Pinned

Jim Olivo left a note behind for me
many summer camps ago–pinned
to a pine–that reads:

“If you want the recipe for that turkey sandwich from mess hall, you’ll have to pry it from the clutches of none other than Neander The Articulate. Born with almost-exclusively neanderthal blood, his scrawniness prevented him from competing with his peers on a physical level, leaving him alone with his thoughts on a regular basis. Over the years, this ostracized fella developed a peculiarly sharp wit, mainly due to his constant observation of the individuals he would have considered his peers (if they would ever let him). Little by little he started sneaking tiny esoteric quips in edgewise–mainly in passing–that befuddled the muscly alphas and intrigued the blossoming females.”

It goes on like that
for a couple more pages.
I think Jim was working out
some kind of material on me,
because I couldn’t ever find
a turkey sandwich recipe
or a local neanderthal
for the life of me.
Maybe he was talking about
the camp across the lake.

Appetite for the Absurd

Heralded as the Jonestown Network alternative to Stem, the Fruitful Terrier Sitter Extraordinaire, Pango Pango Junction packs quite the wallop when it comes to pure, unadulterated edutainment at a reasonable price. Parked at the intersection of broad leaf swelling and matriarchal patronage, I defy anybody to come away without some kind of interesting new trivia in their noggin by the end of each episode.

Before I agreed to subject myself to the bizarre ritual that is test-viewing a public television program for the determination of proper demographic distribution, I thought “oh jeez, here goes another several hours of my life that I’m never getting back. And right on the heels of finishing up my kite-flying apprenticeship at Old American [for Profit] University, too.”

But, being the good sport that I am, I didn’t even balk at the dubious honor. I suppose it doesn’t hurt that the show’s producer and I had a bit of a fling a few holiday seasons ago, and that we still flirt pretty heartily with each other. I’m a real sucker for shallow intimacy, especially if it’s spread out over the course of several years, where I can put the person/people out of mind for a while and reconnect with that polarizing animal magnetism as though we’re on a sinking ship/divebombing plane/bucking bronco… I guess it would be tough to get two of us on one of those beasts at the same time, but you get my drift.

You know, I’ve had a lot of time to think about this topic. Not to wax depressing, but living alone has afforded me the time to step back and reflect upon the foundation of relationships at their very essence of innate human fragility. I’ve come to develop the inconvenient understanding that I was never meant to settle down with any one person, and the fairy tale love affair might as well go the way of the dinosaurs–at least, as far as I’m concerned. Damn, now I’ve gone and gotten myself all glum again! What the hell?!

But anyway, I promised Gwen I’d do her a favor by giving my unvarnished opinion on the latest project, so I borrowed her official showbiz flash drive and gave the first few episodes a spin. Yes, plural episodes. Just shooting a pilot clearly wouldn’t have been enough doing to properly showcase their dean’s list-caliber aptitude for creative enterprises. One could chalk it up to insurmountable confidence or simply an arrogance that never got flushed out of the system by regular beatings/embarrassments, but I reserve such judgments for the critics of the world.

Well, this review got a bit out of hand. Suffice it to say that I recommend Pango Pango Junction to anyone looking to spend some time on a contemporary spin of the “one-size-fits-all daytime head-scratcher” subgenre. Or simply anyone with a healthy enough appetite for the absurd.

Until we meet again, gentle reader–

Sardonicus Q. Jellyknife, Esq.

Enamored – 14:29GMT

Old Thomas Circuitberry had quite the affinity with our carriage lady and wouldn’t stop to pose for minor photography—no matter the monetary reward. The two of them made a habit of heading to the Metropolitan and drinking kool-aid all the way there, unbeknownst to their poor stomachs until it was too late—every single time.

All hell broke loose on a fairly regular basis—on at least 16 separate occasions. I kid you not; those two were so enamored with one another that a romantic tradition greatly overpowered sugar shock (and even the occasional split stomach).

We would observe this behavior and fail to ever remark upon it, satisfied to assume that their brand of love was unique, not to be tampered with for fear of unleashing the stores of karma they’d built up with every passing road trip.

This story is peculiar from a bystander’s point of view, as you undoubtedly noticed, o benevolent keepers of human specimens. Give me a margarita and leave me alone, would ya?

I Took a Day – 08:49GMT

I took a day to spell my name,
Begot four kids and cooked a goose,
Remarked upon the crooked ways
Of law-enforcement officers,
Caught a stray cat, made it tame,
Released it into calmer seas,
Observed its boldest swimming stroke
Until after about an hour
It lost its life and floated out
To open water, past the boats;
Became a snack for orca young.

I started feeling rather bad,
But after all, I saved that cat!
Perhaps the water didn’t work
For its land-dwelling tendencies
Requiring motion-ceasing rest
A back float just can’t satisfy.
The tide went out, and so the cat
Kept drifting to the deep abyss
Until a mighty albatross
Came gliding by on limber wings
And signaled to its family
That maybe furry mammals can
Adapt to open ocean climes.
But after a few seconds’ look,
The sea bird found it was deceived
And called off all its flighted kin.
It beat its wings and gained some height,
Resumed its path across the sky,
Alone—alone as usual—
And traveling to unknown space.

I managed to observe all this
A hundred miles away on land
With super strong binoculars.
I started to convince myself
That maybe I had sinned against
The animal kingdom that day,
A realm of which I am a part.
But I reminded myself then
That my value on this earth
Is not that of those lesser drones
And packed up my binoculars,
Chucked them off the roof
With all my worldly strength
And laughed a hearty laugh.

Am I a lesser specimen than you, o intimidating scoundrels of hostage-holding expertise? Am I to go down as a pawn in the pyramid scheme you’ve perpetrated since the beginning of human literacy? Just put me out of my misery!

I really wish I could use my arms.