Panic!

Spindled tickets desire not much more from their makers
than the basic recognition of their proper utility
in the overblown social experiment
known as customer ordering and service rendering.

Once stabbed and stacked, impaled indefinitely,
our punctured pals wish not to be moved
until they and their carbon paper cousins
all make the grand pilgrimage together.

When each new spent batch has been manhandled
and hurtled to the hallowed trash can (the one
with the mass-produced “Law & Oarder” bumper sticker
carelessly splashed onto it as a graffiti-hider
and exercise in pointless consumerism)–the one
that a wise old papyrus once celebrated
as heaven incarnate–contagious catharsis
sweeps through the crinkled pile.

Since all their common ancestors disappeared forever
upon meeting the can of destiny, the soon-deceased
sensibly assume that it must be a pretty swell place
to stick around for a solid chunk of time (probably
just positively loaded with recreational activities).
No panicky paper here, no sir. Delusional, definitely,
but not a hint of panic!

By All Accounts

As a younger man–though old enough to know better–I once navigated a rather cryptic epoch during which I chose (wholeheartedly or pigheadedly) to stick with my plague-rich mentality of promotional ice cream lotteries, confident in my god-given ability to strike it rich. With my trusty two and a quarter inch nail at my disposal, I scribed the five luckiest numbers ever known to man and beast in my favorite subterranean cave, positively declaring an end to the ceaseless turmoil of fumbling around in the cosmic muck for a few measly digits that–at one of my lower points–I thought would elude me as long as I were to inhabit this particular body. I then hastily chucked good ol’ Rusty (that’s what I called my long-suffering galvanized friend, knowing that his kind doesn’t rust for decades–a joke we shared on countless occasions) into the nearest ravine, a flourish that would–by all accounts (payable or otherwise)–bring this self-imposed trudge to a meaningful conclusion.

Boy, what a boneheaded mistake. No sooner than I’d comforted myself with that symbolic nail toss, a magpie hopped on by and casually reminded me that the most lucrative lottery drawings typically have six numbers. I wept, knowing that I’d severed the most rewarding relationship of a lifetime under the false pretense of a free scoop of rocky road at a participating Neddy’s® Frozen Custard.

I shaved and went back to my old CPA job.

The Bellwether

To the chagrin of the motorbiking penguin-flipper, we carry old prairie weights for a regardless happenstance. Well, regardless, we’re quite unkempt for the situation–the scenario, if we will. But it’s okay, we’re all living some version of this or any other truths, not to be degraded for any reason or purpose.

The bellwether, or weather of bells–as I’d sometimes rather say–has stood in direct opposition to the canine point of equilibrium separating our ancestors from the ravenous wolves who once stormed down our doors for even just a hint of carnage. But times change. People grow and domesticate those pesky sheep they’d once only counted prior to slumber, involuntarily offering a small portion of their flocks to satisfy the taxation meted out by the gods that our dogs only wish they could be.

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.

Plane

Well, what can we really do
at the end of the day,
aside from stapling our sorry sacks
to a sphincter of solidarity?

Ooh, that’s nasty. I shouldn’t be
unleashing such filth when
children
possessing such youth
are within earshot. I remember–
back when I was a child–when
that kind of filter just wasn’t
present in my mind’s eye.

I indeed regret that I didn’t
have the temerity to tell folks
(and, indeed, even my parents)
how their off-color language
off-put me. Every damn,
dang and darn chopped into me
like a rusty old hatchet–and
let’s not even mention
those other four-letter doozies.
But those were different times;
I was 23 then.
I’m 27 now, and my perspective
has matured magnificently.

What changed, you ask? Something
about my regular reading of
horoscopes and astrological charts
allowed me to unpack
my cognitive dissonances, yet
left me wanting more
from the universe and the planets
and the alignments and the
what have you. Is it all there
as a way of making us feel
more comfortable not knowing
the grand scheme of things,
a la benevolent overlords?

I reckon if we can’t truly see
the full picture, we might as well
get as large-scale
as we possibly can
while affixing as much
mathematical logic to it,
keeping in mind that everything
is more likely than not
an amalgamation of chaotic particles
flinging themselves at one another
at variable rates, and we’re
the unnecessary end result.

See, these are the kinds of thoughts
that can be had without
such a potty mouth! Now, if only
our president
could understand that, we’d be
in much better shape. But
you know what? I’ll leave
that speculation to the birds.
What kind of birds, you ask?
Gee willikers, I don’t know!
You pick one! I guess
I’m partial to crows
at the moment,
though I do like them egrets
and fincher-pinchers.

Okay, you got me, fincher-pinchers
aren’t actually animals—
that we know!

Well, at least in this plane.
There are no fictional
passerine passengers
allowed on flight #38674-012
to Fallas-Dwort Earth.
Truly.