Saturday, April 29, 2006

random thirteen of buddy don: beeyootifull day out

tiz a grate day out. me n miz bd has plans to git out in it n later on to have lunch with a cuple of the yungns, jack n vaclav. so heres sum musick to git the day a'goin.

Honey you don't know my mind
I'm lonesome all the time
I've traveled fast on this tough road you see
I'm not here to judge or plead
But to give my poor heart ease
Baby you don't know my mind today
  1. You Don't Know My Mind by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band frum Will the Circle Be Unbroken>/li>
  2. Good Morning Little Schoolgirl by Van Morrison frum A Night in San Francisco
  3. He's Misstra Know It All by Stevie Wonder frum Innervisions
  4. After the Gold Rush by Neil Young frum After the Gold Rush
  5. Driving by Everything But the Girl frum The Language of Life
  6. Bring on the Raindrops by Count BAsie frum The Legend: The Legacy
  7. Can't Let Go by Ludinda Williams frum Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  8. Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt frum Nick of Time
  9. Two Little Hitlers by Elvis Costello frum Armed Forces
  10. Picasso's Last Words (Drink to Me) by Paul McCartney and Wings frum Band on the Run
  11. Loves Me Like a Rock by Paul Simon frum There Goes Rhymin' Simon
  12. Confetti by The Lemonheads frum It's a Shame about Ray
  13. My Baby Needs a Shepherd by Emmylou Harris frum Red Dirt Girl

Friday, April 28, 2006

pomes of buddy don: A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Why should it come as such a rude surprise
That governance by those proud to believe
That government's the problem not the prize
Should such mismanaged government achieve?

Why do we elect those who soon replace
The competent with those whose only claim
To being worthy of the public's grace
Is being loyal to the party's game?

Why do we elect those who promise they
Will cut the size of government, but who
Expand it from inauguration day
Till record budget deficits accrue?

"The government cannot succeed" is their philosophy –
Their governance makes it a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

pinions of buddy don: tecknology

i am wurkin frum home today on a counta bad timin by my germs. i gut a nasty cold over the weekend, witch i wuz still feverish n coffin my fool head off on mundy when i went in to wurk. they sent me home n tole me to wurk frum here. i dun it, witch i druther do almost innythang else besides wurkin at home. on tuther hand, tiz nice that thays that opshun.

the fever gut wurser on tuesdy n windsdy, so i stayed home. today i wonta wurk to try to ketch up, but they wood send me home ifn i wint in coffin this much.

so i will stay home n do as much as i kin frum here.

aint tecknology wunderfull?

meanwhile, did ye ketch how this administrayshuns intelligents gatherin is so shoddy that they caint even figger out who leaked valerie plames name after all this time? even tho folks lack libby has dun been indited n folks lack karl rove are makin a revolvin door outta mr fitzgeralds grand jury?

or did ye notiss how the iraq war that wuz spozed to pay fer itself n cost jes a few billyuns has costs runnin cumpletely outta cuntrol?

i reckun ye dun notissd that the war dint brang down the cost of gas at the pump, lack twuz eggspeckted to. its gittin so seryus everbidy, even publicans, is rethankin how much hep them oil cumpnies need to stay in bizness.

corse, one way to git sum money back is to dun our soljers.

christy hardin smith over at firedoglake asts a questchun that sez it all:
If things in Iraq are going so swimmingly, why is it that no US official ever makes an announced visit there?
n ifn thangs is gittin better, why do we still see this kinda story: Sister of Iraqi Vice President Shot Dead.

maybe a lil snow kin make it all look beeyootifull agin.

now to take a shower n login to wurk. (i dun a lil of it earlier this mornin, jes to git a start on the day.)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

pinions of buddy don: fixin thangs

i reckun ye seen whar mr bush cum out with a plan to fix the price at the pump, witch tiz manely a nuther eggscuse to do whut he wished he coulda dun all along. heres whut he thanks will fix thangs:
  1. suspend the buyin of petroleum fer the strategick petroleum reserve, witch this is one of them thangs only publicans is allowd to do on a counta whenever one of them dimcrats wonts to doot, tiz wrong:
    At a campaign appearance in Cleveland, Mr. Bush derided the initiative and suggested that Mr. Gore was ignoring advice from top officials of his own administration.

    "The strategic reserve is an insurance policy meant for sudden disruption of oil supplies or for war," Mr. Bush said, adding that it "should not be used as an attempt to drive down oil prices right before an election."
  2. blame mr clinton:
    Mr. Bush said the decision by the Clinton administration not to permit oil production in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge was costing the United States more than one million barrels a day of lost production
    of corse, this ignores a cuple lil facks, witch tiz this:
    Gallons by which daily U.S. oil consumption would drop if SUVs' average fuel efficiency increased by 3 mpg: 49,000,000 [Sierra Club (Washington)]

    Gallons per day that the proposed drilling of Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is projected to yield: 42,000,000
    n that dont even take into cunsiderayshun how minny years twood take ere we git inny oil frum drillin in anwr.

  3. best of all is one he has been wontin to git dun fer the longest, witch thats to make shore ye dont half to wurry bout trashin the environment long as yer heppin git the price down at the pump:
    The president also said he will temporarily ease environmental regulations that require the use of cleaner-burning fuel additives to cut down on summertime pollution.
  4. finely, he is a'gone to keep on a'doin whut he has been a'doin so well, witch in case ye dint notice is, thats investigatin all that price gougin:
    The other news, which the White House first announced last night, was that Bush has ordered the Justice and Energy departments to investigate possible price-gouging.

    But Bush has been touting administration anti-gouging enforcement for more than a year now, and there is no indication this new announcement is anything but a feint on his part.
i reckun thar mite coulda been more, but twuz jes more of the same.

lets face it, we live in a worl whar them in power bleeves tiz rite fer one sangle man to git paid a averidge of over $144,000 per day while otherns has to make do on $5.50 per hour (hours at minimum wage to urn $144,000 = 26,181.18; weeks of wurk at minimum wage to git up to $144,000 = 654; years of wurk at 52 weeks a year at minimum wage to urn $144,00 = 54.54).

tiz time fer a maximum wage!

[update: i bleeve thays sumthin rong with my math. twoodnt take nearly so long to urn $144,000 at minimum wage fer year of 40-hour wurk weeks = 13.09. taint the furst time i wuz rong, but the point remains: how kin one persuns efforts in a day be wurth a nutherns efforts in 13.09 years?]

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

pitchers tuck by buddy don: most poplar foto

i am under the weather with a common cold, witch they sent me home yesterdy sos i woodnt git nobidy else sick. i dont feel lack ritin, so heres sumthin short.

thays one foto i tuck that brangs me lots of traffick. tiz sumthin called sacred lotus pods. here tiz:

i git hits on thisn everday n miz bd cunvinced me to make it a poster, witch ifn ye lack it, ye kin git a huge poster of it here.

now back to bed with my burnin chest cold.

Monday, April 24, 2006

pinions of buddy don: thangs i musta missd

i reckun the liberayshun must be near bout dun by now, rite? we been in iraq now nigh onto as long as we spent on the korean peninsula n wont need much time more till we dun give it more time than it tuck us to win our part of worl war 2.

as we all member, the congress voted to give mr bush the authorty to attack, witch as ye member thay wuz jes this lil condishun, sec 2, paragraf (a) of that septbember 18, 2001, Authorization for Use of Military Force:
IN GENERAL- That the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.
my problem is how i missd sum of the most importunt facks that musta dun cum out. mayhap ye kin point me to whar i kin find whut i missd. heres a lil list:
  • i missd the part whar it sed he had the rite to attack a cuntry on a counta it bein run by a evil dicktater, witch thays a slew of such cuntries we could attack ifn that wuz whut we wuz after.

  • i missd the part whar it sed we could have a preemptive attack ifn we wonted to spred democrussy to folks we thank orta have it (whuther they wont it or not).

  • i missd the part whar innybidy proovd iraq had innythang to do with the crime of 9/11.

  • i missd the part whar twuz proovd that even one of the 15 attackers frum saudi arabia or the 2 frum the united arab emirates or the 1 frum egypt or the 1 frum lebanon wuz ackshly frum iraq

  • i memeber bush sayin that they dint have inny proof of lanks twixt saddam n 9/11, so i musta missd the part whar they did have such lanks

  • in other words, i still miss how goin after iraq wuz a legal way of usin that aumf!
corse, it dont matter whuther we gut osama, rite? he woodnt be no problem fer us later on, wood he?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

songs writ by buddy don: slow down

yesterdy i couldnt post nuthin on a counta blogger bein down. i had me a ruff nite n couldnt sleep on a counta my mind racin a lil too much. i been tole by near everbidy that knows me well that i have only two speeds, hyper n comatoze.

as my mind raced over all thats a'goin on a wurk n the changes i am trine to ackcept bout my life n health, i couldnt sleep. i finely gut up roun midnite n red till bour 4 am. then i wint back to bed n slept n dreamt of this here Bohemian Hillbillies song, witch even tho i writ it, dont seem lack i ever let it do me inny good. the song wuz writ fer a musickull i will tell ye much more bout by n by, but all ye need to know now is the song is sung by death, a care ackter in the musickull. innywho, i figgerd ifn i played the em pee three fer ye, i mite here it my ownself. i hope to larn how to ...

Slow Down

Slow slow slow slow slow down, Everyman!
Slow slow slow slow slow down, Everyman!

Don't you know me?
I've been walking by your side from the day you were born

Oh, Everyman
I say, don't you know me?
Won't you open up your ears, can't you hear Gabriel's horn?
I am the original killer
I make no deals with woman or man
I'm at the heart of every thriller
Next to me you're just a flash in the pan
Still playing "Catch me if you can"
But I've got you in the palm of my hand
Oh, Everyman
You are one cool cat
You probably even think you're gonna get the full nine lives

Oh, Everyman
I'll say this about that
Once you have tasted my kiss only the soul survives!

Slow slow slow slow slow down
Slow slow slow slow slow down
Slow slow slow slow slow down, Everyman!

Have you forgotten your maker?

ye kin here the em pee three by clickin on the lank below:
Slow Down

Thursday, April 20, 2006

nitemares of buddy don: osama in pakistan

furst thangs furst frum the 'bewhar of whut ye wont on a counta yer a'gone git it' deepartmint: seems lack my trick of deletin the posts with the filthy lanks wurked. my traffick fer the last seven days is:
  • wed, 12 apr: 495
  • thu, 13 apr: 427
  • fri, 14 apr:446
  • sat, 15 apr: 459
  • sun, 16 apr: 435
  • mun, 17 apr: 484
  • tue, 18, apr: 469
  • wed, 19 apr: 176
i am willin to bet thay wont be 100 hits today, but i aint cumplainin on a counta lease thays a'gone be folks cummin to see sumthin i have writ or writ about or tuck a pitcher of or whutever, not whuther they kin git awful stuff to tittilate tharself.

secunt thangs secunt: thays a brillyunt parody ye mite lack here, witch the gratest praze i kin give it is i wish i had writ it my ownself. tiz writ by a feller name of kayakdave frum appalachian greens (a new favert fer me).

finely, the nitemare frum last nite: i dreamt i wuz talkin with miz bd bout the news. thay wuz chaos in pakistan, our miltary diktater frien (democrussy is on the march!) pervez musharraf had been kilt. i kep astin miz bd ifn twuz true that osama wuz in charge of pakistan or whuther he had dun gut thar nukes frum em. twuz a skeery dream, but whut wuz wurse wuz wakin up to see this story on the a.p. news wire: 7 Pakistani Soldiers Killed in Ambush.

corse, the hole idee that pervez musharraf could git killt or pakistan could fall into the hands of islamick eggstremists is only a dream, not real. it couldnt rilly happen, rite? not to one of our diktater friens, rite? not to a ally in the war on terra!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

cleanup reprint: we dont need no minimum wage ...

oops! discuverd a nuthern!

note: this post furst appeared on 7/5/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

... whut we need is a maximum wage. ifn we had one, we woodnt need no minimum wage. taint my originull idee n i aint gut no idee who cum up with it, but it deserves more attenchun.

ima gone splain how twood wurk direckly, but furst a cuple comments bout how to brang it about. i add mitt thay aint no way rich folks wood allow it to happen by law. they own the congress n presdent n mayhap jes 5/9 of the supreme cort, but tiz a nuff to keep such a law frum ever a'gittin passed.

no, twood be better if thay wuz sum way to shame folks into adoptin it as thar bleef in sted of ritin laws to enforce it. so i ackcept that aint nobidy a'gone let this thang git a chants, but twood make thangs much better fer everbidy in amurka by makin the economy much better. so heres how twood wurk:

eethur by law or better by custom n culchur, twood be grate if the person makin the most in inny bizness or corporayshun be compensated no moren X times as much as the lowest paid wurker in that bizness or corporayshun. fer instunts, in the times of the greek palltishun n flossofer solon, he gut folks to ackcept the idee that the richest only needed five times as much as the poorest. whenever he dun that -- after furst fergivin the debt of the poor -- the economy gut a'goin to whar they call that period of greek histry 'the golden age' to this verr day.

point is, ifn ye spread the wealth around more, then more folks is a'gone have spar money to spend, n that makes yer economy grow faster. tiz the henry ford way of payin, witch he once sed he had to pay a suffishunt wage to make it possibull fer his wurkers to buy a car.

thangs has changed a lot. whenever raygun becum presdent, yer ceo wuz a'gittin about 45 times as much as yer average wurker. then it tuck off:
In 1980, they made 45 times the pay of production and nonsupervisory workers. By 1990, the CEO-worker pay gap had doubled, with CEOs making 96 times as much. By last year, that ratio had reached 458.
thays sum that lacks to say a risin tide lifts all boats n ifn ceos are makin so much more, then sos everbidy else. but money dont wurk that way. if everbidy gits more all at the same time, then ye gut inflayshun. in sted, ifn sum has gut a lot more, otherns has gut to have less. tiz jes whut has happend since 1980:
While workers' 2000 pay was lower than in 1980, adjusting for inflation, CEO pay was ten times higher. In 1980, full-time production and nonsupervisory workers made $28,950 on average and CEOs made $1.3 million (in 2000 dollars). Last year, workers made $28,579 while the Business Week sample of CEOs came away with an average of $13.1 million.
whut we have now is a situwayshun whar thays two sets of rules: one fer ceos (includes the presdent) n one fer everbidy else. in my job, ifn i dont perduce n do a good job, i know i kin be cut as 'ded wood' durin the nex downsizin. ifn that wuz to happen, my parashoot wood not be golden. i mite git a munth of pay fer ever year i dun give to the cumpny, but i woodnt be able to bet on gittin no pension:
Despite ongoing negotiations with its unions, United Airlines has told the bankruptcy court that the "likely result" will be a decision to terminate all of its pension plans.

That would precipitate the biggest pension default in history, more twice the size of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation default in 2002. The move is expected to destabilize the already struggling airline industry, prompting other old-line carriers like Delta to eventually follow suit to maintain competitiveness.
but twood be differnt ifn i wuz a ceo. then i mite make out lack a bandit. cunsidder this:
Forget pay for performance. For example, Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner received, says Business Week, "a salary increase, 2 million stock options in Disney Internet Group valued at $37.7 million and an $11.5 million bonus--after three years in which net income fell by more than half from $1.9 billion in 1997 to $920 million." Eisner's total 2000 compensation was $72.8 million, a big bite out of Disney's net income.

Most CEO pay leaders underperformed the market going up, and have underperformed it going down. According to a new report by the Boston-based United for a Fair Economy, "If you had invested $10,000 in Walt Disney stock on December 31, 1993, the year CEO Michael Eisner topped Business Week's highest-paid list, held the stock for one year, then sold it to buy the stock in next year's pay leader and so on, by the end of 1999, your $10,000 investment would have eroded to just $3,585. A similar $10,000 investment made in the S&P 500 over the same period would have grown to $32,301."
magine ifn a ceo had to figger out a way of makin shore the lowliest paid wurker had to git a total compensayshu of, say, 1/40th as much as the total compensayshun of the ceo. that wood mean the greediest ceos wood half to make thangs better fer all thar wurkers ifn they wonted to make a lot more money thar ownself. all them wurkers wood have a lot more money to spend. spendin all that money wood make the economy grow on a counta how easy twood be to sell thangs to them folks that had moren a nuff to pay fer rent n grossries n a visit now n then to the docters.

lack i sed, i dont reckun such a idee could be dun by law on a counta them ceos owns a hole lotta gummint. but ifn twuz the practiss of that land, kin ye magin the economy we wood have?

projecks of buddy don: cleanin up the filth

fergive the reprints, but i gut to thankin bout whut to do bout all them filthy lanks sumbidy putt in comments to sum ole posts. i aint shore how widespred the problem is, but i figgerd i wood go thru the referntses to this site n see whar them lanks wuz hidin. whenever i find one, i am a'gone delete it but print a cleaned up vershun here. this way, i wont half to take down this here site or replace it.

btw, yesterdy i writ a query letter to a agent fer the furst volume of life n pinions of buddy don, hillbilly. i writ mine n then showed it to miz bd, who shes a better ritern i am n razed her two kids offn money she urned by whut she writ. once we git a anser one way or tuther, i will show ye the two vershuns sos ye kin see how amazin she is.

corse, shes amazin fer minny a reason other than ritin too!

cleanup reprint: biblicull paradies

note: this post furst appeared on 12/13/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

i been gittin a lot of traffick lately thanks to a lankt to a ole post by john walkenbach at j-walk blog. thang is, i had dun red books by john walkenbach back whenever i wuz ritin vba fer eggcell fer a livin. tiz a small worl.

innywho, i figgerd i wood make it a lil easier fer folks to find three biblicull paradies writ n posted here.

furst is the one mr walkenbach lanked to, ten commandments eggsplained in footnotes:
i noticed tuther day how aint hardly nobidy that still bleeves in the ten commandments the way they wuz furst writ. i gut to studyin the matter n cum to real eyes how them commandments is ok fer starters, but to fit the modern day moral values of amurka, they need em a few footnotes, lease eight of em by my count. furst, fer them amung ye thats dun fergot em, here they be, frum exodus chaptur 20, versus 3-17:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.(1)
2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.(2) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.(3)
4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.(4)
5. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
6. Thou shalt not kill.(5)
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.(6)
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.(7)
10. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.(8)

(1) unless said other god happens to be:

* your country, in which case god shall step aside and let the country be acknowledged first, at least when it is being attacked by some other country or afraid that some other country might someday have the means, motive and opportunity to attack, thus suspending for all combatants any other commandments that might conflict with the needs of the country
* your company, which you will serve without question so long as you wish to have income from said company, especially if your company is under attack from government regulators, market forces, or competition from other companies, in which case god shall step aside and all other commandments that might conflict with the needs of your company will be suspended so long as your actions are taken in support of said company
* your fraternity, sorority, country club, investment club, chamber of commerce, elks, masons, or other exclusive organization that requires, for purposes of being accepted or maintaining membership in good standing, participation in actions that might be construed as being in conflict with one or more of the commandments; in such special circumstances, god shall step aside and some or all of the commandments shall be temporarily suspended so that loyalty to the precepts and principles of said fraternity, sorority, country club, investment club, chamber of commerce, elks, masons, or other exclusive organization may be obeyed and respected without concern about or pangs of conscience over any conflict with any commandment that would otherwise have been in effect
* your party, interest group, lobbyist organization, foundation of experts, or other organization designed to advance any political cause whatsoever so long as said party, interest group, lobbyist organization, foundation of experts, or other organization designed to advance any political cause whatsoever shall be shown to be in competition with any other party, interest group, lobbyist organization, foundation of experts, or other organization designed to advance any political cause whatsoever, under which special circumstances god shall step aside and all conflicting commandments shall be suspended so long as necessary to insure that your party, interest group, lobbyist organization, foundation of experts, or other organization designed to advance any political cause whatsoever can compete
* any other entity whose membership requirements might in any way be construed to be in conflict with the commandments listed above, in which case god shall step aside and all conflicting commandments shall be suspended so long as necessary to allow you to continue enjoying said other entity
* money or any other symbol of monetary value, be it stock, bond, option, copyright, patent, trademark, or any other entity, symbol, or thing that could be construed to have monetary value in any known or yet to be discovered universe

(2) unless said graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth should act as:

* logo, flag, symbol or representative of any entity described in footnote one
* image necessary to provide any form of entertainment, be it movie, television, magazine, poster, fine art painting, or any other likeness that could generate income or human interest
* family memento such as any photo, painting, water color, fingerpaint, or any other likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth so long as said photo, painting, water color, fingerpaint, or any other likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth be something the family, in whole or in part, enjoys, tolerates, or tapes onto a refrigerator
* anything else that is not any other graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth that anyone wants to use for any purpose whatsoever since the plain fact is that the world no longer needs or respects or has any plan whatsoever to honor this particular commandment

(3) note that since nobody actually knows god's name any longer, this commandment only applies if someone figures it out again; in other words, this one is a freebie

(4) unless the purpose of not honoring said sabbath day should involve one or more of the following activities:

* generating income or pursuing any other activity for any organization covered under footnote (1) above
* attending sports contests or watching them on tv
* doing any other thing under which this commandment might be construed as being applicable

(5) unless said killing is covered under one of the following excuses for killing anyway:

* collateral damage
* war
* execution(s) of individual(s) other humans have judged worthy of death

(6) unless said theft occurs on a very grand scale, such as gaming the energy grid to generate profits for your company (see footnote (1) above), robbing the pension funds of your company, union, or any other organization with funds you have been entrusted to protect, or otherwise participating in actions that reallocate the funds of those less worthy to your bank account and so long as said theft occurs on a grand scale worthy of enron -- just don't rob a liquor store or remove anyone's hubcaps!

(7) unless said bearing of false witness should prove useful in any of the following activities:

* invasion of another country in order to prevent them from using weapons of mass destructions, that is, to prevent them from collaborating with your enemies, rather, that is to bring them freedom and democracy, whether they want it or not
* persuasion of gullible individuals to make purchases of items they don't need
* sliming your political opponent, in which case any lie, falsehood, misinterpretation of anything he/she ever said, wrote, or did, or other form of bearing false witness shall lead to god stepping aside and said bearing of false witness allowed
* anything else that might, if successful, lead to the generation of profit, income, revenue or any other value in this and all other known universes and in any universe yet to be discovered

(8) unless said coveting leads to working harder to obtain more things and thus make the economy grow.
heres a nuthern, witch ye mite speck sumthin lack this frum a hillbilly on wall street:
the hordes' prayer

our dollar, which art invested,
hollow be thy name
thy kingdom come, thy damage done,
on earth, as it is on wall street
give us this day, our daily profit
and forgive us our debts as we foreclose upon our debtors
lead us not into inflation, but deliver us from loss
for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory forever!
all men
finely, thisn here is my favert:
the re-attitudes
Matthews 5 (King Karl Version)

1 And seeing the multitudes, he went down into an undisclosed location: and when he was set, his disciples and lobbyists and party operatives came unto him:

2 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

3 Blessed are the rich in material things: for theirs is the right to increase their wealth by plundering the resources of the garden they tend (at God’s command), creating their own kingdom of heaven on earth in gated communities far removed from the toxic waste dumps that shall result from their plundering of said garden.

4 Blessed are they that rejoice in the death of their adversaries: for they shall be widely praised as true Americans who won’t allow themselves to inherit the defeatist attitudes resulting from the Vietnam war (or the pacifist false Jesus of the libruls).

5 Blessed are the bold: for they shall take the earth, remove its exhaustible resources, cut taxes on the rich, criminalize sexual orientation, create a culture of life limited to the unborn and to keeping the suffering agéd safe from euthanasia and the social security they overpaid for from 1983 until the present but not extended to the innocent citizens of countries that must be destroyed to be saved; be allowed to dress up in a jump suit, pretend to land a fighter plane on and strut across the surface of an aircraft carrier before a banner that says “Mission Accomplished” and claim that major combat operations are over and yet later boldly claim that they didn’t put up the banner or mean what they said if it turns out that thousands of the foreigners you invaded to save from death and torture end up dead and tortured or even hundreds of our own brave soldiers should die in further combat operations or an insurgency they bolded assumed would not come, for they shall be given unlimited power in Washington and be praised on Fox news.

6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after power at any cost: for they shall be full of it.

7 Blessed are the pitiless: for they shall deny mercy to anyone they suspect of being a terrorist, a homosexual, a journalist with integrity, a librul, a Democrat or anyone else who gets in the way of their need to turn the US of A into a single-party state.

8 Blessed are the pure in partisan policy: for they shall use God.

9 Blessed are the warmongers: for they shall be called upon to kill the children of God in unfortunate instances of collateral damage while they are spreading democracy and self-determination to those who don’t have the sense to vote for it themselves or to determine their own future for themselves.

10 Blessed are they which are persecuted for right-wing causes' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of Washington and the forum of Fox News, corporate cable outlets, and other forms of Infotainment (the practice formerly known as “News”).

11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you based on insufficient evidence (but not necessarily untruth) on CBS or in Newsweek or the New York Times, for they shall provide cover for you by the public feeding frenzy they shall incite on cable TV and in the newsrooms owned and operated by great corporations, allowing you to obscure the necessary evil you do for my sake.

12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Washington and on Fox News: for so persecuted they the demagogues which were before you.

cleanup reprint: throw the man a kitten

note: this post furst appeared on 11/2/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

is this our cuntry? i had to wunder when i red the top story in the washington post name of CIA Holds Terror Suspects in Secret Prisons; Debate Is Growing Within Agency About Legality and Morality of Overseas System Set Up After 9/11:
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.

The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.

The hidden global internment network is a central element in the CIA's unconventional war on terrorism. It depends on the cooperation of foreign intelligence services, and on keeping even basic information about the system secret from the public, foreign officials and nearly all members of Congress charged with overseeing the CIA's covert actions.

The existence and locations of the facilities -- referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents -- are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country.
i kindly thunk i wuz livin in a cuntry ruled by law, whar ifn thay wuz a charge agin ye, ye had the rite to here it n to state yer side. ye couldnt be locked up jes on a counta folks bleevin ye wuz a terrst or whutever. but them daze has gone the way of the dodo bird.

aint thay nuthin we kin do bout it?

then thars this articull name of DeLay Loath to Doff His Leadership Hat; Active Role Divides House Republicans bout how delay has steppd down but tiz still bizness a usual:
Former House majority leader Tom DeLay's efforts to retain power despite his indictment have angered some rank-and-file Republicans, many of whom say his ethical problems and uncertain status are staining them and destabilizing GOP unity.

Although he was forced to relinquish his leadership post Sept. 28, after the first of two indictments for alleged involvement in money laundering related to the 2002 Texas election, DeLay continues to use an office in the leadership suite, occasionally presides over private meetings with committee chairmen and lobbies members during key floor votes.

Also, the Texas Republican's staff continues to maintain the House schedule and dash off memos to lawmakers, ostensibly as employees of a majority leader's office without a full-fledged majority leader. And on his trips to the sheriff's office for an Oct. 20 booking in Houston and a court appearance in Austin on Oct. 21, DeLay was accompanied by three bodyguards from the Capitol Hill police force, just as he was when he was majority leader.

"My issue is having an indicted former leader hanging around the leadership offices," said one House Republican, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of DeLay's remaining authority. "This guy did so much good work getting us into the majority. Why does he want to stick around? He's not helping us."

"Tom DeLay should not be in a position of authority," said Rep. Christopher Shays (R-Conn.), who called for DeLay's resignation from the House leadership even before he was indicted. "He should not be calling the shots or driving the agenda, and if he is, that would be unfortunate."
agin, whut do i know? i kindly thunk that ifn ye steppd down, ye steppd down. so thays sum places whar the laws dont apply, lack in that furst story, n a nuther place whar folks dont half to do whut they promissd they wood do.

n that aint nuthin we kin do bout it. hes even gittin the judge fired n his trile moved to whar he kin rig the jury, witch he dun masterd gerry riggin, so why not branch out into jury riggin?

corse ye mite need ye a hammer ifn ye gut to figger a way to repay them huge loans to rich folks – mayhap ye herd bout em, witch they been calld 'tax cuts,' but when ye half to borry $300+ billyuns a year to finants em, thays loans thats gut to be repaid by our children n granchildrn – ye gut to figger a way to pay fer em. how bout ye cut $50 billyuns frum progams that hep pore folk n cut taxes by $70 billyun. woodnt that git us closer? i really do wish them publicans could git em a wurkin calculater! frum that same articull bout how delay has steppd down n steppd up at the same time:
With difficult votes coming, especially on a massive budget bill cutting $50 billion in spending over five years and a $70 billion tax cut to follow, some Republicans say DeLay needs more authority, not less.
but jes in case that dont git it, thays other ways to make shore them rich folks kin git richer, lack havin a do-over on all taxes, witch ye kin read bout that in a articull name of Commission Recommends Overhaul of Federal Income Tax. read it n weep, speshly fer yer mortgidge deeduckshun n yer health insurants.

aint thar no hope? shorely them publicans has at lease dun a good job of pertecktin us by makin shore we caint be attackd, rite? mayhap they hadnt had no chants to git round toot. ye kin read bout all the thangs they claimd they wood do but aint had time to do yet in a articull name of Security Plans Often Overdue:
The Bush administration has missed dozens of deadlines set by Congress after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks for developing ways to protect airplanes, ships and railways from terrorists.

A plan to defend ships and ports from attack is six months overdue. Rules to protect air cargo from infiltration by terrorists are two months late. A study on the cost of giving anti-terrorism training to federal law enforcement officers who fly commercially was supposed to be done more than three years ago.

"The incompetence that we recently saw with FEMA's leadership appears to exist throughout the Homeland Security Department," said Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (Miss.), the top Democrat on the House Homeland Security Committee. "Our nation is still vulnerable."
mayhap our luck kin hold till they git time to pay tenchun to stuff lack that. must be hard to find time when ye gut that soshul securty crisis that went away when the presdints fix dint pole well, witch that makes sense on a counta how his fix wooda broke it fer good!

aint thay no hope? did we git that mushroom cloud? no? missd it too? or wudnt thay ever no chants of one? why wuz bush n cheney n rice n such folks skeerin us bout it then? aint thay sum new smokin guns we orta investigate?

aint thar no hope?

turns out thay is! thays a story bout them dimcrats sproutin a backbone, mayhap sum ackshull balls! kin it be? read all bout it in this here story name of GOP Angered by Closed Senate Session; Meeting Reopened After Two Hours:
Democrats forced the Senate into a rare closed-door session yesterday, infuriating Republicans but extracting from them a promise to speed up an inquiry into the Bush administration's handling of intelligence about Iraq's weapons in the run-up to the war.

With no warning in the mid-afternoon, the Senate's top Democrat invoked the little-used Rule 21, which forced aides to turn off the chamber's cameras and close its massive doors after evicting all visitors, reporters and most staffers. Plans to bring in electronic-bug-sniffing dogs were dropped when it became clear that senators would trade barbs but discuss no classified information.

Republicans condemned the Democrats' maneuver, which marked the first time in more than 25 years that one party had insisted on a closed session without consulting the other party. But within two hours, Republicans appointed a bipartisan panel to report on the progress of a Senate intelligence committee report on prewar intelligence, which Democrats say has been delayed for nearly a year.
wow! who wooda thunk it? n it wurked too!

i wood say i wuz sorry that mr frist wuz affrunted. imagine, usin one of the senate rules without no warnin nor nuthin! but is that wurse than lyin us into a war? is it wurse than covern up the truth bout that? delayin the investigayshun?

i could live with a lot more affruntayshun of folks lack mr frist! kin sumbidy throw the man a kitten to cut up!

cleanup reprint: the bobbing nose

note: this post furst appeared on 3/4/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

this here story wuz writ to make fun of my friend johnny mayhew, witch he wua a big sports fan and luved them cardnulls. thang is, nobidy laffed no harder than he dun whenever i red it to the group.

The Bobbing Nose

"Come in, come in, come in this apartment," Pete Thorpe said, spreading wide his arms to his fiancé, Patsy Pendleton.

"Hello, Pete," Patsy replied, patting him lightly on the back, pecking his cheek with a loud smack of her lips, and then pushing him aside. "Excuse me, Honey. I need to freshen up." Patsy threw her huge black leather purse onto the couch as she slipped by Pete, clicking her heels down the hall.

"You look fresh as a damned daisy to me," Pete said, lifting his red, St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap and running his left hand through his blond curly hair. "Fresh as a damned daisy." He replaced his cap carefully, checking its angle in the hall mirror. He noticed that a small pimple just beneath the corner of his moustache had developed a tiny white head. Listening to determine whether Patsy were about to emerge, he was reassured when he heard the water running and carefully squeezed the white pus out of the pustule and wiped the half-bloody result onto the seat of his pants. He then patted his cheek lightly to help disperse the inflamed redness from his cheek.

After wandering into the kitchen for a beer, he heard the toilet flush. I guess she's fresh now.

He returned to the hallway mirror to check out his cheek. Practically natural looking. I'll be damned if you aren't a fine specimen of manhood, Mr. Pete Thorpe, a regular Romeo. You got a lifetime job as the night manager at Dan'l's Family Restaurant (home of the Boone Burger), a 1979 mint condition Pontiac Trans-Am, the state of the art in stereo, a portable color TV that beats any console for true-to-life color, and a fresh-as-a-damned-daisy woman just waiting to tie the knot. Not to mention the fact that, other than a bit of puffy redness on your cheek, you are a lanky lady-killer in the looks department.

Pete winked at himself and laughed. Those blue eyes, Petey-O, and those long blond lashes: even makeup couldn't improve them babies. All this and the Cards getting ready to reshuffle the National League East by dealing the Phillies another losing hand. The birds'll fly high today, and I'll be right there with them. What more could a man ask for in life?

"Honey, do you have any Q-tips?" Patsy called from the bathroom.

Pete winked at himself one last time and walked to the end of the hall.

"You rang?"

"Q-tips. Where are your Q-tips?"

Pete pulled his Q-tips from the linen closet and handed them to Patsy. He then stood behind her, looking over her shoulder at his reflection in the bathroom mirror. Don't she look damned sweet with me for a background?

"Why don't you keep them in the medicine cabinet?"

"What's that?"

"The Q-tips."

"I don't know. Why don't I get you a beer?"

Pete slipped his arms around Patsy and lightly bit her on the neck. He then began humming "Strangers in the Night" into her ear.

"Pete, don't"

Pete let her go. He leaned against the door jamb and watched Patsy fall into a trance, bending her head and letting her long, straight black hair fall behind her back and over her left shoulder as she probed her right ear for ear wax. She pulled the Q-tip from her ear and carefully examined the sticky orange wax. He diamond engagement ring sparkled. Pete winked at its reflection. Then, swiping with her right arm, Patsy forced her hair over to the other side and repeated the procedure with her left ear. Just as she finished, she smiled at Pete's reflection and blew him a kiss.

"I can see I'll get no privacy with you, Sir," she said.

"How 'bout that beer?"

"Look in my purse and get that bottle of Meyer's rum. Do you have any coke?"

"Does a cat have a tail? Does a bear shit in the woods? Does Chatty Cathy have a plastic--"

"Oh, Pete, please! Be a lamb and fix me a drink."

Pete took Patsy's chin in his hands and turned her face to his. He opened his eyes wide and glared at her as if in a blind rage. She laughed. They kissed.

"Now go on, get me that drink."

"You got it," Pete said, charging down the hallway to the kitchen, miming a dribble with his empty beer can before lifting it above his head and slamming it into the garbage can. "Give him two! What?! There's a foul on the play!"

Pete pulled the beer can from the garbage, stepped deliberately to the other end of the kitchen near the sink, pretended to dribble twice, too a deep breath, and pushed it high into the air towards the brown plastic container. It bounced off of the side, but Pete was there, catching it before it hit the floor and stuffing it again. "What a play! What a game! That's a--Shit! What's this then?"

Pete went to the sink and washed the tomato sauce from his hands. Damned garbage. It never fails: you pull something out of the garbage, and it's got tomato sauce all over it. Still, a little tomato sauce on the hands, like a little sweat on the brow, is a small price to pay for four points of glory and a one point lead in the final game of the championship series, a moment of--

"Where's my drink, Baby?"


"My drink?"

"Oh. I couldn't find your purse."

"It's right there on the couch, Petey."

Pete watched Patsy's legs as she bent over the couch to pull a pint bottle of rum from the giant purse. She was still dressed for work -- she worked at Miller's department store on Henley Street and dressed, as Pete put it, "to the max," everyday -- and her black dress rose to about the mid-point of her nylon covered thighs. Her shoes had four-inch heels and caused her calf muscles to stand out in a way that made Pete weak with desire.

He licked his lips. You've got to be the luckiest guy in the whole damned world, Petey-O. She can be naughty, she can be nice, she can make money, she can even cook, and she comes equipped with a VW Superbeetle, the best pair of legs in town, and a couple of deep, dark brown eyes that'll put a little cool night in a dog's hot day.

Pete took the rum into the kitchen and filled a tumbler with three cubes of ice and a shot or a shot and a half or maybe two shots of rum -- he measured the first shot, then added a little more, pouring freehand just to be sure. Over this he poured coke, which bubbled up quickly and nearly overflowed, causing him to duck quickly and slurp off a mouthful of sticky brown foam. After wiping his moustache on his T-shirt sleeve, he stirred the drink with his finger and handed it to Patsy.

"Thanks, Baby. Whew! What a day I've had, Pete. You wouldn't believe it."

Patsy sat down on the couch, placed her drink carefully on a coaster, and lit a cigarette. Pete sat in the middle of the couch and put his hand on Patsy's knee, rubbing it lightly, hiking the hem of her dress just enough to see the dark band at its top. She lightly slapped his hand, but he grabbed her hand and pulled it to his mouth so he could kiss her palm.

"Tell me all about it," he said as he tried to kiss his way up her arm. She jerked it from his hand.

"Well, the manager was late to begin with, and we had to open without any change. Can you imagine? Serving customers is bad enough, but when you can't make change, well! And that weird woman with the harelip, the one who just won't leave you alone -- well, she came in with an armload of clothes that she said just wouldn't work out after all. Oh, and Regina, the girl who works the jewelry counter? Well, she and her husband -- he's the doctor who spent all those years in Switzerland learning how to abort babies... "

Pete watched the silent tube as he again lightly stroked Patsy's knee. She's a crazy woman in some ways, Petey-O, that much you got to admit. She begs for a drink, practically a hand and knee job, and when you finally fix it for her, she sets it on the coffee table and ignores it.

"Don't you think so, Honey?"

"Well, it's tough all over," Pete said. I wonder what the hell we're talking about? I guess it's her day at work. At least she'd beginning to give her drink a little attention.

"Whew!" Patsy exclaimed, coughing and pounding her sternum. "You mixed it strong enough to kill me, didn't you?"

"The better to eat you with, my dear," Pete said, laughing wickedly.

"Oh, you old wolf. Listen, I got some good news today."

Pete ran his hand up under Patsy's dress. She shrieked and slapped his arm."

"Panty hose, huh?"

"A lady can't be too careful these days. There are plenty of wolves about."

"Well, I can see why the chastity belt's obsolete."

"I'm gonna chastise you if you don't cut that out!"

"I wish you would!"

"You Devil!"

They kissed.

"So what's the good news, Pats? Make it quick, now, the game starts in five minutes."

"Oh, you and that game. Don't you ever get sick of football?"

"Football? Pats, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but you are living in the past. Baseball season is finally upon us. The race for the pennant, the crack of the bat, the taste of Crackerjacks, the national pastime, seventh inning stretch, take me out to the ball game! All that jazz."

"It's so complex, all these games."

"Not if you'd pay attention. Now let's hear that good news."

"Well, look at me."


"I said to look at me, Pete. This is important."

Pete sat up, pulled his hat from his head and placed it over his heart, staring straight at Patsy.

"I talked to Mr. Googe today."

"Mr. Googe?"

"That's right. He's the big wheel in Knoxville for Miller's. He came right over to my counter, and he said, 'Pasty Pendleton?' So I said, 'Yes, may I help you, Sir?' You know, it never hurts to say 'Yes, Sir' and 'No, Sir' these days. Anyway, he wanted to know if I was happy at Millers. And Petey, he knew exactly how long I'd been with the company, and he even knew my salary! Well, I just... "

How that girl can go on!

Pete glanced at the tube. Last commercial before the Cards shut Phillies pitcher Steve Carlton down. Steve Carlton, the traitor. Refused to shave his moustache, forcing a change, leaving the Cardinals in exchange for Rick Wise -- Rick Wise! Who ever heard of him? It had to be one of the world's dumbest baseball trades in the history of the sport. Time for revenge!

He returned his gaze to Patsy's face and noticed for the very first time -- and it couldn't be ignored once he noticed it -- that Patsy's nose bobbed up and down with each word she spoke. Of course, it's a fine nose, long, slender, regal even, if a little on the large side, but I've heard that big noses mean big appetites, big sexual appetites. Still it is kinda funny the way it bobs and bobs as she spoke.

Pete had a strong urge to laugh, so he gave a hard tug to his moustache to help keep his face straight.

"Bobbody bob bob bob. And bobbedy bobbedy bobble bob, bobbedy bob?"

The room became silent.

"Pete?" said Patsy with a polite bob of her nose.

"I was just thinking, Patsy."

"Well, anyway... " and off bobbed Patsy's nose into new realms of good news.

How could I have missed something like this for over a year and a half? Surely her has been bobbing from the beginning, hasn't it? Hell, it probably started bobbing when she was just a kid. Damned distracting. It makes her look so... so... so... like someone's mother or something. No, she looks like a damned moron with that nose bobbling like a damned bobber in the lake when a fish nibbles.

Was her nose bobbing the night I met her? That magical September evening when I was checking out the salesladies at Miller's and she came over to ask did I want to pick something out for my wife -- was it bobbing then? Of course, I was probably too shy to look right at her nose anyway. And then, she caught me off guard with that bit about a wife, and the next thing you know, we're at a Pizza Inn sharing a large pepperoni pizza and a pitcher of beer. Was her nose bobbing even then? Oh, surely not!

But it's bobbing now. How can it move so fast?

"... bobbedy bob bob bobble bobbedy bob bobbedy, bob bob?"

And the room became silent.


Pete looked away. I can't hear a word she says with that nose bobbing.

"Well, aren't you excited?"

I wonder what the hell she's talking about.

"I don't know, Patsy. I wouldn't want to jump off the deep end."

That oughta be safe. Pete looked at the ceiling.

"The deep end? I thought it was just what we wanted, just what we were waiting for."

"What?" Pete asked, looking again at Patsy.

"Why bobbedy bobbedy?"

Pete coughed politely.

"What?" he asked.

"Don't you think we ought to go ahead now?" Patsy asked as Pete stared at Steve Carlton throwing his warm-up pitches. Damned traitor. I don't know why St. Louis had to trade him. Or why couldn't he have just shaved the damned moustache! After all, it was the first thing he did once he got to the Phillies.

"You mean, don't I think we ought to turn up the sound, Patsy? I guess the game is-- "

"Is that all you care about? A stupid game?"

"No, but what are we here for anyway?"

"We're not here to watch some stupid basketball--"

"Baseball, Patsy. The St. Louis Cardinals."

"Fuck the Cardinals. I've just about had it with you. Now do you want to go ahead and get married or don't you?"


"Yes, married. What have I been talking about these past ten minutes anyway?"


"Where the hell have you been?"

Pete looked at Patsy and shrugged his shoulders. I've been patiently sitting right here on the couch stroking your lovely leg, watching your nose bob up and down like a damned yo-yo and wondering why I never noticed it before, actually, but ... what can I say now?

"You never pay any attention to me!" Patsy said, sinking her fingernails into the wrist of his hand and thereby removing it from her leg.

"But, I... "

"And keep your paws to yourself, Mister. I think this whole marriage is a mistake, anyway."

"A mistake? But I thought we both agreed that as soon as we're just a little more secure and get some bills-- "

"What the hell do you think I've been talking about?"

So that's what she's been bobbing her nose about. She's probably got a raise, maybe even a promotion. I wonder how much she's taking home now?

Patsy blew a long stream of smoke at the ceiling and began shaking her head.

Well, she's mad now.

"Listen, Patsy... "

"Oh, shut up. Why don't you turn up the sound on your precious little game?"

"Patsy, I... "

Patsy slammed her cigarette into the ash tray, pulled another out and began tapping it against her left thumbnail.

"Look, Patsy, I'm sorry if I let my mind wander, but I-- "

"Shit, Pete, how can you let your mind wander when I'm talking about our damned future? What about when we have children?"


"Yes, damn it, children!"

"What have children got to do with-- "

"How can you be so dense?"

"Well, I... I don't know, really. I never thought I-- "

"You never thought, that's all."

"That's not true, Patsy. I think about you all the time."

"But you never pay any attention to me. If you ask me, we need to take a second look at the whole idea."

"What idea?"

"Marriage, you idiot. Are you deaf?"

"No, I am not deaf," Pete said, standing up and throwing his cap at the TV. "If you want to know the damned truth, I may have lost track of what you were saying, but I was still thinking about you, nothing but you."

"I'll just be you were. Was it my fanny or my chest or my legs or my ... my ... vagina that you were thinking so hard about?"

"Why you little-- it was your nose, if you must know."

"My nose?"

"Yes, your nose."

Pete sat back down on the couch, lifted his beer can to his lips, found it empty, crushed it and threw it into the kitchen. He picked up the remote control and turned up the sound.

"That's the fourth strike out for Steve Carlton, Tony," baseball commentator Joe Garagiola was saying.

"That guy don't get older, he gets better," Tony Kubek replied.

"Turn that thing off!" Patsy yelled, covering her ears with her hands.


Patsy grabbed for the remote control. Pete pulled her into his lap and turned the sound down.

"Oh, Pete, why are we fighting?"

"That's what I'd like to know. Here, give me a kiss."

They kissed.

"Why don't I fix you another drink?"

"In a minute, maybe."

"Well, should I turn up the sound? Looks like that asshole Carlton's hot."

"Not yet."

Patsy pulled herself away from Pete and picked up the cigarette she'd dropped on the floor. She relit it and drew deeply, then blew the smoke out hard. She extended the fingers of her left hand and inspected the bright red nails and the twinkling diamond.

"What about my nose?"

"Oh, it's nothing really. Just something I never noticed before."

Patsy pulled her compact from her purse and inspected her nose.

"I don't see anything."

"Look, Babe, it's nothing. Really."

"Well, if it's nothing, why can't you tell me what it is?"

"It's not worth talking about."

"Not worth talking about? I tell you the best thing that's ever happened to me in my whole life and you can't hear a word for thinking about my nose and you say it's not worth talking about?"


"Well? I want to know what keeps you from hearing me when I tell you that after waiting a year and a fucking half we can finally get married, that's what I want to know."

"All right, Patsy, all right. You asked for it. I noticed that, when you talk... that is, when you really get going... or maybe always for all I know, well... "

"Well, what? What's wrong with my nose? I have a right to know."

"OK. Your nose bobs up and down when you talk."

"What?" Patsy said, her mouth dropping open in shock, her right hand flying to inspect her nose.

"It's nothing, really, Patsy. I just never noticed before. It probably happens to everyone."

Patsy held on to her nose, gripping it more tightly than ever.

"Your nose doesn't bob," she said.

"Well, different people are different."

Patsy got up slowly. She walked into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, stared t its contents, and slammed it. She went to the sink, drew a glass of water, and drank it.

"Patsy! Come in here and watch the game with me. I'm sorry I ever even noticed your nose."

"Yes, I'll bet you are."

"Well, come on."

"No, Pete. I don't want to watch a stupid game."

"It's not stupid. It's our national pastime, after all."

"I don't care. I don't want to watch any games with you."

"Why not?"

"I need to... I need to think about... Look, I better go."

"Go?!? But it's only the third inning!"

"Fuck your stupid third inning! I've got a bobbing nose and you want to watch a stupid game."

"It's not that big a deal."

"Hand me my purse, will you?"


"Just hand it to me."

Pete handed Patsy the purse. She tightly capped the remainder of her pint of rum and dropped it into her purse. Then, very slowly, she closed it and clasped it underneath her arm. She removed her engagement ring.


"What? Patsy!"

"I better go."

Pete jumped from the couch and practically ran into the kitchen.

"Patsy, what is the big fucking deal? So your nose bobs. It doesn't bother me. I even think it's kinda cute. Look, Baby, it's not that obvious. I didn't even notice it in all this time, not until this very afternoon."

"I know, Pete. That's just it."


"You never even noticed I have a bobbing nose."


"No buts about it. You never noticed."


But Patsy had already slammed the door on her way out.

cleanup reprint: nuther story writ fer group

note: this post furst appeared on 2/28/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

i mentchuned yesterdy how i had dun gone thru the ashes of my life, witch by that i ment ole papers n such, a'hopin to cum out of my migraine crisis a lil stronger. i wuz deelited by all the ritin i found, witch this here story is one i rote to read to the group back in 1982 or 1983.

Revenge on a Hot Afternoon

Shortly after his divorce became final, Joe Carpenter met Mary Henderson in the Twins' Restaurant in Clinton, Tennessee. She was working as a waitress there at the time. Joe had just finished his third session with his psychiatrist -- divorce being no easy matter -- and he'd stopped into the Twins' on his way home for a cup of coffee and a small bowl of banana pudding. It was three thirty on a hot May afternoon. The Twins' was empty. Mary was bored, waiting to get off. They talked for forty-five minutes about Clinton, the weather, and marriage. She explained her schedule -- off on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She penciled her phone number onto a napkin. He could call anytime in the afternoon before four-thirty.

"Why before four-thirty?" Joe wondered?

"My husband gets home around then."

He called her the following Tuesday from work. It broke the back of a hard afternoon keeping books for his uncle's warehouse in Oak Ridge.

H called her the Thursday after that and brought up the subject of sex. His heart beat fast.

The next Tuesday, he told his uncle he had a meeting with his psychiatrist and left early. He drove to the Bi-Lo gas station out by Ezra Gate. From there, he called her again.


"Mary? It's Joe."

"How are you doing?"

"I'm a little on the hot side. And I'm thinking."

"About what?"

"I think you know."


"Yeah. You are."

"Oh, Joe!"

"How about if I came over?"

"Sure. I'd love it."

I'd love it, she said. Joe smiled, climbed into his red '73 Ford Pinto and drove to Clinton, singing along to a song that advised him to do it until satisfied.

Joe was a huge, handsome man, with vivid blue eyes, curly blond hair that could hole no part, and a small, dark brown moustache. His nose was a little too long, perhaps, but it was straight and gave his eyes a look of mystery. Joe thought so anyway. So had his wife, Amelia. So, he assumed, did Mary.

Joe had told Mary right from the beginning that he wasn't bitter about women because of his divorce. Men, now, he felt a little bitter about men, especially since a man had stolen his Amelia from him. Mary laughed to hear him say he was bitter about men. He laughed to hear her laugh. And he thought he'd be able to trust a woman again. After all, he already felt he could trust Mary. All three of their conversations had been deep, very deep, touching on subjects he and Amelia had not attempted in seven years of marriage. For instance, he had never spoken with Amelia or any other woman about masturbation before. And he'd never been sure if Amelia experienced orgasms properly. And he was so relieved to hear Mary discuss her own experiences openly and without shame. He agreed that his marriage had lacked sexual liberty. Had hers?

Mary answered the door the instant Joe knocked. He'd parked down the street, near the corner, just in case. When he saw Mary, he blushed. She was wearing a halter top that barely concealed her small breasts. Joe stared a moment at the thin blue material to determine whether or not he could see the outline of her nipples.

"I can see what you've got on your mind," Mary said, causing Joe to blush again. He looked away, took a deep breath, looked into Mary's grey eyes, and asked if he could come in. Mary looked up and down the street.

"Sure, Thought you'd never ask."

She led him into a small living room and offered him a place on a green vinyl couch covered with a clean white sheet.

"It's too hot to sit directly on that old couch. Would you like a beer?"


Joe carefully rearranged the sheet so both he and Mary could sit on the couch. Then he sat down, pulling the sheet into a wad under him. He looked around at the small living room, noticed the stereo in the corner, the overstuffed red chair next to the little table which supported a pipe rack and ash tray. Beneath the chair he spotted a pair of leather house shoes. He tried to straighten the sheet again.

"Don't worry about that old thing," Mary said, placing the full, frosty beer cans onto the chipped and scratched surface of the coffee table. She then came around the table, gave the sheet a sharp jerk, and sat on it not over a foot away from Joe. She curled her bare legs beneath her and sat on her feet.

"Let me look at you," she said.

Joe turned to let her look at him, knowing that he was just her type with his curly hair, blue eyes, strong, muscular build, hairy chest, look of mystery. Mary was not his type, though she was very nice. She wore the layered look hair style that was so necessary in the early 1970s, and it made her already curly blond hair look permanently ruffled. Her grey eyes were large, too large for her tiny, thin nose. Her mouth, with its full lips, lopsided smile and tiny beads of sweat was her best feature. Joe wanted to kiss it, but he grabbed his beer instead.

"How about some music?" Mary asked.

"Sure, what have you got?"

"You like Johnny Rivers? I think he's so sexy."

"Yeah, sure."

Joe watched Mary's precise movements as she slid from the couch onto her knees before the tiny, cornered stereo. She removed an old record from the turntable, sleeved it, pulled out her Johnny Rivers, twirled it twice to pick the side she wanted to hear, dropped it onto the turntable, picked up the needle and manually set it onto the first track, "Memphis."

"Great song," Joe said.

Mary agreed, stood up, stretched, letting Joe watch her halter slide up to reveal her white belly, protruding belly button, and the lower edge of her rib cage. Her white shorts were so thin that Joe could see she wore nothing under them. Joe liked her slim hips. He watched Mary yawn as she stretched and looked at him through her half closed eyelids.

Joe smiled and opened his arms. Mary quickly tip-toed around the coffee table and sat in his lap. They kissed, tongues touching, probing, licking lips. Joe slowly inched his left hand around from Mary's hip up to her rib cage and finally, slowly, tentatively, to her right breast. She kissed him even harder, moaning. He began rolling her nipple between his fingers. He felt her right hand looping lazy circles on his belly, each a little lower than the previous. Joe lowered her onto her back on the couch. He adjusted his pants.

"Oh, Joe, it feels so good to have you here."

Joe grunted. He was hot, sweating, tired. But victory smelled sweet.

If only Amelia could see him now!

cleanup reprint: the sprizin power of wurds

note: this post furst appeared on 2/4/2005. i am deletin the ole one to git rid of the filthy lanks in the comments. i plan to do this fer a while till i git it all cleaned up. thankee fer yer indulgents.

i writ a story fer the group back in 1982 bout a talkin cat name of egger. funny thang is, whenever i read it to the group, thay wuz a feller who insisted twuz about him, that he wuz the cat name of egger, n ever after that he hated me, probly the one person in the worl who made shore i knew how much he dint lack me. twuz a rude sprize to have a enemy, speshly when he wuz thonly one, myself included, who thought i wuz ritin bout him. dint matter nun. he hated me ever after n wood attack ever chants he gut. twuz a odd proof of the power of wurds.

innywho, heres the story:


Jonathan Bixby was curiously composed when his huge black cat, Egger, at the age of eight months and four days, began to speak. Jonathan had spent uncounted hours watching, stroking, and talking to Egger, so he reacted with only mild surprise when Egger abandoned a fly he’d been torturing, looked up with his eyes begging, and said,

“Why don’t you get me something more substantial than a fly to play with?”

The nature of the request seemed more unusual to Jonathan than did the cat’s unexpected facility with the Queen’s English. What could Egger possible mean by “something more substantial than a fly”? Jonathan had already purchased Egger everything from a catnip mouse to a plastic ball filled with a silver bell, and the cat had reacted to each new treat with his usual snooty disdain. What, then, could the cat possibly want?

Jonathan scratched his head, stretched, and sat up on the couch. He looked at Egger very carefully. The cat sat motionless, his head tilted like a question mark, his yellow eyes reflecting the light from the lamp to Jonathan’s left. Jonathan fingered his own ear, rubbed his nose, and stood up, yawning and extending his arms high into the air as if trying to touch the ceiling. The cat arched his back and rubbed against Jonathan’s right ankle.

“Please?” he said, looking up at his master again.

“Well,” said Jonathan, too tired to guess what his cat could possibly want, “What did you have in mind?”

The cat looked down at Jonathan’s bare foot, licked the big toe, thrust his forelegs in front of him, and pushed his tail-end into the air.

“What I had in mind is strictly beyond either your means or your energy, Jonathan, but I could settle on something, shall we say, a little less exotic.”

“Why settle for less than the best? Just tell me what you want, Egger, and I’ll get it for you.”

“I hope,” answered the cat, “that I am not the first to point out to you that your imagination is decidedly deficient.”

“It is?” Jonathan asked, legitimately surprised. He had, in fact, always considered his imagination overactive. After all, he’d spent most of the past several months exercising his imagination, trying to picture exactly where Vivian could be and what she could be doing at any particular moment. He’d seen her making dinner for herself, crying as she stirred the macaroni, coughing uncontrollably as she added the cheese. He’d watched her looking over the rim of a wine glass filled with imported Liebfraumilch and winking at a rotund but remarkably rich gentleman of perhaps fifty years of age. He’d seen her lighting up a Marlboro cigarette, her mouth puckered and sucking on the filter tip. And sucking tips had led his imagination to scenes so vivid and terrible that following one he’d found himself standing in the kitchen over the broken and bloody looking shards that remained of a catsup bottle someone had thrown against his refrigerator. Wasn’t his imagination impossible to stop once it started?

“Yes, Jonathan,” Egger said, “it certainly is.”

“What?” Jonathan asked idly, wondering if Egger could also read minds.


“Huh? Oh, you mean my imagination. Now that’s where you’re mistaken, my feline friend.”

The cat yawned.

“Sit down, Jonathan.”

Jonathan eased himself onto the couch and crossed his legs. The cat crouched, shifted his weight from side to side on his rear paws, and then sprang into Jonathan’s lap. Once there he circled several times before biting the red plaid material of Jonathan’s Bermuda shorts while pressing against his master’s legs with his forepaws as if squeezing milk from a cat’s teat. Jonathan tapped Egger’s head lightly with his palm.

“Quit that. You’re too old to be nursing.”

Egger leapt from the couch and strolled about the small living room without looking at Jonathan.

“Now don’t sull up, Egger.”

Egger ignored Jonathan. It was a late Spring evening, and he heard a buzz against the sliding screen door that led to Jonathan’s terrace, so he began to investigate. Three slow creeping steps, each more tentative than the last brought him to within two feet of a fat, shiny blue bottlefly that struggled helplessly against the screen. Again, crouching, shifting his weight noiselessly on his rear haunches, letting his tail snake behind him, his whiskers twitching, Egger waited and waited -- Jonathan thought he’d give up on the fly after all -- and then shot forward against the screen door and trapped the innocent insect between his forepaws. The cat then lay motionless for perhaps ten seconds before opening his paws to let the wounded fly loose to buzz in circles against the floor. But when the fly made a sudden move back toward the screen, Egger trapped it again. This time he followed his ten-second pause with an attempt to eat his helpless victim.

Jonathan couldn’t help smiling as he watched his cat toy with the fly. Jonathan loved watching Egger. Cats, he’d come to realize, were better “livers” than people. They did only what they wanted to do. They did not set an alarm to interrupt their sleep, as Jonathan’s did every morning at 7:30, giving him only thirty minutes to shave, shower, dress, and drive to work. And no cat would go to a hateful job in a hateful little insurance office without even pausing for breakfast, but Jonathan did exactly that, his stomach growling like a lion, five days of every week. And did cats go to school? Did they wear neckties or long sleeved shirts or uncomfortable wing-tipped shoes? Did they buy term insurance, housing mortgages, cars that wouldn’t run for even three months without maintenance or repair? Did they fall in love and get married? Did they ever depend upon a woman for understanding, love, support? Did they ever let a woman badger them into abandoning their lifelong dreams to take a hateful job in a hateful insurance office?

No, Jonathan knew, no self-respecting cat would ever let any person, much less any woman, ruin his life. Egger, Jonathan knew, lay in bed -- or wherever else he pleased -- long past the ringing of the alarm. He lay there until he felt like getting up and doing something else. He ate when he wished, and he ate exactly what he wanted and nothing else. He cleaned himself, took care of his bodily waste in a manner utterly compatible with nature, and needed nothing from anyone else, neither cat nor human nor woman. And he had without a doubt a far more civilized sex life than any man.

Of course, Jonathan suddenly remembered, Egger no longer had much of a sex life. Jonathan had been unable to resist purchasing Egger from a middle-aged nurse who told him, as she filled out an insurance claim to cover a small automotive accident, about her cat’s delivering a litter of kittens on the very day Vivian had disappeared, leaving behind her only empty drawers and closets and an empty note that advised Jonathan not to bother trying to contact her. A lawyer named Lockheart would contact him and make all of the necessary arrangements. Jonathan, the note ended by saying, could have everything. All Vivian wanted were her freedom and her sanity.

So, of course, when the dumpy nurse with the wrinkled face suggested that a litter of cats had been born on the very day of Vivian’s cruel betrayal and departure, Jonathan knew he had to have the pick of that particular litter. The nurse at first resisted Jonathan’s offer of one hundred dollars for the cat, but when Jonathan intimated, his eyes bloodshot and wet, that his emotional well-being depended upon his acquiring the cat and paying for it, she gave in and accepted his money.

Egger was the obvious prize of the litter, being the only male, actively friendly, and nearly twice the size of the runt. What attracted Jonathan most about the animal, however, was its ink black coat. How perfectly appropriate, thought Jonathan, a huge smile splitting his leathered face, a black cat, a symbol of evil, or mourning, of the bad luck of that black day! Jonathan at first even considered naming the cat “Pluto,” after Edgar Allen Poe’s famous feline. One flight of imagination even tempted Jonathan to take a pen knife to the cat’s left eye, in keeping with the physical requirements of such a famous pet, but he finally settled for naming the cat Edgar Allen Poe, a name which innumerable repetitions had shortened to “Egger.” This name, also, struck Jonathan’s deficient imagination as appropriate for two reasons. To begin with, the cat loved beaten raw eggs. Secondly, the cat’s eyes were almost exactly the color of a pale egg yolk. So Egger became the cat’s name, and he and Jonathan soon became closer than Jonathan had ever been to Vivian.

Given the cat’s timely birthday, it’s no wonder that Jonathan soon began to link him symbolically with his own separation and eventual divorce. In many respects, he knew, the cat and the new Jonathan were virtual twins, born the same day -- for Jonathan knew he was not the same man who had so naively trusted, loved, worshipped the heartless cruelty named Vivian -- and they shared the same color, Egger’s coat and Jonathan’s life both being too black to reflect even the tiniest points of light. And Jonathan considered Egger a fine model for him to follow, so he did not mind in the least thinking of himself and his cat as essentially identical. Jonathan would do well, he knew, if he were half the man that Egger was.

Unfortunately, however, Egger had suffered a horrible accident at the tender age of five month, fourteen days. Jonathan had installed a private entrance just for Egger in his kitchen door so that the cat could come and go as he pleased. And Egger made frequent use of the small opening, arriving home every morning just in time to rub up against Jonathan’s bare legs as Jonathan shaved. One morning, however, Egger did not appear and when the length of his absence stretched into a week, Jonathan put an ad into both the Knoxville News-Sentinel and Knoxville Journal offering a reward for the return of the cat. He also posted some mimeographed notices of the reward on the telephone poles and bare trees of his West Hills neighborhood. Since Egger had been wearing his identification tag and flea collar when last seen, Jonathan expected a quick response. When none came, Jonathan went looking himself, ignoring the cold January weather. After a ten day hunt which grew more frantic, more desperate with each day’s failure, Jonathan finally spied Egger lounging in a basket on the screened-in porch of a house three doors down from Jonathan’s.

Cursing the people as he put away his binoculars, Jonathan marched right over to the house, pounded the front door, and demanded to inspect the cat. It was Egger all right, and even the distraught mother of three, who’d agreed finally to let her six-year-old daughter keep the “stray,” as they called it (they’d named it “Wildcat,” which proved to Jonathan that they knew nothing of the animal’s essential character) -- even Mrs. Kilroy had to agree that the cat knew and loved Jonathan when the animal greeted him by purring loudly and rubbing itself in a dignified manner against Jonathan’s sweatsock. Hadn’t they seen the ad in the paper? Had the notices Jonathan had plastered all over the neighborhood completely escaped their attention? And when the people had the bald-faced gall to assert that they’d seen neither the ads nor the mimeographed notices, Jonathan asked about the collar.

“Well,” replied the white-lipped and weepy Mrs. Kilroy, “when little Linda, she’s my youngest, when she found the cat it was half dead, and we didn’t see no collar nor nothing else either. It had been chewed up by the Dolmer’s dog, that big old German shepherd that they breed and sell the babies from, you know the one that’s eternally pregnant and meaner than a striped snake.”

“You mean Lady?”

“That’s the one. So we didn’t have no way to know the cat was anything but a stray --”

“-- Egger is not a stray, Mrs. Kilroy, and I resent the implication that --”

“Well, how was we to know it? It was wet and bloody and muddy when Linda found it, and it cost us over sixty-five dollars, money we couldn’t spare by any means, to get it treated and fixed.”

“Fixed? What do you mean, ‘fixed’?”

“Fixed where it won’t be no trouble when it gets older. Nothing worse than an old Tom cat for spraying your furniture and getting into cat fights and all sorts --”

“You mean to tell me you castrated a cat that didn’t even belong to you?”

“Well couldn’t you just get you a new cat, Mr. Bixby?”

“Lady, you don’t seem to understand. The animal you have so brutally mutilated is my friend. How about if I cut the . . . the . . . how about if I castrated your son and claimed him -- could you simply shrug your shoulders as if no harm had been done and go get a new one?”

Mrs. Kilroy slapped Jonathan, who grabbed her hand, stuffed it with a wad of bills he later estimated to be worth $116., and pushed the startled woman to the hard wood floor. Then, offering to slap little Linda if she didn’t shut her crying trap, Jonathan lifted Egger into his arms and began stroking his head.

“The next time you kidnap my cat,” he said as he carefully avoided stepping on any of the toys that were scattered all over the porch floor and found his way to the door, “I’m calling the FBI.”

Indeed, Jonathan thought as he sat smiling on the couch, Egger doesn’t have a sex life anymore, and it’s probably just as well. Jonathan, too, had no sex life, though he was occasionally bothered by wet dreams, usually of Vivian and the richly rotund bastard with the pencil mustache and the well-stocked wine cellar. Jonathan considered it somehow fortunate that he always played the role of the voyeur in these dreams. He’d be lurking outside the rich man’s bedroom window with Egger in his arms, purring and letting his head be scratched, when Vivian would stumble in ahead of the fat one, both of them drunk and, with the lights blazing, begin undressing herself and then her new man. Once naked she would lie on her belly and allow the huge fellow to sit on her buttocks and begin rubbing her back. He would massage Vivian, Jonathan would stroke Egger, and before anything else could happen, Jonathan would awaken, wet with sweat and sticky with semen.

“Jonathan!” Egger shouted after jumping up to the back of the couch and walking over to Jonathan’s right ear, “Are you asleep?”

“No, not at all, Egger. What is it?”

“I was curious about what specifically your imagination had conceived of as appropriate for me to play with. It should prove amusing to hear your list of possibilities.”

“Oh, Egger, I’m sorry. I forgot. Come here.”

Egger jumped into Jonathan’s lap, stood with his hind legs on Jonathan’s thighs, and sniffed at Jonathan’s chin. Jonathan kissed him.

“I hope you don’t mean that kiss to serve for entertainment, Jonathan.”

“No, not at all. To be honest, I haven’t the faintest idea what you could want.”

“Deficient,” Egger mumbled, turning to lick between the toes of his right rear paw.


“Nothing, Jonathan. It’s becoming rather obvious, however, that you are unable to cast yourself imaginatively into the role of a cat. If you could, you’d know that we crave a little live, warm-blooded game now and then, especially when it is our lot in life, as it has been mine for nearly three months now, to be confined to the safe but nonetheless boring quarter’s of a man’s house.”

“Oh,” Jonathan said, lifting Egger into the air and holding him over his head, supporting the cat’s belly with his broad hands. “You want something warm-blooded? Alive?”

“Put me down, Jonathan, or I shall be forced to draw blood from your left arm.”

Jonathan caressed the cat in his arms and kissed the top of his head.

“So what, exactly, would you like?”

“As I stated earlier in the evening, Jonathan, you do not presently possess the wherewithal to procure exactly what I’d like, which is a fledgling of some sort, preferably a robin.”

“Well, that’s not so --”

“Forget it, J. B. You couldn’t come up with a baby robin if you very salvation hung in the balance.”

Jonathan’s mouth dropped open.

“But I have come up with a list of alternatives, in case you’re interested.”

“I’m all ears, Egger.”

“A metaphor? Jonathan, I’m proud of you. Did you make it up yourself, or did you read it in a book?”

Jonathan cradled the cat on its back against his left arm and grabbed his head with his right hand. Egger kicked at Jonathan’s elbow with his back legs and lightly bit the man’s palm.

“You better watch your tongue, cat!”

Egger stuck out his tongue and began licking Jonathan’s right forefinger.

“Clever, Egger, clever. Now give me your list.”

“Well, though rather trite, a mouse might be nice. For a start . . . “

“Of course,” Jonathan said, slapping his forehead with his palm. “How stupid of me not to think of it myself.”

“Exactly, Jonathan,” Egger purred.

“Anything else? Is a mouse your top choice?”

“Apparently you have not been paying any attention to me, Jonathan. My top choice is a baby bird.”

“I know that, Egger,” Jonathan said with another squeeze of the cat’s head. “What besides an innocent bird would you like?”

“I will ignore, for the moment, your naive assumption that any bird could be innocent, Jonathan. Now, if a mouse is unavailable, too expensive, or too much trouble for you, I’d gladly settle for a gerbil, a guinea pig, a squirrel, a chipmunk or a hamster. You get my drift?”

“In other words, you want something small and helpless to play with?”

“Must you insult my intelligence, Jonathan? Do you expect me to request something large and vicious like the Dolmer’s German shepherd, the one that’s always pregnant?”

“Well, no, by no means.”

“Then consider my request when you get a free moment. Meanwhile I’m going to bed.”

“Good night, Egger.”

Egger waltzed off, not deigning to reply.

After calling in sick the following morning, Jonathan drove across town to Critter Kingdom, Home of Cuddly Curiosities. There he explained to the proprietor, a very tall man with cavernous eye sockets, fat black eye brows, and a bumpy bald head, that he was looking for a small but lively pet.

“May I suggest a Chihuahua? We have an excellent --”

“You may not suggest a Chihuahua, Sir. A Chihuahua is not cuddly.”

“But you didn’t say anything about ‘cuddly,’“ the man replied with the largest smile Jonathan had ever seen.

“I thought you guys specialized in cuddly.”

“Yes, well,” the man paused to cough into his hand, “perhaps you’d like a small rodent.”

“Yes, perhaps I would. Anything besides a stupid dog would do as long as it’s small and lively.”

The man directed Jonathan to the “Vermin Village, Home of Rare Rodents and Furry Friends.” Very carefully Jonathan looked over every species in Vermin Village, making the tall man free each furry friend so that Jonathan could test his speed and liveliness. After keeping the man in a squat position chasing rodents for nearly two hours, Jonathan settled on a female brown hamster that nearly escaped, dashing behind the counter and into a crevice from which he was coaxed by the aroma of some Hart’s Mountain Hamster Feed. Jonathan bought the cheapest cage and accessories to go with his new pet, placed the hamster inside and prepared to leave.

“Uh, before you go, Sir.”


“I’d like to suggest that you give your pet a name. That way not only will you grow closer to it, but you’ll be able to identify it to the vet if it should ever need any medical attention.”

“Don’t worry, Pal. The rat won’t live that long.”

When Jonathan arrived home, he found Egger asleep in the sun on the windowsill of the living room. Calling to his cat, Jonathan carried his new acquisition into the den and set it in the middle of the floor between the couch and the TV. He covered the cage with a towel and called Egger again. He heard a sharp plop, and soon Egger sauntered in, stiffly stretching his back legs as he did so.

“What is this, Jonathan, gift wrapping?”

“You might call it that.”

“That’s quite touching, Jonathan, though unnecessary. Could we unveil the little novelty now?”

“You just be patient. I went to a lot of trouble --”

“Jonathan, I hate to disappoint you, but I was in the middle of a fine nap when you so rudely barged in. Now either you undrape the little morsel, or I go back to the sill and let you learn about patience.”

Jonathan laughed, went into the kitchen and opened himself a beer. When he returned to the den, Egger had vanished. The towel, however, had been pulled from the cage, and the hamster was running around in circles.

“You little sneak!” Jonathan cried. He finished the beer and lay down on the couch to take a nap.

He awoke several hours later and found Egger sitting on his chest. The slant of light pouring through the sliding glass door told him it was late afternoon. He yawned and stretched, causing Egger to jump onto the floor. When he noticed the cage, he instantly became fully conscious.

“Well, Egger, what do you think?”

“About the hamster?” Egger asked, yawning himself.

“Yes. What about the hamster?”

“I think two things about it, Jonathan. First, hamster are easy -- not nearly as challenging as a squirrel or a chipmunk. Or even a mole. Second, I think you wasted your money on the cage. You should have insisted upon a small cardboard box. The cage, you see, will be superfluous very soon. How about opening it?”

“I guess I was a fool to expect gratitude from a cat,” Jonathan said as he undid the latch and fished out the hamster.

“You said it, J. B.,” Egger answered as he crouched and focused his attention on the squirming rodent in Jonathan’s hand. “Let it go.”

Jonathan sat the hamster on the tile floor. For a moment it did nothing but sniff the air.

“Give it a little push to get it moving,” Egger said, his tail beginning to twitch. Jonathan reached for the hamster, but it darted for the TV. Egger pounced, trapping the small creature in his front paws. Then, after holding it motionless for perhaps a full minute, he picked it up in his teeth and strolled toward the living room. The hamster squirmed, twisted, and fought, finally breaking free and dashing toward the couch. Again Egger sprang and caught it, this time drawing blood.

Jonathan watched in amazement as Egger repeatedly trapped, held, carried, let loose, and retrapped the helpless hamster. Finally he could stand it no longer. The next time Egger had the rodent in his mouth, Jonathan grabbed a fistful of fur behind his neck and paralyzed him. The hamster fell to the floor with a small thud and lay motionless. Jonathan picked it up and put it back into the cage.

“What’s the meaning of this?” Egger asked after twisting free.

“I’ll ask the questions, Cat. I thought you wanted something to eat, not something to torture. What’s the deal?”

“Deal? What deal? I’m going to eat the hamster in good time, but why shouldn’t I play with it first?”

“Because it’s cruel, that’s why!”

“Cruel? Don’t give me that cruelty mumbo-jumbo. The rat’s gonna die anyway, so what difference does it make if I get a little pleasure out of it before it gets too banged up to fight? It’s the way of the world, Johnny boy, the law of life.”

Jonathan sat back in silence. He knew Egger must be wrong, but he could think of no argument that would convince the cat.

“Well, I think we ought to let it recover, Egger.”

“I’ve nearly finished it off. Couldn’t you just get me another when I’m done with this one?”

“I’ll think about it. Right now, I’m going to take a little walk.”

“That’s all you ever do.”

Jonathan locked the cage in his bedroom before taking his walk. He’d been upset by his cat’s cruelty, but he couldn’t think of a good reason why cats shouldn’t torture smaller creatures. Hadn’t Vivian been torturing him for eight months and five days?

Jonathan came home late and drunk. Egger didn’t greet him when he came in, so he retired to his bedroom and locked the door. The hamster was injured but surprisingly fit. Already she’d begun moving around, as evidenced by her droppings. In fact, Jonathan decided, she probably had pretended to be dead since running from Egger did her no good. Jonathan filled her water and food dishes, ripped up some newspapers (as the tall man at Critter Kingdom had advised) and placed them into the bottom of the cage. Finally, setting the alarm for 7:30, he went to bed and fell asleep almost immediately.

Before long he found himself in the dream yard of the rich fat man, peering into the window. He watched and watched but saw nothing and knew something was wrong. Then he noticed: He didn’t have Egger in his arms. He looked around, expecting to find the cat nearby. Instead he heard Vivian’s drunken laughter and turned to see her enter the bedroom naked and lie on the bed. Then he saw Egger, huge, pawing Vivian. A long red wound opened up in her back. Jonathan cried out and awoke to find himself wet and sticky. In the cage he heard the hamster playing in the newspaper.

After turning on the light and cleaning himself, Jonathan went over to look at the hamster carefully. He was somehow relieved to see a red streak, small to be sure, on the rodent’s back.

“I christen you Vivian,” he said before returning to bed.

The next morning he again called in sick, as he did for the next ten mornings. Each day, instead of going to work he took Vivian into the den and let Egger torture her until she wouldn’t or couldn’t run anymore. Afterwards he dressed and disinfected her wounds, most of which, though they must have been painful, were superficial.

On the fourteenth day, he called in sick and learned he’d been fired.

“Hallelujah,” he said to his boss’s secretary, “I’ve been saved. Have a good day.”

Again he took Vivian into the den. Again he watched as Egger trapped, carried, dropped and trapped Vivian. He clapped each time the cat pounced and laughed each time Vivian, her pain and terror evident, tried to escape.

“Egger,” he said, “you’ve shown me the secret to life. If only I were a cat!”

“Spare me the humor,” Egger said, dropping Vivian to the floor and turning her over with his paw. She lay still but breathing. Suddenly Egger snatched the prostrate Vivian with his claws and broke her neck in his mouth.

“You murderer! What have you done?”

Egger turned his back, gnawing at the dead hamster and ignoring Jonathan.

“Why you, you killed Vivian! You killed her!”

Jonathan sprang from the couch to the floor and grabbed his cat. He lifted it by its neck, letting it hang helpless and paralyzed. He walked about distracted, first to the kitchen then back to the den, where he picked up the remains of Vivian, then back to the kitchen where he discarded the body in the trash. Finally he took the cat out to the garage and put it into his car.

“Where we going?” Egger asked the instant he was free.

“Don’t worry about that.”

Jonathan drove to Norris Dam, crossed it and took a dirt road that ran down by the lake.

“I hate water, Jonathan.”

“Don’t worry about that.”

He parked the car by the lake. A half moon was climbing into the sky above the lake.

“Nice view,” Egger said.


“Hey listen, I’m sorry about the hamster, but I just got carried away.”

“Don’t worry about that.”

“So what are you going to do?”

“You’ll see.”

Jonathan rolled down his window, and Egger balanced himself with his front paws on the window, standing in Jonathan’s lap and surveying the scene: pine trees, a garbage can that probably had something to eat in it, a large lake that was no doubt full of fish, a too bright moon but plenty of shadows. He looked up at Jonathan, who was crying. Then, after shifting his weight from one haunch to the other to test Jonathan’s reactions, he leapt onto the pine-needled ground. He stretched, looked back at Jonathan, then vanished without another word.

On his way home, Jonathan felt like celebrating, so he stopped for a beer at a the Dew-Drop Inn on Clinton Highway. He caught the prettiest waitress in the place giving him the eye, and he was pleased although he couldn’t smile back yet.