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 FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, 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: FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com > Sent: Sunday, August 4, 2013 11:59 AM > Subject: [FairfieldLife] Re: For Seventh Ray > > > > Â > Great story MJ.Â > > My favorite part: > > "The world darkened before our eyes when we heard > Â him telling one of his friends on the phone he had run out of soda and > discovered > Â Gatorade made a "pretty fair chaser."Â > > 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 FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, 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 Ã¢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. > > >