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Never Plan Revenge

November 23, 2017 1 comment

I love revenge. I love the release of stress over what’s been done against me when I am able to get even. However, I would never plan or set up a situation to get revenge. I wait until an opportunity falls into my lap. I’m not talking about big, dangerous acts of vengeance; I’m talking about small things that cause me a loss or a humiliation. I won’t bring bad karma on myself by engineering an act of revenge.

It comes to mind a situation many years ago, when we were high school kids. There’s a neighbourhood park where we’d all gather on warm summer evenings to talk, laugh, and make dates with girls who always joined us in the park. Two girls from a wealthier neighbourhood were often there; one was named Judy and the other was Barbara.

I was hoping to date Judy, a slender blond girl. I was chatting with Judy when the rumble of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle came up the street and into the park. It was Marv Morton, who I knew from school. He was from the other side of the tracks, so to speak… the working class district. I was from the upper middle class neighbourhood, and the two girls came from the really rich neighbourhood on the other side of the main street.

Marv rolled up on the mint-green bike, and the girls left me and went to ogle the Harley. I was sitting alone then. I saw Judy climb onto the motorcycle behind Marvin and the pair rolled away to the rumble of that big engine. Barbara came over to me and we talked a while. But it was Judy that I wanted. I soon went home, as did Barbara.

About ten years later, I pulled up in front of my office building in my new, silver Oldsmobile rocket 88 hardtop. A guy in a postal uniform was on the sidewalk, emptying all the business mail out of one of those green collection boxes where mailmen pick up the mail for their route. I recognized him as I stepped out of my car.

“Hi Marv,” I said. He looked up, saw my suit, saw my big car, and with obvious embarrassment, he took his heavy, loaded mail sack and slung it onto his shoulder. He nodded at me in silence and trudged away to go door to door with the mail.

That was all I needed to get my revenge. I did nothing to set it up, but just as Marv had bested me with his motorcycle in the past, I bested him by being a business executive with a nice car while he was a basic hourly worker. I felt fine.

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Symbiotic Sex

November 21, 2017 Leave a comment

We have seen videos of sharks swimming along with a gaggle of smaller fish eagerly eating bits left in the shark’s teeth. The shark keeps its mouth is open so the tooth-pickers can do the job it needs done. It’s symbiotic: the shark gets its teeth cleaned, the smaller fish get fed and not eaten. They are parasites that are welcomed by the ones that need their help.

I believe symbiotic sex happens regularly in human society. Imagine Eileen, an attractive office manager enters a quiet pub at the end of a punishing Friday at work. The whole week was a misery, not only because of the office problems, but Charles had dumped her six weeks ago. She was badly hurt by the breakup. The apartment now felt dark and empty. Charles’ closet was empty, his chess set was gone, and Eileen is painfully lonely and longing to be held closely and gently.

Eileen expects to meet some of her co-workers for an end-of-week winding down. She looked around over the tables and along the bar stools. Her friends were not yet there. As she searched, her eyes met the eyes of a man who sat at the bar. He started to smile but she turned away too quickly to see it. It was one of those situations when there is a strong emotion in an instant, with no logical reason why.

Eileen strode through the busy tables to an unoccupied table near the back of the room. She sat with her back to the wall so she could see the entrance when her friends arrived. The man with the eyes was no longer at the bar, and Eileen shook off the uncomfortable feeling he’d given her. She checked her phone for messages and learned that her friends decided they were too tired to join her and headed home.

Suddenly, the man with the eyes stood at her side, looking down at her. He appeared to be seven feet tall in a crisp, conservative suit.

“May I join you?” he said. The words rolled out smoothly and deeply.

“I-I’m expecting friends,” she lied. He sat down opposite her.

“I’ll leave when they get here. My name is Roland O’Donnell.” He extended his hand. Eileen hesitated, and then put her hand in his. His was warm, dry, and steady; Eileen feared that hers might be limp and damp. Roland made Eileen feel vulnerable.

“Do you work around here?” said Roland.

“Yes. Just around the corner.”

“I work upstairs in this building. Are you hungry? Would you like to get something to eat?” said Roland.

They went together in Roland’s car to a small, obscure Chinese restaurant on a narrow lane off a wide thoroughfare. They shared their sad stories of lonesomeness and heartbreak.

Their meal complete, their stories shared, Roland drove Eileen home. She invited him in for a nightcap.

In the morning, she made breakfast for Roland and herself. They chatted amiably, and when Roland left, they thanked each other for satisfying their mutual needs.

My First Steady Girlfriend

November 15, 2017 Leave a comment

I hope the teenagers of today have some of the fun we had in the 1950s. I can’t call our group a gang, because the word gang has come to denote troubled youths. We were a middle class group of friends that met at high school and at occasional school dances.

I don’t remember how I got to be coupled with Rochelle Schwartz. She was not the prettiest girl in the bunch, but she was pretty enough and had a nice figure. She was a good girl, as most were in the fifties. It was the era of flared felt skirts supported beneath by something called crinolines. We were steadies for a few years, during which we were never intimate. We were only about 15 years old, and light petting was the maximum among the ‘nice’ kids.

Rochelle was often known as ‘Schwartzie’, because there was another Rochelle in the group, Rochelle Zon. Zon told me, when she was 13, that she was going to be a doctor. She was a petite, pretty girl and yes, she became a successful doctor. Schwartzie played the piano and she won several talent contests, and later became a piano teacher.

Some of the most enjoyable times in my life, I shared with Schwartzie. For one thing, I was too young to drive, so we went on dates to movies or house parties on public transportation. Schwartzie’s father ran a small smoke shop. That’s what they were called before ‘convenience stores’ came to be. Her family lived upstairs from the store, and streetcar tracks ran by the front.

I lived in an upper-middle class neighbourhood about 20 blocks away, so I took the bus and streetcar to pick Rochelle up for a Friday night movie date. It was fun to meet her Dad in the store, then take Rochelle out the front of the store and board the tram together and have our evening out. Even when Rochelle was baby-sitting to earn money, I sat with her. Television had not happened yet, so we talked a lot, did homework, and just enjoyed being together – without sex.

Coming home after a party, dance, movie or babysitting was always fun. We’d get off the tram and she’d take me into the store, in dark after hours. We’d cuddle and kiss goodnight in the store, and I’d choose a car magazine off the rack and leave. I heard Rochelle married an accountant and moved to a small city a few hours away. Ours was an enjoyable relationship from beginning to end. I met her son recently. He was boldly gay, and almost identical to his mother in movements and speech.

Men are childish, women are women.

November 6, 2017 Leave a comment

There’s a big deal on television. It’s called the Super Bowl. It gathers a vast amount of attention and costs people a vast amount of money. It doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl is meaningless, yet a great deal of false meaning has been injected into it. Fanatics pay thousands of dollars for seats that are worth thirty bucks. They could even watch it for no charge, in their own homes, with their own snacks and get a better view to boot.

Any sort of fanaticism is not a good idea. Things like Nazism, Aryan Brotherhood, Super Bowl and so on. This obviously doesn’t include harmless fan preferences like fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Harrison Ford, Dolly Parton and so on. Not all Super Bowl fans are childish and some women do as some men do for the big game.

Although some people paint their faces and even their bodies in the colours of their preferred team, it is childish. It’s fun, it’s troublesome and it’s childish. There are women who cook and serve special snacks to be consumed during the game. It is a game, remember. It’s only a game that for some reason commands great attention and much money.

Well, not for some reason – for the reason that it’s a business enterprise. The people that own the teams, the stadium and the series of games, spend much money to hype up the interest in their business. Fanatical fans should remember that it is not really a game, as in a game people play for pleasure like bowling and poker. It is somebody’s business. The painted faces and heaps of snacks are all in celebration of someone’s very successful business promotion.

We all know that men are childish. It’s true that little boys grow up to be big boys with big toys. It’s true that little girls grow up to be women, and they take care of life more properly than do men. We have to mention that while men behave childishly, women also have their oddities.

Women prepare their faces like painting on a canvas. Black lengthening material is applied to lashes. Colour is applied to upper lids, sometimes with sparkles in it. Dark lines are drawn around the eyes and beyond their corners. Skin is enhanced with skin coloured crème. Lips are enhanced with colour, sometimes two shades on one lip. Cheek bones are accentuated with highlights and shadows carefully applied. Breasts are usually prominent when the woman is proud of them.

There’s not room for all the hair and body enhancements to be described, so we’ll end here… except to say that women are odd too and should willingly forgive men for loving their trucks and painting their faces to show their fanaticism.

Why I Started Smoking

November 4, 2017 Leave a comment

In the summer, we had a little cave-like hollow in a ravine across the street. Our little hollow was deeply hidden by thick bushes. We tried to smoke cigars of dried oak leaves that we rolled. They were foul, and wouldn’t burn.

One year in shop, I made a bow and bought some arrows. Down in the ravine, in the dry summer grass, Dave and I tried to figure out how to shoot an arrow properly. On one of my shots, I pulled the string as far as I could and let go. I stumbled as I let it fly, and wasn’t sure where it went.

An old garage stood on the edge of the ravine. Some earth had crumbled and slid down from the garage and left a corner jutting out in the air. While looking for my arrow, we wandered around in the grass near the exposed corner. I glanced into the open hole at the bottom of the garage and saw a printed box. I pulled it out.

It was a carton of 20 packs of Lucky Strike cigarettes. I looked up through the opening and saw that the garage was full from wall to wall with thousands of cartons of cigarettes. Smuggled cigarettes, I realized when I noticed that the tax stamp on the top of each pack was American. They were cigarettes from the USA about which Canada customs and excise knew nothing.

We took a few cartons of Luckies and a few cartons of Camels. We hid them in a variety of places, and fetched them, a pack at a time, when we wanted them. We smoked them, and enjoyed them. Non-filtered, strong burley tobacco typical of USA brands of that era had us hooked in no time. I continued to smoke the American brands until I quit. I had been a smoker for 40 years. I haven’t touched tobacco since that day in July, 1992.

I was sitting in my car at a red light in the heart of the city. While waiting, I was enjoying looking at a tall, beautiful woman standing on the corner, waiting for the green light as was I. As I admired her, her hand that I had not seen came up and put a lit cigarette to her lips.

She sucked at it eagerly, and then frenetically flicked her fingers on the smoldering cigarette to drop the ash. She became completely unattractive at that moment. I thought perhaps that I looked like that kind of weak fool. At that moment, the car radio announcer said, “It’s quit smoking week, folks, so let’s do it!”

I had three Camels in the pack in my shirt pocket. I wrapped the pack tightly closed with an elastic band and threw it into my briefcase. I never smoked tobacco again.

In The Dark When It’s Quiet

November 1, 2017 Leave a comment

If not for the pieces of moonlight that filtered through the overhead foliage, Percy would not be able to see the walking path through the suburban forest. He had just hopped off a train a few hours ago and set about finding a place to sleep. He saw the forested park when he emerged from an older residential neighbourhood.

Percy turned off the path and pushed through some foliage until he came to a smooth place among the tree roots. The ground was covered with leaves from previous seasons and made a soft, dry mattress. He shrugged off his backpack and laid out his sleeping bag. The night was warm and clear, so he didn’t need any more shelter.

He lay back on his sleeping bag and just looked at the sky. Most stars were obliterated by the glow of the moon, but many were visible close to the horizon.  Percy reached into his backpack and fished out a sandwich and a bottle of water. While he sat on the ground snacking, he heard footfalls coming on the path. He saw to people jogging by. He knew from their voices as they chatted that one was a man and the other a woman.

A short time later, another jogger passed. Percy assumed it was a man because of his size. Every minute or so, a jogger passed. He lay down in his sleeping bag and set himself to sleep. Sleep eluded him as he found himself lying awake listening for joggers. He wondered how much time had passed. It seemed to him that it must be past midnight. He heard another jogger approaching and he climbed out of the sleeping bag and stood up to see over the bush behind which he’d been lying.

The jogger was a slender young woman. As Percy stepped over the bush he startled the woman. She reacted instantly, jumped back and pulled out a nine millimeter Remington automatic and shot him in the face. He just wanted to ask the time.

Men are childish, women are women

October 30, 2017 Leave a comment

There’s a big deal on television. It’s called the Super Bowl. It gathers a vast amount of attention and costs people a vast amount of money. It doesn’t mean anything. The Super Bowl is meaningless, yet a great deal of false meaning has been injected into it. Fanatics pay thousands of dollars for seats that are worth thirty bucks. They could even watch it for no charge, in their own homes, with their own snacks and get a better view to boot.

Any sort of fanaticism is not a good idea. Things like Nazism, Aryan Brotherhood, Super Bowl and so on. This obviously doesn’t include harmless fan preferences like fans of Bruce Springsteen, The Beatles, Harrison Ford, Dolly Parton and so on. Not all Super Bowl fans are childish and some women do as some men do for the big game.

Although some people paint their faces and even their bodies in the colours of their preferred team, it is childish. It’s fun, it’s troublesome and it’s childish. There are women who cook and serve special snacks to be consumed during the game. It is a game, remember. It’s only a game that for some reason commands great attention and much money.

Well, not for some reason – for the reason that it’s a business enterprise. The people that own the teams, the stadium and the series of games, spend much money to hype up the interest in their business. Fanatical fans should remember that it is not really a game, as in a game people play for pleasure like bowling and poker. It is somebody’s business. The painted faces and heaps of snacks are all in celebration of someone’s very successful business promotion.

We all know that men are childish. It’s true that little boys grow up to be big boys with big toys. It’s true that little girls grow up to be women, and they take care of life more properly than do men. We have to mention that while men behave childishly, women also have their oddities.

Women prepare their faces like painting on a canvas. Black lengthening material is applied to lashes. Colour is applied to upper lids, sometimes with sparkles in it. Dark lines are drawn around the eyes and beyond their corners. Skin is enhanced with skin coloured crème. Lips are enhanced with colour, sometimes two shades on one lip. Cheek bones are accentuated with highlights and shadows carefully applied.

There’s not room for all the hair and body enhancements to be described, so we’ll end here… except to say that women are odd too and should willingly forgive men for loving their trucks and painting their faces to show their fanaticism.