Archive for the 'gonzo' Category



I’ve Insulted Georgie W!

Pippi:

I done figgered it out!

Tell you what I say: So-called President George W. Bush is the precise reason why America’s Founding Fathers provided We The People with the Articles of Impeachment. For goodnesses sake — use them!

Give him & Dick Cheney both the fair trial which is their Constitutional due.

Subpeona Colin Powell. He’ll tell the truth. Under the power of a Congressional subpoena General Powell will be duty-bound to. Much like he felt bound to lie treacherously, at the Commander in Sleaze’s behest, to the peaceful inhabitants of Earth.

People Magazine will rate it in the top 5 most memorable events in television history.

Billions will watch the world over. Most important: Earth’s peaceful inhabitants will feel proud to watch America take responsibility for the cruel acts of our leaders.

There’ll be music in the cafes at night and wild dance bashes in the street. Peace will get the chance. America will have president Nancy.

It’ll be our first genuine victory since Georgie W. declared war on terror.

Georgie W. will lift off on Marine One from the white house lawn. The red presidential carpet is rolled & whisked off — never to be sullied by Georgie W’s crooked footsteps again.

Impeachment.

Eviction.

Humankind breathes a sigh of cosmic relief.

Yeah! All this — So easy a crackhead could do it!

Alas it’s in the hands of congressional Democrats. We best redouble efforts to force our representatives to act on behalf of the voters to whom they’re beholden. History will frown gravely on inaction. Impeachment is a life or death matter. Bush/Cheney are deeply & rightly suspected of High & murderous Crimes. They must be tried.

Meanwhile back at the White House…

Hmm. Isn’t that where the President lives? Yeah. But W. Bush is not a duly elected president.

“Well,” Pippi wondered in her blog some while back, “Should we call him the Resident?”

But Pippi is hardcore and Resident doesn’t verbally gouge that rude smirk right off his face. So she went with squatter. To which I objected on grounds of my belief in the essential goodness of squatters. I occasionally take up temporary residence in a building to which I’ve no claim. A place where, according to police, it was not my prerogative to sleep.

It was wrong, I commented, to lump the largely innocent squatter culture inadvertently in league with the murderous ilk of Bush/Cheney’s.

Pippi agreed. But how to formally address our nation’s unelected leader until he gets his ass kicked deservedly to the Pennsylvania Avenue curb?

Hmm. Bush deals crack cocaine. Shacks up at some digs which ain’t his. What does that make him?

The Crack Kingpin in Residence?

I was stumped as an under-ripe plumb. I promised Pippi I would take enough drugs — soon — to think up a moniker befitting that dumb hoser.

Historians may hope one day to learn whether Americans of conscience resisted the cruelty unloosed on an already weary Earth by Bush/Cheney. They’ll want to know what people thought about a president who assumed power granted by a Supreme Court facilitated internal coup. On the heels of an election he incontestably stole.

Every nefarious move the thieves made was captured on film. Minutest nuances were detailed & analyzed & glossed deceptively over. With assurances that a victory declared by the candidate who clearly scored fewer votes than his opponent would make Thomas Jefferson beam with pride to be American.

When I gamble money on a racehorse I must remember to learn — or pretend at least — to enjoy it when I lose.

Perhaps I should study the strategy Bush’s team used to propel their narrow loss into a two-term Oval Office stint.

With greatest ease for those who wish to not just enjoy but profit unnaturally from the spoils of their own defeat.

Yeah. Well I don’t care how splendidly defeat has treated him. Bush lost. And in the interest of historical accuracy — as requested by my old friend Pippi — I propose a title to befit the current White House occupant.

Nice & simple. Just the truth. One morsel for future historians who will want to know how smart people like my blog readers & I describe George W. Bush. I’m tempted to call him a dumb honkey slut & leave it at that. But whether he stole the election or won it fair & square W Bush would still be a dumb honkey slut in my book.

The point is he did not win. And what do we call people who do not win? We use one word. Which niftily encapsulates what George W. Bush is — a character description of sorts — in the eyes of a decisive majority of Americans.

Loser.

George W. Bush is a Loser.

Ooh! Better yet:

the Two Time Loser!

Yeah — and you know the rules Loser.

3 strikes & you are Out.

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Chronic Unemployment: the Case For.

I did the weirdest darned thing tonight. I worked.

It happens. Not often. But very occasionally my friends who own the Weathervane Music Hall pay me $25 to wash glasses when the bar closes after an exceptionally busy night.

‘Seeing ya’ll cold lazily cocktail-drink kick it while I do your work fills my heart with joy.” I told them. “This makes me happy!”

Weathervane bartenders hate to wash glasses after a busy night. But I was pleased as punch to. Did it cheerfully!

And did one smash of a job I might add: evidenced by the most recent comment — left by the boss lady herself — on my mySpace page.

I’m really not so spectacular a dishwasher. But she was desperate for one. And really I wasn’t so giddy about it. But I am desperate for money.

Speaking relatively, then — it was way frikkin awesome!!

In a small town like this finding work is purely an inside job. No one hires some jerk of the street to schlep for nickles & scuffle for a dime. Jobs here are got by personal invitation – either from the boss or a worker who is your friend.

I am eager to work. I do have a few stipulations. It must be freelance. It must. It is in my blood to freelance for money. Beyond that I’m flexible. I’ll do about anything. As long as it is not permanent I am not picky.

And I am as local as they come around here. People like me. I know employees. A few bosses even. My grueling need for cash is no secret. But work is never – ever – offered to me.

Maybe you think I could find work if I really wanted it. Let me tell you a story. Once I walked into a restaurant where several friends worked. I asked who was washing the dishes that night. No one! So I grabbed an apron & put the swab to the suds & got my scrub on. No one asked me to. I just did. Because no one would hire me to work. So I jumped in and hired my damn self.

And the restaurant people went along with it! I was hired.

Only they didn’t want to pay me. They wanted me to wash dishes from 11PM to 4AM every Friday & Saturday. But not for money. So I worked an entire weekend for free.

“Well,” I thought to myself. “Of course they don’t want to pay – I’m Mike E!!”

I’m pretty sure people think there is something wrong with me.

There is. I am an incest survivor. You may not know why that matters. Can you take me at my word? Life for incest survivors is not easy. People kill themselves over this shit. All the time; for a reason.

Post Traumatic Stress. Happens to every rape victim. Especially the children. And suicide – like chronic homelessness – is one bell-clear symptom of a big old honker Post Traumatic Stress Injury.

I feel like I have no place in the human community. Do I? Shit I can’t tend to my own human needs.

Not here in Brattleboro. I’ve lived here 20 years. Yet I cannot earn the money I need to feed & shelter myself.

There is no place for me in my own damn community.

On the bright side:

It’s kind of like blind folk whose other senses sharpen to compensate for their lack of vision. Smoldering abject poverty has worked a wonder job on my imagination. I’ve become a fantastically wishful thinker. With unshakable faith in the potency of make believe.

These are the disco-bomb best things about being Mike E.

Plus on balance my adult life spent mostly jobless & homeless has provided me more energy for art. Just a little more than I would’ve had with some dumb job for the last 15 years.

I am in the terminal grip of a stress tizzy. It is very difficult to write under such stress. I can write better. I will. I want to. But this is not about how well I write. My blog is a tool I use to improve myself in my time of great peril & adversity.

If I didn’t write I’d want to die. When I write I want to live. Write to survive. Live or die.

They say every story has conflict. That’s mine.

Over time a job you hate fills the soul with pools of stagnant misery. Perhaps the soul knows it needs art to survive. But the job rewards with money. Covers what one basically needs to be human. Suppose I had these things.

Would I write anyway?

Sure. I’d write. For hope. Because I like how the keyboard makes my fingers move. Write to make words go. Love to make words go!

I say a lot of nonsensicle scribbles. No. I mean really. Like one I wrote way back at the beginning of my blog. It goes

Go GO! Go Mike E go go Go!!

Gonna get $200

e.z.

When I pass Go!

I call that a linguistic Digger. You wipe out sometimes when you write to make words go & go faster still. Hell I say a lot of stupid shit.

I’m a daredevil. What the hell?

My oracle is the reward to risk ratio. Think on this: Every year thousands of Americans die in their sleep. That’s right. Rest up! For what? You’ll never know. You died in your sleep & missed it.

No reward. Bad risk.

So what about that job? No thanks! People drown every day in those pools of stagnant long-term employment misery.

If I had a job I could still make words go. Yeah. But I want to take those words out for, like joy rides.

All the way out to the edge. To where you know it’s gonna get stranger. Where you can only go when words are your sole hope.

When you’re so poor that you haul out & steal yourself a rollercoaster. Because you can’t afford a car & sweet SHAZAM! You must have a fast way to blow town.

For fun mostly; that’s what happens when rollercoasters get left just kind of laying around.

Another Free Jar From Dr. Tweeks!

I had a dream this afternoon about my buddy MG TANK.

tankcrop.jpg

He was dead from unexplained causes.

I wasn’t too sad though.

Things live. Things die. Welcome to planet Earth, dig?

It’s a topsy turvey world.

Nothing personal. I like the kid hugely. But…well you know how it is.Truth told: The whole thing worked out real sweet for me.

And TANK was too dead to know the difference.

Yo TANK! If you’re out there reading my blog from beyond the mysterious beyond — you should know:

Dude.

Your funeral total-way ruled!!

It was an open casket affair. MG TANK’S psychiatrist came. She’s a real nice lady. We call her Dr. Tweeks.

I stood in line behind Dr. Tweeks when we all filed past to view TANK’s body. Boy was that a stroke of fine luck & good timing! See, Dr. Tweeks paid last respects to her dearly departed patient by slipping a month’s supply of mixed-salt amphetamines into the breast pocket of TANK’s fancy funeral tuxedo.

MG TANK had a bumper sticker on his refrigerator. Yeah. Know what it says?

Yo TANK — I bet smartly you know which one I mean.

It’d be kind of like when I say, at times like these, “Hot damn it rocks to be Mike E!!!”

But in two or less words.

Tell you what dude: On account of having killed you in my blog post for a free jar of postmortem speed…I make you a deal. Tell me in the comment box which sticker I mean and I’ll give you a free pill the next time I see you.

Guess it wrong & I will off you again.

Righto then. Back to the daydream…

Tell you this: Just because that jar of speed was free sure don’t mean it came Easy.

Just as I moved to slip his funeral gift from Dr. Tweeks into my own sadly empty upper pocket MG TANK woke in a wild jolt from my daydream. Darkly disturbed at the molestation of his bon voyage stash & rudely determined to not have it be.

His fingers curled around my wrist in an icily genuine death-grip. His other hand stretched toward my neck.

“Off my cloud you dumb honky slut!!” TANK shrieked. I crammed my shirt-sleeve into his mouth to muffle his plea. It was no good at all for the whole funeral to know I’d got my hands on TANK’s last prescription. Too many fellow speed-freaks in the crowd. They’d demand to have it for their own.

And when I inadvertently neglected to cough it up the ensuing riot would pose a threat to public safety.

“Yo man!” I whispered frantically. “Don’t Fuck Around — if shit flies off someone might call the police!!”

“Cops??” TANK moaned wearily. “But..that’d be so bogus!!”

My friend wanted to roll over in his grave. But obviously couldn’t since he didn’t have one yet…*

TANK above all did not want Johnny Law to roll out & bust up his one & only funeral. He loosened his grip. Shot me a look that promised to haunt me & then spoke his last words on Earth:

See You On The Dark Side Of The Hobart Transport Portal!

“Word ’em up.” I said. Flipped the pill jar into my pocket. “Bring the Whateverz dude!!”

I strolled away giddily; like the gambler who just cheated & won. Or a little kid on Halloween who just scored the Trick or Treat candy stash from the limp grip of a neighbor –who’d been mauled moments before by a snarling & possibly rabid Mack truck.

Yeah — like thanks for the candy kiddo. Thanks for the candy!

Or maybe like me saying So Long & Thanks:

thanks-for-the-add.jpg

Last Dude in the Tub Wins.

But now, looking at the big red notebook I carried all through that scene, I see more or less what happened. The book itself is somewhat mangled and bent; some of the pages are torn, others are shriveled and stained by what appears to be whiskey, but taken as a whole, with sporadic memory flashes, the notes seem to tell the story.
–Scanlan’s Monthly, June 1970

Hunter S. Thompson was too far gone to write. Up for days — a week maybe.

Not coming down off drugs precisely. Coming down can be a bitter & ugly thing. Still there is hope; when the drugs wear off there is hope. If there are more drugs to take that is.

Preferably a wide, tolerance-bashing variety.

Scanlan’s magazine rented a Manhattan hotel room for their writer to finish his ‘work’ in. The writer soaked sweatily in luke-warm bathwater. Periodically a hired Dwark would pop by from the magazine, eager for Copy. Which Hunter could not produce. His trouble: not that he was coming down from drugs. This thing was different. More heavy.

The drugs didn’t work anymore.

By now taking more drugs was like pumping quarters into a laundromat dryer to make a milk-drenched bowl of Fruit Loops less soggy.

Futile. And a bit nonsensically confusing.

He’d been up for too long. His only hope was 60 to 70 continuous hours of sleep. But fate afforded him no such luxury.

The expense money was long spent. His illustrator had fled home to England. The horse he’d bet on faltered in the last quarter mile after leading most of the race. The good Doctor could not remember who won. Or why – for that matter if — it mattered.

Hunter S. Thompson knew only that had some explaining to do regarding the Kentucky Derby.

Periodically some dwark would visit him in the bath to insist on copy.

But his brain was sharp as a soggy Fruit Loop. He could write nothing.

So when the dwarks came he ripped fresh pages from the book of notes he’d compiled over the deleterious weekend. These raw notebook pages were whisked away. Edited for legibility. Then hustled off to the printer – to be published ver batim in the forthcoming, premier issue of Scanlan’s.

Total chaos, no way to see the race, not even the track…nobody cares. Big lines at the outdoor betting windows, then stand back to watch winning numbers flash on the big board, like a giant bingo game.Five million dollars will be bet today. Many winners, more losers. What the hell.

The press gate was jammed up with people trying to get in, shouting at the guards, waving strange press badges: Chicago Sporting Times, Pittsburgh Police Athletic League…they were all turned away. “Move on, fella, make way for the working press.” We shoved through the crowd and into the elevator, then quickly up to the free bar. Why not? Get it on.

The Grim Reaper comes early in this league…
Scanlan’s Monthly, June 1970

Hunter emerged from his bath. Retreated to his fortified Woody Creek, Colorado compound. Hunkered nervously. Waited for bad news; the promising young scribe reasonably expected he would never be paid to write a word again.

The resultant article — The Kentucky Derby is Decadent & Depraved was more potent than a bathtub gin martini. It reads like a literary prize fight: with total Subjectivity pitted against the bogus demands of Objectivity.

And Subjectivity wins big.

The word Gonzo was reputedly used by Irish Americans to describe the last man standing after an all night bout of booze drinking. That’s the meaning longtime Thompson friend Bill Cardoso — then editor of the Boston Globe Sunday Magazine — intended, when he used the word to praise the Derby piece.

“This is it,” Cardoso said, “This is pure Gonzo.”

“OK. That’s what I do.” Thompson agreed. “Gonzo.”

With that all he needed was a trunk-load of drugs & a stolen Cadillac convertible & a pocket full of bogus credentials — to properly cover the story.

But what was the story? Nobody had bothered to say. So we would have to drum it up on our own. Free Enterprise. The American Dream. Horatio Alger gone mad on drugs in Las Vegas. Do it now: pure Gonzo journalism.

A perfect gig for the dude who — while not standing exactly — was the last one still wild-eyed in the tub after a week up on drugs, booze & deeply subjective weirdness at the Kentucky Derby.

the Million Dollar Race

My very first post on open container speedWay – the Get Rich Quick Trick of the Week – was a bit of a failure.

No one got rich quick on my advice that week.

I wrote it the morning of last year’s Preakness Stakes. The Preakness is the so-called “2nd Jewel” of the Triple Crown; the fabled & elusive grand prize of American thoroughbred horseracing.

The Triple Crown is a 3-race sequence that begins on the first Saturday every May with the Kentucky Derby. It’s followed in two weeks by the Preakness. The third and final jewel, run 3 weeks after the Preakness, is the grueling mile & one-half Belmont Stakes; a veritable equine marathon.

These races are restricted to 3-year-old horses. For a variety of reasons – the distance of each race; the length of time between races; that they’re run by a particular crop of horses just once – it is a supreme achievement to win all three. A supreme achievement, and rare. Accomplishable only by the rarest of Champions.

The Triple Crown was won three times – by Secretariat, Seattle Slew & Affirmed – during the 1970’s. None have won all three races since.

With few exceptions, none of my readers are racehorse enthusiasts. Still I feel certain that each of you will feel touched, in a strange way – touched by joy – when finally the Crown gets claimed by a rarest of equine champions.

It’ll give cause to celebrate.

In each of the past three years an exceptional racehorse has very nearly won. Came so close that their losses, viewed in combination, can only be described as an extreme fluke.

In 2004 Smarty Jones nailed the Derby & Preakness in impressive fashion – only to lose the Belmont by a mere length before a stunned & saddened crowd of 130,000.

In 2005 Afleet Alex treated fans of the game to emotionally stirring Preakness & Belmont Stakes wins – after he was eliminated, from Triple Crown contention, when he finished the Kentucky Derby one seemingly inexplicable length behind 50-to-1 longshot winner Giacomo.

Last year, of course, it was Barbaro.

Barbaro buried fellow Kentucky Derby contenders so profoundly that his ultimate sweep of the Triple Crown was considered an all but unstoppable certainty.

“Barring some unforeseen tragedy,” Washington Post racehorse columnist Andy Beyer – a deservedly well-regarded purveyor of such opinions – swore, “Barbaro will win the Triple Crown.”

I disagreed. So I wrote a blog-post, the morning of last year’s Preakness Stakes, which urged readers to bet against Barbaro. That was my Get Rich Quick Trick of the Week.

“Barbaro will lose today,” I assured, it turned out, too correctly.

So in a sense the post did succeed. I was right. But I came up short in two crucial ways: 1. I did not explain why my certainty that Barbaro would lose. 2. I did not provide my readers – or myself for that matter – with a viable alternative wager.

The fact that Barbaro ultimately lost his life, to a gruesome leg injury sustained at the race’s onset, still makes me feel a little…weirded out. By the irony. But grateful, ultimately, for my failure to predict the winner.

Barbaro’s loss was a genuine tragedy. Not just for the horse, his connections, and fans of the race game; Barbaro’s loss is indicative of a greater calamity.

Humankind’s.

And I want no profit from humankind’s calamity.

The equine as a species has been profoundly good & helpful to humans. But humans by & large have treated the equine cruelly — racehorses in particular.

One example: In his final race before the 2005 Kentucky Derby, Afleet Alex, despite his already insurmountable lead, was whipped mercilessly by jockey Jeremy Rose. Though it was a profoundly careless decision, one can’t blame Rose entirely. He was over-excited. His mount’s owners were considering replacing him with a more experienced jockey for the Kentucky Derby. So Rose wanted to prove he could pilot Afleet Alex to an impressive win.

“It was a Million Dollar Race,” Rose explained, when asked by reporters to justify his plainly needless whip action.

It was a Million Dollar Race.

One Afleet Alex indeed did win impressively; but the cost of that performance was dear.

Fast forward three weeks: Afleet Alex, with a quarter-mile to go, is in a perfect stalking position to surge forward & overtake the Big Race’s tiring leaders; superbly poised to win the Kentucky Derby. Yet he ‘failed to fire,’ as they say in racetrack parlance. His one-length loss, I’ve mentioned, is considered inexplicable by fans of the game.

But I can explain it easy.

Perhaps his blowout win 3 weeks earlier caused Afleet Alex to inadvertently expend the ATP he needed to triumph in the Kentucky Derby. Though I believe the loss was more conscious, than biochemical, in nature.

I propose it was deliberate.

When asked by his jockey to hit the gas, as it were, and make a winning move in the Churchill Downs’ homestretch…Afleet Alex simply said, “Whatever dude.”

Remember: Afleet Alex went on to score huge wins in the Preakness & Belmont. Thus, had he won the Derby, Afleet Alex would’ve swept the Triple Crown – a priceless prize that would give humans joy – and he plumb did not want to.

Not after he got his ass whipped for money.

And that, albeit belatedly, explains why I knew Barbaro would lose last year’s Preakness Stakes. Overwhelming likelihood is, had he won the Preakness, Barbaro would’ve gone on the claim the Crown. But he, like Afleet Alex, did not want to. Or perhaps he wanted to but regrettably could not; because people are cruel to racehorses. And cruelty inevitably begets disappointment.

Heads Up to the human community: the racehorses are trying to tell us something!

Smart bet is to listen.

Biochemistry of a Make-Believe TNT Fiend

Want PBR.

Got ATP.

Good 2 GO!!

When I want beer and my hand successfully grasps the Pabst Blue Ribbon can from the bar in front of me, the accomplishment is propelled by chemical energy stored in a molecule of adenosine triphosphate (ATP).

atp.GIFPut more precisely: The “PBR accomplishment” is propelled by the release of chemical energy when a phosphate bond (one of the 2 red lines between the 3 P’s in the above diagram) is strategically cleaved from ATP.

The result: Free Energy, available to do work. Or, that’s what they say in the textbooks. It may be more accurate to describe such Free Energy as available to do anything.

Want. Pill.

POP

Another magnificent ATP-propelled accomplishment!!

ATP similarly propels every energy-requiring act by any organism on Earth – be they whale, plankton, salmon or human; from giraffes to the leaf on a tree. Albeit at some expense; an ATP minus one phosphate (adenosine diphosphate or ADP) is like a cooler filled with beer on a hot day – but no ice.

Must..be...remedied!!

When a salmon swims the act is fueled by chemical energy stored in an ATP molecule. ATP makes it so salmons get to swim upstream & have babies. So they need to eat stuff on the way. To make more ATP. To swim up more streams & propagate their species.

But sometimes salmons get caught in a net & grilled on hibachis. The salmon had other plans. But it is dinner now. Flush with energy it no longer requires, on account of being dead.

ATP waiting to happen.

And what will the human do with his freshly-synthesized Free Energy available to do anything?

People use their ATP to run around like chickens with their heads chopped off mostly.

So they can buy more salmon. To get more ATP. So they can crawl imbecilic across the carpet & pick gruelingly for those fabled crumbs of leftover crack cocaine.

So goes the mass of humanity.

Other creatures keep a better handle their ATP habit. Like vultures; supremely patient hunters, who pick nutrient-rich flesh from the bones of the inadvertently deceased. Whitewinged vampire bats drink blood from the toes of sleeping birds. The birds not only survive the predation — they don’t feel a thing.

The described creatures — salmon, vulture, human — are known as chemotrophs (chemo = of or pertaining to chemicals + trophe = nutrition). Chemotrophs extract their energy from biochemicals (bio = Life); from the carbohydrate, protein & fat molecules in food.

In other words: chemotrophs eat for their ATP.

But there are other ways.

Like so:

Ever wonder: Since the Road Runner always somehow evades him — what does Wile E Coyote eat?

TNT.

wile-e.jpg

Actually he doesn’t eat TNT. But when it explodes inadvertantly in his face, squirts brain from his ears and blasts the top half of his skull through a hole in the sky – that TNT nourishes him. Sure as the rest of us are nourished by a bowl of home-made chicken soup.

TNT, coincidentally, is chemical energy.

Which means Wile E Coyote is a chemotroph. Just like me & you. Except, instead of eating salmon, the coyote synthesizes his ATP with energy derived from ACME brand TNT.

Never underestimate coyotes. Delighted, remarkably adaptable — the daredevil species.

His nemesis, the Road Runner, is just some dumb cartoon bird Wile E Coyote chases for giggles & cash. The chase is perpetually doomed. But what the hell? Doom is Money – at least in the Freelance Daredevil business. And a gig is a gig. Trick to it is get a wild kick out of doom.

Like a gambler who knows how to make a fast buck when he loses.

Eat the Road Runner? But…then there would be no Road Runner cartoon. And with no cartoon that coyote is just another doomed jerk on the street.

So he pulls out all the stops to let the road runner get away.

Play to lose. And when you mistakenly win keep a good excuse handy. Plus a dozen-odd hits of strong acid in case you need to hallucinate hugely:

I know what you’re thinking: But Mike E – does Wile E Coyote really synthesize his own ATP?

Great question!

I don’t know. But I can tell you that the TNT-fed cartoon coyote uses ATP to chase the Road Runner sure as a salmon uses ATP to swim upstream.

When something moves on Planet Earth it does so aided by the energy released when a phosphate bond is cleaved strategically from a molecule of ATP. Movement – deliberate movement by a living thing – requires ATP. Just does. Always.

I ask: can Wile E Coyote move across your TV screen without ATP?

Here is an unassailable illustration of the rhetorical nature of my question:

Can I borrow a few thousand bucks? I’ll pay you back when I get a job…

Preposterous!

Dig?

Nothing moves without ATP.

Not even the trickster.

Wile E Coyote is ATP-dependent. Suppose he lacks the cellular mechanism to produce his own. How will he move?

So easy a crackhead could do it.

to be continued…

My First Trip To Brattleboro

Brattleboro is a little town by regional standards. We’re 200 miles north from New York City. 100 miles northwest of Boston. Between these two major cities there are many big suburbs, some smaller cities, their smaller suburbs, and a smattering of even smaller semi-rural townships. Most, perhaps nearly all, are bigger than Brattleboro.

But by Vermont standards Brattleboro is somewhat of a monolith; third largest town in the state, behind Burlington & Rutland. The state’s capitol, Montpelier, is I believe the 4th largest town in Vermont. Brattleboro is the only town in the state, besides Burlington, to have three exits off the Interstate highway. Burlington has 4 or 5 exits off the Interstate.

The Interstate highway doesn’t run through the state’s 2nd largest city, Rutland.

Brattleboro is an odd town by any standard.

One odd thing about Brattleboro is the Brattleboro Retreat. The Brattleboro Retreat is located just past the end of Main Street.

The size of a small college campus, the Retreat is one of Brattleboro’s defining landmarks; a thread through the local fabric; a swig of Kool Aid from the punch-bowl of town lore.

It’s been here since 1834. Back then it went by a different name: the Vermont Asylum for the Insane.

I spent my first year of high school two hours north of Brattleboro at a school called St. Johnsbury Academy. I had a teacher there at the Academy named Mr. Thurston. Mr. Thurston taught freshman algebra. Or, more precisely, he was paid to. I for one learned no arithmetic skills from him.

He was about 6 feet tall. Middle aged. Sported a cop-wannabe crew cut. Real dumb looking jerk. Taught girl’s basketball. Screamed louder than a constipated hyena.

“TOBIN!!” He would bellow at the beginning of class each day. “Did you do your homework last night??”

Now there’s a dumb question! Did I ever do homework? No.

Why?

I am an exceptional student. I learn eagerly. Plus I think the mathematical language is a groovy way to meet aliens.

But I never did a single homework assignment in Mr. Thurston’s algebra class.

Why? Because he was a gigantically lousy educator.

Dude couldn’t teach an ape to fart smelly.

When I told him I didn’t have my homework Mr. Thurston got ugly. Uglier than vomit – bulimic cannibal vomit. That’s how I felt when he screamed at me. A thousand watts of shame.

Why did he scream at me every day? Not to goad me into doing homework. Contrary: his purpose was best served when I didn’t.

His purpose?

Just to be an asshole. To make life perceptibly more miserable for his fellow human.

Because it made him feel off-rocked jolly.

“What I need,” I thought to myself, one morning soon after I’d turned 15, when I profoundly needed to not be screamed at, “Is a good Excuse to miss algebra class today.”

Yeah. I thought of a wicked killer one too.

“I tried to hang myself last night.” I lied to the school nurse. “I need emergency therapy!”

2 easy.

I was whisked without delay to the psychiatric ward for adolescents at the Brattleboro Retreat. The doors locked behind me. Splendid! I need tight security. Or else Mr. Thurston screams cruelly & hurts me poor brainz – especially in the mornings.

But not when he gets locked out of the cookie jar by nice people on my first trip to Brattleboro!

Crazy. Yet effective; I was released in early summer from the mental institution formerly known as Vermont’s Asylum for the Insane. Never went back to St. Johnsbury Academy. And never saw Mr. Thurston – that nut-less slug humper – again.