Daily Archives: August 14, 2011

“Number, Please?”

A few years ago my cell phone fell out of my overalls pocket into an irrigation ditch when I reached down to worry a valve.  Sank spang to the bottom, but came out seemingly okay after I dried it out.  But was never the same afterward …. grew progressively worse until it was useless for a couple of months.  I waited, figuring it might come back, or that I might decide I just didn’t need a cell phone.  But I’m a pansy-arsed modern man these days and I finally just decided to give in to progress.

Got myself a new one.  Gives me something of a start, the stuff on that new phone.  Rattles me to the core that we’ve become so futuristic Dick Tracy-esque.

This thing will take pictures!  It will surreptitiously  take videos or recordings of the cop who’s leaning over your car window acting the way cops shouldn’t.  It will do all manner of things I don’t know how to do with it yet and maybe won’t be able to justify learning.  Gives me the fantods thinking about trying to figure that thing out.

Reminds me of when I was a kid and we got our first phone.  They were teaching me about it, how you put this end to your ear and that end to your mouth and listen for an operator to say, “Number, please.”

Then how you say, “3621” if you need to call Jeanne Ann and Hollis because someone had an accident and you need to get help.  Or when you call KENM radio station to give the answer to the College Dairy Quiz and win movie tickets for the family.

And how you stay the hell off of it in all other circumstances.

I was a precocious kid and had a tendency to get us all to the movies pretty often, but my problem was that when that operator came on I usually blew up.  My mind went blank, I’m ashamed to say, when I heard that beeeeeeutiful female operator voice.

Fortunately, the operators got on my side after a while, with the College Dairy Quiz.  At 6pm when I lifted that phone they’d just say, “I’m ringing them, dear.” without me having to say anything.
This one won’t do that, but it’s still okay without any operators.

Note:   I recently came across this, written before I left New Mexico.  Tweaked it a bit, but nowadays it’s foreign to me because it’s “NO SERVICE” when you click the button.

Old Jules

Johnny Rivers– Memphis

Catatonic Doggerel

Explanatory note:  I used to spend a lot of time on the Zuni Rez with a lady-friend who was school librarian there for 20+ years.  The animals described and named here were all hers.  I post this as a hat-tipping to Ernie, Princess, Spot, Boy Toy and the rest.

A schoolmarmish lady in Zuni
had canines subversive and loony;
her communist felines
made neighborhood beelines
with doctrines both outworn and puny.

The KGB cat was a lean
and speckled-nosed beauty serene
appearance alone
for her countenance shown
multi-faceted plots as she preened.

Her Weathercat history was tops.
She’d sprayed on dozens of cops
with a Commie aroma
ere she joined  Sertoma
cavorting with phonies and fops.

The ringleader hound was a red
and curly haired rascal it’s said
whose Trotskyish leanings
and Maoish gleanings
were pondered curled up on the bed.

Princess Redfeather, they tells
of this curly red bitch of the cells,
forsook her fine lineage
to sip of the vintage
of Lenin, and Gulags and hells.

The worst of the felines, Bearboy:
striped and cross-eyed and coy;
Politically weak,
but claws that could tweak
bourgeoise carpet, and bedspread, with joy.

The Uncle-Tom dog of the hut
was Ernie, the gray-bearded mutt;
dog-tired, and dogmatic,
he thought, ”Problematic:
dog-eared dialectic and glut.”

A calico hound lying dormant,
most likely a police informant:
a capitalist clown
took his food lying down
resisting the commie allurement.

The Uncle-Tom dog she called Ernie
began as a dog-pound attorney
commuted from gassing
he pondered in passing
discretion’s demands for a journey.

The Stalinish kittenish spies
spread foment and torment and lies
to the Indian curs
and mutts that were hers
and war-gods high up on the rise.

Princess and Ernie and, Spot,
and Chester , the narc-dog; the lot:
for half a piaster
would bring the disaster
to Zuni, once called. Camelot.

Old Jules
Copyright 2004, NineLives Press

The Communist Internationale (Original, with English Lyrics)

Gloria Jean’s CATS – “You Better Come Home” – CAT SONG