Time Was

Time was when you could write, or say anything so long as you didn’t threaten someone or incite violence. The idea of free speech was foundational to the republic. If you were out in left field everyone would just think you were stupid and ignore you.

Time was when every little Texas town had a homosexual or two and nobody cared. They stayed off to themselves and the lady’s garden society loved them. They didn’t march in the street, or jail little old ladies for exercising their conscience. We all laughed at Paul Lynn, and listened to Liberace.

Time was when you could swat your kids on the butt in the grocery store and everyone approved you as a good parent. Your kids weren’t taught sex in school, and daddy was still the greatest, because he was dad, and every little girl wanted to grow up, and marry someone just like him.

Time was, when stopped for a traffic stop, you would get out of the car and take out your driver’s license as you walked back to the officer, who appreciated your courtesy and respect. Police got free coffee and food because merchants wanted them to come around. An officer rarely raised his voice, and he was almost always right, because he really did serve and protect.

Time was you could carry your guns in a rack in your pickup and nobody but the deer cared. The very idea that you couldn’t defend your family and home because black lives mattered was alien. Your family’s life mattered, and that was that. Your home was your castle and the fourth amendment meant exactly what it said.

Time was when the president said something you respected it even if you didn’t agree because he was the president. Everyone knew politicians would put a spin on things, but in the end they knew that America was America, the flag was the flag, and they worked for the people of America, not the UN. If they’d ever heard of a “Benghazi” they would have thought it was a James Bond movie.

Time was when a teacher sent a note home you sided with the teacher simply because she WAS the teacher. The first words out of your parent’s mouths would be, “What did you do?”

Time was if you missed church everybody knew it and one of the routine questions you asked a new friend was what faith they followed because there simply wasn’t anyone who didn’t believe in God.

Time was when you found that your favorite movie star was getting a divorce you were shocked because personally you only knew one person who ever got one and everyone treated them as if they had tuberculosis.

Time was if you stood on the constitution in court or anywhere else it was a no brainer because everyone knew the constitution was the constitution and that was that. The language in the Bill of Rights was so simple that any farmer could understand it.

Time was when a woman stayed home and took care of the kids she was known as a good mother, and raised her girls that way, too.

Time was when the preacher would drop by if word got out that a family was having difficulties.

Time was when a dollar was inscribed “Silver Certificate” and stood for an honest dollar which would buy enough gasoline for three days work.

Time was if you didn’t have a job you just went to jail until you figured it out. This is the world I lived in in 1957 in Shreveport. Time was…

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin




Grandchildren can be a very fulfilling part of your life. Their joy, playfulness, and love fills your autumn years, so why is it so stressful? Where do they find the capacity to inflict insanity in an otherwise docile old person? I have come up with some things that run you to the edge. If you’re a grandparent you will recognize them all. Repeat, repeat, repeat. . . Two year olds are just figuring out language. There is a lot of baby talk, but they are becoming aware of the importance that communication plays in their lives. Two issues; they still talk 80% baby talk, and they don’t think YOU understand anything so every statement or request is verbally Xeroxed.
Grand People English
Ishiguro wanna anny
Ishiguro wanna anny
No is the only answer you can give in a situation like this. This doesn’t stop the inquiry, however. It will continue for maybe eight hours.
So and so is doing this or that to me
Always remember that you are the high court. As such you have to hear all complaints from all grand people against all other grand people. There is only one designation. Class A felony. There is no pardon, no parole, and no appeal. The accuser wants justice and they want to watch, which is high entertainment. After justice is administered you can expect counter charges.
Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink.
You must give children water, there are laws. When you give five grandchildren water it is no less than Moses parting the Red Sea. There are three options: Option A) Give one big drink for them to pass around. Are you a fool? Forget about germs, they’re already sharing them. No measured amount is ever fair. “SHARE, SHARE, SHARE,” you will scream until you choke, but possession is 100% of the law in the grand people civil code. Grab, drink, drink, drink as fast as you can, can’t touch me, I’m Aqua-Man! This has all the others spinning and crying. B) Separate drinks for all. Give them only clear water, or put them in a room that you intend to shampoo. C) Give up in disgust and throw the water into the back yard.
I go potty.
They potty ALL the time. When one goes they all immediately feel the urge, and the simple logic that only one person can only sit on a toilette at one time does not play into it. This invariably elicits screams from the bathroom. I hate the sound of the word, “Paaaaa Paaaaaa!” A bath used by grandchildren cannot have soaps, toilette paper, water, rugs, or towels in it. These things are provided as needed. Also try not to have small kittens around. They fit into a commode. I know!
I pooped myself.
In time you will learn to appreciate the smell, and texture of poop . It’s sort of like learning to eat Sushi. You know it’s actually stupid, but everyone does it. A two year old in potty training is like running a blender with the lid off, if you can picture the lid being on the bottom. Sometimes they will make it, but these times are not so numerous that reliable statistics can be drawn. And I have read all the methods used to potty train. Ignore these. These people are all liberal democrats raising transgender children. What will happen is one day you’ll just notice they use the toilette, and you will never know how you did it. Until that day you had just better accept that for the time being your life is poop.
OMG! Never, NEVER seat grand people within striking distance of each other at meal time. And forget about equal portions. A Crack Dealer with a postal scale cannot measure meals with the accuracy required to satisfy these people. And don’t give them water! Do that later. My granddaughter, Puck, is a diabetic so she gets the “unfair” plate. She has developed a lizard’s tongue, and can snap a potato from a plate at two yards.
Nap time.
There is no hope. They only sleep when they knock each other out. YOU will fall asleep before they do. May God have mercy on you if this happens. My twins can remove a full sized door and pull down a ceiling fan if given just a little uninterrupted time. When you wake you will not believe. The solution? Handcuffs.
Eventually the parents will show up. They have to. That’s the law. They may ask you if you’re doing anything that night. LIE! Tell them you’re going out, you’re getting married, attending a Klan rally, ANYTHING! Then they have to take the grand people with them, and you can then tell everyone how wonderful it is to have grandchildren.
Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin


Day Ain’t Over Yet

I’ve always said that life is hard. Well, that’s because it is. We all start with so much allowed for a life. Then life begins to tear you down. Now, you learn, and improve as time goes by, but with each lesson that “life battery” goes down a little more. One day you realize, “I’ve got to make this work, because there is no more starting over.” This is not depression, or gonna die, or any of that nonsense, this is the realization that after this run you will sit on the porch, and count the days. The well will be dry, and there will be no more refills. Roll the credits, fade to black.
The Bible tells us that as you try to gain things in life even what you think you have can be taken away, and no truer words have ever been written. You can either find a shopping cart, or figure it out. My time in California helped me figure it out. I do one thing fairly well. I can sit down, and write something that most people will understand. They won’t always agree, but they know where I’m coming from. Also, I understand right and wrong. For instance, it’s WRONG to kill babies no matter what you call them. People like the members of Planned Parenthood grovel for their funding and eat shrimp cocktail while discussing the price listing of baby parts until that one night when they hear, “Thou fool! Tonight your soul is required of thee!
I had to find my soul two or three times because I’m stupid! I’ve developed a hard exterior from saying goodbye to everything I loved dozens of times. My grandchildren can’t even wear my family name because the CPS was intent on destroying that name. Don’t believe the Waltons were ever real. There was no Grandpa, or Mary Ellen, or family sitting around the dinner table. Now we have CPS, and Planned Parenthood intent upon destroying all that made America AMERICA! You fight, and push, and win or lose, but with each battle that life battery gets a little weaker, and one day you climb the mountain but realize you don’t have the strength to get back down again. You can see the Promised Land yet know it’s not for you, and God’s plan for you has been completed.
I sit here alone in a living room paneled in fine wood. There is a fireplace, and a Mexican tile floor. There are no grandchildren. No cartoons on the TV, so cereal on the floor. This is my life. This is what God chose for me. God never puts us where He doesn’t want us to be. He equips us and gives us a job to do, and you can either cry about it, or get on with the job. My job is to forever be alone, and write. Don’t get all bent out of shape about this, that’s what writers do. Most of the time they sit alone and write. Crowds interrupt the process. The ideas in your head become more important than the reality before your eyes.
You cannot play a violin unless it’s tightly strung. People are like that. Without stress there is no music. The trick is to not let the stress become DISstress! You see, that’s what the world wants. It wants to beat you down to where you can’t get back up again, and that’s where the writer has the edge. The world will eventually win the race and I will be gone. But what I have written won’t be, and I won’t be around anymore for naysayers to pick apart. All that will be left will be THIS! Just remember, with God, all things are possible. Remember this, too. As for me . . . day ain’t over yet!

Simple Ol’ Boy From Austin


The Big Screw Driver

In my time at Sears I took thousands of calls. I worked in a call center in Round Rock, which is just north of Austin. For those of you who don’t know, Sears vacated the Sears tower long ago, and most corporate business comes out of Texas. I worked at what they called the “fifth” tier. What that entailed was when a customer called in, and got passed around four times, they found their way to US. Now, there were only about thirty-five of “us” in the whole blamed company, and we were all in Round Rock. If that wasn’t high octane enough the Blue Ribbon squad, which sat right behind us, with power somewhere between the CEO and God, was ready, willing, and able to take the customer to the Promised Land.

I hate working in a call center. To be honest, most calls were people who knew that if they complained long and hard enough they would get a sugar cookie out of Sears, and they were right! I figured out early on that if I gave a gift card under sixty-seven dollars that it would placate most customers, and wouldn’t count against my statistics. In spite of that there was more than a few calls where the customer began the call with, “Just let me speak to your supervisor!”

All that having been said, there were three calls that stood out for me. Calls so different that I remember them to this very day. These calls demonstrated for me at least why we were really there. Almost like a reminder from God that in spite of all the technology, and corporate red tape, we are occasionally called to rise above, and be human!

I got a call from Memphis. After my usual greeting I was immediately interrupted by this wonderful southern black voice saying, “Wilbur, I got a problem!” As I set up the screen for her case I asked what the issue was. It seems her washing machine was broken. It was no big deal. What put a monkey wrench in the whole thing was scheduling. Now Sears had an issue. While having the best technicians in the world, Sears couldn’t schedule a Bar Mitzvah in Brooklyn! A good percentage of our calls were people screaming because they had patiently waited out the two weeks required to get a tech out, endured the four hour window on the day of repair, only to get a call telling them the tech was over booked, and they would be rescheduled yet again. That would make Mother Theresa want to throw her washing machine out into the streets of Calcutta! This caller was in that category.

She had seven grandchildren. I could easily see how a broken washer would complicate the day so I began to search for a solutions. I DID have a big stick, though rarely used, that enabled me to force a repair. If I pushed that button the lady’s call would be out ahead of everybody else. When you used it you had to put up with your supervisor crying a river, but it didn’t affect your stats. As I set it up the customer began to chat with me. I had a method where I would initiate conversation in order to calm the customer so that they would not realize the length of the call, and hopefully by the end of the call the customer would be pleased and come away with a positive experience.

She told me that her daughter had been killed years ago in a drive by shooting, leaving seven children to be raised by grandmother. The pressure had led her into a heart attack, but she had survived, and the kids were getting up in age now. I told her I was very empathetic to her plight, and that was important because “empathy” was one of those things that would kick up your stats. I could empathize with Hitler! I said, “Bet that wears you out having to look after all them kids,” and she said, “No, Wilbur, I took care of them, now they take care of me, but they do need the washing machine.” She got it the very next day!

Then there was this lady in Pensacola. Seems she had this refrigerator situated in her bedroom. I Crappith Thee Not! Right beside her bed, and it had this funny noise. As I looked at her account I could see page after page of cancelled trouble calls, seemingly ignoring her issue. I immediately scheduled a priority call, but upon concluding, I rang up the unit in her area to find out just why they had ignored a customer in such a rude fashion.

A call from corporate was the absolute worse thing that could happen to a Sears manager. That stick I mentioned before was not my only one. As a senior manager in Round Rock I had a golf bag FULL of sticks, and I was ready to play eighteen holes at any given moment. And right around the isle from where I sat was the “STAC” team, which was the section In charge of ALL Sears repairs. They were a bunch of beer drinking Austin Bikers so obnoxious that customers were never allowed to even speak with them, and I would serve up a store or unit manager to them without a second thought!

I asked the unit manager what was in his mind. He had cancelled about one hundred service calls, and was too stupid to even cover his tracks. The man just laughed. With my finger poised above the button that would end his life as he knew it, he explained. It seems the lady was elderly. That made me madder. He continued telling me that she had a debilitating mental condition that caused her to think the refrigerator was producing a noise, making her fear it was failing. It seems that they had run call after call, always finding the appliance was in perfect working condition, yet the repair requests came week after week. Then the manager devised a plan. The call would come in and he would immediately cancel it so as not to fill up the scheduling, which was bad enough already. There was an agreement among the techs. WhomEVER found themselves in Mrs. Simmons neighborhood on Friday near quitting time would swing by and do her “repair.” She always had coffee ready, and the refrigerator was always “fixed!”

Save your fork, I always save the best for last. In New York there was an old lady. Now, we have hot summers in Texas, but it seems that New York City is right up there next to us because as the summer progressed our phone lines would fail from all the calls up there concerning air conditioning. I don’t think think they even know what central air is because it was always these little rinky-dink window units we had done away with long ago. Again, scheduling! That and location. The lady lived in some kind of brown stone walk up (they apparently hadn’t come upon elevators either. When the tech arrived he would invariably find difficult parking, and if he did find it the foreboding long hike up the stairs would lead to the job being labeled, “Not at home!”

While I was sending a notice to the manager of the unit, raining the appropriate bowling balls down upon him, the lady began to cry. I’ll never forget what she said. “My husband, Frank, died three months ago. I never had these problems because he had a big screw driver, and he could fix anything!” I put her on hold, and called the unit. I told the manager that I was making this call a priority, and I didn’t care if that tech had to carry a new window unit up to that apartment I’d better NOT see a “not at home” on my screen the next day! Oh, and one more thing. Have the tech put a big screw driver in his back pocket! I’m sure the old lady has passed by now, and I’d be willing to bet as she entered the gates of heaven, Frank was waiting there . . . With his big screw driver!

The Gun and the Walking Stick

Texas shall once again raise its head among the nations. (Sam Houston)

The assault in Bryan upon Texas sovereignty was inconceivable! There were so many infractions of the right of the people to assemble, the 4th Amendment, freedom of speech and liberty that they are innumerable. To arrest, and rob citizens of the Republic of Texas by filibusters was that shot heard around the world that we’ve all been expecting.

The wonton violence inflicted upon old men at a VFW, who were legally assembled to discuss the disenfranchisement of a widow from her property was par for the course for an outlaw regime bent on the ultimate distruction of the constitution of the former United States, and the dignity of the Republic of Texas. And what was their supposed “crime?” They sent a summons to a judge! They requested his excellency to appear and to explain his actions to the assembly. They didn’t say they were going to arrest him. They didn’t plan to impose jail time, or violence on him. They simply wanted him to come and tell them what was in his mind. He had two choices. He could have laughed, and thrown it in the trash, or perhaps simply went there and argued law with the old gentlemen over a beer! His “honor” chose a third option. He chose to shred the constitution and attack and rob. He did this because he had no defense for his actions. (You’re paying this guy, folks!)

Judges have legislated from the bench for too long. They no longer preserve, protect, and defend the constitution of the United States, they open their mouths and impose their will upon the people with increasingly expanding parameters, so far removed from the verbiage in the Bill of Rights that it defies logic, and we know to disagree, indeed, even pose a question can lead to incarceration, or worse. They can inflict heart attracts upon old men, yet to even point your finger at one of them in construed to be a crime punishable by whatever means is handy at the time. Broken ribs on the Capitol grounds for sitting quietly on the grass, listening to speeches.

And what are they so afraid of? If we are a fringe group with no power, why do they go through such great lengths to silence us? If Texas independence is some kind of pipe dream, then why are all these American corporations swarming to Austin to set up shop? Why is it so important to dissolve our borders, import Ebola, and use Texas as a training ground for martial law? They are afraid because they know they are wrong! They are afraid of an idea.

I’ve often said that there are more of us than there are of them. Think about that. Back during the civil rights movement in the ’60s, Martin Luther King, Jr. was leading his marches across the south. Most mainstream white people paid little mind, indeed were irritated, and yes, there was racism. I remember clearly the flickering images on TV one night showing black men in suits being beaten and sprayed with fire hoses, and even my father was repelled by the actions of the police. The tide turned, and THAT, friends and neighbors is exactly what the ploracracy in Austin is cringing from right now!

Austin is a hotbed of political activity. You don’t have to be crazy to live in Austin, but it sure helps. Young people are waking up. Liberty, rights, and the constitution are new ideas to them because they’ve been lied to for so long. It’s one thing to beat up a bunch of old men in a VFW, but it’s quite another to jump on 5,000 seething mad students from the University of Texas flooding the Capitol grounds asking the Governor if he can READ! And these young people don’t know about pain, or unlawful arrest. One day they will, but right now all they understand is right and wrong, and the attack on Bryan was wrong!

Some have said that our rallies are useless, but I disagree. Rallies give the people a voice. If that voice is not important then why do the holders of the palace keys fight so hard to silence it? What threat did Terry Holcomb pose with his unloaded black powder pistol? What made the police in Temple move heaven and earth to stop CJ Grisham from walking down that country road that morning with his son? The same threat as a young lawyer from Alabama upon Santa Anna, that’s what!

They Texas Senate, and House rallied last week and began a long awaited turning of the tide when they enacted Open Carry. The results weren’t perfect, but always remember, if the Titanic had changed course but one degree it would not have sank. We turned that one degree last week, people, and if it wasn’t important then the opposition would not be screaming eight now. Yet again, we saw the displeasure of a minority group at the will of the people!

It’s going to be a long fight. The liberals have worked long and hard to destroy this country, and we are going to have to work equally long and hard to put it back together again, but the first shot has been fired. Those old men in Bryan couldn’t fight all the agencies attacking them that day. They had walking sticks, and the Gestapo had guns. They chose to be a sacrifice for all to see. Their image in burned into the Texas consciousness right along with those black men before the fire hoses so long ago. That Judge will regret his actions. Should have went and had that beer, dude!


Nothing puts a damper on writing like a flu. I don’t know if I had a flu this last week, or just a case of the scrounge. Anyway, it sucked, and the juices did stop flowing for a day or so. Whiskey flowed, but that was about all. What makes old fools try to cure colds or flu with whiskey? That NEVER works!

Anyway, when my mind returned I went over the past week’s news and the raid on the Republic of Texas meeting down in Bryan. And listening to that Po-Dunk sheriff talking about people just issuing summons from non existent courts. The next time he says something can someone please slap him. On one hand we have a bunch of Muslims wanting to set up courts and circumcise the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and right down the street we have some lame brained gum shoe initiating a major raid on a bunch of old men for sending out some “summons” to some cockamammy “judge” who didn’t even have sense enough to ignore it. And they brought the FBI, too! We’re they THAT worried about these old farts overthrowing the government. ISIS doesn’t bother Obama but old white men with beards sure mess him up. Must be a “black” thing. I wish I’d known it was that easy to run that prick off!

Ok, ignore the summons thing, that was just a ruse. What the laws was all perked about was the perceived legitimacy of the Republic of Texas pseudo government. You see the GOVERNMENT is not the COUNTRY. Now this is gonna get tricky, students, so pay attention, cause there’ll be a test. The land you stand on, and call home is NOT the government. No matter what government paves the roads, and steals your paycheck, Texas is still Texas. Heck, a little over four hundred years ago the Indians thought they ran things. You all know how that worked out. Then, along come the Mexicans, the Anglos, and I think the Mexicans are back, but no matter . . . Same ol’ scrub oak and sand! Just ask yourself one question; if all sixty of those crazy old men in Bryan were elected to office in Austin, do you think that might just shake up the old plutocracy a tad? Sixty wild eyed old Texans, voting as a block every time some nonsense like Gay Marriage, Open Carry, Immigration or Muslim day hits the floor. Wow! It wouldn’t be sex, but it would be damn close!

But, they all lost their cell phones and got finger printed. In light of this I am starting a new movement. I’m going to give it a clandestine name to confuse the FBI and Obama. I mean we already know he can’t spell respect, and that was a BLACK song, so here goes. COBS! Yep, dey it is! Stands for Crazy Old Bastard Society. I come up with that because my daddy used to tell me that most police and all Yankees act like they had a cob stuck up their butts. And if that sheriff down in Bryan didn’t have a cob up his but I’m not a white boy from Austin. Swat them bees!

I’ll be the first president, of course, because I’m the craziest old bastard in Texas. Now there’s not a shortage of opinionated old pricks down here, so we won’t have any problem coming up with a congress. We won’t be sending out any summons, though. When someone gets crossways with us we’ll just put raw shrimp in their hub caps, or something like that. We’ll champion Open Carry; the right to drink a beer while driving around the lake on Sunday, and open marriage, the right to marry any girl of age for a trial period before solidifying the deal. That depends of course being ABLE to close the deal, which at our age is not written in stone.

So, COBS will replace the Republic of Texas. All sixty of those gentlemen harassed in Bryan are hereby charter members. I have to come up with a flag that won’t offend anyone. We will have to come up with a constitution, but that’ll be easy. We’ll just use the US one, they’re not doing anything with it at the time. Let me run this by a few people and see how far it gets.

Sgt Wilbur’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band

Every now and then one sits back and something comes along that’s just so dog gone entertaining you can’t just let it pass by. First, a little background. Anyone ever hear of Nigeria. Well, that’s the ultimate “N” word if there ever was one. That country is so corrupt it would make Al Capone shake in his shoes. They wouldn’t know what the rule of law is if someone handed it to them in a paper bag. And Internet scams abound. Think about this. A place so crooked they named a scam after it. Poor France only had a fried potato named after it. Anyway, there is one particular scam that is my favorite. Folks, I have a GIRLFRIEND!

It goes like this. Couple days ago a lady asked to friend me on Facebook. Now, I’m sixty-three, well past my prime, been married a half dozen times or so, therefore I take anything I can get, so I accepted. I do have guidelines. They have to be human and I prefer them not to be sporting an oxygen bottle. Anyway, she thanked me, and frankly I didn’t think much of it. Then the PMs started rolling in. My Spidey sense wasn’t on at the time so I answered in a fairly civilized fashion. Her messages were articulate, but I noticed that right away she told me she was searching for a “soulmate.” Then she wanted to text me on my phone and sent me her number, which was based in Riverside, California. Ok, that’s cool. But, I noticed her “location” was now Washington, DC according to her Facebook profile, an account which disappeared fairly quickly after our first contact. She explained to me that she was a woman of wealth, recently divorced, and she was an international antiques dealer. Friends and neighbors, I wasn’t born yesterday, and I wasn’t born in the dark! I CALLED the number, and naturally it was not receiving calls at that time. Now, for the uninitiated, the reason for this is these numbers have two purposes. First, of course, for texting. After the initial contact the scammer will move on to text or email, blocking or removing the original Facebook page so they can set the trap for the next loved one Then next is to provide some kind of assurance to the “mark” that the owner of the number is in country. There will never be an answer at the other end because if that should ever happen the idiot will very quickly display a gender problem. Oh yeah, it’s a dude!

Ok, so at this point I’m becoming aware that this is most likely not going to be Mrs. Wilbur number three, but let’s add something else to,the mix. I’m an asshole. That, and it being a holiday weekend, I’m sitting in my beautiful home with an unlimited supply of Jim Beam and cigarettes! The prose from Facebook to text to email shifts wildly. Shift is the key word here. As the shift change comes about over yonder one will quickly realize that they are dealing with not one, two or possibly even three individuals. You can even time their breaks if you know time zones and watch for changes in style. They have pre-written emails, which are usually well written but shallow. The emails I began to receive we’re chock FULL of declarations of undying love for me! No matter what I wrote back more flowery letters would return. Then, of course, my “friend” wanted to converse with me on Yahoo Messenger. I have several Yahoo accounts and I have one in particular for just this kind of thing. Uh, I’m an elderly, lonely, wealthy widower.

Let me now introduce you to something called “Translation Software.” The job of this little jewel is to enable the sender to converse on text in a language that they are totally unfamiliar with. This software doesn’t pick up on slang, and most CERTAINLY doesn’t decipher TEXAN! After quite a few slip ups on the other end, including very long response times (as the software does its thing) I decide to do my litmus test for the Nigerian Scam. It goes like this.

The scammer does realize that it is an American holiday. Also, they are fully aware that anyone hanging on their every word is most likely alone and elderly. So, it only goes to follow at some point they will ask, “What are you doing tonight?” They expect a short reply, easily figured out by the computer whereupon they can enlist any one of a number of provocative answers designed to pump up the blood pressure of the lonely old fool on the hook. Well, THIS lonely old fool is sitting on a leather couch with Frenchi and a cocktail,
but I digress. When asked the question I respond, “I’m running down to Austin to pick up a couple grams. We have three high school cheer leaders locked up in a bedroom, and I’m going to smoke up their brains and have a me and my friends throw a gang bang.” Now please bear in mind the only thing the translation software picks up clearly is the word “friends!” After the usual delay I get, “So glad you have friends there!” Ruh Roh!

Now my friend must move to phase two. Since “she” is an international antique dealer she must make a trip to purchase products for her many outlets, and of course, the only place such items may be obtained is none other than, you got it . . . NIGERIA! (This is my surprised face!) She is departing today and will communicate with me after arrival in that country. Now here’s how the sting works. Never mind that I have made it abundantly clear that I’m too broke to pay attention, she has looked at my Yahoo profile, and is foaming at the mouth, picking out new cars My new friend will spend about a day or so texting me and then disaster will strike! It will be anything from being robbed to complications with export taxes for purchased items. He/she/it will ask me to send money via Western Union to assist, which will of course be given back upon return to the states, whereupon we will get married and live happily ever after!

These people invariably work out of Lagos. Very big seaport town! Bad traffic, crowded streets, the whole nine yards. The way the scam is supposed to come to fruition is a MoneyGram is sent and is picked up at any one of MANY outlets. Here’s the part being an asshole helps. I have a Western Union MoneyGram claim number that is as dead as fried chicken! That’s the claim number I send to the love of my life. Now, let’s drop all pretense. HE will dispatch a runner from the call center ( that’s right, this is run like a business) to the nearest location to pick up the loot. Naturally, the number won’t work, but remember, we’re not dealing with rocket scientists here. I just told this idiot I was about to commit not one but THREE felonies designed to put me in jail until Jesus came back and was told, “Cheery-o!” They will assume the first place is simply broken and will proceed to bounce all over town trying to cash in. Oh yeah, I always make the amount around ten thousand dollars to peek interest. Now this is a little like looking for a brisket sandwich in Manhattan on a rainy night, ok? Usually takes about two days and a couple tanks of gas before I get the obligatory text, “Why you do this me you no love me long time!” At this point I do explain to the scammer that he has been had. They never understand plain English and will rant and rave continuously before moving on to the next mark. Then, in about six months or so, I’ll get yet another friend request on Facebook. Ennie, meanie, minie, mo . . . Catch a Nigerian by the toe . . .

Don’t Give A Damn Itus

I was reading Dr. Phil’s book, Real Life. Going through the last two years have been real life for me so I thought, “Good old’ Dr. Phil will show me the way!” I settled on the chapter called Adaptability Breakdlown. As I read through the chapter I couldn’t find anything that applied to me. I read the chapter on anxiety. Nada! Tried fear, mental disorders, and existential crises and there were no matches, but I KNOW I’m messed up! I mean, who the hell loses a wife, five grand kids, three mansions and a Mercedes and walks away with a martini and a silly grin on his face? Then it hit me. Now, work with me here I’m blazing new psychological territory. Just like when they changed shell shock to PTSD, I have a whole new disorder, born of the recession, customized for the 21st century. Don’tgiveadamnitus!

The way I see it a lot of us are so far gone that we know it just wastes time worrying about it. We’ll probably not live long enough to ever see a dollar worth a dollar again, and forget about employment. Hell! Even bank robbers can’t find gainful employment. The banks are full of Federal Reserve Notes. Want a big nice car? Forget about it. Good luck filling the tank. So you get a don’t give a damn attitude.

The only constant is women. If you’re a standard issue heterosexual (which I am) you can use some pretty moldy, time honored lines on younger girls to achieve at least a conversation. To wit:

1. “I’m really a homosexual and just want to be your friend.”
2. “I have ED but I like to cuddle.”
3. “I am afraid of contracting an STD so I will only like good conversation.”
4. “It’s called a Martini, and the beautiful thing about it is the Vermouth neutralizes the gin. The more you drink, the more sober you get”
5. And last but not least, “My God girl! You’re young enough to be my grand daughter. What kind of a man do you think I am?”

Older women are actually better, but they’re too blamed smart! You can’t EVEN whip any of the above lines on them. The best you can do is compliment their cooking. Young girls don’t cook. Ordering at McDonald’s has been developed into a fine art, don’t let a young girl order for you unless you like salad!

But, a healthy, young woman will generally relieve Don’tgiveadamnitus because at least the relationship between a man and a woman in private has remained unchanged unless you’re in California and we know where that went. The cure for the syndrome? Well, there is none. Sadly it’s terminal. Once you fully realize the futility of worrying about stuff that you can do nothing about nothing can ever pull the wool over your eyes again. You actually become, well, FREE!

So Dr. Phil needs to add a chapter to his book. Maybe two. A chapter on women and martinis would be nice.

Old Michael

Old Michael

My granddaughter, Puck, is a Type 1 diabetic. She’s been one all of her life. If you’ve never had a child with diabetes you cannot fathom the endeavor involved in getting, and keeping their blood sugar right. They don’t understand why they can’t eat this, or that, why the other kids get cake while they get to watch. Their life is filled with all the needles, and pricks on the finger. Combine that with growth spurts where they, like any child, are truely hungry. Puck was at that stage where she was right on the verge of checking her sugar and understanding the importance of what the numbers mean. She could feel when she was low, worried about it, but just hadn’t linked the food thing up yet.

So it was one night when circumstances called for her having to stay with me. I, myself, was just getting used to all the different insulins and boosters required to level her out. My understanding rudimentary. Insulin brings you down and sugar brings you up. On this night she experienced a “fallout.” A fallout is where the blood sugar suddenly drops for no apparent reason. The doctors have all kinds of theory about blood sugar, but sometimes nature just takes over and there is no rhyme or reason. Kid eats a good dinner, takes the required amount of insulin, plays, watches TV, and then, at bedtime, when you check the sugar and it comes back at a 45!

There is a saying among diabetics. High sugar will get you someday, but low sugar will get you NOW! Low sugar can induce coma, and end in death in very short order. The child has no idea what’s going on. They just know they’re sleepy, and that’s perfectly normal to them at bedtime. There is a shot you give them at times like this that supposedly will boost the sugar back up into the safe zone, so I gave her it. After about twenty minutes I checked the sugar again with the same alarming result, in fact, a bit lower!

It was about ten at night, so I gave her a small glass of orange juice, then some Coke, and finally cookies. Still nothing. I was dodging the insulin what i didn’t want was her dropping any faster than she was, and she was developing what we call “Bette Davis” eyes, as she slowly slipped away. Her vision began to fail. About two in the morning I was about to dial 911. I needed professional assistance and having a sports car, I could not load Puck, and all her brothers up and cart everyone to the ER. I decided to call my friend, Sonny to see if he could come over and watch the boys for me. I wanted to at least accompany Puck to the hospital. Nothing would be more traumatic for her than to have a bunch of strange people load her up and go screaming down the freeway with needles hanging out of her arms.

In about fifteen minutes Sonny, and his friend, Old Michael, rang the doorbell. We called Michael “Old” Michael because he was eighty-four years old. He was a lifelong diabetic. Michael came in with his own kit and went straight to Puck. At this point her head was bobbing. After checking her blood, which was still dropping, he reached into his kit and withdrew a fresh needle. Fingering through his little vials he chose one and prepared the needle. I asked him what he was giving her and he told me it was insulin. I was alarmed. I told him I had not given her any insulin because she was so low, but he held up one finger, told me to trust him, and instructed me to go and fetch the bag of chocolate chip cookies he’d seen in the kitchen on his way in. I did as he said.

He gave Puck an injection, and then two cookies. Puck knew it was forbidden to eat the boy’s cookies, but Old Michael assured her it was alright, and this one time she could eat them. I had given her the sugar free cookies reserved for only her. In thirty minutes he checked her blood again. 65! Another cookie, another cc or insulin, half hour later, 80! She was in the “safe” zone! Puck thought it was a party! He put her on his lap. It was now round about four in the morning. He told me to get her a little orange juice. By sunrise Puck was burning a perfect 100. She was also sleepy by now so he put her down on the couch and covered her with a blanket. The dark circles under her eyes had dissipated, and she drifted off into healthy sleep, with chocolate chip cookies on her breath.

As Michael put his kit back together I asked him what method he had used to bring her around. He explained that textbook theory says sugar brings you up, and insulin brings you down, but textbooks don’t explain all of the intricacies of diabetes. He told me the insulin WILL bring you down, but if you give it something to “chew” on the exact opposite will occur. His job that night was to get sugar flowing through her blood and being absorbed properly. Obviously, his method worked. The old man kissed Puck on her forehead and walked out to the sunrise.

Old Michael died later that year. Picking vegetables at the church garden in the Texas heat proved to be to much for the old man. He heard the Lord call for him, laid down among the tomato plants, crossed his arms on his chest, closed his eyes, and went home. We never told Puck. I suppose we will someday, when she’s older. We’ll explain it to her when she has the maturity to understand. One thing we won’t tell her though. Old Michael was was a homosexual. He lived with Sonny for forty-five years. He was with the American Red Cross, and his entire life had been dedicated to helping children in disaster areas. He considered the children to be his little friends. Puck was his last little friend.

I have made my views very clear, and I don’t back up, but life is a complicated equation, and only God knows the real answers. He sees all and judges hearts. No matter what your views or beliefs are one rule is solid. Don’t hate. Don’t ever hate. There just might be an Old Michael knocking at your door some night.

September 11

September 11

Today is my birthday. When you get up around my age, birthdays tend to come a lot faster than they used to. I have noticed that I’m looking a bit older these days, but I’m happy that I’m aging like Sean Connery. I seem to have accumulated some knowledge about women, too. In high school I was a nerd. I was the only one who went on the obligatory trip to Mexico and couldn’t find a date down there, and I HAD the five dollars. Now THAT’S a nerd, folks!

I had an interesting chat with my granddaughter, Puck, yesterday. She’s seven, and I told her today was my birthday. She asked me if I was going to die. Now, you first reaction to a question like that from a child is to wonder what she sees that you don’t. Then you find yourself staring into the mirror for the longest time while you brush your teeth. And about that, how did I end up with “old guy” mouth? My teeth are all healthy, but just old!

Anyway, Puck told me she loved me. Then she said that if I was to go ahead and kick the bucket today she wanted to have me cremated so I could be with her always. As an added feature she would give a scoop of me to her four little brothers so I could be with THEM, too. I feel it’s only fair too mention Puck’s real name is Carrie.

I used to be a good Catholic, but as I learned more about women I strayed from the party line a bit. You know you’re over the hill when you can legally date a woman who was born after you got your first divorce. One thing I’ve learned about young women is they can’t drink, and that flaw has served me well over the last few years. (Lord, I’m sorry I did that, I’ll try not to do that in the future.) One girl I’d like to get drunk is Wendy Davis. I mean, with her views on abortion you KNOW what she likes to do, right?

About the only thing of historical significance that ever happened on my birthday until 2001 was Patton disobeying orders, invading Germany ANYWAY, and sending a picture to Omar Bradley, taken from behind, of him pee peeing in the Rhine. There was some saint who’s feast day was my birthday. He had a limp like me, but never really did anything. Guess he was a nerd, too. My birthday is starting to be called, “Freedom Day,” which, after four divorces I can totally relate to.

My physical, and lab work came in last week and I’m fit as a fiddle. In former days, I would rise in the morning and say an “Our Father,” maybe throw in a few “Hail Mary’s,” for good measure, and charge into the morning. These days I sit on the edge of the bed, wish my shoes weren’t so far away, and just say, “DAMN!” My memory is intact. (DAMN!)

I detest birthday parties, but a few gifts drifted in. One was a box of Oliva cigars. I got a thirty pack of beer to go with them. Frenchi sent me a note saying good things come to those who wait. I’m so glad she’s of age! There was no cake. (I hate cake!) About the most exciting thing coming up this week is the arrival of a cold front on Friday, and if you’re a Texan you can appreciate that. I ran out of Aleve, and I need to address that situation, but I’m regular, and that’s always nice.

I remember my old business partner, W C Dorrill, who died at eighty-nine or so. If there was ever a type number one capitalist it was him. When I asked him how he viewed getting so old he said, “I wake up each day, reach for the paper, look at the obituaries, and if I don’t see my name, I get up!