Friday, June 24, 2016

          I am going to my family reunion in Benton Harbor Michigan  Saturday, so I won't be blogging again until Monday.

Mark Twain Genius Poem


My favorite picture of Roger and Gracie


Jimmy loves his scooter. He said he turned down thirty-dollars for it.




Interesting plumber truck art



Katy, who should be Irish Chris' blushing bride by now!


                  
                         The Bibliophile sent me this Mark Twain poem:

Genius, like gold and precious stones,
is chiefly prized because of its rarity.

Geniuses are people who dash off weird, wild,
incomprehensible poems with astonishing facility,
and get booming drunk and sleep in the gutter.

Genius elevates its possessor to ineffable spheres
far above the vulgar world and fills his soul
with regal contempt for the gross and sordid things of earth.

It is probably on account of this
that people who have genius
do not pay their board, as a general thing.

Geniuses are very singular.

If you see a young man who has frowsy hair
and distraught look, and affects eccentricity in dress,
you may set him down for a genius.

If he sings about the degeneracy of a world
which courts vulgar opulence
and neglects brains,
he is undoubtedly a genius.

If he is too proud to accept assistance,
and spurns it with a lordly air
at the very same time
that he knows he can't make a living to save his life,
he is most certainly a genius.

If he hangs on and sticks to poetry,
notwithstanding sawing wood comes handier to him,
he is a true genius.

If he throws away every opportunity in life
and crushes the affection and the patience of his friends
and then protests in sickly rhymes of his hard lot,
and finally persists,
in spite of the sound advice of persons who have got sense
but not any genius,
persists in going up some infamous back alley
dying in rags and dirt,
he is beyond all question a genius.

But above all things,
to deftly throw the incoherent ravings of insanity into verse
and then rush off and get booming drunk,
is the surest of all the different signs
of genius. 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Importance Of Dependable Drinking Establishments In Modern Society

              The local and national weather people predicted an End Of The World Storm was about to hit Chicago last evening - Fortunately they were wrong! Around eight o' clock Old Town was hit hard for about an hour and that was it. If you have credible evidence the world is coming to an end, I strongly recommend hunkering down in your favorite drinking establishment - and this is exactly what I did. Sitting on my favorite barstool between Hardware Nick and Gentleman Lee, I managed to control my fear. I assume I looked a little pale about the lips and cheeks, and with a nervous smile I somehow managed to conceal the frightened expression in my terrified eyes. At such times pride helps an inveterate coward like the Genius, and pride is useful when it urges us to conceal our terror, and helps us instill calm in our fellow humans. 
            While we were watching the White Sox beat Boston Street Jimmy stuck his head inside the door. It was starting to rain and he wanted an umbrella.  
           "Jimmy, assuming I had an umbrella in lost and found, which I don't, (I lied) if you opened an umbrella up while you were on your scooter the hundred mile an hour wind would blow you into Lake Michigan."
             Gentleman Lee chuckled, "yeah Jimmy, you'd look just like Mary Poppins."
             Jimmy does not consider himself above being ridiculed, he's merely indifferent to it, unless, of course, you make fun of his apparel. Within seconds he was out the door and back on his scooter heading for Wells Street. Once again his desire for crack had trumped the threat of danger and possible destruction. 
              The decrepit looking fellow with the unkempt, two foot long beard, who works around the corner was sitting in the middle of the bar talking to Turk. The Turk seemed to be consoling the frail old gentleman. Although Kim swore the bearded man had only one whiskey, he could barely walk. Turk magnanimously helped him into a cab and saw that he got home safely. Twenty minutes later when Turk returned he was completely soaked. I told Bartender Mike to buy him a drink.
          "Turk, that was kind of you. Let me give you a dry Ale House T shirt."
           After I took him into the back room, I gave him one of my lesbian T-shirts. I still have quite a few of these; perhaps I'll start giving them away to deserving customers. Although they're quite provocative, the art work on the T-shirts is wonderful. (I'd show you a picture,  but for some reason I can no longer reproduce pictures on my blog. Pub Crawl Liz is coming over at four to help me correct this situation.)
           Although Turk is an aspiring comedian, his sense of humor is seriously lacking. He is especially annoyed when I make fun of Turks, Moslems, and the Turkish president, Erdogan. I only do this when he attacks the US and the Baby Jesus. If you dish out you must be able to take. That's an Ale House rule. 
          When the rain finally stopped, and fearing  it would start up again, I left for home early.

           *

            This morning it was foggy and a few tiny raindrops were still falling as I walked to the Ale House. Buzz Kill has once again become an early morning presence while I get the bar ready for business. Street Jimmy was in a rather blasé mood when he showed up. Upon discovering some gum on the floor he stood staring at the gum as if an unspeakable crime had been committed against not only him, but society in general. "Damn, how am I gonna get it up."
            "With a scraper just like you always do, dumb-fuck."
            "I don' have no scraper."
            "That's because you haven't asked me to go get you one."
            After I gave Jimmy a scraper from the back room, he scraped up the offending gum and handed me back the scraper with the gum still stuck to it.
               "Thanks for leaving the gum on the scraper, Jimmy, is this some sort of gift?"
                Jimmy's face assumed a demure expression; he seemed to be inwardly laughing at me. "Wha' you wan' me to do with it?"
             "How about scraping the gum off, " I said as I scraped the gum off on the edge of the garbage can."
             Because Tobin's been out of town there was no food left for Jimmy. Each morning I buy a croissant at Dunkin' Donuts and then shape it into a birds nest, place an egg in the middle, and put it into the microwave for one minute. Fancypants mom taught Fancypants this culinary trick, and I've been using it for the last three years to start my day off. Although I only had one croissant, Tobin left some hot dog buns in the back room. Being a semi-humanitarian, I put two hotdog buns in a cardboard bowl, and then cracked open two eggs and put them into the microwave for two minutes. When I asked Jimmy how the eggs were, he said, "they okay only you didn' cook 'em long enough."
            "Then why the fuck didn't you tell me to put them back in the microwave?"
             "I eat 'em, didn' I."
             Before he got ready to leave Jimmy reminded me that I hadn't paid him. After I handed him seven dollars he pursed his lips and looked me in the eye. "How 'bout another dollar."
           "You swept for twenty-minutes, why should I give you another dollar?"
            "I scraped up the gum."
            "So should I give you an extra dollar for every peanut shell you sweep. And by the way, asshole, you left the gum on the scraper. If I ask you to scrape up dog shit from the sidewalk, are you going to bring me back the scraper with the shit on it ?" 
            Jimmy shrugged. It was a shrug of resignation. As he grabbed his scooter and headed for the door I said, "Jimmy, once again you have forced me to conclude the poets have greatly exaggerated the potential of we mere mortals."
             
            
           

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Goldilocks Trump's Roy Cohn Connection

             A lot of people seem to think Donald Trump is an aberration. That he is more dangerous than other politicians, particularly Republican politicians. I disagree. Yes, he's vulgar, self-serving, a pathological liar, narcissistic, and unsavory, but this hardly differentiates him from most other politicians. No, there is something else about Trump I couldn't quite put my finger on until I read Tuesdays NY Times. There is a fascinating front page story about Trump and his friendship with the legendary reptilian lawyer, the late Roy Cohn. I had no previous knowledge of the Cohn-Trump connection, or Cohn's profound influence on the young Donald Trump. Now it all makes sense.
             In 1951 I was eleven-years old. Unlike most kids my age I was already an avid newspaper reader. It was the early days of TV and my mother was a news junkie. The Army McCarthy Hearings were TV at its best. I would hurry home from school each day and flop down on the couch in front of our black and white Admiral TV and watch the hearings with my mother. She would fill me in on what I'd missed. The arch-villains were the senator from Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy, and his trusty henchman, Roy Cohn. There is probably no other country in the world where men as roughly constituted as McCarthy and Trump, with their vanities, prejudices, and weaknesses could not just survive -- but thrive other than the land of the free and the home of the brave.
          Senator Joe McCarthy was not just hypocritical, disingenuous, knavish, and dishonorable, he was the personification of pure evil. He created a make believe world whereby most government officials, as well as high-ranking military officers, had secretly sworn to overthrow the US government and replace it with Soviet Communism. The gin-blossoms on McCarthy's flaccid face along with his blank, alcoholic, pitiless eyes were in stark contrast to his obsequious young henchman. Cohn's large, deep-set, dark-eyes flickered in the bright TV lights,  while his bluish lips twitched incessantly as he whispered into McCarthy's over-sized left ear. The two unsmiling men were willing to forsake any principle, employ any slander or innuendo to make even the simplest point.
         In the 1950's to accuse someone of being a Communist was the quickest way to winning political office. (Dick Nixon would perfect this to an art.) In the beginning very few politicians  had the balls to take McCarthy on. (Another parallel with Goldilocks Trump.) Eventually, McCarthy's attacks on the US Military became so egregious that Ike left the golf course long enough to condemn McCarthy's excesses. Other politicians soon followed and eventually McCarthy drank himself into oblivion. Cohn, however, was just beginning his career in sleaze. Ironically, Bobby Kennedy had desperately tried to win Cohn's job as McCarthy's chief council. Had he gotten the job the Kennedy name would forever have been smeared in shit, and his ambitious brother, JFK, would never have become president. 
          Cohn, who was a closet homosexual, used his unique talents to grovel and flatter his superiors with great skill; he quickly became one of another closeted homosexual, FBI Director, Gay Edgar Hoovers,  most intimate friends. Cohn couldn't resist telling one of his gay lovers about Hoovers propensity for wearing taffeta gowns and lingerie during their orgies. Cohn became a feared lawyer. In the NY Times article it describes his clients: they ranged from gangsters, celebrities, crooked politicians, as well as young Donald Trump. It is easy to understand where Trump developed his big-lie, smear technique of discourse. And nobody is more litigious than Trump. He learned well from the unctuous, shady, ruthless Roy Cohn. Although Cohn eventually died of AIDS, Trump was loyal to his mentor to the very end. (Pacino played Cohn in a TV show. The show was about how Cohn desperately tried to keep his AIDS and homosexuality a secret.) 
              Trump appeals to the same mindless morons McCarthy did. It is great theater watching the professional politicians run for cover as Trump self-destructs. John McCain has become a study in political cowardice. Having never recovered from picking Sarah Palin as his running mate in the 2008 presidential election, McCain has been a case study in political suicide. He has demonstrated the inferior man's desperate willingness to say or do anything in order to save their floundering place at the trough. As a result Trump has treated McCain like his very own private bitch. I particularly got a kick out of draft dodger Trump attacking McCain's war hero credentials. Of course Trump was correct -- just because you are a bad pilot doesn't make you a war hero. Big fat pile of steaming shit, Chris Christy,  is another one of Trumps bitches. It's priceless watching Trump make the grotesque slob do his bidding. 
             If anyone wants to bet on the outcome of this  election, I'm easy to find.

           *

          I was sitting at the end of the Ale House bar last night talking to Hardware Nick, Gentleman Lee, and Black Adonis when an older man, with washed out chalky skin walked in the door and asked us if we had "a Cubs schedule." I was less than a foot from his face when I said, "do we look like a gay bar?" The poor fellow took several steps backward before retreating out the door. The boys got a chuckle out of the man's reaction. I explained to them, "there are those that cannot grasp an idea in its purest form; they must have answers dramatized and personalized."
       An hour later I was engaged in a tense conversation with the Cougar about rebound romances when the legendary Frog Man Of Schiller Woods walked in the door and shook my hand. I devoted an entire chapter to Frog in my marvelous book, Last Night At The Old Town Ale House. When I was fighting with the lawyers at Harper Collins, the head bitch insisted I'd never be able to get The Frog Man to sign a release. As it turned out he was one of the first ones to sign a release. Fatal Attraction was the last and hardest one to get to sign a release. 
          After I introduced him to the Cougar he sat down and had a coke. Frog's been sober for over twenty-years. He said he's in town on business. I told him the Inventor's engaged in a silly boycott so he wouldn't be coming in. Frog seems more philosophical now that he's in his sixties. The Cougar seemed to find him quite interesting.

         *

         Street Jimmy was pissed off this morning. "I put my bag with all my clean socks down by Mrs. Clown's basement an' she went an' tossed them out."
          Buzz Kill, who was sitting at the bar reading the papers said: "did you tell her it was your stuff?"
          "I didn' see her."
           "Then, how the fuck was she supposed to know it's your stuff?"
            Jimmy is a man of primitive simplicity -- Mrs. Clown tossed his bag in the garbage, and therefore Mrs. Clown was now his sworn enemy. When Buzz Kill suggested Jimmy go back to Mrs. Clown's and look in her garbage can for his stuff Jimmy was noncommittal.
           "I agree with Buzz Kill, you really should check out the garbage if your clean socks were in your bag."

           Clown asked me if he could bring some friends into the Ale House. He hasn't had a drink in three-years, and has no intention of ever drinking again. I told him he could, and if there's any problem with the bartenders to have them call me.

            I was supposed to visit Gracie at the house in the Dunes today but the weather is ominous. Hopefully, I'll see her tomorrow.
  

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Neck, My Back, My Pussy, And My Crack!

              Sunday I watched the final round of the US Open Golf Tournament. Having stayed out very late Saturday night I needed several naps during this five-hour bourgeoise extravaganza. Fox was handling the broadcast. Most of the other golf tournaments are televised by either CBS or NBC. Paul Azinger, a former B-tour player, was the lead announcer; he is not nearly as good as Johnny Miller or Nick Faldo who are the announcers for the other two stations. Greg Norman was fired by Fox after the lousy job of announcing he did during last years US Open. The United States  Golf Association, which sponsors this major championship, is an archaic organization run by fossilized capitalist sleaze-bags. They are not quite as disgusting as the KKK plantation owners that run the Masters, but they are close.
         The Oakmont Country Club in Pittsburgh was the site of this years Open. It used to be a very impressive looking golf course. In the last twenty years the scumbag Oakmont members, at the urging of the USGA, have removed seventeen-hundred trees from the once tree lined fairways. It now looks like overused cow pasture. The USGA made the once magnificent Medina Country Club take down hundreds of trees before they'd let them hold the US open at  Chicago's finest local golf course. The tree hating troglodytes  that run the USGA are a sub-species of the Nineteenth Century oligarchs that raped and plundered the US. When Goldilocks Trump says he wants to make America great again, these robber barons are the great men he is talking about.
          Dustin Johnson, the eventual winner of the tournament, is fun to watch. He not only hits the ball a mile, when he's on he's also remarkably straight. He was suspended for six-months last year for taking some kind of illegal substance. Rumor has it the drug was cocaine. The Professional Gold Association doesn't make public its reasons for suspensions. For instance, if a player gets caught cheating you just don't see him for six months or a year. Although he's not married to her, Johnson lives with hockey star Wayne Gretzky's hot daughter. After he won he did the obligatory have your toddler run out on the green and hug you photo op. The pressure of playing in a US Open is enormous. Back in the 60's I missed qualifying for the US Open by a few strokes. The regional qualifier was held at Olympia Fields and I played as good as I am capable and still didn't make it.
          The USGA decides on the rules of golf. A lot of the rules are stupid. None more stupid than what happened to Johnson early in the final round. He was eventually given a one-stroke penalty for grounding his putter during a practice stroke and then a few seconds later the ball moved ever so slightly. I've had a ball move  after I've addressed the ball and grounded my club;  when it happens you call the penalty on yourself. Now they have videos and the candy-assed jerk-offs who enforce the rules can watch what happened on TV. Even though the head rules official was present when Johnson's ball moved, and deemed that he did not cause the ball to move, the USGA assholes told Johnson five holes later that they were reviewing the matter. It's hard enough playing high-stakes golf without having unnecessary shit dropped on your head by effete bean counters. 
         This is not the first time Johnson was fucked over by a silly rule, and so it had to seriously mind-fuck him . Yet, he prevailed in the end. I was impressed by how well he kept his cool.
         When I was a kid and caddied for some big time pros, they played with balata balls and persimmon woods. A three-hundred yard drive was considered remarkable. Now half the players average three-hundred yards. The equipment, especially the golf ball, has made the difference; most of todays players work out and are more physically fit than the players back in the 50's and 60's, so it is a different game today, and a lot of the great old courses are obsolete because they are now too short.
         The four greatest golfers of my lifetime: Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods are all nasty pricks -- Most male pros are. (It was hardly surprising when fat-assed Nicklaus endorsed Goldilocks Trump.) The nice thing about golf is that you can still enjoy it when you're old. This is not the case with football, or most team sports. I'd play more often if it didn't take so long to play. 

           *

          It was very hot yesterday. I hate air-conditioning so I just open the windows and strip down. By the time I went to the Ale House it was cooling off a bit. There were some fun people visiting the bar from Canada. They'd seen us on Parts Unknown. Later, some big guys from Arkansas also said they'd seen us on Anthony's show. I was delighted when Smoking Hot Goat Girl walked in. It's been over a month since I'd last seen her. She said Pub Crawl Liz promised to stop by. Pub Crawl Liz is my go to girl, and when she's out of town I feel victimized and alone. Smoking Hot Goat Girl exudes sex and so it's always fun talking to her. She had an intense conversation with the Cougar while I talked to Pub Crawl Liz. When the subject of massages came up Smoking Hot Goat Girl said: "My neck, my back, my pussy and my crack."

          *

       This morning Street Jimmy was sleeping in front of the Ale House on his folding chair. When I asked him why he was once again sleeping in front of the bar instead of at the side of the bar, he said, "'cause it be too cool in the shade. Las' night I froze my ass off at the church 'cause I didn' have no coat."
        "Yeah, it dropped thirty degrees."
         
          After I finished the bar I walked home. While I was taking the mail out of the mailbox I saw the Actress. I hadn't seen her for a couple of months. "I thought you were out of town."
         "I thought you were in Indiana."
         "You look great."
          "So do you."
           The Actresses famous actor brother just turned 80. She said she visited him in California for five-days. She said she'd stop by the bar soon. It was nice seeing her.
               

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Cougars Party -- A Great Success

                Street Jimmy looked particularly scruffy this morning. When I told him it would officially be summer at 5:45 this afternoon his temples seemed to throb as he tried to process this information. I then stared directly into his oyster-colored eyes and recited a few appropriate lines from Shakespeare:

                     Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
                     Thou art more lovely and more temperate;
                     Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
                     And summers lease hath all too short a date.

               "Huh?"

                     But thy eternal summer shall not fade.

             "Isn't that marvelous, Jimmy."
             "It ain't summer yet?"
             "Not until this  afternoon. I can just envision Shakespeare sitting around his fire with his quill pen wearing a red paisley smoking jacket with a sable collar penning those magnificent words. What an amazing chap he must've been."
              Jimmy's brain continues to deteriorate. Saturday morning he insisted he'd shown up for work on Friday. This assertion tickled Javier. "No Jimmy, you not here."
            "This is serious shit, Jimmy, by this time next year you won't know your own name."
             Neither of us could convince Jimmy he was a no-show Friday. Yesterday, Anya told Jimmy he couldn't come in during her shift because he threatened the Sissy Boy with the fried hair when he came in. I told Anya that I'd given Jimmy permission to punch the Sissy Boy, but not inside the bar. This morning Jimmy complained to me about Anya's strictness. "She gots an' evil streak. I tol' her you tol' me to kick the Sissy Boy's ass if he come around."
           "But not in the bar."
           The Sissy Boy refuses to learn. His MO is to come into a bar and order an expensive drink, chug a lug it, and then run out the door; or, to just walk into the bar, snatch money and run away with it. I've punched him a couple of times. The last time I had to resort to brutality his nose started bleeding; he told me I was going to get AIDS from the blood on my fist. He's a black guy around forty, with fried hair; he also likes to take cabs and then not pay the drivers.
              Jimmy wasn't hungry this morning. "I ate at McDonald's. Lady bought me breakfast. She blew my mind. She say she was an' MC…"
            "What's an MC?"
            "You know, a Snake, an MC Cobra." Jimmy said the MC Cobra's broke off from the Black Stone Rangers when Jeff Forte went to prison. "I bet Jeff Forte livin' real good in prison."
          "No fucking way. The Feds have him down in Texas. How good can it be being locked up in a cage for life?"
           "True. Tha's why I don' like goin' to the Mission or to rehab, 'cause I been in jail so much it like bein' back in jail."
          Jimmy said he's "an ancient Cobra, "'cause I be old now." He than showed me a some of the different local street gang signs.
          "An ancient Cobra sounds like your kind of a Cobra emeritus. "
           "Huh?"
            "Where'd you sleep last night?"
           "I slept in my chair. It be hard sleepin' with one eye open an' one eye closed."
            "I bet. I couldn't do it, especially with all my enemies lurking about."
             Jimmy nodded sagely, "peoples can come up on you when you be sleepin' an kill your ass."
            Kim said yesterday Jimmy slept in his folding chair next to the bar for three hours. Somebody put half a wedding cake in his lap. When he awoke he ate the wedding cake even though Kim warned him the cake should not have been in the hot sun for all those hours. Jimmy had no idea who put the cake in his lap while he was sleeping.
            Jimmy said he likes McDonald's coffee. "It better than all the other coffee's, I didn't used to like coffee, but now I does."
           While we were engaged in this conversation Fancypants knocked on the door. Jimmy couldn't control his joy. With a full tooth smile Jimmy said, "Danny, damn, I missed you boy. How you doin' …"
           "I'm doing great," he said giving me a hug.
           He then described what working in a suburban mostly black Walgreens was like. While he was describing how he handled drugged up customers the phone rang. It was Gracie. She'd arrived at the house in the Dunes last night. She's in town for our family reunion in St. Joe Michigan this coming weekend. Fancypants seemed thrilled to be speaking to her. When Jimmy wanted to take the phone from Fancypants I said, "you can talk to her as soon as Danny gets done."  Gracie's going to try and visit the Ale House tomorrow. 
               It was just like old-times.

             *

             Saturday evening was the Cougar's eagerly anticipated birthday party. I met her sisters and her father. Her father had an odd little dog which he kept cradled in his arms the entire time he was there. There were over fifty people in the courtyard behind the Cougars condo. I knew at the most twenty of them. Hawkeye Jr. catered the party. The food was excellent. I sat at a table with Hawkeye, The Inventor, The Defense Attorney, the Bibliophile, and Dave. I kept my back to the ultra-right-wing blabber mouth next to me. I'd promised the Cougar to be on my best behavior. I haven't seen the Inventor or the Defense Attorney for several weeks. Had my memory been keener I would have recited a bit of Shakespeare for the Defense Attorney:

                        Slander -- whose edge is sharper than the sword,
                        Whose tongue out venoms all the worms of Nile,
                        Whose breath rides on the posting winds and doth
                         belie
                        All corners of the world.

              The Cougar only had to whisper our safe word, "Geronimo" once toward the end of the night. I was arguing with a seventy-year-old black woman friend of hers about politics, and the phenomenon of self-hating black Republicans. After I regained control of my emotions,  I  posed for a picture with her two kids, and her future son in law. Even though I was on my best behavior I managed to have a good time. The Defense Attorney told me I was boring.

                        The sad companion, dull-eyed melancholy.

               It was after midnight when I walked over to the Ale House. I was soon joined by the Bibliophile, Hawkeye Junior and the Cougars son. The Cougars son was completely shit-faced. 

               *

             When I saw the Cougar at the Ale Hose last night she couldn't have been more pleased with her party. 
             "It was a wonderful party, Cougar. Your kids did a great job. The food was excellent, and the booze plentiful."
             "You must have had fun, you certainly stayed late."
            "You were radiant."
            "I was?'
             "Absolutely. And wasn't I well behaved."
              Smiling. "Yes you certainly were. I was worried for a moment…"

                            When in disgrace with fortune and men's eyes
                            I all alone beweep my outcast state,
                            And trouble deaf heaven with my bootless cries.  
              
              

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Dispense With Trifles

                         

                           Reason, in itself confounded,
                           Saw division grow together.

          Shakespeare and I, being fellow genius', speak the same language. Last night at the Ale House was  a perfect  example of reason confounded. More on that later.

          Ranalli called me. He is not a happy man. Age, illness and injury have left him angry and frustrated with life. "Bruce, I'm going nuts. I'm nervous from the steroids I'm taking, I had to go to the hospital a few days ago because of my bronchitis." (He's still smoking even though he has emphysema.) He said he's bored, "I don't enjoy watching old movies anymore, I'm even getting sick of watching baseball." He then asked me if I had anything he might enjoy reading.
         "Yeah, Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. You've been in the restaurant business your entire life, you love food and you've been known to partake in a recreational substance or two, you'd love it." Before we hung up I promised to bring him the book. It's my last copy, but I'll buy another the next time I'm at Powell's Book Store in Hyde Park.
          On my way to Ranalli's I chanced to walk through the Old Town Triangles After The Art Fair Party. These parties are a racket. Art Fairs and street parties that charge (voluntary) admission annoy me. Why should you have to pay to walk down a public street. I could see donating money if you knew where the money was going, but you'll never see an audit detailing where these street fair revenues goes. Why? Because the organizers toss planning parties, and apparently - after fair parties. I looked for the Cougar but didn't see her, although I did see some of her matron pals. The minute the Alderwoman started to speak I stepped up my pace.
          After I dropped the book off with Ranalli's doorman I walked over to the zoo lagoon and made my way back to Old Town. I'd been drinking beer with Gentleman Lee and Black Adonis for several hours when some of the people from the Triangle Art Fair party walked in. I managed to squeeze them into the window behind where we were sitting. A smiling Cougar arrived a short time later. After giving me another lecture on blog civility she joined her friends in the window. 
            Gentleman Lee went outside to smoke. Several minutes later I noticed him across the street in the middle of a donnybrook. I yelled for Johnny Ale for the baseball bat under the bar. Six black teenagers were stomping one black teenager. One of the teens had punched Gentleman Lee when he tried to intervene. Just as I arrived on the scene flailing the baseball bat two cop cars pulled up. The kids took off. In his haste one of the kids left his bike in the street. One of the cops picked it up and leaned it against the side of the old hardware store. Lee said the punch didn't hurt him. We all then went back into the bar and resumed drinking beer. About ten-minutes later an older black kid snatched the bike and took off.
              At some point in the evening the Cougar reached down and tapped me on the shoulder. I graciously got up from my bar stool and leaned against the railing and regaled the ladies with my wit and charm. All was going well until one of the old gals asked me how someone with my radical socialist political beliefs could possibly be enamored with a hard-core right-winger like the Cougar. 
           "I know it's difficult to explain. I think it has to do with the Cougars unique sense of humor. Let me illustrate what I mean: A child molester gets out of prison. He's walking down the street and runs into another child molester. The other child molester asks him  where he's been. 
             'I just got out of jail for molesting an eleven year old girl.'
             'Isn't that a little old for you?'
              'Yeah, but she had the body of a seven year old.'
               The two matrons recoiled in horror. 
               "Look," I said pointing at the Cougar, who was laughing uncontrollably,  "we share the same sick sense of humor."
             The feeling of comity and good fellowship didn't last long; unfortunately, the Cougar and I eventually got into another political jousting match. She denied ever having been a Trump supporter. Her intelligent friends tend to be liberals so the Cougar has developed a double life and didn't like me accusing of her of mendacity. In a burst of girlish anger she bared her teeth and directed another vicious attack against my character.  Her normally cheerful face was now suffused in a dark thundercloud of hate. 
           Realizing things clearly could not go on like this, I withdrew from the ladies like an ambassador who'd received his paper from the home office. After I sat back down on my barstool I told Gentleman Lee that it appeared the two of  us would no longer be welcome at the Cougars party Saturday. 
           Twenty-minutes later the Cougar stepped down from the table she was sitting at and squeezed my arm. "Bruce, why do you goad me like that?" 
           Wishing to help the conversation along, I said, "Cougar, you  said you'd avoid taking the bait -- "
           She tightened her grip on my arm, "please," she urged tenderly, "be nice."
           When she wants to be the Cougar is one of those sweet tempered women that you instinctively want to hold in your arms and smother in kisses. I detected a subtle change in her manner as I            
caressed her magnificent sixty-year old ass. Coincidentally, her ex-husband walked in the door just as I was getting down to the short strokes. He stared at his ex-wife like a man suddenly confronted with a profound religious experience. Black Adonis and Gentleman Lee turned away in an unsuccessful attempt to conceal their laughter. The Cougar didn't seem the least bit embarrassed by the unusual circumstances. I've certainly been in more awkward situations and handled matters with the suavity and professionalism that has been my trademark for over seventy-years.
           It was after one when I finally walked the Cougar home.

            Next blog Monday.