I got an email from Lenny Bruce

Yes.

Today.

It was rather singed about the edges (not sure why), but I was able to resurrect most of it, and I with sincere humility transcribe it here:

 Dear Mister Marcom (I love it when I am called ‘Mister’)

Mister Marcom,

I am certainly honored that you continue to plagiarize my work.

However, you do not seem to be getting much ‘play’.

Perhaps you need to advertise.

(or just fuck off and call it a ‘draw’. You choose.)

Has been my experience that contempoursely contemporary shit sells better. Maybe you should just go with Sarah? Hell! All us Jews look alike, n’est-ce-pas?

And of course I just had to hit that ‘reply’ button:

Dear Mister Bruce,

Hey! How’s the weather?

Frivolities out of the way…

I will continue to ‘Post’ You

And, yes, Sarah too

And thanks for the pepperoni.

Yer Fan,

Lancers

Here is a toilet

Boil it

Enjoy it

“I am screwed; I speak English.”

lenny_bruce

 

 

 

“I like it Stripey” or if you will, “Chardonnay! Take me Away!”

This is a tale of two blogs. Or perhaps a blog of two tales. Or perhaps…

“More matter with less art” may be apropos here.

Indeed Gertrude!

(This post will surely go ‘viral’. Which by my standards simply means, ‘Six will read it. Three will ‘like’ it, and one will comment on it. Yep. ‘Viral’)

So without further ado, here we go:

My English Girl Friend asked me to mow her yard (years ago). As I was dusting off the old mower she remarked,

“I like it stripey.”

“Huh?”

“You know: ‘stripey’, like a golf course.”

So I’m thinking, ‘Stripey. Do you see a fucking candy cane on my shirt woman?”

Now of course I did not verbalize my musings. Oh hell no! I have learned a thing or two about women in my time. (Well certainly not near enough, but enough to keep my balls away from them late at night when they, just maybe, have had that one-too-many-glass-of-wine and have been ferreting about in the utensil drawer, coming out with a steak knife and a Lorena Bobbitt frame of reference.)

I know some shit about women.

Anyway, hoping to scare up some Karma and justification for a ‘Beer Run’, today I mowed the yard and by damn! I made it ‘Stripey’, and it cost me, by my estimation, an extra beer and a half in sweat. You see, it ain’t easy mowing greens.

Stripey

The next bit involves Real Drinkers (Yeah, but Y’all probably knew that already)

I lived with a woman once.

Okay, more than once and more than one woman.

“Round Round, Get Around” I got around!

(Stop it Lance!)

OK

I lived with a woman once…

She was / is (probably still) my best friend.

We had a rather platonic ‘lationship. We were more or less (generally more) ‘Drinking Buddies’. (Please remind me sometime to tell you of the time we drove her new Jaguar through a brick wall)

While I was working in Iraq I would fly her to Europe when I took my R&R’s. I let her plan all the trips. (I could not be bothered you see? I was too busy trying to keep a relationship with my ass and trying not to walk over an IED, and other such things which tend to keep one’s mind occupied. No. Travel Plans and Itinerant Itineraries did not fall into my Top Ten Things I Need To Do Today.)

Once I found myself between gigs, as it were (And I had escaped my fourth marriage), I ended up at her house.

She had a huge, and yes, Texan-Huge, yard(s). She force-labored me (and herself, to be fair) to slave away in the yardI(s) until “Wine Time” Which was at precisely 1600hrs. Believe me: I was watching my watch all day, hoping Einstein would make an exception and speed up his Time/Space Continuum. Just for me.

I wanted that fucking ‘Wine Time’ and by Jove! I wanted it Now!

So, the two of us would shake (and rattle and prattle and roll) until ‘Wine Time’.

Who were we kidding?

I finally secured a new Gig in Afghanistan and escaped

And not one moment too soon.

The daily anticipation of ‘Wine Time’ almost did me in.

***

These two posts were inspired by my sometime muse, Mark.

Now, Mark has a blog site (you probably could have guessed that)

Well, Mark’s site always seems to inspire me to write some reeeely stupid shit. And yes, I use ‘stupid shit’ as a term of Endearment, when referring to Mark’s Blog (and his column in ‘The Syracuse New Times’)

But, using Mark in this shamless fashion often gets me in Trouble with My Real Muse. Let’s call her Maggie, as that is her name. (shhhh! Don’t tell, but if you get ‘stuck’ with Writer’s Block head on over to Mr. Mark’s Page. You will depart with a month’s worth of shit to write about… Please don’t quote me. I have to live with my muse, and sometimes, well… She just ain’t amused)

She has been with me for some years (many years and beers).

Well, today, as I was laughing my ass off at something Mark posted, she woke up from her nap.

“Hiya Maggie. How was your nap?”

“I had a horrible dream,” she said.

“Oh, I am so sorry,” I said back. “What was your dream?”

“I dreamt you were cheating on me.”

“Nonsense!” I said with not enough sincerity.

“Yes! And I am a fucking Muse, and I know about these things. Back when I was working for Will, he used to cheat on me with that bitch Viola. I dumped his ass and he never wrote another play worth a shit or a cup of warm spit.”

(Opps! Nothing worse than a woman scorned for fury. Note to self: “hide the steak knives.”)

And just in case Y’all don’t yet think I have gone completely insane, I leave you with this:

Vid Credit: PsychoDad1860

 

Today, a magical thing happened to me.

I’ll edit this later…

But for now I gotta go see a goat about a man. Be right back…

******

I woke up.

I woke up happy.

This has not happened in some years.

Why? Why now? Why today?

Well shit! I have no fucking clue, but I do know this:

It was a welcome change. I woke up Happy!

Fucking Happy!

And ’till now, I have maintained it.

And I am gonna embrace it ’till it leaves.

***

Now I had planned a very verbose post about my theories of depression but then I said,

“Naw! There are others who dedicate their lives to depression. They live for this shit.”

Who am I? I just went passing through…

“Just passing,” Thank You,

“Mind the gap.”

(You probably have to be British to appreciate that last bit)

Here’s to “Happy Days Are Here Again!”

(I’ll take them)

Evey’ one.

Y’all should too.

well we will marry and tarry

There

Here is a happy song to get you ‘in the mood’:

The moodiness of happiness:

“The Line Forms to the Right”

Just choose Happy

 

Daily Lenny: Drugs

Since it is “Frivolous Friday”

I am going to link here below the beginning of a post most of you ‘newbies’ have not yet read.

Anyhow, find it here below. And after the ‘initial’, if you dare, follow the Yellow Brick Road: “Lance, You Lie.”

Now, some of Y’all may ask yourselves, “Why is Lance crazy? Why does he tempt fate? What-so-ever is wrong with Lance?”

Well, I will tell Y’all:

Nothing.

Nothing but the plain and simple fact that… well, Y’all go ‘head on and figger that one out for yer own selfs.

Anyway, and without further much ado ’bout nothin’, here is yer Daily Lenny:

Standup guy … Lenny Bruce.

 

 I do sincerely hope for your enjoyment.

Lancer

Oh, and more Lenny (and Sarah) here below:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

https://texantales.com/category/sarah/

and in case you got lost in the uptake, here it is once again:

Oh and Goddamn!

I almost forgot the Sarah! Here she is (my bad):

And I just throw in the below as a shameless promotion:

“She’s Not Here!”

It is a vain post. Read at your own annoyance.

 

Spam I Am: “Oh God! Please Never Leave Me Come To This!”

…Writing Spam for a penny-a-page! 

“I promise! I’ll be good!” (Starting first thing tomorrow)

spam

Now… I am not vain enough to even think for an instant that I am the only one who gets great spam. However, I just feel compelled to show off my own ‘Private Idaho’ favorite one (a recurring one, alas).

But this is wonderful, mighty writing, and I beg you to read it, for the more I read it, the more I laugh and marvel at how great it is. Truly! (And for some sake of brevity, I did not even post the entire bit).

So abstract. So poetic. I just fucking love this guy/gal. I wanna make a poster and post it in Real Life, on my wall, My “I love me wall”:  just for negative inspiration.

I do sincerely wish I could write this way, and with such piercing eloquence:   And hey!~ Y’all! Y’all really need to go there, jes sayin’

******************

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****

Kinda takes your breath away, don’t it?

I do sincerely hope you have enjoyed this.

Whenever I am feeling blue, I read this and say to myself,

“Lance, someday, someday, you will end up like this”

Then I pour myself a scotch, and open a Can-O’-Spam, forcing Life to digress… for just One-More-Day. 

‘Tis a happy prospect, eh?

And here is the video version:

Now! That was a bit of a joke, but Y’all know I am always looking for any opportunity to slip in my favorite videos.

(And, Yes! I am infatuated with Felicia Pearson. There are worse to be had. Trust me on this one, yo! And if you have never seen “The Wire” well, Y’all need to check it out, unless of course it may not be Y’all’s cup O’ tea, just sayin’)

And those who frequent these pages… should surely know this.

As for the rest of you,

Well, I merrily suggest you dive  delve? into The Archives.

Peace, and

‘exhilarating truthfully’,

–Lance, Y’all’s Humble Servant

 

Throw-Back: Three Days in the Life of a South Park Survivor Chapter One

This was originally posted 02 FEB entitled Letter from a Southpark Jail. I decided to re-post it as a series of ‘Chapters’ in the hope of making it a more manageable read.

Chapter One: PAX Terminal, Camp Dwyer

Dwyer_Marine_LZ

The following is a transcribed letter I wrote to a Significant Other while cooling my heels in Kandahar, trying to get my CAC renewed (Common Access Card: An ID card for Civilians working with the U.S. Military). ‘Southpark’ is, for lack of a better term, A Holding Facility ‘soullessly owned and operated’ by DynCorp International for transients, itinerants, sycophants, miscreants, and other sad and lonely temporarily homeless people just trying to travel through, hoping to land somewhere else and the sooner the better…  Southpark is understaffed, under-financed, under-achieving, and sometimes underwater. It is also overpopulated, misconceiving, deceiving and just plain infuriating. Southpark will depress you, repress you, digress you, digest you, and shit you out (if you allow it). Writing saved me from insanity there.

Dwyer Map

Saturday 28 July 2012, Camp Dwyer PAX Terminal, Afghanistan 1218hrs

Dear Lady,

I’m sitting in the PAX terminal. We boarded the plane, (Sixties-Era, prop job) a couple of hours ago, but they were just kidding. After sitting on the tarmac for about forty five minutes they brought us back here. Seems someone forgot to feed the hamsters which are actually responsible for propelling the plane and hence, they died. We were told not to worry; they are flying in some fresh, well-fed hamsters from KAF (Kandahar Air Field) and once they get those settled into the plane’s power plant, we will be good to go: wheels up around 1430hrs.

So here I sit, thinking of you, Dubai, and Hamster Avionics.

This PAX terminal isn’t too bad, as these places go. (I have seen worse—and better). Like every other facility on Dwyer, it is a tent, but it is a rather enormous tent and they have provided the weary travelers with bottled water and MRE’s. So I am sated, as far as it goes. You see, I really am low maintenance.

Not being inclined to ignore any opportunity to ‘talk’ to you, I am using the tools (pen and paper) I thoughtfully provided myself in the event such opportunity did manifest itself. So here I sit, happily communicating to you using Nineteenth Century Technology. I do hope you are properly impressed.

IMG2

Page From Original Document

“And what lovely penmanship!” She exclaimed.

“Thank you,” he said.

Looking about the terminal, I have pronounced us a motley crew: About a dozen or so Indians & Sri Lankans, some Filipinos, a smattering of American Expats, couple of Brits, and a few bored Marines behind the counter, whose job it is to search the TCN’s. The counter has a sign which reads: “TCN Search Area.” TCN: ‘Third Country Nationals.’ in case you didn’t know.

“What did you do in The War, Daddy?”

“Son, I put my hands all over aromatic TCN’s.”

“What’s a TCN Daddy?’

“Uh…That’s a very sophisticated weapons system Son.”

“Wow! Cool!”

1310hrs: PAX Terminal, Dwyer

Ok, for amusement, I took an inventory of the MRE’s stacked on pallets here in the terminal:

15 pallets

56 cases of MRE’s per pallet

12 MRE’s per case

Total MRE’s: 10,080 (assuming my arithmetic is correct; a rather liberal assumption)

Posted on each pallet are four signs which read:

DO NOT EAT!

Pending Inspection

MRE stands for “Meal, Ready to Eat,” in case you didn’t know, or in this case, Meal, Not Ready to Eat. (“We done been eatin’ ‘em anyways. Hope we don’t die of ptomaine before the hamsters do, causing our Turbo Prop to morph into a glider…”)

1441hrs:  Still in PAX terminal

Announcement: “Listen up! We couldn’t get the hamsters here, but we’ve drafted a couple of gerbils and they’re fit for duty.” (‘Now there’s some happy news,’ I mused.) He continued, “For all those going to KAF, this means now you’re flying non-stop,” (Guess gerbils are not certified for multi-destination air duty.) and your luggage is already back on the plane. As soon as we warm up the gerbils, you fly. Those of you who are going to FOB Shindan, you will follow me now.”

Someone pipes up, “Are we walking?”

There’s one in every crowd…

Having a few minutes to kill while the gerbils are doing their warm up exercises, I return to the MRE pile and rat-fuck a couple of the boxes. ‘Rat Fuck’ is a technical term which simply means, “To open several bags of MRE’s and take only the premium items, leaving the not premium items for the next schmuck attempting to do same.” An example of this would be taking all the Reece’s Pieces and chocolate chip cookies, leaving only the cardboard crackers and synthetic peanut butter.

GryphonAir

1600hrs: Airborne

Wheels up and airborne and the gerbils gerbilling their little asses off. Time to destination: thirty minutes.

1613hrs: Flying High (I wish)

I am seated in a window seat. Normally I would take the aisle, but I wanted to describe the spectacular view and with all the beautiful details of this rarified vista below:

BROWN

Perusing the in-flight movie list (from the one inside my head), I select Lawrence of Arabia (with subtitles in Pashtun). I estimate getting about half-way through the opening credits before we touch down. I listen to the wonderful Academy Award winning musical score. The scenes of the burning desert are so real inside my head that I actually break a sweat. This Special Effect is helped along quite nicely by the fact that the air-conditioning on this aircraft is non-functional. I suppose one of the collateral duties of the deceased hamsters was operating the A/C unit.

1638hrs: Wheels Down

KAF

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Beautiful Kandahar.” (I do not doubt his sincerity, but I did detect a bit of sarcasm in his voice.) “For safety, you are required”, he continued, “to wear your full body armor with your helmet when exiting the aircraft. There really is no danger, but we want you to sweat just that much more. Thank you for flying Gryphon Airlines today and once again, we apologize for the teeny tiny delay we had in leaving Camp Dwyer and we do hope you will… uh, be flying with us again soon.” (As if we will have a choice)

**********************

Chapter Two Here

Daily Lenny, Guest Speaker: Sarah Silverman

Lenny’s a little “Under Some Weather,” but Never Fear!

As promised yesterday,

Here’s Sarah!

More Sarah Here:

https://texantales.com/category/sarah/

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

Thank You For Your Visit

 

Daily Lenny, And Now For Something Completely Different: “Wonderful, Wonderful, Wonderful.”

I may be mistaken, but I think this is a Lawrence Welk Hit.

Bit.

lawrence welk 11301

Anyone out there who knows (all you Lenny fans out there)

Hip Me!

Help Me!

***

I just picked up on the best line from this Lenny Bit:

“I knew Basie before he could count.”

(Now, that may be esoteric to some, but if you are on this page, I doubt that statement applies here)

902594-111131-lenny-bruce

More Lenny Below.

Tomorrow, Sarah is coming (not like that!) She is coming for another guest appearance.

She promised, and so we booked her. (cost twenty grand, but my readers are worth it.)

I do hope she shows.

At any rate,

More Lenny:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

More Sarah:

https://texantales.com/category/sarah/

And Thanks for the Pepperoni

“And I need some money,  just to take my aunt to the hospital. You dig?”

“Huh?”

“But I got a monkey on my back…”

“That’s OK; we love animals.”

 

Daily Lenny: John Kennedy, War Criminal?

The Much Anticipated Daily Lenny!

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/ 

Bonus Track: Uncle Bob

Uncle Bob

And Thanks For Visiting

Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce

Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce

An Oldie: “A Queendom! A Queendom! My Horse For A Queendom!”

This is an ancient post, one that most probably have not seen.

I am a mite lazy today and trying to find some inspiration somewhere to post something new…but for now: Please Stay Tuned.

***

When I was a young teen, freshly discovering the Joys of Puberty, I had an Ant Farm.

(Early Puberty does strange things to Not quite still Boys, but not quite Yet Men.)

Not one of those green and clear plastic toy ant farms. Oh, Hell No. This was hand-crafted and from fine pine two-by-fours. Two panes of 3/8” plate glass measuring thirty by twenty-four inches seated in the painstakingly mitered channels of the wood sandwiched the heavy Plaster of Paris block inside, in which I had meticulously carved all the ant-sized tunnels and oval shaped ‘ante-rooms’ for the ants to place the larvae and store the rations for a winter that would never come.

For these were domesticated ants—house ants, if you will—I had willed them such. These tunnels and carved out spaces were painstakingly coated with clean sand using a strong, but non-toxic well-cured epoxy.

It seems I had always been fascinated by ‘every creeping thing… and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds…’ And ants were always at the top of my ‘Creepeth Hit Parade.’ Once I had my initial stock, I spent many a happy hour studying their daily perambulations. I loved them dearly.

“Yes Elizabeth, ‘tis a strange one, this boy…”

The problem was my ants were too much mortal, and always died off too soon. Woefully I would watch as the living carried the fallen up to the surface and piled them in one corner of the farm, taking the time to respectfully, it seemed to me,  place them just so, re-stacking the funeral pyre if through my neglect I did not remove the excess bodies in a timely fashion, causing an ant-sized dry deluge of the departed.

After some research, I discovered that the worker ants died after a shorter predetermined length of time than I had previously believed.  I had managed during my ant-excavations to capture nubile winged Princesses and the large-headed and virile winged Princes. Problem was, they could not fly high enough in my little ant utopia to consummate their nuptials.

What to do?

queen ant

Discover and enslave a Queen. And of course I knew all along it must sooner or later come to this. I had hoped for later, but alas. I could not in good conscience, keep restocking my sterile ego of a closed system with workers who in reality had no firm purpose and no real meaningful existence, other than to daily heed the call to “Bring out yer dead! Bring out yer dead!” I was forcing them to live a Sisyphean Sorrow, and I did harbor remorse for that.

ant farm

I spent the better part of two summers searching for a queen for my ant farm. (Surely there must be some manner of metaphor or even allegory to be found therein.)

I would scout out the biggest, meanest ant mounds and methodically excavate them with a hoe, carving, peeling, madman like, layer by layer, like an onion so as to not overlook Her Majesty: Desperately hoping to find My Queen. I got stung, bitten, ravished, and generally harried and harassed by the noble and fearless workers. (Which are all female, by the way; Now run tell that!) I scraped down…down…down…  All in a vain searching attempt to find the queen who would make my farm whole and self-sustaining.

I never found her. She was too deep, too elusive, too protected, too well hidden from me. Perhaps she did not really exist at all?  And never did. Who knows? I have never in all my anting days, seen Ant Matriarchal Royalty. Perhaps the eggs are exuded from some ant fungus in the summer-warmed earth? Perhaps from some mutually beneficial agreement signed eons ago, betwixt Bacteria and ‘Antdom’ provided the means for both species to survive?

And thrive.

These are the ponderous questions that eventually came to plague my dreams like so many Harpies. And so I gave up Mythical Queens shortly thereafter and put my mind and my bodily efforts toward the pursuit of the real-life warm, touchable, see-able, lovable flesh and Heart-Felt fulfillment to be had from the interactions with Cheerleaders and Majorettes.

The ants had expedited my metamorphosis from a some-time boy into a full-time young man.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

–Corinthians 13

And p.s. gentile (pun) reader: Please do not mistake my quoting of King James Version, as testament of Christianity, ‘fore I can quote Edith Hamilton just as easily.

Thanks to all who read.

Daily Lenny: King Kong

Not certain if any of Y’all have noticed, but I am obsessed with Lenny Bruce.

Jes’ sayin’

Anyway, below is Your Daily Lenny. It is a bit of an esoteric stream of consciousness…

and I love it!

"It was beauty killed the beast."

“It was beauty killed the beast.”

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

And some Sarah there:

https://texantales.com/category/sarah/

And Thanks For Your Support!

 

Some Folks I know (and admire)

Throw out a “Stream of Consciousness”

Writing Challenge.

“Git on Wid It!” They Inspire, hemorrhaging inspiration. 

I do applaud this!

I find it wonderful (and inspirational)

I do never partake however, because…

Well; it just ain’t for me.

All my writing fits that ill (er, bill)

Honestly, I bathe in a stream of consciousness. (Isn’t it painfully obvious? Regarding that observation? I beg to mean: for those who actually read my stuff… It must be unerring to surmise that “Lance is crazy: He don’t even edit his own stuff. He just throws it all out there and watches where it may land.”)

Ophilia

Ophilia

Yup: Guilty.

Here is but one example (and be thee forewarned: It may be offensive–don’t really know myself, since I never read my shit after I write it and publish it–lie right there–I edit to death, but I am still in denial, so we just won’t go there, not here Dear.)

Actually “I post, then I edit” Wrong? Yes? I know, but that is just how I roll.

Anyhow, It is Memorial Day Weekend and I am cooking Ribs this afternoon, so I am immune to any and all criticism. This is the way of my (Texan) world. (Hey! And I get beer too!)

********

Okay, I know Y’all done been waiting avec baited breath for whatever story I done forgot to paste…

Here is one: I do hope it be german…germane to the topic:

If not, well, “Tomorrow is another day.”

(I do think Scarlett said it better than me, back in ’39)

Alright:

I had bookmarked my most obnoxious post to post here (in hope of generating some debate) Alas: I lost the link (and I tend to refer to myself as a computer geek: guess it all falls apart right there…)

Anyway…

Here is all I got to put this one to bed. (Yes! I know. It sucks, but hey! It cost you nothing but some time–which you cannot price–can you?)

And, believe me this:  

I do know how valuable your time is; this is why I admire and appreciate your taveling this far with me.

Cheers,

Lancer

Oh Shit! Almost Forgot! Here is the bleeding story below and there are remnants of links too, if ya be of interest in my writing style. And if not, well…not then.)

My Good Friend Russell over there at

http://russelrayphotos2.com/

Kindly commented on my Post,Street Where I Lived

Russ said,

“If you really want to have fun, go to Google Earth or Google Street View and look up all your old homes. I did it and found every place I ever lived, took a screen shot, and saved them for posterity, of which there will be none……..lol”

I smartly replied,

“That is an excellent idea.

No posterity for me either. After four marriages, still no children. Just never seemed to get around to it.

Thank you Russel for stopping by and reading.

Cheers”

Then…few days later… I said,

“OK, so I went Google Earth Trolling… Most of the places I have ever lived are toxic waste sites now, they got the Bio-hazard signs up an’ ever’thang.

I need to focus on my future, If I have one.

Laughing

(Laughing helps)

Thanks for the suggestion

(I think)”

********

Okay. Here is my point, (If’n I have one):

How many y’all Google Map your old habiliments?

Trust me on this: Do NOT do it!

Peach out, (but save the square bales for me)

 

 

 

Yes, I know: It Ain’t Thursday

But I swerved into this long-forgotten post, I posted while shall we say, I was ‘discombobulated?’

Incredible to me now, how this one survived the sober editing floor, and yet here it remains, sucking up Bandwidth. So now, I share my shameful pain with those who have never experienced this wonder…

And certainly comments are welcome. Especially if they be mocking, for self-deprecation is my forte. (and my compass)

(What the fuck was I thinking???)

Oh, and by the way: Please do not follow the links: For that way lies madness.

*************

“Generally, I do Not Like to Step on My Dick”

(Would love to, but he  has left the building)

However,

I will make an exception (in this case)

I love Blondie (Debbie Harry)

Yep

Do

Now… this post will knock my previous posts off your hit parade.

I know this

And I care not

(‘actuarily’ I do)

But who cares?

Watch the video, and take a trip back to the Eighties

Why not?

Call me:

lancemarcom781@hotmail.com

(I lied: it is GMail)

And… if you figg3r that out… Here’s to Texas!

P.S.

I Heart 🙂 Madonna too:

“Last night I dreamt of some bagels

Go Figure

 

Here Comes a Rant: Stand By For Heavy Rolls As The Ship Comes About

(Yup. I changed the Title. It’s My Blog After All,  Ain’t It?)

The Eighties SUCKED Music-Wise

(And Other-Wise)

Wow! What a Bold Statement!

“Yes, and I stand by it.”

Now… Y’all, fess up! The Eighties were devoid of decent music, save a few, (Damn few) exceptions.

Hey! We are talking ‘bout the decade of want here! The Decade of “We want shoes! Therefore we am!” Ya know what? Fuck The Eighties! I was still a young man during them yet, even I, even I… scratched my head and pondered The End of Western Civilization.

maddie

(But Damn! How I did love Madonna!)

I served my country during The Eighties.

I loved Reagan during The Eighties.

I grew prematurely old during the Eighties.

What the hell was there not to love?

About The Eighties?

Well…

For Starters,

The Eighties were not The Sixties, nor The Seventies.

The Eighties Had NO Moral Compass.

The Eighties had NO WAR to protest.

The Eighties had Nothing, save for ‘Michael Jackson’ and ‘Rambo’ and such jokes make not a decade to be proud of.

OK: Bet Yer Boots

There is more to come.

And Comments along the way: Encouraged

This Post Will Be Heavily slightly  Not Edited, but you will see all the edits (of which there will be none), as per my wont, and my promise in a  previous post. (Yeah: work in progress…)

Stay Tuned

Y’all

(Then again, I may probably won’t just delete this and move on)

So read fast; leisurely if you’re of a mind to…

And, if you have come this far:

I actually want  really desire this to be a ‘community post’. Now, what I mean by that is this: Throw in your comments/musings/rants/raves/loves/hates about The Eighties. I will mesh them into the post. (with credits to authors) This could be fun (if we allow it)

(And if y’all believe that shit, I have a bridge for sale–just kidding–I swear! I will fold any comments into the post)

Come on now! You know you have an opinion!

Cheers and Beers!

–Lancers

 

the eighties? what were we thinking????

Daily Lenny: The Phone Company

Okay, this is horribly dated, but… some of you out there will relate, like me (showing one’s age)

Please enjoy:

phone

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

And Hey! 

Thanks for stopping by.

And just as I like to ‘stir’ the melting pot… there is this: (no one will listen anyhow)

“Goin’ To The Chapel…”

“And We’re Gonna Get Married”

My first wife and I got married in Jaffa Israel, an ancient Phoenician Seaport just south of Tel Aviv. The ceremony was performed by a Baptist Minister from Oklahoma in a Presbyterian Church which was maintained by Catholic Missionaries from Sweden.

(Now that right there shoulda told us we were testing Providence)

There were but two witnesses. (Co-workers of ours from Sinai Field Mission who just happened to be in town)

Twenty minutes before the ceremony, my soon to-be-bride and I were hitting all the jewelry stores on Dizengoff Street shopping for wedding rings. Could not find any that suited us or fit.

The clerks always had the same response:

“No problem; I can have it resized and you may pick it up tomorrow.”

We anxiously explained, “But we are getting married in just a few minutes.”

Jewish weddings are a great big hairy deal; so naturally, we were met with gasps of shocked amazement when we announced our time constraint. We tried to explain we weren’t Jewish, but that took just too much time, so we ran from shop to shop.

We finally, and at the very last minute, settled on two plain gold bands (which did not fit), purchased from the jewelry shop in the hotel where we were to rendezvous with the rest of the ‘Wedding Party’.

We all proceeded to Jaffa. My bride was wearing a black dress and I was in blue jeans. My woman and I tied the knot, (loosely, as it turned out). I gave the Okie preacher fifty bucks and we split.

The marriage didn’t stick, but we remain friends to this day.

My next wedding took place in Las Vegas.

My Bride and I got hitched in a venue called ‘The Chapel of Love’.

An Elvis impersonator performed the rites for two hundred bucks. (My woman was an Elvis fan, so what the hell). For fifty bucks more, he would sing ‘Love Me Tender’ A cappella. My girl, ever so frugal, suggested we pass on that.

If she had known that within just a few short hours I would be tossing black chips onto a craps table, she might have seriously considered his offer of serenade.

Next wedding was performed by a Justice of the Peace, who showed up two hours late due to some inescapable last-minute JP business which could not wait. By the time she arrived the Wedding Party (and I do mean ‘Party’) were all hopelessly drunk on Champagne. We did the deed and then all got hopelessly drunker. Several expensive champagne flûtes bit the dust that night, if memory serves… Was a great wedding, as those things go.

Last wedding took place in Arkansas and was just lovely.

None of these weddings took firm hold, I am sorry to say.

Apparently marriage to me is not much more binding than a hand-shake.

Now… Y’all. I am of course not making light of marriage. I do believe in its sanctity. (For other people) It just doesn’t appear to be right for This Cowboy.

 

 

Video Credit: patricia du prée

Video credit: Holger Syme

************

Thanks for your visit and thanks to Mark for putting this post in my head, sorta like an ear worm.

Cheers to you Mark! My Friend.

SEAL Training: Psych Eval

While stationed at Great Mistakes (Errrr…Great Lakes) Naval Training Command, I did my due diligence and qualified for BUD/s (Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California)

After passing the physical physical and clearing all the other stuff (mostly based upon my ASVAB scores and my ability to swim like a dolphin), A Final Task faced me: I had to pass unblemished through an interview with a psychiatrist. Just a formality, right? (Last hurdle: “Lance, do NOT fuck this up.”)

Sailor

Sailor Lance

This should be fun,” I recall thinking as I waited for my interview.

I was eventually summoned and sat my ass down in front of a geeky, mouse-eyed shrink. He obviously had ‘issues’ of his own. This I could discern straight-away from his limp-wristed demeanor. And obviously the only SEAL he had ever met was in some vain dream fantasy.

No matter. I was there just to get my ticket punched.

After a dozen or so stupid questions about such things as how did I feel about my mother, have I ever killed anything (Uh, do frogs count?), the price of tea in China, ad nauseam, he came to his pièce de résistance:

“Seaman Marcom,” he broached, “If you were ordered by your SEAL Team Leader to go in and clear a room whilst on a mission, and you burst into this room only to discover an elderly lady in a rocking chair reading a bible, what would you do?”

I waited for my dramatic pause, then said,

“Sir, I would shoot the bible.”*

Smiling, I observed him take his rubber stamp out and stamp “Approved” on my papers.

“California Here I Come”

Right Back Where I Started From

Video Credit: L. Heitmann via YouTube

https://www.youtube.com/user/IrRrIS1l3nt

*Footnote:

In the Nav, we have bombastic bullshit ‘tellings’, euphemistically known as ‘Sea Stories’. These are always introduced with the mandatory preamble:

“Now, this is a no-shitter…”

The above telling (though completely factual) is a wonderful example of same.

It’s Memorial Day Weekend: Go find yourself a Sailor and say, “Hey Sailor, New in Town?” Then hug him/her.

 

Daily Lenny: Three Message Movies

Today’s Daily Lenny

Message Movies:

“Miami Beach is where neon goes to die.”
–Lenny

Lenny on stage

Natalie Wood

A More Beautiful Woman…Cannot Even Imagine.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

 

Throw-Back Thursday: “If You Don’t Mine, It Don’t Matter”

There is sand in the Sinai Desert. Lots of sand. There is wind in the Sinai Desert. Lots of wind. There are landmines in the Sinai Desert. Lots of landmines, some dating back to the ’56 war. Most of them are still functional.

When wind and sand collide, the sand moves. In waves. The sand does not respect manmade things. Manmade things such as roads or landmarks, or mine fields. Sand does not care if it inconveniences you. Or puts your life in danger. Sand has no conscience and actually does not give two shits about you or me, or anyone or anything.

Sand is just sand.

These truths about sand were to become blatantly obvious to me one day back in 1978. I was driving my Chevy Van Passenger Vehicle to the Suez Canal to rendezvous with a similar R&R vehicle coming from Cairo. My vehicle was loaded with ten passengers, all very happy to be headed out on R&R. It was my simple job to get them to the rendezvous point so they could take the little boat across the canal, climb into the other van and head on to Cairo and their scheduled flights back to The Real World.

From SFM Base Camp to Suez is about thirty klicks.

untso_map3

SFM Base Camp Located Between
The Giddi and Mitla Passes

Travel time on average, an hour and change, depending on how long the Egyptians wanted to detain me at the check points along the way. I always brought along some packs of Marlboros to provide them when they insisted on ‘baksheesh’. No big deal. I could afford the bribe. Hell, in our little BX (Base Exchange) cigarettes were three bucks a carton.

This particular day back in ’78 was a day after a particularly savage sand storm. The roads to Suez are passable most days. And safe. Off-roading is not safe.

Stay on the pavement.

I can compare it to the line from Apocalypse Now: “Never get out of the boat.”

As I drew closer and closer to the canal the roads began to get more and more difficult to discern. Now mind you, I had made the canal run many, many times, but I am a guy who can get lost in his own hometown of Honey Grove Texas, Population 1800. This is a small town, not too many ways to get lost, unless you are real creative. I am real creative.

I came to a point whereby I just could no longer make out the paved road. I took a turn in the general direction of the canal, hoping to pick up the road again after a few minutes. As I was bumping along I noticed one of those landmine signs:

mines

So did my passengers.

They freaked. I suppose this could be considered a normal reaction. They all started jabbering at once. I invited them to shut the hell up, and then I calmly backed the fuck out of the mine field, carefully retracing my inbound route.

Once I got back to the spot where I had obviously taken a wrong turn, I took the other turn and eventually made it to Suez. Picked up the inbound passengers and didn’t even have any shit to clean up in my vehicle, but I think at least one of my passengers had shit his pants.

Now all I had to do was make it back to Base Camp without any more drama. I gave it fifty-fifty.

postcard

Home, Safe Home

More to come on SFM

Here is a related post.

And another “Hello Minefield In The Sand”

And one more here

Thank You For Your Visit.

Comments always welcomed.

Memorial day is coming. We need to remember the Soldiers and our family.

Please take a few moments and read this.

johncoyote

HPNX1058

We need to stop and remember the people missed. Memorial day need to be a day of remembrance and thankfulness.

Shadows of war

A Story by Coyote Poetry

"

War can catch even the cold in heart.

"

Shadows

I was a Soldier for almost 15 years. I volunteered for every dangerous mission you could be part of. The missions were to Africa, Bosnian, Central and South America and Iraq. I had no fear of death. I have seen dead enemy soldiers and the poor innocent civilians in the way of hate and war. I wasn’t effected by war. I was raised in Detroit. I saw my first dead body at four years old.  I watched my uncle died. I was raised with the Vietnam war and body counts were part of my life. My father served in the Korean war and I volunteered for Vietnam at 17 year old. I learn…

View original post 1,332 more words

“Put Your Money On The Table And Drive It Off The Lot”

Uh…

Just to kick this off, Please listen to this bit to get y’all in the mood:

Here is a ‘novel’ approach (Well not really for me)

However maybe for Y’all:

This is a ‘work-in-progress’. Most writers polish, polish, polish, then anguish, anguish, anguish, and then… finally… publish. I subscribe to a slightly different philosophy tenet philosophy: “Just throw it out there and fix it later.” Probably not wise, but what the hell?

Anyway. Yup. This is a ‘work in progress’ (process?) and yes, I do have (buried somewhere in the dank, dark, dank, deep, nether depths of my addled mind) a purpose for this post. And yes, I hope to coax  lure hoist it up to the surface and board  beach land it, still flopping about, right here on this page.

Might be entertaining (or not) to watch the process. And in this vain vein, I am going to keep all the edits here, just as an experiment. A way to look into the my writing/editing process. (“Now damnit, I do hope I can come up with a valid subject to go along with this ‘wonderful’ prose.”)

To (obviously) be continued…Please don’t change touch that dial!

(And, as usual: nothing works if you don’t click the video/sound bite below)

***

Yes.

Moody Blues?

Dare I say?

Genius?

Naw!

Just kids havin’ fun

(We are entitled to fun, eh?)

“Who put those idea’s  ideas in your head?”

And…

“The Pursuit of Happiness”

(I read that somewhere)

“Come on back down to Earth Son!”

P.S. Yes my mind is a terrible thing. And if you have not clicked all the audio, you will lose Karma. Just sayin’…

Here was my mantra during those six months I spent languishing away in Amman Jordan between Iraq gigs:

 

Aw Hell! Thursday is Coming: “Don’t Rain Shit On My Parade”

Three A.M. and I was in the middle of a dream about ‘Shit River’ in Ologapo City, Philippines. (Freud would’ve loved me)

Then I woke up.

Woke up to a very un-dreamy-like smell of real shit. Real potent shit. Horrible smelling shit. Knock a buzzard off a shit wagon smelling shit.

I was living in an old two-story house in Commerce. Just outside my bedroom was the walk-in closet where I kept all the clothes I owned. I have never owned much in the way of clothes, by the way.

I heard something dripping like rain behind the door, but it wasn’t raining outside. I opened the door and sure as shit, shit was raining down from the ceiling.  All over my clothes. Spattering on the floor. My Chow Mix doggie, Tizzy, was obviously responsible.

Chow

I went around the corner, and there  he was  in that dog-taking-a-shit posture at the top of the stairway: Obviously with a really bad case of the doggie drizzling shits.

Took me until seven a.m. to clean up the shit and wash all my clothes.

I called in sick to work telling my boss,

“I feel like shit.”

Daily Lenny: Miami Kidnap

Quite a bit of Yiddish (and Jewish) in this bit.

(love it)

Here ya go:

Young Lenny

And Thanks For Listening

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

Bonus:

Sarah!

tex flag

 

Music on Mondays—I wanna be 16 so I can get me a hot rod

If you are slightly down, listen to these songs. You will recover.
Thanks to Russel!
Great Stuff may be discovered on his page.
I encourage y’all to check it out.
Y’all!

Russel Ray Photos

The Music Chronicles of Russel Ray

When I went to the Cat House on the Kings fundraiser on May 3, Jim and I stayed at a hotel in Visalia on Friday night. Early Saturday morning I went for a walk and found a beautiful 1961 Dodge Polara at the end of the hotel parking lot:

1961 Dodge Polara

The Dodge Polara was introduced in 1960 as Dodge’s top-of-the-line, full size car. I will have more about this specific car in an upcoming post because its history is unique.

For today’s Music on Mondays, though, I thought we would enjoy songs about cars. After all, I do live in Southern California where people have an insane love affair with the automobile. Personally, I prefer the trains….

Since there are so many songs about cars, especially from the ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s, we’ll stick with the 1950s today and save the others for future Music on Mondays posts. All of…

View original post 163 more words

Jury Duty, Texas Style: Sentence

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

Chapter Four

***

All left to do: pronounce sentence.

As it was so late in the afternoon (and we really wanted to score just one more pizza the following day), we retired for the afternoon, to return the next morning. Now, of course I thought we could make quick work of this business and not get any more pizza.

I was mistaken.

First of all, we had to sit in that musty courtroom for an hour or so, listening to the prosecutor drone on about how we needed (our civic duty) to throw the book at this kid whom we had unanimously recently convicted (Hardly unanimous, but hey! Who’s counting?)

Then we had to listen to The Defense chastise us roundly for convicting an innocent (innocent?) man.

Well, the Defense pissed me off. (Yes. My failing, but more on that later. Not something I am proud of today)

After a couple of hours of this, we retired to our ‘chambers’.

The air was not quite as contentious (almost) as it was the previous day, yet…

The minimum sentence we could pronounce was fifteen years.

Straight-away I had a more roundish number in my head: ‘Twenty’.

Hell! He would be out in seven, given good behavior and prison overcrowding.

Once again, Blue-Haired Lady was having none of this. And I did respect her emotion. Yet, damnit! That defense attorney done pissed me off (Shades of Peanut). How dare he say these words he said:

“Well, Ladies and Gentlemen of the ‘jury’ (Yes. Sarcasm was dripping, like something out of a drunken sailor’s mouth) since you have already made one ‘mistake’… do not make yet another, and give this man anything more than the minimum.”

With his sarcasm bouncing around in my head, I was bound and determined ‘he’, he being in my mind, the attorney (what an ignorant fool was I to think in any way that this ‘Council’ gave two shits about his ‘Client’) was going up for twenty and I fiercely lobbied for twenty.

Looking back now, I regret this.

Sincerely regret this.

Fifteen would have sufficed, but I stood firm and played upon the emotions and the exasperation of my fellows and got my wish.

As I said, I regret this now.

We gave him twenty.

Sorry Johnson, wherever you may be.

I am so sorry for tacking on five years for my ego, and only my ego, nothing more.

END

P.S. Writing this has taken much out of me. I had buried it long ago somewhere never to be felt again.

I hope you enjoyed it.

I did not.

tex flag

Just A Note

From My “By Way of Introduction” (About) Page:

“Just For Fun Y’all, I am going to throw a new video (or quote, or some other surprise nonsense) up here everyday. Why? You may ask. 

Because I think an “About Page’ should be ever-changing, just as the Person it is “About” is ever changing.

https://texantales.com/about/

So… here goes for today, May 20th.

Hope you enjoy.

And please follow the Yellow Brick Road above to the About Page.

 

Daily Lenny: “I Am Going To Piss On You”

One may always count on Lenny for a great provocative line.

For your perusal (and enjoyment) here is today’s Daily Lenny:

Piss on You Lenny

More Lenny here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

And yes: you may scroll to infinity….

(That is, if you desire the full benefit)

 

 

 

And Here is a Bonus Track:

Thank Y’all for your visit.

Comments always welcomed.

 

Call of Duty

This is just outstanding!
Check out the original.

I Don't Get It

Jayhawker43-Commencement001

In 1943, the USA was smack dab in the middle of WWII, and graduating college students were faced with the inevitable: enlistment. A cartoon in the Jayhawker magazine shows the four steps awaiting them: graduation and swearing in…

Jayhawker43-Commencement002-1

…securing fatigues and heading into combat.

Jayhawker43-Commencement002

How frustrating it must have been to finally achieve graduation, to fill your head with knowledge, only to head into a war where it may be blown off.

One departing student shared these words:

Jayhawker43-Commencement007

View original post

Jury Duty, Texas Style: Chapter Four

Chapter One

Chapter Two

Chapter Three

****

Putting aside our displeasure with the judge over the denied smoke break, we continued our assessment of the veracity of Mr. Rogers’ testimony.

‘Crew Cut’ said, “I believe the boy. He comes across as honest. And actually, I don’t think he’s smart enough to be deceiving.”

This brought a few groans from around the table.

Crew Cut quickly added, “I don’t mean any disrespect Y’all; I’m just sayin’ he doesn’t seem to have any reason to lie.”

“He do seem kinda ‘simple’ that boy”, Gimmie Cap said. (The irony of his statement did not escape me)
“But what about the girl? Obviously if you believe him, she must be lying about being asleep on the couch,” the mild-mannered elderly gentleman from the far end of the table said.

“I do think she’s lying about that,” I agreed. “But I really don’t think we should invest too much concern on it. I mean, we can speculate as to whether or not she was stepping out on her fiancé, but I still contend that is irrelevant. Look, she is young and probably terrified about her fiancé finding out about that aspect of this mess. I’m of a mind to believe the bulk of her story.”

Kathy (the wife of my old Honey Grove friend from the Seventies) said, “Lance, do you honestly believe she wouldn’t lie about everything to keep from getting caught cheating on her boyfriend? I mean, I’m a woman and you’re not. (Some giggles from the rest). Oh! I didn’t mean it like that. (Kathy was always extremely polite as I did recall). What I mean to say is that yes, she is probably in a panic and probably didn’t want this to go to court and that Rogers may have pushed her into this because he wants his gun back and he has issues with Johnson. That’s all I’m saying.”

Blue Haired Lady (seated next to Kathy) spoke up, “I agree. Not sure I trust Miss Shelton. She tries to come across as a completely innocent victim, but when I look at the young boy, I’m just not sure he is that bad.”

Crew Cut said, “Well, he ain’t THAT young, and his attorney cleaned him up for this trial. Do you suppose he had short hair and wore a suit in his ‘real’ life? What about those tattoos?”

“We’re supposed to forget we saw the tattoos Sir,” I reminded.

“Well, we saw ‘em. And I ain’t forgetting ‘em, and what about his drug abuse?” he shot back.

Blue Haired Lady said, “I just don’t know about that. He may have made some mistakes. He is young. I don’t think drugs have anything to do with this.”

Gimme-Cap says rather agitated, “I think drugs got ever’thang to do with this. Why he needin’ a shotgun in the mid’el of th’ night, huh? Maybe he gonna go rob som’un else? Ever think ah that?”

Another Juror, let’s call him ‘Business Man’, since he was the only one wearing a suit said, “I think we should discuss Johnson’s testimony and get off Mr. Rogers and Miss Shelton for a while.”

“Thank you Sir,” I said. “I agree. Any objections Y’all?” None were forthcoming. “Ok then. Johnson claims he had permission to take the gun, but I’m still bothered by the fact that he did not wait until Rogers was home to come for it. This really bothers me.”

Business Man said, “Yes. That makes no sense. Why would he show up late at night to borrow a gun? Doubtful he was going bird hunting at ten o’clock at night.”

“Maybe he was goin’ coon huntin’,” a forty-something man to my right said.

(Some laughter over that)

“We need to stick to the testimony here folks,” I replied, slightly exasperated. “We will be here for weeks if we start speculating on what his motives were other than what he said they were. So please, let’s just review what we know we heard.”

There was continuing, often heated discussion on Johnson’s testimony when there was a knock on the door. I got up, opened it, and in strode the bailiff carrying an armload of Domino’s Pizza boxes. This was a pleasant surprise.

“Y’all ready for some lunch?” He more announced than asked.

“Hell yeah!” Gimmie Cap exclaimed.

So we dove into the pizza (There was way too much for twelve people—later I found out that the bailiff lived for long jury sessions that required lunch for the jurors, as he loved pizza, and always ordered too much for the jury, and then took what was left home with him.)

As we were eating our pizza and drinking the sodas which were also provided, the talk stayed away from the trial. Folks were just making small talk with some occasional laughter, thus lightening the mood somewhat. I was grateful for this, as there had been a building tension in the air until the pizza showed up.

Pizza dispatched now.

“I really could use a smoke,” Gimme Cap said.

“Me too,” several others agreed in unison.

“Lance,” Kathy said, “Could you send out another message-in-a-bottle to ‘His Honor’?” Her sarcasm made me laugh.

“Yes. I certainly can.”

So I wrote up another note: ‘Smoke Break Respectfully REQUESTED’.

“We’ll see how this flies,” I said after summoning the Bailiff and handing our request to him.

Five minutes later, he appeared at our door directing us to follow him outside, “But don’t talk to nobody ‘long the way,” he instructed with what I can only describe as a ‘Barney Fife Authority-Voice’.

After our return, and with everyone pretty much sated with pizza, coke a cola, and nicotine, we were back to work and pretty certain we all wanted to wrap this up and not spend yet another day. It was about one o’clock in the afternoon.

“Let’s take another poll,” I suggested.

Everyone scratched their votes on little post-it notes and passed them up to me. I read them off as Crew Cut marked down the tally.

The vote had slid toward ‘Guilty’: Ten Guilty, Two Not Guilty.

I suppose that was some progress, but if we were going to wrap this up, obviously there was more work to do.

“I say we take another poll, this time verbal, so we can direct our discussion on the points of disagreement,” Crew Cut announced.

This seemed reasonable to me, so I said to the group, “Does anyone have a problem with this?” I noticed that Blue Haired Lady and Elderly Mild-Mannered Gentleman looked down at their notes, hiding their eyes, but said nothing. “Okay then, since there are not objections, we will go around the table and Y’all can state your vote.”

As I already knew, Blue Haired Lady and Elderly Gentleman had voted ‘Not Guilty’.

Blue Haired Lady’s voice cracked when she verbalized her not guilty vote, so I began with Elderly Gent:

“Sir, please tell us your concerns,” I said.

“Well,” he began. “I had a son. He got involved with drugs while in high school. I tried to help him. Did everything I could. He wasn’t a bad boy, ya know? He was a good kid, but those damn drugs… those damn drugs. Well-Sir, they got into him, into his mind, into his soul. We got him into rehab. He was fine for a spell, then, few weeks after he done with that, he got into some trouble. Not big trouble… he was a good boy, but those drugs… you see…” (At this point he had started to cry). We all listened in respectful silence as he struggled to regain his voice. “You see,” he continued. “Drugs killed my son. I look at that kid out there and I ask myself, if we send him to prison, how will he get any help?”

He broke down after that. Kathy put her arm around him. I just looked over at Crew Cut; our eyes met, and we both shrugged our eyes at each other.

“Let’s take five,” I said. “Have some coffee; stretch our legs.”

So, some got some coffee; a few suggested we request another smoke break (which I vetoed) some just got up and looked out the window.

After we settled back into our seats, I directed my attention to Blue Haired Lady. “Ma’am, would you kindly share your concerns with us?”

“I have a grandson. That boy out there reminds me of him. He is also a good boy. Young, headstrong, but a good boy. I look at Johnson, and wonder if I can take away his prime years. You know prisons in Texas will ruin an otherwise good boy. I think, even if he did this, he deserves a second chance. I mean… he did not harm the girl, did he?”

Gimme Cap, in a sudden burst of philosophy said, “He tortured her in her mental.”

“He has a point,” I said. “That girl is guiltless in this. She has suffered too. She deserves to feel safe. Who is to say, that if we do not punish this young man… Who is to say, how that will affect her? She doesn’t strike me of leaving this area. If we let him slide, she is going to be tormented by the memory of this and trust me: she will suffer anxiety. Does she deserve that? This Johnson, yes he is young, but he has done evil before. We all know this. Do you want to read about him going further at some future date, possible killing someone?”

There were similar sentiments expressed by the other jurors for the next thirty minutes or so. Once everyone had said their piece, I called for another vote. This time all were in agreement except Blue Haired Lady.

We took another short break. I watched as Kathy took her aside in the corner. The others backed away to allow them some privacy. Kathy put her arm around her and was speaking into her eyes. The woman said something and then fell into Kathy’s arms, weeping.

We all looked away respectfully and pretended to be fascinated by something outside the window.

Presently Kathy spoke to the room, “Let’s take another vote Y’all. This time secret ballot.”

Quietly we all sat down and without a word, we wrote our votes on the sticky notes. Once collected, I read them off as Crew Cut recorded the tally: Guilty. Guilty. Guilty. Guilty….times twelve. As I read the last vote I looked up at Blue Haired Lady: she had put her head down on the table and was weeping. Kathy was stoking her hair and speaking softly into her ear.

***

“I am going to summon the Bailiff,” I announced.

The Bailiff came in and handed me a form. I filled it out and returned it to him. Ten minutes later we were summoned into the court room. Taking our seats the Judge asked,

“Mister Foreman, have you reached a verdict?”

“Yes we have, your Honor.”

“Please hand it to the bailiff.”

The bailiff delivered our verdict to the judge. “Will the Defendant please stand.” And he read it off after listing the charges: “Guilty.”

Johnson’s shoulders slumped briefly, then he stood erect and glared coldly and directly at me. I looked directly back into his eyes. He did not blink, and I knew we had reached the right verdict.

*******

The Jury’s Sentence

(Yes: There was some contentious debate)

And Thank You for Reading

This is Directed Toward All My Minority Friends Out There in Radio Land

And No: I am not talking ‘race’ here.

Hell! I don’t even own a Ferrari.

I am talking booze. Talking to the Juicers out there.

Here is my query:

Do you often (more often than not) catch yourself scratching notes?

Dear God

I mean, you have a great idea for a post, but are too inebriated to write it, and too afraid to sleep on it, lest you forget it: Lose it?

So… ya just ‘make a note’.

No matter that you won’t be able to read the note the next day sober, as it only makes sense when you are drunk–now therein lies that ‘Catch-22’, but at least you made the effort.

Right?

Right?

Talk to me Peeps!

(I really do not wanna be alone with this one.)

Cheers,

Lance

P.S.

Yes, I am a Socialist, Humanist, and All-Around Nice-Guy. i.e.,

I won’t let my dog shit on your driveway.

And Hey!

Thanks for stopping by.

We do hope you have enjoyed your time here.

tex flag

 

Daily Lenny: Hubert’s Museum

Here is a Daily Lenny for Y’all

Peace, Beers, and Cheers.

Freak_show_1941

More Lenny (and Sarah) Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

Diva

Jesus visits Sarah

Knickers

Perfect Night

And as always: Thank You for Visiting My Humble Blog.

Sarah Hates Knickers (And Kikes)

Sarah is the New Lenny (In female form)

Who says there ain’t no such thing as reincarnation?

Here Ya Go:

“You think I’m gonna sit here and smile while some fuckin’ kike tries to fuck my mother?”

–American History X

More Sarah Here:

Perfect Night

Diva / Cunt (Madonna / Whore)

Jesus Christ Visits Sarah

Thanks for your visit

 

 

 

Y’all Know…

I read something recently on one of my favorite blogs:

http://aussalorens.com/2014/05/16/in-the-dark-we-can-barely-see-the-outline-of-a-lion/

“Hard to believe, but apparently this is my 100th post. 100 times I have hit “Publish” and felt that “oh my gosh… they’re going to think I’m a total weirdy” sort of feeling. 100 times I have hit “Publish” and then immediately seen a typo and been like “No, wait, go back! Flux capacitor, back!”

Now, Y’all know I have fawned over Aussa’s site before. (And of course, as long as I have breath in my body, I will continue to do so, ’cause she is just that good.)

But, Y’all know: this ain’t my point this eve.

My point is, I think I have posted more than Two Hunnerd Fifty Posts since end-of-january.

No Brag; Just Fact.

And of course, most were mere bullshit.

In studying Aussa’s site, I am beginning to realize…  You really do not have to post sumthin’ ever’day to keep readers.

You just have to ensure what you post is worth reading.

Boils down to one (two) paralyzed fact(s):

“Post Quality, not Quantity”

Or, if you will: “Don’t Shit Where You Eat.”

i.e., “Post Quality Lance! Do it! Do it for the Children!”

Okay: That may have been ‘three’

Take Yer pick.

Thank You Aussa.

P.S. That was not near enough approaching the piercing eloquence I wanted to convey, but ‘Twill serve–I hope.

 

Jury Duty, Texas Style, Part Three

Part One

Part Two

****

So now we had to get down to figuring out who was lying and who was telling the truth. Straightaway we decided that both sides were lying to some certain extent. For one thing, Miss Shelton had testified that she was asleep on the couch when Johnson burst in. Her testimony occurred before Mr. Rogers had been called in to testify and he had not heard it. He was asked by the defense,

“Mr. Rogers, where was Miss Shelton when you left on your trip to the liquor store?”

“In the bed,” he said without any hesitation whatsoever, as if everyone should have known this.

“Mr. Rogers, How many beds do you have in your trailer?”

“Just one,” he answered.

“So Mr. Rogers, Miss Shelton was in your bed when you left?”

“Yes Sir.”

“No further questions at this time, Your Honor. But I reserve the right to recall the witness.”

He continued, “Now I would like to call Miss Shelton back to the stand Your Honor.”

Rogers stepped down and Shelton took the stand, admonished that she was still under oath.

“Miss Shelton,” he began, “Was it not your sworn testimony that you were sleeping on the couch when the defendant allegedly ‘broke in’ to the trailer?”

“Yessir,” she responded, almost inaudibly, while studying the floor.

“Then how do you explain the testimony of Mr. Rogers, stating you were in his bed?”

“Uh…” she spoke rapidly now, “I was in his bed for just a little while, but only because I was a little drunk and he said I should lie down… in his bed while he went to the store… He said I would sleep better there…”

“So you were in his bed when the defendant arrived?”

“Oh no! I had done woke up and moved to the couch to watch some TV and then I fell back asleep.”

“By your own admission, you were in a drunken stupor, yet you decided to get up and watch… some TV?”

“Yessir.”

“And what, Miss Shelton, were you watching on TV?”

“I don’t remember.”

“Is it conceivable, Miss Shelton, that you were having a sexual relationship with Mr. Rogers, and having been discovered by the defendant, you and Mr. Rogers decided to implicate him in a robbery to cover up your illicit affair?”

“Objection!” Yelled the prosecutor. “This has no relevance to the complaint.”

“Sustained,” said the judge.

***

So we kicked that bit about for a while. I suggested that I agreed it was irrelevant and nobody’s business if she were ‘cheating’ on her fiancé. Roughly one third of the jury disagreed with me. And they had some good points vis-à-vis her credibility. If she had perjured herself on that, how much of her story could we believe?

My argument was that it was perfectly understandable that a young woman would try to cover that up, given the fact that she was, in fact engaged. Furthermore, I went on, she is not on trial here for her ‘alleged’ infidelity. Does not change the facts regarding assault and robbery. I got some harsh push back on that.

‘Crew Cut’ (who was initially against the defendant) began to waiver:

“You know,” he said. “If she is lying about that, good chance she is lying about everything else.”

(‘Oh please!’ I remember thinking, ‘Please do not tell us she needs to ‘Find Jesus’ too.’)

I argued that I could forgive her that one perjury, given her circumstance.

No sale.

“Okay,” I said. “Let’s shelve that one for the time being and move on. We can come back to it later.”

All agreed.

One of the jurors, a thirty-ish guy, who wore a John Deer gimme-cap with dirty blond hair poking out from either side piped up and said,

“Why d’y’all suppose Johnson waited until Rogers was not home to fetch the gun he was supposed to have permission to borrow? He had to had know’d Rogers weren’t home. I mean, his truck was gone, Right? Would you just go ta sumbody’s house late at nite, and git a gun without them a-bein’ there? Did he say he had a key? Doan think so. I thank he done was watchin’ to see when Rogers left, then went in ta steal that gun an’ whut-ever else he wanted.”

This, we all agreed, was a valid point.

We turned our attention back to the photos of the door, but really still could not come to any consensus as to whether or not the door appeared to have been kicked in or just a victim of ‘Trailer-Trash’ living. So we threw the photo evidence  out of our deliberations.

Putting aside the testimony of Johnson and Miss Shelton for a while, we discussed in some length the testimony (and more importantly) the persona and character of Mr. Rogers. Most did agree that out of the three, he came across as the most genuine, most affable,  and most believable.

Fully half of the jury members were smokers and they begged me to send a note to the judge via the bailiff, asking permission for a smoke break. I scribbled out a note:

“Your Honor, we respectfully request to be allowed a cigarette break.” I opened the door, motioned to the bailiff and handed him the note.

Five minutes later, he returned my note to me, with the judge’s hand-written response Sharpie written in the bottom:

NO.”

OK, now we were pissed; We were really pissed at his curt response; even the non-smokers were pissed, as we had all begun to bond by this point, and we were stressed.

More to come… here

Thanks for reading.

Daily Lenny: A Perverse Act, Pissing in the Sink

C’mon Guys (and Gals) fess up: Have you ever pissed in a sink?

I know I have.

More Lenny Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/

Related: Please Don’t Shit in my Shower

Thanks for visiting.

 

This Never Got Any Play: The Snapping Turtles Part Probably Killed It…

And Probably ‘Cause it’s Eight Miles High

(And almost as long as the video)

So skip the vid; pour yourself a breakfast beer and please read the story.

(You will rack up mega-karma if you do)

Camping with Gene, Peanut, and the Signifying Monkey. Running the Trotline. And of the Sisters I Brought to the Soirée

Continuation of The Bow Fishing post…

One Saturday afternoon much later that spring, Peanut and Gene flushed me out of the old Pool Hall which was located on Sixth Street in a rundown building just off the square in Honey Grove.pool-hall

“We’re goin’ camping out to The Lake,” Peanut announced. “You gonna come, or what?”

“Kinda short notice,” I said. “I don’t know. It’s Saturday afternoon, and soon it’ll be Saturday Night, and I was gonna get dressed up and go ‘Dear’ Hunting.”

“Okay, fine then,” Peanut said gruffly. “You go chasin’ tail, but I doubt you’ll catch any. If you change your mind, we’ll be at the old boat ramp. Just don’t show up empty-handed. Me and Gene got all the gear and food an’ shit, but you gotta bring something if you wanna join us. Them what works, and brings, eats.”

A word about Gene here: He was also a sophomore, like Peanut, but to look at him, you’d think him more a junior, or maybe even a senior on a rough day. He stood about six-three and weighed probably two-ten; a big guy. He had slightly long (in the style of The Seventies) red hair and a rugged looking, yet somewhat boyish face, rolled into one. His speech was slow and deliberate. And rare. But he was not ‘slow.’ He had an intelligence and a manner I found most admirable. Not really what one would call a ‘gentle giant,’ but close. He was never boastful, as Peanut and I were often wont to be. I never saw anyone cross Gene, save for a few idiots from out of town, and much to their misfortune.

“Okay, fair enough,” I said and went back in to my game of Nine-Ball.

The Pool Hall (Euphemistically, it was “The Honey Grove Gaming Center”) was not an establishment that most parents allowed their kids to frequent. It was seedy & sleazy and much gambling went on there. Of course I loved it. I didn’t consider hustling pool as gambling per se. To me it was just a way to supplement my other sources of income: working for a local rancher, building fences, or hauling hay. A vocation, if you will, but also a very pleasing avocation as well.

The building was a ramshackle place, and that is kind. Upon entering one’s eyes had to take a minute to adjust. The majority of the light came from the fixtures which hung closely over the four pool tables, giving the place an almost cave-like ambiance, or perhaps, more accurately, an opium den. The tables were antique: Not the coin operated kid’s toy tables one usually finds in bars these days. These were regulation-size, with three-quarter inch slate: good solid tables, level and with good, reliable banks for those who could make a decent bank or rail shot.

Cigarette smoke would hang in the air, swirled about slightly by a couple of lethargic ceiling fans. There was a juke box; seems like most of the time it was on the fritz. Just as well, for on a Saturday night when the joint was hopping, no one could have heard the music anyway. The place would get rowdy and much (usually) good-natured shit would be talked and wolf-tickets sold and bought and bartered without pause.

There were two pinball machines in a little cubical-like area just to the left side of the entrance, but of course these weren’t the main attraction and rarely got any play. There was a counter of sorts where one could ‘settle up’ for the cost of playing pool (Ninety-nine percent of the activity was nine-ball, a ‘money game.’) Rarely did anyone play eight-ball—took too long to finish and too long for money to change hands. The charge for a game of Nine-Ball was ten cents. In Nine-Ball, the nine and the five are the ‘money’ balls and one must pocket all the balls in rotation, or if opportunity presented, the skillful player could make a combination shot of, for example, striking the next ball in numbered succession into the money ball, pocketing it and winning the money. The usual bet was one dollar on the five and two or three on the nine. If I were able to clear ten or fifteen dollars on a Saturday night, I was happy and sated. Rarely did I lose, but the competition was brutal (there were many very adept pool players in HG back then), and more than once I lost more money than I wish to recount here.

The owner/proprietor of the joint was a one-armed man who was not ‘from’ Honey Grove. No one seemed to know exactly where he came from, and I really don’t recall anyone else ever running the pool hall, but certainly it had been there for some years. This gentleman was a true hustler and a true gambler. (He would bet on which of two cockroaches crossing the floor would make it out of sight first, or on anything else which had an outcome not clearly discernible. And the SOB always won.) But his passion was not hustling pool, betting on roaches, nor even running his pool hall:

He could play golf.

Hard to believe I know, but this guy, using his one arm, could beat the socks off most two-armed golfers, as so many discovered to their amazement and to the lightening of their wallets.

This particular Saturday afternoon, the hall was mostly empty and I was, in fact, just killing time. I started thinking about the camping trip and considered joining Gene and Peanut right then, but changed my mind. Saturday nights in HG back then, were often laden with opportunity for fun, mischief, girls, and Sin. At the risk of sounding somewhat prejudicial, I will state that my town had the best looking girls in Fannin County. The main venue for activity was Main Street, cruising up and down (American Graffiti? Not exactly, but a similar, if slightly scaled down, low-budget version…) or parking on the town square, drinking beer. (And such)

Having grown bored with the inactivity, read ‘lack of action’ in the pool hall; I got into my ’68 Plymouth station wagon and drove the half-mile to my house. I suppose it was about five in the afternoon. As usual, I was almost late for supper. My step-mother was standing over a skillet stirring something that smelled almost good enough to eat, as she alternately took drags off a Benson & Hedges and swigs from a can of Coors. Daddy was sitting at our little dinette table half-watching TV and half-reading a book.

Madelyn appeared and said, “You set and I’ll clear.”

So I set the table and presently we all sat down for our Norman Rockwell.

Happy to have done the setting duties, freeing me to leave as soon as the meal was over, I ate quickly, then showered, dressed and bounded down the stairs from the third floor. But just before I left, I told Gloria not to expect me home that night, as I was going camping out at The Lake. (There are several lakes in Fannin County, Texas, but if you have been kind enough to read my Post ‘Bow Fishing,’ you will no doubt know that My Crowd only considered Lake Coffeemill worth ‘dipping a toe in’, metaphorically, of course.)

“You don’t look dressed for camping,” she said. “You look more like dressed for carousing.”

“Gonna camp at the ‘Proper’ Camping Grounds: High Class Crowd there.” I smart-assed as I hit the back door and split before she could say anything else.

(And I wonder now why she and I never got along…)

Happy and proud of myself for having escaped so blithely, I quickly reviewed what little plans I had for the evening. First of all, I needed to procure some beverage. The legal drinking age had been lowered in Texas from twenty-one to eighteen. (Mainly, I think, because of Viet Nam and the draft age). I wasn’t eighteen, but I had a fake ID that said I was. It was a pretty good fake too. Good enough to get me into the bars in Commerce, and more important for this particular night, good enough to allow me to purchase some beverage from a package store in Ladonia. As wonderful as HG could be on any given Saturday Night, beverage or herb (or both) was always required. (I was hoping Gene & Peanut at least had some herb. The beverage at least, I could provide).

I headed south.

The Mission to Ladonia and back took about thirty-five minutes. I purchased a bottle of Jim Beam, a case and a half of Coors (“In the Bottle”), four bags of ice, and several packs of Marlboros for Peanut. (He loved his ‘Cowboy Killers’ but never seemed to have the foresight to fetch enough along to sustain him. As I recall, Gene loved them too. I didn’t smoke—cigarettes—back then.)

At this point, I wasn’t entirely certain I was actually going to meet them at the Lake, but in case I did decide to, I didn’t want to show up not bearing ‘gifts.’ Besides, the ‘gifts’ would keep for later, if I chose not to go.

I arrived back in HG and things did seem promising: Lots of folks on the square, and a reasonable amount of traffic up and down Main Street.

I parked on The Square.

There were some of the usual suspects parked there already. Across the street, The Grove Theater (The Last Picture Show…) seemed to be popular as well. I opened a beer and turned up KLIF on the car radio. Chicago was singing Colour My World. I always hated that song, so I switched the station, and got Crimson & Clover. Gag! So I just turned the damn thing off.

hayhook

I saw ‘Nubbin Kileen’ the world-famous hay-hauler, pull up in his Forties’ era flat-bed hay-truck. He climbed out, wearin’ chaps, Holy blue jeans, a beat up old straw hat and holding a hay hook in his right hand, as if it were an extension of his arm, permanently affixed. He looked about spent (or drunk)—or both. He also sported long, filthy hair (still bits of hay stuck in it); he reminded me of perhaps a cheap imitation of Bob Dylan in later years. I sauntered over to talk to him, as he was a legend, and I was hoping to haul hay with him as soon as school was out in a few weeks.

hay truck

“Hey Nubbin, how’s it going?” I asked cheerfully.

“Mainly just goin’. How yew?”

“Good enough, I guess. You gonna need a good hay-hand in a few weeks?” I asked expectantly.

“Might. One I got now ain’t worth a cup of spit, to tell you the truth.”

“Just so happens I’m available.”

“Yeah Kid, you done told me before. You a good hay hand?” He didn’t seem too enthusiastic.

“Yeah, I am.”

“Ok. Come find me when yer school’s out. We’ll see.”

Well Hot Damn! At least he didn’t say ‘no.’

I wandered about the various cars parked on the square and shot-the-shit with the local color. There was Calvin, Crabby, Jackie, Donna, Gina, (all older, but ‘old’ friends of mine). There were of course, several high school representatives there as well. I think Kim, Byron, Sheila, Bob, and quite a few others for certain, but memories fade and there were much comings and goings and ‘doings’.

Some were drinking; some were smoking; some were ‘doing’.

Just your typical Saturday Night, HG, Texas.

After spending some time on The Square and catching up on the Counter Culture, I fired up my chariot and made a few circuits up and down Main, which meant east to the DQ, then back west to the ‘Two-Mile Turn.’

Rinse & Repeat.

During one leg of my journey, I saw a couple of cars parked at Jack Self’s service station (It was no longer Jack’s at that time, but it somehow managed to retain the name.)

I pulled in to discover Beverly and Linda in one car talking through rolled down windows to a couple of guys from out of town in the other. (Bonham, I judged from the smell.) Beverly was about my age, Linda, a bit younger. Beverly was a slightly slim and petite red-head who was working on a faint moustache. Linda was, shall we say, slightly ‘chunky’ but very cute. She was a brunette with dark eyes and a permanent pouty look. Peanut was a sometime interest of Bev’s and the feeling was mutual.

Sometimes.

Linda… well, as I said, she was cute, although she never said much. Beverly often said too much. Hard to believe these two were sisters, but there you go. Maybe they had different daddies, or different mothers, or maybe they were adopted from different orphanages. I really didn’t know much about them, other than they went to school at Fannindel High in Ladonia even though I believe they lived closer to Honey Grove. They could not usually be found hanging out with the crowd I usually hung out with, but they were known about town and I liked them both. Honey Grove did not necessarily have classes, or castes, but there definitely was some prejudice, which boiled up in our little melting pot from time to time. I’d like to say I was guiltless of this myself, but that would be an untruth, although generally I was more immune to the tendency than a lot of folks.

I got out of my car and walked over to the girls.

“Hey Y’all! I said in a mustered up authoritative voice, “Daddy told me to come find y’all and fetch you on home. He says you’d better get your butts back right now, or he’s coming to town to find you hisself.” Then I added ominously, “An’ he been drinkin’ a little bit.”

The two Bonham-ites took that as their cue to exit stage left and promptly did just that.

“Hiya Lance! You’re a funny guy.” Bev laughed after Bonham sped off in a cloud of dust and gravel, heading west.

“What’re y’all up to this evening?” I asked, in my ‘normal’ voice, ever so cool.

“Aw Hell! Ya know ain’t nothin’ to be up to in this town,” Bev answered for them both.

“Yeah, not much to do in this one horse, one-traffic-light town, eh?”

“You said it.” Bev concurred.

“Listen Y’all; there’s a party out at Lake Coffeemill. (Medium white lie—there would be a party once we got there) I am heading there now. Wanna come along?”

Now, I know most good girls in HG would beg off, protesting they could not stay out all night, but I knew for a fact that these two could (and would), if the idea were presented in the right manner.

Bev said, “Uh, I don’t know… Who’s gonna be there?”

“Well, so far just us… and a few other folks, but there should be a good many more by the time we get there. I’ve been riding around town all evening letting everyone know about it. (Yes, another lie) Nothing fancy mind you; just camping out and stuff like that.”

She looked skeptical. “Who is ‘some other’ folks and what kinda stuff?” she asked.

“Well, Peanut and Gene, and I think Bob and some others… You know. Just stuff. Kid-Stuff,” I said, rather over-proud of my ‘eloquence.’

“Peanut is there?”

Suddenly I had her interest.

“Uh yeah, most definitely. He and Gene went out this afternoon to get everything ready.”

“You got anything to drink?”

“Bev, who do you think you’re talking to?”

“Ok,” she said to me. Then to Linda, “Get your stuff and lock up the car; we’re goin’ camping.”

Linda, quiet up to this point (as I intimated: the girl was shy) said, “Ya sure Bev?”

“Hell yes, I’m sure. Come on now.”

The three of us piled into the front seat of my station wagon, Linda seated next to me, and we pulled out of the gas station. I always had the back seat of my station wagon folded down and kept an 84-quart red & white Igloo cooler directly behind the front seat, thus limiting my passenger capacity to two. Bev reached back and opened the Pandora’s Box (I didn’t mind her not asking; they were both my guests after all). She perused the contents, saw the whiskey and the beer, then frowned.

“Hey! Didn’t you get no coke to mix with this Jim Beam?”

“Hell Bev!” I said. “That would never have occurred to me.”

“No good. Get to the DQ before they close so we can get some cokes to mix with this.”

texdq

“Yes Ma’am,” As I turned the car around and headed in the opposite direction we needed to be heading.

Got to keep the Ladies satisfied.

While at the DQ, I bought a big bag-full of tacos and burgers along with the cokes (Just in case Peanut and Gene had forgotten to fetch along any meat in the likely event they didn’t manage to catch any fish or shoot any squirrels for supper.)

Prudently, I had decided to take the easy route to Coffeemill this time, so after the DQ we headed back west to the Two-Mile Turn and took FM 1396 north past Allen Chapel & then FM 2029 towards Telephone. This meant we wouldn’t have to cross the Bois d’Arc Bridge in darkness. A bridge who’s benevolence (or lack thereof) I was never anxious to tempt, day or night.

We rode along in the night listening to WLS Chicago on the radio, a station one could usually only pick up late at night. They played pretty decent music then. Not much Bee Gees or similar crap, at least not late at night anyway. Mostly Led Zeppelin, CCR, Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young, some of the ‘good’ Chicago—mostly stuff that didn’t make me nauseous. Bev played bartender and poured up a couple of bourbon and cokes for her and Linda. I stuck with Coors. The night was pitch-black and I didn’t want to screw up and miss any of the several turns we would have to make. There is nothing darker than a country road in Texas on a moonless night and my navigation skills were never worth a damn. I successfully found the road leading toward Coffeemill. Late at night, it is an eerie drive. The road is narrow with solid trees on both sides, some hanging over the road. It was as if we were entering a tunnel or a cave even. We bounced along this road and eventually came to the turn-off down to The Lake, where I expected to find Gene and Peanut decently and properly camped. As the trees thinned and we neared the boat ramp, I could make out their camp fire. I pulled up and parked beside Peanut’s ‘Jalopy du Jour.’ There was an empty boat trailer hitched to it. Occasionally, Peanut could talk his daddy out of permission to take the old Jon Boat out to the lake.

I saw the glow of two faces in the campfire and could make out two small pup tents in the shadows behind them. They had lit up a Coleman lantern and on the other side of the fire it was hanging from the skinny limb of a small tree—precariously—but adequately illuminating the rest of the ‘camp.’ There were cooking utensils piled up by the tree: pots and pans, a cutting board and some knives on top of a beer cooler, a couple of plastic buckets, some rods and reels, another beer cooler (this one Styrofoam), an axe protruding from another small tree nearby, a rifle (probably a .22), a shotgun, and various and other sundry items strewn about.

“Welcome to ‘Camp Grenada’,” I said to the girls as we piled out of the car.

Peanut and Gene got up to greet us.

“Hey Many-Feet! You done made it after all!” Peanut shouted.

“Who’s that you got with ya?” Gene added.

“Well, y’all told me to bring something, so I brought along these two; figured you boys done had supper, so here I am with dessert.”

Beverly snapped, “That ain’t funny Lance!”

“Hey! That’s Bev and looks like that there’s Linda! Hiya Ladies!” Peanut said with an earnest exuberance as he walked over toward us.

Gene ambled on over as well. “Ya fetch along anything else?”

“Of course,” I said as I pitched the bag of Marlboros to Peanut. “Grab my igloo outta the car there. Oh and grab that DQ bag while you’re at it, would ya?”

It generally took two men to get my cooler out of the car when full of ice and beer, but I knew Gene didn’t need any help, so Peanut, the girls, and I walked over to the campfire and sat down around it. The nights still had some chill in them and the fire was welcoming. Presently Gene stumbled on over with my giant igloo and the DQ bag with the tacos and burgers clinched between his teeth. He set the cooler down with a loud ‘thump!’ and I could hear the beer and ice sloshing around inside accompanied by that tinkling sound bottles make when colliding into each other.

“Hey! Easy there Big Fella; don’t want you bruisin’ the booze,” I said.

He set the bag of food on the ground and said, “Damn ‘Feet, what all ya got in there?”

“Just your basic Beam & Beer,” I said, as he opened the cooler, peering inside.

“Well, I guess now we can stay ‘til Monday, if we’re a-mind to; we’re stocked up real good,” he said in his usual deadpan.

Gene had an appetite that was famous. I have personally witnessed him go through two DQ Dudes, a half-dozen tacos, two orders of fries, and wash it all down with two chocolate milkshakes at the Dairy Queen and then ask me if I were going to finish the onion rings I had left neglected on my plate. I also knew that he was permanently banned from the ‘Wednesday All-You-Can-Eat Catfish Nights’ at the other local greasy-spoon in Honey Grove.

His eyes lit up as he opened the DQ bag.

We passed around the tacos and burgers and beers, laughing and joking as we ate and drank. At that moment, sitting around that fire, there was no place on Earth I’d have rather been.

Immediately after the food was finished, four cigarettes were simultaneously (spontaneously?) ignited around me.

“Hey, am I the only one here who cares about his health?”

Beverly reached into her jacket and handed me a joint.

“Here Darlin’. This won’t hurt ya none.”

I lit the joint, took a drag and passed it to Linda, and watched as it made its way around to the rest of my ‘two-fisted smoker’ friends.

Growing mellow, yet still energetic, we laughed and joked some more around the campfire.

“So tell me Guys,” I broached. “What’ve you done all day, besides set up this camp and drink beer?” (Peanut had provided what beer they had, but they were desperately ‘low’ when I arrived with the Girls, in the nick of time, so to speak; not unlike the cavalry, or more accurately, and properly, The Texas Rangers)

Gene chimed in, “We set a good trotline, ‘bout a hundred foot. We been catching some brim and used them for bait. Probably should run that line tonight, but I suppose it’ll keep ‘til morning, if it has to.”

Gene gravitated toward ‘serious’ when it came to campin’, fishin’, and huntin’. Not that Peanut and I didn’t; we were just a bit more ‘lazy-faire’ and casual in the execution of same.

“Still got any of those brim left?” I asked. “You know, for re-baiting the trot line tomorrow.” Trying to show Gene I could occasionally be somewhat serious when ‘talkin’ ‘bout fishin’ and such.

“Yeah, we got some in a brim basket, tied to the boat over yonder,” he answered, pointing into the darkness in the general direction of the boat ramp.

“We used the basket instead of a stringer.” Peanut elaborated. “Don’t want no moccasins eatin’ up our bait.”

“Yeah, lots O’ moccasin ‘round here,” I said. And Peanut and I laughed, sharing our private ‘Moccasin Memories.’

snake

Linda and Bev said almost in unison, “I don’t like snakes!”

Gene, Peanut, and I laughed, also in unison.

I put my arm around Linda, who had actually become somewhat glued to me since we first got into my car, and said, “Don’t worry Honey, Peanut will protect you; he ain’t scared of snakes.”

More laughter from Peanut.

Gene rolled his eyes.

I had noticed a VW van parked a ways down when the Girls and I had driven in, but had forgotten to ask about it.

“Boys,” I said, “Anybody else camping here right now?”

“Two guys and two gals, probably college preppies,” Peanut spat. “They tried to set up close to us here, but we ‘discouraged’ ‘em off. Now they are down the end of the camp grounds over yonder,” as he pointed into the night, in the opposite direction Gene had pointed to about the brim basket.

We smoked another joint and drank a few more beers and we were all getting sleepy.

So I said, “We’re turning in. ‘G’night, Y’all.”

I wasn’t really sure about the other sleeping arrangements, and I really didn’t want to be the one sorting that out, so I just took Linda by the hand and led her to my station wagon. With the back seat down and the Igloo cooler removed, there was plenty of room in the back for us to sleep out of the chill. I always kept a quilt rolled up in my car for just such an occasion. We situated ourselves in the back of my car. I assumed Bev and Peanut would crash in one tent, and Gene, well, looked like he was gonna be ‘Odd Man Out’ in the other tent.

Sorry ‘bout that Gene…

***************

I was awakened by the sound of an ax repeatedly and incessantly striking hard wood: “Thunk! Thunk! Twap!”

Bleary-eyed, I gazed out of the car. There was Gene, vigorously going at it. Beside me Linda stirred, moaned, opened her eyes slightly, and then pulled the quilt over her head. I crawled out of the car and stood barefoot beside it, shivering in the early morning air. The sun was up, but not by much. I judged it to be about six o’clock.

Damn! But it was a fine morning! The air was clean and fresh with not a cloud in the sky. I searched about and found my socks and boots. I saw Peanut’s head poke out from inside his tent and I’m pretty certain he looked worse than I felt. But youth quickly mends bleary-eyed, hung over young souls.  He squinted in my general direction and disappeared back into the tent.

Gene continued his travail and I walked over to what was left of the previous night’s campfire, squatted down and poked about absent-mindedly in the remaining embers with a small stick. Gene walked over and dumped on some wood, scattering ash and creating a small cloud of ‘fire flies’ attacking my face, saying nothing.

I stood up, walked over to the Igloo and fished out a bottle of Coors. The icy cold water shocked my hands. I sat down on the cooler, opened the beer (The hair of some dog), and began trying to wash the cotton out of my mouth. I looked over and saw Peanut standing one-legged in front of his tent, now struggling with his boots. He fell backwards on his ass and cussed under his breath. He continued with his boots whilst seated there ignominiously.  There was no sign of his ‘Pocahontas’.

After successfully donning his footwear, he ambled over to the now smoldering fire.

“Move your butt; I lost somethin’ in that cooler last night,” he said as I stood up, opened the cooler and handed him a beer.

“This what you’re looking for?” I asked.

“Yup. Gracias,” he said and sat down on the other cooler by the fire.

We continued sipping our beer while watching Gene chop still more firewood. He brought several arm loads over, dropping them beside us, and with each load, glared at us more intently.

“Guess we need to feed that boy, ‘fore he gets testy,” Peanut said as he tossed aside his now empty beer bottle.

Peanut was what one might call a ‘Gourmet Camp Cook.’ He proceeded to busy himself with a frying pan, bacon, some potatoes, and finally some eggs. The bacon and potatoes, he skillfully cooked together, then poured the mixture onto a plate and made quick work of scrambling three or four eggs in the grease which remained. He added these to the plate and yelled to Gene who had gone off to check (I suppose) on the brim they had left in the basket the day before.

“Yo, Gene! Come… an’… get it!” Peanut yelled over his shoulder, somewhat mockingly.

Gene appeared, and after handing the plate to him, he returned to his cooking duties, but slightly less hurried and slightly less harrowed now.

As he was cooking up more breakfasts, I went to rouse the girls. Linda was still out of it, but I managed to get her out of the car. Sleepy-eyed, she joined Peanut in the ‘kitchen’ as I went to check on Bev. Beverly was stirring, but still not fully conscious, but eventually she came to join us, sitting down by the fire and lighting a cigarette.

After we all had a bit of breakfast, Peanut served up some coffee he had been boiling on the edge of the fire. We laced it with bourbon and sugar and it wasn’t half-bad. In fact it was, as Gran’ma used to say, ‘Larapin.’

Gene announced with some authority that it was time to run the trotline.

We all walked toward where the Jon Boat was ‘moored’ on the bank, half in, and half out of the water. Peanut grabbed the .22 rifle, Gene grabbed one of the buckets, and I grabbed a beer.

Trotlines in Texas are for catching catfish—nothing else. This is their purpose; however they also and with too much regularity, catch snapping turtles, water moccasins, and fishing boat outboard motors.

trotline

Peanut boarded first and sat down astern; Beverly followed and sat beside him. I got in next and sat down amidships. Gene shoved us off and jumped into the bow as the boat slid into the lake.

Linda said, “No thanks. I can’t swim,” and walked back toward our camp.

Just as well, the boat was probably overloaded enough as it was.

Gene got us turned around using the paddle and we eased out toward a dead tree about fifteen yards offshore where the trotline was tied.  He snagged it and we began running the line. Clorox bottles were attached and floated at intervals ending at another dead tree about thirty yards from the first. It would not be necessary to paddle anymore, since we could just pull the boat along the line, checking and re-baiting (and hopefully unhooking… fish) as we went along toward the other tree.

“Feel anything tugging on the line?” Peanut asked Gene.

“Yeah.”

He pulled up a decent sized catfish on the first hook in the series and so it looked to be a promising run from the start.

Gene de-hooked the catfish, carefully avoiding the needle sharp pectoral spines which can cause much misery to the neophyte or careless trotline runner. Peanut reached over the side into the brim basket retrieving one of the palm-sized still wiggling fish. He pitched it to me.

“Cut that in half so Gene can re-bait the hook,” he said.

“Be happy to; hand me the knife,” I replied.

“You didn’t bring no knife?”

“No,” I said. “I thought you, being ‘James Bowie’ ‘an all, always kept a knife on ya.”

“Well shit!” He shot back. “Do I have ta do ever’thang? Gene, you got a knife on ya?”

“Nope, got no knife neither,” Gene said in monotone.

“Well I’ll be Goddamn-go-to-hell!” Peanut said. “Now we gotta paddle all the way back to camp and get a God-damn knife.”

“No need,” I said, and proceeded to bite the head off the brim and hand the headless thing, still wiggling in its dying throes, to Gene. “There ya go Podner, cut bait or fish; your choice.”

I thought Beverly was going to lose her breakfast and Gene and Peanut were going to laugh themselves overboard.

“Many-Feet,” Peanut managed to choke out between his laughter, “You are-one-crazy-son-of-a-bitch!”

Historically, when the three of us got together, whether it be in a honkytonk ‘Cross the River’ in Oklahoma, or in a bar in Commerce, or camping here at Coffeemill, things always tended to turn a little bit ‘crazed and demented’.

Anti-social, unacceptable behavior that we would not exhibit individually became de rigueur when we three were together. We had recently been ‘perma-banned’ from two bars in Commerce for some of our antics, but as Commerce had many bars (no less than a baker’s dozen at any given time), we really didn’t care much. Bars came and went with regularity in Commerce during The Seventies, with only a few (The Showdown, Bar G, Electric Circus, The Mug, and The Icehouse) ever sustaining any longevity. The two we were thrown out of actually didn’t last long after we could no longer frequent them. Looking back, I’d have to say these bars may have made it, if they hadn’t banished some of their best customers.

We continued running the trotline and I continued to ‘cut’ bait. The run was going along swimmingly and we had about ten pounds of channel cat on our stringer when Gene said,

“Uh, I think this line’s snagged.” Then added quickly, “Nope. It’s movin’ now; somethin’ big an’ heavy.”

“Well, pull it up then!” Peanut yelled.

Cowboy-Snapping-turtle

Gene stood up, tipping the boat dangerously to starboard, and put his back into it. The business end of the biggest snapping turtle I had ever seen broke the surface and Gene, full of adrenalin and obviously not thinking, hoisted it into our little boat.

This turtle was pissed off.

Severely.

It started thrashing about and managed to unhook itself.

Now we had a situation.

I don’t know if there are many animals more dangerous to have on-board a small Jon Boat than a pissed off snapper; possibly perhaps a cotton mouth, or a bull-shark, or a Tasmanian Devil, but none else come immediately to mind.

Peanut grabbed the rifle and was about to shoot the damn thing when Gene and I both yelled,

“Don’t shoot it!” (Neither I nor Gene trusted his aim in the rocking & rolling Whirling Dervish the boat had suddenly become).

Beverly stood up and started screaming. I kept my eyes on the turtle since he was facing me, snapping at my ankles. I kicked him with the heel of my boot, but that just pissed him off more. I grabbed the paddle and tried to push him away. He locked onto it with a crunch. I pulled back but as snapping turtles are prone to do, he held it fast. I succeeded only in pulling his head out a ways from his shell, exposing his neck.

“Why doncha just bite his head off Many-Feet?” Peanut snapped from behind me.

snapper

“Very funny asshole!” I shot back, earnestly preoccupied with my tug-of-war with the turtle.

At least he was now engrossed with the paddle and not my leg. It was a bit of a Mexican Standoff.

“Gene, grab this thing and throw him back!” I yelled.

“Don’t think so.” he said.

“C’mon! Do it before he figures out this paddle ain’t what he wants for lunch.”

Gene stood back up, grabbed the rear part of the shell and heaved the turtle over the side, almost capsizing the boat, and all of us with it. The paddle sailed off with the turtle and both quickly disappeared.

“Sheeit!” Gene said, sitting back down. “That’s the biggest damn snapper I ever seen.”

Bev had stopped her shrieking and we all just sat there a second, catching our breath.

Presently Peanut said, “Well, that’s the only paddle I brought. Gonna be fun trying to get back to shore.”

“Tell ya what ‘Nut,” I said, “you jump in and tow us. You’re a good swimmer ain’t ya?”

“That paddle cost me ten bucks,” he lamented, only about half-serious.

“Might as well finish up running this line while we’re out here,” Gene offered.

We did indeed finish running and re-baiting the trotline and claimed a few more channel cats and a couple of mud cats (which we threw back—for the turtles). That sorted out, Gene pulled us back along the line toward the shore. Once we got to the tree and the ‘end of the line’, Peanut slid over the side without preamble and while holding the bowline with one hand and backstroking with the other managed to get us the rest of the way to the shore.

We beached the Jon Boat and unloaded ourselves and a few of the larger catfish, which Gene took over to a picnic table and began to gut and clean. Probably that would have been frowned upon by the park service…

Peanut and I headed for the cooler and some refreshment. Beverly went to find her sister and did–fast asleep in one of the tents. She hustled her out and led her over to me and Peanut, yammering on all the while about the damn ‘turtle encounter’ and how we all could have drown or worse.

“Hey Bev!” Peanut said. “Don’t tell her ‘bout how Many-Feet here bit the heads off’n them brim. She won’t never kiss him agin.”

“What’s a ‘brim’? Linda asked me, as they sat down next to the now dead campfire.

“Never mind Honey,” I said, glaring at Peanut.

I busied myself with building another fire while Peanut poked about, gathering what he would need to cook us all a fine channel-cat dinner. Gene came over with one of the plastic buckets full of catfish fillets, still somewhat bloody. He took them down to the shore and rinsed them off. When he returned he set the bucket down in front of Peanut, grabbed a beer, and announced that he was done ‘a-workin’ and that he was hungry:  Starvin’ like Marvin, in fact.

Now, this was a rather large surprise.

cookingoveracampfireonthemiddleforkofthefeatherriver

Peanut had accumulated all his camp-fire-catfish-cooking necessities and staged same next to the ‘not-yet-ready fire’.

“Need to let her burn down a bit,” He said.

Seated there around the fire with a little time to kill, Bev fished another joint out of her pocket, lit it, passed it around as we all sat there developing a major case of the munchies. Gene grabbed the Jim Beam and some left-over coke-a-cola out of the cooler. Chivalrously he prepared two drinks for the girls. He sat down and took a swig from the bottle; then handed it to Peanut, who after taking a swig, passed it to me.

“Ya know,” Peanut reflected, “We shoulda kept that turtle. Coulda sold it for about ten bucks, or at least gotten our names in the paper for catching a world record snapper.”

“’Nut,” Gene said, “You’re crazier than Many-Feet. Why don’t you go on back out there and capture it? Maybe you can get your paddle back while you’re at it. No way was we keeping that thing.”

“Jes sayin’” Was all he said as we all stared into the fire.

With the fire now burned sufficiently down into some cooking coals, Peanut began working his magic. He assembled all the items for the meal on top of the beer coolers and began cooking. We were to feast upon fried potatoes, skillet-baked biscuits, some re-heated pinto beans he had brought along, (with Jap-a-lean-O’s, naturally), some apples baked in foil, and of course, fried fresh catfish coated with yellow cornmeal, too much Lowery’s seasoned salt and not a little black pepper.

We left him to it.

*******************

Jimmy ‘Peanut’ Piland was a character like none other: Possessing a smallish frame, medium blond hair always askew and asunder, Paul Newman blue eyes, a perpetual boyish ‘possum’ grin, and a wiry build replete with a hard-wired energy. Yet looks can be somewhat deceiving: he was tough as nails and feared nothing, or no one. There was no Brahma bull he wouldn’t attempt to ride, no man he wouldn’t attempt to fight (if provoked—him usually doing the ‘provokin’—“That sonuvabitch done pissed me off…”), no tractor, truck, nor heavy machinery he wouldn’t attempt to operate, instructed or not. Good that he never had access to an airplane, for he would have, no doubt, tried to fly it.

And actually, he did fly, by and by.

He flew through life in a manner most men would never, could never, understand.

Everything about Jimmy was over the top. He embraced life with a lustful, youthful exuberance. If there were a ‘Webster’s God of Definition,’ you would find under ‘Joie de vivre’ a photo of Peanut and the definition would read simply,

“Nuff Said.”

Or maybe,

“Now Run tell that!”

From the early Seventies until the late Nineties, I called Peanut my ‘Best Friend’ even though there were many years during those years when our paths did not cross, and sometimes when they did, ‘colliding’ would be a better-served word.

I fell slave to my wanderlust and left Honey Grove for many far-off places and adventures. Peanut never once to my knowledge, left HG, save for those three summer months we lived together in La Porte Texas working together in an asphalt factory.

He was the original at ‘Home-Boy’. He loved living in Honey Grove, or in later years, at the end of about eight miles of bad Texas road, safely (for the residents) outside of the town.

Every time I found myself back in HG I felt compelled to look him up. Sometimes he was doing well, sometimes not. We had a talent (mostly thanks to him) of finding adventure in even the most mundane of circumstance. Just the simple act of driving to Ladonia for beer one day in ’93 turned into adventure, as we had to take the back roads because, he simply said, “The laws are out for me.” We crossed many ‘Bois d’Arc’ bridges during that trip and got stuck in the mud more than once, and actually got shot at as well, well…another story…

One Saturday night in The Seventies, I was parked at Jack Self’s service station, talking to some high-school friends when we saw a cop car slowly driving past, lights flashing, and hard following,  there was Peanut in one of his ‘La Bomba’ vehicles, with another cop car bringing up the rear, lights also flashing—quite a ‘parade’.

As he slowly passed by, doing about ten miles per hour, Peanut yelled out the window to the assembled group,

“They’re fixin’ to hang my ass!”

Apparently he had some minors with him and some beers and…

That was classic ‘Peanut’. He did not say that with any malice, nor did he say it with any sorrow. He announced the fact just as it was: “They’re fixin’ to hang my ass…”

That was how he lived his life:

“You pay your money and you take your chances, an’ if you don’t, well then, forget you!”

Peanut could ‘talk shit’ with the skill a thespian who after years of training might bring to Hamlet, if lucky. With Peanut, luck had nothing to do with it; he was natural. There was no better ‘shit-talker’ in the world. He could reduce you to laughing jelly with one phrase or even just a goofy look.  In our small-town world, talking shit was one of our primary forms of entertainment, and perhaps could even be considered an art. Though most would discount the art form.

Not I. Most of my best ‘shit-talking’ I have stolen from him.

Peanut could be incredibly childish at times. Once during high school, the two of us drove to Houston to attend the FTA (Future Teachers of America) convention. We were members—believe it or not—but only for the chick opportunities…

Since he had never been to Galveston (or Houston for that matter), I decided that I needed to show him around my once and future stomping grounds. We arrived in Galveston the night before the convention in Houston was to begin and I took him down to the beach in front of Seawall Boulevard. Peanut had never seen the ocean (Not even The Gulf—hell—no salt water at all). It was winter-time and not much going on. We got out of my station wagon and started walking down the beach, combing. We came upon some jelly-fish washed upon the shore. Peanut pulled out a knife and proceeded to repeatedly stab the dead creatures, exclaiming as he did, “Da! Da! Da! There ya go! Now what?!”

He was greatly amused.

I wasn’t.

But then, that was ‘Peanut’.

Other times, he showed a great deal of maturity and worldly wisdom.

Some years later and after a particularly rough night of us drinking and cussing and fighting each other (And me, getting into a bona-fide fist fight with one of his kin), he said to me,

“Many-Feet, you need to get that poison outta your system. Not sure I can help you. Sometimes the old bulls, they just cain’t run in the same pasture no more…”

**********************

Peanut proudly served up the catfish dinner, and let me bear witness: it was the best. We sat around the campfire over our hard-won repast and complimented our chef (in our ‘way’) between mouthfuls.

Bev said, “Damn it, Peanut! Where’s the turtle soup?”

“Hey Bev!” he said, “I got something I been meanin’ to give you..” as he stood up, reached deep into his jean’s pocket, and pulled out with grand flourish,  his middle finger, aiming it squarely at her nose.

Beverly, not to be outdone, turned her back to Peanut and, over her shoulder, announced, “Hey, ‘Nut! I have somethin’ I been savin’ for you too, Darlin’” And then deftly dropped her pants and mooned him, and a full moon it was…shining there in the daytime.

We carried on in this fashion for about an hour or so, finished our feast, lit some Marlboros and joints, and drank some more beer and whiskey. Along about four o’clock, we decided it was time to think about going home. ‘Home’ to our respective hearths. Back to ‘Civilization’. Back to our Main Mundane. The very thought of it depressed us all, though we did not verbalize that depression. Clearly, we had, the five of us, been born too late. Being well-suited to ‘Lake Life’ as we had become, we had somehow developed intro kindred spirits during our brief adventure, even given the fact that, as adventures rate, this one was about average on ‘The Peanut Meter.’ Yet… we’d had a great time; had ourselves a little adventure, but mainly had gotten somewhat far away from the madding crowd, if just for a night and a day. One must take one’s adventure whenever, wherever, and in whatever quantity one finds it.

Peanut, Gene, and I decided…since camping is a ‘man’s game’, to do up the fire-burned dishes and pots and pans, while the Girls were tasked with loading up the cars. (Getting the boat on the trailer was not yet on our event horizon…but by and by, we’d get around to it…)

We gathered up all the dirty pots, pans, skillets, plates, greasy knives, forks, spoons, and whatever else looked like needed ‘warshin’, and schlepped them to the shore.

We sat there in ankle-deep water, our chores stacked up around us, and not unlike what I can only imagine the black slaves did in the early 1800’s, commenced to sing while we washed and worked.

(Having no proper soap, we were seated in the water, using lake sand to scrub clean the dishes et al)

Peanut began with his famous rendition of…well, guess it wasn’t so famous, as I cannot remember it now.

I tried something approaching Brother Dave Gardner.

The duo beside me was not impressed.

Gene however, was somewhat semi-famous for having ably memorized, and more ‘significant’, become competently competent in reciting ‘The Signifying Monkey’.

monkey

Peanut and I begged for a command performance.

Gene gave us an ‘aw shucks’ look, said ‘Okay’ and thus he began:

Way down in the jungle deep

The lion stepped on the monkey’s feet

Ever’ evenin’ ‘fore the sun go down

The lion kicked the little monkey’s ass

lion

All through the jungle town.

One day, the little monkey gathered his wits;

Said ‘I’m tired of this ole ass-kickin’ shit.’

 

(Note: From The Signifying Monkey: A Theory of African-American Literary Criticism by Henry Louis Gates Jr. 1988. The origins of this sometimes toast, sometimes poem, I do not know; probably no one does, although some scholars suggest from Yorùbá Mythology.)

And on and on…Gene had it goin’ on.

Peanut and I (sophomorically) loved to hear Gene recite that. Where he learned it, I don’t know, and it never occurred to me or to Peanut ever to ask. Some things one just don’t ask (or tell). Nonetheless, it was uncharacteristic of Gene to ‘perform’ for anyone, so when he could be persuaded to recite ‘Signifyin’ Monkey’ for us, it was just one more example of that kind of signifyin’, significant, and appreciated bond the three of us had.

We finished our chores and met up with the girls as they just finished theirs. Two last things to sort: bring in the trotline and trailer the boat.

Of course bringing in the trotline also meant running it again, and we still had the problem of having no paddle. Gene solved this quite elegantly: Using brute strength, he liberated a plank from one of the picnic tables, and then using the axe, shaped it quickly into something that would pass for a crude paddle.

Back to sea…

We ran the trotline without major incident; harvested another ten pounds of channel cat, and thusly satisfied, headed back to camp. We got the boat trailered and were ready to head back to HG. Peanut and I had no interest in the catfish, so we bequeathed our share to Gene, who had a momma ‘could cook catfish like nobody’s business.’

“Sure Gene; ‘vite us on over when they done…”

The Girls and I loaded ourselves back into my Chariot. Gene and Peanut boarded theirs. We passed by the lame-ass camp of the college campers. I do believe I heard one of the women remark, “Thank God!”

“Yeah, ‘Thank God’. Thank Your God we didn’t have time nor inclination to steal your store-bought camp food.” I thought to myself as we drove past them. Maybe next time…

Drove the girls back to their car and deposited them there. I kissed Linda goodbye and could tell she was not happy.

“What’s the matter, Darlin’?” I asked.

“Nuttin’” she answered.

“Must be something.” I said.

“Nope. Nuttin’.”

“Okay. See ya around.”

I went on home. Late for supper again. Gloria said something about my appearance, but I wasn’t listening. I went up to the third floor, took a shower, went to bed and slept.

Devoid of Dreams.

*************************

“You’re Probably Not a Diva: You’re a Cunt.”

I recently discovered my posts are all over the place:

(under my bed, in the laundry hamper, in the shitter, the garage, the liter (sic) box, et cetera)

I guess this is just how I must roll.

Sincerely aspire to not pissing anyone off.

But,

If I did/do,

There is still a chance for  at redemption.

Tomorrow

Maybe

By God’s Grace

Possibly

We’ll see…

Cheers Y’all

 

Ah Shit! It is Now Officially ‘Throw Back Thursday’

Trust Me:

You do not wanna see this one.

Cheers!

di·lem·ma

 noun də-ˈle-mə also dī-

: a situation in which you have to make a difficult choice

horns-of-a-dilemma

If you stare at this long enough, the clouds start to move. Go ahead, try it. (You know you want to)

http://www.merriam-webster.com/

Facing the Horns of One.

I really want to quit posting for today and I really want to visit all my friend’s blogs and I really want to make some really witty and cool statements so that they will really love me…and yet… I cannot shut the fuck up.

Really.

Why?

Because I am really, well really…

Because I am really really vain.

And strange

Really strange

My friends may forgive me.

Those new here, will not.

(Not really)

But I always tell me, I say, “Hey! Me! You can make new friends out there!”

I say, “But I love the friends I have already made.”

“Fuck ’em! The other me says.”

I grow some balls and kick my ‘other me to the curb.”

Why? Because a friend lost, hurts me.

Honestly

(You thought I was gonna say ‘really’ didn’t ya?)

Especially, if it comes from my vanity and my stupid forgetful lazy neglect. That hurts the worst.

Deeply.

Because, that one… should be preventable.

Therefore I leave you with this
(Yes. I did have a point)

How many out there feel or felt upon one time, that you were just a “Doll Part?”

(Yeah, that sounds gay)

And NO Offense to any of my gay friends out there: it is just an expression. (I think–if it offends–let  me know)

(Really–now you just knew–I had to slip that last one in, under some covers)

Then…

Get over it.

Answer the question and move on.

*End of Rant*

Below is a visual aid:

Ed. Note: Lance is one stupid son of a bitch.

This video below is significant to many of my friends who have suffered domestic violence. In the dark recesses of my feeble fucking mind, I knew this, yet I put the video in anyway.

Why? Because I love Love (Courtney)

That is no excuse. I need some sensitivity training. I am going to leave the video in this post, but now for different reasons: People Need To Wake Up To The Fact that here in this country and all over the world, there are women being abused.

Right NOW. Something has to be done. To quote Christopher Hitchens:

“The quickest way to end poverty is to empower women. Empower woman. Give them control of their reproductive bodies. Give them education. Let them have jobs.”

That is a paraphrase. But you can Google it, or I will do it for you. Next time I edit this stupid, thoughtless, insensitive post.

New Ed. Note: As promised hours ago…

And here we go with….Lenny!

427px-Lenny_Bruce_arrest

And Yes! I am going to continue to post shit that is on my mind. Ad nausea!

Because this is my blog.

I mean no offense, but if you ever get offended here, well, I did warn you. (didn’t I?)

Okay, maybe I did not, but I am goddamn certain from day one, I never promised a floral garden.

Now did I?

(Sometimes, often, I out-type my brain–sorry)

Moving on…I guess this is a rant. (searching for a way to categorize this post)

Don’t worry: I will make up a new one if I havta. (and you real bloggers out there know what the fuck I am talking about. Doncha?)

And Fuck Yeah!

I think Courtney Love is fucking brilliant.

Wanna sue me?

The line forms to the right.

(Gotcha!)

And Hell Yeah! “I wanna be the girl with the most cake!”

Don’t we all?

I mean,

Really?

*End*

Christopher Hitchens: On The Suicide of His Mother

The below is transcribed from Hitch’s book “Hitch-22”

Hitch 22 cigs

***

…because most of what I know about manic depression I first learned from Hamlet.

“I have of late,” the Prince of Denmark tells us, “but wherefore I know not—lost all my mirth.” Everyone living has occasionally experienced that feeling, but the lines that accompany it are the best definition of the blues that was ever set down. (“Tired of living, scared of dying” is the next-best encapsulation, offered in “Old Man River.”) Who would carry on with the unending tedium and potential misery if they did not think that extinction would even be less desirable or—as it is phrased in another of Hamlet’s mood-swing soliloquies—if “the ever-lasting” had “not set his canon ‘gainst self-slaughter”?

There are fourteen suicides in eight works of Shakespeare, according to Giles Romilly Feddnen’s study of the question, and these include the deliberate and ostensibly noble ones of Romeo and Juliet and of Othello. It’s of interest that only Hamlet’s darling Ophelia, whose death at her own hands is not strictly intentional, it is the object of condemnation by the clergy. My own indifference to religion and refusal to credit any babble about an afterlife has, alas, denied me the hearty satisfaction experienced by Ophelia’s brother Laertes, who whirls on the moralizing cleric to say:

“I tell thee, churlish priest,

A ministering angel shall my sister be,

When thou liest howling.”

Memorable to be sure, but too dependent on the evil and stupidity of the heaven/hell dualism, and of scant use to me in deciding how it was that a thoughtful, loving, cheerful, person like Yvonne, who was in reasonable health, would want to simply give up.

I thought it might have something to do with what the specialists call “anhedonia,” or the sudden inability to derive pleasure from anything, most especially from the pleasurable. Al Alverez, in his very testing and demanding study of the subject, “The Savage God,” returns often to the suicide of Cesare Pavese, who took his own life at the apparent height of his powers.  

Don't stay here

“In the year before he died he turned out two of his best novels… One month before the end he received the Strega Prize, the supreme accolade for an Italian writer. ‘I have never been so much alive as now,’ he wrote, ‘never so young.’ A few days later he was dead. Perhaps the sweetness itself of his creative powers made his innate depression all the harder to bear.”

***

Thank you for reading.

-Lance

(We now return you to our regularly scheduled…)

For Reference:

 

I love Helena Bonham Carter… Cannot help myself. (This scene is disturbing: do Not Watch)

If You Watch Nothing Else, Please Please PLEASE  Watch This:

Credit: And watch it AGAIN!

Here now (I hope) is the proper credit:

https://www.youtube.com/user/jakuerika

 

 

 

31 Reasons Why

Because I must.

Laura A. Lord

I promise we’ll be getting back to the Five Truths and a Lie game and that I will finish what I started and the lie will be revealed.

But today is a special day.

And so I must celebrate.

Today is the husband’s 31st birthday.

I will celebrate.

I will celebrate because it is an odd number, and we all know how I feel about those.

I will celebrate because he is officially in his 30’s and I am still, hahahaha, in my 20’s. Late 20’s. Almost 30’s. But not 30’s.

I will celebrate because like a small child he wants a confetti cake with confetti icing and that crap is too sweet for even me, so I won’t gain a pound from this cake, because it is one cake I don’t want to eat.

download Hun…can we please grow up beyond confetti cake? Please.

Source

And so…

View original post 883 more words

Thought I’d Repost This: Hell! It’s Thursday Somewhere.

When I was working in Basra, my gig allowed two weeks R&R every two months or so. Sounds like a deal, eh? Well, yes it was. Be aware however, we worked seven days a week, ten hours a day. NO days off. So do the math; we earned it. And of course we were getting shelled and rocketed and mortared regularly.

Anyhow, I had a stateside girlfriend back then. Actually more friend than girl. Rather platonic relationship, but we were ‘Buds’ and I loved her dearly. (Still do) And we went way back.

It was agreed by us both, that once I went to Iraq, we would spend our (my) R&R’s together. I flew her to Barcelona, Athens, Italy, and finally London. (She made all the arrangements. All I had to do was show up) Too easy for me.

Mid 2006 we met in London. I was ‘cacked out’ (Lenny Bruce vernacular). Worn out. Plumb tuckered. Tired. Damn tired. Spent.

R&R London
Click Me: This Was My London

She was, of course not. Now mind you, this woman had been all over Europe already. London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Berlin, Athens… well, she was rich. Catch my drift? I had seen quite a lot of Europe my own damn self. Did not hold much magic for me.

All I really wanted was some ‘down time.’

Bless her heart (and this speaks volumes of our great friendship), she let me do what I wanted; which basically meant I could sit in the flat she had arranged for us in downtown London and drink Beefeater while watching movies and smoking Marlboro’s and ranting at the current state of affairs in Iraq.

After a few days, she did manage to get me out of the flat for a walk-about. We went to Buckingham Palace (one day shot there)

We went to the British Museum; saw the Rosetta stone. Another day gone.

“Lance that’s the Rosetta Stone.”

“Yep, that’s cool.”

Had some fish ‘n’ chips (I preferred Long John Silvers, but that is just what an asshole I am)

Rode the Tube. (I prefer Le Metro in Paris, but what the hell)

And various other exhausting  exhilarating  excursions.

“About three days before we were to part: me back to The Sandbox; she back to Texas, she asked me, “Lance, isn’t there any place in London you would like to see?”

“Yeah, as a matter of fact, there is. I wanna go down to Marble Arch Station.”

“Whaaat?” she said.

“Yeah. Marble Arch Station.”

West End of London, England, United Kingdom

“That is a Tube Station.”

“Yeah, I know.”

“Why on Earth…”

“Because it belongs to Gary P. Nunn and Jerry Jeff Walker. And Texas.”

She acquiesced and off we went. Got there and I had a salutary beer to J.J. Walker and Gary P. Nunn. Then I was happy and pronounced my R&R a successful bit of Rest and Relaxation.

Best Video From “Lost Gonzo Band (with Gary P. Nunn)”

(Y’all guys need to watch this: a woman gets nekkid at the end…just sayin’)

–Austin, ’74

“Well I decided that

I’d get my cowboy hat

And go down to Marble Arch Station…”

Went back to the flat and had a few gin and tonics and lived happily ever after.

“R&R” means that: Rest and Relax and do whatever the hell you want. London could wait… until I came back the next time.

Good God!

I MISS Texas!

Jury Duty, Texas Style: Jury Still Out

Just a quick note for anyone waiting avec ‘baited breath’ (stole that from a comment) on the outcome…

The jury is still out, and I have decided (since this morning in fact) that today I am gonna expend my energies catching up with all the folks who I follow and who follow me. I do this because I enjoy it and I am certainly all about self-enjoyment (and it means I don’t have to write!).

Seriously,

I want to read and comment as much as I can from / on my fellow bloggers, because y’all have some really good shit to say and post, and I am tired of denying myself this enjoyment due to my vain fantasy. (See? There is that selfish hint in me there) But it’s all good.

Hope y’all understand.

Tomorrow, you may read more about the trials and tribulations of my Jury Duty.

Peace and Beers and Cheers,

Your Humble Servant In Blogging,

Lance

 

Mr. Beau-jangles

Jerry Jeff is that guy I wanna meet.

Here is my original comment:

From your wonderful narrative, Beau reminds me of the Chow mix I once had. His name was Tizzy, and that name suited him well. I have one post so far about him and an unfortunate ‘accident’ he had at the top of my stairs late one night.
Glad to see there are still many Texans out there who can appreciate J.J. Walker. He has always been a favorite of mine. Once just as I was getting out of the Navy and escaping from California I signed up for Jerry Jeff’s fan club and newsletter. I had also signed up for several other ‘Bigger Stars” in the C&W genre. Mainly because I was missing Texas so badly. I received responses from all, and all but one wanted money. From Jerry Jeff’s I received a subscription to his newsletter and a hearty ‘Thanks for your support.” I was impressed, so without hesitation I mailed a check for twenty dollars to help defray the costs of the newsletter. About a week later my check was returned to me with a note that read. “Thank you for the money, but your appreciation of the music is payment enough.”
Now that, is Class.

Daily Lenny: Father Flotski’s Triumph

Hi Gang!

Thought I would post The Daily Lenny early today, so I could focus on…

Anyhow. I give you Father Flotski, one of Lenny’s Best Bits, where you may hear some of the range of his wonderful talent at mimicry.

lenny San Frisco

Thank you for listening.

More Lenny Bits Here:

https://texantales.com/category/lenny-bruce/