Do you remember Pogs?
Yeah, me either. I was too old when they came around.
What I remember about Pogs is that it was the first thing that “the kids” were into that I didn’t understand. I wasn’t “into” them and in fact had no idea what the hell the point was supposed to be for a very long time.
THERE, now you’ve learned something. That’s the thing you need to learn for today out of the way, you may now spend the rest of the day masturbating.
I really hate people who have clearly never had a service job bitching about what people in those positions are focred to say by their Evil Corporate Masters. You’ve got mandated scripts, uniform phrases (which you WILL get written up for if you don’t use), and these days there is even a prescribed method as to how they’re supposed to check out you. When I left Blockbuster, it had just become policy that the employee was never to make sure that the right DVD or tape was actually in the box. Now who do you think got bitched at when there was a mistake, Blockbuster management, or me? I’ll give you a hint. The person who got bitched at doesn’t go under the initials ECM.
You’ve got some poor person, having to be a member of what is now called a wait staff, trying desperately to hold onto a job that doesn’t even earn minimum wage, being told exactly what words to use and now they have to deal with some asshole who doesn’t like those phrases bitching up a storm. You know what? No one cares. You don’t like it, the kid working the counter isn’t paid enough to give one-half of a fuck about what you like or don’t like. The ECM squeeze them into a position where they can’t possibly care.
If you’ve never worked service, allow me to share a secret wit you…it’s only the ludicrous pink-o liberal laws we have in this country that stop service people from killing you on sight. Customers, particularly the ones who feel entitled to better service, are the bane of the poor service people’s lives. They don’t want to pay and extra, they don’t want to develop any good feelings, but they want to be treated like gods from the word go. They walk in, expecting to be treated like some sort of royalty, as if stores still paid a living wage. Modern stores aren’t Grace Brothers you know. If you want to bitch about declines in the service industry, look to how much these people get paid and for how much work.
If you want great service, try going to some place that pays people enough to give a shit. If you want good service, try *GASP* being polite to the poor bastard working the counter. If you want bad service, go in and bitch at the person behind the counter, extra points for berating them for stupid shit their boss makes them say. Personally, I’ve been using the method of being polite and understanding for the last twenty or so years and it’s done me no end of good. Wait staff and sales associates (or whatever their ECM are calling them these days) usually give pretty good service to me when I use this method.
The chief problem I have with the idea of the Oedipus complex is that strictly speaking Oedipus didn’t actually have one. He didn’t know that guy was his dad, and he didn’t know that chick was his mom.
Naming the complex like that is like calling anytime a political leader shoots themselves in the head with a pistol as “Lincoln’s Disorder” because he was also shot in the head with a pistol.
Kudos to Jocasta for being an early cougar, but one wonders what would have happened if Oedipus already had a girlfriend.
Does anyone else remember reading old Famous Monsters of Filmland mags? It stopped running in ’83, so I didn’t really get to read them when they were new.
It was just recycled articles about old monster movies, but it was interesting. Sort of like the Crestwood Monster books, only in magazine form.
I remember they had ads for things like pendants that had soil from Castle Dracula in them. Also, pet monkeys for $18.95! I so wanted a squirrel monkey. And yes, the ads were real. You could really buy a monkey and curse yourself for the trouble it would bring.
That’s not the point of the story though, the point in the magazine. Surely, I cannot be the only person who remembers these mags, can I? Lots of people read them, yes? Anyone?
The Return of Jack Collier
A Jack Collier Story
By Brett N. Lashuay
Chapter Fourteen: Looking for Cole King
I started my search by doing the sort of things you can do from a computer. I looked up a lot of public records, a few private records and sent feelers out to a few sources of information. I gathered a fair amount of information, but it didn’t come to much.
What does it help to know that Jill Piper was currently in a private school in California and that she was slated to go to UCLA in the fall? Okay, it means she got out and was probably safe for the time being. I made a note to make sure she was doing all right though, go out there and see her or something.
It was interesting to note that because I’d said that Cole didn’t shoot me, he was released. I know that Alice pulled strings and shifted situations to let him out, but I thought the stories would be better than just dropping one charge and letting him go. I sort of hoped that the federal government would be better at lying than that. However, he was in trouble again because he failed to contact his parole officer. The suggestion was that he was going to head south again, maybe back to Banbury Cross. I doubted that though, since he was supposed to have a place in Texas. Of course since the Texas cops were probably also looking for him he couldn’t go there either. I wrote down a few things, but for the most part that would be a foot flattening job.
He was the one to find though, because going to rough up Peter Piper wasn’t something I felt I could just go do without an army. It might be that he wouldn’t be expecting me, but I would have the name of the firm to worry about if I kicked his door down and slapped him around while demanding answers.
No, I was going to have to be a little more subtle than that, or at least I was going to have to smack someone that wasn’t a millionaire agriculture magnate. That seemed unfair and would sort of go against my working class roots. However, since I was pretty much the epitome of a class traitor and snob, I decided not to let it bother me too much. It would be easier to go after the smaller fish first. When, afterall, has a member of the true working class ever gone and done the hard thing when the easy thing was looking them in the face? Of course, I don’t get asked to hang out with the parts of the family that are still union members.
I picked up my phone and dialed Alice’s number. She wasn’t answering though, which either meant she was busy or mad at me. I was sort of thinking it could go either way since she had sort of insinuated that I should just stay in DC with her but I came back to Michigan anyway. It could also be that having had me at peak form she decided that I wasn’t what she really wanted. It was possible, but it didn’t sound very likely.
A man with a healthy ego would have just said she was away from her phone, or couldn’t answer it at the moment. A man with a monumental ego would have suggested that his raw sexuality was so powerful that she was intimidated by the idea of even talking to him. I was personally of the belief that she was currently gathering all the men, and probably a good number of the women, in her building together so she could tell them that she was forsaking them all for the best damn lay south of the North Pole.
I left a message, not mentioning any of this speculation, just asking her if she could call me back on a professional matter. I hoped putting in the professional part would mean she’d call sooner rather than later. If it had been personal, I’d expect her to wait until the day was done and she could devote some real time to talking to me. I wanted to talk to her, see how her day was, but I also wanted to get this idea I had talked through.
She must have been in a meeting or something because it was an hour later that the outer office phone rang and then the phone in my office started to ring. I looked at the phone and then my cell phone. I picked up the office phone and decided not to try and second guess the world. If I’d tried to give some salutation that would be just for Alice, then it would turn out to be someone else. Besides, I’d just called her on my cell phone, she’d see which number it was.
“Jack Collier,” I said.
“Hey Jack,” Alice’s voice was clear and relatively cheerful. “What’s going on?”
“You doing anything at the moment?”
“I’ve got a few things going, nothing boiling over though, why?”
“Well, I know I asked you to let him go, but I really want to find Cole King.”
“So would a lot of people,” she said. “He vanished after his release.”
“In my defense,” I told her, “I was high as a kite when I asked.”
“Yeah, and I was stone sober,” she said. “Mostly anyway. It made sense if he didn’t shoot you and I sort of thought they’d keep better track of his movements than just putting him on the honor system. I was hoping he might be tracked back to a larger network. However, it seems everyone has decided to fuck that up for me.”
“So why not find him?” I asked.
“We’ve got warrants,” she said, “and we’ve been sort of looking for him, but a parole jumper isn’t really Osama Bin Laden, is he?”
“Well, if I found him, I might be able to tell you if he’s in contact with anyone,” I offered. “I mean it would come dangerously close to cooperating with authorities, which would go against our company charter, but I’m willing to over look that part if I can convince my manager that I’m doing it in hopes of getting laid.”
“You have a manager?” she asked.
“There is a little voice in the back of my head that I promoted from being a feeling in my gut,” I said. “When I’m doing something I shouldn’t it speaks up.”
“And it doesn’t like you cooperating with federal agents?”
“Did you meet any of the agents I dealt with before you?” I asked, thinking of Agent Smith.
“Fair point,” she conceded. “What about sleeping with them then? No problems there?”
“He’s seen you,” I said.
“Oh your voice is a he now is it?”
“Well I’d hate to think that sort of talk might come from a lady,” I told her, which elicited another of those tinkling bell laughs. I sort of thought I could spend an appreciable amount of my time making her laugh like that before I’d get bored with it.
“How would you go about finding him?” she asked after she stopped laughing.
“Find his priors, and then I would go look in the places where he’s had priors.”
“We did that,” she said. “He’s got aggravated assault in Texas, weapons charge in Georgia.”
“Have you got his file open in front of you?” I asked.
“Well it’s on the computer, but yeah.”
“Could I have a copy?”
“That would be very naughty,” she suggested. “I would get in trouble.”
“What is there under sexual crimes.”
“Besides Jill Piper?” she asked.
“Well, there isn’t anything in here,” she said. “Hang on.”
“It wouldn’t be obvious, otherwise they would have slapped him with something on top of something long ago,” I suggested. “What about a youth record?”
“Those are sealed.” She said.
“Yeah, but was he ever a patient of a state sponsored shrink?” I asked.
“Sealed Jack,” she said, “shat means I can’t get at them without way more court orders than we can get right now.”
“What about relatives?” I asked.
“That’s sealed up too,” she sounded surprised. “They’re only admitting an aunt, deceased, and her daughter, which I assume would be his cousin. She’d be about seventeen now I think.”
“Do you have the address?” I asked, on automatic. I had a sudden, unshakable idea that where I found the cousin I would find Cole.
“They live in Texas,” she said.
“That’s fine,” I said. “I’ll go investigate a bit on my own.”
“All the way to Texas?”
“I sort of have this idea he’s in Texas,” I said, not wanting to explain the further feelings I was having.
“What gives you that idea?” she asked.
“I just do,” I said. “If I try to explain it, you’ll either have me committed or you’ll want to come along and I wouldn’t get what I wanted.”
“What are you thinking?” she asked.
“Who knows that I’ve actually said he didn’t shoot me?”
“Well, officially you don’t remember and the Piper girl’s fingerprints are the clearest ones on the gun,” she said. “Mostly we let the lawyer know that and he did the rest without our help.”
“So I could remember and get him back in,” I said.
“No, I don’t think so,” she said. “There are legal problems there.”’
“Yeah, but he wouldn’t know that,” I told her. “Cole’s as dumb as an exceptionally large box of hammers with a sack of rocks piled on top of it.
“You’ll find him and threaten him with a return to incarceration?”
“No,” I said. “I’ll find him and tell him I can put his ass back in the slammer. It means roughly the same thing, but my way puts real threat there.”
“And it sounds less pretentious,” she commented.
“Okay,” she said. “You’ll be looking for Cindy Eller. That’s the cousin. She’s supposed to live with her father David, but according to reports for her high school’s truant officers he claims she’s run off.”
“Not out of state I’ll bet,” I said.
“Big state though.”
“I’ll find her,” I said. “And he’ll be there when I do.”
“You’re sure about that?”
“Yes,” I said, softly musing to myself. “There is no where else he can run. His friends all abandoned him. No one spoke for him, not even a little.”
“But are you sure about finding her?”
“I’ll find her,” I reassured her, and then became as repetitive as I’ve been accused of being. “I’ll drive down there and I’ll find her and through her I’ll find him.”
“You’re not going to use her, are you?” she asked with a surprising amount of sympathy for someone working in the government.
“How old is she?” I asked.
“I’ll be saving her if I’m right,” I said. “And I become more right with every word.”
We said goodbye, and I hung up. I then looked at the phone for a while, listening to Debbie click clacking on the keyboard writing whatever the hell it is she writes out there. It all seemed too damn pat, too easy. It made me a little mad, to think that everything should just be nice and neat like this. I wanted to pick something up and hurl it across the room, but I didn’t because I’m not actually four anymore. What I did do, was get up from my chair and walk to the door to tell Debbie I was going to leave town on a costly errand.
“I’ve got to go out of town for a few days,” I announced as I opened the door and stepped out.
“What’s her name this time?” she asked.
“What makes you think there’s a she involved?” I asked, and she just turned her head and fixed me with a glare I’d rarely seen on her face before.
“Because you are leaving the office for a while,” she said. “You didn’t say where, or why, so there is a woman involved.”
“She’s sixteen,” I said. “I’m just going to get her out of some trouble.”
“I’m going to get you a breastplate for your birthday.”
Oranges are the problem really. Oranges aren’t interesting enough. To start with, the only thing they rhyme with is blorenge. If oranges could have sex with poodles, the world would be a much stranger and more interesting place than it is now.
My next story will be The Surprising Adventures of Messers H.G. Wells, H.P. Lovecraft* and H.R. Pufnstuf. They will simple call each other by their middle intial. Each will be known a G, R, and P and together they will form a Recording Company for the production of gramophone records.
Their first hit will be sung by Queen Victoria and Jack The Ripper. It will be a song about murdering a menstruating Canadian prostitute and will be entitled “Bloody Maple Leaf on the Rag” and of course it will have a rap cover made by Billy The Kid and Long John Silver despite them not living remotely near each other in time or location**.
The story won’t really get started until a gaggle of girls from Georgian and Regency fiction descend upon the group, demanding to be made superstars so they can all marry men named Darcy. The girls becoming glamour models will lead to great social changes, but they still won’t have the right to vote or anything. Don’t be silly. Entranced by their beauty, partisan groups will gather under different bullshit explanations until the fabled battle between Pirates and Ninjas is fought out once and for all atop a steam powered airship flying over Victorian London or possibly Napoleonic Paris and maybe both!***
In the end, the course of history will strangely not be irrevocably changed, and all the big historical events will go on as the history books say they have despite the effect these story elements must surely have caused to not only this but other timelines as well.
I intend to call the book “Fuck you Steampunk! Fuck you right in the ass!” and am currently looking to shop it around for both comic books and movies. Comics must please only be submitted in the brown and gold spectrum. Film studios must make sure they are not in anyway reputable and the more greenscreen and crappy CGI effects you offer, the more of my attention you will have.
*Side note: For someone so convinced of the mastery of the white race, Lovecraft was one UGLY motherfucker. Seriously, he looks like a frog person or something.
**The fact that Silver is actually fictional won’t even be addressed because my head hurts enough already.
***Depending on my mood at the moment.
Sweet Money Jesus but The Ultimate Computer is stupid piece of technophobic trash. Not only is it straw manned up the ass, but it is totally ignorant or just hypocritical in it’s writing. You can just hear D.C. Fontana howling “OMG! Teh computers are going to steal our jobs! I’m gonna go drive home, listen to my Beatles records and watch Ed Sullivan on TV totally unaware of the irony!” Not only is this stupid episode heavily and irrationally tilted against the machine, the creator of the computer even says “I’m going to show you, I’m going to show all of you.” I swear I was straining to hear the bolt of thunder and cackling laugh that should accompany such a fucking stupid line.
I have honestly never understood why so much Sci-Fi contains such a large amount of technophobia. Every other aspect of the future is bright and shining, but the computers will DOOM US ALL!!!! Anytime you get a machine that’s supposed to take the work of a man in Sci-Fi, all the sudden everyone becomes pants shittingly terrified. Despite the fact that everything they do, and everything they use rests on some kind of machine that has done the work of a man.
Textiles haven’t been hand made since around 1800. Shall we weep for the loom operators? Shall we all go join King Ned Ludd’s Army? Music stopped being the work of a single performance when Edison got his shit together and made records viable. Was John Philip Sousa right to oppose the gramophone? I mean, it did replace the work of a man, didn’t it? Come to that, a compound pulley takes work from a man, and those are about four thousand years old.