Friday, November 29, 2013

urban jungle


URBAN JUNGLE

Globally, most of us live in cities.  Even in third world crap holes ( which will of course quickly include the US, minus warm weather in December ), you go to the city for a job or for food.  Centralized agriculture isn’t just a force that wiped out American farmers.  And now that the whole globe is dependent on natural gas derived fertilizer and long distant grain transportation, of course we are running out those fuels that made that infrastructure possible ( running out of AFFORDABLE fuels ).  And you don’t replace a centralized system with a decentralized one when you are out of money, out of resources and out of time ( overpopulation ).  Urban areas are now way overcrowded.  They were overcrowded before Peak Oil in 2005 ( if you discount Unicorn Glitter Fuels from production, we have already gone over to the right of the bell curve ), only sustaining populations on petroleum grains.  You can’t suddenly go back to smaller cities fed by green belts surrounding the urban area, each self-sustaining.  You have the current population eating on unsustainably high per acre yields that can’t be reproduced by hand using current demographics.  Organics CAN yield much higher than mechanical farming, but only after the soil is reconditioned and kept healthy ( a historic abnormality ).  The good news of course is that the long term trend is your friend.  People are not going to go in the opposite direction of the money.  The cities have the money, money equals food, people move to the city.  If you can swim against the current, you win in the end.

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Now, I’m not talking Nirvana here.  Living in the rural areas has its own set of problems.  All I’m saying is that the cities will get more crowded, more dangerous and more expensive.  Which means rural land, although NOT prime farm land ( if I wasn’t worried about race wars and a second Yankee invasion, I’d live in the South, restoring worn out land ), in the long term, will be all things being equal, a little less of all those things.  Everything will get more expensive and more and more shortages will be the norm, given that urbanites are using their economic mastery to bid for what is left.  But they certainly don’t want crappy land out of the way.  I’m not saying you will be perfectly safe in the country, just safer.  And you won’t be able to live like city-folk.  That takes too much money ( if you try for the slick magazine way of country life, you are just city type Yuppie scum with a garden and chickens ).  I’d say, devolving from the car driving Wal-Mart shopping American way of life is going to be one of the few doable bright spots on our way towards collapse.  Yes, my gloriously loyal minions, here is your once a year optimistic article.  Enjoy it while you can.

END

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

thanks getting day article

WAL-MART TRIED TO KILL ME AT THE START OF THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE

A Fictional Tirade

Wal-Mart almost got me killed. Oh, not directly. It wasn’t as if I was walking through their parking lot and suddenly slipped on a half decomposed Subway sandwich, which most likely would have been something like the meatball with marinara sauce both to explain its slippery properties and the higher liquid to solids ratio to explain why it was rotting in the heat faster than scavengers such as armies of ants ( but thankfully not Army Ants which were reported to be pretty aggressive about fetching dinner and not too picky about whether their prey had already perished or not and were just as glad to consume the poor bastard alive as dead, which doesn’t necessarily say that they are vicious little turds but only that their brains are pretty darn small and incapable of differentiating between the two states, but unfortunately not letting us skip any comparisons between insects and man since cannibals should have such a larger brain and be capable of feeling pretty bad about eating their fellow humans. Although in fairness we started out this discussion on the practice of whether ones victim suffers or not and said nothing about what exactly was being eating so please disregard this whole section except the part about being thankful that certain kinds of ants weren’t involved ) or flesh eating birds ( which are much nicer than flesh eating insects like ants because a bird will see you coming and screech at you in an annoying, almost ominous evil manner, but at least fly away from picking at the food whereas the insects pay you no mind whatsoever and just stay right where they are and thousands of them are swarming around the pile and if you are still slightly inebriated from the night before you could almost feel slightly nauseous as the whole mass seems to be pulsating slightly like a cancerous gelatin ) or even in some instances small children, which are pretty foul in their personal hygiene habits such as when they are picking their nose full of dried buggers and dirt and last nights chocolate pudding and tasting whatever they managed to dig out or when they are scratching their ass because they had a wet fart two minutes after they emerged from the tub and instead of asking Mom for a wet wipe or a handful of toilet paper or even, God forbid, get into the tub again they just look around to see if anyone is watching and if not they let the resulting expulsion dry so that the next day their poor little bums are itching, can consume the mess on the ground.

No, rather than almost being killed as a result of one of their customers ( which for the most part consist largely of the lower rungs of the socio-economic ladder even in these hard times when everyone is desperately trying to cut back on their expenses ) which one could hardly blame them for, being mostly comprised of those from the lower socio-economic ranks and thus while perhaps not naturally stupid in some instances were by and large uneducated twits or simply had no manners beat into them in public school where corporal punishment was forbidden or both, not being able to pay extra security personnel to scan a huge bank of monitors for miscreants dumping their half eaten lunches on to the ground at disgust as their taste buds alerted them that while they had just paid seven dollars for a foot long meatball sandwich and it was all good and well to get your monies worth the fact was that the meat was highly processed and then frozen and then left to thaw for far too long and the sauce had a bit of a chemical taste to it as if a Chilean immigrant from the gold processing plant had moved on to picking tomatoes and perhaps with a lifetime of less than stellar sanitary practices had, just as the aforementioned child, been picking his bum while in the vegetable ( and, yes, yes, technically tomatoes are a fruit since they have seeds and thus are not vegetables just as corn is most definitely a grain and not a vegetable at all but while only the most ignorant will insist that a pile of steaming corn slathered with butter and lightly sprinkled with salt is not a grain I think making too big of a stink over the definition of a tomato really doesn’t equate to the same thing ) patch and perhaps you are getting a bit of a mercury tang along with your sandwich and all in all it is far better to just jettison the whole revolting concoction. You simply can’t pay enough people to watch for this sort of thing and still remain the Low Price Leader which they have done admirably. Oh, sure, at first it was American made, then all Chinese made and then they had to lay off a few positions after the Chinese crap started getting a bit on the pricy side after they had turned a million square miles of rice paddies into factories and bought up all the US junk yards for steel scrap and got a global monopoly on selling everything except Hollywood movies and lawyer services which they let us keep after thinking how best to subjugate their enemy from within and the best answer was to just let us corrupt ourselves with anti-Constitutional Republic propaganda from LA and letting the lawyers close down the last of the factories through litigation, and then they jacked up their profits after now making everything under the sun ( except the aforementioned service industries which they didn’t want because even they were embarrassed over that Crouching Tiger movie and, well, who likes lawyers anyway ) but it still wasn’t too bad of a deal considering it was hard to beat their prices even with a monopoly. But what are a few less checkers when you can scan all your made in Chinese goods from their printed in Canada UPC stickers yourself and be on your merry way? Not one of their customers, but the mere fact of their existence and their business practices.

Wal-Mart was wonderful for poor people. They made life a lot easier by basically halving prices for life’s necessities. If we all had to shop at Safeway or Albertsons we would be paying two dollars for a can of beans. Wal-Mart sells the same brand of beans for $1.19. Now, we won’t start a whole conversation on whether the beans were even worth that paltry amount, being nothing but twenty cents worth of legumes and five cents worth of corn syrup ( which is probably retail cost rather than wholesale and God knows how cheap that is since they probably deliver the crap by the train load ) and another two bits of stamped steel for the can, or whatever, the point being that someone is making a heck of a lot of money off of this whole convenience food thing which is kind of a built in market since once you open a can of beans and throw it in the microwave who in their right mind goes back to putting a boiling pot of pintos on a wood stove for twelve hours and then goes to tap a maple tree since most of us would have a bit of a drive to get there ( and in the winter no less ) and whatever else is involved in making a friggin can of baked beans so we just suck it up and pay the $1.19 because it’s a lot easier and, after all, only half the cost of the competition. Instead of worrying about profit margins, just focus on the fact that you are paying half cost. So, Wal-Mart being so efficient except lately where they are laying off cashiers and their shelves seem to be getting a bit bare lately, they can undersell everyone. Even when some Habeeb opens a gas station and makes fabulous wealth because he only employs his relatives who are legally eligible to work for free rather than sucking up huge sums under minimum wage laws and doesn’t actually pay for any of all those wondrously fatty and tasty foods like all pork polish sausage turning on the little rotisserie for twelve hours to get that well cooked but not burnt taste, or those frozen water and corn syrup concoctions with just a squirt of Coco-Cola taste which slid down and freeze your windpipe on a sultry day or the MSG laden corn chips with a quarter inch of cheese taste but has vendors that come in and set them up and give him half the profits, even then Wal-Mart can still sell things much cheaper and survive on less of a mark up.

And so all the competition has slowly but surely been forced out of business and the only jobs left where no longer with Mom And Pop local stores but large corporate giant Big Box chains. Not that you would normally give two rats asses where you worked because let’s face it working sucks pretty much no matter who you are working for. It can be some crusty old bastard that got drafted and put two years in the military scrubbing toilets so he got out and got the GI Bill and went to college free and got a degree and went to work for a government contractor on Union wages and retired and is now running an Ace hardware franchise and bitching all the time about young punk whippersnappers on welfare and you kind of liked it at first, sort of cheering him on, go old crusty guy! Rip them a new one!, but then it got a bit old after awhile and you just wanted to scream at him that he was a fucking hypocrite and to shut the hell up. Or it can be some little faggoty peckerwood blueblood from the right side of the tracks who went to Harvard and then took over daddies business and he can’t actually do anything other than play golf but all the high corporate drones kiss his ass and bury their noses up to his colon and tell him what he wants to hear while the minimum wage idiots on the front line try to actually please the customers despite all the roadblocks thrown up from headquarters. Working for either one is a real ball buster. But about the early to mid nineties a lot of different things started happening to eliminate the small business. Clinton actually stopped getting blown long enough to push NAFTA through, China started really booming and oil got really friggin cheap.

Clinton, like all other Presidents, was mainly judged by events totally outside his control. Reagan was in office when the Alaskan and North Sea oil came online and saved the First Worlds collective ass from freezing in the dark. It was the last of the mega-fields but we all acted like the Seventies never happened and we went back to partying at the fuel pump. And we all thought Ronnie was a swell guy. Don’t get me wrong, I thought he was a swell guy. But you do have to wonder how popular he would have been had he been elected one term earlier instead of Carter. Anywho, Clinton benefited a wee bit from that and the fact that Bush Sr. laid the groundwork in the middle east to our advantage. Oil War One, yeah, baby! So basically here you had a guy that had the longest line of corpses trailing him of any politician ever, a hag of a wife that had Ballbusting Lesbian written on her forehead in DayGlo lettering and a nickname that really fit. He spends so much time getting his rocks off while sitting at the Oval Office desk they probably had to use an industrial steam cleaner on the sucker every night. And they couldn’t just pay some Nicaraguan fresh off the boat a G-17 salary to wash the stink off, no. Most likely they had to get one of the crack heads that clean the booths at the stripper-behind-the-sliding-door-operated-by-a-coin-machine type places. No one else in their right minds is going to clean up gallon quantities of man juice every friggin night. I mean, come on. It’s bad enough handling your own. And don’t pretend you don’t know what I’m talking about. The point being that not many other Presidents could have gotten away with what he did. The economy makes one little hiccup and suddenly they start changing the next edition on the history books. So no one cared that NAFTA got passed. Well, Ross “I Know, You Know, And The American People Know” Perot might have cared. He said he did, but I have my doubts. He had government contracts going and it seemed unlikely a firm in Mexico was going to take that away from him. Hell, he also said North Korean Ninja Strike Squads were going to assassinate his daughter if he didn’t throw the election so it might be wise to kind of take whatever he says with a grain of salt. I would have believed that Hillary was after him, sure. That is one mean bitch. If I was Bill and I had married the cunt for political advantage I sure as hell would be boffing every fat assed intern I could find that wasn’t a leper or a man in drag. She would have turned Mother Teresa into an alcoholic that worshiped Manson. Scary shit. One gal you do not want to piss off. I’m sure she told Obama that if she didn’t get some kind of high powered position somewhere on the list of succession she would have Bill call up a few of his old drug dealing poker buddies that wouldn’t be opposed to taking a few pot shots on some uppity Black politician. The kind of crackers who were Kluckers and proud of it, didn’t even wear the face mask part of the white hood on parades.

A few tears were spilled, a few disgruntled tin foil hat wearers sold a few copies of “Bill and the Illuminati: Proof the One World Satanic Order Is At Hand”, but all in all as long as the recession didn’t come back and oil stayed cheap, most people could give two craps what Billy did. Boff a few fat chicks, let Mexico have the rest of our factories. Hey, who cares, right? Just keep me employed writing software for the Dot Coms. And keep the gas cheap. Cheap interest for acquisitions, cheap oil to transport cheap goods made by cheap Chinese labor and before you know it, big box stores were everywhere and all the Mom And Pop small businesses were going under. Everyone blamed Wal-Mart. Hell, I’m blaming Wal-Mart. But the difference between me and the twit that watches American Idol is that I’m using Wal-Mart as a generalization to encompass all of the big box, big corporate chain stores whereas they actually think Wal-Mart all by its lonesome transformed the entire American retail landscape. Clinton was along for the ride, his moneyed interests that got him elected told him what important legislation they wanted passed. And Wal-Mart was simply astute enough to see what way the wind was blowing and took advantage of it. Hell, retail was just along for the ride. The big players were financial.

So, small local businesses are going out of business and big corporate stores are moving in. How does that effect me other than the cheap price of baked beans? Jobs were harder to find in small towns. If you wanted a job, non-college degree type, you had to follow the corporate stores. They didn’t operate out of Bum Fuck Idaho. They operated out of big city suburbs. Gas was cheap, right? You could drive out from the sticks to go shopping once a month, get a little use out of that pick-up truck by buying in bulk. It wasn’t like you had to race over rutted sage brushed terrain to rescue a stranded calf caught in barbed wire in a snow drift with the thing, or pick up hay for the herd or haul cow shit out of the barn with it. You had a ranch style two bedroom suburban tract house on an asphalt cul-de-sac. What in the shittin hell did you have a pick up for? Oh, I’m sure the actual cowboys appreciated you sucking up the depreciation on it so they could buy a cheap used truck from you in ten years, but other than them, who thought you were cool for owning it? God forbid you wore the boots, too. And it wasn’t just big fat pasty balding office cubical riders trying to go all John Wayne on us, big fat pasty middle class Yuppie Soccer Moms bought the same thing with an enclosed bed called SUV’s and paid as much as a house cost twenty years ago so the Union guys putting the things together were all happy that GM didn’t go balls up from lack of profit and they keep getting paid seventy bucks an hour after benefits to stand there and look all patriotic by being Blue Collar and not ride a cubical, although the guys in the top floor with a few of the top layer of smog were the happiest that their quarterly multi-million dollar bonuses would last a few more years. And, hell, keep taking out those home equity loans on the suburban ranch house so the guys on the assembly line would think the party would last forever and not take the buy out offer as the company happily slid into bankruptcy even with government loans. You now had a moving land tub to swill your Starbucks double mocha latte in high style and comfort while chatting with your buddies on the cell phone, racking up twenty cent minutes while deciding where to shop for your marble counter tops, you might as well stop off at the Target for a new pair of shoes that matched the marble and then swing by a Bed, Bath & Beyond to buy an authentic Peruvian Indigenous Person reed basket the same shade and it was all peaches and cream while gas stayed at $2 a gallon and a retired couple from Silicon Valley would buy your home for twice your purchasing price of two years ago. You had mobility and shopping and working after an hour commute was nothing.

So here I was unable to find work anywhere outside the big city. Working for a big corporation that ate up small companies and shit out independent owners. Plenty of one man businesses opened up in the shadow of Wal-Mart’s, the traffic generated by Low Cost Shoppers ( lower middle class and working poor all, God forbid a pretty young professional would soil their reputation by being seen amongst the proletariat in bib overalls and Cat baseball caps, chewing tobacco stained teeth flashing in piggish delight at yet another Roll Back price ) assuring that they would get enough customers to pay the ten grand a month rent by the herd behavior of the driving public. Selling scrap booking materials and imported plastic beads, the customers intent on their leisure time activities between TV watching, not stopping to think of the irony of selling their life blood ( or more accurately, the life blood of the working spouse, hurriedly sweet talking retired couples into adjustable rate loans to make the monthly bonus cut off date so the monthly swimming pool payment could be met ) for a handful of useless trinkets just like a group of easily impressed American Natives selling an island to the Dutch. But these new business owners were mostly the newly displaced corporate white collar workers, gladly giving up their retirement dreams so overseas call centers staffed by second language English speakers could have their jobs, trading in decent wages for a severance package and the thrill of being their own boss while working twice the hours for half the pay. They borrowed the difference to open their own stores, high rent and loan payments disallowing any help to be hired. They generated profits for real estate owners and banks, but no jobs. And when they went bankrupt at the first sign of a down turn, the first loss of customers, the government bean counters kept assuming these kinds of jobs were still being created and put down those phantom businesses as employed persons, reporting a healthy unemployment rate of five percent instead of reporting true numbers already close to Great Depression levels even before the economy really took a true dive, Lehman Brothers and AIG and all the other players in the derivative markets suddenly waking up one morning to find that their liabilities far exceeded their assets in numbers equaling the gross domestic products of second tier Eastern European countries.

All the while the real estate bubble swelled faster than a fat chick in a chocolate factory, give away interest rates deceiving people into paying both family workers life time earnings in a green wood and press board stucco suburban shack, immigration of an illegal nature was encouraged and allowed. Come on up, work in the construction industry building shit shacks for idiots, send your money to Mexico so they send us their oil. Take former Union jobs at half price. Pay into the Social Security system. We don’t care the green card is fake, you won’t collect retirement on your fake number and in the meantime Carl the Codger and Gertrude the Geriatric can suck up their own money paid for by you and they can retire in Florida where your company is filling in swamps and parking mobile homes on the newly paved land. They’ll die as soon as we give them free drugs made in China and you and three other families can move into the newly vacated, suddenly cheap living quarters. No need to build housing projects or create slums, we allow everyone a slice of the American dream. Crowd a few more wage earners into the same house, we’ll make a decent profit financing the credit cards and SUV payments if we can’t get every single person into their own domicile, each buying their own set of appliances. The bubble bursts, no extra unemployment to report, their illegal jobs never existed.

And all the while I can’t make more than a buck over minimum wage because of the downward pressure on wages caused by those workers. Take away the jobs in areas with affordable housing and decrease the wages where jobs are to be had. Thanks for nothing, jerks. Its all been an illusion of wealth, the rich sucking out the seed corn of the country to accumulate as many inflated dollars as possible and leaving the workers with less in real buying power. Work like an indentured servant, but burning more calories and having to buy increasingly expensive food to do so. You used to eat on ten percent of your pay, and eat damn well. Three squares a day rich in meat and daily and produce, now replaced by over processed crap, every prepared food full of corn syrup and fillers, every bite a mystery, every meal a gamble to see if you’ve just swilled down the newest contamination, and all at the new bargain of twenty percent of your pay. Meanwhile the rich can buy up the organically grown food to insulate themselves from the Frankenfood garbage the average worker swills down to survive. But, hey, I’m being fair here and don’t necessarily blame corporate vote riggers for over priced housing or substandard food. That’s partially my choice, unwilling to work at a soul crushing pay grade to afford a better life, choosing to live a life with a little more meaning than punching a time clock at a job that kills me from stress. I’ll work the hours, but not bring home my stress from work. That’s the payoff I get. Work just as hard, but have the ability to not give two cares about it as soon as I vacate the building. That’s why I don’t work at a higher paid job. But the thing I resent is having to do it in a city rather than in a small rural town.

The city sucks. Not the crime. You have crime in the smallest town. Every unemployed crack head is brewing up a batch of meth in his dilapidated mobile home out there in the once pristine wilderness area, those too lazy for that, or more likely too far gone in killing his brain cells, is turning to petty crime to get his fix. Crime is everywhere. But the city crams so many people together that even if your per capita crime rate is the same or even smaller you are still exposed to a lot more criminals. And the traffic is insane. The population grew far quicker than the road building expanded. You can only build so many lanes, but you can stack people on top of each other. So, sure, even small towns have traffic congestion but the city packs in all the cars as they do the criminals. And does anyone appreciate the fact that you constructively help in reducing vehicle congestion by not driving but instead ride a bicycle? Hell no. The same mocha swilling fat assed Yuppie SUV drivers on their way to buy marble counter tops are too busy talking on their unneeded cell phones they would just as soon run you over as look out for you and yield the right of way. Who the hell needs a cell phone except a brain surgeon waiting for a call that could save a life? Self important assholes thinking they actually have a damn thing to say when in fact that if an asteroid fell from the heavens right on top of them no one outside a few family members would care at all they were gone. And would they even really be missed even by blood relatives? Mom either gets creamed by a space rock or she would have been traded in for a younger model and the kids would have gotten a new step mother anyway. Dad gets sideswiped by a Taliban suicide bomber and ends up as part of the atmosphere as he is vaporized, stop your bellyaching! As soon as he was laid off from his job the wife and kids would have moved on to another relationship anyway. Yeh, a new daddy! Sure hope this one has a better financial package we can inherit than the last one. Kids get wiped out? Plenty of Chinese babies need adopting if the parents are too old to procreate anymore. Harsh? You bet! Serves you right for talking on the cell phone you pompous shit.

But of course, I’m stuck in the city. Need to work. Can’t be a lazy sod and go on welfare, sitting around all day watching soap operas, game shows and Judge Fucking Judy, eating cheese puffs and calling up my crack dealer hoping he’ll give me just one more hit to dull the pain of my lazy ass getting bed sores from living on the couch in front of the TV. Please, bro, I’ll let you hump my dog for a rock of crack. He’s small, can’t put up much of a fight. After awhile things get really desperate, you’ve lost your mind and then your teeth, begging to give the guy a gum job for just one more hit. No, I can’t do that. I’m living in a shit hole in worse shape than the ghetto crack heads, going to work every day so I can have my shower free from chemicals made to manufacture illicit substances. Would you like fries with that, bitch? Okay, things aren’t so bad I have to resort to peddling greasy soy burgers and limp dick fries. You couldn’t even supplement your food budget working there the food sucks so much anymore. Used to be, you got real potatoes fried in real honest to God beef tallow grease, a burger big enough to fill you up and a cola made from real sugar beet sweetener. Now you get soy oil that will fill you with estrogen mimicking properties ( would you like bitch tits with those fries? ), the burger meat is the thickness of a sheet of paper and instead of piled high with lettuce and tomatoes and onions you get a dollop of mayo and ketchup with one pickle in the middle of that putrid puddle, and the cola is made from corn syrup made from Frankenfood grains because the rat puke bastard fucks in the government take a few bribes from Florida sugar growers to jack up imported sugar to protect their artificially high prices. The Senator gets a nice retirement account to go live in a Caribbean island where they use real sugar in their cola and you get to suck down polluted food. No, I didn’t need to work fast food, thank goodness. I got to stand behind a register and ring up old ladies buying cheap dollar store over the counter drugs. Have you seen all the drugs old people buy? It’s a lot. All the crap mostly just dulls the pain of their bodies falling apart, but they need to live to cash in another Social Security check ( paid for by the illegal immigrant construction worker ) and want to dull the pain. That way they can walk across the street to the convenience store to buy a bunch of Lottery scratch tickets without arthritic pain. They can buy a lot of scratch offs, they get so much money. But hey, its on a fixed income, so they bitch about prices. Who’s not on a fixed income? They offer me overtime because the other clerk is hung over, so automatically I’m raking in the bucks, right? They jack up the withholding rate on taxes as soon as overtime kicks in, I’m better off not working extra because I then get less per hour. But fucking Gertrude can’t get Social Security overtime so I’m the scumbag not on a fixed income and have to support her wrinkled ass. Like I’ll ever see a damn dime of that sweet deal. And have you ever watched how friggin slow the aged are? They count out one coin at a time from their little coin purse, their rigid claw pawing for the right denomination, slowly lifting it up to their cataract blurred eye to ascertain its value. Hurry up, already. Moving slower doesn’t make you live longer!

How the hell did we ever get into this mess? I can see the deindustrialization of the economy. I mean, long term it is stupid but honestly, given the option, who wouldn’t choose fast financial gains over long term plant and equipment nickel and dime profit? And did they even really have a choice? The second World War turned every factory from what had been the world’s premier manufacturing economy ( a bit of a stumble after the fucks in the Federal Reserve Bank flooded the market with excess credit, crashed the economy, deflated gold’s value 40% and made sure a socialist was elected as Supreme Exalted Leader For Life so they could shove their collective fist up to his colon and play him like a puppet ) into war production. And barely allowed that production to slow by immediately going into Cold War mode, fearing too drastic a return to a peacetime economy would throw us into a Depression again ( and, after all, the cum guzzling ass whores at the central bank had already completely taken over the economy so why give up any of that profit? ) but having the unfortunate side effect of putting a lot of civilian products factories at a disadvantage profits wise as even a multitude of Cleavers couldn’t buy enough to compete with government contracts that were for useless weapons systems on a cost plus basis. Oh, we bitch and moan and make snide comments about our current Exalted Supreme Leader For Life ( Or The Life Of The Republic, Which Ever Comes First ) nationalizing the economy. Probably in his genes, being from Africa where Supreme Dictators For Life and Nationalization go hand in hand with Swiss bank accounts. But the economy has nation has been on the road to complete nationalization since the private bankers greased a few palms in Congress and the Very Private Not Government Federal Reserve Bank was born in 1913. This is just the next phase in that whole process. I mean, Hell, take GM over. No one wants that turd. You could never sell enough vehicles to pay for all the medical insurance and pension benefits all those retirees are raking in. Not with the skyrocketing costs of medical insurance, mostly caused by the half interest the feds have in the system ( when half the payments for treatment are by the governments Old Fuck Welfare System that naturally jacks up the price ) and the lawyers suing everyone and his brother ( come on, that medical instrument they accidentally left in your chest cavity was not billed to you, stop your bitchen ) to double or triple malpractice insurance and all the illegal immigrants being allowed in to build the suburban shit shanties going to the emergency rooms to either get that industrial accident taken care of or have their wife pop out a sudden citizen so they can now legally stay to build more gum and glue green pressed board and substandard concrete ( one assumes the bag of concrete mix failed to include instruction in Spanish which by the way seems to me to be a great reason to sue the manufacture as your foundation cracks in two ) McMansion’s that cost a half million dollars but are a really special deal for the bank since they cost one fiftieth of that to build what with illegal immigrants taking over Union positions and working mostly minimum wage plus two bucks thrown in so they can work twice as fast and the materials so substandard that a Mafia Don’s construction firm would have rejected them, all paid for with nothing as the bankers went up to Clinton and reminded him that since he was a Playa and understood about wacking people down Arkansas way he could remember what happened to Kennedy when he dared to even contemplate returning even a small portion of the money creating monopoly from the Fed to the feds. So play ball and go along with the illusion that you are in control and sign a bill lowering the reserve requirements for banking loans so now you could double the amount of money you could loan from the same amount of deposits ( which were all created from thin air anyway ) and creating a mortgage loan cost the bank absolutely nothing.

So, against the power of the bankers, what could factory owners really do but close down the factories and ship them over to China and go play the eternal golf game? You don’t create a lot of new loans by allowing a factory to increase production by ten percent with an expansion loan. But you sure as hell do by closing down an industrial economy and creating a new one based on services and consumption and especially lots and lots of debt. The Seventies did a lot of things, and one was dramatically underscoring the advantages to getting past your eyeballs in debt so that you could pay for everything you needed in life with inflated dollars. Oh, it was no gift from the bankers. Inflation jacked up all prices and only your house which was already overpriced even back then was somewhat offset. You still had to come up with the extra money for utilities and a car and food. Getting more in debt helped maintain the middle class lifestyle but the bankers were the winners, not the consumer that got a small decrease on the increase of the price of a home. The bank made two hundred grand profit instead of two hundred fifty, but they could care less as it was Monopoly money created from thin air and paid back by real after tax wages. And the bankers got those taxes too, by loaning the feds so much Monopoly money. The banks saw two choices after the war. Increase consumption by upgrading old factories and giving the workers wage increases, or slowly shutting all but military production down and allowing more consumption to take place by goods becoming cheaper since Asia produced them. We think China was eating our lunch ( after Japan ) but in reality we got all of Asia to overproduce and force down wages through competition and then we bought all their goods so much cheaper. The banks made more money with consumer loans than they did with financing factories. And in the long run after the consumer had been tapped out completely the factories overseas began to fail and thus the Asian economies. We owe you a trillion bucks on Treasuries, China? Sure, what do we care. We are parked on top of the middle east oil reserves thanks to those loans. Your economy is in big trouble as our consumers go broke, perhaps not enough to tank it but enough to put you out of the running for a bit. Less cash to buy military hardware with. We just created over five trillion to prop up the banks, you can have your one trillion back anytime you want. Won’t buy diddly jack shit, but feel free to cash in any time it is convenient for you.

And what’s a good way to prop up the economy for a time, long enough for the bankers to hoard gold on their Caribbean islands before cannibals roaming the dusty streets fight each other for the last drumstick ? More welfare for everybody. Old folks on Medicare, CEO’s on government contracts, privatizing public utilities, section eight housing, food stamps, civil servants, privatized prison guards ( half the salary but with all the taxes! ), private sector jobs needing government permission for their monopolized existence, jobs created by grants or loans, and hundreds of others.

And that’s all I got to say about that.

END

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*
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*
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

pass the gravy


PASS THE GRAVY

Tomorrow on Thanksgiving I’ll still post an article.  Well, pre-posting it today for tomorrow.  Today is Laundry Bitch Day and I’m out at noon and won’t return for work til Friday when I’m only working a half day ( if most of our donors had their wishes granted upon a falling star, I’d pick up seven days a week, 365 days a year, and be on call around the clock.  I’m not ungrateful, just weary of Job Security ).  I have no wish to be gone on a four day weekend, fighting asswhore weather and douchebag travelers, so just the one extra day off works for me for relaxation and recreation.  Now, the thing is that the article tomorrow is a Thanks Getting Day article.  In other words, be thankful you are getting anything at all.  It is long winded, and even I get a bit stir crazy by the end of it.  It was a piece I wrote several years ago, I don’t know exactly why unless it was another stirring to attempt fiction, and it has been lounging about on the home computer ever since.  I slapped a Forrest Gump ending on it and called it a short story.  No promises of quality are made.

*

You gotta love those fools who say something to the order of “those foreigners don’t observe OUR Thanksgiving holiday”.  Usually this refers to a Habeeb working at a quickie mart on that day, putting in normal hours to feed his family.  Like no other culture ever had a day bloating up for the coming winter/hungry times prior to harvest.  Thanksgiving was not our invention, just our interpretation.  The difference is that while more mature cultures feast in anticipation, or still acknowledge the very real importance of food supply as THE basic fact of life, Americans are busy worshipping their owners on that day.  We can easily eat five thousand calories on any other day, and despite food prices doubling you can still do so almost at whim with little financial pain.  And you can eat turkey bi-products any day of the year, also.  That one company really pushes all their bird meat ( turkey burger, turkey sausage, etc. ) as a one stop solution to getting some of that nasty fat off your carcass.  No, it seems that rather than giving thanks for being well fed, or even just for a special piece of meat in celebration, what most Americans are doing is engaging in one last orgy of debt slavery before that opportunity is over and gone.   Let’s travel long distances, on the credit card naturally, to visit family we hate.  Not for their benefit, but for ours as a vacation we deserve from working to pay that thirty year mortgage.  Then, after getting that daunting task over with, let’s get in line at midnight to claw our way over to an over-priced doo-dad that has been drastically marked down to its naturally reasonable price ( naturally, putting it on a credit card ). 

*

Me?  I’m eating my simple dinner at home, hoping this isn’t the last one that isn’t all wheat from my stores, and giving thanks for it.  Always pass the gravy as if this is the last time and be grateful for it.

END

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

cold bathroom


COLD BATHROOM

Today I’d like to talk about more primitive living.  But first, a kind word to Gil and a tirade against publishers.  I appreciate the heads up on the zombie cruise book ( what?  You haven’t been religiously following the comments section to pick up minions gems such as this?  If you check for yesterday’s comments after about 7am they are usually posted ).  Yes, it was free and hence better than usual.  But free doesn’t always sell a book.  And buying one doesn’t mean I can read it.  I’m one fifth through after starting it last night and I actually have to admit I’m impressed.  Yes, sure, it is zombie crap and hence has about zero survivalist application 99 times out of a hundred.  But through that disbelief filter you will find it well written and a decent story [ most would say better than my fiction-don’t worry you won’t hurt my feelings.  I’m not out to be the next King or Conrad ].  Now, last week a “free for this weekend only” book was offered.  By Max Velocity if I remember correctly.  Looks like a militia porn novel.  If you downloaded it, please let me know how it was.  I’m hesitant to spend nine friggin bucks for an e-book.  Prepper Press kinda does the same thing; their e-books are only a dollar or so less than their paper versions.  However, I think they can get away with it because they only carry quality stuff.  You are buying carefully vetted material.  With other publishers, I just think we are getting ripped off.

*

A minion pointed out after last weeks ( week before? ) Campers Special article that you need to work up from the starting point of primitive after you’ve gotten established.  If you keep increasing comfort/luxury levels the whole family is happy and won’t rebel or revolt, leaving your budding reign in ruins.  I don’t disagree with that, it is sound advice.  As long as you keep in mind that added luxury doesn’t have to cost much more or add much complexity.  For instance, rather than splashing water from a bucket on the ground for bathing, you add a shower stall with a gravity fed water container up top you hand fill.  Almost no extra money, but much nicer to use.  Luckily, I don’t have these considerations. 

*

Once I’d broken the wife’s spirits as she craps in a bucket, the rest of life’s maintenance chores are acceptable to her.  She doesn’t mind bathing out of a bucket on the floor as long as it is in a warm room with warm water.  I’m made of sterner stuff, but only out of necessity.  Half the year, it is dark after I get off work.  I must bathe down in The Pit rather than in the sun warmed trailer. And, it is usually about 50 degrees give or take.  The saving grace is, it stays at that temp rather than decreasing as would be normal in an aboveground shelter.  I’m freezing when I’m done but am fine just as soon as I dress again.  Why do I subject myself to this when I could upgrade for pennies ( thirty minutes of running the heater would cost about five cents )?  And half my take home pay is discretionary spending? I’ve gotten used to both pinching pennies and living primitive.  It seems second nature by now and I don’t feel deprived.  Get used to it now, and in the future when it is forced on everyone you won’t care.

END

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*
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*
If my Blogger page ever goes down, I will start to post at my regular web site:
www.BisonPress.com
*
My books on PDF available at
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*
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there.

 

Monday, November 25, 2013

J, I don't give an F, K


J, I DON”T GIVE AN F, K

I swear that a rip in the time space continuum has considerably shortened weekends.  This is the second in a row that I’ve gotten almost no reading in ( of course, my definition of “no” is one hour and “almost no” is only three or four ).  Sure, I sit around for an hour and a half both perking ( about a fifteen-twenty minute complete cycle ) and drinking coffee waiting for the upstairs to warm up.  And a good work-out is an hour and a half cutting brush.  But where the hell did the rest of the sunlight hours go?  One big time suck yesterday was me trying to relearn bike repair.  You can pick back up the art of using the thing ( it’s like riding a bike! ) but evidently working on the things doesn’t come very easy after an eight year break.  Which is how long that it’s been since I changed a bike chain.  You’d think that would have been almost the easiest thing you could tackle working on a bike, but there you go thinking again.  Okay, it was 45 degrees out with a slight wind.  Sweater weather warm, although my hands were a little clumsy.  I couldn’t get the hang of holding on to the link pin and working the chain tool at the same time until I figured out to use an extra link side as a handle.  As I said, the hands were a little cold and I also had snot dripping on my work constantly ( don’t worry, it was clear ).  A simple task, but one you need muscle memory for.

*

Why is it that so many people think it is okay to make a living by pissing me off, making me nauseous and spiking my blood pressure?  I understand that the “news” is sub-Pravda level infotainment.  But when things reach a cultural phenomenon stage and I’m exposed to it even after I avoid the TV “news”, that is when I’m irritated.  Let me put this as plain as I can.  Who The Freak Cares That Some Snot Nose Blue Blood East Coast Preppy Asswhore Was Shot Fifty Years Ago???!!!   As presidents go, he was mediocre.  The only thing going for him was that he was so pretty.  Hey, I’m pretty too, but I don’t go around demanding you worship me for it ( the hair is a different story ).  He either started or escalated the Vietnam war ( depending on who I listen to ).  He couldn’t kill some two bit hood on a small pimple of an island right off our shores.  He started the moon landing, perhaps ( Capricorn One! )- but so what?  Anybody can easily spend taxpayer money.  And as far as averting nuclear war with the Soviets, HELLO!?  Isn’t that in the job description?  Job One, don’t glass over the country.  You want credit for that?  That’s like asking for extra credit just for showing up for your job every day.  Hump JFK.

END

The Old Bison Blog on CD
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*
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*
Contact Information, Links To Others, Survival Basics, My Newsletter Book, Frugal Survival Book, Life After Collapse Book, Post-Apoc Movies, ( free ) Improvised Munitions Book, ( NOW FREE!!! Free, I tells ya! ) My Other Free Books,

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*
If my Blogger page ever goes down, I will start to post at my regular web site:
www.BisonPress.com
*
My books on PDF available at
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*
By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there.

Friday, November 22, 2013

lga3ch5

LOCO GRINGOS AND AN APOCALYPSE

Chapter Five

Just as Randy was bringing the coffee cup to his lips, temporary Nirvana sedating his brain with Happy Thoughts not seen since a rare convergence of post-coital bliss, the aftereffects of a middlin dose of LSD and just the right amount of alcohol, oh those many decades ago more was the pity Gott Damn those Federal assholes for taking the Hearst nickel in bribe for declaring farm hemp, quite a different thing from marijuana, akin to Devil Rum and hence just about the time there was no more liquor to declare illegal, the new War On Un-Protestant Behavior was waged and EEE-Vile Mari-Juana was proclaimed the very newest theory The Gateway Drug leading to Negroes defiling fair Honkey maidens, in surely just a coincidence making tree farming corporations more profit since hemp wasn’t made into paper, there occurred a frightful ruckus and clatter. “Holy Fucking Shit!” was screeched out in dismay, Randy jerked in surprise sloshing coffee over his cup brim and scalding his wrist, Bush The World’s Dumbest Dog bayed in delight and happiness ( not, one might have assumed, in anger and resentment that Dangerous Creatures Stirred In The Night ) and lunged to his feet ( or paws, as the case might be ), promptly shot in between Randy’s legs slapping one limb than the other as if they were pinball props ( what the heck do you call the things pinballs careened against? ) causing further uncoordination from said human along with more coffee escaping from its ceramic bondage, and leapt into the dark on a mission to God only do knows what to however was cursing. How many visitors Randy was going to have today, the day of the Apocalypse ( or, perhaps, the next morning after the Apocalypse, there being little way to tell which side of midnight he was looking at ) was at this moment unknown, but he had a feeling it was coming dangerously close to more than he’d had in the last year all combined. Damn Grand Central Station going on here.

*

Just as Randy was about to obey the urgent if belated signal from his brain to reach for his rifle, once again ( vaguely, he wondered if he should have cleaned the thing before napping. Surprising, war surplus ammunition had still been available even now and he had quite a bit of it. Of course it was corrosive, but if you just swabbed the bolt face, chamber and barrel with diluted ammonia, available wherever quality grocery store cleaners were sold!, before cleaning as normal you neutralized those chemicals. He wasn’t sure how long you could go without doing so, or what the consequences were if you didn‘t), the voice repeated. “Randy, you fuck, get this dumbass dog off of me”. Ah! John, the prodigal son, had arrived. He must have hit the gang bangers vehicle which was still parked dead as the Constitution under Lincoln’s war regime in the road. There was obviously enough moonlight to get here, so John must have not been paying attention if he hit a few thousand pound vehicle right in his way. Randy should have tied the corpse to the front grill, both to act as a signpost to other trespassers ( “Attention! The owner of this property will shoot you! Pay no attention to any other signs that point out to his total panic and unpreparedness such as stained dirt spots indicative of uncontrolled bowel release or vomiting!” ) and to freak John right the Hell out! Now that would have been hilarious as could be! Thunk. What the hell?! Gross, decaying corpse! HAHAHA. Of course, the man did hit a hulking vehicle and that couldn’t have felt okay. “Hey, John, don’t get up! I’ll be right there. Are you okay? Did the impact knock any sense into your head?” “Randy, I’m going to knock some sense into your fucking head! Just get Shit Tongue off me and I can get up. Seriously, was he just licking his ass? He smells vile”. Randy oh so wanted to explain just what Bush had been eating on, but refrained in the interests of delivery such information later on, its impact doubling after John had both forgotten about the smell and preferable after something was in his stomach that could sour. He just decided to pull Bush off his friend ( with friends like this…).

*

“Bush, come on, you no account dumb as a box of rocks no good anal spelunking vermin infested ball of fur. Your bestest buddy in the whole wide world, evidently much bester than the jerk-off that feeds your worthless hide, has just arrived at Casa Ass Boil and must be accorded all privileges and honors herein. I’m sure he has better things to do than feed you some jerky” he swore Bush’s ears perked up at the very word, but it was nighttime with mere moonlight and Randy had been brewing up coffee so perhaps his night vision wasn’t back up to snuff quite just yet and perhaps he was seeing things, “which will just give you worms more likely than not although who knows what the Hell the inbred descendents of Sam Walton put into that dog food of yours, but I’m guessing worms it shall be and you’ll want to get up into my bed with me and boot scoot your foul buttocks across my covers trying to get the little fuckers off of you cause they’ll certainly get in the way of your balls to butt licking routine and John my good old buddy who I love even if you hardly ever give ME some jerky, you don’t know how good it is to see you!”.

*

“Randy, glad to see you are as insanely stupid and perky as ever. My little ray of sunshine! You have an idea of what the heck is going on around here?”

“Well, I was figuring this was some kind of EMP attack or solar flare. Seeing as how even my cell phone which had been turned off and was underground and surrounded by metal is fried. And watch. And my flashlights. And the car you just happened to NOT see and ran smack dab into. Dumbass. No wonder Bush likes you so much.”

“Here Bush. I got some jerky for you anyway, despite what your master-of-none is saying. I hope you do de-worm in his bed. Crap on his sheets and I promise you more jerky. Yep, that’s the way I was thinking too. A solar event would totally fry every little thing. A nuke burst would be pretty tame compared to what Mother Nature would dredge up, unless you laid down a whole string of overlapping explosions. I can’t image even Russia with the world’s biggest arsenal having the surplus, having to worry about China and all, to nuke all of the West with nothing of importance. Unless they thought Wells still had an air training function. Can’t imaging their data would be that out of date, but who the heck knows. Although, possibly, it could have just been another 9/11 and we nuked ourselves. Crews don’t need to know anything, you might be able to hack into the launch codes if you were the guys that owned the codes in the first place. Then you detonate a dirty bomb, everyone is panicked and out for blood and every Tom, Dick and Wingnut turns the red keys down in the silos. If the assholes did the Towers just to save the economy from The Tech Wreck, turn us into a Police State because they couldn’t afford another world war so we turn inward, I’m sure they’d have little problem EMPing themselves. No fallout to speak of, little infrastructure damage, in a few months a whole lot less mouths to feed. All those useless eaters like Seniors, ghetto dwellers, killing each other off. Suddenly a lot less competition for the world’s resources.”

“Doesn’t that make China a lot more of a likely suspect?”

“Hmmm. I guess it might. I don’t know. I got dozens of theories and it doesn’t really matter a heck of a lot, does it? We know the juice is out. Either way, manmade or not, it ain’t coming back on. Just like Gore Warming. If it was true, or not, did it matter? I mean, now it might be irrelevant if the worlds largest fuel user is no longer burning. Never mind, off on another tangent I suppose. I think though, the main thing is that we know things are screwed. The odds of this being the only detonation, far from anywhere, are low. Perhaps it was a Korean nuke gone astray and it is a singular explosion. In that case, if we act like this is the end of the world, the army moves in and kills us. If we don’t, and other people start acting like this is the end, THEY kill us. I say we go with option first. That way, we will die later if at all. If we don’t act, others get to the limited resources first.”

“Shit, John. I’m not above acting first. That big ass vehicle you crashed into in near full moonlight belonged to a bunch of SLC gangbangers. Oh, they fired first, but the last guy I might have sort-a killed in cold blood. I don’t think I have a heck of a lot to lose if we are just worried about a court of law trying us. Or, a kangaroo court if the military tries us. I don’t even think they will bother to rendition us first, just go about torturing us if it suits them. Let’s go for the gold. My main question is, what the heck are you planning to do to get any supplies back here? I got a grand total of a hundred pounds in my bike trailer. Once. Don’t want to do that again if I can help it. And if we take Bush as an early warning, the lazy fuck will just insist on NOT walking and going by trailer which really cuts down on what we can haul”.

“Of course, I’m assuming there ARE some supplies. All those times I brought us back wheat for packing up the feed store never had much more than a thousand pounds or so in mixed red and white varieties. I wouldn’t touch the corn with your dick, the crap is so full of moisture I can’t believe they can sell it without everyone complaining. Lost three hundred pounds to that before I learned my lesson. Cheese dick motherfuckers are so damn tight with cutting back their profit margin they don’t dry it enough. I almost wish this backasswards burg was a little more cosmopolitan so there would be a few lawyers, politicians and bankers to hang from lampposts”.

“There ain’t enough banks in town for you. Hell, what do we have-like five or six different ones?”

“Those are just retail, franchise types. Pretty innocent of any evil. I’m talking the Big Kahuna, the Federal Reserve Bank and its branches. Those are the bastards that need a karmic cleansing. Who do you think controls the purse strings to corporations, they pull them a little tighter and then I get moist corn that mildews and I open the bag and inhale a lungful of toxic shit and twenty years later I’m dying of some exotic disease so unprecedented the medical establishment thinks it might be delivered to Earth via an asteroid.”

“Hey, there’s an upside of us dying from this. No more bankers and whoever else you were babbling about as I nodded in and out at the start of your tirade. Are you just pissed because you are one who can’t string them up? They’ll get that way soon enough, the ghetto dwellers will hone in on the BMW’s and three piece suits and kill them all for the can of oysters and the bottle of champagne in the fridge. Wait, do rich dudes eat canned oysters? Or are they fresh? Who eats that shit anyway? Although I ate the Frenchie snails one time. Just chewy garlic and butter, damn tasty. I was trying to impress a date. I don’t know if it worked or not although I know I never got laid. She was a Wingnut though, so I think it was her and not me. They don’t think the same as the rest of us. Not that I minded terribly because that was a darn good meal. But, hey, if we could kind of get back to the question at hand? How do we transport supplies?”

“Randy, my fine feathered friend, I have no shitting idea. I think we could cache it locally. Both feed stores are on the edge of the river bottom. Plenty of brush and vegetation. We take a couple of shovels and a pick and...Wait. How the hell do we protect them in their paper bags? I’m sure there are some kind of rodents down by the water. We can take a few five gallon buckets, hope to scrounge some there. Stash ‘em and keep coming back, the both of us. Two buckets each at a time and it shouldn’t take too God awful long. If the food is there. If some shit kicking hayseed who thinks a two acre spot of desert makes him a rancher didn’t just buy up all the wheat for chicken feed the day before and the truck hasn’t come in yet. Not much harm in just a reconnoiter trip worse case. Check out and see what is going on.”

“Are we going now? Later? I’m good on sleep but I imagine you are pretty damn tired pedaling all day. I have no idea what time it is. Can you do some Boy Scout shit and look at the moon and guess what time it is?”
“Do I look like I stayed up late practicing reading the moon and figuring out what time it was?”


“Do I look like I’m a crabby little bitch who lets something like an apocalypse and an all day bike ride get me all pissey? Oh, look, I’m John and I’m a girly man. Boo-hoo, I can’t ride my rusted shit bucket anymore! I’m having such a bad day! I hit my fucking head on a huge SUV that was right in front of me which I didn’t see because my head is up my ass and now I want to take that same level of inattention to the OK Corral!”

“Level of inattention?”

“Hey, it’s a real word.”

“How about I crash here for an hour or two. You go to my place and get all the empty buckets you can find that have lids. That should give me enough time. I’ll still be one hurting unit, but at least I won’t be close to dead. I’ll power nap.”

“I’m surprised you don’t try to tell me you were in a war and learned how to sleep anytime.”

“We’re the same age, dingus. What would I have fought in, Grenada?”

“Get some sleep. I can’t deal with this degree of grumpiness. Your unpleasantness might damage my perfectly adjusted soul.”

“I thought you said you just smoked some guys earlier. How is your soul adjusting to that?”

“My soul won three brownie points for balancing the cosmic scale of justice. I’m friggin golden with Sweet Baby Jesus right about now.”

“I’m sure after a nap I’ll feel the same way.”

“You know sarcasm can stain your soul.”

“Are making this shit up as you go along?”
“I spend long hours making this shit up. Don’t be hating on the effort it took.”
“Say good night, Randy.”


“Good night, Randy.”

“Say I’m a pain in the ass.”
“John?”
“Randy?”


“What do you call a quadriplegic in a pile of leaves?”
“I’m sure I couldn’t tell you.”
“Russell.”


“What?”
“You know, the rustle of leaves as they squirm around under there.”
“THAT definitely stained your soul. Good night.”
“Still golden. Good night.”
*


Randy cautiously cracked open John’s door and hollered in a loud and carefree voice he knew didn’t fool the devils inside. “Evil cat dudes, it’s me Randy. Don’t be hating on a brother, now”. Randy knew the cats and in general the cats ignored Randy with the same aplomb a nation state king showed in front of the mud and dung smeared peasants groveling near the throne. As only a feline could, his presence was tolerated and he knew this conditional acceptance could be withdrawn at any time for any reason. On any normal day the absence of an attack or Stink Eye would be cause for celebration, but John’s cats were more ornery than most of their species. Just having John gone, unavailable to pet these demons as they demanded, with lack of treats such as freshly thawed venison, would be enough to push their buttons and set them down the road to rotten behavior. Randy was thoroughly convinced that the only reason he had not been pounced on from above and clawed viciously, if for no other reason than the unmistakably stench of Bush on him, was that John had usually been home at the time. On John’s business absences, Randy usually just passed on by looking for signs of theft or damage. The time or two he had ventured inside, the cats were usually asleep and indifferent. But this time his radar was pinging and his neck hairs were standing to attention. Surely the cats understood what had happened, knew something was amiss, and would be on alert that the new human-cat dynamic could and should be reevaluated towards their advantage. Cats were just like females. They knew, deep down if not consciously, that they were the dominant species, that they were in control. But they always acted like their power could be usurped and acted on such a paranoid level that they invented dangers to their inherited positions. They continually strove to reassert their power and so were always dangerous. Dogs, on the other hand, were more like males. They were dumb and clueless, and happy to be that way. As long as someone licked their balls for them, as long as they were fed and full and got to play with their buddies, all was copasetic in life. Randy was no fool, and prepared for cat attack.

*

As he eased through the door and closed and dead-bolted it behind him without looking, he swept the flashlight around him. He only had the light because he was too cheap to ever throw anything away and hence had kept the incandescent bulb flashlight. Every other torch was LED and none of them were working. He had a Christmas tin with more LED’s in them, which he knew was EMP proof, but as with many of his supplies at the moment he had little idea where it was. Pursuant to his half-assed filing system for supplies, the one flashlight he never used was on top of everything else and easily available. Randy actually was surprised he was that lucky. Or lucky enough to have other shielded lights. He had prepped for a lot of different emergencies, like the buried silver rounds for hyper-inflation ( hey, it would have been stupid not to buy silver when it was $5 an ounce and an hours minimum wage was higher than that ), but was aware enough to know it could have been something worse like nuclear war. As Randy played the beam of the light around ( he hadn’t been here so many times it was Second Nature familiar with it ), he could swear he saw a blur of reflected light streaking past out of the corner of his eye. He whirled about, of course too late. That damn cat was probably stalking him, and its buddy waiting to ambush his flank. He felt like one of those fuckers in a horror movie. You just knew you were fucked, your adrenaline was skull fucking your brain, you could barely breath. He’d rather go back and deal with criminal Wiggers from the ghetto. He could shoot at them. “Easy, you sleek and perfectly coiffured little rat bastards! I really honest Injun love you guys! John says be nice to me. I’m just here for some buckets, so I can go get you a nice heaping mound of cat nip. MMMMM. Yummy cat nip. Cocaine for you!” Randy, you idiot! The cats had lie detectors built right in! They could tell he was lying, but he was panicking and couldn’t help it. If these Hell spawn attacked him he could stagger home and bleed out while Bush licked all the blood off him. Ingrate twats, all of them! Easy, Randy Boy! Just keep moving to the buckets in the storage room. Don’t think of “Aliens”. Be cool, brother. Don’t remember the quote! “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE, MAN!”. Damn that was a good movie. Why did John’s place remind him of the space colony buildings, and his cats the Alien? Why couldn’t he think of a cheesey Apocalypse movie where the guy got a harem? Did they have one of those? If not, they should have. Well, on to the buckets and then getting the heck out of here.

END

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