Monday, December 23, 2013


Winter in central Texas.  It’ll put a hoot in your boot.  Excited by the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar,  maybe I’ll buy a bolo tie.

Even though we are now officially divorced, I bought Terri a Taser for Christmas so she can fend off the fendables.  It will also put a nice crisp carmelized top on crème brule.

Chester and I do a pretty good loop in the morning.  Altogether , since we moved, we’ve walked about 500 miles.  We see deer, dogs,  joggers,  bikers, a lady on a Segway, cars, trucks, cats, squirrels, chickens, horses large and small.  And sometimes vultures.  Only two moving snakes.  And a few flat ones.

When the weather people go full hype in front of a polar cold front graphic, we can usually expect a few days of chill.  Snow fell maybe twice or three times over the past 8 years.  This is proof that my anti-snow ray works.  I am writing this part on Black Saturday and it's 61 degrees with overcast skies at 4:20PM.

I should mention the marvel that came with the house: a state-of-the-art septic system.  First of all, they placed it very close to the front door – I have no idea why.  It has 6 protruding manholes with handles on top (now covered with really big really Hollywood fake rocks).  There are four chambers and three sprayers.   Everything flushed or drained goes into chamber one, where the solids are treated somehow.  Then the broken-up material flows into chamber two where hungry crap-pihyranna bacteria pretend to be pac man.  Then chamber three where something else happens.  Then chamber four where air is pumped night and day and chlorine is added.  After that, when it gets dark, the sprayers come on at three places in the lawn and spray the treated remains on deer legs and whatever else is around.  You can tell it works by seeing the circles of oddly colored grass.  The grass lives in a near-death state.

I had a 20 x 25 foot deck put onto the back of the house.  Now when anyone says ‘I ain’t playing with a full deck,’ I can deny it.  I AM playing with a full deck, and I have the receipt to prove it.

Happy to report I have 100 consecutive wins against Chester at scrabble, though we do seem to be missing a bunch of tiles.
I saw Chester poop a word.  Mystery solved!

Time to catch you up on the kids and the rest of the extended family:  Sarah is a flight attendant on a small regional airline which apparently doesn't know where all the little bottles are really going.  She got into a little trouble by pulling a rubber snake out of a life vest.  She didn't think anyone watched the safety demonstration anyway.  Probably Snakes on A Plane hysteria.  She says you wouldn't believe what people leave behind, from food (which she says is sometimes really good!) to jewelry to intimate things.  (Which she says are sometimes really good!)  The pilot's union has had no comment on the lavatory episode.  I guess the airline either doesn't know or care about what the employees do: water balloons in the overhead racks; oxygen masks smeared with pepper, that kind of thing.

Uncle Earl was shopping for a special Christmas Card for Nora, because that's about all she was getting.  Well, he’s got to read ‘em all - you know Earl, Mister Inquisitive.  So he's got a soda in one hand and in the other he's reading card after card.  There sure are a lot of them!  Well, finally he hits on a laugh-out-loud funny one, and that causes him to nose spray Dr. Pepper all over the rack of cards.  In the excitement of laughing, spraying, snorting and all, he ran out of breath and collapsed, so they called the paramedics.  You know they wouldn't let him out of the store until he paid for all those cards?  So he got the ambulance ride to the ER and when he told his story there was quite a lot of laughter and they discharged him.  $800 for the Ambulance ride, though, thank you very much.  This infuriated Earl what with his hair trigger temper and all.  Earl mouthed off.  Then he shoved a cop.  Then the cop arrested Earl.  Then they put him into the squad car.  On the way to the lockup, there was a big accident right THERE and they had to help.  Well, before they get out of the car Earl is doing some powerful whining about taking a whiz, so they unlock one cuff link and let him go behind a big fat pine, which, as it turned out, hid from immediate view a pretty fast running deep creek.  When the cop remembered to look behind the tree, Earl was already long gone downstream at a pretty good clip.  Then his dangling handcuff caught on an underwater branch and Earl couldn’t get it off due to the water pressure and he drowned.

Elvis is our town mascot.  He’s an American bald eagle. And he’s tame in that he can be loose in the park and no problem, he’ll come back on command.  At Rodeos and Football games he’ll fly around the stadiums and like that – very patriotic.  He’s been taught to pull an American flag.  Elvis’s technical “owner” is Kevin Trousdale.  He’ll do baseball games and golf tournaments.  No tennis, though as Elvis tends to go after the balls.  Catches them too.  Well, Kevin was actually charging civic boosters per appearance and with the economy and all, Kevin started taking some less than grand choices, one of which was the opening of Fabric Town in the Fashion Mall.  Turns out one of the many patterned fabrics on display freaked the bird out, so he leaps into the air and tears around the room. Talons extended, eventually ripping a snuggiebear right out of a kid’s hands, then he flies into the mall corridor, which has a pretty high ceiling and skylights.  Ol Elvis, he went full speed into the skylight.  Bonked big.  Spun to the floor.  Mallgoers screamed.  Somebody pulled the fire alarm.   But after all, there are a lot of feathers for cushion, so Elvis was just dazed and likely confused by the indoor gig with the make-you-insane fabric.  You know how malls will do themes in their corridor?  Farm week.  Shoe days.  Whatever.  Well as Elvis came to, it was a big Thanksgiving display.  Elvis picked his spinning head off the floor and somehow thought something sexual about one of the turkeys on display… and went for it.

Now we had Elvis and a Turkey – might have been a Tom – going at it with flying feathers, with hissing and squawking from hell and here comes the fire department.  Now Norbert Hill, one of the volunteer firemen, is also a farmer.  He sees what the commotion is all about and he grabs a CO2 fire extinguisher and extinguishes Elvis’s ardor and Tom Turkey’s mania.  We all know from Mister Wizard that CO2 is carbon dioxide.  Norbert really blasted the birds, and birds do breathe in short rapid breaths, and the CO2 basically took out Elvis back into passout land.  A woman, seeing this all, and Elvis down for the second time, tries to give Elvis some kind of mouth-to-beak resuscitation – you had to see that!  Well, Elvis wakes up and almost takes the woman’s tongue off.  Got some of it.  Lotsa blood.  To make a longer story shorter, Elvis is OK, the woman talks funny, Tom died and was later eaten.

Marcy and Vito went out west by car.  They said there’s like a couple hundred miles of nothing on Highway 10, and you are so bored, it’s just scrub and the scene doesn’t change.  All of a sudden Vito lets out a whoop and grabs an exit to see the Reptile and Viper Zoo.  It’s full of big snakes and little ones too; lizards, you name it.  The scarier the better, because, it turns out that the owner of Sammy’s Snake, Reptile and Viper Zoo also owns another building you have to pass to get back onto the expressway: Sammy’s Shoot A Viper.  And what it is is he sells admission and ammo.  The guns are rigged to miss, the background is camo, the snakes are hard to see, and apparently some of them are actually rubber.

I call them HiJinx but the police call them felonies.  Jake, that knucklehead, pulled another of his brain-dead scams.  Pretending to be caught in an escalator at the mall, he actually became stuck somehow... with his mullet-hair in the moving handrail.  Well, it made all the local TV.  The scalp really bleeds like a special effect!  He needed a haircut anyway.  He looked like as escapee from the 80s!  The news is making Jake out to be a saint when he just screwed up scamming the place.

Aunt Mary was arrested.  You remember she had these warehouses she inherited when Bud died?  Well, she had turned them into a grow operation.  A pot grow.  They apparently caught her early on as her electric bill soared what with the stadium lighting they were using.  Actual stadium lighting they found at some old broken stadium; cleaned ‘em up with new bulbs and it was “Don't look if you don't want to be blinded!”  bright.

Now for some mush:  Merry Christmas.  May all your dreams come true.  Except the ones where you are naked at the front of the classroom, or on stage, or are being chased, or falling, or fired, or on the air with no music and you thrash around under the covers like a landed fish and shred the sheets with your overdue-to-be-cut toenails.

And, reminded as I am about the baby Jesus born under disco lighting and maybe a couple rooftop flasher racks from police cars as seen in the display across the street, let me wish you happiness for the birth of new opportunity on a horizon of possibility aka 2014.


Christmas 2013

And thank you all for the many birthday wishes I received today!