Catwoman

A guy asked to meet me to discuss a project he wants me to work on. He asks if he can bring his girlfriend along. I’m sorry to say but I’m not a fan of
significant others coming to meetings if they’re not involved in the project. No offense, but they don’t add anything to the proceedings and usually are
disruptive.

They get to the restaurant first and he eagerly jumps up to meet me. That’s a little weird. I can tell he’s nervous and that’s also a little weird. I mean,
I’ve met me, sometimes it’s nice but it’s nothing to lose your composure about. We repair to a table and, as luck would have it, our waitress is someone I
know. We exchange pleasantries and I let the others introduce themselves. Mainly because I can’t remember her name but also why should I have to do it?
Because it’s polite? Is that really something people expect from me? I hope not because they’re going to be let down more often than not.

While he’s chatting I notice someone waving at me. It’s a friend of mine and her family. I wave back to them. The girl, whose name I’ve come to find out is
Catherine but she goes by Cat, looks at the people and back to me. It was a weird expression. I’m not sure if she thinks I’m being rude by not giving them my full attention or if she’s amazed I know others I can’t really tell.

When our drinks appear the waitress tells us the round is on the bartender. Amazingly, someone else I know. She’s still giving me the stink eye but I notice
she’s gobbling the free drink. He’s going over his idea and I’m listening. A little. It’s a pretty pedestrian idea. Nothing unique. Not that I write the
most unique things in the world but if I’m going to be pedestrian I’m going to be the one leading the walk.

While sipping our drinks someone pats me on the shoulder. It’s a guy I know. I like this guy. That, in and of itself is odd, so I stand to greet him. We chat for a few, nothing that’s going to derail the meeting, just a friendly how do you do. When I sit down Cat is downright glaring at me.

“What do you know everyone in here?” I turn my head in all directions looking around. I look back at her and say,

“Nope. Not even a quarter.” He starts to nervously chuckle but she is not buying into my little touch of humor.

“You know, my boyfriend is very funny, you know.” That’s just how she said it. The rare but insipid double you know.

To that I nod. I know exactly how funny her boyfriend is. To the beat. And it’s not that damn funny. What he’s written isn’t bad but isn’t interesting.
Pedestrian, as I’ve previously said. Let me put it this way, it’s not good enough to have the potential for her to be around during the project. But, mainly
because foods coming, I don’t say something snide and walk.

“Let me see the pages.” I say to the guy. He’s one of these people who won’t send you the document they want you to read for fear that you’ll send the
masterpiece through the world and take all the credit for it. Trust me, if the people who read my shit read this shit they’d think I’d had a stroke. I take
the script mainly because I didn’t want to interact with Cat any longer.

I pretend to read the script, asking probing questions along the way. I know they were probing because he told me they were. I thought they were just time
wasters. I’m still flipping through the script when the food comes. I gladly toss the script aside and start eating. He starts eating. He and I start
talking. We’re chowing pretty quickly but I notice something.

Cat hasn’t touched the steak she ordered. She’s mainly tossing peas around with her fork. Maybe she’s so pissed that I dared speak to someone when I should
have been paying full attention to her comedy genius she can’t eat. I finish, the other gentleman at the table finishes and Cat paws at her food. Now the
three of us are sitting there silently with two of us staring at Cat. I look at him and he’s totally uncomfortable. He knows something I don’t but, I can
tell, will soon find out.

“What’s the problem?” I ask. She looks up at me, the guy looks down, she takes a deep breath and,

“Well, they call me Cat, you know they call me Cat. And it’s not just because my name is Catherine. It’s because I’m very feline like. I’ve always felt like
a cat.” I wonder if she’s looked into a transfeline change? “I have many cat traits. I even have three nipples.”

“Corroborate?” I say to the guy who, still looking at the table, nods slightly.

“So, see? I’m very cat like.” I stare at her. “So, like cats. I don’t like to use utensils.” I stare at her. She smiles as if this is the sanest thing I’ve
experienced today.

“If I am fully understanding you, you’re a cat.” She nods enthusiastically. “Cat level nipples.” She nods as if I’m getting it. Someone is finally getting
it. “Probably purrs. But, if I’m getting it, you’re saying that, right here in this restaurant, you want to eat like a cat. If I’m still getting this, that
means you want to pick up that steak and go at it with your hands.” She almost slips off the chair nodding so wildly. I look at her boyfriend. I smile. I
look at her. I smile. And wave.

“Go at it.” She reaches for it. “But realize this will be the last time we’re ever seen in public.” Losing visitation of me doesn’t seem to bother her
because she lifts the steak and starts ripping at it as if she’s captured a mouse and isn’t toying with it. I watch this for a few seconds before I hear
behind me,

“Is there anyth. . .what the fuck?”

I put my hand on her shoulder to get her attention.

“She’s a cat!” She looks at me as if she, a waitress of many years experience, has never seen anything this off the charts. “But don’t worry, you’ll never
have to see her again.” I tell her to give me the check and back away slowly. She gives me the check then backs away unbelieving what she’s witnessing an
adult do.

I put the check on the table then stand to leave. I shake his hand and say,

“Good luck.”

And, to this day, I don’t know if I was wishing him luck on his project or having to dine with her one more time.

On my way out I could help but make myself ill by wondering if she also shits in a box.

Which reminds me of this:

Seeing Is Believing

I sure have written a lot about karaoke. That can only mean one of two things

1) I love the art form and the joy it brings to all the wondrous songbirds of the world.

or

2) I want to rip the spleen out of anyone who dares utter the word then strangle them with it.

Now which one sounds more like me?

If you are one of those sadly not rare people who loves themselves a little karaoke please know these things: your friends hate you; your loved ones hate that they have to apologize to friends every week for being forced to show up; and patrons of the establishment who didn’t know what horrific events were about to unfold want to go a little number two on your ass.

So please, for the sake of your friends, for the sake of your loved ones who are losing friends, and for the sake of the poor patrons who just wanted a nice, quiet, calm after dinner drink, back off, Little Rancid.

No, you don’t sound like Bonnie Tyler when you do Total Eclipse of the Heart. You sound like a hamster who’s been taught to speak and is going through a root canal. Be delusional on your own time. Your friends don’t have time for the Freddy Mercury level showmanship projected inside your head. What they see is what’s actually right in front of them. A frumpy soccer mom having a conniption.

So imagine my disdain when what I thought was just a plethora of shitty selections from the jukebox was the harbinger of audio doom. After about an hour of random musical caca I heard these chilling words over the microphone,

“If anyone would like to sing we have some books up here.”

“Why didn’t you warn me?” I accuse the bartender. But she just smiles and walks away. Her hearing already in deaf con seven. I look at how much of my drink is left and that of my companion and see that we are not going to get out of this unscathed. I’m sure because, upon hearing the word ‘sing’ this guy, this karaoke ninja who I swear was not in the building when the karaoke Goebbels said ‘if” was already up there with a handful of slips.

“He must print them out at home to be ready.” I mutter ominously into my beer.

I keep my back to him hoping that my ears wilt and slip into my ear holes for safety. But there would be no such luck because, sadly, we have not evolved enough as a species yet. But one day, one day I still hold out a wisp of hope.

I can’t recall the song, a coping mechanism I’ve learned, but it was one of those 60’s songs that seemed like a great idea when the lyricist was on acid but now sounds like a voice mail from your great great grandmother. You know there’s an idea in there somewhere but it’s way beyond your comprehension level.

But between that there was a sound. I’m used to feedback during karaoke. I actually look forward to it. At least it’s a sound I can deal with. But this was an odd one. More a popping then a squeal. The guy may be blowing into the mic (’cause I know he’s sucking with it).

But that’s odd. He doesn’t seem to be ‘singing’ when it happens at times. There it goes again. This time it was much more rapid. A bleet-bleet bleet-bleet-bleet. So I turn around and look.

“He’s keeping time by hand farting?”

Yes, he was.

“Why didn’t you warn me?” I scold the bartender. She shrugs and says,

“Some things you just have to see for yourself.”

Because no one else is there willing to torture others Mr. Bo Farthands gets to regale us with a few Doors tunes in a row.

LA Woman.

“Fart-fart fart-fart.”

The End

“Mother? Yes, son. I want to fart faaaaaaaaaarrrttt.”

Light My Fire

“Come on baby, fart-fart fart fart.”

I’ve seen plenty of instruments in my day. I have a Diddley Bo (a homemade one stringed guitar). I’ve touched a Viotar (a violin/guitar). I’ve seen a Trumophone (a trumpet with a saxophone mouthpiece). And now I can add Farting Hands to that list.

I could have lived my entire life without seeing and hearing that.

Fuck you, karaoke.

Happy

I’m sitting im the garage reading and drinking beer. Trust me, I enjoy those two activities more than you know. The only sounds are the traffic slouching behind me, muffled by my own enclosure. And birds. Birds do go on, don’t they?

At one point I finish a chapter so I take a moment to digest. Take in the thousands of words I’ve just absorbed. Let them ruminate in my fun house brain.

While staring straight ahead, thinking of nothing, just absorbing, I hear my girlfriend. She’s come to the window for some unkown reason. I can sense her looking at me, you know that feeling, until she finally calls out,

“What are you doing? You look like an idiot sitting there.”

I slowly turn my head sipping a beer along the way and respond,

“I can see why you’d be concerned. It’s been a long time since you’ve seen me happy.”

Talking to a. . .

. . .twenty something year old friend,

“What are you talking about? I’m so old the thing you call a throwback jersey I know as a jersey.”

Definition of disappointment

Walking into a sports bar and seeing only soccer and golf on the TVs.

Storyteller

He was a corpulent cuss bloated, no doubt, on his own self-importance. He stood there, posing in studied regality, regaling me with his life’s accomplishments. He’d cured his father of cancer and was going to write a book to cure the world. A movie about one of his many harrowing (and covert) military exploits is written in his mind. He once “. . .beat off a pack of wild dogs. . .” who were attacking a defenseless woman. That sentence fragment alone leaves an image one should not have.

While listening to him prattle, for I sensed his stories were endless because his greatness and bravery knows no bounds, I noticed his right eye was slightly out of focus. As if it were on autofocus and the refracting light was causing an unsteady clarity. I wondered if that was the eye he saw his adventures through. As if his life was viewed through a gauzy halo like the soft focus of a film noir femme fatale close-up.

I could hear a slight wheeze as his stories continued. I took that as a sign the end was near. Not as in his death, but due to the exhaustion that comes from the summation of ones achievements.

He reminded me of the old Saturday Night Live pathological liar character, Tommy Flanagan, but with a smoker’s echoed breathing. He paused for a moment during his litany of self. He smiled the smile of a deathshead salesman. Part vacant, part conniving. Was he sizing me up? Am I engaged enough for him to ride on to his crescendo? Is he wondering if I think he’s gone too far? I couldn’t be sure.

It was in this moment of somewhat quiet and contemplation, the battering of his over sized heart against his rib cage and the low engine rumble of his lungs the only soundtrack, I took the opportunity to ask him the only question I’ve been dying to ask since he began his soliloquy,

“Can you cash me out now?”

During a complaint. . .

. . .session with someone who was complaining about all the stupid people he has to deal with while ignoring the glaring idiocies he leaves in his wake I said,

“Just because you’re smarter than stupid people doesn’t mean you’re smart. It means you’re the king of the idiots.”