Monday, November 12, 2012

.: Moonchild

.: Moonchild

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The tale of Fast Eddie

He never smiled.
Well, he would show his teeth, but it was slightly awkward when he did. Like a Mockingbird whistling the refrain to "purple rain" or a parrot saying the first lines of "Mein Kampf", it was just off. We called him Fast Eddie because he wasn't.
Fast.
Not even a little teeny tiny bit.
A long time ago when I was working for my Dad painting some condos, we had to invent a new speed. We had this older guy working for us that moved at a speed somewhere between super slow motion and dead. We called it "KENtSPEED" and forever in my mind that is what it will be.
Fast Eddie moved just slightly faster then KENtSPEED, but a little slower then a glacier.
Always.
He even talked slow.
In what some might call "irony" but is actually just a happy coincidence, he drove his car really fast. He had a 1978 Trans Am with the Shaker hood, Edlebrock Carbs, Slam shifter and the Big 400 with 350 heads. It was in mint perfect condition.
It was Fast Eddies entire life and existence.
The only thing he ever talked about with any sort of animation, his eyes would glaze and he would stop stuttering. He Might even move his eyebrows up and down a little, to really emphasize a finer point of the "goddsdamned best vehicle that mankind has ever, or will ever see"
Fast Eddie and I got along pretty well, I only saw him one night a week on my mandatory weekly night-shift, he was on a permanent night shift. We tried working him during the day once, but he frightened the customers. So back to night shift he went.
Humans are generally complete asssholes. The guys on the night shift were no exception to this rule. They started making fast Eddie the joke.
I don't know exactly what they would do, probably just the normal stupid things that the cretinous drudges do to someone that is slightly off. Someone that never smiles. Someone whose only interest in life is an old Pontiac.
Whatever it was, it was mean. It changed Fast Eddie, slowly. It was not an instant thing, it happened over months. He started to get this crazed, haunted expression. He reminded me of a cartoon character that knows the ground could disappear at any moment. That any given second someone was going to yank the rug out from under him exposing the endless black pit.
He still did his job, the same as he had always done it. But when the Jackals damage something the buzzards start to circle.
The bosses took notice.
Not, of course, that the animals were biting at Fast Eddie, but that Fast Eddie was suddenly not their idea of an ideal employee.
Because to the Jackals and Buzzards, it not enough for you to do your job, never. You have to "fit in" as well. Run with the herd.
This was years before Columbine, years before the "bullying" bull shit that pervades the media. Even then though, in the halcyon years, I had this niggling fear that one day Fast Eddie was going to come into work with an AK-47 and kill everyone he could find.
It was the not-smiling.
He saw people, saw what they did, how they talked and interacted, how they made nice with one another. So he tried, even though it made no sense to him at all, he tried. He really did try, anyone with half an Iota of empathy, anyone with even an inkling of intelligence or imagination, would have seen it. He really did try.
Some people just don't fit in.
So one night I got to work to find Fast Eddies Trans Am wrapped around the last light pole in the parking lot. The drivers door was open and there was no sign of Fast Eddie.
I went in and no one knew, or would admit, to knowing what had happened. According to all of them Fast Eddie had just suddenly stood up, without a word, and just walked out.
I never did find out what the sons of bitches had done, But later on I had my own run in with their Boss. I still have dreams. happy dreams, about shooting him in the face with a 45lc.
As to fast Eddie?
I watched the surveillance video probably 20 times. He walks out of the building and gets into his car. After a minute the car rapidly accelerates and he drives it perfectly straight into the pole. No brakes, no swerve.
He had clearly made a choice and followed it through. After a few seconds he got out of the car and walked away.
He never claimed the car, or his final paycheck. I like to think that he found a job working on his Pontiacs.
I doubt I will ever know.
I started out to write this memory as a little slice of humorous life.
But that just would not have been fair.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Stranger things

Some of the conversations I have with people border on the absurd.
Scratch that, let me re-phrase, very few of the conversations I have with people could be considered normal.
Possibly because I do not fit into the "normal" spectrum, but I think that the universe has a sick sense of humor.
Either that or Karma-man hates my guts for stealing his weed in a previous life.
I had a female walk up to me at work the other day and throw a hand drawn floor map at me. Then she screamed (loudly) "I want my 48 feet back!"
I had no idea who she was or what the hell she was talking about. Fearing that she was having an episode of some sort I plastered the "concern" expression on my face and remained silent.
She plastered the "furious hate" expression on her face and stood staring at me with her arms folded.
I felt that she was ready to stand there all the live long day so I relented and said "Huh?"
She took this for the green light and was verbally off like a shot. After about a three minute rant, three minutes by my watch, which I kept glancing at, I got the gist.
She had given me a hand-drawn request for some small interior project she wanted done the week before, measured out with her very accurate paces, and I had the absolute gall! The nerve! The GOD-COMPLEX! To give her back a blueprint, computer generated from the stupid building plans that reduced her spacious 48 feet to a paltry 32.
I was confounded. Rendered speechless.
She took this as even more encouragement and started wailing about the unfairness of life, the stupid domination of men and their even dumber ability to pee wherever they feel and my idiotic reliance on such inane things as "BLUEPRINTS" "TAPE-MEASURES" "LEVELS AND LASERS" and other such malignant tools of Herr Satan.

I had recovered sufficiently by this point to try and reason with her by explaining that on the 4th floor, there really was only 32 feet between the walls in her area and That I would be pleased to walk over with her and show her. Using the tape measure that, since time immemorial, has given us dumb ass Americans the measure of feet, inches and so forth.
She actually threw her laptop bag on the ground and screamed at me that only if I gave her the 48 feet back which I had taken from her was she ever going to let this drop.
She turned on her heels and marched directly into the CEOs office, slamming the door behind her.
Not before I was able to hear the screamed, "I just want my 48 feet back....."
Stunned Silence.
I heard the click of a keyboard, the hum of a printer.
Then Laughter.
Not a roar of laughter, not a group, not even the dual chorus of two folks laughing at a good joke. 220 people within hearing distance and one guy was laughing.
One.
I turned to see who it was.
A Director, of another Division.
To my somewhat stunned expression, he laughed even harder.
Patted me on the back and said "your job really sucks"
yes.
Yes it really does.





Saturday, May 12, 2012

Clout

I was asked the other day what my "clout" score was.
This surprised me. I had thought that the only ones that kept track of the clouting, were Santa with his naughty list at the north pole and St Pete and his list of bad shit people do.
I have not really kept track of the clouting in recent years. No notches in my belt or self mutilation, tattoos or stickers.
So I gave it a quick think.
Most recently I clouted a van. With my boot first and then my special fiberglass and steel reinforced clouting glove.
It was late, I was tired, and the damn juggalos inside the van threw a beer can (1/2 full, I am an optimist) at me. I guess they didn't know that with the kickstand down the motorcycle stands all by itself.
wonders shall never cease.
The wonder to me, even as I was busy trying to clout in the passenger door of the van, is that 6 very large humans of indiscriminate gender and/or sobriety would run from one guy. Not actually "run" per se, but reverse in their jugavan away from me whilst screaming like frenzied frolicking female ferrets.
Not actually "large" either. More like morbidly obese.
Toms clout score: 6 (5 for the door and one for the widow)
Juggalos clout score: 1/2. Had the beer can actually hit me I would have given them 1, had it hit my bike I would be writing this from jail.
I guess I could count clouting the inmates, I could probably even count the clouting of Dan with the golf cart.
How far back do they want this scoring to go?
Do you get a negative clout if you get clouted back?
If your Brother clouts you or you clout him, is that different from clouting strangers?
What about clouting with objects?
If I clout someone with, say, a baseball bat. Is that more or less points if I clout them with the handle I broke off a refrigerator?
Its confusing.
I answered by saying I wasn't sure, but probably somewhere in the low thousands.
To my answer I received an incredulous look.
and a mystifying reply. "That's impossible, Justin Beiber has the only perfect clout score , and its 100"
Bullshit says I. If that little androgynous nymph has ever clouted anything in his life I would eat garden snails. In fact, the only way he has a clout score at all is if you somehow get points for getting the shit kicked out of you in first grade for being a whiny little floppy haired troll.
Blank stare.
Then I saw his piggy little geek eyes light up.
"Its K-L-O-U-T. Its your on-line influence."
I said, no, its C-L-O-U-T, and it means "to hit, or strike."
He sniffed at me. Then started to go into a long explanation of this new "scoring " system that involved your followers, who you follow, what you like, blah blah blah blah. He droned on and on. He started to get supercilious and condescending at the end of his tirade.
So I smiled, and to demonstrate the reality of my argument.
I clouted him.
Tom: 1
Stupid Geek: -230
(he gets -1 for the clout, -1 for being silly and -228 for the squeaky little sound he made when he got clouted.)
Luckily for him, I was not wearing my special clouting gloves.




Monday, April 30, 2012

Rope


How can you not like a rope swing?
Tarzan inspires all of us. Admit it.
Not just the scantily clad Jane, but the swinging on vines.
Like many of us in this country, my first experience with a rope swing came at scout camp.
Scout camp. What an anachronistic group. You do realize that the Boy Scouts were started because a certain Sir Baden Powell thought that the youth of his day were too soft to serve their country in war?
Anywhen, that is neither here nor there.
The rope swing at our camp, went across a "river". Really it was more of a hyped up stream. In the late summer the snow-melt that filled the stream was long gone, leaving us a foot deep trickle to adventurously swing across.
As everyone knows, the rope swing is not so much about skill as it is about hand strength. Panic and fear of water greatly help in this endeavor, as does the natural hand strength found in teenage boys.
Swinging across was not really the problem, letting go was. So we had three of the older boys go first to catch the rest of us. One mighty swing and we would travel the vast 9 feet to the opposite bank.
Leaders went first, then the boys, with one leader left to catch the rope and hand it off the the next boy.
We had leaders, women leaders. Even at that age I found it odd that a group called the "boy" anything would have women leaders?
Ah, well.
All the leaders but one were across, and me. I loved the rope swing. So I stayed till last, pushing the other mewling brats in front of me so that I could have a go with a little run and jump plan I had been formulating.
A leader, lets call her... "Susan" (Her real name) was waiting with me. She was one of the Mom leaders, and she took the  whole "scout" thing real serious. She was all about "regulation" she absolutely refused to wear or do anything that was not in the handbook or the catalog. Even her uniform was immaculate. It was regulation every thing, her husband seemed rich to all of us. His kids always had the coolest stuff and she was always dressed exactly like she should be. She bought the entire uniform thing out of the BSA catalog. She even had the recommended knee high socks that begin where her regulation skirt ended. Pleated and pressed and tucked in.

I had a uniform shirt and a Rambo knife. That was good enough for me.


She terrified me for some reason. It could have been her voice, or maybe it was how close together her eyes were? My younger brother told me it was her fingernails. They were long and painted in breathtakingly garish colors. They were also as sharp as  razors. Whatever it was, she scared the hell right out of me. Her sons were punks. The youngest had bitten a chunk out of my little brothers leg years before and the oldest had gotten his ass stomped by a neighbor for hitting his fiat with a bottle rocket. Punks.
She was their mom, to the bone.
(JimmyJohns was Blue)

It was down to me and her, the Rope the river and a small horde of boys waiting on the other side.
Later this same day, she pulled me aside and held my head up so that our eyes met, she dug her fingernails into my jaw and leaned in real close, she whispered in my ear "If you ever, ever tell anyone! I will come into your bedroom at night and KILL you!"
It was not until a few years ago that I realized she sounded exactly like Christopher Walken.
So I reached for the rope, thinking she would be the last one across. Actually, I was hoping that she would walk the five feet to the bridge and just let me swing across alone. But the other Leader, lets call her "Shirley" (her real name) had swung across with a hoot and a lithe turn of the ankles. Shirley kicked ass. She wore jeans and a t-shirt, her regulations started and ended with "do exactly what I say", she wore moccasins and drove a 4WD Jeep Eagle.
I guess she had thrown down the gauntlet.
Susan grabbed the rope from my hands and went for it.
Kids today. They will never know the joy of living in a non-recorded life. Had this been now, all the little hipster scouts would have had their phones and DSLRs and GOPROs pointed directly at the action. You tube would have loved this one.
It would have gone viral.
She went in a downwards trajectory, and when the rope should have started to swoop her across to the other side, her fingers, or perhaps the nails, failed her.
She plummeted the 6 or 7 feet straight down with a girlish squeal.
The splash shot up as high as the banks on both sides. She hit knees first and flopped forward on her stomach.
I was the only one left on her south side.
The regulation scout skirt had flipped up on her back.
It took me a second or two to realize what I was staring at. The sound my mouth made when it snapped shut caused Susan, still on her hands and knees, to glance back at me. Realization, em-bareass-ment and sparkly hatred swept across her algae smeared face.
The catalog apparently, did not have a regulation underthing for women.







Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Cat from The Past


I wrote this on Face Book a couple of years ago. Fat-Jack is a cat. He is still Alive. Elsewhere in these pages you will read of his belief in his own immortality, fighting a Raccoon, Fighting Dogs, and generally spending his lives in living large.
This was the first thing I wrote about Him.


He vanished over a week ago. This itself is not unusual, it used to be a common occurrence before the Dog tried to eat him and tore his throat open. We had him snipped and stitched at the same time. He wandered a little after that, but it slowed to a trickle after he got jumped by a posse of Persians and Siamese, they kicked his ass. After that he has seemed to settle down, sleeping on the porch in the dog kennel he commandeered, eating tasty little morsels his obedient slaves (#1 and 2) brought to him, and generally getting fat and somnolent in his dotage. I say dotage because he is old for a tom-cat, 6 human years, which is the exact equivalent to; 6 cat years! I promise, there is not a feline calendar predicting the end of the world, that’s the Mayans, and they’re wrong. I digress, We picked up Wee Jack at my brothers house in Heber 6-7 years ago. His sister came with us. When they were 8 months old wee-jack was cat-napped by a real estate agent. We tracked her down and got him back. But not before she had claw protectors put on. Dang he felt silly, big tough tom-cat in acrylic nails. Poor little guy. But that’s all in the past, far away and long ago.
He vanished last week, leaving not a wrack behind. Remember, this is the cat that sleeps with one eye open. Because of a scar. He is so lazy that he has been mistaken for road-kill. Not just by me, the mailman tried to move his “body” out of the way once. Not my fault that “dead” cats don’t like being picked up by one hind leg and swung like a pendulum. It was not even a very bad bite, and Fat Jack seemed to like the pepper spray..
But this time, he was just gone. For the first day it was a mild annoyance, an empty kennel on the porch, odd but not really. By the third day, we were all a little worried. Well, the GIRLS were a little tiny bit worried. I was nonchalant. By the fifth day, the GIRLS were getting a bit weepy and I had started looking for his body on the side of the road. Monday, we did the round of the shelters, looking at all three of them that steal animals from this area. We pored over the DOA lists, hoping to not find him, but wanting a bit of closure for the kids. Yesterday we hit them all again, and added in a couple of known cat trappers and feral cat feeder types. 
No dice. 
Today, the 8th day since his vanishing act, we decided to give it one more shot. We hit The Humane Society, the County and the City shelter and the nearby vets. Not a hair or hint did we find. As we are coming back into the neighborhood, glum chums all. #1 starts up about this house. She just knows that Jack is there. I am disinclined to check, but you want to be a good dad right? So I hoof it up to the door and bang a few times. No answer, but I do notice an odd aroma, something like the lion house at the zoo. Just for the hell of it I yelled JACK! Instantly there was a loud caterwauling from the garage. It sounded like just one cat, but hey, my ears are broken so I hoofed it to the car and grabbed #1 whose ears work perfectly. The second she got out of the car she starts “I can hear jack!” etc. So then I get the Wife, whose ears also work perfectly. She saunters up to the window of the garage and starts calling “Jack” “Jack” before she could get to the third “J” this furry object comes flying out of the darkness of the garage and splats on the screen next to the wife’s face. Guess What? It’s himself, The Fat Jack. At this point we know that no one is answering, we also know that it’s Jack. His scars, especially the eye, are pretty distinctive. So what’s a guy to do? I smashed the window. Reached in and pulled out Jack. I put the screen back just in time to prevent the other 30 or so cats from pouring out to freedom. Yeah, that’s right. At least 30, all shapes and sizes. The Fat Jack had fallen victim to a cat hoarder. 
The dumb cat.
So, now we are home. Jack is bathed (holy snarking shit!) and wearing a fresh collar. He ate two cans of cat food, farted loudly and fell asleep on the dog. Who seems to be the happiest to see him.
I made an anonymous call to the fascist authorities; they informed me that they have already removed 20 plus cats from this garage. But they will come out tomorrow and look again. Wow, A cat hoarder. So The Fat Jack is safe once again. 
The saga of the fat Jack.

Fat Jack as a a wee un (he was just Jack then)
Fat Jack in his formative weeks ;-)
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Methdirection


I am not going to tell you how to make meth.
 Honestly, I do appreciate the thousands of hits I have been getting on my normal blog since posting "Methadventures" but really, seriously, I am not telling you exactly how to make it.
Ever.
I will tell you the story of "Torch" as an object lesson.
"Torch" aka Little Bill, Tiny Bitch, NoWanker and Ned, was one of the longest lasting inmates on my crew. He was in for involuntary Manslaughter, plus manufacture and distribution of a controlled substance.
He was a meth-cook. A chemist that graduated from some tech school and went straight into the business of making his own. 
Surprisingly to me, he started out making steroids. But, as he told me, "Those Guys are CRAZY!" so he switched to what he thought was a safer product.
Meth.
He was a font of information, chemical structures, balances, cellular level absorption and on and on. By education and inclination I am an Anthropologist (I know, worthless culture studies) so I really had no Idea what the hell he was talking about.
It seemed incredibly complex and dangerous for a little bit of money.
Thats what I thought until he told me how much he was making in a week. As much as I made in two years.
Oh, before I forget and ramble on, boring you to death, I should describe Torch.
He was skinny, and wasted looking. He had all of his own teeth and some hair. The rest of his face was melted. He tried to grow a beard to hide the ugly, but it came in all patchy and different colors and coarsness. He said that was from the skin grafts. His neck and chin looked like pitted black plastic. With a thin covering of elmers glue over it, making it a little shiny.
The process of making meth includes a lot of flammable steps, one step, I seem to remember reacts violently with oxygen. You know, Air.
He was cooking a batch with two of his friends and someone blundered. Both his friends, and the Lady that lived next door died. He was "Lucky" and just got his face melted off.
He got ten years for each of his buddies and double Life for his neighbor. He said she used to bring them cakes. 
He was resigned to his life. One of the very few inmates I ever met that accepted that he was being punished, and he felt he deserved it. That lady Haunted him every night. He didn't have much in the way of eyelids so sleeping was difficult for him.
One day I saw a piece of his face fall off.
Medical care for inmates, in spite of popular misconception, is neither good, nor free. They had to pay it back. And when you only make a dollar an hour and have to pay the prison 30% of that to cover your meals, skin grafts take a really long time to pay off.
So, a piece of his face fell off. About a 3 inch square piece. I was sickened and alarmed. Everything I knew about everything told me that this was a BAD thing.
Torch was unconcerned.
I approached him, warily. He was lightly rubbing the newly skinless section of his chin and grimacing a bit.
To my unspoken question he replied.
"Oh, its just the plastic working out of my skin. Anybody that cooks meth without the right gear gets it. Little deposits of plastic from the process get absorbed into your skin and the body pushes them out over time. I cooked for a long time"
And, as he scratched another few crunchy bits out of his skin. I left him to his contemplation of past trangressions.
So, I will never tell anyone how to make meth.
Ever

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Methinformation


I know how to make meth.
Not from watching television or movies, not even from wiki. 
Its a strange story.
Years ago, I needed a job. Badly. It wasn't the money. I had a little legal dispute with the evil orange empire and they lost. So I was getting a paycheck every two weeks. However, I was going crazier. I have worked since I was 12, part time during school and full time plus during the summer. That's what happens when the Family business is landscaping and construction. You want to eat and not be naked, you work.
So sitting around doing laundry and watching the infant was making me nuts. Really. For three days I rolled dice and wrote down every number that came up to see if there was a predictable pattern.
(Incidentally, 5 is the least common number rolled while 7 and 9 share the title of "most rolled")
At the end of this time of random number prediction the wife took matters into her own hands and started applying me for jobs. One day, when the mental anguish has faded I will write a blog about the painful process of  a 30 year old white guy with a background in construction and money collecting for various semi-shady money lenders interviewing for jobs in the real world. With real humans. As a last resort she applied me to a job working for the Military, the last line of the job description made me laugh "MUST BE ABLE TO DEFEND ONESELF AND OTHERS FROM PHYSICAL ATTACK"
Yeah, right.
So I applied, interviewed and they overlooked my various eclectic skills (I can stick a knife or a 16 penny nail into anything 20 feet away for example) and hired me.
The first day on the job, my hair cut, my steel toed boots and canvas pants fitting quite nicely I reported to the "Chief" to meet my crew.

Federal inmates. All of them facing life and multiple life sentences. Murderers, Rapists, Drug Dealers, Unsuccessful high dollar item thieves, and soft pasty white squishy accountants.
My crew.
I asked if I got a gun, they handed me a shovel. I had a guard, he was supposed to shoot the crew if they tried to escape and or tried to kill someone. (me) He didn't seem to be to enthused about his job, cant say I blamed him. He was half my size and I was half the size of 1/2 the crew. The accountants never lasted more than a week or two. Some of those guys actually scared the hell out of me, some I felt bad for, most though. Were just tattooed bodies getting out in the sun to work away from their box. We talked, a lot. I learned really quickly that there are certain words used in the real world that have entirely different meanings in the box.
As a hint, NEVER call a 6 and 1/2 foot inmate a "punk" they take it badly. Luckily I had my shovel with me.
I got some really cool scars at that job. Got pushed into a roll of concertina wire and got to have the interesting experience of pulling myself off while grown men howled and wept with laughter at my predicament. Saw a little tiny dude knock a really big dude out cold for throwing a spider at him. He really didn't like spiders I guess. It was a job.
Oh, and I learned how to make gin, tattoo ink, tattoo guns and meth.
I've never put any of this knowledge into practice. Although I did think seriously about making the garbage gin for a Halloween party......
The thing about Meth. The thing that astonished me, really truly hurt my brain. Is the fact that it is poison. Really. Poison.

In the real world, the non "breaking bad" real world. Meth is made from the strangest concoctions of chemicals anyone has ever heard of.
Blue aquarium rocks. Drano. A specific brand of stainless steel cookie sheet. Certain paints. Certain permanent markers. A lawn fertilizer. A gopher poison.
Anything you could think of that would kill you to ingest.
Here it is, the thought that I thunk during all of this. 
Who?
Really. Who was the sick minded human that one day, playing in his shed, his lab, his bedroom? Who was the guy that saw evaporated crystals as the result of a botched lawn treatment gopher poison application and said.......
"DUDE! We could TOTALLY smoke that shit!"
Possibly this guy?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GAS

STOP!
If you or any member of your entourage is or has been a vegetarian, a member of PETA, had a cow as a pet, Ever looked at a cow and thought "cute", throw up easily, and/or don't like me very much.
DO NOT READ THIS!
Fair warning.
I love Bill Cosby.

I have never met the guy, and I never watched his show, but I have all his albums. I even transferred them all to computer gibberish so I could have them on my I-pod. Funny stuff, I freely admit that my sense of humor is odd. I should clarify that by just saying that I am odd and leave it at that. I listen to Bill when I run, when I ride my bicycle, when on long road trips, once he accidentally started playing loudly in my pocket whilst I was in line at a book store. Awkward.
He has a couple of lines that I use all the time. Shakespeare wished he would have had Bills timing. Here is one. "I told you that story, so I could tell you this one"
wait for it.
My family is a family of hunters. We shoot things and eat them after they are dead. Only because its much easier than trying to eat them while they are still moving.
Deer, Elk, Buffalo, various fish and fowl and once, my brother killed and et a rattlesnake. Its just one of those things that I grew up doing, like working with my hands, working with my Dad and uncles and brothers. Just living. They told us stories about when they were younger. About the hunting trips and adventures they had had.
Gut piles.
That is all the parts of an animal you leave in the mountains, with fish and birds it is a very small amount, with deer its a fairly large pile. With Elk. Holy mountains of moly. The damn things have TWO stomachs and enough gut to make a very large pile.
They also swell up after a few hours in the sun. Give them a day or two before the various animal life that dine on such things have found them, and they look like large veiny balloons.
One of my favorite stories was about my Uncle John, he died when I was 9. So all of the stories of him seemed to resonate a little more.
 He loved to fish and hunt and play his guitars, He was an excellent house painter. He was a Father and a Husband and a Brother, and my Uncle.He seemed to be universally loved. Melancholy is not what I was aiming for here, so to continue.
He shot a gut pile.
That's not the funny part.
The funny part was the bird sitting on top of the gut pile.

When you introduce a high velocity bullet to a swollen pile of two stomachs, it explodes. The camp robber sitting on top of the mountain of moly was engulfed in a rain of shredded gut.
When it flew over my Dad and John it was making this sound "bleeeeechhhh, bleeeeeeech,aaaaaaaacchhhh"
When my Dad told this story I would laugh. So should you.
Here it is. "I told you that story, so I could tell you this one"
(Thanks BIll)
I told the above story to my Brother in Law.
I laughed at the punch line.
He was skeptical. Very skeptical.
I told him in the midst of a very very long drive to a family reunion. Our wives (sisters) had gone down earlier and we were just catching up. He was starting to be a prick about it. Telling me all the reasons why it could not be true, telling me all the reasons it could never happen.
His tape deck and radio were broken, he had gas, and he loved to eat those awful gas station hot dogs that are anywhere from 2-6 years old.
They gave him Gas.
I think that his gas is what inspired me to tell the gut pile story.
His skepticism was annoying as hell. So I told him to go to hell and watched cows flit by the windows.
It was silent except for his thunderbum.
Then we passed a dead cow.

It looked like a balloon with four legs.
All the other cows had spread out away from it, leaving it alone in its swollen nastiness.
The Brother in law stopped, and drove back.
To my "What the hell?"
He replied by getting out his 38 pistol, (he collects the money for ATMs, so he carries this cute little 38) and getting out of the truck. Apparently he was going to demonstrate the fallacy of my story by perforating this bloated bovine.
I got out and was trying to explain that the "gut pile" was no longer inside the animal and that....
He shot at it.
Six times.
It was only about twenty feet away.
He hit it twice.
I was shaking my head, more at his marksmanship then his stupidity.
I could hear a hissing sound, and a groaning noise.
He turned to me, a triumphant smirk on his bloated bespectacled brainless visage.
And behind him, the groaning turned into a flatulent moo.
As the bloated cow got up. Clearly. Not Dead.
Yet.




Saturday, April 7, 2012

Tech


The first time I held an I-phone in my hand and felt its pleasing ergonomic contour I thought one thing. "This would make the perfect skipping rock, all the way across a lake if the wind was right"
Possibly this is not what the eggheads at apple planned. Nevertheless I have been waiting for the chance to skip one. In fact, if any of you wish to donate an Iphone, I shall hire film guys to document the excellent skip. Ill even put it to music and have the editor genius type human render it in slow motion so you can see every flicker of the screen as it joyfully flys to its watery death.
Technology and I do not get along.
I have trouble working with anything that may be smarter then me, which is why I stick with hammers mostly.


BIP (BeforeIPhone) I had a lot of different phones. I destroyed them. Not on purpose I promise, its just that plastic really doesn't hold up that well in my life. I hate talking on the phone anyway, so hard to read lips that way. Impossible to use body language to denote any emotion and very difficult for such as I to attempt sarcasm. To be safe, I usually avoid sarcasm altogether in any sort of vocal venue, as I have a tendency to just make people cry.
BIP I could pretend that I actually used the phones to their full capacity, now, I dont even try. Meg-giga-googa-gaaga-bytes and pixels-binary-code-OS-free source-ap are just random letters to me. Except Pixels, I dated a girl once that was very Pixel like, just like tinkerbell minus the wings. She even had the hair.
I am not a Luddite, not by any means. I welcome technology and all of its labor saving usefulness. Roofing nail guns and air compressors are two of my favorites. Anyone that has ever smashed a digit with a roofing hammer shares this feeling.

Belt fed Sheetrock screw guns are the bomb. Its like having an extra mini-hand to hold and steady the screws while you are putting them in.
Trucks kick the holy smelly shit out of wheelbarrows. Dump trucks that much again. Trust me, if you have ever mixed a yard of concrete or more in a wheelbarrow or spread a couple hundred cubic tons of gravel with a rake and a shovel, you know.
Motorcycles are faster than horses. Four wheeler's can go more places than a goat. Guns can shoot bullets further and faster then any slingshot. Stoves are much less apt to catch your tee-pee on fire then an open fire. washing machines and dishwashers can be more hygienic than a stream.
Technology. Its good for so many things.
But giving me an i-phone, or a laptop or desktop or computer of any sort is like giving a caveman a GPS. If he cant eat it, get food with it, keep warm with it or love it. Its a hammer.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

All in good fun


They put a purple teddy bear on the front of my motorcycle.
Its hard to be a bad ass with a plushy riding bitch. Given the seating placement, in retrospect, I was the one riding bitch to a plushy.
That makes it so much worse.
Damn.
The bear was there for at least a week. I really wanted to write "the bear was there, but I did not care" but after the last emotional blog my man-card is on suspension until my next fist fight.
It was mean of them. I thought. The way they laughed and chortled at me.
I plotted and schemed. Failure. I hate practical jokes.
I failed at my first attempt at an April fools joke. Made my little brother puke masticated cheerios all over everyone at breakfast. Switching the sugar with the salt, not wise.
The beating (flyswatter) that I got and the very stern lecture cured me of practical humor at others expense for a while.
Until I was 17. Then I wore a scary werewolf mask and jumped on my little (younger, physically he is bigger than I) brother growling and screaming.
He was briefly startled, however, he overcame his momentary alarm fast enough to punch me in the face.
Retrospect, again, I should never have thought that a werewolf would even phase my little brother. This is the kid that later in life was attacked by a bear and retained presence of mind enough to shoot it.
With a bow and arrow.
He broke my mask and bloodied my lip.
I deserved it.
So I plotted my revenge for the plushy. It took me a long time.

But then, I hung a purple tinky winky plushy from one guys bike and put a cute little rainbow magnet on the other guys ride

So they drained my gas tank.
Then they booby trapped my desk.
Followed by a series of phone calls and pages.
Moving on from there to Stapling my pants to my leg, gluing my tires to the ground, drilling holes in the bottom of all of my water bottles and feeding me shrimp disguised in chili.
Bastards.
They were so damn good at it.
The doctored picture of me as Hitler, posted everywhere, was my favorite.
My wee little mind was aching.
Two things happened.
A friend found a license plate cover that said "I LOVE BOYS" and I found a peel and stick permanent strawberry shortcake patch.
Perfect.
Then it was all down to timing.
Franz had a perfectly restored Buick GS X, it was going to be in its first show. The night before the show I snuck into his garage and put it on his back plate. I love boys prominently displayed on a muscle car, headed to a redneck heaven the next day.
I was laughing so hard I didn't sleep.
It took him 3/4 of the day to figure out why all the guys were slipping him phone numbers. Took him the rest of the day to cut the stripped bolts (oops) off and remove the vanity plate.
He got calls for two months from lonely guys.
John was much more aware.
I waited almost two months for him to drop his guard. When he did, angels sang. Then they choked from laughing.
He was walking in from outside, taking off his helmet. I nonchalantly slapped him (manfully!) on the back to say hey.
Planting a 4inch by 6inch strawberry shortcake permanent patch, sticky side down, on to the back right shoulder of his motorcycle jacket.

3 weeks.
He wore it for three weeks before an ex-girlfriend at a bar answered his question of  "why cant I get a date? Its like I am invisible to Women" as only a women could have answered "Baby, if you want to play for that team again you cant go out wearing the other teams uniform"
Revenge was sweet.
berry sweet.






Monday, April 2, 2012

Bother

So many things bother me.
Its an exhausting list really.
I add to it every day, only when I start enjoying the thing that formally bothered me does it get removed from the list.
Typical.
Its just so easy to be bothered.
Cause I am so secure in my own mind.
Those people, Waiting for the elevator in a FOUR story building with their gym bags nonchalantly slung over the shoulder? Who do they think they are fooling?
Why should I care?
Its a difficult thought process. Wondering what my "gym bag' is. What it contains?
Perfectly obvious to anyone who sees me.
Years ago, when I worked for the evil orange empire. I would drive by a section of office buildings every day on my way to the soul sucking box.
There was this truck, an older Nissan hard body with a roof rack. A mountain bike and a kayak nestled firmly in custom designed carriers. Ready at any moment for adventure. It parked in front of one of the big real estate companies. I would tell myself stories about that truck. About this completely cool guy that owned it. The life he led. Money enough to do what he wanted, when he wanted. Slipping away on a whim to hit a trail. Going on extended lunch breaks to float a section.
Man, his grass was green.
He got me through some long days. Thinking about when that guy would be me. Or I would be him. The adventure waiting around every corner, the chances to get the rush of life, fire in my veins.
My own life was so drab. Dull muddled colors seeping together in the bottom tray of watercolor paints. One of those kids that tries to tell themselves that they "like" the color of mixed colors. No bright vibrant yellow, no deep flavorful purple, no crisp green. Just this muddy taint that drips and mucks its merry way. Infecting all the other colors with its misogynistic glaze.
Always though I would find bright spots.
They seemed so brief, fleeting. Mayfly delights.
Life is made up of those pinpricks.
My man-card is on suspension still, from various infractions but I am going to risk the wrath of the mancartel and tell you a not so little secret. I love Musicals.
Not just the trendy popular "Phantom" and "Le Mis" but the old classics. "Camelot" "Kiss me Kate" "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" "Paint your Wagon" and most all of the others. I really like them. I even know Kathryn Grayson's real name.
My Favorite though, is "Into the Woods"
I have it on my i-pod and on my phone. Both versions, movie and Broadway.
Its a great story, not just the fairy tales, but after. What happens after the happily ever after.
Its pretty much how life is. All of life.
Contained in a lyrical and colorful stage spectacle for entertainment.
I will take my truth wherever I find it, thank you very much.
I am going to quote one line from one song.
"Are you certain what you wish is what you want?"
One very long day, near the end of my eternal shift of misery. This guy came in. Miserable, fat and lonely. Swilling his coffee out of the magical bottomless mug of java, shaking a little with the caffeine. Red eyes and doughy skin, he looked like a grub wearing a suit.
One of those guys that makes everything more difficult by a factor of ten, he followed me around while I pulled his order for him. Little things, the kind of things that the helpless dudes buy at a hardware store because they think that's what the real men do. One of those guys that watches a few too many reality shows and starts to think "HEY! I can do that!" Geez. I may be a neanderthal, but I know my limits. I couldn't program a computer or balance a checkbook or construct a grammatically correct sentence if my life depended on it.
But I can build a house from the ground up.
I know which weights to lift for which body part, I know diets and programs and fitness.
I understand things, and I am curious.
This guy? A lazy, lonely, Bored, Decadent disrespectful dunce.
I pulled his order, small hand tools and various bits and bobs of some home project he was mangling. Hearing the whole time how stupid I was from his point of view, what a dead end my life was, what a waste of everything women were, what a sad sorry state everything, every little thing was in.
He paid, hitting on the cashier, who rolled her eyes and said nothing. He demanded help to load his haul into his truck.
I figured what he really needed was a brick to the back of his head.
Sadly though, they had rules against that sort of thing.
I wheeled his cart out to his truck.
An older Nissan hard body, a kayak and a mountain bike strapped into the rack at the top.
I was stunned into motionlessness.
Grub followed my gaze, fixated on the objects of my years long jealousy.
"Oh, the bolts got all rusty and I have been to busy to cut them to get my stuff down"




Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pants


Ambient noise.
Background sounds.
Unheard mostly. The soundtrack of life.
Every place has its own flavor of noise, its own potpourri of sound. Stay there long enough and you wont even hear it anymore. Every Gym has its own. They all have things in common. The clank of weights, the whir of machines, the low drone of earphones playing muscle pumping metal directly into the brain stem. All have a common effluvium of distraction.

It can depend on the time of day.
The early morning is the whir and mumble of the before work crowd.
Morning to new afternoon is the high chirping of mommies and wives escaping the children and house for a while.
Lunch to evening is a businesslike clank of men who refuse to give in to the specter of old age, Of obsolescence.
Evening to night is the hormone infested buzz of the mating game. The meat market. The flirting and posturing mind numbing to a casual observer.
Its all there.
A life in a day.
I go in the before any of this time. The before morning crowd. The in between times when humans sleep.
Mostly I am alone.
Sometimes I have the company of a few swing shift humans, sometimes some other oddness.
One gym, a long time ago, had a crowd of centenarians.

4am they would hobble in, sit at their exercise bikes and talk. Wheeze back and forth secrets known only to those that have seen more summers then I have desire to behold. Lives these men had lived. Wars they had fought. They had undoubtedly dreamed dreams and told tales, tried as hard and as fast as they were able. Now they sat, they pedaled. The murmured amongst themselves. Their voices, gradually merged with the whir of the wheels, the maze of sound faded to a sibilant hiss of white noise.
They faded into the background. Such is the fate of us all.
To fade.
I walked around them. Moving in my own patterns among them. Heavy things and sweating things.
Running a long road to everywhere.
Every day for months, perhaps a year or two. These men.
Became ambient.
One time. Night a memory and morning not yet a dream, I was disturbed at the gym. By silence.
The background had stopped. So used to it I had become that its absence startled me into immobility.
I looked.
They were all there. Alive, sitting still, rapt attention focused on the machines in front of them.
Two women.
Young.

On elliptical machines, the hum and chirp of their motions covering the silence of the men.
I looked closer, to see what had drawn these fossils from their reverie.
Then, I saw.
Clearly.
The girl on the right, the prettier of the two. Her pants had fallen down.
Sports bra to the bottom of her bottom.
Bare.
I could see the smiles now.
The seamed faces split in joyous wonder.
I made no sound. Just watched.
As the two noticed, or felt the intensive silence behind them, they turned to look. In turning she must have felt a breeze. She seemed to float then, for a split second, off of the machine and into the air. Gravity released just long enough for her to pull her pants up and tie them. I could see her blush travel to her face from where I was.
The men.
As all men now, no longer old, no longer seamed and cracked by time, but split faces in smiling joy.
Laughed and cheered and lived again.
The girls ran away, as girls do.
The music of the men's laughter faded in my mind.
Much slower then their murmurs.





Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Weight

 The gym.
Its one of those places that has its own rules, its own culture.
After New Year's Day gyms are crowded.
For two weeks.
I belonged to a gym once, wow. Read that again.
I belonged.
Interesting thought that.
To rephrase.
I once paid a nominal fee to use equipment that I felt I needed to improve my physical appearance and strength in ways that I felt were unavailable to me anywhere else.
They also had a sauna.
I never spoke to anyone. I just played on the machines and became a student of the science of Weight Lifting.
To say, I lifted up heavy things and put them down again.
I watched people.
I saw things I never in my wildest dreams, or nightmares, thought that I would see.
Three naked female instructors leaving the Sauna early one morning.
A treadmill that ate a walk-man. (how dated)
Pants falling off a girl on an elliptical machine.  (http://colneyhatch.blogspot.com/2012/02/pants.html)
A hirsute naked man doing yogic stretches in the dance room.
Three nipples on a man in the coed hot tub.
A very very heavy man wedge himself inside the shower, who had to be cut out.
So many things. SO many shapes. Big people and little humans. The people that changed shape. Big to little and back again. Skinny to Muscle and more muscle and acne.
I started to notice things.
Over time.
People who did the exact same thing every day.
Every.
Single.
Day.
They stayed exactly the same.
I don't know what their lives outside of the gym were like.
But in the gym.
They stayed the same.
Wait.
Some of the women would get flotation devices implanted.
Some of the men would get balder.
Overall body shapes, of the patterned people.
Stayed the same.
I still go to the Gym.
Still see things that stretch my brain.
Watching the people.
The humans.
Its a microcosm.
Everything is really. If you experience it deeply enough.
I learn a lot.
Doing the same thing, gets the same results.
Same.
We all pick up heavy things from time to time.
The trick, is remembering that we can put them down.


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fenced

So what do you do when you steal something you don't need?
When you steal food, it could be because you or someone you feel responsible for is hungry.
When you steal a coat it could possibly be because you are cold.
So when you steal something you don't need? Something you cant use?
What do you do?
The hardest thing about stealing odds and ends is turning them into money.
 I would guess.
So what do the maggots who steal things do?
In ye olde days they would go to a "fence"
Someone who specilised in moving stolen goods along. Finding buyers for them. The fence was well known in the community of criminals. He was the go-to guy.
Lets say (for example) that I stole a Gold Chamber pot.

Its worth a LOT of florins, but it has the family crest of the former owners boldly emblazoned on the bottom.
So I would take it to the fence.
He would ascertain its value, and offer me much less.
Say, knowing that he could sell the gold to a reputable goldsmith for 600 florins, he would offer me 60.
We would haggle, and in the end I would walk away happy with the 50 florins clinking in my pocket.
The fence would then approach his friend the goldsmith, the man who asks no questions, and offer the poo-pot to him.
The goldsmith, knowing that he could easily convert this polished toilet into 2000 florins worth of jewelry offers the fence 400 florins.
They haggle, and in the end the fence walks home happy with the 750 florins jingling happily in his money pouch.
Twenty days later, Jewelry done, A man and His wife come into the shop. 
She is depressed because recently her fathers family crested chamber pot was stolen and insurance (not being invented yet) obviously refused to cover it.
So the husband, being a wise man, takes his wife to the local goldsmith. An upstanding member of the community, well known to all. Once there he buys her three beautiful pieces of gold jewelry purchased at the "friend" price of 2200 florins.

Little does she know, that 20 days previously she was pooping in the pot she now wears happily around her neck.
Its a win win.
Right?
In a word, no.
There is one really really unhappy party. Party being a word I am using to describe an entity, or group of people rather then where you go to hit pinatas.
This unhappy Party is, of course, the government.
Especially when the goldsmith is elected Mayor.
Knowing full well where the poo-pots were originating from he invites his friend the fence over to dinner.
Over the clams he mentions offhand that he wants a piece of the action.
After choking on his clam, the fence asks the Mayor if he has gone soft in the head.
The Mayor smiles and twirls his Grotesque mustache. Which is really gross cause its covered in clam juice.

This is actually a sign for the local watch to come in.
6 burly chaps with clubs that work for the Mayor. 
They stand behind the fence and make growly sounds and hit their clubs against their meaty palms.
All is clear.
So the fence and The Mayor haggle. In the end it is decided that the fence only has to pay the Mayor a small percentage of everything he sells. 6.5 percent to be precise.
As the fence leaves, nervously stepping wide of the brute squad the mayor, slurping down a few more clams calls out "HEY! we will just call it a sales tax" his grotesque mustache bobs obscenely as he laughs.
So everyone is happy.
The thief gets to steal, the fence gets to fence and the Government gets to make a little on the side.
The Mayor laughs. 
He collects taxes from the people who pay the Mayor to protect them from the thieves who steal from the people, the theives sell it to the fence who sells the stuff to other normal people and some criminal types at a higher markup to cover the sales tax which he pays to the mayor to protect the fence from the brute squad who protect the Mayor from the criminal types and other normal people who could perhaps threaten his position, The Mayor pays the brute squad with the money he gets from the fence to protect the people.

Make perfect sense.
Good thing it is all a fantasy.
Do I need to spell it out?
Plain English?
Okey Dokey.
Pawn Shops are fences. They can buy "loan" on anything of value. The person selling the object does not have to prove that they own it. Possession is enough for the LAW and the Pawnshop.
They pay "loan" very little compared to the real value.
The Police force is funded primarily on taxes, in my town, the Majority of which is sales Tax. The Police are essentially paid by the pawn shops. (greatly simplified, I realize)
Now lets say you are an enterprising active property owner, a payer of taxes and a (fairly) good citizen. All your stuff gets stolen.
You go to the Police, they tell you that their hands are tied.
So, you venture forth and find your stuff, some of it, at a local pawn shop.
You know its yours cause it has your name written on it.
So in triumph you call the police, who arrive at the Pawnshop.
JUSTICE!
Well, no.
You see. According to the law, since the pawnshop has now paid for your stuff, they own it. You now have to "prove" that it is yours.
Receipts and serial numbers are good. Pictures of you holding said objects will work in a pinch.
Your name being on it? Not good enough. Pictures of you and your family on the film in the camera and on the tapes? Not good enough.
So then you go to a city council meeting and yell at the Mayor.
Who then sends the brute squad round about your house to remind you that if you do ANYTHING wrong at all. They will arrest you.
Fantasy.
Or is it?

















Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Locals

It was 3am, 30 degrees and we were 230 miles from home.
On our motorcycles.
In Panguitch UT. Which for those of you not familiar with the bass ackward state of Deseret, is nowhere.
Adventures are rarely fun when you are in the middle of one. It's a well known fact among adventurers around the world. They are usually miserable.
We were on a self imposed deadline to get home.
Not completely self imposed, we both, The Shane and I, had to be at work in a few hours.
We had already been on the road for ten hours.
It was cold. We had planned this trip in the middle of winter, trusting in the groundhog and past experience to give us good weather.
That false furry faker.
We were chased out of Utah two days before in a snowstorm.

We were headed home now, we had passed the uncontrollable shivering stage and were now just numb.
Full body numbness is not recommended.
I am positive the surgeon general warns against it.
We would stop for gas and try and get warm, leather gets very stiff in the cold. It holds its shape remarkably well. Walking in to a truck stop at midnight with your arms held stiff straight out in front of you is more than slightly embarrassing.
Trust me.
Sliding into Panguitch, the ass end of no-place special, was a relief. More so was the open sign on a gas station. Its times like these that you appreciate the simple things in life. Fluorescent light, heaters, Hot chocolate, heaters, bathrooms with heat. Heaters.
We woke up the vigilant owner of the store clattering inside in a frozen blast of air. She seemed less then pleased to see us. At her advanced age I was betting she thought she had seen everything the world and the road could throw at her. Until now. She watched us with glazed eyes. It seemed like she was having a bit of trouble believing we were real.
In retrospect, a six foot tall Mexican and a long haired white(ish) guy wearing three cows worth of black leather between them, could be a little alarming.
Shane had to go and make everything stereotypical by buying a Mexican horse blanket. Seriously.
He wrapped it around himself under his jacket and zipped up.
I laughed so hard my frozen face cracked in three places.
We were headed out the door when the antique jerked awake.
Fully. Bright rheumy eyes looked at us and then swung to our bikes.
I wish I could somehow allow you to hear her, the southern Utah accent is a cultural anomaly, a mystery. My personal theory as to its origin is simple. When you have six (or more) mothers all trying to teach you how to speak, each with a different accent, you can get a bit confused.
Hence, the south Utah trawl. (you know, Twang-Drawl)
Enough of that.
The suddenly wide awake oldster was putting in her teeth. As soon as they were in and she had test clacked them together a few times she croaked at us....
"You boys are on those motorcycles?"
Nods
"You Boys headed out?"
Nods
"You boys are crazy!"
Shrugs and nods
"Headed to Salt Lake?"
I sat back down. She obviously thought she needed to talk. I shut my brain down and just watched the following exchange.
Shane (The Six Foot Mexican) "Yes, we are headed up over the pass to get back on i-15 then to Salt Lake"
"uhhhhhuhhhhhuhhhhhhhuuuu"
Shane(TSFTM) "Excuse me?"
"Oh, you boys need to watch out for the elk at mile marker 13"
TSFTM "The Elk?"
"Oh yeeeah, the elk  all winter at mile marker 13, right at the top of the pass"
TSFTM "Really?"
I was sitting there listening to this, incredulous. What is it with these people? Locals. They think that just because they live in area they can make oracular pronouncements about a herd, a large heard of very large animals.  A foretelling of where a herd of Very large, VERY mobile animals are going to be at any given time?  Elk are not cows, they are not Sheep, they are free range wild animals. I have Hunted Elk my entire life and the one thing I have learned in 27 years of chasing the damn things is that they are NEVER where you think or expect them to be.
Never ever.
This ol local had worn out the three brain cells I had that were not frozen.
I walked out the door, pulling TSFTM after me. As the door swung shut she warbled "mile marker 13"
Can you believe this shit? I am a weird magnet, but put me and Shane together and suddenly Idiots the world over are falling over themselves to talk at us.
Gods very own comedy team.
We headed out. Frozen solid within 2 miles.
Up and up we went, on a road that would have been fun.
In the day time.
At midsummer.
At 3:30 am and -30 windchill. Just starting to snow. On motorcycles.
Not fun.
The concentration required to ride a motorcycle increases for everything you add to a normal road. Sadly, I was noticing that my concentration was decreasing the colder I got.
Conundrum.
Headlights on bright only light up the road, leaving the sides of the world more of a hint then anything else. Shapes move in the corner of your vision. After ten hours in the saddle your brain gets used to it.
Not really.
I could see these shapes now. Nearing the top of the pass. Snow falling, swirling in visions of the future across the road. Smoke over water. Dreamlike.Cold becomes comfort, the roar of the engine fades into the distance and the road merges up ahead with infinity.
Oh shit!
I jerked my head up, shook it and slowed down. Shane (TSFTM) took the lead and I followed his brake-light.
Mile marker thirteen.
Here it is.
Exactly at the marker.
Exactly.

An Elk steps out into the road. Steam shooting from nostrils that seemed twenty feet high.
Shane dodged.
We rode on.
I looked back, hundreds of elk, the shapes on the edge of the world.
Elk.
Exactly at mile marker 13.
I hate locals.