Sunday, November 28, 2021

The Flaming Toasters Move!

  

I am gradually clearing up some space on my main Soundcloud account.  The latest "graduate" is The Flaming Toasters, who have moved to https://soundcloud.com/theflamingtoasters.  All links to their old tracks will not work, but you can find all 3 tracks on their new Soundcloud page.  The songs are still fun, so if you want to rock out in the garage, please give them a spin.  By the way, none of the pictures are of the band because I couldn't find any pictures of us; they're just recent random scans of old photos.  While creating the new page, I discovered yet another band with the same name (unless it's the same band I discovered 8 years ago, but it seems like a different one).  It is a cool name for a band.  These Flaming Toasters are funky, and they are at https://soundcloud.com/flamingtoasters.  Despite appearing to be a power-trio as well, I doubt they are the Bowling Green, Ohio USA band from circa 1991 that I was in, but maybe I just blanked on our funk period. 

On a sidenote, I wish some more old BG rockers would upload their old tracks.  I'd love to hear some Sheepish Grin, Dutch Crumbs, Opiate Of The Masses, Big Hunk O' Cheese, Art School, and the rest of the cool bands from when I went to school there available online.  I did find some kind soul uploaded some stuff to YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/user/woodytobiassr/videos, but there's a lot more seemingly totally unavailable except on some moldering cassette tapes.  Some of these dudes are old now, and it would be a shame if the music would become completely unavailable because they won the clottery or something.  Furthermore, I think I have all of 6 tracks from 2021 in my best of playlist this year and it's the end of November, so clearly, the current music world could use some help anyway.

For more old music from me (on vinyl!), please buy the Yeast? 7".

Sunday, November 21, 2021

New Song!: "Honeymoon Rhinitis"

I believe I got the idea for this song while reading Breath by James Nestor, which is a very interesting book.  It's all about breathing.  I was curious about it because I was working a gig where I dealt a lot of folks who had trouble breathing.  Nestor covers a lot of topics related to breathing, and one of the most curious ones is the connection between the nose and eroticism.  He mentions a condition called honeymoon rhinitis, wherein a person sneezes uncontrollably during intimate encounters.  Now there's a topic for a silly love song!  Musicwise, I channeled Kurt Cobain scoring an ad for Viagra.  The lyrics are below.  It's the same deal as always.  If you like a song, then feel free to cover it if you're in a band or whatnot.  I love to hear covers of my songs, so please let me know about your version.  If you start making money, then send me a check/we can work out a deal.  Similarly, if you want to use a song for your Youtube video or whatnot, then just let me know.  It's usually fine by me unless it's a commercial product or whatnot (and then it's likely fine as well--I just want my cut).  Find out first though.  Write me at wredfright ATATAT yahoo DOTT com.

Just the scent of you
Makes me reach for a tissue
I get so excited that
Even though I try to fight it

Honeymoon Rhinitis

I try to hold it back
But out it comes, the sneezing attack
I get so embarrassed
We haven't even fully undressed

You don't have to keep saying Gesundheit
Maybe just turn out the light
Our love will never run dry
Because there will always be a tear in my eye

Written November 2021
Recorded November 2021

Want more Wred Fright music?  Order the Yeast? 7" here!

Sunday, November 14, 2021

drinkdrankdrunk: "Coed Confidential" by The Midnight Rider

while we’re on the subject of virgins, i might as well run down the list of coeds i tried to “groom” during my 10-year tenure at shady state . . . “groom” is in quotes as an inside joke for myself--and make sure i’d put your 2 divorces and your 3 abortions up against my predilection for masturbating to facebook pix of former students any time . . . you’re out doing damage in the real world while i’m sitting home alone with the spank towel in one hand and the vaseline in the other . . . for that matter:  go fuck yourself--this is my 7th grade dream about carrying a pretty girl’s purse and giving her all my stuff--it ain’t yours . . . facebook pix are a good way to categorize my scopes over the years though and rest assured that THE ONLY FACEBOOK PIC OF ANYONE THAT I’VE EVER TRULY “LIKED” IS ONE WHERE THEY’RE IN A BIKINI OR SITTING ON THE TOILET OR IN THEIR UNDERWEAR . . . if i pretended to like another one of your pix, rest assured that i was stonecold lying . . . before i get to the list, i guess i should describe the key to the shady state student body:  ATHLETES . . . aside from a few farmer’s daughters who didn’t want to leave home, virtually every hot girl on my list was a college athlete--no one came to shady state for an education . . . they either came to the school to continue playing the sport that they loved or because they got a full-ride scholarship . . . in other words, would you rather go to the university of iowa or a prop ed school in a bumfuck town? . . . these girls ain’t auburn cheerleaders, and i’m not an auburn professor . . . i usually have high-quality weed though--and there’s nothing else to do in iowa except play softball, grow a moustache, and die . . . you wanna go in alphabetical order?--it’s how they’re categorized in my facebook bikini collection . . .

1) a2 was a smoking-hot, dutch soccer player with a big nose and a killer body . . . she used to bring me homemade dutch cookies after class . . . after she graduated and moved to alaska (to study fish), we became facebook pen pals . . . nothing ever became of our love, but i still dream of that tattoo of a cartoon monkey on her bikini line . . . i think she’s a born-again christian too, so that’s why i don’t mention drugs or curse in our correspondence . . .

2) a3 had red hair and was 6’ tall . . . she would stay after class to have me read her palm and sob because “no one would ever marry her because she was so tall” (and self-hatred is easily the quickest way to my heart) . . . after she transferred to a school in wisconsin, i asked her to a brewers game, and she got scared . . . i’m still her facebook friend, but the best i can do for a2 in 2016 is to like pix of her mangy cat . . .

3) b was a canadian, soccer player with a rock-hard body . . . there’s no real story other than i tried to pick her up in a bar the night before her graduation . . . she was hanging all over me, and we posed for dozens of pix, and i held her hand at last call and begged her to go to the baseball afterparty with me . . . she didn’t, and that was the last time i ever saw her . . .

4) e was a strange case (even by shady state standards) . . . she was a 28-year-old sophomore with a dental hygienist’s body (and that’s a compliment) who flirted with everyone . . . she came from a wealthy family but appeared to be a fuck up . . . she would text me 20 times a night talking about how she wanted to see my house, but she never came over when i invited her . . . she eventually transferred to the university of iowa and then to wisconsin-milwaukee (where she got really fat) and then she dropped out of school to be a personal trainer, and i lost track of her . . . whatever the fuck she was, the facebook pix of her playing ping pong in a bikini with her pussy lips resting on the table will always be in my top 10 all-time favs . . .

5) besides a1, j1 was prolly my best chance at coed love . . . the major difference between j1 and the other girls on the list is that she was actually smart (and gushed about how much she loved me when she gave the shady state valedictory address at graduation) . . . i had dinner with her parents and started driving down to the dirty/river bar where she was the head bartender . . . we went on a couple dates, and the one i remember the most was a romantic stroll along the river . . . the last time i saw j1 was on a random tuesday night in 2012 when i drove down to her bar to surprise her . . . there was a 19-year-old groupie there whom 23-year-old j1 had obviously been serving for years . . . i tried to make nice and periodically the three of us would slip outside to smoke a joint . . . if you want a small sample of the kid’s character, i asked him what he did and he responded:  “sometimes my neighbor pays me to help him move shit, but usually i just hang out by the river all day” . . . in the parlance of local culture, the kid was a river rat . . . i knew j1 was a river rat too, but she seemed to have bigger dreams . . . anyway, the three of us closed the bar that night, and eventually we were smoking weed and setting off fireworks in the parking lot . . . at around 4 a.m., j1 informed me that they were leaving and she hopped into the passenger seat of the kid’s 1998 chevy cavalier and drove out-of-my-life forever . . . she invited me to a few house parties after that, but i always made up an excuse not to go . . . per facebook, she married some skinny/bearded/liberal douche this spring--i never met him, but he looked like every other skinny/liberal/douche i had ever met at kent state (and i guess that’s an improvement over mississippi river rat, but not by much) . . . if you’re looking for a moral to the j1 story, i think there are two . . . first, libras have no heart . . . they’re like the wind and blow in and blow out for no particular reason . . . the second moral is that YOU SHOULD NEVER TRUST A BARTENDER . . . they can be sweet/gentle/good for 30 days, and then on the 31st day be snorting crack off their coworker’s bunghole in a bathroom stall--it’s just the nature of the business, and my theory extends to all restaurant workers . . . i guess if your livelihood depended on the tips you made making drinks for assholes, you might live your life on that dime . . . of all the girls on this list, j1 disappointed me the most--and after a lifetime of losing girls like j1 to dudes-whose-mouths-i-wouldn’t-pee-in, i’ll cut cunts like that out of my life as quickly/deliberately as possible . . .

6) at one point, j2 was the most attractive girl at shady state, but then the lipstick lesbians got to her . . . j2 was 5’ and the star of both the shady state women’s basketball and golf teams . . . she was in several of my classes and would sometimes stay late to give me a back massage when no one was looking . . . during the fall of j2’s junior year, shady state got a new women’s basketball coach (who had been fired from her previous position for having sex with her players), and j2 stopped coming to class . . . after a few months, j2 and her coach had matching outfits and haircuts and within 2 years, j2 and her coach left to take coaching positions at another school out west . . .

7) k came to shady state with her high school boyfriend in tow . . . k wasn’t particularly smart or attractive, but she had really long legs, and it was apparent from the scabies scars that she liked to rub up against her boyfriend 24-7 . . . after some random weekend debauchery, her boyfriend announced that he had turned mormon and called off their engagement . . . after graduation, k took a job as a middle school teacher in town and started packing on the pounds . . . i ran into her coming out of a local bar one night and drunkenly invited her to a wedding--she declined, but every 6 months or so she’ll drunk-dial me and tease that she wants to come over (which she inevitably never does) . . .

8) some of my friends would argue that i don’t like fat girls, but i don’t think that’s the case at all--i don’t like divorcees, and i despise single mothers . . . kalifornia k was on the same women’s basketball team as j2 . . . at the time, kalifornia k weighed 150 lbs, but you could always tell that she was a trip-to-the-buffet away from weighing 200 lbs . . . kalifornia k had a beautiful face and was quite pisces-sweet . . . she’d come over to my house to smoke weed, but always stayed loyal to her hometown boyfriend whom she planned to marry . . . eventually they got married, and now she weighs 225 to his 300 lbs (and i respect that) . . .

9) lady gaga is next on the list--the students gave gaga that nickname because she was a platinum blond latina from chicago with marilyn-style piercings and an attitude . . . gaga and i began bonding when she would have to leave class every day at 12:45 to talk to her mom (who was calling from prison) . . . at one point, she even put me on the phone with her mom who cried while thanking me for letting her talk to her daughter during the only time she was allowed to make phone calls . . . gaga was whip-smart too--like i won’t bore you with the details, but basically she let me know that buffers judged her a slut the same way they judged me as fat . . . towards the end of the school year, gaga and her friends would come over to my house to smoke weed 2-3 times a week . . . unfortunately wherever gaga went, a crew of black dudes who wanted to fuck her would follow (and maybe they get laid more than i do out of sheer persistence--either that or it’s their giant schlongs) . . . gaga transferred to iowa state, and she promised to invite me to all the dorm parties, so look for me on the des moines news . . .

10) m-the-thief was never in my class, but she did work at the local cleaners . . . she had short red hair, big titties, and was always high (prolly because she was a drug dealer) . . . she was also a leo and therefore needed constant attention/adoration . . . during that particular period, a1’s sister lived about 5 minutes away and was always coming over to mooch my virginia weed . . . i always gave it to a1’s sister for free because i wanted a1’s family to like me, plus she looked a shitload like a1 . . . i decided to ask m-the-thief if she could hook me up with weed for a1’s sister . . . the transactions went perfectly the first 2 times, but m-the-thief claimed that a “black chicago street gang” stole my $300 from her friend the third time i tried to buy it from her--m-the-thief never offered to pay me back, and i didn’t want to make a1’s sister pay for something she never got . . . i suggested to m-the-thief that she pay me back in adderall, but she never did . . . i also invited her on a date to professional wrestling, but m-the-thief claimed that she hated professional wrestling--and 6 months later, m-the-thief and her new, fat, pennsylvania boyfriend are wearing matching rowdy roddy piper shirts at monday night raw in philadelphia . . . m-the-thief had moved to pennsylvania without ever telling me or paying me back . . .

11) the virgin m is prolly my best shot at getting to 3rd base in 2016 . . . the virgin m is a goody-2-shoes who kinda took up the slack at shady state last semester after most of the faculty and staff were laid off . . . the virgin m was on every committee (including the faculty finish strong committee with me) and organized every dance/tee shirt/dorm party during the final semester before the final closure . . . the virgin m had a 4.0 gpa and was also the all-conference goalie on the soccer team . . . she was a junior last semester and transferred to a private college in dubuque (less than an hour away from me) for her senior year . . . the virgin m’s face is kinda blah, but she has a smoking, little body . . . her dad is a high-ranking republican official in wisconsin (their neighbor is paul ryan) and most of her classmates think she’s somewhere between a snob and a prude . . . so why does the virgin m like me?--i’d like to think that she can see through to the virgin midnight rider . . . she’s barely 21 years old but spent the semester following me around like a puppy . . . she even invited me to a brewers game (chaperoned, of course, by one of her fat friends), and i accepted . . . she texts me every 2-3 days and told me that i was “#1 on her list of shady state people that she wanted to see”--i returned serve by telling her that i’d do my “puppy dance the moment i saw her in the window” . . .

12) p was an hawaiian bombshell who played volleyball for shady state . . . her big brown tits were the size of cantaloupes, and she used to date kris kristofferson’s son . . . she constantly flirted with me (to the point of telling drug stories in lieu of finishing her final comp exam), but then again, she flirted with everyone . . . she was a bit of a mooch too--like she’d promise to come over to smoke, but whenever she did, she brought the whole volleyball team . . .

13) sometimes p would bring z with her . . . z was prolly a lesbian but that didn’t stop her from rubbing up against me any chance she got . . . my best z story has to do with a party at the volleyball house right before the fall of shady state . . . my aunt had passed away in virginia, but i promised z that i would hop off the plane and drive directly to her house (which i did after snorting some adderall and picking up some fireworks as a party favor) . . . about 30 seconds after i arrived, the police showed up to bust the party . . . i zipped inside the front door and immediately threw the fireworks into a hall closet as 50 kids began shouting my name . . . 30 seconds later, the police busted in and kicked everyone who wasn’t a resident out (as i hid in z’s closet with her panties on my head/in my mouth) . . . after the police left, z’s hot blonde sister packed a bowl, and somewhere in the mix, z recorded me smoking weed with her iphone . . . she didn’t tell me about the video until the following week while taking her final exam, but i didn’t really care--shady state was about to fail and besides, i knew that a pair of z’s panties was now hanging on my bedpost . . . you might also wonder why i didn’t get in trouble for being the only professor at a college party when the police came . . . in any other scenario, the lesbian nun would have reported me to the local human rights commission, but in the spring of 2016, the shady state intelligentsia had essentially quit-on-the-job, and there was no one to punish me--the locals all knew i was there, but the corporation could not have cared less . . .

14) in the old days, i always had a shot with tall/fat/ugly girls, but in 2016, they’ve all proudly turned lesbian . . . zz topless was the more tall-than-fat shotputter on the shady state women’s track team . . . we always seemed to wind up at the same parties, and she always wanted to take pictures with me to post on facebook . . . zz topless had red hair and large features and came across as a wannabe sorority girl (shady state had no sororities) . . . zz topless got my attention the night she put her right hand on my left thigh while feeling up her girlfriend’s right thigh with her left hand under the table in a bar--at one point she felt my erection, and i could see that she wasn’t wearing panties . . . of course, she wound up going home and fucking her girlfriend that night, and i was obliged to cheer her on at several incredibly-boring track meets for the rest of the semester . . . zz topless was a bitch, and that wasn’t the only time she made me watch her hook up with another girl--i think she got off on it . . . my prediction:  zz topless will be pregnant by a (male) construction worker by the time she’s 28 . . .

15) i saved the story of a4 for last because it sums up the utter futility of my love life . . . a4 went to shady state for 2 semesters but ultimately flunked out (i gave her an A-) due to “performance anxiety” (which you could also read as drug addiction) . . . a4 was a party girl who lived 45 minutes away in yet another river town . . . we kept in touch after she flunked out, and i would periodically visit her in the bar where she was a waitress . . . after about 6 months of popping in, i finally ask her out . . . everything went well (i made her laugh and got her high in the alley), but her female friends kept showing up at the bar to cockblock me . . . i hung in, and eventually we wound up getting high at her uncle’s house at 3 a.m. (and her trashy friends continued to follow us wherever we went) . . . eventually, i gave her a kiss on the cheek and drove home . . . the facebook pix of her licking whipped cream off a stick were nice, so i tried asking her out again 3 months later only to discover that she was 2 months pregnant by a river rat that made j1’s river rat look like johnny depp . . . i’m sometimes obliged to like 2016 facebook pix of a4’s 4-year-old son pretending to be batman in a swing, but if i were king-of-the-world, i’d joker-wrap the chain around the kid's neck and choke him out

The Midnight Rider prefers to remain mysterious.  You could visit his website, but he won't say where it is.  You could read his books, but he won't say what they are.  You could email him, but I'm pretty sure spam@gofuckyourself.gov is not a real email address.  In a world where everyone is repping their Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, sex tapes, line of clothing, new microbrew, virus panic vaccine status, and overall brand, I find that refreshing.  I am happy to have the Rider ride on drinkdrankdrunk.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Tales From The Virus Panic #3: "The Photocopy Protein"

Dr. K was hogging the photocopier again.

Dr. W sighed and waited for his turn to copy an article out of a journal.

Again.

She told him it would just be a minute, and they started talking.  He asked what she was working on.  She asked what he was working on.  A partnership was born.  Together, they tried to get messenger RNA (mRNA) to get into the body and tell cells what proteins to make to help fight diseases without the body's immune system freaking out and swatting it down.

After a decade of work, they thought they cracked the problem.

Some others did too.

In 2008, a company was founded to utilize mRNA to fight cancer.  They wanted to help people.

And make money.

In 2008, a child was born in Ohio as well.

The company and child were on a collision course.

The mRNA treatments showed promise but also triggered autoimmune issues.  A body could only take so many treatments before it started destroying itself in an effort to destroy the artificial mRNA.

The company started to focus on treatments that only required one or two doses instead of repeated doses:  vaccines.

Meanwhile, the child in Ohio grew up.  She liked to dance.  She was a healthy and happy girl who loved to help others.

In 2020, politicians and public health officials were panicking about a new coronavirus.  They tried lockdowns.  They tried masks.  The virus still virused.  They still hoped for deliverance.  They asked for a vaccine.

The company was already on it.  The genetic sequence of the virus was posted by Chinese scientists, and the company used it to create a snippet to slip into cells.  The little photocopier inside a cell started cranking out copies of spike proteins.  The body recognized these as intruders and started cranking out photocopies of its own:  antibodies that would smash the spikes.  Then when the virus showed up with its spike proteins, the body would smash them and wouldn't get sick.

That was the plan anyway.

The government was in a rush.  They had made the virus a big deal so they could look like heroes, and now they couldn't stop it.

They weren't looking good.

The company and others working on similar vaccines said we could help but the government needed to shield them from lawsuits in case it didn't work as planned.

The government said sure and invoked the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act, an earlier government giveaway to the pharmaceutical industry who gave money to the politicians who wrote the laws governing the pharmaceutical industry.

If you got injured from the vaccine, you couldn't sue the maker.  

If you got injured from the vaccine, you couldn't sue the government because of sovereign immunity.

America threw out the king in 1776, but they kept his sovereign immunity.

The government did kindly set up a fund for vaccine injuries though; so far, they've approved 5% of the claims that had successfully navigated the bureaucratic maze before they died.

The others were just shit out of luck.

After some hurried and dubious clinical trials (though the government and company would claim that "no corners were cut"), the government, of course, approved the vaccine by the company.  Then both government and company encouraged people to get it.

Since the virus mainly affected older people, the rush was on to protect them, so the vaccine was only approved for adults at first.

But the company wanted to help more people.

And make more money.

So they started the process to get the vaccine approved for children as well.

The child's father was a nurse.  The child's mother was an engineer.  They worked for big companies.  They believed in science.  They believed in vaccines.  They enrolled their children in the clinical trial at their local hospital.  The child was glad to help people.

They gave half the kids in the trial the vaccine.

For an illness almost no child is at serious risk from.

A photocopy of the rushed adult trial, the trial was declared a success, and the government approved the vaccine for children, starting first with adolescents.

The government photocopier copied out another approval.

But the child didn't feel so well.  Almost immediately after her second dose, she complained of stomach pain.  

The company dutifully noted this in their report data:  child had tummyache.

Maybe it was something she ate.

The photocopier made copies of the report for the regulatory panel.

The company didn't note how the child later couldn't walk and needed a feeding tube to live.

All to prevent a disease she was at little risk from.

The company and government didn't want to hear from her, told her she was just hysterical and it was all in her head.

It certainly had nothing to do with the vaccine or the autoimmune problems that plagued the early development of mRNA treatments.

Anyway, they were too busy photocopying press releases touting the vaccine's success.

One senator did listen though.

He also was ignored, when he wasn't being called a crank.

Instead, the government sent the surgeon general on The View encouraging every parent to get children vaccinated.

Save the 5-year-olds!

The View didn't invite the girl onto the show.  After all, unlike the company, how many commercials would she buy?

The company's stock price was up again today.

Meanwhile, virus infections were up in countries with high vaccination rates and down in countries with low vaccination rates.

Probably just seasonal variations in the hemispheres, the company and government said.  They also said if you tested positive for the virus and got shot to death, you died of the virus, but if you got the vaccine and died the next day, the vaccine had nothing to do with it.

It didn't seem as if the company and government could add things up, at least when they didn't like the results.

The girl learned a valuable lesson though, should she survive her adolescence.

Don't copy adults.

They're mostly fools.

This is a work of fiction, but it's based on real incidents.  Here are some links to source material:

https://www.sirillp.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Letter-to-Federal-Health-Agencies-Regarding-Maddie-and-Clinical-Trials-for-Children.pdf

https://www.ronjohnson.senate.gov/2021/10/media-advisory-sen-johnson-holds-expert-panel-on-federal-vaccine-mandates-and-vaccine-injuries

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/12/16/covid-vaccine-side-effects-compensation-lawsuit.html

https://www.statnews.com/2020/11/10/the-story-of-mrna-how-a-once-dismissed-idea-became-a-leading-technology-in-the-covid-vaccine-race/

https://www.pennmedicine.org/coronavirus/vaccine/qa-with-drew-weissman

And here's a commercial that was refused airplay:  

https://odysee.com/@VSRF:d/maddieaddenied:3

If you need some cheering up after this, then please read Edna's Employment Agency where the idiots are fictional and amusing and not in charge of governments and corporations like in real life.

Monday, November 8, 2021

Tales From The Virus Panic #2: "Democracy Inaction"

Suzy believed in democracy, but she didn't believe in getting up early in the morning, so it took some work for her friend Wilma to convince her to work the polls for the election.  Nevertheless, Suzy signed up and dutifully attended her training session at the local public library where she learned the rules of the election and how to operate the machinery by which the election was conducted.

The day before the election she got a phone call from the board of elections that the evening setup was canceled.  Instead, they would go in even earlier the next morning and set up then.

Suzy swore then to never let Wilma talk her into doing anything she didn't want to do again.  The nasty little cold virus going around that the news was always talking about had already made her regret signing up to work the polls.

Meanwhile, the president's public health official, feeling her power swell, had really laid on the fire and brimstone in her conference call with the latest group of state governors.  Feeling pleased with herself, she went home and masturbated.

The elderly governor of one Midwestern state, however, was scared silly.  He was terrified of dying, especially before he could achieve his dream of one day being president.  He knew time was running out as it was; he didn't need this nasty Chinese virus slaughtering him before he even got to declare his candidacy.  He decided on a second opinion and called his department of health head.

She said it was bad, real bad.  Some folks in England had plunked some data into a computer model and it said unless people stayed away from one another then they would all die.

The governor, a know-nothing who still thought there were weapons of mass destruction hidden in Iraq, knew little about health and even less about computers.  He didn't know that public health officials were almost to a man or woman or nonbinary gender identifying creature hypochondriacs who loved telling people what to do.  He also didn't know that if you fed garbage into a computer you got garbage out.  He did know that if he died or he let everyone in his state die, then he would never be president.

The governor called the secretary of state who was in charge of administering the election and told him to cancel it.  They could always hold the election a couple of weeks later when this virus had passed over them.

The governor thought of the virus like the angel of death in the Passover story of the Bible, which his mommy had read to him when he was a wee lad in short pants and which he still sort of kind of believed in.

That afternoon, they closed the bowling alleys first and canceled the election second.

They knew the priorities of the state's citizens.

Suzy got another call from the board of elections telling her she didn't need to report to work the polls the next morning.  She was surprised but happy that she could now sleep in.

Then a candidate objected and filed a lawsuit, and the election was back on.

The board of elections called Suzy again and told her the election was back on and sorry for the misunderstanding and that the state was led by morons and all that, yadda yadda yadda.  Suzy went to bed right after the call since she had to get up in the middle of the night and she was already up much too late already because she didn't think she had to go to bed early based on the earlier call.

Meanwhile, the governor had his attorney general reading some dusty law books, and it looked like the state department of health could declare a health emergency and order the polling places closed.  What the heck the governor thought, even if it ended up being illegal it might do the job.  So he told the department of health director to do that, and she did just in time to make the 11 o'clock television news where the anchors chitchatted and read press releases from the government and large corporations between car commercials.

And the governor went to bed, where he waited until his wife was asleep and he masturbated to the power he had and also the head of the health department because she was kind of foxy.

Later, Suzy got up in the middle of the night, feeling groggy.  She turned on some electric lights and stumbled around getting washed and dressed.  She ate some breakfast hurriedly and made coffee for the short walk to the polling place.  It was drizzly, and as she walked under her umbrella, she startled a deer snoozing in a neighbor's yard.  Grumbling again that Wilma would never talk her into anything she wondered if she should have driven, but then she probably wouldn't have had the delight of the deer.  Still she hoped she wouldn't get raped or mugged walking in the dark all alone.  Of course, she lived in a very nice neighborhood which is why she chanced it in the first place.  She was mulling this all over when she arrived at her destination.  It was dark and no one was there.  She walked around the church to the door she was supposed to go to.  She knocked.  No one answered.  There was no sign on the door.  She wondered if she had gotten up too early.  She checked her phone.  No, she had the right time.  There was a voicemail there though that she hadn't noticed earlier in the rush to get to the polling place.  It was from the board of elections telling her the election was canceled.

On her walk home, the rain got heavier, the wind picked up, her umbrella blew away, and she got soaked.  When she got home, she finished her now cold coffee and masturbated to the image of smashing both Wilma's and the governor's heads in with a rock.

This is a work of fiction, but if you lived in Ohio in 2020, then you know it's based on a true incident. Our democracy is inviolate unless some rich folks panic about their health, then it's tossed away like a used tissue by all those who swore to defend the Constitution.   It could be worse though, we could live in Australia where the police will choke you "to protect your health" and bar you from the hospital and even the pub if you refuse to get vaccinated (meanwhile, their cases and deaths rise as they vaccinate more and more, hmm . . . something's not computing there, check out how the graphs for vaccinations, cases, and deaths follow basically the same rising curve from July to October--weird); my apologies, of course, if you do live in Oceania, I mean, Australia.  Maybe they can mask the kangaroos next because that would be about as effective as in not effective, not effective at all.  If you need some cheering up after this, then please read Edna's Employment Agency where the idiots are fictional and amusing and not in charge of governments and corporations like in real life.

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Tales From The Virus Panic #1: "Sex, Vaccines, And Rock & Roll"

Someone was screaming at Frank on the telephone.  He was used to that at work, but this was home.  Finally, he recognized the voice.  It was his friend Alfred.

He hadn't seen Alfred in a couple of years, as middleage swept them both along into different orbits, but he remembered the raspy voice well and with affection.  Alfred and Frank had a college radio show together in the 1980s and shared enthusiasms for local bands, punk rock, and novelty songs.

"Dude, The Stainless Steel Toilet Flappers are touring!" Alfred yelled.

"What?  I thought they broke up years ago and said they would never play together again," Frank said, remembering how the band had gotten into a fistfight onstage at what proved to be their final show.

"I know, right?  Maybe they need the money or something.  I don't know.  Remember we said if them or The Smiths ever reform we were going to go no matter what?" Alfred said.

Frank didn't, but it sounded like something he would have agreed to when he was drunk in college.  "And they're playing at The Slop Shop, a little club right in town.  It's going to be great!" Alfred raved on.

Frank wasn't so sure, but he agreed to go anyway.  Recently divorced, he checked the date, saw he didn't have his son that week, and made arrangements with Alfred.

"Do you want me to get the tickets?" Frank asked.

"Already got them, dude!  You owe me $50." Alfred said.

Frank winced, as his budget was tight, but gritted his teeth and said, "Great!  Thanks!"

"The only weird thing is The Slop Shop said we have to show proof of vaccination to get in," Alfred said.

"Uh, I'm not vaccinated," Frank said.

"Neither am I, dude, but they said you could show a negative Covid test too," Alfred said.

Frank vaguely remembered that the last time he had been in Mart Mart they had been offering free Covid tests.  The concert kept sounding worse.  Frank really didn't want a Q-tip or whatever shoved up his nose, but it seemed too late to back out now.  It would be nice to see Alfred.  "I'll probably do that then," Frank said.

"I think I'm going to get vaccinated.  There's a few other shows I want to see coming up and it would be a drag to have to keep getting tested," Alfred said.

"That's kind of lame they're requiring that anyway.  Is that a law, or is that something the band's doing?" Frank said.

"I don't know, dude, whatever.  'I don't give a fuck about anything,'" Alfred sang, the chorus from one of their favorite songs by The Flappers, albeit one they couldn't play on their radio show.

They reminisced some more and made plans to meet up at Alfred's place since the club was on his side of town.

A week later, Frank got a text from Alfred that he had gotten his first dose of the Pfizer shot.  "Dude, it was easy.  I feel great!  Nurse had big tits too!" Alfred wrote.

Frank was suspicious of Big Pharma and the government, so he wasn't swayed.  He didn't even get the flu shot; he certainly wasn't getting this rushed thing.  He just texted back a thumbs up emoji.

A couple of weeks later, Frank got another text from Alfred:  "Fully vaxxed and ready to rock!  Let's goooooooooo!"

A couple of days before the concert, Alfred texted again, "Don't forget to get your test!"

Frank grunted and went online and scheduled a Mart Mart test.  At least it was free.  Well, probably the government was paying for it, but as long as Frank didn't pay for it he wasn't too upset.  The government wastes a lot of his tax money.  At least this boondoggle actually saved him some out of pocket money.

When Frank got his negative results back, he texted Alfred that he was cleared for takeoff.  Alfred didn't text back, but Frank figured that Alfred was just busy getting ready for the show.  After work, Frank went to the address Alfred had given him.  It was an apartment building that had seen better days and probably some better nights as well.  Alfred was in apartment C.  After blundering around a bit and walking down the stairs and then having to walk back up, Frank found it and knocked.

No one answered.

Frank looked at his phone.  There was no text from Alfred, and it looked like they were running late.  Frank looked around for a doorbell maybe he had missed the first time and, not finding one, pounded on the door louder.  He played the beat from "Open Your Legs And Not Your Mouth", one of the greatest hits of The Flappers on Alfred's door.

Alfred's door didn't open, but the one next door did, Apartment B.  An older woman in a purple housecoat looked out, "He ain't home.  I hope he's all right.  Aside from playing his rock music too loud, he was a nice neighbor.  I haven't seen him since the paramedics came last night.  They took him away."

Frank thanked her and went back to his car.  He called a few hospitals and waited on hold before eventually an operator connected him to the room Alfred was in.

A nurse answered, mumbled something about cardiac arrest and gave Frank her condolences, then quickly hung up.

Frank missed the reunion concert, but he missed his friend more.

This is a work of fiction, but I suspect it's happened more than once.  If you doubt me, just note how many "rebellious" rock and rollers and clubs want you to disclose your health history just to get in (surely a form of Stockholm Syndrome after the virus panic folks nearly destroyed their livelihoods last year) and then read some Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System entries for fun (my favorite tonight was "13 hours after the patient had had her 2nd covid-19 shot, she was found dead" but don't worry as the lab tech noted that the healthy 49-year-old's death was "likely a coincidence that she died only hours after her vaccination").  If you need some cheering up after this, then please read Edna's Employment Agency where the idiots are fictional and amusing and not in charge of governments and corporations like in real life.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

What Wred's Reading: Midcentury by John Dos Passos

I reread the U.S.A. trilogy recently by John Dos Passos and enjoyed it as before.  If you've never read it, it's a sprawling and imaginative slice of modernism about the early 20th Century.  Dos Passos uses a number of techniques that are still a bit jarring to a reader, taking snippets from news reports and advertisements and jumbling them together into a theme that reflects on the previous or next scene featuring one of the fictional characters.  Then he throws in sketches of prominent Americans, usually none too flattering to them.  Dos Passos had a sardonic eye so there's quite a bit of sarcasm and humor underneath the outrage.  He was obviously quite sympathetic to radical politics and often focused on the role class played in America and the corruption that allowed such inequity between rich and poor.  In later life, Dos Passos became disillusioned with communism and turned conservative, so it is interesting to read the little-known sequel to U.S.A.  It's called Midcentury, published in 1961, and he continues to use the same novelistic techniques he used in U.S.A. a quarter-century before.  He's also just as sardonic and sarcastic, delighting in ridiculing American boosterism whether of the space age or the magazine ad.  His beloved Wobblies are long-gone, as is their dream of a better world, and this apparently bugs Dos Passos, so he zeroes in on the hypocrisies of the labor movement, particularly the corruption of union officials who enriched themselves at the expense of the regular worker, exploiting their fellow workers about as well as the employers ever did.  In the chapter I read today, Jimmy Hoffa makes an appearance long before he became famous for mysteriously disappearing.  Midcentury is just as engaging a read as U.S.A. is, but, alas, it is out of print (you can likely score a copy at a library or thrift store, though you may have to dig).  I would love to see what fun Dos Passos would have with America in the age of Donald Trump and Joe Biden, but he died in 1970, so the closest we might come to that is his official website, (run by his grandkid it looks like).

After you read some classic 20th Century American lit, read some 21st Century American lit starting with my latest novel, Edna's Employment Agency.