PO’d Right Down To My D-N-A!

 

I hear you… I hear you… I hear you…

You’re as sick and tired of reading about that un-american, so-called prez as I’m sick and tired of blogging about him. Even so, I cannot let the following, specific matter slide on by. What it involves is the insufferable speech he delivered, just last Monday, at the Glen Jean, West Virginia Boy Scout Jamboree.

It did take me awhile to even figure out why, exactly, I was so upset. And believe me… this goes way beyond my being a liberal… even exceeds the fact #45’s words (which were supposed to be apolitically themed) reeked of rambling, campaign rallying tactics, shameless self-aggrandizement / compulsive ego stroking… everything teetering on the edge of self-abuse (fulfilled?). Long blog short…

My being PO’d goes right down to my literal, infinitesimal D-N-A!

Indeed, what’s been working OT, here, is my biologically programmed-in paternal instinct / need to protect young’uns from harm. What makes this even more remarkable is that I’ve never even been a father to anyone.

And from this “dad’s” POV, last Monday, #45 was abusing children / contributing to the delinquency of minors. Of course, why should that surprise anyone? After all, he’s already notorious for abusing women, ethnic minorities, non-Christians, LGBTQs, the aged/ailing AND the hard working impoverished.

The video, below, provides ample evidence of how his words corrupted tens of thousands of way too impressionable Boy Scouts. Suggestions while watching:

  1. Note how far too many of them had been swept up into mindlessly bleating out chants of “Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!” … uh… excuse me… “USA! USA! USA!” Did that creep you out and concern you as much as it did me?
  1. Ask yourself… is not #45 the antithesis of the Boy Scouts’ core values?

“A [Boy] Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous,

kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.”

So… would it be possible for parental instincts to overpower #45’s pungent, political stink? Could D-N-A trump D-O-N? Well, only if the parents of these Boy Scouts are as PO’d as I am… only if they use that Jamboree speech as a teaching moment… i.e., take their sons (and daughters) aside to tell them to use #45 as the perfect example… OF WHO NOT TO BE!

 

 

 

How To Define “Strong” (One Quick Limerick #015)

 

 

A so-called prez does not know right from wrong,

His deficit he deems an asset strong,

Let’s concur! Be vociferous!

He’s so strong he’s odiferous!

Let’s hold our noses, all day, all night long!

 

 

To make further rhyme or reason of current events, click onto my poetry category.

 

Through the Looking Glass (One Quick Limerick #014)

 

 

On and on the rash narcissist gushes,

On himself he hath fierce schoolboy crushes,

In looking glass he doth revel,

Were he to be on the level,

He’d admit he adores what he flushes?

 

 

3 Stitches and 3 Plastic Cards Fixed Tom’s Thumb

 

To be sure, there’s nothing quite like that first cup of freshly brewed, morning joe… especially right after opening the coffee can for the very first time. While there’s no better way to “wash down” one’s tasty breakfast, one must never lose sight of the hidden dangers.

Dangers? DANGERS??? Really? How so?

Well, you see, I’d been rushing through this morning’s kitchen cleanup ritual when, while disposing the coffee can’s round, metal, razor sharp “inner quality seal”, I wound up wounding my right thumb.

Immediately rushing off to the bathroom, I packed off my booboo with a “ton” of gauze. However, upon noticing how my blood was rapidly soaking through, I went racing back for the kitchen ISO a sandwich sized Ziploc™ bag to fully encase all of that “pretty” red gauze. Needless to say, my injury warranted a trip to my local Urgent Care facility.

My last visit there had been for a work related injury ten years prior… so… I could take some solace in knowing that medical attention was mere minutes away and well within walking distance from my home. Since, initially, I believed my slightly panicked frame of mind might make for unsafe driving, and calling an ambulance for such an injury was unwarranted, my opting to proceed there on foot actually seemed to make the most sense. Or, perhaps, I was not making ANY sense due to all of that blood loss?

Well, I was just about to engage my front door’s deadbolt lock when that nagging little voice inside my head yelled out, “HEY, wait a sec!” Vague recollections of a recent, Urgent Care, snail mailed item now came to mind. As it turns out, I had saved myself a useless trip.

Their new digs, indeed, were now much farther away. Noticing that postcards’ 2015 postmark, I decided to phone ahead. For all I knew they might’ve been more mobile than a warzone MASH unit.

The good news: They had not “bugged out”.

The bad news: I would now need to drive there.

The good news: My familiarity with locale and route coupled with how, for the moment, I was not bleeding to death.

It was now time to give myself that “calm down, don’t wimp out, you can do this” pep talk. In short I successfully made the transformation from walking wounded Tom to driving safely Tom.

But, even my best mind over matter tactics could not compensate for everything. I couldn’t help but instantly notice something most of us so easily take for granted… i.e., how turning the key in my garage door lock and in my car’s ignition all required the use of my opposable, wounded thumb. In such situations, one certainly does feel an even greater empathy and admiration for folks who must deal, daily, with chronic disabilities.

And so… I drove off. It being post morning rush hour, I found traffic to be light.

Upon my arrival, I checked in with the Urgent Care receptionist who was repeatedly apologetic. She was sensitive to the fact that she was asking me to fill out forms while I was barely able to hold onto the pen. But, once I committed my wound ruined, horrific penmanship to paper, the other medical professionals rapidly took over.

They checked out my vitals… temperature, pulse and blood pressure. The attending physician then visually assessed everything, injected a painkiller and sutured my lacerated thumb (3 stitches). Seeing how my last Tetanus shot was ten years ago (which by pure coincidence is the “life expectancy” of such injections), that inoculation was also part of this day’s treatment.

3 stitches, 3 plastic cards (DL, BCBS & VISA), a $30 copay and 30 minutes later… I was out the door and back on the road / on the road to recovery… but not before stopping off at a nearby drugstore to replenish my sorely lacking home stash of gauze, bandages and Neosporin™ ointment.

SIDEBAR: I now remind my readers to make damned sure your First Aid Kits are well stocked and medications are not past their expiration dates. Also ensure your inoculations (e.g. Tetanus) are up to date. Lastly, always be extra careful when handling hidden kitchen hazards, e.g., coffee cans.

Now, as much as I really do respect the medical community, this Thomas’s Doubting Thomas nature did force me to consider how some of my doctor’s medical evaluations / recommendations might’ve been under the influence of Big Pharma.

e.g. #1: Even though my injury’s pain is only minor, Doc had been way too quick to recommend Vicodin™!

e.g. #2: My doctor’s concerns over my borderline hypertensive reading are likely unfounded. Even I, as a layperson, could easily spot how far too many of the recommended procedures for accurately assessing blood pressure had not been observed! And incorrect diagnoses oft lead to needless prescriptions for BP lowering meds.

INDEED… my slightly high BP reading was very likely caused by the very caffeine found in those two cups of coffee I had enjoyed at my breakfast table!

 

 

“They Come… They Come… To Build A Wall Between Us”

 

A little over three decades ago, Neil Finn, founder/frontman of the Australian band Crowded House and composer of their debut album’s track, Don’t Dream It’s Over, musically mesmerized his fans, worldwide, when he hooked us with his haunting, sadness tinged storyline, emotionally driven vocals and stripped down to the bare essentials instrumentation.

While creative sequencing of treble and bass clef notes, time and key signatures and instrumentation do play a significant role, a peerless singer/songwriter/musician, such as Finn, fully knows that a song’s even greater appeal stems from crafting cleverly worded, timely, timeless sentiments, which tap into universal human experiences.

Let’s let the music now speak for itself…

Originally I had planned to include my own interpretation of Finn’s lyrics1 but quickly nixed that notion. My rationale…

  1. You can read such essays elsewhere.
  2. Upon re-listening to this song with our present-day ears… WITHIN politically perilous and tempestuous times spanning our entire spinning out of control world… WITHOUT the benefit of functional, sane leadership to face down and correct these serious problems… a whole new meaning arises from this song, in particular, the chorus…

“They come, they come… To build a wall between us…”

I cannot speak for everyone, but each time these particular ten words play out, I can foresee “the end of the road”… the road, which humanity has been travelling upon for multiple millions of years. I cannot help but wonder, will our road, someday (soon) be blocked by WW-III’s billions of burnt beyond recognition, irradiated corpses and mega-tonnage of rubble?

I’ll now graciously yield my blogger’s podium to Pope Francis who I wish, with all my heart, would speak for everyone on this issue…

“A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be – and not building bridges – is not Christian.”

To build upon the pontiff’s strong foundation…

  1. Are not ill-mannered, ill-informed, ill-advised, soulless world leaders, who so pointlessly, persistently dehumanize benevolent folks based solely on ethnicity, infirmity, religious beliefs and sexual orientation needlessly building a wall between us?
  2. Is it not the intent of the world’s malevolent entities… those who mindlessly terrorize, maim and slaughter (on behalf of their alleged god)… to divide and conquer us… i.e., by also building a wall between us?

The problem with walls is how they actually fail to insulate us from harm and, indeed, do harm when they isolate us. When everyone gets trapped on each side of the architecture, each side of the argument is doomed to remain unresolved… preserved thru perpetuity.

When viewed in this manner, just how would we then interpret Don’t Dream It’s Over?

I suppose that’s where the power of punctuation enters the picture. In this case, it all boils down to whether or not we opt to bisect Finn’s four worded song title (and recurring lyric) with a comma.

An optimist would eschew such punctuation… in effect saying…

”Please don’t ever dream that our dream for a civil, wall-free world is over.”

A pessimist would commit to that comma… in effect drastically changing the meaning to…

“Don’t dream, IT’S ALL OVER! Who needs stinkin’ bridges when we can get nasty and piss away billions of bucks to build that utterly useless, sky-high wall!”

Getting back on the musical track, conventional wisdom suggests that songsmith Neil Finn’s masterpiece should remain inviolate… YET… I cannot help but wonder… had he written Don’t Dream It’s Over, today… six months after the grotesque regime change within Washington DC… what verses would he have built around his chorus…

“They come, they come… To build a wall between us…”?

And would he even be realistic were he to reach the same conclusion he did back in 1986… when he had so resolutely proclaimed…

“We know that they won’t win!”

 

Latanya Lockett & Pablo West ~ Don’t Dream It’s Over (acoustic cover)

 

1Complete Lyrics:

 

Don’t Dream It’s Over

Composed by Neil Finn

 

 

There is freedom within

There is freedom without

Try to catch a deluge in a paper cup

There’s a battle ahead

Many battles are lost

But you’ll never see the end of the road

While you’re traveling with me

 

[CHORUS] Hey now, hey now

Don’t dream it’s over

Hey now, hey now

When the world comes in

They come, they come

To build a wall between us

We know that they won’t win

 

Now I’m towing my car

There’s a hole in the roof

My possessions are causing me suspicion

but there’s no proof

In the paper today

Tales of war and of waste

But you turn right over to the T.V. page

 

[CHORUS]

 

Now I’m walking again

To the beat of a drum

And I’m counting the steps

To the door of your heart

Only shadows ahead

Barely clearing the roof

Get to know the feeling of

Liberation and release

 

[CHORUS] Hey now, hey now

Don’t dream it’s over

Hey now, hey now

When the world comes in

They come, they come

To build a wall between us

We know that they won’t win

 

World Stage Bad Actors Flub Their Lines

We find our world teetering on the precipice of WW-III. Two bad actors are flubbing their lines while standing upon the world stage. A foolhardy, power tripping American butthead is butting heads with his likeminded, North Korean counterpart.

Both “leaders” are oblivious to the fact that their making even the slightest misstep could result in a slip and fall… one which would force humanity to take the final, fatal plunge.

Let’s take one step back from that narrow, slippery ledge to ask…

Just how did we ever get ourselves mired in this mucked up mess?

Speaking from an American’s standpoint…

In our democracy, to become empowered, all any wicked wannabe leader need do is BS a low information, Fox News brainwashed electorate… snag 50% + 1 of their votes (in key Electoral College states).

Next, to maintain his chokehold on power, he’ll serve up a heapin’ helpin’ of pseudo patriotism to drown out the voice of reason… the common decency POV expressed by the fourth estate and other legitimate dissenters. And worse yet, he’ll wrongfully vilify all of his spot-on critics.

Of course, this power hungry entity knows that, no matter how much he Fs over the masses, he can still count on that 50% + 1 blind loyalty. Might we even be talking about a massive, chronic case of Stockholm Syndrome (i.e., low self esteem citizens deeply involved in an abusive relationship with their political lover)?

In THE END we wind up with the powerful screwing over the powerless.

Indeed, he willfully turns on (betrays) all average Jane and Joe Americans… both his turned off dissenters and (ironically) even his still turned on (aroused) supporters.

Points to Ponder…

Seeing how it’s likely impossible that anyone can ever persuade such a “leader” to open up his ears, eyes and mind, is it now too complicated and too late to legally remove him from office?

If that answer is yes, let’s promise to wave to each other while taking our final fatal plunge into oblivion… i.e., if, in the heat of WW-III, there’d even be sufficient time for such pleasantries.

 

 

My Once Upon A Time Storybook Life

 

An old haunt of mine still exists in the heart of my lifelong hometown… the house where I had played out the first seven years of my life.

This was “The Place” where I had “busted out” from my barred, “prison” crib… to first crawl… to next stand upright and take my hesitant, initial baby steps… to eventually venture forth from my four walled interior to explore my verdant home turf and environs beyond.

Within this magical sphere was where fun cycled with the four seasons… building wintertime’s snowmen, flying springtime’s kites, igniting summertime’s July 4th sparklers… taking the plunge into autumn’s piles of raked leaves.

My yard had been my happy hunting ground for Four Leaf Clovers… where plucked Dandelions and Queen Anne’s Lace became presentable bouquets… where healthy, natural snacks got picked right off of bountiful cherry trees and prolific wild raspberry canes. This was where Robins, Blue Jays, Lady Bugs, Dragonflies, Monarch and Yellow Swallowtail butterflies all shared the same airspace.

In the waning days of this past June, a touch of homesickness had set in… fueled, in part, by how 1961’s and 2017’s days/dates line up perfectly.

On that yesteryear’s Tuesday, June 27th, it had been my family’s Moving Day… the pivotal moment when I had waved good-bye to the epicenter of my young universe to close out a truly glorious chapter of my carefree, once upon a time, storybook life.

On this year’s Tuesday, June 27th, I certainly would’ve welcomed some Sci-Fi type time travel BUT since that’s, purportedly, an impossibility, about the best I could possibly hope for was to play out the past in the theater of my mind… while paying a visit to the present-day version of my childhood stomping grounds.

Knowing that no drive-by could ever suffice, I opted to travel the road home on foot. No sooner did my childhood hood appear in the distance than the rhythmic, muffled sounds of my athletic shoes hitting the concrete began fading out… and my distant memories came flooding in.

Suddenly, I was back in my crib… feeling an open windows’ refreshing breeze… smelling the rainwater and ozone’s fragrance… seeing the lightning flashed walls… hearing a downpour on the rooftop and the sporadic rumbles of thunder mixing in with my Dad’s steady snoring. Perhaps this is a universal experience? It’s sounds just like the celebrated in story and song nursery rhyme, “It’s raining, it’s pouring the old man is snoring.”

I next recalled the countless daybreaks where I’d gleefully scamper down the stairs to switch on our Zenith™ B&W TV (first image in link is the identical model)… to zone out on op-art-esque test patterns and high pitched tones while patiently waiting for the stations to wake up and roll out their weekday children’s programs.

Amongst the affable, laughable personalities setting up shop on these kiddie corners were Johnny Ginger (who presided over the onslaught of Three Stooges shorts) and Soupy Sales (renowned for his pie in the face slapstick, choreographed “Soupy Shuffle” and interactions with puppet pet doggies White Fang and Black Tooth). To chill out, kids could always depend on the far more cerebral, dignified Captain Kangaroo (a.k.a. Bob Keeshan). Courtesy of the Walt Disney and Hanna-Barbera animation studios, Saturday morns featured a constant stream of cartoons.

Primetime fare included Ed Sullivan, Lassie, Dennis the Menace and (mythical Mayfield’s) Leave It To Beaver.

TV Afternoons were where the “faster than a speeding bullet… more powerful than a locomotive… able to leap tall buildings in a single bound” Superman flew through the airwaves… where the wisecracking Johnny Carson presided over the quiz show, Who Do You Trust… where music maven Dick Clark emceed the rock ‘n’ roll teen dance show, American Bandstand.

Taking my cue from Mr. Clark, this is where I brought my make-believe, bedroom “radio station” to life… where courtesy of my Zenith™ record player, I began spinning vinyl to blast out an eclectic mix of orchestral waltzes, jazz, rock, pop, ballads and Christmas tunes1.

My musical selections crossfaded, effortlessly, to memories of Christmases past… how, courtesy of Santa Claus’ delivery of Golden Books™, flashcards, View Masters™, teddy bears, toy blocks and train sets, Christmas mornings had lasted all day. Further sweetening our holidays were my stay-at-home Mom’s made from scratch, still warm from the oven, mouthwatering baked goods… e.g., gingerbread men, German Spritzgebäck (spritz) cookies, Slovenian apple potica and sugar / cinnamon doughnuts.

Although childhood illnesses and my tonsillectomy’s post op recovery could hardly be called a fond memory, Mom cheering me up was. She loved to tell me her highly imaginative, original, extemporaneous bedside stories as well as read other authors’ published works aloud (e.g., Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit).

And once nursed back to good health, I was back in action. Like on the day the training wheels first came off my 20” bike. As my skill and confidence grew, I’d find myself furiously pedaling up a rather long, steeply sloped sidewalk and then, on my journey’s downward leg, I’d experienced feelings of liberation and exhilaration while coasting back home at breakneck speed… waiting for the very last possible moment before slamming on the brakes.

Here was where, one wintery dusk, in a childish huff, I had “run away” from home over some trifling matter… but never did make it past the lower driveway. And once the falling snow had cooled me off, my mom convinced me to return to her warm, welcome home embrace.

Here was where the setting summer sun cast my long shadow before me… granting me the illusion that I was as tall as a grown-up… where I first observed and grew to appreciate nighttime’s four lunar phases and timeless starlit skies.

And, on a more serious note, here is where I had first heard the figurative school bell ring… where, after Mom had first taken several snapshots of me, we took a pre noontime stroll from our home to my nearby kindergarten classroom.

But my fondest memory of all was how our home had acted as a playmate magnet. With frequent visits from Johnny, Bonnie, Jimmy, Davy, Kathy and my best friend Danny, my sister and I had plenty of company.

While our playground included swings hanging from elm tree limbs, a slide, sandbox, kiddie car, trikes and bikes… such playthings were sometimes unnecessary… e.g. the day we wound up gleefully laughing our asses off while taking turns rolling down a hillside inside an oversized cardboard box. All anyone needed to let the good times roll was allowing our sky is the limit, fertile imaginations to run wild.

But, alas, eventually, all good things did come to an end. As the days began winding down within this special locale, there was sufficient time for one last blast… I hosted a party… my invited guests helping me celebrate my seventh birthday. There had been plenty of fun, games and pigging out on our banquet of hotdogs, potato chips, Faygo™ rock and rye soda pop, birthday cake and ice cream.

No kid would ever need TV land’s idyllic “Mayfield”… not when each of us could so easily replicate transcend it.

But, alas, eventually, Tuesday afternoon’s time tripping, too, began winding down. But not before I recalled the very last time I’d ever see the inside of our old home. Dad and I had returned just to ensure the hired movers hadn’t forgotten anything. It was well past nightfall and my usual bedtime… but since school was out for the summer, it hadn’t really mattered.

Dad unlocked the back door and, for the next five minutes, we proceeded from one empty echo chambered room to another. How surreal it had felt when we switched off all the lights for the last time and stepped back out into the cool night air. With the sounds of two slamming car doors and an engine roaring back to life, Dad shifted his 1953 Ford Mainline into first gear and down the graveled driveway we rolled.

It was about this time when the rhythmic, muffled sounds of my athletic shoes hitting the concrete “returned” me to 2017… well ALMOST…

I sensed two distinct, June twenty-sevenths, separated by two score and sixteen years… my past as the passenger… my present as the pedestrian were now converging. Both my younger self and I were wending our way up the very same street and were about to leave the old neighborhood.

Mom had so matter-of-factly summed up our moving day in her 1961 journal…

“The move took from 7:15 – 10:30 p.m. 3 hrs. 15 minutes. $30.00. The kids are delighted. Everyone is relieved.”

While I’d agree that, initially, I had been delighted, this giddy state of mind had prevented me from fully appreciating the whole truth. Although there was no way to actually have seen it during Dad’s and my final inspection tour… I really had left something truly irreplaceable behind…

The very best years of my entire life.

 

1Tom’s Top Ten Hit Parade

  1. Johann Strauss ~ Blue Danube Waltz
  2. Billie Anthony ~ This Ole House
  3. Elvis Presley ~ All Shook Up
  4. Bill Haley and His Comets ~ Shake, Rattle and Roll
  5. The Platters ~ Twilight Time
  6. Jimmy Rodgers ~ Secretly
  7. Sheb Wooley ~ Purple People Eater
  8. David Seville ~ Witch Doctor
  9. The Chipmunks ~ The Chipmunk Song
  10. Jesse Crawford ~ Jingle Bells