Friday, April 18, 2014

Where Is Street Jimmy?

            The mystery of Street Jimmy's disappearance grows; he's not in jail, nor does his name come up at the morgue; it's unlikely that the local hospitals will tell us who's in their respective  psyche wards, and so until the crack-happy scamp shows up, we'll just have to guess as to what might have happened to him.

           *

        Yesterday afternoon after I got back from the hospital I took not one, but two naps. Hawkeye is concerned about the number of naps I take. I'm sure that one of the reasons for my continuing fatigue is my inability to sleep through the night. 
          I got to the bar around six-thirty. Ruben Four Toes, Mitt and Coach were all chatting. Ruben says he's quite pleased with his new cleaning  lady, "bitch does a nice job. Another cleaning lady - who knows my cleaning lady - and was working on somebody else's apartment, stopped by my place. She says she loves cock-fighting. She says it's legal in Chicago and I told her , you're full of shit, it's illegal, you can't even own a fucking chicken in Chicago..."
          Anya and I disagreed. Anya said, "I think you can own three chickens, but not roosters - "
            "Yeah," Ruben nodded, "and then she says she likes dog-fighting and so I told her she was nuts."
           I found this love of blood sports odd given that the two cleaning ladies are black and not Mexican. I know cock-fighting is legal in Mexico and in 1960 when I went to visit a high school friend named Butch, who was going to the American University in Mexico City , he took me to the cock-fights. It was an unpleasant experience and as if it wasn't bad enough to see the roosters pecking each others eyes out, they were equipped with sharp spurs which enabled them to reek havoc on the other cock. I was particularly struck by the way the owners of the fighting cocks would suck the blood out of their cocks beaks with their own lips between rounds.
           Ruben appears to be devoting the remaining years of his life to eating food in large quantities and drinking beer. He said he had ham, six-eggs, refried beans and some sausages. That was at  five-thirty this morning. At around ten, after his first nap, he had a box of peanut butter and cheese crackers, which he washed down with a large bottle of  grape pop. Before he left for the ale house he had some more refried beans.  Once he arrives at the Ale House he orders out unless somebody brings food in.
             Touhy and his daughter , Little Michaela, came in around seven-thirty. I rarely see Michaela much these days. She's a cop and she seems to be very busy. Her best friend is named Jennifer. I always wanted to bang Jennifer but just when I thought I had sealed the deal, Pauly moved in while I was in the mens room and when I came out they were gone. I've never forgiven either Pauly or Jennifer for this cruel prank. Michaela was very sympathetic when I described the pain and suffering this betrayal has caused me over the years. It's hard to imagine that Jennifer has just turned fifty. Her alcoholic stepfather, was a high school friend of my youngest brother, Douglas'. His name was Dave, and he owned a series of bars on the North Side over the years. I remember driving behind him one Saturday afternoon; as we were passing Loyola University I noticed how erratic he was driving. A half-block later his head slumped and he drove over the sidewalk narrowly missing a bunch of students. He ended up on the grass surrounded by a group of irate people.
             Dave eventually drank himself to death.
           Little Michaela is very philosophical about growing up in the Touhy household. She seems to bear no resentment toward her father for his inability to hold a job. In fact she laughs often about all the times Touhy was fired. As Touhy listened to his daughter describe her childhood memories his face was curiously twisted as by a spasm; it was hard to determine if these contortions were caused by guilt, or inward laughter. Touhy has always gesticulated wildly with his hands, but in the last few years his facial expressions have become equally flamboyant. 

          *

          This morning I got to the bar early. I was alone for about an hour until Hawkeye showed up. He was in an argumentative mood; he knows how to get me going and this time he cited another David Brooks column in the NY Times. I abhor Brooks and Hawkeye knows this. Brooks has a system whereby he'll skim somebody else book or essay, regurgitates it, and then evaluates it in the final paragraph. The evaluation almost always consists of the false equivalency argument, e.g.  both side are equally bad.
         While Hawkeye was attempting to diagnose my health problems Faggypants arrived. He was tired because he'd been up very late watching the Black Hawks hockey game. The Hawks lost and so Faggypants was a little down in the dumps. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Radiology

           There's something about the word radiology that makes me nervous. And then when you combine radiology with department, it seems even more sinister. So right off the bat you tend to be nervous, especially when you are told to report to the Radiology Department for a "swallow test." I always try to be early for my doctors appointments because a lot of times they get you in and out faster. Not so today; I was there plenty early but they were running late because one of the radiation rooms was "down." To make matters worse the waiting room was filled with a lot of very unhealthy looking people. Wheel chairs, walkers and canes were surrounding me. I could have endured all of this had it not been for the fucking TV blaring away. I had my NY Times with me and so I had something to occupy myself with while I waited, but  a TV! Man I hate daytime TV. At one point it got so bad I asked the receptionist if she couldn't please turn down the sound? She simply shrugged and said she lacked the authorization. The final straw was looking up and seeing piss-ant Richard Roeper expounding on movies. Had Ebert not died this simpleton stood to make gazillions of bucks. I remember arguing with Roger  about his choice of Roeper to replace Siskel at the time. Roger put up a very half-hearted defense of Roeper and rationalized picking him by saying, "he'll grow into it." I think Chaz was behind the choice, at least that's what I heard from a semi-reliable source.
           When I finally got into the room where the test was to be performed a nice, pleasant looking lady explained to me  what was going to happen. After they placed a bib-like gown on me I was told to sit a certain way and then , with an older male doctor also observing, I was fed barium in both liquid and solid forms. I swallowed and chewed for the doctors on que. After the test, which was no more than fifteen-minutes, they showed me an Xray of my aorta and my esophagus. According to the older male doctor years of untreated high-blood-pressure had inflamed my aorta and as a  result it was pushing against my esophagus; this had created a curve that my food now has to traverse. There's not much that can be done about it other than I eat softer food and drink plenty of water while eating. Unfortunately this only explains my problem chewing. 
         I'm seeing the neurologist on the 23 (he's the same guy I saw for my stroke and I liked him) and so I'll be given more tests I imagine. My problem enunciating is not linked to the enlarged aorta; and if that is not enough to worry about, the doctors said I should definitely see a cardiologist. Any thoughts of feeling sorry for my medical travails were quickly dashed upon reentering the waiting room and glancing around at all of the half-dead people sitting in the chairs. I may have problems, but relatively speaking, they are of a trivial nature . 
          The sun was out and it would have been quite pleasant had the wind not been quite so frisky. There were roving bands of high school students being led by guides swarming about the campus as I made my way back to my car. University of Chicago students are rather unique. Unlike the snobby Ivy League schools where  you need to not only excel academically, but you better have a  sport and ideally a musical instrument, at the U of C all you need to be is real smart. I'm always amazed at the number of good-looking chicks that attend the U of C. , especially since most of the boys are extremely nerdy looking. 
          I enjoyed driving Gracie around the country her senior year of high school as she checked out the various colleges. We would have seen a lot more schools but we became waylaid in New Jersey when we stopped by Wildwood to see my old pal Spike and his family. Spike had a thrill ride on the boardwalk,  and not only that, his hot wife, who was from Dominica, had a bunch of her hot cousins working on the ride. Gracie loved hanging out with the girls and so our college visits ended abruptly. 





Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Remembering Mike Touhy

         Hawkeye's ass was dragging last night when he showed up for work. Earlier in the morning he was bragging about how he always waited until the last minute to do his and Mrs. Hawkeye's taxes. As a result of this procrastination he only managed a short nap. One would think he'd be ashamed to admit this malfeasance, but instead he just looked at me sluggishly and yawned. 
          Touhy was sitting next to Ruben Four Toes. He had been to a wake in the room above Gibson's restaurant. It was an Irish wake and so there was booze. The last ten or fifteen wakes I've been to have been boozeless affairs which puzzles me; wakes and weddings should always be booze friendly. In Chicago there are usually bars next to most of the funeral homes and so you don't have to travel far for a libation. Touhy loves to dress up and he was wearing a newly pressed suit and a nice tie which he said he bought from Marshall Field. Marshall Field is becoming a pest now that he's back on the street. He'll come in the bar five or six times a day selling all sorts of generally useless items.
           Hawkeye said that he checked County Jail's list of inmates and Street Jimmy is not there. Touhy, who like Hawkeye is a former journalist, suggested checking the coroners list of recent dead people. There were quite a few unclaimed dead bodies, but none of them was Street Jimmys. Touhy and Hawkeye then talked newspaper shop talk for a while. Touhy often says that people keep telling him that he should write a blog or a  book, most recently Chicago historian Dick Simpson. Every time Touhy says this I tell him , "Jim, for ten-years you've been saying you're going to write a blog or a book, and all you do is talk. " 
           Simpson is a local academic and we all agreed that he was extremely boring and lacked any semblance of a personality.
             Ruben was stuck between Touhy and me. Because of his lack of mobility Ruben has to put up with a lot of uninteresting chatter. The trick with Touhy is directing his conversation to interesting subjects. This is not easy to do, and was made even  more difficult when Ruben's Mexican friend Victor came in and sat down next to me. Victor is not only hard to understand because of his Spanish accent, but he's also loud and extremely vapid. After a few beers Victor compounds all of his shortcomings by interrupting people. He knows just enough about what's going on to interrupt , but not enough to add to even the most inane discussion.
           It was Lisa Baney's birthday and she was celebrating at a back table with one of her Second City classes. We all agreed that we'd love to bang Lisa. She's very nice in a very sexy sort of way.
           Touhy was of the opinion that if someone wanted to make contacts in a city it behooved them to find out the bars where newspaper reporters hung out. Hawkeye agreed, but said that given the decline of newspapers this probably wouldn't be effective anymore. I then regaled the boys with my Maury Povich story. 
         Touhy's late wife, Mike, was an old drinking pal of mine. Mike knew everyone who was anyone and when Povich came to town twenty or thirty years ago somebody in the know directed him to Mike. Povitch was another consummate no personality bore and some of the local news guys like Tom Fitzpatrick used to bully and make fun of him. Well, as soon as Povich started buying drinks for Mike at the Billy Goat his problems were solved. Mike introduced him to all of us and as long as he bought us drinks he was golden. I'm surprised more guys on the make didn't think of this.
           Mike eventually landed a job with the Office of Special Events. Even though Mike was a long time friend of my former sister in law, Karen Connor, Karen never gave Mike a job with Special Events when she was the director. However, when Kathy Osterman got the head of Special Events job from Richie Daley, she immediately hired both Mike and Lois. Mike loved her new job and it was as far as I can remember the happiest time of Mikes life. Not only that, according to what Kathy Osterman told me, Mike did a great job. 
         One of the perks of Mikes job was getting invited places. One of those places being the annual Duff Xmas party at the old Como Inn. The Duff's were a shady, politically connected family and weren't afraid to spend money on the local movers and shakers. Everyone showed up for the endless food and booze, judges, alderman, journalists, sports stars and of course the entire Daley family. Every year Mike would finagle more of us into the party and every year the Duff Xmas party would end up the same way. Mike and her pals seated around a table with maybe fifty or a hundred empty beer bottles and the Duff family staring at us. Yes, out of all the hundreds of people that had come, everyone was gone but us. Touhy got a chuckle out of this.
            "Yeah, we were always the last ones to leave."
             Mike and Touhy had achieved legendary status over the years at local parties and events. They never left until all of the booze was gone. If the booze lasted two days, the Touhy's would stay two days. They were an amazing couple and I'm sure Mike would be proud of Touhy's remarkable ability to still put the booze away as he approaches his eightieth-year.

             *

           Faggypants was tired this morning. He said he saw a good movie yesterday. 
            "What was it called?"
             "I don't remember, I'd give it three and a half stars."
             "Try and remember?"
              After thinking for a while he said, "it was called, I think, Dom Shakespeare. "
               "Huh?"
               "It was about a really smart mobster."
                When I determined that what he was telling me  made no sense I made him look up the movie in the newspaper and then he corrected himself, "the guy was Dom Hemingway." I lost interest in his critique when he couldn't recall who any of the actors were. "Danny, you really should take notes when you go to a movie."
             He said after the movie he went to Brando's and gave Rosie the sweater he found. "She loved it. It looks great on her."
            Faggypants thinks Gracie's married name is wonderful. "Tydings has a nice ring to it."
            "If they have a kid they should name it Goody."
            Faggypants loved the name Goody Tydings. 
           "Goody Dancingfox Tydings."
           Faggypants clapped his hands together, "that would be a great name."
            Gracie was tired yesterday. She had not planned on returning to bar tending and she apparently needs to get back in shape.
            
          

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Street Jimmy Incarcerated?

        The consensus seems to be that Street Jimmy is in jail. If he had himself committed to one of the local mental institutions he'd have been released by now; there was an open warrant out for him because he missed his last court date and so if he was picked up for anything it's usually 21 days in County Jail before the paper-work is processed. Also, if he got nailed with a crack pipe that takes about 21 days to check for residue. If you are wondering, like I am, if incarcerating the wild and crazy mischief maker is the best way to spend tax money, I would have to say no. The plus is that he needed to get off the street for a while. When he's really messed up (like he was at the time of his disappearance) he makes even worse decisions than normal, especially when dealing with the cops.

         *

         Last night at the Ale House everyone seemed to be poking fun at Ruben Four Toes fatness. There was some speculation about how many seats he'd have to buy in order to fly on an airplane - certainly two, and then there's the question of would he be able to fit into the washroom on your average airliner.  Ruben, fortunately, says he has no plans to travel anytime soon. 
        When the discussion turned to what would happen to our favorite fat boy in case there was a fire in his building, everyone agreed that Ruben would fry.
           Mitt was sure that no one fireman could possibly carry him, Coach didn't think he'd fit out of his windows, and then the question of whether the ladders would be strong enough to hold him was raised. My solution, as well as Ruben's, was that he simply be rolled out his door and down the stairs. Yes, he'd sustain some bruising, but that would certainly be preferable to getting burned alive. When I told Ruben that if the worst ever happened and he was facing imminent death in a fire he should at least have the decency to toss his cat out the window, the pudgy-faced mass of blubber said, "no, my cat goes if I go. Just like the pharaohs in Egypt."
             Ruben was pleased to announce that his sister had gotten him a new channel changer. As  reported previously the mercurial Mexican mud-slide  had accidentally dropped his old channel changer into his piss bucket , and then while trying to dry it off in his microwave, caused it to explode. 
          "I'm glad she got it for me because I would've gone blind pretty soon from watching the TV so close to my eyes." Ruben had been using a cane to channel change and it was only five-feet long.
          Gracie said Marshall Field had been in the bar hawking his wares numerous times before I got there. One thing he had that piqued my curiosity was a breathalyzer. I had no idea what to do with it so I gave it a pass. 
              
          *

        This morning the sidewalks and cars were covered with over an inch of snow. I found this disheartening. While I was checking the previous days receipts I received a call on my cell phone. It was a recorded voice telling me that my debit card had been suspended and that if I wanted it reactivated to press one. After I pressed one it wanted me to give the digits of my debit card. Now nobody appreciates a clever, well thought out scam more than yours truly, but this was pretty crude. What puzzles me is how the authorities aren't able to catch the scammers. I know when I used to enjoy the wonderful world of credit cards there were no pesky computers to deal with. When asked years later what I would have done had there been computers back in the Sixties and Seventies I said, "there's always going to be an angle," and I've been proven right. There's big money in scamming credit cards with computers. When I told Tobin what had happened she told me to immediately march down to the bank and have my debit card canceled.
           Hawkeye dropped by. He said his daughter killed last night at Davenports. She was very impressive at the Ale House Talent Show and Hawkeye said she just landed a part in Jayne Eyre. In the play she's cast as the housekeeper. Hawkeye said she's a very talented actress. 
           Today is tax day and Hawkeye said he always waits until the last minute to do his taxes. I find this odd, but then when I think about it, everything Hawkeye does is odd. He's constantly trying to rationalize his right-wing impulses and is forever trying to get me to read right-wing columnists. Once again I explained to him that all these right-wingers have to offer is the false equivalency argument. Yes , the Dems are craven assholes, but the Repubs are vile, evil, racist war mongers; in other words, the Repubs are even worse than the Dems. Hawkeye can't seem to come to grips with this reality. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Day Of Flooding

            Yesterday morning while we were getting the bar ready Hawkeye showed up. His Sunday routine entails going to Starbucks, purloining a copy of Sunday NY Times, drinking his coffee and then coming to the Ale House. At some point during the day he has to take a nap because he works the door Sunday nights until four a. m. . He was incensed about my denigrating his theory of strength being connected to brain circuitry in my previous blog. I knew he would be and sat back and enjoyed his rant. After five-minutes of explaining his position in detail I shrugged him  off in a very cavalier manner which only made him angrier. 
           "Hawkeye, you are full of shit. No matter how my brain is wired for success, I can't power lift three-hundred pounds."
           "That's not what I'm saying." He was unable to hide his frustration at this point. "The reason you can still hit a  golf ball a long ways is that your brain has given you muscle memory."
           "Horseshit, there are plenty of guys my age that could hit the ball farther than me twenty-five years ago, and now I can hit it farther than them and they have muscle memory." 
           "Bruce, all I'm trying to get you to do is be a reasonable human being, but I guess that's asking too much."
           Just then Faggypants let out a series of shrieks. Water was pouring from the ceiling at the south end of the bar. It is not uncommon for Faggypants to panic when something goes wrong , but this was extreme even for him. The first thing I did was to go down in the basement and turn the water off for the entire building. Once the water was off I told Faggypants to stop shrieking. Hawkeye, wanting nothing to do with our predicament, made a hasty exit. I then crawled up into the loft to see where the water was coming from. At first it looked like a large pipe had broken but then on further inspection it was clear it was coming from the condo above us. 
            I then instructed Faggypants to find the key to the neighbors stairway. As soon as I banged on the upstairs neighbors door he opened it. "It's them," he said pointing upward . No sooner did he point his accusatory finger than a young Asian girls head appeared from the top of the stairs, "it was our washing machine," she said guiltily.
          "Is it fixed?"
          "Yes."
            The neighbor said his ceiling was ruined and I told him that a bunch of our stuff that we kept stored in the loft had also been damaged.
           No sooner had we cleaned up most of the mess made by the neighbors washing machine than Tobin called and said that the sink in our condo was fucked up and there was water all over the kitchen floor. The plumbing in our reasonably new building is a joke. I wonder how much the contractor paid off the city inspector to approve his crappy work?  So now we would need to get our plumber, J.R. to rod out the pipes again. The reason this keeps happening is because of the people upstairs garbage disposal. Unfortunately J.R. goes to visit his family every weekend in Wisconsin and so he wouldn't be available until Monday morning.
          In my old ambulance chasing days we would meet every Thursday night at Doc Mc Cabes building which was located on Ashland just north of Lakeview High School. Doc had a large waiting room, and we'd have snacks and beer and wine; there would always be some lawyers, adjusters, cops, fireman, a pharmacist (Doc was paralyzed and reduced to being a script doctor) a judge or two, high school football coaches, drug addict priests and so on. A lot of money changed hands (personal injury cases being settled) and there'd be some low stakes gambling. One of the regulars was a city restaurant inspector named D'mato. One night I asked D'mato how many restaurants he had to close a week?
           "Bruce," he said picking up the set of red dice being used in the crap game, "I guess I've just been lucky but I've never had to close a joint in my twenty-five years on the job."
           This amazed me. How did he get away with it? I don't care how much they're bribing you, you 'd think you'd have to close one of the rodent and roach infested joints at least once in a while. Same goes for building inspectors, but I guess in Chicago money talks louder than roaches and bad plumbing.         
      
         *

 Last night at the Ale House Ruben Four Toes was complaining about the lady Pace driver that picked him up the previous night, "the bitch had real long finger nails and she could hardly strap me in and I said, 'why the hell do you have such long finger nails and she said that's how she liked them and I said then maybe you should get another fucking job. The bitch had a real attitude." Ruben has had a series of weird bus rides lately. The night before he had to share the van with a blind man. "At least the blind guy knew enough to get out of the van so I could get in."
          "Amigo, if you get any fatter nobody's going to be able to ride with you."
            "Fuck them, I don't like ride-sharing. Dumb fucks drive people all the way to Evanston and the double back for me and I've got to take a raging piss."
             Ruben is amused by the spate of shootings and murders that took place once the weather warmed up. "The dumb fuck police Superintendent and the Mayor are bragging about how much lower the crime rate is and then as soon as the weather gets warm every motherfucker in the city goes out and shoots someone. Who do they think they're kidding with their bullshit? They're just cooking the books. Bitch gets shot with her hands tied up and they say it's an accidental death. Motherfuckers! 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Wind Shifts

            After I finished up at the bar this morning I decided to take a walk in the park; the weatherman had predicted that it would get colder this afternoon and so I thought I'd take advantage of the mild temperature. I met Nick from the hardware store in front of the bar and as we were discussing the best way to handle Chief in the future the wind shifted out of the East and the temperature dropped twenty-degrees in less than a minute. So much for my walk. Instead I went back into the bar and got my hoody and went home. While I was walking down North Avenue I was reminded of the day some twenty-years ago when I was getting ready to play golf at Jackson Park; the wind also had shifted off of the lake and the temperature dropped from the middle eighties to the low forties in half an hour. Lucky for me I hadn't teed off yet and so I was able to get some warm clothes out of my car. The players on the course were not so lucky and as I made my way around the course a lot of the players in shorts and short sleeved shirts appeared to be turning various shades of blue.

    *

        After my nap yesterday I decided to take advantage of the first seventy-degree day of the year and take a long walk. The doctors have been stressing to me that I need to get as much exercise as I can manage. Unfortunately it was very windy; normally when it is this windy I'll hop the El and go either north or south depending on the wind, and then get off somewhere and walk back home with the wind at my back.  Not so yesterday; instead I thought I'd walk away from the park and use the buildings as  wind shields.
         As I was walking past St. Michael's Church I heard Scotland The Brave being played inside the church on a bag pipe. This intrigued me and so I stood outside the church and watched the kilt clad piper emerge from the church. He was soon followed by over a dozen bridesmaids all dressed in blue and white and waving blue pom pom's . It was a Scottish wedding and the piper was quite good.
          Almost all of the bridesmaids were hot which is rather unusual. 
            When I got home I watched the Masters Golf Tournament on  TV. The KKK shitkickers that run the tournament really have created a spectacular event. The weather is usually great; Spring is always early down South and the dogwoods and azaleas look spectacular. For years the plantation mentality of the late Bobby Jones and his racist pal, Clifford Roberts,  that ran the course had managed to prevent any black players from participating. When black player Pete Brown won a PGA tournament and therefore finally qualified for the Masters the rules committee simply changed the rules. It had to kill them when Tiger won their racist tournament.  
           Lee Trevino, who is a Mexican, was treated so badly that he wouldn't even go in the locker room and instead changed into his golf shoes in the parking lot. Up until around twenty-years ago the pros were forced to take Masters caddies, all of whom were black. Finally, when the pro's were paying their caddies six-figure salaries, they pressured the plantation masters to let them bring their own caddies. Of course the KKK boys still had a card up their sheets, and so to this day these often wealthy caddies still have to wear primitive white plantation style coveralls no matter how hot it gets. 
           For years, in spite of a lot of bad ink,  the plantation bosses ran their tournament with an iron fist. Eventually the pressure on the TV sponsors grew too much, and grudgingly the plantation bosses were finally forced to let a black member in around ten-years ago. He was some Atlanta black businessman. As luck would have it this black businessman got caught charging people to play the course as his guests. In desperation, after kicking out their lone black member,  the plantation masters decided to kill two birds with one golf ball and invited Condolezza Rice to join their ultra-exclusive club. A rather homely black women war criminal instantly filled their quotas both sexually and racially. Yes, up until Rice's membership they had a no women policy. 
          Winning the Masters is huge; golf company sponsors can run an entire summer ad campaign on a player. By the time you get to the PGA tournament in late summer, there's not enough time to market players effectively. 
           Of all the majors the Masters has the weakest field. Past winners are allowed to play, even when they are no longer competitive. They have a lot of amateur spots, too, so a number of really good pros can't get into the tournament.  Pro golfers tend to be spoiled brats, and when I was a  caddy they were almost all universally cheap. Tiger is a legendary cheap skate, while Phil Mickleson is not only a degenerate gambler, but surprisingly, a big  tipper.  When I was a caddy Jimmy Demaret and Phil Rogers were the best tippers. I heard from the other caddies at the time that the other pros really resented the good tippers as it made them look bad.

     *

          When I got to the bar last night Chief was there. It's not that Chief is unlikable, it's just that he's a pain in the ass when he's drinking which is the only time that we see him. 
           Anya was wearing her hair in a bun and both Ruben Four Toes and I complimented her on her look.
          Ruben said his two nephews were at his house yesterday, "they worked for two-hours but they couldn't program a new channel changers for me. I told the dumb fucks, at least hang some pictures on the wall - do something useful for me."
            "Did they know you burned the channel changer in the microwave?"
             "Of course, it was in the garbage. They said, 'uncle Ruby, you can't put your channel changer in the microwave, ' and I said, 'thanks for telling me, assholes."
            "It's nice that you don't spoil your nephews just because they're trying to help you."
           "I keep them in line."
            When Chief walked over to where we were talking he immediately started kissing our bald heads. Chief either has a bald head fetish, or he still harbors some kind of Indian gene that controls the scalping impulse. He can be excruciatingly boring and last night was no exception. He said that Clown hasn't had a drink in over three-months. He is, however, still pissed at Corcoran's because after they barred Clown, they told Chief he wasn't welcome either. "It's guilt by association. Just because I was with Clown when he fucked up, they want to bar me."
            Luckily Chief struck up a conversation with Matt Z. and eventually they left the bar together.
           Ruben let out a sigh of relief when Chief was finally gone. He said that his nephews had brought over a cat harness. "My sister used to use it for her cat, but when we tried to put it on my cat my cats too fucking fat for the harness."
             Touhy and Miss Jones came in. They had been across the street at Second City watching somebody's kid in a show. I was shocked when Miss Jones , who  reads my blog, took exception to my criticism of W Bush's "paintings." Now it's no secret that Miss Jones and Touhy are not known to frequent the Art Institute, nor do they make the rounds of the local art galleries,  so it's safe to assume they don't really share a  passion for fine arts; nevertheless, anytime you hear someone with an IQ over one-hundred praising something as insipid as W Bush's grotesque efforts at portraiture, it gives you pause. 
            Touhy is excited about his upcoming eightieth birthday party. Little Michaela is tossing the party for him at the Billy Goat on Ogden Avenue. This could be a lot of fun because quite a few old-timers should show up for this major event.
            Touhy is one of those rare bar room giants that has been non-stop drinking in the local establishments for almost sixty years. Ruben said Touhy should be an inspiration to us all. From what I can see there is no reason why Touhy can't continue his prodigious imbibing for many more years to come.          
         

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Ruben Four Toes Takes Another Tumble

         Before I went to the Ale House last night I took a long walk along the lake. It wasn't short sleeve weather, at least not for the Genius, but it was close. There were a number of deceased ducks scattered along Oak Street Beach. This is unattractive and the park lads might want to do something about this dead duck situation. I always thoughts ducks headed South for the winter but maybe some of them are adapting like their cousins, the Canadian Geese, to stick around all year. If this is the case I would like to suggest to all of my duck friends  that they abort this idea. 
        I have been seeing a lot of the Communistic blue bikes cruising around lately and yesterday was no exception. I read somewhere that the guys that owned the rental bike concession went belly-up, but if that is the case, why are all the blue bikes still going up and down the lake?
          I walked all the way to Navy Pier and only had to sit down once. When I was in Scotland and England last year I did miles of walking everyday and didn't have a knot in my back so I'm hoping I can walk my way out of the back problem that forces me to occasionally sit. I did sit down in order to people-watch at the little park across from the Viagra Triangle. I love this little park and you don't have to buy anything from the concession stand to sit there. The Lounge Lizards that work at as well as frequent these joints always hold my interest. Pricey, semi-flashy suits, expensive haircuts, and curious body types are the order of the day. Also, the Alpha Romeo's and other penile cars that cruise the area present a vaudevillian aspect to the proceedings. 
        On my way back to the bar as I was walking down Wells Street there was an older black bum standing across the street from the Pour House. As I got closer I noticed his trousers were down to his knees. When I pointed this out to him he laughed loudly and twirled his dick at me. This struck me as highly unusual even for a street bum. After I went another twenty-feet I turned around and watched him do this again to a young couple. I couldn't believe that somebody from the Pour House didn't call the cops on the guy.
            When I went into the Ale House it was past six. Ruben Four Toes informed me that Fatal Attraction had been in with a bumpkin friend who is the sister of one of Buzz Kills old girlfriends. This would mark the first Fatal Attraction appearance since the night she went nuts and tossed her purse in the street and tried to punch Mitt. I told the bartenders that when she came back she'd be fucked up and not to serve her. 
           Connie the Crack Whore came in and started kissing and fondling Ruben. He didn't discourage Connie's caresses nor did he seem to mind them in the least. Connie has requested that I re-hang her portrait. I grudgingly said I would and last night she upped the ante and said she wanted it hung above the front window. Ruben shot this down immediately, "bitch, he took it down from behind the TV and now you want a prime location?"
            When Connie continued to argue I said in no uncertain terms that it would go along the south-east wall and that there would be no more discussion on the matter. After Connie left (nobody offered to buy her a drink) Ruben told me that the fire department had made another visit to his apartment early in the morning.  It was an interesting story and I will attempt to do justice to it:
           "I woke up around four, and so I turned my TV on. While I was channel searching for my shows I accidentally dropped the channel changer into my piss bucket (because Ruben is confined to a wheel chair he pisses in a bucket and then when it gets full flushes it down the toilet) . So after I got my channel changer out of my piss bucket I washed it off in the sink. So now I needed to dry it off because I didn't want to fuck up the batteries so I wrapped it in a towel and put it in the microwave _ "
             "Microwave!"
             "Yeah, microwave, shmooo, for only three-seconds. But that was even too long because I heard it fucking explode. So now I didn't have my channel changer and so I took the broom and was changing channels with my broom only I had to lean forward and and so I fell out of my wheel chair and so I was fucked. While I was waiting for the fire men I played with my cat. She loves it when I'm on the floor, she rolls over on her belly and meows and stuff like that. She's a  real tramp."
            "How many firemen did it take to lift you up?"
            "Only three."
            "Did they use the chair method this time?"
              "No, they used straps. The fireman all have different methods. So now I need a new channel changer."
            "Why not move your lazy boy close enough to your TV so you can change the channels by hand?"
            "I don't want to go blind, asshole."
              I told Ruben that there was a way of adapting a new channel changer to his TV but that I didn't know how.
               "I'll ask my asshole nephew." 
              The previous day a goofy looking guy named T.... was in. I hadn't seen the guy for a couple of years and he was talking to Ruben. Although he never looked particularly good, he seemed unusually emaciated. He claims to own a second hand store somewhere on the North-West side and he's always trying to scam people. Ruben knows some guys he was in prison with. I told Ruben that the last time T.... was in here he was with some guy that looked like he'd just gotten out of the joint, "you know the type, seven-mile stare, prison tats, punchy..."
            "Yeah, you can spot them a mile a way."
            "Yeah, so T... is up in the window making out with the guy."
            "No shit," Ruben was laughing, " so he came out of the closet."
             "These were two ugly guys open mouth kissing..."
            "Did you say anything?"
            "No. Hell, if you let broads make out I guess you have to allow even ugly guys like T... So anyway, when they are leaving the guy with T.... tries to take out his beer and so I grabbed it from him and he gives me this prison look and says, "if you ever grab anything out of my hand again I'll....' And so I say, 'you'll what cocksucker and so T.... just grabs him and takes him out."
           "No shit?"
            Anya always gets a chuckle out of Alphonso when he starts drinking tequila. Grace is convinced that even though Alphonso can't speak any English, he can understand it. For some reason he started kidding around with Ruben in Spanish. Whatever he was saying irritated Ruben and the more he insulted Alphonso in Spanish, the more the diminutive Alphonso laughed.

     *

         This morning, although overcast, it was still pleasant. There have been no reports of Street Jimmy sightings for the last four or five days. Faggypants is sure he's in jail while I lean toward the nut house.  Hawkeye showed up as did Erica and Jeager the Husky. When Faggypants was describing to Hawkeye how far the two of us were hitting the ball yesterday at the driving range Hawkeye said it had nothing to do with physical strength, "your brain just sent the proper messages to your body, it doesn't make any difference how old you are or how skinny."
           This seemed too insane to even argue with.