It hit the spot

I shot an arrow in the air. It came to earth I knew not where, until Mr. Humphrey cried out.

It hit that spot on his left ham that we had made such fun of at the nude beach (from behind him since it was on his behind).

I should not have shot that arrow up in the air like that. It had to come down somewhere unless it hit a bird, which would have been worse. I was the only one holding a bow, a dead giveaway.

“You, Fred,” Mr. Humphry said. “I’ll whip you now with your own arrow. Lucky for you it was no more than a glancing blow.”

Not lucky for me. If the arrow had penetrated his ham, he could not whip me with it. The barb would have secured itself in the wound.

“May I fortify myself, Sir,” I said.

“Do so and approach,” he said.

I took a long draught of the strong stuff, against the pain to come. It hit the spot.

My big break as a reporter

Folks ask me how I became successful in the field of newspaper reporting. Hard work, I answer. However, I did get one big break.

I was just starting out as a cub reporter on the Parings Journal in northern Mississippi. I was walking down Main Street one evening at dusk and I came to John Brown lounging outside Parings Drug Store, smoking a cigarette. John wasn’t no older than me, but he was already sheriff, because his daddy was mayor. I asked him if he had anything newsworthy to report.

“Just that I’m busting up a robbery,” he said, gesturing toward the darkened drug store.

“Who’s in there?”

“Lanny Smith. Stealing drugs.”

I pulled out my notepad.

“How come you’re out here then?” I said.

“I called WREB over in Leesville. They’re dispatching a crew with a camera. I’m going to be on the news tonight.”

“Who’s around back?”

“Billy, of course. We’ve got Lanny surrounded.”

Billy Brown was John’s little brother. He was a bigger hothead than John, but not half as smart.

“You think Billy will wait for the news crew?” I said. “What’s your plan when they get here?”

“Once they get all set up, I’m going to go in there and shoot Lanny.”

“His daddy won’t like that,” I said.

John gave that some thought. Lanny’s daddy was not a man to trifle with.

“I’ll shoot him in the foot,” John said. “I’ve got to shoot him somewhere.”

“Can I go in first and interview him?” I said.

“No, I don’t want you rocking the boat. Go around back and tell Billy to be patient. I don’t want the little piss ant messing things up.”

“I’ll go tell Billy, if I can get my interview.”

John nodded and I hurried around to the back of the store. Billy was just reaching for the handle of the screen door. He had his gun in his hand. He and John both carried those old long-barreled Colt Peacemakers.

“Hold on, Billy” I said. “John told me I could go in and get an interview. He says you should be patient.”

“He don’t always get his own way. Let him be patient if he wants.”

“I know, Billy, but you want to be wrote up in the newspaper, don’t you? I can’t do it if you shoot Lanny before I talk to him. Hold off and I’ll put your picture on the front page.”

Billy pulled open the screen door and held it for me. I opened the back door and stepped in.

“Lanny,” I said. “I’ve come to interview you for the Parings Journal.”

“Come on in, then,” he said from the gloom.

Billy and I went in and found Lanny sitting on a stool behind the register at the pharmacy counter. He was drinking a coke.

“What have you stole so far?” Billy said.

“Let me ask the questions, if you please,” I said.

“You little piss ant,” Billy said.

“That’s what your brother just called you,” I said.

I had to grab Billy then to keep him from stepping out front and shooting his brother on the spot.

“Calm down,” I told him. “You’re an officer of the law, Billy. Now Lanny, what have you stole?”

Lanny gestured back at the shelves full of pill bottles and lotion bottles and bottles of powders that lined the walls.

“Nobody told me they’d be so many,” he said. “How am I supposed to know what to steal?”

“What have you got there?” I said. He had a big brown bottle of capsules in front of him.

“They’re bright yellow,” Lanny said. “What do you think?”

“I think they’ll speed you up,” I said.

“Well, hell, I’ll take some of that,” Billy said.

He stuck his gun in his belt, opened the jar, and pulled out a handful of capsules, which he stuffed into his mouth and chewed and swallowed.

“If these work,” he said, “I’m going out there and punch Mr. Big Britches right in his damned eye.”

We did not have long to wait before Billy’s pupils shrank down to the point of invisability. His face hardened up in a peculiar way and he began to speak slowly and thoughtfully in a language that Lanny and I could not understand. He walked to the front door of the store, gun in hand. I heard the news van pull up outside.

“Go on home now,” I told Lanny. “I’ll leave your name out of my story. Mostly it won’t be about you, anyway.”

New Trend in Suicides

“Zanesville, OH – Eccentric resident releases 57 wild animals, kills self.”

For years we’ve had to put up with deranged men storming into businesses and schools, shooting up the joint, and then blowing their own brains out. Now at last a healthier trend is emerging.

Some recent examples:

– John Smith, prominent Kansas farmer, sells everything that he owns, uses the money to buy wind turbines, erects them in his fields, and then ties himself to a heavy-duty Army box kite and allows himself to be drawn up into the middle of a thunderstorm, where he is rendered crisp.

– Fred Smith, long-time protector of shark aquatic habitats, sells everything that he owns, donates the money to Florida for the purchase of additional oil-skimming equipment, and then sails out to the shoals beyond Pedon Key, punches himself in the nose to make it bleed, and swims in circles around his sailboat until a couple of hammerheads put him out of his misery.

– Mike Smith, America’s most successful porn producer, releases 5,546 movies to the Internet, public domain, for the enjoyment of whatsoever man or boy wants to watch them, then pays his top female star $1 million to quit the business after first sitting on his face until he smothers to death.

– Bob Smith, Presidential candidate, withdraws from the race, issues a blanket endorsement of all the other candidates, including Sarah Palin if she changes her mind, and then asks the drunks down at Mike’s Bar to vote on whether he should finish himself off or not. They vote yes.

How to Debate

Watching the Republican debates, I’ve been impressed with how much these guys have to learn.

Some debating tips:

– Pay no attention to your opponent. This knucklehead isn’t going to change his views no matter what you say. Don’t bother with him. Of course, if your opponent is a babe and you’ve already been hitting on her in the green room, then start out by praising her outrageously. After that, you can ignore her until after the debate.

– Ignore the moderator and his or her stupid questions. Answer your own questions instead. All politicians do this automatically already.

– Your job is to convince the audience of your point of view. Focus totally on the audience. Ideally, choose one audience member and focus on her. If she is hot, in the front say, showing some leg, try to make eye contact occasionally, dragging your gaze up from her body to her face.

– One fact maximum per response. Do not get complicated. Truth is not a priority. Nothing to teach the presidential candidates here.

– Avoid all those fun words that you use every day to spice up your conversation. Do not use the F word, the N word, the C word, the M-F word, or the M word (Mucaca).

– Choke up on the word “Mom.”

– Finally, find someone in the audience who makes you mad just to look at. A Mexican? Some dweeb with a good-looking chick? Your wife? Focus on her for your final rant. As you finish up, have a little sweat on your brow, but don’t get all lathered up. If you’re soaking wet, you’ll lose all the women in the room, except for those few with a sweat fetish.

He plays the game the right way

What about you, pardner? Do you play the game the right way?

97% of U.S. citizens respond that they mostly play the game the right way. 3% report that after The Rapture, they’ll be gone, so who cares? A few among that 3% responded in irate fashion, saying “It’s not a game!” They’ll be left behind with the rest of us. Soreheads.

Dogs and cats will also be left behind, not because they play the game the wrong way but because they’re not leaving without us. They play the game the right way.

Are we penalized when we play the game the wrong way? Our human refs blow a lot of calls but our Heavenly Father never needs a replay. He can set you back five yards for shoplifting or strike you down with a bolt of lightning, old school, and send you directly to Hell for your “backfield in motion.”

Can you play the game the right way and still have fun? Games are supposed to be fun, but is it fun when your sister owns Boardwalk with two hotels on it and she’s a real twerp about it? Is it fun when Grandpa spots you two rooks and then gets drunk while he beats you?

Speaking of which, I don’t play Madden Football the right way. Too many buttons. Madden himself doesn’t play Madden Football the right way. Playing video games the right way is about machines, about objects without souls, about a Godless, meaningless, vacant, useless universe, where Life’s meaning is measured out in little squirts of endorphin generated by the motion of your fingers and the colored light-patterns falling upon your retinas, and that numbness in your butt cheeks. When you play a video game the right way, you’re putting the big  game on hold until your Mom comes in, grabs you by your stack and swivel, and jerks you up out of your chair and your socks, for dinner.

Playing the game the right way is about respect. Your friends, your enemies, your acquaintances, your family, the MSM, Satan – everybody but, say, Rush and Ann Coulter and Michelle Malkin, and maybe Ayn Rand if she were still alive, will respect you. If you have low self-esteem, this won’t make any difference to you, but if you have low self-esteem, you’re probably not playing the game the right way anyway. Respect is a kind of awe, because it’s so rare. Play the game the right way and everybody around you will be in awe of you. This can seem cool until you’re out on a date and make your first move. Then the awe turns into something else and you might as well be back home with your faithful dogs and cats.

Thinking back on my day so far… It’s raining. My opponent hasn’t showed up, or shown up. There are no spectators; the stands are empty. I’m in my practice togs. My heart is pure. I’m ready to play the game the right way but I’m not playing it yet.

Flowers, Puppies, and the Love of God

Reading over some of my recent posts, I find them harsh. I regret these posts. The world does not need harsh. The inside of my brain is not a harsh place. Let us  mellow out.

Yes, let us think of… flowers. Their beauty. Floral beauty. Their colors. Floral color. Each flower provides sustenance and living space for myriad small creatures. Sure, the little things eat each other to some extent. There are spiders. It’s a jungle in miniature. Endless soulless remorseless death. But let’s not think about that. Let’s focus on the aromas, the deep satisfying colors. With global warming progressing exponentially, you’ll be able to grow all manner of heat-tolerant, drought-resistant varieties year round, until we reach the point where only cactii can survive. Increasing respiratory illness and allergies might spoil our walk in the roses, as will the advent of the African black death honeybee, but let’s not think about that.

Let us think instead of… puppies. So fuzzy. So friendly, except for those traumatized into quivering catatonia by their previous experiences with humans. Ha. You think you know where this is going: into negative territory, again and again. Wrong. Watch this. Puppies, yapping, tussling, months away from developing into vicious pit bulls… Now you think I’ll promise not to go dark, but then I will go dark. No. I won’t promise anything. Why should I? You don’t know me. We’ve never met. Have you ever been bitten by a rabid dog? Sure, the dog was tiny. But it’s teeth were like needles. Have you ever had rabies treatment? The needles into the abdomen? Sure, I can be mellow, but give me a friggin break! Let me work through a couple of issues first, alright?

So let us think of… love. The Love of God. I no longer say a blessing over dinner. Why? Because in the space of time that I am speaking the words of thanks, and while I’m also asking for a blessing upon family members, in that space of time, an average 423,706 individuals around the world will die, often in what some would call hilariously macabre circumstances. If I keep up the blessings, one or more of my family members are increasingly likely to drop dead while I pray, as am I. It’s simple statistics.

Will I read this later and find it harsh? I think not. If flowers, puppies, and The Lord are not mellow, what is? Or what are?