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Mind Over Matter

salesman-b-gone

We've just moved into a nice older neighborhood, replete with yard work and Aunt Bea types bringing over hand-canned goodies and us jawing with the neighbors over the fence about ... well, neighborly stuff really. In sum, it's a throwback to the 50's sans hula hoops and poodle skirts, and I for one am fine with it.

But every Andrew Wyeth painting has its detractors, and we have 'em here as salesmen. The door-to-door type. You've seen them, I know: toothy denizens with wide flappy clothes and dodgy products and a "tell-ya-what-I'm-gonna-do" line of blather dripping from their livery lips in volume enough to fill the stakebed of a '72 Chevy pickup.

Having been trained in the frontal attack, these guys are usually as hard to get rid of as the last of the summer zucchini, but I think I've found the way. Whenever one of those cornfed yahoos shows up at my door, unannounced and with cheapjack gizmo in sweaty hand, I grin hugely and tell them "I'd love to hear what you have to say, but first let me tell you something!"

Then I grab the nearest hardcover book I have handy, flip it open to any page, and begin regaling the hawkshaw big stories about Elder Kragon, a large-domed, gray-skinned creature who hails from the planet Abraxas, and who also has a wonderful plan for we Earthlings soon-to-be-vacated corporeal bodies.

I give it to him loud, long, and with plenty of outlandish facial expressions. At the end of each sentence I bug my eyes really big and bellow the words "in accordance with the prophecy!!" Within ninety seconds--sometimes less--the fellow is a streak of fading dust.

Failing that, of course, I just shoot him where he stands. Read More 
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wups

Been thinking about movies, good movies, and Alien crossed my mind (on scrabbling little insectile feet, too). I’ll admit I tricked my wife into seeing it. The date was May 26, 1979, our sixth wedding anniversary, and she wanted to see The Champ (a Jon Voight/Ricky Schroeder boxing weeper wherein the hero croaks at the end). Yes, I spoiled it for you. No, I’m not sorry.

“No, hon,” says I. “It’ll just depress you. Let’s go see Alien. It’s supposed to be a really neat sci-fi picture.” Of course I knew it was a horror movie, but I was a selfish cad, and didn’t feel like spending good money on tickets and Raisenettes only to view a weeping li’l Ricky hanging on his dad’s dying neck at the film’s end. I’ll take "blow your brains out" for a hundred, Alex. Uh, no.

So instead we watched John Hurt get his chest blasted open from within and Tom Skerrit and the rest of the crew come to grisly ends in the ship’s air ducts and Sigourney Weaver and Jonesy the cat barely make out of the doomed Nostromo with their skins intact.

Helluva good flick.

Helluva bad evening when we got home. Read More 
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darn fine eatin'

Nothing much heavy today. Admittedly the purpose of this post is a fun test to see if anyone out there is reading this silly thing. So here it is: food. And not just any food either. We all know the (supposed) benefits of a healthy diet, a diet high in fiber and low in cholesterol. I'm told such fare will make one virile and handsome and able to lift the front end of a Ford Explorer one-handed. Yippee. Let us leave such people to their grazing. No, what I'm talking about is a bit more ... elemental. Earthy. Sensual. Specifically, junk food.

What constitutes junk food? Is it comestibles that are, by definition, bad for your health? Sure, that helps, but not necessarily. For instance, I grew up in the South. For years I daily ate such yummy stuff as country ham (containing salt content on par with the Dead Sea), green beans with fatback, cathead biscuits, fried corn, spoonbread, chocolate pie, iced tea so strong and sweet a feller could chop a cord of wood after just a glass ... all manner of things that I'm sure would cause Richard Simmons to roll over in his grave (he is dead, isn't he?). And then in my college days my standard favorite dish, owing to extreme poverty (not to mention congenital bad taste) consisted of cheap Winn-Dixie chili mounded on top of cooked Minute Rice, the whole mess heated in a Mirro popcorn popper and washed down by a big glass of grape Tang. Even now my mouth waters.

But I've grown, I think; I know my waistline has. Today my favorites include varied fare such as chili dogs, Vienna sausage out of a can (don't wipe the jelly off; it's good), bags of beef jerky (or if I'm flush, kippered beef strips), salted peanuts in the shell, boiled eggs, and Breyer's Mint Chocolate Chip ice cream with Magic Shell on top. Yowza. As the thread title says, darn fine eatin'.

So what say you all? Anybody like to tell what your secret bad foods are? Come on, spill. We're all friends here. Far be it from me to tell your wife... Read More 
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