Saturday, August 26, 2017


Ronald M. Kelly
Created December 26, 2007 / Revised August 26, 2017
Copyrights, December, 2007 & August, 2017


Scene One: The Parking Lot Of The Pinal County Adult Probation Office...
Fade in...

Friday morning, just before eight am, I steer my 1993 Dodge Minvan into the parking lot of the Pinal County Adult Probation Department, adjacent to the building where I work, stopping in my assigned space. It's right next to the door, and has a sign that says "Handicapped Parking Only." I don't get out of the van, affectionately named “VannaDoom,” right away. As is my usual habit, I have one more cigarette, and finish my coffee before going in to work. This is usually the time that I reflect upon my life. Which isn't turning out the way I expected. Or hoped. Or planned.

For example, I never thought that I'd have an assigned parking disabled parking space. Or any reason to need one. Or get one.

Except for the Chief Probation Officer, Dave S, nobody in the department had an assigned parking space. Certainly not a Deputy Adult Probation Officer, like me. A Level Two, to be exact. Not that there's much of a difference between the job of a One or a Two. Or a Three, for that matter. Just the size of the paycheck. And the time in grade.

But, I have an assigned space, right? So, I'm handicapped, no? 

Well, not exactly...

A few months ago, I told my boss, Jon T, Deputy Chief Probation Officer, Director of the Field Services Unit, that I had been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Upon hearing the sad and sorry news, he said that, legally, I was entitled to park in one of the two handicapped spaces next to the back door of the Field Services Unit. So, I do. I’m guessing that you would, too.

Jon's a real good egg. He's a fine man, and a real quality friend. I'm not absolutely sure of it, but I think he may have cried a little after I left his office. His eyes were watery when I saw him in the corridor a few minutes later. I was on the way into the men's room, while he was on the way out. Of course, watery eyes can also result from straining when you should be relaxing. Or, maybe due to a bit of painful urination. Which, thankfully, I don't have. Maybe Jon does. It’s really none of my business.

But I do have a brain tumor. I don't consider it a handicap. It's not like I have a broken leg or a bad heart. Or Erectile Dysfunction.

Erectile Dysfunction... now there's a handicap! Unless you're a priest. Then it's just a blessing. At least to all the little boys and girls of the parish.

But I am grateful for the special parking space. And for not being hassled over it by the people with whom I work.

Since the tumor was discovered, nobody hassles me over much of anything at all. Maybe they feel sorry for me. What difference does it make? No one else in my world, or their worlds, for that matter, has a brain tumor, so they really cannot relate to me on this issue. So they cut me some slack. Not that I give a shit. But I would do the same for them.

Not that I deserve it, but I'll take the consideration. And, naturally, the parking space. I'm not likely to get much of anything else in the way of special treatment. Nor am I likely to feel much in the way of any shame over taking it. Working in a government job, a man's got to grab his perks whenever, and wherever, he can. Well deserved, or not so much.

But, along with this one special consideration, I have the feeling that everyone in the office is a little afraid of me, as if my brain tumor might somehow be contagious to them. Or maybe they're just afraid for me.

I'm sure they think I'm going to die soon, and they feel bad.

But not for me, I'm sure. Or, at least, mostly not for me, I think.

I’m very sure it’s mostly for themselves. For their guilt and their shame. For the relief they feel. Because they're happy they aren't like me, living in the shadow of the Angel of Death.

"It's too bad he might die," they think. "But I thank God it's not me!"

Fade Out...

Scene Two: Truth Or Consequences...
Fade In...

But I know the truth. Actually, I know three truths. They're important truths.

They're huge truths.

You need to know these truths, so listen up and pay attention. Take my word for it. If you miss these truths, you miss everything. Nothing else matters. Ever. Ever.

Here We Go:

Important Huge Truth Number One: Everyone Dies...

It's just a matter of time. It's true. Nobody leaves the planet alive. You could ask Elvis Presley to confirm this for you, but that isn't possible right now. Elvis has left the building. And the whole damn Earth, for that matter. You can leave him a message. But, he won't be getting back to you. At least, not any time real soon. His phone has been disconnected. He didn't leave a forwarding address. All of his mail is marked, “Return to Sender, Address Unknown.”

Important Huge Truth Number Two: Thanking God That You're Not The One Who Might Die Won't Help You To Avoid Death In The Long

And, He just might take umbrage at your egocentric selfishness. Everyone dies, sooner or later. Even you, too, really quite soon enough. Much sooner than you’d hoped, given your perfect life, but much later than you should, given all the recent and incredible advances in geriatric care. If you don't believe me, just refer back to Important Huge Truth Number One. Or ask Elvis. When you see him, I mean. Which you won't. Because it's doubtful that you both have the same Final Destination.

Huge Important Truth Number Three: The Real Key To Happiness Is A Daily, Good, Healthy Bowel Movement...

My Dad taught me that. Elvis should have known it. I mean, given where he died and all. I recommend you have a good, healthy bowel movement every day. Relax in there. Read the paper. Catch up on current events. Work on the crossword puzzle. Laugh at the cartoons. But don't dawdle too long. People might think you're in there masturbating. It's okay to masturbate. But there's a time and a place. The bathroom really isn't the time or the place for jerking off. But, it's your choice, really... just try not to get caught! That would be embarrassing. Most people would never be able to live it down.

So, anyway, like I said, Death is the great equalizer. We'll all set to meet him sooner or later. The only difference between you and me is that I no longer deny that I'll meet Death, personally, someday. You, most likely, still do.

Here's a little poem I wrote, to kind of bring it all into perspective:

First, we live, and then we die, 
That's all there is, my brother. 
Not nearly enough of the first one, 
And way too much of the other.

Fade out...

Scene Three: Meditations On My Medical Care…
Fade in...

In reality, if I continue with my medications, I'm not really in real danger of dying anytime soon. At least not too soon. At least not real soon.

Or so says my doctor. But, what the Hell does that pill-passing, son-of-bitchen bastard know? He doesn't have a brain tumor.

For that matter, he probably doesn't have Erectile Dsyfunction, either. How lucky for him. Not that I care. I'm just saying...

Of course, neither do I have ED. My twice-monthly testosterone injections eliminate that possibility. Why testosterone? It's part of the course of therapy prescribed by my doctor. The tumor had put my balls down for a permanent slumber. So, I would certainly have ED if it weren't for the shots.

As long as I have the testo, and the hard cash to pay for it, I'll always have a hard-on. Even when there are times in which it is actually counterproductive to sport wood. Like, school, and, church, and, Court. And, and, and, and on, into infinity. When I want one, and need one, I want and need one. But I'd rather have an erection when I didn't want one, than not have one when I did. I like having the option. How so very lucky of me.

Here's how a typical monthly visit with my Doctor proceeds:

First, I'm taken into an examination room, where the hot nurse, Wanda, takes my vitals, and draws what seems like endless volumes of blood. After placing a bandage over the wound, she says, "The DOCTOR will be in soon, Ronald.”

DOCTOR. By just the way she said it, I could hear all of the capital letters clearly ennunciated. As she leaves, she turns and throws a "Have a nice day!" over her right shoulder.

I'm not a real fan of the off-hand, "Have a nice day" thing. But I forgive Wanda, though. This is because she has such a great ass, and knows how to work it. She knows that I like the way her ass moves. She knows this, because I told her that I liked her ass. It just slipped out of my mouth one day. She wasn't offended, though. She knows that she has a great ass. And she knows, that I know, that she knows, that I know it.

Next, after Wanda, leaves, Dr. Alex comes in. I'm not being familiar. Alex isn't his first name. I don't know his first name. I'm not even sure he knows my last name. He's never used it, ever. Not a big fan of the usual bedside manner, is our DOCTOR Alex.

"Don't worry, Ronald," as he says, as always, upon reviewing my chart.

"All the tests that we've run show that the tumor is responding well to the medications I've prescribed. It seems to be under control. You really don't have anything to worry about. Just take your meds as directed, and you should be fine. Unless you have any problems, and need to come in sooner, I'll see you next month."

As he turns to leave, he pauses.

"By the way," he asks, "Do you want a refill of the pain medication?"

"Thanks, Doctor Alex," I say, "I do." No ALLCAPS crap for me.

Not that I need them, as I rarely have the migraine headaches anymore. But I want them. I'm building up a stockpile of the little buggers. An emergency reserve, if you will. A temporary vacation that does not require an intinerary, travel agent, or much in the way of luggage. Maybe, just maybe, simply a pleasant way out, if needs must be met. If that time ever comes.

"Fine," he said. "I leave it for you at the check-out desk."

While walking out of the exam room, as Wanda did, over his left shoulder he suddenly throws a "Have a nice day, okay?"

There it is again. Have a nice day. Have a nice day! Have a nice, fucking day, you miserable little cocksucker!

Sure Doc. You, too! I’ll see you next month.

"Have a nice day?" I think to myself. "Have a nice day..." At this point in my life, I'll take any kind of day, not just the nice ones. The “nice” ones are just too few and far between to be of any great utility to me, at this point in my life.

Fade out...

Scene Four: Inside VannaDoom, Contemplating The Dregs Of His Coffee…
Fade in...

Breaking my usual routine, I light up another cigarette. Maybe it will kill me before the tumor does. But I doubt it.

In my head I continue the story of my PCP...

"Yeah, Doc, I'm going to have a nice fucking day. Why the Hell wouldn't I have a nice day? Unlike yours, my life is fucking perfect."

"You don't think so? Well, Doc, listen right up, and let me set you straight!"
"At the end of the day, I don't have to drive your BMW to your million dollar house on the fairway at your country club. I don't have to relax next to your swimming pool, kick back, stretch out, and have a few drinks out of your liquor cabinet. Top shelf booze only, I am absolutely sure. It's not like I have to fuck your bleached blond trophy wife, the one with the tanned trophy knockers. You know, it’s highly likely that she probably fucks the pool man. You do know that, don't you? Do you ever think about that, while you’re getting busy, fucking the maid?"

"Like I said, Doc, my life is perfect. I get to drive my minivan to my house in the suburbs, have a few beers on my porch, kicked back next to my pool. My wading pool. I get to play with Max, my dog. He's not a trophy wife. On the contrary, he’s far from it. He doesn't have giant, tanned, trophy tits. But, he is a fearless, peerless, faithful friend, and loyal silent partner. He might piss in the wading pool, but he doesn't fuck the pool man. But, he does know what love is all about, and he proves it, every, single time he ever humps my leg."

"Then, after a few beers, I start to talk to the tumor. He doesn't say much these days. Maybe the meds really do have him on the ropes. Or maybe he's just resting up, ready to come back with a vengeance. What do you think, DOCTOR? Am I really going to beat the bastard? You're pretty confident I will, you cocky son of a bitch! I'm... not so sure. He's not living in your skull. He's living in mine. Rent-free, and without a lease, I might add."

"Hey, Doc! Unlike you, I don't have to think about the fact that your opulent lifestyle is financed by the medical misfortunes of your patients, fretting over the ethics and morality of the situation. Do you? How does that make you feel Doc? Do you feel anything after a few martinis? Can you feel anything at all, or are you numb to the realities of my world?"

"Yeah, DOCTOR, I'll have a nice day."

"I hope you do too, you silly motherfucker! I hope you do, too. Say, “hello,” to your slut wife for me. And, don't forget to tip the pool man."

Each time before I leave the office, I make another appointment with Sheila, the office manager. As she leans over to write in her schedule book, I look down her dress. Nice boobs, slung in a sexy black lace bra. I'm pretty sure she knows I'm checking out her rack. She probably gets a thrill out of it. She’s a man-hungry, cock-teasing, horny little bitch. Her ample bosom is the high point of my day. At least, it is on that particular day. I can hardly wait until next month. There’ll be another colored bra, with the same ol’ beautiful boobs. ‘Titties-a-GoGo!

Maybe I'll ask her out. Maybe she'll say yes. Maybe she’ll say no. Maybe she'll fuck me, maybe she won't. It really doesn't matter to me very much either way. I’ll still think about her when I masturbate. But, not while I'm in the bathroom.

Fade out...

Scene Five: A Reverie On Life In General...
Fade in...

So, I'm not dying of a brain tumor. I think everyone knows this, but when you say "brain tumor" people start to treat you differently. As if you're somehow damaged goods, to be held for return to the factory, there to be re-tooled into something more useful.

But, I've always been damaged goods. It’s just that until I started on the medications, I'd been able to keep the damage far under wraps, unobserved by the normies. As far as I know, I've always appeared to the rest of the world to be the very definition and image of the word “normal.” Whatever the Hell “normal” is supposed to mean. Maybe the people that let the crazy out for the world to see are the true normals. I certainly hope so. I'm finding it more and more difficult to hold back the cresting wave of the crazy tsunami. 

But, every now and again, a little bit of it leaks out. So far as I know, nobody of any importance has ever noticed. Only the whores, masquerading as titty dancers, God bless their cold, black hearts, and their hot, wet vaginas. Hot and wet, if you've got the cash. Cold and dry if not. But as long as I've got a credit card, and a handy ATM nearby, they'll always be moist for me. And, too, for anyone one else with a fifty-dollar bill.

But, all in all, life is good. Compared to the alternative...

Gulping the last of my coffee, I take a long last drag of my cigarette. As I exit VannaDoom, I flick the butt to the ground, stepping on it, grinding it under my heel. I pretend that it's the tumor. I'm sure my aggressive nature pisses him off, but there’s nothing that the little bastard can do about it... I don't care. He doesn't have to go to work. I do.

He just waits; and waits; and waits. He's very patient. Tumors are like that, generally speaking, the nasty pieces of shit.

After checking my shirt for coffee stains and cigarette ash, I straighten my tie, hunch my shoulders to settle my jacket, and go ahead into the office.

Passing through the doorway, I throw a, "Have a nice day!" over my left shoulder, then turn and say, "Thanks!," over my right. Not to anyone in particular. Just to the world at large. Maybe, it will have a nice day, after all, but, I seriously fucking doubt it.

It's time to righteously clamp down on the crazy. I have to go to work. I serve a very important societal function. I keep the savages at bay, away from the civilized folk. I am Ronald K, a Deputy Adult Probation Officer, Grade II. Champion of the weak, defender of the oppressed, servant of the strong. Noble. Bold. Valiant. I am the living embodiment of “The American Dream.” Which is killing me... Day-by-mother-humping day...

Fade out...

To Be Continued...

Monday, December 3, 2007

What A Day - Part One

"What a Day!" is the first story (in terms of timeline) of the "Group Therapy" epic.

What A Day!
by Ronald Matthew Kelly
Copyright 2007

Part One: A New Dawn

buzz buzz buzz

"What the Hell is that noise," I think to myself. "Is there a fly trapped here in my bedroom?"

That's all I need! Here I am, trying to recover from a night of drunken debauchery, and a fly is trying to keep me from sleeping. I hate him. I hate him, his mother, his father, and all of his little fly brothers and sisters.

buzz buzz buzz

"Persistent little bastard, aren't you!," I call out to my flying bedside companion. "Why don't you settle down somewhere, relax, and catch a little shut-eye yourself? I'm trying to sleep here!"

My entreaty is to no avail. I still hear him, or possibly her, flying around the room.

buzz buzz buzz

I try to ignore the noise, but it is no use. I can't seem to shut out the noise. I cover my head with my pillow, but it doesn't work. If anything, the noise seems to get louder.

Buzz Buzz Buzz

Try as I might, I cannot ignore the noise, and return to the land of dream-time slumber. The noise becomes louder still.


With murder in my heart, I fling my pillow away. I have a plan. I'm going to hunt down that little flying bastard, and end his life prematurely, allowing me to return to the sleep I so desperately need!

I'd rather live and let live, but the fly won't let me sleep! And I so desperately need my sleep! I have to be up in a few hours, to go to work, to earn my daily bread, bread I so desperately need to fund the lifestyle to which I have become accustomed: drunkenness, degeneracy, and debauchery.

In the company of my faithful friend and blood brother, Johnny Wraith, I have elevated drunkenness, degeneracy and debauchery to high art. But I must have sleep, so that I may be regenerated, to enable me to further partake of the of the excesses of life. I must stop the fly from interfering with my sleep! He is interfering with the natural order of my life, and for this he must pay!

Flinging the covers from my body, I hurl myself out of my bed. Standing in my darkened bedroom, I begin to rant at the fly.

"I'll kill you, you lousy sonuvabitch! Where are you? Don't hide from me, it will only prolong your agony when I finally catch you!"


"It's your choice," I scream, enraged by the fly's lack of respect for my person.

"Give yourself up peacefully, and I will make your death easy and painless! Continue to hide yourself from me, and I promise a slow, agonizing death, starting with the removal of your wings, and ending with you begging for mercy, longing for the instant death of my thumb crushing you. Which will be denied you! Once the torture begins, there will be no turning back, no mercy! Only endless pain and sorrow! It's your choice!"

"Reveal yourself, fly! Be a man, and take your just punishment!"

I take no notice of the absurdity of telling a fly to take his punishment like a man.

The noise continues.


"Right!," I calmly say, "So that's the way you want it."

I turn slowly towards the source of the noise. I do not want the fly evading me at the last minute.


Through my peripheral vision, I begin to see the area that where my ears tell me the fly must be. I continue to turn towards the source of the noise.


A blinking light captures my attention. Continuing my turn, the blinking light begins to resolve itself into an coherent image. The noise continues.


Focusing my eyes, the image leaps into clarity.

This is what I see:

"6:03 AM" (blink)

This is what I hear:


The image, and noise, continue to repeat themselves, completely synchronized:

6:03 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:03 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:03 AM (blink) BUZZ

Then a change in the image:

6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ

Slowly, I become aware of the fact that I am looking at, and listening to, the alarm clock at on the table at the side of my bed.

6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ 6:04 AM (blink) BUZZ

Apologizing for my mistake to all flies everywhere, I reach over, and turn off the alarm.

The noise abates. My bedroom is eerily quite. I sit back down on the bed. I resist the urge to lie back down, and go back to sleep. This I cannot do. I must prepare my self for work. I have to go to work. it is the natural order of things.

Head pounding, I rest my chin on my hands, staring balefully at the clock.

6:04 AM. 6:05 AM. 6:06 AM...


My eyes fly opened, startled. The snooze time elapsed, the alarm clock had begun to scream at me anew.


I reach over to shut the alarm off completely. Standing up, I stagger to the bathroom to completely my morning rituals.

A new day had dawned.

"Shit," I exclaimed aloud.

The last one had barely ended!

To be continued...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Ready Aim

Ready Aim
by Ronald Matthew Kelly
Copyright 2007

Outside the bar, well after closing time, I sat inside the Van of Doom, engine idling, watching Johnny Wraith as he walked across the parking lot. He was headed in the direction of the two mullet-heads who had so recently, and furiously, aroused his ire. They had mocked me in my recent distress, and it was his stated intention to reprimand them for their insolence. Johnny could not abide insult of any form; that it had been directed at me made no difference to him, as we were blood brothers. To his way of thinking, an insult to his friend was an insult to himself, and such insult must be avenged at all costs.

As he took he first steps towards the mullet heads, I heard him repeat the first line of what is reported to be Genghis Khan’s final address to his troops, his retirement speech if you will:

“The Greatest Joy is Victory!”

I recited the balance of the oration:

“To conquer one’s enemies… to deprive them of their property… to make their beloved weep… to embrace their wives and daughters… and to ride their horses!”

So strong was Johnny’s conviction that the greatest joy was indeed victory, I believe that he considered himself to be the lawyerly reincarnation of Genghis Khan! Thankfully, he was not a military man with dictatorial aspirations. As a lawyer he was fearsome enough!

As he crossed a concrete bordered strip of grass and shrubbery that divided the parking lot in half, I noticed just how dark the area was, the lights around the bar having been turned off just moments before. Light seeping in from the street beyond the parking lot provided some illumination, preventing total darkness.

I was still quite buzzed from my not inconsiderable intake of booze. However, the recent violent rejection, and subsequent regurgitation, of the more toxic elements of my nightly overindulgence (forming the basis for mullet-head mockery) had left me feeling more or less refreshed. As well being as extremely hungry. Comfortable as I was with Johnny’s ability to handle himself in any situation, I decided to move the Van of Doom closer to the action. Shifting into drive, I started over to where the mullet-heads were parked. Johnny was almost upon them.

Because the shrub divider prevented me from driving directly over, I realized I would have to circle the parking lot. For a few seconds, Johnny and the mullets would be hidden from my view. This made me nervous, but I realized that it would allow me to approach the mullets from behind, providing a tremendous tactical advantage, should such be necessary.

Just before rounding the last corner of the parking lot, Johnny and the mullets came into my view. By all appearances, all was well. But I sense that something is amiss. Now I see it! The mullets have adopted an aggressive stance, having separated themselves to either side in front of Johnny, who appears to be backing away from them. Not waiting to integrate this information, I floor the accelerator, and with engine roaring, round the final curve.

Aimed directly at the trio, my headlights wash over the scene. Something is definitely wrong! By spinning the wheel to the right while simultaneously applying the break, I slew the Van of Doom to the left and skid sideways to a halt, the driver’s side door directly behind the mullets, ten feet away.

All of this action takes less than three seconds to accomplish, so neither Johnny, nor the mullets have reacted yet. Good. Surprise is my ally.

Grabbing hold of the .38 caliber Colt Snub-nosed Detective Special I keep in the map pocket of the door, I very deliberately withdraw it from its resting place, point it out the window, carefully aim, and gently pull back on the hammer of the gun. The sound the hammer makes as it clicks into battery seems as loud as the gunshots that may soon follow. Maybe it sounds just as loud to Johnny and the mullets, as they all appear to be frozen in place. Is that a look of relief I detect on Johnny’s face?

“Freeze, assholes! Hands up!”

Two hands shoot skyward.

“Not you, Johnny, the other two assholes!”

Johnny drops his, but the hands of the mullets remain at their sides.

“I said, ‘Hands up.’ Now, show me a touchdown!”

Even under extreme stress, I cannot resist the funny. In football, two hands in the air signals a touchdown.

“You also said ‘Freeze, assholes!’ If we put our hands up, we’ll be moving.”

This came from one of the mullets. Reasonable man that I am, I had to admit that he had a point.

“Okay, my bad. Let’s try this again. “Hands up!”

Six hands shot skyward.

“Damn it, Johnny, NOT YOURS! Will you please quit fucking around, and move off to the side? I don’t want a through-and-through taking you out!”

Johnny dropped his arms, and moved to his right, away from the Camaro, out of my line of ready aim.

“Okay, now that everyone’s hands are in the right place, freeze, assholes!”

“Sorry, Ronald. I’m a little nervous. Isn’t that the gun I gave you?”

“The very one.”

“Ummm… you remember I told you it had a hair trigger?”

“Yeah, so what? I ain’t pointing it at you, and I sure don’t see it pointed at me.”

“Yeah, well, good point, but I’m just saying…”

“Okay, Johnny, message received. You hear that boys? This gun I have here, aimed at your backs, is possessed of a hair trigger. Sudden moves startle me, and when I get startled, my fingers clench up, and that would lead to a bloody accident. I don’t want any dead bodies by accident. If anyone has to end up dead, I want it to be a purposeful act. You boys understand me?”

As if they had rehearsed it, in unison they both replied,

“Yes, sir!”

Now that’s what I like. The proper respect for my authority!


“Yes, Ronald?”

“What’s going on here?”

“Well, as you know, I came over here to talk to these two fellows, regarding their recent acts of mockery towards you. I let them know that I didn’t appreciate what they had done, but frankly, they did not appear to be at all receptive to my point of view. I had the feeling that an apology would not be forthcoming. I also sensed that they were more than willing to offer me the opportunity to feel some pain, and possibly suffer some permanent injury. Now, notwithstanding my earlier assertion to you that I would have my boot on their necks and blood on my hands, it was beginning to appear to me that it might not go down that way.”

“Why’s that, Johnny? I’ve seen you handle men twice your size!”

“Well, that may well be, but all those other times I was sober.”

“Gotcha. “

“So, anyway, I’m thinking that I had better start making a strategic withdrawal when, all of a sudden, I made what could have been, except for your timely arrival upon the scene, a fatal error.”

“And what was that?”

“I leaned on the Camaro.”


“The two mullets started to move in on me, and then you showed up. Boy, was I sure glad to see you poke your gun out the window!”

“Okay. Well, let me take it from here.”

I addressed the mullets.

“Hey, guys, look, I don’t want to unduly influence your answer by reminding you that I have a gun, with a hair trigger mind you, pointed at your backs, but if you don’t mind, has what my friend here pretty much summed up the totality of the circumstances?”

I get no response.

“What the hell… cat got your tongue? You gonna answer me, or what.”

Still no response.


“Yes, Johnny?”

“They’re mullets, and they probably don’t know what ‘totality of the circumstances’ means.”

“Yeah, you’re probably right. Let me try this again. Hey, dudes, is that the way the whole thing went down?”

“Yes, sir!”

At least they still respect my authority. Or the authority of my gun. Same thing really.

“Okay. What are your names, anyway.”


Again, as if rehearsed, they spoke in unison, blurring their names together.

“Try it again boys, one at a time.”


“Okay, one more time, but this time, from right to left!”

Silence. Is it possible that these two yahoos don’t know left from right?

“Oh, this is really getting tedious! Johnny, do me a favor, point to one, and ask him his name, okay?”

“Sure, Ronald.”

Johnny pointed at the left-hand mullet, and asked him his name, which turned out to be Tommy.

“And the other?”

He pointed at the other, who seemed to be somewhat brighter than his buddy, as he gave his name without prompting.


“Tommy, Larry, pleased to meet you, I’m Ronald, and this is my friend Johnny, who, of course you’ve already met.”

“Now, I know that it probably seems like time has just sped by since I came upon the scene, but honestly, we’ve wasted about four pages of this story since I got here, just to establish what happened, and to get your names.”

“Now, I’m a reasonable man, but I think we really need to wrap this up. I want to resolve this situation with a minimum of bloodshed, as well as eliminate any possibility for revenge on your part. So here’s what I want you to do.”

“First off, Larry, I want you to give me the name of your probation officer.”

“How’d you know I was on probation?”

“I didn’t, but it seemed like a reasonable guess. See, I’m in the justice business, and you seemed to have the stink of petty criminality on you. So what’s his name?”

“Why, what are you gonna do?”

“Larry, I’m beginning to get a hand cramp. You don’t want my fingers spazzing, do you? It could get ugly!”


“Okay, then. So what’s your PO’s name?”

“Allen H####.”

(Larry gave me Allen’s full name, but I’d prefer that he’d remain anonymous. Allen probably wants it that way, too.”)

“Good news, Larry, I know Mr. H. He’s a pretty understanding sort of man, but he sure isn’t going to understand why you’re out this late, consuming alcohol, and about to drive a car. Like I said, I’m in the biz, and I know that right now you are in violation of the terms and conditions of your probation. What will Allen do if I tell him I met you?”

“Uh… probably violate my probation?”

“Gee, Larry, you got it right in one.”

“Are you gonna do that?”

“Not if you and Tommy follow my instructions to the letter. Do you think you can do that?”


“Hey, Tommy?”


“Sorry, man, I don’t want to leave you out of the negotiations. You heard what I said to Larry? That I won’t rat him out to his PO if you two cooperate? You gonna go along with that?”

“Why should I, I’m not on probation.”

“Hey, Larry, you hear that? Seems to me that Tommy really doesn’t care what happens to you. Some friend, huh?”

Larry glanced over at Tommy, and started to speak,


“Never mind, Larry, I think I know a way to deal with this issue. Johnny?”

“Yes, Ronald?”

“Help Tommy see the light, if you would, please.”

“How do you mean…”

“Johnny, remember what Ghengis Khan said? The greatest joy is victory, and all that?”

“Oh yeah.”

Johnny walked up to Tommy, and delivered a crushing blow to his snot-locker. As the blood poured down his face, Johnny kneed him in the groin. Tommy fell over, groaning, and writhing in pain, But Johnny was not yet finished. Placing his foot upon Tommy’s neck, he asked if a simple question.

“Is it over, Tommy?”

Johnny waited several seconds, but got no response. He gently applied pressure to Tommy’s neck, and repeated his question.

“Is it over, Tommy?”

This time Tommy nodded his head.

“Yeah, I thought so. Ronald?”

“Yes, Johnny?”

“Tommy has decided he wants to cooperate.”

“Good. Larry?”

“Yes, sir?”

Still respectful, after all that had happended. I was beginning to like this guy.

“Okay, here’s what’s gonna happen. We’re going to leave you and Tommy in a minute or so. I’m willing to let bygones be bygones. I won’t call your PO, if you guys just get the hell out of here, and never come back to this bar. Ever. Don’t look back, don’t try to follow us, and don’t ever tell anyone what happened here. Okay?”

“Sure thing, man!”

“Somehow, I’m not completely convinced of your sincerity. Frankly, I think you may be tempted to look for revenge after we leave, and things have cooled down a bit. Among other things, you might decide to call the cops, and tell them what happened here. Hell, I might be tempted to do the same, if I we’re in your shoes.”

“I mean, after all, when you get right down to it, just on the strength of my good friend Johnny’s word, I held you at gunpoint and threatened to kill you, both actions being certainly illegal. Also, I promised to not to report you your PO, which is not only unethical, but reflects poorly upon my professionalism. And, to top it all off, I incited Johnny here to administer a beat down to poor old Tommy, because he was to dumb to see it coming.”

“So… it really wouldn’t surprise me if you were to call the police after all. But I wouldn’t recommend it. You know why, Larry?”

“Uh… why?”

“Like I said before, I’m in the biz. And you’re on probation. And I tell a better story. Who do you think the cops are gonna believe? Who do you think they’re going to WANT to believe? Get my point?”

“I think so.”

“So we’re done here?”

“I guess.”

“Good. Johnny?”

“Yes, Ronald?”

“Is Tommy still among the land of the living?”

“He appears to be.”

“Well, say goodbye, and get in the van.”

Johnny started towards the van.


“Yes, sir?” I could tell it was an effort for Tommy to speak. But that’s what happens to people who get lippy.

“You hear what I told Larry?”


“Are we done here, then?”

“I guess so.”

“Fine. Have a nice night!”

As Johnny was walking over to the passenger side of the Van of Doom, I gave a last piece of advice to Larry.

“Hey Larry… for what it’s worth, it’s not nice to make fun of people.”

Johnny got in the van, and closed his door.

“You just never know how they’re going to react. You know what I mean?”

Larry just looked at me. I could tell he didn’t really didn’t like the way his evening had ended. But I could also tell that he knew there wasn’t a damn thing he could do about it. We’d never see him around the bar again.

I pulled my arm through the window, and replaced the gun in its holster. Placing the Van of Doom in reverse, I back away from the Camaro. Larry walked over to Tommy, and bent down to help him up.

Placing the van in drive, I made my way to the street.

“Well, Johnny, what shall we do now?”

“Ronald, what do we always do after a night of honky-tonk debauchery?”

Turning left onto the street, I replied,

“Jack in the Box it is, then! I can hear those Jumbo Jacks calling me now!”

Merging with traffic, I pressed down on the accelerator. The Van of Doom responded with a surge of power.

“Do me a favor, okay, Johnny?”

“Sure, what is it?”

“Put your seatbelt on. You know how I feel about respect for the law.”

My stomach rumbled. It would soon be satisfied.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Cuba Libre

Cuba Libre
by Ronald Matthew Kelly
Copyright 2007

As I had done for so many nights that they stretched without number into my past, like some giant Anaconda from the deepest reaches of the Amazon jungle, I walked into Group Therapy promptly at eight p.m., joining the usual cohort of regular members. Here at last I would find relief from the pressures of the world.

For those heretofore unaware of my history, allow me to be upfront with you. I have severe characters of defect. Were you to meet me in person, if the sun were still in the sky, you might not notice these defects right away, if ever. During the day, like a vampire hides from the light, I refrain from expressing who I really am. But the pressures build, and at the end of the day, when I have accomplished all that I can in the nine to five grind of the workaday world, I retreat to my spiritual oasis, that I may find rest, and recuperation. I renew myself with a session of Group Therapy.

Here in Group Therapy I will be allowed to unburden myself from the weight of the world, to express myself without fear of the judgments of others. Here I will be loved for who I am. Here I am allowed to be what I truly am I. Here I would be supported and sustained by those who understand my Quest to be all that I can truly be. With all the respect, understanding, and love that only those so afflicted as I am can give.

I make my way to my usual perch, third from the corner closest to the door, two empty seats to my left, and one to my right, reserved as they always were, with an excellent view of the entire room. My more than ample rear end had barely made an impression on the stool when tonight’s session facilitator, Suzy Q, approached, surely to offer her usual encouraging kind words of greeting, to and enquire how she might be of service in fulfilling my needs.

“Hey, Ronald, right on time, just like clockwork. I’m so glad to see you. So what will you have tonight? The usual?”

“Actually, Suzy, on my way over here, I thought I would start slow, perhaps with a glass of Bud Light. But now that I’ve arrived, I’ve decided that only turtles and grandmas should take it slow. To Hell with the consequences! Damn the torpedoes, and full steam ahead! You may serve me when ready, Gridley, and don’t stop till you see the whites of my eyeballs, as they roll up into my skull! Tempus Fugit, and Sic Transit Gloria!”

Suzy grinned, rolling her eyes at my soliloquy.

“So you’re saying you want the usual?”

“Yeah, Suzy… that’ll be fine.”

“Okay, one double Bacardi 151 rum and coke, ‘con limon,’ coming right up!”

I loved it when she spoke in a foreign tongue!

As Suzy drifted away towards the drink prep station at the other end of the bar, I admired the way she swayed back and forth as she moved, hinting at the delectable ass that must surely be hidden beneath the skirt she was wearing. If the truth be told, and here at Group Therapy, it always was, I believed that I would give anything to see that ass in all it’s naked glory.

Legend has it that I had had such an experience one night, when Suzy was bored and had invited me back to her place after closing the bar. However, since I had been to inebriated to remember anything between walking into her bedroom, and the bowl of cold cereal she served me in the morning, sadly, it must remain a legend. Sadder still, she had not invited me to repeat the experience. Had I been too much man for her? Or not nearly enough? I cannot say, and fear the consequences of speculation. “Veni, vidi, vici?” Who’s to say, for I cannot recall.

She placed the libation in front of me, asking,

“Will Johnny be joining you tonight? Shall I have one ready for him?”

I looked at her deadpan.

She stared back.

In unison, we both laughed.

“Sorry, Ronald… bit of a brain fart there. For a moment, I forgot who I was talking to. Please excuse me.”

The look on her face was adorable, so I gazed with adoration upon it.

“Its okay, Suze, happens to everyone at times. I mean, look at me: vainly imagining that that I might start the evening with a mere glass of beer!”

She laughed. I nearly swooned, intoxicating as her laughter was!

“Yeah… he called earlier, and said he would be about five minutes late, so you might as well get his ready right now…”

“Okay. Should I start a tab?”

“…and go head and start a tab.”

We both grinned like fools, she for the absurdity of her question, me because I was treated to the view of her bottom as she walked away.

Sic Transit Suzy.


Several years ago, before I had sunk completely into the despair and degradation that my life had become as the result with living with the invader in my skull (A pituitary tumor, in case you were unaware of this fact. But that’s another story.), Johnny Wraith and I used to hang out together… quite a lot, as a matter of fact. So much so, that if at any time neither one of us was working, sleeping, pooping, performing various acts of self-love, carousing with the opposite sex, or recovering from over-indulging in our various vices, it was almost a certainty that we were hanging out together. To the uninitiated observer, it may have seemed like hanging out together was our only reason for existing. Such an existence would not be unfulfilling from my point of view.

Not that we were in love with each other, because I can assure that that was not, and is not, the case. But we were really good friends, blood brothers, even, who, at that time in our lives, found each other’s company to be more stimulating and fulfilling than the company of almost anyone else, hookers and other degenerates excepted. And because we were who we were, the consumption of alcohol was almost always central to our activities together. Actually, if the truth be told, and as I have said before, at Group Therapy it always was, the consumption of alcohol was ALWAYS central to our activities together. Dare I say it? Alcohol was our Third Amigo.

Many a night, most of them, in fact, would find us down out at Group Therapy, our favorite, and most appropriately named, watering hole. From sundown to closing time, there we’d be, consuming near-fatal quantities of alcoholic beverages, all the while singing karaoke songs, and dancing with the local Daughters of the American Revolution.

Actually, I did the singing, while Johnny would sit at the bar, or with a group of floozies, with a goofy look on his face, as he slowly succumbed to the effects of the booze. As for the Daughters of the American Revolution, well, sadly, no such animal was to be found at Group Therapy.

So we made do with what we had: hookers, sluts, nurses and other tramps, all of whom we thoroughly despised. But, hey, the potter works with the clay that he has.

At the time, our cocktail of choice was the venerable double Bacardi 151 rum and coke with lime. Yes, I know that the proper name for such a libation is Cuba Libre, but this was not the sort of establishment where such pretensions went unnoticed, or for that matter, physically unpunished. But, throwing caution to the wind, I will hereafter use the term Cuba Libre, because I find I have grown beyond the fear of appearing pretentious or being on the wrong side of a pair of fists. As to the former, well, I am what I am. As to the latter, you’ll have to find me first. Then we’ll talk.

Chosen it because it was possessed of a certain quality, the Cuba Libre was IT for us. Tasty? To be sure, it was that, but then so are many other cocktails.

Consider the Tequila Sunrise, the Margarita, and the Strawberry Daiquiri. Are these not tasty beverages in their own right? But taste alone does not confer “most favored beverage status” upon a cocktail in our world.

To say the Cuba Libre would get us drunk it a truthful statement, but drunkenness is the natural result of the consumption of any alcohol. This was not our fascination.

The fact of the matter was it was cheap. As a matter of fact, relative to the other offerings of the bar, it was quite the alcoholic bargain. One could say it was our alcoholic Holy Grail. We certainly did. Sir Percival’s single-minded devotion to the service of HIS quest for the Holy Grail paled by comparison to how we devotedly we serviced OUR grail, once we had found it!

Allow me to explain.

At Group Therapy, a “well” drink (so called because it contains a generic alcohol, for example, rum, which is poured from a bottle stored in a well below the bartender’s drink mixing station) was priced at two dollars and fifty cents. To specify a particular brand of alcohol, thereby creating, appropriately, a “call” drink, one was charged an additional fifty cents. Going further, and requesting a double measure of alcohol was only one more dollar. Thus, a standard rum and coke, (‘con limon’, let us not forget) was two dollars and fifty cents, while our favorite double Bacardi 151 cocktail was only a dollar-fifty more.

But hidden in the transaction is the power of the proof. The alcoholic proof, that is. You see, standard rum, whether no-name house, or branded Bacardi, generally has an alcoholic proof of 80, while Bacardi 151 is almost double that, at 151-proof.

(Yes, I know that explaining that Bacardi 151 is a 151-proof alcohol is somewhat tedious, when it should be patently obvious that Bacardi 151 is, in fact, a 151-proof alcohol. But, let’s be fair: to some few individuals, this is all new information: I feel I would be doing a disservice to these readers if my explanation was not complete in every detail. I therefore do not feel the least bit guilty for burdening you in this fashion, if you in fact feel so burdened. Get over it.)

So let us “do the math”, as they say, whoever They are.

Counting one well drink containing generic 80-proof rum as one “dose” of booze, the Bacardi 151, at nearly double the proof, must count as (near enough) two doses of booze, while a double Bacardi 151 clocks in at an incredible four doses! Four times the kick at less than double the price? Well, of course, we signed on to that plan immediately!

Not that we were cheap. It’s just that Johnny was in grad school at the time, had limited funds, and so was forced by circumstances to be thrifty. And I was, in the words of the great George Costanza, “Very careful with my money.” (Well, what degenerate, semi-alcoholic, chain-smoking, compulsive gambler with narcissistic issues wouldn’t be? But that’s another topic, for another story. Stay tuned.)

If we were to pretend that this was an infomercial, this would be the moment where I, as your host, would exclaim,

“But wait! There’s more!”

So allow me to say,

“But wait! There’s more!”

Lest we be exposed for the selfish bastards that we were, and believe me, we were (why would I lie about this?), we felt compelled to share the wealth of the economy of alcohol. From the money that we saved on the cost of our drinks, we would leave much larger tips. Needless to say, bartenders everywhere loved us for our largess. And why wouldn’t they? Its barely more work to construct a double over a single, just an additional upending of the bottle, barely a second or two of time.

Prior to our discovery that more equals less, which is to say we could have more booze for less cost, Johnny and I would generally limit ourselves. Afterwards, the sky was the limit. Our Blood Alcohol Limit, that is.

So the double Bacardi 151Cuba Libre was our alcoholic staple. Until such time as we discovered Everclear, which is the subject of yet another story.


As Suzy returned with Johnny’s drink, the great man himself sat down to my left, leaving one open stool to HIS left, as I had to MY Right, in hopes that soon we would have companionship of the feminine form, one to MY right, and one to HIS left.

“Hey, Ronald, I see you’ve started without me, asshole!”

It was his standard greeting, but Suzy rose to my defense.

“Mind your manners, Johnny, I’ll have none of that! This is his first.”

Placing his drink before him, she continued.

“And, gentleman that he is, he ordered one for you. So behave yourself!”

This last being delivered with a tone of mock severity.

“Thanks, Suzy. Touché!”

“Okay, then. Let me know when you’re ready for another round. It’ll be on the house.”

(And why not? Surely our monthly tab alone would service the bar’s lease!)

Suzy smiled, turned, and walked away. Both Johnny and I admired her bottom as she left us.

“Tell me the truth, Ronald. You hit that, didn’t you?”

“Johnny, as I have said so many times before, I truly do not recall.”

“”I know, I know… ‘Bedroom, breakfast, blank!’”

“No doubt… hey, that’s a nice little alliteration you have there! It’s also a mnemonic, who’s only purpose is to remind me of that which I can’t remember. Somewhat ironic, wouldn’t you say, Johnny?”

“Yeah… I would. Cheers, by the way.”

Our glasses clinked.


Johnny looked at me with a mischievous grin.

“So, what’s on the agenda for tonight, Ronald?”

I matched his grin with one of my own.

“The usual, of course… the usual!”

Our glasses clinked again. In unison we cried,


Draining our glasses, we banged them down on the bar.

“Suzy!” I cried.

She looked over, grinning.

“Another round, ‘por favor!’”

And so the night began...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Vox Vomitus

Vox Vomitus
by Ronald Matthew Kelly
Copyright 2007


This is as close as I can come to rendering into English the sound of my alcoholic retching.

As I lean against my car, in the dimly lit parking lot of my favorite honky-tonk, my stomach heaving, I think to my self:

“Well Ronald, here you are at nearly one thirty in the morning, having once again closed the bar. Once again you have abused your body to its’ limits. Far too much alcohol. Way too many cigarettes. Not nearly enough sleep. Why do you punish yourself in this fashion? What have you to show for your efforts, but high blood pressure and low self-esteem? You’ve wasted another precious day and its’ companion night, spent as if mere pennies from the never-empty pockets of an oil tycoon. What is to become of you? What is the world to think of you?”

My questions are asked in vain, as I answer myself not. Or were they rhetorical? Who can say?

Of course, were the day and the night actually pennies in the pocket of an oil tycoon, he would never miss them. Hell, if they were pennies in my pocket, I would never miss them, and I’m betting that you, my Gentle Reader, would likewise never miss them, were they but small copper coins. Like pennies in a wishing well. Or from heaven.

But the days and nights of our lives are not pennies, though we might treat them as such. Most of us spend them as if they were of no consequence, or occurred in never ending abundance. The supply of our days and nights is not infinite: we would do well to treat them as if their value was. Sadly, however, I suspect that most of us do just the opposite.

Pennies in a wishing well. Pennies from heaven.

As I have gotten older, but sadly, not much wiser, I have come to realize that each day that I have left upon this earth has more value than any number of pennies, in fact, infinitely greater value than even an ingot of pure silver, or even gold bullion. Does this mean I spend them wiser? Sadly, this is not so. All I have gained is the knowledge of all the time I’ve wasted, all the time I’m likely to waste in the future, and the ease with which I accomplish my wasting.

But what does this have to do with the story at hand? It has nothing to do with the story at hand. The truly wise have already discarded this story, for they see it for what it is: a tremendous waste of time. It’s just my way of wasting time, while appearing to look busy. If you were in the room with me as I wrote these few paragraphs, you would say to yourself,

“Look at him there, busily typing away at his computer. See the look of such intense concentration he has upon his face. I can’t wait to read what he has written. I’m sure it will be a work of great importance. Or, if it is not an important work, then surely it will have great entertainment value.”

The clever among you have already figured that this will not be a great work. But even the clever among you may be entertained, if stories of drunken debauchery are what you crave. Most especially if stories of drunken debauchery are what you crave. Either way, it is my fervent hope that you will stay with me, and read on.

Bwaaaugh! (More retching)

I’m alone with my thoughts as I lean against my vehicle, the appropriately named “Van of Doom”, while simultaneously discarding the night’s intake of booze.

But I am not alone in reality. Johnny Wraith is my faithful companion tonight, as he is on many such occasions. He is Sancho to my Don Quixote, Tonto to my Lone Ranger, Bud Abbott to my Lou Costello. We are brothers in blood, sometimes brothers in arms.

But what we are now, mostly, are the bastards sons of the unholy union of cheap booze and unquenchable thirst. Throw in a carton of unfiltered Pall Mall cigarettes and you’ve got one really bitchin’ ménage-a-trois!


A truly gargantuan puddle of multi-hued vomit appears at my feet, splashing up onto the driver’s door panel of the Van of Doom. It appears to me, in my alcoholic fuzz, that all the colors of the rainbow are represented here. Is this a reaffirmation of God’s promise to never flood the Earth again? No. It is but a simple reminder of all the Jello Shooters I had consumed this past evening. Over-indulgence has its’ painful consequences.


I get no response.


Again no response is forthcoming. I am confused. I see him standing right next to me. He’s looking right at me! Why is my faithful Sancho not responding to my inquiry? Can he not hear me? Has my faithful companion through countless nights of unspeakable debauchery been struck deaf from an overdose of booze and over-loud honky-tonk music? Or merely stunned by the sheer magnitude of vile liquid exiting my cakehole?

It is then that I consider that perhaps our communication failure is not his fault. Rewinding my internal tape recorder, I review its’ contents. The problem is revealed. It is not that he did not hear me speak; surely he had. However, he could not know that the sounds coming out of my mouth were intended to represent human speech.

What had been formed by my mouth and lips as “Johnny?” had come out of my mouth and proceeded to my ears as…


Vox Vomitus… The Voice of Vomit.

The information in my speech had been hijacked by the contents of my mouth. It’s rude to talk with your mouth full. Especially when it’s full of recycled Jello and booze. I remember my manners, but forget my circumstances. Swallowing, I re-recycle the already recycled. What the hell, I paid for it. Maybe this time it will stay down.

It does. A miracle indeed!

I clear my throat, and try again.


“Yes, Ronald?”

“Once again, having spent my night consuming mass quantities of alcohol, smoking cigarettes unnumbered, and performing eloquent renditions of “Just a Gigolo”, “Trashy Women” and my personal anthem, “Friends in Low Places”, I must conclude that in the past twenty-four hours, indeed possibly my entire life, I have not accomplished anything of great meaning, and have not added one jot or tittle to the sum of all human knowledge and wisdom, with the possible exception of proving by the most rigorous scientific means that a spoon is superior to a knife for extracting the last bit of peanut butter from a jar. Surely this is evidence that I am indeed the degenerate’s degenerate.”

“What say yooooouuuuaaaagh…”

I retch, punctuating my question. A bit of Jello Shooter splashes onto the cuff of Johnny’s trousers. He looks at me with affection. Or is it disgust? Generally, the two emotions are interchangeable on his face.

“Well of course, having not met all the degenerates that have ever lived in the gutter, dying by drowning in a puddle of their own vomit, I cannot absolutely confirm your assertion. However, I can state without fear of contradiction, that of all the degenerates that I have met, and I have met quite a few, too many to count or hope to name, you are the most degenerate. I am confident, too, that on the great day when the Honor Roll of All-time Degeneracy is finally collated and published, you will appear no lower on the list than Honorable Mention.”

This is why I love Johnny. In my moments of vanity, he always manages to bring me back to Earth, by reminding me that it is likely that others may have surpassed me in my achievement…

“But you’re young yet. I still have hope, that if you stay the course, you’ll claim the Gold Medal. That’s certainly an accomplishment worth striving for, Ronald! Not to mention the whole peanut butter and spoon thing. Good call on that one, by the way.”

…while still helping me believe my goals are attainable. My heart swells with brotherly love, for Johnny is my true blood brother.

“So what shall we do now, Johnny?”

“What do we always do when we find ourselves in similar circumstances, Ronald?”

“Jack-in-theBox it is. Saddle up. Let’s ride.”

“Just a moment, Ronald. I sense some unfinished business. Do you see those guys over there?”

“You mean those mullet-headed rednecks standing next to the turd brown Camaro?”

“The very ones.”

“What about them?”

“Well, just a few minutes ago, while you were barfing, they were imitating you. Every time you heaved, they heaved… by the way, that last splash… the one that looked like a Jello rainbow? That was totally awesome! I truly admire the talent it takes to make such a puke painting. It reminded me of God’s promise to never again flood the earth. I must commend you for the purity of your artistic vision.”

After such fulsome praise, I had not the heart to tell Johnny that the Jello rainbow, though impressive in scope, was merely an accidental by-product of my alcoholic overindulgence. I was not in control of the design. Anyway, who am I to burst the bubble of his admiration? Besides, I’m a total attention whore. His words were gold in the purse of my pride.

“Why, thank you, Johnny. You know I always strive for excellence.”

You cannot imagine the effort it took to deliver this last line with absolutely no trace of guile on my face. The price we pay for vanity.

“I know you do, Ronald. It’s just one of the many reasons I hold you in such high esteem, low as you may esteem yourself.”

Ouch… busted.

“Now where was I? Oh, yes, now I remember. Those two douche-bags were imitating you in your distress. They were mocking you. If there is something I cannot abide, it is someone mocking my friend. That’s my job. I cannot have my position usurped by these two poseurs. I must take action!”

(By the way, there may be those among you who may doubt that our speech patterns were such an incongruous mixture of bathroom and boardroom. Allow me to assure you that I have accurately recorded our conversation with high fidelity. Strange as it seems, even to me while reading these my own words, we always spoke in such a fashion. Pendantic assholes that we are.)

Johnny turned from me, and took a step towards the Turdmobile and its’ owners.

I called after him.

“Oh, Johnny, let it go. What do you expect of mullet-heads? I didn’t see or hear them. I was not offended. Besides, I’m hungry, and the Box is waiting for us. I hear a loaded Jumbo Jack calling my name. Saddle up, trooper. Get in the van. Let it go. Dinner awaits us, my faithful Sancho!”

Johnny paused, turning back to me.

“Just a minute, Ronald. It doesn’t matter that you weren’t offended. An offense against my friend is an offense against me. To mock you is to mock me. To poke at the dignity of the person of my blood brother is to poke at the dignity of my person, and you know how I feel about people poking me. I must avenge my friend, for in avenging you, I will have avenged myself. I must have their blood on my hands, and my boot on their necks!”

Johnny began to turn back to his task at hand. Pausing again, he said,

“But do me a favor, will you? Warm up the Van of Doom. We may have to make a quick exit. No doubt the police will be interested in my handiwork, and I have no desire to discuss my motives or methods with them.”

With that, he saluted me, in the style of a Roman legionnaire, turned away, and resumed his march to battle. I heard him begin to recite Genghis Kahn’s famous farewell speech to his troops…

“The greatest joy is Victory! To conquer one’s enemies…”

Fishing my keys out of my pocket, I opened the door to the Van of Doom, sat in the well worn driver’s seat, and fired up the engine. While it idled, I watched Johnny on his Quest.

Sorry for the pun. I couldn’t help it. You know how it is…

Friday, August 31, 2007

Suggested Reading List

I think that every person who wants to realistically be considered intelligent should also be well read. Here are some suggestions from my own personal list of favorites.

This list is by no means intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive. Just the hightlights, if you will, of my library. I will be adding to it from time to time, as the mood strikes me.

The Bible, by God
The Instructions, by various authors
The Declaration of Independence, by Thomas Jefferson
The Constitution, by A Bunch of Smart Guys
Miranda Rights, as read by Arresting Officer
Your Terms and Conditions of Release, by Bail Bondsman
The Plea Agreement, by Prosecuting Attorney
Your Sentence, by Your Honor
Eat The Rich, by P.J.O'Rourke
Modern Manners, by P.J. O'Rourke
Parliament of Whores, by P.J. O'Rourke
Confessions of A Cineplex Heckler, by Joe Queenan
The Caine Mutiny, by Herman Wouk
Gulliver's Travels, by Jonathan Swift
Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Schindler's List, by Thomas Keneally

Rules of Engagement

I want you to have fun here, but please follow these simple rules, which apply to comments as well as prospective postings you may send to me.

Profanity, if used, should be artistic, and not gratuitous. You know the f***ing difference, damn it!

If you disagree with someone, do not attack them personally, but feel free to argue with what they said. The wise counter the message, while fools kill the messenger.

Racial, ethnic, or identity-based slurs will not be tolerated. An example of this would be to call someone "a dumb cracker." However, if someone's name is "Dumb Cracker", go for it. People like that deserve what they get.

Inappropriate comments will be removed! Whenever a comment is removed, it is my intention to leave notice of its removal. Comments will generally only be removed due to violations of "The Rules of Engagement." Such comments may be restored upon appeal, explaining why you thought there was no violation, or you agree that there was a violation, but that no harm was intended, and an apology directed at anyone who may have been harmed (unfairly insulted, etc.) is attached. Just send me an e-mail at:

(Please also this use e-mail to send me your postings.)

If you like what you see here, tell all your friends. They may as well waste their time here as anywhere else.

Thank you,

Ronald Matthew Kelly

Legal Disclaimer

What you see here on "Disco Bisquit" is either opinion, fiction or fact. It doesn't matter which, it's all protected by the First Admendment. Unless it's libelous. Which is pretty hard to prove, so don't even bother trying.

So... if you are offended by anything you see here, who cares? You're an adult, probably, and the way I see it, you came here under your own steam, and can leave the same way. Just hit the "BACK" button on your browser. There it is, up there in the corner.

But if you just can't get over the experience, are revulsed by the degradation and despair you may feel simply from reading a story or two, and simply must sue me for money damages by way of compensation, please be aware that my lawyer is Johnny Wraith.

Johnny is also a writer. As a matter of fact, I think that he's an excellent writer. But as a lawyer he's of absolutely no use to me, whatsoever. This is probably because he's piss-drunk at least half of the time, and at least half-drunk all of the time. Which enhances his writing ability, but degrades his lawerly talents.

You can see my dilemma. But what can I do? He's my best friend, and he doesn't charge me all that much. Just the odd bottle of Chardonnay every once in a while.

So, I'm begging you please, please don't sue me. Losing won't hurt me much, as I don't have much money to begin with, and wouldn't really miss losing what I've got. I'm a writer, for pity's sake!

But Johnny has a pretty fragile ego. Losing a lawsuit would certainly embarrass him, and might destroy what little self-esteem he has left, what with the alcoholism and all. So again, please don't sue me; if not for my sake, then for Johnny's.

By the way, keep this in mind: if you're married, but don't want to be so anymore, then Johnny's the man to help you out. He's an expert in handling divorces, such expertise having been gained by filing countless Petitions for Dissolution Of Marriage. About one-third of which were his own. So throw him a bone. He needs the money to finance the rehab he so desperate needs!