I receive four or five solicitations a month for insultingly cheap getaways at time shares and resorts. I toss the shit, because I've been there, punched the clerk.
I put the bite on my customers for business for a living. If I want to get away for a long weekend, why should I submit myself to that which I flee, and be on the receiving end, to boot? I want to escape that environment, not lower myself down the foodchain and wallow in it. Because that 60 minute tour is invariably followed by a two hour hard core sales pitch and harangue. Screw you, Mac. I can afford to stay wherever I want, and not have to put up with such horseshit.
I bring this up because I was in Charleston for the Foreign Trade Conference last month. I usually stay at the Lodge Alley Inn. Have for 15 years. It is a well-kept historic site, convenient to my favorite restaurants and bars, has great service, and boasts a wonderful courtyard, resplendent with palmettos and a fountain. A great place to pass a dusk with cigar and wine.
The Lodge Alley went timeshare a couple of years ago, however. It is now owned by Bluegreen, an upscale raper of old growth and greenfield. The service is still great, and I can stay there with a two night minimum just like before, but there are drawbacks.
These idiots have made the decision to put the bite on their prospectives in the fucking courtyard! I realize they do it because it is the most saleable feature of the place, but don't they realize that by having three to six sales whores (yes, men are sales whores, too, perhaps the worst) hitting on prospectives at cafe tables throughout the courtyard they are destroying precisely what they are hawking????
You can't enjoy the courtyard for the incessant sales pitches, grifting, and mawkish pleadings. Fuck, you assholes. Set aside a conference room, break it out into closing-compatible cubicles, and do your bidness there, you damned retards. Stay out of the courtyard. You are pissing on the orchids, so to speak.
A fine establishment, I will not return. The Ansonborough doesn't have a courtyard, but I can go on the roof and swill alcohol, with a nice view of South of Broad. Plus, there is a handsome Harris Teeter's next door, open 24/7, iffen I feel the need to hoist a couple of whipped cream canisters, and huff some nitrous oxide. Location, location, location.
Putting the bite on the rubes in the courtyard. These assholes should be ashamed of themselves. Then shot.
but I played one rather successfully between the ages of 6 and 9 on the little girls in my neighborhood. And all without benefit of a Holiday Inn Express. Although in retrospect that would have come in damned handy, had they taken the Senator's Diner's Club card.
Anyway, I hate it when a solitary lymph node flares up to fight some invisible infection somewhere in near proximity. I won't elaborate, except to say 'tis 'tween the tan lines. It wouldn't be so bad, but I am a frustrated pathologist, and must poke it ceaselessly for hours on end. Getting better, or worse? Hard to tell, dickhead, because you keep poking it.
It better be normalized in the morning. I don't feel like dropping my drawers for the nurse tomorrow. I'm supposed to be the doctor, dammit! Didn't you read the curriculum vitae I attached to my chart?
The rain has continued, mostly unabated, for two days, with two more days forecast. The cats and dogs that precipitated have washed down the storm sewer. Now it is tapirs, and peccaries, raining down.
The pool has flowed its edge, the neighbor's paddleboat and floating dock just broke loose and wended down the lake. Rained like seven holy hells, it has.
These are great times to sit on the back porch, and get mellowed; put a wreath of circumspection around the day's events. One can also get maudlin, or suicidal, during great bouts of downpour. I'd like to check those whack stats. Intuition tells me people don't bust the self-actualizing cap on theyselves when it is sunny, so much as rainy.
But I'm on the mellowed side of the egg. Oh, I'm plotting mass vengeances with my subconscious, of course. Never let it be known Velociman went soft. But that is mere multi-tasking. That show always goes on.
The frogs are bellowing again. Too small to eat the legs. Reminds me of the National Lampoon cartoon of the frog with no legs outside the restaurant serving frog legs, with a tin cup, begging. Ha ha ha! I laugh now, but it's dark. Those filthy toads may have me encircled, waiting for a breach in my defenses. I don't have a thousand bullets.
If it clears up by Saturday I'll be fine. Spend the weekend with friends at Ponte Vedra Beach, tossing the kids like cash-hungry dwarfs to neighbors in the process.
Someone told me this was a holiday weekend. No shit? Is it Flag Day, or something?
Oktoberfest in Helen is September 15 through November 5. There are eight weekends scrunched in there.
I mention this only in passing.
The world is screwy. Rankin' Rob calls it The Quickening. I disagree. From where I sit it's a Harmonic Convergence.
I need never lust after Piglet again.
I was sitting outside tonight, enjoying the silence, when a lone bullfrog chirrupped. Then they all started. A thousand of them. Loud, crude, disdainful. I have frogs out of my ass. My cats won't eat them, they have no natural predators.
I am eat up with frogs.
Have you ever seen the National Geographic, or Animal Planet videos of long horned rams butting heads? These bastards will square off at about twenty paces, and charge each other. The results are painful to watch, worse to hear. What are these idiots thinking? Two racks colliding is totally fucking insane. And yet there they go, and not a female in sight to fight over.
My father apparently had those residual genes, because he loved to butt heads. He would get a head full of Windsor Canadian, and look for a worthy adversary. I only butted with him oncet. Well, maybe twicet.
He knocked me silly. He had a cranium of titanium. The deal was, you would square off at about four inches, and butt heads. Like bulls. Man, that hurt.
He knocked me into the next century. I said no mas.
My little brother loved it, though. I would watch these two butt heads four, five, six times.
Brain damage. Had to be. Although my brother seems none the worse for the wear.
I swear, though, that was The Senator's version of Nyquil.
Just for the hell of it I offered to headbutt Skeeter tonight. She politely declined. She a good girl. Discriminating, too.
The hummingbirds have been right little bastards today. This evening there were two pairs fighting, dogfighting like jet pilots, and one weird one who just swept back and forth, at warp speed.
The mimosa blossoms are dying off, therefore the feeders are the hot source of sugah. These little fools are getting in my face, however. Very unnerving.
This is what the Democratic Party wants us to be:
Totally unmotivated, hopefully on drugs, with a piece of vegetable to amuse us. Acidman caved. Drank the Kool-Ade. Look at him now.
With all due respect to Dana, who structured this piece, as fine a bit of performance art as I've seen in a while, I must say: Dana: this would have happened anyway. Don't feel guilty.
And why do I feel like Frosty the Snowman has melted, and there's nothing left but his, ah, nose?
Well, it only took a year, me being the rat that can never maze his way to the beloved cocaine pellet, but the interview with Sadie is up.
And I must confess: even I finished reading that and thought Who does this asshole think he is?
Nice work, though, Sadie.
I had a great time at Catfish's. Killer piece of property, very nice house. Cat and Miss Nancy were most gracious hosts.
Acidman gave me a Mason jar of extremely good blackberry brandy. The next time he says he comes from a long line of hillbilly moonshiners, believe him.
We popped a few rounds at the range, and I swear I couldn't hit shit with The Bride's snub-nosed airweight. That is a poke in the belly and pull gun, although Rob seemed to have no problem with the Ladysmith snub-nosed. Did better with Rob's Ruger Blackhawk .357. I'm like a woman, I reckon. I need at least six inches before I can do anything with it.
Dana and her hubby Brian were there, of course. Sweet couple, very nice people. It must have been a helluva weekend for them. I tried to explain that we were from the Night of the Living Dead branch of the blogfamily tree, that there are normal folk out there. I hope they understood.
Always nice to see Recondo32 and Georgia. Georgia and A-Man have communications problems. Typical conversation:
Rob: And so, here I am with a headful of Quaalude...
Georgia: I had some of those!...
Rob: Will you shut up?
Georgia: Don't pay any attention. He's like that...
Rob: And so, here I am with a headful of Quaalude...
Anyways, a great time. I unfortunately had to leave Saturday night, being in day four of a bout of Anus Vesuvius, and not wanting to be the one to break in Cat's guest bed (I am happy to report I am now a solid citizen again, however).
I'm told the party got better, but at least I was able to enjoy the formal portion of the evening, after dinner (you know, the brandy and cigar portion of the evening), when Cat emerged from the bedroom wearing a T shirt and boxers, and proceeded to scratch the tick bites on his nipples, and tell me about a girl he once dated that had so much blonde hair on her ass you had to part it, and titties so perky you could pick your teeth with them.
Aye, a great time. I can't wait to return. Maybe this weekend.
I survived Catfish's, and all I got was this lousy STD.
I realize this sounds harsh, but I kind of like the Colombian attitude towards judges, and justices. If you find them opprobrious, blow them the fuck up, or pop they skulls. Amazing how that sort of retaliation engenders a bit of, shall we say, circumspection when reaching a decision.
This horseshit brings the idea to mind. The very idea of government taking your property by fiat, and delivering it to another private party in order to enhance tax revenues is disgusting, criminal behavior.
The Constitution envisioned checks and balances between the 3 branches of government, but no branch has been able to check the judiciary since Marbury v. Madison.
I'll bet Pablo Escobar could have checked that fucking balance. Hell, I'd pay $10 to see John Paul Stevens get whacked in a drive by.
Hey. Just trying to bring a little vox populi to the dialogue.
I thought I would slide up to Cat's for a weekend of spree drinking and shooting, check out his new place. You know me. Mr. Lo Key.
Somehow this has turned into a damned blog meet.
Ha ha ha! This should be rich.
My recent visit to Chateau Elan has forced me to reconsider my taste for their signature merlot.
Not like me to put up three shit-themed posts in a row. Well, maybe it is.
I awakened to one of those 24 hour stomach viruses today, wherein at 6 AM I was evacuating shit-gruel, and not just once. Every 15 to 20 minutes I would get a stabbing pain in my abdomen, like I'd been shivved in a prison lovers' quarrel, and have to hie to the Throne of Contemplation. I mostly contemplated what the fuck was coming out of my ass.
But, like the Chicken-footed Lady, or Lobster Boy, I knew the show must go on, so I made it to work, where I proceeded to make about 11 trips to the bathroom to perfect my Old Faithful imitation. Aye, the Velocirectum was a steaming geyser, sulphurous, routine as traffic light, regular as methadone addict.
I would like to say, however, that unlike some goddamned freaks, I had the dignity to keep my mouth shut as my Yellowstoned ass erupted yet again.
Imodium helped in that Old Faithful ramped back to once an hour between 11AM and 2PM, but I am a washed out wreck. I guzzled Gatorade, popped aspirin, snuck away and slept in my car for an hour, just so I could fantasize about Diane Rehm with my asshole apucker, enflamed, en fuego.
Not my best day. I'll be to bed soon, as I have two days of training starting tomorrow, and I'm completely and ashamedly out of corks.
Rankin Robbie seems to think Runaway Bride Jennifer Wilbanks is something of a miscreant, or at least a loser of the first degree.
I disagree. Despite the fact that she is so shock-orbed she makes a deer in the headlights look like a Macaoan on opium I find her fascinating, and not a little hot.
Of course, I possess Rankin' Rob's driver's license, which I boosted recently, so it's not like Jennifer is going to know who I really am at that Comfort Inn in Buford, Georgia. I shall buy her sexy underthings at the Mall of Georgia, too.
Oh, sorry, Rob. Got yer Visa, too.
Northeast Florida is pretty conservative. Bible Belt, and all. Oh, we have our upsides. Opening the liquor stores on Sundays, that sort of thing to stay in the tourism game, but by and large pretty straight. And St Johns County is probably as tightassed as anywhere, but things are low key here, somebody steal a couple of potatoes from a farm in Spuds, or something.
Not crazy on the drinking and driving around here, though. And so, if you are going to drink and drive, and you are going to have a head on collision as a result of aforesaid activity, who is the last person in the county you want to head-on?
The Sheriff, dumbass. And you hospitalized him? Great. You now have a rabid band of deputy sheriffs who have placed the equivalent of the bounty on Zharqawi on your head. Iffen you ever heal up and get discharged. They have hospital access, you know.
Bad move. I met the Sheriff when he was campaigning last summer. Great guy. Stopped by the house, we chewed the fat for 45 minutes or so, I greased him a contribution. The incumbent wasn't running again, and this guy had a great resume.
Of course, we talked like many people in southern or rural areas talk. You make eye contact when you address each other, then you look down, at the ground, and spit in the grass, and rub it absent-mindedly with the toe of your shoe. As if to say, I enjoy your company, but not that much. I ain't gay, trucklehead! Talk, spit, rub. Had many a conversation doing that.
Anyway, never head-on the Sheriff. You will be persecuted until Hell freezes over. You're fucked for life, basically.
I've been re-reading As I Lay Dying, simply because it had been 25 years or so since I'd read it, and you forget the small things, the turns of phrase. Also, where else can you read prose about a child augering holes into his dead mother's face? Or think that she is a fish?
And I ran across this phrase:
"... my father used to say that the reason for living was to get ready to stay dead a long time."
Ah, man. That speaks to me.
I have finally found my epitaph.
I'm pretty tolerant of Jimmy Buffett, because with his Margaritavilles and sech he's going to be crammed up our collective asses anyway, and I did enjoy seeing him in the '70's because that was our lifestyle, right?
But I have to say: Pencil Thin Moustache is a piece of shit song. It is totally fucking gay. In fact, I just fleshed out a song on a paper towel about a girl getting off on a Harley that is ten times better than that song.
She rides hard, hard
Feels the pulse
Wants to stroke a piston
Sweet, huh? Songwriting is easy. You should hear the melody! Think My Sweet Lord with some ska thrown in.
I hear Pencil Thin Moustache I pinch my nostrils together, so that I don't inhale the malodorous evil of the thing.
It's a shame that one is never remembered by their best stuff, only by their worst. At least by me. And Pencil Thin Moustache is totally fucking gay.
For Fathers Day, the Buck Special:
A decent little pigsticker. Perfect for watermelon, canteloupe, bra straps, panties. Of course, I've already been told I have no date tonight, so I guess I'll confine its use to the wallamillion.
Even so, the girls were very sweet today, and are preparing Low Country Boil for supper in my honor. Although I still prefer the term Frogmore Stew, because low country denotes those evil bastards across the river in South Carolina. Nobody beats our Cocks? That's too bad, boys. Because having my cock beat is one of my favorite pasttimes.
Anyhoo, Frogmore is in Carolina too, so I shouldn't fret with appellations.
Too far to drive to visit the hole they shoehorned the Senator into, and don't really care. Gravesites are like cornhusks. The semblance of something there, but it's hollow inside.
I'll hoist a taste of liquor to the old man, treat him to a day of remembrance. He was a brilliant, crazy bastard, and I loved him deeply. And I am honing those genes, too.
I have some ivy in my yard that I stolded from William Faulkner's house about ten years ago, and transplanted here. A friend and I drove down from Memphis to watch the Georgia-Ole Miss game in Oxford, and went to Rowan Oak afterwards, destroyed by the demon rum, where I ripped some ivy up.
This was the game where the Georgia quarterback, Mike Bobo, broked his leg, and we had great seats about 15 feet from the Georgia sidelines, and they didn't know his leg was broked, and so he was on crutches, and I was screaming at him "Get back in the game, you fucking pussy!" because Georgia was losing. Not my finest moment.
Bobo was looking over his shoulder at me like I had a tit growing out of my forehead, and as we were in the Ole Miss section, the fancy ladies around us were virulent because I kept sloshing my liquor on them, and telling them Georgia would beat their asses, only our quarterback was a fucking pussy!
Did I mention my friend was an Ole Miss grad? And so he would look at the fancy ladies, and point at me, and then put his finger to his temple and do that circular thing, as if to say What the fuck do you expect from a Cracker?"
That was a great game.
And so I have this ivy, and whenever the muse leaves me I smoke a bowl of it. It doesn't do much for writer's block, but it does make me an idiot manchild, in true Faulknerian fashion.
And I've obviously partaken today.
Next week: our trip to Shiloh, wherein I personally beat back Ulysses S. Grant with a magnum of cider, and a cap pistol.
Remember that scene in Cujo, where the guy is trying to scare off Cujo? Didn't work, did it?
Man, you can't reason with a rabid dog.
When we lived on the farm in the '60's our nearest neighbors were the F---s. I won't print their name for fear of further degradation. They lived about 200 yards down the dirt road from us, at the intersection of our road and the Hogpen Road. They were poor white trash in every sense of the term.
They lived in a clapboard cabin that had never seen paint, their yard was dirt, too poor for chickens even. They were always barefooted, not being able to buy shoes. Even the 16 year old daughter only had one pair of undersized shoes for school (she was kind of hot, too, in a dirt under the toenails kind of way).
Welfare allowed them to hoard certain staples in a kind of abundance: coffee, tobacco, sugar. The rest apparently went to moonshine. Here is how dinner was prepared: Maw would make coffee in the morning, Luzianne or some such shit as I recall, because I think they were addicted to chickory. Then she would open the kitchen window and dump the grinds into a worm bed outside the window. When Paw would finally rouse from his booze-addled slumbers he would dig up some worms from the bed, and take his cane pole to Lake Number One and fish among the roots and stumps for bream and perch. There were better fish in Lake Number Two, but he was too fucking lazy to walk the extra 100 yards.
Then he would get drunk again, and they would feast that evening on three or four bony little bream, and grits. Maybe cornbread of a Saturday.
I miss those people. They made me feel like a goddamned prince, and I lording it over them.
The osprey are a-hunting the lake today, about six of them, rabid as Mongols. They will hover in the air over their chosen prey, wings beating furiously to stay on spot, like a whirlygig, patient, patient, then plunge like all hell into the water, hitting the surface like a cannonball, wham!
They usually emerge with empty claw. By my lax reckoning they only get a fish about 1 in 10 times. Godawful inefficiency, but they only need one or two small fish per day, I suppose, and they have nothing better to do than fish all day.
There are some grass carp in the lake the size of orcas. I'm waiting for the day an osprey takes one of those bastards on. It'll be like Clash of the Titans. Only, as I recall, no Titans clashed in that movie.
Been thinking about Jerry Lee since that post, and I swear he's the man. He always has cash flow problems, and tax problems, so he opened his house up for tours.
I don't think there is any structure to the scheme, though. You basically knock on the door, and if someone answers you can wander around, see Jerry Lee in his robe, scratching his balls, having breakfast, Cheerios and a beer, whatever, and he'll wave to you maybe. "Go see the crapper," he'll say. "Solid gold fixtures."
And so I was thinking that might have some traction at the Velocihovel. I'm all about supplemental income. Living in a meritocracy, of course, the market sets the value. I'm thinking five cents.
Thinkit: the opportunity to see the Batcave, where I blog, where I pass out on occasion, the spot where I spit up after a particularly egregious post, my toenail clippings. All for a nickel. That's a fucking deal, I think.
If I get any positive feedback I'll pass it along. I may start opening for tours on Sundays. I am particularly disgusting to the human eye on Sundays.
Do you ever reach that tipping point of horniness and drunkenness, when you go at it hammer and tong, like a couple of retarded hyenas? Can't even put peg A into hole B? Wake up sore, bruised, bite marks in odd places, hickies on the buttocks, queer rope burns?
Yeah, me neither. But I think about it. All the time.
Jerry Lee Lewis is divorcing his sixth wife.
Man, that's style.
Jerry Lee will forever be one of my all-time heroes.
And I don't mean conched like James Brown's hair. I mean konked as in having the everloving shit knocked out of you.
So I was mowing the backyard this afternoon, and I am always careful around a particular oak tree. Because my height on the riding lawnmower is X, and the height of this particular tree branch is Y. Y is less than X.
This is very important! Y is less than X!
And so I'm usually very careful maneuvering around this branch, but I had the brilliant idea of listening to Skeeter's Discman, headphones on, Discman thrust into my shorts, to get Bono as close to my privates as possible, in a willful effort to give him a piece of my mind, and I was doing some kind of spastic dance thing on the mower. So much so that I completely forgot the Killer Branch, and as I rounded the tree it smacked me, right in the fucking cranium.
I almost fell off the mower, my eyes welled with tears. That hurt. Bad. But I'm a Can Do guy, I'm a fucking Do Bee, I ain't a Don't Bee, so I persevered, being almost finished.
And I swear, as I rounded that tree again, and the same song was on, and the spastic dance had recommenced, I'll be damned if I didn't hit that branch again. BAM! Right in the same spot. Only this time the traumatized area broke skin, and there was blood.
The tears welled in my eyes again, but this time there was snot running down my nose. It was just like when you lose a playground fight when you're six years old, and you walk home, crying, face dirty, the tears creating rivulets down the dust on your face, and the snot pouring out of your nose. Hot tears of shame, the worst feeling in the world, and all you can do is take your tongue and lick the snot as it reaches your lips, to keep it at bay. I was doing that.
And so now I am sitting on my lanai, nursing a cocktail, having stypticked my scalp, and I am eyeballing that branch. Yeah, verily, it do block the view of the house across the lake, and therefore held value in my life prior to today, but I swear to God I'm going to get my chainsaw and castrate that bastard. Then I shall cook it in my fireplace. I don't care if it was 108 with the heat index today. I'll crank the AC down to 59.
My head hurts, and I'm going to kill that fucking branch.
One did not survive a keelhauling, right? Being dragged repeatedly across the barnacle-encrusted hull of a ship with ropes tied to wrists and ankles? Death sentence, I would think. Hell, I'd be gulping water trying to drownd myself. I wonder who came up with that idea?
At any rate, I was thinking of keelhauling my neighbor, using my other neighbor's little paddleboat. He'd survive that, I'm sure. But he might think twicet about emptying the trash from his vehicle in my fucking yard again.
It doesn't have any barnacles, but I could probably drive a few nails through the hull. Leaks like a sieve anyway (note drooping bow).
1 : of or relating to the study of excrement
2 : marked by an interest in excrement or obscenity
3 : of or relating to excrement or excremental functions
Because somebody asked.
n : eating feces; in humans a symptom of some kinds of insanity
Because nobody asked.
I write checks my ass can't cash upon occasion, but sometimes I can indeed cash that scrip. Here is a prime example of a piss boy who didn't get invited to the dance, and who will forever foreswear he nevah wanted to go in the first place.
Rob has become a fussy little fuck of late. I'm thinking latent homosexuality bubbling to the surface, but I wouldn't know about that. HE could explain it, I'm sure.
We shall flesh this out at Catfish's crib next weekend, I'm sure. I'm bringing my huge dick, just in case I am called upon to prove I am not a nancy boy.
Christina has another project going. Wherein she supplies the opening graph to a story, and has several bloggers run with it in whatever direction they desire, in a thousand words or so.
shanghaied sweet talked me into participating, me of misanthropic nature. And, yes, my remonstrances to misanthropy wear thin, I know. I'm actually like, a clubber these days. So here is her opening set up, my follow through:
A person gets on a subway then nods off only to waken just before the appointed stop. When this person exits the station, the surroundings are completely unrecognizable. Individual then realizes he/she had not seen another human since getting on the train.
He exited tentatively, alone, uncertain. No one. Anywhere. He made his way to the stairs, pushed through the turnstile with a hollow ratcheting click, and climbed toward the daylight streaming through the stairwell shaft, dust, mites, glittering in the backlight of the diffused sun.
He exited upon a street of broken back, spavined sway, storefronts boarded, metal grating shut, locks rusted. No one. Anywhere. He decided to head north, what he thought was north, out of indifference. South would have taken him back from whence he came, but he wasn't sure that was the right direction to take at this point.
After three blocks he was feeling oddly claustrophobic due to the wide open spaces, bereft of humanity. No solace, no focus. Wind, whipping newspaper remnants through the wide streets devoid of vehicle, pedestrian. Traffic lights dead, sullen, closed as clam, sealed as oyster.
He rounded a corner, determined to head east, toward the river, and was stunned to see a man sitting on a rickety chair on the edge of the sidewalk, chair as broken as the rest of the street, wobbly, cohesive through willpower alone, it seemed, and this old black man perched precariously upon its edge.
"Where am I?" he asked. He peered at the man, gray as moss, wizened as cocoanut, eyes a filmy pale blue, corneas smoked over as gelatin.
"Where are you? You in Harlem, son." He rocked, dangerously akimbo, on the edge of the devastated chair. "Where you think you are?"
"Okay. Fine. But, what I mean is, where am I?"
"I told you. You're at the intersection of Abomination and Despair, boy. You're in Life." He rocked, the chair creaked, agonizing in its frailty.
"How do I get out?" The man guffawed, slow, amused, grizzled head swaying to and fro in negation.
"You cain't get out of what you've always been in, son. What do you do with your life?"
"I'm an investment banker. Mergers and acquisitions, actually."
"Have you ever created anything?"
"Sure. I mean, I create value for my shareholders every day. I take the besotted company, the loser, and bring it into the fold of a healthier organization. I save jobs! Most of the time..."
"No, you young fool. I mean create something." The old man pulled a harmonica from his shirt pocket, and played a piercing blues song, with a coda that brought tears to the man's eyes. It was beautiful, evocative.
"That was really nice."
"Son, you can't handle nice yet. Do you have chirren?"
"Yes. A boy and a girl. Six and nine. Wonderful creatures."
"Uh huh. Do you hug 'em?"
"Sure. Every night."
"Do you fuck your wife?" The man blanched, and stammered. "Yeah. Sure. Twice a week."
"That's where you're wrong. You can't fuck somebody you love. Fucking takes away from a person. Making love gives 'em something back. Dig?"
I hadn't thought about it."
"Do she whisper in your ear when you're in there, and tell you she want more? She want you in there?"
"I don't recall that."
"No shit, son! You jes fuckin' her. Think about it. What you givin'?"
"Yeah. And that ain't much. See that stairwell across the street?"
"That's your ride." At this point the teetering chair crashed, and the milky-eyed man was prostrate, helpless, on the sidewalk, amongst the splinters.
"Help an old man up," he wheezed. The man obliged, and pulled him erect. "Git me that orange crate yon." And he did, and propped the old man upon it.
"That's better. Take your ride, son. What you think?"
I'm really not sure."
"You an asshole, boy. Be sure about that."
"Huh? Who are you? My conscience?"
"Hell, no boy!" And he guffawed again. Hollow, mirthless. "I'm yo damned Libido! I yo pecka! Hell, yeah, I'm yo Conscience. Lookit: you still on that train, asleep. You gots a face smudged agin the window, you gots a line of drool down yo mouth. You look like shit. Yo wallet done been lifted. Yo wife hate you."
He stared at the old man. "What are you saying?"
"Go home, fool. Leave the girl at the strippin' club alone. Be da Man. Find yo soul. You still gots it, right?"
"I think so."
And he was slammed against the forward wall when the engineer locked down in a vain effort to avoid the vagrant splayed alongside the track, the vagrant sliced in two like a schism, wonderfully dead, clean.
And he drew his forearm across his mouth, and felt the dried sputum, the drool dried like cow's cud, and wondered if he could be a lover that night, head with bruised knot, soul enflamed, humbled unto disgust.
And he grinned, and sat back in his seat, the car stopped whilst the vagrant was extricated by small parts from the gear, the wheels, and thought
Puddyhead and I were hunkered over a bottle of vodka about ten years ago, trying to figure out the Next Big Thing, and I came up with the Rivers. The idea was, we would take his Grumman canoe, and launch it at the headwaters of the Ogeechee River, between Greensboro and Crawfordville, Georgia, and ride it to the ocean. Take video cameras, 35mm, memorialize the event. Possibly flip it unto an article for Nature or National Geographic. That is a sweet river, unheralded.
The follow up would be a trip down the Suwannee River, from the Okefenokee Swamp headwaters to the Gulf of Mexico. We were thinking serial documentaries here.
The idea reverberated for a few months, never came to fruition. A damned shame. We were fucked up as bugbears at the time, but the idea obtains. The Ogeechee River. Prolly 200 miles as the crow flies, 380 as the River meanders.
I want to make that trip, still. The Geechee one. Suwannee later. I still have Puddyhead on board. Another two peeps, another canoe...
It will be like Deliverance, without the buttfucking.
Eric turned me on to this collection of pussel-gutted misfits. Be sure to click on the Koran picture. There is a nice video on Tolerance.
Actually, they remind me of my back island trash friends. I'd hoist a few with them, for sure.
Via flynny, who inexplicably thought of me at the time, THIS!
Only in my dream Chomsky was licking Lynne Cheney's nethers, whilst I tried to push him out of the way.
Hey: you can get away with anything in a dream.
I am a skeptic, a disbeliever, a Doubting Thomas when it comes to ghosts, hoots, haints, and the rest of the panoply of otherworldly ephemeral beings. It's like Bigfoot. Show me a picture. Otherwise you are blowing smoke up my skirt. Feels good, of course, but let us save it for the marshmallow roast over the bonfire; these tales are to frighten the chirren.
And yet weird shit does happen. Checkit: Two months before my mother died The Bride lost her favorite uncle in a hellish traffic accident. He was a city electrician, was up in a cherrypicker fixing a traffic light, and a tractor trailer clipped his head. It was a melon explosion, if I may be so indelicate.
Her uncle was very close to his sister, my mother-in-law, and doted on The Bride. And I kept hearing tales of phantom electrical aberrances afterwards, flickering lights, and such.
Pshaw, says I. Horseshit. And yet when The Bride visits strange things occur at that house. I have witnessed them. Lights turning on by themselves. Fans turn themselves on, and rotate backwards. A lamp next to The Bride will flicker furiously, then, when she walks into the next room, that lamp will do the same thing. Freaky fucking deaky.
I've chalked this up to the implants the CIA put in The Bride when she was 12, sensing future mischief. Still unnerving shit.
Upside? My in-laws' place is what real estate people call stigmatized property. Which means I have a legitimate reason not to visit. This is an angle I am enamored of, and will work like a fiend for a while.
Jealous, aren't you?
When I was a cabinetmaker a coworker approached me one day in a very discreet but agitated state. This guy was a burnt out case, who would slide next door into the back of the Crow Bar Lounge every two hours or so for a chilly Crown shot to take the edge off. Then try not to chop his damned fingers off.
"Let me ask you something," he said in a hoarse voice. "Say you and a buddy went camping, and you got all fucked up on red liquor, and you woke up the next morning and couldn't remember anything, but your asshole burned. Would you tell anybody?"
"Hell, no!" says I.
He looked at me with a withered eye, and whispered "Do you want to go camping?"
It took me a week to realize he was pulling my fucking leg. I thought that crazy bastard wanted to go camping! In the dark! With me!
I used to have a saying back in the early '90's (has it been that long?): so goes Gant, so go the Braves.
I am parlaying that into a new credo: So goes Tuco, so goes Velociworld. Meaning, if Tuco is up, and not some bastard getting shot in the head, my mental health is probably good to go for the moment.
Not because they are by definition poor, but because they inconvenience me. Hates that. See, I work in the Bellsouth building, and so on the first of the month a filthy scrawl of wasted humanity stretches out the gift store counter, where bills be paid, out the back doors, and into the street.
This disrupts my ability to buy chewing gum, and take a smoke out the back door. Zombies, filthy tender in hand, no checking account, paying their phone bill with their left hand, buying $10 Lotto scratch-offs with their right.
Oh, I can smoke out front, but that is unseemly. And I usually have gum on me. But I am inconvenienced at times, and I expect a damned apology. Somebody told me we live in a merit society. I say their audience was misguided. They were preaching to the fucking choir. Come see me on the first. I gots your target audience.
I resolved to never discuss the Jackson case, as I had not followed it, or given a flip shit. The outcome was inevitable. Middlebrow folk on a jury, convinced celebrities are greater than they, reluctant to convict, government attorneys so fucking inept they cannot present a convincing case. It did bring to mind this Elkin quote from The Living End, which the studious reader will notice I have posted before, back in aught-three. Quiz the groundskeeper, talking to the boys:
"It's the same with dirty old men, boys. Maybe they can't have a relationship-do you know what a relationship is, boys?-with a person their own age, so they seek out children. Your moms are right, boys, when they tell you not to accept rides from strangers, to take their nickels or share their candy. Children are vulnerable, children. They don't know the score. You give a dirty old man an inch he'll take a mile. His dick will be in your hair, boys, he'll put your weiner in his pocket. They can't help themselves, boys, but dirty old men do terrible things. They want to smell your tush while it's still wet, they want to heft your ballies and blow up your nose. They want to ream and suck, touch and diddle. They want to eat your poo-poo, boys."
Anyway, the Jackoff case reminded me of that.
I worked like a sharecropper today. And I would say I was merely embodying the genes that I inherited from my sharecropper forebears, but that would imply that I come from a line of stock that worked like bulls in the blistering sun in misguided expectation of some manner of remuneration at the end of the month.
Perish the thought. I wish. I believe I come, rather, from a long line of craven bullshit artists, grifters, and hucksters. An honest day's work being the clean lift of a valuable. Not sure. Just a hunch.
And yet I was packmule, ox, sharecroppa today. See, I gifted my chirren with their very own flower beds some three years ago. They were excited, for an hour or so. And so these beds have lain not only unattended, but fecund and overgrown, for some time.
Today I took them back. By hoe, machete, potato rake. Cleansed those fucking beds of all their overgrown, strangled, rainforested shit. Ripped lantana up by three foot root, pruned Palms Gone Wild! Pulled errant St. Augustine grass by the ten weight. Jumped juniper, short-changed strawberry. What little stragglers were left, the cowering weeds, got assassinated by RoundUp. Cleaned house.
Now, what to do? I figure either concrete, or asphalt. The point being, a flower bed should be like the child that tends it. Low maintenance.
Every woman I know professes to hate Russell Crowe, and yet he gets laid like a fucking madman. And not that he and I mingle in the same circles, but I smell a bit of hypocrisy here.
I never trust a woman who professes to hate the Bad Boy. You can almost sniff his dick on her lips. If you care to get that close.
Morale? Be the Bad Boy, of course.
Minx (mingks) n.: A girl or young woman who is considered pert, flirtatious, or impudent.
I love that word. I love it. It's like onomatopoeia. It almost sounds like a brassy young thing.
Furthermore: [Probably from obsolete mynx, playful little dog, perhaps from alteration of obsolete Dutch minneken, darling. See minikin.]
I always thought it had something to do with sleek, furry things. You know, minks. Shows what I know. Even I can be taken to school on occasion... especially by a minx.
I think I would breed well in captivity, but only because I love an audience.
I finally responded to Sadie's interview questions, like, a month late (two months? I lose track of time. I lose track of everything. Hold on. Yup. It's here. Carry on). Hopefully she will not be as egregiously slothful in editing them as I have been, otherwise you won't read them until the next Clinton Administration.
I put up a joke post some time back about how I like the Predator movies, and wanted to see a third one, but not the silliness that was Predator versus Alien. And now I have become an open forum for some of the most twisted little fucks you will ever meet. I really must ban them.
I agree with these sentiments entirely. And as I said in the comments, I tip excessively, and to a fault at times. 15% for bad service, 20% is quotidian, I often go 30% or more. I also live by a credo: the quicker my liquor, your tip will be thicker. Words to live by, if you wait on me. Hard work, low pay, I'm no bastard.
And yet I fess to the nickel tip, extremely rare. But if you are surly, rude, hungover, slothful, disrespectful, I will fuck with you. You will not get a pass because you have a lousy job with low pay and long hours. Been there myself.
I get my ass chewed on a routine basis for events beyond my control. Big fucking deal. Goes with the territory. You want a pass because you work for Scrooge, Legree? Ain't gonna happen. Disrepect me in front of my family or friends with half-assed work ethic, think you get a pass from me? I didn't tell you to get this job. You chose it, and it is your job. Do it to the best of your ability.
I also said I never suffer the tip for the sins of the kitchen. This is true.
Howsomever: I find 99.99% of waitstaff to be doing their best, and I tip generously. As to the occasional outlier: fuck you! There are no passes in life! Get used to it! You are not delivering the services I contracted for.
As to Jekyll: when you deliver my appetizer long after the entrees have been delivered, I will say something to you, especially if you don't apologize. Because you know you fucked me, and you didn't care. That wasn't the kitchen. That was you. Tipped you well anyway, but you got a taste of my tongue. Again, goes with the territory. Can't handle it? Go work in the Hallmark shop, you fucking pussy.
The Bride and Velocidaughter One are highlighting each others' roots tonight, after discussing said procedure for two hours before actually doing it. The Daughter to raise her natural honey blonde to a more Malibu Beach Barbie ideal, The Bride to address a whole host of color issues I will not detail for fear of an ass beating.
Roots, roots, roots. There are so many roots in this house I've taken to calling the two of them Kunta Kinte and Chicken George.
Not that they listen to me. I am the white noise in the Velocihovel. Whether I am complimenting, cajoling, hectoring, insulting, or praising I am the static in need of a filter, the odd buzzing they can never quite put their finger on.
I am in disrepute, apparently because I was supposed to pull up a rocking chair and observe these goings-on while gently flattering them. My observations were considered something less than flattery, however, and I have been banished.
Bre'r Rabbit. Right back in the brier patch.
I have returned from the gulag archipelago, where I was subjected to every form of criminal manual labour save busting rocks and laying crossties. I swear I found myself muttering Swing Low, Sweet Chariot on more than more occasion.
The place was fumigated while I was gone, however, and now smells faintly of wisteria and aloe. Very nice. Very fucking nice.
Here's a question: have you ever found your dog dead? And I don't mean dead. I mean week-old dead? As in, where that boy be? And you finally run across his carcass in the field across the way? With maggots commuting through his eye sockets, and blue-bottle flies swarming around his burst belly?
Yeah, me too. I hate that. I found my old boy like that when I was 12 or so. It was very sad. We dragged him to the pecan orchard on a very long rope, due to the smell, and buried him with full honors, which included me playing Taps for him on my trumpet. Not regulation, I realize, but bugles were scarce.
That dog was crippled from puppyhood due to a car swipe, and extremely poor bone-setting from our alcoholic veterinarian, who later got popped flying one of the Senator's planes back from Mexico with a ton of weed. That another story.
So he was a gimp, but he ran fast. A Special Olympics dog. We called him the Running Corpse, which, believe me, was gratuitous flattery. Always sad to find your pet with the breakdown process already well underway.
This site reeks of low tide, foul creek. I'm going to move to Inblognito for a while. Guest host, so to speak. Queenie my buddy. She gives me liberties.
My nephew is 5 years old. He recently developed a crush on the 19 year old girl across the street. When he heard they were going to visit, he hastily stripped off his play shorts, and donned what he perceived to be his pimpest threads: khaki pants, white button down shirt, necktie, and vest; the attire he'd worn to a wedding several weeks before.
He cannot be dissuaded from his conviction that she will wait for him to grow up.
Man, I loves me a ladies' man.
This has to be a tapir, right? Talk about hang time...
Acidman speaks of gun snobs. I know whereof he speaks. There are certain things we enjoy because they are the comfortable tool, or joy, we happen to like. Like his Oscar guitar. I don't want to rant, but when it comes to certain things, I like what the fuck I like.
That is a noble sentiment Rob espoused. I stand in his corner.
I used to think like this. Then I had children, and found a whole new world of people to blame.
I have the malevolent urge to cull a few folks from the blogroll, just to tidy up. Nothing personal, but if I'm scrolling past Dead Man Walking to hit a living blogger, well, that's fucked up. And, more importantly, inefficient.
My in-laws are in town for the weekend to see the Velocigirls' dance recital. An annual ritual I have yet to desensitize myself to.
I arrive at 5:30, ahead of The Bride, to find my mother-in-law in her darkened bedroom, telling tales of woe to the girls. My father-in-law is on the sofa channel surfing, wondering why I don't have the DirectTV Ultimate NASCAR package. He did find some 14 year olds racing pickups on a dirt track on the Sunshine Network, so he was partially mollified. It's like methadone. Doesn't have the kick, but it'll get you through the night.
"What's for dinner?"
"Vodka for now, maybe some pigs' feet later if I can hold them down."
"That was a joke."
"Ohhh. So what's for dinner?"
"Vodka. Hey, I was only kidding about the pigs' feet. Look, I really gotta get some work done on the computer, okay?"
Two and a half decades, this is la danse macabre we perform. I'm almost beginning to like it.
For those not in the loop, Feisty's Blog Western closes the circle today. Christina was
crazy gracious enough to bestow the final Chapter upon me, and I have tried to do her proud. I followed six very talented writers, who took the story in some very clever directions.
Dax, Moogie, WitNit, Kelley, Eric, Pammy, take a bow. You guys done great. Although I will say Dax is on perilously thin ice on the Island of Doctor Moreau right now, and as for Miss Pammy? Well, let's just say when she pitches she throws heat, high and tight. She tried to bean me! And certainly brushed me back. A hell of a chapter to follow, girl.
As an aside I inserted a few pop culture references in Chapter 7, just out of mischief. If anyone smokes out all four they get the coveted Popeye hand puppet, but you may want to, you know, ignore this sentence entirely.
Without further comment, my humble offering:
The Preacher rolled Stalking Wolf's body over, and winced at the crusted eye socket, the bloodied groin, the lump of manhood extruding from his mouth like freshly-slaughtered beef. Good Christ Almighty, he thought.
Bringing in the sheaves, he muttered, the sheaves, yes, and removed a thin roll of dollar bills from the mutilated half-breed's shirt pocket. The Preacher suddenly winced in excruciating pain, eyes tearing, nausea rising. Rotten tooth, he mused. I have to get that pulled. He rifled the other pockets, and found only a small bottle. He held it up and inspected it.
Dr. Benbow's Nerve Elixir
Drawn From the Laughter of the Maids of France
He uncorked it and took a tentative whiff. Laudanum, he detected, and arose, thin, gaunt, sallow of complexion, his sunken cheeks grizzled with whisker. He drew a long draught of the bottle, and swirled it about the decayed tooth. The pain subsided slightly, and he recorked the bottle, and placed it in his dusty ebony longcoat pocket.
The Preacher gazed at Stalking Wolf. "You were an evil and contemptible bastard, Half Breed. No soul, no soul at'all." He removed the bottle of laudanum, and took a slow, introspective sip. "But no Gunslinger kilt you. By the balls of Beezlebub you ain't even shot."
He looked at the desecrated crotch, the unholy mouthful of flesh. "This is woman's work here, Vengeance, Retribution. And her not even bothering with the reward money either, Wrath alone enough, the Lord's Smiting has evened the scales. She must not need the money, anyhow." Another circumspect pull of the bottle. "But I suffer from no such richs, nor my congregation. This will feed my flock, build my rectory. I suffer not the curse of Mammon, the vile despoilage of the moneylenders."
With that he extracted his enshriveled tuber, and ejected a massive, acrid stream of piss, saffroned of incontinence, foamed of the hard long ride that morning, right upon the dead man's chest. And he loaded up the body in his buckboard, and headed east, towards Gilead, where a marshal who would ask no questions would pay him the handsome reward money from a properly funded coffer.
Above, atop an ochre escarpment, the Gunslinger watched these events unfold. And then he lit a cheroot with a sulfurous match, and spat a bit of tobacco onto the scorched red earth.
A carnival was passing through town on the spurs of an electrical storm, if such a sad group of creatures could be described so. The talent was sparse: a talking burro, a dancing bear, two dogs walking upon their hind legs.
There were two tents set up on the outskirts of town, where the hot wet winds blew through tent flap, wagon, clothes. The first tent was for families. It housed the animal shows, and small groups of children sat in sullen indifference to the pathetic antics of the performers. The burro spoke a braying nonsense, the bear shuffled awkwardly from side to side.
The other tent contained misfits, was the menfolk entertainment. The Gunslinger sat in a rickety chair among a dozen or so other men, the occasional lingering lightning bolt backlighting the canvas roof like chiaroscuro. In one corner a three-breasted woman languidly combed her hair. In another corner Siamese twins performed amateurish acrobatics. A heavily-muscled man lifted vast weights elsewhere. The Gunslinger smoked casually, bored, and observed.
Later that evening he paid a gold dollar to copulate with the three-breasted woman in the back of a gypsy wagon. It was more ritual than sex, perfunctory libidinal release. Both were disinterested, they never made eye contact. He gave her another dollar when he left.
In the middle of the night the tent housing the animals caught fire, and there was brief shrieking panic from the carnival folk while bear, burro, dogs were consumed. No one arrived to help, there was no time.
The carnival moved on the next day to the casual indifference of the townspeople, leaving behind a smoldering canvas heap, and a hastily dug pit on the outskirts of town.
Emily sauntered into Cavendish's offices, and awaited her appointment. She understood he'd been able to convert some of the grazing rights surprisingly quickly. With the cash from that and Big Bill's other liquid assets she could make her way to New Orleans and ensconce herself rather fashionably, and could have the other assets deposited in her local bank upon their liquidation. She'd direct Cavendish to redraw the ranchland, into parcels amenable for quicker conveyance, for everyone really wanted land in those parts, none had been as greedy as her father in acquiring such huge tracts of it.
When Cavendish ushered her into his office she politely accepted the offer of a sherry, and sipped it demurely while he explained the formalities of the probate in a lawless territory, while she hid her greed, splayed like a harlot's thighs behind her eyes. He, meanwhile, seemed to have been into the sherry to excess already, and passed his massive hands among a plethora of papers on his desk. Timber rights! Riparian rights! Mineral rights! Grazing rights! Here it is. The grazing rights. Sign here, my dear, and he savored the curve of her wrist, her well-formed bosom, with his rheumy eyes.
Emily was aware of his look, just as she had been the others, all the others, but she let it pass. She was too close, far too close to insult the man, and endanger her scheme.
With their business completed, Emily allowed him to escort her to the front door. She shook his hand warmly, and allowed him to peck her cheek. And as she turned to leave, she bumped into a filthy mestizo boy on the wooden planking, who tugged her skirt, and proffered an envelope.
Emily took the envelope discreetly, brushed the urchin aside, stepped quickly down the boardwalk to escape the lingering gaze of Cavendish, and opened it. Inside was a note, written in crabbed hand, somewhat shaky but legible.
The Devil's Boils. Noon tomorrow.
"Damn," she murmured, and began to think. Probably one of that disgusting half breed's drifters, hangers on. This was a problem. It would have to be resolved. She could not risk traveling by stage to New Orleans with a witness to murder on her trail, or even worse a vulgar thief and defiler. She returned to her hotel room and had a bath drawn, parsing her plans.
The dawn sun shimmered upon the languid, meandering river's wavelets and hiccoughs, sparkling counterpoint to the rasping dust of the banks. A small coterie of folk were amassed on the riverbank, bonneted, derbyed, sundress and suitcoat alike threadbare but respectably cleansed and flatironed.
In the shallows of the river's edge the Preacher stood, shirtsleeves rolled up, suspenders cinching his trousers high to avoid more water than necessary sloshing into his already soaked longjohns. He had already baptised two girls, fifteen year old twins, and an itinerant drunkard who had seen Gabriel, Gideon, the blinding light of merciless anger against his sloth, and filth. He wept as the Preacher doused him, came up sputtering and coughing, the small crowd laughing in pleasure at his discomfort, embracing him simultaneously as a lost soul, recovered. He staggered to respite, dry clothes, a generously offered piece of chicken.
The Preacher cast a sad brown eye about for another supplicant, another soul seeking redemption. But the crowd was thin indeed, all known to him, all baptised.
And then the coterie separated a bit, and a lanky man in black waded through the crowd, drew himself up at water's edge. He hat was slung low, brim covering his eyes, but the Preacher recognized him, of course. The Gunslinger removed his hat, and placed it upon a cottonwood branch hanging over the rippling waves, and spoke, slowly.
"Baptise me, Preacher. Wash away my sins."
"You cannot be baptised unless you truly repent those sins," groused the Preacher.
"Oh, I repent, alright. I have killed for money, many times. I have killed for revenge, at times. I've had whore, youngster, the other man's wife. Baptise me, Brother John, wash those sins away."
The Preacher stared into the cold eyes, black as obsidian, with caution, and no small measure of fear. "If you truly repent, brother, I will baptise you. Would you like a baptism gown?"
"No," said the Gunslinger, "these will do just fine." And he unholstered his gun, and hung it upon the cottonwood branch with his hat, and waded into the cool brown waters in his clothes, boots, spurs, and all, and turned to face the Preacher.
The Preacher, nervous now, placed his hand upon the Gunslinger's head. "Do you believe in God the Holy Spirit?"
"Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?"
The Preacher, hands trembling now, foreswore his litany, and roughly immersed the Gunslinger's head in the softly roiling water. He peered into the Gunslinger's face, and stifled a cry when he saw the black orbs, with whites curiously like blue porcelain shards, gazing back at him, placid, impassive. Dead eyes. The Preacher panicked, and attempted to hold the head underneath the water, to put death to the already lifeless eyes. The Gunslinger lifted himself, slowly, powerfully, and the Preacher released him with a muffled yelp, and staggered back against current and wave.
The Gunslinger stood, dripping, stoic, staring. The Preacher could not break the stare from the obsidian eyes.
"What is your true name, brother?"
"Angel, Brother John. I'm called Angel."
"Go in peace, Angel." And the Gunslinger laughed a mirthless laugh, hollow as gourd, cold as icepond, and strode from the waters, fetching hat and holster. He turned to the Preacher. "Thankee for abeyance, Preacher. I'll see you around."
The Devil's Boils lay twenty miles west of town, where the arroyos blanched out, and fresh water ceased. Thirty acres of lethal sulfur pools, whose acrid fumes and oxygen-starved atmosphere had made the area, over the millenia, eschewed by Indian, abhorred by puma, shunned by even coyote and vulture. The sulfurous air actually shimmered, like heat waves from afar, the pools bubbled and boiled, all life's denizens repulsed, the air a miasma, fetid, deathly. Scavenger avoided, predator encircled. Oppressive heat scalded the breath, choked the air. It was as if Hell itself had carved out a homestead in the desert.
Emily rode the buckboard out toward the Boils. In the back of the wagon were a steamer trunk of clothes and a carpetbag filled with cash, bank notes, and several legal instruments. In her dress sash she had a derringer.
I'll kill this bastard, she thought. It has to be one of Stalking Wolf's men. He'll want to fuck me first, like they all do, and that will be his weakness. I'll shoot him close.
As she approached the Boils the acridity became relentless, the view a shimmering, dancing haze. She dismounted, pulled the derringer, and approached cautiously. The lack of visibility was both a hindrance and a blessing. If I can't see him...
She neared a boiling pool, her nostrils afire, and slid alongside a limestone cliff wall. As she rounded the edge of the cliff wall she heard That's far enough.
She whirled, derringer extended, and faced a hazy figure, dressed in black. The figure approached, and at a distance of six feet she made out the sallow visage of the Preacher, holding a revolver, level at the waist.
"What are you doing here?"
"I could ask you the same thing. I wouldn't have responded to my note if I were you. Very foolish, and very un-Christian-like if you ask me." They circled each other slowly, each taking the measure of the other. "You have something I desire, Miss Callahan, and I intend to claim it."
"What? My money? I don't think so, preacher. That's mine. I earned it, I inherited it."
"Oh, but did you? Did you inherit it?"
She eyed him narrowly, sensing a plot, a shift of balance. The Preacher winced suddenly, and reached into his coat pocket, all the while keeping the gun leveled at Emily. He uncorked the bottle with his teeth, and took a careful swig, never letting his eyes off her. He rolled the liquid around his rotten tooth, the pain infuriating him.
"No, I wouldn't say inherited so much as tended it temporarily. And now the rightful owner has come to claim it."
"What do you mean?" She bristled in anger. "What do you mean?"
"I mean I have a codicil, girl. A rider to that will of your daddy's. Leaving his entire estate to my church, to my governance, and you a mere life estate. Caught him in a moment of weakness, I did, guilty over his misdeeds. What, Cavendish didn't tell you?"
"You lie!" she hissed.
"Do I now? That carpetbag there. You have any deeds in there? Of course you don't."
She blanched, swallowed hard. Fuck!
"No, no deeds. Why do you think he run you down the road with paper money and grazing rights? That's all you got. All that land belongs to my church when you meet your Blessed Maker."
"And you want to kill me? Why? Your church will get the land eventually." Through her fear her indignation showed, tremulous.
"Because I covet, God damn it! That's why! I covet, I crave. Greed, jealousy. I've been a poor man my whole life. I have no intention of waiting you out, young whore. You'll outlast me. No, I lust for your land like others lust for your body."
"You lie," she retorted. "Show me that damned paper."
He reached in his coat pockets, his shirt pocket, his trousers, all the while becoming increasingly agitated.
I reckon you'd be looking for this. They both whirled, and there stood the Gunslinger, at ease against the limestone wall. In his left hand he held a rumpled piece of paper, wetted once, now dry, and in his right he held a revolver.
"You! Move on, Angel Eyes. This ain't your concern."
"Oh, but it is, you see. We all covet something, preacher." The Gunslinger raised himself from the limestone wall, and raised his pistol at the Preacher's head. Emily, unsure, was pointing the derringer back and forth at the two figures. "But in the grand scheme of things, preacher, Pride is the stone over which many people stumble." He cocked his revolver.
"I have to get this tooth pulled!" cried the Preacher, just before the Gunslinger shot him once in the throat. The Preacher staggered, and fell to his knees, then onto his face.
Emily had been watching in horror, and as she turned the derringer back to the Gunslinger she saw he was already aiming at her.
"You bastard!" she screamed. "What do you want? That land? Take that paper! You're the preacher now! Just leave me alone!"
"Oh, I don't want that land, girl. I want your everloving soul. Because Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." And with that utterance he shot her once, in the forehead, and watched as she staggered backwards, and fell into the sulfur pool. And now you've danced with the Devil, you two, he thought. Satan's last waltz.
The Gunslinger hoisted the carpetbag from the back of the buckboard wagon, and lashed it securely to his horse's saddle. He took one last look at the two corpses, and rode, south, into oblivion.
Sometimes you allow a little bit of freedom, just amongst friends. You know, letting folks preen on their blogsites wearing your pimphat that they donned while you were hot tubbing. It's all good.
But some people take liberties. Some people go too far.
Some people make you a flying fucking monkey.
Don't forget I'm putting the finishing touches on your Blogwestern creations as we speak, old boy. Don't make me put the Gunslinger in a Juarez gay bar called Dax's Hidey Hole, lashed to a goddam gloryhole. I'll do it. You know I will.