Monday, February 28, 2011


I cleaned out my closet today.
This is not a metaphor.
I really did.
Its the end of a season and all of the detrius has got to be organized.
 Ever since child #2 started her science experiments I have been somwhat afraid of the closet. The hall closet.
It went like this......
Something died in our house, something big and gross.
Nothing small could have made this smell.
It was awful.
Take the worst smell you have ever smelled, kill it, leave it under a sunlamp for ten days in a sealed plastic bag and then open the bag one inch from your nose.
Thats about a tenth of what this smell was.
And the worst thing was. I couldnt find it.
It would waft around the house on mysterious invisible air currents and attasck your sinus just when you had relaxed. Your nose hairs would curl up and your nostrils would pinch shut in a little known human adaptive evolutionary skill developed by survivors of mustard gas.
The wife would throw up, #1 would throw up and, this should have been a clue, #2 would look puzzled? as if this smell was not entirely unexpected.
I should have asked her.
But we have all learned that.
So, one night I walked in and was struck physically punched in the face by this smell.
It kicked my ass.
I fell to the ground and belatedly realized that the smell was emanating from the closet.
Not even bothering to stand up I begin to clean the closet.
Hold up.
TOM DEFINITION: To CLEAN, def#1 to empty objects out of location and then put them back in no particular order when desired object has been found. def#2 call someone and tell them something is dirty.
So, I was laying on the ground cleaning the closet. The smell getting stronger by the second.
I was trying to understand how something so large as the dead bison so obviously hidden somewhere in my closet could have gotten there.
Thats when I found the little clear plastic bag.
A sandwich bag.
It had something in it.
It was not a sandwich.
It was greenish and blueish and I swear it was moving.
I opened it.
about an inch from my nose.
I am told by people that I normally consider reliable that I squealed in a high pitched voice and leapt from a prone position to a dead sprint outside with a simple twitching motion and was gone, still squealing, in a blur.
I have no memory of this.
The next thing I remember is the stars revolving slowly above me, the concrete seemed quite soft and I was just closing my eyes for a well deserved nap when child #2s adorable face swam into view in front of the stars.
"Why did you throw my xspearamint away? it was almost ready"
I passed out then. The monster and threat to all human life my sweet child had become begining to sob in the distance because I had thrown her death bag away.

I cleaned out my closet today.
Why do I keep the single glove?
The Broken Cricket bat?
I found 10 lunch bags.
A few with lunch still in them.
Piles and piles of stuff.
I used to think that I could just be ZEN.
I cleaned out my closet though.
To be zen, your closets have to be clean.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


When was the last time you went walkabout?

I am probably not using the word correctly so I will endeavor to explain a bit.
To just set off and wander. To have no destination in mind, just walking to and fro on the earth to find what you may find.

See, our world is a pretty interesting place. You people do all of these really weird things, roads and buildings and houses and stuff.

Just Stuff.

 It’s everywhere actually, this stuff.

Sometimes it makes sense to me. This building is for living, this building is for playing, this building is for eating.  I try to pay attention. I try to open my eyes and see the world around me.

Most times though, the stuff just blurs in the corner of my eye. I rush by so fast on my way to somewhere to do something that seems immensely important at that moment. Everything just becomes grey and featureless.
I realized one day whilst driving down the road that I could actually see much further in the distance then I really had any use for.  I mean, everything that concerned me was happening within 75 feet and closer. And when I looked up from the road I could see a vast distance. I could see mountains, some I have been on but most not. I could see the far horizon and I wondered what was beyond it. I could see the everlasting sky above me, the faint outline of the moon and the blaze of the sun.

So I parked. And walked. I saw a lot of things. I saw a lot of people.
A man asked me for money and I gave him some.
A woman asked me directions and I smiled and gave what help I could.
I took pictures of things and people that caught my eye.
And I wondered.
I wondered about the lives of others.
What they do and why they do it?
Who they are and who they want to be?
I saw their buildings and their homes.
I walked and walked and saw wonderful things.

I opened my eyes and saw the dirt and the trees, pushing up from sterile ground in impossible places.

I saw art, and I saw garbage, and to my untrained eye it was hard for me to tell the difference.

I saw the world. A very, very small part of the world.
But for a moment, it seemed very big indeed.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

and it snows

My motorcycle is mad at me.
I promised we could ride to work today.
and it snowed.
I had even gotten my leathers out.
Gloves, glove liners, full face helmet, long johns, wool fuzzy socks, those little heat sticky things, neck warmer (a manly scarf) and Boots.
All set out and dusted off and ready to go.
and it snowed.
I love my motorcycle.
Because it kicks ass, because it makes me look like I kick ass, (I DO, as a matter of fact KICK ASS)
Because it is freedom on two wheels.
But it snowed.
So motorcycle stayed in the warm Garage and glared at me with its one eye all day. At least it did until I reminded it of this story.....
I was on a ride with my cousins. The cool cousins (all but one of my cousins is cool) and we were headed up to the spring chicken inn in Coalville,
Coalville canyon is a joy on a fast motorcycle. Long and winding and just perfect. I had called everyone for the ride and by default that made me nominally in charge.
Which meant that even though all of my cousins ride better and are cooler than I, they were following me.
I am directionally challenged.
I have a short attention span.
I am not very smart.
Riding was (is) a wonderful thing. I love it.
Love my motorcycle.
I got into a zone about half way through the canyon and just lrt the bike go.
I think thats what true zen is.
In the moment, flowing, smooth and relaxed.
I lost track of everything but me.
Man was I in the moment.
Until my cousin Marcus (who looks EXACTLY like Mel Gibson) pulled up along side of me and punched me in the ribs.
I looked up and saw him yell "UNPRINTABLE F BOMB!!!!! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU GOING!"
not wanting to appear impolite I pulled over.
Looked around for the cousins and realized it was just me and Marcus.
To my questioning gaze but no vocals he replied.
"WHAT is your deal? The spring chicken was over 45 minutes ago, we are in WYOMING!"
They still bring that up.
Motorcycle still laughs about it.
The story cheered me and motorcycle right up.
Cant wait to ride.
It will probably,
snow again.

Monday, February 14, 2011

IN THE WILDS OF Murray (part 2)

Writing this and avoiding psychiatric intervention has been very difficult. I do believe that leaving out all of the blood, gore and Police involvement will work out better for everyone in the end.

Especially me.

The wonderfully sweet old lady next door was very kind about the missing chunk of her house. I think because she looked at the wrong side of the house but I was not going to complain.

A 45lc is a pretty big piece of lead, big enough to break three and a few more bricks clean off the corner of the house.
I had to change tactics. The shooting wasn’t going well, I sent dog out one night to chase them away, fail. They chased dog away.
That was the ticket.
Not the in-humane break their little legs and cause them excruciating pain for hours kind, but only because I couldn’t find any of those.
I bought this thing called a "Box Trap" it’s made by a company called Havahart®
and they really kick ass.
Except for one small problem.
Raccoons won’t go into them.
I tried Cat food, caught a whole bunch of cats. Most notably Fat Jack, who decided that the trap was a good place to nap.
I tried pizza, caught the Dog.
I tried sardines, pickles, eggs, steak and chicken cooked and raw. I caught birds, dogs, cats, and the feral child that lived down by the creek.
But no coons.
Not One.
They would sit out on the fence and mock me.
One night I was resting in the hot tub. I looked up to see an entire family perched with their creepy little articulated finger things on the fence. Laughing at me. I very clearly heard one of them laugh and call me “Stew”
I threw the bromine dispenser at them. I threw snowballs, I threw my dammed swimsuit. Then they really started laughing.
The war had just got personal.
That night they got really bold, and peed on my swamp cooler.
I knew it was them because I made it outside with the flashlight just in time to see the largest coon I had ever seen, doing his business on top of my swamp cooler.
Fragrant doesn’t begin to describe the aroma.
In desperation I gave up my man-card and called for help.
(As a side note, Rule 2563 of MANLY clearly states that asking directions, admitting to being lost, liking twilight and asking for help all result in immediate suspension of your man-card)
I called the Urban wildlife agency. They refused to tell me over the phone. Told me they would send a guy right out.
Ten minutes later there was a knock at the door. I opened the door to an old man in stained Carhartts and those cool old school Vuarnet Glacier glasses.

He didn’t say a word. Just handed me a folded slip of paper and turned away.
I was almost afraid to unfold it.
I did.
It had a phone number, and under the phone number, TWINKIES was written.
That night I put a Twinkie in the trap.
I caught a coon.
Huge smile!!
I did this night after night after night.
Coons can’t resist a Twinkie.
I was winning the war.
It was a little odd. Every morning I would have a coon in the trap. Some were big, some were small. All of them seemed timid until you tried to move the trap. Then they would turn into these snarling spitting howling gnashing beasts.
I would carry the trap as far away from my leg as my stumpy little arms could stretch. The boy-coons spray pee.
A lot of pee.
I would leave the trap with coon on the porch and call the number. When I next looked, I would see an empty trap. I never saw anyone come and get them. I assumed it was the old man and his minions.
Weeks went by. The population was dwindling. Instead of a coon a night, I started catching one every other night. Then once a week. Then, three weeks without a coon.
I thought I had won.
Then the Twinkies started to disappear.
I thought it was birds, I hoped it was elves.
No luck.
The Twinkies started to just vanish out of the trap. One of them, or several, was pooped on the hood of my truck. Partially digested. Twinkies actually don’t look that much different as poop. Just mushed.
I will never eat a Twinkie again. Not if I live to be a million.
Enter sweet old lady..
She lived next door. I had shot her house. She had a turtle that was 123 years old. She liked to talk.
One day, she was out front, talking to me. I was not really paying much attention until I heard the word “raccoon” peel off of her dentures. So I rewound her a little bit and got right to the root of the whole problem.
Her son, who must be some kind of wacko nut case, had raised coons for years. Bred them in a giant chicken wire hamster cage he had constructed in the backyard. Bred them for their fur. For coats.
When he found out you actually have to KILL the things to get the fur he just kept them.
As pets.
All of them. 40-50 of them at one time.
Then he moved.
But before he left, he let all of his buddies go. Just opened their giant chicken wire home up and walked away.
PETA would have been so proud.
Seriously, I can’t make this shit up.
So here I was.
In the midst of a war.
Come to find that the enemy was once an honored guest.
I didn’t feel bad about shooting her house anymore.
I won the war.

I caught three more coons.
The last one I caught was so big that the old guy and his minions had to bring out a special trap for it. We baited it with a Twinkie, and with a bit of super-secret coon cologne that the old man had in his pocket. Smelled just like cotton candy.
That last coon was so big he couldn’t even turn around in the trap.
Took two Carhartt clad minions to carry him off.
I was watching this last time, hoping I could see where they went.
The old man lowered his glacier glasses, gave me a wink.
He put the glasses back on and there was this flash of light………

part 2 is coming

Its just so hard.
Because while part two does have funny parts, its really more of a tragical kind of story.
And the harder I try to make it sound funny the more twisted it makes me seem.
I have written it five ways and twenty times and when I go back and read it all I can think is that I am one seriously disturbed individual that should probably be on medication.
That and I am really not sure what the statue of limitations is for this.......
its coming though. I promise

Monday, February 7, 2011


I may have written about this before, any of you that spend time with me have undoubtedly heard these tales before.
So what.
I am telling them again. Not least because the neighbor whose house I shot just died. Rest her soul she was a sweet woman and now it is safe to tell the story.
I live in the City. Murray City. Its near Salt lake City and fairly close to downtown. I have a large backyard that is mostly overgrown and filled with various hidden wonders.
That being said, its still the city.
We had a Raccoon problem.
At first it was cool. We would see one or two in the backyard, eyes shining as they foraged for food. We would bring the kids to the window and point and laugh and think how lucky we were to see this symbol of wild America living freely in our backyard, in the city.
What horseshit.
Then they started getting into things. Garbage cans were first. Stinky rotten diapers and spoiled food strewn every which way and hither and yon, as if they had pillow fights with the sacks. Then the cat-food. Then they started to eat the fish in my pond. Then the final straw. They ate my kids cat.
Not the whole cat. Just the soft bits. They left the head for me to find. Centered on my deck. looking at the house.
It was war.
I shot the first one with a pellet gun. I pumped that gun up until I couldn't move the lever at all. I waited for the little furry rasshole to look at me and I shot him right between the eyes.
He blinked at me.
Scratched his head with one of his amazingly articulated fingers, and went back to eating the cat food.
I chased him away, yelled and screamed. Figure the lead in the brain would kill him later.
Then I found the pellet.
No penetration.
The next one almost got me. Almost got the wife. It was terrifying. Child #1 told us she could hear a brand new momma kitty and its babies in the greenhouse. She has super bionic ears, always has. So we went out to look.
The Wife stood by the door and I crept to the back of the greenhouse. We had all of the deck cushions piled up and we figured under them was a good place for the babies to be born...
I lifted the cushions one at a time, making soft non-threatening noises to keep mama kitty calm.
With the last cushion mama kitty turned into a ball of enraged raccoon. Came right up my arm hissing and snarling and snapping its enraged teeth.
I, being the epitome of American manliness, the brave blood of pioneers and soldiers coursing through my veins.
Screamed like a girl and tried to run away.
I went one way, the coon went the other. I bounced off the brick wall. Hard. The coon went right for the door. The only way out.
Right up the wife's leg and onto her head.
I bounced off two more walls like a crazed pinball and managed to grab the maniacal creature and throw it down behind me.
 I grabbed the nearest weapon and turned to wage war on this snarling beast. This rabid menace. I faced it head on to defend what was mine.....
With a hot dog fork.
I stabbed it as hard as I could and predictably the fork started to bend like a soggy pool noodle. I was yelling, wife was screaming, coon was snarling like a leopard, I was reaching back for anything, a shovel, anything! I felt the solid weight of a yard tool and begun to beat the coon to death.
it took a long time.
Not least because the weapon I had managed to secure was just a rake.
A little pink and blue barbie rake.
It was a little humiliating.
Did you ever read as a child the tale of the billy goats gruff? The wee little goat is replaced by its gruff big brother? And so the long day wore on....
I had slain the littlest coon in the neighborhood.
His brother came after me a few night later.
I heard him hissing my name.
I bypassed the previously failed pellet gun and kicked the stupid rake out of the way. I went right for the BFG, rules and laws be dammned.
A 45LC single action cowboy gun.
The coon, lousy arrogant bastard, was standing on my fence. Mocking me.
I stepped out into the night. Gun by my side, a glint in my eye.
He hissed and me and reared up in challenge, still perched on the fence.
I took a deep breath, steadied my aim and....
The roar shook the neighborhood.
The raccoon. Flipped me the bird and ambled off. Cackling.
To be cont......

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dumb and Me

As I get older I think the world is dumber.
Then I reflect.
When I was 11 I shot the Family TV with a pellet gun.
When I was 12 I accidentally burned down the apple tree and part of the fence.
When I was 13 I mixed all the chemicals in my chemistry set together and sorta blew up my dresser.
When I was 14 a praying mantis nest I had lost, hatched in my parents bedroom, in January.
At 15 I destroyed the chemistry lab at school, at 16 I was pulled over the day after I got my License going 102 in a 25, At 17 I took a life-size stuffed doll with the biggest bra money could buy filled to bursting to Prom. At 18 when my Girlfriend asked for slim-fast for Christmas, I gave it to her. Day after my 19th birthday I tried to fight a car full of irate mini-humans, by myself. 20 years old found me water-skiing behind a car in the church parking lot during a rainstorm. 21 was almost it, I tried to touch a dead alligator that wasn't.
At 22 I rode a flexible flier down Ephraim canyon at 2 am, 23 I drove a truck over an old graveyard and collapsed 5 graves, 24 I took a GEO Storm into the escalante off road area and got lost and stuck, 25 I got fat, 26 years old I took a job painting slums for a slumlord, 27 I calmly watched as a fellow idiot tried to put out a small fire with a rag soaked in paint thinner, 28 I watched as a employee poured gas in the window of his own car and threw in a match, 29 was my first golf experience from a blacktop driving balls into a neighborhood.
30, I popped a can of expanding foam into my own face, At 31 I jumped a golf cart backwards off a 6 foot high loading dock, 32 was the year I really started to push things by calling 15 federal inmates a racial slur and lazy in the same breath.
33 I could have legally taught in synagogue, but instead I was careless with a deadly rodentcide and ended up in ICU for three days with glowing poop.
34 I took a job for the state.
35 I forgot how old I was and started telling people I was 29, but my rapidly growing forehead is a little to obvious.
When I was 36 I beat the hell out of two guys in a road rage sort of thing, after I kicked in the driver side door as they were leaving I realized "Hey! I could get in trouble for that!"
Also at 36, because Karma man hates me and my Dad is still mad about the TV. I got shot with a pellet gun by some kid.
37. Nothing yet, but the year is still young.
So to reiterate.
As I get older It seems that the world is getting dumber. On reflection however.
Its just me.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

What to Write?

What do you talk about when there is really nothing going on?
What do you write about when you cant think?
Its that awkward pause in the conversation when you realize that you really have nothing more to say.
Some people call it writers block. I prefer the term "Brain Constipation"
You must admit, my term is much more......picturesque.
It seems that I am actually nervous to write about a lot of the really funny stuff that has happened. For various reasons, prosecution being one of them. The other participants in said hilarity still being alive would be another.
I am eagerly awaiting the demise of a few people just so i can tell a really funny story.
That sounds so wrong.
I am certain if I told it whilst they were still amongst the living, they would slay me. So, I will tell a lessor story. Still funny.... Just not AS funny.

I once worked with this fellow, lets call him Berry for the sake of a name. He was young and full of the devil. He liked to play practical and impractical jokes on people.
Impractical meaning that the probability of anyone else in the world finding the joke funny was highly unlikely. I blame Jackass. Damn that Bam.
I was in a toilet stall one fine day. Don't cringe, but you too have been in those same stalls. Looking out.
I was minding my own business, actually and literally, when a handful of wet toilet paper hit me right in the face.
It was cold.
and very very wet.
Berry! In my heart I swore vengeance!
I may have mentioned this before, i may not have mentioned it at all, I don't do these sort of things. Not usually. Mostly because when I do them, they end badly.
I am not smart.
I forgot that my revenges always end poorly.
One day a little after this.
I was walking out of the bathroom and Berry walked in. Alone. I knew he was alone because I had just left and I had been alone.
I am sure, that as I gathered an entire sink full of toilet paper and turned the cold water on that I was grinning in a deranged manner.
I know I was, saw it in the mirror.
I carried fully ten pounds of dripping wet nastiness to the stall, saw the boots under it.
I leapt in the air and slam dunked the entire wad right on Berry's face!!!
I was laughing in a deranged manner as I ran out of the bathroom and slammed right into Berry.
Standing right outside the door.
The look on my face went from deranged glee to oh shit in less then an eye blink.
I was only able to turn slowly and see the door slowly opening.
My Boss.
Wearing ten pounds of splattered toilet paper.
Berry was laughing like a deranged person.
I never learn