October 14, 2005


Of course it is incumbent upon the traveler upon returning to his hometown to make himself aware of what's been going on in his absence and who should be best to inform said traveller than his dearest friends, real and imaginary. It also seemed especially necessary to give ourselves and any persons in like frame of mind down in the dumps about any sort of thing to cause a frown and a few tears -- such as drowning, destruction, starvation, homelessness, hopelessness, general misery and so on inclusively but not exclusive to this list -- a general bucking up, a bit of cheer, a rousing Here! Here! and thoroughgoing exhortation to drag out a chuckle or two.

So to speak.

So it was that no sooner than we dropped our old knapsack in the foyer than we were off to the Old Same Place around the corner to restore bodily fluids and consult with dear friend Bear, who we discovered, had divested himself of the radio tracking device bound about his ankle these six months since the Valentines Day Massacree. (Curious readers may scroll down to the entries on and about February 14th).

Its been a long six months of good behavior for Bear, and we found him there at the bar with his black curls disarranged in the breeze without knowledge or hint of the comb's regimen as his tresses shadowed deeply veined and sunken eyesockets that never seemed to blink, his t-shirt oil-stained, torn and bloody, his pants equally as filthy with the cuffs a frayed above one scarlet sock upon his left foot and one blue sock upon his right although both his brogans matched in scuffs, tatters and divots, telling the tale of years and hard living in them.

In short, Bear was himself again, right as rain.

"Denby!" shouted Bear, for high volume was the most frequent mode of communication for this gentleman, "Have ya heard the news! Belzoni property values are way up all around the Big House! If I'da bought that tinkers cottage outside the gates time they let me out I'd be a rich man!"

Well we went into would of and should of to various degrees, not forgetting to mention if Bear hadn't swiped the bronze garden gnome from the garden of someone who just happened to be sheriff he would not have had to serve 30 days in Belzoni Prison with time off for Bad Behavior and Tendency to Corrupt the Inmate Populace of that venerable Institution. Heck, they couldn't get rid of him fast enough after he published the Belzoni Institute Democrat within the walls and included therein various articles on making bathtub gin as well as promotion of free suffrage and general lasciviousness. Truth was, the administration was terrified of Bear turning about 2,000 of Mississippi's most hardened criminals into freethinking Democrats along the California style and so they expelled him before his time as an Undesirable within the State's borders, promising that if he ever showed his face across the State line they would string him up with no discussion about it.

Clearly, it was entirely unreasonable that Bear would buy a cottage beside a prison in a state that did not desire him to be there and equally that Bear should ever become rich by any scheme whatsoever unless it be by the grace of a very confused and/or intoxicated god.

But we got to toasting the various cities and towns which had been hard hit by the recent disaster along the Gulf Coast and so we were in very good condition, after a few hours, to pay reportorial visits to the Bay Area's most distinguished representatives and dignitaries. To whit: State Rep. and member of the GOP, Babar, as well as Assemblyman Papoon, he of the Liberal bent, as well as the Barbara's Boxer and Lee, Senator and Representative respectively, to conclude with a visit to the President, Eugene Shrubb.

Naturally, we had to spruce up Bear a bit, so we had him put on a tie we found in the gutter outside of McGrath's Pub.

The officious persons outside the doors of Sen. Boxer's offices promptly rousted us from the lobby with the information that Boxer was not in, but in Washington D.C. and the guard did not appreciate Bear's tie nor his hat, gotten from a newspaperman's dumpster. From there, we found ourselves at Barbara's Lee's favorite haunt, which was haunted by a number of very unhumorous Secret Service Personnel who seemed to know of us and our mission, but who would not allow us to send word to the great lady. In fact, they did not appreciate our extensive line of lady-and-a-mule jokes and so they sent us packing.

We had better luck buttonholing Babar as he was buttoning his pants in the restroom of Heinolds Saloon. As a true Ultraconservative, Babar wore three pairs of pants and so this was no mean undertaking and we were delighted to encounter Hizzoner in such an establishment, for the previous two fiascoes had rendered both of us quite thirsty.

As a failed candidate in the last Presidential Election, Babar warranted no SS protection, so we had him cornered as dual constituents and members of the Free Press. And so we put it to him bluntly.

"Just what the devil is going on, in your Opinion?"

Babar sighed. He began by insisting there is no proof for Global Warming, and that even if there was, GW and all its works must be deviltry, terrorism and inimical to the best economic interests of the USA.

Secondly, we must stay the course and defeat the Terriers. Any admission of fault played into the hands of that infamous Terrier, Osama Bin Lassie. We must therefore put aside our differences by standing as one behind the President -- even if he was an imbecile led by fools, for that was the American Way and one consistent with the Unitary Executive Principle.

It was lamentable that foreign policy had evolved into a shambles; it all was clearly the fault of the Germans, the Iranians and the North Koreans.

Too bad about Rehnquist, but as he had developed an unfortunate tendency toward moderate reasoning in his decline before death, it was about time for a change and fresh blood. Opportunity knocks.

Furthermore, market-driven forces would do more to revive New Orleans than any government handouts. Up by the bootstraps; American can survive anything.

Noting that Barbar had imbibed four martinis, two cosmos, innumerable Old Fashioneds, we took our leave of the only US Representative who was simultaneously a Potentate of an African country as well as a duly elected member of Congress.

Conflict of interest has never disturbed the GOP and in Babar's case, the tradition of royalty and "public service" were well met.

We next hied on over to Papoon's diggins, which were appropriately rude and unadorned as befits the sole remaining member of the Not Insane Party.

Fortunately Bear thought to pickup a bottle of Old Crow along the way.

As Papoon warmed himself with fingerless gloves and tattered overcoat over a little fire of acorns, we pressed our investigation.

Papoon stood on the liberal side of the stream during the past election, and as a Liberal, certainly got no protection whatsoever from the Administration. In fact, protesters were given detailed maps to his diggings, which resembled not a little bit like the burrows of the infamous Hobbit.

The interview with Papoon proved to be as short as it was bitter.

Global Warming caused the hurricanes that destroyed New Orleans, the war on Terror is a nonsensical distraction and total waste of money as well as media exposure and the President is a total baboon-type creature which normally would be stomped to anonymous jelly in any self-respecting State by honorable men except in Texas where rattlesnakes, coyotes, dingoes, poisonous scorpions, and wild mandrakes are allowed to roam free terrorizing the populace so as to make them tractable and amenable to hypnoautosuggestion by wild-eyed televangelists. Any dissenters are rendered into soylent green.

More Old Crow, my man?

No thanks, got my own.

Any other comments?

Rewarding continuous failure continuously seems, in retrospect, to be a bad idea.

From Papoon, we made our way through lines of barbed wire, burned out Humvees and deranged sterno bums to the HQ where we were sure to find our Commander in Chief, President of the Bums, Eugene Shrubb, whom we found in a bad way.

We mean by that, he was seriously in a bad way.

Ignoring all our questions, much as has been his wont in the past but with less humor and no self awareness, the Leader of the Free World of Bums raved and flung his arms about him histrionically. Seems the invasion of Newark had become the opposite of the light adventure Eugene has first intended.

"They did not welcome our Architecture with open arms to replace their repressive body shops and linoleum tile cum carpeterias. So we had no architects! Anything was better than what they had! We brought freedom and democracy and strip malls!"

There was more of the same, embarrassingly so. We asked about the missing WMDs and the President blew a loud and very emphatic raspberry, sometimes called "the Bronx Cheer". We asked about Osama Bin Laden, and the President feigned to not care a whit. We mentioned the rising cost of dead and wounded in Newark and the President said, "Oh Newark: I am so beyond that. Get over it people. I need to get on with my life." And here he mounted his Presidential bicycle to go for a ride in the country, accompanied by a phalanx of SS men, sure to catch him if he fell.

We never got to ask him about FEMA or Emergency Preparedness in the age of cutbacks, so we shared a bottle of bathtub gin with the local captain of the Secret Service before creeping back through the lines to the Island. This was business as usual in the New World Order made safe by Homeland Security. We dodged a hail of tracers that pocked the pavement all around us, swam across the estuary towing a raft of our belongings in our teeth and submitted to a full body search by customs on reaching shore, where we were fingerprinted, DNA tested and certified as clean of obligations for child support.

Bear had lost his keys somewhere in No Man's Land, and so entered his house in the usual way by tossing an available beer keg that happened to lay upon the lawn through his livingroom window.

Julee, our House Den Mother, kindly had left a key under the Sign of the Conch and so we crept in unannounced to fall into our bed.

All in all it was an average day on the Island and all the reporters and staff of Island-Life rested snug in their beds while overhead the eternal stars wheeled over this lunatic and globally warmed earth. The polar icecaps continue to melt and the glaciers of the world erode with no end in sight, but the people of this little island snuggle down tonight in their beds and all the evacuees from the gulf drift into the same world, unlike this one, where truth, justice, beauty and humor are the norms.

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