Sunday, October 14, 2018

Just Call Me Stumpy

"You're hearing about the problems they're starting to have with 'bots in India?  The freeze?"
Dad waved his hand. 
"They're all Clevell," he said.  "Clevell produces turds.  Always has.  India, Russia, those 'bots come out of the box with problems galore."
"You could say that, but everyone pretty much uses the same processors, Dad.  What line is Nona?"
"She's a Brixton."
"That's going to be the same," I said.  "They all use the same chips." 
"It's a software issue."  Said like a network expert immune to the contradictory.  
"Even so.  Do you have bugware?  Do you run that?  Religiously?"
"We don't need it," said Dad.  "We're fine the way we are.  She talks to me.  I talk to her.  There doesn't need to be anyone else.  If we need to visit with anyone, we go see the Glicks.  They're down a block."
"Dad.  Nona is old.  If you're not running regular checks, I mean she could accidentally hurt you."
"We don't do so much anymore."
"She could tear your dick off, Ted," I said.  "How about that?  Want word of that to get to Mom?  She'd laugh so hard she'd shit herself."
Dad did this smile that hit his eyes.  Wrinkled him all up, made him look about 70.  He fought to get up out from the recliner and walk over to me. His moist end of the day feet adhered to the hardwood and popped like suction cups.  He hugged me.  Kissed the top of my head. 
"It's just so good to see you, Gil," he said.  "To know you care.  Hey, how about this?  Worse comes to worse, you can just call me Stumpy."

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Miralove Touch

We were forced to visit our grandfather.  It was a different experience if we went to his house, but down a functional hip and both knees, slipped all but free from the ability to tend to himself, it was our honor to drop in at Care Free Days a/k/a Old People Prison.  Cameras everywhere, even on the eerie cheerful attendants, but in the credit column, all the ice cream sundaes an atrophied belly could hold every Thursday afternoon. 
My brother Grant drove us once he got his license.  If I remember right, he brought his girlfriend once, a Tina or Lisa.  She got kicked off the cheerleading squad for gut-punching some alumni with 'busy hands'.  Grant thought the old guy might get a kick out of that.   
Grandpa's room was warm.  Tropical.  A hint of recent bowel movement hung in the air like he'd let slip the goods courtesy some sixth sense alerting him the next generation of Mishkin was imminent. 
Five years or so ago, Grant lost his hat investing in residential smart apps.  Hackers locked people out of their apartments and homes.  In some cases, pets starved and stovetops overheated.  Kids died in fires. 
One glimmer of hope, some sexbot owner remotely directed his sexbot to throw breaker switches and turn his condo into a dark unplugged oasis.  Then he used a backup copy of the sexbot's software to contact the virus and implant a countervirus.  From said seed a beanstalk clobbered the invasion force.  
Post-near apocalypse, a network interviewed the man and his heroic sexbot.  Merle told the host to celebrate he'd be getting Miralove Touch a brand new head, one of the series 6000LUX complete with cutting edge facial responses.
Grant says it's a damn shame technology wasn't cutting edge back when Grandpa was still kicking.  Cheerleaders with devastating right hooks were one thing, but sexbots would've revolutionized retirement living.  Think of the pizazz a Miralove Touch couldn't help but inject into an ice cream sundae Thursday.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

IWBLWY: Clinic Topeka

For someone in Clinic's particular peculiar situation, she's (mostly) modest.  
The way she tells it, after the commune free-for-all, the feds let her ride up front in one of the SUVs.  She didn't get to run the siren or anything, but they were definitely leaning towards her as an info source, rather than a card-carrying member of the cocaine ring that had infiltrated the commune.
I can picture Clinic. 
Five years ago, her hair long, leaning against a door as the sun sets, and the desert landscape peels away outside an SUV window.  Some dreamy introspective shit going on, it really settling in on her that things have changed for good, and meanwhile the SUV cab is filled with the sound of feds licking and slurping the dross of an eerily inexhaustible supply of cinnamon rolls from off their fingertips. 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

It Would Be Lonely Without You

- Have you watched yourself?  Have you?  You should get someone to record you.  And then you ought to watch yourself.  You can't spend more than like 30 seconds without looking at that thing.  Checking on it.  It's gross.  And you should really look at what your face looks like while you look at the screen.  It's half slack.  Your fucking brain is dying.  Eventually, it'll be all slack.  You're just meat that can answer a stimulation.  Buzz.  Beep.  Boop.  And the meat hits a button.  Here's your treat.  Fuck it.  Fuck me.  I grow up and I'm like a hamster pushing a button to get some nibbles. 
- You can say what you want. 
- No.  Anyone can make noise.  I can think.  I can.  Still.  You?  Future-me?  You've lost it.  Which means I'm going to lose it.  You've lost it already or you're hip deep in losing it.  You're just another processing unit.  Data in one hole.  Data out a hole.  You're an orifice taking delight in getting the thrill of the fill. 
- Jesus.
- No.  Truth.  Start of story, middle of story, end of story.  Carved in tablets.  In stone.  

Saturday, September 15, 2018

It Would Be Lonely Without You

 Regarding the ooze scraped off the UFO, Milo's grandfather proposed two separate paths: Oscar-worthy feigned ignorance or duplicity so seemingly honest and upfront other people would process the fact-garnished information as truth. 
Milo could secure the 12-ounces of alien ooze in a safe deposit box or he could carry it for all the world to see. 
The cylinder, the polymer prison, was scratch proof, uber-resistant to stress and strain, and the thick ooze contained within looked no more suspicious than wet undulating coffee grounds. 
Asked as to the actual origins he could alternate responses.  98% fib, 2% fact, then swap.  Make it wet and juicy or drier than a Friday afternoon Accounting 101 lecture.  His choice.       

Friday, September 14, 2018

It Would Be Lonely Without You

He was a test.  I'd been passenger in a car where he once said zero words for 1500 miles straight.  And another time, one long near unendurable Super Bowl weekend, he wouldn't shut up, not even if you put a loaded gun to his daughter's pregnant stomach. 

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Exotica Orthotica

There is a pulverizing quote about writing.  Along the lines of (at least initially) no one pays you to do it, and no one cares if you quit.  

Finally, I put aside a project titled Tranch.  One of those parallel realities bleeding one into the other tales.  I just could never figure out what Tranch and his parallel - Danny - would do once they were in the room together.  

I laid some serious track down, too, maybe as much as 25,000 words but I committed the unpardonable sin of not mapping the beast out beforehand.  I know there are writers who like to show up and see what happens.  I'm not that brave.  Not that talented.  And so I paid the price, a good three serious attempts come to fat jack nothing because I couldn't be bothered to solve the math/create the map before characters started blathering.  

The Internet is to blame as well.  And some ongoing health issues.  Actually, the two twine.  While doing occupational therapy stretches, I watch YouTube/BookTube.  More specifically The Reader's Athenaeum and Chareads .  The former Scottish, the latter British.  As a boring white American, I'm a sucker for an accent.  Also, strangely, it took me a bit to realize Kathryne (Reader's Athenaeum) is Gal Gadot's twin.  I'm slack on noticing all sorts of things these days, lost in the electrifying intertwining paths of thumb spica orthotic, wrist flexor, Biofreeze, independent medical evaluators, myofascial release, secure L&I message centers, and so on and on and on.  

The news an Absolute edition of The Killing Joke is on deck interested me enough to re-read the book.  Then I poked around and found not only is Alan Moore's full script up online but apparently, Moore and Bolland originally included a super-duper-explicit image of Barbra Gordon included in the Joker's amusement park slideshow.  

Despite Bolland's assertions ("I drew what was in the script.  That's my job."), a little poking around reveals it was more Bolland's decision for the really, really, really explicit portion of the panel.  Moore didn't go into excruciating detail on all the images thrust upon the good Commissioner Gordon.  Bolland nabbed the rope and ran it off the spool.

I always remember my mom halted my Swamp Thing collecting after I foolishly showed her issue #29.  

Memory holds the deal was sealed by Arcane revealing the whole sick crew -


- but firmly entrenched in my silver years and cognizant of #metoo, the credit splash is all so much more unsettling:

God knows what mom would have done with all my funny books if she'd come across DC editorial's stamp-of-approval upon a sobbing, shot, nude head-to-foot, abdomen bloodied Batgirl.  

Besides comics books, I've been reading Lou Gehrig bios, Mary Oliver, and Jane Kenyon.  For the latter, I wandered too deep into her biography and found she and husband Donald Hall attended an 'Eating The Pig' dinner.  Photos were taken.  Documents persist on the Ann Arbor District Library website.  

No matter how much I enjoy Kenyon's poetry and find her early death sad as shit, upon mention or thought of Kenyon or the now deceased Donald all my brain forwards on the sprocket is this poor dead pig poking out from the bottom shelf of a fridge.

I'm sure I'm in the minority, being ever more troubled by the dead animal sourcing for some of Hall's vaunted poetry, rather than fictionalized DC female characters being slung into the trash compactor of geekdom's collective abhorrence of acknowledging the fairer sex as anything other than a motley assemblage of comely (and cum inducing) flesh, suitable solely for insertion into distress, even target practice.