An Irregular Column
by Mykel Board (for MRR 288)
Ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation --Henry Kissinger
If you're going to do something right, why bother doing it at all? --Mykel Board
By the time your read this, I'll be back from my trip to Australia and New Zealand. As I write it, I haven't yet left. Before I leave, there are two things I want to write about. That's why there are two parts to this column.
Of course, there's a chance I'll fly into some building or die from spongebrain caused by mad kangaroo disease. You never know. So if this is my last column, let it at least be a mediocre one.
PART ONE: In a novel called Skinny Dip, Carl Hiaasen writes about a fake ecological charity. Created by agricultural and industrial polluters, the organization poses as an earth-friendly bunch. They go door-to-door asking residents if they “support the rain forests.”
“Certainly” people say. “I'm concerned about damage to the rain forests.”
Then the hustlers explain how that means that Congress needs to allow agribusiness to cut down US trees and drill for oil in the American wilderness. If they do it here, they won't have to do it in Indonesia. That saves rain forests.
The plot is pure satire. A vision of a 1984-like world. A newspeak world where the fox protects the chickens by making more foxes.
Life imitates art. Two of the most evil Republicans: Joe Lieberman and John McCain have joined in a clear... But let's go back to the beginning.
I'm wiping the Vicks VapoRub from my balls. Aah, that was nice. A new PornoTube vid. A long one. Seven minutes of one guy and his webcam, but yowsah! What a show!
As I finish wiping up, I notice an envelope sticking out from the pile of papers on my desk. It's from The Environmental Defense Fund. Usually, I just toss this stuff. These groups are all the same. Some stupid save-the-something organization that will give me a canvas bag with a picture of the earth on it... in exchange for a minimum donation of $25.
But for some reason, I open this one. Sure as semen, it asks for money. BUT, it's signed Joe Lieberman and John McCain!! Yikes! What's the scam? Reading further, I see that it wants laws to create pollution credits. These allow corporations to trade their filth-creation rights. The LeberCain crew says:
Such a system encourages innovation and creates incentives for companies to find the least-costly technologies that allow people to do what they need to do in their daily lives -- from heating homes to driving cars -- while meeting our environmental responsibilities.
The idea of pollution credits is mind boggling. It's saying that A can break the law if B sells A credits for the times B doesn't break the law. Instead of making pollution illegal, it says that it's okay to pollute, as long as you give money to someone who doesn't pollute.
It's the ultimate extension of the market economy. A right to violate the law that you can buy from or sell to someone else. Amazing! And, they offer a canvas tote bag with a picture of the earth on it.
“Wow!” I think. “What an idea! I've got to get myself to Bar Nomiso and check this out.”
I walk down Bleecker Street to the little bar around the corner from where CBGBs used to be. I look for the small blue neon sign. Most people just pass the place by.
“What's a Nomiso?” they think, hurrying down the bock to The Model Bar.
Entering the bar, I wave to George Metesky, the bar-tender. About my size, he has a full head of dark black hair and a belt-busting waistline. He's been here 30 years and looks exactly like he did when he started. I wonder how he does it.
I glance around at the mostly empty bar and walk to the back. I enter the door under the sign that says MEN. The room is empty. I go into the third stall, and scrunch up under the toilet tank. Pressing out the hollowed wall, I push through to the other side.
The mensroom I leave looks much like the one I entered, but I've done this before. I know the truth. I've entered a trial world. A world of ideas, where I can test my theories.
Coming out of the mensroom, I stop at the bar.
“Hi George,” I say.
“Got a new theory?” he asks me.
“Give me a Wild Turkey with a Brooklyn chaser,” I tell him.
He shakes his head and whistles. After pouring the drinks, I pound back the W.T. and suck down the Brooklyn lager.
“That'll run ya' eight fifty,” says George.
“I'm running a tab,” I tell him. “Fill it up again.”
The goddess bartendress Sharon introduced me to Wild Turkey about 10 years ago. For those who get a buzz from Bud Lite, I'll tell you W.T. is hardcore. It burns the stomach and numbs the brain. One shot will make you woozy. Two shots will get you drunk. You won't make it to four.
I beat this one back, slamming my glass down hard. George knows that means another. I down that one. Then another. Then:
“One more!” I yell, “I shink zhatsh almosht enough.”
“Mykel,” says George, “you're 65 years old and five foot three. Don't you think you've had enough?”
“ONE MORE!” I yell, even louder.
George shakes his head.
“Sorry, Mykel,” he says. “I'm cutting you off.”
“Ah hah!” I tell him. “Zhachs what I wash hopin' you'd shay! Shee, you CAN'T cut me off! I got drunk credits!”
I open my wallet and pull out an officially signed and sealed document. I pass it over to George.
“I got 'em off zhis Morman,” I say. “He never drinksh, sho he wazhn't gonna uzhe 'em. Costsh me eighty dollars, but I can drink till I puke”
George examines the documents, shrugs, and pours me another drink. I slam it back... and puke.
Puking on a bar floor is usually a signal that it's time to leave that bar. Debating briefly whether I can manage the superhero feat of jumping from the stool to the floor, I take the plunge. And plunge I do, slipping in my own barf, smashing cheek-first into the wooden floor. The smell of vomit fills my nose and makes me sicker. The guffaws of the other patrons barely penetrate my pickled brain.
Somehow I manage to crawl out of the bar and prop myself up against the side of the building. Fishing a copy of the New York Post out of a garbage can, I use the sports section to clean the blood and puke off the side of my face.
I'm not feeling too good. I puke again, using the paper to wipe my mouth off. Suddenly it hits. The beer and W.T. have worked themselves through my system and now press against my bladder, begging for release.
Usually, I can't piss in public. But if I'm drunk enough, I can let loose that steaming yellow stream almost anywhere. That includes against this cop car parked at the curb. I expect this will cause some fun. I'm right.
“Okay Buster,” comes the Brooklyn-bred voice to my left. “Who the fuck do you think you are?”
I look and see two guys in uniform. Both with mustaches. Both with faces as blurry as an MRR band photo. Before I have time to reinsert my little friend inside his cubby-hole, I feel my arms being pulled behind my back.
“You're under arrest,” says one of the mustaches. “Public urination, defacing public property, indecent exposure and... and resisting arrest.”
“I'm afraid not officers,” I say. “If you'll reach into my back pocket you'll see my public urination credits. I bought them off this woman in Montana. She lives by herself in the woods and rarely goes into town. She can pee anywhere and no one will know. Montana is a big state with nothing but trees. She sold me her credits real cheap. She was never gonna use 'em.”
Before they ask, I continue, “I also have indecent exposure credits I bought from an injured Iraqi vet. Friendly fire blew off his personal equipment, so he has nothing he can expose. Sold me his credits.”
The cop reaches into my back pocket to pull out and examine the papers. I use the temporary relaxation of restraint to put myself back into my pants. Despite the long wagging in the wind, a few last drops drip down the inside of my leg.
The cops know they're helpless against my credits. They get back in the car and take off. As for me, ah, zee night eez young!
Slightly more sober, I start my trek toward Hell's Kitchen. Staggering up the street, I skirt the muggers spending their mugging credits (purchased from spinsters in Des Moines) ripping off Japanese tourists. On Eleventh Ave. I pause, stopped in my tracks by the screams of burning people caught in a building with inadequate fire escapes.
The landlord had purchased his building code violation credits from a Wyoming log cabin builder. The arsonist, I later learn, got his arson credits from a scuba diver in Miami.
Me? I'm heading for the 16 year old hooker on 41st street, right behind the Port Authority bus terminal. A hot Latina, who is, in another world, jailbait. But I've got a pocketful of teen sex credits, and my little no-longer-dripping friend is aching to use 'em.
“Maritza! Maritza!” I shout, waving my credits in the air. “I've got credits! I've got credits.”
“Mykel! Mykel!” comes a Spanish tinged voice. “Tu tienes dinero tambien?”
“Si!” I shout, “Lo tengo!”
Soon we're joined in conjugal bliss, my aging equipment solidly strong thanks to erection credits I bought from a priest in Milwaukee. All too soon, the night is over and I have to return to that old mensroom in Bar Nomiso.
Maritza and I do a quick fifth one, I head back to the bar, a smile pasted on my face. I wave to George as I head for the mensroom into the stall and out the other side. It would be nice if there were credits that would give me more than a day on the other side, but those kinds of credits do not exist... yet.
Trading credits to break the law, huh? Maybe it's not such a bad idea.
PART TWO: According to the latest poll, G.W. has a favorability rating of 27%. Even Republicans are running to distance themselves from the guy.
But what if things aren't that clear cut? My favorite authors: Celine, Hamsun were Nazis. Even Jimmy Carter, my favorite human, was not a great president. So you separate the person from the idea. The artist from the art. The politician from the politics. And you judge independently. You see value in one, while not liking the other.
So what happens when a person you really hate shows the kind of moral integrity you really love? What happens when someone who is wrong about everything is wrong in a way that you have to admire? What happens is George W. Bush.
As time passes, I'm liking the guy more and more. I don't like the war. I don't like the religious shit. But I like him. He lost the last election for the Republicans. He wants to strengthen troops in a massively unpopular war. A war that most people (including me) think should be ended immediately. He doesn't give a shit about public opinion, or elections or even the constitution for that matter.
Bill Clinton was his opposite. Clinton had to read the opinion polls to know which shoelace to tie first. He never made a decision without 50 advisers telling him what everybody else thought.
Bush isn't like that. He has his ideas and he sticks with them. Like an anarchist throwing a bomb on Haymarket Square, he has a clear vision of the omelet he has to break eggs to make.
Someone told me that 12% of the American people believe Bush is right in increasing the troop strength. TWELVE PERCENT??? But he doesn't care. I have to admire him for that.
ENDNOTES: [email subscribers (email@example.com) or website viewers (www.mykelboard.com) will get live links and a chance to email comment on the column]
--> Now don't you feel superior dept: Yeah, the last column was my annual April Fool's column. The truth is that I have NOT converted to Islam. The method of conversion, of course, was also bogus. All the bible and Koran quotes, however, were real, as were the endnotes.
-->Now don't you feel safe dept: The Washington Post notes that two members of the Montgomery County Homeland Security Department walked into the library in Bethesda Maryland. They announced that "the viewing of Internet pornography is forbidden."
After the announcement, one of the men challenged an Internet user's choice of websites and "asked him to step outside." A librarian intervened. Someone else called the local cops. The Homelanders left.
Later that afternoon, Bruce Romer, the County's chief administrative officer, called the incident "unfortunate" and "regrettable."
“The security division is not responsible for enforcing obscenity laws,” he said.
The homeland officers have since been reassigned to other duties.
-->By the time you read this, I'll be back from Australia. Unfortunately, I won't have a chance to see Ayers Rock. Actually, I'll NEVER have a chance to see Ayer's Rock. It is no longer Ayer's Rock.
In a case of political correctness rivaling the worst of the academics, Ayer's Rock has been renamed ULURU-- its aboriginal name. Now I wonder when they're going to rename Delaware, LENAPE. That's what the original Delaware Indians called themselves. At least that's what I've heard in New Iroquois.
--> As if you need another reason to hate her dept: Hillary Clinton has joined with our old pal Joe Lieberman in introducing The Family Entertainment Protection Act. The bill requires heavy fines for retailers who sell “violent or explicit” games to minors. Sure Hill, support the Iraqi war, but you wouldn't want to give the kids violent video games, now would you?
-->Twin Brains? dept: People who guessed at whatsmyimage.com don't seem to fall for stereotypes. The website had people guess GPAs for female students with bra cup sizes from A to DD. Web surfers guessed A-cup students to have only a .3 point average above their D-cup classmates.
Even that was probably skewed. How many of the A-cup students were Orientals? Everybody knows that Orientals score A's on both the academic and bra-size front.
Oh yeah, although the report of the differing opinions was made public, it was not revealed if the answers were right.