Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Charm of the belly crawling reptile

Dear Acolyte, Bless you! Let us get to the lesson right away shall we. I am running a little late today, unfinished business.

I say, Acolytes, with not a little regret that I was at one time a naughty, naughty boy. I lied, I was sneaky, I took advantage of the gullible.

"Say that is not true, Exulted One. Not you, the bringer of light!!"

Yes tender Acolyte. I was a bright but naive boy , and was charmed by the wiles of the belly crawling reptile.

"A reptile, Exulted One?

Yes, Son, a snake and Bless You!

Spending as much time as I did, hiding in trees and shrubbery outside the School for Bad Girls, where I was living, I learned to catch and handle snakes with some degree of skill. I even caught and sold a few to the boys in the village. Several times I removed a snake or two from a basement or crawl space under a house, charging a modest fee.

At first, of course, I hesitated to spend much time in the village due to the fact that I was a school age boy living on his own and by his own wits. I was afraid that the authorities would take an interest in me, haul me in and put me in the School for Bad Boys until they figured out where I belonged. That was my greatest fear.

One day, a circus came to town and set up tents on the outskirts of the village, near the School for Bad Girls. Nearly penniless, I managed to sneak in under a poorly staked down flap of canvas and look around. The older village boys had warned me that the circus was always on the lookout for sneaky boys like me. If they caught you, they'd likely feed you to the tigers or worse. Still, I wanted in there, I was a very curious boy.

"Exulted One, they would never feed a child to a tiger!"

Yes, Son, Maybe not, but remember, I was a boy who, not long before, was eating undercooked rat in the leaky bilge of the Polar Cyst, A dark vessel of unknown flag! Trust does not come easily to a child tossed casually into a stormy sea by pirates and brigands. Down in the hold of that ship, if lucky, eating my rat, I would dream of a better life. I would dream my overturned bucket a fine table in an elegant restaurant. One Norway rat, please, rare, hold everything else. Sad and dreary, but that is how I made it through my days and nights, if you call day and night an unblinking five watt bulb.

To my good fortune, I encountered a fine, tall fellow with a large yellow basket,a Snake Charmer. Of course, he knew immediately that I was a boy without a ticket but seemed to care less. In fact, as he later related, He had, snuck into this very same circus as a boy, learning his craft from an elderly Charmer.

For three happy days, before the circus packed off their tents and animals, the Snake Charmer imparted a wealth of information of the care and handling of snakes. I learned how to grab them properly, how to hold them, and more than a little of their psychology.

"Psychology, Exulted One?"

Yes, Son, everything with a brain has a psychology, even an Acolyte!


As a parting gift, the Snake Charmer gave me my very own small basket and several turbans, cut down to fit the size of my head. He even gave me an exotic little snake which, although not venomous, had a nasty disposition and he had given up trying to train it. He though that, with more time on my hands, I could do something with that unruly creature. Fangy, I called it, even though it was a fangless snake. It was a nasty snake, however, and could give you a painful bite.

I loved the turban! With the turban, the village people just blindly assumed I was a native of some foreign land where people ran somewhat compact. It was perfect for a boy trying to avoid capture by the authorities and being send away to the Boy's Home.

The girls at the School for Bad Girls laughed at me and my little snake, Fangy, and the turban. Let em laugh, I thought, Ma would have simply pinned a fresh bottle of beer up against her face, making her already crazy eyes triple in size in the most alarming way and emit a terrifying screech like a rusty drawbridge. No one got the better of Ma!

The little snake never warmed up to me as I hoped it would. It was always crabby, even for a snake and had a fearsome bite. It would grab on your finger and hang on like a bulldog while you hopped up and down trying to shake it off. I tried everything to make it happy and like me but to no avail. I fed it good, I knew what kind of bug it liked and what kind it didn't. There was nothing warm and furry about that smake!

"Warm an furry, Exulted One?"

Bless You, Acolyte, just an expression. Though I was determined to make friends with that snake, it never happened. I started to get the feeling that it was up to no good. It started watching me with those beady eyes and it was creepy, like it was working on a plan. I tried praying for a sign from above to help me get on better terms with Fangy. I felt my little one boy church helped save me from the evil Captain of the Polar Cyst and perhaps it would intercede now. I was waiting for that sign from above.

One inexplicable talent Fangy had was it could always, always tell if there was another snake near by. It would turn facing the direction of the snake, wherever the snake happened to be and flick out its blue, forked tongue like it was licking an all day sucker. It never failed. It would flick the tongue toward a bush or a pile of rocks and there always was a snake in there. Remarkable, really. Fangy helped me catch a lot of snakes.

One day, I was out sitting in my little camp with Fangy near the tall iron fence next to the School for Bad Girls, wearing my turban. Fangy was sunning himself on top of his snake charmer basket. He wasn't going to run away, he knew I'd just catch him again. I was thinking hard about how I could get that darn snake to warm up to me. My whole snake charming future seemed to be tied up in that ornery critter. I guess Fangy just didn't find me so charming. His serpent eyes eyed me coldly, with a look of mockery and cold-blooded loathing. Still, this snake was my future and I would never give up on him.

Just then, Bad Girl 89065 showed up near the iron fence, pretending to snip some blades of grass, eyes darting about. Oh no, I thought, Bad Girl 63208R was up to something. 65 was 08R's little helper, spy, and messenger. This was not a good development on account of Bad Girl 08R being the toughest, meanest girl in the entire school.

What?, I whispered, my young voice cracking.

o8R wants a snake and she wants it right now! You gotta get her a snake!

Trouble, now there was serious trouble, I had hunted down and sold all the snakes in the territory, just about. There were no snakes to be had and 08R wants hers right now, this minute! If 08R didn't get her snake, she'd might denounce me to the authorities and they'd plunk me directly in the school for Bad Boys. Remember, I wasn't that big and nobody knew my real age, I'd become a lifer, in there for all eternity!

"Gimmy your snake", Bad Girl 89065 said, looking quite nervous herself. "She doesn't get her snake, we all die!" 065 wasn't fooling, beads of sweat were pooling on her forehead and there was a tremor in her voice. "Come on, give me the darn snake!"

I looked over to Fangy, Fangy was my only hope to become a world famous snake charmer. I couldn't give him up. Maybe I should just grab Fangy an run! Head for the tracks, jump on a train, anything! I would try a little deception to gain some time.

Just let me catch Fangy some bugs first, I told o65. He has to have his bugs, he'll starve! I looked toward Fangy, I would just grab everything and run like a scalded duck or I was chasing a beer truck as dear old Ma would like to say. Something odd though, Fangy was on alert!, his blue forked tongue was flicking like I had never seen it before.... There was a snake out there and it had to be really close for Fangy to alert like that!

Wait a minute!, there's a snake right over here, a big one, I whispered hoarsely. I lunged for the spot where Fangy was fixedly staring at, Fangy had never let me down. Right away I spotted a hole under the nearest bush and madly thrust my eager hand down it to grab the big snake I knew was down there. I had to get that smake!

What the heck! Something down there grabbed my thumb and bite me with so much force that, thrashing around, I kicked over Fangy's basket. It took a minute to get my hand out of that hole and plunge it into a nearby bucket of cold water I had in my camp. Jez, that hurt.

Fangy was on the move! Wierdly, he didn't try to escape, he slid in between the iron pickets on the fence and headed directly for Bad Girl 63208R!!! I freaked, if Fangy bite her, fire and brimstone would rain down upon me, her wicked girl mobsters would track me to the ends of the earth to wreak vengeance. Oh no, don't bite, don't bite, I prayed with desperation.

Again, what the heck, Fangy beelined directly to 08R like a fond puppy! 08R reached down, picked up Fangy putting Fangy close to her face. What! Then to my utter shock and disbelief, Fangy actually extended his forky tongue out further than it even seemed possible and licked Bad Girl 63208R right on her juicy, red lips. Fangy was in love!

"Exulted One, ah, we're kind of having a hard time belie.."

Kindly shush, Beloved Acolytes, and Bless you! It is nearly time that I must go.

"So, Exulted One, was there no sign from above, I mean, the lesson..?"

Son, how would you get a sign from above from the belly crawling reptile? No, no sign from above, it was a sign from below!, the hole, Acolyte!, the hole! Now I must run, Bless you all, time to end the lesson.

"But.. but, wait, Exulted One...."

"Pimped out" Shopping cart of wife with eyes blue like Ellensburg agate.  Line with hardware cloth so apples, oranges, etc, will not fall out.  Is this not deluxe?  A Ferrari of beat up shopping carts.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Temptation of the Salty Sea

Temptation of the Salty Sea
Acolyte lesson II

Welcome Acolyte and seeker. The Church of the Blue Moon is pleased that you have chosen the path of learning and have advanced to lesson II of this series set forth by your spiritual leader, The Exulted One. As you may know, your leader suffered many trials and setbacks before attaining the wisdom necessary to fulfill the rigorous demands placed upon a Church leader. It is to be hoped that my travails will benefit you in you quest to SEEK and FIND rather then be THE AIMLESS WANDERER that I once was. Bless you, Acolyte! Bless you!

I could say that my difficulties began when I was Shanghaied By the evil Captain of the Polar Cyst, a sinister vessel of no known flag. Not so! The mistakes and failings of my early life landed me there, a smelt in an creek filled with toothy pike.

Had I only followed the sage advice of my Blessed Ma and furthered my career in the recycled bottle industry! Ma knew best, herself an expert tester of beer, always "clanking another one down the gullet" as she would so sweetly describe. A thrifty woman, putting each empty bottle securely away for her only son's future. When the mountain of bottles shifted, pinning dear old Ma to the dank cellar floor, crushing her like a wine grape, I knew I must go, and run I did.

taking refuge under the pier and in the company of a number of shady characters, my thoughts turned inward. I thought deeply for perhaps the first time in my young life. My thoughts were cut short, however when one one the larger and more disreputable of the bunch pointed a dirty, mangled finger at me and yelled: "That one'll do!"

Somehow, I would up in the bowels of that decrepit wreak, the Polar Cyst. Ankle deep in fetid, oily water. All I knew was to bail, bail, bail with my flimsy bucket. Bilge Rat, they called me, and bilge rat was what I ate every meal, if I could catch one. I was not a happy boy.

It was dark down there, a five watt light bulb the sole source of light of and warmth. Have to tell you, Norway rat, grilled on a five watt bulb is not the world's worst meal. Still, my thoughts turned to escape....

I turned to prayer but my "prayers" went unanswered. I prayed harder, still nothing! Then and there I knew Ma's "Church o' Beer" Praying wasn't going to cut it. Starting right then, I decided my very own church was the route for me, no pop the cap and spit at the evil one. If only I received a "sign from above", Then I would know I was on the right track.

Wouldn't you know it!, just then, that exact second, a big, juicy rat slipped off one of the overhead pipes and landed smack in front of me! I trapped it in my bucket! A Blessing from above!

Shortly after my prayers were answered and I got my "sign", One of the crew came down the hatch, dragged me up into the blinding sunlight and threw me overboard. It seems the Coast Guard was bearing down on them so I got thrown into the briny deep. The Polar Cyst turned North into a fog bank and I was washed ashore.

So, Beloved Acolyte, the temptation of the salty sea was to follow the old ways and not follow my heart. That is the lesson I brought to you today. I still have Ma's old bottle cap puller here as a Holy Relic but the Church of the Blue Moon, Moon Beams on you Naked Booty, forges ahead. Bless you!

Your humble leader, The Exulted One

images, art photos, etc.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Lone Camel of the Desert

The Exalted One fighting evil with his trusty turd rifle

Never trust a camel

Lesson number one, Dear Acolyte: Never trust a camel!  Noble beast the camel is, you must never turn your back on the creature.  It seems to inflame them with passion and perhaps resentment.  The Camel is a passionate animal and has it's own ways which must be respected. Foolish youth that I was, I misunderestimated that passion and payed the price. 

Biologist may say this or that about the camel, but to me, the camels acts, no less, then like a rotten teenager!  Watching, waiting for the first opportunity for malicious mischief.  The cunning, passionate animal strikes the first second you let you guard down!  Oh boy, that camel nailed me a good one.  Face down, I was, in a heap of dung, kicked and spat upon.  The worse part is the mocking, pitiless leer while you are upon the ground, wiping yourself off and checking for broken bones.  Nothing can express contempt like a camel!  Heard enough you say?  No!, at the last, the camel plays victim like a Hollywood actor, sulking and kicking up clods with big, sad eyes.  It is almost too much to endure.  

Why then, Exalted One?

Dear Acolyte, you have every right to ask how the camel became pillar of the Church of the Blue Moon. Even I wizened by the trials of life on this earthly plane have struggled with this issue and plunged into the depths of My very soul for an answer. Answers sometimes come reluctantly and in their own good time, so it was with me.
Lying on my cot, bruised and beaten as I was from the onslaught of the Mighty Camel of the Desert, I drifted into a fitful and restless sleep. Upon awaking, I looked up to the textured ceiling, scanning for the inevitable venomous spider known in that local. No spider, ah, I thought, one less thing.... Then, I noticed it! The camel! in the texture and shadows of the cracked ceiling, starring down, the beady eyes of the very camel that put me down like a bug. With a look on its wicked camel face like a teen that wanted the car and was going to get it. I knew my goose was cooked! I was silent with fear but got the message and camel got the keys to the Church. Mercifully, sleep took hold again and delivered me into peaceful slumber.

Since that fateful day, Acolyte, I have made peace with Camel and like the harried parent of teens everywhere, hauling boxes of pizzas, zit cream, and Waiting in an icy parking out outside a burger joint, turned over the car keys. Not defeat, accommodation. An so, Dear Acolyte, you have learned the first lesson of the Church of the Blue Moon. Bless you!

Moon Beams on your Naked Booty

Church of the Blue Moon/Moon Beams on your Naked Booty Part I

Lone Camel of the Desert
Church of the Blue Moon/Moon Beams on your Naked Booty Part II

Temptation of the Salty Sea

Garibaldi's Cereal Bowl

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