Monday, June 18, 2018

I Wish I Were A Worm

               I am a dog.  I wished I were a worm.  I ain’t complaining.  Nooo.  I don’t do that.  I live an orderly life.  The lights go on when they’re told.  The lights go off when they’re told.  The thermostat is set to 72.  During the summer it is told to air condition when the room temperature is above 72.  During the winter it is told to exhale the furnace heat when the room temperature is below 72.  Who cares what it feels like outside?  Outside is outside of control.

               That radio starts singing us awake at four-forty-five each morning.  Who cares when the sun comes up?  I don’t care.  I haven’t a care in the world.  I am sooooo careless.  After I awake I get to go outside to relieve myself.  Sun or shine, snow or storm, wind or rain, hail hail my time has come.  I go to the tree.  I lift my leg.  That tree I see I’m me I pee.  Where is a fire hydrant when you kneed one?  I will kneed that tree instead.    I poop and it’s bagged.  Poop and bag.  Poop and bag.  All week long it is poop and bag.  It’s a wonder I don’t poop whenever I see a bag.  Maybe I do. 

               After I awake and after I’m me I get my Kennel Rations.  My Kennel Rations in my left bowl, my water in my right bowl.  I’m not in a Kennel, am I?  Who knows?  Who cares?  Morning after morning after morning.  I am left alone.  The door is shut.  That loud thing roars and rumbles.  I go to where I can’t move no more.  That is where it looks like I can go outside, but I can’t.  And that roaring rambling thing goes away.  I yell to it.  It doesn’t care.  I really don’t care.  I am careless because I am carless. 

               I love and hate that car.  Just say the word “GO” and I’m scrambling all over the place.  I’m jumping.  I’m yipping.  I’m dribblin’.  I’m sniffin’.  I’m runnin’ in circles nearer, constantly nearer where that door is that shuts.  And they slap their hand on their legs.  And they say “GO.”  They hold open that door and I jump in that car.  We roar and rumble.  I feel the twists and turns.  If I whine the window opens.  That window winds me down.  Down across my nose and eyes flapping my tongue and ears and my teeth grin.

               I love and hate that car because every three years they get me in that car and take me to the vets’.  He pokes my mouth.  He pokes my ears.  He pulls my tale.  He pokes me where I like to smell.  He pokes me where I like to rub on the good hard bristled carpets on a good floor.  And he gives me shots.  I hate that vet so I hate that car so I hate going anywhere and I usually know when they are going to take me there so I hide under the couch when I want to go outside when I don’t want to get a shot when I want the wind flapping my ears around.

               But orderly I guard the house.  I go to where I cannot go.  Where it looks like I can get out, but I can’t.  If children walk by I bark.  If cars honk by I bark.  And I protect us from that evil, terrible creature that walks up to this non special, ordinary house, every day, Monday through Saturday, at two pm.  It is my orders to order him away.  Poof.  Gone with you.  And I do it loud.  And I do it with energy.  And still he comes by every day.  Through rain or sleet or gloom of life.

               And those people that listen to the radio and fill my bowls and let me unfill my bowels, they make my life orderly.  They order me to sit.  To heel.  To shake (my paw, not my back, but they enjoy me shaking my tail).  They chain my life.  They walk me structured.  They control me through words and swats and plastic bags. 

               And as I am following their orders so they can fill their bags I look up past the fire hydrant’s nozzle, operating nut, and barrel, I look up past that pee tree limb, I look up into the sky that I cannot get to.  That sky is worse than that house window.  At least the car window lets my head out.  I cannot reach the sky.  It taunts me.  So, I dig down.  I scratch and growl and dig into the earth.  I know it is there.  I know the sky is not there because I cannot feel it.  I cannot grab the sky.  I cannot enter it.  But if I dig I can get into the earth.  In that earth I won’t find order.  In that earth I won’t be ordered.  I cannot heel inside the earth.  I cannot shake inside the earth.  I can get away, door or no door, sky or no sky, within the earth.  I wish I were a worm instead of just having worms.


Friday, June 15, 2018

A Dog Wish

               I am a worm.  I wish I was a dog.  I live in the dark.   I’m covered by dirt.  I wish I was a dog.  I live in a hole.  I move in a tunnel.  If I am lucky enough to get a choice I can crawl through the left vein or crawl through the right vein.  Usually there is no choice.  I can plow ahead, and I do mean plow.  I am like a nail.  My urge is my hammer.  My urge.  My urgency.  My tiny head, my tiny tip pushing hard into the cold, wet, silt (silt if I can find it).  Or I find a crack between the rocks.  Or I find mica paralleled schist that I can force my way into.  I hope it is cold.  It scrapes, it bars.  I am slime.  I am gooed.  I am slurp stringy beady draped.  I save my tiny outer shells from the piercings of sand and iron sticks.  I long for moldy grass.  I long for dead, rotted leaves.  Darwin told farmers to look up to me.  I get the strength to plow on from snaking through their refuse, their leaves, their discards.  Thank me, you farmers.  Because of me you can grow your corn.  Because of me you can harvest your potatoes.  Darwin understood.

               I breathe when the dead, used air high above me is energized, shaken, kineticized by the Sun that I cannot see.  That sun sent energy from non understandable distances away slammed the obtuse angled shards of the mosaics of water shaking though the stable O twos and extensive nitrogens that avoid the carbons, the energy heavies it.  The it is the air, the atmosphere, the encasing layered sheets that covers most of the life that I cannot connect with, the surface life, the legged life, the seeing life.  And those patches of sheeting pounded by the sub ionic particles from that unreachable conglomeration of explosions grow, gain spaces, gain free elements, gain weight and falls, grabbing more and more, ammonium here, steam there, dust to attract as a solid magnates near solids in a gaseous entanglement.  As it gains weight, as it gains drink, as it gains substance it loses heat.  With heat loss and weight gain and empty atmosphere on surrounding this clump flushes upwards the slapped particles push the air further down.  Down from mountain level, down from tree level, down from beings’ feet, down into the porous earth so I can breathe.

               Along with breathe, I drink.  Water, drinkable water, not just sulfur laced, moveable particles pass through the pores of my confinement.  I can take in, in though the protective outer layering of my defining shape.  I drink along with eat.  I don’t even think about it.  Just because I do not think about it does not mean I am not manipulated by it.  I am driven by it.  I eat those rotted apple skins.  I eat those cow excrements.  I eat the mold infused rejections from your dinner table. 

               The water is in the earth.  You do not see it.  You think you see a pond.  You think you see a river.   You think you see the ocean.  You only see the tip of the iceberg.  All of the world is similar.  All of life is similar.  All of the building blocks of life are similar.  The lakes that you think you know.  The lakes that you see by sight and not by mind.  They are similar to your icebergs.  The iceberg you see is ten percent of its reality.  Its overwhelming majority is under the surface, unseen, unexpected.  You’ve heard of the Titanic?  That pond, that Lake Michigan, that Dead Sea is only the tip of the iceberg.  The ground has, conveys, directs, and structures the water that spouts out in those tiny oceans that you think are the ends of your reach. 

               The water is everywhere or you would be nowhere.  How did your daffodil bloom?  How did your corn reach for the sky?  How did the farmer that was connected to life by Darwin grow his produce?  The water is there.  And when it rains it is more.  When that water is more I have to rush out of my unseeing mess of knots and turns and non-thinking tubes used to go from here to there.  When that water comes down from the drops, from the pouring, from the cloud filled skies I must come up to greet you.  I need to say, “Hello World.”  Or I would drown. 

               And when I have entered your world, the birds whose special keratin works to keep them flying in tropical, stormy places, those birds come to the door to my world and feed me to their newly hatched claims of the future.  You, if you are going bobber fishing, if you want to catch perch, if you are going to troll with a decent spinner, you are out with your hand pail and coffee ground scooping me up, putting a ton of me together in a slimy hand holdable container so you can bond with your son on the boat this coming morning and have a cookout with your wife and daughter that evening after you and your son scaled and deboned your bonding outcome from the just enjoyed afternoon.

               I wish I were a dog so I could see the fish, fetch the stick, and be petted by the father whose family is ending that bonding day, sitting on their rocks, their stomachs sated by the days catch, those sticks in hand, giving marsh mellows a warm creamy inside and carbon shelled edibility.  At least I know that there is more to life than just what perceives around myself.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Picture This

                I enjoy the color of my world.  I do not want to live in black and white.  At times, in the past, I had to.  I did not take well to it.  

                I paid attention to the greys, those shades, degrees between the two blacks.  That inching movement from one to the other.  The dissolving, the evaporation of the harsh line that restricted one from the other.  Every now and again a harsh white shouted.  I was a white and did not know it.  It had to be pointed out to me.  I still feel that if being white or being black has to be pointed out to me, then the difference of who or what I am is pointless.

                I saw the greys.  I was blanketed by the tints, the shadings. 

                In my part of that life I learned photography.  I learned that a wide open iris can take in the subtle, the artistic, the fineness of the reality that is out there.  A narrow opening does not cut off the world.  It is used to lessen the force of a powered white.

                I developed what I saw.  I developed my film.  It seems odd to call it a negative.  It was what I acknowledged was there.  I printed that film.  I appreciated ‘my negatives’ with light, with control, with testing, with attempting.  My images gave out what I saw in the past.  I now had them with me.  I appreciated what I had seen, what was.  And I could share those images, no matter how one dimensional, with others.  Sharing adds dimensions.  Words, my descriptions, other peoples’ describings, words written and spoken added dimension, added depth.

                At first they were glossy.  At first they were shiny.  There is nothing wrong with having gloss in the life that was.  They looked good.  But I also grew to textured papers.  I grew towards matte finishes.  I advanced myself towards an array of small lens opening to large lens openings.  From shiny gloss to textured subtlety to deep matte I enjoyed the innumerable levels of life in between.

                Then I left the lens open.  Not always but sometimes.  Sometimes here.  Sometimes there.  And I got!  I developed!  I printed enjoyable shared movements of life, the aura of a person bathed in the awakening dawn, our sol, the halo of that person’s life giving light.  My hand grasping for, traveling to, then holding, loving.  A car driving off down the road to eternity.  Some realities need movement.  Some realities need their glow.  It holds the connection between here and there.  I realized that you can start here and end there.  And you exist in between.  We all exist.

                I enjoy what I see.  I enjoy what I share.  I enjoy what is shared with me.  Many things I never would have thought of.  Because you share that with me I might think about it.  Thinking, not just doing, but thinking with doing.  That adds dimension.  I remember feeling the added dimension when I opened my iris more.  That was quantifiably an inch compared to the depth that I can begin to experience life because of your sharing.

                That tree, it is not black.  It is not white.  That tree is green.  But look at that green.  It is not the green of the grass.  The green of the grass under my feet is not the green of the grass welcoming the world to my neighbor’s door.  And that tree is green and brown and yellow and white.   And the blue of the sky is not the blue of the water. 

                Some say that that blue of the sky is a reflection of the blue of the oceans.  A reflection is a copy, an imitation, a symbolic representation, an echo, a showing of the effect that that original object had on you.  If Earth had no water how would we perceive the sky?  Would that sky be throwing back at us what is under our feet?  Those browns and greys and pinks, would they be infused across our horizon?  Would there be patches of yellow here and purple there?

                Colors have shades.  Colors fight and harmonize and ignore.  Colors are stark and colors encourage.  The softness of a baby, the safety of a turtle, the warmth of a dog.  My neighbor, my breath, my road.  I have just begun seeing the colors.  And I haven’t finished learning from black and white yet.

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Knotts To You

               I wish I was a tree.  I would have had fun growing up.  I would have had fun even before I began growing up. 

               As an apple seed in the gullet of a sparrow or an acorn luckily left intact in the guts of a squirrel I would have experienced the flight from Alabama to Main.  I would have experienced the storms, the hurricanes, the oils spills.  Or at least, when hopping from tree to tree, my transportation shaking his tail to steady himself on the overhead cables and shaking his tail in pride over head as the ground dwellers…no, that was not pride, that was just a strong ‘Hello.’

               And I was deposited, dispersed, and stepped on awash with the rain.  Awash in the melt of the first snow, I washed down further in the cracks of that thing that holds us all together.  That thing that steadies our stance.  That thing that gives us structure.  Into the cracks of this planet Earth.

               Into the dirt, into the mud, into the slime seeping through the ice awakening the new wash of my first spring I am inspired.  I sprout.  I reach up with my tendrils.  I grab with my beginning roots.  I start feasting on bygone leaves and dog excrement.  I reach for the sky.  I reach for the light.  That light that will give me the strength to take something you exhaled and I work it, exert it into something you can inhale.

               I grab.  I stretch and reach.  I hold, as firmly as I can.  I hold more firmly the older I get.

               Dogs like me.  They can lean on me.  I get a refreshing sip.  Squirrels tarzan from me up to their homes.  Maybe I will be a home.  Someday.

               A hut.
               A block.
               A community of mixed races all happy to be alive

               I harden.  My skin thickens.  I don’t feel hurt so much.  I lose some feeling but I still exist.  It is not that pooch barking me a drink.  I mature to my own bark.  And I mature to start my own community.  I don’t own it.  I am part of it.

               Grubs entented under my feet.  Larva sharing my roots.   The start of my phloem.  The ants and mites and may flies, yes they may fly around me.  Yes they might live in my texture.  I have texture.  I have dimensions.  I am not just empty surface.

               I’ll share the sun.  I’ll share the shade.  I’ll catch the dew and avail that moisture, that rain to let them refresh, rehydrate their existence.

               I lose a limb here, I sprout a limb there.  It is no ring around the rosey.  It is a ring around the center of my being.  Farmer John builds his house with the aid of my outstretched hand.  That red red robin gives birth in my protective arms.  We all live and breathe and reach and die.  So this January, when you and your wife are snuggling on your couch gazing with thankful dreams at your glowing fireplace I will share the warmth with you.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Ark Ache Ick

               I am adrift.  I feel at sea.  No, I just don’t see.  I see nothing!  I’m not even a see saw.  I am nobody.  I am No One.  And since I am adrift I must be on No One’s Ark. 

               I remember when I was on an Ark for the Birds.  I was looking for land.  I was going to let one bird out with hopes to find that land.  But they all flew away.  They never returned.  Neither did I.

               There was that other time when I had an Ark of Fresh Water Fish.  What a mistake.  How could I let anything out?  I can’t send them out to look for land.  Do I let a bull head out to look for a fresh water pond?  In the middle of the ocean?  This whole world’s an ocean.  It is all seas.  A lot more than seven of them.  But, also, it is only one.  I sure had a sea, sure.  The worse sea sure was when I sailed my Ark of Salt Water Fish.  Where was the sense in that?

               It was quite funny when I sailed my Ark of Clams.  It got all covered with barnacles and sank.  Thankfully I landed on an oyster bar.  Bar none.

               What was worse was when I launched my Ark of Mosquitoes.  After just a couple days all the crew jumped off and swam away.  I was stuck there itching and scratching.  They called me Lumpy.

               One time I tried an Ark of Trees.  I built that one out of the bones of man.  Boy I went out on a limb there.  It sure was easy to board though.  I called myself an Ark it texture.

               Then there was my Ark of One Celled Organisms.  That was as fun as the Ark of Mold.  People that saw me thought I was snooty.  I did not think I was above them.  I had another reason for keeping my nose up.

               Everyone avoided me when I captained my Ark of Flu.  That was as lonely as my Ark of Cavities.  However I was not alone with my Ark of Pimples.  They kept popping up all over the place. 

               You know what really gave me a headache?  That was my Ark of Whales.  No, my mistake, that was my Ark of the Duchess of Wales.  Oh how my ears ached.    

               I am thinking about building an Ark of Boats.  Or will that be a Boat of Arks?  That was just a fleeting idea.

               I’ve heard that there is an Ark of Happiness.  I don’t believe it.  That is just a fantasy.  Now, I don’t want to try constructing an Ark of Stupidity.  There already is one.  It is called The Government.

               I am upset because My Ark always has so many Ark Rivals.  For instance there is that kid who tries to take over everything.  He is some boastful blustery French Buoy, that Ark de Triumph.  If he was really Triumphant he would not have to Arch it over people.  People would know.  Aw, he is just a showboat. 

               And then there was that guy who claimed he was going to help me.  He always promises but he never gives me that boat!  Instead he just gives me the boot.  He claims it is the Ark of His Foot.  All I ever get are his Ark Killers Heels.  I would rather just be happy alone.  Just me and my Ark of the Aardvark.  

               When I was younger I always kept sneaking into these different Arkades.  There I’d waste my quarters, usually my ship’s quarters, on a bunch of mind numbing games.  Pin Ballasts, sloops, and scows.  Do you Canoe what I mean?     

               I had a dream of going to the Arkipeglio.  But then I found out that I would just be following in the footsteps of some drunken one legged pirate in Alaska.  And Alaska has enough drunken pirates already.

               Look, across the distant skies.  It’s a flock of pelicans!  No, it’s a fleet of sea planes!  No, it’s an Ark of Supermen!  And docking right on the same Cape along with that Ark of Supermen are the ones that are Supermen’s Ark Enemies.  Bobbing and robbing right along is an Ark of Lex Luthors.  Where is an Ark of Lois Lanes when you need one?  At least I see a fleet of paper boats.  Those are the Arks of Paper Boys and they are carrying Perry Whites.  Now quit Jimmying with those Oars you Old Son.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Batman's New Enemy

               Batman has a new nemesis. Who is he?  What does he do?

               Why, he is all over the place.  He’s attacking all of us, everywhere you look.  His name sounds like a harsh command, a demand.  We feel like we should shout back, “Siege Heil!” and “Jawohl mein Kommandant!”

               Batman has a new enemy.  It appears that he has won.   It is not the Joker II.   And it is not the Riddler III.  His new nemesis is Otto Korrect.  He is taking over everything that you do.  That we all do.  You had better watch your words.  And when you watch them you’ll get scared.  Just try it.  Type a letter to someone, “I admire your brains.”  And Otto will correct to “You’re rattling your chains.”  How about if you text your Boss, “You are picture perfect.”  Otto will send it as “You’re the biggest defect.”  Or how about if you email your girlfriend, “You are a work of Art.”  Otto will deliver it, “You smell like a Fart.”

               Well that is what happened when we were delivered our latest Batman.  Otto Korrect saw the perfect opening.  Otto told the world that no one ever heard of Bat and Man as part of the same word.  It makes no sense.  So, he pounded some sense into us.         

               Otto thought and then removed the first letter.  What do we have? “Atm…”  Hold it.  Hold it right there.  It now makes perfect sense.  We don’t need any more letters.  Batman is now ATM.

               Because of Otto Korrect, Batman lost his identity.  The guy with the cape had no escape.  He is no individual anymore.  No body knows his name.  Open your eyes.  There are ATMs all over the place.

               Batman totally feels his loss.  He has to do something about it.  And what does he do?  He figures it would be easy.  That ex Dark Knight will just steal identities and keep stealing them until he finds himself again.

               People, don’t use that ATM.  It might be bATMan.  He’s just waiting to take credit for you, I mean take credit from you, I really mean take your credit card away from you.  He is also going to stick it to you by taking your pin numbers.  He’s going to steal your signature away with his little electronic pencil.  You know that your credit card number is just a number.  What is another number?  Your social security number.  It ain’t that secure.  He’s going to take that too.

               bATMan no longer needs a utility belt.  Around his waste he now has a change machine.  With our ATM, change goes in but nothing comes out.  Wait a minute.  Should that have been waist?  No, I see that this is all a waste. 

               His sidekick is now called Robbing instead of Robin, in case you were about to say, “Oh Boy, I wonder?”  Otto has Korrected everything.

               Look up in the clouds.  That’s not a Bat Signal.  That’s a Search Light.  And listen to that song:

Chip off the block

Credit Card Slot
Magnetic Strip
Steals your cash
With a flip of the wrist

Look Out
There goes your bank statement
Along with your house payment
Say Good Bye to Retirement.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Family Liar Classics

Hats Off To You
Chapter Sixteen
Family Liar Classics

               A couple months ago, when they took away our desktop computers, I talked to Steve, he WAS our IT guy.  Steve said, “This Company’s gotten so cheap.  They don’t even want IT to back up your work space anymore.  Management is so dumb that they don’t even know what a backup is or what it is used for.  But then, I’ll be gone in a couple weeks so WHAT DO I CARE?”

               Now, a few days ago, on that Ergo Ego Maniacs Day.  That day when we lost our tables and corralling half walls.  When we found our belongings mercifully dumped into a pile in the center of the room.  There was Sam’s whoodo-voodo junk mixed in with our possessions.  Those shreds of his aluminum foil wall protection.  His shielding magnets.  His pairs of magnetdefying glasses.  We left all of his stuff untouched, especially his ‘straws’ and potty pottery (those were totally untouched and I do mean untouched) as we went sorting through and saving what was important to us.

               Sam became even more nuts when he finally walked in.  Boy he was ready for a Mug Shot.  He huffed, “This is the last straw!”  And he seemed way over do do for his coffee break.  Jim said “I bet Sam’s going off to the company’s CafĂ© Deteria.”  Al said, “And I bet he’s going to raise a stink.”

               Outside of the pair mugs and straws in his hands, Sam left most of his business strewn across the floor.  In the pile was that book, with the covers torn off, showing the title that I penciled in, ‘Accounting To English Dictionary.’  That is the book I found for him during the first few weeks he was here.

               When Sam stepped out we tried not to keep track of him.  I guess Sam just roamed the building for the next few days.  He probably felt that it was beneath his status to mingle with us ‘Low Life Low Brains’ around our electrical pole.

               Sometimes we’d notice him use the video conference room, the janitors’ supply closets, or the women’s powder rooms.  He usually just wandered aimlessly, sat at someone’s desk until they returned and kicked him out, or rode the elevators up and down, up and down, up and down for hours.

               That next Monday morning, when we were around our May Pole by seven am, with our extension cords plugged in, our backs and ankles were appreciating the Ergonomic Care our caring management provided, our intellect shined on the insides as our heads shined on the outsides with our personalized versions of little kid’s space helmets.  We’ve been busy entering the company’s various debits and credits, along with writing into our wasteful hard copy books, and physically noting the numerous mistakes that the ‘IT’s My Business’  software provides so well for us.  In the past, whenever the government called us in for an audit Frank, Al, Jim and I would bring our physical books to the meeting to keep Wattthetech out of jail.

               At about eight forty-five Phil strode into the office.  He’d just gotten back from his Vegas trip.  Sarah, the HR person I worked with, called me to her desk.  She explained that the latest reorg of the company is going to reorg my department out of the company.  Another one of Phil’s brothers’ acknowledged sons has started a contract accounting firm called ‘Wil Accounts For You.’  Apparently that son’s name is William.  That fits right in with his cousin’s software company.  This really is All In The Family and we are surrounded by meat heads.

               This is such a family affair.  The corporation also let go our long time security personnel.  We now contract out to ‘For Your Own Security.’  Another acknowledged brother of Phil’s whose father gave him money to get out from underfoot started this contracting service.  He hires tough looking guys off the streets to be paid by different businesses to keep order in their companies, or was that to force the people that work in those companies to do the orders that those business’s managers mouth.  Instead of maintaining a trained guard who has a history with you and your company you are much more secure with your employees being kept in line by someone who looks street tough.    

               The four of us: Al, Frank, Jim, and I are to spend this last day teaching Wil’s contractors how to use the online system that Wattthetech previously bought.  Then, at the end of the day, we are to fill out our final forms and form a line to file out, peacefully.  “Oh, and give those contractors your cell phone numbers in case they have some questions on how to use the system when you are gone.”  She couldn’t keep a straight face when she read that last line from the paper of her scripted interview with us.  There was a microphone in front of Sarah so I would know that this conversation was being recorded.  I asked “Can we have about half an hour to get our thoughts in order before we start assisting these needed enhancements to this corporation?”  Sarah said, “They’ll let you guys have fifteen minutes.  No More No Less.  Well, probably Less.”

               I left her office and told the men what she said.  In a hurry we threw a lot of papers into the shredding machine.  Yes, we made certain they were shred as we stood there.  We packed up our own personal belongings, pictures, books, diabetes test strips, etc. to take with us when we leave.  We also deleted tons of files from our old lap tops.  We deleted everything and then ran two different virus scan tools that we personally downloaded.  After everything was cleared, we executed the operating system’s file crunching, disk clean up tool.  Since IT Steve told us that the company no longer makes backups, once those scans were done and the clean disks were packed there was no way to bring back any data that did not exist anymore.  So everything, physical and magnetic, that we used to keep this company legal and real was gone.  That ‘IT’s My Business’ software along with the accompanying databases used to be just for show.  Now it is the only show in town.

               Next we went to ‘educate’ our highly competent replacements on the simple, mindless, non-thinking, almost useless jobs we performed daily by rote for this gracious thankful appreciative company.  As we were being herded into one of the conference rooms we each tossed our aluminum hats in the waste paper basket.  We saluted our much better replacements and they remained seated, writing stuff in their notebooks and avoided any eye contact with us.  One of the two of them turned on a tape recorder.  The other shined a spot light at us on eye level.  We had no seats but they did.  They made it a real cozy, open atmosphere.  A lot of questions were thrown at us.  As in any game of catch we tossed a lot back.  To give you an idea about how cooperative we were here is what we tossed back:  “Yeah, I guess.”  “Well, don’t you know?”  “I suppose it is in the manual.”  “What!!!”  “You know so much more than we do, why do you ask such things?”

               The interrogation was declared over.  That harsh light was turned off.  Security escorted us out.  As we left the room Frank bid those two adieus, “May you two grow like an onion with your heads in the ground.”  Al good byed, “You think you’ve tricked your way out of work.  Pat yourselves on the back for your own ingenuity.”  Jim honored them, “There’s a lot of debits out there to get yourselves lost in.”  I concluded, “I’ve experienced a wonderful work environment.  This wasn’t it.”    

               The company had us fill out our final walking papers at the guarded business’s entry way.  As we were busy, about eleven twenty am,  we saw Sam come in.  When he passed our group with us filling out our forms we couldn’t tell (or really give a darn) if he noticed that we were no longer wearing our head gear.  Al yelled out “Hey Sam.  Instead of donuts I brought in a dozen Bilbo’s Bagels.  And for lunch Jim brought you a box of the Lord of the Chicken Wings.”  Phil was standing there and told Sam to ‘Just Sit Down.’  “Sam, or whatever you say your name is!  You don’t work here anymore.  You never worked here.  I officially, legally don’t know who you are, so I want you to just get out! 

               “We decided that you are not really your mother’s son.  And Helen ‘APPEARS’ as such a caring family member that I and the other managers will keep her with us.  We are keeping Shiela too, boy are we keeping Shiela.  We would have moved your possessions out but then we figured, ‘Why Bother?’   

               “And, by the way, Helen sold the house.  The junk you had in there was given to Am Vets.  That way Helen can claim she is a Patriotic Militarily connected individual.

               “And as you leave, Kookie, lend me your comb.”

               From our seated area you could hear:  “There goes My Favorite Uncle’s Son.”    “He is Lost In The Space Between His Ears.”   “These are the continuing adventures of Buck Pocketters.”  “It was not Dr. Who, it was Dr. What The Heck.” “This is The Outer Limits of Morality.”   “It’s just some more Pork from Ork.”

               When Phil looked, he eyed the four of us observing what was going on and Phil saw that Sam was still just stunned and sitting there.  Phil called out “Hey Reynalds!  Come On Already!  Let’s Wrap this up! “  Then Phil picked up his phone.  Over the loud speaker system you heard, “YO.  Security.  Clean Up on Isle Five.  That’s the Island where those Five Koo Koo Nuts are.  And I do mean, Koo Koo.” 


No Longer Continued…

            I’d like to thank my brother-in-law, Gary Rose, for all the help he has given me over the years. He really put a lot into this latest tale.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Err Go Gnome Yicks

Hats Off To You
Chapter Fifteen
Err Go Gnome Yicks

               Another wonderful Monday morning dawned on us.  As I was walking towards our little (actually littler and littler) partitioned off accounting corral I saw the shiny flashes of the other guys heads as they were standing around.  They were where our sheep pen, or is that pig sty, used to be.  Hap hazardly piled up were our print outs, books, and what ever personal property we still kept on our work tables.  Those tables were no longer there.  The same with those half height walls that used to fence us in.

               In the center of the room was a newly constructed pole with a wrapping of electrical outlets.  Off to one side was a pile of beat up, junky Stadium Hawking Trays.  You know them.  When you go to a ball park or a football stadium these are what the guys walking around wear selling you your beers or your pop corn.  Boy I sure could use a beer now.

               We all started going through that dump of our personal belongings.  A picture of my wife.  Al’s clock.  Frank’s menorah.  A statue of a turtle Jim’s kids made for him last year in school when Art Class had them work with clay and kilns.  We sorted through our work memos.  Piled up our ‘Real Books’ that we keep up to date for The Factory, The Sales Orders Groups, Public Services and such so that when the automated system our company had bought messes up, which is ‘more than double’ how much wood would a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck would chuck wood.  Or should I have said ‘more than the bull’?  Anyway, these books contain what is ‘in reality’ and ‘in legality’ what is going on.  All our print outs.  All our calendars. Phone numbers.  Whatever.

               As we were busy trying to get stuff in order, at about eight fifteen am, in walked Phil with Helen hugged by his right arm and Shiela encircled like a boa by his left.

               He told us that he saw a commercial about ergonomic desk height additions.  The TV said people were more productive when they were standing than when they were sitting.  He told us that WE obviously have a major problem with productivity.  He also did not like it that we hid behind those half height walls we used to sleep under.  Phil paid some out of work homeless people to come in over the week end and remove those offending walls and the tables.  “It’s amazing what you can get accomplished for two six packs and the promise of a couple sandwiches.  I’m tempted to use that on you guys in the future.  Think about it.”  

               The Wattthetech corporation also owns one of the city’s baseball stadiums.  As part of the tax incentive, they fired all those guys that walk up and down the aisles selling hot dogs and beers.  They installed vending machines instead.  To add to their tax write off Wattthetech took those Concession Trays with straps.  Those are our new ergonomically feasible desks.  Those vending machines to disperse hot dogs and beers were inspired by Walnut’s Drug Stores getting rid of paying pharmacists and dispensing drugs with vending machines.  It sure cheapened the expense of things.  Drug prices went up and profits went up.

               So now we have no tables, no chairs, no noise lessening walls.  But we do have that structured pole in the center of our old work area where we can plug in and recharge our laptops.  But we do have to buy our own extension cords.  When we’d complain to Phil about how our feet and backs hurt, he’d just say “It’s Ergonomic!   So Errrrr…Go!”  Another problem we had is when we had to go to ‘the coffee room’ if you know what I mean.  For one thing, with this tray and our lap tops we can’t really see the urinals so we have to aim through memory and a lot of times we pee on the walls, our shoes, and our pants legs.  Working here you get used to being peed on.  Also, it is not all peachy when you have to sit down with this vendor strap and your computer on your lap, not to mention the wiping when you’re done.

               Anyway, at that time we also told him that with the lap tops and our books and papers we did not have enough room on these Hawking Trays for our pencils and calculators and paper.  Phil mentioned that WE may want to buy some back packs, with our own money.  Shiela said, “I’d let YOU have my fanny pack.  Butt I’m kinda using it.”

               Phil then said to her, “I’m using it too, Doll.”

               Then, as he was getting ready to leave, Phil told us, “When Tinsel Top finally floats in, if he can’t find his office or coffee room, tell him to see me.”  Walking out, with Helen hugging him on his left side and Shiela with her arms now around his right.  Phil smiles and says, “Come on Girls.  We’re off to Las Vegas.”  And they both squealed “Yah!”

To be continued…

Friday, May 25, 2018

Enema Enigma

Hats Off To You
Chapter Fourteen
Enema Enigma

               As we scrambled to leave, Phil stepped in to address our department.  He had to congratulate himself on hiring Sam as our manager, again.  “Along with inspiring Sam’s meticulously making certain that you guys are doing your jobs and having him check and correct your work for you I also inspired Sam to initiate several Health and Educational protocols.  You can thank me for directing Sam to improve both your minds and bodies. 

               “He sure got to the Nuts and Bolts of the matter.

               “Speaking of Nuts.  By the way.  Do you know the difference between Beer Nuts and Deer Nuts?”

               Frank then said to Al, “He thinks he is such a Star.”

               Al whispered back, “Yeah Phil.  It’s an old joke.  We have heard about Beer Nuts and Deer Nuts a thousand times.  Just go to any bar.  I wish I was in a bar right now.  It’s hard to put up with you sober.”

               Frank whispered in reply, “Phil, the real joke is that You’re nuts for even thinking about hiring your nephew in the first place.  And that puts us all in The Last Place.”

               Sam thanked his uncle.  Then he said to the rest of us, “You are welcome!  Now, before it is too late, let’s see to that Latte.”

               As we were walking along Jim asked Sam, “How are things going between you and your wife, Helen? You haven’t said much about her lately.”

               Sam answered, “I haven’t seen much of her lately.  She’s shooting all over the place.  A girls’ night here.  A girls’ weekend there.  I really don’t think I’ve seen her for about three weeks.  And she’s my wife.  What can you do?  You know, women.”

               Jim replied, “Yeah.  I hear you buddy.  Wait till I tell you about mine.  My wife is spending all over the place.  She just bought herself some new makeup.  It is called ‘Movie Star’ makeup.  The other day she bought a jar of this ‘Oil of Ollie.’  Then if that wasn’t enough she also bought several jars of ‘Stan Mascara.’  You’ve seen their commercials ‘That’s another fine Mascara you’ve gotten me into!’”

               Sam continued, “Women are like coffee.  I like them hot. I like them not so hot.  I usually take them both ways.  The trouble is I keep forgetting which one I am holding.  Ah the mysteries of life…”

               Then Frank was in the lead and about to step into the cafeteria.  Sam commanded, “Hey Frank.  Try to learn a bit of something.   You know that I have more of a Can Do attitude that anyone here.  In fact, I have double that Can Do attitude.  You might even say that I have a Can Do Do attitude.  And where better Do you get Do Do than in the Can.”

               So, we followed Sam into his private bathroom.  The four of us felt pretty confused.  I guess that along with the crazy aluminum head gear, the four of us getting more confused makes us fit in even better with Sam.

               We had ‘thought’ we were invited to a coffee break.  I guess, in this company that is the trouble when you try to ‘think.’

               Sam started going on “Guys, I’m about to share with you something that really clears my mind.  I know you have a hard time picturing MY mind cleared.  And I am allowing you into my private toilet for this.  Some people call this a ‘rest room.’  I have to call it my ‘Ifsands Orbiter.’  Uncle Phil named it so.”

               Jim whispered to me, “I bet Phil gave him that key and told Sam ‘Keep your Ifs Ands or Butts right here!’”

               Sam went on about how when he orbits us lowly creatures he likes to refresh both his mind and his body.  Then he passed out two ‘straws’ to each of us.  Frank, Jim, Al and myself held ours at arm’s distance and frowningly stared at them.  Of course, Sam did not notice.  We knew that these were catheters from enema kits. 

               Next Sam started handing out two ‘coffee mugs’ to each of us.  One hot.  One cold.  Sam stated, “I’m always forgetting which is which.  It really doesn’t matter.  Either way it tastes as great as it feels.  Each morning this really gets me coming and going.  Now guys, these are all MY straws and mugs so just pile them on my desk when you are done, and I mean done.

               “Okay, Al, I’d say you were a couple Coffee Macchiatos. Am I right am I right am I right?  And Frank, following the Halachic Laws you get Mud Coffee.  Mud coming in and Mud going out.  For Jim I’m going to say Ala Latte.  Now Nate.  When I look at you I see Black.  No Cream.  No Sugar.  And last but not least for myself, this morning it is going to be Darth Vader’s Dark Side Roast with enough cream for a storm troopers helmet.”

               I took my two mugs and poured them down the drinking fountain on the way out.  Engraving on my mind the mental note to never drink from that water fountain again.  Frank took his hot and cold.  He said, “Drink long and sputter” and Frank did not drink.  Frank did not do the other Butt either.  We all used that drinking fountain, for the last time.  Jim said good by to his “A couple of Coffee Colonics.”  I had a hard time hearing what Al said as he was leaving.  He was muttering something about “Never more…coffee breaking wind…and those ain’t grounds.” 

               Jim said later that he still can’t believe it.  He thought things were bad enough when Sam educated us about ‘Magnets.’  “Remember when he had us all buy ‘Magnetfying Glasses?’  So that what we saw made more sense to us?”

               Al said, “Or when he took us all outside.  He pointed up into the sky.  Told us that’s why he’s glad we started wearing protective head gear.  ‘Look at all the GTEs attacking us!’ He was pointing to the exhaust from a jet plane.  The big genius doesn’t know that a jet plane’s engine is hot.  Along with the burnt fumes there is a lot of hot water vapor.  Right outside of the plane the air is very, frigidly cold.  That is how clouds form.  Those are mainly clouds.  He doesn’t even know there is a jet up there.  ‘They are Geometrically Taught and Educated organisms!  Our head gear protects us from them!  Imaging if there was a plane or some other container of people near by any of that!  You are welcome for having me protect your minds from this kind of stuff.’”  

               Frank added, “Underfoot, under current, under the radar, understanding, underlings.  Hell, I just want to get my life underway.”

               I sighed, “Sam told me recently about the dangers of eating lettuce.  You might get stung by a Lettuce Bee.  I said, ‘Lettuce Bee, Spelling Bee, Anything Can Bee!’  Boy that Sam is under a spell and that sure spells failure.”

               We snuck out to Starbucks but definitely with no ‘straws.’

To be continued…