Hosing Down

Celebration Interruptus

Rare, unexplainable phenomena always seem to catch me with my pants down. I’m not referring to stuff like that sudden, unforseen flood that nearly drowned me and my favorite goat Trudy on the family farm during my adolescence. I’m speaking figuratively here and goldarnit, I’m right sure I ain’t never gonna figger it out. Bad fortune falling on one person repeatedly tends to get a bit repetitive (duh), eventually becoming almost supernatural in magnitude. The “cosmically inclined” will say it’s in the cards or it’s Kharma while the realists chalk it up to happenstance, while neither group will ever be able to irrefutably prove its case. Fundamental differences lead to enmity, which leads to hatred, which leads to war where the only winner is the original unfortunate victim of what can seem a curse, who should have been left alone to ride it all out in the first place. But in our modern, post-decent world, no one can keep his nose out of anybody’s business; everyone has an opinion he believes the world needs to hear and agree with. A pertinent saying is modernized: “I may not agree with your opinion but I will defend to the death my right to kill you for having it.”

When I’m down and troubled and need a helping bridge over a disco inferno or whatever sappy phrase better fits, often the only surefire aid is the knowledge that somewhere, somebody’s going through worse stuff. Why do some innocent mortals end up being kicked around like the soccer ball of a steroid-maddened athlete named Fate? Thinking about Lindsay Lohan will consistently make me feel a little better. Having been so viciously and wrongly accused over the years of being a thief, dangerous drunk, degenerate, narcissistic hoochy mama, and deficient singer, her decision to once again reveal her naked innocence is both courageous (a slap in the face of the fates) and generous (her own sweet way, under a desperate, destitute situation, of Giving Back). When, in my own naked shame, I have the opportunity to study her raw truth, I will feel restored; of that I have no doubt. And I have a large gift for her if she’d just call me.…

When the 10-day mourning period for Kim Jong Il overlapped our Christmas celebrations, it simply did not seem fair! It was like some cosmic insult. Perhaps it was Divine Retribution – His way of responding to the ongoing pissing contests in Congress? Was Kim Jong Il’s death the first fatality caused by Bieber Fever? Was Justin Bieber ultimately as much at fault for dulling our holidays as he’s been for turning our daughters into nympho-zombies? Why do “Justin Bieber” and “anti-Christ” have nearly the same number of letters?

Whatever the cause, this past holiday season seemed far more lonely without the earthly presence of that little renaissance toad across the ocean. Usually on Christmas Eve, I have 450 cubic feet of sand imported and installed on my living room floor. I’ll build a bonfire in the center of the room, cuddle up in a rubber sleeping bag with my maid and some special egg nog, and we’ll watch a beloved film – usually the Alistair Sim A Christmas Carol or Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust – but this year we broke tradition to revisit Kim Jong Il’s one and only cinematic performance, in Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s Team America: World Police. Though Kimmy’s acting was curiously stiff, almost wooden at times, his untimely demise in the story had never prepared us for the reality that we all now so bravely share. And his song – “I’m lonely, so lonely…” – suddenly possessed a poignancy that our hearts’ ears had previously been too deaf to hear. Now with our hearts stilled, our bladders wept. And during those sad days when we’d witness on the newscasts the visibly shaken, engorged jowls of his mutant offspring Kim Jong Un, we wished desperately to put him out of his misery. But there is little solace; for now, as the prophet Nilsson had long ago foretold, Un is the loneliest number.…

Damn. I feel like dancing. Why?

I first became interested in what we’ve come to call the Paranormal when I fell and badly scraped my knee after disobeying the commands of the voices in my head. My “girlfriend” Monika (whose retro tastes had turned me on to the Andrews Sisters) and I used to play Doctor in the concealing shade of an enormous apple tree. One day, and by secret mutual agreement, I tried the game with Jenny, the new girl in the neighborhood. It was during our exertions that I slipped on a nasty jagged rock. Somehow the accident seemed inevitable, and I was thoroughly intrigued. I sought out and began collecting every book on the unexplained, the unknown, and exotic underwear I could find, fascinated with the creepy, alluring cover designs. But since I was only five years old and could not yet read, they were of little help. I did receive unestimable inspiration a while later, studying the fascinating pictures in the August 1958 edition of Playboy, which I stumbled upon (without hurting my knee) in a canyon. This, I concluded, was a rare accident of Fate.

Ah, those innocent, sweet, sweatless days as a kid! My little friends would point out magical things like the way the sun always went away before night time came but would return again every morning. It’s so mysterious, they’d say, and I’d agree – a beautiful,eternal mystery.

To Kim Jon Il, I imagine, it was always only coincidence.

I’m still hearing the voices all these decades later. When I tire of them, I’ll put on only instrumental music until the urge returns. These days you still can’t go wrong with the masters, from Beethoven to Georges Delerue – departed spirits who could have been mute, yet speak volumes without a word. That is phenomenal, and all reasons and questions become trivial.

  • September 2016

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