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So there I was sitting with Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, and Vishnu all together watching a game show eating cheese doodles.

Moses said, “Look at the way these people crawl over each other to win this stupid prize!”

There was a pause, as the group pondered and reflected.  “Yes, stupid prize,  yes,  WORD be praised” was the general consensus with a few slightly nodding heads even.

“Yes, praise Word”  You see, they had agreed amongst themselves to substitute the word “word” for “God” to avoid confusion and debate.  However as you shall see, these things are not easily avoided with these guys.

“Hey, I’m sick of this show already,” said Vishnu, “change the channel!  Change the CHANNEL!” he commanded with authority and much flailing of arms.

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“Change the damn channel oh my GOD” groaned Vishnu, his four arms a blur of motion now.

There was another pause, this group mostly tended to do that.  They paused almost every time these guys!  This was a room full of deep pregnant pauses and slow careful thoughts before speaking.  I caught myself watching a flower grow one time waiting for an answer, that’s how slow they could get.  Patience young disciple, patience.

So I started inserting quick little humorous commercials in between their pauses, as a joke one time, they didn’t like that at ALL and Vishnu even slapped me with three of his four hands in rapid succession, so I stopped.

Alright then, I thought.  Here we go… It’s ON now, here we go, but Jesus intervened saying “Look, I just got down off that cross somehow, in this alternate reality, can you guys quit with the bickering please!  The wounds here they are still healing basically, so basically shut the fuck up! all you guys!  Stop your bickering and be grateful you’re not nailed up on a wooden cross like I was, DAMN!”

It was a little unusual for Jesus, actually, to say “DAMN!” like that.

DAMN!

Ok well, alternate reality, remember?

In the end, the group settled on a documentary by Werner Herzog.  Which was almost universally praised.  Yes, we shall watch each and every one, he’s the bomb.  Was the general consensus, so they did.  One film after another they watched…perhaps inadvisably going backwards and ending with his earliest film which was probably the most likely to perhaps offend.

Maybe they really SHOULD have started with his first film and moved forward to his latest, after seeing “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” some of the earlier ones just fell flat.
Moses said he know the artist, Vishnu claimed to have painted them all himself.  You know, these guys really just argued over every little thing.  Who actually created the world, who is actually GOD and who is just a messenger,  it was just endless with these guys.

Meanwhile as the God’s grew restless, the discussion began, as it always did, on the name for God.  I mean the one MAIN name.  The REAL name for “God”.  This one ALWAYS stirred up a riot just to start things.  Damn if I know why, but it does.  These guys are almost Wrestling Stars in the ring when this one kicks in.

After that big scuffle it was always the same:  Why are we fighting?  and they would fight about THAT even!  These guys!  Imagine, I mean you wouldn’t PICTURE them like that right?  Snarling and snorting at each other.

“So what is the most common stereotype for you guys?  Chronologically, starting with Moses…”

“Well,”  Moses stroked his beard, “of course with us Jews, people always think we’re stingy or money hungry, but we’re happy and we can sing happy songs so what do we care what you think?  We’re happy, we sing songs!  Truth is, we’re not always happy singing songs and some of us are extremely generous.  Stereotypes are stereotypes and have little meaning”

Jesus stood up, “well, we Christians are always seen as preachy.  People hate the way we thump our bibles and you know, generally find us annoying at times.  Honestly, I’m pretty embarrassed and ashamed how the whole cult has gone.  I didn’t really intend it to go this way and I certainly never stood up and told people to bow down and worship ME.  Holy shit.  I didn’t even write that book they’re following!”

Mohammed  said, “we moslems are stereotypically seen as gas station or smog check owners and operators in America, and we’re generally associated with OIL nowadays, and man we’re really up against the machine aren’t we?  I mean, between America and China, Jesus!”

“Yes?” answered Jesus.

Jesus perked up then, “Listen, Mo, lets not call my name out I really have a migraine from everyone calling out my name like that everywhere.  JESUS!  Why do they always call out my name like that?  what the fuck?”

Did Jesus just say what I thought he said?  Could he possibly cuss like that?  He can’t really go to hell can he?  He’s pretty much exempt from hell isn’t he?  Why shouldn’t he cuss once in a while, get it off his chest?  It’s a terrible burden what with the cross and all, but back to Mohammed.

“I really hate the way moslems are seen in the west as terrorists when that is such a minority globally.  I never imagined anyone strapping bombs to their bodies like this.  NOWHERE in my book (The Koran, available at amazon.com) will you find any mention of this bomb strapping?  I’m really really against it you know, just for the record.”

What about Vishnu?  maybe he should have gone first really, or Buddha, not clear on the chronology here just yet.

Vishnu and Buddha were strangely silent,  perhaps feeling cheated or left out already, it really was hard to get a word in edgewise with this crowd, pauses or no pauses.  Vishnu, still flailing his 12 arms about, was it twelve?  Really just a blur, hard to count.  Buddha in the lotus position floating of course.

Buddha would only smile, almost mockingly, almost smug.   Sometimes he would suddenly and surprisingly snarl at you.  From his lotus position.

“DAMN Buddha, can you please NOT do that? Damn.   That’s creepy dude.  Don’t snarl at me suddenly out of the blue like that, PLEASE!”

Vishnu and his arms.

“Listen, uh, guys,” I finally interrupted, “guys?”

Vishnu flailing his arms around in circles like a madman now, my turn to speak, my turn guys! he seemed to be saying.

Buddha, smiling and GAZING the way he does.  Disturbing at times yes.

“Guys, look.  I have this bucket of warm oil here, and I just thought, well, why don’t you all just strip down, and oil up your bodies, and just get physical with it?  Wha’dya say?”

Long long pregnant pause.  The longest of the day by far.

Finally, Moses spoke up, “Well.  I think it’s a good idea.  I think we should do it, what do you say Vish?  You’ll probably have the advantage here…”

But Vishnu was already slathering his body with warm oil, chuckling and cocky.

“Jesus?”

“Well,  since I’m already in my loin cloth here, bring it!”

Buddha was still on his lotus flower, but was now naked and fully oiled up, ready for action.

Moses, moving slowly and methodically began smearing himself.

It wasn’t long before there was this great pile of God’s, or demi god’s, depending on who you ask.  Slithering and sliding they became very intense with much grunting and groaning.  If you have ever seen a big pile of religious figures oil wrestling, you’ll know what I mean.  At first it was light hearted, with much laughter and even a few embarrassing erections, but it soon descended into an all out brawl which was quite serious.

In the end, they all collapsed on their backs out of breath and strangely satisfied I think.

There they were, Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Vishnu, naked covered in oil panting for breath.

“Alright guys!” I said finally, “I got that all on video tape and I’m posting it to youtube.”

He was laying face down in front of the laundry mat. Face obscured in his hoody he was COMPLETELY passed out. A young man in his early 20’s I would guess, he was COMPLETELY thrashed. His bare feet scraped and bloody with large rotted brown overgrown toenails on his big toes like claws. He was so completely thrashed that he seemed to have melted into the concrete with his face somehow completely hidden. He might be dead. There is no visible movement.  He was on display like a collapsed statue.  Absolutely defeated.  Utterly collapsed and limp.

I feel fortunate not to be him. This guy had definitely hit ROCK bottom.
There was no further down he could go. Things could not get any worse for this young man. Corpses in coffins look much much healthier.

People walk by to do their laundy trying not to look. He may have been beaten in a gang initiation or he may have drank himself unconscious or he may have been murdered, but there he was, his underwear half showing above his pants. Filthy would be an understatement, just as “thrashed” would be an understatement. Had he just crossed the border from Mexico? What travails had befallen him? I looked to see if he was breathing since nobody else was, and he did seem to show some signs of life. I think people were scared to even look. Load the washer, load the dryer, don’t look. Keep walking.
Don’t care. Don’t care.

I left him a flower, some balloons and a hallmark card from the MINIMART next door.

“Get well soon!” it said.

When I drove by an hour later, he was covered completely in flower arrangements and balloons.
You could only see his feet poking out, gnarled and thrashed.

I put out a collection plate for him so he could build up some equity, capitalize on his new found
social presence and develop a revenue stream.

The sign read, “Please, no more balloons!”

Depleted Uranium

I imagine it steaming in a pile in a dark cave.  Occasional sparks might leap from it like screaming fleas bursting into flames.  Cavemen would avoid that corner of the cave with an annoyed grunt, maybe the odd old caveman would pee on it and then wave his glowing penis around at his cavemates gleefully.

“OG pee on strange pile.  Look how OG’s pee pee GLOW! BEHOLD my glowing penis! BEHOLD!”
His pee would also glow and he would put on peeing light shows at night to the delight of his cavemates.

Once a rat, in quiet desperation decided to nibble on the glowing pile and became a magical glow rat.  The other rats suddenly had a newfound respect for the rat and would step aside when he passed.

A brown bear once decided to scoop up a handful of the strange pile, and became a glow bear.  At once feared and admired, the other bears would watch him from afar as he glowed in the distance and was now easily spotted and tracked.

“Ok, look, THERE he is.  Over there by that pine see him?  He’s brighter than the MOON now!”

Move over MOON!  Glow bear is here!

Thousands of years in the future, advanced aliens might find the pile.  “Look Zeptar!  These dumb ass humans left a pile of depleted URANIUM here in the corner of this cave.  What a moronic species.  Lets go ahead and clean it up for them and jettison the stuff into a volcano or something.  Why didn’t they drop this in a volcano, they seem to have plenty of them.  Maybe that’s not a good idea it might blast the radiation out the top.  Better yet, why make it in the first place.  What savages.  What a savage species.”

“Yes, Penomicon, I feel disgusted.”

An 18th century priest once travelled into the future and tried to bless the pile.  “Bless this unholy pile of depleted Uranium.  May it decay quickly and without delay.  May it remain undiscovered here in this cave and let no man unwittingly step in this pile lest he be afflicted and stricken with illness.  May the ocean never wash it out to sea to harm the innocent fish and other beautiful creatures.  May this unholy pile rot in silence and ward away even the most curious cricket.  While we’re at it, bless those spent plutonium rods cooling in the now highly toxic water in Fukushima.  How this isn’t front page news every day right now is beyond me.  In my time, we’d be making very lengthy scrolls on this subject to be sure.

One day, a drunk caveman sat on the pile thinking it was a surrealist chair.  Of course, his butt glowed after that which was the subject of song and tale for generations.

“Remember ol glow butt?  What a site he was.  We always sent him first in the expeditions so everyone could stay on track, but since he was a sad drunk, he would wander off the path.  One time he led us all into a swamp.  Ultimately he wandered off a cliff and a few of our dumbest men followed him!  We always send the dumbest ones first on expeditions, we call them ‘trail bait’.

“OKAY BLUTHOR!  YOU can take POINT!”

“Really?  Me?  I get to go FIRST?  What an HONOR sir.  THANK YOU sir. THANK YOU!”

If an ancient egyptian scholar stumbled upon the pile, he would instantly know what it was and keep his distance.  He would leave extensive runes to warn others of the perils.  “Stay back!  Do not approach this pile.  Keep your distance!”  “Beware!”  “Warning!”

Sadly, the ancient symbols would be misinterpreted to mean, “Poke this pile with your finger and see what happens!” or “I am a pet rock, take me home for your children to play with”  or “For a good time, insert penis”.

If you listen carefully you can here it weeping.  Weeping for its depleted spent cells.  Sobbing to be whole again and replenished.   Crying out “Why?  Why?  Why?”

Live on the battlefield, NPR. Sound bytes of American Army General who is not happy.  Why is he not happy?  What could be wrong out there on the battlefield?

The Afghan division has gone off on their own ahead, the American allied commander guy is pissed,
he’s calling in the AERIAL HELL FIRE to the co-ordinates.

The Afghan rebels have a big machine gun likely to AMBUSH the Allied forces here, the American
is calling in the RAIN OF FIRE, or was it the AERIAL FIRE STORM, you know, they had a BOMB-ASS branding for it, oh man.

Millions in marketing was spent deciding on the name, it was spectacular branding.

The kind of branding that gives a soldier a hard on.

“Hey, Vicky, we need a name to REALLY describe the ESSENCE of the GUN FIRE they shoot from their,
you know, the jets, so it needs to be something FRESH, something NOW, something really catchy right.

Listen, Vicky we need this branding to REALLY pop, can you do it?  We need it next week, there’s a new offensive scheduled…

THESE guys, I mean, they have the budget trust me honey, money is NOT an issue, just get your whole team on this, and give us something HOT, probably with the word FIRE in it, that’s the only non-negotiable, they really insisted on the word FIRE in the brand.

They shoot REALLY far, and REALLY accurate these things, they just hit a button in the plane, or at Command HQ if its a drone, and this stuff, I don’t think the drones have THIS stuff, just the jets have it and WOW, it needs to also be VERY sexy Vicky, REALLY sexy.

Ok, I’ll send you over some footage, you can see it blowing up some Republican Guard, they really fried those guys at the push of a button Vicky, at the PUSH of a button, isn’t that sexy?  Could have been the spin of a knob, that’s very sexy now too.  You know, like something TECHNO, that’s hot, like these dj’s nowadays.

Knob twist, button push.  Not sure actually, button or knob, does it matter?  Just keep it sexy like that.

It should also have HELL maybe in the name, something something HELL FIRE, turbo maybe…you work on it, get back to me I trust you, make it POP.”

Back live with the reporter and the commanders.

“We’re bringin in the AERIAL TURBO HELL FIRE, hold your position Colonel!”

“The Afghans say they are better equipped to handle the situation, the co-ordinates are sent, the AERIAL TURBO HELL FIRE should hit any minute Dan, the co-ordinates are set.  Should hit, the spot there.  Nail the BOGIE.  But the Afghans are saying they should be the ones to go in and investigate, for the force here because they know best whether…”

American Commander is yelling, “That BLEEP BLEEP, BLEEP went off and started firing when I’m bringin in the BLEEP-ing THUNDER MISSION HELL FIRE Mother-BLEEEP.”

Damn, says the commander, hands on hips.

Pause.

“UM, Commander, actually, its AERIAL TURBO HELL FIRE, do you copy?”

“BLEEP YOU, bring in the BLEEP-ing THUNDER MISSION RAINING HELL FIRE, you BLEEEPING, bleep bleep” then to the camera, “BLEEP!  Those dumb BLEEP bitches, ran off on their own when I’m here sending the BLEEEP-ing co-ordinates, MOTHER-BLEEEEEEP!

Newscaster:  “So, we’re just sitting here, waiting now, we’re waiting Tom, the Commander is clearly
unhappy with the performance of the Afghan Division they seem to be firing, wildly and…may be regarded right now as a loose cannon…in the…force ”

POP-POP-POP

Cut to Actress describing her roll in the new Matt Daimon film.  As they walked thru on a tour
of Saddam Hussein’s torture chambers, the interview went on.  She said they talked to some troops in combat, yeah, they pretty much said wait til you hear some gunshots, then we’ll go find out what they’re about.  Listen for the shots, and then run TOWARDS them as quick as we can and get to the bottom of it.

That’s their job these local soldiers.

And so we went along with them and…yea, it feels a little strange running
TOWARDS the gunshot, they’re real but its kinda exciting like you’re a kid again, and playing those games right?

POW POW POW, and off they run with cameras and stuff swinging from their hips, these newscasters, TOWARDS the gunfire right.  Matt Daimon jumps out of a humvee and runs up to her and they’re making movies inside of movies, movies are rollin out now about this war.
What BETTER theme right?  Maybe turn the economy around right?  Wars are good for Americans right?  Unless you’re a soldier I guess.

Running TOWARDS the gunfire to go see what’s up.  Run off TOWARDS the gunfire.

“Now we are running TOWARDS the gunfire Tom, and, and, to see what’s UP…”

“Hey.  What’s up?” they might say when they finally find it.

Pause.

“OKAY, we found it. OKAY.”

“Ok.”

“Alright.”

“AlRIGHT!”

“Lets radio it in Earl, this is big, this is too big, Earl start the camera, we FOUND it…”

whirrrrr.

“We are now reporting from Kabol and we have FOUND the source of this most recent gunfire and…”

To Earl again, “wait, Earl, STOP camera.  I don’t know what to say, what do we do now?  Wait til they fire again I guess…hold on…wow, I just don’t know what to say I mean, I’m not seeing any action
here and…”

“Damn, not sure what to do now, we definitely FOUND It though because…”

POP POP POP

“Ok, OKAY! start camera EARL!  “yes, we are,” POP POP, “we are reporting live from Kabul and…”

I wonder if they get in the way of the troops sometimes, like OOFF, damn, another NEWSLADY,
DAMN, seriously, can you please NOT LEAP out in front of me with that BLEEP-ing microphone,
when I’m, when I’m, can’t you see I’m…. BLEEEEP”

HELL FIRE.  RAINING DOWN.

or was it HELL CAT FIRE STORM?  My personal favorite, AERIAL BARRAGE.

“FUCK, Coronel, you guys just sit tight, we’re bringin in the AERIAL HELL CAT FIRE STORM.
Seriously, we’ll take this one, just sit tight on it.  I don’t want you BLEEP marines gettin
BLEEP up yer BLEEP when these guys bust out that BLEEP machine gun.

I think one “Fuck” slipped through, oops.  I love when media does that.  I think
they try NOT to, and are probably fined for it when they do.  A red light goes off
at FCC.  “HAROLD! Will ya look at THAT!!”

“BLEEP BLEEP BLEEP Harold, who do you BLEEP BLEEP BLEEEP mother BLEEEP
think you are BLEEEEP.  Look, THERE, you let one Bleep slip through, BLEEEEEP”

“Oh man, Scott, wow,  you know I JUST missed that bleep button, I”m so BLEEEP-ing sorry Scott,”
the censor button operator might say from the bleep button room.

“BLEEEP, thing  jammed on me, BLEEEEP, I’m sorry Scott. I know, I know.”

“LISTEN HAROLD, one more STUNT Like that, and I’m hiring a BLEEP-ing chimp to press the BLEEP-ing  Bleep button, do you here me???  DO you read me Harold?  AND that one’s gonna cost ya, I have to fine ya this time Harold.  Harold, how much are they payin ya?  How much are they payin yoo at that station, really kid. I Heard some of you guys are makin six figures, can you PRESS the BLEEEEP-ing  Bleep button when there is BLEEEP-ing profanity on your broadcast. Can you do that for me? JUST that?  BLEEP!”

“But Scott, it was a technical malfunction, I can send you the user logs, I hit the BLEEEEP button 33
milliseconds BEFORE the cuss, and there was a flash of nudity, when there SHOULD have been combat
and listen, it won’t happen again, we’re on there asses, there I said it, we’re on their ASSES ok.
My staff is going to HEAR about this, it wasn’t even me actually, my staff lead assistant, who was OPERATING
the bleep button at the time of the incident, was  not ABLE to hit the button actually
JUST In the nick of time, that piece of SHIT, if he had just hit that button about 32 milliseconds earlier,
we wouldn’t even be HAVING this conversation.  Cut me some slack you BLEEP-hole.  Do you know
how long my staff works, we are UP all night EVERY night, and we are MONITORING, we are MONITORING I tell you EVERY BLEEEP-ing station, and not just that one, EVERY BLEEP-ing ONE and…”

“Shut the BLEEP up Harold.  There’s no excuses and you will get ON it.  DO NOT give me your long
list of BLEEEEP-ing excuses you BLEEEEP.  There is ONE task, and one task ONLY that you,  and your
fuckedup organization is in charge of, and THAT is hitting that BLEEEPing BLEEP button, and you can’t just
BLEEEP-ing hit it?

I will BLEEEP that button up your BLEEEP-ing BLEEEEP, and don’t BLEEEP with me Harold.
Don’t BLEEEP-ing BLEEP with me.  Harold, that’s it, press the BLEEPing thing, press  it GOOD,
press it hard, press it true, and do NOT BLEEP with me you BLEEP.”

Afghan’s say its just a teenage boy it turns out.

Wait, did you guys hit the button for that air strike already! Damn…

Different button.

Shopping Carts Roam the Streets Downtown
by Morgan Martin

Some days when I hear a shopping cart rattling I try to cross the street and AVOID the cart
by timing my walk exactly right, other downtowners have confided in me that they sometimes also do this.

Hey, I’m, tired, its been a LONG day, I’ve already handed out every bit of change I have
during the course of the day and I’ve been hit up 3 dozen times in one day already…no, I don’t have a dollar!

rattle rattle

there’s ANOTHER ONE damn!

I”m going to run up and TRIP this shopping cart…cause I’ve HAD it with these rattling
SQUEEKING shopping carts, who do these people think they ARE anyway just rattling around
here like that…willy nilly…wheels squeeking like that…how about a little CART MAINTENANCE, its so dreary to hear these things rattling around like this.  They’re like ghosts moaning in the attic.  Will no one HELP these people, what about the CARTS, what about the CARTS?

THAT does it

I’ll just…sneak around this car here and…strrrrrech my leg out, just like that…

HA

I’ll surprise this one and trip his cart

The nerve, just plonking around here with squeeky loud wheels like that, what exactly would it take,  I mean, how much effort to fix this…I mean, what exactly would be involved, couldn’t someone fix this easily somehow…I think to myself.

rattle rattle

I really don’t know but it seems to me some WD-40 would at least help, is that such a crazy thought?

I”m going to buy a HUGE can of WD-40 for 99 cents and run up and spray every fucking shopping cart I see downtown, maybe I’ll wear a lone ranger mask.

TOUCHE, HAVE AT YOU!

run up yelling… HERE I come to save the DAYY and I’ll sprint up in pointy shoes, maybe wear a cape too, and suddenly squat and produce this gigantic can of WD-40.

POWWW

and carefully spray just the right amount in each wheel….mm hmm….mm hmm…
ok, ok, that should do er…

TRY IT NOW GOOD CITIZEN !

Maybe I’ll have a holster for the WD-40

Or I could run up in a vintage antique  priests robe, genuflecting with the WD-40 can…

BE HEALED SQUEEK !!

I can just see the startled faces now…”oh, wow man, thanks, I”ve been meaning to spray some WD-40 on…that”

rattle rattle

leg is in position…long strrretched out leg is in position, about 6 feet in length now
I am STRETCH!!!

SHHHHH

rattle rattle

I wonder if he noticed my 6 foot leg jutting out here…because I”m going to TRIP this shopping cart !!!

no, I can’t do it , I just can’t do it, that would just be MEAN. I Put my head in my hands.
I can not.

but its a really bad squeek listen…I don’t really have to trip the cart…it would really only take
a tiny squirt of the  amazing miraculous and most holy WD-40.  I know, I’ve used it, it works great!

I’ll just hide behind this car here….and SPRING FORTH and when he passes by
I shall SALLY FORTH, finger on the nozzle…and I shall… LAUNCH a probe.
Launch a squirt of WD from behind this car here!

I think I can hit each wheel from a distance , I’m a pretty good shot really.
I practice with it, and usually I can hit the target from 12-16 paces no problem but…

Would suck if I missed and hit the bum in the eye or something because THAT might sting,
and send me STRAIGHT to hell.  A well intentioned deed gone terribly awry.

He’d SQWUAWK

Hell, you would too!!!  “hey! what the HELL?!?  Did you just MACE ME??” he might say.

And really, there’s not much I could say then  “Wow, OUCH, sorry man, fuck.  You know I was aiming for the WHEEL right?  I mean, you KNOW that right? fuck, I’m sorry, I’m sorry man…fuck”

What if he started screaming terribly.  Oh man I’d be in deep shit…
I’d have to spray myself in the eye too, you know, eye for an eye.  Then we’d be cool.

“I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry man, see, I sprayed MYSELF in the eye too, I feel so shitty about this see, I sprayed myself again….damn! OUCH, that DOES sting, OUCHHHH

and we’d both be writhing around in the street in agony.

No, that would just be sad.

Think of the HEADLINES!!!  The terrible guilt if I missed with the spray.

Ok, better to make a very public announcement about it on a milk crate somewhere
better not to sneak up maybe.

HARK!

Let us commence with the holy ritual of the sacred WD…

Then make some weird chanting ohming noises for while.  Just keep ohming actually
for a really long time first, to really set the tone.

Ok,  we’re ready to go,  are you ready to be delivered??

He’d say something like “uh…ok…I guesssss”

You’re a believer born again and yet you hear voices and your wheels squeek?

He’d say something like “huh?”

You’re a virtuous man, and yet you hear voices and your cart is possessed…

He’d say “well, I don’t know about all that I…”

Then I get real intense, “I BANG ye with chains of iron and I SPRAY ye with WD.
Like a cat, that isn’t fixed, I SPRAY ye, with the most holy SPRAY

LOOOOOOOOSEN your hold and come OUTTTT squeek !!

OUT !

OUT in Jesus name, OUT destruction, OUT grief, OUT squeek!”

And he’d look at me really weird in my antique vintage 1920’s Priests robe and stuff, I’d also be sprinkling  holy water on the cart itself too (of course), but the holy holster for the WD, would really be official looking, with a City of LA symbol embossed.

“Oh, hey man, can you cool it with the damn holy water on my cart though, all my STUFF is in there, seriously man..” he might say.

“OK, test er now.”

Gingerly at first, he’d try it.

“Oh hey, wow, that sure did work, holy mackerel.”

“Yes, mackerel INDEED,” I’d say because you can talk all weird when you’re dressed in an antique priests robe from the 1920’s, wearing a lone ranger mask, with a custom embossed WD-40 holster and a gigantic can of WD-40.

She came floating through the room in the arms of……..Ken.  My dear friend Ken, was heroicly transporting her to fresh air.  Her dress was barely holding on or covering anything, and she was wearing no underwear, which was a detail that almost certainly did NOT escape anyone.

Of course, the damsel in distress, rescued by Kenny, was of considerable interest to throngs of men…and already a mob of homeless men was surrounding her, with long threads of drool and tongues dangling to the tarmac.  If this had been Beverly Hills, a slew of cameras would have been flashing at us, but this was the last night at the Speak Easy, in the back alley by the dumpster, 3 am.   A herd of bison was also drawn to the scene somehow.

She was sitting now, on the curb outside, head down below her knees, in perfect rag doll composition. In fact, maybe it was just a giant rag doll, with strings running off into the alley.  Would some ragdoll operator suddenly pull the strings?   Maybe IT  would jump to gangly life and start dancing and singing??  Or was she on hard drugs, with her life now seriously in danger? Should we call an ambulance?

I tried to make her drink some water, but lifting her head turned out to be very awkward and a little disturbing even.

She mumbled at me, and I knew she was alive.  Her pulse was faint and she was barely breathing.  If her life was somehow in jeopardy now, I knew, I was the one that must save her!   No one else would do.  None of the other men pawing at her with comforting hands, would be able to do this.  None of them had the experience that I have.  None of them KNEW, how easily people can die.  An ambulance might kill her!

Some of the bison were becoming restless.  One of them had a fat blade of grass dangling from his chin, and a huge dirt clod attached to the end .  He nibbled at a potted ficus by the door, and his stomach gurgled.

This one was NOT going to die!   Not on my watch.  How could she, or anyone else know, how experienced I was, and how certain I was that I could save her better than anyone else, even a doctor.  How could they know, the stories I’d heard.  Friends who expired, left alone on couches.  This time, I was not going to let that happen.  I checked her for track marks.  I asked her if she had been doing heroin.  A star burst to life somewhere in her bowels, and a “no” was minimally but clearly pronounced.  It wasn’t a clearly pronounced “no”, but a “no” that rose up from her core, and somehow rumbled up her spine.   It was hardly what you’d call a “word” but I knew she had said it.  She managed to teleport that word in from Zeta Reticuli, luckily I DO speak in that tongue.  She could not speak, and only I could understand her silent tongue.

Still…who knows what drugs she MAY have done.  I hoped that she was just very drunk, and I felt like an ambulance would not help or be necessary.  I knew I could get her though this, and she WANTED me to stay with her.  She could answer me yes or no, in her way.  The two word wonder, this one.  With a vocabulary this size, who knows what she might say or do, and where she’s been.  She may have escaped from the circus, the Amazing Two Word Wonder Girl!!  Maybe nobody has bothered to teach her any other words, and I am to be her language instructor.  Maybe she washed ashore with a shipment of dolls that had spilled off a cargo ship in a rough storm, and now here she was, in the back alley, by the dumpster, with a 2 word vocabulary, and completely out cold 99 percent of the time.

A homeless guy leaped out of a nearby bush, cut a hole in the fence with some giant wire cutters, crawled across an expanse of barbed wire… and handed me a condom with a giddy smile, which was probably in poor taste, but  well intentioned.  I thanked him, and said “well, uh, you never know right?”

As the club owners were leaving, we all decided to load her into a nice man’s car, and take her to Kenny’s and put her on one of the many old used couches there.  Loading her in the car was difficult.  I suddenly felt like I was transporting a cadavre,because she was really behaving very much like one.  BAD cadavre. BAD!  Later, I learned she was a performance artist, and I wondered if the whole thing had been an act, and a jest.  Her ultimate performance art piece.  Adventures of a cadavre downtown.   Note to self: Next time, go along with the ambulance idea, and see if she suddenly wakes up and feels much better.  Fake the call actually.  “Uh, hello? Yea we need an ambulance at…”  She might have suddenly woke up, I should have done the fake phone call trick as a test first.   I’m really not sure if she was faking all along, but I’d love to find out one day, its on my list of unanswered questions in life.

Later, as we were dragging her limp unconscious body through the revolving doors of the hotel, one of her rag doll legs got stuck.  The concierge raised an eyebrow,and turned his head slightly.

We managed to get her leg in, and her other leg popped out while her dress caught on the hand rail and her slipper wedged in the hinge mechanism somehow.  In short, her limp body was working against us at the revolving door stage of the trip, and I considered giving up, and just relaxing with her there in pretzel form, in the revolving door, stuck, people pounding on the glass to get through.  The concierge lit a cigarette and watched us like we were a movie, he may have had some popcorn and some jujubees.

Seemed like we struggled with those revolving doors for about an hour.  Although she was apparently unconscious, she seemed to do everything imaginable to prevent us from progressing.  Slipper wedges in mechanism.  Toe pokes in  ear.  Dress snags on handrail.  Arm covers EYES, and I have to shake my head to get it off.

Leg whips around my neck somehow.  I almost yelled “HELP!” but the concierge wasn’t about to help, lazy bastard,  it would interrupt his entertainment for the evening. We were the prime time show, we were his America’s Top Models.  He grinned disturbingly.

It took 4 of us to finally finesse her gently through.

I dragged her, clenched in my arms, down the slippery polished hallway, her legs dragging like seaweed one minute, then like stiff difficult protruding sticks the next minute.  People commented on how strong I was.   We put her on the couch.  I was determined to make sure she was ok before I left her.  I couldn’t leave her on the couch.  I knew she wanted me there with her.  I knew by the way she would squeeze my hand, and by the way she was communicating with me somehow.  Some gutteral communication seemed to rise up from the ocean depths, and escape like sea foam periodically.  No one else could hear, only I could hear.  Me and the seagulls.

Her eyes would sometimes open and glitter for a few seconds.  But wait, did she kinda WINK at me with her eyes just now!!!

Wait…wait a COTTON PICKIN minute here…did she just GRIN, just now, holy SHIT…

Later, I learned she was a homeless but world famous performance artist, and I began wondering if this had been her greatest performance art piece that I had stumbled into unwittingly, ensnared like a bug in a rug…or if I had saved her life and honor,  but I may never know for sure.  Yet ANOTHER question to ponder from my life, that will probably NEVER be answered.  Its a long list folks.

Never mind the genie and his WISHES…I wish I could have ALL QUESTIONS answered from my life!!! That’s my first wish. Genie, answer ALL my questions with definite answers…. and I will be most happy.

What tales the Genie might tell…so sad that everyone is so self centered and won’t ask the genie a few questions about genielife, say…Like how are YOU most kind genie?? Can I get YOU something oh most generous genie??   Do you workout?  Exercise really helps me alot I find, and only takes a short bit of your day, the important thing I find is to do it almost every day, and not just walking around the genie bottle a few times…  Living for so long confined in that little bottle,  do genies know how to swim?  Trust me, Its different than just sitting there on your magic carpet swoooping around riding the wind.  Can genies cook in there?  Order take-out?  Do cell phones work in there?   Do you have adequate ventilation in that bottle?  Is there a Mrs. Genie?  Do you both fit in there?  Does the bottle float or can you sink to the bottom of the sea at-will when thrown in the ocean?  Does the bottle maneuvre underwater like a submarine? How long have you spent on the bottom of the ocean and what was THAT like?  Do you have a periscope?  LOVE the outfit!!!  Who designs your clothes????

I was becoming exhausted with nursing her and being silent, so I went to take a leak and speak to myself for a moment.  Nothing is waking THIS one, I was tired, I kissed her once on the neck maybe that will do it, I’ll be right back rag doll.  I was tired.   In actual FACT, I had worked hard all that night keeping her dress ON actually, the crowd probably hated that, there might have even been some BOOING in fact because of this….Thing is, fellas, its not actually arousing to deal with a rag doll to be quite honest, cute yes, babylike, yes, artistic somehow, yes, arousing, no.

When she wakes up, ALL will be revealed, all my questions in life will be answered…If she wakes up at all…..holy shit…why do I care? And why did I just kiss her on the neck?  Holy shit.  If that doesn’t wake her up NOTHING will right?  Maybe she is sleeping beauty? and she has been sleeping for years, bonking around into walls, and getting stuck in revolving doors, waiting for the love, of another human being, waiting for that ONE tender peck.  Maybe dolls need to be loved just like people.

Sure enough!  When I came back, sleeping beauty was awake, and gathering herself.  IT WORKED!  She tried to walk, and nearly fell into the glass table, but I caught her about a half inch from impact.  She seemed pensive now, and not entirely thankful or talkative.  In fact, she didn’t say a word, but instead began drilling a hole in my skull with her big ragdoll probably psychopathic eyes.  The drill bit turned slowly but persistently, until I looked away, feeling a little uncomfortable suddenly.  Her eyes filled with questions and accusations and ultimately silent rag doll thoughts, or the eyes of a psychopath awakening in a strange environment filled with old couches and a neck kissing man.

The abyss of possible narcotic reaction with alcohol, or the vortex of a daring performance artist in a trance.  Journey into silence.  Mute as a rag doll in the attic.  The Silence of the Rag Doll.

She gathered herself together, and went to the front door, so I said “are you ready?  Are you ready for the street?” I asked.  A seagull perched on a shelf next to some books answered “yes.”

This time we were able to negotiate the revolving door much more effectively, since she was no longer unconscious,but it was rapidly apparent that I was going to have to carry a good portion of her weight to get her home, and that she actually only knew 2 words, yes and no.  Which I thought was kinda fresh actually, to be quite honest.  The concierge winked at me, and twisted a smile together on half his face knowingly.  I wonder if he will ever know the joys of spending an evening with a woman, with a 2 word vocabulary.  Few will ever know the beauty in that, I have to give her credit there.    There was definitely something refreshing, like the wind, to that.  A binary girl, a pure binary organism.  Yes and no.  On or off.  Yin and Yang.  Should I teach her the word “maybe” or would that spoil her purity?  Would that degrade her pure and virginal aura.

See how the world changes and revolves around us simply, and uncomplicated.  All other words should be ILLEGAL…Only the CHOSEN poets shall wield the OTHER words, that’s what I say…I command thee YES or NO?

A flock of geese suddenly lifted off in flight outside in the park.

I wrapped her rag doll arm around my neck, like a wounded soldier, and we marched through skid row, me in my army jacket and combat boots.  She grabbed my hand and squeezed it very tight.  If I had a bullet, she would have sunk her teeth into it.  It was a long walk, carrying the extra weight, and I prepared myself to fend off the inevitable mongrel hordes.  She could tell me yes or no, with her hand squeezing. How nice.  I may have trained her, one squeeze yes, 2 squeezes, no, like a lover in a hospital bed unable to speak. Soldiers stumbling across a battlefield now.  Gun fire down the street. Pop Pop Pop Pop.

As we headed down one particularly dark alley, I heard loud stomping footsteps running up behind us.  Exaggerated footsteps  intended to frighten, but I had no fear.  I was carrying a wounded soldier through a combat zone, and NOTHING was going to stop us!  This was a combat zone now, little did he know, little did stomping man suspect.  He ran up right behind us, stomping really loud, and stopped suddenly.   When he got closer he must have thought to himself  “DAMN…look at THESE two…is he carrying a CADAVRE or a RAG DOLL?”

Regardless of him, we marched on.  At one point, I was dragging her by one leg down the sidewalk and people definitely stared.  NO, just kidding, that was earlier down the corridor of the old hotel.  I wonder if she left forensic evidence, like a clump of hair in the revolving door mechanism.  I imagine police dogs chasing us! Hurry, this way! Quick!

A manhole cover suddenly popped up ten feet in the air, and a homeless man crawled out to hand me a condom again, same guy I think.  Again in very poor taste, but well intentioned.

A very large herd of bison filled the alley, out of nowhere, and the homeless man disappeared in their midst.

“This way?”

One squeeze.

“AH, ok, you live in this street?”
One squeeze.
“That building?”
Two Squeezes.
“Ok, no. Not that one, keep going, I guess this way…”
Down a twisted alley, through a tunnel, wait, wrong tunnel, the other tunnel?…fuck…Wait, was the one squeeze? or 2?

2 squeezes.

Damn long tunnel.  My army jacket drenched.
Finally, out of the blue amidst a flock of parrots, a huge hand squeeze.  She’s staring with one eye squinting up at this old run down hotel.
Yep, this is it.
At the door, I give her my card.
“OK! Same time next week?”

I’m not really a blogger so much as a short story writer.
Still, as an important part of any bloggers wordy journey thru blogville, I think charitable groups of note should get a plug at the very least.  This one is very cool.

www.givelove.org

Support the site and help those in need after this massive disaster in Haiti.
Its a class act top to bottom in my estimation, and a very creative act of
charity.

I love to see things repurposed in clever ways, I’m fascinated by
people building yachts out of trash, and people building homes out of
interesting things.

A charity organization that pursues a creative solution like this
would probably be interested in other creative efficient ideas anyone
might come up with so if you think of something brilliant, tell someone
your idea, there’s alot of folks who are INTO hearing your creative
ideas nowadays, and some of them actually do it!

I love the idea of a planet utilizing the collective brain power and will power to accomplish heroic acts of charity.

I think Richard Branson or the Elders offered alot of money to anyone that can figure out a way to reverse ozone depletion somehow, and ALOT of people are working on that in very creative ways right now.

I remember reading how someone proposed re-purposing an oil tanker and turning it into a floating hospital to moor off the coast of Haiti and treat patients on the boat.  Its a great idea but…how much exactly would it cost to transform an oil tanker into a hygenically clean modern hospital facility of historic size and scope? and exactly how long would THAT take.  I love that idea. Maybe it was an oil rig offshore…either way.

I love the ideas.

I have been hearing lots of super creative ideas to help disaster victims over the years, but these givelove.org people are really doing something super cool and industrious.  Its great to see people helping others in need and celebrities giving of themselves to such worthy causes with really smart ideas that work.

So give what you can and help this worthy cause, I think they have a very clever concept here.

What kind of blogger would I be if I didn’t send a shout out to some cool charities along the way?  I plan on featuring a cool charity whenever I feel like it, and maybe even follow up on it later as I learn more.

Mostly I write fictional short stories
but for the NON-fictional portion of our show
and those of you who are looking for a worthy cause or charity group to help out
with their mission, I highly recommend and endorse givelove.org
in this installment of my NON-fictional blog.

Rolling a Joint On the Hood of a Cop Car
by Morgan Martin

At the time, it seemed like a GREAT idea, but in retrospect, I’m not so sure.  In retrospect, it might NOT have been the brainiest or wisest moment in their lives.  Hindsight is 20/20, they say, and looking back, most of them would agree this was probably NOT the best of plans.  In retrospect, there might have been BETTER places to roll the joint.  The hood of a cop car, might seem like the most poetic ideal surface to use for this particular activity, but as it turns out, there are probably BETTER places to spread out your MASSIVE pile of weed, and start removing the seeds.  Looking back wistfully, later, and tracing the logic on a graph somewhere, at a hemp convention say, there might have been one or two flaws in the methodology applied here.    In retrospect, other surfaces might come to mind, other species of car.  A parking enforcement vehicle say, or a mailtruck, might have worked just as well,  if they had been thinking a bit more clearly.  In short, it was a foolhardy undertaking, in the best of light, but this awareness did not register with them until some time later.

Why THIS hood?  Why THIS car?  Why HERE?  Why NOW?  These and other obvious questions come to mind.
Why did Penny dump the weed out on that particular hood?  What could have possessed Penny?
The hood wasn’t even very CLEAN!  She COULD have chosen a CLEANER, more sanitary hood certainly.  What the fuck Penny?

What the fuck?  Now there’s all this DIRT in our weed!!!  At least choose a CLEAN cop cars hood.  Jesus…This hood is FILTHY!!  All that DIRT is going to be in our JOINT now….you could have at least WIPED a spot clean first, instead of just DUMPING out that HUGE pile of pot on this DIRTY hood.  Look, that hood over there is WAY cleaner, why THIS hood?  Why Penny? Why and What the FUCK?

As they were scratching away, cleaning the seeds, out strolls, you’ll never guess…a police officer.    A  sturdy no nonsense type of fellow he was too, not likely to see the humor and verite at work here.

At first he didn’t seem to notice the specific activity in progress, but as he grew closer, and his frown grew longer, the kids began to suspect he was on to them.  He MIGHT figure out what they’re doing, it suddenly seemed quite possible.  He may be familiar with this ritual.

Maybe he’s seen exposes, training videos, what have you, and he KNOWS about weed cleaning, and the techniques involved.  Soon he would be close enough to smell it, and he might identify the “telltale smell.”   He MIGHT be opposed to the operation on general terms, and COULD make a real fuss.  He could be fussy.  He could be the fussy type.   There could be a trace of disapproval now written on his face, and yes, yes, you’d have to call that a frown he was wearing.    There’s really no other word you can use.  It definitely was NOT an ear to ear rastaman smile, that much was clear.  He did NOT break into song and sing “don’t worry, be happy” although…wouldn’t THAT have been interesting…wouldn’t THAT have been interesting if he had started dancing and singing, and if he broke out a large hooka from the trunk.  Maybe that’s what everyone was half expecting.  Oh goody, the nice officer is here now to break out a large GOLDEN hooka from the trunk!!  Maybe he’s got some good hash he can mix in with our schwag here…

Why the long face officer?

“Uh, what’s going on here?” he asked.

Penny, who was still rolling seeds down the front of the hood with great skill, but apparently not in any rush.  Um, Penny, could you maybe speed up this process a little? Um, Penny.  Everyone appreciates Penny’s great immaculate skill and dexterity with  twisting up a joint, well, ok, not everyone, there’s a cop here now that does NOT seem entirely supportive, but Penny really wasn’t paying him much attention.  She is an ARTIST, and she was really focused on her task, and not thinking too much about grumpy long faced police officers that might somehow randomly stumble upon this car.  I think she was actually humming…

Gee. I wonder if this officer will remember where he parked?  Maybe its a LOST police car!  Maybe that’s what they were thinking, this particular cop car is LOST, and the officer will NEVER find it.  Maybe they thought it was an ABANDONED cop car, left to perish and have joints rolled upon it.  How many OTHER joints had been rolled on this old abandoned cop car.  How many delightful parties were thrown on this hood.  How many seeds had already rolled into the cracks of this hood.  Maybe this was Amsterdam, and the officer would join them.
Maybe the officer would look kindly upon them, and grace them with his most heartfelt blessing and support.  “Hey, kids, nice to see you engaged in such a productive fun activity this day.   Here, have the keys to my car, and my gun!!   And…hold on, let me bust out my GOLDEN hooka which I keep in the trunk for JUST this sort of occasion.  Hold on, wait one sec, I have a gorgeous GOLDEN hooka in my trunk, seriously, hold on kids, let me grab that for ya…its always packed with confiscated weed, I pretty much always have some, hold on…

Maybe he had a lava lamp on the dashboard, and a bumper sticker that reads “gas, grass or ass, nobody rides for free”.  Now THERE’S a bumper sticker you don’t see on cop cars everyday.  Only in California.

Penny looked up and saw the officer, now standing right beside her.  She looked him up, and she looked him down.   Her eyes roamed from the tip of his policemen’s hat, to the toe of his shiny policemen’s boots.  She may have licked her lips slowly, to moisten them properly for the operation at hand.  She noticed his shiny badge, his nightstick, his mace on the belt, and the gun in its holster, on his belt.  She continued rolling the joint with her hands, while she looked at the officer.  No, INSPECTED the officer from top to bottom.  Then she lost interest in him and bent her head down to lick the paper, and finish the proceedure, as the officer followed her every move with his eyes silently beside her.

Now the proceedure was complete, and a fine example of her exemplary rolling technique was dangling from her lips provocatively.

“Got a light sailor?” she said.

Apparently she thought he was a sailor.

Its just a friendly sailor, she must have thought.

Up strolls a friendly sailor, is what she must have thought to herself.

Enter. Sailor. Stage Left. She may have scripted.

Penny is always confusing friendly sailors with policemen.  Its the darndest thing.  She reminds me of OLIVE OIL in those popeye cartoons, all arms, nothing but long gangly  ten foot stick arms flailing about like a windmill.  HELLLLP!!!  HELLLP!!!!  HAHA. No just kidding, I’m fine.  Wait let me go so I can roll a joint for us on this dirty cop car hood.

At the moment, she was the picture of calm and she leaned back against the car, joint dangling still from her mouth.

The officer was now probably in shock, and couldn’t really seem to find words to express himself.  He was tongue tied now maybe.  What to do? What to do?  Should I frisk her?  Should I cuff her?  Should I cuff THEM ALL.  Should I…A) Call for backup or B) Use my STUN GUN, and STUN them all one by one or C)  Use the choke hold on their leader to damage their morale.  But who is their LEADER??

This bunch didn’t seem organized enough to be a GANG.  He may have wondered if we were bloods or crips, since some of us were wearing blue, and some red.  He might have really been thrown by that.  Lets see, THAT one’s wearing red, must be a blood.  That one has some LIGHT blue..do crips wear LIGHT blue?  Its almost a pastel powder-puff blue…do crips wear PASTELS? He may have been pondering these, and other profound questions, OR, he was thinking about a serious crime in progress because…

Actually, I think he may have had OTHER things on his mind because, his radio squawked and without a word, he walked around, jumped in the drivers seat, and basically drove off rolling his eyes, with weed and pot seeds flying off his hood.

“Shit PENNY, there was like half an OUNCE there, what the fuck Penny!  You couldn’t just put out a few joints?
You just had to dump that ENTIRE pile of kickass weed there, on that dirty ass cop car hood.  what the fuck Penny! what the FUCK!?!?

But Penny wasn’t paying any attention to us now…her eyes glazed over from the chronic she was now smoking and she swayed in a trance looking off where the sailor had just boarded his vessel, off to war…off to war…off to war, she must have thought.  He’s gone now, FAREWELL, FARE THEE WELL, FAREWELL, BON VOYAGE, my DEAR soldier, my dearest soldier, my DARLING dear soldier, I shall write, I shall write my love, I will be waiting, I shall wait for thee, I shall… I shall…..

“Um, Penny, what the fuck??  Are you ever going to pass that thing Bogart!”

A Bicycle Bell is practically Useless Downtown
by Morgan Martin

Not sure how to warn people who can’t hear me, its an issue.

They sally forth bleary eyed and deaf, zombie-like in almost every
detail except maybe the arms sticking straight out in front.  Ear buds are packed tighly in place, nestling them in some unknown audio world one can only guess.  I don’t know.

Oh look! She’s listening to Streisand while she jogs, you might surmise.
Maybe that blissful oblivious grin is produced by Cher at high volume.
I don’t know.  I don’t know.

Point is, I’m bicycling and I yell “ON THE RIGHT” or “ON THE LEFT”
half the time they have a cell phone pressed to their head or earbuds
and its really useless, what’s the point of yelling.  What’s the point?

Suddenly a bicycle bell is pathetic and feeble and I feel like an ant or
an aphid,who are the slaves of ants right? Is that right? Anyway, even
SMALLER than an ant.  I am suddenly a SPEC on wheels.  A rolling dust mite.

Other times, my little bell strikes absolute and sheer TERROR in the hearts of pedestrians, go figure.

Look! That one is definitely listening to Barry Manilow, the fanny pack is a giveaway.
This is not science fiction, this is real in 2009.  ZOMBIES ARE REAL!

You can yell extra loud while simultaneously slamming the hammer on that bicycle bell
or pounding a gong with a huge mallet, it doesn’t matter.

BIcycling with a gong in one hand was fun for a while and really did startle
on more than one merry occassion.  “OH… good, you heard me now did you?
EXCELLENT, ok, I’ll be riding by you at this time, on the right do I need to
ring the gong again? are we good?”

The other awful truth is that even when they are NOT deaf and wandering in
their own world “ON THE RIGHT” seems to translate into
“please DO step to the right”and POW I run them over.  Lettuce, turnips,
parsley, it all goes flying.  Or “on the left” could mean “step briskly to the left”
to them sometimes and they might SKIP to the left right into me like an
insane hopscotch move.  “Move One square LEFT!” is what they hear somehow.

You’d think “ON THE RIGHT” would always mean “I”M RIDING BY YOU ON YOUR RIGHT”
but seems to get translated into PANIC AND RUN AROUND IN CIRCLES SUDDENLY
to some pedestrians, which makes it all the more difficult to avoid running them over.

POW, oh, I’m SO sorry, here let me help you pick up those turnips and these beets…
oh my, these eggs don’t look so good now do they…oh my…

The collision itself has a particle trajectory like a linear accelerator shooting particles
on specific paths.  Turnip flies at 33 degrees longitude in a trajectory of tangent 125
and collides with lawn, Radish flies at 53 degrees longitude to 39 degrees longitude
in a graceful arc.  Eggs break, see attached report for fragment locations and
yolk impact sites are marked with a yellow star.

I should maybe yell (in every language imaginable)
“Please do CONTINUE your CURRENT trajectory, and do NOT deviate
to either side.  do NOT step to your left, and do NOT step to your right…
simply continue STRAIGHT forward please…do NOT be alarmed, and do NOT panic…
I am a BICYCLE, I am coming up behind you on your RIGHT,
above all, and most of all, do NOT step or otherwise drift to your RIGHT…

or ELSE…I will start to yell..COLLISION IMMINENT… COLLISION IMMINENT,
and if you hear me yelling THAT , it means very bad things.  If I am yelling
COLLISION IMMINENT this is not good.  This can only lead to very BAD
and painful things if I am yelling that.

I repeat, do NOT step to your right OR drift off in the starbard direction.
STAY THE COURSE good pedestrian.  STAY THE COURSE!
ok, and now in Serbo Croatian, for you Serbo Croatian pedestrians…

Please be AWARE that there is a BICYCLE approaching you on the RIGHT,
meaning, the BICYCLE is on the RIGHT, coming up on the RIGHT,
the bicycle that is, please DO pay attention and be aware
of this moving object which is now approaching, at this time.

I’ve taken to predicting the behavior that I will get when I ting
my quiet little bell meaningfully.

A group of chatty women are the most fun; they are truly in their own
world and often prefer to string themselves out in a line perpendicular
to the route of the path just close enough to each other to make it challenging
for a runner (let alone a biker) to squeeze through. Ring the bell for one of these
groups and you get your “panic and run around in circles” behavior in hyperdrive
and you have 4 or 5 circles all intersecting to form a sort of Olympic rings symbol,
so that gets complicated and dizzying, and you can even get a two-fer sometimes
and knock over 2 of them like bowling pins.  If you knock them ALL over, it is called
a STRIKE, and you leave a really pissed off pile of women behind in your dust.

Of course, then there’s the CORN guy squeezing and honking his bulbous horn
that sounds like a really LOUD duck, walking around the neighborhood quacking
all day, people get out of HIS way.  Who does this guy think he IS anyway?
What is it exactly about a duck quacking sound that makes people really pay attention?
I guess maybe in their minds they are thinking “DUCK CROSSING” and immediately
they are not only stopping, but now they are also buying a stick of corn having fallen
into the quacking corn salesman’s TRAP!  They don’t freak out or feel the TERROR
of a bicycle’s tinging bell.  I remember one old Chinese guy, LEAPED out of his SKIN like he was being attacked once and I was not even CLOSE to him, I felt bad, but…REALLY?

YES, that QUACKING sound means…..I SEE NOW! It means BUY CORN! ok! SURE!
Gimme one-a-them COBS quacking man!  Hell, I”ll take TWO if it’ll shut you up for
a minute with that damn quacking horn.  Hmm…maybe the quacking horn is the ANSWER!
Less scary, but gets their attention…I might have to get one of those.

The ice cream truck also turns heads in a hurry, people go running for it, covered
in smiles.  There’s no fear of the ice cream truck…no sudden movement to jump
in front of the truck…
but a bicycle bell is practically useless downtown.

Protector of Dog

Protector of Dog
by Morgan Martin

“Well lets see, how do I get this thing open here, it really is stuck” I said, as I struggled to open a jar of pickles.

“Hey, did you say something about my DOG?” Bob seems pissed suddenly and inexplicably.

“What??, no, I’m just trying to open this jar of….”

“Sounded like you said something about my DOG man…Do you have a problem with my Dog bro? cause if you do…”

“no.., I LOVE your dog.  really, its probably my favorite dog in the WORLD, quite honestly, tell him Sweetheart, tell him.”

“well, I don’t know, it seems like you have a problem with my DOG.”

“no, actually, I was just trying to open this jar of….”

“Well, if anyone tried to hurt my Sweetheart, I tell you WHAT!”  Bob makes a fist ready to punch at an invisible dog killer standing suddenly there beside him it appeared.

Pause.

“Well, believe-you-me Bob, if anyone EVER  tries to hurt your dog, I will kick their ASS bro, DEFINITELY, anybody messes with that dog, is messin with ME bro. no question about it.”

“And she would stand up for us too!” says Bob suddenly ok.

“YEAH, YEAH, she would, she would. Teamwork man.”

“ok, well,” handshake.

“oKAY.”

“Cool.”

“Alright.”

“Alright, good to know, good to know.”

“yea, I love Sweetheart, I can’t believe you could even SAY that Bob.”

I continue trying to open this jar, its really stuck, I am banging it, and putting hot water on it,
then cold, then banging it, and banging it again…but it won’t budge.

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