Monday, February 10, 2020

Charge! In Charge

Team infiltrated into the territory of Mortal Enemy. Separately, of course. One here, another there, another and another elsewhere. As the number of members on Team increases the danger of being captured increases exponentially. That is, an ideal Team consists of One agent, but this mission required no less than Two since One cannot be in two places at once and synchronicity of action in two sites was imperative. The risk is quadrupled. But to facilitate coordination and to insure accurate feedback Control thought it prudent to send the third agent. And for a reason totally inexplicable Contol added a fourth agent, thus increasing the likelihood of capture sixteen-fold.

No member of team was happy with the decision, yet all members acquiesced in silence. One does not question Control.  It is called “Control” for a reason. And the team was captured. And incarcerated. Team members languished in prison, plotting escape, of course. Telepathically. Because no two members of Team were held together and not one of them knew the fate of the others.

Until at sunrise one cold February morning when they stood together, hands bound, facing the firing squad. Mortal Enemy gleefully announced the execution, or rather, that is, The Great Victory over the nefarious invader, the hatred for whom is forever fixed in the hearts and minds of all denizens of Mortal Enemy.

Control was terrified and scuttled like cockroaches when the light is flipped on, justifiably seeking cover, for the vengeful character of Charge! was well-known. Charge! viewed all things, and particularly all people through the lens of self-interest. To reject an appointment, or an “offer of service to the people” is to earn the undying disdain of Charge! He will forever castigate and berate the offender. To accept the service is to insure that the will of Charge! is carried out, that is until the servant questions him as a matter of conscience or crosses him inadvertently due to a communications glitch. Charge! in the words of David P. Torbet, “practices a scorched worth policy-- burns his friends to find his enemies.” He despises losers. And a loser is anyone who disagrees with him.

Though Charge! is firmly supported by his base, he is not without opposition. The Disloyal Opposition, Discharge! mans the ramparts with her cadre of minions and consistently plays the role of Flea on the Behind of Charge!’s administration. Charge! stands at the peak of the pyramid of like-minded followers. Discharge continues the never-ending assault to the unfortunate end that the very fabric of society is snagged. Then ripped. Then torn to shreds and the country descends, nay, plummets into Chaos.

And thus is no more.  Mortal Enemy finally achieves its goal of complete domination, and without firing a shot. Except for the shots of the aforementioned firing squad.

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Dad’s Model-T and Other Stuff

My father often sat at his little Royal portable typewriter and pecked out short stories, memories from an earlier day, or lines of verse to describe a recent life event, often stream-of-consciousness revelations of the way his mind worked, Sometimes. 

I am blessed in that I fell heir to a number of his papers and these random tidbits appear here and there throughout. This snippet covers about two-thirds sheet of standard typing paper, single spaced, elite type. There are about a dozen minor corrections in his hand, blue ink.

My business life venture had to include a Model T Ford automobile. Not much to look at, but I was interested in its possibilities as a race car. It had been remodeled with about anything that would fit wherever, after it was twisted, bent, and bound together with a bit of baling wire, if necessary, and it was generally necessary in those days to have a spool of that kind of mending material for emergencies experienced along the road when far from help of any kind. I do believe that the Ford was brought into existence by Henry Ford as a powerful stimulant to the creative powers of the lower middle class people who were unable to pay for road service when caught far from home. The directions to successful traveling included an odd type of jack & handle, and a small patching kit with which to mend an inner tube. Of course the handle could be used for other purposes after patching inner tubes on hot days. Distance travelers often patched as many as ten or twelve tires in a day. Oh, yes, I almost forgot, a pump of sorts that could be used for inflating the tire. After all that perspiration loss and energy waste the handle could be used to beat the devil out of the car itself, or at least that was the thought. I saw a deep dent lengthwise on a car’s front fender. The driver’s wife explained when the driver was too embarrassed to do so. She said, “It wouldn’t run, so Lester gave it a beating.” Because those were depression days in the 30s, that old car wore its scars with pride for many years. One fender was patched up with a ball peen hammer, pushed back into an acceptable position, and wore this sign: “It’s quilted.”

Temper tantrums were observed by some as noted, but how times have changed. Too many times the driver with auto trouble takes a swig out of a bottle, does a little exercise with blasphemous words then beats the devil out of his wife, scares the little kids nearly to death, then leaves them all until his guilty soul lets him crawl back to his family without an apology. Happy change when the two-footed demon is safely incarcerated. I do think that all society owes itself an apology for the nice places they have for these fellows to sober up in (drunk or just ungoverned tempers).

Part of my business life with my running away from our home of ten children.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Voter ID

Did you ever hold a strong opinion on an issue then after a long time with little thought on the subject you suddenly had an epiphany that forced a complete about-face?

Case in point, and this really happened to me.Yesterday. I have long been a supporter of the concept that a valid ID document should be required at the polls. Then it hit me: This is probably a violation of the 24th Amendment!  Unless there is a provision which allows one to obtain a real ID at no cost, the requirement to show one at the polling place is essentially a poll tax, and that, my Friends, is unconstitutional.

Sure, this is not a problem for most of us. We have valid drivers licenses, passports, and so on, any of which will work fine. But what of the people, and they are legion, who do not drive, who do not travel? Not a problem, you might say. Anyone of legal age can go to a DMV or BMV as the case may be, and with proper documentation may obtain a real ID. For a FEE. Granted, several states, including my own, have made provisions to waive the fee in certain circumstances. So under the "no harm, no foul" concept there is no problem. But maybe there is. What of the expense and hassle of appearing at the BMV branch office?  Not to mention that MANY states have no such fee waiver.

Thus it is that I sit stewing over a problem that two days ago I didn't know I had.

Where does your state stand? Where do you stand?


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

The Young,The Elderly

Tuesday, senior night at the local eatery. Four of us at our table, same four who meet here virtually every Tuesday. Okay, there are many others who do this, too.  Next to us is a large table, young family of six, Mom, Dad, eldest child a boy of eight years, twins a boy and a girl about five, and a lad of say three years. It has been a pleasant meal, well-behaved children and so were their parents.

The family finishes their repast and prepare to leave. The eldest child shrugs into his coat and goes on ahead to the pie cooler next to the cash register. Dad follows with tab in hand. The tyke has kicked off his boots and while Mom is struggling to hold on to the child as she installs a boot, Sis crawls under the table to retrieve the other boot. Meanwhile the Boy Unit of the twin pair has put on his jacket and is standing in the aisle near our table. He seems fascinated with something as he intently looks at the four of us. I am seated in position to make direct eye contact with the Boy and as our eyes met I said, What?

You all have white hair! he exclaimed in apparent amazement.

It's okay, I quipped. You'll get there some day, too.

BBBH turned to the mother and said, It's Tuesday. It's a wonder everybody doesn't have white hair.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Talking to Myself

I stepped in front of the mirror, opened my eyes wider, for I was surprised to see within the glass my fourteen-year old self.   My immediate thought was,This is great!  I can tell him what he needs to know; give him the benefit of my experience, tell him what he needs to avoid. His eyes widened and a look of horror spread across his visage.

Fourteen-year old Self disappeared from my view and there looking back at me was, as I had expected, my eighty-five-year old Self. I hear footsteps receding down the hall, accompanied by a high-pitched scream of terror. They never listen, fourteen-year old Boys. And I might have saved him from himself.

Now wait just a dog-boned minute, Old Timer. Didn't your parents make a sincere effort to give you the benefit of their experiences when you were your fourteen-year old Self? And did you listen? No, you went right ahead on, headstrong and full of yourself and made your own mistakes.