BREAKING NEWS!

January 10, 2020 at 1:10 am (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

RUNAWAY RASCALLY RABBIT CAPTURED

“Kiss my puffy cotton ass!”

Portland OR- After five weeks on the run, a political prisoner from a Chinese restaurant has been captured and identified.

Hop Sing, non-binary rabbit and symbol of freedom and oppression downtown, had been living a quiet, Hannibal Lecter-like lifestyle in the rear of a downtown Portland convenience store. While appearing peaceful, he/she is thought to have killed several cockroaches and other nefarious insects. Without bodies, no charges will be filed at this time.

Hop Sing had been living under the aliases Lord Bunbun and Hoss N. Pfeffer, maintaining a one-room cage in the back of the convenience store. By all accounts, he/she was an unobtrusive, peaceful neighbor who kept to him/herself. Sing is believed to be a member of the Orange Tang Resistance. When first captured, Sing was heard yelling, “They want you to believe I am orange chicken! IT’S LIES! ALL LIES!” While it hasn’t been proven, Sing believes the Chinese want to execute him, and has said he will die before surrendering.

There was also some confusion regarding Sing’s mentioning of The Great Carrot God. He’s spoken of an orange-colored deity who delivered prosperity and carrots in the middle of the night. He’s believed to be referring either to his wildlife attorney/cartoon spokesperson @CosmicCharlie97, or Sing was delusional from listening to Master P’s nonstop Republican talk radio.

The following is a Q&A from the press conference, edited for brevity:

Q: “How was Hop Sing finally captured?”

@CC97: “A rather expensive live trap, baited with carrots.”

Q: “Did he go peacefully?”

“I want a lawyer.”

@CC97: “Sing put up quite a struggle at first. His booking photo looks rough, and he scraped his nose up pretty good trying to escape. It should be noted, and I say this with great pride, he beat the trap three times before finally being caught.”

Q: “It’s been said you may have aided and abetted his time on the run. Do you have a response?”

@CC97: “As a friend to the defendant, I was torn between doing the right thing, and what is right for my friend. By offering a safe place to stay, and sustenance, Hop Sing was able to live a little before going away. I, at no time, let him loose, or sabotaged the trap. It is believed that while the humans were assembling the cage, he read the instructions… Yes?”

Q: “Is it true that while marshals were escorting him away, Chinese representatives were watching?”

@CC97: Yes, they were there. They only observed. He’s survived the Chinese Kitchen, and Sing will NOT be extradited back.”

Q: “Where will be be going?”

@CC97: “Hop Sing has been sentenced to life at Chinchilla, the Delta Park penal colony and golf course. It’s a minimum security setup, and co-ed. Once Hop Sing discovers social behaviors, this will seem a lot less like a life sentence. I wish my friend well, and hope he bags a bunny for me.”

* * * * * *
Thank you Hoss, Bun Bun, Hop Sing. For the past six weeks you’ve been my service animal and little frenn. I wish you could stay, but the health department doesn’t understand our relationship, and if I can ever have you declared my service animal, I will come to Chinchilla Park and find you. (It won’t be hard with those nose-scars. The ladies are gonna be all over ya.) And the stories!

“Man, you wouldn’t believe the shit humans do when they’re indoors. I can show you how to roll a joint one-handed. And you know what they really use Brillo for…?”

 

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Carol Junior

September 25, 2019 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

I have met and known a lot of interesting people at work over the years. One of my favorites was Crazy Cat Woman Carol, a fixture of the night who, despite being filthy-mouthed, unwashed and potentially violent, gave me untold hours of entertainment and companionship. Carol disappeared a few years ago, likely the happy hunting ground, but we like to think she decided to start taking her meds and live indoors again. That’s what we tell ourselves.

But who is gonna pick up the slack, the huge gap where Carol filled our nights with filthy nonsense and inspired curses?

Carol Junior, of course.

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No More Rain

August 1, 2019 at 10:15 am (In Memoriam, Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

I’ve been putting this off for too long. My Brother in law says I need closure. The other day I was reading about procrastination, and it gave me the kick in the ass I need to to get this done.

I have always fancied myself a writer, but about the only things not self-published were my parents’ and older brother’s obituaries. I followed form, and submitted them to the newspaper, and they printed them word for word. I was sad but proud; I got published! It cost me a family member, but I could read myself in real print.

So I was kicking around the idea of an In Memoriam section, which would be a spot where my clouded memories could rest, and maybe inspire memories in others. I’m still going to do that, but I have something serious to do first.

I have to say goodbye to my dear sweet Rain…

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All The News That’s Fit To Print

July 14, 2019 at 2:00 pm (Cussed Dumbers, In Memoriam, Sweet sticky things, Waxing Nostalgic)

I joke with baristas all the time, “I wish I had an app that would give me back all the minutes that I spend waiting in line at Starbucks to hand someone exact change.”

For twenty years, Sister delivered the Oregonian, and I was the beneficiary of her complimentary daily copy. She’d read it, I’d take it to work and read it, then pass it along to someone else. Often, it would be a customer looking for the day’s copy that we’d sold out. Three reads per newspaper seems as conscientious as any other form of recycling.

Daily went to four-a-week delivery. Then it got so far between customers that she could no longer do her route on foot, so she retired from newspaper delivery and began working at a hotel. Every day there would be newspapers, and she would bring me the daily, as well as the New York Times and other random hometown papers left behind. Again, I would take them to work, then share. Usually with folks wouldn’t read, and certainly wouldn’t pay for information.

When her gig at the hotel ended, I was on my own. Home delivery might have been an option, but that’s only four days a week. I like DAILY news. I like having something light to read at work when it gets quiet for a minute. But it can’t be too heavy; I can read the same paragraph three or four times while being interrupted for lottery redemption, free books of matches and so on. Books only work on major holiday nights. I read a whole book on Xmas day when I work.

Master P’s was a newsstand when I started. Magazines as far as the eye could see. A porno section with something for almost everyone. (No incest or animals. Straight from the office.) Little by little it all went away. First the car mags, then the Smithsonians, tabloids, horoscope books. Newspapers went away about three years ago, as did the porn pit. I now have a stock line:

“We used to be a newsstand, but the internet won. Now we just sell you stuff to keep you awake while you play with your phone.”

And I still have to scavenge for a goddamn newspaper.

Starbucks was my unlikely ally. If I got there early enough in the day, I could have the previous day’s copies of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, or the Oregonian if I’d missed a day. I knew the baristas by name, and if I showed up close to closing? “Go ahead and take them, ain’t nobody looking for that at night.”

I know, I can find everything on my phone. I KNOW. I have embraced smartphone culture, somewhat, but I like holding books and newspapers, in my hands. I don’t want to have to open Photoshop to do my Fambly Circus fun.

So, little by little everything I know is dying. In three months newspapers will be such an annoyance to find that I will give up and let them die. (I will never stop reading, but if you want my eyes looking at your ads? I have to be able to find them first.) I had been thinking of doing a lighthearted series of things in and around my life that I used to love, find important, or otherwise interesting. To record the memories before they fade away forever. I had some pretty good ideas.

Then some real death came along and fucked up my whole year.

My longtime love interest, roommate and occasional bestest friend, passed away a few months ago. I’ve been meaning to write her the granddaddy of all love letters, but it’s coming slow. I know what I want to say, but I know it’s gonna tear me up, and I don’t want to have to be in public after. But, as Bro-in-Law said, “You need closure.” He’s right. I miss her every day, even though we’d been apart for a couple years. We still talked on the phone a lot, and when she found out I hadn’t been with anyone since she left? “Ya wanna come over?”

“:)-”

Now that’s love.

Her death took me by surprise, and yet it didn’t. It has caused me to embrace every day, and to appreciate more those I appreciate already. Babe, your love letter is coming, straight from my heart.

But first I have to limp on down to the Starbucks and see if any Sunday papers are left…

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Meals on Wheels

May 8, 2019 at 10:14 am (Sweet sticky things)

I’ve been away a while, mentally. A lot of heavy stuff has gone down, and I had some thinking to do. (Still do.) I’ve been in a blue space, and needed some help shaking it off.

Dizzy texted me, she was going out of town and would I peek in on Naomi, the true queen of the house. Naomi is sixteen years old. I don’t even want to think how old that is in human years. (80. I had to look. That ain’t so bad.) She reminds me of a feline Granny Clampett, her meows a scratchy roar. “MROW!”

Dizzy left explicit instructions, detailed in a flowery note covered in doodles inspired by the sativa I’d traded her for a nug of her couch-weed. Everything laid out with surgical precision. I think I can manage.

My first visit was met with no little bit of indignance. Naomi looked outside the door, cussed me out a little, then gave me the cat-scan. I was cool. Permission to enter.

I was asked to look for signs of kitty distress; puke-bombs, poop in improper places, etc. I’d kitty-sat before, and she’d left me some presents. This time we were cool.

Sugarmama had given me a McDonaldburger, so Naomi and I had lunch. She ate a sizable portion of the food, gave my head a rub with hers, and disappeared to the loft. I took a couple puffs and went back to the store to flirt with Sugarmama.

I was more practiced entering the second visit. I had the door open and was half inside when Naomi came flying down the stairs, “Mrow mrow mrow.” She waltzed up to me, checked out the scene, and waited patiently to be fed. After a hearty snack, she went back to her nap spot in the loft.

I would sit on the stairs next to the window overlooking northwest downtown, she would crawl up on my shoulder like a parrot. Lots of mind-melds, as I like to call them. Her cranial pressure emphasizes the love, and I soak it up. I can use all the love I can get right now.

I make sure to pet Django every chance I get. He’s a macho-cat, so I’d better not pet him when the neighbors can see. And Luna, my big goofy dog. I have taught her to give hugs, and she’s taught me to high-five.

Family has meant a lot to me lately. I fret for my sister, my bro-in-law, their kids. No reason, other that when you love something so much you can’t stand to think of being without them. I get that more than ever right now, and know it’s the same with Dizzy and Naomi.

I was early returning Dizzy’s keys, so I popped in on Naomi one more time. She was almost lackadaisical at my entrance. “Hmm, I wonder if he’s Dexterized the Motherhuman? Oh well, as long as I keep getting Meals on Wheels…”

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Another Poor Boy Christmas

December 26, 2018 at 12:55 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things)

Hat Tip to Hannibal

Christmas has come and gone, and not a moment too soon. The jingling of bells is jangling my nerves.

Oh, it wasn’t all bad. I found some good roadkill, saw old friends.

And then there was the Christmas Party.

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The Seven-Year Itch

May 3, 2018 at 10:40 am (Drunk and disorderly, On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

“Hello, my name is Charlie and I’m an alcoholic.” And a drug-addict and all-around man-about-town.

I’ve been quiet lately, not feeling like sharing, or much of anything, really. Was dealing with depression issues for a bit, but like in my teens, eventually it evaporated. Depressed about what? Nothing more than the pressures and general shame of life. In the midst of the downtime, I’ve had some fun. It’s just that the fun evaporates as well, leaving me to my own empty (yet way-too-busy) thoughts.

My friends have been there for me. I drop in on Dr T. Dizzy and kitty Naomi are stalwart companions, giving me smiles and support. At work, Igor has risen to the top of the milk jug like fine cream, positioning himself to become manager-apparent. Doing such, we spend lots of time working together. I’d rather teach my boss what I want than have to make them figure it out.

And then there’s Wednesday, my day on the road. Mizelle and Lily show up about 9 AM, smiling and bringing sunshine on the rainiest days. I get up about 6 or 7 AM, putter and get my head ready for driving. Lately there’s been nothing to prep my head with, which leaves me in a weird limbo…

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Riding With The Manny-Goat

March 6, 2018 at 12:13 pm (On the road again..., Sweet sticky things)

Explorer’s Spirit Animal

Arrgh. 7 AM. Usually when I’m drifting from hard sleep to REM. When the TV gets muted because the ads will keep me awake. (Enough with the miracle spring water, already.) But on Wednesdays I bounce out of bed, as bouncy as this old bag of bones gets, and make a frozen waffle breakfast. Kelly green butter is the first of many pretty colors I will be seeing.

By 9 AM, I am dressed and sitting by the window, waiting for Mizelle and Lily to pull up. Wednesday is road trip day!

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“Where Ya Been?”

February 24, 2018 at 12:35 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

Ya Big Silly!

Hey strangers… It’s Stranger Yet!

Yeah, it’s been a while. I’ve been a negligent blogger, watching life’s moments pass by without stopping to note each one. Been spending a lot of time pondering the universe, and sometimes the thoughts that wander through the brain need time to age, ripen, ferment. Not that I’m any kind of genius. I just needed a break.

Sunshine passed away last week. Rain’s new boyfriend and Sunshine were best buddies, and Rain was crying when she called to tell me. Sunshine had a major case of ass-cancer, and was a hard-living old coot, so it wasn’t unexpected. (Anyone who can smoke three packs of American Spirit full-flavors in a day is living on borrowed time.) How he lasted as long as he did is a tribute to the stubbornness of the human spirit. I’d been holding up okay, but then I saw Werner Klemperer on a Law and Order rerun, and noticed that Werner and Sunshine were dead ringers for each other. (Literal.) I’d thought about reaching out, but our chats lately involved lots of his get-rich-quick schemes, usually needing my financial support. (Sorry Sunshine, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.) The doctors, frustrated with his use of street drugs, cut off his prescription meds and told him to go for it with the heroin and meth. I don’t know if he passed from natural causes, or got a fentanyl hit, but Sunshine has faded into the night. RIP, you giant teddy bear.

I have a sneaky feeling my beloved cousin has also moved on to the next level. He’d not been well, and moved to Arizona. All phone numbers are disconnected, no news whatsoever. I’m going to write him a long letter, in longhand, to tell him goodbye. Whoever says adopted relatives aren’t as close as blood relatives has not met our family. WE decide who is family, and if you burn us you might find yourself unadopted, bloodline or no. You can choose friends but not family, the saying goes. Our best family are the ones we’ve chosen, not those thrust upon us.

A lot of other stuff has been going on, which I will eventually write about. I needed time for life to percolate. Also, there have been major changes at work, and I don’t want to pontificate too much about that in a public space. I love my job at Master P’s, and now, other than the bookkeeper, Grinder and Master P himself, I have been there the longest. Art East is behind me by about six months. Everyone else, my bosses? I’ve trained them all. I’m feeling a bit of burnout, it’s been thirteen years. But I’m not so burned out I’m ready to jump. I took a sick day, creating a four-day weekend, and it was just what I needed. I sat around just long enough to be restless, but not long enough to appreciate being bored. I came back to work a half-hour early, urging Southie to bank those minutes for the next time my bus is late.

It’s been a dark time in my world. Ain’t no Sunshine to brighten it up. It will be a long time before I forget Sunshine. He was a sweet, thoughtful career criminal who gave me more smiles than I ever realized at the time. Save me a fistful of happy pills, bud, and I will see you when I get there.

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RIP Mr Burns

January 12, 2018 at 8:00 am (Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

So long, little buddy. You will be missed.

We have had a plethora of wacky pets over the years. Mostly it seems like a science experiment; can dogs, cats, mice, fish, guinea pigs and other critters live under one roof? We have tried, and yes, it can happen, often with amusing results.

Mr Burns came to us a couple years ago. Sister bought two male mice at the “feed store” and put them in a cage. Boys will be boys, and since they seemed to do better in their own areas, we put them in separate cages. Creeper, the black one, died after about a year. We thought he’d be the hearty one. But he had half the lasting power of Mr Burns.

Mr Burns was chosen for his craftiness. When Sister got him home he was “hiding” by clinging to the roof of the box. Smart little feller, huh?

He got his name from his stature. He had something up with his front legs, so he tended to scoot around on his butt. He’d hold his paws in front of himself and wiggle his fingers, like Monty Burns from The Simpsons. He’d wobble over to say hi when he heard my voice. Mostly because I bribed him with toffee peanuts and popcorn.

He’s looked ragged his whole life, and each day I would wonder. Last night when I went by, he was sleeping in an unusual place. I blew on him, that usually got a movement, but not this time.

When I came down the hall, I saw the cage had been cleaned, and my little friend was gone. Sister had pronounced him, and he was sleeping with the fishes. Specifically, my niece’s several pet goldfish from over the years.

I salute you, Mr Burns. The hounds have been released for the last time.

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