Who Fought the Law?

Being a solid citizen has its advantages.  A bunch of cops came walking through the office yesterday and I remained calm.  There were no drugs to be swallowed in haste, no felonies to be categorically denied.  The only stress I felt was the usual work stuff like deadlines about to lapse and a boss who thinks I’m a mental defective.  An unexpected visit by law enforcement was a welcome diversion.As one might imagine, this generated quite a buzz among us cubicle folk.  There had been some incidents of stolen laptops in the past and I was wondering if a thief had struck again.

According to that most reliable source of information, the office rumor mill, there was not only another theft but the culprit just got busted.  He was a new contract-to-hire guy in IT, no doubt high on meth.  There was video footage of him carrying goods out the door.  He was toast.

I didn’t know him.  A co-worker gave me a brief physical description and I still drew a blank.  Whoever he was, he made a very idiotic decision that’s going to put his life in the shitter, if it weren’t heading in that direction already.

I certainly didn’t envy the man, though I might have if  the arresting officers were all hot policewomen. I  wouldn’t stoop to thievery, mind you, but I might walk around with a dongle hanging out of the back of my pants in the hope one of them might snap on a rubber glove and give my body cavity a look see.

Three Cheers for the Sad Cases

It’s all about perspective.  When I get down on myself for not doing enough with my life, all I have to is look around to find someone who, by comparison, makes me appear to be at the top of my game.  Since I spend a fair amount of time in a bar, such people are not hard to come by.

Saturday evening did not disappoint.  I got to the Argus around seven, having spent most of the day either napping or puttering around the apartment.  I didn’t need a drink.  I didn’t even especially want one, but boredom and cabin fever sent me on my way.

I’ve seen the man before.  He usually orders well bourbon neat and never leaves a tip.  Nor does he engage the bartender or any of the other customers in conversation.  He just drinks until he’s either had enough or run out of money, then heads off to wherever it is he goes.

At first, I made it a point not to stare.  I had noticed irregularities in the man’s complexion that under the dim bar lighting, I had mistaken scribed to burn scars.  When I referred to him as “Mister Crispy” to one of the bartenders, she set the record straight saying, “No, that’s the result of booze.  Lots and lots of booze.”

She was right.  Allowing myself to gawk, what I saw was not scar tissue but an assortment of blemishes and broken capillaries.  The damage was long term and self inflicted.

Well, I thought, that’s that then.  The poor bastard clearly can’t handle his hooch.  I put on my glasses and looked at my reflection in the mirror behind the bar just to make sure what stared back at me didn’t resemble that guy.Not bad, a little rough around the edges but my boyish good looks were more or less intact for a man in his forties.  I had nothing to worry about.

It’s funny.  When given a wakeup call, it’s so easy to turn it into a snooze button.  Life is indeed what you make of it.

Back from the Dead

Once upon a time, there was a blog called Poison Spur.  It was sporadically entertaining and boasted a readership well into the double-digit range.  Most of all, it was a place where I could spout whatever gibberish popped into that pretty little head of mine for all the world to see.  I liked that.

What I also liked was that it didn’t cost me a dime.  My friend Alex hosted the site for free on one of his servers located at a third-party data center.

Then the unthinkable happened.  There was a total system crash with no chance of recovery.  I’m a little hazy on the details but in the aftermath, the company housing the machine thought the best course of action would be to format the hard disk, erasing all the data.  Their reasoning behind this decision has never been adequately explained.

“Not to worry,” Alex assured me.  “When I have a moment, I’ll get you set up on another server.”

Weeks passed.  Then months.  “Sorry for the delay,” Alex would say.  “I promise to have things up and running by [insert lapsed deadline here].”  I’d take him at his word and divert my attention to the consumption of whiskey.

I can’t really blame him though.  My blog was the only item on his to-do list that neither earned him money nor got him drunk.  It’s little surprise Poison Spur languished on the bottom of the priority list for so long.

Now it’s back, more or less.  I managed to salvage most of the entries from Google and disk cache, and even preserved the date and time of the original postings.  I still need to add categories but I’ll deal with that later.

Other than a new layout, don’t expect a lot of changes.  I’ll have a new pulp review ready in about a week or so (need to go to Kayo Books tomorrow) and will continue to push the boundaries of taste whenever possible.

Let the good times roll.