Sunday, November 29, 2015

From The Beloved Dale Thankyounote


[found in Potomac Yard of the Richmond, Fredericksburg and Potomac Railway, scrawled on a sheet of plywood in the traditional hobo hieroglyphs (eastern dialect) - unearthed during construction of Metro's Blue and Yellow lines in 1976]

Dear Niles Butterbal, The Frozen Turkey,

I thought a note was in order. Hopefully, this one finds you well and happy.

Ol' Barb and I had a lovely time with you and your crew on Thanksgiving, and we are immensely thankful, not only for your hospitality and the wonderful day, but for your invaluable friendship. Your very presence in our difficult lives is one of our most precious blessings.

We thoroughly enjoyed the aspic made from coagulated crabgrass oil, lint, and peanut shells, and your decorations of dead leaves and squirrel skins was second to none.

I especially appreciated the hobo wine. Its foundation was solidly buttery, but its subtle notes of dandelion, hat sweat and lint, hovering just above a subtext of creosote and cinder gave it a complexity that few road brews can claim. Sure, Ol' Barb thought it tasted like a dog poo salad baked in the Texas heat for two days before being strained through a used birthing cloth into a week-old diaper - but she thinks everything tastes like that, so don't pay her no mind. I thought it was yummy.

We were also impressed by your holiday attire - newspaper top hat and tails, burlap gown - not to mention pants! And shoes! So fancy. I know you said it was no big thing, but please accept, once more, my apologies for our appearance. In Virginia, tar is considered clothing. We'll do better, next year - if you'll have us.

As for the meal itself, what can I say? The pigeon was roasted perfectly, and the doghouse straw and sludge added a distinctive pungency that words cannot adequately describe. The mashed dirt was smooth as can be, and the sour pus, human bacon and wild onion grass topping was criminally-delicious. So salty and alive!

Your incessant insults and utter failure to miss a single, solitary opportunity to contradict, correct, or otherwise reprimand or publicly shame us were really just icing on the cake.  We can't wait to see you again, in our camp, for Christmas.

Thanks again!

Love, The Beloved Dale Thankyounote, and Ol' Barb

Prompted, once again, by my buds at STUDIO 30-PLUS, this was in keeping with the theme of "Thankful."


Saturday, November 21, 2015

That Thankfulness Thing - Attack Of The 2015 Edition

Oh yea, oh yea, oh yea - The Court of Thankfulness is now in session and will come to order. Honorable Justice 2015 will preside. For your reading pleasure-- I SAID SIT DOWN.  Thank you.  Now, for your reading pleasure, here are no fewer than thirty (30) things for which the writer hereby declares he is thankful - and you, dear gentles, should be well-grateful that some of them are very, very brief in their depiction. (way more brief than 2012, 2013, and 2014)

To wit:

  1. Baby bear Bei Bei, at the National Zoo. He is a treasure, and [Maris] and I cannot WAIT to meet him.
    Mei and Bei, November 2015.
  2. Another MLB playoffs without atlanta and with almost no yankees.
  3. Halloween - and its d├ęcor. 
  4. Celebrating five years at the Humane Society of the United States. This is my longest tenure at a job since I left Erol's Video in 1992. I know!
  5. Our neighbors - the ones whose first dogs ever are pit bulls (poor dogs) - have packed up what we assume is their meth lab and (hopefully) moved away. Now, the wishing for good renters to replace them begins...
  6. We and our loved ones have not been the victims of a terrorist attack. Yet.
  7. [Maris] hit five years, too!
  8. My brother's 20-game plan at Nats Park. Love that Section 405 - close enough to Ben's Chili Bowl, and right next door to the Dogfish Head beer tap.
  9. Legs. Yes, again. Also, not objectifying women.
  10. Lionel trains. It's about time. Only been playing with them since about 1975.
  11. My father-in-law. He left us this year, rather abruptly, and we all miss him, but are thankful to have known him.
  12. Bryce freakin' Harper. Youngest man ever to win a unanimous MVP vote. Maybe not an easy guy to like, but we love him nonetheless.
  13. Black-footed ferrets. More on these little cuties later, if my book ever makes its way beyond the walls of my house...
    ...but which one is Bingo?
  14. Finding out that the young lady to whom I was assigned as "spiritual steward" has turned out to be utterly secular. My work here is done.
  15. My first year since 2008 without a novel to show for it. Wait. No. Not good. Not sure I'm thankful for that.
  16. This Mortal Coil. Such moody music. (nostalgic sigh)
  17. Marriage equality. Because really, who F-ing cares if everyone has the same rights? Oh wait - we all do (should).
  18. Richard Blade. Best DJ since Weasel.
  19. The littlest of my 8 nieces and nephews. Cuz she's just so darn cute!
  20. The return of Bloom County. I cannot begin to express my gratitude for Berkeley Breathed's comeback, and my relief at finding that reconnecting with his world has been effortless, like picking up a 20-years-dormant conversation with an old friend.
    (c) 2015 Berkeley Breathed - used without permission.
  21. Dame Judi Dench. (swoon)
  22. While we're at it - Bill Nighy. (equal and opposite swoon)
  23. The fact that Bubba still talks to me from his grave in the backyard, and that his answer to "how are you" is always, "still dead!" See also: Bubba Drives Away
  24. Smart phones. When they work, they represent more power and connectivity than even the flying cars people promised us - right there in our pockets!
  25. Bubbles, because bubbles.
  26. 10-Cane rum. May it rest in peace - or better still, come back to life. (Moment of silence)
    In memory of the finest of the sugar cane rums. Our mojitos will never be the same.
  27. Attacks of the galloping dumbs, especially when they strike my entire country at once. We're experiencing one right now, and hoo boy, is it ever super-fun!
  28. [Maris]. Words fail.
  29. Writing. Not everyone can do it. Fewer still can do it at all well. Apparently, I has write good. Food for (my) thought...
  30. White noise. Oh, woe unto those around me, should I ever lose my white noise.

This post features double-barrel inclusions of the current Studio30Plus prompt, "Attack." Please check out some of my long-lost bloggy brethren (and sistren) and their bits of written cleverness and mirth!