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Stubbed toe and chicken

Aug
02

I shouldn’t have even left the damn house today. Unfortunately, having a premonition that you’re going to have a shitty day, or simply being too tired due to lack of sleep are not valid excuses for missing a day of work. Don’t you dare get the inkling that I did not sit on the edge of my bed considering doing just that; because that’s exactly what I did.

I sat there begging and pleading my dumb brain to come up with some sort of elaborate ruse, some on-the-fly, little white lie to get me off the hook. I needed something to excuse me from going once more into the poisonous abyss called my workplace. I stared straight ahead in my not-enough-sleep fog long enough for my alarm clock to jump out of its nine minute snooze schedule and fracture the fiberglass cobwebs taking up residence just behind my eyeballs.

I can usually survive with little incident by getting about five hours of sleep. Sometimes, though, it seems that the entire world is conspiring against me in such an endeavor during the day. The main offenders are my neighbors. I have no qualms about stating that some of the people that live around my apartment are some of the most self-centered, socially oblivious and rude bunch of bastards I have ever encountered. Note that I say “some.” There are a select few that will actually offer a greeting, and/or interact with me when I do the same in passing. That sub sect also seems to understand and respect the fact that people around them may work schedules outside of their personal understanding. Most others will simply shoot back a look that subtly says, “who the fuck are you?” Loud car stereos blasting out the latest in pointless rap & bass, people having no ability to modulate the volume of their own voices right outside my bedroom window, and their inconsiderate visitors pounding on doors all attribute to my insomnia.

The distance from my bed to my bathroom is roughly sixteen feet. Lumbering about in my sleep deprived state proved to be a bit of an issue, making the short walk seem like an infinite treadmill loop. I wasn’t drunk; I wasn’t hung-over. I simply did not get enough sleep and was slightly unbalanced and bleary. Everything in this early evening Waltz of the Blue Danube was moving in slow motion. It was the only pace I could comprehend at the time. One would think that I could gain control of my motor skills at such a leisurely gait, but no. Not possible. Viewed from the outside, I was moving along at a normal clip; perhaps a bit too fast given my state at the time. Inside my molasses brain I was but a passenger, observing the shell of my body dance its staccato ballet, all the while inflicting quite-avoidable damage upon itself. I could only watch in terror as the smallest toe at the leading edge of my right foot deftly swung through the air, mere millimeters above the carpeted ground. I could hear the little guy screaming for all Earthly mercy just before the inevitable sickening thud. A mid-air collision had taken place, toe vs. dresser; whereupon a red shock wave of pain instantly shot up through the system and connected me, mind and body. That did the trick. No need for coffee today. I was now fully awake, hopping on one foot, howling out a string of expletives that would make the drunkest of shore-leave Sailors blush.

Fully angered by the day’s experiences thus far, I was forced to carry out my hygiene rituals in the most efficient manner possible. Rinse, shampoo, rinse, soap, rinse, towel-dry, comb hair, clean ears, shave, brush teeth, clean glasses, deodorant, clothes, done. No time or patience for any other miscellaneous extraneous thoughts or theories. I was focused on the immediate task. All manner of random genii normally contemplated during the shower ritual was forced out by the seething cauldron of anger, physical pain and the desire to just get this shit over with. I shuffled into the kitchen and made the fateful decision to pack a chicken pot pie for lunch. Why did I do this? Chicken pot pies are fucking delicious. The combination of vegetables, poultry and a creamy broth in a pie-like structure is a welcome mid-shift treat on cold winter nights like tonight. Had I known that the thing would eventually turn on me and bring me further down into the hell of an off-kilter day, I would have left the fucker to rot in the freezer.

Now dressed and with lunch assembled, it was time to suffer through the day’s next agony. The commute was about to begin. The events leading up to this point fail to match the frustration that builds within me in dealing with the unholy idiocy of others on the roads and highways around me. My daily commute should consist of a thirty minute pleasure cruise, allowing me to gather my thoughts for the day and likely listen to the cornucopia of music I have at my disposal. More often, though, it becomes mired in stoppages, slow-downs and adrenaline-pumping reactions to deficiencies in judgment on the parts of other drivers. Much to my pleasant surprise, the predicted angst was eased as the drive was smooth and uneventful. A to B in one fell swoop. Things could be looking up!

My arrival at work was equally uneventful. No trumpets, no fanfare signaling the triumphant return of a tenacious adventurer. I placed my carefully chosen lunch fare in the break room freezer, looking forward to the lunchtime delight in the hours to come. After a quick nod and “‘sup,” in the direction of the other employee, I was back at my desk ready to take on the fantastic monotony of the day. I had just over ten hours, then I would revel in the beauty of a three day weekend.

I went about my regular routine, answering phones, answering emails, carefully crafting email queries to others in the company. Often my wit and witticism is lost on those that I email, but I continue on with the hope that one day someone will catch on and realize that this shit is not as serious as it appears. Bits and bytes, zeroes and ones, Excel cells and tabs, Word typefaces and margins were flying about in front of me on my digital canvas. The data I had been processing for hours had apparently been conspiring against me in their hypnotic prance across my glowing screens. After a few short hours of performing this corporate promenade, I was beginning to fade. Eyelids, cranium drooping, I was losing the already wistful grip I had on consciousness. Before I knew it, I was involuntarily jolting myself awake, with some nonsensical bullshit repeated over and over on the monitor in front of me. It was prime time for a break. Prime time for some god damned chicken pot pie, water, and a cup of coffee. The simple things really do keep you going.

I retrieved my luncheon pie from the chilly depths of the freezer in the break room. I already knew the drill on how to cook these things in a microwave oven. However, I did double-check the instructions on the box, just in case the natural order of things had changed since I last had one of these. I didn’t want to fuck this up. I had been looking forward to this throughout all the tiresome events in the last several hours. Nine and one half minutes would be the prescribed length of time in the eleven hundred watt microwave. Yes, I verified how powerful the device was. Directions on the box specified cooking the pot pie to an internal temperature of one hundred sixty-five degrees, as measured by a food thermometer. “Fuck it,” I thought, “real men don’t need a thermometer for a pot pie.” I was going to be nuking this thing for damn near ten minutes; that would be good enough for me. Although, “real men” probably don’t treat a chicken pot pie as the highlight of their day either.

Like Rafiki presenting Simba for the first time, I offered forth my frozen entree to the gods of electronic ingenuity at MagicChef. Calmly, I entered the required time and pressed start on the microwave. My short culinary journey had begun. Including the advised “cool down” time, I was to be forking my way through a scrumptious chicken pot pie in just about one quarter of an hour.

I again felt the nature of my sleep deprivation rearing it’s ugly head. I walked around the office in attempts to get the blood flowing and perhaps increase my state of awareness. On my second meandering loop around the cubicles, the phone rang. I had high hopes that it would be a quick resolution. Those hopes were soon dashed when I heard the voice on the phone. It was an individual with a vehicular problem. This meant that I would have to spend several minutes gathering his details, then relay them via another phone call to our fleet support company. I was on hold with said support entity when I heard the most disheartening sound in the distance. It was the familiar final “beep beep beep,” of the ending countdown on the microwave. I’d heard it many times before, but none of those instances carried as much weight and helplessness as right now. I was on a perpetual hold, suffering through someone’s cruel joke of assigning mediocre eighties music as the on-hold tunes. The music you hear while on hold is supposed to ease frustration and possibly make the wait time seem to go by faster. Lionel Richie’s “Hello,” was certainly detrimental in this capacity and only added to my anxiety. I could hear the intermittent beep from the microwave, reminding me that the cooking was done and I had yet to open the door.

“Hello… is it me you’re looking for?” the song on the phone taunted.

Indeed, I was looking for something. I was looking for this endless phone call to reach a terminus so I could go proceed with my planned luncheon bliss. All I could picture was my now fully-cooked pot pie, dying of heat loss, with its only guardian being an easily-opened microwave door. I could hear it crying out for attention, in unison with the oven’s reminder beeps.

I finally spoke with a human being on the phone and fulfilled my duties. I wondered if he could sense the urgent but distraught nature of my voice, but I decided I didn’t care, in light of the main mission I was already on. After it was all said and done, the process took up thirty five minutes of my precious time. It was a painful twenty minute extension to the fifteen minute venture I had pinned all my gastric hopes and dreams upon.

I hustled into the break room, fully expecting my lunch to be grey, cold, sweaty and with a forlorn look of abandonment as if to say, “I was your only begotten chicken pot pie, why did you forsake me?” Much to my healthy amazement, that was not the case. It was still steaming! It was still hot! O great praise and adulation for the glorious radiation waves! They had bombarded my peas, carrots, chicken and frozen pie dough into a state of warmth and delight for my enjoyment and nutritional fulfillment! This was my chicken pot pie. There are many like it, but this one was mine.

I put it on a plate, gingerly stabbed the top crust with a plastic fork, and gathered my other accoutrements in preparation for a nice relaxing meal at my desk. Each footstep became a quick cadence to carry me to the ultimate goal I had fought so hard for.

The “Oh shit” moment came as I set everything down on my desk. The fork I had previously inserted in the delicacy had melted slightly, and was now hanging off the plate at a ninety degree angle. I was astounded. Even with the extra wait time, the pot pie was still a crucible of hellish heat! I had apparently under-estimated the incinerating prowess of the microwave. It was able to heat the pot pie and included cooking bowl to the extent that it would remarkably hold its heat during an extended cool-down period. My next course of action would be to deal with the heat that had been so angrily infused by the microwave. Working through my impatience at this point, I surgically opened the top of the pot pie and stirred it around a bit, in preparation to allow another ten minutes of cooling off. It was a grueling ten minutes. The steam rising from the bowl of flavor filled the area of my cubicle with a very pleasant aroma, rivaled only by the savory home cooking I experienced daily in my youth.

After waiting through the extended delay, a new fork was ceremoniously inserted. I gathered as many ingredients that would fit on a single fork-full and brought it slowly to my mouth, depositing its contents. This cheap plastic fork was fulfilling its destiny in serving as a conveyance of the most important chicken pot pie at that moment in history. The immediate satisfaction was instantly overpowered by immediate pain. Even after waiting for what seemed like an irresponsible amount of time, the pot pie that I had so lovingly prepared and doted upon, WAS STILL HOTTER THAN THE FUCKING FLAMES OF HADES ITSELF. I quickly spat it out and doused the offending oral immolation with my bottle of water. I sat there with mouth agape, pot pie filling and chicken dribbling down my chin and beard. The former contents strewn in a haphazard puddle on my desk. What a pitiful state.

Shock gave way to anger. I wanted to scream out with all the baneful ire I could muster, but I didn’t. I held back, not wanting to seem like a lunatic to the coworker across the room. I could see the comments in the near future, “Yeah, he sat there screaming at a chicken pot pie for ruining his life and everything they had together, then he took it outside and ran over it a few times in the parking lot.” It probably wouldn’t bode well for any prospective interactions I would have with him or other office mates.

Calmly, I collected my thoughts, cleaned myself and my desk. I proceeded to stir the ever-loving shit out of the pot pie. I was not going to let this obnoxious bastard get the best of me. Stirring and fanning, pensively sampling here and there. I eventually got the nefarious entree to an acceptable temperature and ate the rest of it without complications. A full hour after starting this grand adventure, I was left with a full stomach and a burned mouth. Also remaining was the empty microwaveable bowl with some baked-on bits of pie crust. I had ruminating thoughts of embarking on a country-wide tour, educating the public on the terrors of consuming microwaved chicken pot pies. I wanted also to take the empty bowl and mount it on a lance, as a warning to all future pot pies and their mouth-incinerating contents. Then sanity set in and I just threw it in the trash with an extra little “fuck you” for flair and purpose.

Also without complications was the rest of my work shift. I finished the day and returned home to quietly reflect on the day’s events. I began my three day weekend by getting a haircut and doing some laundry.

In closing, I would just like to offer this advice: If you wake up in a haze, be mindful of where you walk. If you stub your toe, for christ sake, don’t go to work and make a chicken pot pie. You might still have a shitty day, but at least you didn’t embody a lunatic that had a day ruined by a bruised toe and a burned mouth.

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Walt’s folly

Jul
28

I fell into these riches
Sharp and green
As I roll and wonder
At the sky
I rolled over
I stared
For ages
At this one blade
And questioned
The sky
Why so blue
How so green
Yellow bees
Assaulting me
Brown bark
Shielding those
Naked trees
Away from me
For naked plants
I do not care
But look at me now
And I know
You’ll stare
Howling thunder
Is what we’ll call it
Dragging your mind
As fast as
You can haul it
How’d you get here
How fast did you do it
Ants are being antsy
Almost blew it
Bending back
Thrusting knees
Swift motion to stand
Just in time
To watch you pass
Frolic
Breathe the meadow air
That one blade of grass
Was but
Imaginary
Wistful like glass
Stained
with nicotine
yellowed but
still clear

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ordered

Jul
28

alcoholic allegory
is
bullshittery bewildering
but
cautionary caucasians
can’t
decipher democracy
and
enigmatic elegies
won’t
fertilize fruition
but
godly gifts
can’t
help hollandaise

indicative indignations
jokingly jibe
while
kooky kings
lose
malevolent miscreants

never negotiate
opulent obfuscations
perplexing pussycats
questioning quixotically
redundant resuscitations

silent solitude
tames turmoil
under uvula undulations
voracious vagrancy

when will we
Xerox xerophytes?
You yawn
Zealously.

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self loathing avoidance

Jul
28

Rough life spent in a languid void
Meandering through existence
       using loved ones as props
A lean-to shanty of a ramshackle body
Convalesced in wistfully fleeting promises of improvement
Empty-headed morose reflections,
lashed out in loosely lashed-in rafts
Only momentarily staying afloat
on rising & sinking tides of false self-penance
Flippant offerings of apologetic notecards
Discarded and gently floating down
       upon tumultuous battlegrounds
Leaves fallen from the towering tree
       silently descending and coming to rest
               on the deceased and muddy ground below

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Words

Jul
28

Words
Words. Mean. Everything.
Though some say they don’t
Some value the beauty of every consonant and vowel
Words, at some point in time mean everything to someone
Simple assemblies of strings of sentences
Complex cacophonies of verbose paragraphs
Some words can strike you down and make you feel worthless
Some can uplift you to ultimate heights and make you feel as though you can soar through the heavens
        using your interpretations as wings
Some people hold words in their heads
Many let loose their own hounds of hell in vocabulary form
Words are never meaningless
Though you can spout off random and non-sensical bullshit
        all of it has meaning to someone at some time
Everyone interprets words, it cannot be stopped
Be constantly aware that your words could be the molotov cocktail that incinerates someone’s innocence
Be ever vigilant that each inflection and context you lavish upon your words
        could be the very molecules of air that strike at someone’s eardrums and enlightens their soul
                could be the fuel that keeps them on their journey through this life
Do not fear words and do not fear using words
Even in some weird, staccato rhythm and broken intentions, your words must be released into the world
Words must be allowed to evolve and take shape and mature like the finest of wines
Your words are beautiful

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In amongst the trees

Jul
22

I ventured forth in the month of May
Into a forest, dull and gray

No voices, few noises entered my ears
As I breathed with the trees and eased all their fears
At first they were frightened, standing tall and straight
But as a wind swelled up they bore a graceful gait

Some wept for their fallen limbs
While others cordially tipped their green brims
Even more stood proudly, stretching up high
Reaching desperately at a cloud-filled sky

The penumbral puffy blanket overhead
Melted then moistened the cool forest bed
Thunder echoed and jolted the peace
Just moments later the light rainfall ceased
My newfound companions hadn’t let me get wet
Under their protective canopy, I was glad that we’d met

My boots were then caked with the dead skin cells of leaves
That had fallen days before from the towering eaves
I was lost in my travels when daylight faded
I couldn’t recall the path I had braided
Throughout this dimly lit wood
I needed to leave, but didn’t feel that I could

I stopped and leaned against a soaring oak tree
Then noticed a low branch pointing away from me
I let nature be my guide and soon found my way out
I trusted the timber and let go of all doubt
Once out in a clearing awash in the moon’s twilight shine
Quietly humbled, I thanked the trees for their time

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My Desert

Jul
22

Skin boiling
Chest heaving
Eyes dried, shriveled
Clothes torn, disheveled
Journey through desert
Quest for meaning
Shoes full of hot sand
Every step painful
Oasis in the distance
Never grows near
A mirage?
A hallucination?

Falling, now crawling
Scratching, clawing
At the desert floor
Hands bloodied
Still cannot reach sanctuary
Peace and refuge floating away
Face down on a rock

My desert
Your mirage
A blurry vision in the roadway
Your love
My water

Arms under shoulders
Carrying, resuscitating
Refreshing, renewing
Healthy now
Atop the mountain
Perched with the hawks
Howling with the wolves
Energized by those who cared
And pale blue light of the stars

Peering down the cliffs
I see you there
You’ve found your desert
Eyes blurred with tears
Your pain mine
Your struggle, ours
Lifting you from the sand
Aloft and flying to safety
Safe sanctity of the mountains

We’re there together
Peering down
Readying for the rescue
Of another
Who’s found their desert…

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Strange Tuesdays: The Saga of Morty & Betty

Jul
19

It started out as a typical Tuesday evening for me. I was entertaining a group of elderly at the retirement home with my repertoire of simple yet catchy guitar tunes. Morty stood up, walked right up to me and said, “Hey why dontcha play some of them Christmas tunes?” Of course I obliged with the typical Silent Night, Jingle Bells, Handel’s Messiah, etc…. I was right in the midst of a robust rendition of the song from the Charlie Brown Christmas special when Betty performed a little concertus interruptus of her own. She stood up and began pacing back & forth like a black bear wondering what to do before lunging at it’s prey. “I can’t find my nurse and I just soiled my diaper!” she blurted out. And, sure enough, she had indeed shat her adult absorbent undergarment. “Ok, ok Betty, I’m sure someone can find your nurse. Now please quiet down so the rest of these fine people can go on enjoying the seasonal musac,” I replied. Fearing that she had just embarrassed herself to the point of no return, she shuffled out of the room as fast as her little arthritic legs would carry her. Looking back on it, the whole episode really made me think. Sometimes if you just get into the season and really get into and enjoy the music that accompanies it, you tend to forget about your problems, as they just don’t seem as bad.

Alas, the music had to come to an end. As it neared eight o’clock I realized that it was getting pretty late in the evening for this crowd. I finished up with a sing-along version of Christmas in Killarney and bid all the people that were awake adieu. As I was packing up my gear, I noticed a very concerned visage on some of the orderlies. They were searching frantically for Betty. It seems as though Betty left the room and, quite simply, did not stop walking. She walked down the hall and encountered the emergency door. This emergency door had another purpose in addition to sounding a piercing alarm whenever it was opened. It was the door that the staff would exit through in order to sneak a cigarette now and then. The problem with that was that in order to open the door without setting off the alarm, one had to use an allen wrench in the access port on the side of the alarm to disable it. This had been done so many times that the alarm didn’t always get reactivated once the person had come back into the building. Thus the reason no one heard Betty slip through the door, and into the night. I figured the staff was doing everything their protocol dictated in order to find a lost resident, so I packed up my gear and left.

On the way home, I remembered that I was in desperate need of some ointment for a rather wicked rug burn I had received on my taint days earlier. (more on that later) It just so happened that I recalled this right as my vehicle was approaching the particular street the store was on. I pulled in and was driving towards the building when I saw someone that I had never in a thousand lifetimes thought I would see right there at that very moment. It was Betty. She was walking into the store, still hobbling as if she still had the deposit in her night drop. After several “what the” and “how the” utterances I found a parking spot and hurried inside. Priority number one: geesh ointment. Priority number two (heh heh): find Betty, call the home and get the rapscallion back safe & sound. Pausing only briefly in the ointment aisle for the skin-between-the-marble-bag-and-the-balloon-knot cream, I rushed around the store with the style and grace any speed walker with runny butt syndrome would envy. I could not find the woman. Up and down every aisle. From eggs to kosher salt, I looked over what I thought was every inch of the store. I eventually gave up. I did need to pay for my crotch flap salve so I went to the check-out line. As I was paying with my officially licensed Muppets Mastercard, I asked the cashier if she had seen an old woman wandering around with a bag of poo attached to her hind quarters. She looked at me as if I had three and half penises growing out of my face. I took that as a resounding “no” and proceeded on my walk of shame out the door. You know the walk- the one where you’re slowly walking step-by-step, looking at your receipt and wondering, “Jesus Christ, what the hell did I just spend all that money on?” I had just tossed the receipt in the trash can and looked up in time to see Betty already half-way across the parking lot. “Hey Betty!” I yelled out. But it was in vain due to the fact that she had dropped her hearing aids in the men’s room urinal at the home a week earlier. I was going to run after the car and save the day but I stopped when I actually recognized it. It was a 1970 Ford Fairlane. It was an unmistakable pea-green in color and had most of the undercarriage rusted off. I recognized it because I had seen it every Tuesday night for the last seven months, parked at the home. I figured someone there must have tracked her down and taken her back.

I never knew who owned the monstrosity, but I felt assured in the fact that it did belong to someone involved with the facility where Betty belonged. Indeed it was someone tied to the home. It found out the very next Tuesday that the crusty land yacht’s proud owner was none other than our friend Morty. The guy with the flacid hard-on for the Christmas music. Confused? I was at first, but then it all started to come together.

It had been a very busy and eventful week and the old folks’ home. Not only had Morty and Betty not been seen and presumed AWOL, but a nurse was fired and arrested on DVD piracy and drug charges. This employee that had been trusted to care for and protect the elderly had actually been taking advantage of their innocence and robbing them blind. She would wait until the residents were asleep, then sneak into their rooms, and pilfer any money, jewelry or other valuables. The most disturbingly disgusting and heinous detail is yet to be told. She had a fetish for old people. Old people knocking boots. Doing the hibbity-jibbity. The horizontal waltz. The ol’ slap and tickle. The- well you get the picture. How does this come in to play you ask? This sick freak and aberration of nature had known about a developing relationship between Morty and Betty for a few weeks. She sunk to a new low – planting a video camera in the bedroom of Morty. If you’ve read this far, I assume you know what the video camera captured on tape. I’m not going to describe it, as it makes me want to bleach my eyes and pour sulfuric acid on my crotch.

And now on to the piracy and drugs. (it all ties together, I swear) The nefarious attendant had quite the home-based business. In true entrepreneurial fashion, she found out what the public wanted and supplied it. Abusing her rental privileges at Blockbuster video, she rented movies, took them home, and mass-produced copies of them. She sold them online via eBay, through family and friends, and even at flea market swap meets. She had even extended this distribution channel to places as far away as Japan. The piracy and marketing was not limited to dvd’s from blockbuster. She also sold copies of the privacy-invading Morty & Betty video. This explains why Morty and Betty are such huge porn stars in the disgustingly huge underworld that is the Japanese porn business.

Morty had found out about the embarrassing home movie in his favorite restaurant, of all places. It was a Japanese restaurant only two blocks away from the facility. A blind eye was often turned to Morty as he slipped out just for a short while to get some Japanese food at the aforementioned eatery. He was right in the middle of his okonomiyaki when he noticed two of the kitchen staff, obviously Japanese, staring at him and laughing a bit. “What’re you sons-a-bitches laughing at?!” he questioned. No reply, as they simply went back to working. The hostess felt a little confused at the situation and went to talk to Morty. He explained that they were laughing and making him feel uncomfortable. She went in the back and interrogated the two jovial Japs. To her horror, the story of the video was revealed. Turning more shades of red than a baboon’s ass, she returned to the table with a dvd. On the cover of the dvd, it looked like someone was stuffing a turkey in preparation for a big thanksgiving dinner. But Morty knew better. He immediately recognized the Ecuador-shaped birthmark Betty has in a certain spot on her body. The enraged Morty stormed out of the restaurant, hopped in his road hazard, and began driving home at a breakneck pace of 23 miles per hour.

The model employee that she was, the nurse always stepped outside the home to smoke. Crack cocaine. In fact, Morty had caught her smoking the rock one afternoon. She had just inhaled the toxic fumes when Morty’s Fairlane came roaring into the parking lot. He side-swiped two cars and bent over a lamp post before he finally brought the behemoth to rest in a parking spot inches away from the druggie nurse. “What the hell’re you doing with that pipe?” he demanded, you’re smokin that crap cocaine aren’t ya!” While she was mortified 😉 to have been caught feeding her addiction at work, she was also angered by what she perceived as an invasion of privacy. “I know what you’ve been doing around here all along! I kept my mouth shut outta fear that you’d hire some goons to rough me up or something. But now, I’m mad! I know all about that goddamn video you made too!” Morty hollered. He stormed into the building like a Viking on a raid. He went right into Betty’s room and told her everything. “You jackass, can’t you see I’m knitting?” she retorted. Morty, now even angrier, replied with, “Come on woman! Get it together! Our bedsheet shenanigans have been watched by thousands of people!”

That’s when they hatched their plan. They knew I was coming that night to play music for the residents. They also knew that that sort of event bored the staff to tears, so they wouldn’t be as attentive as they should be. It was a perfect opportunity to escape this lunacy. And escape they did. While it looked like some sort of senile episode, it was nothing more than a cleverly devised scheme to divert attention and slip away. While everyone was worried about where Betty was, Morty had a job to do. He snuck into the area that housed the employee lockers, armed with a crowbar and a camera. Upon prying open the nurse’s locker, he found the motherload of illegal paraphernalia. Copied dvd’s, crack rocks, tons of jewelry, and of course, copies of the wrinkleporn. He took pictures of everything, then closed the locker. Everyone was still running around like beheaded chickens, so it was very easy for him to waltz out of the front door unhindered by orderlies. He drove down the street and picked up Betty in the store parking lot that they agreed upon previously. That’s when I saw them.

Morty actually still owned a cabin that sat on about ten acres of land. It was only three hours away from what they had just escaped, so they drove straight there. He had decided to keep the property a secret from his family, as he didn’t want the “the money-grubbing dirt bags” bickering over it when he would eventually expire. It was his own private sanctuary, in which he planned on spending the rest of his life with Betty. A few days went by before Morty realized that he had the pictures of dumbass’s locker. He sat at the table in the middle of the cabin for several minutes considering exactly what he would do. Not quite as elaborate a plan as their daring escape was, but a simple letter would be written. Morty agonized over exactly what he would write in the letter for hours. Then a stroke of genius hit him and he wrote the most epic letter he had ever written in his life. The text of the letter follows:

Dear Pleasant Pastures Retirement Home,
Your nurse is a crook.
You should fire her and have her arrested.

Sincerely,
Morty Carruthers.

P.S. See enclosed pictures.

Morty and Betty decided that they would both go into town to mail the letter, seeing as how their lives were screwed up together. The held each others’ hand as they both dropped the letter into the mailbox, in hopes of closing a chapter of their lives together. Morty purposely took the long way home, winding through the hilly back roads around the cabin. Feeling like they had just saved the world, they were both on cloud nine returning to the cabin. Betty settled back into her knitting. Morty picked up the book he had been reading, 101 Ways to Keep Kids Off Your Lawn. Under the book was something that sent Morty into a tirade of expletives that would make 2 Live Crew blush. The pictures of the locker were there, on the table, silently mocking him. So, a second letter was written:

Dear Pleasant Pastures Retirement Home,

Your nurse is still a crook.
I didn’t put the goddamn pictures in the first letter.

Sincerely,
Morty Carruthers

P.S. See enclosed pictures

The second letter was mailed, and the nurse’s fate sealed. Upon reading (both) letters, the director of the home immediately called the police and did away with the criminal in his midst. While an officer was still in his office, the director handed over the envelope that the letter arrived in. Contained in the postage cancellation was the zip code from which the letters were sent. Upon further investigation, it was found that there was property owned by a M. Carruthers in the county that the zip code was attached to. Four days after mailing the letters, Betty and Morty heard a knock on the front door of the cabin. It was the local police, accompanied by the director of the home. Morty let the pair in, and all four sat down at the table. Apologies spewed forth from the mouth of the director as he tried desperately to convince the two elders not to sue the company that housed them and allowed them to be robbed of their valuables and innocence. Morty piped up and said, “Listen here, bub. It’s not about money. I couldn’t care less about money or suing you or your company. It’s true, you might have had some sort of accountability in this messed up situation, but that’s just no concern of ours. I just hope that you’ve learned a lesson through all of this.” A quick reply was given, “Oh, yes sir! This has shown us that there needs to be a monumental amount of changes made to our facility and practices. Are you absolutely sure that there’s nothing we can do for you or provide you with?” Betty tapped Morty on the shoulder and the two whispered to each other briefly before nodding and turning there attention back to the impromptu meeting. “Well, there is one thing,” Morty said, “how about you bring that nice young fella here to play his Christmas music for us?”

I was flattered when the director came to me with this request. He said he’d take care of transportation and everything; they just wanted me to play Christmas tunes for them. You know, it just goes to show you, sometimes if you just get into the season and really get into and enjoy the music that accompanies it, you tend to forget about your problems, as they just don’t seem as bad.

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Memory

Jul
19

Never say “happy” memorial day.
A somber remembrance of those hearty, hardened souls should be the way
The air you breathe now could be part of the very last vapors that crossed their paling lips on the fields of battle then
The fields of battle, often a distant vision for most
Terrifying visions of dismay and hell for those brave enough to serve this country of ours
Trudging head-long and steadfast in a unique resolve, heroism a distant vacant thought
Helmets and worn boots and vests and blood & tear-soaked shirts are too often all that remain
Memorials to fallen hearts in foreign lands
Under the peace and solitude of a starry night
Our brave knights stare at the same far-off blinking lights in the vast darkness of a night sky
As you look up, don’t crave freedom, don’t crave admiration
Think about those that chose to fight and exasperate themselves
Think about gratitude and being humble and fighting to never let them be forgotten

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Heroes of Our Youth

Jul
18

The heroes of our youth
Are not long for this world
They live life at an entirely accelerated pace
And exist in constant demand from strangers
Expressions on stage are taken as either falsities or inspirations
Their true meaning held deep within
Some successes, some failures
Some gleeful projections of their heightened inspirations
Some doleful representations of inner turmoil
Some take you with them through the depths of despair
          only to help you emerge on the other side
                  on a plateau of jubilation
Express gratitude for your heroes while they’re here
For some, it is a daily battle
For some, it is a final lonely failure in a winter of fear
As a true fan, hold no wanton disregard for success but make your admiration known
These knights that forge a path through the insanity of this world for the delight of others
Present themselves but for a moment to be enjoyed
When they leave us there is such deep sorrow,
But also a joy that they have evolved beyond us to a higher plane
And then we’re left making left turns on a right turn road
No u-turns possible
No re-visitation of history possible, but in our hearts and memories
Then falling apart as we fall asunder

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