Sweet lollipop

Your arm pits stink horrendously, so please smear on ample deodorant and/or keep your distance.

My arm pits, however, have a savory, succulent odor, reminiscent of fresh-baked lasagna. The scent delights me each and every time I catch a whiff. Sometimes in the shower, I skip lathering my underarms entirely, because I want the aroma to linger for another day.

At the bus stop, a 20-something woman was licking a sucker. There was nothing suggestive about it, but she was pretty, and it brought to mind a popular poem from before I grayed:

For there are you, sweet lollipop,
And here am I with such a lot to say,
    hey, hey...

Ah, but I had nothing to say. Nothing at all.

Thirty years ago, shyness would've kept me quiet, because what do you say to a pretty woman sucking a sucker? Now it's age that shushes me — I'm old enough to be her granddad, so even if I said something cordial and completely innocent, it would come off the opposite.

I simply waited for the bus, and for the end. Both were approaching.

In a text conversation with my brother Dick, he typed:

"Went to Walmart pharmacy with my prescription for blood thinner pills, and with insurance it's $348. Without insurance it's over $1,000. This country turning communist pisses me off so much."

Thanks to generations of bullshit from Republicans, 'communist' now means 'anything that's annoying'. 

Rolling my eyes, I tried explaining to my brother that in any communist or socialist country, and even any capitalist country but ours, his meds would've cost him nothing.

He's an all-Trump guy, though, so I didn't try very hard. What's the point?

Midway on a morning bus ride, we were idling at a red light that's also a bus stop, so a few people had already gotten aboard. The driver had closed the doors and we were still waiting for the light, when some white dude walked up and knocked at the bus's front door.

It was a civilized knock, but the driver only glanced at the guy, didn't open the door. From my vantage, I couldn't see why until we'd driven off.

It was the guy's face. Make the dumbest and meanest dumb-but-mean face you can make, and that was that guy. That's why the driver left him behind.

Lecture me about the evils of making snap judgments, call it prejudice. But I'm a frequent bus rider, and while I'd never seen that man before, I knew him well. He's every smelly wino who vomits on the seat or picks an argument with whoever's nearby.

The bus is a public service, and everyone can ride, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, age, disability, or veteran status — except that guy. Leaving the door closed was the right thing to do.

Baseball is the only sport I still even slightly follow, and this year the local team is pretty good — they're in first place. I'll never attend another game — it's too expensive, too loud — but I check the score on the internet, and prefer it when my team wins.

It's hard to put this into words, and I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. There's nothing profound here, it's only something odd that's been happening more and more over the last thirty years:

I'm rooting for guys who not only hadn't been born when I started watching baseball, but their parents hadn't been born. In a few years, there'll be players whose grandparents hadn't been born when I started watching baseball.

It's part of the game and part of getting old, but it blows my mind when I think of it.

Another part of getting old is that it's easier and easier to blow my mind.

And lastly and leastly, let's talk about Hunter Biden. He's the President's child, 53 years old. He used his last name to land a lucrative job, which ought to be illegal, but it's not. Ivanka and Junior Trump did the same, with much larger paychecks.

Hunter Biden is accused of some tax violations, but I've run the numbers and it's mathematically impossible for me to care less about that.

Also, there's something about his laptop. Sorry, though — still no interest.

He's some dude who maybe broke some law.

If there's evidence of a crime, prosecute him. If he's guilty, punish him.

I never have any problem with that, for anyone: That's the way law and order is supposed to work.

Anyone who objects to that, to the concept of punishment for crime, is either a criminal or a moron or a Republican. Many are all three.



  1. Marco McClean read your piece on rats yesterday, on "Memo of the Air." A wonderful true tale, so I just visited your blog site, which Marco gave, and find your writing delightful, captivating and hilarious. But I've only read two pieces so far, thus it's possible I may be gravely disappointed in the long run. Have a lovely day, "Fat Slob!"

    1. Thanks for the kind words.

      Statistically speaking, most folks are gravely disappointed by me within a few minutes in person, and on-line it takes 3-5 entries.

      PS. I just read "More Than A Hole In The Ground" at your blog, and you done made my eyes water. I think I'm gonna enjoy your blog whether you like mine or not...

    2. Brindlekin, for a bright, sweet guy, Doug is a lying son of a bitch. I've been reading daily for a couple of years and have found him to be consistently insightful, humorous and articulate. Just commenting on his blog has made me a better writer, although I won't be catching up with Doug anytime soon. So when he's dissing his own writing he's being HIS version of modest. He's the Kerouac of West Seattle, struggling mightily to become the Kerouac of the North Seattle Hooker District. His prose grows on you, like fungus but funnier. Welcome aboard.


    3. Thank you, John, for such a witty reply! Better late to the party than never. I have started with reading his very first works on this blog, his zine pieces when he occupied a cruddy hotel room in SF. Very delightful reading so far, and I expect it to continue in that fashion. It must've taken TONS of work for him to type all those zines into his blog...but thank Cthulhu he did, for the future will turn its eyes on him.

    4. I think you're both smoking Kerouac, and also both better writers than li'l ol' me.

    5. Maybe there's a Kerouac virus going the rounds, the latest COVID variation.

    6. I dunno Doug . . . sometimes you seem brighter than a thousand suns and sometimes it sounds like you don't know Jack.



  2. "Now it's age that shushes me — I'm old enough to be her granddad, so even if I said something cordial and completely innocent, it would come off the opposite."

    Time alters the body, but not the mind. Time scars us with the appearance of the criminal. One of many of life's injustices.

    1. "Time alters the body, but not the mind."

      I wonder... some days I feel like I'm dying from the outside in, other days I feel like I'm dying from the inside out.

    2. Those are your lungs, Claude.

    3. "I wonder... some days I feel like I'm dying from the outside in, other days I feel like I'm dying from the inside out."

      I like that line lots. Reminds me of a time-lapse video I saw a while back, of worms (perhaps roaches?) eating a cinnamon roll. It looked like they were eating it from the outside in, but some had also gotten inside, so just when you thought the video was only half over it was done.

    4. Claude Reigns, HungrySeptember 3, 2023 at 1:04 PM

      I wish I had a cinnamon roll inside me right now

    5. Mmmm, cimmamon rolls.

      I'd place a grocery order but they'd be factory cimmamon rolls, which are always disappointing.

    6. I don't want a cinnamon roll inside me. The pleasure comes from converting an external roll into an internal roll, so I want a cinnamon roll outside of me.

      It's a small point, but it's a glazed point.


    7. Made me giggle, man.

      I bought a four-pack of cinnamon rolls and ate three so far. One remains external but not for long.

      Too much frosting, though.

    8. It's four in the morning, the end of December
      I'm writing you now just to see if you're better
      New York is cold, but I like where I'm living
      There's music on Clinton Street all through the evening

      Sorry, sometimes I just break into Leonard Cohen songs like spontaneous combustion at three mile island. Check out Famous Blue Raincoat. Listening to Leonard is like a cinnamon roll outside of you and inside of you simultaneously: a quantum physics of sweetness.

      It is four in the morning and I just got home from my semi-weekly caregiving gig at my sister's. It's her birthday, or was when I got there. I brought doughnuts from Pao's, and I've finally arrived at the point of my comment. You like sweet stuff, Pao uses 1950s/60s methods and technology to make the best doughnuts in Tacoma and in this arm of the Milky Way Galaxy. I'd like to get one to you, but they don't fit on email. By my approximate calculation, you could go there yourself and enjoy an orgasm so enchanting that there's no room for a hole in the middle, but it would require 17 bus changes and a dozen transfers.

      News Tribune readers rated Pao's the best doughnuts in Pierce County, although it's not clear whether either reader was sober. But they clearly are. The best, I mean, not sober. Pao has a backstory that starts in Cambodia and moves forward to antique doughnut-making gear in the shadows of the two Narrows Bridges.

      You have to eat the doughnuts the day they were made, and Pao won't sell day-old anything. That also prevents me from mailing one to your PO box.

      My sis liked the doughnuts. Everybody loves Pao's.


    9. If ever I'm in Tacoma, which remains a large if, definitely Pao's.

      I've found several doughnut places that are adequate here, but none worth raving about and two that floored me with Maserati pricing. $2.89 for a single doughnut, near my house.

      Remember when there were mom & pop doughnuterias all along any main drag, more common than shitty Subway™ sandwich shops today?

      I once drove a several mile stretch of Rainier Avenue in Seattle's south side and bought one doughnut at every doughnuteria, on a mission to rate and rank all 19 of them.

      Where have all the doughnuts gone, long time passing?

      Leonard would've one un-glazed, naked doughnut, and dipped it in coffee, black.

    10. It takes time to make a good doughnut. Pao starts each day, seven days a week at 2:00 AM. He makes about 25 different doughnuts/confections. He goes full out for six hours. His partner or one of his kids opens the store at 6:00 AM while Pao is finishing the doughnut-making. He hand-paints four dozen naked doughnuts with sugar water before sprinkling toasted cocoanut on them, and that's only one kind of doughnut. He wraps up and cleans up at 8:00 AM and then usually works a shift out front. He closes at 4:00 PM (2:00 Sundays), gets some sleep and starts all over at 2:AM. The doughnuts are $1.50 (two bucks for a couple of the large confections) and are the best buy in town.

      The family doughnut shop is alive and well in Tacoma.


    11. And I'm aware that in a more inclusive and equitable society we'd have considerably less drug abuse and fewer overdoses. I fought for that shit for 45 years and I'm tired. It won't happen on this planet.


    12. I've always had ginorbig respect for the work of running a solo or family business, but I'm far too lazy to do it. Jeez, it's exhausting just reading about it. When does Pao take a week off and sit on his ass and get fat? Is the place at least closed on Mondays? Holidays?

      Even as just a schlumpy lumpy employee, I remember working extra shifts on Saturdays, even a few Sundays, when I didn't even particularly need the extra money. What seriously d'fuque was wrong with me?

      Oh, yeah, agreed about the drugs (unless doughnuts count as a drug). I am finished with fighting for the cause. Only writing for the cause, and not even very often.

    13. One of Pao's sons graduated from high school in June, and he closed the business for an entire day so he could attend the ceremony. That's the only day they've been closed in the two or three years I've been shopping there.


    14. That's a level of sci-fi giveadamn about doughnuts beyond my comprehension, which is prolly why the doughnuts are beyond our comprehensions.

    15. You'll think I oversold them. That's what my sister thought until she tried a cinnamon/sugar doughnut, and my brother-in-law before he tried a cocoanut doughnut. My BiL has a blood sugar based illness and he's been watching his diet for over 80 years. He cuts the doughnut in half and freezes the other half immediately for consumption tomorrow.

      Damn, the Googs just stole three paragraphs supporting Emma Lazarus' assertion that America is a land of immigrants. Shit.


    16. Sorry about the frickin' Googs. They get me too sometimes.

      Other than fresh of course being better, I'm not sure I've ever had a doughnut that was much better than average. An average doughnut is pretty damn good.

      Biggest disappointment is always Krispy Kreme. People say they're spectacular, best doughnuts ever in the whole wide world, but even fresh, they're just doughnuts. They're fine. And fine is fine. I ain't complaining.

      Obviously, Pau's must be better, and worth starting a fan club. :)

    17. Although I lack political ambitions, should such a club be formed I believe I'd throw my hat into the ring for the position of Recording Secretary and Chief Sampler. You gotta keep your taste buds on these artisans to make sure they're not backsliding.

      Secretary John

    18. And $1.50 doughnuts? Man, that would be a good price even if they were only pretty good.

      You're already in the club, aren't you?

    19. The third time I went into the modest-looking shop I introduced myself to Pao and his partner. When I'm waiting in line I rarely hear the owners call people by their names, but after one introduction they started calling me John and have never missed an opportunity. Over the last couple of years I've told them stories of previous family doughnut shops in the North End of Tacoma -- there haven't been many great ones -- and they seem interested. I'm pretty sure I'm in the club.


    20. I would imagine someone doing the same work every dang day of the year (unless their son is graduating from high school) appreciates your kind comments as much or more than your patronage.

      You've got me curious enough to check, but there's no bus from here to Pao's.


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