Stupid Jerk Press is proud to present these books by Pete LaBonne
She done all she have could. And STILL they plumb hog-skeezixed her rutabaker.
Baby’s First Book Of Names
A stunningly graphic exploration into the loss of innocence.
Ah, Grow Up
Pete mocks out Marion Winik’s new book. She asked him to.
…a moving vision of women’s will to endure in an unjust world.
Pete’s Annex To Shelley’s Woodland Whatever.
Picture in your mind’s eye, a 15oz can of mackerel split into 3 baggies for 4 people. “Ups, looks like sumbiddy dont git one”
The compassionate saga unfolds.
Son Of Lice
Hot dolls spared all!
BABY’S FIRST BOOK OF NAMES by Pete LaBonne
A stunningly graphic exploration into the loss of innocence.
She done all she have could. And STILL they plumb hog-skeezixed her rutabaker.
Her first thought
was that it would be
cold in America.
But LaFayette was only kidding.
She’d just been beheaded.
That’s why she felt cold.
On All Souls Day, 1755, at 7:30 pm.,
Maria Theresa, Queen of Bohemia & Hungary, Empress of The Holy Roman Empire gave birth to her fifteenth child.
Maria Antonia Josephina Johanna,
blessed and presented
in THE HALL OF MIRRORS!
And WHILE the child was being blessed and presented in THE HALL OF MIRRORS, video feedback of The Gilded Age, her godparents, The King and Queen of Portugal were too busy fleeing in terror from one of those violent Portuguese earthquakes which destroys Lisbon (Lisbona) and “buries 30,000” (people) “beneath it’s smoking roons”. And if that wasn’t enough to put a damper on the hamper, Marie’s dad, Emperor Francis 1 of Lorraine, ever attendant to the portentous, forewent the usual nativity banquet and sequestered with the famous astrologer, Gassner, who was trembling and gloomid and not giggling at the infant’s star chart. Who would?
Marie had it pretty not bad amid the relative laxity of the Austrian court at Schönbrunn, you know, hanging out with Mozart and stuff. In fact so darn not bad that when she was thirteen and within the year was to become the dauphine of All France, her mom was appalled to find that the teen hadn’t actually LEARNED anything yet. So Maria Theresa clamped a Royal Nelson on her and had her crammed in French to her chagrin.
And folks were worried that she’d blow it mainly because the ambassador to Versailles, Compte de Mercy-Argenteau reported that The Dauphin, Louis Auguste was alas, a dolt. But they showed Marie a few portraits of the Dauphin and she figured “Hey”
and the pressure was off.
Marie had thought she was betrothed to a dolphin! She thought they’d have to consummate their wedding at The Moulin Rouge!
Austria and Fwance
having their respective problems
with Prussia and Engerland,
figured on giving their mutual interests
a regular boost in the arm.
But no. No consummating went on for a long enough time for evvv’rybody to start making things out and fingering it all up based on vile conjectures, lies and most of all frustration. Of course, Louis Charles didn’t care, if it meant dealing with it. (You know what I’m talking about.) It meant a LOT though to Marie Antoinette and finally she started finding other things to do. She reckoned “Bourbon’s Bourbon. Ift I can’t you know what it… I might as well DRINK IT!”
Meanwhile, back in the Palace Of Splendid Gew-Gaws, Louis The Fifteenth?, had this like, Mistress? Madame du Barry whom Antoinette was snubbing pointedly because she was only finagled royalty and did lots of odd things with dairy products and the King. And the snub vexed His Majesty royal. Over there in Austria they were all concerned with the snub too because if The King was irked with the Austrian Dauphine, then he might not jolly along when Vienna gave Bavaria the clap (so to speak). So Antoinette’s mother, Empress Of The Holy Roman Empire, although she, herself would have mouldered the femme facile into a reformatory, demanded that Antoinette undo said pointed snub. So she did. And THAT’S why Bavaria is Horg Tied to this day.
The duc de Choiseul, who was a cherished counselor to Antoinette, was usually in hot water with regards to her convoluted etiquette, but I always skipped over that part. He was probably just helping out so he could supplement his fur charts.
And All France was becoming more hostile to her and her little clique. Mostly because she was setting fashion trends nobody could afford. Then The King? Louis The Fifteenth? he died.
And All France rejoined “The King, Louis The Fifteenth? is like, dead & shit. Long live The King!” As the Dauphin & Dauphine sobbing at the altar in the chapel wailed out these words which go something… like… this:
“O GOD HELP US! WE ARE TOO YOUNG TO REIGN!”
- Did I mention that Antoinette’s brother Leopold arm-wrestled Louis Charles into getting the circumcision to make his phimosis go away? Well he did. And after some miscarriages and an infant death there were 2 more Bourbons.
Things reigned along like a big decent, not great Ferris Wheel. Up, down, Down, up until some wise guy cracked open the snack packet and suddenly everybody thought they were equal, especially those who were NO WAY! And people got hungry because, according to her many detractors, Marie Antoinette was blowing all the country’s dough. I say well may- BE! But WHERE was she blowing it? Rumor had it that the duc d’Orleans was carting it off to nowheresville so’s the Parisians would take and knock The King, Louis The Sixteenth?’s block off and proclaim the Orleans House Rule. No matter.
Paris was turbulent. Looting and decadence of the masses. One can hack with it in The Palace Of Splendid Gew-Gaws, or even in The Hall Of Mirrors! but The Masses? Give me a break.
Why they were snipping up courtiers guts in the streets and lollypopping their heads around on vaulting poles. Chicks Too! Antoinette was scared but Louis?, He thought they’d come around. Antoinette’s lover? Axel Fersen?, well he wasn’t FROM there so he took it more seriously and shagged Marie Queen Of France? the heck out of the Versailles Palace and stuck her tight in The Petit Trianon, her trailer park retreat, for a while until either the situation steamed itself off or His Majesty Louis The Sixteenth chucked out. She wouldn’t flee Paris without him.
The kids were o.k. about it. What did they know?
It all became much worse. The guards were turning at the worst of times. Stuff kept getting wrecked and having to be replaced. Royals were emigrating and the target of dismally stupid hostility was shrinking yet becoming easier to hit. They were screwed. Everybody knew it, I’m surprised it took so long.
Now it’s all going so quick
we have to put a microscope on it.
Although she was never very appreciative of Madame de Staël, with most of her noms de chambres either off in Coblentz or hacked to pulp and stuck on hats, Marie Antoinette found her to be a brilliant conversationalist. In fact it was Madame de Staël who finally convinced her to return to The Petit Trianon. (She had returned to The Palace Of Splendid Gew-Gaws for a wrist watch her mother, deceased, had kept in her asshole for 10 years which Louis? King Of France? had forgotten when he packed up to join her there).
Even at The Petit Trianon, her Sanctuary Of Rustic Bliss, though, she found no respite. She was sat upon and hurled at despite Axel’s vigorous and remonstrative wheedling. “But honey!, he’s sensitive! He’s not used to our costumes. He’s not used to wearing a fig leaf!”
“Mais, dear, you dummy, how was I supposed to know the duc de Giancone was a KINGPIN? I thought his NAME was Don.” “Schnitzel, my little pork log, one shouldn’t offer ANYONE a Hostess Mini Doughnut saying…Wait… here’s you…”, thrusting a Mini Doughnut at her crotch
and speaking in falsetto, “Here, they’re petite! Try one on!”.
“OH, NOBODY LOVES ONE!”
So now they slam a “do not resuscitate” order onto me?
They couldn’t compromise. Then honestly, neither could I.
Now I sit upon the Celestial Throne.
What a dog log dynasty THIS turned out to be.
*Pandora & Epimetheus Bob Barker (Hollywood 1970)
* I glanced up there and saw “pancake”.
Pancake. Isn’t that weird?
Among other places I researched this pamphlet was my little town library up here in the woods. On the computer catalog I found an interesting selection. It was Marie Antoinette: The Life Of An Average Woman or something by Stefan Zweig. But it wasn’t shelved. I asked the librarian if anyone had borrowed it recently and she said that it was probably withdrawn and put downstairs for the book sale. There are thousands of books among the vermin down there so I looked at several other libraries where it was also claimed. But it wasn’t there. I’d read some things by Stefan Zweig. And given his stygian sparkle, he seemed to be the perfect source. So my girlfriend and I went back to our little library to rummage downstairs. We found several interesting books, even Stefan’s short stories and a piece of (turns out useful) trash called Asylum For The Queen.
We were down there for hours. It quieted down upstairs. The kids had gone, the coast was clear. But the cellar was locked. And the windows were sealed. And the outside door was locked. And the phone upstairs was ringing, ringing. And the vermin emboldened. And we ourselves trapped. Trapped like rats. And the plumbing dripped. Lead paint peeled from the damp cement walls. Our stomachs were cacophonous, beached eels across the cookbooks.
Several months passed until we heard the voices.
I myself swore it was Edmunds and Walpole again to my deliverance but as the cellar door was ripped away and the blinding
fizzle of an overcast dusk blistered in our cracks,
the stairway was jammed with Cosa Nostra-roused hillbillies trampling each other in a jabbering frangle, vying alpha-centric to Planet Ultrissishmo! Who’ll be the first to kneecap the bookworms asunder? Chainsaw cords pulling (if it’s a Stihl, forget it), and lavishly burping meatloaf.
GEORGICS 2000 by Pete LaBonne
Pete’s Annex To Shelley’s Woodland Whatever.
Picture in your mind’s eye, a 15oz can of mackerel split into 3 baggies for 4 people. “Ups, looks like sumbiddy dont git one”
Tyson Exonerated; Throws Hat In Ring
I went to sleep early last night. About eight, after concluding that Iron Mike should run for president using his wrongful imprisonment settlement as campaign finance.
Waking at 3, I smelled smoke. I opened my eyes and saw Officer McRuff waving in through the loft window. I had to pee so went out and checked on the outbuildings. We keep some fireplace matches we got for Christmas six years ago in an ammo box in the shed and maybe some mouse got in there and was dragging one across the shingle floor. It hadn’t started snowing yet.
Mostly Shelley and I just watched it snow all day. One time we went out and shoveled the first eight inches off the driveway.
I was wondering “What service is this to Mammon?” Forget about it. You can’t check your blood pressure thru all those clothes at the drug store anyway.
This morning after another 10 inches of snow, it was so tranquil & silent, I could hear the electricity wrangling through the microwaves across our comfortable expanse, and poise waiting. (We all thought we were getting away with something when 1984 came and went. but it was about that time when radio/tape decks were redesigned to not turn completely off; never dreaming that one day we’d actually want to tell everybody everything.)
It was so graceful out there, I dumped yesterday’s coffee grounds indoors rather than mar the scene to the compost pile with footprints until Shelley could see it. Out back, under the trees, snow was piled a little over a foot, with two inches blown inside onto the cabinet. That path, to the outhouse, I wrecked. You can only go so far.
Might turn out to be a fine day for lugging horse carcasses around after all forecasts to the contrary. Fine day for rock bottom prices galore. Lovely day for top quality and service that can’t be beat. And out of this world flavor for dogs you can afford!!!
Shoveling the extra ten inches got me thinking that the correct word was/and would have to be, wouldn’t it? …ANTECHRIST. (here’s Johnny)
Think of it in these terms: You’ve written about a hundred songs in the last three years. You’ve put kind of a little money and effort into improving your sound and generally weeding out stupid ideas and dumb stuff, o.k? Then you re-record a collection of dumb stuff, up to twenty years old. And it blows you away.
These old things have broken loose from their original disciplines. So they can become Anything. The Dionysus Head. Vile haunches Dionysus, or unwiped Priapus agleam, no time to even crust up, at a crowded bus stop undermining the profundities of laconic sublimity.
Or you could take this tack. I heard on the radio something about automakers having to install “back up” beepers by year whatever. How about the complete police package activated on ignition? Alternate flash hi beams, random sample sireen, red white blue cherry cap. And let’s have the air raid klaxon always wailing away. All firehouses blaring, because you never know. Turn on the radio: “Special Alert! Looking Glass Will Now Play Brandy! I Repeat-Looking Glass Will Now Play Brandy!” Then you look at one dog for every boy and one dog for every girl, one dog for every person on this world, strained at the ends of their chains, twix neck and hinds, howling defenses at an elusive paradise.
We’ve been up here 15 years. Using the nearest small town (pop.-) for our business and P.O. box, has gradually become comfortable and something to almost eagerly anticipate. Now and then a nod of territorial truce is all you need to get through the hardware store.
The other day, Shelley had a dentist appointment way down in Saratoga for 10. We stopped at the post office on our way there to see what mail we might have gotten the days since we’d been there last. There’s a sign saying “mail will be in boxes by 10.” We usually check at 10. But it was 9:20.
People were looking at me funny, kind of belligerently, and double checking my license plate while Shelley was commenting to the postal clerk at the window “Lot of strangers in town today.” Later I realized we’d been placed under twilight zone, not for landing in front of the drug store in a jittery spaceship from planet Crack House, but for merely being 40 minutes early.
In second grade when we had gym class and “had to go” we’d use the unheated girls’ room directly off the gym. It said Girls on the door and looked really not exactly swanky but kinda MacDonalds. And for then, that was …futuristic. But when we were using it with our gym class it didn’t seem to exist. Medical Plaza speculation.
One day in our classroom I had a wicked accident. After several refusals, I was permitted to go get a drink of water. Obvious to me that I was looking at extensive renovation, I headed two floors down to the gym where luckily no class was happening. I was in a stall dabbing crap off my briefs when the third grade girls came down and the heat came on. The place turned loud and bright, just filled right up.With a screaming problem. The nuns never did get it that they were crossing my own private station.
I had to say rosaries on my knees in the principal’s office for the next five hours. Then I went home and saw a meteorite break the sky which made me fall off a porch onto my head, knocking me out for a week. During which, I got the Mumps.
Prayer as penance, Time as Space.
Chrysler Acquires Michigan Penal System
I keep mouse traps in the shed. Mice seem to be drawn to the shed before they’re drawn to our more genteel spaces where they might actually bug us or destroy drive belts or nights’ sleep. Which is considerate of them. And it goes in I guess what you’d call spurts; the waves of arrivals to our hostile shore.
The other day I was riding out a homicidal jealousy attack, smoking cigarettes out front by the fire pit when a meadow mouse came out of a hole in the ice I’d suspected of being a rodent hole ever since the celebration of Paul’s Convolution of the Messiah. (Which is when we spray paint a growing pile of mouldering foreskins with our street tags)
The Meadow Mouse is large and square, the size of a small rat. It will eat your garden. It will not however, hold it’s mouth open under your oil pan drain.
Being in, like I said, a murdery mood I set a trap with sunflower seed by the hole and stalked off fuming all my brunts akimbo. The trap caught the wrong mouse, but still a mouse, still likely to kill the fruit trees under the ice crust. They eat into the bark at sidewalk level. It’s called “girdling”.
When the traps catch the mice, I take the mice out and give them to the cats who wouldn’t be here if we didn’t feed them. I’m assuming they catch more mice than we’d ever want to know about.
My favorite, and I can almost touch her, is the alpha female, a black base calico barn cat, “Wolf Man”. I would claim her offspring. She would claim mine. We don’t whip each other and no money is exchanged.
APPLEWHITE NO KOOK!!!
Waitress apprentice, Shangrella Rojickystetter, reports having seen Applewhite in “an U.F.O. thing whiz-banging by” and calling out to her by name; “Hey, Shangrella! This is really FUN!”
Our last grocery list for this month of March, the days of which have produced the most beautiful weather of my life, reads: FOOD.
In the winter of ’78 we were living in a huge, glum basement apartment in Wichita, Kansas. We could be in any room we wanted to be in. That’s the place we put an egg in the oven. Kansas. It cracked.
So one day in March the weather was being about as glum as our apartment, as our town, as our moods, I made conversation with the lady at the liquor store. “When’s Spring come around here anyway?” “March 21st.” “Jeez!”
I usually wait in the car.
In fact I often just hang out in it at home.
When Shelley pulled jury duty I waited in the county court parking lot.
I’d brought some books and except for the ice storm day, it was sunny. On maybe the forth or fifth day the police came.
(I was in the black ’69 Plymouth Satellite)
They asked some questions, looked at each other, and told me:
“Well, you’re not really doing anything… illegal…”
Ever play football with a cat?
—Pete takes the snap—Vampire goes long—uh oh he’s laying down on Shelley’s 46 yard line—he’s licking his balls!
—Shelley takes the snap—Vampire blocking—Pete rushes in for the sack—Shelley looks—Vampire goes wide—I don’t believe it!—He’s laying down—He’s licking his balls! “
You know, Pete, A cat’s tongue is the cleanest thing in the world.” “You got that right, Fred. And you know, I wouldn’t be surprised if this cat’s balls weren’t the second cleanest thing in the world.”
Swing Into Spring!
springtime way up north
in the piney, piney woods,
Sun comes out and that’s good.
Starts warmin’ up slow and thats good.
But with the meltin’ snow
and the ground still froze, about a foot down,
I got the 4X4 stuck in up past the doors;
gonna need a winch to clear it outa there.
Long Chain Mud
…Even the pH
“Frost last night up on the hill killed everything.”
“Spring’ll come.” “Yu’h”,
” ‘en Summer”, “Yu’h”,
“Frost last night killed everything, up on the hill.”
Vigilante Cocheses Mall Massacre
Armed Teen Saves Fredricks Of Hollywood¨
Teen “Hero” Linked To Blasts
Mall Bow Shooter To Be Tried As Adult
Mall Vigilante Jack Rubied!!
The Wood Is In
Alright then, my skeleton agonizes as a pleura twitch brings me one metric foot closer to outer space. But the wood is in; rounded up, and dog hanker stacked for the next dream sequence. There was mostly the ash tree involved since by itself it made up a full cord. And as they say, it’s real easy to split. But dern, it’s so gull easy to split that the pace is madcap and knocks the aeorbes in your sockets equally agog as say.. oak. But let’s say you, o.k?; here it goes splitting along so easily that it starts seeming light. And it IS light, only knock your hand on a chunk and you KNOW you got hit with a baseball bat. Then the skeleton can agonize all over again. Agonize you twice. But knowing why, one is gratified. Why wouldn’t one be? The wood is in.
You’d think “the great outdoors”, but it’s really kind of a little world. Like an apartment or let’s say time share with sky for ceiling and space for walls. And it’s snug inside with our windows’ 360û sensurround. Closing the glass doors on the evening chill, we walk on the ground even as we tend to our more “sophisticated tasks”.
Only little. Born this morning. Life is a treat.
Here on Rue Slap Happy Pappy everything I do,
I do posthumously.
(see text affixed)
I cut my hair over the compost can once a year. The next day, I go tossing something in, and it looks like some little old lady standing around in there with a banana peel on her head.
They Might Not Understand Each Other
When we first moved up here, of course we had to start occasionally using the general store for quick run items. This store, tyvek stripped off and hanging in mud, you walk in, is usually full of guys mulling around still enjoying the way things used to be. I listened to them for a while and assumed they HAD to be speaking english or some dialect. But then I suspected that they weren’t really saying anything, so I checked it out. I scratched my head and said squinting “nippidy dippity uff gruff”. They looked around quiet for a while like I might have said something profound but were ignoring me, when over in the back, someone I hadn’t seen said “no daint” and lazied his lids and thrust his chin. A man who’d been studying something out the window straightened up, fixed a thoughtful look at where the ceiling met the wall and from the bottom of his chest like he was fixin to fluke a gob, pronounced “rick rack”, and nodded emphatically once, effectively changing the subject, I assume.
And now this year, now that I’m getting up at five, what was it, some holiday… Memorial Day, I wanted to get the laundry in and out before they set up the coin drop road block, so (this is rare) while Shelley stayed at the fire stewing rhubarb (rhubarbus big harvus) I took it down there but the laundromat was packed. There was someone in there. He was skinning an otter. I could tell at a glance that all the triple loaders were running so I scratched my neck and looked up at where the wall met the ceiling. “Rick rack.” He wiped at some blood under his nose. “Fern gone.” “Goddemall?” “Simbiddy ilse gottwin. Thither niff niff niff.” So I leff.
I’ve seen top loaders in New Orleans used as toilets (put it thru a cycle once in a while to placate the bureaucrats), and now, hillbilly otter skinning on laundry folding tables in the Adirondacks (let the weeds take over). However, most people do not do these things.
After our teeth had turned to chalk (remember the rhubarb?) Shelley and I went back. And it wasn’t quite so crowded. There was no one there. We stuck the wash in and went to fill our water jugs at the closest spring. One stop shop, 7:45, still no coin drop, we went to the general store for ketchup (Memorial Day), milk, and beer.
“Hack rack n’ing’a ging’a” I mentioned to the crony throng because Shelley was in shorts. “Ricka nacka rip rope muff gruff” and its variations fractioned with chuckles seemed to be the general consensus (decent fellows) as we put our stuff on the counter. The lady at the counter put one hand on the case of Genesee…
“I CAN’T SELL THIS TO YOU.”
Dead. Silence. And the Egyptian army watches as the sea parts for Moses. Darting eyeballs. And the sea closes.
“Eight!? Hacka gacka!?” “Rick rack rock hock!” “Eight rock hock RACKA gock.”
We took the laundry home and got it on the line before it rained. Then went back up ‘ere. Still no coin drop. And they were still enjoying the way things used to be. But on the steps.
“Ay come back ferda brr.” “Shoot a boot na’gooler.” “Rick rack hemoglobin swingle singers.” “Yill git yrr brr.” The lady at the counter checked her watch.
School’s Out, Baby. School’s Out Baby Now!
I’ve been wondering how many of these things like thirty day limits on out of state licenses, manditory Houston Astrosheen goggle head mutt brake signal beeper or other stuff, you know, lights on for safety, continuous child pog H.M.O. E.E.G., that we can get racked up on if we don’t stay on our toes, did the voters really carry in a heated contest; or is this all some made up crap to keep the insurance companies germane players as tithe gods.
I’m always going to miss the school bus. For one; I like knowing what time it is without looking, and for two; I’m comforted that the kids are out of the immediate vicinity and are being flummoxed over by pros.
What does it cost a community to put up the signs that say “School’s Out-Drive Carefully”? And what about the signs that say “School’s in session- Drive Carefully”?
Forget the deficit. How much do we need here?
How much maudlin placebo can we O.D.?
When CAN we TEAR ASS?
Season #3 of Pete’s ongoing Epic Sequel
Figures. The kids get out of school and we start losing our sunlight.
Oedipus gnaws infant siblings
I’m thinking there won’t be any kittens this season. We’re pretty sure Buck ate them. He’s been run off. He was an asshole.
But I was wrong. This morning a tiny black kitten with a head like a satellite dish was looking in the window. “I fear I’ll call you Snelglon.” He hung around under the Lodge all day or at least until he became Johnson. At one point, Snelglon, oh, excuse me, Johnson was nursing off Wolf Man as Johnny the protective pop looked on. Mostly, I think he was checking out Wolf Man’s knobs.
Shady Rest Water Tainted
If all you have to buy is toilet paper, it’s better to buy more than one roll. Makes it look like you’re stocking up. Preferably for out of town guests. ‘Course if you buy too many, you might get the head cock bottom check and a hearty “Fixin’ on wipin’ yerself silly, are ya?” Its a gamble. Never buy prune juice, okra, coconut and All Bran along with toilet paper. Could be getting yourself into a pitying head shake as though you were just asking for it.
Darkness At Noon or:
Skirt Hikes/Not Tax Hikes
We had a couple days of heat wave and the radio warned us to cool it with the electricity all the second morning. Then about two of clock, lightning blew through and the power went out. I was pretty sure that Niagara Mohawk sold our power to Con Edison so that New Yorkers could watch Hillary on the news talking about buying federal regulation of those old hippies, the N.U.G.s (non-utility generators) who can charge the big power companies whatever they’ll pay for solar and windmill power. But I was wrong again. I’m always wrong this summer. It must be the Summer Of Pete Is Wrong.
People have been killed by these storms. Nine people last year and one this year, last week (see above). So the weather guy has to play the double edged lawsuit game and recommend that campers stay abreast of weather conditions. Do not be crushed by falling trees.
One thing though, I guess all our neighbors are Y2k ready. The hum was really annoying. Nice day to stand around the generator and talk real loud in camouflage fatigues. What was more annoying than the hum though, were some of my conjectures about what they were actually DOING with all that power. I’m sorry. I was wrong to speculate about their electricity usage and now have paid the price. Can you feel my pain? Now if I move to a new community, the residents will be notified by the state that there’s an invicted mistaken power conjecturer moving in among them. Gomer’s law.
New Shocks: The Kiss Of Death
When a car won’t hold the road in the wind anymore, or make a bumpy curve, and if it runs fine and you like the design, it’s about that time to face it: needs shocks, regardless of the evident fact that it will knell doom for said vehicle. The fact is evinced by the other fact that it’s never proven otherwise. (We broke a tailpipe in Big Bend with the Wildcat, took it in, and the guy said “Muffler’s fine, shocks are fine, everything’s fine. ‘Cept for that tailpipe. It’s broke.” It went another hundred thousand miles. But The Wildcat was like a Yahwehmobile so forget it.)
Now this car, another Buick, needed shocks according to the above criteria so we took it in knowing doom knell and all; told the guy “This is the kiss of death. Ever notice?” He told us to “take a lude” (I imagine he meant a peaceful interlude in the adjacent waste space chain smoking.) After our lude we saw the car was done so we bailed it out.
In no longer than a metric second after pulling out of the lot, the “Service Engine Soon” light came on. “It must be the heat.” Something like Shelley’s father pounding the dashboard for a loose wire the first time he heard the tremolo part of “Crimson And Clover”. I opened the hood when we got home and there was a mouse pirouetting on the air cleaner. The next time we drove it, it idled rough and stalled a few times. And we thought “Timing chain, petting of death”. I know I’m writing this like a big deal all right?, but this is how people who don’t give a shit about anything, but panic over everything deal with minor disorders. This is about life in the woods for the self employed in case you forgot, o.k? I wear a welding visor and landing strip headgear in the supermarket.
I gave it a tune up and changed the emissions filters and spongy vacuum hoses and lots of really filthy things I never knew existed. Then I took the tune up apart to make sure I’d done it right. We took it out on the highway and went eighty. At eighty it ran fine but we smelled burning hair and thought “O.K. that had to be it. We blew the mouse nest out of the catalytic converter”. And the “service engine” light went off. “Service engine soon” light goes off; the foreplay of death (All along, our consultants had been recommending that a nice piece of electrical tape over the warning light would take care of it.) So the light was off but it kept idling worse. Then I figured “What the heck” and stuck a broomstick up the tailpipe. The corn-hole of death. Nothing. I am not methodical. Broken is broken. Fix it.
After two weeks of dirty hands at least twice a day from fiddling, trips to town trying to buy items which needed paragraphs to order at the auto parts store (where there’s always a different mindless husk watching a tv which is blaring something nobody would ever want to watch; “This Is Your Alaska” or “Wimbledon Behind The Scene”), I ventured the temporary stop-gap of carburetor adjustment to keep it from stalling. With a flashlight, looking for adjustment screws instead of signs of spring, I found a clean little nozzle fitting sticking out under the carb with an outer diameter approximately that of the inner diameter of the hose coupling laying stranded in cables placed relatively near it (seven inches) at a perpendicular angle.
I found an unplugged thing. You know, something had actually become unplugged? And from the emissions control problem sensor? The thing that gives the car the right information to honcho the electronic ignition timing? The thing that if it’s unplugged makes the “Service Engine Soon” light come on? And eventually screws up your idle? And then, and then; O God, I get sick just drinking about it.
Now it’s ready for inspection.
Free Art Demonstration Now!!!
There was a sign on the Main street; “Free Art Demonstration” and Shelley was the artist. It was scheduled for 11 till 3. Being between books, I went over to the book sale at the new high school for something immediate to read in the car behind the craft shop.
Nice glass cantilevered foyer crammed with offspring playing hopscotch on a blank and crowded floor; wonderful room to yell “Mom, look what I got” fifty times, and the ubiquitous “I want water” next to the drinking fountain, not one foxy bookworm checking out “What Hunks Dig” on the “women interest” table, some real men over in the back were packing heat: It’s a high school.
I’m hearing the general whine, thinking “If you’re gonna set the alarm clock, please turn it off when you get out of bed.”
Darling, take this,
my one dirty sock,
and treasure it nigh
thy slumbering bosom
where it might come in handy.
Dilligencia Faulted For Anal Retention
I’m looking at books and dodging hopscotch. I’m a sucker for Vintage Press I guess; I’m drawn to a red and black Philip Roth. Some authors I’ve liked have been compared to him. This brand new book for fifty cents is titled “Sabbath’s Theater”. Three hours to go at this point, a fifty cent wait. If it sucks I can leaf through this copy of “Gravity’s Rainbow”, (which I ditched ten years ago: ‘though”Mason & Dixon” is good). I’m going back over this and can’t resist mentioning that the cover of “Gravity’s Rainbow” states: “The most important work of fiction by any living writer.” (1973)
Like, man I can imagine, in the future dead writers are going to be producing some really important fiction. National Book Award. Endow THIS, baby!
Anyway, I land up back behind the shop, kiss my girlfriend a returned rejoicing, and start reading this Philip Roth thing. Kind of like Saul Bellow without “Herzog” or “Humboldt’s Gift”.
During the first fifty pages I couldn’t help it; I was thinking about “Dixie Chicken”. I didn’t know you could say those things and get an award. Heck, “Love Bunnies: Lick Their Snatch If You Dare” doesn’t have that much sex in it. All along I was thinking that I was a depraved monster. Maybe lyrics are different. Or maybe I’ve misjudged again. I’m probably just wrong. Perhaps I was WRONG to tone it down for my friends’ kids. Feel my pain.
What’s irking me today is the debate on capital (sic) hill about H.M.O.; like insurance coverage is a given fact of human existence, without which we wouldn’t bother to brush the flies off our faces when someone was taking our picture.
I went to a walk-in clinic yesterday to have my ears cleaned. The visit was cost-quoted at sixty dollars. The nurse, I guess it was, was too nervous to take my blood pressure; she said she didn’t want to hurt my arm. I told her that it was o.k. because I check it at the supermarket all the time. She still couldn’t get it. She asked me what my pressure usually is, and I told her. Somebody else came in, checked it, and I was right. I was Right! I WAS VINDICATED! I WAS VINDICATED! I WAS VINDICATED!
Then again, I was WRONG to question the cleanliness of my ears. They were unfortunately clean. I got some drugs free. They charged me twenty five cash.
Last year at exactly this date, July 15th, our windshield was cracked. I don’t know if you’ve been through this, but if you get a cash quote, it’ll cost about two hundred dollars to replace it. If you get an insurance quote it’ll cost about four hundred dollars. And get this: You have two hundred deductible.
Decrepit minded geezer that I am, let me get to it.
If things cost more than we can afford, and the market is bearing through inflatable agencies, it won’t be long until the inflatable agencies can’t afford it either. And inevitably someone, someone actually involved in the transaction must cry “foul!” Which I think is what’s being convoluted for show, down there in our nation’s crapitol. “Give me liberty AND give me death!” Give me such an inflated health care system that when the feds want to take it over, it’s not only going to cost twice as much… shh… “
…It’s almost as if it knows what we’re saying.”
“Why, that’s preposterous!”
“No look! It seems to be …leering!”
“But, but it’s just a tortoise shell.”
“Tortoise shell!? It’s potato salad!”
Human Pancake Found In Construction Ditch
It has been said, and comments usually don’t register for at least a few days, that we could have a deep well dug for year ’round turning of the aquifer inside out. I look thoughtful, you know like one is supposed to, “Racka hacka gacka”, and all that but then I started thinking about it.
We’d get the machinery snarling in here, tearing the guts out of a beheaded wolverine possibly for days. But even if it were just several hours, I’m sure we’d hate even the concept of water. I would rather dispose of a tire pile than Nuzzle Nozzle¨ power squirt rabid bats from the eves.
Back to “Do It Yourself, Homer”, when we last left Shelley and Pete, their new well was dug and capped, a trench five or six feet deep was dug to their pump and filtration system in the…BASEMENT?! “Well yeah, where youse geyser gonna put yer plumbin’?” All this stuff freezes. “Like man, It’s WATER? Duh.” O.K. When we last left Shelley and Pete, they were digging a basement with a shovel, a crowbar, and a joint compound bucket, inside their house, with some vague notions on how they’re going to hang their floor. The calendar blurs. The pages flip. Hey wait, never mind.
“Welcome to Home Depot. Can I help you find something today?” “Yeah, we were looking for a thermostat controlled heater, keep our pipes from freezing, not too B.T.U. but wait, all those windows.” “Looks to ME like youse geyser gonna haffta go back (snork) and put up some WALLS!”, he grabs his gut and doubles over hysterical, tears of whimsy, “O God, I can’t quit cracking up!”
“Shell?” “Shell? We have a lot invested here, maybe we should get not a lot of insurance but just enough so like if a tree falls on the house we’ll be o.k. and everything?” “A couple part time jobs might pay for it.”
The insurance agent looks at a point between the trees and sky sucking his teeth, “Looks like youse geyser minna haffta cut doon summanem gad dam trays.”
So it’s levelled, graded, paved, we got the water happening, the heat, wallspace for decoration, kids are rollerblading around the dining room with helmets and knee-jerk pads, and you know… it’s o.k. we’re covered, the prozac’s kickin’ in, both working full time, and I say “Hey Shell? Let’s buy a camp. Not like a big one on water or anything…” “Let’s wait till we retire, o.k.?” “Like someplace Forever Wild but with a road to it? ” Our dream shanty.”
Weener-Coin Toss Slated
Luring wild kittens
every time you move
there’s always something
Robin Pecked In Turf War: Egg Broken
This morning, getting off to a slow start, I noticed a spider web over my coffee while thinking: “What budget surplus? Allocate baby! What toys are we going to toss at our next architects’ lagniappe smoke screen? Just ’cause you finally had that tooth fixed doesn’t mean you’re not going to stub your toe or careen into an abutment. And just because you stubbed your toe or careened into an abutment doesn’t mean you’re not going to be struck by lightning.” Staring into the shed is always good. Thinking about organizing it with a spider in your mouth can straighten your day around; if the birds or sun haven’t already done. Today though, there’s a weasel in the shed. Peeking at me, evaluating my demeanor, it succeeded relatively well at seeming cute (even though it was a rodent). I chased it away and wanted to kill it.
Later, it was crossing the road, running; it looked like a goofball. And I learned a vital lesson from that weasel:
You stink when you’re born.
You stink when you’re dead.
Quit faking it.
Drought Cripples N.E.
They had tried for years renting out the mansion but some tenant or other would always land up being grotesquely mutilated and murdered or similarly inconvenienced. So finally they decided to just go ahead, tear down the curtains, and let the cannibal undead legions come home to roost. Only problem: WE WERE TRAPPED INSIDE!
Crime Banned: Perps Demur
We were eating wonderful sandwiches. It was a gamble; she’s pretty straight about her food, like her grandmother from Slovokia. But I’d always wanted to feed her this sandwich. And she absolutely LOVED it. Screamed it in. Drilled a well for it. She couldn’t have faked THAT. Panting flushed, and looking around for earth tones to rapidly swallow.
But right there, I estimated the ingredient ratio of my last bite and concluded it was all summarized in that epilog nugget, the Sibelian scherzo finale, for I too, had loved my wonderful sandwich, and I raised it toward my higher inner being, like Burt Lancaster’s cowboy pipe, and the bite was inches from destiny when she must have gotten some really secure health insurance because SMACK!; a fly on my enormous bicep, she slapped a fly on my enormous bicep and my epilog nugget, my bite went flying, tumbling and blowing across ever shifting historical sands. Double ass tea kettle over teeter-totter.
potato chip & cracker
on Sunbeam Ranch.
There weren’t always flies around here. I remember when it started.
The garden was bad but annually improving enough for us to become optimistic. We wanted a good garden regardless of our sylvan sun funnel and lateral dusk. So one day after the inflatable boat blew off the roof of the car taking the roof rack with it, we stopped at a manure stand out in farm country/vacation land. Up here where we live, loggin’ country/vacation land, there are”camp wood” stands where you can get an armful of wood for five dollars. (My brother came up here once and looked at our wood pile. Thought we should sell it. Makes sense. Doesn’t it?) We bought three leaf bags of m’nerr and put ’em in the trunka The Wildcat. Three bucks.
With four hands we took the first bag out. With four hands we placed it in a place. While I untied the plastic leaf bag single knot, Shelley stood ready with a shovel (hoes are for moes despite their many endorsements). Once the bag was open, I became abruptly consternated. (pause) Um… (pause) … “THIS IS A BAG OF SHIT!”
BACK TO SCHOOL 1999
“Oim weetin fer winnerdoime no.young man in store
Summer beeble gobe ack.”
Slide Bends As Swingset Topples
Kids questioned. Still no clues. Dad: “Well I guess we’re just gonna have to LEAVE it till we get some ANSWERS around here.”
They won’t admit it but they’re bored as hell of tossing stones at trees. It’ll take a few days, maybe a few weekends, but they’ll start to snap out of it and start getting more creative about avoiding their homework. “Nope. I just PLAIN don’t have any, single parental figure. Yeah, all the other kids got some. Not me, babe, just PLAIN don’t have any. What else can I do for you that has no deadline and takes absolutely zero effort on my part and I get paid cash up front? And lots of it.”
And the next day in school: “Homework? No. Never did, never will. What are you gonna do? Flunk me? I LIKE ten year old girls. You’re no hag either. Know what I mean, babe?”
I think dogs may be smart enough that if they thought they were food, and remembered they were chained to the clothes pole, they would spend more time shutting up.
I think we should have elections by jury trial.
I think that when someone finally plans the perfect, or tolerable anyway, traffic pattern for a supermarket parking lot, he or she will be opprobriated as a “fascist”. One morning, someone’s going to wake up with it. The plan.
I SAID “KASHI” TO A CAT
AND HE LOOKED AT ME ASKANCE
“What are you, and where did you come from?”
“Yeah, you like that fire? This opposing thumb? Y’ought see us land on the moon, cruise the shoreline on jet skis, blare oldies out into empty space attempting to attract flies like perfume, blow off a raid siren every fifteen minutes in the parking lot of G. Igglehuddy’s Olde Thyme Speakeasy for a bit of realism that’s sure to entice the jaunty & dapper Dans, and the very real development of our domestic handycraft: Actual cops. ‘Just checking your seatbelt there, wipe-O. Say, been in Igglehuddy’s as long as your car’s been in the parking lot?’ Yeah, Kitty Kat, we take care of EVERYTHING here on Planet #3.” At this he rose up and stretched proud as the Blue Ridge Parkway and said; “Well, I almost learned something.”
ROST RIPS NORTHEAST
Adirondack pineapple growers seek federal aid. Again
The waitress said she liked sitting on tables. She was cute so I didn’t mind when she hung the rim, filing her nails. Then she let one fly. She put a hand over her mouth giggling and said “O.P.U. that was a stinky fart.” The cloud was hanging low over my scallop alfredo and drifting slowly like a toxic event. I put more parmesan on it &… pepper.
Copper Penny. I used to eat there. And it seemed I belonged there. You Swillburg-South Wedge people know what I’m talking about. Then one day it was just gone. Oh sure, there was the Coffee Mug at South Clinton and Averill, but I made it a point of hygiene to never eat at a restaurant that was for sale.
NBA was big last year. I’ve retrieved two basketballs at the creekbank. One has air. Like the swingset, they’ve been blowing around for a while. I’m figuring kids now practice endorsing batteries in bathroom mirrors. The second basketball we found, I suspected of cooties and washed my hands, then handled it again. Spray paint as pumpkins; who cares?
Daylight Sabing (sic) Time: “Cruel Hoax”- Authorities Assume
Some adolescents were fixing to blow up the world.
They set their destroyance module at 100% Street Kill.
Framed and hanging art floated to the ceiling.
Someone yelled “We’re going Anti- Newtonian!”
Shelley straddled a white pine branch.
A witch for Halloween.
WHAT’S AN HMO?
Archie Manning (legendary Saint’s QB) hail Maryed me a plastic football from a parade float which I caught with one hand. He gave me two thumbs up. The Saints wanted to sign me. I though, was happy with my life. There’s talk of a movie. Oh, I’ll probably sour the deal, casting the original characters 30 years late. Everyone running around, all elbows and squatty.
MATTEL EMBROILED IN KOTEX GRIPE
On one hand we have The Taxpayers for Smoking in Line at DMV (the T.S.L.); and on another hand we have The Justifiably Concerned About Second Hand Smoke in Prisons (J.C.A.S.H.S.P.); and on another hand there’s the We Ain’t Forking Out No More Tax Buck Smokes For Cons International Enclave (W.A.F.O.N.M.T.B.S.F.C.I.E.). All of which if given the opportunity would push their agendae to extremely unpleasant limits. Like mandatory insurance where someone can be driving around in a car which’s bumper cost more than my house? Then sue the tobacco companies because people smoke? Raise the minimum wage because too many people don’t have health insurance? Let’s put it this way: So your kid’s got to have every Barbie¨ there is. So Mattel goes ahead and makes a Barbie¨ version of every single thing on earth, and not necessarily animate things, and what the heck, why bother with things that actually exist? “Hell, we can MAKE them exist!” Because they know that your kid’s got to have every single one. Wouldn’t that snake your water closet? Would you consider invoking say— Opportunistic Polarization/Damaged Legislature? “Oh please mighty U.N., make them stop.” And after Toy Manufacturer Lobbyist Barbie¨, (and they know very well you’re hurtin’ wicked), they make the Oh God, Please Make Them Stop Making Me Barbie¨. And your kid’s gotta have it. And they’re laughing their gag bags off as they stamp out the Big House Barbie¨ sportin’ one of them one world kinda Pall Malls.
U.S. CAPITULATES TO ALL DEMANDS!!
GOES AGRARIAN: WORLD PISSED
“Man, You bring down the rich; you’re gonna be REAL poor.”
“Coke or an onion?”
“Could I have both?”
“What are you nuts?”
“Yes.” “Then o.k.”
“Could I have both too?”
“You already chose the Coke.”
“But could I have both too?”
“What do you think I am, nuts?” “Yeah.”
“Then you better get out of here before I do something weird.”
OIM WEETIN FER WINNERDOIME NO DO!!
Yeah, I am. Snowy winter graces a special pristine Eden. The embodiment of pure spirit; walking paths by starlight, hearing silence like the only born soul. Except for the asshole 20 miles away melting his 4X4 tires into the ice pack. And 20 below at 0% humidity, although armed and dangerous, seems a more faithful companion than 40 above at 90%. And if you dig down, there are even flowers. Living flowers. Unidentified Mystery Species. And great strides in maxillofacial prosthetics. And there are people there: everyone happy and walking around waving, with huge baskets of tropical fruit and tapioca flour. Children of all races play and share on taffy bridges stretched across mouths of benign volcanoes. Although the rodents eat it all by spring, it’s worth the pleurisy. Worth the lumbago. Worth skiing. Really, it’s worth being R.F.C.
All our wonderful cats agree. Just today one told me; “R’ember me? I used to be your little friend, before you started all your stupid discipline crap.” Cats. They’re there, but not always on the ball with their statements.
Y2k, the least hoary of predictions for 2000, our pal the smokescreen? I’m ready. I took the label off the can of french-cut wax beans and bought some staples. Sears. We were almost out. There weren’t enough to get the plastic up.
N glass? Woy ilser we weetin fer winnerdoime no?
LICE by Pete LaBonne
The compassionate saga unfolds.
SON OF LICE by Pete LaBonne
Hot dolls spared all!