Some Whole Wheat Words

And Other Up-Lift

Archive for June 2007

Today’s Wisdom

with 5 comments

Hello, Dear Readers (or, should I say “Deer Readers?” ha! You’ll see in a second! Wait for it! You’re the best!), and welcome back to Joe’s Blog. I am your host, Joseph Yachimec, and it is Sunday. Do you know what that means? I do: it’s time for Today’s Wisdom. I am excited and aroused to begin, but before we start, I want to address a problem that I was posed recently by a concerned reader.

Dear (Deer! There I go again!) Joe, he wrote, I like very much you’re blog especially you’re scenes that feature sad young people. They are good and please keep writing them in you’re own special way. I am doing good and I also don’t like complaining but here it is: I have a complaint. When the nurse reads to me I like to make pictures in my head and one of my favorite types of pictures is imagining what the person looks like that wrote what the nurse is reading. You’re name is Joe but since you never say what you look like too much sometimes I think that you look like the nurse, and a woman named Joe talking about liking girls or a man named Joe with a funny lady’s voice and big veins on his legs would be just plain weird and maybe more. So I have a complaint or a request and here it is: please tell me what you look like so that I can imagine you reading instead of the nurse because I feel bad about thinking about a man with a funny lady’s voice and veins, that’s weird.

Sorry about complaining,
Robert Frumm.

Robert, I stand over seven feet tall and I have a long white beard. I often dress in flowing silk robes, which were made especially for me by my passionate, dusky Spanish seamstress. I have been educated at a University, and I will tell you as many times as I need to. Tucked behind my left ear is an ivory pen, and occasionally will pull out a notebook from my golden sash and write in it with the pen, muttering “brilliant, brilliant.” If people ask me a question, sometimes I ignore them for twenty seconds just to show them what’s what. My eyes are piercing, like coals, but hard and flinty, like chips of mountain-slate, but full of kindness. I smell like knowledge.

No sad young people today, Deer Robert. Only wisdom. I want you to close your eyes and think of me sitting on my plinth, surrounded by flowers, basking in a shaft of lucky sunlight. Ignore this nurse’s voice and focus on the words. To the nurse: this part should be read softly, and low, with a hint of sexiness and regret at things missed on the path to knowledge. Not too much regret, though.

Today’s wisdom comes from Advanced Rut Hunting: Strategies for Taking Whitetails During Prime Time, which I’m sure everyone is familiar with. It had been on my reading list for several years, one of those classics I’d heard a lot about and I’d just sort of nodded knowingly when people brought it up after dinner.

Then I saw it in the window of a bookshop as Espritu and I made our way to the Silk Store, and I had to pick it up. I had assumed it would be one of those books, maybe that when you are told are great, are in actuality awful. Or you are told that they are awful, but they turn out to be great. Wrong! The book was neither: it was great.

I’ve had some difficulty summing it up, so I’ll quote from the ‘blurb.

Whitetail rut behavior and the hunting strategies that take it into account have come a long way in the past thirty years… We can translate and decipher deer vocalizations and language… and much more.

Still, one thing remains the same: The rut is a time for hope and big dreams– that the biggest buck in the woods will be so preoccupied with chasing does that he’ll finally make the mistake that brings him into range. This is the dream. It is a little bit like high school.

Chapters include:

Hitting The Rut Right

S-L-O-W Stalking The Rut

Climb High For Rutting Bucks

Romance: The Rut Stalker’s Best Ally

Sure-Cure for the Post-Rut Blues

A Sham In The Deer Woods

Follow Your Does

Tenderness

And much more. Now, Robert, settle back into your pallet or use your bedpan, whatever, I’ll wait. Wisdom is coming, exploding like unto a double shot of bong water in the stomach of a gullible frat-boy. Whoosh!

Rudimentary fawn-bleating calls have been on the market for a number of years, although it was Harold Knight and David Hale– founders of the famous Knight & Hale Game Call Company– who pioneered the development of a fawn call that was far superior to anything previously available. But their fawn-bleating call came about quite by accident.

“Over the years we had recieved numerous requests from coyote hunters for a call that would bring the predators in close,” Harold Knight explained. “Since young deer play a major role in the diets of coyotes, we collected tape recordings of actual deer bleating sounds from a fawn that was caught in a fence. Then we designed a call to duplicate those bleating sounds.”

“Yet disappointed coyote hunters began complaining to us,” according to David Hale. “They said the call brought in more deer than anything else! That gave birth to our EZ-Deer Bleat Call.”

Curiously enough, the Lohman Manufacturing Company, another producer of quality-made calls, also experienced a unique twist during the development of its Deer Bleat Call.

“In our case,” Brad Harris says, “hunters everywhere are having terrific success calling in deer, but those hunters living west of the Mississippi are enjoying an added bonus in that their use of the Deer Bleat Call is also bringing in antelope!”

Antelope! Did you remember to find the Wisdom? I did, and I’ll be disappointed with you if you didn’t.

Now Espiritu is calling me downstairs for Ice Cream Paella. I must go, Deer Readers, but until we meet again,

Stay Wise!

Advertisements

Written by wholewheatwords

June 24, 2007 at 6:40 pm

Posted in bile, fucking around, lies

Dan Schneider ITT

leave a comment »

Someone please take away Dan Schneider‘s keyboard:

The good thing about DVDs is that, aside from superior audiovisual quality, the extras that come with them can be engaging, more often than worthless. Usually, the best extras on a DVD are the film commentary tracks, and the making of featurettes. The worst are generally outtakes (there’s a reason most never made their films) and self-serving interviews. Sometimes all the extras blow, as when a director or star uses the commentary track as a vehicle for self-fellatio, and other times all the extras rock with insight. Such is the case with the DVD of the film Love Actually, whose extras are spare, but the few it has are good.

Such rare, powerful elegance! You were suckling deeply upon the great Bong of Truth, Danny, before you whipped off that nugget. I feel empowered now, and it tingles.

It got me to thinking, actually. I imagined a world where all reviewers shared Dan’s prodigious talent and smooth-drinking grammar, a world crammed with rocking insight, a world that did not, in a word, “blow.” What would such a world be like? How would its gifted peoples perceive our dim Earth, so lacking in Schneider? What of its cuisine?

Sadly, this vision-world tormented me with its beauty, and I found that I could no longer focus on it without gnashing my teeth in frustrated longing or getting an erection. Instead, I decided to play a fun game, called “Trope Shooting.” The object of the game is to try and find a review on this site where The Dan does not mention a) Political Correctnes, b) Bugs Bunny, or c) 2001: A Space Odyssey. I lost.

I have found consolation in the nightly prayer that someday, in an unclear and wonderful future when I am published, he will see fit to descend from his throne, extract Little Dan, and pee on my clothes.

Also, he hates George Saunders.

Written by wholewheatwords

June 24, 2007 at 4:58 pm

Posted in bile

Saving Throw

with 3 comments

“C’mon, guys, have a little mercy here,” said John.

Gary laughed and took a drag of his cigarette.

“You failed your saving throw,” he said.

Brett swung his legs back and forth over the porch banister, kicking the peeling blue wood with his heels.

“Dude, I’ve been playing Logarth since we switched to Advanced,” said John. He squinted in the sun, ran the back of his arm across his forehead, wiped his arm on the side of his shirt.

Brett smiled absently. “Acid trap mashed you good, man,” he said. “Spike pit didn’t help much, either.” The smell of warm leaves and stagnant water leaked downwards from the eavestroughs.

“Who put that pit there, anyway?” asked John.

“Wizard,” said Gary.

“That’s bullshit. Fighters aren’t supposed to just open a box and die!” Said John. “Can’t you even give me a chance at death in battle?”

“Sorry, man. We agreed, remember? No resurrection,” said Gary. Grubber sauntered up, panting; pressed his nose into Gary’s hand. Gary took another drag and scratched the retriever’s head with long fingernails.

“I seem to remember a pretty specific quote,” said Brett, looking up from his sneakers. “After I had my run-in with that Beholder. What was it, again?”

John frowned, looked away. “Second chances are for pussies,” he said.

“It’s all fun and games until a trap sprays acid in your face and you fall down a pit and die,” said Brett, smiling.

Gary pitched the butt of his smoke over the railing, onto the driveway. It bounced a bit, sprayed sparks.

“Careful where you put those things,” said John. “You’ll set the lawn on fire, man.” John started a sweeping motion aimed at the close-cut scrub of yellow grass, aborted it. Birds chatted each other up drunkenly in the heat. Grubber padded off to poop somewhere.

“You guys hungry? Want to walk downtown?” asked Gary.

“I could eat,” said Brett, chipping at a flake of paint with his thumb.

“I don’t want to fill in another character sheet right now,” said John. “Hotdogs? There’s a stand. Just opened.”

“Barrie has a hotdog stand? We are catching up with the real world,” said Brett. Dominic opened up the screen door and stepped onto the porch.

“Took you long enough,” said John. “What the hell were you doing in there, anyway?”

“You want me to take a picture next time?” said Dom.

“We’re getting hotdogs,” said Gary. He slipped a hand into his pocket. “Lemme go find my wallet.” They followed him inside, into a warm fug of stale cigarette smoke and old cooking smells, and stayed on the threshold.

Brett looked through the kitchen into the living room. Gary’s mom was asleep on the couch, the TV turned down to a mumble. The news was on, a piece on China or Korea. The camera panned slowly over a huge blackened plain, lakes of ice-bright glass; curly rebar and concrete chunks in piles like golem vomit. The sky was navy, black, grey. Bruised. Not healing well.

Gary ran back up the basement steps in twos, prying his pocket open with one hand, cramming the wallet in with the other.

“Time for some animal parts,” he said. They left.

Saturday traffic windshields shot focused beams of nauseatingly bright late-June sunlight. The heat pressurised the air, squeezing their voices flat.

“So, long live Logarth,” said Dom.

“Shut up.”

“Bravely he fought, bravely he fell. Into a hole.”

“Shut up,” said John.

“You should play a girl next,” said Brett. “We could use a cleric, or something.” They passed a beat-up van idling by the curb. Its 8-track switched loudly, ka-chunk, krrr… chunk.

“Dudes can be clerics,” said John, kicking an empty Cplus can onto the road. A car passed, its wheels missing the can by a little.

“Yeah, but who’d you rather have applying a salve to your scorched groin?” asked Dominic.

They thought on this in meditative silence, turned the corner.

The cart was silver, with a grimy red-and-yellow umbrella. “Stavropoulos” was printed in black lettering on the side. Stavropoulos fiddled with the grill and mopped the sweat off of his sunburned forehead with a tea towel.

“Hot dogs, fifty cents. What you want?” He said. They dug for quarters, farted mustard and ketchup from garishly crusted pumps.

“Kev Mason says they’re getting a new game in at Happy Man this week. From Japan, really strange spacey stuff,” said Dom, ladling relish.

“Kev Mason is a total jerk-off and he’d better give me back all of the books I lent him,” said Gary.

“What’s it called?” asked John.

“I don’t even know, I haven’t seen them for forever. Err, I Will Fear No Evil, Stranger In A Strange Land, and Vonnegut’s Slapstick, I think. That’s his newest, isn’t—”

“The game, I meant. What’s the game called?” asked John.

“Don’t remember,” said Dominic. “Invader- something. You play as a Shrike, shoot down Soviets.”

“Wanna go check it out?” asked John, looking down the street to the arcade. Grunts of assent pushed their way through bread and meat.

They made their way into the cathode twilight. It was busy and hot. The owner eyeballed them momentarily and went back to watching baseball on the portable TV behind his desk. The machines were in attract mode, and a free-jazz/musique concrete beep medley was blasting from a legion of Tournament Tables, Avalanches, Western-Guns, Breakouts, Dark Flights, and Spacewar!s, accompanied by sharp pinball percussion. Except for a few diehards slapping paddles along the walls, all the attention was focused on a single cabinet.

Space Invaders. Right,” said Dominic. “I knew ‘invader’ was in there somewhere.”

Not much was visible through the crowd of jostling shoulders. John and Dominic elbowed closer. A young kid in a striped shirt was at the controls, mashing the forward and back buttons, sweating, unfamiliar with the game. A crash of synthesized noise, and the crowd broke into short cheers or heckling. Gary lit a cigarette, inhaled.

A K-4 Shrike, rough hewn in pixels but recognizable, slid through the starless vacuum, ducking behind a set of rapidly disintegrating shields. Above it, crude Soviet craft jerked downward in regiments; four lines of MiG 278s and 444s with a line of Sukhoi Su-90HBs at the top. A strip of coloured film was pasted to the display, giving the Shrike a greenish cast. The music, or whatever it was, thudded loudly.

Some Soviet satellite, an LPlat or something—whichever one the UN had made such a big stink about—appeared at the top of the screen, whizzed left and right, sprayed missiles downwards. A missile raced through a corridor in a damaged shield, hit the Shrike on the nose, popped it like a soap bubble.

“Game Over,” said the machine in bright lettering.

Fuck!” said the kid at the controls, drumming buttons in post-death nervous spasm. He fumbled for a quarter.

“C’mon, man, let someone else have a turn!” said a voice from the crowd.

“Fuck off! I’ve only been on for like five minutes!” the kid said. He plugged a coin into the slot, tapped nervously. The heckling grew louder.

The cycle began again, the mass of Russian spaceships teleporting from nowhere, beginning their lurch to the bottom of the screen like shuttles on a loom. The Shrike lanced out with thin white missiles, tore openings through shuffling MiGs, stirred the rest up like kicked hornets. They swooped fast toward the bottom of the screen. Brett and Gary leaned against the counter, talked swords, monsters, girls, dice.

Bowie from the radio, suddenly, muddied and filthy from the ambient crash. Something from Stars…, maybe. The owner changed the channel.

“Faggy keyboard shit,” he said.

An explosion from the game; another from the kid. He moved from foot to foot, rolled his shoulders, stretched his neck. The crowd jeered, pushed closer.

On the TV, the baseball game was interrupted by some kind of news-preamble. Lloyd Robertson focused on his hands and tapped papers at his desk, adjusted his glasses. Fatherly lips flapped mutely. The owner lit a cigarette, unfolded a paper, clipped coupons with bent scissors.

GAME OVER. The action paused, a MiG in coitus with the bottom of the screen, then everything dissolved in a single-line shockwave, flashed white, flashed black. A scream of pure noise cut over the din and made everyone jump. Hands from the crowd pried the kid away from the stick.

John was a head taller than anyone else in line, maybe a year or two older. He pushed his way to the front, wedged himself between Space Invaders and a grasping hopeful.

“Lemme have a turn, man,” he said.

“Hey! Don’t butt in line!”

“Just lemme try it for five minutes. Just for five minutes,” he said, not looking away from the screen. His hands magnetised themselves to the controls, wrists bent at uncomfortable angles.

“Hey! Hey!” the kid said, and was sucked back into the crowd. Dom leaned in, both elbows on the console. The Russians rallied for another charge.

The footage on the TV was monochrome and blurry, the action unclear, the cuts and pans nauseous. The camera seemed unhinged, scanning pointlessly through blackness, white lines streaking quick in all directions like sun-trails behind eyelids. Something triangular flickered momentarily at a corner, burnt in for a second.

The shot changed; a cramped cockpit. A helmet bumped against a seat, shadows growing and shrinking in a wide circle as the light moved. Earth above the pilot’s head, moving fast, then gone.

John died, swore, began again.

A clear shot, for a moment. A fighter outlined against the Indian Ocean, fingers of shadow on the wings, recoiling from a point of light. The two intersected, exploded. Then back to Lloyd Robertson, swallowing visibly.

John died, swore, began again. The owner put down his paper.

A picture of the Hammer and Sickle, then a MiG. Lloyd removed his glasses and rubbed his eyes. More footage, unedited, too fast and blurred to follow.

Then, a steady shot. Earth rotated in a slow circle around the corners of the screen, followed by a satellite. Something poked a pinprick of light into the centre of the screen, then tore the darkness violently open. The footage jerked, went grey, ended.

“Everyone out,” mouthed the owner. Brett and Gary stared at the screen. The owner’s voice rose. “Everyone out! Everyone out! We’re closed!” He flicked a switch, and the screens went dark. A sudden bomb of silence.

Complaints started out from the crowd, rising in pitch and volume. The owner pointed a finger at the television.

WAR, it said. Lloyd spoke softly.

–condition 1, and a State of Emergency has been declared. No announcement has been made from behind the Iron Curtain. The government has advised Canadians to stay indoors or at home until further information is available. All of our regular programming has been suspended, and we’ll be bringing you updates as soon–

He finished his speech and slumped in his chair before the station cut to standby.

They left, and walked back to Gary’s house in the deepening sun. There was no car in the driveway, and the doors were unlocked. Gary’s mom had gone. A cold pan of half-cooked onions was on the stove, surrounded by little points of thrown oil. The television was on, an American channel. Reagan was sweating in a choke of lights and flashbulbs. The blue curtains behind him did not move.

–a firm hand–

–cannot allow–

–are prepared, we are trained, we have–

–if not now, then inevitably in the–

Gary lit a cigarette, sat down on the couch. Brett and Dom fell into chairs. John stood, mouth open slightly.

–even now, the brave–

–limited exchange–

Grubber barked from the back door.

–all costs–

–of the shadow of death, I fear no–

–bless America.

The presenter afterward had nothing to say. He smoothed his desk out, straightened things. The footage came back, colour on the ground and from the air; marching, crawling, flying in crowds and regiments and squadrons. Black and white footage from space, abrupt and grainy and crowded, filled with flashes and sudden blanks.

“I’m going to let the dog in,” said John, walking from the room. Gary finished his cigarette, lit another.

Maps arrayed and discussed in babble, pundit eyes glassed over and staring, fumbling with teleprompted lines. Numbers rattled off without meaning, minor skirmishes.

“Shouldn’t we be in the basement or something?” asked Dom. No-one looked away from the TV.

John cracked the back door, and tried to coax Grubber inside. The dog whined, shied away from his hands. He stepped outside, into evening. The east was dark, the stars visible there.

Grubber snarled and jumped off the porch, his tail between his legs.

“C’mon, boy. C’mon back inside.” Grubber barked loudly, ran towards the end of the yard, and dipped under the fence. John saw him vignetted momentarily between two houses across the street, then he was gone. The streetlamps had turned on, buzzing against a carless void of summer silence. John sat down on the deck, flakes of blue paint scratching against his bare legs.

He looked out over the pines at the stationary stars, and waited for something– a saving throw, a Game Over.

 

Written by wholewheatwords

June 19, 2007 at 4:32 pm

Posted in prose

Tang

with one comment

So, the other day, this lady came by the bookstore. She handed me a leather package and said,

“This is the nicest shop I’ve been in all day. Do you want this typewriter? For display, I mean. It doesn’t work.”

“Er, sure,” I said, and took the package.

Someone should tell her that she doesn’t know how to use a typewriter– thing works perfectly. It’s an Olivetti-Underwood “Lettera 31,” fairly rare, and something about it makes me want to write. So, I did.

All spelling mistakes are the fault of this keyboard, which hates me and was made out of Nazi plastic or something.

———-

-This needs to be thrown out. Now.

-Dude, don’t touch that, that’s my Tang. That cost me like a buck fifty.

Frank waved a drunken, accusatory finger at me.

-The government uses this stuff to keep you happy and complacent. It’s all poison and sugar and preservatives. Do you know what preservatives are made of?

-No, Frank. What are preservatives made of.

-Ask the fucking FBI. And tell me before you do, so I have some time to write up the “missing” posters. It’s an experiment in mind control. Why else would there be a chimp on the label?

-That’s the Tangutan. He’s not a chimp. He’s a Tangutan.

-Bullshit. That’s what they want you to think. They want you to wonder about the genus of the chimp, so that they can continue to fuck with your head! He’s a diversion. Out he goes.

-Hey, don’t throw out my fucking Tang, man!

-Down the drain, said Frank, looking around. Down the drain, just like your standard of living.

Mr. Roach wandered out from under the stove slowly, stoned on Raid.

-See what I mean? Dropping out was the worst idea you ever had.

You dropped out.

-I had my reasons for dropping out. As for you, I mean come on— you thought your band was going places? With a name like The Sniveling Pukes? And anyway, I’m doing fine– you don’t see me drinking mind-control serum, do you? No sir.

-I’m glad you felt obligated to come to my house drunk at one in the morning to tell me that– thanks for breaking my door-chain, by the way.

-What are you, some kind of paranoid schizophrenic? Chain on the door, you’re like my fucking grandmother.

-And thanks for puking in my wastebasket, man. That’s really helping me cope. Was it gratis?

-I did not.

-You fucking did too, though I guess you mostly missed. My shoes are bleached. I can see fumes.

-Serves you right, fascist ape-slave, said Frank. Hey, man, now that I think of it– you wouldn’t have anything to drink in here, would you?

And that was when I hit him.

———

So, I’ve got a REAL short story to write by Tuesday, and when I’m done it, I’ll post it up. I dunno if everyone’s bored of in medias res and single-scene vignettes, but I really have to work on my structure.

Written by wholewheatwords

June 16, 2007 at 4:21 pm

Posted in prose