The biggest question I have, Michael, is where have you been all this time?! 

The timing and imagery in these stories, and your ear for dialogue, of course, 
is *exceptional*. More, more! So lively, and flat out hilarious! You *must* 
share these widely. Every time I read these, they crack me up, as if it was the 
first time I read the story.

Thanks, again! 

--- In, Michael Jackson <mjackson74@...> wrote:
> Every word of what I wrote was true. including most of the conversations. I 
> appear to have what some would call a partial eidetic memory. It appears to 
> be verbal rather than spatial. I can remember conversations people had many 
> years ago, but its not 100%. And it doesn't hold with visual images. And yes 
> I know some folks say there is not such thing as eidetic memory. Big deal. 
> Some say that TM will lead to enlightenment too, so as willytex says go 
> figger!
> And I assure you, when we realized our Gatorade was no longer sacrosanct, the 
> world DID darken before our eyes. 
> I will tell you another very short tale from my life at that time. My brother 
> who in his own way was just as off beat as the Old Man would always sleep 
> naked, and his habit was, no matter how early or late it was when he decided 
> to go to bed, he would suddenly dsicover, after he had taken off his clothes, 
> that he was thirsty and needed a drink of water, or milk or chocolate milk. 
> He deemed it unnecessary to put on any clothing to get a drink and so would 
> walk from his bedroom, through the Old Man's bedroom and past the Old Man who 
> would be in his cups, sitting in the recliner, usually with an unfiltered 
> Chesterfield King in his hand. When the Old Man would notice brother walking 
> nonchalantly past him with no clothes on, the Old Man would go ballistic.
> "Git some drawers on!"
> "I don't wear drawers!"
> "Goddamn it! I mean it! Git some drawers on! Runnin' around bare assed isn't 
> funny!"
> We had a wide kitchen window right over the sink and when brother stood naked 
> in front of the refrigerator, theoretically at least the lady Mrs. Carter 
> that lived behind us could see him if she was looking out her back window.
> Brother would take his time getting his milk or whatever he was drinking 
> while keeping up a running banter with the Old Man, who would be getting 
> madder and madder and would eventually threaten to "stomp your ass if you 
> don't get some drawers on."
> One night brother's response was to walk back into the den and stand about 5 
> feet in front of the Old Man where started doing jumping jacks with his 
> tackle flapping. The Old Man really went ballistic and came up out of his 
> recliner like Batman going after the Joker. Brother turned tail and ran 
> through the house. Whether because the Old Man was tired, or too drunk he 
> chose not to pursue but followed him only with curse words and threats.
> This began a pattern that would persist until brother moved out a year or so 
> later. It didn't happen every night or even every week, but at least a couple 
> times a month the Old Man would go into a rage over brother "walkin' around 
> bare assed" and would be treated to nekkid jumpin' jacks before brother would 
> run off laughing. 
> ________________________________
>  From: seventhray27 <steve.sundur@...>
> To: 
> Sent: Sunday, August 4, 2013 11:59 AM
> Subject: [FairfieldLife] Re: For Seventh Ray
> Great story MJ. 
> My favorite part:
> "The world darkened before our eyes when we heard
>  him telling one of his friends on the phone he had run out of soda and 
> discovered
>  Gatorade made a "pretty fair chaser." 
> Damn, but I can't help but feel that the TM phase of your life was an 
> enormous plus.
> And I also can't help but feel that you've arrived at a pretty good place 
> with everything that's happened since.
> And, I confess, that I do keep thinking that your anti TM tirades are going 
> to run their course.
> At the same time, I sort of hope they don't, cuz I do enjoy your 
> participation here!
> --- In, Michael Jackson  wrote:
> >
> > Here is a slightly TM story, and it happens to be true. 
> > 
> > I have said before here on FFL that my Old Man did not like
> > my doing TM. And in fact when I first told him I was going to learn, he 
> > told me
> > he thought it might be some kind of scam. Turns out he was right! But I 
> > didn't
> > have enough sense to believe him then.
> > 
> > At the time this story unfolds, I was TOTALLY into TM and
> > was going off for my second or third residence course. The Old Man thought 
> > he
> > would screw me up by denying me use of the family car, but I asked my mother
> > and step father if I could borrow one of their vehicles, and they kindly 
> > said
> > yes. I drove to that residence course in a metallic gold 1967 Pontiac GTO. 
> > Man,
> > that was a fine ride!
> > 
> > I enjoyed the course and was all mellow and rounded out and
> > had a leisurely two and a half hour drive from John's Island (off the coast 
> > of
> > South Carolina) to get back home. I figured the Old Man would give me a 
> > certain
> > ration of crap because I had spent the week-end "dribbling and
> > drooling" on myself, his words for practicing TM, and because it was
> > Sunday, which meant he would be drunk.
> > 
> > The Old Man favored bourbon almost exclusively and not just
> > any bourbon, but real sho 'nuff high class bourbon like Ancient Age, or if 
> > he
> > was in a spending mood, Ancient, Ancient Age (that there is ten year old
> > bourbon). Occasionally he would pick up a bottle of Old Grand Dad (a high 
> > rye
> > bourbon, bottled in bond) or Old Charter. 
> > 
> > Just to give you an idea of his drinking, after he and my
> > mother divorced, the Old Man started drinking more frequently, and he never
> > mixed a drink at home. The kitchen was just off the den where our big color 
> > tv
> > sat. From his Lazy Boy recliner, all he had to do was stand up, turn not 
> > quite
> > a hundred eighty degrees as he stepped to the left, walk five or six steps 
> > and
> > he was in the kitchen. Face to the right, and he was looking at the
> > refrigerator. 
> > 
> > 
> > Just to the right of the refrigerator was a cabinet. The lower
> > cabinet had a counter top and a double door cabinet underneath where he kept
> > his likker supply. If you opened the door, you would see pints, quarts (or
> > rather fifths) and a few half pints. He never threw the bottles away, but 
> > would
> > drink them down till there was about half an inch in them, then open a new
> > bottle. Very occasionally he would pull all the nearly empty bottles out of 
> > the
> > cabinet, put them on the counter, get a funnel and pour the dregs of the 
> > nearly
> > empty bottles all into one bottle, then discard the now truly empty bottles.
> > 
> > The Old Man generally got his whiskey from the C. R. Koon
> > Liquor store, known as one of the local proverbial "red dot stores," but
> > he was not above obtaining a half pint from time to time from one of the 
> > local
> > bootleggers.
> > 
> > For those of you who don't know, a man who makes illegal liquor is
> > a moonshiner, and a guy who buys liquor in bulk and illegally re-sells it 
> > at an
> > exorbitant price is a bootlegger, and my Old Man knew most of the 
> > bootleggers
> > in the area, at least the white ones. I only bought from a bootlegger once 
> > when
> > I was about seventeen, from a black woman that lived way out in the woods 
> > but
> > only because one of my friends, Eddie, knew her and drove a bunch of us out
> > there. Visiting bootleggers was not a normal activity for me.
> > 
> > At any rate, the Old Man drank his likker every day, and I
> > am going to tell you how he drank it. The first hint we had that the Old Man
> > was going to take his first drink of the night came when you would hear the
> > sound of that double door cabinet being opened, then closed and the plunk 
> > of a
> > liquor bottle being placed on the counter. Next would come the shhhook 
> > sound of
> > the refrigerator door opening, then closing, closely followed by another 
> > plunk
> > of the quart glass bottle of Coke, Seven Up or whatever soda us kids had
> > bought. He used any and all of them as a chaser. 
> > 
> > The next sound would be the removal of the caps on both the
> > liquor bottle and the Coke or Sprite bottle. Assuming both caps were 
> > aluminum,
> > you would think they would sound the same, but in fact the sound of a metal 
> > cap
> > being unscrewed from a bottle of bourbon and a soft drink bottle were very
> > different and very distinctive. 
> > 
> > Then the Old Man would take a drink of soda, swallow it,
> > take a swig from the liquor bottle and then real quick he would take another
> > mouthful of soda. Now evidently he held that bourbon in his mouth till he 
> > was
> > taking the soda as a chaser and often, maybe about twenty five percent of 
> > the
> > time, he would get choked and start to cough while he still had the soda 
> > bottle
> > up to his mouth. 
> > 
> > One of the most odious experiences my brother and I had in
> > those days was going to the refrigerator suffering from thirst, selecting a
> > good cold Coke, Sprite or what have you, twisting off the cap and smelling 
> > the
> > odor of bourbon wafting up from within the bottle. It was revolting. 
> > 
> > When we had such an experience we would generally say
> > "Damn! whiskey Coke!" and put the soda back in the refrigerator
> > without drinking any. We had the idea that the reason there was liquor odor 
> > in
> > the soda was some whiskey backwash had found its way into the soda bottle 
> > while
> > the Old Man was coughing with that soda bottle up to his mouth. The worst 
> > was
> > when that soda was the last one in the house. Then we had to settle for 
> > milk,
> > water or go thirsty.
> > 
> > I arrived home from the residence course Sunday afternoon.
> > The Old Man never took a drink in the daytime during the work week, but on
> > Sundays he started drinking about eleven o'clock. His general modus operandi
> > was to get up and take a slug of whiskey every time a commercial came on 
> > tv. So
> > by one o'clock in the afternoon he was three sheets into the wind. 
> > 
> > Since I was driving my step-father's car, I parked out front
> > cause I didn't want the Old Man giving me hell for crapping up the driveway
> > with my step father's car. I walked in the front door and passed through the
> > living room, dining room and so into the den. 
> > 
> > There was the Old Man obviously drunk in his Lazy Boy
> > recliner. Near him on the couch much to my surprise and distaste was a 
> > friend
> > of the Old Man's that we will call Dave. Daddy referred to him as Lyin' 
> > Dave,
> > because he claimed Dave told a passel of lies. The Old Man had a certain 
> > degree
> > of contempt for him, but he worked at the appliance and music store next to 
> > the
> > laundry the Old Man owned with his brother in law and they would drink 
> > together
> > every now and then. 
> > 
> > Dave was short, skinny and pretty much the same kind of red
> > neck the Old Man was, only Dave talked a lot and did tell a lot of lies. He 
> > had
> > jet black hair he always kept slicked back with Brylcreem or Vitalis. I 
> > think
> > it was Brylcreem because the Old Man used Vitalis and Dave's hair always had
> > more shine on it than the Old Man's did. 
> > 
> > I said hello to the two of them. Did I receive a reply?
> > Hello? How are you? How was your week-end? Hell no. The first word out of 
> > their
> > mouths was Dave saying to me "You gotta hep me. I need you to hep
> > me."
> > 
> > "Hep you do what?" says I .
> > 
> > The Old Man growled "The cable's out. Dave's gone fix
> > it."
> > 
> > "And I need you to hep me," Dave chimed in.
> > 
> > I thought they were drunk and talking drunk talk. "I
> > don't know how to fix any cable."
> > 
> > Dave said "No, you don't have to know anything about
> > fixing it. I'm gone do that."
> > 
> > "Then what do you need me for?"
> > 
> > "I need you to ketch me if I fall."
> > 
> > "What?! Catch you? Whadda you mean catch you?
> > 
> > "I got to climb up the telephone pole to git at that
> > cable, I need you to ketch me in case I fall."
> > 
> > "Dave, I can't catch you! Look at these scrawny arms of
> > mine. I can't catch you."
> > 
> > "I need you to catch me if I fall, otherwise I 'm not
> > gone do it."
> > 
> > "You gone do it, goddamn it!" said the Old Man.
> > "The goddamn cable's out and there's a ball game comin' on in a little
> > while. Now git out there and hep him."
> > 
> > "Why don't you call the cable company to come do it?
> > It's their job."
> > 
> > "It's Sunday, goddamn it! They won't come on a Sunday. Now
> > shut up and go help Dave fix the goddamn cable!"
> > 
> > So I had to go do it. Dave got up off the couch and we
> > walked back the way I had come in to exit the house through the front door.
> > Dave was unsteady on his feet and as we walked he stressed the importance 
> > of my
> > catching him should he fall off the telephone pole. 
> > 
> > He also said "Now don't you tell nobody about
> > this."
> > 
> > "About what?"
> > 
> > "About me climbing up this damn telephone pole."
> > 
> > "Why do you care if anybody knows?"
> > 
> > "Cause when they hired me down at Werts, I told 'em I
> > was skeered of heights, and if Ms. Werts finds out I was up on that pole,
> > they'll make me work up on them damn roofs from now on."
> > 
> > "All right, I won't say nothin'."
> > 
> > "You better not, cause I don't wanna work on them damn
> > rooves."
> > 
> > By this time we were standing in front of the pole in
> > question. Lyin' Dave was swaying slightly on his feet as we looked up at the
> > pole. It was a typical pole of its time, with sturdy steel spikes that bent 
> > at
> > a forty five degree angle to provide a climbing foot hold for the linesmen 
> > who worked
> > on the telephone and power lines. To prevent kids and stupid people from
> > climbing them the power company started the spikes about six feet above 
> > ground. 
> > 
> > Dave said "I can't pull myself up from that high."
> > 
> > I said "Well I don't think we have any ladders around
> > here." We were not much of a fix it family.
> > 
> > "We don't need no ladders. I just need for you to get
> > down so I can climb up on your back."
> > 
> > The idea of getting on the ground and having Lyin' Dave use
> > me like a stepladder did not appeal to me in the least, so I said with some
> > heat, "I ain't lettin' you climb on my back!"
> > 
> > "I got to, otherwise I won't be able to get up
> > there."
> > 
> > "Look, just grab onto the bottom spikes and I'll boost
> > you up."
> > 
> > Complaining and protesting Dave stepped up to the pole,
> > reached up and grabbed the bottom spikes. I had to push him up from behind,
> > putting one hand on his bony ass (which was an odious experience in itself) 
> > and
> > he wound up putting one foot in my left hand to get himself far enough up 
> > the
> > pole to plant his feet on the bottom spikes. Dave ascended the pole while I
> > stepped back to watch. As he climbed he talked the entire time about how I 
> > best
> > be ready to catch him should he fall.
> > 
> > I stood there thinking "I am about to see someone get
> > electrocuted. He is drunk and he's gonna screw something up and he's gonna 
> > get
> > fried and I'm gone have to watch it." I was not very happy. 
> > 
> > Much to my surprise Dave while complaining and fretting
> > about falling did actually manage to reconnect the cable without getting
> > electrocuted. After he finished, he sat up on the pole for a little bit,
> > talking about how he was fixing to come down now. Then he began his descent.
> > 
> > "Alright, I'm coming down now. You be ready to ketch me
> > if I fall now. I mean it."
> > 
> > "Dave you ain't gone fall, you're doing just fine." 
> > 
> > I guarantee I was not standing close enough to get fallen on,
> > much less try to "ketch" him if he fell. Dave did alright until he
> > got his feet on the bottom set of spikes, and then he got nervous since he 
> > had
> > no place to put his feet.
> > 
> > He stood on the spikes with one foot, holding on to the
> > spikes that were about level with his neck and feeling around with his other
> > foot as if another foothold were going to magically appear for him to climb
> > down on. Had either of us had any sense we would have brought a chair or 
> > something
> > from the house for him to both climb up on and climb down on, but I hadn't
> > thought of it and what little sense Dave possessed had been washed away by
> > liquor drinking.
> > 
> > "I ain't got no place to put my feet!"
> > 
> > "Dave, you ain't but six feet off the ground, just let
> > yourself down with your hands another rung or two and then just drop off."
> > 
> > "Hell no, I ain't gone jump off this pole, I might git
> > hurt. You got to hep me git down."
> > 
> > "Just drop off, it ain't far."
> > 
> > At some point Dave did drop off, but he didn't do it
> > intentionally. His fears became manifest. He fell off trying to climb down 
> > the
> > pole with his hands on the spikes while attempting to brace his feet on the
> > sides of the telephone pole. It just so happened there was a big ass holly 
> > bush
> > right by the pole, and Dave fell smack in the middle of that bush. Holly is 
> > an
> > evergreen with shiny, waxy leaves that have spiny ridges ending in stiff 
> > sharp
> > points that will stick the shit out of you if you rub up against them. And 
> > it
> > was a big bush, about maybe six feet tall and probably equally big around.
> > 
> > Dave lay in the bush cussing me like there was no tomorrow. 
> > 
> > 
> > "I fell, I told you I was gone fall. Goddamn you, why didn't you catch me?
> > Goddamn it, goddamn you."
> > 
> > "Dave, are you alright?" 
> > 
> > "Hell no I'm not alright! These damn holly leaves are
> > stickin' me. Goddamn it, why didn't you ketch me? You was supposed to ketch 
> > me.
> > Goddamn you, wait till I tell your daddy."
> > 
> > I could see that Dave was unhurt in terms of broken bones or
> > even bruises and as getting the crap stuck out of him all over his body with
> > holly leaves was not life threatening and as he was cussing me to a 
> > fare-thee-well,
> > I was not inclined to hep him out of the bush, but I did wait till he got
> > himself out before I went back in the house. 
> > 
> > 
> > Dave cussed me the whole way and
> > as we walked through the living and dining rooms we could hear the 
> > televison was
> > on and the pre-game show was already running. 
> > 
> > I got another cussing from the Old Man when he learned I had
> > not caught Dave. I turned away and went back to my room. I don't remember 
> > what
> > I did, but it was a nice end to my residence course weekend.
> > 
> > A foot note to my description of the Old Man's drinking
> > habits is the one beverage that was mine and my brother's exclusively was
> > Gatorade. The Old Man never touched that, until one day he ran out of chaser
> > when my brother and I were not home. All we had was a quart of Gatorade so 
> > the Old Man tried it
> > as a chaser â€" and liked it! 
> > 
> > 
> > The world darkened before our eyes when we heard
> > him telling one of his friends on the phone he had run out of soda and 
> > discovered
> > Gatorade made a "pretty fair chaser." 
> > 
> > We complained bitterly about it, but he continued to use our
> > Gatorade whenever it suited him. And from time to time we would have the 
> > horrid
> > experience of whiskey Gatorade. No wonder I felt led to do something like 
> > TM. In
> > hindsight I should have skipped the meditation and drunk bourbon and 
> > Gatorade.
> > I would-a been better off in the long run.
> >

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