Waking up to a thumping headache, a headache born of far too much of last evening’s scarlet Bordeaux, a bleary eyed cursory morning glance toward the bedside table only to spot what I thought had been the stuff of dissolving dreams, namely a post-it note I’d scribbled upon that read, ‘Miss Rosie Mayday Lily Eve Blamey-Steeden’.

A few four-letter words later, plus a question to self, “Did I really write that…what planet was I on?”

I’ll explain. After days and days of wretched insomnia, a genuine madness about me and my old adversary ‘corbeau sombre’ lurking on a branch in the immediate background, a promise made at sunset the previous day was to become a reality. ‘Miss Rosie Mayday Lily Eve Blamey-Steeden’…what a ridiculous handle if there ever was one, and I should know having written it…a puppy dog, a baby lurcher to be precise, was the promise made, and promises must be kept. What happened was, sat in the garden with Shirl d’Arc as the sun went down, me having taken advice from my good friend Frenchy Ted who has been successfully using this technique nightly for the last 200 years, that a bucket of wine would cure said insomnia…it did, by the way…I noted that Ms d’Arc was thumbing her way through a canine listing on her iPad, and from the corner of my eye, the little gal, a gypsy princess appeared. “Let’s make her ours, Shirl. She’s beautiful, just 11 weeks old, you say. It’s been a few years since Skipper snuffed it. It’s about time.”

“Are you serious? You are pissed after all.”

“True enough, I am a tad Brahms and Liszt. The thing is, as you well know, I’m sick and tired of ‘we don’t want them here’ Brexit morons, self-centered right wing grinning politicians and Corona mania tedium. They’re all doing my head in. Dogs never let you down. I want that one. She’ll save my sanity; she’ll change our world for the better and importantly, we’ll make double-sure she has a great life. Anyhow, are you good with that?”

“What do you think? Of course I am you stupid old fool.”

Early the next day, a visit to the farmer selling his delightful crop of puppies, a few quid and a car ride home, enter the renamed ‘Rosie’ into our lives. We’ve fallen in love with her.

Thus far Rosie has got the better of me. For example, me sat upon the loo, day one, the sweet love collared one of my slippers, rushed into hiding at an impressive rate of knots only to rip it to sheds. Did I care? Not a jot. When I found her I gifted her the other slipper…I’d not much use for it unless I have a foot amputation.

She’s had her inoculations and it’s only a few days away when Rosie can take to the outside world. We can’t wait. Thankfully dear Shirl has been training dogs all her life, so all will be well.

Rosie is a busy little rascal consuming all our time presently. For the immediate future she needs me more than I need putting pen to paper, hence I’ll be off the WP menu for a week or so. Good fortune to one and all. Regards, The Old Fool   

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79 thoughts on “ROSIE

    1. My thanks, Leslie. Rosie does everything Shirl asks. I find it amusing that she blanks me on the odd occasions when I ask her to behave! A clever gal for sure.

  1. I hope your gypsy rose brings you much joy, laughter and sanity from world’s chaotic overture. Now you someone other thank Shirl to spin those great yarns to.

    1. Cheers, Sir. Rosie is still in puppy mode, exploring the place, yet already settling in. Even as a little one, she’s a million times better than those who create that chaos. Best regards, Sir

    1. My thanks Ms S. Do you find insomnia is at its worse when your halfway through writing a book? I’d thought for ages its cause was born of the evil side of politics, and to a large extent that is true, but managing the development of a story does ‘my brain in’…in a good way as well as bad. Little Rosie is doing fine. She as good as gold with Shirl but has worked out I’m a soft touch. It’s her eyes that win me over. We’re getting there though.

      1. A soft touch? Yep I can believe it actually Insomnia? There’s time’s writing when the whole scene goes in circles in my head over and over… The one I am maybe trying to figure usually. I want a mallet. I want agun. That is the truth. Years back it was the same with stage scripts always during a play run. It was a nightmare. You’d be out there every night not having slept for God know’s how long.

      2. During a run must have been a torture when insomnia had its way. It is a truly rotten thing I’ve had my whole adult life. Still, somehow we all get by.

  2. Rosie is a darling. Of course shoes will be at the top of her menu for a year. As an avid dog lover I know al about the the indescribable affection and unconditional love that Rosie has in store for you.

    1. My thanks, young Holly. It’s wonderful to have a dog in the house again. When old Skipper died a few years back we thought we couldn’t go through another death. Heartbraking. Then along comes Rosie. She just had to be ours…we’ve noticed that not only are shoes on her menu, so are my socks, indeed my brand new bamboo ones. She’s forgiven, of course.

      1. I can so relate. I too decided no more pets after losing my Boston last year. I have two more now. They are esp good for the blood pressure. Wishing you many fun times ahead. good luck in the shoes and socks dept.

      2. Back in the day, well before Skipper, we had a brace of briards. A love and hate…mostly the former…relationship. Boy, could they be trouble when the mood got to them, but on the good side, they looked after George as a baby and wouldn’t let another soul near him. I’m now off to by slippers…cheap ones this time, given that Rosie will no doubt rip them apart! Have a splendid day.

    1. Ah, Yassy. I’m glad to see you here. You are one of the many who I ‘follow’ yet never see on my ‘reader’. I shall, of this moment, to read some of your sublime poetry. And, yes, little Rosie is lovely.

    1. A good point. To my wife, she is…already…the perfect Rosie. As far as I am concerned, in my company she is Mayday. She knows I’m a traditional softee. That said, it’s a long time since we’ve had a puppy at home. We’re enjoying it. My thanks for reading, Regards, The Old Fool

  3. Nothing like an adorable puppy to mellow the mood and make us remember we are soft and sentimental deep down.
    That said, a bucket of red wine has a similar effect on me, though it doesn’t last as long as a lovely dog.
    Best wishes, and a warm welcome to Rosie! 🙂

    1. Cheers, Pete. Sorry tgo take so very long to reply. Every time I get to this PC young Rosie…born on a farm and not used to a regular house…seems to piss all over the carpet. She’s getting better at last. Regards, The Old Fool

  4. Reblogged this on Commentary, Outrages, Prose and Poetry and commented:
    If you – when dog-ging has ground a bit off the edges – come back and find I have violated your trust by “reblogging” your charming piece of truth like leftover turds floating in an empty .50-caliber ammo can found one blistering July 4th on Timbakion, Creet’s cruel beach…the can held alternating layers of flat beer, thin red and thinner white alleged wines but more probably paint thinner and splashes alternatingly of some yellow so-called banana booze and what promised to grow up to be galliano next millenia, I immediately shall erase said offending post. Since you seem occasionally to see some of my stuff, though I should return serve as it were. Damn. Now I got another guilt to tack on my Harvey WallBoard of chores unattended. Mike Steeded has give our universe…ROSIE. I abate my breath (only somewhat and mostly figurative) further adventures. Thanks. J

    1. A reblog is always welcomed, Sir. It seems both you and I are on the cusp of lunacy…a fine thing, in my book. ‘Tis approaching 5pm on the White Cliffs of Dover, hence I shall be off down the pub with my old chum Frenchy Ted. Have a splendid evening. Regards, The Old Fool

      1. My chum “Juice” Bruce Jewett who toils for cats on his WP blog Cat Nap Revue, is too far from my coast to swipe his spit-defined draught, but I wail and quale when I think of him with a dram of Bushmill’s 21-year-old. Like turning that sow’s ear purse inside-out. Forty years past our leap-frogging from investigators circling out banyan tree hideout with a third mayhem-ist Roger The Rapping Stone, who alas Luddites away in inner Colorado at last alert. Glad to know you ‘preciate the blogging. I have a niece-2-piece (she’s one of a pair from bookend brothers, hence: nieces-2-pieces) who toils teacherly at one of the fabled institutions of institution: Cambridge I recollect. Her newly acquired spouse Is My Only Hope. First (and yet so far last and I have fears his owner may disapprove and disallow continued torment from me) encounter we were the only of five who ordered the liter of suds. Sanford, my home space, has a German restaurant/delikatessen, haberdashery and fine(r) arts establishment he intones: “Just like home.”
        Not so sure I surf lunacy’s cusp: I know a curl – and churl – when I surf surprise one. But I take your point – well-made, Sir!, by you. I will most likely next century forgive you for stealing “The Old Fool appellation. You and Frenchy Ted find your wending ways homeward. I sometimes years ago instituted the U. S. Marine Corps Low Craw maneuver in lieu of Pub Crawl. And…more ankles to bite!
        Cheers, mikesteeden!

      2. Cheers to you, Sir. A gripping tale you tell, blessed with both humour and personal history…the only way Old Fools like us ever get heard. Good on you.

      3. “Good On You” last heard on a rugby pitch in 1980-something after I had converted from hooker to scrumhalf…a shocking breach, but the new hooker had pies in both hands and could supply our sordid bunch of city-side lads much lucre-less comistibles for our gatherings. He also had a fine right foot, though he did tend to stay with the back and not trail the backs waiting for a wayward ball sometimes not ruled “nock-on” and thus fine fodder for my willing foot or – if the bounce was good – grasping hands and a convenient cut off one of our boys serving as unwitting “blocker.” By the Time YGBUR found me I had overcome my noxious demands for Rule of Law in sport, having then still not given way for my betters in elective and appointive office, even though at the time I was a practicing journalist who secretly did not eschew fair play and believed as did my unsainted pap, “he wouldn’t have been arrested if-in he wasn’t guilt of sumpin’,” But since were were polar un-opposites I had to difer. You, sir, I said sotto voce, just do not understand the rule of “ifd you confess before they read you your rights, kthey cannot prosecute.” With that I announce my left-taking.
        J (just another old fool waiting to steal your title.)

    1. Cheers Sir, she certainly is. It’s about time the missus and I had another dog, and this little diamond is perfect…save for the occasional indoor widdle, yet already she’s getting the idea. Regards, The Old Fool

  5. I am soooo happy to see this. Unconditional love. That is what dogs bring to your life. Puppies have a lot of energy so you will be too busy to think about the world at large and all the grief within it. Bravo George. I hope you will post more about Rosie later.

    1. It certainly is, Pam. Rosie can be a handful at just 12 weeks, yet a ‘good’ handful…thus far she taken…a destroyed…a pair of Shirl’s knickers 5 days on the run and I’m on my third pair of slippers. The thing is, we don’t don’t care, ’tis all a game to her right now. Regards, The Old Fool

  6. TOF: read this thread and will confirm – you have a nice surround of junior, senior and astronomic fools with whom to play. And Rosie. And Missus. And why is anyone wearing slippers. The very notion! Just the etiology boggles: slip? Sounds unsafe. Better to be chewed into submission. I’ll represent Rosie Pro Bono.

    1. Ah, the matter of slippers and…of late…their theft at the paws and teeth of young Rosie, a lurcher by arguable breed. Her mother a border collie; her father a whippet makes her a gypsy gal. She runs like the wind. An abject bore…he spoke drivel for what seemed to be an enthusiastic eon…who, with an odd machine in hand measured Rosie’s amazing speed when attempting to hunt down a seagull, at 35.7 miles per hour. Anyhow, back to matter of slippers. The young, the old, the in-between, for the main part at least, wear them here in England during the late autumn, all winter, and early spring for no other reason than when indoors we get a tad cold in these parts. We have an old Victorian house, a decent lump, yet as cold as my deceased mother-in-law’s heart. Frostbite of the feet a permanent pandemic in Blighty. Central heating of these old properties is as much use as a fart in a thunderstorm. I feel I should rest my case, however, if the truth be told, I agree with your stance on the matter. Regards, The Old Fool

      1. WeatherFools in their concrete block bunkers with no windows and monitors only told us we would see thunder and hear lightning and a mini-ice age would ensue. Not. Tympany was arguable and distant; deluge equally so. I read ’til witches were abed and still used the Hunter floor fan to stir the languid air. No hoarfrost when finally I crawled out from under my Vietnam-era camouflage poncho liner first-use set of blankets (works wonders as a coolish top-sheet and when cocooned toasty to twenty-five Fahrenheit. The demise of all things British, I maintain, came with surrender to the then European Common Market’s insistence on all things metric. Canada has succumbed and we teach it in our public institutions of warehousing children until they sufficiently are enraged enough to lo loose on those of us who still read – and remember. Dogs, unlike cats who will take a carpeted shaft with steps leading to a perch or several en route, need both claw and teeth toned down by chewing and pawing. Cats have human servitors to scratch. Dogs wheedle with looks of approaching disapproval, but the wagging tail gives them away near every time. The only creature interested in a whippet cum collie’s speed is the rabbit/squirrel/toad which serves as target. Walk-up mailmen are too rare a breed hereabouts to satisfy an ankle-bite or -micturate. Enjoy your attempt at weather, good Old Fool, ye. I will console self with some tipple.

      2. The weather fools of England have a piss easy job, methinks. They forecast rain every unblessed morn, their accuracy guaranteed for the main part. We live a cricket ball’s throw from the fabled White Cliffs of Dover who have never had even a single bluebird fly over despite what the fabled song says. Weather here, just the shreds of Atlantic storms all the way from America through La Manche…the English claim is better, although typical pompously entitled, ‘The English Channel.
        Interesting your take on ‘The demise of all things British’ and your mention of Europe. From my own perspective, the demise of this never, ever, ‘Great’ as in Great Britain, was never was down to Europe and its sums. The English are the master’s of shooting themselves in the foot. ‘Tis to me a curse being tagged British/English. I despise the majority of its ignorant population, more so in recent times, a repulsion bought about by this wretched ‘Brexit’. It has made me sick in both mind and body. My European citizenship stolen from by the majority of ‘we don’t want them here’ brigade of racists, be they racist’s in denial; closet racists or out and out racists they’ve ruined my winter days. I can never forgive or forget their monotonous stupidity; their hatred of others of different tongue.
        Taking the ‘me’ out of the equation, yet still aware of their effect upon self, more importantly, the profusion of idiots who voted in favour of leaving the Union have ignored…most likely were so thick they don’t even know…the lessons of Western Europe’s history of making war every few years since the beginning of recorded yesterdays. Those lessons of history tell us that every few years nations have been at war, yet since the existence of EU seventy-five years have gone by without even a ‘handbags at the ready’ battles being fought. Those who lose sight of that fact may as well be blind. Should the Union break up, born of this ‘powerful yet never great’ island nation’s folly, then we beg death’s inhuman kiss.
        Some, the few ‘thinking’ Brexiteers, wanted out of the EU on the grounds that the much fabled ‘we’…whatever that might be… want ‘our’ democracy back. Yet ‘our’ so called democracy is not fit for purpose. Why take it back? The Head of State in situ via birth right, an unelected House of Lords and a ‘first past the post’ House of Commons. Such little democracy ‘we’ claim is not as old as some would have it. Not that long ago, only blue-blooded male toffs in society and male land owners were the only ones who got to vote come an election. Even closer to today, women when they eventually had a say following a long battle for freedom, would only get to drop their choice of MP in the ballet box had to be at least 30 years old. What we call democracy ‘tis utter bollocks, I say.
        Taking all of this into account, to me, such opinions I hold dear are more than just subjective, they are on my mind in every waking hour and when asleep, they haunt my dreams.
        For my part I have made it known that upon my demise my ashes should be spread in the land I love, that being France, per this recent poem.
        There you have it, Sir, my view of a piss wet island in which the congregation disappoint day after day. Regards, The Old Fool

      3. Good Lord Mayor, Old Fool, don’t you realize men get drawn and quartered just a few short centuries ago for such sentiments? Do you have to pose to be drawn, I ask, tongue firmly welded to cheek – and that process hurt mightily. A quarter of me sounds so dismal. I had a plane and solid geometry and introduction to the calculus high school instructor who was fond of his “countryism”: Whole Hog or None. My nation’s flirtation with Dreaded Democracy – just ask what passes for sentience in Greece what Helenic Democracy Hath Wrought. I, sir, fondly recall the mythical time when Republic was the rage. Representative republic institutions voted upon in a democratic process the only time The “D”-word may bve considere3d well used. I am distressed, your worship, that Rosie did not intrude at all in your polemic. Perhaps she shuld rule: she has all the slippers, no? I just finished a screed covering many – but nowhere near all – the bases – and some basis for my venom’s spew. I have a big of chore left on my menu. I do hope you spread some You in places far from The City of Light’s environs, Alsace and Burgundy, though I remain partial to Claret-country. But as I answered that never-to-be-forgot Marine major when he asked if I drank: “beer, wine, spirits?” and I was fored to reply, tartly I fear: “Will the Major require three answers – all in the affirmative?” in the face of a bevy of bright young Harvard University Naval Reserve Office Training Corps juniors and seniors all gathered around with not one of them holding any tipple – and I a no-stripe private their enlisted US Marine escort reaching for his churchkey (always at hand then and still, though with aluminum pop-tops for dcans and trist-offs for bottles I remain adamant that I will surrender not my Swiss Army Oficieur model folding knife with wine-screw included. Or, as the song suggests: There’s A Bomber That’s Leaving Bombay, it’s loaded all down with terrified men shit scared and prone on the floor: bless (the real word is less-nice and implises amorous activity) The All, The Long And The Short And The Ball…you get hte picture, I am confident. I have on the wrong pair of glasses, which is my excuse – not reason, never reason – for such lousy typing. And I must hurry. Nature – not nurture – calls. Later, The Old Fool, my pal. Vote. Vote Often. Vote No. As oft as you so do you will never be wrong in my eyes.
        Best to all in benighted blighty.
        J (just another Old Fool foiled by your usurpation of the gallant term. I shall go tell the next windmill I see of you, good Sir.

      4. I enjoyed you two comments immensely…as did my dear Shirl who took to nosing into what I was engrossed in reading…hence I shall write in reply in my ‘day to day’ classic drivel style that seems to irk just about every breathing soul, Sir. Put another way, The Old Fool is reflecting upon his former years thus providing a hint of the fool I always was and will be. With that in mind I commence thus. Add to a hairball teenage communist a good measure of best quality cannabis resin plus a worthwhile quota of cut-price loopy juice and you have the peerless cocktail mix. Defining the addled moron that was me in those sophomoric know-all days, I’d traded academia for two short planks unaware my pomegranate thinking machine was in constant bombed out overload and committed the cardinal sin of all sins…I let slip from grasp the very essence of the beauteous females of my own species, the half-witted young bonehead that I was.
        Playing back the broadcast of this life I chuckle at the dislocated ideals of a solitary boy squatting within a ramshackle, desultory refuge thinking no further ahead than the next Hendrix riff, the next tab of stained glass animated delusions and marvel that I neglected the fair damsels so. Thankfully and in the fullness of time the gals did not treat me with such witless distain, nor…God (?) only knows why…overlook this now weather-beaten atheist lefty planted in the inexorable confessional of candid reminiscence. In essence I am nought but a complicated twat, and happy to be so.
        Rugby. I love the game, yet my performances were, sadly, beyond poor. My only claim to local success, my ability to kick a conversion from the halfway line on a number of occasions when aged just 16. In essence, I loved the game that never loved me, unlike cricket, the one sport I was more adequate at.
        These days, albeit pathetic in the eyes of most, I do my level best not buying anything made in Britain. Since Brexit in unison with the dreaded ‘lock-down’ have, at this time prevented my annual threesomes of holidaying in France, a country I adore, for its attitude, history, ‘art betters science’ belief, the land and its people. ‘Tis theplace where I wish my ashes to be lobbed in due course.
        While not overly keen on being ‘drawn and quartered’, I’ve made it clear to any and all English racists morons, I’d rather end up that way then ‘give in’. Plainly, that makes me the consummate twat, such is life.
        As an idle note, this very morn, once again the puppy called Rosie stole yet another pair of knickers from the missus and as ever said item was to be discovered at the bottom of the garden in shreds. The odd thing is that the gal must have managed to open draw…a mighty skill to one with paws.
        Jolly good thing to be chatting with yourself for you shoot from the hip…I admire that. Have a splendid weekend, Sir. For my part, I shall be guzzling something French and red in order to get me through the tedium of a dark grey, soon to be soaking wet, Saturday…after all, on TV my team, The Arsenal are playing, hence my ability to throw obscenities at the screen.
        All the best, The Old Fool

      5. Once – or thrice – read any who is not Red from birth through early childhood – say 25 or so – is stillborn though animated; and any after 40 or so is not shockingly conservative missed the Piggy-Meets-Whatsisname, the guy with The Flies: Good Sir, Old Fool: flee if you will but remember to take Some of Auld Sod witye, save debouch the Dickens and other trite paid-by-the-word (I’ believe bonus for extra commas). I read-write Espanole and from a 60-year perspective speak it Castillianly atrocious. But I managed to find the water closet in Toulon, get some good grub in an almost-alley eatery and had the pleasure of meeting some unrepatriated Brits on extended holiday who insisted I go with them my next chance to play clay court tennis, this during The French Open up North of those climes my Marine Corps public relations duties decreed I be given Watch-Stander liberty at my own Private First Class (soon a Lance Corporal) determination: the two corporal photographers assigned to me took great glee telling the enraged-by-the sheer sense of it all Captain, “Sir, The Private IS in charge of our addition to this Battalion Landing Team’s Informational Services Office,” just about which time the Battalion Commander of the Third Battalion, Eighth Marine REgiment – who waded ashore on Betio Island of which was a part of Tarawa Atoll during Yet Another War To End All Wars – came by and called me out by name: “Hey, ‘Scoop’ That was a real fine article about Cote d’Azure liberty in this morning’s newsletter. Oh, Sorry to Interrupt, Cap’n: Carry On.” Deflated the poor bugger. I made a five-year career deflating Lifers of both commissioned and non-commissioned status. My only regret: the Sonsa’ promoted me to Sergeant for not ducking my last time to The Bush in Vietnam and thus became what most I managed to avoid: a bonafide “gonged” hero (of smaller sorts that even I could imagine but it made my Death-Bedded Grandma ‘most a celebrety in her hospice ward. Her daughter, my mom, forgaveme multitudes of commissions and omissions forejustaboutever. Even my voting RepubliCrat instead of DemoCrucian. I always vote and ALWAYS try to vote “No” when asked. I am more libertarian and cross-bred Contrarian but the one thing never I shall kneel is to a Democrat. Dispicable things, they. I do not want my tipple nor my smoke sanctioned: keep it illegal and let me figure my way toward a nice twist of ganja or better Peruvian Red or Alabama Thunderfuck. I survived a court-martial and bust back to PFC midway through my Marine Corps “career.” I still maintained: “How-In-Hole can they convict me of using MaryJane without ever proving I possessed it? Even in Passing (it)? Since, I have strayed into other devices, but when I found 21-year-old single malt Bushmills declaimed: This Shit’s show gud (slight slurr of typist’s fond memory). I was for a time thought A NARC by me denmates: so I got slipped some Orange Sunshine and some Mescaline and was told to wait ’til The Morrow for a guided tour of the cosmos. The Libertarian bowed to The Contrarian and I downed the first: nothing. Ninety minutes later, still nothing: so I downed the mushroom substitute. Yet another sweep-and-a-half on ole Mickey’s clockface and I realized God Hath Required My Attention…. Frolic ensued. I rushed tothe head….this was at Kaneohe Marine Corps Air Station, Oahu, Hawaii, where the base newspaper shared space with Career Counseling in a coverted second-floor barracks, with the old radio rooms being occupied by Office of Naval Investigaton for “talking to perps” purposes. The mirrors on the wall said I had melted away and these great honking doors instead fell away and the pinpoint of light so far off in the distance suddenly swooped into my view and there Dog was, so I asked: Is This A Bad Trip? “Only if you so desire,” rejoindered. “You know you were supposed to wait.” And now I had 36 hours of me with which to deal.
        Been so dealing ever since. When a famous female importer of square grouper responded to my: I’m smoking herb between tokes of Marlboro, drinking beer-n-whiskey like water and you give me this great honking splotch of white and say “HereyaGo, J, no athleticism required: just clean you plate.” And, later, when I compained of hunger and was pointed to the kitchen I asked: “When is the Buzz I kep hearing about?” The guys slicing planks with a hatchet lost it and hit the floor rolling, and my moderator, who now runs a highly successful seafood shack seating hundreds nearby my Sanford hovel, said: “J, we’ve been talking about that – and you – for years: None of us can tell when your high or sober: same result.”
        I knew then I had arrived. No more need I search a cave-front mountain top. Oh, sure, there were forays into danger. Crank, Coke, Speed, but when I resorted to my: $200 a gram? For this? That’s two bottles of really good hootch!”
        And, so, The Old Fool, to return to your question which you so graciously unasked: I gave up the television habit several years ago, read only the occasional newspaper, even fewer magazines – excepting Mad – and delight in telling people my ultimate goal is to perform Ludditeectomy on a severe pal who started all this with my stereo speakiers playing the 1812 Overture as I lay dying on the linoleum floor at K-Bay where my virginity of noxiousness willingly surrendered to The Giggles. And, yes, Sir Fool, you are right: so shy of sense and sin was I it took me another half year to find some good gal to shed me of my simplicity. Times then ensued though I have come to realize: a philanderer possibly but a husband impossibly. I mourn that deficit, but realize I am not built for divorce much less confrontation. So I butterfly especially with several longterm lingerers who say nothing would please them more than to tame me. Fortunately they all live decades apart from each location, though they have met and meet with each other more frequently than I they. Deficient? Surely. Demented:? You jest. I long ago gave up categorical, imperatives and otherwise. I enjoy the anonymity of some close acquaintences – and one renewed after a 40-year absence confluence with a convicted fellow Marine Murderer of Marijuana statutes inbeween allowing me to masticate my jaws around Haiku and Tanka poetry forms, while he now eschews chess – his formerly most athletic event: he remains Bruce Jewett, The Phat Phrog, Lance General by Acclimation (of one, a majority) and allow myself a few forays into Spenserian and other forms of sonnet and my passion doggerel and both blank and free verse as well as the very rare short story.
        Not sorry I took up your – and my! – time today. All I h ad was a half-month of haiku and tanka to transcribe with chores aplenty being sincerely avoided. Have three cubic yards of tree-chips to scatter in the beds of mostly non-edibles and open-source compost piles and layers of compost bin additions/amends, not to mention the real chores of stacking all the books into read and unread piles to serve as race-walkway barriers en route from kitchen to bath to bed: so I sofa sleep more than is good and mourn the loss of loud from my Bose wave radio – must seriously buckle until the shekels surrender to purchase anew. Tell you owner – Shirl? – soak a few old dainties in something foul – or at least offensive – like ammonia or doggie shampoo and leave them out for Rosie to realize His Skivvies are ever so much tastier.
        Exit, state left.
        J Still stiff with envy over The Old Fool apellation secured by you.

      6. I’d just spent 30 minutes+ (time I’ll never get back) talking to a female robot who seems to know more about Broadband than I will ever know…hardly surprising in many ways given my inbred indifference when it comes to things that bore me rigid…following which I’ve spent a worthy 10 minutes or so reading your worthy comment that does interest me. Swings and roundabouts and all that. A most engrossing life you’ve penned. Sadly whiskey and I never got on. As much as I liked it, it turned me into a violent monster…a thing I am not at all…as it did my father before me. I’ve not touched a drop of it for many decades. Belgian beers and French reds I stay with these days.
        Anyhow, along the way you made mention of mescaline. I know her well. Back in 1969, maybe 1970…I can’t be sure, I never dated what I’d written…I, for reasons of saving reflections of my first ever barmy ‘event’ in black and white before I forgot. For what it may be worth…very little perhaps…herewith what Aldous Huxley could no doubt easily trump. ‘Twas an experience that left me perplexed…in good way, I stress. Said event took place in Richmond Park overlooking the River Thames; a park Henry 8th was rather partial to when hunting deer;
        ‘Two-dimensional visions of a man…a man I knew well…as a cartoon bear; of the crucifixion, with the Christ in female form, eerie and bloodless, her Mother forsaken of her; to behold a forest, a very real forest, yet to see it as if drawn by a child using wax crayons; to touch the bark of great oaks and feel them as gelatine and broken glass; to panic under the attack of hallucinatory hornets giving loud and violent chase; to see tired old lichen and moss enveloped granite gravestones that transform to ones of gleaming unblemished marble before my eyes; the ghostly aura of daises awaiting the shears, sensing their death is nigh; the capricious mood swings of dandelions for the same reason; to suffer the crush of a livid sky pulverizing my very being, like a great invisible weight crushing my rib cage as it bears down on me and knowing its conjuror seeks to vanquish my living soul; The Titanic slowly and improbably drifting past the egress of a cemetery, it’s four funnels steaming a heavenly lilac haze, its horn beating out the tortuous, monotonous rhythm of the heartbeat of rambling feral ice cubes and, in the distance, a solitary fiddle playing a lament; to thirst for the elixir of life and to find it in a ‘can’ by the roadside, surreally too ponderous to carry away and with no ring pull to open it; to feel, to squeeze in my hands the hunger and empty passion of a starving nation as vultures pick and pull at the wasted tendons of a million dead, soon to be forgotten by all that is white, black babies; to stand by and gaze at a junta of starlings devour first the clouds and then the sun until there is only darkness; to discover immortality is merely an inexpensive treadmill; to take notice of symphonic music and treasure its energy and exquisiteness for the first time; to wear a vivid cloak of prosperity salvaged from, and stained by its benevolent, helpless of late, possessor…an ultimate falsity’
        I can truly say that I had…that day…lived all those things and subsequently, much more, before giving it all up, many years gone by.
        My sincere apologies if you found that tiresome, Sir. The thing that sparked it was your mention of the ’stuff’ that reminded me of my…arguable…halcyon days of late adolescence.
        All the best, The Old Fool

      7. I: tireless…but my time on ‘puter limited today…hope to be back in the fold manana. I will go slow over this and glean. At a c-note a bottle (and as well my love of Patron anejo, I sip but a ounce at a try and the tries come so infrequently I can say I will no longer joust freely at the fly on the bar. J

  7. Eating a delicious Robert B. Parker crime novel: Family Honor – the late author’s first Sunny Randall book: her miniature bull terrier is handled “Rosie,” too. Saw a bit of Shehanne Moore in this impressive listing. You do know the nicest electics, Mike. I’ll try to keep the average down a mite just to keep you from buying larger hats and resizing all your doors. If ever I grow up and – ugh, that foul word! – work on a book, I want you to join my pal Bruce Jewett and Mizz Moore as my official stoppage-cleaners. The pay: same as Spider Robinson said he got from Jim Bean – three cheese sandwiches. But not each.

    1. Cheers, Sir. Shehanne, the lovely gal, a fine author, always prepared to help and assist. A diamond girl as you will already know. I’m with you view re ‘work on a book’. ‘Tis worth it though’.
      5’th day of pissing rain in these parts and it’s my bloody turn to walk the dog…deep joy (not). Regards, TOF

      1. been on what I term Sabbatiquel – meant beer and wine supply threatened to displace room for milk, butter, cheese, eggs – the other stuff I am supposed (by age?) to eschew. Mostly instead of mastication, I swallow, thus obviating the need for gums and protuberances other than to catch the cork or bottle’s lip in case I find a must-scratch-now syndrome’s approach. Micturate easily can be washed off and if needed shorts changed. We remain mostly rainless while allegedly the rest of this dear land drowns or fills with snow or freezes. Had a wind-chill factor (uncomputed by weathernerds, alas!, of about 65 Fahrenheit yesterday and perhaps a mite colder this morning, so I donned my USMC longsleeve tee shirt commemorating a 2004 annual gathering of the tribe of Marine Corps myth-tellers and makers and spreaders of pictures and prop-er- gand(er)a. A changing world, Sir TOF. Instead of a mere Combat Correspondent (and self-taught photo-journalist) now I is lumped into something called – damnme, I’ve gladly forgotten what but it’s something akin to “communicator.” Hell, my squalls at finding stuff leaking out from what now must be a forgotten piece of infancy, an actual cloth diaper – was enough communicating by moi to last five lifetimes, methinks.
        As to cobbling bother something approaching a book shall have to order a second “range” so I can put on an extra back-burner (hob, I guess you might say. I await a medulla oblongotta-tap with auto upload function for any further writing past these paltry lines and a few scattered pieces of poetry I throw up on occasion (mind the puns, Mike, I seem to be scattering scat somewhat fiercely these days.
        And, yes, I expect we hold similar admiration of Shehanne. I have yet to read a Smexy novel by her hand, however. What she posts lures, but I have nightcrawler earthwords to feed, (oops, “Earthworms,” though earth-words does have its charms, neh?). I begin – actually, began some few weeks past – my Spring garden preparations, and they rapidly are draining my liquid refreshment account at my local refrigerator. Must see about that soonest.
        Been meaning to ask: when will Rosie’s literary career consume your own? I hear she has secured an agent: Shril. Rumors fly. The not-sufficiently punished publish world on tenter-hooks awaits with ‘bated breath…although the accompanying wheezing well may be attributed to too man cigars of dubious heritage…diddja know Florida grows its own leaf-wrapper these days? So sad, really: I tjpigjt we jere in one of but two “Sunshine Stattes” in America (North Dakota the other – imagine, one on the southern border with the otehr poised to invade Canada for perhaps the third of fourth time in the history of The World’s Longest Undefended Border – not anymore, compadre: Canada will send us its rich (illgotten I am sure) lazy ill, halt and lame to be ‘tended to by our even richer, lazier followers of the creed of all good doctors – “first find a good investment banker!” and then have the nurse and PA do it because Wednesday is for golf or tennis! Lawyers, on the other four hands, do both between martini lunches, the leches, . Sir, Steeden, I seem to have wandered – still wondering, however, off the trace and now go eyeless in greater gaza, to steal of good phrase….American author John Ringer (and I paraphrase freely) said Good Authors Creat; Great Authors Steal!
        And, so, I shall steal away, my good TOFF.
        An understudy to Old Foolishness, J

      2. Good day, Sir. There is a certain balance twixt lunacy (an excuse for crap) and greatness when it comes to writing methinks, that balance being mediocrity…I know it well. I have a chum, a fine satirist of the first order of capable satirists…who, some years back advised me that “Though you write well Mike, you pull your punches something chronic. What you’ve got to do is to cross the devil’s dirty line and write whatever the fuck is in your head. You can always edit if ‘you’ve gone too far; or written a load of shit’. Be honest with yourself and heed my words, pal.” So that’s what I did/still do, discovering on the way that writing is the finest hobby for one like me…and I suspect eloquent you. I truly don’t give a tuppenny toss if I never sell a copy. The missus and a few others tell me I’m off my head… “Why write if you’re not marketing the end result and making a few quid?’ they say. My standard riposte, “The ego of the overconfident, swaggering self-branded so called ‘authors’ piss me off something chronic (repeat thereof).” There are far too many tossers out there who honestly believe they’re the next, say, Hemingway. I feel sorry for them. Why have I just mentioned that? I hadn’t determined to rant on; my initial intent was to say ‘Happy New Year’, although in my case the New Year always begins/began on 22nd December, given the fact that the shortest day of the year (hence the end thereof) is always…one lives in hope…21st. December. I digress. What I’d also meant to say at the outset was that should you ready yourself to pen a tome then I have a lady in Florida, a diamond gal, who for little hard currency, puts words and cover art together with creative flair, as well as doing all the impossible things (in my case, that being an incapability understand the crucial workings of a PC) that go with homing said book inside the giant walls of money grabbing Amazon (and/or similar). Should you ever have the need, I send you her details.
        As to the joys of booze this winter has served me well. A surprise indeed. Wines courtesy of France and Chile (via Shirl’s first love back in the days of yore who lives over there and who’s missus of four decades who snuffed it recently…a great shame, he’s a good man I call a mate…lager from Italy (can’t recall how that came to be in my house yet ‘tis worth it) and, not that they’ll ever be quaffed by yours truly, a ton of ciders from Normandy (the latter being a gift from my eldest son who knows well that cider, not unlike whisky, turns me into a bloody, unpleasant, pathetic monster, hence I’ve not touched either for donkey’s years) all in fancy bottles with interesting labels akin to ‘death by a thousand cuts’ scenes. Most odd. I shall save those labels to consider their meaning when next in drink.
        As to Rosie, now seven months upon this globe, she is…or thinks she is…the boss of family. Regimental Sergeant Major Shirl has put Rosie straight, although when it comes to me I give into her demands…such demands that both amuse yet occasionally send me bonkers, more so when the IBS curse flares up. Plainly, I never let the latter show, as I’m still taken with the little beast she is. We love her dearly. That said, we’re on a third consecutive day of Rosie rolling in horse shit up in the forest. As yet Rosie hasn’t worked out that three baths in a row (a thing she hates) is down to her horseshit habit.
        The witching hour is so to arrive, alcohol can thus be taken…Shirl insists 5pm is the witching hour when it comes to a snifter.
        Regards, TOF

      3. Or any Post or Ante Meridian so as to convert yardarms to telltales for tipple. I have yet – and thanks for the ‘minder – to mention my infatuation with Pear William and Armagnac and such similar brews with Very Superior Old Pale appellations sp appended. I need not fortification for allholehood, Sir Toff. Just a litterbug will do, or a real fool who feels an octagonal sign post painted fire-engine (now lime green!) red with the word STOP inscribed is in fact merely a suggestion.

      4. As to your Florida Friend (almost wrote Fiend – as all in this state assume at will such nature, I assure. I, myself (and I do hate that term combined just after The Personal Pronoun) am certified Triple-Fiend. I must go and collect reading matter from the shelves.

  8. Nope: just did not see the “you replied” line and assumed (ass of yo0u and me said my last Lieutenant when he felt Sergeant John Gentry and I had put him in fool’s paradise: explaining his two sergeants’ shenanigans to The Lieutenant Colonel – who was there and participated in the show, unbeknownst to the shaggy sir sitting in high dudgeon before his photographer and editor. The Chief Warrant Officer (4) Marine Gunner, the lieutenant’s Sancho Panza showed teeth through his walrus picket-fence moustache – he, too, was there enjoying the impromptu disrobing on the bartop of the saloon right across two streets from our reserve and public relations headquarters in no-longer extant Broad and Washington Streets’ intersection in downtown (Just verging on South) Philadelphia. A half-mile further south truly is South Philly, home of two cheesteak emporia at cater-corners waging war with shaved beef steak (one, rib roast, the other mum – not the lady, just no comment) and home to all thinks weekend Italian market of both open-air and daily open offerings which will drown my keyboard in drool should I continue. John and I of course found the lieutenant’s use of a black board to illustrate “Ass-U-Me” in reply to my interrupting John’s less-than-terse expiation with, Well, Boss, we both Assumed…” at which point the interruption from a commissioned officer who was not a stooled-top-the-rouge “communicator” himshelf but was banished to lead this collection of vagabonds and misfits in uniform due, perhaps, to his pissing off his betters (or perhaps not paying his winning bettors?).
    Gujilt compelled this reply’s length. So, again, Sir TOF, my humblest chortles, I remain your ardent most insignificant olld fool in search of an appropriate appellation.

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