The two lead singers from the Swedish pop group ABBA have joined the Order of The Norwiegen Viking Sisterhood.
Maya Sharona, the Europen field reporter for NPR, spoke with the two singers in a Trollandia coffee shop recently.
Agatha Faltskog and Anni Frid Lyngstad, now in their 70s, said they couldn’t deal with the shame any longer because their band alone, was responsible for extending Disco music another 10 years when it should have died a natural death in 1975. They plan to stay at the nunnery for 3 years serving repentance for their sin. The two male members remarked that their former wives looked very hot in their new outfits.
“The Great Christmas Light Battle.” Who dreamed this television show up? People spend thousands of dollars and half a lifetime building homemade Christmas decorations, plywood buildings, small cities, and full-size working trains. One family bragged they installed 10,800 lights on their home, yard, trees, fence, grass, bushes, animals, and anything that moved. I wasn’t impressed. Clarke Griswold did it better. The one house that I was convinced would be a winner was not. A family in Corpus Christi, Texas, built a full-size Nativity Scene in their front yard. A movie of the week couldn’t have done it better. I think they got the meaning of Christmas. ABC has no idea.
The old shuffling Coot and his ( not a doctor ) wife got back from Thanksgiving in La-La-Land, just in time for ‘Papa Elf Fauci’ to inform them he has to lock down the country again, and this time, Fauci wants to be in charge with an office in the white house and his own helicopter. I thought he already had all that and more? So the Old Coot asked his wife, “does this mean I have to live in the basement again?” Jill looks at him and says, ” shit-fire, Joe, carry your own damn diaper bag.”
The New York Post, a good paper getting better all the time, has more evidence on “first spawn Hunter.”The CCP gave him a big jewel and about 10 Million to gain special influence with his poopy pop. Maybe this time, the Post can get the news out before the MSM locks them in the social media gulag. Not holding my breath on this one.
Right on cue, ABC, NBC, and CBS have swept the Wisconsin SUV killer story right under their thick blue rug. They gave it a few days of coverage until the real truth started leaking out. A BLM career criminal and child killer don’t make for good TV. Lester Holt is the best at changing the subject while wearing a 3K suit. Nothing to see here folks. It’s a sure bet the Biden administration and the Squad will be mounting a defense fund for that deranged killer.
Some high-brow officials from the UN say that the world is coming down on Africa too hard. Banning travelers from those 8 countries from flying around and infecting the rest of the world is not friendly. Let’s see how the EU reacts to that. Australia is almost in civil war, Austria is closed for business until the end of eternity, and with the bug in the UK, France, Sweden, Italy, and Germany, it looks like a sad Christmas season for them. Wait until it gets here next week via the Texas Mexican border. Then, things might reach the rough and rowdy town on the Rio Grande.
White smoke was seen billowing from the smokestack at the Wuhan Virus lab, meaning the scientist have picked a suitable name for the newest Covid variant due out next week. But, unfortunately, they said “XI” was a little too close to home, and more than a few of them have already disappeared.
I tend to avoid TV commercials, finding most of them unwatchable. However, there is one about Mom’s spare ribs gaining popularity with the masses, and her son is worried they won’t taste the same once mass production takes over. It ends with Mom and her son at a kitchen table eating her special ribs, and there is a black Lab dog in the background that puts his paws on the kitchen counter and grabs something. I must know what the dog grabbed! Was it a rib, or a sandwich, or the house keys? I’m losing sleep over this. The one commercial I find entertaining, and I don’t know how it ends.
The Squad with AOC in the lead wants to change the name of America’s favorite holiday shopping extravaganza, “Black Friday.” Senorita Castro says the name is racist and demeaning to black Americans. So far, it hasn’t slowed anyone down from shopping. It will be interesting to hear what her alternative will be? It would help if she knew why the day is called Black Friday.
On television tonight; Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. Who would guess that old Tony and the once crazy meat dress-wearing nut job would ever sing together. Well, they do pretty well as a duo. Gaga is a born jazz vocalist and a darn good entertainer, although her dancing is a little goofy because of her 12-inch heels. Old Tony brings out the best in her, and she in him. The man is 96 years old and still able to sing a few great songs through the haze of Alzheimer’s, and that is a feat to be applauded. Lady Gaga should drop the fake name, return to her natural hair color, and hit the road with a big band. Myself and a few million others would pay to see that.
Growing up in Fort Worth, Texas in the 1950s was a great childhood experience. It made me what I am today. Winters were Blue Norther cold with ice storms and the summers were over 100 degrees, capable of turning the front fender of my father’s Nash Rambler station wagon into a griddle. The eggs I fried on said car, turned out perfect. The butt busting not so much.
As a family unit, we would take one vacation a summer. A few times to New Mexico or maybe Port Aransas for some saltwater fishing and beach time. Most summers if money was tight, and it usually was, the go-to trip was to my grandparent’s farm. It was free.
In the summer of 1956, my father purchased a new Nash Rambler station wagon with a factory air conditioner crammed under the massive metal, unpadded dash. In the 50s, an air-conditioned car was a rarity, and I had never seen or ridden in one.
The car was baboon butt ugly, and I wouldn’t have been caught dead inside the beast except for the A.C that gave me a reprieve from the hellish summer heat. If a night was blistering hot, we would sleep in the car with the engine and AC running. Our house was not air-conditioned, as were most in our neighborhood. Attic fans were about the best we could do.
That car air conditioner was so cold, it could be used as a backup refrigerator. Yes, sir, none of that Eco-friendly coolant we have now, this was the real stuff; ozone-earth-killing gas. Eisenhower was no wimpy-ass tree hugger; he and Mamie wanted everyone to be cool in the summer.
My sister and I agreed, the trip that year was going to be an event. Cruising down the highway with the windows up and freezing our toes off while inhaling thick deadly clouds of cigarette smoke from my parents constantly lit Pall Malls. We couldn’t wait.
My mother’s family had a farm a few miles outside the small country town of Santa Anna, Texas. My Grandfather would take his Ford tractor, and plow, then plant diligently for days. Johnsongrass and bull nettle sprouted where Maze should have. Those were the drought years in southwest Texas and growing any crop was a miracle. Granny tended the livestock and chickens, selling eggs to city folk to make ends meet. They had seen tougher times, but no one could remember when.
There wasn’t much to Santa Anna as far as a town goes. A few churches, a school, and the ever-present chickens that inhabited the downtown area. A Dino gas station that never changed their prices on their sign, a feed store, a Dairy Freeze, and a few ma and pa stores, necessary for sustaining a dwindling population. Most of the young folks left during the war to work in Fort Worth at the aircraft plants. Most never returned. It was a town of old people.
The central, vibrant hub of the town was The Biscuit Ranch, a cafe, domino parlor, and gossip emporium. My Grandfather and his farmer buddies spent more time there shuffling dominos than farming the bone dry land. No one had money, so they played for toothpicks.
At the cafe, every order came with a sizeable buttery biscuit flopped on the plate. If you ordered a hamburger with fries and a coke, it arrived with a biscuit crammed next to your burger. It didn’t seem right, but no one complained. In Texas, biscuits are one of our main food groups.
Grandfather usually ate my biscuit because the ones my Granny made were hard within a few hours. They may have been uneatable but darn good for chunking at things. Nothing fly’s like a rock-hard biscuit. Next to my Daisy BB Gun, they were my weapon of choice.
I once knocked a hen dead out with a well-chunked biscuit from my Granny’s breakfast table. The other chickens gathered around the addled hen, making me feel awful for whacking her. I was ready to confess the deed to my Granny when I realized they were not gathered to inquire about her well-being but to peck on the offending weapon. The hen hopped up and strutted away. There is no sisterhood of chickens once you get past the yellow peep-peep stage. They all know that the next stop could be the skillet, so it’s everyone for themselves. There is much to learn from farm-educated chickens.
Over the years, it’s been my observation that there is a favorite uncle, aunt, or cousin in most children’s immediate families that they look up to. It matters not whether the adulation is deserved, kids don’t get twisted up with social, criminal, or married life. All we want is a jovial role model that makes us laugh and gives us things our parents would never approve of. The more eccentric and crazy, the better.
My favorite offender was my Mothers brother, Ray. A hulking piece of humanity with a face as red as a Nehi strawberry pop. His jaw was home to an ever-present plug of Red Man tobacco.
He was a proud veteran of WWII, having served in the Navy. He told us many times that he had thoroughly enjoyed his job of shooting down Japanese planes from the deck of the U.S.S. Hornet. He said it was like shooting a dove in a maze field, leading them a bit, and then blasting them out of the sky. He claimed to have over 50 kills. His brother said that Ray didn’t like to brag, but it was more like 200 kills. He was a hoss.
Uncle Ray drove the obligatory rusted-up pickup truck, but his “Sunday come to visit” ride was a 1955 Chevy Bel Air convertible with genuine Mexican crafted, red and white roll and pleat seats. The body had pinstriping covering every inch, and the money shot was a full longhorn rack mounted on the front of the hood. The interior had little Mattel derringer cap pistols for the radio knobs and a big black and white ivory dice stick shift for esthetics. It was the hands-down most incredible car in the state. My cousin Jerry and I took a ride to town with him one Sunday in June, and it was the highlight of my summer visit.
We piled into the back seat between his two shotguns, a bowling ball, and a Coleman ice chest full of cokes and Pearl beer. Uncle Ray told us to drink all the cokes we wanted, but take the church key and start “popping him some Pearl.” I was struggling to keep up the demand for Pearl because Uncle Ray could drink one in a single gulp. I couldn’t get one sip of my coke down before he was calling for another beer. Those were the days when a real man could enjoy his favorite cold brew while driving a 3,500-pound tank down the highway at 70 miles per hour.
When we rolled into the city limits, the ice chest was void of beer, and Uncle Ray commenced singing. A person would expect a big old farm boy like Ray to sing country tunes or at least a few religious songs. Not this feller. He began belting out Judy Garland, Ethel Merman, and Patty Paige’s songs like nobody’s business. We had no idea he could sing so well or drink so much beer.
When he broke into Judy Garlands’ “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” he stopped the car, got out, and did a great show tune finish complete with hands held high in the air, hat off, and a bow at the end. Cousin Jerry and I clapped and gave him a bravo for the performance.
He was appreciative, but then turned to us, and in a hurtful voice, said, “my family has no use for the finer things in life such as music, broadway show tunes, and good booze, and, I love all those things, so they have no use for me either.” We didn’t know what in the hell he was talking about but just nodded in kinship agreement.
By then, I guess the beer had kicked in, along with the emotion of the singing performance and his long harbored hurt feelings, so he started bawling like a baby that had lost its bippy. All we could do was stare at the floorboard of the most incredible car in Texas.
After his embarrassing session of bawling and gagging, Ray pulled out a lovely hanky from the glove box and dabbed his tears away.
In a low, growling voice, he told us that he would kick our little scrawny asses and feed us to the Mountain Boomers if we ever said anything about this. Naturally, we nodded in agreement not to say a thing.
Uncle Ray got his gas and more beer at the Dino station, then peeled out in front of the Dairy Freeze, and we headed back to the farm.
Later that afternoon, Jerry and I were sitting under the oak trees talking to my cousin Beverly, who was setting up her playhouse with her collection of 6-inch plastic “Dolly” dolls.
At the age of seven, Beverly was beginning to communicate with humans through her dolls. She was the nontalkative and strange one of the bunch, so no one thought much of it. “Just a kiddy phase,” my Aunt Charmaine would say, “she’ll outgrow it.” I found her behavior scary, but I rather enjoyed speaking to a six-inch plastic doll that talked back. All questions had to route to Beverly through the doll; answers were returned the same way. We were kids; it was fun.
I told the doll, in the strictest confidence, about the incident with Uncle Ray on the side of the road. The doll, in a squeaky mouse voice, said that “Beverly’s mommy thinks that uncle Ray is a big old fruit. I asked the doll what a big old fruit was? The doll said it was a boy that liked to blow kisses to other boys and painted his fingernails. I told the doll that uncle Ray didn’t blow kisses to us, but he sang Judy Garland songs. The doll said it was the same thing; it was a sign from above.
My mothers’ large family was never one to let a gathering of the sisters go to waste. It was agreed that because most of the Fort Worth family had missed Easter at Grandmothers that year, we would celebrate Easter while everyone was here, in June; the hottest part of summer.
Granny and a few cousins went to the chicken coops and gathered eggs for boiling and coloring. Then, Aunt Charmaine drove to Coleman and purchased chocolate to melt for the candy. She came back with a massive bag of Peeps, the little yellow marshmallow chicks that contained enough sugar to keep a kid humming like a top for days. Peeps were something new, and all of us kids thought they were the best candy there was.
Everything was humming along fine until cousin Beverly saw our bag of Peeps. She turned pale, crossed herself, which was strange because she was Baptist, then grabbed her box of plastic dolls, and scooted off to the smokehouse, locking the door.
When we were enjoying the damp coolness of the storm cellar later that afternoon, Beverly, via her talking doll, filled us in on the real and true story of Peeps.
She said that the little marshmallow chicks were the “reincarnated souls” of all the eggs taken from the chickens, and the Peeps were going to get even. After explaining what reincarnated meant, it all made perfect kid sense to us. Peeps were going to kill the whole town. Beverly’s doll made us swear not to eat any Peeps, or they would come looking for us too. We agreed but kept our fingers crossed behind our backs.
Later that evening Jerry and I sneaked some Peeps, went behind the barn, and ate our fill. There was no scream as we bit the little squishy heads off, just the excellent taste of yummy Peeps melting in our greedy cavity-ridden mouths. We agreed that Beverly and her dolls were idiots, and she needed to go see preacher Wilson and get some special prayers. He said his momma took her there, but the preacher said he wouldn’t talk to a darn Dolly Doll, so that was the end of the healing days.
At supper, Granny informed everyone that uncle Ray would be joining us for the egg hunt and celebration the following day, Sunday, the usual day for Easter. It didn’t matter if it was June 15th, 1956; the festival was happening.
After supper, which consisted of buttermilk fried chicken and chunk-able biscuits, we kids retired to the screened-in porch to plan for tomorrow’s egg hunt and the looming Peep attack. Cousin Beverly’s doll, once again, warned us all not to eat Peeps or it would be horrible death for us all. We listened to her doomsday doll, then trudged off to get ready for bed.
Being summer and hot at night, all the cousins slept on the screened-in porch on pallets made from Granny’s quilts. It was a bit scary because being out in the country, there was no city light and that night, no moon, so we used candles to find our beds. The sounds of crickets and the breeze blowing through the Mesquite trees lulled us into la-la land.
Uncle Ray, knowing for once he was almost not in the dog house with his family, decided to drive to San Angelo and get a new suit for the Easter in June celebration. Maybe showing a cleaned-up side to his sisters would raise his respect-o-meter a few bars.
A shopping trip, a chicken fried steak at Woody’s Drive-In, and a visit to the Fishing Shack for a few beers made for a long day. It was around 2 AM when Ray headed back to Santa Anna. In his semi inebriated state, he thought it was morning and he wanted to be at the farm for breakfast, so he stopped on the side of Highway 84 and changed into his new, bright yellow sear-sucker suit. To top off the ensemble, Ray had purchased an orange feed store ball cap. Quite the dresser he was.
Ray parked his Chevy down the road from the farmhouse. Full of beer and looking like the grand marshal of a Mardi Gras parade. He was so tired he didn’t realize that everyone was still asleep because it was 4 AM. He quietly made his way around to the side of the house to the screened-in porch.
Uncle Ray had a devilish side to him that we all knew too well. He was always scaring us kids in some way, so why not now. A moonless night, sleeping kids, it all made perfect sense to him.
Earlier in the day, in San Angelo, he had come across some tiny plastic whistles he bought as an Easter gift for the kids. Thinking that he would scare the fool out of us, he put one to his lips and stepped through the screen door onto the porch where four sleeping kids lay in fitful semi-slumber.
The scene was right out of a movie. We all awoke at the exact same moment, hearing the squeak of the screen door; we froze in fear. The Peeps were coming to do their foul deed. I was so scared I started getting hot and itchy and could hear Jerry whining on the pallet next to mine. We all lay there, stiff as a plank with eyes closed, waiting for the end.
Uncle Ray, a former championship smoker with a prize-winning hack, chose that moment to expel a drunken cough, and when he did, he sucked the plastic whistle down his throat, where it lodged. He was gasping for air and trying to speak, but it came out as a “Peep-Peep-Peep.”
We all sat up at the same time, seeing a “Giant Yellow Peep” standing there with its wings flapping wildly and chirping. That was it. I dove through the screen-in porch into the flower bed, rolling twice then turning on the after-burner. Cousin Jerry and little Charmaine made their own hole in the screen and took off down the dirt driveway screaming.
Cousin Beverly backed into a corner, held up her dolls in both hands, and commanded the big Peep to go back to hell from whilst it came. Ray, arms flailing, was attempting to get her attention for some help.
Seeing cousin Beverly about to get her head bitten off by the giant Peep, I cried out, “I should not have eaten those sweet little Peeps behind the barn I’m sorry Beverly.” I had to save her, so I grabbed a shovel from the flowerbed and ran onto the porch. I made a mighty swat right onto the back of the Big Peep, hoping to take it down in one whack. When I hit the peep, the whistle dislodged from uncle Ray’s throat, and he spits it out. He turned around, ready to kill the one who had whacked him. He then realized I had struck him and possibly saved his life, and he started laughing.
Beverly, too afraid to escape, passed out cold on her pallet.
I was so relieved to see it was Uncle Ray and not a “Giant Peep from Hell” that all I could do was give him a big hug. He was laughing so hard he was crying after realizing what he had done to us.
The whole house was awake and on the porch. The aunties gave Ray Holy Hell for this antic and told him to get out now. He said he would, but first, he had to “clear the air” about some things. High noon was here.
First, he told my mother and her sisters that they all had corn-cobs up their butts and didn’t know “crap from fat meat” about the finer things in life. He then broke out into Ethel Merman’s version of “There’s No business Like Show Business,” followed by Judy Garland’s “Mister Sandman.” We kids sat and listened to some great vocals, and it didn’t matter if it was coming from a Giant Peep.
When Ray stopped singing, cousin Beverly walked up to him and held out her plastic Dolly Doll. Ray bent down on one knee and leaned in close to Beverly. The doll, in her squeaky mouse voice, asked uncle Ray if he was a big fruit? To which he replied, “I’m as fruity as Carmen Miranda’s hat.” Aunt Charmaine yelped, “see I told you so,” to the rest of the cast on the porch. Us kids didn’t care; Uncle Ray could sing his ass off and still had the most incredible car in Texas.
We had a good June Easter that Sunday. Uncle Ray asked that he be allowed to stay for one last celebration and his sisters agreed. He hunted eggs with us, sang show tunes all day long, and even took us behind the barn for a chew of Red Man and a few sips of Pearl.
He drove off that afternoon, convertible top-down, waving and singing Doris Day’s big hit, “Que Sera Sera,” a perfect departure to end a perfect day.
The family stood in the road listening to the fading song until the dust trail settled.
No one said anything; perhaps it was too much to talk about at that time. Supper was quiet that night. Beverly left the dolls in the smokehouse, and Grandmother made a buttermilk pie to comfort everyone. It wasn’t discussed, but everyone felt they wouldn’t see uncle Ray for a long spell. His way of life didn’t fit in Santa Anna, Texas, in those times.
We went back to Fort Worth the next day and didn’t hear much about uncle Ray for quite a few years.
When I was twelve, I received a Christmas package in the mail, which is quite a great thing for a kid. My mother watched as I ripped it open and lifted out a record album.
The cover picture showed an overweight woman wrapped in a towel. The title was “Let Me Tell You About My Operation.” This made no sense to me; who would send me this flaky album?
My mother gasped and said, “Oh my God, that’s uncle Ray.” I looked real close, and sure enough, it looked like him, but I still didn’t believe it. I opened the small card in the package and read, “To my favorite nephew Phil, I still have my cool car and like my Pearl. Enjoy the songs”, Auntie Rae. I listened to the album on the hi-fi and fondly remembered that crazy Easter in June of 1956.
If I was of Greek descent, and I am not, I would be royally pissed that the WHO named another mutant virus from China via Africa after the beloved Gods of Greek mythology. Who are these simpletons that populate the WHO? Don’t they know that is a racist action against all old school Greeks?
Two days ago, in an online UK paper, I read that Africa was almost Covid free; natural immunity, they said. Now, 48 hours later, Africa is the new hotspot for the end of humanity. HIV Ebola Omicron-infected zombie visitors boarding passenger planes to Europe and our beloved USA, waiting to infect everyone at JFK and Heathrow upon arrival. What changed in 2 days? I know this mutant bug travels fast but damn Sam.
Mindless, Joe Biden is banning travel from Africa and is adding more countries to the list in the coming hours. That’s nice of him. (not a doctor ) Jill Biden is feverishly working on Hunter’s new laptop to come up with the list. Until Father Joe, The Grinch Xmas secures our damn borders, North and South, people from around the planet can walk in without being tested for disease, get an ” Everything is Free” card, an airline ticket to the city of their choice, and a bag of cash. All they have to do is pledge allegiance to the Democratic party when the sneaky bastards can figure out a way for the invaders to vote in their crooked elections. So, Joe, we don’t want to hear a word from your pie-hole about mandatory vaccinations and lockdowns until you stop your well-planned invasion.
Europe is shutting it down again; there go the Christmas Markets and their economy. Austria is already closed for business, Germany and France are next, and then the rest of the continent will follow. So how long until the US and Canada do a repeat of our lost year? The people in charge that should know; don’t know.
What a disaster of a football game, on Thanksgiving day yet! Us-un’s in Texas collectively had a conniption fit right there in front of our big-screen televisions. The Cowboys snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.
Just a few days ago, Smiley Jones, the Arkansas hill-billy owner of the hapless Dallas Cowboys was speaking to a TV sports head saying,
” this is the year, I’m telling you, I’ve got a good feeling about that Super Bowl.” WTF! Has he changed brands of scotch or had a stroke? This man is delusional. Look at that face; watery rummy eyes staring at something no one else can see and spouting grandiose predictions like a lunatic king.
14 penalties with 4 on the same Cowboy defensive player for pass interference. Who coaches these thugs? The Raiders also racked up 14 penalties, so it was all even-steven; the refs wanted to keep it fair.
Yesterday’s fair-haired children couldn’t capitalize on one Raider mistake., then, to make matters worse, a brawl broke out on the sideline involving both teams, and a referee got smacked on the chin, drawing blood and a huge penalty.
I am my own worst influence. Not watching the Cowboys was my declaration for this year, and I broke it. The Jones family has ruined a once proud and respected team. Maybe Mark Cuban will make them an offer they can’t refuse.
My wife and I managed to sit through the Oprah adores Adele show. Nice touch using the observatory as the backdrop. The smoggy sunset never looked more lovely. The beautiful lawless city of Angels twinkling in the valley below. I wonder, did they edit out the sounds of gunshots drifting up from the city proper? Most likely they couldn’t be heard because of Adele’s screeching. The Hollywood celebs attending are numb to such things. I did notice many of the stars were drinking to the point of sloshiness.
Chef Ramsey, the wonder boy of the food world, appeared nervous and looking for a way to exit, he had cooking to do. Many of the anointed ones were in disguise wearing baseball caps, and sunglasses, at night no less. I thought I spied John Lennon on the back row but then realized if he was to come back from the other side, it wouldn’t be for this show.
Did the Hollywood contingent pay a ridiculous amount for a seat, or were they free gratis from Queen Oprah? Was that Snoop Dog coordinating the valet parking?
At one point, when the screeching reached devastating levels, I expected to see the ghost of Pavarotti float onto the stage to give her Adele’ness a singing lesson or three.
The woman possesses a beautiful voice; so why does she feel the need to scream and wail to the point the lyric is lost? Every song is written in a minor key that gives it the feeling of a funeral dirge. Each song sounds the same; sad, sad, and then more sadness.
So she got herself divorced and lost 100 pounds and stopped drinking wine and eating real food while hiding out in one of her many mansions in an attempt to find herself. We’ve all been there. Right?
Is it worth an entire album to tell us about her daily routine, lack of control, and what a good mummy she is? Sounds like Adele is blowing smoke up her own proper British backside.
At seven years old, I learned of my first, but far from the last Texas legend. One of the best storytellers and liars I ever knew, my uncle Bill told my cousins and me about Santa Anna’s “Mountain Boomers.”
Supposedly, man-size lizards that ran on two legs came down from the Santa Anna mountain searching for food. Anything would do, but they were partial to goats, chickens, and tiny humans. If you were caught outside in the wee morning hours, it was a sure bet a Mountain Boomer would get you. Us kids were scared shitless of even going out after dark.
With no air conditioning in the farmhouse, we were forced to sleep with the windows open and would lay in our beds shaking all night, waiting for the monsters to break through the window screen and carry us away. Our Granny was no help; her standard goodnight to us was ” sleep tight and don’t let the Mountain Boomers bite.”
Summer evenings on the farm were made for sitting on my grandparent’s covered porch, watching lightning bugs dance, listening to the crickets chirp, and catching the far away howels of an occasional Coyote pack running the pastures.
The sky was black as pitch, the Milky Way as white as talcum powder, and heat lighting in the West added to the drama of the evening. We kids were ripe for a big one, and my uncles never disappointed. First, homemade ice cream was eaten, then the cooler of Pearl Beer came out, and the stories commenced.
Already that June, my cousin Jerry and me had been to see the hero pig and the three-legged chickens, so we needed a new adventure. But, unfortunately, the hobos had left the railroad bridge down the road, and our summer was losing air like a punctured tire.
“Did you kids see that over there in the trees? I think that might have been one of them Mountain Boomers,” says uncle Bill, in between swigs of Pearl. Then, of course, we strained our eyes to see what he said he saw, but nothing. Then a few moments later, ” there it goes again, I tell you kids, that was one of them sumbitches running on two legs carrying a goat.”
He had us hooked and scared. Then he starts in on the story.
Uncle Bill took a swig of Pearl and says, ” Right down this road here, about twenty-years ago, a families car broke down. The daddy, a man I knew well, walked into town to find some help. He left his wife and small son in the car. It was late at night, so he figured they would sleep until he returned. The little boy, got out of the car to pee along side the road. His Momma heard him scream and came out of the car in a hurry, there was a 7 foot Mountain Boomer standing there with the little kid in it’s mouth. The poor boy was almost chewed in half already. His guts were hanging out and dragging on the ground. The big lizard took off running with the Momma chasing it. Another of them Boomers was hiding in the scrub brush and got her too. A few days later, the sheriff found their bloody remains up on the mountain. They knew a Mountain Boomer had got em because they found their tracks. That’s why we never go outside after midnight around here.” Jerry and I were almost pissing our pants.
When we stayed at the farm, I don’t believe either of us ever slept well again after that night. But, even after we were adults, my Uncle Bill swore the legend and the story was true. I still dream of them.
Where shoud I start, or should I start at all? This is the Dallas Cowboy team we have been used to for the past 25 years. Off to a good start, players get hurt, the team goes to shit in a Christmas basket. The owner, Smiley Jones, doesn’t give a crap. As long as the fans keep coming to his temple and paying outrageous prices, he is making money, and that’s what matters. I will be very clear and upfront about the team I used to support. As long as the Jones family owns the Dallas Cowboys, they will remain mediocre to a terrible football team. Dak Prescott, Zeke Elliot, just two hot-shot players who make millions of bucks, can’t get their shit together to save their own asses.
The Dallas Cowboys are less than a mediocre team, they can’t beat a decent college team. Kansas City beat their ass handily, and the Cowboys couldn’t score a touchdown. When was the last time that happened? So kiss you’re smiling surgically enhanced gold card hillbilly smiling rummy watery-eyed alcoholic cheerleading groping ass goodbye Jerry Jones. May the ghost of Tom Landry haunt your Highland Park mansion forever, and your dick shrivels up and falls off.
Did I say too much? Please tell Mark Cuban to buy the team.
It would seem that after 72 years on this doomed and dying planet, I would have learned the lesson of letting crap go. It’s impossible for me to do. My wife tells me, ” chill out, let it go, calm down, you are too serious, too hateful.” Yep, all that and more.
Just today, I honked at a lady blocking the driving lane in front of my local HEB Grocery store. She drove a lavish Black SUV and was talking on a jewel-encrusted Apple iPhone but could have cared less that she was holding up a line of cars full of starving people, so she could snag the closest parking spot to the store. God forbid she had to walk ten extra feet. So I honked to reprimand and remind her that there is accountability in this world. Then my wife tells me that she was waiting for a handicap spot. Sum-bitch, now I will worry about that tonight.
If global, planetary or even local events are going to mentally cripple somebody, that dumb ass will be me. I take on the worries of the weary, the worries of the ones too stupid to worry, or those who don’t know their ass from fat meat. As the Bible says, “bring me your unwashed, your worried and the habitually stupid and I will heal them,” or something along those lines. Unfortunately, Bible verses tend to get mixed in with modern lingo. Sometimes it helps them make sense.
Gas prices, now that’s a great one to start with. To fill up my Honda CRV today cost $48.00. Last December, when the world was sane and bordering on rock damn solid, it took around $18.00, and I had enough change left over for a Whataburger and a Dr. Pepper.
Now President “Brian Fart” wants to launch an investigation into our oil boys, saying they are gigging us, while he is shutting down our energy production, and giving 12th-century child marrying oil zealots in the middle east an early Christmas present and free rein to charge us whatever they see fit. At the same time, their citizens roam the streets chanting ” Death To America” while burning effigies of Trump, and he’s been out of office for a year. That’s the useless stuff that you or I can do nothing about, and that’s what keeps my eyes focusing on my bedroom ceiling and taking copious amounts of physician-prescribed drugs in an attempt to capture sleep. Please tell me that God did not purposely make folks as stupid as we have in Washington. But, I know the answer before it is asked. Yes, he did. And he is in on the big joke.
I am not a fan of Walmart, but they do have the best prices on Christmas lights, so I suck it up and give them my money. The same lights at Home Depot are double what I pay at Wally World.
The parking lot was full, people streaming into both entrances.
There is a line in the personal scooter queue. Seems Walmart purchased new ones that are comfier and a bit faster. I notice that many of the riders are suspiciously fit and healthy; maybe just too tired to walk. One lady had her Chihuahua in the scooter basket; the dog seemed afraid, probably knows she can’t drive the thing. Finally, the Walmart starter gives the group the checkered flag, and they roar into the store.
I snag a basket and proceed to the Christmas Decor isle, which is about one-third of the store.
A family of 15 is fighting over which lights will look better, multi-colored or red. Arguing in Spanish and some English, as to not offend us Anglos, although I know most of what they are sputtering. They finally grabbed two dozen or so boxes of the lights I wanted. Bam… lights cleaned out. Mission aborted, done, canceled.
I ask a lady that seemed to be wandering around in a daze checking her cell phone. She wears a Walmart vest and name tag, so I assume she knows something. Wrong, she doesn’t know if there will be more lights or even more Christmas decorations once the shelves were empty. I get it, supply chain problems, or perhaps clueless employees. Take your pick. I settle for similar lights, but not the ones I needed.
Standing in line, five people are ahead of me and one is a woman with an overflowing basket of groceries. Mostly junk food items; chips, beer, Hostess cupcakes, frozen dinners, cookies, Mountain Dew, and Coke. That might explain why she is as broad as tall. Not one healthy item in her basket.
What the hell? This is the garden / Christmas decoration department, not the market. The poor checker, not used to scanning grocer items, is bumfuzzled and doing the best he can. The line grows longer, now about 15 people behind me. The checker is getting slower, people are getting irritated, low blood sugar is kicking in. Christmas decorations need to be installed; the hours are ticking away.
A smallish Asian lady is in front of me; she’s done with it, walks over to the grocery lady, and loses it. Arms waving, jabbering in Chinese, but I could be wrong. She has lights that need installing and glass balls that are growing mold. The grocery lady tells her to F..k off. The checker finishes her groceries and the 20 six-packs of Mountain Dew, then she reaches into her purse and proceeds to write a check. The checker boy panics. A check, who writes checks? It’s doubtful he’s ever seen one before. He calls for a manager. Things are getting growly. My arms are going numb from the 8 boxes of lights I am holding.
The line behind me is now up to about 30 bodies, some with full carts of Christmas decorations and whiny kids. One man about halfway back is carrying a sidearm, possibly a 9 MM. We open carry here in Texas, everybody has a hog on their hip, in their car, or hidden in their purse. He is scowling, not a happy shopper.
My turn arrives. I plop my lights onto the counter. Checker boy starts scanning. ” Wait a minuet here buddy,” I say. ” These lights are suppose to be $6.79 a box not $10.79.” He scans again, then checks his cell phone and scans with that.
” Nope, they are $10.97,” he replies. Well, holy crap, all this waiting and I am getting screwed. I tell him to keep the lights and walk out.
Exiting the Garden / Christmas Department, I pass by a guy sitting on a Home Depot bucket just outside the gate. He has a sign that reads, “Homeless, Anything Can Help.” His bucket has a few coins and maybe four dollars in bills. I drop in a fiver. He says thank you and God Bless.
I’m a sucker during the holiday season. Why not. I have more than a lot of folks, and a lot less than many, but I can afford a five-dollar bill.
He looks up, our eyes meet for a split second, so, I ask him his story; everybody has one.
His name is Ted. He’s a Vietnam vet, has some PTSD and alcohol problems, and his daughter won’t let him live with her and his grandchildren, so he and the small dog sitting beside him sleep behind Walmart or wherever. So, I give him another fiver for the pooch.
I am humbled for being such a winy assed old man over a few boxes of Christmas lights. I am inwardly embarrassed. I quietly ask God’s forgiveness, hoping he is listening today.
Before I leave, I tell Ted, that he might want to find another store, people shop at Walmart because they “don’t have any money.” He laughs and wishes me a Merry Christmas.