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Copyright: Fred Robel, and Fritz365 2010-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Fred Robel and Fritz365 with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Sunday Demi-Limerick of High MPG

Georgie drives a hybrid car
And a gallon of gas takes him rather far
To his co-workers he brags
With their SUV's and Jags
About how much they are the fool

Too bad when he's out of the room they call him a Tool

Shower Pisser

I pee in the shower
The mighty shower urinator am I!

Though there is a stool set right in the floor
Only one step from the shower
And four steps from the door
I'll never use it as I step past the curtain

For I prefer to exercise my pee pee shower power!

Water swirling all around me
As I release my muscles and let go
Whether mostly clear or bright yellow
Once started there is no stopping that flow

If a cold shower
My feet would suddenly feel warm
Much like the water in a cool pool
As all the toddlers swarm

With the shower head on "throb"
It's like a happy ending move
At the end of a cheap massage
At those shifty places that truckers get their groove

You should thank me really
It's an example of everyday multitasking
Saving water from flushing every day
Just using the facilities in an alternate way

Once it's all down the drain
In the same damn place the toilet water goes I might add
Along with all the soap and dirt from everywhere else on me
It's like it never happened
As an event held in Las Vegas

What happens in the shower
Stays in the shower

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Jabbering Jabberwocky

Jabber Jabberwocky
Tell me a tale
Of knights and princesses
Riding in a vale

Or better still
The tale of a mill
And the grist that it grinds
High upon the hill

Jabbering Jabberwocky
Stolen from another tale
Imaginary creature of another color
All teeth and staring eyes with forked tail

Tell me the story of me as you see
Pull no punches and embellish no lines
I'll pay you what I think that it is worth
No cheats and no whines

If in your madness you see in me a monster
Tell me that tale as you see it
For the truth will be in the telling
Though you speak faster than I can key it

"This is the story of a man"
It began
But then I lost track as the magic took part
Spinning and winning from every angle

A mad shadowed yarn of me

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Metal Maiden Fair

She is the body metallic
Sculpted from an aluminum age
Untouched by binary thought and intuition
She is an organic idea hammered bent and lathed

An aerodynamic algorithm in motion
A mix of thrust speed and lift
Three axis of control and influence
Courtesy of Trailing edges that shift

From far away her angles look severe
Cutting quickly through the atmosphere
But up close her curves are quite comely
And closer still her flaws a bit homely

It all amounts to beauty in motion
Whether form followed function
Or function was trumped by form
The designer and engineer acted as one

Graphic arc set down in ink
Carried to the craftsman's table
Laid out in one to one scale
Plans followed as close as able

All a blur of build and awe
Each new piece building upon the last
The most amazing machine ever saw
From the first scribe line to the final cast

In the blink of millennial time she takes flight
Christened with a new name and a pretty face
Air stroking airframe with soft fingered hands
Bare baby skin covered in satin and lace

Carry me where,  O metal maiden fair?

Why as far we dare to see my love!

As far as we dare to dream

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Plan of The Poodle

Water is all he can think about
Where is the water
Must get to the water
Nothing else matters

There's the water dish
Filled to the top
Shared with other dogs
But not good enough for this craving

The toilet
Just around the corner
And just the right amount of stinky
Is just what this Poodle needs

Diving head first into the bowl
He drinks like he may die
Not stopping for anything
Not for any "No! Bad dog!" scoldings

Not for nothing

Belly full and sloshing
Poodle finally finishes his drink
He sloshes his way back from the bathroom
Stopping for a minute to vomit up most of the water

Making a slimy wet slick puddle on the floor
Camouflaged from sight
Unless seen from just the right angle

Sniffing the oozy liquid
The Poodle is satisfied somehow
And takes a few more steps towards the food bowl
Sitting his hind end down like a good boy
Then sliding his front legs out slowly in front of him
Until he is flat on his belly

Laying his chin on his paws
Poodle stares at the food bowl obsessively
Growling halfheartedly at the other two small dogs if they dare to eat
But not really giving a crap

Waiting patiently for the main floor show
When the inevitable human passes by
Stepping into his cold slime puddle nearby
And comically falling down right in it

Poodle giggles just at the thought
And can't wait

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

ELS 4 - Unit Competition

Commander Kazia Tamm bounced along in her seat
Held mostly in place by her four point harness
She hung onto the controls of the T-34 medium tank with both hands
The throttle on the howling V-12 engine wide open
Both eyes scanning carefully the two track road ahead

She knew all she had to do in order to win
Was to get to the checkpoint first
But she didn't know where her opponents were

They could have gotten there already
And be toasting one another
Saving their scorn for her as she arrived late

Or she could be in front
Out of sight of her pursuers
For her turret man had been on the lookout for anyone else
And had spotted no other tanks

With the unit trophy on the line
She knew all of her focus should be on the task at hand
In order to avoid any sudden holes in the road
Or obstacles in their path

But her thoughts were thousands of miles away
Focused on her lover
With his strong wiry body
His soft almost feminine features
How their bodies had fit together like puzzle pieces
Long thought to be lost and fitting perfectly together

A bend in the road grabbed her attention back
Her hands deftly bent the path of the tank around the curve
Madly spinning steel and rubber tracks skidding slightly on the loose stones

A circular red sign on a wooden post stuck out from next to a tree on the side of the road

Kazia keyed her throat mic and barked an order to the gunner
"Дима! Оружие бесплатно! Целевые грядущего на право!"
("Dima!  Weapon free! Target coming on the right!")

In what felt like one second
But was closer to ten
The rushing tank sped into an opening in the brush on either side

On the right side of the road
An old transport truck had been painted bright red
The final target on this leg of the run

Which meant that the finish line was no more than half a kilometer further

More importantly:
The truck had not been hit yet
Meaning they were likely the first to come to it

Kazia held the tank steady
As the turret and barrel servos tracked the target
Dima's sure hand on the trigger

Fire belched from the 76.2 mm F-34 gun
The tank shuddered
Kazia could almost feel the armored vehicle jump sideways almost imperceptibly

A cheer went up over the intercom from the spotter in the turret
Joined by the rest of the crew

But not Kazia
Who only clenched her jaw in determination
To win by the largest margin in unit memory
To cement her name on the trophy
And in the memory and shame of her fellow competitors
As well as her commanding officer
Who mocked her regularly

A transfer to a more modern unit awaited the crew of the winning tank today
A new T-54 tank
A new unit
A new start

Soon nothing was left in the clearing by the side of the road
Except a smoldering red painted transport truck
And black exhaust smoke drifting in the warm summer breeze

Monday, June 24, 2013

ELS 3 - In Line For The Nun

That's what it was I decided
Adding just a hint of extra drag to my left shoe as I lifted it up with every step
And I paused at the bottom step
Scraping my shoe on the edge until a pink sticky mass came free
Then up and out of the subway
Into the warm humid air of the city above
Reminding me of it's oppresence in many ways

The smell
Wet garbage on concrete
A sickly sweet spoiled smell
With some cat piss mixed in for good measure

The sound
A constant din of people
Shuffling their feet
Crumpling their papers

I saw the line almost right away
The arena wasn't far from the subway stop
And the line was snaking it's way down the sidewalk

I made for the end of the line
Three more people beating me there before I attached myself to the end

Up close and inside the comfort zone
That's why I hate queues
I'm better at the market
When there is usually a cart buffer between myself and the next body

I quickly covered my mouth and nose to stifle a sneeze
As the man in front of me was wearing too much cologne
So much so that I imagined he'd dipped his greasy rat's tail of a ponytail in the bottle of Drakar

I turned around
And was met with more body odor
And the smell of a garlic sandwich

It was coming from the woman behind me

A very attractive woman
With a very bad smell about her

I started to think that maybe I wouldn't want to wait in line for The Nun
When I looked far ahead
Towards the front of the line
And the towering old style marquee sign
That was currently bragging up tonight's fights

Above a doorway next to the main entrance
Sticking out at ninety degrees from the building
Was a smaller metal sign which might have said "Stage Entrance"
Though it was hard to tell with the piece of hand lettered cardboard hung over it:

"Check in here to fight The Nun"
It said, with a little arrow pointing down

I thankfully got out of line and headed forward
Happily seeing that this line was only four people long

A few people that had seen me step out of line started to grumble
So I tried to act like I was going somewhere else for their benefit
And was soon among people who hadn't seen me yet

At the very least
I could walk away with money for many late night long distance calls to Kazia, my lovely Tank Girl

At best
I could buy a ticket on the next steamship to the old country
With enough left over for a wedding and a small honeymoon

As I stepped into much shorter line
I smiled because I figured I had nothing to lose

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Do It For Me

Brotherhood of whine please whine for me
Your complaints scatter like foam upon the sea
Incomprehensible and salt foamy
The way you deliver them should win you a Tony

Sistership of wine please drink one for me
In your crystal long stemmed glass right next to the tea
Warm or cold and wildly fruity
Looking down upon non-drinkers oh so snooty

Father of Time wind your clock for me
Whether a tiny stem wheel or massive silver key
So that I may watch as the spring slowly relaxes
As time ticks away as inevitable as death and taxes

Motherhood of earth whip out your tit for me
To feed my hungers as the teat called TV
Nourishment and images are one and the same
One for my tummy the other for my brain

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Sloppy Sloth Desk

Lens cloths
Discarded cookie fortunes
Both new and  used Q-Tips
And some rolled away Tums antacids

So is the picture of the catch all desk
The one with the old computer on it
The one with the half finished Erector set train on it
The one that doubles as a clean clothes waystation

For after folding
But before putting away
A place to rest
A place to stay
Never to be properly stowed
Until chanced upon in a minute of need
Then picked up, thrown on, and worn

This is what sloppiness breeds
This is the desk of sloth
Cute but oh so slow
To do anything of consequence
And the worst part is that he knows

But he doesn't care
For he is sloth
And by the time he cares
It doesn't matter anymore anyways

Friday, June 21, 2013

ELS 2 -Epic Tank Girl Love

Sparking and flickering
The uptown subway made it's way up the tracks
Dim surroundings broken up by semi-regular streaks of tunnel lights going by
And the occasional bright clearing of a station platform

Most of which this train did not stop at

This was the Uptown Express
So named for it's rudeness in bypassing half the platforms on it's route
Paid for by the double fee it charged it's passengers
Who usually didn't even intend to ride the Express
But were simply in the right place at the right time to do so by chance

Staring out my window into the darkness
My stomach was in knots over fighting The Nun

What sort of fight would it be I wondered to myself
Though what I might do with the $1000 in prized money wasn't a source of wonderment

I knew exactly what I would do with it
And her face flickered before me
Along with the tunnel lights
In snatches and flashes
Like a slowly starting film
Quickly dissolving into a steady stream of imagery

Her face
Crowned by a thick padded leather helmet
Protruding from the lower forward hatch of her tank
As she carefully maneuvered it through an obstacle course
It's V-12 diesel engine wailing away deep inside
Smoke belching from the rear between the twin tracks

She had worn bright red lipstick that day
I had thought as a show of solidarity with their unit
It's insignia being a snarling wolf's mouth
The sharp and exaggerated teeth surrounded by blood red lips

This was painted on either side of the front of the tank
With her face sticking up in between
Snarling it's own little snarl of determination
White teeth with bright red lips

As we'd made love that evening atop her tank
Parked at the back of the tank pen 
She'd confided that it was a slight to her commanding officer
Who had said to the otherwise all-male unit
"And remember ladies
We don't wear makeup to war!"

"Fuck him"
She'd purred in my ear
Her face bent down next to mine as she straddled me
"This is my best color!"

A brightly lit station platform broke my reverie
The train sliding to a stop
My window coincidentally lining up with a bench 
Upon which sat three homeless men
Who stared at me semi-toothlessly

We blinked at one another for a full minute
None of us wanting to be the first one to look away in awkwardness
Before the train started rolling again
With a squeal of brakes dragging on the wheels
The din of the moving train once again filling my ears
Tunnel interior once again the view that was offered me

Her face did not reappear this time

She was half a world away
But foremost in my thoughts every day

I looked down at my ring finger
Decorated with a plain steel band
One of two spare parts she had found in the camp workshop

This one was covered in worn and chipped red paint
Placed upon my finger by her
A promise made by both of us to each other
With one upon her finger as well
Hers painted a similarly weathered color as well
But in dark green

If I defeated The Nun
And won the prize money
I could return to her

And this time nothing would make me leave

Thursday, June 20, 2013

ELS 1 - Defeat Nun For $1,000 Prize!

"Defeat Nun For $1,000 Prize!"

A hastily plastered poster proclaimed
Slightly askew
As if whomever had hung it
Had only a notional idea of a level horizon
Or maybe was afflicted with an inner ear infection

I could sure use the money
But the whole 'Nun' part had me concerned

Really?  A Nun?

The picture on the poster certainly supported the premise
Featuring a grotesquely featured woman in traditional black and white nun habit
Her body exploding out of a cage
Black habit flowing behind her in a simulation of motion
Hands curled into claws
One of which held a flaming crucifix
As if she was planning on stabbing someone
The other hand pointing right at me

In smaller print below the picture was an additional detail:

"$25 Awarded Just For Stepping Into The Ring!"

Well, it seemed I couldn't lose
So without any further wasted time
I made for the nearest subway entrance

The event was in two hours
I'd better get my name into the hat to battle this Nun of theirs

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Funeral Suit

The Funeral Suit is of navy blue
It still fits
But it's a little loose these days

In the inside pocket are the memento cards
From the funerals that it has attended
Four in number for now
With several more to come before it retires

One for my father Fred
One for best friend Jenny
One for grandpa Arnold
One for grandma Jean

Sometime in the future
The last card to be added to the memento card pocket
Would be my own

Inserted as I lay in the coffin
Wearing the infamous Funeral Suit for the last time
Looking chubby and dapper in navy blue
Made up to almost look asleep by the friendly town mortician
The Funeral Suit's job done at last
Dyed blue in the wool friend tried and true

Monday, June 17, 2013

Out And In

Out of town
Out of sorts
Out of order
Out of money
Betting on sports

But not the kind you think
You dirty ditty boy
Those thoughts will land one in the klink
You and that filthy little toy

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Insect Friends

Bumble bee fly away fly
Catch as catch can
That spot of pollen in my eye
Save me from an irritation
With a delicate flutter of your buzzing wings

Blinky bright firefly in the night
Wink your light for me
Scare away the fright
Of a dark and sleepless kite
Hovering in the darkness
With teeth and tail
Ready to take a bite

Mosquito man swollen belly
If I pinch my skin real tight
You'll burst with joy

Oh wait, that's not joy
That's just my blood

Serves you right

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Flowery Gusset

Giant pink blossom
Bowed by every day life
Allow me to assist you
With a stick and a flag tie

Just a little support
To help you through the day
Never you mind what the neighbors say

There now
You are facing the world with your best petal forward 
A true blossom among men

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Go Fish

Fisher of men fish for me
Tossed upon the tumult of these seas
Though the water barely comes to my knees
The mind denies what the senses see

It's a kind of madness
In search for the right shrinky dink
To compress one's problems onto paper and ink
Oh I am and therefore I think

Fisher of men fish for me
I seek salvation irrationally
I'll bite at the right bait you will see
Oh fisher of men please fish for me

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jesus Room

The Jesus Room beckons
All full of Amazing Grace
Sold in portable packets
With a limited edition wooden case

It's a place to go when you are lacking the Jesus
To plug in tune in drop off your soul
For a very Messiah top off
A very green energy source not derived from coal

Jesus Room is shiny
In every sense of the word
Bright and blinding one minute
The next louder than anything you've heard

A place to relax the body and recuperate the spirit
Angels massage your muscles
The Holy Ghost puts on a show at six
He's here all week folks
Opening up for the main attraction of Jesus
The Son of God and king of finely crafted jokes

So when they wheel you to the Jesus Room don't despair
As it isn't a place to die
Not that you won't
But if you do
You're definitely in the right place
'Cause it's where Jesus of Nazareth gets on his groove

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tire Change pt 3

I lay there on the cool concrete
My left foot trapped under the now flat tire of the aircraft
Sandy grit ground on the back of my head every time I moved it
Which I did occasionally

As the view of the bottom of the DC-8's wing was not the most inspiring

I found myself staring past the trailing edge of the flaps
All retracted into the wing
At the starry sky that domed over the prairie
As that carpet of stars wheeled overhead imperceptibly
Twinkling as it went

The pain in my foot had dulled to a receded roar in my ears
And I couldn't feel my toes anymore
Which worried me a bit
But there wasn't anything I could do about it

All my tools were in the back of the truck bed
Ten feet and an infinite distance away
All I had was my almost dead flashlight
And some pocket change

I'd even lost the little valve stem remover when the internal pressure had flung the stem past my face

Must have dropped it in the excitement of the moment
Not that it would have done me any good to have had it

If I had a knife
I could attempt to saw the tire apart
Which I would have done until my strength failed me
But that was in my tool bag as well

I'd make a terrible MacGyver

So I watched the stars
Distracted occasionally by the movement of a satellite across the otherwise motionless star field
Or a distant loud car or truck on the far off highway
Even the animals had stopped making noise at his hour

I looked
And my watch told me it was 4 am

I picked out a particularly pretty star
Which seemed a bit purpley to me
And made the wish that this hadn't happened to me
Or that I had a coworker working with me
Who could have helped get this thing off of me

But this was what I'd asked for
Though not literally this
Just the situation

"Third shift is the best!
I'd never go to day shift
No way!"
I'd said on more than one occasion

After some company cutbacks
I'd been the last one left on the shift
Mostly because I was stubborn in my love of it
The cool calm of the night at the still airport
And working on the aircraft by myself
Almost like a calming drug
Addictive and potent

I made another stupid wish
That I'd have accepted my transfer to first shift when it had been offered three weeks before

Being stuck like this makes one wish for silly things

I was busy wishing I had chosen a different career
When my eyes got heavy and I dozed off for a few seconds

Only to be shaken awake hours later in the light of the sun
By Tom
The first shift lead mechanic

Things were kind of a blur after that

I couldn't feel my foot anymore
At least until the other mechanics found a Ram jack
And inserted it under the aft main landing gear axle
Easily lifting the tire from my foot

That's when it started to hurt in earnest
As the blood flowed back into the end of my foot
Some leaking out of the top of my boot as it was elevated upon a spare milk crate from the truck

They say I'm lucky I kept any of my toes at all

Once the ambulance had gotten me to the hospital
And the ER staff removed my boot with thick cutters
We had seen that all five toes were still attached
But the steel toe had partially severed the three inboard toes
Doing what it was supposed to do

Or so I read somewhere

Back on my feet after a few weeks of recovery
I can definitely tell that my big toe and the one next to it are missing
Who knew that they were so important to walking and balancing?
But the therapist tells me I'll get used to it after awhile

I'll be back at work soon
And some of my wishes have come true in a way
Those that I had wished upon the stars overhead some weeks ago
While on the cold ramp
Under the old airplane

I was going to day shift
I had lost my love of the solo third shift
Which was no longer a solo shift as per new company policy

The day shift had come in early that day for some reason
And gotten me help a little sooner than I had figured
Maybe saving one of my toes

But I'm glad one wish hadn't come true
For it had been made in the heat of the moment of regret and self pity

I was glad I worked in aviation
For there is still no place that this now eight-toed me would rather be

Monday, June 10, 2013

Tire Change pt 2

The #4 main landing gear tire of the Douglas DC-8 was square on the end of my left boot
I yelled and swore at the top of my lungs
Both to try to attract attention to myself
And to express the sharp pain I was feeling in my toes

I couldn't pull my foot free
Nor could I lift the tire off of my foot
Given that it was still attached to umpteen thousand pounds of aircraft
But I sure did try both options

The old bottle jack was sitting under the jacking lug still
With a puddle of red hydraulic fluid around it
There was even a black o-ring seal sticking out
Right where two of the jack's cylinders slid together

I had a radio in the truck cab
But it might as well be on the other side of the Earth
As much good as it did me only fifteen feet away

I took my flashlight out of my pocket
And turned it on
Waving it in the direction of the main terminal
Which was a dark silhouette a half mile away

I didn't get any reaction from that direction
Assuming there was anyone in a position to see even

The two janitors had likely gone home by now
Leaving the single security guard at the front office
Who was supposed to do checks on the terminal every hour
And a drive around the airport as well

But we all knew he seldom did either
After all, what happens out here in the sticks?

My foot had reduced the pain to a throbbing beat
In time with my heartbeat

I hugged the tire with both arms
Pressing my forehead into the top tread
What was I going to do?

A glance at my watch showed me ten minutes after two
Leaving almost six hours before I could expect day-shift to come out to the plane
Nobody would be over to this parking ramp until then
I'd bet on it

The throbbing of my foot kept my thoughts in a rhythm almost
In time with the heartbeat that drove it
Like an engine pushing an airplane along with thrust

What - am - I - going - to - do - oh - my - god - this - hurts - wait - maybe - I - could.......

Just then
I thought of maybe deflating the tire in place

Doing so would make the other three tires on the bogie assume more of the weight of the airplane
Thereby lessening the weight on my foot

But would it be enough to make any measurable difference?

I had a valve stem tool in my pocket
Having put it there before I'd even gotten in the truck to come out here
It's presence a pressing little bulge in my pocket

I took it out
Looking at it in the light of my flashlight
Which was getting a little dim by this point

A little knurled aluminum knob about an inch in diameter
With a little stem off the bottom
That was slotted to interface with the valve  stem

Reaching down
I unscrewed the yellow brass valve stem cap
Putting it into my pocket out of habit
Before sticking my removal tool into the end of the stem

Unscrewing it carefully
I got ready to try to catch the stem
As the almost 200 psi of pressure in the tire would be throwing it at me any second
Cupping one hand sort of around the area

Sure enough
the valve stem came free with a little 'pop!'
Flying out just past my face
Into the darkness of the ramp area
Likely never to be found again

The pressurized nitrogen from inside the tire whistled out deafeningly
Blowing it's stale rubber tire bad breath right at me
Forcing me to hold my face to the side and look away as best I could
Plugging both my ears with my fingers

I could feel something changing
The feel of the tire on my foot was shifting
And not very pleasantly

There was new pain on top of the old pain now
As the tire started changing shape without the pressure inside of it
Making me yell some more
Perhaps disturbing a distant coyote or farm animal
But otherwise causing no notice to anyone else

I pulled away from the tire as it deflated
Pulling with my trapped leg
Pushing with my arms and legs
Alternating different methods of push-pull as things went

Within a minute or so
The tire was deflated
No more air escaped it's stem

Thirty seconds after that
I was on my back on the ground
With the leg attached to the trapped foot flexed to keep undue pressures off of it
But everything else flat on the ground

Feeling defeated by this rubber monster of a tire
Trapping me to the ground for it's own amusement

I turned off my flashlight
And had a good think about things

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Coffee Ain't

That ain't all the coffee in the can
It just can't be
There has to be more
Give it here and let me see

Well I'll be jiggered if it ain't true!
You wasn't lying
And I guess that I'll be flying
To the store for more coffee to be buying

But I ain't going alone
Because that ain't would be right
For I ain't got enough hands
For to hold all the coffee
To fill the company cupboard which ain't got none

Come with, eh?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

My Car Is Better Than Yours

My car's better than yours
It drags down the street
Unable to go in a straight line
Stopping with Fred Flintstone feet

Let me take you for a ride
Mind the seat and it's sticky outy springs
It is liable to fall through the floor
Though only one of many possible things

Hang on while I pull out into traffic
Not against hard acceleration
Just to make sure it doesn't fall apart
Grab that handle there and mind the laceration

My car's way better than yours
It gets up and goes as a matter of course
Making time to each and every store
For more antifreeze for it's leaky cooling core

Watch out and stand back
I think it's gonna blow
Either that or hop in quick
As it still might get us where we wanna go

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Long Exposure

Water glistened on my skin as I stepped out of the shower
Beading up and running down my breasts

Reaching for the towel that wasn't there
I sighed
And made my way resolutely out the bath
leaving wet footsteps across my sixth floor apartment
To get to the linen closet next to the bedroom

As I crossed the large living room
I automatically turned my head to gaze out the floor to ceiling windows
Whereupon I stopped in shock

For in the apartment building across from mine
There was a dozen people standing in a living room much like mine
Minus furniture
With one person's back to the window
Holding a binder of paperwork
A realtor I'd guess
Who was pointing at the fireplace
And probably telling them all about it

Meanwhile they all stared at me
While I nakedly stared back
For what seemed like minutes
Before I hurried on to the bedroom

A little weak in the knees
From my long exposure

Tire Change

Early Sunday morning air hung crisply
Raising goosebumps on my skin as I hopped out of the line truck
The pale concrete of the airport ramp all around
Surrounding me
The red pickup truck
And the airplane

The rest of the airport swallowed in the darkness

The old Douglas DC-8 sat as quietly as everything else
Myself and maybe a couple cleaners far away in the terminal building
Being the only people on the field at this hour of the morning

I looked at my watch
It was almost 1 am

The airplane had a flight Sunday evening
A nearly empty run back to the hub in Chicago
Which left me plenty of time to change a tire
And complete the rest of the daily inspection and servicing
Probably before day shift showed up at 8 am

But until then
I was a one man show
My stage the remote overnight ramp at the back of the airport grounds
On the far side of the runway from the terminal

I unhooked my tire dolly from the back of the truck and pushed it closer to the landing gear
Only about ten feet away
Popping the tailgate down
I grabbed a couple of tools and a flashlight
And started by taking off the center cap of the number four wheel
Then removing the anti-skid sensor and safety bolts
Setting them in the removed center cap

I liked a clean work area
So I took those tools back to the truck bed
Along with the removed parts
Neatly arranging them on a large clean rag

The hydraulic bottle jack was a heavy unit
It's exterior scratched and scuffed from years of use
It hung on my arm like the fifty pounds of dead weight that it was
After I yanked it out of the truck bed and carried it over to the rear axle of the left main landing gear

Tapping it into place with the toe of my steel toed boot
The pump handle slipped into place and I started pumping the cylinder up
With each pump raising the staggered cylinder assembly up about an eighth of an inch
It took many easy pumps to get it the six inches to the jacking lug on the axle

Then it got a little harder to pump
With the partial weight of the aircraft on the little jack
I put my weight into it and soon had the tire clear of the ground by a few inches

Pausing for a minute to go back to the truck for a quick drink
I soaked in the silence of the night
Which wasn't entirely silent
With animals in the nearby brush that separated the airport from the surrounding fields
Rustling and making the odd noises

Glancing up I could see the little dipper
Holding it's liquid
Or pouring it out
Depending on the perspective

Picking up the large breaker bar in one hand
The axle nut socket in the other
I turned back to the sad bald tire that was begging to be changed
Carefully putting the axle nut wrench on the nut
Gathering up the slop on it with the five foot breaker bar
Before hanging my full weight on the end of it

Rewarded with the grudging rotation of the nut
I turned it loose a coupe turns with the wrench
Before returning the breaker bar and nut adapter to the truck
And spinning the five inch nut off with my hands

Wiping the large nut off with a clean rag
Before it joined all the rest of the parts laid out in a line in the back of the truck

The wheel assembly was still fast in place on the axle
So I slipped a thread protector on the end of the axle
And then put the bad tire in a bear hug
Wrenching it back and forth a bit to get the bearings unseated

Which was when I felt something move
And not in the way I had anticipated

The old beat up bottle jack didn't make a sound
Or give a warning
Before it collapsed
Letting the rear of the landing gear down suddenly
Right in front of me

I let go of the wheel as the movement startled me
And tried to step back quickly
But sudden pain and an unstoppable force stopped me

The tire had come down on the front of my left boot

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Wordlessly I watched
As babies were born
Grew up and passed on
A cycle repeated in endless variation

Words failed me
As the universe reached it's outer expansion
Began contracting
Until it was all one big crunch

Words could not have been sufficient
To describe the way a single moth made me feel
As it fluttered and floated it's way through a garden
Tasting the multi-hued flora as it went

Words are overrated
Upon looking into the eyes of one's love
And seeing it returned in equal parts
Thus multiplying it to infinity

Words attempt the impossible task
Of describing the indescribable
Always reinventing themselves in the process
Leaving the appropriate words to interpretation

The proper expression just out of reach


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Undead In a Box

I was boxed in
At the dead end of a prototypical Western box canyon
With only two spare clips for my AK-47 on my belt
Plus the fresh one in the rifle
And a knife

The zombies were closing in steadily

There must be at least one hundred of them
One for each of my ninety rounds plus ten
Thank gods they weren't the fast moving kind of zombies
They were the plodders
The walkers
Moving as fast as those people who walk around malls for exercise
At the most

With my back almost at the canyon wall
I waited until the first of them were thirty yards away
And I started picking them off one by one

A grotesque formerly older man zombie's head explodes
His still shiny bald head disappearing for all time
Bits scattered on the sandy rock ground

One that looked like it had been a school teacher in a past life
Got it right in the eye socket
Down she goes

I hesitate on the next one
Because it's a child
Or it used to be

Now the eyes in the small featured face stared out hungrily
Bone showing through the tattered skin in places
Bloody drool falling from it's mouth

That particular abomination is no more either

And so it went as the mob grew steadily closer
Step my wobbly step
All the hungry eyes on me
As I did my best to decimate them

My first clip ran out

Without looking down
I yanked it out and tossed it aside
Ripping the next from my belt
Pulling back the bolt
And resuming the extermination process

The piles of immobilized undead were creating obstacles for the rest now
Which cheered my considerably
For I had missed a couple times
Or went through an unimportant part of their dead heads

I was running 47 for 60 as I swapped in my last clip
Mechanically snapping the bolt back to load in the first new round
Seeing how close the bastards were now
Sliding the mechanical selector to Full Auto position

I aimed about head high and squeezed the trigger
Sweeping the barrel back and forth across the figures in front of me
The noiseless figures who made no hesitation in their steps as I did so
Unless I scored a kill shot

Then I was out
With almost twenty zombies left
All within six feet of me now

I threw my rifle at them hoping vainly to slow a couple down
And drew my long hunting knife
Lunging forward at the closest pale greenish tinged face
Stabbing deeply into it's face
Feeling the satisfactory pull as the form crumpled for good

But they were all around me
I panicked
Wondering if I should try to kill myself
Or go down swinging

And suddenly this ends like every good zombie story should
You never find out how it all started
And nobody survives

Monday, June 3, 2013

Cell Distortion

My cell mate smiled at me today
He encouraged me on my Latin study
And was generally a decent fellow
So I took out his eye with a plastic spork

He was no longer smiling
Or as encouraging
Quite the opposite as you can imagine
He asked me to stop

So I did
And instead decided to grab his head
Forcing his face into the stainless steel commode/sink basin
That stuck out of our wall
Like some futuristic accouterment
Out of place in this Alabama penitentiary

With his face in the toilet bowl
I stood on the back of his neck
Until he stopped screaming
Until the bubbles stopped coming up

I jumped up and down on his neck a couple times
Just to make sure he wouldn't come up looking for revenge
But he was pretty thoroughly through by that point
No danger of that

Nothing left to do now, but wait for bed check
And the inevitable excitement
The beating
The solitary
The new court case
Maybe even the electric chair this time

How wonderful to be looking forward to new things!

At least I wouldn't have to listen to him be so goddamned positive all the time anymore
So helpful
So friendly
For nine years I had to put up with that shit

Nine years

I leaned against the cold concrete wall
Sliding slowly down to the ground
Next to my cell mate's body
Looking at him through the distortion of tears now

But I'm going to miss him

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Headless Airman of Plattsburgh

Firelight illuminated our little sandy bowl area
The waves lapping the beach ten yards away
Uncle Tom's face was lit spookily by the flames
And he spoke in a voice only a bit louder than the water sounds

"I've never been one to believe in ghosts, children
But one day I became a believer

It all had to do with the Headless Airman of Plattsburgh"

Uncle Tom's eyes glinted in the firelight
Eager to share his story

"I heard about her
And it was a woman, make no mistake
When I was a young Airman in the Air Force
Not even ten years older than you

I was stationed at Plattsburgh Air Force Base
With my main duties taking place in the Black Hangar
Which was this enormous hangar with eight aircraft bays
Four to a side

On each side were stacks of hangar doors
That rolled individually
Each with their own electric motor and movement buttons
Sixteen of these doors for each half of the hangar

Now all of these doors could roll at least halfway down the building
If you wanted to do that
And the doors were staggered so that one would roll behind the other
Like shuffling a stack of cards almost
In the end
You could have four doors stacked on top of one another

The story went
That one day a female Airman was helping to open the doors
As an airplane was going to be coming into the hangar bay
And there were three or four other Airmen helping to do it as well

She chose a door
As did the other Airmen
And things went normally
Stacking up one side of the doors quickly

Then when she went over to the other half of the doors
And pressing the button to travel her door to the left
She thought that she heard her name being called outside

So she stuck her head through the tall opening to see who it was

And before you could say 'Look out!'
The neighboring door caught up to her door
And chopped her head clean off like a guillotine!"

The children all looked at Uncle Tom with wide eyes
A couple of them fingering their necks at the thought
And he continued

"That all happened ten years before I got there
At least that is what I was told
And people pointed to different stains on the concrete near the doors
Claiming them to be the Headless Airman's death spot
Saying that they had seen her ghost near those spots on quiet nights in the hangar

But I didn't put much stock in that talk
Until one hot summer night
When I was all alone closing up the hangar
Just before a long holiday weekend

I was walking around making sure the doors were chained securely
When I heard a noise
It sounded like someone trying to talk while choking
And that's when I saw her

Her headless body standing and pointing at me
With her head on the ground sitting on it's ear
Mouth moving
Trying to say something

Let me tell you
I ran out of that building as fast as I could!
And could barely bring myself to come back after the three day weekend"

Uncle Tom looked at all of the children's frightened faces
Looking a little nervous himself

"I never saw her again
Though others did

I also heard tell that she would occasionally appear in other places
To those that had seen her once before
On nights just like this........"

And just then
A headless person stumbled out of the woods
Stumbling it's way to the campfire
Making horrible groaning choking noises

The children screamed and ran for the lake
Ending up waist deep in the water
Looking back at Uncle Tom
Who was still sitting by the fire

Now joined by Cousin Bobby
Who had his sweatshirt pulled back down to his neck
And clearly did have a head

They were both laughing at their clever joke
And looking out at the kids in the lake

Meanwhile in far upstate New York
On the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base
On a flat concrete pad that used to be the Black Hangar

The Headless Airman wanders
Moaning irritably
Knowing that she was being made fun of


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Boy Friend

Kissy kissy fake friend ya ya
Takes you home and touches your ha ha
Pushing through your whispered no noes
Face down tears dripping off your nose

He's a real prince and friend
Leaves a note on your bedstand
Saying thanks for laughs neverend
See you at class tomorrow!