Friday, October 12, 2018

The Big Seven Seven

Mom and I were at Perkins. There was a jazz band playing near the flapjack pavilion, horns beblapping and bass bumthumping.

Mom gave me a narrow look. "Are you growing a beard? Please don't tell me you are. It's makes you look evil."

"Truth in advertising, Mom."


Mom shouted over the diatonic minor. "Karen didn't call me for my birthday!"


"KAREN DIDN'T CALL ME ON MY BIRTHDAY! Can you hear me?" Mom pitched her voice as we were washed in a diminished triad of boogie-woogie. "No text! No nothing! Can you believe that? Not a word! That's the thanks I get for all the things I've done for her over the years. Not to mention her birthdays. But that's it. I won't ever talk to her again. I've had it. And if she calls, I won't answer. I don't care. She's rude. She's the rudest person I've ever met."

"I dig it. But you've been saying that for years. You keep saying you're going to cut Karen out of your life, and then you never do."

"This time I am! And then Missy wanted to get together for my birthday. She wanted to get all the girls together, including Karen, of course. But I told them I was driving to Montrose with you."

"Wow. They really don't know you, Mom. When is the last time you've even been in the mountains?"

"A few years ago I went with Medora, to hand her off to someone in Steamboat Springs."

"Okay, let me rephrase that. When is the last time you've been in the mountains without being paid?"

Polytonal chromatic rhythm bopped all over Mom's face as she thought. At last she said, "1979, I think. When I took you and your brothers to Estes Park." Sad horn.

"And yet you love Montrose. In the fictional sense."

"Do you know how I spent my birthday?" An oboe moaned with suspense. "I was on the floor of my bathroom mopping up toilet water."

"One of your better birthdays, then."

"My toilet backs up every time I flush. And the floor is bad because I used a steam cleaner in there once and ripped up some of the tiles. I know I shouldn't have done it, but now there are holes in the floor, and turd water too."

I looked at my omelet. "Maybe I'll get a box."

"So there I was on my birthday mopping up water and the tiles are falling off the wall, too. But I've been taping them up."

"Taping them up. Uh, don't tell me you're using scotch tape?"

"Yes! But what else am I supposed to do? I got some Gorilla glue, but I haven't used it yet. So I use scotch tape and the tiles stay up, at least for a while before water gets the tape soft and unsticky."

"A bathroom isn't a Christmas gift," I said as a saxophone slid chromatically. "Though maybe Freud would have some thoughts on that."


"So to sum up, you have turd water, holes in your floor, and tiles falling off. How's the bag of dog food doing that keeps your faucet turned off?"

"Oh, that's my phone."

She saw who was calling, and her eyes got big.

It's Karen, she mouthed.

I mouthed back: Karen is PURE EVIL. You're never talking to her a--

"Karen? Oh, honey! What a dear you are! Thank you for calling. I was about to call you as soon as I got back from Montrose." Mom winked at me. "Tee hee, how thoughtful of you! Yes, let's get together and be together forever! Hee hee ha ha...!"

The drummer hit the hi-hat at just the right moment. Jazz knows all.

Friday, October 5, 2018

The Library -- Where Weirdos Fight Over Books, and Give You Cuban Pizza

The library was closed, but already Jeff was eagerly peering through the glass door.

"I think he saw me," I said, ducking behind my desk.

A few minutes later the back door thundered. Like a zombie attack, Jeff was not to be denied. I went to answer the door.

"Jeff? We open in a few minutes, so..."

"Hey! I've got the pizza for you."

"Pizza? Is it from Cuba?"

"No, no, I haven't gone yet. I leave for Cuba in a few hours. But I had time to get this fabulous pizza," he said with unmistakable Bob Sacamano flair. "It's unbelievable. The best pizza in Duluth!"

I couldn't recall requesting pizza. Jeff was probably mixing me up with Jonah or Todd or Elijah. He slammed down the triangular pizza cartons like triangular trump cards.

"Heuurrgh! Hffff!" he said, expanding his tough-guy chest. "Can you smell that? A woman from North Pakistan makes these pizzas at the King Soopers near my apartment!"

He reverently opened one of the cartons, as if the lid on Ali Baba's treasure chest. Out came a genie of steam and inside was a flap o' pizza weighted down with sedimentary layers of veggies, flank meats and stuff that looked like the genitals of the Wicker Man.

I stared at it. "So the best pizza in the world comes from your local King Soopers?"

"Yeah! It's unbelievable! And this garlic? Kroger's has the best in the galaxy, in the universe, in the MULTIVERSE!! Okay, I'm off."

I showed him out and then stored the transcendent 'za in the refrigerator. It was time to open. Today was our chess club event and it seemed like every customer who filtered in was like a piece on a giant chessboard--especially since the carpet was in squares. First came Meryl Strepthrot, moving as a knight does with her cart pulled behind her. (You see, if played properly, knights pull carts in chess.)

"Guess what?" she said in her breathy singsong voice. Her toothless mouth gaped and tendrils of dried seaweed stuck out of her cap. "They're doing an investigation of me! Can you believe that? But the joke's on them, I'll be dead soon! Ha, ha, ha, har!"

"Yeah," I said, not wanting to get forked.

She loaded herself on the elevator and went up. I only hoped she wouldn't start snoring up there. I'd have to, uh, put her into stalemate.

Then came Cindy Scone, skeletally gliding to my desk in a diagonal manner. In her hand she had a staff rec, The Seven Basic Plots, and told me that there were actually only two plots in the world. One was The Stranger Comes to Town. The other was the tired old plot of Girlfriend Keeps Her Boyfriend's Skull Fragment in Her Purse.

I castled to get away from her, only to find myself blockaded by Perry Heistmann's mug. He hobbled over like an isolated pawn and appreciated me loading all of his many Mongolian Horse Poetry books onto a cart. Perry was visiting more often since he was being investigated for sexcriming one of his students. He had the face of a soft, confused turtle, spittle dotting his lower lip as he appreciated what you did.

On Jonah's desk was a fun book on Lacan. Perry eagerly reached for it like the Wicked Witch reaching for ruby slippers. "Oh, can I see that?"

"Nope!" Jonah snatched the book away and put it safely behind the desk. "That won't be happening."

"Oh! I just wanted to look at it." Turtle gape.

"I know you did."

"Okay. I understand completely! I understand, that's your book. I understand! I appreciate what you do, Jonah. I understand that's your book! And I appreciate it!"

Perry got his cart of books and trundled to the elevator so he could make copies upstairs of all the books he never checked out, and then stored the copies in his five filing cabinets so the sex crimes unit would have plenty of evidence.

"Barf," Todd said, coming over. "What a tool." He scowled as he watched Perry trundle away, one square at a time. "He's probably looking for little girls to rape."

"Probably," I said, nodding. "But first he'll have to turn down his hearing aid so he can't hear their screams. Ha, ha."

Todd turned his beardic scowl to me. "That Meryl woman has her shoes off upstairs. And the smell is hor-rif-fic. I can't go back up there. What should I do?"

"Tell her to put her shoes back on?"

"Make Jonah do it."

Using the en passant rule, Stephanie Barker came over. "You should say in your closing announcement to have a good night," she said, extremely unsolicited. "Not just good night."

I smiled. "Please go away."

"And you didn't lock the basement door last night."

"Won't you die?"

I gazed past her Winnie-the-Pooh ensemble as customers moved about the library, some checkmating the displays, others getting captured by the self-check machines.

At last, we were setting up the boards for the chess club when a young man with his hands stuffed in his denim jacket came over. He was short and small, and his hair was shaved in patches, looking like... wait for it... turrets on a rook. Most of all, he seemed... off. He glanced at the chess games with disinterest, and then glared at me with a lobotomial light. He asked where the best sushi was.

"Sushi?" I said. "Ah, I think there's a place nearby."

"Is it good sushi? Is it expensive?"

"Maybe a little expensive, I guess, but..."

"There's a lot of gay men around this area, aren't there?"

"Ah... uh... I'm not sure."

He wandered off. I sat down across from my opponent, the pieces all set up for some great chess action. Just as I was opening with my rook pawn, Justkidding bellowed that the library was closed.

I turned over my king with a sigh. "The library wins again."

(For those astute readers wondering where the queen hides in this tedious parable, it's me. I'm a queen. *snaps fingers*)

Friday, September 28, 2018

Kids and the Kidding Kidders Who Love Margot Kidder

Karen called me into the office. I rolled in a chair since her office was now institutionally bare and had all the charm of Brett Kavanaugh's whipped-for-farting face. Desk, computer, filing cabinet, single shelf with single book on it. The door was shut.

"Do you think they're listening to us?" I said.

"I'll turn on the fan!" Karen rasped.

"No, I mean from downtown. Like, hidden microphones, or something."

Karen looked around in a panic. "Do you think?"

"I'm kidding. On that topic, Justkidding told me she's getting a divorce."

"She is?!?"

"She was just kidding. After that she said my shirt and t-shirt ensemble made her want to throw up. She said I looked like Robin Williams in One Hour Photo. Then she said burn."

Karen grimaced. "There's too much kidding around here."

"Are you kidding? There isn't nearly enough!"

"Greg, do you know why I called you in here?"

"You wanted to talk about the book that your therapist wanted you to read and that you now want me to read and give you the gist of?"

Happiness is... not reading this book

Karen glanced at the lonely, unhappy book on her shelf. "No," she said. "I don't care about that anymore. I wanted you to know your timecard was off today. You forgot to punch out for lunch."

I gasped.

"I'm serious."

"So instead of talking about how we can reduce stress and be happy in our lives, you want to discuss a missed punch on my timecard."

Karen stared at me. "Yes," she said.

"Baby steps, I guess."

"It's so important to remember to punch out for lunch. You gotta do it. I'm getting pressure from downtown. So you just gotta. Will you remember to do it? I don't want to nag, but..."

"And yet, here we are."


"Okay," I said, standing up. "I'd promise to be better at that, but... you know."

"Wait! We're not done yet. What is this?"

Karen showed me the interview questions I had written answers to that morning. During the storytime evaluation, I had used my own special script, the kind autistics invent to cope with the world or by people who are extremely bored.

"We better hope HR doesn't see this in the candidate's file. What if they do? How will they know what you thought of Zach's storytime performance?"

"I was actually being complimentary. See that squiggle? That means, Super. And those dots? Good job! I was saying. They'd just have to get a good translator. Me, preferably."

"This is so important, Greg. You can't be joking around about this."

"It's just storytime. Also, I don't care. A deadly combination."

"It's not JUST storytime! We need to find the best possible story time person! We gotta. It's so important that we get the very best person to read to the children. And to think about them."

"Pff," I said. "Anyone can do a storytime."

"Oh? Can you?"

"Sure. It's easy. Just make up some stupid rhyme, jump around, and then finish with construction paper."

"You couldn't do it."

"I could! Like... Here. I'll start with a song. (Sung to the tune of The Dead Milkmen's "Punk Rock Girl.")

Lincoln's dead,
Shot through the head,
Doc said,
Head full of lead.

Then I'd have the kids pantomime getting shot in the head--throw your head forward, kids!--and we'd finish by making stovepipe hats and moles. Voila."

Karen turned to her computer. "Did you get that?"

"Hey," I said. "What the--"

"I'm just having downtown monitor our conversation."


Karen grinned. "JUST KIDDING," she shouted.

"Oh... ha, ha." I sank back in my chair. "Heh. This place is great." I turned to my blog audience. "Isn't it? ISN'T IT"

"What are you looking at?"

Friday, September 21, 2018

Montrose Sort of Rhymes with Glucose

Sometimes I wonder if I'm trying to tell myself something since, just before embarking on my grand trip to Montrose, I stopped in a woman's bathroom to have a poop. And this is the second time in the last few years I've gone into a woman's bathroom to have a poop.

The public bathroom had no door, just a bifurcational ingress for either gender (pretty sexist when you think about it), and I rushed in through what seemed like a virile masculine entrance and through the empty bathroom to the largest stall reserved for the handicapped. That's right: I was a criminal twice over and it felt delicious. As I sat on the toilet contemplating my ineluctable swell of rectal joy, I heard a feminine voice by the sink. Hmm, I thought. That sounds like a female of the womanly kind. She must be with her child to help li'l Scooter or li'l Skippy do his li'l business. I continued to sit and stew, experiencing some sphincter shyness as I heard more and more female voices. Fuck, I thought. Can it really be that I've run into a woman's bathroom yet again?? Fastening up my misgendery horror, I cannily waited by the stall door for the voices to subside. I feared what would happen if I was spotted coming out of my stall. A shriek? A call to Homeland Security? A lip-licking request for my digits...??

At last I got free without charges being filed, and on the way, as I swiftly nonchalantly rushed out, I nearly collided with a dude coming out from the correct bathroom. He gave me a puzzled look. And I returned the look: hey, buddy, it's the 21st century, GET USED TO IT.

After my pansexual contretemps, I drove to Montrose. Once there, I was greeted by a brass band and my good friend Emma with her new bookstore in all its glory!

"Get yer Infinite Jest here, people! Get 'em while they're thick!"

As a bookstore warming gift, I bestowed upon Emma some paint, on a canvas. She set it in a place sure to scare away the shoplifters--so now she doesn't need to show up at all. The store just runs itself!

"This better not do that Dorian Gray thing."

Since there wasn't a ladies restroom for me to make sad, we went to the mineral pools in Ouray and I swam a few laps in the pool. But it seemed rather pointless since there weren't any girls watching me get out of the water in slow motion as water undulated off my chassis covered in soft erotic hair and then shake my golden locks in slow motion as my muscles rippled, in slow motion. Damn I turn myself on.

Then, in an effort to avoid the seventh game of the World Series, we decided to learn about apples.

"Shh, if we walk a little faster we can lose him...!"

I found this picture in my phone. I'm not sure why I took it, but doesn't it make you want to feel an ineluctable swell of rectal joy? DOESN'T IT

"Is the It clown hiding behind that post?"

On my way back to Denver, I ran into a traffic jam outside of Fairplay where the speeds topped out at 25 angstroms an hour. It seemed everyone wanted to look at Autumn Foley Edge--a very popular stripper in these here parts, or so is my understanding. This photo illustrates how people gape with their gills after the sustenance of beauty.

"Where did the fishie go?"

In the end, it was good to get country sunshine and country air, for some reason. But I'm glad to be back in my monk's cell illuminating this blog with my rhino stylus. Also, to get nicely high.

Thanks, Emma!

Friday, September 14, 2018

No Queefing Allowed

In a world where Trump and Tarentino would be dead instantly, no one must make a sound in A QUIET PLACE.


The movie is... What? Sorry. The movie is... What? Sorry. The movie is super quiet. That is, until someone steps on a nail ha ha.


Because I am HARDCORE, I watched the entire movie without the subtitles. But then I remembered I don't know sign language. So much for all my many viewings of Children of a Lesser God.

"Shhh. I just put Mom's stapler in the jello."

What? Right, right. Shush my shushy face. Got it. (Jesus. Maybe the guy should just glue his finger to his beard already...)

Anyway, the movie is about a vague alien apocalypse that's straight up a librarian's wet dream amirite. Most horrifying of all is that the remaining humans (4 out of 7 billion) must play Monopoly and struggle not to die of boredom. THE HORROR THE HORROR

"I'll give you two railroads for... ZZZZZZ."

Having quit the paper business and entertainment in general, Jim Halpert battles weird creatures that feast on sound while his face is appropriately muffled with a beard--otherwise the sonic waves of sexiness coming off his face would be too dangerous. 

"Did someone leave a flapjack up there?"

The monsters are ugly motherfuckers, so we know they can't possibly be good. 

"Ladies and gentlemen, Seal."

In battling the monsters rather ineptly, Jim sorely misses his old office buddy Dwight who would have taken care of those pesky monsters with some Brazilian jiu-jitsu or some shit.


The most disturbing part of this film--outside of the gratuitous Monopoly playing--was the baby. Why oh why would someone decide to have a child in such a world?? Did the monsters outlaw abortion or what? Wait... I knew it! The monsters are REPUBLICANS

"Listen to me! I'm not giving you
Ventnor Ave for your two railroads!!"
"Mmmgh you're hurting me, Dad!"

In the end, as Jim makes the world safe for Monopoly again, he brings up the big burning question: Are movie cliches still cliches if they're in ASL?

"Marlee Matlin is a stone fox. Oops, did I sign that?
Sorry, honey, I meant you. You!"

Go ahead and let out your fart, old timer!

"YEEAAAAAAHHH! It was worth it!!"

Todd shook his head. "What a stupid review," he said. "This blog sucks."

Bite me, I signed. 

Friday, September 7, 2018

Click Baiter

"Why are you holding your face in your hands?" Justron asked me.

I had just gotten off the phone with my mom. She'd told me she was using a bag of dog food to hold down the faucet handle on her kitchen sink, lest it explode. It wasn't clear if the bag of dog food would explode or the sink.

"For my mom," I moaned through my fingers, "the Great Depression didn't end with the joyous slaughter of the Second World War Two. No, it continues. And continues."

"Did you say joyous?" Justron said, tenderly befuddled. His eyes narrowed.

"What's going on?" Jonah said. "Are you perplexing my good friend, Justron, again??"

"It's hard not to. Actually, apropos, I've been thinking of ways to increase my SEO sales revenue for this blog. You know, get some clickbaity stuff going. Like, your jaw will fuckin' explode when you see what William Conrad looks like now. That sort of thing."

"Hmm," Jonah said. "How about... Click here to get yer Collected Works of Hegel at a discounted price?"

"No!" Justron said rapturously. "The works of Mary Oliver!"

"Er, thanks, fellas. But I was thinking more along the lines of these witty bullet points:

  • Your 5 Senses: Get all of them fucking today
  • 2 plus 2 equals 4--But is it really true 4 you??
  • 10 ways to count backwards, when pulled over by the coppers and before you go to jail
  • Lucky number Slevin: Is this a great movie, or what??
  • 3-in-1 Oil: The number 1 lubricant favored by Catholic priests!..."

"What are you dorks up to?" Justkidding said. "Haven't you been fired yet?"

"We're working on it," I said seriously.

"Are we playing chess tonight for the Ruby Creek chess club? I want to play! Wait, I have to look up the rules first..."

"Now who's the dork?" Jonah said puckishly, fingering his Mao beard.

We set up boards in the community area, which kept most of the public out of the community area. Justkidding sat across from me, grinning maniacally.

"Okay," she said, impaling a horsie with her Cruella nails. "How does this thing move again? Is this the hat?"

"This isn't Monopoly," I said adverbially. "Now, here, the shoe can move in any direction. Unless it lands on Free Parking."

"Okay, I'll move this. No. I'll move this one. Should I move this one? How do the little ones move again?"

"Actually, it's my turn. White moves first."

"Of course it does! I'm black, at least. Well, half-white, too. But I don't count that part." Justkidding nearly swiped Justron--who was doefully watching us--with a wave of her Krueger nails.

"Help," Justron breathed.

I made my move and cleared my throat professorially. "This is a black and white world, chess is. Backward formation, I like speak to."

"You are garbage. I'm mostly kidding."

"Mostly, eh. Maybe I have your name wrong?"



Jonah came over, synthetically excited. "Just the cure for our blues! Jeff is here with Cuban contraband!"

"Oh, good," I said. "Wait. What?"

Jeff was grinning at the circ counter. He had brought two boxes of Cuban cigars, fresh from his trip to Cuba and with a lame story as to why in the world they let him into their country.

"First the Purple mattress and now cigars!" Jonah crowed. "Maybe this job doesn't suck after all?"

"I'm in flavor country--dialectically speaking."

Jonah and Justron each lit up a Castro stogie, as they're not known.

Puffs of fragrant smoke filled the library. Alarms went off and we ran around in a panic, as the emergency manual recommends. I carried the chess game out into the night and finished off Justkidding with a sick fork-skewer-zugzwang maneuver.

"Checkmate," I sniffed.

"Racist!" Justmostlykidding said.

"Good God," I said, looking over the position. "You're right!"

Friday, August 31, 2018

Getting a Blowie Behind the Taco Wagon... The Movie... The Ride

Justkidding wanted me to be in her movie. And she had the perfect role for me: CROTCHEDY TROLL.

"Practice your troll face," she said.


"Come on, dance, troll boy," Justkidding roared.

I wrinkled my face around my monocle, straining my jowls and spraining my dewlap.

"How's that?" I said trollily.

"You are a trash person," Justkidding snapped, growling the last syllable of person. (Can you hear it?) "Ugh. I've still got the hucky tuck because of my trash husband. Just kidding. I need to go to the gym because I'm a fat fat water rat. Just kidding. People around here don't understand how famous I am. I'm in Westword, The Denverite, the Penny Saver AND The Thrifty Nickel. And now after I make my movie, I'll be out of this dump! Here--!"

She slapped the screenplay before me. She had written it the night before, and it came to two pages--or, in Hollywood terms, two extremely long minutes. I told her a movie that long would cost two million dollars. Give or take. Mostly take.

"Shut up," Justkidding explained.

Just then Jonah came by.

"JONAH!!" Justkidding screeched politely. "Want to be in my movie?"

"Absolutely not."

"Oh, come on!"

She wrestled both of us into chairs, clipped our eyelids, and made us read the screenplay, which went thusly:


White Person comes up to Black Librarian.

     Prithee, where are your cookbooks, fair lady?

(disinterested, not rude, but not caring either)
     Over there. (Points.)

Then a Black Man comes up to Black Librarian.


["Uh," I interjected, "I think Freud might have something to say about your initials..."
"Just keep reading, dummy!" shouted J.K.]

     Yo, sexy mama, where be your cook books 'n' shit?

     Oooh, what kind of cuisine are you thinking about? Tee hee. Let me take you to the section. Oooh! Giggle.

["Wait," Jonah said, his eyes bleeding. "Are you saying the word giggle? Or are you giggling? Also, these clips are starting to hurt."
"Just keep reading," rejoined J.K. in a nasally whine.]

Black Librarian helps Black Man in the cookbook section. They laugh and have a good time, and she give him EXAMPLARY [sic] GOOD SERVICE.

The manager and the lead clerk, a CROTCHEDY TROLL, scowl in the distance. The manager tells the Black Librarian to get back to work. The TROLL wrinkles up his troll face. They don't appreciate the Black Librarian at all. AT ALL.


"You forgot to put a question mark at the end," I said. "It's the best accepted practice, according to Syd Field."

"What did you think, Jonah?"

Jonah wiped his face and grunted. "Your story is, in Hegelian terms, the negation of the negation."

"Great!" Justkidding yelled. "So will you be in my movie now??"

Jonah shook his head. "I'll only do it if I can be the B.M."

"Careful," I said.

Just then Donovan came over. He had the latest gossip about a custodian at a different library. It turns out that he got fired for getting a blowie behind a taco wagon during work hours.

"That's it!" I ejaculated. "There's your movie, Justkidding. Write about some guy getting... Hey, where'd she go?"

"Well done," Jonah said.

Justron came over. "What's going on?"

"Where to begin...??"

We were breaking up into discussion groups about the Christ imagery in Justkidding's screenplay when a customer(!) came up to the desk.

"Can I get some help, please?"

We all laughed, except Justron.

"What's funny?" he said, gently confused. "And why am I in this blog?"

"You'll find out when you're older," I said, slapping him on the back. "Come on, let's go get a bite to eat."

Filled with hilarity, we all left. On my way out I pointed vaguely in the direction of the stacks. "The cookbooks are in the, uh, five hundreds," I said to the customer.

"What? No, I don't want a cookbook. Wait!... Hello?"