"if it's good news, it must be someone else's"

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Rat Rizzo (meeting two): Follow the Cheese (transcript)

me: Rizzo? You there?
Rizzo: Yeah, I'm under your car. Give me a sec.
me: Sure thing.
(pause)
me: Hey, is that the Pulaski Skyway above us?
Rizzo: Yeah, I do a lotta business down here. It's remote but noisy. Nothin' but trucks and marshes. Hard spot to wire & nice place to dump a body or two, if you know what I mean.
(pause)
me: There you are. Looks like your hat got a little creased and your trench coat is a mess.
Rizzo: Yeah, I hate the undercarriage of these Honda Accords. Tighter than a clams ass.
me: Ya mean you were under there the whole time?
Rizzo: Yeah, I hitched a ride incognito ya might say. A rat cant be too careful these days.
me: Man you are some sort of rodent.
Rizzo: Look, ya done with the small talk? I've got things to do.
me: Sure. So tell me about this Mars Rat.
Rizzo: Mars Rat! Makes me laugh. Have ya taken a close look at that picture?
me: yeah.
Rizzo: Notice anything odd?
me: No, just that I think I recognize the rat.
Rizzo: No dumb f&*k. I'm talking about what's not in the picture.
me: Martians?
Rizzo: What?
me: Martians. There are no Martians.
Rizzo: Holy shit kid you're stupid. Of course there aren't no Martians because there ain't no Martians.
me: Rat traps? There aren't any rat traps.
Rizzo: Holy f*&k. You're thicker than tar in winter.
me: What is it then?
Rizzo: Where's the cheese? It's not the moon. It's Mars. There is no cheese on Mars. Just rocky shit and the occasional, unexplainable canal.
me: Holy smokes ... yeah. It's not the moon. There's no cheese.
Rizzo: And ya know what they say: "Where there's no cheese, there's no smoke".
me: I think that's "where there's smoke, there's fire." See? Smoke. Fire.
Rizzo: Ya know what I see, a goddam dumb use of two perfectly good legs. That's what I see.
(pause)
Rizzo: Hey! Who's there!
(pause; noises; scampering)
me: Rizzo! Where are you?
(pause)
me: Ya can't leave! I don't know what to do?
voice (faded): Follow the cheese!
me: Follow the cheese?
voice: Follow the cheese!
me: What cheese? There is no cheese!
voice: EXACTLY dumbshit!
(rapid little steps)
me: Okay Rizzo!
(pause)
me: I gotta get outta here. This place give me the creeps.
(snapping, clicking sound)
me: what the fah...

end

Friday, June 7, 2013

All the Mars Rat's Mice

You may have heard about the rat sighting on Mars by the Mars rover (see photo). Well, this so-called Mars rat has gone all a Twitter (@RealMarsRat). Trying to parlay this little photo op into some sort of overnight sensation.

I'm suspicious.

Have been ever since I first saw the image. You see, I think I've seen that rat around and that makes this all a bit fishy in my book. So I tweeted the two bit con-rat to let him know something wasn't adding up and that I was watching him.

And that's when I got the message. A private message from an anonymous source saying he wanted to talk to me, that he had information I might find very interesting about our little Mars Rat. He wanted a meeting. I was to follow his instructions. I did. Here is the transcript from a recording I made of our first encounter.

Drizzle. Wind.
me: Anyone here? It's Cranelegs? Me? You know, the Mars Rat guy? Anyone here?
(one minute passed)
me: Okay, I get it! Very funny. Always the fool. Hope you had a good laugh.
voice: Were ya followed?
me: Holy Sh*t! Ya scared the f%&k out of me.
voice: Yeah, well I had to be sure they didn't put a shadow on you.
me: Who?
voice: Never you mind who. I'll get to that later.
me: Man, ya gave me a good case of the jitters. Listen, can you at least step out from that horse stall so I know what I'm dealing with here?
voice: Sure. There. That better?
me: Yeah. Hey, nice trench coat and fedora. Ya know, for a rat and all.
voice: Yeah, thanks. Whatever. Gotta light?
me: No I don't. Besides you shouldn't smoke. Not good for you.
voice: Picked it up in a test lab. They got me up to a pack a day. Haven't been able to kick it since.
me: Test lab?
voice: Yeah, did three weeks before I broke out. But enough about that. Are you interested in what I've got to say or not?
me: Sure, sure. But first, ya gotta name? I mean, ya gotta have a name.
voice: Not any name I want you to know. So call me Rizzo.
me: Like the guy in the movie?
Rizzo: Yeah, like the f&*ckin' guy in the movie. Now can we move on? Don't have much time.
me: Yeah, yeah ... move on. So what's the dope on this Mars Rat?
Rizzo: Hold it there big boy! It's not that easy. You're gonna need to work at it. Ya understand?
me: But he's just a rat ... like you.
Rizzo: "just a rat, like me", geez. Didn't go to charm school did ya kid?
me: I'm just sayin'
Rizzo: You're just sayin'. Boy I picked a winner, I did. Listen, these rats play hardball. Understand? I know. I know because Mr. Mars there and I used to be what ya might call, wise rats. Punks. A couple of rodent thugs with a real penchant for trouble.
(pause)
Rizzo: That is, until the rat bastard double crossed me. That's how I ended up in the test lab. So ya see, I know. In fact, I know things that'd make your stomach turn like yo-yo filled with puke. Capiche?
me: Geez Rizzo. Sorry.
Rizzo: Don't be sorry. What are ya? A smart-smellin' dame for chrissakes? Just listen and do your job.
me: Yeah, do my job.
(pause)
me: What job?
Rizzo: Bringing this clown down! That job.
(pause)
Rizzo: Oh man, this is a mistake. What am I doin' with this loser.
me: No wait! I'm up to it. I swear. I'll do it.
Rizzo: Okay. Okay then. Good. That's good.
(pause)
Rizzo: Look, I gotta run. Just wanted to make sure you're up to it before I start. Listen, I'll send you directions to our next little talk. In the meantime, brush up on Google. You're gonna need it. Gotta a smart phone?
me: Yeah.
Rizzo: Good. I'll find ya.
CRREEEKKK!!
me: Hey! Who's there?!?
(pause)
me: Guess no one.
(pause)
me: Rizzo? Are you there? Rizzo? Where are you?
(pause)
garbled.
end.

(brushing up on Google;
waiting for next meeting)

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Two Rules About Moms

She tried. She really did. Like the time she came out to the garage to join us while shooting some hoops. Three dribbles later, she broke two nails, smashed her nose and fell to pavement. She never even got off a shot.

Now, there are a lot of things I can handle. They'll bother me, sometimes even disturb me, well, like seeing a deer careen off the bumper of car. Sad really. But I'll get over it.

Watching your mom bounce off the driveway tar like a dropped sack of potatoes is not one of those "can handle" things. Moms are not suppose to fall. They are forever to be upright and off the ground. And when they do fall, it's never pretty. For one, the don't know how, nor should they be expected to. They're moms for chrissakes.

And in that moment, that moment when you aren't quite sure if she's alive or not, you briefly but acutely understand just how important she is to you. How many life skills she bares so that you may continue to carry on in clueless, childhood chicanery. Abilities you have no desire to develop, let alone practice on your own someday. Talents like food preparing or puke cleaning or toilet flushing.

Yeah, it's bad, very bad, when they go down.

And if blood is shed, like the time ma tried to teach me how to ride a bike by demonstrating how to push off the curb, steer into a parked car, and crumble to the street in a twisted tangle of metal, bent tires and blood—with your life now in the balancethe only option, triggered by some deep, time-tested, survival gene, is to run in circles like a rabid squirrel, pinching your deedee, screaming "Ma! Ma! Don't die! Please don't die! Ma! Ma! Don't die! Please ...", until she gathers herself enough to limp over, yank you by a flailing limb, and yell,"Get a hold of yourself before they put you in the loony bin!" Only then, when you hear those wild crazed threats, barked from the otherwise normal human that you and your siblings had turned into the raving lunatic you fondly call mom, is the world back to normal.

You see, there are two rules about moms. Rule one: they are not suppose to fall. They are not built for such things and wouldn't know how to even if they were. Rule two: they are never, ever suppose to bleed, and not because they may seem bloodless from time to time, but rather because it's naturally unbecomng.

Leave that stuff up to the kids and dads. My brothers and I? Great bleeders. Dad? Fantastic tumbling down stairs or falling off ladders. Ma? Terrific at everything else. It's why the whole family thing works so well. We each have our roles.

And that's pretty much all I have to say on the subject.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Another fine effort ...

Not to be outdone in the three minute fiction contest, I tried once again. This time, NPR asked writers to submit a back-drop story of a thousand words or less about one of three objects, picked up randomly from a bric-a-brac store.

The object I chose:


Click here for the rest of the story.

NPR Three Minute Story Contest Submission

It's not like I've been dead or nothin'. I have been doing a little writing. Like the short story I submitted to an NPR contest that had two simple rules: 1) the story must be read in less than three minutes, and 2) it must start with the sentence, "She closed the book, placed it on the table, and finally decided to walk through the door."

I did not win. I think I came in 4,672 out of 6,000. I don't know for sure but it just feels about right. If you care to, click here to read my submission.

By the way, click here if you care to read the winner. I don't mind losing to this story. It is remarkable.

Enjoy!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Craneleg's Twit #3

I said, "I have an ebullient karma." And my mom said, "I don't care what kind of fancy auto you drive, you shouldn't be so happy w/o a job!"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cranelegs Twit #2

Have you ever said to a stranger "thats not something you see every day" & then realize the stranger is blind. If you haven't, it's awkward.