Secondhand Wedding Dress

The young couple saw the wedding dress in the window of the secondhand store and Arekkusu thought it perfect. So she and her fiance, Kairu decided to go inside, so she could try it on. After the shop owner retrieved the garment for Arekkusu, she told the bride-to-be that the dress brought bad fortune in the past to the women who’ve worn it.

“What do you mean, ‘bad fortune?’” Arekkusu asked the old lady.

“I have sold this same dress three times now,” she explained, “And it keeps coming back, the women always broken-hearted.”

Arekkusu laughed off the tale and hurried to the dressing room. Slipping on, Arekkusu looked in the mirror, where she saw herself change. She found she could hardly breathe, the air around her stale and cold. That’s when Kairu heard her crying.

“What’s wrong,” he asked through the closed-door.

“The dress makes me look hideous,” Arekkusu sobbed, “Like a Gila monster or an iguana.”

Kairu, thinking Arekkusu was suffering from pre-wedding jitters, said, “No you don’t.”

“Oh, yes I do, maybe I look more like a komono dragon” Arekkusu argued, “I don’t even look half as cute as the female ogre from the movie ‘Shrek.’”

“What are you talking about?” Kairu responded, adding, “You’d make a burlap sack look gorgeous!”

“You think so?” she asked nervously.

“Open up and let me look at you,” he gently pleaded.

Cautiously she unlocked the door. And though Kairu was not ready for what he was seeing, his future bride covered in brownish scales, her eyes like round pale-yellow moons containing deep black slits, he remained steadfast.

“When I asked to marry you,” he calmly answered, “I meant it for all time – for bad or good.”

Then Kairu reached out, taking her by the hands, and gently pulling her to him, he kissed her sweetly. As they embraced, Arekkusu softly began glowing and in that glow, she returned to the young woman she had been before putting on the dress.

“Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” the shop owner commented, taking their money. The couple simply laughed and walked out the door, arm-in-arm and garment in hand.

Arekkusu and Kairu knew that the secondhand wedding dress was now forever-altered by their firsthand love. And as for the old woman who owned the secondhand store? She never saw the gown again — in fact the old woman and her store vanished as soon as the pair turned the corner.

When Kevin Ran for His Life

He drives by it nearly everyday — it being a grotesque statue-like figure of a dinosaur, but it wasn’t to long ago when Kevin watched a thunderhead built into a sizable cloud, north of him. He could tell it wasn’t going be a wet storm like the one the day before, so he continued to sit outside on his front porch.

Suddenly the cloud came alive with a long, bright streak of lightning jumping from it’s side. He felt the hairs rise on his body and heard it crash into the house with a deafening roar. Within seconds, Kevin knew something more than a simple lightning strike to the building was wrong.

There was an outrageous racket happening inside his home and as he opened the door to investigate, the large picture window of his front room exploded outward. With that explosion came the large head and shoulders of a green beast covered in feathers and a mouth filled with razor-sharp teeth. It was a Tyrannosaurus Rex – and the thing eye-balled Kevin as if he were it’s next meal.

Though he hadn’t done much running in recent years, Kevin sprinted from the porch as the T. Rex busted through the rest of his living room’s front wall. He made it to the corner before looking back. Kevin could see the green dinosaur stopped, smelling his neighbor’s pink roses; then eating the buds, thorns and all, before returning to the chase.

By that time Kevin was racing down the side street to the main roadway. He found himself amazed at how slow the big lizard was in real-life. Nothing like the one’s portrayed on the TV or big screen. Those leathery bastards were quick, running down their human prey in seconds flat. He was also surprised at his endurance and the speed in which he’d managed to cover the distance from his destroyed home to the main road.

Unfortunately, he was losing steam and Mister T. Rex was gaining ground on him. As he willed himself to continue running, Kevin heard several vehicle’s squeal their tires as drivers either slammed on their breaks or crashed trying to avoid hitting the brutish nightmare chasing after the hapless man.

He had all but given hope of continuing to out pace the monstrosity, when he heard the behemoth smash through a wooden fence on the opposite side of the road, to dine on a barking dog. Kevin turned to watch the frightened canine escape through the damaged fence line and disappear into a nearby field.

Next thing Kevin knew, a bolt of lightning danced across the sky, striking the abomination. There was a blinding, white flash and a crashing accompaniment of thunder as Kevin sailed backwards into a roadside ditch. It took him a few seconds to recover, before he could climb the bank and see what had become of the monster.

To his delight, the thing had shriveled to a quarter of it’s size and was now a charcoal gray, it’s iridescent green plumage burned away. He could tell by it’s hideous white smile and vacant eye-sockets that the would-be man-eater was dead. Kevin spent the rest of that day, all night and most the next morning trying to explain how his sweet, gregarious little parakeet had transformed Frankenstein-like into a gigantic prehistoric dinosaur.

Little Dolly’s Day Out

Granddaughter insists Grandpa carry Little Dolly. Though embarrassed, Grandpa does so without complaint. After playing in the park, Granddaughter wants to pick blackberries, so the pair pluck ripened berries till noon.

Scared of rustling in the bushes, Granddaughter wants to go, believing it’s Zombies. They hurry home. Granddaughter takes a nap. Grandpa visits Facebook.

Grandpa realizes he’s forgotten Granddaughter’s Little Dolly. Heading to the park, Grandpa recalls Granddaughter’s zombie-fears. Grandpa finds Little Dolly where he left her. Walking home, Grandpa doesn’t think anymore of Zombies or Granddaughter’s Little Dolly.

However, Little Dolly — now a Zombie — has both on her mind.

Trigger Squeeze

Jasper fingers the trigger in desperation. He knows the numbers are a fraud before starting. Ninety-six-cents makes a big difference in the life of a man with no job, little money, less pride.

He thinks, “I can’t.”

Jasper also knows that there is nothing he can do about it. He looks at his shoes. He could walk away, but again that would do nothing. So Jasper decides to end it, no more debating, no further argument, nothing but the act remaining. He exhales, squeezing the trigger.

The gas pump thunks to life — the numbers racing by too fast to count.

Recalling My Nevada Refugee Warning

In August 2016, I posted an article about foreign refugees being resettled in Northern Nevada. I was roundly criticized, including being called an Islamophobe, for pointing out how these people were not being properly scrutinized, setting up the possibility that they could bring acts of terror to the state and the U.S.

Well, here is an update…

Over the last few weeks, the Reno Police Department received reports of “several instances” from women who’ve been followed by unidentified men. And in at least one local news report, the female victim told law enforcement she’d been followed by more than one unknown male.

The majority of these instances have happened in the parking lot of large retail businesses during normal business hours. Nearly all the suspects are described as wearing an earpiece or using a cellphone and appeared to be working in coordination with another group of men in the area.

In fact, there are a couple of Facebook postings from the Reno area, where woman have captured photos of ‘foreign speaking’ men approaching them or congregated in parking lots. One incident happened in the parking structure of the Cal-Neva in downtown, another at the Walmart on Damonte Ranch Parkway, and a third attack where a woman was apparently yanked from her vehicle, though little has been reported on the attack.

Add to this the strange incident of a woman allegedly speaking with a ‘heavy accent,’ stealing the purse of an injured woman involved in a car crash near Virginia and Plumb, in Reno. She may have been working in concert with three other individuals at the time of the theft, since they were spotted together at Shoppers Square during the time of the incident.

In the Damonte Ranch incident, the woman reported that she was confronted by a man, who upon approaching her said, “Hello dear, how’s your day going, you are extremely beautiful.” She was polite in her response to him, but continued walking.

Once inside the store, she turned to see him walking around her car and looking in it. She reported the man’s activities to the store’s security and eventually had them walk her out to her car so she could safely leave the area.

But before this happened, she observed him not only meet up with another man and listened as the two spoke in a foreign language to each other, they both returned to her car. Finally, a white van with five more men in it pulled up behind her vehicle and the two men looking at her car, got in it.

She said the group of seven drove around the parking lot slowly, passing by her car each time. Next they parked four rows away and appeared to be waiting for her to return to her car and that once security threatened to call the police, they drove off.

This is the same thing that has been happening throughout Europe, though very little has been openly reported on the way these incidents are set-up or unfold. In the end though, the majority of these attacks end in a brutal rape and even the death of the female victim.

To be straight, no one is certain of the number of refugees the state of Nevada has taken in, or from what part of the globe they’ve come from. What’s known is that terrorism takes many forms, and it has one aim — to strike fear into others. So go ahead, call me what you will, but the time is now to be vigilant. They are among us and they’re a danger to our safety and our society.

Sharing

My feet tangle.

Glancing down, I see Batman’s bat-a-rang on a line, zipping around my ankles, pulling tight. With no ability to place one foot ahead of the other, I topple, a full-body slam to the floor. Before I know it, a blur of red and blue rolls me over, so quickly, so many times, I nearly puke.

As Superman rotates, Spiderman flings his webbing, immobilizing me neck to foot. I put up a fight to free myself from the wet, sticky goo, but can’t move more than my right hand, which is in my pocket. Confused, I cry out, “Why? What have I done to you?”

The voice is unmistakable as Batman growls, “You didn’t share.”

“What?” I ask.

“You failed to share the Pez candies you brought home yesterday,” he explains.

With a furrowed-brow, I question, “How in the hell…”

“You can’t fool Yogi or Boo-Boo’s noses,” Aquaman interrupts.

“They knew the instant you opened your front door,” Santa continues.

“And to think I fought my best friend defending you,” I call out, adding “You fat bastard, Kris!”

Toy Story Woody mosies over as Luke Skywalker demands, “So, where did you hide them, Luke Two?”

“Huh?” I respond, “Hide what?! What the eff are you talking about?!

“The Pez candies, you S-O-B!” Fozzie Bear snarls, spraying slobber in my face.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I pled.

“Do your thing, Wonder Woman!” Tweetie Bird instructs.

In an instant I feel the Lasso of Hestia drop over my forehead. The pressure so intense I can’t resist answering truthfully as Batman (Ben Affleck, not Christian Bale) steps forward, gargling, “Where’s the Pez candies?”

The harder I try not answering, the greater the Lasso tightens at my temples, until I blurt out, “Drawer on left, closest to dishwasher!!!” As the pain subsides, I hear the clacking of my collection of Pez dispensers in the kitchen. A drawer opens, a plastic bag rustles, a drawer closes. The disorganized clacking starts up, moving down the hallway.

“Wait!” I scream, “What about me? You can’t jus’ leave me like this?”

“Oh, yes we can,” replies Return of the Jedi’s Princess Leia Organa, “Besides we want to hear how you explain this to your wife.” She disappears with the other dispensers into the back room and the leather satchel they live in.

My right hand is touching my lock-blade knife. Slipping it from my pocket, I flick it open, stabbing into the now-dry and ever hardening web. I must hurry – my wife’s due home in less than half-an-hour.

The Long Way Down

Bbbrrraaappp…shit, my damn cellphone.

It’s three-in-the-morning, can’t be good news. I roll over to pick it up, zap, blinding lights flash from it, my body receives a violent jolt that crashes through my body, hundreds of old-fashioned photographic flash bulbs explode in my brain.

“What the hell!” I cry, my arms and legs twitching uncontrollably.

Never in my life have I ever been electrocuted, I’m certain I’ve survived a deadly shock and will live to tell about it. But something is wrong, out of whack, not right. As I gain control of my limbs, the photo-flashes dissolving into darkness, I cannot find the edge of my bed.

Slowly, I roll over. I look where my legs should be, I see my dog. Buddy’s face; eyes are open, looking at me like nothing’s wrong. But he’s huge, larger than life, out of proportion to the rest of me as I reach over to rub his giant, moist nose. I can hear his tail at the end of the bed wagging – thump, thump, thump.

My hand’s tiny against his brown set of nostrils. I know I am in trouble. I’ve shrunk to the size of a naked G.I. Joe. My bed is bigger than a football field and as wide. I’m leery of moving too fast towards where I believe the edge of my bed should be — I don’t want to fall off. Dropping to my hands and knees, I crawl. Buddy’s tail continues to slap in happiness behind me, my heart beats in rhythm to the sound.

“Un-fucking-believable,” I tell myself as I find the edge, realizing I cannot see the floor, my desk or anything beyond my white sheets.

There’s no way I can jump – but perhaps I can climb down using my blanket. So I re-position myself, dangling my legs over the edge of the bed, turned trap. As I grasp the blanket next to me, I feel Buddy move. The bed undulates with each motion Buddy makes. I redouble my grasp on my blanket, keeping my balance.

Suddenly – Buddy sniffs at me – his cold, gigantic wet nose touching my naked ass. Son-of-a-bitch! I jump from the chilly surprise. Next thing I know I’m airborne, falling into the blackness ahead of me. Thank goodness the arm-rest on my office chair’s padded as I slam my forehead full-force into it. Buddy jumps from the bed. He joyfully licks my face.

Thank you, Mnemosyne

Two words that caught my ear when I was five or six years old were stereotype and Styrofoam. While I didn’t understand the meaning to either, I was bent on trying my damnest to fit one or both words into my vocabulary via a sentence.

During a church social one afternoon I, at long last, found an opportunity to say Styrofoam in a sentence, and actually make it sound like I knew what I was talking about. However, the Greek god of language, Mnemosyne got me all confused.

“Can I have some Kool-aid in a stereotype cup?” I asked Mom.

RealTrippin’

Xavier slipped the cage, as it was known over his head. He adjusted the device so that the electrodes sat on his temples with the third touching the back of his head where his neck began.

Less than a second after voice-activating the unit, he felt the rush of the virtual reality arch rushing towards him. And so, Xavier arrived on yet another RealTrip.

Though he’d been warned about the gang-wars of the 1980s, he found returning to the ‘simpler days of the 20th century’ refreshing. “Besides, the only time someone gets hurt or killed during a RealTrip is if they do something stupid like loop themselves into having one orgasm after another,” he told himself.

No, Xavier wasn’t after sex. Instead, he had found a safe way to experience crack cocaine without getting hooked or having to deal with real drug dealers.

Besides, he found Compton, California and it’s streets to be less dangerous than his everyday work life, pounding red rocks on the surface of dust-laden Mars. Also, unlike his real-life conditions, Xavier could enjoy the sensation of sunshine on his face.

And as he walked south on Main from Compton Blvd toward Redondo Beach Blvd., he couldn’t help but wonder how many others using RealTrip enjoyed the same feeling as he did.

His revere came to an end as two men rapidly approached him. They wore jeans, heavily creased down the front of each leg, full white tee’s and bandana’s, all signs Xavier recognized as clothing worn by gang members of the time-period.

“Best avoid these two,” he thought as he crossed the street, dodging traffic as it moved in both directions. Cars, trucks and the like were a hazard Xavier didn’t have to worry about on Mars.

The pair also crossed the street. Xavier felt a sudden tenseness in his gut.

“Hey, what’sa cracker-ass like you doin’ on our street?” the smaller one growled.

Xavier didn’t answer. Instead he began to will himself out of the trance that RealTrip had placed him in, but he was too late.

“I axed you a question, White-boy!” the smaller one yelled as he pounced, placing Xavier in a throat-crushing head-lock.

With fear overriding his theta waves he was powerless to escape the alternate reality he placed himself in. Instead, he felt the blows of the larger one slamming his fist repeatedly into the side of his head causing an explosion of white lights followed by complete darkness.

As suddenly as he slipped into unconsciousness, he found himself coming back to his sense. That’s when he grew aware of the coldness of a knife blade pressed against his Adam’s Apple.

“This is a RealTrip, right?” he said aloud.

“Yeah, it’s a RealTrip, asshole,” he heard a voice snarl. Xavier realized that his RealTrip experience had been ‘jacked’ by criminals known as MalFactors.

“Yeah, ya little cock-sucka,” a second voice grunted, “Teach you to avoid ‘synth,’ by RealTrippin’ the fake shit.”

He felt the knife press hard into his skin until Xavier could no longer ignore the weakness of his body and the heavy warmth that spilled liberally down the front of his shirt.

Nonsense that’s Fit to Print

Originally, I wanted to title this, “Sergeant Murray and the Invincible Goat-Ropers,” but that would have made as much sense as what follows.  Jus’ nod your head slowly in agreement and go with the flow.

There’s a Soccer-mom, Grammar and Thread-Nazi, and the bald Italian guy up the street, whom for the life of me, I cannot understand when he talks, all gaming me. With that being stated, for 58 days I’ve been outside my box, thinking — thus their superficial play-date.

“Imagine that – me thinking — outside the box. It’s almost laughable,” I tell myself as I hear Foghorn Leghorn in the background roostering, “It’s a joke, son, a joke! Get it? Thinkin’ outside the box? That boy’s denser than corrugated cardboard.”

And while the Oppressed Earth Pants Corps., mandated force-feedings of salt-peter has long since been flushed from my system, I’ve been able to sustain my inner man-child on daily rations of stale beef jerky and two-day old hot coffee. And it’s because of these items, several red helium-filled balloons and a Russian spyware game issued by CNN, that I have managed to accidentally give away my position.

(If they wanted it that badly, all they have to do is ask, but since no-one asked, I’ll go a step further and share my coordinates: 39°39′30″N 119°41′42″W.  Simple, huh?)

Honestly, I never really understood why we have had two satellite dishes attached to our home for all these years.  Now – I know – or at least I think I know. And there it is, the time for playing over, “It’s time to engage in some kick-the-can before the vapor-lamps buzz and flicker to life,” I say to the dogs as I head out into the street.

“Maybe there’s time enough to make asphalt-angels on the black-top, if we hurry,” one of four responds, knowing I cannot recognize any of their voices.

Universal Carnival Mirror

Archie has a bunch of problems, all self-made – booze, money, women, but Archie also has the solution.  A universal carnival mirror that’ll let him go back in time, with enough duration to fix any future mistakes after they occur.

Recently, Archie acquired another problem – all those other Archie’s.  They appear after each use of the mirror and the more he tries to get rid of them, the more they multiply.

Across the galaxy, F’flavex finds herself blessed with a twenty-fifth alien life-form. She doesn’t understand where they’re coming from but she does know her 10-thousand hungry children are getting fed.

Double-Windsor of Death

It’s exhausting, dragging my pet Anaconda around the hallways of this little box. Every few minutes I find my inner man-child having to wipe off the dust-bunnies from its ‘shroom-shaped head.

But finally I grow smart and decide to turn the beast into a neck-tie, keeping it off the cold linoleum. I toss it around my shoulders, crossing the wide end over the narrow end, bringing the wide end up through the loop, then drawing the wide end back down.

My memory has yet to fail me and it seems I can tie a double-Windsor knot in my sleep. I slide the wide end underneath the narrow end and fold it to the right, then I pull the wide end through the loop between my pet Anaconda and my neck, and tighten the wrapping.

Finally, I take the wide end and wrap over the narrow end so that the front of the wide end is visible, then I pull the wide end up through the loop again. By bringing the wide end down through the knot in front, I tighten the knot carefully and draw it up to my Adam’s apple.

Soon it’s suppertime, so I go to the lavatory and splash water in my face, slick back my hair and wash my hands. I always take my meals in my room and so I happily walk that direction, feeling confident that my ‘adapt-and-overcome skills’ will impress Nurse Wratchet.

However, as I enter the door way to my cardboard cutout I realize I forgot something. My daily dose of salt-peter has ebbed and my pet Anaconda is now becoming enraged, with murder on its mind, and before I know it, I’m in the throes of being hanged on the door-jamb by a card-carrying member of Slythern.

So much for making a fashion statement.

‘No Problem’ is the Problem

Going to the grocery store’s not my idea of fun, but it’s the only place I can pick up my most coveted man-child survival supplies — beef jerky and coffee. I must restock my secret stash before returning to my box and the all-important daily filing of the meta-data.

The teenager handed me my change and I said, “Thank you.”

“No problem,” he answered with a smile. I stood there looking at him, hoping to no avail he’d change his response.

“It’s not ‘no problem,’” said to him, “It’s ‘thank you.’ And I’d like to hear ya say it before I leave.”

The Soccer-mom behind me gave me a nervous smile, certain she knew where all of this was heading, but unable or perhaps unwilling to interfere with my already-launched correction. I smiled back, hoping to calm her fears.

The kid grew all boggle-eyed and his jaw moved up and down in rapid fashion as I tried coaxing him, “You can do it – it won’t kill ya.”

“Th-th-th-thank y-y-you?” he stammered.

As he finished speaking, the kid suddenly popped — like a balloon filled with chilled lime-green Jello — leaving smatterings all over the register. They immediately began reforming, moving towards where the youngster had once stood, much like hundreds of Banana Slugs.

I knew he was going to be okie-dokey and eventually would grow from the experience.

“You’re welcome,” I said as I started to turn away, “And, see — I told you it wouldn’t kill ya.”

Dan Gilliland, 1958-2017

It seems like I has jus’ reconnected with him through Facebook, and now he’s gone. Though only a couple of years older than me, Dan Gilliland passed away in Sacramento, California on September 15, 2017.

Sharing the same birth date, Dan was born on July 20, 1958 in Grand Island, Nebraska, two-years before me. Known by everyone, including teacher’s as ‘Dan-the-Man,’ we attended Del Norte County High School, together in Crescent City, California.

It was while in high school, that Dan attained the rank of Eagle Scout, where he was a member of Order of The Arrow and became involved in the Indian Dance Team. He also received his private pilot license while in high school.

One of my favorite memories is watching Dan – never fearful of the crowd – prance around during a high school assembly wearing women’s undergarments. That was in his junior year, and even after all these years, I find myself laughing at his antics, though I cannot recall why he did this.

Following graduation in 1976, Dan went to Shasta Community College in Redding, California and later Keene State College, in Keene, New Hampshire. Being a man of both the East Coast and West Coast, it wasn’t surprising to learn that Dan was both a licensed fishing guide in Maine and California.

Dan moved to Gray, Maine, opening his own insurance company and a restaurant called ‘The Pizza Paddle.’ Eventually, he returned to California, where he found work with the U.S. government as a loan officer for disaster relief with the Small Business Administration.

He’s survived by his son Daniel Gilliland Jr., and his wife Cara, granddaughter Gwendolyn and soon to be born Teagan, daughter Allison Candage in Florida, parents John and Jan Gilliland of Rockland, Maryland as well as brothers, Tom, James and Joe, sisters Cathy Gilliland, Nancy Johnson and Donna Feener.

Cat Fishing Nurse Wratchet

Holed-up all night in my proverbial box, I’ve been wrestling with my pet ‘Anaconda’ and we’ve been losing. Suddenly the key turns in the door and there stands Nurse Wratchet, screaming, “What are you doing?!”

After explaining that I’m wresting with my pet ‘Anaconda,’ she responds, “That’s no snake, that’s a friggin’ worm!”

Not one to let a good insult slip by, I hold upright what she’s calling a worm and ask, “Then would’ya like to go cat fishing with me?”

She slams the door shut.

“That’s what I thought,” I yell after her, “You’re scared of Hogwarts and Slytheren!’”

Dried Mud and Dogs

“Damned dogs,” I shout as I continue sweeping, “Go away – go!”

Play is all they want to do as I try to clean up the dried mud falling from their paws. Yes, it’s been raining heavily, off and on, the last four days, but seeing this much mud throughout the living room and hallway’s maddening.

The more I try to shoo away the dogs, the more they think I’m playing. I’m not – I’m pissed, because every time I take another step, in another direction I find more dried mud.

“Crap!” I exclaim, realizing the mud’s coming from my tennis shoes.

 

The Dangers of Free-Range Dinosaurs

Terkerkue’ walked across the yard and peeked between the metal slats of the electrified fence, making certain not to touch it. Designed to keep things out and not in and it left her feeling restless.

She had reclaimed her ancestral name, the one meaning Quail, that her Grandfather had given her as a newborn. Terkerkue’ felt it was fitting, seeing as how she was facing a new beginning.

Furthermore, she wanted to hunt some fresh vegetables, not the canned and condensed stuff they shipped all over the galaxy – but the real, have to fix yourself kind. Because of this she had decided to take her house cat, Marauder, her shot-gun and stock her personal pantry.

“Beyond the fence is dangerous,” her eldest son warned, “I wish you’d let me go with you.”

“Marauder and Betsy, here,” she lifted the shotgun slightly, “are all I need.”

She walked to the large gate, waved to the far lookout tower and the heavy metal door began grinding open. Terkerkue’ didn’t allow it to open fully as she and Marauder slipped beyond the safe confines of their village.

The multi-dee-ni’ reservation, ‘Native American One,’ held the distinction of being one of the first territories the World Federation had annexed following a worm-hole jump of more than four-light years. Proxima B as the planet was officially known had few inhabitants as far as anyone could tell. In fact, researchers were fairly certain that the planet was moving through a late Cretaceous period, putting it about 77 million years behind planet Earth.

It pleased Terkerkue’ that there were so few people populating the blue-green orb. She wouldn’t have decided to help her country colonize the planet had there been people displaced and land stolen.

“It jus’ wouldn’t be right,” she told her daughter, “especially being Yurok.”

Quietly, she tread through the overgrown forest, trees, much like the one’s she grew up admiring as a child along the Lost Coast. She felt as if she belonged to this land, the new territory and all the creatures that dwelled here.

Suddenly,  Terkerkue’ found what she’d been looking for; wild articulated zucchini. Marauder paused and pointed his nose in the direction of what he felt was the best angle to shoot, knowing she had only the one chance and that if she missed they’d scatter in all directions and she’d have to spend another two-hours following their sign.

“Boom, boom!”

The two blasts, back to back dropped 18 of them as they broke for cover. Terkerkue’ smiled as she began the task of collecting and readying them for the transport drone, she had requested the evening before.

As she waited, she resupplied the old-fashioned weapon with two more shells to replace the one’s she had fired. She also picked up the two spent casing that she’d ejected a couple of minutes ago.

That’s when she noticed Marauder, his ears were laid back and his back hairs bristled. The usually diminutive house cat had caught sense of something moving slightly beyond the brush line.

Terkerkue’ slowly and as quietly as possible racked a shell into place and then stood still. There was no telling what sort of something was hiding jus’ out of sight and she instinctively new to be on her guard for the worst possible outcome.

Then – there it was – a new species of free-range dinosaur. They had only recently been discovered and not much was known about the chicken-sized, feather-covered reptile.

“Kinda cute,” Terkerkue’ stated to Marauder, whose tail was twitching back and forth in a natural rhythmic fashion. Then she added, as she raised her shotgun, “I bet they taste like chicken, too.”

She squeeze off a round, dropping the tiny lizard. But that’s when all Hell broke loose as nearly two dozen of the damned things swarmed out of the brush line, attacking ‘ Terkerkue’ with the belligerence of a T. Rex.

She eventually awakened after nearly three-weeks in a drug induced coma. Her head hurt as did her right arm and amid all the pain she found herself confused about her surroundings.

“You’re in hospital, dear,” a smiling latex-covered nurse, which looked more like a ‘70’s porn star than an artificially intelligent medical robot, stated.

Terkerkue’ looked at her right arm, the stitches and grafting visible, “Holy crap, that’s gonna leave a scar!”

Then she looked up and saw her reflection of the plasma flat screen on the wall at the foot of her bed. She had a series of staples holding the top and side of her nearly bald head together.

They ran down the side of her face as well, “Holy, shit! That’s gonna really leave friggin’ a scar!”

Terkerkue’ felt a lump well up in her throat and the strong wish to cry. Then she remembered something else, “And my car?” she asked, sounding more panicked than she liked.

“A what, dear?” the AI asked, not understanding.

“My car — what about my car?” she asked again.

The Automaton stopped what it was doing, becoming expressionless. It then looking at her, answered with a smile, “There is no car. A flock of Hesperonychus elizabethae attacked youYou barely survived, dear.”

Terkerkue’ looked around the sterile white room and attempted to sit up, “I must’ve been dreaming or something – I thought I had slammed into a Redwood tree.”

“A what, dear?” the AI asked.

“A Redwood…oh, never mind,” Terkerkue’ answered, miffed that something supposedly much smarter than she, could actually be so damned stupid.

Right then, Marauder jumped up onto the foot of her bed and mewed loudly. As Terkerkue’  looked at the compact little house cat, she thought for sure she’d seen him smile at her, then wink like the Cheshire Cat from ‘Alice in Wonderland.’

“Whoa – must be some really good drugs,” she mumbled, as she drifted to sleep.

Modified Homicide

Cindy dropped four quarters in the vending machine and pushed ‘F-7.’ The corresponding screw twisted clockwise and down fell a cellophane wrapped package of microwavable popcorn.

She unwrapped the package and checked the preparation instructions, flattening out the folded popcorn container, before slipping it in the ‘nuker.’ As she did this, her co-worker, Maria walked in to the office break room and headed towards the coffee maker.

“Hey, Maria,” Cindy chirped, “How was your weekend?”

Maria turned and smiled, “Great! We went to the lake on Saturday.”

“Was it crowded?” Cindy asked as the microwave continued to hum and popcorn kernels burst like rapid gunfire.

“Boy was it,” Maria answered as she measured the powdered creamer into her newly poured cup of coffee, “but we found a place to park and even got a nice patch of grass to have our picnic on. How ‘bout you?”

“I stayed home, did some laundry, cleaned my house and worked in the garden,” Cindy responded.

The bell dinged on the microwave and Cindy punched the door open. Instantly, the room filled with the warm aroma of freshly cooked popcorn.

Maria sipping her coffee, move next to Cindy with the hope of continuing their conversation. As for Cindy she was busy trying to open the now-ballooned bag without scalding her fingers from the heated content.

As the bag’s top parted, steam rolled out and as it did, the room shook with a loud explosion that shattered the glass face of the microwave and blew the two women half way across the floor. The blast jarred the building, alerting those working there to call 9-1-1 for help.

Once both women were in their way to the hospital, detectives arrived to investigate the incident. One was younger than the other, but both had seen more than their share of tragedy during their careers.

“Well, what did the first officer on the scene have to say?” the older cop asked the younger one.

The younger one, a stickler for procedure referred to his note pad as he answered, “When he arrived he saw the two women down, where we see the blood, the redhead appeared to have the greater injuries while the Hispanic woman wasn’t as badly hurt. He said, and I’m quoting, ‘They both looked like they been blasted by a scatter-gun.’”

“That doesn’t tell us much,” the older investigator replied, “But it gives us a starting point.”

He looked around, then squatted. He picked up a popcorn kernel between his rubber-gloved finger and thumb, rolling it around as he examined it.

“Have ‘Crime Scene,’ bag these,” he instructed as he showed the kernel to his partner, “Have’em get a half-dozen swabs from both blood trails, impound the microwave and get photos all around. I’ll start the canvassing.”

Suddenly the younger detectives cellphone rang, he answered it, “Yes? I see. Thanks.” He turned to his partner, “The redhead is D-O-A, the others in surgery. She’s expected to survive.”

As the older one turned to leave the break room for the main office floor, a small scrap of paper laying half under the nearby vending machine caught his attention, prompting him to ask the younger man, “What’s that?”

Seeing it to, the younger cop bend down and scooped it up, “Looks like a wrapper of some sort.”

“Yeah, the wrapper to microwavable popcorn,” the old one comment. He quickly reached through the shattered vending machine’s glass door and pulled out a package of unpopped corn and held the scrap and the package side-by-side.

“Identical,” the young cop stated.

Then the older one turned to him and said, “I think I know what happened here. Genetically modified popcorn – it’s known to be very unstable, especially when bombarded with intense energy.”

“Yup,” the other one responded in agreement, “Those G-M-O’s are known to be real killers.”

Nevada’s Political Season is Here

The gloves are off in Nevada as State Treasurer Dan Schwartz has made his gubernatorial bid known, and the GOP establishment came out swinging at him. Immediately following his announcement, a series of attack ads hit the radio waves and Internet calling him a shill for a Republican super PAC with ties to Republican mega-donors Joe Ricketts and Sheldon Adelson.

Elected as treasurer in 2014, Schwartz attacked so-called “pay for play” politics while making his announcement by claiming he’d be an independent voice in the governor’s mansion. Incidentally, Schwartz’s primary opponent, Adam Laxalt, received $55,000 in campaign donations from Adelson family during his successful 2014 bid for attorney general.

And finally, one of Laxalt’s top lawyers, Wes Duncan has exited the AG’s office setting himself up for a run at the office’s top spot in 2018. Duncan is a former GOP Assemblyman and is going to work for Hutchison & Steffen, a law firm headed by current Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison.

This is what political inbreeding looks like – and it seems to get uglier and stupider as time goes by.

And proving once more that politics isn’t simply for the professional politician – MGM Resorts International and Caesars Entertainment Corp. have attacked President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival (DACA) program. The reason they are actually against DACA is because of state regulations which compel the Nevada Gaming Commission enforce whatever federal action emerges.

That means the state Gaming Control Board (GCB) which monitors licensees’ compliance with federal law would have to penalize them if they fail to uphold the law – whatever it might be. And finally, there’s the claim by Progressive think-tank ‘Center for American Progress’ calculating that Nevada will take a $585 million economic hit over the next decade should DACA come to an end.

It proves that in the end MGM and Caesars aren’t really looking out for their employees, but rather their bottom-lines.

Army Toys

Marsha watched as her brother got out of his car and removed the wrapped package from his back seat. She was expecting him since today was her son, Timmy’s tenth birthday.

“Your Uncle Bob is here,” she called out to the back of the house.

“Coming,” came Timmy’s response and then him seconds later.

He met his Uncle Bob at the door. For his part, Bob handled the package to the boy, saying “Happy birthday, Timmy!”

Immediately, the boy sat down and began tearing off the wrapping to see what his only Uncle had brought him. Timmy’s excitement was barely containable when he saw it was a set of Army toys — complete with a plastic green helmet, a real sounding toy machine gun, a canteen and a rubber knife with sheath.

“Thank you, Uncle Bob,” Timmy squealed in delight as he slipped the canteen and knife on his belt.

Donning his new helmet and picking up his machine gun, he turned to his mother and asked, “Can I please go outside and play? Please?”

Marsha sighed, “Oh, alright – but don’t leave the yard.”

With that Timmy disappeared through the kitchen and out the screen door into his backyard. The two adults could hear the chatter of the machine gun as Timmy pulled the trigger and made explosion sounds with his mouth.

“Bob,” Marsha lilted, “You know how I don’t approve of those things.”

“Oh, Sis,” he returned, “I know, but I talked with Bill and he and I agreed Timmy should be allowed to play like any other boy.”

“So William put you up to this, huh?” Marsha asked in an accusatory tone.

“No, I made the decision myself,” Bob retorted, “So don’t go picking a fight with your old man. It was only a conversation and he never asked me to do anything.”

“Well, you know,” Marsha said, changing the subject, “Toy’s like this invite violence and I don’t want Timmy learning that it’s okay to shoot and kill people, even if it is only make-believe.”

*****

Meanwhile, in a deep, underground bunker, hidden beneath the Pentagon, Colonel Powers was flipping though a massive binder, as he listened to University Professor Ludwig describe how a new technology he had developed could theoretically create super soldiers. The subject was of great interest not only to Powers but to the Department of Defense as a whole.

“Yes, yes, yes,”  Ludwig exclaimed, “With this unseen technology secretly embedded in the soldiers helmet, we will have the ability to tap into the brain’s neurons and affect the synaptic portion dealing with social and anti-social behaviors.”

Ludwig went on to explain that since soldiers were already being trained in the act of warfare, it would be best to experiment on civilians, since they don’t have combat experience or fighting skills. Powers nodded his head vigorously in the affirmative to the suggestion.

“I’m sold on it,” Powers said to  Ludwig, adding, “When do we begin the trials?

“Who says we haven’t already begun,” Ludwig responded. Powers studied the thin-framed, bespectacled man in the sweater-vest for any sign of humor in his face — and found none.

*****

“Come now, Marsha,” Bob responded, “You know that’s all hog-wash. Look at me, I had real guns when we were growing up. I’m not violent and I only shot anyone while fighting the Japs in the Pacific.”

Marsha smiled because she knew her older brother was right. She looked out backdoor screen and waved at Timmy who was waving at her. The birthday boy then adjusted the chin-strap on his new Army helmet and continued killing the imaginary enemy surrounding him.

Dad’s Collection

Dad kept a collection of Zippo lighters, some with his name engraved on them, a few foreign coins, a number of used stamps, volksmarch pins and medallions, yellowing newspaper clippings, ink-less pens, business cards and old photographs locked in his side-dresser. Since I knew where he hid the key, I’d go in and rummage around to see if he added anything new – which wasn’t very often.

Over the years I came to know every item he had stowed away, though I had no idea what they meant to him or even why he kept them. One such item looked to be a piece of dried and withered leather housed in a small matchbox. For the life of me, I had no idea what it was or why in the world he’d be in possession of something that looked so creepy.

And of course, I couldn’t ask him about it because I wasn’t supposed to be snooping.

Not until my parents, separated and divorced did I have a chance to ask him about the items in his collection. And the one that I was most interested in, of course was the one he had in the matchbox. He pick it up the box, opened it and rolled the thing into my hand.

As he did this I asked, “So, what is it?”

Dad smiled, “Your foreskin.”

“Gross!” I screamed as I quickly handed it back and ran for the bathroom to scrub my hands until they were nearly raw.

Fire and Waste

If my math’s correct, something like two million Nevada acres have burned during 2017. So far, the state’s seen nearly 660 wildfires this season – if one can truly say there’s actually a ‘wildfire season’ anymore.

Early on, Nevada led the nation in most fires because of the Bureau of Land Management complex of wildfires blazing in and around the Elko County area. And wouldn’t you know it, 70 percent of that two million acres has ‘belonged’ to the BLM.

The last time Nevada had such a ‘hot’ season was 11 years ago, only 1.3 million acres burned that year. And again, the majority of those fires happened on land that the BLM manages, proving there’s a lot of truth to the snarky saying, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.”

Meanwhile, Nevada’s preparing to go to war once again with the Department of Energy over the ‘Yucca Mountain Project.’ If licensing resumes the state plans to “fully adjudicate” about 250 separate challenges to the Energy Department’s license application for Yucca Mountain and the data underpinning it.

It’s been 30 years since Congress named Yucca Mountain as the nation’s sole site for a planned nuclear waste repository and environmentalist’s, guided by politicians like Harry Reid, have been battling the project claiming that a third of all Nevadans opposed it. It’s hard to believe that so many people oppose it when you consider that Nye County, where Yucca Mountain is actually located, is one of the nine counties (out of 17) that’s passed resolutions calling for the licensing to resume and the science to be heard.

In January, Senators Dean Heller and Catherine Cortez Masto introduced the “Nuclear Waste Informed Consent Act,” with the same legislation being filed in the House by Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen. The bills will force the DOE to get the consent of the governor, local governments and Native American tribal leaders before constructing a nuclear waste repository in any state.

However, the House recently moved ahead with a bill authorizing the use of $120 million in taxpayer monies for the DOE and another $30 million for the  Nuclear Regulatory Commission to start the process. However, the Senate — the federal legislative body farthest from the people they represent and there for the most out of touch – did not include repository funding in any of its appropriations bill.

We’re being forced to watch the state burn from federal neglect while so much money stands to be made (or lost) from nuclear waste. It’s much like watching someone run with knotted together shoe-strings.

Light’s Out

Yesterday’s post went over like a fart in the wind — like so many of my posts.
Only 17 views and one comment.
But I’m so very thankful for that single comment.

There’s always been a part of me that’s been yelling, “Hey, over here! Look at me.”
When I was younger, it didn’t matter whether it was ‘negative’ or ‘positive’ attention – jus’ as long as you looked at me.
Yet, here I am, an old man, having passed from childhood to adulthood, and still I am begging you to look at me.

And while I want it to be all positive – I’m so hard-up to be noticed at times that I’m willing to act in a negative way to gain your attention.
Unfortunately, not even this is working anymore.
“Hey, over here! Look at me,” is but another catch-phrase in a world filled with people craving time in the spotlight.

Is the problem me — have I become what Takuan* warned against?
Perhaps my book of matches are used up, my candle burned out.
Then again, maybe you really don’t care.

*Takuan is a 17th century Buddhist monk who taught that an overbearing personality will frighten off both allies and enemies.

Teamwork

It’s possible that I ought not say these things, but I gotta get it off my chest…
As a one of the fastest kids in the county, I could never understand why I could dash from one end-zone to the other in a football game, outrunning opponents and remaining open the entire time and the quarterback would never throw the ball to me.
I would repeatedly shout, “I’m open! I’m open!” but to no avail.
It wasn’t until I was older that I realized that I had outrun the ability of the quarterback to throw the football that far.
The same can be said for my writing.
Having any kind of ability does no good if you and I can’t develop some sort of teamwork.
And in order for my writing to work, someone’s gotta be their to read it.
Unfortunately, I can’t tell if you are or not because of a lack of feedback.
And what’s even more frustrating are the junk emails — some complaining that I don’t have ‘fresh content.’
Still other’s always promising to help my blog to go viral or to monetize my site.
They’re nothing more than fake bullshit while I know you’re real, but yet you say nothing.
I’m here — where are you?
For crissake’s, my toilet gets more action in one day than this blog does.

Mechanic

Once, when I was a youngster, about 16 or so, I bragged to a neighbor-man that I could fix his chainsaw. I came to this conclusion after I couldn’t get it to start while bucking up some small logs to be used for that coming winters’ fire.

I mean, it’s a small engine, so how hard could it be?

He took me up on my offer and I promptly took the thing home and started ripping into it.  But, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get the damned thing to start and stay running, so I had to put it back to together, return it to him, admitting that I really had no idea what I was doing.

The neighbor-man laughed, pulled out a small can of gasoline and filled it up.

The Couple

As I sat in my truck waiting for my son to finish his business, I quietly observed a young husband and his pregnant wife seated on a nearby parking lot bench. She was far enough along that she could barely see over her baby bump, he was so exhausted that he could not keep his eyes open.

From the bags and packages collected around them, I could see they were still shopping for the baby that was on the way.  She kicked off her sneakers to give her swollen feet and ankles a rest while allowing her husband to catch a few minutes of desperately needed sleep.

After a few minutes, she tried valiantly to put her shoes on by herself, which is not an easy task when you cannot see your own toes. Immediately, the husband, with his eyes still heavy in sleep and his mouth open with a lasting yawn, slid to the asphalt and began to help her.

When he was sure that she was nearly settled and could finish the task, he slipped back into his seat and shut his eyes, seconds from falling asleep. A few minutes later she exhaled loudly with frustration, struggling as she reached to finish the tying of the last shoe.

And though he appeared to be fast asleep, he heard it, knowing her sound. Without even opening his eyes or the slightest of hesitations, he calmly dropped down at her feet.

Once his knees touched the black-top, he opened his eyes ever so slightly. That’s when the sweetest smile danced across his face as he finished tying her shoe.

She giggled, he laughed, I cried.

The Private Thoughts of G.I. Joe

Joe stood against the wall, right where the boss-lady wanted him. Usually, the retired Jarhead worked in the other room, but since the boss-man wasn’t around, the boss-lady commandeered his services.

Anyone that knew Joe, knew what he was about, that security was his thing and that there was no one tougher than he was when it came to the protection racket. That’s why he didn’t complain when she posted him on the far side of the room, overlooking the entire floor and a clear view to the door.

No, Joe didn’t expect anything to happen while on duty. He only wanted to be ready in the event the shit ever did hit-the-fan.

“Come and join us, Joey,” Barbara called out. He smiled and shook his head no. It was obvious that the little hottie had no idea how seriously he took his job. Then she cooed loudly, “Kenny-poo!”

Joe’s mood suddenly soured. While he didn’t hate the guy, he couldn’t understand what a beautiful babe like Barbara saw in the little Queer-doe, as he wiggled his skinny ass across the room.

“You called?” Kenny preened.

“Yes, I did sweet-cheeks,” Barb answered, “Go and try to get Joe to join us,” she said as she looked up at Joe, adding, “All work and no play, makes a man worthless.”

“Ah, shit,” Joe whispered, knowing that if seeing the little homo wasn’t difficult enough to take, having a conversation with him made things even worse.

“Come on, Joey,” Ken smiled, reaching out and drawing his finger-tips across Joe’s forearm, not knowing how the mere presences of the pastel-clad fudge-packer turned the older man’s stomach.

“It’s Joe or Joseph, not Joey – I’m tired of tellin’ you that,” Joe responded to the name change, “And no, I’m stayin’ right here.”

“Fine, suit yourself, sweetheart,” he stated with a wink.

Touching, sweetheart, winks – it all set Joe’s teeth on edge and it was all he could do to keep from verbally lashing out at Ken. But he knew that engaging in an argument might lead to his pounding the snot out of the flamboyant homosexual.

As he stood his post, he watched as Barbara continued to faun over her boy-toy. She had once told Joe that it was her and Kenny’s destiny to be married despite his attraction to the same-sex.

And in his watching, he couldn’t help but notice Barbie’s inviting ass, good-sized tits and shapely hips. He also noted that she could use a few more pounds, especially around her waist, “But I wouldn’t kick’er outta bed,” he though, “‘Less there’s more room on the floor.”

Joe sighed at the idea that she could waste so much time on Ken, knowing how Joe felt about her, and that he was perpetually alone. It didn’t seem fair that he had no one falling all over themselves for him and that he seemed to be moving towards a life of never-ending bachelorhood.

Joe had seen some crap during his day’s in the Suck. He always felt an ebbing under current of anger, a seething rage that he couldn’t get rid of and never fully understood. PTSD, they called it.  It caused his mind to go to dark, uncomfortable places and play with his sense of right and wrong.

As Joe slipped into this mind-set, the thought struck him again; if he could only get rid of Kenny somehow, in her sorrow and pain Barbie would fall into his arms for comfort and from there, everything else would naturally slide into place.

“But how?” the old Marine fantasized. He had thought of it all and in the end he never came to a satisfactory conclusion, “After all, I’ve seen the boss-woman literally rip the cock sucker’s head-off and a day later the ass-bangin’ son-of-a-bitch is back out on the floor with the rest of the fuckin’ toys.”

“Maybe I should feed his faggot-ass to the dog,” G.I. Joe smiled as he contemplated Ken’s fate. In silent glee, the battle-hardened toy pictured Ken’s mangled, chewed up turd-encrusted face in a long sheeth of Fido’s crap.

Fallen Eagle Feather

I took two more photographs before realizing it happened. Everyone had gone quiet, no more drum beats, no sing-song. An Eagle feather is dislodged – has fallen to earth. It lay at the feet of a Cherokee elder as he danced the circle.

Grandfather tries once, twice, three, four, a fifth time. His old bones and joints refused to let him bend that far. The man’s face shows no sign of stress, no sign of worry. But my mind races, my body shakes as I will him, “Pick it up.”

My spirit must have jumped wildly as I pressed my mind to his. Grandmother calmly clutched my elbow, whispering, “No, child.” She holds me tight, knowing I want to help the old Warrior. My muscles quiver, I’m frozen in place, aware of her instruction.

A sixth attempted made and still he could not scoop it up. Oh, how I wanted to break tradition, beg forgiveness, help. Grandfather came full circle stepping stiffly ‘round the feather. Back to where he began, taking a deep breath, a seventh try.

Grandfather succeeds, gathering up the dropped Eagle feather. Murmurings began to rise, the crowds breathing a sigh, relief. The drums beat out time again and voices raise to Great Spirit. I watch Grandfather’s dignity restore, feel Grandmother’s release.

The old warrior looks at me, winks, smiles and give a gentle nod. Somehow, someway he knows my Spirit stood with his for a time. The Cherokee elder turns, dancing left as if nothing happened. Above comes the cry of the Eagle’s voice – “All is, as it should be.”

Alphabet Dreams

had too much to dream last night

composite people, day, night
couldn’t run, feet stuck, playa mud
running scissors, matches light
saw screwdriver hammered

spelling from alphabet soup

busy, confused, understand
fell from boat, water all ‘round
dry-docked and swimming in sand
no life jacket, but Mae West boobs

reading the alphabet cereal

oh yeah, way too much to dream
lost spans of years over night
time slowed, sped up, redeem
by blast from a nuclear sunrise

counting alphabet letters

today is a newer start
in darkness the same way returns
it rips the lungs, that bleeding heart
no way out, cycle continues

sing aloud the alphabet song

had too much to dream last night
movietone and signal’s lost
path goes one way, broken sight
built up, burned down, quiet mind

One, two, three – alphabet numbers

The Cure for Common Americanism

It wasn’t to long ago that I caught holy hell for suggesting that ‘Progressivism,’ is a mental health disease. Now, the table’s turned as a group of scientists from Tulsa, Oklahoma and Bonn, Germany have come up with a medicinal cure for xenophobia.

Xenophobia is simply defined as a dislike or fear of people from other countries. To put it another way, these researchers have found a way to ‘fix’ those of us who ‘suffer’ from Nationalism or a sense of patriotism as well as Populism, which is the “support for the concerns of ordinary people.”

Turns out, anyone proud of the U.S., their citizenship or worried that they might run afoul of Sharia, are the one’s suffering from the mental illness. The cure, researchers claim, is the hormone drug Oxytocin, administered in combination with peer pressure.

Now, to understand the term ‘peer pressure,’ you have to realize that it’s a commandeered phrase – one that original meant ‘bullying.’ But in this case the ‘bullying’ is meant for ‘good,’ because it helps a ‘certain cause,’ which is curing ‘xenophobia,’ — so it isn’t really bullying after-all, but rather ‘peer pressure.’

As for the drug itself, it’s a neuropeptide hormone sometimes known as the ‘cuddle drug’ because of its ability to turn normal human beings into idealistic nitwits. Side effects to the drug include mania, hypersensitivity, memory impairment and intense confusion.

So, after going through the study page-by-page, I came to realize that I was correct in my initial assertion; Progressivism really is a mental health disease. And judging from the side effects, those afflicted with the disease are suffering from a too much Oxytocin and not enough ‘peer pressure.’

Note: humor isn’t one of the side effects.

Harry Reid in Another Corruption Case

Former Nevada Senator Harry Reid is like a gift that keeps on giving. I mean – well I thought – the next time I wrote anything meaningful about him, it would be his obituary.

Federal court documents show that in November 2011, New Jersey Democratic Senator Robert Menendez got Reid’s help in pressuring the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reverse its ruling that Florida eye-doctor Salomon Melgen owed $8.9 million for over-billing Medicare.  Menendez is facing a corruption trial along with Melgen, whose accused of bribing Menendez with hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions and lavish trips in exchange for his help on government disputes.

For his part, Reid contacted a White House deputy chief of staff, who in the end refused to help Reid.

“At that time, the Majority Leader reached out to the White House Deputy Chief of Staff,” reads the 30-page trial brief, “Informing her that Menendez was upset about how a Florida ophthalmologist was being treated by CMS and asking that she call the agency.”

Department of Justice paperwork also lays-out how Melgen and Reid had their own relationship. In 2012 the doctor gave $600,000 to Reid’s Majority PAC, which was then earmarked for Menendez’s 2012 electoral race.

Furthermore, in June 2012, Melgen flew Reid on his company’s private plane from Washington to Boston for a Senate Majority PAC event and back again. The indictment also details how on August 2, 2012, both Menendez and Reid met with then-secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius in Reid’s Capitol office to discuss policies that affected Melgen.

Both Menendez and Melgen have pleaded not guilty and deny wrongdoing. And once again, like a greased pig at the county fair, Reid isn’t facing any charges for his underhanded activities.