Bullshit, and bite me.

Step into my nightmare: I'm working in an office, and there's a particular document I need to find, physically not digitally. It's paperwork on paper, and we need the paper. It's in a manila folder, but some new hire wasn't sure where to file it so he came to ask me, and left the manila folder on the floor. Should it be Accounts Receivable, or Contracts, or Contracts in Transit…?

April 25, 2022

"Contracts in Transit," I decided, and we walked back to where he'd left the manila folder, which was the floor of the loading dock. While we'd been talking, though, a shipment of new manila folders had come in, all the boxes had been opened, and all the manila folders were scattered two feet deep on the floor that stretched eternal. Millions of manila folders, and the one we needed — immediately — was one of them.

Some dreams are sending a coded message, and this one seems really easy to decode: I don't want to work in an office again.

Probably, though, I will.

♦ ♦ ♦

John the Basket mentioned that the comments form has been redesigned, and indeed, it looks different. Possibly related: today I'm unable to post comments at all.

I'll try again tomorrow...

♦ ♦ ♦

In Wisconsin, the old apartment had shelves, but all the shelves were left behind when I moved to Seattle. See, I didn't want to rent and drive a truck, and the shelves wouldn't fit into the car.

Anyway, shelves are for fancy people. At the new place, I'm using milk crates and a few folding tables, all arranged at angles around the recliner. Milk crates, folding table, and the recliner are all the furniture I own.

The above is in answer to the one (1) person who asked when my Pathetic Life posts will resume. It depends on the milk crates. The original paper pages I retype Pathetic Life entries from are still in a box, and I don't want to open the box — release the mess — until there are milk crates to sort everything into. .

That's also why I haven't yet unpacked most of my clothes, my surprisingly large supply of sardines, or rebuilt the Shrine to my late wife. I keep ordering more milk crates, thinking it'll be enough, but you can never have enough milk crates until the room is full, I guess. 

♦ ♦ ♦

The phone rang, which is never a good start to any story. I hate the phone, and hate talking on the phone with anyone except my wife. My wife is dead, so usually I don't answer the phone, just let it take a message. And then usually I don't listen to the messages. It's one of the weird things about me, and my family complains about it, but it's my way, and that's that.

The screen said it was Mom calling, though. I love her and she's old and she guilts me, so I do try to call my mom every two weeks or so, which often gets stretched to three weeks. It's the only phone call I make on a regular basis, but it had been about two weeks since I called. Her calling me could save me the annoyance of calling her, I figured, so I answered the phone.

"Hello, Mom."

In my ear, she said, "Why would you get a letter from Planned Parenthood?"

I didn't say anything, and regretted answering the phone.

To my silence, Mom asked the question again: "Why would you get a letter from Planned Parenthood?"

"What the hell are you talking about?" Profanities are forbidden in the family, and 'hell' is a profanity, used in this instance to convey that I was seriously pissed off.

In her suddenly sweet voice, Mom said, "You have a letter from Planned Parenthood."

At that, I hung up. She'd call again immediately, of course, but clicking off gave me five seconds to decide whether to lose my temper, or quietly suffer another Mom Indignity.

When I knew I was moving to Seattle, my sister and Mom volunteered to host me while I looked for a place of my own, and I forwarded my mail from Wisconsin to the house they share. Apparently I'd gotten junk mail from Planned Parenthood. And apparently, staying at her house for a week and a half was an invitation for Mom to examine and investigate my mail.

The phone rang again, and I answered. "Yeah?"

"I just called to tell you you have a letter from Planned Parenthood."

"No, that's not what you said and that's not why you called. You said 'Why would you get a letter from Planned Parenthood?' And that is none of your business." To emphasize my point, I hung up again.

The phone rang again, of course, and again I said, "Yeah?"

"Well, what am I supposed to say?" she said.

"You're not an idiot, Mom. The question was rude, and you know the question was rude."

"Planned Parenthood kills babies—"

"Bullshit, and bite me. Planned Parenthood saves lives, and they're one of my favorite charities, but we are not going to talk about Planned Parenthood — partly because you're not sane about such things, but mostly because My Mail Is None Of Your Business."

"I'm sorry if it seemed rude, but—"

"Getting my mail is nice. Judging my mail is rude." And I hung up again. I was going to let her next call go straight to voice mail, but she didn't call back.

What gets me is: I have good manners coming out the blowhole, because Mom taught me and my siblings good manners, literally. She had a book all about good manners, and she read to us from it, quizzed us on it. My mother knows good manners, knows that she was being rude. She just doesn't care, because it's me she's being rude to, and being rude to me doesn't count as being rude. 

Well, here's my rude retaliation: Two weeks in the penalty box. Instead of calling Mom in two weeks, it'll be a month before I call again.

I'm right here in Seattle now, but metaphysically, if she's going to be like this, I can be as far away as I was in Wisconsin.

♦ ♦ ♦

And now, my internet history from today…  

♦ ♦ ♦  

Still remembering Mikal Overhulse 

Mikal was an odd duck. A little woman around 60 with a short Napolean-style hairdo. She looked sort of like a little elf.

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Hypocrisy the size of Florida 

 ♦ ♦ ♦

Pick a problem, any problem on the world scale: climate change, economics, human rights, health care, wars, famine, pestilence, food and water, etc. Most of the world's biggest problems trace back to America.

Maybe there's an exception, but none pop into my brain this morning. Every major global problem I can think of is either entirely or at least mostly the result of America's kooky capitalism, or America's bumbling and evildoing in foreign policy, or perhaps worse, they're problems that America, being the world's richest and most powerful country for almost a century now, has long had the wherewithal to solve or help, but has never been willing to, since there's no profit in a solution.

And there's no solution to that — the problem that is America — until there's an effective American political movement for peace and justice. Meaning, until there's a party of the left in America, which there hasn't been for a long, long time.

♦ ♦ ♦

The End

James Bama
Wynn Bruce

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, Meme City, 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...


  1. >John the Basket mentioned that the comments form has been redesigned


    1. After yesterday, when it wouldn't let me comment at all, it seems to be functional today, without the ordinary hiccups...

  2. >What gets me is: I have good manners coming out the blowhole

    Here's the thing. THIS IS TRUE. I'm gonna let people in on a secret - you are FAR less of an asshole than you portray yourself as. Like me, you're polite, and polite, and then still polite. And then, that one fucking straw makes you go bonkers. Not violent, not yelling and screaming, just... It breaks the camel's back. And you do something that is unfathomable in "polite society," like the soda thing you mentioned yesterday or whenever it was.


    You missed dead jerkoff Orrin Hatch.

    1. What you say is true as usual, Captain, but the guy IS a bastard -- a polite bastard to be sure, but nonetheless . . .

    2. Just for clarification, he is my brother, so we share that condition.

      Hope that clarifies it.


    3. I try not to be an asshole, except to people who deserve it.

      Yeah, I missed the news of Orrin Hatch's death. He was just another putz in a suit writing laws good for bastards.

  3. Cub was a trio that played out of Vancouver BC throughout the 90s. Lisa Marr put the band together, wrote most of the music, did much of the singing (although they harmonized extensively), and played bass; Lisa G was one of several drummers and sang harmony. Their first recorded drummer was Neko Case who played on the group's first album and left and was never heard from again.

    This is a song called New York City off their second album. If I didn't have ballsheimers I'd remember whether I have posted this vid before. The song was subsequently covered with some success by They Might Be Giants.

    Cub's music was categorized by music people who categorize as "cuddlecore". It was probably somewhere between pop punk and indie pop. Good luck with all that.



    1. You mention Neko Case, so I will stupidly say that I saw a documentary about her many years ago, of which I remember next to nothing except that she was a Warhol protege, wasn't she?

    2. I don't think anybody who calls Tacoma, Washington home has been a Warhol protege, but of course I could be wrong. Ms Case has sung with several Canadian girl punk bands, been a singer with The New Pornographers, and has appeared on Austin City Limits three times over the years. She's done at least ten other musical things, all well, all on her own terms.

      She was 17 when Mr Warhol died, so it's possible, but I think she was still hanging around Tacoma then, getting ready to launch herself into western Canada.

      Young man, it's time to stop looking for "hits" and start listening to the deep cuts on dusty albums. There's gold there. Sorry I had to get gruff. We be brothers nonetheless.


    3. Oh fuck me, you mean Nico, the German chanteuse Warhol found heaven-knows-where and took way too many photos of. Yeah, I guess he told her she could sing. He said the same thing to Lou Reed. Both were lies, but Lou could write songs. Things even out in the long run. She was the Nico on "The Velvet Underground and Nico" which didn't feature Nico. She died at 49 from falling off her bicycle. You already know Warhol was a dick, so I think that exhausts the new information I have.


    4. Oh, Johnthebasket, I hope Doug gets to the point in PL (if he hasn't already, which he may have) where he sees "NICO / ICON" in the theater. It's a fun review.

  4. what your mother said doesn't seem so far out of line to me. I am guessing you two have a long history and she knows how to push buttons.

    1. Our history is as long as my life. If it was the first thing she'd said/done like that, it wouldn't be far out of line, as you say. It *is* the line, though. It's the way she is.

    2. Ah, Neko not Nico. I also confuse her with Necco, which was (I believe) the first mass-marketed candy.

      I barely remember seeing the documentary, and don't remember writing about it, but if I did it'll appear here. Get your tickets now and wait in line...

  5. Testing...Just saying I'm out here and I approve of your handling of the mother unit. Not that you need my approval or anything, but I feel yr frustration with the mock-oblivious routine she pulls rather often. Glad you're moved in. Glad you found Ruby's. Hope you find work that doesn't disgust you or bore you to death.

    1. It worked. But I'm not Anon. It's Linden Arden. Cheers!

    2. Whoops, you blew your own cover!

      Someone at Ruby's must've read my review, because each of my three meals there since then the hash browns have been much, much better and more thoroughly cooked.


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