My basement looks like the set of "Silence of the Lambs". At least it used to. Half of it (the old half) has earthen walls that previous owners have attempted to shore up with rocks and a thin skin of concrete, but that hasn't stopped the walls from a' tumblin' down. "Cavin' in" might be a better term. Previous owners have shored it up with all variety of braces, buttresses and, once again, the eternal rock. If all else fails, add more rocks.
Rocks are plentiful hereabouts. Canadian rocks they are, and none of them has a passport. They are all illegal aliens, brought down here and deposited by glaciers.
"Here!" said the glaciers. "Here is a good spot to dump these damn Canadian rocks!
But I decided all that is going to change. I am going to clean up the basement, use bricks and concrete and conquer this Crumbling Wall Syndrome once and for all.
So I started with two buckets and a shovel and manhauled the dirt up the stairs. Damn fine exercise, but after awhile you feel like a mule. Good for nothin' but heavy lifting. Your brain goes numb and you go dumb. They say if you try to lift the front end of a pickup truck into the air, exerting 100% of your strength in the effort, you can't count to ten while you're doing it because all your blood goes to your muscles and your brain is deprived of oxygen. Same thing happens during sex, except that the blood all rushes to one particular muscle, and there is physical evidence of that. So sex and heavy lifting are kinda the same thing in that you can't think. (Of course, if you would have been thinking in the first place...oh, never mind.)
If I was a good American, I could pay some contractor to have sex for me...er, I mean, to do this heavy lifting. Like we do in Iraq. I wondered if Blackwater had any dirt-hauling mercenaries I could hire so I didn't have to do the job myself.
If all else fails, throw money at the problem. If it still doesn't work, throw more money at the problem. Of course, there's a difference between me and the government of the United States of America: I can run out of money, so to save money I have to do some things myself.
Not so the American government. They just take more money from the taxpayers and keep throwing it at the problem.
"Don't throw good money after bad," goes the proverb. At some point all of us, as individuals, have to learn this lesson, but not so the American government.
Normally I don't say too much about taxes. I just mumble "Jesus Christ!" under my breath like everyone else and keep on truckin'. I can't dwell too much on it. I have bills to pay and I have to work extra hard so I can make more money to give to the government. All levels of government. Jesus, that government is expensive!
Maybe we should try anarchy for awhile. It's much cheaper. And the rich would get really, really, really scared. So scared they might even offer to pay their fair share, if they could just return to expensive government! More police!
Who exactly is it that the police protect...that is when they're not shooting their ex-girlfriends with their official police-issued rifles? I'm pretty sure it isn't the poor. The poor don't have anything to protect.
My brother emailed me an interview with Merle Haggard. Merle is still pissed off, but he's pissed off at different folks these days. I think he got out of Muskogee. He's been hangin' out with Willie and smokin' marijuana.
Merle thinks the whole damn country's gone to pot. It ain't the America he knows and loves any more. "It's a police state!" he said in the article. "You look up and you expect to see a helicopter landin' in yer backyard. Either they think yer a terrorist or they're lookin' for dope.
Of course, in the old days, Merle woulda been all too happy to see helicopters landin' in the backyards of all them pot-smokin' anti-war hippies, so's that him and his redneck buddies could cruise around in their pickup trucks and shoot anything that moved or pissed them off in a particular way. Homos wuz even good for somethin' back them. They wuz good for target practice.
But, I'm just all pissed off cuz I been manhaulin' buckets o' dirt up from the "Silence of the Lambs" set down there in my basement. Nothin' like heavy liftin' to piss a feller off. Especially about taxes and that money pit called 'Iraq".
Strange thing about work, though. Soon I got enough o' that dirt manhauled out to start with the bricks and concrete. Then I started thinkin' about the Romans. Arrogant folks, but damn fine concrete artists. Give 'em enough money and they could pave anything.
And as I used an old steel spatula to do the screeding on my little bitty project I found myself thinking:
"Geez. With all the money the government has thrown away in Iraq I betcha they could have paved the whole damn country with a six inch layer of concrete.
But that wouldn't be no good.
Cuz then we'd have to buy a bunch o' jackhammers just to get out all that oil.