Thursday, April 30, 2020

Lawn Follies: City Gets Rapped On The Knuckles For Trying To Seize Someone's House Because Of Tall Grass

I've been fascinated with the politics of lawns for years.  The latest news report about it concerns a man in Florida whose city tried to seize his house because of tall grass.

Thankfully, the Institute For Justice is helping him to fight back and he seems to be winning.  I hope he wins.  The tall grass laws are crappy laws that shouldn't exist.  I don't care what my neighbor does with his yard.  The neighbor could grow a forest there, and I'm never going to complain.  That's the neighbor's business and not mine.  I might not like it, but the neighbor might not like what I do with my yard either.  And it certainly is not the government's concern.  They usually are just enforcing conformity or trying to pad their coffers (i.e., give themselves and their relatives jobs) or both by interfering with grass growing on private property.

What is needed for lawn liberty to be protected overall is for more people to believe in it.  Unfortunately, many people who will wave the flag on the 4th Of July will act like Nazis the next day if they don't like their neighbors' yards.  Hyperbole?  Not really, I've been studying this stuff for years.  I've even found cases where people have been murdered over lawn issues.  Here's one:  If you read it, you'll see that the murdered woman was mowing her lawn at night.  Surely, a no-no, not enough to justify a murder, but clearly lacking in neighborhood grace.  But why was she mowing the lawn at that late hour?  Because she was leaving on vacation and didn't want to get fined by her city for violating a stupid tall grass law.  Notice that no one mentions in the article about the sentencing the stupid tall grass law that probably set the whole tragedy in motion.  But a couple of years later that same city the murder happened in brags about sending out taxpayer-funded workers to harass taxpayers about the height of their grass:  "We reacted to 263 grass complaints and mowed more than 150 properties, a 16% increase."

And surely we all remember this, an all-star moment in lawn follies, when U.S. Senator Rand Paul got attacked by his neighbor.  Paul was mowing his yard, and the neighbor was enraged over lawn debris on Paul's lawn.  Cheers to Paul for mowing his own lawn; he might be the only U.S. Senator who does so.   Jeers to him for not introducing federal legislation banning tall grass laws.

Though it's amusing to keep track of these lawn follies, a serious matter does lurk underneath.  I hope you shake off the brainwashing of the lawn industrial complex and stand on the side of lawn liberty, nay, indeed, yard liberty, who needs a lawn anyway?  Grow a garden instead!

No lawn follies but other laughs can be found in my latest novel.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "The Politics of the Third Floor Bathroom: IBS as Weapon of Mass Destruction" by Jeff Somers

Let's face it, piggies, politics is just a fancy-pants way of channeling aggression. People opposed to each other in a system instinctively hate each other, and back in our blood-splattered glory days as a race any time two Chiefs went against each other on policy, they generally killed thousands in a war between their tribes, or at the very least engaged in man-to-man combat, gouging out eyes and ripping open abdomens until one ‘policy’ had triumphed over the other.  In today’s more civilized society this sort of thing is frowned upon—the man-to-man combat thing; war, thank goodness, remains a socially acceptable way of killing thousands in order to determine policy.  You won’t see John Kerry and George Bush wrestling at the base of the Washington Monument to see who gets to order the next few thousand men and women to their deaths, no sir.  We’ve invented politics to take the place of violence.

Of course, you can invent all sorts of rules and procedures designed to keep the Monkeys we all live side-by-side with under control, and while it may work on a macro-scale, when you get down to the nitty-gritty life remains a struggle between violent personalities for control of their immediate airspace.  Political candidates can’t fight each other for the job, but I’ll bet they wouldn’t mind. People remain pretty much primitive in their desires and the manner in which they pursue them.

For proof, I offer you the third-floor restroom at my job.

Someone in my building wishes to be King of the Third Floor Restroom. Someone else opposes his candidacy.  I know this because there is a war going on in there, one which I know too much about already.  In a more evolved society, the question of who will be King of the Third Floor Restroom would be addressed through a civilized and organized procedure:  Nomination of candidates, presentation of views and policies regarding the restroom, and, finally, an election of some sort, probably conducted using urinal cakes.  Since society remains woefully un-evolved, what we have instead is a classic battle between signage and someone with what appears to be Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Some background and geographic detail, then:  I started a new job back in April, and the offices are located on the third floor of a large Manhattan office building.  The floor has several offices being rented, and sports one large restroom for each gender, used in common by all the offices (it’s possible some of the fancier offices sport private bathrooms, and if I ever discover this to be so you can bet we’ll take that office by force, kill its men and enslave its women, and enjoy the facilities).  A perfectly acceptable situation, especially since I personally frown on anything aside from urination being performed in semi-public restrooms like that.  Shared restroom toilets just weren’t meant to be used except under dire emergency situations, you ask me.  If everyone would just use the urinals (a wonderful invention—I’d have a urinal in my home if I could) and get the hell out, we’d have a lot fewer problems in this world.  There are two urinals and three stalls in the men’s restroom, along with two sinks, of course, so we can fool ourselves into thinking we’ve washed away the microbes, and a towel-dispenser and trashcan.  Standard stuff.

So, I stay away from the stalls if I can.  I’m not one of those people who thinks he’s going to get the Andromeda Strain if my skin comes in contact with a public toilet; I don’t have to get into a Virus Suit in order to take a shit in a public restroom.  I also believe firmly that human beings have been dealing with germs and microbes and all sorts of nasty shit for thousands of years, and while you can argue that some of those microbes are pretty nasty (Black Death, for example) I still doubt anyone is going to become the new Typhoid Mary by using a public restroom.  That said, I see no reason to expose myself to nasty public toilets any more than necessary, chum.  So that’s my policy on toilets:  Avoid if possible, but use when necessary and don’t lose sleep over it.

I first became aware of a campaign to be King of the Third Floor Restroom when I entered the restroom one day and discovered a neat, laser-printed sign had been taped on the rear wall of stall #3:






Poetic, in a way; hauntingly beautiful.  This seemed like common sense to me, and one thing I’ve learned over the years is that you can’t teach people anything common:  Sense, decency, or knowledge.  They get violent and huffy is my experience, and I wasn’t disappointed.  After the first candidate for kingship threw his hat into the ring with this bit of pithy signage, our second candidate responded the next day by detonating an ass explosion reminiscent of Hiroshima in stall #3.  It looked like an infinite number of monkeys had suffered an infinite number of bowel spasms in there.  He’d painted the damn place with his feces. And there, sitting above it like an ironic caption was the Signage.

I would have thought this to be just a merry moment of societal collapse, like many I witness on a daily basis, except that it wasn’t an isolated event.  Over the next few weeks, these ass detonations became common, always in stall #3. Candidate #1 for King of the Third Floor Restroom, whom we’ll call IBS, was obviously passionately dedicated to fouling stall #3 and keeping it fouled.

Candidate #2, who we’ll call Mr. Placard, laid low for a few days while this assault on the senses went on.  Mr. Placard obviously believes that what the world needs is more signage, that everything could be perfect if only we had the proper signs and a population that slavishly, unquestioningly obeyed the signs.  A few days after the first ass detonation, Mr. Placard crept in one afternoon and pasted a new sign on the radioactive door of stall #3:




I’ve rarely witnessed such a powerful message packed into three little words; I may have wept.  This took balls, if you ask me:  I wouldn’t have touched anything near that stall for anything in the known universe.  I didn’t even like the idea of breathing that funk.  So the sight of that flimsy, delicate piece of paper with the hopeful call for civilized discourse (behind the safety of anonymous notes) moved me.  Both these men were uncompromising heroes, in their way.

The campaign escalated immediately.  The next time I found myself in the bathroom, the Out of Order sign had been ripped off the stall door and tossed to the floor, and the stall door thrown open so that the Beta Males of the floor could see the power of IBS, and cower before it.  I cowered all right.  I cowered to think this motherfucker might be touching the same things I did in the building, that he might be standing next to me in the elevator one day, that he might be someone I’d someday shake hands with.

For a few weeks, the debates continued:  A new sign, a new ass detonation.  I came to admire IBS for his physical prowess in the ass detonation department, even as I wondered what in the fucking world was wrong with him.  I mean, to continuously generate that sort of ammunition, you have to have one hell of a bad diet, or one hell of a physical condition.  Mr. Placard, on the other hand, was clearly one of those frightening men who spend their lives complaining about their neighbors and co-workers, and finally kill all of them in an orgy of justice.  I imagined he’d adorn each of his victims with a crisp Post-It note, listing the crimes he’d just avenged.  This was a battle for the ages, and whoever won, I was sure, deserved the awesome power invested in the King of the Third Floor Bathroom.

It ended as you might expect:  IBS, with his awesome physical abilities, was victorious.  I knew that Mr. Placard had conceded when IBS invaded and conquered stall #2 in addition to stall #3 without suffering any signage at all. IBS was obviously free to do as he wished in the bathroom.  I was apparently not invited to the coronation ceremony.  And thank goodness.

This is politics in its purest form, if you think about it:  One man believes the restroom should be a sort of Thunderdome, a land without rules, where men are free to behave in any way they wish.  Another believes otherwise:  That even restrooms should be governed by the Rule of Polite Society, with said rules enforced via the written word.  The rest of us, the citizens, are ostensibly involved in the process of voting—we could speak up at any time, if we wished, join in the desecration of stalls or put up our own notes in support of one side or another—but in reality we’re just underfoot, just like voters in this country.  We exist merely as an audience, really.  The shit-flinging begins, and after a brief struggle one policy is adopted—if that ain’t government on a micro-scale, I don’t know what it.  Of course some might say that my stunted comprehension of the world around me is one good reason why I am not in politics.  I’d say I’m not in politics because I’m too smart to waste my time.  Time rubs everything blank in the end, mi amigos.

As for IBS, there haven’t been any ass detonations recently, and I wonder if he’s finally died of some sort of internal rot.

I have been rereading some old zines recently and came across this gem.  I probably haven't laughed that hard since I first read it back in 2004.  Jeff Somers graciously agreed to let me rerun it here for your enjoyment.  Please check out his website at JeffreySomers.Com for more fun.  No pressure on the readers, but he wrote, "I may starve if they don't buy all my books and click on all my links and possibly also send me cash."  I am happy to feature his work on drinkdrankdrunk

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Red Stripe Update

A few years ago, I noted that Red Stripe, the beer of Jamaica, was now being made in Latrobe, Pennsylvania USA, which struck me as odd.  Recently, I bought another 6-pack of Red Stripe, and it's back to being made in Jamaica, which is probably how it should be.  It looks like some people got upset enough about Red Stripe not being made in Jamaica that they sued the company.  That lawsuit got dismissed, but it looks like at some point, the beermaking moved back to its origins.  It looks like they might be making Pabst, along with some other stuff (apparently, whomever pays them to brew), at the old Rolling Rock plant now.  Poor Rolling Rock is made in Newark, New Jersey USA still.

With all the good craft beer around, I drink this type of mass market beer rarely, but when the weather starts getting warmer, I do get an occasional hankering for Red Stripe and reggae music, so I am happy to know that if that will be the case again, then I will be drinking the stuff from Jamaica.  The Latrobe stuff seemed like a cover band from Western Pennsylvania playing Bob Marley songs.  Not bad, but not quite the real thing.

Whatever beer you drink, my latest novel goes well with it.

Monday, April 27, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "CHURCH-GOING IDA" by Keith Dersley

In my long history of bedsit bachelorhood there’s the occasion when I had the December sads and happened to mention it to Rick.  He thought it was terrible that I intended to celebrate the 25th and 26th with a kettle and a hotplate.

To me, a quiet break was no big deal, should even be enjoyable, but Rick said to his wife, ‘We’ve got to see if we can find a lady to get Keith over Christmas.’

He soon came up with the name of a grandmother, one of the young ones, called Ida. 

‘She’s a looker. I even contemplated her for myself when she came onto the ward,’ said Rick.

I knew he was kidding, as he was now happily married.  It was during his separation from his first wife that he had dallied with a domestic in the broom cupboard, holding the door shut with one foot while he sported his oak.

‘This young lady’s church-going but broad-minded,’ said Rick.

She was a nursing assistant type, working on the ward.

‘Unattached.  Just moved into a flat in Burlington Road and wants to build up her social circle.  Upgrade it, like, with the Right Stuff.  And here YOU are, not far from Burlington at all, and ready to meet someone eligible.  Coulda been meant, boy.’

Next evening I called at Ida’s flat.  It looked pretty good, and so did Ida.  She was dressed in jeans and a woollen sweater with an arty design showing zoo animals.  Grandmothers can look great these days, but even so you would not have thought her kids had kids.

‘What do you think of the place?’ she asked after she had led me to the sofa and put the kettle on for coffee.

‘It’s great.’

‘There’s still more to do, of course.  One of the girls from work, Karen, do you know her?  She helped.  My son came round and said, “Mum, you’ve got it looking wonderful.”  He hadn’t seen that new chest of drawers or the shelves.  I don’t know if he expected I’d just be living out of cardboard boxes or what.’

Over coffee she pulled out a pack of cigarettes.

‘Do you?  No?  Do you mind if I have one?  I’m getting off them slowly.’

‘That’s all right.’

I tried not to look disappointed or disapproving, but if she smoked, forget it. Though she was sexy, intelligent and a caring, decent woman, I didn’t want to get hooked on a smoker.

At one point she came close, and I could have grabbed her and made my play and I didn’t think she would have hated it, but I was undecided because of the clouds of tobacco, so the moment passed.

‘Ah, she frayed your nose, did she?’ said Rick when I explained.  ‘She told me she’d be giving up the fags.  I don’t blame you though.  I jacked in the old rollies, as you know.  I’ve got enough health complications already.  It’s amazing how many health care people still smoke, they oughta know better.’

‘Anyway, I’ll get through Christmas on my own resources. Won’t be the first time.’

‘Yes, well, maybe it’s best you rule Ida out.  But it’s not only Christmas, is it?’

‘What do you mean?’

‘Well, who’s gonna get you through the rest of your LIFE?’

I've been reading Keith Dersley's (or as I like to call him, The Derz!) work for two decades now, from poetry to fiction to memoir.  There doesn't seem to be any literary genre or media he can't do.  His latest novel, By The Time I Get To Pellax, is science-fiction!  I am happy to feature him on drinkdrankdrunk!  You can check out more of his stuff on his website, Derzville

New Song!: "Plagiarist In Chief"

Joe Biden Vs. Donald Trump? What is this? People going back to things they rejected as unsuitable in 1988 and thinking, "Wow, we really missed out there; we could have run out of toilet paper in 1989 instead of 2020."? I hope the mass hysteria and idiocy settles down, but it looks as if there's no end in sight at the moment. Buckle up; it may be a rough decade . . . 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.

He's the Plagiarist In Chief,
and he likes your ideas.
Likes them so much he's going to steal them,
along with your life story.

He's up against the nation's greatest con artist
who is working his hardest
at looting every last dime
from the public treasury.

How did it ever come to this?
People are afraid of a hug and a kiss.
How did it ever come to this?
People are afraid to hug and to kiss.

You're either left or you're leaving,
so there's no need to be overly grieving.
You'd think people never knew
that they would someday die.

I see you wearing a mask,
so I just have to ask.
Is that your idea or your leaders'?
Are you afraid of me,
or just afraid of you?

I got germs, and you got germs,
so let's keep our distance social.
Maybe if we can keep it up long enough
the human race can go extinct.

But maybe the experts can save us,
find some new way of having babies,
who never question authority
and have a little pet virus.

Written April 2020
Recorded April 2020

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

Saturday, April 25, 2020

drindrankdrunk: "BUMPY-4-LIFE" by The Midnight Rider

you would think that a tale about 2 professors helping a student cheat to graduate college would be the craziest story I know about luther, but it isn’t……soon after I wrote the preceding paragraph, luther packed his gear and moved to maryland to fulfill his rock n’ roll dreams by becoming the new bassist for the trolls (a 1970s-era doom metal band)….i honestly don’t know much about the doom metal scene, but the lead singer, bumpy, had been luther’s childhood idol---luther had their posters in his bedroom and taught himself how to play all their riffs……luther was enough of a fan that he would follow the band whenever they toured the midwest (at the expense of his cashpoint classes or whatever else he had to do)….it wasn’t long before he had ingratiated himself enough with the band to become their midwestern speed dealer (and rest assured, 1970s doom metal bands still do their fair share of speed)…..luther eventually became their traveling guitar tech and toured the usa with them over the summer… professor giada and I went to see them in june in moline and wound up smoking with the band backstage out of bumpy’s crack pipe----ostensibly we were smoking weed, but whatever substance (angel dust?) that was in the pipe the night before radically changed the dynamic of our buzz (and giada stayed up all night tweaking/asking me if she “would ever be normal again”)…...we smoked with the other members of the band, but the band itself was basically 56-year-old bumpy and whatever other (young) speed freak wanted to come along for the ride…..bumpy was short, but muscular and with hair-to-his-waist, dozens of tattoos, and some crazy, fucking eyes……he seemed to be a conspiracy nut, but that night he was ultimately more interested in trying to fuck giada than he was hearing about victor thorn and the lizard people…..giada and I stayed in a nice hotel whereas the band crashed on a friend-of-a-friend’s flophouse floor, but I guess that’s all relative when quality angel dust is your #1 priority……anyway, onto luther’s rock n’ roll fantasy….after the tour, luther moved into a maryland farmhouse with bumpy and his 30-year-old, swedish girlfriend (with the band planning on recording a new studio album in the spring and then touring europe in fall 2017)…..don’t ask me why, but the trolls are popular enough to play stadium gigs in the european union (except, of course, the czech republic where bumpy was busted for speed, spent 9 months in jail, and is currently banned from entering the country for the next ten years)…..i was supposed to go hiking in the blue ridge mountains with luther when I went home for christmas, but he never called……when I finally called him, luther asked if I knew any good lawyers in the dc area……it seems that bumpy ate too many mushrooms on new year’s eve and was in the process of choking his girlfriend to death when luther had to crack him over the head with a maglite flashlight to make him stop…and I realize this sounds like it’s going to be a funny story (and it is), but the really poignant part is that bumpy was luther’s childhood idol----it would be like if I grew up to be roommates with dusty rhodes and then had to hit him in the head with a flashlight to stop the american dream from trying to bite my face off…..bumpy is obviously a speed man, but some fan at their new year’s eve party gave him a bag of mushrooms which bumpy promptly ate……luther said that bumpy spend the majority of the evening propositioning every woman at the party while bumpy’s live-in, swedish girlfriend sat in the corner sulking…..eventually they went outside to argue and when bumpy returned, he was spinning in circles and talking about “demons from other dimensions”……bumpy smashed a bathroom window and then charged back outside to lay spread-eagle in the grass…..the partygoers let bumpy stew for about an hour, but it was 25 degrees and he was in his underwear, plus he was everyone-in-the-room’s meal ticket……his girlfriend went outside with a blanket with the intention of talking bumpy into coming back inside and going to bed…..there were screams and when luther walked outside, bumpy had his girlfriend on the ground choking her…..after trying to pull him off, luther eventually had to start cracking his idol over the head with the flashlight to make him release his girlfriend….bumpy took a swing at luther and then tried to “bite his face off” while both men were wrestling on the ground (luther said the main reason why bumpy didn’t draw blood was that he had “chiclet teeth” from all the years of abusing speed)… that time, the rest of the partygoers had come outside to watch the fight and one of troll’s roadies pulled bumpy off luther…..this pissed bumpy off even more, and he went inside, grabbed a shotgun, put the gun in the roadie’s belly, and pulled the trigger----mercifully the shotgun was unloaded, but the roadie punched bumpy in the face and called the police…..when bumpy came to, he grabbed a machete from his bedroom and began hacking away at his girlfriend’s clothes…..then he went into luther’s room and started hacking away at luther’s amps (bumpy also destroyed what he thought was luther’s laptop, but it belonged to the band)…..when the police arrived outside, bumpy ran into his bedroom and pretended to be asleep…..once the police “woke” him and his girlfriend informed bumpy that they were breaking up, he went for the machete again and the police had to throw bumpy on the living room floor/cuff him…..bumpy spent the next 4 nights in jail and a restraining order was issued for him to stay away from luther, the swedish girl, and the band’s roadie (the only one of the three to press charges against bumpy)……they all have to go to court in february, but for the time being, 23-year-old luther continues to live in bumpy’s house with bumpy’s 30-year-old, swedish girlfriend…..luther said at the end of our conversation that they were planning on going into the soap-making business and that he thought he was “falling in love with the swede”---I guess that story will have to wait for another time

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 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, and overall brand, I find that refreshing.  I am happy to have the Rider ride on drinkdrankdrunk.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Poem: I Pledge Allegiance To The Flag Of Bunnies

I pledge allegiance to the flag of bunnies
In honor of mothers, baskets, and burial
I pledge allegiance to the flag of chickens
"I'll get you, you fwuckin rabbit" sd the Fuddamentalist
But he had to fight his way into the ghetto
I pledge allegiance to the union of dyed eggs
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the flagship of the flag of the United Empire of Imperial Utopia
I fudge allegiance to bunny balls bare
Sounds itchy, unless they're chocolate
And dropping poopy eggs yoke fest artificial mucus mind blips of seeping stripped lude manmade muck
And I became lost, like a lone emu in the red light rabbit garden district
And spent all my coin fucking like a . . .
The peter grows into more peters
And to the burrow for which it stands
And it all must come to an end

I found this poem while clearing out some papers.  It is fun and appropriate for spring.  It was written jointly by the audience and myself at a reading I did exactly 14 years ago today at The Shaker Heights Public Library in Shaker Heights, Ohio USA.  I remember getting suckered into the reading thinking I could just read an excerpt from The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus or something, and then I found out at the last minute it was a poetry reading, so I had to crank out a bunch of poems.  I just got an intro to literature textbook and wrote an example of every type of form it had in there, plus some extras, such as this one, a sort of exquisite corpse.  I supplied the first line, and the audience supplied the rest on a sheet of paper passed around, then we read it at the end.  They didn't do too badly if I liked it enough to post it over a decade later here.  Good job, yuns!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk: "GM's Prescription For A Healthy Lifestyle" by Food Fortunata

Otter Muscles was the premier goalie on an otherwise lackluster minor league hockey franchise, the Hamilton Ears.

The Ears were on a current, league-record, 7012 game losing streak when Otter Muscles pulled his famous caper.  Losing by a score of 8000-2, Otter planted a hibiscus in the middle of the ice using only a slice of gouda cheese to dig the hole. Such a play, as everyone well knows, results in the awarding of 83 1/2 points and the removal of a cat spleen.

Ever since, it has been known that a man named Trapdoor Timmy will yodel on contact and the ice cream scoops he so cherishes are doomed to a life in Great Britain.


General Motors is a really nice bunch of people.  Especially the upper levels of their management, who understand that most Americans really don't like working all that much.  Thus, they have seen fit to help relieve many individuals from the burden of excess labor.  As a reward for their own thoughtfulness, they have also awarded themselves massive bonuses.  Federal, state, and local governments will do likewise, in short order.  In the near future, GM will be helping more and more people in this same way until eventually only the CEO will be left.  At that point, all GM vehicles will be assembled free of charge by some very fortunate orphans, who will be fed on the corpses of former GM employees, now starved to death.


It was around the time I turned 62 that I realized how nifty everything really was.  I started to truly appreciate the magic of cellular telephones and SUVs.  I started to see the beauty in landfills and intrusive governmental policies.  The equation Patriot Act = Freedom finally made sense.  It became clear why a miserable economy was so advantageous.  I finally saw why I needed no health care and why I didn't deserve any part of what others had.  With age comes wisdom is what they say.  It must be true.


Apples are quickly becoming the number one cause of death for lawyers and priests.

Guy Debord is teaching us something about sandwich construction, if only we are willing to learn.

Ah . . . the wonder of a misty morning on the underside of a rat's rear end!

Twelve times, we repeat the secret phrase and the fruit of our labor becomes apparent.  In the distance, a bagel bludgeons a raccoon half to death and Kenny Loggins kicks into another chorus of "Footloose".

This is an excerpt from the zine novel Francois Echidna And The Terrible Rash.  Food Fortunata is a musician and writer from Saginaw, Michigan USA.  If you go into a certain record store in Lakewood, Ohio USA, the proprietor will tell you that Food is a genius for his work with such outfits as The Lettuce Vultures and Sockeye.  I concur and am happy to feature his work as part of drinkdrankdrunk.  Contact Food to see what he's up to next at Wheelchair Full Of Old Men, P.O. Box 6061, Saginaw, MI 48608 USA.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Guest Blog On Derzville!

One of the writers I invited to contribute to the reborn drinkdrankdrunk is The Derz.  I've been reading his stuff for almost 20 years now.  I should have his contribution up in a week or two after I get the work by Food Fortunata and The Midnight Rider up.  In the meantime, he asked me to reciprocate for his own cool Website, DerzvilleThis is what I came up with!

After you read it, if you want more, then please check out my latest novel!

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Yip!*: Dark Side Of The Ring!

It's rare that I watch television.  There is nothing wrong with it per se, though I would rather read in general, perhaps because when one reads one controls the pace as opposed to viewing where the pace is controlled by the medium for the most part.  In addition, television is often aimed at the lowest common denominator to maximize the commercial potential, and those subjects don't often interest me.

The main reason I rarely watch television though are the commercial breaks.  I understand that is how the television producers make their money, and I have no issue with that, but as a viewer, it is annoying to be interested in something and then suddenly it stops and someone's trying to sell me a car or pizza.  So, usually, I'll just be patient and wait for the DVD to collect anything I want to see from tv.  Once in a while though, a program comes along that I watch as it airs (or for cable channels, cables, I suppose, since they aren't using the broadcast transmission method).  This is because I suspect it might not make it to DVD.  Such is the case with Dark Side Of The Ring.

It's an excellent program, a mixture of professional wrestling with true crime documentary, which is because basically it's a true crime documentary about professional wrestling.  No offense to the excellent AEW, but this show is the best wrestling product on tv.  I don't know that it would interest many people who didn't already have an interest in the bizarre sport spectacle of professional wrestling, but for those that do, exploring the often tragic backstories of such events as the Chris Benoit family murder-suicide, Bruiser Brody's murder, and the deaths of the Von Erich brothers is quite fascinating.  So far, two seasons have been produced, and season two is currently airing, er, cabling.  If it keeps being this good, then I will keep watching.

Maybe I will just do push-ups during the commercial breaks.  Sorry car- and pizza-sellers!

*Yips! are good things!  So is my latest novel!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Poem: Adulthood Manual

Whenever I buy a new appliance,
even for a blender, there is always
an instruction manual.  But when I turned
twenty-one, no one gave me a manual
for adulthood, and I would have liked one.
It could have saved me a blunder or two.

So I would like to propose not a toast,
but a book, even a pamphlet, some guide,
passed out with the first legal purchase of
alcohol, which says, “Congratulations
on turning twenty-one!  Here is how to
be an adult beyond beer, wine, liquor:
Take responsibility.
Do not cause messes.
If you do, clean them up.
Drive courteously, and be polite in other matters as well.
Use a turn signal.
Do not talk on the cell phone while steering.
Vote, but do not stop there.
Participate in politics.
Then think again.
Ask why a lot, particularly when money is involved, and especially for taxes.
When you hear the phrase "national security," guard your wallet.
Pay your bills, but do not run up too many in the first place.
Only go into debt when you have to, such as for a car, a house, an education, something that will ultimately make you money.
Learn to do the math for your own personal economy; a three dollar coffee every morning five times a week for fifty-two weeks equals the vacation that year that you could have had if you had not frittered it away by not connecting the dots and not crunching the numbers.
Keep childhood alive, especially in your children, if you have any.
Continue to play, dream, and ask questions.
Wonder what your teenage self would think of you now.
Adjust accordingly, if you think you have grown in the wrong direction.
Be nice to animals, and you will find that they usually return the favor.
You are probably going to fall in love, so be careful whom you fall in love with.
Be even more careful whom you marry.
Be really, really careful whom you take the chance of having children with.
Your body will fail you.
Your parents will fail you.
Do not fail them; take care of your loved ones; they are impossible to replace.
So are you, so unless the technology that enables us to download our souls into new cloned bodies comes around really quickly, you are going to die.
Go back to the earth naturally.
God or whatever deity you believe in, or do not believe in, will take care of the rest.
Do not spend too much on weddings or funerals.
Drink responsibly, even at weddings and funerals.
Work hard and take care of what you have.
When you tire of a thing, find it a good home, or get it recycled at least.
Do not waste energy, especially your own.
Follow the money when trying to understand the behavior of others.
Do not take a job unless you can figure out how they make money off you.
Remember you might make money at work, but your boss usually makes more money from you.
If you are ever unemployed, work forty hours a week getting a job or starting a business and you will soon not be unemployed.
Do not work more than forty hours a week.  It is seldom worth it, and you could die at any time.  Tell the boss you need help, even if you are the boss, and go have some fun.
Take care of your health.
Take care in general.
If you want to be smart:  read, read, read, think, think, think, write write, write.
Want to be smart.
Better yet, be wise.
Seek wisdom, peace, and love in all you do
Everyone is in pain.
Do not be a jerk and share yours around.
If your lover leaves you, let her or him go
If you get fired, move on; it is usually for the best in the long run.
If you fail, get back up.
Question authority, and don't accept the first answer given automatically.
Know that you cannot do everything, but you can probably do just about anything you want to if you set your mind to it.
Try to leave the world in better shape than you received it.
Treat others as you would like to be treated, unless you are a masochist, in which case treat them much, much better than you like to be treated.
Your right to extend your arm ends where my nose begins.
Let others be free; do not try to control them if they are not harming anyone else.
Even if they are harming themselves and you want to step in, make sure you do not make things worse; sometimes you have to let things, and people, go.
If you want peace, fight for justice, but fight nicely as violence usually creates more problems.
Do not be afraid to get sued, get fired, or get laughed at; always do the right thing, but make sure you know what that is.
And no matter how tough life gets, it is usually more interesting than just being part of a uniform endless pool of energy, which is probably the chief alternative to this.
Do not take things so seriously; it is only life.
If you cannot laugh once in a while, then you will make a lousy meal for the worms at the end.
Do try to be tasty.”

Okay, life is probably too complex
for an instruction manual, but I still
think this is a much better idea
than doing twenty-one shots, and though you
might want more troubleshooting tips, you are
on your own.  Figure it out.  Make it up.
That is adulthood.  Welcome to the club.

More cleaning out the closet here.  This poem is adapted from a speech I had to give at a turning 21 dinner at a college I worked at.  It dates from 2007 or so.  For more recent writing by me, albeit much less preachy, click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

drinkdrankdrunk Returns!

A couple of decades ago, I did a zine called drinkdrankdrunk.  It was a lot of fun.  I published 3 print issues, then did a fourth and final issue online.  A few years after that, I coedited a blog called Underground Literary Adventures for the Underground Literary Alliance.
It was also a lot of fun, and, as with drinkdrankdrunk, I got to publish a lot of great authors.  In fact, you can check that blog out here.  I have published a few authors on this blog now and then over the years, but I'd like to make it a more regular feature.  I've had trouble finding some good reading on the Web lately.  The Web used to be the world's greatest newsstand, but now it seems to be suffering from everything from paywalls to clickbait. 

In short, I need something to better to read online, so it looks like I am going to have to do it myself.  Therefore, I'm bringing back the drinkdrankdrunk name for the category of blog posts featuring other authors.  In spirit, it will be a lot like the old Underground Literary Adventures blog.  In fact, I might even be running some stuff from old ULAers.  Right now, I have some stuff scheduled from Food Fortunata of Sockeye (I like his low budget surrealism) and a mysterious person known as The Midnight Rider.  I am also hoping to get some stuff from The Derz, Christopher Johnston, and a few others in the coming weeks.  I hope to make this a regular feature of the blog and provide some good reading for other readers who also find most of the current crop of online literary magazines and zines a snore.  Right now, I'm pretty much down to reading New Pop Lit for my lit fix.  Nobody else seems to be bringing it.  Even The Red Fez has been boring lately; with luck, they'll snap out of their slump.

If you need something to read at the moment and can't wait for drinkdrankdrunk to return, then check out my latest novel here!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Poem: November

A once grand pumpkin
Rots on a stump two doors down
Each day less remains

This orphan haiku is from 2008.  It's older than the pumpkin picture which is only from 2009.  Yeah, I know it's spring, but the dang poem already waited almost 12 years already.  Sorry, poem!  More recent writing by me can be found here.

Friday, April 17, 2020

What Wred's Reading: Fanzines: The DIY Revolution by Teal Triggs

I get cited in this book, so, of course, I like it.  This is yet another reread since all the bookstores and libraries are still closed (there's always mail order, but my ebook reading is currently satisfying my appetite for new material, so for print, it's been the rereading that I was planning on doing anyway).  This book is mainly an exhibit of zine covers.  For that alone, it's a fun read.  It also has chapters that discuss the history of zines.  They tend to be U.K.centric, which makes sense since that's where Triggs lives.  It came out ten years after the mainstream zine book boom, and seeing as those books didn't sell well, I doubt this did either, so it might end up being the last mass market book on zines.  Some scholars will no doubt write about zines in the future, but that'll be probably about it, as the heyday of zines has passed.  This book clearly was intended for the coffeetable, and it does indeed look great.  At one point, it probably was on my coffeetable.  From what I gather online from reviews, it looks like many readers were upset at Triggs because there were no articles reprinted from zines, except incidentally in the photos, but that's not what the book is.  People were also mad that she didn't ask for permissions before taking pictures of the zines, but it's basically someone taking pictures of their zine collection, so it falls into the fair use doctrine of copyrighted materials in the USA at least.  Triggs is a graphic design professor, so it makes sense that she is more interested in the visual aesthetics of zines than the actual content.  So, if you take this book as what it is and not as what it is not, you'll like it.  It's like having a zine collection in one handy package.  For old zinesters, it's definitely a trip down Memory Lane.  There are quite a few zines in here that I read.

If you want to read the content of a zine, then check out my novel, The Pornographic Flabbergasted Emus, which was originally published as a zine.

Thursday, April 16, 2020

Poem: The Empress Needs A Day Off

Tarot Card Empress has stars in her hair
Strawberries on gown, world at her feet.
Behind her is summer:  sun, trees, stream, wheat.
Scepter is up though as if to beware.

She sits on her heart, and her worries beat.
Ruling is no gentle ride on a mare.
Serene pillows prop her back, and her stare
Takes you in, as you wonder why you meet.

If you could reach her, you would brush her hair,
Shake out those stars, they give off too much heat.
Not yet winter, so why so bittersweet?
Fall beckons, and over may be the fair,

A throne is not a comfortable seat,
Life is hard to read, harder to repair,
Still, toss the crown, run through wheat without care,
And find stars in the sky, the night a treat.

I found this old poem (2011?) in a folder.  I checked, and it had never been published anywhere, so I'm posting it here.  If you want more of my writing, then check out my latest novel here!  A reader just told me today that it made her laugh out loud regularly.  Yes, it's a comedy, so that's a good thing . . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

I Thought The Primary Was When Candidates Were Endorsed?

The primary election in Ohio was extended.

Don't get me started on that.

OK, I will get started on that.  I was supposed to work as a pollworker, you know doing my democratic duty and getting a bit of dosh.  It's a brutal day.  I work from 6 in the morning until 8 at night or something.  Plus I have to set up the night before and go to a training session a week before.  As if that isn't bad enough, this year, the governor was panicking about COVID-19 and decided at the last minute to cancel the election.  So the day before the election was this back and forth as public officials figured out what they were going to do.  Keep in mind, I have to go to bed early, so I can get up in the middle of the night to get ready to work the polls.  At first, it seemed a done deal the election was going to be postponed.  I was told by the Board Of Elections that the evening setup was canceled.  Then, I saw on the tv news that a judge had struck down the governor's order.  At that point, I headed to bed.  I was brushing my teeth, when the Board Of Elections called to say I had to report at 5 a.m. now, even earlier than usual (presumably because we still had to set things up).  I think I woke up somewhere between 3 and 4 a.m., got ready, and headed over to the polling place.

Of course, no one was there.  At that point, I remembered that the robocall from the Board said something about calling them in the morning.  So I called, and, of course, found out that the politicians had figured out some other way of postponing the election (they declared in-person voting to be a public health threat or something).

Great!  I wish they had told me that before I had to set my alarm for the wee hours of the morning.  No one is even entirely sure this is all legal, but one can't turn back time, so now they decided the election will be held by absentee ballot only, which sucks because Ohio has this goofy system of voter registration to prevent basically nonexistent voter fraud (well, it exists in the minds of Republican politicians who would never get elected anywhere if most people voted, but that's not the same thing as reality).  I had to request a ballot, filling out a form asking for my ID, and then buy a stamp to mail it.  Then, I get the ballot (fortunately, the return is postagepaid) and I have to again fill in my ID information.  Why do I need to fill in the same info twice?  Just put it on the ballot bit if one is worried about that.  That would suffice to guard against the almost nonexistent voter fraud.  Clearly, the system is designed to frustrate people enough that they won't vote, and though I am not a fan of encouraging stupid people to vote (generally, they vote stupidly), neither am I a fan of making voting extra-difficult just to be a creep.

Anyway, enough digression, so I receive this postcard in the mail today because the election is being extended.  The postcard tries to tell me which Democrats to vote for (currently, I am a registered Democrat because it is basically one-party rule where I live locally, so if I want more of a say in local elections I need to officially be a Democrat--some of the local Democrats are about as creepy though as most of the state and national Republicans are).

Pardon me, I thought the primary election was what endorsed Democrats.  I don't know what this thing is, other than party bosses trying to steer wins to favored candidates.  I'll try to contact the state party who sent it out though and see what they say, just to be fair.  If they respond, I'll post about this again.

Since I seem to be channeling the ghost of Andy Rooney anyway here and complaining, I might as well note the absurdity of taxpayers paying for partisan primary elections in the first place.  I suppose the argument would be that this guarantees fair elections, but the parties are essentially private institutions.  On this ballot, there was only one issue, which could have waited until the general election.  It looks more like the parties conspired together to pass on the costs of their primary elections to the general public, who should only be concerned that the general election is fair; let the parties figure out their internal dynamics on their own dime.

The other creepy thing on this card is how many races are uncontested.  Now, of course, there will be candidates from other parties in the general election for these positions, but it's still sad that such a lack of choice exists in a democracy.  I have written about this before and concluded that it was not a good idea.  In any case, it goes a long way to explain why our officials make such dumb decisions and waste so much tax money.

I would humbly suggest that the Ohio Democratic Party stop this practice of trying to sway the primary voters and just let the primary voters decide whom to endorse, but I suspect that's a waste of time (though I have time to waste , so I may do it anyway).  After all, this is a state party that regularly gets their clocks cleaned by neaderthallike Republican candidates, so that it's basically one party rule statewide, so clearly this is a group that makes dumb decisions to begin with.

But there's always hope.


For some other folks who make questionable decisions, please read my latest novel.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

What Wred's Reading: The Best Of Impetus

I have been rereading some old books lately, not only because all the libraries are closed, but also because I am getting older and do not want to move as much stuff as I did during my last move.  It has been a fun trip down the proverbial Memory Lane.  This book I picked up at Cat's Impetuous Books, probably the coolest bookstore I have ever been to.  It was a small store located in an alley in Kent, Ohio USA, and the proprietor, Cheryl Townsend, stocked the coolest stuff, from zines to classic literature.  She even had a store cat named Bukowski.  This book was her collection of the first ten years of her underground poetry zine Impetus.  It has a lot of cool poets in it including Charles Bukowski, Ron Androla, Sherman Alexie, Lyn Lifshin, Pat McKinnon, Kurt Nimmo, Hal Sirowitz, and Alfred Vitale.  It doesn't have any poetry from Cheryl herself, which is too bad because her stuff was really good also, but I suppose she felt that editing the zine/book was enough.

One really cool aspect of the bookstore was that she held a lot of readings there, so I was able to hear many of these poets read in person.  They were, in general, a wild bunch.  Many are deceased now or quite old (some were middle-aged then, and the book came out a quarter century ago).  American literature seems a lot tamer since these folks passed through.  Unfortunately, the bookstore is long gone as well.  The city of Kent and Kent State University were hellbent on turning the entire city into an outdoor shopping mall (you know, one of those fake towns that pretend to be the real downtowns the big box stores killed off), and the building was torn down to build a hotel or something else that wouldn't survive without heavy tax subsidies.  Frankly, Kent is creepy to walk around in now, like some sort of zombie town that replaced the real town ("Oh, there's a Speedway where the punk bands used to live.  Oh, look it's Starbucks now instead of Brady's Cafe, so I can pay twice as much for a coffee."), but I suppose the students still find some ways to have fun.

Anyway, in this book, the 1980s/1990s underground American poetry scene still lives, so that's some solace for those of us who can't afford to buy a condo where the Mantis Art Gallery was.

Also, you can get a feel for that era in this novel of mine.

Sunday, April 5, 2020

New Thirsty Bear & Hungry Snake Comic: Coronavirus Edition!

For this The Thirsty Bear And The Hungry Snake comic, I have returned to the photos.  As you can tell from the comic, the Snake apparently doesn't follow the news much these days.  With luck, COVID-19 will soon be a memory along the lines of the Y2K Bug and SARS and this comic won't make as much sense as it does now.  To make each panel bigger, please click on it.

For more hilarity (though fewer bears and snakes), read my latest novel!