Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Ruben Four Toes In The Hospital

                     The complaining neighbor above the bar doesn't want Street Jimmy sleeping behind the garbage cans. She doesn't like the mess he leaves nor does she like opening her garbage can in the morning and seeing "a human body moving around" on the cement. True, Jimmy is messy, however, you need to go out of your way and peer over the garbage cans to see him and the mess. (The mess consists of whatever blanket, rags or cardboard he can sleep on.) This same women professes to have sympathy for homeless people, just not homeless people she comes in contact with. In his defense Jimmy dutifully rolls the garbage cans out of the street (the fat lady garbageman leaves them in the gutter), and he keeps them in a reasonably orderly line. He also discourages other bums from making a mess in his area. Tobin seems to feel we're somehow responsible for Jimmy's behavior because we let him work for us and feed him. Some people might think by giving him a hand we're doing a good deed. I guess one persons good deed is another persons attack on social norms. 
            This morning before I went home I told Jimmy that the lady upstairs is once again on the rag and to watch out. She wants to have a special condo meeting concerning Jimmy and I told Tobin this is one meeting I want to attend. The irate neighbors never seem as irate when I'm present for the condo meetings. 

        *

          After I finished my Monday blog I decided to check out the new extension of the Chicago River Walk. The rain abated and the sun had finally made an appearance; it seemed like short sleeve weather, however, understanding the capricious nature of Chicago's ever changing climate, I brought a long sleeve shirt with me just in case.
          I really like the River Walk, although if I had my way I'd disallow bikes. The tourists can barely keep from falling over as they try and navigate their way through the walkers. You can now walk from Wells Street all the way to the harbor. I especially liked the design of the newest sections tiered concrete steps. They are aesthetically pleasing and great for sitting. A thousand people could easily sit on the steps at one time. Hopefully they'll keep extending the River Walk to Union Station.
           (I read in yesterdays paper that they're planning on bringing the old Union Station out of moth balls and restoring it to its once grand stature. As a kid Union Station was my entryway into the big city. I'd get off the Burlington train and walk into the magnificent cathedral-like lobby and my brain would immediately undergo a galvanic twitching from all the auditory and visual stimulation going on around me. For whatever reasons they downsized the once grand station so I hope they're serious about restoring it to its former grandeur.)
            As I was walking along the River Walk I heard the unmistakable sound of political chanting. Coming across the bridge was a long line of demonstrators. I immediately hurried up the steep stairs in time to see the marchers approaching. They were window washers, and they were not happy window washers. 
There had to be several hundred of them and they were chanting:
            What do we want?
             A contract.
             When do we want it?
              Now!
              No contract,
              No peace.
        
              I was impressed by their militancy. Most of the demonstrators were male Hispanics. There were a few old time white-hack union official types walking with them; the union hacks seemed sheepish and uncomfortable. I don't know what union window washers make an hour, but whatever it is, it's not enough. There isn't enough money in the world to get me to go up fifty stories and hang in mid air washing windows. There were about a  dozen cops marching along side the demonstrators. 
           After the demonstrators crossed Wacker Drive I walked back down the stairs to the River Walk. I sat down on some comfortable new wooden benches directly across the river from Marina City and let the sun caress my 75 year-old cheeks. It was wonderful. While I was relaxing an aggressive black guy in his thirties walked up to me and asked for "eighty cent." I stared at him with a remarkably determined look of kindness and said, "pray to Jesus, my friend, he'll give you a lot more than eighty cents, he'll give you eternal salvation." 
          Running his fingers through his nappy shock of hair, he said, "I jus' needs eighty cent."
           I discreetly dropped my voice lower and answered, "would you like to pray with me, my friend?"
          He mumbled incoherently, his chin extended truculently and started to walk off,  stopped, walked back and said, "wha' kinda bullshit you playin' mutha fucka?"
         "My friend, the sun is out, the birds are singing, let Jesus work his magic so that you might be induced to cultivate habits of probity and ethics. Submit to his love and sin no more; let virtue and kindness be its own reward."
          The guy was tough looking, and for a moment I thought he might toss a punch. I think my reckless indifference as well as my advanced age caught him off guard, and shoving his hands in his pockets he went over to a young couple and tried to hit them up for money.  
           I must have sat there for at least an hour. When the sun ducked behind a high-rise and suddenly cast me in a cool, dark shadow I was glad I'd brought my long sleeved shirt. I immediately got up and walked down to the Columbus Street Bridge. After I walked up the stairs I thought I'd head over to the Billy Goat and have a beer. When I was across from the Gleacher Center, who should I run into but Al Sharpton. The last time I'd seen Al was in New York twenty years ago. He was fat then and had a much longer, greasy perm. The new Al Sharpton is Dick Gregory-anorexic-skinny. Although his perm is shorter, grayer and less ridiculous , he's still got the overly large head which looks completely out of place on top of his new mere wisp of a body. His suit had to be at least a  grand, probably more. Whenever I see Sharpton or Jesse Sr. I'm reminded of the late-great comedian, Lenny Bruce's observation, "any preacher with more than one suit is nothing but a shingle salesman." I would have laid this wisdom on Al but he was moving too fast. He was being followed by a younger, very fat black guy in a blue suit holding an armful of papers. 
          Fortunately the Billy Goat wasn't too crowded. I usually sit by the TV but there were no vacant stools so I sat down in the Wise Guys corner. I recognized Sheila from Chicago sitting by herself. Jeff, the bartender, although he was absorbed in watching Jeopardy, still managed to engage us in conversation. While we were chatting I received a  call from none other than Rick Kogan. This was definitely serendipitous. I'd sent him a message earlier asking him to hook me up with someone who'd gone through the self-publishing process and he called to tell me he had just such a person. When I told him I was across the street from where he works (The Tribune Towers) talking to his favorite bartender,  he said he'd be right over.
          After he showed up he told me about a women writer named E.C. Diskin, who had been on his radio show Sunday night. "She wrote a novel called Green Line. You've got to download my show and listen to her. She submitted her manuscript to a hundred agents, found one who eventually gave up on her, and then self-published. I'll try and contact her and see if she'll talk to you."
          I've always found it useful to consult people that have actually  been through what you want to know about. A doctor who wants to operate on you might know the technical aspects of the operation, but somebody that's gone through the operation knows stuff the doctor doesn't. Therefore, I hope I get a chance to talk to E.C. Diskin.
           While Rick, Chicago Sheila and I were chatting a couple of fellows from California sat down next to Sheila. Jimmy from LA, and John from Lamerade, were nice fellows. They said they'd try and stop by the Ale House before they went back to California. 

         *

        Tobin's Belgian attack dog puppy started boot camp Monday.
         No word yet on Rubens engorged testicles.
         Street Jimmy bursts out laughing whenever the subject of Ruben's oversized testicles comes up.

           *

         Tuesday I took a walk along the boardwalk behind the zoo. Still no night herons. Juke Box Joe swore he saw some nesting in the park. I'm starting to think that Juke Box Joe doesn't know a pigeon from a Canadian goose.

            *

            It's July 1st and I'm wearing a warm shirt and a hoody.

           *

             I just got off the phone with Ruben Four Toes. He's still in the hospital. It was hard understanding him. He must have been drugged up. He was half angry and half laughing. The doctors and nurses are in a quandary about his monster balls and concealed penis. Because of his concealed penis he has a tendency to get infected whenever they place a catheter in his dick, therefore, they have opted to use a large bag. Ruben calls it a "body bag." This has been an enormous failure and Ruben says that he's constantly pissing on the bed. "They keep rolling me over from one side to the other. I told the doctors, I thought you guys were supposed to have gone to college. They've given me three units of blood today. The doctor says, ;where is the blood going?'  I said, how the fuck do I know where it's going, so now they want to sedate me and stick something down my throat but they say I'm not stable enough. My sisters came over and got my cat…" 
            One would think by now the hospital would have figured out a  protocol for taking care of Ruben, but they seem to be at sixes and sevens every time he stops by in order for them to extend his life. He thanked me for calling and asked me to say hi to everyone. When I asked him if he wanted me to stop by he said no, so I told him to call me if he needed anything.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Bud Cupid Giveth, And Bud Cupid Taketh

              Ruben Four Toes balls are swelling up again, and he's not happy. "Amigo," I said in a reassuring voice, "according to your doctors this is much better than all that excess fluid congregating in and around your already seriously screwed up heart. Be a fucking man."
           This exordium did not contribute to the recovery of fat boys flagging spirits, but, on the contrary, reduced him to a condition of sullen anger. Given his unusual physiognomy Ruben should be studied by anthropologists. He's clearly the result of interbreeding between previously separated human species. Psychologists could definitely learn a lot by studying Ruben missing-link ability to adapt to rapidly changing environments. Ill pleased though he was by my suggestion that he man-up, he listened attentively as I explained to him that his extraordinarily large head with its pronounced simian crease, slightly fissured tongue, as well as the pronounced transverse palm line on his discolored hands, can be found among normal human beings as well as our more primitive ancestors. "Ruben, I'm not saying you belong to a sub-human race, you're probably just the result of some prehistorical random genes that turned into an anthropological prank much like Big Foot.  The important thing is that thanks to your concealed penis you haven't been able propagate and pass on your less than human traits and sociopathic mental characteristics. "
           Ruben frowned, it was a martial frown. "Thank you Genius, now move your genius ass and go sit on another bar stool. In other words, go fuck yourself you senile, feeble-minded jag-off."
           "Amigo, all I'm really trying to say is that you seem more inclined to corpulence than becomes your height. Don't get me wrong, I realize I'm far from perfect now that I'm no longer a golden boy; in regard to personal appearance I'm aware that at 75 I'm not the most prepossessing of men. Fortunately, I continue to be the most brilliant man in the room which is sufficient consolation in this rough, tough, take no prisoners game they call life. I just wish you'd take advantage of your personal relationship with the Genius, and learn from me so that in the future you might conduct yourself with a semblance of dignity and class."
           "Fuck you Genius."
           " Ruben, you are one of those men who, although they  fear death - fear present suffering more. That is the reason you spent most of your wasted days and wasted nights taking illicit drugs. You're overwhelmed with taboos, anxieties, phobias and irrational ideas. I'm here to help you, amigo, learn from me, copy me…"
           Rubens flabby face contracted into a sneer, "you're so full of shit, Genius, your eyes are brown." In a voice thoroughly suitable to the importance of the communication he added, "my only hope in life is that I live to piss on your grave. " The thought of pissing on my grave obviously cheered him up as a broad smile suddenly broke out on his copper colored face.

         *

          Irish Anita plans on marrying Limey Andy in Greece or Crete. "Bruce," she said in her distinctive brogue, "if I get married in Ireland I'll have to invite a 150 relatives, most of whom I've only met once or twice in my life. It would be a huge mess." 
         This will be her second marriage and third engagement. Andy seems like a nice chap. He's gregarious, and has a decent sense of humor. Because of  his imperial brow his eyes tend to shift between mirthful and melancholic. The lovely Anita is an excellent writer and longs to write poetry. She's been working on a poem entitled "Hedgerows." She says hedgerows are a ubiquitous feature in Ireland. I encouraged her to write a little every day and trust her imagination. 
          When she asked me how my love life was I sighed. "Anita, I don't have one."
           With a toss of her head she said, "don't worry, Bruce, women come and women go."
           "Alas, Anita, now that I'm 75 they don't come, they just go."

          *

         For the first time in over three years Buzz Kill seems happy. No sooner did he quit his deli job than he fell head over heels for Two Good To Be True Sue. The two love birds regard one another with the sweetest, softest smiles. Someone who didn't know better would imagine from the sound of Buzz Kills voice and the gleam in his eye, that he had neither a sorrow nor care in the world. Over the years Buzz Kill had fallen victim to meditating on not only his own, but other peoples frailties. Inevitably such self-obsession leads to bouts of depression. Two Good To Be True Sue has - at least for the time being - erased Buzz Kills misanthropic, matron in distress, temperament.  Too Good To Be True Sue, is not only attractive and vivacious  but appears thus far to be a warm-hearted, easy-going gal. This is in stark contrast to his former no-nonsense girlfriend.  Hopefully Buzz Kill will not mess this most fortuitous opportunity up.

        *
            
          I had a heart to heart with Dado the other night. Her Stud Muffin just moved to New York. He's a young, affable good looking lad. He did the manly thing and told her that even though he worshiped the ground she walked on, a stallion needs to roam, and he plans on availing himself to the ladies once he's out of town. I told Dado that I think her Stud Muffin did the manly thing, "he could've lied like I would have, and who knows, maybe that would have been better in the long run. But you're a hot chick and should have no problem finding another boy-toy, although personally I think you should move up in age."
         Dado, after giving me a covert look, brushed the tangle of dark brown hair from her forehead and smiled. With a rather sad shake of the head she said, "you're right, I'm definitely going to focus on older guys from now on." And then nodded her head several times as if to say, "but I really like boy-toys so much more than older guys." 
          We both agreed that actors, actresses, and would be actors make bad love objects. In a slightly injured tone Dado went on to describe her broken heart with an engaging air of openness. I find Dado extremely sexy in an off-beat, lascivious, sordid sort of way.

          *

          Street Jimmy spent Friday night in the hospital. "I needed to get a shower an' my clothes  washed."
             In order to accomplish this he tells the hospital that he has bugs. He didn't like the ham sandwich that Fancypants' mom made him because she put mayonnaise on it.
          "Jimmy," I said, "beggars can't be choosers."
          "I don' like mayonnaise, it don' taste good."
            Fancypants said, "my mom makes sandwiches the way she likes to make them, if you don't want to eat it, don't eat it."


          *

         Sunday was the Gay Pride Parade. The homophobic Republicans took it up the ass last week when the fascist dominated Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage. It was a beautiful sunny day and before Fancypants left for the festivities I urged him to exercise good judgment and self-restraint, "remember what happened last year."
         "You sound just like my mother."
         Last year after the Gay Pride Parade Fancypants ended up in the hospital after some suburban shit-eating homophobes beat him up in a blue collar Westchester bar.
          I walked down to the parade around two. Clark Street was jammed with people all the way to Diversey. It was a really up-beat crowd. Unfortunately the anti-gay church demonstrators were using two microphones so I couldn't make myself heard over their homophobic hate speech. I had to satisfy myself with just giving them the finger. 
            I always enjoy the middle-aged leather-boys, and their great outfits. I assume they have their own gay bars. I'm going to ask Marky to recommend a good one because I'd like to pay a visit some night. I'm not into leather of motorcycles, but they seem like interesting fellows. The drag queens are always fun, however, the most interesting people were once again the spectators. When the dark clouds crowded out the sun I walked home through the park. After I picked up my long sleeved shirt I had a late lunch at Topo. I'm sad to report my sea bass was slightly dry and overcooked. 

           *
          
            When I got back to the bar Grace informed me that Ruben Four Toes is back in the hospital. His balls have swollen up to the size of small watermelons.

          *

          Before I left for the Gay Pride Parade I had Tobin email my manuscript to Liz in Santa Rosa. Hopefully she'll agree to edit it for me before I self-publish. While she's checking it out I've got to figure out which of my wonderful artwork I'll be including. I'm definitely going to put my naked Sarah Palin on the cover. D-Train assures me that he can do the graphics on the cover. Hopefully Anthony will give me a blurb.    
              
              

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Hawkeyed Overwhelmed With Guilt

               

                Grace just called and wondered where my blog was? I told her I forgot I was going to start doing it on Thursdays.
              *             
          On my Tuesday stroll I happened to walk behind the Chicago Historical Society Museum. Shortly after Art Klug's death, his ex-wife and business partner, Beatrice, donated money to the Park District to have a tree planted in Art's honor. When she asked me if Art had a favorite tree I gave her question some thought. Art, who had a serious heart condition, was not much into nature. However, one day as we were walking down a tree lined street he pointed at a linden tree in the front yard of the house. "What kind of tree is that, I've alway liked the way they're shaped like a pyramid, and its smooth gray bark?"
             "It's a linden tree, Arthur, and I agree with you, they are one of my favorites, too. They have waxy, heart shaped leaves."
              So when Beatrice asked me about a suitable tree to plant in Arthur's memory, I remembered his fondness for linden trees. A month later Beatrice, who at the time was dying herself of lung cancer, asked a small group of us to watch the six-foot linden tree being planted behind the Historical Society. Unfortunately Bea was too sick to attend the tree planting ceremony. Whenever I chance to be in that area of the park I always stop by Art's linden tree. It is now well over thirty feet tall and is clearly thriving. I think Art would have liked the placement of his tree behind the museum. When I asked Bea if she had a favorite tree she shook her head, no.
               Walking south along the lakefront on a warm summer night is something I dream about all winter. It's the best view in the city; I love the old ornate buildings with their turrets, loggias, and balconies. It's disgusting to see all the trash strewn on the concrete between North Avenue Beach and Oak Street Beach. Each day I find myself more disgusted by the loathsome, fatuous morons that I share the city and country with. When a young lady with pink hair, the color of watermelon, threw a beer can at my feet I said, "guttersnipe, why don't you throw your trash in the garbage can over there."
              The kid she was with looked hopelessly stupid and showed not the slightest trace of embarrassment. 
              The sun made a brief, rather pathetic appearance before it disappeared behind the high-rises along Lake Shore Drive.

        *

            Tobi's sending the Belgian attack dog puppy to boot camp next Monday. Her wrists look like teething rings. She tries to bribe the dog with puppy treats when it misbehaves. Gracie and I use a harsher tone of voice with Fargo when she starts using her teeth. I say no and grab her snout. Tobi, hopefully, will develop a sterner persona when dealing with her high energy slightly out of control puppy.

        *

          Technicolor Karen and Goo Goo stopped by the bar Tuesday night along with Touhy. They'd all bumped into each other at the Billy Goat. Goo Goo had been on a radio show. I hadn't seen Technicolor Karen in months. Like almost all the women I know she gets mad at me from time to time. Being a man of infinite discernment, I have learned to live with what I have defined as angry women syndrome. Yes, from time to time I am guilty of injudicious comments, but that is simply my nature. Technicolor Karen had a whimsical smile on her pretty face when she saw me. With a quaint flutter of her eyelashes she asked me how I was.
           "Well, thank you."
            Goo Goo, smiling his best smile, seemed quite chipper. He pointed at how long his hair had gotten. I like his new look. He said Mike and Denise are back at the Dunes but Mike is reluctant to visit bars since he stopped drinking.
           Touhy, who's now 81, has assumed the mantle of the oldest bar fly in the neighborhood. Hank Oetinger set the gold standard for bar fly's when he got drunk daily at the Billy Goat and Ale house until the age of ninety. I think Touhy has it in him to surpass Hanks record. With an oratorical flourish of his hands, Touhy described his views on life as we know it.
             Technicolor Karen stared at me with a remarkably determined look of kindness. After Touhy bought a  round we repeated the ceremony of clinking glasses and drank with great fellowship to the health and success of everyone sitting at  our table.
            Earlier in the evening the Cougar stopped by. After a bit of friendly banter she lingered a moment, as though to prolong our conversation, and then walked over to Hawkeys and engaged him in conversation for about fifteen minutes.

          *

         Hawkeye called me in a dither the following morning. He said he had to come over to the condo and talk to me. He said he'd just sean Touhy on the street and for some unexplainable reason, when Touhy asked him if he found the black bag with the fancy new decorative handkerchief Touhy had left in the bar the previous night, he said no, he hadn't. 
          "Bruce, I panicked, I found the handkerchief," he said displaying the rather garish piece of cloth, and instead of telling Touhy the truth I said I didn't find it. Maybe you can say you found it and give it to him."
           All things considered, Hawkeye is not of an evil mind or of unscrupulous nature. "Hawkeye, this is easily rectified, I will say Fancypants found the hanky and took it home. He will return it posthaste. Nobody will be the wiser."
          Hawkeye countenance manifested the most distressful emotions. His jaw set firmly, "I feel terrible, I don't know what got into me."
            "Don't worry, I'll handle it, nobody will be the wiser and Touhy will get his hanky back."

            *

            I went to the A Red Orchid Theaters fund raiser last night. Brett Neveu, Kirsten, Ike Holter and Rick Kogan were sitting in chairs describing the theater in general and the A Red Orchid Theaters upcoming season in particular. I found it quite interesting. Tobin bought the ticket and asked me to go. After the discussion the audience was invited to join the panel at Kamahachi. I talked to Rick about my plan to self publish while he smoked a cigarette before going into Kamahachi. He told me he'd help me in anyway he could. Rick's a good guy.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Fathers Day 2015

           

                   Fancypants said he loved the Blackhawks Stanley Cup parade. "It was really packed. I should have brought water because it was really hot and I was dehydrated and almost feinted."
             "How long were you waiting before they came by?"
           "Almost an hour. I don't care, it was still great."
             "If I was a radio or TV producer I would have sent a crew down there to interview the celebrants. I would have asked them if they new the rules like what's the blue line and what's icing. I'll bet ninety percent of the idiots down there wouldn't be able to answer correctly."
               Fancypants took exception to my categorizing Blackhawk fans as being idiots, and assured me that ninety percent of the fans would know the rules.

          *

            Jeff, from the Billy Goat called me. He'd been on vacation and had just  read my blog post where Fancypants claimed to have stopped of at the Billy Goat and Jeff had hugged him and given him a T shirt. Jeff assured me , "Bruce, I don't hug. It must have been Sam who hugged him and gave him the T shirt."
             When I confronted Fancypants he said he told me all along that the hugger was an old man.
            
             *

                   Sunday was Fathers Day. It is traditionally on the last day of the US Open Golf Tournament. Street Jimmy asked me if anyone  wished me happy Fathers Day."
              "One person, Carmella Skaggs."
           "Who's she?"
              "A chick I used to know when I lived in California. She was  married to a famous rock star."
              "What was his name?"
               "You wouldn't know him. Did anyone wish you happy Fathers Day, Jimmy?"
               "Uh, uh."
                "How many kids you got, Jimmy?"
                  "I forgets."

      *
             
                     The United States Golf Association is made up of right-wing, old white men. They are supposed to be golfs conscience. Regardless of the heat these ridiculous oddities wear blazers and ties as they flit about the golf course doing whatever they do. I would love to see their books audited. They take  in millions and I'm sure they only fly first class, eat in the best restaurants and stay at the finest hotels. They, along with their even more class conscious British counterparts, The Royal And Ancient Golf Association, (the emphasis being on ancient) make up the rules of golf. These rules are often arcane and subject to abuse. Their latest meddling concerns putting. Because a couple of pros started winning big  tournaments by tucking long putters against their stomachs and chest these mealy mouthed, constipated capitalist shit-balls decided to outlaw this technique, a technique that has been used primarily by senior pros for the last forty years. I happen to use this technique so I am particularly vexed by this new  rule which will go into effect next February. 
                 Putting, unfortunately is half of golf. It is disproportionately important. Ball striking should be significantly more important than putting. I'd say the ratio should be eight percent ball striking, twenty percent, putting. These disgusting Republican rat bastards are afraid to attack the two most glaring problems plaguing golf right now: slow play and technical innovations. There are a number of things they could do to speed up play, such as allowing a player to leave the pin in when he's on the green, and not letting players walk past their balls until they get on the greens. The pros could have one official ball just like all other pro sports do. The new balls go significantly farther than the old balls. With the new jacked-up golf clubs, ninety percent of the great old courses are now obsolete. The reason they won't do something about the technical advances is because the sporting good companies would sue their superior white asses. 
                   Just how out of  control the USGA has gotten was illustrated by this years US Open. The course, in Tacoma Washington, was a joke. They decided to create a links course in the middle of a lush pine forest. It looked horrible and the players hated it. As if that wasn't  bad enough it was not fan friendly. The gallery could not follow players from hole to hole. There is about a miles walk between the third and  fourth hole. The USGA was involved with the design along with overrated golf architect, Robert Trent Jones. I must admit I got a kick out of watching the best players in the world trying to navigate this tricked up Mickey Mouse travesty of a golf course. Dustin Johnson, who three putted from twelve feet to give the tournament to 21 year Jordan Spieth, put on one of the greatest exhibitions of driving in the history of golf. 
           The greens were not only silly, but didn't roll smoothly. In spite of the negative fallout the USGA will continue to be bullet  proof until somebody gets a hold of their books.

*             

             Ruben Four Toes continues to have problems with his used wheel chair. Whenever I bring up the fifteen thousand dollar brand new electric wheelchair that is just sitting in his living room, Ruben gives me his "I am extremely annoyed look." Ruben maintains that before he can use his new, luxury model wheelchair he has to have bars installed on his wall so he can get out of it and into his regular around the apartment wheelchair. He insists he has to go through channels to get the bars installed in his Chicago Housing Authority apartment.
           "Ruben, you've never gone through channels in your morbidly obese life, why start now? Have one of the boys install the bars."
            Well meant though this suggestion was, Ruben pointed out in series of well chosen words that I was a stupid, brainless, good for nothing piece of shit. "Asshole, you want me to get kicked out of my building? I gotta go through the CHA." 
           Realizing these words had not been lightly spoken I suggested that perhaps he could be a bit more assertive with the CHA. He remained unmoved. Not only is his new-used wheel chair too small for his monster ass, the wheels in front are small and wobbly which make pushing him through the front door difficult because they tend to get caught on a small ridge in the threshold. I am not the only one that believes that Ruben might be afraid to drive the electric wheel chair. Why would a man who had no problem driving big trucks be frightened of navigating a wheelchair? When I suggested as much to my fat friend he said, "I haven't the slightest notion what you're talking about, dumb-fuck."

   *

            Buzz Kill is in love. He met a nice lady named Sue last weekend. There is a  smile on his face and a slight bounce to his step.

       *

          A young lady named Rosemary is writing a story in New City Magazine about Hawkeye and Lemar. The story is about saloon doormen. She interviewed me briefly. I told her that having a Pulitzer Prize winning doorman, as well as another doorman that is the actual son of "Bad, bad, Leroy Brown,  baddest man in the whole damn town, " was definitely worth writing about.

         

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Basket Ball And Tits At The Old Town Ale House

    Sunday night Fancypants called me in a state of subdued  hysterics. His mothers  basement was flooding again and he didn't think he'd be able to come to work Monday morning. It must have been really serious because he said he wasn't watching his beloved Black Hawks win the Stanley Cup. At four-thirty,  Monday morning Fancypants called me and said he'd be coming to work after all. I thought it was pointless to once again explain that I would prefer being called after six, as occasionally I'm asleep at four. When he showed up he was sporting a massive bruise on his right bicep. "I fell while I was mopping the floor. The cleaning lady put something on the floor and when it flooded it was like an ice rink. How long do you think it will take before the bruise goes away."
         "A couple of weeks. You certainly won't be going to the beach looking like that any time soon. You look more like an NFL football player than a twink."
          This jibe provoked a swift critique of the cleaning ladies carelessness. 

          *

           Street Jimmy was awakened by the city garbage trucks Tuesday morning. "When the garbage lady see me sleepin' behind tha cans she let out a yell like she was seein' a dead body or sumpthin'."
           This intrigued me, "Jimmy, how did you manage to sleep outside in all that rain."
           "I waited 'till it stop."
             Jimmy purloined a dustpan during the art fair. It was almost new and had a long handle on it. When he asked me how much I'd give him for it I told him to put it outside. "I don't need a fucking dustpan."
           "But it better than the old one." 
           "Jimmy," Fancypants said placing his hands on his hips, "are you totally crazy, you're the guy who uses the dustpan, why should Bruce buy a dustpan for you that you're going to use?"
          "Danny's right," I said defiantly, " the old dustpan is fine, so throw your nice spiffy new one out."
            "The ol' one is cracked."
             "So."
              After another critique of his intelligence from Fancypants, Jimmy said, "you right, Danny, I won't charge Bruce nothin'."

             *

           Blaze Star died, she was 83. I saw her perform twice in New York in the late sixties and early seventies. I still remember how sexy she was. I've always had a starry-eyed kid attraction to hot strippers. The bartender in the strip joint told me the sleazy looking black guy down the bar from me was her boyfriend. "He's got a two hundred dollar a day heroine habit that she pays for." If you could combine Blaze Star, Candy Bar and add a little Ava Gardner you'd have my all time dream sex object. There is something about these nympho southern girls that creates an ape like reaction in me. Candy Bars porn movie is one of my all time favorites.

*    
                   
           Tuesday night at the Old Town Ale turned out to be a fun filled evening of basketball and tits. Forty years ago  I had season tickets to the Golden State Warrior basketball games. They were great seats one row behind the visitors bench, so it was with a bit of nostalgia that I watched the current warriors win their first NBA championship since the State of California suggested that it would be mutually beneficial for all concerned if I would return to my native Chicago as quickly as possible. I watched Tuesdays game with a couple of the guys from the hardware store. Although we were technically  rooting for Golden State, it would be more accurate to say we were rooting against LeBron James. LeBron is the undisputed best player in basketball, but he aroused the universal ire of knowledgeable basketball fans everywhere when he left Cleveland for Miami. His press conference at the time insured that he would forever be perceived as a simple-minded-dip-shit. Coming back to hometown Cleveland was a smart move but he is still a dip-shit.
             I suppose it wasn't just the anti-LeBron sentiment that caused us to root for Golden State - Steve Kerr, the rookie Warrior coach is a former Bull and played on three Bulls championship teams, so there was definitely some pro Steve Kerr sentiment involved in our rooting. Unfortunately the Warriors played a lot like rookies, with a rookie coach at the helm. It was all around bad basketball. Sloppy, poor shooting, terrible rebounding, atrocious defense, and peculiar coaching decisions on both sides. Cleveland had three of their best players hurt and so even playing badly the Warriors managed to win. 
             While I was engrossed in watching the game Karen the Cougar came in and sat down next to me. The Cougar said she's turning sixty in a few days. I don't know if she's had work done, but she certainly doesn't look sixty. She's always had a nice body. She says she runs and walks a lot. When I told her how slim and trim she looked she said, "I've got small tits."
            "Cougar, let me be the judge." 
             The Cougar has a curious, strained sweetness that makes her hard to read. She stares at you through black horn rimmed glasses like a general forming a battle plan. When she leaned forward and showed me her tits it was clear that she considered it an act of simple kindness. Mike who was bar tending seemed disappointed that he didn't get a look. 
           "Cougar, those are very nice tits."
            "They're not very big."
             "But they're perky."
             The Cougar then squeezed her tummy and bemoaned the fact that she had a tiny bit of belly fat. "I don't look good naked anymore."
               "Nonsense Cougar, I think you'd look great naked. When a devastatingly popular fellow such as myself, and a connoisseur of all things pussy would love to get you naked and do naughty things to you, I would think you'd be flattered." 
              The Cougar is anything but shy. She is a business women, and tends to approaches sex as just another type of business arrangement. 
               "I'm thinking of writing a book, what do you think I should write about," she said twisting her fingers around a strand of her tightly pulled back black hair. 
              "Adultery. It's a subject you're an expert on and it's very commercial."
               Her lips parted in a quick, tightly drawn smile. "You're right, people are interested in adultery."
               When I described watching her ex-husband strike out on a computer date a couple of months ago she listened to me with gloating delight. While we were thus engaged Pub Crawl Liz came in and sat down on the other side of  me. Liz just returned from a two month globe trotting vacation. Hawkeye and Liz are leading our Scotland excursion next month. When I asked Liz how she was able to finance her most recent world travels she was vague. "I don't have kids, when you don't have kids you can afford to do various things…"
               After the Cougar said goodbye and I was just about to call it a night, Sarah from New Mexico came in with Hotel Karen. It doesn't seem that Sarah's been gone five years, but that's what she said. Although Karen still lives in the neighborhood she stopped coming in after her former roommate moved back to New Mexico. The girls lived almost next door to me on Cleveland Street for several years. Sarah, who is tall and has a pretty face has a much more cavalier toward sex than the Cougar. It's not a big deal to her and given our proximity I got my finger wet a couple of times with the ready-for-action-red-head. 
            Hotel Karen showed me a picture of her and Bill Clinton. Karen, who's a brunette,  looks a lot like Monica Lewinski. This is why her friends at the hotel think Bill posed for the picture with her - she's his type. I told the girls that Ruben Four Toes will be sorry he missed seeing them. "He just asked about you two a couple weeks ago." 
             Years ago I did a wonderful painting of Sarah dancing with Ruben. He's wearing a zoot-suit and I captured her Kardashian ass perfectly. She has tried on numerous occasions to get me to give her the painting. I like the painting so I'm really not sure she could have done anything sordid enough to get me to give it to her. Before I said goodbye the three of us posed for a picture. Pub Crawl Liz took the picture. I deftly placed my hand on Sarah's right tit and tapped her nipple with my forefinger. I wish there was someway I could get the photo onto my blog.

          *

          Tobin went to her first puppy class sans puppy (it was just an introductory lecture) in the rainstorm. She said she learned a lot and had been doing about ten things wrong thus far. Hopefully she pursues puppy class rigorously because I like the puppy, she has a lot of personality and seems extremely smart. The puppy had a serious nightmare while I was babysitting her the other day.

          *

           Jimmy said some asshole white boys were pushing over garbage cans and pulling out flowers on Wells Street after the Hawks won the Stanley cup.
            "Ya know Jimmy, I've developed a serious hatred of white boys over the years."

      *

           Wednesday night Ruben Four Toes switched wheelchairs. Butcovich brought another used one in because Ruben's old chair has a cracked wheel. One would think switching wheelchairs wouldn't be that big a deal, and for most people it wouldn't, however, not only is Ruben four hundred pounds and missing a leg, he has absolutely no upper body strength. Lee and I watched Hardware Nick and a couple of conscripted civilians lift Ruben up while Gracie tried to adjust the cushions. They did this three times, and each time Ruben told Gracie that she didn't get the cushions right. "My ass hurts, all the weight is on my ass." With a pained expression on his huge-fleshy-copper-colored face he said, "goddmanit Gracie, the pillows are still fucked up." This time I had the unenviable task of hoisting Ruben's ass cheeks while Nick and one of the civilians raised him by the arms. Gracie finally managed to get the pillows right and order was restored.
           Ruben's got a very expensive electric wheelchair which he has not yet used because he needs handicap bars installed in his apartment so he can pull himself in and out to the wheelchair.

       *

        A women stopped me on the street and was bitching about Street Jimmy being "too assertive." She lives on Weiland Street. She's kind of cute with a tiny doll-shaped nose and large passive brown eyes. I told her that Jimmy needed to be assertive to survive on the street. "Meek, unassertive street bums don't last long in this urban jungle environment. Assertiveness is a necessary survival quality." She had a whiney tone as she begged to differ with me.

       *

        Tobin said that she is not allowing any of her business colleagues in Hyde Park to interact with her Belgian attack dog. Her colleague in chief smacked the puppy twice and each time the puppy nipped him and tore his shirt. Tobin's puppy trainer does not believe in hitting dogs. Street Jimmy, however, does. 
         "Ya gotta hit 'em or they won't be mean."

        *

        It's Thursday morning and Fancypants is in a hurry to clean the bar so he can get down to the Blackhawk victory celebration by ten. When I told him I thought he was going to get caught in a downpour he shrugged, "this is too important to miss."

        * 

          A giant shout out to Pope Franny. He just condemned mans role in global warming. Of course we know all Catholics are unrepentant hypocrites, nevertheless, it has to give a few of them pause. I wonder what Mitt will have to say about this?

          *

         Henceforth, I'm going to try and publish my blogs on Thursdays instead of Fridays.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Chiraq

                    Animal training classes are really for humans and not pets. Tobin is a case in point - little Fargo, the Belgian attack dog, appears to be emerging as the alpha bitch in their relationship. This is not good, especially with that breed of dog. When Fargo growled at Gracie over a bone Gracie whacked her on the snout with her finger and raised her voice, and Fargo immediately rolled over into the submissive position. Tobin is too doting. Perhaps obedience class will teach Tobin how to become the alpha bitch? Tobin left the front door unlocked and the screen door partially ajar so that every mosquito on Cleveland Street was waiting for me to let them in the condo Sunday morning.

       *

        The newly elected Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, is even worse than expected. He has doubled the salaries of his staff and key cabinet positions while trying to destroy unions and take away the safety net for the poor. When he ran for governor he bought the support of some prominent South Side black preachers. These preachers are despicable whores, and respect money and privilege in that order. They view the world with hungry, lecherous eyes. They are envious, evil men who prey on the poor and the ignorant. Preachers like reverend Jakes who drive luxury cars and spend lavishly on adornment can be bought and sold by white politicians like Rauner for nickels and dimes. 
          So the question is, what say these Uncle Tom preachers now that Rauner has shown his true anti-poor colors. This is where we really miss a reporter like the late Mike Royko. He would have crawled up Rev. Jakes ass like a  proctologist looking for a misplaced Rolex. What's left of the press in Chicago seem clueless when it comes to these simple, self explanatory stories.
          Speaking of the South Side of Chicago, Spike Lee is having sport with the semi-retarded mostly black politicians that want him to change the title of his upcoming movie about gang violence in a black section of Chicago. The controversial title, Chiraq, is apparently used by rappers to describe how violent Chicago's inner city neighborhoods have become. Some of the more intellectually challenged moron aldermen are furious that Spike  might make the city look bad. (Hell, there's about ten murders a night in our toddling town, and about fifty shootings in Chiraq. How can the city look any worse?) When Spike wanted to chip-in and help out with a traditional South Side Catholic Church block party the wards rookie black alderman tried to block the event. Lee and the white priest who hosts the block party laughed at the alderman and had the block party anyhow. I imagine some politician with and IQ over 100 explained to the retarded alderman that having the police break up a block party where thousands of his  constituents were having fun would not be politically beneficial. And so it goes in Chiraq. 

      *

         Ruben continues to play grab-ass with PP. He told me Saturday night that grabbing a chicks ass is fine, however, "grabbing their pussies you need permission. I accidentally grabbed PP's pussy when I put my hand down on her bar stool when she was sitting down. I did the manly thing and apologized."
         PP came in Saturday night with Andy the Libertarian. She says she's going to meet up with her Australian boyfriend, who Ruben has nicknamed Crocodile Dundee, in Bali, Indonesia. 

         
        * 

        Buzz Kill closed the bar Friday night. He was drinking whiskey. When I saw him last night he had the look of someone with a bad toothache. 

        *

         The weather was surprisingly good for the two local art fairs Saturday. It didn't rain until around eight. The Blackhawk hockey games always hurts business, however, when they win we get some spillover from the sports bars. It's hard to mistake a hockey fan with their ubiquitous Blackhawk jersey's.
         The fruit flies seem to love Baby Ruben T shirts. I don't think the fruit flies are as bad as they were last year, nevertheless, they're very annoying. 

        *

        There was a picture in the paper of Yoko Ono posing with Mayor Emanuel. It was a distressing sight. She's going to create a mysterious work of art in Jackson Park. This women face looks like a repository for flying insects. When she speaks it's as if her vocal chords have tightened into a noose. With her shrieks and high pitched tones she is incapable of  coherent speech. Clearly the drugs had reduced John Lennon's brains to monkey vomit by the time he crawled into bed with this hideous shrew. She's entitled this planned work of art "Sky Landing." I am reminded of Yeats poem, "The Second Coming,"  when I think of what Yoko Ono has in mind for Chiraq: 
                And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
                Slouches toward [Chicago] to be born?

             So far mayor Emanuel has not shown himself to be an aesthete. The new Maggie Daley park is a grotesque abortion. This once idyllic park overlooking the lake has been turned into a place to desensitize small children. Not only is it an eyesore, it's a very costly eyesore. I did not know Maggie Daley, she married Richie so we know her judgement was far from perfect, however, I think  from what little I've heard about her she'd be mortified to have her name attached to this monstrosity.

        *

        The lovely Anita is engaged to an Englishman. This will be the Irish bombshells third engagement and second marriage.

       *

         This morning the rain had almost stopped by the time I headed for the bar, but navigating the pools of water and occasional vomit kept me alert. I don't hate art fair weekend, but I don't care for it either. We get a lot more people during the day, but they are not the type of sophisticates and bon vivant's you dream about. By ten the weather started to clear up. Hawkeye tosses an art fair party every year in front of his house on St. Paul Street. The sun was shinning and the birds were singing when I walked over to Hawkeye's at about three. Normally I walk through the Triangle Art Fair but I was in no mood to be jostled about by troglodyte tourists and so I went straight to Hawkeyes. Al the Playwright was holding forth when I sat down. Leonard and the judge were also sitting in the shade enjoying the now lovely weather. The Playwright is a fascinating chap, and never boring. He submitted his most recent play to a mayor theater company a month ago and was rejected. The Playwright does not handle rejection well and excoriated the casual manner in which his play was dismissed by the powers that be. I thought he might possibly have handled the situation with a little more finesse, but then who am I to criticize someone else for lacking finesse?
           When the conversation turned to chicks with dicks the Judge seemed a bit uneasy and announced that Leonard and her had another party to attend. No sooner had they left than an attractive women almost my age and Grasshoppers former girlfriend joined us. They live in the same building down the street. The women my age is the daughter of a famous (infamous?) former Chicago "killer cop". It was interesting listening to her describe growing up in an Italian family with her notorious policeman father.  All in all I had a lovely time.
         Gracie was bar tending at the Ale House and it was only a bit more crowded than usual. The two blonde cutie pie kindergarten teachers came in with some members of their kick ball team. They lavished a great deal attention on Street Jimmy. Jimmy sat at their table and was in hot chick heaven.    

        








Friday, June 12, 2015

Republican Bros Without Hos

               Wednesday was my 75th birthday. It was low key. In the morning when I got home from the bar I called my old friend Spike in Florida. I've known Spike since sixth grade. We have the same birthday and one of us has called the other every June 10th for the last fifty some years. Spike did not sound well; he's been fighting leukemia for over ten years and every couple of years has to go in for more chemo. This has not stopped him from negotiating to buy a country and western bar twenty-five miles from Orlando. His adopted daughter just graduated from high school. He's not sure what she wants to do. One of these winters I'm going to jump in my car and drive down to Bradington Florida and visit him. 
             A bunch of people wished me happy birthday on Facebook but every time I tried to see who they were FB froze my wall. I don't know why they're still fucking with me because I've been almost a perfect gentleman on FB for the last week. Gracie called from Maryland to wish me a happy birthday. She managed to track down the photo's of the art work I'd sent to Ecco Press. This was great news because now that I'm self publishing Last Night At The Old Town Ale House I'm going to need the illustrations. Anthony wanted a pertinent painting at the beginning of each chapter. Now that I'm calling the shots I might also put some of the paintings at relevant sections inside the chapters. (Goo Goo thought I should do the whole book in paintings.) My agent said that it costs considerably more  to reproduce illustrations in color and so other than the cover the paintings will all be in black and white. I've pretty much decided to use Sarah Palin on the cover. Gracie thinks D-Train can photo shop the title of the book over Sarah's pussy and nipples. 
             There were only a few people in the Ale House when I went there last night. The Actress stopped by to wish me a happy birthday. It was nice seeing her. Hawkeye gave me a marvelous gift. It's some kind of frying pan or hot plate. He's going to teach me how to cook fish on it. This would be great because I love sea food but don't love going to restaurants. He's also going to teach me how to bake potatoes. When the Defense Attorney asked me what I had for my birthday dinner I said, "a can of corn and some left over chicken I bought at Jewel the previous days."
             "That's no birthday dinner. Why don't you come with the Inventor and me to Topo Gigio?"
              "Because I'm not hungry. As shocking as this may sound, since I've turned seventy I rarely eat when I'm not hungry."

    *

           Ranalli called me Tuesday. "Bruce," he said, "do not write this on your blog. This morning I took the worst fucking hit I've taken in thirty years. I was walking down Lincoln Avenue when some broad pushing a baby buggy talking on a cell phone drove over my toes. I'm wearing goddamn sandals and so I let out a yelp and step back and catch the heel of my sandal on a brick or something and I go down. I've been hit hard but when my head hit the cement I thought I wasn't getting up. My arms were bleeding and I'm laying on the sidewalk and some women about sixty is trying to help me up and she says, 'I'd want someone to help my dad if he fell down."
            This made me laugh. Ranalli is three years older than I am and now we have sixty year old women treating us like we're they're fathers.
           "Yeah," Ranalli was laughing too, "and while the women's trying to help me up the broad who ran over my foot is a half block down the street still talking on her fucking cell phone. Today is Lindy's birthday and so we're going to my daughters for dinner. I probably should be taking it easy but what are you gonna do?"
He said he'd just gotten back from Prague, Germany and Paris. Lindy, his girlfriend, takes very good care of the irrepressible Italian. Ranalli has a great gift for descriptive language and I enjoyed listening to him expound on the virtues of travel. Ranalli definitely hit the lotto when he captured Lindy's heart.

            *

            Since I created my Dunes arboretum I rarely complain about too much rain. However, it would be nice to have a non rainy day once in a while. I need to get to the Dunes soon and see what's going on, but I don't want to lose momentum on the final edit of Last Night At The Old Town Ale House. Unfortunately the photo's Gracie retrieved are incomplete. It's a huge pain in the ass taking the pictures out of their frames and then taking them outside to be photographed. Well, if I have to do it again, I guess I'll have to do it again. Fuck.

   *

         There's a doves nest above the front door of the condo. She made the nest in the climbing hydrangea I planted when we first moved in. I only have seen one baby dove, and it looks almost big enough to fly away. There are a number of baby rabbits running around my tiny yard. There aren't any cats prowling around this year so maybe they'll make it. A rat ran in the front door of the Ale House the other night. What can you do if they just run in off the street? Mitt and I tried stomping it but it was too quick.

        *

         Street Jimmy continues to sleep outside in spite of the rain. His brain is deteriorating at an alarming rate. He can't remember which days he's supposed to sweep outside nor can he remember how Fancypants wants him to place the chairs. As he studied the chairs he shook his head, as was his habit and said, "does this look right to you?"
           "No, it doesn't. One would think that after five years you'd remember how to arrange the chairs. Jimmy, even the bravest and most honorable among us have our weaknesses, that said, you seem to have a great deal more of these weaknesses than the average adult male. Could it be that crack has turned your brain to giraffe vomit?"
         Jimmy did not appear amused.

         *

         Senator Mark Kirk, made a rather amazing off-the-cuff remark yesterday that was picked up on a live mic. Referring to the Blanche Dubois of US senators, Lindsey Graham, who's running for the presidency, Kirk said of his confirmed bachelor colleague, "he's a bro without a ho. That's what we call it on the South Side." Now this statement coming from the Republican senator from Illinois is amazing on a number of levels: Kirk is himself a bachelor, although he was technically married to a "beard" wife for a number of years. It's common knowledge that Kirk is as gay as pink ink. When he voted against the gay marriage bill a few years ago the gay-rights muscle boys told him if he didn't change his vote pronto they'd out him faster than shit exiting a gooses ass. They also leaned on Lindsey Graham to change his vote or suffer the same consequences. Both Kirk and Graham changed their votes. (The vote may have involved gays in the military, however the point is, these two well known homosexuals had to come out of the closet long enough to make the correct votes.) 
          Phony morality has always been the Republican politicians Achilles heel. Denny Hastert, the bumbling butt-hole-bandit former speaker of the house is a classic example of Republican hypocrisy. Hastert voted against every gay rights bill even though he spent much of his life popping young wresters up the pooper. So now Kirk, who suffered what Evangelical Christians would call a "Jesus is punishing you for your sins because you are a  faggot"   stroke a few years ago has gotten caught again saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. This is not the first time the idiot, who's a pathologic liar, has gotten caught with his lace panties down. He lied about being in combat, about military honors he's received and questionable business deals. The only reason he's a senator is because the Illinois Dems ran a crooked Greek banker named Giannoulias against him. The only thing  simpleton Giannoulias had going for him was that he used to play pick-up basketball with Barack. 
              So now Kirk has to deal with the racial connotations of "bro without a ho," the anti-female reference to women as "ho's" and most hilarious of all, the implication that the limp wristed Senator Graham doesn't have a wife. True, Lindsey is swishier than Kirk, but not that much swishier. You would think the last thing in the world Kirk would want to do is questions another mans sexuality. Lindsey says that if he's elected president (fat chance) he'll have revolving first ladies. Actually, if the simpering little toilet seat sniffer became president he could have his main squeeze, John McCain be his first laddie. The two war mongers are virtually inseparable. 

           *

         Gracie is home from Maryland. She seems as good as can be expected after the sudden death of her beloved wire haired griffon, Eli. Hopefully her other dog, Arthur, will bond with Tobin's Belgian attack dog puppy, Fargo. Fargo was in the bar this morning. Street Jimmy is fascinated with Fargo. I told him that not only was Fargo going to be much bigger, "but she is faster than a German Shepherd and when she attacks she can jump six feet in the air and instead of going for your throat like a wolf, she'll just bite you in the face. It's the kind of dog they're using to hunt down the two convicts in New York."
           "No shit. Damn, she gonna be a real killer."
            Fancypants ran over to Walgreens to get Gracie a sympathy card. Gracie called me a few minutes ago and said that D-Train sent her a really lovely sympathy card. D-Train is a complicated man, and often surprises me with his thoughtfulness and sensitivity.