Poor Sandy

Poor Sandy, credited as an unnamed caged prisoner in a dungeon cell with Poor Cecily. Chained and whipped and raped in a cage, titillating in a seventies soft-core sort of way. It’s the inquisition, apparently, although the chief inquisitors and everyone else in the movie are dressed in 18th century garb, petticoats and three-cornered hats.

80 torrid adult film performances now her history. “Swinging Genie", "Country Hooker". Hard-core classics like “Johnny Wadd”, and at the pinnacle of her career, “Oriental Ecstasy Girls”. 1974 was a prolific year. Yet, unnamed or uncredited so often. Even in her known best known role, Sandy Dempsey is credited as “Girl at Tryouts” in the mainstream “Swinging Cheerleaders”

Even her death, a freak boating accident in the Gulf of Mexico, was undocumented. (Did you know that in international waters it’s up to the captain of the ship to decide whether to incarcerate someone suspected of a crime?) What was freakish about the accident? The interwebs don’t say. Did she simply, silently withdraw from a public view?

Or did a drunk captain slip, fall onto the throttle, the ship’s floating lurch shooting Sandy Dempsey floundering into the boat’s propeller? Did she go overboard, moonlight catching a tattoo, the butterfly on her thigh?

I am Not a Monkey!

“Your face, so melancholic and phlegmatic”, the painter said. “I will paint it in shades of green, and greenish baby blue, with a bit of greenish red and greenish orange to hint at the choleric aspects of your personality”

I could not tell if the painter looked bug eyed because I had told her the surprising news, or because she actually had big bug eyes. Otherwise, her face was vacant, vapid, and blank. Her mouth, slack. Her jaw, also slack. Her nose and chin, fixed and unblinking. Her whole flat demeanor made her lips petulant and her skull, sardonic.

I turned to Claudette Akins. A range of emotions flickered through her simian face: from stolid to deadpan to straight, back to deadpan, and then on to glazed and inscrutable.

“I adore you so, my little, lovable monkey”

“I am not a monkey, Godammit” Claude huffed. “How many times do I have to tell you? I am an ape, and not just any ape but a great ape, a Silver Back Gorilla. Monkeys have a tail, and apes do not, for Christsakes!”

“You could get surgery. You could get a tail attached, and then you would be my lovable monkey.”

“Why are you always trying to change me. Can’t you accept me for who I am?” Claudette put her gorilla face in her gorilla paws and began to cry. Not just a little, but a heart-rending monkey—I'm sorry, ape—howl.

“Please, you are making it quite difficult for me to paint.” The painter stabbed at her palette with her brush.

Oh, here we go again, I thought. Truth be told, I didn’t really love Claudette. I was only dating her for one of her paws, so I could have my greatest wish granted. Eternal happiness. Which for me, was having a lifetime supply of silly putty.

Of course, her paw would need to be amputated before I could cast the proper wish-granting incantation. Not a huge sacrifice for her. She would still have three other perfectly good paws.

Most importantly, for the spell to work she needed to be a monkey. Not an ape. I knew very well what the difference was, but I had been totally rebuffed by numerous spider monkeys, howler monkeys, and marmosets on Tinder, Bumble, and OKcupid.

Claudette was the only primate who had any interest in me, but she could be so needy and clingy. This relationship was taking a real emotional toll on me.

“I’m so sorry, Claude, darling. Of course, I love you the way you are.”

”I need a hug,” she said. “I need a hug with everyone!”

So the three of us had a big group hug.

“I know what you’re all about,” the painter whispered in my ear while we were hugging. “Claudette, will be safe from you. I have a magical paint brush that was forged in the fires of Icelandic volcanoes by elves, and since I have painted your portrait with it, I can oblige you to truly fall in love with Claudette, even if you are completely unworthy of her, for her own happiness.”

Shit.

Dedication

My memoir, which I have toiled on for many days, is dedicated to the many important people in my life.

To my Dad who abandoned me as a child, but when we reunited later, donated a second-hand stroller to me for my own child, which would have been really handy if the courts hadn’t terminated my parental rights. I’m not sure why they did that. I thought everything was going really well with my parenting classes and therapy.

To my other Dad who has always been there for me when I needed money. I know we don’t really love each other any more, but you’re handy to have around. I forgive you for putting me in a hold, and I’m sorry that I bit your hand so hard. It could all have been avoided if you would just understood what I was telling you.

To my mother, who kicked me out of her home, because her daughter from that other guy who was not one of my fathers accused me of sexual abuse. Which was perfectly OK, because I was able to live with that really nice, obese woman who couldn’t get around but was able to run a meth lab out of her home to provide for the all the people she let live with her, including that mother and son who probably murdered her and fled to the Turtle Mountain Indian reservation.

To my other mom who I haven’t spoken to in years, but still have that one fond memory of, which I will cherish forever. And I am sorry that I triggered you so much that you couldn’t spend time with me or talk to me, because you had your own childhood was also pretty shitty.

To my boyfriend, who is going to be here from the East Coast any second now. It’s been a long while since I’ve heard from you. What’s going on? I still believe that you did have a vasectomy.

Office Emails of the Old Ones

If someone does another reply all to the company wide distribution list, the walls will bleed red with the sacrifice of the old ones who cannot grasp how distribution email lists work

Please hang your human skin suits in the skin suit closet and not over your chair or the side of your cubicle. We don’t want higher deities visiting our offices and thinking we’re still the amphibious demigods of the last teraannum.

Please use Outlook Calendar to schedule your use of the portal. There are many legitimate reasons for to project yourself into the human dimension. However, many others would like to use the portal, and it’s not considerate to block our portal time when you don’t even a have a well organized virgin sacrifice in the human dimension to facilitate your travel through the portal. Please have an agenda and use your time with the portal wisely.

I want to make it clear that we do not condone the actions of the Gugs. They do not speak or act on our behalf. That is exactly why we banished them to the underworld. Any fraternization with Gugs must be reported and cleared by the Inhuman Resources department.

Attendance to the all staff meeting is mandatory. Inspirational CEO, Hastur the Unspeakable, will be sharing the company’s vision in accordance with the Yellow Sign. Hastur will be speaking through the incarnation of Feaster from Afar. Stick around for the raffle and happy hour afterwards. Lucky raffle-winners will have their brains siphoned out of their skulls by the Feaster’s razor-tipped tentacles.

Please keep e-mail communications professional. It is not appropriate to say that we will be *marketing the crap* out of the second coming of Cthulhu. Likewise, we should not be referring to the Rituals and Summoning department as bunch of fucking dumb asses.

My Relationships

I think it’s time that i settled down and made a commitment. For the long haul. For better or worse. I’ve just had enough of this bouncing around from one relationship to another.

There was my first true love. Where the bartenders were German cowboys, tattooed, and/or named Emily. The beer selection was great. Nice boozy stouts and porters. High end cocktail capabilities. Sazeracs. Brunch menu all day long. What was not to love?

But alas, time moved on. I moved around from one neighborhood to another, and I could no longer fit my first love into my daily routine. Then not even my weekly routine. Not as available as those that came later. Still every now and again, I hook up. On laundry day.

My next bar was much more convenient for where I was at the time. Just around the corner, so I could slip in for a quickie. They also had the Sazeracs. Wasn’t a big fan of the beer, although many others thought highly of the it. Belgian was always too citrus for my tastes.

What was nice about this place was that it had no TVs. You could really just engage. With the rugby player from Wales. The bartender with the same name as mine. And then there was the grotto downstairs. Dark with secluded corners if you chose not to sit at the bar. A place for a date. A few drinks before we scuttled off to my place.

Every now and again, I head over to this one bar, well outside of my neighborhood, for it’s exotic appeal. Not any meaningful relationship here, but it’s quirky and fun. Features the Bicycle Clown, where they customizes mixed drinks to meet whatever fetish you may have. And I have a few.

Another place, at a train station, a stranger passing in the night at the train station. A desperate choice, because you can’t be too particular when you’re waiting to catch a train. The staff was much too young, but I was in the middle of mid-life cruising. As it turns out I didn’t have the wherewithal to take advantage of the opportunities the bar had to offer. So many different oysters. One solid stout.

There was another place, that I would also see sometimes on the side for some variety. It never really appealed to me. Most notable for the BW photos from the 30s when you walk in. I always felt like I was walking into the Kubrick film, The Shining, which was not really what I was looking for in a relationship. I prefer the significant others in my life not be the spiritual reincarnation of a maniac, who murdered their family.

And then I find a place that I absolutely fall in love with. It feels like I’m really a part of something. They all know my name. And after awhile, I realize that there is nothing special about this place or my relationship with it. I am merely one of many. In fact, as a drunk, I was a bit hard to tolerate, and they didn’t really appreciate it.

Then the desperate grab for rebounds, looking to recapture that magic. Places with wonderful atmosphere. Awesome, friendly staff. Cocktail expertise most extraordinaire. After a bit afternoon quickes, getting drunk during lunch and finding my way back to work, just didn’t quite satisfy.

There’s this place, maybe the last place, where I sit now, enjoying a mezcal negroni. Already, it’s getting old and tired. I need another change of scenery. Maybe, something besides a bar. Hash runs?

8 Man Pop Quiz

Please take out pens and paper and clear your desks. This is a pop quiz on your reading assignment 8 Man. This quiz will count towards 8% of your grade in Rucking and Fucking, which fulfills your general education requirement for existential physics.

  1. If a drop kick is worth 3 points, and the 8 man’s team scores 2 tries and the opposing team scores 3 tries, missing 2 conversions, but makes a drop kick, while the 8 man's team also scores 2 penalty kicks then a) numbers below 10 should be spelled out b) who knows, we aren't on this planet to judged by tallying up a score. 

  2. The 8 man a) scored 0 tries b) may have scored tries but also knocked the ball on and was penalized. And rightly so, because we are in fact on this earth to be scored and judged. 

  3. The 8 man has a) a vestigial sense of self exacerbated by fallen arches and poorly concieved tatoos b) a drinking problem and secret desire go vegan 

  4. 8 Man is the protagonist’s a) nickname b) the position he plays 

  5. The 8 man has a) had multiple concussions b) only 8 fingers 

  6. The 8 man has a) unpaid bills b) taken his medication 

  7. The 8 man conceived his daugher in a) a laundry room b) a washroom 

  8. The kid won’t a) wash her hair b) brush her teeth 

  9. The last time the 8 man sees his daughter, she a) is on her way to join a cult that believes in Kool Aid  b) decided to run for Mayor of Baltimore 

  10. According to the kid, scissors are a) a slave b) an inanimate object 

  11. The brothel sprouts joke was a) made up by the author, because he really is that funny  b) stolen from the Internets, because let’s face it, he’s not all that funny 

  12. The 8 man is playing a sport popular in a) Germany b) Japan 

  13. The 8 man a) seems like a happy fellow b) is finding life a bit difficult at the moment 

  14. The author has personal experience playing 8 man a) yes b) no 

  15. I’m thinking of a number a) between 1 and 9 b) between 10 and 15 

 

Answer Key 

  1. a, but it would be really cool if he only had 8 fingers, because the Scissors Man had cut his thumbs off when he was a kid for sucking his thumbs. 

  2. b, which would have made her the 11th candidate running for the Democratic slot, if she had been old enough to run and didn't have a history of delusions and antipathy to scissors that would have made her unable to perform at ribbon cutting ceremonies. Although if (a) were true, she would probably be a much happier person. 

  3. b, and also popular in New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, England, Argentina and numerous other countries that are not Germany.  

  4. a or so the 8 man thinks, but really the answer is b 

  5. b, the author plays blindside flanker 

  6. Fuck if I know.   

God

What if God did care about all the people? Like you and I can care for two guinea pigs. Or three dogs. Three dogs are a lot to handle. Maybe, for God 7.5 billion people are like having three dogs. A lot to handle, but manageable.

Or maybe God has multiple personalities and each personality is handling a manageable group of people who worship in a way that is tailored to that personality

The God of Abraham cares for the vengeful and fearful who want their God to hurt the different people.

Jesus God cares for the compassionate socialists who have an unsubstantiated faith in the good intentions of people in general

Gaia God cares for the people that thought Jill Stein would make a good world leader and president of the United States. Vaccinations? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Free Market God cares for the people whose religion is doubtful economic theories involving tax cuts and invisible hands that somehow direct economic activity in ways have never actually been observed. That’s how faith works!

Tax Proposals

If I were president, this is how I would restructure the tax code

  • Tax on heterosexual anal sex. Straight men pay 5% of their income for each penetration. Women get a refund of 5% of their income for each penetration.

  • Avocado tax. Assessing a 100% VAT on Avocado purchases.

  • $3000 tax credit for not having children

  • Renters deduction, deduct total annual rent from taxable income

  • MPG tax. $100 credit for each MPG of your car/truck above 30. If you don’t own a car/truck, you’re taxable income is $0.00

  • Rugby tax. Any citizen that has not played at least 80 min of rugby in the taxable year owes an additional 10% of their income in taxes

  • Rugby medical deduction. Any medical expenses resulting from a rugby injury can be deducted at 5x the cost of the medical expenses.

  • Correcting the divorce penalty. Divorce couples may claim an additional 5 deductions.

The Significance of Being Named Kurt

My family did not overtly celebrate any sort of German heritage. I’m not even sure what my family heritage actually is. When I asked my family about my family tree for a school project, they seemed pretty clueless. My grandfather on my father’s side had some theory about how we were Pennsylvania Dutch, and our original surname was Gristman, and we were all millers or something. As far as I know, this theory has no basis in fact.

My sister did do one of those through-the-mail DNA thingies, which was a 40/40 German/English split and 20% of other stuff.

At any rate, my parents and uncles and whatnot on my mother’s side seemed to have a bit of a German fetish. They all studied German in high school and college. My parents watched Soccer Made in Germany on PBS in the 70s and 80s.

And I ended up with the name Kurt. Auf Deutsch spelling. Not Curt or Curtis or anything like that. And as a result, I developed a bit of a German fetish. Rooting for the Deutschland World Cup soccer team. Studying German myself as my language elective.

But I must be more English. I’d take an imperial stout or porter over a German pilsner or lager every day. And I play rugby for fuck’s sake.

Tinder Profiles of the Old Ones

Cthulhu
Species: Great Old One
Gender: Indeterminate
Age: Since the beginning of human time

A trillion millennia young!

Get me out of this app. I’ve been stuck in R’lyeh for too long. Really need someone at my side when my followers beckon me from my exile and am able to smite them and everyone else to reclaim the earth for the water elementals.

No Drama.

Yog-Sothoth
Species: Outer God
Gender: Male
Age: Beyond all time and space

No offence, I’m sure you’re a fine Old One or god of some sort, but at this time only looking for mortal human women who are attracted to a conglomeration of glowing spheres. Swipe left if you’re not.

Love Netflix and fluent in sarcasm.

Wilbur Whately
Species: Semi-Human
Gender: Male
Age: 10

Mature for my age., the blood of the old ones courses through my veins. I have the body and intellect of a man in his twenties. Seeking a virgin that I can sacrifice and open the door that will summon the Old Ones, close relatives of mine. Family is important to me.

My brother is a hideous monster, big as a barn, who consumes cattle. He is the most important person in my life. We are both part of the same package. If that doesn’t work for you, swipe left.

Lavinia Whately
Species: Human
Gender: Female
Age: 48

I like to wander amidst thunderstorms in the hills and read the odorous books that have been passed through generations. Family is important to me!

I have a son, Wilbur, who is the most important thing to me. He already has a father, Yog-Sothoth, and doesn’t need another one!

Only date vaguely male beings that are at least 620 feet tall

Octopus
Species: Cephalopod
Gender: Female
Age: 3

Just looking for friends!

My special power is predicting World Cup soccer games and escaping down drain pipes when imprisoned by homo sapiens oppressors. I also do a great job of squeezing through really thin pipes and tunnels that are way smaller than me.

If you voted homo sapiens in the last election, swipe left.

Bokrug
Species: Amphibian God
Gender: Indeterminate
Age: Millennia

Looking for a partner in crime!

Love to travel! The Steps of Deeper Slumber, the Fantastic Realms, Celephais, the Plateau of Leng. I get around!

But I also like to relax and slumber in my home under the lakes of Ib, lounging about in the skins of the humans from the city of Sarnoth.

Gloon
Species: Unknown
Gender: Unknown
Age: Unknown

I’m an open book. Just your typical ancient inter-dimensional same-gender entity. If you want to know more, just ask!

Those Who are Fortunate

One day Asher was walking home from work, being particularly pleased with himself. He had just told it like it is, for the benefit of one of his co-workers. (He worked at a video store when they were at their nadir of viability. Still video stores seemed pure to him. He enjoyed the face to face interaction with people that needed someone to intervene on their behalf for greater self-awareness. You just didn’t get that with streaming services).

At any rate, a lot of terrible things had happened to his coworker. She had been abused and molested as a child. Abandoned by a boyfriend when she was pregnant, so she had to pay for the abortion with the emotional support of someone who was a friend at the time. She had married, later, but now that was on the rocks. It was always a struggle, but they loved each other, she said.

He had very little sympathy for her. As he patiently tried to explain on numerous occasions, all of these things were her fault. Everything happened for a reason. Negative people attract bad things, and positive people attract wonderful things. Obviously, all these things happened to her, because her thoughts were wrong. She should try meditating.

If you meditated more, you would find yourself having more positive thoughts and good things, not bad things, would be in her life. After all my higher power doesn’t give you more in your life than you can handle, and if you off yourself (she had confessed that she had thought about it), it’s not because it was more than you can handle. It was because you couldn’t handle what you should have been able to handle, because it wouldn’t be happening to you if you couldn’t handle it.

She got angry of course. People in general, Asher had found, just couldn’t handle the truth. Asher on the other hand was all about truth. His life was great, and it was all because of his positive attitude.

Hard right turn.

He was so pleased with himself, that he didn’t notice the ring of mushrooms he’d stepped into and paused, checking his phone to evaluate his Tinder matches according to his high standards of who a suitable human being was. Cindy would not do at all. She was looking for someone accepting and non-judgmental. She wouldn’t do at all. How would people know how they could be better people, if they couldn’t hear what was wrong with them. Some people were just so defensive, he thought.

Then the trio of troll-sized fairies nabbed him and dragged him to their lair in another supernatural dimension. It happened fast. They beat him and threw him to the ground. Stripped him. Kicked him. Stole from him.

“Why is this happening to me,” he cried. “What did I do?”

They laughed.

New Years Resolutions

  • I will lose 9 pounds.

  • I will eat healthy.

  • I will exercise more.

  • I will master the 1985 arcade game Paperboy, while riding a virtual bicycle.

  • I will save money.

  • I will make new friends.

  • I will take up a new hobby

  • I will lose 900 pounds.

  • I will get to bed earlier at night, and masturbate earlier in the morning.

  • I will read more true crime fiction

  • I will learn a new skill.

  • I will feast on the hearts of my enemies and remember to take the recycling out every Tuesday.

  • This time, I will successfully recite the incantations from the Necronomicon and summon Cthulhu to pave the way for the return of the Old Ones to harvest humanity, because the Old Ones really love a good skin suit. And they have a good dental plan!

  • I will stop dealing Dick Clark’s blood on the black market.

  • I will hone my tracking skills with the goal of entrapping and dispatching the next yacht full of hapless ne’re-do-wells, who veer to close to my secret human hunting island, in record time.

  • I will get a new job.

  • I will choose a successor to lead my post-World War II alternate history of a totalitarian Lichtenstein that rules the world.

  • I will stick to that Gelato and vaginal transudate diet for the entire year.

  • I will stop spending so much money on my armadillo foot fetish.

  • I will adopt an army of puppies and train them to hunt in Pokemon Go

Twas the Night before a Southern Comfort Christmas

Throughout the house, nothing was stirring, not even a mouse, except I had begun to construct elaborate traps, like the ones that the Cajuns had built in my favorite movie, starring Keith Carradine and Powers Booth, about a National Reserve unit training in the Bayou. 

I loved that movie so much that I watched it every day. Even at work, I would sneak a peak on my phone for a few minutes. Soldiers slogging through the swamp, haunted by the drone of cicadas. The slaughter of the pig at the Cajun feast. I would ease out of bed in the middle of the night and watch the movie in all its giant flat screen glory, glowing effervescently like the fog hanging over the dense Bayou. 

One day, my son stepped into one of the traps. It was a fair representation of the one that killed Pvt Cribbs, portrayed by TK Carter. I had welded giant spikes to a bed frame, so that it looked like some sort of medieval torture device. It sprung out of a trap door that I had built and slammed into him. His body just hung on the spikes, just like that Pvt Cribbs, gagging on his own blood. 

My son looked at me as best as he could with wide, gradually dying eyes that rolled in my general direction but couldn't quite get a fix on me. His mouth hung open; blood bubbled out and over his chin.  

It was tearing me up to see him like that, and know that I had caused this horrible event. I swore to myself that I would not watch that movie again and took a step toward him, to offer comfort in his final moments. 

But out of the corner of my eye on our wall mounted TV. I could see my favorite scene, the one where the Cajuns blast the crap out of this fat guy--I don't even know how he was in the National Guard in that kind of shape.  

When the scene was over and I returned my attention to my son, he was dead. His glassy eyes pointed to the ceiling. I noticed that some of the plaster was peeling.  

Needless to say this strained the relationship with the rest of my family. It had ramifications in the bedroom with my spouse, who withheld sex from me and threatened to leave me, so I had to chain her to the fireplace.   

And my daughter could not be coaxed out of the main HVAC duct where she had begun to hide. I tried blasting her out with dynamite, but she just scurried deeper into the maze of vents. One of the blasts occurred a bit too close to the fireplace, which made me a single man.  

My daughter is still scurrying around in those ducts, but I expect I’ll find her, eventually.

Handbooks

50 Euros? Was that right? He fumbled for the correct handbook. He was more of a pen and paper guy, which is why he didn’t have the handbooks on his phone. For him, printed hard copies were the way to go.   

Oh shit, this wasn’t the right one. This was the handbook for Trying to be Friends with Someone You Are Still in Love With. He’d been reading it from cover to cover, over and over, while killing time and drinking at Mata Hari earlier today. 

“Should you come back when you have your handbooks in order?” She had an Eastern European accent.  

“Just a second” OK, was this the book he was looking for?  

“I can save you the trouble. 50 Euros for a ten-minute of me using my hand. Another 300 for a full hour, and I'll be naked and you can go inside me.” 

“Yes, 300.”  

As she pulled her spandex uniform over her head and off, he read through the Fucking a Hooker handbook.  

If it is your team’s ball, you are most likely throwing in, so you want to call out your play and throw it through the 'tunnel'” 

Oh dammit, this was the Playing the Hooker Position in Rugby handbook.  

“So sorry, just a moment.” Ah, here it was.  

No kissing, of course, he already knew that. But also, no driving in and up to push into the clit. No nipple pinching or suckling. He kept pinching her nipples though, and she kept telling him to stop it.  

He thumbed through pages, trying to find out exactly what he could do. Jesus, why didn’t he read this before? Why was this even a good idea? Oh right, drinking and reading Trying to be Friends again and again.  

Dirty talk would have been OK, but he never acquired that handbook. Good God, so many rules. Basically, all he could do was straight in and out.  

50 minutes of his limpish, pseudo-hardness, just enough to go through the motions of fucking. It likely didn’t help that he’d been drinking, but he’d lost the Drinking Responsibly handbook a long time ago. 

They tried Missionary. They tried from behind.  She probably needed to revisit the Pretending I’m Really Enjoying this and It’s Hot for Your Benefit, When I Just Lost another Bit of My Soul handbook. He could tell. 

10 minutes left when they quit. And while they lay naked together, chatting, he thought he should read Disposing of that Emotional Corpse, yet again. This had not worked at all. Or maybe, he should order a copy of That Emotional Corpse is Getting Awfully Ripe, Time to Bury It and Move On.   

In an unguarded moment, she casually ran her fingers through his chest hair and mentioned that she’d wanted to go skydiving someday. Straight out of the Mayfly Moments of Happiness handbook.

Lunar Maze

Clearly his decision-making left a lot to be desired. First off, he was wandering through a maze. Never a good start. The Minotaur. The Shining. Nothing good ever happened in mazes.

Yet, here he was wandering through one right now, guided by a strange old man he’d met at a pub. Why would anyone follow a complete stranger into a maze in a foreign land? Especially a guy that limped with a little crooked wooden can and wore in eye patch and went on and on about ancient rites and rituals and something about the old ones.

Apparently, it was the sort of thing he would does, because here he was, drifting towards his ultimate demise and wondering how he ended up there. And now, of course, the wolves howling. And the mist. And the full moon. None of this suggested that things were going to turn out well.

So it did not surprise him at all when they had reached the center of the maze, and the old man had transformed into a werewolf or a tentacled Cthulhu or whatever. It didn’t really matter what it was. Suffice to say that he’d once again found himself leaving a pub or bar or roadside moonshine stand and ending up in an unhappy situation. One that he’d reflect on later and feel a deep-seeded feeling of existential dissatisfaction.

The old man completed his transformation into some sort of horrific creature that should have stuck fear into his heart. But really, this sort of thing happened all the time.

So here was the part, where he would flee. He started to run, but his heart really wasn’t into it. He’d likely need a lot of coffee and ibuprofen tomorrow.

Trouble in System Telco Line 1 

It was supposed to be a casual, NSA thing, when Madison met the fire alarm system that had trouble in telco line 1.  

Still a fondness, an infatuation quickly grew between them. In some ways they couldn't be more different. One a living, breathing human being. The other an alarm system for the fire suppression system. Still, they had common interests. Like fire safety. The alarm system wanted everyone to know when the fire suppression system was faulty. And Madison wanted to be warned before being burned alive in a fire.

Madison admired the supple curves of the alarm system's switches and circuits. Its hot and sexy fire-engine-red shell that had all the bevels and perpendicularity in the right places. The adorable wailing it made when it blared Not Sure, Not Sure, like the sound of a truck backing up. Its bright LED display that indicated there was trouble in system telco line 1.

Even when it was clear that the alarm system’s annunciator was not securely attached to the wall and that it had a few loose wires, Madison was smitten and embraced the emotional risk. 

When the couple approached the three month mark, the alarm system began beeping No More, No More. What else could Madison have expected? It had been clear from the beginning that there was trouble in system telco line 1. It only took a single call to Housing Code Enforcement before an inspector was sent to the building, where both Madison and the alarm system resided, and cited the building's owner for a coding violation regarding a nonfunctional fire notification system.

Still, even though it was really over, for Madison the relationship was ash that still held some heat and laying awake some nights with a home spun cocktail in hand and teared-up eyes, imagined the sound of the alarm singing Still Here, Still Here.

Short Wave Number Stations

Gongs
76582, 76582, 40822, 40822, 76582, 76582, 40822, 40822, 76582, 76582, 40822, 40822, 76582, 76582, 40822, 40822 ...
(Hey you, Hey you, Hey you, Hey you ...)

Lincolnshire Poacher
FBBBAGFEDF: 5422, 5746, 6485, 6900, 6959, 7337, 7755, 8464, 9251, 10426, 11545, 12603, 13375, 14487, 15682, 16084, 16475
(Please pick up some coffee and a meat sandwich from the butcher. Beef or chicken. No pork. No fish.)

Nancy Adam Susan
Baker, Edward, Charlie; William, Susan, Peter; Otto, Susan, Susan; Baker, Edward, Charlie; Otto, Susan, Susan; Frank, Young, Peter; Nancy, Adam, Susan; Frank, Young, Peter; Otto, Susan, Susan
(We need to talk. The kid is failing Algebra. Parent teacher conference in two weeks)

Swedish Rapsody
87999, 15703, 15703, 06067, 06067, 52663, 52663, 52663, 52663, 54009, 54009, 90618, 90618, 16274, 16274, 95108, 95108, 41089, 41089, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 09096, 87999
(I see a little silhouetto of a man; Scaramouch, scaramouch will you do the fandango; Thunderbolt and lightning very very frightening me; Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo, Gallileo Figaro - magnifico)

Big Data

Spreadsheet: Root cause analysis of urination, March 2006 to May 2nd 2009   

Hypothesis: Urination is primarily an intentional, sometimes vindictive, squid-like response. 

Now we'll get down to the bottom of this, thought Rick Pernumero, a data analyst for IBM. If there was one thing his professional life had taught him was that, with a root cause analysis, he could determine the underlying causes of his child's urination and put a stop to it. He resolved to accumulate the necessary data in an incident report until he had gathered a statistically significant volume of data points. 

 

Date: March 12
Incident: Asked child to buck up.  

Future incidents were not limited to states of buckled or unbuckled, but also over the quality of buckling, such as around the neck not being a valid state of being buckled. 

Date: March 12
Incident: First day driving to new school

The child immediately wet her pants when he announced the trip right before they were to leave. Furthermore, for the duration of the trip, the child flailed their feet around the gear shift and pulled his hair while they were en route to the destination. 

Rick recorded several more similar incidents related to trips to other schools, medical visits, and other daily errands. Despite several near death experiences, He was confident that he was slowly putting another piece of the puzzle together.  

Date: March 19
Incident: Asked to complete an assigned chore: sort through the recycling for curbside pick-up  

Structure was important, he had been told by numerous mental health professionals and community resources, so he did his best to implement a regimen of chores and other routine activities.  

However, child would offer to sweep the floors when asked to vacuum the rugs. When the offer to vacuum the rugs was accepted, child would express a preference for sweeping the floors. When offer to sweep the floors was accepted, child thought it might be better to vacuum rugs. 

Still, he felt he was making great progress. Although no other assigned chores were completed that didn't result in a physical fight, recycling was completed 80% of the time and only 23% of the time with a urination incident!    

Date: April 15
Incident: Asked child to simplify eight sixths

Efforts to do homework were abandoned, but Rick felt that he had accrued an adequately sized homework urination data sample

Date: April 17
Incident: Asked child to give Dad a hug

Date: April 21
Incident: Asked child to eat carrots

Urination incidents appeared to be food-specific. Pizza, strawberries, yams, spinach, and ice cream did not trigger urination incidents. 

Date: April 22
Incident: Asked child if they had wiped their butt with the towel?” 

Date: April 23
Incident: Asked child to brush teeth

This request was discontinued after multiple toothbrushes disappeared. Presumed dropped down heating ducts or buried in the backyard. 

Date: April 25
Incident: Asked child to take medication

Date: April 27
Incident: “Ole Plaid Jacket” 

Self-explanatory. 

Date: May 2
Incident: Admonished child for getting silly putty all over the chair

Date: Just about every damned day
Incident: Asked child if they needed to use the bathroom

Date: Just about every time every time I left my dinner unattended and returned to find that it had been eaten.
Incident: Asked child what the fuck happened to my dinner

Date: May 23
Incident: Asked child Why is there fucking coffee in my laptop? 

After 3 months, Rick Pernumero compiled his data and ran it though statistical software and applied factor, cluster, and principal component analyses, regressions, and other analytical techniques. And because he could not concede that there was no discernible pattern in the data and the child's behavior was as random as a roll of the dice, he concluded that he didn't have a sufficient data sample and decided to gather more and more until he could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel.