Number 5 of the Stupidest Stunts



Royal Caribbean Hotel Beach 1982

When cataloguing the top ten stupidest stunts I’ve pulled, smuggling marijuana into Jamaica probably ranks in the top 5 behind leaping off the top of a chest-of-drawers onto a rocking horse that catapulted me face first onto a Biloxi Beach cottage’s wooden floor, driving my MG down steps of a parking garage that housed the USC’s campus police, totaling Joey Brown’s car in Hilton Head, and mistakenly thinking the stitches I received in that crash were dissolvable.[1] 

So, yeah, smuggling weed into JA comes in at five.

Why, curious reader, would someone smuggle ganja into Ganjaland you wonder?

It was the summer of ’81. My late wife Judy Birdsong and I had booked a flight to Montego Bay and a rental car so we could explore the north coast of the island. I had a problem, though. I didn’t know anyone in Jamaica, had no contacts, and approaching strangers seemed like a bad idea. After all, wouldn’t undercover cops be sporting dreads and t-shirts festooned with cannabis leaves?

So, I removed the ball from my roll-on deodorant, stuffed a nickel bag into the hollow cylinder, replaced the ball [cue Mission Impossible theme].

Once we arrived, it didn’t take me long to realize I had made a mistake. The Hertz Rent-a-Car attendant at the airport asked me if I needed some ganja, the house band asked me if I needed some ganja, every trinket seller on the beach asked me if I needed some ganja.

So, I trashed my USA stash and bought some local and had a blast.

Oh yeah, packing a suit for Jamaica may also seem stupid, but a restaurant we read about required a coat and tie.

Ya, Mon!


[1] The stitches were pulled months later by my brother Fleming with a pair of pliers, a scene reminiscent of the tooth extraction in Marathon Man.

Song Lyrics as Opposed to Poetry, George Fox Edition

George Fox, photo by Caroline Tigner Moore

Generally, when I first listen to a song, I don’t pay much attention to lyrics. If I dig the melody and beat – as the boppers used to say on Bandstand – I’ll start paying closer attention to the words, and if the diction is clever or thought-provoking, all the better.

After all, it’s really rare to encounter lyrics that possess the compression and structural integrity of poetry, i.e., to find songs with words that can stand alone on a page and engage sans musical accompaniment.

My friend George Fox’s latest song – so new that it’s still untitled – comes close to accomplishing this rare feat. The song, which consists of three verses followed by a chorus, distills a lifetime in four-and-a-half minutes and does so employing diction, imagery, and structure that reinforce and embody the song’s central theme, what Andrew Marvell famously dubbed “time’s wingèd chariot.” George wrestles with the metaphysics of time, the illusive nature of past, present, and future, and how a lifetime passes [cliché alert] in the blink of an eye.

The song begins with a callous youth speeding through life in rural Orangeburg County, South Carolina:

Just eighteen, driving an old pickup truck,
Joint in the ashtray and a bed full of luck.
Running nowhere as fast as I can
Down an Orangeburg County washboard road
Not enough sense to take it slow.
Rolling Stones singing “Street Fighting Man.”

Here, the theme of speed is introduced, and we have our first bit of compression in the allusion to the Stones’ “Street Fighting Man,” which melds the attitude of the the speaker in the Stones’ song with George’s narrator, both young men fueled by the fire of youthful exuberance.

What’s a poor boy to do but “run nowhere as fast as [he] can?”

The chorus shifts to the present, and again, we have speed, the idea of chasing “the dying light,” or as Marvell puts it in “To His Coy Mistress,” although “we cannot make our sun /Stand still, yet we will make him run.” Yet, in the last line, the speaker comes to the realization it’s always now, that the past and future only exist in the present and meaning lies in perspective, depending on where “you’re standing.”

Right outside of your window, just outside your door,
Everything is waiting for you
To fall into the night and chase the dying light.
There’s no need to be gentle.
Sometimes it’s heaven, sometimes it’s hell.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell.
All depends on where you’re standing.
I stand before you now, and I see it written in in the clouds,
All that was and is and could be is now.

In the video below you can check out the first verse and chorus from a live performance at Chico Feo’s Monday Night Singer/Songwriter Soapbox, which George emcees. The song is a work-in-progress, and for me, it’s thrilling to see it evolve on stage, as George experiments with phrasing and gestures.

In the second verse, the middle verse, the narrator finds himself suddenly middle aged, “thirty-three/With two little boys sitting on my knee” and has come to know “how love is made,” but swoosh, suddenly, with the days having flown by “like a midnight train,” he looks down to see, not his sons, but his granddaughter Eliza Jade.

Turned around and I was thirty-three
With two little boys sitting on my knee,
And I realized how love is made.
The days flew by like a midnight train.
The years fell on me like the pouring rain.
Now I look down and see Eliza Jade.

The last stanza arrives like a melancholy last act, with “second guesses, another last chance, and one more shot.” Once again, the radio is playing, not “Street Fighting Man,” but “a brand new song” saying “the same old thing” but “still get[ting] it wrong.”

Second guesses are all I’ve got,
Another last chance and one more shot.
And how I got here I don’t even know.
The radio plays a brand new song.
It says the same old thing they still get wrong
Oh man, and so it goes.

And so it goes – a lifetime distilled into a handful of words.

I could go on about structure, how the number three is central to the architectonics – three six-line stanzas, three nine-line choruses, the narrator citing at one point his age is thirty-three, but you’d think I was overdoing it, and you’d be wrong. If it’s there, it’s there, whether the artist planned it or not. Making art is like dreaming, it comes from below, often surprising the artist him or herself.

By the way, George’s band Big Stoner Creek has a new album out. You can check it out HERE.

PS. Here’s an earlier rendition of stanza three and the concluding chorus:

Excuse Me, Sir

Street Huckster – Charleston by James Augustus McLean, Greenville County Museum of Art

I recall as a boy my daddy complaining about how television news stereotyped Southerners, the correspondents constantly trotting out before the cameras a series of Bull Connor belligerents, grammatically challenged podunk politicians, and/or dentally deficient racists whose lack of front teeth made pronouncing the n-word problematic. 

I didn’t know enough back then to explain that they were the ones making the most noise, the ones cracking Blacks with baseball bats, unleashing snarling German shepherds, that they were newsworthy, that his own nuanced, quiet racism wouldn’t be all that interesting to viewers.[1]

And if you were born and raised in the South in the first or middle portion of the 20th Century, you were bound to be racist because bigotry was inculcated, abundant in the air you breathed: segregation included not only movie theaters, restrooms, and water fountains, but even doctors’ offices.  Even if your parents didn’t explain to you as a child that Blacks were inferior, you would sense that they were because of their forced separation. It went without saying, though of course, lots of people were saying it, repeating racist jokes and addressing grandfathers as boy. The Blacks’ poverty was proof of their lowness, as if conquering systemic racism and overcoming a substandard education should not be a hinderance from rising from rags to riches. Look at the Greek immigrants, the Italians, etc.[2]

Last Tuesday, my friend Warren Moise presented his excellent memoir The Class of ’71: A Tale of Desegregation in Gamecock City to the Thomas Street Book Club. This was our first in-person meeting since the pandemic, so attendance was sparse. In fact, all the participants were white male Southerners of the boomer generation, so we all had stories to tell of race relations back in the day, of “maids” entering through back doors and yardmen eating their lunches on back stoops.

However, to my mind, the most poignant narrative came from Ed, a physician who grew up in Little River, South Carolina.

In high school Ed worked at an A&P supermarket bagging groceries. Like many establishments, the store had an in-door and an out-door. After working a month or two, Ed discovered he could save time exiting the store through the in-door as he carted customers’ groceries to their vehicles in the parking lot. 

One of the stores’ produce suppliers was an elderly Black man who brought in his vegetables on a cart composed of wood and cardboard, a sort of oversized wheelbarrow he pushed along the highway to the store. 

One day, Ed rocketed out through the in-door and collided with the old man, overturning the cart, knocking the man to the pavement. The cement was strewn with vegetables, with smashed tomatoes, the cart destroyed.

Clearly in the wrong, Ed was mortified, worried that the old man was hurt, that he’d have to pay for the ruined produce, that he might be fired.

Slowly, Ed said, the old man tottered to his feet, placed his cap back in his head, looked Ed in the eye, and said, “Excuse me, sir.”


[1] C.f. Atticus Finch and Bob Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird.

[2] It just occurred to me that what I’m writing is exactly what opponents of critical race theory want to, pardon the term, whitewash. 

Idle Thoughts at 9:50 a.m. on a Wednesday

Wouldn’t it be nice if the pleasant moments of our lives passed as slowly as Mac system updates? For example, for the last hour or so, my update bar has been stuck on “about 15 minutes remaining.”

You glide into a warm bath.  Rather than cooling, the water remains at a constant soothing temperature, pleasure’s non-existent blue bar stuck, as it were, frozen in time, as you sing on key a melancholy air like “Danny Boy.”

. . .  And I will know, though soft you tread above me,

And all my grave will warmer sweeter be,

And you will bend and tell me that you love me

And I rest in peace until you come to me!”

Once, “Danny Boy’s” in its grave, so to speak, you launch into “The Streets of Laredo.”

“Go fetch me a cup, a cup of cold water.
To cool my parched lips”, the cowboy then said.
Before I returned, his spirit had departed,
And gone to the round up – the cowboy was dead.

We beat the drum slowly and played the fife lowly,
And bitterly wept as we bore him along.
For we loved our comrade, so brave, young and handsome,
We all loved our comrade, although he’d done wrong.
 
The water’s still warm, life affirming.
 
There’s time for another, “Jeanie With the Light brown Hair.”

I long for Jeanie with a day-dawn smile,
Radiant in gladness, warm with winning guile;
I hear her melodies, like joys gone by,
Sighing round my heart over the fond hopes that die:—
Sighing like the night wind and sobbing like the rain,—
Wailing for the lost one that comes not again:
Oh, I long for Jeanie, and my heart bows low,
Never more to find her where the bright waters flow.[1]

OMG, as the young people say, as I typed the above, the bar inched forward to “10 minutes remaining.” 

At this rate, the update will be completed by Doomsday!


[1] My father rocked me to sleep while singing these songs, among others. It explains a lot. You can read more about that HERE.

Being of Two Minds: Dionysian Edition


Molenaer, Jan Miense – Battle Between Carnival and Lent

One of the recompenses of old age – and believe me they are few – is that getting rip-roaring, intestine-unloading, word-slurring, sidewalk-reeling drunk has lost its allure.[1]

Oh, Lawd, my geriatric muse, Erratatata has descended:

Dionysius, boon companion of my youth,

has grown so very long in the tooth

that he looks like Nosferatu,

like, like bad, bad juju.

Before
After

Nevertheless, even though my days of dancing-on-tables, driving-MGs-down-parking-garage-steps have long passed, I still enjoy checking out Folly Beach’s party scene, to engage tiara sporting brides-to-be and their uniformed entourages in conversation.[2] I also enjoy making small talk with the young men at Chico Feo or Low Life who share adjacent barstools.  I relish shooting the shit, as my father might put it, with many of the bartenders whom I consider more than acquaintances.

But only for an hour or two. Too many Founders Day IPAs makes Wesley a dyspeptic codger.

Nevertheless, I tip my fedora to those old sybarites who never forsake the temporary comforts of strong drink, the Sir Toby Belches and T. Frothingill Bellows of the world, who belly up to the bar and have at it until the day they started to drink becomes the morrow or until their livers eventually give out.[3]

the great WC Fields

Yet, ultimately, forgive the cliché, but home is where the heart is. There’s nothing I’d rather do than sit on the deck with Caroline on a gnat-less late afternoon and look out over the river at the light maturing, going golden, and ultimately dying, then sitting down to dinner with Brooks and rehashing the day’s trivial events, which all and all make up most of our lives.

Now, as some of us used to say in the 60s, that is where it’s at.


[1] Of course, the cliché “with age comes wisdom” is somewhat true. I say “somewhat” because the wisdom of perspective, of the long view, i.e., the road map that experience provides, is merely two-dimensional. For example, I’ve learned in my old age that acute intoxication comes at a cost not worth paying, but that revelation isn’t exactly profound – it’s not as if I’ve embraced the Four Noble Truths and eliminated desire from my mental makeup, not as if I have achieved the serenity that a life of virtue provides. I still occasionally slip up and get drunk, though that’s never my goal.

Anyway, if old age provides wisdom, how come so many of my senescent brethren wear scowls instead of sport beatific smiles? I’ll tell you why, because their joints ache, they’re lonely, the world is going to hell in a handbasket as it has been since time immemorial, i.e., since the discovery of agriculture, Eden’s end.

[2] In which I offer sage advice like “monogamy is the cornerstone of a non-violent marriage” and “if you get caught in undertow, swim parallel to the shore.”

[3] Sir Toby of Twelfth Night and T. Frothingill Bellows, the protagonist of WC Fields’s The Big Broadcast of 1938.

The ABZs of Auto-Obituary Writing

Look, I’m vain, love attention.[1] Therefore, there’s no way I’m going to let anyone get in the last word after I have checked out of this Motel 6 of Life. 

No, I’m writing my own obituary before I expire, and you should as well. What after I succumb to something or another, my cousin Zilla is tapped to compose my obituary? Rather than merely “dying” or “passing away” or “entering eternal rest,” I might have “left the world to be with the Lord,” or worse, “entered the loving embrace of [my] Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”  Though I wouldn’t mind getting a hug from Jesus, I’m agnostic, so I want my obituary to be an accurate reflection of my life. 

Don’t trust others to do right by you. Do it yourself!

So, what follows is an easy guide for composing your very own obituary.[2]

Okay, let’s get started.

Rule #1. Know your audience. Chances are the readers of the obit are friends, family, or acquaintances. Most people don’t read strangers’ obits (yours truly being a notable exception), and if they do, you can bet they’re retired, likely former English teachers, and/or grammar Nazis. Therefore, make sure to proofread carefully but address the audience in a familiar fashion.

Rule #2. Sentence one should state the sad fact that Wesley is dead and when and where that regrettable transition took place. Although it’s not necessary to state the cause of death, inquiring minds want to know. In the following I have bracketed words that can be omitted according to your own predilections. 

Wesley “Rusty” Moore died Monday [at his home/at a sterile assisted living facility/on the side of the road] [after a short/long illness[3]//months of neglect// stumbling in front of a car outside of Chico Feo].

Rule #3. It’s best to get the bio out of the way first. Make sure to include the occasional introductory subordinate clause; otherwise, these lists of facts are deadly tiresome enough without your bludgeoning the reader with an unrelenting barrage of declarative sentences.

Wesley, the first son of Wesley E Moore, Jr and Sue Blanton Moore, began life on 14 December 1952 in Summerville, South Carolina. After graduating from Summerville High, Wesley attended the University of South Carolina and received a BA in English in 1975.[4] [Because of the post-OPEC oil embargo recession of 1975 and the fact that he didn’t own a car and couldn’t score a job], Wesley immediately entered the English graduate program the fall after his graduation.

Tending bar as a graduate student, Wesley met his first wife, fellow bartender Judy Birdsong. After they decided to marry, Wesley [weary of scaling the mountainous molehills that characterize literary criticism] left the university without a degree. After [somehow] getting an adjunct gig at Trident Technical College, Wesley and Judy wed on 4 February 1978 [in Decatur, Georgia.]

[After a short stint of collecting rejection slips,] in 1985, Wesley started teaching at Porter-Gaud. By then, Wesley and Judy had two sons, Harrison and Ned, [who eventually attended Porter-Gaud and rode to school with their father, providing the boys the opportunity to amass quite a quantity of profane and vulgar words as their father battled traffic from the Isle of Palms and later Folly Beach on their way to West Ashley.]

After Judy’s death from lymphoma [on Mother’s Day] in 2017, Wesley fell in love and married Caroline Tigner.  Caroline, her daughter Brooks, and Wesley made their home in Folly Beach, a community they treasured [until it was overrun by Airbnb short term rentals that transformed the once funky residential island into a virtual Sodom and Gomorrah/ Myrtle Beach].

Bored yet? 

Rule #4. You should follow the bio with a paragraph that humanizes the deceased. I don’t know how many obits I’ve read that have short-changed the not-seemingly-so-dearly departed by shortchanging him by merely expending a sentence or two. 

For example, Harold enjoyed fishing. That’s it; that’s all it says. Or Mabel enjoying playing with her grandsons.

In mine, I would mention my writing, particularly the novel Today, Oh Boy! and the handful of writing awards I’ve received. I would also mention my collage-making and blog and perhaps my four decades of surfing.

Papa Hemingway, Joyce, and Tom Waits in Wilmington, a collage by Wesley Moore

Rule #5. You should then list survivors and pre-decedents. By the way, if you’re old like me, there’s no need to specify that your parents preceded you in death.

NOT: The great-great-great-great-great grandson of Adam and Eve, Methuselah was predeceased by his parents . . . 

Rule #5. Although the time and place of the memorial service/funeral/burial at sea, can be stated at the beginning of the obituary, I prefer it at the end, though it’s completely up to you.

Now, all you have left is to designate where memorial donations should go and perhaps to thank anyone who was especially helpful in the dying process.

So that’s it, have at it, don’t put off until tomorrow because, well, you know why.

Fin.


[1] Hence this blog.

[2] I realize that most people (Prince Hamlet being a notable exception), don’t cotton to contemplating their own demise. However, look upon the exercise of auto obituary composition as a fond look back on a life well lived. On the other hand, if you consider your life a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing, you can lash out at your enemies in your obit. It’s up to you! [insert smiley emoji].

[3] For me, the more specific the better. If possible, I’d like to precisely name the illness, for example, “after an acute case of cirrhosis of the liver.” BTW, I hate the trite trope of illness as a martial encounter. Waging heroic battles with Goliath like adversaries like inoperable brain cancer is yawn-producing. Certainly, there must be people out there who whined their way to the grave.

[4] Why are red-blooded Americans omitting the “from” in sentences pertaining to graduation, as in “graduated high school or graduated university?”  

The Sixth Deadly Sin

Anger Transformation, image via Bidita Rahman

The Sixth Deadly Sin

Anger begins with folly and ends with repentance – Pythagoras

I’m no stranger to anger – I’m not proud of this – but I’ve poured beers over people’s heads, assaulted deaf heaven with bootless cries, smashed my brothers’ model of the human skeleton on a hardwood floor and shoved each individual bone beneath the door of his judiciously locked bedroom. 

Even though I was much, much younger than Will Smith when I committed these examples of Deadly Sin Number Six, I can relate to rashness, the fire in the veins that short-circuits the pauser reason, the anger-spawned and awful daring of a moment’s surrender, the explosion, the exhilaration, but also the subsequent miasma of guilt-ridden regret, which, if you’re like me, might suddenly rise to consciousness a half century later and make you cringe as you recall your lack of human decency.

At least, in my case, my acts of assholedom weren’t caught on camera, much less viewed by millions. It’s bad enough reliving grainy reruns in my memory. [1]  

Will Smith, on the other hand . . . 

At any rate, I find it much easier to forgive the slap than the subsequent speech, which I heard live, a shameful, weepy, entitled, excuse-ridden justification that quoted the Gospels as Smith claimed to aspire to be a “vessel of love.”

No, man, that was some Old Testament smiting shit you were throwing down. For your own good, embrace shame because it serves you right to suffer. Take a month off, read Crime and Punishment or the Brothers Karamazov.

Uh-oh, my prose is starting to rhyme, which means it’s time to shut the-you-know-what up.

Nighty night. Until next time, indulgent readers.


[1] I realize many of my fellow Lefties believe we shouldn’t be talking about Will Smith’s bitch-slapping Chris Rock when there’s more serious badness afoot: to wit, a coup sparked by a President and partly organized by a Supreme Court Justice’s whacko wife, who later cajoled the White House’s chief-of staff to overthrow the election, not to mention the Ukraine horrorshow, tactical nukes, WW3, etc. etc. 

But, hey, the Academy Award assault is interesting, worth contemplating, fun to talk about. I’m a big fan of Chris Rock, a fellow South Carolinian who has described our home state as “the dirt road not taken.” I didn’t dig his getting backhanded. Anyway, all existential angst and no schadenfreude makes Wesley/Rusty a dull [mannish] boy. Or, as the Underground Man puts it, “I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.”

A Dog Ain’t Necessarily a Gentleman

Victorian Whippet by Michael Thomas

My love for creatures isn’t wholesale. 

For example, I don’t love a dog merely because it’s a dog, don’t love a baby because it’s merely a baby. Loving something just because in falls into category strikes me as indiscriminate.  

Oh, look at baby Putin, he’s so adorable. Coochie Coochie Coo, Vladimir. 

On the other hand, I have loved and do love individual dogs like Jack, Sally, Bessie, Saisy, Milo, Cosmo, Daisy, and KitKat because they cool, not because they merely possess four legs, sport fur, and love you unconditionally if you feed them and offer them the scantest attention.[1] I don’t love babies because they’re supposedly innocent or cute or whatever. I love babies with personality, party babies, babies with soul.  Like this one:

Grandson Julian

If you don’t like dogs – and some people don’t – it’s probably not a great idea to announce it on your Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn profiles.[2] For whatever reason, where I live dogs have risen in status approaching the parental love levels of demi-human.[3]  Sometimes. it seems to me that people who bring their dogs to bars consider their dogs alter egos, like the dog is an extension of themselves, a walking scarf, as it were. I suspect that some dog owners work all day and feel obligated to drag their shepherds and Boykins to Chico Feo or Lowlife for a modicum of stimulation and companionship for the dog while the owners seek human contact and alcohol. 

Unfortunately, today I had unpleasant encounters with three bar dogs. The first one, one of these ubiquitous poodle mixes (perhaps a waddle waddle doodle doodle) was lying underneath my stool and looked up beseechingly and me, so I addressed him as if he were human, saying something along the lines of, “How you doing, Buddy Roe,” and he immediately growled at me, showing his teeth. His owner, a dour faced woman eating an exotic dish, didn’t chide the dog, so I said to it testily, raising my hands with palms pushing outward, “End of conversation, canine.”

A bit later as I was leaving, my passage was blocked by two straining spaniels on leashes, held by an attractive smiling blonde, and when I tried to slide past them, they barked aggressively.

I stopped and addressed the dogs. “Look,” I said, “I come to this bar practically every day. This is my territory.” Then glanced at the woman and said, “I’m serious.” 

A Dear Abby suggestion: If you’re gonna bring belligerent dogs to restaurants, sit in a corner. 

On the way home, the light was beautiful as I walked down Cooper to Hudson to take KitKat out to pee, which she did indeed, happy but not overjoyed to see me. 

The cat, on the other hand, hangs with me in the study, now asleep he is, curled up like a black, hairy caterpillar. No way I’m ever taking him to a bar.


[1] I’m a slack ass grammarian and lazy to boot, so I omitted the verb here because most of the dogs are dead, though a couple are alive, and I didn’t want to clutter the sentence with the verbs “were” and “are” as in “because they are and were cool.” I could have used “be” as in “they be cool.” But you really don’t need it:

            We real cool. We   

            Left school. We

            Lurk late. We

            Strike straight. We

            Sing sin. We   

            Thin gin. We

            Jazz June. We   

            Die soon.

[2] Donald Trump isn’t into dogs, not to mention not being into his son Barron, or whatever his name is. Some people consider not liking dogs a character flaw, but I don’t. Not liking your son is a different matter. Trump’s father doesn’t seem to have loved him, which reminds me of these lines from Larkin:

Man hands on misery to man.

    It deepens like a coastal shelf.

Get out as early as you can,

    And don’t have any kids yourself.

[3] Parental here means ownership. Dogs have become like offspring, especially for single people, which is fine.

Let’s Not Cue Barry McGuire

from Blade Runner

I believe that old folks, senior citizens, golden-agers, stooped shufflers – whatever you want to call them – tend to project their mental and bodily decay on the world at large, which leads them to disparage the present and overpraise “the good ol’ days.”  Of course, their parents did the same, derided those good ol’ days we fondly look back on as doom-ladened even as they themselves waxed nostalgic about World War II or the Great Depression.[1]

And I can’t help but wonder if this tendency might have something to do with moon-faced Vladimir Putin’s waging war on Ukraine as he nostalgically looks back on the post-Stalinist era of his youth, on good ol’ Nikita banging on a UN desk with his shoe, a lapse of protocol that makes Marjorie Taylor Greene’s and Lauren Boebert’s screeching during Biden’s the State of the Union address seem downright urbane.

The 60s, the good ol’ days
owning the libs

Putin wants to restore the Soviet Empire, a project not unlike restoring the Blade Runner set. Look, I spent twenty-eight days in the Soviet Union in 1989, and I’d never witnessed a population more depressed, especially in Leningrad where virtually every face I encountered was stamped with despair.

If you’d like, you can click HERE for a side trip that offers more specifics on the despair.

Ah, yes, 1989, fun times in the Evil Empire

To be fair, Putin did a fairly good job of fostering a middle class, even in a Kleptocracy, that is, up to now. 

At any rate, Putin is suffering from some malady, perhaps Parkinson’s, as his shuffling gate and clenched fist suggest, or perhaps he’s had a stroke. At any rate, he’s obviously on steroids, and some have even suggested his belligerence is rooted in “roid rage.”

Given the six-thousand nukes he has at his disposal, it’s pretty damned scary. I remember in the fourth-grade squatting under desks during the Cuban Missile Crisis in duck and cover drills[2]

Now, with my bad back and aching knees, I’m not sure I’m capable of squatting, so let’s pray –if we pray and hope if we don’t – that Putin shows some restraint. He does, I hear, have to daughters via his first wife and four more with a mistress, an Olympic gold medalist gymnast, who, no doubt, is very adept at squatting.

Cheers!


[1] Writeth achy Wesley in his 69th year.

[2] An oldie but goodie: “In the event of a nuclear attack, get under the desk, cover your head with your hands, and kiss your ass goodbye.”

From Crib to Crib

Aleksei Adele Panilov

I’ve been devoting un-precious moments of my wee-hour insomnia thinking about Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin. 

[Swoosh]

He’s lying on his back in a crib or cradle kicking his little legs and waving his little arms.

Grandmother, Mother, and Baby Putin

[Swoosh]

He’s in middle school, pasty and sawed-off[1], targeted by bullies who stink of B.O and Turkish cigarettes.[2]

[Swoosh]

Now, he’s sitting at the end of a table, a fifth of an American football field[3] from his nearest underling.

(Photo by Alexei Nikolsky\TASS via Getty Images)

In a recent NYT op-ed piece. Madeleine Albright, who spent three hours with Putin when she was Clinton’s secretary of state, described him as “reptilian.”

Exhibit A
Exhibit B
Exhibit C

So obviously something went terribly wrong with him somehow, somewhere. 

He claims to have revered his parents, so they must have loved him – or maybe not.

A bad seed?

I bet it’s complicated.

Then end product is overcompensation. Why all the overcompensation?

Overcompensation, micro and macro. 

            Micro: Judo black belts, bare-chested horsemanship. 

            Macro: Resurrecting the former Soviet Union.

In the irrational pre-dawn of my depressive sleeplessness, it seems we’re regressing, devolving, that even in the US democracy is disappearing.[4]

Meanwhile, In Ukraine, babies lie on their backs, kick their little legs, wave their little arms.


[1] A hip 1950’s synonym for “short.”

[2] I spent twenty-eighty days in June of ’89 in the Soviet Union. Anonymous high rises galore, the stench of Turkish cigarettes, shuffling pedestrians everywhere looking down at the sidewalk. 

Putin’s citizens are more prosperous, less woebegone. He’s popular, especially among the countryfolk, c.f. Trump

[3] Approx. twenty yards, two first downs, i.e., 18.288 meters, give or take a centimeter or two.

[4] Folk wisdom insists “that just before daylight is the darkest hour.”