"The Good ol' Days" ... gone forever
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 5:03 PM
today I wuz browzin' thru my high school year book (1959) from H.H.
Arnold HS in Wiesbaden, Germany. What a treat! I particularly enjoyed
the text for the Home Economics Class of "FUTURE HOMEMAKERS".
It said, "The girls analyzed the components of good grooming and
worked out desirable wardrobes. They studied the best ways of making
home-life happy through good cooking, tasteful decoration, and consideration
Ha ha! Read that whole quote over again jest to make sure ya' got it.
See, all a guy had to do back in those days was to find you a gurl who
was a good cook, and who could decorate yer house, tastefully that is,
and was considerate, and ya' had it made. Under conditions like that
you could get married for yer whole life, secure in the knowledge that
you were going to have a pair of clean underwear in the morning.
But, it didn't work out that way, did it? That wuz Then; this is Now,
and that scenario is as obsolete as the Dodo bird. See, gurls don't
learn these sorts of things today. No, no, cuz today, well, GURLS JUST
WAN'TA HAVE FU-UUN! They are perfectly willin' to leave the 'Good Cookin',
the Tasteful Decoratin' and the Consideratin' to someone else.
I wonder though jes who it is who's goin' to fill in that cookin', decoratin'
and consideratin' gap that's been left. Scuuuse me, but I'm not up for
it myself. I just don't know what has happened these past forty-five
years! Something has definitely gone amiss.
Here in this third millennium one can hardly find a female gurl person,
who will happily and enthusiastically fetch one's cigarettes or a cold
one from the fridge, or perform some other minor task you might assign
them without them moaning and groaning, and bitchin' about it. Today,
this new breed of Gurl is more likely to tell you, "Hey dude, Stick
it up your ASS! I'm not yer Fuckin' Maid"
In the modern Home Ec. class of today, (do they even still have such
archaic classes like that?) this is what they teach the young gurls,
"Tell him to 'Fuck Off' and stick it up his ASS!"
See, back in the fifties your sweetie woudda' said, "Honey, do
you want me to fold these last three pair of your underwear first or,
do you want that beer right now?" Ha ha!
As Charles Schultz woudda' said, "Sigh!" the cap'm
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 5:00 PM
I know lots of
ya'll have gotten this before...all I can say is...I'm redundant sometimes;
Deal with it.
This, a blues song I wrote for 3-6 year olds, a demographic largely
overlooked by the blues community. We don't hear too many blues songs
with them in mind, do we? But, Hey!! They get the blues too ya'know!
This one is sung by "Lil Joey" and the Drecks with his inimitable
haunting harp work and it goes like this
from my nap
Found out Mommy was gone.....
Felt so sad
Threw my blancky 'cross the lawn......
Fell off the
swing...and skinned my knee...Now I got a boo-boo....
and it hurts so bad...Now I got a boo-boo...and it hurts so bad.....
Just wanta' cry...Don't know why.... Cus, Mommys not here
see my tears.......
Got the lonesome boo-boo blues.........
Sittin' in the sandbox...Feelin' so low...
Doan even feel like...Playin' no mo'....
Got the hurtin' fer certain boo-boo blues...and I feel so sad
Mean ole ice cream man...Drove right on by...
EVEN slow down
Got the boo-boo blues and it hurts so bad.....
the corner...Huggin' my knees.....
Sittin' there thinkin'...'bout Chuckie Cheese.....
I got the lonesome boo-boo blues and it hurts so bad.....
I got the boo-boo blues...And I feel so sad....
Mommy came thru the do'....heard my plight....Kissed my boo-boo.....
said doan you worry darlin' cuz everythin's gonna be alright.....
Mommy grinned at me, and said...
Whada'ya thinkin'? Chuckie Cheese??.....
And I yipped...Yo Mommy....ALL-RIGHT!!.......
Now I don't got... Those mean ole' boo-boo blues... No mo'....
Nah, I ain't got those mean ol' boo-boo blues NO MO'....
Cuz Mommys here...And everythin's gonna' be.... AL-RIGHT.Now, I'm
workin' on another one called,
done me wrong and took my crayons too!"
A story of Lost Love and Betrayal. the cap't
The cap't purges himself of Guilt and Shame
Date: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 1:24 PM
STOP THE PRESSES!
NOTIFY THE MEDIA! I am about to make a Public Confession.
While normally, I abhor these kinds of self-serving smarmy affairs,
I DO feel a need to unburden myself, and I suppose Public Humiliation
is as good a way as any. I have been secretly carrying the weight
of this incident on my shoulders for six months now and have spoken
of it to no one. It's been eating at my core. This had not happened
to me for years and years. I had thought those days were over.
You hear horror stories about other peoples but you just don't think
it will ever happen to you. You know whut' I mean! I thought at the
time it was just some quirky thing that would never occur again. But,
after just repeating my incomprehensible behavior once more just a
couple of nights ago, I feel I must confess this shameful thing and
try to purge the demons within.
OK? Here goes: It happened like this. I came home early of the morn
as is my habit, in my normal state of being, getting undressed, preparing
to rack out, when the realization struck me. That awful moment when
you know you've Fucked Up!
I HAD BEEN WEARING TWO DIFFERENT SHOES!!
"Oh FUUUUCK!!" I let out in an anguished moan.
"Oh Fuck! " I said once again.
"What a fucking idiot you are!!"
I thought I had put all that shit behind me. Sure I fucked up that
one time before but I made a vow; NEVER AGAIN! And now; here it is.
I felt everything spinning out of control and that's when I knew I
needed help. (although I think the spinning part was simply due to
the fact I had lost my balance and was careening about the room a
bit. (Those of you who may have had similar experiences trying to
step out of your trousers know what I'm talking about)
So last night I attended my first support group meeting of FIA (Fucking
Idiots Anonymous) I had to stand up and introduce myself and say,
"My name is the cap't and I'm a FUCKING IDIOT."
And then I had to tell my story. I wish I could say it was a cathartic
experience, and it prolly wuz for those others there, but I'm not
so sure I will be going back though, because after hearing the varied
stories of my peers... I realized...I was the Biggest Fucking Idiot
Them All! Hands
down. No competition. There was no one there I could feel a bit smug
and superior to, and look down on and smirk to myself and say, "What
kind of Fucking Idiot would do something like that?" And this
is exactly the kind of Vibe I was getting from everyone else.
I mean, what's the point? The way it felt to me was that my presence
there only served to make Other peoples feel better about Themselves.
But it didn't do shit for my own self esteem! I'm not gonna go thru
that kinda shit just to try and maybe work my way out of the cellar
of the Idiocy Tower, ya' know whut I mean!
So now, I must
embark on my own Self Help program. I am going to have to add one
more item to my daily agenda. See, each day I go through a checklist
before I leave the house. That way, I don't forget anythin'. Ya' know,
Car keys? check..
House keys?... check..
Cigarette lighter?... check..
Loose change?... check..
Something to read?.....check
Attitude adjustment package'....check.....
now, I'm gonna'
have to add a new category
Shoe symmetry?... check.
I'm just gonna have to make sure that each of my shoes looks like
a mirror image of the other one. Well anyway, although it's hard to
find anything positive about this whole situation, I must say though,
that at least this time they were two black shoes rather than one
hiking boot, and one Nike. I suppose we could call that progress of
some sort, eh?...I suppose?
Remember this though, before you judge me too harshly, just remember...that
ONE day, you might be a Fucking Idiot too. the capt.
P.S. Should the day ever come when you realize you just might be a
Fucking Idiot too; just think of me. Mebbe' it'll make you feel better,
cuz hell, thas' what I'm here for; Right? just so others can feel
better bout' Themselves! Yeah right, while yer walkin' Tall, ya' can
look down on me.
Sleep Therapy; Don't try this at home, kids!
Date: Tuesday, June 22, 2004 2:23 PM
night I wuz unable to get to sleep, y'know, doin' that tossin' and turnin'
thing all night, and finally, in frustration I tried sprinkling sand
in my eyes, y'know, jus' like the Sleep Fairy used to do,
Although my eyelids became quickly swollen shut, I wuz never able to
achieve the desired effect. Try something else. the cap't
Appallingly Lax Security at the Mall.
Date: Monday, June 21, 2004 12:30 AM
I wuz out at
Ward Parkway shopping center earlier today and I am telling ya', there
is a Disaster waiting to happen at the mall! The situation is appalling.
It's a bad situation. Security is almost nil. They haven't learned
Perhaps ya' recall about three years ago when I wrote of being hijacked
along with some other passengers on the escalator at Ward Parkway,
and held hostage there by a group of Bible wielding Right-Wing Christian
Fundamentalist demanding that prayer be re-instituted in the schools.
Perhaps you remember I was a sorta hero of that event,
and how I had to slap one elderly lady into semi-consciousness in
order to calm her down, and I'm sure, today, years later, she hardly
remembers the reconstructive surgery that was necessary.
But sheeit, if I hadn't stopped her yowling and whimpering, those
guys were getting ready to thump us on the heads with those Bibles,
and as ya' can imagine, those dudes weren't packing yer run of the
mill Bibles. No, no, they were definitely Heavy-Duty Industrial Strength
Bibles! One good whack with one of those dudes and ya' would definitely
be having Visions, although not of a heavenly nature. I know! I can
tell you this from personal experience, since I was a whack-ee victim
Maybe you remember how I amused the children and kept them calm by
reciting nursery rhymes about John Wayne Gacy and Jeffery Dahmer,
until the Swat Team arrived and rescued us all. Fortunately, that
situation was resolved except for a large knot on the back
of my head without any real bloodshed. (Well, not counting
the old lady, that is.)
Today, there is absolutely no screening of passengers boarding the
escalators. Ya' could board that contraption with a whole armful of
Bibles and no one would say a word to ya!!
eyes open and be careful out there boyz and gurlz. Stay alert when
yer 'hangin' out' at the mall, cuz the peoples in Homeland Security
seem to be takin' a nap as far as this threat is concerned. And if
ya' happen to see Osama Bin Laden strolling around the mall, (remember
him? another one of those Religious Fanatics) don't even mention the
word, "escalator" to him. No need in giving him any more
ideas, eh! the cap't
Some things are better left Un-done, Un-said, Un-Read!
Date: Friday, June 18, 2004 3:27 PM
ya' like to read, and if ya've ever read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller,
and of course, if ya' like to read, ya' almost certainly would have
read this all time classic, since ya' know it would be on any ones'
list of the top 100 books of the 20th century...then ya' absolutely
must NEVER EVER read his last book he wrote just before he died called
Portrait Of The Artist as an Old Man. (The central character, who is
an aging author himself is named 'POTA', y'know, like,' Portrait Of
The Artist, see?)
OK, ya' got that! Put that thought right out of yer mind and NEVER think
it again. Can ya' do that, boys and gurls? Ya' don't want this kind
of dreck tainting your memory of him. Really! It is better that you
never realize that this terrible piece of shit came out of the same
mind, and should some personage ever recommend that ya' do read it,
ya' must gotta flee from them away, as fast as ya' can, ya' dig, and
notify the authorities that a deranged and possibly dangerous personage
is roaming the streets making vile suggestions and conducting themselves
in a most unseemly fashion.
And should this topic ever come up in the course of polite conversation,
possibly at yer book club or some such, I suggest ya' try and change
the subject by faking a faint, if necessary...or
a heart seizure
or mebbe throwing yerself on to yer back and holdin' yer breath while
kicking and screaming and hollerin'. This can be a very useful technique
for diverting peoples attention from places ya' don't want them to go,
ya' unnerstan'. In the midst of the chaos and confusion no one will
ever remember what ya'd just been discussing.
You will in fact be doing them all a favor, cuz' there are some things
we just don't need to know! Ya' know whut' I mean? the capt.
P.S. I wanted to write a brief synopsis of this terrible book, but then
I realized that that would be counterproductive to my stated aim to
preserve Heller's memory. But, man! is there some grist for the mill
Whut's in it fer Me? Why do I do it?
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2004 3:55 PM
know, peoples are constantly axing me alla' time, "Whyd''ya' do
it Cap'm? I mean, whut's in it fer You? Sheeit. Ya' bust yer Ass, ya'
sweat Blood an Tears, ya' try and make a better Society, and whudd'ya
get fer yer efforts?"
Well, I'll tell ya'I bro, in a word, GRATIFICATION....that's whut! Yes,
ya' unnerstan', it certainly is most gratifying to know that one's Words
of Wisdom sometimes find fertile ground and take root there.
I'm referring here to several peoples who have written me to thank me,
personally, for saving them from future potential injury when dealing
with late night ice cream eating, especially involving consumption by
means of a fork utensil.
As I pointed out, this can be a Dangerous and Hazardous Practice even
for the Professional, such as myself, much less for your average hayseed
novice nincom-poop. This is why we allways say, "Kids, don't try
this at home!"
I have a simple Maxim I always try to follow in the Food Game and it's
this, "The less Blood spilled in the Preparation; the mo bettah'
the Feast." the capt.
Personal Change; You Can Do Eeet!
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 4:44 PM
don't remember whether I have told this story before or not cuz' I have
forgotten a lot of the stuff over the years that I can't remember any
But, in any case, perhaps you will get a little inspiration from it.
If just One person blah blah blah reads this and pauses in their daily
Life to consider the consequences of their actions, and re-evaluate
themselves, it will have been worth the time and effort it took to pen
it blah blah blah
A couple of years ago I went home early of a morning and I was just
really fucked-up drunk, you know whut' I mean? It was one of those situations
where I had to use the walls of my crib for support in order to get
from one room to another. In my drunken loon state I decided to have
a snack, naturally. So I stumbled into the food preparation area and
pulled a half- pint carton of ice cream out of the refrigerator.
My freezer at this time worked so good, the ice cream was frozen hard
as a rock. So I used my left hand to hold the carton and with my right
hand I wielded a fork to try and dislodge a chunk or two. I was just
trying to slice away a sliver, y'know, when all of a sudden the fork
slipped and went through the carton and stuck in the fleshy part of
my left hand. So I stood there sloshily swaying and wobbling with a
fork in my hand and bleeding all over the kitchen floor, and at that
moment I had a kind of Epiphany and said to myself, "Goddam, what
in the world is happening to you? This is disgraceful!. You can't go
on like this. You've just got to change your habits. No two ways about
And so I did!
And ever since that night I have Never used a fork to eat ice cream
with again! See, it's pretty darned hard to jam a spoon into your hand.
P.S. I hope this little story might provide you with the Impetus you
need to make some over due changes in your Life...blah blah blah
"The Great Communicator"
Date: Tuesday, June 15, 2004 12:23 PM
Ronald Reagan opened his mouth, to "Communicate," I in turn
opened mine, to "Regurgitate!" the cap't
Oh whut a night!
Date: Saturday, June 12, 2004 2:35 PM
Last nite, this
young dude came up behind me and put his hand on my shoulder in a
familiar buddy kinda way, which I didn't like one bit, cuz I didn't
know the kid. He says to me, "Hey charley, could I bun a couple
of smokes off ya'?"
HaHa Dig this! He wants TWO cigarettes, see! That way, I guess he
figures he wouldn't have to bother me again for a few minutes. I said,
"I don't think so."
He said, "Oh c'mon charley I only need two."
I said, "Hey look here dude, I only got enuff smokes here to
last MYSELF the rest of the night, see, and that doesn't include yer
cigarette needs, but ya' know whut? Yer in Luck."
"Oh yeah, how's that?"
I said, "Cuz there's a cigarette machine right over there in
He goes, "Oh man, I don't want to have to buy a pack. Hell they're
five dollars out of the machine."
I said, "No kidding! Let's see if I got this straight? You want
Me to give You two cigarettes cuz you don't want to have to pay for
them yourself. You want ME to pay for YOUR cigarettes!! Where the
fuck do you think I get mine? Whadd'ya think? I got a fucking Marlboro
tree out in my backyard? You think every time I want a pack I just
go out and pick one off the tree or somthin'?"
He says, "OK, OK, I get yer point, aw'right. I guess I'm just
gonna have to give up smoking."
I said, "No, no, ya' don't gotta do nothin' so Drastic as that...all
ya' gotta do is...buy yer Own goddam cigarettes!"
See, this simple solution of how to rectify a lack of cigarettes has
never occurred to him. No, cuz' ya can avoid all that unnecessary
'buying' shit, cuz all ya' gotta do is; bum em' off other peoples.
He walked away a bit pissed I suppose. Fuck im'! Like, I care!
A short time later I'm playin' pool. I got the table. This young Princess
challenges the game. She tells me she put two quarters in, but the
table won't work. I tell her it takes a dollar.
"A dollar! But I only have two quarters," she says in a
pleading tone. I told her she's gonna need two more quarters if she
wants to play. So, exasperatedly, she asks her four friends if they
have any quarters. They all fumble thru their purses and she manages
to pick up one, and she says,
"Well I've got three now, do You have a extra quarter I can use?"
I said, "No, no, I don't, but hey look, it's no big deal, there's
a money changer right over there. You can get all the quarters you
And, no shit, she whines, "But I don't want to have to break
a dollar for just one quarter!"
Oh you poor thing. She doesn't want to break a dollar!! haha Gee whiz!
Well of course, fer sure, cuz you know how that is; once you break
a dollar, well, sheeit ese, before ya' know it, it's done gone and
spent and ya' don't even know where it went! Right! So she wants ME
to make up the fourth quarter. Ha ha. Yeah! Fat chance sweetie! She
finally finds some young sucker who takes pity on her, thus saving
her from having to break that dollar. Chump!
Some peoples want you to pay for their smokes; others just want you
to pay for their pool games. Shine off. I don't wanta' hear about
it. I jes take a pass.
Later, in another joint, a friend of mine ast' me if I minded trading
one of my Marlboros for one of his Winstons. I said, "Yeah I
Do mind, cuz I don't like those godammed Winstons, but I'll do it
I mean, sheeit, if I wanted a Winston, I woulda' bought some. I don't
like fucking Winstons! But anyway I give him one out of the pack.
A short time later he says in an accusatory tone, "Charley, this
isn't a Marlboro!" And shows me the cigarette I had given him
which was a Camel.
Well, ya' see whut happened wuz, that, earlier I had consolidated
some loose Camels I had lying around and put them in my Marlboro pack
and he just happened to get one. He acted kinda like I had conned
him out of one of his prized Winstons and had unloaded a piece-of-shit
Camel on him. I told him, "Hey bro, I know just how you feel.
Cuz this isn't a Marlboro either!"
as I showed him the Winston
in my hand. the cap't
Whoopie!!! My ship has come in. At last!
Date: Friday, June 11, 2004 12:42 PM
newz boyz and gurlz! I just received a "Letter of Trust and Confidence"
from a General Victor Jaja (kinda' an unusual name eh) from the Republic
of Liberia. He is the former Drefense Minister and it seems he has absconded
with some 52 millions that were formerly earmarked for the military,
but because of the ongoing war there, he has decided to keep those monies
for hisself. Do I detect a bit of Larceny in the General's makeup. Ahh,
a man after my own heart.
I don't know how exactly he got my address, but I'm sure glad he did,
cuz he tells me if I will help him move the money out of Liberia by
allowing him to deposit it in My bank account, he will give me 30% for
my trouble. Man, thas' 15 million, 600 thousand. Fuck those peoples
in Liberia; they wuz only gonna' use the money to buy guns and bullets
with to kill each other! I'm actually doin' them a favor. So, in the
meantime, I'm rich! I'm rich! Hot damn! I knew it wuz gonna' happen
some day: I just didn't know it was gonna' take so fuckin' long!!
All I can say is: those surly bank tellers at my bank better get themselves
a new attitude, cuz when I next be boppin' in there, they best be showin'
me some Respect, ya unnerstan' whut ahm sayin'. the cap't P.S. Oh yeah,
by the way, keep this on the QT, ya' dig. But this General Jaja; haha
he thinks I'm actually gonna let him take out 70% of MY 52 Mil. Yeah
right! Ha ha. "Hey yo, General Jaja, wake up dude, cuz there ain't no
Easter Bunny neither!" Ha ha. What a chump!! This hombre obviously doesn't
know who he's dealin' with here, huh!
It was a kinda fowl situation
Date: Thursday, June 10, 2004 6:59 PM
Early this mornin',
upon arrivin' at my crib, I headed straight for the food preparation
area, where I proceeded to fix myself a chicken omelette. The ingredients
of this dish are pretty much self explanatory. Ya' need some eggs
and ya' need some chicken to mix in with it. I also had some chicken
and noodles soup to accompany it, but rather than adding water, I
used some creme of chicken soup to give it that extra added 'chicken'
flavor. It was just a 'chicken kinda' night' I guess.
And speaking of chickens, I wuz earlier today at Prosperos book
store on W. 39th St. Y'know, 'the 39th street strip'? Right there
in the heart of of the Gastronomic Capital of this great Metropolis.
If ya've never been there before....check it out. This is a cool place.
They gots all manner of used books ya' prolly hadn't thought of in
years. It has an ambience kinda like the old 'Whistlers' in Westport,
but they added a dash of funk. It's also a place where local artists,
poets, musicians and other peoples of that creative nature can do
their thing. They have a "spoken word" type affair once
a month. Although I haven't been to one yet, I assume this is where
peoples go and 'speak words' of their choosing.
It's only co-incidental
that I jus' happen to be Personal friends with one of the riilly Big
HONCHOS there who jus' recently jus' happened to run a bit of my drivel
in his new quarterly mag called Alternative American, which ya' can
pick up a copy there of yer very own,
ABSOLUTELY FREE, with no obligation whatsoever! Check out "The
Gimme Game" which is an excerpt of Bob Savino's new book, Report
from the frontier. I liked that a bunch!
If ya' should go there, tell whoever's workin', that the Cap't sent
ya', and no matter who is workin' there that day, they'll stop whatever
they're doin' and say to you, "WHO?" and most likely, frown
and look puzzled at the same time. When ya' splain' who yer rappin'
bout', they still won't have any fuckin' idea who ya'e talkin' about.
Don't be too concerned; this happens to me alla' time! Ya' could ask
fer 'Will', one of the co-owners, and a PERSONAL friend of mine who
would be glad to steer ya' on to some righteous reading material if
ya' don't have anythin' particular in mind, like, fr'instance, say,
So anyway, while I wuz browsin' about the store I came across a small
newspaper article taped to the wall. It wuz about 'Mike' the headless
chicken. It seems that back in the early 40s, in a little town
in Colorado, a farmer by the name of Olsen, per instructions from
the Missus Olsen, who wanted the neck bone for some soup, whacked
a chickens head off near the top. But this intrepid capon didn't die!!
No, he ran around the chicken yard, well, y'know, like a chicken with
his head cut off...making pseudo pecking kinda of motions, cuz' y'know
he didn't have no head with no beak to peck with no more. And when
he tried to crow, he only made a gurgling sound. (by the way, this
is a true story, this is not a joke!! OK so, don't be sitting around
waiting for no punch line or nothin', cuz it ain't gonna'
So the farmer decided not to eat the chicken right away. The next
morning, he was still 'alive and scratchin' and so farmer Olsen named
him Mike and proceeded to feed him by pourin' water and corn down
his open gullet. This wuz perfectly OK by Mike. Mike stayed alive
for 18 MONTHS! Thas' right, 18 months!! Farmer Olsen took Mike to
state fairs all around the country exhibiting him fer a small fee
and making a modest living. LIFE magazine did an article on 'im in
43. Mike had become a celebrity of sorts.
Unfortunately, for Farmer Olsen, the gravy train wuz derailed when,
tragically, Mike choked to death on a kernel of corn in a motel in
Arizona. (sniff, sniff) I mean, can ya' dig it? The headless chicken
lives for 18 months and then... one day... chokes on a corn kernel!!
(I'll bet there's a moral in this story, somewhere, if ya' look hard
Now there's a small town in Colorado close to the Nevada state line
by the name of Fruita, yeah, thas' right, Fruita. This little town,
not havin' a helluva lot to brag about, decided to 'adopt' Mike as
their very own mascot, even tho he wuz still dead and all, and so
today, they honor the memory of Mike with an annual Mike, the
Headless Chicken Festival and since it is a annual thing, they
do this once a year now And they have also erected a monument to him
in the town square, which makes alla' the Fruitans chests swell with
So, maybe if yer wonderin' where ya' might be going on vacation this
year, ya' might consider goin' to Fruita, Colorado. Other peoples
come from miles around and everyone has a good ol' time there, drinkin,
and cavortin' and carryin' on, all in Mike's memory. the cap't
P.S. As I pondered this whole affair, I couldn't help but wonderin'
jus' exactly what the fuck was Mike doing in a motel room in Arizona?
Huh? I mean, wuz he on vacation, or somethin? And I suppose the Heimlich
Maneuver hadn't yet been discovered, but...even if it had...can ya'
imagine using the Heimlich Maneuver on a headless chicken? I dunno'
ese, I mean, I can dig the sanctity of life and all, but, sheeit,
but personally, I wouldn't be up fer that! And here's somthin' to
ponder on amigos...think of being awakened each morning a few minutes
before dawn, not by your traditional, 'cock-a-doodle-doo', but, instead
by a loud gurglin' sound!!
Mebbe, it got to be more than the farmer Olsen could handle....the
gurglin' and all... mebbe...one morning as Mike gurgled at dawn's
approach, mebbe Farmer Olsen snapped. The coroner's report listed
cause of death as accidental strangulation, but who knows?
Mebbe fowl play was involved? I dunno.
The excessive Absurdity of SOME feminists. Some...mind you.
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2004 7:24 PM
I wuz listenin' to, All Things Considered on NPR and this female
person, I know it would prolly piss her off if I referred to her as,
"this woMAN" because she was talkin' bout respectin' those
and I quote, "Heroes and Sheroes" from the past; and I did
a mental double-take and thought, "Say whut! 'SHEroes'?!"
I mean, I have no beef whatsoever with the De-sex-sation of many words,
like, fr'instance, "firefighter" as opposed to "fireman"
or "police officer" as opposed to, "policeman" or
"spokesperson" as opposed to "spokesman." But when
I hear shit like, "herstory" for "history" and "SHEroes"
for "heroines", my reaction is simply, "Hey sweetie,
take a hike wil'ya!! And while yer at it....Get Lost!!!" SHEroes
my ass!! Sheeit. the cap't
Remembering Uncle Benny
Date: Thursday, June 3, 2004 3:58 PM
This past Saturday I read a book called A Special
Prisoner by Jim Lehrer, the former co-host of the McNeil/Lehrer
News Hour on PBS. He has written a number of fiction and non-fiction
books over the years.
The book is about a B-29 pilot captured by the Japs (war time language)
during the waning months of WW11 when we were bombing Japanese cities
at will, their Air force having been mostly decimated by then. What
planes they did have left were being kept in reserve to be used as
Kamikaze planes for the final defense of the home islands.
The Japanese considered these captured pilots as, "war criminals"
for the complete destruction they were wreaking throughout the country.
Any captured allied pilot was thus deemed a Special Prisoner
and were subjected to the most brutal, inhumane treatment imaginable
from the very moment of their capture. Many were beaten to death by
their civilian captors before they could be turned over to the military.
After that, survival was measured in weeks. Only one out of twenty
airmen captured by the Japanese survived their detention! Whereas
in Germany, the survival rate was nineteen out of twenty. This book
got me to thinking, with Memorial Day approaching. It got me to thinking
about my Uncle Benny, Benedicto Flores, who died Nov. 14, 1992.
My mother came from a large Mexican Catholic family of sixteen, of
whom 14 survived to adulthood. There were originally eight hermanos
and eight hermanas. During the war the Flores family had all seven
of its boys served (one having died in early childhood) during the
war. There are only a handful of other families who can claim that
distinction, and none who can claim more. They did their duty. Three
served in Europe and four in the Pacific. Though some were wounded,
Uncle Benny though, in the Army before hostilities broke out, had
the misfortune of being stationed in the Philippines. After Pearl
Harbor, the Japanese struck swiftly throughout Southeast Asia with
As the Japanese invaded the Philippines, the American and Filipino
troops there, under the command of Gen. Douglas McArthur, were woefully
unprepared. After some resistance, McArthur and his command staff,
seeing the hopelessness of the situation, were evacuated by submarine
to Australia, (thereby earning for himself the dubious nickname of,
"Dugout Doug" forever in the minds of those left behind)
leaving Gen. Johnathon Wainwright in command.
After months of heroic, but futile resistance, subsisting on reduced
rations for months, with almost no ammunition or medical supplies,
the out-gunned, out-numbered forces with no air cover and no chance
of re-supply or re-enforcements, were finally forced to surrender.
Uncle Benny, along with 18,000 other POWs already malnourished and
in poor physical health, was forced to march 100 miles with virtually
no food or water to a former Army post called Camp O'Donnell. The
infamous Bataan Death March ensued. Prisoners, unable to sustain the
brutal pace, were beaten to death, bayoneted, beheaded and executed
for the duration of the entire march. Eight thousand of them died
on the way. Only 10,000 made it to the camp. Uncle Benny was one of
For the next three and a half years, they were worked and starved
and beaten to death. Living conditions were unbelievably harsh and
brutal. The daily death rate was appalling. Near the end of the war
there were only two thousand left. Uncle Benny was one of them.
As the Allies closed in, the Japanese decided to transfer
these remaining POWs to the Japanese home islands. They were loaded
on to two transport ships, each holding a thousand men. Conditions
on these ships made the Black Hole of Calcutta look like
a Summer Resort. Prisoners died standing on their feet and remained
there because there was no room to fall down.
Tragically, in one of those inexplicable misfortunes of War, while
en route to Japan, the ship Uncle Benny was on was bombed, strafed
and sunk by American planes, the pilots completely unaware of their
cargoes, as the ships were not marked in any way. Of the thousand
POWs on Benny's ship, only fifty of them survived. Uncle Benny was
one of them.
At wars end, Uncle Benny weighed just seventy pounds. He looked
like a survivor of Auschwitz. In situations like that, the only people
who survive are the Strong. The Weak, though maybe the best of people,
do not survive. Only the Strongest survive! Uncle Benny was one of
I thought about Uncle Benny on Memorial Day and just having read A
After recovering in the hospital for many months,
eventually Benny was discharged and moved back home, into the house
on 1100 Denver St. in San Antonio where he was born. He remained there
until his death back in 92.
He was a life-long bachelor, who subsisted on the proceeds from a
second hand furniture store. He was heavy drinker his whole life.
And, who can blame him! He endured what we cannot even imagine. I
think that whatever transgressions Benny may have committed in his
life, before or after his ordeal, are expiated by the Hell he was
forced to endure for three and a half years.
As a kid in the late 40's and 50's, watching movies like
the Sands of Iwo Jima and other war movies of the time, I always used
to try and get my uncles to tell me about their adventures
as I thought of them, but none of them would ever do so. Like so many
others who had been in actual combat, they had no desire to relive
those terrible experiences and then to share them with a 12 year old.
It was understood, that you didn't even mention it to Benny.
When I was growing up, my dad was a career Air force officer and so,
because of frequent transfers, we traveled a lot and were only able
to make it to San Antonio to visit all my uncles and aunts in between
my Dad's assignments. And because there were so many and time was
so short, we were not able to spend very much time with them individually,
so I never was able to develop the normal relationships most families
enjoy. But I always looked forward to seeing Benny. He was always
a low-keyed, mild mannered man around us. He had quiet, sad eyes,
and he often times seemed lost in thought and a bit unfocused, as
though he was someplace else.
I could never imagine him being mad about anything,
because he was always so gentle around us; but on the other hand,
he always seemed to be getting out of some minor scrape with the law.
(That was one of the things I liked about him, Ha ha) I used to ask
him how he got that black eye, or this bump or that bump, but he would
just laugh shyly and dismiss it and say it was nothing.
In retrospect, I suspect Benny was a lot madder than I would have
ever known. I think he kept his anger bottled up and hidden from us.
I don't think we realized the pain he carried within. And maybe too,
he felt Guilt as many do in situations, where, they wonder...why they
lived? Against all odds when so many others around them died.
I wish I could have sat down, as an adult in my own right, with Benedicto
Flores and gotten to know him as a Man, as the Man he really was...and
not the notion I have of him as, Uncle Benny, my favorite uncle
but as Benedicto Flores, a genuine American Hero, who deserves to
be remembered with the utmost Love and Respect. I wish I had been
there for Uncle Benny, when he needed some one to be there for him,
like he was there for you and I, from March 42 til Aug. 45.
I wish I had had the privilege to have known him better!
When Uncle Benny died back in 92', his body wasnt discovered
for several days later. He had become a recluse. The utilities had
been long turned off. He had sat in the darkness, drinking his muscatel
and gave in one night. He was apparently just another reclusive wino,
amidst the detritus and clutter surrounding him.
The circumstances of his death were, and still are
so sad. Where
were we, Uncle Benny? Where were we when you needed us? I'm sorry
Uncle Benny; we let you down.
Ironically, a few days after his death, they found a handwritten will
leaving TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND dollars in CASH to the Pope and $124,000
in real estate to the Church, and yet he died seemingly Destitute!
A couple of years later, family members received a statement from
the Vatican acknowledging receipt of same.
They acknowledged receipt, but I guess their mothers never taught
them any manners because they forgot to say, "Thank you."
(which rankles me to this day) the cap't