What are your favorite Bad books?

My top choice is Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. The film clip pretty much gives you the lay of the land.

List of commonly banned books in the US via wikipedia.

  Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 is banned books week.

 Exercise your right to read freely.

Sherman Alexie’s The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is also one of my favorite bad books. And Kurt Vonneguts’s Slaughterhouse-Five is another dark keeper from the usual banned books suspects. I have to admit that unlike the other two books which make you laugh and cry, Slaughterhouse-Five seriously lacks in the laughs column. But it’s a powerful book about the horror of war.

So what books would you stand up for in the age of manipulative mind control?

 

Looking for a horror story? Look no further: Blood in the Water by Heather Ann Thompson

Encountered Thompson’s work via Democracy Now! ‘s coverage of the anniversary of the uprising at Attica. I remember Attica If you don’t, you’re in for a bone chilling reality check.

I have not yet read Thompson’s work but there is an excellent review by Mark Oppenheimer:

NY Times Book Review 

 

Need a lift? Some heat relief? A good read? Get your mind in the boat: Read The Boys in the Boat

It’s Friday and everyone is itching to chill out so I’ll get right to the heart of this post: Treat yourself and read The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. This is a true story of HEART–true character, “boys” who were men whom current athletes can not match on any level. Yes, I have seen the 2016 Olympics and found them sorely wanting. In a time when ego and individual effort is all the rage it’s impossible to even imagine that a group of nine “boys” could swing like none other. I knew nothing about rowing until I read this book. I knew more than I wanted about the Nazis. I knew about the Depression and the Dust Bowl. I knew about Jesse Owens. But I knew nothing about this incredible rowing crew. Swing is now more than a style of Jazz and dancing for me. It’s not often that I re-read a book but I’ve read the race scenes several times because they’re so damn exciting. Nothing I’ve seen –ever– in the Olympics can compare.

For the romantics there’s even a love story. Actually there’s a lot of love in this story.

The Boys in the Boat

Much thanks and appreciation to PBS’s American Experience episode The Boys of ’36 which turned me onto Brown’s book.

The Boys of ’36 Chapter 1

Watch, read and be uplifted.

M-I-B = Mind In Boat  ~~ rowing mantra

 

Shh, don’t tell anyone what Missouri Gov. Nixon is up to with $6 Million he’s denying to Libraries. What does Nixon want to do with the library funding? Only Nixon–and his cohorts know.

Choose your own reading adventure about Gov. Nixon’s efforts to defund the public library system:

Okay if you want a nice and polite run down of what’s going on with $6 Million in funds for the public libraries in Missouri — visit this lively link to Chris Arnone’s piece at BookRiot:

http://bookriot.com/2015/03/27/missouri-governor-nixon-putting-libraries-peril/#

Missouri teens got a real fact check in how politicians operate and how much they rate on the Missouri Governor’s value scale on March 18, 2015 when the Governor’s staff lied to them about the governor being out-of-state and threatened to have them escorted out of their offices by State Troopers.  You can read all about that shindig at BookRiot.

If you’re pressed for time, Chris Arnone has these suggestions for voicing your support for the libraries without threat of State Trooper escort:

 

  • Sign the two petitions on iPetition and Change.org.
  • Call Governor Nixon’s office at 573-751-3222.
  • Send letters or postcards to Nixon’s office: Office of Gov. Jay Nixon, P. O. Box 720, Jefferson City, MO 65102.
  • Head over to http://www.governor.mo.gov/ and click “Get Involved.”
  • Use the hashtag #SaveMOLibraries on social media.

Now for the not so nice and not polite reading adventure.

Damn how I love being able to connect with people everywhere via the internet.  I’m lucky enough to have my own damn computer and private access that I can use any time I want 24/7. I’m also aware that there are many people in my local area who are not so damn fortunate. I’m reminded of this fact every time I visit the Kansas City, Missouri Public Library and see a fully packed computer room offering access to the internet for people who are not so damn lucky as myself.  There’s always a waiting list and there are always people waiting for their online time. Many of them are looking for employment. Someone is always using the computers designated for creating resumes. Others are doing the exact same thing you are right now without giving it a second thought–enjoying surfing the net and flying around in cyberspace. In addition to these people there are those who bring their laptops to take advantage of the wireless access on site. My award wining public library is one damn electronic hot spot.

Why would anyone who values an informed and literate population want to deny people access to electronic information?

Yikes–conspiracy theories abound! 1984 anyone? Hmm? No need to ban books, just deny internet access.

For now I’ll fly with the people who deny access to others are people who prefer an ignorant, uneducated, uniformed bunch of dumbed down voters who are easily manipulated and controlled.

Am I suggesting that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is this ilk of politician?

Am I?

Well why else would he deny first $2,789,225 million in  2014 library funding then follow that up with withholding all of the state appropriated library funds of 2015 to the tune of $3,109,250 million?

Those funds provide libraries with everything needed for remote electronic access aka the REAL Program.

Imagine your life without your electronic connection–the very one you are enjoying right now as you read this on your internet connection of choice wherever you are.

What the fuck is Gov. Nixon up to with these millions of dollars? Does he have a fundraiser in mind? Who is he paying off?

Maybe his staff would like to monetarily thank the Missouri State Troopers for their on call assistance for escorting NON-professional, NON-corporate lobbyists out of their offices when they come, with appointments, to discuss their concerns about what’s really going on in Nixon’s brainbox?

Perhaps Gov. Nixon just can’t stand teenagers with fully functioning minds enabled by equally concerned adults snooping around the state capital looking for some answers and questioning some “family” values.

Aside: Last week I had some of those nice people who like to share the good word door to door. I told them they should go to the state capital and share their words with those folks. The older gentleman escorting and mentoring the two very clean-cut young whippersnappers practicing their word sharing said, and I quote: “They aren’t interested in listening to us.”

Hmm, according to Arnone over at Book Riot some elected officials were interested in hearing what was on the library supporting teenagers’ minds. I guess those might have been the ones who realize these young people will be voting in a few years and possibly becoming engaged in political issues as adults.

Clearly Gov. Nixon doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what book reading, literate, computer savy teenagers think or do–unless it involves sex education,. Oopsy daisy–can you get that kind of info on the internet? Hell yeah, you can.

Shit! The clock is ticking and I have an event to attend at the local library branch where, in addition to the wonderful group of people who work there, I’ll meet some of the other people who participated in the adult reading program face to face.  I’ll come back to cyberspace later–after library hours, in the wee hours of the morning or late at night or in the middle of the day. Any time I want electronic access I’ve got it. Not everyone does. They ONLY get it from the public library.

What are you up to with all those millions that belong to the public libraries, not just the big ones but the little ones too where someone is searching for everything libraries offer in this electronic age, Gov. Jay Nixon? Hmm? Nothing good, says my cynical mind, nothing good at all.

Please share the word about this monetary crisis threatening the public libraries in Missouri via your electronic devices and favorite social media vices. You don’t have to live in Missouri to share the information. Heads up, your public library funds may be on the funnel tunnel to somewhere else too–if they haven’t already gone done that pipe.

Visit the Kansas City Public Library at  http://www.kclibrary.org/ to get a gander of what they’re doing soooo very very right.

Tweet Away!

Thank you for sharing.

I’ll be back.

Yeah, Bear, I will. 🙂

 

Just when you thought fairytales were all out of face-lifts along comes Cinder.

🙂  Yeah, the television tubes have been flooded with retakes and remakes of fairytale galore in recent seasons. It’s been virtual Grimm’s gag-fest galore. Some results have been gleefully giddy good Grimm fun galore and others have been romantic soap operas deluxe.  Have you been suitably chastised about the perils of talking to strangers, wandering off in the woods, and greedy beanstalks? Some of us are awaiting the return of the modern Grimm Reapers complete with popcorn couch parties in the works.

Just when the market seems saturated with all kinds of re-workings of cautionary and sleeping beauty tales along comes the ultimate Cinder-rella—a glorious human-cyborg teenage girl with attitude, smarts and guts like none other. She lives in New Beijing with her wicked stepmother and sisters. With a few twists of her screwdrivers she can replace an outgrown metal foot or carve her name into the heart of the sort of charming pin-up poster Prince Kai. But before there will be any hot kissy faces there’s a plague to fight, an evil auntie to dethrone, a mystery or two to unravel and friends to make along the way.

Oh the glories of teen fiction. 🙂

Marissa Meyer’s young adult spin gives the Cinderella story an overhaul like none other and I love it. The thing about writing for young adults is that you can’t miss a beat and expect your audience to stick along waiting for you to get back on board with the fun and games. Meyer’s never missteps in Cinder or in the other tomes that continue the story. Scarlet–Little Red Riding Hood has never been so full of piss and vinegar –and partial to the Big Bad-ass Wolf.  Going where Grandma has gone is a tad more risky than a walk in the woods, but that doesn’t stop single-minded Scarlet from going hunting with Wolf watching her back-side. And then there’s Cress—ha, this Rapunzel is a computer genius with her fingertips on the pulse of the universe. Big Brother move over cause little sis has things to do and secrets to secret for her own escape agenda.  Disney never will top this rendition of the long tressed girl in a tower. No way. Ever see a blind man rescue his lady in waiting? The brash, vain Captain  Carswell Thorne doesn’t let anything keep him down –ever. So he’s been blinded by crash landing into the Sahara–who cares? Crsss is MIA and he’s going after her –cane and overly ethical escort droid in hand.

Ahhhh three books are ready for reading NOW–and Winter is coming in 2015.  Snow White is clearly some kind of head case with teen angst to spare.  I don’t suggest leaving out any bread crumbs or candy–this crew is  too hungry for love and life to go backwards –ever.

Marissa Meyer ~ > http://www.marissameyer.com/books/

Go on, visit the cool author site.

It’s tricks and treats for everyone who craves some reading FUN.

History ~~ Ouch–It Hurts! ~~ What’s Columbus Got To Do With Anything In 2014?

 

 

 

ACT I:

~In 1482, Columbus sailed the ocean blue~

He was Bad News for the Taino People ~

But some people don’t want to think about that reality.

~Why not?

Because then they’d  have to learn a new history.

~Ooops–but isn’t history supposed to be true and honest?

Depends on who is using which facts to support which version of what happened.

~Are you saying people manipulate facts to suit their own agendas?

Me? Why would I ever say something like that? It might be politically incorrect, and we can’t have that, can we?

~Hmm, but what’s Politically Correct for one group isn’t necessarily PC for another group. And people do have a tendency to abuse PC everywhere in order to create conflict and sometime even abuse other people who had no intentions of abusing anyone. There’s been some very rough irony involved in demands for PC over the years.

No way! Who would do something like that?

~Who doesn’t? Come on, look at the conservative media, the scared shitless media, the controlled media, the alternative media, the foreign media, the underground media, the social media–everyone spins everything to suit their vision of reality, right?

Do you think that’s what pissed off those high school kids in Colorado so much that they pretested in the streets about changes in what history would be taught?

~What do you think?

I’m not sure yet. But–I do recall what happened in Arizona with the Mexican-American Studies program being shut down because it presented a different viewpoint of history than what the TPTB wanted taught in schools.

~Hey, are you saying there’s a conspiracy to teach lies in American schools?

Look, I don’t go in for conspiracy theories.  But I don’t think this is a coincidence either.  Maybe it’s just like minds acting out in similar ways.  Or not.

~ Like minded people, right. Ah ha.

ACT II:

Lie. Lie. Lie.

Deny lying and lie some more.

Because if the truth is known the people might rebel.

There’s a very good chance they’ll refuse to be cannon fodder.

They might even learn other languages in order to talk to the rest of the world about issues that affect everyone.

Or not.

ACT III:

*

*

Howard Zinn on Honesty In History

*

Humor ~~ Warning! Contains Sarcasm, Irony and Questioning of Authority

If you’re still in the dark about the history curriculum issue in Colorado:

http://www.vice.com/read/colorado-students-are-fighting-a-patriotic-white-washing-of-us-history-929

As for the Mexican-American Studies Program in Arizona, check this out from Buzzfeed’s David Noriega:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/davidnoriega/arizona-schools-chief-ousted#35ypfte

 

Epilogue:

Am I spinning the facts? Me? No way.  Why would I do something like that?

P.S.

A few of the many Italian things I really like:

Friendly Italian people

Pizza

Florence, Italy

Pasta

Sandro Botticelli, artist ~ http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/botticelli/

~~No, I’m not going to talk about the Pope or the Vatican. One should never discuss religion. It’s very Un-PC. Or it used to be. I’m not sure anymore.

 

 

 

Conclusion: There is NO pleasant history of humankind. So just get on with it and read Claudio Saunt’s West of the Revolution, An Uncommon History of 1776.

One minute book review:

Why is it that people on one side of the globe think they have a right to the land of the people living on the other side of the earth?

Oh right–they’re all a bunch of greedy egocentric egomaniacs who are only interested in how to turn a profit. Yeah, I knew that.

Of course there’s genocide, racism and missionaries spreading misery in spades–but, there’s also the beaver trade and the Cuban connection too in West of the Revolution wherein Claudio Saunt fills history buffers in on what was going on elsewhere in North America during that war for some colonies’ economic independence from merry old England. This is an darkly entertaining and easy read with odd maps, chapter notes notes and a very strange illustration depicting beavers in action on page 129.  Saunt offers some very disturbing stories about human behavior on the part of everyone and a decided lack of brotherly love. Yeah, forget all the first Thanksgiving propaganda, it’s a no go in Alaska with the Russians and Aleuts. And Jesus Christ, what is it with the damn priests and their bad habits on west coast and the southwest? Some things just never change no matter what century you’re digging around in. I suppose that’s because human behavior doesn’t seem to be evolving for the better anywhere. I could, and might do, an in-depth review of this recent new book–but right now I’m settling for two thumbs up review mind mode. Why? Because I learned a few things, like why the Creeks tried so hard to get some real trade going with Cuba. They understood their dire economic situation quite well.  As for the Indians doing business with the Hudson Bay Company and others ~~ well, they could teach Wall Street a thing or two about insider trading of a certain sort.

And then there are those beavers and their dams . . . .  

Guilty, Guilty Pleasures —>>> Major Crimes with Mary McDonnell and company

The last time I posted about a television show was in regard to the American remake of the Swedish crime drama The Bridge.  Today it’s to do a little promotional hype for Major Crimes starring the incredible Mary McDonnell. Season 3 of Major Crimes starts Monday, June 9 on TNT and I am so looking forward to it. This spin-off from The Closer featuring Kyra Sedgwick would be well worth watching simply because of Mary McDonnell’s great portrayal of Captain Sharon Raydor as a very strong, independent, and very, very smart woman who has the rules down pat–and a lot more. McDonnell’s interview with Travis Smiley explains a great deal for anyone who has not yet discovered Major Crimes. Even if you don’t enjoy crime drama I think it’s worth listening to McDonnell discuss the Raydor character, power, acting and the needs of human beings–and selling brushes.

Another plus for Major Crimes in its first two seasons was the story line involving Captain Sharon Raydor and material witness Rusty Beck. Watching their relationship with each other and the rest of the characters grow and evolve brought unexpected considerable depth and substance to this drama. The concept of family is redefined by example in a much-needed manner for the discussions it has the potential to provoke. Unlike The Closer which had a certain formulaic feeling to the episodes featuring Brenda Johnson’s considerable talent for lying and manipulating people into confessions even when raising all sorts of issues including ethical issues about the ends justifying the means, Major Crimes is making its own way into the future. If you want predictable resolutions of plot-lines there’s always Law and Order to fall back into the comfort zone of neat little black and white packages. This isn’t to say that the criminal cases aren’t closed and resolved in Major Crimes–they are–but there’s a lot more going on than stereotypical criminal behavior.

There’s a great deal more attention paid to serious issues like sexually abused children. “These boys aren’t runaways. They’re throw-aways.” So says a man running a shelter for teenage boys living on the streets of LA.  Now for a society in which the mainstream jabbers constantly about family values and loving children so much this is a brutally honest statement of factual reality.  Its consequences for boys like the Rusty Beck–and other characters–holds up a mirror that reflects our society as all truly great dramas of the stage and screen do.  Clearly there are not enough Sharon Raydors willing to step up and care in our real world.  In most drama storylines children are summarily deposited with the Department of Family Services  and conveniently disappear from the script. In the first two seasons of Major Crimes, Rusty Beck didn’t disappear–and the writers used his character to full advantage.  I can’t tell from the promos or website if the very talented Graham Patrick Martin will continue in this role–but for the sake of abandoned children trying to survive in a hostile world I hope so. Being saved  is not the end of anyone’s story.

Oh and by the way, Rusty Beck loves playing chess.

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Personally I think the fans on YouTube have made better promos for Major Crimes than TNT has dreamed up so far. Here’s a fun meet and greet video to get acquainted.

scorey5001

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A short and to the point promo. ) I get it, this is probably for short promo time slots.

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Mary McDonnell interview on The Travis Smiley Show. Yeah you want to watch. I think Smiley was very smitten. Oh yeah, he likes her shoes. Ah ha.

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This particular choice of song and images conveys a great deal about the relationship between Rusty and Sharon.  Clearly this matters to viewers as there are many music videos on the tubes regarding this relationship.

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Major Crimes Cookbook for the Sunshine Kids

Major CrimesTV

For more information or to order the Major Crimes Cookbook, click here: http://majorcrimestv.net/support-the-…

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For cast profiles and more information visit  Major Crimes online: http://majorcrimestv.net/

~~~

I think I’m going to post more fan videos for Major Crimes on the sidebar. Yeah, I think I will. It’ll be fun–for me anyway.  I’ll make sure to find one with the scene where Sharon Raydor shoots a guy between the eyes with a red bean bag. Hey, he asks for it–literally.

UPDATE–the Beanbag scene is the headliner on the sidebar. Several of my favorite scenes follow along with some fan made videos featuring music. Charlie’s Angels is a hoot.

~~~

As for The Bridge–it’s all dark and dreadful in America and Mexico.  In Sweden there’s darkness and light–plus resolution. I recommend watching both versions.

Breakfast Special, #47, “Flipping Switches”

Flipping Switches

“Oh it got something to do with them and Lily all right.” Anton took a few steps backwards to get out of Sarge’s immediate reach in case he pushed the wrong buttons and riled him up while trying to discuss an issue that needed to be addressed immediately in light of what he and Esther had just witnessed. “Now we go back to what we set on the side. You dancing the way you did with Lily was like turning on a whole lot of light switches at the same time like we did today to check the rewiring at Percy Two’s place. Only it turned on a bunch of women instead of light bulbs. Probably more than a few men in that bunch too, truth be told. You read that action?”

Sarge frowned at Anton and shook his head. “No way. I have never had anything like that happen before. Never after dancing with a woman in public. Not once. Not ever.” He pushed away from the wall and stood up straight, facing off with a clearly disbelieving Anton. “I am not bullshitting you, Anton. That sort of thing has never happened to me any other time.”

Anton read the other man’s body language as an effort to assert his honesty rather than an attempt to physically intimidate him into backing down. Considering this and recalling their private conversation on the roof, he took his time deciding what might be the most effective route of communication. “When was the last time you danced in public with a woman, Sarge? Huh? How long it been?”

Sarge shrugged and took his time answering. “I don’t know exactly. Sometime in the spring. I met up with a group of people from Max’s store going out for a night together. I had a good time with a couple of the ladies who were willing to step out on the floor. It didn’t score me any action. But I wasn’t looking to score any action anyway, so it was all good. I certainly didn’t get any other women coming onto me afterwards.” He looked down the hall to where Lily and Esther remained talking close together. “Christ, I hope it doesn’t piss Lily off.”

“Fact you did not leave her hanging in the wind back there, Anton don’t think Lily get bent out of shape with you. After she get a full list of who and who from Esther, well, Anton not putting any money in the betting bank on who she do get bent with first.”

“Ahh I don’t want her getting into it with anybody on my account.” Sarge started moving towards Lily until Anton lightly put a hand on his shoulder.

“Lesson regarding Esther and Lily, let them talk it out. Otherwise you get them both coming at you at the same time. That a definite no win scenario, Sarge. Hang back. Don’t worry, Esther keep Lily from acting out if need be. How about we talk some more?”

Sarge hesitated, watched the two women for a few moments than stepped back to stand next to Anton. “I don’t want her thinking I was feeding her a line of bs last night when I came clean about all the women in that damn book.”

“How’d you pump up to do that?”

“I didn’t. It just seemed logical and right considering she decided to give me a chance. I didn’t want her getting blindsided at some point and giving me the boot for not being up front from the get go.”

“We working together all afternoon and evening and you neglected to mention that tiny piece of significant intel, Sarge. Is that any way to build up trust?”

“No offence intended, Anton. I’m still getting used to the whole idea myself. Besides, with Little George in the dark mood he was in the whole time, it didn’t quite feel right to bring it up. But I told you now. It’s barely been a full twenty-four hours since she decided.”

“Ah ha. No harm done. No foul.” Anton held his tongue regarding what Lily had told him about her giving Sarge a chance all along. He glanced at the other man alongside him in the dimly lit hallway. “How all that talk about those women go down with Lily?”

“Not quite like I expected. But that was okay. She asked a lot of questions. Most of which I could answer and a few I couldn’t. Even though I was worn out by the time we finished, I felt good about talking it out with her. She didn’t, or hasn’t changed her mind yet, since I laid it out for her, so all in all I’m still feeling good.” He grimaced. “Except for what happened a little while ago. I mean, hell, it wasn’t like we were getting it on out there. If we had, that would make some sense, but you know damn well we weren’t.”

“Ah huh, if you say so.”

“Your tone implies a certain element of disbelief, my friend. Why is that?”

“You ever get it on with woman on a dance floor like you say, Sarge?”

Sarge began pushing his hair away from his face with his left hand. “It’s been a long time since I did that, but, yeah. It was not the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Not by a long shot. But yes I have.”

“Did the audience express their appreciation accordingly?”

Sarge crossed his arms and shrugged. “Depends on what you mean by accordingly, Anton. If one hell of a wild brawl counts as the audience expressing their appreciation of that dance, then yes they certainly did.”

“A brawl? Where that dance be? In a bar? You get it on with some pole dancing queen?”

“No.” Sarge gave him an indignant look that said he couldn’t believe Anton would even suggest such him doing such a thing.

“No?” Anton waited for more information. When it was clear that it was not forthcoming, he said, “You gonna make me pull that tale out of you, Sarge?”

“No.” Sarge adjusted his stance and bent downwards. After some further hesitation and a long look at Lily and Esther, he spoke quietly so his words wouldn’t carry towards the kitchen. “You know Reginald’s in M-?”

“Hmm. Way too proud of itself without just cause high dollar dinner and dance joint uptown is where Anton thinking.”

“Sounds about right. My brother Francis set me up with this really smart, gorgeous woman for a night out to celebrate his first wedding anniversary at Reginald’s. Only problem was she wouldn’t dance with me. I couldn’t get her out on the floor no way. No one else would get out there with me either. Not even Francis’ wife, Irene, who at that time was usually good for at least two dances, sometimes three depending on the music. That night the live band was hot and tight so I was going crazy with no dance partner. I said to hell with their drinking party and I grabbed a seat at the bar to scope out the place for a likely candidate. In almost no time I get a fix on a woman wearing down the guy she’s with on the floor. When he’s had enough, he leaves her stranded out there. I did not waste any time with formal introductions. I went out there and we faced off and went to town for about five numbers in a row. It was all good until tune number six when we both decide we like each other’s moves enough to turn up the heat for fun. It got hot and real fast. Her guy and his friends didn’t appreciate the show. Francis and Irene did not appreciate our behavior anymore than my dance partner’s guy. They all decided about the same time that they didn’t like me very much. Things got very out of hand. The damage tab was quite impressive. I couldn’t get back inside the place for six months. That really pissed me off because she, the woman I’d picked up for dancing, and her guy could. Considering it was him who blew his cork first and came at me, I didn’t think that was fair play at the time. It didn’t help my attitude that I really wanted to dance with her again and couldn’t.”

Anton considered this intel, glanced at Lily and Esther then shot a wary look at the kitchen entrance. “Ah ha. What about your date for the party? She shut you out too?”

Sarge shook his head. “Strange as it sounds, she did not. Right about the time things started winding down fight-wise, she makes a run right into the middle of the action and surprises the hell out of me by getting a grip on my belt. As I’ve had enough of the action at hand, I see no point in resisting, so I let her haul me out the back door and straight into a waiting cab.”

“No f’n way.”

“Yes way. Stranger yet, when we get to her place, she cranks the stereo and we dance until she decides it’s a good idea to alternate dancing with other things. She was a damn good dancer. I never understood why she wouldn’t dance with me in the first place at Reginald’s. We could have had a great time right from the start if she had.”

“Her name in that book?”

“Of course.”

“Maybe that had something to do with her not dancing with you in public.”

“Who knows.” They stood side by side. Sarge was appreciating the cold coming from the porch which Anton was simply ignoring. “Why would anyone, even a pimp, care about a woman dancing with me? That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Who says pimps make sense? If that pimp be your father, then no point even looking for any sense nowhere, Sarge.” Anton rubbed his jaw. “You like dancing with Lily, don’t you?”

Sarge surprised Anton with a big bright grin. “Like? Are you kidding, Anton? I love dancing with Lily. She swing dances like none other. She’s got all the oldies down pat thanks to Priest. She has no hesitation for trying everything else too. We have a damn lot of fun with that old record player and the radio. Hell, I would not think twice about getting out on the floor with her for that swing dance fest contest at U of M- they have every fall. Damn, I wonder if she’d do it?”

Anton stared at Sarge and shook his head. “Ah ha, so much for dancing just being dancing with some people.”

Catching Anton’s serious tone, Sarge stopped thinking about how to broach the idea of the swing fest with Lily and punched Anton lightly in the shoulder. “Hey, I wanted a chance with Lily even before we ever started dancing. Even if she couldn’t dance like she does with me, I’d still want a chance with her. Fact that she does dance, is well, well it’s sort of like having the very best fresh homemade cherry pie for dessert after a great main entrée. Makes a great meal even better.”

“Hmm. Anton thinking Sarge got dancing as the wrong part of that meal, but no matter right now. Heads up, here they come.”

“I’m thinking we should call it a night, Anton. Early as it is, at least I should. I’m in no mood for a round two of any sort or I might do a little acting out of my own. I do not want to put you to the trouble of keeping me in line. I’ll keep myself in line by making tracks back to Lily’s place. If Lily wants to stay on her own, I’m okay with that as long as she doesn’t walk home by herself.”

“That is almost funny, Sarge. Almost. Like Lily going to let you wander off all by yourself to her pad after that dance and whiplash action? Anton don’t think so. Anton think it a damn good idea both you and Lily call it a night so those all those turned on light bulbs don’t blow the whole damn fuse-box. Anton think damn best you two go home together and dance up as much cherry pie as you please. Alone. As in: no one watching the dance show. You read that music?”

“You don’t really expect me to argue with that thinking, do you, Anton? Hmm?”

Anton’s eyes narrowed as he took note of Sarge’s grin. “Sarge using Anton to get right where he want to be with no debate from the women-folk.” Anton shook a finger at him. “Ah huh. You smarter than you look, Big Man. Anton on to you now.”

@eva2014

Breakfast Special, #46, “Pinballing”

Pinballing

Upon reaching the main hallway Sarge kept on moving until they’d moved past the kitchen and stood at the cold back end of the house on the inner side of the rear porch. Seeing his stressed expression, noting the strength of his continued grip on her and how he put his back up against the wall and took on a defensive stance, Lily  glanced back down the hall they’d come through. Seeing none of the b-brigade had followed, she turned back to find Sarge pulling on the string around his neck to which one of her sachets was attached. She helped by releasing the string when it caught on a shirt button. Trying to regain her composure, she said nothing.  Sarge inhaled deeply  the scent of the small bag then managed a smile for her. “Have you done that pinball action before, Lily? Was that beginner’s luck or are you a ringer? Come on, fess up, Missy.”

“That’s what that move is called, pinball? Ah ha.” Lily clicked her tongue and shook her head. “Purely beginner’s luck, Funny Man.” She laughed softly. “We’re going to have to practice that in reverse.”

“Reverse? As in you putting me into motion?”

“Yeah. Why not?”

Sarge cocked his head to the left and looked her over. “Sure, why not. With the right leverage and some serious spin you could get my weight flying. Maybe.”

“What? You think I can’t throw your hide?”

“Throw me, sure, no problem. Pinballing me through a crowd, that’s another story. But it’s a possibility under the right conditions.”

“Under the right conditions, huh.” Lily smirked then glanced again down the hallway.

“Are you okay after those body slams?”

“Yeah, I’m good. My shoulders did most of the work. But you look really hot.” Without thinking how he might react, she reached out and put her hands lightly against his fully flushed cheeks. “Are you sick?”

“No. Just way too many people in one place.”  He searched her expression for some sign of being angry with him. Finding none, he sighed with relief. Unsure of how to begin processing what had just happened with the women in the crowded main room, he waited  for some clue from Lily on the subject. “Is everyone in the Flats trying to pack themselves into that one room tonight or what?”

Lily refrained from bringing up what had happened with her and the b-brigade and the young man and his friends. “There are a lot more people than usual showing up tonight that’s for sure. The kitchen is full of food waiting for space on the tables. There’s hardly any room to move around in there either. I don’t understand why people aren’t spreading out into the other open rooms.”

“Maybe there’s an effort underway to set a record for most people in a certain amount of square footage?”

Unaware they were being watched by several very interested parties from the kitchen, Lily felt his forehead for sign of a fever as Sarge closed his eyes and leaned his head into her palm. “If that’s the case, why don’t they just pack themselves into where the middle of the street ought to be? Put their body heat to use melting some snow.”

Sarge laughed a little then opened his eyes and tensed.

“Everything level here?” Anton’s voice and presence startled them. He’d caught them unawares without realizing he’d done so. Having made no effort to hide his approach, he backed away a few steps with his hands held palm open and up in front of him at the fierce look in Sarge’s eyes and an equally harsh glare from Lily. “Easy, Anton comes in peace.” He inclined his head towards the hall he’d just walked down as he tried to get a reading on Lily regarding her reaction to what had transpired with the b-brigade and other women. “Figured I’d run some interference in case anyone still does not have a full grasp of no.”

Relaxing noticeably as Anton kept his distance and his calm tone while apparently taking no offence at the threatening look he’d initially sent his way, Sarge responded with an apologetic shrug. “No problem, Anton. I just didn’t realize you were here until you spoke. You do a fine impression of a ghost. You’ve got some damn quiet feet. A little chain rattling wouldn’t hurt. ”

Anton took his house keys from his pocket and shook them. “How that work?” His own red alert signal eased up when Sarge laughed and waved a dismissive hand at his joke. He shook the keys again while meeting Lily’s  puzzled stare. “That working for you, Lily?” Unlike Sarge, she didn’t laugh or relax. “O give Anton a little joy for effort.” He jerked his thumb in the direction behind him. “Esther holding the front line. She’ll make noise if some company you don’t want makes tracks this way.”

Lily moved to look past him to where Esther was standing further down the hall watching the entrance to the front room. She looked at Anton. “What’s going on? If the b-brigade is on the warpath, I’m more than happy to deal with them on my own. Esther doesn’t need to burn any of her bridges on my account.”

“You best inform her of that fact. You know she not going to budge on my say so.”

Fully aware of Anton’s intention to send her Esther’s way and guessing they both knew something she didn’t but should, she decided to cooperate. “I will. Keep an eye on Sarge. He’s not feeling well, even though he says otherwise.”

“Don’t concern yourself, Anton. I’m good.” Sarge shrugged when Lily gave him a look that said she didn’t believe his self assessment before walking in Esther’s direction.

Satisfied that he’d pushed the correct communication button, Anton  cautiously edged closer to Sarge and lowered his voice for privacy. “Sorry, Sarge, Lily say otherwise and Anton’s bones say otherwise too.”

“Who am I to argue with your bones? That crowd got to me. But I’m okay now. I’m not sick as in, toss my dinner sick.” Knowing that Anton wanted to talk with him, Sarge joined him in keeping an eye on Lily as she made her way to Esther. “What’s a b-brigade?”

“B-brigade no problem at the moment. Anton define them later.” He moved to stand facing the hallway so he could watch it and talk quietly with Sarge at the same time. He looked Sarge over. “You definitely not up to par, Sarge. Lily correct in saying you not well. If you gonna hurl or do a face flop, please inform Anton directly so I can evade the splatter.”

Sarge shook his head. “I’m not going to do either one. Quit already.” A moment later he said, “Do I really look like I might?”

“Either, both, or something else.” Anton watched Lily and Esther conversing down the hall. He stepped sideways a little closer to Sarge and glanced cautiously at the kitchen doorway before speaking. “What in hell possessed you to turn up the heat dancing with Lily in a crowd full of stir crazy women?”

Not liking the implication that he’d deliberately brought the unwanted sexual advances upon himself, Sarge said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Anton. I didn’t dance any differently with Lily than we do when we’re by ourselves.”

Anton gave up watching his wife and Lily and turned his full attention to the man still getting his bearings after politely bulldozing his way through a dozen bold women with no claims to self-restraint or tact a few minutes earlier. “Hold on. You been dancing like that with Lily all along?”

Sarge’s confusion and incomprehension was plain. “Like what? We dance, that’s all. She’s a great dance partner, even when her right foot acts up. We read each other and the music really well together.”

Tuning into his bones and his intellect full throttle, Anton stared intently at the younger man, himself on the alert for duplicity or any form of  deception. “That what you call it? Reading the music together?”

“Yeah, what else? What do you call it?”

“We put that defintion on the side for now. Don’t you dare tell me you don’t know what just went down while making an exit from that room. You got to be clued into that action or you be brain-dead and don’t know it yet.”

Sarge pushed his hair away from his face. “Of course I know. How could I not? I dealt with them without making a bad scene, didn’t I? What the hell that was about is beyond me though. I never saw most of those women before tonight.” He leaned against the wall  in an effort to relieve the tension the conversation was creating. “The ones I have met never acted like that before. You know it because you’ve been with me at every one of their homes when we did some repairs. You also know that none of them ever pulled that kind of shit on me before tonight.” When Anton didn’t respond with more than a nod, he continued with, “Does it have something to do with Lily?”

 

 

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