NVDT Totally Random – Happy Birthday Political Failure


Today is the birthday of the Volstead Act.

Huh?

You know, the great American political attempt to legislate morality back in 1919, that in January 1920 became the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Well, if you cut history class or spent it learning about Cinco de Mayo, Jefferson’s slave babies or Washington’s wooden teeth, it was the Thou Shalt Not Drink Demon Alcohol law. Google ridiculous liquor laws for a laugh. One of my faves is a town in California where a man had to have written permission from his wife to buy booze. If I drank, I’d have driven a town or county over. In Texas, there are still dry counties. (!?) With large signage and well-lit drive-through liquor stores a foot over the county line. I ask you, what’s the point? One foot into Texas, weed is illegal. One foot into Oklahoma it is legal? Duh…

What a great segue for – I would take this moment to preach about marijuana, women’s rights to their own bodies, and the general stupidity of trying to run a theocracy inside a democracy. But hell, we can’t get flag wavers or non-native speakers alike to wear masks.

Aside – Has anybody noticed how masks are worn? Like fashion and how to hold your cell phone, mask-wearing is split down lines of age and ethnicity.

We aren’t a diverse culture, we are a bunch of niches standing in line at franchises with menus in six languages. We buy and sell from and to our own. Usually. But dig this – The other night I got behind a car at Rosas. Took forever. I got to the bright sign and speaker, asked the disembodied drive-through voice what happened. “She wanted to know what goo-ac-uh-mole tasted like, and what were tah-mails wrapped in.” I said, “Shit, this is Texas.” Voice says “I know, right? And she had an ‘I voted’ sticker! Twenty-two eighteen at the window.”

My favorite thing about this election cycle is that it’s not about platforms and policies, but about personalities. And free shit. He/She will take away your free shit! He/She is responsible for COVID-19! They’ll take away a million jobs, create a million jobs, take away your guns, take away your pre-existing conditions, build hospitals, take away your welfare, your mail-order ammunition, your gasoline, your Jesus, your police, give you COVID-19, vaccinate you for COVID-19, fire your teachers, pay your teachers more, raise your taxes, close your schools, lower your taxes, steal your tax dollars! This is a conspiracy, that’s a conspiracy. I thought I was tired of pickup truck ads…

We should all know by now none of the shit they’re droning on about is very likely. Why? Because even if they’re elected, they’ll start living on other people’s money and the longer they don’t get shit done, the longer they stay on the tit. I can’t explain how that works. But Pelosi has a $30k fridge full of “let them eat designer ice cream” and couldn’t agree with her own ass that it was time to poop or not. She is not alone with living the trans-party political slogan “I’ll help the people who put me here when it suits me.” Maybe that’s the problem. From the top down, all politicians are so jammed up and full of shit that it’s just a way of life. And all of them claim to be “bi-partisan”, lets-get-things-done types when their voting records are straight down party lines. Which means either way is a vote for stagnation. Would lighting a candle help?

 It’s gotten so absurd that here in Dallas an incumbent got pissed because he claimed the pictures of him that his opponent used in her ads made him look “too black.” WTF? In the midst of BLM you’re afraid to look too black?

An irresponsible hairdresser who opened her shop illegally during the lockdown is running for office, people with no experience except for having a couple of kids and being in the Army think they ought to be in Congress telling us how to live.

People with various targeted surnames are looking for votes from their “community.” Yay! Y’all did such a great job with wherever you’re from you had to leave, so bring on your plan-for-progress-is-saving-water-by-taking-a-dump-in-the-wastebasket-at-McDonalds!

People with perfect hair and perfect teeth who might soon be indicted for something are calling each other liars and mis-representers. “Jane, you ignorant slut.” Life as a Saturday Night Live skit.

Maybe they’ll all get elected, and since they can’t seem to get shit done anyway, regardless of who’s there, maybe they’ll make liquor and a woman’s right to pregnancy termination and being gay and weed illegal again and legislate us some other good old-fashioned morality. Because God knows politicians are the de facto role models for a chaste and moral existence.

Foreign policy. Anybody heard a word about that in this mess? Or how COVID-19 is a global issue, not just a bunch of stupid American politicians on both sides of the aisle tap dancing? No? Me, either. But here’s some good news. At a mosque the size of a county just east of here a dozen guys got arrested for procuring bomb-making materials to celebrate election night regardless of the winner. Who cares? Any opportunity to blow some shit up. Is this a great country or what?What happened to America as the land free of ideological persecution? I mean aside from that Volstead thing. We have paved roads, grocery stores full of food and maybe a couple rolls of toilet paper and some crazies want to turn that into fucking Beirut? Anybody know about real estate prices in Belize?

In conclusion – Celebrate the failure of the Volstead Act for me, as well as the demise of a literate, tolerant democracy. Remember – in times like these Black Lager Matters. But not too black. I prefer the appropriately named Reasonably Corrupt, from Great Raft Brewing.

Here’re my two favorite political signs –

 

Looney Lunes #160 Rise Up, Wimmin 2 fer

Out Damned Spot!

In rural Nepal many families still practice Chhaupadi, a custom that requires all menstruating women to be banished to a small hut or shed for the duration of their period. They are not allowed to interact with or touch any male family members or livestock or enter the family home.

Nepalese men are lucky their women aren’t out in the barn sharpening knives. And pity the lonely fool with a couple of daughters, they all get in sync with mom. Unless it’s World Cup Week.

Yeah, Right, Babe. Sure Thing.

Back in the late 1800s a common argument against giving women the right to vote was that it would allow married men an unfair “extra” vote. As they would surely exercise their influence over their wives to vote alike!

It’s thinking like this that makes me want a word for Male Bimbo.

Gambits #11 – Rattlesnake, Whiskey and Uranium

Plus a Handgun, a Suspended License and a Stolen Car

Character Study +

John D MacDonald, Elmore Leonard, Dashiell Hammett, Laura Levine, Fitzgerald – A few words and a reasonably complete picture. From characters to towns. Solid. You know who and where and aren’t bogged down in details. His suit looked dirty but wasn’t. Avocado appliances, a small box-store table for two. A Grand Canyon dishtowel hung from the oven handle. A big man. Pink. Rubbery. Thin and nervous enough to make it contagious. Yellowish skin. Dark circles under unsteady eyes.  He was wide and plodding. Neckless, shoulderless, bald. His necktie short, loose, the knot partially buried by a third chin.

Okay, enough fun. Gambits is about writing prompts, cues, unusual manners of death. Here’s another one from an old friend of mine. From The Daily Oklahoman. A paper I threw in my youth (quite accurately) from a red Sting Ray.

GUTHRIE (AP) — Police in Oklahoma say they found a rattlesnake, a canister of radioactive powdered uranium and an open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe whiskey during a traffic stop of a vehicle that had been reported stolen.

The traffic stop happened June 26 in Guthrie, about 30 miles (45 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. Guthrie police Sgt. Anthony Gibbs told Oklahoma City TV station KFOR that police don’t know why the uranium was in the vehicle or how it was obtained, though uranium ore can be bought on Amazon.

Gibbs says police also found a gun in the console and a terrarium in the backseat containing a pet Timber rattlesnake.

Gibbs says the driver, Stephen Jennings, was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, transporting an open container of liquor and driving with a suspended license.

There’s the setup, here’s the character – What the hell was this guy up to? A hit man gone to seed?

 

Trivia – Guthrie was the original state capital of Oklahoma. A handful of bu$ine$$ men wanted it in Oklahoma City. Guthrie, the original territorial capital didn’t want to give it up. The capital is where the state seal resides, by God, and it’s in Guthrie. As bu$ine$$ men will do, they arranged to have it stolen from Guthrie. When it arrived they removed it from a canvas bag and set up shop in a downtown OKC hotel. Where there were smart enough to keep it locked up and guarded.

Looney Lunes # 160 – Rise Up, Women 2-Fer

Out Damned Spot!

In rural Nepal many families still practice Chhaupadi, a custom that requires all menstruating women to be banished to a small hut or shed for the duration of their period. They are not allowed to interact with or touch any male family members or livestock or enter the family home.

Nepalese men are lucky their women aren’t out in the barn sharpening knives. And pity the lonely fool with a couple of daughters, they all get in sync with mom. Unless it’s World Cup Week.

Yeah, Right, Babe. Sure Thing.

Back in the late 1800s a common argument against giving women the right to vote was that it would give married men an unfair “extra” vote. As they would surely exercise their influence over their wives to vote alike!

It’s thinking like this that makes me want a word for Male Bimbo.

Gambits #10 B

Why Make It Up When It’s All Right There?

Friends send me strange news bits knowing I will find a use for them. I believe to distract me from using anything personal they might have told me that would read like great fiction. Here’s the real story about the dead woman and the TV from last week. Straight from The Daily Mail. 

“A woman has been killed after falling from the ninth floor of a block of flats in Russia while having sex – but her partner survived after landing on top of her.

The woman, aged 30, was found dead at the base of an apartment block in St. Petersburg on the night of July 5 during what neighbors described as a wild party. Witnesses said they saw a television thrown from the window of the flat, after which the woman and her 29-year-old lover plunged to the ground below. The woman landed head-first on the asphalt and died instantly, local media reported, but the man survived after his fall was broken by her body and nearby bushes. Witnesses told local media that the partially clothed man then got up and went back to rejoin the party.

Police were called, and when they arrived the revelers allegedly threw a mop out of the windows at them. Initial reports suggested the woman had been killed by the falling TV, but images from the scene clearly show her naked from the waist down. After interviewing witnesses, investigators concluded that the couple were having sex on a windowsill when they fell. Two other men were in the flat when the fall happened, but are not thought to have been involved.”

In my Dick Derringer PI version the cops walk away from it because of the TV, no one comes forward about the partially clothed dude for pick-your-reason. In the cop’s interviews the party dudes paint the girl as depressed and despondent over a break up, and the dude who landed on her has bailed. Derringer sets out to uncover the cover up after a scared old lady with an ankle biter dog throws a mop out her window to get his attention. A mop later used in a funny fight scene.

There you have it. Who’s writing it?

Looney Lunes #158

And The New Slang Term For Politician is –

Jellyfish possess a single orifice that serves as both a mouth and an anus.

Gambits #10

If I Were A Procedural Writer – This One is as Perfect as They Come

Set up for Dick Derringer, Private Eye – A woman, naked from the waist down, falls 9 stories out of an apartment window. So does a television. Both are dead. Investigators do a perfunctory inquisition. Satisfied it’s accidental or suicide they walk away. Bruising on the body is from the fall or the TV landing on her. Doesn’t matter, she landed head first. Splat.

Next – Attractive woman, well dressed, composed (or wild haired wild eyed young woman in sweatshirt with too-long sleeves) walks into Dick’s office. “It wasn’t an accident, it wasn’t suicide. Find out what happened.” Dick, the consummate formula PI is always looking for opportunities to 1) get laid, 2) embarrass the cops, 3) strong arm some smart asses, takes the case.

The assignment – What really happened?

Next installment, the real answer. Lets hear it from you plotters out there.

Looney Lunes #157 – Like, Uh…

“Something will pop up in my head. It could be like the weirdest thing. Like all’a sudden like I have a jumping banana in my head. And I stop and pause. I’m like that damn jumping banana is in my head. Like, I don’t know what’s going on.”

Swimmer Ryan Locthe – 12 time Olympic medal winner.

So, like when I get like major grief for like a Ford Scholarship ballet dancer who like drives too fast and like hates fishing but for real, with like, you know, some help from Jackson and like everybody at Peaches Garage welded up her own like totally stellar sounding cherry bomb glasspacks, you know, like I say, well, like being waaaaay good at something doesn’t like, you know, um, pre-clude a character from being, like, well, hip and talented and, umm…goofy. Like all rolled into the same character burrito.

Gambits #9

Get Your Forensics Chops On

In 2013 a Colombian man checked himself into a hospital in Medellin complaining of fever, weight loss and difficulty breathing. Tests revealed he had cancer cells in his lungs but they were 10 times smaller than human cancer cells. More tests and they figured that a tapeworm had infested his body and subsequently contracted cancer, or had already been infected, and passed it on to its host. The man died three days after being diagnosed.

I can see this one. Opening – sweaty emaciated week old stubble man in dirty shirt, his belt obviously cinched to hold up too big pants stumbles in and clutches ER counter. “Hehhh…heh…help…meeee.”

Okay, mystery buffs, who is the victim? How does the murderer do it? Conspire with a restaurant employee, shoot the tapeworm full of radioactive material, active cancer cells, some dread disease? Procedural from hell y’all, promise. Unless you approach it from the ‘shouldn’t have eaten that street vendor cheeseburger in Boys Town’ angle, and then it’s just a case of stupidity complicated by Hepatitis and a random STD.

Source – Rachel Rettner, “Tapeworm Spreads Deadly Cancer to Human”  Scientific American November 2015

Looney Lunes #156 – Open to Interpretation

This could go so many ways…

“Isn’t that sign an oxymoron? Or some form of heresy?”

“I dunno. But we have a pretty good selection of it.”

“?!”