You’ll Get So Tired of Winning…

November 30, 2016

The Whackers or Little Whackers as they were known, had a Thanksgiving
Day tournament game that had to be played outside at a refrigerated
rink on a perfect late Fall day if you have to play ice hockey
outside- no sun, no rain, no wind and about 41 degrees Fahrenheit or 5
degrees Celsius if you live anywhere else in the world other than the
United States.

Coach Grimm walked in the locker room belonging to the Pee Wee
Whacker team.  Some of the boys were getting dressed, a few were
practicing stickhandling with a ball designed to practice stick work
with a puck when you can’t be on the ice.  A few just sat there cold
in their hoodies, not motivated to move yet because they were tired
and cold.  The regular coach quit after a dozen games after having to
take a job out of town or some bullshit.  Truth be told- the first
coach grew tired of guys not trying, not listening, not passing, not
pushing themselves and complaints by parents.  The Whackers went out
and got a veteran out of mothballs to help save the season.  Things
were looking up.  Coach Grimm showed up with his verbal pregame cattle
prod.  One of the players made the mistake of asking the coach if the
game they were about to play counted in the stats.
“When I wake up early on Thanksgiving morning, put my underwear on,
my pants on, my shoes on and drive to wherever the fuck this place is
to coach a game…  Yes it matters.  It matters to me and it should
always matter to you…  Turn off that ghetto fucking music.”
The one player with yellow tints in his brown hair, glared at the
coach as he turned off his Bluetooth connected to a Bose speaker.
“Sagging pants and bad poetry with a voice modulator will not be
tolerated any longer in the locker room.  It’s not music…  Now you
know…”
Coach paced back and forth looking at the ground and ceiling while
speaking to the players.
“When I joined you merry bunch, you were two wins and eight loses and
you’re now four wins and no losses since I’ve joined you.  Wanna no
the secret?  I don’t take bullshit. I’m not your babysitter or
substitute teacher… Why do you play hockey?  Cause your mom wants to
sleep with Jonathan Toews or your dad never quite made it to juniors,
The A or the show and thinks you got something just a bit more special
than the average beater playing this game?  All parents think too
highly of their kids. Who knows.  What I know after coaching this game
four times longer than you been alive, since your daddy was living in
his daddy’s balls and dinosaurs walked the earth…  You have to want to
fucking win.   Not just hope to win.  You have to decide that you’re
willing to go through a wall if necessary to get the win.  Puck is
loose…  The guy on the other team should be ready to shit himself at
the idea that you might put him through the boards as soon as he
touches that puck.  The opposition should marvel at the fact that you
move the puck like the Harlem Globetrotters passed a basketball and
that every shift, you play like it’s the last shift of game seven of
the Stanley Cup finals.  People who don’t know this sport will tell
you that wins and losses don’t matter.  Ask those people if it matters
to them that the person they voted for in the presidential elections,
lost…  Went down in flames.  Which brings me to this analogy-
elections and hockey are like a tug of war.  It’s momentum and
psychological.  You want to be sure that you’re all pulling together
to get your opposition face down in the muck, the slime, and the shit.
You want them to accept losing before they lose by being tougher.
You’re going to leave here in 90 minutes.  The Turkey will taste
better tonight if you win.  It always does when you win.  If you lose,
lose with your goalie pulled and you bombarding the other team with
seconds to go on the clock.  You should never get your ass kicked if
you’re ready for work on time. “
The kids looked at their coach who was old enough to be a
grandfather, who could still out skate them.  Bald, facial scars and a
chipped tooth from a high stick, which was fixed and then knocked out
again by a high puck to the face.  There was something inspiring in
his off the wall comments.
“Way back in 1973…  Maybe 74, the years all blend together…  There
was a kid from an Indian reservation who was fast and mean.  He would
slash the shit out of players and body them like he wanted to kill
them.  I was intimidated by The Chief.  He was quiet, mean and
determined to win.  The Chief come up the boards and I clipped him
with my hip.  I didn’t see it but others told me he cartwheeled and
had a ribbon of snot that wrapped around his helmet.  Was I bigger
than Chief?  Stronger?  Faster?  Probably not.  I got into his head by
knocking the shit out of him like a truck hit him.  If you gain the
centerline and dump that puck in the corner and then bury the Defense
as soon as they touch that puck in the corner, they’ll be whipping
that puck anywhere not to get clobbered.  You take away time and space
by bearing down on their asses by fore-checking at full speed…  Hands
in the middle.  Take a look at one another.  You need each other to
win.  This isn’t fucking golf; you need each other to do this right.
Why were the Beatles so good?  Because they played together…  The best
way to win a fistfight is to throw the first punch and keep swinging
until they stop moving…  This is a new era about to happen.  You have
a new coach.  You have a new president.  Things are going to be a
little different, a little raw…  If your new president was here
cheering you on today, what he say?
“Big?”
“Huge?”
“Make the Whackers great again?”
“Grab them by the pussy?”
“That’s it boys!  Your president would tell you that you’re going to
win so much that you’ll get tired of winning and he would tell you to
grab them by the pussy.  Let’s win this shit and give thanks that we
live in a country where we can take a day off to play the greatest
game ever invented…  Ice hockey.  Let’s go fucking get them!”

When Barack Met Donald

November 11, 2016

Barack extended his hand to president-elect Trump as he entered the oval office. Mr. Trump put his hands across his chest, closed his eyes and took a deep breath and held it.
“I took my first Pilates class today. I promised my wife that I would work on my flexibility and thought Pilates would be the place to begin. My wife is always saying I gotta be more flexible… What? I’m the most flexible man you ever met. I came to learn that this Pilates guy was put in an internment camp in England during World War I and he came up with this stuff while in a jail cell… Maybe that will be my first profound message to those locked up for all sorts of illegal and wholly subversive behavior… Ask not what the government can provide for me in the form of entertainment but what can I do to pass the time and become more… Flexible. Yes, yes, yes… I do feel more flexible today and a bit taller. All that flexibility makes you feel taller…”
Donald took Barack’s hand and shook it firmly. He then patted his right shoulder and looked around the room and smiled.
“I want to make this as unakward as possible, Mr. Trump. I want to prove to the nation that acrimony is not what we’re about. We’re above all that. This is what makes us who we are… The ability to accept the results and ensure that the greatest democracy the world has ever known, continues and continues to flourish.”
Mr. Trump clapped his hands and wiped imaginary tears from the corners of his eyes and then put his right hand on his heart.
“That is a beautifully heart-felt speech… It’s a shame the press isn’t here to hear this. I only wish the bust outs around my home could have heard this last night. People around the country had to reassure their crying children that I’m not coming into their home to deport or jail them, say crude things and grab their mom by the pussy… Meanwhile, I gotta explain to my son that the paid political activists aren’t going to drag us out and do us like the Romanovs. A bunch of Bolshevik, bewildered Bernie supporters and their inability to think like you and me, Mr. President. They just don’t get the whole bit about accepting results and this is not who we are… Is this room bugged? I betcha it is. TMZ, Wikileaks, Richard Nixon? I bet there’s planted Nixon bugs in this place you’re still finding like World War I landmines in Belgium.”
President Obama gripped his chin with his thumb and index finger, closed his eyes and shook his head. Was the moment of incredulity because of the things being said by Mr. Trump? Was it the fact that half the nation voted for this modern-day carnival barker who beat the odds and won or that the next president was going to piss on his legacy with the help of the senate and house? The correct answer- all of the above.
The current president shuddered to think about the potential abuse of power by his successor. Undoing transgender bathrooms, Obamacare, institutionalization of misogyny… the grabbing of the nation by the genitalia.
“Do you have any questions for me, Mr. Trump?”
“Yes… When did you decide the election was over and that I had won? I’m thinking after Florida… Maybe North Carolina. I always knew… CNN, NBC, ABC… The whole lot of them. It was like watching someone die… so when was it?”
” After you finally admitted that I was born in the United states…”
“Very quick, Mr. President… I can only hope that when Air Force 1 takes you towards Chicago, that you don’t hijack the plane to Ottawa. I’m thinking the Canadians got a really big wall to build to keep you and half of Hollywood out.”
“sarcasm is a sign of inferior intelligence, Mr. Trump.”
The zingers flew rapid fire from man to man for the better part of an hour before The thought came to Trump- I won this. I fucking won this thing. I beat Hillary, Obama, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. I told the establishment to get fucked and enough people backed me. I don’t need to keep this shit going any longer. I won. I can walk out of this fucking door the way an Italian does from a balcony after popping a virgin on his wedding night- hang the bloody sheets over the railing to a cheering crowd and let everyone know that the deed was done. I can put on my smoking jacket and just relax now.
“We gotta go out there and face the press… How’s this gonna go? We lay the bullshit thick and get through this or we can verbally spar. I think the nation needs a day off from that sort of thing, right Mr. President?”
“Yes… We can have our own armistice day… I’m warning you though- any crap from you and this can go a totally different direction… You ready to do this?”
The two men emerged to a huge gathering of the press. Photos clicked furiously as the present and future presidents emerged from behind closed doors. President Obama spoke first.

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, I just had the opportunity to have an excellent conversation with President-elect Trump. It was wide-ranging. We talked about some of the organizational issues in setting up the White House. We talked about foreign policy. We talked about domestic policy. And as I said last night, my number-one priority in the coming two months is to try to facilitate a transition that ensures our President-elect is successful.

And I have been very encouraged by the, I think, interest in President-elect Trump’s wanting to work with my team around many of the issues that this great country faces. And I believe that it is important for all of us, regardless of party and regardless of political preferences, to now come together, work together, to deal with the many challenges that we face.
It was Mr. Trump’s turn to speak. Was he going to be a loud mouth, trash talking winner and turn the press conference into some sort of WWF event? President Obama held his breath as the president-elect began to speak. This was going to go well or become a food fight. Which would it be?
PRESIDENT-ELECT TRUMP: Well, thank you very much, President Obama. This was a meeting that was going to last for maybe 10 or 15 minutes, and we were just going to get to know each other. We had never met each other. I have great respect. The meeting lasted for almost an hour and a half. And it could have — as far as I’m concerned, it could have gone on for a lot longer.
We really — we discussed a lot of different situations, some wonderful and some difficulties. I very much look forward to dealing with the President in the future, including counsel. He explained some of the difficulties, some of the high-flying assets and some of the really great things that have been achieved.
So, Mr. President, it was a great honor being with you, and I look forward to being with you many, many more times in the future.

The Emperor’s New Clothes or F#ck the Cubs

October 28, 2016

Gil and Gail packed up their deviled eggs and New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc that they bought while in New Zealand and headed over to their friends Tom and Tam. It was a beautiful fall night more like summer than fall with a full moon. The event was a baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago Cubs. Tom, a huge Cubs fan, set up a television outside in front of a fire pit and a trampoline off in the distance.
Gil was born and raised in Los Angeles and was a life long Dodgers fan stranded in the midwest. He walked past a teacher’s union lawn sign and three different lawn signs for Hillary Clinton and a giant blue W painted on a plain white background to signify a win for the Chicago Cubs on the way to Tom and Gail’s backyard. Gail and Tam really liked one another. They met at a Pilates class and became great friends. They watched the Kardashians together at different homes and texted about it at night. Their sons played youth hockey together and Gil was the hockey coach. Gil was quiet owner of an ice hockey pro shop who played hockey, sold hockey and played hockey four to five days a week. Gil and Tammy’s son was thin and good-looking, fast and capable at being a scoring threat at every game. Tom and Tam’s son had man boobs and hips wider than his shoulders. The bookish son of Tom and Tam was slow and had a weak shot. Gil took their son as a favor to his wife who really wanted a friend up in the stands to sit with at games. Tom was jealous that Gil was in good shape and was a good skater and coach. Tom couldn’t skate but was wealthy and had season tickets to all Cubs and Chicago Blackhawks games. Tom was a partner at a law firm and drove a Range Rover and a Corvette with personalized Cubs and Blackhawks Illinois license plates. One license said PWR PLAY 69 and the other said LUV CUB 69. Gil had no hair, was built and had a half missing tooth much like the hockey great Alex Ovechkin and a face full of scars from years of playing ice hockey without facial protection. Gil refused to wear a cage or a half shield while playing and looked like a rough neck. Tom wore black horned rimmed glasses and had looked like an LL Bean model in front of his $5000.00 built in backyard grill, 50 inch television exclusively for the backyard and excellent sound system. A band from the 1980’s called Haircut 100 blared through the speakers while the ball teams silently  took batting practice. Gil stood with a bowl of deviled eggs in a LA Dodgers hat and shirt. Tom wore a Cubs hat with a T-shirt that had a large W on it. He was cooking filet mignon, he offered Gil a beer. Gil declined as he was gluten-free. It irritated Gil when Tom would offer him a beer. Even though Gil had declined dozens of times, Tom would still offer a beer to Gil. Gil had Ceiliaks disease which prevented him from processing gluten properly.
“Tam remembered and purchased a gluten-free, lesbian safe beer for you from Trader Joe’s… You can be like every other man around this town watching this game tonight and start the night properly with a beer.”
Gil opened the beer, tapped it against the bottle Tom was holding and talked about their son’s hockey team. Gil was careful not to say too much and let Tom comment on the high and low points of the season.
“The goalie is brutal… It is truly a testament to your defense that we’ve been in every game. Do you put your best skaters on defense always?”
Gil took a drink of his beer and pondered the best answer to a question he didn’t care to answer truthfully. Gil felt that it was a good idea to be as cryptic as possible with parents when it came to playing time, position and lines. Gil played Tom and Tam’s son on the first line even though he was a slow, tentative, ineffective player. It was a political move to appease his wife who was considering her friend’s feelings.
“I try to find a balance…”
“That is a beautifully scripted answer, coach. People try to figure out where you’re coming from. They want to know if there is something deeper to your tactics. I think mystery comes off as deep but I think I have you figured out, coach…”
“Tommy… This is a night all about baseball. I’m ready to take the night off of hockey. A full moon, great fucking weather, good food, booze and the Dodgers poised to make a California boy proud…”
Beer turned to scotch and then to wine. Bottles and bottles. Blue cheese on choice steaks with gluten-free pasta. It was a night to remember. A clear, full moon and August like weather in October. The game turned ugly for Gil. The Dodgers tanked and were getting crushed by the Cubs. It was a debacle not unlike when Gil was young and the Dodgers would lose every year to the Yankees. It might have been a moment of hurt pride that caused Gil to change from a good-natured fan to a critical observer of the type of man he disdained- bragging, rich, unathletic, pudgy Chicago fan. The Dodgers were losing by a touch down when Tom lit a cigar and laughed at the score between innings. Gil told Gail that he wanted to leave. she was having a great time without having to watch her children and she did not want to cut the night short and return home yet. The game ended with a huge Cubs win. Tam put on a song that harkened back to Burt Bacharach buy a band called Cousteau. No relation to Jacques called, The Last Good Day of the Year.
There’s something there
Among the fallen fruit and flowers, won’t rest
Only minutes, only hours unless
Now the morning breaks in showers, I guess
We’ll remember this all of our lives
On the last good day of the year
Gil sat and looked at the full moon as a gentle breeze blew through the leaves in the trees that were ready to turn colors and fall. Tom was going on and on about the Cubs and then switched to politics. After a beer, a scotch and many glasses of wine, Gil was ready to speak freely, uninhibited or reserved. Tom was taken by surprise.
“Fuck you. Fuck the Cubs, fuck unions, fuck Hillary and fat kids who really don’t want to play ice hockey… Enjoy your win you fucking pompous asshole. I hope Hillary gets the same fucking treatment Nixon got for the minor shit he did compared to that cunt.”
Gil knew that his wife hated the word cunt and that most women had a thing against the word. Both Tam and Gail gasped and tried to get Gil to calm down. It only made him angrier.
“You want to let all the Mexicans in? All the Syrians? Every fucking moderate who makes their wife cover their whole fucking face like a goddamn Ninja? Fuck you and your W shirt and Hillary lawn sign… Your kid is going to wind up with heart disease by high school if you don’t discover the word no. No you can’t eat whatever you want and drink sugary bullshit. Your son has bitch tits… I know that might be harsh to hear but you can thank the Cubs and Hillary. Bitch fucking tits on a 10-year-old and why? Because you can’t say no to him? You wanna know why my kid is fast? Because he eats yogurt instead of gummy worms and fucking Doritos…”
” I think you’re angry Tom…”
“Yes, I am. When unathletic fucks like you gloat, I get mad. You don’t know dick about how to really win and it falls into your lap tonight and you’re like a fucking scientist about baseball. Yes… The fast capable kids play defense on my teams and really I believe your son would be happier with a hot dog and a drink up in the stands next to you than forechecking. You got season tickets and you want your little son of sam to play like Kane or Toews.”
Gail came up and hugged Gil and put her hand over his mouth. Gil pushed Gail away in a way that let her know that he was not done. Tom had enough drinks to stand up to Gil and he did.
“You’re mad that the Dodgers lost and that Trump is about to go down in flames. Too many people do not buy into the Hitleresque bullshit spewed by Trump. Mexicans are the paste that holds this country together. Who is going to do the shit they do for the money they make? Big strong, stupid, flag waving, tear-in-the-eye patriot who hates anything not white. You’re the big hockey coach but you weren’t quite good enough to make it so what do you do? You coach.”
Gil took a step towards Tom with the thought to give Tom a smack. Tom sneered and raised his chin as if to say, “smack me! I don’t give a shit.”
“You know something, fuckface? I won’t ever apologize for being white. I won’t ever apologize for not blindly trusting people who hate me. Vote for whoever you fucking want. Why do we all got to know who it is? Why not put up a lawn sign that says you need a little blue pill and porn to make it with your old lady? You know what? All I need is a little text telling me to get home fast and my dick hurts to be cramped up in my jeans knowing that it’s going between my old lady’s legs just as soon as possible. You like baseball analogies? I’m the fucking closer who doesn’t need a warm up pitch. Put me in cold and I’ll finish the game…”
The women left the two men alone who were about to come to blows. Tom was about to rebut Gil when the women put on a song from the 1980’s from their youth. It was a Sinead O’Connor song called The Emperor’s New Clothes. In the light of the moon, the two men watched their rather fit middle-aged wives sing and bounce on the trampoline naked slathered in coconut oil. The oil glistened off of their breasts. The men stopped fighting and looked on at their wives without saying a word. Tom poured a glass of wine for himself and Gil. The men stripped down to nothing and joined the ladies on the trampoline on probably the last good day of the year. The song played on repeat while they made love or something resembling love beside one another.
Everyone can see what’s going on
They laugh `cause they know they’re untouchable
Not because what I said was wrong
Whatever it may bring
I will live by my own policies
I will sleep with a clear conscience
I will sleep in peace
Maybe it sounds mean
But I really don’t think so
You asked for the truth and I told you
Through their own words
They will be exposed
They’ve got a severe case of
The emperor’s new clothes

The New House of Un-American Activities

September 28, 2016

In the year 2021 after the national elections that gave Hillary Clinton her second term, a committee was formed within the Democratic Party dominant House of Representatives called The New House of Un-American Activities. The committee was created to prevent racism, xenophobia, misogynistic and Islamicphobic behavior in the private work place.
Rutherford J. Mann, was hauled in after a questionable speech to shareholders. Mann, a former Marine who used the GI bill to get himself through college, excelled in the workplace and became a CFO of a major fortune 500 company. After a few too many drinks on a day when the stock price for his particular company under his watch, shot up, Mr. Mann spoke freely. He never refrained after that day. His candor lead to problems between he and the government. Why the antisocial behavior? Was it the fact that the stock tripled in a short period of time? Was it that this was the third time he laid his hand upon a struggling company and turned it to gold? Was it because he was an old, white male? Probably all of the above. His manic, plain speaking speech landed him in front of the New House of Un-American Activities.

Rep Jefferson- Good afternoon Mr. Mann… Do you understand why you stand before us today?
Mann- I have an idea why but I don’t think anyone who is forced before this tribunal ever knows for sure.
Rep Washington- Please clarify, Mr. Mann.
Mann- There are many agendas out there and something such as this witch hunt is born somewhere for some reason. Where it originates and why is probably unimportant as it is truly Un-American.

A few laughs from the press and the viewing gallery caused the gavel to be hammered by Representative Adams of New York.

Rep. Adams- Mr. Mann are you now or have you ever been subversive?
Mann- Please explain what that would mean exactly.
Rep. Jackson- One who would be unwilling to temporarily allow refugees from war-torn areas, shelter in one of their many secondary residences when the law specifically states that private property that is not of primary residence, must be made available to house refugees. This is a right afforded all refugees under the law who are in the process of becoming naturalized citizens. I believe it has come to light that you paid relatives to occupy your secondary homes in Maine, Florida, Hawaii, California and Aspen to skirt the law… We have emails regarding payments that were made to various relatives… I quote, “I would just as soon burn down these places than let recruits sleep in my beds.” Recruits? What would they have been recruits for exactly?
Mann- Um… The Democrat Party most likely…
Rep. Washington- The sums of money you have donated to what has been determined to be subversive causes is impressive. Racist, xenophobic fronts abound and as a wealthy donor, you must know that giving to these causes makes you a defacto bigot. A lot has been improved an eliminated over the years. Citizen policing boards to ensure no profiling of any sector of the public ever occurs again within the ranks of our police officers. The Common Access Act which provides that anybody of any gender can and must be allowed access to areas formerly reserved for specific genders… Men only. Women only… This is not much different from colored only. Reactionary subversion cannot be tolerated. We are a tolerant and educated people that take equality for all seriously… So with this said we will read off a list of your charges.
Rep. Harrison- “Stand and piss the way god intended men to do. Piss on the seat, the rim and floor. Let them all know a man was there and don’t apologize for being a man…” This was recorded April of 2018 at an airport in Dallas. “Women get all riled up over the word Cunt… You get a bitch hormonally unbalanced due to bleeding monthly or when the tap gets shut down and we should be able to read a situation at all times or we are oblivious… Is it any wonder dad always looked like a defeated veteran of a foreign war most the time? He went to war daily and lost. He couldn’t discuss it with you because you were idolized by the enemy… Where did women like Margret Thatcher go? You have this crazy cunt giving the farm away and letting anyone steal the crops and claims it’s owed to them…” Which crazy cunt would you be referring to, Mr. Mann? This was recorder June of 2020 in an elevator of your company.
Mr. Mann took a sip of water and winced as if it was cheap vodka going down hard. He ran his index finger around his collar and then replied.
Mann- my people were once farmers. I might have meant my grandmother was giving away the farm as the saying goes but I don’t recall the comment and quite possibly it may have been taken out of context. The urination comment was directed at a man who had disc surgery to his back and could not sit and urinate properly. The comment must be noted that the man to whom I was speaking was in great pain and had difficulty sitting and urinating as is now law but a law which is difficult to police for many reasons… Is that all?
Rep. Washington- Not even half done… Comments here which I must refrain from reading because they are so offensive. Comments about different races, religions, over weight people and the government. You believe and have publicly stated that the government is on the wrong track and that we are all being led down a path to destruction. All are very serious… I am going to recommend that Mr. Mann be added to the growing list of subversives that have already been identified and added to the list. Unless we as diligent Americans step forward and cut out these cancers that surround us, we will return to the way it was back in 2008 and I don’t think any of us in good faith could want that for this country.

So what became of Mr. Mann? He took his severance package and went to live out the rest of his days in Argentina. Years later a reporter for a television show in the United States found the former American on his ranch in rural Argentina. He was hunted down like a former Nazi doctor and questioned from the fence of his ranch as he sat upon his horse. “Do you have a comment for Americans at home that wonder what has become of you?” Mann rubbed his scruff, pushed back his silver hair and said, “If I lived in a house with no windows and only two doors leading nowhere… I’d get the fuck out of that house anyway I could.”

Nietzsche Beside Me

September 14, 2016

The seconds tick matched up against my heart. Driving past the point where it starts. It feels like a hundred degrees, sweat drips down my back as I try to breathe, try to remember all the other Septembers. There’s a home in my heart from way back when I was given speed to help me slow down to think. The head gets weak and then the heart speaks. I went back to find them all knowing they’re gone. Perhaps the things I inherited are no longer suitable, no longer practical. I tried to slay the windmills from across the land from my head to my heart. I may never get tired of living, sharing a smile, a laugh captured in a moment. Life is a scent that won’t ever let you down. I want to steal back the things I thought would always be mine captured in the resin of time. Autumn comes in waves of warmth and cold. The warm sun and a cold breeze I remember this all of my life and can close my eyes and nothing changes. There is something there between the things I love and despair. Happiness and sadness as old friends on a park bench as they hold hands in a quest to understand why we exist. Maybe everything is nothing.

They Got Your Number

September 2, 2016

Dirk’s phone rang while he picked his nose and read text message while standing and pissing over the toilet at work. Dirk had to roll up his sleeve and reach into his piss to retrieve the phone. The ring tone of a barking dog was what went off every time Dirk’s wife called. Dirk had the ring tone on high. When it rang, the bark echoed in the large men’s room at work. For others that were in that room at that moment, it sounded like a real German Sheppard in the bathroom. One puzzled pisser looked under the stall to find a guy kneeling and swearing over the toiler bowl. It was 9am and it already had the making of a bad day.
While Dirk was sitting on the red line, elevated train which ran parallel to Lake Michigan on Chicago’s north side towards downtown, he made a few phone calls and paid a bill over the phone.
“1776 1812 1942 911… expiration date 1-21… numbers on the back? 9000… zip code? 60203 and the name on the card should be Dirk P. Eller. E L L E R.”
Sitting next to Dirk was a chubby young man with a bike helmet on, holding a skateboard with a long beard like a relief pitcher in baseball, a post Civil War president or even a religious Jew. The young man had recently been deposed from his city of Chicago job for sleeping on the job. His job was to place the Denver Boot, wheel lock device on automobiles that had collect more than three unpaid tickets to the city of Chicago. The man’s name was Bill. Bill got off of work and played video games all day at home, on his couch until he noticed the sun was gone through the window. Bill got home from work, ate cold cuts and pizza crust that was two days old out of a box resting on the garbage, turned on his X Box and literally played until he had to return to work. Where did the time go Bill wondered to himself. He finished work at 8 am, got home by 10 am, ate, took a shit and then played until 10pm at night. No sleep. Not even a nap and it was time to return to work. A couple of No-Doze pills and a Red Bull gave Bill the runs quick and then he was alert until about 4 am. At about that time, Bill pulled behind a car that he was supposed to be placing the boot on and fell asleep until 9 am. When he opened his eyes, the world was fast at work. Cars everywhere, people walking and the sun was high in the sky. He had 24 missed calls on his phone which was on silent. This was the third time. Bill lost his job. Nobody feels pity for tow truck drivers or those that place the boot on autos or for sheriffs that need to evict people when they lose their jobs. All are well hated. Bill happened to be recording all the information Dirk was giving over the phone. Dirk was well dressed and looked like a smug, rich fuck. Bill was going to have a little fun with his ex-boss and charge it to Dirk’s card. Bill reasoned that the goods would be returned and Dirk wouldn’t actually have to pay anything.
Dirk’s phone in the toilet? Yes, it was Dirk’s wife who discovered a charge of almost $10,000.00 to an online sex toy outlet. A semi truck full of boxes addressed to Bill’s boss who had fired him, arrived at their city office off of Addison street, just west of Wrigley Field. Hundreds, maybe a thousand dildos crafted, pink tips painted with care by hand by genuine Mexicans in Mexico and imported to the United States. Wait until Trump hears about this!
When Bill’s boss went down to shipping and found a room full of boxes addressed to him, he became curious. He cracked open a box and pulled out one of the containers and found a 12 inch black penis. Others were white. Some had huge veins and were wide. circumcised and not. Some were double and triple dongs. Dirk’s wife looked at their statement and found that their was a huge purchase to an online sex merchandise company and jumped to the conclusion that her husband was a deranged sex fiend and a repeat offender. He had been caught skyping a Russian woman in the past. She was on the bed plowing herself with a cock that looked much like the one Bill’s boss received when Dirk’s wife Dawn woke up one night to find Dirk beating off and moaning in the basement. After marriage counselling and vows to give up such fantasies, the huge purchase put Dawn over the cliff. She jumped to conclusions. How could he spend so much on sex but I can’t get granite counter tops in the kitchen?
By the time Dirk got to the Apple store and replaced his phone, Dirk had received dozens of text messages from his wife.
“YOU SICK PERVERTED CREATURE. YOU BELONG WITH THAT WEINER GUY FROM NEW YORK. YOUR BOTH SICK FUCKS. I TRIED TO REVERSE THE CHARGES AND I CANNOT. THE BANK SAID THAT IT HAS BEEN OVER 24 HOURS SINCE YOU BOUGHT THIS SHIT. THE COMPANY WILL NOT TAKE IT BACK. WHO IS YOUR FRIEND AT THE CITY OF CHICAGO THAT ACCEPTED THIS SHIT FOR YOU? I DON’T NEED TO KNOW. I’VE BEEN TRYING TO REACH YOU FOR HOURS AND IT GOES TO VOICE MAIL. THE OFFICE COULDN’T REACH YOU. I AM LEAVING THIS MORNING TO STAY WITH MY MOTHER IN MICHIGAN. I GOT THE NEXT FLIGHT OUT. I THOUGHT YOU TURNED THE CORNER AND THAT YOU LOVED ME AND WANTED TO WORK ON US BUT REALLY YOUR JUST A TWISTED LITTLE MAN. YOU BOUGHT THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS OF SEX TOYS BUT CAN’T EVEN TAKE ME OUT TO DINNER UNLESS YOU HAVE A GROUPON. FUCK YOU! WE’RE DONE!”
I want to tell you that the merchandise was sent back and the culprit was caught. I want to tell you that the money was put back in the Eller account and that Dirk’s wife believed that fraud took place. The bank told Dirk to check with the City of Chicago. Dirk talked to numerous people, explained what had happened only to be hung up on or put on hold. Nobody gave credence to such an outrageous story. The bank held Dirk responsible for the charge since he and his wife failed to contact the bank within 24 hours of the fraud. The bank suggested he go to his local police office and ask for a detective. Dirk went to the local police station next and was further frustrated. Dirk lost his cool with the woman behind the bullet proof glass at the police station after having had to repeat the chain of events several times.
“I’m speaking English to you… I shouldn’t need to repeat myself! Somebody bought $10,000.00 worth of dildos and charged it to my account. The bank won’t reimburse me and they suggested I go see a detective at the police station nearest to my home.”
The indifferent clerk behind the glass asked Dirk the wrong question which set him off.
“Sir… This isn’t a job for detectives… What do you want me to do?”
Dirk suggested to the woman that he would come behind the glass and insert every last dildo up her ass. That prompted cops within an ear shot of the conversation to come out and detain him. He was charged with a misdemeanor offense of threatening an officer of the law. He got out on bail. It really was a bad day for Dirk. And some days are like this.

Questions to a White Dad from his Black Daughter

July 30, 2016
Every dad, everywhere, is bombarded by questions by their young children.  Sometimes the questions are things overlooked by adults like why don’t we fly or why don’t we breathe water?  Are you the smartest man in the world?  Are you the strongest man in the world?  What were you doing in the bedroom when you pulled the covers up on you and momma, really fast?
At a commercial break on a kid’s show, this dad checked the weather, baseball scores and then put on cable news.  The screen flashed a sound bite from Hillary, her vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine and then Donald Trump.  Images of the murderers of a priest in a church in France flashed and then a Black Lives Matter protest.  The daughter got bored with the soup du jour of the political world.
daughter- daddy?
dad- hmm?
daughter- can we watch the Power Puff Girls again?
dad- of course…  I just get scared when you watch commercials.  I find myself going to Toys R Us too often then.
daughter- do you watch anything else except this stuff about Hillary and Donald Trump?
dad- you know I watch baseball and hockey…  I also watch shows on Cartoon Network with you.
daughter- do you like Teen Titans?
dad- they make me laugh.  Do you like politics?
daughter- nope.  Momma says that only an idiot would vote for Donald Trump.  Are you going to vote for him?
dad- if I vote for Trump, are you going to call me an idiot?
daughter- nope.
dad- if momma votes for Hillary, I wouldn’t call her blind.
daughter- blonde?
dad- yes…
daughter- how can momma be blonde?  She’s a black woman.  Black women don’t have blonde hair.
dad- I think there are black women that dye their hair blonde.
daughter- momma wouldn’t do that… daddy?
dad- yes…
daughter- what’s it like to be a man?
dad- wow…  that’s a tough question.  It’s like being a serious boy.  I still feel like a boy but I know I’m not anymore.
daughter- I would say you act like a boy still.
dad- thank you…
daughter- do you like being white?
dad- oh boy…  You got some deep questions today…  I like being who I am and being a man who is white is okay with me.  I like who I am.  I wish I was more handsome and taller.
daughter- the kids at school said that I’m black because I’m tanner than the white kids.
dad- your dad is white and your mom is black.  That makes you both.  People can say whatever they want but you will always be both.  You are one of the prettiest girls in the world.  I’ve seen a lot of girls so I know what I’m talking about.
daughter- some kids at school are mean.
dad- yes they are.  If you were to tell someone who happens to be white that they are ugly, fat or stupid, they’re feelings would be hurt.  You don’t need to say anything though.  You point the ones out to me when I drop you off at school and I can say it for you.  I’ll say, “Hey chubby-ob-avitch!  How many freckles do you have and do you have them on your ass.
daughter- you can’t say ass.
dad- I can say it to anyone who acts like one
daughter- how did I get blue eyes?
dad- someone in my family and your mother’s, had to have had blue eyes.  My parents were both right handed but I came out left handed.  Someone in my mom and dad’s family had to be left handed.
daughter- daddy?
dad- yes…
daughter- do black lives matter to you?
dad- this is like an interview today…  What happened to asking me questions like why a dog’s tail wags?  All lives matter to me.
daughter- I heard ladies at the hair salon say that if any white people say that all lives matter, then they’re racist…  What’s a racist?
dad- um…  a racist is someone who judges others based on the color of their skin, religion or where they are from…  Like all black people are like this or all white people are like that.
daughter- are you racist?
dad- I like to think that I’m not but someone might think that I am.  I can always say that I was once married to a black woman and my daughter is part black…  I could say like a lot of other white people that because I have a black friend, I couldn’t possibly be racist.  Do you get what I’m saying?
daughter- I think so…
dad- if I saw someone drowning or burning in a building, I wouldn’t be more likely to save someone because they were white.  Any life matters.  I wouldn’t want to die in water or by fire and would hope that my life matters to someone if they could help me.
daughter- did you know there used to be slaves and they were black?
dad- yes, I learned about that too.  It was wrong and sad and white people who didn’t agree with slavery, went to war with other white people that did want slavery.  It was a really bad war where lot’s of people died.  Even President Lincoln was killed over not wanting slavery.
daughter- if you could be an animal, which animal would you be?
dad- now that’s the sort of question I’m used to…  Today I would be a hippo.  I would go in the pool and cool off all day, then get up and eat, fart and go to sleep.
daughter- you fart a lot now.
dad- You do too.  You must get it from me.
The daughter got quiet and watched the television but she wasn’t really watching.  She was deep in thought.  She held one of her stuffed animals from the latest Disney movie in her hands and looked out of the window.  The father turned down the television volume and added one last thing.
dad- do you know what I wish?
daughter- what?
dad- I wish you could stay the same age you are now so that I always could keep you safe and know where you are.  I would never let boys try to kiss you and never let anyone try to give you drugs…  I know it isn’t possible to wish for that and have it come true so my wish is that you grow up happy and stay healthy and have a good job one day and find someone that makes you happy if that’s what you want and you come to see me now and then when I’m old.
daughter- you’re already old.
dad- yup… So don’t forget to visit your old man when you grow up.
daughter- I would never forget about you.
dad-  ok good.  Now we understand each other and the world completely.
daughter- yup…
The daughter curled up in the crook of her father’s arm and went back to watching her show.  The dad thought about being tired, what he had to get done during the course of the day, what bills he had to pay while his daughter reloaded.
daughter- daddy?
dad- yes, baby…
daughter- who are terrorists and where do you find them?
dad- Wow, wow, wow…I think we need to eat first before we answer anymore questions.  Would that be alright with you?
daughter- yes…  Well I am pretty hungry.  I’ll have more questions for you later.
dad- Yes…  More questions…  Of course…  Always.

240 and Counting

July 4, 2016

Independence- 240 years and the descendants celebrate with wings, malt liquor and parades.  Bill of Rights and the rights of the dead, a bullet piercing the side of the head somewhere on the west side, south side, Chicago’s apartheid red line zone where the tourists never go.  But I digress- this is a process of processed food, entertainment and education.  Back when we were all English and white, on paper the ideas seemed right- Liberty and justice for all… or maybe some or none.  Manifest destiny, all for you and me from sea to shining sea.  You’re free above this line and slave below this one.  A war between brothers and in the end freedom with an asterisk- there was a fix.  You give us the presidency and we’ll look the other way for nearly a 100 years til someone refuses to give up a seat, sit where they want when they choose to eat, vote, protest and integrate, separate but equal became the Civil War sequel.  Well I’ve jumped ahead again.  The Kaiser, Sarajevo, trench warfare, mustard gas the rise of the working class.  Comrades in a sea of red, the Czar was dead.  The treaty left them angry and needy after reparations of Versailles a charismatic character, a director, a rector sold the scape goat- many die and why?  A bomb to stop a war and within a few years a little more and a truce that lasts til this day.

Unbridled growth and prosperity, suburbs and the interstate, sock hops and roller skates.  We liked Ike and then came JFK, Bay of Pigs, assassins and then LBJ and the KKK.  Just advisors to advise those who love and cherish democracy, imperial imposition of freedom for Vietnam.  Baby killers, draft dodgers, free love, and women’s lib.  Drugs and Nixon, the fix was in.  Watergate, oil crisis, a cancer on the presidency, end the war with dignity.  Ford, Carter Reagan- morning again in America.  This aggression will not stand- draw a line in the sand, new world order, Perot, Clinton, stained dress, Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill congressional hearings on the hill.  W, 9-11, weapons of mass destruction, mission accomplished, quagmire, Afghanistan/Taliban=Vietnam, Obama, Osama, Arab spring, ISIS, crisis of confidence, we’ll build a wall for our defense, terrorists, xenophobia, first woman presidential candidate, with shadows of doubt…  Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot… Wait!  This just in…  Citizen Trump

Timebombs

June 1, 2016
It isn’t possible to send out E-vites before expiring and passing on to heaven, another life or nothing, depending on what you believe.  There are no parties with tears and hugs before getting on to a helicopter and waving goodbye to everyone the way President Nixon did when he resigned.  No smile, wave and peace symbols flashed with your fingers before passing on.  It happens suddenly or it drags on.  It happens peacefully or we agonize and panic.  There really is no good way out.  We really are time bombs and don’t know when it is that we go off.
Andrew Millar received the news that he was going to die from cancerous polyps in his intestine, throughout his colon and into his blood stream.  He felt as he always felt but upon finding blood in his shit quite often, he decided to visit the doctor who sent him for tests.  In the same time in the same town, there was a man name Andrew Miller who was also worried about blood in the stool, saw his doctor and was sent in for testing.  The oncologist that was reading the results of Millar and Miller, mixed the two up.  The doctor told Millar that he should wrap up anything he needed to get done in the next six weeks when actually he just had anal fissures and nothing more and told Miller that he was absolutely fine when in reality, he had about six weeks to live.  It was an honest mistake brought on by the distraction that the FDA and FBI were about to bust the oncologist for prescribing unsanctioned, cheap Canadian drugs that were not approved so that he could make more money than if he purchased the cancer drugs through approved sources in the United States.  Who doesn’t want to save money?
Now Millar was a Jazz guitarist that never quite cracked the fame ceiling and was able to sustain himself just on playing music.  Millar had to teach guitar to young men who wanted to learn Led Zepplin riffs, play Glen Miller ( no pun intended ) songs at nursing homes and Kool and the Gang songs at weddings.  To really pay the bills, Millar was a substitute teacher in the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles County.  Millar usually brought his guitar to try to calm the high school age kids.  He would ask them to name songs and he would play them and as time went on, kids no longer listened to much music that required guitar.  They would throw out Ariana Grande, Justin Beiber or other syrupy, bubble gum stuff that really didn’t have guitar in it.  The youngsters were not impressed with his talent.  He was just a dumpy old man who looked like he hated the world.  Millar wore frayed jeans with a collared shirt untucked so as to not accentuate his second trimester belly fat.  He had a receding hair-line and he hated that life seemed to be changing for the worse for people like him- white, male, under employed, baby boomers.  Jazz was his sanctuary.  He would show up for Jazz jams around the city where a couple or two would listen to really great musicians play out of a bible of memorized standards.  It really was the same shit over and over.  It seems that all the Jazz that anyone ever played, was created during a 15 year period which ended with the Bossa Nova fling in the 1960’s.  Other than that, Millar really did not like his life.  Being a substitute teacher is what he loathed the most in life.
Upon receiving the news that he was going to die soon.  Millar was getting ready to sell everything on Craig’s List that he could get rid of and move to Amsterdam until he died.  He was going to smoke hash when the cancer really took hold, fuck prostitutes without protection and play Jazz is some really cool clubs in a very seemingly cool country.  The phone rang early on a Monday morning.
“Listen…  I’m going to die very soon…  You know what I’m saying?  In six weeks or less, it’s taps for me.  I don’t need the sixty bucks a day after taxes just to put up with little fucks who think they have it all figured out.”
“Just this one last time…  I’m absolutely in dire straits right now.  I have illness, births, deaths and not enough people to watch these rooms…  What can I do to sweeten the deal?”
A bottle of Woodford Reserve Bourbon and the day’s pay.  Millar walked into the room to find the students sitting on top of desks, shouting, talking on cell phones and one young black man was dancing in front of a mirror.  The students were part of a “special” class where they were all just incident away from possibly becoming part of true special education environment.  Millar, moved the desks into a circle and then told the students to sit where ever they want.  Millar stood in the middle.  The students quieted down.  They were intrigued by the seating arrangement.  Millar looked down and supported his chin with his thumb and index finger.  He looked both troubled and deep in thought.  A female finally asked him what was going on.
“No bullshit busy work today.  Your regular teacher is dying or giving birth or just blowing this off because she is frazzled.  I have no idea why and it doesn’t matter to me.  I have my own cross to burn today…  I want you each to look at me and tell me one thing that comes to mind about me.  We will go clockwise…  You sir…  You’re first.”
“Old, fat, sloppy, angry, tired, lazy, white, poor, ugly, stupid, racist…”
“Very good…  You’re getting the game.  So let’s back up and guess what I was like as a ninth grader like all of you.  I was a ninth back in 1982!  Before cellphones, graphic porn, PCs, laptops and a slew of other things that have managed to baby sit all of you today…  Sir…  Start again.”
“Nerdy, skinny, small, scared, pasty, introverted, nose picker, masturbator, momma’s boy…”
“Well…  It’s as if you were all right there with me back in 1982…  Okay, now it’s my turn.”
Millar rolled up his sleeves, took out a small bottle of Woodford Reserve from his pocket, took a swig, wiped his mouth like a pirate, exhaled loudly, clapped his hands and then rubbed them together.
“You there…  Art chick.  Tall and blonde, nice brand new body on you.  You may have gone lesbian for shock value or will by the time you enter into a college.  Once the shock of lesbian wares off, you’ll have a black guy.  Not the safe Uncle Tom types that take up ice hockey and if you close your eyes, you’d swear you were talking to a nerdy white guy…  You know what I’m talking about homey, dontcha?”
Millar pointed to the young black man with braids, sitting with his legs spread and his arms crossed, wondering where this was going.  And wondering more- why?
“The oreo type that uses words like awesome after everything.  Maybe calls guys bro or dude.  He likes skiing and salsa dancing with his really white girlfriend.  They’ll take a cooking class together and Lamaze someday when they decide to spawn little zebras…  No not that type of safe black man.  I’m talking about the guy who washes his car daily, with special rims and a special stereo system that sounds like bombs falling on London with the deep bass.  His white gym shoes are a cherished possession.  Maybe was in a gang or is in a gang.  Lives a rough and tumble life in south central LA but gets bused all the way out to Woodland Hills just so he gets to see where really white whites hide away from the real world.  Tattoos, malt liquor, weed and speaks in mumbling, unintelligible half sentences and could never look the young white art chick’s dad in the eye and say, “pleased to meet you”.  Not pleased to meet you actually…  Dude…  What else do we have here?  Ah yes…  You there.”
A muscular white guy with his team football jersey on who was squinting and picking at his nails.  He was intrigued.
“You young man…  The proverbial boy next door.  You won’t probably make it to division I or II football.  You’re too slow, too white and not meaty enough.  You need to put on about 100 lbs and six inches just so you can stand on a line and bash your helmet into another equally grotesquely large man until someday voices in your head tell you to kill yourself.  No, you won’t go pro but you could wind up a bouncer for a really chic dance club near Hollywood.  You’ll marry some petite shrew, divorce, see your kids two weekends a month, sell cars or real estate and learn that you’re not a salesman…  You’ll have an epiphany at the age of like 28 that you should go back to school to become a PE teacher and get a gig as a…  ready for this?  A high school football coach!  My advice- don’t wait until you cannot sell cars or homes.  Go to college and become a PE teacher right away…  What else have we here?  Ah you…”
A chubby Mexican boy wearing shiny black shoes, dress pants, a plain white T-shirt and a blue flannel shirt buttoned only at the top.  Millar walked by and put his hand on his shoulder before going to the chalk  board and wrote a word in large letters.
ASSIMILATE
“Vato…  What is this word in Spanish?  Someday when I’m long gone and white people go the way of the Dodo Bird, it will be a moot word.  A word not necessary anymore.  Y’see…  Old white fucks like me go home and watch old television reruns and wonder where that America went.  Half the shit in this city is written in Spanish.  The Germans, Dutch, French, Italians all learned English.  The Koreans, Polish and Russians have all muddled along but not the Mexicans.  We need to write polite versions of be smart and don’t run on a wet floor in Spanish.  Why not Dutch or German?  Because they Came here and learned the language and became part of America.  Who created Donald Trump?…  Excuse the expression…  You people by not assimilating.  ASSIMILATE…  The word of the day.  Not because you’re rapists and murderers or taking jobs beneath all other Americans…  None of that shit.  For every white or black or Asian children born, there are three Latinos, Hispanics…  Primarily Mexicans being born.  Blacks don’t realize yet that at 12% of the population, they are the minorities.  Not the Latinos…  And that tag makes me laugh.  What exactly is Latin about Mayans who were conquered by Spaniards and forced to learn a European language…  So you, gordo…  You got a charp Chevy Chort…  Maybe a 1964 Impala lowered to about three inches off the ground.  You hang out in your barrio and try to kill others who are not from your barrio, right, essay…  Who have I left out?  Oh yes…  The Asian.”
A smallish Filipino boy sat with his arms folded and was in awe of what was being spewed by the substitute teacher.
“So you speak like you’re black and love the hip-hop culture.  You drive around in a little noisy Honda all souped up to race around with other smaller Asian lads on weekends.  You have a Spanish surname, sound like you’re black and will wind up going to college to become a nurse.  You’ll marry another Asian and get together with only other Asians and will live happily as can be.  That is provided you don’t get a divorce and decide to return to Manila, dress like a broad and sing bad Madonna covers in lounges as a career…  If you do, things are all set up for you here now.  You can piss wherever you want.  You got a cock but feel like there’s a woman trying to get out of you…  Fucking piss anywhere you want.  In fact, I’d claim to be LBG or T just to get a civil servant job.  That new group will be in the front row for any sort of new affirmative action…  Well I could go on and on really.  I hope that I have reached you all in some small way and let you know how we older people see you.  Know that the best years of your life are right now and that when you have to fend for yourself, it will suck.  Can’t wait to be 21 so you can drink?  You’ll need a drink to deal with life in America…  The greatest, strongest, smartest, most witty nation in the world and that is only our opinion of ourselves… where everyone aspires to be just like us except people like this young lady here with the head scarf.  Maybe she will find the love of her life in a camp in Syria, strap a bomb to her chest and take out the French or holiday workers in San Bernardino.  You say that is racist and unfair?  How many Hindus or Buddhists are beheading westerners in the name of their religion?  So unfair to think that way…  I know, I know.  They come here to wear blue jeans and drink Starbucks just like the rest of us.  Maybe they’re just trying to keep us from being more miserable and fucking things up more than we already are.  Picture this as a commencement speech from an angry old man that is dying.  I’m dying and will be dead long before all of you provided you don’t keep your heads up your asses.  Stereotypes aside- you are what makes America what it is.  Love it or go fuck yourself…  I think the bell will ring soon.  Whatever you do, just try to be happy.  Life is short and one day you get to be my age and look at the youth and want to just slap them into reality.  I hope I’ve done that today…  Either way, you won’t forget me for a while…  Class dismissed.”
Millar got home and saw the number 2 blinking on his answering machine that he purchased back in 1988 that was linked to his landline telephone.  Millar had a suspicion about one of the calls and he was right.  It was the school principal and he sounded like he was going to have a heart attack or stroke.
“What the fuck did you do today?  You are not getting paid for today. You are not getting any Scotch. You are not coming back to this school.  You will probably get sued and wind up on the news.  I guess if there is any saving grace to any of this shit is that you didn’t show up with a gun and just kill us all.  You may have killed my job and any chance of becoming a superintendent someday and for that I have to say fuck you, you fucking dick.  You twisted fuck.”
Millar poured himself a drink turned on the computer and checked email.  There was a bunch of junk from the Mayo Clinic, invites to play gigs for twenty dollars here or there and then one from one of the students.  Millar read it and then re-read it.  He turned off his computer and then turned it back on and re-read it one more time.
“Dear Mr. Millar,
I won’t let you know who I am.  I don’t want to be categorized further.  I just want to let you know that maybe we were wrong about you and maybe you were wrong about us.  You are right that we won’t soon forget you.  I cliqued on the link to your music page and you are a great guitarist.  I’m not a Jazz fan but liked what you play.  We all would have liked to hear you play instead of try to stereotype us.  Whatever…  It’s done now.  Just thought you should know that just because you’ve lived longer, it doesn’t mean you have it all figured out and you certainly don’t have all the answers.  That’s all.
 Millar forgot to play the second message on his answering machine.  He went back and hit play several times.
“Mr. Millar, I would like a call back from you but in the interim, I have some good news for you.  You are not going to die in six weeks from cancer.  You results were mixed up with another man with a very similar name to you.  You are absolutely fine and should live a long and happy life.  Call me if you wish to discuss this further.  Please let me know that you received this message.”
Message received.  All of them.

Hamsters and Half Families

May 13, 2016

Doug divorced Daphne and found a woman named Dawn. Dawn was married to a guy named Dwayne. Daphne met a guy named Don who was divorced from a woman named Doris… All parties concerned had children of their own that either lived with them full-time or part-time.

Daphne bought her eleven year old daughter an I-Phone Six for her birthday. After being beaten up and wore down by hearing that all her friends were on Instagram and all her friends had really nice phones, Daphne relented and spent the money for her daughter to have a really nice phone. This purchase left Doug wondering what he could buy his child that would not seem cheap and insignificant. A spa day? A new bike? Clothes and maybe a trip to Claire’s at the mall? No, those things would all seem sad in comparison to a phone. Doug decided on a hamster.

In the past, when Doug was still married to Daphne, Doug went out and bought a guinea pig. Doug had a great amount of disdain for the animal. It shit often and constantly made baby pig sounds after being over fed by the children. When Daphne took the children to see their grandparents out-of-town, Doug put the guinea pig in the backyard. Doug reasoned that it was summer and that fresh air would be good for the little fucker and then he wouldn’t need to hear its crying out for food every few minutes and smell it’s shit all over the house. Doug was asleep on the couch when Daphne came home early and unexpected. There was a sink full of dishes, dirty clothes all over the floor, half empty beer cans, a spent bottle of scotch and the guinea pig was dead in the backyard. His young daughter stood crying, holding her pet that was missing it’s head.

“I LEAVE FOR THREE FUCKING DAYS AND THIS PLACE LOOKS LIKE A FRAT HOUSE. GET THE FUCK OUTSIDE AND CONSOLE YOUR DAUGHTER! HER PET IS MISSING IT’S FUCKING HEAD… YOU ARE SUCH A GODDAMN CHILD, DOUGLAS!”

Verbal beat downs like that were common and then one day Doug decided to leave Daphne and the kids. He met another woman with children who was disgruntled with her current husband and so she left him and so this goes on everywhere today. Doug got to thinking that a guinea pig would really suck even though his daughter really loved the animal. He thought about ferrets, chinchilla and then decided on a hamster. He went on Craig’s List and found an animal and its little biosphere to live in for $25.00. Not only would his daughter love the gift nearly as much as a phone but it cost almost nothing. Deirdre, their daughter loved the little animal. Daphne hated it.

“It looks like a baby rat without a tail. Why did you get an all black rodent? Couldn’t you find a multi-colored one or just a white one?”

The deal was that when Deirdre was with Daphne, the hamster lived at Daphne’s house. When it was Doug’s turn to have the kids, the rodent would travel with them. The arrangement worked well for weeks until one particular Wednesday.

HEY- I’M STUCK IN TRAFFIC. i NEED TO DROP OFF ONE OF DAWN’S KIDS FROM DANCE AND GET THE OTHER ONE TO LITTLE LEAGUE. CAN YOU MEET ME AT THE MALL AND I WILL GET THE KIDS?

ummm what about the hamster?

WOULD IT BE TOO MUCH FOR YOU TO JUST HOLD ONTO THE HAMSTER FOR THE NIGHT? BY THE TIME WE GET TO MY PLACE, THEY WILL SHOWER AND GO TO BED.

sure. i had a feeling this was going to happen.

Daphne woke up to make a coffee early and watch the news. It was nearly six in the morning. She curled up on the couch and watched the latest about Hilary, Trump, Bernie, tornadoes, wild fires in Canada and the freak du jour who attacked dozens of people with a knife in a mall in some other state when out of the corner of her eye, she saw something take off across the floor. Daphne put on a pair of her black trendy Hunter boots that looked perfect for walking through horse shit in a stable and began looking for the thing that caught her attention. Daphne went into Deirdre’s room to rule out the hamster and noticed a hole in the tube that led from one part of the home for the animal, to a treadmill. The hole was covered with gray duct tape that had been gnawed through. The thing that caught Daphne’s attention was the hamster. Daphne ran downstairs, grabbed the round top that covered cakes and walked around looking for the pet. She moved couches, books on the floor, chairs until she found the little bastard cowering in a corner. She was afraid that it would run across the heat register on the floor and fall into the heating duct work. The animal was in the corner. The round cake cover would not work. Daphne needed to think quickly. She grabbed her son’s shiny/floor hockey net and threw it on top of the animal and then put a pot over him. Her next order of business was to call Doug.

“You bought this fucking animal. You never discussed it with me first and I have to house and feed this thing that looks like something I’m trying to catch in mouse traps. You said you would take this thing when the kids are with you and now I have this fucking thing running around the house because you bought a cheap, used piece of shit that was covered with duct tape. You never cease to amaze me with how fucking cheap you are. Are you this fucking cheap with Dawn and her kids? I bet you’re not… Not yet at least. You get over here right now and get this fucking animal and put it back in its cage!”

Doug woke Deirdre on a school day and hustled her over to her mother’s house in her pajamas. Daphne was wearing her thick glasses and a pair of bacon flannel pajamas and a Michigan State pull over. Oh and the Hunter boots.

Doug was a big, strong man but he didn’t like to handle fish or lizards or snakes or rodents. It was going to be his job to reach in a grab the terrified hamster so that it would not take off to another part of the living room. Doug lifted the pot just enough to reach his arm in and feel around for the hamster. Doug felt it in his hand but was afraid he might crush the small animal and loosely tried to remove it. The hamster ran up Doug’s long sleeve shirt and clung to his forearm. Doug screamed like a little girl and shook his arm like it was on fire. The hamster went flying across the room and landed on it’s back on top of a glue board that Daphne had set up for the potential of any mice. Deirdre tried to pry her animal from the glue board. The animal squeaked loudly and moved all four of its legs fiercely in an attempt to get free. Doug had Dawn at home in bed with the other children- the rest of his and all of her’s. Doug had a meeting in a few hours and still needed to get clean clothes for the kids out of the dryer, feed them, make lunches and get them all to school. Deidra screamed as if she was being killed.

“Daddy, do something! President Sanders is stuck to the glue board!”

Doug looked at Daphne with his hands on his hips and pursed lips.

“How could you be so negligent as to leave glue boards on the floor with an animal like this? Now this thing is going to die and I’m going to need to replace it.”

Deirdre screamed louder and cried harder.

“Way to go, Ace… You had to say this in front of your daughter while she’s already stressed. You are a piece of work.”

Doug responded. Daphne rebutted. Deirdre cried more. Daphne hugged Deidra and told her that she would save the hamster. She said she would take him to the vet and make it all better. So how did things get fixed?

At about noon time, Daphne took a picture with a black hamster with a strip of fur shaved off of it’s back and sent it to Doug with a text message.

this animal cost me fifty dollars. a secure home for it cost me another fifty. you can add that to the money you already owe me. going forward, do not buy an animal as a gift. when this thing dies, think of something else.

Doug responded

HOW DID YOU GET THE HAMSTER OFF OF THE GLUE BOARD?

Umm, I called the tooth fairy and santa and begged for a new one that looked like the old one and he arrived under my pillow an hour ago. The little fucker had a heart attack and died right after you left. I bought a new, black, rat looking animal so that our daughter doesn’t need to go for counselling.

COOL. KK.