Thursday, February 28, 2013

No, that's not all

I was all set to run the table on this blog challenge days ago when real life came crashing in.  I found out my brother was suddenly feeling very strange and described stoke-like symptoms; dizziness, loss of equilibrium, weakness on one side etc.  He's only 33, but his father had had a stroke so there's a history there.  I dropped everything, picked him up at his job and took him to the nearest ER.  Seven hours and many tests -including a CAT scan- later he still had no answer.  So he signed himself out and I drove him home in his car.  Thankfully his symptoms are fading by the day.  I did stay overnight at his house and not get home until it was just about time to get my daughter from daycare.  So, no submissions for 2 days. (It's a better story than 'the dog ate my blog')

ANYway, I missed two days of this thing and wasn't even able to post the piece I had all ready to go.  So here it is, only two days late and in just before this thing is over.  Don't mind the teeth marks.


Challenging yourself is good, until you realize you've bitten off my than you can chew.  Your choices then are but two; back down or deal with it.

Nature always looks pretty
and harmless from a distance.
It was 1993 and I was still recovering from my ankle surgery less than two months prior.  Not coincidentally it followed my one and only attempt at skydiving.  Which I will not get into now.  Moving on...

The doctors told me the rod and pins would make it stronger than the other one, but it was still stiff and sore.  Perfect time to go climbing, right?

I was on the left coast and briefly had a one time opportunity to go to Yellowstone national park.  Of course I jumped at it (clearly not having learned my jumping lesson.  Moving on...)  and while I was there I saw the signs for one of their waterfall climbs.  The recent weeks of convalescence had driven me stir crazy so I was eager to push the envelope.

The trail was long, but it was basically an unchallenging well worn path that I could see led to a sturdy wide wooden bridge before going out of sight up into the woods.

Off I went and after the bridge the path got thinner and slantier.  Despite the stiff ankle I didn't want to back down from my own challenge so quickly, so I continued -feeling brave and proud of myself.  I couldn't see the falls from this part of the trail, but I could hear it.

Soon the slant became a real slope, and the path became ascending notches cut into the rock every few feet.  I looked up and saw it gradually getting more extreme. and starting rethinking my 'no guts no glory' mantra.  In my head it began to sound more like 'no guts is gory'.

Then I saw a family coming down from the top.  A couple in their forties and their teen kids descended easily and slid past me.  Well, I thought, obviously if they went up and came back down and don't even  look tired or sweaty it can't be too much further or that bad.  The sound of the falls was louder here, reinforcing the thought that it couldn't be far.  I soldiered on.

It kinda felt like this
By now my elevation was over fifty feet.  I could see the waterfall finally, crashing onto the blunt rocks five stories below me.  The slope started to get so serious the park authorities had installed a thin metal railing on the fall-to-your-death side of what can only now be laughingly called 'the trail'.  I inched on and on halfway along the rail when I noticed some of the rail anchors ahead had pulled free of the rock some time ago and were hanging unsupported and swaying gently in the air, like some sort of republican designed health care plan.  It did not look safe.

This was too much.  A challenge is a challenge, not a death wish.  I decided to turn back.  But then I saw them.  An elderly couple coming down the <ahem> trail.  Again, neither tired nor sweaty.  There was no turning back after that.  If ma & pa Kettle can climb up and back down again, so can I -even if it kills me!  I soldiered on, determined to 'leave it all on the field' or <gulp> on the rocks below.

A few grueling minutes later, tired, sweaty and scraped, I finally pulled level with the edge of the falls, now only yards away.  What a heady experience.  Just before the falls there was a shallow pool with very cool-looling water.  There was a sign at the edge.  It warned not to enter the water claiming that several people had, been washed over the edge, and died on the rocks below.  No.  Sh*t.

So the urge to do that was easily quashed, but I still felt triumphant.  The fact that families and oldsters had made it look easy while I was panting like an overly targeted asthmatic fat kid after a dodgeball game only took the edge off my victory high a little.  I marched all puffy-chested over the crest on my throbbing ankle to the blessedly level ground on top.  -To find the road and parked buses from which all the people who passed me on the way down had ridden up in air conditioned comfort.

This repressed memory brought to you by the sadistic monsters at We Will Force Confrontations.
You may want to see whom else succumbed to their ever more inventive tortures, but it won't be pretty.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Fat Fact or Pulp Fiction?Y

You climb and climb yet never get anywhere
-seems like real life to me.
This is a reprint of my comeback post announcing my return from, well...

How does one explain three months absent from here
not writing one damn thing since before Halloween
it's not because I've become jaded, bored, or cavalier
it's that I'm only just back from the bizarre and unforeseen

have no doubts that the wild tale you're about to hear
can be verified thru police records, new scars and X-rays
it's teeming with villains and heroes and gallons of beer
across national borders and time zones -and back in 90 days

It all started so quietly with no hint of trouble in sight
I was home by myself settling in to rub one out
when an urgent knock at the door ruined my night
I tried pretending I wasn't home but they started to shout

Twas my old friend Randolf just back from the coast
and with a whole troupe of I guess his new homies
Still, I didn't really want to play the good host
until I saw the cold keg and pizzas with pepperonis

So over many a pint and hot slice
they told me a sad sad story indeed
they were jockeys from Canada with a gambling vice
and in a poker game with a lonely mountie, lost every steed

their poor treasured horses were now kept by him
near a factory spitting pollution thick as fog
they had sworn to try though their chances were thin
to regain their treasure from the lonely mountie and smog

they asked me to join them and make their group complete
so stupidly I went with Randolf and his troupe of littles
singing and wobbling merrily through the street
with only our last pints of beer and a few leftover vittles

I fell in a puddle, cut my knee, and moaned like a wimp
then felt like a wuss for wanting to slink away like a rat
but that woulda made me a wet bloody puss with a limp
and nobody wants to be that

I could but nobly hobble thereafter
and that was too slow for these guys
one slinked into a clinic slick as a grafter
and slipped out with a gurney to my surprise

thus came the name of this tale
and the first of our crimes on this journey
but worry fades after pitchers of ale
and down hills we all rode drunk on my gurney

but we couldn't go on this way like a bunch of retards
clearly a new plan was in order
so I led them down to the train yards
and dearly snuck on a train bound for the border

the freight car was out of an old Hollywood classic
complete with a band of mean hobos ready to jump us
so it was ninety pound jockeys versus men from jurassic
I could see it would take 'em all of ten seconds to thump us

was it Falstaff who said the better part of valor is discretion?
plus I had a bum knee for which I was on medication
so I decided to hang back for the coming aggression
while the jockeys fought like bears -stuffed for decoration

in ten seconds they were out cold and piled in a sad little stack
and the hoboes took a break to slake their thirst
they drank wine from a cooler they'd set up in the back
while they argued over which one to corn-hole first

I then saw my chance to redeem my poor showing
and while their backs were turned I started to creep
into the cooler went all my meds without their knowing
and one round of drinks later they all went to sleep

slipping off the train in some Canadian town
we were finally there but felt as if we'd hit the skids
me dirty and limping, and them crying over their beat-down
people gave money to the homeless man and his wretched kids

we took that cash to a bar for a round and a snack
serendipity followed in the form of a beer delivery truck
the driver left it running and wheeled his load far to the back
we all looked at each other and said 'What the fuck?'

luckily jockeys are small
for the front seat was cramped
cases of red bull was part of the haul
and soon we were amped

as it turns out it's not hard to prove
that stolen trucks are an unwise choice of transportation
the local police were less than pleased with our move
and chased us down forcing a quick debarkation

fleeing on foot while drunk and injured is no fun
but I hobble/ran quicker that my short-legged hell-raisers
thankfully Canadian police won't use a gun
but their not shy about using their tasers

getting hit wasn't the worst of it by half
nor were the bruises from awkward falls
I got away but it was hard not to laugh
seeing old Randolf take two hits to the balls

another jockey and I made it to the docks and hid quick
we rested in the shadows behind an old barge
he said he knew where to hide because he's psychic
I said that made him a small medium at large

we had to work but lay low while our pals were in jail
-he as a garden gnome whom they paid in beets
-I as a gigolo making a rich lady wail
for which I got paid all the pie I could eat

the rest sat weeks in the pokey before their trial began
on account they had no bail money to tender
lucky for them I had hatched me a plan
and went in posing as their public defender

I said 'Your honor, though their crimes are bountiful
surely deserving conviction and a hard life in chains
the freakishly small can't be held accountable
on account of their equally small brains'

their size being undeniable
the judge relented with soft heart
the 'stupidity' defense is reliable
if the defendants look the part

finally we made our way up to the county
and after some 'hair of the dog'
it was time to confront the lonely mountie
and get the treasured steeds away from the smog

It was all of us against one so I felt in fine fettle
a few cases later and we were all half in the can
I lead my jockey troupe ready to test our mettle
beer muscles will do that for a man

through the woods I led them like a modern day Moses
lurching in circles up the hill taking nearly a day
the factory smog made rotten eggs smell like roses
and the jockeys and I puked most of the way

at his door I said "Let's kick it in, and on him descend!"
They said "Whoa man, we'd better go slower.
He's not just a mountie, my friend.
He's a marine with a flame-thrower!"

"Now you say it?!"  I hissed
they said "I guess we should've told you."
I said "Screw you!  I'm pissed!
I should've let those hoboes corn-hole you!"

being as drunk as we were
we were not as quiet as we thought
what happened next is a bit of a blur
but I will try to relate what havoc was wrought

the front door flew open and there towered the brute
not just mountie or marine with flame thrower in hand
he was a wacked-out wild-eyed meth-head to boot
and I thought to myself "this was poorly planned."

it was clear he meant to bake them
I myself bolted with speed unsurpassed
the jockeys ran as quick as their legs could take them
which is to say my friends; not very fast

he shot fire like a dragon of lore
or better yet, an ancient dragon king
but I thought "Maybe we're not done-for,
he's so high, he probably can't hit a thing!"

apparently there's a flame-thrower marksman school
at which his kill record must have been heinous
for he managed to nail each little fool
right in his little fool anus

with flames and smoke trailing after
they ran about shrieking like bitches
he began rolling in laughter
as they shat their little britches

they jumped in his pool to put out the flames
and pleaded "Stop!  You win!  It's not right!"
but he just laughed, called them names
and bounced rocks off their heads with delight

I couldn't tell for a man of his brawn
if it was too much for his heart or his head
but after all this and the binge he'd been on
his eyes crossed with an "Erg!" and he fell over dead

so in the end the jockeys got back every horse
they swore off gambling; their lesson's learnt
but they couldn't ride 'em just yet of course
not with asses so horribly burnt

though they couldn't pay me in cash I'm still in the pink
I deserve something for all that wouldn't you say?
a slightly used flame-thrower's worth more than you'd think
if you put it up for bidding on ebay

now that this saga is finally complete
I'm sure you'll excuse my being away
feel free to de-rivet yourself from your seat
as I've only one last thing to say

Now that it's over I have a small confession to make
about this epic tale and three months of my year
these forty-three stanzas of story are fake
I've been gone because I was jaded, bored, and yes -cavalier

It's a little soon for a repost, but it seemed perfect for today's prompt.  There's plenty more to enjoy.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Confucious say

And more cases of reverse plagiarism:

Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok.

Man who run in front of car get tired.

Man who run behind car get exhausted.

Man with one chopstick go hungry.

Baseball is wrong: man with four balls cannot walk.

War not determine who is right, war determine who is left.

Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.

Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Man who sit on tack get point!

Man who jump off cliff, jump to conclusion!

Man stuck in pantry have ass in jam.

When called an idiot better off quiet than to open mouth and remove all doubt.

Man who behaves like an ass will be the butt of those who crack jokes.

He who thinks only of number one must remember this number is next to nothing.

Man who put head on railroad track to listen for train likely to end up with splitting headache.

He who buries a man's wife alive, should not expect to sit at that man's dinner table without the subject coming up.

Man who eats photo of father, soon spitting-image of father.

Man who pushes piano down mineshaft get tone of A flat miner.

Wise man never play leapfrog with unicorn.

Man who fall in vat of molten glass make spectacle of self.

Man who fly airplane upside-down bound to have crack up.

Confucius say too damn much.

These wearls of pisdom were shamelessly lifted from MustHaveJokes at the behest of those chubby-chasing philosophy groupies over at Women Wild For Confucius.  

If I Were God say, wise clams like you should check out their other pearls of wisdom.

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Coulda happened, people.

Of course, if it had happened (McCain wins then dies) it would fit better under a 'Cataclysm' prompt than WWFC's actual prompt for today.  Also I wouldn't be posting absurdities today from the comfort of my couch.  I'd be too busy fighting zombies and dodging horsemen as the rest of the apocalypse plays out...

The other bloggers are likely to be far less disturbing, why not go see?

Friday, February 22, 2013

I HAD to

I'm not going to publish the first post I wrote for today's Compulsion prompt.  It was ominously called 'Slave, know your master' and ran on at length about how we're really just running our individual base programming which exposes itself through our compulsions.

I opened with a poem describing some, put up the poster for Nicholson's AS GOOD AS IT GETS, and used likes like "10 GOTO 10" is a famously useless loop, and ended it as a proof as to why diabetics eat themselves to death one amputation at a time.

I wrote furiously until I got it all out; because I had to -writing compulsion.

The prompt led me to a thought that I had to follow to the end; because I had to -thinking compulsion.

As I was writing I realized how dark and disturbing it was, but I have a thing about writing the truth as I know it.  So I pulled no punches and put it all down on virtual paper; because I had to -testifying compulsion.

When those three get together they go off on a mental bender like a bunch of too drunk, too loud, and too sure of themselves frat boys out for a night on the town.

And I woke up intending to post it... but can't.  It just wasn't funny, not even a little.  IIWG is a humor blog and that one doesn't fit.  And my compulsion about that has seniority.  Like an obese cigar-smoking head teamster at a contentious union meeting, it stood up and sent the other three packing.  Writer, Thinker, and Testifyer had to go shuffling off into the night shaking their heads in disbelief and mumbling about how hard they'd been working and how unfair it all was.

Know how bad it is?  It was originally Writer, Thinker, and Honesty.  But 'honesty' doesn't end in 'er' like the first two, and my list have to match -HAVE TO-, so I had to send it packing.

So if you read because you have to, here's a link to some posts written by people who have to, organized by other people who organize challenges because they have to.

Free will my ass.