Saturday, September 30, 2006

Somewhat True Story #9

Industrial clang and soot mud over the early years. On trains I rode on stolen tokens, up on stilts, under streets, losing track. Half the time went too far to return. Past factories, graveyards, row upon row of drab brown apartment blocks. Just don't get off I'd tell myself. Circle around. Avoid the conductor.

Back again, sun coming up. Milkmen and cops only ones out. Avoid latter, lay wait for former. Know where hard rolls are delivered. Sneak back into house through basement window. Avoid parents. Make to bed. Sleep late.

Friday, September 29, 2006


Good evening. Here's a word from our sponsor. Can you hear me now? It's all about you. This just in. We go to Terrance O'Banyon in Singapore. Back to you, Paula. Damn, I broke a nail. Cut. Ever wonder how that guy does it? These are the best years of your life. Here to fill us in is an expert on it. Seven and a half to fifteen percent. When we come back.. Polar bears drink Coke. You could be behind the wheel. That Wacky Family premieres Tuesday, check your listings. Finally, tonight.. What a cute baby. Dog. Baby dog. Puppy.
Until next week, I'm Cliff Ratchett. Cue pompous music. Who can I be next week? Crudcakes. They're what's for dinner.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Trevor was ever so eager to start.
He never let stop him he wasn't that smart.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Dude On the Rise

Flash! The scuttlebutt among those in the know is that Guy Dude - yes, that is his real name - is next in line to make the beeline from Bakersfield High Drama Club to the gold-spangled hills of Hollywood! At least. that's bound to be his next stop after taking Oxnard by storm. Guy auditioned last month for the part of Clem in Marcus Creeple's tour de force, "Someone Else's Shoes", which is being staged by the Oxnard Repertory Theater in December. Word is he nailed it. Well enough anyway to land the part of Luap, Clem's dyslexic brother. We're expecting BIG THINGS from the dude guy, as his friends like to call him, since we all remember his riveting portrayal of Dr. Doolittle in the play of the same name, staged by Miss Blanding's fifth grade players at Franklin Elementary back in 1995. Go, Guy, go!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Whether Map

What we're seeing is this frigid glacial arctic air mass bearing down on this squallid tropical low pressure system, creating a turbulent frontal zone of increasingly violent magnitude. But if we stopped selling them weapons, where would they go to get them and how would they ever pay us what they owe?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Troll Found Guilty

An ugly little troll was found guilty today in municipal court of extortion and racketeering. Murflax Ganglimere, a resident of the underside of the Rural Road 9 county line bridge, was immediately sentenced to serve 3 years of hard labor for his crimes. Ganglimere was charged with demanding money and sweets from pedestrians wanting nothing more than to cross the bridge in peace. In some instances the troll demanded bridge crossers answer silly riddles, like 'Why is a baby like an unripe pomegranate? ' (Answer: They both suck to eat.)

The defendant showed no emotion when the verdict was read other than to jump up and down, pound his fists on the table and curse foul obscenities.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Rogue States: Neptune, Pluto

It is essential that democracy flourish on Pluto. That is the only way to bring it into the League of Planets. For far too long Pluto has, along with Neptune and numerous rogue asteroids in the Kuiper Belt, been part of the axis of ellipticals. To put it simply, its orbit is all wrong.

Sanctions have been imposed but they are not enough. The IAU proposes a massive infusion of armed democracy advocates for the entire region. Pluto must be run by and for Plutonians, specifically Plutonians the IAU deems worthy. Queen Glorfinism must be deposed and her army emasculated. Once freedom and liberty are made mandatory, the orbit around the sun will regulate itself and order will return.

Today, September 23rd, is the one hundred sixtieth anniversary of the discovery of Neptune. That Neptune is also poised to lose its planetary status due to misdirectional orbit is evidence that action must be taken to bring normalcy to our homeland solar system. The world is a different place since September 23rd, 1846. The Judeo-Christian planets are allied in the idealogical struggle of the 21st century. The Neptunes and Plutos of the universe must be prepared to suffer the consequences if they are determined to forge their own destinies. Orbits must follow the letter of the law and the IAU intends to hold all planets accountable. If they do not conform they will be stripped of their planetary status and cast adrift to be sucked up by a black hole or worse. Oh, and on the way there, they'll be bombed back to the stone age.

Thank You and God Bless Planet Earth.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Seven Demands

The Union of Deadpan Sidekicks Presents Its List of 7 Demands to Management.

Number One. We demand equal billing. We will not be relegated to subserviant status. Our names must appear on marquees and posters in letters as large as those who get all the laughs.

Number two. We demand a level playing field. We expect to be promoted or at least rewarded for our deadpanuity. Management must recognize the value of what it is we do, whatever it is we do.

Number three. We demand a shorter work week. Audience reaction must come earlier in the act. It must be made clear to them that our silence is the que for them to become amused.

Number four. We demand better working conditions. Being stationed nearly in the wings where camera operators have to strain their backs to get us in the frame is not going to cut it anymore.

Number five. We demand a work environment free from broad physical comedy. No pratfalls or burleques will be perpetrated against us in order to garner cheap laughs.

Number six. We demand affordable health care. Okay, nix that. We demand some kind of HMO co-pay system that lets us see a doctor once a year or in an emergency.

Number seven. We demand sidekicks of our own. Although they wouldn't make as much money as us or be our equals, they would share the workload and allow us to clock out early on certain days.

And now, here's the star of our show...

Thursday, September 21, 2006


The fortuitous circumstance that made Narcissus shed his skin saved him from eternal admirability. He returned to his life as a chimneysweep, giving up the placid pond. He'd spent so many hours there, though, that all assumed he'd been swallowed by his reflection and drowned. So the tale was handed down, another warning to youth who were frankly getting sick of such stories. A flower grew in the fecund place and was named for him. But his was the brown weed in the thicket growing wild.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

2 Cousins Left, Right?

And what to what sings less of choppy wastes but seven in the order of grace less five so far unnamed and misbegotten sons to strike fear in their father's mother's sister's heart, brother.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Shuttles Mystery Object Revealed

Here it is, the photo taken from the boom camera aboard Atlantis. That small unidentified object thought to be a piece of the shuttle is actually a tiny spacecraft from the Confederated Fleet of Dwarf Planetoids. The Lilliputians are keeping tabs on us.

Monday, September 18, 2006


The Nkrubians being a kinetic race were like as not bent out of shape over receiving the cease and desist evolving order.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Eris was six weeks into a grueling tour of dives across America's bloated midsection when she was discovered by Andrew Palomar, founder of Starchart Records. He signed her immediately and within two months her first CD, Apple of Discord, was on the shelves and garnering mixed reviews. The problem was one as old as the record industry itself: how to classify an artist who defies labels. Was she Dolly Parton meets Bjork or was she more Patti Smith meets Kate Bush? Neither the reviewers nor her label could decide.

Enter the IAU, the Improbable Artists Union. Their job is to find a nice neat box in which to place the multi-genred of the world and that is precisely what they tried to do for Eris. She was thus dubbed Lesser Punk Diva, a sub-strata classification of Dwarf Diva. But, like her namesake, Eris caused her higher-ups great strife. She began to mix in elements of Edith Piaf, Laura Nyro and Asha Bohsle. Her orbit became so elliptical, no one knew what to make of her. All but her early CDs became relegated to discount bins, then became collectors items and eventually were all but forgotten. As for Eris herself, she eventually changed her name back to Xena and relocated to the dark and distant land of Periphia, where she gave birth to a daughter, Dysnomia. The apple didn't fall too far from the tree, as Dysnomia in later years became lead singer for the internationally acclaimed goth- metal band, Demons of Lucy Lawlessness.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Alphabet 3

Zygote yonder xeroxed words,
Vapors unlock thoughts,
Sort rot.
Quota portions order not,
Mock limits, keep joking.
Ideas harbor gallant fools,
Empty dockets,
Contorted backwards alphabet.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Some Charms

Before there was money there were charms,
each with a purpose, each assigned a value.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Today's Jockey

Today's jockey is in the forefront of a grassroots movement to promote improved permanent facial adornment on our nation's racetracks. Satisfied no longer with simple tattooing and piercing, the 21st century jockey is undergoing a battery of reconstructive surgeries including but not limited to silicone and collagen implants, nose and ear repositioning, hair follicle removal, transplantation of glands and small insignificant organs to the facial area, and ceramic, metal and stone facial and dental implants.

What is truly amazing about the growing trend among jockeys to lavishly decorate their heads is that only a decade ago the only permanent facial adornment on the racetrack was given, not to the jockeys, but to the horses. Eyebrows were lengthened or plucked, nostrils were flared and in extreme cases eyeballs were removed and replaced with glass orbs for both aesthetic reasons and as an alternative to forcing the horse to wear blinders. Once the owners and managers could appreciate the benefit of return, they convinced a handful of riders to follow suit. That select few became the pioneer cadre that launched a revolution. Soon it was the jockeys themselves, in collaboration with their reconstructive surgeons, who were dreaming up radical concepts that would trump even those of Brazil's footballers. Stereo adornment of both horse and rider became the order of the day. A board of governors was elected and the first Frontal Award was presented four years ago. The rest is history.

Yes, the future looks bright for horse racing. And we have today's jockeys and the art of permanent facial adornment to thank for it.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The Face of Evil

The Decisive Ideological Struggle (DIS) of the 21st century is a war against a desperate method of killing. Much as the never-declared Vietnam war was an idealogical struggle against guerrila warfare, today's struggle is against IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and ISBs (Islamofascist Suicide Bombers). Pansy-assed liberals will lead you to believe we should address so-called 'root causes' of terrorism, like poverty and unemployment. I say horsewash and hog feathers. It's the bombs, stupid. Kill all the guys planting and strapping on the bombs, and you have won the Decicive Idealogical Struggle. Or, as they say in the hood, you've DISsed the suckas.

We must study the Face of Evil and learn to recognize him on sight. Then we must round up anyone who fits his description and lock him up in our secret prisons. Once we have done this all over the world, we will have led the 21st century into a shining age of humanity. It's a slam dunk. Are you with me? Then let's go get 'em! Chaaaaarrrrrggge!

Postscrpit: from Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary :
Idealogue \I*de"a*logue\, n. One given to fanciful ideas or theories.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Grant it be quick
A grief forged in wax
Its shape lost to
Spontaneous combustion.

Who thought we'd be
Cast that way still,
Poised like embers,
Risen from ashes?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Alphabet 2

After burning confidential documents, employees follow government hacks into Jehovah's kingdom. Life marches needlessly on past quaint remnants suggesting the utopic vision. We exalt you, Zeus!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Talmadge & Groins '08

Early aspirants to the American throne in 2008 are presidential hopeful, Herman R. Talmadge and vice-presidential wannabe, Glen Groins. Theirs is the Artful Codger ticket and it promises to pour salt on the festering wound that is today's body politic. Here is their 5 point program:

1. No war.
2. No poverty.
3. Free health care for all.
4. An end to global warming.
5. An end to reality TV.

Naturally, this being America, they haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of winning. They'll be voted off the island long before the debates.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Glass Web

Leaded web window I wove, through which is shop.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Up for Adoption

Meet Timothy, age 9, a neo-marsupial sprat. Timothy would make a darling addition to the right family. No siblings allowed, now or ever. Parents must believe strongly in tolerance and be blind or extremely myopic. Eye contact with strangers should be avoided. Look away now.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

True Story 8: Jet Wood

There was that kid who lost eight fingers from the first knuckle up by riding his sled while gripping the runners. And the kid who let go of the landlocked rope swing at the peak of the arc. And that kid who was only in school through September. Got sent home by the nurse one day and went home to die. Actually die. Took him all year.

If a tenth of the stories were true, it would be sufficient reason to come up with another one.

I remember one by name and the general direction in which she lived. Jet Wood. Grew up on the far side of that same rope swing. One day Jet Wood was riding her little red bike just a little too close to the busy traffic down that way. A car swerved to avoid her, but you know how cars are. Jet Wood became one with her bike metal.
Now how could the story not be true if it came complete with a name? And what a name! I pictured her for years, tomboyish, black hair, bangs, kind of reckless. A little like Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird. I loved that little dead girl. Never had a chance. Jet Wood.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


When the monsoon rains came and unleashed a torrent upon the village, all the fires were doused. Luckily, the services of Joyo were there at the ready. For him, it was just another three day saunter up the slope of the volcano to fetch flame, then two days back down.

Monday, September 04, 2006


First she was in the clouds. Then she was on the surface of the lake. Then she shows up in stone. Now that our relationship is on solid ground I hope I can meet her.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Burning Man

Conflag it all, the Man is smoldering. Inferno to embers to ash and back to sand again. Our homeland is secure; what about yours?
The dance goes on.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

William Blake Death Mask

Phrenology was all the rage in 1823 when the life mask of William Blake was sculpted by J.S. Deville, noted practitioner of same. Blake's proportions were all wrong for the requirements of the pseudo-science, so a few adjustments were made. Hence, the poet's image four years before his death looked nothing like his earlier portraits. When Francis Bacon painted his version of the mask a century and a quarter later, Blake became Mussolini.

But now a new mask has surfaced. It is, in fact, a death mask taken by a physician who was not overly impressed with skull shape and noggin bumps. It reveals a Blake at peace with life's fate, maybe even amused by it. There is now less reason to wonder why the epitaph on his tombstone reads "Bring On the Flies." (RIP Chico Science)