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.

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!

Far-Fetched

Stern army fandanglers initiate the bizarrest of letterbox rituals as a way to compensate for their minimal internal squawking about where in the hell to buy a caramel macchiato during a Thursday afternoon rush hour—it’s definitely the most congested freeway seen around these parts in quite some time, the rubbernecks all out in force and jamming up the left lane to catch glimpses of a minor fender bender where the only detail of note would be the involvement of a clown car. Fortunately, no actual clowns happened to be in or, indeed, even around said automobile, or traffic would surely would be at a complete standstill.

The question remains: why is there a clownless clown car on the road? A rational observer would surmise that it’s headed to the shop, getting an oil change or tire rotation, or perhaps being treated to the periodic hand car wash and wax (one of Flopsy® the Clown’s numerous contract stipulations). Suffice it to say that none of these scenarios would benefit from the presence of a real live clown, unless some sort of clowning industry discount were to apply to these local auto-maintenance establishments, which seems utterly far-fetched (yet plausible if our society only knew who pulled the strings).

Never gonna get that got damn macchiato…

Wharf

Drinking all the coffee in the world still won’t keep me from passing out like a yellow-bellied stooge wielding a catcher’s mitt much too oversized for his gimpy left hand. Why a catcher’s mitt? Perhaps to shield from the harsh realities of 21st Century American living, or to comment on the perpetual competition bred into our species as though any other way were simply infeasible. Further introspection reveals that this set of details has no basis in literary circles, not unlike a diving Oscar wrangler tethered to a tugboat moored to a wharf comprised of 93% recycled mosquito netting. For the purposes of this exercise, the other 7% shall remain unexplored.

Catch a Break

Carnival phraseology toots the patoots; mustn’t forget to hold the stetson hat apparatus. Something about Colorado’s avocados just doesn’t sit right with me, I reckon.

I enjoy a vintage turnkey turpentine just as much as the next fella, but I’ve been charged with so much turquoise scrutiny that I couldn’t possibly catch a break with my micromanagerial authoritarian figures. Well, perhaps I can sneak a little one while they’re out defending their freedom to be overbearing toward the less fortunate in the world… what could that possibly hurt (aside from those tragically codependent trout fisheries and sea monkey dispensaries peppering the eastern seaboard)?

Folksy Ties

Ever more dissatisfactory than the wrought inheritance brought forth by bankruptcy of character, our thoughts of Swiss cheese benevolence really have no bearing on what it means to be a profitable avocado salesman in this neck of the woods. Don’t get me wrong, I have long-espoused numerous methods for informing individuals of their folksy ties to the apocalypse, but I choose to evaluate sparingly, for the more a person speaks his or her mind, the more likely they are to compromise their mystique. I don’t personally take my old rapturous censorship more seriously than the average ridged potato chip, though perhaps I should. Perhaps I should. Egads! All this food talk has done me the ages-old disservice of fabricating hunger pangs when my stomach really had no business engaging in such a thought sequence. Well, my stomach has no business engaging in any thought sequences, but that’s neither here nor there.

Waking Lives

Informally wedged between a significant mile of alterations and a limitless power of inventory tallying, my golf ball’s normally-understated carryover floundered briefly–the northern lights had obscured my vision, rendering my lie-finding skills ineffectual on this particular fairway (perhaps I shouldn’t have made a habit of getting in a tight nine after midnight, but free golf is free golf).

At least I got the chance to gawp at the Canada geese flapping over the course, wings beating black against the nuclear waste green, a cacophony outmatched only by their aggressive calls to each other, expressing–what I intuitively deemed to be–awe at the display they rarely see. Though you know, travelers of their caliber get many more opportunities than your typical vertebrates, having inhabited the skies every year of their waking lives.

——

First draft posted on 9/26/11,
originally entitled #20