More Fun from the Early Nineties

It was perhaps unsporting of me in my last post to lampoon the appalling of writing in other people’s Usenet posts. Not only that, it was an egregious case of throwing stones in glass houses. Back then, when I was arguably still young and undeniably immature, I fancied myself a poet and posted my stuff on the net.

If anyone is inclined to blackmail me, they don’t have to have gotten a hold of that photo of me jumping naked out of a cake at Pablo Escobar’s bachelor party (which isn’t even all that damning because I had a cute butt back then). They need only do a newsgroup-archive search on Google to find poetry of mine that would make a Vogon blush. Can’t this information be sealed in the interests of national security?

Actually, there was poem I wrote back then that isn’t completely worthless. I think the reason it turned out to be something other than complete drivel was the subject matter. For once, I decided to shift focus away from my usual existential “woe is me” crap that plagued my other work.

Much of the credit goes to my friend Kirk for this. We were hanging out talking one night, up late after ingesting large amounts of…uh…caffeine, yeah, that’s it. He told me of a news story he read about a young girl who died on a merry-go-round.

What happened was that a poisonous snake had crawled inside one of the wooden horses before it was crated and shipped. When the horse was attached to the carousel, the snake was still inside. The girl got on and the ride started. The snake, irritated by all the commotion, decided to register a complaint in her exposed leg. The girl called out to her father, claiming the horse was biting her. The father, realizing that children are frequently full of shit, decided to ignore her. The ride ended and she fell over dead.

How awfully tragic. How delectably Freudian. Here was a poem that was just dying to be written. Enjoy:

The Biting Horse
“The horse keeps biting me Daddy,” she cried
As the carousel went around and around
Her father just waved as the horses swept by
As he heard her call out, he made this reply
“Hush yourself girl; try enjoying the ride.”
“But the horse keeps biting me Daddy,” she cried

And the horse that she rode went up and went down
Where inside lay snakes in the hollowed-out wood.
The motion upset them and they struck where they could
“The horse keeps biting me Daddy,” she cried
“Wooden horses can’t bite,” so her pleas were denied

And after that, she made not a sound
But the serpents kept biting and tears filled her eyes
As poisonous fangs penetrated her thighs
Darkness consumed her from a numbness inside
As she felt the horse biting on that horrible ride

When the ride stopped, she slid to the ground
Her father ran to her and knelt on the floor
The poor little girl was breathing no more
The words haunt his life from the day that she died
“The horse keeps biting me Daddy,” she cried.

Usenet Erotica Remembered

The year is 1991. Halfway around the world, the shores of Kuwait are in flames, but you don’t care. The boss has gone for the day, leaving you to kick back in your cubicle listening to the cool sounds of Deee-Lite on your Sony Discman. You decide to put your xterm to better use than generating huge financial reports on greenbar that no one will ever read. Your favorite newsgroup, alt.sex.stories, beckons you. Yeah, baby. When it comes to a good read, this is the shit.

Passing Ships Not Forgotten

I met her at the art museum. She looked a lot like Meg Ryan so I therefore thought she was hot. She was looking at a drawing by George Grosz that showed how Weimar-era Berlin was bad. She ran her hand between her legs and moaned.

“That’s Grosz,” I said.

That made her look sad. She must have thought my comment insulted her mating dance. This was not true. I bet it got her lots of action at frat parties and biker bars and it was beginning to work on me.

“That’s George Grosz,” I clarified. “There is a lot of passion in his work but not as much as I have for you.”

“Really?” she said.

“Yes,” I said. “I would like to take you home and stick my large man meat into your tight fish hole.”

She said yes because I know a lot about art.

After foreplay, we had sex and it was hot. While we went at it, I licked her face and whispered “give it up, baby” into her ear. Her hot legs wrapped around my waist and held me tight.

“Careful, baby,” I said. “If you squeeze me too hard, you will make me fart.”

She laughed at this while she had one of her many orgasms.

Pay Some Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain

I’m going to turn 45 on Saturday. Looking back on my four and a half decades, I’d sum up my life as at least a partial success. My lack of accomplishments is offset by my lack of a prison record and I’ve even managed to have some fun during the journey. I can claim to be self-actualized, at least in a Zaphod Beeblebrox sort of way.

And let’s not forget that life isn’t over. No doctors have told me that I have six months to live and I intend on keeping it that way by avoiding them whenever possible. However, if I see a physician bust out his prescription pad and shout “who wants to party?” I might be persuaded to soften my position on the matter.

Anyway, I’m going to celebrate having lasted this long at the Argus Lounge on Saturday, August 25, starting at 8 pm. I have already invited a bunch of my my friends and would like to extend that invitation to you, my cherished readers. So if you’re in the neighborhood and feel like stopping in to say hello to the guy responsible for Poison Spur, please do. You’ll make this attention slut very happy.

Let Gravel Pave the Way

Sorry all you Clinton, Obama, and Edwards supporters. I’m sure one of these front runners will get the nomination and I’ll vote for him or her next November. Or to be more precise, I’ll vote against the Republican nominee, whichever jingoistic dipshit gets the nod. Go Dems, yay team, and all that.

In the primaries, I’ll have the option of voting my conscience. In my case, that means Mike Gravel. He’s progressive but not a statist weenie like Dennis Kucinich. He wants us out of Iraq and unlike the current Democrats in congress, isn’t content to open cans of wuss ass with non-binding resolutions. He called Hillary Clinton on her shit over her contemptible states-rights stand on gay marriage. His disdain for the War on Drugs weighs in just to the right of lighting my bong for me.

Oh, and I forgot to mention he filibustered to get our troops out of Vietnam and read the Pentagon Papers into the Congressional Record. How fucking cool is that?

This is not to say I agree with him about everything. His call for universal health-care vouchers is well intended but begs the question of how we’re going to pay for it and he’s more protectionist than I am when it comes to immigrant labor. That’s OK. Under President Mike, I can still own a gun if I own a license and have completed my “don’t shoot your foot off” training.

The best thing about supporting Mike Gravel though is that I will never be called to task for it. He’s way behind in the polls and his candor will keep him there. And even if he miraculously wins both in the primaries and the general election, he’ll be 78 years old by Inauguration Day and therefore about as dangerous as Grandpa trying to swing that hammer in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2.

Monolingual Me

I thought my Spanish was pretty good. I made no claim of fluency but believed I could get by should the need arise. I did OK years ago in Bolivia and Guatemala, after all.

I was disabused of that notion this morning when trying to communicate with my house cleaner. Betty took the day off and was still sacked out so I asked if the bedroom could be cleaned last. I remembered the Spanish word for “last” is Ășltimo and assumed the rest would be easy. It wasn’t. I wanted to tell her that Betty was almost finished sleeping. For “almost,” I used the word bijna, which is correct if you happen to be speaking Dutch (another language I suck at).

It wasn’t long before I resorted to monkey-boy pantomime while she nodded politely and then continued doing what she had planned on from the get go.

If I were of a nativist bent, I suppose I could get all huffy that she hasn’t leaned English. She probably should learn English, but more for her sake than mine. Then again, if she did, she would be able to tell me exactly what she thinks of cleaning my pigsty of an apartment.

I therefore support a multilingual America, especially when it means I don’t have to hear about how my bathroom is as filthy as a Tijuana bus station’s, how half-eaten Chinese food should go in the fridge or the trash, and how the boxer shorts strewn across my bedroom floor crackle like bubble wrap when you give them a twist.

Toothy Grim

I have an excuse for my meager offering yesterday. I sat in a dentist chair for three hours. That can take its toll on one’s muse, not to mention the available credit on one’s Visa card.

I thought I was through the worst of it. Really I did. During my last visit, I had a syringe jabbed directly into the pulp of my molar during a root canal. When it was all over, the nerve was gone. I assumed what was left of my tooth was in a persistent vegetative state.

I was wrong. You see, there are a lot of nerves in that part of the lower jaw, all of them drama queens. When the dentist went in for round two, they sang out in a four-part harmony of pain.

My dentist has a method for a patient communicating when the discomfort level gets too high. You raise your hand. This makes perfect sense since you can’t adequate voice your concerns with a hand shoved down your mouth.

However, if the dentist doesn’t notice or chooses not to, this method is far from perfect. In my case, he just kept on drilling while my arm went up and down so many times I felt like an extra inTriumph of the Will.

Maybe I should just let my teeth rot and move to England. A jack o’ lantern smile carries little social stigma there and when flashed at prospective employers or immigration officials, is accepted as proof of citizenship.

If You Drink, Don’t Drive

You simply can’t afford to do both.

I was sitting at the Argus, talking with a friend on Saturday night. A TV ad caught his attention.

“539 bucks a month? What the fuck?” he said.

That’s how much, according to the commercial, it cost to lease a high-end SUV. It dawned on me that this about the same amount as my monthly bar tab. It was a sobering thought. Well, it would have been if I hadn’t already downed three whiskeys.

Tonight I’m going to go home directly after work and stay there. There are plenty of unread and partially read books in my apartment. There are still leftovers from last night’s Chinese food delivery. There are smutty websites I haven’t check out yet (not to mention those that merit a second visit).

I can be a homebody for one night. Maybe I’ll even like it. Doubtful, but maybe.

Rubbernecking Roadkill on the Information Highway

I recently found out about MyDeathSpace.com and out of morbid curiosity, went to visit the site. I was expecting something assholish and tasteless, including commentary like “What a dumbass. His car hit a tree. Har dee har har.” Fortunately, this wasn’t the case. Other than the Tim Burtonesque skull at the top of each page, the tone was somber and respectful.

Perusing the site is quite different from reading the obituaries in a newspaper. For one thing, there are literally thousands of people listed on MyDeathSpace, complete with photos and the cause of death. And like the living members of MySpace, they were almost always younger than I am, the majority ranging from their teens to mid twenties.

The site made me feel both old and lucky.

What held my interest going page through page of the departed was how they died. When old people keel over, it’s their legacy that matters, not what did them in. For the young, there are decades of life that are never going to happen and it’s natural to wonder why.

Just to be clear, my findings are in no way scientific. I didn’t tally causes of death onto a scorecard that I could later use to render pie charts and projections for the next fiscal quarter. I’ll leave that for the ghoulish statisticians out there. I’m sure there are plenty of them. I simply browsed and saw what I saw.

There were victims of cancer, congenital heart defects, and a surprising number of deaths from cystic fibrosis. If you want proof that life isn’t fair, you need look no further.

Given the age group, it should come as no surprise that lapses in judgment caused a lot of deaths. Accidental drug overdoses, chugging hard alcohol, and driving like a maniac claimed a lot of lives. Most people live through their moments of stupidity. These folks did not.

With the state of the world these days, there are also war fatalities. I personally hate our involvement in Iraq, but still honor these service men and women for their sacrifice. With that honor comes anger. The old and powerful have always started wars so the young and powerless can go die in them. These kids, and a lot of them are just that, lost their lives in the service of their country. Those lives were worth something. Our government, and ultimately ourselves, bear the responsibility of taking them away. It better be for a damn good reason.

Even more senseless were all the people on the site who died by murder or suicide. I must have led a sheltered life when I was young because when arguments and fights broke out, nobody pulled a gun. Am I missing something? Since when did owing someone money for drugs or staring at his girlfriend’s butt become grounds for justifiable homicide?

This is not to say that those who took their own lives were any wiser in their motives. Getting dumped by lovers or experiencing financial troubles were reason enough to eat a bullet. One poor, misguided kid of 14 actually killed himself because his iPod was stolen. I’m sure if his parents knew beforehand, they would have gladly given him another iPod. Or better yet, a set of priorities.

Sitting Chivas

Betty’s ex-boyfriend Jimmy was killed in a motorcycle accident Saturday shortly after leaving her house. Though they ceased being a couple some time ago, they remained close friends. She was devastated when she heard the news and has been in mourning since then.

Grieving the loss of a loved one is never easy and you take whatever comforts you can to ease the pain along the way. Betty is Jewish so sitting shiva, at least to the extent she can given practical necessities, can help. Faced with this kind of tragedy that is so maddeningly pointless, you can find yourself so sad and confused you’re not sure what to do or even think. I’m glad there is some sort of cultural tradition and ritual that can cut down on the confusion, even if it does nothing to diminish the sadness.

She asked me how I dealt with bereavement. I told her I went out and drank myself stupid. She said that wouldn’t work for her. I can hardly blame her. It never worked for me either.