Notes From The Cactus Patch

Tall tales from Texas about characters I know and have known. Who knows, you might be one of them.

Archive for the month “September, 2019”

Fruits and Veggies Please


Is there a radio commercial that drives you crazy? There is for me. Its a product called Balance of Nature and it’s on every station I listen to. I can’t escape it. The so-called real users giving testimonials sound like the cast of Seinfeld. There is The Costanzas and the Sienfields arguing about how good they feel and who feels better than the other, and who is going to live longer when they move to Florida. It’s maddening. The doctor that invented this pill sounds Scottish, or possibly British, but is probably from New Jersey.  I wonder if he has a secret lab hidden on the moors. Does he test this product on his sheep? Is he healthy? How did he get the Sienfield actors to push his pills?

A hundred or so years ago, Texas was awash with traveling medicine shows that hawked “cure-alls” for any malady. I suspect this is a more modern and polished version using the airwaves instead of a wagon and a banjo player.

I’m a hardcore skeptic by nature. When my oncologist prescribed my cancer treatment, asked him if he had tried it himself. He hadn’t but said it worked well on his relatives back in Pakistan. They are still up and running. I gave it a shot.

I ran into an old-old friend yesterday at HEB. Fidor is pushing 90 and his wife Elma Ruth is about the same age. I didn’t recognize them. Who are these people? Had replicants been grown in pods?

Fidor now has a full head of black hair, a big mustache, and muscles like Charles Atlas. His teeth are as white as Chicklets. Elma Ruth’s once thin white hair is now blond and flows to her waist. Her ample bosom would make Jane Mansfield envious and she looks like Elke Sommer on vacation. These people are old as dirt and are not suppose to look this way. What the hell I asked, ” what are you people eating and who is your plastic surgeon?”

Fidor, smiling, his white Chicklet teeth casting a glare on the wall, said, ” Elma Ruth and I have been taking Balance of Nature for three weeks now and we feel fifty years younger. She wants to start another family.”

I bid them goodbye, hobbled home, got on my laptop and placed my order.

 

A 70 Year Lesson


Today, September 17th, 2019 is my 70th birthday. I knew for a decade or two that it was coming but never expected it to show up so soon. It’s like an irritating distant relative that uninvitedly knocks on your door while you’re watching a good movie and now you have to entertain them, share your cheese and crackers, and miss your show. We are courteous in Texas. That’s what we do; even with birthdays, and relatives.

Birthdays, at least for me are personal, and I am often reluctant to share what I write with my followers and friends on social media. People need their privacy. Social media platforms allow and encourage you to give large pieces of yourself away to strangers. It’s too easy to write things you shouldn’t and hit the post button. It allows us all to make fools of ourselves in HD and living color. Hold my beer and watch this.

I convinced myself a few days ago to purchase a manual typewriter and spend less time on my laptop. Hemingway, Harper Lee, Capote, and Steinbeck all wrote longhand then completed their work on a typewriter. I am regressing but I feel in a good way. I am on a mission to complete numerous short stories and a children’s book before my batteries run down. Time is of the essence.

Ken Burns is the best documentary filmmaker in the business. If there is one better in some remote region of the Amazon or the mountains of Tibet, let them come forth. His latest effort on country music is a masterpiece in American history and the way our nation evolved to what we are today.

I love country music. I bleed three chords and a yodel. The old callouses on my fingers remind me that I am a musician and will be until the end. It’s my legacy and I fiercely protect my inherited history.

I grew up the son of a western swing fiddle player in Fort Worth Texas and watching the documentary film and seeing the faces of the people I knew as a child, renews my pride in what I was a part of.

Musicians playing instruments in our home was part of our everyday life. The guitars, fiddles, and banjos warmed the cold walls in the winter and floated on the summer breeze through our open windows to the delight of our neighborhood. I was a child in a crib, absorbing the notes. How could I not become a musician?

The men I knew that played their instruments and sang their songs are gone from this life and have been for some time. I watched them grow old and struggle to play until they couldn’t and graciously accepted their fate

I grew old with them. I walked and carried some of them to their final rest. I am humbled to have been part of their journey. It never occurred to me until decades later, that their journey was also mine. It was much more than classroom learning; it was life lessons. I am a better man because of my father and his country musician friends. The Light Crust Doughboys are on the air.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

” I Love The Smell of Glue In The Morning”


As if protesters, lollygaggers, replicants, and ill-advised haters can’t get any worse, now we have the “oh so proper” Brits attacking supermodels in public. Fake blood, glue, and glitter are hurled upon the poor women as they go about their daily catwalk through old London town sporting their designer attire. Who knew that being a tall willowy clothes horse is such a threat to humankind. Evidently, it is.  It seems that a group of rowdy youngsters have emerged from their parents’ basements and has taken the antics of those young American scoundrels in Antifa quite seriously.

Their main complaint, as posted on social media is the pollution caused by the manufacture of designer clothing, perfumes, and skincare products hawked by these frail damsels in magazines and on television. When a pugnacious young female protester was asked if she used any of the products she is so vehemently against, she replied “no..never.” The reporter figured as much since the girl sported greasy lice-infested hair, severe acne and smelled like a garbage pail. A young man, interviewed after dousing supermodel “Willough” with Gorilla Glue and Unicorn glitter on her front steps, told the reporter ” I love the smell of glue in the morning.” Referring to the iconic line uttered by Robert Duvall in the movie Apocolypse Now. What he wasn’t expecting was the ass whooping he received from Willoughs Russian bodyguards. Protesting has its downside too. God save the Queen.

 

 

 

 

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