What Happened To My Country???

What happened to my country?? Like so many of my ‘baby boomer’ brethren, I went and fought in a useless war, and then those of us who made it back, then worked hard to make a living, pay our taxes and raise our children to respect our history, sacrifices, and flag. Now multi millionaire prima donnas are staging ludicrous demonstrations in the belief it is going to make our country a better place for accommodating the violent and lawless elements of our society. Well, there are a number of bad elements out there infecting our politics, police, corporations ,and yes, among all the racial stratums of our culture. Our laws once dealt with these issues. Sadly, our system is now corroded with political correctness and racial bias propagated by the media and far left, while the right sits back throwing verbal stones while doing nothing. What has happened to my country??

I have no faith in either of the presidential candidates in leading, much less solving these problems. One candidate is shrouded in veils of corruption, deceit and secrecy….while the other is more concerned in being measured for his throne once he is elected. What has happened to my country??

Well, at my age, my meter will soon expire and once they ticket my big toe and tow my chassis away, I’ll be able to gasp that even though my country was never perfect in my youth, it was far from being the lumbering tragedy it is becoming today. What has happened to my country??

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CHIGGERS AND THE BIG RAT

First, the prologue….

When we moved into our house we found that the previous owners had left a lot of junk down in the ‘half’ finished basement. Among the items were paint cans, moldy National Geographic’s and four gigantic rat traps! My Dad did not seem to deal very well with the possibility that we may have rats the size of smoked hams. Half the basement was well constructed with a concrete floor and brick walls. The other half was still unfinished earth, spider webs and of course, large yellow rat eyes peering out at you from every corner! This part of the basement was creepy.
Because the summer temperatures topped out in the high 90’s, Mom had Dad put in one of those little swinging doors on the bottom of the basement door for my dog Chiggers to come through and get out of the heat during the day. Dad was hoping Chiggers was a rat killer….end of prologue.

Every year, Mom used to put out a serious bean garden every year. Always a good size one and from it she canned enough green beans for the winter not only for us, but most of the neighbors and the National Guard as well. But it was a pain going out and watering it everyday.
Now, Dad had episodes of genius just about every week or so when he and Mom went down to the VFW for shrimp and beer night. Most times, Mom just told him to put the beer down and took him home, but one time he made some sense! He wanted to make it easier for Mom to get her garden watered, so he decided to punch a small hole through the basement wall and connect an old water hose to the drain hose on Mom’s washing machine down there and run the hose down to the garden. That way, each time she washed clothes, the garden would get watered from the drain off. Dad lived for moments like this.
Saturday afternoon…..Dad got a big hammer and a stone chisel and went outside behind the house and measured off where the washing machine would be on the other side of the brick wall. Finding what he believed was the right spot he commence to pounding. In the cool basement, relaxing, was Chiggers. When the pounding started, that poor dog went nuts! Seemed like the entire basement was coming apart. Chiggers ran around whining and trembling in the dark basement while Dad did his thing on the outside. After about ten minutes, Dad had finally punched a small hole through the wall. He then reached through the hole pushing the loose masonry out to the other side. At one point, he pushed his hand clean through to the other side.
Chiggers was a mess by now. The poor animal was running around in circles and pissing all over the concrete floor. Then Chiggers saw something digging it’s way through the wall next to the washing machine. That’s when he really lost it! The dog ran and leaped through the air and clamped down on Dad’s hand with a ‘Vulcan Death Grip‘! On the outside of the wall Dad screamed! “Holy shit!! A rat’s got me by the hand!!!” I’m upstairs watching TV and don’t hear Dad. Mom’s on the phone with her sister jabbering away and she don’t hear Dad either. But our next door neighbor, Mr. Benze, does and comes running over to Dad’s aid. “What’s wrong Sam?” Mr. Benze shouted as he watched Dad twist and kick his legs in all directions.
“A damn big ass rat has me by the hand!!”
Mr. Benze jumps back like he thinks the rat’s going to gnaw it’s way through Dad and then come after him! “What do you want me to do, Sam?”
“Go in the damn basement and beat it off my hand for Christ sakes!” Dad cried.
Mr. Benze ran to the basement door and cautiously opened it. “Hurry Benze, before the vermin chews it to a stump!” Mr. Benze went into the dark basement and looked towards the corner where all the commotion was. It was dark and cluttered and he had to strain to see.
“My God, Sam!!” cried Mr. Benze. “Your dog’s in here and he’s in the corner of the basement fighting with the rat!!!”
My Dad then shouted, “Get em Chiggers! Tear em up boy!!” At that, my dog bit down harder on my Dad’s hand and this caused my Dad to start screaming like a sissy on a roller coaster. A few moments later Chiggers’ ears perked up. He could hear the ice cream truck coming up the street and chasing that truck held a priority over any basement varmints. Chiggers let go of Dad’s hand and ran out from the dark corner of the basement and then between Mr. Bentz’s legs and out the open door racing around to the front of the house and out to the street to wait for the ice cream truck. Dad jerked his injured hand out of the hole in the wall and collapsed as Mr. Benze came running out of the basement.
“Your dog took off after it,” said Mr. Benze. “Couldn’t quiet make out what it was with everything happening so quick.” Dad just sat and moaned.

Now the epilogue……

Several things happened later that summer, concerning the events I have written about. Dad got more than his share of free beers at the VFW by the retelling of the rogue rat attack. Then Mom’s entire garden died the first time the washing machine drained wash water that contained bleach, and last of all, Chiggers got premium nothing but premium butcher bones all summer……what a hero.

CHARLIE

The Tree OF Life

The tree of life has many branches, all interconnected to a trunk of experiences which grows from a fertile foundation of values and guidance. We drag our butts along a number of these branches, during our lifetime, in search of the fruits of wisdom and the hard nuts of reality. Many are rewarded with the blossoms of happiness, while others fall prey to the squirrels of misery. So goes life.

At my age, I find that each day is just too short for all the things I want to ponder. The variety of books I still want to read, the many words to share with friends, all the thoughts I need to write down and all the rainbows I want to see. When you’re young, your procrastizine gland, which surrounds the anal sphincter, is constantly active and tells the mind that you have your entire life to find whatever the hell it is you’re looking for. Then one day, that gland wears out and you’ve crapped away your entire life!

First off, I’m not so naïve as to think a mentally balanced person will ever find the meaning of life, because the harder you try, the more depressed and confused you’ll be. Fact is, life is pretty much a dream to the wise, a holding pattern for the faithful, a circus to the rich and a friggin tragedy for the poor. It’s always complicated by politicians, theologians, philosophers and the idiots at the DMV. These people are all driven by agendas and self endorsed importance. Life is really simple, but humans, with their advanced brains, insist on making it convoluted, or worst of all, unlivable.

At some point, in our individual lives, when our life warranty is close to expiring, we finally see life for what it is. The sun comes up and then it goes down. People are born and then they die. So my basic philosophy is; always hold your loved one close for it will only last a lifetime, you should always fill what’s empty and empty what’s full and then finally scratch where it itches. Life was never meant to be complicated….unless you’re a teenager.

Charlie

I’M NOT PERFECT

This may come as a shock to Wifey and the dog…..but, I’m not perfect! Nope. As a matter of fact, I believe that I have more foibles that most people who are not institutionalized. I have tended to dwell in mediocrity for most of my life, but fortunately my offspring were able to repel those negative genes during the first micro moments of conception and they developed untarnished. Now, please don’t think I’m bearing a pathetic soul in order to garnish sympathy from the occasional reader. I have recognized and even embraced my short comings as part of my identity and demeanor. It is who I am, and from that I gain strength.

I have three primary weaknesses and 1,326 secondary weaknesses. I shall blog on the three primaries and save the secondaries for a book. I have had a lifelong love affair with bacon, butter and beer. First of all, when God gave man bacon, it was a peace offering because of the first global warming thingy that caused the Great Flood which whacked out all of mankind, saving only Noah, his crew, the petting zoo and the OMG Ark. To this day, every time I consume a crisp strip of the divine pork belly, I show adoration by declaring, “Oh my God, that’s friggin good!” The second, butter, has also been my nemesis. There are only three items on this planet that butter can’t enhanced the flavor of….sushi, goat fur and bat anuses. I cook with it, put it on all warm food, and up until 1998, I used it in carnal experimentation.

Now, I come to my third and final weakness….beer. First, let me issue a disclaimer to the temperance members by saying that I only enjoy beer when I drink it and not at any other time. I never drink beer in the morning, as it gives my bacon an odd taste, but it is totally acceptable when having last nights bacon pizza for breakfast. I enjoy beer when I go out, like to restaurants, friend’s homes or out to the mailbox. I never, ever drink and drive, now that Wifey’s retired and can drive me around. Sunday football with bacon pizza…..hot buttered popcorn……beer…..yep, life is friggin good!

As I said, I’m not perfect. I have my shortcomings, but I also have my plusses. I want to be remembered for the fact that I sometimes shared my beer and even gave out baggies loaded with of my famous Mac & Cheese & Bacon casserole, topped with buttered croutons. Also, when I drove, I braked for all squirrels and most teens. I tipped well at Hooters, I didn’t chase after whatever it was that men chased after in my youth, and I never peed in the shower….on purpose. My philosophy…..if the glass is half empty, then the barkeeps pissed about the tip.

Charlie

How To Tell Your Wife When She’s Wrong

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The easiest way to tell your wife when she’s wrong, is in a secluded corner of your backyard where no one, especially she, can hear you. The repercussions can often be astounding! However, in the predawn era of our long marriage, I often analyzed Wifey’s missteps and pointed out her misjudgments and slipups. She was often respectfully silent during these orations as if she were mentally recording the event for future playback. I was never demeaning or disrespectful of her goof-ups, just ‘hard love’ honest.

Into the second decade of our married bliss, whenever I critiqued certain actions on her part, I was often required to give verbal evidence, in detail, of my conclusions as if I were standing before the Supreme Court of the land and all the justices were angry women with contagious menopause. Wifey started to become more and more confrontational with me during those times as if her good judgment seemed to be sucked into a swilling black hole in her cerebral cortex. As she plunged into her 50’s, whenever I would tell her she was wrong about anything, it was like mud wrestling with a shaved grizzly bear high on bovine hormones…..I didn’t stand a chance.

Nowadays, with several decades behind us, we now have an unspoken understanding that I keep my unwarranted criticisms to myself, and in the improbable event that she may be wrong, then it’s my fault for not intervening and preventing her judgmental debacle. On those occasions, I usually apologize for her mistake and promise not to let it happen again. All very confusing for an old guy my age, but makes perfect sense to her. Seems she’s always right, even about being wrong. That statement just hurt my brain.

All and all, before stepping forward to regulate her misjudgment on a matter, I will spend several days in deep meditation before doing so before comprehending how I will approach the matter, and by the time I do, she can’t remember the circumstance anyway and acts like I have vindictive dementia and reminds me to go take my meds. Fact is, Wifey’s blameless mind is a lot like a hotel bed….it gets changed all the time.

Charlie

 

 

THE YEAR 2050………

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Lately, I have found myself drifting off in bizarre thoughts and wonderment. At my antiquated age, I usually just ponder on developing issues such as bowel moments and sphagnum moss. But, during more temperate moments, I worry about our screwed up culture. Fact is, I’m not really sure how to define the American culture anymore, if there still is one. To start with, our old culture was spliced with that of several noble and ancient cultures. The Italians, Germans, Irish, English, French and Nordic. Later, this meld of ethnic solidarity was enhanced with that of the African, Hispanic and Asian influence. Sadly, a few of those cultures became fragmented with divisions of intemperate and even violent values.
But, times change and like politics, not always for the good. So, I squat and wonder what the U.S. will be like in 2050. Those that marry, if they still condone marriage then, will have little or no say in the raising of their offspring. The government and that circus we call the school system, will be supervising parents in the nurturing of their ‘standardize’ adolescent citizens. For everyone else, what you watch on TV, your computer and say on your phone, will be centrally stored for future application. All sophisticated phones and devices will simply be incorporated into a single hand held contraption that will forever lead you by the nose and do all the talking and thinking for you. You will no longer be burdened with writing and math skills. You tell your device what you want to say, and it will correct your slang and ignorant grammar and then transmit it to the designated party after censoring. The state bank will handle all your required math. Cars will be self driven. If you fail to pay a ticket, or there’s a warrant issued for your arrest, the car will automatically drive you to the police station where a kind, unarmed and priestly officer will process you and adjust your medications.
Race issues will still be complicated. Most races by then will be on the verge of interfusion. Each generation will have shared their genes with those of other races, and by the fourth generation, you won’t be able to figure out who’s what. There will most likely be the remnants of at least one displaced race that will still banter for reparation. But, as a whole, the culture will most likely be a magnificent race of beige colored, disadvantaged, and over medicated progressive drones who will all be part of a failing reality show. I’ll be dead by then, so I could give a shit.

Charlie

MY STUFF

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     You can’t always tell a book from it’s cover. It’s the dog eared and well worn pages that tell you the stories of life and all the events that were endured and conquered for happiness. The sad defeats, and the righteous victories and the wounds of the heart. It’s life told in both complex and simple chapters. As many heroes as villains, all accompanied with equal truths and lies. It is life, and well worth a blog or two.
      I have been amused my entire life with the paradox called life. I have also realized that I’m a seeker of truth, which is often clouded within the swirling vapors of politics, religion and corporate bullshit. My greatest joy has been writing. My books, stories, observations, rants and, on several occasions, nonsense! Through my writings, I hope to experience an epiphany of enlightenment and new found wisdom in my elder years, if not, I will most likely just open a stall at the local flea market and sell collectible lunch boxes and drink beer. But, I do hope you will take time and indulge yourself with one of my books, or maybe with one of my blogs. If you enjoy them, then I’m content. If they are not to your taste, well then just bite me. Thanks……Charlie

MY BOOKS  

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The Starlite Drive-in

      32ta0c900n4sgsm  It’s Friday night. Not just any night, but FRIDAY NIGHT!! Mom’s not cooking supper and we don’t care. It’s FRIDAY NIGHT!! My brother and I sit on the edge of the sofa and wait. It’s after 6:30 and we are waiting for Mom and Dad to get ready because it’s FRIDAY NIGHT!! Finally we hear the jingle of Dad’s key chain, which means we are in the final count down. Then those wonderful exhilarating words….”You boys ready?”…..Yes!!, because it’s FRIDAY NIGHT and that mean we’re going to the DRIVE-IN!!!!!!!

It’s 1956, I’m 9 and bro is 7. We already have our pajama’s on and the reason for the pajamas is by the time we get home tonight, Mom and Dad will have to carry our comatose butts into the house and put us into bed. We have to look both ways as we run out of the house in hopes the guys won’t see us in our pajamas. I’m still wearing my Roy Rogers pj’s from last year but, bro’s are so faded I can’t tell which cowboy it originally was from when they were mine two years ago.

We jump in Dad’s 1955 Desoto and patiently wait for the folks to get on the stick. “You boy’s pee?,” Mom asks.

“Yes ma’am.” we both lied because we knew if we went to take a leak, our folks would runn off and leave us behind. Then we pulled out into the street and begun our Friday night trip to the Starlite Drive-in! Now, it takes about 25 minutes to get there….that’s 4 hours in kid time. We both scan the terrain for landmarks as we travel. Our greatest fear is that Dad might have to pull over for gas and that might cause us to miss the cartoon feature! The sun is starting to set and that’s a bad sign. Bro is already beginning to whimper.

Finally! We can see the glowing road marquee with it’s million little flashing light bulbs. The cars are lined up to get in and once again we are seized with fear. As we slowly wait our turn to pull in we study the marquee. ‘THE BLOB’ staring Steve McQueen and “The Bad Seed” with Nancy Kelly. The second movie is when we’re suppose to fall asleep.

We finally pull up to the little ticket house and there we can smell the enchanting vapors of fresh popped popcorn. We get one box to share, but, that’s OK, cause the concession stand is waiting! Dad counts up eleven rows from the front and then drives mid way across the designated row and parks. He has figured out that this strategic location allows for the most optimum of viewing pleasure. Dad rolls down the window and ceremoniously brings in the sound icon called the ‘speaker’. He spends a few moments positioning the device and then carefully adjusts the sound mechanism. My Dad was a master of sonic perfection. Finally, it’s almost dark and Dad gets out to make a quick trip to the concession stand and restroom. “You boys need to pee?” Mom asks.

“No ma’am,” we lied because we had heard about the gypsies that hung around the restrooms. Just as the big screen begins it numeric countdown, Dad’s back with our provisions. Four hotdogs, two orders of fries, four sodas of various sizes and a box of Tootsie Rolls. We sit on the edge of our seat with hotdog in mouth, soda in hand, fries in lap and eyes mesmerized on the gigantic screen that has now exploded to life in bales of Technicolor with a Woody Woodpecker cartoon.

Much later, after “THE BLOB” was over, we used our empty soda cups to pee in and poured it out the window down the side of Dad’s car. We seldom ever remembered much about the second feature and, as routine would have it, the next thing we knew, we were waking up in bed Saturday morning.

The Starlite Drive-in will always hold a special place in my heart for all the wonderful movies and hotdogs I enjoyed there. A few years later the drive-in served me well as a writ of passive as I became a man in the back seat of my old ford, on row 30…..during the second feature.

HEAVEN AND HELL….THE FIRST REALITY SHOW??

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IS THERE A HEAVEN?
~The Firmament~

     I grew up believing there was a Heaven, as this was a requirement in the Southern Baptist church I attended as a teen. To me, Heaven was more of a mystery and consternation than even the story and outline of Creation in the book of Genesis. Heaven is mentioned, described, indicated, suggested and referenced to, dozens of times in the Bible, but what stands out the most is that Heaven is the dwelling place of God. His base of operation you might say. As you will read, I have no confirmation to any Heavenly facts, as I have had no communication with any of the spiritually evacuated. I’m not writing this to debate the existence of Heaven or any other visionary belief that was written about twenty centuries ago, but simple to ask a few gnawing questions that still seem to elude most ‘back home’ preachers. The concept of Heaven runs as a philosophical thread through most all world religions and I, for one, would embrace the belief once a few of my questions have been answered;

~When you go to Heaven, how old will you be when you get off the ’Glory Bus?’ Will you and your grand parents all be teenagers again or will everybody be their last age at the time of their rigor mortis?
~Seems a great many righteous folk have departed this world during our brief layover, so, is Heaven crowded and how effective was the inquisition?
~What services will be available to help us tract down departed friends and family or will we even care?
~Is there any landscaping or is it just cloudy everywhere?
~What will we do all day and every day……f-o-r-e-v-e-r?
~Pets? Where do we put the poop?
~Will we be able to talk or is it all choir stuff?
~Walk, float or beam around?
~Jogging suits or togas?
~Will there be turf issues between Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses and Protestants?
~Will only Hell have rap music?
~Will there be any Democrats?
~Celestial cable?
~Beer?

       I’ve had a little fun with one of man’s unresolved questions concerning his ‘here after’ and as a declaimer, in case I’ve offended anyone, I will offer this proactive apology; I’m truly sorry if I have appeared to have shown any disrespect or scoffing concerning any heartfelt and bewildering beliefs you may have and that it was not my intention to do so, as I respect all devout beliefs and ideologies…..with maybe the exception of those involving professional wrestling and reality shows.
                                        “Faith is believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

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IS THERE A HELL?
“Do You Have Reservations?”

     I wrote about Heaven, now I feel the necessity to flip the coin and relate my views about Hell….God’s outhouse. Naturally, I don’t want to commit my observations solely to just Heaven or Hell, as I have friends in both places, so I will simply offer my restrictive opinion to both, with Hell taking it‘s turn at bat. To start with, more people believe in a celestial Heaven, than they do in the noxious pits of Hades. The “Old Testament” mentions the word over 31 times, but the word or words were often translated from Hebrew words meaning pit, grave, abode of the dead and dark crevasse. In the “New Testament,” of the King James Version, Hell is translated from the Greek word “Hades” in 10 different places. The King James Version also uses the word “Hell” or “Hellfire” 12 times from the translated Greek word “Gehenna” which refers to a desolate pit where children were once sacrificed in the kingdom of eon. Seems no one could make up their minds about the logistics of the place, so the scribing monks pretty much tagged it as Hell and went to the next chapters.

     Well, so much for the lesson in linguistic anthropology. The fact is…..there is still a lot of head scratching about this all inclusive resort. We know it’s a bad place for your complexion and for evil people and educated atheist. There is, of course, a long list of qualified applicants, from unreformed dick-headed socialist to serial killing crack-hoes. Politicians and lawyers occupy most of the best real estate there, located by scenic lava flows and pus fountains. Dignitaries abound, such as Enron’s Kenneth Lay serving as grand marshal in the annual “Das Führer Day” parade. The long lines of ‘robed’ pedophiles awaiting their turn at the sacred alter of the Castratum Vegematicum, and currently a mosquito filled sauna is being prepared for the arrival of Craig Gilbert, the creator of the first TV reality show. Yes, there are many more purged souls in it’s confines and I imagine there’ll be crowd control issues once the last of the old hippies take that final toke as they trip into mellow oblivion.

     The Devil…..Many have a strange visualization of what the Godfather of Hell looks like. Some see him as a sweltering giant of crimson sludge with blazing coals for eyes and with massive horns spearing meters into the air. His fiery breath flambéing the flesh off your bones as he bellows at you. I think, in true reality, that the devil looks more like Richard Simmons on steroids. Jumping from one outcrop to another, rocking to the oldies like Splish Splash or Flying Purple People Eaters. His little short horns, flaming afro and bouncing man-breast. Scary.

     One last point….God does tend to his children, be they heathen or Saint. The best example is whenever cannibals are on the brink of starvation, Heaven, in it’s infinite mercy, will always send them a plump missionary. One misconception I hear too often is that marriage is really Hell and, of course, in some rare occasions even Heaven. Through my many years of observing married friends, reality shows and acquaintances, I have found that marriage is more often a purgatory for many with Hell being a welcomed recess.