Going out on a Limb

I don’t like it when pandas die. I know this may not be a popular position, but I have never been one to shy away from the tough issues. Several weeks back I read an article about a panda who was released back into the wild, and died shortly thereafter. I wrote song lyrics about how this tragedy affected me on a deeply personal level. I would like to share these words with you now so that you too will see how important it is for cute animals to survive. Enjoy.

I just polished off another cold beer
I get in my car and I put it in gear
Plowing through pedestrians, I feel quite ecstatic
Got my hand on the stick though I drive an automatic

Get drunk, beat off, and kill
By Jove, I think I will
I’m just that kind of guy
But dead pandas always make me cry

Take albino from the bar to the tanning salon
I lock her in the booth and turn the power on
Some onanistic lovin’ as I’m laughing at her plight
She is not the only one who is bubbling white

Get drunk, beat off, and kill
Your holy water’s swill
I answer Satan’s call
But dead pandas always make me bawl

Chugging down a 40 in the pediatric ward
If a machine saves lives then I’m pulling out its cord
And if you haven’t guessed, it’s not just happenstance
That I’m doing all this with my hand down my pants

Get drunk, beat off, and kill
I’ll never get my fill
I am the one you scorn
But dead pandas always make me mourn
Get drunk, beat off, and kill
Indulge me this one thrill
Forgive my homicide
For dead pandas show my tender side
They do!

Clang, Clang, Fiddle, Tweak

This is going to be brief. After a few gripes (thanks Betty!) about how the site has pages marked “Under Construction” for over a year, it’s time to do something about it.

I’ll be adding a Dave’s Page section, which is a bit silly because most people who read the blog know me personally, but what the hell. I’ll also add a links page to whisk you away when you’re sick of my nonsense, and a page for those who don’t know my email addy to send me messages.

There will no doubt be improvements in the future and I’ll get to them when my drinking schedule permits.

Dateline Argus Lounge

Scribbled into a spiral notebook last night about 8 pm

It’s the kind of summer night I expect in San Francisco, low clouds clinging to the hills to the west, ready to roll over the Mission district as soon as darkness falls and the temperature drops. We do have our hot spells that keep the marine layer at bay and the temperature balmy long after sunset. Fortunately, those don’t happen too often. They make tempers run short and you end up with husbands beating wives, wives beating husbands, and wives beating wives. OK, the wife-on-wife violence is pretty hot but they seldom, if ever, let me watch.

But I digress. I have just been poured my third drink and the jukebox is playing some old jazz, the sort one hears in the background of any bar scene in an old “Twilight Zone” rerun. Life is good, at least clear enough, and my mind is still plenty clear to plot my next move.

I like that I’m writing more now. It allows me to confront my own mediocrity as a wordsmith and through the sheer power of repetition, have some of that mediocrity give way to genuine competence.

The Beer-Fart Executive

It had to happen. Sooner or later, I was going to cop a snobbishly superior attitude and post about how I don’t watch much television. That time has come. Lucky you.

If you think I spend TV prime time in a cafe reading Camus and wearing a beret, think again. I am no intellectual, pseudo or otherwise. I am an alcoholic (hi Dave!) and choose to pass those hours perched on a barstool. While my local does have a TV, a big plasma-screen monstrosity in fact, it is usually tuned to a ball game or the like. Not my thing. Unless a sporting event consists of two women battling it out (preferably with vibrators), I tend to focus my attention on my one true love, my drink.

One of the reasons I don’t save money by staying home and drinking there is that I might find myself having to watch TV. As much as I like think of myself as the kind of serious boozer who can amuse himself by drinking Old Grand Dad straight out of the bottle while sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor, I do need distractions. In a bar, conversation and eavesdropping fill the void. At home, there is the idiot box. And what gems await me if I turn the damn thing on? I am treated to stuff like David Caruso on “CSI: Miami.” For those of you who are unaware of what effects prolonged exposure to this drivel can have on the human psyche, check out this video on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sarYH0z948

For the true couch potatoes, that’s years of wasted existence condensed into just over seven minutes. It’s a miracle they haven’t all hanged themselves.

There was a movie that came out when I was a kid called The Barefoot Executive, starring a pre-Snake Plissken Kurt Russell, who discovers a chimpanzee with the talent of predicting which television shows will get the best ratings. The film teaches a valuable lesson. No, I don’t advocate letting a prescient primate pick the fall line up. From what I’ve seen, the networks have been doing that for years. The point I’m trying to make is that as idiotic as that movie was, it provided and entertaining viewing experience by virtue of its hairy co-star.

So what I propose for “CSI: Miami” is to get rid of David Caruso (he’s used to career setbacks anyway) and replace his character with Sheriff Bobo, the meanest law-enforcement chimp to ever don a cowboy outfit. While we’re at it, toss all the pseudo-science sleuthing as well. What was an hour of tedium and cheesy one-liners becomes five minutes of pure entertainment. Bobo runs onto the set, flings his excrement all over the crime scene, and beats a confession out of the prime suspect.

I would gladly stay home to watch that.

Learning from Nature’s Mistakes

A couple of weeks ago, I was riding home on BART. The train wasn’t that crowded but I decided to stand near the door rather than risk sitting next to someone with a relaxed sense of personal hygiene. When we stopped at Civic Center station, I woman got on pushing a stroller by me.

I looked down and expected to see an infant or toddler. Instead, what looked up at me was some sort of retarded midget, old enough to have smile lines. This person grinned a mindless little grin, expressing a sentiment of “Hi, what’s your name?” or possibly “I like to go to the pet store and eat mice.”

I never found out which. Like most cowards presented with an uncomfortable bit of reality, I looked away and pretended he wasn’t there.

One of the worst aspects of human nature is our tendency to distance ourselves from the misfortune of others. More often than not, it’s completely unnecessary. That guy in the stroller was dealt a lousy hand but I’m pretty sure that whatever ails him isn’t catching. Yet, we will spare no ugliness in convincing ourselves that catastrophic bad luck could never happen to us.

Some take the morally righteous tack and may react to the stroller guy something like “Only fornication could produce such a vile offspring. They have disobeyed God’s law. Behold the homonculus, proof positive that contempt breeds a familiar.”

OK, most people aren’t that harsh, at least not out loud.

I usually deal with the situation by thinking up something comically grotesque. My coping mechanism in this instance was “To fight terrorism, we’re going to need a lot of these mutants. Imagine a phalanx of them, drooling, gibbering, and armed with meat cleavers. Charge the enemy with that kind of fighting force and we’ll convert every one of those rat bastards to Christianity (after they’ve finished pissing themselves with fear, that is). Praise Jesus!”

I can be a real shit sometimes.