Thursday, March 25, 2010

CHARLTON HESTON ... YOU AN ME


Charlton Heston … it’s you and me! Toe-to-toe, or to-to-toe tag if you will. I am tired of you invading my dreams. It is time we had it out … man to man.

Never mind that you have a distinct advantage. First of all, you are not real. You invented yourself for the movies. Bring it on fake guy!

Being dead is a huge advantage. Think about it. You are invisible. So, unless I am asleep I can’t even see you. You have no substance … my punches would go right through you. You are an actor. That gives you the benefit of script approval, not to mention improvisation. Bring it on dead guy!

I have seen all the movies. Yes, you have been trained in the use of every weapon known to man. Nice trident work in “Ben Hur”. Me, I only use the pitchfork to turn the compost pile. Don’t think I didn’t notice you busting rocks and parting seas with that staff in “The Ten Commandments”. I wouldn’t call myself an expert, but I have watched Robin Hood and Little John fight it out on the log across the river a few times. I also was pretty successful with the pugil sticks when I was in basic training. I had to face Roy, the guy from the street gang in St. Louis who was so ugly that he looked like a gas mask had melted on his face. A couple of fake thrusts and up side his head. Guess he was better with a knife than a stick. I also pounded the professional violinist. He was a walk in the park. All I did was whack him on his fingers (he was pretty sensitive about those hands) and he never saw the head shot coming. Firearms anyone? How many movies were you in in which you were packing? Did I say earlier that I am military trained? I scored Marksman with the M16 and Expert with the M60 machinegun and 45-pistol. I was given impressive medals (or were they merely metals?) to wear on my uniform. Lock and load gunslinger!

I don’t want to belabor the point … the point about it being a fair fight … what with your advantages … but. You seem to be able to smile while you are fighting (i.e. “The Big Country”) and talk while clinching your teeth. Frankly, you look just like those monkeys in “Planet of the Apes”. Unfortunately, I spit and drool and the best I can manage for words is a slurred version of “I’m gonna kill you” and a string of screamed expletives staring with the letter “f”.

I think I understand how Salmon Rushdie felt now when the Muslims imposed a jihad on him. Maybe it was all those cowboy movies you made. I am tired of this ye-had you’ve lain at my door. So … bring it on … a fight to the death (whatever that means for you). I think you know where you can find me. My house … my bed … any night!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

DREAM: CHARLTON HESTON SEEN ON ROUTE 142


Most of what I write is funny … is supposed to be funny … or I think it’s funny. But not this one. That’s the cool thing about dreams. You definitely cannot control them or make much sense of them. Even so, I am fascinated by them. Dreams are like a machinegun with the safety off, tumbling down the steps and blasting away in every direction. That said; keep your head down!

In my dream, I am heading out Route 142, the road to Vernon. However, it now seems to run through Richford, Vermont. It also now happens to be an exit point from this life to some other undefined existence. Who’d a thought it? Here is how it works. If you are driving, you just keep driving and you gradually submerge. There is a lot of controversy in the dream about whether it is proper etiquette to slightly crack the window or leave it shut. I tend to go with the cracked or open window.

You apparently can also walk out of this life, but it is different. When you are walking, the road becomes very slippery and muddy. There are big, slimy pieces of grapefruit peel that appear to have been stepped on and considerable whole fish lying around. Route 142 in this scenario is clearly slanting downward and people are sliding in that direction.

It is not a foregone conclusion even though you are sliding or driving that you are leaving this life. Actually, there are counselors there to ask you whether you are really mentally ready to make the transition. If not, you are led back up Route 142. There is no stigma; you are encouraged to come again when you are ready. The whole thing reminds me of Edward G. Robinson in”Soyant Green”. Here’s a coincidence for you, Charlton Heston, who was in the movie and was in another dream of mine a while ago, was driving the car into the water in this dream.

Insert me. I was there in the dream. I realized that I had been there before and had not been ready. I met a woman there, who I recognized from another trip, but I am not sure why I recognized her. She knew me too. Here is a wake up piece. I have had this same dream at least one other time.

The good thing is that I am not obsessed with death and don’t have any death wish that I know of. I am intrigued, however, how the brain grabs obscure facts and tidbits and jumbles them together into some kind of surreal story. It’s the fact that there seems to be a story unfolding even though the facts and participants don’t fit. Oh well, no time to ponder such mysteries now. Got to put on my black shirt and black pants and black shoes and reapply the black shadowing under my eyes and head out for my appointment to get my hair dyed black.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

THE FIRST TIME


They say you never forget your first time. I think I can speak for Anne and me. It’s true! For us it was on a vacation trip to Lake Rangeley in Maine. Believe it or not, we were so bold back then that we actually asked a local where to go for it. It was on a lonely, deserted dirt road near the lake. As we approached, we saw another couple, obviously with the same idea, slowly pull back onto the road and we quickly replaced them. The car was still running and Anne was already reaching for her camera. I’m sure I had a grin on my face that would have made Carly Simon proud.

Standing In the tall grasses alongside the road was full-grown moose. She was magnificent to see. She tired of our gawking quickly and trotted ahead, but I eased the VW forward and kept abreast. Without warning, she charged. The camera flashed as Anne instinctively snapped a picture with the moose no more than three feet away. The moose veered. Twice more, she charged. Twice more, Anne frightened it away with the camera flash. Meanwhile, I drove steadily forward, keeping the moose directly abreast of the passenger side of the car. The dance was going well until Anne shouted something about her personal safety. I don’t think she fully grasped the significance of the moment.

Safely away, I again pulled the car over. I gazed deeply into Anne’s eyes … the pupils were almost back to normal by now. I reached for the Marlboro pack and lit two at once, like a 40’s movie. We sucked greedily from the cigarettes and held the smoke deeply in our lungs. I leaned close and whispered, "Was it good for you too?" It’s true. You never forget your first time.

In the intervening years, we experienced many more moose sightings, but never one so dramatic. We saw them throughout New England and in Canada and Sweden. We saw them alongside the road and in the road. In New England, you’re nobody if you haven’t got moose stories to share. A person’s credibility and reputation is especially endangered when you can’t produce a moose for visiting relatives from the South. Not just the Moose Crossing sign … a real moose. Anne and I are lucky. We’ve delivered the goods … most importantly, right here in Williamsville. We are verified New Englanders.

And yet … I’d trade it all for just one fisher cat.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

HOT DOGS IN PARADISE



In the never-ending quest for the best hot dog joint in the South, I checked out two new entries during by trip to Eden, NC. Friday, we checked out Cliff’s Place. As soon as we stepped inside, I knew we were on to something. There was a great array of characters already seated and waiting for us. Perfect. We grabbed the first available pleather booth and plopped down. We fit right in. I don’t know why people were staring. I checked out the menu and sure enough … hot dog … $1.09. Ah, the price was right, but why .09? I will leave that to the historians.

You may have guessed this already, but I was the only patron taking pictures … which may have blown my cover and revealed me to be a damned Yankee in disguise … or it could have been my flip flops … or my toe rings … or my ear ring … or my heathen necklace ... or my Indiana Jones hat. Two ladies entered and sat behind us. They graciously agreed to let me snap their picture. I did. I must admit that I had not seen a beehive hairdo like that for years. I tasted honey in my mouth. Meanwhile, our waitress assured me that Cliff’s hot dog was the best in Eden.

Bad news for Cliff. I must disagree. The fixins were fine, but the dog was mushy.

Saturday, I had a little confrontation with Louis. Seems he was holding out on me and I think I know why. There is a new hot dog place in town. He had his excuses. Lame ones. It is Yankee Hots Cafe. I insisted that I be taken there. His story kept changing. Yankee Hots Cafe gets its ndogs from New York. Louis was starting to sweat. I got two of the trash dogs … with everything. Louis said very little on the way home. Kinda tasted like a pizza on bun. He didn’t even get a dog for himself. Trouble in River City. He just hung his head. The trash dogs were really good. The damned Yankees have burned Atlanta agin. Louis turned away with tears in his eyes.


The vote is in … at least for Eden, the original apple-eaters Mecca. First Place – Trash Dogs at the Yankee Hots Cafe Second Place – Dick’s Place for a Big Dick Third Place – the hot dog that fell off the train at the Railroad Cafe Last Place – Sorry Cliff - the Iditarod dog at Cliff’s.

Damned Yankees!