Sunday, November 20, 2016

348. Happiness


Oh no. It was C.W. as “The Galilean” again. I thought maybe if I ignored him, he would go away, or change shapes. I puffed on my cigar and stared at the geese on the pond.

No such luck. “Hey, I’m talkin’ to you. What are you doing?”

“Nothing,” I said. “Just relaxing.”

“Why alone?”

“I like solitude,” I said, though I knew he didn’t take hints. After an awkward silence, I looked at him. He was in his “serious” robe, the one with the purple band and tassels. I looked closer. In one hand, he was carrying a bottle of single malt scotch whisky. The label pronounced it 12 years old. The other hand held two glasses. That got my attention. “But welcome ... sit,” I said.

He plopped into a chair and laid the bottle and glasses on a table between us. We sat in the back yard of the farm, taking advantage of a warm fall day. He uncorked the bottle and poured two-fingers into each glass. He took a small sip, nodded approval and slid the other glass to me. He straightened his robe, leaned back, surveyed the view, and spoke. “Where’s the wife?”

That caught me in mid-sip and I almost spewed out the precious liquid. Somehow, I managed to get it down. “You,” I said, “have a lot of nerve asking where my wife is.”

“Why,” he said, “what did I do?” He sipped and gave me his “Falloonian dumbass” look.

“She heard what you said.”

“When I said what?”

I gave him my “Do you really think I’m that stupid?’ look. “When I passed the word to you that she wished you would take off your shoes, knock them together, and get the mud off them before you enter the house.”

“She said that?”

“She said that.”

“And I said?”

I shook my head, not believing what I heard. “You said, if I recall it exactly, ‘that’s a lot of effort just to please some grumpy old broad,’ and she heard you.”

“So?” He raised his glass and I detected a smile.

“We can’t talk like that.”

“Oh yes,” he said. “We can now. Haben Sie nicht gehört? He stopped and stared into space as if he had experienced a pain. I heard a soft, organic “click” and he looked at me. “I mean to say, haven’t you heard?”

“I’ve heard that drinking affects your GUT.”

“My Universal Galactic Translator is fine. What you need to understand is that what your species call ‘political correctness’ is gone, dead, finiskaput.” He drained his glass and poured himself another. After tasting it, he chuckled and said, “There’s a new sheriff in town.” He seemed pleased with himself.

“Not around here, and we don’t call it ‘political correctness.’”

“What do you call it?”


“Well,” he said, after a drink, “I forgive her of course. She’s still our sister-in … in … well … in-Me.”

“I’m sure that will ease her tension,” I said. I took a drink, savored it, and enjoyed my cigar.

“What tension?” he said. “It’s time of great rejoicing. We’re going to show them a thing or two.”

I guess Mrs. Big dope thinks muddy shoes
are as evil as the wrong e-mail account. - C.W.
“Show whom a thing or two?”

“Oh,” he said, “your turban-heads, wetbacks, Jews, feminazis, and ni…”

“C.W.,” I said. “Shut your mouth.”

“Jeez,” he said, “don’t get all moral on me. Most people are rejoicing. Even our foreign friends.”

“What foreign friends?”

He drank, and shook his glass at me. “I have it on good authority, from a friend of mine, that old Vladimir is dancing in the streets.”

“What friend?”

He finished off his drink, and as his he moved the glass from his lips, he jabbed his thumb down toward the center of the earth. “A good friend,” he said. “An old acquaintance. And boy, is he happy.”

I sighed.

“But don’t worry,” he said. “You’re an old man. “There’s a lot of folks they need to get to before they come for you: the merciful, the peacemakers, and half-a-dozen others. Franklin Graham has the whole list. Doesn’t mention aliens at all. You don’t see me getting all uptight, do you?”

A voice erupted from within the house. “Jesus Christ!” it said.

He turned toward it. “Yes?” Then he recognized the voice. “Got to go,” he said. He drained his glass, grabbed the bottle, and scurried away, saying “Them bitches got to learn that they lost and need to get over it."

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

C.W. dropped by a few minutes ago smoking a cigarette and looking a lot like the late Edward R. Murrow again. Although I didn’t ask him to, he plopped on the couch and blew a cloud of smoke my way.

“My wife is going to kill you,” I said.

“Nah,” he said, “The cigarettes will get me first. Besides …”
“Besides, what?"

“I just had a thought involving a high degree of something happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this.”

I had to think for a moment. “You mean something ironic?”

“That’s what I said. Why do you repeat me so much?”

“How long has it been since you had a GUT check?”

“My Galactic Universal Translator is fine.”

“So share your irony with me.”

“Just thinking,” he said, “that the most important thing facing your species now is to keep that newly elected man in office for four years.”

“Do what?”

“Keep him in office. He has a penchant for boredom. Look at the number of wives he’s had.”
I heard of a Southern funeral once
where the only praise offered for
 the deceased was "I always heard
his brother was worse." - C.W.
“Well, yeah,” I said, ‘but why …” I stopped when it dawned on me. “Oh.”

“You got it brother,” he said.

“Thanks,” I said. “As if I didn’t have enough things to worry about.”

“You mean you wouldn’t like a law that forced ‘holy rollerness’ on everyone?”


“Then hope for good health. It would be too much to ask you to pray, I suppose?”

“I might even consider that,” I said.

“To God?”

“Why not?” I said. “She might listen this time.”

Sunday, November 13, 2016

347. Jobs

With apologies to G.O. ...

Oh brother, as if I didn’t have enough troubles, here comes C.W. as Lucky and Lefty, the conjoined twins. I could hear them … him … whatever, coming from some distance away. They entered the room where I sat. They were arguing as usual.

“Guest workers, by god,” Lucky was saying.

“Bull,” Lefty said. They tried to face one another and began to spin in a circle. I could barely make out what Lefty was saying. “Volunteer temporaries. That’s what they were.”

“Fellas,” I said. Then repeated it louder as the circling slowed. “What the heck is going on?”

“Butt-wipe here,” Lucky said, “is invading my territory.” A hand pointed at Lefty.

“Scumbag is stupid,” Lefty said, the other hand pointing at Lucky.

“Prick,” Lucky said. “I’m the Minister of Truth. You’re just the Minister of Love.”

“Screw you and all the imbeciles out there,” Lefty said. “You wouldn’t know a truth if it bit you in one of our asses.”

“I tell you they were guest workers,” Lucky said. “It’s already in the textbooks.”

“Whoa fellas,” I said. “Stop turning and tell me what’s going on.”

“We have jobs,” Lefty said.

“Good jobs,” Lucky said.

That stopped me. “What kind of jobs?”

“Good jobs,” Lefty said. “In the new administration.”

“I’m the new Minister of Truth,” Lucky said. “I write history, served up as ordered, the new way. The better way.”

“What better way?”

“Before it happens.”

“I see,” I said, but I didn’t.

“I’m the new Minister of Love,” Lefty said. “Spreading the gospel to the unsuspecting nincompoops.”

“Ain’t we a pair?” Lucky said. “Folks will never know what hit them.”

I raised a hand, “But what’s his about ‘guest workers’ and such?”

“I have to decide, Lucky said, “what history will call the blackamoors that migrated to this country to get jobs picking cotton and cutting sugar cane, back when this country was great.”

“He wants to call them …,” Lefty began.

“I know what he wants to call them,” I said, “but ‘migrated’’’?

“Talk to the Minister of Peace about that,” Lucky said. “His troops rounded them up and brought them here. All I have to do is decide what history will call them.”

“As if your stupid species will know how to read history,” Lefty said. “The Minister of Knowledge has new plans for education … something about knowledge through ignorance.”

“There’s a spot open,” Lucky said, “if you need a job.”

“Oh? And what would that be?”

“The Minister of Plenty,” Lefty said. “I think its motto will be ‘Privation is Pleasure,’ or something like that.”

“Fellas,” I said. “This is all kind of ridiculous.”

“No, no,” they said in unison. Lucky added, “That’s a no-no. Opinion-Speak is punishable. Don’t make me call the Goodness Gendarmes.” He smiled. “I am the Minister of Truth, after all, and silence shouts loudest.”

“Speaking of the Goodness Gendarmes,” Lefty said, “where is Mrs. Big Dope? We need to talk to her? Take her down to see …,” he pulled a note pad from his pocket and read, “… a Franklin Graham, our new Minister of the Gospels. He thinks she needs re-programming to learn that hate is compassion.”
There will be no 'takers' in the new economy.
Plenty of jobs. Plenty of jobs. - C.W.
“He talks to God, you know,” Lucky said.

“Directly,” Lefty said.

That got my attention. “He wants to see my wife?”

“Quite so,” Lefty said, Mind telling us where we can find her?”

“And don’t,” Lucky said, “let her know we’re coming for her. We want it to be a …,” he struggled for the right word.

“A surprise,” Lefty said. Both heads nodded. He added, “We might have to keep her for a while, but don’t worry.”

“Bondage is freedom,” Lucky said.

“Actually,” I said, “she’s standing right behind you, with some of her friends. She’s the one with the baseball bat in her hand.”

With that, they shrieked in unison and ran from the room.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Daily Thoughts

 Hey friends: Ran across this a while ago:

"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." - H.L. Mencken

Your Pal.

Sunday, November 6, 2016


You won’t believe it, dear friends. I almost didn’t myself, but after all these years nothing surprises me. What was it? Nothing less than C.W. as a spitting image of Archie Bunker, complete with cigar. When he showed, I got him out of the house as soon as possible and took him to the park  where we walked in an isolated area, the most isolated area I could find, and talked. It turned out to be more interesting than I thought.

“I’ll tell you one thing,” he was saying. “We could use a man like J. Edgar Hoover again.”

I stopped him. “Don’t you mean Herbert Hoover?”

“No, Big Dope. Weren’t you listening? J. Edgar.”

“And why, may I ask?”

“Elementary,” he said. “You never seen J. Edgar Hoover take part in a political campaign like this current clown, did you?”

I thought for a long time. “Not precisely,” I said.

“Bet your ass, not precisely,” he said. “That old boy didn’t care who was president. He was a man’s man.”

I let that one pass, and thought. While I was thinking, he continued. “He had files on them all. Didn’t matter to him who held office. He had a file, J. Edgar did.”

“By jove,” I said. “I think you have a point there.”

He changed directions like the lead car in a getaway attempt. “Now you take them coloreds.”

“Wait C.W.,” I said. “We don’t talk like that anymore.”

“Precisely my point,” he said. “If you can’t call them ‘coloreds,’ what can you call them?”

“Uh,” I said. “Americans?”

“That’s what they want,” he said. “For nobody to know the difference. Just like your dames.”

I looked around nervously. “Don’t worry,” he said. “She ain’t around.”


“Miss ‘fancy pants’ herself. Your wife.”

“What about my wife?”

“She don’t like the word ‘dames’ either, Mrs. Big Dope don’t. And don’t ask her if she ever got a job just because she was ‘cute and perky.’ Trust me on that one.”

“You didn’t?”

“Only once,” he said. “But trust me anyway. That dame has a temper.”

Just then a voice from behind us started yelling “Left, left, left you assholes.”

C.W., Archie … whoever, removed the cigar butt from his mouth and flipped it into the air just before the cyclist reached us. A man wearing an outfit resembling that of a space-rocket captain in a 1950s science fiction flick sailed by us. “Move your stupid asses o…,” he was saying when the cigar landed in his mouth. The bicycle wavered and sailed down an embankment into a clump of trees with a loud crash.

“Now,” my companion continued, heedless of the commotion, “you take them liberals.”
If your species had paid more
attention to this man in the 1970s.
You would understand your
voters better in 2016. - C.W.
“Like me and the Galilean?”

“Like you and that robe-wearing, love-spouting, wine-guzzling, do-gooder.”

“But,” I said, “he’s you, on one of your better days.”

“I may have been him before,” he said. “But never again. I seen the light.”

“What light?”

“The light that says good, hard-working white men like me ain’t got a chance no more.”

“Want to explain that?”

“They are giving all our jobs to the coloreds, the dames, the latinics, and the hispanos.”


“Even puttin’t them in charge of white men. We ain’t got no chance. They’ll be wantin’ to use our bathrooms next thing you know. We’ll all disappear before long. Until then, we’ll just take orders from them.”

I was speechless. “Where did you hear all this?” I managed.

“On this news show I been watchin’. They report and I decide.” He lit another cigar. “I mean,” he continued, “how would you like for Mrs. Big Dope to control your every move, boss you around, control your life, make every decision? Just let you be a pawn in the game of life?”

“C.W.” I said, and I said it soft and slow, so he wouldn’t miss the point. “Has anyone ever told you that you are a complete idiot?’

“Sure,” he said. “I’ve heard that. Lots of times.”

“From whom?”

“Mrs. Big Dope,” he said. Then he started making gestures as if his hands were disabled by palsy. “Now,” he said, “you take them cripples.” But he was talking to himself. I had slipped away and was going down the hill to check on the bicyclist.

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Saturday, November 5, 2016

Daily Thoughts

What C.W. and I discussed this morning.

A life worth studying: Lewis Mumford. The meme echoes my feelings on this fourth day before the elections. Only problem is … almost everything Mumford warned of came pass and his advice remains pertinent but unheeded by many. Recall:  “A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.” 

My favorite of his quotes: "Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity."

If only someone could remind the Arkansas Highway Construction Department of this.

C.W. says "Happy Guy Fawkes Day."