Archive for February, 2014

“It was too hot outside.No work and no pay.
They were tired of sittin’ around, all damned day.

They grabbed their big coats, and walked to the store.
“Just to look,” Adam said. But both knew he meant more.

The Liquor Store owner remembered these two.
(Seeing them here, shows that’s not hard to do!)

The clerk kept her distance, watching Adam and Eve.
She saw what she saw, though hard to believe:

Adam stuffed Jameson, Eve’s Spandex, Blue Ribbon;
Finally confronted, both started a-fibbin’!

“She made me do it!” Adam cried,
“It was Adam’s idea!” Eve screeched.
Calling the cops, the Owner replied that the end of his patience was reached.”

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Death is inevitable. A mystery, and then some.
Last breath. No pulse. Everyone gets one.

Histories’ littered with Rituals & Rites–
How to deal with the dead. Then put Death out of sight.

Wakes and Embalming, Cremation or Dirt–
For loves left behind, these don’t quench the hurt.

Perhaps faith is best. That Substance of Hope.
The only evidence–of what we don’t see.

Comforting faith, I’ll know for sure, when…
Death knocks on the door, and asks for me.

“With the wave of changes in the 1960’s–Civil and Women’s Rights battles, Love & Peace, Anti-War protests, folks burning bras, advertising and marketing agencies realized the potential for opportunity.

No, ad-men were NOT happy about women coming aboard as something other than eye-candy-secretaries. Not at all. But looking beyond their own discomfort, opportunity knocked, with the advent of cultural change.

People wanted equality, then why not give folks what they wanted?
Women’s underthings (bras, panties, girdles, slips, lingerie, etc.) were advertised in all sorts of media. Why not Man-Undies?

A Mayo-Spruce man, by the name of Victor, was behind this idea. Genius, really.

Mayo Spruce Company decided to just do it.
Of course, Real, Everyday Men modeling the products, was a must. They’d focus on Dads, Husbands, and Sons…since marketing studies revealed the mostly women did the actual shopping. Women were buyers of socks and shirts, ties and underwear, for the males in their families. Most men only shopped for suits, hats and shoes on their own.

The targeted audience then, had to be wives, lovers, mothers. And to remove any doubts the little women might have about which brand of undies to buy, marketing to everyday, manly-men, was the strategy. Good one, too.

Manly-Man sees Mayo-Spruce Ad.
Manly-Man remarks that Mayo Spruce undies are manly-best.
Manly-Man’s woman rushes to nearest supplier of Mayo Spruce Man-Panties, and buys! Buys! Buys!
Manly-Man’s woman then tells all her girlfriends that she only buys the manliest man-panties for her man.
And so goes marketing!

Behind this great marketing push, was Victor.
Victor was a marketing genius.
He also had a secret.
Victor’s secret was this:
He preferred the silky comforts of women’s undies, beneath his tailored suit.”

“Harmie Jones, Moses Scott, Walter Barndt, Annabelle Rand, Peter Cocklin, Preston Gough, Franklin Johnson and Michael Knightly– decided the only place they hadn’t tried sledding–besides, of course, the steps of the White House–was the State, War and Navy building.

It began as just kid-talk. Children with sleds, who lived in a city, with limited places to use their sleds: “Dare any of you,” said Harmie (short for ‘Harmond’), “to take your sled down the steps.” Harmie said this as they were pulling their sleds past the Public Library.

A concert of enthusiasm surrounded Harmie. “Great Idea!” then, “I will, if YOU will!”
Finally, one of the bunch declared, “You, FIRST!” It was that smarty-pants, Annabelle. The girl.

Of course, Harmie had a bit of an obligation to be first. It was his idea, after all. And, if he didn’t at least try, especially after being challenged by a dumb girl, well…how would that look?

Harmie Jones picked up his sled, a very nice one, with brightly painted, sturdy runners, sure to take the beating they’d no doubt endure, going down the steps of the public library.
Inside, he was frightened. Harmie was certain that his mom would be weeping into a hankie, blowing her nose, crying, “why?”, while he lay in a coffin neatly, dead, from a broken neck. Fortunately for Mrs. Jones, fate did not favor her son’s imagination, and Harmie lived through it.

One by one, the others followed suit: Annabelle Rand was next, followed by Johnson. Then the others took their turn down the steps of the library, and managed to live to tell about it.

The sledders saw their neighborhood with new eyes: Every building, especially buildings with ample steps, were possible challenges.

They really wanted to go down the White House steps. Of course, that wasn’t going to happen.

The next best thing, however, was the State, War and Navy building. The State, War and Navy building, was far more accessible, and certainly the most challenging.

Harmie Jones had much trepidation about this attempt. They were not just going down the flight of steps, from the landing closest to the street. That would be easy enough. No. They were going from the very top!

That Annabelle, the only girl in the bunch, declared that she would be first, and, she was going to start at the very top! Seemed she was always showing them up. And they were guys! What was she trying to prove?

The others were secretly afraid, every bit as Harmie, but did not admit it. Harmie ‘hmm’d and hawed’, offering reasons why they should not start at the top. The sleds might get broken, or they could get in trouble.

But Annabelle wasn’t buying any of it. “TRIPPLE-DOG-DARE YA!” She shouted, and dragged her sled to the very top, yelled, “Tally-Ho! Look out, below!” and conquered the steps–all of the steps–of the State, War and Navy building.

The only thing any of the boys could do, was cross their fingers, say a prayer, and hope they didn’t kill themselves. There was no way a girl was going to show them up. They’d die sledding before dying of embarrassment. Harmie hoped his Ma had plenty of hankies.

Harmie broke his right arm in three places, and was never again permitted to sled.
Everyone survived, and Harmie was the only one injured. His sled was messed up pretty bad, too.
Annabelle grew up, and became a hot air balloonist.

Not one of the children regretted that day. That was the day they flew.

see: http://dcwalkabout.com/blog/sledding-old-executive-office-building/

“Acid Reflux, it wasn’t!
He should have known that it was about ‘that time of the month”–the crankiness, restless legs at night, pillow damp from drool, in the mornings. Not to mention the tinnitus and migraines. The heartburn was killer-bad, this time. Always the most painful part.

Well, there was not a thing Silv could do about it.
Nothing at all, but pray.
He clutched his rosary, mentally recited the prayers, visualizing the Stations of The Cross, as he did so. He preferred praying silently, and given his state of change, that was a good thing. The transformation had begun, and when Silv ‘s jaw changed, trying to man-talk was not going to happen.

He managed to get out of his clothes just in time. At least 7 or 8 times a year, he ruined perfectly good clothes during shape-shifts.

The sun disappeared, and full moon was out.
It was time.
At least he prayed before he preyed.”

“Little Lizzie survived WWII, and would have, without this ridiculous-looking contraption.
And, she witnessed and survived many wars.

She spent her entire life as if a caged bird: for, once they put this thing on her, they could not get it off!

It was said, that up until she died in 2000, she could quote from memory, Dumas’ “The Man In The Iron Mask.”

“Garrett loosened the grip of his mother’s arm only slightly. He did not want her dashing into the street again. Her loud mumblings, sharp scoldings, were drawing further unwanted attention.
He said nothing.

She did all of the talking.
When she finally stopped, she cast eyes of hatred, resentment, hurt and pain at him. Garrett kept his eyes straight-ahead. He did not have to look. He FELT her glares.

It was Mother’s Day, of all days. All he wanted was to get Mother out of the house, have a nice, quiet lunch, maybe even have a semi-normal conversation. Didn’t happen.

At first, things went well.
Then, she started. The waitress was “too round” (this she said in front of the waitress, who fled away in tears). Then she began shouting obscenities, “fucking” everything and anything, in excruciatingly familiar, angry voice.
He could not drag her out of the cafe` quickly enough. The manager almost called the police. Happy Mother’s Day.

Garrett was the only of her children who remained to care for Mother.
He resented his sisters and brother for this, sometimes. They just wouldn’t–perhaps couldn’t–deal with Mother. Part of Garrett understood this.

Mother had always been irrational, with brief periods of what looked, well, “normal”. She had shock treatments, spent time in a sanitarium, was given lots of different medication over the years.

It was not his fault, or anybody’s fault.
It wasn’t her fault she was like this, either. Not really.
Yes, it would be helpful if she cooperated, listened to brain experts, took her medications, and refrained from misusing them, or alcohol.

But if she were okay, if her brain functioned right, she would know and do the right things. Mom was not okay, and never was okay.

She suffered. Daily.
Unfortunately, that meant those around her, suffered, too. Sometimes dearly.
The damned voices in her head, tormenting her since a young woman, would not go away. Their father left them, long ago. This, Garrett resented, most of all.

Now, Mother was becoming much more than Garrett, alone, could handle.
As soon as they returned to the flat, he would make the call he so dreaded.
He loved her as best he could.
Nobody seemed to understand that.

“Now,” said Petey, “…the way I see it, that dang old fox waited ’til we was eatin’ supper last night.” He lifted up his knitted cap, made special for him by his ma, scratched his itchy head, and pulled his hat back down.

“Or,” he continued, ” …maybe the fox sneaked in, when we was listenin’ to the baseball game on the radio.” Petey kicked some dirt. He thought, hard.

“I didn’t see any new holes,” he said, giving his head a shake towards the chicken pen, behind him. Petey and his dad fixed the pen three times, this week, alone!

The kid was more than a little perplexed. Another bird was missing.
A few feathers, but no Cluck-a-Luck! (Cluck-a-Luck was Petey’s favorite of all the chickens.)

“I-I just don’t know what we’re gonna do about this!” The boy said. His voice carried less assurance. His lower lip trembled a bit.

“Hush, now,” Petey’s dad said to him, patting the boy on the top of his knit-hat. “Maybe he’ll turn up.”

Petey sat down on the ground beside the chicken pen, pulled his knees to his chest, and had a good cry over Cluck-a-Luck.

Just as he dried his tears, manned-up, and decided to go to the house, he heard a familiar sound. An almost-purring sound, that chickens have been known to make, when they are happy. Petey ran around to the south side of the fence, and there was Cluck-a-Luck! How he managed to get outside the pen, Petey didn’t know. It really didn’t matter, now.

Petey scooped the chicken up in his arms, and hugged and squeezed the bird tightly. “Dad!” Petey shouted, “Dad! Dad! Cluck-a-Luck’s home!”