Friday, March 31, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Comrade Trump Has A Problem

It doesn’t look good for Comrade Trump.  Michael Flynn coming out of nowhere to publicly offer testimony in exchange for immunity isn’t exactly a strong endorsement of the White House’s claims that “the Russia story is a hoax”.  If I have recently been publicly shamed and cast out of the kingdom, the last thing I am going to do is thrust myself into the public spotlight once again and scream “Hey!  Forget about me?” if I wasn’t concerned about going to prison.  Most elderly privileged white dudes don’t have “prison” as a box checked off on their retirement goals.  I am guessing that he is having the squeeze put on him by some humorless government intelligence agency, likely one of the ones that Trump decided to immediately alienate and call out upon taking office.  In retrospect, this was a bad decision on his part.

I have some friends that are Trump supporters.  These are seemingly reasonable people otherwise.  I couldn’t for the life of me figure out how they could be looking at the never ending cascade of damning events being revealed and still insist that there is no story with Trump and his people colluding with Russia.  They are completely inflexible in this position as well.  It’s like being in the same classroom and having the teacher tell the Big Bad Wolf story, and afterwords your friends insist there is no connection between the wolf and that sorry ass pig getting his shitty straw house blown down.  

“But, the wolf came over and said he was going to blow his house down unless he let the wolf in!”  NO.  That’s not what happened.  It’s very common for straw houses to get blown down, and the Big Bad Wolf was in that neighborhood for reasons very easily explained, which the Wolf has promised to do very soon after launching a full investigation on how that house got blown down.  The Big Bad Wolf believes the American People deserve to know what happened to that poor little pig’s house.  Anything you have heard about the Big Bad Wolf blowing that house down is fake news.  “But the Wolf said he was going to do it!  Here’s a video of him saying it!”  You are taking what the wolf said literally.  When he said “blow your house in”, he said it in quotes which can actually mean he wants to build him a new house.  A better house.  The best house.

It’s enough to make your head explode.

So I watched some more Fox News this week while whacked out on the couch with meds.  If you haven’t watched a few hours of Fox News, you should do so.  You immediately understand why your friends seem insane.  They aren’t crazy.  They are just watching a reality show with a completely different story line than the rest of us.  On that TV show, America (translated to white people like you) is under siege by strange brown people and their Godless accomplices in the Democratic Party which want to take away your basic freedoms and reward these brown rapists and murderers for no discernible reason.  Common sense and christian values are under attack.  Everything is urgent.  Everything is Breaking News!  Major stories on every other news source are omitted completely if they don’t serve the story line.  Other stories are featured if they help the story line.  It’s a real wild scene.  It’s like watching an Ohio State Football pregame show on a Columbus TV station where Michigan is Isis.  CNN is biased.  Fox News is alternative facts.  On every major news source Flynn looking for immunity is an obvious sign this guy is in up to his neck and is looking for an out.  On Fox, it's "a smart legal play... just protocol... nothing significant" and then brushed off as a nonevent.  I suppose we'll see about that.

I had thought Carter Paige would have been the first to flip.  He looks like a squealer to me.  However, Flynn makes sense.  He is already on the hook for something and been cut loose from the inner circle.  I can see him now pacing back and forth in his dark wood paneled study saying "I'm not going to be the goddamn patsy in this thing!".  He is making a pragmatic move a military mind would make.  The real key to this thing is Paul Manafort.  That guy is a slick hustler with no moral compass.  By all appearances he sold out our nation's ideals so he could make some dough from some Russian thugs, and then even screwed the Russians over when his check was due.  My money is on him being the guy that put the Russians and Trump together so they could all make some dough.  Manafort does have balls of steel and will approach this like a poker game.  He will play all sides and look for a personal win.  As Paul Manafort goes, so does Trump.  These two will either spend the rest of their lives in jail as historical villains or sweep the whole business under the rug somehow.

No matter what channel you are watching this show on, it's a helluva show.  It's the only show worth watching right now.  I can't wait for today's episode.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Nurse the Hate: The New Grill

Most people had never seen either parental figure at the Klecko household, though we all assumed that certainly one must have always been inside.  It never would have occurred to us that the boys were actually fending for themselves in the small suburban house.  That would have been something completely extraordinary, and nothing extraordinary had ever happened in our general area for all of recorded history.  So when we heard other parents make comments like “it’s like those boys have been raised by wolves”, we didn’t know how close to the truth that was, assuming you agreed that the family german shepherd Simba carried any authority in the home.  I saw the Dad every now and then.  He was a guy with a brush cut that always wore short sleeve dress shirts.  My image of him is of fishing a cigarette out of the pocket while threatening the boys.

The eldest brother Tom was a shadowy figure.  Tom had an acoustic guitar he continually plucked at while lying on his bed in his room.  Despite hours and hours of him plinking, he never improved and I do not believe he could play a song from beginning to end.  He did know the beginning of “Ziggy Stardust” though, and after a failed attempt at “Stairway To Heaven”, he would often retreat back to the comfortable chord changes of Ziggy.  Tom had long blonde hair and always wore a fringed leather jacket.  He liked to smoke cigarettes while leaning against the basketball pole, secure in his role as the elder statesman.  Tom had a beautiful girlfriend that broke up with him that May, and for most of the summer he wore that heartache like a bruise.  Whenever I saw Peter Fonda in a movie, it always made me think of Tom. 

Terry was a year younger than Tom.  At the time, it was popular to say that Terry “just wasn’t right”.  I overheard my elderly neighbors say once, “I think Terry is touched”.  The bottom line was Terry was fucking crazy.  Everyone was nervous when Terry was around, even Tom.  Terry had a short fuse, and the slightest thing would set him off.  He was generally suspended from school for fighting, so I didn’t see him there very often.  My policy with Terry was to avoid him at all costs so as to minimize the chance of him going crazy on me.  The last time I physically saw Terry was when he made a crying teenage boy jump off a train trestle 25 feet into a creek.  Somehow the boy’s parents got involved, which led to the police getting involved, which led to Terry enlisting in the Navy as a way to “straighten him out and give him some structure”.  Two years later I heard Terry punched his commanding officer in the face, jumped into the harbor in Manila and was AWOL.

I was friends with Joey, the youngest.  Joey was a tough kid, but he had some substance to him.  He was a 13 year old boy that had this leathery exterior with sadness in his eyes.  Joey was really bright, but would play down his intelligence.  I think Terry would beat him if Joey made him feel stupid, so Joey just kept quiet even when he knew the answers to things.  Joey was always very dodgy whenever I would ask about his parents.  My understanding was his father traveled a lot and his mother worked nights.  I remember seeing his father once in a while, but never his mother.  I stopped asking about her when he blew up on me one afternoon and punched me in the stomach.  As boys we were used to hitting each other, but this was far over the line over our wordlessly agreed violence level.  That was the end of that.

By the time I got to high school I didn’t spend much time at the Klecko house.  I was on the college prep plan, and Joey had fallen in with “the rats”, a.k.a. the kids that took shop class and went to tech classes.  We had been pretty close, but after a year in a new clique, we hardly even acknowledged each other any longer.  High school has strict rules after all.  One day I saw a “For Sale” sign in front of their house, and they moved out shortly afterwards.  An Indian family moved in with a girl in my class.  She and I never interacted once.  Her father had that bushy mustache Indian fathers always seemed to have, and would stare at us boys with crossed arms and an all-knowing expression as if he had just saved his chunky silent daughter from our ravenous sexual advances.    

The only reason I mention the Indian family at all is because during my second year of college they decided to put in a new patio.  When the workers dug up the area for the ultra-deluxe 50,000 btu Weber Grill station area, they were shocked to discover human remains.  The authorities later matched the dental records of the skull with that of Mrs. Klecko.  I remember reading the small print typed item from a USA Today clipping my father sent me to my dorm mailbox.   They found Mr. Klecko living in Galveston TX.  They arrested him, but I think he claimed Terry did it while he was away and he just couldn’t turn his son in.  He went to jail for a lot less time than you’d think.  They never found Terry.  When I heard about that whole thing, it sure explained a lot about that summer and about Joey.

The Indian family sold the house at a loss about a year later.  Someone named Garrison lives there now.  They seem nice.    

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nurse the Hate: Hate Buckfast

I subscribe to an online newsletter called “Drinks Business”.  It is this UK based alcohol business newsletter that I was told with a wagging finger that I had better read.  It is almost completely useless to me as most of the articles are about obscure brands and markets in which I will never come in contact.  They run a lot of stories about things like “Local Wankers Make Gin and Tonics at Posh Event With Obscure Gin Brand” and “Rudd Brothers Announces Partnership with Sporty Spice’s Navarra Winery”.  It’s all British shit.  Lots of pictures of pale guys named Roger and pasty women named Emma smiling with drinks.  Every once in a while an article peaks my interest…  

Yesterday I saw what might be the greatest alcohol promotion of all time.  As per the picture above, a product called “Buckfast” created an obviously child targeted packaging Easter promotion.  If you buy this special Buckfast package, you’ll get a chocolate easter egg, a small bottle of Buckfast, and “Buckfast Merchandise”.  It’s all quite exciting.  Especially since the “special merchandise” was a Buckfast disposable pen and lighter.  This was the work of a marketing genius.  I cannot tell you how jealous I am that my fingerprints are not on this thing.  I may have been the mind that came up with that Cowslingers poster with “free cigarettes for the kids”, but this is out of my league.  To combine an Easter egg, booze, and a lighter?  It is inspired!  What twisted mind ventured there?

 The story got even better when I looked into Buckfast.  “Bucky”, as it is affectionately known, is a “tonic wine”.  What this means is that either cheap bulk wine or maybe just straight grape juice has ethanol dumped into it to level it off at 15% alcohol.  Making it even more exciting, they add more caffeine than a Red Bull plus “special ingredients” (which appear to be terrifying chemicals).  This is a MadDog Turbo.  From what I gather, it tastes like cough syrup and rips your face off.  This is what “Neds” drink.  I have learned a “Ned” is essentially a Scottish jugaloo or perhaps their version of a Wichita Buzzcut.  There is a staggering amount of Buckfast drunk around Glasgow, so much so that police records indicate that 43.4% of Scottish inmates had consumed Bucky before their last offense.  With 15% alcohol, a screw top, and a nice little glass bottle, Bucky is actually used as the weapon itself in many offenses.  Scotland is pretty “stabby”. 

Now get ready for the best part.  Buckfast is made by monks.  There is a Scottish abbey called Buckfast Abbey nestled into a picturesque little corner of the country.  From there these servants of God lord over this mayhem making enterprise.  I couldn’t find how much loot they were raking in, but it is estimated that 54% of all glass litter in a typical Scottish town are Buckfast bottles.  One report suggested they made 40 million pounds in sales last year.  By the way, I have absolutely no idea what the pound to dollar conversion rate is and I never have.  I just nod my head knowingly when stats are thrown around in pounds.  That could be $461.  I think it’s more though.  40 million pounds seems like a lot of “tonic wine” sold at 7 pounds a bottle.

More than anything I wish someone would walk me through that meeting where they green lit the Easter Egg promo.  I picture a long dark wooden table with thoughtful monks in robes gathered.  Chanting can be heard echoing down a long marble hallway.  “Brother Edgar, so you propose we package our sacred tonic wine with an Easter Egg, condom, and a throwing star?”  Yes brother.  Tis the season.  (The monks all murmur to one another)  “Brother Edgar… Methinks that is too much to give the people at once.  Can we give them God’s love, but in another form?”  Ummm…  How about a pen and a lighter with the Easter egg?  (Excited talking amongst them all)  “It is decided!  Praise God!”

There was some criticism on this package however.  The fact it went to market at all is incredible.  The company isn’t going to pull them either.  They are just going to sell the ones out that are in the market and not print any more.  What are you going to do?  Bring legal action on a bunch of monks?  I have already gone onto Amazon and secured my Buckfast Holiday box.  Please, come on over this Easter.  I will hide the Easter Egg and you can try and find it.  And if you do, I will stab you in the fookin’ neck with me Buckie bottle!  Falbh dairich fhein!