Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Email to Sis



I got your email this morning, the one you sent but didn't get return receipt on. Let me know if you get return receipt, or for that matter let me know if you don't. You'll know if you don't, you won't get it and then you'll know. Further, let me know if you don't get this email. I can call you with the contents but it won't be nearly as funny since I'll be distracted by the cat trying to bury its food.

You know, email packets are basically switched in one place on earth. If something's going to get lost or if an attachement doesn't come through, I'm convinced that there's a Depanneur in Jonquierres, Quebec that all the emails cycle through. They have a back room, and right next to some RC Cola from the seventies that's long since been forgotten about is the central switching hub for global email.

Like the global economy; it starts with an old woman in the Brighton neighborhood of Brooklyn going out for a can of tuna for Mr. Fickle, the cat. Her 32 cent purchase pulls the trigger on everything.

But back to packet switches. Jean Luc, or Claude, the brothers who own the place, basically know about the hub and are the only ones who can do anything about it. If you get an "undeliverable", don't call your help desk or even find out if you have a system administrator. You can rant about Bill Gates quietly for a few minutes if it makes you feel better, but the thing to do is call one of the boys that owns the grocery store.

Trouble is, they are volunteer firemen in rural French Canada and as such, their English is limited to "where is the fire?" and "the autoroute, she's back there." Just like my French pretty much cuts off after "Ou sont les Femmes sportifs?"

A friend down here just came back from her honeymoon. She got married, which of course is the natural precursor to going on a honeymoon. Anything else is just basically, a trip. A honeymoon is special in that you don't really care how much things cost and you are trying to remember every nanosecond for posterity. Like what your foot felt like when your sweetie dropped her makeup case on it in the Delta counter line at JFK.

"Boy Dear, I'll never forget my foot swelling up two shoe sizes for as long as we're together."

Needless to say, I've forgotten.

I like weddings. They're these huge ceremonies that paper over the fact that you are screwing yourself for life. Everybody gives you presents and money, you dance, you go on a long, elaborate trip and you feel great. Then you come home and she's (or he's) still there. Then the reality sets in. There's a phrase for that of course: "The honeymoon's over." I'm more inclined to describe it as "I didn't think spitting milk at Shirley in first grade would land me in this hell."

These sentiments may account for my being single. Just a guess. But I promised I wouldn't lament.

So I was out running with the boys yesterday. Usual couple of miles before one of us realizes "crap, we still have this much distance left just to get back." I mused on why Barbaro was still around as he had reacted poorly to surgery and could no longer run. For that matter, given the pain meds he had been on, I wondered that they were keeping him around to stud. That's sort of like being asked to perform with fresh gall bladder stiches in. Hey, I've known randy guys but there's a limit.

So don't we get back and they've euthanized the poor thing. Causally, I wonder aloud what the animal is still doing alive and the reaction is it gets put down.

So I was wondering, what's that really irritating judge on American Idol still doing around? Or for that matter, what's the IRS still here for?

That's about all I've got. They're calling for an inch of snow here tonight so the Governor is thinking about declaring martial law and a state of emergency. All the schools will probably shut down until the spring solstice just to be certain and old Bob across the street is probably cutting ridges into the tires of the '77 Dodge Aspen he still motors around in.

I hope you're well and hubby has gotten back from Arctic search and rescue training without being tarred with the nickname "Blackfingers."

your brother the bunny

Bunny on!

By the way, did you ever notice that if you shift your fingers over one key position on the keyboard, it's like writing in Polish?

nimmu pm!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Trade Ya

Probably one of the most bizarre niches of modern publishing, besides modern publishing, is that of the trade magazine. This was brought home a few days ago by a friend who sent a link to something called "Cocktail Monthly" and wondered aloud how many recipes for cosmopolitans one really needed?

Now publishing in and of itself is pretty weird and has lately let its weirdness show a little to the general public. In other words, we who don't give a shit who edits what or whom. Just give us a good book and we might come back for more.

Regan Books wanted to publish "If I did It" by OJ. A "fictional" account by the acquitted of what the crime might have consisted of if he had actually done it. The book was sub-titled "No Shit Sherlock." The most telling quote I ever heard about that whole affair was an L.A. resident who said: "They found him innocent when he did the crime."

James Frey of course published "A Million Tiny Lies, Uh, Pieces." Bunny afficionados, I hereby swear on an episode of Oprah that everything you read here, save for a few cat stories and whatever the old man was ever up to, is fiction.

You can't make up the old man and you can't imagine a cat that bizarre unless you take some sort of halucinogenic.

But back to Cocktail Monthly and the rest of the trade world. I had a friend who's company owned something called "Pizza Retailer." A trade pub on how to sell pizza, presumably. Ok, that's exactly what it was. Just like we get "Coffee Retailer" once a month down at Camp Barrista. How to sell more coffee, more profitably. Well, jack up your prices and control every clock in town such that it doesn't advance beyond 9 am. How's that for starters? Ok. A little over-simplified but lets face it, no colorful poster will ever replace a well planted rumor that Captain Ahab's first mate launches snot rockets into the espresso pod. False as that may be of course, its just one of a million tiny pieces.

All right, this blog was to have been a short post listing the top five fictional trade magazines. Trouble is I'm having so much fun lambasting along the way I can't seem to stop myself. So many juicy targets, so little time.

Lets start though, here are some entirely fictional trade magazines. Oh, and if I've stolen your b to b launch, you may want to re write your business plan. After all, do you want to explain to your VC that proprietary information was pre-empted by a giant rabbit?

I thought not. Bunny on.

5: Drain Snaker's Journal: A newsletter for those charged with retrieving errantly flushed Playmobil figures regularly so Mr. Hanky doesn't show up for a repeat performance.

4: Organ Digest: Don't even think it. Every church has a musical instrument that needs regular polishing. As do we all.

3: Chad Counter's Review: A publication for cross-eyed, tired Floridians.

2: Drinking Daily: For those of us who can't wait for Cocktail Monthly.

1: Whore World: The oldest trade magazine around.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Scent of a...kitty? (Ruby, No!)

There are two things in life that, for me at least, ascend to the level of olfactory perfection.

One is the lingering scent of a woman’s perfume on a pillow.

Light, transient, barely there, it hints at sultry, smoky hours spent in embrace after embrace and reminds you of sweaty, twisted sheets and hot caresses with warm, moist lips whispering sweet breathy nothings.

The other is a new car smell. Nasal nirvana. The most perfect scent in the world. Suddenly, you forget to call her. Anyway, she didn’t wipe her feet before she got into your last car and you’ll be damned if you mess up that black upholstery with blonde hair everywhere. Hey, you’ve got six cylinders, twenty four valves, five speeds and all the perfume in the world! Let’s drive to the end of the block, just ‘cause we can! What else do you need?

Since car costs these days now require not only your first born but you’d better still be fertile ‘cause number two is committed too, you get to enjoy that smell less and less and crave it more and more. Men are starting to wrap their new rides in plastic every night just to hang on to the scent a few months longer.

Now consumer advocates will chide that the smell is really just the curing of resins and glues used to put the car together and is nothing to get excited about. True and now you also know where that fat obnoxious kid who claimed there wasn’t a Santa Claus two years before you and your friends stopped believing got off to.

My last car held on to that new car smell for almost seven months. It was wonderful, I thought it would never end. When it did, the car got hit, parked in a lot. The body work introduced a new bouquet of “near new” smells that, while not as good as new car smell, were a whole lot better than everyday car smell.

And I guess I had that treat coming. New car and then near new for almost a year. I deserved it. Richly. Because the car just before that one had the shortest new car smell stint I can ever remember. One minute it was there, the next minute it was gone and I can only thank one for that.

Uh huh. The cat.


I had bought a new Ford Probe. Red. Pull me over and gimme a ticket officer red. He eventually obliged, but not for a few months yet. It was wonderful; the car, not the ticket. A red SE with a black interior, low to the ground, big ass 205 radials all around. Chest thumping, grunting good. And it smelled just like a new car should. I picked it up on a Tuesday. I drove it to work for the week and on Friday night, I thought I’d give it it’s first wash and wax.

Just finished as the sun set. Ruby, being the cat he was, had clawed at the screen door and howled just long enough for me to let him out as I started to clean the Ford. The other cats were inside but adventure boy was bucking for an evening romp. We always had the cats in for the night and brought them in in the afternoon when we got home from work. Some of them, left to their own devices, would sense as dusk approached and so did we, that we’d cart them indoors. They became scarce and I can fill a book with chasing Crittur through woods and behind arbor vitas. But this is Ruby’s story. He, for all his wanderlust, was relatively easy to get inside. You’d call him and, since he thought the world revolved around him, he’d come to check out what riches of the universe you were about to pile at his feet. So I felt OK letting him out and taking care of the car while he did his cat thing. Whatever that cat thing was. He was fixed, so there wasn’t much he could do. At least that’s what we thought.

I had just buffed off the last bit of carnauba wax and rolled the car into the garage. Job well done and maybe I’d treat myself to sitting in the thing for a few minutes to breathe deeply. Nope. Ruby had another idea. I heard a sound not unlike someone flogging a sack of flour with a truncheon. A deep thumping.

This was not normal. Nor was it good.

It was Ruby, so both of my anticipations were answered at once. He came bounding down the driveway, the same long driveway he had ridden the neighbor’s dog up, ensuring that we’d never speak to those folks as long as we lived there, and crawled into the nether regions of the garage.

That is to say, he crawled right under the car.

No problem so far. I got down on my hands and knees and gently tried to coax him out. When I did that, I got a good look at him and realized two things:

1-Why he bounded.

2-That my car was toast.

Ruby was drooling like a septuagenarian at his first strip club. His eyes were crossed and watery and he was breathing heavily. And he stunk.

Yep, Ruby had taken a face full of close quarter skunk.

And now he was sharing with me, the garage, and the car.

Poor little guy was hurt and scared. I got him to come out from under the car and then wondered what to do with him. Can’t keep him outside. Can’t keep him in the garage. Sure can’t let him in the house. I settled on putting him in the enclosed back porch. While he was relatively safe, unless of course local wildlife chose to gather and poke fun at him, or he’d piss dogs off through the screening, I’d high tail it down to the grocery store to buy a gross of tomato juice. I don’t know if it works, but I saw it in a Disney movie once and that’s got to count for something, right?

It was a plan. I changed clothing since I had carried the cat to the porch. Then off in the car to the Stop and Shop.


What was this?


In the car.

Not the animal.

The smell.

Ruby, hiding under the thing, had left off just enough scent to overcome new car smell.


I shouldn’t, but I will tell you that as I bathed him for the umpteenth time in tomato juice that night, I was more than tempted, more than once, to make sure his head was de-scented.

Just hold him under a few more minutes…



Bunny on.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Not THE Monty Python?

An Argument
By Ernest Hemmingway

The door gave way as I turned the knob slowly. It was a heavy door, but it opened quietly. The room was dark. The air was heavy. A man sat at a desk. The desk looked heavy, weighted down with papers.

“Argument?” I asked.

“Told you already.”I got mad. “When?””Just now.”



I drove a punch across his jaw. Blood shot out of the corner of his mouth. It smeared on his white shirt. I thought I felt a tooth, maybe several, give way. My hand began to hurt immediately.

“That’s not an argument. That’s contradiction.”Welcome to the Argument Clinic
By Kurt Vonnegut


An argument is something different. Unique. It’s a series of interconnected statements of fact or opinion intended to defend or attack a particular position. Its not contradiction. He, the man Trout went to see, his feet encased in the plastic goo that the Paradise river had become, thought contradiction was an argument.

It wasn’t. Any more than a certain bird makes a call in the morning that sounds like this:Poooteeeeweeeet!

The Argument
By William Faulkner

The warm weather came early to Yokhopna County and I felt myself stirring the way one does when the sun hits you and you begin to shake the cold cloak of winter off. All the happy memories of the last year, the ones you thought would never again see as you sat over a frozen chamber pot in February, come flooding back to you.

I got a ride into town. Back of Vic’s old Dodge. I smelled vaguely of dead chickens, but that was ok. He stopped a couple of blocks from the clinic. I got out, thanked him. I didn’t mind walking ‘cause I didn’t want him to feel embarrassed on account of stopping in front of the clinic.

The front hallway was cool and dark, compared to the hot dry street outside. I found the right room and went in. There was some ice tea in a pitcher on a table. The pitcher was sweating profusely and the man in the corner was too.

“Is this the right place?” I asked, “Is this the right room for an argument?””Done told you one.” He answered in a quiet drawl.

I was confused. I had just stepped in and there wasn’t anyway he had said anything to me yet. The office, the whole building was quiet and besides, I have pretty good hearing to boot.

No Dog No!
By Dr. Seuss

I say yes,
You say no,
I say blue,
It isn’t so.

You say.

Pay up,
You haven’t paid.
You’re past your time, and yet you’ve stayed.
The fight is over.
Argument’s done.
It’s worth the money.
Have you had fun.

Now run along,
But wait, just now.
That was never a five minute row.

Ta tumm te tumm and drum your fingers,
While I argue on and lingers.
Now hold on that was not the time.
It was say you, you paid your dime,
You’ve said your peace, you’ve made your point.
Now get your tuckus out of my joint.

But if I’m wrong and if we’re done,
How come you keep on making some,
Points and notions, premise, conclusion,
Am I not done, to my exclusion?

Then you hurl me an abusement,
Fighting for your own amusement!

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