FEBRUARY 26, 2012



So anyway, the weather continues an unsettling state of mind, with scant precipitation and fluctuating temps. By this time we normally should have gotten deluges of rain, so folks are hoping for a very wet spring to revive the Sierra snowpack after last year's dry spell. For the past couple weeks forcasters have been hopefully prognosticating precip in a manner reminiscent of certain economists and industry wonks who for some time now have kept saying, "signs are showing that the economy is improving. Last month saw significant gains in retail/housing/construction/factory orders. . ." without every listing the specific signs or numbers. Yeah right. Talk about the weather to make it happen.

Anybody take a gander at the gas prices recently?

they feel their moment in the sun is yet to return

Down at the Old Same Place Bar, Babar -- of the Greatly Orotund Party of Conservative Bent has been holding jovial bantering debate with Rick Vilespew and Mr. Curmudgeon, both of various Conservative parties, for they feel their moment in the sun is yet to return, as the lousy state of finances of the local Native Sons of the Golden West, caused largely by their own George W. Shrubb by means of cutting membership fees, reducing revenue-generating projects and starting a full-out war on the township of Newark seems to have born fruit by producing hard times during the momentary reign of a Liberal (shudder!) President.

Nevermind the liberal President was elected because people tired of Dick Chikanery's tomfoolishness, Conservatives unable to keep it in their pants, and widerange irresponsiblity mated with arrogant government intrusion rivalling the Stalin era. It was the Conservative's job to make people forget real history in favor of much more edible revisionism which extolled a Grand Past which never really had existed.

Star wars and shiny pebbles, bite the bullet, the light at the end of the tunnel and what a wonderful time that had been.

Times were hard and they all had drawn in sharp Black vs White the picture of their historically favorite whipping boy, the very man designed in their minds to defeat.

"After all", Vilespew said, "We are wealthy because we are genetically superior. The evidence is clear."

Meanwhile others were busy making nefarious plans. In the Howitzer mansion, the new Mr. Howitzer was meeting with the Gang of the Angry Elf. The Angry Elf, one Neal Tuckus, had brought three of his thugs with him. Badger, a somewhat Russian fellow who had spent some time in a Siberian gulag for being a raskolnik, petty thievery, throat slitting, and bad forgery, Tushie Ainu -- a woman addicted to shoplifting and knife-work, and her companion, Brian Gump -- a forger and master impersonator as well as expert backstabber.

Criminal gangs are not really in reality anything like what you find in the movies

Criminal gangs are not really in reality anything like what you find in the movies. Generally, they consist of bumblers through life, always taking the easier path -- as it appears to them -- while scoffing at any idea that doing the right thing might make more sense in the long run. Tushie and Bryan had been living the high life on someone else's dime when they got a little careless and Tushie wound up preggers. So the little meeting of the nefarious was accompanied by a bassinet stuffed with a loudly complaining little Oscar, who did not appreciate the niceties of criminality at all. Little Oscar much more preferred his bottle with nam-nam.

It is the Bay area after all, and any decent gang will practice appropriate multicultural sensitivity.

"So you are from Japan, and you are from some trailor park, and the kid is clearly a mix of stuff, and you are some kind of Pollock . . . ", Mr. Howitzer said.

"Byloruss," said Badger. "Very different from Poland. Entirely. I could tell you all about it."

"Whatever. And you from some place east of Chicago. So why they call you the Angry Elf?"

"I am from Brooklyn. You got a problem with dat?" The Angry Elf said. He stamped his little feet, making a surprising amount of noise with his boots for a fellow who stood not more than four feet ten inches in height.

"Um. Whatever. Listen. I got this problem. I got these tenants giving me troubles on my property."

"What kinda trouble?" asked Badger. "They no pay the rent?"

"Nah they pay all right. But they complain. And they want things. Like they want broke things fixed all the time and want heat and hot water on demand. And they complain about the rents too high. Nevermind the details. I got problems with them. I want them handled. You know? Handled. I need say no more."

"We handle them," the Angry Elf said. "We handle them good so they no longer a problem. You tell me their names and it will be done."

"Yeah well, there is this Denby fellow. He is living with rent I figure too low for his type. You want to take control of an entire building, here is an opportunity. You get him outta there and you got the entire St. Charles Asylum at your disposal. Choice property -- if it were not for the crazies."

"I get ta control the entire building?" said the Angry Elf.

"Yeah, sure. Just cut me a share. I just dislike this Denby guy for being a (shudder!) liberal type."

"What we do wit da crazy people?"

"I dunno. You keep 'em. Evict all of them I say, turn the whole lot out on the street like they did in Reagan's day and turn the place into condos. Just get rid of Denby first."

"I tink I know dis feller," said the Angry Elf. "His fambly comes from Nazis. You know da Nazis dontcha Badger?"

"Oh yes, we know them in Byloruss. We kill them horrible and take away their boots!" Badger licked his lips at the fond second-hand memories of WWII.

"The other people live in a house on Otis, some fifteen vermin in an otherwise fine house which probably could be turning a higher profit as a carnival spot. The place is rented by a couple named Marlene and Andre."

"No problem boss, when it comes to serving the landlords and honest property owners of this burg, I got no restraint."

Mr. Howitzer flicked the length of his cane along a bed of daffodowndillies in a long trough there on his deck, neatly lopping off the heads of all the flowers which Dodd had tended so carefully through the long winter months. "O that I wish these problems were resolved. Good day gentlemen. I trust you will do well."

The gang's encounter with Denby in the halls of the lunatic asylum of St. Charles Street did not go according to plan.

"So Montana, I hear you fambly come from da Nazi's." the Angry Elf began, intending to incite Badger. Then the two would set on Denby and get the crazies in the asylum blamed for it.

"They were German, yes, but we were Partisans in the Eastern zone. They fought against Hitler from the beginning and nearly all of them were executed by the time of the "attentat" and Fieldmarshal Rommel's trial. That is why 'grandmother has no relatives'."

"O, partisans!" Badger said. "We like the partisans."

"Ah, you from Byloruss? We once had family there. You know the town of Kortzyn?"

"O that town destroyed by the Nazis. Everyone killed and thrown in the canal. They built it up again Then destroyed again by the Soviets." Badger was looking doubtful about the whole enterprise. He had lost his desire for battering and bloodletting.

"We should sit down with a bottle of vodka and and talk about the old places that are no more."

"Yes! Yes! I did not know you were of partisans! They were very brave!"

The Angry Elf looked angry indeed and he stamped his tiny feet with rage. "Come along now, we have work to do!"

"Well, see you around!" Denby said.

"Bye bye!" Badger said happily. He was glad to have found Denby was not such a bad sort after all. The Angry Elf was furious, plotting how to turn this thing around. Maybe send the klepto Jap and her booby husband.


The suspense! The intrigue! The sordidness of callous criminality!

The Angry Elf gang went on after the initial failure to assault Denby to attack Marlene and Andre's Household on Otis with results to reported later. A third gangster gang run by the nefarious Ramsbo Conglomerate out of Medellin has come into town and is engaged in open warefare against the Angry Elves. The suspense! The intrigue! The sordidness of callous criminality! The pathetic backroom Land-Swap deals! Stay tuned for further developments in the "Place where no man is an Island". Drama!

Time was coming up for St. Paddy's Day and all the Old Same Place Bar was astir for preparations for that magic day, and especially for the possible re-emanation of the Wee Man, who had taken to showing up on that evening with wild consequences that generally involved gold and the charming of people's underwear.

Well who would have known but that the Wee Man was a pervert in that direction. Neither Connolly nor Micheal Fury had given notice.

But in this time all over the Island the daffodowndillies were bursting upward, the freesia bows were slyly budding and jonquils were jumping up with exhuberance.

The Old Norman place burned down during this past winter amid a terrible smoke and collapsing of cinders and the fire-department hook 'n ladders all up there doing what they do best while things died and broke apart under their watch, but there amid the pile of burnt timbers in recent weeks, yellow plumes arise.

Spring has leapt ahead and sprung. Life begins anew even amid wrack and ruin and disaster. You old folks just take a seat back while these young kids go to town. They have business to which to attend.

All along the Russian River there is a great racket going on, and this one is not about politics. It's all about the frogs. Frogs appear to be causing a great deal of ruckus up around Sebastopol. So much so the Mayor cannot get to sleep at night. The citizens are getting restive and there has been talk about old-fashioned vigilance committees and late-night raids. The Chosen got let loose long ago from Egypt but Sebastopol suffers a plague of frogs today. Must be something in the water.

Speaking of which, meaning politics and frogs, Babar and Rick Vilespew and Eft Grigich, Paul Dion, and Rummy, all from various factions of the Greatly Orotund Party, all gathered there in the Old Same Place Bar to debate and watch the Hustings on satellite TV. None of them could afford a campaign headquarters, because they all claimed that government was broke and they wished to shrink that entity to nothing anyway.

Nails, a guy with purple hair cut in a mohawk a foot long above his nose piercings and leather jacket, said this was fine by him. Anarchy was life without government, so this idea felt just about right. He represented the hoi polloi.

Babar was not so sure on that point. He did not want his children lectured in school by people sporting purple mohawk haircuts.

Rick Vilespew said that all the women in America should be put on treadmills, thereby losing weight and solving the energy crisis in a single stroke -- clearly drilling now for more oil would be pointless for winning elections for the next two cycles. He felt that this could be accomplished by means of of gentlemanly legislation once all of the women had left the workforce to return to their god-designated duties of cooking and bearing children. And providing clean energy.

Quick Limburger, a commentator mentioned that anyone who disagreed with him was a slut.

Papoon, the Liberal candidate, sat there wishing that someone would kindly make sense

Papoon, the Liberal candidate, sat there wishing that someone would kindly make sense enough that he could respond. As it stood now, all the Conservatives sounded like radical wackjobs. They were blathering about bad conditions caused by their own George W. Shrubb and attacking one another as if to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

This was supposed to be a Democratic forte. Now the maniacal idiots of the extreme Right were stealing the Democratic finess for idiocy.

"And another thing," Babar shouted. "What's all this nonsense about God living in a beehive on another planet.?"

"I tap into what John F. Kennedy said about the President being above all this Religion stuff, even though I am a regular church-goer and incorporate religious belief in my public work as the Founding Fathers intended. But in a secular way . . ." Rummy said. "Furthermore I know exactly what needs to be done and I will tell all of you just as soon as I am elected!"

"I have delegates," Eft Grigich said. "I have enough delegates to influence the discussion. I don't care I have not won a single caucus; so what do we want to talk about?'

Papoon sighed.

The long howl of the throughpassing train ululated across the intrigue-packed waters of the estuary before interrogating the peaceful, loving grasses of the Buena Vista flats as the locomotive wended its way from the watchtower gantries of the Port past the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, heading off on its historical journey to parts unknown, whispering of tales of nefarious deeds and honest bravery in times of distress.

That's the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.