Douglas shrugged

Way, way, way at the back, on the shelf over the hangers in the closet of the second bedroom, under a thick layer of dust and dead bugs, I found my forgotten copy of Christian Boy's Problems, by Bertrand Williams.


March 2, 2022

Oh, wow. My mom gave me this book when I was barely starting to read. I've never really read it — it was clearly ridiculous even when I was five — but many times I've flipped it open to a random page for a chuckle.

For old time's sake I opened it again, l to see what silliness awaited:

As Christian boys, the first thing is you must live right, sleep right, eat right,  and this means strong, wholesome, nourishing food and a jugful of good old fashioned sunshine every day of your life. You have to go in for eggs (about one a day) and milk (from a pint to a quart a day), and whole-wheat breads and cereals, and plenty of good red meat with a liberal sousing of liver thrown in at least two or three times a week.

Thank you sir! May I have another?

Don't look at nude or semi-nude pictures, whether in a newspaper, photograph, or art gallery. They tend to stimulate abnormal elements in your sex life which demand gratification either by way of thinking upon them, a lazy dreaming of sex acts, self-abuse, or planning the sex act with some low-moralled girl.

It's the first time I've seen this fine book in many years, and my intent was to type a goodbye to it, then box it for Goodwill. But it's won me over again, with a double dose of exactly the random absurdity needed now and again.

The book is coming with me, to Seattle.

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The packing chronicles continue (sorry). I hope to get back to doing some real writing, soon.

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Off the same dusty shelf, why look, it's Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. First edition, signed by the author. It was a gift from a friend, eons back, when I was a libertarian.

I'm surprised I still own it, honestly — it's been decades since I read it, or agreed with anything by Ayn Rand.

Even a bad book should be given to charity, of course, or left in a Little Free Library. Goes without saying that it's a sin to throw a book away... Also goes without saying, I don't mind sinning once in a while, so I ripped that book into free-floating pages before plopping it in different corners of two different dumpsters.

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Found — a small box full of foreign money. How much? I don't know. It's couple of dozen foreign bills, in yen and Canadian dollars and all sorts of other nationalities. The Canadian bills are fivespots, three of them, and that's enough to almost get my attention.

The money's been in that little box since the 1990s, when people sent from overseas for a copy of my zine, Pathetic Life. Everyone got their copies, but I didn't have a bank account so translating the funds to dollars always seemed like too much trouble. 'Maybe someday', I thought way back then.

Again today I thought 'maybe someday'... so the box of funny-looking money is coming with me to Seattle.

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When I didn't bring her home from the hospital, Stephanie's wheelchair remained in the trunk of the car. No hurry taking it inside, right? It's been in the trunk from 2018 until yesterday, when I stupidly expected to unfold it, roll it inside, and give it to charity. Of course, the metal is rusted, the cloth is mildewed, and the wheels won't roll.

It was a terrific wheelchair, dang it. The same insurance that paid $15,000 for her useless artificial leg wasn't willing to pay a dime for a wheelchair, so we bought the chair ourselves, used but refurbished, for $85, at a marvelous charity that helped poor people with disabilities.

And then we beat the hell out that chair for years — took it for long hikes in the woods, and through rain and mud and snow. It gave us not even the slightest problems. I never had to touch it with a screwdriver or wrench.

I was looking forward to giving it away, as part of an all-inclusive package for someone disabled and poor — with Stephanie's slideboards and buttpads, chair accessories, leg rests, and the marvelous portable ramp that allowed her in and out of our building (which isn't wheelchair-accessible). All of it came from that same charity, but the wheelchair was the centerpiece, and now it's maybe repairable? It would take a lot of work, though, and there's no agency to call.

The good guys who sold us all the above, always at poor-people prices, are now closed and padlocked. Their storefront has become a local warehouse for some industrial conglomerate.

Where can the disabled who are also poor or uninsured turn? Well, I'll give all this stuff away (it's not for sale), but after that I have no idea.

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We are the unionized workers at Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, and The Root. This is why we're striking. 

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I didn't watch the State of the Union address and won't bother reading any coverage of it, because it's only a speech by a politician, and an annual celebration of piffle.

Things are actually quite bad and getting worse, but President Biden certainly wouldn't say that. He probably acknowledged some of the better-known catastrophes and disasters, kept quiet on the rest, offered no real solutions, and mostly dismissed problems with platitudes. If he had any bright ideas, you know they'll be blocked by Republicans. After the speech, an hour of talking heads analyzed all of it, analysis which also adds up to only piffle.

And onward we go, swirling.

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Doctors' worst fears about the Texas abortion law are coming true 

"'You're at a high chance of going septic or bleeding out'," she says the doctors told her — a risk of infection or hemorrhage, which could become deadly. "'And unfortunately, we recommend termination, but we cannot provide you one here in Texas because of this law'."

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ACLU sues to block Texas from investigating parents of trans youth 

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Belarusian president displays map suggesting Putin plans to attack Moldova 

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Inexpensive solar-powered water desalinization? 

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Dream of Venus:
Inside Salvador Dalí's spectacular & perverse surrealist funhouse from 1939

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Man who pleaded guilty to arson named fire chief 

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Firing flight attendants who watched an iPad will cost United $2.3-million 

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Nancy's aunt was a flapper 

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The nation’s most technologically sophisticated grocery store 

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One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
Fox News

 Mystery links  — Like life itself, there’s no knowing where you’re going:


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♫♬  Sing along with Doug 
The End
Nancy Spaeth  
Cranky Old Man is annoyed and complains and very occasionally offers a kindness, along with anything off the internet that's made me smile or snarl. All opinions fresh from my ass. Top illustration by Jeff Meyer. Click any image to enlarge. Comments & conversations invited.
Tip 'o the hat to All Hat No Cattle, Linden Arden, ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, Captain Hampockets, CaptCreate's Log, John the Basket, LiarTownUSA, National Zero, Ran Prieur, Voenix Rising, and anyone else whose work I've stolen without saying thanks.
Extra special thanks to Becky Jo, Name Withheld, Dave S., and always Stephanie...

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