Archive for the ‘story’ Category

So, you want a few thoughts from me, OC ?  I really am the most colorful, I think, of this bunch that John allows to occupy his otherwise very empty mind, body and soul.

I’ve been having a lot of fun this year. As some of you know , I am more or less apolitical (E says that means non-political) and I don’t give a shit. But I will say this, President Trump is about the stupidest son-of-bitch that we’ve ever had as the leader of our country. I’m just telling you right up front how I feel. You see, I’m just telling you exactly how it is. I ain’t what you call wishy – washy. Some probably say that I am stupid for saying it that way. And you know what, so do I, but that’s just how I feel whether you agree or not, even if it isn’t true. I’m just telling you what I’m thinking right off the top of my head. Take it or leave it mother-fuckers.

Now before you get all burly and excited and threaten to beat me to a pulp for talking that way about your President, stop and think a minute! How I explained myself in that last paragraph is exactly what you stupid bastards said you liked about Trump.

You said “I like him because he tells it the way it is. He doesn’t mince words, he tells ya exactly what’s on his mind, right or wrong , whether you agree with him or not. I admire that about a man and a President”. If you love that about a man, you should love the hell out of me.

But truly, I gauge a man when I first meet him this one way and one way alone. And it is as simple as this, would I like working for a boss like him? Would he be an ass-hole to work for?

Come on you working stiffs out there that voted for him. How many bosses have you had that were like that ass-hole that you told to go fuck himself and you quit to find a better job? You voted for him as President? You need to wake up for Christ’s sake! He’s not going to do anything for you.

Shit, I could run for President.

Now, who brought the beer. Let’s have a drink and try to forget the mess you guys have made, then we’ll find that strip club a few blocks from here I want to check out.


( I guess there isn’t much here that OC has said that I need to apologize for.  He just likes to tell it the way it is.    John)


A Chance Of It

Posted: October 17, 2016 in free verse, Life, poem, poet, poetry, story, writing

I’m not sure there is any lesson at all.

On one side there is life, on the other, our frail and fragile frames and searching minds. Life never changes. It is that big square edged shiny monolith looming over us, that says nothing, does nothing and appears occasionally out of no where. And we spend our time hovering around it, feeling its perfectly smooth texture, rubbing our cheeks against its cool hard sides and all the time wondering what its made of and what it will give or take away from us this time.
Yes, indeed, life could well be a rock.

As one man dies, another child or two are born and life just keeps moving along. Who knows, that man may have invented penicillin or that child may be the one who will harness nuclear fusion but more likely as not that old man and that spankened new child will probably contribute nothing earthshaking at all. They both just spent their time here on earth admiring the monolith and hoping for just one feel of its smooth cool surface. They were just glad to be alive and felt fortunate to have had a chance of it.

And there ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.


I just heard on the news that there could be a new trend in clothing. Due to the radiation leaks caused by the reactor meltdown in Japan five years ago, radioactive particles are being found as far away as the West Coast of the U.S. Since then the demand for and cost of Geiger counters have skyrocketed. The car manufacturer Toyota is coming to the rescue. Being the world’s innovator of new ideas, a few years ago they had discovered an experimental dye that reacts to radioactive isotopes that they thought had no practical uses.

Since the accident they have been experimenting with using this dye in cloth manufacturing. The way I understand it, the clothes made from it will change color in direct proportion to the amount of radiation it is exposed to. A different color for each level of intensity. The colors that the clothing will turn are very similar to the colors that we once used in warning levels of terror threat by Homeland Security.

The colors are the following: Exposed to Severe radiation – your shirt will turn Red, exposed to High levels and may be dangerous – your shirt will turn Orange, Elevated above normal – your shirt will turn Yellow,  Guarded, slight exposure – your shirt will turn Blue. Under normal conditions your shirt will remain Green. No need to wear exposure badges or Geiger counters.

I believe that this is a great idea. And leave it to the Japanese and Toyota to think of it. Green is also my favorite color and I wouldn’t mind wearing that color everyday. The sales of Geiger counters are expected to plummet. Going from the very short supply they are  now to totally obsolete and unnecessary.

The chemical used in the dye, Chromium isoamyl acetate, is very rare and very caustic in its raw form. It is very dangerous to handle until it is forced safe during the manufacturing process. The only known location where it can be mined is in the United States near the town of Michcaska, Wisconsin. Due to low wages, plentiful work force and nonexistent unions, Toyota is making plans to mine and manufacture the cloth right there in Wisconsin, hopefully in Michcaska near the strip mines.

Way to go Toyota! I wants me one of those shirts!


I’m having less and less to say. With age comes sweet calmness and confidence. I’ve made my mark, the mark has been to only live to an older age each year, to get to a point where it is unnecessary to prove my worth.

From the time that I first retrieved an out of reach hammer for my father to save him a few steps, I was made aware of my worth. He said “Thank you Partner !”. Although I was four years old, I realized I was worthy to be on his job site. I was not just a kid stumbling over the two by fours, open trenches and avoiding backing cement trucks. I was now contributing to the effort. I was now the official tool, nail and board getter for the boss. His Go-fer! My first job! After work that afternoon, at a tavern that I can still recall the smell and the song playing on the juke-box, I received a Coke, a bag of peanuts and a thank you for my labor that day. Yes, I have literally worked for peanuts and I have worked for “Peanuts” pretty much every day since. Don’t we all? Like Pavlov’s dog, my mouth still waters at the sound of Patsy Cline, the smell of stale smoke and big bust bar maids. Basically, I’m still working for very similar rewards.

Oh, the peanuts do come in a much bigger bag now. I soon learned that my labor was worth more than just the memory of a smell, cold drink and a pretty song. But unfortunately the alarm clock each morning means time for work and at the sound of it my mouth stays a little dryer now. Most of my years since in order to get those rewards have involved government certifications, exams and yearly performance reviews. Just being there with the right tool at the right time hasn’t always been enough. Every year we are evaluated to prove our worth.

For more years than I care to count, I have worked. Perhaps since I was four years old, certainly since I was fourteen when I received my social security card and filled out my first 1040 tax form. There is now little reason for more certifications and I know the system well enough that a yearly performance review entails little more than copying last year’s, a phone call from the boss and if we are in the same city at the right time, a conversation over a nice meal. My days of having to prove my worth are coming to an end. Just performing my jobs well now will suffice.

I think I have finally reached my mark. It won’t be long that the Pavlov’s bell on the alarm clock will be put on snooze much more often. And the sound of it will really mean breakfast, the breakfasts that I have missed so many times in the past because my saliva was not anxious for bacon and eggs but for proving my worth at work. I’m almost there. But soon I will be getting back to gauging my worth by the chill of the Coke, the sound of the music and the pleasure of talking to beautiful big bust barmaids.

Such is the life of John.

I wake up alone and cold, I check the time, it’s 05:50 AM. I realize, that’s not my clock! I’m not in my own bed. It’s OK, I’m on the road again.

I calculate how many minutes I have before I have to drag out of bed to face the shower. I say face the shower because it is cold in the room and it is dreadful to think of getting cold dripping wet. No matter how hot I make it, there comes a time when I must turn off the hot water, open the curtain and grab the towel. The blast of chilled air as I open the shower curtain is the most uncomfortable feeling of the day. I’m naked, dripping dog wet, chilled and with a primal urge to shake, nose to tail. I plan how in the same motion I will grab the towel and slam the bathroom door shut. What was unnoticed air entering a few minutes ago, now feels like a freezer cold draft. I can’t dry fast enough.

As I shave, I realize I must do the second most dreadful thing of the day. I must make the coffee, hotel coffee. Enough said about that, if you drink coffee, you know what I mean. The first cup of coffee must be drank hot and before you are dressed.  Sitting in your shorts, cup held full palmed, gazing straight ahead unfocused is best. I’ve tried other ways of having the first cup of morning coffee. I’ve put it in a thermos jug the night before, but by 6:00 am it is lukewarm. I have requested room service in the hotels that offer it, it usually arrives late and it is cold or it arrives on time and it is cold. It’s impossible to deliver hot coffee anywhere. It will always lose it’s heat on the trip up the elevator. Even if you have a microwave in the room, reheated coffee is not the same.

Facing the cold vehicle is not at all enjoyable either. Warming up a car at a hotel is different too. First of all, the car is always parked in the farthest available parking space. I must start it up and let it sit to warm up enough to soften the ice and snow. So I either have to start it and sit there freezing my butt waiting for it to warmup or take a chance. The chance is starting it up, turning on all of the heat then locking it up, leave it in the parking lot running, while I run back to the lobby for more luke warm hotel coffee. Doing this at home in the driveway is one thing. Doing this in the outskirts of St. Louis is another. Or are the chances of anyone wanting to steal an ice-covered, frozen vehicle pretty slim?

I guess being on the road is an experience of a lack of warmth.


Such is the life of John

He removed his iPhone from the case so it would sit more securely leaning against the large dolphin shaped sea salt and pepper grinders. Ironic he thought, they had bought those the last day of their visit to Atlantic City. That may have been their last happy day together. As he had been instructed, he set three alarms , each precisely three minutes apart. Swallow a capsule at each alarm, in ten minutes after the first alarm he would be asleep, in thirteen minutes he would stop breathing, in sixteen minutes his heart would stop.  The miracle of time released capsules.
He rose early that morning. After his longer than usual hot shower and masturbate, he slowly dried himself off, pulled on his shorts and undershirt and neatly combed his thinning hair. After pouring his coffee and popping a beer, Gerald sat at the kitchen table, staring at each large capsule that last evening he had placed in the precise order, in a very neat row, green one , then yellow and then red.
This had to be done today. It was December 23rd, he did not want this to happen any closer to the holidays. This is not the kind of memory to leave to your children on each of their next Christmas Eves or Mornings. He knew he wouldn’t be found until after the New Year. But there was always the chance that the nosey neighbor next door may be knocking to leave her plate of Christmas cookies, like she did three years ago. He hid and neglected to answer the door on the last two yearly attempts. Yes, after New Years at least. They would miss him at work by then.
The holiday season can be the most lonely time in a bachelor’s life and especially for Gerald Watswigger. After facing the guilt of being caught sleeping with other women, going through an ugly divorce, losing custody and visitation of his three lovely children, he had lost his dream of only a long happy suburban life. His only choices left, the drunken loneliness of the bottle or the miracle of the neatly spaced row of time released capsules.



December 21st 10:49  PM, really? 10:49? I think just knowing the date is enough. We’re not exactly making an appointment to meet the cable guy. But the 21st does have significance on Monday, as it does on about the same day each year.  You probably already know but E is always the one that has to bring it up, as he did in spring, summer and fall. Now it’s my turn. Monday is the first day of winter.

You say “Whooppie!! or “Awwwwww OOoooooH!” or probably more likely, ” who gives a frick!”. It is easy for us to say this, we in the 21st century. But go back a few hundred years and it was a different story.

Our dumb ass ancestors actually thought that there was a possibility that the Sun would just keep heading south until it would get so far away that it wouldn’t return and the dumb bastards would be left with no light and warmth at all. That is, until the great God, Whoever The Hell, allowed it to come back again. In the mean time they knew they’d have to kiss the ass of their holy priests to intervene for them to convince God, Whoever The Hell, to allow it to shine again. They believed the same thing about the moon, the migrating animals and the big fish in the sea. Kiss the ass of the priests and they’d convince God, Whoever The Hell, to let them all return. You name it, the crops, the rains, the animals, the ice, what ever their lives depended on, they had a priest or superstition that covered it.

They had to go through the priests because our great, great, great, great, great, etc. ….  grandfathers 20 times removed knew for themselves that they understood nothing as complicated as God, Whoever The Hell. And surely only a priest could talk to him. You know, it was very similar to the assholes in this century that start out their logic with the expression “I’m no scientist but …….. “, “I’m no doctor but …..” or “I’m no whatever butt”. Back at the dawn of man, it was “I’m no priest but I know it’s true, I have to give away my bear skins to the priest or the Sun ain’t coming back”.

And that’s pretty much what a lot of men today still believe. They think it has to be magical, life that is. It’s all frickin’ magic. They can be presented with scientific facts but they still don’t believe it. It isn’t magical enough to be true. When the facts started coming in about how the solar system really worked, the mystics didn’t want to believe it, no matter what religion they believed in. It took years for the mystics to accept it. They didn’t want the magic to end.

Well, I’m just a common man living out here in the middle of nowhere and I can assure you that tomorrow, sometime in your AM or PM, the earth will start tilting back into the other direction and the sun will be shining a little longer on the earth each day for about the next 6 months. The scientists have convinced me. You can bet your bear skins on it. Now don’t get me wrong, we’ll have more sunlight but they are telling me the weather may be a little different. And it isn’t being caused and won’t be stopped by magic.

Hope you have a nice winter.



(Of course, all of this is true only if you live in the Northern Hemisphere.     E.)




Bread and Milk

Posted: December 13, 2015 in creative writing, Seasons, story, writing

The lingering glacial smell of winter is sucked into the nostrils and rushes to the back hollows of the skull, triggering thoughts of preparation.  Questions of how deep the snow, how thick the ice and how cold the temperatures accumulate in the frontal lobes. We stay alert, remaining aware of the first sign of breeze and change of wind direction. We brace but not before we fill our gas tanks and buy milk and bread.

Those that work in grocery stores will tell you that at the first sign of severe winter weather the shelves will be depleted of bread and milk. I have always wondered about that. I would think that beer, cigarettes, coffee, matches and batteries would be very popular also. But no, they always run out of bread and milk. Maybe in a time of uncertainty, bread and milk are all that immediately comes to mind as a soother of the anxious soul.


Early Winter

Posted: November 27, 2015 in Seasons, story

The crunch of the ice under my unlaced boots broke the silence of the chilled morning air. Footprints of white broken blades of grass marked my path to my curbside mailbox. Bare handed, hitting the ice-covered lid to break the seal,  I jerked the cold metal handle to only reveal the frozen emptiness inside. No mail today.

Before I opened it I knew there would be nothing. Just a look out of my living room window had confirmed that no tire tracks had veered into the gutter to shorten the mailman’s reach into the box. The unbroken ice seal covering it told me that the lid had not been opened yet today. But I made the short trek across the frozen yard anyway just to be sure. As if I needed a reason to go outside to hear, feel and smell the first freezing rain of this early winter.


The Name John

Posted: October 14, 2015 in Humor, story, writing
Tags: , , ,

distantshipsmoke says this on my friend Carolyn’s blog in reference to a link that describes what a person’s name means.

Ha! I’m a man with three names. I won’t look at the link, but I will tell you what this John’s name means:
 Determined, kind to everyone, I would rather fish than do dishes. Seldom does either. Not a leader nor a follower, tries to be a loner but is drawn to others. Witt that no one understands, If you are named John, it was probably after a relative, a grandfather, an uncle or a cousin twice removed that was a preacher.
I’m serious 😐 😉  DSS”

I’ve been thinking more about that since my quick reply to Carolyn. And have a few more things to add to the  “John” definition.

I’m sure in one of the books of names “John” has meant “shepherd of sheep” because I have had many days in my professional life when I truly wished I had chosen “shepherd” as my occupation, but it probably would have been called “sheep herder”. Or in the local newspaper under court proceedings, lover of sheep. I’m sure the shepherd business has its complications, too. They say it gets very lonely out there in the hills.

But seriously, now I’m really serious, if I’d been lying, I would have said “But honestly”. But seriously, can a name define us or is a name defined by us? As an extreme example, I’m sure that in 1930 the name “Hitler” had a different meaning than it has since the 1940’s. There are dozens of examples of the man or woman that has defined the name. Take the name “Sonny and Cher”, it has a whole different meaning now than it did before 1964. Any other couple that I knew before that with that name didn’t sing, they were just the Blandino twins living just down the street. Another very good example, “Pink Floyd”. before 1967, Pink Floyd was just your red headed nicknamed neighbor living just down the street. (I had a very funny neighborhood ,that Vine street, and didn’t realize it at the time.) The list goes on where the man / woman defined the future meaning of a name.

If you wonder why I bring this up, I’ll explain.

Take my wife’s and my name. Please! I was named John in April 1951, my wife was named Marcia, with a “cia” in 1950. How would our parents have known that in late 1951, Stan Freberg, an ad writer and comedian who had a huge hit in 1951 with a recorded single, “John & Marsha,” a “soap opera parody in which two people seduce each other with the words “John” and “Marsha” over and over to organ music.” And the Stan Freberg name suffered no such recognition. The bastard! Why didn’t he make a recording of “Stan & Mary” ? But noooo, John and Marsha with a “sha” and my wife with the added discomfort of having to correct everyone that when they read it now pronounces her name “Mar see aa” and spells it with the “sha”. It stinks I tell ya!! Honestly.

I hadn’t heard the “John..Marsha” thing for years and I thought it had finally ran out of popularity until the series “Madmen” brought it up again last year. The bastards!

Such is the life of John, Sheep Herder