Archive for April, 2012

Fire In The Hole

Previously on this blog we examined the sadsack who wandered into an Oklahoma Walmart to there brew methamphetamine, the place so vast and cavernous that for many hours No One noticed the criminal chemistry experiment.

And also the Mississippi miscreant who attempted to flee a Winn Dixie with live lobsters wriggling around in his pants. As well as the North Carolina gentleman who sought to celebrate his 45th birthday by absconding from a supermarket with shrimp, rib-eye steak, baby back ribs, and smoked turkey stuffed down his drawers.

Now comes a man who has managed to combine these capers.

David Williams of Mounds, Oklahoma was a passenger in a vehicle tooling along through Okmulgee County early Friday morning, when the driver was pulled over for speeding by Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Shiloh Hall.

During the ritual production of papers, Trooper Hall asked Williams why a noxious chemical smell seemed to be emanating from his person. Williams, he entered a lizard-brain panic state, and burst from the vehicle. Then, during a struggle with the trooper, his drawers exploded.

“After a brief struggle it was determined there was an active meth lab in his pants that burst during the struggle and got all over his body,” said OHP trooper Shiloh Hall.

Medical personnel checked out Williams and the road was closed so emergency crews could clean up the scene.

Williams was booked into the Okmulgee County jail on a complaint of manufacture of a controlled and dangerous substance.

The driver was not arrested. He told authorities that he was transporting Williams to the latter’s semi. Apparently Williams drives the nation’s roads behind the wheel of a massive big rig, while cooking narcotics in his pants.

In Oklahoma, people brew meth in the Walmarts, people brew meth in their pants. The state motto is currently Labor Omnia Vincit, or, “Labor Conquers All Things.” I believe it is time to change that motto. To something like E Pluribus Dumbfuck, or “Meth Labs R Us.”

Quantum Voting

Occasionally on the Great Pumpkin I encounter people of the glum, who have determined that the Obama presidency is of the bungled and the botched, and so they can no longer support it.

Instead, they have conceived a need, in 2012, to cast a ballot for Rugs, or for some third-party candidate, or have elected to remain at home, staring forlornly into the tubes, casting a ballot for no one at all.

These people are routinely countered by keepers of the flame, who arrive to sternly inform the people of the glum that a vote for Rugs, or for some third-party candidate, or for no one at all, is effectively a vote for the Republican presidential candidate . . . who it is now presumed will be—saints preserve all humans—Captain Underpants, a.k.a. Mitt Romney.

Yesterday, while en route to the acrosonic, I turned on winger AM radio; for, living in occupied territory, I consider it prudent to now and again monitor the occupiers, to learn of their hopes and fears, delusions and dreams.

Those people were mostly in various stages of orgasm, having concluded that this year’s strange and unnatural GOoPer primary season had at last achieved climax, and now the blindingly white chosen one, Captain Underpants, would proceed to rid the White House of the Bad Black Man who had somehow taken occupancy of it.

However, among those folks too were people of the glum, who called in to mournfully low that they just could not support this most recent GOoPer latter-day saint, that he did not resemble enough the One True God, Ronald Reagan, and that therefore they would stick with Rugs, or select a third-party candidate, or stay home, by the fire, cleaning their guns.

At which time the host sternly informed them that casting a vote for Rugs, a third-party candidate, or no body at all, was effectively a vote for Barack Obama.

Now wait just a dern minute, thought I. How the hey could a vote for Rugs, a third-party candidate, or for a pox on both your houses, be a vote for both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama?

And then it hit me.

Just as in physics, the planet has moved out of the Newtonian, and into the quantum age, so too, apparently, in their electoral maunderings, have humans entered the realm of quantum voting.

In which a vote for a particular candidate, or for no candidate at all, can at one and the same time be a vote for this, that, or some other candidate; for all and every candidate; for no candidate at all; or for something somewhere in between.

Or for all that, all at the same time. Or for none of it.

Brave new world.

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Dancing Across The Water

Yee-haw. Space raiders.

Fortunately, space is conscious. And knows these people for what they are.

And so, they are not going out there.

Not until they’ve changed.

As it is written:

the first one’s free
you just get one 

To get another, you first have to grow up.

Fruit Loopy

The Araxes is said by some to be bigger than the Danube, by others to be not so big. It is also said to have a number of islands in it as large as Lesbos, where men live during summer on various kinds of roots which they dig up, and for their winter supplies pick as it ripens and put into store any sort of tree-fruit which they have found to be suitable for food. They have also discovered another tree whose fruit has a very odd property: for when they have parties and sit round a fire, they throw some of it into the flames, and as it burns it smokes like incense, and the smell of it makes them drunk just as wine does us; and they get more and more intoxicated as more fruit is thrown on until they jump up and start dancing and singing. Such at least are the reports on how these people live.

—Herodotus, The Histories

America’s Last Stand

“I’ll tell you why the Capri is my favorite casino. You know, the Mafia hired an actor, George Raft, to front for the Capri. Raft acted a gangster so many times people thought he was. He thought he was. Comes the night of the Revolution crowds start looting casinos. One mob heads for the Capri. Who goes out on the steps but Raft himself and says in his gangster voice, ‘No punks are busting up my casino.’ And they went away. He chased them. America’s last stand.”

—Martin Cruz Smith, Havana Bay

The Unbearable Cheeselessness Of Nicolas Sarkozy

Tomorrow the French go to the polls to vote in the first round of their presidential elections.

The French, they vote on Sundays, because, as is well known, they are against God.

They are also against Nicolas Sarkozy, the nation’s current president. Who is seeking a second term. But who now seems less likely to serve again as president, than Tom Thumb, Wile E. Coyote, or a petri dish of scabies.

Sarkozy’s own prime minister, Francois Fillon, has decreed: “the carrots are cooked.” Fillon’s predecessor, Jean-Pierre Raffarin, moans “there is no chance of us winning.”

It is said that Sarkozy was once the most popular chief executive in the history of the Fifth Republic. But today he is less popular among the French people than the German army.

It is part of being French to occasionally embark upon an unfortunate love affair. That is what happened here. The French electorate, heady with too much cheap political wine, hallucinated that Sarkozy was the man of their dreams. But, the morning after, they awoke to discover that he is actually an animal. Somehow they had slipped between the sheets with a truly strange and unnatural creature, a sort of cross between a ferris wheel and a werewolf, a Dr. Moreau melange of an avaricious dwarf and a bad-tempered pot-bellied pig.

And this realization set in almost literally upon the morning after.

Five years ago, as the electorate prepared to engage in its usual scorn of Yahweh by trudging to the polls on Sunday, victory for Sarkozy was assured. Publicly, Sarkozy piously proclaimed that, once the voters had officially spoken, he would for a time retire from public view: he would enter a monastery, there to “rest, retreat. I must prepare myself to occupy this place. I need calm and serenity to find the necessary distance.”

Privately, however, he gloated: “I will have a palace in Paris, a castle in Rambouillet, and a fort in Bregancon. That’s the way it will be.”

And, once the votes were tallied, he threw a lavish election-night party for a small coterie of his wealthiest supporters, in the swank brassiere Fouquet’s, then flew off the next morning for a leisurely cruise off the coast of Malta, aboard a 200-foot yacht owned by his billionaire corporate-raiding pal Vincent Bollore.

As Philip Gourevitch writes in a December 2011 profile in The New Yorker:

Fouquet’s and the yacht: even now, when the French discuss their contempt for Sarkozy the conversation tends to turn quickly back to the impression he made in those first few days after the election—the ostentation, the exclusivity, the strutting, nouveau-riche vulgarity.

And it’s not like he has since changed.

Last fall, presiding over the opening of a traveling exhibition of modern art, Sarkozy could fix only on money. “That cost millions,” he observed of a painting by Yves Klein. “Is a Klein more than a Leger? Less than a Matisse?”

Among the people, he is these days known as President Bling-Bling.

Uncomfortable with his close relationship with George II, the French took to calling him “Sarko the American.” To which Sarkozy replied: “they consider it an insult, but I take it as a compliment”—an outrage that, in an earlier era, would have sent his head rolling into a basket.

When the Obamas entered the White House, Sarkozy shoveled to the Obama daughters several editions of a French comic book. “Were there not other works to offer to them that would evoke French genius?” wailed Franck Mouchi in Le Monde, opining that a non-buffoon French president would have presented Sasha and Malia with Proust.

Because he is French, Sarkozy while in office switched wives. He entered office married to Cecilia, who had earlier warned: “I don’t see myself as First Lady; it bores me.” When she left Sarkozy to return to her lover, the president took up with Carla Bruni, a woman famously bored by monogamy, who has publicly sighed that “burning desire” lasts only about two weeks. Bruni, she Sarkozy promptly squired to Euro Disney. Which caused a member of his own government to rend his garments, as “Euro Disney is the worst image in France for someone who is already seen as uncultured.”

When, during an audience with the Pope, Sarkozy pounded away at his Blackberry, French philosopher Pascal Bruckner moaned that “he desecrates everything,” pronouncing Sarkozy “a figure from Italian comedy.” Sarkozy’s former friend Bernard-Henri Levy has stated that Sarkozy, “in morphing as he has from a questionable but imposing statesman to a quaint, Warholian character, may now interest only folklorists, or students of political curiosities.” Dominique de Villepin, who will probably be charged with salvaging the wreckage Sarkozy has made of the French center-right, describes “Sarkozyism” as “the marriage on a dissecting table of the sewing machine and the umbrella. Sarkozyism is surrealism.”

Sarkozy has even heaved cheese out of the presidential palace. He doesn’t like it, so he doesn’t want it around. He also eschews wine, in favor of Diet Coke. Guzzling Diet Coke, while tossing wheels of cheese into the garbage, is the French equivalent of Barack Obama placing a baby, a crucifix, and a legless soldier on the White House lawn, and then peeing on them.

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Yowl, And Ye Shall Find

Many peculiarities there are, among human religions.

Muslims run from pigs faster than Richard Pryor with his body on fire. Catholics each week munch flesh and guzzle fluids that have been laying around for more than 2000 years. Jews would rather hack off their hands than write out the full name of their god. Scientologists wander the land waving “E-meters” in order to get “clear.” Fundamentalist Protestants believe that their lord spends most of his time peering through a giant celestial telescope to determine whether human penises, vaginas, and sphincters are comporting themselves according to his Rules.

And so on.

Now, down in Georgia, is apparently a-borning a faith that requires adherents to journey out into their yards, and there bark like dogs.

Officers cited a man for violating the county’s daytime noise violation Sunday afternoon after people complained he was cursing and barking like a dog in his yard in the 100 block of Brentwood Drive, Athens-Clarke police said.

The ordinance forbids noise in residential areas that can be heard more than 300 feet away, and the officer noted in the report he marked a distance of 320 feet from the spot where he heard the man, police said.

The 35-year-old man denied that he was yelling, and told the officer some people call him “the holy lamb of God.”

He refused to sign the citation, police said.

Oh well. It could be worse. The world according to David Berkowitz, recall, involved a dog that ordered him to take human life.


When I Worked

April 2012
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