As mentioned in previous (and increasingly infrequent) posts about our recent Royal Caribbean cruise experience, the ship was packed full of old(er) fat(ter) Americans, primarily from NYC and Jersey.  For the most part, ignoring the fact that it seems to be a cultural “thing” from that part of the world to be a tad less than polite to people serving them and a bit on the loud and brash side, these people were at least nice to me.  My wife? Well, she was a bit jaded by the last cruise and had a hard time not focusing on the past experiences with New Yorkjersians.  She still thought of them as rude but I think she warmed to them at some point as she stopped complaining.
One day, roundabout day three of the cruise, we were sitting on the deck in the shade and I saw a tanned woman of possible Italian heritage walk our way in a relatively (for the company) small bathing suit.  She wore it well.  Tanned, light olive complexion, dark shoulder length hair, shiny perfect teeth all ruined with the ridiculous bug-eye huge sunglasses and “Juicy” sweatpants, the elastic cuffs pulled up to the knees like it was 1995.  If anything, I was pleased to see a few younger people on the ship who were not the grandchildren of the locals (the retiree cruisers, readily identified by their leathery completion and disdainful glances toward we pale Canadians and our children).
A few evenings in, we skipped the main restaurant and opted for the buffet.  We had already noshed at the trough so to speak but we wanted a break from dressing up every night.  I was pleased to see Ms. Juicy New York 2014 sit down at the table nearby as frankly, I was going to have some scenery to cast glances upon that was at least visually appealing and not the usual, a large person with a plate of doughnuts.  Her girlfriend sat down (equally nice) then her girlfriend’s boyfriend (sketchy wanna-be B-boy) followed by her husband.  Now this guy was a caricature of every doorknob you see on a sitcom who represents blue-collar, semi-educated New York.  I half expected him to start punching meat in the ships kitchen locker after I heard the barely formed words that fell out of his slack mouth (yes, I know, Philadelphia, not New York).  Thoughts swirled about in my head.  Why would she choose this guy as a mate?  What would compel an attractive young woman to spend time let alone marry a guy who dresses like that AND has the vocabulary or a sea sponge? I always have these contemplations when I see a cute woman with a dumpy, stupid man.  I sipped my tea and pushed away my place (I am sure some human seagulls made note that I hadn’t eaten half of my food) and within minutes, she answered the question for me.  She began to eat.
Now, I had not noticed her mild overbite before.  I’m okay with overbites.  A woman can have one and still be attractive.  It makes kissing a bit odd, but it’s not a game changer.   An under bite, well, it can certainly be something that makes you think twice before proceeding with full on spit swapping let alone a date, an over bite?  Not such a big deal.  This however wasn’t her problem. 
She eats with her mouth wide open.
Not just a word of two spoken with a mouth full of food (hopefully shaded by a hand from view). This was a full-on, fully open, chewing-the-food-bit-by-bit, teeth rising and closing on said food SO ALL COULD SEE THE MASTICATION PROCESS.
I was disgusted.  I was aghast.  I was caught staring by her big lunkhead boyfriend and had to pretend I was watching something happening in line. I told my wife after the fact as I was afraid she would loudly go on a tirade about the New Yorkers.
Juicy had a whole new meaning after this experience.

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My Apologies

I’ve been busy editing and tied up with parent and homeowner things. Egad! Being an adult is crazy time consuming !

Chapter 3 of Mister Dee up in two days.

My second book  “And The Horse You Rode In On (Whiskey Fueled, Barely-Edited Rantings, Stories And Poetry) will be out for book burnings and scorn in April.

A story about a horrid woman on a ship, from the slowly recounted tale of my cruise last November, will be up tomorrow..


The Overbearing Management

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Die Already

“Hey buddy!  It’s been ages!  How are you doing?  Wow, good to see you. Man, you were so smart in high school…”
That was the exact conversation you and I had sixteen or so years ago when we ran into one another at a bar minus my nervous “hmm”s and “yes” and a few “yeah”s.   We parted and I never spoke to you again though I do know what you are up to.
I doubt you will ever see this but if you do, I suggest you print out a copy and slip it in a book (if you own any) or in a safety deposit box (okay I am stretching your possible needs in life aren’t I) or maybe under a dirty mattress for future reference. 

You, who I will not name in this bit of writing, are the one person I would most like to see dead or better yet, dying.  The list is pretty short by the way.  I am guessing there are maybe five people I think the world would be far better off overall if they were dead.  With you however it is one hundred percent personal.  For the record, I am not the kind of person who would actually do anything  to you so you have no fear of dark alleys as much as I wish it were otherwise. If however I saw you in a ditch bleeding out, I’d watch, or maybe just walk away.  I am unsure which. 

For the record, I hate you.  You made my life a living hell for about four years and seriously, a week does not go by that I do not think that maybe my kids go to school every day and face someone like you.  I quiz them, ask them if all is okay, try to look for signs and so far no indication they have one of you in their lives.  This is a good thing for them, because you messed me up.
I have over the years kept an eye on you from afar out of morbid curiosity more than anything else.  An ex-girlfriend who was a cop (not at my request) told me you had some pretty stellar drug issues.  (Most excellent.)  Another friend once told me you got fired from a very decent job for being a drunk.  (I am slow clapping right now.) A third person (who used to be one of your entourage of morons) actually told me that you were the worst thing to ever happen to him, that he was desperately sorry for taking part in your idiocy and begged my forgiveness.  (I gave it).  He doesn’t talk to you now and he was in fact banned from going anywhere near you by his wife because you were “bad news”.  I also heard you were pretty sick for a while but it was probably just the booze and or drugs or maybe just Mother Nature trying to cleanse the earth of your ilk.  I’ve seen you from a distance as well so you know.  Skinny sickly looking bastard you are.  Bad fashion sense.  Crappy car.  Losing your hair.  Again, the slow clap, excellent. Love it.
Only a few times in school did we actually have a physical altercation and in both it was pretty evenly matched because we were the same size.  You always had your goon squad with you so I held back from dragging things out too far.  I’m smart that way.  Your pals though, they acted on your whims.  Little villain you were.  

Nowadays, I just block you on facebook,  avoid your friend requests except that one time I accepted for a few hours so I could mine your statuses and “about” page for Intel then promptly unfriended and blocked you.  I avoided you for ages, more because I was concerned I would pound the crap out of you.  I even go as far as to avoid people you are remotely affiliated with (mostly because they are likely meth addicts).
So, hey, this is pretty one sided.  Now that I have let you know I know all about you and your doings you might be wondering what am I up to?  Work, family, sports, hobbies, holding grudges.  I go to the gym, I run, play soccer.  Sometimes I alternate things up a bit and workout on the heavy bag and guess who I think about clobbering while I am punching that inanimate object till my knuckles are bruised?  That’s right!  You you scumbag, you!  (Your weaselly pinched face primarily). I fantasize running into you at a club, you being drunk, lippy, saying something to me the wrong way, me egging you to take a swing at me and then in front of everyone, me defending myself in the way a fit guy in his 40s who took karate for a fair number of years can.  Yes.  I took Karate even back then but I was silly enough to believe all that “only use in defence and even then only as little as possible” crap.  I did deftly avoid your attempts to hit me if you didn’t notice but what you did not notice was that I didn’t counter because if I had you’d have not made out very well.  Damn my teenage sensibilities.  I think you might have turned out better if someone had beaten the crap out of you once in a while.
Now, I don’t know why you were the way you were or why you turned out the way you did.  Frankly, I don’t care.  Not one fig.  Everyone makes choices.  Yours were bad and thankfully life seems to be punishing you the way you terrorized me.  Sadly, there are probably people in your life that suffer because you are still alive.  If you had any sense, you’d fix this, some way or another..  I have rope if you ever need any, and train schedules.  Just ask.
So, as we both reach our late forties I just thought I would write this little blurb as I’ve been thinking about you a bit of late.  Thinking about all those years ago, all that skulking I did to avoid you, all that running, all that stress you put me through.  Thinking about how you helped make me what I am today to a small degree.  Thinking about how in the next few years I will likely start scouring the obituaries hoping to hell to see your name there, hoping you die a very, very long, very painful death.  Hoping to hell I live longer than you, just one year even, so I can find even one family relation of yours and let them know in no uncertain terms how terrible a person you were.  That would make me happy.  Until then, I’m watching.  I advise you keep a wide berth.
Until we meet again.

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Mister Dee – Chapter 3 DRAFT

Wilma scratched a flea behind his left ear absent mindedly as the farmer’s wife approached.   She covered her mouth and a slow, keaning moan rose up from between her fingers as she dropped to her knees beside the dusty husk of her husband.

“Minion. You had best address the human. Let her know that I, Mister D..”

“..I’ve got this boss..”

The woman fell sideways away from Wilma’s voice and the orb with shock and surprise bringing fear into her mind finally. She scrabbled backwards crab like till she rose, grasping the nearby shovel as she did.

“Who said that?” She half cried half moaned, her eyes wide and wet.

“..I believe she needs to be calmed. Perhaps if you..”

“..all good boss, hold on. Hey, lady, thanks for the berries and sorry for all the tunnels. This is Mister Dee. He has a message to pass on, oh and sorry about your mate, anyway, look just calm down and stay back from..”

The woman threw the shovel in the general direction of the voice, not registering that it was a groundhog let along the specific one she had been debating poisoning earlier that morning.

“You do not have a way with words minion.”


“I thought you preferred Wilma.”

“I’m on the fence.”

“I see no fence.”

“I don’t even know what that means.”

“More humans are coming.”

A pickup came into view turning from the chip and tar rural side road into the long dusty driveway. Clouds of dust rose into the air as it sped toward the house. The woman after falling at least twice, ran to meet it.

“Oh great. Those ones.”

“You know of them?”

“Yeah, they have guns. They show up once in a while and go with the dead monkey here and hunt in the woods.”

“Will they listen to my message?”

“Doubt it.”

A puff of dust rose from the ground beside the orb, then another. The cracking of gunshot followed a few seconds later.  Chuck jumped into a nearby hole, swearing as he did.

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He twisted his head, and moved to the side
And he peered in the cupboard door crack
There in it he saw a brown blinking eye
Angrily staring right back

He flung open the door, expecting a child,
Perhaps his small dog or his cat
But nothing was there ‘cept boxes and cans
So he shut it and straightened the mat

Turned off the lights, he grabbed his warm milk
He thought to bring his walking stick
Made it to the landing, flicked off the last switch
Then heard the cupboard door go click…

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Mister Dee – Chapter Two DRAFT

Frank ignored the phone. He was tired of the constant calls from the “Ufonuts” .  He was a licensed private investigator but truly only used that designation for hunting down clients, they being C and D grade celebrities, primarily former child actors, when they went native.

He pulled into the parking lot across from his office building, a brown, shabby, almost dusty, brick building constructed he assumed by slaves of the Pharaohs  after they completed pyramids and had nothing else to do. It was an odd building. Doors that didn’t open, stairs in stairwells that seemed to be just a little too small, a basement that was surprisingly clean and inviting, completely unlike offices and apartments elsewhere in the structure.

With a deep sigh, he extracted his lunch and briefcase from the trunk of his four-door, old-man car, the one he used for work so his clients didn’t think he was shanking them with fees. Locking it with his remote, he trudged toward the back door and headed up the too-small stairs to the fifth floor, room 512 (another anomaly as there was no room 500-507 nor a 513 yet there was a 514-520). He stopped with another deep sign and looked at the frosted window on the door to “Frank Meteor, Talent Management”. The font was comic sans. Comic sans. Nobody used that but secretaries and middle schoolers. He wanted Times New Roman. Another sigh and he entered the waiting room scanning the chairs to see who he would have to deal with today.

Smiles all around, he noted two complete strangers, a well-known E-grade, washed out comic, a guy he vaguely remembered from that show about the blended family on the space station from Nickelodeon a few years back and surprisingly, Marla Robert’s daughter Jane. She was with the former TV astronaut.

Briefly glancing at his phone, he pretended to open something on its screen and said “I believe you are up first” as he nodded toward Marla’s apparent beau. “Give me five to grab a crappy coffee then meet me in the room over there.” He finished with a smile and walked into his office.

The adjoining door to the receptionist’s room opened immediately and Kelly gave him the usual withering glance as she pointed at the real schedule silently mouthing words his way.

“You know by now I don’t read lips Kelly. Make it work please.”

“I don’t know why I keep working for you.” She flung into the air as she turned and fled to her room, attempting to shut the cheap six panel lightweight door as she did and failing miserably.

Frank walked over, opened it slightly and whispered “because your cats would die of starvation if you quit..” and shut it quietly.

Dropping his things in the far corner of his dark office, he flicked on the lights, hung his jacket and opened the blinds. People liked bright places and he needed to wake up a bit. In the street below, shaved apes milled about, doing their usual Friday morning slog to work, yelling, laughing, driving. His coffee cup was right where he left it and was as usual, unclean. Looking into it, he saw a few drops of residual brown from the day before, shrugged and walked over to the coffee maker to pour himself a cuppa Joe. “Joe” he thought. “Why Joe?”. He mentally set aside some time for Wikipedia later on to research this knowing it would result in a few hours of connected side searching.

Sitting down at his large glass topped desk, he shuffled the papers around to seem less disorganized, put a copy of Variety on the other side facing away from him and pretended to read emails. If Kelly was good for anything it was attempting to organize his meetings, answering the phone in a completely

bitchy way, fabricating his shitty morning coffee and turning on his computer. She pretty much refused to do anything else. He would keep her around.

The silhouette of Marla and “Tom” (was that the twerps name?) appeared on the glass of his door and a brief girlish knock announced their arrival.

“Come in, come in.” he rose from his chair and put on the new client smile.

“Hi Uncle Frank!” Marla said quietly. Frank responded with a finger to his lips as if being her pretend Uncle, the friend of her mother and enemy of her father was a state secret.

Walking around the desk, he shook the nervous hand of “Tom”, Tom, what was his frigging name. He should know. He marathoned his way through that stupid show one afternoon when he was home with some bizarre cold he caught from that singer who drank from his cup when he wasn’t looking. “Nice to meet you in person, please sit down, how do you know Marla and how can I help you?”

Everyone took their place and Marla flipped through the magazine as they began to speak. As suspected, she was just there for moral support.

“Mister Meteor, I’m..”

“Frank, please, just Frank..”

“Yes, of course, thank you..”

“Polite kid” thought Frank. Looks clean too. No track, no black bags under the eyes, no signs of hangover, frig, Scientology?

“I need some help getting back into some work. My agent bailed on me a year ago, I’ve pretty much given up. Marla said you help people out.”

Frank sipped his coffee. Bitter, too much coffee not enough water. The next admin will have worked as a barista AND have a nice bum. “Well, that depends. I’m not a traditional agent, I’m talent management.” He did the air quotes thing. “As in I manage you, like I make sure you get to the set, I find you when you wash up on a sidewalk, I point you in the right direction.” Marla gave him a sad, sad cat look. “..But seeing as you are friends with Marla, I can help you maybe find some work too.”

Marla and Tom (Tim?) exchanged smiles and clasped hands, somewhat secretly, below the edge of the desk as she dropped the magazine back on the table.

Tom (Ted?) looked like he was about to speak but Marla cut in “There is another problem Uncle Frank..”

“Oh? What’s that?” Frank slugged back the rest of his coffee and grabbed a pad of nearby paper and a pen.

Tom shut his mouth and deferred to his girlfriend. “Tom hears voices.”

Oh shit.

“Not all the time and not crazy voices telling him to kill people or start fires or anything. Just this one guy, Mister Dee.”

Frank stood and walked to the coffee pot. He hoped this kid or his parents had a lot of money. Sitting back down, he raised an eyebrow and asked the obvious question. “And what does Mister Dee talk about?”

Tom looked around, looked nervous, looked like he had to pee. “Well, mostly he is talking to himself but lately he is talking to someone else but I can only hear him. He talks about death, dying, vegans and how he really wishes he could try surfing. And the other guy, he’s a groundhog.”

Frank sipped the bitter shitty coffee and wrote the word “Wonderfuckingful”, dropped the pen and stared at Tom.