Copyright 2017 FRANCIS DIMENNO
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.–Mark Twain
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER ELEVEN: PART THIRTY-EIGHT: DAYS OF WRATH
“I’m telling you, Yob,” said Count Victor Justin to young Cadger Tandy, “when them Masons conduct an initiation for a side degree, they don’t fiddlefuck around.”
As they walked, Tandy noticed that it was just after midsummer, but that it was already cool and there was a decided hint of autumn in the breeze. This made him ineffably sad, for a reason which he could not immediately fathom.
“Personally,” said the Count, “I think practical jokes are strictly for the all squares from Delaware. I do not cotton to that variety of humor, so-called. They are stupid and vulgar. I was brought up amid country bumpkins, you know, though of course I was never allowed to play with them once I passed the age of about seven. The first thing I noticed about them was that they talked with a drawling accent which I was forbidden to emulate. My father didn’t mind so much, but my Momma was hell on proper diction and all of that. She said that you could always tell if a person had class and manners by the way they talked, although she didn’t use those exact words.She said that if everybody took the trouble to learn their grammar and spelling, the world would be a better and more equal place. But it was her contention that very few people, relatively speaking, had the intellectual equipment to conform to those rules. Everyone else was either stupid or lazy–at least, in her view. Where she got these peculiar notions I don’t know, but I can well guess. Why, she got them from her own father, whom she adored. Now, there was a formidable gentleman. Six feet tall, 180 pounds, and ramrod straight. He had long white hair and wintry-white whiskers like icicles, and he always sported a great-coat and a pince-nez, which were the fashion of his day. And a cane with the gold head of a lion.
“Anyhow, practical jokes are about as far removed from actual wit as we are from the monkeys in the jungle. Speaking of which, attending one of the Masonic rituals is a good deal akin to watching the antics of the denizens of the monkey house at the Zoo. A great many people, it seems, never develop much beyond the age of nineteen. I’m not talking about soldiers or ministers, or such-like–their problem is that they have grown old too fast. No, I’m talking about the mass of ordinary mortals. This is a true fact about men, that they are, in essence, boys, and most women know it. That’s why the zooks all look at us with ill-concealed disrespect–once they’ve gotten their hooks in. Just like no man is a hero to his valet, no husband is a sensible adult to his wife–once they get past the honeymoon.
“It is well for the menfolk that the honeymoon only lasts around three or four weeks. If they had to take care of a squalling bairn while they were still in the throes of puppy-love, they would probably drop the kid on the stone pavement in a fit of swoony goofiness. Anyway, I think it is well that most men are not entrusted to the care of small babies. They’re little better than babes in arms their own selves is why. Witness the initiation rituals at the Masonic Hall if you happen to doubt the veracity of this asseveration.”
“Huh?” said Cadger Tandy.
“The truth of this claim.Yob, you had better learn yourself some vocabulary words, other than the thieves’ cant and argot that they spout over t’ The Seven Stars. In any event, let’s say you join a lodge and they ask you if, in the bargain, you also want to join the Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. You gotta say yes because you can’t say no. In for a penny, in for a pound. That’s how the lodges make their money, you know–with the side degrees. And the older guys always get a great big kick out of putting the younger Yellofs through unmitigated hell. That’s how the old folk manage to show their resentment of the fact that they don’t love their wives no more, while the young guys still do, mostly. There’s more than a little bit of agfay action going on with these idiotic initiation rituals and side degrees. I dunno why they don’t just fuck each other and get it over with and out in the open, instead of dancing around the question. But don’t ever suggest any such thing–no, no–or you’ll be banished from the sight of ‘decent’ men.
Why Are Opioid Users Overdosing in Libraries, and How Should Librarians Respond?
By Samantha Sanders
Librarians across the country are witnessing opioid overdoses on the job. Here’s how some library systems are responding.
“Others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, . . . . and then you destroy yourself.”
Some college friends and I were slumming in NYC and we tried to get into the Mine Shaft circa 1978.
We got as far as the top of the stairs and then we learned they wouldn’t let me in because I was too well-dressed.
Every time I wanna go get a fuckin’ brew
I gotta go down to the store with the two
Oriental one penny countin’ motherfuckers
That make a nigga mad enough to cause a little ruckus
Thinkin’ every brother in the world’s out to take
So they watch every damn move that I make
They hope I don’t pull out a gat and try to rob
They funky little store, but, bitch, I got a job
“Look, you little Chinese motherfucker
I ain’t tryin’ to steal none of yo’ shit, leave me alone!”
“Mother fuck you!”
Yo, yo, check it out
So don’t follow me up and down your market
Or your little chop suey ass’ll be a target
Of the nationwide boycott
Juice with the people, that’s what the boy got
So pay respect to the black fist
Or we’ll burn your store right down to a crisp
And then we’ll see ya
Cause you can’t turn the ghetto into black Korea
I have recently noted, to my great displeasure,
That each and every time I am at my leisure,
And wish to procure an alcoholic beverage,
That due to my cultural disadvantages I have no leverage,
With the local Asian-American entrepreneur,
Whose profit margin is not entirely secure,
And who therefore must proactively respond regarding shrinkage and theft;
His lack of tact leaves my sense of equinaminity bereft.
He seems to think that every African-American is a desperate felon,
And he therefore surveills my activities with the passion of a zealot.
He is apprehensive that I will behave as though I am his nemesis
And attempt to commit an armed assault upon his premises;
His faith in humanity has been destroyed;
However, I, for one, am gainfully employed.
So Sir! Refrain in acting with biased intemperance,
Or I shall review my legal alternatives with a vengeance.
I have considerable influence with the stakeholders in the community,
So you can no longer practice your activities with impunity.
You must hereafter treat me in a non-discriminatory fashion,
Or else I shall explore my extra-legal alternatives with a passion.
You stand accused before the court of public opinion as a practitioner
Because you cannot treat a socioeconomically deprived neighborhood as
your personal satrapy!