Quentin, Sgt. Rumsbo and the FSM

July 16, 2013


So anyway, Mark Twain's summer has rolled into the Bay Area, blocking the sun and sending some of our staffers out into the Valley (Egads!) of all places to find some watersports and tanning potential. Sharon knew it was time to go when people started calling her "paleface" -- for a Native American this is an epithet to get rid of ASAP.

Summertime has begun and there are long lines each weekout out to places people imagine are better or somehow a break from this place to where all of them have fought tooth and nail to arrive and establish abode with such a seasoning of ill-will that these folks from Ohio and Virginia and New Jersey and Pennsylvania and Florida all develop a need to take a vacation from, even though this is supposed to be the best place on earth. Or so they say.

It would be nice if all those people taking vacations to other places that are relaxing breaks from the frenzy of this place would just go live there and save us who have raised our children here all the bother, but we understand Disneyland and Yosemite have only so many vacancies and Tuscany has more self respect than Vegas to be taking in so many ex-Californians.

This left the Island in summertime mood of people who actually have lived here for some time spending some time living here among ourselves without interference. It was a sort of vacation.

Given that the summertime is a time of relaxed attention, this means that those who are given to the duty, sworn and self-appointed, to protect the populace from malefactors must excercise double diligence.

For this reason, Sgt. Rumsbo, the mall-cop of the St.Charles Lunatic Asylum, is given to double patrols about the building and heightened vigilance, for as people engaged in relaxation and living therefore he must perforce be on stricter guard against anything untoward.

Rumbo, the afterthought progeny of a long departed sailor and an alcoholic bartender, never really could gain entry into the SFPD directly, but had to satisfy himself with being a part-time traffic enforcer at City College which he combined with moonlight jobs protecting the basement of IMagnin's and Macy's from shoplifters. At home, inhabiting the same apartment in which he had grown up with his mother for the past forty-eight years, he acted as unpaid apartment manager/security officer in the converted building which now housed a number of derelicts and indigent as part of a County project for warehousing the mentally ill.

In the absence of a father and in the presence of a mother lacking quite a bit of self direction, which eventually led to an early death due to cirrhosis of the liver, the man cultivated an extreme sense of discipline that local genuine gendarmes absent anent their own such discipline found remarkable. Besides, they got a cop at fully half the price to save their own salaries a hit come election day. Rumsbo knew he got paid less, but he enjoyed the power. He got to boss around the apartment building and the hapless students at City College. The City knew they got a man stacked with half a deck, but they enjoyed the price. Heck, they got a cop without union benefits without protest.

So it was that Rumsbo, the wannabe cop, encountered a shadowy figure tracing near the St. Charles Apartments one dark night with the full moon cloaked in high fog as a fine drizzle began to fall. Normally a strange figure lurking caused no concern, but this particular figure looked like one of the tenants, and of course the rules stated implicitly that tenants were not allowed to lurk. Whatever lurking might mean or entail.

One thing lead to another and the end result had Sgt. Rumsbo rolling around on the ground outside the apartment building with this figure who turned out to be Occasional Quentin looking for a place to get out of the rain for a while.

Quentin, seeing this wierd figure looming out of the darkness, following him, started acting self-protective and hiding in the bushes. Rumbo, carrying his flashlight and his radio and his gun, saw this odd figure skulking in the bushes, trying to hide.

Rumsbo called in a report about a suspicious character and the dispatch told him to hang back and wait for people who knew how to handle these situations. Rumsbo, of course, took this as a challenge against his manhood and so he approached the bush where Quentin cowered and blasted his flashlight with full authority, causing Quentin to leap up shrieking for his life with his hands in the air.

Rumsbo, feeling his authority impugned, drew his nightstick to belabor Quentin about the ears, who naturally objected to this rude treatment of his skull -- worthless though the contents may have been -- and that is when the tussle began.

Now most of you know how this story usually ends. Rumsbo, an inveterate bully sort of guy starts getting the tar knocked out of him -- which is just too much, as for a bully to lose his power is just too, too soul destroying. Heck its practically being murdered for such a guy.

So Sgt. Rumsbo, the wannabe cop or whoever he might be this time around, pulls out his precious nickle-plated revolver and shoots Quentin, or whoever it might be, in the head and the long tortuous roadshow of public acrimony begins all over again, a roadshow complete with riots and the injuring of completely innocent people who just happened to arrive somewhere in the wrong place as the wrong time to become society's necessary stupid public sacrifice.

This time, however, my friends, Divine Intervention forstalled any of the usual consequences.

The Island's newest addition to the pantheon of Churches in the form of the newly ordained Minister, Jason Arrabiata appeared, dressed in his full clergy togs, which consisted of wide-top leather boots, billowing black trousers, a silk sash for a belt, an open white blouse, gold chains, eye patch, beard and a fabulously preposterous hat two feet in diameter bedecked with ostrich feathers and scarlet plumes. Furthermore he carried in his sash a cutlass at least three feet long.

"Stop this ruckus and cease trying to merge your brother's head with the asphalt this instant, my good man, or I will cut both your heads off." Jason said. "Arrgggg!"

Quentin, atop Rumsbo, and Rumsbo, under Quentin, both gaped at this apparition, behind whom the full moon haloed his swarthy visage.

"You know when you see two people fighting, you seen a sign something has failed. Have you been touched by His Noodly Appendage? Let me pray for you two clearly demented and lost souls."

Through His pasta, He has blessed us with everlasting life

"Let us sing praise to the Flying Spaghetti Monster, for He is a loving God. Of His might and dominion, there is no compare; of His mercy and deliciousness, there is no equal. No other god can challenge Him; in the taste test, He is invincible. Through His pasta, He has blessed us with everlasting life, and holy is His Name. For He is the Flying Spaghetti Monster: the One, True, and Most High God, creator of man and midgit, giver of pasta, giver of sauce, from age to holy age; not created He was, but ever He lives, through the glory of spaghetti, now and forever. R'Amen."

"Now Quentin rise up and take up your fool head and you, Rumsbo, rise up and take up your fool weapons and go forth and be good for henceforth life is given you and you so that you shall dine in peace and in foolishness. For thine is the kingdom boiled, served on a plate and well sauced. Ramen."

And with that, great violence was averted and more on this incredible story and how the Flying Spaghetti Monster came to be shall be discussed anon -- and next week as well.

The long howl of the throughpassing train ululated from far across the water, across the saucy waves of the estuary, the riprap embankments, the noodly grasses of the Buena Vista flats and the open spaces of the former Beltline, as the locomotive glided past the dark and shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off to parts unknown, bearing its mysterious cargo of meatballs.

Hail meatsauce, full of beef. The Spaghetti Monster is with you. Blessed are you among sauces, and blessed is the spice from your shaker. Heated meatsauce, monster of taste, pray for us non-pirates now and at the hour of our hunger. RAmen

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