Monthly Archives: June 2009

You may think it’s funny, but it’s snot

“Hey, how’s everyone feeling tonight!”
: (Silence speaks louder than words)

“Just flew in from Pencil-vein-ya, God my arms are tired.”
Maude to her sister-in-law
: “I think I heard that one before.”

“You heard about the guy, goes to a doctor, says “Doc, I think I’m upside-down. Doc asks ‘How come?’ The guy says ‘My nose runs and my feet smell.'”
“Yup, third grade, if I recall correctly.”

(switches to combat-mode) “Hey nice jacket, Maude. Everybody on the bowling team gets one?”
Maude to sis: “We missed Hogan’s Heroes for this?”

But seriously, folks, cows, whom I know intimately, (details may emerge after my passing) are the champions of excrement, un-begrudging behemoths of ‘doin’ their buziness’ A cow can piss like overturning a 55 gallon drum after two weeks of steady rain. She can fill a wheel-barrow in two minutes with ‘fertilizer’. And Snot, (yes, our present inquiry), well, a cow with a runny-nose is a marvel to behold. Of course they do have tongues capable of reaching their huge nostrils with ease.

A cow’s tongue is long. Longer than the plate it often sat on, in the middle of the dinner-table, as we took turns slicing off another piece of it until the bovine donor, rest her soul, was rendered ex-post-facto speechless. Or at least troubled by a heavy lisp. I never enjoyed these dining occasions, feeling pressured to consume such a recognizable body-part. Kinda like the eyes of a fish on a plate, looking up at you in accusatory but helpless rage.

But wait, I promised Snot. Ok, have snot.
Although my younger sister was light-years more natural and ‘supportive’ in the task, (Hi, kid) I was sometimes called upon to spend the night consoling a cow-with-a-cold, watching over her like a Guardian Angel as she slept fitfully, snot oozing from her nostrils like a water-main break. I did my best. Hey, that’s what burlap feed-bags are for, in a pinch: Cow Hankies.
Cows get lots of colorful diseases: Brucelosis, Bang’s disease, Cock-sidy-osis (sp?), mastitus, and ‘milk-fever’, a result of Calcium deficiency during late-stage gestation. At least that one has a miracle-cure: a liter of calcium into the neck-vein, and she’s up and moon-walking within five-mintes, often before the vet drives back down the lane. Oh, I forgot to mention The Bloat. With four(4) stomachs, cows get gas, and then they can’t breathe. The solution, in extremis, is a hollow knife, stabbed precisely where your index-finger ends up when you place your thumb on the hip-bone and little finger on the last rib. (Best to get your hand out of the way before completing this procedure.)
Anyway, one particularly articulate cow I remember, Bonnie, was tickled pink upon awakening one morning with me ever-watchful by her side. She mooed appreciatively at the charm of my palindrome: ‘WELL ITS TONS-O-SNOT STILL..EW!’ Wonder if she’s got a Xanga?

me'n bonnie


Why I love my VOM-{IT REVIEW #9}

NOTE: I feel pressured to finish my highly-vaunted excretory quadrilogy. To re-cap: We’ve had sweat (6-comments), piss (-6-), and here I present Vomit. (-?-)   I am in grateful awe to the scattered xangans who wouldn’t miss an installment for a million bucks, who are self-assured and genetically endowed with power-house personalities; to wit: they comment intriguingly on these entries, whose real point is (or should be obviously) not prurient-interest. So let’s move on to Part three, ok?

vom-its prime function


A V.O.M is a Volt-ohmeter, a crucial piece of electronics test-gear. Here are some reasons why I chose the model I did.

1) It was made in China, according to the label on the back. China’s a really big country, so it figures theyll be good at making high-quality instrumentation.

2) I actually love the fact that I can’t simultaneously know, to any arbitrary level of exactitude, both the voltage present across a component and the current flowing through it. Helps me to empathize with Heisenberg, and how un-certain he must have felt before he finally published his ‘Je ne sais qua’ Principle.

3) The patented ‘break-away’ test leads tear themselves to pieces at the slightest pull. This thoughtful feature saves the hapless researcher from being choked to death, should a circuit display any malevolent impedance or inductance.

4) I admire the fact that there is no self-serving company-name or logo on the device. Putting one’s Company Name out there in the user’s face is just bad manners, I say.

5) It is (was?) marketed by the world-famous Radio-Shak chain of convenience stores. Their dedication to selling only top-shelf merchandise, combined with a scrupulous attention to detail and accuracy in documentation needs no further comment. And the tasteful background muzak in their mall-outlets inspires graduate-level thought.

6) The enhanced ‘Continuity’ feature lets one effortlessly check whether “the black wire is connected to this-here green thingie’. An audible ‘buzz’, or alternatively, a ‘bwaap’ or ‘meuuph’ lets the hands-free user hear at a glance that the battery needs replaced, or, equally likely, that the 1.5 volts has fried an irreplaceable component.

7) It’s digital! No, not the all-important flexible/bendable needle which responds within minutes to an electronic ‘message’. What I mean here is that one uses his own trusted digits, fingers and toes, to try to hold the red lead on B+, the black lead on ground somewhere, and the high-impact plastic case somewhere in easy viewing distance, while with the third (fourth?) hand you turn the potentiometer up or down. Lots of digital there. It’s the latest thing.

8) The $14.99 price tag significantly reduces the “vacillation-time” a tech-term for how long you  debate before smashing the fucking piece of shit against a concrete wall. (Apologies for introducing profanity into an otherwise factual review.) Plus the ‘high-impact’ feature ensures that there will be nothing left worth re-assembling, thus eliminating altogether the angst of remorse.

9) This device is certified ‘non-biodegradeable’. I can attest to the fact; The one I threw out on the driveway has been driven over countless times and is still there. Ditto for a couple on the lawn, although running over them with the mower creates a noticeable stir, but usually only the first few times…

10) In lots of cases, frankly, it’s just not critical to know what the voltage, current, or resistance in a circuit are. In a sense, how can one ever be really really sure anyway? No one’s ever seen an electron, plus they all look the same. Often there’s something better you should be doing with your time. Radio Shak sells a companion tire-pressure gauge which can actually determine whether there is (was) air in your tires. You’ll need that to go buy another VOM. Or two.

Q: Hey, I was just looking at the Front Page: It’s wall-to-wall poop there, and they don’t even address the subject with class or elan.

A: Whew! I knew you’d come around. My last in this series is Snot, of course. Coming up.. or out.

Q: You have a real life?

A: Sure, I just wrote this while moon-walking + feeding 23 cats. They poop a lot, but that’s off-topic.

Q: Who’s Heisenberg, by the way?

A: An important contributor to quantum theory. He proved that there are limits to a VOM’s usefulness..

Q: That’s sad. So much for science’s steady march toward perfect description…

A: Yeah, makes me wanna puke sometimes. 

“Finding My Religion”: Step One: Don’t piss off Supreme Beings.

    It wasn’t my fault; the guy was a dead ringer for Sigmund Freud. Standing there at the ‘Everything for 3.80 a kilo’ ™  (a bald-faced lie) Vegetable stand. He was juggling three zuchinis, as if trying to gauge which one he most coveted and desired.
And all I said, passing by, was “You’re an analyst?”
Ok, It probably came out sounding, to the local pidgins, more like “Urinalysis?” Sorry; their defecit, not mine.
“An anal-ist” he ‘corrected’ me, with a sick smile and  pride-of-self-labelling. Immediately I took two pro-active steps:
1) Backed away a couple good metres, as would any human confronted by an obviously sick or diseased specimen. Gotta preserve those ‘Degrees of Separation’. And:
2) Re-did his whole ‘fill-in-the-blanks’ chart: Probably he was ‘analizing‘ which zuchini would be more thrilling to ..oh… What do I know?. Sigmund = ‘Sigmoid’ ‘Freud =’Joy'(German). Him and his happy colon: CYA!

Ah, Religion. Not gross enough the Orthodox  women shave their heads and  wear tacky nylon wigs, which they have to carry in a cardboard birthday-cake box through the El Al terminal. 

    But the next belief-system-option I ran into, busily poring through the rotten-lemon-collection for one worth squeezing, was a tad less repellent. Dressed in spandex, she appeared to be doing last-minute stocking-up for an uphill climb. And our conversation confirmed that, along with a couple odd additions and traditions…
“Eze har?” (“Which mountain?” I asked her, proud of demonstrating my eagle-eye.
“Mount Herman” She smiled proudly. The pronunciation was 100% New Jersey. Mt. Hermon, Israel’s only real peak, usually vocalized here as “Hair-Moan”.
She probably had lots more to say about geology.. theology.. whatever, I soon realized.
“To our people, this is Holy Ground.” the thirthy-ish climber wished to inform me.
Of course “Our People”, here, was an un-avoidable beg/prompt for a follow-up question.
“Our People?” I asked as neutrally as one can, balancing my own grocery-list against the available chat-time.
“Before we were, Alice Is”. She said the mantra with a fervor that I, a devout non-believer, can only imagine through dilligent effort.
“Alice?” I asked, while digging through the rotten lettuce pile for something edible. Wait, I’ve heard of the ‘Alice-ists®’. A little-known sect started in the 1700’s in Urin an die Wand, Germany, they believe that The Goddess Alice and her retinue of lesser pischers are present here on Earth in the form of ‘Struvite’, or ammonium magnesium phosphate, (NH4)MgPO4·6(H2O), a mineral which happens to also be the main compound in kidney stones, and can be fairly easily synthesized from… well.. piss.
Makes a lot of sense, I say. The Gods/Goddesses “strove”, and indeed “strive’ as we speak, having “struven” since like, forever. A tough job making the barren soil fertile.
“You’re an Alice-ist?” I asked her, again proud of my erudition. She beamed and nodded, looked around warily for the Anti-prosyletizing Brigade, but then suddenly glanced at her watch. Her cart was already full. Lots of cranberry juice, I noticed. All I had time to add was a sincere “God-speed!”.
And with that I got lucky. She grabbed my hand, (possible even with ‘The Secret Handshake’, (I know?) and repeated it, as if to a comrade:

“Gods peed Indeed!”

Q: Yer goin’ downhill fast, guy. Sweat, now piss, what’s next?
A: No worry, The last Sub can turn off the lights in the bath.
Q: Looks dark in there as it is..
A: Hey, ‘struvite’ occurs here on Earth… you can dig it up.
Q: Where? In the Urinal Mountains?
A: I don’t know. Something about a religion with chemically provable results..
Q: Oof! When did you say my contract’s up?

Making Sense of Smell

I read, here in the present, the results of the latest Outer Mongolian Census. Some very interesting data:
1) A Paltry 4% of respondents were either ‘named Paul ‘ or would consider having one so-named as a pal.

2) But a whopping 87% reacted with ‘love’, or at least ‘admiration’ to the recorded sounds of the Call of the Whooping Crane…

3) A modest 31% claimed to have heard of Modesto, CA or alternatively, offered to serve on next year’s Volunteer Dress Code Enforcement Cadre

4) But  most salient, at least for my topic here, is that only 13 per cent of Outer Mongols described themselves as ‘reliably capable’ of differentiating, blindfolded, between the odor of an otter and an adder. Odder yet; when the choice presented was between ‘an eider, (either up or down), and the udder of a lactating yak, the pie-slice actually became thinner: 11 per cent.(!)

I find this of course utterly disturbing, as do my fellow-workers in the field here at the Old Factory.

Ah, tis Summer, when being drenched with sweat or less commonly ‘perspiration’, is an allowed part of life.
I use the opportunity to refresh and even enhance my ability to smell what I’m saying. Yes, you read that right.
In short, there is an instantaneous change in smell which I at least notice, when a casual conversation on the placement of a new window turns to, oh, “Hey, I did your bill last night; have it with me right here, matter of fact, and I think we really should talk about  the outstanding balance.”
Sometimes I do wish I were out standing in a field at that point, because the armpits speak louder than words.
And I haven’t even begun. I can go through five noticeable aroma-changes while telling the girl at the corner store:
“Just so you know, Dafna, you have a smile so overwhelming that you could give me garbanzo beans as change for a hundred shekels and I wouldn’t even notice.”
“Not trying to start anything”,
I add quickly, if I detect Smell-17.

Now what does one make of this?  (besides a fool of himself in revealing it?)  Um.. Biology stands behind me, solidly too, depending on the direction of the wind. In the Olde Days, back before you were born, dear reader, we communicated by smell quite a bit. The system in still in place in our bodies, kinda like the non-functional AC in my Toyota, except that it works; we just don’t pay attention to it. Consciously, at least. We should try to, I contend here.
If for no other reason than that being sensually aware can save your life someday. It has mine.

Smell 223: “My husband has off Tuesdays. What day is it today, Johnny?”
And more recently: “That’s a real provocative, {99}no, attractive, {63}no, ‘sensibly-priced but complimentary’ {11} dress ya got on, Miss Liebnitz.”

Q: File under ‘What this guy won’t post about?”
That’d be a rhetorical question, if it weren’t an orphaned rhetorical phrase.
Q: You just have to bring my Ma into this, huh?
A: Not in the flesh, girl {Smell #47} You can tell her about what we did, later, if you want to {Smell #99}
Q: Seriously, how will you know if this post sucks? 

A: By the taste, of course… but that’s a different subject.


Now I know why they didn’t dig the damn thing through Brigham Young’s Mormon Sterno-land: Ships navigating in the inverse direction’ get mebbe a bit of a tail-wind with the ‘HAT‘ part, but it’s all uphill from there. And no amount of jumping on the bed and thinking long and hard can save this alphabet-soup palin-dumb from the great Tupperware of failed-foods
Wait, ‘never say never’, right?
“HAT, U.L.” (that’s an Underwriter’s Laboratories approval, a portent),
AN ‘A’ CANAL (the premium kind, with no pesky ads), and finally PANAMA (where they really shoulda oughta went)
    There, in the steamy anopheles-infested isthmus, they’d be free-at-last to post-mortem baptize anyone they wish, as per Joey Smith’s psychotic looking-through-his-hat visions….the somehow conveniently ‘disappeared’ gold tablets laid out on his oak table…. his wife, too old to remarry, looking on in fake-orgasmic admiration.

    Wait, This Just In: the angel Moroni actually pronounced it “Pa ‘n a Ma”. Coincidence? I think not. Yet un-answered is how’d we get from the Adam-‘n-Eve paradigm to Pa ‘n like, several Ma’s? Just asking. I know, Real “Big of me” to point that out. Hey, I just dig canals. Others call it Hell. (Truman, look it up)

Q: There goes Cleveland..
A: Cleveland?
Q: Metaphorically speaking. I mean your Mormon readers.
A: Don’t you have an extra ‘M’ in there somewhere?
Q: Um.. make that Cleveland and all its suburbs…
A: I should talk about Iran, right. Bozo-babies making Bombs?
Q: There went Teheran.
A: Why don’t I feel a greater sense of loss?

Edition: ‘LATE… (LAS VEGAS)’

In a rare ironic coincidence, a Nevada court has just minutes ago reversed the famous ’69 landmark decision: SAGE VS. AL et AL. By so doing the bench in effect is forcing Al Bert, 59 and Al Vinn, 63 to re-marry. The same-sex couple had mounted a lengthy legal challenge throughout much of the late ’60s for the right to divorce in the Silver State. Quipped Time magazine© at the time: “We debated whether to call this the ‘Al and Al’s ex Case’ or something similar.” 
   Reached for comment, both Als were visibly upset by the outcome:
“We should have looked long and hard in the mirror before cementing the union, true, but still, it’s a defeat for equal rights.” said a distraught Bert.
Vinn echoed his sentiments, agreeing that “the writing was on the mirror.”

Q: Why do you make up this kind of stuff, Johnny?
A: Haven’t we already discussed why dogs do some of the things they do?
Q: Sure, ‘just because they can’.
A: Plus, it’s fun..
Q: What, fun to watch?
A: Hey, your contract’s up for renewal in October. You’re always free to be someone else’s ‘Q’  Like, pick one off the Front Page. Lots of action. You can ask ’em why they can’t spell or construct a grammatical sentence, stuff like that there.
Q: Nah, I’ll stick with you, guy. Just stop with the licking already…

Jeez, where’s yer sense of irony?

Got rejected again, and I’mn not sure it’s appropriate to just suffer ‘n succatash in silence…
In short, I’ve  been thrown into the Recycle Bin by the Wise Elders ‘n Editors at the ‘Mute Springs (MN.) Weed-Dispatch’. (!)
They’d asked me to do a column for the  autumn arts supplement. So I sent ’emn my nifty “Hymn to Her” from the ‘Albino Albumn’

 “It’s whiter and wittier than Whitier”, I wrote in a brief self-promotion blurb I’d hoped they’d copy ‘n paste. Instead I get this snarky e-mail:
“Nice try, Solemn-berg. We are not as dumb up here as U think.”

Damn. Or maybe just ‘Hmmmn…‘    I’ll get even. I’ll condemn themn to live in Minnesota like, forever, and survive on freeze-dried Minnestrone soup from the Minne-Market®. Mmmmn…
Q: Duh..
A: Could you re-phrase that in the form of a question?
Q: Um.. ‘Duh?’
A: Glad you asked. I’m just curious about the words what end in -MN, is all..
Q: Google it.
A: No help. Plus that’s cheating. Anyway I hate Minnesota… Only whores and baseball players are from there.
Q: My wife’s from Minnesota!
Hmnn. What team does she play for?