The Crashing of the Mothership

January 12, 2018 at 11:11 am (Cussed Dumbers, Waxing Nostalgic)

After 34 years, Master P’s main store is closing. After a long, hard-fought battle with the landlord, (the City) he let out a big sigh and closed the doors last week. Downtown’s infamous late-night c-store is no more.

I peered through the window of the Mothership. Art East was winding up cords from the security cameras, and storing them in milk crates. I used my key to come inside. The first thing I noticed was the quiet.

“Wow, the sounds of silence. It’s amazing how quiet these places are is when you don’t have thirty to forty coolers running.”

“Yeah, and how funky-smelling it is with the door closed for a week!”

The dusty smell was pervasive; the aisles have been emptied, rectangular squares of dust marking their previous location. An old copy of Busted! Magazine was on the floor. I was tempted to grab it, but Art was using it to protect his jacket. I settled for the Wall of Shame, a poster collection of mugshots, of whom half the people were still coming around. It would make a nice addition to profiles of the shitbird contingent at the Nightclub Store.

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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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Martian Meringue

December 26, 2017 at 4:20 pm (Cosmic Encounters)

Pass The Butter

If you’ve seen Last Tango In Paris, you know that butter plays an important role in one scene. This is not that kind of butter. This butter, once a pastel yellow, ends up looking like a day-glo green cheesecake. It’s why I’ve been gaining weight, and why I’m happy as a clam most days.

This butter will take you places…

Harvest season was good to me. Thanks to Dizzy and Steel Rod, I’ve had a big pile of sweet leaf to play with. As I go, I refine my technique. My only problem? I’m running out of homegrown…

I was hoping to make it until early summer with what I’d scored when the outdoor season ended. I had nearly a pound of shake, leaf and buds. I picked the buds out, after discovering that they are better smoked than ate. (The edible high isn’t particularly enhanced whether it’s bud or leaf, so no point cooking the bud. Smoke that shit!) However, when I have as much as I want, I tend to go through it.

I have become a huge fan of Eggo waffles. A thick coating of the mean green lactate-extract-of-hooved-mammal, melted under the broiler and sprinkled liberally with cinnamon-sugar, is a five-hour buzz that will put me down for a nap if I don’t keep my brain busy.

I’ve been sleeping wonderfully.

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Footprints In The Snow

December 25, 2017 at 7:07 pm (Sweet sticky things, That's not funny...)

My buddy, the Mighty Hunter

There they were, Django’s footprints leading from the front door toward the neighbor’s house. He loves hiding under their boat, or perch majestically atop their recycling bin. He’s a smart cat, he’s lived outside most of his 10-12 years. For some reason I found his footprints unsettling. He’s been spending time indoors; the kitchen is like his Florida, he goes there in the winter. He’s a big eater, but his 17-20 pound frame wasn’t totally subsidized by us. I have a feeling he had two or three homes he fed off of.

Lately he’s been moving slower. He can still clear a six-foot fence, even with his girth. The last time I saw him snoozing in the kitchen, he looked like he’d eaten three or four canna-brownies. He was nodding, and was uninterested in me. I found that odd. He’s a macho cat, lovey-dovey in the house, but you best not pet him in the driveway. “That shit is for sissies,” his upturned nose and high tail would say as he moseyed away. “I have an image to upkeep!” But if I pulled up a chair in the yard to play harp or smoke a doobus, PLOP into my lap landed Django. Always the gentleman, his talons were retracted when he climbed aboard. I swear he knows how to read a clock. Almost every night at 1 AM, he’d be waiting at the front door to come in with me. If I were early, he’d sit outside looking for me. If I was late? I would hear about it. “Mrawrr…”

I understand why you’d go indoors, buddy. It was cold last night. I’ve been listening for your knock. (He rattles the screen door when he wants to come in.) I hope you’re curled up in front of the neighbor’s fireplace, staying warm and well-fed until the snow and ice melts. You know you’ll always have a home.

When I got up Xmas morning, my sister was upbeat, yet blue. “Christmas is starting with a bummer.”

Before I could ask if it was Django, she said, “I found Fuzzball in my horsey room, curled up dead. And we haven’t seen Django since midnight.”

“Oh man…” Fuzzball, while not my favorite cat ever, had become quite a character. My brother-in-law has always good-naturedly grumbled about the critters, especially the cats. (“At least the dog barks at the mailman, what the fuck do cats do? Knock over the Christmas tree and turn on the stove! Fucking cats…”) But he’s a big softy at heart, and when he saw Fuzzball sitting abandoned in a cardboard box marked FREE in front of a Plaid Pantry, he stuffed her under his coat and and brought her home. (“What?” “Oh nothing.”)

Fuzz was tiny, and may not have been a kitten. A year later she was the same size. I called her Scaredy Cat. It was like living on the Nostromo when she was up and about. She’d sleep atop (or inside) the kitchen cabinets, and come bursting out like a deranged alien looking for a place to hide.Something had been wrong with her fur, she was hairless on her back-half for a few months, looking like some sort of psychedelic jackrabbit. She had the prettiest blue eyes, like a Scandinavian princess. Over time, her hair grew back, and she wasn’t quite so skittish. She’d adopted my sister, riding around on her shoulder like a parrot. She, however, wasn’t as kind with her claws. I don’t need no cat-scratch-fever.

So long Fuzzball. I will miss you jump-starting my heart on a twice-daily basis, those big blue eyes suspiciously watching my every move. It took you a long time to accept us, but I’m glad you did.

And Django? You can come home any time now.

UPDATE 3:20 AM: Lord Django rolled in about 3:20 AM, and is currently sleeping off his Xmas dinners.

Django Hunter

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Little Karmic Rewards

October 29, 2017 at 7:40 pm (Cussed Dumbers, Drunk and disorderly)

Shoplifting is THEFT

After last week’s shit-show, I was optimistic that work could only get better. That could also be wishful thinking. I went in with the best of intentions, not gonna let the bastards win, etc… They gave it their best shot, but in the end I declared myself the winner.

The path to weekend wasn’t without a couple bumps here and there. The first couple days, at the Waterfront Store, tested my patience. Scoring a buttload of pastries from the bakery cured my low blood-sugar, and allowed me to be a pastry-Santa. (Adding special butter gives my day a patient, easygoing feel.) I took a handful of cinnamon twists home, and dispersed the scones, cupcakes and cinnamon rolls amongst my co-workers. Igor was particularly grateful. He bought me a cinnamon twist the next day, and pizza slices from the classy joint across the Avenue. (NY-style, foldable, so good…) He’s also hung around during my shift, helping to alleviate attempted shoplifts. It’s paid off, in more ways than one.

Indulge me, if you please? Take a puff, sit back with your feet up while I brag about our crime-fighting exploits…

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Merde

October 15, 2017 at 2:22 am (Cussed Dumbers)

“Took A Dump Dump Dump…… Annnnd another one’s gone, and another one’s gone. Another one takes a dump…”

They say pictures or it didn’t happen. We could have gotten surveillance video of this, but some things can’t be unseen, and since Uncle Cliffy rarely gets to be the star, we are going to let this one become an urban legend. (Art East was quoted: “Good god I hope they don’t want video.”)

Who needs video when you’ve got Uncle Cliffy to tell you all about it…?

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So Long, Been Good To Know Ya…

October 11, 2017 at 5:40 pm (Cosmic Encounters)

The Outlaw Returns

I come from a long line of stubborn people. If they found out something was incorrect, if they had once believed it, you would *still* have to prove to them three different ways. In the case of religion particularly, but I blame their passing down the ‘common sense’ gene for my agnostic ways. (I’m not saying stupidity skips a generation, and I’m not saying I disbelieve, but if God walks up, sticks out his hand and introduces himself, I will listen politely and reconsider.) A lot of my parents ways demanded stubbornness, therefore I walked in with a bunch.

So when I make a life-changing decision, it’s not done without much hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth. But I’ve been thinking long and hard, and have come to this conclusion:

I’m letting my medical marijuana card expire, and I am not renewing…

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“Fuggetaboutit!”

October 7, 2017 at 11:11 am (On the road again..., That's not funny...)

My Dad used to say, “You’d forget your head if it wasn’t fastened on.”

He didn’t mean me specifically. He mostly said that about himself, but I always enjoyed the visual; grabbing someone by the scalp, holding their severed head up a la Kathy Griffin and saying, “Um, dude…?”

Considering my age and how much weed I’ve smoked over the past 42 years, you’d think my brain would leak like a sieve. This is hardly the case. As my brother-in-law used to say, “You’ve got a mind like a steel trap. Rusted shut.”

I’d like to think I fall somewhere in between a mental lint-trap and Niagra Falls. But this week, I saw some glimpses of the doddering old man I may soon become…

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Deja Vu All Over again

September 20, 2017 at 11:11 am (On the road again..., Waxing Nostalgic)

Country Bumpkin

I love to drive. I started at age twelve by taking laps of the back yard in a 1970 Toyota Corona. I learned to drive a stick (three-on-the-tree) in a 1964 Ford F-100 half-ton pickup. When I turned fifteen and got my permit, I took my driver-licensed, stroke-paralyzed Dad along to keep it quasi-legal, and we drove and drove. This last weekend has been reminding me of that.

Mizelle has been using me… as a means of getting her vehicles home to middle-Washington. Work hours and childcare complicate matters, but I am more than willing to help.

It’s like being on vacation!

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Dairies and Berries

September 15, 2017 at 11:23 am (Cosmic Encounters, On the road again...)

Mizelle was lighting up my phone. “Hi there!”

“Well, hello sir!” she replied. After exchanging pleasantries, she got down to business. “Want to do me a favor?”

“Sure. Whatcha want?’ Her favors aren’t usually too annoying.

“I’m buying a truck out in Scappoose, and need someone to drive it back. You game?”

“Of course I am!”

And so began my summer vacation.

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