Friday, January 29, 2016

Superman - The Later Years

Chapter One (Which begins with a very long sentence)

As a lethargic Lois Lane, now likely late for the luau, was laying languidly in the leaves of the landscape on Lower Lena Loop Lane behind the lanai of the library with a lacerated leg and a lost left loafer, but otherwise looking lovely (Despite being in her sixties now, Lois always looked lovely); Clark Kent was cavorting at a cautious cadence (as a man who was once very spry and adept at cavorting would tend to do after reaching the age of seventy) carrying a container of caramel creamers across the carpet of his cozy cabin in search of a cup of coffee last seen on the kitchen counter. Lamenting her lousy luck Lois labored to locate her lost loafer. Little did she know, it had landed on the lawn of the librarian Lill, just up the hill, where she took her spill.

The clock struck seven.

Chapter Two (Where Superman is called into action)

Clark, craving caffeine, was completely unaware of Lois’ location, or situation, and in his frustration he had forgotten all about the luau he was supposed to attend that evening. His memory was failing and his alliteration was slipping badly, but a couple recent rhymes seemed to buoy his spirits.

Suddenly Clark thought he heard a familiar cry coming from outside. Through the double doors and onto the deck he dashed deliberately, followed by a dubious dachshund dubbed Dagmar. The fresh air felt exhilarating, and even seemed to perk up his alliteration a bit. Dagmar remained dubious.

Clark’s cabin, on the crest of Cooper Canyon, was within earshot of Lower Lena Loop Lane which ran along the Cooper Canyon Creek directly below. He heard the cry again. Having dashed enough for one evening, Clark hurriedly dawdled back inside to the closet where he found his old cape and tights. “This is a job for Superman!” he announced to Dagmar.

The last phone booth in Cooper County had been removed several years ago, so Supe slipped into the bathroom and squeezed into the now iconic red and blue outfit. Catching a glimpse of himself in the mirror Clark noticed the outfit needed to be let out a little in the seat. He made a mental note to stop by the cleaners in the morning.

A few minutes later back on the deck Clark was trying to remember why he went out there. Then Superman thought he heard a familiar cry. To the railing he rushed, and with one hand cupped behind his ear he leaned out and listened. Hearing nothing but ear hair rustling in the wind, he leaned out a little farther.

Chapter Three: (The rescue)

Lois pulled Superman out of the hedge. “That was quite a fall you took,” she said, helping him to his feet.

“I flew,” he corrected her.

“Yes, maybe, but all the same it was quite a crash.”

“I’m a little out of practice,” Superman answered. Then as he brushed himself off he added, “I’m here to rescue you. Oh, and I saw a brown ladies loafer on my way down the hill. Is that yours?”

“Yes. Thank you it is,” she said, wiping the injured leg with her kerchief.

As they walked up the hill together Lois began explaining what had happened. “I was just stopping to pick up Lilith,” she said, “and I slipped on the wet grass and fell over the bank. Oh goodness, I’ve made us late! We were supposed to meet Clark at the luau.”

“Oh crap!” blurted Superman, “I mean…”

“Hello!” called Lilith, waving from her porch. “What happened?”

Chapter 4 (The Conclusion)

After assuring Lois that he’d explain the whole situation to Clark, Superman began the long trudge up the hill. “Don’t rush!” he called back, “and take care of that knee. That could get infected!”

“What was that all about?” asked Lilith, “and why is Clark wearing that ridiculous costume?”

“It’s a long story,” answered Lois.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Yes, It's Election Season Again

FOX, CNN, CBS, ABC, NBC: I’ve about had it with your dumbing down of the American electorate!

Bernie Sanders is a Democratic Socialist, which means he believes that people should be informed and engaged enough to cast votes for what they feel is best for their society… And here’s the astonishing part – Bernie believes people’s votes should be counted and acted on!

Now before you have a Cold-War brain-fart about the word “socialist” just think about this for a minute: When is the last time you heard a wealthy Washington politician call himself or herself a Democratic Capitalist? The term exists but you don't hear it because today’s Washington capitalists aren't all that interested democracy. They’re not interested in the vote count, but rather the dollar count. The Supreme Court’s decision that “Money equals speech” has replaced the concept of “One man one vote,” or to be more accurate, “One person one vote”. In fact, "One person one vote" (i.e. Democracy) has become so unpopular that many wealthy capitalists are doing everything they can to suppress the vote of the people! Why? Because the lower voter turnout is, the easier and less expensive it is to buy elections and pull the strings of government!

Please consider that the next time you hear somebody question Bernie’s allegiance to American democracy.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Executive Action

Thank you President Obama. Thank you for taking action instead of taking the cash that has corrupted Congress and crippled our government. Thank you for standing tall on behalf of the children of Newtown, and thousands of others. Thank you for your thoughtful, rational, and impassioned speech to a nation half-listening.

...And thank you Paul Ryan. Thank you for responding to the President's speech before it was even over. Thank you for demonstrating with your knee-jerk quickness and blanket statements that you are unhindered by reason. You did the NRA proud (Your check is in the mail). Now, just like you Mr. Ryan, Republicans across our nation who did not listen to the President's words today (let alone try to understand his reasoning) will refuse to even consider balancing their "right to bare arms" (Damn the "well regulated militia" part) with their fellow citizens right to live in a safe and sane society. They, like you will rail against reason, against facts and statistics, and against humanity. They will worship and hold high their holy firearms as they demonize their President for having the audacity to suggest that the right to be armed and dangerous is not absolute, and does not trump all other rights.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Of Guns and Gift Wrap

To Every American who gave or received a gun this Christmas:
I’m setting aside my opinion concerning the popularity of this gift-choice on this Christian day of peace to wish you a Merry Christmas with the sincere hope that this gun, this Christmas gift, is never fired in anger, in despair, or accidentally. May it be used skillfully for legal target-sport or hunting, and may any game it takes from the wild be taken for food and not trophy, and may that nourishment from nature be taken respectfully and humanely. Lastly and most importantly, should the exceptionally rare situation ever occur where the use of this gun becomes an option for personal defense, or to protect innocent life, may its wielder possess perfect judgement, and may their aim be true… for there is no pause button, or rewind button on this device.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Happymerry Christmakkah

Here’s a touching little holiday story so new that I haven’t even had time to add exaggerations to it yet…

It all began last Saturday at a little shop in Winslow, Washington, where I bought a combination Hanukkah-Christmas card to send to a Jewish friend of mine who lives out of the country with a nice non-Jewish woman. Yes, I realized when I bought it that Hanukkah is just around the corner, so I planned to get it in the mail right away…

Well last night (four days later) my wife reminded me that I need to get that card in the mail right away. “Oh crap!” I said, “I’ll send it out first thing in the morning!”

So this morning I sat down at the dining room table and began preparing the card. My handwriting has deteriorated over the years, so instead of scrawling with a pen and possibly ruining the card, I went to the computer and typed up a message to insert into the card… Well actually I typed, edited, and printed the message several times before I got it just right; and then with tedious care, I inserted it into the card. The original card was blank on the inside, so with just a touch of glue the insert looked like it came right from the Hallmark factory.

On the outside of the card was a drawing of a reindeer with lit Hanukkah candles on its antlers, and the greeting “happymerry christmakkah” printed next to it.

The message I typed in the insert went like this:
“Dear _____ and ______: I know it may seem cruel to place lit candles on the antlers of reindeer, but as long as you arrange them so they don’t drip hot wax into their eyes or onto the tips of their noses the deer don’t really seem to mind; plus there’s snow on the ground and the fire danger is very low at the present time (I checked). So please accept this reindedelabra as a sign that goyim and Jews can light up the season together... And goodness knows the world needs all the enlightening it can get!” The note continues with personal memories and holiday wishes, blah, blah, blah.

Anyway, with the finished card in one hand, and a couple rejected copies of the insert in the other hand I went back to the table to get the envelope. Along the way I stuffed the rejected inserts into the paper shredder.

When I sat down to put the card in the envelope… Now wait a minute, don’t get ahead of me here… When I sat down to put the card in the envelope I… I couldn’t find the card. All I had in my hand were a couple drafts of the insert. “Now where did that card go?” I thought to myself. I spent the next several minutes retracing my steps. After thoroughly searching the area around the computer and around the table, and along the pathway in between, I finally started thinking what you’re probably thinking already…

The shredder! No, I couldn’t have. I just couldn’t have. I lifted the lid… Yes I did.

The nice folks at the shop in Winslow (89 miles away) are mailing me a new card… And yes, I know, Hanukkah is just around the corner, so I plan to get it in the mail right away! With a little luck, it should get there by Christmas.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Hat

I’m not typically a hat wearer, a cap donner, a chapeau aficionado, or even a hoodie flipper, but recently while perusing through a fine men’s wear haberdashery in a small mountain village of Bavarian persuasion smothered in Christmas sauce, I spotted a hand-made… Wait! Not just a hand made, but a "Responsibly grown, (and) beautifully made" hat (according to the sewn in label). A genuine member of the “Conner hand-made hats” family! And as fate would have it, it was an extra-large… just like my head!

To sweeten the deal even further, it was a dusty faded shade of pine green, pre-scuffed and pre-worn in all the right places; not quite a fedora and not quite an Aussie outback hat. It was… it was the perfect hat. And by perfect I mean it was the first hat to ever speak to me, and it said, and I quote, “Hey dude, I’m your hat”.

“I don’t need a hat,” I said back to the hat, and I set it down and continued walking through the haberdash… Ha! Who am I kidding? I continued walking through the overpriced Leavenworth gift shop.

Then I heard my wife say, “Do you like that one?”

“What?” I said. “Yeah, I guess, but I don’t need a hat,” I continued.

“You should get it,” she shot back.

I reluctantly returned to the hat. It sat there looking a little smug for my taste, but I picked it up and dropped it back on my head. It fit perfectly… “Slytherin!” it hissed. I flinched and the hat laughed, “just kidding,” it said. “I see you've read the books…”

“Yeah I read the…”

“I think you should get it,” my wife said, unknowingly interrupting my conversation with the hat.

I looked at the price tag and set the hat back down for the second time. “I can’t afford it,” I said.

She picked it up and checked the tag. “It’s $49.00. You can afford $49.00,” she informed me.

“That’s a lot for a hat!” I protested. But being as well-versed about hat prices as I am about the going rate of mangos in Dubai I was apparently unconvincing.

“Get the hat,” she said.

“Do you want this in a bag, or will you be wearing it?” the cashier asked.

"I'll wear it," I said, and I still wear it… Because after all, it’s the perfect hat.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tipping Point

We enter the rapid
off balance.
The current
more than my paddle
sets our course,
and chooses our fate.

A fallen tree
reaching up like a beggar
nudges the side of our canoe.
An observing raven
flies from its branches
loudly calling out its displeasure,
as the river’s icy water envelopes us
quickly and completely.

Rising to the surface
my wife and myself,
our canoe and our gear,
scatter like raindrops
on a freshly waxed car hood,
gripped only by gravity.