To live at all is miracle enough.The doom of nations is another thing.–Mervyn Peake
WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER EIGHT: PART FOURTEEN: THE FALL
Like I said before, I got in slowly with The Bad Crowd. Like I had done for the carny freaks I’d run errands for clients of Cool Slopp the pawnbroker and fence, and he’d toss me a buffalo from time to time, the cheap bastid, and folks among the demimonde most likely figured I knew how to keep my mouth shut–because Cool Slopp trusted nobody–least of all the people who worked for him–ner the people he paid off to stay in business.
Cool Slopp didn’t even trust his own family. Most folks of the criminal ilk had good reason not to trust their own kin. Look at the way even straight Johnnies treat their own family members if you want to know the reason why. Everyone says love your family, enjoy your family, appreciate your family, not everyone has a family, so be grateful for what you have.
But the family ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Take it from an old grifter. Every family, I don’t care who, ner how righteous, but every family has skeletons in their closets. That’s the way the old saying goes. What they don’t bother to tell you is what exactly that’s supposed to mean.
Not just the crazy Uncle in the loony bin, or the big brother who’s a jailbird because he killed a man in a barroom brawl, or the bitter old auntie who’s sitting on a fortune while her kinfolk starve. I’m talking about brass tacks. How did the family make its fortune? Hard work, and plenty of it—that’s what the old blowhards will say. But look into the details—make it your practice to look into the details–at old newspapers—then you will learn that such and such a man made his pile by pimping out his own sister—by cheating his dimwitted cousin—by deceiving his dying uncle—it goes all the way back to the Bible—Jacob and Esau—Joseph’s own family selling him into slavery—sure, it’s rough to make your way in the world without kinfolk, but in a sense it’s liberatin’, because often-times it’s your own blood as will let you down—call on them to do you a favor and even though your life may depend on it here is what you will hear—in response no doubt to some imagined slight—I don’t have the time—or, I’m too busy right now—or, I’ll get around to it when I can—or, I’ll be there at such and such a time, only that time comes and he’s a no-show—Christ, Yob, if I but had a dirty buffalo for every broken promise from one Yellof to another, I’d live in a great big penthouse– in the sky– and feast on lemon merengee pie– and lemonade– and have a butler and a cook– and a maid and a manicurist–to cater to me every need.
The trouble with the Bad Crowd is that they don’t have no sympathy or mercy for nobody or nothing, not even their own family–and if you do them favors they might pay you back or they might not, but the more useful you was to them, the better your chances would be of getting them to help you out when you needed a lift, in anticipation of more favors you could do ‘em if you was on the outside breathin’ free air rather than languishin’ in a jail cell or penitentiary dungeon where you can’t do nobody no good in the way of generating revenue. ‘Tis the way of the world over, when you really stop to think about it, though I was only thirteen years old and I thought about very little outside of my own pleasure and the fuzzy, half-formed notion of getting revenge on Smash Conklin.
You’d think the sting of his original insults to me—where he said I was a bastard—would of faded in the years since I first crossed his path, but you would be wrong. Don’t never crack wise or do dirt to a child is the moral here; a kid has little enough to remember and he will keep the knowledge of your rotten deed deep inside his cranium, where it will bounce around in his mostly empty skull, and most likely it’ll creak around in there until the day he croaks. If you could get inside their heads and talk to their thoughts, you would see that they remember that shitty stunt you pulled back in 1904 and you will say “Surprised to see you here” and their child self will reply “Surprised to see YOU here”. I think that what people call ghosts is just the memories of dead people and long-gone deedsd that refuse to go away. The mind plays funny tricks, but what is even funnier is the tricks the mind don’t play, and that mostly consists of the things that the mind forgets to remember–and refuses to forget.
DEBORAH (LIVE 1971)
BERNIE SANDERS ON THE KOCH BROTHERS
THE NEWEST RIGHT
50 WORST ALBUM COVERS EVER
THE LAST BLOOD LIBEL TRIAL
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
WHY THE SHUTDOWN IS HURTING ALL OF US
6* DAILY UTILITY
WHAT’S IN CHICKEN NUGGETS
THE DUNNING-KRUGER EFFECT
FIVE POPULAR BELIEFS THAT ARE TOTALLY HOLDING HUMANITY BACK
POLICE STOP LEADS TO BIZARRE ARREST
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
18 BEATLES SONGS THAT JOHN LENNON TOTALLY HATED
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE. 712.
THE KILLING OF PRESIDENT KITTY
What we really need to put the icing on the cake is a feature-length cartoon about the Kennedy Assassination. President Kitty riding in an open-top Flintstone car as an assortment of nemeses led by Oswald the Lucky Rabbit (in a brief cameo) take aim with slingshots loaded with ripe tomatoes, et al., which would tie in nicely with the notion that it’s mostly some bad Italian Rats led by Don Marscapone who have it in for President Kitty–although there could also be sewer rats aiming pebbles from down below, as well as French mice, wealthy industrialist alley cats, rogue CIA and FBI dogs, Cuban goats, and an assorted menagerie of right-wingers also taking aim from about 20 different spots. In the cartoon version, President Kitty would be too humiliated to do his job, and Vice-President Cornpone Hound-Dog would take over. This idea is, of course, copyright me, 2013. Any suggestions regarding further details would be most welcome.