Tuesday, February 28, 2017

From Chosin to Memphis-a travelogue.

It was the summer of 1953 and I found myself in a cheap hotel room on the bad side of Memphis.

All I had was a cheap suit, slightly frayed at the cuffs, Hathaway shirt and silk tie in need of cleaning, half a pint of inexpensive bourbon, a Smith and Wesson Military and Police .38 revolver,  thirty bucks in my wallet-the last of my military separation money -and a hopped up Oldsmobile Rocket 88 parked out on the street.

My head hurt with a sort of kerblang like the sound of an anti tank round bouncing off the hull of a North Korean T34 tank. Maybe it was the booze, or the  fight I got into in a bar on Beale Street. I don't remember getting hit with a sap and how I got back to my hotel.

And there was the small matter of the dead bar girl parked in the double bed I'd crawled out of a few minutes ago. Pretty, petite, a little shopworn to be sure, I wasn't choosy.

One thing I knew for sure. Memphis in the summer was going to be tolerable in a way that winter up on the Chosin Reservoir made you dream of.

I'd heard about Elvis, Jerry Lee and the Perkins boys and this new thing they called rock and roll, and I knew there was money in it if I could get my hands on the safe, metaphorically speaking.

Somebody did not wish me well. I carefully removed all traces of my presence in the room, tore the register page out of the guest log at the clerk's desk and pocketed it, and called Lieutenant Ridley at Memphis Homicide.  I told him that there was a dead bar girl in room 307 of the Hotel Callaway and hung up the phone.

He'd find me soon enough but I needed a couple days to figure this thing out.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Horse Dick Smugglers Caught In the Act, or, You Can't Get Away With Anything Anymore.

It's another fun filled weekend for news if you've been eyeing the papers lately.

First there was the plot to do away with the male emerald ash borer by preying on his basest instincts-a taste for sex where he hasn't been properly introduced-and now even more fun filled facts.



How's that, you say? Why, read on.

The Washington Post-and other fine news services-report this week that on arriving on a passenger flight from Mongolia, the suitcases of a traveler were opened up to reveal 42 pounds of horse meat including 13 pounds of horse genitals.

You can find the story here.

That's right, folks. Right there in Dallas, Texas, horse dick smuggling is going on under our very noses. The customs folks were stunned. One inspector said "We opened up the suitcases and there it was."

The emphasis, of course is on "it" which tells you all you need to know about this story.

The Post goes on to relate that in another instance a traveler from Africa attempted to bring in not one, not two, but three smoked monkeys in his luggage. There they were with their little faces peeking out.

It gets worse.

The St. Neots Citizen-finest li'l ole satire sheet in Cambridgeshire in the U.K.-suggests that finding horese meat in burgers is because of too many interspecies parties in the pasture.

It just gets better and better. I can't wait for next week.

Horse laffs all around.





Saturday, February 18, 2017

Purple Passion Leads To Ruination: How The Emerald Ash Borer Met Its Match

Once again the pesky emerald ash borer is in the news but it is not what you think.

Just as a brief recap, the emerald ash borer is a parasite imported from China that has a weakness for ash trees. It burrows in and makes itself right at home in the cambium layer and pretty much eats the poor old ash tree out of house and home until it conks out for good. The emerald ash borer first showed itself in Michigan in 2002 and since then it has been spreading steadily westward until now, about half the counties in Iowa are playing unwilling hosts to the pesky bug. If you're east of the Missouri River your state is likely host to the critter.

But there's good news.

An international group of scientists has discovered that the male of the species' predilection for ...how do we say this politely...coitus, lots and lots of coitus... can be used to do the male of the species in and thereby quell the invasion.

How's it done, you say? Applied technology to the rescue.

A dead female was sprayed with nickel and a mold was made which can be used to stamp out thousands of copies of the female of the species out of plastic.

A snazzy paint job and a small power supply capable of delivering a 4,000 volt blast completes the decoy and it is then set out to strut its stuff to the male of the species, or so it seems.

The end is rather abrupt and unpleasant, so we suppose.

 It's a homily on popping a chubby in the wrong places under the misapprehension that a night of purple passion is soon to follow.

It thus plays off the basest instincts of males everywhere, and we cannot help but feel sympathetic toward the little fellers. We suppose that thousands of workshops in China, having turned out zillions of inflatable sex dolls of the human species will now bend their efforts to cranking out emerald ash borer analogues, and we here at the Dougloid Towers can only stand back in awe and wonder at the ingenuity of the Chinese workshop, if they pull this off.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Angry Prepubescent Brat Considers The Future on Tenth Birthday






It's kind of surprising that this rant has been going on for ten years now. I've been through a lot since this started, most recently pretty much withdrawing from the active practice of law and easing into the role of genial host of this blog and part time amp hobbyist and mechanic.

The brat has plenty to whine about. I won't bother restating the obvious but we are headed into a roughish patch for at least the next four years. A lot of things we thought were a sure bet are on the butcher's block, and they are assuming major importance.

We here at the Dougloid Towers are functionally retired, and I think the Dragon Lady will be officially in that category before too awful long-the last twenty years have been a hard slog for her but she has learned that although you may not outwit or outplay your enemies you can always outlast them. and have the last word.

That brings up the subject of what you have to do as you approach this part in your life.

You simply have to have an income. If you don't, you're looking at reduced circumstances.

We're now approaching the subject of managing our budget and meeting our expense requirements out of income. Two social security checks and an IPERS pension check will be our income although I hustle a few dollars here and there with my various scams.

Part of that calculus is figuring out how to pay for our share of Medicare and the part D prescription meds cost. It's not as easy as it sounds and Judy has made a study of it so that she knows the territory. It's important because old folks often have complaints of a physical nature that require meds. We ought to be able to manage it if the creek don't  rise.

However, the proposed secretary of HEW in the new administration has made it known that he is not friendly to the programs that exist today.

That being said, I think it is important to stay up on the issue and get involved in the political end of it.

The GOP has now been deluged by avalanche of cockamamie ideas and pet projects from the formerly out of the picture tea bag wing of the party. At least some of these canards will be put in place, but I suspect they will fail when they founder on facts because, as we know, facts are stubborn things.

As usual we will soldier on here and continue the practice of being buttinskis as required.

Monday, November 07, 2016

The Indiana Sage and The Donald

Didja ever hear of George Ade? I thought not.

I'd first heard of him late one night with my crystal radio that was clipped to the bedframe and operated without batteries. I was listening to Shep on WOR, which had a transmitter of such god awful power you could get it through the fillings in your teeth.

George Ade was a loyal son of Kentland, Indiana and a Purdue Boilermaker who wrote for the Chicago papers and many of his stories are couched as  "fables" wherein he poked gentle fun at a lot of issues of the day.

One of his Fables in Slang is remarkable for its prescience today on this election eve, and it is called

The Fable Of The Caddy Who Hurt His Head While Thinking.

Herewith is the entire document complete in all its parts.

ONE day a Caddy sat in the Long Grass near  the Ninth Hole and wondered if he had a Soul. His number was 27 and he had almost forgotten his Real Name.

As he sat and Meditated two Players passed him. They were going the Long Round, and the Frenzy was upon them.

They followed the Gutta-Percha Balls with the intent swiftness of trained Bird-Dogs and eachtalked feverishly of Brassy Lies, and getting past the Bunker, and Lofting to the Green, and Slicing into the Bramble-each telling hos own Game to the Ambient Air, and ignoring what the other Fellow had to say.

As they did the St. Andrews Full Swing for eighty Yards apiece and then Followed Through with the usual Explanations of how it Happened, the Caddy looked t\at them and Reflected that they were much inferior to his Father.

His Father was too Serious a Man to get out in Mardi Gras Clothes and hammer a bBall from one Red flag to another.

His Father worked in a Lumber Yard.

He was an Earnest Citizen who seldom Smiled, and he knew all about the Silver Question and how J. Pierpont Morgan done up a Free People on the Bond Issue.

The Caddy wondered why it was that his Father, a really Great Man, had to shove lumber all day and could seldom get one Dollar to rub against another  while these superficial Johnnies who played Golf all the time had Money to Throw at the Birds. The more he Thought, the more his Head ached.

MORAL: Don't try to account for anything.
























 

 


 




 

Friday, November 04, 2016

The Donald and John Frum: Ruminations on the Modern Cargo Cult.



Didja ever hear about cargo cults? It's an interesting story that has implications for the present political campaigns in general and the candidacy of Herr Drumpf, the Gauleiter of Atlantic City.
The phenomenon was first observed in fairly primitive societies in New Guinea, when American and Anzac troops arrived during world war 2. The Americans had great silver birds that dropped from the sky, disgorging all sorts of goodies unlike folks had ever seen before.

One of the most remarkable things they saw was white boxes, that when opened produced bottles of ice cold beer. Of course these were kerosene powered refrigerators like Maw had down on the farm but nevermind. It was magic.

Well. The Japanese war machine got smashed into very tiny bits of rubble along with a few cities, and they (the Japanese) decided that this whole project of world domination and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere as they called it was a big mistake.

The Americans and Anzacs left as well, and all of a sudden there were no more silver birds disgorging goodies and white painted boxes dispensing bottles of cold beer. What were the people of Vanuatu to do?
Why, they hand cut airstrips in the jungle and made boxes and painted them white in the belief that the great silver birds and free beer would reappear and make Vanuatu great again.

Of course it didn't happen and a lot of people thought that was a failure of faith and a matter of sin so they'd have to pray harder and run the heretics off. Finger pointing was the order of the day.

Of such material are the true believers in Trumpism. He's told them, "elect me, and I will make those horrible brown people go somewhere, you'll all be getting your $30 an hour jobs back in the coal mines that will appear like magic, women will be admitted to the party based only on tits and ass, no homos need apply, and you can take your AR15 to church if you like. Don't forget to drive your monster truck over some negroes on the way."

It's a cargo cult.

None of Trump's promised things will happen. There will be no great silver birds, refrigerators full of cold beer, or wall paid for by Mexicans. Hilary Clinton will not get so much as a $25 fine for her emails.

The Donald has already preloaded the scenario that will perpetuate his cargo cult by saying that the election is pre-rigged against him and his followers, before it is even held.

They already believe it, just as the residents of Vanuatu are convinced that one day the Americans will arrive once again in their great silver birds disgorging cases of ice cold beer, and they will believe it long after the Clinton administration is a vague memory of something unpleasant that happened long ago that they can't remember, and that John Frum will return most any time now.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The Donald, the Guv'ner, and the Cottolene Salesman


Every so often the American political 'system' bloops out a monumentally idiotic and corrupt demagogue of a candidate for high office who nonetheless catches the public fancy.

As near as I can figure they seem to be a product of the times we live in.

Bear in mind we are not using the term "demagogue" as some sort of home made verb. We don't "demagogue" someone.

We shout them down, maybe.

Or ignore them. Or humiliate them. Or sometimes someone administers a course of treatment recommended by Doctor Colt.

They always come unglued, though.

While I was nosing around in my Black's Law Dictionary (4th ed. 1968) which wore out two or three lawyers before I got my mitts on it at a yard sale for a dollar I found this:

systematized delusion: One based on a false premise, pursued by a logical process of reasoning to an insane conclusion, there being one central delusion around which other aberrations of the mind converge.

Of course there is the closely associated folie a deux, which is a delusion shared by any number of associated individuals. It closely resembles a joint enterprise where the inventory is delusion.

Under the heading of 'delusion' generally there is the argument that Charles Guiteau did not assassinate President President Garfield, in fact the death of the president being contrary to Guiteau's intent.*

This age is no different and it has produced its wacko avatar-although one uses the term "system" with a large grain of salt like of the type put out for cattle.

The unifying  theme exploited by the candidates seems to be a broad based dissatisfaction with things as they are, coupled with a sneaking suspicion that it's all the fault of others in some vast conspiracy. No matter if it is the railroads, grain pit speculators, the Jews, the Masons, the Illuminati, the Knights Templar, the 'big banks' or the Negroes. Of such raw stock were 'segregation now, segregation tomorruh' George Corley Wallace, the Cottolene salesman Huey P. 'every man a king' Long, and this generation's deadbeat Donald "Make America great again" Trump.

Cottolene is an interesting insight into the minds of such folks, because Cottolene combined two waste products-tallow and cottonseed oil-and turned it into an allegedly edible shortening similar to Crisco. No doubt Cottolene gave people the trots, which adds body to the comparison between Cottolene and today's reincarnation of the Kingfish.

I've never been more ready to see a candidate sent back to the ignominy from whence he sprung than this one. It'll be over this time next week.

*note. this fellow insists that Charles Guiteau did not assassinate President Garfield, in fact the death of the president being contrary to Guiteau's intent. Of course this was the exact argument that Guiteau, a failed lawyer and frustrated office seeker, made. Contrary to this assertion is the fact that Guiteau spent six weeks obtaining a pistol and practicing with it, stalking the President, and making plans for a getaway which is prima facie evidence of conscious criminal intent. That's contrary to the general understanding in law that he who essays a criminal act owns the necessary and probable consequences of that act.

The case also posed an interesting jurisdictional question in that President Garfield was shot in Washington, D.C. but died three months later in Monmouth County, New Jersey.It was ruled that the murder occurred where the felonious blow was struck.

You can read about it here.http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/guiteau/guiteauapprev.h