Thursday, June 28, 2012

K.I.T Stay Cool, Have a great Summer! English would have been so BORING without you!

Special Note:  Today is Abe's 7th birthday.  We are having a party for him tonight, so I knew all week I'd better get this done beforehand.  So the party starts in 32 minutes.  I'm calling this done.

I am mutated.  To what, I know not.  Also, I am talking funny.  Hunger.  Confusion.  Fear.  Pain.  They dominate my being, whatever that is.  With no little effort, I replace these attributes with a simple new one.   Rage.  As I blindly forge through some thick vegetation looking for relief from this nightmare, I become aware of a sharp stinging in my right hand.  It’s as if a thousand needles are piercing flesh and bone.  In an attempt to pull my hand to my face to investigate, I discover myself anchored to the ground by what looks like a thousand tiny barbed needles piercing the flesh and blood of my hand.  The more I struggle to free my hand, the more the pain intensifies.  I begin again to lose composure.  Sweat dripping into my eyes, burning.  I start to panic before I am once again rescued by my only ally; Rage.

With the heat and stench of the vegetation surrounding me, I thrash wildly to free my hand, trying not to consider the resulting mutilation.  As the wicked barbed needles rip free from my hand , I’m surprised to see they are attached to threads that are staked securely to the ground.  Tiny men about the size of a mouse are hammering furiously at the stakes.  Several of the freed needles fall toward the cowering men.  Ignoring the fire in my hand I stalk toward my would-be captors and begin to literally stomp them out, shredding my foot on the fallen needles in the process.  Doh!

Suddenly I realize; these are not tiny men.  I AM A GIANT!

Upon the realization, the pain in my hand subsides.  I look down to watch my hand quickly reassemble itself to its familiar old form.  Mostly human, but with strange green suction cups on the finger tips and the most adorable cuddly fur and retractable claws.   I want to bat some yarn, and I want to bat it now.  My other hand is 100% plain old boring human.  Damn.

Licking my hand/paw to wipe the grime from my sweaty brow, I’m suddenly standing in my studio apartment kitchen area slicing red peppers.  Chelsea walks out from behind the toilet screen (It’s a really small apartment) and comes up from behind kneeing the back of my knees, causing me not to buckle but float mysteriously in the air.   Chelsea is very impressed as I reach for her, but she’s out of range now as I uncontrollably move higher and through the ceiling/floor, I can feel every fiber of my being mix with the construction of the ceiling/floor.  I can tell you with great certainty, it feels pretty weird.  The neighbors in the apartment just above mine give me a look that might be anger or possibly heart attack as they sit, jaws agape, popcorn spilling from their mouths, watching me ascend through yet another ceiling  …

“That should settle him down,” nurse Wimbledon (no relation) was dumping some painkiller stuff into Lenny’s 4 drip.  He had been in a fitful sleep for the last few minutes, obviously in a great deal of pain, but was now starting to calm down.  The 4 drip itself was an invention of Dr Johnson’s.  He felt it was a great improvement on the archaic IV drip.  See what I did there?  Stupid 4th wall.  Gonna have to get that thing fixed some day.

“Sorry folks.  Just passing through.  The popcorn smells good!” Lenny mumbles as he stirs.  These are the first words, he's spoken in over a week.

Just then, Dr Johnson comes in and smoothly walks across the room to Lenny’s bedside.  Evelyn and Julie, who haven’t left the bedside except to go home and sleep and go to work.  Oh and the occasional movie.  Actually, it was kind of lucky they happened to be there when he came out of his sleep.  They both watched as the Doctor entered, glancing down to verify that he was not on roller skates or something.  “It’s kind of creepy,” Ev whispered to Julie.  Julie gave a subtle nod in response. 

“You want to go get Charlie?” Julie asked.

“Him?  He’s just hanging out by the water fountain waiting for people to take a drink before he asks them questions.  He’s a dummy, but I love him.  Let him have his fun.”

“Miss Johnson,” Dr Johnson began, addressing Julie (Evelyn was Mrs. Johnson), “Would you do me a favor and close the Levolor Brand Blinds?  I think the lower light will be better for your brother at this time.”

Just then, Lenny opened his eyes, “I just had the weirdest dream,” He said.

Seeing Lenny awake was shocking enough for everyone, even before they noticed his eyes.
Evelyn ran out of the room, suppressing a scream until the door to the room was almost halfway closed.
Julie froze, her hand still holding the Levolor Brand blind string in the release position.  “What is wrong with his …”

“Shh,” warned the brilliant good handsome doctor. 

“What’s wrong with my what?” Lenny asked, absentmindedly lapping at an incisor with his scratchy tongue. 
“Don’t mind your sister, She’s just never seen anyone with frog/cat/human hybrid eyes before,”  Johnson reassured Lenny.

“Oh alright.  What?!?”, but when he said “What” It was long and drawn out, starting at a low quiet pitch rising in both volume and cant as the realization set in.  It was actually pretty comical.  I guess you had to be there.

Lenny eyes.  They were green.  The pupils were vertical slits.  Seriously.  Then there was this really gross membrane thing that would come down over his eyes occasionally instead of his now useless eyelids.
“Uh Yes.  Let me explain what I believe happened to you.  Hopefully you can fill in the rest,”  explained Johnson, suppressing a big huge barf.


“Yeah Crockett – or is it Burnett?  I’m ready,” The boys had noticed the rent-a-pig staring at them from across the parking lot.  And even though, despite appearances, they had done nothing illegal (yet), they were well aware that old rent-a-pigs were often ex-cops who could call in a few favors and get real cops on the scene before you could sing “Love me” by Elvis Presley.

Cube was ready for a night on the town.  After a long week of tanning his upper body at his job in the sun, he had the perfect pastel t-shirt to show it off.  Accenting that tan, was white linen sport jacket, sleeves carefully pushed halfway up his forearm to give the appearance that they were carelessly pushed halfway up his arm.  Showing no mercy on the ladies, he also wore white, sockless deck shoes.  To finish the ensemble, he was sporting a 3 day beard that took him about 9 days to grow.  “If only you had a .45 automatic, you could finish out that look.  Maybe even nab a Cuban drug lord or something.”  Boomer lamented.  

“We’ll see who’s laughing at the end of the night, Paul Bunyan.”

Boomer was also showing off his fabulous upper body tan.  He was wearing a red plaid flannel shirt, and though it was a hot summer night, Boomer was cool, because he had torn the sleeves off the shirt.  His attire was finished off nicely with an old pair of Levi’s and some hiking boots.

“Where you going Boomer?” Cube asked as Boomer started toward the back stairway on the north side of the building, “Let’s go in the west side.  I want to be backlit as I take off my shades and walk into the place.”

“There might, just might be something gayer than that, Cube.  Let me think on it a while.”

"Let's go get some Guinness.  Then let's see if we can't find out where your big fucking blue ox ran off to."

"You leave Babe out of this, Cube, I'm warning you,"  Boomer warned.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


"Here he comes," declared Jane, "I swear it looks like he's on a conveyor belt."

Jane was watching the good Dr Johnson approach her little coffee shop.  She wore, as always, her golden uniform, unlit cigarette hanging from her bright red lips.  Pen stashed somewhere up there in that big heap of hair.  Lightly used order pad tucked behind her back held up by her apron strings.  Jane had seen it all and didn’t mind telling everyone all about it.  Folks didn't mind too much though.  Her heart was in the right place.  Or at least that's what everyone thought.  See Jane had a dark secr ...

Just then, the tinkling of the bell announced the entrance of Dr Johnson.  "Johnny, my boy!" Jane greeted the ever lovable doctor with feigned admiration and affection.  For you see, it was Jane who ...

"Just coffee this morning Jane.  I've got to get to work," said Johnson, holding up a hand to refuse the plate of hash Jane had already served up.  Good thing too.  Because unbeknownst to anyone, Jane had laced the meal with ...

"Are you sure, hon?  I made this plate special for you.  Don't break my heart again," pleaded Jane all sweet and everything.

"I know, Madge," his joke name for Jane that she pretended to love, but inevitably started a migraine, "And if I could I would.  Tell you what.  I'd love to get it to go.  There's nothing like your grill for me.  You know that."

"Yes, I know," Jane said grimacing, temples clamped tightly between her right thumb and middle finger as she willed the pain down into the recesses of her dark soul ...

"Are you ok, love," The Dr. asked with genuine concern.

"Right as rain, boss.  I just had a little ice cream headache.  All gone now," ensured Jane, dabbing the trickle of blood from her eyes, as she ever so sweetly forced a smile, cracking a few molars in the process.  "Let me get you a doggy bag ..."

“Hey Jane.  I’ve got the weekend free.  What do you say you and me ( I ) go down to fun park Saturday?”

Jane was stunned.  She had at one time loved the doctor with a sick kind of love.  She had fantasized that one day she would be “Mrs. Dr. Johnson (no relation).”  But she knew he was way out of her league.  How could such a wonderful man go for such a lost cause.

“Well, but I think I have to …,” Jane stammered in hot disbelief.

“Just think about it, Madge …,”  lovingly suggested Johnson.  But it came across really douchy.

“Ow, my head,” said Jane, blood escaping from her ears this time.

“Well, let me know,” said the doc, as he left the café unintentionally leaving the doggy bag of poison food.

Ding-a-ling!  Just then a really adorable family of 4 walked in and began to extol one of the presidential candidates. 

“We couldn’t agree more,” said everyone on the café, “Here, have a doggy bag of free food,”  they chimed.

The next Chapter.

A white, smoke filled, 1977 Buick LeSabre sat idling in front of the back entrance of the slick, grease-stained parking lot of Louis’ Bar and Grill.  It was Early Friday evening and already the underaged and low budget crowd were packing the joint. 

“So I says to the guy, ‘Costello is the only true king,’” Boomer squints from inside his father’s sedan, choking down his third LSMFT (Lucky Strike Means Fine Tobacco). 

“I should punch you myself,” chuckled Cube, “That shit ain’t right,”  searching through the haze for the remains of his soft pack of Camels.  “You know, they have Guinness  in here?”

Now normally, the boys smoked Salem’s (Boomer) and Winston’s(Cube), but while they were at the gas station, Cube told a story about his friend, the big Irish guy who went around talking like a Hollywood style Indian from the 50’s,  who said, “Tobacco never kill white man until after him use filter.”

  “That’s close to the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard,” Boomer said as he approached the counter, “Three packs of Lucky Strike’s, please.  What’ll you have, Cube?”

“Just one pack of Camel no filters for me,”

“You ready to go in Dan?” Cube pleaded.   It had seemed funny at the time.  But looking back, the idea of smoking a pack of cigarettes, in an idling car, windows up, no air conditioning, and 95 degree heat.   Not so funny now.

Chapter so and so.

Jack Hughes spotted the old Buick right away.   He was going in to pick up some gum and cat food (for furball) at Louis market before he reported to his station working security at the Westroads movie theatre.   “Just be cool Jack,”  he told himself.  “Not your problem anymore.”
Jack knew if he went over there and tapped on that window, he’d make those stupid kids shit their pants.  

But he wasn’t a cop anymore.  He was just a rent-a-pig.  “Just come in to my movie theatre, boys.  Then we’ll see who has the last laugh.”

“There’s gonna be some bad weeks.  You can’t blame yourself,”  Fred chided
“It’s just that they’ll feel cheated.  And I feel guilty.”  Fred reasoned.
“Of course you’re right.  But is it your fault your sisters came over with a bunch of beer?” Fred countered.
“No, It’s Shim’s fault,”  Fred realized.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Trailer

A low thumping gradually increases to a heart pounding bass drum beat.  The camera is set low to the ground with bare dirty feet frantically running by from stage right  to left through a lush forest.  The action is feverish and we realize the tribesmen are fleeing some horror.  Then silence.  Black screen.  Now the only sound is some woman singing Aaah - aaah, in some sort of middle eastern sounding tone that denotes either great melodrama or a penchant for Pink Floyd.  We can't be sure.

A flash of light.

Out of the jungle, a business district coffee shop.  A young doctor getting his morning coffee says, "I play for keeps, Janey."  A knowing smile crosses Jane's face.

Cut to extreme closeup of a different man's sweaty sleeping face.  Heavy sad violin music. as the camera moves out and upward, spinning, disorienting us, we see the man is not sleeping.  He's unconscious being rushed  down to emergency surgery by a crack team of interns.  The action is completely in slow motion.  Several shots of various interns concerned faces shouting and pointing as they rush to save this man.


More Drumbeat.  Squealing tires as a 1974 Monte Carlo screams around the wet corner of a rain slick inner city road.  Cut to inside the car.  Two dirty unshaven smoking toughs are arguing, "That cat is the answer,"  shouts the driver.  "Just let me out of the car.  Now!"

Silence.  Half second of  Jane and the Dr Johnson screaming with delight as, arms up in the air, they bravely conquer the amusement park roller coaster ride on what appears to be a beautiful sunny day.

War room, Tokyo, 1945,  low ranking official berates General Yazamaka,  "You thought we could
win this war with balloons," as the General solemnly accepts the seppuku from his inferior.

Extreme close up of Dr Johnson his rain drenched face looking down, framed in total darkness.  He's near tears, "It wasn't supposed to go like this Jane.  It was supposed to be amusing"


Blackness.  Barely visible characters form.  Still not discernible.  What could they say?  As they brighten on the completely black screen, we realize it is simply a date.  "6-22-2012, (part 1)".

Dramatically fade to black.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The Doctor is in The House

Julie couldn’t believe anyone could survive a fever like this. 

The Doctors had done everything they felt was ethical to try to bring Lenny’s temperature down, but thus far they had had no success.  In fact, several times within the span of an hour, they had misdiagnosed Lenny’s condition and prescribed treatment that nearly proved fatal.  This team was lead by the legendary Dr. Herman Johnson (no relation).  Dr Johnson was unwavering in his disdain for the Hippocratic oath.  “It’s not that I disagree with it.  I would just add the line, “Unless I feel like doing otherwise,” to the end of it.”

His main function as team leader at the big huge hospital job was to, like sit around with his group of interns and teach them how to properly diagnose certain puzzling cases that came through the door.  The interns themselves were among the world’s brightest and most diverse.  There was an Asian girl, an African American guy, an Australian guy, and a cute white girl, and a middle-aged Jewish guy who always cheated on his wife and stuff.  See.  Really diverse.

But it was hardly his brilliance that Dr Johnson was best known for.  It was just that he was so damn likable.  And he had a really smooth walk.  People usually used the word “buttery” upon seeing the smoothness of his gait.  Anyway, head Doctor Johnson (no relation), was totally cool with all of his young upstarts, and was careful to provide a positive experience for them.  Some would have said he was too nice …

Doctor Johnson lived modestly in a shabby little place near the free clinic where he spent a good deal of his free time.  His time at the free clinic had earned him no end of relatively harmless pranks from the neighbor kids.  They loved the good Dr and considered it a tribute to totally screw with him.  He understood their intentions so he didn’t get too shook up about the occasional bucket of dog diarrhea dumped on his porch, etc.

Even though it was 3 miles away, he usually walked to the hospital too.  Particularly when he was mulling over a stumper of a case.  Currently, he was puzzling over an undergrad from the Veterinary school.  The kid was brought in a couple of mornings before.  His right hand had been mangled and burned in some horrible lab accident.  The burns may have saved the kids life.  Or maybe not.  Dr Johnson and his crack team of racially diverse geniuses had no guess as to what could be the cause of the fever.  The symptoms were like nothing he’d ever seen in real life.  They were eerily similar to a paper he had written about a science fiction movie he had seen.  He postulated that the frog DNA introduced into the genome of a dinosaur would certainly cause uncontrollable fever.  The reason, was of course real sciency and certainly beyond the scope of this blog.

This morning was bright and sunny and Johnson had some thinking to do.  Unfortunately, last night some of the neighborhood kids overheard some adults talking about Johnson and got a brilliant idea. Let’s coat his front gate with butter.  Actually, it was margarine, but the result was similar.  As Doctor Johnson was leaving for work, reading his notes on the strange Johnson case, apple in his mouth, he absentmindedly turned to open his gate with his backside, unwittingly smearing margarine all over the back of his trousers. Head in his notes, he almost tripped over the homeless guy, propped up against his fence.

“Sorry Burt, I guess I’m a little distracted.  Didn’t see you down there,“  Dr Johnson apologized.

“No problem Doc, I’ll be movin’ on in a minute, I just needed to rest my dogs a spell,” came the cheery reply of Burt Rasson, an old school mate of Doc Johnson’s. 

When Johnson looked down at the dogs in question, he saw that the soles of Burt’s shoes were more mudcaked skin than shoe leather. 

“Burt.  That reminds me.  I have to get rid of some shoes I bought a while ago.  They’re just too big for me.  Do you know anyone who could use them?”

“Nobody comes to mind,” Burt grinned, revealing a mouthful of gunk that gave a whole new meaning to the word toothpaste.

“Well, if you think of anyone,” Johnson said, “here’s the card to get into my front door.  I’m going to be gone a couple of days.  You just give those shoes to anyone who might need them.  Promise?”
Burt took the credit card like key from Dr Johnson and turned it over and over, confused.  Dr Johnson chuckled, “It’s like they have at the hotels now, Burt.”

“Of course Doc, like the one I have for my room at the Hilton …”

“Take care of yourself Burt.  I’ll see you next week.”  And with that, Herman Johnson began to take his leave.

“One last thing there, Physician …”

“Anything old pal.”

“ I see you still have that same buttery gait,”  Burt noticed.

“Damn kids.  Be careful about that if you go get those shoes,” Doc warned.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about Doc.  But then I didn’t go to college.”

“So long, Burt”

“I may have bigger feet than you, Herman, but you’ve got the biggest heart of anyone I ever knew,”  a tear cutting through a thick layer of disgusting goo on Burt’s sun weathered, scarred up face.

“Don’t mention it Burt.  You know how I feel about it.  I owe you.  I always will.”

Thursday, June 07, 2012

True story part 2

Chapter 4,  The Adoption

The Johnson’s (no relation to Lenny) would never forget the day they learned that there was no way in hell they were ever going to have a child the way God intended.  Mr. Johnson had been a real trooper, nailing the good lady Mrs. Johnson quite regularly but to no avail.  It’s not that they really wanted children.  But their stupid friends had convinced them that they would one day regret not having children.  Of course, that was total bullshit.  The friends envied them.  They wanted to see them fall.  One friend, Julie (yeah the same one from my English class), after a particularly disgusting dose of feces spray to the face, decided enough was enough.  

“It’s not fair.  They need to play by the rules.  How can joy be appreciated without misery?” Julie asked no one in particular, stringy greenish mucousy liquid poo dripping from her chin and shiny dark hair.   That’s when Julie and her husband, my friend from school who told her I was married, decided to start bugging the Johnson’s until they agreed to make a human life.

Eventually, they sought professional help cause like Mrs. Johnson wasn’t getting any pregnanter at all.

“You could always adopt,”  Suggested the pregnancy consultation guy.

“Adopt?!?  We want a real kid, not some rent-a-kid!,” Wailed Mrs. Johnson.

“Now Ev, you know I was adopted,” Charlie Johnson spoke gently with a kind of whispery voice that came across all condescending and shit.  In fact, Charlie Johnson was the Charlie McCarthy from my English class.  Ma and Pa Johnson had adopted him after I parted ways with him.

“Here Evelyn, have a glass of water while I talk about options with the consultation guy.” 

“Don’t you condescend toward me you little dummy!  And get the water out of my face,”  Evelyn shouted, wiping tears away.

“Somebody’s pissed,”  Charlie skillfully mumbled out the side of his mouth to the pregnancy dude.

“Well, if there’s nothing else,” Hurried the consultant, “I have my next …”

“There must be something you can do for us, Doc,”  Pleaded Mr. and Mrs. Johnson in unison, prompting a surprise “Jinx you owe me a Coke!” from both of them.

“Well … There is something …  No, never mind,”  replied the Dr. guy, Realizing he had said too much.

“What?  You must tell us,” pleaded Charlie,

“There’s this little cuddowy wuddowy kit’n I know about who needs a good home …”

Chapter 5, Furball’s kind of a dick

Well that was interesting.  Admittedly I’ve left myself in a bit of a pickle.  Not sure why I attacked Lenny.  Maybe I just didn’t want to go in the cage.  But if that were true, I suppose I could have left the lab before tearing his hand all up.  Actually, I could have left without doing anything.  Oh yeah, the dogs.  No way Lenny would have just stood there while I eviscerated every dog in that god-forsaken place.  I like Lenny, except for his stupid soft spot for those ridiculous dogs.  Well, tell me Lenny, or should I say “Lefty” -  How’s that dog thing working out for you?  I kid.  I kid.  Anyway, Lenny’s injuries couldn’t be helped.  At least I was able to stop the bleeding with that Bunsen burner.

What next?  Ooh yuck, is that my image in the plate glass window?  You gotta get cleaned up ol’ furball or nobody’s taking you in.  At least get some of the dog sinew out of your whiskers.    I wonder if that pounding in my head is part of the treatment I was getting for my gum disease.  I wonder if the treatment was over.  I suppose it is now, huh-huh.  Anyway I hope my “ribbit!”  I mean “Meow.”  Woah, I don’t think I’ve ever said “ribbit” before.  Weird.  Now let’s see if we can’t find a nice lily pad and take a little cat nap.

Chapter 6, Lefty

“Why furball why,” Lenny moaned from his deep sleep.  Sweat drenched his hospital bed.  He had been in a slumber since shortly after waking to see a distressed Professor Lincoln (no relation) and his demolished lab.  His sister Julie and her friends the Johnson’s were at his bedside.  Also with the Johnson’s was their latest addition to the family.  Widdow Fuwbaww (translated “Little Furball”).

“I think he’s coming out of it,”  Julie exclaimed.

“You know, I’m gonna take furball outside.  He keeps scratching at me,”  Charlie said While Evelyn drank yet another glass of water.

“Is that the time?”  Fred asked.  “Geez, I’ll have to continue this later.”