A Tuesday Throwback… or, if you will: “Why Ruby Did It?”*

*Of course if you want the answer to that burning behind the Grassy Knoll Question, you will have to listen to Lenny. (Listen below after you wade through some serious Lance Horseshit)

Or, I suppose you could just ask Lance, as his erstwhile step-mom worked for Jack (Ruby)

And if you, any of you, breath, yeah breath. A word to my also erstwhile step-sister… well, that last breath, will be your last…

(And, as always, Everything I just typo’d, said, thought… well, it’s bullshit. I was born, rear’d an’ raised in California. Northern California. I have never even seen Texas. Just read about it all.)

In books.

And some old  pirate maps.

Galveston maps

*****

Just funnin’… I am only Half-Crazy.

Just to make up for all those “Thursday Throwbacks” I missed cashing in on during my recent ‘sabbatical’.

Yeah, I always considered ‘Throwback Thursdays’ something of a ‘gift.’ I mean, if I had nothing to write I could always dig down into those old archives, et voila! There ya go!

(In Some Truth: I just wanted to put up some Lenny Bruce–for Old Time’s Sake.)

And it kind of goes along with that Brother Dave Post from a day or two ago. (See? There is some continuity to my mind)

Believe that? Really? Wanna buy a bridge? Cheap?

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

I generally spend about ten minutes ‘writing a post’. Then three minutes waiting on ‘spell check’ to remind me that I cannot spell ‘cat.’ Then two minutes (except for the upload wait) to upload photos/videos. One minute at the ‘final’ look. Then: Click that ‘publish’ button.

Done.

Rinse and repeat the next day. This bothers me. Why? Because, as all of us (may) feel, we can write so much better.

Alas, I am lazy. I just want to get it out there… Catch the likes; catch the comments. Fuck the quality! “They” know what I mean… Don’t they? I mean, they read me! Not too much need for exposition, ya? ‘They git it, eh?’

Just some musings from an amusing wanna-be writer/blogger. Take with some grain of salt. (And Comment), if you are of a mind to, and have an opinion on the ‘writing/blogging’ process.

Cheers, Lancers

“I have never had an original thought; I don’t live in a vacuum.”

–Lenny Bruce

And if this ain’t poignant for today… Well then. I do not know what is, or could be ‘is.’

Take a listen: All Policemans in NYC might even appreciate. (If they can read, that is)

And I wanna be Your Lenny…

Right here on TT&H

There is a vid credit, but I lost it. His lawyers will surely contact mine…

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

Moving on…

Now, this is some strange form of bullshit.

I actually shook  his hand.

download

In Sand Dog, California.

He weren’t  none of that.

He was some, but not all.

But he was a great man.

He was just a man with a plan.

I loved him for that.

Just like I love(d) Woody

And his son….

And I respect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HaHaHa!

“Lance ‘Dun’ Went Three Bubbles Off Plumb!”

Now, “Run Tell That!”

I do love anyone and ever’one who darkens my doorstep.

Honestly.

Now… sleep is an option I long to explore.

Catch Y’all on the Flip-Flop.

Pretty much have said all my piece for a spell.

Cheers,

Lanc’d

tom

“colder than a ticket taker’s smile
at the Ivar Theatre, on a Saturday night”

–Tom

Ya Know: We Are Just On the Cusp of The Wayward Side of TB Thusrday…

OKAY: (Leeward Side)

(But never despair: There is music — and video– down there. Bear..Bare?? With me on this one!)

I am (once again) late for the party.

You have been granted a ‘pass’. 

Don’t open this one.

It is depressing, all in all anyhow.

And yes, more now than ever:

****

..And I find it ‘timely.’

***

“Dear (fill in the name) I am so sorry we are apart, but you see, I am serving… something, something greater, something important, something, some power, Uh, My ego. See you soon. Love, Lance”

Away from my Homeland.

Yes.

I have.

My Choice.

Fyodor-Dostoevsky-Quotes-4

Sometimes in Service of my Country.

Sometimes in Service of Lance.

But, always, always, In Service  of That Great American Dream.

I came home from Iraq in ’09.

Went to Kandahar in ’11.

Came home late ’12.

Guess what?

There is no American Dream no mas.

The Bureaucrats killed it. 

I am a Patriot.

I love my country.

I served my ‘Country’.

But now, I do not recognize my country.

Now, I am leaning to socialism.

This post is but a beginning.

I am not gonna bore y’all with Lenny and Sarah, and bullshit anymore.

I am gonna bore you with reality.

The Reality.

Stay tuned.

For those of Y’all ‘Fraid of the NSA, well, bow out now gracefully. I have no fear, but I am old and have nothing to lose. And to quote Bette Davis: “Fasten Your Seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

And, Yes! I am not stupid. I do recognize the dichotomy of the diametrically opposed points of the two songs I present below for your perusal. You must sort out your own feelings.

And some tongue in cheek.

And some more… tongue in cheek.

“I am not stupid.”

(“Doth the gentleman protest too much?”)

Now, some would argue, “Lance is just living in his past; he is craving for the days when Revolution was a real possibility”

Some might say that.

I say, “There is no better time than the present, to take it up; because things now, are really fucked up.”

“Wake up!”

Wake the hell up, America!

My Country!

I love my America.

I truly do.

Now… Y’all.

As I am wont to reiterate, ad nauseum: Lance is no dummy. He is not stupid. (even though, He often speaks as him, in some third person… no matter.

My point here is thus:

Walon Jennnings was somewhat deluded. Yes. Deluded. When he wrote that above  below song, somewhere way back then… in the Nineteen Seventies. All thinking people know this. But know this about me: I am a cockeyed optimist. I want to believe, and yet, I am an atheist.

Therein, lies some dichotomy, eh?

(I guess I just felt compelled to ‘throw’ that in, just so you’d know…all you intellectuals out there, that I really do READ Stuff.)

And here is ‘some pie in yer eye’: “I have actually been THERE!”

(And sad to be reduced to throwing ‘Peanut’ at ya, but… “Now! Run Tell That!”)

Just saying…

-Lance 

There are people in Gaza: REAL PEOPLE.

Goddamn it!

http://yelkhoudary.blogspot.com/

(I just threw that in, so’d you’d know how ‘liberal’ this Texan/Comanche is…)

I am gonna repost this for two reasons:

One: because I missed Thursday

(Probably because I was in a coma)

Two: because I can.

And here is the bonus:

Because I miss Jimmy ‘Peanut’ Piland.

*****

“I dreamt a dream tonight.”

“And so did I.”

“Well, what was yours?”

“That dreamer’s often lie.”

“…In bed asleep while they do dream things true!”

“Oh! Then I see Queen Mab hath been with you!”

–R&J: Romeo and Mercutio,

Queen Mab:

Ya’ll gotta watch the video “or it all just falls apart” Just saying… (Yes! I feign Texan; it is my wont.)

After a night of hard blogging and writing of drafts, and becoming somewhat disillusioned and more than daft, I perished toward my bed, reaching out for the Arms of Morpheus.

Within moments, I slipped into that nether sleep, that sleep between sleeps, that semi-conscious state of affairs. Sleep, but Not Sleep.

Then I began to dream things that should have been true. But were not true, yet so true.

Wonderful words words words! Words to sate my unnourished prose.

Words swirl’d about in my mind like so many fireflies on a summer’s eve:

““Words, words, words!. Once, I had the gift. I could make love out of words as a potter makes cups of clay. Love that overthrows empires. Love that binds two hearts together, come hellfire & brimstone.”

— “Will Shakespeare in Love”

I had it (them, those) words… goin’ on. Brilliant words. Beautiful, poignant words! All right there! Right there In My Mind. I reached out my finger to tap the “Publish” Mouse.

My finger was frozen.

It would not move.

How hard I did try!

It would not comply!

I lay there in my nether sleep, commanding.

The hand, the one digit, just the finger! Demanding!

Just move the damn finger!

Would not.

Could not.

Then I realized:

I am with Dante now.

And Mercutio is Peanut.

And Peanut was my Mercutio

Yeah, Dante

Dante ‘R’ Us

“Letter From a South Park Jail” (and some other bullshit)

(And with apology to MLK for appropriating a great title)

His “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” is some of the best contemporary writing ever… Google it.

Went trolling for JOBs in Afghanistan today: Found a few, so I thought I’d repost this to rein in my reins… Not!

Truth is, I cannot work in the United ‘Stats’. I miss my former life.

I need to be ‘institutionalized’ somewhere far far away. 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 a JOKE, by the way…)

I must redouble my efforts to get ‘back to the Sandbox’, and I shall.

“Here hold this while I do that!” said the Texan to his credulous girlfriend/cheerleader as he handed her his half-pint of Jim Beam and hit the accelerator on his pickup truck and flew headlong into oblivion… “Roads? We don’t need no roads!”

Then they probably both died, as so many did tryin’ to fly, back in the Seventies….

***

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.

(Whew! That was some long-ass’d diatribe!

Read on: it gets grows worse.)

 

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 in 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)

Parts  Two  Three  Four 

And Hey! I paid fer it:

Watch it!

Vid Credit:

Woody.

I Am Going to Post Some Fresh Shit… Soon, but I like this post…

…And I find it ‘timely.’

***

“Dear (fill in the name) I am so sorry we are apart, but you see, I am serving… something, something greater, something important, something, some power, Uh, My ego. See you soon. Love, Lance”

Away from my Homeland.

Yes.

I have.

My Choice.

Fyodor-Dostoevsky-Quotes-4

Sometimes in Service of my Country.

Sometimes in Service of Lance.

But, always, always, In Service  of That Great American Dream.

I came home from Iraq in ’09.

Went to Kandahar in ’11.

Came home late ’12.

Guess what?

There is no American Dream no mas.

The Bureaucrats killed it. 

I am a Patriot.

I love my country.

I served my ‘Country’.

But now, I do not recognize my country.

Now, I am leaning to socialism.

This post is but a beginning.

I am not gonna bore y’all with Lenny and Sarah, and bullshit anymore.

I am gonna bore you with reality.

The Reality.

Stay tuned.

For those of Y’all ‘Fraid of the NSA, well, bow out now gracefully. I have no fear, but I am old and have nothing to lose. And to quote Bette Davis: “Fasten Your Seatbelts; it’s going to be a bumpy night.”

And, Yes! I am not stupid. I do recognize the dichotomy of the diametrically opposed points of the two songs I present below for your perusal. You must sort out your own feelings.

Now, some would argue, “Lance is just living in his past; he is craving for the days when Revolution was a real possibility”

Some might say that.

I say, “There is no better time than the present, to take it up; because things now, are really fucked up.”

“Wake up!”

Wake the hell up, America!

My Country!

I love my America.

I truly do.

-Lance 

There are people in Gaza: REAL PEOPLE.

Subic Bay

You may discover Part One here.

Part Two here.

The Thunder Bolt:

“You can’t hide the thunderbolt. When it hits you, everybody can see it. Christ Man! Don’t be ashamed of it, some men pray for the thunderbolt. You’re a very lucky fellow.”

 – Calo (‘The Godfather’)

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

So… Matt, Rogers, and I settled into the bar (After I had paid my respects to Mama-San).

Since it was still relatively early and the joint pretty much dead, Rog and I decided to shoot some pool. Now I must tell you, gentle readers, I am a pool hustler, and Rog was a gambler. Good for me. Bad for him. After about an hour of pool, Rog owned me all the beer in Olongapo and his First Born. Wasn’t really interested in the First Born (I had seen the baby pictures and the baby dipped snuff just like his daddy), So I told him to keep the First Born, but get busy with the beers. We sat back down at the bar next to Matt who was in some kind of serious philosophical discussion with a young bar girl who appeared to have a glass eye. Matt is a gentleman and this girl seemed to have warmed up to him. Rog and I were not gentlemen so we interrupted their conversation.

“Hey Matt! Rog here is buyin’ the beer for the next ten years. Name your poison.”

“I’d like a glass of wine,” Matt said softly.

“What?!” Rog and I both exclaimed in unison.

(Matt was an artist. So I suppose this was to be expected: This Un-Naval-Like Bullshit Talk he could come up with out the side of his neck from time to time)

“Mama-San!” I yelled over my shoulder. “Ya got any Pinto Greegee-oh?”

“Goddamn chew!” she yelled back. “Go to fuck you!”
I turned to Matt, “Sorry Buddy. Fresh out. How ‘bout a beer? On Rogers here. He buyin’”.

“Sure,” he said, not even looking at us.

“Oh shit Rog,” I said. “Matt here done gone off into ‘That Place’ again.”

“Doan worry none,” Rog replied. “He’ll snap outta it.”

I glanced over at Matt, now busily drawing on a cocktail napkin what appeared to be a rather flattering portrait of the bar girl.

“Yeah, Rog. I suppose yer right.”

Rogers and I traded wolf tickets for an hour or so, and then aimed our affections at some Marines who had recently shown up. Things were about to grow unpleasant when the regular shift of girls came strolling in. This stopped the war between the Navy and the Marine Corps as the music got loud and the girls took to the runway.

I knew all the girls on the shift. They were all my friends. But I spotted a girl I did not know. ‘Spotted’ is probably not the right word. ‘Witnessed’ (Think ‘Baptist Revival’ here) might be more appropriate. She was the image of my high school sweetheart. (No, I wasn’t really that drunk).

OK, not exactly the spitting image but let us say the Ornamental Version of a spitting image.

Thunderbolt. Bam!

I just had to have some chat with her.

And By God, I would.

Or die.

I would become useless for the rest of the evening.

I spent far too much time in the Far East.

This will be continued…

“Yeah! I’m flyin’ down to Houston…”

I love Willie.

“Win your medals: fuck your strangers”

Since I ‘Missed’ TBT this past week…

I simply MUST catch up. Below please find one of MY Personal Favorites:

“SEAL Training: Psych Evaluation”

***

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.

 

Throw-Back: A Raccoon’s Tale

I raised a raccoon once. His name was Leroy, Leroy Rastus. Raised him from a cub I did.

baby_coon

His eyes were recently newly opened and I fed him from a baby bottle. A local rancher in Honey Grove had killed his mama while Coon-Hunting one night and he brought all her cubs home. The next day he adopted them out to several local high school kids. Peanut adopted Leroy’s sister. Another kid adopted his brother. There may have been one or two more siblings, but I don’t recall. Leroy’s adoption experiences were somewhat more transitory. First he was taken by Kim. Kim got bored with him and gave him to my step-sister Madelyn. She thought he was just the coolest thing ever!

For about three days…

His coolness factor having for her it seems, a very short half-life, I made her an offer she couldn’t refuse for her coon: Cash Money. Money’s coolness factor has no half-life. She was only too happy to surrender Leroy to my care for the tidy sum of thirty-five bucks. Quite tidy indeed to an unemployed High School girl in 1974.

I kept Leroy in my bedroom on the third floor of my father’s house. He had an annoying habit of climbing onto my bed, tunneling under the covers and chewing on my toes. Baby raccoons have very sharp teeth. I tried locking him in my closet, but he would wail so loudly that I just could not leave him there. Needless to say my school work suffered due to lack of sleep during that first month or so with Leroy. And it’s also needless to say that what I just wrote above is bullshit. My school work suffered mostly from my laissez faire philosophy regarding high school, but it’s nice to have someone to blame other than myself.

My girlfriend during this time was a dark haired beauty with grey-green eyes and a wonderful disposition toward animals. In fact, I believe she came to love Leroy more than she did me. It was with her that Leroy learned the climbing skills he would need later in life. She and I would sit on the lawn and Leroy would climb his way up her waist-length hair, (Prince Leroy and his Rapunzel) and sit atop her head. Pretty sure no other girl in Honey Grove would have allowed herself to be used thus, but she loved it.

Leroy grew rapidly and by late spring he was just too big and too rowdy to keep in the house. My step-mother was apparently the first to come to this realization. “Lance, you’ve got to do something about that Goddamn coon. I don’t want him running all over the house anymore.” This from her, even though I had taken great pains to teach him to use the cats’ litter box. Actually, I didn’t ‘teach’ him per se; just showed it to him. He figured out its purpose all on his own. Raccoons are smart, yeah they are.

In addition to the three-story Victorian house (circa 1880), my father’s large corner lot had a two-story carriage house. I guess you would call it a garage, but it obviously was not designed for cars. However the rear of one side of it looked to be perfectly designed for raccoons. On the left half of the building at the very back, there was a section which was about three feet lower than the rest of the foundation. Let’s call it a ‘sunken’ living room for coons. The area was roughly six feet wide and maybe twelve feet long. The ceiling was very high, about ten feet. There were two doors: one to the yard and one to the other half of the building. There was no foundation, only hard-packed dirt. I don’t know what the original purpose of this little sunken room was, but it suited my purpose elegantly. I drove to the local hardware/feed/Gossip-Parlor-for-old-Farmers establishment downtown and picked up several bags of Ready-Mix concrete, five four-by-fours, some chicken wire, nails, and a bag of fencing staples.

First order of construction for my ‘Coon-Atorium’ was the swimming pool and the foundation. I excavated a circular area about four feet in diameter and two feet deep. Next I mixed the concrete in an old washtub and spread it over the entire area, working my way to the door that opened into the yard and finishing up with the pool. This was tedious work and I had to mix many tubs of concrete. Since there were doors on opposite sides of my construction area, it was impossible for me to ‘concrete myself into a corner’ without an egress point. If you had known me back then you would probably have said this was a good thing.

After a few days of letting the concrete dry and cure. I began construction of the penthouse. Every upwardly mobile raccoon requires one. Using an assortment of various pieces of old lumber piled up in the building, I created a penthouse any coon would have been proud to call home. It had a certain ramshackle charm, in the style of early Twentieth Century Dust Bowl Poverty. I mounted it to the ceiling in the right hand corner. Next I fashioned a porch using a couple of one-by-twelves each about six feet long. This made a nice little runway for Leroy to get to his penthouse. Just one problem: He could not climb the walls, (unlike Gloria after a few minutes conversation with me), nor could he jump ten feet in the air.

There was a decent sized oak tree in the Honey Grove High School parking lot which bordered my back yard. Using my chain saw, I amputated a ten-foot long limb and dragged it back to the garage. I was certain no one would mind and even if someone did, as I had performed this ‘limb-ectomy’ on a Sunday morning, there were no witnesses about to point any fingers later on down the road.

I mounted the ‘tree’ in the left corner, securing it to the wall behind the swimming pool. It reached all the way to the ceiling and had some nice smaller branches all along its length. It would provide easy access to Leroy’s extended porch/runway.

With the interior work completed, nothing left to do but wall up the front. I used the four-by-fours for the studs; stapled the chicken wire from floor to ceiling, filled the pool, Et voilà! One Coon-Atorium ready for immediate occupancy.

Leroy was well satisfied with his new digs and quickly settled in. The penthouse was made comfortable by the addition of a blanket and a small pillow appropriated from a window seat which Gloria used to store extra bedding for the occasional weekend visitors to Marcom Manor. The pillow was quite exquisite. It was emerald green with a couple of white kittens embroidered on one side and some frilly shit sewn all around the edges. ‘Leroy should love this,’ I recall thinking to myself as I smuggled it and the blanket to his penthouse.

Some months went by and Leroy was approaching adulthood. Every day we would play together in the back yard. There were several very tall old pecan trees which he loved to explore. Leroy was not very trainable, due in part to his intelligence and independent mind, but he would always come to me from tree tops when I would call him down. I’d stand underneath the tree and he would climb onto my shoulder and was generally content to remain there, as I think he enjoyed the view and riding on my shoulder was easier for him than walking about on his own.

We were occasionally allowed in the house for play time as well. (At this point, I do believe Leroy was the more welcome). He was certainly more entertaining than the cats that lived inside, and probably more pleasant to hang out with than I was, at least as far as Gloria was concerned. When I was feeling a bit mischievous, I would give him a sugar cube and laugh at the expression on his little masked face as it disappeared in the water dish he would wash it in.  He did eventually figure out that he shouldn’t wash sugar cubes as he did all other treats he was given.

Every Christmas Gloria would make her ‘World Famous Rum Balls.” (They really were very tasty, I must admit). Well one batch got stored away in a Tupperware box and forgotten for a year or two. Once found and opened, we had some seriously potent rum balls. Gloria was going to dump them, but I said that would be a waste and proceeded to eat a few to prove they were just fine. She was not amused. I gave one to Leroy and he went nuts over it, so I dumped the remainder into a plastic bag and kept them for me and Leroy.

By this time most folks in Honey Grove knew Leroy as I could often be seen walking about with him on my shoulder. He loved to go on walk-about with me; I think primarily because he liked the attention he received. He was becoming a bit of a ham—a semi-famous raccoon—and very entertaining to his fans.  I took him to the local vet when he was old enough for his shots, so I was never concerned about someone pissing him off and paying the price in blood. Since I had raised him very gently, never getting too rough during our play, he never exhibited any meanness or aggression (Except on one occasion when I attempted to take a rum ball from him when started showing signs of having had enough. I’ve known drunks who would react in similar fashion at any attempt to ‘cut them off’.)

One day Peanut and I decided the time had long since passed for a Raccoon Reunion. He brought his Missy (Leroy’s sister), over and we put her inside the Coon-Atorium. Leroy stuck his nose out of his penthouse and after a few moments climbed down the tree to welcome her. They romped about on the floor for a bit and then went for a swim. After that, Leroy led Missy up to his pad, (Just as I would have done in a similar situation).

“Guess now your Coon gonna be corruptin’ mine,” Peanut said.

“My coon’s a gentleman,” I said. “If any corruptin’ is goin’ on up there it’s your hussy being the corrupter and my Leroy being the ‘corruptee’.”

“Yeah, whatever. Let’s go on a beer run ta Ladonia and leave these here two lovebirds alone,” he said.

When we returned and went inside to check on our ‘kids’, neither one was visible. I called to Leroy and two pair of masked eyes peered down at me as if I had lost my mind. I kept calling to Leroy to come down, but he was not to be persuaded.

“See there, Peanut? That slut of yours has poisoned my coon’s mind against me.”

“Ah leave ‘em alone. You too much of an over domineerin’ parent. I’ll leave Missy here tonight. Maybe they’ll make us some baby coons.”

Now Dear Reader, I know what you’re thinking: ‘That’s incestuous!” Yeah I know, but we’re talking about raccoons here, not people in Arkansas.

After Leroy had been introduced to the mysteries of Raccoon Love, he was never quite the same. Many times he would refuse to come out of the pecan tree when I called him and this was usually at my family’s suppertime, so I would just go in the house and try again after a while. Eventually he would come down to me, but not until I had been calling him for twenty minutes or so.

Once, as we were eating supper the phone rang; Gloria got up and answered it, then said, “OK. OK. I’ll tell him. Goodbye.” Hung up and walking back to the supper table said to me, “That was Billy Jack Simmons. He said you need to get over to his house and capture your coon.”

“Well shit!” I said. “OK. Gotta go. Great supper Gloria.”

“But you haven’t finis…” She said.

“Hey! I set the table. You have to clear,” Madelyn interrupted as I was looking for my car keys.

“Later Sis. I owe you one,” I said, having found my keys and with one foot out the back door.

Billy Jack’s house was about a mile away. When I arrived there was a large crowd of kids and adults standing under a big walnut tree in the front yard. I sauntered over and announced to the crowd, “Y’all got my coon tree’d up ‘n there?” (I can speak ‘Texas Southern’ just as pretty as you please when the situation seems to warrant).

One little kid with a flashlight in his hand says, “Yeah. He way up yonner thar,” as he shown the light up toward the very top of the tree.

“Well, can’t really make his face out, but I do reckon that would be Leroy,” I said and then began calling to him to come down, not really knowing if he would or not in a timely fashion, especially since he might not have known the intent of the large number of folks standing around staring up at him. To my surprise (and relief) he began his descent immediately and within two minutes he was climbing onto my shoulder. Everyone in the crowd started clapping and as if on cue, Leroy took his paw and pulled my chin over so he could lick me on my lips. He had done this before and it was always a real crowd-pleaser.

“That there’s the damn’dst thing I ever seen,” Billy Jack said over the ‘ahhs’ of the rest of the crowd.

“Billy Jack, I do thank you kindly for calling. I’m sorry for the trouble.”

“Aw hell Boy! T’weren’t no trouble. No trouble a’tall.”

“OK; well thanks again,” I said as Leroy and I got into my station wagon.

After I graduated from high school and was making plans to move to Commerce and begin college, I had to decide what to do with Leroy. I could not keep him in the apartment I was going to rent. That was certain. He and I traveled to Winnsboro to visit with my maternal grandparents who lived on a hundred acre tract of East Texas piney woods a few miles outside of town.

My grandfather loved critters (to a point), and my plan was to ask him take care of Leroy. Since my granddaddy was a hard-headed old crusty curmudgeon, prone to immediately dismiss any idea sprung from my brain (“Boy! I lived through The Great Dee-pression! You don’t know th’ value of a dollar!” And on and on in similar fashion every time I opened my mouth to vocalize any idea or opinion I had) I would have to find just the right moment to broach the subject of his adopting Leroy for me.

As it turns out, Leroy saved me the trouble. One evening at dusk, I was trying to get him down out of the very large pecan tree which dominated the back yard. Leroy was not coming down. I kept trying every hour or so and finally gave up and went to bed.

Next morning he was gone and I would never see him again. This saddened me, but perhaps it was for the best.

In my mind I know he made it alright and had a good life. My heart will not allow me to think otherwise.

Video Credit: mac3079b

Thought I’d re-post this for all my Brit Friends Out There: “Now I know why London Bridge Fell Down”

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.”

(Best Original Audio from ¡Viva Terlingua!)

London Homesick Blues

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)”

–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!

Just Who Do You Think You Are?–A Re-Post

I swerved into this while revisiting and  exploring my own writings. (I do this occasionally. Not out of vanity, but out of a need to understand how my blogging ‘style’ may have changed or hopefully matured) At any rate, I do think this one adds some small value to my recently completed “Shonnie, The Biker’s Wife of Bath” story.

And whilst swerving, I swerved into this: (If you watch it, I will send you a Mickey Mouse Pencil Sharpener and a box of Gin) Trust me: it still ‘fits’ my Shonnie Story. Ya see? The Earth is a smaller globe now. (redundant?)

 Vid Credit: DJ Bayonic

“Win your medals. Fuck your strangers. Don’t it leave you on the empty side?”

Any and all comments (and advice) regarding the tenor of this TT&H Blog will be greatly appreciated. So, take the time, drop a dime…

Call-Ment Me!

***

This below was inspired by a post from a blogger I much admire: Abby of Abby Has Issues fame: writer, published author, blogger, self-described sarcastic (and inspiring–my words) wench.

Thank you Abby

****

“Who am I?”

This should be a very provocative question for all. Some ancient guy once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

I am rapidly approaching my sixth decade on this earth and have been (painfully) taking stock of all that I could call My Life.” What good have I accomplished? What are the bad things I have done? How many ‘friends’ do I have? How many bridges have I nuked? (I generally do not ‘burn’ bridges; I have a tendency to shock and awe ‘em—obliterate ‘em) I have put my boots on the ground on every continent except South America. What has this taught me? A lot. Did I always use this knowledge gleaned? Most definitely not.

“Who am I?”

More and more I have come to the stark realization that I must sum me up with one word:

‘Asshole’

I am an asshole. I don’t want to be an asshole, pompous ass, arrogant ass, the smartest ass in the room, (which I obviously am… maybe once in ten or twenty tries 😉 ) I do not want to be any kind of ass, but that is my reality. I have made some friendships during my life which should have lasted forever, but didn’t: Mostly from my neglect. I have had some wonderfully loving relations with women, and actually married four of them. Each one of those relationships should have been a lasting euphoria, but I did not, could not, allow that.

Wanderlust always took me away, eventually needing to ‘get outta town’, but with no malice, just gotta go…  ‘This is the part where the cowboy rides away’–find some elusive spot half-way across the globe where I could ‘find’ ME, unencumbered by people who ‘love’ me and think they can help me.

Not sure if I have found me yet. And this is disconcerting, ‘cause I do fear the time for that is growing short. Writing helps, but I continue to struggle with:

“Who am I?”

I still don’t know.

As Abby broached the subject:

“How would you answer the question?”

Run with it, and drop in to read Abby (and tell her I sent ya–I sure could use the publicity)

Cheers Y’all and Happy Monday.

Threw Back Thursday: Kinky

Just some silly-ness from my immature Blogging Past. (I do hope I have ‘matured’ somewhat since April, but I doubt it)

Don’t try to judge me; take some grain of salt.

Just kids havin’ fun.

***

Now, for all y’all Texans out there in Radio Land, this Man needs no introduction: The Once and Future Guv of Texas, Kinky Friedman and his Texas Jewboys Band:

He’s just an asshole, but dammit! He’s our Asshole an’ we love him.

Fer the res’ of all y’all who were unlucky enuff to not be born’d in This-Great-Land, Way’ll, Please watch an’ enjoy.

An’ lemme say this by way of dis’claimering: Kinky ain’t no race-ist (Hell! He drives a pickup truck, not a Ferrari) agin’ Meskins. He is all over tongue-n-cheek an’ pokes fun at all o’ y’all Texicans. Most even at me.

Kinky Fer President in ‘16!

Feel Me?

I love all y’all (even all y’all Yankees)

Peace Out,

Y’all’s Lance-ikin

“Aren’t you scared the Lord will hit you with a light-en-ing bolt?”

“I figger if he did, He’d know what He was doin’. I’d just ride it wherever it took me.”

–Dave Gardner

(“Me no Alamo”)

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

“According to Texas legend, in 1836, when Sam Houston, master of the strategic retreat,

220px-Sam_Houston_by_Mathew_Brady

The Raven

and the Texan Army finally allowed Santa Anna and the Mexicans to catch up with them, the Texans waded into the sleeping Mexicans at San Jacinto, yelling, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” while filleting Mexicans left and right with their bayonets. The panicked Mexicans tried to scramble away, screaming, “Me no Alamo, me no Goliad!” It has come to mean, “Hey, don’t blame me. I didn’t do it.”

“All the stuff I report in this book happened. I didn’t make up any of it.”

“Me no Alamo.”

–Molly Ivins

From her wonderful book: “Molly Ivins Can’t Say That, Can She?”

Molly

Molly

Read it.

And Weep.

And laugh

Yer Ass Off

It is (Still) Morning (Mourning?) in America!

“Oh shit!” ‘Sorry Ronnie Toopac… Nancy’Melania!

It is ‘SundayTuesday  Wednesday in Amerika!

“Let us watch ‘The Golf’ read my tweets!”

agusta

“Huge vivla la diff’ eh’?”

“Oh Me ah me! What ever do you mean?” (Said Nancy Melania)

“Ah shit Nancy! Melania! I mean it is morning in Amerka! Didn’t I say that?!”

“No, you are a Commie if you did!”

Nancy! Melania! I am soooo Sorry! I lost my place! Here was I, back in the Eighties! Working for law and land! Money, lust, and US!

I even enlisted! I served my Country! What did I get? Bupkis!” What did I get? Rich!

“Butt… We (Ronnie and I—don’t he look cute—riding that horsey? Honey?—Now…what were you saying? You middle class? Oh Yeah! Something  about entitlements?”)

“Uh! Ya know what? Nancy? Mel? Never mind. We got ours. And ya know what? We got that Commie Bastard!—That Gorbo-chov!  That Puttie… God Bless America!”

“But… where is the money?”

“for America?”

For us?

Where is our prosperity?

I thought we won the war?

Where? Where are the fruits?

They just evaporated.

Didn’t they?

“I made enuff money to buy Miami, but I pissed it away so fast…”

–Jimmy Buffett

“Just say no,” “Make US Great”  was all she said, as she walked away.

(The conversation is ambiguous, waxes and wanes, for a reason: we are all to blame)

“You let ’em come home…” America.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

We all should be allowed to come home. After all: it is the only place that stays open–all night.

The US of US is the only place that stays open all night. For All. We sort em out, once they (manage) to get here.

The US of US is the only place that stays open all night. For All. We sort em out, once they (manage) to get here.

For All.