Ed. Note to All You Nattering Nabobs of Nay-Sayers down there in the ‘Commentary Section’: I say this: ‘This is “My Side” of the Story!’ Read Between the Lines if You Must.
(Or feel compelled.)
Lance, No Longer Down an’ Out In
Yeah Lyle, I been to Memphis too.
Street Vid Cred: kndfbl
Joni talking about Memphis
Joni on Beale Street
“Walkin’ in Memphis”
Credit: Marc Cohn
And SCREW YOU WORDPRESS For Not Allowing Me to Delete this below BROKEN Up-Load!!!
Stuck on STUPID.
She just sat there on the front porch, smoking Camel Blues, sipping diet Dr. Pepper, and watching as I scurried back and forth, worker ant-like, schlepping boxes and boxes and boxes and sundry other shit to my Ford. Never said a word. Never shed a tear. I was leaving her! What the fuck? No tears? No desperation? No tears? No tears? No tears? No nada? English! English! English! (You live with Meskins, expect beans on the menu, ever’ once in a while.) English!
Stiff upper lip and all that jazz… After I had packed the Ford to the point of tightness unimagined (you could have poured a bottle of Jim Beam into it and not one drop would escape), I walked to the front porch and announced,
“Well, I guess that’s it then.” “You’re leaving now?” “Yeah, that’s the plan,” I said. She stood up, looked me in the eye. I threw my arms around her and hugged her deep. Now we were both crying. I managed to blurt out something profound…
“I’m so sorry Helen.” “Take good care of you,” she said, blinking back the tears. I slow-walked to the Ford, looking back through MY tears only once. Got in, cranked her up and drove away. The part where the cowboy rides away… Took me a block an’ a half to stop crying. Then I was so over it.
Four blocks later I realized I could not see out of my side-view rear-view mirror. My dismantled computer chair in the passenger seat was blocking my vision. This would never do. I pulled into a vacant parking lot and jettisoned said computer chair. Just left it there in the dust.
With my life. Merry Early Fucking Christmas to someone. Some homeless one in Memphis. And drove on, westward.
Nine minutes later at sixty-five miles per hour, I was crossing the Big Muddy and entering Arkansas.
I had achieved escape velocity. I turned on the radio. Loud and proud. CDB was screaming something about Trudy and telephones. And calling her.
And jail. I cranked it up and sang along. Very happy and oh so fucking proud of me. My new life had just begun. Just another tequila sunrise. As I drove west with the sun over my shoulder. So many thoughts were flying around in my head, gnat like… buzzing.
I was almost giddy. I was staring down six hours of road trip.
No big deal, but it had been almost ten years since I had taken to the road or air or sea, and I was just a mite apprehensive. “You can do this Lance,” I whispered to me over the radio, now playing Van Morrison. “Hear That Robin Sing.’ Hours and hours and hours into Arkansas (when did Arkansas get so fucking BIG?)
I found a trucker’s rest stop and so I stopped. And rested. And pee’d. Had to. Walked about Had to. Stretched my legs. Had to.
“Where is Texas?” Halfway through Arkansas…. And halfway from what I had called ‘home’ for ten years. “What am I doing?” “Going West, Young Man, Goin’ West.” “Oh yeah, I almost had forgotten.”
By and by I hit the “border” (On the border)
Wanted to stop and take a selfie in front of the sign what read, “Welcome To Texas, Drive Friendly.” But it was Interstate and not safe to do so, so I just kept on driving. And singing at me!
“Texas! Oh Texas!” “You are finally home, Cowboy!” Now what? Keep driving, I suppose. I had pre-arranged a ‘garage’ to store my shit.
A ‘rent-a-space’ shed in Commerce. Got a phone call from the proprietor….
“Lance, you still coming?”
“Yeah, fast as I can, but I will not arrive in time for your departure. Can you HBO? Help a brother out? I will arrive Commerce about 1800 hours…. Leave the key in the lock box or something; I want to off-load my shit before I go to the hotel.” “Sure, got a CC number for me?” “Yeah, no worries.” That sorted, I drove on. Presently I arrived Sulphur Springs. And promptly got lost. Could not find the road to Commerce.
It had been some years and beers and tears since I had had to make this trek.
Finally found the proper road and guess what? It was ‘under construction’ as they do. Took me some few little minutes to navigate through that, but…. Finally… on the road again.
Commerce in my sights now. Sped into town, saw Whitley Hall, High Rise and shouted out loud: HOME!
“Thank fucking God!’ (And this was a push for me, for as you know, I am an atheist) Found the ‘rent-a-shed’ and off-loaded my shit. Went to the Adult Beverage Store. Then found the Magnuson, formally known as “The Holiday Inn Express,” checked in, and got very, very, very drunk.
Chapter Two Coming… Whew! Chapter One is Done! Writing is hard! As is my wont, I drop in music. Music defines me, and yes, my life has a soundtrack. I suppose this don’t make me nothing special. Just yet one more schmuck. Trying to get by. And Waiting for Godot (Vain reference from my college / university daze.)
Beautiful Loser Read it on the wall. Blue moon with heartache. Nick of time “Scared you’ll run outta time.” Love has no pride This old cowboy—MTB
So many emotions were colliding around in my head, not unlike that stupid arcade game: asteroids….
My wife (the first one) and I settled in Nacogdoches resolved to open a tropical fish store. A dream I’d had since I was a kid.
I had never been to Nacogdoches, but according to U.S. News & World Report, it was one of “The Ten Best Places to Live in the United States” and the city fathers had even erected a billboard on the main road into town proclaiming this quote from the magazine, just in case some folks missed reading that issue.
Nacogdoches, for any non-Texans who may be reading this, is Ass-Deep in the heart of the Deep East Texas Piney Woods—gorgeous country, simply breathtaking. ‘Paradise OnTexas’.
We leased a small building on South Street, which was the southern part of the main drag through town, just off the square.
Wanting everything to be perfect, I spent thebetter part of the summer of 1980 fitting out the inside of my shop. I built all the fixtures, assembled all the equipment, and even built the office desk my wife would be using to ‘Cook the Books’.
I built floor-to-ceiling rustic cabinets todisplay the sixty aquariums which would hold our retail stock. All that could be seen were the fronts of the tanks; no filters, hoses, wires or anything to wreck the ambiance.
The overhead lights were dimmed, keeping the atmosphere what one would expect in a fine Public Aquarium, most of the light coming only from the aquariums themselves.
At the very back of the store, I built a nine-foot by three-foot display tank, roughly 600 gallons—it was built into the wall, again so as not to ruin the effect.
This was my dream aquarium, showcasing all the skills I had honed over a lifetime of fish-keeping. It was decorated with huge driftwood, rocky multi-leveled terraces, and no less than two dozen different varieties of live plants.
The effect was that of looking into a cross section of the Amazon River. Beautiful Blue Discus, shoals of Cardinal Tetras, various South American catfish, and many other exotic South American species were all stocked in this display. It was the perfect closed ecosystem.
(Not My Tank, but very similar)
The retail stock tanks were also painstakingly decorated to provide examples of how fish should be kept in a home aquarium. No burping clams, no rotating ship’s wheels, no deep sea divers with bubbles coming out of their butt, no ‘Creatures from the Black Lagoon’, no ‘No Fishin’ signs—none of this dime-store shit in MY Shoppe. Oh Hell No. Every display reflected my fundamental conviction that tropical fish deserved to be represented in natural surroundings. Period.
Our store was beautiful. I set up a large octagon display tank in the entrance area, so that the first thing our customers would see was an aquarium as it should be: All Natural: Live plants, Real Driftwood, wonderfully terraced natural gravel substrate, and of course exotic tropical fish.
No goldfish, no guppies, no ‘trash fish’—for those they could go to Wal*Mart or Ben Franklin’s.
My stock tanks were filled with all the species I had always sought when I was in the hobby. There were knife fish, freshwater fire eels, black veil angelfish, gold veil angelfish, marble veil angelfish, discus, Clown Loaches, many colorful varieties of Tetras, Barbs, Gourami’s, African leaf fish…
I had about a dozen different species of African Cichlids. There were Oscars, Arawanas, freshwater crustaceans, rare amphibians, and on and on. I even had a freshwater stingray from the Amazon River and an electric catfish from Africa, both truly rare specimens, and I was sure they would be snatched up within a week of my grand opening.
Everything a hobbyist would need to set up a perfectly natural and beautiful aquarium was available for purchase: Driftwood, live plants, natural gravel, a variety of river rocks, and of course all the hardware, to include all sizes of aquariums; all manner of pumps, filters, heaters, lights, etc. I even had Books! Hardbound Full-Color Aquarium Books for sale. Can you imagine? Books!
GRAND OPENING! Aquarium World
Eagerly, I counted the minutes until we opened the doors to ‘The Public’ for the first time. I was twenty-two years old and In Business! The Tropical Fish Business! I knew my shit. There was nothing anyone could possibly tell ME about Tropical Fish. No Ma’am. No Sir.
A few minutes before opening, Janet came over to me and said with not a little trepidation in her voice, “Uh, Lance, the parking lot is full.” (We had done quite a lot of advertising)
“Well great! Let’s let ‘em in.”
As she went to open up I was very excited. I would be talking to My People, The True Hobbyists. People who loved Tropical Fish Keeping as did I.
Door opened and here they came.
I greeted my first customer, a fortyish lady with big hair and perhaps a little too much make-up, “Good morning Ma’am and welcome to Aquarium World. How may I help you?”
“I need a crud-eater for my tank.”
“Yeah, I need a crud-eater to clean up that crud that gets all over the bottom.”
“You mean ‘detritus’?
“Ditra…who? I mean the fish poop. I want a crud eater to clean that up. In fac’ I’ll take two of ‘em.”
(I felt my hobbyist heart sinking with every word out of this woman’s mouth)
“Ma’am, there is not a fish on Earth that eats excrement.”
“Son, I didn’t say…er’cra…wha’d you say? I want a crud eater to eat all that fish crud off’n the bottom of my tank.”
“Ma’am, I can sell you a Plecostomus. They are very adept at cleaning up the algae and will also clean up any uneaten food that your other fish allow to fall to the substrate.
Plecostomus AKA: Crud-Eater
“You ain’t from aroun’ here, are ya Son? I don’t want no plebotta-musk damnit. I want a crud eater.
“Ma’am, there is no such fish as the one you are describing. I am very sorry.”
“You mean they don’t make crud eaters no more?”
“No Ma’am; I am sorry to say, ‘they’ don’t.”
“Well, I’m gonna go down ta Walmart; my cousin said that’s where she done got hers.”
Hoping that my first customer was some kind of anomaly, I approached my next, a fiftyish woman with chubby red cheeks and a pleasant look about her.
“Good morning Ma’am and welcome to Aquarium World. How may I help you?”
“I’m lookin’ for the guppies, but I ain’t seein’ none.”
“I’m sorry Ma’am, but we don’t sell guppies. We have some lovely Neon Tetras over here and some very colorful Cardinal Tetras as well: Very beautiful and rather low-maintenance.”
“They have babies?” she asked.
“Well, uh… yes; they can be bred in captivity, but it is rather involved and labor intensive on the part of the hobbyist. You will need an extra aquarium and some infusoria to feed the fry. I have a wonderfully well-illustrated book in the front room which describes how to breed many species of egg layers. I would be happy to show it to …”
“They don’t have no babies?”
“No ma’am, they are not live-bearers like your guppies, platys, mollies and the like. They lay eggs, and if you provide the proper…”
“My Gran-baby, she likes to see them babies pop outta the mama.”
“I’m sorry Ma’am, I just don’t sell those species here. Are you sure I can’t interest you in some more interesting varieties of tropical fish?”
“What the hell could be more int’restin’ than God’s miracle of life happenin’ in front of my gran’baby’s eyes right there in my own fish bowl? You ain’t from aroun’ here, are ya Boy? You one of them ath’ists or sumthin’?”
“Ma’am, perhaps you should try Walmart.”
I looked at Janet, standing behind the counter waiting to ring up our first sale. She just gave me that “Don’t look at me,” look.
There were seven or eight other customers in the shop perusing all the aquariums. None seemed to require my assistance. Looking around for someone who might be needing my expertise,Ispied an elderly man, tall and lean and rough-looking and right out of a Marlboro ad.
He was standing in front of my fish food display, which could be compared to the colorful displays of herbal tea one might find at some high-end New York tea house. I was very proud of that display, but the choices were myriad and probably for him, I surmised, somewhat overwhelming.
“Good Morning Sir. Welcome to Aquarium World. May I help you with the fish food selection?”
“Mornin’ back atcha, Young Man. I’m lookin’ for some fish food for my pet catfish. Been feedin’ ‘im cornbread and bits of fried chicken, but he don’t seem to like that much.”
“Uh…yes. I suppose he wouldn’t. May I ask what kind of catfish you have? Pimelodella pictus, Corydoras, Plecostomus?”
“Oh, I see… I have some pellets here specially formulated for bottom feeders. These should do nicely and they won’t cloud up your aquarium as I’m certain the cornbread is.
“Aquarium? Hell Son. I keep him in a big ole mason jar. Don’t need no ‘quarium.”
“Did you need anything else today Sir?”
“Nope. This here’ll do me. Much obliged.”
I Suspect This Was Mudcat Before He Was ‘Adopted’:
“Says ‘Lectric Catfish’ right there. You ever heard a such?”
“It looks so real! Caint even see where the batteries go.”
Input Output: Electricity
Video Credit: JoniJourney
I moved on.
There was a young couple giggling in front of my Fire Newt tank. They looked like college students, probably from Stephen F. Austin, the local university. I eased closer to eavesdrop. I was curious as to what was so damn funny about my Fire Newts.
“Hey Mark,” the girl whispered to her boyfriend, “Those two are doing ‘sixty-nine.’’
More quiet giggling. Then ‘Mark’ said, “She turn’d me into a newt… I got bettah.” More giggling.
I had to smile.
“Hey Honey.” Janet was calling to me. “Could you come here for a sec?”
She was still with The Marlboro Man.
“Is there a problem Sir?” I asked.
“Son, I just got one question.”
“What is so Goddamn special ‘bout this here rock that it costs nine dollars?”
“Well, you see Sir, this rock is perfect for use in closed aquarium systems, as it has no iron ore, unlike most of the rocks you may pick up around here in east Texas. It will not rust in your aquarium and kill your fish. It is imported from Colorado. It is a river rock, washed clean by nature.”
“Bullshit! I guess I’m in the wrong business. I s’pose I should just sell all my cattle and go to harvestin’ rocks off my ranch. Hell. I got plenty rocks, I could retire in a year. By th’ way, y’all ain’t from ‘round here, are y’all?”
Things did not improve much from there. As soon as we closed I called my wholesale sales rep in Bossier City and told him to rush me some guppies, platys, mollies and a few score crud eaters. Oh, and throw in some burping clams and some neon-colored plastic plants. And yes, I will pay the extra charge for next-day delivery.
I probably forgot to mention this, but we were so poor at first that we had to live in the shop, (Which was against a City Ordinance Local Law) no longer able to afford the apartment we lived in after spending all of our savings on getting the shop ready to open. We slept on army cots procured from my
Approximately six or seven months after our “Illustrious Grand Opening” we had built up some decent clientele who appreciated exotic (read “expensive”) specimens, hence we were turning tidy profits.
I decided to expand into the flip-side of the coin that is the ‘Tropical Fish Business’:
‘Salt Water Exotics’—even more expensive and greater profit margin to boot.
“My Dream” That Kept Me Up Most Nights
Once I Had Made My Decision
There was a calculated risk in this, as keeping reef fish in closed systems during the Eighties was not nearly as sophisticated nor as easy as it is today.
The equipment was just freshwater still, but clever manufacturers started packaging and labeling the same equipment “For Salt Water Aquariums” and jacked the price about ten percent.
Being the ‘Professional’ that I was; I spotted this ruse instantly.
There was one decent product that did come on the market and it definitely was ‘strictly’ for marine aquariums: ‘Instant Ocean.’
Just add water and you’re good to go.
The little front section of Aquarium World had one octagon display tank and a shelf with all those expensive books that nobody ever bought, so I had ample room to set up my marine tanks there.
I purchased a one hundred gallon aquarium and two fifties to go on either side.
The set-up satisfied me technically and pleased me aesthetically.
Over the course of a few weeks I accumulated all the equipment (and boxes of ‘Instant Ocean’) I needed.
Suitable substrate required some searching though. All the available literature recommended crushed coral.
“Hello? I live in The Piney Woods of East Texas.”
Not a lot of coral here, crushed or otherwise.
Then I discovered in one book that crushed oyster shell would work almost equally well, with the caveat that it can be hard on bottom feeders, due to the semi-sharp nature of it.
We all must make trade-offs in our lives, even bottom feeders. (I have known a few—mostly of the ’two-legged’ variety, but that is a ‘different’ post.
Turns out, I could purchase all the crushed oyster shell I would ever need right there in Nacogdoches. I did not know it at the time, but it is used in gardening. I guess it does something magical when mixed in with the soil.
So with that last little hurdle hurdled over, I assembled my Marine Aquariums.
Janet and I had driven to our primary wholesaler, Fritz Pet Products in Dallas the previous Saturday. They delivered every week, but I needed to purchase décor for my tanks and needed to pick it out myself, not trusting some buck-tooth stock puller to pick the most suitable (to me) pieces of coral, alkaline rocks, et cetera.
We did not have a car at the time, our last one having given up the ghost. But, happily one of the car dealerships had a side-business: “Rex’s Rent-A-Wreck.” For just ten bucks a day we could have vehicular transportation, with just one stipulation: “Do not take it out-of-town—local use only,”
Well, screw that!
We drove it to Dallas (And later to Houston and Galveston)
Guess Ol’ Rex never bothered to check the odometer.
After getting the tanks decorated to my satisfaction, filling them with Instantly made ocean, checking that the filters and other equipment was working properly, there was yet one thing to do before I could put reef fish in the aquariums.
‘Season’ the tanks.
Without getting too technical, this means getting the ‘nitrogen cycle’ started.
Since I am lazy, I stole this rather abbreviated explanation from the internet:
‘The natural Nitrogen Cycle is a full-cycle where Nitrogen goes from air to plant to animal to bacteria and back to air; such a system needs no human intervention. In an aquarium though, the Nitrogen process is less a cycle and more a biochemical cascade that involves the continual chemical degradation of nitrogenous compounds from ammonia to nitrite to nitrate. The final nitrates are then taken up by aquarium plants or removed from the water by other means.“
Now knowing that black mollies are naturally brackish water fish in the wild (But always marketed as ‘fresh-water’ and popular like guppies, because they are cheap and, like guppies, are live-bearers), I knew they could thrive in pure sea water as well.
I needed them in my marine tanks to jump-start the cycle, thus ‘seasoning’ the tanks.
So I threw a dozen each into my fifty gallons, and two dozen into my one hundred gallon.
They did just fine and were soon popping out baby black mollies like rabbits pop out baby rabbits.
Pretty soon I was up to my ass in black mollies (so I started selling the off-spring down the river, so to speak.
After a few weeks of this, and using my water testing kits, monitoring the ammonia and nitrite levels, I announced to Janet,
“It’s time to go to Houston via Galveston. Please call up Rex and tell him we need to rent his wreck for a few days.”
“Why do I always have to call him?” she demanded.
“Because he has a crush on you and he don’t much care for me. That’s why.”
“I know we are going to “Salt-Water Marine” wholesaler in Houston so you can buy some damn fish, but why Galveston?”
“Because you need a tan,” I said.
“Lance, you’re an asshole. Have I ever mentioned that?”
“I need hermit crabs for my tanks and they come for free on the beach at Galveston. Just have to search ‘em out, pick ‘em up and and bag ‘em up.”
“I’ll be damned if I’m gonna even touch, let alone pick up a hermit crab,” she said.
“Don’t fret. You’ll be lying on a beach towel getting that tan you so desperately need while I am combing the beach, hermit hunting. When night falls, we’ll check into The Flagship Hotel, order room service with a bottle of wine and make love. You could use a little mini-vacation and some pampering. God knows you’ve earned it. And… we get to sleep in a real bed, instead of an army cot. Sound good?”
The Glorious Flagship
“What about the crabs? They gonna get room service too?”
“Naw, they’re gonna sleep in a bucket in the car. We’ll have the whole room to ourselves.”
Bright and early next morning, in high spirits and so happy to be getting out of Nacogdoches, we were south-bound and down, Destination: Galveston.
Video Credit: WarmerMusicVideos It’s a great vid. Would not you concur?
“She tries his Head–To-Night–Un-knowingly” Fuck You God! Fuck You Biden! And Fuk U Too Joni Mitchell! and While I’m handing out ‘fuck yous,’ Fuck you most of all Lance A. Marcom!
Figured this is as good as that.
OR… why waste good ancient prose?
Here ya go:
Now that is a good term from the Cold War, i.e., ‘Le Space Race.’ However, it still rings true today; rings true as something, almost… unattainable, yet so very much coveted. “Escape Velocity”
Cal Gone! Take me away! (sic) Yeah: sick. Point is, I have spent the better part of my life ‘playing’ computer games. Some might be tempted to label them ‘video’ games.
(They are NOT video games, Love: they are ways I increase my mental, mental…”) Old Story warning here:
That guy. That guy, who used to write about distance running, what was his name” Oh Yeah! Joe Henderson; I read all of his books… Oh yeah! He died of a heart-attack… Just details… He wrote a bit: His bit went something like this:
He was ‘runnin’ down a road. Some kid says, “Hey, Hi! Mister Jogger!” He replied, “Hey Kid! I am not a jogger; I am a runner! A ‘Runner!’ Get it right!” The kid replied, “Well then, why are you jogging?”
I had to laugh; been there, et etcetera…
This is the part where I get pissed. (And when I get pissed… well, you would not like me) The worst thing one (amongst the uninitiated) is to say, proclaim: “Are you still playin’ that damn stupid video game?!!” Perfect retort:
“Yes Madame. I am.” “Oh. Well, be a good boy and don’t go downtown, protesting’ and such…” “Yessum. I won’t” “Good boy there then…” “Yes, Ma’am.” (“Now Fuck Off” This is what I did truly think)
But, she I did have a point, but my ‘point’ swerved into something else, which I really do not wanna talk about.
My point it thus: Kids that played computer games in the Eighties are now in charge of your world. And to loosely quote Forrest Gump: “That is all I am gonna say about that.”
And P.S., Yes! I have of late, been spending some quality time with some of my ‘computer’ games. They know me there, and I don’t have to be too creative (actually, I do, but most….) Well…
My blogging experience is failing me of late. Not to say that I do not appreciate The Community. Just to say… that I am between gigs and this is beginning to weigh upon me.
Certainly, I will be about, but please do not chastise me for not visiting your respective blogs on a respective basis. (My intent is to intentionally do so, albeit, tomorrow), yet… I am real tired.
And my health is no good.
I will catch up…
“For Love or Money”
Lots of forty watt successes.
I cannot stop laughin’ my ass off!
Joni My Love of My Life!
And yeah! In case you missed my ‘subliminal’ bullshit:
This is a “HOT MESS” collection of some recent, decent and some not-so-recent, not so decent, not so ‘normal’ comments and added value ‘vomit comments’and some other weird shit that spills from my mind from time to time, thus making me feel fine.
Go ahead: Try to Diagramthat Sentence.
I’m Sorry in Advance.
Le Space Race flashback—if you do not know of the ‘Vomit Comet” I’ll help you out
OK Go – Upside Down & Inside Out
Licensed to YouTube byLatinAutor – PeerMusic, LatinAutorPerf, ARESA, Abramus Digital, CMRRA, BMG Rights Management (US), LLC, and 8 Music Rights Societies
(NOT Licensed to One Lance A. Marcom–“I pays my money; I takes my Chances–Just how I roll.”)
“Where you goin’?”
“I isn’t goin’ anywhere.”
“Can I go with you?”
–Bro Dave Gardner
Some dude, [emerging from bedroom half-dressed] yawing and scratching his butt, “So, what’s for breakfast?”
Elizabeth Perkins, “Egg McMuffin, corner of Broadway and Belmont.”
–from ‘About Last Night.’
Dear Your-Name-Escapes Me,
When I choose to waste my time, I prefer to do it on some guilty pleasure.
Something talking to you is not.
I thought I had dismissed you yesterday.
Apparently reading and comprehending is not your strong suit.
Let’s review, shall we?
You are tediously boring Kid.
Why don’t you go outside and play?
On such a lovely day.
Or maybe find something better to say.
Or start a one-man-band.
Your kind: ten-a-penny here in Radio Land.
We’ve been here before…
A poet of such piercing eloquence
But covered with misguided arrogance
He throws out the meats
Then shits where he eats
Oops! There goes the inheritance!
“Fear?” No fear.
“Biggest mistake?” Deluding myself into thinking English was my ‘First Language.’
‘Texican’ is my first language.
I’d do well to remember that.
“Southpark will depress you, repress you, digress you, ingest you, digest you, and shit you out (if you allow it). Writing saved me from insanity there.”
–‘Letter from a Southpark Jail’ (Afghanistan, 2012)
Dear Fortunato Musico,
Did you enjoy reading my comment? Insulting, was it not? Would you read an entire story written in such a fashion? When you are so lazy that you completely ignore proper grammar (and spelling, and punctuation), you insult the intelligence of your reader at best and you show a complete disrespect for yourself as a writer at worse. In short, you fucking lose both ways.
“Us, you people, knows grammar be important to write because of if us people are be writer, to be take serious, us knows us had to serious used prospered grammar. It was crucial to we as to be good at you craft.”
If you want to fuck-up The Queen’s English for writing effect, that there above is how you do it.
Rangoli / cannoli
Linguini / martini
Houdini / Fellini
Pacino / Tarantino
Let’s call the whole thing off
Ima just jerkin’ yo chain Bro. Tit for Tat. You da quintessential chain-jerker, yo!
OK. I’m confused.
Did the man you spoke to say “That is how you get held back in kindergarten?”
Or was that part of your commentary?
Punctuation. Use (or not use) of quotations
Be kind to your readers.
We don’t deserve it though. We should be able to just ‘know,’ no?
New Dance Craze??
“Well, allow me to retort.”
“Diwali is called the Festival of Lights and is celebrated to honor Rama-chandra, the seventh avatar (incarnation of the god Vishnu). It is believed that on this day Rama returned to his people after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana.”
Ain’t got no internet…
Hell! I’d do it for one billion.
(Yeah, I’m a cheap date)
Quoth the raven
(That black whore)
“How to get to Elsinore?”
“Elsinore, you ask?”
“Yes, Elsinore, which way?
In Elsinore I’ll stay.
“And with Lenore, I’ll have my way.”
“Say ‘Elsinore’ one more Goddamn time!
“I dare ya; I double-dare ya!”
“I feel like a black crow flying…
“On a blue, blue sky.”
Vid Share Cred: MysticPieces
(Sorry Edgar. Sorry Joni)
My condolences for your dear departed free-thinking mind as you are led, sheep-like, to the slaughter.
But of course, “Things will be much better in the Celestial North Korea,” that is Heaven, eh?
Fair winds and following seas to you Friend.
Why go to all the trouble to create a meme and not even proof read it before subjecting the entire FB world to an inferior product?
“The Cowards Never Started and the Weak Died Along the Way” –Old SEAL sayin’—jus’ sayin’.
Don’t know much about History…
Don’t know much geology…
Don’t know much about the French I took…
Don’t know what a slide rule is for…
But I do know English.
Angle: “a figure formed by two lines diverging from a common point or two planes diverging from a common line.”
Angel: “in some religions, a divine being who acts as a messenger of God”
Your meme is a crime against, not only logic, but English as well.
Unless of course you still are trying to say the “The Devil is Not in the details.”
If so, then one-thousand apologies.
Yeah Alex, I’m down with this.
By the way,
What color is your parachute?
Thank you Elizabeth
You have saved me from spilling more virtual ink and killing more virtual trees and wasting more virtual paper on this thread.
In other words, ‘I could not have said it better, nor agree more.’
Welcome to Writer’s Fight Club
Where the men are mostly men
And the women
Never nurture (nor suffer) fools.
Cheers and good luck.
You’re gonna need a bigger boat, by way of a first post.
Just a suggestion
Hope that helps your ‘writing.’
Are you aiming at ‘cute’ here,
Or just showcasing your stupidity?
If the former, well, FAIL!
If the latter, Congratulations!
“Any plans for tonight?
TEXAN TALES & HIEROGLYPHICS: A Memoir
Nap time, that feared time, that dreaded time, that hated time.
Everything recounted above actually happened, in one form or another; me no Alamo.
“Call me Ishmael.”
“That was a whale of a ride, was it not?”
Thank you very much for spending time on my piece. Just home from work and of course was anxious to dive in and read your critique. You have provided excellent suggestions and have asked excellent questions. “Pregnant” golf ball. Yeah, whatever was I ‘thinking?’ Haha (Just plain old ‘golf ball’ will certainly suffice here, eh?)
There are many other fine examples in your comments showing how I might improve this selection. No need to recount them here, as you wrote them. I will copy and paste all your comments into my draft, in order to more easily work through them.
Again, your time and efforts on my behalf are much appreciated.
“Ah Mortisha, I love it when you speak ‘atheist.’”
“I’ve learned more from this group in the past 2 months than all the rest of my life.”
Now now Kelly. That’s a bit of a stretch, doan’cha think? Heheheh. Love you, you Manson Girl, you.
“It’s like sprinkling shit with the word “God” and that’s how you get holy shit.”
I am soooo gonna steal this…
“Allahu akbar!” BOOM!!!
(May often be heard in Shit-holesParadises like Iraq)
Even if just to say, “Hey! This sucks!” or “Hey! This rocks!” or “Hey! Don’t quit your day job!”
“I know your monkey”
Would be a great title for… something.
Loved this John. Outstanding piece.
(You wouldn’t happen to have been influenced any by
“Joe Cartoon,” by any chance?)
I didn’t notice that at first (Mary Beth’s observation about the distance to the gas station—was it a gas station?). I do understand leaving the lights on, however. I have seen people do this before, if the venue was not particularly well-lit. Although, now-a-days, I’d suspect it might be difficult to find a dimly lit gas station.
Sorry, got caught up in all that…
The ‘hook’ worked for me (probably why I didn’t notice the gas-station walk)
Overall, I think it’s tight and flows well and I would definitely keep reading.
Hope this helped.
“Fear kept Wendy Smith from staying in the rusted Sedan. The compact car smelt of stale beer and cigarettes, but it had been her ticket to freedom. She needed to get gas. She left the headlights on, grabbed her rugged back pack and opened the car door with a trembling hand.
…When their heads were bent down, she turned and ran as fast as she could.”
The lament of every writing generation,
And maybe this one does, but I hope not. For I am a cockeyed optimist, à la Mitzi Gaynor…
There are still great writers; always will be.
What is distressing, however, is we are the first generation with tools available unimaginable.
And how do most use them?
Fuck me and hand me a quill and ink pot.
Some of your best writing Alex/Marie. Kept me locked up inside.
My opinion does not match Dave K’s.
It all works (for me)
‘Cept this below:
“They must have knew their prince was missing by now.”
“must have KNOWN’ (Just typo…)
My first day in typing class in Honey Grove High, the old Broad K. Trout began our introductory lesson with an exercise:
“Class, two fingers and one thumb and it goes like this:
‘F space J space F space J space… Keep doing that until I get tired.”
And if I’m honest, I thank her. Learning to touch-type is the only thing I took from HS that was worth a shit.
So… I Thank You Kathy T!
Last thoughts; then I’m off the air on this.
(If you’re lucky)
I am not an apologist for LBJ.
Honestly do not care how many ways y’all want to spin your history.
I have not the energy, inclination, nor desire to try to change your mind.
And I have far better things to do than become a caretaker of dead presidents or of their memories.
Unless of course, their visage is printed on some paper I am fortunate enough to be carrying around on my person.
I am not interested in taking part in a trolling war on this subject.
Y’all have expressed your opinions; I have expressed mine.
In parting, I will just add this to that:
It is disheartening to see so many who obviously have not taken time to actually learn anything in detail of the life of Lyndon Johnson or of the good he actually accomplished, jump on some lazy SJW bandwagon and ride it for likes to their comments.
Yes, Viet Nam was horrible, but that was not all that happened during the years, 1963-68.
Well, it’s massive.
Three ‘massive(s)’ in the first paragraph
Four additional ‘massive(s)’ and one bonus ‘massively’ sprinkled in the rest.
You can do better.
“A wee bit over 2000 words.” (Try 2592)
Ok, so arithmetic ain’t your thing; not mine either.
But, honestly, it’s a hot mess. There is NO HOOK at all, just mind-numbing exposition.
Why should I care about Admiral Sarah M. Visherly? Other than the fact she wears leather black gloves, carries a dress dagger and a concealed gun? Or because:
“She… flashed her considerable teeth in a warning snarl.”
Write it up as a ‘wee bit over 500 words’ piece.
Give us some dialog. Make us interested in Sarah.
Then leave us wanting more.
Save all the ‘massive’ detail for later.
It’s not all bad. I did slog through as much as I could.
There is some potential here, I think.
Unleash Sarah and let her show us.
I listened right now, since it’s night.
Shared it to my timeline.
“For twenty-five cents more…”
–Lenny Bruce (“Hubert’s Museum”)
Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to give feedback. Adverbs are surely my nemesis. Thought I had cast most of them out of this piece (Yes! There were more, believe it or not), but you’re correct. Further ruthless editing is in order.
I think my problem can best be stated by Gertrude chastising Polonius,
“More matter with less art.”
Your critique is appreciated as is your time. As for MWTD, I think I was trying for cute there. I’m still schlepping about a lot of my ‘hobbyist writer’ baggage, trying desperately to become more ‘professional.’ If I do keep the “Massive Weps,” they probably should be downgraded to lower case at the very least…
And certainly, I love that you love my (developing) style; coming from another writer that means so much.
Cheers, and thank you again,
*For Barney* (RIP, My Old, Old, Old, Friend)
May be offensive to people of faith:
Barney’s not buyin’ The bullshit they’re tryin’ Space rock was his ending Not God’s will unbending
They say the Big Bang Just weren’t a thang They ‘know’ evolution’s Not their solution
Yet science creates Kids who think straight It don’t take no sleuth To find the true truth
Religion is pending A major upending Then faster than light All Religion is shite
I don’t have any kids (that I know of), but the idea of dealing with eight kids and nine grandkidsscares the shit outta me. I never could relate to kids, even when I was one.
I actually wrote a bit about my pet cougar, “Charley The Cougar,”
But, I dare not post it here.
OK, screw it!
I post it!
Dragons and cougars…
Oil and water.
You say imbuing
I say imbibing
You say black cat
I say who dat?
You say screeching
I say that’s reaching
Let’s call the whole thing off.
Hey, I posted an apropos
Fighters an’ Writers
Righters an’ Smiters
Takin’ all my time
Spendin’ all my dime
Sometimes even writin’ here
Okay: I’ll play.
Lemme consult my ‘history’
“Blogging for idiots”
“Tell it; don’t show it”
As an erstwhile distance runner, this post caught my eye (or maybe my foot’s eye?).
I always kept a runner’s log when I was doing my forty or so miles a week, and in addition to the usual mundane, but necessary stats (time of day, weather, locale, distance/time run, etc.) I found myself writing longer and longer entries describing the run, my mood, interesting things I saw or experiences I had, people I had notice or notice me, thoughts that invaded my mind, pain, and on and on.
Ran across some of my old logs a few years ago (sadly re-lost to me now) and what wonderful reading they held for me after so many years of almost forgetting that I used to even write such things.
Certainly you are keeping logs as well.
Keep them safe.
You will cherish them mightily some years from now.
This is far and above anything I could write (today), but I’ll get there.
So many wonderful turns of phrase/ wonderful observations.
“…outerwearly Arab, underwearly Western. That’s also the image of the rooster gone crazy. A funny story I read somewhere. A rooster not knowing exactly the time when to start crowing because he happened to find himself in the Eiffel Tower somehow.”
Just fuckin’ wow.
I have a ‘Layla’ in one of my memoir stories.
I am going to shoot her now, for not living up to the name.
Have you more of this piece?
“Every morning I was dead as a doornail”
When I first read this I read it as “dead as normal”
And went, “Hmmm… I like that”
Then looking closer (yes, I need new glasses), realized I had misread it.
My point: I kind of like my misread version.
Your thoughts Mimi?
Uh, my comment shoulda read, ‘R’Amen.’
As an atheist, I am well-vetted, and my credentials are bona-fide.
BELIEVE that shit!
“SHOUT! SHOUT! LET IT ON OUT…”
Credit: Tears and For Beers Fears (Duh)
“There was compete silence in her mind. No need to escape.”
Maybe: “No thoughts threatened her mind; no need to escape” (?)
Just a thought. (no pun)
I like it overall.
If I ‘Learned’ from all my myriad mistakes made, the hard-disk-drive that is my ‘mind’ would first become fragmented, then full, and then just explode.
So where would that leave me?
It would leave me with just-one-more-mess to clean up
(Uh… I think I have recently written about ‘messes.’)
“Should I go for it?”
That one is near to the top of my page. It is the post with the dog falling over in bed.
Yuk, Yuk, Yuk! (I love to laugh at Lance. It is cathartic)
Sometimes merely ‘surviving’ is enough.
Thanks for sharing the quote.
“But here lies the difference between low-vibing fake ones and high-vibing someone.”
Great line (and meaning)!!
I may be ‘compelled’ to steal it for a future post of my own.
(I will, of course, credit you. I may be a thief, but I am an honest one—does that make sense?)
Great post Angry Bird.
Very well-written and thought provoking.
To add my ‘two cents’… well two cents which I stole from someone else, namely this guy: some old dude from several years ago,
“And if I say that the greatest good of a man is daily to converse about virtue, and all that concerning which you hear me examining myself and others, and that the life which is unexamined is not worth living—that you are still less likely to believe” –Socrates
I had a similar experience with one of my ex-wives, before she became one of my ex-wives (seems I am always in the market for the ‘future ex-mrs-marcom’ And the astute reader will recognize that I just stole that line from ‘Jurassic Park’ –Jeff Goldblum’s character)
Anyway, I was saying…
Oh yeah, my first ex. We were in Tel Aviv (I used to work in the Sinai for the U.S. State Department. You may have read some of ‘those’ posts: Sinai Field Mission.—SFM—Search for them on my blog if you’d like to ‘read more about it.’
Damnit! I am gonna finish writing this ‘comment’ ‘even if it harelips the Pope’.
We were sitting at a sidewalk café on Dizengoff Street and I casually remarked,
“You know Janet, maybe we should get married some day.”
She took that to heart. (Or maybe she ‘heard’ me say “Sunday”)
I wasn’t meaning ‘right now!’
Next day we were married.
(I had a problem back then with the whole concept of ‘Just say no’ when it came to women, and Nancy was still somewhere far off on the event-horizon at the time: 1979…)
If you have come this far, I humbly suggest you find something better to do with your time.