“Letter From a South Park Jail” Part One (Apology to MLK for appropriating a great title)

“Here, hold this!” said the Texan to his credulous girlfriend as he handed her his half-empty half-pint of Jim Beam, stomped the shit out of the accelerator on his pickup truck and flew headlong into oblivion…

“Roads?”

“I don’t need no stinkin’ roads. I’m going to Afghanistan!”

I need to be ‘institutionalized’ somewhere far far away.

In a place where life is tenuous at worst and exciting at best and the pay is good and booze is scarce and the women are… well, usually not to be found, except on the Internet.

That is how Lance stays out of trouble…

It works well-enough in theory anyway.

***

The following is Part One of a transcribed letter I wrote to a Significant Other while cooling my heels in Helmand Province and Kandahar, Afghanistan trying to get my CAC renewed (Common Access Card: An ID card for Civilians working with the U.S. Military).

‘South Park’ is, for lack of a better term, A Holding Facility ‘soullessly owned and operated’ by DynCorp International for transients, itinerants, illiterates, sycophants, miscreants, and other sad and lonely temporarily homeless people just trying to travel through, hoping to land somewhere else, anywhere else, and the sooner the better…  

South Park is understaffed, under-financed, under-achieving, under-esteeming, underwhelming, and sometimes underwater.

Airmen worked together to clean up after a flash flood that occurred on Kandahar Airfield Feb. 8. Airmen in South Park awoke in the middle of the night to flood waters reaching approximately knee-deep in height both inside and outside their tents. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Nancy Hooks)

***

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.

“I’ve gotta go to South Park?”

“You’re shitting me, right?”

“RIGHT??”

***

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.

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 scattered about and some 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 National.’ 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 aren’t 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.

Then I saw another sign which had previously gone unnoticed by me:

‘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.

***

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 in non-functional. I suppose one of the collateral duties of the deceased hamsters was operating the A/C unit.

1638hrs: Wheels Down

***

“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)

***

Please look for Part Two tomorrow.

******

Shonnie The Biker’s Wife: “Denouement” or “You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams”

Alternate Title: “Fairy-Tales can come true; it can happen to you if you’re young at heart… and stupid and credulous and careless and think you’re bulletproof.”

But be forewarned: They are fleeting, ephemeral, transitory.

***

“You can laugh when your dreams fall apart at the seams, if you’re young at heart.”

I’m callin’ ‘Bullshit’ on that statement.

Frank Sinatra – Young At Heart1953

Video Credit: kopbyt123

***

Or, if you prefer: “Big-Boned Rescue Gal”

(Or All of The Above: Virtual Ink is Cheap Enough)

***

Nothing to do now but drive away and discover what happens next. No point in trying to flee at a high rate of speed. Most Harleys (when they are not broken down) will outrun a heavy-ass Toranado. Which brings to mind a t-shirt one of MY biker friends often wore.

Yes, I had some biker friends. They were also sailors, but I don’t think that disqualifies them.

The T-shirt read: “I’d rather push my Harley than ride your Honda.”

***

So off I drove into the predawn. Never having what could be remotely considered decent navigation skills, I just headed in the general direction of what I thought to be south, hoping to hit I-Five, which would lead me to 32nd Street Naval Base and my ship. And of course I kept frequently glancing in my rear-view.

Billy, or whomever, did in fact follow me, yet at a respectful distance. At one point I contemplated stopping and asking him for directions, but in the end thought better of that.

Eventually, either he got bored, lost his nerve, or ran out of gas. Anyway, he disappeared from my radar. I made it back to the USS Callaghan with just enough time to change into my dungarees and make morning muster.

When the 1MC announced “Knock off Ship’s Work” at 1600hrs, I quickly changed into my civvies and ‘hit the beach’.

I grabbed a pay phone on the pier and called Shonnie up at work.

“Hello?”

“Shonnie?”

“You were expecting maybe… Madonna?”

Ignoring her classic wit, I said “Are you okay?”

“Yes of course, why wouldn’t I be?”

Uh oh. Her tone did not bode well. “Perhaps you caught amnesia. Did Billy come calling?”

“Uh, yeah. He did.”

“And?”

“And what?”

“Come on Shonnie, what happened?”

“He begged me to open the door, so finally I let him in.”

She didn’t seem to want to talk about this, but damn it! I was in ‘need-to-know’ status. ‘Hey! I’m needin’ to know here!’ (Sorry Dustin)

“Well? Do I have to drag this out of you?”

“Listen Lance, he broke down and cried All Right! He promised to be a better husband and father. He begged me to take him back. He is the Father of my Son, Goddamn it! What-the-fuck-do-you-expect-me-to-do?”

(Kids always trump lovers. I suppose this is as it should be, but… this asshole was abusive. At least that was her early story.)

“So, you’re getting back together then?” I felt as if I had been kicked in the solar plexus.

Hard and more than once.

It was becoming difficult to breathe.

“Yes.”

“You sure about this?”

“Yes. I am.”

“Goddamn it Shonnie! You can’t do this to ME! To US!”

“It has to be this way Lance.”

“Well, I guess that’s it then.”

I quickly scoured my brain for something else to add but could not continue the conversation.

“Yeah. I guess it is. Goodbye Lance.” She hung up.

“That’s IT??!!” I screamed into the dead receiver.

***

Heartbreak. Sorrow. Self-Pity. Despair. Rage. Anguish. Aloneness.

All clawing at my mind, tearing apart my heart, climbing over each other in their effort to get to the top of my emotional hit parade.

Damn it!

I never saw this coming!

I slammed the receiver into the phone and watched it bounce out and fall toward the ground, stopped short by the silver metal tether. I stood there vacantly staring at it for a moment as it aimlessly swayed back and forth, pendulum-like.

Suppose at some point I walked toward my car, because that is where I ended up. As soon as I sat down in the driver’s seat I realized I was crying.

There seemed to be a pattern developing here:

Talk to Shonnie. Then grown men cry.

Note to self: ‘research this.’

Fuck! This Hurts! Hurts Real Bad.

I sat there and watched my heart breaking.

Bits and pieces of it fell to the floorboard.

Linda Ronstadt – Heart Like A Wheel (1976) Offenbach, Germany

***

A couple of weeks later I was kidnapped by some buddies from my ship.

“Marcom, you done been moping around for too long. We’re goin’ out tonight to a great joint. No arguments. Just grab yer shit and come on.”

I had to acquiesce.

Mark and Tommy mounted their Harleys. Frank, Lenny, and I climbed into Lenny’s ’68  orange Chevelle, which he referred to as his “She-Vail” Accent on the ‘Vail.’

Of ‘course’ it was ‘hot-rodded’ up, racing stripes, loud pipes, loud stereo, the whole bit. He loved that damn car. Talked about it more than booze or women.

“Where we goin’?” I asked after about five minutes of ear-splitting Guns N’ Roses (Lenny waxed and waned between ‘Pure Country’ and ‘Heavy Metal’ depending on his mood and blood alcohol level.)

“Goin’ to IB,” he shouted over Welcome to the Jungle. (‘Imperial Beach’ for those who may not have had the opportunity to visit some of the classier environs south of San Diego.) One can actually ‘smell’ Tijuana from IB, not an entirely unpleasant smell if the wind is right and it ain’t summertime.

Welcome to Imperial Beach

HAZMAT Gear On Tap for Rental at Cook’s Corner Boutique & Bar

(Subject to Availability)

We were just a couple of car lengths behind Mark and Tommy straddling  their Harleys,  puking blue smoke, and producing one hundred decibels above what OSHA would consider workplace violence.

They had effortlessly and instantly metamorphosed from ‘A-Jay-Squared-Away Sailors’ into ‘So-Cal Bikers’…

Replete with all the garb: leather jackets, black jack-boots, Brando Hats, ‘too dark to see through’ sunglasses.

The whole bit.

We passed through National City, (‘Nasty City’) then Chula Vista, (Chew, Ya-Wanna?’).

I couldn’t help but think of Shonnie and how much she would have loved this ‘adventure.’ And I with her, experiencing it together. Damn! Damn her! I missed her still!

“Almost there!” Lenny shouted as we pulled off of I-5 and tacked somewhat west toward the Pacific.

“Almost where?!” I shouted back, but Lenny said nothing. After navigating through some of Imperial Beach’s “Nicer Hoods” our little caravanserai pulled into a gravel parking lot, which presumably belonged to the ramshackle ‘Joint’ I now found me staring at. Lots of Harleys in the lot. I cannot recall the name of the establishment, but it was something along the lines of “The Salty Frog.” or “IB Bar N’ Grill” or “Busted Spoke.”

Oh wait! Now I remember!

‘Cook’s Corner’

No matter, I was only interested in drink, not ambience. Mark and Tommy dismounted as Frank, Lenny, and I ‘de-She-Vailed’ and headed into the ‘Dew Drop Inn’ or, what-you-will.

Inside, the joint wasn’t too bad. Good A/C, low lighting, a couple of pool tables and lots of… Yep: bikers. Well, why not? I was sick to death of the memory of the squeaky-clean C/W Joint where I had first met Shonnie and this place was as far removed from that type of joint as I could ever hope to get.

We found a table against a back wall and proceeded headlong into the arms of intoxication. As I was not expected to drive (this was sort of a ‘coming back out of the shadow of death’ party for me after all), I planned to “Drink that woman offa my mind.”

“Drinkin’ My Baby (Off My Mind)”–Eddie Rabbitt

***

The drinks flowed and the bullshit rolled (mostly downhill into my lap, as it was well known that I was in ‘lost love recovery’ mode.) I won’t go into detail about how piercingly eloquent we all became during the course of the evening. Mainly because I cannot remember all the pearls of wisdom which were cast back and forth amongst us swine.

What I do recall was my exit:

Roughly fifteen minutes after Last Call, and as all the patrons began to shuffle (or in my case, stagger) toward the exit, I ran headlong into an immovable object: probably because I was trying to guide my feet one step at a time with my eyes cast downward and not really paying attention to the ‘bigger picture’ part of navigation.

‘Situational Awareness’ is overrated and for cowards anyway.

Looking up I realized I had run into a woman. A very tall, very large woman. Not a fat woman, mind you, but a tall and large Jumbotron of a woman. I mean a ‘Big-Boned Gal.’ A fuckin’-beautiful-brunette-dark-eyed Big Bone Woman, who, praise Neptune, did not appear angered by my clumsiness.

I found my voice and said, “Hi… Uh… I’m Lance. Will you take me home? With you?”

BBG smiled down at me, “Yes. I sure will,” she said as she took me by the hand.

I wanted to tell her that I was a refugee from a disconcerted affair, mourning over the one that got away, but even thinking about Tom Waits, let alone quoting him, would have hurled me into an emotional tailspin and probably also into a drunken crying jag for added melodramatic value.

I dared not risk it, so I shut up and silently allowed her to lead me to her vehicle.

***

Well I’ve lost my equilibrium and my car keys and my pride,
The tattoo parlor’s warm, and so I hustle there inside
And the grinding of the buzz-saw, “What you want that thing to say?”
I says,

“Just don’t misspell her name buddy, she’s the one that got away”

***

But as they say (Always ‘They’. Who ARE ‘They?’ The ‘They’ who always say?)

“Nothing gets you over the last one like the next one.”

***

My recovery was officially underway.

Thank You Big-Boned Gal!

Street Cred for Vid: barefootkd’s channel

***

This Concludes Our ‘All Things Shonnie’ Broad Cast (no pun). We now return you to our regularly scheduled insanity.

***

Hope you enjoyed reading as much as I was ‘enjoined’ to write it.

However, BOLO for some ‘Final Thoughts Part Duh’ coming real soon.

I’d provide them today, but they are gonna be Real ‘Heavy,’ Real ‘Philosophical,’ Real ‘Tedious,’ and Real ‘Sad.’

And I am not up to the task of laying them down just yet.

Perhaps tonight,

Perhaps not.

We’ll see.

Peace and Beer to all Y’all!

Oh! I almost forgot.

“Coming Soon: More Big Boned Gal

***

Previously:

***

If you are new here, or a long-lost returning Pilgrim, you may want to begin your Shonnie Journey Below

And then simply “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” i.e., The Lancelot Links:

***

Comments from the original version of this post may be discovered below.

Please read from the bottom up for continuity.

18 THOUGHTS ON “SHONNIE THE BIKER’S WIFE: DENOUEMENT”

LAMarcom July 22, 2014 at 19:42 Edit

Youth is a magic healing bullet.

Thank you very much for reading this long series. Your time spent here is greatly appreciated. I know how busy all of us are and there are TONs of blogs out there to read.

I am very grateful you took the time to read mine.

Cheers Friend.

Tony Single July 22, 2014 at 19:09 Edit

Fantastic read. Truth be told, I was actually a little gutted at the end. I’m not sure I could go through a break up like that.

LAMarcom July 18, 2014 at 18:19 Edit

So glad you are enjoying the tale.

Yeah, lost loves can be painful, especially when one is young and doesn’t yet possess the thick skin for protection.

Thanks very much for reading and commenting.

-L

Teela Hart July 18, 2014 at 11:13 Edit

Great story Lance.

I enjoyed every minute.

I know how it is with lost loves.

I’m not sure I could write about mine, but I have to say once again that you have skills dude.

Can’t wait for the next adventure.

T

LAMarcom July 17, 2014 at 20:22 Edit

Thanks my good friend.

Truth be told, I’m glad that one is done. I’m rather emotionally exhausted.

😉

Time to move on to other Tales O’ Texas (and other places)

Have a wonderful eve,

-Lance

markbialczak July 17, 2014 at 20:19 Edit

You got, you gave. Good story, Lance. A little better than good. Great, possibly. Told well, sir, told well.

lauramacky July 17, 2014 at 12:29 Edit

loool

LAMarcom July 17, 2014 at 11:38 Edit

Hahaha! Well, ya know… I was just a simple sailor.

David Scott Moyer July 17, 2014 at 09:37 Edit

I enjoyed it. Seems like you did too, for the most part.

lauramacky July 17, 2014 at 09:28 Edit

Well that didn’t take long. Out with the old, in with the new I guess! LOL. Another lol was one of Imperial Beaches “Nicer Hoods”…reminds me of Oakland hahaha

LAMarcom July 17, 2014 at 08:19 Edit

Worse woman tango! Hahaha! Love it!

Gracias Amigo!

happierheathen July 17, 2014 at 01:43 Edit

The only cure for the bad woman blues is the worse woman tango. 😀

Thanks for filling in the blanks, hombre. (That’s pronounced as Daffy Duck pronounces it: Homber.)

LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 22:09 Edit

In truth, Sadie, I am happy to put Shonnie to bed.

And also in truth, I would like to ‘bed’ her just one-more-time.

For old time’s sake.

😉

Cheers,

Lance

~ Sadie ~ July 16, 2014 at 22:04 Edit

I hope it was as cathartic for you to write it as it was enjoyable for me to read it 🙂 There’s some good memories there . . .

Peace out, Lance

LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 21:13 Edit

David, Friend,

Time for me to move on, and truthfully, aside from a couple of ‘relapses’, that was the end of me and Shonnie.

You’re just going to have to trust me on this one.

And thanks so much for reading the series; means much to me.

Always love your comments.

Cheers,

Lance

David Scott Moyer July 16, 2014 at 21:09 Edit

I’ll believe it’s over when I believe it’s over.

LAMarcom July 16, 2014 at 21:05 Edit

Homeopathic.

Always works.

Hahahah

Thanks for readin’ Annie.

Cheers,

Lance

Mad Annie, Bronwyn, Ann July 16, 2014 at 21:04 Edit

Hair o’ the dog what bit ya!

“Look like th’innocent flower, But be the serpent under’t” or “Come you spirits, That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here.”

Out Of All Shakespearean Female Characters

This Cowboy Finds Lady Macbeth

The Most Captivating

The Most Fascinating

The Most Stimulating

The Most Everlasting

Francesca Annis, The Best Lady Macbeth

Ever! and Forever!

***

Blond Ambition:

***

“Take The Dagger”

She Didn’t Verbalize That. She Didn’t Have To

Just Look Into Her Eyes. Could You Say ‘No?”

I Know I couldn’t.

***

MACBETH

     My dearest love,

Duncan comes here tonight.

LADY MACBETH

     And when goes hence?

MACBETH

Tomorrow, as he purposes.

LADY MACBETH

     O, never

Shall sun that morrow see!

Your face, my thane, is as a book where men

May read strange matters. To beguile the time,

Look like the time. Bear welcome in your eye,

Your hand, your tongue. Look like th’ innocent flower,

But be the serpent under ’t. He that’s coming

Must be provided for; and you shall put

This night’s great business into my dispatch,

Which shall to all our nights and days to come

Give solely sovereign sway and masterdom.

MACBETH

We will speak further

LADY MACBETH

Only look up clear.

To alter favor ever is to fear.

Leave all the rest to me

***

“Unsex Me Here”

***

Why do I hold Lady Macbeth in such high esteem one may ask?

Isn’t it patently obvious?

She is cunning. She is manipulative. She is strong. (Much stronger than her husband)

“Screw your courage to the sticking-place, And we’ll not fail.”

***

She is intelligent.

She is ‘ambition-on-steroids’.

She is resolute.

She is brave.

***

She is Affectionate and Loving.

(Yes! Oh Yes She Is!—To her husband)

***

She is loyal (The whole world of her ambition is her husband)

***

She is broken.

She is madness. (In mind and in deed)

“Out! damned spot! One, two, — why, then ‘tis time to do’t. Hell is murky. Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account? – Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him.”

***

She is Beautiful.

She is Beautiful.

She is So Very Beautiful

***

In very many respects, she reminds me of Shonnie.

***

But now she is gone.

“Out, Out Brief Candle”

***

And now for something completely different…

Just a little levity.

‘Tis Good For The Soul.

Street Cred For Vid: Wisecrack

***

Author’s Note (And Two-Cents):

Yes, I know.

Roman Polanski is an Asshole.

So What?

Anyone who ‘reads me’ knows my position on ‘artists’ and art.

If you do not, here is the ‘short’ version:

“I don’t give two cups of warm spit about what they (artists, creators, movie stars, entertainers, et cetera) do off camera, off stage, away from the set, away from the recording booth. Or whatever they choose to do while in their boudoirs.

All I care about is what they create.

Does it enrich my life?

Does it entertain me?

Does it educate me?

Does it make me laugh?

Does it make me cry?

Does it move me?

Or Does It Waste My Time?

These are the only measures of worth I employ.”

***

Anything Else IS A WASTE of my Mental Energy and My Time.

And My Time is the Most Valuable Thing I Own.

Or as we say in Texas (Usually about Land, but it fits even better in this context):

“Time, get all you can.

Keep all you can.

They ain’t making any more of it.”

That door swings both ways:

So, I hope I have NOT wasted YOUR Time.

Cheers,

–Lance

More Two Cents Worth Regarding Art and Artists Here:

Below Please Find The Relevant Text If You Do Not Want To Follow The Link To The Complete Post Above.

***

Now I am cognizant of the fact that there are myriad ‘Madonna Haters’ out there in ‘Radio Land.’

Here is My Philosophy, (Well-Documented in some of my posts) and some advice:

You don’t have to love the ‘artist-person’ to love the art. There are lots of performers I detest because of their off-stage persona or antics, or just piss-poor personality in general.

But… That does not stop me from enjoying and appreciating their art.

I do not give two shits about their politics, arrogance, religion, sexual preferences, et cetera. If their art entertains and enriches my life, I am good with them.

On the other hand, they can be as wonderful and charming as all get out, but if they have no true performance talent, I move on.

Here is the advice part for anyone out there who may need it:

Do not be so narrow and small-minded, and full of your own morality that you prevent yourself from enjoying good art.

That loss is yours.

And yours alone.

Believe me, the artists, the great ones especially, don’t give a shit if you boycott them or not.

Try to remember:

“Life is a Cabaret”

Enjoy it while it lasts. Don’t deny yourself value and enjoyment in your life just because some great performer pisses you off due to their persona while off-stage.

***

Cheers Again!

“Hey! Lance Needs Help! He’s Goin’ Down for the Third Time!” or, “Does This Font Make My Blog Look Fat?”

“Just toss him a beer and that ‘Mae West Vest’. He’ll be fine.”

“But Sir, he quit drinking months ago.”

“Well Christ! That’s probably most of his problem right there. Ok, fish him aboard. I’ll have some ‘chat’ with him; get to the nature of his ‘Urgent Urgency’.”

I’m not drownin’.

Just Flounderin’.

***       

But toss me That Mae any-wayyy.

You may keep the beer.

Just asking advice / feedback from

‘The Community’

‘My Community’

‘Our Community’

The ‘Blogging / Writing Community.’

The ‘La Cosa Nostra’ of our ‘Unique Community’

“Uh, Lance?”

“Yes?”

“Is there something, anything, anything at all you are about to actually ask us?”

“Uh, yeah, Yeah. Sorry, got carried away by the current there for a sec.”

“Go on.”

“In truth, it’s just a simple question. Not really much to it at all in fact. But, in my recent writings… not so much the ‘writings’ per se, not sure I’d ever call some of them ‘writing’. It’s more about well, kinda embarrassing to ask, but you see, when constructing… or is it ‘destructing’… or perhaps re-constructing the previously de-constructed or de-constructing the previously con-structed, or just possibly…”

“As Brevity is the Soul of Wit, I shall be Brief”

“More Matter With Less Art

“Enough! Good God Man! Get To-The-Bloody-Point!”

“Alright already! Sheesh!  My query is thus…”

“Is the font I’ve been using too large? Do you think my readers find it obnoxious? Obtrusive? Even abusive to the eye? Self aggrandizing even? I use it ‘cause I can’t see for shit these days and…”

“Yeah, Yeah! We get your point. Finally! We’ll take your request under sober consideration and get back to you presently.”

“Next!”

“I just want to express my deepest, humblest, sincerest thank you for what…”

“Are you still Here Marcom? You have been summarily dismissed! You will hear from us presently. Now haul ass!”

“Thank you. Thank you all. Y’all…”

“BE GONE!”

*Lance slowly and deliberately backs out of the room. Softly closing the door behind him*

***

‘Verbosity’ is the Soul of My (and Sponge Bob’s) Wit

Well, I’d like to think so…

Spongebob Theme But Overly Verbose

Street Cred for Vid: Gigaflare8822

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Author’s Note:

(At the end this time)

Of late I have been committing The First & Worst Deadly Sin:

‘Burying The Lede’

This unhappy behaviour must cease and desist immediately.

***

Here is the ‘Note’ Placed in its Proper Place:

I am taking a ‘brief’ break from re-writing ‘Shonnie.’

Bringing her back into me, back into my life, reliving her, re-falling-in-love-with-her, horribly missing her…

And as much excitement and joy as I may expierence in the re-riding of that emotional roller-coaster enterprise, bringing her back has, of late, become too emotionally painful for me.

I just need a break.

So I am taking one.

Maybe.

Shonnie is exhausting.

Yet exhilarating to remember.

She wore me out once.

Now she is doing it all-over-again…

“Way to go Shonnie. Wish you could see me now. You would, no doubt, laugh your little darling ass off.”

***

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Some Added ‘Added Value’ below for all you ‘Word Nerds’ out there in Radio Land.

(You’re Welcome)

***

Why is it Spelled “Lede”

The spelling lede is an alteration of lead, a word which, on its own, makes sense; after all, isn’t the main information in a story found in the lead (first) paragraph? And sure enough, for many years lead was the preferred spelling for the introductory section of a news story.

So how did we come to spell it lede?

Although evidence dates the spelling to the 1970s, we didn’t enter lede in our dictionaries until 2008. For much of that time, it was mostly kept under wraps as in-house newsroom jargon.

Once, Al Marlens, the assistant managing editor, told one of the cleaning men to walk up to me and ask to see my lede, “not lead,” a newsie slang for the first sentence of a story.

—Myron S. Waldman, Forgive Us Our Press Passes, 1991

Spelling the word as lede helped copyeditors, typesetters, and others in the business distinguish it from its homograph lead (pronounced \led\ ), which also happened to refer to the thin strip of metal separating lines of type (as in a Linotype machine). Since both uses were likely to come up frequently in a newspaper office, there was a benefit to spelling the two words distinctly.

William Safire, who knew a thing or two about newsrooms, wrote in his New York Times “On Language” column in 1990, “Wouldn’t it be easier if the noun for the metal were spelled the way it sounded (led, to rhyme with dead) and the noun for the beginning of a newspaper story were spelled the way it is pronounced (lede, or leed, to rhyme with deed)?”

Others have been less than willing to embrace the new spelling. At The Awl, founder Choire Sicha tore out at those who use lede like it’s an affectation:

You schmucks who use ridiculous journo-terms make me crazy! Finally, someone is willing to speak out against the use of “lede” in public. Because, ha ha, sucka, there’s no reason for it! (Plus, MOST OF YOU ARE JUST BLOGGERS.)

—Choire Sicha, The Awl, 19 Sept. 2011

That “someone” was Howard Owens, a writer who has speculated that the flourishing of lede in the 1970s is ironic given that Linotype machines were starting to be phased out from newsrooms around that time. Owens attributes the fondness for the spelling to nostalgia, calling it “an invention of linotype romanticists, not something used in newsrooms of the linotype era.”

Despite the acknowledgment of lede by Safire and others, and its subsequent use by journalists and non-journalists alike, phrases employing the traditional spelling of lead still find their way into print:

But because I didn’t want Marshall’s piece to get lost in a big evening, I’ve buried the lead: The New Music Group was followed by a late-night appearance of wild Up, with Christopher Rountree conducting his increasingly impressive young ensemble in three more premieres

Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 2 Oct. 2016

Needless to say, don’t want to bury the lead, but I think there could be a second day of down for Apple (AAPL) — said so myself in a video I did with Jack Mohr (see above) — but if you don’t own any, by all means don’t let me stop you from buying some.

Jim Cramer, TheStreet.com, 26 Oct. 2016

This is sure to become one of those longstanding usage debates that will have its hard-liners on both sides, and perhaps reveal a little bit about the writer’s familiarity with the news business.

Credit:

https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/bury-the-lede-versus-lead

“Tuesday’s Tirade” or ”Curmudgeon’s Complaint” or “Just The Rants, Sir. Just The Rants”

Author’s Note:

*Taps Mic*

“Uh… Is this thing on?”

*Screeching Mic Feedback*

“Ouch! Guess it is.”

*Clears Throat*

“Uh… Hi Y’all.”

*Crowd Grumbles*–

“Speak UP!

“Uh… HOWDY Y’ALL!”

*Crowd in Unison*–

“You said that already! Git on wid it!”

“Okay! Okay! This is just me, being me. Allowing me, for today, to indulge the ‘Right Side of Me’. That’s All.

Please Enjoy.

Or not.”

*Crowd Collectively Moans*

***

“So… Worried much about Western Civilization?”

“Not particularly. Not tonight.”

“It’s collapsing. Or Hadn’t you noticed?”

“I live in a pretty good neighborhood.”

‘About Last Night’

Director: Edward Zwick

Studio Credit: TriStar Pictures

Film Based On The Play “Sexual Perversity in Chicago” by David Mamet

***

“Are YOU Ready for SOME FOOTBALL?!!!”

“Nope.”

“Butt. Butt… BUTT??!

“Precisely the Problem.”

“Oh.”

Credit: Salty Cracker

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WHATEVER Happened to THESE people?

Where did THEY go?

Street Cred for Vid: Steven Shehori

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“Why does the sun go on shining?

Why does the sea rush to shore?

Don’t they know it’s the end of the world?

It ended when you said ‘goodbye’”

–Skeeter Davis

Street Cred for Vid: TheOldrecordclub

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It May be The-End-of-The-World

(As we know it)

But Lance Feels Fine!

He Feels Fine…

Performance Credit: R.E.M.

Street Cred for Vid: remhq

***

Cheers Y’all!

P.S.

Oh, and just to bundle up that thought about ‘Butts’

I found the perfect new vocation for any future Unemployed NFL Executives.

They’d be Naturals

Just like these two intrepid entrepreneurs:

Shonnie: Just Some Last Thoughts & One “Reminisce”–Important ‘Breaking News’ Re: Shonnie’s ‘Make-Over’

Let’s Get This Out of the Way First:

“SPOILER ALERT!”

Do NOT Read Unless You are Already Familiar With The Story from Reading the Original Series.

Skip Ahead to Here:

Author’s Note:

Some of Y’all Faithful Readers… (That is Not Sarcasm. I sincerely appreciate all Y’all who read me and have ‘Read’ me over the years, and tears, and beers)

some of Y’all have probably noticed I have been re-visiting old work and endeavoring to ‘re-work’ same.

I am doing this because a few of the old posts still have value and meaning for me and hopefully for you as well.

Most do not, but there are a handful that do.

“Shonnie”, being one of them.

“Are you going ‘somewhere’ with this Lance?”

Yes. I just wish to inform Y’all that my ‘Current Mission’ is to re-write the entire Shonnie Series. Chapter One is Done. Now only Thirteen to go!”

Someone once told me, “Lance, your ‘Shonnie’ is probably the only ‘real’ writing you have ever done. Most of your other shit is just that: ‘Shit.’ Granted, some of it is entertaining shit, but ‘shit’ it remains. ‘Shonnie’ is the only one that will ever have even a snowflake’s chance in Hell of getting published. Provided you allow a good editor to slice and dice it.”

“Uh… Nice ‘talkin’ to ya. Thanks.”

****

I killed this Series a few years ago.

Pretty Certain Alcohol was involved.

Anyway, I brought it back, (With the help of Word Press—Thank you WP) if for nothing else, my own edification.

And every word I wrote, everything I recounted, actually happened as written.

(And of course, it was resurrected because I love Sheryl Crow. And of course, as a vain writer, I just cannot cotton to killing my own words, once dragged out of my mind and put down. Hahahaha! Writers! Y’all know what I mean.)

 Please Bare er, ‘bear’…  with me on this one Y’all.

Time always makes things (memories) better. This is how I cope. As for me and Shonnie, memories are multiplied, ‘super-sized’, if you will.

The words I wrote of our relationship are all too true. I do hope she never reads those words, as neither she nor I are strong enough to re-live those heady days. This is how life is and I suppose how it should be.

One is young twice, but old only once. ‘Once a Man and Twice a Child’.

And youth makes one do stupid shit based upon that ‘youth’, and then, if lucky, one has a chance for redemption later in life while old and hopefully ‘wise,’ and before that ‘Second Childhood’ kicks in, making one fairly useless, even if still lovable.

(Not religious redemption: human redemption) I do not apologize for my youthful indiscretions. They belong to me alone and I will carry them alone. 

If anyone has it in their head after reading my story of Lance and Shonnie, that I did not truly love her, that I allowed her to set me free for my own self-preservation, that I did not want to fight for her, then you may want to go back and read between the lines a bit.

And with that ‘mini-rant’ spotlight shined into my soul, I leave you with this idealized and fantasized version of what Shonnie meant to me.

(Ms Shonnie’s part played and well-acted by Sheryl Crow.) Yet as good as Sheryl is, she could never be as good to, nor for me, as was Shonnie.

Ever.

(But, I’d grant her an audition, none-the-less)

It shames me now to admit this but I was, back then, not strong enough to be Shonnie’s man.

And, even now, today, I probably still am not.

If you are new here and confused, here is the beginning of this little saga: 

Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife

 Go there with my Blessing

And my Sympathy

Cheers! Y’all!

Below You Will Find Most Of The Original Posts. Once / If You Arrive At Thirteen There Are Links To The Final Few Chapters. Please keep in mind however, that each and every one of them is in the process of being rewritten: first to last. This will probably take at least two or three weeks.

UPDATE: The Shonnie Reconstruction Project is Completed.

Please read the new versions.

They are all still truth. Truth expanded. More detail, yada yada yada…

I deleted the links to the original versions.

The links seem to have been confusing.

The new ones are all easily accessible.