So anyway the weather finally busted loose into the eighties around here, and all the SoCal folks put away their overly dramatic furs and stopped complaining that they had moved to Alaska. Everywhere sun poured down like lemon honey and everyone who could boosted out of town.
This is the time of graduation, of course, and so as the sad Washington school shut up its doors after 103 years of trying to get little ones to start thinking about college before puberty upset one's thinking, other schools here gathered out on the fields for the ritual commencements and the long-winded speeches by People Vaguely Famous and the Valedictorian, who is destined for a bleak marriage to an insurance adjuster and whom nobody liked anyway.
All the Island High grads gathered out there on the playing field for the Fighting Manta Rays to hear former alum and ex-congressperson Marlon Fistbottom speak about the importance of sobriety and seriousness and preserving the martial spirit in these parlous times. Yes, Marlon had been, and remained save for term limits, a Hawk on matters of defense.
"The reason we have the right and the god-given ability to kill them rag-heads is because we are all for good and it is for goodness sake we kill them terriers with drones or whatever else because the foundation of a solid Democracy like ours is strong military might and threatening power which can vaporize anybody we don't like so much.
Heck a war is on. Use an M-16 like I did in the Army or use a Drone. What difference does it make when the bullets start flying I ask you? A friend or a foe or anything in-between is just as dead as doornails. Its all a matter of having war, don't you see.
We went out there and defended them Muslims in Serbia, or Bosnia -- I forget it doesn't matter, we defended them -- and then they turn around and attack ... um I mean that nasty old El Qaida went ahead and attacked us. And there you are. See. It's all clear as day.
Today I saw a little girl with eyes as blue as robin eggs and she was having her momma buy her a Hello Kitty purse and my heart just melted. Yep, this old crotchet of a guy just melted. Here was this little innocent, totally American girlchild supporting the US economy on her own two feet, just like Brother George wanted us to do right after 9/11. It does a body proud it does.
That just goes to show you we are the good ones and that gives us the right and ability to nuke the opposition if we so please and kill everybody else. So be proud to be in America and in the greatest state in the union, the Golden State. We stand here naked before the sacrifices of all those who gave their all for freedom and that little something called democracy. Lets all sing the alma mater now, come on and join me now, for I now pronounce you all graduates ready to enter into productive lives here in the Golden State."
Right then, the entire west end of the bleachers which had been the perch for the largish Sororian Club stood up, dropped their gowns and stood there starkers wearing nothing but their caps with purple tassels and the gold year winking in the merry sun, grinning for all the world to see.
With a great cheer the entire assembly tossed their caps into the air -- although that particular action had been forbidden per tradition -- and everything degenerated then into an atavistic melee of parents and custodians and school staff trying to throw clothes on naked teenagers and at the end of the day the entire official senior party was canceled as a punishment, however the kids all went out to Shadow Cliffs to have a keg party and break into the county park waterslides illegally, where they made their good-byes prior to entering whatever life the adults had ruined for them previously.
Many relationships came to term under the trees at Shadow Cliffs that night. And more than a couple began with fertile consequences as well.
Someone collared Ms. Morales, the schoolteacher at Longfellow to ask her opinion about all of this misbehavior and her response -- do you want to know what the response of this experienced teacher happened to be? -- "I can only hope I gave them some more of Emily Dickenson than of obedience. I think learning poetry is more important than learning how to obey orders."
Javier and the entire Household went down to celebrate his fifty-fourth birthday. Jose, dreading the occasion, hid in the bathroom until Pahrump dragged him out.
Birthdays in the Bay Area are irritating things that often become shibboleths of misery as folks seeking any way possible to have a party wreak havoc upon some hapless soul with wretched bonhomie and heaped disappointments, serving as solid reminders every day is another wrinkle, another hour until your next medical appointment. Nevertheless, the Birthday is here big Tradition, and there is no escaping making yontif for some festivities that rival Purim by way of religious fervor and ridiculousness.
In any case they all got down there on the beach with a bonfire going and the jug wine getting passed around and the spleef going around as well as the merry stars twinkled after the Transit of Venus had occurred earlier.
Martini and Tipitina had gone out with a pair of field binoculars with which to view the Transit by means of reflection off of a piece of paper, but Martini and Tipitina could not agree on the orientation of the field glasses, so they wound up holding them upside down and, in so doing, focused the sun's rays enough that the paper they had burst into flames, ruining the entire show. They ended up arguing and then attacking one another, scratching and biting and kicking and clawing each other's skin in painful ways, and the way things usually go here, they ended up in the dunes bonking in the sand and the sticks even though they did not really like one another and the mothers all sent their children away from that place in a hurry.
It all looked like things would end sort of uneventfully on Javier's birthday. Save down by Crab Cove Colonel Terse was putting together a sort of display he intended for July 4th with the help of Sgt. Rumsbum, who was not a real policeman but a security guard for Macy's and a traffic control cop for City College. Col. Terse had this idea of being towed along by a float car, held up with a parasail of the type we see often here offshore, and trailing an American flag with streamers and firecrackers.
Col. Terse was no dummy. He knew velocity was required, so he had the Angry Elf get into a speedboat just in the shallows to provide momentum.
At a signal from Terse, the Angry Elf set off along the shore pulling the Colonel Terse, USMC, ret. aloft followed by the flag. It looked glorious.
Unknown to Terse, the Angry Elf had commissioned some pyrotechnic effects, which unfortunately set Col. Terse's Captain America cape on fire. As well as his baggy pants, which Terse had to abandon while aloft. The flames ate away at the flag harness, which caused the twenty-foot symbol of America to plunge in sparks and embers to the earth while Terse floated up in heaven with no pants or cape.
This flag fell into the midst of the birthday gathering where the campfire added fuel to the incendiary emblem of American pride.
While a troop of Boy Scouts under the leadership of Jeff dealt with this terrible problem of a flag touching the earth, Javier's current girlfriend, Victoria, roared up on her Harley along with several of her poodle-skull biker gang. Do not ask how they got their name; some horrors are not to be related in the light of day.
"Happy birthday," Victoria said, launching a sharp booted kick at Javier's groin. The birthday boy went down in a pale tumble. In what seemed to Victoria a solid explaination for this treatment, she said, looking down on him, "I told you I want 'em over easy, not scrambled!"
"Now now, Jose said," unwisely seeking to avert further violence. Victoria grabbed Jose in a headlock, broke his nose with her studded leather fist, and finished him off with a kick to his lower regions as well.
As she got aboard her chopper, Jose mentioned that is probably was the end of this particular relationship.
In answer, Victoria howled with glee. "You a-holes should be so lucky! I'll be back!" And with that the woman roared off, followed by her hairy retinue. "And you better fix breakfast right the next time or else!"
A group of soldiers on leave after third and fourth tours of duty happened along Shoreline to see what looked like a group of hippies rolling in the sand with a burning American flag.
Their response was not gentle to say the least.
As the stars timorously emerged in the sky to peer down on the carnage of yet another Javier birthday, smoke from singed clothing and burned flesh heavy on the earth among the tumble of bodies.
"Happy birthday," croaked Pahrump when he found the jug of wine miraculously unbroken.
"Umphonimppsousump!" said Jose, before going to the emergency room with the help of Tipitina, who seemed to be wanting an urgent pregnancy test all of a sudden.
"Eff you," groaned Javier.
From far across the water, the long howl of the the throughpassing train ululated across the newborn waves of the estuary and the celebratory bon anniversaire grasses of the Buena Vista flats as the locomotive hunted its way past the dark and shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, headed off on its embryonic journey to parts unknown.
That's the way it is on the Island. Have a great week.
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