Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Remnants: A Novel about God, Insurance and Quality Floorcoverings - an Excerpt

Note: My 2nd book and 1st novel "Remnants" can be ordered at Amazon HERE.
Excerpt from Chapter 15:

"...The ghostly figure was Will, the friendly truck driver who had come into the store earlier, either that morning, last week or a month ago, and told Mac of driving from Dallas and hearing on the radio of President Kennedy being shot. Like earlier, he was still dressed in his characteristic denim coveralls, and his truck was backed to the bay door, tight up against the loading dock.

From his silent dark corner Mac held his breath and watched as Will handed Jarvis similar boilerplate invoices just like the ones he had refused to sign earlier. Calm, and appearing fully composed, Jarvis tilted his glasses down his nose, looking very much like a typical accountant or bookkeeper as he studied the invoices like they were deliveries of faceless office supplies or crates of string beans to be stocked in the local Kroger. Jarvis then spoke very animated but in a low voice to Will, who listened patiently as Jarvis pointed to certain items on the papers.

Will nodded, then turned, walked back onto the dock, bent down and unlatched the truck’s door. Jarvis re-shuffled the invoices, signed every one of them, then watched.

Mac rubbed his eyes in frustration when he realized Will the truck driver was conspiring with Jarvis – yet another person who could not be trusted! Mac was suddenly glad he did not let Will unload earlier, as he was very concerned about what was really inside his truck – he had a sinking feeling it was not carpet and tile, or string beans or anything else as benign as that.

As he watched breathlessly Will rotated the truck door handle ninety degrees and with great effort raised the door open. Mac was aghast at what was inside the truck, ready to unload. In fact, he had to rub his eyes yet again when he finally could see what was contained back there.

The truck was packed shoulder-to-shoulder with dozens of teeming Leon Jarvises, all dressed identically and in various states of physical deformation. Mac sat there between the crates dumb-struck – Leon Jarvis clones had been prepared by somebody or something but they were malformed, inferior knock-offs of the original, pathetically squeezed into the back of the truck like deformed illegal aliens kicked out of turn-of-the-century Mexican sanitariums, dressed identically in short-sleeve lime green shirts, skinny ties and sent across the border to fend for themselves in the Texas desert. They looked like a truckload of off-brand, damaged computer hacks and comic book devotees, packed in so tightly they could barely move.

The first Jarvis to hop out of the truck onto the dock looked just like the real Leon but had one eye and only one left arm and limped badly. The next one looked as if the whole right side of his face and body had melted then refroze. The next one had no legs, and dragged his withered torso off the truck bed with his hands and fell unceremoniously to the dock, where he righted and dragged himself toward the bay opening leading into the store, his blank face showing no pain or emotion.

On and on it went; dozens of misshapen Jarvis clones, each wearing the same ill-fitting short-sleeve nerd shirt and a skinny grey tie walked, crawled, slithered, rolled or dragged out of the truck; stepped, flopped or hopped down onto the dock then disappeared inside the dark, dirty niches of the Linoleum store like cockroaches turned loose. None of them spoke or acknowledged Will or the real Jarvis, who stood to one side, still clutching the invoices and watching them impassively. Mac shuddered at one duplicate gingerly stepping out whose chest cavity and abdominals were missing and had to carry his lungs and intestines spilling from his torso in his hands. None of them were normal or even close to normal – then again, what constituted normal in this whole stinking scenario?

After what seemed to be about a hundred deformed clones fell from the truck like wasps dropping from a nest set on fire by a middle school bully, the last one that emerged seemed to have no skull, and his eyes and mouth hung limply down around his throat, his pink jelly-like brain exposed and bobbing back and forth, covered with flecks of dirt and dust. The clone before him had neither arms nor legs, and it struggled on its belly, falling face first out of the truck the 24 inches down to the dock, then rocking back and forth slowly toward the bay door, its head soaking wet, like it was the most natural thing in the world..."

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kim Jong Il Dead, Kim Jong Kardashian Named Successor

North Korean Leader Sprung from loins of turtledoves. 

(Reprinted from the Pyongyang Sentinal-Exponent)
The magnificent capitalistic monarchy of North Korea, gloriously saddened by the sudden death of Dear leader Kim Jong Il, and powerful and hardy accolades of self-preserving applause greets the celebrated successor of our former superb dear leader, that being immaculate leader Kim Jong Kardashian, offspring of the loins of celebrated turtle doves that erupted from the white mountains of Pyongyang at the announcement of the passing of our celebrated once dear leader, Kim Jong il!

Let chest thumpings commence as the immaculation of our face-painted leader of the glorious republic assumes the position of! Loud huzzahs fail to impeccably capture the dynamacy of the moment, as immaculate leader Kim Jong Kardashian, clad in clouds of deific prominence, and shorn in puffed up hair, magnificent sunglasses and velvet track suits found so consoling to our former dead leader, comes to our grand country to assure the peaceful democratic assumption of glorious relations with nearby neighbors and peaceful transitions to neighborly kindness so embraced by former dear leader, Kim Jong il. Food and water are unnecessary to the well-being Republic of Korean peoples as the immaculate leader Kim Jong Kardashian shall provide all, and including nourishment.

So let us commence the proud welcoming of the fruit of the turteldove’s loins, as sprung forth is the glorious immaculation of Kim Jong Kardashian, soothing leader of the people of North Korea!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Doswell Christmas Schedule at the Ruritan Single-Purpose Room


Doswell Catering Van
Dec. 20, 7 PM: Dad n’ Lad Remedial Christmas Caroling – Carols sung phonetically for those who have trouble reading lyrics, especially that one carol “Good King Whatisface”

Dec. 21, 12 noon: Worship Services for shut-ins.

Dec. 21, 6 PM: “Christmas Shoes” sing-along, with local quintet King Butterworth and his Sharps and Flats. Followed by hot cider & cold donuts provided by Doswell Catering.

Dec. 22, 7 PM: “A Christmas Story”. Play based on the hit movie, performed by the Doswell Ruriteens. Followed by coffee and cigarettes.

Dec. 23, 4 PM: For our littlest Doswellians - Santa arrives on his ATV, pulled by Hank Wagner’s 8 tiny Pit Bulls. Candy toss has been postponed.

Dec.24, 5 PM: Santa Sky Watch: bring your binoculars and keep an eye on the skies for Santa’s sleigh. If no sleigh is spotted feel free to drink heavily, but no driving.

Dec. 26, 10 AM: Doswell Christmas Tree Smackdown: volunteers remove ornaments and tinsel from Doswell tree, cut down tree, chuck it in the dumpster.


Dec. 31, 11:55 PM: New Years Eve at the Dixie Treat Trailer Court. The Wine District will be open at 11:55. No fighting.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Ho Ho Ho! S’anta is comin to the mall ya'll!

Virginia Center Commons Mall is bringing back S’ANTA, ‘cause this Claus is the boss – the ONLY hip hop Claus in the Mall 

Brand new old school expansive hardcore live analog record diggin’ bodyrockin’ show-stoppin’ boom bap satisfaction Hip Hop, Rap, 90s and 2000s funk and soul, Breaks, Mash-Ups and keepin’ the GHETTO FUNK alive… go on and practice the Electric Slide, Shuffle Slide, Richmond Slide, the Mayor Jet Jaguar Jones Dance …cause we Christmas party till the break of dawn!

Sing Along with S’anta:
Doin’ the VCC

I've never been yer jolly S’anta

Don't need a gangsta beat to make me re-gift ya

I'll wrap ya while getting’ blown in the hurricane booth

In the Pagoda you pierce and tat’ & flash that gold tooth

Better than y'all, keep yer cheap Spencer crap

While I rap a thousand miles an hour in a red stockin cap

Old Navy dead, I’m in the empty store stalkin’

Drive a limo through ya Burlington, parallel parkin

The old Claus was capped in a bloody Dillard wreck

Sleigh disaster so nasty they gave his ass a FEMA check

Barbecuin’ Rudolph, this can’t be happenin

This S’anta is rantin’, I pre-date homo sapien

Food Court ladies hawkin’ Blitzen on toothpicks

Blaze a DTLR for Yuletide Jimmy Jazz kicks

S’anta rose from the ashes of a Pac Sun-rise cheer

I’m the expert conjurer, badder than the reindeer

I’ll devour all your cookies and swallow your milk

Hit through light, fartin’ through Lane Bryant silk

FYE once I smite with my sack, you never be right

Your guard on a segway flexin his might

I've used every word possible to tell what I can do

You ain't legitimate, posin like a elf, you

Dude I'll throttle you, hand you a manners card and forty ounce bottle you

VCC Yo…

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Doswell Man Dismayed to Discover he has been Depositing his Paycheck in a Red Box for Last 5 Months

Strumberg (L) waiting to deposit. "I thought
all that stuff was just ads."
Thinking that the large red box in the Walmart foyer was an ATM, Doswell bonehead Walt Strumberg is now embroiled in a battle with the Red Box company to get back his last 10 paychecks that he deposited in the DVD slot.

“I thought the screen was just some kind of advertising,” claims the panicky Bull Finch Road resident, “and no, I didn’t bother to read all the instructions that popped up. I just kept hitting ‘yes’ until the screen instructed to ‘deposit in the slot at right’. It’s all very confusing, and now I’m kind of pissed about the whole thing.”

A Red Box spokeswoman said that no one has ever confused their movie distribution units for an ATM before, so their process for how to proceed regarding Strumberg is murky at best. “We had a local servicing tech for that location, however, he resigned about two weeks ago. It is possible he was retrieving Mr. Strumberg’s paychecks from the unit, but he claims he did not. A new technician was just hired and he has not found any paychecks deposited in that unit.”

Newsfromdoswell found the name and contacted the former technician – an Ashland resident named George Winder, who now works for a local recycling firm off Lewistown Road. “I told Red Box and I’m telling you I never found no paychecks in the box,” he said after his shift, shifting uncomfortably in a brand new leather coat. “And I got nothing more to say about it.” Winder then grumpily got into his Trans Am and left, its brand new tires and spinners tearing away in a cloud of dust. 

Branscomb Concrete verified that the checks were cashed but has no copies of them because apparently they were cashed at one of those Iranian food marts over near the Richmond Fairgrounds and they are filtered through some overseas bank that does not provide images. 

For now a sheepish and now broke Strumberg claims from here on out he will be depositing his paycheck in a normal ATM and not Red Box, for sure. “There’s an ATM right in front of Rite-Aid in Ashland,” he says, “And I am positive it is not a Red Box because it’s blue.”

Friday, December 9, 2011

National Association of Men with Slicked-Back Hair Object to Embattled MF Global CEO Jon Corzine Showing up in Court with Slicked-Back Hair

Corzine with normal dry hair as NJ Governor (L) and yesterday at hearing with
slicked-back hair (R): The felon is gellin'.

Saying they are fighting a losing battle in the media and in Hollywood against negative stereotypes of men with slicked-back hair, the National Association of Men with Slicked-Back Hair issued a court-order against MF Global head Jon Corzine for showing up any more with slicked-back hair for hearings with the Agricultural Committee to answer questions about the collapse of his brokerage firm and the disappearance of up to $1.2 billion in customer money.

“Again, we are fighting a negative stereotype,” stated Association president Ray Swartz, whose past battles with Hollywood were widely reported in May, 2008. “By showing up in court with slicked-back hair, Corzine is only reinforcing the stereotype that men with slicked-back hair are corrupt, emotionless, manipulative greedy assholes.”

Corzine – already a walking example of the Peter Principle, as outlined in the famous 1969 book by Dr. Laurence J. Peter that states that In a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence – has been fired from Goldman-Sachs, been voted out of the Senate and the New Jersey Governor’s office, and is now answering questions as to what happened to about $1.2 billion of investors money that seems to have disappeared while he was CEO of MF Global, a brokerage firm. Corzine insists that everything is being done to locate the missing money, including looking behind the lunch room refrigerator, under the break room sofa cushions and in his other pants pockets, where he thinks he may have left it.

Corzine in his testimony was also harsh in regards to the trouble he had adapting the new look in DC. “This [Washington] doesn’t look like a one-horse town,” Corzine said in response to a barrage of questioning from Senators Joel and Ethan Coen about his new look, “But try finding a decent hair jelly.”

“Add to the fact that Corzine is not only incompetent and corrupt, but now wears his hair slicked-back, only complements his inadequacies in the financial sector,” states Swartz. “I wonder if his PR people realize what they are doing, and why he is such as willing stooge for the slicked-back look, given his career choice.”

It is unknown why Corzine elected to start wearing slicked-back hair, although some have speculated he is trying to emulate Michael Douglas’ character Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street”, or possibly any number of other slicked-back film and television villains and buttwipes, including Count Dracula, Christopher Walken, Alec Baldwin Steven Seagal and Japanese gangsters,

“Whatever he’s trying to do, the AMSBH is hopeful our cease and desist order will be in effect, and that he will resume wearing his hair dry and natural.” Said Swartz.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trapped Under the Pack-Ice: An Excerpt from my eBook


Chapter 1 

Introductory 

In which the motivation of the Commodore is explained . . . the purpose of the voyage . . . the reasons for sailing alone and underwater . . . the nautical experience of the Commodore 

On September 1, 1835, Commodore Craigmont T Amsterdam, First Secretary of the Royal Navy’s Polar Explorer Society and Mechanical Engineer in modest standing with the British Engineering Society, launched from dockside on the spit joining Labrador and northern Quebec, on the east tip of Ungava Bay at Kilineck, at the mouth of the Hudson Strait in northern Canada, a single-man, self-propelled bathysphere of his own design and engineering in an attempt to find and secure the mythical north-west passage, from the Hudson Bay to the Behring Strait via the ice-locked waterways betwixt the islands and peninsulas above 77° north latitude.

The Amsterdam bathysphere was a marvel of engineering and construction of its day, that being 1835. A rugby-ball-shaped riveted iron vessel, stout and hardy, designed to travel at depths of no more than 500 meters, untethered to any surface ships, and driven by manual pedals adaptable to either foot or hand-power to patented twin screws. A rudder connected by a heat-treated shaft through a water-tight bung, affixed to a steering mechanism inside the bathysphere, provided a most pleasurable and somewhat reliable steering experience. Portholes sealed with leaded glass fore, aft and starboard afforded unobstructed and enjoyable views of the surrounding sea. A pointed explanation of the engineering of the vessel waits, later in this chapter, in more excruciating detail.

The Commodore’s reasoning for using a bathysphere of his own design was that normal coal steamers – such as those used by Capt. Buchan in his ill-fated voyage at Spitzbergen in 1818; by Ross through Davis Strait in that same year; and by Franklin in the disastrous Coppermine expedition of 1820; and even later of the terrible and little-known Dickinson expedition of 1830 around the west coast of Greenland (when Capt. Dickinson himself panicked and succumbed to cannibalism prior to even being trapped in pack-ice, before any crew died or were even starving) were too prone to being locked in the pack-ice of the Arctic Circle, sometimes for years at a time due to their unhealthy fixation on surface vessels and their obstinate insistence on using them.

“Surface steamers are so 1818” Amsterdam was fond of uttering.

Amsterdam also was quite anxious to thumb his nose also at Captain James Ross, who two years previous returned from a difficult voyage of no more than 69 degrees latitude, where he failed to find the isthmus at Boothia or at Brentford Bay, returning home starved, freezing and disappointed, yet still receiving a medal of courage from the vice-provost of the Royal Navy Academy for his work at attempting to pinpoint the magnetic pole. Amsterdam frequently clashed with the temperamental Ross, and was anxious to show the dejected captain that he was more than capable in paddling circles him, when given ample opportunity.

While the underwater mode of travel utilized by the bathysphere rendered it immune to such travails suffered by the “bombers” of the day; those sturdy, above-water oak- and steel-plated crafts of previous (and expectantly failed) expeditions, the commodore imagined himself breezing uninhibitedly underneath the raging, impenetrable ice and pitiless, suffocating darkness, pedaling madly, free of distractions and weather-related obstructions, traversing the passage then emerging back to the surface north of the Alaska peninsula, where he would be greeted with rounds of huzzahs by the Alaskan and Kamchatkin Esquimauxs, his name forever enshrined and commemorated as the discoverer of the mythical north-west passage, in a robust bathysphere of his own design. . .

You can order "Trapped Under the Pack-Ice" for you Kindle HERE. Order it for your Nook HERE. Only $2.99!


"A damn fine read."
                                                            -Richmond Graphic Artist Doug Dobey

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Doswell Dad Sets His Kids Straight on Owning a Crappy ladder

The Brumfield guys in happier times, when they're not arguing
about the crappy ladder. Jake at left seems to be having trouble breathing.
“Do you know anyone who owns a brand new ladder? Me either!”

Doswell blogger, dad and incurable home handyman Dale Brumfield Sunday had to set his kids down and explain the realities of ladder ownership after weathering numerous complaints from twin sons Hunter and Jake regarding the lack of confidence they had in the rickety, unstable ladder they had to stand on while putting up Christmas decorations.

“You should have heard the complaining about my ladder,” Brumfield said, “But they need to understand the unwritten rule is you can only buy one ladder in your lifetime. And just because my ladder is over 22 years old and getting ready to bust apart doesn’t mean I can just drop everything and go buy a new one. No, I’m afraid a ladder is forever.”

The boys disagree, maintaining that their dad is just too cheap to go buy a new one. “I guess one of us has to ride that ladder to the ground before dad realizes it has seen better days,” said Jake.

Dad disagrees, stating that part of the beauty of being a successful home handyman is the hair-raising uncertainty that frequently accompanies standing on the top rung of a creaking, leaning ladder while you clean a gutter, unstop a chimney or nail down errant roof tiles. “They have yet to experience that jolt of adrenaline you get when you’re way up a ladder against the side of the house, juggling a paint roller, pan and brush when that ladder suddenly scoots a foot to the right when you’re least expecting it. I tell you, there’s nothing like it.”

Brumfield relates an amusing anecdote that occurred years ago at his Bellevue home in Richmond’s north side. “I had my ladder extended all the way out, leaning against the slope of my roof, and I was on the top rung scraping paint in the eaves when that ladder suddenly slid like it was greased across the roof and only stopping when it hit the downspout. And below me was a pointed picket fence that would have speared me like a cheap Brumfield shish-kabob if I fell. But I learned a valuable lesson from that horrific experience, and that was to tie off my ladder with tie-wire to the chimney when I was up that high.”

His sons, however, are not impressed. “I’m not using that piece of sh*t ladder for anything,” said Hunter. “If I can’t reach it on my tiptoes it ain’t worth reaching.” 

Brumfield also discounts alternatives to standing on a busted ladder, including stacked paint buckets, tall chairs or dangling from an open window above the spot being worked on.

Dad Dale says that his boys better get used to it. “My dad had the same ladder for over 40 years,” he claims, “so mine has plenty of good, unstable, erratic and heart-stopping years left.”

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Obama Raises Millions from the Hated 1% after Raising $47 from Wall Street Occupiers

$47? Give me a friggin' break.
"No winning President ever got elected with funding from poor people living in tents."
Despite White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe embracing the Occupy Wall Street protests on behalf of President Barack Obama in an interview with Good Morning America in October, the President turned to the “hated 1%” for his reelection fundraising needs after complaining that his $1 per plate fundraiser down at Zucotti Park netted a grand total of $47.

“Now what am I gonna do with $47?” the President asked as counted and smoothed out the wadded dollar bills and stained dimes and nickels in the back seat of the Presidential limo as he pulled away from Zucotti on his way to a “now this is more like it” $35,800-per-plate gala at Gotham Bar and Grill.

“I love the 1%,” Obama said as he pocketed the occupy money, “I can demonize them all day long, call them fat cats and whatever, yet they write $35,000 checks at the drop of a hat. It’s awesome.”

"Eat the Rich? Go right ahead, right after they stroke a check to my reelection campaign!"  

An Obama spokesman said that the President will not be doing any more fundraisers with the Occupy movement. “While the President is sympathetic to the movement, and wishes it great success, being rich is really where it’s at. No winning President ever got elected with funding from poor people living in tents.”