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We Have A Bat Situation - Part II

Posted 2 July 2005, 4.18 am by VanGogh

Note: This is the second installment of a three part story. If you haven't already, you should really read Part Ifirst.

And so with all hopes of civilized conversation nixed, Todd and I headed back into the room. The 'Boeing Bat' was still in a holding pattern, and Shannon was still hidden under her covers with just her eyeballs exposed to the great revolving beast. Todd slid in behind me, and closed the door.

Soon the bat stopped swooping in front of us, and started swooping over us. Todd and I began a little impromptu dance number to compensate for this change in flight plan. Whenever the bat swooped over, he and I lowered ourselves almost all the way to the ground, and then popped back up when the bat cleared our airspace. We quickly started to look like the Oompa Loompas doing one of their puzzle songs from 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory'.

Apparently no more satisfied with our dancing than our conversational skills, Shannon offered us a little encouragement.

"Get that bat the FUCK out of here!"

I started forward, and then got to thinking about their bedroom. I remember when we were first considering buying this house. We took several tours of it, admiring features, assigning bedrooms and chatting about how we would change things if we bought it. You know, all that silly stuff you do when you still have money. And I distinctly remember touring the upstairs bedroom that Todd and Shannon eventually made their own. When we walked into it, we couldn't believe how big and spacious it was. Enormous really. A great room with lots of potential.

I reflected back on those early tours and wondered what the hell had happened. Sometime between our last tour of the house and tonight, someone had replaced that spacious bedroom with the broom closet we were currently crammed into. Or perhaps that was just my imagination. It might have had something to do with the great-winged messenger of death that was circling the room at the speed of sound. After all, nothing says cozy like flying vermin in your bedroom.

I looked at Todd for a little assistance. The look on his face said it all:

"Oh no you don't. I already passed the proverbial flying buck to you. Don't even try to make me a part of this shit."

So informed, I turned back around and bravely raised my broom. Then I looked at the broom. I don't know who is responsible for the broom buying decisions in our household, but I can tell you that it isn't me.

What I had in my hand was not a broom... It was a plastic stick with a few pieces of straw stuck to the end. When I think of brooms, I think of mighty pieces of earth-moving goodness that clean whole acres of floor in a single swipe. This thing looked like it wouldn't make it through the first round of a fight with a baby dust-bunny. I was supposed to use this thing to swat at that bat? This was the sort of broom that makes dustpans cry in the shame of association.

Never the less, I had a job to do. So again, I raised my slightly-less-than-mighty broom into the air. The bat gave it a quick look. I could read his thoughts.

"Ahhh," he said. "You've been good enough to bring me a toothpick. How kind."

Not the intimidating weapon of doom I was hoping for. While I began to form a stern lecture on proper broom buying in my mind, the bat decided that it was ready for a powder, and promptly swooped into the bedroom closet.

Shannon shouted out, "Close the closet door! Hurry!" I looked over at her on the off chance she was assigning this suicide task to Todd. Silly me.

I slowly approached the dark chasm of the open closet, quite sure that at any moment Batzilla was going to come swooping back out and start nesting up my nose. When I got close enough, I used the broom to close the closet door. As soon as it latched, Shannon was up like a shot. She just as quickly dropped back down and told me to bugger off, as she wasn't wearing any pants. Seems there's an epidemic of that in my family.

To understand what happened next, you need a bit of a geography lesson. When you climb the stairs to the second story of our house, you come out of a decent sized landing. There are two doors off of this landing, one to either side of the stairway entrance. If you go through the left one, you'll enter Shannon and Todd's bedroom, and the newly baptized home of Gigantour, Bat From Hell. At the far end of the bedroom, on the left wall, there is a door to their closet. This closet serves double duty, also acting as a very short hallway to the upstairs bathroom. In the bathroom, there are two doors. One is to the already discussed closet/hallway, and the other is to our spare bedroom. If you exit into the spare bedroom, you'll find another door on the far end of it. Walk through it, and you'll find yourself coming out of the other door on the stairway landing. Thus, it is possible to run around the upstairs, from room to room, in a circle.

So I, being a sly devil, headed back out onto the landing. I had a plan! A brilliant piece of military strategy the likes of which hadn't been seen since the days of Patton. I would launch a surprise attack from behind! I strode with long confident steps into the spare bedroom, and headed straight for the closed bathroom door. Todd followed, covering my back. My way, way back.

I stood only inches from the bathroom door, finding the best grip on my wannabe broom, and playing out the coming battle in my mind. I would brashly enter the bathroom, catching the bat by complete surprise. He would no doubt be hiding beside the entrance from the closet/hallway door, waiting to jump me when I came in. I would tower over him, wait for him to finish his pleas of mercy, and then serve him with final judgment. I flashed a confident grin at Todd, and burst through the door.

Or at least I would have, had it not been locked from the inside. What I managed to do was sort of flatten my nose. From behind me, Todd added another brilliant bit of commentary.

"You know, that door is locked from the inside."

I nodded and then thanked him for that key bit of information, tardy though it may be. So with my first brilliant plan dashed, I decided on Plan B, a frontal assault through the closet/hallway door. I didn't bother to give this plan a name, but if I did, I'm sure it would have been something like "Custard's Last Stand Revisited."

Todd and I walked back around into his bedroom. We opened the door just in time to be plowed over by Shannon, who was now fully clothed, and had no intention of staying in the same zip code as our winged guest.

After picking ourselves up off of the ground, Todd and I walked in and shut the door behind us. We walked over to the closet/hallway door and...

Well, and nothing. We just stood there. We didn't say anything. We didn't do anything. It was if our bodies had been conspiring behind our backs to quit working before we could get in any real trouble.

Todd looked at me. I looked at Todd. We both looked at the door. The door didn't look anywhere... but if it had had eyes, I'm sure it would have just looked back at us, blinking.

Suddenly Todd spoke. "You know what we need? Tennis rackets!"

I replied, "Yeah! Tennis rackets. That's what they used in the 'Big Chill' to go fight the bats. Tennis rackets. Do we have any?"

"No. My parents have three or four damn tennis rackets at their house, and they don't even play! What the hell???"

Our souls were matched in their indignation. How dare his parents hoard all the tennis rackets? It was downright un-American of them.

"Next time I'm home, I'm stealing at least two tennis rackets. And a can of Raid."

I looked at him skeptically. "I don't think Raid kills bats."

He shook his head. "Oh sure it does... If you throw the can right, you can kill all sorts of things."

I decided not to ask. Instead, I raised my broom and walked to the closet/hallway door, pulling it open.

To Be Concluded...

God talk

Posted 1 July 2005, 11.46 am by Waldo

(Let us just say that I’ve come down with a fever and there’s not anyone to play me a cow-bell.)

[Matters at hand being what they are, I’ll take up god. I’ve got problems with him (I should note already that I’ven’t any wish to personify any object such as god or jesus or any other prop or crutch such as that, but it is the convention and who am I to attack hundreds of thousands of days worth of that?), but I’ll ignore those as best I can for now (that is to say that I won’t because I can’t, I’m personal and damaged in all things, esp. those I have a voice in) and try to be factual (that’s a joke) or, failing that, sympathetic.]

So, let’s have a god. Make him omnipotent (what’s the point of only having one if he can’t do everything?) and all-knowing and everything. Zeus+. Jehovah. Ok, so, he’s created the world, the universe and everything and everything on, in and around it. Good for him. And thanks, really (existence still being better than non-, to some degree (so long I remain curious and wealthy), and all the questionable theories of a life-after).

And then call him all sorts of other things. ‘Good,’ kind, loving and whatever synonyms. And call that a christ-ian one. Uncontroversial.

But then (O my, O me) there’re all sorts of horrors about. So how does this omni-omni-potent-sentient lovey-hugging deity allow such a thing?

Positing something as loathsome and base –less as free will is just that, but some are wretched enough to. Put simply, if there were this just, kind, loving-caring lord of all things (this world, universe and any other) who could not allow a free will and dis-allow all kinds of things he’s found to hate (I’ll not ask how or why, it’s difficult enough judging myself) (divorse, torture, self-abuse, the fiery pits of eich ee double-you-know) it would be a far less than omni-omni god. And the christian god is not some lord of the pocketwatch. He sends down a son and speaks to him (before the mewing little lamb’s tortured, killed and had countless jack-asses make a buck off that and that), reveals his will through angels and burning bushes, directs some wandering nomads and keeps them well and good and conquered and slaughtered through eons (how else do you subjugate a people to your will?). He is active (so fuck-off, you).

Of course this god can do anything. Especially the irrational (Vincent to Jules). Omni means omni. A therefore not A (A.:~A) with a sharp little (big) tee beside it. Or, say, microwave a burrito so damn’d hot, so molten and destructive he himself is unable to eat it. Of course that fails to make any sense at all. That’s rather the point. We are bound things and this god is not. We’ve these bodies and minds and have invented (somehow) logic and rationality. Or they’ve been given to us. Something. And there’re ours, not his (so fuck-off, you).

Anything that happens or is must be this god’s will. He has domain. I would not begrudge an omni-omni anything less. With that in hand god wants wars, slaughter, pain and misery and all the things those dirty little non-believers see and blame on human-beings. O no, that’s god’s, I’m afraid. Along with joy and security. And he likes all of that spread disproportionate to anything rational, anything we could see and say ‘O, yes, our good-lord is bound to this rationality and logic we’ve discovered.’ Of course, that’s just empirical evidence. How shameful.

He does not want earthly justice (outside the legal meaning, we’ll use our language as we’d like). O my, I’ve slipped (again and again) into using a masculine pronoun. All kinds of sorry to those who suppose one without genitals or of the tit-wielding sort. God wants bad art, ugly chidren and a polluted wastebucket for an earth. Basically, god’s an asshole. Were he human that is. But if we might call him just and kind and all of that sort of thing why not an asshole? That seems reasonable.

But god works in mysterious ways, hm? Is that so? Well, he’s found ways to be direct previous when it counted or we (the jews) thought it did. Or Job thinks he’s been abandoned when (haha!) it’s only been a practical joke and a bet. O that trickster! Sorry guy. If the lord is mysterious and unwilling to come-forward to shepherd and draw in all those he has a love for, well, there’s a word for someone like that.

And there’s no cure for cancer. (even cancer needs a home)

O, and if we consider the rise in bastards and male homosexuals over the past few decades, god hasn’t been seeing nearly enough screwing in previous centuries. Especially when there’re two guys going at it. And as a population that can’t reproduce itself sweeps in the fruits of fruitful hetero-couples not only does our lord (and savior) like what’s going in and out, they’d like it to keep going in and out. Seems god turned to a queer-lover at some point. Cool.

Our christ-giving lord is a pervert and an asshole with proclivity same as any budding sociopath.

We Have A Bat Situation - Part I

Posted 26 June 2005, 2.08 pm by VanGogh

I suffer from insomnia. I have since I was about 13 years old. (Incidentally, that's the same age at which I started going bald. I don't know what I did to piss off God , but I'm sorry already.) An average night for me involves going to bed around 1:00 AM, actually falling asleep around 4:30 or so, and then waking between 7 and 8 AM.

This, as you might imagine, sucks.

So you'll perhaps appreciate the pain of the situation I found myself in recently. I went to bed around midnight, and much to my own surprise, fell asleep almost immediately! I was enjoying a truly magnificent slumber, the kind of sleep mere mortals only dream of, right until 2:00 AM.

That's when Todd came down to get me. Todd is my business partner, and my sister's husband. He and I bought this house, and we live here together while remodeling it. Normally Todd doesn't bother me at 2:00 AM. Normally, anyone coming to talk to me at 2:00 AM would still find me awake, so it would be no bother at all. It would, in fact, be a relief from the monotony of late-night TV.

But this was no ordinary night. This was the night of deep, blessed slumber. And then Todd came.

Todd: *nudge* *nudge* (Whispering) Hey, Jaime... wakeup.

Jaime: *Jumping straight up with a look of terror* What? What the fuck?!

Todd: Sorry to wake you, but we have a bat situation upstairs.

Now, I should explain, that when Todd said that we had a bat situation upstairs, my sleep-addled mind instantly produced a mental image of Adam West, the old TV batman, complete in tacky costume, running around upstairs and causing a ruckus.

I stared at Todd with a suspicious eye. He had interrupted my sleep for this? I began looking around the room for something heavy to throw at him.

Then Todd added, "There is a bat flying around in our bedroom. I need your help to get it."

Suddenly my mind was focused. I was at one with the world, and understood the situation perfectly. Todd, being a gentle lad, inexperienced in the way of battling bats, had wisely come downstairs and solicited the help of a true master bat fighter.

"Todd," I intoned seriously, "we need bat fighting tools! Get a broom!"

Todd turned and bolted from the room, no doubt taking comfort in the knowledge that he was being led by an experienced man of battle such as myself. I, meanwhile, sprung into action. Having thus sprung, I realized I was in my underwear and a t-shirt, and wisely decided to add some pants to my ensemble.

I groped about blindly until I felt something like my shorts. I quickly started to put them on, then fell over on the bed as I realized that I was attempting to step into one of my discarded shirts. Ever the suave fighter, I hurriedly tossed aside the shirt, and found a pair of sweatpants to throw on.

Properly dressed, I exited my bedroom and walked through our living room, on my way to the kitchen to check up on Todd's hunt for a broom. Right in the middle of the living room, I stopped dead in my tracks.

Todd and my sister's bedroom is located right above the living room. Being that our house is 100 years old, it still has open floor grates. These were used in colder months to move warm air from the heater below to the bedroom above. So if you're standing in our living room, (Or rushing through it to check on a friend and their hunt for a broom), and someone in the upstairs bedroom screams, you can hear it through the grate.

Right on queue, Todd appeared with a broom in hand. He handed it to me, like a stable boy handing a sword to his noble master. I looked at it for a second, and then back up to the grate.

"Shannon is still up there isn't she," I asked grinning.

A small laugh escaped from Todd. "Yep."

Suddenly I was happy to be awake. Thrilled. Ecstatic even. The thought of my sister trapped in the same room with a bat was just too delicious to miss.

Now I don't want you to think I hate my sister, or wish her harm. Quite the opposite. I love her, and she is in fact one of my best friends. But the idea that she was up there alone with a bat. Well, I guess you just have to be a brother who spent an entire childhood torturing your sisters with stories of creepy crawly things to fully appreciate it. I couldn't wait to see her face.

I smiled at Todd and then yelled, "Hey Shannon!"


"Is the bat still up there?"

"Yes! Would you assholes get up here! I can't believe you left me alone with a bat."

Hee hee hee.... good times.

So, broom in hand, I led Todd back up the stairs and around to their closed bedroom door. Broom firmly clutched, I motioned to Todd to open the door, so I could step forward and do battle.

Todd opened the door.

I stepped in, broom first. I just as quickly stepped back out and yelled at Todd to close the damn door. In the brief moment I was inside, what I saw led to several important revelations:

First off, Shannon was handling the situation as well as could be expected. She was lying on the bed, under the covers, with just her eyeballs exposed. They were whirling about the room, doing their best to keep the intruder in site. To the uninformed watcher, she might have looked like she was trying to watch a single blade of the ceiling fan.

Second, what was flying around in there had been misidentified. In the confusion of being fresh from sleep, they had thought it was a bat. But I had gotten a good look at this so-called 'bat' as it swooped mere inches in front of my face. It wasn't a bat, it was a Boeing 747. I understood how they could have confused it with a bat. After all, it had the face, wings, and body of a bat. But I, being an educated man, knew that anything that large that manages to stay airborne can be nothing but man-made.

Third, I realized that, with the single exception of having watched a co-worker wildly swing at one with a broom once, I had absolutely no experience in doing battle with bats, let alone super bats like the one that had settled into a holding pattern in their room.

While I was contemplating all of this, Todd chirped in with some helpful thoughts.

"Big isn't it?"

Indeed. Very big. I was prepared to have a 3 or 4 hour dialogue with Todd about the size of that bat. I thought we could go back downstairs, I would make up some coffee, and we would discuss my current theory that the bat was actually a passenger airliner in fur.

But then Shannon, ever the complainer, decided to speak.

"What the fuck are you doing? GET BACK IN HERE!"

And so with all hopes of civilized conversation nixed, Todd and I headed back into the room...

To Be Continued...

All For One, part 2

Posted 23 May 2005, 7.47 pm by The_Roach

Over two years ago, I wrote an article for AKpCEP and promised that more would likely follow. Here, now, is the second installment. The first can be found here.

"Why is it so much harder at night?"

That's what she asked us as we sat under the stars, their pinpoints of light just beginning to crack through the darkness. I didn't have an answer for her. Esoteric questions such as that tend to elude me, as I don't spend much of my time musing. Find the problem, find the solution. If no solution is available, minimize the damage and move on. It's simple, practical... and heartless.

I had been on vacation only days earlier when, on the drive home, my cellular phone decided that its time had come. I live by that mobile device, relying on it for dates, times, alarms and as my personal phone directory. I never feel so lost as I do when I'm without it and, when it failed me for what would be the last time, I immediately went towards damage control. There was no doubt a spare phone that could be borrowed from work or wherever else until a replacement could be purchased. I'd have to start writing down appointments again, of course. But what to do about the numbers? I did a quick mental inventory of how many I had memorized and came up with a dozen.

Two days later, I had found a loaner and was making the best of not knowing who was calling. Answer, ask for their name if I didn't recognize the voice, add it to the phone book. Seems silly, this one is only going to be used for a month, but old habits die hard. And I can always retype them again, right? Right.

When it rang in the afternoon, I grabbed it and, out of habit, checked to see what the display said. No name, just digits. But I know it. It's one of the dozen. My mind took a moment for recall, stopped itself, and checked again in disbelief. This couldn't be right. She almost never calls and, on those rare occasions that she does, it's never from this number. I remember it due to simplicity and repetition but I haven't even dialed it in years now.

"This is never an easy call to make," she said and, in that instant, I knew her mother was dead.

I couldn't say anything. What was I to do? Offer the usual platitudes? "She's in a better place." "At least she isn't in pain anymore." These are small, ineffectual comforts; the excuses that we use to hide the guilt of knowing that nothing said is going to make the difference.

She was surrounded by friends when I arrived an hour later to make my presence felt, remind her there was one more person who loved her, whom she could share the weight of sorrow with. Faces known to me but never even classed as acquaintances exchanged the perfunctory greetings. We sat in the cool grass, watching the last rays of daylight descend past the mountains and out of sight, and spoke of old people and times past.

I told her of a friend who is to be married in the coming months. She reminisced her guilt at never having called another when her mother passed some years prior. We tried to recall the first time we met, roughly ten years ago. There was discussion about who had called, what they had said, reactions to the news. Others came and went from our conversation, contributing their own stories and sentiments and tears.

I had not been aware of her mother's decline, which had come rather suddenly. It was a mere three days in the passage from relative normalcy to the finality of death. One of the members of our little party had been present, staying with them through the entire affair. When the question came, she was the one who could answer it.

"You come home at night. That's when you remember."

Being Creative

Posted 14 May 2005, 8.09 am by lee

They met in the middle of the train station. The huge trains came on and off the railways, creating unbearable amounts of noise. People were running all over the place- trying to catch their train on time. She was waiting for a friend she hasn’t met for ages. He was late and she was getting a bit nervous in there. She just wanted the noise to stop. Two hands covered her eyes and a gentle voice asked- trying to catch a train too?! I’m here for as much as half an hour and still nothing- I get the feeling that someone up there doesn't want me to go...
- Do you?! But why are you reaching hands to strangers!?
He didn't seem to be troubled by her query and went on,
- I’m not trying to be rude- but can I ask you out for a cup of coffee?! I’m getting really bored here and I think our train will be delayed for a while now.
He put his most charming face on and gave out a wink toward her. Having no trouble glancing right down at her low cut décolletage.
She looked up at him, trying her best not to look shocked by the proposal, or the nerve of the guy stood so much close to her now. Looking at her watch, as they heard the conductor announcing that the train will be late for another twenty minutes; and starting losing her patience. The dark guy still tried to convince her to come. He had his brown eyes shining and full of warmth looking at her with slender fondness. While starting towards the gigantic stone gate of the railway's station; She felt a little rush of curiosity, so she followed him.
-I get the feeling you begin to like me; you came after all.
Showing off his smile, letting a full raw of white teeth a little lick from the side.
-Try not getting too exited about it.
She had such a dazzling look when she looked at him with her infinite bright eyes.
-Well, I’ll try to cope.
-Works with me.
They came in an ancient looking coffee shop stood near the station.
This place offered the “best ‘black water’ in town” with “amazing sweets”, sounded just about right.
-I’m a student of medicine in the university, an hour travel by train from here. What is your excuse?!
-I’m supposed to meet a friend- but I guess he won’t come after all.
-Why not?! Why are you looking so sour? “I really love to be alone without all the ache and pain and the April showers...” it’s the Lighthouse Family, they already said it better then me.
He took a byte from the cake, using his tongue to put it on his nose.
-Are you always that silly near girls?
A little smile appeared in the curve of her mouth.
-Sure why not?! I’m young and I’m awfully childish- don’t girls just adore that in a guy?
-Sometimes we do.
He glanced for a while above her head, trying to think of how he heard his friend from school got the entire women-class-mates chasing after him all day long.
-Lets say I had it with trying to be intelligent for people to start appreciate me. What would you say if I suggested going somewhere else?
-I got here, haven’t I? So I’ll play along.
He was nearly undressing her in his mind; she noticed that fact, but didn’t seem to mind. Maybe all I really need right now is some good old sex.
He rose first and pick up the chair for her, getting really close to her neck, trying to make out the aroma of her skin. She thought that was cute of him to try looking old fashioned and behaving like a gentlemen. I always thought gentlemen were made by men in order to get women lose their guard faster. Ha, ironic- isn’t it.
They gone to his place and as she stood near the counter, he asked if she wanted something to drink. She shook her head; Just pure intercourse for me.
He took some ice and mashed it in his mouth.
-Come here,
Sounding fairly funny, his proposal got appealing in her eyes.
-I won’t byte…
A crafty smile got on his face, as his eyes were sparkling with joy.
Muscular arms were wrapped around her waist while her neck felt a cool wet kiss. The ice got really slender as his tongue rose to her hear. A little shiver gone throughout her back when his hands guided her to push the items behind her. There weren’t much on the counter- but she almost felt sorry for breaking something. There was a small vase that made a splash sound as its water broke lose, followed by a shattering sound of the vase itself. He started to kiss her lips really hard and passionately, whereas guarding her head until she was safe down. Warm long fingers traveled up and down the flowered summer dress she had on; and while brushing his one-day-old facial hair, she remembered how good it was to be single again. After starting to feel his passion rise, he decided to pick her up and carried her to his bedroom .He wore a buttoned navy blouse and long black trousers that started feeling tight near the groin aria. Unbuttoning his shirt felt just about right while getting a massage to her thighs. Starting opening her zipper with his teeth and getting her undressed felt as natural as breathing; so he gasped for a little air before she started taking his cloths off. She let him play with her belly for a while, getting excited by his tongue movements around and in her belly button. He petted her breasts and gave them tiny bytes, just before she guided his right hand over her worm skin straight to her silky lace panties. While he reached there she gave out a slight of a cry. Then she reached out for him, leaving his mouth open. The air conditioner was on, but they still felt awfully hot. When he got in her, she rose with pleasure and scratched his back with her long fingernails. They felt so good in that room and neither wanted to get up. It felt like the time has froze up merely for them…
-Tanks, honey, it was breath taking! I wish we could make love everyday.
They kissed gently.
She looked up at him with her luminous great eyes. Her skin was radiant and healthy, and her long reddish hair was scattered on the pillow. She seamed to him like an angel fell from the skies. And now this beautiful angel of his were at the edge of death. The doctors told them she had a really rare type of cancer and had to start being care of in the infirmary. Tears almost broke out of him, but he knew he had to be tough for her. They lay in the bed for a long time while they waited for the time she had to come back.
-We’ll try to be more creative next time, making love on the hospital's ward. What do you say?!
-I wish we could stay frozen in this moment forever.
He smiled at her and leaned to kiss her. She was holding his hand as tight as she could, at her situation. The old clock on the wall signed the fifth hour, they had to go. The suitcase was already in the car, so they took the keys and left. His throat felt extremely sore; How could I let her become sick… he knew it hadn't anything to do with him- but he still hoped he could fix things up. They got to the hospital by six in the after noon and the physician came to tend after her. He lay in the bed, right beside her, feeling her worm skin. She dozed off after taking the medicine and he kept holding her tight. Trying to be inspired for the next time home…

Cello's Song

Posted 9 May 2005, 5.28 am by Princess

i hide behind intonation of someone else's

a specific moment where psychological
movement is expressed in musical notes.
a thought a thousand years old.

the sound of the song resonates
through my chest, as if
not even i
am playing this


Posted 18 April 2005, 11.17 pm by jackwright

So, about the best friend I have was diagnosed with cancer in his bladder last summer. It was probably a good thing; he had been miserable for quite some time. The diagnosis forced a decision concerning a treatment program. This was difficult for him as he'd had polio as a child; back in the days of the iron lung, hot packs and all manner of torturous experimental stratagery designed to fuck up any childes opinion of the medical profession for years to come.

They elected to run him through an aggressive chemo therapy program. The program run three times as long as they had thought in the beginning and about half way through, he started to experience pain in the lower center of his body. deep.

The oncologists waited until his blood tests indicated that the cancer in his bladder was gone before they ordered a bone scan, despite the fact that they had to prescribe morphine for the pain. I also find it odd that they ordered a bone scan when the bladder isn't a bone at all. It really does seem like a heartless fuckin racket to me.

Well, they hadn't killed the cancer at all, it had simply packed up and moved, and they knew that and continued the chemo treatments in order to collect the $275.00, or whatever, for a bunch of useless treatments while the cancer spread otherwhere. It had moved into his lower spine, his pelvis and into one femar. They decided to hit it with 600 rads of the old glow in the dark, every day for a couple of weeks.

It gets a little complicated here. Due to the backwoods status of where we live, he had several different types of doctors, scattered over about 300 miles, in about four different towns. Not a goddamn one of them communicating with another.

A few days before he was to report to the cancer clinic to begin his radiation treatments he developed heavy fluid on his lungs; which I, as a stupid white trash redneck, reccognised as congestive heart failure.

Consequently, the local quacks, without running a single test, decided that it was pneumonia and sent him home with antibiotics, a nebuliser and a prescription for oxygen; when, if like they should have, they'd run an EKG, they would have hospitalized him, then and there, for congestive heart failure.

To make matters worse, the local doctors didn't communicate with the cancer doctors so when he started his radiation treatments, in a town 100 miles away, instead of admitting him, they stuck him in a hotel room with oxygen, on morphine, in heart failure, with zero instructions concerning the use of the oxygen, thinking he had pneumonia.

Well, for all intents and purposes that was like just killing him. He got disoriented, misused the oxygen, wasn't taking anything to relieve the pressure on his heart, and lungs, and wound up enlarging his heart. He wound up in the emergency room and admitted, they finally decided it was heart failure, and they just put him on a dietetic, a fluid restriction and massive oxygen. Then just waited around for him to die.

He recently give me the power of attorney concerning any advanced health care directives; that means that if the time comes, I'll be the one to decide when to pull the plug. He was pretty bad but I felt like there was still hope. However he was down because some jerk doc had said not. It was his intention to finish his last three radiation treatments, then move to the extended care facility, up here, to continue working on getting his heart back online. I was supposed to go up and see him a few days back. His sister got a call in the morning saying it might be best to come get his affairs in order as he didn't have long. When I called ahead to see when would be a good time to show up in order to catch his doc, they told me that he was gone.

It turns out that he'd rolled over in the middle of the night and knocked his oxygen mask off, and nobody was at the monitoring station to catch it and his brain was damaged before they got it back on. So, wa laa, they shipped his ass up here to hospice him. A mix up concerning two docs by the same name at different hospitals fucked me up a little, but I finally found him; he was just barely there. He was completely fuckin' out of it; laying nude in a hospital bed with a diaper under him and not a blanket in sight. His oxygen line was wrapped all around everywhere except where it was supposed to be. He didn't know who I was despite the fact that he had been asking for me. He didn't know where he was, how long he'd been there or how he'd got there

This was not the time to play the kissass, I went fuckin' bulistic. I demanded that they get his doctor and the charge nurse present just as soon as I got his oxygen lines untangled, hooked up and his body, somewhat covered. By the time the charge nurse got there, I had him sitting up in his bed and trying to put the last 36 hours together; he couldn't do it. A couple of hours later, when his attending doctor showed up, he was coherent; which blew the doctor away.

During my little pow wow with the doc and nurse I learned that it was their opinion that his body was riddled with cancer, it had moved into his brain, his heart and lungs were completely shot, and, at best, he might live six, very miserable, months. When asked what they were basing their opinions on they didn't have a fuckin' answer. Not to mention their amazement at how much it helped to get him back on his oxygen. Too bad that the assholes didn't amaze themselves before the brain had been damaged. I impressed upon my friend his need to concously keep his oxygen on and headed down to see his cancer doctors, a hundred miles away.

The doctors weren't in at the cancer center but I talked to a receptionist/nurse. I give her a copy of my power of attorney concerning advance care directive and demanded some answers. I was told that his body was not riddled with cancer; that it was localized and, they believed, stopped. Their wish was still to get him in for the last three radiation treatments, and they still believe that he can go on to enjoy a decent quality of life for years to come.When I asked her what she based that opinion on, she replied the original diagnosis, bone scans and the fact that the radiation treatments had stopped the pain. Not much but more than the last doctor that I'd spoke to.

I then explained to her that I'd talked to a dozen different doctors in the last week, each one with a different diagnosis and not a single one of them with a current fucking test to back up their opinions. I suggested that she inform her boss that if he can't do something to get a few of these fuckin' quacks on the same planet, that he should let me know so that I could find somebody that could. I also informed her that I was about one more stupid answer away from retaining the greediest fuckin' shyster ambulance chaser I could find, and instructing him to sue until it was impossible for any of them to afford malpractice insurance again.

That was last Thursday. On Saturday when I went in to see him he was sitting up in his bed, he ate fruit that I brought. His thoughts were still, somewhat, fractured but he was aware of his surroundings. When I went in and seen him on Sunday, he was up, and dressed in his own clothes, and sitting in his wheelchair, feeding himself. He is just about all there; we give him his gituar and some pot brownies. When I left, I did so, for the first time in weeks, with a good feeling. He just called me at his house, on his own,(Sunday he couldn't remember his own number), and we had a good talk. I'll visit him tomorrow. I'm reasonably sure that he is going to get to come home soon.

It looks like the deathwatch may finally be nearing an end and I can go home and get some decent sleep, for the first time in weeks

Had I left the various quacks and their flunkies to their own devices last week, my friend would be dead today. What really bothers me here is that I know that this isn't an isolated incident, it happens all the time, in clinics and hospitals all over Amerika. I had to do the same thing for my mother a few years back up in Reno. My family called and offered to come get me and try to get me up to see her before she died. When I got there the prognosis was grim...nothing that they could do, and all that shit. Well, to make a long story short I started raising hell; I fought with my family; I had a falling out with my younger sister that still hasn't been repaired, but my mother is alive and well today. And, quite simply, she would not be if I'd left the doctors to their medical journals and insurance guidelines.

So what about you, is the doctors word written in stone ? Losta luck if it're gonna need it.

Democratic Despotism

Posted 18 April 2005, 11.32 am by Anton

I was reading the paper yesterday, The Daily Mail I think it was. There was an article that was built around Democratic Despotism, a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville in which the power of state spreads so far and invades so many different things that its basically a despotism.

It got me thinking about how true this is becoming. Every problem seems to result in yet more legislation, more committees, in essence more shit to try and cover up the problem. I was always lead to believe that a Government works for the people so why are we being placed under greater and greater control by that which works for us? It seems quite foolish.

The utopian ideology of any Government should be to render itself obsolete, create such a paradise of a country that its inhabitants can run themselves like clockwork without an ever present Big Brother telling them what not to do. What we have today appears to be opposite and its not getting any better.

This wouldn't be as bad a situation if politics and business were further apart but as it is so much of political action is influenced by business and the mighty magnificence of currency that this ever increasing control cannot be a good thing whilst profit and productivity arguably have greater worth than the needs and wants of the people.

This part appears to owe a lot to World War 1. Before we didn't like state interference at all. We were a collection of small communities acting under the collective name of England. However the war brought about a necessity for increased production. Drastic changes occurred some of which were for the better: improved work conditions, more rights for women.

However, it also marked the journey down the long slippery slope of control by the Government. During the war they had pretty much complete control over the country and as we have seen in hundreds upon thousands of fictional and non-fictional works alike if you give a man power he seldom wants to give it all back. In fact they want more and more until they are so gorged on power they vomit everywhere and leave everything as a semi-digested garbled mess of society in absolute turmoil.

Do I have any solution for this? Not really, its simply a case of looking out for yourself and keeping an eye on the Government. Don't be sucked in by their lust for control, humanity has survived for millennia not because of Government but because of people.

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They were done for an exhibition a couple of years ago . They asked for something to so with the summer. They are mixed media and oil paint on metal advertising boards - for ice cream.

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Hey Cris, it's as busy here as it was at the end - which is to say, not at all

I wish I could new you guys was here in the beginning of 2020 LOL

OMG I was feeling nostalgic and I can’t believe that AKP is still here! So how’s it going ?

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