Baboon Pirates

Scribbles and Scrawls from an unrepentant swashbuckling primate.

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Location: Texas, United States

Monday, December 31, 2007

A Final Xmas Carol...

Cute Or Creepy? You Decide!!

This pic was on that LOLCats site a few days ago... I just kept going back and giggling at it, so I thought I might as well share the joy...

How someone managed to get 9 baby possums in a wooden bin, I'll never know...

Bedbugs Attack New York City!!

The Real 'Cloverfield' Monsters!

Just saw this in tha nooze:
A bedbug epidemic has exploded in every corner of New York City - striking even upper East Side luxury apartments owned by Gov. Spitzer's father, the Daily News has learned.

The blood-sucking nocturnal creatures have infested a Park Ave. penthouse, an artist's colony in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a $25 million Central Park West duplex and a theater on Broadway, according to victims, exterminators and elected officials.

Once linked to flophouses and fleabags, bedbug outbreaks victimize the rich and poor alike and are spreading panic in some of the city's hottest neighborhoods.

Yowzers! I got hit by bugs, but they were the microscopic bacterial kind. They didn't come marching up the ol' comforter and yell "Hey! I need about tree-fiddy!" as I lay in bed!!

The Brooklyn Jooette oughta love this next bit:
The scourge has left no section of the city untouched: Complaints and enforcement actions soared in 57 of the 59 community boards.

In the most bedbug-riddled district (...Brooklyn...), HPD issued 172 violations this year, up from four in 2004; it responded to 476 complaints, up from 47.

Erica, dear heart... I hope you know this means we'll have to carry cans of Raid to the next blogmeet you attend. That, or make arrangements at the local sheep-dip facility... Nothing personal. We'll probably hose down Jimbo, too, just to be on the safe side... ;-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

It's Not The Mumps!!

I'm Actually Storing Roasted Chestnuts In My Cheeks...

Back from the doctor's office. Last visit for a while, I hope. I went in on a 'standby' appointment, meaning that I sat there in the waiting room for hours in hopes that someone would cancel a scheduled appointment. Fortunately, after 2.5 hours, someone did.

Doc (my regular internist) confirmed the ER's diagnosis of a staph infection running apeshit through my lower face. I questioned my ability to get such a nasty mess via a shaving cut, but that might well have been the cause. Runner-up cause was bacteria infiltrating through my gumline around a chipped molar... Floss & use mouthwash, kiddies!

So, no mumps, and I can come out of the quarantine tent now that my vacation's almost over. Yay!

I got a scrip for some Area-51 grade antibacterial bodywash and some other pills and topical gooey stuff. Hope this stuff smells better than that awful Buckley's crap, or my remaining social life will wither away completely...

Thanks for all the well-wishes! They really help keep me from dialing the pour-spout on the bourbon bottle to "Utter Despair"!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bed Rest & Lots Of Fluids!

Where's My #$#%&*#@ Chicken Soup??

Oh, man... I am really tired of Gatorade & hot tea. It seems I'm drinking a gallon an hour, but my lips are chapped, and my fingers are all wrinkly from fluid loss/dehydration. Color me confused. Can you lose that much fluid via phlegm?

The swelling under my jaw has mostly disappeared, as has the fever. I'll still get a spike just over 100F once a day or so, but I'm hoping I'm on the downhill curve of this thing.

I just want to go get a big bloody steak and chili/cheese/onion enchiladas. Four days of bland food (and not much of it) has got me a bit grouchy.

Oh, if you ever decide to make yourself the excellent cough & cold remedy of sour mash whiskey, honey, lemon & hot water, MODERATION IS KEY!! I thought I was having a relapse last night. Turns out it was just the big ol' 32 oz mug (with about 5 oz of Mr. Daniels) that was having its way with my balance & perception!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

O Come, All Ye Plagueful!

A Holiday Journey Through Emergency Rooms...

There's just something about me & vacations...

When the time comes to have a little break from work and relax with friends & family, I'm either deathly ill, get blindsided by financial woes, am besieged by inclement weather, have a car explode under me, or (usually) a combination of all of the above.

I'm not griping. Hell, I'm long past griping about it. Now I'm just trying to come to terms with it. Y'know, embrace your misfortune and make it your own, that sort of thing. Schedule vacations to leper colonies, maybe. Relax by driving in a Destruction Derby. Hang out by the highway onramp for a week with a sign saying "Will Blog for spare change".

This week off at Xmastime was interrupted by the sudden and freakish swelling of my neck & jawline. I'd already been fighting my way through a sinus & chest infection, and a battalion of the Evil Ooze germs took a shortcut via my lymph nodes or salivary glands, and set up shop inside my jawline glands.

At first it was barely noticeable, just a little tenderness, but in spite of my ingestion twice a day of antibiotic pills the size of a lady's Timex, the Ooze grewz.

Suddenly, I was wearing some big puffy cheeks, and looking a lot like Don Vito Corleone. This was amusing in its own way. I spent half a day making the cats offers they couldn't refuse, and cursing the Evil Don Emilio Bacteria.

Trouble was, the fever was growing along with my jawline. I kept dosing myself with alternate doses of Aleve & Motrin, and it leveled off at 102 degrees. The cheeks even deflated a little. I'd had swollen lymph nodes in the past, though never this severe. Usually, they just need time to clean themselves out.

Then something under my jaw REALLY went south. Imagine cutting a piece of kielbasa, heating it to 102F, then jamming an 8 inch length of it under the skin of your neck right beneath your jaw. That's what this thing feels like.

Mom suggested it might be mumps, which was worrisome. That's one of those maladies grown men don't need to get, lest it migrate to your 'nads and turn them into functionless crotch ornaments.

So, off to the Doc in the Box aka the Urgent Care Center. Nearest one on my health plan was 15 miles off in Katy, TX. Off I went.

BIG waste of time & money. After a $50 copay and 4 hours of wait time, their response was "Um, it's either inflamed salivary glands, lymph nodes, or mumps. We dunno. Go to the ER."

Gee, thanks... I knew that much coming in here...

Off to the ER. The Urgent Care squad wanted me to stay out in a Katy ER, so much so they implied they wouldn't give me a referral to my local hospital. "We're concerned about you driving back into the city!" I made it here, didn't I? Gimme the referral, Ace.

I was into a room at my local ER within 5 minutes of arriving. At three times the co-pay, I guess that's only fair.

More long hours in the ER spent poking, prodding, Xraying, testing, etc., and at the end they're not quite sure what it is, but I've got no fever & a strong white blood cell count, so they juice me up with giant syringe-loads of anti-bug juice and send me home for Xmas. I thought that was right neighborly of them!

And here I sit, at least until Friday, drinking lots of fluids and avoiding others lest I carry a travelling neck-swell-up-ing bug.

So, Merry Christmas to all of you from me and my huge swollen neck!

Friday, December 21, 2007

Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures

Using 'Scorched Earth' Tactics Down My Throat

In an effort to derail the cough/congestion/phlegm-fountain malady that's threatening to take up residence in my bronchial tubes and sinuses for the next 8-12 weeks, I've been mainlining the meds and getting as much fluids and vitamins as I can.

Trouble is, this crap's tenacious, and fights dirty. I was already on antibiotics, and quick applications of Mucinex and zinc lozenges seemed to gain me some early ground.

Alas, the nasty glopmonster fought back with dried out sinuses, where dessicated capillaries rupture & form lovely nosebleeds whenever I cough too hard (about 3x per day). Also, there's now a post-nasal drip mucosal landing zone right atop my gag-reflex trigger point in the back of my throat, causing me to spend most mornings hawking up snot while desperately trying to avoid tossing my cookies on the bathroom floor.

I'm getting maybe two hours sleep a night from all the coughing. It had to stop, and stop quickly.

So, enter the 800 lb. gorilla of the cough suppressant choices.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you... Buckley's Cough Mixture!

Here's the ingredients...

Ammonium Carbonate
Potassium Bicarbonate
Canada Balsam
Pine Needle Oil
Sodium Butylparaben
Sodium Cyclamate
Sodium Propylparaben
Tincture of Capsicum

You might have seen their ads, where a blindfolded taste-tester can't decide whether Buckley's or the contents of a public restroom floor puddle tastes better. Here's a quote from one of their radio ads:
"If you are inquiring about your cough mixture tasting like expired milk, trash-bag leakage, a postpedicure foot bath, a state fair porta-potty, decomposing meat fat, monkey sweat, used denture soak, New Jersey, or hippie-festival runoff, please hang up. Your cough will be gone shortly."

This company positively REVELS in how bad their product tastes!

And how does it taste?

You have NO idea... Let me see if I can come close to the true Buckley's experience...

Take a bottle of Pine-Sol, and pour most of it out. Fill it to the top with hot foamy urine from a horse with a chronic bladder infection that's been eating asparagus. Take the bottle and pour it out on the bathroom floor of a sleazy stripjoint. Scatter around a box of mothballs and several ashtrays worth of Kool and Salem cigarette butts. Make a broom out of pine needles and wood glue and use it to scrub the floor until the mothballs are mostly dissolved in the floor liquids. Burn the broom afterwards and sprinkle the ashes onto the floor.

Mop it all up, strain out the ciggie butts and small crawly things, bottle, and sell as a cough remedy.

THAT is how bad this shit tastes. The cure actually seems worse than the disease.

It does seem to slow the cough, though! I think it's because your body fears the re-introduction of more Buckley's mixture...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Baby Seal Says "Stay Home!"

No Nightclubs For You!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

It Is Accomplished...

Now It's Up To The Postal Service. Bwahahaaaa!!

Finally got the last Xmas card addressed & sealed up. Due to my emergent plague-like condition, I didn't want to be licking envelopes, and it's very hard to find a stand-in envelope-licker. So, we went the Scotch tape route. Hope they get there intact!

Had a grand total of TWO (yep, just two) people offer up their addresses so I could send 'em a Xmas card, and one of those was already on the list from last year. So for the rest of you regular visitors that found emailing just too onerous a task, all I can say is... CLEAN THE GRINCH OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM!!!

I think they make special creams for that...

Posting will be sporadic for the next week or so. When I get out of work on Friday I'm off on vacation until Jan 2nd. Should be relaxing, I hope.

More later...


There Is No Justice In The World...

Remember in the film 'The Princess Bride' how the Man In Black let loose with the Sound Of Ultimate Suffering?

I make that sound today...

Williams Smokehouse, the home of Houston's best BBQ ribs, burned to the ground yesterday. Adding to the tragedy is the decision of Willie Williams to not rebuild, meaning that thousands upon thousands of dedicated BBQ lovers will never again taste his oak-smoked ribs.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to go dress in sackcloth and pour ashes on my head by way of mourning...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Fury Of The Felines

Can Anyone Loan Me Some Canned Tuna???

The store was out of Betsy Cat & Pookie Cat's usual brand of kitty kibble, and instead of going to another store, I got another brand.

NOT a good idea...

Aside from the constant yowling and staying underfoot, I fear there's something else going on!

Gore Knows More Than You...

Funny, I'm Almost Certain He Majored In English, Not Climatology!

Amazing how far you can go with a Powerpoint slideshow and a Gulfstream IV jet...

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Surrounded By Gibbons

Monkey Business From Long Ago

There was a discussion around the lunch table a couple of days ago about taking little kids to the zoo, and how much fun it was watching the kids watch the animals.

My niece & nephew are still a bit young to take to the zoo, but I'd still bet they're easier to handle than a pack of 19 & 20 year olds stoned out of their gourds...

Let's take a trip back in time... (Wave hands in front of your face, make "DEEDLEDOO DEEDLEDOO DEEDLEDOO" noises...)

The year... 198...7? 88? Can't really remember. Not that important.

The participants... Can't really remember that 100%, either. Remember that "stoned out of their gourds" qualifier? Welcome to my post-teenage years.

I was there, Dan the Macrobiotic Man was there, The Cisco Kid was there, and I'm almost certain Zibig was there as well. Three out of four of us were completely blotto on several dozen lungfuls of the burning effluence of the marijohoonie, and I'm pretty sure Vitamin A might have played a significant role in the afternoon's proceedings as well.

How do these little adventures get started? Hard to say, really, but I have a distinct memory of the Cisco Kid saying "Hey, if y'all are gonna get loaded, why don't I drive you to the zoo?"

It's nice having a designated driver for your weed-fueled expeditions. Even more so when the driver is there to help make the trip a pleasant one.

Back in those days, the Houston Zoo was free of charge. You could just walk right in, and commence to staring at the animals. Usually, the animals would ignore you.

Then, one day you walk in with your brain pegged at 6000 RPM, and suddenly it seems when you stare at them, they're all staring back!

And plotting against you, as well...

First stop, the sea lions. What's not to like? Bark like a dog, swim like a fish. Oh, smell like a garbage scow. Ewwww...

We wandered among the exhibits, grooving on all the animals. Somewhere deep inside the zoo, we spotted a domestic cat wandering about, and for some reason, this intrigued us to no end. The sight of a housecat among all the exotic animals just overloaded our much-baked brains. Eventually Dan the Macrobiotic Man dubbed it the Patagonian Pygmy Panther, and we were finally cool with it being there.

Eventually, we reached the Monkey House, and paused by the gibbon exhibit. I can remember being entranced by the swinging apes. The conversation might have gone something like this...

Zibig - "Dude... that one's licking his balls..."

Dan - "Yeah, that's because he can. Wish I could do that..."

Me - "That monkey will bite you if you do. Check out that little one!"

Cisco Kid - (Has disappeared somewhere)

Zibig - "Check out the one swinging from the roof..."

Dan - "Where's Cisco?"

Me - "Wow. Gettin' some tasty tracers offa that ape every time he swings past..."

Zibig - "Fucking cheap-ass POS white blotter... I got nothing..."

Me - "Dude, relax. Let it happen... Go spark a bowl over behind the snack bar..."

Then, without warning, the gibbons attacked...

I don't know how it got started, but suddenly all the gibbons began this horrible hooting, loud enough to split your eardrums.


Dan - "Oh, man... Bummer..."


Me - "Who pissed in their Wheaties?"


Zibig - "Fuck this noise... Let's go see the lions..."


So, we left the Monkey House. The Cisco Kid had reappeared, and off we went to the see the lions.


Dan - "Goddammit, I still hear the gibbons!"


Me - "Well, the lions are asleep. Let's go over to the bears."


Zibig - "We must be 200 yards away. Loud-ass apes..."


Cisco Kid - "(barely audible snerk)"

All through that damned zoo, we kept hearing those gibbons hooting. It was harshing the mellow something fierce...

We finally sought refuge inside the cool darkness of the Reptile House. Finally, the apes went silent, and we could grok with the iguanas and the Gila monsters.

Dan - "Dude, check out this snake!"

Cisco Kid - "Y'know, those come up through the sewers all the time."

Zibig - "Oh, fuck!" (Grabs his balls)

Dan - "Not here, dude! Over in Asia where they got no flush toilets!"

Me - "I wonder if we could grill that chameleon, I've got the serious munchies..."


Dan - "Motherfu-... How can we still be hearing those ape bastards??"

Cisco Kid - "(slightly more audible snerk)"

Eventually, it was time to go. We'd peaked hours past, and wanted to be home before we came down completely.

All the way back to the car, we chatted idly about what all we'd seen, and the amazing vocal power of the gibbons.

We were somewhere between Rice Village and downtown when the unexpected happened...

Me - "Zibig, we going to your place?"

Cisco Kid - "Yeah, a dip in the pool would be nice"

Zibig - "OK, but if my folks are there, we gotta be cool"

Dan - "Anybody got a cigarette?"

Me - "Shit, I think I'm out..."



Cisco Kid - "(Explodes into laughter)"

Out of his shirt pocket, the Cisco Kid pulls out a tiny tape recorder cranked to max volume emitting those horrible gibbon sounds! He'd taped 20 or 30 seconds of the gibbon's chorus at the Monkey House!

All through the damned zoo he'd been surreptitiously pulling it out and dosing us with gibbonsong, and we were just too wrecked to figure it out!

So, the morals of the story...

1) Gibbons are LOUD!

2) Designated Drivers are devious...

3) Charging admission for zoos keeps wandering stoners out.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A Matter Of Perspective

Dems & Repubs, Equal Opportunity Scumbags

So, which is worse, a liberal moonbat who looks at a Socialist wannabe-dictator with starry-eyed admiration, and believes their every word about how they'll respect indivdual freedoms...


A conservative born-again who looks at a murdering rapist with angel-eyed rapture, and believes that they've found Jeebus and repented their sins? More than 700 times...


Get your ass a case of Red Bull, chug them sumbitches down and get on the stick, already! Huckabee's turned into Suckabee, Giuliani and Romney are RINOs, and Ron Paul can't get out from under his Astrodome-sized tinfoil hat.

We need you, Fred!!

Huckabee update via Alphecca and Les Jones

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Kitten Alert!

I Loves Me Some Teeny Kitty Toes!

My friend Jenni has a new furry housemate! It's currently nameless until her hubby Baz gets a good idea for a cat-handle.

For inspiration, B, here's T.S. Eliot's ode to naming cats...
The Naming of Cats

The Naming of cats is a difficult matter,
It isn't just one of your holiday games;
You may think at first I'm as mad as a hatter
When I tell you, a cat must have THREE DIFFERENT NAMES.
First of all, there's the name that the family use daily,
Such as Peter, Augustus, Alonzo or James,
Such as Victor or Johnathan, George or Bill Bailey -
All of them sensible everyday names.

There are fancier names if you think they sound sweeter,
Some for the gentlemen, some for the dames:
Such as Plato, Admetus, Electra, Demeter -
But all of them sensible everyday names.

But I tell you, a cat needs a name that's particular,
A name that's peculiar, and more dignified,
Else how can he keep up his tail perpendicular,
Or spread out his whiskers, or cherish his pride?

Of names of this kind, I can give you a quorum,
Such as Munkustrap, Quaxo, or Coricopat,
Such as Bombalurina, or else Jellylorum -
Names that never belong to more than one cat.

But above and beyond there's still one name left over,
And that is the name that you never will guess;
The name that no human research can discover -
But THE CAT HIMSELF KNOWS, and will never confess.

When you notice a cat in profound meditation,
The reason, I tell you, is always the same:
His mind is engaged in a rapt contemplation
Of the thought, of the thought, of the thought of his name:
His ineffable effable
Deep and inscrutable singular Name.

Published in 1939 in "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats".

Oh, here's a pic of the wee beastie...

If it's a girl cat, you can name it Joanie Dearest!

14 Days Until When??

Wasn't Thanskgiving Just Last week??

When did it get to be the 11th of December???

Between City elections, people in the office on vacation and picking up their slack, and other numerous daily crises, I've completely lost track of life outside the office.

Guess I ought to do my usual Xmas card plea. I have my own little private crisis every year where I can't decide whether or not to send out Xmas cards. I've blogged about it before. It's looking promising this year, since I already have stamps and labels.

So, same deal as last time. If you're a Baboon Pirates regular, and your collection of cards last year seemed a bit thin, I'll put you on the mailing list. You might even get a special bonus package. Of course, it's possible that the Grinch will soak me with Bah Humbuggery between here and the card vending outlet, and no one gets any cards. Hard to say at this point, but the odds are leaning heavily towards cards actually getting done. Cookies & fudge? Not so much...

"But El Cap!" you say... "I iz a Hebrooic/athiestic/Kwanzaanitian person! I don't believe in Sanity Clauses or the Baby Jeebus!"

Ees cool, hombre! Not tryin' to convert, just to spread a little cheer.

Mail me your meatspace/snailmail addy to baboonpirates2 AT Gmail D()T com
Don't be putting your address in the comments section, or you'll get signed up for magazine subscriptions and free cures for bedwetting!

Feliz Cerveza-dad & Joyeux Eggnog, y'all!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Cat Spanking

In The Metaphorical Sense, Anyway...

Got a big wad of cat poo on my shoe at the moment. I ought to be outside scraping it off, but I'm instead contemplating the idea of wrapping it in a tiny yet festive holiday bag, then using a pretty satin ribbon to tie it around the neck of the offending feline.

Trouble is, I don't know which cat dropped the deuce on the bathroom fuzzy rug. They're both sneaky little turds when they want to be. I suppose I could jam a pinky in each cat's bunghole, wriggle it around a bit to collect a good sample, then do a comparative smell test. I will not, however. That's just too bloody effed up a task to consider, and shame on you for thinking I might actually do it!!

Sigh. I won't be spanking them, either. I constantly threaten the cats with "I'm gonna beat you with a large stick!", but they never pay me any mind. I'll end up cleaning up the poo, washing the fuzzy rug, and still lavish upon them the usual amount of ear skritchies and kitty treats, just like always.

Yup, they've got me figured out...

UPDATE: No, I'm not wearing the befouled shoe as I type this... It's perched shit-side-up on the trash can lid until I go scrape it clean.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Snacks From The Past

Where Can You Get Those Astronaut Food Bars?

Different impulse buy today. I needed some more snackages that weren't too caloric in nature, and these caught my eye. I hadn't eaten animal crackers in the circus wagon box in 30 years or more.

They don't taste as good as I remember. I guess when you're a kid anything vaguely cookie-like sends you into spasms of delight.

The Gorillas do taste better than the Polar Bears, though... That hasn't changed!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Police, Lot Lease & Hair Grease

A Little Dab Will Do Ya!

They're having a huge holiday food drive in my parking lot today.

Usually, I'm all for food drives. You get to give away all those cans of lentil soup & assorted vegetables your mom bought for you so you'd eat healthy, and the pore & starvin' get a few good meals between now & New Years.

Unfortunately, the side effect of having the food drive in the parking lot means that suddenly we go from a parking space surplus, to El Cap having to perch his truck on a tilting concrete slab overlooking the bayou, 'cause that's the only space remaining when I get back from this morning's meeting with the Treehugger Brigade.

This parking SNAFU comes after a spirited five minute debate session with 3 of Houston's finest blocking the lot entrance trying to convince them that I do indeed need to park my truck here, and parking over at the courthouse isn't an option since I have the wrong flavor of parking pass. These gendarmes didn't quite reach the point of fondling their tasers, but I'm sure that's only because I was wearing my official "Property of The Man" shirt, and my issue ID is the radiant hue issued to those of us that work in one of The Man's Household Guard divisions.

Anyway, once I get past Jonnie, Ronnie & Scrawny Law, I'm staggered at the number of spaces taken up by the Sheriff's Dept. They lease some spaces in the lot so they'll have a place to stage their vehicles for the weekly warrant raids. Again, no problem with the idea in concept, just in execution.

See, these nitwits hog all the good parking spaces over by the shuttle bus stop. They do not ride the shuttle, and indeed have no reason to park at that end of the lot. They drive their personal vehicles in, gear up in all their Tactical Tommy outfits, climb into the Dept. vans & cruisers, and head out to raise havoc. You'd think they could park over by the security booth, but NooooooOOOO!!! They just have to stick it to the civilians, just 'cause they can.

Finally, there's Mr. Brylcreem. While waiting for the shuttle to arrive in order to catch a ride into downtown, this guy walks up and plops down on the bench next to me, and I'm assaulted by the aroma of Brylcreem.

Gadzooks, but I hate that smell. I think it's partially the aroma of the hair grease, but I'm pretty sure it also carries a pong of unwashed hair and scalp.

If this was some old geezer, I'd probably think nothing about it. The old timers grew up in an era where Brylcreem, Vitalis and other assorted hair greases were the bee's knees for wrestling the ol' pompadour into shape. Hell, in a pinch, you could just slap a glob of axle grease on the noggin, give it a few swipes with the comb, and be OK.

On a side note, I worked for this old man way back when who held that axle grease was a miracle product. He recommended it for just about everything.

Skin rash? Rub on the axle grease.
Squeaky hinge? Rub on the axle grease.
Spousal frigidity? Rub on the axle grease.
Constipated? Eat a fistful of axle grease.

He was also the one that told me about using it as a hair care product. I used to wonder how he lived so long as a chain smoker and frequent drinker. Turns out he must've had a pretty thick coating of Cosmoline...

Oh, back to Mr. Brylcreem... This guy was barely in his 20's!! WTF??? You're much to be young to be combing your hair like your grandfather!!

Dude, there's mousse, gel, hairspray, all manner of hair care products that don't make you look like you got your hair done at Jiffy-Lube!

Sigh. I'm definitely getting old & crochety. Set off on a rant by hair grease...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Chocolate Coated Something

Is My Trust In Walgreens Misplaced?

I had to stop in at the pharmacy this morning for some industrial-strength taint cleanser and a new douchebag for my "little problem". OK, not really. All I needed were some AA batteries and disposable razors, but it's so much fun to make Army of Mom squirm!

As I get to the register, I'm assaulted by the "impulse buy" display next to the register. It's full of all kinds of crap I really don't need, but it's right there, and on sale, too!

I succumb to temptation, and buy a 99 cent bag of something called "Bridge Mix". It appears to contain various edibles swathed in dark & milk chocolate, perfect for nibbling on a day devoted to end-of-month report drudgery.

Upon opening the bag this afternoon, I've discovered that "Bridge Mix" is confectioner's shorthand for "Dump whatever leftovers we have in the chocolate bath, and toss it in a bag."

There's some nasty stuff in here. The chocolate covered peanuts and almonds are OK, as are the chunks of brazil nut and some sort of choco-mint fondue. Alas, there are no Crunchy Frogs, Ram's Bladder Cup, or Anthrax Ripple.

The really nasty ones are the fruit fondue flavors. There's just no good way to mix artificial raspberry, lime & orange cremes with dark chocolate. Ick Ick Ick. After a while, everything with a round or gumdrop shape gets the Squeeze Test. If it collapses, it's a fondue. Into the trash can with ye! Non-squeezable chockies have nuts inside, and are therefore edible.

Then, there's the chocolate covered raisins. I've never been a raisin fan. I'm of the opinion that the quickest way to fuck up an oatmeal cookie is to put raisins in the mix, and raisins in a tollhouse cookie merits the death penalty for the offending cook.

I've always wondered what will happen if there's ever a major raisin shortage. Perhaps the Phylloxera bug gets loose again and devastates vineyards. Maybe wine becomes more popular than beer, and there's no grapes left for drying into raisins.

At that point, what depraved depths will the candymakers sink to? I put forward this question... If they were to substitute sweetened bits of beetle larvae or saccharine-soaked caterpillars or honey-dipped grubs for the raisins in chocolate covered raisins, would you be able to tell the difference in a dark movie theater?

I think not!! I've SEEN what comes out of a can of chocolate-covered ants. They look JUST LIKE chocolate covered raisins!

Think about that with your next box of Raisinets!

Monday, December 03, 2007

Requiem For A Mallard

Now Serving Pressed Duck A L'Asphalt

I usually don't get worked up over roadkill. Heck, I used to make a game out of counting how many road pizzas I saw on I-45 when I was traveling regularly between Dallas & Houston.

I've seen all manner of car vs. animal blacktop grudge matches. Almost 100% of the time, the car wins, but every so often the animal gets some good licks in. There was the guy in my dorm at SFASU who hit a buzzard on a backcountry East Texas road. The buzzard had fed just a bit too much on some ripe dead thing in the road, and due to excess takeoff weight was unable to gain enough altitude before impact. It went in through the windshield clear to the backseat, then vomited up several pints of semidigested roadkill before expiring. The smell was such that the car had to be totaled after several attempts at steam cleaning. As he said; "There's a reason they're called 'Fowl'".

Then there was the Winnebago/hog collision where some retiree going way too fast on yet another backcountry road impaled his northbound Mobile Motel onto a southbound boar hog, and the resulting gaping wound in the 'bago looked like a torpedo strike on a destroyer. A hog's a dense heavy-boned animal, and if it had survived the experience, Mr. Oinker would have found himself sitting in the camper's dinette set after tearing through the bumper, radiator, A/C compressor, right front suspension, firewall, entry door & stairwell, and half the kitchenette's floor.

My friend Chainsawed's Toyota has a perfect imprint of a deer butt on the hood, where one failed to exit the asphalt in a timely manner on a dark & foggy night.

I myself have lost count of the number of mobile speedbumps (aka armadillos) that have met their fate on the front of my vehicles. They tend to root around in the grass next to the roadway, and suddenly get an urge to cross the street. This rarely bodes well for their next-of-kin. I've learned that armadillos tend to jump straight up in the air when they get frightened, so if collision is imminent, you can wait until just before impact, hit your horn, and they'll pop up and hit your bumper instead of getting tangled up in the undercarriage.

I've also hit my fair share of rabbits & squirrels. In my youth, I'd make a point of veering towards them, figuring I was helping to clear out the gene pool of the foolish ones that liked to dash across roads. Mistaking a skunk for a very dingy rabbit one late night stopped that practice. (Jim Beam was helping me drive...)

Cats, dogs & waterfowl I've always stopped for. More than once I've left several dollars worth of tire smeared on the pavement rather than squish a schnauzer or steamroll a Siamese. I figure it's just good karma against the times my pets get loose and go wandering. As for the waterfowl, well, I've always been partial to ducks. The waddling & quacking just appeals to me for some reason.

This affinity for the billed & webfooted is why I was so bummed this morning to see two duck-shaped road pizzas on Long Point road. There's a small colony of ducks living along the creek between Hollister & Bingle, just east of Spring Branch Hospital. For some reason, the duck colony (which is getting smaller & smaller) isn't content staying on the north side of the road. They'll feel the urge to go eat grass and dibble in the water on the south side, and usually they lose a duck in the journey across five lanes of tarmac.

To get two dead ducks at once seems a deliberate action on some pisshead's part. It's not like they're not visible, and you can see them waddling towards the road in time to slow down. No, someone just ran 'em down, and no doubt I'll see the remainder of the duck herd sitting shiva for the departed this coming week.

So, just a reminder, slow down a bit, keep your eyes peeled for the slow and waddly (myself included...), and we can avoid those awful duck-pizzas in the road!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

No "Undo" Key For Your Eyes...

I'm Forever Tainted By That Unholy Sight!

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