Looney Lunes #105

YOU’RE A VERY NAUGHTY SALAD!

HOME AND GARDEN CALENDAR – Fort Collins, CO

Today!

From the Garden to the Table

FREE: 1.P.M., Gulley Greenhouse, 6029 S. Shields St., Fort Collins

Nancy Brown will demonstrate how to make a delicious Gestapo with herbs and veggies from your own garden.

Exactly what we need. Delicious Gestapo.

 

The Recruiter

Brian at Bonnywood Manor voiced some concern for what a female in one of his posts had done with a clown’s balloon animals. The following is an editing casualty from The Hot Girl, Part 3. Wherein a Valley Girl Prima Ballerina tells her deepest secrets and desires. Brian, your balloon animals are always safe with me.

Chix-Stix, Beach side of the 1, Central Malibu, CA (Less than a mile from Jim Rockford’s Trailer)

“Oh, awesome! Me? I would so like totally love to play softball with the TV ladies and Kenny and you and, um, like the queen of naked in a magazine girl. Which is, um, totally not right, really. I don’t think. I mean I couldn’t, even, ever…Okay.” Logan composed herself, used both hands to move her coconut chicken bites and broccoli basket half an inch.

“Like after you’re not a virgin anymore? But just because like, you know, you’ve shown it to somebody and that’s over, right, like whew, really, and maybe somebody else, too, but to totally show everybody? I mean I don’t wear much when I dance. And you can tell like how much of everything there is, boobs and butts. But you know you can’t like see them and, um, that, in leos and tights. I guess they all look alike, so what’s the big deal with me and mine, right? Unless they’re all different, boobs and butts and, um, those. But it’s like mine, okay? And, um, not everybody’s.” She moved the basket back the half inch, took a bite of broccoli.

“But it’s okay. I totally want to meet her and everything, because I’m not like prejudiced or anything as long as she’s not a for real mega whore. Is she? No, um, because you wouldn’t, I don’t think. Would you? No? Okay.” She dunked more broccoli in Ranch dressing, turned it around in her finger tips before taking a bite. “A softball team is like a corps de ballet thing, right? With all the same costumes and everything?”

“Jesus, Logan. She’s not a whore, she’s a psychologist now, and you’ll love her. You never played softball before?”

“Yes, I think. But if I haven’t? I can run and jump and they have costumes, so I can totally pretend I know how and be besties with it, ‘cause that’s what I do. Is it the one like baseball? With the boring hard bench thing? ‘Cause that’s like…Well, ewww. Fishing! Not as gross, but for real they both have like the same fun IQ as pavement. Have you ever been fishing?” She reached across the table and took his Coke. Her eyes waited politely for his answer while she drained his cup through the straw.

“My grampa was pretty into it, and we went when I —”

“I did. Once. To be nice, you know?” She set the cup back in front of him. “But what a total gross-out waste of time. This old forgot-to-shave man? He smelled really bad. Like old beer cans you pick up and throw away but sniff first? And like the dead-fish-on-ice place in the back of Safeway by the murdered cows? My dad, we went in a boat to fish with the beer can smelly man. It was like a dad and daughter thing that was totally lame. For me. Dad drank beer so I guess, um, he had fun ‘cause I had to stop talking to him after a while. And eww-my-gawd, Jax, the smelly man? He stabbed a baby fish with a big hook! Right in front of me! I was like get out baby fish murderer! Then I thought, and my dad got mad about this, that like we could go home and I didn’t have to fish anymore after that, right, ‘cause the man was putting a baby fish on my hook so dad could take a picture and be done. And because it was hot and the boat and the man were so-o stinker. And like the whole daughter fishing thing was a huge no-go for me. But dad and the man had beers left. So…”

He looked at her over his cup he’d popped the lid off of looking for anything left inside. “So?”

“So did you know that’s how they catch fish? For real! They totally murder a little baby fish and throw the whole hook thing with the murdered baby fish on it in the water! So some bigger fish will eat the murdered baby fish and get caught! ‘Hi, I’m a baby fish, just living in this bucket of water and old smelly beer and fish guy in rubber pants stabbed me and threw me out here to get eaten! That is so-o com-pletely horrible. So, um, I am like totally off fishing. For-ever. I still like shrimp ‘cause that’s like all about nets and stuff. But not lobster. Because I got in big trouble one time when I was little. This fat man my parents hired to cook lobsters for a dance reception? I told him to like go throw himself into big pot of hot water and see how he liked it. And that he was so-o lucky nobody had a humongous pot for fat lobster cooker men and he was safe until I grew up and got to be rich and had one made for him. But um, that was before I knew dancers don’t like get rich unless they marry one of those old tuxedo men with flowers. So anyway, they murder all kinds of stuff before we eat it! That’s why Kenny is like sort of a vegetarian person. She eats that noodle-y stuff and potatoes and soup. And way too many beans. And bacon. She likes that a lot. Bacon isn’t like a vegetable, it’s like pigs, I think, but she says it has a divine flavor she is totally down with, and —”

“Logan? Softball. Focus. No bench. We talk to people, they take pictures with the TV girls, which is why I need you to help when Randi and Lori —”

“That’s why! You know, why I want to be a softball girl. Because of all the TV ladies. They are so-o awesome. Can I like talk to them and everything, you know, and be like ‘Hey, TV ladies, I’m Logan Bevan-Burns and like I see you every morning inside my TV and you totally have the most amazing hair eh-ver!’ Because they like do. And like awesomeness teeth, too. Can I ask them if they like totally bummed on their braces like me?”

“Yeah, fine. But what we really need is you and Kenny to talk to the people in the bleachers, and bring that ballerina thing because little girls like that and —”

“I can dance in my softball costume? That is so off the…What do I say to them?”

“You tell the Perfectly You is Perfect story better than anyone. I can get you some cards with a good picture of you dancing and Perfectly You is Perfect on the other side. You could autograph them or write ‘keep up the hard work’ or something.”

“Borrrrrrrr-ing. More no fun IQ. What is wrong with you? When we’re little we want it like totally big, not some sweaty girl with a ‘go get’em, princess’ routine. That’s like what dads do. It’s all smelly beer cans and murdered fish and that is like duller than my rubber pirate princess knife. When my ankle was hurt and I was rehabbing and didn’t know what I wanted to do if I couldn’t dance? I worked at Disneyland. In a candy shop for, um…well, like not very long. I wanted to wear a princess costume so-o much, because, like especially Sleeping Beauty when I was there? She was such a snot! Like a ‘Now children, bee-have’ hair-sprayed TV mom and in the bathroom she called them a bunch of handsy little shits. And, well, I think they were, you know, doing that sneaky boy thing. Anyway, this really old man, they called him the princess wrangler? I made him so mad until he like cussed and everything. So I cussed back and said ‘I’m a ballerina, don’t tell me I can’t wear a princess costume because I talk too much! Like we can never, ever talk when we dance and it’s all about the costume, dancing and not talking, you know? So give me the fucking costume and I’ll shut up and show you how princess goes.’” She took a break, squirted some more ranch dressing out for the broccoli. “So. I don’t think I’ll ever be an official princess. Except in a ballet. Are they different? You know, official Disneyland and ballet princesses?”

“Princesses are princesses, I think. Ballet makes them a little more special.”

She frowned. “Only a little?”

“A lot. Softball?” All he could do was wait. “Yes” or “no” from Logan never came without a story. Several stories.

“I have a secret.”

“I’m good.” He gurgled the last of his Coke from the ice.

“So after Disneyland? I have a secret that is way more secret than even it was me who did the big SBD at Blanco’s last time we went and not the dishwasher man who came out of the bathroom that you said dropped a green bomb. I…Oh no! I told you!”

“Jesus, Logan. What secret can be more secret than you cut a weapon grade hungry ballerina fart at Blanco’s and let me blame it on an innocent dishwasher?”

“Sorr-eeee. Okay. I know Kenny paints faces ‘cause she is so like a totally talented painter and dancer person. My secret is I want to be a balloon man sculptor. In my almost official but can’t be because it would be illegal Snow White costume. I want to be an amazing, awesome, totally the best balloon man ever. Only a balloon man girl. Who tells little girls mega super big princess stories and makes them weener dogs and crowns. And flying saucers. And dragons. With balloons.”

“You want to wear a costume and make balloon things instead of play softball? I can live with —”

“No!” She reached over and knocked on his head. “Are you in there, duncemundo? I can like totally run and do that bat thing and everything in my softball costume and then change when you’re tired of me. I can’t be like boring splinter butt bench girl just talking. Mega bor-ing duh. But the balloons would make it so…” She drifted, held up a chicken strip like she was thinking about tying a knot in it. “I, um. I can’t, really. Yet. But, um…” Her secret balloon tying anxiety caused her to almost swallow the chicken bite whole. She separated the rest of her chicken bites and broccoli into neat piles on either side of the fresh squirt of Ranch, picked up one of each, dunked them and stuffed them in her mouth. He could see her thinking.

“But, um?”

“Okay. I found a man. Not like he was lost or anything, he was in the yellow pages. I went to meet him out in the Valley and everything? But he’s like a little weird and, well, mega weird squared, really. He does birthday parties for little kids and he’s like the ultra-est balloon man in the galaxy. His hands are all way ewww wrinkly and his mustache is like white but orange in the middle. And he totally smokes so much he like smokes when he’s not smoking! He said we could work something out for lessons? And I said that was like for real not happening in any universe and so then he said it’s two-hundred dollars for three nights. And I had to bring murdered cows hamburgers for his dinner. Every night! ‘Cause he said first I have to learn how to blow them, right, and then how to make them go bent when I do, and then how to make them look like something. That’s three nights? Yes! So, um, I thought you could go with me. We can take my car with the ‘thank you Jackson and Peach’ way stellar sounding tailpipe things you helped me put in.”

“You’ve thanked me like a hundred times for that when you did all the work. There were probably forty guys standing around Peach’s Garage waiting to see what a prima ballerina from Brentwood with jacked airshocks on a Firebird would do with a blow torch and pair of Cherry Bomb glasspaks. Peach couldn’t buy advertising like that. Let me get this straight, Logan.” He put everything of his on the tray and pushed it to the side. “I need to go with you to learn how to tie balloons into things like weener dogs and dragons because the balloon man is a creepy letch. And that’s two hundred bucks. After that you’re maybe going to bring an almost official Snow White costume to the games? Halfway through you’re going to stuff your pockets with balloons and make weird balloon things for everybody and tell princess stories? Probably based on ballets? Is that my picture of Logan and softball?”

“Yes! You way have it, amigo! Only like duh, Jackson. Ballets are totally based on princess stories, not the other way. And I have an apron from a wood store. You know, like the wood they build houses with? They have doors, too. At the wood store. You know, if you ever need one.” She caught his look. “A door, silly, not an apron. Anyway, the apron has biggo pockets for the balloons if Snow White is out ‘cause of the corps de ballet softball costumes. And that’s like totally okay, if it is. ‘Cause I can’t be like the only soloist, mega look-at-me ego bitch in a princess costume. That would be so-o totally wrong and I’m not, you know, like that. Unless, like when I am the soloist in the princess costume and then it’s okay if I’m a bitch ‘cause that’s for real like, um, you know, my job.” She reached over, set her pasteboard chicken and brocolli basket on his tray, took his last napkin and his wet wipe. “So now you have to kiss me out of my dress again quick before Saturday because I heard it’s like way big time against all your rules to cruise Big-O City with the softball team girls.”

“Logan, I can’t afford balloon lessons and another new coffee table. So —”

“Puh-leeze. You don’t have a coffee table, Jackson. That was at the French lady’s. You only have those like totally the best big pillows eh-ver.”

Looney Lunes #104

Why he gets the big bucks

“There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share. No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item.”

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer

What the hell is on their resume that gets these guys get their jobs?

 

Looney Lunes #103

And he looks like such a nice dog…

Not enough victims for your last catastrophe? Call the Collin County Assistant DA. She and the dog will hook you up. (Doesn’t anyone proof-read anymore?)

The Art of Drowning – Episode 1

The Art of Drowning – by Jac Forsyth

There are times when the wind takes hold of the desert and carries it far out to sea in sandstorms too brutal for even memory to hold. And I was lost and found in the firelight of whispered stories, heroes of ruin sung into lullaby with the sweetness of rum and reminiscence. And maybe there were warnings there, but I was still too young and caught up in the riptide between tales to hear them.

It was vultures that finally drove me down to the abandonment of shore. In my arrogance I called it destiny, but pride is always the last one standing and heaven knows the raptors were patient.

We were a thousand miles from land when the sandstorm took us, and even before the first warnings were called it had ripped away the sea and inked the summer sky dark with scours of long away sand. I should have remembered the stories then. But while the wisdom of sailors cursed in the cabins below, I who had traded my life for the shackles of freedom, stood on the deck and screamed at god.

But sand doesn’t care about the difference between entitlement and entombment and it will tear flesh from reason soon as you can think it. And I tell you, when you taste the first crippling of those loving arms around you, it’s too damn late to forget which way the horizon is supposed to run.

So it was that we were lost to the drownings of contradiction. The others wept out their endurance for a while, but I have a will for adaptation and to be honest, it’s hard to tell the difference between heaven and hell after a while. Somewhere up there daybreak comes flawed from poison night, stolen black and beaten white and the wrecked and wreckage ebb and flow with the circling of planets. Sure it’s not perfect and the fish have no concept of personal space, but this place is more home than I have ever known.

Carve a stone with things you want remembered, say a prayer if it helps ease your mind, but don’t you come looking for me. I have crawled too long in the desert to find anything but sanctuary down here with the bones of sailors.

The Art of Drowning – An Ethereal Mystery

3 writers, no destination – What could go wrong?

Ash N. Finn  The Perilous Reading Society  & Not Very Deep Thoughts

 

The Art of Drowning – Episode 3

Dreams, Blood and Sand – by Ash N. Finn

Empathy is hard to come by when veracity has to be cloaked in madness to survive. Evelyn watches the visitor walk away into the sea breeze from her window and wonders if she will see him again.

Xylophones, the sound of hailstones hitting them in a competition of accelerating crescendos is what she hears when an episode grips her. They give her Xanax here whenever they notice her cupping her hands over her ears. She saw her visitor’s eyes darting over to the packet on the coffee table, taking in the evidence that at least that part of her story is true. What can be seen must be true. Does he smell the airborne stench of rotting matter, too, she wanted to know. He shook his head at this. No, he doesn’t.

Of course, he thinks she is crazy. On the surface of her existence in this place for crazy people she wears the crazy outfit like a triangular road sign, giving off a warning to navigate the dangerous bends ahead with caution. Loose rocks might tumble and crush you regardless, even if you avoid speeding off a cliff and plunging into the sea to join all the lost ones in it.

Reality is so much more than people want to acknowledge. They stick to the visible mostly and let themselves be fooled by it. She knows it is the invisible we must strain to see if the evil force is to be stopped. He asked her to explain what she knows of the evil force. There is a watery depth in this man’s eyes which made her think that here is someone who has taken deep dives into the invisible inside himself and that inside others.

Dust settles on everything so quickly she told him then, and he watched in silence while she dusted the framed portraits above the bed on the far side of her room, waiting for her to continue. He must have noticed how tidy the room is, but didn’t comment on it. She is sure his alert investigative mind retained all he saw and heard during his visit in minute detail. It calms her when there is order to the visible around her. In these parts, so close to the sea, dust combines with the fine sand the sea breeze sends and enters through the smallest cracks in the walls. Keeping the window closed at all times doesn’t manage to keep it out.

Ink drawings of her younger self cannot suffer to come in contact with sand for long, much like her present self. She washed her hands and face after dusting them, then sealed the dust cloth in a plastic sandwich bag before throwing it into the small bin under the sink. What is worse than the dust is when you wake up on the beach, your legs buried in sand that is still moist from the tide that must have swept over you while you were out cold, dried blood mixed with sand caked to your naked skin. You turn your head to cough the salt water out of your lungs and stare right into the face of a dead woman. You turn the other way and there are rows and rows of skulls. Skulls and bones as far as you can see. At that point, her visitor asked her if that was a recent dream she had.

Not the first time it happened. The first time she was there and made it out alive like a resurrected corpse dragging herself away from the beach on all fours, but she didn’t tell him it was real the first time. If he goes there and sees for himself and comes back to visit, she might reveal to him that the first time was many years ago and real.

Every episode brings that same dream is all she has told him for now. Only recently, the face of the dead woman is a new one each time. The last one looked like the missing woman the detective is trying to find.

Clouds formed from sea foam and darkened by sand sucked in from the beach are carried toward her now by the strengthening breeze. The unbearable putrid stench it delivers makes Evelyn gag. She closes the window in what she knows is a futile attempt at shielding herself from its evil power.

Holy wells are what her mother and aunts would have prescribed for her, were they still alive. Deep inside her they are still alive for as long as she remembers them, she reminds herself. She had left Ireland a long time ago, and as far as she knows there aren’t any holy wells around here. If there are any, the detective might know of them. She will try to remember to ask him about it next time he visits, if there is a next time that is.

A protective shield can be fashioned in many ways she muses, but to choose the most effective one is difficult when you’re not sure who or what has tried to drown you and might come after you to eliminate the risk of you telling. The detective promised that any information she had shared would be followed up discreetly and treated as confidential. Will that be enough to protect her?

Old age has crept up on her, giving license to no longer worry as much about the consequences of telling. She has been the crazy lady for so long now that there are more times when she believes herself to be crazy than not. Is that a sign of sanity or madness?

Screams and shouting in the corridor outside interrupt her thoughts. The door comes crashing into her room and flattens the coffee table on impact. She should have told the detective it was real the very first time.

The Art of Drowning – An Ethereal Mystery

3 writers, no destination – What could go wrong?

Ash N. Finn  The Perilous Reading Society  & Not Very Deep Thoughts

 

 

The Art of Drowning – Episode 2

Font of Wisdom – by Phil Huston

Shona Nevill watched Caswell’s expression change with the air as he got closer. Half a mile away where they’d both parked it was almost twenty degrees warmer. And a lot drier. The cold, wet air howled off the sea and up the shallow cliffs then somehow lost its push over that short distance. Like it went straight up and abused everything in the first thirty yards of the coastline with it’s angry fallout and died, leaving nothing but it’s damp, cold breath behind.

He handed her a coffee, the cardboard cup still warm. “How’d you get the call on this bloody desolate bit of business?”

“Charm.”

“That’s shit.”

She let go of a short snort. “I was researching a missing persons. One thing led to another, here we are. I asked for you. I think I need someone who can see straight. This has gothic overtones.”

“Ghosts and goblins and Henry’s headless wives again?”

“Maybe.” She fought the wind and a large manila envelope, pulled out a handful of papers.

“Home office? War office? It’s a distorted rust bucket, Shona. And why the hell is it this far in and not in the water?”

“It’s in there.”

“Please. Redacted to fish wrap. You had to squeeze a story from this or I’d be at my guitar lesson.”

“My ass. You’d be playing hillbilly rubbish with that lot at your local.”

“That’s my guitar lesson.” He offered her the papers back.

“Okay. According to this it took a torpedo not far from shore. Torpedo didn’t go off and plugged its own hole. Not completely, they took on water, but made it past the breakwater and beached it. Home security watchers didn’t know who they were and killed them all when they walked up the beach. Farmers and shotguns and fear.”

“That explains some of the redactions, not how it got to here.”

“War time. Reclamation of salvageable material. They winched it to where it sits. No one paid any thought to the torpedo stuck in its side and when they went to re-lash the winch line it went off and killed nine men and a cow. The war ended, the country went Mrs. Dalloway and ye olde England faded away.”

“That was a hundred years ago. What were they carrying the home office is afraid of after all that time?”

“I can’t get that story. Yet. Just yeah, we know about it, here it is, a hundred-year old steel carcass.”

“The torpedo explains the look of it. Still doesn’t explain you and me in the frozen fog.”

“A woman I met on the missing persons sent me here.”

“She said go to this rusty old boat, it’s a font of wisdom?”

“No, she said evil rides the sands borne on a desert wind and the dead go down with the dead of the sea. Mentioned this place in a moment of lucidity. She said the visions and the winds had stopped for a while, but they were back.”

“How long has she been in the institution?”

“Forty years, give or take. The shrinks said she was doing better until she saw my case’s face flash on the television. She went off, I got the call, decided to go see her.”

“We’re here because a bat shit crazy old woman who sees evil in a sandstorm took a dislike to your missing’s face? Shit, Shona.”

“I didn’t have anything else. You bring that torch that shames the sun?”

***

Caswell broadened the beam to take in a four-foot circle after it landed on the first skull, Shona grabbed his forearm for a second, let go. “This is a fricking catacomb, Cas. Holy…damn.” She followed his beam across an eight-foot expanse, counted twenty skulls. Two high, ten across. Bones thrown like driftwood into iron footlockers, a fifty-gallon steel drum that had been cut in half, lying scattered on the sand covered floor. “Uh oh.” She shined her own beam on a much more recent carcass. “Money on that being my missing.” The body had been slowly mummifying. Decomposing, shriveling into a salted human ham in the sea air.

Caswell barked “Leave it” when she reached for the body. “Leave it all.”

“What the hell, Cas? This is a crime scene.”

“This is a hundred-year killing field. Back out. Fill that envelope with dry sand if you have to walk to find some, come back in the tracks you made coming in.”

He had Shona put her hands on his hips and back out with him while he sifted the sand over their tracks. He watched it blow as the wind drifted in and sifted the sand around on its own until he was satisfied and they were out.

“Get forensics down here for DNA. One forensics. Someone who’s not a Labrador in Gran’s crystal. The girl who sings while she rolls dead bodies around would be good. DNA from the skulls and your missing, somewhere it won’t be noticed. Don’t make a bloody scene out here. No lantern cars, no work lights, no tape, no hazmat suits. Tourists don’t go down as far as we did and force a door that shouldn’t have opened and hardly squeaked. It needs to keep looking that way.” He pulled his latex gloves, threw them in the front seat of his car, unzipped his jacket. “Why do you call me for the creepy ones, anyway?”

“The same reason you make me do all the detail work. We’re a team.”

“Ab fab, Dahling. I’m off to my guitar lesson.”

“Off for a pint and the Honey Drippers. More?”

“The forensics girl who sings. She’s the one.”

“You’re too old and not her type.”

“I know, but she’s a lovely voice, she’s smart and takes orders if they’re explained. We’re going to need her, Shona. This one is creepy.”

“You said that.”

“I said it again. And not for the last time.”

Image – Ash N Finn

The Art of Drowning – An Ethereal Mystery

3 writers, no destination – What could go wrong?

Ash N. Finn  The Perilous Reading Society  & Not Very Deep Thoughts