold no interest. I've got what today's reader wants, anecdotes of crime and punishment, doing time and escaping, and sex with The Lady!"

"So you're planning...?" I was tentative, I don't think I wanted to hear the answer.

"That's right, I'm escaping! No more work release, no more halfway house! Once my voice takes hold of society in the newsletter, they'll never be able to touch me! Especially with a Lady like this on my arm!"

I lamented, "You poor delusional fool. A newsletter needs a spirit to it, the spirit of good. Every newsletter I've ever seen inhabited by the spirit of evil has flamed out after the first couple issues. The public -- despite their many failures -- are essentially good. They're the kind of Everyman I represent, a pool in the yard, two kids, three dogs, a garage full of cars. They want pointers on how to step up their game of domesticity, not how to work a paperclip in a jail door!"

"So that's all you think I know, eh? The life of solitude and solitary confinement." I started to feel I wasn't getting through to him, and the ire rose up inside me, my ears glowing hot at the tips. He pulled the Lady to himself and bent her over for a long and involved and very wet kiss. I lost my mind and lunged at him. But he anticipated me and stabbed me right between the eyes. I would've been a goner, except for a yoga move I'd only just recently mastered, the Third Eye Displacement. It changed my focus in a startling new way, so that -- knife or no knife -- I could see my path to victory.

I grabbed the Lady's hand and pulled her behind me. Danny was aghast, suddenly seeing how things stood. What kind of newsletter could he make without the Lady's love? It's unfathomable, even ridiculous to imagine!

I didn't know what to make of it entirely, but self-preservation got the best of Danny and he dashed off, leaving me to phone it in to headquarters. There were sirens and gunshots about a quarter of a mile west of my place, and pretty soon I saw the prison bus -- a school bus painted black -- take the road east past my place.

It gave me the last glimpse I hope to ever have of Dashing Danny Whfrf. I watched closely as they passed and beheld a tear in his eye, which he then defiantly wiped away before assuming a stolid pose, looking straight ahead. Now he was a half mile away and his back to me, details were harder to make out. All I could tell was he had a sneer on his face and was resolved to greater and greater crime in the future.

I learned a couple of important lessons in this whole episode: There are men you simply can't redeem, no matter how good your newsletter is. And second, a knife between the eyes, while being entirely life-threatening, serves as a pretty good beacon to the higher consciousness, for a limited period of time. I pulled it out and got a bandage.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Newsletter -- Five-Way Fireworks

For most true Americans, the world begins anew every July 4. We're worn down by a demanding world and the evil machinations of the other party and we're about dead. It's only with the first firecracker that we're roused again to the barest signs of life. Then as the kids keep up the racket we gain renewed strength. When the fireworks become increasingly dangerous, with actual injuries in the neighborhood, we're nearly our old selves. Finally, when our leaders blow up $50,000 in tax dollars in a ten-minute orgasm of fire and noise, we're good for another year.

But this year, for me, instead of the usual inspiration, my world came to a sputtering end. For it was when the fireworks lit up the sky that I beheld sexual fireworks on the ground at my feet. Yes, it was a five-way orgy, my entire newsletter staff minus me, in full display, writhing on the ground, all hands and body parts, connecting and detaching, then reconnecting in greater and weirder configurations, as if to match the increasingly complicated bursts in mid-air.

To recap what's going on here. I've been working on a newsletter and took on a staff, made up of four prisoners from the work release program and a woman we call The Lady. I've had one rule since Day One, and that's "Hands off The Lady!" Anyone touches The Lady they answer to me. With my answer promised to be a most violent one, something no one in their right mind would even want to imagine, let alone face and tangle with.

Apparently I made two mistakes, bringing blankets to keep the bugs off us during the fireworks, and offering to get Sno-Cones for everyone. I came back from the glare of the Sno-Cone stand and didn't notice what was taking place in the immediate vicinity of the blankets until explosions lit the sky. At which point my full attention was arrested. Certainly each of the prisoners was at his fullest attention, as well as The Lady. That settled it, the Sno-Cones were now mine!

But what else could I do, with a huge crowd of people pressing in on us? I couldn't very well kill them with so many witnesses. So I kept it low-key, dealing out swift kicks when I could, when the explosions were the greatest. But each prisoner -- Dashing Danny Whfrf, Stan "Tipsy" White, Spud Tuber, and insatiable Cannibal -- was only spurred on by the punishment. Angry kicks excited them further, with The Lady looking up in delight, as if to encourage me to punish them even more.

The whole crew was in a kind of weird orgasmic nature arrangement, moving and trading places like a cloud of birds melting in formation across the sky. I hadn't seen so many moving parts in perfect harmonious motion since I couldn't remember when, probably the church camp I went to in 1966 and the wet T-shirts on the girls after that tremendous rain. Again, it was all on display, right in my face, but this time giving me absolutely no pleasure.

The explosions mounted, and I could tell, by body language and just the innate natural knowledge creatures have, that there was a definite synchronicity between the sky and the connections at my feet. Rockets shot up in splendor and BOOM -- Dashing Danny was out. A torrent of large shots made their ascent and BOOM -- Spud Tuber fell with a thud. Weaving, crazy fire made its zigzag way upward and SPUTTER -- Tipsy White collapsed. A giant Uncle Sam was lit on the levee and as the fire engulfed everything before fizzling down to the burning teeth -- Cannibal was consumed. Of course the blankets were ruined.

Each of the men stood then, as if proudly on display like fluttering Old Glory itself, and the five of us watched The Lady respond to the last crazy shooting-of-the-moon you always get with a big fireworks display. I can only say -- fully ashamed of myself -- that for a few moments I too was transported in my thoughts to realms of glory, as The Lady herself sought the heights. She convulsed with each unpredictable explosion, before collapsing in exhaustion just as the last display on the levee was ignited, Lady Liberty, which flamed forth before quickly flaming out.

We went home quietly and then our separate ways, the prisoners to their quarters in the garage, The Lady to her room in the house, and me to mine. This isn't over! There's more fireworks to come, big time punishment to mete out. Huge...

Friday, July 3, 2015

Newsletter -- The Lady

I wrote tributes to the male members of my newsletter staff, Dashing Danny Whfrf, Spud Tuber, Tipsy White, and Cannibal. But just like a fancy meal, it's time now for the main course, my favorite, The Lady. Just like an exquisite lily against a backdrop of weeds, The Lady has pride of place on our team. So much so that I've warned the riff-raff, not once but multiple times, "Keep your hands off The Lady! If I ever catch you near The Lady..."

I suppose I may as well say it, I have a really hard time keeping my eyes off her. When I see the guys of course I'm revolted, my heart sinks, I feel queasy, and I'm barely restrained from lashing out, "You sons of bitches!" But when it's The Lady, it's a different story; my heart just melts. Her smile, her smooth skin, that personality, she's the whole package and more.

The history of men and women since the beginning of the world is an interesting one, to the extent that I know anything about it. I learned as a child that the Lord created Adam and Eve, long before Steve showed up. Adam was created from the dust and Eve from one of his ribs. If memory serves, I believe they also told me, to this day men have one less rib than they would have if they had one more.

Immediately the question comes up, Is it worth it to be missing a rib so we can have women? My answer has to be, Absolutely! What would you rather have, an extra rib or a mother? As a question it's nonsense, because how would we have had mothers if we'd insisted on the extra rib? Clearly in that case we wouldn't have any ribs, to speak of. I'm not begrudging her, Mom was worth it. The Lady, similarly, is worth her weight in ribs.

The other points I feel like making are these: 1) Women are the Glory of Men; 2) They cause us to say "Oo-la-la;" 3) They are very addictive; and, 4) When they were created the Lord threw away the mold. But just stating the points will be enough, because you're smart, you can figure out what I would've said.

I know, certainly, The Lady is the glory of this man. Cute, sweet, smart as a whip, sharp as a tack, gentle but not too gentle, rough but not too rough, not afraid to talk back, but too kind to overwhelm me in a game of tit for tat. Like a good bowl of porridge, she's just right. I can truly say the best move I ever made was when I took her on for my newsletter... If she learns to write articles, so much the better.

You know, it's been only a month and I don't actually remember where I got her. True! That's interesting, because I'm usually very sharp on these things. I know I got the guys at the prison release farm. But The Lady, I guess she just showed up and I took her on, which doesn't sound likely. But I've been known to do stuff like that. I pride myself on making snap decisions, and they always seem to work out great. Wherever she came from, The Lady's the best decision I ever made.

Like I said, though, the worst thing about it is the terrible dread I feel that she might be molested by one of the other fruitcakes. I can't stay awake 24 hours a day, anything could happen. This is the same thing Adam thought about Steve, always coming after Eve, or, worse, himself. But I'm doing what I can, letting The Lady sleep in the house while the guys are bunking in the garage. Putting some separation between them and her, which gives me a little comfort.

OK, that's enough of a tribute for her. I want to be alone now, just me and my thoughts, wherever they may lead me.