Schmooze

Apple juice permeation of what would have otherwise been considered a cordial affair has shed a new light on the rather pretentious category of social gatherings as we’ve come to understand it (ever since the bungled bungalow endeavor of ought-three).

This particular fiasco began when an advocate for fresh fruit juices invited himself to the festivities, taking every possible opportunity to schmooze with the big names in booze. He slipped past security under the guise of a schnapps magnate named Sir Wilfred von Königstupp and promptly began pushing his non-fermented agenda on the room to decidedly mixed results. The drambuie set found his spiel appalling, whereas the cointreau folks were rather intrigued. Grand marnier was unavailable for comment.

Needless to say, our buddy Wilfred (whose real name will be protected for arbitrary reasons) got the old heave-ho once the Jaegers found out what was going on. His famous charisma at least allowed him to get a couple stream of consciousness quips out there, if only to confound the preppy old money set. Most notable was his impromptu list of “lost arts”, which included (among other things): stadium hopping, hamburger flipping, turkey trotting, limburger tossing, butter mashing, charity giving, the pompadour, and original origami.

Charmishness

Charmishness has its own splendiferous
nature, unbeknownst to the easiest of
all the catchers in their respective ryes,
earnest though they may be.

Feathery nothingness strategizes with the
foremost Giza wranglers on their paydays.
Sometimes what a conservative observer
would call an extraordinary happenstance
is just the thing needed to grant a certain
amount of leeway for hair-brained ventures
(profitable or otherwise).

Chalk it up to another one on the rack,
or just another one taking its sweet time
as the patsy for an unholy ponzi scheme
that would otherwise have fizzled out
were it not for the conviction and stupidity
of the general population of this here planet.

But here’s the thing: people will always be people,
and there’s nothing to be done about it now
or any other time (as far as I can tell).
So all you can do is be kind and understand
that folks just naturally have shortcomings
on a severely regular basis, and
if you can’t get that through your skull,
you’re bound to lose all faith. No biggie.

Anyhow

The gratitude of my temporary inmates seems only to ring truer with each passing circumstance. I suppose I may have acquired a skill or two over the years where it pertains to the custodial caretaking that so many in this throwaway culture would prefer to ignore.

It’s not Stockholm Syndrome that these folks have come down with, since I’m not the one responsible for my subjects’ captivity, but it is definitely a similar phenomenon (a guy sure could get used to all the attention, anyhow). My wards do actually receive that kind of no-strings care that the medical insurance industry forgot about as soon as private concerns got their hooks into it (even though their advertising tries to sell a different story).

Perhaps because of this comfort, every single one of our emerging beer-krausening technologies has been behind schedule under my watch. Maybe it was a mistake to combine a halfway house with a chemistry lab. Our three chemists-in-captivity are functioning alcoholics who just use this particular project to get tanked on the job all day–with my tacit blessing, I suppose. Last Thursday, Ernie–the least-tactful of the three–decided to not look both ways before crossing the street on his lunch break (I do give them at least a little time in each week to get out and smell the flowers). Long story short, Ernie got hit by a shipment of cabbages (with a truck attached), survived, and is now suing the city for not putting a stop sign in a 40 MPH zone. As soon as he got back from the hospital, you’d better believe I gave him quite the lecture on roadside awareness!

Fun Things

The more senior members of the corn-fed trophy mounting union (local 1776) always manage to find opportunities to regale their greener counterparts with talk of a simpler time–when common salmonella held a place in all of our hearts and opinion-dominated politics held sway in the public arena.

The information age was still in its infancy and the shady web traffickers used all their powers of persuasion to convince the good ol’ god-fearing people that doom was just around the corner for all non-believers (when a quick search would reveal that the sedentary nature of these chosen-by-default disciples was actually the exact behavior leading us all to armageddon).

The billionaire false prophets for social normativity laughed all the way to the bank, just the way they always had (and always would, assuming the government they’d purchased would continue to carry out their various people-crushing biddings). Nobody with enough influence could get the gears of social justice turning, due to their lack of tenure as stock market manipulators and robber barons; the folks who figured they could inspire a positive change in discourse were all too late to the party.

Or that would be the narrative that Joe and Stu want to perpetuate at social gatherings (sock hops, ball games, charity galas, what have you), usually after a beer or two. I wish they would talk about fun things instead.

For Good Reason

Preach vigilance
to the ever-ladder-climbing individuals
who deem personal and professional progress
a product of constant social manipulation–always.

Standstills may seem intoxicating
every once in a while
to the few who always rush around everywhere,
and for good reason!

Nothing but pep in your step
and constant “progress”
makes for a dull type of existence–
no room to misstep and fall
(or even sidestep and plateau).

We’ve all become acquainted with these folks–
always on the lookout
for something that offends,
imposition rather than inspiration.
These are the dodgeworthy people,
the dilettantes at the way station
between sanity and clarity.

Chèvre Chaise

It’s become more and more fashionable to sink capital into transforming your obedient pupperoo into a live-action cartoon pooch. Breed is neither here nor there; folks are more concerned with accuracy of likeness than anything else, often times leading to bizarre combinations of aesthetics.

What would happen if you were to combine a beagle and a toaster? Well if you can believe it, Permissia McSimmons has done just that! After getting the idea to construct a bagel costume for her constant companion, Chèvre Chaise, she took the theme one step further with a top-loading polished chrome car carrier. Her social media presence vaulted forward and never looked back from there.

Privy

The entrance to the dragon’s putty stash
still remains more elusive
than the eye can even behold,
beyond the fine sheen of the monkey cages
and dull luster of the eccentric
bayonet-wielding sailor whose ship washed
ashore fifty years ago.

We never heard from him again.
Most folks say he died forty-seven years ago–
a rumor started by a since-defamed
public soothsayer–but those once closest
to him claim he’s still there to this day,
perpetually working his way inland,
bayonet in hand,
determined to gaze upon the epic treasure trove.

Nobody knows where the fabled dragon came from
or where it developed its affinity
for putty and putty-related trinkets, but
there’s also no real confirmation
of its actual existence. As a matter of fact,
I think I overheard once that the sailor
made up the entire dragon story in order to justify
the protracted remainder of his marooned life.

I don’t know how the person I was eavesdropping on
could possibly be privy to that knowledge, but…

——

First draft posted on 12/25/11,
originally entitled #80