DECEMBER 14, 2014

THE STEALTH TURN, ELVES, & ST. JOHN

 

So anyway, this past week saw a genuine dockwalloper come crashing into the Bay Area with a punishing 4-8 inches accumulation within 24 hours. The 24 hours passed and the rain kept on coming down until Friday. Needless to day every transplanted Angelino crashed on the freeway causing all sorts of additional reasons for NorCal to despise SoCal and for SoCal to despise NorCal -- the one for pissy driving and the other for snootiness combined with bad weather that decent San Diegans had abolished long ago.

Some people say there are no seasons in California and that is all bunk. We have moderate dry temperatures in summer, and we have chilly rain temperatures in Winter and Spring happens ad hoc all the time for brief periods. So go fix your wagon.

The Use and Abuse of the Stealth Turn

The Annual meeting of the Non Compos Mentis Chapter of the National Association of Directionally Confused and Traffic Enfeebled is taking place. This one day seminar takes place at the Marriot PostModerne building during the weeks of December 1 through December 20th. One may query as to why and how a one day seminar takes three weeks of time, but let it be known that because of the nature of membership, it takes that long to ensure that everyone arrives sometime during this time period all at the same location.

The topic has not varied for years: The Use and Abuse of the Stealth Turn. The stealth turn is a maneuvre which one must master so as to achieve the prized Broken Airbag Award, and features having the skills to abruptly change direction without anyone in the surrounding area having the slightest clue what you are about to do.

The scoring for the test is, of course, quixotic. Some years points are awarded for pedestrian "kills". In other years, points are subtracted for vehicular manslaughter, however this is not a hard and fast policy.

It does seem that this meeting always takes place during the Holidays, and then again when the weather improves, and yet again on each occurance of a full moon, but let it be known that these other manifestations of sneaky driving are mere practice sessions for the enchilada grande in December.

Officer O'Madhauen has often been an invited speaker, always bringing with him his steering column prop with which to demonstrate the marvelous chicanery of the left side blinker.

"Most of you in NorCal here do not know what this is, so I am here to demonstrate," the Officer begins. "This thing that sticks out of your steering column is called a "turn signal". It is meant to indicate the desire and willingness and ability to change direction. Here is a factoid of which you may not be aware. This device was mentioned in your first driver's manual! Yes! The one you did not read . . . !" And so on.

So anyway again. Winter is upon us and the Horror Days are fast approaching. All the churches are in a tizzy for preparation, even Temple Israel over in Harbor Bay. Sister Incontinence got the idea from a radio show, and it seemed like a good idea, to have the angels come in during the Xmas Pageant on stilts instead of running them on wires, which in past years had resulted in unexpected results. And unexpected conclusions when the air brakes failed.

St. John the Baptist

To hear to tell, most of the churches of any repute featured sermons that talked about St. John the Baptist, he who lived in the desert and ate locusts and honey, which certainly seems an odd diet, odd even for those dedicated to probiotics and acidophulus milk. I mean he is in the desert after all and why could he not chop up some sopapilla to vary up things. Think about it. The man was plain peculiar.

St. John is not like the other apostles in the Xian pantheon. Largely because he is not strictly speaking a figure limited to Xianity. The Sufi's hold him in respect and he is a figure that is revered in the Koran. Within Islam it is said that it is Saint John who provides a sort of welcoming committee to the Prophet as he ascended to the Third Heaven. It is said that he fortold the coming of a Savior greater than himself and that it was he who baptized Jesus rather than the other way around.

There is some suggestion that he predates the Xian era by a goodly number of years and as far as we know he is the only apostle who is known to have successfully rebuked Saint Peter in debate.

So these are the weighty things contemplated by our clerics. Some say that his time in the desert, enjoying or not his early probiotic diet of locusts and honey, is an example of how we must learn from privation and make use of it to better ourselves. Certainly pain and privation appear to be our destiny, so any sort of use we can make out of working as a parkinglot attendant or a miserable admin assistant for a tyrannical boss is probably a good thing. Winnepeg used to have its weather as a regular reminder of common misery that was supposed to build character. Same for Bear Lake Minnesota. The weather was a common experience that bound our people in a sense of communal travail.

Things like tornados and earthquakes should do the same thing, but the truth is those events are so quirky in their consequences and their distribution of unearned punishment that they only serve to confirm the opinion that some people got it good and the rest of us get hammered down because we dont have the equity build up and the right connections.

All is misery and suffering

Now the weather up at Bear Lake is strangely warm and parents now drive their kids to school because of abductors and molesters and similar demons, when we all used to stand upon the packed ice at the bus stop to await the Yellow Peril to drive us to day-long misery and contention. And when there was not so much ice you got onto your bike and pedalled the miles through a biting gale to arrive at school and learn your lessons and fight your fights among the heathen before pedalling on home with a flickering headlamp in days before they had this daylight hours thing for schools and if you got a flat you got home late with wet books and a lecture to meet you, as in "I paid good money for those books! Least you could do is wrap them in plastic before setting out." And all of this was supposed to prepare you for the misery of adult life, which is in the minds of some, an extension of the misery of childhood. All is misery and suffering and we can expect nothing else. And so we endure the cubicle life.

You had to be like St. John, a man without sin, a man who just DIY in the desert and sucked it up. And yet, the Sufi's understood that there was a mystical aspect about the man. In fact he might not have been an apostle at all, but one of those Mormon space aliens. That would be just like a space alien who had no idea about hamburgers and homefries to go about eating bugs and honey, thinking this is what humans must do all the time.

He could still be spiritual and religious and holy and touched by the flame of god, but nevertheless a bit confused about dietary issues. You can't have everything, especially if you are not exactly the Messiah on point.

Jose has to wear an elf getup

Meanwhile as we grind inexorably through the Horror Days, Jose has to wear an elf getup at the Macy's at Union Square, while Suan has to wear -- and mostly remove -- an elf costume at the Crazy Horse. Suzie has to wear an elf costume at the Old Same Place Bar because the costume features an ultra-miniskirt that shows of her legs and is supposedly supposed to get people to buy more liquor in hopes of getting some or in despair of getting anything at all in a drown your hopes sort of way.

Tolkein had a line on it early on; elfs never go out of style, especially for the Next Generation. Originally Elves were mean, nasty dwarvish creatures who spoilt the milk and upset the livestock. They were not good companions and they hung around like unwanted relatives. Then somehow they turned into something kind of cool, like the guys in the Lord of the Rings who wore really cool bling and who could shoot arrows faster than a Mac-10 pistol.

You never will find an elf in the cubicles and for the same reason Frodo will never wind up on any real episode of The Office. Cubicles and the Office situations are far too much removed from every day life.

The cubicles are not real. That HP printer is not real. Your chair is not real. Even your job is not real. What the imbecile Department wants is certainly nothing to do with reality; you knew that. What matters and what is most important is your part in the Fellowship of the Ring. You simply need to discover that and walk away -- without notice -- from that stupid computer. And if someone trivial complains, you say simply, "I cannot breath."

This is how you connect with people with whom you thought you had no connection.

Late after closing, Suzie locked up the Old Same Place Bar during a break in the rain and saw a figure standing there wearing animal skins, barefoot in the cold and she imagined here yet again is another homeless person seeking an handout.

"Prepare yourself the way for you yourself are the way and the way towards redemption and entry into the Kingdom of Eternal Life. There is no other."

With that, the personage vanished before her eyes.

Suzie completed the lockup, wearing her overcoat that hid her embarrassing costume, and strode on home through the pattering rain.

Then came the ululation of the throughpassing train from far across the water as it trundled from the gantries of the Port of Oaktown with their sentry lights, letting its cry keen across the waves of the estuary, the riprap embankments, the grasses of the Buena Vista flats and the open spaces of the former Beltline, through the cracked brick of the former Cannery with its leaf-scattered loading dock, its weedy railbed, its chainlink fence interstices until the locomotive click-clacked past the shuttered doors of the Jack London Waterfront, trundling out of shadows on the edge of town past the old Ohlone shellmounds to parts unknown.

 

BACK TO STORY INDEX