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Intentional rats

At most King County Metro bus stops, scheduled arrival times are posted on the pole, printed on thick paper, held behind a pane of protective plastic. It's not unbreakable plastic, though, and people being people, it gets vandalized.

Waiting for the #128 one morning, I found the plastic had been shattered, shards lying in the dirt alongside the thick card-stock paper, printed with all the arrival times. I probably muttered Assholes under my breath, but what the hell — I knew what time my bus was coming, so I stood and waited and then rode to the library. Didn't give it any further thought. Didn't even jot something into the "ideas for the website" notebook I carry everywhere.

At the same corner that evening, but across the street, I stepped down from my bus to start walking home, and saw an old woman walking to the stop where I'd caught my morning's bus. She noticed the same mess of plastic and paper at her feet, and maybe she muttered Assholes same as I had. Guess it hadn't rained, because the mess was still in the dirt, not in mud.

#147
Saturday,
May 14, 2022

She bent over and picked up the paper list, straightened it out, then popped it back into the metal frame on the side of the post, as I watched from across the street. Then her bus came, and she got on and was gone. There was nobody to even say thanks.

What's the pertinent cliché? It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. Something like that.

That woman repaired some of the damage and made one little corner of the world a little bit better. There's no plastic to protect the list of times, but it's mounted again, and it'll probably stay legible through a few weeks of weather.

Not inspired by the above, but sorta. It's more a measure of how much I like Ruby's Diner:

I bused there for breakfast, but before ordering I darted to the men's room to pee. The last man to use that room had peed very sloppily, leaving drops (puddles, actually) all over the seat. I wasn't going to sit, but also wasn't going to stand for this. I carefully lifted the seat and peed, then lowered the seat and wiped it clean.

We had a rat in the house a few weeks back, set a trap and killed it, but a few days later I saw another rat. My flatmate Robert set out another trap, and now a second rat has been glued and then hammered, but a third rodent has been sighted. The place is infested.

Robert and Dean have both lived here for a year or so, and they tell me there was just one rat, eight or nine months back. Having the house overrun with rats is a new phenomenon.

And apparently, it's on purpose.

While I was at the library yesterday, Robert saw yet another rat scurry across the kitchen into the bathroom, and then into the narrow gap between the bathtub and the sink. He brought out his flashlight to investigate the rats' highway, and found something you'd never expect — a piece of cheese, about the size of a baseball. It's still there. The gap is too narrow to reach in and take it out, and anyway, Dean wants to show it to the landlord, right where we found it.

When I got home they showed it to me, and I'd show it to you, but the lighting was tricky and my photo came out stupid-impossible to make sense of, so I'll describe it instead: It's yellow with white speckles, a cheddar/Colby mix I think, roundish and a few inches wide. It has gnaw-marks all over the surface, suggesting that it used to be a larger chunk of cheese.

Cheddar/Colby cheese doesn't just grow in that gap, you know. Someone had to drop it down there, and it had to have been fairly recently, because the cheese isn't moldy.

The prime suspect is John, the previous tenant in my room. Robert and Dean have told me that they didn't like John, that the feeling was mutual, that he rarely spoke to them, and when he did he was often angry. Guess he hated living here, so the consensus is that he left us a going-away present — a block of cheese, hidden in a dark corner of the bathroom, intended to attract rats or mice. And it worked.

Dean says John could be prosecuted, but I think Dean's full of crap. There's no proof that John did it, and anyway, it's probably not illegal to drop cheese in a house where you're renting a room. It's not a nice thing to do, though.

I forget most of my dreams almost instantly. Guessing it's the same with most people, and it's an "intelligent design" to keep our worst nightmares from flooding into awake hours.

Last night I dreamed I was doing some outdoor chores (a nightmare in itself, cuz I'm fat and I'd sweat) but I was in good spirits and so were my neighbors, maybe because a great old pop hit from the '70s was playing. It was my new neighborhood, I think — very varied, black and Asian and stubbly Italian types, and all of us loved that song, even some kids way too young to have heard it when it was first popular. Some people were humming, one guy was singing along softly, and I started singing along too, at the point in the lyrics where someone was asking someone else to dance, or maybe just thinking about asking someone to dance. I don't dance, but it was a great old song.

Then I woke up and jotted down what I could, because that's the only way I can remember dreams. Working outside, diverse crowd, all digging the song, says my early-morning scribble, but even 30 seconds after waking up, I couldn't remember what the song was.

It was not "Do You Wanna Dance?" by Bobby Freeman or Bette Midler. Whatever it was, it was much faster, with almost a "wall of sound" sound. Any ideas?

If anyone's interested or hungry, Smokey's Char-Broiled makes excellent fish'n'chips, as expected. Great fish, great chips, for $8.35. I do wish it was a dollar less or had one more piece of fish, but it's cheaper and better than Ivar's, and I'll be back.

All of my subscriptions to magazines are about to lapse. I just discovered that the Seattle Public Library lets you check out magazines, same as you can check out books, as long as it's not the magazine's latest issue.

Libraries are literally awesome.


And now, more of the news you need, whether or not you know you need it…  

♦ ♦ ♦ 

That time Benjamin Franklin published a book on DIY abortions 

The horrifying implications of Alito's most alarming footnote 

♦ ♦ ♦   

US condemns Israel's attack on Shireen Abu Aqleh's funeral 

It's only words, but still, this is the sharpest rebuke from America for anything Israel's done that I can remember, and for cripes sake, Israel's done plenty that deserves rebuke.

♦ ♦ ♦  

USPS board’s governors now mostly Biden picks following latest Senate confirmations 

This should allow the board to terminate Postmaster General Louis DeJoy's ridiculous and counter-postal tenure — and yet, I am skeptical that that'll happen soon.

♦ ♦ ♦   

There have been many very bad ideas in the history of bad ideas, but this bad idea seems especially bad 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Central California cops aim to turn town’s only library into police HQ 

♦ ♦ ♦  

Climate grief, and making sense out of Wynn Bruce's Supreme Court climate action 

♦ ♦ ♦   

The New York Times analyzes transcripts of Tucker Carlson's show 

It's likely that the above is worth reading/watching/hearing, but it's one of those annoying high-tech articles full of sound and imagery that bop all around the page, so I stayed only long enough to collect the link. 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

Before they rip it apart and destroy The Castro as a movie theater, there'll be a ten-day festival screening great movies from before the theater's demise 

♦ ♦ ♦ 

If a nuclear explosion went off, would there be a certain distance in the blast radius that would cook frozen supermarket pizzas to perfection for a brief moment? 

♦ ♦ ♦

One-word newscast, because it's the same news every time...
climate
copscopscopscopscopscopscopscops
Republicans 

♦ ♦ ♦

The End
Shireen Abu Akleh
Bob Lanier
Catherine Spaak 

5/14/2022 
 
Cranky Old Fart 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, Wynn Bruce, and always Stephanie...

11 comments:

  1. >It was not "Do You Wanna Dance?" by Bobby Freeman or Bette Midler. Whatever it was, it was much faster, with almost a "wall of sound" sound. Any ideas?

    This is not it, but I always plug this version of "Dancin' in the Streets."

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHkhIjG0DKc

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I can't fucking believe that of all people, Harry Shearer is agreeing to a goddamn Spinal Tap sequel. He's like 77 years old, and a notorious fucking asshole. I am a rabid Simpsons fan, and he is absolutely known as a world-class dickhead among the fandom. An immense talent, and the original film is among my favorite 20 comedies, easily. But this is a surprise.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    So, yesterday, my sweetie asked me to go to the gluten-free bakery and get some snacks. I got there, saw this sign, and snapped a pic and sent it :

    https://imgur.com/EQs9rQ5

    Oh, those cops, right?

    I didn't realize until I went in, that it was THAT DAY, RIGHT THEN!

    Fucking place was swarming with pigs. Small space, with seating for maybe 20, and a half-dozen cops, in full uniform and also in their business casual polos. One was in conversation with a patron, and like four of them turned and looked at me as I came in, like in an old Western, when the guy walks into a saloon and everyone yurns to look.

    She's lucky I love her, or she'd have not had her fucking GF brownies.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must be damned good GF brownies. I'd never go back, but of course Seattle has a much fatter selection of bakeries than y'all have.

      That's not my favorite Dancin' in the Streets, but it's the happiest and I love it.

      Can't see any purpose to a Spinal Tap sequel except paychecks for everyone involved. Is it going to be funny? Someone else will have to let me know.

      Delete
    2. Everyone does things we hate to do, it's practically the definition of being human, but with all that juicy Simpsons money, just fuck that guy.

      Delete
  2. Wall of sound? Maybe the Ramones' version of Do You Wanna Dance?

    ReplyDelete

  3. LOLA
    BY RAY DAVIES

    I met her in a club down in old Soho
    Where you drink champagne and it tastes just like coca cola
    C-O-L-A, Cola

    She walked up to me and she asked me to dance
    I asked her her name and in a dark brown voice she said Lola
    L-O-L-A, Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Well, I'm not the world's most physical guy
    But when she squeezed me tight she nearly broke my spine
    Oh my Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Well, I'm not dumb but I can't understand
    Why she walked like a woman but talked like a man
    Oh my Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Well, we drank champagne and danced all night
    Under electric candlelight
    She picked me up and sat me on her knee
    And said "Dear boy, won't you come home with me?"

    Well, I'm not the world's most passionate guy
    But when I looked in her eyes, well I almost fell for my Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    I pushed her away
    I walked to the door
    I fell to the floor
    I got down on my knees
    Then I looked at her and she at me

    Well, that's the way that I want it to stay
    And I always want it to be that way for my Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Girls will be boys and boys will be girls
    It's a mixed up, muddled up, shook up world, except for Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Well, I left home just a week before
    And I'd never ever kissed a woman before
    But Lola smiled and took me by the hand
    And said "Dear boy, I'm gonna make you a man"

    Well, I'm not the world's most masculine man
    But I know what I am and I'm glad I'm a man
    And so is Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola
    La-la-la-la Lola

    words and music by Raymond Douglas Davies (pronounced "Davis")
    © 1970 Davray Music Ltd.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Until seeing the lyrics this moment, I'd always heard "L-O-L-A, Lola" as "Hello, hello, Lola".

      Just another thing I've learned from you!

      Delete
  4. ok Doug, here's your wall of sound . . .



    THEN HE KISSED ME
    BY Ellie Greenwich / Jeff Barry / Phil Spector

    Well, he walked up to me and he asked me if I wanted to dance
    He looked kinda nice and so I said I might take a chance
    When he danced he held me tight
    And when he walked me home that night
    All the stars were shining bright
    And then he kissed me

    Each time I saw him I couldn't wait to see him again
    I wanted to let him know that he was more than a friend
    I didn't know just what to do
    So I whispered "I love you"
    And he said that he loved me too
    And then he kissed me

    He kissed me in a way that I've never been kissed before
    He kissed me in a way that I wanna be kissed forever more

    I knew that he was mine so I gave him all the love that I had
    And one day he took me home to meet his mom and his dad
    Then he asked me to be his bride
    And always be right by his side
    I felt so happy I almost cried
    And then he kissed me

    Then he asked me to be his bride
    And always be right by his side
    I felt so happy I almost cried
    And then he kissed me
    And then he kissed me
    And then he kissed me


    © Malt Shoppe Music, Steeplechase Music, Trio Music Co. Inc.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not the song from my dream, but it's one terrific song. Almost can't stop myself from dancing right here in the library. When I actually stop and think about the lyrics, though (something you should never do with pop music) it's about some poor girl pressured into marrying the first boy who was ever nice to her.

      Delete
  5. How about something better than a wall of sound? Maybe get a little funky when you ask that girl to dance. These are guaranteed to be non-AM hits. Why be annoyed by an AM hit when you can be elevated by Soul?

    John Lee Hooker - Boom Boom Boom Boom

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS7_e9LdvDI


    Muddy Waters (at Newport) - Got My Mojo Workin'

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gNs-29s-0Q


    Howlin' Wolf - Smokestack Lightning
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTDjD_UdJYs


    And maybe lastly a white girl . . .

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5If816MhoU


    Happy dancing.

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Four files downloaded for dancing this evening, which makes the floorboards squeak and pisses off the people below me but do I care? Only a little.

      Curious about "Got My Mojo Working," which I thought I had by Cyndi Lauper but I can't find it...

      Delete

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