522. Elephants in the Room

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I’ve been on a low wordesterol blog diet lately, trying to shake off some of my rumpage, which is the combination of my blog rump expanding over my age limit for the sake of sustainability. You’ve no doubt seen signs on highways or bridges that say “Maximum weight limit, 22 tons”, right? Tonnage over time is what the infrastructure debate hinges on. (Einstein proposed mass over the speed of typing in his early Energy equations. What a visionary. Bet you didn’t know that trivia fact.) My rumpage reduction plan is like that but on a verbiage scale spread out over my readers’ neuronal receptivity tolerance. You see, my good wordesterol has been hanging out with my bad wordesterol and blowing up my whyglycerides. When this happens, word sugars spike, causing typer two diet freeties, a deep fried Brazilian dessert.  Sadly, even Round Bale, a faithful reader from Nambia, corrected my use of fatty the other blog day and expressed his upscale preference for adipose. Really, RB? Do you order steaks that way… “I’d like a lean or low adipose T- bone”? I don’t think so.Related imageThat’s cyber posing, I think.

Lately I’m waking up startled in the middle of the night for no apparent reason. No Big Macs, no fries, no cheeseburgers, no more word salads. In this modern fake news world of instantaneous breaking fake news, I wanted to write a post with not a single reference to that elephant in the yellow room. If you want a flame or full fire to go out, you must stop its supplies of fuel and oxygen. Water or foam can do this. So can a fire blanket with asbestos fibers. I’ll just cook today with no grease…and hope for the best.

Related imageAttention junkies live on attention, good or bad, it hardly matters, because it all matters just as surely as your next breath matters. Heroin junkies feel the same way about their junk. Some athletes also. The root word to focus on is junk, folks. So, to stay away from the elephant and its fuel, I wanted to share some fun, no drama, almost politically free facts I found about pachyderms.

25 Cool And Absolutely Extraordinary Elephant Facts

Posted by , Updated on September 16, 2014

Image result for elephant picturesI was surprised to learn that they have extraordinarily sensitive skin. You wouldn’t think so since it is an inch thick and coarse and wrinkly, but my unnamed source in the Executive Office claims an elephant can feel a single fly land on its body. Some politicians are thought to share this ultra-sensitivity with pachyderms due to a common ancestor.

And what animal, pray tell, is common to both politicians and elephants?  You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. What? Okay. The hyrax. I know, there is a credibility gap between us, but go and Google this statement. I’ll wait for your apologies.Image result for hyrax pictures

Elephants have excellent memories, and are thought to have cognitive maps of large scale areas they traverse. The only time they can’t recall stuff is during a deposition under oath or what was videotaped on a Hollywood film lot… or porn star trysts, or if history calls, or … whoops. I almost lost it there.

They don’t get drunk. It would take too much alcohol to subdue these massive creatures. And then, there is no drunk like a drunk elephant. Then there’s the holding tank issues. Tipsy is not a good look when you weigh yourself by tonnage.Image result for tipsy elephant pictures

They produce several sounds, but are best known for trumpeting which is made during excitement, distress or aggression campaigns. Hmmmm. Trumpeting, how perfectly pachydermish. It’s as if they are telling the world, “Look at me! Fear me! Hear me trumpet!”

Touching is an important form of communication among elephants. Enough said. Whether such touching is consensual or not depends on who is telling the story. When you are a bull elephant weighing in at 6 tons on a plane at 30,000 feet, who needs consent?

Elephants are not scared of mice as some myths suggest. However, they are scared of ants and bees. Consequently, farmers in some African “Shithole” countries protect their fields from elephants by lining the borders with beehives. Clever security wall measures. Related image

Elephants are avid eaters, consuming up to 600 pounds of food per day at McDonald’s or other fast food, unpoisoned, germ free venues, where no one expects elephants in the drive through.

They recognize themselves in a mirror, which is not saying they are necessarily narcissists, but not saying that they’re not. I’m saying nothing till I’m out of the Serengeti.Image result for elephants in rear view mirror pictures

They are the only mammal that can’t jump. Thank God!

Elephants suck at hide and go seek. They are not agile or quiet in their sprints to hiding places. Then there is the embarrassing fact that they are, well, bigly. Some might say hugely. Unhideable.Related image

In an 1874 cartoon, artist Thomas Nast drew a donkey (symbol of the Democratic Party) clothed in a lion’s skin – scaring off the other animals at the zoo.. . . All the animals, except for the fearless elephant, which was labeled “the Republican vote.” Ever since that cartoon, elephants have stood as the symbol of the Republican Party.

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Other elephants have exercised religious or political prerogatives. For example,

The first year of the Islamic calendar corresponds to A.D. 622, the year of the Hirja (the prophet Muhammad’s emigration from Mecca to Medina), but the prophet’s birth occurred 52 years earlier, in what is known in the Islamic world as the “Year of the Elephant”—so named because it was the year a Christian Yemeni ruler attempted (with one or more war elephants) to invade Mecca and destroy the Kaaba, the central shrine in Mecca that predated Islam. According to Islamic tradition, the lead elephant, prophetically named Mahmud, halted at the border of Mecca and refused to enter. So even a pre-Islamic elephant with a Christian driver knew enough not to violate immigration laws of the day.

Democrats were first called jackasses, after their candidate Andrew Jackson. Later just donkeys, strong willed beasts.

As long as circuses have existed, elephants have had a central role in them.Image result

Who can forget Hannibal and his Alps-scaling elephants? 38 elephants. None survived the harsh elements but what a mnemonic device.

Then there is Disney’s Dumbo, the flying elephant. Nothing to add to this factoid.Image result for dumbo pictures

Just a cutie.

And before we park this post in a ditch, let us salute King Babar, one of my kids’ favorite pachyderms.

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See, that wasn’t so hard.

 

 

 

 

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521. Opium Casino

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Over the weekend we wound up in a HUGE casino 90 minutes north, not to gamble or smoke, but to listen and dance to a band we’d heard once before in a much smaller venue, a local Eagles Club. Oh what a sheltered life we lead, my dear Blog Nannies! I felt like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz as we drove up the long approach and saw the Emerald City glittering on a hill, glowing like a Hollywood set, across a field of opium poppies. I could not fathom the size of the place with a four story parking garage and five story casino complex. I’d never seen anything like it. Surely, we were no longer in Kansas, my dear Toto. Of course not; we were still in Pennsylvania.

We parked our car and began the uphill walk to the valet parking circle. It strikes me now how the elevation of the casino played a psychological role to folks flocking in through the smoked glass doors, penitents and pilgrims. Its aura is magical, mystical, like a shrine set on a rise. But a shrine to which god? Fortune, I suppose. Image result for goddess fortuna pictures

Here she is holding a loaded cornucopia, or horn of plenty, a symbol of a bountiful harvest. And what are her worshipers praying for? A bountiful harvest, of course, shocks of shekels and drachmas, flatbeds of florins and dollars. Related image

My wife and I were clueless neophytes at the temple of Luck. As we walked up the grade around the traffic circle, we could smell tobacco smoke. Huh?  There is no way that we should smell any smoke so far from its source on a drizzly January night, but we came to learn we were wrong. On the other side of the smoked glass doors, a trollish i.d. checker person was posted with an ultraviolet flashlight that could read licenses magically, and detect fraud. Like the TSA uses. Huh? Were we taking flight somewhere? “You must be 21 to enter the premises”, so many signs said. Twenty one to legally practice your addictions in this cavernous “safe room” to shoot up your dopamine levels. Magic crack. Legal suicide. Socially acceptable self annihilation.Related image

While we tried to figure out the deal, where the stage was located, dining options, just a basic sense of direction, etc. we were overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, smells and general buzzing vibe of the place. Its low hum reminded me of the cruise ship engines from years back. Thousands of gambling video games spread out over acres of floor space amid faux Egyptian architectural accents. Robots sat with a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other. Folks in power wheel chairs and manual walkers, oxygen tanks on some, nothing would stop them from their appointed rounds. Round and round their eyeballs spun in the sockets; roulette balls seeking absolution from the cold dead odds of fate.Related image

Cravings were palpable. Cigarette and cigar smoke hung in the air, irritating my nose, throat, and eyes. The constant pinging and little riffs of carnival music reverberated like ten thousand hungry cicadas. I imagined Pleasure Island from Pinnochio, and each gambler growing a tail, sprouting asses’ ears, and preparing to enter coal mines to Hell, whinnying their futile resistance. “We just came to profit not to perish.”

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What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his soul?

I needed to use the bathroom. I noticed a sharps container on the wall. I’d never seen one outside of a hospital. I wasn’t sure why such a container would be needed in a casino– insulin shots? epinephrine pens? asthma shots? heroin? And who handles such razor sharp toxins? The cleaning staff were not All Star nurses or medical technologists, let me tell you. I was confused yet again.

Oh well, we were there for the band and dancing not for moral compass calibrations. After eating dinner in a side room off the main restaurant, off a football field of video games and table games, we found the central stage/bar/dance floor combo. Funny thing was we could not hear the loud rock and roll music across the casino floor despite major decibels cranking. The undercurrent of all the games obliterated Deep Purple’s Highway Star. Now consider this factoid,

They (Deep Purple) were listed in the 1975 Guinness Book of World Records as “the globe’s loudest band” for a 1972 concert at London’s Rainbow Theatre.

Are you feeling me yet?  My intestines were rocking along with the song’s not so pure lyrics,

I love it and I need it
I bleed it 
Yeah it’s a wild hurricane
Alright hold tight
I’m a highway starImage result for deep purple live photos

But on the way to the bathroom, running the carnival gauntlet of cigarette smoking zombies with frozen fish eyes, through fog banks of acrid tobacco smoke, inundated by goofy accordion runs and xylophone noises, other forces moved my viscera. The pulsing power of addiction was ambient, like walking through a floating narcotic plasma. The desperation of it all permeated my clothes, my nose, mouth, ears, my bowels, my soul. I needed a shower. But what soap washes off carcinogenic desperation?Image result for smoky bar scenes

Cheryl Crow’s Leaving Las Vegas comes to mind…

I’m standing in the middle of the desert
Waiting for my ship to come in
But now no joker, no jack, no king
Can take this loser hand
And make it win

Not that the casino will ever play that antiseptic song. Too depressing and true. For every winner there are ten thousand losers. Almost as bad as our tax code. Absinthe for the masses, green ghosts are distilled from wormwood. The house always wins over time. That’s how they pay for the opulent house/shrine/temple. Pick your poison, please.

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The band was tight and entertaining, lively, far more than the sinking graveyard of humanity surrounding it.

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If what Marx said, “Religion is the opiate of the masses” was to be considered as some kind of truth, what are we to make of an Opium Casino impersonating an Egyptian tomb? Snake eyes.

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520. A meal of minnows

Related image“Are you going to put that in the blog?” Joel asked after a clever turn of a phrase I can’t even recall an hour later.

“No, it’s not that simple, Joel. You must have bigger fish to fry to make it to a thousand words.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that.”

“You can’t make a meal out of minnows, my good man.”Image result for a bucket full of minnows picture

Chuckle. “Oh that’s good. There’s a lesson for our populace these days: they are so busy trying to dine on minnows.  Petty if you ask me. Maybe you could at least make a pizza with minnows as a topping choice for the die hards.”

“Perhaps, but I don’t want others trying to influence the outcome of my sacred blog. It is an institution of high integrity in my mindscape. Are you working for some Russian troll farm, Joelputinsky?”

“No. My people came from Switzerland. Net neutrals. We were arms merchants. I must say, though, your post on the Donald was priceless.”

“Joel, you have to be more specific. I have written about Trump nearly as often as I have about you. Are you referring to the fake Mueller interview?”

“Yes, that one.”

“Uh huh. I channeled my inner DJT, also known as unbridled narcissistic navel gazing id.”

“Well, as I read it, I felt I was in his very great overbearing presence…”

“Thanks.”

” Eh hem! I was not finished. He reminds me of my drill sergeant in basic training back in the 1960’s, totally invasive, spraying microorganisms in my face with each barked out order or comment. When I wasn’t paying attention, why he’d come after me for not taking a knee in rest position.”

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“Wouldn’t you like to go back in time and tell him you were being patriotic and not following the lead of overpaid, unpatriotic professional athletes from the future NFL? You could have turned his complaint into a historical/political anachronism. Kaboom!  Blown his tight little mind into a thousand million shards.”

“You see, my mind does not work like that. I can’t travel across time and space the way you do. I am merely a foil that illustrates your genius, like Dr. Watson was to Sherlock Holmes.”Related image

“Yes, I see it now, my good man. The tweed. The deer hunter caps. The wide world travel. You are compensating for not being me.”

“Is it that obvious, sir?”

“Painfully, man. Pull your self together. Such obsequiousness is unbecoming of a man of your accomplishments.”Image result for caterpillar pictures

“I like that. I should not be intimidated by the brilliance of others. I am a good person, even alone on a desert island, with out any audience. I am enough. God I hope that is true.”

“Joel, you would die in ten minutes on a desert island. You are no Tom Hanks in that movie Castaway.”

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“What makes you say that?”

“Well, in the movie, when he opens up the ice skates…”

“Yes, he uses them as dental implements later, right?”

“Yes, but you would have put them on and turned an ankle while looking for ice to skate upon.”Image result for nancy kerrigan on ice injured photos

“Ouch. You mean I am too literal?  I am stuck in the box and can’t think outside of it?”

“I’m saying if you open a box with ice skates, you should immediately put them back in. Think inside the box. That’s what lawyers are trained to do, and the box in this case is the law.”

“Oooohh, okay. I think I’m following you, but that’s like following an otter in a water park.”

“Joel, you will cease and desist all analogies and jokes. That’s my department. Is that clear? Otherwise I will have you send yourself a stern letter.”

“Yesssss, but can’t I have at least one bread crumb line here and there which illustrates my subtle ways and irresistible plain yogurt charm?”Image result for sour baby faces

“Okay. You get one. Don’t abuse the privilege. And it better be Greek yogurt, sour and stiff.”

“Did I ever tell you about my tuba mentor, Harry Feathers?”

“I thought your career in sousaphilia was a consequence of misbehavior at school, a condition of your probation.”

“I’m ignoring you. He was a veteran of World War II. And before I shipped off to basic training, he gave me a white cloth.”Image result for waving a white cloth pictures

“To polish your tuba?”

“No. He told me that in the military there would be commanding officers who could not tell useful work from lollygagging.  He gave me the cloth and told me to polish whatever was nearby whenever a commanding officer approached me. He told me to just pretend to clean something, anything really, and I’d never be given k.p. or some other odious task.”

“And?”

“Worked like a charm. I never had k.p. or any other odious task for the ten weeks of basic.”

“Even if you polished an invisible turd, you got out of forced labor?”

“Something like that. I kept that cloth all the way through my military obligations. Later I used it and a little Brasso to polish my tuba in honor of Harry.”Image result for polishing brass tuba bell with a white cloth photos

“That is very sweet, Joel. Touching.”

“I can be more than you paint me out to be, you know?”

“And how do I paint you to be, monsieur?”

“Uhhhhmmm, like a tortured Picasso.

“Like the cubist period  Picasso? Like this..?”

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“Yes, what is that one called?”

“The tuba player polishing his invisible turd.”

“This is why I hate you. You toy with me, draw me closer with your verbal chicanery, and then torture me like a housefly on a needle for your own perverted entertainment.”

“I cannot argue with your astute observation, Watson. It is elementary, good man. But let us remember, that when fishing, one must be either the fisherman or the worm. In our relationship we are at opposite ends of the same hook.”Image result for worm on a fishing hook photos

“Tenterhooks, more like it. I am so often hung out to dry, you know.”

“Yes, I am aware of this, Joel. But I am trying to stretch you, keep you from shrinking up in the harsh sunlight of life.”Related image

“So this is therapeutic pain that I am suffering in your presence?”

“Exactly, Watson. This is therapy. In lieu of bigger fish, enjoy your minnows.”

 

 

 

 

519. Influence or Control?

Image result for dot in a big circle picturesYears ago our very wise pastor John began a sermon lesson with a huge circle roughly hand drawn on the projection screens above him. “This is your area of influence. Okay? Everyone got that? It represents all your work areas and relationships with family and friends.”  Then he placed a pinprick dot in the circle. “That is your area of control. Try not to confuse the two.”

He went on to talk about how Christians speak Christianese, which might as well be Portuguese, to non believers and then get annoyed that their untranslated salvation message is not received with joy and celebration by the confused listeners. “They are not trying to be difficult”, said the wise man. “They don’t know the code. So don’t treat non believers as if they were really believers who are just stubbornly resisting you.”Image result for confused faces

DR. John had a habit of only hitting home run sermons or grand slams. Never walked, struck out, bunted, or hit into a fielder’s choice. A great man and a very skilled orator. Shout out to Houston. Our loss was their gain. No church holds a monopoly on great men of God, though. God holds that patent.

The word influence wonders me, as the Amish say, today as I am under the influence, not of drugs or alcohol, but the flu, better known as influenzanoun

 1. a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages causing fever, severe aching, and catarrh, and often occurring in epidemics.[It is compelling me to take ibuprofen, drink hot tea, nap, etc. However, I can push back against this viral pestilence. It will not win the day. I’m still going dancing tonight, defiantly.]
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Similar to the definition of influence.   noun
1. the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or 

produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions, etc., of others:

It sure feels like control, but I suppose there are differences. Fluere, the Latin root word, means to flow. Fluent, fluid, confluence, flux, reflux, fluctuate… notice how that darn flu keeps appearing? It’s epidemic! Most certainly there are effects produced by influential viruses and people. Image result for fluidity gifs
So how is influence separate or different from control? The word origin of control is interesting in that control originally meant something about keeping a copy of a document or record, what I’d imagine we mean by duplicating an original. What I gather is that control keeps things the same, whereas influence allows the other party or object of influence to manifest changes. I don’t think it’s a big leap to say that controllers want to keep things exactly the same as they have been; influencers want to inspire new change in their listeners. Conformity comes out of control. Creativity comes from influence not control.Image result for copies of copies pictures
Here’s a wild thought: imagine all of the Old Testament as an experiment in control that fails due to man’s inability to replicate the basic laws of God. Then, think of the New Testament as an experiment in influence and persuasion of spirit. The former insists on religiously rigid conformity to the law, and measures out justice; the latter allows for an evolving completion of the law, with mercy and grace as its hallmarks. Both systems seek holiness. The first elevates rules; the second covenant elevates relationship…. it truly wonders me.Image result for old wise man wondering pictures
Where does it all begin? you ask.  In the belief system of the beholder. See if you can relate.  When a baby is born, it’s simply a bag of endless needs. Parents control nearly every aspect of the newborn’s existence– eating, bathing, movement, sleep schedule, stimulation, etc.
Image result for infant picturesOver time the little one begins to develop independence of a sort with toddling and speech and exploring its environment. This is when controllers get scared. From deep in their personalities or DNA pools, controlling parents want accurate replication not a novel interpretation of lifestyle. Often they will reproduce their own childhood rules and requirements while demanding that their child basically relive a life that was legitimate 25 years ago. Obviously this approach is doomed to fail in a fast paced, dynamic society where constant invention and adaptation persist. Misery is not far behind the control, since misery is also about holding on to something past its usefulness… like misers do. Cue up Scrooge.
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Okay, so far, so good?  Now I’ve worked with a lot of adults who know their past was deficient, but they are too stubborn or unenlightened to change. They said stupid things like “My dad would have whipped my ass if I left a light on when I left a room.” When I probe, “How did you like that treatment”, I get answers like “I didn’t. It felt like the g.d. light bill was more important than I was. Way more important.”Image result for angry man under a light bulb pictures
“So how are you handling the lights in your home with your teen aged son, Ed?”
“I don’t hit him. If that’s what you mean. I yell at him. I lecture him. I tell him Granpa would have whipped his ass if he’d done that in the ’70’s when I was coming up.”
“And how does he handle your guidance.”
“He still forgets to turn out the light in the breezeway after he comes in. Drives my nuts.”
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“Ed, what’s a kilowatt of electricity going for these days?”
“I couldn’t tell you. Why are you asking?”
“Because you are sending the same disturbing message to your son that your dad sent you:  the light bill is way more important than you are, son.”
“Oh, I guess I am. Never looked at it like that.”
“Does he do anything else that is non compliant or defiant?”Image result for proud smiling father pictures
“Nah, he’s a good boy. I’m really proud of him.”
“Do you tell him you are proud and that he is good?”
“No. I don’t want to give him a big head.”
“But you don’t mind telling him he’s less important than the light bill?”
“When you say it like that, I guess. Well, I, I mean, my dad was rough on me, but I turned out all right.”
“Yep. Ever wonder how it could have been if he had treated you as you needed to be treated instead of how he needed to treat you?”
“Not sure I follow you.”Related image
“What I’m saying is that we ought to raise our kids the way they need to be raised, in their era, taking in to consideration all the differences in their modern world. Instead, we replicate what our parents did and wonder why it does not always fit so nicely.”
“Yeah, that would have been nice. Still, my dad is a good man. He’s a great grandpa.”
“Sure…. but grandparents are a lot more influential when they are less controlling.”
“Hmmmm. I think my light bulb is coming on.”
“So what are you going to do now?”
“Turn out the breezeway light; tell my boy I love him and I’m proud of him.”
“Nice, Ed. You are getting there.”
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518. Dystopian Developments

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Zach mentioned that a chimpanzee had been cloned over dinner. No, let me rewrite that.  Over dinner, Zach mentioned that a chimpanzee had been cloned. Not during dinner or because of dinner or even in a chandelier above dinner. It was a Facebook news feed from England, I believe. Context matters, though. The conversation had begun a few beats earlier with a yes/no question from me. “Hey, would you like to have my old printer?”Image result for pictures of hp 2050 printers

“Does it work?”

“I’m sure it will for you.”

“Does that mean it doesn’t for you…currently?”

Then the wife chimed in, “Did you plug it in?”

“Yessssss!!”

Zach, ” I taught him that trick.”

I will admit that I had a printer emergency not long ago, and the trouble shooter Zach figured out that I had not plugged in the printer to the keyboard USDA port. I swore him to a blood pledge (type AB positive) of loyal secrecy that lasted about 28 minutes, when he texted cryptically to my wife who figured it out in about five seconds.

“Guilty as charged.” Okay, I’m not a joiner.

Related imageThe topic of copies was thus introduced into the seven person conversation over Pho and fried rice meals, our new Wednesday night tradition at the new Vietnamese restaurant.

Somewhere after the HP model 2050 offer was neither accepted nor rejected, came the chimp cloning comment. Zach suggested we could eventually clone our human selves and send the clone to work on our behalves. (Now there’s a word you don’t see every day, unless you have a window fan near an active bee hive.) Maybe IT could drive and do laundry as well.  Then there would be the new laws, morals and ethics involved when you needed a hand, literally, and surgically removed the clone’s hand, bringing a whole new meaning to “He’s my right hand man.” Or if you pull off your clone’s entire arm, “He’s my wing man.”Picture of The Living Severed Hand!

“What if your clone ran into my clone while mine was going to the drive through window for a happy meal and your clone was late for your job at the french fryer? Do you think your insurance would cover that?”

“Wow. That’s stupid. They’ll be in self-driving cars by then. Duh! Plus, I would advise my clone not to admit any guilt until a full investigation had been performed.”

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“So you don’t trust your clone, is that it?”

“No, just, forget it! You can make a sane person nutz in a minute.”

“Want me to print you a new brain, Zach? You know you can just print one now on a 3 D printer if you have enough ink.”Image result for 3d printer images

“I’m pretty sure it’s not ink that gets used in 3 D imaging.”

“Okay, maybe it’s a crayon sort of wax in primary colors. My point is that a good printer is what you need, with two bonus cartridges for free.”

“Maybe Jess can use it. I use the one at work.”

“Okay… but wait, there’s more. If you take possession tonight, I’ll throw in a new power cord and all connective wires.”Related image

“Sounds like a deal clincher…”

“But wait, wait once more. I’ll sweeten the deal with a weekend in Miami Beach, two nights, three days and all the air you can breathe.

(Ultra fine print voice: offer does not include or imply transportation, fees, taxes, food, parking or lodging. Nor any legal fees involved in trespassing charges that may be filed.)”

A bidding war nearly broke out between Alex and Zach over these fake spicy add ons. Neither wanted the printer. They were all about the free air.

“I’ll give you two hundred dollars for that package”, said Zach.

“Two fifty”, Alex the wise bargain hunter countered.Related image

“I’ve got two fifty, can I get three, three, three to the man in the pin stripe suit and pink tie. Sir?”

“Two fifty once, two fifty twice, two fifty…

“Three!!” Alex raised his own bid in all the fermenting excitement.

Fortunately our Pho arrived in steaming bowls and the auction was suspended due to steam.Image result for pictures of steam

I literally could not give away my used printer. Sadly, I had a similar experience giving away 8 track and cassette tapes. Finally a receptive land fill with low standards and no EPA inspectors took them. Some mighty good music got buried that night in Upton after the guard went home.  I could rewrite Don Mclean’s Bye Bye Miss American Pie with that story line, sort of blend in Alice’s Restaurant to boot..

“A long, long time ago I can still remember how that music used to make me smile…”

“Until we came to a side road, and off the side of the
Side road there was another fifteen foot cliff and at the bottom of the
Cliff there was another pile of garbage. And we decided that one big pile
Is better than two little piles, and rather than bring that one up we
Decided to throw ours down That’s what we did.”

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I had to wait, think, manipulate. “Zach, I was reviewing the marriage contract the other night. Especially section 3. B, the dowry.”

“Oh really?”

“Yes, so I consulted carefully with Joel. I did not want to be too hasty or jump to any conclusions.”

“I see.”Related image

“In addition to the actual animals listed there: two camels, four male goats, three female sheep, a sheep dog, two turtle doves and one male hamster, all of which would convey to the parents of the bride, I noticed another clause…”

“Something about a printer?”

“No. Don’t be so crass and petty. Line 23 and 24 read, ‘all progeny thereto shall be retained and cared for by the party of the second part…’ which is you… ‘and failure to do so will terminate this agreement and all animals, clones, and office equipment, et al, e pluribus unum shall be reconstituted with their original fruit tree.'”

“The misused Latin at the end was a nice touch.”

“You mock me, Brutus?”Image result for caesar and brutus pictures

“Not at all, Caesar.”

“Don’t call me Caesar! ”

“Arrrrggghhh!!! Will you take the damn printer so that I can end all this subterfuge?”

“How about those spicy add ons?”

“Well, Alex offered $300 for the free air. How about I give you two hundred and you take the printer?”

“Two fifty, firm.”

“But, but, I’ll only profit fifty bucks for all my wicked bamboozlements.”Image result for fifty dollar bill pictures

“And I hope you have learned your lesson.”

Okay! I’ll bring it over after work.”

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517. We desire nothing so much as what we ought not to have

That’s a quote from some long dead Roman Publilius Syrus. Oddly enough you already know some connective tissue that holds today to his B.C. words…Image result for early rolling stones pictures

The Muddy Waters song Rollin’ Stone was named after Publilius’s proverb and the Rolling Stones band was named after that Muddy Waters song… “A rolling stone gathers no moss”. Yeah, that guy. He is just a thousand handshakes away from us… as the Dead’s song U.S. Blues reminds us,

“Shake the hand that shook the hand of P.T. Barnum and Charlie Chan”.

We are all so many handshakes away from Babe Ruth or Abe Lincoln or Louis XIV. In our current consideration, Publilius lived in the last century before Christ. So, to figure this out, let’s assume an average age of 60 for each hand shaking an infant’s hand, and that grown infant shakes another infant’s hand 60 years later. If we divide 2018 by 60, we get just under 34. Throw in two more for good measure and to cover the Bubonic Plague years, and Shazamm!! You are a mere 36 handshakes away from the great Publilius himself.Image result for handshake photos

I’d like to have said that to my fellow Roman senators… “My immovable paving stone Republican friends, I cannot join in lock step with your plans and pathways any longer. Yours is a sedentary life that draws moisture and produces moss. Stacked one on another, your stones become a wall; your wall a prison; your prison’s name– Xenophobia.  Furthermore, your Emperor Trumpus is a hoax, a slimy pebble purporting to be a boulder god of a man. He is not what you desire, but your desires blind you to reason. Because Dr. Vesuvius tells me I have a moss and mold allergy, I choose to be a rolling stone…for a rolling stone gathers no moss, thus avoiding pesky copays and antihistamines, which are not covered under Emperor Trumpus Nocare.”Image result for emperor trump pictures

I picture him before the Senate, toga robe clinched with one hand, proverbs scroll in the other. Oratory at its finest. Okay, the only photo I could find has Mitch McConnell playing the part, so squint and imagine a real senator yammering… “lemme be purrfectly honest with ya’ll. I don’t know what in the Hell is goin’ on round here. Hating Emperor Obama was a lot easier than lovin’ Emperor Trumpus. Ah mean, least we knew what Obama was for. Trumpus is like a horny red squirrel in a forest fire, jumping from limb to limb. Why, we cain’t tell. It’s truly amazing that he hasn’t hit the ground yet and broke his damn fool back.”Related image

Tangents are the runways to nowhere that you find at major airports. They lead planes away from the main runways that are stacked up with departures or sizzle with a new arrival every 90 seconds. Tangents loop out of traffic, leading to terminals or out to plane pastures. You may have noticed that I began with tangents leading nowhere in particular, but now back to the topic.

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In 1 Samuel the people of Israel demand a king from God. Judges and God’s Law weren’t good enough for the people. God warned them that a king would take and take and take from them, so that one day they would call on God again for relief from the king. No matter, just like our recent election, “The people refused to listen to Samuel. “No!” they said. “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations…” If you know the rest of the story, you know Saul was not a good king. He was a coward and very vain, depressed, jealous, and he twittered a lot about David. He consorted with a forbidden medium, jumped impatiently into the priest role, and then committed suicide. The Israelites wanted a hero king; they got a zero disaster.

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We most want what we most should not have. Yep, I’ve seen that malady play out many times.  The man who chases his well endowed high school sweetheart and marries her. Urges her to upgrade Mother Nature’s gifts with augmentations. Then shows her off as the new improved trophy wife version of Barbie to his same old plastic Ken. And then breast cancer comes knocking and the boobs go to mastectomy like a pair of hay barns in a fire. Poof!! The now older couple stare warily at one another, pretending that the big boobs didn’t define their marriage. They avoid talking about the twin elephants that are not in the room any longer.Image result for elephant in the room pictures

“The thing I most should not have is what I most want”, is a drug addict’s mantra. Certainly being sober is good, but short of death, it is a temporary state. At funerals of AA guys they say, “Today Wally completed his program”. Kind of sad and pathetic, yet still true. Some addicts go a week and think they have conquered that thing they most crave. They are kidding themselves, and on day 8 they crash and burn all over again. Some addicts go two years and think they have passed over the green line and have conquered their personal Taliban. Wrong. A sniper kills them with a syringe in the neck. Some addicts go twenty two years and grow both arrogant and complacent. “I’m in control, man. I’ll have a beer if I want one.” A week later detox starts again for the stubble faced, arrogant, complacent addict.

Image result for buddha imagesBuddha said that it is our desires that make us miserable. I’d chirp up and add that our miseries lead us to substances that lead us to addiction as fast as our little legs can go. Killing our desires is preferable to killing ourselves, I think. We are instructed to rid ourselves of the center, the selfish center, so these desires have nothing to cling to. Lose the ego.

So, my good blog readers, what is it that you crave so much and cannot let go? An old love? Revenge? Secret porn stash? Your neighbor’s wife? His car? His bank account? His suave personality? Crack cocaine? Opiates? Stick a knife in the heart of that darkness and save your own heartbeat.Image result for knife in the heart pictures

516. Harrowing Hardened Souls

Image result for paintings of rain dripping down window panesMy soundtrack lights up with Roy Orbison’s “It’s Over”,  then Tom Waits’ “I hope that I don’t fall in love with you” as I get my laptop fired up for this rainy January day. Not particularly upbeat or happy songs, but that’s been my taste throughout my musical life– beautiful tragedies… Irish melancholy, I guess. The more tragic, the more beautiful. The sort of sugar crusted, bourbon dripping scalpel that cleaves your faint heart in two filleted pieces. How much more beautiful is something or someone at that moment of separation or loss? Like your personal gravity becomes crucial at the edge of the Grand Canyon… the inescapable neck-breaking consequences smile gap toothed up from a mile below. Or signing those divorce papers through tears and gritted teeth. That’s a different sort of gravity but just as compelling.Image result for grand canyon abyss pictures

I guess it’s the edge that brings acute sensitivity.  A razor on tender skin can shave nervously or slash unabashedly at the mirrored reflection. Stumble or slip, and what was is shattered in a traumatic, bloody pulsing. Time almost stops as the pieces fly away, irrecoverable. Even the piano melody you were listening to comes undone, 88 disparate keys take flight, a flock of white pigeons and black starlings dissipate, smoke up the piano tuner’s chimney. They wash up on remote beaches, proof of a far away life exploded.

Image result for dreamcatcher picturesMore sadness and hurt will float up my stairs today, as usual. Dirty laundry suds climb a step at a time, agitated into a growing froth. There are dream catchers in Native American traditions. What a lovely concept… I’d like that gig, chasing away bad dreams over my grandkids’ sleeping heads. Maybe burn a pinch of sage on the side while rocking their little bodies rhythmically.

Ethnographer Frances Densmore in 1929 recorded an Ojibwe legend according to which the “spiderwebs” protective charms originate with Spider Woman, known as Asibikaashi; who takes care of the children and the people on the land. As the Ojibwe Nation spread to the corners of North America it became difficult for Asibikaashi to reach all the children. So the mothers and grandmothers weave webs for the children, using willow hoops and sinew, or cordage made from plants. The purpose of these charms is apotropaic [ to ward off evils ] and not explicitly connected with dreams.  

(Sort of like Santa Claus after the Middle Ages, when parents wound up with his job before Amazon came along.)

But I’m a nightmare catcher, a lint trap on psychic dryers. Folks come to share crushed hopes and dreams with me, craving some relief or cure.  Not a Spider Woman of protection in these shards. Instead,  nightmares seem like demonic jockeys that drive sleepers hurtling off cliffs… into their own destruction.Image result for medieval mares in  period paintings

A Mare (Old English: mære, Old Dutch: mare; mara in Old High German, Old Norse and Old Church Slavic) is an evil spirit or goblin in Germanic and Slavic folklore that rides on people’s chests while they sleep, bringing on bad dreams (or “nightmares”). [And you thought I meant a female horse.]

“My buddy from Iraq is alive in my dreams, screaming for me to help him as he pulls the trigger again and suicides in front of me, night after night.”

“He was a friend of the family, I guess. He grabbed my crotch like he owned me, like a dog on a choke chain. My folks would have taken his side so I kept my mouth and legs shut thereafter. Even in my first marriage, that’s how it went. I just ache for abused dogs.”Image result for creeper dude man pictures

“When I dared to open my eyes, I saw the man who had abused me in the dark was… my father. That was the first time my mind split into two minds but not the last.”

What to do with such evil spirit jockeys?  My first inclination is to knock them off the horse they are riding and choking, which would be my living, breathing client. It’s weird working in the land of the invisible and immeasurable. It’s a place of faith not so much of action. Like cupping one’s hands to catch flowing water in order to drink. What did I do?  Not much. When it is all said and done, The Spirit defeats spirits.Related image

This painting is of Christ Harrowing Hell. I don’t know the artist or year. It’s medieval, however. Of that I’m sure. The holy ones with halos are being led out of Hell, surrounded by demons with wings, weird ears, and cloven feet… the mares in nightmares.

Breaking up hard soil is what harrowing means. A harrow is a heavy farming tool full of tines or teeth that disks and breaks up soil so the soil can be successfully planted. Harrowing soil allows seeds to grow and produce crops. It brings a new level of life to the compacted ground once broken, like breaking open the husk of a coconut.Related image

I see a parallel with therapy, breaking open secret horrors and hardened bunkers, empowering the person opposite me to surge forth in personal growth. Away goes the husk and out comes the sweet coconut milk. So many very poignant stories can be gleaned from the process. Related image

“I’m not scared anymore. I finally opened up my curtains.  I dare anyone to look in on my privacy.”Related image

“The demons went away. I know they are still around, but I claim the name of Jesus, and they flee.”

“My trust was incinerated in Iraq. Yeah, but something like a new green sprout of wheat is shooting up through the scorched earth. If I believed in God still, I’d say it was a miracle.”Related image

Like the tragic songs that start my day, I find beauty not in the horror and ruinous details, but in the resurrecting spirit that conquers Hell’s nightmares and increases the amount of Love in this world.

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Dark brown is the river Golden is the sand

It flows along forever with trees on either hand….

Away down the river a hundred miles or more

Other little children shall bring my boats to shore.

 

 

 

 

515. The Relevance of Elton John

The guy next to me at the bar wondered out loud, “Is Elton John still relevant?”Image result for elton john pictures

I ignored the question that lacked a specific audience and ordered my Soulless Red Ale.

“What do you say, mate?” he persisted, sipping a very dark stout.

“About Elton John?”

“Yeah.”

“Was he ever relevant? And if so, how? And then relevant to what?”

“Well! Of course he was. Look at his career, what, late ’60’s until last week. I mean “Your Song” came out in 1970, and I daresay you can sing it complete, when we wore a younger man’s clothes, mate.”

“So, if I can sing “Wooly Bully” in total, does that mean Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs are relevant?”Image result for sam the sham and the pharaohs pictures

“They had no sequel, man, no staying power.  Look at Elton, what a mighty torrent of follow up hits he had. He was no one hit wonder. No sirreee.”

“So consecutive popular hits make one relevant? Is that your point, mate?”

“More or less, as far as popular music goes, so goes relevance.”

“Alright, so the Monkees and Cher are relevant by that definition.”Image result for the monkees pictures

“Uh, um, well, maybe not so much. I know what I’m trying to say, but this double stout is not letting my brain work so well.”

“I see. Hmmm. Why don’t I sit down here and tell you what I mean, in relevance, that is.”

“Oh, please do. I didn’t mean to drunk talk you, mate. You just struck me as almost familiar and perhaps a kindred spirit.”

“I get that a lot. But that’s not important. Relevant is the key word. I assume you mean appropriate and/or related to our current time or circumstances and therefore of contemporary interest. Is that right?”Image result for brilliant diamond pictures

“Well, yeah, when you say it like that, I feel more brilliant in my inquiry.”

“Actually that’s a dictionary definition I Googled. I don’t really know words that precisely.”

“Hey, I still appreciate you kicking up the I. Q. of the convo, mate. Do you come down for Trivia Night?”

“Sometimes, but let’s corral this question of relevance and Elton, okay?”

“Certainly, certainly. No more drunk talk.”

“To verify relevance we’d have to cite some metrics, like record sales or play time on the radio or Pandora, you know? I don’t think Billboard matters any longer.”

“I see what you’re doing. Trying to tie opinion to facts. Nice going.”

“But Billboard only tracks popularity. There are highly influential and relevant artists who were not so popular, like Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, Leonard Cohen, whose music was popularized by other artists. They were/are relevant enough to interpret and recycle. Following me here, Ed?” Related image

“How’d you know my name is Ed?”

“It says Edward Johnson on your VISA card, Ed. Not hard. Plus your tee-shirt says, ‘Have you been Ed- jucated lately?’ above the two groping hands on either side of the highly suggestive carnival strong man cylinder, below which you have printed, ‘Get Hammered’. So, I ‘m just adding things up and guessing.”Image result for carnival hammer game

“Wow, you’re like a Houdini, dude. Is there a hidden camera filming all this?”

“No, Ed. This is unscripted reality in a local pub on a Tuesday night.”

“But when you say it like that, it feels angsty and dramatic.”

“Ed, do you know what angsty means?”

“Not really, but my kids say it when the drama heats up in their lives. You know? Like ‘Don’t get all angsty on me, Dad.'”Emo Girl Wallpapers Alex and Erinnes

“Okay, close enough, bro. How many kids do you have?”

“Three daughters, all in their teens. I don’t know what their mother was thinking having them so close together and all.

“Did you have anything to do with the conceptions, Ed. Or were they all immaculately conceived?”

“Oh, ho ho. That’s funny, man. You are funny. Let me buy you a beer.”

“Let me finish this one, okay? One beer at a time, that’s my motto.”Image result for draft beer pictures

“Yeah, my motto is One Time at a Beer, Chugalug, ha ha ha.”

“Ed, that was weak, unworthy of your special genius.”

“Why thank you, Dr. Know. I thought it was pretty clever too.”

“Now here’s a test you can try with your teen daughters.”

“What’s that?”

“Ask them if they even know who Elton John is. If they do, ask them to say what he did/does. If they say songwriter, ask them for his three greatest hits. Don’t you give them the songs and ask if they’ve ever heard them. Of course they will have heard some of his songs. It’s inevitable and says more about the omnipresence of music than the relevance of Elton.”Image result for elton john pictures

“Okay, Doc. That’s a lot. Can you slow it down?  First was ‘Who is Elton?’ Right?”

“Yes, Ed.”

“Lemme write this down. Bartender, you gotta pen and a dry napkin? Thanks. Okay, who was Elton John.”

“Alright. What did Elton do?”

“What did Elton do?”

“He wrote relevant songs.”

“Relevant to what, when, to whom? Why are they relevant, Ed? Which song is/was relevant to what, when, or whom?”

“This is really deep, Doc. Let’s see… Benny and the Jets. Now there’s a hit song with long legs. It was about this band and Benny was this chick in the lead, she’s really keen.”Related image

“Ed, I know the song, but was it just your life’s wallpaper made of sound, or did it tie in to femininism, the gay rights movement, anti war sentiments, you know, heavy meaning?”

“I, I, I dunno. It was about Benny and the back up band were the Jets. I read it in a magaziiiiiine, oh, Ba, Ba, Ba, Benny and the Jets.”

“Ed, I think you’re mixing celebrity with significant relevance to culture, politics, social changes. Elton was flamboyant, sure, and he came out as gay later on. He did some things to raise awareness of AIDS. Yeah. Not sure if  his music changed anything, though, beyond a mood.”

“Good enough for me, mate. A mood is a mighty adversary some days. Bartender, another round for my blithering adversary and a double stout for me. He just proved me right: flippin’ Elton John was bloody relevant. Imagine that. I always preferred Skynyrd myself.”

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514. The Banana Split Hero Dadwich

Related imageYup, that is not a typo up there. It’s a memory story, like an out of focus old Polaroid picture that has faded over decades in a scrapbook. Sulfurous yellow and green gas seems to have gotten between the colors and fuzzed them.  Once the colors were vibrant and novel as they developed in front of your childhood eyes, spit out of the bottom of a boxy camera. A funny chemical smell  wafted off the print as the shooter waved it slowly for sixty seconds to encourage the drying process.

JFK in Medford Pear Blossom ParadeMid 1960’s. JFK was dead.  Northern Virginia suburbs, before the Beltway was completed and Telegraph Road funneled into Alexandria, patiently pinched into one lane under what would become the Beltway. Route 1 was the main artery up and down the East Coast but it was giving way to all the alternate routes as Washington, D.C. mushroomed in population and wealth. Little houses dotted the hills and dales like the headstones at Arlington Cemetery, going on past the horizon.Image result for faded polaroid photos of 1960's life

At the bottom of hilly South King’s Highway lay a shopping center built in the late 50’s or early 60’s, anchored by a grocery store called CO-OP. An odd structure reminiscent of an Army Quonset hut or an airplane hangar. There were apartments on the South side where Mrs. Basham, our former neighbor across the street, moved after she and Jerry divorced. She took her oldest daughter, B.J., leaving two boys and a girl home with the dad. Doubly odd for those days. On the north side was a Sunoco gas station, a state liquor store, and the local police station that I would visit briefly ten years later on a summer’s night with my friend Richard and a case of beer.Related image

Connected but down a flight of stairs to the right was a ten pin bowling alley. Bowling was probably in its hey day back then. Penn Daw Lanes, where I had escaped the baby sitting room with my little brother years earlier, was on the other side of the spider-like intersection of Route 1, S. King’s Highway, and North King’s Highway that ran past Jefferson Manor and reconnected to Telegraph Road. Google maps shows me that the entire shopping center is under new construction, perhaps for the second or third time. Who knows? The ten year old inside my brain cannot comprehend this.North Kings Highway Intersection Improvement Study

My beleaguered mother would grocery shop at the CO-OP occasionally. It must have been a discount place behind Giant and Safeway and A & P for prices. My dad would be left with one or all of us four boys to divide and conquer the chaos of childhood wants. Thanks to television advertising, name brand cookies and bread and animal crackers and comic books were familiar and desirable. We could spot them aisles away and strategize how to obtain them. Generally we were conditioned to keep our expectations low.Image result for 1960's grocery store images

One night, as I recall, my dad broke the usual wartime economy slogan of “NO” and asked me and at least two of my brothers if we wanted a banana split. It was shocking on many levels. I don’t recall ever before or after this incident being asked such a princely question by my Depression Era father. It was in the p.m. hours, not in summer. And I don’t think my dad smoked pot back then, just Camel filters, which I would borrow in a couple of years. We squealed in the affirmative like piglets in front of fresh apples.Image result for banana split picturesAt the back of the CO-OP was a dining area with a stainless steel soda fountain. The lone greasy attendant looked like he was ready to leave when our tribe showed up. My father said he’d like two or three banana splits. It must have been quarter till the hour Mr. Greasy was hoping to leave. He pointed to the clock. My dad, not known for being assertive, pointed back, “Yahr still open, right?” he asked rhetorically in his Boston accent.

Mr. Greasy tried a different ploy. “Yea, but we’re out of bananas.”Image result for hh holmes pictures

My father breathed hard through his nose. He had worked for two decades with prisoners at Lorton Prison, and I’m sure he’d been given lots of false excuses over the years by lots of cons. “I see. No bananas. I’ll be right back.”

Very authoritatively with purpose and power my father marched to the produce section at the front of this store. He picked up a bunch of bananas and marched victoriously back to Mr. Greasy’s smug station. “Heyah. I got yah some bananas. Now make’m.”Image result for a bunch of bananas pictures

Mr. Greasy backed down and our delighted eyes and watering mouths were rewarded with the sight and taste of banana splits; but more importantly our ears and hearts were rewarded with the strength of my father’s heroic words and actions. However briefly he exhibited courage and resolve, I could feel pride rise up in me. In so many boy words, my dad had whipped that coward’s ass on my behalf. Not a big deal for some readers, I’m sure, if their fathers were large and in charge as a general rule and not the exception as with my dad. Fifty some years later it stands out like a single cactus flower in a barren landscape, drawing my rapt attention. Rarity creates value, eh?

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Maybe not Ted Williams or John Wayne or John Kennedy, but I’ll bet that none of them ever put his life on the line for a banana split. No monument towers above that hallowed spot, Nope. My parents are interred less than a mile away, up hill in Mt.Comfort Cemetery, the one I caught on fire with Chris Young. The same cemetery we ran through on summer nights on summer teen dares. In the northeast corner where lesser heroes are buried, I need to place a banana split and my belated thanks.

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513. Stable Genius

Image result for thomas jefferson picturesImage result for einstein picturesImage result for mozart picturesLet’s begin with the noun, genius. Think Jefferson, Einstein, or Mozart.

gen·ius
  1. exceptional intellectual or creative power or other natural ability.
    “she was a teacher of genius”
  2. a person who is exceptionally intelligent or creative, either generally or in some particular respect.
    “one of the great musical geniuses of the 20th century”
    Now think Trump.Image result for donald trump pictures

Since our fearless leader’s records are hidden away, we don’t know the metrics that back up his claims of genius, or if they even exist. One of his professors at the University of Pennsylvania said Donald Trump was one of the dumbest students he ever encountered.  What we do know is startling. He was/is a well known real estate mogul who has declared bankruptcy multiple times. So, was he a genius for running his companies into bankrupt positions or was he a genius for filing bankruptcy and avoiding full payment to his creditors? Or was he never a genius?

He lies daily if not hourly, which is not part of the genius definition.

He apparently did not know Frederick Douglas was dead. Long dead.

He apparently did not know Puerto Rico was a U.S. territory and Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.

He apparently did not know Namibia is a real country in Africa but Nambia is not.

He apparently does not know the meaning of consensual, which is a very ironic coincidence since he has been repeatedly accused of non consensual sexual contact with multiple women. Thus he either does not know what misogyny is or does not care to avoid it.

 

I know I don’t want him on my Trivia Night team. We’d have to clean the bar to pay off our stupid tab.

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He apparently does not know his campaign managers or national security advisers once he is finished with their service or they are charged by the FBI. See Manafort, Gates, Papadopolous, Flynn… strangers in a strange land now. Sing it Leon Russell.

He apparently does not know the U.S. Constitution or the concept of separation of powers.

He apparently does not know that repeating lies does not become equivalent to telling the truth, nor does he know that a free press guarantees the dissemination of truth. Or maybe he does.

He apparently does not know what the word racist means, since he refers to himself as the least racist person you have ever met, despite speaking in support of white supremacists and Nazis while defaming Haitians, Africans, Muslims, Mexicans, women and transgendered folks.

He apparently does not know anything about voter fraud despite unproven claims of illegal aliens voting in the millions for Crooked Hillary.

He apparently does not know anyone from Russia.

He apparently failed to learn the Golden Rule.

He apparently can’t accurately count people in a crowd.

He apparently can’t understand figures and charts about complex stuff, like how many bills he has signed into law, since he consistently misrepresents these facts and statistics.

He apparently does not understand the meaning of collusion.

He apparently does not understand the difference between correlation and causation, e.g., claiming responsibility for zero commercial airplane deaths in his first year as president. A 99 year old great grandma can make the same claim from her comatose state in a nursing home bed and be just as correct, as well as a modern day miracle.

He apparently does not know how to read murder rate statistics since he claimed murders in the U.S. are at a 47 year high. They are not.

He apparently does not know that printing fake covers of Time Magazine with his portrait and displaying them in his golf resorts does not make it real news. Actually this constitutes the very fake news he decries daily.

He apparently does not know what mockery or ridicule are, or even look like since he mocks many public figures and once mocked a disabled reporter.

He apparently does not know what justice is, especially when it comes to the Department of Justice and the obstruction thereof.

He apparently does not understand that the cause of something cannot follow its beginning but must precede it, e.g., the claim that Obama/Clinton caused the birth of ISIS.

He apparently does not know the difference between conspiracy theories and verifiable truths, e.g.,the birther opera and Ted Cruz’s father killed Oswald or Kennedy or Ruby. It doesn’t matter. The beauty of conspiracy theories is that they cannot be proved or disproved because secret Illuminati control the Dark Swampy Web of D.C.

He apparently does not know the difference between a university and a marketing scam for business. Selling vodka and board games and steaks and ties is not equal to a university degree.

Do we even have time for Sta-, Sta-,  STABLE? Hold on to your dentures and loose change now folks.

STABLE, adjective

(of an object or structure) not likely to give way or overturn; firmly fixed.
“specially designed dinghies that are very stable”
synonyms: firmsolidsteadysecurefixedfastsafe, moored, anchored, stuck down, immovable

“a stable tent”
  • (of a patient or a medical condition) not deteriorating in health after an injury or operation.
    “he is now in a stable condition in the hospital”
    (of a person) sane and sensible; not easily upset or disturbed.
    “the officer concerned is mentally and emotionally stable”
    synonyms: well balanced, of sound mind, compos mentissanenormal, right in the head, rationalsteadyreasonablesensiblesoberdown-to-earth, matter-of-fact, having both one’s feet on the ground;

    informal all there

    I apologize if you just spit Diet Cola all over your computer screen. Take a minute to wipe it up or it will fry your keyboard. Okay?

    Stable just should not be mentioned anywhere near Donald John Trump unless you are trying to get a buddy to blow a mouthful of beer out of  his nose to avoid choking on the oxymoron. You could be charged with the illegal use of an adjective once it was determined that genius was in reference to DJT.

    Dr. Evil, on the other hand, was a famous evil genius, so he thought. I’d be down with the Donald claiming that title if he would then leave thinking people alone.

    Image result for dr evil pictures

“The details of my life are quite inconsequential… very well, where do I begin? My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with a low-grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen-year-old French prostitute named Chloë with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament.”