Sunday, August 2, 2015

266. Similes

Oh, please just tuck me away somewhere like an ugly sweater received as a gift from a color-blind aunt. C.W. is practicing his similes again. For some reason they fascinate him like a piece of fuzz stuck on a cat’s paw.

Oops. It’s catching.

“Why?” I asked.

“To make money,” he said. “How’s this one?” He stared at my computer screen. “His two strands of hair slide about the top of his head like a blond tumbleweed balanced on a greased basketball.”

I couldn’t find the words to respond.

“Or this,” he said, “He stopped and thrust a water bottle in his mouth like he was a member of a NASCAR team gassing a racecar.”

My mind began to sink like a bowl of unleavened bread.

“Here’s a beaut,” he said. “His horn-rimmed glasses, bought to make him look smarter than he is, wrap around his empty head like a training bra on an eight-year old.”

“Are you doing what I think you’re doing?”

“What’s that?”

“I am aware,” I said, “that the first presidential debates are happening this week.”


“Cut the stuff,” I said, seeing through his ruse. Actually, the fact that he had assumed a shape perfectly imitating that of legendary political guru Karl Rove had been my first clue.

“This week?” he said feigning surprise. “Then they will need similes like a Kardashian needs a photo op.” He stopped and typed into my computer.”

“And you?”

“I,” he said, “will sell the candidates similes through my new company. He scrolled the computer. “Here it is: Similes To Facilitate Understanding.”

“Uh,” I said. “Have you thought that name through?”

“Check out this one,” he said, ignoring me. “He waddles up to the microphone like the Pillsbury Doughboy approaching a hot oven.”

“Or this,” he said, reading again. “He slams his Bible on the Constitution like a blacksmith pounding a U -shaped metal plate nailed to a horse's hoof to protect it from being injured by hard or rough surfaces.”

“I think,” I said, “that you might do well to run that through your Galactic Universal Translator again.”

“My GUT works like a finely tuned sausage grinder,” he said. “Now here’s a good one.” He read again, “He hates government like a drunkard hates a rehab clinic.” He smiled. “Good, eh?”

I didn’t say a word.

He continued. “He avoids mentioning his brother like a man with a strange woman’s name tattooed on his arm.”

I raised my eyes heavenward. “Is this ever going to stop or am I stuck in a loop like a bad computer string?”

“Listen up,’ he said. “You might learn something.” He read, “He stands out in that crowd like BeyoncĂ© at a DAR convention.”

“Would you please stop?”

“He has that wild crazy Nouveau-Texan look in his eyes like a dog locked up in a butcher shop with no place to go to the bathroom.”


“He traded away his soul to the Koch Brothers like an ad-man selling a jingle.”

I really don't get the clown simile.
I thought clowns were supposed to be happy. - C.W
I stopped and thought. “You know,” I said. “Of all your crazy schemes, this one might work like a bridge over water that is roiling a foaming.”

“Hey,” he said. “I like that. Maybe we’ll use it. Now for the clincher.”

“The clincher?”

“You all remind me of a group filing in for a Chuckles the Clown Memorial Service.”

Click some ads. I need a new computer like a TV evangelist needs a new airplane.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Saturday, August 1, 2015

265. Phrases

“Hey,” C..W. yelled at me, “come here.”

“What’s up?” I said as I walked into the room and found the old comedian Jack Benny staring at me from my computer.

“You have some explaining to do.”

“Really?” I said, “The last time we talked you said I couldn’t explain to a snake how to do the rhumba.”

“I’ve changed my mind,” he said, deadpanning like the old trooper he whose shape he had borrowed. “You and the snakes seem to have learned a lot from one another.”

I ignored him, “You had a question?”

“About your language,” he said.

“The language of Shakespeare and Milton?”

“No,” he said, “the language of Kohen and Tymber.”

“Oh,” I said, “modern usage.”

“Quite so,” he said. He looked at the computer screen, “Here’s a dandy,” he said. “What, exactly, does it mean when a man posts an announcement on VisageDocument that ‘We’re pregnant,’ referring to him and his wife.”

“Uh,” I said, “I think it means he wants his friends on Facebook to know that he and his wife are going to prudence a child.”

“It takes two of them?”

“In the fertilization phase, yes.”

“So the man fertilizes himself as well?”

“Not exactly.”

“The man carries a portion of the gestation assemblage to term? Shares the discomfort of pregnancy and the pain of childbirth?”

“Not exactly.”

“So what does he mean when he says, ‘We’re pregnant,’ as if it were a joint activity?”

“How the hell should I know,” I said. “When I was a kid, we weren’t even allowed to use that word. A woman was ‘expecting,’”

“Expecting what?”

The Falloonian Elders have been concerned
about overpopulation on your planet.
I think I've found the solution. - C.W.
“A child, although that was never made clear to us. Sometimes we were told it was a puppy.”

“You are a strange species,” he said. “I suppose you had incomprehensible euphemisms for other biological functions?”

I thought for a moment. “Well, we did ask if we might go ‘wash,’ if we needed to …” I struggled for the words.

“To do what?”

"Number One or Number Two,” I said.

“I’m sorry?”

I explained. He shook his head and then stared at me with another of his blank expressions.

“Oh, good grief,” he said. “And I thought you got to be such a dope all on your own.”

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

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Thursday, July 30, 2015

264. Hunter's Dream

Oh no, when I saw the shape of Ernest Hemingway at my desk, I knew it would be a long morning.

“Hello sport,” it, he, Ernest, … C.W. actually, said.



“It’s a little early yet for a question.”

“This one is easy,” he said.

“Wait one,” I said. “I need coffee.”

I returned with a cuppa and sat near him. Determined to outwait him, I sipped.

After an uncomfortable silence, he spoke. “Been reading about this lion in Africa named Cecil.”

Oh hell. “Yes?”

“Do they give names to all the lions in Africa now?”

“No,” I said, “just the ones who are more or less pets,”

“I see,” he said.

“But …,” I said, “there so few left now that naming them all may be a possibility.”

He nodded. “So one could get a license to kill a specific one? Say pick one out of a catalog and say ‘I want a permit to come kill Ralph?’”

“Yeah,” I said, “nice and simple, and they could always use the ‘supplies are limited’ angle to boost sales.”

“Hmm,” he said. “It wasn’t like that back in my day. There were plenty of them. What happened?”

“If you are Ernest Hemingway, you should know.”

“What do you mean?”

“You helped make it a manly thing to kill them for sport.”

He changed the subject. “This dragging a dead animal carcass around to lure them into a safe place for the hunter to shoot them … do they do that here in America?”

“Of course not,” I said.

“Well that’s good.”

“They use something called deer corn.”

He ignored me. “We certainly never did anything like that.”

I stared at him.

He said, “We had ni… I mean natives that would drive them to where we waited, having our gin and tonics. Then we would shoot them when they came out of the brush, the lions that is.”

I nodded my head. “Much more manly.”

“Anyway,” he said, and I sensed he was the old C.W. again. “Anyway, we need to make some money off this hunting stuff.” He reached beside himself and produced a photo. “I have a preliminary idea for a hunting machine,” he said.

Big Dope never likes my ideas, but I think every
hunter in America would want one of these. - C.W
I looked at the model. “You’re mad,” I said.

“About what?”

“Just mad … crazy.”

“Come on Sport,” he said. “You never like my ideas, and this one is a winner for sure.”

“Have you shown this to my wife?”

“Mrs. Big Dope is more negative than you.”

“What did she say about marketing to hunters?”

“She yelled at me and I didn’t understand her.”

“Why? She’s usually pretty straightforward.”

“Not this time,” he said. “She kept babbling about, well … about men’s private parts, you know.”


“She said I should just sell them something called an ‘elongator.’ Said it would serve the same purpose, cost a lot less, and bring what she called a collective sigh of relief from entire animal world.”

“I see.”

“So,” he said, “I made another working model.” He reached around and produced a long cardboard box emblazoned with a brightly colored label that read, “The Hunter’s Dream.” He turned around and said, “Hey Sport. Where are you going? Aren’t we going to box awhile?”

 Please click some ads. They weren't long on my recent money-making idea.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

263. Protection

I found C.W. jotting notes in furious fashion this morning in the form of a "full-bird" colonel of the American army. When I entered, he looked up. "Ahem," he said, "just the person I wanted to see."

"Uh oh," I said, turning to leave.

"Wait soldier," he said. "I need to ask you some things, so get your butt over here."

I did as I was told.

"Now," he said, "you served in the military didn't you?"

"U.S. Navy, sir," then catching myself, I said, "hell yes C.W., you know I did."

"You carried a weapon, right?"

"For eleven months and 28 days," I said, "but who was counting?"

"Assault rifle?"

"M-14, M-16, M-60, .45 caliber semi-automatic pistol, M-79 grenade launcher, and, for most of the time of the Tet Offensive, a sawed-off 12-guage shotgun." I smiled briefly thinking of the scenes. "Even the colonels showed respect for that one."

"Ahem, yes," he said, scribbling again. "Any how long did it take to insert a magazine, charge the weapon, and take aim when you thought trouble was coming?"

"Say what?"

"When danger approached, how long did it take you to prepare for it, to have your weapon loaded and at the ready?"

"Uh, C.W., ..."

"Colonel Rankhoher to you."

"You didn't get ready if you knew danger was there." I said, "You stayed ready."

"You inserted a magazine into your weapon?"

"You locked and loaded the son of  bitch, took the safety off, pointed it to where you thought the trouble was coming from, and put your finger on the trigger," I said.

"Ahem," he said, and made a note.

"My friends in the infantry even sometimes employed a "mad minute" in which, at a pre-determined time, everyone on the perimeter would fire for sixty seconds in the middle of the night in the direction from which potential danger might come."

"Did it accomplish anything?"

"Just woke everyone up."

"But in actual battles ..., let's discuss the efficacy of prepared combatants."

"In actual battles," I said, "they estimate it takes 50,000 rounds to kill a single enemy combatant."
I think this would detract from
the movie, but who knows? - C.W.

"Oh dear," he said, writing again.

"The snipers do much better," I said, "around 1.3 rounds per kill, but they are prepared and have the elements of surprise and distance. And of course the rate is much better for civilian hits, say when firing into a village."

"Ahem," he said. "So the most reliable position for protection with a firearm is to be on the ready, weapon charged and aimed, and finger on the trigger." He resumed making notes.

"If you want to meet that one in 50,000 goal," I said. Then it dawned on me. "What are you doing," I said, "preparing a safety manual?"

"Ahem," he said. "No. It's a preparedness protocol for arming citizens to protect theater audiences."

Click an ad so I can buy some more ammunition. - C.W.
See also:

Sunday, July 26, 2015

262. Felines

 “What’s up?”

C.W. looked up from my laptop and said nothing. He began to type, biting on an unlit pipe he uses as a prop when he prepares his reports to the Falloonian Elders. He assumes the shape of, oh, I don’t  know, Arthur Miller or some playwright. I waited until he finished typing and had looked up at me before I asked again. “What are you writing about?”


“Ailura what?

“Ailuromania … a passion for cats.”

“Oh,” I said, “like the way some folks allow them to rule their lives? I’ve heard that can happen.”

He looked at me over wire-rimmed glasses and said nothing.

“What?” I said. “We only keep four cats at this old farmhouse. Well … sometimes five, but never more.”

He continued to look at me for a moment and then turned to the laptop. He made a couple of strokes and looked back. Without removing his gaze, he turned the computer screen toward me.

“That’s just BuddhaCat,” I said. “She looked so cute I had to snap that shot and post it.”

“And why,” he said, “do you call it BuddhaCat?”

“It’s a she,” I said. “A she. Don’t hurt her feelings.”

His gaze bore into me.

“She may be a little overweight,” I said.

“A little?”

“She enjoys eating,” I said. “Isn’t she cute?”

He punched a key. Another image arose. “And?”

“Oh, I said, “that’s Sarah Palin walking on the piano. You should have heard the sound. I called it ‘The Catwalk Rhapsody’ and was going to record it but she jumped down.”

“Sarah Palin?”

“She’s not the smartest cat in the county,” I said. “But she’s so pretty.”

He punched the keyboard again. “Look at that,” I said. “There’s Buttons sleeping on my wife’s lap.”

“Why does Mrs. Big Dope display that strained expression?”

“Oh,” I said, “she was needing a bathroom break. Real bad.”

“Why didn’t she take one?”

“What,” I said, “and wake Buttons up?”

“And you posted all of these on your VisagePage?”

“On FaceBook, yes.”

“Let me read you some of what I’ve written,” he said.

“Oh, pray do.”

He returned the computer screen to his document and read: “Approximately 33 percent of American households domicile a creature know as a ‘cat.’ More than half of those homes have more than one cat in the house. This creature—scientific name Felis catus—is an arrogant, selfish, uncaring, insensitive …”

“Stop,” I said. “They’ll hear you.” I ran to the door and closed it.

“Greedy and self-centered species that allows humans to care for it and attend its every need without displaying any gratitude whatsoever. Humans become quite obsessive about caring for cats’ needs and will even take sick days from work to stay home and tend a cat that pretends to be ill.”

“She only did that once,” I said, “and that was a long time ago.”

“Otherwise mature and sensible humans have been known to dress their cats in fake outfits and post their photographs on social media outlets.”

“Did you see the one with the little vest and necktie?” I said.

“They are most devious and secretive in their habits and display a marked tendency toward demonstrating their low regard for their keepers.”

“No,” I said. “Ours would never do that?”

He looked at me. “Would you be interested to know,” he said, “that I caught the three females gathered around your laptop this morning?”

If this creature is "a little overweight," then I'm a visitor
from "a little ways away" from here. - C.W.
“They like to look at old Garfield cartoons,” I said.

He punched the computer and turned it toward me again. There, in a highly evocative and erotic design, was the home page of a site called “Cat-Sex Fever,” purporting to offer scenes that would delight and titillate the discerning and (term deleted by editor) female and to “get her fancy footwork in gear for her Tom.”

“You are being unfair and gratuitously scandalous,” I said. I was going to say more but was interrupted by three loud crashes and the sound of broken glass from the kitchen. “I’ve got to go,” I said. “We’ll discuss your libeling of these sweet creatures further.”

“What happened?” he said.

“Nothing,” I said. “That’s just their way of letting us know that they are ready to be fed.”

 Please click some ads. The cats won't share the computer and I need my own.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or