Monthly Archives: July 2008

Word-play, Fore-play, Child’s-play. Oh, and a Pelican.

“So.. could you do it with a pelican?”
An encouraging question, rather like at a job interview, when you sense that they’re actually starting to fantasize about… um..You, as An Employee.
And to tell the truth, by this point, I was okay with ‘doin it’ even with a flock, no, a bevy or a horde of Vultures watching overhead, all of ’em certain of an impending feast.
    Outside, through her kitchen window, it was getting dark, possibly something to do with the setting sun, or maybe just another rain-event in theNorthwest.
She undid a button, maybe two, in her blouse; A millisecond, a deliberate act; I try not to be caught noticing these things. They know, though.
PELICAN‘? Of course, Eli. Child’s play.” I announced, trying to radiate a confidence in my powers, and not entirely without backing.
“Although they do have a rather large bill, no?” I added, knowing she would jump on the pun.
   “We can pay ‘after’..” Eli laughed. “..or yearly..” Two more buttons. I averted my gaze, but in the wrong direction, unintentionally eyeing the short path to her bedroom. No pelicans in there, at least from my vantage point.
“Hmm..” I needed a quick reaction-plan. “Yearly? That would be a FISCAL PELICAN year. Or depending on the amount, a HI FISCAL PELICAN bill. We’d need a HI-FI SCALPEL just to cut the check.
“No, guy, They don’t charge that much just to watch..” Eli did something I wasn’t allowed to notice with her attire. SCALPELICANS are a dime a dozen where I come from..”
   “That’d be ‘heaven‘, right?” I was proud of that little aside. She took one of those short troubled breaths I always wished I knew more about, and then:
S-CAL PELICANS. Southern Cal, um…duh”

“Yeah, like I said, ‘Heaven‘” I smiled. California, despite TV footage of Watts, LA traffic jams, and the collapsed Oakland freeway is for me forever frozen in the ’60s: Hendrix at Monterey, Disneyland..ok, even the ‘Bleach Boys’. Eli knew a different scene entirely, but sweetly decided not to correct me.
“…So we won’t need a HI-FI S-CAL PELICAN TRAP to catch one?” I offered, as if relieved. I had already ‘bought’ the assumption that we’d be needing a pelican, there in the room, watching enviously as we dizzily explored each other’s…um..’pelicans’. Yes dizziness. Heights will do that to you.
“I can SCALPEL.” I told her, not really knowing why. These complex fowl are as tricky to judge as landing a high-wing aircraft in a thirty-knot crosswind. I looked at her breasts, slyly visible now, and prayed that my dumb “SCALPEL” wouldn’t remind her too much of some bio-lab disection episode…

“..But not while I’m doing anything else.” I covered my tracks. “You know, like, IF I SCALPEL, I CAN’T RAP.”
She liked it.. Her hair in my face all of a sudden. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes, my fingers on the small of her back as I breathed out slowly.
In my ear, almost a whisper, she asked, “But can you RAPPEL?”
“If you hold the ropes, Eli..” I whispered, as we walked or fell toward the bed. And with the few remaining corpuscles left in the, like, ‘brain’ part of my body, I grasped where she was going..
I CAN I said, “..and then we get another free PELICAN.”
“Good…for tomorrow morning.” Eli seemed relieved to get to ‘the good part’, and was busily tossing unnecessary apparel onto the floor.
“We need to write this down?” I laughed, as if I had any intention of being a stenographer, there, with the setting sun and the new smells to explore.
“Nah, ‘sounds mechanical’.” She answered, the perfect Bugs Bunny accent. “Plus, I’ll remember. ‘Child’s play’, didn’t you call it? HIFISCALPELICANTRAPPELICAN.”
    Something was missing though. Even in our euphoria I could still count heads.
“The bird! Wait, where’s the bird?” I asked Eli, as seriously as I could manage.
“She’ll be here at eleven, she’s got a key. Somehow I’d thought it would take longer to get you where I need you. You and your dumb letters..” She closed her eyes in the dim light and showed me where, precisely, she needed me.

Hope no one minds these little adventures. This didn’t really happen, of course. It was an ALBATROSS. Hmm..

Go Ye, and Read BayouBoy

Geez, this bible-translation work is frying my brain.
     Anyway, I’ve been meaning for weeks now to whole-heartedly recommend to all my above-average readers that they sample the pure joy of Bayou-boy’s posts.
    A long time ago, I played a wedding gig in Nazereth, just up the road from me. Back before you needed an armed escort and a bullet-proof vest (with matching hat?) to stay alive in the crossfire between Moslems and Christians up there. Seems like poor Jesus’ “…better to give than to receive” didn’t translate too well, over the centuries. “Be fruity and multiply” did somehow make the cut, though, and Bayou’s latest gorgeously-expressed short piece discusses the Pope’s recent re-pooh-poohing of efforts to allow birth control. His final statement “Maybe six-and-a-half billion ‘miracles of birth’ are enough already..” (-my trans.-) alone justifies a click on the link . I’d love to say that, were I to actually get serious about issues here, I could write as well. Love to say it, if only it were true. And while you’re there, do like I done and keep clicking “Back” and reading on. The pleasure just never seems to end, except when the sun comes up, and you gotta go to work. But of course, “There’s always tomorrow” Wait, did Jesus say that? Let me go check

Malaysia for the Malaise-ians.

I am not alone, I suspect. Ninety-five percent of my ‘footprints’ are from Malaysia, where mixing a metaphor unlawfully gets you fifty lashes, and in public, too. I only hope Israel has no extradition treaty with the place. They’re licking every square centimeter of my site, checking my non-existent ‘Pulse’ listening/ not-listening to all my songs on “Audio”.
“..Was beloved by web-crawlers and ‘bots..” that’ll be the lead in my obit, if I don’t survive the flogging.
Meanwhile, Bite This, Thought Police:


My work as a Biblical translator is progressing fairly well. I got an ’85’ on my mid-term project, looks like I might finish the semester with a 3.2 GPA after all. Anyway, here is what the Psalmist actually wrote, according to my esteemed prosthesis. (I include the ‘dated’ “original” (below) for comparison. Someday I’ll be famous-er than King James.. and the Beatles.

The Lord’s ‘My Gourd’, (Rings a bell, no doubt?) Hell,
Even my sheep heard about Him

He maketh me a lowdown, ‘take no crap’ guy
(I get presents from mine enemies!)

So Him, ‘n Rod and his staff protect me
We’re singin’ ‘Down in the Valley’; I’m the
‘Shadow of Death’.

Yea Team! though we walk (if the car don’t start)
‘He ain’t heavy… He’s my brother’.

He buyeth me beer, (besides distilled water for my
battery,) RESTORES my TSORES.
Mercy mercy, just follow me, ’cause, these days
I’m staying at his crib. (Cue the Chorus:)

 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 He maketh me to lie down in green pastures:
He leadeth me beside the still waters.
 He restoreth my soul:
he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil:
for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:
thou anointest my head with oil;
my cup runneth over.
 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:
         and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever

Translator’s note:

I did have a bit of a quandry with the “oil annoints mine head” portion. Went and bought shampoo “For Oily Hair” and sure enough, it did make my hair oily, but in the end, I just left the line out. Who needs ambiguity in Holy Writ?

 

.

 

Lucid, Schmucid, where’s my mom?

Memorable dreams fill my sleep lately.

I was back on the farm, the whole extended family absent on some kind of a vacation. I passed the time trying to get a dinosaur-era computer to sign-on to the ‘net through a particularly recalcitrant “eh-bach-sheid-ich” ISP. Remembering that I needed to go buy some decent clothes for.. a funeral? a wedding? (it didn’t seem to make much difference), I glanced up at the wall. The clock read 7:30 PM. ‘Hmm, 19:30 already?‘ Oh well, tomorrow morning I can still hit K-mart. At that point the relatives all came back, covered in red mud, having visited some primeval tourist-trap? A giant mud-covered dragonfly escaped from someone’s bag, and went flying back toward the cornfields. My older son was trying to keep one of the cousins from knocking my pitiful laundry off the clothes-line with his swing, A brother-in law told me he’s just discovered that web-sites build a profile of surfers, I thought that kinda innocent of him. An unrecognized child in my path, naked, crawling on all fours; I patted him on the back and he started to cry. Up behind the barn, my father was with several other kin-folks. None of them had names or distinct personalities, but all were sweet and supportive. I realized that I’d be leaving the next morning, and considered cancelling the internet service, thinking that at most, I’d owe them ‘about a dollar’. Then: It occured to me to ask my dad where my mom was; I hadn’t seen her around. He looked at me as if avoiding a subject. To my lucid credit, I realized within the dream that she was…um.. ‘dead’, and said nothing. ‘We shall just have to survive by our own devices’, I thought quietly. Proud of my clarity, I awoke… only to realize that yes, my father has also been absent from this earth for four months already. Appearantly it takes time to internalize one’s status as an orphan.

Johnny comments:

 I knew it: If I wrote something  personal, (like other xanga-mortals seem to be entitled to), I’d get… um..silence. It’s OK, though. Yeah, my mom and dad are both dead; Stuff like that happens, esp. after 90 or so years of happiness together and mega-tons of agricultural production. My universal point is that a dream in which you interact with someone who is, sadly, no longer ‘on our plane’ is a dream you should try to think about and maybe learn something from. I’ll suggest this as a Featured Question, just you watch: “349 comments” “Yeah, I dreamed I wuz playin’ wid my little dog, Checkers, then suddenly I remembered “Mistah Chequer, he daid!” ‘Course, so wuz I’. www.xanga.con/tricky_dick

‘All the link-letters I could afford’ (or-“Yids Say the Darndest Things”

As befits an entity with negative net worth, when expressed in shekels, I am making (again?) Soup Surprise this evening. Tonight’s mystery ingredients: A can of tuna thrown into the ‘Just add water Minestrone’ soup. Mmmm.. Sitting on my meagre cot, I rehearsed today’s story, so that I could type it more quickly, in Notepad, thus saving another penny or two on electricity. I do have ‘Poor Folks’ brand Corn Flakes, but no milk. If I ride to the super on the bicycle, it will spoil before I get it home, or at least shortly thereafter, since my refrigerator is now, according to the digital thermometer I rescued from a dumpster, ‘cooling’ its innards to approximately 60 degrees Fahrenheit. 14 Centigrade sounds cooler, but who am I kidding? And if I go instead to the corner store, the self-righteous little religious bastard will torture me to pay my bill from this week; money I don’t currently have available. Such is My Awful Life



   Anyway, since I gave my stereo to charity, and don’t feel like asking for it back, I found a crude, hand-scrawled notice on the tattered Community Bulletin Board offering “Ma’a’re’khet Le’ma’ki’rah be’zol, bein ha’sha’ar. Te’va’kesh Rivka. Jabotinsky 17”
A lot hides in those simple words. Loosely translated: “‘System’ for sale, ‘among other things'(!), Ask for Rivka”, and the address, 17 Jabotinsky Street, over in the poor-souls’ district, three-story concrete tombs giving the impression of having been built by the Soviets in order to make Khazakstan look like a Frank Lloyd Wright show-piece by comparison.
      I’m there in ten minutes on my bicycle, including the daily tire-pumping ritual.
Well, “there-ish”. We don’t believe in house-numbers here; wouldn’t want to leak information to the enemy now, would we? I wander the neighborhood a few minutes, a spy trying to interpolate my target from poor intelligence.
“Mah ‘tah me’kha’pes?” (‘What are you looking for’) A Moroccan-looking local asks me. He looks like a bouncer looking for someone to bounce. His buddy answers him, “Betach Rivkale, ha’zo’na ha’zot’i” (‘Probably Rivka, that whore’) and spits on the sidewalk. This one looks like he could bounce bouncers. But I’m both innocent and, as usual, inexplicably cocky. Maybe I count on my abject loathing and abhorrence of these types to save me in a fight, who knows?
Two more unemployed ‘bouncers’, probably un-employable for psychological reasons, decide to ‘help’ me out in my quest.
“Sham’mah” (‘That way’)the first over-sized dirtball grunts, in that typical Israeli style of appearing to point somewhere but none-the-less contributing less-then-zero information of value.
“Ha mah’a’rek’het, nachon?” (‘The stereo, right?’) his beastly-buddy asks me.
“Ken… bein ha’sha’ar..” (‘Yeah…….’among other stuff’) I answer, quoting the ambiguous phrase in the ad.
“W’allah, zeh af’i’lu lo sh’la” (‘Hell, it’s not even hers’) I hear from amid the assembled flesh-pile on the sidewalk. This was from Number five, an actually normal-looking goon, large, but capable of swallowing his own spit, in my estimation.   Right then I heard a thin voice scream from a second floor balcony…
“Ta’aleh l’malah”, (‘Come up’) he was pointing at me, and I gave the gang of sad-sacks an undeserved little salute, as if they’d saved me valuable investigative work.
‘Chico’ was at the door when I got to the top of the steps.Something about how he looked, for the life of me like a tense young Puerto Rican messed with my linguistic reflexes, and I started to say something in Spanish, to which he immediately replied, as is customary, “You can speak English”
Ha” I thought, “I’ll probably never find the right time and place  to say what I’m always dying to in these situations.. ‘Yes, I can, but can you?”
I decided to be…um.. economical, and slowly said to him:
“HI. FIVE HE-MEN TOLD ME: ‘NOT HER HI-FI’. VEHEMENT OLD MEN…. OTHER STUFF?”
Chico stood a minute comtemplating the ‘Secret Code’. I had, to my credit re-cycled the letters fairly well, I thought, but neither ‘Becky’ nor her hot stereo system emerged from the darkened interior of the flat, and my platonic, or is it socratic curiousity about what the ‘other stuff’ could have been wilted, especially when I remembered my bike down on the street. My bike! I gave Chico a quick obligatory salute and ran down the steps. ‘I can do letter-play in my head, walking home, worst case’, I told myself. “Who needs a bloody’mah’a’rek’het?”

A Paean to the peons..

In the Days of Yore
No one confused
their “They’re” and “There”
Or “Your” and “You’re”

Ah, the Daze of Yore
Way back, B-4
PPL LOL-ed
Rolling on the floor

Its a (sic.) sick phase
(I just corned a phrase)
Is it “It’s” or “Its”?
Who gives two shits?

Yeah the Meek inherited
tons of earth
now they bury syntax
“for all there worth”

No more Days of Yore
Only dust and bones.
‘Hail the Xangan hordes
on they’re xanglo-phones’

..for elgan, who writes (and sings) like a nightingale. We should all be so precise and in-tune.


Oh, and welcome to the newcomers who lately seem to be visiting my site on a jump from Carlotta or Tjordam. I do my best to post material worth reading. If you don’t immediately find it, scroll down till you do.. or not, but in any case, Thanks for the read.

“Dog? What dog?” –GOD

When the Rapture comes, and Jesus/God/Whateva cuts a ‘sunroof’ in my 84 Ford Fiesta, pulls me sky-ward by the hair, up through the stratosphere to where I’ll link up with the hapless Australians after their painful mid-course-correction thingy, all of us flying up and up until we get to choose a seat near the Rubber-chicken Tasting-booth, at the right hand of god/what’s his name, just rows and rows of Kresge’s paper table-cloths and potato salad with, WTF?, pineapple-chunks! (For this I died a virgin?) Ok, my question is of course: What’s up with my little dog ‘Checkers’?  He’ll be there too, right?
I just asked Tomorrow’s Featured Question. You can ask one too
. Check out the Jesus-of-Xanga Cartel  on the front page, in case you really want to meet millions of creatures who take this shit  very seriously.

“BEST BEFORE..” (But ‘Ok’ after., let’s hope..

I like Fleischer, really, I guess. I mean,what he’s doing is only marginally abhorrent, plus he does it with humor. I mean, you gotta hear the jingle we put together for “Pasture Prime Beef Patties”. But I’m ahead of myself.
   Avi Fleischer was the fall-guy for the Zoglevitch scandal everyone heard about here. I caught the story a year ago on the car-radio, while up in the Galil trying to nurse another couple desperate kilometers out of a Ford Fiesta which shouldn’t have been driven around the block without a back-up plan. The big meat-packer was caught re-printing new ‘sell-by’ dates on expired meat. Somebody had to tumble, so Fleischer took the hint, quit, and nursed his wounded pride for ten months, till an idea hit him.
Actually, it hit his Grandpa, Schmulik, newly ensconced in Bet Avot Le’mees’ken, (what we used to call an ‘old-folks home’.) A couple visits with Saba and his cohorts, codgers, old fogeys, fossils, etc. convinced Fleischer that there’s got to be more to the golden years than trying out new brands of dog-food every week, stretching the laughable Bituach Leumi payments each month. And since Zog-a-le and the boys owed him one, it was a short step till the first “pag-tok-po” (expired) meat started to find its way into…

 Tada!:Old Folks Home Cooked Table Ready TV Dinners.” That was his prototype offering, and it stole their hearts at first bite.
“Sell-by, Schmell-by! Who cares, I mean, a little extra ‘kharif’ and you’d never know.” was how Schmulick put it when I went with Fleischer for a quick’research’ session.
        He’d called on me, as usual, to help with the market-survey/ad-copy part of the deal. We needed a shorter name for the ground-beef patties they were loading him up with since June, when Israel’s cheap corner-store refrigerators start to show their age and returns clog the packer’s “morgue”.
“We could call it ‘Green‘ meat, that’s big these days.” I told Fleischky on the way home.
“Not in our market, Solly, plus in hebrew, ‘basar yar’oke’? They’d call it ‘basar zarook’… or ‘da’fook’. What else you got?”
“Well,”
I went on, “How about ‘Meteor Brand’? We could say ‘Don’t be a falling star, put a Meteor burger on your table.?”
“They eat on the couch, you noticed, guy?”
Fleischer’s way of knocking down the whole stellar conceit, I guess. I decided to play my face card.
“Ok, get this: “Pasture-Prime Roast Beef.” It’s got everything, I mean, the packaging’s got a tired but still virile bull standing out on a wholesome grassy knoll, so we got ‘green’, plus like, um.. ‘truth-in-marketing’, a little joke for the cognoscienti…”

I looked at Fleischer as we pulled into the lot behind his modest house in Beit Halevi. An unmarked refrigerated van, its driver as usual using his cell-phone instead of his eyes to locate the loading dock. Fleischer’s phone rang, the opening bars of “Great green gobs of greasy grimy gopher guts” for a ring-tone.

He had only a second to reach over, shake my hand, and announce,

“Bingo! We’ll do the jingle yom rishon, sababa?”
    Another marginally palatable success, I thought to myself, and walked over to the Fiesta, which started without protest for some reason. On a roll?

ED SAYS: This might be a good time to reveal: This didn’t really happen. I make this shit up. I thought you all knew that. (The Fiesta didn’t really start, I had to push it down the hill and pop the clutch.)

See, I figure nobody really cares what I had for breakfast: (expired eggs, sprouting-already potatoes, coffee from the dumpster on the corner.) so I try to add a little ‘paprika’ Oops, it says “Use before the Six-Day War”

Shoppers who bought ‘Frank Zappa’ also bought ‘Pizza’ and ‘Zippo’ lighters.

… and the Diary of Anne Frank?

Holy Mary, mother of invention, I cry for the Revolution, and it answereth me with targeted ads. Actually the Revolution was over by ’68. Time magazine’s glossary of hippie jargon and fashion tips kinda confirmed the awful news, but even before Woodstock clogged the roads into Bethel with a million unwashed useful idiots, I knew.
      An e-mail from my younger son; even before I open it, G-mail has ads pasted all over the page.

Maximize your IRA account!” Hmm, he must’ve mentioned his brother, Ira. “Complete line of ‘total schlock’ products and services!”. Now I know already what he thought of the song I wanted to hear his reaction to. Who needs to read the letter? G-mail already did.

Am I the only holdout who feels insulted by the presumption implied in this pathetic attempt to flesh out my whole personna from a few marketable keywords? Garbage in, Garbage out, ok, but to throw it on my head?
     A friend here who once spent his idle hours inventing clever things you could actually hold in your hand dropped by to share his latest killer idea. A targeted audio track to accompany Map-quest/GPS type road directions, describing the attractions on either side of the highway to the already distracted motorist. I listened, but somewhat unenthusiastically. (Google recently sent a too-trusting lost motorist here from Jerusalem straight through Arab Hebron, the shortest distance, I suppose, but also a fairly short life-expectancy for a yellow license plate. “On your left you will see the quaint gangs of shahidim with their traditional head-covering… and Kalachnikovs.”
A minute ago I got another of the daily messages on my cell-phone, an ad for some stupid lottery. I waste five seconds a day erasing them. Lotteries, a tax on the mathematically illiterate.
Don’t ask me how to fight this amoebic dysentery, I don’t know. One of my other sites, me with a cow’s head pasted on for a profile pix, is constantly dripping with offers to artificially inseminate ‘me'(!). I have to clean the page every week or so. Oh well, ‘readers who enjoyed SOLBERG also read BLOGERS, don’t you secretly want to be just like them?’

“NO TAXES IN TEXAS”

“NO TAXES IN TEXAS”. the sign said, proudly.
“That’s a lie!” Ollie clued me in.
We were on I-37 on our way home, wherever that is.
“Home is where, when you knock on the door, they have to let you in.” I offered, quoting some ‘wag’, whatever that is.
“No, it’s where you don’t have to knock on the door,” Ollie corrected me, “and for us that means..”
“A HUT, SOON, in HOUSTON?” I answered, facing the facts: Our cash flow had been negative since Olympia, and we were perilously near the big “E” on the gas gauge.
“SALLAD in DALLAS?” Ollie offered, though neither of us were acknowledged vegetarianistim.
“‘SALAD-L’, buddy, that’s all we can legally order…”
“We could THROW FORT WORTH TO OR FRO?” Ollie suggested, breaking some of the rules, but under extenuating circumstances.

We were starving. But not to worry; after twenty years of living on the edge, we’d become artists at starving.
“Hmm..” I thought, as we pulled into a rest stop to stop and rest. “What’s left for us?”
“DALLAS, A LA L.D.S?”
Ollie pulled out of his hat.
“Should’ve suggested that back in Salt Lake City”, I nudnicked him.
“TAL’S KALE-CITY”, all they had was some god-forsaken green shit. Who needs that? What, we’re rabbits?”
I had to agree; our loyalty to “red meat uber alles” demanded nothing less than eternal vigillance, and I had Ollie to thank for our perfect record of non-back-sliding-ness, whatever that is.
“L.A .LADS?” Ollie pointed to the garish pink roadside sign.
We’re not that desperate, bro.” I assured him. “Sounds like a ‘feigele’ joint, plus you’ll be an instant hit, and I’ll be stuck with some bottom-feeder all night.”
“Use what you got, in times of dexterity such as these.”
Big O was scaring me. I leaned into the task-at-hand.

“Give me your cell, I’ll see if Lloyd’s at home.” I was striking out.
“Didn’t you send that dude to Asia Minor.. you know… on the third albumn?” Ollie had a great memory for details.
“Shit, yeah, now that you mention it. So what’s left, road-kill? Armadillos?” At least we had a new word to ‘eat'”
“A SOLID RAM?” Ollie was slurring his anagrams by this point.
“You forgot the ‘L'” I said, trying not to hurt his feelings.
“No, we’ll leave it as a tip, or for the tax.” Ollie’d set his button on mutton, and it ocurred to me that maybe, just maybe, we could find some paisano with a shwarma joint who I could schmooze enough in Hebrew or Arabic to get us a bite in the Texas night.
“No TAXES in TEXAS, though, Ollie,” I tried to break it to him gently. “Rules are rules.”
Unless you’re hungry enough to eat a horse.”
   And that was what saved us. Jogged my memory. Yes, the infamous “HORSE on the SHORE Bar & Grille” hidden in an alley down in Dallas’ run-down waterfront district. We took Exit 17 and within a half-hour were gorging on an exemplary filly fillet, ‘on the house’, courtesy of Hank, a guitar player I’d worked with in Jimmy McCarthy’s Blues Band when we’d toured Louisiana back in the ’60’s. God it’s good to have friends in low places some times!

Speaking of Llow-Llife:

What’s up with Lloyd? I’m so annoyed
The guy’s a “must to avoid”.
He yells, he smells; “He needs two “EL’s?”
(He needs a chat with Freud!)
Well, ‘God’ makes do without two “G’s”, Uz-
beckistan’s so hot it freezes,
That’s  where I’ll be sending Lloyd
With a lload of Schadenfreude.