Dear Ted and Jody:
I got loose in Longview with a camera on the busiest street in town yesterday noon. I have wanted to shoot the one tree for some time. Alas, there is no place to park. So, I bit the bullet and parked a long way away and walked. Here are the results.
Listening to the pestilence’s Secretary of State and the pestilence’s Press Secretary yesterday one might conclude we are on war footing. Then there is that little peaceful foray into the waters near the Korean Peninsula by US warships. I asked myself ‘Is no one in Washington making any sense?’ Then it hit me, Rand Paul, the strict constitutionalist is the closest to making sense. The old saying about war making strange bedfellows seems to be strange bedfellows to an exponential power when it comes to the pestilence. What disturbs me the most is that none of the actors, the pestilence, Putin, Kim or Assad are particularly rational. It won’t take a misstep, only someone blowing their nose at the wrong time.
I got the bags of dirt out of the back of the Ridgeline yesterday. I will probably have to visit the hospital today because of it. So far I can move. We’ll see if that lasts. I did some further gardening while I was still mobile; I picked up some strawberry plants and put them in a hanging basket. Then I collapsed.
I hope this finds you happy, healthy, wealthy and not stove up from slinging bags of dirt around.
Warmest regards, Ed
059 Aliens Abducted Taxi-Driver
Fiction in 831 words by T. Edward Westen
“Andy Kellog, you never told me you were abducted by aliens. Why did you keep it a secret? Did they do sexual things to you up in that space craft? Andy speak to me,” demanded his wife.
“Now, now, Corrine. I never was abducted,” replied Andy, standing his ground. “I don’t know where you get such an idea. Have you been talking to that liar next door again?”
“Mildred isn’t a liar. She read it in the National Enquirer while standing in the checkout line at Keister’s Groceryrama and More this morning. If they print it, it is true, you know that Andy. Besides . . .” Corrine was interrupted by the phone ringing. She said, “I’ll get that,” and picked up the phone. “Yes,” she listened. “Mildred told me that just a few minutes ago. Andy says it never happen so I know they must have done something sexual to him so he’s afraid to tell me the truth; but never you fear he will tell me or I’ll know why.”
Andy shook his head and slammed the back-screen door behind him. But there was a crow of folks in his back yard holding T.V. cameras on their shoulders, microphones and notebooks in their hands clamoring for him to talk to them, “Mr. Kellog, is it true?” Upon hearing his father’s name, he looked around for his dead father’s ghost. “Did they experiment on you Mr. Kelog?” Convinced now that his dead father was haunting him, Andy fled back into the house where he heard Corrine say “. . .they duplicate people to make them better. I got to wonder if I got the right Andy back. . .” as he fled through the kitchen. He slammed the front door behind him only to find another crow armed with cameras, microphones and note books, beseeching his father’s ghost; so, back into the house he went. He ran up the stairs to the second floor, opened the bath room door and climbed out the bathroom window onto the garage roof. He slid down the other side of the roof of the garage to the ladder propped up against the garage which he used to get to the ground. Once on the ground, Andy grabbed Mildred’s boy’s bike that the kid always left against Andy’s garage when not using it and peddled down the alley making a clean getaway.
Andy got as far as a block away from Independent City Cab Company when he could see the crowd in front and back of the place. He turned abruptly only to hear the dreaded sound of a squad car siren signaling some poor schmuck was about to get a ticket. Andy looked around, seeing no one except the squad car with the office pointing at him; he thought, ‘That poor schmuck is me.’ He pulled over to the curb and put the kickstand on the bike down.
Andy recognized the officer exiting the squad car. It was Patrolman Mike Armstead. “Hi, Mike, I see you got a set of wheels now. How do you like driving?”
Patrolman Armstead shook his head and laughed. “Andy, what are you doing on a bike?”
“My father’s ghost is after me. I can’t see it, but others can and they keep calling out to it. I had to get out of my house from the bathroom window on the second floor and climb down to that out of the house and this bike was the only thing that got me away. Then Corrine thinks I was having sex with aliens and she and all her friends are talking about that and I never did. I never even seen an alien. I tell you Mike, the world has gone nuts in a fruit basket.”
“Andy, Andy, Andy, you’re back on the sauce again,” said Patrolman Armstead “After 12 years you fell off the wagon. Let’s walk a line, if you can see it,” he said point to the cement join down the middle of the street.”
“No siree bob, I ain’t touched a drop in 12 years, three months, two weeks and four days. It ain’t that I don’t want to from time to time, but I aint.” With that Andy walked 20 feet on the line and turned and said, “You want I should do it on my hands now, Mike?
The squad car light flashing drew the reporters with microphones, cameras and notebooks from the Independent City Cab Company a block away. They arrived enemas when Andy was enquiring if he should walk the line on his hands. They arrived shouting “there he is” point in Andy’s direction and calling out the name of his father’s ghost “Mr. Kellog.” Andy ran to the bike, kicked the stand and pushed off in the opposite direction from the mob of reporters.
Patrolman Mike Armstead stood and watched and said to no one in particular “I could use a drink,” as he fingered his five-year coin in his pocket.