“THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS JUST ISSUED AN ‘EVERYTHING’ ALERT FOR FLORIDA”

Apparently not wanting Pasco County and/or New Port Richey to forget her, Mother Nature decided that Hurricane Irma, back in September, wasn’t enough of a pain in the ass for this area, as well as the rest of Florida, but that maybe we should have a good ol’ Midwestern vintage tornado strike, and on Thanksgiving Day to boot, to remind us that she’s still here and still has the same ill-tempered attitude we’ve come to know and love (yeah, right) as Floridians.

You don’t like the weather here in Florida? No problem; wait ten minutes and it will change. (That’s an old Illinois joke, but very applicable here in the, dare I say it, Sunshine State.)

A tornado. We had a fucking tornado on Thanksgiving in NPR, about two miles north of where I live, as a matter of fact. Shit, it isn’t even tornado season in the Midwest, the home of the circular storm…it was like living in Missouri and having an earthquake. (Actually, Missouri DOES have earthquakes, and as far as I’m concerned, they richly deserve them.)

A tornado. In Florida. In late November. I’m going to get my affairs in order, get my will updated and will not be starting any long-term projects, ‘cause if that isn’t a sign of the impending apocalypse, my name isn’t Amelia Earhart.

I was catching up with a friend yesterday on the phone, and he was asking me about my experiences during Irmageddon, and as we were talking I realized that, in my lifetime, I have lived through a) a hurricane, b) a fair number of tornadoes, c) several earthquakes (including one that was about a 6.0 on the Richter, which scared the shit outta’ me), d) the annual Southern California brush fires, one of which, back in 2013, made it to about 5 miles from where I lived in Sherman Oaks, e) a really bad hailstorm back in the ‘80s, which was so fierce that is actually damaged my car, f) the four worst winters in the history of the Chicago area and g) being a Dodgers fan. (So far.)

Sorry, Ms. Nature, but you can take your shitty weather and jam it. (Reminds me of those old Parkay margarine commercials, where the actress playing MN says, after being faked out by Parkay, making her think it was real butter, that it isn’t nice to fool Mother Nature…every time she got fooled, she’d toss a lightning bolt down on some unsuspecting deer or brown bear, scorching the living shit outta’ the poor thing; these days she’s using Florida as a punching bag.)

FYI, this is the sign you see on all the roads entering FL, right behind the “Welcome to the Sunshine State” billboards.

Speaking of really excellent science fiction movies (yeah, I know, we weren’t, but I didn’t have a good segue here, so I said, screw it, damn the tornadoes and full speed ahead), TCM showed “Forbidden Planet” the other night, and even though I’ve seen this movie roughly seven gazillion times, I watched it and, as with every time I’ve seen it, loved it. 

“Planet” (which was loosely based on William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”, a play about storms that WS wrote after living in Florida for several years) was the first “big budget” sci-fi flick, coming in at just under $2 million, which was serious money back in 1956, when the movie was released. It was groundbreaking for its time, and influenced such artists as Rod Serling, Gene Roddenberry (the creator of “Star Trek”), George Lucas and many others.

For me, the most memorable sequence in the movie is the discovery of what is behind the mysterious evil force that killed all the original settlors on Altair-4, the planet on which the movie takes place, and is now, with the arrival of a search/rescue ship from Earth, menacing the crew-members of the ship, killing several and generally scaring the crap out of everyone else. Without rehashing the entire plot, the entities that are stalking the ship are a creation of the mind of Dr. Morbius, the lone survivor of the original settlors ship and the reluctant host of the Earth-based rescuers… called (I love this) “monsters from the id”. (According to WikiPedia, the id is “the set of uncoordinated instinctual trends” existing in each person’s mind…thank you, Sigmund.) Basically, Dr. Morbius was creating, from his “id”, the monsters that were attacking the new arrivals. (Long story how this happened, but take my word for it, okay? And here’s how the Id Monster looked in the movie.)

And Anne Francis, who played Morbius’ daughter, Altaira, was way, totally hot in this movie…as Wayne and Garth once commented, if she were a President, she would have been Baberaham Lincoln. Racy shit for 1956. (Here’s Robby the Robot, Morbius’ servant (right) trying to look up Alta’s dress, the perv.) 

TCM is showing “The Dirty Dozen” tonight…another great flick, with no monsters of any type that I can recall (Robert Ryan plays an asshole, but I wouldn’t say he was a monster).

I’m going to watch it, assuming we don’t have a flood, a plague of locusts or a complete reversal of all matter in the universe, moving outward at the speed of smell from a point 2456.395 parsnips WNW from Altair-4, which is located in the lower left oblique quadrant of the Snickers solar system. (Three Musketeers? Payday? I know it’s a candy bar.)

Of course, if another channel was showing “Twister”, I’d probably watch that…Helen Hunt is just as hot as Anne Francis, as far as I’m concerned.

Love and barometers,

Cap’n John

 

I LIED

The entire theme for my post on October 14th called “Dream Police” was that I would never, ever write anything serious…several days later, I’m now going to make a liar of myself, and write something serious. Please note this on your calendars…I sincerely hope it doesn’t happen again soon.

I wrote a post earlier today (“A Milestone”, see below), which covered several topics, not the least of which was how glad we Floridians are that we have managed to go another whole 24 hours without a hurricane.

Lucky us.

There is one thing that bothers me greatly though, when I’m in the midst of “writing” (using the word guardedly, for with no false humility, no self-deprecation, I still cannot see myself as a “writer”) something that is humorous (hopefully), lighthearted or even just silly…I hate to be thought of as indifferent or oblivious or callous towards all the awful things that take place, daily, in our world. 

This thought passed through my mind, as it often has, when, for example, I was making light of our lack of hurricanes here in FL, all the while the people of Puerto Rico are suffering untold hardships. I managed to survive about 40 hours without electricity…I had water (I had beer too, although it was getting kinda’ warm towards the end), I had my cellphone, I had a car that ran (although there weren’t many places to go) and in general it was an annoyance, not a tragedy. I suspect the residents of Puerto Rico are well past annoyed. 

I urge you all to please, do a little, each of you, if you would. Donate a couple of bucks, go give blood (hey, I’m Mr. Fixed Income, giving blood doesn’t cost a penny), go volunteer to get stuff prepared to be shipped to the island, do whatever you can. If everyone does a little…

I know that there are those of you reading this who consider my nonsense humorous and, wow, here’s a shocker, entertaining…from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I don’t have much in the way of treasure, enough, but not a lot, and I can’t go myself to the places where the awful things happen to lend a hand, so I do what I can, and more important, what I know.

I believe, and from what you good folks tell me, I’m right about this, that I know how to make people laugh…I’m not indifferent, or calloused or oblivious to the horrors around us, I’m just doing my small part to hopefully, make your day a little less stressful, or a little lighter.

Laugh with me, please…it’s what we do to keep from crying.

Love and joy,

Cap’n John

Post Script…In keeping with the “serious” theme of this post, I will refrain from adding one my usual ostentatious and totally tasteless displays of support for my favorite team, the L.A. Dodgers, who are playing the Chicago Cubs tonight in Game 2 of the 2017 NLCS.

Post Post Script…Not.

Enrique Hernandez and the Rally Banana…

                                    !!!!! GO DODGERS !!!!!

There, now that wasn’t so bad, was it?

 

 

“HE WAS BORN WITH THE GIFT OF LAUGHTER AND THE SENSE THAT THE WORLD WAS MAD”

 

We had Marie Callendar Chicken Pot Pies on special last week at Publix 420 here in bucolic New Port Richey FL (I always tell people that NPR was named for Lionel’s brother, a prominent local proctologist), where I’m employed part-time as a “Front Service Clerk” (don’t even think about it)…I only work part-time so that my job doesn’t interfere with my much more important duties and responsibilities as the Captain and Master of the R U Kidding.

“Front Service Clerk” is Publix’ corporate jargon for a grocery bagger…200 pounds of title for a 27 pound job. “Bagging”, ladies and gentlemen, which I assume covers most of you, is not rocket surgery. (?) Heavy shit on the bottom, don’t mix the hot with the cold, keep the chemicals away from the grocery items, handle the eggs and the bread like, well, eggs and bread, and don’t bring just one cart in when you go back in the store after helping someone to their car. (Yes, sadly, it’s true…some of our high-school age “baggers” are apparently intending to study to be rocket surgeons.)

So I said to Maureen, one of our cashiers and the sweetest lady forever, as she slid several boxes of the MCall CPPs down the chute to me, where I was standing, waiting with bated breath and open bag, “Hey, look at that, Mo, three of my favorite things.” (Comments like these are made sotto voce and always when the customer is still down at the other end…I’m not THAT stupid.) (“Sotto voce”, you will recall, is Latin for “What, are you kidding me here?”)

What made the whole thing so funny was the split second, nano second really, that it took for Mo to process what I said and get it, her face momentarily blank as her brain made the intuitive leap…she told me the next day that she had recounted the story to her daughter later that evening and they got all silly.

(Okay…”chicken”…”pot”…”pie”. Thank you.)

“The Godfather” debuted in 1972; I was 21 at the time, with little experience with pastries from Italy, so it was a number of years later when I finally realized that “Leave the gun, grab the cannoli” was not some kind of attempt at off-color Italian humor by Clemenza. This has no relevance to anything herein, but I wanted to mention it.

What I really wanted to talk about today is the new CD that I have in the works…I have a tentative title, if you would like to hear it (yeah, fat chance you guys are getting off the hook). I’m thinking of calling it “66 Years Old and Still Playing Air Guitar”, which is at once all the material I have for my CD (someone told me you need songs as well) and a sad commentary on my life.

You know, pooberty snuck up on me when I was kid (okay, 27 is no kid, but hey, come on), and I keep thinking that maturity is going to surprise me the same way someday…that it hasn’t happened so far makes me suspect that maybe, just maybe, it never will.

Shit, doomed to forever to have the sense of humor of a high-school sophomore. (When I was in high-school, back just after the War Between the States, I seriously considered studying to be a rocket surgeon.)

I hate and resist the idea of “growing up” (growing old I’m busily doing already)…there are just too damn many things in life that are hysterical, and a lot of them involve chicken pot pies, Halloween pranks and farts. I’m not proud of this, but I still and always, absolutely am on the floor laughing hysterically at the campfire scene in “Blazing Saddles”. Long live Mel Brooks. 

Because Mr. Brooks and I seem to agree on what’s funny, and I have a feeling the chicken pot pie thing would give him a laugh…Mel is 91 and not likely to grow up soon.

A couple of days before we were visited by Hurricane Irma, when the 24/7 coverage of the storm’s approach and the sense of impending doom sent Floridians (wasn’t that a book from the Bible…Floridians 6, Dodgers 3, yes?) in droves to stores like ours, to buy up in mass quantities such items as bread, milk, canned goods, batteries, blow-up dolls, left-handed socket wrenches and Holy H2O, Batman, water by the truckload, I was walking into work and was confronted by a large, hand-written sign, just outside the south entrance, that could be seen from the parking lot…“SORRY, WE ARE OUT OF WATER”. (Irma was bringing plenty.)

So I suggested to the store manager, a really nice lady named Jennifer, who stands 5’5” in three inch heels and is pretty damn good at what she does, that we put a small notice down in the corner of the “no water” sign that said, “BUT WE HAVE PLENTY OF BEER”.

To her credit, she got a good laugh from that, but she still wouldn’t let me do it.

(Full disclosure here)…No, I have never lit one of my own farts on fire…but I’ve thought about it.

Love and frozen food,

Cap’n John

Post Script…I want to sponsor a periodic contest, you know, like “Ugliest Baby Pic Of The Month” or “Ugliest President Pic” (too easy) or “I Can Name That Politician In One Word” (“crook”) or whatever. So I need some input from you guys…help me out with some ideas for a contest. Something simple (hey, look who’s going administer it) and clean. (No porn.) The person that comes up with the best idea gets to win the first contest. Prizes TBD (right).

Post Post Script…the CPPs were a BOGO, by the way.

Post Toasties…the title is the opening line of the novel “Scaramouche” by Rafael Sabatini.

DID YOU GUYS MEET IRMA GEDDEN?

I’m reminded of a bit from the stand-up act of Robin Williams, (RIP, good sir) where he was talking about the first time Adam and Eve had sex after they had partaken of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Adam, as he rolls away from Eve: “Get back, honey, I have no idea how big this thing gets.”

Me either.

Well, here’s my blog, like it or not, and I hope you will; I have no idea how big it’s going to get, but there’s only one way to find out.

And here we go…

“DANCING WITH IRMA: GOING DOWN THE DRAIN WITH A SMILE ON MY FACE AND A RAFT UP MY BUTT”

That’s the working title of my new book about my experiences during Hurricane Irma…in the meantime, some observations about the this, that and whatever of Ms. I.

*I went through a number of tornadoes during my many years of living in Northern Illinois, the terminus for what is known in the Midwest as “Tornado Alley”, and while watching Irma, deep in the throes of early Monday morning, when she passed within 35 miles of where I live here in New Port Richey, it occurred to me that the ferocity level of Irma (even though the National Weather Service is now saying that Irma had lost a great deal of her force as she was moving north over Florida, she hit Pasco County with a wind force of 90-100 MPH…that’s moving along smartly) was no greater than many tornadoes I’d seen, in any one frozen moment…but while the tornado attacks and then seems to disappear, the hurricane just keeps on comin’. And comin’. And comin’…and comin’. 

*I was without power from about 4:00am Monday morning until about 8:00pm Tuesday evening…I got so sick and tired of walking into dark rooms, throwing the light switch and having nothing happen. (My ex-wife made a similar comment about me once…never mind.) 

*One half of the apartment complex I live in had power throughout…one half did not. Guess which half I live in. (Fuckers, from my balcony I could see the lights and the TVs and the laptops and the tablets all flickering and dancing, not fifty yards away, whilst their owners sat in air-conditioned bliss, gorging on hot food prepared on electric appliances and lapping up cold drinks from a refrigerator and flipping channels with gay abandon.)

I’m not bitter, noo, not a bit.

*One interesting note about the lights over on the other side of the complex…one outdoor spot was trained on an American flag that one of my neighbors was flying, screw the weather. I could see the flag for most of the night.

*My first experience with the haute cuisine of Hector Boiardi, better known here in this country as Chef Boyardee…I had (reading from the label) “Lasagna: Pasta with Chunky Tomato & Llama Meat Sauce”. (I had enough “real” food to go at least two days or so more before I got into the “emergency stash”, in which the various varieties of the Chef’s products figured prominently. I just wanted to see how really bad it was, and I wasn’t disappointed.) 

*I knew things had gotten desperate when, in a moment of beer-induced clarity, it occurred to me that maybe, MAYBE some Parmesan cheese on the Chef might improve the taste…then I realized what I was doing and cracked up.

*Bad move…never lay a flashlight down on a kitchen counter that you think you wiped off in the dark so that the light shines right across the top. Crumbs. Serious crumbs. Like little Moon-hills, lit from the distant flashlight sun, casting long, ink-black shadows in the darkened room, waiting for a tiny Neil Armstrong to jump down from atop the microwave and intone, “IT’S CHEF BOYARDEE, YOU MORON, YOU’RE KIDDING WITH THE PARMESAN, RIGHT? GEEZ.”

Irma was no damn fun, and a lot of good people lost everything, including their lives. For some of us, it was scary, inconvenient and not over soon enough. For others, it was hell, pure and simple.

Sometimes you have to laugh to keep from just losing it.

Love and weather reports,

Cap’n John

Post Script…as you can see there’s LOTS of things that I haven’t done yet to my page; I’ve got a laundry list of “widgets” and features and other technical stuff like “images” and “text” that I will be adding over time. Please keep reading and checking out the new shit when you’re here.

Post Post Script…PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT, DO NOT ASK ANY OF YOUR FRIENDS TO READ MY BLOG…PLEASE, PLEASE DON’T DO THAT TO ME. FIRST  YOU TELL THEM ABOUT CAP’N JOHN, THEN THEY READ ONE OF MY POSTS AND THEY LIKE IT, THEN THEY MAKE COMMENTS ON HOW MUCH THEY LIKED WHAT I WROTE AND HOW WONDERFUL THEY THINK I AM, RIGHT UP THERE WITH HERBERT HOOVER AND THE SHAH. SO THEN I HAVE TO THANK THEM, AND WE GET THIS MUTUAL ADMIRATION SOCIETY THING GOING ON AND THEN THE PRESSURE IS ON…NOW I HAVE TO LIVE UP TO THIS CONVOLUTED IDEA EVERYONE HAS OF MY AWESOME GREAT TREMENDOUSNESS, TURNING OUT AWARD-WINNING COPY EVERY DAY, CHAINED TO MY DESK IN MENIAL SERVITUDE, ALL THE WHILE THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND THE TEMPESTS ARE FUGETING AND…I JUST DON’T WANT TO GO THROUGH ALL THAT, OKAY? 

YOU UNDERSTAND.

GEEZ YOU GUYS, DO I SOUND SERIOUS?

Post Toasties…happy tomorrow everyone. (Wouldn’t “Menial Servitude” be a great name for a rock band? Or your second child, after naming the first “Durance Vile”?)