Thursday, July 30, 2009

Mad World

"I think it’s kind of funny
I think it’s kind of sad
The dreams I have of dying
Are the best I’ve ever had."

Sample conversation among our cast during our morning out to a corporate vision of a children’s aquarium, having gone out yesterday to see a movie pitched to the 4-8 crowd.

DOB: What’s that on top of that house?

UCC: (playing along) A roof?

DOB: I don’t know.

Later, lunching at a restaurant DOB visited a day earlier, having placed our orders and proceeded to drink our first bottle (of wine) of the day, wherein we silently toast and think our own private wishes, and after our food is served by a wait person named Pebbles:

TCG: (to UCC) Would you like to eat the crap she ordered but doesn’t like the look of now that it’s here? You could trade your lovely sandwich - made on bread she can chew with her tooth - for the one she got which has a hamburger bun with suspicious seeds on top?

UCC: No.

TCG: (after a brief pause while DOB groks her lunch, to UCC) You didn’t get the bread you wanted, and you go the bread she wants, so do you want to trade your lunch for hers?

UCC: No.

DOB: (to the Lunch God) I can’t eat this bread. The.... seeds.....

TCG: (to DOB) Do you want to trade for her sandwich, it’s on better bread?

DOB: I don’t know.

TCG: (To UCC) Are you gonna eat that? (paraphrased)

UCC: (impatience creeping in on little cat feet, like the Viet Cong in the jungle) Yes (paraphrased).

WI (meant to) SIMH: I want to eat the fucking sandwich I ordered. Also, I don’t want to have to repeat myself four times before you give it a fucking rest.

TCG: (That Eye-Roll of Disdain that precedes any particularly ugly passive aggression) Why you gotta be that way? (paraphrased)

UCC: (Impatience wrestling my restraint to the ground like a jungle ambush) Why indeed (paraphrased).

WISIMN: Why the Fuck Indeed. You Dick.

TCG: (after DOB ventures to the lady’s room with visiting daughter who happens to know everything, especially more about the stuff you thought you knew but you were wrong) How are you doing?

UCC: I’m having a wonderful afternoon.

TCG: (Long and pensive pause that precedes any merely mildly reflexive passive aggression) Like I’m having the time of my life blah blah (actual words, not paraphrased).

UCC: Hey, I said wonderful! Much preferable to, say, a poke in the eye with a sharp stick. Please order another bottle of wine.

WISIMN: Makes me want to laugh just to keep from killin’.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dead Ex-Wife Tour

It’s half past I-don’t-give-a-shit, and I’m playing with homicidal fantasies while the LeStrange Family (‘we take the fun out of dysfunction’) is out for a drive up the coast. Having done the laundry yesterday, in a major break with tradition, and having made my second double vanilla vodka martini mixed with ginger smoothie, and I feel up to the challenge of describing my recent vacation.

Went on the Ex-Wife/Girlfriends tour, with a final stop (two actually) at the cemetery to “pay our respects” to his ex FIL and MIL – I mean to some stones in the grass with their names. I was extremely respectful as I photographed said stones in the ground. Good thing their actual souls are up in heaven preparing for that big family reunion in the sky, or I’d find the whole cemetery thing creepy. I should say, more creepy. The second trip was to try to find the stone for the dead ex-wife, but it seems her second spouse hasn’t yet (Note: >8 years: what?) approved the content of the stone, so her grave is unmarked. Thanks to the soft-spoken cemetery people who are trained to deal with the bizzare, we located a bare spot between regulation-sized stones for an overweight 40-something guy who needed a shave (his color picture etched on his stone) and who probably died of heart failure and/or DUI, and a Greatest Generation Vet whose friends called him Buster. Seriously, rest in peace?

Due to all this extraneous recent fun, my homicidal fantasy plans remain pretty sketchy. That, and recent email chatter. The famnet recently counseled me that, despite my crystal clear memories, I couldn’t have written a What I Did on My Summer Vacation story about how we took Pa’s truck to pick up Ma upon completion of her sentence connected with an unfortunate meth lab accident. They insisted that nobody had meth labs in my boomer adolescence. Apparently, weed was the thing then. Pretty sure.

But homicide is such an ugly word. I’d prefer to stick to terms like informed consent and assisted suicide, crossing the rainbow bridge. Lately, I find great comfort in the idea of going to live with a nice family in the country when I die, possibly to be reunited with all those childhood pets who were there one day and missing the next. Grandma is baking a pie and strange cousin Arny is playing his cello version of Smoke on the Water. I need another drink.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Watching Out for Pirates

There I was, in the laundry room, jiggering with the litter box with the motion-activated motorized sifter to make it do what it’s supposed to do but no longer does, i.e. scrape the crap into a closed box where it won’t act like an air un-freshener and waft throughout the house.

TCG: What are you doing?

UCC: (Carefully covering the entrance to the escape tunnel with the kitty litter box, in case the prison guards conduct an inspection later.) Trying to fix the fucking litter box.


UCC: (Picking up empty glasses and heading to the kitchen to refill my water glass.)

TCG: Where are you going?

UCC: To the roof to look for pirates, and then to check on the treasure chest.

WISIMH: Do I really have to report whenever I plan to leave the room? Sadly, yes.


TCG: I put the canned cat food in the cupboard, but now there’ no room for the bags of dried food. (Unspoken: What shall I do?)

Me: You might want to try stacking the cans atop one another to make room for the bags.

WISIMH: Or, you might want to run around in circles in panic, press your open palms to your head like a silent Munch-scream. You could shout “What’s to become of us now? We’re all going to die!” Or, in the alternative, you might want to hold your breath until you faint, and I’ll solve the cupboard problem. Your call.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

We Won't Burn it. Yet.

Irreligiliuous (sic) progeny captured irony on a cell phone. Barnes and Nobel has about 20% of its shelves filled with Christian books in subcategories like Inspiration, Bibles, and God/Self Help.

J overheard a staffer training a new staffer explain that the biggest problem in re-shelving universe is that the Christians go to the modest 30 inch shelf of books labeled Gay/Lesbian, and they turn the books around so others can’t read the titles.

Not believing in the whole vengeance is Mine thing, J promptly moved some books from the section labeled Bibles to the section labeled Religious Fiction.

I asked a staffer to help me locate Jeff Sharlet’s “The Family” and was told they didn’t have it but would let me know if they obtained a copy. Not that they’d order me a copy. I suspected it was another Christian Conspiracy, but put that down to my paranoia, coupled with my understanding of why the Internet is killing bookstores (or at least mega corporate ones) like any other self-interested big corporate enterprise in our fascist state.

Then I got this email:

Dear ____,

Thank you for your order. Despite our best efforts, we were unable to fill your order for:

1 copy of Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power, 0060560053

We are sorry that we were unable to complete this order and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused.

If you would like to place a new order for this item, you are welcome to call us at the number below. Please reference the order number indicated above.


The Booksellers at Barnes + Noble Booksellers #2733

5500 Grossmont Ctr Dr Suite 331

La Mesa, CA 91942


This e-mail was generated by an automated process. Please do not reply to it.

A bookstore that is “unable” to order a book for a customer, and I have no need to know why. I ordered it on Amazon during a commercial in the Maddow show. This email is, I now believe, one step away from burning our books. So that’s the last time I darken Barnes and Ignoble’s door, and you should too.