by Art Kumbalek
November 14, 2017
I’m Art Kumbalek and man oh man manischewitz what a world, ain’a? So here we go, a reoccurring dream, that it’s a Tuesday morning and I’m feeling like I got hit by a train sometime during the night, which causes me to believe that I may not have enough smoke up my ass to blow out a fully formed essay for you’s this week, I kid you not.
And I’m trying to remember what the heck happened that I should feel the way I feel. Cripes, I don’t remember any tracks; I don’t remember any whistles; I don’t remember any bells; I don’t remember any swinging lanterns, any crossing signals; so, what the fock.
What I do remember is parking my butt on a stool smack-dab barside over by the Uptowner tavern/charm school. I remember Little Jimmy Iodine asking how long it would be until a big-time disaster movie called November, 2016 would hit the theaters.
I remember Ernie saying that since children of any age can now carry a gun whilst hunting in our Dairy Land’s glens and dales, it’s got to be only a matter of time ’til they can pack one with their lunch and take it to school for protection purposes.
And then I remember somebody asking this question: “If a man says something in the middle of the woods and no woman hears him, is he still wrong?”—which reminded me of a little story:
So these two older ladies were having their breakfast at Webb’s one morning. Norma notices something odd about Mabel’s ear and says, “Mabel, do you know you’ve got a suppository sticking out of your left ear?” Mabel says, “What?” So Norma repeats the question: “Mabel, do you know you’ve got a suppository sticking out of your left ear?” Mabel says, “I have a suppository in my ear?” She pulls it out, stares at it and says, “Good heavens, Norma, I’m glad you noticed this thing. It gives me a gosh darn good idea where to find my hearing aid.” Ba-ding!
I forget which one of us knobs asked the question—“If a man says something in the middle of the woods …” blah-blah-blah—but I do remember then a heated debate that nearly came to rationality broke out. Herbie was the most concise of the group: “Listen you focksticks, whatever it is that this focking guy in the woods might say, you can bet your buck two-eighty that you’ll never hear him say, ‘Let’s watch Oprah.’ You’ll never him say, ‘Yeah, I was hoping my mother-in-law could’ve stayed over longer.’ And you’ll never hear him say, ‘Hon, do you think this condom makes me look fat?’”
I think I remember that I pretty much stayed out of the discussion—metaphysics was never my strong suit. I’m more of a quantum mechanics guy who likes to wonder about all the invisible stuff in the universe we haven’t discovered yet, stuff that had it been specifically mentioned in the Bible could definitely be of use in this day and age.
Yeah yeah, that goddamn Bible. Hey, I like a story about casting stones at whores or sacrificing barnyard animals as much as the next guy, but a little Lordly help with quantum electrodynamics would’ve been nice—especially the part that offers up the perhaps dire possibility that the universe we seem to be part of right now could disappear with all of us in it in a split second and we wouldn’t even know it ’cause some kind of unseen vacuums could flip around in a blink of the eye, focking-A.
This discussion meandered a tad, and then Julius proposed a toast to the poet Dylan Thomas, who died 64 years ago the other day, and who sometime said: An alcoholic is someone you don’t like who drinks as much as you do.
Then Ray took the bait and became Captain Cat, the old blind sea captain from the poet’s great work, Under Milk Wood, who told us the following story:
An old retired sailor puts on his old retired uniform and heads for the docks once more, for old time’s sake. He engages a prostitute and takes her up to a room.
He’s soon going at it as well as he can for a guy his age, but needing some reassurance, he asks, “How am I doing?” The prostitute replies, “Old sailor, you’re doing about three knots.”
“Three knots?” he asks. “What’s that supposed to mean?” She says, “You’re knot hard, you’re knot in, and you’re knot getting your money back.” Ba-ding-ding-ding!
And I remember Little Jimmy saying the Big Bang has to be the granddaddy of disaster explosions—now nearly 14 billion years since, and where’s the upside? And I remember saying “fock if I know,” ’cause I’m Art Kumbalek and I told you so.