Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Storytime in parts

--Part X--

Marilyn entered the diner and looked around. Her high hopes were met on the way down by a rising hunger that overcame her leariness of the place. The smell of grease and bacon and eggs and a vague sweetness were enveloped in cigarette smoke and bleach. She considered turning around and going right back out the door but the stranger had said something about pancakes and...well, she had promised Teddy something to eat...and she would hate to be rude to the new friend she had just made...maybe just a quick bite and then she and Teddy would continue running away.

She noticed the stares of the few patrons in the place when she walked in. She realized she must look frightful and became embarrassed by the muddy clothes she had on. She tried to run her fingers through her hair but hit tangles instead. Standing there was almost more than she could do and she again felt the need for escape but just as she was turning to go she saw her new friend wave to her from a booth toward the back. His smile was friendly and accepting and reminded her of her father's smile that she realized she missed terribly. A thousand thoughts raced through her mind and she felt herself walk toward the man fearing everything but him.

She sat down in the booth across from the man and looked around the room. Mismatched chairs sat in foursomes around tables draped with checkered tablecloths. The checkering was continued on the curtains pulled back from the windows and ash trays and condiments all sat partially full on each table. There was considerable noise coming from the kitchen next to them and a tired old waitress bustled back and forth between tables and the kitchen with trays and dishes and drinks all the while seeming to put most of her effort into ignoring Marilyn and the man. Marilyn realized the man had never said his name.

He seemed to be in no hurry to tell her much of anything and yet he had a friendly, knowing look about him that intrigued her. He sat back in his seat and lit a cigarette he had just taken from the ash tray and breathed out making an unusual effort to not blow the smoke in her direction. He seemed to relish in the smoke and the moment, tilting his head back and looking toward the ceiling and then down to her like they were old friends who did this every day. Marilyn just stared at him.

"The owner of this place is a friend of mine" he said, as if Marilyn had asked about it. "I sit back here and nobody hassles me." He paused and then said, "I recommend the pancakes."

Marilyn still stared at him without speaking, trying to soak up everything she was seeing. He looked more real now away from the gazebo with an air of intelligence in his weathered face that even she recognized. She felt he must be an important man even though he was not dressed like it and had humor in his eyes that made her feel welcome and comfortable.

"So, is that what you want? Pancakes?", he asked.

Her head cocked ever so slightly to one side and after a pause she said, "What's your name?"

He grinned and said simply,"Don...Don Dodson."

Monday, March 30, 2009

Good one, Ben!

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote. - Benjamin Franklin

Bad name or good marketing?

I'm not sure if this product was well thought-out or not. Maybe they are just naive. Maybe I'm not naive enough. Maybe they wanted you to stumble across it if you googled something else, you know, manly. I don't know and I'm not going to google it to find out. And I'm not being seen in my yard riding one. By the way, it's not the "Zeon" part I have a problem with.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

One more reason to go to my church

I've written here before of the evils of racism and what a cancerous poison it is to a person. Today I was reminded of a childrens' song I haven't thought of in decades. Something about,"Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world". I was reminded because as I looked around our church today I saw so many different shades of skin color and it almost made me laugh. What a good barometer of a groups' heart: wanting every week to worship with people for no other reason than because we want to worship God. It doesn't matter about skin color any more than it does eye color. I saw rich people sitting next to folks that are struggling--people that have nothing in common except a love for the Lord and we just had a great time!

Our pastor told a funny story today about one of his kids. Our pastor and his wife who are white have four adopted black kids all five years old and younger. He said that a while back that the boy who is the oldest was going through a phase of going around saying some random word over and over again. Who knows what goes through a kid's brain but he enjoyed "popcorn" for a while. He would run around saying "popcorn, popcorn, popcorn!" Then he moved on to "cracker". He'd run around saying "cracker" just for the fun of it. Pastor said that they invited some friends over one night for dinner and when the doorbell rang the boy opened the door and yelled "Cracker!" to the white guests as they came in the house. I imagine that was probably hard to explain!

I hate to think of when that little boy will learn about racism but thankfully our church will probably not be the place.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

How many can you do?

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

-Robert A. Heinlein

Friday, March 27, 2009

Don't read this if you don't like it.

Man, it's been a long week! I mean, it's been like 6 days since I've been on the beach and I'm really feeling it. I need a break. For some reason this week has been especially confrontational. I collect taxes for a living so I don't expect to be Mr. Big Popular in most places but this week has been rough. I've heard "I hate you", "I hope I never see you again", I made some people cry and saw several nekkid women. All in a day's work!

Oh, you think it's all funsy wunsy going to the strip club to collect tax? Not when you can't tell if the girl dancing is wearing any bottoms because her fat is rolling over so much! I think you just put the dollar between the rolls. There might even be a change machine in there. I'm not sure. When she turns around you just swipe your card and put in your PIN #, I guess. Not sure how all that works.

I did get to do a couple of things today that made me happy. I went to Half-Price Books and bought some stuff I'll probably never read and also bought some popcorn at The Popcorn Store and came home and ate it so that made up for alot this week. Anyway, I hope to write some more about Marilyn and Teddy soon. I've really enjoyed that. If you don't then quit reading it. Oh, one last thing: do you really need a Facebook and a Myspace? They're the same thing! Do one or the other.

Just my thoughts. Like I say, it's been a long week.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Li'l twirp!

Overheard as I walked through the mall today from a little boy to his friend as I walked past: "Wow! Did you see how big his eyes were? He was scary!"

Monday, March 23, 2009

Beach week

Big decisions and deep thinking this past week! Decisions like, should I go to the beach or the pool? And thinking about such things as: if there is somebody fatter and hairier than me there is it ok to take off my shirt? Also, what is the age limit for thongs? Does that woman really think anybody wants to see her in that? Socrates I ain't but I am a thinker and I had plenty of time to do that in Acapulco this week. Enjoy a few of the pics.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Storytime in parts

--Part IX--

A familiar whine seemed to envelope her subconscience. Crazy dreams had plagued her all night but now it was as though something familiar was overcoming all the unfamiliar but she was not yet sure how she knew it. For several long moments it was as though she was trying to move, yet she tried and failed and was not even sure if she wanted to move. What was that noise? She knew she should know it but it just would not register. It continued and got louder and then was suddenly punctuated with a strong sloppy lick right in her nose! Marilyn woke up with Teddy standing next to her head with what had to be a smile on his face and a wag to his tail that shook the whole back half of his body looking at her as if to welcome his friend back from the dead.

The sun had not yet come up but had sent various shades of gray as a precursor to the dawn seemingly to further mask the reality of Marilyn's true situation. She sat up and scooted her body a foot away to the trunk of the nearest tree, wiped her hands on her pants and then rubbed her eyes. It took a minute for her to break through the fog of knowledge but she soon remembered what had happened the day before. She was cold, hungry, thirsty and probably worst of all was the fear: fear of the dark, fear of being without her mother, fear of being without a plan.

Teddy was the only bright light in the situation. He continued to grin his confident grin as he stood in front of her now but even he brought about a pang of dread to her. His confident look was confidence in her. He was confident that she would provide for him. He was confident that she would soon get him what he wanted and needed and the realization crashed her mind with unwelcome clarity. Teddy was having a grand time and enjoyed this new freedom but even freebirds must be traveling on, now, and Lord knows Teddy needed a change. Anything was better than being cooped up in the back yard but it was time for breakfast!

Marilyn stood up in sync with the first ray of sunshine and looked at Teddy with her best fake smile.

"It's gonna be okay, Teddy", she said. "C'mon boy."

This was just what Teddy wanted to hear and he jumped up on her to express his approval.

"Get down, Ted!" she muttered still a little groggy from the poor night's sleep. Undeterred, he made a victory lap around her feet and jumped up one more time with grinning eyes. They walked over to the creek. Marilyn found an old two by four and placed it beside the water and then knelt down with her knees on it trying not to get muddy. With her full weight the board sunk in the mud leaving her on her hands and knees in cold, slimy mud. She tried to jump up but her foot slipped and sent her headfirst into the water. With a little more caution she managed to slop out of the mud onto dry land with the creek water being chased off of her cheeks by tears. Her naive resolution to freedom was steadily dripping away and the morning had just clocked in.

She decided to just start walking. She realized she really had no choice. What else was she going to do? In this case, necessity was the mother of mobilization so she walked up over the hill and then over the next hill and even the next. The mud in her shoes and the wet clothes made for a miserable hike and Marilyn felt the world as she knew it collapse a little further with every step she took but she marched on. The sun was up now and as she trudged on she began to finally get warm. She topped a small rise and saw the steeple of a church and she could not help but smile. It represented to her Heaven in more ways than one on this gloomy day. She knew that where there was a church there must be people and where there were people she was sure to find help.

The town around the church was still fairly quiet this warm, sunny summer day but was gradually starting to stretch its legs and come to life. She passed the still-vacant church and walked down the sidewalk to the town square. Small but tidy and inviting, the square had a squatty, whitewashed gazebo with worn natural tone wooden benches around the inside edge. As she got closer to the gazebo she saw a man sitting on one of the benches and she moved rapidly toward him ready to explain her situation and certain that he would jump up and help her.

It was only when she has jumped up the single step from the sidewalk to the shaded area under the wooden roof that she realized things might be different. The man on the bench looked to be dozing but held in one hand the butt of a cigarette. He opened his eyes slowly as Marilyn popped in front of him wide-eyed and open-mouthed. He looked at her and squinted his dark eyes just a bit but seemed not the least disconcerted at the ragamuffin in front of him. He said nothing but looked at the cigarette between his fingers, noting the lack of substance and then looked back at the girl. They stared at each other for a long moment. Marilyn seemed frozen, partly with fear of the man and partly in wonderment of how he looked. He broke the staring contest with a glance that followed his hand to his coat pocket. He pulled out a brown paper sack that followed the outlines of a brown glass bottle. Then he unscrewed the lid and tilted his head back and drank deeply from the copper-colored liquid. With another slight squint he exhaled and burped.

"Who are you?" he finally said.

"My, my name's Marilyn", she said finally finding the words. "Who are you?"

The man looked at her muddy clothes and ratted hair.

"You thirsty?", he asked, holding up the bottle and repressing a smile.

Marilyn was unsure exactly what was in that bottle but knew she wanted no part of it. The brown bag surrounding it was dirty and wrinkled and looked like it had been wet but had dried. Her mouth watered involuntarily at the thought of something to drink but this was no temptation even now. She shook her head as she took in the picture of the man before her. He was tall, she could tell even though he was sitting. His hair was short but slightly longer than his beard and his clothes and skin seemed to be the same dingy brownish-gray color. His skin was just slightly less wrinkled and worn than his pants and jacket and it was hard to tell how old he might be. Marilyn wondered for a second if he was actually a living part of the bench he sat on.

"I ran away", she said, expecting considerably more response than she got.

"How's that working out for you?" the man asked dryly.

"Not very well, to be honest."

"I reckon not." He paused and then added, "Have a seat" gesturing to the bench next to his that made up part of the octagonal gazebo sitting area.

Teddy just laid down in the shade as Marilyn sat on the edge of the seat next to him.

"Do you live around here?", asked Marilyn.

"You could say that."

"Where's your house?" she continued quizzing.

He grinned slyly and looked at the roof of the gazebo but answered her question with a question of his own.

"Does your mama know where you are?"

She just looked down at the worn wooden floor. Her shoulders slumped and the corners of her mouth tightened. He watched her for a moment and knowingly anticipated the tear that eventually forced its way from her eye and down the side of her nose.

"I know where we can get something to eat", he said changing the subject. He put the bottle back in his coat pocket and leaned forward with his hands on his knees. "You interested?"

Teddy cocked his head and licked his lips and the man noticed that the girl did almost the same thing. The man grinned warmly, stood to his feet and said softly, "Follow me. You like pancakes?"

As he stood up Marilyn craned her neck back and said, "Wow! You're tall!"

He made no response but slowly walked off the step of the gazebo onto the sidewalk. Marilyn followed him in amazement, talking as she went.

"I've never seen anybody as tall as you! My daddy is tall but not tall as you. Are you ten feet tall?" she chattered, suddenly forgetting that she had been crying.

"Eleven" said the man with a glance but continuing to walk across the street and to the door of a diner. Marilyn and Teddy had followed but the man was already inside when they got to the door.

"Wait right here, Teddy. I"ll bring something out for you in a minute." She kissed him on the head and walked in.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Knight, wider

When I think of a knight, I think of a medieval warrior ahorseback with a sword or lance bravely fighting against tyranny in the name of his majestic king. An honorable and trustworthy young lad jousting for the honor of a lady. Or sometimes a souped-up Mustang or Trans-Am but never an overweight old man with a checkered history, questionable morals and faulty politics. But that all changed this week when it was announced that Ted Kennedy would receive an honorary knighthood. What foe is he going to battle against? The all-you-can-eat buffet? We're gonna need extra links in the chainmail suit for this one! He will slay the dragon but then he's gonna barbecue it and leave the princess in the moat to drown. Feel free to print out this page and color the knight in Kennedy's honor. Yellow would be appropriate.


That's nothing. I had to drive my mother in law all the way to the doctor the other day!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

That's funny right there!

Now be nice! This picture cracked me up when I saw it but you need to be nice with your captions. Be original. Leave Bill's name out of it and keep it clean. I promise not to leave it at the top for very long so we don't have to look at it any longer than it takes to make fun of her.

Their patron saints are Smith & Wesson

Ok, don't rag on me cuz S&W didn't make that particular gun or something! It's just a funny picture! Lighten up. Besides we all know that neither Catholics nor Muslims will be in Heaven. Or most Church of Christ.

h/t imao

Ooh, wow.

You might not realize just how lucky you are. Did you know how close we all came to total disaster? A scant 44,000 miles, that's how close! I hope you ducked as the meteor thing practically grazed the earth. C'mon people, is this really news? OK, I know that in the scheme of things (the size of the universe) that 44,000 miles is not very far but would you really describe it as a close shave? 44,000 miles is like...I don't know...from here to oh, maybe El Paso. If you've ever driven to El Paso you know that it takes forever! It's nowhere near here! Also, if you are a member of the International Astronomical Union and you use words like "geosynchronous", then you gotta get out more!

Monday, March 02, 2009

Storytime in parts

--Part VIII--

Even the house itself now seemed lonely and depressed. What had seemed just yesterday as busy and homey and full of life now seemed desolate and drab. Colorful yellow and blue curtains hung mockingly over the kitchen sink looking out to the morning sun that rose so slowly as to seem to dread casting it's light on the situation. A few unwashed dishes sat uncharacteristically in the sink not unlike the middle-aged woman sitting at the table. Every light was on and the coffee in the pot was cold.

The woman had cried away whatever makeup she had been wearing and her cotton dress was wrinkled and as tired-looking as she was. The table wore a slightly stained white table cloth, held a three-quarters full coffee mug and supported the elbows of a mother who terribly missed her little girl. She had not heard anything about Marilyn in several hours and had gone from concerned to panic to nearly paralyzed in the meantime. Every horror than can be imagined had scorched across her mind in unrelenting succession as she watched the phone and the door through the night every moment hoping it would be the last she would go without seeing Marilyn's smiling face. The minutes dragged on as she remembered the last words she had said to her daughter and regret kicked at her heart while it was down.

The phone had not completed ringing the first time when she grabbed the receiver and barked "Hello!", more of a command to start talking than a greeting. Officer Blunt had gotten only a few more hours sleep than the sleepless mother but his calm voice was exactly what she needed to hear. He had seen "Brother Thundermuffin" at the coffee shop early this morning and the old farmer had told the officer about seeing a young girl and a dog on his property.

"Kids these days..." he muttered. "We didn't do stuff like that in my day! We had respect for other people's property when I was young. That's what's wrong this world. No respect for other people...blah, blah, blah".

Blunt skipped the details of the old man's conversation when he talked to the mother but assured her he was heading over to the man's house right now and implored her to stay right where she was and wait for his call. He would call as soon as he found her but it would be best for her to wait at the house in case Marilyn came home on her own. The news, although less than stellar, was as welcome as a deep breath after being under water. The mother silently mouthed a prayer and tried unsuccessfully not to cry again.