THE INFORMATION #822 FEBRUARY 6, 2015

THE INFORMATION #822

FEBRUARY 6, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART FOUR: KINGDOM COME

Musky Dan leveled his beady gaze upon Judge Rance Sniffle, who was looking especially hale and prosperous, having just come from long walk during the course of which he paid a visit to City Hall to gas and bloviate with some of his cronies on the council; after which errand he enjoyed a fine mid-day dinner at the Hamilton Club, also in the Downtown area; the fare was boiled new potatoes, carrots, pickled green tomatoes, butternut squash, and roast beef with a creamy béchamel sauce, all washed down with a good wine–which left him feeling quite mellow as he took a horse-drawn cab through the slums of Shanty Street and made his way to the Uptown neighborhood, and thence through Jivetown. He was particularly nostalgic for its theatre district, in which vaudevillains entertained with rude slapstick and lewd routines in accordance with the low tastes of the town residents. From thence he proceeded to nearby Noxtown, where he had made a bee-line to the Seven Stars Saloon, one of the favorite haunts of his younger years.

“You can well defend yourself, Judge,” said Musky Dan, “and talk big, and look big, for your whole career has been a pursuit of the indefensible. Your rookers are dripping with lucre, ain’t they, as you find the scoundrel worthy of the freedom of the town while the poor bread-starved misdemeanant is sentenced to thirty days of making little ones out of big ones.”

“My good man,” said the Judge, who was not pleased to face his beady-eyed adversary, “I can see you are little better than a chronic malcontent, and if you aren’t careful, Goof, someone might come along like a thief in the night, and you will not be a happy Yellof.”

“If you are trying to threaten me, Judge, so’s you can frighten me into some kind of a panic, you’ve got the wrong Gee. I done been through Hell and back agin, and I don’t rattle that easy. How can you be so fatheaded and stupid and still live is one of the seven modern wonders of the world, along with the elevator and the velocipede.”

“Humph, kack, I do not deign to threaten a scoundrel,” said the Judge, “nor will I nail his lies to the counter–But. But you would do well to hear the clarion call of your destiny as it stares you in the face. If I have ever seen an individual who was born to be hanged, it is writ with acid clarity in the wrinkles of your debauched face. You of all people certainly do not wish to become ensnared in the toils of the law, My Little Man.”

Musky Dan grew red at this perceived slur on his stature. “I may be a broken down old man who’s lived too long and seen too much,” said he, “but you are a murderous rogue elephant come a traipsing through the forest looking to crush everybody in your path with your exaggerated bulk. Be wary, Judge, that the people you misuse don’t rise up en masse and put paid to your blunderings. Everyone knows you are a chucklehead of the first water, with apartments to let. And that you talk like an apothecary. Furthermore, they know that in your degraded chambers you feast on the poor and fling down their spotless bones to pile up at your fat and bloody feet. Somewhere someone will take care of you–and they won’t be as gentle as a nurse with a fretful baby. No, My Baby Boy, you may indeed find yourself with a new smile on your oleaginous and loathsome visage–as your odious throat is slit from ear to ear.”

“Kack, Humpf, what infamous effrontery,” said the Judge. “Am I to understand that a jurist with my distinguished pedigree is to be marked for death by a mere barroom loafer, a notorious penny-ante mooch, and a well-known malingerer? Were you a younger man, I might very well be tempted to challenge you to a lively round of fisticuffs which would leave you bruised and battered in the very precincts from whence your incalculable taunts presently emanate.”

“Try it and be damned, Judge.”

You could see that the judge was actually considering administering a drubbing to Musky Dan. But he knew well that even an old and toothless lion who no longer feared much of anything could still show his claws and be a formidable foe. So instead, he decided to up the ante and cast imputations upon Musky Dan’s nativity. “Born in the gutter,” he sneered, “and I can well see that ye never lost your taste for it. What ARE we going to do with you?   You, and the veritable swarms of used-up and useless men who, like you, have nothing better to do than to guzzle bad hooch and retail seditious horse apples about your betters. At least a tramp, for all his faults, is willing to work when all other avenues of gauzy and soft minded charity have been exhausted. But–you? Kack, wheeze, pardon me, Sir, but what the hell do you do, other than drink the dregs of a better man’s leavings? What lady fair fails to shudder at the sight of you? What constable, upon espying you in his glims, fails to grip his billy and his sap a trifle harder?  Even in spite of your kack, humpf, your high estate? What is there left for you to do, at the end of a long and disreputable existence, if you can even call it that, other than to drink your life away?”

Musky Dan had at least one trick left in the bottom of his bag, and was quick to step up to the plate to address this latest sally. “I know you well Judge–perhaps too well. You’re mighty fond of barking through the fence. You beat Akeybo–and Akeybo beats the Devil. You’re a Blood and Guts Alderman, and the Ale-Spinner’s best pal. If you spent more time working and less time in your altitudes snapping at the bottle, you might of made something of yourself in the sweet bye and bye. But you’re all jaw, moonshine, smoke, gammon, and pickles. Your soul is as thin as the gruel they serve at the workhouse. Your endless prating about your own importance is merely the shrieking of a vindictive monkey who is left free to roam and fling his warm droppings at the heads of the innocent.  Your pride of ancestry? Faugh! A roast suckling pig has a more distinguished lineage. You were born of a sniveling cove and the acorn never fell far from the tree. Your mother’s milk was gall and wormwood, and it made you mean-spirited and false to all men save those from whom you scheme to gain a transitory advantage. You were born to worship at the feet of a deformed and mediocre God, and so have you yourself proven to be.  I know you well, Judge–too well. Acknowledge the corn!”

You could tell that for some reason the final remark hit the judge right up to the mark.Because at that, the Judge turned to abskize but before he did skedaddle he sputtered, “You–you’ll be sorry, Sir, that you said that. You can’t get away with talking to me like that.”

To which Musky Dan replied, as smart as a new penny, “I’m not trying to get away Judge–I’m staying right here–’til hell or water high. You’re the one who’s advancing backwards.” 

Big Haw Haw from all the Adams and the Abigails, the Abbots, and the Abbesses–as they realized the Judge had been good and bumsquabbled.

1*SALUTATION

BOBBY FULLER FOUR

I FOUGHT THE LAW (DEMO)

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/bobby_fullers_original_demo_of_i_fought_the_law#disqus_thread

2*REFERENCE

GOOGLE IS WATCHING YOU

http://disinfo.com/2015/01/cia-made-google/
3*HUMOR

WORST PASSWORDS

http://techcrunch.com/2015/01/20/this-list-of-2014s-worst-passwords-including-123456-is-embarrassing/

4*NOVELTY

WHEN THE ROLLING STONES WERE EVIL

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/lucifer_rising_when_the_rolling_stones_got_evil
5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

Anti-vaccination movement

http://www.vox.com/2015/1/26/7907067/melinda-gates-measles-vaccines
6* DAILY UTILITY

MOTHER OUTRAGED BY SCHOOL BUS SATANIC SYMBOLS

http://kwgn.com/2015/01/22/mother-outraged-after-spotting-satanic-symbol-in-school-bus-brake-lights/

7*CARTOON

The Adventures of Mr. Obadiah Oldbuck

http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/digital/collections/books/ocn259708589/ocn259708589.html?mswitch-redir=classic
8*PRESCRIPTION

FACEBOOK LIKES COULD COST YOU A JOB

http://op-talk.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/01/20/how-your-facebook-likes-could-cost-you-a-job/
9*RUMOR PATROL

Reviewers for hire

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/spotting-fakes-among-five-star-reviews/

10* LAGNIAPPE

THE JOE FRANKLIN EXPERIENCE

http://www.vanityfair.com/vf-hollywood/2015/01/joe-franklin-remembered

 
11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

CONTRA SCIENCE FICTION
I’m afraid I don’t know enough about science fiction to generalize about its merits or lack thereof. But it is fun to fulminate against. My opinion: Science Fiction is baseball for people who throw like girls. I’ve never known a sci-fi diehard who could throw a baseball. I have not tested this theory, but I would guess I am correct within three standard deviations.

What is it about so-called “science” fiction that’s so irritating to the likes of men of sober judgment? Likely, it is its many conventions. Mystery has kind of branched out. Sci-fi, as far as I can tell, has yet to do so. Like its cojoined cousin, Fantasy, it’s essentially just normal fiction with a scrim of the ludicrous. It’s like a pure white light projected through a prism of goofy pseudo-precognition. It’s everyday meat and potatoes expository prose with absurd bells and whistles. Its acolytes, nine-tenths of them, are the most irritating fanboys, Mama’s Boys, unicorn-huggers, armchair ice cream soldiers, bath-averse intellectual vagabonds, autodidactic dreamers, incorrigible Walter Mittys, croaking math geeks, myopic computer game obsessives, arrogant engineers, norm-haters, unpopular loners (see also: slasher flicks), slash-fiction writers, chrome and steel fetishists, feebs, wonks, nerds, code jockeys, clickbait enthusiasts, crackers and hackers, conspiracy theorists, UFO obsessives, candy-colored Archaeologist manques, autistic spaceship worshipers, devotees of freaky science, spacy channel-turners, incorrigible technophiles, bespectacled men who resemble hornrimmed fireplugs, women who wear multiple piercings as a badge of tribal uniqueness, melodramatic fantasists, quietly melancholic desperadoes, hopelessly asexual bucktoothed troll-men, folklore-and-mythology blowhards, mouth-breathers, Bigfoot believers, math prodigies, computer science majors, small-bosomed women who support innumerable cats, and bearded but soft-spoken fatsos sporting unironic pocket-protectors. It is a genre that makes invalids out of supermen, to quote the inestimable Captain Beefheart. A love of science fiction is less a gross character flaw (although it is also that) and more a simple and egregious lapse in taste and judgment.

By the way, there is a name for good science fiction. It’s called “fiction”.

11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

THE ADVENTURES OF MR. OBEDIAH OLDBUCK. TOPFFER. ***

THE AGE OF ANXIETY. TONE. ***1/2

THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES OF THE CENTURY. UPDIKE. ****1/2

BLACK CANARY & ZATANNA: BLOODSPELL. ***

DEATH TO DUST: WHAT HAPPENS TO DEAD BODIES? ISERSON. ****1/2

THE ECCO ANTHOLOGY OF CONTEMPORARY AM. SHORT FICTION. OATES. ****

THE MYSTIC PATH TO COSMIC POWER. HOWARD. ****

SAM HENDERSON’S MAGIC WHISTLE 11. ***1/2

SLANG AND ITS ANALOGUES. FARMER & HENLEY. ****1/2

TRAVELS IN SIBERIA. FRAZIER. ****

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
780. DR. JECKYLL AND MR. DRUNK

http://b0ff0dclown.blogspot.com/2011/11/national-lampoons-dr-jekyll-mr-drunk.html

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MODERN WISDOM NUMBER 196 FEBRUARY 2015

MODERN WISDOM: AMERICA’S ONLY HUMOR MAGAZINE
NUMBER 196
FEBRUARY 2015
Copyright 2015 Francis DiMenno
dimenno@gmail.com
http://www.dimenno.wordpress.com

  1. MODERN WISDOM PRESENTS: THE MODERN WISDOM DYSLEXICON

666: The three circles of the Mickey Mouse Head.

ABBREVIATIONS. I hate ‘em—OK?

ABSOLUTE ZERO. My boiling point.

ALGEBRA. Let X equal your signature. Y are you still illiterate?

ALPS. Treacherous oversized rocks worshipped by rich people.

AMNESIA. Hate it? Why? Uhh….

AMPHETAMINES. I think amphetamines should be legal and I’m going to lobby 168 hours a week until they are.

ANAXIMANDER. His descendant is even now probably feeding a despicable Gyro to a gullible bohunk somewhere west of Philadelphia.

ANCHOVIES. Sardines with a pedigree.

ANTARCTICA. Why do they call it Antarctica when it’s the one place in the world where there’s no ants?

ARABS. They ain’t so hot. They invented zero. That’s Nothing!

  1. BIG MAMA’S DINOR

The new truck broke down somewhere between Route 51 and Iko Junction. My father warned me not to buy it; not at that price; not at any price. Not from Ron Irons. Irons was a crook. A French-Irish rascal. Not a Pole. A Pole you could trust. Not Irons. Irons didn’t pay his taxes. Well, now, strictly speaking, that’s not entirely fair to Irons. He paid them, all right, but he cheated. Claimed deductions which weren’t his to claim. Operated using an out-of-state address. And like that. My Dad got this information from his accountant, who also did the books for Irons. Who knew if Irons was even really his name? “Ron Irons” sounded like the kind of a easy-to-remember fake name you would sign on the register of a hot-sheet Motel. Not a real name at all. I asked Dad what was a hot-sheet Motel, but he quickly clammed up and changed the subject like he has a habit of doing when he doesn’t want to talk about something.

The upshot: I’m guessing that Mr. Ron Irons was a real shady character. So it was not a good idea to buy a truck from him.

I’m thinking, my father told me, that that truck isn’t really new, like he says. 

Aw, hell (he would have said, except that he seldom cussed) you’re buying yourself a lemon. 

I’ll bet (he would have said, although he was not a betting man), it has a bent frame. 

“Sonny, it looks to me like a deal that is too good to be true.” Whatever that means. (Only he never once ever called me “Sonny.” Usually it was Boy, or Kid, or, occasionally, when he wanted to express deep emotion, he might call me “Son.” Like when I graduated from high school. Practically the first in my family! But only by the skin of my teeth. As I’ll admit to anybody.) 

It was all show and no go is what I think Dad was trying to say, only he wasn’t given to expressing himself that way, so the words trailing from his mouth came out sort of bent or crooked. 

It’s really a bad bargain, he said, wrapping it up. Don’t do it. Don’t buy that truck from Ron Irons. Even if it does have monster tires. Be sensible. Be responsible. 

I never did figure out exactly what he meant when he used the word “responsible.” I looked it up once. In the dictionary. (I think what he was getting at was that he wanted me to make the right decision, but if that’s what he wanted to tell me, why didn’t he just say it that way?) 

Dad offered to go with me to look at the trucks at the dealership. The same dealership where he had been buying his cars and trucks for thirty years.

But I did not want to buy a truck from the same dealership, the same dealership where bla bla bla. Because it would be yet another triumph for Dad. And because the dealership didn’t have any trucks with monster tires. I know I could always have them put on, later. But I didn’t want to pay the extra expense. I know it seems dumb, but sometimes a man just wants what he wants, and that’s all there is to it.

Dad also offered other words of similar Dad-like advice and wisdom. All the time. Words which I felt like I had to ignore, not only on general principle but because I have often found that whenever I ignored him it would make him mad. It was about the only way that I could make him mad. He was a real easygoing guy, most of the time.  “You always have to learn things the hard way” he said, when he learned that I had decided to buy the expensive sneakers, the fancy juicer advertised on television, the truck with monster tires from a man who may or may not be Ron Irons. “Well, don’t come crying to me,” he’d say. “That’s all.” I don’t know what he meant by that. The last time I had come crying, to him or to anybody, was exactly 18 years ago. 

But I’m not going to tell you that story. 

“The only thing I got to say is that the world is going to have a long party,” Dad said. “A long party knocking the snot-nose out of you,” Dad must have liked the way that sounded. Because I remember that he’d said it to me more than only once. 

So that is how I came to be stranded in an interesting restaurant called Big Mama’s Dinor in Mount Alvaro. Mount Alvaro was a neighborhood. (On all its signs and billboards I noticed, it called itself a “community”, but Dad said they were giving themselves airs and that they were just a neighborhood just like any other.) 

Back in 1992 Mount Alvaro was full of sketchy-looking two and three story houses strung along cramped streets in a tight row, like big fancy pastel wedding cakes in a crowded bakery window like the one they still have back on Liberty Avenue for all I know although I haven’t been back there in years so maybe it closed. 

It was the kind of place where–even as late as 1992–you could find small grocery stores or beauty parlors or restaurants that operated out of the ground floor of people’s homes. 

Big Mama’s Dinor. That was the actual name of the restaurant I was stranded in. That’s how they spelled it. I wanted to ask them why but I didn’t, not right away. It was raining in sheets and buckets and I was waiting for the tow truck to come. It was one of that type of establishment. Home based, I mean. I guess it was a mother-daughter operation–Mom cooked, daughter served. They seemed like they were happy. How do I know? Well, they were all jokey in front of all the customers. Though they only had a few customers. Their biggest trade seemed to come from mill workers who would come in to purchase sandwiches, grilled, or ready-made. You see, I don’t always pay attention to what’s going on around me, according to Paw, so I could never be a policeman, but I notice things. I do!

Anyway, it was almost lunch-time when the truck’s transmission broke down. It was starting to rain and I was on a steep hill trying to start the truck when I heard a grinding of gears which did not sound promising, or auspicious, or whatever big word you might care to use. I knew better than to even start the engine again. Too many things could go wrong with the truck if I actually tried to start it, and then Dad would win. Again. 

I knew better than to pick up the telephone and call Dad. Didn’t he say “Don’t come crying to me?” I wasn’t crying, exactly. But I was damn mad. Excuse me. I was furious mad. Mad at Ron Irons, sure, but mostly mad at myself for being slick-talked into buying a rusty old truck just because it had monster tires and it looked sort of cool. Like the kind of truck I would like to be seen driving around in. Only, who would see me? Most of my friends had moved away after we graduated high school. And my relatives weren’t very easy to impress.     

As I sat there in from out of the rain waiting for the tow truck to arrive, a few old-timers came shambling in through the front door of the wood-frame building with its crooked wall-mounted black mailbox and its soothing brick porch under a faded blue awning and its worn carpeting which led into the seating area.

The locals were a treat to watch. Of course, they were also watching me. They would look at me sidelong, then glance over at Mama, as if to say “We are all old men who have known each other for years. Who’s this young and mysterious stranger?” 

“He’s a customer,” Mama said, “He’s waiting for a tow truck.”

This process repeated itself three or four times. I lost track. Door would open. The bell that rings when you come in would ring. Ting a ling. Wordless question. Who’s this? Tow truck.  

The mill workers in our area were of a select breed. Or inbreed. As dad would say. I’m guessing that some of them had been at the mill for 25 or 30 years. How do they do it–day in and day out? 

Well, Dad says that when most all of the good jobs went down the crapper about some ten, fifteen years ago–actually, moved down south, most of them–there were certain guys–Dad called them “Lifers”–who managed to hang on. “The Union” wasn’t a dirty word to these fellows.”The Union” had done good by ’em. They had seniority. Whatever that means. Of course, Dad said, giving me the benefit of some of his practical experience, “The Union” was mostly a bunch of crooks, but they still managed to do some good for people.  

There were four guys who came to order grilled sandwiches and to hang out and to watch me. as an extra-special added attraction, I guess. I didn’t catch their names but you could tell them apart pretty easy. One had black hair and was lanky and one had gray hair and was really fat like a storekeeper and one had brown hair and was slack-jawed and one had red hair and was short and bulbous. And yet, as different as they were, they all had a similar look–pale, washed out, waxy skin, creased faces–that tired look. That look you get on the most tired day of your life? These guys had all the time. They weren’t just tired, they were tiiired. With three “I”s. 

I’m guessing that they were the kind of people who read the daily paper and talked about the editorials. Then they would read the sports section word by word and then their horoscope and then they would skim the comics section and chuckle out loud at the doings of Blondie, Gordo, and Priscilla’s Pop.

I could tell that the mill workers were just dying to hear more details about the stranger in their midst, who was me. It’s not hard to be able to tell such things if you pay close attention. I have always had trouble doing that, just like I had always had trouble warming up to strangers, but I find, as I grow older and I am already in my late twenties, that I could do even those sorts of things–if I really tried.

I’m a pretty tall guy, size thirteen shoes, big boned. The Daughter was a choice little bitty-bit of Fluff. I wouldn’t say she was a midget-woman, exactly. Just short, that’s all. Her head was just about level with my head as I seated myself at the counter that they had rigged up in somebody’s living room to make it look like a real diner instead of somebody’s living room. The Daughter was actually kind of cute, in a dumpy frumpy sort of way. A blond little cream puff who looked like she could make some fella’s life just a little bit sweeter, if only you would let her.  

I decided to impress her with my charm. So I said to the Daughter, whose name was Pearl, “Hi. My name’s Mike Czesław. What’s yours? pearl? That’s a pretty name, Pearl. If I had me a daughter I’d name her Pearl. I used to live on Pearl Street. Can you make me an omelette, Pearl? I know it’s not on on the menu, but I’d like me an omelette. With potatoes. And onions. And tomatoes, if you got ’em.”

No substitutions, Mama screamed from the kitchen, which was hardly a kitchen at all, just a couple of stoves set one room back from the living room. There were no wall dividers, so you could see everything in the kitchen just fine. Dad always said, “Never eat in a place where they won’t let you take a look at the kitchen.” That wasn’t a problem here. The kitchen was right up in your face.

Dad wins again!  

“Mama don’t like no surprises,” said Blackie.

“Mama don’t ‘low that ’round here,” said Whitey, the gray-haired Fatso.

“They don’t make ’em like Mama any more,” said Red.

Brownie held his tongue.

“OK then, Pearl,” I said. I used her name as often as possible because that was the lesson I had gotten from How to Win Friends and Influence People by a Mr. Dale Carnegie, which my Dad had pressed upon me when I was sixteen years old and I thought I knew everything. 

“Read this book” he said, and it wasn’t like he was talking but more like he was grunting the worlds. “It did me a lot of good.”

I never got much past the first chapter, though.

Everybody in Mama’s Dinor was listening for what I was going to say next. Even though they were pretending not to. Brownie was sipping his coffee with a loud slurp out of a square white mug. Whitey was rattling his newspaper. Blackie was coming his thinning hair with a cheap black pocket-comb. The kind you buy for ten cents from a sad vending machine in a bus station with flickering florescent lights. Or maybe fifteen cents. A Trailways Station. Not even a Greyhound. 

And Red, he blew his nose. Actually, first he snorted, then he blew. I always hated when people did that. Why can’t they just blow? But some people always have to be different, I guess.  

I said to Pearl, “Let me have the Breakfast Special number two.” Well, that right there should have been an end of it, but I felt as though I had to read the whole thing out because Dad says when ordering in a restaurant you got to always make it clear exactly what you want. Or else maybe you wouldn’t be able to send it back. 

But maybe I had my own reasons for reading out what was on the menu. Maybe I wanted to let Pearl hear some more of my voice. Because I was already thinking about asking her out. So I added “That’s two eggs any style, toast and home fries. Can I have wheat toast, please. With jam on the side. And when you make the eggs, can you make them in an omelette with an onion and kind of mash the home fries in there and–“

“No substitutions!” Mama shrieked from the kitchen.

So I got the eggs scrambled instead, with plenty of salt and pepper and butter.

Still, I’m glad I tried for the omelette. Because sometimes a man just wants what he wants, and that’s all there is to it.

I asked for ketchup to put on the eggs, and Pearl sort of kidded with me. “Who puts ketchup on scrambled eggs? I never heard of such a thing. Any of you’uns ever hear of that?”

Brownie said it sounded like a foolish idea. 

Red said that it didn’t sound like it would be very good.

Whitey the gray-haired Fatso said that he’d heard there were such people, but he never expected to ever meet one. (I think he was kind of pulling my leg.) 

And Blackie didn’t say anything, just combed his thinning hair with that bus station comb he was so damn proud of. Excuse me. And then he lit a cigarette. 

And after giving myself a moment to think about it I said, really smart-like, though I shouldn’t have said anything, because Dad says you never get in trouble for what you don’t say, “Well, Pearl, lots of folks that I know of put ketchup on their eggs. Some people even put salsa. Out in California, and places like that.”

“Where are you from, anyway?”

So I told her I lived on the Sou’ Side for most of my life, though I didn’t say when or where, because I wanted to seem sort of mysterious, because I was thinking of maybe asking her out. I didn’t bother mentioning that I had also lived on the East End, because it didn’t seem important at the time. Besides, you didn’t want to show your entire hand all at once. (Dad didn’t tell me that. Dad wasn’t much for card-playin’. Kenny Rogers taught me that.) 

Pearl said that she had never been to California or places like that; that Mount Alvaro was good enough for her.

Blackie said he wouldn’t mind seeing a movie star up close and personal before he died. 

Red called him an “old dog”.

“Can’t go to California nohow,” said Brownie. “They need me at the plant.”

And Whitey the gray-haired Fatso coughed and lit a cigarette.

I felt six sets of eyes bearing down on me. I was going to send back the coffee and order milk instead because I didn’t like coffee–tea was my drink–but I didn’t want them people to think I was a California-loving foreign snob who sneered at American coffee, so I drank the bitter stuff, but only after putting in about five tablespoons of sugar and three packets of cream. The coffee sort of hit me at the pit of my stomach and sent a hot flush to my brain, as I wan’t used to it.

Putting that much sugar in the coffee was another topic of conversation. I thought I heard Brownie whisper “Bet he’s on the drugs.”

It was 12:55 and an invisible factory whistle must have blown or some damn thing. Excuse me. Because all four of the mill workers left at the same time. I finished what was on my plate and paid my bill. Pearl said I was a healthy eater. And that I must be a member of the clean plate club. 

I think she was kind of flirting with me. 

I didn’t ask her out, though. Somehow, standing up and looking down at her, I saw that she actually was a midget-woman, kind of. And how would I get her into the cab of my pick-up truck, what with the monster tires? I’d have to carry her under my arms, like a large dog. Besides, she made fun of my needing ketchup for my eggs, and I’m not going to let no woman tell me what to eat. I get enough of that from Paw.     

I heard a honking noise. More like a squawk than a honk. It was the man with the Tow Truck. I was so relieved that he was driving a flat-bed, liked I asked for, that I practically shouted. Because sometimes you tell them a flat-bed but they send just any old kind of truck. 

As the Tow Truck man was outside in the rain hitching my truck onto his flat-bed, I finally asked Pearl why she spelled “Dinor” with an “O” instead of an “E”. She told me that’s the way that her Mama always spelled it.  

But I’m guessing that’s not the real reason. I’m guessing that some people always have to be different. In their own small way. Even if they pretend otherwise.

I gave her a nice tip, anyway. A whole dollar, instead of eighty cents. 

And I could almost hear my Dad, bellowing, “Sure, go ahead Diamond Jim–go ahead and waste your money on a pint-size floozy!”

THE INFORMATION #821 JANUARY 30, 2015

THE INFORMATION #821
JANUARY 30, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART THREE: NEMESIS

Who was it who called Judge Rance Sniffle out? That was ragged, stone-faced and immovable Musky Dan, who, strange to say, for a barroom loafer, was a strangely learned man; an A-1 copper-bottomed savant of sorts. He held down the fort, so to speak, at the Seven Stars. And he (and fat faced Happy O’Day, with his yellowed and blackened teeth, and his paw Count “No Count” O’Day, bald, ragged and toothless) would get into some awful arguments over every kind of nonsense. Sometimes Jimmy Ragmop the barkeep’s sometime assistant, and the bar handyman Jack the Painter, would also get roped into the discussion. 

But this time, for some reason, it was personal between the Judge and Musky Dan. Maybe the Judge had managed to jug some halpess Pally of the old man. More likely, it was because his usual argument-mates were too easy to bulldoze and Musky Dan craved some fresh meat.  

“People who do bad things often come to bad ends themselves.”

That was Musky Dan, again, who, on this Sunday in December, was letting the Judge know that his rumbustious behavior had not escaped his notice.

“Cut that,” said Count O’Day. But no one paid him any mind. Least of all his son., Both of them had a mean glow on from drinking the Tanglefoot generously served up by Tipsy Smith the barkeep. (Tanglefoot was also known as All Nations. It was a touching dedication to the inveterate Lushington that the lees of unfinished drinks would be poured into a big copper kettle and served at a penny a shot to some of the more impecunious members of the tribe. The very smell of this brew was frequently enough to make a Newfoundland Dog drop dead at twenty paces–but never mind that. For the inveterate Boozer it was veritable Nirvana.) 

“The Judge, he’s a good man,” said Happy O’Day. “Good for nothing.”

“I think you should be shirkomshpect,” said Count O’Day, “when talkin’ about The Judge.”

“The Judge is a real agent. A bachelor’s bantling, and a gentleman of the back door to boot. Why, he would of been 86’d from any lot I ever ran, and a long time ago. I know his type, and well enough to say Al-A-Ga-Zam. He’s a chuffing dandy, him. A balmy cove. But I know his type. What makes the Yob so mean? Must have been the water when he was growing up. Maybe his black Mammy was fond of paregoric. Or maybe his pappy locked him up in the shed during one too many evenings so that one too many mornings he had scraped his hands raw trying to claw his way out. You hear all kinds of rumors. But I don’t put too much stock in stories. Facts is what I want. And I know it’s a stone cold fact that the Judge, why, it was him behind that bank run we just had, goin’ in there like the Lord Almighty, sometimes twice a day, and casting aspersions on the owner of the bank and loudly demanding his money. Wasn’t too long before even the greenhorns figured there was something phony about the place—something not quite on the up and up—and they lammed out of there with their shekels. One withdrawal is a transaction, two is a nuisance, and three is a run on the bank. Who knows what interest the old devil had in making that place go bust, only of course he had an interest in a rival bank across the street which, don’t repeat this in perlite company, but it was owned and operated by the big feller—you know who I mean—Mr. Fresh. The man with all the bananas.  The Man with the Hairy Nuts. The Big Dog with the Brass Collar. The Big  Hard Cheese. Onery, Twoery, Tickery, Tin.

And Musky Dan crossed himself.

“All the same, yuh hadn’t ought to say that about the judge.”

“What do you care, Count No Count? You remind me of an Ace of Spades. You’re just like some old Biddy, I do declare. Next thing I know, you’ll be hankerin’ after a sparkin’ ring and some itsy bitsy lacy frillies. Let me tell you. Just the other day I was crossing the street and some fat old hag started bellowing abuse at me—something about how I should cross at the intersection. And you know what I told her? ‘Madam—you are a maleficent Crone. A certified wooly-brained caterpillar. A crack-brained blabber and a chaffer. Alamacrack, Tenamalin Pin Pan, or my name ain’t Musky Dan. Good God Damn, am I a White man or not? I’ll cross the street when I please, where I please, and in a matter which gives me the utmost pleasure and causes you the utmost pain. Where do you come from, anyway, you insalubrious old biddy, to attempt to control my comings and goings? ‘Well I never,’ says she. ‘No,’ I says back to her, right smart, ‘and you never will!’ You Never Will! Hee haw haw! Tweedleum, Twiddleum, Twenty-one. Black fish, White trout, Eery, Ory, You are OUT!”

“Thank You, Humf. Kack,” says the Judge, all of a sudden looming himself up all biggety like a big pasty toad in a mud puddle, “Thank you, Mr. O’Day,” (and I thought, probably ain’t nobody called him Mister since the War Between the States) “but I am quite capable of defending MYSELF against the imprecations,imputations and depredations of low and reckless scoundrels who, not only do not themselves believe in the value of hard work, but who also scoff at those who attempt, in their own humble way, to accomplish some good in the world.”

“That’s rich,” said Musky Dan. “That’s rich.” And he seemed temporarily flummoxed. Though not for long. 

1*SALUTATION

JOHNNY AND SHUGGIE OTIS’ FILTHY, HILARIOUS BLUES/SOUL PARTY RECORD

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/snatch_and_the_poontangs

2*REFERENCE

CAB CALLOWAY’S HEPSTER’S DICTIONARY: LANGUAGE OF JIVE’ (1939)

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/cab_calloways_hepsters_dictionary_language_of_jive_1939

3*HUMOR

TERRIBLE HEAVY METAL T-SHIRTS

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/terrible_heavy_metal_t_shirts

ALSO SEE:

METAL IS AWFUL

http://metalisawful.tumblr.com/?og=1

4*NOVELTY

SCREWED-OVER COMIC BOOK CREATORS

http://www.toptenz.net/10-times-comic-book-creators-screwed.php#.VLGcX7alcb4.facebook

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

JERRY LEWIS: THE END?

http://www.nationalenquirer.com/celebrity/jerry-lewis-end

6* DAILY UTILITY

THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO….

http://disinfo.com/2015/01/streets-san-francisco-covered-human-shit/

7*CARTOON

BLUTO LAUGH REEL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o6ngbAOLmw&x-yt-cl=84411374&x-yt-ts=1421828030

8*PRESCRIPTION

Telltale Signs Of Undercover Infiltrators

http://disinfo.com/2012/08/telltale-signs-of-undercover-infiltrators/#sthash.YEe73vRb.dpuf

9*RUMOR PATROL

CAHOKIA

http://disinfo.com/2012/08/cahokia-the-first-city-in-north-america/#sthash.6IQ4JZKd.dpuf

10* LAGNIAPPE

INEXPLICABLY COMPELLING (AND JUST PLAIN WEIRD) JESUS PAINTINGS

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/inexplicably_compelling_and_just_plain_weird_jesus_paintings

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

PUBLIC IMAGE TWITTER FIGHT

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/public_image_twitter_fight_keith_levene_is_mad_as_hell#disqus_thread

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
779. LO AND BEHOLD!: DOES TOLERATED USE GIVE AN INCENTIVE TO PLAGIARIZE? AN EXAMPLE THROUGH THE MUSIC OF BOB DYLAN

http://www.cardozoaelj.com/issues/current/levine-32-3/#.VMPwhP7F8_q

 

THE INFORMATION #820 JANUARY 23, 2015

THE INFORMATION #820
JANUARY 23, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

I drink your health against the wall!–William Ernest Henley 

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART TWO: NEMESIS

Adam Tyler wasn’t the only big-time loocher to make a local Saloon his favored haunt. Judge Rance Sniffle was also known to haunt those precincts, for he surely favored a snifter or two. 

Late afternoon in early winter, and the sun had already done its work and was resting in repose just below the horizon—and if you were outside you could see a kiss of it peeking over the craggy horizon of Noxtown—looking all green and gold and illuminating the bare trees which arose with skeletal limbs along the near horizon. It was a bitterly cold day, however, and anyone with any sense was indoors, howsoever poor the shelter.

And poor indeed was the shelter at the Seven Stars Saloon. That winter’s week there had been a minor thaw and the floor was slick with water and clumps of sawdust. The old coal stove was sending out a mass of oily smoke, and the dimly illumined room was made even more smoky with the fumes of tobacco. A bunch of the boys were, as the poem goes, whooping it up, though their celebrations soon began to take an ominous turn.

At the bar, Tipsy Smith tried to look interested and even engaged as the usual fat and useless-looking barrel boarders sidled up to the bar in a bald-headed row and roared and boasted and loudly called each other and jokingly made with billingsgate in the form of nonsensical accusations:

 “You’re a real character, ain’t yuh, Jack?”

“Say, listen, Sunny Jim–I don’t need to carry your coals. I’ll give you an ear-wigging!”

“You and whose army? I’ll comb your hair!”

“I hear you have a colt’s tooth. Why, I hear that you’re nothing more than a Kid-stretcher and a Cradle-Robber!”

“And better. Proud of it, too. And don’t you forget it!”

“They say you’re also a chaffing cheat!”

“Say, Little Boy, does your mother know you’re out?”

“You! You’re nothing but a muffin-faced Tin-horn!”

“And no whistle.”

“You’re a pestle-headed know-nothing!”

“It takes all kinds.”

“I hear tell you’re a low-down Burglar!”

“And you’re my angling cove.”

“The man in the crocusing-rig says you’re a snow-bird!”

“You bet! I’m as bad as they make ’em!”

“And the abrams all say you’re a Bindlestiff!”

“That’s me. Free and easy. I’ll tell the world!”

“You’re a real dingbat, ain’t ya?”

“You’re another. Who’s your hatter, you bacon-faced Yob?”

“You’re not worth a continental damn!”

“Maybe not. I’m no damn curbstone-broker, such as yourself.”
“No back talk! Don’t you catch the wind of the word?”

“Don’t you wish you may get it!”

“Are you trying to quiz me?”

“Aww…I’ll tell you. Three blue beans in a blue bladder! Bla bla bla. I’ll make cold meat of you.”

“You kill my cat and I’ll kill your dog!”

“Just try. I’m as tough as they make ‘em.”

“None of your cheek! I’ll snatch you baldheaded!”

“Black is the white of your eye. You’re all talk and no cider!”

“Be careful around me—or I’ll fetch you such a knock as will give you the collywobbles!”

“Do tell!”

“Aww, enough of this piff-paff. Let’s liquor up!”

 “Dang my buttons! I don’t care if I do!”

“I believe you, my Yob!”

“Good! Au Reservoir!”

 

“Humf. Kack. Haww….

 

The voice of Judge Rance Sniffle was heard booming above the strains of babble.

 

“Let me tell you all an interesting little story about a recent decedent.”

 

At the hopes that the Judge would prove a grasser, and of hearing some hot gossip, the vox populi hushened.

 

“Once there was an old miser who lived in and ran the cheapest and dirtiest rooming house in all of Gleason’s Corners. Which, if you’ve ever been there, you know to be a very poor community indeed, Humph, Kack, One in which the poor little children walk around barefoot and eat grass. An old-fashioned place where they still sell fresh cackleberries and pickles by the barrel at the General Store.

 

“Many a time was this old miser–his name was Mr. McCabe–nobody seemed to know his first name–he was ageless—what was I saying?.  Humf. Kack.  

 

“All the same, rumor had it that he kept on his premises a tin box–a wonderful tin box–full of all his hoarded gold. He never welcomed outside visitors to his humble abode. No…he was afraid that somehow they would manage to tie him up and find his wonderful tin box. He was even afraid to let the neighbors see his garbage. He would bundle it up and go out late at night and deposit it elsewhere—or so the neighbors said.

 

“Mr. McCabe, he was so stingy he would re-use a one-penny stamp, over and over, until it was nearly falling apart. Not that he ever had much need for one, since he never paid his bills. He bought everything on credit. Merchants would trust him for the money because they all heard he had a whole stash of gold coins in his wonderful tin box. 

“To be sure, Mr. McCabe had a real bee in his head about money…I suppose it was because once upon his time he was truly poor…he would only ever dine on soda crackers, and old cheese for which he paid a penny at the grocer’s…I do believe the old man stole cheese from mouse traps…when he would open his coin purse, you would see a spider web…a moth would flutter out. Humf. Kack. Haww.

 

“Anyhow, McCabe would use almost any form of chaffing palaver or lying excuse to avoid paying his bills, and folks used to talk all the time about the magnificent heaps of gold coins he liked to run his fingers through late at night by the light of the moon streaming in through his cracked window pane. The window was broken because he was too mingy to repair it. He used cheap planks of scrap wood to chink up the broken window. His tenants always complained that he never turned the boiler on. For all they knew, the house didn’t even have so much as a coal stove, let alone a boiler. They brought plenty of blankets if they expected to sleep in any one of his drafty rooms, which he rented by the night–pay in advance. Twelve cents a night–the lowest price in town. Other places charged twenty or even thirty cents.   Humf. Kack. The tenants would bang for heat, but it would never come up. Old man McCabe didn’t mind the banging—it tunrs out that he was slightly deef.

 

“Not him for putting his money in a bank—any bank–oh no! Banks have been known to fail–and what would become of all his money if that were to happen? McCabe had a daughter–a beautiful daughter–she would never come to see him except in the dead of night. She was poorly dressed, and when she would leave his house she would always look desperately unhappy. One day the daughter came to him and she fainted dead away from hunger right on his doorstep. What did he do? He let her stay there, but finally an ambulance was called and she wasn’t seen no more.

 

“He was scorned and reviled by all his neighbors for being such a mean miser, but did any of this change his ways? No. McCabe grew even more miserly, and he stopped going to the general store and instead he would scrounge for his supper from trash cans. And when he died himself–as all men must–but all too soon in his case, due to hunger and cold–do ye know that the tenants searched high and low for that wondrous tin box? But not a one of them could find it. They concluded he must have buried it somewhere. The sight of all them yaller boys going to waste while they all half froze was enough to drive some of the tenants wild.

 

“Anyhow, the house was condemned, and the police conducted a thorough search of the premises, in case there were evidence of foul play, and, under some loose floorboards, do you know what they found? That’s right–it was the wondrous tin box. And do you know what they discovered when they opened it? Nothing.

 

“Nothing, that is, but a little note. Do you know what the note said?

 

“Dam you all–you’ll never get my money!”  Humf. Kack. Haww….” 

 

Amid this badinage a booming voice arose.

 

“Larf it up, Judge Sniffle. Your time will surely come.” 

1*SALUTATION

TAMPA RED

LET ME PLAY WITH YOUR POODLE

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJKi_yWxLy4

ALSO SEE:

THE CLOVERS

ROTTEN COCKSUCKERS BALL

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-n5vG2SjJY

SEE ALSO:

VILLON’S GOOD-NIGHT

BY William Ernest Henley

http://www.fromoldbooks.org/Farmer-MusaPedestris/villons-good-night.html

2*REFERENCE

THE DEATH TOLL COMPARISON BREAKDOWN

Roy Aleksandrovich Medvedev published an article in 1989 that broke down [the Stalin] death toll: 1 million imprisoned or exiled between 1927 to 1929; 9 to 11 million peasants forced off their lands and another 2 to 3 million peasants arrested or exiled in the mass collectivization program; 6 to 7 million killed by an artificial famine in 1932-1934; 1 million exiled from Moscow and Leningrad in 1935; 1 million executed during the ”Great Terror” of 1937-1938; 4 to 6 million dispatched to forced labor camps; 10 to 12 million people forcibly relocated during World War II; and at least 1 million arrested for various “political crimes” from 1946 to 1953.–Barry Geibel

http://waitbutwhy.com/2013/08/the-death-toll-comparison-breakdown.html

3*HUMOR

Weirdest States in the Union

http://allamericancomedytrek.com/wordpress/?p=323

4*NOVELTY

NEW LAWS

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/12/ban_on_tiger_selfles_and_other.html

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

PINDOSTAN: RUSSIANS RAGE AGAINST AMERICA

http://observer.com/2014/12/russians-rage-against-america/

6* DAILY UTILITY

10 THINGS GROCERY STORES WON’T TELL YOU

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/spendingandborrowing/10-things-grocery-stores-wont-tell-you/
7*CARTOON

LOOK OUT! SOVIET BLOODY POSTERS

http://englishrussia.com/2011/01/15/look-out-soviet-bloody-posters/

8*PRESCRIPTION

MAN AWAKENS AFTER 12 YEAR COMA

http://www.examiner.com/article/man-awakens-after-12-year-coma-and-shares-his-story-with-the-world

9*RUMOR PATROL

6 Biggest Drops in Quality Between Albums: Bob Dylan, Prince and More 

http://www.musictimes.com/articles/22047/20141228/6-biggest-drops-in-quality-between-albums-bob-dylan-prince.htm

10* LAGNIAPPE

HOW FACEBOOK KNOWS YOU BETTER THAN YOUR FRIENDS DO

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/facebook-personality-test/

ALSO SEE:

FACEBOOK AT WORK

http://www.wired.com/2015/01/facebook-at-work-launch/

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

SHAMAN CLAUS

http://realitysandwich.com/238049/shaman-claus-the-shamanic-origins-of-christmas/

CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
778. THE WEIRD AND TERRIBLE IDEA OF ROMNEY 2016

It’s kind of weird that the only reason Romney would actually be running would be to avenge his father after the media jumped all over him in 1967 for his “brainwashed on Vietnam” comment. As Mark Anderson points out, “Rand Paul referred to Romney’s candidacy as an act of insanity, “Doing the same things over and over again expecting different results.”

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-weird-and-terrible-idea-of-romney-2016/

ALSO SEE:

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-terrible-idea-of-romney-2016/

THE INFORMATION #819 JANUARY 16, 2015

THE INFORMATION #819
JANUARY 16, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

R.I.P. GUS MURPHY MOYNIHAN

Ben Hecht met Mencken and decided he resembled “a city alderman.”–Fred Hobson

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TEN: PART ONE: KINGDOM COME

The older you get, the less certain ye become about what it all means. I don’t know much, Yob. I’ll be beggared if I do. But this is what I believe I know. That urchins and crumb crushers always like to ball things up. Allus breaking things. Including their old mammy’s heart. And yowling fit to beat the band. I’m not just yaffling. They are surprising, like a mongrel that will circle three times before lying down but can turn on you over a doughnut. They will wake snakes. And they are enough to vex ye for the rest of your born days. When there’s bantlings involved, they always need a home. That’s for sure. That’s why the best thing you can do is buy up some real estate. 

That’s right, you heard me. Look at Alderman Adam Tyler, the ward-heeler and jumped-up jumbler.  It’s funny how well some yobs do. Some would say it’s a shame and a scandal. Birthed him nearly a dozen whippersnappers, all boys. Enough for a baseball team. “My hostages to fortune,” he would call them. “My eleven encumbrances.” He was known as Buddy. And “The Man in the Moon”. He was also known, more widely, as “The Yaller Boy,” not because he was a boy but on account of his yaller eyebrows and his yaller mustache and his yaller hair, slightly thinning on the top because he was nearin’ forty–though at the time, to me he seemed centuries old–but still a good crop. And also because he always carried around gold coins. They were his own yaller boys. The Actual. Known the world round. Feathers. Hay. Amigos. Sour Grapes. Bone. Corn in Egypt.  He would often call attention to them there coins of his’n in saloons and barrelhouses and suchlike places. He’s make his grand entry at the John Raines Hotel Lobby, say. Or Feist’s Cigar Store.You could smell him a mile off. Even in the Tonsorial Parlor, where Guiseppe the barber laid on the stinkum with a free and easy hand. 

Don’t call me a liar or say I’m making this up out of whole cloth or speaking for Buncombe. I’ll be beggared if I ain’t seed him show off his chips and chinkers many a time my own self. “Look at thishyer Yaller Boy” he would say, twirling some ooftish on the bar-top at the Seven Stars Saloon. “Watch ‘er sparkle.” And he’d make three rapid hissing sounds between his lower teeth, and then he would snuff the air. All that deadbeat gang of loochers and benchers, bemused with beer, would be hypnotized by the spinning coin and just when it was about ready to roll off the wooden bar, Alderman Tyler would snatch it up right smart in his right duke and say “Gotcha! Get right back in my plute, ye little sneak!”

The jumbo-sized Alderman was no longer as slender as a blade; the corny-faced omee had taken to drinking and eating to excess; he had a sizable corporation and an excessive corybungus and his face was a yaller as a wax candle, lending new meaning to his old time nickname of Yaller Boy. You could almost imagine him slowly melting in the sun, and his nose running down below his mouth. He allus wore a blue blazer with the crest of some sailing ship on it, and he allus reeked of cheap cologne. I wonder what it was he thought of as he splashed the foul-smellin’ perfumey water all over himself–Hot potatoes! the patooties will all go wild over this scent! Even though he was a supposedly happily married man, he still had an eye for an Angelic. You might say he was a cunny-burrow ferret. Or maybe he was one of those Yellofs who didn’t think at all and operated only on pure animal instinct, though I’ve known dogs who rolled in their own filth who were easier to bear the smell of than Yaller Boy Tyler. 

Tyler cracked a tidy crust. Survival of the fattest. He had all the chinkey at his command because he was what was known as a Patch, or a Fixer. He could get you a hay burner from his ready supply of baggage stock; he could get you a job on the sledge gang or as a luggage smasher or as a cook at the Hotel Dukey; he was always generous with his tips and with Ready John and the barber and the tailor and the bellboy was always glad to see him, though he only distributed his ample supply of silver to the small fry, who would do anything for some tin; he’d save the yaller boys for when he was making a grandstand play and helping a Yellof out of a jam. He would twirl his cane and twiddle his mustaches as though he were the consort of the Queen of May. “What kin I do ye for?” he’d bark out, half-laughing at his own joke. Then he’s liberally dispense the Oil of Angels.He wasn’t one to send you away with a flea in your ear. He’s always give you the benefit of his advice if not the actual Ready John. But he wasn’t one to make ducks and drakes of his ooftish; oh no. He allus expected some kind of a favor in return. He had pull, and he usually got what he paid for.  

No; whatever else you might say about him, he was a great man when it came to getting things done. In a close local election, he was the man you called. He would see to it that the proper wheels got greased. Oh, I don’t know a thing about vote fraud, but Tyler, he wrote the book. Of that you can be sure of as things go bump in the night.

How many ways can I say it without sounding like a blasted crackpot? He was a useful man to know. But if you weren’t in good with one of his cronies, ye weren’t much good to him and ye would never be in good with him unless he took a special shine to you. I think he liked me because he saw in me what he himself had once been–a sly little rogue who was allus looking for the man chance even before he had got the lay of the land. 

He was a dab Fixer, and whenever you played the Stars and Stripes Forever then oftentimes he would do you a favor–never out of the goodness of his heart, for he had none–he was no Ben Cull–but allus in the expectation that you would pay him back in return, or he could maybe take it out in trade, but for crumb-bums as didn’t have any juice or pull, why, it was allus brass on the barrelhead, pay up, or you can rot in jail, if that was the p’ticular fix you had gotten yourself into. Clancy the Copper was always ready willing and able to take the word of the Alderman about a p’ticular suspect, unless, of course, he was resistin’ arrest or some such foolishment; then it would take a little bit more in the way of palm oil to free the recreant rascal. 

Land of the Free, they call it, but Freedom ain’t Free–seems as though in the long and the short run, it costs an awful lot of money. That’s where the Alderman allus came in. He was the man with the bustle. He had a great deal of backstair influence. At the sound of crisp Alfalfa being shuffled or shiners clinking, he’d be there in a flash. Not literally, Yob–but it was a kind of sixth sense he had–he would always manage to float over to where the hard stuff was changing hands, and, if he knowed his business, and he nearly allus did, he would get his very own little cut of the enterprise. In the form of tow, wad, needful, pewter, posh, or John Davis. 

Remember what I said about the need to round yourself some kind of a stake or nest egg and put your money into buyin’ up real estate? Tyler followed that advice with a vengeance. They still talk about the Five-Thousand Dollar Phone Call. Stories vary. A friend of a friend of a brother of a doctor of a cousin says that Tyler once had it on good authority that such and such a back-slum was to be torn down and have a road built through it, or a swampland was about to have a school or hospital or a library built on it, and, lo and behold, he stands to make five thousand dollars with a single phone call. He was one of the Gentry; a founding member of the Acreocracy, him. They wouldn’t be burying him in no Potter’s Field. In fact, he owned the Potter’s Field. Planned to move some dirt around and build a skyscraper on it. And he did. You’d recognize its name in a minute, but I disremember.

Anyway, It was better than a fifty-dollar vacation, to hear him come the old soldier on his cronies, dispensin’ dead-wood earnest advice on all matters of sundries like some doddering old sheep’s head. To Cool Slopp the avuncular relation, he would tell him–on the D.Q.–to get another big watchdog, instead of relyin’ so much on Little Eamonn. But Slopp was uncommonly fond of as well as proud of the Pomeranian. Tyler had touched him on the raw, and so he would even risk backsassing an Alderman in order to defend the wee mite.

“My Eamonn is a four-legged burglar alarm, ye flymy fathead,” Slopp would hollar. “You’re a half-grown shad! My gnarler’s worth worth ten Buffers!” And Tyler would flee the Slopp pawnbroker’s establishment while holding his ears. 

He would tell Tipsy Smith over at the Seven Stars Saloon that he ought to work to attract a better class of clientele, so he could charge more for drinks and make more money.”What we serve here,” Smitty would say, “is a grown man’s dose. None of our geese are swans.  We don’t talk all lardy-dardy, and we don’t put up with no flub-dub or guff, ner frillies for the ladyfolk. They drink the same corpse-revivers as the rest of us, and, as a matter of fact, some of them could hold a candle to the devil–fine Lushingtons they be.” And then Smitty, he would go mum and nod his coconut and carry on wiping his glasses with the same old dirty rag, giving you the impression that what Tyler had said to him was all in one ear and out the other. 

Then Tyler would take to trying to reform the clientele, like a duffer, by talking tall to the sponges miking round the pub, but the effect was cold water down the back. “Why don’t you get wise to yourself?” he would say to simpleminded Jimmy Ragmop, whose only reply was usually Duh. He was, as we all knew, a downy-bird from Daisyville and dotty in the crumpet. He belonged in the Laughing Academy. Giving advice to that gooseberry was like giving straw to your dog and bones to your ass. 

“Why don’t you take better care of yourself?” he would say to the fiddle-faced cross-patch Musky Dan, and get in exchange for his kindly-intentioned advice a muzzy snarl from the streaky old hard-mouthed codger, who would yaffle him. “Enough of your chaff and blabber,” he’s reply, “It don’t signify, Yob. Everything is lovely and the goose hangs high, but fine words butter no parsnips.Better you should either stand me sam or mind your own bloody business, ye foreman of the jury with your bold-faced flabberdegaz–or I’ll give you a shove smack dab in your blind eye. Now, why don’t ye shut your potato-trap, me fine Mr. Wallah? You may be the gilded rooster on the top of the steeple, but when your time comes you can talk forty to the dozen to the devil Himself, but you’ll still be food for the worms, just like the rest of us, even if they place ye inside of a handsome mahogany box! Six feet tall on earth–six feet under in the grave! Memento Mori!”

The cribbage-faced crow-eaters and friday-facers could afford to ignore or even insult Alderman Tyler. They were too poor to pay him his graft and too small to be in a line to receive his favors. But he would tell the likes of Judge Rance Sniffle about a likely lad who was ready for the plucking and the Judge, for all his years, would bolt out of Feist’s Cigar Store like a shot. It’s like they say–cash on the nail makes the world go round, and no cull can say me nay. 

Same went for Titus Peep the Shyster Lawyer, and Coach Crump the real estate Mogul. Titus Peep would sell his soul to the man downstairs–if he hadn’t bargained it away long ago–for an extra morsel of brass, and Coach Crump was a cockhound–the lowest kind–a shrewd businessman, but a rank sucker when it came to a demi-rep or a dasher or any fad-cattle or dealer in fancy-work. He would always evatch a kool of the elrig. 

Tyler had an uncanny hold on the both of them. He was a born fool-trap monger. Maybe sometime I’ll tell you about it. 

You know, it just goes to show–if you want to eat aba daba, you got to show up at the grease wagon first. Opportunity doesn’t knock–it just sort of tiptoes around and peeks in at the keyhole to see if’n you’re awake.

1*SALUTATION

WORST BAND NAMES EVER

http://www.ranker.com/crowdranked-list/worst-band-names-ever

2*REFERENCE 

The evolution of ecstasy: From Mandy to Superman, the effects of the drug MDMA

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/the-evolution-of-ecstasy-from-mandy-to-superman-the-effects-of-the-drug-mdma-9959732.html

3*HUMOR

TEEN GIRL DATING ADVICE FROM THE 1950S

http://www.buzzfeed.com/copyranter/confusing-teen-girl-dating-advice-from-the-1950s?utm_term=.xuaD4aBXz#.qmq8go32Yv

4*NOVELTY

SCENES FROM A WEST VIRGINIA COUNTY FAIR 1938

As LIFE wrote back in 1938:

But their major preoccupation was bodies—human bodies, animal bodies, bodies that looked half-human, half-animal. The “girlie” shows, which were hot and smutty, drew smaller audiences than the freaks from crowds made up of farmers, breeders and hillbillies. Only a few city people were present, although some urban sophisticates have discovered the county fair and are beginning to make America’s great harvest-time diversion a city-folk fad.

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/scenes_from_a_west_virginia_county_fair_1938

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

Patton Oswalt on the Time He Enlisted Bob Odenkirk and David Cross to Perform Jerry Lewis’s Holocaust Clown Screenplay

http://www.vulture.com/2014/12/patton-oswalt-the-day-the-clown-didnt-cry-jerry-lewis.html

6* DAILY UTILITY

APP TURNS MOMENTS TO KILL INTO MONEY TO SPEND

http://www.bostonglobe.com/business/2014/12/08/how-made-instead-spent-cents-with-mobile-app/WqqS2aOxD71HBeWIbOsXJJ/story.html

7*CARTOON

FIFTEEN HISTORIC CARTOONS THAT CHANGED THE WORLD

http://www.buzzfeed.com/victornavasky/15-historic-cartoons-that-changed-the-world#.mcm21Ak8Pb

8*PRESCRIPTION

NEIL POSTMAN: Meet the man who predicted Fox News, the Internet, Stephen Colbert and reality TV

http://www.salon.com/2015/01/04/meet_the_man_who_predicted_fox_news_the_internet_stephen_colbert_and_reality_tv/

9*RUMOR PATROL

‘WELCOME TO FEAR CITY’: THE NYPD’S SCARY MID-1970S CAMPAIGN TO KEEP TOURISTS OUT OF NYC

http://dangerousminds.net/comments/welcome_to_fear_city_the_nypds

10* LAGNIAPPE

JFK ROCKING CHAIR SALT AND PEPPER SHAKER

http://www.rubylane.com/item/188975-P985/John-F-Kennedy-Rocking-Chair-Salt

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

SLANG AND ITS ANALOGUES. By Farmer & Henley. (II)

Trawling through Farmer and Henley’s Slang and Its Analogues, of the terms I find most endearing are those for misers; for making a hasty getaway; for fools; for boasters and braggarts; for moochers, and for fat men. There are also plenty of hidden names for Policemen and policemen’s spies. I guess when you’re a crook, these are big concerns. Sprinkled here and there are the sorts of Americanisms one associates with Twain, whether rightly or not. Absquatulate, etc. I discovered that many of our current old saws date back to Shakespeare and Chaucer. That there are ten slang terms for the word “screw” (and thirty more besides). And that “To Arrive at the End of the Sentimental Journey” means “to possess a woman”.

https://books.google.com/books?id=JKRBAAAAYAAJ&pg=PA141&lpg=PA141&dq=farmer+and+henley+Going+on+a+Sentimental+Journey%22&source=bl&ots=_1svbB0utG&sig=FnqzfYnZdYNqwGoxJps1Uyiki4A&hl=en&sa=X&ei=0omxVMW3AcqWNqiggZAP&ved=0CB4Q6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=farmer%20and%20henley%20Going%20on%20a%20Sentimental%20Journey%22&f=false
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
777. GILLIGAN’S ISLAND BY HENRY JAMES

The Professor (and indeed, his specialty, Science, entitled him to that high but by no means inaccurate, when applied to him, title of respect) mused fretfully upon the fate of his fellow bon vivants castaway, for an indeterminate, and, for him, this was the most frustrating aspect of his plight, amount of time, forced–by no means forced, but obliged–to countenance the antic behavior resulting from of the seriously diminished mental faculties of the lovable, if only by way of a force of nature insuperable, Gilligan…for indeed it was he.  

THE INFORMATION #818 JANUARY 9, 2015

THE INFORMATION #818
JANUARY 9, 2015
Copyright 2015 FRANCIS DIMENNO
http://dimenno.gather.com
francisdimenno@yahoo.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE

BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN

CHAPTER NINE: PART FORTY-FOUR: THE MAYOR OF HELL

The Honorable Jonal Lobhar made a mighty hishee-hashee of the job he was elected to do. He let the rogues and the angry boys run riot. The police were well-funded but like Lobsters everywhere they only worked as hard as they could get away with, and loafed the rest of the time. Rash of sleeping on the job. Drinking on the job. Packing the Black Maria with harmless layabouts and letting the real Yekkmen free to plunder. This is no black joke and it’s no lie. Under Captain Tom Aston, the Coppers in Noxtown was fit only to lead blind monkeys, and many of them were plunderers themselves. The Mayor was weak, and he did nothing when Johnny Law set himself above the mob. In this man’s town they were no better than the Cossacks from Rooshia. They went around kidnapping wealthy citizens and holding ’em for ransom. They’d kidnap the poor and throw ’em in jail on charges which was sheer trumpery, and Judge Rance Sniffle, he would go along. Small wonder all the sports at the Seven Stars hated him and the crushers with a blue passion. The Beaks in Noxtown all wore helmets and pranced and minced around like a passel o’ tin soldier men. 

Sure, I’m a bum, you say, and I hate the coppers like pi’sen, but I’ve been around, and not all cops are bad. No, there are ben beaks and there are blackguards and these Noxtown Bullies were among the rottenest. Many a gay blade found his sad demise beneath the clubs of the butchers. Nor is that even the half of it. I could talk all night. But let me just say this–every swell cove not wearin’ tux and tails and ridin’ in a fancy hoss-drawn carriage, the beaks would treat with the utmost disdain. I seen it many a time with my own two little piggy eyes.You hear all that guff and balloon juice about how the coppers help little kiddies find their lost mammies and little old ladies safely cross the street, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred that’s the bunk. The only people they care about keeping safe is the Bloated Aristocrat as has an in with the Chief of Police. Everyone else can go hang. I’ve seen cops laughing–laughing!–at a poor old man who slips on a fresh pile of horse apples. Far from helping him up, they’re splitting their sides with glee. You can talk all you want about Officer Friendly, but these are the facts. I’m only doin’ my job, they might say, if they’re a ben cove underneath it all, but ask yourself this question–what the blazes is the bluebottle’s appointed job, other than to collect money off of poor bleaters and to let the bludgers and the bludgets roam free, provided they make their payoff? A harmless man sleeping under the blue blanket gets thirty days hard labor on bread and water for vag. Meanwhile the well-connected man will have the darbies clapped on him when two Sundays come in a week; which is to say, never. They say, O, a cop keeps you safe. O, a cop is underpaid and that is why he has to collect protection money and kidnap people in broad daylight and cart them off to see the judge who, if the Yellof hasn’t any dirt, why, he must work it off in the blockhouse. It’s no better than slavery. 

And the cops don’t make you particularly safe, unless you have the dosh to buy your own private police force, as many do. The cops never show up when you want them around. You never see them pick up well-connected individuals who everyone knows are crooks. And they hardly ever solve crimes that have already been committed. I’d say that much more than half the time, they destroy evidence what with their drunken antics at the scene of the crime, leaving footprints every which where. They’re no better than the Angry Boys on every city block who rove in mobs to plunder. What did the coppers do about the Pepper Gang, or the Molasses Gang? Nowt. Sure, every now and then they’ll say to some street-corner loafer Gwan or I’ll Run You In, but when they’re faced with the entire Gang they back and fill and attack backwards, meaning they run for their lives. As you probably know, there are whole sections of Blowtown where the cops will not go. That’s a known fact to the wised-up Gees and so Blowtown is the first place where a wanted man will go. Knowing he’s as safe there as in his Mammy’s bosom. 

It would be bad enough if the cops were just as bad as the Gangs, but actually, they’re worse, because they got the law on their side, and all the judicial apparatus. Some cops are just as sweet as apple pie, until they take a dislike to you, and then you’re dog meat to them. That is all. And for every hundred cops there’s maybe one nice one. So much for that. You can always count on the cops to be on the side of just one thing–other cops. They don’t care about the people they’re supposed to protect unless there’s something in it for them, and they sure as hell don’t care about me and thee, Yob.  

Now let me say that in other communities there are police who actually do some kind of job to protect the honest Joe, who, for all his faults, never bothers nobody. But not in Noxtown.

No, in Noxtown the cops are liars and tricksters and worse. They will gang up on you in a team and they can get you to admit to anything. Killing yore Maw, even though she died while she was birthin’ yuh. They’ll shake you down if you have any polly and, just to add insult to injury, they’ll give you a good kick in the ass to top it off. You talk about your hero cop? He’s a fool. The other cops only respect the beak who steals the most, and that’s a fact. Save a drownin’ child and you got to pay to have your uniform cleaned. Steal a hot stove and they’ll buy you a round of drinks. 

Can’t blame ’em, though. Most of ’em come from bad families. No rich man ever said he wanted his son to be a cop. No, mostly, the cops come from folks who are the bottom of the barrel. So they give ’em a nightstick and tell them to bash some heads. Them’s their orders–so what do you expect them to do? The Mayor, he could care less. Too busy hollarin’ at his Bit O’Muslin for spending his duke on fashions from Paree. No, small wonder then that most of the cops on the force are sixth-grade dropouts–and them, they’re the smart ones. There’s no romance to bein’ a cop, but there’s plenty of money, and money can buy you a lot in this man’s town.

If you run into one of these Fly coppers, Yob, here’s what you do. Bend over. Bow down. Take your punishment. Don’t give them no back sass. Tell them nothing you dinnae have to. That’s the only way to come out even, and I don’t suppose even that will be much of a help. So here’s the real gen. Stay away. Stay far away from the Beaks. They mean the likes of you and me no good at all. 

I wish it could be like it was back in the olden days, when people policed themselves. But them days, Yob, are gone forever!  

O, I could tell you more–much more–but I dasn’t.  

1*SALUTATION

SUPERSTAR: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY (COMPLETE)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rACJWPd3VnI

2*REFERENCE

NEW LAWS

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/12/ban_on_tiger_selfles_and_other.html

3*HUMOR

PINDOSTAN: RUSSIANS RAGE AGAINST AMERICA

http://observer.com/2014/12/russians-rage-against-america/

4*NOVELTY

BEST OF HITLER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Di2bA3QMbfc

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST

THE DARK WEB

http://disinfo.com/2015/01/dark-web-works-not-going-away/

6* DAILY UTILITY

Frank Langella launches a withering attack on the showbiz A-list 

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2119659/Frank-Langella-The-bitchiest-man-Hollywood.html

7*CARTOON

TITICUT FOLLIES (FULL FILM)

http://popvideo.org/v/5844040/Njc2NDkxOF8xNjQwMzc5NjY/

8*PRESCRIPTION

Santorum “nig” gaffe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=IgrhJSAaYIc

9*RUMOR PATROL

4 Big Reasons People Aren’t Going To The Movies Anymore

http://www.cinemablend.com/new/4-Big-Reasons-People-Aren-t-Going-Movies-Anymore-68955.html

10* LAGNIAPPE

6 Biggest Drops in Quality Between Albums: Bob Dylan, Prince and More 

http://www.musictimes.com/articles/22047/20141228/6-biggest-drops-in-quality-between-albums-bob-dylan-prince.htm

11* DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA

SLANG AND ITS ANALOGUES. BY FARMER AND HENLEY.

I am through book four (2 volumes) of the 7-book (3 volume) Slang and Its Analogues by Farmer & Henley. I very much look forward to spending the next two days in the company of this winsome volume full of quaint lore.

It occurs to me that slangsters weren’t much concerned with book-larnin’. In all the alphabet from A-M there was just one reference to a book learned men. No, what the lingomen seemed most concerned with were stealing, drinking, and fucking, and not in that order. Also begging, bragging, and fighting. All of which, I’m sorry to report, I have grown rather rusty at. 

 *11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED

ACES HIGH. EVANS. ****

AMERICAN CORNBALL. MILLER. ****1/2

AS TEXAS GOES. COLLINS. ***1/2

BATMAN 5: ZERO YEAR-DRAK CITY. ***1/2

BATMAN THE DARK KNIGHT 2: CYCLE OF VIOLENCE. ***1/2

BATMAN INCORPORATED 2: GOTHAM’S MOST WANTED. ***1/2

BOHEMIANS. BUHLE. ***1/2

BOMB RUN. SEVERIN. ****

CHICAGOLAND DETECTIVE AGENCY 6. TRINA & PAGE. ***

THE CIGAR THAT FELL IN LOVE WITH A PIPE. CAMUS. ***1/2

EARTHLING. FRANZ. ***

ELEMENTS OF WIT. ERRETT. ***1/2

ESCAPO. POPE. ***1/2

THE GANG THAT WOULDN’T WRITE STRAIGHT. WEINGARTEN. ****

GAST. SWAIN. ***1/2

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE FIX. CILLIZZA. ***1/2

HOW TO BE HAPPY. DAVIS. ****

THE HUMOR CODE. MCGRAW & WARNER. ***1/2

IT NEVER HAPPENED AGAIN. ALDEN. ****

JLA VOLUME 5. WAID. ***1/2

THE JOKER: A CELEBRATION OF 75 YEARS. ***

LISTVERSE.COM’S EPIC BOOK….***

NEW AVENGERS 2: INFINITY. ***

NIJIGAHARA HOLOGRAPH. ASANO. ***1/2

ON BOOZE. FITZGERALD. ****

THE PEOPLE INSIDE. FAWKES. ****

PHANTOMS OF THE LOUVRE. BILAL. ****1/2

POODLE SPRINGS. PARKER. ***1/2

RED SONJA 1. QUEEN OF PLAGUES. ***

SEASON OF THE WITCH. BEBERGAL. ***1/2

THE STORY ABOUT THE STORY. HALLMAN. ****1/2

THE STORY ABOUT THE STORY II. HALLMAN. ****1/2

THE SUN ALSO RISES. HEMINGWAY. ****

SUPERMAN/BATMAN. LOEB. ***1/2

THANOS: THE INFINITY REVELATION. ***1/2

THE U.S. CONSTITUTION: A GRAPHIC ADAPTATION. HENNESSEY. ***1/2
CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE.
776. DESCRIBE THE LAST DUMP YOU TOOK WITH A MOVIE TITLE.
Dumbo Drop
Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
There Will be Blood
A Star Is Born
Damn the Defiant!
http://www.thenoiseboard.com/lofiversion/index385815.php