August 31, 2005

WHY I SPEND MY SUNDAYS BY THE POOL

What is it about a clapboard church in the country, where they keep the windows closed during a sweltering summer Sunday lest the fucking Devil sneak in, that the pasteboard and popsicle stick fans are always supplied by the local funeral parlor? Was the hardware store too damned heathen to pony up some fans?

Sweltering, I say. Listening to an obviously deranged individual hurl the fire, the brimstone at your ass, and all you can think is I have to pee, dammit, and communion is a pellet of rabbit food and grape juice, because Jesus could drink wine, but you fuckers would turn into fornicators, rapers, and dope fiends should fermented beverage pass your lips.

Potato salad sitting in the trunk, toxic. Ice tea at the boiling point. Body odor. Sweat. Guilt. Getting your ear yanked for pulling out a pocket knife during service to clean Saturday's filth from your fingernails.

Being told "We don't sing Jesus Loves the Little Children because it mentions black children".

No, Sundays are Cuba Libre days for me now. My icon a swizzle stick. Although I must confess even I won't watch porn of a Sunday. Old habits die hard. I will perform porn. I just won't watch it.

Posted by Velociman at 10:28 PM | Comments (9)

REQUIEM FOR A STATE OF MIND

New Orleans will be back. But like Colonel Steve Austin: bigger, stronger, faster. Or whatever. Not the same. A bionic homunculus. Hell, it probably won't even stink anymore. The picaresque bums are drownded. The funkiest of establishments will be dozed.

It will be like Vegas, or Times Square. Safe for the fambly. Who needs that shit?

Rankin' Rob has the quintessential take.

Posted by Velociman at 10:04 PM | Comments (0)

August 30, 2005

GENE & JOE

My mother had two cousins who were, in Southern parlance, Not Right. The offspring of my great aunt May, who apparently had these young 'uns in her 40's, these fellows were poster children for the Idiot Manchild Awards.

My mother grew up with them, and played with them, in that itinerant way families hooked up during their vagabond wanderings throughout south Georgia during the Great Depression. She would see them for weeks on end, then a sawmill job, or a carpenter job would appear, and she would move on, from Waycross to Manor to Baxley to Savannah.

Mom always loved Aunt May, however, and kept in touch, even unto her adulthood.

Now, Gene and Joe, I have to tell you, were brain damaged. My mother always wove a fiction of ill fate, and bad luck. She always told me Joe was brapped by a Buick in the noggin when he was four, and thus became an Idiot Manchild, and Gene learned that behaviour from Joe. Thus we now have two Idiot Manchildren, created by operant conditioning.

I smoked that out as bullshit by 13, of course.

At any rate, I never interacted with the Boys too much, other than to tell you two stories:

1) In 1969 the Senator took us to Titusville to watch the Apollo 11 launch. Made a week of it. As Aunt May and the boys lived in Plant City we trekked over for a day. Nice place they had. Can you say Okie? Bonnie & Clyde po white trash? Yes. That sweet. Anyhoo, the old man had gassed up at a Gulf station, and they had these assemblable lunar modules, the Eagle, made in cardboard. Free with a fill up. We took these things to Aunt May's, and tried to assemble them, and these pieces of cardboard so excited Gene and Joe that they leapt into the fray to help, and utterly destroyed the things.

We were pissed, of course, but of good manners. Bit our tongues. Life moved on.

2) A few years later, when I was in high school, Gene decided he would send my mother cassette tapes in lieu of writing, which he was incapable of performing. The tapes consisted of him watching episodes of the Lone Ranger. You could hear it in the background. He suffered from that whatsit, too, where you repeat the last words of everything, and so as the announcer said "The Lone Ranger!!!!" he would say, quietly, "Ranger...".

Very disconcerting stuff, but funny as hell. We hallooed for hours over it, even as my mother, smothering her mirth, would threaten to beat our collective asses.

I know you want a payoff. Here it is: my aunt Vesta told us, as she visited more often, that as Gene was watching the Lone Ranger episodes he was furiously masturbating. No one apparently could break him of the habit. Like a monkey at the zoo, he was.

Joe was dead at this point, recently, as I recall, Jesus having called his damaged child home. Gene was just paying homage, I reckon.

Fast forward to 1998. I was in Orlando at dance competition with my daughters, when my mother called and said Aunt May had died. I figure she was 177. Now, Plant City is right down the road from Orlando, so I took the Benz and drove to the funeral.

A humble service in a humble Baptist graveyard. And yet who did I see, for the first time in 30 years? Gene! Old now, not in his 40's but his 70's. That put the freaky in my deaky. He apparently understood his momma was gone, about to be buried, and was inconsolable. He wept, he threw the occasional fit, he whined, he sulked. Spittle flew. It was fucking pitiful. He knew me not, of course, but I attempted to console him. He was alternately accepting and recalcitrant.

My mother and Vesta finally walked over and grabbed him, and cooed in his ear, I know not what, but it must have been something from 60 years earlier, and he calmed down, and smiled. He was still weeping, but smiling.

And so, I left. In a state of fugue. I was always tempted to ask my mother what she said, but she would have demurred anyway.

And some things are better left unknown, unsaid.

Posted by Velociman at 10:05 PM | Comments (8)

GOING DUTCH

Sloop Jim has the right idea. Plug those dikes with dykes. And, barring that, I suggest kidnapping a couple of school bus loads full of little Nederlanders. Because we all know about them little Dutch boys. They'll put their fingers anywhere, man. That's why I never pass out in Rotterdam hash bars.

Anymore.

Jahweh bless them Nawlins folk. Even though they eschew the Common Law in favor of the Napoleonic Code, they need cash, thoughts, prayers. Probably cash first.

Donnie has a good recap of charitable organizations. Dig deep, people.

Posted by Velociman at 8:01 PM | Comments (5)

August 29, 2005

CANTORE REDUX

I received the following comment on a Jim Cantore post from a year ago, written during last year's storm season. I've never quite received a comment like this...

PANAMA CITY BEACH - He walks down the beach, holding his microphone, his Teva sandals slapping the rain-pocked sand. Wind tugs the brim of his Storm Stories ball cap. White foam skips across the waves.

The sky is bruised. Dark clouds sweep in from the south.

"Ten seconds," he hears through the wire in his left ear. Enough time to adjust the black T-shirt over his gym-built biceps. "Four seconds." He sets his jaw, turns his back to the storm. "Two." He stares into the camera. "One. And . . . "

"You can look behind me here and see the rain bands coming in," he tells a million television viewers, arcing his right arm along the shore, so they can see. "This thing is still a long way away from us. But once it makes that turn, it could start to speed up. We'll continue to track Hurricane Ivan as it heads closer. And we'll keep you posted."

He nods gravely.

"For now, I'm meteorologist Jim Cantore, reporting live from Panama City Beach, for the Weather Channel."

Cantore and his crew have been following Ivan across Florida for days. The weatherman is sick of waiting, tired of working 18-hour shifts, ready to get off the road.

He's worrying about a much bigger storm back home.

* * *
He feels as if he has been chasing hurricanes all summer. First Charley, in Fort Myers. Then Frances, in Melbourne and Palm Bay. He has endured days without air conditioning, hot food or a shower. Countless nights trying to sleep on sandy sheets, in dumpy motels. Five weekends with his family washed away.

He has never heard of a hurricane season like this one.

He has never been away from his wife and kids for so long.

* * *
He met Tamra 18 years ago, on his first day at the Weather Channel. She's petite and blond, six years older than he is. She was in management then, selling the fledgling station to cable companies across the country.

Her job was to get Jim Cantore into as many homes as possible, make him a household name.

In 1990, she became Mrs. Jim Cantore. Together, they helped build the station. He gave weather something new, a macho face. "We both traveled a lot. We got to the point where we were passing each other in the airport. After we had kids, it got real hard," Tamra says.

Daughter Christina is 11. Ben is 9. When Ben was 18 months old, the Cantore family's world began crumbling.

Ben wasn't walking. His wife's arms were shaking, but not from carrying the big boy. When Tamra went to the doctor, he focused on her first.

"I haven't let this out before. I don't know why I'm telling you now," Cantore says. He's leaning against the headboard in Room 116 of the Days Inn, trying to wind down during a break between broadcasts. "Maybe because I'm so exhausted and emotionally drained. Maybe because I'm feeling I'm so guilty I can't be there for them. Maybe it's just time." He turns his head away. Swallows.

"My wife has Parkinson's."

* * *
"I shuffle, sometimes. I get tired and have to lie down," Cantore's wife says from their home in Atlanta. "When it's real bad, it gets embarrassing - Jim has to cut my meat and feed me."

Tamra Cantore has the same type of early-onset Parkinson's as actor Michael J. Fox. There is no cure.

"My kids have never known me when I didn't shake, shuffle around and seem so stiff," she says matter-of-factly over the phone. "Somedays I'm not strong enough to open a jar of peanut butter. It's not as bad as what some people have to put up with. It's just what I've been dealt."

Tamra isn't the only one who is sick.

When she took Ben with her to her doctor's office, the doc wondered why the boy wasn't walking. At a year-and-a-half, Ben should have been running and spewing two-word sentences. But the boy could barely stand. He didn't speak.

After months of anxiety, testing tests and visits to specialists, the Cantores got the diagnosis: Both their children have a hereditary mental impairment. Their X chromosome is broken. They have Fragile X. Tamra is a silent carrier. Being a girl, Christina has a backup X, so she's better off than her brother. Her symptoms resemble social anxiety and ADHD.

Ben's condition often is mistaken for autism. "It's like having 10 kids to take care of instead of two," Tamra says. "It just gets overwhelming sometimes."

When Cantore is gone, a friend stays with Tamra to help. When Cantore is home, he drives his kids to doctors' appointments, therapy sessions and tutors. He does laundry, buys groceries and makes the meals.

On weekends, he packs his family in the SUV and drives 90 minutes north to the mountains, to the little log cabin he bought on the river. He and Tamra lash inner tubes together and float down the cool stream with the kids, drifting away from wild weather, adoring fans and debilitating diseases.

But Cantore hasn't seen the cabin for five weekends straight. He hasn't been around to cut his wife's steak or watch his daughter dance or let Ben beat him at PlayStation.

* * *
By 9:15 p.m., the rain is spraying sideways. Lightning stabs the sea. Cantore pulls on his coat.

"Four, three," the voice counts down in his left ear. He squints into the camera, wipes his eyes. "Two, one, and . . . "

"The good news is that any potential landfall won't come here until Wednesday," he tells viewers. "That means you'll have plenty of time to prepare."

When the camera cuts to a commercial, Cantore watches the radar bleeding red. He's worried about Ivan's future track. Will it end up at his doorstep in Atlanta?

He might not be there to bail the basement. He might not be there to comfort his wife, to feed her if she's having a bad day. He won't be able to calm his kids.

"Hey, Cantore! Up here! We love you, man!" a big-bellied fan shouts from the hotel's fifth floor.

Cantore looks up and waves. "Who's winning the Broncos game?" he calls.

"We don't know," big-belly yells. "We've been watching you!"

* * *
Tan and toned. Broad-shouldered. Sicilian. Passionate. Personable.

Smart enough to know his science. One-of-the-guys enough to break it down. He fills out his black T-shirts better than Sly Stallone.

Who knew a meteorologist could be so cool?

Jim Cantore turned 40 this year. He plays on his church softball team, jogs and lifts weights. He cheers the Green Bay Packers. Goes skiing in Colorado. Loves toasted almonds and Bruce Springsteen and An Officer and a Gentleman.

His eyes are hazel, his jaw square. He started shaving his head when his hairline headed north.

On-camera, before a storm, his deep voice takes on a calm, warning tone: Don't panic, folks. But be prepared. I'll show you what's happening so you can get out of harm's way.

Everywhere he goes, people ask for advice. Should we be boarding up yet, Jim? Is it better to be in the west wall of the eye or the east? Women mob him for autographs, and teenage girls giggle. Men want to buy him beers. When one family saw him on TV, broadcasting from Panama City Beach, they made a 90-minute pilgrimage to meet him. Restaurants send him free pizza.

Even as a kid, Cantore loved extreme weather. On cold nights in Vermont, he'd make his mom leave on the barn light so he could see when snow started dusting their farm. He'd wake at 2 a.m. to shovel the steps. "I'd always take off my shirt so I could feel the flakes hitting my back," he says. "The other kids would call me to see when we'd get off school."

He joined the Weather Channel in 1986, four years after the station started - a few months after he graduated from Lyndon State College in Vermont. He has been stalking storms longer than anyone else on cable television.

Early this month, while Hurricane Frances was battering Florida, the Weather Channel was the country's most-watched cable news station, earning the highest ratings in its history. Cantore was on live eight to 12 hours a day.

When he's not in the field, Cantore hosts Storm Stories, the Weather Channel's first narrative series. From 9 to 11 weeknights, he also anchors Evening Edition. He has been interviewed by Tom Brokaw, Larry King, Brian Williams. He's one of five storm chasers who dive into the worst weather. The producer tries to put Cantore where the hurricane is going to hit.

"He doesn't fake anything," says producer Simon Temperton, who has worked with Cantore for 12 years. Their first assignment together was Hurricane Andrew. "His excitement about the weather is real - and it's contagious."

With everything he's dealing with at home, Cantore's cravings for wild weather have intensified these past few years.

The only way he can escape one storm is to immerse himself in another.

* * *
Days before Ivan arrives at the Florida Panhandle, the sky above the Days Inn is still swollen. But sunlight is filtering through the clouds.

"How far did you say this place was?" the producer asks from the driver's seat of the rented van.

"Just a couple miles up the beach," Cantore says. "Stop complaining. Everyone loves dolphins."

He's heading to Gulf World, an outdoor aquarium where rescued dolphin are rehabilitated. He and his crew plan a feature about trainers trying to protect the animals from the storm. While his cameraman films stingrays and sharks, Cantore interviews the keepers.

"We have a program here where children can swim with the dolphins. They have to be 5 years old and comfortable in the water," Gulf World operations director Cheryl Joyner tells Cantore. A boy about Ben's age stands on the side of the pool, throwing fish to the dolphins.

Cantore would love to do something like that with his own boy. There are so many things he would like to do with Ben.

"I'd always dreamed of taking my boy to watch the Yankees," says Cantore, who wanted to play pro ball even more than chase storms. "But Ben freaks out in crowds."

* * *
"All right, folks. Here's the deal: This thing is coming. It's going to be making big waves in the gulf here soon. This is a tremendously dangerous hurricane, people. If it stays a 5, we'll be under water even on the second story of this motel."

He nods gravely.

"For now, I'm meteorologist Jim Cantore, reporting live from Panama City Beach, for the Weather Channel."

He's on the balcony of the Days Inn, outside Room 116. He opens the door. Cords and computers and cameras are piled on the tables, in case the floor floods. Almond Joy wrappers and empty Red Bull cans litter the dresser. The air smells like sweaty bodies and salt spray. The Weather Channel blares on TV.

"Mind if I turn this down?" Cantore asks his producer, who is slumped in a chair, scribbling notes. "I've got to call my wife."

He wants to catch his kids before they go to sleep.

"Salmon? You had salmon alfredo for dinner? That sounds yummy," he tells his daughter from the cluttered motel room. "No, I haven't had dinner yet." He eyes cold pizza on the dresser. "Did you see me on TV? Or are cartoons on?"

Ben seldom talks on the phone. If he does, it's just, "Hi, Dad. Okay, bye.' " But tonight, Ben tells his mom he has to talk to Daddy.

When he hears his boy's voice, Cantore smiles. He asks about school and PlayStation and the Yankees. Then Ben has a question. Cantore's face falls. For a few seconds, he's silent. Then he swallows and tries to steady his voice.

"When will I be home? Well . . . I'm still waiting for this storm. I'm going to be home . . . well, I hope on Friday, Buddy." There's a pause. Cantore slams his eyes closed. "Yep, Friday," he says again. "That's four more days."

Later that night - actually, early the next morning - after the overnight reports have been taped and the autographs have been signed and the cords rolled away, Cantore clicks on ESPN to check the Packers score. He pops open a can of Miller Lite.

The TV flickers blue shadows across his tired face. The sports scores slide across the screen.

"For years, I kept wanting to do something to fix things for Tammy and the kids," he says. "But I couldn't. So I didn't want to talk about it."

He clicks to the Weather Channel. There he is, smiling with the dolphins. There he is, windblown on the balcony.

"I guess, after a while, you have to admit you can't control it," Cantore says, watching the radar. "I guess you have to just do the best you can to accept it and live with it."

Kind of like the weather.

-----No, he's not available. Sorry.

Pretty wild, no?

Posted by Velociman at 6:34 PM | Comments (32)

August 28, 2005

LEFT HAND, RIGHT HAND

As I was stroking my ego tonight I realized, of a sudden, that I'd been so vociferous in my self-adulation that I'd inadvertently rubbed a few spots bald. Stroked 'em clean bare.

Now, like you, I'm sure, I likes my ego well furred, hirsute even. I want my ego to look like Linc from The Mod Squad, or one of those hair band boys.

Fuck! I just deleted 47 Propecia spam comments. I'm thinking, of course, I cudda done a 2+2 scenario, fed the spam monster whilst follifying mine sense of self-worth.

Eh, it's just like when someone lays a bon mot on you, and thirty minutes and twenty miles later you come up with the perfect riposte.

Not worth the effort. I'll take my ego as I take my egg. Shiny, smooth, with very funky shit inside.

Posted by Velociman at 8:52 PM | Comments (7)

BIG. QUEASY.

New Orleans is in for an ass-whipping, I guarontee. I hate that. I probably won't get much sleep tonight, waiting to see what happens to one of my favorite, and certainly most vulnerable, cities.

I saw some idiots on Fox News swearing they would ignore the evacuation order, and "ride it out". You'll ride it out all right, mon frere. They'll probably find you about 80 miles out in the Gulf. What part of 28 feet of water these people don't understand is beyond me.

I don't wish ill on anyone, but I hope this beast takes a turn. And no, I won't make any gratuitous jokes about Katrina and the Waves.

Posted by Velociman at 5:49 PM | Comments (11)

August 25, 2005

BLOOD BATH

The Bride is a property manager, overseeing the rental of some 130 or so single family residences. As careers go it falls on the pestilence scale somewhere between locusts and plague, I reckon. Somewhere between the deadbeat tenants huffing the rent in the garage in a $400,000 house, and the shamefully cheap landlords who want to steal a poor schmuck's security deposit because there are dust bunnies upon move-out stands the property manager, fully prepared to kill either/both parties. There should be a psychiatry specialty in landlord/tenant morbidity, in my asshole opinion.

So this guy moves into a nice house in D's portfolio in late May. Pays his June rent ahead of time, a squared-away 26 year old man. He then proceeds, two weeks later, to strip to the bone, climb into the bathtub, and slit his wrists.

Thort he was being a considerate fellow. The only problem is he had no concept of pressure physics, and Nature abhoring a vacuum. Never stuck a finishing nail in an engorged garden hose, I daresay.

And so despite his consideration of the owners, his arteries spewed blood like, like...

You remember that scene in The Shining, when that tsunami of blood pours down the hallway? Like that.

I was told, as I was force-feeding tequila into her, that that was one Hellish scene. The cops were apparently saying Fuck! Let's go check out the dismemberment on the Northside...

And so D called in the clean up crew from Three Mile Island, and made the place habitable again. Only she knew there would be hell to pay renting it back out. Stigmatized property? Not really, as it wasn't for sale. But she knew she should disclose to prospectives, as the neighbors would surely regale the new tenants with sordid details anyway, and who needs a lawsuit?

To make a short story long, three young gents signed a lease today. 23 or so year old slackers. And, just prior to signing the lease, D said "I want to tell you, blah blah blah." The whole shebang.

These guys looked at each other, and were all

"DUDE! FUCKING AWESOME!" High five, high five.

Which proves my point, which I cleave unto always: I don't give a fuck what you're selling. There is always a buyer. There is always a target market.

Here endeth this particular epistle.

Posted by Velociman at 10:45 PM | Comments (16)

August 23, 2005

CALL OUT

I didn't see the coup d'etat coming, but we royals never see you plebians coming after us, do we? I was arranging my powdered wig, deciding which cheek I would place my beauty mark on tonight, wondering why Etienne hadn't called me, when WHAM! My head was in the fucking guillotine.

Actually, I'm not very good at organizizational skills. This is better left to the insurgents.

Helen? I'm down. Tell me where and when. I'm told 9/30-11/2, and you know me: when the genital cuffs are threatened I march in lockstep, like the other good gulag chittlins.

I still feel like a frugging Romanov. Don't bust the cap! Talk to me! I get paid to consult!

And every time I hear Kimocracy I salivate over how close I am to running North Korea.

Posted by Velociman at 10:43 PM | Comments (8)

ALMOST LIKE MANNA FROM HEAVEN

When my father bought the farm in 1963, he originally built a small cottage there, for weekend getaways. I'm not sure what that corrugated siding was made of, but it resembled nothing so much as compressed cardboard, or perhaps pure asbestos. I do know it was built by amateurs over, oh, three debauched weekends, and was a primo mouse and rat villa. The tiling was probably 3 cents a pop, with black tar oozing between them, and the paneling was sawmill reject quality. Perfect place for us kids. Macabre, leaks in the seams for haints to slip in and terrorize us by night, huge whistling pines outside to set a chilling tone.

There was also a tiny trailer next door, the property of my father's drinking buddy and mechanic, a fucking fearsomely desolate 1930's pull-behind, the shocking pink siding long faded to a disconsolate shade of hopelessness. That was a rodent haven, too, and it had the added bonus of being populated by one of those owl clocks, whose eyes clacked back and forth upon the second.

Have I set the general timbre, then? Good.

And so the good Senator built the real house in 1966, and we moved there, and he was careful to incorporate the original hovel into the design, lest we be forgetful of the bugaboos and axe fiends that haunted the original. Fortunately, my room was in one of the newer parts of the house. I tell you, though, my brother and sister who had rooms in the old part still ain't right.

I digress, though. The point, the point, is that they tore down the DeSoto Hotel in Savannah that year, as Hilton intended to replace it with a new hotel, and so my father scored some magnificent beams from the old DeSoto, twenty feet long, and incorporated them into our great room, itself a cavernous 20 x 30 echo chamber.

I have to admit those beams were stunning, and yet, as we sat as a fambly for three days in our new abode, watching Lost In Space or Star Trek, they seemed as the Sword of Damocles. And this foreboding was borne out on night three, when the night sky, well, the ceiling, began to rain earwigs.

Did I mention this was black and white TV? Oh, yes. Probably the only black and white sold in North America that year. The Senator: Color? What you need color for, boy? See that man? He's white. See that man? He's black. What the hell you need color for, boy?

Again, I digress. Nasty creatures, earwigs. Like little scorpions, all attitude and venom. First one, then two, then a fugging deluge, from those beams. My sisters were hysterical, my brothers and I bemused until we realized we could squish them.

As I recall the Senator was placid throughout this hellish rain, keeping to his routine, which consisted of bribing someone to mix him a Canadian and Coke, and wash they damn finger before they stirred it, using spoons for swizzles being considered extravagant, and uppity.

Hysterical sisters are vexing to the soul, to be sure, but that precipitation of earwigs was a marvelous thing, Biblical in proportions. Now my siblings will probably read this and decry that it was flying cockroaches, not earwigs, but recall they are recovering addicts, the lot, and every memory is a flying cockroach to them. Pay them no heed.

I believe those beams rained earwigs for three days. Then all was right with the world, except for the fact that there were now seven people piled upstairs on the parents' bed to watch television every night, that great room having become a rather unpopular site.

All of this by way of seeing a lone earwig today, crawling along, and letting my mind get the better of me, yet again.

Posted by Velociman at 9:23 PM | Comments (10)

August 22, 2005

NERVE DAMAGE

My old man was my age when he retired from the practice of law. Young fellow, as I say. Nerves were shot, I reckon, or he just got tired of the intensity.

At any rate, we lived then at the end of Whitfield Avenue, on a three acre place on the Vernon River. Now, right before you got to our humbler abode there was Beaulieu, a stretch of road with magnificent manses on huge estates on the river. And right before you got to Beaulieu there was Montgomery, a humble black community at a crossroads.

The Senator decided idle hands made the devil's mischief, I suppose, and so as a modest shopping strip was being built in Montgomery he decided it would be nice if a liquor store tenanted there. And so he opened one. Now, I won't speculate on whether it was a good idea for someone recovering from nervous tension to cache so much free liquor so very, very close to home, but that was the game plan, and I was certainly not, as a fifteen year old boy, indignant over ready access to so much "breakage". In fact, I considered the old man an evil genius.

The store did a brisk business with whites and blacks, but I enjoyed the Montgomery denizens much more than the white folk, probably because the black guys would walk over to buy their Kessler's, and hang around and drink it out front, and chat with you.

There was Shinny, the local gravedigger, who was allegedly mean as a fucking pit viper, but who was always cordial to me, even as my ballsack retracted into the pit of my abdomen in fear whenever he approached within ten feet. All the other locals were terrified of Shinny. He looked like a mocha colored Angel Eyes, wiry and leathery, with squinting, steel-slitted eyes.

Shinny used to go up the country, to Pembroke, I think, to visit his girlfriend upon occasion. Everyone knew where he'd gone, including his wife, but nobody said a word about it, but Hurley. Because Hurley liked to confide, and gossip, and he was usually too drunk to remember to be afraid of Shinny, at least when he was 50 miles away. The only concern was that someone would die, and there wouldn't be anyone to dig the grave.

Hurley, as I say, stayed drunk all the time. He constantly swatted imaginary flies, or gnats, in front of his face, although I don't know if it was the DT's, or simply the fact his corneas had melted away years before. He drank Kessler's by the pint, in front of the store, and he could only afford a pint a day, but I'm pretty sure the old man had left instructions that he could have a second pint on occasion, on the house, so to speak. The quid pro quo was Hurley had to cut up the cardboard boxes with a boxcutter, and throw the remains in a dumpster behind the store. I never saw him cut up more than two at a time before he sidled off with the second pint. And that was the accommodation, unspoken, but agreed to by all parties.

I remember a few more of the regulars, but I'll be damned if I remember their names. A long, long time ago. I do remember helping Freddie build the shelves in the store before it opened, and realizing it was an unwise apprentice who worked for a carpenter who'd sawn off his own damned thumb once through incompetence.

Ah, the good old days. Almost like having a tin spoon in your mouth, and it sparking your fillings something grievously.

Posted by Velociman at 8:19 PM | Comments (100)

August 21, 2005

SHE GOT LEGS


What kind of cat eats a damned frog and leaves the best part? She's become a fucking zombie of sorts. An insatiable flesh eater that doesn't clean up after theyself.

And no, despite my numerous idiosyncrasies, I did not fry up those legs, and serve them with a nice bernaise sauce. I have my ants to think about.

Posted by Velociman at 9:50 PM | Comments (16)

August 19, 2005

I VOTE NO DRIVE

A weird thing about Florida. On some beaches, such as Daytona, and Vilano, and parts of St. Augustine, you can drive your vehicle on the beach. And I guess so. Until the Superspeedway was built in Daytona in 1959 all the racing was done on that hard packed sand.

Driving on the beach is great if you don't want to schlep your shit a mile, but I have to say, it turns me off bad. As in Big Audio Dynamite bad.

I don't know where the Beautiful People hang out, but they obviously know where I do, because they stay away in droves.

Side issue. So anyway, wherever they let fools in jacked up mudboggers who spent $5,000 accessorizing and forgot the fucking muffler drive, they also allow horses, and dogs. Fuck that. I am barefooted. I don't want to be on a beach with dogshit, and horseshit.

So I generally go to Mickler's Crossing, or Guana River State Park. At Guana I may not see a soul for a mile. Perfect. Because I don't like people, as a rule.

I want to pretend I'm in the tropics, dammit. Some lickspittle with a painfully pathetic 4-Runner jacked up to Tower of Babel height grims me out. Fuck him.

Plus, women don't go topless on drive-on beaches. This is a secret I am sharing, but a rather obvious one. Come to Guana. We all naked! Well, I am!

Driving on the beach. That is fucking retarded. Even those Special Olympics kids hang their heads in shame, I am told. Don't know for sure. Even they shy away from me.

Posted by Velociman at 8:50 PM | Comments (11)

LEST YOU WASTEHEADS FORGET...

Please return to this site, and vote like a damned Chicago corpse, meaning again and again, and keep this bridge outta my neighborhood! It's bad public policy, folks.

I may have to make T shirts.


And, yes, I am cruel to my faithful Intrepids. Call you names and sech. But it's only because you continue to show your ignorance in my comments. I love you. I do. But you can be idiots. You never get the point of the post! Please read between the lines. That is all.

Posted by Velociman at 8:02 PM | Comments (11)

PRIVATE WORDS

I posted a couple of years ago about how much I hate it when parents teach their children the proper names of their genitalia, and how uncomfortable I am around 4 year olds talking about their penises and vaginas.

"But's that's what they are!" these parents say, to which I reply "Yeah, but I think that's fucked up. I prefer a little innocence in a 4 year old. Tell 'em to call it a cuckoo, or something. This is really perverted."

Now for me and my sibs, of course, it was the wiggy and the popo (another reason I didn't want that bridge at PoPo Point). To me it is perfectly natural for a little boy to be able to whip it out and say "Lookit my wiggy!" See what I mean?

Furthermore, a woman will smile slightly, and tell you him how nice that is. Now, if that little boy had said "Lookit my penis!" that same woman would have scolded him harshly, and demanded he put it away, because not only had the lad gone all anatomical on her, but the very word penis probably resurrected some very bad experiences for her of the adult variety of said appendage.

My cousin's mom made her call them jim dogs and maudy mauds, the social graspers, although there is a certain melody there.

What did you call your privates? I'm tired of making up words, and need some input here.

Just don't tell me you don't remember, but your uncle called it brunch. This ain't gonna be one of those comment threads.

Posted by Velociman at 6:16 PM | Comments (38)

August 18, 2005

V BLEG

I don't blog beg too much, as I consider it unseemly. But I have a real issue here, and needs some hep.

A little background: in every east coast community you have what is known as the Westside. This is where the trash lives. Because the farther away from the coast you get, the faster you run into rural crap. Neckbones, and such. Here in Jax the westside is west of the St. John's River, and it is called Orange Park.

Now, actually, OP ain't bad. They've built some wonderful communities over there. The trouble is they've overbuilt, because everyone knows that developers, when they are short of cash in a poker game, pull a county commissioner's pecker out of their wallets, and slap it on the table, and everyone knows it is legal tender.

And so Clay County, OP, is choking on overdevelopment. They need to funnel a fucking shitload of people into downtown, Duval County, and they have decided the best way to do that is to build a new bridge across the river, and dump all that traffic through my bucolic St Johns County.

Listen: St Johns is already the 9th fastest growing county in the country. We have our own overdevelopment issues. What we don't need is an additional highway with an additional 35,000 daily commuters mucking up the mix. I can barely get out of the neighborhood now.

But these, these cocksuckers in Clay want to foist their problem on us, and that sucks, Intrepids.

We will get screwed in this deal, of course. It is a slow motion moment. When I lived in Atlanta I once sat on the curb on Ponce de Leon and watched 40 cars slowly plow into each other after an ice storm. Slow, casual, inexorable. You could count 10, 15 seconds between lockdown and impact.

That's what I'm seeing now. And so I know this new bridge will get stuck up our collective asses, but the further south the better, as it will funnel these neckbones up the middle of the county instead of up my ass. The pretty part.

So do me a favor, please. Go to this site, scroll down to St Johns Sunpoll, and vote for Near Current Shands Bridge. Do not under any circumstances vote for that Popo Point option, because that would put my dear friends' docks under the shadow of a monster bridge, and drive that traffic right up my keister.

This is the home of the beautiful William Bartam Trail. Don't let these heathens despoil my virgin quality of life, and that of my neighbors. Fucking Westsiders.

Thank you. And spread the word.

UPDATE: Doh! moment: you can vote every 30 minutes.

Posted by Velociman at 8:43 PM | Comments (29)

August 17, 2005

GRAND CHASM

In the mid-late '60's the Senator bragged about how he was saving money for a Grand Trip. Was going to close out his calendar and take us all on an epic adventure to the Grand Canyon, and other points southwest. Weeks would be involved.

My brother and I were smitten, of course, and plotted our adventures. So you can imagine our chagrine, and anger, when the Senator came home one night in 1968, smelling faintly of Canadian whisky, and announced he had squandered the vacation fund, all $20 grand worth, on a river cottage in Bluffton, South Carolina. A vacation bungalow, where we would spend six months of the year.

We were furious. Where was the Grand Canyon? The Painted Desert? Them whateverthefuck Caverns out there in Carlsbad? We'd been shined!

Of course, once my bro and I had dipped in the salty brine of the May River off the dock, and water-skiied, and found our first dead flying squirrel, we were mollified. That place was the gift that kept on giving.

Fuck the Grand Canyon. Saw that at Helen. No, that river place was wonderful, especially since we had been dragooned, like chain gang convicts, to a farm for the last few years.

Simone Griffeth down the road, Stiles trying to pop this puppy's can, ah, the glory days.

And so, to this day, I've never seen the Grand Canyon actually. Just flown over. But just a question: isn't it a huge area filled with nothing? And you need to ride a spavined donkey to explore that nothingness up close and personal? That doesn't seem very impressive. I give the Senator this one.

Posted by Velociman at 10:23 PM | Comments (13)

TUCO'S BACK

I have no idea what that means, however.

Posted by Velociman at 8:44 PM | Comments (7)

August 16, 2005

I MUST BE A DRIP

I was speaking to a young lady today, and happened to mention someone else, whom I referred to as a drip. I received a look of bemused ignorance, as if I'd called them a postelum, or a friphab.

"Drip!" I said. "Boring! Loser! Stick-in-the-mud!"

What my daughter would call a parade shitter.

More bemusement.

Fucking Ada, am I that old? Is that expression that obsolete, anachronistic? I may as well have said "23 skiddoo", or "hep".

Although I still use "hep", because I'm a hep cat, you know. I may not be a cool jazz spade smoking the marihuana, but I can be hep. If called upon.

And so, prehensile tail tucked between legs, I retreated, and licked my aged, liver-spotted wounds, and vowed to learn some hip-hop argot.

Because, apparently, I am a drip.

Posted by Velociman at 9:25 PM | Comments (15)

PEEVISH PETS

Have I ever mentioned how, as a man trapped in a cage with three females, I am not a big fan of Pre-Menstrual Syndrome?

Well, excuse me. Let me go on the fucking record. Someone should give women their own personal full moons, staggered about the month. This all or nothing shit is going to drive me to join the circus.

Posted by Velociman at 8:57 PM | Comments (32)

August 15, 2005

WHIG OUT

I've written before, way backawhen, of my desire to restart the Whig Party, and I recently invited Ophelia to join, because, well, she seems rather disaffected with the two-party system.

And who isn't? I, for one, have no respect for a party that cannot properly abuse authority when it is given to them on a silver platter. I casted my vote to see an M1A1 Abrams tank level that mosque up in Mandarin, because I've heard rumours they spew messages of vile hate at prayer. Or recipes for couscous. I forget.

At any rate, I thought I should flesh out the platform a bit. Pander a bit to every demographic. So here is the working document:

The indiscriminate slaying of Islamofascists on a global scale. Possibly convert a smaller Moslem nation, say Syria, to Zoroastrianism, or something effete like that. I would prefer we use lasers, too, if that is possible. Feasibility study.

Cheap oil. Whore cheap. Cheap as in Bahrain is the 51st state. Nuclear power plants. Face it, if the China Syndrome occurs, where's that ball of nuclear fury exiting? China! And we're going to have to deal with them eventually, anyway. THAT would be a shot across the bow.

Continue to watch North Korea starve to death. Eventually they will tire of a diet of pebbles and grass, and sell those nukes to us at cut-rate prices.

Drop kick every illegal alien my police state forces could nab back across the border. Get papers, assholes, and you can pony up the taxes with the rest of us. Except for the maids. I envision a "Consuela worker permit", because they are hot.

Conversion of the UN building into a Hotel Intercontinental, or Ritz-Carlton. I would like a Stuckey's inside, as I am an egalitarian. Never lose your roots.

Legalization of all drugs except for heroin, crystal meth, and crack (methadone, si!).

Packing the Supremes with justices who don't care what two people do behind closed doors. What do I care what you heathens do? I'm a damned sodomite myself. Just, different. And quit bragging about it from the pulpit, willya?

Elimination of the IRS, and the summary execution of anyone proven to be, or having been, in their gainful employment. And fuck the Fair Tax, and the Flat Tax. We need money? We should take it from France.

A Constitutional Amendment requiring congressmen to dig at least three graves a year. Senators would have to dig six. It is noble work, people. For those with bad backs I suggest working the oven at a crematorium.

The extermination of manatees. No one really likes sea cows. They are ugly as holy hell, slothful, mate like narcoleptics, damage your propeller, and create unnecessary No Wake zones.

The erection of a Clint Eastwood Museum and petting zoo in Yulee, Florida. Sure, it should be in Carmel, but I couldn't visit as often. A special interactive room devoted to Tuco, with holograms and virtual reality gunfights.

A federal law prohibiting the singing of "Old Black Joe" at blogmeets. Nobody sings it like me, and I refuse to. It is unseemly.

My plate is full here. A work in progress, as I say, and that would be one hell of a convention. Held, of course, at a replica of the Kremlin, to be built at party expense in Xenia, Ohio (home of the 1974 state football champion Tornadoes).

Posted by Velociman at 9:21 PM | Comments (31)

August 14, 2005

BAMBOO

I likes me some bamboo. God's own privet hedge. Once you have a nice thicket of bamboo going neither man nor beast can penetrate it. Even hyenas and jackals have to go down the street, take the detour.

I've been reluctant to plant any, however, because once you let bamboo get away from you, you are fucked. I know from experience. My parents had plenty as privacy hedge on Wilmington Island, and I spent many a Saturday whacking that shit like a damned Filipino, machete in hand, just to produce a draw, a tie. Insidious stuff.

Still and all, if I had bamboo I could steal me a couple of pandas, and ensure a ready food supply. I like pandas, and I resent the hell out of the fact there are only like fifty of them left, and so people get all upset when you try to pilfer a pair for personal amusement. I think I could raise a pair better than the National Zoo, where they can't even make them discharge offspring on a regular basis, because they are so busy poking and prodding the poor things.

Me? I'd feed them bamboo shoots and Viagra, and have a very lucrative side business in black market panda cubs.

There is a place on Highway 17, south of Savannah, near Richmond Hill, called the Bamboo Farm. Owned by the feddul guvmint since, like, the 1930's. Razor wired and cinched down. Rumour had it in the early '70's that the Feds were growing King Hell reefer there, so that when the moratorium on weed was relaxed the government could go into the drug business and clean house.

I don't know about that, and maybe now you can tour that facility and pick sweet bud from your car window. But I DO know those fuckers grow some bamboo. They grow a shitload of bamboo. And that alone is worthy of my praise. The only use of my tax dollars I can think of that I heartily approve of. Well, that and the whacking of Islamofascists.

Posted by Velociman at 4:08 PM | Comments (14)

STRAWMAN

Imagine you are a convict, relegated to life imprisonment on Devil's Island. By day you toil in feverish swamps, dragging stumps and killing rogue crocodiles. Pulling leeches from your body, parasites from your shaved scalp. At night, when you aren't being raped by your Corsican bunkmate, you mop malarial sweat from your fevered brow, and inspect the boils on your abdomen for infection. Your teeth are falling out. There is blood in your urine.

Now you have a pretty good idea how yardwork went at the Velocihovel today. I am ready for fall.

Posted by Velociman at 2:24 PM | Comments (7)

August 13, 2005

FLASHBACK: I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE

September 2003 was a great month at Velociworld. I read it now, and weep at what I have become.

Posted by Velociman at 5:19 PM | Comments (6)

PANDER POST

Say you're a rock god. And I know you've daydreamed about it, you pathetic loser, so stay with me here.

You're on tour. Call it Ann Arbor, Athens, LA, South Bend.

So if, as a rock god, you appear in these venues sporting a Michigan ballcap, or a Georgia one, or the Bruins, or the Irish, does that make you a pandering whore? Or rather someone who is attempting to bond with the local populace? Identify with them? Just curious.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Posted by Velociman at 3:20 PM | Comments (10)

PETROL LUST

Do you think it is mere coincidence, serendipity, that the President's ranch is in Crawford, Texas? Hell, no. That is a sign of a benevolent, but amused Godhead. When I play Masters of the Universe, I play for keeps. Don't you?

Having said that, my drunken ass paid $2.73 a gallon for premium last night. They don't call it a pump for nothing. I think it's time for my fearless leader Chimpy Bush McHitler to demand his pecker be retrieved from the Saudis' back pocket. I want to see 20 new state of the art nuclear power plants cranking out megawatts like Al Franken cranks out blowjobs. I want to see oilfields littering the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. I want to see three dozen offshore derricks off the Florida coast (I'm no NIMBY).

I want to tell the House of Saud to Fuck Off.

Of course, I could practice abstemious behaviour when it comes to energy consumption, buy a hybrid or motorcycle, and actively contribute to energy conservation.

But that's not the American Way, guddamit! I was raised as a consumer of resources. That is my birthright, and my cultural sweet spot. You multiculti's must respect that.

I want some cheap oil. I am an addict. I crave the stuff. I cannot believe we didn't take over the Iraqi oil fields. Fuck! If not now, when? I'm writing my Senator.

Posted by Velociman at 2:37 PM | Comments (6)

NO TATTOO

The Bride and I had the great pleasure of hooking up with the Mistress of Blight and Pete last night in Atlantic Beach. Always fun to show off my town.

Cocktails at Ragtime, dinner at Carribee, and then the obligatory six one and done at the infamous Pete's Bar, immortalized in Grisham's The Brethren (I think).

Kelster be the ultimate party girl, no doubt. Fortunately The Bride can hang tough in a debauchathon, and they bond like those epoxy ingredients, so it was very amusing for me and Pete to watch them show the local community college strumpets how real women party.

For the record:

I did not show my tits, as no one was giving out beads.

I drove home drunk, something I never do.

No way was I letting The Bride drive. She's so nightblind I'm considering having that popular bat cornea tranplant performed.

I awakened this morning determined to find the person who obviously shit in my mouth.

I had a great time.

It's only five hours to the ATL. I need to see these guys more often.

Posted by Velociman at 1:29 PM | Comments (9)

August 11, 2005

FREAKSHOW

Chang and Eng were Siamese Twins, conjoined at the sternum. As a matter of fact, they were Siamese Siamese Twins! What do you think the fucking odds of that are?

They were discovered by one of those Ugly American Sideshow Promoters (think King Kong) and taken to America. They eventually made a decent living touring with PT Barnum (and I mean, who didn't?). Then they settled down in North Carolina, adopted the surname of Bunker from Bunker Hill, and married two sisters.

Now, far be it from me to cast aspersions on another's (er, anothers') misfortunes, but damn: Eng sired 12 children, Chang sired 10. I may not be the most demure individual, but I'll be damned if I'd want anyone, even my brother, attached to me while I was doing the nasty.

I imagine they began with some type of modest arrangement, sheets draped, divider erected, but I'll wager after the third or fourth child it just turned into a screwfest, with Eng banging away whilst Chang played whist. Or polished the pagoda.

Probably pretty eerie stuff having someone attached to your lover, and when your lover comes both of their eyeballs roll back in their heads. Or the other guy is the only one to grunt at climax. As I say, eerie stuff.

I've heard of long-suffering brides, but I'd like what these girls had bottled.

Funny thing: they say that they were only attached by cartilage, although they shared a liver, and that the separation surgery was not that difficult even for mid-nineteenth century medicine.

Which leads me to believe that those Siamese perverts probably just dug it.

Posted by Velociman at 6:07 PM | Comments (20)

August 10, 2005

A SPECIOUS INVITATION

I was merging into a lane of traffic yesterday, slowly, 5 MPH, and eased in, in front of the car behind me. Usual take gap, make gap situation.

But I reckon the driver was distracted, because she looked up and saw me, and had to pump her brakes for a second. No big deal, she was still five feet behind me.

I must have angered her, though, because I looked in my rearview mirror, and saw two blue-haired ladies in that car, they had to be 90, and the driver slowly, deliberately, took her hand off the steering wheel, and THRUST the finger at me. Fuck you!

It was special. Kinda hot, actually.

Posted by Velociman at 9:24 PM | Comments (15)

A LUCKY FACE

During my few unfortunate arrests, I can say with pride that I was never handcuffed by The Man (or The Woman, in one case). I attribute that to a humbled and chastened posture, and a lot of Sirs and Ma'ams, however slurred.

Even when I took a swing at that cop in Ellijay I wasn't cuffed. I figure they thought the mesh screen would keep me secured. That sapshot to the kidneys didn't hurt, either.

Although in a way I wish I had been, because I've been a Harry Houdini fan all my life, and I've been toting this piece of metal skewered through my inner cheek for 23 years now, and I would have liked to try it out, pick those cuffs.

And this is not to say I've never been handcuffed. Just not while being arrested.

Posted by Velociman at 7:38 PM | Comments (2)

FIRED

Okay, even I was tired of the Leper, so he's fired. And Pappy had to go with him. Themes, and all.

So I'll grace the sidebar with Harry Crews and Blodwyn Pig for a while. They seem, from a thematic standpoint, to go together pretty well.

Posted by Velociman at 6:24 PM | Comments (5)

August 9, 2005

MISFIRE FROM MADISON AVENUE

I was sitting outside tonight, admiring a magnificent electrical storm, when a bolt of lightning hit so close I felt something, I don't know, melt in my head. Synapses, probably. And so now my thoughts feel like they are forced to detour through regions of my brain filled with ancient memories, like they were hijacked against their will in a synaptic dune buggy, and tossed, bruised but otherwise unharmed, in my frontal lobes, where my lips spew them forth without benefit of firewall, or guise, or filter.

And so I was barking at The Bride tonight about some gasoline commercials from the sixties, but I don't recall which gas. Texaco? No, they had The Man Who Wore The Star (pump jockey as Gary Cooper. Niiice stretch there). Exxon Esso? No, I think they put a Tiger In Your Tank.

Maybe Gulf Oil, because they had No-Knock gasoline, which I believe means they crammed extra lead into the product, and hoped poor people didn't paint their walls with that gas, because then they babies would pick those paint chips off the wall, and eat them, and go blind, and brame-damaged.

Because these commercials featured people sitting on their arses in the street, as if they were in a car, only there wasn't no car. Men in suits, women in dresses, they would drive around through the magic of primitive stop-action technology, waiting at red lights, making left turns, but on their arses.

And some were herky-jerky, sputtering, like, which leads me to believe it was No-Knock gas marketing. Pretty exciting to a 9 year old, but I wasn't buying any refined petroleum products, either.

See why I want to fix this problem? I know I won't be right again, but I'd at least like to reroute these detours to more hospitable areas of my brain, like the Island Of The Senator's Playboys, because I really don't remember those all that well.

Posted by Velociman at 9:31 PM | Comments (12)

WAXING ELOQUENT

Elisson ain't right. We know that. But writing about scoring a lump of wax out of your ear?

Of course, I had to let him know about the eardrops and rubber bulb, and the bountiful harvest I reaped. Made two candles. Waxed dental floss wicks. Sweet.

Posted by Velociman at 8:53 PM | Comments (5)

August 8, 2005

THE PASSING OF AN ICON(OCLASTIC TWIT)

Peter Jennings, smoked his one and done. Never liked the term pushing up daisies, myself. Fertilizing them? Yup.

Rankinblog has the best eulogy.

Posted by Velociman at 11:13 PM | Comments (3)

BAD DAY IN THE SNAKE PIT

When I have one of those days, and this one was beyond fucked up, there's nothing for it but Red Hot Chili Peppers, and painkillers.

Posted by Velociman at 10:07 PM | Comments (6)

August 7, 2005

MUST READ

This is a powerful post. I cannot find it within me to write so candidly, or so powerfully. My hat is doffed.

Posted by Velociman at 9:41 PM | Comments (7)

A HORRIBLE ADMISSION

A little known, well-guarded secret about Velociman: I used to be a Clown.

Not a buffoon, which I still am, but a bona fide, squirting flower Clown.

A little background: The Senator was a Shriner, and he and his buddies formed a Clown Unit within the temple in the fifties. They had a dragon float for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, a fascinating machine that was always parked at the fire station at 63rd and Paulsen. I remember it from my earliest days. Rumour had it that during the '50's and early '60's, while on Parade duty, they would snatch a small black child from the sidewalk, and terrorize them for a few blocks, before discarding them. I can't speak to that, other than to say it sounds like hyperbole. I only remember them throwing bubble gum.

Of course, I wasn't a small black child, either.

I can recall attending parties at sleazy motels at Savannah Beach as a 5 or 6 year old, however, and walking into the wrong room, only to see a burly man in full clown face, no shirt on, back as hairy as Willie B, who would hijack me, and make me watch him guzzle booze while he attempted to remove his clown make up.

I am always amazed when people think they are laying an epiphany on me when they say they are scared of clowns. Of course you are! We ALL are! Clowns are meant to amuse adults, and terrorize children. It is their fucking job!

Enough background. So, in the early '90's, my brothers and I were getting rheumy-eyed one night, and decided it would be a stroke of brilliance if we became clowns. And so we went through Masons, and Shriners, and joined the Clown Unit, which was mostly populated by The Senator's old cohorts. Bliss!

A good clown can make a child wet their shorts from a block away. And that was my goal. Terror, and fear. Shock, and awe. And some penny candy, so mummy didn't beat my ass.

There's something liberating about a mask, a disguise. A clown can say things to a shapely young lady that would get another man arrested. I'll leave it at that.

I cannot divulge secrets of the Brotherhood. But I will reveal this: the dragon float had a fully stocked bar for St. Patrick's Day, and a funnel one could urinate into, and the discharge would run out of a hose into the street, where it would roll to the curb, soiling many a pair of mary janes. Rawk, man.

I got tranferred to Memphis shortly after our initiation into the tribe, and the whole gambit imploded.

But for one beautiful, brilliant season, I made the children cry, the women blush, the husbands apoplectic. I was, for want of a better term, a frigging Clown.

Posted by Velociman at 8:59 PM | Comments (7)

NOSTALGIA

I grew up in a simpler time, I'll admit that. Despite the Cold War, the world was somehow less complex. Binary. They Bad, We Good.

Priests would submit forms in triplicate before they attempted to fondle your nuggets. Scout Masters would fill up your parents' gas tanks before trying to sniff your behind. Things were respectful, like.

My parents lived a simple credo, which I call the Trinity of Denial:

No minibikes

No trampolines

No monkeys

If you could adhere to those few simple rules, life was okay.

Posted by Velociman at 6:48 PM | Comments (48)

STILL GOT HIS MOJO WORKIN'

Gumby turns 50 next year. Always nice to find something older than me on this godforsaken planet.


Posted by Velociman at 1:00 PM | Comments (11)

August 6, 2005

NAGASAKI

Much to-do about the 60th anniversary of Hiroshima. Seminal moment, for sure. But me? I'm going to sink to my knees on the 60th of Nagasaki.

Dropping an atomic weapon on Hiroshima was a hellish, and necessary thing to do. Why? Lookit: people have said "Why didn't you drop one on a barren island, show them what it was all about?"

Well, the very fact that after incinerating 100,000 people at Hiroshima the rabid Japanese war machine sniffed at the smouldering remains, shook their heads, wiped their glasses, and cried Banzai! meant that the second bomb was necessary.

We only had two bombs. We could have wasted one on a display of force, 20 miles offshore. Then we would have only had one. Fact is, it took TWO! before they understood.

What kind of mindless screwheads looked at Hiroshima and didn't capitulate?

The same rabid fuckers that made us waste Nagasaki.

And that, as they say, is fucked up. I'm just glad we didn't have to build two more.

I'll say one more thing: those Japanese know the fucking drill now, don't they?

Posted by Velociman at 6:40 PM | Comments (16)

HENERY

There is a massive yellow-tail hawk that loves to hang out at the Velocihovel. He's been a frequent visitor for three years. He walks around the pool, and harvests hapless frogs. He flies from one fencepost to the other, looking for the errant field mouse, which are all long gone, thanks to him.

But he do love the froggies. There are probably four or five in the pool every morning, swimming helplessly, or riding the top of the thermometer, nonplussed, and he gets them all. Like bobbing for apples.

The cats hate the hawk, he hates them. An uneasy alliance has developed, however. Neither knows if the other can take them, and so they accommodate.

He reminds me of Henery the Chicken Hawk, who used to try to take down Foghorn Leghorn in those Warner Brothers cartoons. Brash, bold, pissy. And so I call him Henery, despite the fact he ain't a chicken hawk. He look like this:



Hell of a neighbor, eh wot?

Posted by Velociman at 5:07 PM | Comments (2)

MOBY DICK

There's a little Captain Ahab in all of us, right? The yearning, the quest for that which eludes us, the sparkling prize that is just beyond our fingertips, and so we grasp, and stretch, always to be thwarted.

And so it is with Catfish. When he DOES bag that fucking alligator, I'm going to go up there and eat some of it, and help him make some boots.

Posted by Velociman at 4:42 PM | Comments (1)

IN PASSING...

Toussaint, the leper colony chief in Papillon (see sidebar), was played by none other than Anthony Zerbe, a great character actor whose debut was as Dog Boy in Cool Hand Luke.

Wheels within wheels, man. It's kind of scary.

Posted by Velociman at 2:30 PM | Comments (2)

A DUBIOUS HONOR

I am the number 4 Google hit for FUCK ME.

Where did I get such a potty mouth? Who cares? I have a whole new legion of perverts dropping by.

Posted by Velociman at 12:55 PM | Comments (6)

OTAY

I'm adding Dash to the new 'Roll, because I fergit earlier, and he a hell of a party dude.

And so, from here on, I might add one a day, because you cannot believe how unbelievably lazy I am.

And have you grooved on my Papillon on the sidebar? Not only McQueen, but the dry leprosy guy. I love him. Well, I do. He could have been the wet leprosy guy. Storyline? Changed, for sure.

Posted by Velociman at 1:36 AM | Comments (4)

August 5, 2005

MEXICAN JUMPING BEANS

Amazingly enough, I have absolutely no opinion whatsoever on the Mexican Jumping Bean. Other than to say that, as a child, they mesmerized me.

But I don't think I would crawl into a burning car and pull one out.

Posted by Velociman at 11:58 PM | Comments (1)

FOUL SEED

I'm not saying my precious cargo have nasty rooms, as kids will have, I'm just saying A&E just showed up with a film crew for background on their documentary, HIROSHIMA: 60 YEARS LATER.

I had no idea girls' feet could stink like that. Boudicca knew, of course.

Posted by Velociman at 11:22 PM | Comments (2)

THIS MAY SOUND CALLOUS...

But I'll be damned if I can understand why the worldwide media rallies round the cause of a poor teenage girl from Alabama who goes missing in Aruba, obviously the victim of foul play by little Dutch cocksuckers.

Oh. Wait. Aruba. Gee. Let me see. Had this girl gone missing in Cairo, or Islamabad, or Bombay, this story would be page 21.

But Aruba! No wonder there are 2,000 journalists there, covering this Important Breaking Story, which, let's be honest, will never break unless a horseshoe crab shits a bit of her DNA.

My heart breaks for this child's family. Don't think it does not. But I see an entire media industry sunning on the beach in Aruba, yawning over the latest blurb from one of the perp's fathers.

Fucking scumbags. Given enough time, and enough horseshoe crabs, I would get my visa stamped, and wade into that cesspool of whores and rock their world in a most opprobrious fashion. And I would pull out my duffel bag, and show them Sean Hannity's head, who has been perhaps the most craven fuck of all about this tragedy.

How are your Arbitrons, Sean? You fucking whore.

Okay. I'm done.

Posted by Velociman at 10:41 PM | Comments (5)

CULLING THE CRAP

I was adrinking skullpop t'other night, and mused to myself, as my head was doing the bobblehead thing, my blogroll sucks. It's hardcoded, there are dead people on it, it smells like ass.

And so I resolved to replace it with a fancy smancy Blogrollin' replacement. Let me know when the people I read have put some fresh horseshit to pixel.

It was three seconds after I highlighted that entire roll and hit the DELETE! button that it occurred to me: dude, you're a dumbass. You shoulda saved that thing. Fuck!

And so I am lazily, now and then, adding peeps back to my new fancy smancy Blogrollin'! If I haven't put you up yet, do not be alarmed. I'm lazy, as I say, and will prolly get to you, unless you suck.

If you feel very insulted, drop me an e-mail. But I have to tell you, being on the roll ain't exactly being in the Beautillion Militaire.

Hell, I don't even know how to alphabematize this thing.

Posted by Velociman at 8:34 PM | Comments (16)

MR. McBEEVEE

There is a great Andy Griffith Show episode, Mr. McBeeVee. Opie meets a telephone repairman in the woods, and brags to Andy and Barney how he's met a man who walks in the trees, wears a shiny silver hat, and has 12 extra hands. They chalk it up to childhood enthusiasm, but when Opie returns with a quarter Mr. McBeeVee gave him, Andy thinks Ope is lying, and stole the quarter, and intends to punish him.

Andy eventually figures out the truth. It is a classic lesson in how cynical adults should believe in the truth and goodness of youth.

Barney, of course, wanted Andy to beat Opie's ass.

I love that episode.

Posted by Velociman at 7:58 PM | Comments (9)

I SAID METROSEXUAL!

Here's my Mr. Clean tee, which my brother gave me:



Because if you're macho enough to walk around with a gay icon on your chest, insist on the very best.

Posted by Velociman at 7:30 PM | Comments (6)

August 4, 2005

POST OP DIAGNOSIS

The surgery went well on Em's knee. Her lower kneecap was so fragmented it looked like dead man's fingers in a blue crab (pictures at 11!). Doc shaved them, and melted the remaining cap to a nice, appeasing smoothness. Then did the same to the side part. He's groovy. If he ever has a week off, I'd like to snort some booger sugar with him. My kinda guy.

Physical therapy today went well, too. Curse the young! They healeth too fast!

Other than some blood/saline mixture squirting out during bending exercises, I almost kept my shit together.

My kid is a trooper. Tough, sassy, smart-assed, questioning, totally at ease.

I am a pussy. Querulous, frightened, demanding, bossy.

I slept a total of 1.5 hours the night before her surgery. Awoke at 1:45, tossed, turned, made a pot of coffee at 2:30. By the time we got to Plaza Surgery at 6:00 I was wired. Hopped up like a speed freak until we got her home, then STILL too wired to take a nap.

Took two muscle relaxers for my back at 5, had three drinks, then proceeded to piss off all my friends, eliciting sympathy not for Em, but for me! I've had a rough day, dammit! Gimme the love!

Kids are resilient creatures. They abide, as Faulkner said. My kid still thinks I'm the Bomb. Of course, she still had morphine in her veins when she told me that.

Posted by Velociman at 9:01 PM | Comments (18)

August 3, 2005

Biting Commentary - A Public Service Announcement

Evening, intrepids; one hinky tight here, Velociman's friend Kelley from suburban blight. The Master of the Mutant is tied up this evening - no, not literally tied up, not unless The Bride has a damn good reason (which, as a point in fact, she usually does have). No, our Velociman had rather too much congress with his recovery-room hip flask today, both during and after the beloved Velocidaughter's knee surgery, and is now too drunk to find the Bat Cave. So, he asked me to post this Public Service Announcement in his stead. (By the way, Velocigirl is healing nicely, and is as comfortable in the Velocihovel as V-Man and his lovely Bride can make her - she's one lucky young woman to have such doting parents).

Being hinky, and not as tight as V-Man is at the moment, I was happy to comply.

Look, the thing is this: Velociman has a long-standing friendship with Venomous Kate. You may or may not know this, but Kate was instrumental in removing the Velociass from the horrors of Blogspot; she helped him set up this whole freak-show in the first place. Naturally, when he heard of Kate's recent accident and the subsequent damage to her teeth, he wanted to help in any way that he could. He's asked me, his Technical Advisor, to a) install a PayPal button leading to Venomous Kate's dental recovery account here on his site, and b) pass the fucking hat. Consider it passed; Kate has never asked for help - she's the last person to bleg for anything - but she and her family are under quite a hardship in trying to replace Kate's damaged choppers.

V-Man donated. I donated. Won't you help, too? Click below. Make a donation to the Fang Fund, and help put the bite back in the most Venomous lady in the blogosphere.

HELP VENOMOUS KATE GET HER FANGS BACK!

Posted by Velociman at 10:41 PM | Comments (34)

August 2, 2005

I COULDN'T RESIST

Boudicca started this thing, as far as I can tell, and while most Intrepids know I don't partake of the meme Kool-Ade, I myself was curious, as I'm not sure I've opened my bedside table drawers in three years. Kind of strange. What I found:

The Bourne Supremacy (unread)

Split Second by Baldacci (unread; air travel shit)

A Joseph Conrad compendium, dog-eared on page 121 of Lord Jim

A floppy disk external peripheral

A laptop charger

My Popeye handpuppet, soiled

A .38 caliber revolver

A box of .38 target ammo (yes, both unsecured from prying little hands)

Pics of the kids, many 10 years old

All-purpose lotion (only used for one purpose)

A bootleg Elmore James CD (THERE's that fucker!)

8 old National Enquirers, folded back on Pamela Anderson articles

A Masterlock that was supposed to secure that pistol

A girl's hairbrush

An It's A Girl! button (doesn't appear to be for one of MY girls)

A Nicotrol pamphlet

A scrapbook: A Tale of Baby's Days (couldn't look)

A Living Bible (?)

Two Holy Bibles (St. James Infirmiary Version) (?)

Eyereier's Bible Story Book (?)

The Beginner's Bible (?)

Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind(?)

Fitzgerald's The Last Tycoon

A Doonesbury Zonker ceramic coaster

Flyers from the 12/17/96 show Little Bells of XMas, performed at the Singleton Community Center, Bartlett, TN

Four ultrasound pics of Skeeter

Three pictures of me holding a newborn Skeeter

More kid pics

Delta Wedding, by Eudora Welty

Some muscle relaxers (Yes!)

Volume One of The Life of Samuel Johnson, by Boswell

A Babysitters' Club volume (whack material?)

The Confessions of Nat Turner by Styron

A 1940's 8mm movie camera

Good God. If it weren't for the pics of my kids, and that Elmore James CD and revolver, I'd swear I'm not even in my own house. Those Bibles must be for sleeping aid, or blog material. All I can figure. I must confess to never having read the Good Book. Except for the Sodom and Gomorrah parts, but I think the Babysitters Club book was better from a prurience angle.

That's what's in those drawers, along with various Easter bunny cards, keys to nowhere, and what appear to be ancient boogers. If you find out who's been chilling in the Velocicrib, let me know. He owes me some frigging rent. This shit CAN'T belong to me.

Posted by Velociman at 10:35 PM | Comments (13)

August 1, 2005

A DATE WITH THE SAWBONES

Velocidaughter 1 has knee surgery on Wednesday. Gonna get scoped like a monkey trial. Residual bone fragments from a meniscus injury three years ago.

I'll be a queasy wretch. Do they allow hip flasks in Recovery?

This surgeon is supposed to be good, though. Worked Baryshnikov's knee, so that works for me.

Don't tell me dancers aren't athletes. This kid has been through the knee blowouts, the ice packs, the crutches, the drainings, the sports therapy, now the surgery. Lettered every year since 9th grade.

Mebbe this will fix it for good. I need scholarship money!$!$!

Posted by Velociman at 7:38 PM | Comments (21)