THE INFORMATION #1013 OCTOBER 5, 2018

THE INFORMATION #1013
OCTOBER 5, 2018
Copyright 2018 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

A sick thought can devour the body’s flesh more than fever or consumption. ― Guy de Maupassant

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART THIRTY: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE

I suppose I could tell you a bit more about “mystical mesmerism’, and how I used it, only the Swami advised me to keep my cards close to my vest when discussing such matters, and you ought to know right now that I do whatever the Swami says to do and I always listen to any advise the Swami cares to give me. In fact, I have always respected my elders. It is the way of the South. You cabn call it ancestor worship, if you like. That is something we have in common with the heathen Chinee. That, and, perhaps, a fondness for Opium. I cannot account for it, however.

Sedulously gaining the favor of your elders is also the easiest and perhaps the quickest means by which a young man with few prospects can make his way in this cruel cold world.

For it is in just that way that a young man can often get one over on his fellows. Simply by attending and patiently listening to the goofy anecdotage of oldsters, duffers, coots, cranks, pensioners, codgers, galoots, greybeards, coffin-dodgers, gaffers,duffers, and dodos–no matter how crabby their demeanor; no matter how eccentric their dress and mode of expression; no matter how out-and-out ugly they are, For you can always profit from being in their presence, as breathing the very air that they breathe will give a younger fella an instinctive gravitas that can come in useful when seeking to rival and even intimidate your betters. Mark my words–it pays to respect the aged. As they once were, so you are. As they are, so shall you someday be.

Don’t let me give you the wrong impression. It wasn’t easy to bend the Strong Boy to my will. This so-called “Mystical mesmerism” wasn’t all just a cake-walk. It was a slow process. At first, I could not simply order the Strong Boy to perform whatever deed came to my mind. I needed to be circumspect. The Swami warned me that there was a price to be paid for every time I used the power. Sure enough, I soon noticed that the air around me became sluggish, and that breathing seemed harder for me. Ugly sores started erupting around my lips. And I could see my heart beating through my right eyeball. So I used the power sparingly, and usually relied on good old-fashioned persuasion to get the Strong Boy to do my bidding.

One thing I wanted very badly to do, however, was to vandalize my old elementary school, where I had spent so many miserable hours being switched by martinets. Only the building had a thick door, and steel bars guarding its windows. Presumably, so no one could break out. As nobody in their right mind would ever want to break into the place. Not even a goof.

I pictured the damage I could cause to the school and to the reputation of its hated principal. He was an enormous fat and bald man with a few fugitive hairs hanging from his egg-shaped brow. He incessantly stumped around the hallways in his chalky, ill-fitting, and unfashionable navy-blue jacket with two fat silver buttons looking for small boys to punish for some imagined infraction–and you always could tell he was coming because he also wheezed and snorted like a resigned hog.

I thought with relish of how, once I gained entry to that hated place, I could rip up all of the school’s detestable old and outdated textbooks. Tear up all the grade records and burn them in the fireplace. Spill ink all over the principal’s office and, in particular, upon his cherished oriental rug. I could leave lewd words and drawings on the blackboard. Most of all, I longed to steal the bell which once had called me to all my classes so early in the AM, day after interminable day, as though I were a trained dog. I planned to to cast that hateful bell upon the fathomless foamy waters of the most tempestuous and storm-tossed ocean; to throw that odious instrument into the most furious river; to cavalierly drop that sinister ringing nuisance down, down, down into the deepest well.

The brick schoolhouse was on a high hill, surrounded by greenery. School was out for the day, and the lowering gray sky was threatening snow. I asked the Strong Boy to bend back the bars of a small basement window set at about the height of my knee, but he proved strangely reluctant. He began to sweat, and to tremble all over, and finally he asked if perhaps we could perform this task another time. I was alarmed at how pale he looked, so I quickly ushered him back to our hotel room.

For the next three days, the Strong Boy lay in his bed, fulsomely sweating, and as weak as a kitten. I nursed him as best I could–fed him broth, laying damp cool cloths on his forehead, opening and then shutting and then opening the window as the whim struck him.

I consulted the Swami, who told me with a sneer of disapproval that I, like most young people, was too impatient. That there were certain rituals that had to be observed, and that I had failed to observe them. He suggested that the very next time I wished for the Strong Boy to do my bidding, I first knock him out with chloral. Then, I was to smear blood on his hands and face and leave large scraps of hog meat laying next to his naked body. When he finally woke, I was to explain that he had fallen into an uncontrollable fit and killed a child by rending it from limb to limb.

However, it turned out that there was no need for such drastic measures to ensure the Strong Boy’s compliance. The fact that I stayed by his side and nursed him back to health was enough to ensure his loyalty for the foreseeable future–and perhaps even forever.

1* SALUTATION
THE ALLEY CATS
PUDDIN’ ‘N’ TAIN

2* REFERENCE
ANNE APPLEBAUM ON QUORA SESSIONS
https://www.quora.com/session/Anne-Applebaum-2/1?share=ef9f0e17&srid=d9Tz

3*HUMOR
FIRST APPEARANCE OF ROBIN WILLIAMS ON JOHNNY CARSON, 1981

ALSO SEE:
ROBIN WILLIAMS AND JONATHAN WINTERS ON JOHNNY CARSON, 1991

4*NOVELTY
COBAIN DID NOT PREDICT TRUMP
http://www.snopes.com/fact-check/kurt-cobain-predicted-donald-trump-presidency-in-1993/

ALSO SEE:
FAKE FORD PARTYING PHOTOS
http://www.snopes.com/fact-check/blasey-online-photos/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
WHOLE NEW MEANING OF THE WORD PUDDIN’ POP
http://www.reddit.com/r/toosoon/comments/8f4q23/about_to_learn_a_whole_new_meaning_of_pudding_pop/

ALSO SEE:
COSBY: PREDATOR
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/bill-cosby-sentencing-psychologist-cosby-a-predator-with-uncontrollable-urges/

6* DAILY UTILITY
NEW SCRABBLE WORDS
http://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/new-scrabble-words-2018/ew

7*CARTOON
PRE-CODE NASTINESS
Some of these 1940s and 1950s “funny-book” panels seem gratuitously nasty.
http://www.retrospace.org/2009/11/pre-code-nastiness.html

ALSO SEE:
$32 MILLION AWARDED TO VICTIM OF BOTCHED CIRCUMCISION

http://www.wfla.com/news/-32-million-awarded-to-victim-of-botched-circumcision/1471254154

8*PRES
GEN Z SLANG
http://www.businessinsider.com/goat-savage-lit-dope-bae-teens-gen-z-slang-words-2018-6

9* RUMOR PATROL
WHITE ALBUM BOX SET
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/beatles-unheard-white-album-exclusive-first-listen-727928/

10*LAGNIAPPE
CHICAGO
LISTEN
I have never met a fan of the band Chicago who wasn’t a stupid lard-ass.

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
ZAPPA FANS
Zappa’s most ardent fans tend to be pimpled sweaty fat loads who tend not to use enough bleach when washing their shit-stained underoos. That’s why I stay very far away from them. I recently had a chance to buy “We’re Only in It for the Money” and “Lumpy Gravy” for 44 cents each…and I did not.

*11A BOOKS READ AND REVIEWED
2021. LOST CHILDREN. BETBEDER & BERVAS. ***1/2
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE 5. ORPHANS OF X. ***
ALL-NEW WOLVERINE 6. OLD WOMAN LAURA. ***1/2
APOLLO. FITCH. ****1/2
THE ARAB OF THE FUTURE 3. SATTOUF. ****1/2
THE BAD MOVIE BIBLE. HILL. ***1/2
BATMAN: THE DOOM THAT CAME TO GOTHAM. ***
BUILDING GREAT SENTENCES. LANDOR. ****
CLOCKWORK LIVES: THE GRAPHIC NOVEL. ****1/2
CLOUD HOTEL. HANSHAW. ***
CLUE. ALLOR & DANIEL. ***
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 8.1942-1944. ****1/2
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 10.. 1945-1946. ****1/2
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 12. 1948-1950. ****1/2
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 15.1953-1954. ****1/2
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 16.1954-1956. ****1/2
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 20. 1961-1962. ****
COMPLETE DICK TRACY. 23. 196601967. ***1/2
CREEPY CRAWLING. MELNICK. ****1/2
DARK DAYS: THE ROAD TO METAL. ***1/2
DARK NIGHTS: METAL. ***1/2
THE DC UNIVERSE BY MIKE MIGNOLA. ***
ENTROPY. COSTAIN. ***1/2
ESTRANGED. ALDRIDGE. ***1/2
EXIT STAGE LEFT: THE SNAGGLEPUSS CHRONICLES. RUSSELL & FEEHAN. ****1/2
THE FAMILY. SANDERS. ****
FENCE. PACAT. ****
FLASH 6. COLD DAY IN HELL. ***
FREEDOM HOSPITAL. SULAIMAN. ****
FROM LONE MOUNTAIN, PORCELLINO. ****
HELLBOY COMPLETE SHORT STORIES VOL. 1. MIGNOLA. ****
IDLE DAYS. DESAULNIERS-BROUSSEAU & LECLERC. ****
ILLEGAL. COLFER. ****
INCREDIBLE HULK 3. WORLD WAR HULKS. **1/2
INHUMANS. ONECE AND FUTURE KINGS. ***
JACK KIRBY 100TH CELEBRATION COLLECTION. ***1/2
JENNY FIN: DOOM MESSIAH. MIGNOLA. ***1/2
KABUL DISCO 1. WILD. ***1/2
THE LONG REACH OF THE SIXTIES. KALMAN. ****
THE LOUDEST VOICE IN THE ROOM. SHERMAN. ****
MAE 1. HA. **
MS. MARVEL 9. TEENAGE WASTELAND. ***1/2
MYSTICK U. ***1/2
THE PHYSIOLOGY OF NEW YORK BOARDING HOUSES. GUNN. ****
SIMPSONS COMICS COLASSAL COMPENDIUM. 6. ***1/2
SKIN & EARTH 1. LIGHTS. ***
SKIN IN THE GAME. TALEB. ****
SON OF HITLER. DEL COL. ***1/2
SPACE BOY 1. MCCRANIE. ****
SPIDER-MAN. MILES MORALES 4. BENDIS. ****
STRANGE FRUIT 1. GILL. ***1/2
STRANGE FRUIT 2. GILL. ***
SUPERBOY & THE LEGION OF SUPER HEROES V. 2. ***
UNDERSTANDING THE FUNDAMENTALS OF MUSIC. GREENBERG. ****1/2
VOID TRIP. O’SULLIVAN & KLAUS. ****
WONDER WOMAN BY GEORGE PEREZ. VOLUME 3. ***1/2
YELLOW NEGROES & OTHER IMAGINARY CREATURES. ALGABE. ***1/2
YOUNG FRANCES. LIN. ****
YOUNG RADICALS. MCCARTER. ****
ZODIAC STARFORCE: CRIES OF THE FIRE PRINCE. ***

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
STANDARD EXCUSES FOR FUTURE SUPREME COURT NOMINEES
She asked for it.
She wore provocative clothing.
She is lying. He wouldn’t do that.
Why didn’t she say something before?
It’s a blatant shakedown attempt.
It was a regrettable incident, but he was young then.
This is a completely false allegation.
She’s just an attention-seeking publicity hound.
She’s a little bit nutty and a little bit slutty.
Lots of girls cry rape when they regret sex.
The definition of rape these days is so loose that anyone can make that accusation.
If she was really raped she would have called the police.
Why didn’t she fight back? She must have wanted it.
He is the innocent victim of a blackmailing slut, that’s all.
He is the innocent victim of a partisan witch-hunt, that’s all.
Women cry rape all the time, and usually there’s no proof.
When you think about it, HE is the REAL victim here.
He didn’t do what you said he did, but anyway he stopped doing it.

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THE INFORMATION #1012 SEPTEMBER 28, 2018

THE INFORMATION #1012
SEPTEMBER 28, 2018
Copyright 2018 FRANCIS DIMENNO*
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Almost all people are hypnotics. The proper authority saw to it that the proper belief should be induced, and the people believed properly.
―Charles Fort

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART TWENTY-NINE: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE

I was telling you about Agustino, the Calabrian Strong Boy. As it turns out, having to lug the big stiff around turned out to be a positive asset. You see, I had gotten some tips from the Swami at the Red & Black Carnival about something known as “mystical mesmerism.” It wouldn’t work on people who were very smart, like Colonel Gentleman, or very dumb, like Miss Big Tiny Small, the fat lady. But it worked just fine on the Calabrian Strong Boy. All I had to do, it turns out, is to appeal to a higher authority. “God gives you permission to do this thing,” was usually all it took for me to make the Strong Boy go against his strongly-held scruples and do anything I suggested. “You must always obey the Master,” is what I told him. I would then act all mysterious-like and look around me, as though the Master Himself were hiding in plain sight.

And whenever the Strong Boy managed to score some minor triumph, I would follow it up with the phrase, “The thought of your heart is fulfilled, is it not?”

Another mark in my favor is that one time, when we were walking through the streets of Blowtown, we were accosted by a policeman. And small wonder. I myself was relatively inconspicuous in my Sunday best, which consisted of a derby, a light coat, a starched white shirt, neatly pressed trousers, dress shoes, spats, and a gold-headed cane. But the Strong Boy was another matter. He was dressed in his conical clown hat, a checkered jacket and checkered pants which didn’t quite match, which made it even worse–and sandals. With socks. His very presence screamed “greenhorn”. A Fly Cop tapped him with his nightstick and the Strong Boy froze. Guess he must have had a run-in with the Carabinieri back in the old country, because he was absolutely terrorized at the sight of a uniformed official. I suppose he imaged that he had to show his papers or something, and, of course, he didn’t have any. Well, now, even the dumbest rookie would have smelt the fear pouring off the Strong Boy. But me, I kept my head. Before the Fly Copper could start into questioning the big lug, I took him aside and pressed a fiver in his hand that Colonel Gentleman had given me in case of an emergency just like this one. Hust to impress the Strong Boy, I tipped the Copper the wink and said to him, “Sir, why do you harass my good friend? Don’t you know he’s under my protection? I don’t want to have to speak to the Mayor. Well–all right then. I’ll let it go this time officer–but see that it doesn’t happen again.”

In that way, I managed to make the Strong Boy nearly completely dependent on my good will for his entire sense of well-being.

After that incident, the Strong Boy gave me a look like a dog adoring his master. From that day to the next, I could pretty much get him to do anything I said. But I did not abuse this privilege. At least, not at first. I wanted to get my hooks into him a little deeper before I asked him to do something spectacular. And that’s where the swami’s tips on mystical mesmerism came in. The Strong Boy was profoundly superstitious. He saw everything around him as a possible omen, and looked to me to interpret the ways of this strange new land. And that made it easier still. Any grifter with half a brain could have jollied him along. But the Swami was a learned man, and, for a certain consideration, he taught me how to put a geas upon the Strong Boy, which would not only compel him to do my bidding, but also make him not care about the consequences of his deeds.

I started out slow. I told Agustino Baldassare Calebrese–I always called him by his full name, because the Swami said that this would give me more control over him–try it some time, and see–refer to your acquaintance by his full name and see if he doesn’t respect you more, the more you do it. I told Agustino the Calabrian Strong Boy that I would like him to take a walk around my old neighborhood with me. I carefully instructed him to hang back several yards behind me, and to appear only at my signal. I knew that there were some desperados lounging on street corners who were terrorizing shopkeepers and annoying women. The Coppers couldn’t do anything because the fix was in with the Mayor, who didn’t give a hoot in hell about anything that happened in Blowtown.

And so then I go up to the strongest of the toughs, who fancied himself quite the b’hoy–oh, he was in his full regalia that day, which consisted of a flaming bright red shirt, black pantaloons, black boots, and a black silk stovepipe hat. He had on his putty-pale Irish face a contemptuous sneer, and his muttonchops grew nearly down to the line where his chin met his ears. He was the son of the local Grocer, and thought he was some punkins. His forearms were the size of small hams, and he was noted all through Blowtown for his strength and his pugilistic ability.

Being long a stranger to those parts, I waited for him to accost me and ask me what my business was. It didn’t take long. They was always particular about strangers in Blowtown.

Says the B’hoy, “Hopen your dummy, and let’s see wot’s in it! And let’s have a look at your thimble, in the bargain.”

He was asking me to hand over my wallet and my watch. That’s the way it was in Blowtown–if you didn’t have protection, you would be robbed in broad daylight.

“I think not. I am not accustomed to pattering hash with thieves. Good day to you, Sir,” says I, and I gave the signal.

And nothing happened.

I gave the signal again.

And nothing happened.

The B’hoy looked at me and laughed.

“Looking after your pal? We coshed ‘im, we did. Now hopen your dummy! Stand and deliver, Pikey!”

With a roar, the Strong Boy shook off three stout grown men who were trying to hold him back and made for the leader of the B’hoys. The leader took one look at his crazed and red-faced expression and ran away so fast he nearly lost his hat. “I ain’t fightin’ no black,” one of tye other B’hoys said, and the three of them ran off in three different directions.

No matter. I wasn’t any too inclined to follow them. The Strong Boy was willing…but I didn’t want to tax his strength. How he managed to shake off being coshed by a lead sap is a mystery to me. But I suppose a man can accomplish a great many unusual things–when his mind is not entirely his own.

1* SALUTATION
KEITH
98.6

THE ZOMBIES
CARE OF CELL 44

THE LEFT BANKE
IN THE MORNING LIGHT

2* REFERENCE
POETRY
Slopping random words on a page does not make you a poet. Regardless of your “message”.

SEE:
THE WORST POEMS BY SEVEN GREAT WRITERS
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/what-to-read/the-worst-poems-by-7-great-writers/

3*HUMOR
HOW DID WE DO?
Rule of thumb: The worse an artist is, the more he longs for you to praise him.

4*NOVELTY
COMA BUMS
Fear of premature burial haunted the 19th century.

“Fear of burial alive was deeply rooted in Western culture in the nineteenth century, and Poe was taking advantage of the public’s fascination with it. Hundreds of cases were reported in which doctors mistakenly pronounced people dead. In this period, coffins occasionally were equipped with emergency devices to allow the “corpse” to call for help, should he or she turn out to be still living. It was such a strong concern, Victorians even organized a Society for the Prevention of People Being Buried Alive. Belief in the vampire, an animated corpse that remains in its grave by day and emerges to prey on the living at night, has sometimes been attributed to premature burial. Folklorist Paul Barber has argued that the incidence of burial alive has been overestimated, and that the normal effects of decomposition are mistaken for signs of life.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Premature_Burial

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
OFFICIALLY CHANGING THE NAME OF THE WHITE HOUSE. BECAUSE RACISM.

Officially change it to what? The White House isn’t even its official name. Such ahistoricism is typical among people who make a quasi-superstitious fuss about things they don’t even really understand.
https://247sports.com/college/hawaii/Board/103415/Contents/Is-the-name-White-House-racist-70464761/

6* DAILY UTILITY
GENIUS
I think that with few exceptions—those people who I refer to as “spooky-smart”—there are very few real geniuses. But there are more of those people who I would say have “a genius” for some field of endeavor. What is it like to be such a person? Well, they tend to be singleminded in their focus and determination. They tend to have what I would call a drive for perfection. And, unless they are aberrant in some way, they tend to be humble about what they do, realizing that it is only a very small part of the overall picture. They also tend to be well aware (though not in all cases) that there is still a great deal that they do not know.

SEE:
2018 SECRET GENIUS AWARDS
https://newsroom.spotify.com/2018-08-22/spotify-announces-nominees-for-2018-secret-genius-awards/

7*CARTOON
CHESTER GOULD
There is a rumor that a sequel to the movie Dick Tracy is forthcoming.

I missed the great era of the Dick Tracy comic strip by quite a few years. By the 70s, Gould’s strip was running on fumes. His successors have been essentially running a zombie enterprise for too many of the ensuing years. The consensus seems to be (and I concur) that Gould’s great era was from ca. 1942 to about the mid-1950s. It was an odd strip, in which the villains were the true stars, and Tracy and his growing cast of characters (Pat, and then later, Sam Catchem and Policewoman Lizz) largely served merely as their foil. Chet Gould constantly pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in a comic strip. An early 1940s continuity evoked outrage among anti-comics crusaders for the unusually gruesome demise of Jerome Trohs at the vindictive hands of Big Mamma.
http://thegreatcomicbookheroes.blogspot.com/2014/02/dick-tracy-timeless-comic-noir.html

In the early 1960s, Gould became more pronounced in his overtly political proselytizing. Fly Face, a venal lawyer, provoked outrage among readers because both his mother and the toddler, “Little Doc,” was also seen as having flies hovering around their faces.
https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/comic-strip-art/chester-gould-dick-tracy-daily-comic-strip-original-art-dated-12-28-59-chicago-tribune-1959-flyface-his-mom-and-wil/a/818-4183.s

Gould has few disciples. The most notable is the Spanish cartoonist Marti, whose astonishing strip “The Cabbie” ups the ante on both the violence and depraved sex.
http://www.fantagraphics.com/cabbie1/
http://www.fantagraphics.com/images/stories/previews/cabbi1-preview.pdf

ALSO SEE:
BATMAN’S DICK

8*PRESCRIPTION
ARTHUR C. FIFIELD’S RESPONSE TO GERTRUDE STEIN
https://qph.fs.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-8eef134c51626704e7a7cc723dcbf69a

ALSO SEE:
11 GREATEST LITERARY FEUDS
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-11-greatest-literary-feuds

TOP TEN LITERARY FEUDS
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/apr/04/michael-crummey-top-10-literary-feuds

TEN NOTORIOUS LITERARY SPATS
10 Notorious Literary Spats

SEVEN GREAT LITERARY FEUDS
https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/19/literary-feuds_n_3619103.html

9* RUMOR PATROL
WERE THE JACKSONS RAPED IN BOB HOPE SEX RING?

Bob Hope, from what I understand, was a horrible and powerful man who had MK Ultra sex slaves at the ready. He was an MI6 British agent who was a part of a psyop to abuse kids sexually and see how they turned out. Allegedly.

I believe the Jacksons were traumatized early, especially Michael and Latoya and I believe Joe abused them and also allowed others to abuse them. Similar stories have been told about Tiger Woods. When Tiger made his TV debut at three or four years old, Bob Hope was a guest on the same show and I’m sure it was no coincidence.

I just recently learned of this disturbing fact. I also learned that long noses is another term for pedophile and Hope did have a long nose.
http://www.lipstickalley.com/threads/were-the-jacksons-raped-in-bob-hope-sex-ring.1312631/

ALSO SEE:
BOB HOPE CAMEO IN EYES WIDE SHUT

10*LAGNIAPPE
PERRY COMO
Como was known as “the Singing Barber from Canonsburg Pennsylvania.” (My Uncle Joe says he knew him when.) He was phenomenally popular in the late 1950s, as these unpublished drawings intended for Trump #3 attest:
https://www.comicartfans.com/gallerypiece.asp?piece=1165578

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
CONTRA TROLLS
Me and my fam high key want to turn up savage here and be woke and U R harsh AF and U turnt my game. U R so v extra. Pls be done FR.

TRANSLATION:
I am showboating and you are distracting people from the greatness which is me as I showboat. Why must you always be the one who punctures my self-aggrandizing statements and banal borrowed opinions with your irreverent jollity? If only you would go away, then I can proceed to bloviate to my heart’s content without some mischievous troublemaker coming in here and upsetting the apple cart and distracting people from the greatness which is me.

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE

BAYARD RUSTIN

According to William Manchester, President Kennedy expressed concern that Martin Luther King Jr. was being advised by Rustin.

Kennedy maintained that [Rustin] was a member of the communist party. King’s defense of Rustin was rather eloquent. “Look, Jack–just because a fella likes to smoke a log or two in a public restroom, that doesn’t make him a commie. Look at Eddie and Clyde! Are you telling me they’re commies, too? For that matter, howzabout you and that roommate of yours at Choate, Lem Billings? Don’t tell me that he wasn’t sucking your choad on those long winter nights! So leave Bayard alone! He was risking his life on Freedom Rides while you will still dinging around with Inga-Binga!”
http://www.ep.tc/realist/74/

THE INFORMATION #1011 SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

THE INFORMATION #1011
SEPTEMBER 21, 2018
Copyright 2018 FRANCIS DIMENNO*
dimenno@gmail.com

https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Some people only express their opinions as part of mob shaming, when it is safe to do so, and, in the bargain, think that they are displaying virtue. This is not virtue but vice, a mixture of bullying and cowardice.–Nassim Nicholas Taleb

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART TWENTY-EIGHT: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE

During the cold-weather months, when there wasn’t much call for his services, the Strong Boy, whose full name was Agustino Baldassare Calebrese, took it into his head to see America. Specifically, he had a mind to take a trip to see Noxtown, and, eventually, Madport. And he asked me if I wanted to come along, all expenses paid. At first I wondered why he would ask a puny fella like me to come along. To be sure, I practically worshipped him. I was still at that age when feats of strength and derring-do left a big impression on me. I recall that when I first met him, I up and said to him, “Gee, Strong Boy–how does it feel like, to be you?” And he said, “It feels swell, little fella–it feels swell.” And he tipped me a wink. I’m guessing he got that reaction a lot.

It wasn’t long before I sussed out the real reason he wanted me to come along. Namely, he was practically blind as a bat. And far too vain and protective of his image to wear cheaters, or even consider them. Like I mentioned before, he had an old-fashioned Italian peasant’s fear of doctors. I think he was also afraid that the glasses might break and the glass would get into his eyes. Or that people would consider him unmanly because his vision was weak.

His eyesight wasn’t as bad as all that. He could still see things real close right out in front of him, but once you got about twenty paces away, you became a blur to him. That’s one reason he wasn’t very good with names. He’d call everybody either “Miss” or “Little fella.”

He also thought that I, more knowing in the ways of Americans, would prevent him from being robbed or cheated. Which was probably so. So I said I would accompany him.

He may have been a carny, and with it and for it, but I still had to show him the ropes, and at nearly every turn.

First we set out from Mistake Island, where the Carnival was based, to the big city of Noxtown, and it’s a lucky thing we did, and had a sort of a trial run there, because the Strong Boy was not fully domesticated. I’m sure he knew how to behave in the big cities of Italy, where he performed daring feats of strength for the crowned heads of Europe as well as the canaille. But not in the great cities of North America, much less the small towns, where totally different rules apply.

Who knows what really runs through the empty heads of those crazy dagoes? They have some of the beatenest habits. Totally inexplicable to any white man. And the strong boy was no different. He seemed to have no respect for the sanctity of womanhood. I say this because the first thing Agustino did when we entered the Seven Stars Saloon was to try to pinch the barmaid on her derrière. I told him it was all right to pinch a serving wench in a low dive such as this, but I strongly cautioned him against making this his practice on the stret, explaining to him that, here in America, this sort of behavior is heavily frowned upon. Particularly in the Southron, where you’re taking your very life in your hands by such a deed.

I noticed when we dined out at a swell restaurant that he always, always, peeled his fruit, even if it was an apple or a pear. Though sometimes he would eat a portion of an orange peel.

Talk about backwards! Not only did he spit on the sidewalk, which is to be expected, but he also used to blow his nose–each nostril–without using a snotrag, and he didn’t always blow it in the gutter, either.

He was an excitable fellow, too—when we were in the fancy restaurant he forgot himself and start screeching at me in his gibble-gabble Italian dialect.

I later learned that his household habits were also rather peculiar. He had a fear amounting to absolute terror about walking around with wet hair, or catching a sudden breeze in his bed and dying in his sleep. I suppose he had this in common with a lot of his countrymen. Maybe that’s why your average spaghetti-bender will always sleep with all the doors and windows closed, and covered himself with blankets even when the weather is warm. Agustino would sometimes even sleep on the floor, lest he be assassinated by a stray breeze seeping through a crack in the windowpane. And if there was even the slightest breeze, he would wear a thick woolen scarf that his aged mother knitted for him, lest he catch an ill wind and it lay him low.

I will say this for him–he would always dress sharp whenever he went out, even to wearing a conical hat made of soft felt. I told him not to wear the hat but to throw it away; I explained to him that it made him look like a greenhorn. When he finally understood what I was getting it, he acted as though I had stung him to the quick. But when I told him that greenhorns tend to get robbed and are always handed the shitty end of the stick by native-born Americans, he wised up quick.

One habit I couldn’t break him of–he always had to polish his shoes before going out. Always. And if he happened to get the least speck of dust on them, he always had to go looking for a shoeshine boy. That men spent more money on shoeshines than most men spend on beer. But, as he didn’t drink beer, I suppose it all evened out.

Like I mentioned before, he was very religious, but it’s not like he got down on his prayer dukes an awful lot. It was more or less like a superstition to him. He would always cross himself when passing a church. I told him to stop doing that, because he would be taken for a mark by the sharpers, but he wouldn’t listen. He would always greet a priest with servile, almost dog-like respect. But he would also knock on wood to avert a catastrophe. He was a combination of a devout mackerel-snapper and a wild pagan. I’d never seen the like, as here in America, most fellers is generally one or the other but hardly ever both.

When we first arrived in Noxtown, Agustino wanted to walk with me hand-in-hand through the hilly streets and down the cobblestoned thoroughfares. I had to tell him that it wasn’t a good idea; that, unlike in the old country, people might get the wrong idea. He asked me to elaborate. I explained. He was utterly shocked. He had no idea such people existed. He lapsed into Italian. Called it an “infame”. He also used to greet me with a kiss, until I gently discouraged the habit. It had to be gentle. His feelings were badly hurt. He even went so far as to querulously ask, “Brek…opp?” I assured him that our friendship was unbroken. But I also explained to him that here in America, such displays between two men were considered very unusual. I urged him to be more sedate in his shows of affection, lest people decide we were more than just friends. Again, he declared “Infame!” and said that all Americans must have “very, very dirty minds! Disgrazia!”

1* SALUTATION
MILES DAVIS
AIREGIN

ALSO SEE:
HOW AM I TO KNOW?

SEE ALSO:
LIST OF JAZZ CONTRAFACTS
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_jazz_contrafacts

2* REFERENCE
TWELVE LETTERS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE ALPHABET
http://mentalfloss.com/article/31904/12-letters-didnt-make-alphabet

3*HUMOR
HILARIOUS THINGS PEOPLE PUT ON THEIR RESUMES
https://twentytwowords.com/hilarious-things-put-on-peoples-resumes/

4*NOVELTY
Pat Robertson Casts Magic Spell Against Hurricane Florence, Declares ‘Shield Of Protection’
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2018/09/pat-robertson-casts-magic-spell-against-hurricane-florence-declares-shield-of-protection/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
HUNTER S. THOMPSON ON THE POLITICS OF ALIENATION
https://www.thenation.com/article/this-political-theorist-predicted-the-rise-of-trumpism-his-name-was-hunter-s-thompson/

6* DAILY UTILITY
WHAT IF?
what-if.xkcd.com/14/

7*CARTOON
TOM & JERRY
BLUE CAT BLUES (1956)

ALSO SEE:
COLONEL BLEEP

8*PRESCRIPTION
BEAT THE MEATLES
BY CHRIS MILLER
https://exquisitelyboredinnacogdoches.blogspot.com/2005/07/beat-meatles.html

ALSO SEE:
NEW YORK POST: BEAT THE MEATLES
Note that Paul has on his ‘O’ face
adage.com/article/media/york-post-outdone-beatles-cover/314903/

9* RUMOR PATROL
Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead.
http://www.snopes.com/fact-check/come-alive/

10*LAGNIAPPE
PITCHFORK’S DUBIOUS LIST OF THE BEST 200 ALBUMS OF THE 1980S
pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/the-200-best-albums-of-the-1980s/

ALSO SEE:
50 LGBTQ PRIDE SONGS
pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/50-songs-that-define-the-last-50-years-of-lgbtq-pride/

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
9-1-1 Was an Inside Job
(The result of listening to way too much Wu Tang Clan and Nas:)

9-1-1 was an inside job
I heard it from a friend of a friend named Bob
The towers tumbled
And we was humbled
Al-Quada flier
They caught on fire
You better bet fool
That wasn’t jet fuel
’cause that’s too easy
It doesn’t please me
No, 9-1-1 was an inside job
I heard it from a friend of a friend named Bob

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
TOP TEN DUBIOUS CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENTS
10. Marilyn Monroe for Sominex
9. Tiger Woods for Trojan Condoms
8. Girolamo Savonarola for Duraflame Logs.
7. Anne Frank for Hide-Away Beds.
6. Jack Kerouac for Thunderbird Wine
5. Morris the Cat for Taco Bell
4. Isadora Duncan for Hermès scarves.
3. Adolf Hitler for Sharp’s Non-Alcoholic beer.
2. “Jane Roe” for Absorbine Jr.
1. Fatty Arbuckle for Louis Roederer Champagne.

THE INFORMATION #1010 SEPTEMBER 14, 2018

THE INFORMATION #1010
SEPTEMBER 14, 2018
Copyright 2018 FRANCIS DIMENNO
dimenno@gmail.com
https://dimenno.wordpress.com

Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.-Shakespeare

WHEN THIS WORLD CATCHES FIRE
BOOK THREE: SAVAGE NOXTOWN
CHAPTER TWELVE: PART TWENTY-SEVEN: THE EASTERN GATE OF PARADISE

As for the Calabrian Strong Boy who I mentioned before,” said Sam Floyd to the young Victor Justin, “well, he was a most bitter enemy of Miss Big Tiny Small.”

I never got the gen on how this enmity arose. I’ve heard that he
gave Miss Big Tiny Small a hearty greeting when the Red & Black Carnival took her on, and she gave him the razz, and the high hat on top of that, as though she thought he was very much beneath her station and not even worth talking to. There seems to be no other way to account for why he disliked her so much.

Now, the Strong Boy was a very tender-hearted man, very kind to children and to animals–he had a small wire-haired terrier he doted on, and if anyone dast kick the little dog around or otherwise mistreat it, his great wrath would descend upon them, and it was most fearsome to behold. But otherwise, he was gentle, kind, and most considerate of others–not a blood-thirsty man at all, even though he lived mostly on a diet of fresh raw vegetables and
nearly raw meat, which he mostly paid for it himself, as he didn’t want to cause any inconvenience to the other carnies on the lot by glauming their provender. I would say he ate about one or two pounds of steak a day. He never put any butter ner salt on it, neither. He also had the cook prepare it rare, just barely scorched on either side. He hardly ever ate bread, ner rice–“I had ebnugh of beans and rice back in the old country” said he–but
very often, just before he put on a show–an “exhibition of strength” as he called it–he would eat a big plate of spaghetti, accompanied by a special tomato, basil, and raw garlic sauce that he prepared hisself.

He never was never seen to drink anything but wine, almost always with his meals, and he would always water it down so that it was not even half wine. He very seldom drank to excess, and eschewed the use of tobacco and coffee altogether. And he never even went near sweets, and for that reason his teeth were very strong and
healthy, and he had an iron jaw. Very often he would perform feats of strength which required him to clench some heavy article with his choppers. He once won a tug of war with three strong savages that way–on a bet. Just him and a rope.

He was what you might call a squat feller–weighed about
220 and stood only five feet five, but every part of him was muscle, and he was tough as a bull. He claimed he was never sick a day in his life, and he could easily lift and tote three hundred pounds without ever getting winded or even tired. He loved the kiddies, and he would often seat as many as six of them across his outstretched arms for as long as five minutes–someone timed it once. Not as easy as it looks. I guess he studied under some sort
of Indian Fakir, which is where he got some of his stamina. The rest he chalked up to regular sleep…and no gallivantin’ around at all hours with floozies or zooks.

It’s not that he wasn’t fond of the ladies, like every one of them Dagos seem to be. It’s just that he was, how do you say it, circumspect about just whom he bestowed his favors upon. There was a malicious rumor going about that he had a tiny pecker, and that he fucked like a jackrabbit, but if that was the case, then why were the zooks always hanging around him, hoping to catch his eye? But he had no truck with any of them scarlet women. He was deathly afraid of picking up the clap, and the calomel treatment. That’s mercury, in case you didn’t know it. He hated all quack doctors, and medical people in general. And he’d never go near a sickroom ner a hospital. Say what you will about his quirks, but maybe he knew something. Like I said, he was never sick a day in his life.

Strange to say, he often took up with older ladies–maiden aunts and the like. He said it was because he knew they were clean, and, anyway, all cats look alike in the dark, and, besides, they were always mighty grateful. And they knew how to keep their traps closed. All the same, I wouldn’t be surprised if, in his day,
he left a string of bastards from the Carolinas to the Gold Rush Country and back.

They dressed him up in a lion skin, like the mythical Hercules. He himself insisted on his billing–“The Calabrian Strong Boy.” Lord help you if you mistook him for a Sicilian. You would be treated to an angry rant about how Sicilians weren’t even true Italians at all, but a mongrel race composed of Moors, Turks, Greeks, “and other such trash.” Bending horseshoes and breaking chains by expanding his chest were parlor tricks for him. Child’s play. Kid stuff. He was phenomenally strong. One time, just to win a bet,
he carried a grown horse from one end of the lot to the other. He had other talents as well. He could juggle kettlebells that most men could barely lift. He could heft a five-hundred pound barbell with just the two fingers of his hands. He knew how to do all sorts of tricks with weights–double-handed snatches, the two-hands slow curl, the two-hands kettlebell press, the two hands holdout, the rectangular fix, deadlifts, ‘Plank’ stunts, lifting a bull calf, toting a Piano, single and double-handed swings–he could even tear a deck of cards in two, and I know this because I seen him do it once, to win a bet. A sucker bet, to be sure. Any man who tells you he can do it is a liar, or the cards are gaffed. But the Calabrian Strong Boy done it. The cards were real–I saw them myself. I
tell you, he was a physical marvel!

One time the girl trapeze artist was performing without a net
and fell, and the Calabrian Strong Boy caught her right in his arms in a dead run. I tell you, you’ve never seen nothing like
it. Naturally, after a feat like that, and him saving her life and all, she was more than willing to be his love-slave. But he wouldn’t take advantage. Besides, the knife-thrower was sweet on her, and the Calabrian Strong Boy was no coward, but he was no dummy either. He never went looking for trouble if he could avoid it.

He was, however, rather sweet on the Moss-Haired Girl. As was I,
and just about all the other cazarnies. But she wouldn’t give any of us a tumble. She was saving herself, she said, though for who or what, she would never say.

Now, a man like him. he could of been a captain of industry or
a figure of respect anywhere he went. But he chose the Carny life, for reasons known only to him. I think it was because, in a very strange way, he was very shy of ordinary people. Also, he was devoutly religious and would attend Mass and confession at any town that had a Catholic Church. Maybe he felt that his great strength was a gift from God, and if he tried to take advantage or push himself up into the front, God might punish him for his pride. There’s no accounting for human nature. Let me tell you–if I had his muscles, I wouldn’t be working the savages and the cross-roads clowns–I’d be the best strong-arm man there ever was.

But some folks, why, they just ain’t built that way. That’s all.

1* SALUTATION*
MIKE BERRY & THE OUTLAWS
TRIBUTE TO BUDDY HOLLY

ALSO SEE:
TOMMY ROE
SHEILA

2* REFERENCE
HARVARD VS. ASIANS
Asian-Americans are 5.6% of the U.S. population.
But Harvard’s class of 2021 isn’t 80% Asian-American. In fact, it is only about 24% Asian-American.
Discrimination!
https://features.thecrimson.com/2017/freshman-survey/makeup/

3*HUMOR
CAT AND RAT RANCH
*Glorious Opportunity To Get Rich!!! — We are starting a cat ranch in Lacon with 100,000 cats. Each cat will average 12 kittens a year. The cat skins will sell for 30 cents each. One hundred men can skin 5,000 cats a day. We figure a daily net profit of over $10,000. Now what shall we feed the cats? We will start a rat farm next door with 1,000,000 rats. The rats breed 12 times faster than the cats. So we will have four rats to feed each day to each cat. Now what shall we feed the rats? We will feed the rats the
carcasses of the cats after they have been skinned. Now Get This! We feed the rats to the cats and the cats to the rats and get the cat skins for nothing!
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cat-and-rat-ranch-hoax/

4*NOVELTY
MATTIS VS. SPICER
http://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/09/05/mattis-to-spicer-ive-killed-people-for-a-living-if-you-call-me-again-im-going-to-f-king-send-you-to-afghanistan/

5*AVATAR OF THE ZEITGEIST
LOW-COST HELP FOR SICK PETS
You don’t have to abandon your sick pet if you can’t afford a
veterinarian.
http://www.wpri.com/news/local-news/providence/owner-of-dog-abandoned-with-massive-tumor-turns-himself-in/1407455141

*6* DAILY UTILITY*
A WORD TO THE WISE
https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xwknn7/reminder-george-w-bush-is-still-very-very-bad

7*CARTOON
S. CLAY WILSON
SPIDER JOY (NSFW)
https://comics.ha.com/itm/original-comic-art/s-clay-wilson-spider-joy-one-page-story-original-art-undated-the-spiders-are-gone-while-that-may-sound-like-a-goo/a/812-4251.s#

8*PRESCRIPTION
THE FACTS OF LIFE

ALSO SEE:
DRIVE-IN EXPLOITATION TRASH

9* RUMOR PATROL
YOU CAN’T GET COLOGNE IN PRISON
http://www.quora.com/Does-prison-allow-inmates-to-have-things-like-deodorants-colognes-or-shampoos

10*LAGNIAPPE
MILES DAVIS
OUT OF THE BLUE
LIVE AT BIRDLAND 1953

11*DEVIATIONS FROM THE PREPARED TEXT: A REVIEW OF OTHER MEDIA
THE WICKER MAN
It has been said that the original version of the Wicker Man is one of the scariest movies ever made. And that the remake is one of the funniest.
WICKER MAN 1973 TRAILER

12* CONTROVERSIES IN POPULAR CULTURE
WHO WAS THE ORIGINAL “GENT’S ROOM JOURNALIST”?
Drew Pearson? Walter Winchell? Whom do we believe?
https://books.google.com/books?id=s2mhAgAAQBAJ&pg=PT144&lpg=PT144&dq=%22gent%27s+room+journalist%22&source=bl&ots=xDcy0I9w6b&sig=Aqwtlr9MJBWEgfDope49aSa34uU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiczpio2pfdAhWhzVkKHQ1YAV4Q6AEwAHoECAMQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22gent’s%20room%20journalist%22&f=false

https://books.google.com/books?id=tjkhCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA413&lpg=PA413&dq=%22gent%27s+room+journalist%22+peglar&source=bl&ots=KYODF0LPrz&sig=_JL_0J9bRH_LlopGFea-oAXXYAU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjm9YnX2pfdAhXiw1kKHcSvC4QQ6AEwAXoECAYQAQ#v=onepage&q=%22gent’s%20room%20journalist%22%20peglar&f=false

PRNDL

PRNDL
A PLAY in One Act
By

Francis DiMenno

I-a

THE SCENE: An employee’s lounge in a veteran’s hospital. The setting is Spartan: a wooden table, a few folding metal chairs and a broom leaning against a wall. The year is 1984.

THE CHARACTER: Anthony D’Amato, 37. In the course of the monologue he assumes the voices of several characters, including a RADIO DJ, his former wife, LOTTE, his former commanding officer THE SARGE, a JUDGE, and a LAWYER. At the discretion of the director, these parts could be played by separate characters.

I-i
(ANTHONY D’AMATO, a man in his late thirties, is seated at a small wooden table, with a glass of water and a package of birthday candles. As the play begins, he tears open a package of muffins, takes one out, and sets it on the table. He then takes out a birthday candle, sticks it into the muffin, and lights the wick of the candle. He watches it for a second or two, takes a tattered photograph out of his wallet, sets it on the table, picks up a long-handled broom, and begins sweeping. )

…………………………………………ANTHONY
…………………………………………(Singing softly)
Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday little Tony….

(He sets the broom aside and gazes at the photograph on the table.)

Happy birthday to…
(Softly)
I left a love child at home.
(Looking at the candle.)
I was young then, I thought I knew. I left a love child at home. We all fall down, and go figure. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go.
(He takes a drink of water and wipes his mouth on his sleeve.)
I was young, I thought I knew.
(A pause.)
They threw me out. They threw me right out of the dining room. They threw me out.
(Heatedly.)
It was all over the counter, it was all over—there was no more soup, it was all over the counter. They wanted to give me eggs. I said eggs are bad. They wanted to give me eggs. I don’t eat eggs. I break eggs is what I do. I break eggs.
I-ii
(He smiles.)
But I never break for work. I used to drive a cab. It was a favor for the Sarge. Me and the Sarge, we were on the bum. Now I’m a bum. I’m a bum, I’m a bum, I’m on my bum and I’m a bum.
(He picks up the broom and holds it bristle-side up, speaking to it as though it were a person.)
First time I met the Sarge? D’Amato, said the Sarge. D’Amato, clean! Yes, Sarge! D’Amato, clean that! Yes, Sarge! D’Amato, clean that garbage can! YES, SARGE! Not like that D’Amato, you’re spraying me with that effin’ hose! Can’t you follow simple instructions? Yes, Sarge, I said, yes Sarge.
(A pause.)
What for, Sarge, I should have said. What for? I’ll give you the what for, I should have said, I’ll give you the what for for that.
(He hurls his broom to the floor.)
I never should of gone back.
(He sits. A pause. He stands.)
There were eight top ten songs back then, there were eight top ten songs I used to sing.
(Using the broom as a microphone.)
Well, then, uh, Anthony, we’ll play that song for you, Anthony. And who’s it going out to? Little Tony. Well, all right then. This song is going out to little Tony, from his dad.
(He sings.)
Hey, baby….
(A pause.)
Listen, dear, they’re playing our song. Listen, listen.
(A pause. Softly.)
I should have said I won’t go back. I should of never gone back. I…should have gone back. I should have gone back to her. I left a love child at home. I left a love child.
(As though speaking to his wife.)
A lot you know, Lotte, a lot you know. You’re my wife, but a lot you know.
(Shouting.)
The kid is sick, Lotte! The kid is sick, he needs a doctor! Go get a doctor, the kid is sick! “Who’s gonna pay for a doctor?”

I-iii
(Calmly.)
I need you back, Lotte, I need you back. I like your hair, Lotte, I like your hair. Just lemme, just lemme kiss you Lotte. Lemme hold you lemme touch you lemme just kiss you on the neck.
(Talking like a lawyer.)
I look forward to discussing this matter, I look—
(As though talking to his wife.)
Do I disgust you, my dear? Do I disgust you? C’mon, don’t talk that way. I’m not drunk, I’m not! Just let me, just, I’m not drunk, let me kiss you, just let me kiss you, I’m not drunk.
(Calmly.)
Our magic drugs! Our magic drugs! I was young then. I was gung-ho! Join up, you’ll never go over, they said, join up, you’ll never go. I was in tenth grade then, it was in tenth grade I joined up.
(In the voice of a Disc Jockey.)
Someone named Anthony just called and asked us to play this song for his son, so we’re going to play this song for little Tony.
(In his natural voice.)
I aid, Listen Honey, they’re playing, listen Honey, they’re playing our song. And she said “Don’t you ‘Honey’ me, I’m not your Honey, don’t you call me ‘Honey’. I said I’ll call you Honey, I’ll call you Honey. Just let me hug you Honey, let me hug you like a Honey bear. “Don’t you call me Honey, I don’t want none of your Honey, don’t you call me Honey.”
(Calmly.)
Well, there’s no use to drag it out then.
(Shouting.)
Call the doctor, the kid is sick, he needs a doctor, go call the doctor! “The doctor ain’t gonna come, you didn’t pay him for the last time.” Go call the doctor, the kid is sick. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what.
(A long pause.)
I’m looking at you!
(He peers from between his fingers.)
I’m looking at you! Don’t you look at me, she said. It’s alright! We’re married now! “I’ll put out the light you keep lookin’ at me.”

I-iv
(A pause.)
She took me to court.
(A pause.)
Ten years ago. She took me to court.
(A pause.)
I’ll turn out the light, she said, you keep lookin’ at me. Oh no you don’t, I said. We’re married now. “I’ll turn out the light.”
(A pause.)
And she turned out the light.
(A long pause. At this point, he begins to imagine he’s in court.)
My name is–. My name is Anthony D’Amato, your honor, I said. I am twenty-seven years of age. I am twenty-seven. “Is that your age?” Yes, your honor, that’s your age. “I’m not your honor, I’m a lawyer, don’t call me your honor.” And they laughed at me. “Do you know why you’re here today?” My name is D’Amato, Anthony D’Amato, and them’s some tough cookies. “Do you know why you’re here? You have to answer ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Do you understand? Answer yes or no.”
(A pause.)
I understand. “Where do you live, Mr. D’Amato?” I live right here in Boston. But never come back, see—I should never have come back.
(A pause.)
“Are you presently working at this time?”
(A pause.)
No, I’m not working. No, I’m not.
(A pause.)
“Can you tell us how you live if you have no job?”
(A pause.)
I mean, that’s the problem. I don’t know how I live. I don’t know.
(A pause.)
“Are you collecting unemployment? Are you collecting a weekly check?”

I-v
(A pause.)
No, I answered, no I’m not, no. “How do you live without a check, how do you live?” I get what they call a veteran’s benefit, I get what they call a, what you call. “Were you in Vietnam?” “My client went in Vietnam,” they said, “My client went to Vietnam.” “When did you get your payments? When did you start to get your check?” It was April 1975, it was in April and it was cold that year. “Stick to the question, please, stick to the question. Will you tell the court just what your background is?” I never got through High School, your honor. “Did you leave of your own free will?”
(He thrusts his broom handle at an imaginary antagonist.)
You sure like to stick it to a guy, your honor. You sure like to stick it to a guy. No disrespect. I like to tell a joke or two, you know. You know what my favorite word is? My favorite word is PRNDL.
(He motions with his broom as though shifting gears in an automobile.)
P…R…N…D…L. Purndul. I like to tell a joke or two, your honor. Can’t you take a joke or two? “The court has duly noted that you like to tell a joke or two. That fact is duly noted. Will you please answer only the questions that we ask—“
(Shouting.)
The court has duly noted this! The court has duly noted that! “Mr. D’Amato, please sit down! One more such outburst and we’ll cite you for contempt!”
(He sits.)
I’m sorry, your honor. “When you left your schooling in the middle of the term, will you tell the court just what it was you did?” I had a lot of different jobs, your honor, I did all kinds of jobs. “Will you kindly tell the court the kinds of jobs you did?” I had to take whatever came along. I had to take it. A man has to eat to stay alive. I used to like bread because it filled me up. I used to eat Jello until it made me sick to look at. I used to eat soup, maybe, for dinner. I lived that way ‘til I was seventeen. “The court…is not asking what you liked to eat…the court is asking what you did for a living.” I joined the draft. I joined the service. I wanted to march in the big parade. “Were you called for the draft? Or did you enlist on your own?” I left my parents when I was just a kid, I left my parents so what could I do? It’s a damn shame. I don’t like to swear, your honor, but that’s the way it is. “The court has no interest…in the fact that you left your parents…or whether you like to swear…just tell the court how long you served.”
(A long pause.)
I served for one long year, your honor. One long year and a day. I thought I would learn to fight or die. “The court has no interest in what you thought you learned. The court wants to know what rank you attained.” Private, your honor. I even made some friends there in the service. There was Frenchy…and Precious…and The Drifter. The best bunch of guys I ever knew and most of them died in the stink and the mud. “And what did you do when you left the service?”
I-vi
(A pause.)
As far as I’m concerned, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know a trade and never knew how to go about the learning of a trade. “Did you ever see combat when you were in the service?”
(A long pause.)
Combat was in my ears for days and days. Ever after I would pick myself up and hear what I was sayin’ and it wasn’t good. My brains went plumb to hell. And after that I had no place to go. They weren’t supposed to take me ‘cause I never finished school. All my friends went over and I never saw ‘em again. Frenchy was a lover boy, he gave the Sarge the crabs. Precious always had to have his way, he thought he was some hot stuff. The Drifter would hardly ever talk. I liked him the best. You always knew exactly where you stood with The Drifter. I never should have left and you can’t come back. I never should of tried. Before I left I was at the bottom of the anthill and when I got back I was even worse. The war is how I lost my bearings, that’s the thing about the war, the war was one big tub of shit. I’m sorry, your honor, no disrespect. “Since leaving the service, have you been employed in any gainful fashion?”
(A pause.)
You’re trying to say, did I work, you mean? “That is what the court would like to know. When is the last time you held a job?”
(A pause.)
“What is the job you held the last time you held a job?”
(A pause.)
There’s a star in the woodwork on the floor. Ain’t that funny? There’s a star on the woodwork floor. I used to think I might want to be a carpenter once, ain’t that funny? I used to think I might want to be a carpenter.
(Holding the broomstick like a microphone.)
This song goes out to little Tony…..
(He sings.)
If I were a carpenter, and you were my lady, would you marry me anyway, and have my….
(He rubs his eyes. Long pause.)
Yeah, your honor, I held a job. A job is hell. I held a job, the job got done, and no more job. It was a hospital for people in the war, a what do you call it, a hospital for veterans. Talking datewise, I really couldn’t tell you. Talking datewise, it was several years ago. “Before you started work at the hospital, the court has been given to understand that you drove a cab. Is that correct?”

I-vii
(In a kind of sing-song.)
I drove a cab, back and forth, I drove a cab. I did it as a favor for the Sarge. Two bucks an hour, twelve hours a day. I drove them all. Here and there. Now and then I took a big tip. Now and then I took a man in a dress, a woman in a robe, a woman with no hair, a man who stuck me up. Back and forth, back and forth. But you can’t go back, now, can you. Our magic drugs, they said, our magic drugs. My favorite word is PRNDL. P-R-N-D-L is my favorite word. I left a love child at home.
(Shouting.)
Call a doctor, I said, the kid is sick, go call a doctor. What, on your salary, she said. We can’t afford the last time he came.
(A long pause. Anthony licks his finger and snuffs out the candle.)
I knew it. I knew all along that guys like me were never meant to make it. It ain’t no one I blame. It ain’t no one person I blame. Where’s my buddies? Where’s Frenchy, where’s Precious, where’s good old Drifty? He’s the one I’d turn to when things got bad. “I run away from home when I was ten,” he said, “and I been runnin’ ever since.” They used to call me Little Ratty ‘cause they said I was sneaky, but I wasn’t no sneak, I was honest, even when it made me look bad, I was honest that way, I guess I got that much to be proud of I guess.
(A pause.)
All I wanted was a fair shake. No disrespect, your honor, but here I am, and all I did was nothing, and it wasn’t even what I did, it was what I didn’t do. I couldn’t get a doctor for little Tony, I couldn’t get him to a doctor….Guys like me, it don’t make no sense for us to have kids at all, the way life is. You think that maybe if it’s hard enough the kids will grow up tough. That’s what my Dad used to say and look where it got me, my little Tony, gone so soon….I never asked for nothing I couldn’t earn but some things just ain’t fair. And educated men like you don’t never have to deal with stuff that guys like me put up with, everybody just treats me like dirt. They tell you don’t give up until the other fellow blinks…but what’s the sense of trying to stare him down when he don’t even know you’re there?
(A long pause.)
He lives so far away from where you’re at that he don’t even know you’re there.
(A pause.)
Yeah, your honor, I drive a cab, maybe handle numbers on the side, take a bet, take ‘em to the track and if they win maybe they pay me for my trouble, maybe not. I don’t talk good. I know that. But still, it makes me feel kind of proud to see somebody write it down. I never knew how people felt when you tell ‘em something and they write it down. So sure, I take ‘em to the track, I don’t know, maybe scrounge some coin and place a bet or two myself, might as well, as long as I’m up there, I might as well. I used to sing a little. Go to bars, get a little liquored up. But now I can’t sing no more.
I-viii
(A pause.)
Driving a cab you get to meet a lot of people. All these years. You tell a joke or two and maybe if you got a little luck they come and see you when they put you in the ground. It’s nice to know they’ll come around and maybe look a little sad at the dirt they put you six feet under in. Maybe you think I have a lot of beefs. I don’t know. But lemme tell you something—once they slam that coffin lid, that’s all she wrote. I ain’t so hot for Bible stuff but something in there says, “To dust you shall return” and that’s just the way it is and anyone who says it ain’t, ain’t dealin’ with a deck of fifty-two.
(A pause. He stands.)
An old man at thirty-seven.
(He sings.)
I walk to myself and I talk to myself….
(In his natural voice.)
You know…the cops never picked me up for nothing I never done.
(In the voice of his wife.)
“Don’t you oh baby me,” she said, “don’t you oh baby me.”
(Flatly.)
The kid is sick. The kid is fuckin’ sick.
(In his natural voice.)
If it ain’t one damn thing it’s another.
(Shaking his head.)
Hmmm.
(Staring at the floor.)
Ain’t it funny how time slips away.
LIGHTS FADE.
(Confidingly.)
I go to Haymarket on Saturday afternoons. I go to Haymarket and they say, wait for the garbage wagon, wait for the garbage wagon, it’s on its way, wait for the swill wagon, here comes the garbage wagon, go over there and pick it up, pick up all that garbage. That’s what they say. I go to Haymarket and they say, there’s plums over there, there’s plums over there for the taking, there’s plums.

I-ix
(A pause.)
Whenever I fall asleep I think, better get on Mem. Drive, get over there on Mem. Drive, driver, there’s a bump on Mem. Drive that always wakes me up, there’s a bump over there on Mem. Drive that drives me crazy.
(A long pause.)
There is no love…without life. There is no life without love.
(A brief pause.)
In this clumsy world we all fall down in. In this clumsy world we all fall down. The world is not entirely to blame.
(A pause.)
The world…is not to blame.
(He lifts his head and smiles.)
FADE OUT.