706. Dear Kim Jong Un… Love, Mel

Image result for kim jong un picturesDear Mr. Premier Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Guiding Sun Ray, Beloved Father, Brilliant Leader, etcetera:

Image result for melania trump photos soloThough we have not officially met yet, I am feeling like I should know you since you are such a good friend of my husband’s, The Stable Genius, #45, Mr. Cheeto, Captain Bone Spurs, First in his Class, The Donald, President of the Pathological Liars Club. Plus, the other day he told everyone that I was just tickled to have met you, which technically we haven’t but that’s what this letter is for, Your Eminent Glorious General Who Descended from Heaven. I wanted to get ahead of the humiliation he suffered with that other dictator Putin in Helsinki when he said he didn’t know why it would have been Putin who hacked into the 2016 elections. Remember, then he ever so cleverly claimed he’d said “wouldn’t“… why it wouldn’t have been Russia, though even four year olds were suspicious of this back walk. But you know Donald so well, Mr. Kim, that I’m sure you already know these things. And I mean this most deferentially, your record of terror at home and abroad is something to be proud of too. Killing your brother in Malaysia was just terrific. Sadly, we in the West must lie since we cannot just kill people who oppose us. So there’s that.Image result for trump in love with kim jong un photos

Anyway, Donald is very Twitterpated with you and cherishes your love letters that have been hand delivered to him by your green jacketed mailmen. I wore a green jacket that caused a stir, remember? In our super-industrialized world anything done by hand is so precious to me and my husband– hand shakes, hand jobs, hand made fast food, and hand sanitizer just to name a few. We are old fashioned that way, insisting on hand grated cheese and pepper whenever we dine. (In fact, I hand floss my own teeth.) Though we do not sleep in the same bedroom, I know Donald keeps your love letters inside his pillow case and falls asleep breathing in the kim chi smells of each treasured envelope. I feel a twinge of dictator envy at times since your letters arouse him in ways that I cannot. I believe that when Donald was a boy, he fantasized about being the Supreme Power of the Globe, Donzilla, who built walls around his kingdom and slaughtered all who opposed him. In his real estate ventures he could continue in that fantasy world, building and naming everything in front of his enemies; lying about his lies and suing anyone who disagreed with him; and grabbing Barbie’s female parts until she liked it, while saying in his falsetto voice, “Thank you, Donald. Was I a 10?”Image result for sexy barbie dolls

However, Mr. Kim, ever since he got elected President, it’s been a hard slog uphill with all the comings and goings and goings and comings. It reminds me of my favorite scene from Blazing Saddles, Mr. Kim. Do you remember Madeline Kahn as the show girl Lili Von Shtupp?Image result for lili von shtupp pictures

Here I stand, the goddess of Desire
set men on fire
I have this power
Morning noon and night, it’s drink and dancing
some quick romancing
and then a shower
Stage door johnnies constantly surround me
They always hound me
with one request
Who can satisfy their lustful habit?
I’m not a rabbit!
I need some rest!Image result for tired melania trump photos

Like her, Mr. Kim, I am so tired! I cannot continue singing the lyrics either. They are that bad. But back to the incessant lying of my husband… I need to cover for him again. I can’t simply swat his hand away from mine on the tarmac at Andrews. He sucked me into his maelstrom of malice in front of a world audience. I mean, everyone knew when he said it that he was lying. Still, I must suck it up and count it all as FLOTUS flotsam.Image result for flotsam photos of plane crashes at sea

You are so lucky not to have a First Lady, Mr. Kim Jong Un. I can’t imagine a Mrs. Kim Jong Un. It wouldn’t be right. I mean Stalin’s wife killed herself and Hitler kept his mistress hidden until they committed suicide together in the bunker. And I never heard of a Mrs. Castro or Putin. Have you? Satan is single too, right? And don’t get me started on step children. My acid reflux just goes haywire when I think of them! Especially Ivanka and her weasel husband Jared. I try to stay away from them whenever possible. YUCK!! It is semi-incestuous how she flits around Donald like a yipping lap dog. “Oh, Daddy Dearest, pick me up and pet me!!” Makes me want to vomit. It reminds me of how Donald looks at you and Putin. Shitzu!!Image result for ivanka trump with donald photos

So, I’d like to meet with you as soon as your ruthless dictator schedule permits. Maybe you could come to the U.S. for some golf or we could all go clubbing. I met Donald while clubbing. He is such a clubber. Maybe we can have a parade for you. I know you like to review the troops when you fire off missiles at Japan. I’m sure Donald could fire some off for your entertainment, you know, and maybe knock down a hurricane. He’s so smart it’s scary. Did you know windmills can give you cancer but global warming is good for your cholesterol? I have learned so much from my man. Image result for trump and kim jong un photos

In conclusion Mr. Kim, I feel like I know you now that we have had this letter time together. If you’d like to Face Time with me later, that would be cool too. It’s crazy that we are now buds. I just can’t resist this:  can I call you Seoul Man?  Lol!! Hahaha.

Fondly but appropriately,

The First Lady of the United States,

Mel Image result for tired melania trump photos

705. Scamdinavia

Image result for map of scandinavia“I love Scandinavia, the people, the fjords, the women, the whiteness of it all. 

I guess it all started with my grandfather immigrating from Sweden. I know Fake News will tell you that he was born in Germany and kicked out for not serving his obligatory military service, but that has been debunked by Fox News. He had bone spurs; it’s a genetic thing that I inherited along with the funny hairline. We both wanted to serve very badly, but we also suffered from Stockholm Syndrome. Very Swedish. Yep, we’re Swedes all right.  Birth certificates?  Who needs a birth certificate? My dad was born in Sweden or Queens. What does it matter where someone like me was born unless you’re planning to build a library in my honor? But I don’t read, so I’d prefer a high end sports bar set up with 64 big screen television sets. Lotta gold everywhere and my brand out front TRUMPORIUM. Don’t believe what you see and hear. Believe only what I tell you. “

Well here is some fake news to chew on…

Related imageFred Trump denied knowing German and did not teach it to his children. John Walter, a Trump family historian and one of Donald Trump’s cousins, said this was an effort to not offend his Jewish customers.

“He said, ‘You don’t sell apartments after the war if you’re German,’ ” Walter said in the Boston Globe article. “So he’s Swedish, no problem.”
Even after World War II, Fred Trump continued to claim he was Swedish, according to Walter.
So there’s the Swedish thing. But wait, in 1999 DJT remembers that he’s German.
Donald Trump eventually acknowledged and embraced his German heritage, serving as the grand marshal of the annual German-American Steuben Parade in New York City in 1999. Image result for donald trump at german american parade pictures
Like so many things Trump, he can’t be pinned down by inconvenient facts.  Just go with the flow and love the one you’re with. There was the tragic upheaval in Sweden that never happened. Trump told a rally crowd in Florida that the night before rioting had occurred in a suburb of Stockholm. It hadn’t. However, a few days later it was reported that a Russian television crew tried to bribe folks in that neighborhood (Rinkeby) to riot.

 

My statement as to what’s happening in Sweden was in reference to a story that was broadcast on @FoxNews concerning immigrants & Sweden.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 19, 2017

In an article from The Cable, it was reported…Image result for plane shot down over ukraine pictures

Coming up short apparently wasn’t an option for one Russian TV crew, who decided to bypass deontology and just make up the news themselves.

“They came up to us and said they wanted to see some action. They wanted to bribe us 400 [krona] each,” Mohammed, a Rinkeby resident, told Danish radio station Radio24syv. (400 krona is about $45.)

But when Swedish police approached the camera crew and group of youngsters, the Russian journalists suddenly changed their tune. “While we were talking to them, the police came over to us. We did not want to do any of that. But when the police came the Russian journalists said that we were the ones who had said that we would show them some action for 400 [krona] each,” said the boy.

God bless those Russians! Always there to make breaking news when Donald needs some. Remember Wikileaks?Related image

Let’s go to Norway next. Trump famously spoke of his preference for immigrants from Norway over African shithole nations and dark places like Haiti. The Norwegians declined the invitation…

Christian Christensen, an American professor of journalism at Stockholm University in neighboring Sweden, tweeted:

“Of course people from #Norway would love to move to a country where people are far more likely to be shot, live in poverty, get no healthcare because they’re poor, get no paid parental leave or subsidized daycare and see fewer women in political power. #Shithole”

In other words they mocked the racist clown. For a twitterpated madman who rails against the concept of socialism, why invite socialists to waltz into the U.S. on a red carpet? Hmmm, because they are rich and white, maybe.Related image

On to Finland. Who can forget the Finnish forestry management convo on raking that never happened between Trump and the President of Finland

  • Trump said: “I was with the president of Finland and he said: ‘We have, much different, we are a forest nation.’ He called it a forest nation. And they spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things, and they don’t have any problem.”
  • In response, Finland’s president, Sauli Niinistö, clarified that while he recently discussed forest management with Trump, raking did not come up.

A fifth grader could come up with facts to refute Donald’s feeble minded “thinking”. Let’s just do a brief compare/contrast.

The climate of Finland is characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild, and moderately rainy summers. Among the Scandinavian countries, Finland is the one with the coldest climate because of the proximity to Russia, not to mention the abundant snow cover and low temperatures. 

California, which sits at a lower latitude, has a warmer, drier climate. Much of the state has a Mediterranean climate, with hot, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. 

But the real Scamdinavian prize goes to the Helsinki Summit with Putin where Trump absolved Putin and the Russians of any interference in the U.S. 2016 elections. The BBC reported…Image result for trump and putin in helsinki pics

“President Putin says it’s not Russia. I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump replied.

US intelligence agencies concluded in 2016 that Russia was behind an effort to tip the scale of the US election against Hillary Clinton, with a state-authorised campaign of cyber attacks and fake news stories planted on social media.

If you are ever in Finland, you must try the Red Herring sandwich. Nothing compares. Nothing can fool the nose of a bloodhound like a good red herring.Image result for red herring pictures

And finally we arrive at Denmark, the red headed step child of the true Norselands. Impetuous Donnie wanted to buy Greenland this week even though it was not for sale. When rebuffed, he quit his planned trip to Denmark to punish the “nasty” female Prime Minister. Hmmm, if he offers to buy the Tower of London, though it’s never been for sale, will he cast off Queen Elizabeth? Uhhh, probably. Just not dictatorial enough, that’s the problem, I guess. Since Trump is such a dick wannabe, he only plays well with other real dicks… Kim, Putin, Xi, Duterte, and Erdogan of Turkey. I’ll have to leave that to Scamapalooza in another post.

Image result for greenland trump gif

 

704. The Cheat Goes On

[You know the old Sonny and Cher tune. Let’s sing it and polka dance together until the wish becomes a reality.]

On Wednesday, ABC announced that Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, will participate in the new season of “Dancing With the Stars.”

Spicey is now dancing with the stars

Cohen’s still behind those prison bars

The Mooch is selling snake oil in gallon jars

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ lie, la, lie, la, lie

And the beat goes on, the beat goes onImage result for scaramucci pictures

 

The Dow Jones pounds a rhythm to the brain

DJ claims that he can make it rain

Kids in cages still cry out in pain

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ cry, cra, cry, cra, cry

And the cheat goes on, the cheat goes onImage result for kids in cages at border pictures

 

Congress looks at six years of back taxes

Gonna find out truly what the facts is

Both sides snarl and sharpen up their axes

Lie, la,lie, la, lie/bye, ba, bye, ba, bye

And the beef goes on, the beef goes on.Image result for pictures of congress in session

 

Normal decency has been subverted

Now the bond yield curve has been inverted

Not much left that hasn’t been perverted

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ die, da, die, da, die

And the cheat goes on, the cheat goes onImage result for tattered statue of liberty images

 

Promised us we’d be sick of winning

Just look the other way from all his sinning

Truth is just the art of what he’s spinning

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ Lie, la, lie, la, lie

And the cheat goes on, the cheat goes on

The cheat goes on, the cheat goes onImage result for trump hand gestures pictures

 

Antisemite, crazed hyperbole

Racist code and winks for all to see

Don’t forget his raw misogyny

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ lie, la, lie, la, lie

And the cheat goes on.

 

I don’t have time for the porn star litany

He’s just too pompous and cretiny

When he deflates don’t look at me

Lie, la, lie, la, lie/ lie, la, lie, la, lie

The cheat goes on, the cheat goes on.Image result for baby trump balloon pictures

 

The list of crimes is just too long to count

Maybe jail when Donnie Boy dismounts

Can’t wait to see the legalistas pounce

My oh my oh my/ my oh my oh my

The cheat goes down, the cheat goes downImage result for trump in jail images

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

703. The Weight

when weight is a verbLately I’ve been sorting through old client files for shredding or burning. If they are seven years old, I can get rid of them. I have to make sure they are disposed of properly and permanently. They are confidential after all. You see I’m moving in to the last year of practicing counseling on my own, so it’s an overdue pruning exercise. What amazes me is how much these files weigh. I’d guess over 200 pounds so far and I’m only halfway through the gleaning process. Some cases are unforgettable, but most are already forgotten. Thousands of pages of detailed notes are going to be destroyed, which is as it should be. The product of a good counseling experience is not the paperwork documentation. Rather, it’s a changed life. Still, it’s staggering to consider the residue of 16 years of intimate sharing with folks of all ages and backgrounds. Image result for file cabinets with files images

There is another weight that does not show up on any scale– the weight of carrying someone else’s psychic piano up and down metaphorical flights of stairs, in and out of moods, through life’s tempests. I would not trade the experience for any other any more than I’d trade my arms and legs with another person. They are fit to me as my second career was fit to me. All these cases are so many puzzle pieces that, when integrated, reflect my professional self back to me. Not all of the pieces are pretty or wonderful, though some have seeped into my soul in tragedy or beauty. There have been epic failures as well as successes. Image result for men carrying a piano pictures

Back when I started in my first office space, I painted and decorated with precise delight and creativity. There was no window in the spacious office, however. One day I noticed a neighbor had put four old window sashes out for trash. They were solid old wooden frames with all the panes intact. I let my imagination run out ahead of me and I saw a fake window on the large back wall of my office looking out onto a forest. I went to the fabric store and bought a large swath of woodsy material and pinned that to the wall. Over that material I affixed the four windows to create an illusion of another space outside my back wall. It was lovely and convincing if I did not scrutinize the scene too closely.Image result for dry stacked brick wall

My next vision was a bit weightier. In a back storage room were extra bricks left over from a renovation project that long preceded my occupancy. I talked to the landlord and persuaded him to let me use the bricks in my office for a fake hearth below my fake windows. Having just painted the wall, however, I didn’t want to mar the paint’s surface, so I dry stacked the bricks about 3/4’s of an inch away from the wall. My free standing wall got a bit wobbly as it grew higher, but I capped it with a 1″ x 10″ piece of pine for a mantelpiece. That seemed to secure the brick edifice just enough, so I thought. Image result for dry stacked brick hearth

As it later turned out, meeting with a particular client on a Saturday morning was the best face saving part of my story. We were alone, no eye or ear witnesses.  We were chatting as I sat with my back to my proud but false wall of dusty bricks. Something on the mantel caught the client’s attention and so I walked over to retrieve the item for his inspection. The fake brick wall wobbled a bit as I walked back to my chair. The vibrations from my footsteps and then the palumph of my butt on the chair sent just the right amount of kinetic energy across the floor and up the fake wall. I saw my client’s eyes grow big as a thunderous crash exploded behind me. He gasped, “That can’t be good!” Image result for falling bricks gif

A small cloud of dust rolled across the floor past my feet and onto his shoes. “Yep! I know what just happened and I’m going to ignore it for now. Where were we, Steve?”

“Don’t you want to scream or do something crazy?”

“Uhhhh, no, I have plenty of time to do that later”, I replied. Image result for dust cloud gif

We finished the session next to the brick slide and said goodbye. All I could do was laugh at my stupidity. Oh, the weight of those bricks again. I re-stacked them against the freshly painted wall. “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on me some more.” There’s not going to be a third shame frame. The Biblical truth, “pride goeth before a fall” hit me like a half ton of brick dust that Saturday morning.Image result for brick pile pictures

Finally there is the weight of importance, gravitas… dignity, seriousness or solemnity. Some things are so deadly serious that they pull you down like gravity, into grief or the grave. The death of a spouse, a marriage, a parent, a child, a comrade, a career, a reputation, etc. Cases of abuse leave burned out memories for me to ponder. So there is that weight on the soul when you relive trauma with a victim who cannot unsee or unhear the horror he/she experienced and cannot escape any longer.

Tom Petty’s song “The Waiting is the Hardest Part” rumbles in the background as I type this post. Not literally, just as part of a dreamscape horizon where thunder rolls ominously before the dark rain falls. Image result for thunderstorms at sunset pictures

 

 

 

 

702. Cuccinelli Funny Fellow

Image result for italian clown punchinello picturesAfter hearing Ken Cuccinelli’s reinterpretation of the Emma Lazarus poem, Colossus, which is affixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty and speaks idealistically of the American ethos toward “the wretched refuse of your  teeming shores”, I once again saw the transactional nature of the Trump administration in every despicable action imaginable. Even the Mooch is finally coming to understand that people are like toilet paper for Trump: He really, really needs, loves and honors them until he flushes them away… soiled by contact with the Onerous 300 pound Orangutan. And the Trump whores can’t say much since they urgently and willingly prostituted themselves to Big Don… Flynn, Sessions, Cohen, Mooch, Tillerson, Price, Spicey, Priebus, Nielsen, Bannon, Gorka, McMasters, Hicks, Huckabilly, Cohn, Navarro, McGahn, Omerosa, not to mention his Fox News Fawners. The naked emperor turns on his loyal sycophants like any good tyrant and eats them whole if they dare to practice loyalty to law or oaths to the Constitution. They find out too late that when you have sex with a 300 pound orangutan, it can’t end well. Indelible marks will be alongside their names in history, just as Goring, Goebbels, Hess, Himmler, and Borman have historic ink blots next to their infamous names.Image result for photos of fired trump staff

Cuccinelli’s name and the absurdly infantile reasoning he gave for changing the rules applied to legal immigrants in the U.S.A. put me in mind of a childhood song called Punchinello. If I recall accurately, one kid from the first grade play circle would do something goofy in the center of the circle and then all the kids in the circle would imitate the act. (Forgive the imprecision. It was 57 years ago, and some of those kids are very dead now.) In any event I can see a tall Franciscan nun clapping her hands, bobbing her penguin wimple, and laughing approvingly at our play. It’s essentially a Monkey See/Monkey Do exercise set to music. You likely know the tune. In my modern comparison, the monkey in the middle would be Cuccinelli and the circle would be the press corps, only they aren’t playing along because it’s not Russia or China yet.Image result for italian clown punchinello pictures

Look who’s here, Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
Look who’s here, 
Cuccinelli from the zoo.

What can you do 
Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
What can you do Cuccinelli from the zoo?

We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli from the zoo.Image result for italian clown punchinello pictures

Who do you choose,
Cuccinelli, Cuccinelli,
Wealthy folks like you, 
Cuccinelli, funny you?

Hey, what ‘cha doing, 
Cuccinelli, funny fella?
Who ya screwin’?, 
Cuccinelli, funny you!

Such a lot of pooh
Cuccinelli, funny fella
Rewrite our ideals too,
Cuccinelli, funny you!

We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli, funny fella 
We can do it too, 
Cuccinelli, funny you!

Go back to where you came from, Cuccinelli
Funny fella.
Leave our ideals alone 
Cuccinelli, funny you!Image result for mitch mcconnell as a clown photos

Okay, I know it’s basic and below my already low mash up standards. However, singing that song in 1962 during the Cuban Missile Crisis on a playground that would be an insurance agent’s nightmare today, well, those days seem so preferable to the piss and vinegar days we are not enjoying now. Today’s enemies are not exclusively offshore as the Russians were. Nope. They are the toxic fungus among us, having lots of brown and black babies, diluting the pure pearly white stock of earlier immigrants. And our “leaders” keep telling us that we should be afraid, no, terrified of their advances. Oh, the sky is falling on insulated, privileged white people. OMG! My taxes could go up!Image result for chinese railroad workers pictures

It’s disgusting to see history repeat itself. The Native Americans weren’t crazy about the first immigrant invasion by Western Europeans. Then the early colonists weren’t crazy about who followed them. They became quite possessive of the land they had previously expropriated. Religious and cultural differences were used to deny access to the U.S. until raw physical labor was needed to exploit riches from mines and factories. Then the bar was lowered to let Italians and Irish and Greeks and Jews into the UNITED states. Poles and Scandinavians were allowed in to work in forestry and slaughterhouses. These poor, uneducated beige folks were tolerated. Later on,  though, it was the Chinese who were needed and then flushed.Image result for 19th century immigrants pictures

Oh, the good old days… The Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by Pres. Chester A. Arthur in 1882. It lasted for 10 years and was extended for another 10 years by the 1892 Geary Act, which also required that people of Chinese origin carry identification certificates or face deportation. Later measures placed a number of other restrictions on the Chinese, such as limiting their access to bail bonds and allowing entry to only those who were teachers, students, diplomats, and tourists. Congress closed the gate to Chinese immigrants almost entirely by extending the Chinese Exclusion Act for another 10 years in 1902 and making the extension indefinite in 1904.Image result for anti chinese posters in california

In 1910 the Angel Island Immigration Station was established in San Francisco Bay. Upon arrival there a Chinese immigrant could be detained from weeks to years before being granted or denied entry. Chinese communities underwent dramatic changes as well. Families were forced apart, and businesses were closed down. Because of the severe restrictions on female immigrants and the pattern of young men migrating alone, there emerged a largely bachelor society.   (Encyclopedia Brittanica)Related image

Sound familiar?  I’m sure at the time there was a Cuccinelli funny fellow to explain that these hardworking Chinese laborers who built railroads and mined gold successfully were just not gonna be self-sufficient, and were thus a liability on the booming economy of California and the U.S.A in those days. Wash, rinse, repeat. Whatever you do, do not in God’s name learn from history. Otherwise you won’t get to repeat it as is now the case. An uneducated moron in charge, who does not read or learn, operates by his gut like a three year old. Real three year olds can be forgiven their ignorance, but not a seventy one year old who holds the most  powerful post in the world.Image result for moronic trump pictures

As for Cuccinelli, prepare to flush.Image result for cuccinelli pictures

 

701. Memory Sniper

Image result for fevered brain imagesTopics continue to spill out of my fevered brain in no particular order as I hit the cumulative 700,000 word mark. I think I’m done with Italy, but I cannot be sure. Never say never. Never ever. I never finished my hitchhiking adventure from way, way back in the way back days of my early 20’s and the early digits of this blog. I’m sure there are memorable moments back there; it’s just the thread of cognitive connection gets thin, or something else catches my attention and the story is gone for that moment. What did hit me between the eyes recently was a Facebook post that referenced the death of the girl who lived across the street from me in my childhood. I think I liked her when she didn’t like me, or she liked me when I didn’t like her. No matter. She was the neighborhood tomboy girl athlete, better than most boys at sports. Apparently she died in the recent past from what I could remotely piece together. I am so disconnected from the old school and neighborhood days that it’s just a fluke I learned of her death at all. God bless you anyway, Judy.Image result for blond headed tomboy pictures 1960's

It was a tough neighborhood for girls. Boys were in the majority and ascendancy in The Hills during the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Most girls stayed inside rather than run the risk of harassment outside in the aggressive testosterone zone. Not Judy. She played basketball and baseball and football alongside any of us, as well as the hide and seek games of summer nights. She could chuck a snowball like a boy if not better. Climb trees, monkey bars, run, swim, etc. A young Amazonian she was. And a good shot with a BB gun.

Image result for 1960's rambler house pictures

It must have been in 7th grade when I heard a tiny tinkle explode from the first pane of our double-paned picture window. I was sitting down after school one fall afternoon trying to find a fitting place for a jigsaw puzzle piece. “Ptttkkk” was the sharp snapping sound I heard as the first BB hit and a conical shard of glass plinked against the inside pane. I immediately turned to my left and looked out at the gray November sky and our barren black elm tree. I didn’t see the tiny hole yet. Then the second “Ptttkkk” hit and I noticed a fleck of glass pop across the small gap between the double panes. I knew I was under attack and the target. A rifle barrel awkwardly slid back inside a bedroom window across the street.

Image result for bb gun in the window pictures

Hmmm, what to do? I did nothing but worry about the window pane, feeling it was somehow my fault. Indirectly it may have been. The time period of this shooting may have included the swarming of boys toward older, more developed girls in the Hood. A certain Sue down the hill held court at her bedroom window for three or four of us boys on warm nights. She sat in her bedroom window “grounded” by ineffectual parents, while we boys offered her cigarettes pilfered from our ineffectual parents. To watch her smoke in little more than a tee shirt, silhouetted against the back lighting of her bedroom was like watching Marlene Deitrich in the 1930’s on the silver screen. Obviously it left a strong impression.

Image result for marlene dietrich pictures

She would occasionally ask if one of us would like to give her a hickey. Would we? We swarmed like rat pups around a slice of holy cheesecake.

Image result for rat pups photos

It must have been tough for Judy as the undisputed neighborhood jockette, to have broken the glass gender barrier in sports, to have been accepted as an equal to the guys, only to lose that empty victory to the unfair curvature of secondary sexual characteristics in slutty girls. It takes no talent or skill to grow a pair of melons or wear short shorts. No intelligence or wit is involved in plump butts tightly wrapped in skimpy skirts or filling out a barely there bathing suit. I can only imagine the frustration she endured. Her mom and older sister lived miles away in an apartment complex. Divorce, sure, but why leave your vulnerable younger daughter in a boy’s locker room environment? I’ll never know the hows and whys of that arrangement. One can only speculate among ugly options.Image result for thinker statue parodies

I think the stay at home moms on our block had a soft spot for Judy. They could see the raw deal she’d been dealt and endured heroically though we boys could not. We just knew she had a good jump shot, was fast and agile, and tough while still being cute. Not sure if I ever told anyone how those BB’s popped our picture window. It would not have gone over very well when every unexpected expense seemed to herald the end of the world. Perhaps this mood was fed by the nightly news with Walter Cronkite narrating the latest carnage in Vietnam, or the racially torn streets of America, or the string of assassinations. These two glass insect bites hardly mattered in the grand scheme of things. There were just big enough to tinkle in my memory banks tonight. God bless you anyway, Judy.

Related image

 

700. The Color Blind Bull

Image result for bull fighting bull pictures

Ralph was your typical burly black bull living on a farm in the countryside of a red Bible Belt state. Since the Farmer didn’t use in vitro fertilization, Ralph snortingly served as a stud for the herd. Eventually he’d be shipped down the hill, across the valley, to the livestock auction on a Thursday night to fetch a fair penny for his marvelous, marbled, grass fed muscles. However, if times got too lean for the Farmer, Ralph could also be directly shipped to the slaughter house in Reading for the wholesale price. Either way his days were limited, and everyone but Ralph knew this harsh fact: he was worth $2,000 on healthy hooves; $4,000 on the grille at Applebees.

Image result for matador picturesIn the gentle mean time, however, Ralph was taken to the county fair for a local “bull fight” each August. Older Boy Scouts would earn their Matador merit badge by pretending to fight Ralph in an improvised bull ring or corridas de toros. The boys had to go through the proper coda in order to earn the jet black badge with an ominous jagged streak of crimson blood across it. The owner of Ace Hardware, Mr. Arturo, who once was a junior matador in the Plaza Mexico bullring, judged their form from the announcer’s booth as he led the color commentary during each novillero‘s performance in his novillada. Only the bravest Boy Scouts would face Ralph, all dressed up in their traje de luces.  Even Ralph was covered in red flowers and olive oil and gold glitter. It was a surreal sight to behold when he snorted and trotted in to the makeshift ring at the Fish and Game Grounds. It was mostly a bunch of sheets of plywood bungee corded to pick up trucks with styrofoam in between them. Under the lights, though, it seemed like La Maestranza in Seville and sounded just the same as the Wrightsville Brass Band played the Paso Doble.Image result for bull fighting ring pictures at night

The Scouts who sought the second most coveted merit badge entered the demolition derby competition for a pewter badge that was decorated with dimpled primer streaks and shattered glass. They called the novilleros gay liberal snow flakes in an attempt to deflect attention from the fact that facing a bull with nothing but a cape was far more courageous than banging cars together in a ring while wearing a helmet and seat belt. These boys sought to have the bull fight eliminated from possible merit badge consideration. Donnie Carbaugh said, “It’s like fairies ice skating. UnAmerican. Unnatural. Foreign. Sumthin’s wrong with them boys.” Many in Wrightsville agreed with his sentiments, but they also knew that Donnie was a bully by day and an incontinent coward by night. He still peed his bed on jamboree camp outs, according to Dale Dingle, who shared a two man tent with him last fall. “Peed a puddle right across to my sleeping bag. Man! It was disgusting!! Never pitch a tent on an incline; but if you do boys, sleep high, real high.”Image result for demolition derby pictures

The theory at Wrightsville High School was that Donnie played the bully card so hard to distract folks from his yellow enuresis streak. He especially hoped that Millie Dyson would not believe the rumors that he peed the bed. “I mean, I’m seventeen years old, for God’s sake!! I’d be shamed and shunned if everyone found out.” So he extorted Dale Dingle by getting him a job at his dad’s body shop after school if and only if he kept his mouth shut about his little pup tent problem. It was just one of many catch and kill transactions that Donnie managed to pull off in little old Wrightsville.Related image

Naturally Donnie focused on Liam Nelson’s gold lame matador suit and the funny montera/hat. “He’s a flamer, that’s for sure”, claimed Donnie, who wore an official imitation NASCAR outfit signed by Jimmie Johnson. He resembled a mouse going into outer space once he got all the gear on. Liam happened to be the only mixed race Boy Scout in the competitions, dontcha know? And orange headed, pale faced Donnie was sure to point that out to anyone who would listen. “Why don’t he go back to where he came from?” he would ponder out loud. “I’m sure they miss their shoe shine boy.”Image result for gay matador pictures

Liam was well aware of Donnie’s bully act and his incontinence problem. But his adoptive parents Ed and Nell taught him about bullies and how displaced anger works. He knew Donnie was the insecure one attempting to cast his infirmities onto chosen victims. Liam was no victim or coward, though. He pulled the first position to face off against Ralph at 8:00 pm inside the plywood circle… the same start time for the demolition derby’s first round. As the sun set that night, excited teenage palpitations sounded fluttery over a faint smell of rotting soy beans that comprises the scent of nervous male sweat.

In the adjacent open air arena, Donnie crawled into his old Chevrolet station wagon driver’s window, his large 48 emblazoned on his back. He beeped his horn and pounded the steering wheel to disprove his fear and prevent a potty accident at the same time. Revved up the old 327 until smoke blew out the exhaust and the engine’s torque rocked the station wagon in place. Image result for demolition derby pictures

Simultaneously Liam entered the corridas de toros a mere fifty yards away. Ralph was snorting and pawing the hard ground. Liam was as cool as a runway model in his gold lame outfit. He bowed to the crowd as the trumpets blared. Then he faced Ralph fearlessly. The next few minutes were a blur of dust and bull flesh and gold sparkles in one ring of honor while dirt and gas and smoke combined to produce hellacious noise in the other. Round one was under way and cars were slamming into and on top of and through, under, around, across, between, inside and every which way but loose in the demo derby. Suddenly Donnie’s station wagon launched airborne over the railroad tie safety wall and careened across the fair grounds, finally spinning  out in front of Ralph in the corridas de toros. Image result for matador with charging bull pictures

Donnie was terrified and mortified; for there in the front row stood sweet Millie Dyson with one eye on Donnie, one eye on Liam, and one eye on Ralph. Liam had one eye on Millie and one on Donnie. Ralph had both eyes on Donnie as he charged the pale green station wagon where Liam had placed his terrible taunting red bath towel. As Ralph bore down on Donnie, he screamed like a banshee and peed himself before the astonished crowd. Laughter erupted when Ralph headbutted the driver’s side door as Donnie helplessly scrambled around the station wagon trying to find a hiding place. “Save me. Save me.”Image result for bull goring a car pictures

Liam and Millie locked eyes, his two and her three. He strode toward her as the crowd hailed him, and Mr. Arturo yelled, “Gooooooooaaaallllll” over the public announcement system. Millie gave Liam a long stemmed red rose and his matador merit badge, and he gave her his collectors edition Star Wars light saber sword. They kissed defiantly as Ralph continued to gore the welded shut station wagon with yellow pants Donnie screaming for help inside. The band serenaded the awkward August moment with Herb Alpert’s “A Taste of Honey”. For one golden moment all was right in Wrightsville thanks to the color blind bull.Image result for matador kissing woman