These soldiers don’t carry guns.
Menacing, they know not.
No, they accept with a smile.
In their net you are caught.
‘Cause when you get drunk
You buy my junk.
You’ve been out- thunk.
These soldiers don’t carry guns.
Menacing, they know not.
No, they accept with a smile.
In their net you are caught.
‘Cause when you get drunk
You buy my junk.
You’ve been out- thunk.
So, one day you made a baby.
A baby that influenced you in ways you could not have imagined.
You imagined baby giving you feelings of joy, purpose, and completeness.
A taste of the good life, the best life, with you as the creator.
But, baby couldn’t really give you anything at all, in the beginning, other than a pristine canvass upon which you painted beautiful, reciprocal, unrealized experiences.
You nurtured baby. Fed it when you, yourself were hungry. And you sustained baby first.
Baby sometimes kept you up at night and needed constant attention.
Swaddling, feeding, soft singing and cuddling you gave to baby when its attention deficit reared it’s ugly head.
Baby didn’t ask for your caring or concern, it demanded it.
When baby came calling, your plans went a-falling because everything revolved around baby.
Then baby grew up.
You encouraged it to grow.
Led by example.
Treat me like I have acted toward you, you would say.
But, baby had it’s own mind. It’s own way.
One day baby didn’t answer your call.
That day it ignored you.
Babies are babies, no matter how old, you said to yourself to soothe your new wound.
Then, it happened…
Baby stole from you.
Stole from you and gave it to someone else.
Another baby. A stranger’s baby.
You tried diligently to imagine that there was plenty enough caring to go around.
Baby could focus on another baby and would still have enough caring to return yours to you.
Patience, you reminded yourself.
An example was what you must be, remember?
One day it was the second day in a row that baby hadn’t returned your call.
Messages were left.
The employment of guilt was avoided even though you understood guilt’s vast power.
Baby was out in the world.
Baby was no longer your baby.
It was something you created and let go.
Baby had a life of it’s own…
Don’t go to Mexico.
Well, if you do go, you better wear blinders.
You’ll need blinders just to avoid seeing hammered and passed out drunk people laying in the gutters and across unoccupied vehicles.
Children drunk. Grandmas drunk. Police officers and everyone… drunk, drunk, DRUNK!
Jeez, they got booze everywhere is why.
Booze in cool little bottles with tiny sombreros and colorful sashes being sold in convenience stores. More booze in grocery stores and even huge selections of booze in friggin gift shops! Those Mexi’s shore do need altered states!
The entire deal ain’t hard to figure because everyone knows that homo sapiens, no matter what skin color or culture, can’t help imbibing every bit of booze whenever it’s available.
All of it. All the time.
And that’s precisely why smart countries like Canada limit their childlike citizens access to alcohol. Yep, the wise captains of Oh Canada know that Canucks are mere mortals, unable to resist the lure of whiskey, vodka or even beer, and that is why these spirits (like their imbibers) must be compartmentalized.
At’s a good thing, no doubt.
We sure as hell don’t want to wind up like those poor, weak willed, passed out all over the place Mexicans, now do we?
The Shambala is a sheep.
A sheep in ship´s clothing.
And on that sheep is a good looking dude (you can call him Lester) who speaks broken English and super fast Spanish. Lester is an excursion director by trade and a merchanary by design.
Lester´s job is to herd foreign and domestic peso filled wallets toward fish dung filled waters and to encourage those sheep captive wallets to jump FAST (okie dokie?) into brownish foamed waters near some remote, rocky shore.
For the next twenty-five minutes Lester’s charges will be periodically breathing through skunge infested, somebody else’s mouth been on ’em, leaky snorkel tubes and then Lester will vamanos the wallets under his control back toward the acrid cloud of Shambala diesel exhaust in order to scale the sheep´s boarding ladder.
Dude Lester the director´s hair will look just as spectacular after snorkeling as it did before, it’s bleached blond tints gleaming fashionably through the fish dropping drippings.
Once sheepboard, Lester will then vamanos you an hour away toward a mountainous harbor where you will be encouraged to step off the kinda stable sheep into a horribly unstable (can’t you pull the mooring rope a little tighter Manuel?) open, motorized rowboat which will drop you calf deep into the wet, wavy lap of many hungry vendors – vendors with lazy lizards draped over their shoulders, lizards who survive only to pose for touristo photos, like the plethora of pie vendors with too much pie, and bobble vendors with too many bobbles.
“Mucho importanto,” Lester will say in his nighttime disc jockey lingo, “that you ask HOW MUCH?” before taking photos of Charlie the Donkey with roses on his back or De Lizards growing out of many locals necks.
“I recommend that you choose a horse to take you up the mountain to the beautiful… sooo beautiful, waterfall at the at the top of the climb,” Lester will say.
“It´s only twenty dollars American,” (just short of one thousand of anyone else’s dollars) “and twenty bucks saves you from walking in horse shit.”
Lester forgets to say that second part…
During the upside of your mountainous trek, you will run the gauntlet of twenty hungry, un-unique selling proposition vendors, displaying their trinkets at various locations and you will politely grow so very tired of telling these persistent entrepreneurs “no, thank you.”
At the top of the mountainous touristo trap exists the “real” Shambala, a smart entrepreneur who will sell you a cold Corona for twenty-five pesos.
Tip him, please.
He deserves it for his ungouging entrepreneurship because at the bottom of your trek the price of Corona doubles. (uh, because… the sand, your Oasis server will tell you)
Maybe have two or three Coronas at Sir Fairness’s restaurant / lounge, you’ll need them to stiffen your upper lip for the return trip back through Gouger’s Gauntlet. Maybe Mexicans are not good at remembering pasty-white frugal faces or maybe they’re just persistent but whatever the reason, you will need the extra don’t caredness on account of your arse will be up-sold by every vendor who harassed you on the way up as they genuinely ask with pleading dark eyes “why you not buy senior, you are on vacation…?!”
Plus, hanging up-top for those additional brew-skis will allow the horse shit sweeper to get ahead of you with her donkey dung bucket and while the odor will remind you that for twenty American dollars you could be with the donkeys at the bottom by now, the absence of slickery brown ice will allow for more focus on the environment rather than the malodorous cobblestone path.
Now, once you make it back down, go directly though the donkey corral to the Oasis Restaurant (very importanto, Lester has already warned you on the sheep, remember that name: Oasis) because should you stray from the frontage sand of the Oasis onto another restaurant’s hallowed sand, you will be reminded by agents from competing restaurateurs that the sand you are attempting to occupy is reserved for open wallets only.
Is yours open?
During the Oasis “water’s extra” meal (included in the cost of the snorkeling excursion), you will be once again non-remembered for not wanting a photo with de lizard men, not wanting pie, not wanting bracelets, necklaces or silver anything.
Soon, Lester will shout “vamanos amigos, follow me to the pier!” where you will be laddered down into the Open Boat Wobbly to return you to the sheep.
Once back upon the sheep, after waiting for other wallets to be brought aboard, you will drink dark ale on decks soon to be swelling several feet starboard to port-side while perched precariously on plastic, made-for-land lawn chairs.
On the two hour return trip, get ready for some simple sheep games.
These games will first ask younger wallet purveyors to imbibe precarious amounts of dark ale during a who-can-down-ale-the-fastest contest and then squeal in lecherous anticipation as couples break balloons between themselves. The purpose of this maneuver escapes most wallets but ‘ol Lester The Handsome wasn’t born yesterday.
Excursion director Lester knows that right after the smile inducing ale downing and balloon breaking comes the passing of the tip bottle, where Lester’s crew comes around to shake every wallet’s hand while proffering an empty two litre Coke bottle in which they are peer pressured into depositing whatever the lizard / bobble vendors didn’t guilt out of you.
Then, the pièce de résistance…
Didn’t you wonder why Lester lined you up in groups (single file please) before you boarded the sheep? Didn’t it strike you as odd that prior to boarding the Shambala a stranger plopped a Captain’s hat on your spouse’s head then took two photos of the event, even though you were already tired of being hassled by the on-site walrus photo taking vendor?
This is where everything becomes all too clear.
See, Lester was setting you up for one last wallet wringing on the sheep’s boardwalk because there they are as you disembark… strangers selling already printed photos of you during happier times.
Wonder what they’re going to do with the unsold photos…?
Anyway, you´re safe now. Back in the place of land lubbing salespeople who know that just because you’re temporarily out of cash, you likely have not reached your credit card limit and you probably still have a few “no thank yous” left in you.
Because as you now know, in Shambala, you’ll need ’em…
The lord held his hand out.
Said “Come here, cat!”
The cat just sat and looked at god.
The cat was not afraid of god.
The cat would barely even nod.
It’s eyes blinked slowly as it turned away.
Like god wasn’t god at all…
Let’s remember the fallen.
And what they fell for…
Oh, the things we must start and stop doing!
Start feeding yourself and stop shitting your pants.
Stop feeding the wildlife. Start feeding the man.
Start feeding your mind. Stop feeding it shit.
Stop getting angry, getting even and throwing fits.
Stop needing gratitude and fairness and help.
Start feeling synergy and belief in yourself.
Start thinking you’re Santa instead of an elf.
It’s Christmas in your mind every day of the year.
Let the celebration start with right now and right here!
If you can navigate the middle of a circus,
And not become a clown.
You might be a leader,
Or already be a clown.
Boo hoo for that lonely soldier.
Marching there, on guard.
She stands for loyalty, courage and country,
Whom don’t know she works hard.
Hard to please.
Hard to free.
Hard in degrees,
Like her parents were before.
Because hardness boy, tempered toy, useful goy.
Two four urgent quiet, no assistance required.
You know, let her be.
A new guy in the big house.
This guy we can believe in.
He acts the part. We know he’s part actor.
And a damn hard act to follow…
Drama. You need it.
Watch your levels.
MP Bill Blair says until legalization legislation is in place marijuana requires strict regulation and that current laws should be obeyed.
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Let’s say this is your first day on the job.
How you know what to do?
How many times you lived this life before?
See, Santa is real like Disney is real and Saskatchewan is real.
Heaven is real, Allah is real and Orion is real.
It’s real. All real.
Now, you get real.
Oh, you knew me when I was twelve?
How could you?
I was never, ever twelve!
I was fourteen and counting and growing so fast, the pressures were mounting mostly because
Mama, she floundered and Dada, he pounded her,
Pounded unsound to her, now Papa, you’re dead.
And Mama’s bent in the head!
But damned if I’ll tell her.
Dread she find out,
What her life’s all about now her book
is in want of a cover.
You’re so tall.
You’re so smart.
Grew up from a little fart.
Or maybe fart’s too vague.
Too widespread ’cause
Who you are and what you doz was
In you long before you was.
Go ahead and treat me rude.
I can take it.
Rude is my middle name!
I can fake it.
I’ll treat you just the same.
I’m a placator. Alligator.
See you later.
You do as you want in the bathroom.
In the car if there’s no one around.
But sooner or later you’ll meet them.
The ones who say that ain’t allowed.
Life is crazy and if you ride it long enough, life will crazy you up.
Life can chew you up and spit you out right now, you don’t have to treat it rough.
Life’ll break your legs, bust your back and kill your eggs.
It’ll cramp your goddamn legs until the cows that won’t come home,
Slowly come home.
You’ll lay there partly dazed,
Maybe due to liquid haze and the good lord you just praised
Is about to burn you.
You’re tipping on your tips and if the undertow rips
This tide away, tidal wave, just you and the sand, sand server.
Come closer Carlos, mister marvelous, really earning your pay.
But, then… it’s over. Your dog Rover.
Shit’n rolled it all over.
You’re back to life suckin’ again.
What’s behind all this?
No one ever asks…
Is there anything behind the curtain?
Are the stagehands wearing black so dammit you can’t even see them?
Are those stagehands moving shit around and manufacturing settings?
Is there a director for this real thing called life?
Yes and yes! A thousand times YES!
Your opinion is managed.
Your home is managed.
Your neighborhood is managed.
Your city is managed.
Province or state managed? You bet, check!
Country managed? Uh, double that CHECK!
Terra firma managed? You bet, check!
Ain’t nothin’ that ain’t!
And that’s correct!
(including you… but by whom? )
Hello, my name is Barry and I am a quitter.
Okay, I once was a quitter but now I have quit quitting.
Yes, I complain and bitch and kick the dirt and cry.
Sure, I whine and say why me lord? and try to blame someone else for my misfortunes.
Of course I attempt to dodge responsibility and let the chips fall where they may and I try to not to let that be in my eyes.
Especially if they’re salted…
But me? I don’t quit.
I’ve learned to start fewer things on account of not quitting can cause shitski to pile up in a hurry.
And ya, you need shelves, rooms and help by the scads because Not Quitters acquire people and stuff.
Like good attitudes and feelings of accomplishment.
Or being the go-to person when shit needs gone to.
Never wondering about your purpose…
Choose carefully and don’t quit lessen quitting is the best thing you can do.
Then, for the love of Pete, do it.
Back in the day, I was a thermographer.
At’s right, a thermographer.
I took photos of heat patterns when there wasn’t much call for photos of heat patterns.
“Thermography,” I said.
“Infrared imaging,” I said just a wee bit louder – for effect…
“You know, taking pictures of heat…”
“Uh okay,” the tire shop assistant manager replied haltingly.
“You can make it so we won’t drill into our in-floor heat lines?”
“Yes Sir! Sure can!” I answered a little too Gomer Pylishly.
“Better come do it tomorrow morning before we open up then,” were the most memorable words tumbling out of the tire store assistant manager’s mouth because they signified the first sale in my tremendous new field of thermography!
Course, thermography had no street cred but Me Mister Man was about to change all that. Oh ya…
I’d put the lime of “zero street cred thermography” into the very same coconut drink of “automatic respect for authority ignited by uniforms” and shake ’em boat up into a night out called “Respect For Themography.” Hah!
This mission required Tremondant Thermography to dress up like an underpaid, over ego-ed security guard complete with shoulder epaulets, black clip on tie, white shirt, dark blue cop pants, black cop boots and sprinkled on top, a big ‘ol jet black cop hat.
(Thank you Robert Cialdini! Hah hah!)
Next morning at the crack of entrepreneurship, I scoot over to the tire shop all decked out in my authoritarian gear and carrying my infrared camera in the very authoritarian looking FLIR briefcase.
Soon as I entered the lobby, the tire shop assistant manager stopped and stared at General Gumby striding confidently through the tire store mine field.
“Morning Robert!” marched straight out of my Snappy Cappy mouth as I now a wee bit more awkwardly approached his reinforced tire order desk.
Suspicious assistant tire store manager Robert eyed my Sargent Strange outfit for a long second before replying.
“You the camera guy or the fire chief?”
I heard a hidden someone somewhere snicker.
“I fucking heard that!” I wanted to say but as I was obviously in uniform I ignored the ignorant and not as confidently as the first time repeated my salutation “Morning Robert!” while looking him straight in the eye.
(Thank you emotional disparity!)
“So you’re the camera guy then…” he pointed toward a door across the lobby. “Shop’s right there, boiler’s been off for two hours so make it as quick as you can.”
“You bet, thanks,” I said to no one there because Robert had already gone to that place where parts guys go when shit gets too busy.
I could see through the glass door that I already had an audience.
Four mechanics, three whom I immediately identified as suspects, watched me intently as I maneuvered my cop hat, etc. into the room.
As I began to set up my equipment, I noticed that I held the complete attention of the tire handlin’ yahoos and that attention was causing me to respond to something I had previously come to know as the Hawthorne Effect. Lord I tried not to think of it.
But, their eyes, their attention, did something to my epaulets. Heavied them up.
Maybe it was the clumps of morphogenic energy they were slamming into the brim of my coppy cop cop hat but that sucker got so heavy and so warm that try as I might, I could not keep it from slipping into my eyes!
Those damn tire placement engineers then somehow got that sandpaper cop shirt to start poly scratching my body-head joint to the point where I was certain the band of dermis pimples would forever ring my neck and end my beloved t-shirt wearing days.
Today I barely recall yelling the order to Asst. Mgr. Robert to “start the boiler!” while simultaneously arming my FLIR 360 and unholstering my nickle plated double blunt chalk holder.
The next few minutes are a blur…
I squeezed off as many shots as I could but the 360 doesn’t have an internal memory so it was me, the 360’s laser pointer and me, me, me with my nickle plated double blunt chalk holder because chalk dries out your hands and easily marks up cop pants.
And that cop hat…
I must have finished the job because I came to with money in my pocket later as I was driving down the road but I still am haunted by memories of being on my knees, swinging the 360’s laser around menacingly and drawing lines on the floor and …
Struggling to get up! Get up if it’s the last thing you do! Under the weight of that damn hat!
And all the while those awful, guttural chuckles…
I hope I said goodbye to the assistant tire store manager Robert and I’m sure I did, but by now my head was punching the roof out of my cop hat as it had sweat locked over my ears, one which was bent painfully over like my uncle could roll his tongue, but… such is war.
I could not find the strength to lift that weighty lid off what was likely a useless appendage now anyway but I knew full well that it’s power had possessed me for the last time.
The rest of the uniform did it’s trick admirably and I continued to employ it’s power for two more years but never again did I fool with the power of hats.
They’re which craft man!
(Thank you Five)
You wanna put a tag on every god damn pump.
But there, where the pump plugs in, is another idea jump.
You say see it by where it plugs in,
Not underwater like yee.
I’ll be a son-of-a-pupster… ya,
You are smarter than me!
(wrote this about my wife who turned out to be wiser than I imagined!)
Cause laughing people makes for people laughing!
You can leave this floor.
Close that door.
Wind up poor.
The truth, she hurts when she bites.
See, the truth is you ain’t been paying attention.
Least, not to those moving reeds,
Nor those cracking branches.
The panting, that sneeze?!
Sheesh! Open your eyes!
And get up off your knees!!
Do what you can pally. Do what you can.
No one cares about the doer tho they care about what was done.
Get all your fun from what you done.
Be proud, act proud and not out loud.
But inside yell and please, pray tell,
Because the Devil does his work before you clock in.
If Jesus had a middle name, I bet that name was Harold.
Jesus H. Christ!
Gotta be, gotta be Harold…
A name spoken far and wide. Sometimes muttered softly under dirty clothes in a closet and many times screamed madly from a bombed out, burning rooftop.
“Harold!” whispered in disbelief. Jesus… H… Christ…
“Har!” screamed at the point of impact.
And drawn out in rare metanoic moments.
Hole… Lee… Shi-i-iit…
Either way, taking the lords name in gain.
See, without those names, those noises of recognition, ain’t no path for future astonishment to follow.
And no astonishment path, no astonishment. Period.
See, things aren’t as they seem.
That thick slab of concrete wall section balanced on that truck that your 19 year old son is standing beside?
It’s gonna slip off the truck and kill him in three, two, one…
Your son. Your nineteen year old, beautiful, beloved son.
Course he knew only for a second what hit him.
It hits everyone. Every day. The end.
When’s the end you ask?
Well, therein lies the hobby. Seeking the end.
Desperately seeking the end for children.
Searching hard for the end of adolescents. Scanning for their end, any end…
Cause the end is a beginning that sees no harm in itself.
Doesn’t see the pain it causes because it’s on to greater things.
New beginnings without whomever.
A big, ginormous new load for mama, for papa and ah, the guy who strapped that crushing load up…
The end is there waiting. It’s hiding in plain sight.
And the instant you spot the end, it vanishes.
But to where now. To where?
Do you know where?
Do you even care, where, your share, of shit and spit, goes?
Jesus, to handle it. After it goes …
When it comes back …
Shit licks at you.
Mmm you smell nice dear! Here, let me nestle right into that beard …
When the spit that you spat now comes un-disappeared.
Its worse than you fear.
When shit un-disappears …
Don’t hide it to begin with.
Think of where it will pile up and
There it’s okay to over-run your cup.
But why wouldja?
I was sitting on a ledge one day and the huge-er I know walked by.
Actually, it didn’t walk by but over to me and swooped a reacher toward my face.
Rather than ram it’s digits through the soft tissue of my eyes, it stroked my hair while I thought how easily it could crush my skull.
It didn’t and unlike so many times before it also didn’t grab me and wrench me fifty feet into the air upside-down.
I stared unafraid and as unconcerned as I could into the huge-er’s face and then, I licked my groin.
The huge-er emitted a low pitched sound as it controlled fell away from my consciousness and me … I licked my groin.
It tasted good. Very, very good.