Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Weekend In The Life.

A Weekend In The Life: A True Story.

Back in the age of the stegosaurus when I was an assistant county attorney I often did the mental health hearings on Friday morning. Usually what would happen was people went off their meds and started acting out, and the ever helpful Craig Busch from the MCSO was there to provide transport to the state mental hospital at Clarinda.

Usually the person being transported would thereby score a lunch at the Northside Cafe courtesy of the county so it was a pretty fair deal all the way around. A good lunch is good medicine for many ailments, I think.

Craig, now retired, is a big brotherly sort with an extensive knowledge of families and their relationships in the county as he has grown up within them and among them. Such knowledge pays dividends when as sometimes happened someone had to be talked out of something that was ill advised at best. One of the other deputies, Gary Davis, attained a sort of fame by talking a man armed with a shotgun down off the outdoor stairway alongside a downtown bar that led up to a few cheap apartments. In so doing he prevented a much greater tragedy from unfolding.

Stories were told about Rex by my mentor Lew, elder statesman of the bar in the county. Rex was the sheriff in the sixties and seventies I think. Rex never wore a uniform, only overalls, work boots, a white tee shirt and a seed cap. In the front pocket of his overalls was a rusty Colt single action revolver that had never been fired in human memory.

Rex never arrested people or swore out warrants. He would simply call and say "This is Rex. Get your ass down to the jail." and that person had time ot have a shower, eat breakfast and turn himself in at the old jail downtown

That's how the stories went about Rex.

One day was different for reasons that will be revealed.

The hearing pretty much followed the script until the guy asked if he could go on Monday morning so as to spend the weekend with his family. As nobody seemed to have any objections it was agreed to.

I got the distinct sense that the guy, a sandy haired fellow in his late twenties, expressed a relaxation of sorts-as if he'd been holding his breath and let it out as something, some course of action out of his suffering had been arrived at.

What we didn't know, couldn't know was that the resolution he'd arrived at in that moment was fatal. Saturday or Sunday afternoon, I can't remember which, he took his father's rifle, walked up into the timber and shot himself to death.

Monday morning was awfully quiet around the courthouse as I busied myself with some menial shuffling of papers and tried to understand what had happened.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Talking Cockroach-A Play In One Act Inspired By Archy and Mehitabel

I first saw an article about cockroaches being tasked to carry things around and act as snoops, and I was reminded of a little trifle I had done back in 2013 on hearing of the demise of one Mullah Omar, as blackhearted and wily a scoundrel as ever walked this earth.

You can read about that here. 

About Mullah Omar and his crew, more can be found here.http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/29/opinions/bergen-mullah-omar/index.html

The confluence of the two stories seemed to be made to order for my pen.

The Talking Cockroach: A Play in One Act.

The scene is somewhere in Afghanistan. Mullah Omar, while snacking on some lamb chops in his hideout has a vision.

It is a talking cockroach.

Cockroach: Hey Omar. Remember me from the Archy and Mehitabel stories?

Omar: Hamdulillah! (sotto voce) What the fuck is this? I'll have to remind Abdul the cook to check the rye bread for too much ergot. How are you my little friend?

Cockroach: Well, I've been up and down the length and breadth of the land of the Crusaders and I have discovered all their secrets.

Omar: Allahu Akbar! Please come and speak, oh Spiny One.

Cockroach: OK, but you see this backpack? It's a very tiny recorder and the audio output is very weak. No batteries hereabouts and the nearest Walmart is several thousand klicks away. There is a hand crank generator that provides just enough power for you to hear it but I must get very close to your ear.

Omar: Praise G-d! O many legged one, climb right next to my hairy ear and spill your guts.

Cockroach (nestling right behind the Hairy Ear of the Anointed One) Can you hear me OK?

Omar: (Impatiently) Yes. That's fine. Now get on with it before I swat your ass if I can find it amidst all those legs.

Cockroach: kaBOOOOOOOM!

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.