Saturday, September 24, 2016

Yowza

      
       I overslept this morning. This happens when the seasons start to change. Because of my highly evolved central nervous system I'm more affected by the position of the moon and sun then most mere mortals. Since I've restricted myself to drinking Polish martini's and going home earlier, my sleeping has improved significantly. On my way to the Ale House this morning, at approximately 8:30 ,who should I see crouching next to a garbage can in the alley between Cleveland and Hudson, than Street Jimmy. When I called his name he turned abruptly;  when he realized it was me  he smiled. It was a sad smile. I wagged my finger accusingly, "Jimmy, aren't you supposed to be at work?" Of course Jimmy would have been perfectly within his rights to ask me the same question. Instead he shrugged and walked toward the other end of the alley. 
         By the time I reached Dunkin' Donuts he'd caught up with me. 
         "Jimmy, I've been looking all over the neighborhood for you. I was worried that something happened to you."
         He gave me an odd look, "you jus' on your way to the lounge, you ain't been lookin' for me. It ain't even eight…"
        "It's past 8:30."
         "No it ain't."
         "Where's your little scooter?"
          "Flower store, I needs a bike."
          "You can't take care of a bike. You either sell your bikes or they get stolen. A scooter is perfect for you."
         "If you gets me a bike I lock it to the post."
         "You don't have a lock."
         "I gets one."
          After I unlocked the front gate Jimmy said Don was still at large. "He actin' real crazy. He say he don' care if he go back to the penitentiary…"
         "Great, so he'll just keep breaking windows."
          Jimmy said he had an altercation with a big white boy on Sedgwick last night. "He big as hell, an' he be actin' crazy, talkin' to himself, an' he call me a nigger…"
        "He called you a nigger on Sedgwick Street!"
         "Yeah, he come after me. I wished I had a pipe."
        "Well, I don't care how big the white boy is, Sedgwick is not the place to be tossing the N word around. Was he looking for dope."
         "He live across the street from Marshall Field Apartments."
         "Point this guy out to me."
          "I gonna definitely hit him with a pipe."
          "Good luck."

         *

         The Cub fans continue to be the lowest form of pond life. I've never had a problem with the real fans -- the fans that grew up going to Wrigley Field since they were kids. Sure they're obnoxious, and have learned to embrace losing with an almost religious zealousness, but at least they've paid their dues. It's the new, Yuppy fans that are particularly loathsome. These fair-weather fans remind me of the types of insects and reptiles you find under slimy rocks. My friend Pauly Ansell is a perfect example of the new, ersatz Cub fan. He is totally ignorant of anything to do with sports, but now, suddenly, he's got Cub fever. Hawkeye also feigns an interest in the Cubs. 
        Ronny Woo Woo is a deranged black man who has been attending Cub games in his Cub uniform (including spikes) since the Sixties. He is the personification of a loser Cub fan. He walks around the park making bizarre woo woo sounds while chanting the names of Cub players. I'm really sorry I didn't get a picture of Woo Woo in a Sox uniform in 2005 when he walked into the Billy Goat while the Sox were playing in the World Series. Pauly Ansell has become the Ronny Woo Woo of Hillary supporters. To read Pauly's remarks on the internet,  Hillary is the most perfect human being to ever walk the face of the earth. Of course were going to vote for her, but she's the antithesis of perfection. 

        *

        Last night at the Old Town Ale House a fellow named Tracy introduced himself to me while I was seated at the bar. He was from LA, and had seen the Ale House on Parts Unknown. He was quite interesting and we chatted for almost an hour. 
        Cougar was dressed casually. She is leaving for San Francisco this morning. As soon as she arrives in California she's renting a car and taking highway 1 to LA. There's a convention she plans on attending, and then she's going to spend some time with her free spirit daughter, Chloe.
       I drove highway 1 from San Francisco to LA forty or fifty years ago; I could not tell you how beautiful it was because I'm frightened of heights and was in a state of terror for most of the trip. The drive along Highway 1 in Marin County is particularly daunting. I drove Tobin and Gracie along the narrow, scenic, mountain  road when Gracie was less than a year old. I was almost hyperventilating as I prayed to Satan no trucks or cars would come from the other direction.  Cougar's ex-husband  came in the bar while she was telling me about her upcoming trip. He is very garrulous and after listening to him for over half an hour I told Cougar I was calling it a night. She immediately jumped up from her bar stool and said she was coming with me. 

    *


               Trumps brain damaged sons. They're into killing exotic animals. The fruit did not fall far from the trees.



                         Little Miss Flint giving Barack an emotional hug.          

Little Miss Flint unable to conceal the fear and loathing of having Trump touch her.




      John Kass replaced legendary newspaper columnist, Mike Royko. This was the ultimate fuck you from the Tribune to Royko. Kass suffers from the classic, short ugly guy syndrome. It's not just that he's a horrible writer  -- which he is -- he's also a knuckle dragging, ultra-right-wing Tea Bagger. As if that isn't bad enough he belongs to a primitive religion called Greek Orthodox. His heavy, dull eyes are surrounded by wrinkled , dead skin. He has the countenance of an abject reptile. There is a self indulgent moroseness to his persona that I think he affects to convey gravity. The inflection of his voice is guttural. He is not even highly esteemed by the right-wing goons he writes so lovingly about.



    I would love to see Barack rip Putin's eyeballs out and shove them down Putin's nostrils and then pull them out of Putin's ears. Trump loves Putin. I wonder how much money Trump owes Putin? 



             

For some reason most people don't recognize VP candidate, Mike Pence embracing Fat-Assed Trump when they look at my painting. I refuse to change the title from "Goldilocks and the Thee Bitches," to Pence, Trump, Gingrich and Christy. People sicken me with their stupidity.







             




Friday, September 23, 2016

The Fugitive

           


           One must not always think that feeling is everything. Art is nothing without form. 

          I am in absolute agreement with Flaubert. It's the chief reason I'm not a jazz buff; it is why I dislike shit-on-a-stick abstract art. (Don't get me wrong, I dig a lot of de'Kooning and Pollock, but there is a form to their best work, or at least a series of reoccurring patterns. Formlessness is also my main criticism of improv theater. Pinter lacks form. His plays are nothing more than a series of character studies. Great for actors, but ultimately unsatisfying to the audience. I admit to having slightly reactionary views on art, music and literature. I'm a classicist at heart.

        *

        My daughters is still too busy to take an hour out of her hectic day and send me photo's of the art she took from Indiana to Maryland. These are some of my best paintings and I'd like to share them. Alas.

        *


We all miss Fancypants




       Then Governor Sandford, currently a US Representative, fingering his soul mate while his wife looks on in horror.







                 Newt giving it to Collista while his two ex-wives look on in horror.



             Jesse Jackson Junior and the white chick he gave the sixty-five-thousand dollar Rolex too. Junior went to jail for stealing. His wife just got out of jail  - also for stealing. Wouldn't it be great to see senior do a little time before he cashes in his chips? Great family.




         

          Nobody I know has heard from Howie since he left town. Hope he's well.





             *

            Last night at the Old Town Ale House Michaela Junior and  Charles A. made separate  appearances. Michaela Junior, who is presently a Chicago cop, and her dad, Touhy, were sitting together at the bar when I finished unplugging the urininal in the mens restroom. I've known Michaela Junior since she was a little kid. I rarely see her or her two brothers since her mom died. When she asked me to inscribe my book, Last Night At The Old Town Ale House, to her, I wrote: "To the only girl I would ever have pulled a job with." Her late mom, Mike, thought that was the highest form of complement I could have possibly bestowed upon her darling daughter. Michaela had a very interesting take on Fat-Assed Trumps condemnation of the shooting in Tulsa of an unarmed black man by a white woman cop: "There's been plenty of equally egregious shootings by white male cops caught on video, isn't it interesting that male chauvinistic pig Trump picked out the only one of a white woman cop shooting someone to condemn."
         I hadn't thought of this until Michaela suggested it. Of course it makes total sense. The guys been a sexist pig his entire life. He's justified rape in the military because women have no business serving with men. While I was talking to Touhy and Michaela, Charles A. arrived with three Community College colleagues of his. Charles has recently received a better job out East and will be leaving his current job with Chicago's City Colleges in a week. Between his demanding job, and his wife and two sons, Charles has very little time for his old pal Bruce. While I was regaling his colleagues with Charles stories, Cougar joined us up in the window. She told Charles that he resembled his sister Ida. In fairness, Ida looks much cuter than Charles. One of Charles colleagues, Mary Ann, was particularly hot. She promised to visit the Ale House as soon as an opportunity presented itself. 
         It's possible that Charles might disappear from sight all together once he moves out East. On-A-Leash, his wife, keeps the leash short. Anyway, we wish Charles luck in his new endeavors. His two very young sons are quite precocious.

         *

         Two detectives were in the bar the other night looking for Street Jimmy. When I relayed this information to Jimmy he didn't seem concerned. "I didn' do nothin' ."
       "The dicks said it wasn't a criminal matter."
        "Las' time I was in court the judge tell the cops they be stupid to keep arrestin' me all the time. I done lots of good things. I stopped a dude from raping a broad in the alley one time. The cops thanked me. China an' me was livin' in the alley an' I heard her a lady scream and I chased the dude away…The cops probably jus' wanna know how I be doin'…maybe they wants to ask me 'bout Don. He wasn't around this mornin'. Maybe the cops was his parole agents? Parole agents can toss your ass in prison…"
        "No they can't. They have to take you to County. They can't just take you to Stateville."
          Jimmy disagreed, "parole agent can toss your ass right back in prison without no trial or nothin'…"
        "Jimmy, first you go to County, then a judge agrees that you violated your parole, then they have to find the right prison to put you in…"
         "Uh, uh…Don be a fugitive jus' like in that movie. Did you see the "Fugitive" movie?"
         "Yeah."
         "It one of my favorite movies."
         "The star used to come in the Ale House when he was a kid. He and his brother were carpenters."
         "Damn, I woulda liked to have met him."
          "It was 1961 or 62, you weren't around then."
          Jimmy said when he woke up this morning outside St. Michael's church he smelled food. "It smell real good. They say I can't have a plate until everyone gots there's."
         "Don't worry , Tobin made some spaghetti for you."
          "Can I have it now, I'm hungry as hell."
          "Sure, why not."
            Jimmy said after he finished sweeping he was going over to the hardware store and get Jose to fix the wheels on his tiny scooter.
        
        

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Michelle In Atlanta

            Michelle in Atlanta sent me a message inquiring about the availability of Genius paintings. She's under the impression that most of the paintings on my Genius Web Site are gone. I know some are. Fortunately I have lots more in Indiana. When Pub Crawl Liz, or some other internet expert pal of mine is available, I'll go to Indiana and bring some back and post them, so fear not Michelle from Atlanta.   

          *

           Words, words, mere words, no matter from the heart.

           The kiss you take is better than you give.

           I only saw "Troilus and Cressida" performed once. It was a matinee in a London park. It was a lovely afternoon, and the actors seemed to be having a great deal of fun. The play, however, is a complete mess. It seems like every character in Homer's the "Iliad and the Odyssey", is crammed into this study in self-indulgent hubris. The actor who played Achilles was quite entertaining. 

           And sometimes we are devils to ourselves
          When we will tempt the frailty of our powers,
          Presuming on their changeful potency.

       The actor that played Troilus was a queer looking, truncated figure. A jowly, balding forty year old fellow played Hector. I think the problem I had with the production was there were no heroes. Every character was a pompous, affected, self-absorbed prig. Cressida was a smart-alecky self-conscious chick, with dull, lifeless red-hair. I listened to the actors with bored tolerance. It was only upon reading the play that I realized how many great lines it contained. I'm sure there's been a few intrepid directors over the years that have restructured this botched masterpiece and made it watchable.

           Beauty, wit,
           High birth, vigor of bone, desert in service,
           Love, friendship, charity, are subjects all
           To envious and calumniating time.
           One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.

         *

          Shakespeare would have had lots of fun with Fat-assed Trump, much fatter Chris Christy, as well as repellently ugly, Rudy Giuliani. Watching Trump sitting behind convicted murderer-boxing promotor, Don King , yesterday was fascinating. King, although getting up in years, is a large light-skinned black man with tumultuous kinky hair. He was wearing a loose, beige outfit with odd badge's and insignia-like things sewn on it. Trumps eyes betrayed his inner amusement as King hurled the N word around like New Years Eve confetti. Trump wanted King and convicted rapist Mike Tyson to speak at the Republican convention. In retrospect, it's a shame his inner circle talked him out of it. I'm sure the two of them would have been great theater.
         The venue was a black church in Cleveland. It would be interesting to know how much Trump paid-off the preacher, a nasty looking black man with sinister eyes, and a prognathous jaw. Trump addressed the recent shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa. There are multiple tapes of the shooting -- body cameras, a dash camera and a helicopter camera. They all show the guy, who's car had stalled in the middle of a rural highway, with his hands up. A small white woman cop, gun drawn, follows him to his car where he places his hands on the car. According to the police spokesman, the woman cop is an expert on drug identification, whatever that means. So with the guys hands in plain sight she shoots him three times. Why? She claimed he was reaching through his window which appears to be closed. She also said she was never so frightened in her life. Two other male cops are with her when she shoots the unarmed man. Up in the helicopter the audio of a cop can be heard saying: "he's big big one, looks like a bad one…"
       Because he was in front of a black audience Trump decried the shooting. "It's troubling. He (the victim) seems to be complying with everything he's supposed to be doing. Maybe the lady cop choked. People who choke shouldn't be on the police force…"
       Within hours the biggest police union in the country, which had endorsed the anti-union Trump the day before, let out an indignant yelp! Trump should not prejudge until all the facts are in. I'm sure at some point today Trump will walk back his criticism of the Tulsa cop shooting. Later yesterday he urged going back to routine "Stop and Frisk" in black communities. I realize that he will never sink lower than forty or forty-two percent in the polls. That's how many racist, irrational, anti-intellectual voters there are in the land of the free and the home of the brave, which is essentially todays Republican Party. What would scare me is if Trump ever starts polling above forty-two percent in states where people no longer practice incest, and reading and writing is encouraged in the public schools. That would be ominous.
            Chris Christy is a particularly loathsome human being. He is a perfect Shakespearean flunky. With the condescension he's perfected when in the company of men with superior wealth, he waddles after Trump with small, timid steps. He speaks in a high, singing voice. Although Trump denounced Christy when Bridgegate first happened, "he knew about it, of course he knew about it," since Christy has become his toady, he treats him like his pet poodle. 
          The Bridgegate trial began earlier in the week. Both the defense and the prosecution said in opening remarks Christy knew about the intentional blocking of the George Washington Bridge. It's a shame some deserving person didn't die in an ambulance that got caught in traffic. It would certainly have given the case a more dramatic plot. Christy is your typical fat guy who was bullied as a kid, achieves power, and immediately devotes his life to getting even with the popular kids that bullied him. Had it not been for Bridgegate, I'm reasonably sure Fat-Assed Trump would have picked big-fat-tub-of-shit Christy to be his running mate. This would have been a cartoonists dream ticket.

        *

       Anthony Wiener is more Dickensian, than Shakespearean. And not just because of his name.

       "I wants to make your flesh creep."

        "He had but one eye, and the popular prejudice runs in favor of two."

         "Subdue your appetites, my dears and you've conquered human nature."

           "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."


       Cougar, who fancies herself an expert on big-dicks, says she's pretty sure from carefully studying the pictures of Wiener's erections, even though slightly hidden by his jockey shorts, "he has a big dick."
       "I can see why he'd want to emphasize his dick, given how grotesque his face looks."
        Wiener, who is married to Huma Abedin, Hillary's top aid, is a serial sex-texter. He got nailed texting pictures of his dick to a series of internet sluts while serving as a NY US Representative. Prior to being outed, he was an obnoxious, left-leaning do-nothing politician who spent most of his time appearing on TV and radio. After he was nailed he said all the remorseful things one does in those situations and disappeared for a while. His wife, a woman with large passive dark brown eyes, stood by him faithfully like  typical, ambitious careers woman do. When Wiener ran for mayor of NY it seemed like the public was willing to give the goofy asshole another chance. And then, guess what? It was revealed that he couldn't stop sending dick-pictures to like minded internet women. Usually in politics it's two strikes and your out. While his campaign was still going on his wife allowed a documentary film crew to come into their home, suggesting she was as insane as he was. The movie is coming out any day. However, that's not why I'm writing about Wiener today. 
         Yes, dear reader, it was revealed that Anthony Wiener was once again showing his dick on the internet. To make matters worse, his four-year-old child was in the background of one of the dick shots. (Anthony had been relegated to a stay at home daddy.) But then it gets better, the chick he was sexting turns out to be fifteen. Naughty, naughty!  Anthony, there are state and federal laws against showing your dick to minors. 
        I'm sure Trump will attempt to use her top aids spouse against Hillary. Why not?  And so it goes.
       

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Oft Expectations Fail

     

          The Chicago Bears continue to wallow  in mediocrity. 

                       Perseverance, dear my lord,
                       Keeps honor bright: to have done is to hang
                       Quite out of fashion, like a rusty mail
                       In monumental mockery.

        *

          Marcia Clark, according to a review I read of last weeks Emmy's, was not only rehabilitated from the O.J. Simpson debacle she presided over with her klutzy side-kick, Christopher Darden, she, thanks to the TV show, is now a heroic figure. The mini-series about the Simpson murder trial - which I did not see -  won a bunch of awards. Say what you want about O.J., he continues to enterain us. First as a college athlete: I was going to Cal when he was playing football and running track at Southern Cal, and was he good! He was even more outstanding as a pro football player; made a few funny movies, and then hacked the heads off a couple of low-life LA nobody's. His trial was nothing but laughs. The LA DA would've fucked up a one-car funeral. Marcia Clark decided to make the trial a domestic abuse case instead of what it was -- a case of coke heads gone amuck. Clark did such a horrific job that even though I and millions of others were convinced of O.J.s guilt, we celebrated his acquittal just to spite the persnickety bitch. Word had it that she was fucking Darden, who was an Uncle Tom token assistant DA. Clark's husband at the time, was divorcing her because of her bulimia; he described the horror of living with her: "I'd wake up in the morning smelling vomit on her breath, come home from work and smell vomit, and then go to bed smelling more vomit. My life had become an orgy of vomit."

         *

         The largest police union in the country has endorsed fat-assed Trump. And cops wonder why their PR is so awful? First of all Trump is anti-union. He believes in implementing "Right To Work" laws in all 50 states. (I wish somebody would poll the black and Hispanic members of the union.) I doubt if Trump's union views matter much to the racist hierarchy of this union. They believe his bullshit. Remember when the Air Controllers Union supported brain-dead Reagan for president, and one of the first things he did after taking office was to fire all the striking controllers?

        *

        This morning, just as I was stepping out of the door of the condo, after a flash of lighting, the heavens opened their floodgates. I jumped back inside the door and grabbed an umbrella. The problem was keeping the ace bandage on my leg dry as I headed to the Ale House. A few minutes after I unlocked the front gate Jimmy knocked on the side door. He's once again driving the tiny scooter. "Hardware Nick fixed the handle bars for me. It don' work too good, maybe you could put it on your log tha' I needs a bigger scooter. "
           "Being the soul of kindness and generosity, I certainly will do that for my dear friend Street Jimmy…"
           "You know, I gots to get things right with Tobi before it get too cold out."
          "So far, my dear boy, you've done an abysmal job of making amends. The bullshit about you being famous that  you laid on her last week was really appalling."
          "Wha' you mean?"
          "I mean instead of begging her forgiveness for smarting off at her when she woke you up, you instead told her you should be allowed in the bar during business hours because your famous. I was standing by the bar taps at the time and her face, I clearly observed, was even more unforgiving than when you gave her shit."
           "I'm a survivor. Most people's couldn' live on the street likes me."
           "True. And most people wouldn't want to. If you weren't such a loser asshole, you could have your own pad, and a check. What are you , 57?"
            "Yeah."
            "All it's going to take is a bad winter, pneumonia, or a bad infection, and when they take you to the morgue nobody's going to know you're dead. People will just say, 'hey, where's Jimmy, I haven't seen him for a while,' and then Hawkeye will check County Jail and you won't be there and so then someone will say, 'hey, check the morgue,' and you'll be dead and already buried in a paupers grave on top of twenty other bums, and nobody will know where your grave is and that will be the end of the famous survivor, Street Jimmy…"
              "You wrong, my family make sure I gets a good funeral."
            "Nonsense, your family doesn't know where you are and you don't know where they are…"
            "They find me."
            "They won't know you're dead. You didn't know it when your nephew died. How are they going to know you died. It is a lamentable fate, but it is the fate you've chosen."
             "Wha' you mean?"
              "I mean you care more about your crack pipe than you do about your family.
               Jimmy's face was now serious and attentive. "I ain't gonna die for a long time."
               "Because you are clearly a man of great persistency, perhaps you will. Still, I think your present lifestyle bodes ill as far as longevity is concerned."
               Jimmy said Crack-Head Don is still on the loose. "Po-leece not be lookin' for him 'cause he be in front of McDonald's every mornin'. I say, 'Don, wha' you bust those windows for, they gonna send you back to the penitentiary.' He jus' kinda laughs. ". Jimmy said this with a spurious tone of concern. "Cops be shootin' peoples but they don' arrest Don. A man come out of McDonald's while I be talkin' to Don an' hand me two dollar. I didn't ask him for it or nothin'. You know tha…"
           "How would I know that? I wasn't there."
            "You don' understand nigger talk, I can see tha'."
             Jimmy was pleased that Tobin had left some food for him.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Surgery

                     
            Yesterday I spent five hours at the U of C Hospital getting my leg sliced and diced. The two female doctors and two female nurses who worked on me were quite nice. Both doctors had gone to Berkeley. After they cut the first swath of skin from my left shin they told me to wait in a small waiting room for people undergoing the same procedure. It would take about an hour and a half for the biopsy. I was confident that they'd need to take a large piece of skin as I took a seat on one of the leather easy chairs. The limp, delicate gentlemen seated next to me was reading on his kindle. He had a submissive expression on his bandaged face. There were three other men as well as one woman in the room. Except for a chubby man with large, discolored teeth, everyone else had bandages on their faces. The guy with the big teeth also had a leg bandage. There were snacks, and tiny cans of juice in a small icebox. I instinctively grabbed a couple of packs of Oreo cookies off the snack tray and washed them down with two tiny cans of orange juice.
        The nurse who called me the day before warned me to bring reading material and dress warm. "We keep it cool in the dermatology rooms." Because of the heads-up I wore long pants, and socks; I also put a hoody, Mondays NY Times, and some old Sunday Book Reviews I hadn't gotten around to reading yet into a plastic shopping bag. Once I put the hoody on I was comfortable in the chilly waiting room. My plan was to lean back on the easy chair and take a nap; unfortunately, there was a TV almost directly above my head. I loathe having to listen to inane TV shows. Even though nobody in the room seemed to be watching it, I decided not to force the issue. They broke into the regular show and gave the latest report on the nut job in New Jersey who was setting off bombs. I must have fallen asleep at some point because when the nurse came into the room I felt refreshed.
         I was correct, they didn't get all the cancer and so they'd need  to remove a bigger chunk of my leg. Being a mild, good-natured, sweet-tempered, easy-going fellow, I climbed up into the examining  chair bravely and leaned back stoically as the doctor took the sharp edged knife and started sawing on my once perfectly proportioned leg. The most painful part of the procedure was the numbing process. Still, you know there's cutting going on.
        I told the doctor that rather than returning to the tiny waiting room, I'd prefer to go outside and sit in the sun. 
        "Okay, you can go outside, just don't take a walk. Come back in an hour. In fact, give us your phone number in case we need to call you."
        It was a marvelous September day. I'd driven to the Hospital at seven and avoided the heaviest traffic. Before my surgery I strolled around the deserted campus. Although school doesn't start until next Monday, they were busy erecting tents for freshman orientation. I walked down to the snack shop next to the school bookstore and bought a large tea. After I loaded it up with honey I found a shady table outside  and considered what future health issues I could look forward too as I approached eighty. It was noon and a group of construction workers were eating their lunches. I think they might have cracked down on doctors smoking outside the hospital. A few years ago there would have been a couple dozen doctors in lab coats puffing away. It always struck me as off-putting seeing men and women of science feeding their nicotine habits so close to a hospital.
           I got back to the Dermatology Department shortly before one. Twenty minutes later they called me back into the examining room and told me they'd gotten all the cancer. I'd need to keep my leg heavily bandaged for two days, and then start applying special cream to the wound. I couldn't get the ace bandage wet. "You need to wrap it over the bandage because it will keep down the swelling.  The wound is too big to stitch. It will take two months to heal. For the next three weeks don't put any strain on your leg…"
         I balked at not walking. "That's how I get my exercise."
         "Keep it to a minimum. Come back in two weeks."
         I was hungry. I drove to Valois and had ground steak and onions, along with sides of mashed potatoes and spinach. The food  cheered me up.

          *

          Saturday the Aficionado invited me for lunch at McCormick and Schmick's. A brief argument ensued when I refused to eat inside. "Aficionado, I hate air-conditioning, and I'm not dressed warm enough…"
          "It's less private outside."
          I prevailed and we ate outside. Because I've been on an eating binge I decided to only order lobster bisque soup. 
          "But you've been obsessing on lobster for two weeks." She said this reproachfully. When the waitress took our order, the Aficionado, with an impatient movement of her fingers,  pointed to the menu and ordered grilled sea bass, lobster and Oysters Rockefeller.
         "Who's going to eat all that food?"
         "We are, silly." She said this while folding her arms tightly to her ample bosoms.
          As I stuffed myself on lobster and grilled sea bass I said, "Aficionado, since I've met you the contours of my body are starting to resemble an over-stuffed garbage bag."
         "You look fine. Isn't the sea bass delicious."
         "Yes."
         After we finished lunch and she paid the bill, I told her I was going to have to take a marathon walk. Less than a minute after I said goodbye to her I bumped into Buzz Kill and Too Good To Be True Sue walking down Rush Street. They were both buzzed and wanted me to go to some joint called Pippin's with them. I declined.

         *

        Saturday Cougar drove to South Bend with her son to watch Michigan State play Notre Dame. I watched the game in the Ale House and took tremendous joy in watching Michigan State humiliate the vaunted Fighting Irish.

       *

         Sunday morning while Tobin, Street Jimmy and I were getting the bar ready I heard a horrible shrieking noise outside. It was one of the Vietnamese ladies from the nail salon next door. I saw the kid who snatched her purse run by the barroom windows. I took off after him down Weiland Street. The woman followed me still shrieking hysterically. A guy and woman were coming from the other way and I pointed to the running kid. When the guy started moving toward the kid, the kid ducked into a gangway near Craig the Drunks house. The good samaritan  and I followed him into the narrow gangway with the screaming woman behind us. The purse was on the ground. The kid had scaled an eight foot fence. The wallet was missing from the purse. In broken English the woman said she had two thousand dollars in the wallet. Some girls came onto the back porch of the building next door. One of them said a wallet was in their yard. It was the ladies, but it too was empty. I never found out why she had two grand in her purse. It's a jungle out there.

             *

           A younger, prettier Genius. The bitches liked me better in those long gone days.



Hank and Tobin.


Hawkeye. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

More Pictures

          Because I'm going to be in the hospital all day tomorrow here's a late Sunday edition of my fantastic blog.

         *

         Butcovich, The Genius, and Roger at Rogers mansion in Harbert Michigan. Before his illness Roger used to throw some swell parties at his lakeside mansion. Butcovich always roasted a lamb for these events. Roger loved old Studebaker's. Why, I don't know. He also liked eating Butcovich's roasted lamb. I miss Rogers 4th of July galas. You never knew who was going to show up.
            






         Hank Oettinger was a retired printer. Like many of the printers who worked for the local newspapers when they still had  printing plants in the same building the reporters and editors worked in, he hung out at the Billy Goat Tavern. There used to be several signs in the Billy Goat warning the guys who worked the presses not to get ink on the barroom chairs. Hank also frequented the Ale House and O'Rourke's. He was an old time Commie, good friend of Studs Terkel, and legendary letter to the editor writer. He was the gold standard for drinking in saloons. After he retired he'd start drinking around noon at the Ale House, take the bus to the Billy Goat in time to watch Jeopardy, drink there until six, take the bus back to Old Town, and catch a nap to sober up. After his nap he'd walk over to the Ale House and get drunk all over again. He did this well into his eighties. After he got mugged a couple of times he restricted his drinking to the Ale House and Billy Goat, and would only go to O'Rourke's on weekends. He was still hoisting beers at the Ale House into his nineties. 






   Tom Erhart, in the white shirt, was a talented Chicago actor. I first saw him in a Pinter play when I was a teenager. He had a menacing presence on stage. Tall, thin, his enormous nose was his most dominant feature. His face bore an expression of deep thought and solemn gravity when he'd walk into a bar. He generally talked in a loud, theatrical voice. By the time Belushi and Ackroyd had become big stars, Erhart's well deserved reputation for drinking and drugging had caught up with him. Because he could no longer remember his lines he had become relegated to doing occasional commercials.  The Blues Brother boys idolized Erhart, and gave him the part of the judge in their Blue's Brothers movie.
    Erhart was a really bad drunk, and most bartenders dreaded him as a customer. Personally, I found him quite amusing. For a while he was making a lot of money as the voice in the Schlitz Beer commercials. A sleazy local newspaper columnist, Tom Fitzpatrick, got Erhart drunk one night in the Ale House and coaxed him into saying he hated Schlitz. The next day Fitz, as he was known, printed Erhart's anti-Schlitz quote. Of course Erhart lost his gig and a lot of money. Fitz  took some abuse for his treachery. Every time I saw Fitz I reminded the people he was with about what he'd done to Erhart. Fitz was such a pathetic moron he actually thought he was in Mike Royko's league as a columnist. Fitz died a washed up nobody in Arizona. I tried for years to get Fitz to throw the first punch so I could beat the shit out of him but he was too gutless. He spit at Nelson Algren one time and Nelson beaned him with a shot glass.







       
  Johnny Honey Boy Bratton was the World Welter Weight Champion of the World back in the Fifties. He lost his title to Kid Gavilan in a fight I saw on TV. I remember as a kid reading about Johnny's travails. Mental issues, and several confinements in the Manteno insane asylum.  I first met Johnny in the Sixties. The below picture shows him knocked out on thorazine  sitting next to the Ale House juke box. He always reminded me of a grizzled, chocolate colored Buddha. He had the raspiest voice I've ever heard. A former boxer, as well as Outfit muscle guy, Ninas Solomon, helped Johnny out after he got out of the nut house. Solomon's ring name was King. He had a hot dog stand at the tail end of Ogden Avenue. In his first book, "Division Street America", Studs Terkel interviewed Ninas. For purposes of the book he used the pseudonym , "Kid Pharo." Ninas told Studs his two heroes were Mayor Daley and Mao Tse Tung. He said because he was in the hot dog business he hated flies, and Mao got rid of all the flies in China. I only talked to Johnny when he was lucid a couple  of times. When I asked him who the hardest puncher he ever faced was, he stood up and shadow boxed for a couple of minutes. When he sat down he said the name of some fighter out of Milwaukee I never heard of. Johnny's hands were still lightening fast. Bea had to bar him when he woke one day with his head leaning against the juke box and lit up a joint.             
                






     
Hank at the Billy Goat with Sam Sianis, the owner.




Franky D. up front. The Genius to the left, Ranalli, and Art Klug in the white shirt with the epaulettes. Franky was a fun guy. He had a North Side dese , dems, and does accent. Ranalli said he was no one to fuck with. If you crossed Franky, if necessary  he'd sit in his car for two weeks waiting for you to come out of your house or a saloon, and then splatter you with his car.





My hero and benefactor, Art Klug.



 Roger celebrating being the first movie critic to  win a Pulitzer Prize in the Old Town Ale House.
      
        



  Bea Klug, Art's ex-wife. Although her persona was that of a tough bitch, she was a softy at heart. I really miss her. 

      





  Joanie and Dee. Joanie was Art's girlfriend before she left him for crooner Frank D'rone. Joanie and Dee were both popular Chicago singers. Although Dee still lives in the neighborhood, she has become a recluse and I never see her anymore. She was a hotty in her day.


               

More Pictures

          Because I'm going to be in the hospital all day tomorrow here's a late Sunday edition of my fantastic blog.

         *

         Butcovich, The Genius, and Roger at Rogers mansion in Harbert Michigan. Before his illness Roger used to throw some swell parties at his lakeside mansion. Butcovich always roasted a lamb for these events. Roger loved old Studebaker's. Why, I don't know. He also liked eating Butcovich's roasted lamb. I miss Rogers 4th of July galas. You never knew who was going to show up.
            






         Hank Oettinger was a retired printer. Like many of the printers who worked for the local newspapers when they still had  printing plants in the same building the reporters and editors worked in, he hung out at the Billy Goat Tavern. There used to be several signs in the Billy Goat warning the guys who worked the presses not to get ink on the barroom chairs. Hank also frequented the Ale House and O'Rourke's. He was an old time Commie, good friend of Studs Terkel, and legendary letter to the editor writer. He was the gold standard for drinking in saloons. After he retired he'd start drinking around noon at the Ale House, take the bus to the Billy Goat in time to watch Jeopardy, drink there until six, take the bus back to Old Town, and catch a nap to sober up. After his nap he'd walk over to the Ale House and get drunk all over again. He did this well into his eighties. After he got mugged a couple of times he restricted his drinking to the Ale House and Billy Goat, and would only go to O'Rourke's on weekends. He was still hoisting beers at the Ale House into his nineties. 






   Tom Erhart, in the white shirt, was a talented Chicago actor. I first saw him in a Pinter play when I was a teenager. He had a menacing presence on stage. Tall, thin, his enormous nose was his most dominant feature. His face bore an expression of deep thought and solemn gravity when he'd walk into a bar. He generally talked in a loud, theatrical voice. By the time Belushi and Ackroyd had become big stars, Erhart's well deserved reputation for drinking and drugging had caught up with him. Because he could no longer remember his lines he had become relegated to doing occasional commercials.  The Blues Brother boys idolized Erhart, and gave him the part of the judge in their Blue's Brothers movie.
    Erhart was a really bad drunk, and most bartenders dreaded him as a customer. Personally, I found him quite amusing. For a while he was making a lot of money as the voice in the Schlitz Beer commercials. A sleazy local newspaper columnist, Tom Fitzpatrick, got Erhart drunk one night in the Ale House and coaxed him into saying he hated Schlitz. The next day Fitz, as he was known, printed Erhart's anti-Schlitz quote. Of course Erhart lost his gig and a lot of money. Fitz  took some abuse for his treachery. Every time I saw Fitz I reminded the people he was with about what he'd done to Erhart. Fitz was such a pathetic moron he actually thought he was in Mike Royko's league as a columnist. Fitz died a washed up nobody in Arizona. I tried for years to get Fitz to throw the first punch so I could beat the shit out of him but he was too gutless. He spit at Nelson Algren one time and Nelson beaned him with a shot glass.







       
  Johnny Honey Boy Bratton was the World Welter Weight Champion back in the Fifties. He lost his title to Kid Gavilan in a fight I saw on TV. I remember as a kid reading about Johnny's travails. Mental issues, and several confinements in the Manteno insane asylum.  I first met Johnny in the Sixties. The below picture shows him knocked out on thorazine  sitting next to the Ale House juke box. He always reminded me of a grizzled, chocolate colored Buddha. He had the raspiest voice I've ever heard. A former boxer, as well as Outfit muscle guy, Ninas Solomon, helped Johnny out after he got out of the nut house. Solomon's ring name was King. He had a hot dog stand at the tail end of Ogden Avenue. In his first book, "Division Street America", Studs Terkel interviewed Ninas. For purposes of the book he used the pseudonym , "Kid Pharo." Ninas told Studs his two heroes were Mayor Daley and Mao Tse Tung. He said because he was in the hot dog business he hated flies, and Mao got rid of all the flies in China. I only talked to Johnny when he was lucid a couple  of times. When I asked him who the hardest puncher he ever faced was, he stood up and shadow boxed for a couple of minutes. When he sat down he said the name of some fighter out of Milwaukee I never heard of. Johnny's hands were still lightening fast. Bea had to bar him when he woke one day with his head leaning against the juke box and lit up a joint.             
                






     
Hank at the Billy Goat with Sam Sianis, the owner.




Franky D. up front. The Genius to the left, Ranalli, and Art Klug in the white shirt with the epaulettes. Franky was a fun guy. He had a North Side dese , dems, and does accent. Ranalli said he was no one to fuck with. If you crossed Franky, if necessary  he'd sit in his car for two weeks waiting for you to come out of your house or a saloon, and then splatter you with his car.





My hero and benefactor, Art Klug.



 Roger celebrating being the first movie critic to  win a Pulitzer Prize in the Old Town Ale House.
      
        



  Bea Klug, Art's ex-wife. Although her persona was that of a tough bitch, she was a softy at heart. I really miss her. 

      





  Joanie and Dee. Joanie was Art's girlfriend before she left him for crooner Frank D'rone. Joanie and Dee were both popular Chicago singers. Although Dee still lives in the neighborhood, she has become a recluse and I never see her anymore. The girls were both hotties  in their
 day.