Saturday, May 15, 1999

My Name Is Wes & I Lick Ducks

I might as well come right out and confess the ugly truth. I am still a duck-licker.

I thought I had the problem... uh, beat: It was almost two years ago, but it seems more like it was just yesterday, when I went on my last duck-licking binge and was even erroneously reported dead by our local Real Change Editor Deity, who was sure that I looked green enough to be dead -- BUT I WASN’T, and I’ll have more to say about that in a minute or two, thankyouverymuch -- it has seemed almost yesterday for all these nearly two years, and I was sure the immediacy of the painful memory would keep it from happening again.

But no, and I am so very ashamed. I awoke this morning in a pile of duck feathers, still wet with slobber, a fierce headache, my column still unwritten, and the deadline for this column waiting for me at the Real Change office.

There was absolutely no way that I could have a column written. So I have not written one, and I hope that you can all forgive me.

Ah, it feels so good to have that out of the way, I should do that more often. So, then, I was thinking well what should we do with all this space on this page, now that the column isn’t done? And I was making my way to the RC office to tell Timothy “Editor God” Harris the bad news, when a parade of loud unruly Column Ideas marched down Third Avenue, right at me.

It was like they were taunting me. Isn’t that the way it always is, I thought. You don’t see a Column Idea for a week, you break down and spend a night licking ducks, and then, when it’s too late to possibly write a column, three of the nasty buggers march up and down the street right in front of you, making rude faces and calling you names. Of course they also made me angry, but I’ll have more to say about that momentarily.

Well I suppose I can at least use the space I have remaining to describe the hideous things. They were, all three of them, different sized, different colored, and different shaped. The one in front was the one that was the most different sized, colored, and shaped of the three so I’ll describe him first.

He was, as best as I could make out (he only walked back and forth in front of me jeering at me fifteen or twenty times), Our American Repression of Death. He was ugly and greenish ONLY IN THE WAY REAL DEAD PEOPLE SOMETIMES ARE (Tim? Hear that?) and not in the way duck-lickers get. But nobody on the street noticed or paid any mind but me, because Americans don’t know what death looks like anymore. At all, no matter WHAT the color.

He was so ugly that at first I didn’t see that he was walking two dogs with him, one sleek young purebred Colorado Violent Video Gamer and one old and decrepit Kosovo Hill Cruise-Bomber.

While the Repression of Death was insulting me obnoxiously, a passing Armchair Liberal stopped to make uncharitable remarks about the dogs, going so far as to scapegoat Video Game Makers for the one and Our Violent Nature for the other. But the truth was plain to me, it was their owner who raised them to be so mean and ugly, pure and simple.

I said to the Armchair Liberal: “You hide death from your children, you even fear the sight of it so much you can only kill people you want dead from miles away, where you can’t see what you did to them. You already decided years ago that you would set aside those people who have seen death up close, treat them as tainted, you don’t want to see their faces on the streets now that they have been reduced to begging from you. You don’t want that to happen again, so even though you want to still have wars, you refuse to have soldiers.”

“Then, you hide death from your children”, I repeated myself rhetorically. “You hide death from your children”, I did it again, “so that they do not live real lives, because a real life requires a real perspective on life, which requires seeing and relating to death, something you have already refused to do yourself, that’s why you’re the Armchair Liberal, and now you would deny it to your children.

You are in fact by now so out of touch with the needs of your own children, that you can’t see that their need to know and relate to death is exactly what drives their interest in those Video Games in the first place.”

Well that just made the Armchair Liberal stomp away angry, without being able to express his/her anger, because the Armchair Liberal is also very Whitebread, and, well, there you go.

Which brings up what I promised I would say more about, namely the other two Column Ideas that were taunting me and making me very angry, the two less different ones. One of them in fact was a Red-faceless white-breasted spineless Liberal Denial of Anger, who was grabbing passers-by by the shoulders, viciously shaking them and then declaring that it was all done in the name of “process”.

The other one was the perennial World of Unspeakable Stupidity. The less said about that the better, you are probably thinking, but I will have another column to write in two weeks, so no one gets off that easily.

Saturday, May 1, 1999

Happy Pills Are Here Today

Well! Good news, the med train’s moving again and this time we're riding first class. This new stuff is great. I can't stop telling people everywhere I go about ***** (brand name) pills. Hint: if it were Prozac, it wouldn't work for me. If it were Valium it wouldn't work for me. This is not your Grandmother's pill. This pill works for me!

No, it’s not Viagra.

Not that it can't work for anyone else. Just after two weeks of running around telling everyone about my wonderful new tablets, I found that two of my face-to-face friends were also taking them. We are pill buddies! We started talking about forming a *****-User's Society, where we could congregate without being transgregated by Non-*****-User's.

For isn't transgregation the greatest evil that humans are capable of? For doesn't it say in Barnabas 6: 6: 6: "O Lord forgive us our trespasses, but forgive us not our transgregations (if any) for if we are so totally lame, we deserveth no breaks?"

Yes, we don't need no transgregators. We don’t need no transgregators today. I mean if you aren't In you're Out, get used to it and stay there, right?

That was Irony, #11, combined with Obfuscation, #15. I'm actually compiling a little list of humor techniques. In reality transgregating is NOT wrong, hahaha , I only said that it is wrong in order to be "satirical" (#11b.) I used Obfuscation (#15) partly because it’s a hoot and partly because if I told you what I was REALLY talking about some of you might have been bummed out, and we can't have that in a humor column.

Speaking of bummers, how about those social workers who don't know the difference between anxiety and fear? Don't they just burn you up?

I'm sure you've all had this happen to you: you've gotten off the streets, into low-income housing. You've gotten Food Stamps. You've noticed that, due to an inability to concentrate on anything but the derangement of your own twisted mind for more than an hour at a time, your rent is due. And you don't have it. So you apply for uh, um, shame on you, so they assign you to a social worker. And you spend the first fifteen minutes with her/him convincing your new social worker that you are NOT there due to being psychotic, you have a good solid grip on reality, really...

And THEN you say to the social worker, who has a degree in this sort of thing, and is paid to use it, that you think maybe your problem is in part an anxiety disorder. And after you say that she/he says "Are you feeling anxious now" and you say "Yes" and she/he says “what is it you are afraid of?"

AAAAARRRRGGGHH!!!! Don't you just hate it when they do that? Well I do, & do you want to know what I want to say when I hear that question? Well, I’ll tell you what I want to say!

I want to say: "It's anxiety dammit! I'm not afraid of anything! You should see me drive! You should be sitting in the passenger seat up front! I'd be willing to pay the laundry bill just to have the fun of watching the look on your face as we rocket down Queen Anne Ave (20% grade, 25MPH limit) at 70-100 miles per hour and me saying what YOU are NOW experiencing is fear, this is NOT what I am experiencing when I talk about anxiety I know the difference why don't you it's your job look it up in a dictionary you ignorant &*^$#@*!" and then I would just barely come to a controlled stop at the busy intersection at the bottom of the hill and peel the dampened/soiled social worker out of the car, hose the seat down etc.

But I just want to do that. I don't do it because I am not psychotic.*

If you enjoyed that, thank #9 and #2’.

Now let’s try to use ‘Juxtaposition in Concept’ #4b. We have discussed and . We’ve backed ourselves into a corner this time, Cindy, haven’t we? Guess we’ll have to dance our way out of here...

Juxtaposition in Concept #4b

Or, Opus 4b, I’d Rather Not Have to Say So

“I’d rather not have to say so...

BUT it’s all about what we should know, y’know?”

Said the Grasshopper to the Ant.

“It takes a teacher able to show! Not tell! To show!

But don’t take my word for it! Ant!”

Said the Grasshopper, closing a stupid book.

Y’know? Education isn’t all talk... (Think about it. Sorry for the lousy rhyme.)

* Important: No social workers were harmed during the conception or execution of this column. Any resemblances between described social workers and actual social workers, living or dead, are purely coincidental and unintended.