Fly-Pence 2024?

October 8, 2020

Hat tip to the inimitable B. Kliban.

“Have you ever heard of insect politics? Neither have I. Insects … don’t have politics. They’re very … brutal. No compassion, no compromise.” — Seth Brundle, “The Fly”

It’s a wash

October 7, 2020

The Granite Face on the Whitewash Trail is no place for an elderly fella with a dodgy ankle. But I’ll probably hike up the sonofabitch anyway.

Once I saw a young man yell “look” in the lobby and let his prick hang out; he closed his overcoat then and tried to run out the door, rather swirled clumsily in the revolving door. One woman screamed but most people shrugged.  Depressing. He needed help. A lock on his zipper for beginners. — Jim Harrison, “Wolf.”

Faced with the ceaseless weenie-wagging that constitutes our national politics it’s easy to forget that the world remains a remarkable place.

Yesterday during a brief hike in the Sandia foothills my iPhone hooted. It was a text from Apple advising me that it had received my MacBook Pro, shipped the previous day, and that the agreed-upon repairs would commence directly.

It was not that long ago that I would have had to wait until I got home and checked the answering machine to see whether the typewriter repairman had gotten around to my Royal manual yet.

Of course, my hip pocket was a quieter place back then, what with no mobile phone and a wallet that bordered on the anorexic; no matter how I stuffed it with money it always vomited it up somewhere.

And if I’d wanted to snap any photos during the hikes I was mostly not taking I would’ve had to pack along the Pentax MX camera I had acquired in a trade with an iffy acquaintance. I got the camera, some cash, and a bit of the old nose whiskey, and he got my S&W .41 Magnum (I was slightly overgunned at the time).

Later this gent would draw a short stretch at Club Fed in Texas, not far from where Apple is resolving the shortcomings of my MacBook. Not for anything involving the .41 Mag, or me, happily. Last I heard he had become a respectable citizen and taxpayer, a credit to society, just like Your Humble Narrator.

Time passes, and things change. For instance, it was probably fortunate for me that I shipped my MacBook in when I did. Just this morning MacRumors noted that this mid-2014 edition of the venerable 15-inch laptop will be added to Apple’s list of vintage and obsolete products come Halloween.

The 13-inch model I’m using to create this post is already on the list, as are all the other Macs in the house, save the iPhones and iPads. The 2014 MacBook Pros are supposed to remain eligible for service indefinitely, says MacRumors … “subject to parts availability.”

Boo. …

El Choad

October 6, 2020

Even Charlton Heston thought this one was a stinkeroo, and he got to rub up against Sophia Loren.

How many times do you think Adolf Twitler has seen “El Cid,” anyway?

Indestructible warrior of God struck down in mid-battle springs miraculously back to life (or so it would seem) to smite the ANTIFA milling around the property.

The writers played it a bit fast and loose with the truth back in 1961, too. As Alex von Tunzelmann noted at The Guardian in 2013, before El Choad rode his golden escalator into the fray, the epic “leaves the facts wounded and strewn haphazardly across the battlefield. …”

The facts fare even worse in this remake, in which El Choad actually survives. Whether the rest of us survive El Choad remains to be seen.

‘Wicked, tricksy, false!’

October 4, 2020

“I’m just peachy, really. Tip-top, actually. Never better. Back at the ol’ desk any day now.”

Well, we seem to have blown right past the question of whether Bugsy Sméagol has The Plague and are now deep into the slimy weeds of lies surrounding just how bad his case might be, O yes, my precious.

This, oddly, may be the one thing about this “presidency” that is not unique, as Chazbo Pierce points out in his weekly letter from The Shebeen (subscription required).

Diseases have croaked as many presidents as have bullets (four apiece). And plenty of administrations have concealed the fact that the president was teetering on the edge of eternity, or at least a couple tacos short of a combo plate.

Now instead of trotting out a platoon of generals or economists to give us the old hocus, and also the pocus, Bugsy’s handlers send us a squad of Walter Reed whitecoats to add their spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down, i.e., what The New York Times calls “conflicting accounts” of his condition.

Over at Mother Jones, Kevin Drum draws our attention to the sociopath behind the curtain, giving us the timeline as he sees it and calling the conduct of Bugsy and his goons “reckless beyond belief.”

I find it entirely believable, but hey, let’s agree to disagree.

This is a cult of personality we’ve been dealing with since Bugsy surfed the golden escalator into the GOP presidential pissing match, in which he proved to be the biggest dick.

You don’t get stand-up guys in a cult. What you get is scabby-kneed old hoors with calluses on the insides of their mouths. Bloated ticks sporting American-flag lapel pins. The occasional professional rat who knows the fastest way off a sinking ship and through a publisher’s office into the talk-show green rooms.

Nobody had the stones to get a hammerlock on Hitler, Stalin, or Mao, either, mostly because those gentlemen would have had them ground into puppy treats for the guard dogs.

This guy may kill a few of his punks too. Not because they stood up to him, but because they bowed down to him, with their faces hanging out in his toxic wind.

Until and unless The Plague gets them, the only thing these spineless hooters are scared of is missing out on their sip from the gravy boat as it goes around The Big Table.

TGIFuhgedaboudit

October 3, 2020

Santa may not be squeezing his fat ass down my chimney at the moment, but with a sky that blue, who cares?

Some Fridays I send no thanks to God.

The press brays about another delivery of magic beans from the Orange House. My main MacBook Pro develops a bloat I can’t doctor and must be shipped off for emergency surgery. Sue Baroo the Fearsome Furster goes in for a radiator transplant. And WordPress shanghais me into its pain-in-the-ass block editor.

All this being said:

At least I don’t have to edit any bean-delivery stories for The Daily Disappointment-Fabricator. (“Just who says ‘he tested positive,’ anyway? Same guy who’s been lying about anything and everything since he was whelped?”)

I have a backup MacBook Pro. Not as powerful, but hey, at least it’s not swelling up like a poisoned Russian dissident.

The Furster is 15 going on 16. Of course she’s gonna have occasional meltdowns. They’re still cheaper than a monthly payment for the car I don’t want to buy anyway.

But WordPress? Fuck those guys. This block editor eats shit out of a hipster’s thrift-store fedora. It makes me want to run away from the news, my second-best MacBook, and my credit-card statement, and go for a nice long bike ride.

See ya.

R.I.P., Garrett Lai

October 2, 2020

Sad news: Garrett Lai, one of the cycling journos, has gone west.

Garrett was running Bicycle Guide back when I was a minor cog in the VeloMachine, and from time to time we’d bump into each other, exchange compliments, usually at Interbike.

I can’t claim to have known him well, but I knew for sure that he was a top-shelf scribe with a finely honed personal style. And his curiosity, enthusiasm, and expertise were not limited to the bike world.

Once or twice we talked about doing some work together, but this never came to pass, more’s the pity.

Patrick Brady, who did know Garrett well, has a remembrance at his new operation, The Cycling Independent.

Peace to Garrett, and to those who knew and loved him. He left us far too soon.

I ain’t buying it

October 2, 2020

Step right up, everyone’s a winner, bargains galore. …

There is no reason in the world to believe a single, solitary word that comes out of this guy’s fat yap.

And every reason in the world to believe that a “diagnosis” does him more than a few favors.

So until I see something more than “Trump said,” it’s no sale.

• Housekeeping note: WordPress has decided to impose its new block editor on those of us who had been resisting the change. So expect a few hitches in the gitalong here at the Chuckle Hut until I find the Rosetta Stone for this fucker or find some alternative method of bloggery.

‘Bigger even than I had feared’

September 30, 2020

Flush twice, it’s a long way to the Commission on Presidential Debates.

The headline is taken from the 1978 Thomas McGuane novel “Panama.”

Chet Pomeroy, a performer on the skids whose act has included, among lesser spectacles, crawling out of the ass of a frozen elephant in his underwear to fight a duel with a baseball batting-practice machine, is stalking his ex-girlfriend Catherine Clay through the aisles of a Key West grocery.

She clocks him, he asks to use the bathroom, and … well, just read the book. It’s a lot more entertaining and informative, and at its most outrageous less grotesque, than last night’s “debate.”

Not even McGuane the essayist could’ve covered that raree-show, assuming he could resurrect his long-dead alter ego of Captain Berserko. Hunter S. Thompson might have managed, even participated, but sadly he is no longer with us.

It may have been the single worst thing I have ever invited into my home, and that is a fierce competition indeed. Miss Mia Sopaipilla blew a hairball. I dreamed of Nazis. Herself told me first thing this morning that CNN’s Dana Bash had called it “a shitshow,” which I thought generous and profoundly understated.

Still, I’m glad to see the mainstream media has finally copped on, albeit a trifle late. McGuane had it figured out back in 1971, when Bash was born, seven years before he would publish “Panama.”

Queried about his politics by comrade Jim Harrison, as part of a faux interview for the literary magazine Sumac, McGuane replied thusly:

“I suppose I am a bit left of Left. America has become a dildo that has turned berserkly on its owner.”

Old Yellers

September 29, 2020

Double your pleasure. Or not.

Nobody would call me an undecided voter.

I decided long before Election Day 2016 that I would vote for a thrift-store toaster, a rabid bat, or the empty chair Clint Eastwood was yelling at if any of these items were running against Adolf Twitler. And that remains the case today.

Yet I feel oddly compelled to watch tonight’s “debate,” the way Arthur Denton craved the tender mercies of Orin Scrivello, DDS, in “Little Shop of Horrors.”

I don’t know why. If I were smart, I could always just toddle down to the golf course, catch a couple geezers arguing about which one of them is best equipped to drive the cart into the water hazard. Watch fat Corgis bark at each other on YouTube. Bang my forehead on the keyboard for a while, then check the mirror to see how many new words I’ve invented.

Hyyb! Yuij! Ddfcv!

Alas, as you know, I will never be smart. And after tonight, I am liable to feel even dumberer than usual.

Reality show

September 28, 2020

No wonder this hand is empty. I pay my fucking taxes.

Raise your hand if you paid more than $750 in taxes in 2016 and 2017.

The whole hand, please. Not just the one finger.