The End of The Beast

12 September 2020

She lies abed now in a hospice. The Beast — my ex-wife — has 2-4 months left to live, at best. She has cancer. Pancreatic cancer, metastasized to the liver plus double pneumonia and blood clots in her left lung. Two weeks ago today the Beast took a fall at her home and laid on the floor for two days as she crawled to the table where she pulled the phone to the floor and dialed 9-1-1.

Those who deal with her tell me she had been dramatically losing weight for at least two months. She was not eating nor hydrating and her color was bad.

The Beast and I had been married for six and one-half miserable, hateful, soul-crushing years that seemed like twenty. At the end, we each loathed every atom of the other’s being. Thankfully, I haven’t seen her in decades (forty-six years seems about right.)

My dissatisfaction with the Beast was primarily due to her shrewish persona which was manifested by ceaseless complaining, condemning and criticizing — that, and her pathological frigidity! These, as you might suspect, are the reasons behind the appellation.

But she is at the end of her days now. Frankly, I think when the news comes that the old bod is going to switch off, the old animas disappears like a bad fog burning off. We realize we are just human beings who ran the race and now that it’s over, it’s all immaterial; we can afford to be charitable and let the whole thing pass. You know, like sitting at the nineteenth hole, schmoozing and buying beers.

And so I wish her a good death. Free of fear. Free of dread. Free of pain. Yet full of love and bon home from kith and kin.

I believe the girls will do their best to be in attendance when the Beast is in extremis. I’ve gone so far as to ask Christine to check with the ex and find out if she might like a phone call for old times’ sake. It might give the both of us a sense of closure — actually, my sense of closure was achieved forty-five years ago but Christine tells me the Beast still stews over me.

In any case, it’ll all soon be over. I said a prayer for her today and will say kaddish when she goes.

By the way, her name is Judie.

-Merlin-


To the General Assembly

11 August 2020

Dictators. You know who they are. Many of you work for one.

The problem with dictators is they always hanker after war. Hitler did. So did Mussolini. As did Pol Pot. Stalin did too. And before them, Caesar, Tamerlane and others of their dreadful ilk. Now today, we have a new crop: Putin, Kim and Xi, to name the most visible ones. Of course, if the dictators can’t find a suitable target they feel can be mowed down, there’s always the dictators’ own people, e.g, Pinochet in Chile, Stroessner in Paraguay, Maduro in Venezuela — and here in the USA, that ghastly wannabe, Trump.

But these creatures can’t commit their atrocities and depredations all by themselves. They’re only single individuals. Can’t imagine Xi flying a bomber across the Pacific to land an H-bomb on L.A. or Putin all by his lonesome in a sub, launching on London No, sir. They need accomplices. Men and women like you; people willing, nay eager, to do the dictator’s bidding. And you even go so far as to make them Presidents for Life.

You know what the next war will be like. Imagine your beautiful home town, your capital city, all reduced to glass-lined, radiating craters and everyone you loved, gone in glowing clouds of plasma. Nothing but ruin and death.

You know your dictator doesn’t give a tinker’s dam about you, your spouse, your kids. But you do. So why are you subservient to a man who would spend their live without a second’s consideration?

Why not kill him?

In the USSR, the subalterns who realized Stalin was about to put them in the meat grinder, laced his food with Warfarin (rat poison) and, sure enough, he suffered an enormous hemorrhagic stoke. Kaput. Finis. The murders stopped.

Boots are often part of the uniform-of-choice for discators, so here’s an idea that can work – it can even work for trousers. Get a long, thin piece of tempered glass honed to a fine point; it won’t show up on metal detectors or X-ray machines. Put some tape on the upper part to act as a handle and slide it into your boot (or down your waistband if you wear trousers).

When next in the August Presence to sing the requisite huzzahs and lick his boots, find an excuse (maybe to get a cup of tea or coffee, or a snort of vodka) to slip around in back of His Greatness. Grab him by his hair and lay his head hard over on his shoulder. Retrieve your glass shank and administer a good half-dozen strokes to the blood vessels in Dear Leader’s neck. It can all be done a mere seconds.

The other members of the inner sanctum will be shocked to inaction. Before they can do anything and El Caudio is gurgling his last, spread your arms wide and announce “We’re Free! We’re Safe! He’s dead!” No more knock on the door at 3:00 AM. No more meat grinder. No more Gulag. No more war. With the old misanthrope dead and gone, you, being the decent folks that you are, you can construct a better country.  This is how Rome was rid of both Caesar and Caligula, Romania rid of Ceausescu and, as noted, the USSR was rid of Stalin.

Assassination. You should seriously consider it. Your lives probably depend on it.  I mean it’s likely that your dictator will eventually come to suspect you disloyalty – they always do -and reward your years of abject servitude by having you dragged off to a dungeon and given a Drano enema.  Sooner, rather than later, your dictator will tire of you so kill him while you have the chance.

-Merlin-

 


A TV Show With a Flaw.

6 May 2020

Sitting on my ass while the C-19 pestilence ravages the land, I’ve been binge-watching TV. A couple of days ago, I got on HULU and started watching a series about alien invasion always a good topic.

In this series, the aliens have infected humankind with a virus-like thing that alters the victim’s/host’s genes in the testes and ovaries by adding alien shit that causes the brain of a conceptus to grow an alien thing made of silicon and magnetite that gives the resulting child telepathic powers. This alien shit also contains the plans for a quantum computer that will interconnect telepathically with the alien shit in the brains of the chimeric children everywhere

Wel, I stopped watching. The chimera had grown up, had become ubermenchen and were at the point something bad was about to happen. Why? Because in real life, if the Bug Eyed Monsters had inserted their alien shit into our genes, the resulting children would indeed be chimeras. By popular acclaim, they would be declared non-human and promptly killed-off. Not only that, but human-kind would search for the civilization that had the cheek to pull such a stunt, and destroy it en toto.

And why not? The aliens tried to destroy humanity by inserting their alien shit. Talk about rape!

___________________________

The TV show reminds me of an old story:

Thor Nordquist had been Professor of Animal Husbandry at the university’s agriculture campus for the past twenty – three years. Life, Thor felt, was getting a bit dull.

One summer afternoon, just after finals, Thor was sitting in his office schmoozing with his buddy, Jack Simmons. Jack was curator of the ape house at the new zoo down in Apple Valley.

After the general chitchat – how the kids did in school, who was shanking whose wife and whatnot – the conversation drifted to professional concerns. “I’m getting stale,” Thor said. “I’ve been doing the same old shit for too many years. To tell you the truth, like the saying says, ‘the thrill is gone.'”

“I know what you mean, old buddy. I know what you mean,” Jack replied. “I’ve started getting a lot of static from the old lady about my being stuck in the same job, collecting the same paycheck, for the past six years. The old bag figures I should be another T. Boon Pickins by now. Fat chance of that though, taking care of a bunch of monkeys.” Jack ran a hand over his crew-cut. “Where did we go wrong, huh Thor?”

Thor leaned back in his swivel chair and turned to look out the window. He began to chew on his moustache. The two men sat in silence, obviously depressed.

After a moment, though, Thor spun his chair to face Jack. “Jackie, boy? Is that female gorilla of yours’ in heat?”

Jack, who had been mindlessly rubbing the back of his neck, looked up. “Old MaryBeth? Well, uh . . . Yeah, now that you mention it, she is. Why?”

“Listen, Jackie.” Thor said, leaning forward. “I’ve had this idea about inter-species breeding that I’ve been working on for, oh shit, twenty years now anyway. It’s only a theory, mind you, but a damned good one if I do say so myself. And if it pans-out, why, hell, it’ll revolutionize all of animal husbandry.” Thor’s eyes were dancing. “I mean, this is Nobel Prize stuff we are talking about, Jackie!”

“Sorry, Thor. I’m not following you, what are you. . . “

“Here’s the idea,” Thor interjected. “Just after I got back from `Nam, I developed a serum that would help two closely related species of animals interbreed. Now the old fart that used to run this joint was some kind of refried Christian, and when he found out what I was up to, he killed the whole project as being ‘an unholy abomination.'” Thor paused to sip some coffee.

“Yeah?” said Jack, a tentative smile appearing on his face.

“Yeah.” Thor was warming to his subject, “The old ass-hole forced me to sign an agreement to never resume work on the project; or that if I did, he’d can me on the spot. But now, Jackie buddy, the miserable old bastard’s dead. He kicked the bucket last May.” Thor sat back in his chair again. Jack could almost see the wheels spinning in Thor’s head.

“Jackie, If you’ll let me inject that gorilla with my juice, we can try mating her with a human. I shit you not; if my earlier research was correct, you and I are going to be the fathers of the most bodacious bunch of janitors and gas station attendants the world has ever seen!”

Jack was becoming caught up in the whole idea too and pressed Thor for the details. Clearly, Nordquist was on to something big. Jack soon committed himself to helping his friend – he had only one concern left: “Now this shit of yours, Thor, it wouldn’t hurt old MaryBeth, will it? I mean if that old monkey croaks on us and the zoo finds out what we’ve been doing, they’ll hang my ass . . . Hell, they’ll hang us both.”

After some more explanations from Thor, Jack was convinced not only that his gorilla was safe, but that the whole mad idea could work.

Three nights later, after he was sure all the help had gone home, Jack and Thor stole into the ape house and gave MaryBeth a freshly brewed dose of serum.

The following day, the two men turned their attention to finding a suitable stud. “Thor, I think what we need is a devolute; a guy that looks like MaryBeth — you know the kind: sloping forehead, strong back, weak mind, lots of hair. Someone who isn’t a Finn.

“Right, Jackie. I’ve had the same idea myself.” Thor then produced an envelope containing $1,000 cash to use (as he put it) “for the stud fee.” Thor suggested they go looking for their man up on North Hennepin Avenue, a street running right down the middle of the city’s low-income district.

Luck was with then, by noon they had their man. They spotted him shambling around in a seedy used car lot.

The fellow looked like he walked right out of the Olduvai gorge: his head came to a sharp crest running front-to-back; a head far too small for the body. The man’s long, meaty arms swung loosely from broad, hairy shoulders. The little stumpy legs were churning furiously to keep the top-heavy bulk upright. The small beady eyes, embedded beneath shaggy and jutting brows, were contemplating an old shit– brindle hardtop.

The two men sat in Jack’s car and watched.

The man soon left the car lot and went loping up the street. Jack put the car in gear and crept along behind so they could better evaluate his ape-ness. After going a block or so, Thor and Jack looked at each other and nodded in silent agreement. Jack goosed the throttle, then pulled to the curb, abreast of their target. “Go to it, Thor,” Jack said as he put the car in a park.

Jack tooted the horn. Thor rolled down the window and addressed the ape/man: “Sir? Excuse me? Ah, sir? SIR?” Thor’s entreaties eventually got the man’s attention and he stopped his sideways, lopping walk. He turned his little head toward the car at his side and stared in the window at Thor.

His face was without any expression of comprehension or interest. His projecting jaw hung slackly. “Perfect.” Thor said to himself as he got out of the car, “This guy is perfect.”

Half an hour and $300 later, the three men were on their way to the zoo. The ape-man (whose name turned out to be one Washington J. Smith; or “Washie,” as he was known to his friends) was in bad need of new car; his old one had thrown a connecting rod in a drag race on Lake Street night before. The three hundred bucks Thor offered would make a nice down stroke for the red Caddie Eldo Washie had seen in another car lot a few blocks back. It had stolen his heart immediately, but the price the lot manager was asking, well …

Of course, neither Thor nor Jack had been totally honest with Washie. While telling him that they needed his semen for “a remarkable scientific experiment” (as Thor had put it) they had left Washie under the misapprehension that the semen could be donated manually, i.e., by jerking-off in a test tube. In reality, though, Thor’s procedure required direct insemination through coitus, for exposing the semen to oxygen for even the briefest moment would alter its chemical composition, and render it useless.

Washie Smith, it seemed, was going to have to do a lot more than he’d bargained for in order to get his hairy paws on the red Cadillac.

And as to just what it was, Thor was abundantly clear once the three men were back at the Ape House. Washie didn’t take it very well: “Oh, jezzus, Washie, I am sorry” Thor said through crocodile tears. “I thought Mr. Simmons and I made it clear that you would have to actually mount MaryBeth and that . . . “

“NO!”, Smith wailed. “NO! N-fuckin-O, NO! I`ze ain’t gonna fuck no monkey. No way, man. I doan need the three hunrit bucks that bad. No siree.”

“Now be reasonable, Washie,” Jack said. “Professor Nordquist is doing vital research here that will benefit all humanity. He needs your help desperately. Please, Washie, recon … “

“NO!” the ape-man screeched.

Washington Smith had a wild-eyed look about him and he was pacing to-and-fro. Thor and Jack gave each other looks of exasperation. “Washie?” Thor’s voice was butter-smooth and unctuous. “Would it help if we raised your fee to, say, five hundred dollars?”

Smith’s pacing stopped and uncertainty clouded his face. “Uh . . . ” (pause) “No. I`ze cain’t do it.”

“Washie?” Jack asked. “How much is that El Dorado you want?”

“Seven hundred and ninety-five dollas” came the reply.

Jack had him now. “Good. Tell you what, if you’ll go ahead and service MaryBeth like we’ve talked about, Professor Nordquist here will pay you the whole seven ninety-five – and even throw in the title transfer fee to boot. How’s that for a deal? Now, what do you say?”

The man/ape, hung his little head: “Gawd in heaven,” he said in a quiet voice, “What a man won’t do for a lousy, stinkin, car!”

A few moments later, the two men were leading Washington Smith down the corridor in back of the cages at the ape house. They stopped at the third door. “Here we are, Washie,” Jack said and slid the cover of the peephole aside so Smith could have a look at the object of this assignation.

Smith approached cautiously. He slowly pressed his face against the iron door and squinted into the little hole.

He saw her. He gasped in horror and back-peddled away from the door. “OhmyGAWD. OhmyGAWD! Look at the size o`her. She must be more than half a ton!” Smith’s eyes were rolling in dread and terror. “She’ll kill me, man. She’ll KILL me. Ohmygawd. Ohmygawd.”

“Now, Washie,” Thor said as he patted Smith’s shoulder comfortingly, “Don’t you worry about a thing. Mr. Simmons is going to shoo her into a special little room he has all set up just for this purpose. Isn’t that right, Jackie?”

“That’s right, Washie,” Jack crooned. “A couple of my guys are going to chain her down to some eye bolts we’ve sunk into the floor. She’ll be all trussed-up and spread-eagled for you, son. She won’t be able to lay a finger on you. All you’ve got to do is … Well, you know what to do.”

Washie went back to the peephole and studied the gorilla for a few moments, trying to get comfortable with what was about to happen.

Unfortunately, while he was watching, MaryBeth yawned, exposing her yellowed, eight-inch fangs. “Ohnononono.” Washie whirled around to face the two men. “That is fuckn IT! Ize seen them there teeth. That gawd damned gorilla gonna bite my haid off ifn Ize gets anywhereze close to her. Eldo or no Eldo, I ain’t that much of a fool. Youse guys best get yourselves another chump! I`ze outta here.”

Thor and Jack grabbed onto him before he could even take a step. “Not so fast, Washie,” Thor said. “We’ve thought of that too. Jackie’s got an old leather mail sack from the Post Office; she’ll have that over her head when you go in. No way she can bite you, son. Absolutely no way.”

Finally, Smith relented.

Jack buzzed his assistants on the intercom and told them to get MaryBeth ready.

A few minutes later, the intercom buzzed back. MaryBeth was all set to go.

Smith went into the men’s locker room and took-off his cloths, then Jack led him to the breeding room. Thor followed with a towel and a bucket of warm water.

Jack shot the bolt on the iron door and swung it aside. There, spread-eagled on a tarp and chained to the four eye bolts, was MaryBeth. And true to his word, Jack had seen to it a stout leather bag was pulled over her head and cinched tight around her neck.

The gorilla’s muddy-pink vulva had been slathered with K-Y jelly and was presented for easy penetration. “She’s all yours, Washie,” Thor smiled as he handed Smith the tube of K-Y. “Take your time; MaryBeth’s not going anywhere.”

Jack said “We’ll leave you two alone for a while,” and clapped Smith on the shoulder. Thor set the bucket and towel next to a bulky limb. Then the two men went back outside.

The door clanged shut.

Washie Smith contemplated the great hairy brute that lay before him and hoped, fervently, that the red El Dorado was going to be worth it. “Best get it over with” he said to himself.

Washie began to fondle his schlong until it was sufficiently erect, then gave it a liberal coating of K-Y. He knelt quietly between the ape’s outspread thighs, lined everything up, and drove himself home. MaryBeth struggled against her shackles for a moment, then was still.

Even though gorillas are large, their genitals are small. “Like fuckin my eight-year-old niece,” he thought as he began to slowly do his work.

About three strokes into it, MaryBeth began to make whimpering sounds and thrash her head from side-to-side. Smith looked down on the massive chest and saw two dark nipples rising through the matted hair.

Washie now started giving MaryBeth the Long Strokes. Suddenly, the object of the day’s tryst gave out with a soft grunt, then ripped her right leg loose from its moorings and locked it securely around Washie’s backside.

Smith looked-up from his labors and in a small, startled voice, simply said: “Oh.”

Then Smith felt MaryBeth’s left pectoral flex and saw the muscles of the great arm knot and strain. Then he heard the eye bolt rip loose from the floor and within an instant, the hairy arm came loose and the ape wrapped it tightly around his back.

Smith looked up, eyes widening, and again exclaimed: “Oh.”

Then, with Washington Smith securely held in place, the great ape began to work her hips in quick, violent buckings.

It took some seconds, but Smith swivelled his face toward the iron door and shrieked: “Git it Off!! GIT IT OFF!! GIT IT OFF!!”

The door flew open. Thor and Jack ran into the room. Jack grabbed the arm while Thor took the leg. The men tried to tear the animal’s limbs from around Smith’s body.

Where upon Smith looked up at the two men and hissed: “No, no, you fools! The bag! A woman what can fuck like this? I gotta kiss her.”

-Merlin-



Well Whaddya Know!

9 March 2020

It will be twenty years next month (April 2020) since I received my cancer diagnosis and after three operations, some maiming and an experimental procedure, b’god, I’m still here.

Three years ago, my PSA (prostate specific antigen) started going back up so It was time for action. I made an appointment with an oncologist at the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. After our first meeting and a couple of scans, he told sent me to California for a still-experimental test called a Prostate Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) scan. This ) scan [shown below] can find metasticies x-rays, CAT scans and MRI scans will often miss. If you want to know more about this PSMA thing, Google it.

Well, dear reader, the scan discloses seven small metastasis crawling up the left iliac chain of the lymph nodes. One within kissing distance of the spine. Not a good sign. The doc said x-rays are out as is the proton beam. He said he has to treat this cancer systemically. In May of 2017, he put me on a medicine named abiraterone acetate along with prednisone. By October 2017, my PSA had become undetectable and the discomfort from the re-grown tumor was gone – the metasticies never hurt, they were too small.

Of course such a thing needs constant monitoring as a beaten-down cancer has a way of getting up off the mat and resuming its mission of killing you so I’ve been going in for a blood draw every month since then. Doc promised me he’d look at the test results as soon as they came in and would call if things weren’t kosker. After almost three years, I got the dreaded call last Monday.

Turns out the PSA was still undetectable; he just wanted to do a timely consult and to tell me this was highly, highly unusual. Normally, the abiraterone stops working within a year, eighteen months tops, and here I was thirty-three months later and the PSA is still zip. “Remarkable”, was the word he used. He also told me that monthly blood tests were no longer necessary and need only be done quarterly. He also told me I don’t have to worry about dying of prostate cancer.

Well Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

I promptly called Jo, gave her the news then went home and poured a double bucket of Scotch, bowled-up and got righteous.

-Merlin-

 


The Problem With (Modern) Cars.

13 September 2019

I have had the recent experience of driving some modern vehicles, i.e., Cadillac, Jeep, Toyota, Nissan, F250, Chevy, Mini, Challenger and some others, and I am disappointed. Oh, they’ve got lots of guts, handle well, comfortable and all that. What grinds my gears are the instrument panels. The designs are ghastly.

In all these cars:

The speedometer and tachometer are tiny – about the size of a small coffee cup. The pointer and numerals are a light gray on a black background and difficult to see, especially in the day time.

The speed is displayed on the dial as well as a number displayed in the middle of all manner of obscure things you have to study to make out what they are. We don’t need both – it’s a wast of space in instrument panels that are way, way too small to begin with.

Fuel and Temp gauges are well hidden and tiny. On some cars, they are built into the rims of the speedo and tach and unless someone points them out, you can’t spot them. On others, they are wee bars that are hard to locate and have very poor contrast so are very hard to see.

As for messages, they use a squint-print type face like that used for the footer on a web page. Cannot be read while underway without distracting yourself from what’s taking place on the road. Bad. Way bad.

The radio (called “entertainment centers”) are especial horrors. They were designed at The Lighthouse For The Blind. Flat, glossy touch screens that washout in the most feeble of ambient lighting. What they display are travisties: little thin lines, odd incomprehensible icons and numbers too faint to read. Oh, and you can’t easily find bass and treble; you have to drill down at least three levels in a menu you have to search for on that flat, shiney glass panel.

The climate control is no better. It often shares the ugly glass panel with the radio (Entertainment Center). It uses teensey chrome butons with pressed-in icons to announce their functions (not). One car had seat heaters and, on entering and assuming my position behind the wheel, I bumped the hidden switch turning them on and when my rump was almost burning, could not find that switch so as to turn them off. A most uncomfortable ride.

Someone somewhere decided to vex and annoy the customers with this nonsense but the car sell, so … Well, here’s the one out of a new Caddie.

Here’s one from a 2008 Chrysler

-Merlin-


A neat little conspiracy theory.

11 August 2019

Jeffery Epstien was a procurer. A procurer of underage and pubescent women and girls. Scum of the earth. A debaucher of the worst sort. Now he’s dead.  But did he die by his own hand? Well, I think not. He knew too much.

So who had him knocked-off?  My guess: Donald Trump. Let’s look at the facts.

MEANS & OPPORTUNITY Epstien was like an unwanted, pestiferous animal; held captive in a cage, waiting until the executioner comes by.  And who might that executioner be? The one man who held the keys to all the cages, Donald J. Trump, POTUS. Does Trump have dedicated acolytes sufficiently dedicated to his mephistophelian person to willingly do murder?  Ya sure ya betcha. All POTUS’s do. All POTUS’s have a praetorian guard of some sort.

MOTIVE  Epstien and Trump were buddies.  Photos show the two as thick as thieves.  Birds of a feather, no? Trump has boasted of his unwholesome appetite for his then-underage daughter, saying that if he weren’t her father, he’d “date” her.  He surrounds himself with overly-young women. And, good lord, the pictures. Did Epstien procure young, under-age girls for DJT? Seems likely. More than likely.

And then there are all the poo bahs and swells with whom Trump rubbed elbows (and other things).  Billionaires galore. What would happen to them if word got out they’d been recorded schtupping little girls, girls Trump’s buddy Epstien obtained for them?  

It was a cozy little club, they all knew who the other members were.  Businessmen. Politicians. Celebrities. Churchmen. 

The worst will be a snuff video of some religious icon killing a little girl as he rapes her.  I bet Epstien has at least one.

-Merlin-


Gallstones

14 June 2019

Since my first episode in 1974, I have been plagued by gallstones. For those of you who don’t know about gallstones, they are the mischievous progeny of the gall bladder. The gall bladder, a small organ tucked under the liver, holds the bile (a fluid) produced by the liver until the gut needs some for proper digestion. The gall badder contracts, delivering it’s content to the gut and proper digestion begins.

Marvelous.

Unfortunately gall bladders often times produce gallstones. The are made from stuff that finds its way into the liver and thence to the gall bladder and precipitates, forming stones, much in the way hailstones are formed. They grow with time, never stopping until they are removed. If that’s all they did, there’d be no problem, but they’re mobile and will on occasion, get stuck in the bile duct. The bile duct connects the gall bladder to the duodenum and when clogged by gallstone, the bile cannot pass and the backup pain is excruciating. It’s unlike any gut ache you’ve ever had. It feels like you’ve been rammed in the solo plexus by the blunt end of a telephone pole.

Such an attack is concluded — if it’s concluded — by a violet spasm of reteching whose force is sufficiend to peopell the gallstone down the bile duct and into the duodenum. You can feel the cool, happy gush of the bile and the blessed relief of the pressure. The gall bladder attack is over.

The next attack may never come. You may improve your diet. Exercise more. Drink and smoke less, or better. not al all. But remember the stones that are left behind still grow and one day, the duodenum asks for a sudden jot of bile just as an inadvertent movement — mayhap when extending your reach for the coffee creamer — maneuvered a gallstone precisely in front of he bile duct and, wham, in goes the gallstone and another season of pain is upon you.

You can always tell someone whose stricken by gallstone for they walk in an exaggerated posture; chest out thrust, head laid back as far it’ll go, and the face will be frozen in a rictus of pain, making little mueling sounds and the poor soul will walk like like he’s got a broomstick up his ass.

Lately, mine have become more frequent and worse. Last Thursday one was starting. I tried all my hard-earned tricks to stop it but nothing worked. Oh, yes, it reduced the attack’s intensity to a nuisance that spoiled the evening.

But it stayed with me throughout the night, waking me with heartburn at about 2:30 AM. A glass of milk and a cookie granted some relief and it was back to bed. I awoke at six. It was no better.

Friday is my day off and I had much planned but the gallstone said otherwise. I spent that warm, sunny day in my recliner, nursing by tummy. Friday night too. And Saturday. By Saturday afternoon I was miserable and began to feel the chill of a fever; sure enough, 99.7. Well I’d had enough. It was off to the ER. Jo drove.

The young doctor was dismissive. He thought me a hypochondriac or maybe some old disolute looking for drugs. He went through the motions, including a perfunctory ultrasound and a quick CT scan then came in to see me. “Everything looks OK but I’m going to give you something for the pain, then you can get out of here”, he said, then left. A nurse came in and gave me something for the heartburn (Maalox with lidocaine) followed by a massive hit of IV morphine. The nurse unhooked all the leads, pulled out the IV and put me out on the street. I did get a good night’s sleep. Fever? 100.2.

Sunday was truly a lost day. Blasted out of my head by the morphine, I shuttled between bedroom, bathroom and recliner. Oh, of course the pain of the gallstone was with me constantly. Sunday night fever? 100.4

Monday morning found me pale and hunched, sitting the the table picking at a fried egg. I really hand’t much to eat since the previous Thursday morning so you’d think an nice egg . . . Jo took a studied look at me and announced we were going to the urgent care clinic. We got there just after it opened at 7:30 AM and were shown to an exam room. A cheery young woman proceeded to take my blood pressure. She looked at the read-out and did a double take, then took it again. “I’ll be right back”, she said. In less than a minute she was back with a doctor. The both checked my blood pressure again. It was 73//35! I had sepsis! The doctor grabbed the phone, made a call and I was whisked off to the hospital by ambulance. The same hospital that blew me off Saturday night.

Well this was a different ER crew and in no time I hd IV’s in both arms, was being given two kinds if IV antibiotics, fluids, and meds for the unceasing pain of gallstone. Presently the surgeon came in. She told me I was being admitted and she’d already scheduled me for surgery the following morning, a Tuesday.

These, along with the ruined gall bladder, are the gallstones she removed.

Looks like I had a problem, huh?

This is Friday morning. It’s been a week. I’m on the mend.

-Merlin-

PS: I think I’ll go see that young quack from Saturday’s ER visit.


The Changing Face of America

27 December 2018

The Changing Face of America.

The Hanukkah flames are gone, the Christmas tree lights are winking out and the world is once again quiet — well, sort of anyway.

I play Santa Clause hereabouts. I’ve been doing it for nine years now. 2016 will be my tenth. Sitting on my throne, I get to see a lot of people. And as I’m rotated between several malls, I get to see folks from different areas and demographics. Over this last decade I’ve come to notice America’s changing face. When I was a kid back in Minnesota seventy years ago, the only faces I saw were white ones; blond, blue-eyed with freckles. Oh, in the fourth grade there was an exception: A black girl who joined us in mid-year. She was in my class. She didn’t last long. A few weeks later I was walking onto the school yard one morning and heard frightful ructions coming from the front door’s vestibule.

It seems some of my classmates had the girl cornered in the doorway. This little mob was delivering vicious scurrilities, insults and racial taunts: Nigger, jigaboo, go-back-to-the-jungle-you-monkey . . . It was appalling. I elbowed my way to the front and there was my little classmate, hugging her books to her chest with a look on her face I’ll never forget. I tried to get them to disperse but they were having none of it. Their ringleader was a girl I especially didn’t like. She had one huge black eyebrow that ran across her face from one side to another. I tried to get her to shut up but she kept right on spewing and then turned her attentions to me, whereupon I drilled her right in the snot-locker. That had some effect so I got the door opened and helped the girl get inside. Making some awkward conversation, l accompanied her to the principal’s office.

We never saw her again.

Now it’s 2015 and what a difference. Helping me on the Santa set were “elves” — high school kids of every description and bent and, perhaps most happily, the children of mixed stock. Oriental, Negro, Caucasian, Semite, Native American, you name it. It was as if the adults had been tossed into a . . . well . . . a Melting Pot, if you will, and here were the children.

My elves spoke impeccable English. Their manners were exemplary. When there were dull moments, we chatted and I found all of them had aspirations way beyond pushing a broom in a downtown office building. I fancy myself to be a polymath and I could talk with my elves on almost any subject and they could respond in kind. When I offered new information, they didn’t sneer and turn up their noses as did so many young people of my day. No indeed. Also, as an added benefit, they were of comely appearance. Of course the tykes who sat on my lap to tell me their hearts’ desires were also cast from this same mold.

So then, it seems the “mongrelization of the races” so feared by the peckerwoods, rednecks and stump-jumpers has come to pass and it has turned out to be a wonderful thing! Give this trend two, maybe three generations more and their might well be only one race in this country; the American Race. A new people to be a lamp unto the nations.


Oh, Frosty The Postman

19 December 2018

This dates back to the time when postal workers were killing their co-workers.

Oh, Frosty the Postman was a very unsocial guy.
He liked to dis the girls,
Cut off their curls,
And tear wings from off of a fly.

Oh, Frosty the Postman, he’d never get a date,
For he’d pass some gas,
Then Pick his ass.
That’s not the way to win a mate!

His rented room was filled with trash and porno mags and more,
Like dirty shirts and nasty shorts
And pecker tracks galore.

Oh, Frosty the Postman, he really hated life.
`Cause as a sexless jerk,
The redhead clerk
Would never be his wife.

Oh, Frosty the Postman, co-workers teased him bad
Spit on his lunch
Pissed in his punch
And this really made him mad

There must have been some magic in the old carbine he found,
Cause when he brought it into work
They began to run around.

Oh, Frosty the Postman was a very disgruntled soul.
The night shift gig
Finally blew his wig.
And really took a toll.

Oh, Frosty the Postman, it had been an awful day.
So he got the gun,
Then just for fun,
He blew them all away.

-Merlin-


A Christmas Letter

2 December 2018

Every x-mas season the world’s assholes send out newsy little letters about their families. These letters are filled with bombast and braggadocio designed to rub the recipients’ noses in the authors’ wonderful lives. If you know anyone who feels he or she is one up on you, you have gotten one too. Here is a letter I got in 1999. I thought I’d share it with you.

Happy Holidays, one and all:

Well it’s been another wonderful year at the Farquart house. So much has happened I scarcely know where to begin! How about January? That’s when Freddy was offered a job as CFO at that wonderful new startup, Penwiper.com. The day after New Years, he was approached by the VC underwriting Penwiper’s upcoming IPO. Freddy was first on the A-list of Penwiper’s search committee. Freddy had done such an outstanding job at his old company the president used to refer to him affectionately as “The Chef” because Freddy was so good at “cooking the books” (whatever that means, I’m so naive about all this business stuff).

The pay at Penwiper isn’t too good (only $1.5M/year to start) so the Chairman gave Freddy a $750k signing bonus, plus a contract where he vests immediately in a 8% share of the company and gets lots of options besides. Hoping for the pay-off later on, I believe we can get along on this for a while. (Freddy thinks the bonus might be enough to have Santa leave a mink coat for me under the tree, but we’ll see.)

As for me, my Lexus 400 Coupe acquired a funny little noise in the back somewhere. Freddy, bless his heart, didn’t want me to run the risk of having trouble on the way to Aspen (the kids are so looking forward to lessons from the nice European fellow) that he insisted I get a new Mercedes V-12 sedan. I can’t for the life of me remember the model number, but what’s in a name anyway? It’s just nice to have reliable transportation, let me tell you.

Oh, I almost forgot: The mayor gave me an award at the 4th of July hootinanny in Barfus Park. It seems all the work I did arranging for diaper cleaning service up at Sunny Acres Home for the Financially Disadvantaged made the local paper. When hizoner saw it, he called that afternoon. He’d already received several calls from the families of men who had lost control of their bowels at tax audit time, and who knew of my work – poor things, they even cried when they mentioned my name. I would have sent a copy of the article, but the photo of me wasn’t all the best; the Tiffany ring father gave me upon graduation from Bryn Mar was hidden behind that horrid little pink hat of Jackie’s that our little Jill insists on wearing to public occasions. (You remember; Freddy bought it for Jill on a whim from that dark-haired young fellow who looked so much like Richard Speck. The young man needed the money to buy an airplane.)

Speaking of our Jill, she received letters of acceptance to the pre-med programs at both Stanford and Harvard. Now we have to agonize over which one to accept. Freddie wants her to go out East as he wants to take motoring vacations through the fall colors each year when we drop her off at the dorm. I, however, opt for Stanford as it’s far closer to Aspen, where we can all vacation at Christmas time in the condo Penwiper is giving Freddy as a badly needed perk.

Only one dark blot: We have been having trouble with one of our neighbors. Earlier this year, just before Jill sent applications to a short list of med schools drawn up by our lawyer, she vivisected their wretched little dog. She wanted to have some first-hand knowledge of biology when she went before the application committees – how clever our little girl is – and the horrid neighbor called the police. I tried to explain to these small people just how important a medical education is to Jill, but they won’t listen to reason. As if to try making Jill fell bad about her quest for knowledge, they insisted on burying the remains of their little mutt in a tiny grave by their flower garden where it can be seen from Jill’s window – she gave all the icky stuff back to them without their even asking. I’m so proud!

Freddy wanted to sue them for “busting Jill’s karma” as he put it, but I am the voice of moderation so I vetoed the idea. Instead, Freddy pulled a few strings with another of the Premier Members with whom he golfs at the Skookumchuck Country Club, and got that loutish man fired from his job. I saw a “for sale” sign in their front yard yesterday so this problem should be going away soon. Maybe the new neighbors will do away with the little grave.

I should also mention that little Freddy (he’s is not so little these days), who has been on the accelerated program at Caltech, got his PhD in Astrophysics in June. As you probably remember, little Freddy had such a hard time deciding which way to go. First, Lou Gerstner, that nice fellow from IBM, wanted little Freddy to come to work for him after getting his doctorate at Princeton on a merit scholarship, but little Freddy wanted to give something to the world and just loved all that astronomy stuff. Finally, little Freddy persuaded his friend Lou that his talents can best serve mankind in the hard sciences. Lou was so impressed by little Freddy’s selflessness that he agreed to have IBM endow a chair in little Freddy’s name at a university of his choice. Little Freddy is now doing some post-doctoral research at a place called Sierra Tololo down in South America. He e-mailed us last week telling of this cute little local he met. She comes from a nouveau riche family from someplace in Columbia – a city named Cali, I think – and I understand her family is in international shipping.

Well, I have to get going. The man from the car dealer just called. The little red car I ordered for Freddy (I put it on my Platinum American Express card) has just arrived. I can’t remember the name but it’s Italian and begins with “F”. I hope Freddy likes it; he’s so hard to buy gifts for, you know.

I hope your New Year will be as wonderful as ours. Love and kisses,

Fanny