Archive for December 8th, 2012

The Wheel

(Yesterday there was Pearl Harbor Day. So let’s bring this one back.)

∞ ∞ ∞ ∞ ∞

After this world war, the United States and the USSR may unquestionably emerge unhurt when all other nations are devastated. I can imagine, therefore, that our country, which is placed between these two giants, may face great hardships. However, there is no need for despair. When these two lose the competition of other countries in their respective vicinities, they will grow careless and corrupt. We will simply have to sleep in the woodshed and eat bitter fruits for a few decades. Then when we have refurbished our manliness inside and out, we may still achieve a favorable result.

—Lord Koichi Kido, to Emperor Hirohito of Japan, December 3, 1940

Isoroku Yamamoto was a gambler. Though cards, and other games that matched him against fellow human beings, were too often too easy for him; shortly after he learned poker, while attending Harvard, he thoroughly cleaned out his classmates.

So roulette was his game. Like most who have become truly entranced by the wheel, Yamamoto understood that it was there that one may best flickeringly apprehend the ineffable laws of chance, and, maybe, occasionally, fleetingly, ride them. Aboard the wheel, Yamamoto became one of the few people ever to “break the bank at Monte Carlo”: that is, he won more chips than were present at the table, requiring that a black shroud be thrown over the whole works until replacement chips could be summoned. Yamamoto often mused aloud that he would like one day to quit his day job, and open his own casino.

Yamamoto was also a conjurer, adept in feats of magic. His speciality was making things disappear. At a White House dinner in December of 1929, he enchanted down-table aides to President Herbert Hoover by vanishing coins and matchsticks.

In December of 1941, Yamamoto successfully vanished an entire fleet. One moment the ships were in port, there in Japan; the next moment, they were gone. Reappearing some days later, unobserved, off the coast of Hawaii. From this disappeared fleet, was launched the attack on Pearl Harbor.

As a gambler, Yamamoto didn’t think much of his country’s imperial adventurings. He pronounced the invasion of China doomed: too much land, too many people. He likewise predicted failure for any Japanese war on the United States: too much wealth, too many resources. While traveling in the States, Yamamoto had passed through oil country in Texas, and there observed in one field more oil than was present in all of Japan. War runs on oil. Japan didn’t have any. Once the US and its allies ceased shipping oil to Japan, the taps ran dry. By December 7, 1941, many of the private vehicles in Japan still on the road were running on charcoal.

But although he thought it a mistake, Yamamoto, at his emperor’s command, devised the plan of attack on Pearl Harbor. And when that attack was over, it was Yamamoto who in the States was made to shoulder much of the blame: the nasty little arch-fiend of a sneak who perpetrated the “day that will live in infamy.”

And thus it was that, in April of 1943, Yamamoto’s spirit disappeared from his body. Departing through a bullet hole in his head, drilled there at the personal command of President Franklin Roosevelt, who had ordered Yamamoto’s assassination. In “Operation Vengeance.” America much more honest and direct, then, in its operational code names.



Christmas In Many Lands


Book ‘Em, Santo

(The latest mutation of a seasonal favorite that previously appeared, with various different-one words, here and here.)

The frenzy to arrest people long ago veered completely out of control. And now, as we enter this holiday season, we learn that these days it is necessary to place in the pokey even people who but publicly deny the existence of Santa Claus.

And this didn’t even happen in America. It was the Canadians, who did this.

Seems that during a Kingston, Ontario Christmas parade, a man, seized by the need to speak truth to power, and fortified by alcohol, shocked the children assembled by volubly informing them that Santa Claus is just made-up shit.

Police promptly picked him up and heaved him into the hoosegow.

People at the annual Santa Claus parade reported that a man was moving through the crowd telling childrenReal “the truth” about Santa Claus, saying that he wasn’t real.

“It hits every officer,” [Kingston policeman Steve] Koopman told the Canadian National Post, “as most of us have children ourselves. Some people have been saying, ‘We didn’t know police arrested for telling the truth.’ Some of us may disagree with that. In all honesty, he was disturbing everyone there on the thoroughfare.

“He was disturbing the families, obviously disturbing the children. We felt it very necessary to take him off the street and think the charges were warranted,” Koopman explained.

Koopman noted that the person arrested had his hair gelled into two “horns,” making him look like the famous Grinch from the Christmas classic, How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Probably we will next be subjected to stories in which the children assaulted by this horrific Grinch and his inconvenient truth, were all rounded up and clapped into camps, for intensive psychological counseling. As the years go by, we will recurrently learn that many of them, permanently crippled by this incident, all counseling and treatment having, alas, failed, ran utterly wild in lives of the most heinous crimes.

I mean, shit, it happened to me.

Though when I was told that Santa was a figment, no squad cars came roaring up to disgorge beefy men with big clubs, to grapple my dad into the back seat, and then screech him off to the jailhouse.


There Will Be Blood

Back in the Olden Days, men regarded women as but sexual vessels: women were instruments with which men experienced sexual pleasure; whether women themselves got anything hot and juicy out of the experience, to men this mattered not.

Too, men wantonly roamed their pee-pees across the land, spewing seed in all and sundry. While a woman who shared her delta of venus with someone precogsother than her principal partner could expect to be consigned to a jail, morgue, or asylum.

That was then. This is now.

Now, if you are a man, and you fail to ensure that your woman scales the sexual heights, you may by that woman be attacked and beaten. And if you are a man, and your woman suspects that your Clenis may have gone a-roaming, you may by that woman be killed.

Last week a Manatee, Florida woman went maenad when her lover neglected to drag her over the rainbow. According to the police report:

[They] are boyfriend and girlfriend who live in the same home and are involved in a sexual relationship. According to a statement obtained from [the man], he and [the maenad] were involved in sexual intercourse. [He] then climaxed and [she] did not. At that time, she became upset and began hitting and scratching him, causing scratches near his eye and nose. He also stated that this is not the first time she has been physical with him, and that she has many issues from her past and that she “goes off” frequently.

This fellow could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he had simply heeded the wise advice imparted by those noted relationship therapists the Grateful Dead in their sex manual “Sugar Magnolia”:

she don’t come
and I don’t follow

Also last week, prosecutors revealed that a Pennsylvania woman accused of slaying her boyfriend last April did so because she “smelled sex” on him. The woman and the dead man had been lovers for eight weeks. When she suspected that his Clenis had been sampling other scents, it was necessary for her to retrieve her handgun and shoot him.

The other night I was watching Diner, Barry Levinson’s film about a group of Baltimore lads back in the Olden Days of 1959. These young men are entranced by, desire, do not understand, and are more than a little bit scarified by women. In their own personal lexicon, they refer to these women as “death.” It is possible that these boys were precogs.

When I Worked

December 2012
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