Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"MOMMA KNOWS EXACTLY WHERE THIS BAD BOY BEEN"




I got to see Chris a couple weeks ago here in Fort Worth. I've seen him 4 times now, thats as much as anyone I guess, and the shows are always SO good. If he comes around your area, go see him. Tell him I sent you. This one is kinda Christmassy.


CROCODILE MAN
Momma raised me on riddles and trances,

fat-back, channel cat, lily-white lies,
all wrapped up in a jim-crack fancy.
I never met Poppa,
I never asked why

People said Poppa wasn't no-account anyway,
people said Poppa was a rollin' stone.
I turned twenty on the Wakama thruway,
headed upriver in the dark alone.

I been sleepin' with a stranger in a no-name town,
Thanksgiving dinner at the Top Hat Lounge,
Christmas Eve at the Fantasy Tan,
Lord have mercy on the Crocodile Man

I hooked up with a carnie,
a little out of Memphis,
slavin' in a side-show,
pennies in a jar,
beetle-eyed jokers, hick-town princes,
rhinestone rubies and rubber cigars.

I wrassled me a gator up in Omaha city,
done me another down in New Orleans,
tangled with the barker,
ran off with the kitty,
crawled the Mississippi and I got away clean

I been sleepin' with a stranger in a no-name town,

Thanksgiving dinner at the Top Hat Lounge,
Christmas Eve at the Fantasy Tan,
Lord have mercy on the Crocodile Man

Underneath the levee in a cattail thicket,
down in the shadows of a shady grove,
there's a thatch roof risin' from a poke-fence picket,
white smoke billows from a coal-black stove.

Inside the house is the hall of mirrors,
inside the mirror is the temple of sin,
inside the temple is the face of Momma,
and Momma, she knows where I been.
My Momma knows exactly where this bad boy been

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

PRIMATES

Last night Buckshot came to me with a razor in his hand. He asked if I would shave the back of his head. He keeps his head shaved, but apparently he needs help shaving the back of his head. Since he asked so nice I said I would go ahead and do it.

But I didn’t like it. I didn’t like it one bit.
It made me feel so monkey-ish.
I kept looking around for the hidden camera, and Jane Goodall.
Next time he asks I will have to pass.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

THE JOY OF COOKING

Everyday I go home and whip something up to eat. My roomate, Buckshot, thinks its great having a chef around. I made some Pasta last week, then Sunday we had some Chicken and Dumplings.


Yesterday I threw some cut up new potatoes and butter in the microwave for 4 minutes, then hit 'em with some salt and pepper and half-assed kinda mashed 'em up, and folded in some frozen green peas and put it back in the microwave for two minutes. Served it up with some cold sliced brisket Buckshot got from a buddy at work.
Buckshot says "Man, you sure do like to cook don't you?"
I looked up and grinned.
I said "Not really Buckshot. I like TO EAT!"

Monday, November 21, 2011

NO SPECIAL GIFTS THAT PLUG IN

Every year, a few days after Christmas when the Blues are over and I realize what a jackass I have been for not having found my Christmas Spirit until like January 3rd, and having blown yet another opportunity to have had some special kind of holiday that always eludes me, I tell myself that next year will be different. That next year I will start early and find at least one special present for someone, and I will feel good, and all jingly, and I won't have to wind up running though Wal-Mart like George Bailey in Pottersville trying to figure out how the world got all upside down, and getting punched by my kids teacher's husband (the only guy in town that seems to know anything about me) in housewares, where I could never find anything special for anyone there anyway, not if I looked all year.
But there I will likely be, a mere 36 hours before Christmas Eve,  once again looking a trip to Wal-Mart in the face, its ugly big-boxed storefront font and ubiquitous selection of House slippers and Summer Sausages in Holiday tins; Hardware's and Heirloom collections of cheap China made in Korea; the electronics are nice, priced to sell, but there is one thing I know for sure
There are no special gifts that plug in.
There shall be no comfort or joy anywhere at any Wal-Mart location.
You know, you'd think a creative guy like me could come up with one single lousy special Christmas present for someone somewhere.
But I can't.
Never could. I only bought one decent gift my whole life and that was a Cuckoo Clock for my cousin and her husband Jimmy. When they divorced they fought like cats and dogs over it.
I think he got it and no one has heard from him in thirty-five years

So I guess the best I can do right now is go for a pre-emptive strike and to wish you all a merry-merry, and thank you for the many kind comments and attentions you have paid to me this year, and hope that when you check your pockets Black Friday you find your very own Zu-Zu's petals, and have many pleasant memories, and confetti.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

38 YEARS AGO TODAY

"People have got to know whether or not their President is a crook. Well, I'm not a crook."
Richard Nixon, November 17, 1973




Here is Nixon trying to steal my belt buckle.
It reminds me of Kathy's Peaches.

GOD BLESS REPUBLICANS

God Bless Republicans
Party that I love
Stand beside them and guide them
Through the bottom of the polls in Twenty-Twelve
Through the Palins...
Through the Perrys...
Through the Romneys...
Now the Newt!
God bless Republicans
Who shall they choose?
God bless Republicans
Whoever shall they choose.

Wrote this all by myself.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

SUICIDE WATCH

I got a friend going through a divorce. He says he wants to kill himself.
He just turned 38 years old.
I told him I could guarantee him one thing.
“Whats that?” he asked.
“With all due respect to the ladies, buddy, I can guarantee you there will be more women. You will be laid again. You might even fall in love. Act accordingly.”

I'm probably not much help. But the fact is they were married for a year and there are no kids.
Get over it.

Monday, November 14, 2011

MORE SHELLS

"Information is cheap but meaning is expensive"
George Dyson

"You have to do things to remind yourself

 ...that it’s a really good idea to be alive.”



“I refuse to do drive-through. I am not a grazer, I am not a cow. You eat. You sit down. You put a napkin there. And it has to have the colors. If you’re having a steak then you’ll have a little carrots because it’s really yellow, and it looks good. And maybe a little broccoli. So that the plate — first, you plate it. And my aunt, because my uncle died, and she’d been very sad. And I had to call her and say, “Ag, what’d you have for” — you know, because she didn’t have any daughters, right? And so I said, “Ag, what’d you have for dinner?” She said, “Oh, I just had a bowl of cereal.” I said, “You can’t do that. You have to plate your food.” You have to take of yourself. I’ve started to have massages because it’s like, I have to make time to have a massage. It feels great, somebody just rubbing oil in your back. Where’s the downside? You have to do things to remind yourself that it’s a really good idea to be alive.”


-From Bill Moyers’ interview with Nikki Giovanni



POST VETERANS DAY

The Parable of the Old Men and the Young


So Abram rose, and clave the wood, and went,
And took the fire with him, and a knife.
And as they sojourned, both of them together,
Isaac the first-born spake, and said, My Father,
Behold the preparations, fire and iron,
But where the lamb for this burnt-offering?
Then Abram bound the youth with belts and straps,
And builded parapets the trenches there,
And stretched forth the knife to slay his son.
When lo! an angel called him out of heaven,
Saying, Lay not thy hand upon the lad,
Neither do anything to him. Behold,
A ram, caught in a thicket by its horns;
Offer the Ram of Pride instead of him.
But the old man would not so, but slew his son,
And half the seed of Europe, one by one.

- Wilfred Owen



Friday, November 11, 2011

THE HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS

I used to end up in Human Resources a time or two a year having been accused of unsolicited sexual advances.
The restaurant business is full of it. It’s what we do.

These waitresses, they don't usually teach Sunday school on the side you know. They aren’t babysitters; they party hard, and like hard liquor and hard men, generally.
But every now and then you run into one that doesn't want to go. I don't mind that, I can take NO for an answer, but sometimes you run into one that doesn’t want to play along.

There was this hostess, she was hired specifically for her great ass (I'm sure of it) and they put her in a tight skirt and set her out there seating people at their tables. And every time she came through the kitchen, the entire operation would stop to watch her walk through. Part of what made her ass look so great were the panty lines that showed through the tight, knee-length skirt. It framed the product in such a way that it was almost vulgar if it hadn’t been so sexy.

Anyway, she came through one day and the first thing I noticed was there were no panty lines. She still looked good, mind you, but those panty lines were such a great gimmick. I don't know if maybe thongs had just come out, or some kind of special panty, or maybe she just quit wearing panties entirely.

But after about a week of this, as she came through the kitchen one day, I decided to speak to her and I said in my sexiest voice I could throw down:
"Baby, I really miss those panty lines. What happened to your panties?"

And the next thing I knew, I was in Personnel, being written up for sexual harassment.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

HERMAN CAIN

I'll tell you something about the restaurant business. For every woman that accused me of unwanted sexual advances, there were three that didn't. Thats all I'm sayin'.

SOMEWHERE SOUTH OF THE ARTIC CIRCLE

Shells have figured prominently in my life the last week. It all started with that photo I got over at ASSORTED, then led to a feverish dream that spawned yesterdays little poem. I just want you to know, concerning that poem, that everything I say about the oysters feeling cozy comfortable and at home making them easier to shuck is true.
And Martijn says he never heard an Oyster poem before, so I offer up this little novelty- I imagine them being on the same beach Martijn walks along on dreary Rotterdam days.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

OYSTER

I used to have to shuck a lot of oysters.
I used to say it was relaxing.

The trick is to keep them cold with lots of ice.
Try not to speak loudly or disturb them as you shuck.
You want them to think they are still safe at the bottom of the bay when you stick the knife in.
If you will do that for them they will open right up for you.
They been waiting all their lives for this right here.
Them staying all shut up won’t get you a dinner.
Staying all shut up won’t get you a pearl.
They want you to see.
We are all just shells.
And it’s the rain that makes us perfect.

Friday, November 04, 2011

"NEVER QUIT"


For my friend Peteski over at "This Isn't Happines".
"Arguably the best Tumbler in the business."
That he comes up with the best captions is not open to debate.
I don't know what I would do without him here at work.

I WAS WISHIN' THAT THE WORLD WOULD STOP




We were standin' on a mountain top

Where the cactus flowers grow
I was wishin' that the world would stop
When you said we'd better go


We took a rowboat 'cross the Rio Grande
Captain Pablo was our giude
For two dollars in a weathered hand
He rowed us to the other side


And we were dreamin' like the end was not in sight
And we dreamed all afternoon
We asked the world to wait so we could celebrate
A gringo honeymoon


We stepped out onto the golden sand
The sun was high and burning down
Rented donkeys from an old blind man
Saddled up and rode to town


Tied our donkeys to an ironwood tree
By the street where the children play
We walked in the first place we could see
Servin' cold beer in the shade


We were drinkin' like the end was not in sight
And we drank all afternoon
We asked the world to wait so we could celebrate
A gringo honeymoon


Met a cowboy who said that he
Was running from the DEA
He left a home, a wife, a family
When he made his getaway


We followed him on down a street of dust
To his one room run-down shack
He blew a smoke ring and he smiled at us
I ain't never goin' back


We were flyin' like the end was not in sight
And we soared all afternoon
We asked the world to wait so we could celebrate
A gringo honeymoon


He said there's one last place that you should go
He took us to the town's best bar
He knew a crusty caballero
Who played an old gut string guitar


And he sang like Marty Robbins could
Played like no one I've known
For a while we knew that life was good
It was ours to take back home


We were singin' like the end was not in sight
And we sang all afternoon
We asked the world to wait so we could celebrate
A gringo honeymoon


We were standin' on a mountain top
Where the cactus flowers grow
I was wishin' that the world would stop
When you said we'd better go

Thursday, November 03, 2011

A DAY AT THE BEACH

One of the virtues of being very young is that you don’t let the facts get in the way of your imagination.
-Sam Levenson
from my friend at ASSORTED

I still find water and waves and anything associated with a shoreline to be completely rejuvenating. I have a rock from Toledo Bend Lake collected 42 years ago, and a pice of driftwood from Yellowstone collected by my parents way before I was born, and an old fishing reel used by my father. The sight of any one of these puts the youth right back in me.
The way that little girl is hunkered down in the picture, I can't hardly do that anymore. But I know she is looking at the ripples in the sand, and there are fascinating seashells everywhere, and its all exploding in a fantastic collage right there in her little brain and time is standing completely still.
The world has stopped spinning. It does that sometimes, you know.
A day at the beach.


Tuesday, November 01, 2011

BUCKSHOT

My new roommate is a big biker guy named Buckshot. He’s not exactly big though, he just seems big. Guys with goatee’s always look bigger than they really are. Buckshot stands abou 5’4” and weighs at least 140, but I swear he seems like a 6 footer. He drives a big Harley chopper, all decked out with death insignia, and tops it all off with one of those biker helmets with spikes all over the top, with a matching leather bracelet and vest.
Buckshot has a really nice house. Its two stories, with a hot tub and swimming pool. We each have our very own Bathroom. Buckshot operates a big crane for a living. I didn't know big crane operators did so well, but having 5 years clean and sober don't hurt.

There are tile floors, and wood floors, and chandeliers and leaded glass doors. Built in stainless steel appliances, vaulted ceilings with the crown molding and little ledges everywhere for decorating. There is a gas fireplace with fake wood in it.

Buckshot has a real flair for decorating. Every room looks like a “Rooms to Go” room. I swear there is not a single personal knick-knack anywhere. There are carved Indian heads, and antique looking glass bottles; wooden bowls with carved fruit and generic artwork on the walls; he even has electric candles perched high up in his vaulted ceiling that he turns on with a little remote. He says he wants to get more of those, that they really help with his serenity. That’s important for a 5’4” biker guy with a goatee. It’s important for everyone I guess.

I come home in the evening and sometimes he has moved some things around a little, like the three telescoping tables that are too small to sit at and too big to use as kindling, and he will ask me how it looks and I say that it looks really nice. Or maybe he has moved the tray with the marbles and candle to where the Afrikaner Straw Lamp was, and changed out the Maltese Cross bookends that have 3 books between them.

But there is not so much as a rock he found when he was a kid, or a little piece of driftwood collected from his trip to Sturgis, or an old catcher’s mitt or broken top to a gumball machine laying around for guests to look at and wonder about.

On his sofa there are 3 pillows, “Decorator Pillows” I have learned is what they call them, and they are tastefully arranged on the sofa, and every time you get up from the sofa you have to re-arrange the pillows back to the way they were. The one with the Sequins goes on top, and I have learned you do not want to fall asleep with your face on the sequined pillow.

I’ve reported on this blog many times about what a slob I am and how challenging housekeeping can be for me. I think it is good for me to live for a while with a tough looking neat-nik of a biker dude for a while.

Last week I said "Goodnight Buckshot" and went upstairs to my room. I had left my cell phone on the coffee table. A few minutes later Buckshot was knocking at my door.
“You left your phone downstairs “ he said.
“That’s OK” I hollered through the door “I’ll get it in the morning.”
“I’’ve got it right here “ he says.
I open the door and he is smiling in his bathrobe and hands me my phone.
As I closed the door it occurred to me that the reason he brought me my phone was not because he thought I might need it as I slept, but simply because it does not belong on the coffee table.