Jeremiah's School of Levitation

Upsy-Daisy!

Friday, April 28, 2006

Poetry Friday Again Again!

(I changed the post slightly from earlier and added another muddy tale, one that I'd inadvertently deleted last night. Enjoy.)

For the uninitiated, each week, a fellow blogger gives us a word and we all create something--anything: words, pictures, or noises--that pertains to that word and we post our creation so that we can all share in the brain sparks. By the way, anyone who wants to join in can email me and I'll make sure you get funnelled the word of the week and get put on the reading list. Mona got it started and mediates it (yes, Mona, you're hired!) and jo(e) provided an exceptional word this week, which was "muddy." Here are my bits on that word. One's a poem, one's a tale.

Muddy (the Poem)

Everytime it rains
the wooly clouds fall
and
get stuck
in the mud.

You bend down
to feel the muddy earth
because
that's your secret way
to touch the sky.


Muddy (the tale)

"I want to be Muddy Waters this time," said Jeena.

"I'm going to be Muddy," said Rocket.

"You always get to be Muddy."

"Because I do the best Muddy."

"Your Muddy is wack."

"Your Muddy is worse."

She sighed. Her gentle brown hair fell over her eyes and she left it there. "I'm quitting the band if I can't be Muddy," she said.

"Look, Muddy would crown me if he saw my Muddy," he said.

"Yeah. He'd crown you with a baseball bat."

"Whatever."

He picked up his invisible guitar and positioned it on his knee. A breeze swooped down from the blue sky, the Blue Sky Mistress, riding a long sky-slide that sent her rustling through the high trees, and down to the angular grasses, over the land, and right to Rocket's cheek, where she lay a cool, blue sky kiss. Then, just as quickly, she swooped up again, back to her blue sky throne, at 60 thousand feet.

Rocket said, "I got one. I call this one 'Sky Blue Blues.' Ready?" He shut his eyes, raised his invisible guitar, and crawled his fingers across the invisible strings. "Ba da da da DA! I gotta kiss from the Blue Sky girl. Ba da da da DA!"

Jeena was silent. Rocket opened his eyes. "Jeena, come on. Do the bass line."

"I want to be Muddy."

"Fine." Rocket tossed her the invisible guitar. Jeena handed him the invisible bass.

There they were, sitting in the cool, after the rain, puddles of mud around them, sunlight alighting each one, making them silvery dots in the woods. They could hear the brook gurgling and gargling over the smooth rocks. Jimmy Jones-Johnson had fallen into those rocks just last month and broke his big nose. He was 17, just a year older than Jeena and Rocket, and he finally had a major injury. Jeena had broken her leg in 3rd grade and Rocket got shot last year. They were wondering when Jimmy Jones-Johnson would get his major injury. When Jimmy Jones-Johnson finally got his injury, Rocket wrote a song about it and called it the "The Broken Big Nose Blues" and it pissed off Jimmy Jones-Johnson partly because of the title and partly because of the line in it that said: "Jimmy Jones-Johnson broke his nose so well that he now won't know just how bad he smells."

That gave Jeena an idea.

"I got one," she said to Rocket's pouting, long, dark face. "I'll call it 'Rocket's Smelly Underarm Blues.'"

He sniffed his underarms. "Woo."

"I can smell them from here," she said.

"But, if you really want to write a real song, you have to smell them up close. Feel the pain!"

He jumped at her. He was too fast for her and he pulled her down, fell on her, and raised his underarms to her face.

He nearly had her pinned, but she arched her face to him, kissed his big lips, and then blew on them as if they were a balloon.

He rolled off her, laughing. She lay down hard on his chest and kissed him again. He drummed his fingers on her back, playing her like a guitar. She hummed the bass deep in her throat and the Blue Sky Mistress swooped some wind down on them. They kissed and kissed and rolled in the mud and, for a good long minute, the world rolled in the mud right along with them.

(New alternate ending:

After a moment, Jeena pulled away from his lips.

"And, guess what?" she said.

"What?"

"Now, we're both muddy."

)
Jeremiah, 12:17 AM | link | 5 Hit the roof |

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Don't Bite the Corn

We got a little leak in the safety valve yesterday that started with a call to my work from my wife. The call began with her frantic voice saying: "I just got a call from Oldest Son's school. They said he's broken..."

Now, you don't know how long a split second can actually be until you get trapped in a real gripping split second. When I heard the words "he's broken..." the split second between the word "broken" and the phrase that described what he'd actually broken lasted a lot longer than a split. Like Roger Waters said, it's like "the moment when the brakes lock, and you slide toward the big truck: you stretch the frozen moments with your fear."

And, that's what I did. My brain, in that moment, went ahead and stretched the moment and proceeded to fill in the blank space after the word "broken". My mind filled that blank space with the words "leg", and "arm," and then "nose," followed by "ribs" "back" and "skull." You can imagine my panic. My mouth tasted like foil.

Thank the diety of your choice that a split second is only a split of a second and, therefore, you can only torture yourself for so long.

The phrase that my wife actually came out with was "his front teeth." Which, of course, didn't calm me one bit.

Apparently, the Oldest got into a playful shoving match in the school bathroom. One shove caught him off balance and he went headfirst into the wall. Suddenly gone was half of both of his PERMANENT front teeth.

Of course, I cursed like a drunken Nick Nolte when I heard the news. I cursed the alternative school that the Oldest attends which allows the kids more freedom than I had in all my years of elementary school combined. In my day, we went to no bathroom without a hall pass and we rough-housed in no halls without a hall monitor flicking his/her forked tongue at us and threatening the fires of hell. But, at this alternative institution of the Oldest's, the kids are allowed to run the joint, almost. They can up and go to the bathroom at any time, even in groups of raucous boys, which, in 5th grade, is just like turning raving drunks loose in a liquor store.

So, now, the Oldest has one tooth capped, and the other with the fallen chip reattached. For the rest of his life, he needs to be aware of what he's biting into. At age 11, he's been handed a lifetime WARNING label. Damn.

The Youngest son actually cried for him, saying that it was really sad that the Oldest couldn't eat corn or apples anymore. It's not that drastic, but to the Youngest, it is. Just this very evening, the Youngest had a baseball batting cage outing with his baseball team. The outing included pizza. Oldest was there and he got a slice of pizza, but when he found out that there were no knives and forks to cut the pizza into little tiny peices, he got depressed. And, Youngest got depressed too. Oldest just wanted to go home and Youngest cried because his older brother was not the same he was yesterday. Daddy bit his lip to keep from joining the tear parade.

I'm going to keep up with my safety lectures, my "keep your hands offa other people and that'll take you through most of your life without trouble" admonishments and I'm going to be a hard ass about it all, but, in the end, I'm going to have to go to damn work, which means I can't be there to do the Obi Wan Kenobi thing and remind the boys from thin air to obey my rules. And, so, then I'm relegated to the fear of getting "the call from the nurse", in spite of all my efforts.

Well, it could be worse. It was only his teeth. But, damn, his teeth. For the rest of his life, he's got to consider his teeth. He's got to look at a piece of food and wonder if biting into it will ruin his day.

But, okay, it could be worse. It could be worse. It could be worse. All together now...
Jeremiah, 1:16 AM | link | 5 Hit the roof |

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

I Am the Urban Biker, NOT!

I only wrote the below as an ode (I'm using that word too much--must...get...to...thesaurus) to my many friends who valiantly "share the road." I actually usually stick to the trails because, frankly, I'm scared of cars. But, really, I love all bikers, even though I do wonder what's up with the Lance Armstrong get ups. I've seen some folks so decked out that it looked like they were headed directly for the Tour or that Office Depot actually sponsors them to go riding around town. The perfect uniforms actually inspire me to get in uniform myself for my next trip to the gym to lift weights. Yeah. Slip my speedo on (oh no, bad image), grease up my body (yikes, another bad image!), and shove a shoe horn in my jaw so that it will stay set just so.
Jeremiah, 1:07 PM | link | 0 Hit the roof |

I Am the Urban Biker (An Observation)

So, I’m going to dress up like Lance Armstrong and ride my bike real slow in the middle of the street, in defiance of the arrogant car-ists who insist upon thinking that just because they can smash us like coat hangers, that they own the road, own the lanes and black on the blacktops, own the left turns, the right turns, the yields and the stops, the yellow stripes, both the dashed ones and the long continuous ones.

Well, the car-ists don’t own the road, but just the things they do as they damage the earth while they are on the road. Yes, the car-ists own the perils of the road. The crushed animals, the heavy dirty exhaust in the air, the noise of horns and carburetors and backfires and thumpy bassy hip-hip on the radios and the buzzing of the trunk’s resonant frequency—these are the things that the car-ist owns. So, in protest, I ride in the middle of their streets and hinder their progress, here in the rain (and, hell, in the damn devil sun too), and I don’t look back and acknowledge them, nor do I move aside in the slightest because I am the biker, and I don’t own the perils of the road—I own the stewardship of the road. I protect the road, I am its keeper. Yes. I have never left the heaving, fatally damaged body of anything on the side of my road. I pollute only with the gasses that my own clean and organic body expels. I raise my hand to alert you, with respect, of my intent to turn left or right. I make only the noise of simple machinery and human breath. I am blessed, you are cursed.

So, to prove my blessedness, I will impede your evil progress. So, proceed around me, or take an alternate route. You of course dare not crush me, though, deep in the lizard part of my mind, I do fear that. Anyway, I will keep you from your horrible duty. I will not be so callous as to allow you any further damage to this road, at least not at any great speed. I am the keeper of the road. Yes, as a matter of fact, I DO own the road. I own the very consciousness of the road.

So, there.
Jeremiah, 12:03 AM | link | 3 Hit the roof |

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

On Blovelling

I've created another blog called Our Dream of Louie and it is this thing called a "blovel", which is the combination of the words "blog" and "novel". I didn't make up the word "blovel" but, for a while, I thought I did. That was, until I had to go and Google the dang word and found out that it preceeded me by enough time to make me embarrassed at how cool I thought I was for inventing it.

A word of advice: if you happen to think that you've come up with something remarkably clever, you'd do yourself a favor by going ahead and Googling it before you claim it. It's possible that it is already bronzed and sitting on someone's shelf, all the while you thought you had plucked it from the folds of your rainbow imagination fresh as a newborn and glowing with originality, waiting to make people at cocktail parties throw their heads back in delighted laughter when you mention it.

Anyway, it's not my word, but it is my work. What I'm trying to do there is to dance out a novel, making it up as I go along, and letting everyone share in the experience. I want to let it unravel naturally, as the characters wriggle free from my synapses, shake off my brain goo, and start to see what they can do in this dusty, sepia-tinted, odd world that they've been born into. As I pointed out in the blog intro, I will use whatever medium I can upload to keep the story going and all I can promise is that I won't lead you too far astray. In other words, one day after being in Texas, the characters won't wake up on Mars the next day holding laser guns and fighting to save the galaxy from the Evil Blidds. Unless, of course, the Evil Blidds kidnap Donald Trump. Then, it's on.

I think this is an exciting thing (at least from where I sit and geek out) because I do have the option of taking advantage of other mediums to shift the dimensions of the work so that, one day, you could be viewing a photo and the next, hearing me reading a passage, to the next, hearing the characters themselves acting out the next scene. Embracing the blovel (we gotta come up with a better word--any ideas?--then again, I thought "blog" was an awkward word and, well, it has matured quite swan-ly, huh?) and its potential won't necessarily revolutionize literature because ain't nothing better than a thick book, with crinkly pages, a musty smell, and some weight and substance to cradle, just enough to keep your palms warm, but it will make telling a story a dynamic, interactive thing, the way true storytelling should be.

Not that I'll accomplish any of this, but I'm going to try.

So, though I have no idea where this story will go, I will impose a length on it so it doesn't wander. And, also, though I have no idea of where it will go, I do know the spirit of it because it actually is inspired by a real person, whose name is something like Louie. And, I really did think this person was an angel, or whatever word you would use to label an "uniquely soulful dude who knew and saw stuff normal people had no idea of." Though I'm not a particularly religious person, I am a very spiritual person, and, for my cosmic bucks, the real Louie was something special. I'm even convinced that he once saved my life. I've lost touch with him, physically, so this story is my way of taking a journey to see him again, to re-examine the stature he held in my memories, and to imagine where he is now.

Anyway, drop in on it every now and then. When all is going perfectly, it'll be updated twice weekly. When all is going normally, then it might be updated once every two weeks.

Oh, and, by the way, why don't you try a blovel too? Or, at least say "blovel" ten times really loud and fast on your front porch to the lady walking the dog. The look you get will be priceless.
Jeremiah, 12:03 AM | link | 6 Hit the roof |

Monday, April 24, 2006

Texas Tea, and Denise and Me

Well, the Republican Warmongers can be smug and warm in the fact that, indeed, the war protesters were DEAD wrong. This was most definitely NOT a war for oil.


In other news, Denise Richards, or as she's known to me, "Super Sunshine Baby" is accusing estranged husband, Charlie "Never Had No" Sheen of being, generally, an asshole. Among other things, he threatened her life and shoved her around. He's now been slapped with a restraining order, saying that he must remain 300 feet away from her, which, for me, would be a good thing for my health because if I ever came within 300 feet of a living, breathing Denise Richards, I will suffer some nervous system dysfunctions that will rob me of the knowledge of the English language, cause me to lose control of my knees, and cause me to emit a barely audible screech for upwards of two minutes.

In light of these accusations of shoving Denise around, I can only say this: put 'em up, Charlie. Jeremiah gots somethin' for ya. And, it ain't an invitation to a Beverly Hills party. Of course, I'm willing to take on anyone who shoves around women.

And, if the accusations are not true, I still think Charlie needs a whoopin for walking away from that lady. I mean, day-yam, that's DENISE FREAKING RICHARDS! Didn't you see her in Starship Troopers, Charlie? You need to rent that DVD! How can anyone possibly even move under the influence of those eyes of hers? How can you leave her presence unless you're being towed away by a Hummer? How can you even formulate the word "leave" when she's looking at you? What kind of monster ARE you?

These Hollywood "partnerships" bug me. They don't make no sense. They seem awkward, albiet glimmery and smiley, at the start, get weird in the middle and somewhere in there, a true sin is committed and a baby is born, and then the marriages flare up and burst like a garlic-flavored, industrial-strength belch. I think we should start giving Academy awards for Hollywood marriages. Awards like Best Impersonation of a Good Hollywood Husband, or Most Ingenuine Smile of Marital Bliss On The Cover of People, or other clever ones that I'll think of at 3 am.

So, anyway, Denise, Super Sunshine Baby, you know who's got your back, right? You know who's seen Starship Troopers enough times to actually wear out the DVD? And, you know who won't ever say "leave" in your presence because I won't be able to get within 300 feet of you anyway? Yep, Sunshine, that's right, your Jeremiah-HotWire! Yez-ma'am!

As for you, Charlie, meet me out by the flagpole after class. And, don't bring no friends...
Jeremiah, 10:33 AM | link | 6 Hit the roof |

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Ode To A Typographical Error

And, I placed our wedding photo into a beautiful flame.
Jeremiah, 1:11 AM | link | 1 Hit the roof |

Friday, April 21, 2006

Poetry Friday Again!

Here's my carousel contribution. I didn't edit it because I like my Friday writing hot and smoky, and proudly imperfect, like I like my friends.



The Carousel Lady

I met the carousel lady purely by accident. I was on the pier, struggling through the tourists, the unseasonably warm summer day hanging around all our necks and inveigling downturned smiles from everyone. The inside of the pier house was stifling, no air circulated except the stale air of a passing person, ripe with body stink or perfume. I avoided the tourists usually. I hardly came to the pier unless I had a specific thing to get and a specific way to get in and get out. To come to wander at this place was like coming in a fur coat to lay in the tanning booth. I hated the tourists. Sure, they dumped money on us, but I never got my damn tourist check in the mail. All I ever got was a crowd, a step on the toe, a flash of a tourist camera in my face, or some squeaky, overly-happy voice asking me where the fish market was. One time, I told a curious tourist that the fish market had caught a virus and that every fish there was infected and that I wouldn't advise even going near it.

The carousel was in a building between the Captain Seafood restaurant, which charged way too much for their stuff, and I'm sure laughed about it, and the big gift shop that sold dried sea creatures and gaudy baubles. The building housing the carousel was, as I said, a pier house of sorts. The giant front barn doors were ripped away, leaving a gaping opening that looked onto the crowded street. The building used to be a meeting hall for the fishermen, a place to congregate, drink, and yell, and celebrate making it alive through another crabbing season. The high, wooden walls were still streaked with the stains of beer thrown high against it, the wood pock-marked with the cuts made by shattered glass mugs. The Pier Authority had thought it a good idea to put a carousel in the middle of the great room. The carousel spun there, a misplaced carnival orphan, the tinny calliope music sending tight strings of sound through your ears, making hearing it almost painful. The idea must have seemed brilliant, though, because the tourists crowded the damn thing as if they'd never seen a bunch of polished, rainbow horses impaled at the backbone and spinning and rising and falling, ghastly grinning with wide eyes and frozen manes.

I just needed some change for parking. I had forgotten to bring my change purse and just wanted to get my five dollars turned into quarters. I'd remembered, from being here before, that the carousel lady had a cash register, and that was all I could think as I parked my car, and rushed to her, dodging tourists, in hopes I could get my damn change before the parking cops found my car and stuck a ticket on my windshield. The sun was chasing me through the crowd, prickling the back of my neck. When I got into the building, the sun fell away, but the prickling kept prickling.

I got the the carousel lady and waited for two tourists to pay for the carousel and then it was my turn.

"Excuse me," I said, "I need change for a five. Twelve quarters and, ah, the rest in dollars. Please."

She was a large lady, her eyes sunken, her black hair streaked with gray. She must have been nearly 45, and she had the face of someone who had probably lived facing a cold wind for decades. Still, there was a softness to her gaze, like she loved dolls.

She tilted her head to look behind me, then her hard, dark eyes fell on me. "I ain't the change machine," she said. "Unless you're going to ride the carousel here, I can't make no change."

I felt my heart quicken, and my ears beginning to burn, like they did when I was embarrassed, and getting ready to defend myself.

"I'll come back," I heard myself say. "I'll bring my son."

She tilted her head again. "You ain't got no son."

I felt my breath draw back. "What?"

"You ain't got no kids. It's Saturday, and you are here, alone. Ain't nobody go to some place like this without their kids, or, they don't come at all. On a Saturday."

I couldn't think of anything to say.

"So, excuse me," she said. "Folks need to ride the carousel."

I finally got my words back. "How do you know I don't have kids?"

"I just told you. Now, excuse me." She looked behind me.

"I'm pregnant," I said. I felt my stomach. Me and Reggie were trying. I recalled hearing Reggie on the phone with his friend, saying that he was having the best time of his life trying to have a baby. I felt the anger at that comment rising up my neck.

"Ma'am," said the carousel lady.

"Fine," I said. "I'll ride the carousel." I couldn't believe I was saying that. Then again, it had been at least ten years since I'd been on one of those things. I last rode with my girlfriend Lena, at a carnival in Ft. Worth. I remember being drunk, and laughing, about something, the overly colorful horses laughing right along with me.

She grinned at me. "Oh yeah?"

"Yeah."

She chuckled, the fat under her chin wiggling. "That's more like it. Two bucks."

I felt like I'd won. "And, can I have the change in quarters?"

"Yeah," she said. "If you ride the carousel. Just come back here after the ride and get your quarters."

I gasped.

She shrugged.

I wanted to tell her to forget it, to shove it, actually. But, I didn't. I heard "Tiptoe Through the Tulips" coming from the carousel, and I nearly smiled.

"Fine, dammit," I said.

She handed me three dollar bills. I looked back at my car. I could barely see it through the forest of fat tourist bodies. But, the good news was I couldn't see a parking cop.

I got in line. The lady in front of me had a little girl with braids. The girl looked at me and smiled and looked away. The tourists filed all around me, snapping photos, saying ridiculous tourist things, pointing, babbling, then taking more photos. I just closed my eyes and tried to take myself away. It didn't work.

When my turn came, the skinny guy at the gate led us in. I picked a green horse, with a maniacal grin, and one ear broken off. I slid onto him. The speakers spit out "Candy Man", and I nodded to the song.

The thing started spinning, and I frowned. Goddammit, I thought. What the hell am I doing?

The green horse went up and down, nearly perfectly to the music, which was now a thin, circusy version of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for God's sake. The tourists turned to blobs as I glided past them. I gripped the pole and leaned against it. I looked at my watch. Goddammit.

On my third revolution, I looked out to my car. I caught a glimpse of a parking cop standing near it, eyeing it. "Dammit!" I said. I slammed my palm onto the good ear of the green horse, whose name was Emerald, I'd decided.

I looked again on my next revolution and the cop was now right at my car, writing.

I shot him the finger. As if he'd see it. But, I goddamned bet he felt it.

When I did that, I happened to look to the center of the carousel. The whole center was just a wall of mirrors, angled like jewels, reflecting the kaleidoscopic fervor of all the mad horses and bouncing humans. I looked at my face.

Though I felt like I was mad at the damn world, I was smiling like a goddamned clown.

"I hate the carousel lady," I told myself. Then, I grinned at how the mirror stretched my smile to look like it was two feet wide. And Emerald. Emerald was grinning way too big also. Way too damned big!

Jeremiah, 12:57 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Now's the Time on Sprockets When We Dance

Okay. Here we go. Another installment of the Mastubatory Group Poetry Thang, where we give you a word and you write, photograph, paint, sing, or dance, or whatever to that word and then post the results of your creative endeavor on your blog to enrich us all. I've been handed the flaming baton by Mona and that means that I supply the inspirational word of the week. And, that word is (dot dot dot):

CAROUSEL

This is one of my favorite words, right up there with "isthmus", "buzzard", and "Triceratops". All of which I've spared you, for now...

Notice: a timed creative spree isn't required. You can ruminate on the word and create on it for as long as it takes. Though, you are also not discouraged to just spend ten minutes on trying to unravel your synapses to get at what that word inspires in you and, in fact, spending just ten frantic minutes may unveil some hidden (hey! last week's word makes an appearance!) stuff that will make for an intense experience for you and for your audience.

Do what you will, creative souls. Create about "carousel" and post on Friday. See you then.

PS: To any new readers, let us know who you are and that you posted and we'll come to your joint too! Block par-tay!
Jeremiah, 12:41 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

If I Had A Blog When I Was 9

This is likely what a post in my blog would have looked like when I was 9 years old, if there was such a thing as a blog when I was 9 years old (I used to write a lot when I was 9--I would have loved having a blog). My blog, by the way would have been called "Go Dallas Cowboys!" because I loved the Cowboys (still do!).

Bye Bye Starsky

Today, my hamster Starsky finally died. He had the wet tail disease. The wet tail disease makes hamsters real sick and, when it gets real bad, they can't stand up anymore. They just lay there, and their legs turn blue. I took Starsky to the vet and the vet looked at my mom kind of strange and he looked at me and changed his look and said we'll give him something. He gave me some white stuff that looked like a milk shake. It was in a little bottle with one of those eye dropper things on it. He said to give Starsky two drops a day. I said will this help him with the wet tail disease? And, the vet looked at my mom strange again and he looked at me, but this time his face stayed strange.

No, he said, this is just for his tummy, to make him feel better. But, the wet tail disease can't be cured. Is he going to die, I asked. The vet said probably. I just said okay. I had read about hamsters and that they don't live for long, and maybe it was just time for Starsky to go.

So, I took him home and put him in a little shopping bag, away from Hutch, my other hamster. I put the shopping bag on the fireplace. For three days I fed Starsky the white stuff. He stayed alive, laying on his stomach the whole time, and twitching his nose when I looked at him. But, today, when I woke up, he was dead.

I called my friend Mike and I said that we had to have a funeral for Starsky. Mike came over and by that time, I had put Starsky in a matchbox. I said that we had to take him to the backyard to bury him on the hill. Mike said okay and started to run out there. I said, no wait, Mike. We have to carry him like in a real funeral. And, we had to be sad. He said okay. So, we both held the matchbox together and we walked real slow to the backyard. We both acted very sad. We got almost halfway to the hill and then Mike said, can I see Starsky? I said okay. We opened up the matchbox and there was Starsky, still dead. Mike looked at him, then he looked at me and then he did a very Mike thing.

He laughed. He laughed and laughed. He laughed so hard that he made me laugh. And we both laughed. But, it was not one of those funny laughs. It was like we were happy.

After we got done laughing, we didn't walk so slow and we didn't act sad at all. We buried Starsky up on the hill and we made a cross out of twigs and twist ties and we put it on his grave. We both thought of a prayer to say and we pat the grave and said bye bye Starsky.

Then, we ran back to the house and played with Hutch. Mike liked to do the Hamster Express, which was just putting Hutch on a plate and holding it as we zoomed him around the house to visit new rooms and play on the Giant Hamster Piano, which was my dad's piano and to go visit the Giant TV Screen, which was the TV screen.

We told Hutch what happened to Starsky. Hutch twitched his nose like he was going to cry. We told Hutch to be happy because we were.

See you everybody. Go Dallas Cowboys!!!!!!
Jeremiah, 10:47 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Good Luck Movin' Up, 'Cuz I'm Movin' Out

I want to live in department stores. I want to be like that guy who spent just a little over 24 hours in a Wal Mart and hardly aroused suspicion ("Hey, didn't I see you at the magazines like 5 hours ago?" an employee asked the intrepid experimenter, who was growing weary amidst those blaring lights, as anyone would. In fact, if we want to conquer Iraq, we should just have helicopters lower huge banks of those department store lights over the country and everyone will become zombies, filing up and down the aisles of the town, transfixed on each and every brick or stone used to build the buildings. Then we pounce with the blue light special of democracy and offer them the deal of representative government that has filled the baskets of our country so very, very well.)

But, no, I take that back. I don't want to live in department stores, I want to live in IKEA. I want to live in perfectly staged rooms where everything is in just the right place and all my storage needs are taken care of and all the books on economics and the old west that I read are prominently displayed in sleek wood and aluminum shelves named Blaak or Pookblit or Arkfart and I want to replace that furniture every three years after it practically disintegrates before my eyes, like the Yugo, which I am convinced was molecularly unstable because not a single Yugo exists today. They've all been bombarded into non-existance by the very air that they traveled through. You find me a Yugo, one that won't crumble to dust at your tender touch, and I'll take you on a ride through the dodo fields on the back of my triceritops. Or, I'll treat you to enough drinks so that you'll think you are riding a triceritops. "Triceritops", by the way, is a damned amazing word, ain't it?

Of all places I want to live, though, it would be Key West. It is the scraggliest, five-o'clock shadowiest, sub-tropical grittiest, chickens-running-around-in-the-streetiest, artfully-drunkiest, hypno-sun-po-tiziest, la-dee-doo-dee-da-diest, Jimmy Buffett-iest, dropping-my-anchor-iest, strolling barefootiest, strumming my out-of-tune-guitariest, hey girl wanna spend a day with me-iest place in the United States of us that there could possibly be, next to maybe a Jack Johnson song.

That's it. I want to live in a Jack Johnson song. All the groove and good times I can handle. Where do I freakin' sign?
Jeremiah, 1:13 AM | link | 3 Hit the roof |

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Great Bunny and Walnut-Sized Hail

Jeremiah, 2:42 AM | link | 1 Hit the roof |

Friday, April 14, 2006

Poetry Friday!

Mona has unleashed this thing, this irresistable thing, that I must follow along with, like the macarena or something. It involves us bloggers creating creations inspired by a single word and bravely posting these creations upon our blogs. This week's word is "hidden" and so I roped that word and handed the reins to my muse and, with little guidance from me, as usual, my muse took off on a tumbly trip that ended up with the following words strewn together:

(Mona, thanks for your bold leap into this experiment. No matter the outcome blogger-wide, I commend your step-up-to-the-plate-ed-ness (there's a word for that, which will come to me at about 4 o'clock this morning, long after I can use it) and you get an entry in the way cool hall of fame. Sorry, there's no money involved in that, but I will buy you a cup of coffee if you ever visit the Great Northwest.)

Hidden
by Jeremiah

Typewriter sounds came from the closet, I swear, I swear.

I sat up in the bed and I stretched my neck. The typewriter sounds had stopped, but they were echoing, popping in the night air. I swallowed and looked at my clock. 3:13 am. I looked out of my window. I could see the big magnolia through the crack in the curtain. That old tree, what my daddy called the hanging tree, always looked like it was creeping closer and closer, one of those branches sticking a skinny finger out at me, telling me to come here. I wanna hang you. You wanna hang on me?

"No!" I said, and put my hand over my mouth. I didn't want my daddy coming in here. He hated when I woke him up, told him the hanging tree was calling on me, or if I told him I saw footprints appear in my shag carpet, and there was no one there to make them. He hated when I told him that the back of my neck was real cold, like a ghost was breathing on it. He hated being woken up by me telling him what he called "ghost stories." He threatened to take away all my ghost books, all my ghost comics, and all my art stuff so that I can quit drawing ghosts. "Look little lady, you wake me up again and tell me ghost stories, I'm gonna make all that ghost stuff you have disappear. Just like they were a damn ghost. Now get to sleep!" That's what he said.

Mommy was much more gentle, but she's not around anymore. She is dead of cancer. She died a few months ago, but I'm alright, because I believe that she will be coming back around, but I think she hasn't made it back to our house yet. I think that's why the other ghosts are acting up. They know that she's not back yet and they are acting up. I know, one day, they'll stop acting up because my mother will have showed up and scared them off. Like she used to do when she was alive.

I got up and walked to the closet door. I always kept the light on in there, but sometimes the ghosts made my daddy shut it off. Not tonight, though. It was still on. I put my hand on the doorknob. It was cold, real cold. I swallowed again. "Don't scream. Don't scream. Don't scream," I said to myself. Even though I believe in the ghosts, I know I might scream when I see one, so I have to tell myself not to.

I turned the knob. My heart was getting bigger and bigger and louder and louder, it seemed like. I pulled the door open.

Nothing was in there. Well, my clothes were in there, my dresses and my sweaters, and my toys, the teddy bears and the rag dolls. I looked down on the floor. That letter I wrote to mommy was still sitting there, on top of my Little LuLu shoes. I picked it up and read it again. For the millionth time, I suppose.

"Dear Mommy. When you come back, please tell all the ghosts to get the hell out!!!! Please tell them to go bother JoBeth next door because, you know, JoBeth broke my Barbie Jeep on purpose and she is as bad as bad can get. And, also Mommy, can you come into daddy's dreams and tell him how you made the cassarole because he screws it up all the dang time. And, that's all. I love you mommy. See you later. Your little girl, Adele. P.S. If you can't come back in person, will God let you write me? I hope so. Bye."

I got all the words spelled right, I think. I looked them up in the big old dictionary that mommy used to keep right next to her old typewriter. Daddy hid the typewriter and the dictionary after she died. I think he did it to help him get mommy out of his mind and out of my mind. But, I found where he hid them, and I looked up all the words. But mommy was still hiding in my mind, and I really wanted her to come out too. I know she will. She can be a ghost too. I believe in ghosts.

I put the letter back on my shoes, and I shut the door. I went back to my bed and curled in real tight, like mommy used to tuck me in. I looked at that magnolia tree again. It looked like it was telling me to come on out and get myself hanged.

"You just wait till my mommy gets back. She'll show you!" I said. "You just wait!"
Jeremiah, 1:01 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Ultra-PC Conscious World-Saving Hippie Free Love Purchase of the Day Award

Wherein we take a moment to appreciate the contributions to consumer activism that brave yet sensitive souls have undertaken, often with nary a care to reasonable prices or even with overall usefulness and/or palatability of the politically-correct product that they purchased.

So, with no mo' adoo, let me award the first Ultra-PC Conscious World-Saving Hippie Free Love Purchase of the Day Award to (baddda daddda daddda daddda)(that's a drum roll)...

My Wife!

Huh? Seem a little unfair? A little nepotistic? Well, then, I bet you can't top this:

She came home yesterday with a purchase that brought a sniffle to my nose. She had a big can of

Organic Fair Trade Shade Grown Ethiopian Coffee.

I'm not kidding. I mean, good goobledy goop, she covered all the dang bases! She, with one purchase, sent a PC holler of "Cry Freedom!" heard all 'round glorious Mother Gaia. Owls hooted, dreamcatchers shivered, and the faint, ancienty sound of wood flutes could be heard descending from the sky. Wow.

Let's break it down. Organic: No more impurities entering our bodies than usual. She's saving our guts (literally) and supporting organic farming.

Fair Trade: She shows her staunch support for international labor, environment and social standards for the production of traded goods and services! Wow! (I at first thought it said "free trade" which I'm sure she supports too, but just couldn't find it on a coffee can.)

Shade Grown: She's saving the tropical birds and the trees!

and Ethiopian: She's supporting an economically-depressed African nation.

Man. That's some powerful purchasing. I commended her heartily. And, though even a thickly brewed cup of the coffee tasted like "brown water" (her actual words), she had made her statement and, friends, it's all about attitude anyway, right?

So, in her honor, I've decided that I'm going to make dinner tonight. Yep. I'm going to cook us up a nice steaming plate of roasted eagle. Mmmm! Activism makes me hungry!

(No eagles will be harmed in the creation of dinner for my wife.)
Jeremiah, 10:44 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

I'm Not Crazy, I'm A Blogger

Now, I hope there's no one out there taking this blog thing for granted. I'm truly thankful that I actually now have a legitimate forum for depositing the multiple pellets that drop out of my head on a daily basis and though much has been said about how giganto huge this phenom is, I have to throw my 1.5 cents in and say that this is also amazingly theraputic. Forget that we all have created this intricate quilt of communication, this bedrock of pithy gossip and unique observation, this wildly personal and creative medium of expression, but we've also got a built-in psychiatrist here. For absolutely free, I can sit on Doc Blogger's couch and spew and not only get my brain-dough kneaded by other sharp-minded folks (by the way, I'm reminded of an old pun: Rich bakers don't knead the dough--get it? need the dough?--okay, everybody, together now: GROAN!), but, even if'n no one comments (I'm going to hope that someone is reading...hello?), I at least get that little nut out of my head and into view so that I can deal with it, or not have to deal with it anymore. Let's see. Advice and commentary and mental release? That's what I freakin paid 35 bucks an hour for years ago! Gotta love technology!

I remember predicting all this. I was on a date years ago, long before I even knew there was an Internet. I was just this bohemian dread working at a cash register, happy as all hell that I was living street-level and would NEVER work for The Man (now, not only do I work for The Man, I smile obsequiously as I buy his kid's raffle tickets--but I regress). My only technical knowledge was how to change the tape in the cash register. Anyway, on this date, we were talking in the car outside of my place, trying to figure out if this date went well enough to go into the morning. In a fit of philosophical desperation, I turned to the young lady and I told her that one day, we will all be able to be our own world, our own production company, our own PR firm, and our own broadcast studio. One day, each of our lives will be on display for all to see and criticize, or fall in love with, whatever. One day, we will all be stars.

She looked at me as if I'd said "So, yeah, I eat cars. But only with ketchup."

She didn't get it, and, really, I didn't either. I had no idea how the world would get to the point that I predicted. But, damn, blogging, audio blogging, video blogging. Websites. Podcasts. 10 years ago, I was a stumbling, bumbling, mumbling, fumbling weirdo in a corner where no one could hear and now, thanks to technology, you can come to my corner and we can freak out together, in front of the world! Therapy! Or, at least way more entertainment!

I love this stuff. I tried to quit. I tried to tell myself that I don't really want to read the colorburst thoughts of a zillion other people. I tried to tell myself that I was blowing my writing energy on my blog. But, like Bob Marley said: "The stone that the builder refuses shall be the head cornerstone." Fine, Bob! I will keep blogging dammit, because, 0 comments or no, I gotta say something. I gotta hear what you gotta say. I gotta say something about what you gotta say. I gotta get the Jeremiah Show going. I need to fire up that Applause sign, rev up that Studio Audience (or tweak the treble on that laugh track), I gotta be me, I gotta get up on top a' this piano and sing, I gotta, I gotta, I gotta....

...get ahold of myself.

So, by the way, I have no point.

That date, by the way, ended with her letting me out of the car and zooming away. I was getting weird and geeky on her, predicting the future and shit. I am eventually going to revert to weird and geeky anyway. I may look cool, but, I've got this Inner Pumpkin that will show up at the midnight of my finest moment, every time.

Thank goodness for Doc Blogger.
Jeremiah, 10:15 AM | link | 3 Hit the roof |

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Bad Magic



Jeremiah, 9:16 PM | link | 0 Hit the roof |

Monday, April 10, 2006

What UP, Chef?

This may be old news, but I just thought about it. What was Issac Hayes' trip with leaving South Park? He said the show was insensitive to Scientology, which happens to be his religion du jour, as well as being insensitive to other religions. So, he quits what was a hell of a gig. I mean, one HELL of a gig! Brothaman!

Now, I haven't seen EVERY episode of South Park, but from the few dozen I have seen, I'm going to go out on a limb and surmise that this show doesn't have a sensitive pore on its smelly body. I think South Park set expectations early with the Jesus Vs. Santa Claus episode: "This is not the show to watch if you want anything appropriate said about anything, including religious and societal icons and beliefs." They topped it off by introducing a talking piece of shit, essentially saying "Oh yeah, almost forgot--we are going to really stretch the limits of absurdity too!" So, add in children cursing, getting involved in very mature situations, and even one kid getting brutally killed in each episode and you have the complete sordid, offensive, vulgar, and goddammed hilarious show called South Park.

What's interesting is that Hayes himself was even involved in the salacious and disrespectful mix. He helped mightily with the skewering of black folks, diving headlong into stereotypical behaviour, such as overt sexuality (remember "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls?). And, also, there was that episode that, among other things, played on ebonics. Remember when Chef's parents came to visit and Chef's dad told that story about the Loch Ness Monster? Chef's dad thought he was facing a beast, but it turns out the monster was just a panhandler who asked him, in full-on black diction: "Say, you got three-fitty?" Brotha Issac, if you think about it, that cartoon is written by two white guys. If you could be involved in that sort of lampooning of blacks, coming from white guys, then, man, I'd say you get the joke and that you like the joke. Hand slaps all around.

So, why the turnaround now? I have my suspicions about Scientology. I wonder if some Scientology goons got to Issac and spent an inordinate amount of time talking about how well he walks and how very terrible it would be if he were to develop kneecap issues. Or, maybe Issac is getting some hot chocolate sex from some Scientology babe who threatened to lock up her zipper if he doesn't defend the religion and quit the show. Men do some stupid shit for sex. I know this. As infrequently as I get sex, I am prone to do some real water-headed things to get it. So, brotha Issac, I don't blame you for that one.

But, still, what really happened? I ain't mad at ya, Chef, I just am going to miss ya! I ain't hatin', I'm showing some love here! Damn!
Jeremiah, 10:05 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Sunday, April 09, 2006

I've Been Drinking About You



Jeremiah, 9:09 AM | link | 0 Hit the roof |

Friday, April 07, 2006

Las Vegas Travel Tips, Part 2

Here's another installment of my humble, but helpful Las Vegas travel hints. I have family ties to Las Vegas and visit there often. There actually exists a city beyond the Strip which, in most respects (except for the slot machines in the grocery store, as well as smoking being allowed in the grocery store), is a normal, middle-class, congested, strip mall-infested, road-raging American Town. God Bless Las Vegas!

Anyway, today's sermon is primarily for the men. It's called:

THE COCKTAIL WAITRESSES HATE YOU

I had a friend who came to visit me in Vegas over the summer. It was his first ever trip to Vegas and he was, like a lot of first-timers, unable to ungape his jaw for a few days. One Vegas feature that really brought slack to his jaw was (or, were?--is there an editor in tha house?) the cocktail waitresses. I took him out the first night to Caesars Palace, and he got one look at those beautiful girls dressed in one-pieces made out of colored saran wrap, covering bodies seemingly carved from marble, with the exposed, loofa-scrubbed, glimmering legs that were long and graceful living beings all their own, and his damn jaw nearly came unhinged. He was dazed by the pickings, figuring that there was no way he wasn't going home with a hot cocktail waitress simply due to the number of them. The odds were amazing.

I pat his back, took him to a place near an air conditioning vent, and told him to relax. If there is one woman you won't pick up and, consequently, one woman who is most dangerous to your mental health, it is the mighty cocktail waitress.

Guys, do not become entranced by the scant dress, the seductive smile, the well-placed "honey" or "sweetheart" when they ask you if you want a drink, because it is all a mockery, a pose, a set up, a slight, and thinly-veiled disdain. They absolutely hate you. As much as it may appear so to you, they are NOT here for your entertainment. They hate your rotten jokes, they do not appreciate your compliments, they don't think your pick up lines are cute, and, they do not think that you look good in that suit. You are just another rat bastard who thinks she is actually a girl primed for loving, lonely and unsatified, just waiting for some slick man to sweep her away into, if nothing else, one night of love like she's never had. Yeah right. But, see, a lot of men think that. Here's this lovely lady dressed up to be undressed, and she's so happily attending to my drinking needs. She must be on the prowl. Let me see how far I can get with her. She is, after all, one of Vegas' offerings, one of the many ways they want to make my stay pleasant. Nope. They are part of the show, but they are not going to perform for only you.

Enough men have tried to pick up cocktail waitresses over the many years that cocktail waitresses have existed as to make your attempt just plain vile. Your intent has been ruined completely by brutish cads years before you came along, so just stay respectful and keep gambling.

You can't impress them with money because they make more money than you, and, consequently are also smarter than you because they are not gambling their money away. You can't impress them with cleverness because they'll only think you're drunk and stupid. You can't try to be a nice guy because you are in a casino chatting up cocktail waitresses who are just trying to make a living so, you are not a nice guy.

So, leave your lines at home, or save them for a real bar. And, I would hope that you came with enough sense not to pinch them or whack their butts or anything (that's only for the pit bosses to do. No lie. I've seen some instances of touchy-grabby committed by pit bosses that, though they only inspire merely a giggle from the cocktail waitress, would cause me to be slapped with a lawsuit so big, my grandkids would still be paying it off when they're my age, if I tried that grabby move at MY job. I wonder if sexual harrassment is even against the law in Las Vegas casinos..), so I'll assume you won't be lewd. However, even with that in mind, under no circumstances should you touch them, even just to pat a shoulder or arm. That is, unless you really always wondered what it felt like to have an entire tray of drinks firmly lodged in your lower intestine.

Order your drink politely. Say thank you. Leave a modest tip. Glimpse at her as she leaves, if you must, but otherwise, just remain calm and FORGET IT!

Ignore my warning at your own risk. Or, if you really have to touch, then get a job as a pit boss.
Jeremiah, 11:37 AM | link | 1 Hit the roof |

Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Girl With The Faraway Eyes

I decided to participate in a challenge to write a short story inspired by this photograph.



The wonderful Mona wrote a short story herself, fulfilling a challenge from Wil Wheaton/Shane Nickerson that she refers to in her blogspace.

So, here's my tale. Have mercy on it, if you will. It was written in wee hours, and not edited, for your raw meat experience.

The Girl With The Faraway Eyes
by Jeremiah

Whenever I went to visit her, she had something new to show me. She awaited me, kept her surprises wrapped in her preliminary words, in the tea and dessert we shared, always anticipating the moment of silence in our conversation when she can say "Hey, check this out."

This day, this blinding, but cold Saturday morning, the sun suspended in the sky like a frozen flash from a camera, she finally said it, after we had shared a banana split and two pots of jasmine tea.

"Hey, check this out," she said.

I smiled. "Yeah?"

She got up, went to a kitchen drawer, and pulled out a manila folder. She sat it silently in front of me and she opened it. Inside was a sepia-toned photo, two men in a hotel lobby, the perspective of them nearly ridiculous, as the photo was more a wide-angle photo of the lobby than a photo of the men, who were positioned very near the rear of the photo, right at the vanishing point of the lines of lobby chairs. You could barely even make out their faces.

"That's my great-great grandfather," she said.

I squinted. "Which one?"

"At the desk," she said.

"Oh." I looked at her. "You can't even see his face."

"Yeah," she said. "It's the best photo of him that I have."

"What?" I said.

"He would never allow a camera anywhere near his face. This was his hotel. The Normandy. Rochester. 1928. The claim to fame was that Benjamin Siegelbaum stayed there."

"Who?"

She grinned. I think it was a grin. "Bugsy Siegel. You know Bugsy Siegel."

She loved how she knew things I didn't know. She loved to stump me, make me ask her questions.

"Not personally, no." I sighed. "Who was he?"

"He was a mobster. Handsome devil."

"Al Capone's the only mobster I know. But, anyway, your great-great grandfather, this is the best photo of him? Couldn't someone just take a surprise close-up photo or something at a party, or Thanksgiving or something?"

She giggled. "Thomas! Back then, cameras were as big as your head. You could only take surprise photos of a blind person. The Instamatic Age was still 40 years away."

I grinned. "The Instamatic Age. Good one."

She continued. "He had a bad nose. He was one of the luckiest on our side of the family. The disease just gave him a bad nose. He never wanted photos taken of him at all, but he was proud of his hotel. He wanted himself in the photo, but he didn't want anyone to see his face, so, he made the photographer stand way back by the door. And, so, here's the result."

I nodded. "Who's the other guy? He needs a new jacket. One that fits."

She was quiet for a second. "He was the bellhop. He was the guy who found my great-great grandfather dead."

"Whoa," I said.

"He had shot himself. Right in one of those chairs facing the stairs. Mom said he made sure he was facing the stairs so he could show us that he was going to heaven. And was going to take those stairs."

We were quiet for a minute, two minutes, and, then more. I sipped my cold tea and looked at her and reached out for her hand. She pulled away.

"Why do you keep coming over?" she said. "You can spend time with any other woman. Any woman with a real face, with no deformities, no bad skin. You come here. Why?"

We have this conversation every time. And, everytime, I say the same thing. I've had a crush on her since we first met in the field, two years ago, and I didn't care about her face, about her disease. I cared about the girl that she was, the soul that her skin encased. I loved her person. She was a piece of light inside the walls, a setting sun on a private stage. She was beautiful. She was pure human, the definition of grace, the sole ingredient of starlight. And, most of all, I loved her grass-green, mesmerizing, faraway eyes. I told her that dreams lived in those eyes.

I said all that this time too, but I did one more thing that I didn't usually do.

"I brought a camera, Mary," I said. "I want to have a photo of you." My hands quivered and sweat as I pulled the tiny digital camera from my shirt pocket. "A photo just for me."

She stared for a bit, her eyes permanently squinted by the misshapen folds of skin on her forehead. But, in the gloss of her green eyes, I could see her softening, finally.

She lowered her head, her streaked red hair falling forward.

"Okay." She sniffled. "When I raise my arms, you can take the photo."

"What?" I said.

She got up, rubbed my cheek and walked past me, out of the door and outside. I stood up and went to follow her, but she motioned for me to stop, to stay in the kitchen.

I saw her disappear around the side of the house and then she reappeared in the big back yard, where I could see her from the window over the kitchen sink. Her flowered sun dress whipped in the wind as she walked farther out into her lawn. I watched her as she walked, holding her dress down against the breeze. She walked until she reached the picket fence, over a hundred feet from the kitchen window where I watched.

Then, she stopped. She turned toward the kitchen window and straightened herself. I could barely see her face.

But, I could clearly see when she raised her arms, high, to the big bright sun.
Jeremiah, 1:33 AM | link | 3 Hit the roof |

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Frighteningly Happy

(photo by Sophia Dembling)

I too am real glad that spring is here, and I do love to see children happy, but, man, if my sons' faces ever erupted into a smile like this, then I'm either off to the ER with them, or I'm cutting their sugar consumption way back...
Jeremiah, 9:21 AM | link | 2 Hit the roof |

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

DeLay-ed Reaction

Gotta love the timing of this DeLay retreat. Ha ha! All the squawking he did about not being involved in any crapdoing and, all of a sudden, a day after some of his cronies elect to do some squawking of their own (read: save they own asses), he quits the race, plans to quit Congress, and books his one-way run to the rocks.

Reminds me of a story of a friend of mine who, when he was younger and still living at home, decided he wanted to spend an evening with a young lady, without his mother knowing. He had it all figured out. He'd lie to his mother about going to a movie with the guys, then go pick up the lady and actually go to a park somewhere and make their own movie. One problem--he didn't let the girl in on the deception. All went as planned, so he figured. He got the car, he got the clearance, he got the girl, and he came home, smug as, well, a Republican, when he was met at the door by his mother.

She asked him how his friends were. He said that they were fine. She asked him how the movie was, and he lied and said it was great, even going into detail about some of the scenes he never saw. He generally waxed, like, um, a politician, lying lying lying right into his own mother's (or voter's) face. When he was done, she smiled.

"Oh," she said, "because, strangest thing. This girl called right after you left looking for you. Said you were late picking her up..."

He said that he felt like he'd swallowed a bowling ball. He gave up the story right then, beginning instead to apologize to hopefully soften the blow.

Didn't work. I quote: "Man, my parents went crazy. They took my license, took the car priviledges, took all my posters off my wall, took all my magazines, grounded me for a month. They lost their minds! They seized my shit up! I didn't get the car back for a year!"

Lesson: Deception has all kinds of ways of getting out, possibly right out of the mouths of our friends.

This, of course, is not to say that DeLay did anything wrong. Maybe he's just tired of politics and is headed right down to New Orleans to spend some time with Habitat for Humanity, or possibly he's prepared to come clean on a bunch of shit because, you gotta believe, there's somebody in that cabinet who, if they decide to squawk, could get the whole lot arrested. The cops would do better to just throw some bars up around the White House and call it the Government Penitentary and be done with it. All squawkers, though, may need to make sure that they cancel that hunting trip with "Elmer Fudd" Cheney.
Jeremiah, 7:19 AM | link | 1 Hit the roof |

Monday, April 03, 2006

On Whoopin's

We had a recent kid meltdown, and, as usual, the thought entered my head that what this otherwise beautiful boy needs is a good old fashioned spanking, like dear old dad used to deliver. But then, as un-usual, I had my own version of a mental meltdown whereupon I recalled my old elementary school principal, Mr. V_.

Mr. V_ used to hand out periodic spankings in his office. Mr. V_ delivered his discipline with a long, plastic paddle that could not have been sold as anything else except a butt-whipping device (and, where the hell do you go to buy a goddammed official paddle for whipping kids' butts?). It had a handle, with a duct tape grip that he had wrapped on himself, the resourceful madman that he was. And, the business end of the paddle itself was like a mini oar, but, as I said, made out of some hard plastic that somehow could pass its traumatic force right through Husky jeans and deliver a sting to one's butt that felt like he'd actually managed to cause your ass to explode. He was an angular man, with oversized glasses, and he always wore gray slacks, a red tie, and a white button-down shirt, long-sleeved and crisply ironed. He probably ironed it with the paddle, after he'd heated it up on your butt.

He had to get parental approval to whoop you though, so he sent home an approval letter that your parents had to sign, and, well, my parents sent their signed approval letter back to him so fast that I think he got it back about a second BEFORE he sent it home.

I visited Mr. V_'s office--once. That's usually about as many times as anyone visited Mr. V_'s office. After one visit, you not only didn't want to go back there, but you didn't even want to pass by it anymore. You may just have to walk ten feet to your next class, but if that ten feet took you past Mr. V_'s office, you'd walk around the whole outside of the school, cross the street, and walk the next block over, and then come back to the other side of the school to avoid passing by Mr. V_'s door or window ever again. It was terrifying to be sent there.

When you got sent to his office, he talked gently to you, calling you Mister, and asking you if you knew why you were here. You nodded, your head jerking like you were having a seizure, which you were. He'd shake his head and then have you acknowledge that you did wrong and, of course you agreed. You'd agree to having assassinated JFK if you thought it would make him have some pity. And, for a brief second, he seemed to get calm, as if he was going to release you unspanked. But, then, he rose from his chair, seemingly without even using his legs, and he opened his drawer, and he pulled out the paddle. All swallowing activity halts in your body and your blood temperature drops to about 2 degrees F.

And, then, he says the fateful words, "Okay, put your hands on the wall..." Depending upon what you did, you got from 1 to 3 whacks (which, by the way, could be heard throughout the hall--whenever you heard it, you froze in empathy, a tear involuntarily popping out of your eye). I'm not sure you could survive more than that and not need a butt transplant. After the whoopin, Mr. V_ always sent you back to your class and you always walked in snorting and sniffling, biting your lip, but you try not to rub your butt. But, you give your pain away when you sit down because you don't quite lower yourself all the way to the seat, but hover above it, descending at the rate of about 1 inch per hour. Someone sniggles in the class, but the teacher looks at them, and they suck it back in with such a great force that they also suck their pencil into their mouth. See, no matter how funny it is to see someone come back from Mr. V_, the prospect of going to see him is the direct opposite of funny.

Mr. V_ was an extreme, but a representative of a different time. We don't spank these days, at least not in the "permissive parenting" gang I run around in. In fact, now my friend's eight year-old daughter is the one doling out the punishment. I've seen the little girl get angry and give her mother a roundhouse whack to the arm that, if I had delivered to my mother at that age, then, well, let's just say that I'd just now be waking up from a 35 year-long coma that was induced by a maternal slap that you could probably still hear echoing in my head.

Every guy buddy I have today was spanked by their fathers as a kid. None of those same guys hate their parents, shoot up neighborhoods, or go to therapy. All of those guys have a deep respect for their fathers and, all of them acknowledge that, for the most part, the whoopins they got were directly related to something really stupid they did and which they'd spank their kids for, if we spanked. But we don't. Or, don't admit it. Me, you ask? I have spanked, but we've had some, um, high-level talks, so, no, now I don't spank. I explain, punish, bite holes in coins in frustration, but I don't spank. Maybe that's good, but, as I watch Meltdown Number 1,297b, I hear my dad saying "Do you want something to cry about?" and I recall that skewed logic being stiflingly clear to me.
Jeremiah, 10:11 AM | link | 3 Hit the roof |