Saw this on Twitter. Don't know the author:
If the Devil punishes bad people, doesn't that make him good--by default?
On the other hand, why must anyone be good for doing what one enjoys? Lots of worms whichever way you take it.
I barely picked up the trash today before the weather turned wet. For a time it was raining like a cow peeing off a bluff onto a flat rock. Now it's just a minor monsoon. They've been saving all day Wednesday will be our bad weather day. Holy crap. What do they call this?
My Rules for Life
1. Eat no dogs
2. When cooking give your mate the nicest portion
3. Do for others.
4. Don't expect others to do for you.
5. Take charge of your own health
6. Try to answer antagonists with logic and humor. In a pinch, anger and sarcasm will do
7. Vote even if you have to hold your nose
8. Stand against perpetual wars
9. Take time for yourself where you can relax and ignore the world
10. Love friends and family in adversity as well as good times
11. Hold your government to the same high standard you set for yourself
The rain was horrible yesterday. I rarely stepped outside the front door. When finally it all seemed to be over for the day, a thunder that seemed to fill the entire sky boomed over us, frightening myself and Rocky. Then it all dissipated. My wife had her hearing aids out at the time and seemed unperturbed. We expect possible hard rain this afternoon and maybe tomorrow. That's the way of it in our part of the country. We were in a steadily worsening drought and now we have an excess of water. I predict an unpredictably rough summer ahead.
Ave Stuart, on a journey from his native Virginia, came into a small western town looking for a bed to spend the night in. He left his tired horse at the livery, with instructions it is fed, groomed, and stabled overnight. He mustered the energy to jump a muddy puddle on his way to the wooden walk on the far side and the Open Arms Hotel. Walking with slow deliberate steps, his weariness nearly overpowering him, Ave made it into the lobby and he dropped his saddlebags by his feet. The clerk was not in sight. “Hello,” he called out.
When nobody came, he pulled his saddlebags along and dropped into a lounge chair. He fell into an immediate deep sleep.
It was morning before he awoke. He moved stiffly in the chair before looking around, first at the full daylight out the window and door glass, then his glance sought out the clerk. A short man with a balding head and droopy mustache fit the description. The clerk looked up from the counter when he noticed that this stranger had begun stirring and seemed about to get up.
“Why didn’t you wake me?” Ave said. “I would‘ve took a room.”
“Tried. You were sleeping too good,” the clerk replied. “Anyway you saved yourself a quarter. You just owe me fifty cents.”
Ave felt enough rested to resume travel. He stood up tall in order to stretch a bit, then pushed his fingers in a pocket to fish out some coins. He approached the desk to hand the clerk his money.
“Where you coming from?” the clerk asked.
“Virginia,” Ave said.
The clerk squinted with weak eyes at the coins. “Ain’t that where they’re fightin’ a war?”
“There and other states,” he said as he again took up his saddlebags.
“What’s it all about? I don’t see the benefit of Americans killing themselves that way,” the clerk persisted.
Ave let down his bags and looked deep into himself. “The issues are confused,” he said. “They been spoiling to have this fracas a lot of years. I won’t be conscripted to fight. Insane. My father put on a grey uniform to fight on one side, but my brother put on blue to fight for the other. Apart from I can’t see killing other Americans, I sure don’t want my bullets pointed at family.”
“Ain’t the big question about the slaves? Ain’t Lincoln about freeing those poor souls?”
“He didn’t seem to me to be about to do that. But, now they’re fighting, who knows?” Ave said. “My mind was so troubled I didn’t know what to do, except move away from it. I could be a fugitive because I refused to be conscripted.”
“Well, good luck,” the clerk said, turning back to the paperwork on the desk, signaling his interest was ended.
Moments later, Ave found himself outside the hotel, back on the plank walkway, with a slanting sun on his face. He appreciated that his night was spent indoors for the first time in many days, even if in an uncomfortable chair. He slipped his hat on, tilted to shade his eyes.
There was a bustle of street activity, with random pedestrians and riders dotting the business area. At the end of the street, which was not far, he saw his first ever Indian. It was a brave of morose countenance, leading his pony, casting wary eyes at the citizens. His long strides bespoke some urgency.
The Indian paused at the center of the town and studied each building front. After an initial scan, he searched again, minutely examining every feature of each building. He heaved a sigh, then, and began looking into faces. It was obvious he hoped for someone approachable to ask questions of.
Ave also scanned the buildings until his gaze caught on the words DOCTOR’S OFFICE. He approached the native American and nodded. “Are you looking for a doctor?” he said.
The brave shook his head yes, vigorously.
“It’s right there,” he said, pointing.
The brave solemnly looked into Ave’s eyes and grunted his thank you, after which he tied his pony and went up the steps to the doctor’s office. Two bearded men watching hopped down from a freight wagon and followed him. Ave heard a tussle up there. He looked on as the brave came tumbling back down, rolling all the way into the street. The men hastened down to finish their work.
The heavier man stomped the Indian’s leg as the other man sought a better angle from which to aim a heavy leather boot. Ave lost all caution, coming between the second man and his target. “Hold on,” Ave said. “This man’s my friend.”
The second bearded man paused, as though slapped in the face, on hearing a white speaking up for what to him was a vile animal deserving of torture and death. It was enough distraction to allow the Indian to leap to his feet and pull his knife. He slashed the air, following around as the men circled, looking for an opening. Ave pulled a pistol from his pants and stepped up. “You two need to back off,” he said. “This man did nothing to you.”
The teamsters turned their attention to the gun and halted. “Mister, what’s it to you? We just hurrahing an Injun,” said the first man. “You got no right to stop us. It ain’t illegal what we’re doing.”
“This man has trouble; looking for a doctor. Why is he of offense to you?” Ave Said.
“He is an Indian. That’s enough.” the first man snarled.
So intense was the confrontation between the white men the Indian took advantage of their inattention by lunging at the second man, slashing him across the breast before sprinting to his pony and getting away.
“Shoot him,” the first man shouted.
But Ave just watched him ride away.
As he stuffed the pistol back in his pants, he was turning to go, when a group of bystanders that had begun to gather and grow during the confrontation surrounded him. They all looked on while the first teamster helped his friend up the steps to the doctor’s office. Ave tried stepping around some men, but he was blocked from leaving. “Mister,” said the self-appointed leader, Ed Straight, “you caused a man to get injured by interfering when it was none of your business. Now, we have let those savages camp near our town much too long. We are going to get every man living here and we are going to wipe out that village. Don’t expect to go nowhere. You are riding with us to solve the problem you created. Get your horse.”
Ed Straight and another of the townsmen accompanied Ave to the livery. Then they made him sit in the saloon while the town organized to attack the Indians. Ed ushered him to a table. “Drink?” he said
Ave was no drinker, but he requested and was brought a tall glass of water.
“Have you spent time around Indians?” Ed asked. “I have. They took my friend’s father and staked him to the ground on an anthill. They slit his eyelids to let the ants get in. Then they left him alone in the hundred-degree sun. I could tell you a hundred such stories.”
Ave acted on evidence, not hearsay. He didn’t know if the story was true, embellished, or the hundredth repeat of a lie. “What was the friend’s father up to in the minutes before the Indians took him?” he said.
Ed reacted with anger, to be doubted by a likely sympathizer. “Just sit there and be quiet,” he demanded.
It was no more than a half-hour until the town was ready. The three trod into the street and took up their ponies. Ave’s reluctance to get mounted was met with half a dozen riders, each one prepared to deal with him in the harshest manner necessary. In the end, he left the town with them, each rider bearing a rifle, a pistol, and a sword.
The Indian camp was two miles off, consisting of buffalo hide teepees and a corral on one side. A short distance beyond sparkled a small stream of water. A patch of woods filled the territory beyond. There were perhaps sixty residents, including men, women, and children.
The townsmen topped a rise that looked down on the camp. They paused to check their weapons and to await Ed’s call to attack. Ave had been forced into the middle and a sword insinuated into his hand. Ed held up a hand. When he let it down, saying, “Go,” Ave saw one of the braves look up and sound the alarm. Indian warriors swarmed into the open.
Ave’s eyes were drawn to the same Indian he had helped out in town. Bullets went flying as the townsmen rode down. They went among the teepees, hacking and clubbing the disorganized Indians. Most of the Indians had not even reached their weapons before getting killed. Because the townsmen had been expecting him to take part in the massacre, Ave shot his gun high over the camp and pretended an accident that caused his loss of the sword. He watched the Indian from town go down, sliced by a sword. By this time, the men were going from tent to tent, slaughtering the children and the women.
At last, their lust for blood satisfied, the men gathered for the return home. “Not a man lost,“ an exultant townsman was heard to brag.
As they prepared to move out, Ed pushed his pony near Ave. “Ride on, mister,” he commanded. “Count yourself lucky you ain’t one of them.”
Ave sat stationary, unable to turn his eyes away from the field of bloody corpses. He figured the Indian from town had gone there to seek help for his wife or perhaps child. He knew now that there is no escaping brutality among men. When he moved, he set his course northward, for he had heard of places like Montana, where one might go for years without encountering a single human being.
We are getting the most rain since Hurricane Harvey. It was rough and dangerous last evening. The rain continued all night. Lightning caused two destructive fires. A tree fell on a man's porch. The current level is moderate but constant. I set out the trash can, but would not be surprised if pick up got canceled. We get some version of this nearly every year, fluctuating between drought and floods.
For a few years my wife and I have been walking in a certain park. Usually one lap around a small lake. We used to see the occasional deer, but not for a long time. One time a small alligator got in the lake, but they took it away. We bring cracked corn for the ducks and geese and peanuts for the squirrels. Every goose that comes to the lake avoids any other goose and it joins up with its own group of ducks. Why they hang with ducks instead of other geese is a mystery. The squirrels go berserk to get the peanuts. I always give them three each. It used to be that occasional blue jays would take a peanut or two away from the squirrels. Lately they get right down and compete for the peanuts. We get out there four days a week on average.
Some of the classics just don't sit right with me. Take Don Quixote. He's not an especially intelligent man. He blunders about trying to be a knight. The premise grows old long before it gets to the middle even. If Cervantes had written a short story I could perhaps have appreciated it. Such thoughts inspired me to write the following.
Don Quixote's in the parlor
Stiffly in his armor
He doesn't want your tea
Says he vainly fought some giants
But has no complaints
"It was a day's work for me"
I told him, "Crazy little punk
You're a fool for all that spunk
Why not go home, you're tired now
That lame old horse is dying
And Sancho Panza's crying
Please release me from my vow"
Don Quixote Don Quixote
de la Mancha
Tired of your mantra
Go on home Don Quixote
All the world is a minefield
And you're going to have to yield
Go on home now and take your bed
You don't know cows from great monsters
Citadels from dumpsters
Your impossible dreams have fled
Dulcinea the simpleton
Has reduced you to a crumb
And your lance has become a crutch
I know you're a pious man
But you've stood your final stand
You're like a van without a clutch
Don Quixote Don Quixote
de la Mancha
Tired of your mantra
Go on home Don Quixote
When I was nineteen years old, I discovered Generation of Vipers, a book by Philip Wylie. Captivated, I bought every Wylie book I could find after that. I loved his work so much I made him my (unwitting) father figure. Something in my personality makes me do that. Bobby Darin was my unwitting designated brother. Constantly, many of Philip Wylie's words pop up in my mind as I'm witnessing the devolvement of American civilization. Rarely do I recall which notion fits which book. I recalled this morning that he noted that the amount of democracy and human rights we were enjoying in the mid 20TH Century is an aberration of history. He said democracies generally fade very rapidly. Somehow I thought it would take longer for ours to fall apart. He wrote elsewhere of the easy time of it it would be to stage a coup on our government. Some of his last writing was beginning to focus on big business. He was a conservative, but he smelled something rotten there. He died in 68 or 69.
Wylie also wrote science fiction. When Worlds Collide and a 1930 novel of a man strikingly similar to Superman - Gladiator- are the most famous.
W C Fields always amazes me still, years after death. I had forgotten about this quote until now.
Liberty and Freedom and Worship---there is a super-abundance of all three in this U.S.A under the law. The only people who are not being meted out full portions are the colored folks.
W C Fields
That's advanced thinking and unexpected.
Last year lightning struck a pine in the far back yard. The tree died so slowly I didn't notice at first. Then I decided since it was dying from the top down it was not a real danger. But nothing works out that way. Encroaching drought weakened two trees next to it and they died immediately after the great freeze we recently had. They were near enough the property line that the neighbors across the back fence complained about loose debris. I located a tree man to cut off the limbs of all three and fifteen feet down from the top, all for three hundred dollars. The center tree however was rotten enough on top that he had to cut off a much bigger piece all at one time. It came down on the double fence. So the trees are taken care of and I repaired my wire fence. After some much needed rest I have to put new boards on a section of the wooden fence. Who says I don't have anything to keep me occupied. Still working at finding a blower motor.
In the late 60s, preparing to leave LA, California, for about the fourth time, I approached the rail yard, knowing beforehand which tracks advance trains to San Antonio, Texas. The car I was obliged to settle in offered little shelter; I heard a rail worker guffaw at the sight of my body stuffed in a cubbyhole. He must have been a good Joe, because he stayed back as the cars began rolling. Somewhere along the way the train paused long enough for me to find an open boxcar. I joined a group of five hoboes. They mostly stayed to themselves, except for one man who worried me. He spoke to himself nonstop all evening and all night while pacing all over the floor. At one point he addressed a few words to me. I stared back at him. My Aspergers' and my mistrust locked up my tongue. "Do you fear me?" he said.
I continued to stare until he went off to continue the monolog. The night kept growing colder. I found a chunk of cardboard to use for cover. It helped, but not a whole lot.
By the time we reached San Antonio, I was the only one left aboard. It once again was dark when walking took me outside the city limits, going northwest. I walked at least half of the remaining 36 miles to my mother's home. This likely saved my legs. By the time I reached my destination and then slept a night, frostbite seized my feet, but not my legs. If you have ever felt the pain of an asleep arm or leg awakening, multiply it about twenty times and that is how my feet felt if touched by anything. About two weeks later, I was able to walk.
I didn't learn any lessons. I actually had other hobo style adventures that were a lot more dangerous.
Thanks for sharing. For me it’s like a movie. It easily could been me in late 69s -‘72 timeframe. Glad you made it.
I’m traveling on the road with my dog, Honey. Back to upstate NY to Maxine’s lake home. Tonight I meet her in MD at a friends where she flew ahead.
I’m in a restaurant grabbing a takeout. Still with my mask.
Just reading a post by a man who bought a handheld bug zapper. So tonight he has no bugs. It started me reminiscing a time when we kept a fly sprayer handy. There was no swatting because it was so much easier to spray them with DDT. We kids took it on ourselves to spray any time we saw the need. I hope it doesn't stunt my growth.
Kilgore: “I Love the smell of Napalm in the morning!”
Thanks for sharing. Did I miss the attribution? Who was the author?
The author was edgarblythe.
He’s very good. Tell him I said so.
I'm sure he will appreciate it.