My Writing

THE KRAKEN

A creature writhed in the depths, that I knew.
Her eyes blacker than night.
Her tentacles propelled her, the crew tried repel her
from their great ol' ship of ocean blue.
Aye, pirates they be, and their treasures were three:
'twere rubies and silvers and golds.
Swords, spears, guns and cannons!  None could do her in!
I watched it from land, through a rusty telescope.
Clearly that sea-bitch would win...

PHOENIX

The bright eyes and snaggletoothed smile of that modern goddess.

The laugh and the love and the mystery.

The times she was there for me like an angel and laughed with me like a devil.

The breath of youth and the hearth of a mother.

The beauty always on both sides.

DANCING (a haiku)

Her pumpkin hair on
My finger's forehead breathing
Essence of wonder

THE MAGUS BOTTLE

 

After doing dishes I took a dandy brandy bottle out of the garbage 
And she was pleased to meet me.
The rusty robin’s nest scratched away her old skin in the rinse water.

Katie I named her, my imagination station, my magus bottle.

A magic wand spilled ink over her roundish body, Replacing the labels she had been stripped of.  Katie had been given a tattoo. 

Christmas Season’s reason gave paint and brushes to create

A full spectrum color plectrum

Tracing the flower and the rainbow lettering,Tracing my baritone valves and my trombone slide,

Tracing the symbol pad and the piano keys.

Her body took in the new blood of paint in place of the dandy brandy some vampire had depleted her of.

With a musical instrument that produces no sound, I would welcome the new year.

 

SHATTERING THE MAGUS BOTTLE


It seemed better to rhyme happily than to see the dim light of a distant warmth...
The idol bottle I painted in honor of her contains an idle false-elixir whose whose acidity would corrode me were it not for better memories. 
I am a jester who plays the blues... 
And when I get back from my gig I won't shatter this magus bottle. 
After all it ain't my only ironic jewel.

 

ZEN-TASK IN PRODUCE (a haiku)

 

Stocking bananas

While digitally dreaming...

What will I make next?

 

 

IF LOONY TUNES WENT GANGSTER

 

      Bugs Bunny was in the ICU, anesthetized and hooked up to an IV.  His pimp medallion was stained scarlet and the sapphires in his dental bling were cracked. 

 

      His diamond studded ears a-twitching, he dreamed a dream.  The historic dream of what had been.

      "Thee-uh-dee-uh-dee-uh-THAT'S ALL FOLKS!"  This time really was.  It really was the last loony toon.  Warner Brothers was bankrupt.  Disney was destitute. 

      In fact the entire entertainment industry was going under.  Brix Industries had created the end-all-be-all of entertainment media, the Democratron.  It synthesized alternate universes!  It played tennis!  It's wiry-brain had Shakespeare as well Spongebob!  It could play Mozart and sing Kesha!  And, if it had to, it would even pretend to be Barney.

 

      Well, Elmer Fud and Bugs Bunny, the two toons with the fattest checks, were used to a grandiose life.  And with no more Loony Toon cash they needed another way to make money... organized crime, why not. 

No less "loony". 

 

      Bugs Bunny was now called 'B.B.' and head-honcho of 'Two Four K. Intelligentsia' gang.  Elmer Fud AKA 'God Fudda' was still Bugs Bunny's enemy and leader of 'Platinum'. 

      "Alright, bromio, whadda ya say?," said B.B, "Want in on the 'Two Four K. Intelligentsia'?  If yes, you pogo!  Hip-hop yo butt to Half-dollar Hive with this basketball.  When you get there "Platinum" peeps'll be all in yo face, askin' what you be doin' on Fudda turf, but they won't know you work feh' me.  You tell 'em you want to become a "Platinum".  They'll pat you down feh' guns and knives and all, but they let you hang on to that ball.  When they bring you in teh' chat with God Fudda, that's the critical moment.  You see that little string coming outta the ball?  This is ain't no ordinary ball, it's a gun pretendin' to be a ball.  Pull the string and God Fudda go bye bye!"

      B.B. handed over agent orange.  'Bromio' was impressed, this thing had realistic basket ball gripple, a hard springiness, and weighed less than he thought it would.

      "I like the way you layed it out man!  There's just one thing...," said the newby Gangster.

      "What's up, doc?"

       "This!"  Bromio pulled the sting and a blazing bullet burst.  The Rabbit took it the shoulder and the damage was severe.  Shortly thereafter 'Bromio' was murked.  Bug's body went into shock and his mind went into faint awareness of medics and flashing lights.

 

SOCIAL EDUCATION  (based on my Asperger experiences, sorry to be a downer)

 

I was placed into Social Education.  I was a guy who aced math and chemistry and was pretty fly at baritone.  But I had to sit through some dumb course teaching me what a smile or a frown means.  Don’t get me wrong, I learned from that class too.

 

Anyhow there was a day in the third quarter of my freshmen year…when I saw the most popular jock…and he saw my duct-taped cell phone.  “Nice phone, nerd!’’  The sarcasm and condescension rang like a gong in my nerd-brain.

 

Next day, Friday afternoon, basketball practice:

“You couldn’t sink a shot if your fool life depended on it, Neu!” said the same jock.

 

Parents divorced.

Delayed response to a sudden life change.

Mood swings typical of adolescence.

Asperser’s syndrome, a neurological condition I had no choice in having.

That divorce tore me up.  A lot.

 

Sophomore year.

A jerk steals a sucker from me in the school hallway as I leave the library.

He bounds down the checkered floor laughing.

It was my aim to sell that sucker for the Grace United Methodist Church fund raiser.

Teacher intervenes.

 

A week after that day.

My phone rings.

I open my duct-taped phone.

Unintelligible babble and loud music in my ear piece.

“Hey faggot, wanna buy some space porn!”  The voice of the sucker thief.

I don’t understand.

“Check your mouth-wash bottle, it’s full of my piss!”

I hang up the phone.

Weeks later the person who called me was charged with harassment.

I pass him in the hallway. 

He says I’m a gay asshole.

Blamed me for a decision to harass someone.  A decision made by him.

He had it coming.  He was the asshole.

 

The thing I disliked about my high school experience was that I was taught how to socialize politely with people I knew.  And some people I knew, some schoolmates, treated me like shit.  Don’t be like those people, trust your natural instincts to love and respect.  People will do the same for you.

THE HIATUS BOARD

I painted birch bark in a place of hiatus for my bestest friend.

A conceptual gift of imagined technology to give when we'd meet again.

Through thick and thin "Don't Panic" would win and record our many strange songs.

On the bark a fretboard, guitar slide, dynamics, for the magical mystery ride!

Into the future untold as it would rapidly unfold in this fluid we know as time.

Egyptian scales were written in braile as drum machines gave tempo to pipe dreams.

God knows there were obsticals in the way.  And still there are some, that dangerous fun...

Deadly medlies the bark remembered in Aspergian fantasy.

As technologies more analoge than analoge, you'd work them in your mind.

Maybe astrology made us meet so fame and fortune we'd find.

If that be the case, that we get what we chase I won't leave my family behind. 

THE LIFE OF CHAD TRIM

Chad, the Zumiez dude was tall and slender and wore a Bob Marley T-shirt. He also wore 'fashionably' ripped jeans. He had a long black beard and long black hair. He was kinda like a burned out stoner but you know...thinner and with better posture, standing tall with his shoulders slightly back.

"You chose some killer colors for your board and it's parts," he said as he cracked his knuckles.

"Thanks! I do a little web design so I understand my color relationships. The blue, red and yellow are primary colors and the purple and green are secondary colors," Donald replied. He felt so giddy! He was getting his first custom skateboard.

"You're right! I guess I didn't notice. But when I used to spray paint... graffiti I learned that orange and blue work surprisingly well together" He spoke in a mellow voice as he put on the 'Mob' adhesive grip. He was such a friendly guy and Donald thought only gang bangers did graffiti.

One day Chad decided to stop taking his meds. He figured that his art and music would be better and more edgy without his meds 'holding him back'. Eeeah! Wrong! Which brings us to...

Day One: Chad Trim was in the lunch room singing a song about being attacked by zombies. “Can you hear those bells we're smacked against those bells and the blood on our skies covers up our suns!” He was wearing the generic blue scrubs he had to wear. He had to wear them because guess where he was: in the psych ward. It wasn't his fault that he had bipolar and anxiety. But it was his fault that he tried going off his meds. He wished he had his laptop. If he had that he could be doing his hobby: making rad electronica jams. He was confident about his creative and technical prowess making the songs, but he wanted to start including his voice in his songs. He just wasn't there yet as a singer. Stubbornly he sang a pitch and sang again and again. Why was he always flat?

He normally wore humorous, tie die, or music themed T-shirts and ripped jeans. He also normally wore a 'Monster' hat pointed to the right. Though he liked dressing like a punk he didn't have any piercings or tattoos. Maybe he was just the diet coke of punk. Well he couldn't express himself with his clothes here. Why did they make everybody dress like a tool?!

The next day Chad was in the lunchroom talking boisterously, "I am king Chuckwagon, lord of the subs!" (He had told some of the other patients how he worked at a sandwich packaging joint before his job at Zumiez)

"All hail King Chuckwagon, master of mayo," Kayla joked back. As they laughed Chad noticed that there was slight corrosion on some of her teeth near the gums. They were eating lunch and it was sandwiches, that's what got the jokes rolling. At least they got some laughs here. After lunch and a little time talking with Kayla, Chad went to his room to draw. The hospital had given him some crayons, pens and pencils. He drew a picture of Santa Claus nailed to a cross. Why not? If Jesus was supposed to be star of the show then Santa was the one who deserved crucifying. Maybe the Easter bunny had it coming too. False idols... "When I get out of here I'm gunna spray paint this on a train,” Chad thought.

Chad was gaga over Kayla. He liked her long straight brunette hair. She slouched slightly, but that didn't bother him. Her small nose piercing with the fake diamond was a nice addition to a perfectly symmetrical face. And her eyes were hazel just like his. The only thing he didn't like was the corrosion on her teeth. Why was that there?

Kayla loved Chad's quirky sense of humor. And he was an artist! He was sensitive! She didn't know many guys who grew their hair and beards that long. It was quite a distinguishing look.

The patients had scheduled group therapy sessions where they did mind map worksheets and shared their feelings of the day. On an average day there were 2 or 3 group therapies, and one-on-one consults with a psychiatrist and a few different psychologists. There was an art room for therapeutic crafts like painting a small ceramic turtle. Chad painted his turtle's shell orange and blue in a checker pattern and made the head and tail black. Kayla painted her turtle blue with red 'racing' stripes, “Opposites,” she said, “Red the color of angry roses and blue the color of the mellow sky!”

“Except you put racing stripes... on a turtle!!! LOL doesn't that seem out of place?” joked Chad.

Chad wondered if she knew he had a crush on her. Kayla wondered the same thing.

Chad had a dream on his fourth night. Everything was in rainbow colors and there were strobe lights. In his dream he relived memories that up until the dream had been very dull and shut out. The people he hurt in one way conversations. Each dark memory had it's own dark melody. Weird circus music in a frantic minor key over a dance club beat. He saw his the blonde girl he had broken up with five days after going off his meds.

“Brittney, you are the most irritating person on the face of the Earth.” he said as though it was a matter of fact, “You want to control me and who I'm friends with! You have zero things in common with me! And you're dull as dish water! Oh and you're fugly! We're history!” His callus words brought her to tears. This time when he finished his rant he felt remorse.

Then he was on the phone feeling a tantrum of words erupt from his voice, “You never encouraged me as an artist! You only wanted me to be one of those roid-raging jock straps!” It was true, his father had always pushed him towards athletics. And when he chose bass over baseball or any other 'ball' he didn't keep his disappointment a secret. “You told me that my music would never take me anywhere! Well news flash, Dad, not every son is a chip off the old block! If you could have just shifted gears and supported me for who I am! Agh!!! But no, I guess that's just asking too much!” He hung up. Again he felt remorse that hadn't been present before. Maybe his father didn't understand art and music but he DID love his son.

A third memory. “You fucking idiot! Don't go telling me how to live my life! Don't you see? I don't need the medication; I need stimulation! I can be twice as creative, twice as edgy! I will be the next Salvador Dali!” then grief struck him, “I just want what I create to matter! To mean something!” He was crying. “Nobody cares and I wish they did!” This time he realized that Joe was looking out for him. Joe appreciated his music and art. And Chad had almost 500 fans on his reverbnation music page. People did appreciate his music and his art had won awards. Why had everything looked so bleak?

Chad learned things from group therapy but when it came to sharing his issues he had been holding back. On his fifth day he opened up a lot more.

“Chad, how are you feeling today?” asked Mrs. Xavia a tone of genuine interest.

For a moment Chad was silent save for the cracking of his knuckles as he contemplated whether he should tell them what was on his mind. “Agitated. I had a dream last night where I saw... all the bridges I burned when I went off my meds.”

“If you feel comfortable talking about it, would you tell us about those burnt bridges?”

“Yeah. I guess they were memories I shut out. My memory is kind of selective sometimes. I broke up with my girlfriend and I was really mean about it. I also called my dad to guilt trip him about not supporting me as an artist. And I cussed out my best friend when he was telling me going off my meds was a bad idea. In my dream I realized how over-the-top I was and how I forgot that they have feelings too.”

“Too realize that is mature of you,” she said.

“I'm going to apologize to them.”

“Also mature. I'm glad you're going to do that. Peter, how are you feeling today?”

“This place isn't making it any better,” Peter said anxiously. “There are so many people here and they're hearing my thoughts. They're spreading all kinds of bacteria and viruses and nobody can cure them! I don't belong here!” Chad felt sorry for him. He always wore vinyl gloves. That reminded Chad of Monk.

“Peter, nobody can here your thoughts. I promise. And there may be bacteria here and viruses too but nothing your immune system can't nip in the bud. Hang in there buddy,” soothed Mrs. Xavia.

“Thank you, Amy. But could I... Could I get a surgery mask. I don't want to take any chances.

“I'll look for one. I want you to feel better. Andre, how are you feeling today?”

“Really excellent! I've been writing wicked rhymes in the notebook you gave me.”

“You rap?! That's awesome! Wanna collaborate with me? I make beats,” Chad said excitedly, “I had an idea for a graffiti painting but today I was thinking it would make more of a splash as a song concept.”

“Yeah dude! That would be totally dope!”

“Gentlemen. Let's try to stay focused on our emotions and solving issues,” said Mrs. Xavia.

Andre got back on track, “Okay, yeah. I find that writing raps and stories in my notebook is helping me cope with my depression. I also use the notebook as a journal.”

“Excellent. Good coping skill, Andre!” Amy Xavia had a way of making everybody feel good. She was a natural healer. “What do you find depresses you?”

“I have a lot of questions. Like why is there war? Why does God let bad things happen? Why can't people look out for one another more?” Andre scratched the shoulder where his fresh 42 tattoo was.

“Difficult questions. Remember your mind maps. You can always write what's troubling you and figure out the best steps to cope.”

“Yeah, I'll keep them in mind.”

“Kayla, how are you feeling.”

“Sad. I haven't shared this with the group yet... but I used to do meth. I lost custody of my daughter, Ella. I can still visit her but its not the same as raising her. And I relapsed that's why I'm here.” Chad was really surprised. Kayla seemed so normal. She must have grown older and wiser. Healthier.

“... I'm sorry.”

“The psychologists have helped me figure out which people are in my support network. And they gave me numbers I can call when I'm tempted to use again.”

“Having a support network is good. Remember people care about you and remember to take care of yourself. You are worth it,” said Amy.

The next day the cuckoo's nest had another birdie! The woman was anorexicly thin and had hair dyed light blue. She was being escorted in by a tall police officer and she was hyperventilating. “I have things to do! You are totally interfering by locking me up here!” Chad was surprised, 'Is that? Dirty Dianna!?' he thought. Dirty Dianna was a pop music singer with a creamy voice that Chad vaguely new about. He had seen her in People Magazine and recognized her voice in a few songs.”

“My new album is almost finished! It will be my masterpiece! I know it will go platinum!” she said.

“It's for your own good,” the police officer replied, “You need to get stable again.”

“Golly thanks officer Jackass!”

“Hello Dianna. Let me show you to your room,” said Mrs. Xavia.

“You mean I'm spending the night?!”

“You'll be staying a few nights. You need to get caught up on sleep and you need to get healthy again.”

“Well I guess I don't have a choice!”

After Dianna got shown her room and came out of it to watch TV Chad sat next to her and introduced himself.

“Hi, I'm Chad. I'm a musician too.”

“Oh, what kind of music do you play?” asked Dianna.

“I make electronica music and I like to play bass.”

“Well obviously I am Dirty Dianna Roth,” she gloated, her ego inflated by radio airplay.

“What brings you here?” Chad said, then immediately considered it inappropriate to ask.

“Pry much?” she asked then she whispered in his ear, “I went of my medication. But don't you dare blab to a tabloid!”

“Same here,” Chad replied.

Becky, one of the staff, said, “Chad, you have a phone call.”

Chad answered, “Hello.”

“Chad, its me, mom. There's no easy way for me to tell you this but... your friend... your friend Joe passed away. He was hit by a drunk driver.” Chad was silent. He couldn't believe what he was hearing. Why did this have to happen?! Joe and Chad had made so many awesome memories together, roller coasters, jam sessions, beer pong, the blazing buffalo wing challenge, and all the times they just hung out playing video games or bullshitting. Why did all that have to go away?! Chad went to his room and wept. He didn't come out till noon the next day after he wrote in his journal about what had happened and created some grief stricken artwork. They were shapes colored different shades of blue and in the foreground was angry red doodles created by his free association.

Dirty Dianna was put back on her medication but the levels in her bloodstream wouldn't balance her out for about a week. Chad told her about what happened to his friend Joe.

“Sucks to be him,” she said in a monotone voice. Sucks to be him?! How could she say something so insensitive?! Chad had to restrain himself from slapping her.

“Do you hear yourself?! I thought we were becoming friends! But you don't care about anyone but you!” Chad wondered if she was always this rude or just when her med levels were low...

“Well, when you're a god of culture, you can say these things,” she responded.

“You're a fucking whack job!”

The next day Becky told Chad that his stay at the hospital would be a little bit longer than originally planned. “We need to make sure you're doing okay before you go,” she said.

“Okay. Hey I'd like to make a few phone calls.”

Chad called his ex-girlfriend, Brittney. “I'm sorry. The things I said to you were rotten.”

“Um yeah! They were! You were a total jerk to me!”

“I was just being mean because life was getting hard and I wasn't thinking about my actions. And you're not ugly. I only said that because of how agitated I was. Basically the way I broke up with you was really inappropriate. So again I'm sorry.”

“Well, I guess I forgive you.”

Chad wasn't sure what to say next, so he just said, “Thanks. Well. Goodbye.”

“Bye.”

Chad called his dad, Ben next and starting out didn't let him get in any word edgewise. “Hello, Dad. The reason I called is that I don't want you subtracted from my family, my team. And I guess I was worried that I did that when I guilt tripped you about my music. Those feelings were real. I do hope you listen to my songs. I looked up to you a lot growing up and I know you love me. That's why it matters to me what you think. Anyhow I'm sorry for that phone call.”

“You haven't subtracted me from your team. I didn't know music meant that much to you. I mean you used to jam on your bass but well... I'm sorry too, Chad. Burn me a CD and I'll listen to it, I promise.” He sounded sincere.

I guess I can't apologize to Joe, thought Chad. He glumly remembered a song that he heard on a Hot Hot Heat album: 'I'm outta my soul. I'm out in the dark. I'm outta my mind. And I'm outta my heart. I'm outta my luck. I'm down on my knees. If it matters to you I guess it matters to me.'

When he told me to stay on my meds I reacted in spite. He was looking out for me. I can honor his memory by staying on my meds. Going off of them didn't make my art or music any better and I know how doing that messes with people now.

Throughout the next few days Chad and Andre talked about their musical ideas. Chad visited with Kayla. There were groups. Chad did a lot of daydreaming and watching TV. The hospital food was not too shabby, better than food at his high school cafeteria was. Eventually it came to be Chad's last day.

“Here's my phone number,” said Chad handing Kayla a yellow post-it-note with his phone number neatly but largely written on it.

“Cool, I'll give you a ring some time.” she said trying not to sound too excited.

“Yeah, don't wait too long to do it! So goodbye for now.”

Three days later Chad was working with Andre on their rap track when he heard his phone ringing. He answered it and it was Kayla. “Hi there Chaddy. How would you like to go out on a date sometime when I get out?” she said smugly. Chad was pleasantly surprised. He thought, isn't it usually the guy who asks the girl out?

“Um sure. Well Cinderella comes out next Friday. You wanna see that one? You going to be out by then?”

“Yeah. I will be. My address is 310 Pine Street in Monticello.”

“Cool. So this Friday?”

“Yeah. Should be fun.”

Chad's date with Kayla was nice. They held hands throughout the whole movie. Chad put his arm around Kayla's back. Chad whispered his commentary to Kayla, “Lucifer. Really. That's what you name your cat?!” After the movie they took a few selfies together by the movie posters. It was the first of many dates. Both of them were on the right track, Chad taking his meds, and Kayla staying clean.

“Ima defeatcha! Control-alt-deletecha in this double featcha of me crucifying you instead of Jesus! I know that he sees us! You still takin' his place! I bitch-slap ya in the face! Hey Santa there's no elves ta help ya now! And your remains'll be pushed away by the snow plow!” That was Andres wicked rap flow over Chad's Insane Clown Posse style rap beat. The two worlds jived well together. Andre recorded a few different takes of vocals and Chad tweaked the beat in some places. Before long the song was done. Chad put it on iTunes on an account that Andre and he shared. Overnight it got 30 downloads. That was fabulous, maybe it was just how surreal the subject matter was that had people entranced. The next day it got 68 more downloads. The day after that 168. The numbers were going up and Chad and Andre were very jazzed about the recognition and success of their new song. They began to have a whole new passion for their art, music and writing! Meanwhile, Kayla and Chad were enjoying a wonderful relationship and were always there for each other. Chad helped Kayla not to relapse by reminding her how to be healthy and listening to her when she talked about cravings. Kayla helped Chad when he had weird ideas or got depressed about his friend Joe not being around anymore. The future looked bright!

CYRILLA BEACH

I remember Cyrilla Beach,
And my great friends growing up. Though I was living out in the country I wasn't your typical country boy, I was something of a couch potato. While other boys were fishing I would probably be inside playing my Nintendo GameCube, Wario Ware Inc. and Super Mario Sunshine were a couple of my favorite games, but blast it! Josh beat Mario and I never did. But I remember climbing trees and going out with my dad in the canoe (where I actually DID fish) Once we capsized! I remember helping shingle the roof of our cozy house. I had a second hand computer running Windows 95 StarGunner and Jazz The Jackrabbit were a couple of my favorite computer games!  Lego Island was also THE SHIT!  I had an off-brand moped that went where most mopeds have never been before; Oh those were the days! One day I hit a jump accidentally and got insane air, though I didn't pull off the landing. I remember following the neighbor boys off road and having to push that sombitch up the hills! I remember another wipe out not knowing better than go against traffic and dodging Matt John Doomer! My bad! What I wouldn't give to turn back the clock! I remember looking out the window on our recliner and just taking in the sun. I had the coolest RC cars- my favorite the Tyco Psycho!  It could do these crazy flips and it sure was a speed demon!  I remember making a mountain out of a molehill at the Plantenburg's about "please" when they didn't say it, my Asperger's probably to blame but I now know there was nothing rude about it.  This was just different customs at their house. Oh! Wait! And when I kicked off my sandal and it busted their lightbulb in the kitchen!  Such nice neighbors the Plantenburg's were, they never held it against me! I loved running into them again at Eden Valley Midsummer Bash! Such great people! Josh Plantenburg my best friend! Remember Tyrian, what a game!  Remember Kinex and our cars, our demolition derbies! I look back and know I have to let certain memories go but I save the best!

LIFE WITH ASPERGER'S

Let me tell you a story.  The story of my life with Asperger's.  When I was in preschool the teachers noticed that I did not like to play with the other children.  I kept to myself, playing with whatever toys interested me.  Not playing with the rest of them was an early indicator that I was somehow different, but they were not sure what the difference was.  I was diagnosed with P.D.D.N.O.S. Pervasive Developmental Disorder Not Otherwise Specified.  In Elementary School they noticed my vocabulary was different, I liked to use big words that most other kids didn't understand.  I had a hard time paying attention in certain classes, and the teaches called it A.D.D. Attention Deficit Disorder.   By that time I had made a few friends, but I would not say I was "popular" at this time.  Actually I was teased a lot during recess.  Kid's called me Donald Duck and they knew I didn't like it.  They actually had a nursery rhyme, "Donald Duck picked his butt, how many fingers got stuck?"  Now I forgive the person who came up with that saying, but it hurt at the time.  I remember "charging up" running in place to get people.  I threw handfuls of pebbles.  I had a "nemesis" and we were both bigger kids.  We insulted each other's weight.  As time progressed things got better.  I had a "Smile Room" I could go to and play.  There were all these cool games and toys there and I could be rowdy and expend some energy.  It was nice to take some time off!  Sometimes I got to take other kids along and we could get to know each other.  My aide helped me pay attention in class and I was on a good path.  My sense of humor started developing and I would sing funny songs on the school bus.  That humor and musical mindset would stick with me for the rest of my life. When people realized I was actually kind of a cool, funny kid I became more accepted, and the teasing got better.  But I remember once when I was feeling bad inside I teased another, younger kid on the bus quite brutally.  I sang a song calling him retarded, other kids laughed.  I kept doing it until he cried!  If I could travel back in time I would probably smack that younger version of myself for being such a little bastard then!  What was I thinking?  I knew how that shit felt!  Why did I take part in it?  I guess all I can say is that I was hurting so I hurt someone else to feel better.  It's a vicious cycle: hurt people hurt people!  That was years ago, and I would never do that again.  I've learned my lessen well, because now I believe in treating people as politely as I can.  Actually I am quite annoyed when I don't see others do the same.  You could say I over-corrected, because my good nature got taken advantage of later in life.  Now in elementary school they called it A.D.D. Attention Deficit Disorder, but when I started Middle School they realized I have Asperger's Syndrome.  Now Asperger's is a form of High Functioning Autism and I identify with it because it makes sense to me: the special interests, having a hard time understanding some social behaviors, and hyper-focusing on certain things.  Often in school I would barge in on other peoples conversations and interrupt people without realizing I was being rude.  I continued to take special ed classes in social skills, but all my other classes were regular classes.  I was really into school and learning especially Science and English.  I was in Boy Scouts and that too helped my social skills.  Like I said I was on a good path, but when my parents divorced I learned a new part of Asperger's I didn't know about.  The Asperger's shut down.  I knew my parents sometimes got into fights and it could get bad, and they once had a trial separation, but I didn't know the toll when they finally got divorced.  At first it didn't really hurt. It was Summer time and I just kind of created art and played video games and learned my way around town.  But after a couple months it DID hurt.  Boy did it hurt.  Once I cried to my mom, "I know you guys felt like you had to divorce but I just wish you could stay together for me!"  As time progressed I would start acting giddy and laugh for no reason then suddenly bawl out my sorrow.  I would walk through the halls looking only up at the lights.  I was prescribed depakote and started seeing a therapist.  These things helped, though depakote was quite sedating.  I'll say this it did the job for right then and I had a great therapist.  I had an aide again for a while because school needed to keep me learning and keep me safe.  I also saw the school therapist, Dave.  Dave was a very neat guy!  I remember shooting hoops in his office and telling him about my life and my ideas for inventions.  I began writing my story "Gruffy & Scruffy, Hamster Heroes" and the kids I showed it to really liked its humor and story telling.  I have a lot of good memories from Middle School and High School.  Recently I stumbled onto an old report card and it was practically all A's.  Seeing that made me proud that even with the challenges I was facing I was doing well.  In High School I had a special bond with my band teacher.  I think he liked teaching me new things on the baritone and piano.  I also think he like watching me learn some things on my own.  One summer we were going to record a piece I had composed for the piano.  We were all set to record... but when I began playing we realized there were no bass strings in the piano!  So that recording wasn't made, at least not until I began recording on my laptop.  Music has been a great blessing to me!  I loved performing songs with the band, and with the school Jazz Group!  I loved playing in pep-band and playing at school games!  I also loved playing original music for piano and guitar at Paynesville Talent Shows!  But my path wouldn't always be on the straight and narrow.  One summer I tried marijuana.  I had some friends who smoked it and I told them I was curious about it.  Thus began the Stoner Era.  For better or worse I loved the feeling of being high from marijuana, the way it totally relaxes all your muscles and you notice every detail of a song, and the way it brings people together.  But I wasn't sure I wanted to keep doing it.  I was afraid of becoming addicted and I eventually fessed up to my mom.  She wasn't terribly surprised but she wanted to support me quitting.  And I did quit... for a while.  I guess I decided I probably wouldn't get addicted if I tried it again.  I was going to chance it.  And one summer smoking pot became my whole life.  In school I checked out a book on marijuana and other drugs I wanted to know the science behind smoking pot.  But I had no interest in doing any other drugs.  I learned about THC and how it releases dopamine in the brain.  I learned that the brain makes its own THC but smoking marijuana floods the brain with more THC than it is used to.  I learned that smoking marijuana can be a risk factor in developing schizophrenia.  I learned all these things and decided I would still chance it.  But my senior year of High School I decided I wanted to go to college to learn about music, so eventually I tried cleaning up my act.  I was in Honors English and Advanced Psychology, classes I really enjoyed!  I was learning.  Even when I had been smoking pot I loved to learn, but if I was going to do college I wanted to be on my A game.  When I first went off to college I was very excited.  I had earned a full ride scholarship to the University of Minnesota Morris!  I wanted to learn all I could about music and eventually do my own thing in my own niche of the music world.  I knew it would be a challenge but I didn't know what I was in for.  My first night I was locked out of my dorm and I decided to sleep on the bench outside.  The cops found me and assumed I was on drugs.  They took me somewhere to take a sample of my blood.  Even though it was clean I don't remember much else from that night.  I had to quickly adapt to this whole new world.  A world where I had to find my way to classes, do homework, not get lost, and meet new people.  It was hard for me to sleep because it was very warm in my room.  I was struggling.  I was shutting down.  And my parents thought it best for me to come home, so my stay at U of M, Morris was short lived.  I started my stay in St. Cloud with Dad and my step-mom, Sally.  I started recording music on my laptop again and I worked at Goodwill-Easter Seals.  And when I was ready I started driving again.  I was also taken off depakote.  I enjoyed the freedom to go to the mall, go skateboarding, play video games, watch TV shows with my folks, go swimming in the quarry.  It was a happy time in my life.  But eventually Dad, Sally, and I moved out of the apartment in St. Cloud.   They decided I could stay in the house in Paynesville and commute to my early job in St. Cloud.  I worked at Short Stop Restaurant at that time, preparing and packaging sandwiches.  Most of the time then they were at their apartment in Minneapolis.  That's when my life started falling apart again. That job was too early and I had to drive an hour to work each day.  On top of that I began doing cough syrup with some older friends. Once I drove home still high on cough syrup only I did not take the direct rout.  I also drove to my childhood stomping grounds Cyrilla Beach.  Miraculously I did not get arrested for driving intoxicated or cause any accidents or hurt anyone.  I made it home and was very lucky!  I was an idiot for having done that!  There was an intervention and I moved in with my Mom and step-dad, Al in Stanchfield, MN (a town close to Cambridge.)  Once again things returned to normal but there was a new uncertainty in my life.  Where was I going to live?  My mom and Al were going to move to Arizona eventually.  Was I going to live with them or was I going into a group home?  What would that be like?  I would have times when I was on top of my game and other times when I was shut down from uncertainty.  I went to a support group in Cambridge.  One time in the middle of group I interrupted everything and began writing one of my poems on the wall.  It was a disruption to the program but I didn't care.  Another time I interrupted everything and wrote a bunch of sentences in Braille.  I didn't find anything odd about that; I just couldn't contain myself.  I would get bored in meeting and start writing things in HTML code on my support plan.  I was learning HTML coding and DOS, as well as BASIC.  I had made my first home-made website but didn't have it hosted on anyone else's computer.  Of course I had my blog too, but I wanted an understanding of how to make a site from scratch.  I was very interested in computers then, and that too would stick with me.  I'm glad for the support group to teach me new coping skills and how to recognize warning signs that I might shut down.  I also volunteered at a Family Pathways Thrift Store.  One time my mind wasn't working so well and I skateboarded off on a donated board with no clue where I was going.  Al or my mom called me to get me to return.  I was out of it, I didn't think of them worrying or the danger I could have gotten into.  Eventually the time came for me to move into a group home.  I moved in in August 2012 and I became friends with my housemates.  I played basketball, Uno, and Monopoly with them.  I purchased a condenser mic and the quality of my recordings improved dramatically.  I eventually began working at Walmart, first a temp job in Dairy and Frozen then rehired for Produce & Bakery.  Again, I began thinking it would be cool to have a website besides my blog.  I learned to have a website you must first have a host and that some hosts also have apps for web-design.  I discovered Wix and decided that's what I wanted to use.  So one day working in produce I kept all sorts of notes on how I was going to design my website.  Oh what excitement I had!  I was going to invent Donny The Neoclassic, my website showcasing all of my interests!  It loved creating this site!  It was what all my computer studies were leading up to.  It was one of my proudest achievements.  But there would be more snags in the road though, because it became hard for me to live where I was and I was struggling with obsessive thoughts and insomnia.  I was hospitalized because I had a bad episode.  When I was hospitalized the first thing I did was 100 sit-ups punching my fists into the bathroom wall.  Boy was I sore the following days!  They X-rayed my hands to make sure I hadn't broken any bones.  But all in all being hospitalized was kind of a nice break.  I didn't have to worry about being annoyed by anyone, I didn't have to do any work, and I had plenty of time to make plans for my website.  I also had a game where anytime I saw Barack Obama on the TV I would throw my orange at it.  It was very amusing to my new friends there.  After a while I returned home and things were better.  I had a new sleep med to help me get rest.  I was also on the med Lamictal which helped level me out without turning me into a zombie.  I decided I wanted to quit Walmart and work at Options Inc.  This turned out to be a very good choice for me.  Working the job-sites of Options was lower stress and though I was still obsessing at first I believe the low stress was a big factor in me eventually overcoming my obsessions.  I was doing well, but still still wanted to move out.  Eventually I got to opportunity to move to a new group home within the same company.  I jumped on that and moved here!  I am very happy.  Sure there's still bumps in the road sometimes but life is good.      

 

                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                 

         

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile in America

GRUFFY AND SCRUFFY: HAMSTER HEROES

 

 

     *        *        *

           “Wake up you sorry excuse for an unsightly glob of hamster lard!” said a fair haired and intelligent yet bitter and twisted Minnesota ten-year-old, a ten-year-old who was always bullied at school.  The kids bullied him so he bullied his pet hamster even worse.

“Why do I even have such a waste of fur as you?  You’re not good for squat!  All I wanted was one hundred and fifty dollars for my birthday.  But I got you.”

          Odd as it may sound Jimmy Jam James was in a fairly good mood today. That is it was a good mood for him.  But he was still his bitter, sarcastic self. . . . some people!

          “I have to go to that crappy crab shack they call school today,” James grumbled.  Then he smiled mischievously…  “But don’t worry.  I’ll be back later to torment you.  You know…you are lucky!  You don’t have to go to school!  You just sit in that cage all day and do nothing.  To think that you, the scum of the Earth, get to take it so easy all the time is just sad!  I’m a human being!!!  And with my smarts, grace, and opposable thumbs I will get dispose of you.”

          “Thanks for the pep talk,” Gruffy gruffly thought.

          James grabbed his backpack and left the room.  Today, James’ passage down the stairs was…well it was different because he got a text message and made the near-fatal error of deciding to read it while he walked.  With much wailing and mashing of teeth, and as much grace as a hippopotamus attempting to ride a unicycle while juggling three jars of mayonnaise (not vary much grace at all), he tripped and spiraled through the air.  His head slammed against the wall knocking down a valuable donkey painting.  The taste of blood filled his mouth when his chin met the unfriendly wooden stairs.  He tumbled all the way to the floor where his locomotion ended with him on top of the framed painting.  The broken glass cover and crumpled parchment were under his back.  The brat was fortunate that none of the shards cut him through his sweater.

(we could’ve only hoped right?)

          Gruffy didn’t see what happened but heard enough of it. “Superior intellect and grace indeed , fucker!!” he said to himself, “That little fellow needs a brain transplant.  He calls me fat and useless and says all day I just lay around in my cage, but he never lets me out and what’s there to do in a rusty old cage.  Too bad our roles aren’t reversed!  He’d see how bad it is…”

          Then, the hamster lay down.  “I hope I can escape before the kid kills me!  Just a matter of time. . . Quit thinking like this, Gruffy.  You’re a smart hamster.  You’ll get out somehow.  Really the kid’s a nitwit”

Gruffy was sad so he decided to just go to sleep. 

          He dreamed of his childhood, when he played with the other hamsters in the pet shop for one healthy, happy year.  They played tag and arm wrestled and told hilarious jokes…

A flash back - - -

Scruffy took center stage.  “So the sweet potato said to the apple, I hate to admit that I’m a vegetable but I yam what I yam!”  The crowd laughed.

          “Speaking of vegetables if you thought that beans were the magical fruit you should check out turnips, those things really give you gas!  I had turnip stew and later I was practically blasting off from my own farts.  Lift off!  Huston we have a problem, the pilot has passed out from his own fumes!”  Scruffy was good at delivering humor, his voice and gestures were perfect.

          Now it was Gruffy’s turn.  He started with, “So I was very foolish.”

“Foolish enough… to swallow an entire roll of camera film because my ‘pal’ (he made air quotes) Scruffy dared me to do it.  And I got concerned about this, thought it might be bad for my health.  So I saw the doctor… and he just said ‘Well we’ll just have to wait and see what develops.’ 

          But I like photography.  You know that saying a picture is worth 1.000 words, that’s true… for color photography but what about an old black and white photo of nothing but spoons…  I bet that’s not even a sentence. Such warm and fuzzy memories…  Gruffy’s sleeping face went tense as he dreamed of ‘J-day’, the day he was picked out by James’ parents to be his pet.  No don’t pick me, no please don’t--“Time to play with the vermin!”  Gruffy was startled awake by the voice of James and tried to scurry away from the hand of James…  The hand he knew to be the source off all wickedness.  But it swooped in too fast and digged into hamster hide with long nails.  It put him in ‘liberty’ ball.  Then it aided the other hand in the construction of a huge race track.  The cardboard and tape track grew and grew… going throughout the house and outside the house… There were bonkersome bumps, lunical loops, severic spirals, jumbotacular jumps, and steepescent slopes in this cruel handiwork.  James also made a sleek black hotrod with blue flames painted on the sides.  This had an indent into which the ‘liberty’ ball with Gruffy inside it was to be fastened in by three strips of postage tape.

          There cowering at the beginning of the course, looking pathetically into his master’s proud eyes was our own Gruffy W. McScruff.

An uttered “squee-key,” was Gruffy’s plea to be set free.  But no James R. Samson’s smile only grew.    

“Sorry pal, I’m all out of crash test dummies so I had to find a substitute: YOU! On your marks! Get set! Go!”  James’ hand gave the car a nudge, sending it zooming down the slope!  Then, before he new it, Gruffy hit the first jump!  His car landed back on the track perfectly, heading for the tornado loops!  Around and around he went, feeling his brain plaster itself to the side of his skull as his body plastered itself to the side of the ball!  At the very top of tornado loop he shot off a jump through the window and into the damp dark sand tunnel outside.

          When he came out of the tunnel he startled the neighbor’s cat.  The cat, seeing the meal inside the ball, chased after the flying hotrod.  A dog saw the cat and chased after it.  Big Richy, the dogcatcher, followed the dog, a net clenched in his fat, dirty hands.  A chain of four units!  The track twisted and turned until it brought them into the house and upstairs into James’ room.  Then out another window it goes, weaving through the tree branches.  At this point the cat rammed into the wall headfirst.  The dog tried biting the cat, but missed so his jaws sunk into the wall.  The dog catcher tripped on James’ Nintendo and slammed into the wall so hard he knocked the whole thing down.  This sent himself and the dog, who was pulled off by his jaws, falling with the wall onto the highway.  Cars swerved out of the way honking.  The dizzy dogcatcher stood up slowly and put his net over the dog.  “Got him” he said and fainted.  The cat, still in James room, yawned and walked away from the display.  The hotrod drove down from the trees and ended in a series of loop-de-loops.

“Holy Halleluiah! Oh no! wh-what am I gunna do now!”  Then, the boy started to cry with his face pressed into the sofa.  He cried, and he cried, and he cried . . . . until he sat up, sniffed his nose, and found a dishonest solution.  “N-no body r-really needs to kn-know m-my part in this . . . .”

*        *        *

          Mom looked at the house with golf ball sized blue eyes.  Her knees wobbled around, buckling and unbuckling while going from side to side.  Her eyes shut.  And she started to fall.  Luckily, Dad who had been watching her caught her as she fainted.  But he accidentally dropped her, and very unfortunately too I might add, for she went face first into demonstratively   dyer dog dung, when he himself saw what happened to their home.  Then he stood up rigid and tense.  Face red, eyes wild, breath frantic.  He ran around the house ten times while screaming,

 

“RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

SSSSSSSSSSSSShhhhhhhhhhh!

NINE!  NINE!  NINE!  NINE!  NINE! NINE! NINE!

 GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

WA WA WA WA WAAAAAAAAAA!

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!”

 

After this was said he addressed his son, “What in Freddie Krueger’s name did you do to the house!?!?”

          And at light-speed James shot out:

“IT’S NOT MY FAULT!  IT’S NOT MY FAULT! REALLY, IT ISN’T!  IT’S THE DOG CATCHERS FAULT!  HE CAME IN CHASING THIS DOG, AND THE DOG RAN INTO MY ROOM AND HIT THE WALL, AND THE DOG CATCHER RAN INTO MY ROOM AND HIT THE WALL, AND HE WAS SOOOOOOOO FAT HE KNOCKED THE WALL OFF, AND OHHHHHHH MAN!  YOU GOTTA BELIEVE ME!” And then he started to cry and cry and cry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

“I’M SORRY D-DAD.  I JUST COULDN’T ST-STOP HIM,” he sniffed, snorted heavily, and went inside to his room, to sit in the corner that he went to when he misbehaved.  Dad just stood there trying to process it all, until he saw Mom wake up.  She still seemed very dizzy and she couldn’t stand up so Dad helped her up and walked her inside where he set her on their bed with her legs elevated.  He gingerly wiped her face with a wad of paper towels then he went to James’ room where he found him cuddling Gruffy.  While sitting facing the corner, “Why, Gruffy? WHY? Why am I blamed for everything bad that happens?”

          “Now James, you know that isn’t true.  Usually me and your mother blame the democrats for everything bad that happens, not you.”

          “You mean . . . you’re forgiving me for not stopping the dog catcher from crashing into the wall.”

          “Yes I am,” he said looking down at his ‘cute’ son.  “James, don’t you worry.  I’ll fix everything.  OK”

          “OK.”  Dad left the room.  “He bought it. . .” whispered James to himself.

*        *        *

          “We should file suit!” said Mom to Dad, “Who goes and CRASHES into a random strangers wall making the WHOLE THING just FALL off the building, let alone chase a dog into somebody’s house!!!”  It was obvious that the incident had put a bad taste in her mouth

*        *        *

          Then there was the lawsuit.  The dog catcher simply admitted responsibility for his actions and paid Mom and Dad for the damages and that was that.

*        *        *

          What is more exciting for the reader is what happened during the lawsuit. . .  James looked into his hamster’s eyes.  The hamster looked back then just rested in sorrow.  “Will there ever come the day when James will stop torturing me,” but James would never know of the hamster’s pain because he expressed it in his own language which to James only appeared like a session of hamster whimpering.  No, James would never know.

          Gruffy was tied to a model rocket.  James pressed the ignition button and up shot the rocket.  The hamster shrieked in agony as he flew higher and higher still until he could scream no longer.  Then the rocket slowed down and Gruffy was once again aware of gravity’s pull.  The engine exploded, causing a wave of hot air to shoot through the tube of the rocket and blast out the parachute and cone.  The explosion also caused Gruffy to slip from the strings that bound him to the rocket.  As the rocket glided gracefully downward, Gruffy was falling like a rock! 

          Gruffy was in his last seconds but it seemed like an hour. . .  Time its self slowing down to marvel at the spectacle before it. . .  The brave hamster excepting his fate. . .  Looking down at Gods green Earth. . .  Then landing with a small thud thereby becoming a bone crushed pancake. . .

Just kidding!  Gruffy landed on a wise old goose flying at the head of his grouping.  This disturbed the goose’s flight pattern, making him dive by 45 degrees. 

          “Who!?!  Why!?!  Where!?!  How!?!  . . .  Odds Fish, I seem to have taken on some extra luggage on this trip!”  said the goose with a heavy British accent

          “I come in peace!  I’m just a harmless hamster!”

          “I do say, how does a fat hamster such as yourself get so high in the air?”

          “James tied me to a rocket, and don’t call me fat!”

          “WHO did WHAT?” the wise old creature snickered.

          “It’s NOT funny!  I would have DIED hadn’t you been here to catch me!”

          “Sorry friend, but you’re telling me that a human tied you to one of their rockets!  That’s the weirdest story I’ve ever heard!  And I have many heard stories believe me!”

          “Well, would it be more believable for me to say that I flew up here?”

          “Hmmmm. . . .”

          “Never mind! Take me about a mile out, please.  I want to distance myself from my former owner, he’s kind of a prick!”

          “Of course.”

          And so they flew on looking downward over the trees, streams, houses, stores, cars, people, and pets.  It was truly a magnificent sight for Gruffy who had never flown before.  He also found interest in the fact that clouds weren’t really solid, but vaporous and that you could pass right through one.  They landed by a house in a neighborhood surrounded by woodland.           

          “Maybe we’ll do it again some time,” said Gruffy to his new friend.

          “Oh, yes!  We geese have organized a very good system of airlines for mice, hamsters, gophers and other mild mannered rodents.  We’ll get you anywhere you need to go.  Our nearest airline is in Cyrilla Beach.”

          “Thanks!  I do want to fly again.”

          The house he was by had its door slightly ajar and a rug that said welcome, so the curious hamster decided it would be acceptable to let himself inside.  He sneaked inside where he found a living room with a shabby looking farmer watching TV.  The brave hamster moved onward to find a pleasant looking housewife preparing supper.  At her feet was the most terrifying beast imaginable to the poor creature!  It was covered in orange striped fur and had four legs, a tail, an arched back, whiskers and a tongue which liked its lips at the sight of Gruffy.  Gruffy thinking fast decided that this cat couldn’t possibly be good news for him and ran underneath the refrigerator.  There he saw a hidden mouse hole in the wall.  The cat watched Gruffy scurry into the hole as she tried to swipe at him without success.  Almost instantly after walking into the hole Gruffy was seized by two sentry mice.  They lashed his front paws together and pulled him by the end of the lashing. 

*        *        *

            There were two families of mice, the Yeetvig and the Bippucks.  The leader mice never went into the house they stayed mostly within the walls or went outside with others in search of food.  They took care of food preservation, storage, cleaning, and organization. These mice now met at the council table where lay many stacks of paper having to do with things like the histories of both families, population of the mice who lived in the house, menus and upcoming events mixed among other things. 

          “I am Eazcow, the father mouse of the Yeetvig family.  We eat figs.”

          “I am Inhub, the father mouse of the Bippuck family.  We make big pucks.”    

          “Come forward, Hamster,” said Eazcow.  Gruffy was released by the sentries.  He sat at the council table between the two mice. “You have invaded our home and shown that blasted cat our mouse hole!  Now we may never again use that hole for the cat will be waiting for us there.  Now the only hole for us to use is on the east end of the house, and that is not enough for both our families.  That is why you will be forced to chew a new hole for us on this end.  In upstairs room of Abigail, the girl child.  Then you will be free to go.”

          “Tell me where to go and what to make holy,” said Gruffy.

          “Gladly,” said Inhub, “go up that tunnel over there.  Where it ends is where you dig into the wall.”  So Gruffy squeezed up through the tunnel in the wall.  When he came to its ending he started to chew.  Chewing through the pine wood was easy, but when he came to the maple wood of the wall he had difficulty.  He chewed and he chewed long into the night, then finally at the stroke of midnight he chewed through to the other side!  He widened the hole and crawled through. 

          “Pssst.  Over here.”

          “What?  Who said that?”

          “Over here in the corner.  I’m a hamster.  My name’s Scruffy.  Get me out of this cage.  The key’s over there, attached to her necklace,” he pointed to the sleeping girl’s ribbon necklace with the antique-style skeleton key.

          “OK.”  Gruffy scurried up slipped the necklace off of the girl.  He climbed strenuously up the cage with the large key in his clutches, unlocked the cage, and freed Scruffy.  “I’m Gruffy.  I was taken to this land by way of rocket and flying goose.  I ventured on into this house, the Jarwip and met with the mice folks who eat figs and make pucks.  They made me dig them a new mouse hole because I revealed their old one to the cat.”

          “. . . . . By way of rocket and flying goose?  What do you mean?”

          “My owner James was a douche.  He tied me to a rocket and when it exploded I fell onto a goose.  The goose took me here.”

          “Are you feeling well?”

          “I’m not crazy!  It happened! I’m serious!”

          “OK.  Stay put.”  Scruffy found a sweater on the floor and unraveled it until he had a very long strand and bit it off.  He tied one end of it to the bed post then climbed up to the open window with the other end and threw it out.  “OK, get up here and we’ll climb down this rope.”  Gruffy climbed up and then climbed down the rope to the ground followed by Scruffy. 

          “Now what?” asked Gruffy.

          “I don’t know, what do you think?”

          “ . . . . . . Well that one goose said he had an airline business.  And the nearest airline is stationed in Cyrilla Beach in Stearns County, MN.”

          “Right.  Well, then I guess we should go.  Let’s get a Minnesota State map to see which direction we must go from here.  There should be one in that car over there.”  Scruffy pointed to the car with its right window rolled down.  The two hamsters walked to the car.  Then climbed up the tree beside it.  From a low hanging branch they jumped into the car. 

          Inside the car they found a Minnesota State Map in the map pocket on the inside door.  They pulled the map out and threw it out the window from the seat and climbed up the door and out the window.

          Gruffy unfolded the map and looked it over.  “Looks like Cyrilla Beach is seven miles west!”  Gruffy said, turning left and pointing.

          “Let’s hitch hike on that road, there,” Scruffy pointed to the road at the houses driveway.

          “We’ll need to be at driver’s eye level.  I suggest sitting on a low hanging branch of this here tree!”

          “Yeah, you’re right.”  They climbed up the tree and sat down on a branch one and a half yards from the ground.  Just then a bald eagle named Gwen swooped down on them shrieking a shear eagle war cry.  The hamsters tried to run away but the eagle was too damn fast!!!  She grabbed them in her talons and flew up with them.  She carried them miles and miles.  They were very scared as hell!!!  What if the eagle dropped them?  They would plummet downward and hit the ground. SPLAT!

          “Where are you taking us?” asked Scruffy.

          “Grand Chenier, Louisiana.  It’s in the southern part of the state.  That’s where my boss, Albert the Alligator lives.  He wants to meet y’all to eat y’all! And when he has that glorious satisfaction of eating hamsters he will reward me with a potion to not be bald.  It’s embarrassing for a girl!”  So the hamsters remained in the eagles talons as it flew.  They were flying at a speed of twenty-five miles per hour.  The journey to the swamp seemed to take up a crap-ton of time as the two hamsters were sure they’d be made a meal within a breath.

          At the swamp waited an alligator reading a cook book, 101 Ways to Cook A Creature and he was paging through the hamster section.  “Hmmmm

Hamster cordon blue, hamster pot pie, Kentucky fried hamster, Broiled hamster, Hamster shish kabobs and Hamster meatloaf!  I’m starved!  If only I just had a hamster now…”

          “Hey boss!  I’m on it!  I’ve got two hamsters in my talons now!”

          “Good bring them here!!! Bwahahaha!!!”

          “Yes master.  Today’s weather forecast:  slightly cloudy with a one hundred percent chance of two hamsters getting mixed in a stir fry!”  The eagle dropped them into Albert’s scaled hands.  Just as he raised one of them to his nose to appreciate their scent and guess the year . . . SMACK!  Another alligator hit him over the head with a boulder.  He Fell down unconscious and released the hamsters. 

          “Mr. Alligator, you’re not going to eat us are you?” Scruffy asked.

          “No.  I’m trying to go down in history as the world’s first vegan alligator!” he said with pride.

          “Well I’m glad to hear that!  Allow me to introduce myself.  I’m Gruffy.”

          “And I’m Scruffy.”   

           “I’m Alex, Alex the alligator.”

          “It’s a pleasure to meet you,” said Scruffy.

          “The two of you hamsters better get away from here before that other alligator wakes up and tries to make a meal out of you again!”

          “Which way is it to the nearest town?” Scruffy asked.

          “That way,” said Alex, pointing to the right of the island they stood on.”

          “Gwen, the eagle!” said Gruffy

          “Don’t worry about her she flew away.  Just focus on hanging on to my head as I swim you across the swamp.”  So the two hamsters walked up the alligator’s tail, across his back, past his shoulders, up his neck and onto his head.

          “Mush!” cried the hamsters signaling the alligator to move forward.  They road him across and got off at the other side of the swamp.

          “Thanks for the ride,” said Gruffy.

          “Don’t mention it.”  The two hamsters walked to the road.  Just as they came to it a car stopped beside them.  Its door opened and a hand came out and grabbed Scruffy.  Gruffy jumped into a nearby pile of leaves but he could still see the car as it drove away.

          “I’ll follow that street until I come to the home of the scoundrel who kidnapped Scruffy,” the hamster thought out loud.

          “Yes,” said a humming bird, “That’s and exquisite idea.  That will find you at the laboratory of Professor D. Sturb’d!

“Good, I’ll just keep on going then.  Peace!”

          “Goodbye and good luck!”  So the hamster walked and walked following the street the whole way until he came to a giant building.  It had a large sign in front of it which read, “This is the Laboratory of Professor D. Sturb’d.” The door was open and Gruffy entered.  There were infra-red motion detectors shooting lasers all over the place and other security stuff like alarms, cameras and booby traps.  But it was all rather mismanaged.

          “This looks like a job for . . .” the hamster began, “THE POLICE!  I’ll call them at that phone booth outside.  He walked out the door and into the booth.  He got and answering machine saying, “Hello.  You’ve reached the police.  We probably are unavailable because we are stuffing ourselves with doughnuts at the present time.  Please leave a message with your name, number and any places you know that sell good doughnuts at discount prices.”

          “SON-OF-A-BISCUIT!!!  Guess I’ll just have to save Scruffy myself.”  He walked out of the telephone booth and back into the building.  Then before he knew it, the trap door he was standing on gave way and he went falling downward.  POOF!  He landed on a pillow in the middle of a room.  In one corner of the room there was a large stick of dynamite.  In the other corner there was a box of matches.

          “Gee,” said the hamster, “I wonder which mastermind came up with this inescapable haven!?”  There was an abundance of sarcasm in his comedic voice.  He walked to the matchbox, lit a match, and then lit a fuse.  The hamster ran like no fat hamster had run before trying to get away from the TNT and just as he got to the opposite wall. . .  KABLOOIE!  The wall was blown to blithering smithereens!  He waited for the dust to settle and in the other room stood Professor D. Sturb’d coughing and wiping dust out of his eyes with one hand.  Scruffy was in his other hand.  He bit him and the scientist let go.  PLOP.  He fell to the granite floor.  But the madman was too fast and grabbed both hamsters as fast as greased lightning.

          “FOOLS!  YOU ARE NOT GETTING AWAY TODAY BY JOVE!” said Professor D. Sturb’d.  “I have something diabolical in mind. . .and you!  You believed that room with dynamite was the best I could do to imprison you.  Ha-Ha!  That was merely a test. . . ”

/*  /*  Dun! Dun! Dun!  /*  /*

          Ring-a-ling-ling.  Ring-a-ling-ling.  The man’s cell phone was ringing so he caged the two hamsters and took the call.

          “Honey, I’m busy.”

          “Busy with what?”

          “For crepes sake, woman!  Science.  Science!!!  We talked about this, remember?  I’m the Thomas Edison of torture and experimentation!”

          “But our anniversary!”

          “That was LAST YEAR, I bought you weed killer, remember darling? When. When will it ever be enough?? CREPES!” then D. Sturb’d hung up like a tool.

          He became very giddy and pulled out four formulas from his drawer.

The bottled formulas were labeled: LIONS, TIGERS, BEARS, OH MY!”

Quickly, he set them down on his table and opened the cage.  He grabbed Scruffy and doused him in a dash of “OH MY”.  And magical mysteries!  Scruffy became a crab and pinched the poor professor’s hand. 

“Yeeouuch!!!  Okay if that’s they way it is!”  Professor D. Sturb’d doused him in the “BEARS” formula.  Scruffy became a teddy bear that couldn’t move a muscle.  And soul of wicked souls, D. Sturb’d ripped the head right off.  Scruffy felt moderate pain.  But he did not die, what you think I’d kill off a main character?  The manic magic of science was keeping him alive.  Gruffy had watched mortified.  Oh my God!  Who could ever be so cruel!?!  The mad scientist took out an electronic device shaped and colored like a giant fishing bobber.  It had a smile painted on the red side and a frown painted on the white side.  A pair of wires hung from each end of the orb and they had metal clamps on them.  He plugged it in and it began to hum as it took in its charge.  D. Sturb’d paced chuckling dementedly, waiting… waiting…waiting…

“Fully Charged.” the device narrated in a robotic voice.

“Excellent!” shouted the mad scientist thence grabbing Gruffy and clamping on the frown-sides wires to a helpless hamster.  Gruffy’s face frowned painfully hard, forced by the electromagnetic current! 

“Eureka!  It works!” shouted Professor D. Sturb’d.  He then switched Gruffy to the other two wires and made him smile painfully hard.  "ONE MORE hee-hee-who-ha DEVISE!" said that weird fucker.

"A HELMET OF DESTINY!!!!"  But just as he put on the helmet Gruffy threw a pebble at it, hitting the "eggplant" button and Professor Disturbed became an eggplant unable to harm a fly.  Gruffy and Scruffy scurried happily away chuckling.  “NUMBNUTS!!!” they shouted together.