#737 JUNE 21, 2013
Copyright 2013 FRANCIS DIMENNO
THE BURDEN OF LIES
“[When] the Burden of lies is shaken off…the emotional result is a feeling of great relief.”
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER SEVEN: PART EIGHT: THE PLAN
It’s all Hell, said Cadger Tandy to his wild young acolyte, Baby Boy Maddox.
Look over yonder at the scene that will meet your eyes in any small town the year round.
Look hinter the olden customs and you’ll see it—do I have to come right out and say it again?—it’s all Hell.
Now, I reckon ye ken the start of Winter is when the devils come out in full force. You see, Yob, there is a thin scrim—very thin indeed—that separates the normal world from the lurking hell that lay in back of it. Christmas and New Year’s Eve in particular was ever and is always simply a portal into license and the staving off of slow decay. Leave your liver at the door!
But in reality and fact, it is all hell the year round. Winter and spring, summer and fall.
In Spring you see evil old men with bitter twisted mouths settin on benches in front of the court house, their heads full of unfinished business. Hoping to ruin things not only for today, but also for the folks who will live on long after they are dust. And for all times. For example, you will always see them schemin’ to get rid of the newly-arrived young minister doing Good Works at the local Church of God and Gold Almighty. Who the Devil does he think he is–Him, and his newfangled ideas about God’s mercy and His forgiveness? No—give them the old time Preacher Man, and his pissy little hellfire sermons every time–he keeps the youngsters ready to toe the line.
In the Springtime you’ll run across the sour old biddies with triple chins and loose corsets, all spruced up in black funeral dresses on Easter Sunday, setting on stools in the ice-cream parlor, coolin’ off their poison tongues with banana splits and sody water—you can almost hear the water sizzle in the throats of them old busybodies as they gulp it down. They gulp and gab and blabber about the doin’s of the young mothers and their kin and it’s like you’re staring down a black smoke of hatred and spite as you hear them squawk “My Word!” and “Well, I never—“ and “The very idea!” Yut yut yut yut yut!
In Spring, look ye well upon that old man buying day old bread at the bakery window. He’s Pinch Warburg–rich as Croesus from bleedin’ the poor by sellin’ ‘em bogus insurance policies, and yet the old sinner wouldn’t give so much as a dime to save a starving Prince. All his life he’s acted on the principle of What’s in it for me, and he’s druve away all human companionship with his penny-pinching and twisted ways.
In Summer ye can go to the general store next to the post office, where the storekeeper—a pucker-faced snapping cove—will gladly take a hungry tramp to the back room and beat him near to death for trying to slip a can of sardines in his tattery coat pocket.
And what of the farmer in his sour apple orchard, three teeth in his rotting head, and a shotgun loaded with gravel and rock salt? The old devil looks like Lucifer himself, only in bib overalls, with boots caked in pigshit, to hide his cloven hooves, and he likes nothing better than blistering the ass of a starving ‘Bo who picks a wormy piece of fruit from off his land.
You can see the devil and his evil everywhere ye care to look, and in more’n a few places you wouldn’t expect. In Summer there’s the white-handed pasty-faced old Pastor back in his church, attendin’ to the bawling sheep in his congregation—talking smooth words of soft solace to ease the tired souls of the afflicted and trodden down, but all the time himself seething with hidden lust for good food and strong drink and other, more forbidden pleasures of the flesh.
Being a tramp is a hard road, and I wouldn’t commend it to a living soul, but you can look hard and long at the Yellofs who act the Square John, and what do you see?
In Autumn and all throughout the year, if you got eyes to see ‘em you can glim the old broke down former factory workers in their dirty old work togs, gap-toothed and slack-jawed, deafened from working with machinery, too used to getting up at 6am on every day of their lives to ever sleep in—you can see them sittin’ there on park benches, starin’ glassy-eyed, wonderin’ where their next square meal is coming from, having spent their monthly pension checks on the 25th and sold all their furniture many moons ago. Living hand to mouth in a filthy boarding house overrun by bugs. Fishin’ for half-eaten sangwiches in the trash can behind the chophouse.
In Autumn, and the year round, you’ll see the old banty-legged consumptive railroad worker with a caved-in chest reduced to being a Flag Man and waving the red rag at the railroad crossing, working in all kinds of weather—freezing in the winter, broiling in the summer, eaten alive by skeeters in the rainy season, barely paid enough to keep alive, living on a crust and a prayer, and no shelter from the elements ‘cept a sad tarpaper shack—they also make him act the Railyard Bull even though he can barely walk, and he feebly chases off the bums and tells ‘em to get away from the railroad switches, but he himself is hardly got a better go than the best of ‘em.
In Autumn you’ll see the old sales lady as spends seven hours a day standin’ on her feet on Labor Day and smilin’ through the red mist of her constant pain until the day her heart gives out and she’s crawling on her hands and knees.
Come Winter. The gardener—an old Mustache Pete—poisoned by bug spray—spent his life tending to rich men’s flowers and lawns; spends his final days as blind as a bat in a charity hospital ward unable to eat or drink or do anything for himself, coughing out his lungs–and then he dies. On Christmas Day! No flowers for him!
In Winter–the old man in the barber shop—another Mustache Pete—eighty-nine years old–smells like pomade—shuffles like a man who’s dead but doesn’t know it—his world is his shop with the red striped pole and the baseball scores—makes with a line of glib chatter—gives a discount to veterans–knows everybody’s business—a spy for the police—thinks Mussolini had a lot o’ good ideas.
And when the frost is deepest and the ground is hard, in the iron season when the moon is full–that is also when you’ll find the crazy drunks screaming off their D.T.’s in the police station basement, swatting away at the imaginary maggots.
There’s more, far more—but I dinna ken as ye need to know the world’s full horrors, as you’ll find ‘em out for yourself, Yob, and soon enough.
Just about every man not born into money, every man who hasn’t got a way of finding some, will work his fingers to the bone until the day he dies. He lives for the weekend and the holidays, and what kind of life is that? He’s got nothing but the shirt on his back and what he’s managed to pick up along the way; he thinks nothing other than what he’s told to think; he thinks he’s nothing—and so he is nothing.
Me, I never wanted no part of none of that. That there is why I allus mostly kept to myself.
Now Yob, I’m a dead man and I know it. So let me learn you a few things I wish I had known sooner. Here’s my fond words of advice.
Sooner say goodbye than hello.
Sooner say too little than say too much.
Better to be a strange hermit than a violent jailbird.
And know ye this, and know it full well—behind and back of every seeming heaven is a burning hell.
Back of ever so soft-hearted a man or woman there lurks a devil with iron claws.
Stay far, far away from the seeming goodly men and women of this world–they is mostly devils in deep disguise.
Look at any two people together.
Two scorpions trapped in a bottle, they is—and the one will always sting the other one to death.
Two crabs in a bucket—claws out to always drag his brother down.
It’s a truth as old as Aesop, Yob–and older.
And if ye don’t care to be dragged down with them—if ye don’t care to be burned—by them or by nobody else– you will heed the words of a dying Yellof–and heed them well.
Harden your heart, Yob—make it hard as iron. Harden your heart. That there is the only way you navigate. Where? There—there–in the burning pit.
OPEN THE DOOR, RICHARD
ALAN MOORE ON THE CRIMINALITY OF THE COMIC BOOK INDUSTRY
TRUMP DEMOLISHED ON TWITTER
ROAD TO RUANE TRAILER
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
CRAZY NAKED MAN IN SF SUBWAY
Why is he not stopped? More to the point–when is he going to get his own Reality Show?
6* DAILY UTILITY
ALBUMS THAT NEVER WERE (BUT SHOULD HAVE BEEN)
Beautiful Sexy Witch Melts Plastic Man
BOB BENSON’S SECRET
PRISM SPYING PROGRAM
THE 12 MOST AWFUL PRODUCTS MADE BY MONSANTO
WORRYING ABOUT THE FUTURE
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
Jolson created the prototype for the Monster Hit. John Patrie Sr. once told me that he once asked his writers for a song so bad it was guaranteed to be a hit.
And here it is: The one, the only “Sonny Boy”–#1 for 12 weeks–the epitome of sentimental kitsch, and proof that all art is, in essence, either mating calls or danger signals.
“I’M SITTIN’ ON TOP OF THE WORLD
From ‘THE SINGING FOOL” (1928)
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 692.
ORIGINAL INSULT VOCABULARY LIST
“Sarge, why don’t you bite my spawning trout,” is a good one for openers. “You can kiss my Deuteronomy, Lummox” is another. “Agitate my Dingus, Blubber. I’ll stick my blunderbuss in your meatus, fink-face. Shudup, you supercilious snotnose. You are nothing but a monstrous homunculus.” The possibilities are endless! Here’s the vocab list to get you started.