The Art of Porch Sitting

To be languid and without motion. A place to sit but lean at the same time. A place to while and bide the time away. The purpose of porch sitting is to do nothing as efficiently as possible. One may exert energy only when raising a drink or smoking instrument up to one’s mouth. Key elements of porch sitting are as follows: A porch, stoop and/or small front patio, a drink (iced or warm depending on the season) something to watch in an idle way such as the breeze flowing through the trees or people walking by. If one wishes to porch sit alone, it is acceptable, but it is better when with other people. Porch sitting is unbiased, anyone may sit and enjoy life passing them by regardless of race, creed or culture.

When porch sitting with others conversation topics should be as follows: Weather, sports, idle gossip and crop rotations. All conversations should be in the following format. Examples:

‘Weather’s gonna turn on us soon.’

‘Yup.’

‘Wheat field will need tilling in a month.’

‘Yup.’

‘Hear about the Henderson’s murder/suicide?’

‘Yup.’

It is a conversation format that encourages sharing information, but remains noncommittal and without substance. The best of both worlds.

Appropriate porch foods are as follows: Peanuts in shell, sunflower seeds, crackers and cheese, uncut whole fruit, anything that can be gnawed or chewed for several hours.

Porch drinks: Gin and tonic, Mint Julip, whisky/coke, coffee or tea, or jug of alcohol with XXX written on the side. Children may drink lemonade if they’re well behaved.

Porch activities: Idling, leaning, swatting flies, playing backgammon, rocking, napping, plucking an instrument, being chastised by your drunk diabetic grandmother, doing your homework because you sure ain’t gonna get by on your looks alone.

Best time to porch sit: Before, during and after dusk when the breeze washes over you and the stars glimmer ever so slightly.

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How to be a Good Socialist 

How to be a Good Socialist 
First: Get rid of all your shoes. Socialists like to feel the good earth beneath their feet. 
Two: Get a knife. Guns for show; knives for pros. Gotta have a weapon/cheese cutting device. 
Thirdly: Throw Socialist cheese parties, but make sure the cheese comes from socialist cows. Cheese from capitalist cows taste like shit. 
Four: Use non-standard mathematics to confuse capitalists. They won’t know a derivative from a denominator after you’re done with them!
Fife: Use instruments as numbers. 
Cello: Read ‘The Jungle’ by Upton Sinclair and then eat a bunch of hot dogs.  
Didgeridoo: Memorize the name of at least five socialists who have NOT either killed or ordered killings. 
Violin: Take a coffee break and say a silent prayer to the unions who made it possible. 
Timpani: Read about Russian history and then drink as much vodka as you need to forget all you learned because that shit is depressing. 
12: Purchase beige overalls and assign yourself a number. No patches allowed. 
Guitar: Memorize all those catchy socialist songs like I Dreamed a Dream and the entire Oliver Twist song catalogue. 
34: Tip your chimney sweeps. 

Post-Nuclear Motivational Speaker

Ever since the nuclear war it has been easier for me to make friends. I used to be isolated. Stayed at home. Played a lot of video games. I was alive, but not living. Now? Well, surviving in this post-apocalypse hellscape really helped me put myself out there. I get out way more. I’ve taken up several hobbies. I’ve been walking way more (my calf muscles are popping!) I’ve even built a new skill set and I’ve been networking a lot.

I think back to who I was before the bombs fell. My life was monotonous and without joy. Work, home, eat, work. That was my life. Boring. Without any zest. I needed something to get me out of my rut.  For a lot of people their wake-up call is looking at the scale and realizing how much they weigh, but for others it takes a little more.  The nuclear war is what did it for me.

After the attack I took to the forest. I started with a knife and a small bag and a lot of optimism. I kept to the sides of the road picking off weaker animals and humans when I had the chance. I only had to kill five people and only ate part of one which these days is practically nothing! Anyways, I got to the point of surviving, but I wanted to start thriving and well, I think I’m doing pretty okay in that department these days.

Just yesterday I was at the local market bartering for fresh water when John, who is the leader of the cannibal gang that roves the wasteland, came up to me and asked me for advice.  Obviously, I was flattered. John is a well known guy. Worked his way up from a rat eater to the leader of a cannibal gang and he knew my name! Needless to say my exchange with John went into my diary that day. John asked me if spleens are edible. I used to work on a pig farm and knew a little rhyme to help him out. “If the spleen is clean eat it as if it’s a bean!” (Clever. Right?!) John thanked me, slapped me on the back  and gave me a couple of human ears which is the currency these days. It felt good to help him and the payment of ears was the cherry on top.

Days like those, when I can help a respected leader of the community like John, are pretty special days for me. It shows how far I’ve come from before. It shows I’ve grown into a more confident and helpful person. I used to not be able to make eye contact with my friends and now? All my friends are dead, but that’s not the point. The point is I’ve made new friends and can look them, with pride and dignity, directly in the eyes, eye or eye sockets which have been hallowed out by radiation.  Regardless of eyes or not, I am finally the human I want to be and not just a human being.

Post-Nuclear Motivational Speaker

Ever since the nuclear war it has been easier for me to make friends. I used to be isolated. Stayed at home. Played a lot of video games. I was alive, but not living. Now? Well, surviving in this post-apocalypse hellscape really helped me put myself out there. I get out way more. I’ve taken up several hobbies. I’ve been walking way more (my calf muscles are popping!) I’ve even built a new skill set and I’ve been networking a lot.

I think back to who I was before the bombs fell. My life was monotonous and without joy. Work, home, eat, work. That was my life. Boring. Without any zest. I needed something to get me out of my rut.  For a lot of people their wake-up call is looking at the scale and realizing how much they weigh, but for others it takes a little more.  The nuclear war is what did it for me.

After the attack I took to the forest. I started with a knife and a small bag and a lot of optimism. I kept to the sides of the road picking off weaker animals and humans when I had the chance. I only had to kill five people and only ate part of one which these days is practically nothing! Anyways, I got to the point of surviving, but I wanted to start thriving and well, I think I’m doing pretty okay in that department these days.

Just yesterday I was at the local market bartering for fresh water when John, who is the leader of the cannibal gang that roves the wasteland, came up to me and asked me for advice.  Obviously, I was flattered. John is a well known guy. Worked his way up from a rat eater to the leader of a cannibal gang and he knew my name! Needless to say my exchange with John went into my diary that day. John asked me if spleens are edible. I used to work on a pig farm and knew a little rhyme to help him out. “If the spleen is clean eat it as if it’s a bean!” (Clever. Right?!) John thanked me, slapped me on the back  and gave me a couple of human ears which is the currency these days. It felt good to help him and the payment of ears was the cherry on top.

Days like those, when I can help a respected leader of the community like John, are pretty special days for me. It shows how far I’ve come from before. It shows I’ve grown into a more confident and helpful person. I used to not be able to make eye contact with my friends and now? All my friends are dead, but that’s not the point. The point is I’ve made new friends and can look them, with pride and dignity, directly in the eyes, eye or eye sockets which have been hallowed out by radiation.  Regardless of eyes or not, I am finally the human I want to be and not just a human being.

Ode to the Great American Diner 

I sit at a counter of a diner. It is a diner like all other diners. Nothing special. Nothing unique. A place like all others for all others. A commoner’s paradise where food is served without pretension and judgement.
My cup of coffee will never stopped being refilled as long as I remain. The bottomless cup of coffee is the greatest boon to mankind right after the polio vaccine and it survives at the Great American Diner.

My meal arrives. The eggs are fried with a soft center and crisp edges. The sausages are shaped into meat discs and sit idly by the eggs. The grease is ample and noticeable. The pancakes come stacked on their own plate giving them an elevated status on the table as if to say “These breakfast cakes are too sacred to touch other foods.” I look up from the counter through the food service window and see the cooks working quickly with a subdued elegance. Once in awhile, I hear a sizzle or a pot or pan being clacked down and I see steam rising from the endlessly brewing coffee.

Everyone who is working at the diner doesn’t look thrilled to be there, but they are my nourishers. To be thrilled is not necessary. The waitress is polite and efficient. The name tag she is wearing is haphazardly askew. She’s not talkative. Nor am I. It’s quiet and the service is good. What more can a man ask for than a plate of food, a cup of coffee and a silent, comfortable seat.

My coffee cup is filled again. I grip the hot cup and let the pain of the heat seep into my hand. I put my face up to the cup. The coffee vapors shroud my face and I feel the coffee in my eyes. I inhale the smell and place the cup back down. I pick up the small metal creamer from the middle of the table. It was flanked by a bowl of sugar cubes and ketchup. I pour milk into my coffee and swirl it with my spoon. The fat of the milk melts into the coffee. The heat of the coffee loosens. I like milk in my coffee because it quells the bitterness.

I set my coffee down and let it cool for too long. It becomes cold enough to administer to my gullet. I quaff the coffee down in three large gulps. The waitress fills my cup again. It’s perfectly too hot.
I notice the pancakes. Steam rises up from them. I portion off several ounces of butter and slather it generously on every pancake. The butter on top melts from the heat of the hotcakes and starts slowly sliding off. I reach for the syrup and pour it without abandon until the pancakes are thoroughly steeped. I shovel an entire pancake into my mouth. To be alive.

Burritos Across America 

‪California and Texas. We have our differences. Texas being a neo-libertarian state where armed gangs roam the wasteland. California being a neo-socialist state where armed ‬gangs roam the foothills, but we have more in common than you think. For the example, the concepts of manifest destiny and western expansion are imbued in our hearts. We both enjoy a nice slab of meat with a side of couscous  We both struggle with the question of whether the farmer and the cowboy can be friends. 

The differences we have with Texas are arbitrary as a tumbleweed’s path and right now Texas is being bedraggled by Hurricane Harvey. 

Texas needs our support. I say to you Californians, put down your artisanal beet juice, lay down your Etsy basket weaving projects, set aside your kale chips and your chips on your shoulders and reach out to Texas and Texans alike. 

I’m starting the Burritos Across America Foundation in which folks of all ilk. Old or young. Rich or poor. Will scrounge up some change and buy a Texan a burrito. Texans may be underwater on their house literally and figuratively, but a free burrito can help. It can’t help with hurrican damage, debt, opioid addiction, lack of healthcare, immigration issues, nor can it help with brain damage from playing football or entrenched systematic racism, but gosh darn it. It’ll bring a little smile and sustenance to an otherwise terrible situation. 

“A burrito in hand is worth two in the bush.”

Pluckless

I was up in the mountains recently and found myself on a walk. My goal every time I’m at high elevation is to climb above the tree line. Past the tree line is a place where life is a struggle. Lichen grip upon the rocks haphazardly, insects scurry for shade, and plants grow out of the nooks and crannies of the rock face, clinging to life.  In this zone. Where life is so fragile. Where life barely holds on. In this zone, a long time ago, something was stolen from me. My pluck.

The day my pluck was stolen:

I was above the treeline, in the alpine zone, and after eating a snack I was struck with a sudden slumber. When I awoke, I found that my rucksack had been riffling through. People who know me know that I don’t abide by riffling. I’m anti-riffling. To riffle is to sin in my book and to top it off my book was riffled through as well. Needless to say I was both shocked and horrified at the riffling, but after weeping for several minutes I composed myself.  I took assessment of my belongings and though thoroughly riffled through, everything seemed to be present. Even my small pouch full of lucky lint was there. Regardless, something was amiss. I took my travel mirror out of my rucksack and gazed upon myself and only then did I realize my pluck was gone. For gazing unto one’s own eyes is the only way to assess pluck levels in a human.

Upon further inspection I found a note in my rucksack. “So long and thanks for all the pluck. P.S. Nice pouch of lint idiot.” I staggered down the mountain in a haze. I was a pluckless putz wondering what had happened. “Where did my pluck go?! I’ll find the bastard who did this make him pay!” I howled at a chipmunk passing by.

Lots of people tell me pluck is not a big deal. It’s not important. They say gumption and moxie are enough. To have two of the three is adequate. They say one can live without pluck. That it is not necessary. People say this because they’ve never had pluck. To be without pluck is to be feckless. And here I was. Feckless and at high altitude.

That was twenty years ago. Ever since then, I have returned to the mountain every year to search for my pluck and take revenge on the one who stole my pluck.

The day I regained my pluck:

Twenty years have passed single he I was flocked of my pluck. That last time I went to the the mountaintop I brought a harp to play. To draw out those who stole my pluck with my beguiling music. I played the songs of my people. The songs of the hills and as I played my mind drifted away from the earthly sphere to the dream realm.  In the dream realm I saw my pluck and holding it was none other than the mischievous Puck. He said to me “Twenty years ago while you slumbered in the day. I riffled through you bag and stole your pluck away. ”

“First of all Puck. It was a rucksack. Secondly. Why?! Why did you steal my pluck away?! Give it back to me today!”

Puck laughed haughtily and said “Answer my riddles three and then I shall give you your pluck back!” He threw his head back and laughed yet again.

I pulled out my gun and shot him four times and yelled. “Who’s laughing now?!” I walked up to his prone body, and took my pluck from his cold, dead hands. I sighed deeply and was satisfied. I once again had my pluck.

The End