"There's a secret romance blooming! Go for it, in spite of your hesitation."

Thus speaketh the Fortune Cookie Gods. That's handy, but what I really need to know is if I have in fact broken my wrist, thanks to some at-work hijinks involving another dude's skateboard. Well? Have I?


Well, I finally resurrected the Beast. The Banana Boat. The BeBop. My 1966 289 Mustang, a deadly bucket of rust and hope and burning fossil fuels. There are other Mustangs out there in much better shape, and I used to be jealous of those who could afford to replace chipped paint and fraying wires. But now I understand the truth, that I will never have the money to make it a real driver, and even if I did I would put more cash into it than I would a brand new '05 GT that would giggle as it passed the BeBop at 146 MPH. That monster should not be run, today or ever again, because each time I start it up I take a full year off my life. Today for no reason at all I drove my mother's station wagon over 100 mph on the parkway, because I didn't feel like being slow and I sure as hell didn't feel like being sane. I have always felt that, in the ancient and wise words of Thompson, if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing right, and if you are going to speed you had better make sure that everyone else on the road has reason to fear you, because otherwise you will be busted for exceeding the speed limit by a mere 10 mph and your friends will mock you for being a sucker. That is the nature of life in America, if you are discovered breaking the rules by a slim margin others will despise your weakness - BUT, if you have the balls and the guts and enough hot air in your head to bust that limit wide open by doubling it, then shit, you are a force to be reckoned with.

I should not be allowed to drive the Mustang because it is fast and accelerates hard enough for me to pass anything that is naturally aspirated, and with a few hundred dollars I could beat to paste every one of those dumb punks with tricked-out plastic four-bangers. I have crashed once already due to my love of Speed, and my 1.5 tons of American steel required $1,000 of work to get running again. I will speed again in the future, perhaps frequently, and if I crash again that car will not be worth saving. But she will have left this world the way all great Warriors desire to, in a blaze of stupidity doing what she loves best, which is moving faster than anything should be allowed to if it wants to stay on the ground.

The BeBop was built in a different era; there is no reason for that much horse-power to live under the hood of a passenger vehicle, especially one that does not like other passengers. When loaded down with friends the acceleration drops off sharply - the only time that car runs as it should is when I am driving it alone. There is room perhaps for a backpack, and the spirit of Horatio Alger screeching gleefully and reveling in celebration of this disgusting example of American excess. Cars this old and this powerful should not be allowed to run, and in any other country than America they would be banned out of sheer revulsion for their size and deadly fumes. While she is in my possession one or both of us will die, and if I live to bury her I will invest my future dollars in a sensible and environmentally responsible car, something new and reasonable but with enough strength to feed that occasional desire to move. And if I die with a Will intact I will insist that the BeBop be sold for scrap and broken up, her parts melted down and remade into the door frames of a new Mustang.


Two rather remarkable bits of writing to point out here, one that's been around for a short while, and one that's brand new.

First, the olde one. Anthony Swofford's Jarhead - A Marine's Chronicle of the Gulf War and Other Battles is awesome. You should read the whole thing, but there's a paragraph or two that I want to save for all posterity:

"Some of the men who spread good news [about war] have never fought - so what could they have to say about the purity of war and warriors? These men are liars and cheats and they gamble with your freedom and your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the reputation of your country...

Some wars are unavoidable and need well be fought, but this doesn't erase warfare's waste. Sorry, we must say to the mothers whose sons will die horribly. This will never end. Sorry."

The second piece, the new writing, I never thought I'd see. George Will is as redoubtable a warrior for the Right as there is in America, but this is actually what he wrote in a recent editorial:

"The commander in chief seems not to fathom the depth of the difficulties when he describes the insurgent cleric Moqtada Sadr as a person who will not 'allow democracy to flourish.' 'Allow?' If some bad people would just behave, democracy would sprout like tulips?"

That sounds suspiciously like criticism which, if true, is nothing short of remarkable. I always wondered how people who are obviously intelligent could support such a dunce as our !President, but it appears that the worm is turning for Dubya, as even his partisans are beginning to question the utility of this morass that invading Iraq has become. Remarkable!


I have given up on Americans. These swine no longer deserve my pity, or any other form of attention. One of them wrote an article for today's opinion section that states, boldly and for the record, that we have done nothing to earn the sacrifices that Our Brave Soldiers are making in that stupid shit-littered sandbox Iraq.

Well, son, you may be on to something. Off the top of my head I can name perhaps five Great Americans who might have been worth dying for, and even then they are remarkable not for the ways that they exceeded human expectations, but merely by not possessing the flaws that make the rest of us Fools and Animals. We have taken the greatest continent on Earth, with more natural resources and beauty than civilised humans had ever experienced, and created a generation of permanently stupid cripples who spend their time phoning in votes for massive popularity contests and writing songs that glorify their excesses.

How, O Lord, how did we so blithely squander this bounty? Of course, our scientists have just proven that there is no way for You to exist, at least, not as the all-knowing all-powerful God of legend. Are we really the image of You? Because if we are, then you're responsible not just for our weird lanky bodies and worthless sense of smell, but our Stupidity as well. These brains are activated only once or twice in a lifetime, for most of us, and even for those like myself I can count only half a dozen so far, although there is a margin for error due to the wretched state of my memory.

Life is Suffering. Hoo boy, there is no more noble truth than that one. Everyone who goes out in public in sweat pants is suffering, I guarantee it, in some form or another. Everyone who puts their beer gut on display is suffering, and increasing the suffering of others. Not because they are grotesque to look at, no - there are plenty of things in this world that elicit the gag response. Anyone that fat who doesn't give a damn will burden the health care system in some way as to make my insurance more expensive, will beat their wife/husband/children to compensate for their lack of self-esteem, and will argue for forty minutes with the ticket monkey at an airport about their "Two Seat" policy.

You can take that to the bank - I assure you. News like that comes with a warrantee.