THE INFORMATION #796 AUGUST 8, 2014

THE INFORMATION #796
AUGUST 8, 2014
Copyright 2014 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but
otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the
world.–Paul Dudley White

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER NINE: PART TWENTY-ONE: THE MAYOR OF HELL
Old Doc Ketman was a man of many diverse skills–besides being an
old-time root doctor of the travelling gypsy sort, he could, despite
his red beard and fox-like apppearance, also do a passable turn as a
mystic all-seeing swami at the Red and Black Carnival, once he had fitted
himself with a silken cape and a scarf with a huge diamond (fake), and
a turban with a set of glowing gems in the middle (also fake), and had
whitened his whiskers with chalk.

It would make a cat laugh to see the old faker give out from inside his
eight-foot tent with the stars and sun on a banner which hung across
it, filling the close air with all sorts of mumbo jumbo about the life
line of the hand and the all-divining Tarot and the revelations of the
tea-leaves, and the visions in the mystic crystal ball . He was an
all-purpose Fakir, which some would pronounce as faker.

“You have a long life line and a short heart line, which means that
you will have a romantic entangle-MINT late in life which may lead to
sorrow or may ultimately lead to fulfill-MINT. Your Mercury line
indicates that all your sterling qualities will be fully appreciated
near the end of a long and prosperous life. You will mellow into glad
old age and be surrounded by the faces of those you love and who love
you.” All this to a cadaverous specter of a man, covered with the
filth of the coal mines, who coughed frequently into a bloodied
handkerchief.

“Listen Yob,” snarled he, in a rare display of temper, when I
questioned his soothsaying,  “Can that gas. Keep your clack box shut.
I’m not a boshing blabber, ner am I hinky. The crushers got nothing on
me. I’m no loocher–I give good value for the dosh.  Maybe I don’t
peddle the God’s own truth–‘n anyway, only God can see to the future.
What I sell is hope. If it makes this man happy for one instant that
he will somehow escape his rat-trap of a job, my work is done. The
only motto I have,” he said with a cynical sneer that I could tell was
all practiced, “is to try to keep the customer satisfied.”

As for his Tarot readings, he didn’t seem to know much more about the
cards than I did. He was a bit of a dab hand with the pasteboards,
though, as had worked a brief spell as a Sharpman at the Friendly
Harbor Dining Hall–the very place where Red Mary had won me in a game
of cards– and so he always arranged that the sucker draw certain key
cards, for which he had a spiel ready-made.

“Ahh…The Sun. Just as the sun which lights our world is always one,
so are you a woman of intergrity, known far and wide.” This to some
malicious old biddy as scrawny as a starved chicken, dressed all in
black, her mean crooked face covered with a black veil. “You are a
child of the sun, which means that wherever you go the people will
flock to you. Behind your back, they call you ‘The Lady Bountiful’
because of your many small kindnesses to those who are less fortunate.”
I saw him peering at the old lady to see how she was taking it, and
whether he was laying it on too thick. He wasn’t. She was lapping it
all up like chocolate ice cream on the fourth of July. “You have the
radiant strength and energy of the sun–you bring joy into the lives
of both the great and humble–and you will continue to shine for a
very long time. For you are humble. You know that the light which
illuminates your path comes from one source only–The Lord. You know
that your great luck comes from your enduring belief in the Lord, and
that when troubles do come, He will never desert you.”

This woman, it turns out, was a notorious miser, but she not only paid
Ketman’s fee in full, but even gave him a stock market tip which he
was able to parlay to great advantage. Maybe, I decided, Ketman has it
right–easier to catch flies with honey than with vinegar.

The customers for his tea-leaf readings were also generally elderly
women. Here he allowed the shapes in the bottom of the teacup to
dictate his fancy. He would say something like, “I see a shamrock,
which indicates good fortune.” (This to an old maid.) Or “Note the
shapes that resemble birds flying. This indicates you will soon be
hearing good news. But one of the birds is a raven; this may mean a
death in the family. Have you a grandfather or grandmother who is very
old?” (This to a middle-aged woman.) He would alter his readings to
suit his audinece; the only thing that didn’t vary was his fee:
twenty-five cents, which was a not inconsiderable sum in those days.

Old Doc Ketman was hard as the devil to pin down whenever I asked him
where he got all his learning from. All he would say that he had
picked it up “from here and there in dribs and drabs while going down
the road from place to place.”

I will say that for all his learning and his skills, there seemed
something inauthentic about Peter Ketman. As though he were in exile
from some place where terrible things had once happened to him. He
never would tell of where he was born, or of whom. I’m pretty sure
that Ketman was not his real name. Nor was he a Doctor. Talk around
town had it that his real name was Isaiah Lydon and that he had hopped
off a boat from Holland where he faced a murder charge and somehow made
his way to the Big Easy, where he set himself up as a theatrical agent
until  he was driven out of town by jealous rivals. Something about
practicing medicine without a license. Accusations of providing
abortions.

But more than that. there was something rotten gnawing at the soul of
Peter Ketman. He was endlessly capable, but perferred to be idle when
he wasn’t busy generating schemes to make money. He was capable of
helping a great many sick people with his knowledge, but preferred to
swindle them. He had what seemed to be all the normal feelings of
compassion and sympathy for others, but he relentlessly sold his bogus
remedies just to make a crooked dollar.

1*SALUTATION
MARSHA GEE
PEANUT DUCK
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8-V0Rd5GGo&list=ALBTKoXRg38BA_Amng72Iuud3YVFn9q2v5&index=72

2*REFERENCE
CIA FACTBOOK
Name the Global Superpower which ranks 115th in the world in
industrial growth rate. It’s easier than you think!
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/us.html

3*HUMOR
39 THINGS YOU PROBABLY DON’T KNOW ABOUT PITTSBURGH
http://www.movoto.com/pittsburgh-pa/pittsburgh-facts/?fb_action_ids=10203524522849703&fb_action_types=og.likes

4*NOVELTY
WEAPONS
Name a democracy that supplies 44% of the world’s weapons. It’s easier
than you think!
http://www.globalissues.org/article/74/the-arms-trade-is-big-business#GlobalArmsSalesBySupplierNations

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
HOW AMERICA GOT HOOKED ON LEGAL METH
http://motherboard.vice.com/read/the-speed-of-hypocrisy-how-america-got-hooked-on-legal-meth?trk_source=recommended

6* DAILY UTILITY
PRISONERS
Name a Republic in which 25% of the world’s prisoners are held in
captivity. It’s easier than you think!
http://www.factslides.com/s-USA

7*CARTOON
GOVERNMENT COMICS
http://cbldf.org/2012/12/tales-from-the-code-welcome-to-government-comics/

8*PRESCRIPTION
10 BEST B-SIDES EVER
http://ultimateclassicrock.com/b-sides/

ALSO SEE
35 ESSENTIAL B-SIDES
http://www.nme.com/photos/35-essential-b-sides-as-selected-by-nmecom-users/146749/1/1

9*RUMOR PATROL
18 CRAZY RIGHT WING MYTHS ABOUT OBAMA
http://www.addictinginfo.org/2014/01/13/debunk-right-wing-obama-myths/

10* LAGNIAPPE
VELVET UNDERGROUND
EUROPEAN SON (DEMO)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=4lvey84ozdE

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
DONDI
Dondi still haunts my nightmares. Those lifeless, dish-sized ears;
those cold, dead-looking eyes. I fear those eyes! HIS eyes! I can
see…forever! They are the black pools of the stygian depths of that
bourne whence no traveler ever returns. You can almost see within them
the writhings of sinners in the hands of an angry God, the wailing and
gnashing of teeth, and the unkind luster of the preying mantis as she
devours her incognizant mate.

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
100 BULLETS: BROTHER LONO. ****1/2
935 LIES. LEWIS. ***
ALL-NEW X-MEN 3. ALL DIFFERENT. ***1/2
THE AMERICAN WAY. RIDLEY. ***1/2
BLEAK HOUSE. DICKENS. *****
BLOOD FEUD. KLEIN. ***
BOHEMIANS. BUHLE & BERGER. ****
THE BRONX KILL. MILLIGAN. ***
DJANGO UNCHAINED. HUDLIN ET AL. ****
GREEN LANTERN: THE WRATH OF THE FIRST LANTERN. ***1/2
JAMES JOYCE. O’BRIEN. ****
JONAH HEX: SHADOWS WEST. ***1/2
THE KENNEDYS. COLLIER. ***
LIKE A SNIPER LINING UP HIS SHOT. TARDI & MANCHETTE. ****1/2
LEGION OF SUPER HEROES 3: THE FATAL FIVE. ***
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. CONDON. ***1/2
NEW YORK MON AMOUR. TARDI. ***1/2
THE PARENTS’ PHRASE BOOK. HOSEA. ****
PIRATES IN THE HEARTLAND. ROSENKRANTZ. ****
POP 1280. THOMPSON. ***1/2
RED HULK. ***
ROBOCOP. MILLER. **1/2
S STREET RISING.  CASTENEDA. ***
SUPERMAN ACTION COMICS 3: AT THE END OF DAYS. ***1/2
TERRA OBSCURA: SMASH OF TWO WORLDS. ***1/2
THERE GOES GRAVITY. ROBINSON. ***
UNCANNY X-MEN 3. THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE INHUMAN. ***1/2
WEST COAST BLUES. TARDI & MANCHETTE. ****
YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! STANLEY. ***1/2
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.

754. “FAMILY”
Anything with the word “Family” in it means that it’s probably not
that good. Especially Restaurants.

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