Asshat

“Dood! Where were you?”

Warren slowly slinks under the couch.

Damn – now I feel bad. I know if I raise my voice to him Warren believes I’m going to smack his nose with a newspaper, put a boot to his ribs or some other god-awful behavior. I took him away in years ago from his first owner -–now deceased– who treated him like dirt; much like humans, dogs get hard-wired by their earliest experiences. Also like people, they almost never overcome them.

Calmly then, I try again.

“Warren. Come out from under the sofa, dood. I only want to talk. I was just surprised when I got up and you were missing, that’s all.”

His sniffling snout pokes out from under the couch, tests the air for violence molecules.

“I didn’t think you were going to get out of bed,” his quiet voice quavers.

“Uh…all day?”

“Well, yeah,” defensive with just a touch of sarcasm. “You were so baked last night you were talking to the refrigerator before you stumbled upstairs.”

(Yesterday Nora gathered the Astas and had swept them all out toward the center of Kansas in an effort to find her grandparents’ birthplace. I know she had mentioned this to me at one point, as well as why she was doing it, but…I forgot. Sans conscience, I may have…overindulged last night.)

“I might have smoked more than usual,” I allowed.

“More than usual?” Warren’s positively barking now – a good sign. “More than usual!? Dood, you were so stoned that I thought you’d float right off the couch.”

“All right. Be that as it may,” trying for gravitas, “what’s up with the disappearing act?”

“Well, like I said, I didn’t think you were going to rise before 4 or 5 today and I needed to get down to Volker Park.”

“Warren, nobody calls it that any more.”

“You do.”

I have to think about that, which doesn’t go well as I’m a bit foggy. Hmm..my mouth’s a little dry, too. I amble into the kitchen and pull open the fridge door looking for…yes! I pull out an old fashioned, long neck orange soda bottle and look around the counter-tops for a church key. Nothing. Check the dining room and find it on a sideboard. Pop the top and take a long drink.

Out of the corner of my eye I see movement and realize I hadn’t closed the blinds last night on the sliding glass doors leading out to the patio; Jennifer from next door is smiling, waving and laughing while she’s cutting her grass. Great neighbor. I wave back.

I amble back into the living room and sit on the couch, idly scratching my nuts.

“Man, if you haven’t showered yet Nora’s gonna kill you,” Warren says.

“What?”

“Dood, go get dressed – you’re disgusting.”

I check. Yep, he’s right – I’m bare assed. And if I mark Nora’s couch I’ll be in Warren’s house for a week while he lounges indoors. Still…

“Warren? I’m disgusting? Dood, have you ever seen me, at any point, lick my dick?”

“That’s only because you’re as limber as a wood plank. Go get dressed; humans look funny without any clothes. Hey! Is that the last of the ‘good’ sodas? ’cause if it is, I want some.”

I’ve a neighbor who, due to medical complications, has a script for legal smoke. The place where he picks it up also has THC infused soda – he always brings me by a 6 pack.

“There’s another one left in the fridge, help yourself.”

“Very funny, asshole.”

I find and don some clothes and return to the living room.

“Okay, so where did you go?”

Warren sighs. “I just told you, Volker Park. There was an AIDS walk starting there this morning that I promised to do with Butch, Fred and Seymour. All of their owners got up early and drove them down so I couldn’t catch a ride. When I saw you weren’t going to get up in time I just jumped the fence and walked; it’s only a couple miles down Oak.”

“Oh.” Now I do feel bad; Warren’s a committed do-gooder and I had promised I would get him to Volker early enough to meet his friends. “How was it?”

“Good. Good. I met everyone, we scarfed down a ton of trash and left-overs and then Fred got sick everywhere, which was cool ‘cause Seymour was still hungry…”

“Okay, okay, enough.”

“Anyhow, it was good. But what was better was when all the people went to march on the Plaza I cut across Oak and was messing around in the parking lot of KSHB when an intern stepped out for a smoke. She petted me for a good 10 minutes before her pager went off.”

“Cool – I know how you like that. Did she scratch behind your ears?”

“Oh, yeah! That was the best. You know how my back right leg gets to thumpin’ when it’s done just right? Like that…anyhow, she has to go back in and I slip in the door behind her, just because, you know? And I look around the building a little, it kind of reminds me of the last animation house you worked at in LA, remember? Tape room, sound-stage, floor, switcher room, yadda yadda yadda. I can smell doughnuts bagels n’ stuff so I sneak upstairs. Sure enough, in the first big room I find, there’s the food. I amble in, take a doughnut and settle in under a table to eat it and maybe take a nap when folks start to enter and take seats.”

My soda is almost gone and I’m considering drinking the last one. “So, staff meeting or what?”

“No, man, that’s the funny part. Bloggers.”

“What? Bloggers? In a TV studio? Why?”

“Warren?”

“I’m thirsty.”

“Okay, wait a minute…” I go into the kitchen, pour the rest of the orange soda in his dog dish and bring it out. Then I return to the kitchen and get the last good soda for myself.

“Okay, dog, give: what about the bloggers?”

He’s already lapped up all the soda and is snuffling around his dish, licking up any stay atom of moisture that might have escaped. Satisfied he’s got it all, he turns sits back on his haunch, half twists his body and lowers his head to lick…

“Dood, give it a rest!”

“sluuuurp…okay, okay. So it seems that the KC Press Club was hosting a seminar on the ethics of blogging at the studio. In fact the station manager – a Steve Kuat – was ‘moderating’ the event, though if you ask me it was just people talking.”

“Oh, yeah. I read about that.”

“Okay – so there was one guy; a Professor Pearlmutter from KU who spoke for about 10 minutes about a book he wrote called “Blogger Wars”. A few people from other media, oh, and Christa Dubill.”

“Christa who?”

“I forget, you’re too good for TV.”

“Don’t start with that shit. It’s just since The Sopranos went off the air there’s no reason to watch TV.”

“I’ve told you,”  Warren says but he’s back to the compulsive lick lick lick lick oh how the double helix unspirals differently in all of us, “The Sopranos was NOT a documentary.”

“Prove it, dood.”

ANYHOW, Christa is an anchor there and she showed up and sat at the end of the table I was under. She’s kinda cute n’ all but that well hell gal has much better bosoms…”

“Warren…”

“Yeah yeah. So, also, there was a rather statuesque redhead named Sponge and a tall, older peacock who said he was XO.”

“Peacock?”

“Oh, yeah. I mean, it’s spring, don’t get me wrong, but this guy was feeling his oats. He swaggers in, rolls kinda like a sailor just off ship, unused to the land not moving, you know? Wearing this yellow, I mean to say YELLOW blazer over a black and white Hawaiian print shirt, diamond stud in his right ear. He’s probably around your age, maybe older. I can’t tell with you humans. He shaves his head, but I bet the fringe he owns would grow in as gray as his beard, so yeah, pretty old. Sponge and he sat together, though I don’t think she said one word the whole time.”

“Then there was a Russian: KC Meesha, that sound right? Guy named Forsythe and a lady who showed later, name of Toast? Odd names. Plus a college student turned blogger, an ad exec who also blogs and some writer sitting next to Christa taking note after note. In fact that jackass kicked me a couple times when I was trying to get a better sniff of Christa’s legs. All in all, I’d say there were about 20 people there. The station manager seemed pleased.”

“20? The Kansas City Press Club web site says 40.”

“What can I say: they may be literate, but they can’t count for shit. There were no more than 20-21 people there, only 9 of them bloggers.”

The second orange soda is gone and I’ve cleaned and filled a pipe while Warren’s talked. I light it now, take a slow pull and sit on it a minute. When I’m done, I squat over where Warren’s stretched out in front of the couch, reverse the pipe and shoot smoke up his snout. He takes it and gulps a few times, rolls over on his back and lets his paws loll.

The house is still.

“And?”

Warren answers without opening his eyes or moving. “And what?”

“Did you guys have a good discussion on blogging and ethics?”

“Well, no, not so much. Funny, it was pretty obvious that the bloggers all hated this one other blogger, Tony? He has a blog that pretty much smears any and everyone, though he calls it a joke blog. I don’t think any of the other bloggers thought it was funny. I’m guessing he’s like an illiterate, small time drudge wanna-be, but without the wit or meat, you know? I looked at his stuff this afternoon when I got back and it’s all ‘oh, I’m so wonderful and the rest of you retards are so pathetic, come praise me.’ He’s very impressed with himself in the way a egotistical but bright pre-teen might be.”

“I’d heard that about him but have not met him so don’t really know.”

“Oh, and you’re linked up, too. Let me have another hit.”

I re-stoke the bowl and fill our lungs.

“Yeah,” after I can speak again. “Dan mentioned that Tony linked me some time back, though he also made some cute remarks about all the hot babes I’m sleeping with over at the Pitch.”

Have you ever heard a Rotty laugh? It’s hideous, believe me.

“What’s in this stuff?…you don’t even KNOW anyone at the Pitch, much less are ‘doing’ any of them. Anyway, all these bloggers obviously hate this guy’s guts but the overall conversation is kept at a mundane, polite surface level – what case law is vis a vis libel, and the slander bar for bloggers…”

“What is it?”

“Pretty much null, man. No one has seemed to nail a blogger for anything, legally. Some of it is the deep pockets thang –no blogger has any- and some of it is the targets bloggers choose, almost all of whom are public figures, fair game all. Some of it is the effort involved for a private citizen to go after someone who’s smearing them. My overall impression was it would be easier, and far cheaper, to just waylay the offending party and bust up one of his joints, maybe the fingers on his right hand. But that’s just me…”

I’m pulling up the ad guy’s site while Warren talks.

“Dood, says here you guys had “a lively event that examined the ethics of bloggers and the tremendous growth of bloggers and their impact on the news”. There’s also a picture of this Tony dood with Bill Grady – no other photos of the others? Weird…hey it also says there were about 30 of you, not 40.”

“Well, it’s the Internets, man. No Change Management – it said 40 earlier this afternoon.”

“Oh, I believe you. What about the ‘lively’ part?”

“Man, humans’ ideas on lively are somewhat different than mine. I think chasing down and disemboweling a rabbit is a lively time. I don’t think this little seminar counted.

“Fact of the matter is this Tony dude was sad. He’s almost talented, you know? But whatever his skills at ‘reporting’, he’s wasted them annoying the piss out of everyone, so much so that even if he wanted to play nice, no one would play with him. I’m not going to speculate on his upbringing –-though, dood: he’s in his early 30s and still lives at home for Pete’s sake– but he’s obviously emotionally stunted. It’s just sad. But, again: no one really called him out on being an asshat. Don’t get me wrong, all the other bloggers obviously think he’s an asshat, just none of them decided to tell him so while he was sitting right there.”

“Sounds like a waste of time.”

“Nah, I got to scarf down a buncha doughnuts, rested a bit before the walk back home, put some faces to names and got to smell Christa’s legs. Also, the station has some regulatory obligation to host around a half dozen of these public forums a years, so they asked the group for some ideas. I keep thinking a symposium on neutering/spaying might be nice. Though…”

“What?”

“Kinda wish that Well Hell Gal had been there.”

“Dood, you are SUCH a dog. Another hit?”

Asshatwidth=

Material guy n gal

I know not who said it, but it went something like this:

€˜ €¦Democratic scandals always involve money because they almost never have any; Republican scandals always involve sex because they €™ve never had any. € 1

Or something to that effect.

Still and all, Sen. Sam €œI loves me some nuns € Brownback is just begging for it [wink wink, nudge nudge] with the following video.

The video was produced by the Wichita Eagle €™s Opinion page staff, as announced on their front page online today, and -if I €™m any judge- destined for YOUTUBE.

Should be a biiiiig boost for his campaign, eh, wot, wot?

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Show 1 footnote

  1. At least, the GOP’rs   haven’t had sex with what a clear majority of Americans would consider an attractive woman.

it’s just a job: GS-12 at that

WaterboardedAssassination is a term thought to be derived from “Hashish,” a drug similar to marijuana, said to have been used by Hasan-Dan-Sabah to induce motivation in his followers, who were assigned to carry out political and other murders, usually at the cost of their lives.

It is here used to describe the planned killing of a person who is not under the legal jurisdiction of the killer, who has been selected by an organization for death, and whose death provides positive advantages to that organization…

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[interior door opens swiftly as Agent 2 pushes through]

Agent 1: So – what’s the word?’ [though he doesn’t look up from his reading]

Agent 2: They’re going to call in a bit. [he brushes a golden leaf from his shoulder] Start packing.

Agent 1: I thought you…

Agent 2: I want to be ready; if they decide to shut it down, we won’t have much time, a day at the most.

“Murder is not morally justifiable. Self-defense may be argued if the victim has knowledge which may destroy the resistance organization if divulged. Assassination of persons responsible for atrocities or reprisals may be regarded as just punishment. Killing a political leader whose burgeoning career is a clear and present danger to the cause of freedom may be held necessary.”

“But assassination can seldom be employed with a clear conscience. Persons who are morally squeamish should not attempt it.”

“The techniques employed will vary according to whether the subject is unaware of his danger, aware but unguarded, or guarded. They will also be affected by whether or not the assassin is to be killed with the subject. Hereafter, assassinations in which the subject is unaware will be termed “simple”; those where the subject is aware but unguarded will be termed “chase”; those where the victim is guarded will be termed “guarded.”

Agent 2: What are you reading?

Agent 1: The Manual.

Agent 2: Has he stirred at all?

Agent 1: Some: he’s definitely coming around.

Agent 1: Huh. Too bad…I have a feeling it’s it bit late in the day.

“The essential point of assassination is the death of the subject. A human being may be killed in many ways but sureness is often overlooked by those who may be emotionally unstrung by the seriousness of this act they intend to commit. The specific technique employed will depend upon a large number of variables, but should be constant in one point: Death must be absolutely certain.”

Techniques may be considered as follows:

1. Manual
It is possible to kill a man with bare hands, but very few are skillful enough to do it well. Even a highly trained Judo expert will hesitate to risk killing by hand unless he has absolutely no alternative. However, the simplest local tools are often much the most efficient means of assassination. A hammer, axe, wrench, screw driver, fire poker, kitchen knife, lamp stand, or anything hard, heavy and handy will suffice…

2. Accidents
For secret assassination, either simple or chase, the contrived accident is the most effective technique. When successfully executed, it causes little excitement and is only casually investigated
.”

“The most efficient accident, in simple assassination, is a fall of 75 feet or more onto a hard surface. Elevator shafts, stair wells, unscreened windows and bridges will serve. Bridge falls into water are not reliable. In simple cases a private meeting with the subject may be arranged at a properly-cased location. The act may be executed by sudden, vigorous [excised] of the ankles, tipping the subject over the edge. If the assassin immediately sets up an outcry, playing the “horrified witness”, no alibi or surreptitious withdrawal is necessary. In chase cases it will usually be necessary to stun or drug the subject before dropping him. Care is required to insure that no wound or condition not attributable to the fall is discernible after death…”

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The phone rings. Agent 1 doesn’t look up from his reading. Agent 2 turns toward the phone, takes another drag off his cigarette, pauses to expel the smoke then walks toward the instrument, picks it up and listens. He listens for quite a while. Eventually he place the handset back in the cradle.

Agent 1: Well?

Agent 2: It’s over. We have 12 hours from right now before it all goes dark.

Agent 1: Okay – let me finish this section and I’ll go drag him outside.

Agent 2: (shrugs; finishes cigarette and grinds into concrete floor) Sure.

In all types of assassination except terroristic, drugs can be very effective. An overdose of morphine administered as a sedative will cause death without disturbance and is difficult to detect. The size of the dose will depend upon whether the subject has been using narcotics regularly. If not, two grains will suffice. 1
“If the subject drinks heavily, morphine or a similar narcotic can be injected at the passing out stage, and the cause of death will often be held to be acute alcoholism…

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Show 1 footnote

  1. Or, as shown last year, simply use a polonium filled pirozhkis; tea is far too trite.

post trauma

The perfect cosmo...* remember…

DISSOLVE TO:

Andrew:
“You better take a drink.”

He hands Nick one of the cocktails.

As they start to drink, a commotion is heard off-scene…little girls screaming…men’s voices raised in protestation…and a woman’s voice above it all. It is Nora, Nick’s wife.

Nora’s Voice: (off screen)
“Asta! Asta Jr! Stop right this instant, both of you! Where are you going? Astas!”

Nick and Andrew look off toward the commotion.

CUT TO:

ENTRANCE OF THE BAR FROM THE CLOAK ROOM OR CORRIDOR. Nora is coming through. She is a woman of about thirty-three, a tremendously vital person, interested in everybody and everything, in contrast to Nick’s apparent indifference to anything except when he is going to get his next drink. There is a warm, understanding relationship between them. They are crazy about each other, but undemonstrative and humorous in their companionship. Except when Nora occasionally punches Nick. They are tolerant, easy-going, taking drink for drink, and making their way together with a dry humor.

Just now Nora has been shopping. Her arms are full of small packages. Her hat is askew. She is pulled along bodily by two small girls attached to leashes. Not around their throats, for neither Nick nor Nora are cruel, but around and through the belt loops on their outer coats. A doorman and a hat-check clerk are following her, protesting at her bringing the toddlers into the upstairs bar of the Intercontinental. The girls are excitedly yelling.

Doorman:
“Madame, you can’t bring those little girls in here!”

Nora:
“I’m not bringing them. They’re bringing me!” (then to the children) “Asta! Asta Jr!”

But the girls pay her no attention. They pull her like a streak out of the scene toward the bar. Nora’s packages are left in a trail behind her as she stumbles after them. The attendants follow after her, picking up the parcels and protesting vehemently.

Attendant: “But Madame,children aren’t allowed; it isn’t only your girls, but if we started….Madame, you dropped your package!”

BAR – CLOSE SHOT:
As Asta & Asta Jr rush in, still with Nora on the other end of the leashes. The girls make a bee-line for Nick and leap clear up into his arms, squealing with delight. Asta Jr is particularly demonstrative, so much so that Nick is not aware that Asta is pinching his wallet from under his suit coat. Nora, more disheveled than ever and breathless, enters, panting.

Nora: “So it’s you they were after!”

Nick: “Hello, baby.”

Nora: (indicating the girls) “They’ve dragged me into every gin mill on the block!’

Nick: (in explanation) “Well, we do have our route.”

Nora: “I thought so. The even tried to drag me into…”

Nick: (stopping her to introduce Andrew) “Oh, this is Andy…”

Nora and Andy smile at each other.

Nora: “How’re you, Andy?” (hastening to add) “I don’t usually look this way, but I’ve been Chaka Khan shopping…”

One of the attendants who followed Nora comes up. He hands Nora several of her packages.

Nick: (at Andy’s puzzled look) “She means Hanukkah.”

Attendant: “Madame, I’m afraid you’ll have to…”

Andrew: “Ah…”

Nick: (interrupting) “It’s all right, Joe. They’re my girls… (and as an afterthought, waving his hand at Nora)….and my wife.”

Nora: “You might have mentioned me first.”

Nick: (to Joe) “They’re well-trained. They’ll behave themselves.” (with a stern look at the girls)

Joe: “They might lift a wallet from someone who minds.” (hands Nick back his wallet he retrieved from Asta. Asta sticks her tongue out at Joe)

Nick: “They’re all right.” (He lets the girls slide down and stand on the floor, bends over to speak to Asta Jr while secretly cuffing Asta on the back of her head) “Now sit in that chair.” (Asta Jr looks up at him, smiling, but making no move to obey him. Nick speaks with more authority) “Sit down!” (still Asta Jr looks fondly up at him, without obeying) “Well then, stand up!” (then triumphantly to Joe) “See?”

Joe laughs and moves off.

Dorothy comes toward them from the telephone booth. Andrew watches her anxiously.

Andrew: “Any luck?”

Dorothy: “He’s just around the corner.”

Nick: “Your father?”

Dorothy: “No. My dealer…I’m going to see him.”

Nick realizes that Dorothy and his wife have not met. He makes the introduction very casually, waving his hand to indicate Nora.

Nick: “Oh, my wife…Dorothy.”

The two women smile in acknowledgment. Nora looks at Dorothy with warm interest.

Dorothy: “How do you do? I’m sorry we have to rush.”

Nick: “We’re at the Intercontinental for a couple of weeks. Why don’t you drop around?”

Dorothy: “Thanks. We will. Goodbye.”

Andrew: “Goodbye.”

The two go quickly off. Nora looks after them.

Nora: “Pretty girl.”

Nick: “If you like the type – strung out on horse like that…”

Nora: (grinning at him) “You got types?”

Nick: “Only you, darling: lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.”

Nora: “Who is she?”

Nick: “I was hoping I wouldn’t have to tell you. Dorothy is really my…’niece’. I’m looking after her for an old friend. We were all like that on my father’s side…

Nora: “By the way, how is your father’s side?”

Nick: “Sober, dammit.”

Nora: “How many drinks have you had?”

Nick: “Six Cosmopolitans.”

Cosmopolitan Martini Recipe

4 parts Citron Vodka
2 parts Cointreau or Triple Sec
2 parts Cranberry Juice
1 part Lime Fresh Juice

Nora: (to the waiter) “Six Cosmopolitans.” (to Nick) “You’re not going to have anything on me.” (As she hugs the bar, her foot on the rail, in imitation of Nick) “Girls, sit there and behave. Joe? Please bring the Astas something to eat. (turning back to Nick) Now, what happened?”

Nick: “Didn’t you get my phone message?”

Nora: “What message?”

Nick: “The one I left telling you Karl Rove had kidnapped me. Worse, he had me water-boarded. Or I’m still being water-boarded. I’m not sure; it’s all very confusing…”

Nora: “Nicky, I listen to that message every night, though why you insist on leaving the same message over and over again on our phone…”

Nick: (frustration showing) “Dammit it, Nora. This time is different! Karl spiked my drink with something and when I woke we were headed up to Darwin. Then he and Shrub dumped me in the middle of a desert. Well, technically not in the middle, more like a few miles from the entrance gate to one of the national parks outside of Darwin, but still…it’s the idea of it.”

Nora: (emits an unladylike-like snort and almost slips off her stool. She is on her third Cosmopolitan) “Nicky, we’re sailing to Borneo even as we speak.”

Nick: “But we can’t. I have to find Karl again and get back my Treo.”

Nora: “Oh, pooh – you and that toy. And it’s not even a new toy. And you can’t go running off on another one of your adventures and leave me alone with the Astas – it’s just not fair!”

Nick: “I keep telling you, I didn’t run off.”

Nora: “Well, you’re not going to not run off again.” (Indicating her 5th cosmopolitan) “Keep up, bud.”

Nick: “Oh no you don’t. I drank mine and they were enough. Be a peach and let’s retire to our rooms. Asta! Asta Jr! Let us away, girls.”

Nora: “NOT gonna run off again…” (slides off the stool into Nick’s waiting arms. Nick wraps one of Nora’s arm around his shoulder and half-walks half-carries Nora out of the bar, trailed by the Astas who are whipping patrons with the end of their leashes as they pass by)

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Agent 1: So what’s the word?

Agent 2: We sit a couple more days. The head shrink thinks the guy’s on his way back from wherever…

Agent 2: Any more word on OIG?

Agent 1: Yeah.

Agent 2: You gonna tell me?

Agent 1: They’ll be here tomorrow, the next day.

Agent 2: Shit.

Agent 1: Yep.

Agent 1: What are we gonna tell them?

Agent 2: Nothing.

Agent 1: Shit.

Agent 2: Yep.

* Remember… 1

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Show 1 footnote

  1. With respect and all due apologies to Hammett, Hackett and Goodrich.