Pages

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Arcs

He calls it “arcing” and, I have to admit, it is one of his more interesting ideas. I’m talking about C.W. of course. He laid this whole line of reasoning on me while I was working on an old piece of farm equipment and he was watching.

“Your species not only fails to connect dots when dealing with logic,” he said, “you also fail to see arcs in logic.”

He sounded as if he knew what he was talking about as he had assumed the form of James Earl Jones, the legendary actor with the great voice. When he spoke, even the bids stopped their singing.

“Dammit to godalmighty hell,” I said.

“Did I say something with which you disagree?”

“No,” I said, “I just busted my knuckles trying to get this nut loose.”

“It may have been the most cogent thing you have said all day.” He leaned back on the bucket he was using as a stool. “Anyway,” he said, “I was talking about arcing.”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“It means tying together snippets of history and using arcs to make a logical generalities. Are you listening?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“Consider Herbert Hoover’s approach to the Great Depression.”

“It hurts to, but go ahead.”

“It appears that it was one of ‘It’s better to let the country collapse than for government to save it.’”

“Yeah, I guess so.”

“Arc then,” he said, “to the famous quote by the army officer of the Vietnam War era.”

“Which quote was that?”

“The only way to save that village was to destroy it.”

“Oh yeah,” I said. “That one.”

“Shall we continue the arc?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“Arc to the so-called ‘Libertarians’ who see the solution to governmental reform as no government at all.”

“Crap.”

“You don’t agree with them?”

“I can’t get this thing to come loose,” I said. I slammed the nut with my wrench.

“Precisely,” he said. “Maybe an example from the world of entertainment? That’s my field.”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“We actually have a mechanical device on Falloonia that enables us to make these connections.”

“Super.”

“It’s called an ‘Arc Nexus Utilization Synthesizer,’ and I have mine with me,” he said. “Would you like to see my AN …”

“No,” I said. “You can just tell me about it.”

“As I was saying,” he said. “Consider the world of entertainment.” He paused. “Are you listening?”

“Sure. Go ahead.”

“Remember Archie Bunker?”

I stopped. “From that show All In The Family? You bet. Funny as hell.”

“Why did you like it? The show I mean.”

“It poked fun at bigotry,” I sad. “What’s not to like?”

“If you would examine my ANUS ...,” he said.

“I’d rather not.”

“You would find that a majority of your fellow Americans liked it because the main character was spouting nonsense that they themselves wanted to spout.  But they were increasingly being forbidden by societal norms to do so.”

I sat up and looked at him. “Are you implying that the average American felt repressed by facing sanctions against voicing prejudice?”

“You aren’t as dense as Mrs. Big Dope says you are.”

Now I was intrigued. “So?”

“Now make the arc,” he said, “to this, this, this …” As intelligent as he seemed today, he was struggling for the word. “This side show character who is leading in your presidential polls.”

My mind soared from one point to the other. “Surrogate racism, sexism, and scapegoating,” I said.

The past is never dead. It's not even past.”
I think your famous author William Faulkner
was arcing when he wrote that. - C.W.
He smiled and a breeze rustled the oak trees in apparent harmony.

“Say,” I said. “You may have something here. Could I maybe borrow your AN …”

“I don’t let anyone touch it,” he said.

“Isn’t that selfish?”

“It’s mine and I’ll keep it to myself,” he said. "No touching." Then he looked at me. “What’s wrong?” he asked. “Did you crack your knuckles again?”

“No,” I said. “I was just thinking about the Great Depression, an old girlfriend, and our present state of the economy.”




Please click some ads. Maintaining my equipment costs money.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.


Available at major on-line retailers, or
www.wattensawpress.com




Saturday, August 22, 2015

271. Happiness

Friends and Fans:
Yesterday we left C.W. at our farm to watch over things while the woman he calls “Mrs. Big Dope” and I enjoyed one of the happiest days of our lives. He later gave me permission, albeit somewhat grudgingly, (“They want to read about me, not you.”) to devote a day to the occasion.  He’ll be back tomorrow if the Falloonian Elders release him. (Don’t ask).For right now, here goes.


It started over ten years ago when a couple of kids moved in with their sister and her husband who are neighbors to us at our farm. The kids were from Ensenada, Mexico, here on a travel visa. With their father deceased, and their mother remarried to a new family, they had no place to go when their visa ran out. So we “adopted” them, not legally but emotionally. The young man’s name is Arturo and he probably has an IQ in the stratosphere. His sister later married while we helped Arturo get an associate’s degree from a nearby university branch, and a Green Card. He, himself got a job as a computer-aided drafter and has become a valuable member of society.

After years of struggle, all it took was a raising of the hand.
Well guess what? Yesterday we went to the Federal Building in Little Rock to watch him and 49 other precious people raise their hands and become American citizens. Wow.


Tres Amigos
Though hardly what you would call a religious couple, we base our happiness, my wife and I, partly on the Biblical injunction: “You shall not wrong or oppress a resident alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21 (NRSV) We believe that we are on the proper side of both history and righteousness.

We finished the day with a marvelous meal at his family’s house and a few shots of Tequila to celebrate. As they say down in South Arkansas, “Hit don’t git no better’n that.”

Anyway, it was a glorious experience to watch those folks raise their hands and see the smiles on their faces and those of their families and friends.  And while we know that hatred is currently fashionable among certain segments of our population and our views may be alien to some, let us just add that we wouldn’t trade those 50 people for 1,000 Donald Trumps.
Our proud new citizen
See also: www.wattensawpress .com

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

270. Tripping

C.W. just came in as a, well I don’t know what … a man in his mid-twenties wearing a Ted Nugent tee-shirt and his hat that says “Remembur Gettisbirg.” He was wearing a small back pack and announced that he was ready to go.

“Go where?” I asked.

“Costa Rica.”

“Where?”

“You heard me fool, call Mrs. Big Dope’s cousin and make arrangements.”

Now my wife’s cousin works for an airline company and sometimes has limited free “stand by” tickets for family or friends, certainly not for aliens and especially not for C.W.

“No can do,” I said, “use your Digitally Operated Nuclear Getabout,” I said.

“It’s dead,” he said.

“Your DO…”

“Dead,” he said, “I’m grounded.”

I thought. “Was it that little trip you made to Thailand?”

“The Elders have grounded me,” he said, ignoring my question.

“But why do you want to go to Costa Rica?”

“To see Lisa.”

“Do you mean Lisa at “All Hat, No Cattle?"

“She’s the digit indicating a single unit.”

“If she is the one,” I said, “why do you want to see her?”

“She’s unpacking.”

“So I heard, but how does that concern you? I’ve never known you to be much help when there was work to be done.”

“I need a new pistol,” he said, “so if she is unpacking, maybe she will give me hers.”

“Her what?”

“Her pistol. Didn’t you hear me say she was unpacking?”

“Uh, C.W. …,”

“Call me Jerry Bob Tex,” he said.

“C.W.,”  I said. “I don’t think that’s what she means by ‘unpacking’ at all.”

“Whut chew mean?”

“She’s moved into a new office and is unpacking her things.”

“Whut things?”

“Her research materials, computer, and office supplies.”

“She ain’t got no pistol?”

“I hardly think so.”

“Dad gummit.”

“What would you do with a pistol, anyway?”

“Protect myself and my family.”


I still may visit there if they will allow me to
 carry my belt-fed, fully automatic, 7.62 mm, M60
Machine Gun into the Walmart store. - C.W.
“You don’t have a family,” I said, “and besides, who do you need protecting from?”

“Uh,” he said. “Them liberuls, like whut they talk about on that Fox channel.”

“I don’t think liberals attack people these days,” I said, “and besides, you don’t even know how to use a pistol.”

“Ain’t nothin’ to it,” he said, “you just wait until the evildoers shows up in your bedroom to do you harm and then you run and git your pistol and let them have it. Ain’t that right?”

“In the words of Barney Frank,” I said, “May I ask what planet you woke up on this morning?”

 Please click some ads. I need to do a lot of traveling.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.


Available at major on-line retailers, or
www.wattensawpress.com


Sunday, August 16, 2015

269. Anniversaries

I took C.W. for a ride yesterday to get him out of my wife’s hair. Given a chance, he can start to annoy her. This time, he found an old photo album of her high school days and, using a secret process he calls “enphasing,” began to appear in the form of one after another of her old classmates. Just imagine what might go wrong.

Let’s just say that it was good to get him out of the house. I told him to take on the form, more or less, of a typical person you might see at Walmart. His first attempt wasn’t too good. He appeared as an unkempt man with a belly extending nearly a foot over his belt, a backward NRA cap, and a sleeveless tank top revealing tattoos on both arms, one stating “The South Rools,” and the other “Remember Gettisbirg.”

“Whut?” he said when I shook my head in disapproval. “I’ll fit right in.” He picked at his nose. “Better’n you anyway. Remember the time you wore your ‘Support Our Public Schools’ tee-shirt and they asked you to leave?”

“Back,” I said. “Try again.”

“This time he looked quite a bit like an old Navy buddy from a photo of the two of us after we had used our day off to visit some enlisted clubs. I frowned in disapproval but let it slide.

Once in the car, he instantly started to get on my nerves.

“What’s wrong with Mrs. Big Dope?  

I just looked over at him and said nothing.

“Did you mix paint with her favorite measuring cup again?”

It didn’t seem worthwhile to respond.

“Don’t tell me you spilled more wine on her ZZ Top CD.”

“No,” I said, “and that wasn’t me, if you will remember. Someone lied about it.”

He ignored me. “You didn’t badmouth Matthew McConaughey did you?”

“Could you ever imagine,” I said, “that it might be something you did?”

“Me?”

“You.”

He didn’t speak for almost a minute. “Can’t imagine a thing.” He said, after the pause.

“That last shape you took.”

“Oh,” he said, “that real pretty girl with the big …”

“That’s the one.”

“Weren’t they good friends? I mean back in high school?”

“Hardly.”

He truly seemed dumbfounded. “Why … what … how could it be? You mean they weren’t best friends?”

“That’s what I mean.”

“They didn’t like each other?”

“Bingo.”

“What was the the cause, explanation, or justification for the action or event?”

“The reason, as I understand it, was a boyfriend. I learned long ago not to ask.”

“She had another boyfriend before you?”"

“Well yeah,” I said, mimicking the young folks.

“How could that be? You’ve been married for how long now?”

“Tomorrow marks 43 years,” I said. “That’s where we are headed: to buy her a gift.”

And Big Dope tells me that you see
some weird-looking people at Walmart. - C.W.
“Hey,” he said. “Maybe she would like a new Astrocelestial Sound Synthesizer. You know how much she likes to mimic that woman with all those kids.”

“I don’t think so.”

“I read where the women in California all want a new A…”

I cut him off. “Forget it,” I said. “I think she wants a new tool box and a set of metric wrenches.”

“A true romantic,” he said and we continued in silence.

Later, at Walmart, I had to rush over and intercede when I heard him tell a vacant-eyed adolescent “associate” that he wanted to buy a card for “the yearly recurrence of the date of a past event.”

Would anyone like to keep an alien for a while?

Click some ads. I spent all my money on an anniversary card.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.


Available at major on-line retailers, or
www.wattensawpress.com



Wednesday, August 12, 2015

268. Places

C.W. is being punished. As best as I can manage, he is confined to quarters, meaning the spare bedroom we keep. Of course he can escape anytime he wants, but I’m locking the computer away when I’m not using it so he won’t go far.

What did he do this time?

Hitchhiking.

Yes. Hitchhiking. It all began when he started asking me about the GPS navigational systems that people are increasingly relying upon to get around.

“Can’t they read a diagrammatic representation of an area of land or sea showing physical features, cities, roads, etc.” he asked.

“No,” I said. “Reading a map has pretty much disappeared as skill.”

“That’s what I feared,” he said, “when I read that more than 20 percent of your population can’t locate the Pacific Ocean on a map of the world.”

“I’m afraid so.”

“It’s not as though it is not prominent,” he said.

“Pretty prominent,” I said.


“Sad to say.”

“So people use those little boxes with the obnoxious voices emanating from them to get around?”

“Many do.”

“They go exactly where the boxes tell them?”

“Without question.”

“Don’t they know that a superior mental force …,” he paused. “Say a visitor from the Wobeenanis Galaxy, could scramble the directions?”

“You don’t think highly of those folks, now do you?”

A vicious place producing creatures of low expectations,” he said. Then he brightened. “Wait one,” he said, and then he disappeared.

When he returned, he was in the form of that actor, Brad Pitt. He said he was going for a walk. Actually, I found out later, he was going hitchhiking. After deputies had returned him several times, I deduced that he had been hitching rides with strangers willing to assist him because of his appearance. Using some Falloonian powers of which I was unaware, he had used his ability to re-direct automobile GPS systems so that he had, on different occasions,

- Led a Bluegrass Band to a Hip Hop concert.

- Led a mine operator to a Sierra Club meeting

- Led a “Tea Party” activist into a public housing complex

- Led a pro-wrestling fan to a ballet recital

- Led an ardent vegetarian to a pig farm

- Led a “creationist” to the public library … and … was finally caught, wouldn’t you know it … leading a prominent Baptist minister to a barn dance.

Don’t contact me asking for clemency. He is confined indefinitely.
 
Why do so many of your species
live in the constant fear that
at some place, somewhere, someone
may be having fun? - C.W.
 

Click some ads. I need to buy my way out.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

W
Available at major on-line retailers, or
www.wattensawpress.com