For the Ladies ...

I was in line ordering a sandwich.  Behind me was a table with four females ... all in their early to mid-twenties.  They were giggling, having a grand time telling tales.  And then one told this one. 

"So get this: Ron [I don't remember his name, but Ron seems about right] was out in the living room drinking with Brandon and Tia last night.  He comes into the bedroom about three-thirty drunk and tells me he's going to the store.  I say, 'You're drunk.'  He starts bitching and leaves.  Later he comes back in, bends over by the bed and farts in my face three times [I must stress at this point that I am not kidding -- her friends, by the way, are laughing]!  [She then makes the standard flatuent sounds like you hear in the movies.]  Three times!  I told him to knock it off, and he just laughed at me.  He gets into bed and keeps doing it!  [The friends are really laughing now.]  And then I feel something weird on my hand.  He shit the bed!  [Guffaws all around.  Not sure why.  It's digusting.]  It's on the blankets, my hand, and then somehow it gets in my hair.  I tell him he shit the bed, and he laughs some more.  So I get out and show him the sheets with shit all over them, and he keeps laughing.  When I tell him I'm sleeping in the other room he just says, 'I'm sorry, baby.'"

Okay, ladies, if this seems normal to you, or if you don't see much wrong this picture, let me state something: You are setting your standards too low.  This is not normal behavior.  This is not acceptable behavior.  Why this woman didn't flip after her "man" passes gas in her face three times is beyond me.  I would've stabbed him.  No joke.  Stabbed.  In the stomach.  Deep.  Why she doesn't kick him out when he defecates in their bed is also beyond me.  I can buy that she may have been tired at first for his inital assault, but shitting the bed?  No.  At that point the wind-breaking, bed-shitting motherfucker would have been out on his ass, and he wouldn't be coming back.  Why was this accepted?  Because he was drunk?  So what?  You know who can crap the bed and get away with it?  Babies.  Really old people.  Sick people.  That's it.  Drunks aren't covered.  And if you do something like that and laugh?  Jesus.  What is wrong with this woman?

She's not partners with a man.  She's partners with a three-year-old in a man's body.  Only a kid would do that sort of thing and think it's funny.  Why didn't her friends say, "Wait.  Why are you still with this dumb waste of flesh?"  Is it because they would accept that sort of thing, too?  Maybe.  I don't know.  They were laughing as if they had all experienced it before.

I've had great relationships, and I have had not-so-great ones.  In none of those did anything like this ever happen.  Drunk or not.  I don't find bodily noises all that amusing (unless, of course, it's the gurging that accompanies the slit throat of a bed-shitter), and expelling solid (or liquid) waste where I sleep is not even an option.  Listening to her tell her story it seemed that the only thing surprising to her was that this happened on a Saturday morning instead of a Sunday morning.  How pathetic is that?

When I looked to see who this pathetic woman was, I was horrified.  I had had conversations with her in the past at her job (which is food service, incidentally -- hope she washes the shit off herself before he next shift), and while she has never seemed all that intellectual, she never came across as that bad.  I had to wonder what a guy would have to do to get her really upset?  Urinate in her corn flakes?  Once you shit the bed, the sky is really the limit, isn't it?

To all the ladies reading this, please listen to me.  If you have a man like this in your life -- leave him!  That relationship is never going to get better.  He will not suddenly mature.  He's not going to wake up one day (preferably in a clean bed) and think, "You know, breaking wind in my girl's face is rather rude.  So is shitting the bed.  I think I'll stop."  You have a better chance of hitting the lottery than you do of that happening.

Believe me, you can do better.  And if not ... well, a life full of solo dinners and masturbation is far better than a life with a guy like that.


Eureka, CA Mother and Son Love Their Drugs!

If a family duo is arrested in Eureka, CA you can bet it either has to do with prostitution or drugs.  This time, as reported here by the Times-Standard, it was drugs.  GerriAnne Schulze and her son, Damon Patrick Wright, were busted in their motel room with items typically used for drug consumption and sales.  The article even cites "meth pipes."  Why this even made the news is beyond me since when it comes to Humboldt, drug use never falls far from the tree.

I'm a firm supporter of the legalization of all drugs.  I don't care what someone puts into their body.  If they are breaking into people's cars to feed their addiction, then I care.  Otherwise, I think legalization puts people on the recovery track and frees up resources to fight other crime (like white collar crime that led to our financial meltdown).  Yes, drugs are insidious, addictive and are far from good from you, but so is Pepsi.  Of course, I don't know the last time someone prostituted themselves for a 2 liter, but some things are more addictive than others.

Eureka, as is most of Humboldt (at least until harvest season) is a depressed economy.  The blight we see in Eureka is partially the result of this depressed economy.  Fishing is about dead.  Logging is dead.  Nothing has replaced those things.  (Not saying they should come back in full force, either, but the economy is an ecology in and of itself, too.  Take one thing away and it must be replaced or the imbalance becomes too great.)  When the economy fails, people do what they can to make money.  That's capitalism!  They will fill a need.  Drugs are profitable.  Just ask the makers of Viagra, a legal drug (such distinctions mean little to me).  This mother and son team filled a need.  It's not how I would make a living, but it is so common here in Eureka that I'm surprised it warrants a mention even in the terror-filled Times-Standard.  (Almost every day you can read some AP piece of horrible child sexual abuse or murder.  It's almost like those Mexican death magazines.)

Humboldt has many newsworthy things happening every day.  Familial drug dealers is not one of them.  Taken out of context, with no background, this story just feels exploitive.  There was no delving into the duo's past.  No mention of what brought the police to the motel room initially.  Nothing other than the facts.  In this case, the facts are no different than what goes on every day in motel rooms throughout the county.  What the paper thought was special was that was a mother and son team.  What those of us who keep our eyes open know, is that the only thing different about this one is that they got caught.


Under The Bridge: Masturbating Perverts and Junkies

Eureka, California has this large bridge.  The Samoa Bridge.  Under it is a dock for launching boats.  Before it is an under-utilized park where a blues festival is held every year.  It's also home to assorted perverts.  I wasn't always aware of this, however.

When I first moved here, I had no idea what kind of insanity lurked under and around the bridge.  I was exposed to it (pun intended) when I took my bike on a leisurely ride along the bay.  As I got to the the end of the line, I stopped to look at the boats, when a rustling sound in the bushes behind me caught my attention.  No, it wasn't a sea gull shredding the remains of a hamburger.  It was a man.  More specifically, a masturbating man.  Broad daylight. 

I didn't stick around, but since then the bridge has been a constant source of inspiration in my various stories.  (Melinda actually utilizes the location in a way that mirrors what I actually witnessed a few years later.)  Since that masturbating bush man incident I've visited the bridge about once a year, sitting in my car and people watching.  I haven't seen such a flagarant display since then, but I've witnessed the junkies, the homeless, the hookers and the men looking for other men, as well as the dog walkers, the fishermen and the bicycle riders who have (presumably) yet to be exposed to the delights of exhibitionists and their shortcomings.

I suppose every town has a place where the civil laws of society sort of fade to the background and it becomes a free for all of sexual delights and substance abuse of every sort.  Picture Burning Man without high ticket prices and kinetic sculptures.  And though I find it a source of inspiration, I also find it kind of sad.  The homeless, the dope slammers, the closeted men, the ladies looking to make five bucks -- it's a Norman Rockwell painting that he always wanted to do but never had the guts to actually pull off.  It is the people society would rather forget about, and that's why those places are always sort of out of the way.  You don't see them.  They don't exist.

In time I imagine the area around the bridge will be developed and the fringe riders will have to find a new place to congregate.  They will, through some weird signal system that only they understand, alert others of a similar ilk to their whereabouts.  Until that day arrives, however, you tourist types now know of a place that isn't in any of the Eureka guide books.  If you need some black tar heroin, a hooker of questionable age, or a hummer from a guy who will go home to kiss his wife about a half hour after he's done with you -- you now know where to go.  Or you can just go to the zoo like all the other tourists.  Where's the fun in that, though?

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Up Against the Wall Motherfucker

Paying my monthly Friends of AK Press contribution always makes me feel pretty damn good.  I'm reading Realizing the Impossible: Art Against Authority currently, which I got through my monthly contribution.  Right now I'm at the section that deals with Black Mask (later known as Up Against the Wall Motherfucker!).  I wasn't around to experience those heady days of busting into the Pentagon and "shutting down" the Museum of Modern Art, but that doesn't mean I can't be giddy when I read of Black Mask's exploits.  A perfect fusion of art and activism meant to destroy the very society Leftists apologized for and Right Wingers sought to protect at all costs.  Again -- giddy.

A lot of Black Mask's activities had the air of theatre and pranks.  The group challenged everyone and everything.  The very first issue of its magazine said this on the cover: "We assault your Gods ... We sing of your death.  DESTROY THE MUSEUMS ...."  How can you not love a call to arms like that?  As Chumbawamba sang, "What we need is a break from the old routine."

These days, anything close to Black Mask/Up Against the Wall Motherfucker is looked at as a terrorist organization to be infiltrated, disorganized and eventually penalized.  After all, the government can't have people running around threatening to throw bombs, or even -- God forbid -- really throwing bombs.  That's its job!

My small contribution to AK Press every month helps to keep it afloat.  At a time when publishing houses are so scared of the written word that they refuse to print anything that could be deemed "controversial," AK Press, along with a handful of others, knows no such fear.  In fact, AK Press looks at preserving history as one of its jobs.  Radical history, yes, but that's the only kind of history that's really changed things. 

What we need is a break from the old routine.

What I think we're getting is anything but.  I wonder how Black Mask would deal with that these days?  What would its challenges be?  What would it target?  Back in the late '60s it targeted everything under the sun.  It's goal was no less than total annihilation of the sacred cows, though the members admitted they knew no such thing would happen.  They wanted disruption.  The starting members embraced anarchism and used that as a platform to threaten chaos.  In those days people were receptive to the ideas put forth by Black Mask.  Today?  I'm not quite sure, but I know that many of the things that appear quite radical are nothing more than variations on the themes they propose to abolish. 

Still, I can't help but smile.

Mandatory FTC Disclaimer: Clicking on a link may get me a small commission.  It may also broaden your mind.

We Mobbed Over and That's How We Roll

The Subway by Winco in Eureka, CA is the home of many fascinating cartoon-characters.  The more cynical side of me says they are placed there to let me know we really are living in a computer generated reality.  The realistic side of me says people are just really cardboard cutouts with no real sense of self and even less sense of purpose.  Case in point, the man I call Dawg.

I call this man Dawg because that's what his hat said.  Dawg.  A purposeful misspelling of "dog,"  something that humps your leg and shits on the floor when you aren't home.  Something they eat in foreign countries.  Dog.  Dawg.

A shock of red hair was under that hat.  A TapOut shirt (of course) clung to his torso.  Baggy jeans and sandals completed the picture.  The usual assortment of bad tattoos that were, oddly enough, pot related, dotted his arms.  He looked to be about thirty-five-years-old, but he could have had a hard life and was maybe fifteen.  He sure as hell talked like it.

He was ahead of me in line and on his phone.  He was talking loud.  I don't know if it was because his reception was bad or because he thought he was the center of the universe and all those little planets around him wanted to hear his conversation.  His conversation was not about the situation in Libya or the legal stand-off in Wisconsin.  It wasn't even about the Giants or the NASCAR race that was getting started.  In all honesty, I couldn't understand what it was about because I don't speak Moron.

"Yeah, we mobbed over and that's how we roll."

That was the only line in the conversation that was anything more than two words strung together and accented with a "fuck, dawg."  "Yeah, we mobbed over and that's how we roll."

If you're over fifteen and say things like "mobbed over" and "that's how we roll" in a way that isn't meant to be ironic, you don't deserve to have anything you say taken too seriously. 

What really completed the picture was the arrival of his lady and, from all indications, his child (a five-year-old boy also in a TapOut shirt who is doomed before he started).  They "mobbed" in, not bothering to meet the eyes of those who wanted to marvel at the kind of woman who would accept Dawg sperm.  She wrapped his arms around Dawg's waist.  The boy looked hopeless.

"My old lady's here.  Later." (She looked ten years his younger.)

When their turn came to order, Dawg, Mrs. Dawg and Dawg, Jr. proved their grasp of sandwich ordering wasn't much better than Dawg's grammar.  Maybe it was their first time in Subway.  Maybe they were just naturally undecisive.  Maybe they couldn't read the fucking menu and the accompanying pictures were just "too damn complicated, Dawg."  What should've been a quick and easy order, quickly became anything but.  "What do ya mean, 'footlong?'"  "If ya toast it, how crunchy does the bread get?"  Mrs. Dawg funneled all her requests through Dawg, who should not consider interpretting as a new career choice.  Her constant tugs on his shirt and corrections to the orders he was giving threw the guy off.  He constantly had to correct and get items taken off her sandwich.  That's how they roll.

The woman who was the "sandwich artist," as they used to be called, was doing her best to maintain her cool.  She was Asian, a fact not lost on the ever-observant Dawg.  At one point he told his old lady who was younger than he, "She don't understand me."  This was accompanied by him putting his finger at the corner of his eye and pulling it to the side.  I imagine he was trying to show Mrs. Dawg his Asian impersonation, which, since he used one eye was, in his world, really the mark of being half-Asian.  Luckily, the employed woman (Dawg's employment was questionable, but I know which side I find myself on) had her back turned at the time.

I must have muttered something out loud because Dawg turned to me and said, "I know, right?  She don't know."  Oh, I think she knew, all right.  Then he noticed my septum piercing.  "That is tight.  Where'd you get that at?"

Tight?  It is tight?  I'm sorry.  I don't speak Dumb Motherfucker.  Well-versed in Sarcasm and Fuck With You, though.  Very well-versed.

"I don't know.  Got all messed up on PCP and woke up with it, yo."

He kinda laughed at that.  Then he told me he was thinking of getting it done, but wondered if it would hurt too much.  "Tats ain't nothing, but that's sticking a needle through your skin."


"I wouldn't know about that," I said, crossing my arms, which have a few tattoos on them.

With that he turned back to complete his transaction.  Arm around his old lady's shoulders, kid forgotten, but in tow, they made their way from the restaurant.  I watched to see if God would do the world a favor and have an Escalade plow into them at 45 mph, but God was apparently too busy mobbing somewhere else.  The happy family, someday Harvard bound, made their way toward Winco unscathed by Social Darwinism.

I ordered my sandwich with far less difficulty.  The Asian sandwich artist seemed relieved to be done with the Dawgs.  "I'm going to tell you something very scary," I said to her as she placed my bacon in a microwave.

"What's that?"

"They may continue breeding."

She laughed a bit nervously.  Like she knew she wasn't supposed, but it was funny.

"That's one dog that definitely needs to be fixed."