Youse

The caddie to-do wasn’t ever much more
than an anglerfishworth of gender trappings;
our souls’ faint inner-shirkings
beg to interrupt the rat race formula
so conveniently laid out for us.

Failure is a foregone conclusion
when you stack the chips a certain way.
Of course, we all must stray
from our internal clocks

for the convenience of our plutocratic overlords.
Demean yourself so you can put food on the table,
then you’ll be the richest of us all, I tells ya.

Then maybe one day you can afford
to take a ride on the merry-go-round
of solid gold. Only one ride though,
are you crazy? We’re not running a charity here.

Or perhaps it would be easier to imagine that we are,
if that’ll help you sleep at night. Anything
to shut youse up for a couple hours, you’re exhausting.
Now go play with the TV in the other room for a while,
and try not to get electrocuted like last time.

The High Road

An intricate series of hoofprints
on the stale lithograph
we’ve come to call home
has bled insignificantly–
but not unnoticeably.

Yes, that’s correct. Hoofprints
have bled just enough
for this observer to comment.

Now, I’m aware that there are countless crackpots
who espouse the virtues of anti-vaxxers and birthers,
and this would be right up their alley.
However, I choose to take the high road.

A wise individual once told me
that the low road is the slipperiest,
because the maintenance people need to mop
more often than on the high one

(they have the kind of smelly chemical
floor cleaner that doesn’t dry as quickly
(and they’re always out of wet floor signs)).

Big Whoop

A man named Garvey sedated me once, though the whole outcome could have been avoided. We’d begun feuding the week prior, a trivial dispute over the price of corn muffin mix. Stupid, right? Well, this Garvey feller sure didn’t think so. And it just so happened that his friendly neighborhood drug dealer unloaded a ton of vicodin on him that week, so he was bound to sedate me whether or not we disagreed on anything. I may live to regret having anything to do with that man, but life is a rich tapestry that deserves its fair share of intrigue.

His sister, Nancy, had her own agenda when it came to handling the G-Man. Having lived with him a majority of her life, she’d developed an ingenious coping mechanism for dealing with his ridiculous foibles. Any time he began ranting about the military industrial complex, the go-to strategy would be to bring up the time he’d run into Steve Harvey while jogging on the riverfront–near the Wrigley Building. That would immediately stop his conspiratorial theorizing and send him spiraling through all five stages of the celebrity run-in phenomenon. Turns out Garvey is this joker’s last name. First name: Steve.

Originally, Nancy had only been prepared to shift her brother’s mania away from excessive government spending, but she eventually developed a secondary strategy out of necessity. After letting Steve go on about the Garvey/Harvey thing for a couple minutes, she’s gotten quite skilled at channeling his enthusiasm into a creative jag. Now–since Garvey prefers to make ink drawings, Nancy has set up a corner in her apartment designed solely for her brother to zen out after he gets a little too worked up about the 10-second exchange that he and Steve Harvey’d had. The passion lends itself to the page as he jots up a storm. He doesn’t want to burden himself with any extra material possessions, so he leaves all his creations at Nancy’s place. Nancy has turned a tidy profit from his efforts, since Steve-o gets worked up quite often. It’s reached the point where Nancy could take a year-long hiatus from waitressing and not feel pinched for a minute of it.

So yeah, I let Garvey sedate me. Big whoop. I was hoping he’d feel bad about it and draw me a nice picture that could finance a backpacking trip through the Black Forest.

Rest Easy

Enter Groucho Violent,
star of the nerves and streets,
a double threat if there ever was one.

His reputation precedes him as witty enough to turn a phrase and hard-knuckled enough to know when to admit defeat in the face of a petulant and pernicious foe who, in all likelihood, believes that their position of power has been handed down to them from the LORD ALMIGHTY, and any little rivulet of diarrhea that escapes their corpulence is to be rendered an earth-shattering development in the field of extrapersonal material management, now and forevermore.

Groucho is no stranger to the justice-enforcement arm of things. When his even-keel demeanor and righteous self-taught martial arts techniques combined on one fateful and blustery Flag Day eve, the Justice Jab was born. If you’re still unfamiliar with the singlemost effective crimefighting maneuver ever concocted by man or beast (in Mr. Violent’s last-ditch effort to uncover the overall reason as to our lack of humility when confronted with reasoning), you have some real catching up to do.

The Justice Jab is a miracle worker when the recipient of said jab needs to be awoken from the haze that they’ve come to accept over time, through sheer laziness and self-disrespect. The haze’s effect causes but is not limited to: depression, sluggishness, flatulence, lack of interest in things one would normally enjoy, unjustified sporadic agitation, and death. Such a disconcerting malady comes as a direct byproduct of this world we’ve inherited (through no fault of our own). Rather than face the music, the vast majority of we, the privileged few, have chosen to consume the content created specifically to manipulate our emotional and physical dependencies more efficiently and cheaply than cocaine ever could.

So the next time you see Groucho Violent
meting out swift street vengeance,
you can rest easy
knowing that he’s doing humanity a service.

Eatery / Watering Hole

It’s that time of year again, Linda! All the kids have been plunking themselves down in front of their TVs this evening for one reason and one reason only: The 46th Annual BacArthur Restaurant Industry Genius Grant Conferment Ceremony, brought to you by Susan and Thomas Q. BacArthur, The Gene F. and Billy D. McGillicuddy Foundation, viewers like you, and several billionaires. The festivities kicked off a few hours early this year, with a charming cocktail reception that appears primed to become a yearly tradition, should the food and beverage industry continue enjoying unprecedented growth–our economic experts unanimously agree to this trend’s sustainability as we close out 2019.

Several of the past year’s top emerging bartenders have been hired to wet the whistles of the greatest eatery / watering hole luminaries in our tri-state region. If you look carefully, you might just see the glimmering looks of magnanimity in the eyes of all these foodservice professionals as they wait with bated breath to find out who’s the lucky recipient of the prize that will allow them to explore their more scholarly pursuits for at least a week–perhaps a fortnight, depending on their current cost/s of living–without having to pick up a desperation shift at the last minute next Friday night.

Truly the American Dream, Linda.

Sloppy Pour

Hello.
My name is James Arnettison.
In the following words,
I am going to enlighten you
on the perfect form that is
the sloppy pour.

First off, you might be asking:
“hey James, I gotta ask you something”,
and then I’ll say:
“well go on ahead”,
and then you’ll say:
“cool, thanks for taking the time to listen”
and I’ll say:
“of course, any time!”

It may take a few more exchanges
before getting to the question at hand,
which is this:
what is the sloppy pour?
Excellent question.
A sloppy pour is an upcharge
on a shot (the kind you order at a bar).

Rather than a neat pour,
where all the contents are neatly contained
within the confines of the glass,
the sloppy pour
requires virtually no skill.

The bartender is, in fact, encouraged
to waste alcohol
as they attempt to hit the glass
with about 80% accuracy (give or take,
depending on the establishment’s preferences).

The result is the perfect sloppy pour.
Those long ropes of vodka and tequila
will now be even ropier–
up to 30% ropier, in fact–
as bartenders are given the go-ahead
to wreak havoc on the bar top.

We can get into
the sanitary aspects of this practice
another time, though
liquor does tend to disinfect
more than it infects.

Mr.

Mr. “Screams ‘GEEZ!'” went rarin’ by my left window,
almost as though he’d even had a care in the world–
if it hadn’t been for that cheez whiz spritzer marmalady
gettin’ her gunk in his junk (or his gunk
in her junk, can’t quite remember).

Elemensexary, my dear Tulip the Begonia Wallace.
I’ve been awaiting your arrival for some time now,
young man. I can’t wait to get a good pasta cooking,
if you know what I mean. If you don’t,
no worries, we’ll get you set up like a Pastafarian
on Wednesday evenings, ensconced in the price of
the pledge of allegiance. You may consider this schedule
an eighth more sensational than the tap dodger aligners
who’ve risen to prominence within the last four months.

But enough of that nonsense, it’s about time for me
to devote the digestion of fandom complication atoms
to a starry-eyed wanderer named McGriff (who looks
nothing like Elliott Gould, no matter what LaVernia says).