Tag Archives: satire

“The Stimulus” has stimulated my brain…

1 Mar

You know… it’s funny…

All things really do come back around!

When I was a kid, my parents (“Gawd fearin’, man-killin’, shoot–em-up and eat the entrails”)  US Marines, had us convinced that the world was going to come to an end in our lifetimes.

So, while most kids grew up on Bambi movies and trips to the Ice Cream Shop (does anybody remember “Foster’s Freeze?”) we grew up on “Bambi Burgers” and instead of settling down in front of the TV every Sunday night to watch Walt Disney…

waltdisney

We found ourselves forced to watch John Wayne, Audey Murphy, and “Tora, Tora, Tora” kinda stuff… and as we got older, we saw post-apocalyptic action thrillers… because “someday we’d be forced to speak Russian or Chinese and work as slaves, if we weren’t careful!”

You’re old enough to remember stuff like “Mad Max,” and  “Red Dawn…,” right?

mad-max

Well, we watched stuff kinda like that. After all, the point of post-apocalyptic movies was that people did survive, even if they had to endure horrible things in the process. Oy!

red_dawn

Other parents took their kids on camping trips to the beach where they played in the surf, they BBQ’d, and the boys spent the entire weekend, looking at girls.  Not in MY family. We went to places like Joshua Tree (out in the middle of the CA desert) where we got dropped off miles before the spot my parents would camp, equipped with a knife (a Kabar), a canteen full of water, some beef jerky, a couple of Hershey Bars, a length of rope and some fishing line, and a thermal blanket. We roasted sinewy rabbits (that we snared) over a small campfire (small enough to remain “unseen” in case “the Chinese were actually watching”),  suspended by green twigs.

joshua_tree_national_park

And, if we didn’t make it to the campsite (“HQ”) by the time my parents were ready to “bug out…” we were in serious trouble! You think I’m kidding, but I’m not!

BTW: My older brother and I used to smuggle small .22 caliber pistols into our “gear” when Dad wasn’t looking. Rabbits are smarter than you’d think!

mini-22

Ever since the bailouts, I’ve started listening to the people around me, whining and complaining about the decaying  state of politics… and America, in general.

And it’s increased in decibel level, since President Obama started going on TV to describe the Stimulus Bill, and all the debt that America is taking on.

The natives are getting restless, folks! Although I grew up thinking that my parents were insane (they WERE Marines, after all!), now, it’s all starting to make sense… and that’s not good.

(Now, before you start in on me… I love Marines.  L-O-V-E them. “God Bless ‘Em, every single one of them.” Nothing makes me prouder than hearing about “our boys” (be they “man” or “woman” – I’m talking  “serious” terms of endearment here) out there doing what has to be done. Regardless of where you stand on the “current state of war,” you have to admire and respect people who are willing to fight and die for things they believe in. America needs Heroes. The US Marines grows them. Semper Fi!  ‘Nuff said.)

Years ago, we built a home for some friends who decided to “dig in and drop out.” They wanted to build an “earth sheltered house” that you couldn’t see, unless you were standing right on top of it.

And you wouldn’t be, because “the Daddy” was an extremely bad dude. I grew up in one of “those families.” You know the ones… We had a “war shrine” in the living room. We had an American Flag hanging in the front yard. We have ancestors buried at Arlington National Cemetery. We had “weapons of mass destruction” hanging on all the walls. (Okay, in our case it was “huge calibered, high powered, bust a cap and kill everyone in the room” kinda stuff…) My father was an honest to Gawd “Korea and Vietnam Legend.”  (His friends called him “Colonel Killzone…”) We were constantly surrounded by “really bad dudes” fresh from the fight.  I’m not talking about street punks with AK’s. I’m talking about guys that, when pushed, could change history wherever they found their feet… Guys who KNEW death by it’s “first name” and weren’t afraid of anything… much.

We heard all the stories told late at night, spoken softly over bottles of Scotch, with softly playing  radio designed to drown it out, so that we couldn’t hear it. Tales told by “men made of iron – with tear filled eyes,” guys who were honoring the “cherished memory of the fallen…” And, most of them would have traded places with those heroes in a heartbeat. Sometimes it hurts more to survive…

(If you don’t understand this, you’ve just never been there, and you should thank your lucky stars for that. Some of us aren’t so lucky.)

As a result, we had really, really, high “fear” thresholds.

And this guy… well… he scared the hell out of us!

g

Okay, that’s not his “real” picture. But in my defense, he said if we ever dared take his photograph, he’d hunt us down like dogs… and kill us… two times! And we believed him!

I’d been “summering” up in Northern California, in a remote cabin on a river. It was good times. The DEA and ATF were on the loose, trying to run off all the guys growing “pot.” We had a “Hari Krisna” temple right down the road.

And surprisingly, they were about the nicest people you’d ever want to meet (the Krishna’s… not the DEA)! If you ever needed help doing anything at all, the Hari Krisna’s  were always right there, ready to pitch in. And, everybody knows that Krishna girls don’t wear bras… or evidently underwear. So, we ALWAYS needed their help, for something… 🙂

There were naked hippies in the river, just about 24/7. (And confidentially, some of those hippie girls were HOT…hot…hot!)  The beer was always ice cold (we kept it in the river), the fish were jumping (we drank the beer while we were fishing… duh!),  and an early morning bowhunt always put game on the table.

And then… HE showed up.

That guy. The one I was telling you about. And once he got there, he decided that he wasn’t leaving. We’ll call him “Uncle G.”

At first, we were “apprehensive.” I mean, we knew “Uncle G” wouldn’t kill us… because we were “kindred.”  Hell, we’d had nightmares about him since we were kids! “Uncle G” had “war wounds.” WE had “war wounds.” We were “isolationists who just kept to ourselves.” “Uncle G” was just antisocial. I mean, the kind of antisocial that they criminally prosecute you for. The banjos playin’ in the background, “Deliverance” kinda antisocial… 🙂

(Just kiddin’ “Uncle G!” Now put the gun down… I’ll just back out of the room slowly, okay? I mean, nobody needs to get hurt, right?)

He was “Married with children.” And I’m not talking “Al Bundy.” More like “Ted Bundy.” And his daughters were… um…er… breathtaking… all 4 of them.

As in, if you looked at them twice… he’d take your breath away, permanently.

So, we bribed him with fish, freshly killed deer, some jerky when we had it to spare, produce from our garden, and several good bottles of 10 year old single-malt Scotch.

(Because, campers… Giving a “mountain dwelling serial killer” bottles of good Scotch will keep him from killing you. I know it sounds crazy, but evidently it’s true!) 😉

Anyway, they were living in two old school buses that they’d converted into RV’s. So after about 3 months of this, Momma wasn’t having fun anymore. Nuh-uh! So, “Daddy” decided that he’d better find new digs, or he’d be “flying solo.”

Imagine our shock when he showed up on our porch, wanting to “talk.”

Now, we immediately started stammering about how we’d never even looked at his daughters!… and that we’d never do it again!… and that if he’d spare us… (“please, please, oh gawd… please!”)… we’d gouge our own eyes out with dull wooden spoons, so he wouldn’t have to do it… We pleaded with him not to kill us! We said he could just “hurt us a little bit and we’d never tell!”  We cried like schoolgirls who got their best shoes all muddy!

(Hey, don’t laugh! It was the only plan we could come up with! This guy made Rambo look like one of the “Village People!”) 🙂

And he just started laughing…

It was one of those “Muuuuwahhhhhaahhhaaahhhaaaa!” laughs so bone-chilling that even thinking about it to this very day, sends more chills running up my spine than… um… er… never mind… why should I tell you?

It turns out that he just wanted our help.

He’d seen what we’d done with a couple of shipping containers that we’d hauled up from the coast. And he wanted to do something similar, to make a home for his family, before his wife “helped him wake up in the morning, dead as a stone.”

A year before, we’d gone down to Crescent City, and acquired a couple of shipping containers. Now folks claimed that we’d absconded with them, but we don’t see how that could have possibly been true, because it’s not like you can actually steal a big steel box that sticks out like a sore thumb, and haul it off into the wilderness, without someone seeing you do it… unless it’s really dark.

Seriously, we’d hauled them up onto flatbed trailers (using a tractor and a few winches) and then we drug them behind pickup trucks, up and down several miles of pretty difficult logging roads, to reach their final destination. Once we arrived and covered up our tracks… we set those containers  up on concrete blocks, slapped roofs on them, built porches around them, and then… well… never mind. It’s not important and I don’t remember exactly how “the statute of limitations” actually works! 😉

But the “fast and dirty” of it is that they became “1 room cabins, with a view.”

Unfortunately, the “view” was of the local bears pillaging around at the “dump,” but it WAS a “view…” just not a very good one… And if the bears got too close, you could just run inside and slam the double steel doors closed! Bears can’t get thru Corten Steel… can they? Gulp!

Anyway… They  (the “Corten Cabins,” not the bears!)  had small “Swedish Stoves” inside them (for heat and cooking), the bed folded out of the wall, we built “skylights” (that leaked like a waterfall for a while), and even a “real” window or two.  We insulated them with fiberglass batts, and then we put paneling over it. The bathroom was a hike outdoors to the “bunkerfied” port-a-potty, until we could build a suitable “outhouse.”

“Uncle G” decided that he wanted to do likewise, but he wanted to further fortify them by pushing dirt up around them. Voila! Our first “Underground Corten Castle” was born!

And that… is the guts of this post… I bet you thought I’d never get to the point, huh?

With all this talk about “survival, succession, and suffering…” It made me remember that home we built him.  And it looked something like this;

simple_bunker_comp1It was about 2500 square feet, a three bdrm, 2 bath home (although one of them was in the “basement”), with all the amenties that you’d expect in a house, but it was “underground.” Okay, the basement was mostly underground. The rest of the home was covered in dirt, after we covered it in rigid insulation and concrete.

It took us the better part of three summers to build it. “Uncle G” lived with his family in the central section while it was being built. There were no “Planning and Zoning Nazis,” and even if there had been, he’d have just killed and eaten them.  😉

If you could get close enough to it to actually “see” it, you looked down into a submerged courtyard, that we used to call “the crypt.” Why? Because if you were stupid enough to try and climb down into it, he’d bury you! That’s why.

We built retaining walls off the main structure (we had literally TONS of river rock at our disposal, and Hari Krisna’s who would “work for food…”) and they (the walls, not the pony-tailed crazies) ran out about 25 feet, to another pair of containers, that were converted into a 16’x16′ 2 story greenhouse on one side, a 16’x16′  “office” on the other, and an 8′ path down the middle that served as a “steel bailey.”

It was basically just a fortified entry door gauntlet. Trust me… you didn’t want to sell Amway to anybody at this house (or even a vacuum cleaner) unless you wanted to disappear, forever.

It was one of those places where the signs that were posted said:

“If you can read this… You’re already DEAD.”

And “Uncle G” wasn’t kidding.

You know, I kinda miss old “Uncle G”. I’m gonna give him a call…

Stay tuned!

The Renaissance RoninLook… I’m recycling, reclaiming, and even BEGGING for material (sometimes “on my knees”) because my family’s SURVIVAL is at stake.
I’m asking you to get involved.
If I’ve helped you, informed you, educated you, or just entertained you… consider donating a few bucks to the blog, to help us survive and rebuild OUR home. Our family needs a home. Our situation is dire. And yes, I’m begging… I’m not going to waste bandwidth plastering pictures up of my wife in her sickbed… or my little 2 year old son. I’ve written about the circumstances here, already.
If you guys and gals show any interest in this, I’ll see If I can remember the floorplan… It was real simple, easy to build, and they (“Uncle G”, his wife, and a few grand-babies) still live there, to this day. I’m amazed. I figured that he’d be rotting away in some Federal Maximum Security Penitentiary by now!

Of Impending Hurricanes and Housing… or… “Gustav Get Lost!”

29 Aug

First off…

WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!

This blog post contains strong language, and possibly even the implication of an adult theme.

So kids, go play with your brothers and sisters, or watch Disney! Or Barney will come over to your house, and eat your puppy! He’ll do it! I swear he will!

Now I know that usually, I’m all “informative and entertaining, whilst brainwashing you about the merits of living in steel boxes,” but…

Before you get all “uppity” and stuff… I’m just trying to add a little humor to what is looking like a pretty bad situation. There’s a lot of stress here, right now, as we wait to see whether or not Mother Nature is gonna give us another disastrous spanking.

As Tropical Storm Gustav bears down on us here in coastal Mississippi, we do what everybody else is doing…

We wait to see how big a hurricane it’s going to spin itself up to. Experts (like they really know anything) are predicting that it’ll make landfall southwest of New Orleans, and I’m figuring that it will probably scatter some debris around the storms did last time.

So, it’s “hurry up and wait.” Ronin hates “Hurry up and wait…” (Grumble, mumble, snort!)


And since I’m not good at “waiting patiently” for anything…

In order to keep myself busy (an outta my wife’s hair), I started looking at ways to gain shelter from the storm… Hell, I even have Bob Dylan playing in the background, for “theme music…” Guess which tune?

And I came across this little gem…

While it doesn’t seem very practical as a place to hide from a hurricane, it does seem like a good place to “park in plain sight” of all those miscreants you married into, the next time your wife browbeats you into ruining a perfectly good weekend by visiting all your kinfolk, collected together at some “impossible to find” campground out in the middle of nowhere, for a  family reunion.

Whew! Try saying all that in one breath, sober!

Why sleep in a tent, or rent an expensive hotel room (the next time your wife drags you to that annual “husband-haters” convention) when you can show off in your portable “fishbowl lodge!”

Nothing says; “I’m a success, and you’re still just dumb-assed, broke rednecks!” like your own “Solar powered Plexiglass Palace Retreat,” dropped smack dab in the middle of those relatives you’ve hated since you inherited them from your wife!

Plus, if it rains (like it usually does) you won’t get get wet and muddy with those “three-toothed yokels” you barely speak to, and you can watch them make fools of themselves from the warmth and safety of your mobile “command center!”

This baby has all the comforts of home! You get your luxury double bed, a few bedside lights (LED lamps, you know! We gotta stay “global warming friendly!”), a NASCAR print duvet, enough pillows to drown out your significant other’s snoring, a fully carpeted floor, a couple of window blinds, a dressing table & light,  a mirror (so you can see the hillbillies behind you as they turn green with envy), big comfy reclining chairs instead of those stupid folding contraptions that always pinch your ass, a big flat screen HDTV with a satellite dish (so you don’t miss the big race, and football games!), a DVD player with a collection of your favorite porn DVD’s, enough air conditioning to turn your “private space” into a freezer, a heater (just in case she’s not “feeling the mood”), and a illuminated headboard, that throws shadows onto the blinds, so the relatives have something to talk about when they get home…

After all, you did spend your last three pay raises on your wife’s new boobs, didn’t you? Why not let the in-laws see and maybe even hear her “appreciation?” Hey, they just graduated to “Daddy’s special squeeze toys with an audience!”

It even has a refrigerator for your beer and beef jerky, a hot plate with instant Ramen/coffee making facilities, a bathroom with a bio-degradable toilet (why on Earth would you want a toilet to bio-degrade? Isn’t that counterproductive? What would you sit on?) and a washbasin and an “outdoor shower”… with real running water (not that fake “non-running stuff” that comes outta plastic jugs).

And let’s not forget the “roof mounted anti-theft device” (the remote control, belt-fed machine guns) put there to keep those sneaky penny-pinching bastards from trying to steal your imported beer.

You get all of this, in a see-thru polycarbonate box measuring 160 square feet (twenty feet long by eight feet wide) with great views of the campground, albeit a bit deficient in privacy (but real cool if you’re an exhibitionist or a porn star!), and for only a hundred bucks a night, plus delivery!

Billy Bob, our family “Director of Sheep,” said: “It was great! Ma almost fell off her tractor when she saw it! And those bastards got to enjoy the festivities, drink cold beer all through the night and then climb in to a nice big comfy bed, where “Baby was hammered and all primed up for lovin! You shoulda heard ’em go at it!”

Because not everyone who goes camping wants to sleep in a cold, drafty, bug-ridden tent – so this is “the ultimate alternative,” and you’re almost guaranteed to get “lucky.”

(Because if your wife ain’t feelin’ frisky you’ll be surrounded by girls with no qualms about sleeping with “their cousins or relatives…” I guarantee!)

So rush out with your three teeth and your bad self, and get on the reservation list, today!

And don’t forget to wear those “assless chaps” and the “wifebeater” that Ma got you for Christmas last year! Because nothing say; “Never invite that $%^#@!! again!” more than ass-less chaps and a wife-beater. Except maybe some goth mascara to go with ’em… And clogs. Clogs, made outta goatskin  are good…

And when they ask you if you’ve seen little Billie’s “lost” goat, you can just clack your clogs together, and deny everything, while you casually turn the goat ribs you’ve got smokin’ on the BBQ…

Yeah, buddy!

And relax John-Boy, they take Walmart Credit Cards… At least, I think they do…

I gotta get me one of these!

Okay, okay…
It’s not really just for “Rednecks.” But, it could be “for you.” This is a real “Travelodge Hotel Experience” (minus the machine guns, and the NASCAR stuff) and it’s coming to a neighborhood near you, soon. Seriously. They’re talking abut making these available to the public. So, camping out at that next NASCAR race could get pretty interesting, huh?

George Carlin talks about America

24 Jun

WARNING: Mature topics and mature language. If speaking frankly and eloquently, with an occasional [expletive deleted] offends you… don’t watch!

You’ve been warned!

“Keep thy religion to thyself…” George Carlin

23 Jun
Until it’s time to find out what’s on the other side…
George Carlin in 2008

George Carlin died today, of a heart attack, at the age of 71. It’s amazing really, the guy you thought would live forever (or at least longer than Keith Richards) has passed through the veil, to see what kind of mischief he can get into, on the “other side.”

It was George Carlin who said; Frisbeetarianism is the belief that when you die, your soul goes up on the roof and gets stuck.“

\

As much as I loathe cleaning out the gutters, I’m tempted to go up there just to see if he’s there, so I can bring him back down for an encore.

I guess he figured he’d done all he could do, and decided to leave us to our own devices. After all, he’d won Grammys, the “Mark Twain Prize for American Humor,” the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the American Comedy Awards, and too many others to mention. He endeared himself to us with his acting, his antics, and his “cut right to the chase” views on the human condition. And in the end, it was that human condition that took him from us. He’d lived long enough to exit gracefully, without a complaint, a whimper, or a sour note.

Lifetime Achievement Award at the American Comedy Awards in 2001
Although he started out in a suit and tie, in 1970 George reinvented himself, and that long-haired, unkempt maniac in jeans and a T-shirt we all grew to love made us laugh, and more importantly, he made us think. As he attacked our eccentricities, and our weaknesses, he reminded us that he was one of us, and that we were all in the same boat, together.
George was always right in the middle of the action!
George was one of the smartest men I know, and his vision helped us grow, and evolve as the troubled times we live in changed all around us. Through unrest, war, and crisis, George made us laugh, he gave us hope.
Monkey see... monkey do... but you better not!
He once said; “The IQ and the life expectancy of the average American recently passed each other going in opposite directions.”

My only wish is that he hadn’t gone out of his way to prove it was true.

George hated the idea of “dying.” In fact, in some of his more famous routines, he ranted about the euphemisms that are so widespread in American culture.
Forever smiling... sometimes!
Older” sounds better than “old,” doesn’t it? Sounds like it might even last a little longer. … I’m getting old. And it’s OK. Because thanks to our fear of death in this country I won’t have to die I’ll ‘pass away.’ Or I’ll ‘expire,’ like a magazine subscription. If it happens in the hospital they’ll call it a ‘terminal episode.’ The insurance company will refer to it as ‘negative patient care outcome.’ And if it’s the result of malpractice they’ll say it was a ‘therapeutic misadventure.'”

George ponders life.
George Carlin said that It’s never just a game when you’re winning.”
Well, my friends, the game is over, and we are the ones who lost.
If “great comedians” go to heaven, then the skies should be filled with the laughter of angels for quite some time to come…
No dear, that’s not thunder. It’s George…”
At least I got away from all those crazies!
Let’s hope that G_d has a sense of humor!
We’ll miss you, George…
George Carlin, who left us all alone to face the madness… 1937-2008