Monthly Archives: October 2009

Aborted Take-off, 50 yards before the ‘Go/No-go’

Ok, every aircraft has its own Go/no-go point. Depending on gross-weight, outside air temperature, my confidence in the maintenence crew, whatever. (Stall-Warning? What stall-warning?)  It’s the point on take-off roll where I cease to have the luxury of scrapping my flight-plan and jamming the brakes/reverse thrust/drag my feet on the tarmac/whatever works. Usually one of the previous, unless you decide too late.

I sit here at the yoke of one of the world’s ugliest  least-attractive aircraft, the de-Havilland Twin-Otter, and wait…….Wait for the ground-groupies to INFLATE a last-minute FLAT tire in the left main gear. Poor pitiful N73YUO, one of three in the FLEET of my employer-of-aeroplane-drivers, FLETCHERAmerican Airways.®  Ha. Someone thought that brute-forcing our airline-code to ”F-A-A’ would over-ride the ten-years of citations on sloppy maintenence ‘issues’. Last I heard the grey-suits were FLOATING a bond-issue, trying to raise capital to ward off a hostile take-over attempt by the damn Ruskies: AeroFLOT. ‘Flotz’im is ‘farts’ in Hebrew. Guess that only bothers me.
No, plenty of other other shit bothers me. Like my FLIGHT, already on 30-minute delay, MKG to DTW. Most of the dozen or so passengers have backward baseball-caps on, sitting there like  sardines  packed in flotz’im. No sign of the Service-truck. A pair of crows FLITS past the pilot’s canopy. I’ve heard crows are smart, smart enough to count to seven, even. You can look it up. Just stay clear of the intakes, pigeons. Meanwhile my 2nd officer punches up ‘FLUTE Thing’ on the cabin PA. ‘The Blues Project’, We got a better MP3 player than avionics in this boat. A FLUTTER of activity behind the still-open bulk-head door; the passengers copy-catting each other on their cells: “Honey, looks like I’ll be a little late”
“Hey, it’s not my FAULT“, I FELT like announcing on my cheap Mr. Microphone. Instead I flip the cabin-air select to FILTER. And wait.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, this is your captain speaking”:
I LEAFED through the worn-out scripts scribbled for my convenience by the lackeys at Fletcher-World.: “We do expect to be ALOFT within ten to fifteen minutes; waiting for final clearance here, this lovely/ {‘rainy‘} Sunday/ {Monday} morning.” Yeah, they LEFT me some discretion; kind of them. Switching, (I hope) to Ground Frequency, I scold the dispatcher: “Your boys’ve LOAFED enough already; I got weather coming in at six thousand, Over”
Helen,the stewardess just LAUGHED. With me or at me, I’m not sure. They’re trained to be inscrutable. Still,I’d love to LIFT her starchy blue-and-white blouse a couple degrees above the nipple-line. Hey nobody ever said airplane-drivers were especially mature. All Fletcher cares about is whether we’re drunk enough to get the bird off the ground. LUFThansa though, now that’s another story. I think they do background checks. Oh well. There’s lots of places I’ll probably never get in life. …
Well gee whiz, here come the air-hose home-boys! Shit, my life depends on children who can’t even put their hats on right…

Moral of the Story: None

Tower:  “Fletcher zero niner Fox, taxi and hold on Alpha two one; You’ll be number three on zero six behind a Grumann and the Citation. Copy?”
: “Negative. Say again”     (off-mike?: ‘Helen, not now, we’re rolling, dammit’)
Tower: “Zero niner Fox. Contact Ground on One two one dot six. We need to talk.”

‘I truly wish there WERE something I could do for you, Sir’

“Yes, truly I do. But there ain’t, so deal wid it, sucka.”

    I expect to get tons of calls from folks with leaking roofs this morning. First heavy rain of the Mediterranean rainy season. It’s a horror-show outside; flooded streets, men throwing buckets of water out bedroom windows, tons of cement-bags left uncovered on building sites everywhere, gleefully hardening into land fill.
    And one of the (other) real challenges facing anyone living day-to-day in a second language is dealing with the frustration of the new tongue’s inadequacies.
We Israelis are short and tense. Sorry, I meant ‘short on tenses’. There is no subjunctive, as it were. Not that we lack work-arounds. In fact, most of the conversations here involve contra-factual statements, knowingly or not.
“Ha’val sh’ain li mah la’a’sot bi’shvil’kha ce’re’ga.” (‘A shame that there’s nothing I can do for you just now.’) is my current stand-in, but in English, the subjuctive shock-value of ‘wish there WERE is what I hide behind. Here, if they persist, I need to explain that my hover-craft is in the shop, that perching on their steep roof will involve chopper-rental, and that in the end I will, best-case, merely be able to confirm that ‘Yup, she daid! New roof time, Moshe. How’s January 13th look on your calender?”
If I were a rich man, I’d scurry about town, in August and September, and save my little town, one house at a time. Block by block, I’d chicken-little each local native to the impending doom awaiting their non-chalance; the fait-accompli set to arrive from the Heavens, just over the horizon. Their cardboard boxes of winter clothes piled out on the lawn, the roof tiles thoughtlessly never put back in place by the rough-beast air-conditioning guys, the shrubs growing in their rain-gutters, their crudely exposed twisted connections to the neighbor’s cable feed… I could go on.
    But now it’s Doomsday. A half-dozen dead-or-dying cars are grid-locking the main intersection which is my only way ‘outa-heah’;. their drivers typically either threatening each other bodily harm, or else calling any tow-truck who bothers to answer and insisting that they are uniquely entitled to immediate attention, on common ethnic grounds or whatever works.
Up-date: Wonder-of-wonders, by post-time I have yet to hear from any H2O-victims. Yet. Except for a dear friend, whose neighbors built a gross mausoleum-of-a-monstrous house next door, and thoughtlessly diverted the ground water onto her property, thence to her entire first floor.
For her I got my car started, loaded up buckets, towels, a fish-tank pump(?), and a modest amount of diazepam. With any luck I can be there within four hours. Some select folks merit the present tense: ‘There IS something I can do’ Or at least make an attempt. Still, why does it feel like I’m simply holding her hand as the Hindenberg burns? As it were.

“In Heaven there is no beer…”

“..That’s why we must drink it here.”

But I swear I was stone-sober and in the shower when the first one hit: A BANG! I could feel through the ceramic floor-tiles, immediately followed by a screaming thunderclap, descending tone as if one were hearing it through a long pipe. It took all the modesty I had to frantically pull on a pair of shorts, backward, and run out the door.
My first thought was that my refrigerator on the lawn had exploded. Yes, on the lawn. That’s where we Israelis put the old model, with an extension-cord through the window. Somebody might want to buy it. But not this one; now anymore.
‘My beers.. my precious beers!” Yes cans were lying everywhere, fizzing from the impact, some beyond repair. And then I realized what’d happened. A pipe, a gleaming shiny 8″ or so diameter pipe (rocket casing?) had pierced the ‘fridge’. Still hot, too hot to touch, it had impaled the precious appliance like a bug in a collection.
Suddenly glad I’d gotten half-dressed; the neighbors were there within seconds: Shlomi, renting the house next door, roused from a gripping Hogan’s Heroes re-run presumably, arrived first, remote in hand. Eli, the nosy good-for-nothing across the fence line had his cell-phone as usual glued to his ear. The only good news was Gila, her degree is in geo-chemistry, walking quickly but painfully from an old hip injury. She at least speaks perfect english;  for me a sign of coherence and advanced thought-process. At least she wouldn’t call my Amana® ex-fridge a ‘Frigidaire’ Ugh. I correct the local natives whenever I hear ’em saying that, but what can you do with a people who, even in TV ads, call a jig-saw a ‘jackson’.
No time for pedantics or semantics, we were all there staring at the scene, trying to make sense of it when, I don’t know why, I looked upward for a second. And saw a black dot, getting bigger every second. No sound, just a bullet, aiming… shit.. RIGHT AT US!
I tackled the rabbi and pushed him out of the way as I screamed and ran for cover. Felt great, even though he probably believes in miracles.
The second one struck in a pile of soft ground about 20 meters from my house. Dirt flew in all directions, as the scream of its arrival hit us between the ears. It was, or had been, a kind of black-box, with silver.. I don’t know, ‘appendages’ now broken but once attached to it. Broken in two pieces from the impact, it was as hot as the pipe.
And then, in a moment of clarity, I did a smart thing. I grabbed a now beer-soaked towel off the wash-line, used it to keep from burning my hands, and dragged the smaller piece of it over behind a shed, hiding it with the towel, just as I heard the sirens of the police-cars approaching. Bomb squads, press; we had a lawn-party; me as host in my underwear.
“No one hurt?” was the first question, but followed by a chaos of ‘duh’ speculations, turf-wars, ‘mon-back’-ing a truck onto my lawn over my flower-beds.
The pipe was declared hollow and harmless by the ‘expert’ with the loudest voice. The dozen of us hapless civilians who’d been brusquely herded to a safe distance watched as the  Keystone Kopfs blundered upon the second projectile, and within ten minutes, succeeded in shooting it full of lead with their nifty hi-tech robotic gun-on-a-track. Just to make sure it was dead. How we win wars, I’ll never know.
      I played dumb to the press, privately thrilled that I had the ‘smoking-gun’ hidden out of sight. Yes, I’ll get to the bottom of this, all by my own self, thanks. ‘Nobody blows up 40 beers and walks away un-revenged, not on my land anyway.’


as you can see, Google News filed it in the hoax column. I can understand: the balloon-boy, the Latvian ‘meteorite’, rumours of peace in the Middle East, who knows what to believe anymore?
Well, I do. One night of careful research with the curtains drawn, my precious souvenier on the work-table, and I had the Answer. well, me’n my kid, the chemistry prodigy. I called him when it started to look like most of the guts of the device were a green slop-mess of chemicals. broken glass vials, photo-cells, some kind of epoxy-encapsulated device with wires.Ph tests ID-ed the mess as highly acidic. Sulfuric acid, to be precise. I had a good guess on the green stuff, but we did a nice batch of qualitatives and confirmed it: Chromium Sulfate. One of the miraculously unbroken containers was half full orangish potassium dichromate. I recognized it by the smell, having used it as an reagent in the synthesis of… well, ‘synthesis’. Anyway…

Bottom-line: the whole damn payload, at least ‘our’ part of it was just a Cosmic Breathalyzer. The search for ethanol, on the planet Earth. Ha. They could have just listened to our radio and TV. Nobody sober could’ve produced that drech.
Engineering & Intelligence (-sic-) can have a ball trying to reverse-engineer the transmitters. They’ll likely keep the findings a secret anyway. Meanwhile I found two unscathed Heinekens blown way over into the neighbor’s field, under a locust tree. Looked up in the sky r e a l    g o o d before I downed them, one right after the other. Then wrote this expose.
The only thing left to figure out is the little Plaque, damaged by the re-entry heat but still technically readable. Please, readers, don’t link this post anywhere till I have time to translate it. Probably says “Send more Heineken.” Anybody here speak Martian?



Ahh, dear readers: Who, more than I, sympathizes with the sad fact that you all have mortgages to pay, jobs to navigate, term-papers to bring-to-term, childhood insults on which to wreak sweet revenge. Pick any three.
For that reason I thoughtfully ask only five minutes of minimal attention for my Latest Prosthesis, (tongue possibly in cheek). To wit: Words may be more important, ‘bigger’, than you-uns guys, irrespective of your acknowledged gravitas.
There are over a billion English speakers on this global ball. And mebbe 150,000 words, 900 of which will almost suffice on an average hair-day. So which of the two is the scarcer commodity?
‘Far-fetched’ is older than most of your great-grandparents. And still alive, need I point out. It means ‘Brought here from somewhere distant; it takes a long time to get there and even longer to get back, carrying the dumb thing in a bag or what-not.’
More seriously, it is an adjective usually applied to ideas, specifically explanations. For example, when a friend’s car won’t start, and she blames NASA for disloging ice from the Moon, dat’s ‘far-fetched. Ok, Carburetor-ice. Usually happens on a landing in a small piston-aircraft, but I’ve seen it on long down-hill runs in automobile engines, especially if you have no brakes and use the gears to control your speed. Still, the Moon is 238,000 miles away. That’s far. Hence, far-fetched.
The word sounds almost yiddish, like a cousin of ‘far-schtunken’, lit-‘stunk-up’. I was never so happy as on the day I discovered that we have a,  like, totally parallel term in perfect hebrew. This find filled a felt gap in my lexicon, however, since a meagre 20% of the population have ever heard it, I usually need to default to more guttural equivalants. (‘You have an eggplant for a brain?’)
Still, to return to my measly point, every time you say ‘far-fetched’, you are merely borrowing a community asset. Remember to return it to the Language Bank as soon as your adversary realizes that you ain’t buying his Rube Goldberg scheme about what happened to your paycheck.

Ok, back to the grind-stone…And speaking of ‘far-fetched’:

How much is that ‘gator in the gutter?
Be great if I’d git’er for free. She got-
Gout, and a goiter
You’ll be better-off with-oiter
She needs a go-getter like me


How Munch is that picture in the window?
That boy in the darkness, that’s me!
Ex-Prussian expression-ist
Ars gratia artist
Hand it over or else I shall scream!

How much is that dogerrel in the Window? No, not
Edna Saint Vincent Millay.
No, the one where the Donkey
Falls in love with a Monkey.
Fifty cents! Nah, that’s too much to pay.

How much is that doggy Windows Vista©?
R.I.P. Can it handle ALL CAPS?
It’s at least worth the CD
That’s a quarter, if yer greedy. But will it
Run  my WIN’98’ aps?

How mushy are those doggies in your window!
For sale as a pair: bride and groom?………
Kids blush when they see ’em……………..
Kama Sutra Museum………………………
Could you tell ’em to please ‘Get a Room’

How much can the doggies in there win dough?
They tax ’em at 30 per cent
Add 20 for the vet plan
plus half to the middle man
I can see why they can’t pay the rent.

 How much wa$ that Window in your dog-house?
An unknown stained-glass by Chagall?…………
With trees so realistic……………………….
The beagles go ballistic………………………
But (for now) only piss on the wall……………

How much was that doggie in the window?
Just a skeleton, dead on the floor…….
When you moved to the Mall…………..
Did you count ’em at all?!……………..
Good luck with your spiffy new store….

How much for that “Dog-in a Window”
So life-like: ‘in Lucite/plus frame’
Like a bug stuck in amber
He was tryin’ to meander
But now every damn day feels the same..


A quick attempt to translate the original lyric to hebrew founders on the rocks of cultural differences. My apologies

Ca’mah a’tah ro’tze b’ad ha’ce’lev ha’mees’ken ha’zeh b’kha’lon?
Ha’hu, eem ha’za’nav sh’ka’ee’lu me’na’vet o’to b’clal
Nu, ta’a’seh li ha’na’kha
A’nu a’khim me’ha’tza’vah
Mah pee’tom, me’ah she’kel? A’tah da’fook be’se’khel?!


How much you want for that pitiful dog in the window?
Yeah, that one, with the tail, looks like it’s wagging him!
C’mon, give me a discount
We were in the army together
What! A hundred shekels ($25), you’re brain-damaged?!!

J: ¿Cuántos años tu crees que tenga el perro grande en la ventana por allí?
X: What?
J: Sorry, bud. Thought you spoke Spanish..
X: Why?
J: I don’t know, you look,
X: Sorry, Charlie. No habla.
J: Ok, no problemo. You sure you don’t speak spanish?
X: Jesus, quit it already. Of course not. You wanna buy a dog?
J: Mebbe. Funny. I coulda sworn you spoke Spanish
X: Ok, you win. I’d say he’s about five years old, judging by the face.
J: “And he speaks Spanish? ‘judging by the face’?”
X: “Go ask him. Three times, though. He ain’t got no papers either.

French Tourist: “Plus on apprend a connaître l’homme, plus on apprend a estimer le chien…”
Pet-shop Owner: “Ah, French, the language of love!”
Owner’s wife: “Still, it always feels like they’re talking about us.”
Owner: Nah, you’re just being paranoid, Marge.
Tourist: “Cette plance est un enfer puant!”
Owner: “My wife and I thank you, sir. Gracias, amigo.”


Over the top and dripping down the other side

(or ‘Ants are not the Answer’)

Two Aardvarcks walk into a Bard. The guy’s like: “What’s this, some kind of a joke?”
“No, we were just bored. Nice beard, by the way. But lose the owl-rims; You’re making a spectacle out of yourself with them spectacular spectacles.”
“Well I never!”
he says,”Here I am; a poet who’s bared his soul, soared in verse like a bird, and you two damn ant-eaters’re nibbling at my garments?”
“Always a first time for everything. Here, have our Card, cardinal.”
they said in unison, handing him an ‘A-list’ wallet-sized. He read it with some interest.
“Ah, you’re from the Dardenelles? A Kurd I once cared deeply for came from there. Oh how his lines struck a chord in my loins…”
With that revelation the ‘varcks bid a hasty dieu and moved on down the alphabet, chatting between them:
Fard? What’s up with that?”
“Um.. ‘Have you driven a Fard, lately?'”
“Sure, this morning, in fact. A -sic- FARD FIESTO ®. The letters keep falling off in the dark, but I glue ’em back on.”
“Yeah, I noticed. That’s why I hang with you. Got a lot of reGard for an ‘eater who don’t let his Guard down, not for a moment. H
ard sometimes, though”
“Yeah, the goddamned speed-bumps Jarred my letters. Had to buy a whole vial of vowels, and jus ‘cuz of them vile voles.”
A screech interrupted their reverie. Spinning around, they noticed the Bard, having purchased a skate-board, wheeling toward them. His fool attempt at a full glottal stop failed embarrasingly, and he landed in a pile of dissonant consonants on the sidewalk. Seeing that he was essentially un-hurt, the aardvarcks, to coin a phrase, ‘Laughed so hard they fell in the Lard’.
“You silly blind acro-bat.” they joked at/with/toward him, searching for his glasses in the gutter.
“My literary reputation is un-Marred”, he hurried to point out, “and stop with the dangling ambiguous participial phrases, will you-uns!”
“What’d he call us?”

“Marsupials, I think. You know, the ‘pouch-people’.”
“Ah yes, the MontagNards, carry rice in ’em, don’t they?”

“Hard to know what to believe nowadays. The ‘neutrality of the article has been questioned,’ so to speak.”
“You got a better ‘Nard, Antsie?”
“Well Pardon moi. I’m just tryin’ to keep the show on the road.”

“Um, speaking of which..” from the Bard, stuck on their game-show like a gum-shoe, apparently. The ‘eaters turned around, again, this time to see the Bard bearing presents: three very cute, but very pink tricycles he’d quickly traded his skateboard for.
“For these you traded the ‘board, Bard?” Antsie asked, hinting at the dangled preposition, preposterous coming from a professed word-smith.
“Mount your steed-lets, ‘varcks.” Bardot insisted. “Get this: ‘Our Troika can use a little trick I learned on a trek once in the Sudan; keep the trikes in the track of a truck.'”
“Ooh, not bad!”

“Yeah, the guy’s sure got the symptoms, mebbe even the full disease.”
“Only one hitch, Mitch: Which truck?”
“Please, call me Costello. And I think he means that one.”,
Elvis said, pointing to a greasy stepvan.
“Um, GeRard’s Sardines, Inc.? We can follow it nasally, guy.”
“You mean, of course, ‘olfactorially‘ don’t you?”.
“Yeah, sounds less… less coarse.”
     The Bard struggled to keep up, but when the lorry stopped on the kerb for a delively he launched into a story from his sadly-missed child-hood in Blighty.
“I was Tarred and feathered once, you know.”
The ‘eaters scoured his visage for any remnants of the event. In vain.
“Yup, I’d innocently left out ‘
uard’ from a piece I wrote for my Xanga.”
“Bu..but, ‘Quard’ ain’t a word.”
“Tell it to the judge. I posted the thing, took my tar ‘n feathers bravely, and then even time-stamped the bloody thing.”
“You un-recalcitrant weasel, you. Then what happened?”
“They re-tried me, the original judge having retired, but I refused to recant, saying ‘I can’t, I just cannot tell a lie. I still say it don’t move me, this here ‘Quard'”
“Wow, what gall, Galileo. We got new respect for you.”
“Call me EdV
ard’, ants, please, I insist.”
“As in Grieg? The Mountain King?”
“Nope, as in Munch, the  Munch-kin. I had lunch with Munch ounch, the guy really is
a scream.”
“Tell me, Eddie; you guys got drunk, did he let you call him
‘EdWard’? Cause we need a Ward.”
“You know what’s weird?”
The Bard pedalled his trikey closer to the pair, “He never said a word the whole meal. Me I was wired from the coffee, hmm.. maybe he couldn’t get a word in edge-wise.”
The truck clunked off on its rounds, but the troika hardly noticed.
“What’s left? “X’, right?” The Bard was a man of letters.
“Yup. Pass on that, though. Yard’s do-able. Or Lanyard, if they institutionalize us. A locked ward. We’ll be makin’ ’em till we’re insane”.
“Us? We?” Antsie moved a little closer to the Bard. “What, we’re Siamese twins?”
“Um, ‘conjoined’ nowadays. Siam’s like… yesterday. Like ‘The King and I’
“What’s wrong with the king and I?”
“Nobody say dat no mo. They be like goin,’ Me ‘n da King, Holmes!'”
“Ha. The Queen’s English is going to the Lizards.”
This from the Bard, who still revered Her Majesty, though with a belly-full of wine.
“Um, it’s ‘going to the dogs’, no?”
“Yeah, throretically speaking, but we need the Zards.”

“It is finished!”
A2: “Who said that?”
Bard: “Can I be the guy in the middle?”   “A kind of symmetry, wouldn’t  guys say? The Faultless Edvard, flanked by two common Aardvarcks. And what’s the deal with the two ‘A’s anyway, now that we’re about to die?

A1: “Please, we prefer the term ‘hanging out’. I get to be on the right, then.”

A2: “For what?  For calling a simple Av a Gnu? I called a Bull a Vard.”

A1: All right. Have it your way… this time….

Bard: Hey, guys, we got two(2) Recommends!!! That’s never happened before. That makes 5 total, for three years of posts.

A1: Must be the aardvarck theme; we’re hot these days.

A2: Yeah, bards are ten cents a hundred. Anyway, thanks, dear human readers

We must be nearing the Pole: look at all these words for ‘snow’

…..And, in a similar vein, the closer one inadvisably veers toward the ‘troubled Middle East’ , the more words he will hear for, well, ‘fuck-ups’. It’s what we know.
I grew up calling a catastrophe, such as the cows getting out at 3AM, usually compounded by dead batteries in the flashlight, multiple presumed escape routes crossing busy highways, having that night planned to wake up at 5 to finish seven-or-so overdue term-papers before feeding the calves, getting down silage, and rushing off to school smelling like swamp-thing… hmm.. what else can I throw into the awful mix? a ‘”ge’chiss”. One word said it all.
I only learned to spell it one summer at Camp, when after a week of mutual exploration of private parts with my heart-throb-de-jure, I was brought back to reality by a letter from my my Mom:
“Vy, last night, didn’t ve have such an awful ge’chiss. “ She went on at length to describe to gory details. Familiar, them, but I was mostly entranced by the dignification of the term. Guess I’d thought it defied spelling.
    At any rate,  here in the Levantine slop of reckless-, thoughtless-, careless-, and whatevah-less-ness, we couldn’t get through even ten minutes of an average day without a linguistic warehouse packed with terms for… well,, for a ‘shit-mess.’
We’ve got ‘fashla’. That one’s at least hebrew. Relatively mild, it’s for when the plumber thought you said ‘Day Two’ (we have no names for the days of the week, I guess on religious grounds) but you’re sure you told him ‘Day Four’, otherwise you wouldn’t have taken off work Monday.
‘Fadikha’ involves a small supporting cast of dumb-fucks. The putative plumber arrives, drills through your main supply pipe by mistake(?), and leaves for lunch, not before his brain-dead lackey breaks the shut-off valve. And no, he doesn’t answer his cell. The term comes from arabic, I assume, as does his helper.
Plunter is yiddish, I’m almost sure. It describes a tangled-up mess of messes, where the solution of any one negates the possibility of ever fixing any of the other ten or so. This morning’s dead car, sold but still registered in my name, stuck blocking the main traffic lane, at 8AM in horrific rush hour, clutch possibly stuck ‘in’, but the wires to the ignition-module torn off by a cheap radiator repair, its owner’s cell-phone battery dead, as was mine likewise, the tow-truck on vacation, I could go on, qualifies as a plunter.
‘Broach’ is like the above but continuing for weeks, defying every attempt at self-extrication, until the victim decides to abandon all hope and at least give the ugly mongrel-dog a name.
There are, of course, others. If I ever get out of the fashl-ot, fadikh-ot, plunter-im, and brooch-en I’m condemned to accept here, day-in and day-out, I’ll file an update. If the power’s on and my computer works that day.

‘Old McGoogle dah a fram/ 3 I 3 I O’

Don’t sing along.. I did ‘n now I’m kucfed.
It’s no secret that Google reads your G-mail in-box before you do: just look at the ads and you know whether yer mamma’s dead? {“Grief Hot-line: Toll-Free”} or,conversely (simultaneously?) won the Lottery? {Invest that Fortune w/us!}
They also read/mine  the last four opened documents on your hard-drive, to set up the language options already in ‘Google Translate’. No, I didn’t believe it the first seven(7) times it happened either, but my experiments prove that this is so, beyond a doubt. Hint: try ‘Taffy’, ‘Towels’, and ‘Prison’, and you’ll see the Eng-to-Turkish selected on the drop-down menu-box. (Ok, that one’s a joke, but my point is true.)

   But today’s woes stem from my fascination with backward readings of words and phrases. Anything from RACECAR, George SOROS, etc. and all the way to my world-famous classic: “NOT WE, NOT WE, NEGRO ‘G’, DIRT UP ANI’S EVIL BUT TANGY GNAT-TUB; LIVES IN A PUTRID GORGE, NEW TO NEWTON”
Of course, Google already defaults me daily to Google-Israel in Hebrew. I suppose they note my ISP and figure I’d be more comfortable with my own kind. I change it back to English, thank you, with all its faults.
But today I got this!

el goog

Google for the Spanish-speaking dyslexic?
I screwed ’em, though. Searched for “RADAR”.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: The supposed screen-shot and the last paragraph are A SPOOF. All the rest is real. (I can’t afford to have Google chasing me on their nickle, like the phantom kid in the balloon.

Rhyme, Rhythm, or Reason: Choose any two.

   I tried to poetize this; funny, it worked when I was asleep. Oh well, that’s why they invented blank verse. Just kidding… I think


I complained to the boy who’d topped my tanks way back when:
“Cause-a you I had to land on a desert island!”
I leaned out the cockpit window, trying to lend some extra authority to my voice, as the gyros whirred to a stop…

I had lined up the nose with longest run of the beach, inland as much as I dared, hoping for a solid surface, the prop free-wheeling ever since the engine had sputtered to a halt. Not a bad landing;  nose-high, I felt the tail wheel contact first and roll, not drag, on the sand.

    Natives, that’s what I remember most from the two years I spent there. One in particular. Ok, she was the only one on the island.
“I’m called ‘Muy Linda’. Who’re you?” She asked excitedly, an orange-and-pink-and-yellow-and-everything-else sun-dress barely covering her coconuts.
“Very nice. What, somebody thought you looked like a cow?” would’ve been a perfect line, {Moo-ey} but grossly out-of-place; She looked like Heaven-Itself.
 I loaned her the worn copy of ‘The Little Prince’ I always took with me on flights. She recited it out loud, French-read-as-Spanish, on our first ‘date’, a long walk to the other side of the island, where I’d seen some drift-wood while circling for an emergency ditch. Sure enough, timbers from a long-forgotten wreck made us a picturesque lean-to, the still-legible ‘H.M.S London Seas’ carved into the beam which spanned the doorway.
    The twins were born roughly eight months later, judging from the shells we carefully lined up on the mantel, one for every full moon. We called the newborns ‘Johnson & Johnson’, after the baby powder she  vaguely remembered from ‘Maryland something?’ where she thought she might’ve been born.
“Johns Hopkins?” I said aloud, wondering if it might jog any lost memories.
“Nah, sounds like we’re calling ’em rabbits.”
“Little bunnies… hop-toads?”, I suggested a fix, but she just shook her raven-black hair.
      It was spring when we saw the ship. The wee-ones were playing in the gentle waves under their mother’s watchful eye.
“Johnny, a boat!” she screamed. We knew what to do. The last of the fish-oil helped the lean-to catch fire quickly, and the smoke did its smoke-signalling just like in the movies.
“What did we forget?” I asked her as we frantically gathered up what we could and climbed into the rubber life-boat they’d sent ashore for us.
“‘U’, that’s all.” She laughed, pretending to first count the two boys, one under each arm.
“Good point.” I told her, taking one of the ‘Johnsons’ who had started to whimper a bit.
“And a good thing we did,” I added, “otherwise this dream might have ballooned into a blunder.”
    One arm around her shoulders, we watched as the still-smoldering hut receeded into the distance.
“We’ll always have London.” she purred into my ear and I woke up, her smell mixed with coconut oil turning into the aroma of cheap coffee much too quickly. At least we’d hit all the vowels…

Wu: Nu, how’d you get the Piper Cub back to the field?
Me: I didn’t. It’s still there, I saw it on Google Maps a year or so ago. Then we over-flew the place in the Twin Comanche I bought with part of the advance we got for the movie rights. Don’t you wanna know, like, what school we sent the boys to, stuff like that?
Wu: Johns Hopkins?
Me: Woozie! And I thought you slept through the whole story!

all a dream, mebbe  

Alligators in Denial

      Ok, there’s a slim chance I’m just infatuated by my appointment this week as ‘Domestic Word-czar for Confusion’.  The call did come from the Wash. (D.C.) area code, so I assume it’s legit. Suprising though, since I really haven’t  made any headway in my campaign for a cleaner tongue in years. The job-description itself is a little ambiguous. I guess I’ll grow into it.
First call was to my fellow plenty-potentiate, RichardDick Tater, out in Monsanto. Idaho, who is now the U.S Potato Czar. In office three weeks, he’s already embattled by bitter, geasy, trailer-park home-fries who wish him only failure and field-losses.
“Call me the ‘Spud King’“, he said, somewhat bitterly, after I introduced myself, “just like on Fox.”
“No respect for the office, ha” I said, commiserating. “They haven’t started on me yet, thank God.”
“They will.”
Dick assured me. “I spend half the time dealing with my detractors.”
“You mean the damn GOP, those grupsich old potatoes?”
“No, I said ‘Mighty Tractors’. Incorporated. Their factory’s right next to mine out here in Monsanto.”
“Oh that ‘my detractors’
.” I said, calmly noting the ‘confusion’
“Yeah, their own honcho wanted the job. He still does. The dude’s in denial.”
“In da Nile?”
I asked, puzzled. “You mean like, ‘up to his waist in crocodiles’?”
“Nope, they’re alligators.” Dick corrected me and laughed.
“Maybe they oughta concentrate on making a better tractor. That XJ-99 model they’re pushing, I mean, old man Diesel is probably spinning in his furrow.”
“For now, they parked most of ’em behind the spite-gates they put up to in the alley between us, to block my access to my own home.” Dick told me.
“Ooh, that’s serious.” I told him, understanding the ‘alley-gaters’ without missing a beat this time.
Three days on the job and I got a full plate already….

Sui Generis: Yesterday I didn’t know what it wuz; today I iz one

Yessir. Duncan’s witty Latin comment on a recent post, recomending that I create ‘post-haste’ an ad hoc xanga-site, (call it johnny_the_blogger_flogger) to scuffle about and troll the miscreants: “Lern two spel gud or get gone!” inspired me to further my Latin erudition. (Who knows when I may win a trip to Latin America.)
Anyway, caught my eye the phrase ‘sui generis’. Turns out it derives from ‘sui’, meaning ‘Come an’ git it!’ (familiar to pig-latin farmers since time im-memorial) and ‘generis’, one of those pesky hard-to-translate latin cognacs, but it basically it means “willing at the drop of a hat to give you the shirt off his back, especially if every time he’s worn it he’s had, like, a bad hair day.” How do they get all that in just one word?
    At any rate, I AM one. A ‘sui generis’. But wait, there’s more! There aren’t a lot like me. I’m like ‘one of a kind’. This makes me feel real special. …unique, even.
You’re Welcome. *bows* I will accept flowers or a donation to my favorite charity, the MES Fund.

Ok, of course I’m being disingenious here. Don’t believe a word you read. After all, this is the bloke what defined ‘counterintuitive‘ as “So ‘into it’ that he’s counting down the days till it happens”
But seriously, and this is my only point, I AM ISRAEL’S LONE BLOGGER. Well, ‘male blogger’: a sweet new immigrant with a nice writing style posts once a week or so, but she’s female, so thinketh at least her lucky new husband. Mazal tov to the two of you…
    I frequently check all three of Israel’s Metros: Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Jerusalem. The latter is especially polluted with misguided drones from Waukeegan who pick it as their supposed metro, but their posts have them ‘hanging in the mall with Random Kyle’, so the pretence is transparent. Tel Aviv supposedly has 614 ‘members’. Most of ’em haven’t taken finger to keyboard since the Prussian War, and them what have are all ‘da’fookHeb:’screwed-the-fuck-up’) in some important category.
The moral of the story is that if you are subbed to me, you are also, by contact ‘sui generis’. In a class by yourselves. Test on Friday.

cactus sui generis

I meant. of course ‘unique‘in the animal kingdom’.

johnny sui generis

And it’s no guarantee of Instant Nirvana either