Politics in America 35: The Boots Incident 

The President’s boots started the whole thing. The President should have listened and not worn the darn things for the interview. He was just showing off, that he was a man of the people, when he wore them. He could have at least put on a nice new well-designed Sunday-go-to-meeting boot. No, he had to wear the boots he wore to the pig sty he set up on the back lawn of the White House for Bessie Mae Hogg and her cohorts. He sure loved that Bessie Mae.

The majority leader in the Senate, a DoEvie, stood up and made a speech. It wasn’t a speech about the boots but it might as well have been. “We are angry and we’ve been angry for a long time. And for way too long. We DoEvies have been getting the short end of the stick. It’s a power thing, you see. Give everybody some power and no one has any power. There’s only so much of the stuff to go around and we DoEvies are not going to share. Now that we run the world—I mean the Congress.”

The Great Man, the President of the United States, P F Sneaze had had enough of that rabble-rousing. For three long years, that’s all that came out of the mouth of Congress. Rabble-rousing. Since he was a DoNaughty, there wasn’t much he could do about it. After all, it was in the very nature of the DoNaughty Party not to do a thing. That had been what the party was elected on and it was way too long into the Great Man’s first term to change things. But maybe there was a way.

Being a pig farmer, he could sling mud with the best of them. How do you think he became mayor? He would think of something. In the meantime, when asked by the press what he thought about the Majority Leader’s speech, he said in a nonchalant way, “La te da. La te do.”

All the news analysts on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox, CBS, PBS and Aljazeera went nuts, analyzing his La-te-da-La-te-da. As the Big News Guy said, “I’ve heard La-te-das before, but that was some La-te-da.”

The Great Man retreated into the Oval Office for some me-time. When the President sat alone in the Oval Office, the news organizations even commented on that. P F Sneaze didn’t just go into that Office for fifteen minutes of me-time. He stayed in there for days, having his meals sent in.

There was one particular episode when he called out for pizza. The pizza parlor thought he was a joker and harassed him big time for imitating The Great Man. He got so mad he jerked the Red Phone for Delivery Orders out of the wall. It took several hours to be replaced.

In the meantime, the Great Man’s stomach was growling. He was hungry. Finally the Phone was back in operation and the President called again. He said, “You bring me my pizza or I am sending in the Marines, you hear. And no anchovies either.” Then he hung up.

The poor fellow at the other end ’bout wet his pants. He had never tawked to a president and he was scared down to his little booties. Before you can say, “Get the hell out of Dodge,” the pizza was done and sped to the White House and the Oval Office.

It was good and hot when the President took his first bite. It burned the ever living crud out of his tongue and the top of his mouth. That was the last straw. The Great Man, P. F. Sneaze, was ready for the warpath. Do-Naughty or no Do-Naughty there was about to be trouble in River City. You can bet your sweet booties on that.

Next Week We got trouble right here in River City.

Mount Nanowrimo

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winnerI am standing here, looking down from the summit of Mount Nanowrimo. Of course, Nanowrimo is known to one and all as an abbreviation for the National Novel Writing Month.

It has been a long hard slog but I have made it. 50,505 words of crap tilted “Don in November”. It was my fifth climb and I have to say that this one was not fun. I would like to say that I began this on a dark and stormy night. But that would be stealing from Snoopy. I can’t do that to the beagle who brought down the Red Baron.

I had the stupid idea for a joke that I would write a novel about Don writing a novel in November. Like I say, it was a real stupid idea. As I’ve guessed all along, my life isn’t all that interesting. Now I have the words to prove it. I should have stuck with my original idea of writing a spy novel. That definitely would have been a lot more fun.

At the end of the first week, I was really tired of my life. Since I was doing prompts every morning before I dug into the novel, I decided to see where one of these prompts led. By following this exercise, I ended up with two stories.

The first was a Hilly and Jess story. Hilly was a country singer who was a one hit wonder. After ten years of plugging along playing cheap dives and bad bars, she was getting extremely tired of the road life. Even waitressing would have been better than the road. Just about the time she’s ready to quit, she meets Jess.

Once upon a time, Jess had gone off to Nashville to try his hand at songwriting. ‘Bout the time he started to get the hang of things and had a copy of songs recorded, he had to go back home to help his mother take care of the farm.

These two met. There’s thunder and lightning and the stars were aligned big time. It’s love at first sight. And the rest of the story took off.

The second story was about Hissy Fitt. Hissy Fitt was the daughter of the Wicked Witch of the West in “The Wizard of Oz”. Hissy Fitt was the one who put the bad in bad witch. She took after her mother, only more so.

Down the road, I’m thinking about rewriting the Hissy Fitt story and posting it here. Maybe some time next year.

So what did I learn. Prompts help to get me through during the bad times. Have a story to work on before starting to climb Nanowrimo. And best of all, I can write 500 words a day in my sleep. The month was productive after all.

Will I do this next year? Am I a wild and crazy guy? We’ll see.

Uncle Bardie’s Movie of the Week: Story Making

Once a week on Monday, Uncle Bardie shares a movie with his Readers he gives a big two thumbs up. It will simply be a short excerpt or a trailer. Uncle Bardie might even throw in a reflection on the movie. If so, it will make an appearance below the video. So pop some popcorn and give yourself a treat. This week’s movie is “Kubo and the Two Strings” (2016).

While my guitar gently weeps, theme song for Kubo and the Two Strings.

The Making of Kubo and the Two Strings

For my two bits, movies succeed or fail because of one thing. The story. If the director has not honored the story or if he has decided not to have one, then, in my humble opinion, he has a lousy movie. Just look at two of the most successful movie series of all time, the Harry Potters and the Lord of the Rings. “Gone with the Wind” was a Margaret Mitchell family story.

As far as I can tell, few movies have delved into the art of storymaking and the storyteller. I am not referring to movies about writers like Wonder Boys or Adaptation. They are about writer’s block. The World According to Garp explores the relationships of a writer with women.

Unlike those movies, these explore the process of creation. Two of these movies have been directed by Marc Foster, Finding Neverland (2004) (about J M Barrie and his creation Peter Pan) and Stranger than Fiction (2006). Topsy Turvy (1999) explores the creation of Gilbert and Sullivan and The Mikado. Tim Burton’s most autobiographical movie, Big Fish (2003) is the big fish story and its relationship to the narrator’s father. With The Fall (2006), two patients in a hospital, a child and a stunt man encounter each other. The stunt man tells stories to the child to get her to steal drugs for him. In Inkheart (2008), the stories a man tells his daughter comes alive.

All these movies shine a light on just how magical stories can be and the relationship between the story and the story teller.

Kubo and the Two Strings is a wonderful addition to these films.

See this film and think about the stories in your life and what they mean to you.

Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick: Kind and Generous

It’s Thursday again. You know what that means. Uncle Bardie’s Weekly Music Pick. Uncle Bardiie gives a double thumbs up to this week’s selection: “Kind and Generous” by Natalie Merchant.

It’s Thanksgiving. And this is to thank all who do wonderful things for me and others. Have a happy Thanksgiving out there, y’all.

Politics in America 34: You Just Never Know 

Once upon a time America snoozed along, happy as a bear with his nose stuck in a jar of honey. The Goldilocks Plan of not too much and not too little but just right had lived up to its name.

Now the Do Naughties were living up to their name. They did naughty. It was like Charles the Second’s Cavaliers replacing the Cromwellian Puritans. And they made sure there was enough pork to go around. Good Ol’ American pork too. After all, you have a pig farmer in the White House, what else can you expect?

Like the several Supreme Court Justices that he’d nominated, The Great Man so far had no record. Oh, sure there was that Mississippi deal. And there was the Snow Pipeline. That was pulling in dough left and right. It brought jobs. It brought kickbacks. Most of all, it brought snow. But nothing had happened after that. And that was the way his party liked it. He should be a shoe-in for a second term. They believed it was a record any president could be proud of.

In fact, The Great Man was so popular there was talk of putting his face on a three-dollar bill. It was three years into his first term as President and there had been nary a screw-up yet. Even the plan to swap Florida and Ohio out. For the first time ever, Florida got snow for Christmas. The kids loved that. And Ohioans didn’t have to put up with those darn blizzards. Just the cost in snow ploughs was enough to kill the governor’s budget.

But the kids hated it. It meant no more snow days. There was almost a riot in Cleveland by the sixth graders there. Federal troops had to be sent in. After a lot of negotiating, the sixth graders were promised that Santa would lay off the naughty or nice. They would all be given nices.

The Great Man was ready to go on national television and do one of his fatherly Sooey talks. If nobody else liked them, Bessie Mae Hogg did and that was all that mattered.

Dr. Combover, the President’s Image Consultant was unhappy. “He can’t go on television with THOSE.” Of course, he was talking boots.

The Great Man wore boots, American boots, boots made in America. They were those boots-are-made-for-walking boots.

Next week There’s always something