Scratchy Glitter

Observations for the easily irritated.

Category: Theater of Cruelty

Nick Gets a Tune-up

macro photography of brown weevil on green leaf

Photo by Jimmy Chan on Pexels.com

I got a letter today from the Police Department addressed to “Handler of Beast #1307.” “Don’t they know I’m retired?” I grumbled.

“It has come to our attention that the said beast still bears the official colors of the Police Department. Since this animal has been decommissioned, we request that you remove said colors.”

I called Nick in from the kitchen, where he was stealing cat food.

“Do you know anything about this?”

“About what?! You know I can’t read. Well, read well. I can’t read well.” He turned his undeniably navy-blue back on me.

“You’re not supposed to have police coloration anymore. People might get confused and expect you to do police work.”

“Well, suppose I just refuse to do it, and we’ll see how that goes.”

“I am responsible for you, and–why have you been scratching so much?”

“Dunno. Allergic to responsibility, probably.”

“No, it’s just that one spot. Let me see–”

“Can’t I even itch in peace?!”

One of his scales was slightly raised. I pried up as much as I dared. “Just what I thought. You’ve got a tick under there.” His armor-plating repels most pests, but makes them hard to remove if they do burrow in. “You’re going to the vet.”

We are, you mean. I’m not going there alone.”

“Of course not. You can’t pay the bill.”

Since we can’t use the Police Department vet anymore, I took him to my own, who was impressed to behold him.

“We don’t see many of these. This is a fine specimen.” Nick preened. “Have you bred him?”

“Well, he…he sort of breeds himself.” Nick preened even more.

“Yes, since they mate for life, initial mate selection is extremely important. So what seems to be the problem?” I pointed the bad spot out.

“Ah, yes. I can remove that. It should cause minimal discomfort–

Nick immediately became agitated. “Then why mention the possibility?”

“–but of course he’ll have to be sedated.”

“No, I’m not going to let you–” Nick began, but I immediately grabbed him by the ears. It’s a risky move, since I have to bypass the terrible teeth, but his ears are sensitive, and it makes him disinclined to struggle further.

The vet started preparing the injection. “He’s going to stick a needle in me!” Nick said, sounding uncharacteristically squeaky.

“Don’t move or I’ll rip your ears off,” I murmured, so the vet couldn’t hear. “Don’t think I won’t.”

“You’ll do nothing of the kind,” he answered between his teeth, likewise under his breath. These pleasantries kept us occupied until the vet could slide the needle beneath a scale on his throat, and we both eased him down as he collapsed.

It was short work for the vet to remove the affected scale, pry the tick out, daub the wound with ointment, and reattach the scale. Since Nick was still snoring–OK, more like gentle hissing–the vet said, “I assume you want me to readjust his colors?”

“Can you do that?”

“Oh, yes. It’s actually a simple procedure, but you need the right tools. Then he’ll revert to his original color.”

“Which is…?”

He shrugged. “We’ll just have to find out.”

The “special tool” appeared to be a simple pair of pliers. The vet began tugging on the barbs at the end of Nick’s tail.

“Are you actually going to pull those spines out?”

“Oh, yes. It’s just a minor adjustment. They’re mostly decorative, anyway.”

He pulled–hard–causing the patient to whimper in his sleep. I stroked his ear soothingly, and he quieted. Some half-dozen spines were removed in this way.

“Now, we wait…” the vet said. So we did, until the dark blue slowly faded, and became the dull green of one of those army-green grasshoppers.

Nick started to stir. “Why is my tail sore–What?!” He looked at himself with dismay, then turned to me. “You planted that tick on me so you could get me in here to do this. I just know it.”

“No, the tick was there before I got the letter, remember?”

“And good thing it’s only a tick,” the vet said. “Sometimes they get infested with weevils, and then their scales fall off.”

“You know,” Nick said musingly, “I think I like this green better anyway.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Rage for Incremental Change

photo of guy fawkes mask on backpack

Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

I am tired of the above guy and his smirk, but there’s a paucity of photos available when you type in “army backpack” (mostly boring people hiking), so you’ll just have to put up with him.

THE STUFF YOU SEE ON THE BUS

…which is beginning to be what this blog seems to be about, but AT ANY RATE….

There was a guy in front of me on the bus whose giant army backpack (camo, bedroll on the top, aluminum pots and pans clattering on the sides) bore a patch that said:

“U.S. SPECIAL FORCES

TERRORIST HUNTING PERMIT  NO. 911-01–T.M.

NO BAG LIMIT, TAGGING NOT NECESSARY

2001-2050”

Let’s just analyze this, because that’s what we do.

  1. I bet every one of these patches sold said “Permit # 911-01.” Because, 9/11, September 11, 2001, get it?
  2. So it expires in 2050? Good thing we got that terrorist thing knocked down by then.
  3. Oddly, I felt not safer because this guy was on the bus, but less safe.
  4. The fact that it said T.M. (trademark) led me to believe this was not, in fact, actual Army issue, a fact my actual Army source confirmed by his disdain.

My thanks, as always, to the people who keep checking to see if I’m still posting. Am I? It’s so hard to tell. (I hear Rom’s voice saying, “You have an obligation to your readers.”)

Oh, and the title is Stephen Colbert’s comment on the moderate Democratic candidates. VOTE FOR ME, I’M NON-THREATENING! Right, Nick? “I thought you were going to write a story about me,” he says pitifully.

P.S. I am eagerly awaiting the appearance of pumpkin pie at McDonald’s. It can’t be long now! McDonald’s–another thing I share with Trump.

 

 

Tyranny, Mutation, and Stuff

black and white dartboard

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The above picture was chosen for its superficial resemblance to the cover of a favorite Blue Oyster Cult album, Tyranny and Mutation.

And speaking of which, let’s add to the Radical Centrist Manifesto:

–You are not entitled to free healthcare.

–You are, however, entitled to affordable healthcare.

“Radical Centrism–Our Motto: ‘See How Easy That Was?'”

VOTE FOR ME! I DON’T KNOW WHAT I’M DOING, BUT NEITHER DOES ANYONE ELSE!

SOCIAL PAGE: PARTY AT NICK’S PLACE

Nick had a birthday party for his two youngest cubs, who turned six and one respectively, on adjacent days. It featured the usual elements:

–Me Bringing My Own medication, a can of which will make me actually engage in conversation eventually,

–two palatial inflatable structures, with your choice of Water or Not

–a child getting on top of one structure, endangering his companions within

–a small child refusing to get out of the bottom of the water slide, annoying his companions at the top who now can’t slide down

–Nick engaging in reckless adrenaline-fueled activity in spite of a recent injury

–me going inside to decompress, only to be cornered by a dog and a small child

–adults discussing whatever surgery they’ve recently received

–Nick and his mate wrestling on the ground, trying to smear cake on each other. I was told this courtship ritual occurs at every birthday party, but I had not been privileged to see it previously. Actually, I didn’t see it this time, either, since the table was in the way. I only witnessed the combatants arising, duly covered with cake. I think Nick ended up taking several showers that day, for one reason or another.

–Cheetos! And cake, which I cut the frosting off of. I ate too much of both. But it was my first meal of the day, after all.

Speaking of Cheetos (that should have been my post title right there), I’ve noticed a cultural oddity: In my youth, the standard Cheeto type was those puffy styrofoam-like cylinders. Then they introduced an option: “Baked to a delicate crunch, or quick-fried to a crackly crunch!” (Or “indelicate crunch,” if you will.) It took a long time for the latter to catch on–my preference for them was considered a bit eccentric–but now they are the default Cheeto. (Disclaimer: My market research for this consists mainly in noting which kind is the standard-issue at Subway, which may not be a representative sampling, but probably is.)

Good thing I didn’t become a college professor (which I considered becoming until my Great American Novel was published), or the world would have been treated to “Cultural Shifts in Cheeto Consumption Over Time.” Publish or perish!

 

 

 

 

 

Impossible Advertising

turned on gray laptop computer

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–“Coors Light–the official beer of drinking in the shower.” At bottom of screen depicting this–“Do Not Attempt.”

On base of scented candle–“Do not breathe candle fumes.”

On educational TV show: “Archaeology has only discovered 10% of civilizations.” Rom: “How can they know that?”

I did not whine in a timely manner about Halloween candy appearing on the shelves at CVS, but it’s there, and has been for about a week.

Someday I hope to discover which employee at Walgreen’s drives a black Cadillac, since it’s on the lot every day.

GOD SAVE US FROM THEOLOGY ON THE BUS

I have reached a stage in life where I can’t be sure, if a guy lets me get on the bus ahead of him, if it’s because I’m a woman or because I have some gray hair (although I got my first gray hair when I was 27). But I can be sure if it’s a man my own age. He was wearing a Pink Floyd t-shirt. Because it’s m-m-my generation. (Apologies to both bands.)

A woman got on who works at Taco Bell on Lloyd, and started telling the bus driver and her friend about this weird sect she’d just heard of, who believe only 130,000 people will be saved. (It’s actually 144,000–it’s from Revelation, the 12 tribes of Israel times twelve, BUT WE WON’T GET INTO THAT HERE). She said, “I’m Christian myself, but I’m Catholic.” When she got off the bus, she said she was going to pray for the two women she’d been talking to, and the bus driver’s friend said, “Don’t pray for me–I know who you’ll be praying to!” The Taco Bell lady got off the bus, and the bus driver’s friend said, “She’ll be praying to the wrong person!” The bus driver said, “Yes. That is idolatry.” For the record, Catholics do not, in fact, pray to the devil.

I went to get stamps, and intended to get T. Rex stamps in honor of Trexa, but they had none, so I had to settle for dragon stamps, in dubious honor of Nick.

 

 

 

Making the World a Better Place

photography of bus stop during winter

Photo by Micael Widell on Pexels.com

…one bus stop at a time. And I hope I never get stuck at the bus stop in this picture. It looks like a criminal mastermind stuck it out in the creepy woods, but when you sit down, it whisks you away to their arctic headquarters. Or something. It’s just too new for such a remote area, you know? Plus that creepy blue light. And is that snow or rocks piled up by the side of the road? WELL?

Anyway, I have made it my mission (and a modest one it is) to clean up any trash I find at the bus stop near my house. Especially since this only involves taking it across the $ General lot and throwing it in the trash can there.

I tell you this not to give myself a Good Citizen award, but to note a weird facet of human psychology I’ve observed in the course of doing this.

Once, back when it was still cold, I saw a blanket and a sack of clothes on the bench. I thought surely someone must have forgotten these items, so I left them undisturbed so the person could come back and get them. But they remained undisturbed, blocking access to the bench. But the Real Problem was that, as the days passed, more  trash got piled up on top of them–more and faster than I’d usually observed. Apparently the presence of a significant pile over several days convinced people that this was a Designated Drop-Off Site and it was OK to leave their trash there as well. So I gingerly picked up everything and carted it to the Dollar General Dump, and trash deposit returned to its former occasional occurrence. Although if I ever share the stop with the person who keeps leaving gallon containers partially-filled with pink fluid (some sort of “juice drink”–the flavors vary, but it’s always pink), I may have to address them directly.  (“And get your finger dislocated again,” Nick says, in his capacity as my Life Coach.)

THERE GOES THE NEIGHBORHOOD, PT. II

Which is worse:

–a sidewalk overgrown with weeds, because the homeowner thinks that A.) the City sends somebody by to take care of it, or B.) no one actually uses the sidewalk, right?

or

–a sidewalk overgrown with weeds which the homeowner has dealt with by means of chemical spray, which leaves them dead and brown, BUT STILL STANDING THERE??

Write! Write! Write!

person holding pen leaning on table

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Yeah, and guess who couldn’t tell from the tiny sample picture that the person in this photo was writing music, and then I couldn’t figure out how to remove a picture, or if it’s even possible. At any rate, there’s a button in the corner of this page that says “Write,” so that’s what I’m doing. No, I can’t write music, either.

I’M TRASH AND I’M TROUBLE

There is, at the present time, a board with a nail in it on the ground down the street from my house, just waiting for some hillbilly to grab it and use it in a fight. And don’t think that wouldn’t happen around here. There is also an old couch in my back yard. (The people who brought the new couch wouldn’t haul the old one away, so Nick had to haul it out of our living room with his powerful jaws. Rom then beat it half to death with a sledgehammer.)  But we have been outdone by our neighbors down the street, who have an old mattress on their front porch. They thought the Heavy Trash people would pick it up. They were wrong, so there it stays.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS?

Almost back-to-school time, because everyone’s forgotten that back-to-school should be in September. I still like looking at school supplies, and found myself wondering if I could still find a use for construction paper. Is there a use for construction paper by anyone other than elementary-school children? The same question could be asked of papier-mache.

THE PERFECT FINAL TOUCH

–Vultures circling at Franklin St./St Joe Ave. No, I’m not dead yet, in spite of this fiendish heat, which is, of course, not caused by climate change, because climate change would mean we shouldn’t be driving quite so much, which is, of course, unacceptable.) SEE HOW I MADE A PARENTHESIS HERE, EVEN THOUGH I HADN’T STARTED ONE, BECAUSE I AM PARENTHESIS-ADDICTED. I am also drunk. Because a guy on the TV said we shouldn’t drink during the heat wave, so of course I had to do it. We boomers are irrepressible.

KUDOS WHERE DESERVED

Whatever “kudos” may be, I issue them to my former co-worker 911SK, who (having left 911 for less-stressful climes at the Water Dept.) said she wanted to stuff ice cubes down her pants in this heat, because “it’s a clam bake down there.” Now I will think of that whenever I go out in the heat. We need more clever sayings by women.

But it’s back-to-school season, so it’s bound to cool off soon, right? RIGHT? Oh, that’s right, we don’t go back to school in September anymore. We know better somehow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Holiday Complaints

defocused image of illuminated christmas lights

Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.comWell

Well, the year is half over. Time to complain about Labor Day/Halloween/Thanksgiving/Christmas/almost time for New Year’s. How time flies.

I speak from the unique perspective of a rock star who’s also running for President. (“And has a pet dragon, don’t forget,” says Nick, curled at my feet.) I am capable of simultaneously wishing time was up and we already knew who the Democratic nominee is, and realizing this knowledge will not affect my vote.

A ROM-STYLE OLD-FASHIONED RANT

“Schools struggle with teaching slavery.” The reason is that re-enacting slavery in the classroom proves traumatizing to kids. How about…hear me out…we just READ ABOUT IT, AND SAY IT WAS BAD, WITHOUT FEELING COMPELLED TO RE-ENACT IT?  Looking at modern education as an autistic person, I have to say it was easier to pass for neuro-typical in the old days. If I had to re-enact stuff as a matter of course, I would for sure need special classes. “Senior service projects”? You have to “go out into the community” in order to graduate? Call me special-needs.

This is making me flash back to work-related “role-playing” training, and required visits to other agencies to see how they did stuff., and having other people “sit with you, and watch you answer 911 calls.” It still makes me want to scream. Hmm, it would have been interesting to have screamed at work. Maybe I’ll go out there and do so. I’ll have to call on the outside phone, and say, “I worked there for 30 years,” and hope someone remembers that no one has yet worked there longer.

WHY ARE PEOPLE STILL SHOOTING OFF FIREWORKS??? FOR THAT MATTER, WHY ARE THEY LEGAL FOR CIVILIANS??? SURELY MY QUANTITY OF QUESTION MARKS WILL DO SOMETHING????

 

 

 

 

 

 

OK, Whatever

couple kissing together standing near people

Photo by Tan Danh on Pexels.com

I typed in “whatever,” and this is the only picture that came up. Whatever.

NOW IT CAN BE TOLD

Nick is no longer a police officer. He came over for his no-longer-a-police-officer present, and we hugged for, I’m guessing, less than the 20 seconds required for a hug to have its effects on your health, so I’m safe.

That sounds like a hug was his present, which is, I believe, illegal. His present was actually a Donut Bank t-shirt, since he can now go to Donut Bank without people snickering. You know, cops, donuts, etc.

It also sounds like the police department threw him out, which they did not. He threw himself out.

Spellcheck says “donut” is not a word, but fack them. Yes, I’m drunk. It’s April Fool’s Day, and that is the quickest way to become a fool.

THERE WILL BE, AS EVERY YEAR, LIVE-BLOGGING TO ACCOMPANY DOING MY TAXES, WHICH, I BELIEVE, THERE IS A DEADLINE FOR.

IN RETROSPECT, NO, THERE WAS NOT. YOU CAN’T TRUST ANYONE THESE DAYS.

 

 

Mardi Gras at McDonald’s

baking blueberry breakfast delicious

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Pexels.com

Since Mardi Gras is called Pancake Tuesday in, I think, England, I went to McDonald’s to have some. But the real Mardi Gras King today was undoubtedly the person who left their cardboard crown from Burger King under the bus seat today, amidst a pile of scattered candy.

I am wearing my two strands of Mardi Gras beads. Disclaimer (since Nick always fantasizes about some risque explanation): I found one on the sidewalk by the bus stop after the Mardi Gras parade had gone by one year, and the other was awarded me for eating at Hacienda after my dentist appointment another year, since my dentist’s office is across the street from them. Because my life is exciting.

I AM THE OUTSIDER AND I WILL NOT SHUT UP

Since I am a declared presidential candidate (no Launching an Exploratory Committee for me!), I am as entitled to pontificate as any of the others. I will never stop reminding you that–

–Mexico was going to pay for the wall, hence, no need to keep asking us to do it, and

–the tax cuts to individuals given in tax “reform” will expire, the ones for corporations will not.

Perhaps I will state those two things at the end of every post, like Cicero’s “Carthago delenda est.” (“And by the way, Carthage must be destroyed.”)

And if you say, “But you’re not a serious candidate!”–I’m not a serious anything.

Well, I had a couple World Leader Edicts in mind, to keep in practice for when I win the election. I was even sitting on the bus thinking, I’ve got to write a blog post just to get these on the record. Now that the time has come, I cannot remember a single one. And I haven’t even started my Mardi Gras drinking.

ON ANOTHER NOTE

There is no segue for this, so I won’t even try. We are mourning the loss of my mother-in-law, Amazing Grace. I’m glad I got to see her at her 90th birthday party in January. It’s funny how the little things can affect you–I just remembered, No more birthday and anniversary cards from her, and teared up a bit. Her funeral will be tomorrow, which is, as it happens, Ash Wednesday. Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.

 

 

More Campaign Promises & Bonus Graffiti Analysis

take it easy painted road

Photo by Reafon Gates on Pexels.com

Is it too much to expect a graffiti artist to know how we use quotation marks?

At any rate, Nick is doing two weeks in Weevilville. No, this is not a sentence (although he should surely be sentenced to two weeks of something…“House arrest! House arrest!” he says, jumping up and down). He is, rather, learning things he will need to know when I become President and he becomes my enforcer, I mean, my chief of staff. Yeah, that’s what I mean. So here is a post for his encouragement. (“Please, no perfume review…”)

MORE POSITIVE PRESCRIPTIONS

If I remember correctly (I may not, but far be it from me to go back and check), my previous campaign promises were mostly things I would not do. Things I will  do… (Hey! Periods look the same in italic or otherwise!)

–I will not (here I go again, going back on my promises already) call anyone “enemies of the people.” I’m more concerned with enemies of me.

–the Rose Garden at the White House will be off-limits to everyone, since I will be curled up in it when the weather’s nice. (I may have mentioned this already. Let’s call it an Encore Presentation.)

–New World Leader Edict: If you pick up an item at a store, walk around shopping and then decide you don’t want that item any more, you must TAKE IT BACK AND REPLACE IT WHERE YOU FOUND IT, not just put it down where you were when you decided you didn’t want it, while telling yourself, “It’s their job to put it back.” I figure this measure will get me the retail-employee vote.

EXPECT A BUNCH MORE WORLD LEADER EDICTS IF I WIN THE ELECTION.

PROMISED BONUS FEATURE

The unisex restroom at the convenience store down the street from my house is a rich trove of graffiti. Currently available for viewing:

–“III%”, surrounded by a circle of stars. Maybe Rom did this, since he is the III of his kind.

–“CSX Railroad” with a drawing of same. OK, railroad tracks are pretty easy to draw, and the train yard is immediately adjacent. Still, I’m kinda surprised that railroad graffiti is a thing. Well, except for the kind on train cars themselves. That’s a thing if ever there was one.

–An ongoing discussion of who sucks, with countering argument of who is a snitch. This conversation is regularly corrected, with names being crossed out and replaced with others.

–“Hug’s, Not Drug’s”- OK, we don’t know how to use apostrophes either. Such are the consequences of drug use.

Most of these observations are presented in fat black felt-tip, but in feeble ballpoint pen, there is “I THOUGHT I PASSED OUT.” I would have thought you’d have been more certain one way or the other. Must have been the drug’s.

 

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