She Be Bonkers


leftovers & links
Saturday, April 22, 2023 

On the bus one not-so-fine morning, riding near the back, noxious fumes were noticeable after only a few blocks. It wasn't the city-typical stink of urine, shit, sweat, tobacco, arm pits, and carry-out food. It was carbon monoxide — engine fumes, leaking into the passenger seating area. Not as healthy as a granola bar.

Very briefly, I considered walking to the front of the bus and telling the driver, but what would good citizenship accomplish? Either he'd ignore me and keep driving, or he'd pull the bus to the curb to investigate, and the bus would come out of service, and I and everyone aboard would be late for work or miss our connections downtown.

So I said nothing, which is the story of my life. I simply switched to a sideways seat at the front, so's I could have my morning nap on the bus without wondering whether I'd wake up.

With best intentions, though, I wrote the bus number — 8033 — on my hand, to remind me to email Metro once I got to work, let them know the bus is pouring pollution inside instead of outside. And once I got to work I forgot all about it, until washing the 8033 off in the shower the next morning.

On my ride home, a 50-something Asian woman was dancing and jumping around on the bus, like an unattended 5-year-old. Being my disgusting self, I'd assessed her as vaguely pretty a few seconds before assessing her as crazy, and she was crazy.

She paced and danced between the front of the bus and the back, rarely sitting, mostly dancing, and to be clear, there was nothing sexy or suggestive about either her or her dance. There was barely even any dance; it was more like she was in water being whammed by heavy waves, and further whammed by the shakes and brakes of riding a bus.

She grabbed a rail to steady herself, and several times threw a big smile at whoever was nearby. After some minutes of this, she accidental-jitterbugged back to the back of the bus, and took a seat diagonally ahead of mine.

Seated, she bounced her head around like she was listening to music, but she had no electronics. It was only the music of her mind.

Maybe she sensed that I was staring at her. Slowly, theatrically, she turned around, found my eyes, and gave me the big smile she'd given to others — and her teeth were worse than mine. They pointed left and right at random, and some tilted outbound. Worst set of teeth I've maybe ever seen.

I smiled back at her through my mask, and she smiled even bigger, and I laughed and she laughed at my laughing, and I laughed at hers, and then it got boring so I looked out the window. 

A few blocks later she was dancing in the aisle of the bus again. Then she hoisted herself higher, and stood with one foot on one seat, another on another, holding on to the ceiling rails and swaying to the music only she could hear.

"Come on now," said the driver, but the lady didn't get down and he didn't care enough to do anything about it.

By the standards of insanity, she was not a danger to herself or others, but I wondered, what's this woman's story? I wonder that about lots of people, especially the crazies, but the answers could come only from a long conversation, and I ain't doing that. Hearing that woman's story, whatever it was, would've taken more conversation than there's in me for the rest of my life.

And could she even talk, I wondered? When she shimmied back toward the back of the bus I said, "Nice shimmy," to see what she'd say.

"Nice shimmy," she said back to me. Yeah, there's a riddle that'll remain unsolved.

We were almost at my house, so I dinged the bell and stepped off. Call me Freud, but my diagnosis is, she be bonkers. She needs a mental evaluation, some care and probably some meds, and she'll never get any of that because this is America. If she's lucky, she'll be left alone, and if she's very, very unlucky, someone will call the cops.

You wouldn't think a bum would be a heavy knitter, but there's one guy I see on the crosslake bus once in a while, 40-something, messed-up face, clearly homeless, who carries yarn and knitting needles in his backpack. As the bus rolls across the bridge, he knits one, purls one.

"It's gonna be socks," he told me when I hadn't asked, and yanked at his pants leg to show off the socks he was wearing. Not fancy, no stripes, but I've heard that the homeless treasure a good pair of socks, and he'd knitted his from nothingness.

Once in a while I need to add a disclaimer, that most of the people on the bus are relatively sane. Even me, I'm relatively sane. We're all mentally questionable, amIright?

The ones who get your attention, pop out from the crowd and I write about 'em, are the especially crazy crazies, but they're only perhaps one in 15 riders on the bus.

Still, that's enough that a ride without anyone who's nuts, usually several, is rare.

Waiting for me on the bus seat one morning, was a tiny Jesus tract. "Oh sweet Lord Jesus Christ son of God, have mercy on me a sinner," it said, and that's all it said.

No pictures. Just one sheet of half-size paper, with nothing on the other side, like life itself.

There was one on every seat in the bus, handwritten and photocopied, so I guess it's a zine. I sat on mine but grabbed one off the empty next seat, and stuffed it in my pocket to type it up and laugh about it later.

Within the next mile or so inbound, the bus became mid-level crowded, and as people stepped onto the bus, sat down and looked at the literature someone had left, several of them commented on how marvelous the little flyers were.

Sweet Jesus, indeed.

Yesterday afternoon, waiting downtown at the world's skeeviest bus stop, I saw her again — She Be Bonkers, that Asian bum lady from a week or so earlier.

She was walking and dancing along the sidewalk, an elbow interlocked with a younger, skinny, barely black man. He was kinda stumblewalking, having trouble with the small lumps and minor earthquake cracks in the sidewalk, and she was giving him stability as if she had some to spare, which she did not.

Cute couple, though, and it was a small relief knowing she was still alive. 

As they walked tentatively past, I almost said something. Almost. It was gonna be, "Hey, you danced on my bus a few days ago," or just "Nice shimmy" again. But as I weighed and measured what to say to a dancing crazy lady and her boyfriend half her age, he stepped on a tiny booze bottle — the kind no bigger than your thumb — and it rolled under his shoe, costing him his minimal balance.

Real quick, though, She Be Bonkers grabbed his hand, so she had him by both hand and elbow, and he got his feet back under him. Then they drifted down Third Avenue, toward I wondered what.

News you need,
whether you know it or not

Oklahoma's top prosecutor doesn’t want to execute a likely innocent man, but a court is forcing him to do it anyway 

BuzzFeed News to close 

Despite its clickbaity name, clickbaity content, and well-earned clickbaity reputation, experts tell me that the news side of BuzzFeed did good work sometimes, and will be missed.

As usual, I'm not so sure about the experts.

Google to pay Canadian businessman for destructive search result 

From the headline, I was expecting an idiotic complaint and an even more idiotic verdict. Surprisingly, though, this ruling seems. Google should be forced to pay big damages, and maybe it'll motivate them to be less evil.

Supreme Court's abortion pill decision is temporarily not batshit crazy 

Most transit agencies are floundering for funding, as passenger levels haven't come close to recovering from COVID. This agency in Massachusetts is at an all-time high in ridership, because it's free. 

Alps lost more glacier ice in 2022 than ever before 

Global warming is great for lyme disease-carrying ticks 

Climate change thaws world's northernmost research station 

'Devastating' melt of Greenland, Antarctic ice sheets found 

Early signs of climate change date back to the industrial revolution 

'Cop City' activist's autopsy reveals lies, and more than 50 bullet wounds 

People held in isolation at Rikers awarded $53 million in compensation from NYC 

Deputy has a habit of giving last rides to missing persons 

Cop quits after raping child 

60 lbs of meth lost during Riverside County Sheriff's Dept. undercover operation 

Florida just expanded "Don’t Say Gay" to all grades 

Gender-affirming healthcare is now much more difficult, nigh impossible, to access in Missouri, even for adults 

Bill to abolish police oversight boards passed by Tennessee House 

Republican Party is making it harder for college students to vote 

Judicial record undermines Clarence Thomas defense in luxury gifts scandal 

Pillowman is ordered to follow through with $5 million payment to expert who debunked his false election data 

DeSantis signs bill making death sentences easier for juries 

Transgender lawmaker silenced by Montana House speaker 

Republican commentator Anna Perez claims she likes to say "f*ggot" to test for true patriots or RINOs 

Anheuser-Busch facilities face threats after Bud Light backlash 

Florida legislators push bills aimed at making it more difficult to film cops 

Michigan Republicans fight effort to repeal ban on unmarried cohabitation 

Republican leader, who voted to expel "Tennessee Three," resigns following report of workplace harassment 

Mystery links
There's no knowing where you're going


♫♬  It don't mean a thing  ♫
if it don't have that swing

Bella Ciao — Chumbawamba 

Hero of the War — Scott Walker 

Jupiter, Bringer of Jollity - Gustav Holst 

Some Velvet Morning — Lee Hazelwood & Nancy Sinatra 

Suite Judy Blue Eyes — Crosby Stills & Nash 

Eventually, everyone
leaves the building

Pierre Lacotte 

Colin “Coke” McCord 

Robert Trotman 

Lasse Wellander


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 ye olde AVA, BoingBoing, Breakfast at Ralf's, CaptCreate's Log, Katameme, Looking for My Perfect Sandwich, One Finger Medical, Two Finger Magical, Miss Miriam's Mirror, Nebulously Burnished, RanPrieur.com, Voenix Rising, and anywhere else I've stolen links, illustrations, or inspiration. 

Special thanks to Linden Arden, Becky Jo, Wynn Bruce, Joey Jo Jo, John the Basket, Dave S, Name Withheld, and always extra special thanks to my lovely late Stephanie, who gave me 21 years and proved that the world isn't always shitty.


  1. Thanks for the obits. Without a local newspaper, it's easy to miss the deaths of those who contributed to the complicated and crazy times of my own brief stay on this planet, and you do a good job of capturing them. I grow old, and almost every time I read them I harken back to my favorite Shakespeare speech (from Henry V), or a small part of it. . . .

    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember with advantages
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names
    Familiar in his mouth as household words
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
    This story shall the good man teach his son;
    And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember'd;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers

    Every generation has its heroes and villains, and it's sort of nice to remember them and mark their passage.

    Thanks again,


    1. Shakespeare hisself and, to a much lesser extent, Harry the king, are the only ones anyone who's not a historian remembers from that era.

      I've always enjoyed reading a well-written obituary. Used to read a zine by an obit writer. And also, used to think reading the obits was a stereotypical timekiller for people who didn't have much time left to kill. Which is me, now, and it is interesting to sit here and sorta wave goodbye to the parade.

  2. . . . and while I'm at it, a labor organizer named Joe Hill was murdered by big business about a hundred years ago for the crime of attempting to organize workers. Here are the lyrics to the poem written about him which was put to music shortly after being written. Following the lyrics is a link to Bruce Springsteen and the enlarged E-Street Band singing and playing the song. And make no mistake: EVERYBODY stands during the last verse, including you.

    Song: I Dreamed I Saw Joe Hill Last Night
    Poem: Alfred Hayes (poem) 1930(1)

    Music: put to song by Earl Robinson(2) 1936
    Year: 1930 + 1936
    Genre: Traditional
    Country: USA

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
    "I never died," says he
    "I never died," says he

    "In Salt Lake City, Joe," says I to him,
    Him standing by my bed,
    "They framed you on a murder charge,"
    Says Joe, "But I ain't dead,"
    Says Joe, "But I ain't dead."

    "The copper bosses killed you, Joe,
    They shot you, Joe," says I.
    "Takes more than guns to kill a man,"
    Says Joe, "I didn't die,"
    Says Joe, "I didn't die."

    And standing there as big as life
    And smiling with his eyes
    Says Joe, "What they forgot to kill(3)
    Went on to organize,
    Went on to organize."
    This song was originally posted on protestsonglyrics.net
    Joe Hill ain't dead, he says to me,
    Joe Hill ain't never died.
    Where working men are out on strike,
    Joe Hill is at their side.
    Joe Hill is at their side.

    "From San Diego up to Maine,
    In every mine and mill,
    Where workers strike and organize,"
    Says he, You'll find Joe Hill,(4)
    Says he, You'll find Joe Hill,(4)

    I dreamed I saw Joe Hill last night,
    Alive as you or me
    Says I, "But Joe, you're ten years dead,"
    "I never died," says he
    "I never died," says he



    1. I'm familiar with the song, but clicked it off at the first whistle from the crowd.

      Live recordings are so annoying. Always I wonder what's wrong in someone's head who pays the ungodly price for Springsteen tickets, only to vandalize the music like that. Gotta be the same people who bring permanent markers to an art exhibit.

      I have instead honored Joe Hill and your request by listening to Phil Ochs.

    2. There's a chance you're not blessed with the Grandpa McCoy deefness I endure every day. I couldn't hear any whistles or any crowd noise at all. It's mostly a pain in the ass, since my wife is convinced that I can hear everyone but her. Actually, there are very few people who speak (or whistle) in the frequency range that I have remaining. Of course, there are no affordable health insurances that cover the kind of hearing loss I have, so I think of it as a defect, but perhaps, in honor of Joe Hill, and the balls of Springsteen for singing a song that should piss off 30% of his audience (now called Trumpets, but then called Tea Party). But, of course, those people don't know shit about history and have no concept at all about labor history.

      I'm just wondering whether you're more tuned into the audience noise than is conducive to music enjoyment. Anybody who would voluntarily put themselves in the middle of 40,000 half-stoned people would whistle during Joe Hill rather than take off their dumbshit baseball caps as would be appropriate. I refuse to let those jokers spoil my enjoyment of The Boss singing an American classic. It's not like he snuck it on the Born to Run album.

      And while I'm rambling, Phil Ochs is just another guy who got swamped by the S.S. Dylan as it pulled out of New York Harbor with the Coast Guard on its fantail, tooting their faint, maritime whistles. Dylan is an asshole. Ochs was an original.

      Crabby but loving,


    3. You really don't hear the whistle at the start?

      Even in my hard-of-hearing family everyone says I'm the deafest. Or at least I think that's what they're saying, but I can never hear.

      When I'm actually at a concert, which will be never again, and surrounded by the vibe and the music, the noise of the crowd melts away and I don't even hear it.

      When I'm listening to a recording, professional music, every finger-whistle and scream comes through and annoys the bejeebers out of me. I become snooty, insufferable like succotash. I want to hear the music, *not* the bozos screaming and applauding and stomping and whistling.

      Also, shoot me, as the kids say these days or ought to since everyone's shooting at 'em, but the magic of Springsteen eludes me.

      Dude sings real nice, writes purdy songs, and I never mind listening, but Elton John, Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder, Robert Plant, Sam Cooke, Alan Parsons, David Bowie, Joan Jett, Neil Young, Bob Seeger, Nat King Cole, Diana Ross, Roy Orbison, James Brown, Annie Lennox, Paul Simon, even Tom Petty and David Lee Roth and Rod Stewart rock me harder.

      Crabby but loving -- I like that. :)

    4. Claude Tinnitus ReignsApril 23, 2023 at 6:17 PM

      Rod Stewart is (rightfully) the butt of millions of jokes, but the quickest way to silence the naysayers is to make them listen to these:



      or any other of the work he did with The Faces, possibly the greatest rock band of all time.

      I too hate live albums, but this is one of my favorites:


    5. On advice from a friend and on a whim, I picked up Rod Stewart's album "Every Picture Tells a Story" in 1971 or 72. It didn't make me a head over heals Rod Stewart fan, but I sure was a fan of that album. It was one of those that I must have listened to 100 times over the next five years.

      And I knew the Faces when they were Small. Ronnie Lane (particularly with his band Slim Chance) knocks me out every time with Oh La La. There's a live version on YouTube that, as I recall, has no whistling in it.


    6. I'm listening now. No whistles, many more horns than a typical rock concert. Nice 12-string, well played. Sung with proper reverence. I just hear the celebration of a martyr. Sorry. I'm not a huge Bruce fan, but he didn't have to sing Joe Hill for the money. I suppose he has his own reasons. I admire that. And Born to Run ain't bad.


    7. Stewart certainly has a distinctive voice. There's no mistaking it. I don't know from Faces, it just sounds like better-than-avg Rod Stewart.

    8. Born to Run ain't bad. Nor is Born in the USA. Dude ain't bad at all, just way overhyped for a long, long time. I feel the same about Shakespeare, and he's been overhyped a lot longer.

    9. I will maybe cue up that album at bedtime. So what makes the live versions of those songs better than the studio versions?

    10. I know a song called Oh La La which I like quite a lot and ought to have on my playlist...

      And I just Googled around and found it, and it's by the Faces.

      I am genuinely surprised, and the circle of sound comes 'round and bites me in the ear.

      Before this thread, I might've said I'd never heard of the Faces but I have, heard 'em many times.

    11. You're trolling me with that album, right? The first cut opens with a long round of beery applause, a few notes of music, a grunt from the crowd, and finally the song. Second cut opens with annoying crowd noise, and despite it being rock'n'roll there's crowd noise over the music all through the song. It's The Who, so the music is fine, but I sure hate the 10,000 or so people listening as it was recorded.

      Remember going to the movies before that experience was ruined with assigned seating? For me, the drill was to walk in, scan the crowd from behind, using all my prejudices to decide where it's safe to sit — no teenage boys sitting together, no enormously fat people (we tend to breathe loudly), and of course don't sit near someone assholish enough to bring an infant or toddler. On rare occasions with first-run movies, I've walked in, scanned the crowd, and saw so many teenagers there was no chance for enjoying the movie, and asked for my money back before the show started. Many, many times I'd switch seats before the start, because talkers came in after me and sat near me and talked and talked and talked. Someone who talks during the previews will still be talking during the movie, count on it. If you don't want to hear them talking, you move again to a quieter seat.

      Listening to music "recorded live" means *choosing* to sit near the assholes who won't shut up. Give me the studio version, every time — except Woodstock, where someone gave a damn enough to clean up the sound and won an Oscar for it.

    12. I have no idea where to put this comment, so it goes here. Here is a video recording of Ronnie Lane and one of his many groups, Slim Chance, performing Oh La La. I think there's a small audience, but it's at the BBC, and the Beeb doesn't allow whistling. Ronnie Lane was one of the founders of the Small Faces, which became the Faces when Rod Stewart joined. This song was written by Ronnie Lane and Ronnie Wood and sung by Ronnie Wood when Faces recorded it (he sang it better than Rod Stewart).

      Ronnie Lane was a talented singer/songwriter/guitarist who was diagnosed with MS in 1977 and managed to survive another 21 years, although much of that time he wasn't up to performing. His former bandmates and other musicians financially supported Lane and his family for two decades.



    13. Bruce Springsteen and Shakespeare are overhyped? I'm trying hard to understand what that means, but who is doing the hyping? There are record labels who plant publicity when a new album is released, and managers who plant stories in Variety and Newsweek (do they still exist?), but what label is Shakespeare with? And who's crazy enough to spend money promoting Springsteen? He already sells every ticket to every concert.

      I suppose Shakespeare could use some promotion. I saw a couple of empty seats at a local performance of Hamlet a couple of years ago, but his work is in the public domain, so I don't think his descendants can reap the profit. And I don't know which label he's with, but most likely Sony Music Group (inside music joke).

      Neither artist was with the aristocracy at the beginning. They both had to play low rent clubs until they made their names. End of faux rant.


      . . . and good luck finding which comment this is replying to . . .

    14. I can't speak to Shakespeare, since he doesn't speak to me. Pretty sure he'd be better in English, but I also avoid operas in the original Italian.

    15. No time for music this morning, but I'll follow the Little Faces sound soon as I can...

    16. The Teensy Faces will be waiting quietly at the edge of your dreams.


    17. It's better than Rodney S, but still pretty much the same. I want to look around and find a cover with a deeper voice.

    18. The Small Faces were so named because they all had small faces and small frames. Not much room for deep resonance. Also, take a look at the capos on the stringed instruments. They're about five or six frets above the body. They play high, they sing high. And I don't think Tennessee Ernie Ford covered any of their tunes. But what the heck. You lift sixteen tons, whatta you get?


    19. Another day older and deeper in debt, of course. That the Small Faces were named for their small faces is fully and delightfully absurd & too good to be anything but true.

      It ain't Tennessee Ernie Ford, but I like Dustbowl Revival's version.

  3. . . . and Bruce and Patti missed a major date last night because earlier in the day they were both diagnosed with Covid. Bruce is exactly my age, except that he looks about 30 years younger than me, and Patti is still, no sexism intended, hot. Now they're both a little warm with fever, but still look like a million bucks and sing like much more. So they can simultaneously get well AND remind us that masking isn't a fashion statement: it's a medical imperative.


    1. The question came up on Reddit a while back, and I'll give you the answer I gave there: Three years without COVID, without a flu, a cold, or even a sniffle. Plus I'm ugly — why would I ever again go out in the world without a mask?

    2. I do the grocery shopping for a very large family (2 adults, many, many cats, and occasionally for my dear sis). I've not walked into a store of any kind without a mask for those same three years. I was down for one day recovering from the second Covid shot. I've now had six of them, and the last four were non-events. No flu, no sniffles (except my fucking allergies) minor downtime when I was jerkin' off and my balls exploded (Kinky Friedman reference). And, like Doug, none of the fashion mags have come a-calling to beg me to be a coverguy. So why would I go out without a mask? I smoked for 45 years, so sometimes breathing through the mask is a small problem, but I get by.


    3. Do you take yours off or at least yank it down outside? I do, unless I forget, which is often. Being cloaked has become ordinary, and I feel weird if anyone can see my nose.

    4. Yeah, I wear it around my chin as soon as I leave the store and take it off when I get to my car. It's a little uncomfortable. I'm not wearing the damn thing to make a point. I'm wearing it to stay alive. Outside over two meters away from anybody is generally considered safe for short periods of time. A meter is easy to calculate. I just measure my penis and multiply by 39. Then multiply by two to come up with the safe distance. The algorithm has changed with age.


    5. Staying alive is a good reason to wear a mask. I am skeptical of anyone who's walking around exposed. Maybe they're vaccinated and all, but you never know what's coming next. And a lot of people spit ounces every time they speak.

      Who is that masked man? Me, always.

  4. 1. You write about still wearing a mask - at least in transit and public places. What about at work or your weekly breakfast?

    2. Have you ever dropped acid? Done coke? Speed? Meth? You've written once or twice about getting high (I think) but I wonder about your other excursions, if any.

    What's your tolerance like? Do you have an addictive personality or genetics? The first time I was given Dilaudid, intravenously in the hospital, I thought I had died and gone to heaven. My body felt like a pile of orgasms. And I instantly sympathized with addicts, because I had until then never felt such utter pleasure and relief.

    What all this has to do with the above post, I couldn't say.

    1. I'm masked at restaurants before and after eating, and at work all day. At work, I;m in a secluded corner and the only person near me works from home 2-3 days a week, so when she''s gone I sometime expose myself.

      As for drugs, mostly I've just said no. I've always been addictive with pecan pie or ice cream. If it's there I'll keep eating it until it's gone. If I tried the hard stuff I'd probably die.

      Who ate all the cocaine? Who drank the entire 12-pack? Me, probably.

    2. Eating cocaine sounds like a bad idea on all accounts, although probably fairly harmless in small doses. I tried coke for a couple of days, non-stop. It was terrific. I have chronic anxiety disorder and am chronically shy. Coke instantly fixed both those problems. I am writing from my dotage rather than from the grave because penury saved me from cocaine. I would have worked a second job for more coke, but it wouldn't have paid the freight. That was forty years ago or more. I've not run into coke since, so it has not run me down and left me flat in the street.


    3. Would you do it again if it was reasonably priced?

      With slight effort, I could work up regret at not trying some of the stuff the propagandists told me never to try. Much of what they say is BS, and maybe they steered me away from a happier life. Fuck 'em all.

      But the life I've had was pretty good.

    4. Most of the drugs are overhyped. Coke is as dangerous as it is said to be. Maybe this is an individual thing. But the main desire after snorting coke is a desire for more coke. Bad hoodoo. Thankfully I'm also out of wealthy friends, so I never get tempted. I have no idea what I'd say if offered. Looks like I won't find out.


    5. > But the main desire after snorting coke is a desire for more coke.

      That's me and pecan pie. I'll eat the whole pie and then buy another and eat it, too. Me and cocaine would be a very bad idea.

      You did it up the nose, I assume? How do people do that without sneezing?

    6. Well fuck me. I used the word overhyped before Doug did, then made fun of him. I have met the enemy, and he is me.


    7. The phrase I'm looking for is, "The dangers of many street drugs are exaggerated." I never smoked or dropped or snorted anything until I was in college. Then I followed the common wisdom guidelines. For psychedelics, do them with a group of people you know and trust. In all the time I did mescaline and acid, I saw exactly one bad trip. It was a friend of mine, and we took care of him until he came down. It was a difficult two or three hours, but he was fine. That's out of perhaps hundreds of ingestions. And don't drive. Whether it's weed or high-powered acid. Don't get behind the wheel drunk or stoned. And plan ahead. Gather toys and other materials ahead of time so you don't need to go looking for trouble. There are a couple more guidelines, but it's all common sense. None of these highs is worth dying for, or doing time. I smoked weed on the day it became legal in Washington. It's gotten stronger.


    8. In another lifetime long ago I read a book about finding the right guide and being the right guide, and it's important, I think.

      Something more I wanted to say, but it slipped away into a last-chance nap before work...

    9. I have some bad news about heaven, but I do admire optimism.


    10. Reply to the comment before last. The truest thing anybody has ever said is, "We're here to help each other."

      It can be used in the context of getting high, or in the context of a flood caused by global climate change or in a long night of loneliness. Context doesn't change the meaning or the message.


    11. You and me and most people are willing to help each other. Saw a wreck out the bus window a while back, and I was struck by the people running *toward* the accordionated vehicle, trying to save somebody, and they did.

      Decent people help. Rich bastards build space rockets that blow up.

  5. Claude, I know this question is for Doug and I'm not trying to answer it. I'm just including one of my favorite cuts from one of my top ten albums, Boogie With Canned Heat. The cut is Amphetamine Annie. First the lyrics, then the song.

    Amphetamine Annie

    This is a song with a message
    I want you to heed my warning

    I wanna tell you all a story
    About this chick I know
    They call her "Amphetamine Annie"
    She's always shoveling snow

    I sat her down and told her
    I told her crystal clear
    "I don't mind you getting high
    But there's one thing you should fear"

    "Your mind might think its flying, baby
    On those little pills
    But you ought to know it's dying, 'cause
    Speed kills"

    But Annie kept on speeding
    Her health was getting poor
    She saw things in the window
    She heard things at the door

    Her mind was like a grinding mill
    Her lips were cracked and sore
    Her skin was turning yellow
    I just couldn't take it no more

    She thought her mind was flying
    On those little pills
    She didn't it was going down fast, 'cause
    Speed kills

    Well I sat her down and told her
    I told her one more time
    "The whole wide human race has taken
    Far too much methedrine"

    She said I don't care what a Limey says
    I've got to get it on
    I'm not here to just see no man
    Who come from across the pond

    She wouldn't heed my warning
    Lord, she wouldn't hear what I said
    Now she's in the graveyard, and she's
    Awfully dead

    Songwriters: Adolfo De La Parra / Alan Wilson / Henry Vestine / Robert Jr. Hite / Samuel Lawrence Taylor
    Amphetamine Annie lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC


    Don't forget to boogie . . . boogie . . . . boogie.


    1. https://youtu.be/54Pb2YISNLg

    2. Always liked Canned Heat, especially the bear, who played Jack Black before there was Jack Black. Feels like Canned Heat has been unfairly forgotten.

  6. I am not going to wade into this whole discussion up to my neck. BUT:

    Springsteen annoys me. Not HIM, not his music. But the way people have been jacking him off as the second coming of Dylan for almost 50 fucking years isannoying. Yeah, he's great. But it's the same as the whole "Clapton is God" thing, except that Clapton is a blue-ribbon piece of shit, while Bruce is an OK dude, I think.


    I am 100% sure you wrote about taking acid in your youth, Doug. I remember because one line affected me - you sais that your brain made some new connections while you were tripping, and some of those connections stuck afterward, something like that.

    1. Yeah, but only once or twice, and the second time scared me.


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