Sunday, April 22, 2018

Book Smarts


Hats Off To You
Chapter Three
Book Smarts

               At mid-morning the next day Samuel (I think of him more as Sam Mule, but then what type of animal am I?) Reynalds pulled into the parking lot and made his way over to our cubicles.  As he would do over the next two weeks Sam started the day with marching from work station to work station.  His arms bent at the elbows, keeping pace with his military like steps, “Left Right Left Right.”  His shiny Bowler snug on his cranium with a pair of almost isosceles pyramids extended about his ears.  First, he centers at my station, “Nathan.  Please try to handle correctly the” and he squinted into his hand-held notebook, “Public Service Division’s Debits and Credits.”  I look up and nod an implied “Yes Sir.” 

               Then he pivoted and marched to address Frank, “Ahem!  Mr. Uhhh…” and he peered into his notebook once again, “Boskin…Yes, that’s it.  Mr. Boskin.  Today I would like you to try to keep the Sales Order Group’s books up to date.  I know it seems difficult to you but I cannot keep doing everyone’s work for them.  Try to put a little effort into it, now!”  Frank returned a sarcastic (but the sarcasm was not understood) salute. 

               Sam performed another pirouette and proudly marched five more steps to the center of Al’s attention.  “I would be happy, Mr. Detori, if today you would handle the Accounts of our factory.  After all we are the people who pay your salary.”  Al obnoxiously cheerfully replied, “Yes Sire!  After All.  This Factory Can’t Account for itself.”  Sam looked confused, or was that his normal appearance, “Carry on Mr. Detori.” 

               Sam then spun and continued his parade over to Jim’s workspace.  Jim acted like he didn’t hear Sam. Jim had his face plastered to his terminal and had his fingers performing a Flight of the Bumble Bees on his keyboard.  Sam said, then repeated, and then finally started yelling, “Jim, Jim, James Worburt!”  Jim freezes his hands, raises his head, and turns his neck into Sam’s direction.  “You Rang” in a Lurchian deep voice.  Sam then haltingly continued, “Mr. Worburt.  I would find it extremely helpful for our corporation if you would handle the financial trackings of our department of Health and Human Services.”  Jim grunted in approval. 

               Sam strode out of our cube area, turned before he exited, and stated to all, “You guys don’t know what real, management work is.  I sure am exhausted.  It is sure taking a lot out of me to get you lowlings on the right track.  I need a rest.  I’m taking a coffee break.  I’ll be back in about four and a half hours.”

               For the next two weeks it’s been pretty much the same.  Somewhere between ten and eleven thirty in would march Sam Reynalds.  His valued head protected by those shiny sheets with an occasional antenna.  A couple times he put it on upside down, the antenna were like table legs and his skull top like the kitchen floor.  He only marched the first couple days.  Then it was a day or two of striding in.  Now it is just a slouched, slow shuffle.  Some days I was Frank Boskin.  Sometimes Frank was Baskin and Robbins.  Alex Detori became Al Dente.  Quite Frankly we all became Al Dente.  Jim was Warbucks, Daddy Warbucks, Wally, Wally Wally, Wally Wally Oxenfree, Thomas Nathanial among others.  According to Sam we were all handling the books for Walgreens, The Accounting Department, St. Louis Water Works, and other interesting departments.   At least that is what the amazing Mr. Reynalds called us.  Boy that head gear sure works great.  I can’t imagine how well we’d be lead if he didn’t protect his valuable mind.  I feel, thanks to Sam’s relatives we are lead as in that poisonous heavy metal as opposed to lead as in having a known, directed intelligent goal.

               After a couple months, despite his uncle seriously congratulating Sam on the good work of his department (or maybe because of his congratulations) after the daily coffee breaks Sam’s been coming around to tell us to “Really get in line.  Come on now.  This is not a kindergarten.”  There was one day, after he gave me a good berating in front of the Drafting Department, “How can you say that a minus amount is a debit and you put those stupid little parenthesis around it?   Try to think a bit, huh!”  As I tried peacefully to explain to him the journal entries and the accounts we have for the Public Services books.  When we walked out of earshot of the Draftsmen Sam asked me in a hushed whisper if I had an old copy of an Accounting to English or English to Accounting dictionary that I (he supposed) used to rely on when I took my freshman accounting class.  That way Sam won’t have to waste as much time getting his good points across.  “This will really help you, Nate, in my opinion.  You might finally be able to understand some simple things.”  I just looked at his head poles and said, “I’ll see what I can do.” 

               When he was back at his magnetically aligned desk I whispered to the guys about this request for a dictionary.  I figured it wasn’t just an insult because he later told me that he really needed that “dictionary”.  Jim said Sam gave him the same request.  Frank said, “Yeah.  He told me he could communicate with me easier if I lent him the dictionary I used when I took Accounting 101.”  Al said he saw Phil talking to his nephew.  Phil told Sam, “I just don’t get it.  Your guys are doing a great job.  You must be doing a great management job but when I ask you what your guys are doing you, Sam, sound like you’re in fifth grade.  Like if the teacher asked you what the square root of four was and you said ‘Grass has roots.  Turnips have bulbs.  You can eat carrots.’  Get it together.”  Then when his uncle shook him off, Sam came to ask Al for a dictionary too.   I went to a used book store that evening and picked up a copy of “Common Financial Terms Every Newbie Needs To Know.”  I tore off the cover and title page.  I asked the guys who wants to give it to Sam.  They all said that I lose.  They wanted the least contact with him as possible.  So, I left the book on his desk.  After all it was just 7 in the morning, it will be hours before Sam gets in.   We figure that he’ll get so lost in it that it will be months before he questions us about it, we hoped.


To Be Continued…

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Ehh, What's Up Dock?


Hats Off To You
Chapter Two
Ehh What’s Up Dock

               I (Nathan Thomas) am waiting inside the Video Conference room.  My three cohorts enter ceremoniously.  Two are wearing aluminum foil hats.  Frank Boskin comes in with his shiny Yarmulke and greets me with “Shazbot.”  After him steps Jim Worburt with a foil derby and two crinkled antennae.  He is robotizing his arms up and down stating, “Warning Nate Thomason.”  Finally, wearing a folded newspaper hat that looks like a kids sail boat, steps Al Detori, pointing to his head, stating, “My regular ship is in the shop for its mid-millennium tune-up.”

               I state, “Okay, guys.  Fun’s fun. I hope Sam didn’t see you wearing those.”  Al spoke up, “Nah, Nate.  I doubt it.  He was there, sitting at his desk, and I don’t think he knows how to work his open door.”

               I continued, “Well let me tell you what Sarah told me…”   And I filled them in that Sam is Phil Karnstern, our Department Chairman’s, nephew.  “Frank, Sam may not be someone you can relate to but he is someone our Chairman is related to.  In other words, we all got to toad the line on this one.  Warts and all.”  I then explained that among Sam’s many valued accomplishments is that he recently worked on the loading dock of another uncle’s paper products business.  Sam recently got married to the new temp that they hired.  His new bride told Sam that he did not make enough money to support the two of them.  What, with his loading dock salary.  So, Sam’s father bothered another brother and brother, he got hired here.  Phil felt that we’ve been getting along fine so if we want to stay employed we’ll keep employing what we’ve been doing since Mark left.  Only we’ll have to say we that couldn’t get by without Sam.  Jim wondered if there still is an opening at the loading dock.  I responded that Sarah told me there never was.  I tell you, working conditions keep getting better and better.

               We concurred that we will continue managing ourselves, passing the responsibility between each of us on a week to week basis.  (We definitely don’t want it to be on a weak too weak basis.)  The current temp manager will manage the management emails between Sam and our inside world.  He can’t contact outside because, “It takes a while to get your email set up right” we told him.  How long we can keep this up we can only imagine.  We set up an “Inter Office Memo Box” outside Sam’s cube so we can manage hard copies too.

               After we were satisfied having sketched out how the next four weeks will go Al asked, “What’s all this hoodoo voodoo with the tin foil hat?”

               I explained that Sarah told me it was five years ago at the Getty Don Paper company.  At the loading dock the trucks would come in, the trucks would go out.  One guy with a forklift would load and unload.  The other would take the paperwork and either deliver what was unloaded to the warehouse or pick-up what was needed from the warehouse.  They started with that guy making the pick-ups for the scheduled load.  Sam was supposed to take what was unloaded and put it in its storage areas.  Well, stuff soon was missing.  After a couple days Carbons were found stacked in the Duplex area.  Half-tones were piled on Newsprints.  Lithographic was stored with Parchments.  The guy that made the pick-ups started doing both, pick up from the warehouse and deliver to the warehouse.  He put in a week of overtime to sort through the whole warehouse to put the miss-stored goods in order.  They think they got most of them.  Since Sam was the nephew of the owner they were told to keep recycling him with the same five skids going to the warehouse and picking the same five up from the warehouse.  Originally they tried to talk to him about it but he got confused.  He got so upset that he started yelling at them that they did not know what they were talking about.  Sam took a week off and when he came back. 

               That is when they started Sam with his five skids to nowhere.  When he came back he was wearing his tin foil hat and smiling.  Apparently someone told Sam that really smart people, people who should tell other people what to do, people who are naturally born bosses get attacked by Radio Waves and Electro Magnetic Fluctuations.  Sam’s superior self was told to wear a Faraday Cage.  In the old days when you were in the car, listening to the radio and you drove through a tunnel or across a steel extension bridge your radio went out.  Well that was due to the stations you were listening to on certain medium wave length AM (Amplitude Modulation) radio signals.   The radio waves had the right peaks and troughs to be absorbed by the conductive metal you were driving through.  Times have changed and so have frequencies.  This hardly happens anymore because many broadcasts contain paid announcements such as Diarrhea Prevention Ads or the Speeches of your favorite politicians.  Broadcasting frequencies and radio receivers were changed so those purchased words that hit your ears have a higher price tag and therefore contain an order to insure guaranteed delivery.  But some people think that if you can stop radio waves with a metal cage you can stop people from messing with your mind using metal cages too.  Frank then said, “So instead of Sam being one of the Illuminati he is really one of the Aluminum Nutty.  Jim then said, “Aluminum, so his motto is ‘Yes I Can.”



To Be Continued…

Monday, April 16, 2018

Hats Off To You


Hats Off To You
Chapter One
Imagining You Manage


               Meeting our new boss just made my day.  I work in the accounting department of the Wattthetech Corporation (An Energy Biased Technology Firm, or did I mean Based, no I meant Biased.).  We have been short staffed for about six months.  I handle the books of the Public Service Division.  Frank, who I’ve worked with for five years now, balances the Sales Order Groups.  Al, who is an old timer, does the Factory accounting.   Jim takes care of Health and Human Services.  We lost Mark, our manager, who was wined and dined by some national tax firm. 
               The four of us have been rotating Mark’s managerial responsibilities each week along with our normal duties.  Phil, the department chairman, just came by to tell us, “We hired a replacement for Mark.  He’s filling out his forms at Personnel and will be around in about an hour.  Then you can quit your whining and go back to doing your minimum each day.”  He said it in sort of a huff, but then he never got along with any of us so we weren’t expecting anything different.
               I work with Sarah a lot so I met her in her HR person role, walking into our cubicle to have us greet the new Accounting Department Manager.  “Sam Reynalds, I would like you to meet your new subordinate, Nathan Thomas.  Sam has been hired to take over Mark Randich’s duties.  Sam, working for you with Nathan will be Frank Boskin, James Worburt and Allan Detori.”  Sarah emphasized to me a harsh look with her eyes.  I shook Sam’s hand and said, “Good to meet you.”  I said nothing about, and tried not to act like I noticed, in anyway, that Faraday Cage thing Sam had resting on his head.  I’ve heard people call it a Faraday Cage.  A partial bowl of aluminum foil covering the top of his head with angles and twists at the ears.  People think that it shields their brains from electromagnetic fields and mind control.  Please realize that I used the term “think” loosely.  As I brought Sam into the open cube area where Frank, Jim and Al were working, I had my throat start with a loud “Hrumph! Hrumph!” hopefully to get the point across.  Frank who was at his computer, started to ask “Hrumph!?” but stopped mid “Hru” because he looked up and saw me with the Sam and this unique head gear.  He quickly text messaged Jim and Al and then stood up to greet us.  Jim and Al read, looked, and abruptly stopped their handy work.
               Sarah had already scuttled off.  I plan on thanking her later.  I now introduce Sam to Frank, Al and Jim from the open area of our five person, low walled cubicle. We keep one empty desk for the temps that we occasionally need.  After everyone held down smirks and briefly told Sam which departments they handle the books for I brought Sam to a nearby enclosed cube and said, “This is Mark’s old confines.  I believe you can make yourself at home here.”

               Sam thanked me and went inside.  As I walked past his open door I saw Sam take out a compass and hold it at the right back corner of his new desk.  He was looking in the direction he would face when seated.  Same then placed a sheet of copy paper on the floor, the paper’s corner ending at the back leg of said desk.  Sam tried turning that paper a couple acute angles to the right, keeping the corners of the paper and desk touching.  When the compass that he lined up with the paper looked correct to him, Sam smiled and went to lift the front of his desk to pivot it in alignment with that piece of paper.  After a few attempts and after taking a few more readings Sam sat proudly in his swivel desk chair, looked forward, and put on a big grin.

               As I said, I first saw Sam holding that compass as I started to walk past his door.  I was thinking “How about that?!”  And by that I meant that I thought his tin tipped actions were a bit odd.  So odd that I positioned myself behind the coat tree and watched this late morning entertainment.

               I know now that it was a compass that Sam was using.  At the time of this incident all I could see was that he held some sort of beige, hand sized box.  Sarah laughed to me later that it was a compass.  She discovered that earlier when her job required that she greet Sam in the company’s parking garage.  You need a clicker to get through the garage’s gate.  Once he drove inside Sam checked out four different parking spaces until he found one that his compass agreed with.  When he was satisfied, with a big smile, he showed Sarah his compass and said, “I don’t leave home without it.”
               Personally, with what I’ve observed about Sam, it could have been just as useful if it was a compass a draftsman uses to draw a circle as opposed to a compass a Boy Scout uses to know he is lost in the woods.  And Sam sure appears to be lost in the woods.
               Sarah came up behind me at the coat rack.  She dragged me into an empty office.  Once in there I got a good impression about the direction our Department, and with that our whole Company, was heading.  Hey!  Another use for Sam’s compass!  Our Direction!
               Sarah told me quickly what she knew about Sam’s tool box and more.  After my enlightenment I sarcastically thanked her.  She laughed sadly and said, “Hey.  I’m just doing my job.”  I then texted the guys to meet me in the video conference room.  ASAP.

  
To Be Continued…

Friday, April 13, 2018

Monkey Wrench


               Hi, I’m Jimmy.  I am three and one half years old.  I am healthy and strong and want to be a good son.  Both of my parents work hard to provide a house, food and television for me.  I figured, since I’ve been eating for almost four years now, that if I want something I should work for it.  That is why I am applying for a job with you, now.  I want to earn a spending monkey. 

               My Daddy and Mommy work every day for their monkeys.  I know that cereal and rent costs lots of monkeys.  They keep putting their monkeys in the bank and taking them out when they need to feed me. 

There is a lot of valuable work I could do for you.  I could do something like pick up your toys or eat that stuff at the bottom of your bowl of potatoes, then you could give me monkeys for doing that.  I will even straighten your chair at the breakfast table and put your dishes in the sink when you are through eating from them and I am through licking the bottom of the bowls clean.  I think that the Zoo is the name of my parents’ bank because when we go there I get to see monkeys.  Is that what a Sea Monkey is?  I read about them in an old comic book.  I would like to earn enough so I could keep some monkeys loose in my pockets.  I could also not pick my nose for you!

Here's some more work I could do for you!  I know!  I know!  I’ll say that the lines were extra long in the Jewel food store after we stopped at Jake’s Bar on the way home from grocery shopping. My daddy has me do that every week, sometimes two or three times a week.  And then when your wife buys a pair of diamond ear rings I’ll tell you that mommy just bought me a pair of pants and the Walmart lady handed her the wrong sales receipt and when you go to call the credit card company to check your balance I’ll start playing hide and seek with you, tag, you’re it.  I know, I’ll tell mommy that you had to go take the dog out for a walk when you go into the back yard to smoke a cigarette like my uncle Fred.

And when I work from home I’ll really be productive.  I’ll watch the baseball game on TV.  I’ll ride my tricycle over to the Dairy Queen and get a fudge nut bar, if you give me some loose change.  That’s just like my daddy.  He’s always going to the bars when he works from home.  My mommy will know to keep the refrigerator stocked with A&W because, just like with daddy, when I work from home I’ll always have a mug of root beer, or some other beer, in my hands.  Hey, there’s a miniature golf course down the street so I can go play golf like daddy does when he works from home.

 Why do I want to work here?  Well, I’ve heard that the monkey must be good here because your secretary said that you were the Top Banana.  But you don’t ape peel to her.  Sorry, she didn’t want that to slip out.   You know, my uncle Fred used to work here.  He always said that when he worked for you he worked for peanuts.  If you get peanuts here you must have a lot of monkeys.  Peanuts and Bananas, you must have a barrel of monkeys. 

I’d be a very imaginative worker.  There isn’t an addition problem I couldn’t handle.  Just ask my mommy, she’ll tell you I am very good at adding to problems.  Here’s an example: “Two plus two is two.  Two plus two is fifteen.  Two plus two is seventy-six.”  Should I go on?

You asked me where do I see myself in five years.  Are you some sort of kookoo bean?  I can’t see myself in five years.  I can only see myself in a mirror or in a selfie on a cell phone and I don’t even have a cell phone.

Then you asked if I am computer literate.  Why do I have to point out to you that there is a sign outside at the sidewalk next to a big metal basket that says, “Do Not Liter.”  Like my mommy and daddy, I always follow the law, if there’s anyone watching, that is.  Now with that cop walking up and down the street if I can’t literate outside how could I literate in here?

You also asked me if I am a teen player.  I am three and a half years old.  I won’t be a teen ager for another twenty years.  Oh, you said team player?  No one ever picks me for their team; they’d rather pick their noses.  Remember, I said that if you pay me some good monkey I won’t pick my noses.

Then you asked me what my favorite subject in school was. I don’t like English and all its religious stuff.  You know, stuff about nuns and verbs and adverbs and objects and subjects.  I don’t know what the subject of a sentence is.  I prefer recesses and potty breaks.  Besides I am three and a half years old.  I’ve been to Sunday School and I go to play school.  Maybe it’s a school of fish you are asking me about.  I do like to go fish.

So, do I get the job?  Huh?  Huh!?  I’ll put my elbow grease into it.  I’ll clean and wax and buff.  Hire me and you’ll get some real monkey shines!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Rooting For Us


          This world is a lot bigger than you originally thought.  It is more than you and your family.  More than Fred next door and Alice on the other side.  More than Hank, Tom, and Patricia at work.  More than the craftsmen in the millions of corporations around the globe.  It is also more than your pet Shih Tzu.  Your neighbor’s American Shorthair.  That Boa named Bob owned by the nutty kid down the block.  Also more than all the cows that made McDonalds what it is today.
          Putting all the web weavers, swarms, and flocking birds of a feather aside, what about those acres of wheat, ears of corn, and blades of grass?  They didn’t just happen, just to feed you.  The oak tree isn’t there just to scratch a grizzly bear’s back.  The chestnut tree didn’t spread just to shade the village smithy.  No.  You may think they are just tools.  Like pebbles to build a house with.  Or aluminum and iron to make a car.
          But they live.  Plants breathe.  They breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen.  Plants excrete waste.  When their leaves fall off or petals blow into the wind those plants are defecating.   Their waste products include resins, saps, and tannins. Those aren’t just bird droppings on your car.   They also reproduce.  Just like when you splashed on some aftershave to get something going with Alice over there, a horny stamen is splashing on his perfect mixture of bees and humming birds because of Jane, that hot little pistil.  He is only interested in her carpels.  (Anyone up for some carpel tunnel syndrome?)
          In the spring, you look down the block and see lawn after lawn of nice green carpet.  Then it’s like, if you turn around you see a little yellow head pop up three doors down.  Turn around again and their yard is filled with bunches of yellow and white clumps. Then it’s spilling into the next yard.  Next thing you know, there’s an army of dandelions invading your turf.  And it seems like it was just yesterday when I moved into this house.  On the fourth of July we used to sit out back and watch the village’s fireworks.  Now we can’t see a thing because of all the trees.  Where did they come from? 
          There is evidence that plants have feelings.  That they are sentient.  Experimenters set up a field of corn.  Attached a polygraph galvanometer (a lie detector) to some stalks on one side of the field.  Then started burning and cutting down stalks on the other side.  And there was a reaction.  The needles were jumping all over the graph.  Way back in the 1920’s, George Bernard   Shaw was invited to a laboratory.  He got intensely disturbed witnessing a demonstration of a cabbage having convulsions as it was boiled to death.  Remember the words of that Stevie Wonder song, “The Same Old Story.”  “For most felt it was mad to conceive/that plants thought, felt, and moved quite like we/ but with instruments Bose would devise/ would take science itself by surprise.”
          Sometimes we have to realize we are not as all powerful and all-knowing as we think we are.  Look at our relation to dogs and cats.  We say that somewhere in pre-history man took in these animals and trained them to guard and hunt for him.   Maybe it was a long term plan by the wolves and felids.  They were going to hunt and guard for their families anyway.  Why not take man under their wings.  Nurture him and train him.  Now man builds houses for them.  Has factories to produce their food.  They have a pretty good medical plan.  All Fido has to do is bark at the mailman.  Fluffy just has to chase a sock around and poop in a plastic basket.
          Are plants using us the same way?  Pumpkins have taken over acres of land.  We prim and trim rose bushes for what?  Soybeans have been on this earth since 2853 BC.  In the early 1900’s they used G W Carver to get farmers to grow acres of them for protein and oil instead of junk used as a ballast in ships.  And they talked the farmers into rotating their crops to get a stronger foot hold.
          A field of plants is an organism.  They sleep during the winter.  We provide them the silos to rest in.  We take them out to run wild and free when spring thaws.  They conspire to get us to kill off their competition.   We build nice little orderly houses for the lucky beans then stomp out and poison those hated, low life thistles.  Chia used to be one of the ignored minorities.  They were only good for being laughed at as the hair growing on the Chia Pets.  Now we are ramping up their luxury farmland in the name of “good nutrition.”
          Are we the GMOs used to give the ruling plants happiness? A smart apple tree will get us to eat the fruit of its labor.  Then we walk off down the road to eventually poop out the seeds, growing a new tree where no tree has grown before.  The revered tea leaf gets pampered by Buddhist Monks.  And what about those amber waves of grain.  Yes, I’m talking about those manipulative perverts:  wheat and corn.  More than 90 million acres of corn get planted each year.  And that corn has us snap off their tassels.  Handle them like sexy feather dusters, teasing them all over the silks on each ear.  You blow in those ears and they’ll follow you anywhere.    

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Appointees or a Pointed Finger - Which Finger?


               Our King may be a baby.  He may make you say “Jesus!”  But he is no Jesus.  Is his Cabinet appointed or anointed?

               In the wilderness, that cabin is your government.  You maintain it and it provides for you a place to live.  It is a couple hundred years old.  There have been many repairs.  That is only logical.  Some parts are new and good.  Some parts are old and trustworthy.  Obviously some parts are new and not so good.  Equally some parts are old and need repair or replacement, at least a shoring up.

               Some parts are out of date.  For instance there are those phone lines when we all have cell phones.  And there is that massive TV antenna when we now use cable.  Who can get anything from an antenna anymore?  The door keeps out the wild animals.  It keeps the wolves at bay.  The furnace provides warmth, even though there is still a fireplace.  Sure an evening fire feels cozy, but the soot on the walls and the smoke we breathe in cannot be healthy, no matter how great the past was.  And if you build a fire, if you use your fireplace, you must clean your chimney or your negligence to your environment could cause your whole cabin to burn down.  A generator provides electricity for your daily conveniences.  Plastic pipes provide drinkable water instead of the lead lined pipes that are part of the quaint hand pumps.

               And you constantly need to keep repairs up.

               But our current house keepers are a bunch of spoiled brats.  Sure, their daddies were rich and they don’t need to do any real work, but the prestige of having them in charge doesn’t keep your house from burning down.  They throw stones at the windows and dump garbage on the floors.  They slam that outside door every which way, the louder each time to make a louder point.  Does that slam do the door any good?  Is that what a door’s purpose is?  Do I even need to answer this?  The louder the crash the stronger they feel.  And they don’t care about what they break.  They take your water.  They burn your books to soot up your breath of life.  That door is now broken and the predators are coming in.

               If you arrest the loudest one, or even if you just kicked him out.  Hell, even if you could kick out all of them (which seems impossible) your cabin is broken.  Is it broken beyond repair?  The load baring walls are cracked and crumbling.  The roof leaks, like a monsoon.  The bathrooms are clogged and the sewage is deep all over.

               In such a short time they permanently wrecked so much that your very lives are lost.  Sure they are loud.  Sure they are proud.  Sure they had their revolution.  And when anyone of them gets caught breaking your window or peeing on your breakfast, they just blame the loudest baby.  And he is so cute.  Come on people.  Stop it.  Correct it if you can.  Fix it.  But if it is all broken then they can come and go as they please.  Only it does not please me.  If you thought about it, it would not please you.  Sure it was a revolution.  A lot of heads are turning.  A lot of jaws are flapping.  And it is getting more and more revolting.

               Do we need to polish that Cabinet or just toss it into the incinerator and just burn it?

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Do I Detect or Do I Defect


               What is a birth defect?  Is one arm verses two arms a birth defect?  Is one eye instead of two a birth defect?  Is a large nose a birth defect?  Is being hard of hearing a birth defect?  Is acting hard of hearing not a birth defect?  Is having dark hair a birth defect?  Is having dark skin a birth defect?  Is being able to lift one thousand pounds a birth defect?  Is understanding mathematics a birth defect?  Is not hating my neighbor a birth defect?  Is caring about someone other than myself a birth defect?  Is not hurting a stranger a birth defect?  Is care about global warming a birth defect?  Is not being the corporation’s owners’ nephew a birth defect?  Is being one minded a birth defect?  Is having no brains not a birth defect?  Is being born a birth defect?  Come on now!  Think it through, algorithmically!

               Hello, I’m Bobby Gun.  This is my brother, Tommy Gun.  Here is my father, Dumbo Gun.  Didn’t you hear, the Moon jumped over the Cow?  I thought it through, algorithmically.

               Do you feel better about yourself because you will end up better than your neighbor?  Shouldn’t you feel better (in general, not just about yourself) if you can help someone, anyone, end up better than they currently are?

               Do I feel good about forcing someone to do as I say or do I feel good about helping myself or someone else while not being detrimental to anyone?

               I feel more at ease in a field of trees than a parade ground of Human Beings.  Dogs running around.  Fish swimming.  Swarms of gnats or bees.  I can stand and look and feel the calm of the breeze as a sheet drawn across my skin, some swath my left arm, another path crosses my back, a touch to my right cheek, slightly chilled but assuring, not tense like that stranger who is me standing next to another next to another, with those harsh sounding caws from their mouths not communicating, just loud squawks and complaints.  If you understand you encourage, you take part, you join in.  You don’t yell and churn.  March here.  March there.  Grunt people out of your way.  “Make Room For Me” as opposed to “Join Me.”  Opposed is the key word.  You need some similarities to be opposed.  If you are different you commune.  You diffuse.  You hold each other up together rather than push all others down.

               An elm tree is not an opposition to a bear. A starved dog is an opposition to another starved dog, or to a mirror of himself.

               Frog night, frog bright, that first frog I see tonight means many more are unacknowledged by my brains use of my senses.  That light of that frog is the splash of the memory of his jump.

               I am at the Brookfield Zoo.  I am walking past Monkey Island.  Yes, I do know that in the past it was called Baboon Island.  It is empty now.  It has been abandoned for years.  When I was a child I called it Monkey Island.  At that age, when I saw a baboon or a chimpanzee or an orangutan I saw a monkey.  I did not discriminate.  Age taught me to discriminate.  Just as a baboon and a lemur and a chimpanzee were monkeys when I was a child, my neighbor was a human, not a black or a white or a polak or a bohunk or a jew.  Is discrimination something to learn?   Aren’t we better off when we do not learn some things?