Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Illustrious TR

Death of the Enumerator/Happy Birthday Teddy Roosevelt

I wrote this nine years ago, on what would have been Teddy Roosevelt's 145th birthday. Well, today would be #154. Of course, no President could live that long. Except for James Buchanan. Who's still alive, and lives three houses down from me.

Anyway...Happy Birthday to the Illustrious T.R.

From October 27, 2003....
Death of the Enumerator--A Short Play

Dramatis Personae

Edwinus, the Ternary Enumerator of the High Court of his Royal Majesty
Krimdall, the Stablekeep of the High Court
Dan, the Stable Boy, who is 6'7" and 37 years old.
Theodore Roosevelt, who is celebrating on this day his 145th birthday

The Setting

The Stables of His Royal Majesty (King Bob the Indomitable). On Tuesday. Two-ish.

Scene, the first

(Krimdall and Dan are eating lunch, at a round wooden table)

Edwinus (enters the stable area) o: Good Day, Stablekeep. I'm here to count the apes.

Krimdall (through a mouthful of food): We have no apes, here. We have only horses. And a cow. And a couple of chickens. And (points to Dan) the stableboy. But no apes.

Edwinus: None?

Krimdall: Just horses. And the other things.

Edwinus (opening his ledger): I don't believe you, what is your name?

Krimdall (rises from his table, where he is eating with Dan): My name is Krimdall. You know that Eddie.

Edwinus (making a note): Good for you. My name is Edwinus.

Krimdall (pointedly): Do you have other business have you here, crowfoot?

Edwinus: Crowfoot?

Dan: You 'eard 'im!

(to Edwinus): Crowfoot is an old English expression, meaning "Man with a Vulva."

Edwinus (rolling his eyes): Must everybody make jokes about that?

Krimdall: I tend to think so, yes.

Edwinus (explaining): There was magic involved. I was cursed.

Krimdall: Well, I kind of guessed, since I've been kicked by horses a few times, and never once did it cause me to grow female genitalia.

Edwinus: Um.....yes.

(There is an uncomfortable, protracted silence, like when grandma begins discussing her favorite porn during Thanksgiving dinner)

Dan (breaking the silence): Why is 'e 'ere? Is 'e talkin' about apes?

Krimdall (raising his hand to the boy): SO HELP ME JEEBUS!

Edwinus (stopping Krimdall): Stay your hand, Stableman! And use not the Man-Jeebus's name in vain.

Krimdall: You're right. My apologies.

Edwinus: Don't apologize to me. Apologize to Jeebus.

Krimdall (taking a penitent stance): I'm sorry Jeebus.

Theodore Roosevelt (entering, stage left): s'cool!

Dan (rising from his seat): 'Ey! You ain't Jeebus!

(The Illustrious T.R. takes his baseball glove off, and slaps Dan with it).

Edwinus, Krimdall (together): Good morrow, Mr. President.

T.R. (putting his glove in place): Ahh! Gracias, mi amigos. Donde esta el bano, por favor? (placing a hand against his stomach) No mas chalupas...ay!

(Krimdall points off stage)

T.R. (pulling his football helmet off): Much obliged.

Edwinus: Oh, Mr. President?

T.R. (pausing): Yes?

Edwinus: Happy birthday.

T.R.: Ass kisser.

(T.R. exits)

Krimdall: Now, about those apes.

Edwinus: So, you admit that they're here?

Krimdall: Well. We have one. But he's really rather ornery.

Edwinus: Ornery?

Dan: He got quite cross with me when we played Connect 4 this morning.

Edwinus (quietly incredulous): He plays Connect 4?

Krimdall: He cheats.

Dan: 'e does cheat. That's why he got cross with me when I called 'im on it. He damn near killed me.

Krimdall: Yep. Tore Dan's arm off and hit him with it.

(Dan displays a stump, proudly, and Edwinus is a little disgusted)

Edwinus: Perhaps you should visit the apothecary about that.

Dan: Can't. Not on the insurance for another month.

Edwinus: Pity.

Dan: Yeah. Got a daughter at home's had the rickets something terrible.

Krimdall: Would you like to see it?

Edwinus (disgusted): What? The Rickets?

Krimdall: No, Crowfoot. The Ape.

(Edwinus ponders this. For quite a long time, actually. In fact, Krimdall has left his lunch break, and is hard at work by the time Edwinus makes up his mind, some 39 minutes later).

Scene, the second: 39 minutes later

Edwinus: Marvelous. May I see him?

Krimdall (from the back of the stable): Beg pardon?

Edwinus: May I see the ape?

Krimdall (reminded): Oh. Certainly. Dan! Get the key!

(Dan walks over to Krimdall, takes the key off Krimdall's belt, and gives it to Krimdall)

Krimdall: What do you say?

Dan: Thank you. (under his breath): Jeebus.

(Edwinus violently slaps the boy. Krimdall kicks him once for good measure. Since Dan is so huge, it affects him little at all.)

Edwinus: Don't take the Man-Jeebus' name in vain.

Krimdall: Yeah!

(Krimdall directs Edwinus to a door, moves to unlock it)

Krimdall: Now, I have three rules about seeing the ape. One: No cussing. Two: No overt references to any Brit-Coms. He has a terrible aversion to anything coming off the BBC, and I don't want to have to be cleaning intestines, again. Stops the hell out of the sink.

(There is a pause)

And third: Don't mention anything about his wings.

Edwinus: His wings?

Krimdall: His wings. He's really sensitive.

Edwinus: Okay.

(Krimdall opens the door. Edwinus enters. After 22 minutes, he comes out)

Krimdall: What did you think?

Edwinus: He beat me at Connect 4.

Krimdall: Did he cheat?

Edwinus: No. He beat me fairly each of the four times. Really rather remarkable.

Krimdall (nodding): Yep. Did you play red or black?

Edwinus: Black. Like my soul.

Krimdall: I guessed as such. By the way. Dan's dead. I think it's the Plague. It really messed his arm up.

Edwinus: I thought the ape ripped his arm off.

Krimdall: Oh yeah. You're right.

(Suddenly, T.R. bursts onto the scene)

T.R. (screaming): Deus ex Machina! Deus ex Machina!

(T.R. takes a samurai sword from the sheath on his back. With a quick slice, he eviscerates Edwinus. Blood sprays in a gush that drenches Krimdall.)

T.R. (screaming still, at the audience): I Am the God in the Machine!

(Exeunt, through the audience, T.R. occasionally loosening the intestines of random audience members, all the while singing Happy Birthday To Me).

The End.

Moral: Sometimes, it just seems funny to write "vulva," and then other bad stuff happens, and you get a story that makes absolutely no sense, and you get to a point where you just want to go to bed.

Good night, everybody.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Listens, this Day 25 October 2012

Wrote a bit. This is what I listened to in the process:

"Sirens"      Toubab Krewe
"Soul Sucker"        Ozzy Osbourne
"High and Low"     the Dirt Daubers
"Brother"     Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
"Your Ghost"     Jherek Bischoff  (w/ Craig Wedren)
"Who Loves You?"     Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons
"Circle of Life"    Lebo M.   (from the Lion King Soundtrack)
"This is Why we Fight"     The Decemberists
"You're My Best Friend"      Queen
"Tell it to Me"      Old Crow Medicine Show
"Lundu"     The Chieftains
"Death Metal Guys"    the Reverend Horton Heat
"One More Night in Brooklyn"    Justin Townes Earle
"Melody Dean"    Amanda Palmer & the Grand Theft Orchestra
"Ain't no Saguaro in Texas"    the Reverend Horton Heat

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dog Table, Truck, MD

My doctor's name is Dog Table, Truck.  M.D.

Truck is his familiar name.

Dog Table is his family name.

Dr. Dog Table.

No hyphen.

He is from Greenland.

He does much for people who have trouble going down stairs, and seeing in the dark.

I trust his judgment very much.


Sunday, October 07, 2012

Another Text Conversation Between My Sister and Me

My sister sent me a picture of my nephew playing on a tractor, on a visit to a pumpkin farm this weekend.  This is the conversation that followed:

Tommy:  That's a good picture.

April:  That's off jeff's phone.  Some day, I'm going to own a farm like that, and do the pumkin patch stuff.  They probably make enough to float them thru the year.

Tommy:  I'd say so, if what Dad was saying about the number of people there was right.

April:  But it was really simple but well done.  I would add Christmas stuff, and maybe some sort of tomato festival


April:  They have that at South Pittsburg every year.

Tommy:   That's a festival.  Not a BOOGALOO.  Very different.

April:  Define boogaloo.

Tommy:  BOOGALOO = Hectic 20's style dancing to the death

April:  You just made me giggle

Tommy:  They called me Tommy NO on account of the NO standing for Nitrous Oxide

April:  The science nerd and the three beers in me just made me laugh out loud.

Tommy:  I read that as three bears.  Good night.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

To the Jogger out running at 3:40 AM

Good morning, runner friend!

I passed you on my way to work Wednesday, at 3:40 AM on highway 11.

I was the tan pickup truck.  You were the guy running on the shoulder of a four lane highway with only reflective strips to make sure I saw you.

I don't want to come off as rude, here, but what the fuck?

Off the top of my head, in five minutes, I could probably come up with 100 things I'd rather be doing than out running at 3:40 AM.

Who hurt you, brother?  What are you running from?

My first thought was that you and I might have pretty severe philosophical difference.  To me, the only thing justifying being up at 3:40 would be staggering home drunk, or perhaps fighting injustice.  That limits it to the Police, with arguments to be made for EMTs, Batman, Surgeons and the Fire Department.

Note that I did not feel justified being up at 3:40 driving to work.

It got me to thinking about priorities, and who sets them.

I feel like I haven't gotten to set many of mine, of late.

Upon further thought, we all have our choices.  Mine is to keep my job, despite having to wake up at 2:45 to be there by 4 AM, one day a week.  Because I like my foods cold and my televisions on.

And while yours is insane, it is your choice.  (Seriously...jog in the afternoon now that it's fall.  I know your schedule is fucked up, if you're up running at the witching hour, but try the afternoon.  It's been relatively pleasant, lately.)

But it is your choice.

Unless you're a vampire, as Mr. Lynch wondered.

Are you a vampire?

Because that's kinda scary, and I'm glad I didn't stop my truck.