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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Welcome to Fat City

From the National Affairs Desk

"Strange days have found us. Strange days have tracked us down. They're going to destroy, our casual joys."- The Doors
"Strange days indeed. Most peculiar mama."- John Lennon
"The walls are closing in again, oh well."- Queens of the Stone Age

Ah indeed, nobody did tell me there would be days like these. Unless you count the national media which is about as useful as a cherry bomb attached to a grenade tossed into a non-essential fireworks warehouse. I stopped paying attention to the media years ago when I finally realized that true, non-agenda, journalism was dead. I actually should have realized that back in 1978. Sure, there is the full spectrum out there, from the bigots at Fox News to homosexuals like Anderson Cooper who looks like he is talking to a mirror instead of a camera (That sentence was satire. Fox News has no bigots and Anderson Cooper is not a homosexual). It is all too boring yet fearful at the same time. With this self-quarantine/social distancing getting old quick (even though I invented it years ago), I needed to get out of the JCMsTown Compound to get the real story. I needed to see it with my own eyes and convey it in writing, with no agenda.

The streets were light, but not exactly Walking Dead bare. It reminded me of the last time I was at the Hamtramck Labor Day Fest, except there was no Dancing Mayor. Now that I think about it, I didn't see her at the Labor Day Fest either. I did see a few people jogging or walking dogs and they all socially distanced themselves. It probably helped that I was wearing a lavender bandana and high powered lavender rubber gloves (I left the hand cannon at the Compound). The first stop was the local liquor store. All of the Arab employees were fitted with facemasks and gloves. It was jarring. Men were playing Keno and women buying expensive wine. It was if Caligula was right after all. I mumbled, "This is serious business, man," to the clerk before getting my scratch-off tickets. I asked if it had been like this all day and he just shrugged his shoulders, no words. I tossed him one of my lucky coins and said it would help him more than "those damn masks", and ran out yelling, "See you in hell"! He never even picked up the coin.

The next stop was a Kroger to buy supplies for family. I figured that any parasite couldn't sustain itself in my system, so why not me? Unfortunately, I am banned from this Kroger, but fortunately I had a driver (in addition to already having a six pack in me with two more on my lap in the car). I was advised to stay in the car and "not get arrested or cause a scene". So I sat in silence watching people come and go, nearly all of them wearing masks or bandanas. I cracked open one of the beers after seeing the woman mother in full mask and glove regalia pushing her unprotected baby in the store. For a moment I was transported back to downriver. I started to feel the panic cresting. It was then when the altercation happened.

By this time I was around seven beers past legally drunk and saw a large black man, bigger than Tunde, loading his groceries into his SUV and wearing a mask. Then another black guy, skinnier (think Skeefy before the weight gain), who wasn't wearing a mask and had no groceries, walks by and asks what he is so scared about. I was confused by this because of the drink but this was actually happening. The large man politely said to keep your distance but the antagonist mocked him and dramatically kept stepping forward. I cringed, fearing for the worst, and after scanning the parking lot for the "Cheaters" camera crew, opened the window and yelled "You fucking savage. Leave the man alone. Scram bubba. I know the chief of police here and he lives right around the corner." All of this noise while waving a (now empty) beer can which is better than an unloaded 9mm, but only by a hair. The mentally ill stalker wandered off and the nice guy just shook his head and gave a thumbs up. Once again, no words. Weeks ago, my Asian bass player predicted that it would come to situations like this; a grain of sand foul encounter on a random street corner that could be happening any/everywhere. Strange days indeed.

The Coronavirus has affected every aspect of our lives, from basic daily life, to entertainment, to jobs, to blogging, to health care to, well, everything. Just a few days ago that parking lot fever dream happened and I was terrified. But do I need to be? Should I? What's next? It depends on who you listen to, if at all (see the 1st paragraph). With everybody secluded in their houses living in a Culture of Fear, the media has quite the advantage. I'm sure streaming services are doing banana business with theaters shutting down and I'm sure the Netflix boardroom has been on a streaming 24 hour orgasm that AMC theaters may never re-open. As for traditional media, those favored by people like my mom, they have no option but to watch. Their ratings were bottoming out last year. Today the memo is "Fear, fear, fear. Watch more. Who has it now?" Yes, I fully admit this is a severe, cynical point of view and honestly hope that people are doing the right thing. As with everything, it is a difficult balancing act. I will say that this is a fascinating, interesting, sad time in our history......Oh god now I'm starting to sound like Jeff Milo (Just the last sentence though. Milo would never post an indictment of the media like that as he is a slave to them). Jump cut- Transition:

With all of this free time (ho, ho, ho) as an excuse, finally, for being lazy and unemployed I should be posting more but the well has run dry. Aside from National Affairs, and with the Sports Desk being shut down, there really is nothing to write about anymore, at least in the local sense. Then again, it was boring even before the Super Flu. So I've taken to writing letters. They are all over the Compound and usually only one to two pages. After I am croaked by Asia Mock's goons stomping me outside of a coffee shop I hope they are compiled and published, a final Fuck You.

In March I cracked a tooth eating Sweet Tarts and it was unbearable. I couldn't talk but found an emergency dentist to see me (normal dentist procedures had already been suspended). I wrote them a letter to explain my "dire" situation. They found it hilarious and nothing they had ever seen and made a copy and posted it on the wall. For fun, here is the letter. As always with my work, 90% truth, 10% fiction.

"HELLO DOC!           JCMsTown Compound 3/30/2020
My name is Robby and I may have the worst mouth you've seen this year. For years (decade?) I have neglected my teeth and it has finally caught up with me.
The Story:
First off, I have to state I suffer from extreme anxiety and have a prescription(s) for this along with cool drink (ho, ho, ho) when needed. I do NOT take recreational drugs despite my better judgement even though my appearance would suggest otherwise, and you haven't even seen the teeth yet. That being said, please be gentile or say nothing at all when examining me. I would turn into a raving banshee. Ah, back to
The Story:
I don't think I've been to a dentist in at least a decade. I don't remember the name of the last one but they are probably retired or dead, if they're lucky, at this time. I most likely have gum disease, gingivitus, missing fillings, needs fillings, Covid-19 (scratch that last one), dissolving gums, bleeding gums, and will most likely lose most of my teeth within this decade. I understand and accept that, and today is the first step in salvaging anything.
The Reason:
A few days ago I was binging on Sweet Tarts and part of my back right molar broke off. The one in front of it was obliterated in 2007, but that time was due to a box of Nerds at a coney island. The coney tooth is a dead zone right now. No root canal needed. I burned the nerves out years ago with whiskey and Vicodin. The reason for this visit is because of the jagged shard of a tooth slicing up my tongue. I can't talk/eat (hence this letter) and have trouble drinking, the true crime in this charade. I promise I am not a "meth-head" or slumming with the White Horse. I'm an honest local writer/journalist (best in town) just needing some help. I would be fine if you sandblasted it to dust, or maybe a temporary filling. I understand the tongue is already damaged, but will heal, as it is one of the quickest body parts to heal. As a new patient, I would be receptive to follow up visits to check off the really bad stuff. Hopefully my insurance will be squared off by then as I have no intention of paying any medical bills otherwise. I am working on a novel "The Invisible People" that I hope to sell to Viking or Random House which would allow me credit on your end. But for now, this is an emergency which means you have to help me. We'll take care of money after the book deal goes through. Lets stick with the busted tooth/tongue. If I'm a lost cause I understand, but it was worth a shot.
As for that Sweet Tarts box, I still have it and plan on filling it with explosives in the backyard. Bruce, the neighbor's dog, will not be happy. Nor will the neighbors. But if there's anything worth doing, it's worth doing right.
Res Ipsa Loquitor
Robert Jr. 3/30/20"

Epilogue- They sandblasted the tooth with a diamond cut bonesaw and then used a temporary filling. As soon as I got home I applied for a dental degree. The temp filling fell out after four minutes so I just resumed drinking. I will try to write more original content so try to keep reading.

I wanted this piece to be a genuine take on current times, not doom and gloom, and not "We will get through this together.....but stay apart". Both have their merits (I guess), but a lot just sounds like memo-sent sound bites; even the commercials have been infected; fucking carpet commercials using the Virus as a selling point. It all seems a just a little slimy (and I've been around since 1978) so I get it. People making money, people losing money. I "get" and advocate all of the safe measures, but at the end of the day, just Be Yourself.
Also, take the time to look back this post and sample the Rarities album that Born Evil posted. Till next time, stay safe, be well, sound bites, doff the top for those stuck at home, and I'll see you in hell.

With absolutely no choice but to carry the banner, alone or otherwise, I remain,
Bryan Metro

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