Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Cormac MacCarthy - - The Road - - A low key stupid contest

I have tried, and failed, to write anything else about Mark Foley. Too many others are doing a much better job. I am too addled and amazed to get into any of the other politics. I was forking some hay out in the barn this morning and this thought hit me like a ton of bricks.

President Bush is in Phoenix today. He is doing two fund raisers for Republicans who are running for Congress. The. Worst. President. Ever. Has fans. Has them where I live. I decided to bury myself in some decent fiction.

I have a few authors (most of them are not contemporary) where I own a complete set of their work. Yeats, Shakespeare, e.e. cummings, to name a few. Of the contemporary authors I own a complete set of John Irving, Harry Crews, William Manchester, David Hackett Fisher, Flannery O'Connor, and Kurt Vonnegut. Also, Cormac MacCarthy.

I just finished his most recently published work The Road. It is searing, brutal and beautiful. Like most of his work, people will be tempted to make a movie, and the movie will most likely suck. This is literature. If you take away the imagination required to appreciate this, if you take away the vivid scenic descriptions you will diminish this book's power. I read the entire book in one day. I put it down a few times to do things that needed doing. Then I went right back to it. I had a football game (where I had money riding on the outcome) on and read the book instead. I'd look up every now and then to try and get a feel of the game, then I turned it off. This book is simply the best thing that I've read this year.

So, now to my silly contest. Since I am in need of cheering up I will entertain in the comments, jokes, witty statements, total ass kissing flattery, anything anybody can say that will cheer me up and put a stupid silly smile on my face or even a tale of poverty and woe that might remind me how fucking good I have it in life. Anything goes. Those of you (and there are many) who write much better than I do can remind me of that. Again, Anything Goes. A total free fire zone. Over the next two days I will check the comments and using a totally arbitrary and autocratic process I will pick one who will be the winner to be announced on Saturday.

The prize? I will send, through Barnes and Noble, a copy of this book. I also on Saturday post my "5 Things Feminism Has Done For Me" meme, which I was indirectly tagged by Shakes. I'm going to be at my mother's house for her birthday. I will be in the company of my mother, my three sisters, two of my three daughters who are the most influential women in my life. I figured why not do that one at that time when it makes the most sense, ya know?

So, have it at it folks. The prize is the best book I have read this year. Somebody gets a book out of this.

cross posted at Big Brass Blog


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a mildly amusing story for you. Fair warning-it may be one of those "you had to be there" stories. We were at a furniture store in St. Augustine, FL, where we live. Shortly after we came in, another customer came in and asked the clerk about the whereabouts of another clerk. The clerk replied "Oh, he had to go to the courthouse." However, her accent made the word courthouse sound like whorehouse, both to me, my husband, and, judging by her reaction, the other customer, who looked at the clerk, then at us, with a quick, unbelieving smile on her face. Anyway, my husband and I both still laugh about that story (of course maybe we're just easily amused).

10:38 AM  
Blogger Marked Hoosier said...

A joke just to cheer you up...

I have both amnesia and de ja vu, I think I have forgot this before.

Thank you, thank you... be sure to tip your servers!

10:58 AM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

I could tell you about the time I was asked to pick up six orphaned opossums and take them to the wildlife hospital and how as I closed the hatch of my mini van, they scampered over the edge of the box they were in and dove under the dash of my car.

I baited them the next day with banana flavored ice cream. They couldn’t resist and as each little fuzzy body crept out from under the dash, I grabbed them.

I could tell you about the time I was asked to pick up an injured pelican to take to the wildlife hospital. When I arrived he was inside a cardboard box that was sealed up with holes poked in it so the bird could breathe. I put him in the back of the mini van and started driving back to the hospital. I stopped at a stop light and noticed the people in the car beside me were looking at my car with the strangest expression. I looked in the back seat and there stood the pelican looking out the window at the people in the car beside me. The tape on the box had given way and he had hopped out and decided he could get a better view from up on the seat.

I have a lot of these stories because being a volunteer ambulance driver for a wildlife hospital just hands you fun and different experiences. A couple years later I went to work at the same hospital as asst. director. More stories came with that too.

11:19 AM  
Blogger JerseyCynic said...

(please forgive me!)

Did you hear the one about the FBI job opening?

They’ve narrowed it down to 3 applicants – 2 men and 1 woman. Their final test: One at a time, they are each given a gun and are taken to a basement room where their spouse awaits. Their instructions: you must shoot your wife/husband.

They call the first man down. As they hand him the gun, he quickly says “Oh my goodness! I could never kill my wife”. He is told “I’m sorry, but you do not have what it takes to be an agent” and is asked to leave. They call the second man in, hand him the gun and instruct him the same “you must shoot your wife”. He slowly enters the room and closes the door. Not more than a minute passes and the door opens – there stands the man, tears streaming down his face “I’m sorry, I just cannot do it”. He is also told he doesn’t have what it takes. Now they bring the woman down, hand her the gun, and give her the same instructions. She enters the room and closes the door. Within a few seconds you can hear all kinds of commotion going on within the room – loud bangs and heavy thuds against the door. It Sounds like things are flying all over the place. This goes on for a few minutes. All of a sudden, everything goes quiet and still. The door slowly opens and the exhausted looking woman staggers out and says “WTF?” “This damn gun has blanks!” “I had to beat him to death with a chair!”

12:30 PM  
Blogger Pogo said...

I can't compete.

1:44 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

vervet: st. augustine alone puts you in the running. an old and dear friend (and one of the finest damn guitar pickers i've ever known) gamble rogers is from there. i adore st. augustine, the history (and it used to be one of the very few places that was mostly populated by born and bred floridians), i just love the place.

mark: tipping servers is something i do scrupulously. even with service i consider to be substandard. it's a tough way to make a living.

PoP: i love critter stories, especially rescue critters. one of my sisters volunteers at a place called "wild haven" where they do rescues and rehabilitation. it's a noble cause.

j.c. i heard that one but with it being c.i.a. it's funny, it made me laugh today. it reminded me of something i said during a conference with attorneys during my last divorce "if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, will it still be my fault?"

pogo: tough shit, you're in it.

2:57 PM  
Blogger pissed off patricia said...

Yep pogo, you have no choice. Hit us with your best shot. We have lots of time and you aren't getting out of this. :)

MB, I know your sis and I would get along just fine together. I wish she had a blog site.

3:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, here is my offering.


Dear Ma and Pa,
> I am well. Hope you are. Tell Brother Walt and
> Brother Elmer the Marine Corps beats working for old
> man Minch by a mile. Tell them to join up quick
> before all of the places are filled.
> I was restless at first because you got to stay in
> bed till nearly 6 a.m. but I am getting so I like to
> sleep late. Tell Walt and Elmer all you do before
> breakfast is smooth your cot, and shine some things.
> No hogs to slop, feed to pitch, mash to mix, wood to
> split, fire to lay. Practically nothing.
> Men got to shave but it is not so bad, there's warm
> water. Breakfast is strong on trimmings like fruit
> juice, cereal, eggs, bacon, etc., but kind of weak
> on chops, potatoes, ham, steak, fried eggplant, pie
> and other regular food, but tell Walt and Elmer you
> can always sit by the two city boys that live on
> coffee. Their food plus yours holds you til noon
> when you get fed again. It's no wonder these city
> boys can't walk much.
> We go on "route marches," which the platoon sergeant
> says are long walks to harden us. If he thinks so,
> it's not my place to tell him different. A "route
> march" is about as far as to our mailbox at home.
> Then the city guys get sore feet and we all ride
> back in trucks.
> The country is nice but awful flat The sergeant is
> like a school teacher. He nags a lot. The Captain is
> like the school board. Majors and colonels just ride
> around and frown. They don't bother you none.
> This next will kill Walt and Elmer with laughing I
> keep getting medals for shooting. I don't know why.
> The bulls-eye is near as big as a chipmunk head and
> don't move, and it ain't shooting at you like the
> Higgett boys at home. All you got to do is lie there
> all comfortable and hit it. You don't even load your
> own cartridges. They come in boxes.
> Then we have what they call hand-to-hand combat
> training. You get to wrestle with them city boys. I
> have to be real careful though, they break real
> easy. It ain't like fighting with that ole bull at
> home. I'm about the best they got in this except for
> that Tug Jordan from over in Silver Lake. I only
> beat him once. He joined up the same time as me, but
> I'm only 5'6" and 130 pounds and he's 6'8" and near
> 300 pounds dry.
> Be sure to tell Walt and Elmer to hurry and join
> before other fellers get onto this setup and come
> stampeding in.

> Your loving daughter,
> Carol

yo soy Horsedooty!

4:31 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

actually, i was giving pogo a full entry consideration with points on humility and self-deprecation, both are things that are sadly lacking in today's society...

que tal horsedooty! when i finished senior year in high school i followed the cantaloupe harvest from yuma to the central valley. when i got to boot camp there wasn't shit they had for me that was a challenge physically. but it does remind me of a horse joke...there's a rancher in arizona who has some beautiful stock horses. a rancher from texas comes to visit him. it's about 2 miles from the turnoff to the ranch house and when he gets there the texas man asks the arizona rancher how long he has been on his property. the zoner tells him how big the spread is. the texas man says "well son, i can saddle up in the morning and ride all day and still have half a day's ride the next one before i'm off of my property." the arizona rancher says "then you really do need some new horses, don't you?"

5:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hola como te va mi amigo. Being from texas I dont like to be the butt of a joke but I have learned to accept it as part of life.

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:01 PM  
Blogger J. Goff said...


How are harps like really old people?

They never forgive and they're a bitch to get into and out of cars.


9:03 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

bravo jack! truth and humor at the very same time....apropos of nothing have you ever heard of a book called the quark and the jaguar? it's by murray gell-mann heavy duty quantum physics stuff but written in by-god english.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Pogo said...

Sorry pop, I'd really have to resort to plagiarism to even get into the same ballpark as you, vervet and HD. Of course, mistrell would ROTFLHAO if he heard me practice Clapton and Hendrix licks.

7:05 AM  
Blogger maurinsky said...

What do you say to a guitarist in a three piece suit?

"Will the defendant please rise?"

(confession: I stole this joke from my Music History teacher. He mostly cracks jokes about drummers (What do you call someone who hangs around musicians? A drummer), but sometimes he makes fun of other instruments as well.)

7:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you call an accordian player with a beeper?

An optimist.

Or how do you tell if the stage is level?

The drool is coming out of both sides of the drummers mouth.

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what do you call an accordian player with a beeper?

An optimist.

Or how do you tell if the stage is level?

The drool is coming out of both sides of the drummers mouth.

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

srry for the double post bogger turned into booger again.

yo soy Horsedooty!

7:31 AM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

how do you get a guitar player off of your porch?

pay for the pizza.

what do you call a guitar player who has a fight with his girlfriend?


7:41 AM  
Blogger J. Goff said...

Yep, I've heard about it from one of my professors. I'm thinking about buying it whenever I get money to do so, but I might just see if I can borrow his. Gell-Mann is huge in the discovery of the elemental particles and the weak force. 8^D

3:03 PM  
Blogger Friðvin said...

MB - enjoy your visit with your mother. Believe me, after spending 2 nights last week with mine for her 83rd birthday, that'll take your mind off just about anything!

As for Foley, well, you've no doubt noticed I haven't said a word on my blog yet. TOO much info coming too quickly. As I commented at Republic of T, I'll just wait and until the game is over, I'll know the score, and THEN I'm sure I'll have plenty to say. Meanwhile, everyone else can go at it. (Pam, incidentally, has posted a TON of stuff!! That's where I go to get "caught up.")

4:03 PM  

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