What’s with all the dreadlock beehive hairdo’s lately?

Haven’t they heard about the dreadlock beehive wearing person (a friend knew her! Or him!) who kept feeling ill and sick and couldn’t find the reason and then died from massive black widow spider bites because a black widow was living in their dreadlock beehive and kept biting them and then laid eggs and they hatched?

Huh? Well?

How to hammer in a long stick

  1. Find a stick and a hammer. Sledgehammer is good.

  2. Cut off end of stick at an angle, with coping saw. Pointy stick goes into ground more easily.
  3. Find good place to hammer in stick.
  4. The spot will be outside, of course, since that’s where the best ground is. But the stick is long so you need a ladder, which is in the cellar which is so far away, so you get the second-best thing:
  5. Find a 14-year-old girl.
  6. Talk her into climbing onto your shoulders and hammering in the stick.
  7. She’ll protest that she’s too heavy for you. Just tell her, no you’re not. You’re lithe as a young doe.
  8. She’ll say she doesn’t want to break your back. Assure her this is not a risk. It’s just picking up the heavy weights, the getting up part, that’s getting harder. The getting up joints – knees, back – aren’t getting any younger. But the standing stuff is still fine, seriously. Sit down on the steps, make her climb onto your shoulders. Think about the guy, Greek maybe, or Roman, one of those pantheon types, who lifted the cow every day from when it was a little calf. He could still lift it when it was full-grown. Full-grown cow. Strong guy. Interesting workout program. You’ve been lifting this girl onto your shoulders most days since she was a baby so you still can. Keep this analogy to yourself.
  9. Getting up, of course, will be a problem. Hang onto the fence to help yourself stand up. Use the stick if necessary. Hanging onto the fence with a sledgehammer in your hand won’t be easy, but it’s still better than letting her hold it while you try to get up with her on your shoulders, cause she could accidentally knock you with it. This way she has both hands free to grasp your head or whatever.
  10. Okay, now you’re up. Put stick in right place and give her the sledgehammer.
  11. Yes, it’s heavy honey. Sledgehammers are supposed to be heavy. It’s in their nature.
  12. Stand there holding stick while she hammers it in. Isn’t this more interesting than just climbing up onto a ladder and doing it yourself? She’s slender but strong, isn’t she. Hard rower’s legs grasp the base of your skull where the stubble is. What would a sledgehammer strike feel like? It would probably be a glancing blow, wouldn’t it, not a straight-on crushing blow the archeologists find centuries later and say was the result of a battle, or a tribal conflict or a ritual killing, sacrifice maybe. It would be a glancing blow, but still, ouch. Head injuries bleed so much, and this would certainly break the skin, shift some scalp an inch, expose a bit of skull, maybe a hairline fracture, lucky to get away without a concussion.
  13. Enough hammering already. If the stick is still wiggly, hammer a small metal post next to it and tie them together good for stability.
  14. Stretch cord between stick and fence, hang colored glass candleholders (protect votive candles from wind, decorative function).
  15. You’re ready for your barbecue.
  16. As added bonus, next day your wife tells you the girl told her, “dad is so strong!”

It’s a grand old flag

Man desecrates U.S. flag.

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Hello Princess

“A princess is really coming to visit?”
“Mm hmm.”
“A real princess?”
“Yes, honey.”
“This isn’t just another story you’re telling me?”
“…” [dumbstruck]

When you’re a six-year-old girl, princesses are serious business.

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Magical realism

I wrote a story once about a guy whose friend gets beat up and ends up in the hospital. The beat-up friend got smaller in each rewrite until finally he was tiny in the middle of the bed, skin yellow with bruises, hooked up to various monitors and life-support systems.

Then my first daughter was born three months premature. When I first visited her in the hospital, she was tiny, yellow with jaundice and hooked up to a respirator, monitors and had a feeding tube down her nose.

I wrote a story about a guy who was confused and ended up in the back seat of a taxi with a really old Japanese woman who leaned over onto his shoulder as the taxi went around a corner and he realized she had died. The story ended with him sitting there, riding and riding, her hair occaisionally tickling his face in the breeze.

The next day as I walked to the hospital to visit my daughter I passed an old lady who had died in the street. She just fell over. People stood around her looking, but not in a big hurry. A little blood came out her nose.

I was, at that time, working on a story about a guy who was estranged from his wife and whose daughter was dying of cancer. He wandered onto the set of a movie about Bigfoot.

I stopped writing fiction at that point. I only just started up again recently. I’m having a hell of a time getting going.


Standing around by some rose bushes, it occurred to me that I was mortal. Am mortal? So I looked really closely at the rose hips. I haven’t been looking at rose hips closely enough lately.

In a dream, someone showed me a picture of a scientist-looking guy (short regular haircut, beard, glasses) and told me he was a renegade phytobiologist. Well, not “phytobiologist”, but something that sounds a lot like it in a dream. And not “renegade” but something close.

Driving part way around a traffic circle on my way to work this morning, CD player tuned to Shakira’s Spanish songs, I wondered how a hermit crab knows when to leave his old shell for a new one. Does it just get tight in there, or is there a psychological component, like claustrophobia? And in between shells, when he’s running around naked, does he just feel vulnerable, or does he feel naked in a good way, like, “hell yeah, I’m naked, this rocks!”?

Muy muy lejos

“Not this!”
“But honey!”
“Not this. What is this?”
“This is a bonus track! This is not just Sepultura, this is Sepultura doing Mongoloid by the Ramones!!!”
“Gah, we listen to her every morning on the way to daycare.”
“Shakira! The Spanish songs!”
“No quiero dejarlo todo a lazar
Que he comenzado a estorbar
Pronto estar