Posts Tagged ‘Bayou St Bas’

ORLANDO, Fla

On September 2nd, 2015, the attention of the Central Florida community became centered on the home of exotic animal fetishist, Mike Kennedy, who admitted one of his three cobras had escaped its confines and was on the loose. Kennedy’s king cobra, an eight-foot venomous snake, has gone rogue somewhere in the Florida wilderness near Clarcona Elementary School where outdoor recess has been suspended indefinitely. Greater Orlando reacted in a panic; it’s flip-flop footed citizenry quickly converting to close-toed shoes. Snake-charmers from Calcutta and serpent-handling Pentecostal preachers from Appalachia descended upon West Orange County in order to seek out the slithering menace, a snake which could lift 1/3rd of its body off the ground in order to deliver a bite poisonous enough to kill an elephant. I snake known to stalk human prey before striking.

Mike Kennedy Central Florida’s panicked reaction was “over-the-top.”

Reality TV Dude Mike Kennedy displays his expertise controlling a cobra... which he eventually loosens upon the Florida citizenry.

Reality TV Dude Mike Kennedy displays his expertise controlling a cobra… a snake he eventually (accidentally) loosens upon the Florida citizenry.

The Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission cited Kennedy for not immediately reporting the missing cobra, but claims the exotic beast was kept legally on Kennedy’s pleasure ranch along with two other cobras, a diamondback rattlesnake, a Florida cottonmouth, a Gaboon viper, four pythons, a spotted leopard, four crocodiles and an alligator. Mike Kennedy is well-known for starring on Discovery Channel’s “Airplane Repo” and made infamous, just recently, for being an asshole.

asshole

asshole

gator attack#OrlandoCobra is only the most recent meme to absorb the collective paranoia of Florida. A month prior to the cobra scandal, a swimming woman had her arm bitten off by a 300-lb alligator just a few miles from Kennedy’s exotic fetish ranch. The incident occurred at the redneck resort, Wekiva Island, where your narrator, Vic Neverman, oft enjoys a morning of paddle-boarding and an afternoon sipping beer with the river folk. In these very waters, the dragon struck. Sentenced to death, the alligator was euthanized. A similar fate may very well be in store for the Orlando Cobra.

The cobra could be anywhere by now, preferably in the gullet of one of the local bald eagles. In anticipation of the worst, however, the peoples of Orlando’s northwestern hinterland (Apopka, Ocoee, Bayou St Basil and Forest City) are armed more than usual. Myself, I keep either my trusty machete or trustier tennis racket within reach at all times. Cyrus Lee Hancock, professional survivalist, prefers heavier artillery. I sought out the advice of the elusive Cyrus Lee, currently hiding out from the IRS in the foothills of Tennessee.

What weaponry would you carry while on walkabout in a place haunted by a king cobra?

IMG_2071A pitchfork should be enough to handle a cobra, but an assault rifle would definitely come in handy if the bastard tried to slither away. An assault rifle with a bayonet for anything in close proximity. Otherwise, a pitchfork would do nicely. Or a sub-assault rifle with flame-thrower. Yeah, that would burn the snake out of the scrub. No place to hide then but in the ground. Perhaps a back-hoe in case the snake did find a hole. A back-hoe with a flame-thrower. That would be optimal.

Having killed your fair share of alligators, what would you have handy whilst admiring the ladies at your favorite swimming hole?

Harpoon for sure. I mean, it looks cool anyway: flexing in front of the chicas in your board-shorts as you slide the harpoon out of your day-pack. ‘Don’t mind me; I’m just the love-child of Neptune and Venus, available for tanning oil rub-downs.’ A harpoon would be enough if one of the lovelies were attacked by a gator, but a bang-stick would be ideal to smash in its skull once it’s been harpooned and tired out.

Caesar Germanicus and Cyrus Lee Hancock prepare for a leisurely stroll through the Smoky Mountains

Caesar Germanicus and Cyrus Lee Hancock prepare for a well-armed leisurely stroll through the Smoky Mountains

You and I have worked for years writing the most authoritative hurricane survival guide ever which has allowed us to study how to handle rabies, deliver babies and out-punch an escaped-from-zoo rabid kangaroo. Through all of your research, what would you say are the most lethal risks in Florida nature? Other than, of course, the weather…

Well, you have the mosquitos. They carry dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, herpes…

I’m pretty sure mosquitos can’t carry herpes.

Of course they can carry herpes. Don’t be naïve. Mosquitos I would rank #10. #9 I would say is bears. Yeah, Florida bears are small enough for Goldilocks, but they are still ursine monsters. Bears have memories like elephants. Okay, maybe not, but if you piss one off, it will follow you, stalk your house from its tree perch, wait for you to take a nap in a hammock and then – WHAM! – it bites out your jugular and then spreads around acorns to make it look like squirrels did it.

Vic Neverman sips upon an adult beverage at Wekiva Island, site of the redneck revelry and alligator mauling

Vic Neverman sips an adult beverage at Wekiva Island, site of the redneck revelry and alligator mauling

I have never heard of black bears murdering napping humans in Florida. Or anywhere, ever. Heck, Jim Tusk’s pre-school heroic son, Bodhi, in his high-pitched roar, scared-off wayward bears in their Apopka neighborhood. This doesn’t sound like your level of perceived malevolence…

Bears get off easy because their crimes are always blamed on the squirrels. So the eighth worst threat in Florida is the squirrels. And the raccoons. And the feral children. You can lump them all in the same category because they basically all do the same thing: steal your garbage, bite through your brake-lines to sabotage your truck and they carry the bubonic plague in their lice. They do get a bad rap for the jugular biting from the bears, so let’s say bears are #8 and squirrels, raccoons and feral children are #9.

I don’t think that is true, the bit about the Bubonic plague.

If armadillos carry leprosy, then raccoons can carry the plague. So #7 is armadillos. Who wants leprosy, right? The sixth biggest natural risk in Florida is holes.

Holes?

Holes. Half of the missing person cases in North Florida can be attributed to sinkholes. With sinkholes the limestone just gives way and the earth swallows people up quicker than quicksand. Then you have the springs, which are seemingly peaceful passageways to the hollow inner-earth. Seemingly, but not so peaceful. Springs are just a toilet that flushes to Hades or whichever oblivion waits in the center of the earth. Doubt me? Just ask the scuba divers who wander down and are never seen again.

Jim Tusk and I have scuba dived dove diven dived the cave systems of Florida springs and can tell you the deaths are mostly caused by inexperience.

Inexperience and whichever water demons and sirens that lure swimmers and passersby to their doom. So yeah, #6 most lethal is the holes, though I am thinking about promoting this threat as it is pretty fucking hardcore. #5 is lightning. If it doesn’t hit you going down, that shit can then leap up out of the ground and hit you going back up. Ground lightning. I saw a dude once who got struck in the hand by ground lightning and the electricity came out of his fingertips.

Vic Neverman and Tusk after a successful cave dive north Florida

Vic and Tusk after a successful cave dive in North Florida.

You saw this yourself? The electricity coming out of his fingertips?

I didn’t say that. I just saw a dude and that dude once got struck by lightning. You’re not listening to me Vic. You never listen to me. And #5b would be spontaneous combustion. I don’t have any evidence this occurs any more often in Florida or that it is attributable to lightning, but at least three of my fraternity brothers have spontaneously combusted, leaving nothing but ash, a melted cell phone and broken hearts.

Weren’t you questioned in the disappearances of at least two of those three?

Maybe. #4 is sharks. Sharks should be number one, but only based on capability. In fact, sharks never live up to their predatory potential. They could be so much more. Even with the recent summers of frequent shark attacks, shark-on-man violence is less common than being stung-to-death by bees or wasps or Brazilian fire ants, which brings me to number three…

Wait – the statistics for shark bites are low because a vast population of the world is never wading in shark-infested waters. Aren’t the statistics much higher if you actually swim around the sandbars of the Florida coasts?

Whatever, dude. Statistics are for wonks. I am talking nature and nature gave sharks the ability to bite a chunk out of some choice fat-American rump and make a run for the Bahamas. Sharks could do so much more with the right leadership – thigh-bite then high-tail. Sure, eventually no one would go to the beach anymore and/or the sharks would be wiped-out by retributive hunters, but in the meantime, it would be a free buffet – cafeteria style with all the country-gravy they like. But this doesn’t happen. Why? Because sharks are too damn docile. Thusly, they are only #4.

Okay, so what are your top three lethal threats in Florida? Does the chupacabra or the skunk-ape sneak in there?

You are a strange hombre, Victor. Mythological beasts do not enter my top threats because myths aren’t real, like, literally.

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

Cyrus Lee Hancock helicoptering in the Himalaya

They are real to the popular collective consciousness – the paranoia of the people – therefore they are a perceived risk.

Delusional risk. In Nepal, I had a Sherpa who kept dreaming about a Yeti fucking his wife, which was somewhat true, but there was no Yeti, no abdominal snowman, no abominable snowman either. The stench was just Kathmandu and the pungent yak-milk moonshine the street urchins vomit in the gutters outside your hostel. His wife’s bastard offspring is far too handsome to resemble my Sherpa, but you cannot blame that on a Neanderthal wandering the Himalaya. Crypto-animals are just the boogeymen we blame when things go wrong. So no, I am not concerned with a skunk-ape stealing children from backyards or your Puerto Rican goat-sucker killing the alpaca livestock.

Okay, so what are your top three threats in Florida?

Well, gators, obvi. And snakes, especially with all of the exotics sneaking into the Everglades. Your king cobra is frightening, but Florida is now a hot-bed of Burmese pythons gulping deer and kitty cats and the occasional wayward child. So gators and snakes are #2 & 3, whichever way you want to cut it. And put bees, wasps and ants in there somewhere. Lie in grass for longer than five minutes and you are risking consumption by Brazilian fire ants. Florida risk #1 is easy – people: the psychopathic meatloaf that makes up Florida’s population. In Orlando alone, you have Casey Anthony, George Zimmerman and Tiger Woods. It is a strange stew of meat here, amigo: too sunburnt, too dehydrated, too crazy from the heat. Everyone from the colder climes wants to live in Florida and those who don’t have a retirement plan come down early to sell drugs or turn gigolo or become real estate agents. Fucking riffraff clogging the drain.

When we were preparing for the Mayan Apocalypse in 2012, I recall you mentioning your neighbors as a bigger threat than the reversal of magnetic poles, meteorites or tsunamic flooding. At the time, I thought you were concerned with a zombie uprising of neighborly unded, but it appears you just distrust Floridians in general…

Florida is already full of zombies, which is why I am not planning on returning any time soon. It was a mistake for us to weather the Maya Apocalypse in Florida because as soon as shit hit the fan, all of those fucking Nazi neighbors became blood-thirsty warlords. If we spent 2012 in Tennessee, we could have counted on the true neighborly Christians and moonshiners to help us through. If the Maya or the Inca or the Khmer or the Eskimos or the stone-heads of Easter Island predict another apocalypse, I recommend getting the hell out of Florida. Just to get away from the people, let alone the gators and mosquitos and escaped rabid kangaroos.

If there were one animal you wouldn’t want to confront during a hurricane or another Maya apocalypse, which animal would that be?

You know the answer: damn hippopotamuses. You can run down to Colombia all you like to look after Pablo’s hippos, but consider me disinterested. I don’t want anything to do with those buck-toothed beasties.

BAYOU SAINT BASIL, Fla

It was called the greatest sporting day in decades.

Vic down by the Bayou, investigating the latest raccoon atrocity.

Vic down by the Bayou, investigating the latest raccoon atrocity.

Cocktail hour comes early on Derby Day. Across the bog that moistens my doorstep, on the opposite shore, is Odin’s Spit, a filthy stretch of black-dirt beach spilling forth from the shade of pine trees like a fold of abdominal flesh overcoming a waistband. On any common weekday, the pontoon boats and jet-skis start to lineup around 6pm as the local swamp-folk finish toiling at the outlet shopping mall kiosks and return to Bayou St Basil to unwind with a good many cocktail and country music crooning in bathing attire that hasn’t looked good on them in 27 years, nearly half of their life ago. This, however, isn’t any common weekday; this day in question is a Saturday. Derby Day, no less.

It wasn’t half passed 7am before the droning buzz of jet-skis woke me from my recuperative slumber. Fell asleep outside again, holding onto a glass formerly containing what was likely a flavorful elixir of botanicals bathed in rum or gin. Whatever may had spilled on my Van Halen reunion tour shirt would have evaporated in the night to the din of the screeching sister-fucking raccoons clawing after Manchurian flavored Styrofoam containers thieved from nearby refuse containers. By 9am, Odin’s Spit is aflame with sunburnt bog people, brunching on cheap cinnamon candied-whiskies and fellatio-by-proximity.

I wouldn’t say there is a Derby Day tradition here at St Bas Trailer Park. For a while, the ruling matriarch Queen Georgia (God rest her blaspheming soul), set a standard with flamboyant hats and mint-julip inspired cocktails, which were little more than Bacardi & Sprite with green food coloring. Nonetheless, you’d hear Queen Georgia’s smoky-throated catcalls to the pontoon boat captains, “I feel like such a slutty debutante and I am as stoned as Mary-fucking-Magdalene!” I shouldn’t speak poorly of Queen Georgia. I still feel guilty about the words overheard by her widower’d boyfriend who collected her remains while in his sandals, jean shorts and prison-tattooed sleeves… prison tattooed arms despite his never spending more than weekends in jail for illegal possession or soliciting a minor.

One of the feral kids came by with a tin can full of pennies and started speaking the clicks and hoots of the language of birds he and the other feral bastards speak to each other. I tossed a disposed corn cob at the child and despite the projectile’s lack of edible kernels, the feral bastard was content to gnaw on the rind with his eerie shark teeth and leave me to my freshly brewed coffee.

“Derby Day, Boss.” One of the Jamaicans from next door happened by. He wanted to bet on horseflesh, as did I; but I don’t piss in my backyard, as it were. He hung around to share a cigarette, which I didn’t want, and to chat. All was bombocloth and other fuckery I didn’t understand. I asked him if he ‘Rasta’ with all dem dreads and he just shine a smile, laugh and ebb like slack tide.

derby dayLONGWOOD, Fla

I took the county bus towards Casselberry – hopping on the metro three stops further east than I needed to, hopping off two stops earlier than necessary, all to disassociate myself from a regular travelling pattern – and then walked the rest of the way towards the Jai Lai arena. There’s a Cuban sandwich joint I go to when I need to spend money to get money. I used to do the majority of my gambling in the back room at The Copper Rocket, but since the Governor shut them down, I have been something of a gambling vagabond having brief, illicit, one-night affairs with various bookies of varying degrees of sketchy aftershave. Manulito is a cool fucking cat. He’s old enough to have ears like satellite dishes. They say the ears and the nose keep growing the older you get and this Manulito must have more tree rings than half the oaks in Seminole County. The white fluffy hair sprouting out of those elephantine ears is almost reminiscent of Spanish moss, completing the oak tree analogy.

Doc Kelly showed up. I had Manulito place a call and sure enough, the dude showed… the nerve. Manulito pressed a couple breakfast sandwiches as Doc and I sat down to pretend to read Spanish newspapers and sip café con leche as if we weren’t already both over-caffeinated. Doc was getting over the flu, as was I, both of us independently suffering this last week. We hadn’t seen each other in two weeks, which made me think Doc was kissing on my girl again. Not that she was my girl and maybe he even tipped her better, but nevertheless, I have been drinking more NyQuil than beer this week and I blamed Doc for these ills one way or another.

Boxing Floyd Manny

A Place (To Place Bets)

There is a thing called “the Gambler’s Fallacy” which is the belief that after so many strokes of a certain type of luck, that luck must turn. For example, if you flip a coin and it lands “heads” three times in a row, you might think the next flip has to be “tails” because chance would suggest so… and that would be false. Fallacy. The flip you make is still a 50% chance of “tails” regardless of whichever shit occurred prior.

Similarly, you could keep betting that a crooked sport is eventually going to go straight-arrow and this too would be fallacy. This Manny Pacquiao versus Floyd Mayweather fight has generated such an ungodly amount of money it should be seen in the same lens as a MARVEL: AVENGERS movie. There are too many parties involved, the stakes are too high; you must make one with the promise of another, regardless of how it cheapens the event. Even if there is moral outrage in the streets of the world on Sunday over the scripted nature of this fight, it has to be fixed and those who fix it will become all the more profitable regardless of the shame cast upon them. So dig this: in December, when this ‘greatest fight of the fucking millennium’ was announced, there were 24:1 odds of a draw. Those odds are currently 10:1 for the stalemate. I don’t think Floyd or Manny will take a fall, but I do believe they will be in on the ruse and fight for a stalemate, which would insist on a sequel. For all the money they may be worth, they would be worth a lot more if they could fight this match again.

Politics, Boxing and Horseflesh will never be fair game as long as the power and control are in the hands of the financiers.

I put a few paychecks on a Pacquiao/Mayweather draw and I spilt my pizza delivery tip jar in the direction of American Pharaoh to win the Kentucky Derby. I put a Bitcoin down on the San Antonio Spurs plus 2 in Game 7, for the sake of nostalgia if nothing else. Nothing I can’t lose.

Doc Kelly asked if I could clean myself up by the afternoon. Did I have a smoking jacket and a pair of slacks? He finagled our names onto the invite list for a Derby Day/Fight-Night gala with the Lake Osceola Yacht and Leisure Club and I needed to present myself as a decent Florida gentleman. I stopped by the backdoor of the Bosniak-run dry-cleaners and bought someone’s tuxedo off the meat rack for $20 and my favorite pair of flip-flops. All I need now are the cufflinks.

The Good Money’s on Floyd/Manny Draw…. Shake it and roll! Yahtzee!

THE OUTCOME: vic breaks even

Mayweather vs Pacquiao: Vic bet on the draw and Floyd Mayweather won convincingly.

Kentucky Derby: Vic bet on American Pharaoh and American Pharaoh won!

NBA: Vic bet Spurs +2 and the Clippers won by 2 – it’s a push.

Vic and Doc at the Derby party...

Vic and Doc at the Derby party…

ORLAKA, Fla

The town of Sanlando was founded by a random mountebank snake-oil sapper a bygone era ago as the perfect crossroads between Orlando and Sanford where commerce over hootch, cattle and enslaved Chinese rail workers could commence. Neighboring Orlaka was similarly plotted out, a township to benefit off its central position between the budding fantasyland of Orlando and the feral rurality of Apopka. Today Orlaka sits as an incorporated stretch of parking lots and abandoned outlet stores where naked mannequins gaze through the foggy windows as persistent voyeurs long after the rigor mortis set in. Bayou St Bas Trailer Park lies under the outermost armpit of Orlaka and I, Vic Neverman, hide within the densest fringe of the trailer park. Proximity to Orlaka is what brought me to Orlaka’s only voting precinct, housed in Two-Tone’s Bait & Tackle, a veritable den of rabid opossum masquerading as a country-store gas station.

Thusly, I voted.

Two-Tone’s Bait & Tackle hosts the closest deli counter to Bayou St Bas Trailer Park where all of yesterday’s leftovers have been refried and put on display with the pride of a finely-aged Parisian whore stoned into nostalgic oblivion via opiate (more or less). The tuna-melt was the special of the day. Within Two-Tone’s Bait & Tackle there was a clothing aisle featuring camouflaged t-shirts with “Merika!” written in red, white, etc., and an accessory section featuring reader’s digest Bibles, gator claw key-chains and ammunition belts. Two-Tone, (adequately named, perhaps for the liver spots that blight his bald gourde of a head), oversaw the cashier counter beneath towering displays of energy elixirs and tiger penis erectile dysfunction miracle cures. In the back of the store, Two-Tone was sensible enough to take out a bed sheet (perhaps it was once white?)(featuring centrally located eye-holes presumably used as a Halloween costume or as the applicable outerwear for the Grand Dragon’s latest potluck cross-burning) which he draped over the rear wall of VHS pornography to conceal the collection from the good citizens of Orlaka and Bayou Saint Basil doing their civic duty by waiting in line and breathing-in the fumes of each of the others in order to cast their vote.

On the ballot for this mid-term 2014 election was the Amendment 2 option for Medicinal Marijuana. While I am not the foremost protagonist for the legalization of weed, I am certainly in favor of decriminalization. I think it should be at least moderately inconvenient for the youth of America to get weed, but I certainly do not think we should be locking people in prison for possession unless their intent is to barter to Kindergarteners in exchange for milk money. Amendment 2, however, is not the recreational free-for-all already approved by Colorado, Washington and most recently Oregon. Amendment 2 is about providing an alternative medicine to assist the legitimately pained. The Amendment needed 60% of the vote to pass and it fell short by 3 points.

If you could see my fellow civilians in line on voting day, you would wonder why they would think an alternative to current medicine was unnecessary. Every one of them appeared plagued with some sort of vicious ailment they sneezed haphazardly without the self-awareness to blow their excretion into an Amerika! handkerchief. Other than Two-Tone’s scurvied liver spots, there were cases of dengue fever, daycare crud, a Venezuelan dentist who caught myxomatosis from his pet rabbits, and most everyone else appeared obese and/or suffering dropsy. Also in line, but hiding from me behind a stand of naked mermaid postcards, was silver-mane Samson, who owed me $40 and whose useless (DUI-suspended) driver’s license I was holding captive until he paid me back. Samson, half-assed, barefoot, ex-con drug dealer he was, could use the medicinal marijuana to help the chronic back pain he’s suffered since dozens of his vertebrae were turned to dust after multiple falls during his cat-burglary days. How he was voting as a convict without a driver’s license leads me to guess some sort of fraud was at hand, but either way he was likely voting against medicinal marijuana (despite his best interests) because of the immediate profit he makes at the first of the month selling his prescribed painkillers to fellow members of his Alcoholics Anonymous group. Samson and 43% of my fellow Floridians decided they didn’t want medicinal marijuana, just enough to toss out the amendment.

Why the hate for medicinal marijuana?

Disregard the argument of whether marijuana is useful or not as a healthcare tool for the sake of this discussion. What I want to focus on is not the potential benefit, but who, exactly, is fighting against the legalization of medicinal marijuana.

The primary anti-MJ lobby group is Drug Free America. Why they think that marijuana is worse than the prescribed painkillers handed out like candy corn at a going-out-of-business Halloween emporium is beyond me. I know plenty of Oxy dependents who have committed suicide, yet if you check-in on all my simple stoner pals, they are humming along nicely. For fuck’s sake, take my dear Aunty Wacko* who’s been addicted to Big Pharma handouts for the last few decades, leaving her upriver and institutionalized, she could use more cannabis in her life… anything that could ease the pain and get her off of Big Pharma’s anti-crazy crazy pills.

*It should be noted my generation of cousins in the Appalachian Douglas Clan is the first to not have a member committed to some asylum or another, which is a pattern that has occurred ever since our ancestors devised a scheme to stack up rocks at Stonehenge. According to my kin, good money is on Vic Neverman being the first of the GenX ilk in the nuthouse though my millenialist 2nd and 3rd cousins have plenty to offer.

Drug Free America is the same as any other lobbyist group – they are a not-for-profit agency taking handouts to get their executives nice payouts. The cute and fluffy name is a façade. They are, as an organization, utter bullshit. Any movement working against drugs, yet working in favor of Big Pharma’s pain prescriptions, is practicing chicanery at its worst.

Who is funding Drug Free Merika! in their anti-marijuana efforts?

Follow the money.

Who doesn’t want decriminalization of Marijuana (an eventual stepping stone from Amendment 2, antagonists say)? The privatized prison system which needs prisons at 95% occupancy to remain profitable. Who doesn’t want the legalization of recreational Marijuana (an eventual stepping stone from Amendment 2, antagonists say)? Big fucking Tobacco, who doesn’t want to lose ground to the cannabis cigareteers. Who doesn’t want the legalization of Medicinal Marijuana (which actually applies to Amendment 2)? Big Pharma. Big fucking chicken Pharma with a side of spaghetti.

Following the money… things get interesting.

Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate from Las Vegas has invested some 5.5 million bucks in the fight against medicinal marijuana in Florida. Why the fuck? Reasons. But what reasons? Sheldon Adelson has not been investing money in other marijuana legislation around the country (medicinal marijuana is legal in 23 states, last I counted). Why now fight it in Florida? Fuck does Sheldon care?

I decided to take this question to my step-father’s liquor cabinet.

MOSQUITO SHORES, Fla

It took the moon a long draw on night before it descended on the Gulf of Mexico. From a luxurious condominium balcony looking indefinitely west towards Cozumel, Galveston, or a truck-stop taco stand in-between, I sniffed a snifter of 10 year Armagnac mixed with Benedictine & Brandy. It was like drinking out of a thimble, but the concoction did its job discouraging the repulsion rising up my gullet at the current state of the union. Beside me, working his own thimble beneath his Victorian mustache was Fire Chief Wayne**, the former fireman from Miami who made substantial wealth in hustling land developers and socio-snobs at South Florida country clubs. After a career of under-handed backhands on the court, swindly wedges on the greens and duplicitous English on the billiard tables, Fire Chief Wayne decided to retire on the sleepy west-side of Florida, but not too sleepy to keep him from dipping his toes into the game.

**Fire Chief Wayne married the NeverMum, which is why he bothers with mangrove jetsam like Vic Neverman when the likes of me washes up on his doorstep with many a thirst.

“You want to know why Adelson is putting money into Florida?” My wizened step-dad (“call me ‘Chief’”) assumed correctly. “Don’t be short-sighted. 2014 is not the endgame. The republicans in the state legislature are against Amendment 2, but they are always cutting Mary’s budget to pay Paul to buy enough cheap beer to last the weekend. Tallahassee bureaucrats are nothing more than a bunch of criminal law majors who failed the bar exam and have just enough trust fund left to start a campaign based on their father’s name. If they are going to fight against Medicinal Marijuana, they are going to need Adelson’s checkbook.”

“Why is Sheldon Adelson against medicinal marijuana here when he has ignored this fight in other states?”

“Again, you are being short-sighted.” My wizened step-dad Chief corrected me. “This isn’t about 2014, it is about future back scratching.”

“So…” the pupil conjectured. “You scratch my back now, I scratch your back later… but what is later?”

“Slot machines.” Fire Chief Wayne swallowed the rest of his thimble. “Adelson is a Vegas Casino developer. He is trying to get his mitts on Florida without relying on Native Americans selling reservation rights. Adelson wants to put a casino in every cruise ship port, along International Drive in Orlando, at the Daytona Speedway. Adelson wants to expand his Vegas reach to Florida.”

The slot machines in my head all went cherry as the obvious was presented to me. Why would a casino developer invest in an anti-marijuana fight? To earn enough back-scratching favors to propose legislature in the next round of political blackjack to expand his casino empire.

God bless Merika!

Fire Chief Wayne wasn’t done. “It doesn’t end there, Vic. Your mother doesn’t want me to get your indigestion all fired up, but I think you ought to know exactly what is happening. When we visited your mother’s infirm sister…”

“Aunty Wacko?” I inquired, eyes moistening.

“Yes, just the one.” Chief admitted. “We were casually discussing with her this election so she might be aware of the stakes. We were not the first to speak to her. Apparently, there are conservative groups visiting nursing homes to convince the feeble-minded that ‘Reefer Madness’ is upon us and unless they stand-up to the Amendment 2 menace, all of their sons and grandsons are going to waste away in a cloud of cannabis.”

“But that is nonsense.” I said.

“Just nonsensical enough for your mother’s sister to believe.” Fire Chief Wayne said. “It took us half an hour to convince her it was just propaganda, but by then it was too late as she woke the next morning re-brainwashed. The propagandists had burned an idea into her head. Standard Cold War era reprogramming, just this time with the certifiably insane who just so happened to still have the right to vote.”

I wish this were an exaggeration, but it is not. Sheldon Adelson, in his attempt to impale Florida with slot machines, has gone so far as to establish a grassroots campaign to re-educate the infirm within nursing homes in order to sway them to his cause. If keeping a potentially valid medicine away from the sickened is not amoral enough, what sort of depths must these bastards sink in order to brainwash the ill to vote against a treatment that might just help them?

Needless to say, the indigestion has been ignited. I’m fucking pissed.

BAYOU ST BASIL, Fla

They say when the angels fell they fell here and went straight on through. This was dry land before the Fallen riddled it with holes. Forty days, forty nights of rain and you get this… the Bayou.

– “Air Commander”, the watchman and folklorist of St Bas Trailer Park

The rain had been steady for a week with more of the same en route. The consistently pouty gray sky was reminiscent of the Pac NW; this jungle rain, however, was plump, relentless and cunning, warm and lustful, crawling through your clothes to moisten every tainted stretch of your sweat-stickied flesh, much like the pierced-lip trollop of lot 19.

The homes of St Bas Trailer Park required every spare cinder block to keep the village afloat. For those who slept at night, sleep came fitfully amidst the din of croaking bullfrogs and buzzing insectual horde which barely outnumbered the drops of rain drumming the tin roof. Such sleep was to be interrupted regularly by the raccoon disputes over remaining terrain with their high-pitched screeching and low-claw disemboweling. Crying ibis couldn’t carry a tune under the pounce of feral cats and those feral cats were commonly spine-crushed by the talons of the resident demoniac owl seeking nocturnal justice. The rise of dawn found a miscellany of cadaver and those bodies uncollected by black vultures would be swallowed by enterprising semi-terrestrial catfish. Circle of life in Bayou Saint Basil.

The HMS Banshee, Cyrus Lee Hancock's Argo between Scylla and Charybdis

The HMS Banshee, Cyrus Lee Hancock’s Argo

On the morning of Cyrus Lee Hancock’s arrival, I was awoken twice before 9 am by the ringtone of my phone courtesy of the neighborhood drunk (aye, all us were qualified, but he more so), Samson, who asked me to drive to local gas station and procure four-pack of Catawampus Malt Liquor to quell his overly sentimental spirits on this dreary morning. I attempted to reason with the gravelly voice, but he seemed unfazed & undeterred with blasphemy. When would be a good time, he asked. When I had nothing better to do than cater to his weakness, I responded. Samson did hold blackmail over me, but it was a self-incriminating card he carried and he lacked the resolve for mutual assured destruction.

Alas, I was awake and heavily invested in caffeine by the time Cyrus Lee Hancock arrived knocking at the front door, leaving Latter Day Saint paraphernalia at the doorstep and then circling around to climb through the shrubbery and into the open window as we had discussed. Certain measures are necessary to thwart observation. Cyrus Lee was taller than I remembered, more tattooed than I recalled, yet still a pretty-boy young buck punk despite the hard years he had already lived traipsing around Nepal and East Orlando. “How’s it going?”

Dragon Slayer: Cyrus Lee's sandled foot betwixt the slain

Dragon Slayer: Cyrus Lee’s sandled foot betwixt the slain

“Fair to middling.”

Taking a look around the Neverman abode, his attention was lassoed by the piled coils of varying slack & knotted rope. His intuition was commendable, “What’s this, signs of a new romantic interest?”

“Her dream is to sail the world. My experience sailing ended when I had to be rescued by the Coast Guard when lost at sea as a twelve-year old. I figured I would better my acumen by first learning how to tie a knot.”

Cyrus Lee tested the strength of my Alpine Butterfly knot, “Kinky. Alright, who is she?”

“Anastasia. A Ukrainian studying linguistics in Turkey.”

“Jesus, man. How often do you see her?”

“Haven’t yet. I’d fly to Istanbul to meet her, but I am pretty sure I would be held captive for ransom and/or released sans kidney.”

Cyrus Lee Hancock let out an exhaled breath of mirth and his grin stretched something crocodilian. “You’re in with a Ukrainian catfishing from Turkey looking to harvest your kidneys?”

“Yes” admitting, “Kiev is too dangerous for organ harvesters, so the Ukrainians have setup shop in Asia Minor. Anastasia is beautiful, though. Her eyes are vexing and pull at my loins like a rickshaw. It is difficult not to follow.”

“A rickshaw? So this is serious. Are you certain she only loves you for your organs? At least, just the internal ones?”

“Am I sure? Fair to middling. I told her I was eighteen and didn’t drink, so she has a high affection for the pristine quality of my liver.”

“Love has to start with a spark, right?” Cyrus Lee Hancock, the romantic optimist, smiled approvingly.

We cracked open a few beers and toasted, “First one today.”

Cyrus Lee Hancock formerly inhabited Middle Florida. When I met him, he was king of a survivalist compound in East Orlando. I was living in my sister’s attic at the time and she introduced me to this rogue in attempt to acclimatize her brother back into society after years of his living in an Oregonian hippie commune. Never did the NeverSister realize her mistake: Cyrus Lee was a swashbuckling charlatan in need of a biographer and her brother was a vagabond in search of mission. Acquaintances made, a partnership was sealed. Over time, Cyrus Lee and I would sink into various disagreements until we swore oaths of mutual antagonism. Each time, however, peace was brokered by his lovely wife whose batting eyelashes and knack for diplomacy reunited the band for one last tour. We all became rich during Cyrus Lee Hancock’s survival campaign against the Maya Apocalypse of 2012. When 2013 arrived with barely a dent, the IRS sought Cyrus Lee to find his apocalyptic compound sold to condo developers and the survivalist communities embezzled into off-shore accounts. Cyrus Lee had evaporated into the ether only to emerge in the shadows of the Himalaya. Late 2013, Cyrus Lee and his wife would resettle in Tennessee as born-again Christians starting a rapture-inspired cult and it would take his wife’s eyelash batting and diplomatic swagger to convince me to smuggle the remaining Hancock arsenal out of Orlando and up to Nashville, which I did for a handsome fee.

Cyrus Lee wakes to find himself covered in shaving cream.

Cyrus Lee wakes to find himself covered in shaving cream.

What brought Cyrus Lee back to Middle Florida? Just a friendly bout of gator-poaching. Cyrus Lee was wet with the blood of three 9 foot-plus alligators which he sold to boot manufacturers. We cracked open a few more beers first one today! and he elaborated on the endorphin rush accompanying the harpooning and slaying of 500 lb dragons. While I had hunted crocodiles in Cuba and the Amazon, it was catch-and-release for the sake of SCIENCE*. I was wont to remind Cyrus Lee the difference between a man of reason & progress and a predator for shits, giggles, boots & purses. He was wont to extend his middle digits.

*Working with the Universidad de Habana and University of Kent, respectively

Our reunion at St Bas Trailer Park was disrupted by a knock at the door. It was Samson. Yeah, hey Vic, I am real sorry about waking you, man. I was wondering, if you are not busy… Samson had run out of beer. Where blasphemies failed, threats with Cyrus Lee’s alligator harpoon succeeded.

“What the fuck have you got yourself into, bro?” Cyrus Lee Hancock inquired after the departure of my neighbor.

The story of Samson, the middle-aged, silver-mane Florida chump with bare feet is a convoluted one. Formerly, he was just a random dude I oft spotted carrying a suitcase of cheap domestic swill home from GazMart up yonder near the freeway. At one point, I lent money to a desperate neighbor in need (embed parasite into host body). It should be mentioned, Samson had come in handy. If I was going to be away from the Bayou, a six-pack of cheap swill would win enough allegiance out of Samson for him to camp out and keep watch over my home for any snooping feral children or police state goons. Ultimately, he was a shitty guard and would fall asleep as soon as he ran out of cocaine. He also admitted his friends call him “Beetlejuice” after the Tim Burton/Michael Keaton character because of his silver hair and scratched-to-shit voice.

Samson was a typical University of Florida Lit Grad who ended up as a half-assed drug dealer

Samson was a typical University of Florida Lit Grad who ended up as a half-assed drug dealer

“It was hard for me to return from Africa. If it weren’t for Qatari assassins, Ebola and an empty bank account, I might still be there.” I admitted to Cyrus Lee Hancock. “And when I did come back to the Bayou, I found shit for luck. Lightning ripped through both my surge protector and high definition television. My lawyer left me for more prestigious clientele. And I contracted a chigger infestation. My summer in North Africa was a lap of luxury in comparison to my homecoming. Then I found Samson. He is so karmically unbalanced, he is a lightning rod for shit luck and he keeps Lady misFortune occupied.

“Example?” Cyrus Lee asked while cracking open another can of some high priced snobbish hop-fest beer I forced upon him. “First one today.”

“Example. Okay, this guy was a thief when he was a kid. At the age of 18, he burglarized an empty house and stole several antique rifles and dueling pistols. He sold his loot for $10,000, but he left his prints at the scene of the crime. A warrant was issued for his arrest, but it wasn’t for burglary, it was for armed robbery. There was no one there in the house to rob and the only arms he had were the Portuguese dueling pistols from 1683 and the civil war era rifle, neither of which were any use as a firing weapon. So the dude was on the lam and spent several years hiding out in Louisville before being caught and serving a few years in prison for an exaggerated crime.”

“Shit for luck.” Cyrus Lee agreed. “Is he just a street vagrant? Or does he have a job?”

“As a self-described ‘half-assed drug-dealer’. He also collects disability. He even has an ‘Obama Phone’ which he calls me with when he thinks I am ignoring calls from his other phones. He works as a laborer, but always under the table in cash. At the first of the month, he receives a cornucopia of prescription pain pills which he sells at his Alcoholics Anon meetings and then pays off his debts to me, his coke dealers, etcetera. After the pill mills were shut down by State Attorney Pam, Samson can make quite a bit of money by selling off his legit pain meds.”

Kicking Ass and Taking Names, Pam

Kicking Ass and Taking Names, Pam

“So he has equity. Perfect.” Cyrus Lee said. “Who was the bearded asshole stink-eyeing me from the edge of the bog with his mongrels?”

“That’s Air Commander Bubba. Good sort, really. He and I broke up a bunch of wife-beating redneck jet-ski douche from drowning their mistresses when we yelled threats across the bog at their incest cluster fuck party until they saddled up on their crotch-rocket watercraft and left for the moral low-ground elsewhere. During the summer, these waters are filled with the lowest dregs of upright ape. Air Commander keeps watch over St Bas Trailer Park and while he doesn’t exactly like me, there is a hint of respect. When I returned from Africa, he stink-eyed my approach and said I hadn’t been around so long he was about to start sniffing around my place, as in, smelling for a corpse. Retired Air Force and good people; don’t worry about Bubba.”

Leaving the security of my home for the water world outside, Cyrus Lee Hancock and I wandered the swamped thoroughfares towards the edge of the suburbia frontier in order to visit my favorite beer slinging barkeep, Jade Sunderbruck. First one today! Cyrus Lee and I clinked our similar glasses of craft ale as the beer goddess Jade smiled from on high. I struck at Cyrus Lee’s intellect in search of opinion: what of ISIS/ISIL, what of Ukraine, what of sleeper cells in America?

“Better to get our house in order by daylight, my friend.” Cyrus Lee said. “For tonight, we drink.”

And for the first time today, more or less, we did. Until Jade kicked us out.

BAYOU SAINT BASIL, Fla

I’ve been framed.

Mystère de l’irrévérence absurde sounds sexier. Thanks Franks.

I’ve been framed and I am not sure by whom.

I was minding my own business, home at the abode within Bayou St Bas Trailer Park when the knock came at the tinfoil-reinforced door. In the moments minutes 3 quarters of an hour leading up to the knock I was focused on signing a greeting card. It (the card, not the knock) was a weak gesture of gratitude. The knock was rather profound. It (the card, not the knock) had a grandiose cover, like a wolf in a peacock’s skin making snow angels. There were two words on the front of the card I was about to sign: the first was “thank” in some bubbly optimistic font with a glittering red gold, the second was “you” similarly optimistic. I was perplexed as the innards of the card were blank. What could I compose within the card that could compete with the external grandiose cover? Especially when the card had already plagiarized my sentiment in entirety? At a loss, I wrote in sub-legible manic chicken-scratch, “Thanks again – Vic Neverman”, or so I began before my faulty pen dried up during the scribbling of my illustrious “V”. By the time I procured a second pen, hopeful it was virulently seeded with ink, the knock came at the door. I took off my socks and put on some boxers, reached for my tennis racket as the machete was at the other end of the room and I peeped through the peep hole (the hidden one, not the decoy front and center). Nothing but the great void waited beyond. I checked my security monitors, but there was no one currently present at my doorstep. <<<REWIND. Video record showed someone costumed in a postal delivery outfit had set a package down at the threshold. Bloody fucking hell, this was going to totally throw my Thursday off the rails. I opened the door and it was there I found the package addressed to Vic Neverman, 13 St Basil Park Parkway, Bayou Saint Basil, FL, 30000. Strangely, these markings were a reference exclusive to me and my residence.

Within the package: frames.

Package of Frames

Package of Frames

Three frames. Painted white and judging by the excessive padding, fairly expensive frames. Not picture frames, nay, these were portrait frames. These were the types of frames you stuffed impressionist water colors of your great aunt within as she was the only family member who could fill all that space. What was I going to do with frames like these? I am not a big picture sort of fellow.

I had been framed. Like, literally…

The-Deep-WebFortunately for the Post Modern Maya Apocalypse Paranoid, I have the Deep Web where I can anonymously chat with my closest allies without the awareness of the public domain. I posted a stream of encrypted nonsense to see what secrets I might learn…

Aquanaut248 (which is me, Vic Neverman):

I’ve been framed
Not sure by who
The box was addressed to me
There were 3 white frames inside
Huge frames, no invoice
I was just minding my own business
What the hell am I going to do with frames sent from California?
If I were a guy that framed things, I don’t think I would use white frames.
But I’m not a guy that frames things.
I looked at my credit card statement assuming this was some sort of drunken impulse to buy frames. No such luck.
What do frames go for on eBay?

PrinzessMomXoXo (Frieda Johnson)

Is that haiku?

QuuenCannabis49 (the NeverMum)

Hmmm especially white frames

VanDownByRiver00 (Miguel VanTrior)

This seems very suspicious… I would feel much better if they were a dark walnut or even a modern brushed nickel, but white frames?! I think someone is trying to send you a message, like a horses head in your bed perhaps?

Aquanaut248

I like the way you think Van. What could it all symbolize? Frame – perspective, contrast. White – purity, death, pearl necklaces. Three – Matrix movies?

BansheeBreath (the NeverSister)

You obviously dated a white girl for three months and left her feeling empty….

VanDownByRiver00

When’s the last time Aquanaut dated anyone for 3 months? Ok let’s break this down further. 3 white frames… California..No paperwork.. Remember remember the 5th of November…

BansheeBreath

What the Fawke does that have to do with anything?

VanDownByRiver00

It’s clearly, obviously, undeniably and plainly a reference to some foiled conspiracy plot that has unfolded before us here. Aqua, you have to do the 1 thing “they” would never expect, and hang the frames on your walls. Empty or not… Hang them!

BansheeBreath

…from a noose

VanDownByRiver00

Excellent!

PrinzessMomXoXo

No!! Use them in a photo session! Frame yourself in a photo and post it on Facebook for all to see!

Catfish2sday (The Commodore)

Be careful.

PRIndependez (Baron Boricua)

What are they made of? Perhaps there is something inside the frame. I say take a hammer to one of them and find out.

 

The next appropriate course of action was to consult my Puerto Rican Psychic Sidekick from Milwaukee.

“Maybe it was a prank?” She said, my PRPSM.

“An expensive prank and to what end? I lose nothing but wall space. Could it be some sort of message?”

“Yes.”

“From whom?”

"Them" accuses Vic's Puerto Rican psychic sidekick from Milwaukee

“Them” accuses Vic’s Puerto Rican psychic sidekick from Milwaukee

“’Them’.” My Puerto Rican psychic sidekick from Milwaukee said, framing the guilty party with her air quotes.

“Oh.” I admitted. “’They’ do think ‘They’ are cute with ‘Their’ symbolic gestures.”

“Yes ‘They’ do.”

“What do ‘They’ want?”

“What ‘They’ve’ always wanted: Everything. Literally. Everything.”

“Except these three frames. But what could it mean?”

“There were Seven Seals in John the Revelator’s Apocalypse. The first seal released the Four Horsemen. White frames are pale. How many of the Four Horsemen did not ride pale horses?”

“Three. Woah.”

“Right. Either it is that or some dude stole your identity and bought these for himself, forgetting he was not actually you.”

“Maybe a doppleganger?”

“Most likely.”

The search for Truth continues…

Framed: Vic

Framed: Vic

I don’t need to tell men of your positions, but there is a war happening… behind things.

– Reverend Tuttle speaking of “investigating crimes with an Anti-Christian connotation” in Episode 1 of True Detective

The Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle

The Reverend Billy Lee Tuttle

If you, dear reader, are like your narrator, you’ve lost count of how many times you’ve seen each episode of True Detective. You’ve researched books of 19th Century horror, you’ve cut your beer cans into anthropomorphic figurines and you’re likely just now emerging from a recent descent into the mildewy basement of the local library where you studied microfiche of yesteryear’s newsprint in search of “meta-psychotic” crimes. Why? Because “time is a flat circle”. Because obsession.

Oh sure, a search for Hoodoo Voodoo Helter-Skelter weeeeird shit on the internet will produce plenty of fodder to keep you up nights – the internet is a veritable weird shit cornucopia, yet most of it is without merit. You, in your obsession, are after legitimate articles, not the diseased regurgitate of the online super-conscious. If there is anything of value on the internet, it is but a straw of hay lost within a needle stack.

Thus shun the internet.

Thus rely on the 4th Estate’s microfiche catalog of the past.

Entire minutes spent sorting through microfiche explains why your eyes are dry & itchy & twitchy like sunburned bull bollocks on a Saharan Sunday. Nearly a minute and a half of scanning newsprint later, the dread sense of futility is setting in… until Lo! you find something. No, wait… it describes “Mrs. Brownstone” in 1957 Orlando as a “purveyor of satin”, not Satan. Obviously, the newspapers of the last century were in on the cover-up. There is nothing here to be found on the Occult.

Who is the King in Yellow? Vic at the Bayou, carving beer can figurines

Who is the King in Yellow? Vic at the Bayou, carving beer can figurines

The Occult is many things in many shades of gray. The Occult is your father-in-law’s Moose Lodge, your cousin’s Dungeons&Dragons club, the Goth Chick you hooked-up with in high school who then made a proxy doll of you she set afire during prom (she who “friended” you on Facebook in 2011 and is a guidance counselor in Atlanta). The Occult also includes diabolical practitioners in the Dark Arts. In my travels, I have learned there are two levels of Diabolist: the Learned and the Bonobos. The Learned Diabolists are studious, carefully orthodox and wickedly devious, adhering to lessons of hierophantic masters like Aleister Crowley or Anton LaVey (pick your poison). The Bonobos, meanwhile, are named after the breed of monkey that masturbates 18 times a day (“ignorance is bliss” they say). Bonobos are the Lower Diabolist and compose 95% of Satan-worshippers in your neighborhood. The Bonobos can be disillusioned thugs with shit for imagination, yet adept at copy-catting Learned-shit they find online. For each Learned Crowley-adherent, there are a thousand glue-sniffing Bonobos stealing the neighbor’s black cat to recreate what they saw on YouTube. Bonobo monkey see, Bonobo monkey do… This copy-cat nature is why the Press doesn’t publish diabolical activities as such news begets new crimes. The Fourth Estate, with questionable – if not honorable – integrity, will leave out the vile details of Satanic-stylized activities in effort to not inspire similar crimes.

Therefore: to Hell with all this damn microfiche (after 15 minutes). It’s giving me a bloody headache.

Fortunately, for the sake of this blog post (which would be quite inadequate if it climaxed with the bit about the microfiche headache), I happen to live in the illustrious community of gossiping bog-people of Bayou St Basil Trailer Park. Word on the street (or limestone gravel & cigarette-butted path, as it were), is there has been some hooligans practicing Witchcraft in the hills of Volusia County, somewhere twenty-odd miles northeast of here (note: emphasis on the ‘odd’).

I-4 Sign“Them is dark lands.” Lady Cora spoke from the comforts of her lounge chair. Her seat was meant for the indoors and the amount of time it had spent in the outdoors was evident in its stench. I didn’t imagine her sense of smell was much bothered – the olfactory suffers erosion from the elements too, you see. The pickle jar in her hand wouldn’t help. It was pickle juice, alright. Pickle juice and bottom shelf gin, the kind they polish hubcaps with. “Never get dehydration. Have a sip…” Lady Cora will suggest, holding out a neighborly outstretched hand of her gin & pickle juice jar. She would offer it to you, likely, but not me. These bog-people of Bayou St Bas Trailer Park don’t like the likes of me. They think me nuts. I am surprised Lady Cora had even acknowledged my inquiries. “Them’s dark lands. My sister, she’s o’r in Deland (duh-Lann the Southern slow-drawl suits in Tallahassee call it, Dee-lan-deh is what the locals say). They ain’t got no stray cats if you’re following. Satanists, they’re conjuring gawd-a’mighty what. Foul bis-ness, I say and I stay away. I ain’t ha’f a mind to drive I-4 beyon’ Sanford. That’s deadzone, you know? Best swim ‘cross Lake Mon-woah.”

Indeed.

Path of Hurricane Donna: from Mosquito Key to Daytona

Path of Hurricane Donna: from Mosquito Key to Daytona

The “I-4 Deadzone” is a Central Florida urban mythical legend. The “civil” engineers paved over a family cemetery near Lake Monroe when they laid asphalt over a half-century ago to create the interstate. According to popular belief, just as they did so, Hurricane Donna performed a 90 degree turn and wreaked havoc on everything between Mosquito Key on the Gulf Coast to Daytona on the Atlantic. You want to know why Meteorologists have it so hard: not only do they have to account for China’s weather manipulation machines they also have to factor poltergeist vendettas into their prognostications. Thus sympathy for the weatherman.

Thelma Louise Pitt is a local fireship of an age younger than you’d ever imagine given the weathered and wizened expression on her freckled face. TLP is not her God-graced name, of course, she chose “Thelma Louise Pitt” from her favorite movie after running out of her home in Catawampus, Georgia. These days, she’ll fold your clothes for a buck at the trailer park laundry mat and she’ll eye you something fierce in case you want to lay a couple extra buck to get your britches bent extra stiff.

“Yeah, I know all about it.” Thelma Louise insisted casually as she masterfully crafted my boxers into an origami pterodactyl. “There’s a coven of witches and they go out there because there used to be some hospital that burnt down. It’s a sacred site and they talk to ghosts and stuff. You won’t find nothing in the papers, Chamber of Commerces don’t like that sort of news. Bad for the tourists.”

I left Thelma Louise a five-spot and grabbed the rest of my garb to head home. En route, I spotted a pack of feral children setting fire to dolls. I accosted them for the purple plastic smoke.

“Fuck Neva-neva!” They cried their resistance to me. Shadow people, their pupils were black as midnight and as wide as their eyes. “Man don’t stay, away Neva-neva!”

“Hey, it’s nothing personal.” I said and stomped out their fire with my flip-flopped feet. I saw one of the swamp kids carrying a femur. “What the hell is that?”

“Neva-neva see none-thing.” A girl with black eyes shook her head and spit, the spittle falling benignly to the gravel between us.  She hissed, leaning forward like a cobra licking the air between us, “It bone fissssh.”

Another kid spoke his pidgin-English, “Man t-bone, Neva-neva.” He was a pale chap with golden hair and black-as-soot fingernails. He seemed to be the leader of the lot, thanks in-no-small-part to his Tanned, Rested, Ready: Nixon 2012 t-shirt.  Nixon pointed out at the Bayou, “Man’tee swim sick, sick. Man’tee die ah-hay sick, sick.”

“Yeah, well, there aren’t manatees in these waters. ‘Never-never’ thinks that is a femur bone. If you runts weren’t homeschooled by raccoons, you’d know what a femur was.” I glared at the pack of ferals, my brow so furrowed it could crush open a pistachio.

“Feh-mah live here none, sick Neva-neva.” Another girl with barracuda sharp teeth insisted, her large black pupils catching the reflection of the sun like a starburst. She sneezed twice and with snot dripping from either nostril named me subtly, slowly, “Neva-neva.”

“Fine.” I gave-up. “I don’t want to know where you kids found a thigh bone. No more fire-fire, yah?”

“Fuck Neva-neva fuck!” The other girl spat again.

I’ve been called worse by shorter.

“These people…” Rufus Holdsworth said as he sat atop his paddle-board, admiring the coast of the trailer park community. “They don’t like you man. They hear you screaming at your computer late at night and they see you chopping away at the jungle with your machete. They think you’re unstable.”

“Best they fear me.” I insisted. “The feral kids think my house is haunted, which keeps them out.”

Interstate 4 and Lake Monroe to the east

Interstate 4 and Lake Monroe to the east

Rufus smiled and cracked open a beer from where he sat, its spray dousing his thigh and the lily pad beyond. His hazel eyes haphazardly loomed my way as he chugged his first sip, before belching, “First one today.” His tanned face was well-creased and his eyebrows were strangely lighter than his sunburnt skin. “You asked about Lake Monroe?”

“You spend much time there? Or beyond, along the deadzone?”

“Not if I can help it.” Rufus admitted before cracking open a can of beer and taking a quick sip. He sighed with relief, “First one today.”

“In Volusia County, there is supposed to be some old Tuberculosis Hospital that burned down. A lot of kids died, either before the fire from TB or during. I can’t find much of a history.”

“Nah.” Rufus Holdsworth turned his head perpendicular to his board as if he was intent on the squawking of a faraway sandhill crane. “It was there… There is a lot spooky shit East of here, North of here. If you think ‘It’s A Small World After-All’ is the creepiest Orlando attraction, you haven’t spent time in Volusia County.”

“Should someone want to find where the latest Satanic masses have been held in the forests of Volusia County, where would said someone start?” I asked.

Rufus’ hazel eyes caught a glimpse of me and quickly turned away. He groaned with hesitation before cracking open a beer and whetting his palate. He swallowed and sucked his teeth clean, “First one today.”

“Dude? I am not looking for Carcosa, just some half-assed black mass.”

“Yeah.” Rufus Holdsworth gave in. “I can find you some people. People who know. People who know where to go.”

And with that, the True Investigation was set to begin.

Winter storms in the jungle of Bayou St Bas

Winter storms in the jungle of Bayou St Bas

When the power grid takes a hit, electricity slips out from underneath us like a cold turtle dick. It happens with a flicker at first, the lights overhead dim, losing their tug-of-war before giving up entirely. There may be a glimpse of hope, a brief respite from the darkness with a last dying gasp of electricity before… Everything goes black. Night is victorious over the park, at least until Prometheus and his sister-cousin Promethia light the cardboard of their single grandmother’s funeral casket after dousing it in rando ingredients they found in the burnt-out meth-lab in the back of the dollar store which ignites a St Elmo’s glow of unnatural flame that will startle the gods and burn out your nostril hairs at a hundred paces. Other creatures inevitably come out of the woodwork, dragging yester-year’s Christmas tree (hopefully, once, a living thing), beer casings, broken banjoes, frost-bitten T.V. dinners and record covers from the 1990s their incapacitated parents left unguarded; all of it fodder to create light in the dead of night throughout Bayou Saint Basil Trailer Park. These are fires not lit on these nights for warmth (it is Florida for fuck’s sake!), nor are they lit to appease their instinct for safety within the light, no, but rather to illuminate the serpents in the grass. Without the light there would be a darkness so utter, you would never see Stick-Finger Lloyd crawling through the window of your commode, all sticky extremities scratching their way like a roach into your abode until he finds the safe built under your bed he spotted a month back when you paid him a sawbuck to rid your trailer of the rabid possum. Utter darkness would have Professor Erasmus shooting at any shadow or shade of shadow that neared his porch. Utter darkness would have the feral kids and their uncanny night vision, crawling through the hole that once pump-fed your septic tank to steal away your girlfriend’s pet pooch to offer up to their dreamt-up gods as a sacrificial lamb upon the altar of the coffee table they stole from Lloyd the last time he took out the garbage without locking the door behind him. Utter darkness in Bayou Saint Basil is not a good thing. Better for yours truly to grab his paddle board and escape into the reptilian safety of the bog than to remain behind in the caravan of societal fringe.

To the East, over the Bayou, a new Spy Satellite is sent up from Cape Canaveral

To the East, over the Bayou, a new Spy Satellite is sent up from Cape Canaveral

For now, though, the darkness is young and not all encompassing. Peering into the distance, I can see the reflection of near-distant houselights on the atmosphere. It is the glow from Winter Solace, the neighboring community of old money Florida whose lights never seem to dim in power strains such as these. It is my gaze upon the Winter Solace glow that assures me no Electro-Magnetic Pulse or Pole-Shift has rendered electricity defunct for the indefinite future, no… No, this was just a minor outage caused by another drunk behind the wheel of some inane tank, veering off the rain-soaked freeway and into some crucial component of the electrical grid, rendering this neighborhood without juice. This is what utility and insurance companies call “an act of god.” More like an act of Todd and the three too many shots of Jaeger he consumed along with the pitcher of fermented soggy bread that should only pass as “beer” when home-brewed in a prison or for a community college dormitory, certainly not to be canned and distributed domestically.

Yee gods, it is hard to write on nights such as this. Even the raccoons react when the whole world is a shadow – they emerge to enact their territorial squabbles, squealing at each other like an old tape player fast-forwarding your Best of Hall & Oates cassette as it spits out spent tape. There is a gun-shot fired from this side of the water or the other (hard to tell the way sound travels in the swamp) and the r’coons go silent. So too, momentarily, do my keystrokes.

I manage in such situations. I have the solar-powered & hand-crank-powered flashlight a survivalist friend gave me. I had failed to set it within sunlight in recent weeks, but a few cranks and I am able to keep reading the book before me (a smut novel from the 1930s detailing the secret life of Helen of Troy). Scented candles I purchased at the urging of my sidekick to impress wayward lady-folk (should any accidentally wander into these quarters) keep my room alight in the dearth of electricity.

I sit hidden in the privacy of my porch and watch my neighbors barter their reserves of booze (but never the true reserves) and banter their reserves of anecdotes (but never the true stories). In my peripheral, I see bright flashes and I am unsure if that is winter lightening on the horizon or my own brain synapses misfiring as I fight off sleep with more of Gustav’s Venezuelan Rum made from the waters of the Orinoco. I need to find more time for sleep, but this is not a night for that.

There is a flicker of light and a general consensus of glee as the inhabitants of Bayou St Bas return to their suddenly illumined mobile homes to watch more Duck Dynasty, only to be disappointed when eleven minutes later the lights flicker to another unassuming demise. I remain within the shadows of my porch watching the eternal glow of light beyond the swamp in Winter Solace. I once dated a girl who went to the private college there… She would put me on display amongst Winter Solace: a real live “savage without religion” who was “meagerly educated at a state college” with a paranoia for “a totalitarian government which heeds the wishes of its corporate sponsors.” She would feed me gin and I would do her monkey dance. All spectators would laugh and clap along. I was young, then, and young romantics are fools who think love is humility for the sake of love and no else. Aye, I have dated a few Winter Solace girls; however, I have also dated a few Bayou broads whose step-fathers (usually a year younger than me) would call yours-truly, “high-brow” or “bookman” or “Vic Never-mind”. These bog people may gossip, be belligerent bigots and siphon gas out of your car when you are not looking, but as long as they think you’re insane and their offspring tell ghost stories involving you, they tend to leave you be. Which is why I am here: on the outer-cusp of civilization, I am entirely off the grid… especially on a night such as this.

The lights re-flicker and I am reminded I have a load of laundry waiting for me up the embankment. I should hurry to race the feral children to the dryers which they use to “microwave oven” your girlfriend’s pet pooch. Drying towels within such an apparatus after a religious sacrifice is a bad idea.

Double-Rainbow over Bayou Saint Basil

Double-Rainbow over Bayou Saint Basil

A resident of Bayou Saint Basil

A resident of Bayou Saint Basil

Leading up to game time, the placing of wagers – or what we sporting fellows like to call “the action” – was heating up. Outside, in the few hours before the grand event, the bayou seemed as benignly still as any other Sunday – the feral children were chasing raccoons out of the scrub with hatchets they’d fashioned out of rocks and broken coke bottles, strange herbal scents emanated from half of the trailers in the park, a spy-blimp nosing its way onto the horizon could just be seen through the spanish mosses overhead and my eyes were watering from the heretical alchemy Erasmus was boiling up (some sort of red curry chili with buffalo meat and oysters, must do wonders for the old  libido).

Welcome to my backyard, the post-apocalypse.

In order to keep my bets straight, I have compiled a list of the spit-shake wagers I have made with the local beasties in these here parts.

  • 4 different $5 bets on the Broncos minus 2.5 points
  • $50 on the Seahawks plus 2.5
  • I bet the Earl 4 cans of domestic swill Justin Bieber will be arrested again before halftime
  • I bet 5 year-old Little D Tuscan a Barbie that her dad will be passed-out drunk and spread-eagle naked on the dock by the fourth quarter
  • Abe the Sheik bet me one of his Arab falcons Marshawn Lynch will score at least twice (conversions inclusive). If the Sheik wins, I have to shave his back.
  • The mute guy who never told me his name from lot 4F bet his John McEnroe autographed poster that the Fox Sports Robot will become sentient and will smack Joe Buck.
Cleatus will steal the halftime show by becoming sentient

Cleatus will steal the halftime show by becoming sentient

Newsflash: there has been a Cyrus Lee Hancock sighting! He will not be at the Bayou for the game; instead he will be out in Oviedo spending time with the members of OASIS who survived the 2012 Maya Apocalypse.

  • Cyrus Lee is betting he can eat a pound of bacon in one sitting in less than 30 minutes. If he cannot, he is going to give me the picture of his wife from his wallet. If he can eat the bacon, I have to pay him $5 for the picture of his wife in his wallet.
  • During halftime, I will have the bathtub full of bog-water for Jim Tuscan and me to have an upside-down breath-holding competition. The true aquanaut victor will win a $10 Outback gift card.
  • Ethel bet me a jar of her homebrew cider that drinking her cider will not kill me with heartburn. I entertained this bet, but ultimately turned it down.
  • Doc Kelly bet me his first born that doing shots of fish oil & tequila will keep my triglycerides in check today. If my cholesterol does go off the chart and he loses, he said he’ll still let me have his first-born. Not sure what I would do with an infant, there are enough feral children up-turning my garbage at the trailer park as it is.
  • I bet Rufus a cartoon of eggs Pussy Riot will be the surprise halftime guest and will belt out some punk-anthem against Vlad Putin ahead of the Sochi Olympics.
  • Erasmus is betting me $50 we will hear Rufus use Aristolian Virtue Ethics to rationalize some of his inane behaviors at least thrice today.
  • Yorick bet 0.00125 BitCoins that the final score will be under 47 points.
  • My Puerto Rican Psychic Sidekick from Milwaukee offered several bets; I refused her because Psychic.
  • The NeverSister bet me $250 she would not win the $250 office betting pool. She placed another wager that Eli will be caught on camera smiling during a successful Seahawk conversion.

Color Commentary from the scene of the crime:

Rabbi Yizhak picked the bucking Bronco

Rabbi Yizhak picked the bucking Bronco

1:33 pm – Vic has breakfast. The feral children have returned from their errand of procuring a package of rare craft ale. They are rewarded with a sniff of 2nd rate lunatic soap the Canadians blend and call whiskey which is kept on-hand for such occasions.

Pre-Game Festivities and a cigar of most excellent fancy

Pre-Game Festivities and a cigar of most excellent fancy

2:20 pm – Vic has 2nd cup of coffee, this mug laced with Irish Whiskey and 300 milligrams of crushed Zantac. He considers putting on Fox Pre-Game. Considers against it.

2:37 pm – Vic pours a sip of highly regarded Venezuelan rum onto the earth in remembrance of the late great Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

2:54 pm – Jim Tuscan calls Vic an “Asshole” for introducing his daughter to gambling. One of Rufus Holdsworth’s bastard-spawns is playing with his imaginary friend over a Ouija Board under a deranged oak tree. Terry Bradshaw’s disembodied voice can be heard in the distance.

Some time later, with another beer as dark as sin

Some time later, with another beer as dark as sin

3:15 pm – Vic approaches a teenage feral kid with green eyes, freckles and a cigarette. Vic tears a $5 bill in half and hands one piece to the kid with the promise of the 2nd piece as long as no trailers are burned down or ransacked. Vic then sets out on foot to leave the trailer park for a pre-game destination.

3:41 pm – Vince Wilfork was just spotted devouring a roasted chicken whole, bones and all.

5:45 pm – Tuscan brings cheesy bread. Rain falls, predicting sorrow and despair. Vic’s abode becomes full of fanatic.

6:15 pm – Kurt Russell sighting. “When the Levee Breaks” plays with Bronco introduction. A telling sign.

Surveying Tuscan's beer supply

Surveying Tuscan’s beer supply

6:20 pm – A girl Vic knows arrives with a dude Vic does not know. The dude Vic does not know arrives with a mustache we assume is meant to be ironic.

6:27 pm – How many minks did Joe Namath strangle for that coat?

6:34 pm – quick two points for Seattle

6:40 pm – a pair of feral children just ran off with a fifth of whiskey.

Erasmus with a peaty Irish Whiskey and Jim Tuscan with his 5 lb jug of honey.

Erasmus with a peaty Irish Whiskey and Jim Tuscan with his 5 lb jug of honey.

7:12 pm – first turnover of the night wins Vic a week’s worth of Viagra. Erasmus, “you know now is the time for Dumervil to make a big defensive play, but… Oh that’s right, they couldn’t figure out how to resign his ass!”

7:39 pm – it appears Denver may be overmatched. Tuscan punches the sheriff in the gut for grabbing the last Shocktop.

7:59 pm – Erasmus declared we are all just dreaming. Erin Andrews performs a flash-dance under a splash of raining water and Vic asks Erasmus to shut the hell up.

8:15 pm – Red Hot Chili Peppers are without shirts for 3.5 minutes and then they run back underground to their parkas. Well played Baby Boomer Generation.

8:25 pm – Erasmus’s chili curry is apparently ready. Seattle scored again.

8:35 pm – Cyrus Lee Hancock’s wife berates Vic for only paying $5 for her picture. Broncos continue to be in a world of trouble.

8:48 pm – an argument ensues over who is responsible for Michael Douglas’ throat cancer.

9:00 pm – Tuscan, “this might be the worst super bowl ever. Nothin’ personal to you blokes.” Erin Andrews appears in a hologram and agrees with Jim.

9:03 pm – Tuscan, “I haven’t seen a beat down like this since the Jacksonville Jaguars beat Dan Marino in his last game.”
Vic Neverman then stood up, “Alright, we are going to have to take this downstairs. I am not saying I am going to beat you in a fight, I am just saying we are going to fight.” Jim Tuscan retracted his statement. Seattle scored again.

9:10 pm – Tuscan punched the guy with the ironic mustache in the windpipe. Erasmus took the ironic mustached guy’s glass of whiskey and poured what remained into his own glass. Seattle scored again.

9:30 pm – Tuscan recognizes the T-Mobile commercial whistle as coming from Fr Tuck in Disney’s Robin Hood. Some band of feral children stole away the last roasted guinea pig on a stick cooked by Rufus’s Peruana wife. Seattle scored again.

9:41 pm – Rufus decorated the local shrubbery with what he decided was not necessary to hold on to (pizza, curry chili, irish whiskey, innumerable beers, etc, etc, et al). Seattle scored again.

9:57 pm – Vic insulted a dude for having faith in Tim Tebow and his girlfriend punched Vic in the nose. Tears follow. Seattle scored again.

10:13 pm – the game is long over, Erasmus finally accepts the fact that they are not going to re-review the first down call from the first quarter. Defeat is accepted. Seattle scored again.

10:23 pm – Vic is watching New Girl and is surprised Seattle has scored again.

A resident of Bayou Saint Basil

A resident of Bayou Saint Basil

If the interstate connecting Daytona with Tampa was raised to an elevation of 1,000 feet, the typical motorist (“typical” being sedated on anti-depressants, caffeinated on UlcerSlam! energy elixir and driving with a road rage-readied trigger-foot and a rear bumper struck with generic sticker declarations of individuality) would likely be too busy texting to notice the land far beneath was less terra firma than a pattern of small land-bridges dividing a realm of infinite lakes. Science FACT: the topsoil of Central Florida is little more than crumbling limestone held delicately above the Florida Aquifer. Any minute, a new man-eating sinkhole could devour the earth between your soles and the dank underworld waiting hungrily beneath.

Somewhere in the middle of this uncertain ground churns a series of connected sinkholes which have become known as the waterway, Bayou Saint Basil. Along its morning shores you can hear the Jurassic call of the sandhill crane as it shits out another of your prized $13 golf balls. At the witching hour, the thunder roll of the night train in the unseen near distance is pierced by the hysterical chatter of maniacal raccoons fighting over your neighbor’s doomed shih tzu. Sorry Barnie. Trapped between the railroad, the interstate, and sixteen strip-malls is this piece of corrupted Eden. More parasitic than paradisiac, this is Bayou St Bas.

In one corner of Bayou Saint Basil rests a trailer park beneath ample oaken shade. Where the bayou ends and the trailer park begins is as clear as the black muck slowly creeping further up the soggy hill to where the crescent circle caravan of trailer homes is entrenched. These semi-occupied homes are listed as “mobile” on their 2nd and 3rd mortgages, though they are anything but. An attempt to move any of the duct tape bound shacks would disintegrate the home into a pile of un-biodegradable wall paneling and release a black gold torrent of cockroach infestation upon the world. An insect menace, sure, but it is the exoskeletons of these bugs, drunk on your well-intentioned poison snacks, acting as an interior brace holding the unsteady structures together. The cockroaches are the very glue that binds these plastic shacks, which is why any of these homes have lasted through the hurricanes that traveled along I-4 or the Ronald Reagan Turnpike to Central Florida.

Full Moon over the Bayou, the ruins of Roanoke Apartments in the background

Full Moon over the Bayou, the ruins of Roanoke Apartments in the background

The inhabitants of St Bas Trailer Park are a microcosm of the desperate: the undereducated and underemployed, the immigrant and the refugee, the taxidermist, the professor and a stray paranoid blogger or two. Holding court from her back porch is the de facto monarch of SBTP, Queen Georgia. A leather-skinned and fiery hair-dyed grandmother, Queen Georgia’s cackle and conversational tone are amplified from hearing loss and a smoker’s throat. Her voiced opinions drown out the song birds of the bayou like the afterburners of an F-16 jet with a chest cold. She peacocks across the cigarette butted paths of the park with a sense of entitlement as if it were her Confederate fugitive ancestor who built the mobile home she resides in. When she calls out to a neighbor from her back porch, “Now where I come from, we call shit like that ‘white trash’”, you damn well believe her.

Queen Georgia also fancies herself quite the cougar. She preys on younger men in their early forties: unskilled laborers looking for a dishwashing gigs where they can roll up their tattoo sleeves and earn a buck or two to be spent on cheap wine. She romances them through the night on her porch, their drunken hyenas laughter carrying across the bayou to the abandoned ruins of the Roanoke Apartments across the way, their individual cigarette coupling with the other’s smoke in an entwined dance of vaporous death, their bodies in any various state of undress which sickens the mosquito whose ill fate brought it to this sun-ravaged flesh.

Sparky never had a chance against the coon onslaught.

Sparky and Barnie never had a chance against the onslaught of the ‘Coons.

You may ask how I, your humble narrator, know of this Queen Georgia. Oh, I know… just fortunately, within limits. Upon meeting the Queen, she offered me a bottle of domestic swill and insisted on giving me a ride upon her inflatable boat out on the bayou. I promptly declined both offerings, ending what was our first and would be our last efforts at neighborly courtesy. Soon thereafter, I was woken from a midday slumber to the cursing rants of Queen Georgia on her back porch, speaking on her cell phone for the entire trailer park to hear, “Fuck him, fuck him if he thinks just because he is my motherfucking boss he can tell me how many fucking times I can go the bathroom and for how long!” Note: I may exaggerate on some aspects of storytelling, but I put quotes around the true dialogue. To this one-sided cell phone conversation that permeated my walls, I drew offense. First, I do not like being woken from within the privacy of my own home by someone who does not speak quietly of their own personal lives outside the walls of my own home. Second, the trailer park is not a family-friendly environment, but Georgia’s latest dishwasher had his bastard spawn loitering around and there were always some feral children eating corncobs beneath her back porch and all those kids with their little gnarly ears are very impressionable to such language. Third, again the language! I believe a sacred word like “f**k” can only be used a finite amount of times, which is why I do not spell it out here. Queen Georgia has spent her quota and is now making f**k far less fun for the rest of us to use. She debases the word and makes f**k so much more… inane and pedestrian. Outraged, as you may have picked up on, I exited my home and used certain non-verbal clues to illustrate my displeasure. Queen Georgia gave me an unconvincing apology and continued the rest of her urinary diatribe indoors from where I thankfully could not hear it.

Dawn over St Bas

Dawn over St Bas

When paths are crossed within St Bas Trailer Park, Queen Georgia no longer looks me in the eye. Her thin-lipped drunken smirk tightens into a flat line as she meanders past. While most park occupants tolerate the rule of the queen, there is another beyond me openly opposes her reign. They call him the Professor.

I have had cigars and accompanying whiskies with said Professor and greatly prefer his company over that of the de facto monarch. The locals may call him “professor”, but he does not have a doctorate; the moniker was earned for his sheer knowledge on all things unfamiliar to the contemporary American. He is a teacher on indefinite sabbatical from Otter Dam Military Academy, somewhere in the foothills of the Smokey Mountains. When I told him I wouldn’t use his actual name in my blog as a means to protect both his identity and my own, he choose to call himself, Erasmus. Erasmus of Otter Dam.

As I mentioned, Erasmus speaks of things beyond the scope of common worldly knowledge. He describes his teaching hiatus in terms of the Polish Diaspora. When we discussed local Floridian culture and the perspective of always being on the outside looking in, he brought up the Defenestration of Prague, a Reformation-era event when Catholics tossed non-believers out the window of Prague Castle to their deaths below. Quickly, I became his apt pupil.

Erasmus is a man still in his prime, yet with valuable experience from an enriched past. He claims to have saved civilization from the Y2K bug. I asked him how he might have resolved the Y2K problem in the twilight of the year 1999, to which he responded, “It is all binary, I could only explain in a sequence of ones and zeroes. The layman would never understand.” Later in life, Erasmus was employed by a friend who was a producer of certain films in South Florida. He was to rewrite a script after viewing the actors at play. The scene, as Erasmus described to me, involved two scantily clad women peeking into a third’s window to find a fourth actor hard at work (pun intended). The dialogue was one peeper saying to the other, “OMG, they are fucking fucking in there.” I am not sure if Erasmus was more perturbed by the spelling out of an acronym “O-M-G” or the redundant, though a cutely appropriate redundancy, use of the sacred word “f**k”.

“It was then that I realized I should have let Y2K doom civilization.” Erasmus expressed his regret.

And then, of course, there is the navigator of this rambling journey of a blog post: Vic Neverman. I am but another loner of the lunatic fringe here at Bayou Saint Basil. Few of the local folk know me by name; I am the guy the park residents would tell television journalists, “he was always quiet and kept mostly to himself” which is probably the most suspicious and alienating thing anyone could say about a neighbor in our modern society.

They, my fellow bog-people, think I am completely nutter. From within the shadows of the cypress swamp, I listen to their jokes as they describe how the interior of my outer walls must be lined with tinfoil wallpaper, how my inner walls likely have various colored threads connecting Jack Ruby’s girlfriend’s pimp to Paul McCartney’s death in 1966, how I must meet women by going to the Huey Lewis & the News’ online dating site IfThisIsIt.com, how I horde ancient maps and have one of those Japanese sex-robots charging in my closet. But the TRUTH is This: I do not own a sex-bot. Good thing, too, or else I would never leave home except to buy more rum, peanut butter and sex-bot batteries.

Mists of a Summer Morning

Mists of a Summer Morning