Angel or Moth

Superman Can’t Find a Phone Booth has challenged me to write a story using this photo as a prompt. 

Here’s what my demented imagination conjured:

The Shameful Secret

Carl couldn’t confess to his dear sweet mother. Nor could he tell his father or his sister or anyone in his family. And he most certainly couldn’t tell his best friend, Dr. Clarabelle Litchfield.

“Now Carl,” whispered the angel assigned to comfort him as she wrapped her wings around him. “God is with you.  God loves you.”

“But how could he possibly forgive me?” Carl said aloud.

“What honey?” Clarabelle, who could not hear angels, asked as she leaked oil onto the driveway. “There’s a giant moth wrapped around your shoulders.  Should I get out the BlackFlag?”

“She’s my guardian angel.”

“Now dear, I can clearly see, she’s no angel. But we’ll get to that delusion later.  Now, why don’t you tell me what has you in such a state.  I promise I won’t judge you.”

Carl raised his eyes to her face.  She seemed sincere but no, he couldn’t tell her.

“Are you gay?”

“No!”

“It’s alright if you are. In fact there are some nice guys at -”

“No. I am not. Oh god, how could this have happened?”

“Did you tell that moth or guardian angel thing?”

“No, but she knows.”

Clarabelle addressed the angel. “Moth, I implore you to tell me what the problem is so that I can help my friend.  He’s clearly distraught and I am a licensed psychoanalyst.”

The angel rose to her full height, spread her ten foot wings and, then enfolding the two of them, whispered Carl’s shameful secret.

“NOOOOOOO!” Clarabelle cried in disgust.  “You can’t be addicted to that brain dead television show!  It’s idiotic and so phony.  What’s happened to your brain?”

The angel’s eyes turned into those of an irate tigress. “That’s my favorite show too, you snobby bitch!”

Dr. Annabelle Litchfield soon found herself in a puddle on the parking lot.    

[I suppose there’s a moral to this story but I’ll be damned if I know what it is.]

Never surrender to nincompoops or madmen

There are some movies I will watch again and again for just one scene. 

In the movie The Darkest Hour, Winston Churchill rides the Underground for the first time as his advisors urge him to surrender to the Nazis. The bulk of the British army is surrounded at Dunkirk and the Americans are refusing to join the fight. Surrender seems to be the only way to avoid catastrophic defeat. Those politicians on the side of surrender have talked themselves into believing they can come to reasonable terms with a depraved madman but Churchill knows otherwise.The scene I love in that movie opens with Churchill gazing out at ordinary Londoners trying to escape the rain from his limousine. It’s a stark reminder that wars are begun by men in chauffeur-driven limos but it’s the man on the street who pays the price. Suddenly he disappears. When next seen he is trying to figure out the system map much to the surprise of the commuters. Aristocrats don’t ride the Underground everyday. Once they warm up to him, he asks how they feel about surrendering to Germany and to a man, woman and even a child they say “Never Surrender.”

 And of course Churchill weeps and I wept along with him.

After the movie I made the mistake of watching the news. Good grief.  Today a senate committee questioned some muleheaded nincompoop determined to stonewall them unless he could expound upon the dignity of human life (code speak for “take away a woman’s right to choose.”)  Any time a committee member came up with a reasonable question about his credentials, some jackass from the other party interrupted their time by yelling “point of order” which actually had nothing to do with order but had more to do with defending a nincompoop put into enormous power by a madman and I wanted to yell “NEVER SURRENDER” loud enough that it could be heard in Washington D.C.  

On a lighter note, here are a few favorite scenes from movies I’ll take the time to watch just for a few unforgettable scenes:

  • Mortimer discovers his dear sweet aunties are serial killers.
  • Ralphie gets a rude awakening from Santa
  • Winger and Ziskey discover they’ve joined the “wrong” army.

There are many more of course.  And we need them these days, we surely do.  Is there a movie you’d watch again just for one scene or am I the only one addicted to sentimentality? 

Republicans Oppose Cupid’s Plan For Universal Love

Once again, the Modern Philosopher! Enjoy!

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Valentine's Day, Cupid, love, politics, humor, Modern PhilosopherApparently, President Trump and the Republican Party do not believe that everyone deserves to have a happy Valentine’s Day, Modern Philosophers.

The Republicans today vowed to shoot down Cupid’s proposed plan for Universal Love.

According to the plan set forth by the little archer in the diaper, love would be made available to all, free of charge.

The members of the GOP, which I’m assuming stands for Gang Of Partypoopers, said there is no way such a plan would be allowed on their watch.

“America is a country of freedom and independence, not socialism,” President Trump reminded everyone in a Tweet.  “Love is not a right.  It is a privilege, and wealthy white males get first crack at it.  Cupid can’t just demand that everyone gets love.  Free love was outlawed after the sixties, and it’s going to stay that way!”

Trump wasn’t done (Is he ever???).  “If we were…

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Magic Red Panties

The only logical place to be today is in the sun.  The skies have stopped dumping ice crystals and only a lump of cumulous sits anchored above, but it is cold. 

I’m very superstitious.  If a black cat crosses the road in front of me, I will make a U turn, knock on wood and throw salt over my shoulder. I don’t walk under ladders or open umbrellas in the house.  And I painted my front door beet red. But nothing is sillier than habitually reading a daily horoscope that has never been even remotely accurate.  I’d be better off with the Ouija Board, Tarot Cards or even tea leaves.

A few years back I found out that, according the Chinese,  my mother and I were both born in a Year of the Tiger.  No wonder we were always at each other’s throats, I thought.  We couldn’t help it.  We’re impetuous, untamable beasts.   So I decided maybe there was something to Chinese astrology that warranted looking into.

Didn’t last long. In 2017 tigers, whether born in 1926 or 2010, were guaranteed bodice-ripping, once in a lifetime, grand and passionate love affairs.  Great news to my mother who was raring to go.  But I greeted the news as one would an infestation of wasps. Actually, the wasps would be more welcome. 

But today is the Chinese New Year and so predictions are everywhere. Here’s one of the predictions for tigers in this Year of the Pig.

The Tiger needs to be cautious in dangerous situations such as walking in narrow dark alleyways in the evening, high places such as cliff tops, busy building sites or participating in dangerous activities.  It is advisable for the fire Tiger to wear a red string around his/her waist for the year, or to wear red socks or underwear for support.

I guess this means I can dawdle down dark alleyways at night, do cartwheels on cliffs and pirouette through dangerous work sites as long as I’ve got on my magic red panties.

 

 

My teeth will outlive me

God gave us two sides to our mouth because he also gave us teeth guaranteed to rot over the years. Then he invented a special breed of human, one who would, for the price of a Maserati, endure twenty years of sticking their hands in other people mouths.  He called them dentists.  Then he said onto them “Behold! You have the God-given ability to make even the mighty feel like slobbering fools.”

You’ve probably guessed that half my face is numb and my chin is sagging down to the floor.  My stomach is full of the crap that never gets completely sucked out by those vacuum cleaner things you’re required to pucker up to and kiss. And tonight my dinner will be tepid mashed potatoes and warm wine.

Apparently the dental assistant saw right through me.  She knew that unwarned I would bolt out of the dentist’s office to the nearest restaurant and scarf down a steak burrito and then head for the ice cream shop.  While she still had me upside down, she leaned into my face and ordered in broken English. “Do not shoe on dis side.  Do not eat or dink till numb is gone.  Do not eat hot or cold. Do not floss dis side.”  Then recognizing I couldn’t focus my eyeballs on her face, she handed me a sheet of instructions.  “You put on frig!  Two hours, no eat! No dink.”

If I lose that temporary crown she’ll probably make me wear a sign around my neck that reads “Bad Patient! Not follow instructions.”

My current dentist started out as a classical pianist which I guess is reassuring as he grinds out all those silver fillings put in when I was a teenager who could not go a day without chocolate.  He sweetly informed me:  “Your new cap will have a life time guarantee!”

I don’t know how I feel about having body parts that have a lifetime guarantee.  Good grief.  I don’t have a lifetime left.

The Volcanic Activity of Buses

tin hats

I have a book with scribbles in it

the air is a clock

the temperature is time

the alarm is people dying from the weather

snow falls in Seattle

the man and the woman sit side-by-side on the bus

their faces are slices of the Cascades

strained with hidden volcanic activity

his fingers are ingrained in her throat

like the purple veins on the exposed rock of a river bed

I ask them if the bus is going downtown

I ask them where is the driver

the woman looks at me as if the earth is rising up and the #10 bus is about to be pushed down the street and into the sound with garbage containers and trees and shoppers from Macy’s and young pan handlers and Native American alcoholics whittling in doorways

why did she choose him I think

the man can hear me and says shut up

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Rip off the bandaid or go to Mars

Let me just say this fast so it’ll be like a ripped off bandaid and only sting for a few minutes.

Pretending to be a hero.

John Wayne, you should be ashamed. You were an empty vessel for fear mongering propaganda. You were a barbarian parading as virtuous. You shouldn’t have an airport named for you;  your name should be on toilet paper.

There I said it. Readers, are you still with me? 

I was a mere whippersnapper when John Wayne made his last films and, since Westerns interested me in the least,  I watched most of them as an adult and thought they were rather silly. Real cowboys don’t act or look like the Duke. They’re almost never clean, they spit a lot and some sleep with their horses. But, John Wayne was a frequent visitor to the town where I grew up and even rode in Nevada’s annual parade celebrating statehood.  He cut a mighty fine figure, even in his sixties, and I was proud to share a birthday with him (different year lest you try guessing my age.)  But alas, some things I was too young to know.

In the clip above, the empty vessel mouthpiece, John Wayne, claims that Congress can override the Bill of Rights for the purpose of national security.  Sounds like a lofty principle but what he meant was, Congress can imprison or blacklist anyone suspected of discussing subversive ideas, such as communism.  Suspected, being the key word.  Not tried.  Not found guilty. Suspected. If you didn’t like your neighbor, all you’d needed to do during that deadly time was call up the FBI and say you saw a Communist pamphlet in their house and voila!  You could ruin their life. But, like John Wayne, America’s hero, you would be upholding a lofty principle.

In the 1950s a successful screenwriter named Dalton Trumbo was accused of being a communist by a less successful colleague.  This led to his imprisonment and subsequent shunning by friends, neighbors and potential employers.  A punishment known as “blacklisting.” Desperate for income, he organized a group of fellow blacklisted writers and together they convinced the producers of B movies to hire them incognito and far cheaper than the going rate.  And since no one much cared who wrote such masterpieces as This Female is Deadly, they were able to survive.

Until Roman Holiday.  That movie won an Oscar for best screenplay and convinced Otto Preminger to ignore the fear mongering, anti-communists and openly hire him.

The above scene from Spartacus, written by Trumbo for Kirk Douglas is a rebuke to the name-calling and finger-pointing that went on during the McCarthy era, a time when the Bill of Rights was ripped and trampled and few people stood up and said “I am Spartacus.”