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

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


Woke up this morning and found Harry Truman watching television with the sound turned down low. Well, it wasn't Harry Truman but C.W., and I guessed it right away. I'm perceptive like that.

"What's up?" I said.

"Do they really intend to run this guy for president of your species?"

I looked. He was watching a speech by Donald Trump. "If the nominating convention were to be held tomorrow, they just might," I said. "He seems to be striking a chord with the base and the base rules at present."

"What if he says something really stupid?"

"Uh," I said, resisting the urge to state the obvious. "what do you mean stupid?"

"Oh," he said, "I mean something that his constituency would consider crazy or ridiculous. A statement so over the highest or uppermost point, part, or surface of something that he would lose his support."

"And what might he say that would be 'over the top' as far as his constituency is concerned?"

"Oh," he said, "I don't know. Maybe 'blessed are the poor.' That ought to do it"

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A Time To Mourn

We went for a ride yesterday, C.W. and I, mostly to give my wife a break from him. We've been indoors because of a high heat index, a phenomena that seems to bring out the worst in a Falloonian. After he had played his "fake dog poop" trick on her for the umpteenth time, I invited him to go for a drive. She lowered the baseball bat and nodded her approval.

Going down a side road, we passed a large Remington Arms factory located along Interstate 40 near Little Rock. As we went by, I sensed C.W. jerk around and stare at the grounds.

"Stop the car," he said, whereupon I noticed that he had assumed a shape much like that of the late Walter Brennan when he played "Grandpa Amos," on the TV show. "I want to talk to that man," he said.

I slowed to a stop and looked. A man was draping black bunting, signifying mourning, along the fence bordering the factory where they produce ammunition. Before I could speak, C.W. had exited the car and was limping toward the man. I had no choice but to follow.

When he approached, the man stopped his work and stared in disbelief, and for good reason of course.

"Hello brother," C.W. said. "Putting up mourning cloth for our servicemen who were murdered?

"Huh?" the man said, still staring in wonderment.

"Our military men."

"What military men?"

"The recruiters who got killed."

"Don't know nothing about no recruiters gettin' killed," the man said. "This is for Obama."

"Oh no," I said. "Did something happen to the President?"

"Not yet," the man said. "But we're getting ready for when he leaves office."

"Whatcha mean, son?" C.W. said.

"He leaves office after next year," the man said, "and we're in deep mourning about it."

"You mean you liked him?" C.W. sounded truly incredulous.

"We love him."

"Son," C.W. said, "you're not making a bit of sense."

"Best thing that ever happened to us," the man said. "We haven't slowed down a bit since he's been in office. Uncle Wayne seen to that."

I joined in. "Uncle Wayne?"

"Uncle Wayne LaPierre."

"Of the NRA?"

"Who else?" the man said, sounding a bit peeved.

"But," I said, "he hates President Obama. Don't you all?" I gestured at the plant.

"Are you kidding," the man said. "Best thing that ever happened to us. Don't you keep up with the stock market?"

"I do," C.W. said, lying. "What about it?"

It was as if Joseph Goebbels had
suddenly awakened to find there were no
Jews around anywhere. - C.W.
"You can't be serious," the man said. "Can't you imagine what happens to our stock every time Uncle Wayne hints that a colored feller is going to take away peoples' ammo?"

We watched as he made the motion of a rocket taking off.

"But he hasn't," I said.

The man looked at me as if I had just said the weather was hot. "And what goddam difference does that make?" He returned to his mourning bunting.

"So you'll be sorry to see him go?" C.W. wanted to make sure he understood.

"We'll be in deep mourning," the man said. He looked crestfallen. "But we have hopes. We may be tearing this stuff down after next fall's election."

C. W. leaned forward. "And why is that?"

"Are you crazy?" the man said. "Do you know how many little 'a-rab' countries there are and how many bullets it would take to whup them all?"

See also

Sunday, July 19, 2015

261. Professions

C.W. is playing a new game: “The Rapture Effect On Selected Professions.” He calls it a scientific study, and maintains the shape, including lab coat, of a researcher. I think he is having a bit of galactic fun at our expense, but it goes something like this.

“Combining, evangelical religious myth with professional occupations,” he says, “we consider what might happen in the sudden disappearance of all members of a certain profession.”

“Want to explain?” I said.

“For example,” he said. “If every college football coach in your country disappeared overnight, was 'raptured away' so to speak, what would be the impact?”

Before I could speak, he broke in. “More money spent teaching physics?”

“I don’t know,” I said.

“Perhaps a new intellectual renaissance?”

“Perhaps,” I said.

“At any rate,” he said, “nothing that would register on the cultural seismograph. Right?

“Probably not,” I said.

“And the annual salary involved?”

 “Most in the millions.”

“Wow,” he said, in an unscientific response.

“Any more?”

“TV Evangelists?”

“Oh please, please,” I said.

“Any downside to their rapturing away?”

“Only,” I said, “if one sells mansions or private jets.”


“Lots of Social Security checks would go further.”

“The so-called ‘analysts’ on that fake news show named after a furry animal.”

“Nothing but upside to their disappearance.”

“That’s what the data show,” he said, consulting his clipboard. “And they are paid a lot?”

“Yes,” I said.

He interrupted. “It seems they also make a bundle off fake books that they pretend to write.”


“Speaking of writers,” He said, “how about authors of weight-loss books?”

“Send them into space,” I said. “No one will notice.”

“Oh wait,” he said, “here’s a good one.”

“Oh?” I was all ears.

“Pet psychics.”

I groaned.

“What,” he said, “do they do, exactly?”

“You wouldn’t believe it if I told you.”

“Personal injury attorneys?”

I thought. “That one probably depends,” I said.

“On what?”

“On which side of the personal injury one is on.”

“We’ll get back to it,” he said. “Safari guides?”

“Now,” I said, there is a certain party who would want them raptured to deepest, darkest corner of space.

“Would that be Mrs. Big Dope?”

“Herself,” I said.

“Let’s see,” he said. “She might want to send the owners of what you call ‘puppy mills’ along for the ride, wouldn’t she?”

“You might ask her,” I said, “but don’t stand too close when you do.”

“No,” he said, rubbing his forehead, “I learned that lesson when I asked her if she wanted to watch a movie about a fight between two or more fighter planes at close quarters.”

“No,” I said. “You asked her if she wanted to watch a dog fight with you.”

“Anyway,” he said, “what about so-called hedge fund managers?” He looked at his notes. “Here is one that made a billion dollars in one year. What would happen if he disappeared?”

“I can’t imagine that anything would happen,” I said. “I doubt that anyone would even file a missing-persons report. Those folks tend to move around a lot.”

“That’s what my research shows.”

“Say,” I said, “speaking of your research, haven’t you found any indispensable professions?”

“Oh,” he said, “I think I’ve found the most indispensable one.”

“And that is?”

“But first,” he said,” I must say that it totally baffles me.”

“How so?”

“It pays a drastically lower salary than any I have mentioned so far.”

“Oh really?”

“Isn’t that odd for a species to pay its most valuable worker the lowest salary?”

“You’re not from around here, are you?”

“What do you mean?”

“Never mind,” I said. “It was just a joke. But what is this most necessary profession?”

Your species has a strange way of valuing professions. - C.W.
“Let’s see,” he said, thumbing through his notes. “Oh, here it is: a waste water collection and treatment specialist, or sanitary engineer.”

“A sewer worker?”

“Of course,” he said, “without them your species would be in a world of sh…”

“That’s enough,” I said. “I get the picture. I definitely get the picture.”

“The picture—that reminds me,” he said, “working in sewers is a much more valued profession than fashion modeling, isn’t it?”

 Please click some ads. The profession of alien doesn't pay well at all.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Sunday, July 12, 2015

260. Leading Women To Bed

If there is one thing C.W. is determined to do during his stay with us on the planet, it is to write a best-selling “how-to” book. Past attempts have been strange and unsuccessful, but his most current scheme topped them all.

I found him furiously pecking at my laptop this morning, looking exactly like a young Phillip Roth, and muttering aloud.

“That’ll get her,” he was saying, “she's as good as in the sack.”

“What on earth?” The scene shocked me.

“Later,” he said, “I’m onto something having a high degree of heat or a high temperature.”

“You may be onto something hot,” I said, “but you’re doing it on my computer. Remember when you left stuff on my hard drive and my wife saw it? And your Galactic Universal Translator is malfunctioning again.”

“My GUT is leading me to success,” he said, “and Mrs. Big Dope will love this.”

“This what?”

“This mega-seller written just for men.”

“Oh really? And what mega-seller might that be?”

He looked up. “How To Get Any Woman Into Bed.” He raised his eyebrows and smirked. “Got the title off the internet. Want to hear some of it?”

“C.W.,” I said, “you have had some crazy ideas before but this takes the cake.” Then I stopped and thought. “Hear some of it?” I thought again. “Maybe just a line or two.”

He scrolled back a ways. “Here’s Number One,” he said. “Mark the way to the bedroom very carefully with directional signs.”

“Say what?”

“Women need to be led,” he said, "carefully led."

I was stunned. “And where did you get that idea?”

He reached into his pile of research material and pulled out a worn Bible. “Here,” he said, holding it up. “You got a problem with that?”

“Go on,” I said.

“Number Two,” he said in senatorial voice, “post a set of rules for use of the bed in a conspicuous place near the bed itself.”

“What on earth?”

“Women need the guidance of men,” he said. “Don’t you read the newspaper accounts of your legislators?”

“Are you crazy?”

“Number Three,” he said, ignoring me, “have the bed decorated in bright colors.”

This time I couldn’t speak. I sank into chair, dumbfounded.

“Bright colors attract the female of the species,” he said, flourishing a book on zoology.

I waited.

He turned back to the computer. “Number Four,” he said, “place large, over-sized toys on the bed.” He turned and smiled. “Women are attracted to big th…”

“Stop it,” I said. “What can you possibly be trying to do?”

“Get women into bed,” he said.

“Into bed? And why, exactly?”

“So they will get out of the way and leave us alone.”


“We men.”

“Why would we want them out of the way?”

“So we could do things,” he said, exasperated.

“What things?”

He thought for a moment. “The sort of things you and I do after Mrs. Big Dope goes to bed.”

“I think,” I said, “speaking of her, maybe you should preview your idea to her.” I thought about it for a second or two and nodded. “I think a woman’s perspective might be helpful, and I think I hear her in the kitchen.”

“Great idea,” he said. “She’ll give me a few more pointers, too.” He grabbed the laptop and a few books and sailed off.

What can I add? In a few moments time, he came running back into the room followed by books sailing toward him. He reached safety, placed the computer on a table, and turned to me. “I’ve got a new idea,” he said.

The relative weakness of women is a long-standing
tenet of your culture for some reason or other. - C.W.
“She didn’t like the old one?”

“It’s not that,” he said quickly. “It just doesn’t take her long to review my work and offer editorial comments.”


“And a new title,” he said.

“What might that be?”

He looked to make sure we were alone. “Fifty Ways of Longer Life for Men.”

 Please click some ads. My new book isn't selling well.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.
- C.W.

Available at major on-line retailers, or

Sunday, July 5, 2015

259. Failure in Communication

“I hope I never have to explain your species to an alien.”

“What?” This took me by surprise. C.W. and I were watching Fourth of July celebrations on television, he in the shape of an American-Asian teenager and me in the shape of a senior citizen on tranquilizers.

“Your species,” he said. “The abode of god and the angels forbid that I should ever have to explain it to an alien.”

“You are an alien,” I said, “and heaven forbid anyone should have to explain anything to you.”

“I’m serious,” he said. “How would you like explaining things to someone who wasn’t from here?”

“Uh, C.W.,” I said, “I’ve been trying to explain things to you for five years or so. Don’t you remember?”

“Well,” he said, “you have failed miserably.”

I bristled. “I’ve done a fine job,” I said. “Where have I failed you?”

He thought, then turned to me. “You haven’t explained hot dog-eating contests.”

That took the wind out of my sails so to speak. My stomach rebelled and I had to stifle a series of retches. “No,” I said, “I don’t suppose I have.”

He nodded as if he were teaching a class in astro-physics. “Care to try?”

“No,” I said. “You have to understand that there are, as the Good Book says, ‘things that passeth understanding.”

“Speaking of that book,” he said, “please reconcile ‘Suffer little children to come unto me,’ and ‘Take this kid up on the mountain and kill him for me,’ if you will.”

“Are you purposefully trying to make my hair fall out?”

“Hate radio,” he said.

“Stop it,” I said.

“The preoccupation with Kate Middleton’s womb.”

“I said stop.”


“Quit, please quit.”


“I’m leaving.”

“No wait,” he said. “I need you to help me.”

“You’re making my circuits smoke,” I said in a reference to a phenomenon unique to confused Falloonians.

“Care to explain NASCAR?” he said.

“Oh please,” I said, “don’t start again.”

“Okay,” he said. “I was going to mention dog shows, but I won’t.”


“Or skiing.”

I didn’t respond.

“Or video games.”

I ignored him.

“Or bowling.”

I'm hoping to use this image as the cover
on my final report on your planet. - C.W.
I studied a spot of poison ivy inflammation on my hand.

“Or banjoes.”

I jumped up straight. “Now wait,” I said. Actually I screamed it this time. “Wait just a damned minute. Let me tell you a thing or two, you, …you, … you ungrateful interloper.”


“Just because something lacks vast appeal doesn’t mean that, for selected members of our species, it doesn’t provide peace, tranquility, a moment of distraction from a troubled world, an appreciation of nature, or a contributing factor to human development. What do Falloonians do to relax?”

“Oh,” he said, “the best analogy I can think of is that it is a game involving the ability to solve matrix algebra problems in one’s head.”

“Sounds like a load of fun,” I said, still smarting.

At that point, he began to whistle the tune from the movie “Deliverance.”
 Please click some ads. My computer campaign took a hit.
Finally, buy Big Dope's book so he'll shut up about it.

Available at major on-line retailers, or