552. Law Suits Are Made for Walking

Image result for frank sinatra picturesSo I’m listening to the Moldy Oldies station on the way home from work today, after a belly full of indigestible chunks of Trump chumps and punks all week, when Nancy Sinatra’s only hit song came on, These Boots Are Made for Walking. For a moment I thought of how less than her talent was, so much less than big Frank. And Frank Sinatra, Jr. was stuck in the same also ran gutter. His big song was Something Stupid Like I Love You. My mind did a comparison between a real talent Persona, Frank Sinatra with all of his Mafia brand arrogance, and Donald Trump, Mr. No Talent Reality T.V. Guy, with all his Russian Mafia buddies. A couple of  shady narcissists full of bravado and multiple wives and girlfriends, surrounded by lawyers and scandals and the stench of fetid morality served on gold-rimmed stoneware.

Image result for trump children picturesAnd their offspring? Donald’s sons are what you might expect of trees planted in the shade of a sunlight-hogging grandiose chestnut father… lacking something or other, born on third base and absolutely convinced they’d hit triples. Unfruitful and spindly. Then there is the First Daughter, the whole daddy/daughter dynamic is too creepy to think about, and the other daughter who seems to be hidden away from the lime lights. What’s with that deal? And poor baby Barron must endure them all, like a stuffed Tigger chew toy.

Image result for sinatra children picturesFrankie Boy had three legitimate kids, as Wikipedia diplomatically states the case. None of his kids really achieved much. No matter for today’s exam, except for Nancy’s song. As the lyrics high stepped on by, I thought of a word change or two that would make her peppy song even more contemptuous and contemporary.

Here is the original.

You keep saying you got something for me
Something you call love but confess
You’ve been a’messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been a’messin’
And now someone else is getting all your best
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These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
You keep lyin’ when you oughta be truthin’
You keep losing when you oughta not bet
You keep samin’ when you oughta be a’changin’
Now what’s right is right but you ain’t been right yetImage result for psychotic gif
These boots are made for walking
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
You keep playing where you shouldn’t be playing
And you keep thinking that you’ll never get burnt (HAH)
I just found me a brand new box of matches (YEAH)
And what he knows you ain’t had time to learnImage result for matches igniting gif
These boots are made for walking,
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you
Are you ready, boots? Start walkin’
Image result for boots the cat pictures
These lyrics are not Grade A Prime, I will grant you that. However, the song stuck around for its melodic pop, I suppose. Maybe it was the miniskirt catwalk video. Folks, it was 1966!!!
I imagined Melania in a tall pair of chic, soft leather knee high boots, pouty lips and squinty eyes, tossing her hair back, singing to the Donald in her saucy Slavic accent, as the grease fitted hinges swung on the exit door at the White House yet again. “Good Bye, You Yellow Preek Toad.”
Melania Trump Then I realized how unlikely such a scene would be. She made her bed, so to speak, long ago. Likely has her own non disclosure agreement that includes loss of U.S. citizenship if she should speak her truths. Exile to Guantanamo Bay. Nope, she’s not gonna sing that song to Donald from behind bars in Cuba.
It’s just too creepy to have Ivanka lip synch the lyrics, especially in the miniskirt. Her mom Ivana? Nah. Marla Maples? That yacht has sailed. Hmmmm. I know. How about Stormy Daniels? With just a tweak or two.
Image result for stormy daniels with donald trump gif
You’ve been saying you’ve got something on me. (Like a lawsuit? Or an NDA?)
Something you call fair but confess
You went messin’ where you shouldn’t ‘ve been messin’
Now Michael Cohen’s cleanin up the rest
Law suits are made for trumpin’
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days law suits are gonna thump all over you.
Stormy does a little foxtrot here, and then returns to the narrative while smuggling manatees out of Florida disguised as Volkswagen Beetles.Related image
You’ve keep lyin’ when you oughta be truthin’
You keep losin’ when you oughta not bet
You keep shamin’ when you oughta be changin’
Now right is right, but you aint been right yet
Law suits are made for trumpin’
And that’s just what they’ll do
One of these days law suits are gonna thump all over you
At this point I imagine Michael Cohen and other Trumpian sychophants rushing in to do a chorus line in cowboy boots, ten gallon hats, and silk tassels.
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With so many former White House employees at the unemployment office these days, all they need is a choreographer to work out a line dance or two. It could be a combination of Whack a Mole and Bingo in Motion with the right game card.
Image result for fired white house staff pictures gif
The game is virtually unwinnable because it’s a moving target, and the Bingo chips melt as soon as you place them down. Meanwhile the definition of chaos is redefined as a mud wrestling business strategy where Emperor Donald gives thumbs up or down over the fools who enter the stadium. If you ever disagree with his majesty’s itty bitty self esteem, so long.
Image result for emperor trump pictures
Comey, McCabe, Tillerson, Flynn, Cohn, Omarosa, Spicey, Hopey, Porter, McFarland, Bannon, Priebus, Gorka, Moochi, Price, Dearborn, Manafort, Gates, Lewandowski, Papadopoulos,and a host of others less well known. Let me think: He was only gonna get the best people, all of whom could not wait to work for the Donna. And yet, these awesomest of awesomenosity need to quit or get fired in Twitter world for displeasing Donna, the Prima Donna. And this was just Round One.Image result for trump bingo card of faces
You can’t have it both ways: either Donna was stupid for hiring them then, or he’s stupid for firing them now. You don’t fire the so called all stars of America’s team. You fire the coach in this instance.
Are you ready boots?  Start walkin’.Image result for cowboy boots walking gif Faster, the lawsuits are comin’. Giddyup.
 Image result for cowboys riding horses away gif

551. Time walks a pigeon-toed waddle

Image result for pigeons walking gif

Why start here?  I don’t know. Sometimes I just start a post in hopes of finding a destination, a bread crumb trail to gobble up, like pigeons out for a stroll. What do they find? Whatever they look for. And if they look for nothing, they may still find a crust of bread or a sunflower seed, maybe an ibuprofen. In the Google age it’s simple to find their diet,

Pigeons are natural seed eaters and only eat insects in small numbers. Normal pigeon diet is made of corn, wheat, cereals and other seed. Pigeons will add fruit and greens like lettuce, spinach, sprouted seeds, grapes  and apple in their diet. Or Skittles…

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Simple enough. They have adapted to humans all around the globe, showing up in all cities, famously flocking at the Vatican and Red Square. Yep. Funny how words like birds alight on the clotheslines of language. A pigeon is also a young attractive woman, though I’m not sure why you’d call a pretty girl a “pigeon”. Then again, why call girls “chicks”?Image result for pigeon flocks in flight gif

They are beautiful in flight, right? Almost majestic.

I read once that Ernest Hemingway trapped pigeons in Paris for dinner. He was hungry and poor. I have never forgiven him.

A dupe, sucker or someone easily cheated is also called a pigeon, I guess because pigeons aren’t so smart? I suppose they are easily caught and used up, both the birds and thusly marked victims. Image result for dupe or sucker pictures

Perhaps the extinct carrier pigeon was a duped victim of fowl play. Stories abound of the heroic sacrifices carrier pigeons made in war time, delivering mail, bullets, tanks, and a submarine in the Battle of Midway.Related image

The first message-bearing pigeon was loosed by Noah. The ancient Romans used pigeons for chariot races, to tell owners how their entries had placed. Genghis Khan established pigeon relay posts across Asia and much of Eastern Europe. Charlemagne made pigeon-raising the exclusive privilege of nobility. The Rothschild fortune is said to have been seriously augmented by a pigeon bearing news of the British victory at Waterloo. But it was in the Siege of Paris in 1870 that the carrier pigeon won its wings. (Please hold your applause until the end of the post. It’s hard, I know, when the grandeur of pigeon awe sweeps over one like a phantom wind fills the sails of a clipper ship. But try. Cross your legs if you must.)

My favorite pigeon has to be the stool pigeon, I think. It’s a term for criminals who act as decoys to lure other criminals into a legal dragnet. I imagine stool pigeons were once like decoy ducks that lure real ducks into target range. Stool pigeons must sit on stools in police interrogation rooms and coo, coo, coo away their accomplices. It is also suggested that stool pigeons were low life informants who sat on bar stools to gather nefarious information.

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Yes, there are pigeon associations. And you’ll never guess who is the president of the British Pigeon Racing Association. The very Queen herself, Elizabeth II.  Here she is as a young pigeonphile. Lovely, really, and don’t you dare call her a pigeon.

Image result for queen elizabeth and pigeon racing pictures

Those Brits!!  Crazy, right? And you thought this was just an aimless tangent. Actually, so did I, but we are gaining traction now, Bob. Racing fowlers will immediately recognize the following grand champions from the middle of the twentieth century.  Who could forget Ginger Feathers and her epic flight of 1944? She practically won the war on P Day.Image result for marx brothers movies pigeon feathers

Now in a related but faraway galaxy comes Pidgin English, which is a form of broken English that is spoken in over two dozen lands that were once ruled by the Brits. (Note the British pigeon theme here.)

Pidgin English is a non-specific name used to refer to any of the many pidgin languages derived from English. Here’s a Nigerian example… or more.

7. Wetin dey happen? – What’s going on? (Marvin Gaye, where are you, man?) What’s happening?

11. Dem send you? – Have you been sent to torment me? (Republicans said this about Hillary.)

13. K-leg – Questionable.  Example – Your story get k-leg! Which means your story or gist sounds suspect or exaggerated. (POTUS Twitter feed)

23. Butta my bread – Answered prayers. Example – “God don butta my bread” which means God has answered my prayers (Note to gluten intolerant:  God don butta my gluten free bread. Dairy intolerant version, God don no butta my bread.)

25. I go land you slap – I will slap you! ( Again, POTUS Twitter feed)

One more jump, my friends, to gems. The pigeon blood ruby is a rare and precious stone.Image result for pigeon blood rubyJust look at that drop of crystallized blood. How valuable, you ask?  How about $30 million for this Sunshine Ruby? 36 carats strong.

Extremely rare: The 'Sunrise Ruby' sold for £19.3million at auction

But we are wandering aimlessly, having lost the narrative equivalent of the thread of Ariadne, and are doomed to be devoured by the mythical Minotaur. Yes, yes. No worries. I will simply launch my homing pigeon to find my way out of this Cretan labyrinth. Yes, even in myths pigeons can alight on another clothesline of meaning and provide rescue and comfort. When Daedalus made his famous wings to escape his prison, I like to think he used pigeon feathers for his apparatus. 

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A pigeon taught that falcon how to light a lady’s pipe, and yet not even a footnote of recognition. Shame! After the Great War, when carrier pigeons were replaced by reliable modern technology, a lot of them found work in Hollywood as stunt birds. Tragically, some unfortunates went into the adult bird film industry, where they were exploited for crowd scenes in Rome and Venice, working literally for peanuts.

Image result for pigeons in venice italy pictures

It breaks my heart to think of how far this once noble bird has fallen. However, I find comfort and promise in the adaptability of the pigeon. And so, I’ll leave you with fond memories of Bert telling his unfunny pigeon jokes to Ernie, which left Ernie nonplussed but Bert laughing like a bleating goat.   “Agh agh agh agh agh.” That’s all folks.Image result for bert pigeon laugh gif


550. Jokes for Nurses

Jan is having a gala event in June for the nursing school addition, including ballroom dancing, which is how we met several years ago. As she explained something intelligent to my wife at our last dance meeting, I pondered a nurse/dancing joke for Jan. I waited patiently for the opening.

“You know Jan, there is a famous nursing dance that came out of the Civil War era.”

“No, I didn’t know that.”

“Yep, it’s like a Chuck Berry one-legged hop called the Hacksaw Amputation without Anesthesia Polka at Antietam Battlefield. It’s a beauty.”

Image result for chuck berry dance gif

“Really? How can you joke about… never mind. Of course you’d make a joke like that.”

“Yeah, that’s my tasteless schtick.”

“Hmmm, would you consider telling some jokes at the gala? For maybe 15 minutes.”

“Sure. I’ve considered it and I think I’ll pass.”

“Oh, come on. You can do it.”

“I’m sure that I can, Jan. The problem is a lack of desire to do so.”Image result for uninspired faces

“Surely with your crazy mind you can think of ten minutes worth of clean nurse humor.”

“Madam, I am no Florence Nightingale or Betsy Ross!!”

“You know Betsy Ross sewed the American flag in the Revolution, right?  She wasn’t a nurse.”Image result for sexy betsy ross pictures

“Yeah, I knew that. I was testing your nursology knowledgy. Hmmm, how about I do ten minutes of nursing trivia? That could be fun.”

“Okay, but we won’t have time to collect answers. I expect a few hundred guests.”

“Ah, no problem. We can have a scripted team like on Jeopardy. Let’s see, Your Fred, Jeanine, who really is a nurse, and a local celebrity.”

“We don’t have any local celebrities. This is Franklin County, remember?”

“Touche. How about someone dressed up like Donald Trump?”Image result for jimmy fallon trump impersonation  pictures

“I, I, I’m not sure I want to get into political stuff at a nursing program gala.”

“Jan, what could possibly go wrong? It’s like a well oiled bank robbery. I know my destiny now. Just hold my beer and I’ll explain.”

“Oh, no. What have I done?”

“We’ll need three microphones for the contestants and one for me. Also some jingle music and sound effects. Maybe the Jeopardy theme. I’d like a gold lame dinner jacket with a matching bow tie and a gold cumberbund with rhinestones. “Image result for liberace in gold lame suit

“Okay, here’s your beer back. Let me take notes.”

“Alright. Lighting. Talent. Microphones. Now, we need material. Let’s see…. nursing stuff. I’ll start with a generic nurse joke.”

“Contestants, ready, set, go:  This phrase refers to a younger woman with an older widower in Florida. Fred?”Image result for jeopardy contestant pictures

“What is a nurse with a purse?”

“Well done. You get twenty points. Ding, ding, ding.”

“Jeanine? Are you having a seizure. What is it woman?”

“I happen to be a nurse and here’s my purse. What do I win?”

“Excellent. You get forty points. Dingy dingy doooo.”Woman hitting a man

Fred, “Wait a minute! I got the question first. How come she gets double the points?”

Burrito, “She got the daily double, Fred. Plus she is an actual live nurse not just married into the field like you.”

Fred, “Oh…(mutters to self, “That’s not fair.”)

“Fred?  Louder please.”

“I said ‘It’s not fair. In the rules of Jeopardy, Alex always says…'”

“Whoa, Buddy. This is Nurse Trivia. Bite your tongue. Now repeat what you just said.”

“Thysthaidthitsnophayre.”Image result for man slurring words gif

“Bartender, cut that man off. He is clearly slurring his words.”

“Fred, you can let go of your tongue now.”

“Sheesh! I told you, Jan. This was a bad idea.”

“Next question. This movie, circa 2000, starred Renne Zellweger as a confused nurse in a soap opera/bank robbery.Image result for nurse betty images


“What is the Art of the Deal?”

“No. Jeanine?”

“What is Nurse Betty?”

“Correct. You get 160 points.”

Donald, “Now wait a second, Alex Baldwin. I said Nurse Betty first.”Image result for jimmy fallon trump impersonation  pictures

“Uh, no you didn’t.”

“Yes, I did. And I have my personal attorney Michael Cohen here to sue you for deprivation of character.”

“Mr. Trump is correct. I will sue you because that’s what I do. Sue people.”Image result for michael cohen pictures

“Pssst, Michael, it’s not really Mr. Trump. It’s Eddie Laugherman from the VFW. We just dressed him up to look like Donald. Okay? Thought the crowd would get a hoot out of it.”

“Oh, alright. Well,  I’d still like to sue someone on Mr. Trump’s behalf. Are there any porn stars in the house?”

“Okay, Michael, we’re gonna continue with Nurse Trivia while you get your double D depositions.”

“What do you call it when the hospital runs out of maternity ward nurses?”


“A mid-wife crisis.”Related image

“Well done, Fred. Ding ding ding. Add another ten points to your score. Let’s see you’re at thirty, Jeanine is at 200, and Donald is still hovering at zero.”

Fred, through clenched teeth… “This is stupid. I am going to join the Donald in a class action suit against you and this whole thing as soon as his stupid lawyer stops measuring women’s chests.”

“Fred, that would really kill the profit margins on the gala. Think about it:  Happy wife, happy life?”

Fred, “uuuurrrrrrgggghhhhhh. Alright. Motion withdrawn.”Image result for judge judy gif

Donald, “Uh, Alex, I’ve never understood that saying. My wives, and I’ve had three hot ones and Ivanka, plus all the side chicks, and they were always very miserable. Eh, eh, I always said that was the quid pro quo for dating a man like me. I’m very rich and can afford contemptuous women as long as they are super models. I mean, no one loves pouty supermodel nurses like I do.”

“Thank you, Don. Now, back to our game. In One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest…she antagonized the character played by Jack Nicholson.”Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)


“Nurse Ratched.”

“Sorry, Fred. Your answer must be phrased as a question.”



“Who was Nurse Ratched?”

“Ding, ding, ding. Jeanine, you’ve won another two hundred points for your team. And we’re at the end of Round One. So let’s all have a few drinks and some sworn testimony, and then we’ll be back for Round Two of Nurse Trivia.”


“I can’t lose. I’m a winner. I win, that’s what I do. ”

“Of course you are a weiner, Don. You are, you do. And we love you… at zero.”Image result for donald trump in hotdog bun







549. The Lectins are Coming!

Image result for lectins picturesWe went to Ruby Tuesday’s after a couple hours of dancing, just for a snack and a drink, and to catch up on the past week with Wayne and Jackie, our new almost in-laws. Our kids married in October past, as the three aphid readers of this blog know already. Late on Friday at Ruby Tuesday’s, 9:30 or so when we arrived, the place was emptying out and we were tired. “Just one glass of red wine”, said Wayne. It  was agreed… maybe a large one.

Wayne opened up about Dr. Gundry, had we ever heard of him? I assumed it was a continuation of Jackie’s report on Trivia Night, how no one could match the unfamous woman with her “first” in history. Perhaps Dr. Gundry was a feminist researcher in Nairobi who had researched tsetse flies.Image result for doctor evil pictures

“No, never. Who is this person?”

“He’s a doctor of nutrition.”

Jackie added, “Zach says he’s a quack. He googled him and said he’s a quack, Wayne.”

“He might be a good quack, like the AFLAC duck, you know. He’s there to protect us from lost wages in the event of an injury.”

“So this guy does insurance commercials?”Image result for aflac duck gif

“No, but I think he’s got something worth listening to, so I’ve been watching his videos on YouTube. He does these talks about the food we eat and how it actually is killing us.”

“Wayne, I just turned 62. I don’t think food is killing me at this moment. I am killing the food.”

“Like, five raw red beans can kill you. Unless you pressure cook them like the Italians do.”

“Really? Silent red assassins.” Image result for lectins pictures

“Yeah, Dr. Gundry says that…”

“Wait, I have it on google, here…

‘According to his book, it’s not only about that awful gluten that we have heard so much about but about a whole class of “highly toxic, plant-based proteins called lectins” of which gluten is a member. He says that “lectins are found not only in grains like wheat but also in the ‘gluten-free’ foods like … many fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and conventional dairy products,” which “many of us regard as healthy.” After consumption, they “incite a kind of chemical warfare in our bodies, causing inflammatory reactions that can lead to weight gain and serious health conditions.'”

“Yeah!! That’s it.”

“Honey, could you read that again? a flock of geese interrupted my hearing there.”Image result for a flock of geese pictures

“Now, listen. It’s maybe, well some of it is far fetched, but a lot of what he says makes sense. Like adult men should not eat peanuts or cashews. They’ll give you cancer.”

“Oh, crap! I wondered why Erin sent me that nut collection for my birthday. Revenge!! I’ve been poisoned by my first born. [Gag, hack, cough.]Luckily the antidote is beer.” [Gulp.]Image result for cashew nut pictures

“Dr. Gundry says that plants and animals have evolved to stay alive longer and lectins work to protect them from predators. Then, or now, the genetically modified foods have extra lectins injected into them for a longer shelf life. So we are poisoning ourselves.”

“I’m trying to visualize the process of injecting individual peanut halves with a syringe full of lectin juice. It just seems too tedious to me.”

“This is where the Chinese come in. There are like nine billion Chinese with nothing to do because of pollution and robots. So Dr. Gundry says that in secret labs billions of Chinese and North Korean slaves are doing the injections. It’s unbelievable.”Image result for syringes injecting nuts with chemicals pictures

“Where are these labs, Wayne? Surely our satellites would find them. You can’t hide nine billion slaves very easily.”

“I know, it’s coming to me through the honking and quacking geese and duck noises…”

“Where? You don’t have to be so dramatic!”

“Drum roll please, Lectinschtein.”Map of Liechtenstein

“Funny. I almost spit my wine at you. Don’t joke when my mouth is full.”

“My mother’s maiden name was Bridenstein, like the bride of Frankenstein. Wouldn’t that make a cool name for a craft beer?”

“Oh yeah. Who would be the model on the bottle?”

“Hmmm, maybe Dr. Gundry’s wife.”Image result for frankenstein beer label

“Okay, keep laughing at me till your inflammation adds sixty pounds to you. You know Dr. Gundry did a study or talked about what happens when human feces are placed in mice after the mice have had rodent specific colonoscopies.”Image result for lab mouse pictures


“And the mice swelled up like hippopotamuses.”Image result for hippo pictures


“So that proves that our colons are bursting with lectins, inflaming our bodies and killing us.”

“Wayne, this is not a chemical issue; it’s mechanical.”

“What do you mean?”

“Human feces alone are larger then a whole mouse, so naturally if you jammed one up a mouse hole it would inflate and explode,  killing the mouse and leaving a smelly mess behind, or a behind mess, as you will.”Image result for coal slurry accidents pictures

“We found a dead mouse in our front hall closet. Uh, the stink. I washed all the garments and set out baking soda in a dish. Such a nasty smell.”

“Yeah, the worst. We had one die inside a wall once. Had to drill out the plaster to remove the carcass.”

“Another case of lectincide. Did you find any red beans or cashews strewn about the crime scene?”

“You’re gonna put this in the blog, aren’t you? I can just see the wheels turning.”Image result for tony soprano pictures

“Maybe, but I need to know where Dr. Gundry came from, how he became obsessed with lectins. Hmmmm.”

“I can google him for you.”

“NO! Don’t disrupt the process. I don’t want any facts to get in the way of a good fiction. Let’s see, he was found washed up on the Isle of Orkney wrapped only in a blanket from Ikea. It was always assumed he was Swedish, since he came from the sea and the Scotswoman who found him was past child bearing years, she took the infant to a wet nurse on the inlet of Grand Cairn Firth. When the wet nurse saw the woman and her little sea biscuit of a boy, she said, “Why ere you here, me dear? Why errant you suckling him?”Image result for orkney island beaches

“Why I’ve Gun Dry, missy.”Image result for withered old crone pictures










548. Darn Socks!

Image result for socks with holes picturesThe Coffee Summit banter turned to holey socks as Joel recounted vignettes from one of the ultimate cheapskates in American history… Bud.

“When he came to interview it was obvious at the firm, his suit and tie were obviously brand new. As we talked I noticed he had not cut the tags off his sleeves. Instead he’d just tucked them in. Years later I brought this observation up to him. That’s when he told me he planned to take the suit back if he did not get the job.”

Image result for man  with price tags still on pictures“Never took himself or family to the doctor. Nope. His dad was a veterinarian and that was good enough. Advil and duct tape for a broken bone. Horse antibiotics were the same as human. Why not? No copays.”

“Did he reuse toilet tissue also?”

“I hate to think that deeply. Some things are better not to know.”

Image result for tsa security pictures“Once, after one of our conventions, we were going through security at the airport. The TSA person told Bud to take off his shoes. He said he couldn’t. I leaned over and told him he had to or face further inspections, orificial inspections at that. He said he could not take his shoes off. I asked if it was his back again.”

“No, it’s not my back.”

“The TSA lady said, ‘Sir, you must comply now.'”

“That’s when Bud confessed he had holes in his socks.”

“Sir, we’ve seen it all. Shoes off.”

“Can you believe that? Who keeps socks with holes, let alone wears them on a trip? My word, I recall my mother darning my socks back in the day. She’d pull a sock over a light bulb and sew the opening shut tight. Now this surgery would leave an uneven seam that would eventually rub your toe or foot raw. Not comfortable, but that’s what we did back then.”Image result for landfill images

“Yep, nowadays we just toss them in the trash. No more darning, darn it!”

“Landfills are bulging with socks Bud would likely wear. Yeah, it’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.”

“Very perspicacious of you, Joel.”

“Don’t go tossing big words around again. Yesterday it was unscathed. I spent the rest of the day trying to think of when I had ever heard scathed used. I wasted my entire day with your verbal trivia.”

“And yet, scathed is a word unto itself, is it not?”Image result for scorched images

“Yes, so what? It’s rarely used and is functionally useless.”

“Now, now my hasty friend. Some things come in handy just for a moment, like dental floss. It does not have to last as long as a battleship to serve a use.”

“I don’t know why I indulge your whacked out monologues. I always regret it. Name something else that you use once and throw away besides paper products.”

“Rental funeral shoes.”Image result for disposable funeral shoes images

“What? No, no, it’s a trick to torture me for another day. I needed two shots of Grey Goose to unhear scathed. I’m not doing this again.”

“Well, go ahead then and overspend on your funeral costs.”

“I’m not taking the bait.”Image result for purple rubber worm images

“It’s not bait; it’s an affordable dressy footwear option, but if you want to throw away your hardly embezzled money, that’s on you.”

“Okay, rental shoes for funerals.”

“Yeah, it’s a little known cottage industry. Not a lot of capital required to get started. You start with black and brown men’s loafers in the most common sizes. Dead feet tend to shrink a little, so you want to go a half size smaller than living feet.”

“Yes, go on. I already regret this.”

“Yeah, slip on, slip off before you go to your final reward. Constructed of hard card board and spray painted with acrylic paint. Indistinguishable from real leather.”

“And can you put pennies in the saddle strap’s slot?”Related image

“Certainly, but there is an upcharge, of course. The luxury package includes Mercury headed 1936 silver dimes. Our highest grade is platinum, which includes a pair of five dollar gold coins. You see?  It’s like any other business model, Joel.”

“Seems a bit morbid to me.”

“That’s your death anxiety, Joel. Tick tock. The Grim Reaper of Death steps closer in Hush Puppies every day. You just can’t hear his feet shuffling. Which is why renting high quality funeral shoes now will make it so much easier for your survivors. They won’t have to cobble together all the loose ends.”Image result for grim reaper images

“You had to say cobble there, didn’t you?”

“Again, I suspect that you fear your own demise too much.  The mere mention of a cobbler sends you into a tailspin. Joel, it’s not always about your mortality.”

“I don’t want to rent your foolish funeral loafers, that’s all. How do I know they haven’t been used before and recycled?”

“My good man, that’s where the profit comes in. Of course they have been worn, if that’s even the appropriate verb. Certainly they are low mileage. But, like bowling shoes, a good spray of disinfectant and some talcum powder and they’re as good as new.”Related image

“I refuse to bowl because of the communal shoes and the communal balls. I was, I am still an only child and sharing is hard for me. I never mastered the concept.”

“You are a sad little man, Joel.”

“I know, but I am counting on a rather limited audience for your blog. Otherwise I’d have to bother with a cease and desist letter.”Image result for ebenezer scrooge images

“Ho hum, I’m not scared of your legal panty raids. Just remember: you are my lawyer. And what sort of lawyer sues his client? Huh? I can’t hear you.”

“A bad one.”

“And why is that, Joel?”

“Uh, because then… I’d have to…”Related image


“I’d uh, have to, uh, bill you for my hours…”

“Yes, and then what?”Related image

“Uh, you’d be unlikely to pay me.”


“And uh therefore I’d have unbillable hours on my ledger, which is a capital offense.”

“Very astute, Joel. So, we have removed the dentures from the tiger, yes?”

“I could still gum you to death.”

“You have the gravitas of a sock puppet, my good man.”Image result for sock puppet pictures











547. Type III Diabetes Alert: Urgent Release

Image result for doctor photosMy doctor told me I had to bring my cholesterol and detesterol levels down. He suggested no more Trump rants, cautioning me that continuing to snipe at the Trump Train could lead to Type III Diabetes.  I was not familiar with Type III, so he schooled me.Image result for diabetes posters

Diabetes is a disease in which your blood glucose, or blood sugar, levels are too high. Glucose comes from the foods you eat or from the lying liberal media input. Insulin is a hormone that helps the glucose get into your cells to give them energy, i.e. intelligence. With type 1 diabetes, your body does not make insulin. Like Fox News its molecules spin fruitlessly right. With type 2 diabetes, also known as CNN, the more common type, your body does not make or use insulin well, and spins left at dizzying emotional speeds. Without enough insulin, the glucose stays in your blood, making you a dumb blood or a saccharine sweet, so dogs may lick you excessively at summer political gatherings. You can also have prediabetes. This means that your blood sugar is higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Your best treatment at this stage is to blow up your t.v., throw away your paper, move to the country, build you a home. Plant a little garden, eat a lot of peaches, try and find Jesus on your own.

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Okay, I was following along fairly well, but I was impatient to get to Type III. He said it is code for, well, here…

Image result for gothic number 3's calligraphyType 3 diabetes is a title that has been proposed for Alzheimer’s disease which results from resistance to insulin, i.e. intelligence, in the brain. In other words, facts like insulin, cannot get into the cells of your brain that do critical thinking, leaving the Type 3 Diabetic stuttering helplessly like the village idiot on a national level.Related image

Who knew?  Very carefully he explained in non political terminology that high exposure levels to chaos, moral corruption, gas lighting, double talk, out right lies, arrogance, narcissism, bloviating, xenophobia, crass lack of tact, intellectual dishonesty, misogyny, reality television politics, etc. could actually scar my brain with little orange-headed plaque platelets which would cause me to think in defensive, reactive, pre-toddler like ways.

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He suggested that if my results were positive, I may want to build a wall around my yard and round up undocumented squirrels or possums, ya know? and toss them into my neighbor’s pool. I might find myself ceaselessly repeating myself like a drunk fifth grader, or say the same thing over and over as if I were intoxicated in the grade after fourth. I might also want to grab women by their celebrity status, cuz I’m a star.

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Whereas type 1 and type 2 diabetes are characterized by hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar), a separate study, carried out by the University of Pennsylvania and published in 2012, excluded people with a history of diabetes, indicating that Trumpheimer’s Mania can develop without the presence of significant hyperglycemia in the brain. So even if a Type III Diabetes victim seems to know the day and time and year, he/she could be undergoing seismic synaptic seizures, without any detectable symptoms. According to Dr. Chen Wan Ho, researcher at Cornell Psychiatric Barometrics, “These patients demonstrate grand mal seizures at rumba speed while simultaneously experiencing grandiose beliefs of a racial/cultural  purity and manifest destiny”.Image result for mountains shaking gif

My doctor noted that often Type III Diabetes, commonly referred to as Trumpmania, begins as a sort of sugar high in which simple solutions are offered for complex problems. By analogy, he explained it’s similar to a liquid manure spreader that sucks up a thousand gallons of liquefied cow excrement that then sprays and spreads it on a hundred acres with or without Russian trolls helping. “The odor of hypocrisy is what helps us differentiate it from regular high sugar manure”, asserted Dr. Leonid Chernobyl of Leningrad University’s research commissariat. “In Ukraine we add beets to the mixture for local tastes. In either case, the stink is so bad, no one wants to investigate. It’s a brilliant evolutionary adaptation.”Igor Kostin: Chernobyl - The Aftermath

Type III sufferers are given to three and four word verbal tics that sound like campaign slogans… Make America Great Again and Drain the Swamp are chanted by Type III sufferers in unison at Diabetes 3 rallies, for which there is no cure. Lock Her Up and Build the Wall are likewise bellowed aloud as if from a Tourette’s Disorder convention choir.  Hold my Beer and Save my Guns are also familiar choral chants of DB3 patients. It is worth noting that many in these gatherings stare blindly at bright shiny objects and whirl dervishly, while spasmodically nodding to silent cadences. When interviewed after these quasi-religious ceremonies, some congregants reported that they weren’t sure who the HER was, but later in a separate study most believed She was either Eleanor Roosevelt or Marie Antoinette with a tan. Most believed HER to be a Russian communist drag queen in either case.Image result for drag queen images

Occasionally the Type III sufferer will experience fits of paranoia, spouting conspiracy theories about other conspiracy theories. “When guns are outlawed, only Jesus will have guns if we don’t close our borders.” Or something like that. “Immigrants are taking our jobs overseas. Why just look at the migrant farmers; they’re all Mexicans. Stealing our jobs and apples.” “Somehow Crooked Hillary and Obama hired a bunch of strippers and porn stars to allegedly have affairs with the Donald, which his lawyer paid to silence but then the evil Democrats exposed it all. But I don’t believe a bit of all this Fake News. Anyway, who cares? God Bless America.” “I don’t care if he did shoot Thomas Jefferson dead on Fifth Avenue; I love him like a moose loves Mussolini.”Image result for trump i love the poorly educated gif

It’s plain to see that Type III Diabetes is ravaging our populace and it’s all because of Obama. But you can help us fund critical research to combat the spread of DB3. For just a $40 tax deductible contribution you can join other soon-to-be committed Wing Nuts and purchase a Red White and Blue DB3 tee shirt. If you love Merle Haggard, NASCAR, Jesus, John Wayne, your momma, and Barbeque, you’ll love the DB3 collectible all cotton Trump tankini. For only $25 more you can add a matching “You’re Fired!” MAGA ball cap. Order yours now.

So adorable and chokably loyal.

Thank you, my fellow patriots.

Dr. Evil, MD

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546. Power

Image result for powerless images“I feel powerless and helpless”, she said. “My dreams confirm it. I can’t lift a glass of water or even stand up. Evil attackers come after me and the kids, but I don’t know how to shoot my husband’s gun. I’m paralyzed. I tell the kids to run to safety as I try to figure out the handgun. My car flies off the road into an abyss, and I am remarkably calm, at ease. I don’t have to fight for control any longer. My situation has taken total control of my powerlessness. It’s not suicidal dreaming; rather it is soothing to feel the release of responsibility’s pressure. I can float care free.”Image result for car driving off cliff gif

“Your unconscious can be telling you something here, you know. Something wise and good.”

“Like what?”

“Stand up, for instance. To whom or for what would you need to stand up?”Image result for standing gif

“Oh, that’s easy. My father in law. He’s such a wild squirrel in our house. He watches the right wing news and yells at the developments they cover. It’s all bad to me. I can’t watch the news. ”

“So you need to stand up to your father in law? And maybe stand up to the world of the news.”

“I can’t. All the shootings and chaos paralyze me. I have no control. For years now the house work has been out of my control, and my kids are getting there too.”Image result for scared faces gif

“How about the glass of water you can’t lift? Does anyone in your house leave glasses sitting around for you to pick up?”

“Are you kidding? Like everyone– my husband, my kids, my father in law. Always. It makes me crazy.!”

“In your dream you can’t pick up one glass of water. We know in reality that you can lift a glass, but your dream says you can’t or that you should be able to. You get anxious that you can’t.” Image result for weak hands lifting a glass gif

“Yeah, that’s enlightening. Weird too. You’re getting a lot more out of my dreams than I am.”

“Well, I believe in the unconscious as a deeper, wiser level of self that shows us powerful images and symbols with intense feelings attached. Symbols are dense communication. Vivid dreams and repetitive ones strike me as the unconscious insistently knocking on the door to our conscious reality. Will you answer the door?”Image result for gothic door knocking gif

“I don’t know what to do. How to gather up control and be powerful…”

“You equate control with power. Define power.”

“It’s being in control.”

“But control of what? Chaos?”

“Yes, chaos is disorder. Control is order. Order is power, I guess.”

“Nice linkage. Did you know that chaos meant gas in Greek?”Related image

“No, I’m not a word nerd like you.”

“I’ll choose to take that as a tortured compliment. Anyway, harnessing a gas, propane or gasoline or steam, leads to power. And harnessing is essentially controlling the thing in the harness. In the process you extract or direct the energy in the harnessed thing.”Image result for harnessed horses gif

“I can follow that with my housework, but not my kids…”

“Well, they have lots of energy, right?”

“Tons, no, megatons.”Image result for nuclear mushroom cloud gif

“Okay, you harness their energy by providing order, structure, rules, pro-social values.”

“I don’t feel like I’m harnessing anything. I feel like I’m running behind a pair of huskies that got off the leash.”Image result for dogs running away gif

“Nice. You are reactive and can’t catch up.”

“Yeah, it was a lot easier when they were little.”

“Sure. Two hundred years ago we harnessed water power to run saw mills and grist mills. The natural stream mechanically powered a big wheel that ran an axle into the mill, converting water’s energy into a wheel’s energy via the harness.”Related image

“When the kids were little, that’s all I needed was a millstream next to my little stone cottage. [Deep breath.] Life was safer and slower and easier then, like an old oil painting.”

“Charming, but kids are a moving target. Once you have them potty trained, you need to train them not to bite and hit. Then you have to train them not to run in front of cars or run away to play hide and seek at the clothes store. Then they’re in school and you’re getting them adjusted to first grade. When you turn around, they’re in third grade doing fractions and you’re wondering why you can’t recall second grade.”

[Tears.] “I feel I’m missing so much of their lives and I’ll never get this time back.”

“Yes, but rolling around in a depressed state is not getting you caught up to speed with their rapid growth.”Image result for acorn growing time lapse gifImage result for acorn growing time lapse gif

“I worry about them all the time.”

“You’ve done a good job of meeting their needs so far, right?”

“I guess so. They are good kids.”

“And you are their biggest role model.”

“They say their biggest nag.”

“Good kids don’t just drop off the tree of good citizenship. You have molded them into goodness.”Image result for human face molds in clay pictures

“Okay, but now I feel they are beyond my control, my power.”

“Don’t underestimate your power.”

“What power?”

“The mom card. You drive them. You have the money. You have the rules and authority. You have wisdom and experience and love and affection.”Related image

“I never thought of those things as power.”

“Well, now you can. Ultimately you want to empower your kids to share control with you, to pick up their chores and self control, do their school work independently, drive themselves, pay for their own stuff.”

“I can’t see that far ahead. Actually, I don’t want to. I want things to stay the way they were when I was large and in charge.”

“Hmmmm. You want to crawl into that oil painting of the mill cottage next to the singing stream?”

“I know it’s a fantasy world. I just get so sad that life moves so fast. I can’t keep up.”Image result for oil painting of mill by stream

“Okay, but you can’t live in this in between place that is neither now or the past. You are like an undelivered letter at the post office… unread, unrealized, unpotentiated.”

“So I need to harness the power, channel the energy around me?”

“Yep. Get turbo charged.Related image




545. Liberty and Justice for All

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Lately I’ve been in court as a spectator, observing the ebb and flow of the local judicial system. I get involved in custody cases occasionally; less often there are criminal cases where I am asked to testify. It’s awkward at best. Nonetheless, it’s always interesting in so many ways.

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I recall one of the first visits to court in a disputed custody case where mom wanted full custody of her children rather than supervised visitations. She had many deficits, but she was very pretty, coy, and a fine actress. When she testified, it was like Meryl Streep on the stand. The judge swallowed her narrative like it was a double chocolate shake. And it was, as it turned out, just another sweetly malted concoction, nothing more. Within six months she self destructed, and by default her alleged “monster” husband gained full custody. It’s easy to mistake a less than stellar husband for a bad husband, but that’s just bad logic.Image result for billiard table pictures

Mom gained another hard lesson in the billiard ball school of hard knocks: Early on sobriety is like Jello in hot hands. What one believes does not always translate into actual behaviors. Acting is not equivalent to being an honorable person. If you stick a fork in your drunken eye, you lose. In the land of blind parents, the one-eyed parent reigns…not the perfect fantasy parent.Image result for one eyed kings pictures

The bar is low for keeping custody of one’s kids.  As long as you have a mattress on the floor and a bit of food in the cupboards, you pass muster with Child Services. No matter the filth or obvious safety issues, even with photographic evidence. Just say you will fix them, and that includes moving to a new place after you skip out on your last month’s rent, leaving the unsatisfactory trash heap behind you. Just smile and promise to keep the new place rat free. Everyone loves a redemption story, but when it’s the fifth or sixth iteration of the same old thing… well, redemption seems unlikely. “Your Honor, my client realizes his/her past mistakes and promises to do better going forward. They will smoke less and play less often on their phones. In addition they will make sure their kids attend school and all doctors appointments.” How can this be news to a parent? Will a caseworker stop by to make sure the parents breathe, chew, bathe, and brush?Related image

Future promises are easy to make, especially if one is not held to any account for the train wrecks left in his/her wake. Just set up a new home plan that sounds nice. Look sincere while in court. File another bankruptcy. Quit another job. And then go home, lather, rinse, repeat. Parenting is not a label on a bottle of shampoo.Image result for shampoo bottle pictures

Criminality can overlap and impact civil issues. Once, a guy I knew well was busted for propositioning an undercover cop posing as a 15 year old girl on the internet. He got eight years probation and a mug shot on the county’s sexual predators photo line up for 15 years. Despite finishing college while working full time, he was judged/condemned over and over as a forever felon. Nowhere was it ever alleged or proven that he was a bad father, yet he soon lost not only custody of his two children but his parental rights. Linkage. If you are guilty of one thing, you must be guilty of the other. Heck, it’s logical. However, when indisputable negligent parenting is staring a judge right in the face, he/she refuses to make a logical conclusion to remove the child in the photos. The same judge can condemn the internet creeper as unworthy of parenting or his right to even be a parent. Image result for father with two kids pictures

I have the luxury, if you want to call it that, of hearing adult horror stories of abuse suffered long ago at the hands of their parents. “We swept it under the rug. Pretended it never happened. Yeah, my dad put a gun to mom’s head once, no, twice, and promised to kill her. We handled it as a family, dad lived in a motel for a while, and then we got back on the crazy train again. Yes, we reported it to the police the next time, but the results were pretty much the same when mom recanted. I swore a sacred oath then that I’d never repeat my mother’s mistakes. And I haven’t, but I’ve been so cautious it’s hardly living… a skittish squirrel on the edge of civilization. People suck. All of them.”Image result for isolated double wide rural trailer pictures

This last example never got to a court of law. It was settled out of court in the hearts and minds of a dysfunctional family. That settlement is still paying enormous dividends as each family member acts out irrational behaviors which grew out of trauma and shame. The perpetrator is long dead, but his “parenting” lives on. And here is where the justice gets slippery and prickly. Is the bad criminal a bad parent?  Is the bad parent a bad criminal? Either question may have more to do with the lawyer you hire than the facts you produce. If your attorney just resigned from the D.A.’s office, he/she may be able to strike a sweet deal for you that someone on the outside can’t ever hope to get. Or if your attorney is often in Judge McShakey’s court and held in high esteem, you have a better shot at a better outcome. Why?  Because Lady Justice peeks under her blindfold.Image result for goddess of justice

Themis holds a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other, which makes for nice symbolism. However, in my abbreviated sample size, the scales are harder to move than the sword. Facts are supposed to accumulate in the scales first as the legal process evolves. Only when there is a clear verdict is the sword of judgment supposed to fall. In our deal making era with clogged courts and over scheduled attorneys, pleas and ARD arrangements, expungements and probation before judgment serve to further confuse and complicate the muddled process of juris prudence.Related image


544. Legends of the Fall

Image result for s curve concrete sidewalk picturesWe were joyously walking down the curving concrete sidewalk that sloped down and away toward the Harvest Restaurant at Hershey Hotel. Brunch on my birthday. How nice. I carried my 20 month old grandson Max at the front of the party. My bride was behind me with granddaughter Leah, age 5 yakkety yakking to Grandma about Barbies and kindergarten politics. Grace, Jess and Zach brought up the rear on this chilly, blustery brunch hour. That’s when it happened.

Related imageIn a flash I stepped slightly off the left side of the curving sidewalk and lost my balance with my precious little buddy in my arms.  We lurched forward awkwardly. I thought I’d recover with my cat like reflexes, but not this time. My momentum was potentiated by the slope and Max’s forward leaning weight. I splayed out forward, trying to keep Max’s noggin from slamming into the concrete. Thinking about that second now, I see myself as a wide receiver trying to drop the caught football safely out of bounds. I could not break my fall with Max in both arms, so I extended and tossed him to the dormant grass to my left. Then my right elbow hit; the rest of my body torqued in unfamiliar ways; and I rolled into a full somersault. In the midst of all this kinetic activity, my brain tumbled into itself like an Idaho baking potato falling into an abandoned missile silo. Bad.Related image

As adrenaline raced to all parts of my falling body in preparation for a hard landing, I thought several thoughts. First, Max must land softly. Second, this reminds me of my seizure 15 years ago. That was not good. Third, pull up and out, don’t fade to black. Fourth, what if I never wake up from this moment?  It was a good run. Give my knees to the needy and give my love to Rose. Fifth, is anyone else seeing this?  If so, could I reach an out of court settlement for real and/or imagined injuries? Where is Joel when I need him?Image result for fallen man pictures

One second later I was facing my worried family who had rushed to help me out of my wild eyed gymnastic crouch. Grandma comforted Max who gently reached out to rub my arm and back. What a sweetheart! I checked my knee and elbows. No broken parts or blood, though I felt swelling erupting in the right elbow. “Yeah, yeah. Okay.” I stared at the perfectly unblemished sidewalk. How did that happen? No matter. Just ride out the adrenaline rush. Humor is always a good tool for defusing any situation.Image result for brad pitt legends of the fall images

I asked Zach, as an entertainment trivia ringer, if he knew Brad Pitt’s early work in movies?

“You mean Legends of the Fall?” he responded.

“Exactly! We have a winner.”

Later on he asked if I was familiar with Alicia Keyes’ work.

“Of course, in fact your mother-in-law and Grace went to see her here at the Giant Center back in high school. There is a funny outlaw story connected to that experience.”

“So you know her break out hit, “I Keep on Falling… in and out of love with you.”

“Well done, sir.”Related image

“How about ‘I Fall to Pieces‘, by Patsy Cline?”

“Then there’s Dylan’s ‘A Hard Brain is Gonna Fall‘.”

“I believe that’s ‘A Hard Rain is Gonna Fall.”

“Don’t forget ‘Papa was a Rollin’ Stone‘.”Image result for temptations images

“Technically that’s the Temptations, not the Rolling Stones.”

“I was just about to say that one. Uh, uh, Tom Petty, ‘Free Falling‘.”

“Elvis, ‘I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You‘.”

‘I’ll Never Fall in Love Again‘, Dionne Warwick.”

“Impressive. That’s an oldie, Burt Bacharach most likely.”

“I’ll  see your oldie and raise you with ‘When I Fall in Love’, Nat Cole.”Image result for nat cole pictures

“‘Why Do Fools Fall in Love?‘, Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers. Boom!

“Stop the madness! Have I passed the cognitive function test, Doctor? I need to know if I have a concussion.”

“Please sit down, Mr. Burrito, on this arm chair. What you have is not a concussion but a a butt cushion.”

“One more pun and I will gouge your eyes out with a plastic spoon.”

“Your threats are harmless, sir. I think you’re tripping again. Gouge out my eyes and I will market them as white olives, sir. Also known as mozzarella balls.”

“Did you know Malcolm X said, ‘A man who stands for nothing will fall for anything‘?”Image result for malcolm x pictures

“That’s deep, but I stand for anything, even the national anthem of Croatia, and fall for nothing. Here’s a sweet one, ‘Into each life some rain must fall.'”

“Okay, I am weary of this tomfoolery, young Berkie. You have matched me weird for weird. Now, let us duel for a final victory round.”

“It’s a four part final Jeopardy question. Capiche?”


“Fallen Angel….”

“Fallen arches…”

“Fallen late night t.v. host…”

“Fallen Waters…”

“Okay, Lucifer is the Fallen Angel.”

“Judges say, Okay.”

“Fallen Arches, the medical term is pes planus.”

“Judges say, wow kid. Nice work.”

“Fallen late night t.v. host… Jimmy Fallon.”

“Judges say, okay. dilly dilly. That was a ringer to make everyone feel smart.”

“Finally, Fallen Waters, Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic house in Acme, Pa. “Fallingwater terraces “Technically, it’s called Fallingwaters.”

“Okay, close enough. Let’s not sticklerhood get between old friends, shall we?”

“But Jimmy Fall on. His name is a soft a like fallow or foul ball, not fall on.”

“Listen, like salty pretzels I’ve had about all I want to have from you.”

“What are you gonna do, Bro?”

“Quote Jimmy Cliff lyrics, ‘the harder they come, the harder they fall, one and all….'”

So as sure as the sun will shine 
I’m gonna get my share now of what’s mine 
And then the harder they come 
The harder they’ll fall, one and all 
Ooh the harder they come 
The harder they’ll fall, one and all

“Oh, mahn, I deed not see that one combin’.”

“Me neither, Bro. It’s like a crack in the sidewalk, ya mahn.”

“Yah, Bro. Like a pocket full of posies, mahn, we all fall down.”Image result for bob marley pictures





543. The repetition compulsion and insurance ads on t.v.

Image result for mc escher cyclical imagesRepetition compulsion is a psychological phenomenon in which a person repeats a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again. This includes reenacting the event or putting oneself in situations where the event is likely to happen again. This “re-living” can also take the form of dreams in which memories and feelings of what happened are repeated, and even hallucination.

The term can also be used to cover the repetition of behaviour or life patterns more broadly: a “key component in Freud’s understanding of mental life, ‘repetition compulsion’…describes the pattern whereby people endlessly repeat patterns of behaviour which were difficult or distressing in earlier life”. [Thanks 2 Wikipedia]

Image result for daniel tiger gifYep, it’s a thing. Why would anyone over the age of five repeat and repeat the same scenario over and over again?  You know little kids love repetition. They will watch the same episode of Barney or Daniel Tiger endlessly. It’s soothing and helps them feel secure. Admit it, Round Bale, when you watch old Mr. Rogers Neighborhood reruns, you feel almost as good as with two shots of bourbon while listening to Stevie Ray Vaughn’s classic guitar shreds. You know you like it a lot and curl up in your safe place. Image result for cat curling up gif

To some degree I think it’s like adults turning the same key in the same lock and getting the same expected results– ah, security, mastery, control. Especially if you are hatlessly outside in sixty mile an hour winds howling at night with sandblasting snow showers and you need to pee on the other side of the locked door in front of you. The same old thing is pretty cool and glorious when it works, and you don’t have to feel pee freeze to your leg and sock and shoe outside a locked door. Older men have these repeating nightmares, just so you know, until they wake up and find relief.Image result for sleepy faced old man gif

Ah, but television commercials. Do they operate on the same terms?  I mean they are cute at first, alluring, captivating even. And we chuckle and maybe even enjoy a clever commercial a dozen times or two. But then the day comes when enough is enough. Okay, no more freakin’ Farmers Insurance commercials with the guy from MASH and the insurance Hall of Fame, looking into the car trunk on fire. Related imageThere needs to be some sort of algorithm that ends at “enough”.  To push beyond this limit is to enter the land of diminishing returns. You know what I’m saying, it’s the land where you need to bet twenty two dollars to “win” two dollars. Bad odds if you ask me.

Image result for speed dating images cartoonsSo, why would any adult not in prison continue to repeat and repeat a non adaptive behavior?  Like your sister who keeps dating losers, charismatic drunks who somehow remind you of your ne’er do well father. She’s not stupid, for crying out loud. She is a nurse with a graduate degree. She works tirelessly until a quarter to three a.m. Been married three times to Dachshund belly low pedigrees. What the Hell is her malady? Unconscious repetition compulsion keeps her chasing the same narrative, hoping to finally make it turn out right this time, and get the love she wants from a short-legged hound.Image result for dachshund pictures

Well, let’s see. Above my toilet is a Van Gogh print called “A Man Going to Pee in a Field.”Image result for van gogh painting of wall and gate

Van Gogh titled it in Latin, “Vir prudens non contra ventum mingit”, which translates in English, “A wise man does not urinate against the wind”. This title informs me that the direction of the wind is understood to be blowing right to left in a north easterly flow, the direction he is “going in”. (Hold your applause, please. I learned this in art history class 101, the unit on determining wind and water directions in paint.)

Van Gogh presents a calm presence over the functions below. After a few beers it is comforting to meet this man’s back again as he finds a safe and hygienic place to void his bladder. “To the left, to the left, everything you own in a box to the left”. The black metal gate opens to the three golden hay mounds at the end of a white crushed stone roadway.  Something special is captured in this painting, though what it is, I do not claim to know. What I do know is that faithfully for the last twenty something years, I have been reassured that letting go is okay as the peasant herald fades stage right and invites me to follow him. It is my safe place along the hedge line…Related image

And there is the subliminal association of Joni Mitchell lyrics,

Driving into town
With a dark cloud above you
Dial in the number
Who’s bound to love you
Oh honey you turn me on
I’m a radio
I’m a country station
I’m a little bit corny
I’m a wild wood flower
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Repeat, repeat, repeat. Unlike the definition of insanity,whereby you repeat the same thing over and over while expecting different results, this sort of repetition produces something else—comfort, familiarity, control. The same old thing is expected and desirable. And one set of lyrics bleeds into another
So I bought me a ticket
I got on a plane to Spain
Went to a party down a red dirt road
There were lots of pretty people there
Reading Rolling Stone, reading Vogue
They said, “How long can you hang around?”
I said a week, maybe two
Just until my skin turns brown
Then I’m going home to California
California, I’m coming home
Oh will you take me as I am
Strung out on another man
California, I’m coming home


No, these old songs don’t irritate or insult me. I bathe in their warm waters not from rigid compulsion but out of a luxuriously free will. Nice happy bubbles effervesce in this psychic hot tub experience. Hot champagne foams all around my time tripping spirit.

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But don’t take it from me; listen to Al Pacino plead my case for ever.