Short Story Sunday: None of his concern

Senator Wallace “Wally” Baskin stood on the podium as his fans watched on. They knew he would cut funding to arts, which after all were only for high brow perverts and didn’t do anything for the economy. He had cut funds for National Parks which everyone knew were just glorified playgrounds used by retired folks and boy scouts. Bears and rock formations were not his concern. If he didn’t see it or like it then it wasn’t his concern.

He’d never seen a bear in the wild, an underaged prostitute, a Indian burial ground, the inside of an art museum, or a whale, so they were not his concerns. He had never personally known a soldier with PSTD, or one with missing limbs so that was none of his concern. Wally Baskin had never known a child with cancer, or anyone with AIDS, or an opera singer, so they were none of his concern.

Empathy, curiosity, and compassion were for the weak. They were none of his concern.

The Senator looked out over the crowd, a mix of white, brown, and a few darker folks picked out by his staff, mixed in with people who’d just come to the State Fair to see the hogs, goats, and a popular local metal band called Fire Pods. Wally wondered about the Fire Pods. He wondered if they worshiped the Devil, or ate exotic cheeses with California wine, or had sex with women who happily showed off their large breasts and snake tattoos. He thought about them with those women, legs wrapped around the skinny lead singer with the handsome face and long blonde hair.

Wally never liked Metal music. Wally never liked any music. His kids listened to music, but he never asked them about it. They were grown now and had been poisoned against him by his first wife. He didn’t see them but he still thought about it and it made him angry.

He’d told his son that majoring in English was a waste of time. He told his daughter that she’d never find a husband if she majored in Chemistry. When his ex-wife got remarried he’d called her a whore for not being faithful to the father of his children. It didn’t matter that he’d married a woman only ten years older than his son.

His new wife, a beauty named Desiree, was always by his side in her high heels and monochromatic suits. He didn’t see her much in his off time, but she was always there with a million watt smile, not a line on her face, and not an extra pound on her body. He wasn’t allowed to often touch that body, but he didn’t think she let anyone else touch it either. Today she stood by his side smiling and holding the hands of their extremely bored nine year old twin boys.

The boys had told their father they didn’t want to be there. Wally told him he’d whip their butts if they didn’t behave, so they behaved.

Maybe Wally should have whipped the butts of his older children more. That was one reason his wife left him and poisoned his unruly children against him. He thought of his daughter asking her stepfather to walk her down the isle when she got married. Wally was still trying to find dirt on the man. He refused to go to her wedding, but instead went to a church retreat with some of his political donors. He’d rather spend a weekend with God and other’s who appreciated him rather than his loser daughter.

Senator Wallace “Wally” Baskin stood on the podium and started to talk about family values, American values, God, and bringing back the goodness of yesterday. The crowd  gave a luke warm response by clapping politely and not walking away. As he walked to his limo, with his wife and whining boys behind him, he could hear the crowd roar with approval as Fire Pods started up their noise.

Wally would find the dirt on Fire Pods and have them ruined, especially the lead singer, the good looking blonde named Ryan Green. Fuck you Ryan Green thought Wally. Your career is OVER.

At home Wally said grace over the dinner table and told his wife that he was pleased with the outcome of the day. She smiled, but looked tired, even after changing into jeans and a tee shirt. He didn’t like it when she wore jeans, but he’d gotten tired of her bitching about it. He’d check her bank account in the morning and take out some money just to teach her a lesson. The twins ate chicken nuggets in another room while he and his wife had some sort of noodle dish. She called it pasta but it would always be noodles to him.

Life was good. Wally instructed his staff to post on all of his social media sites about his good life, his good wife, and his bright manly twin boys. He watched the news about floods, fires, quakes, tornadoes, murders, and all kinds of unpleasant things but that was none of his concern. If you don’t you’re house to shake don’t live in California is what he always said.

Later that night his wife was sitting on the back deck of their mansion sipping a glass of wine. She’d taken her make-up off. Wally told his wife she looked ugly without her make-up and he’d prefer to keep it on. She called him an asshole. He slapped her. She told him that she was unhappy. He said it was none of his concern and she’d better do her job as his wife and keep us her end of the deal.

The next morning Wally woke up to the sound of nothing. No breakfast cooking. No children with their annoying noise. No sound of their annoying dog. Not his wife singing some stupid songs he didn’t recognize.

On the kitchen table he’d found a note.

Wally,

Maria will be in tonight and make you dinner. She’ll organize the domestic staff from now on so you won’t have to see them. Remember Maria, our personal chef? She is the one you called a cow when she made stir-fry that night. If you call her names again she’ll leave you.

And speaking of leaving you… I have left you. I’ve gone off with Ryan Green. I’ve taken the twins, after all Ryan is their biological father. You were too stupid to guess that. Why do you think they look so much like him. 

If you wish to speak to me or send a message contact my lawyer. 

D.

Wally called his wife on the phone and left a long message. This would be the death of his political career. He called his ex-wife, he called his eldest son, he called his daughter. He even called his elderly mother.

None of them answered.

Two weeks later when his naked bloated body was found floating in his swimming pool the police asked his staff, his neighbors, and his family, why nobody had called to report him missing.

They all had the same reply.

It was none of my concern.

~ end

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Weirdness

Look at the babies. Even for a 159 year old Vampire this is weird. She picked on up by it’s little itty bitty arm. They’re flailing and crying on the ground. They’re naked. Poor babies.

And NO Vampires don’t steal or eat babies. Unlike our regular human counterparts we’ve evolved.

Right now we live in weird times. Let me back up a bit. It has always been weird but for some reason it seems especially weird now.

My 19 year old daughter  works in a smoothie and juice place. This morning a woman in her shop (blonde, white, dressed like what we call a crunchy hippie type) came in and accused a man of Indian descent (nice looking, dressed nicely like most guys in the many nearby high tech companies) of spying on her other covert activities. The poor guy was calling his wife on his phone to ask her if she wanted anything. He took the call outside and the blonde hippie woman followed him and started to yell at him. The staff of the smoothie shop was in shock. They apologized and gave the poor man free smoothie coupons. What the fuck is wrong with people. I feel so bad for the poor kids who work in the store, but especially for the poor guy just making a call to his wife. I was appalled.

Damn, I don’t even want to talk about the political scene. Shit like this keeps happening and politicians are enjoying every minute of it. They’re fanning the fire. I swear Vampires should start getting involved. There are so few of us but at least we have the history, and background, and education to make reasonable decisions. We can look back into the past and logically see what will happen and the consequences of certain actions. We are also passionate with a strong sense of values. We are experts in good and evil.

But alas I don’t think anyone is really ready for us. They aren’t read for a female president. I don’t think they’re ready for a gay president. I don’t think they’re ready for anything that isn’t spoon fed to them by a machine that resembles the worst kind of cult.

If we (Vampires) got involved we’d all be dead within a few years. They’d kill us. Nobody wants to understand us.

On the other hand…

Every year large beasts are being found in the ocean and vanishing jungles of the world. Even the term “vanishing jungles” should seem weird. I digress… back to my point. Do you think a Sasquatch or Bigfoot population will ever be found?

I don’t mean some fuzzy photos, a sound recording that sounds like coyotes howling or squirrel chatter, a weird footprint, or a tuft of what looks like German Shepard fur. I’m talking about a real physical being. Maybe a baby Squatch left at a campsite with a note saying, please take care of me. One can only imagine.

Don’t laugh at the note part. If they do exist they’ve managed to hide for a long time. The ability to read and know human language would aid in the ability to keep hidden. If you know where your enemies are and what they are doing you can make sure they never find you. Yes, maybe the hunt for Bigfoot is the ultimate hide-and-seek. Or maybe it is just a bull shit fairy tale. You never know.

Sometimes I still see guys with their pants down around their butt cheeks. I still don’t understand that. How can they walk. Plus it looks so unflattering. Dude, have some self respect. I don’t see it very often anymore but it still is so weird.

Urine. There are people who drink urine and even put it in their eyes. I’ll say no more on the subject.

Did you know that even NPR has a strange news page? It does. Here is the link: https://www.npr.org/sections/strange-news/

We’re all drawn to weird things on some level because it is something different that we don’t always see.

Then again there are those people in our lives we consider weird. There is Ramona who won’t talk to men and only drinks goat milk. There is Vance who dresses like a 1970’s British Horror movie Vampire, complete with red lined cape. We keep telling him to just wear jeans and a button down shirt. Vance wonders why he can’t get a date. Vance is a weird and lonely Vampire. Maybe I should introduce him to Ramona. I could go on and on but I know you have those weird people in your lives. Maybe you’re the weird person. That’s OK. It really is (sort of, sometimes, as long as you don’t bother me.)

I always told my kids that there is a find line between letting your freak flag fly, and being an asshole, or bully bait, or just an idiot. Like with all things, weirdness can often be transformed into a lovely sort of uniqueness. That is the goal.

Well, and finding Sasquatch. The goal is always to find Sasquatch, the Loch Ness Monster, maybe a space alien, matching socks, plastic lids that fit, your keys, your sanity, and a good friend.

I’m outta stuff to say.

If you have anything weird to share feel free to put it in the comments. This is a hate free zone. Have at it.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

 

What we’re talking about this morning over coffee.

My children and I used to talk about everything from laundry to politics on the way to school in the mornings. Now that one is out of the house, and the other has her own car and doesn’t need a ride to school or work, we talk over coffee, or over the phone, or just text each other.

School admissions. My daughter and many of her friends are transfer students. A transfer student is one who goes to a community college and then transfers to a four year university.

The graduation rate in the California State University system is less than 50%. For some schools it is less than 20% for students to finish in four years. Most students drop out before they ever graduate (from what we’ve read and heard.)

So WHY do transfer students who make great grades, do everything right, and work hard get rejected or put on wait lists while students who have no intention of ever graduating get places? I don’t mean to be judgmental but a lot of students go to college without a clue of what they want to do with that education. They go because they don’t have anything else to do or because someone else tells them to. After a year or two they drop out. In the meantime students who have a plan and want to graduate don’t in?

I knew someone who once worked in college admissions. She worked part-time to go over applications. Her attitude was so flippant about who did or did not get accepted. It absolutely disgusted me. I wanted to yell at her and explain that she was fucking with the lives of these potential students. She didn’t give a shit. She was just in it for the extra cash. Wow, sound familiar?

We need more

For the past few years we’ve been talking about politics but now we’re weary. The young folks are politically active. They’re not protesting in the streets, but they’re planning, and volunteering, and voting. They aren’t going to let a lot of backwards old men decide their future (who aren’t all really old, but act like they’re ass backwards in all respects.)

Sweaters. There is still a chill in the air. Everyone loves sweaters. We’ll wear sweaters as long as we can. My kids wear them all year. That is why they decided to go to colleges near the ocean.

Most Vampires can eat avocados. Don’t shame us for it and call us insufferable hipster assholes. Avacados grow here (California.) Avacados are good. Nuff said.

US. They said mom and dad need to go see US.

We talk about art a lot. We just do.

Our dog barks. Let me go back a bit…our three year old German Shepard is now getting protective and barks a lot of things, including, but not exclusively, other dogs, coyotes, deer, turkeys, the neighbor’s gardeners, and anything she sees as a threat or especially interesting. It seems like a lot because we’ve never had a dog who barks. It is kind of different. I think she (the dog) enjoys barking. I’d enjoy barking if I could bark like a dog.

I’ve been told that I drink shitty coffee. That is an overstatement. I drink OK coffee most of the time, and good coffee a lot. I grind my own beans. I use my own reusable coffee pods, or a French Press. My children are coffee snobs. That is OK. One even goes to coffee classes and seminars. That is OK too. I am committed to support small local coffee roasters and local coffee shops.

Spring is here. We’re enjoying the flowers, and the green fields and hills. My son said it means fewer sweaters which means an easier time for Vampires. I guess, as a Vampire, talking about what we do with donors is kind of like talking about what we do in the bathroom. Some people love to talk about it. Some don’t.

We talk a lot about everything. My mantra to everyone is to talk with your children. Not at them – but with them. Listen to them too. Have lively discussions. Have quiet thoughtful talks. Have silly talks that make you laugh out loud. Share what you did during the day, or what you’re planning, or what you saw. Sure they might be technically adults but they’re still your children. They’re still your heart and soul.

So that is kind of it for today. Hugs.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

Wild Coffee

Adventure in a Cup

 

 

 

Burning Question #50: Do you dare to believe?

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Are you ready?

Today is the day for 50 Burning Questions to come to an end with Burning Question #50.

So I’ll make this quick. In turn, I expect you to put your answer on the poll, AND leave a comment about your favorite, or least favorite conspiracy theory. Below are just a few to jog your memory. We’ll celebrate when we’ve all clicked on an answer. And as almost always you can vote more than once.

Trained companion dogs rigged the elections. Truman Capote wrote To Kill A Mocking Bird. Eric Trump is a Vampire. Abraham Lincoln did all kinds of activities both alive and dead that we’ll never know about. Ancient Aliens came to Europe in the Middle Ages. Ancient Aliens of course, but I’m not sure if any Young Aliens were around. Meriwether Lewis was murdered. Elvis is ALIVE. Cats control everything. Jess Sessions. Area 51. The Beatles never existed. Jerry Brown and Diane Feinstein are brother and sister. Marilyn Monroe was murdered by the Kennedy brothers. Aliens are everywhere. The Masons rule the world. JFK is still alive. A secret race of reptiles control the Earth from underground cities. Shriners rule the world – Ask Dan Brown about that. Believe in the Smoking Man. Bigfoot. Flat Earth. Men in black suits. And the list goes on and on and on and on.

 

 

Seriously folks, I know who is a Vampire and wrote Shakespeare’s Plays.

 

Burning Question #50: Do you believe any conspiracy theories?

(Just answer the silly poll. I won’t sell your information or text SPAM to your phone.)

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Thank you everyone for coming back week after week after week for all 50 BURNING QUESTIONS.

And the mermaid thanks you too.

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Feel free to leave a comment, tell a lie, tell me your crazy conspiracy theory, tell me a secret, tell a joke, make a comment, or just say something you’re BURNING to say. What were your favorite Burning Questions?

From time to time I will be asking compelling questions and posting more fun polls. The more you visit me the more you get to vote (more conspiracy theories here.)

Click HERE for ALL of the 50 Burning Questions.

xoxoxox

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

juliette

Oh where is that ghoul when I need it? 

It is Thursday. That means at least four hours of the music of leaf blowers in my neighborhood. I swear to God, if you don’t want leaves in your yard move to a house without trees.

I’ve even looked from my perch, and seen the yard guys blowing NOTHING. They get paid just to make noise.

I’ve always been respectful to my neighbors when it comes to noise, including dog parking, music, and other potentially obnoxious noises. Unfortunately not everyone thinks the same.

Yes, some have died (true fact, look it up) due to neighbors being pissed off by excessive leaf blowing. The same is true with early morning construction work, rooster crowing, dog barking, and late night parties with bad music, or drunk women laughing too loud in the wee hours of the morning.

I HATE LEAF BLOWERS. I HATE THEM.

Kids can’t study. Vampires can’t sleep. Brains can’t function. Work can’t be done. Writing gets sidetracked. Artists can’t art. Babies can’t nap. Dogs want to stay inside rather than go out and play. Young adults say, “what the fuck?”

In the old days I could just send out some shadow creeping ghoul to rip out a throat or at least scare the shit out of someone who facilitated obnoxious noises and behavior, but that is now unacceptable. Bothering everyone with yard equipment apparently is ok.  Oh where is that ghoul when I need it?

By the way, for all of you WP bloggers reading this. Yes, I’m writing this in the traditional mode. I can’t stand the new “blocks” editor. What the fuck where they thinking? Nobody can write fast and loud in that mode. Sometimes I just need to complain and be fast about it. I don’t need that kind of shit.

Leaf blowers are like those people who can’t shut up about politics. Nobody wants to hear that. NOBODY.

It is January 3rd. I have no need to complain because 2019 is going to be a stellar year. But then those damn leaf blowers show up and take over my mood.

Anyway… that’s it. Come back for more later. Not complaining – more pleasant things, or at least as pleasant as a cranky old Vampire can be.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman

 

Slut (and a few additional thoughts)

A story from my friend Bart. He’ll tell you all about it (you might have heard this before but it is a story well worth repeating – I’m sure a lot of you can relate.) At the end I will have a few more thoughts of my own.

Slut

A lot of us have kids in college, or starting college in the next year or two. One of the big things everyone is talking about is sexual assault on campus or in college towns. I’ve talked about it with my two kids who are in college. Everyone has, at least everyone who is a decent parent.

So I get this call from Hodge Williams. Yes, that Hodge Williams. Everyone remembers him.

“Bart, how are you?” As soon as he spoke I wondered what he wanted.

“Hodge. Fine. Great. Life is good. What’s up?”

“I’m writing a story on the history of sexual harassment and violence at universities in the US. I tried to contact your sister but she wouldn’t return my calls.”

“Beth?”

“Yes, Beth. She kind of got around so I was thinking she might have experienced first hand, you know, she was at risk.”

“What do you mean by at risk?”

“Oh come on, your sister was a slut. Everyone knew it.”

I sat there with the phone a bit stunned. He just called my sister a slut.

“Hodge, you’re an asshole. In fact you’ve always been an asshole.” I hung up the phone. What an asshole.

After sitting for a few minutes and collecting my thoughts I called my sister and told her about the conversation.

“What an asshole,” she said. “Sure I was sleeping with his best friend without the benefit of being his best friend’s official girlfriend. OK I also slept with another one of his friends but we were in college. We were young.”

“Did you ever sleep with Hodge?”

“No. Hell no. He was always making passes at me and grabbing me. Hodges had that Madonna/Whore things going on in his head. A girl was either a virgin until marriage or a whore. Plus we’re not like him, you know the religion thing, so he just assumed I was a whore.”

“But you didn’t have sex with him.”

“I know. That makes me a whore. He called any girl who wouldn’t have sex with him a whore.”

“What an asshole.”

“I know. Believe me, I know. I mean, if the guy had asked me to go see a movie or go for a walk or just spent time talking that would have been different but he was just all over me like…yuck. He really called you? I can’t believe he’d have the gall to do that. Asshole.”

After we got off the phone with the promise of a lunch date later in the week I got to thinking about my own kids.

I’d spoken with both my daughter and son about sexual predators. I’ve done the best to teach them not to be bully bait. I’ve taught them to stand up for themselves and for others.

From experience I knew that bullies never grow up and most don’t change.

Hodge never got the answer he wanted. Over the years Beth had a few close calls with sexual predators but she always ended up safe either by being with friends or using physical force to get out of it (exactly twice as she told me.) That didn’t include unwanted advances by guys like Hodge. And even though Hodge didn’t use force it still hurt emotionally that he’d think so little of her or of any girl.

I wanted to pound the crap out of him. Then I thought about how many other women out there who thought the guy was an asshole. That made me smile. Spread the word ladies, spread the word.

That evening after work I talked to my wife about it. She shook her head and said she’d had similar experiences. More anger surged through my brain, then sadness deep in my soul.

We all judge others. We all make assumptions. We all call names even if it isn’t out loud. We all talk behind the backs of others. Maybe we need to stop. It isn’t easy. It isn’t even practical.

Anyway, if you see Hodge Williams call him and an asshole, and tell him that Beth and Bart don’t say hello.

~ end

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Since the day I became a mom I’ve thought of telling my kids about sexual predators. I’ve told them that more often than not sexual predators are people they know. It will be their word against yours. More often than not they already know how to hack the physical, emotional, legal, and social systems so that you won’t win. But always fight back. Never believe their lies. Tell your parents or someone else you trust.

Parents: LISTEN to your kids. Talk to them. Don’t judge. Don’t yell. Listen. Help. BELIEVE THEM. Kids and teens don’t lie about these things.

College Kids: RED CUPS. Don’t drink out of a drink anyone else gave you. That sweet punch in the big red cups will SLAM you hard. There will be a blog post about it and a quiz in a day or two.

In light of everything going on in the news this week I have a story. A friend posted something on FaceBook about men and boys behaving badly. She claimed if women flashed their boobs at Mardi Gras and other drunken events like concerts etc., then why did we all have a problem with men flashing their dicks.  I thought I’d quote my 19 year old daughter:

“When a woman flashes her boobs she is being silly and using bad judgement. It is insanely tacky and rude but not threatening anyone. When a man exposes his penis to someone it is a power and control thing. He is doing it as a threat. He is doing it with the purpose to make someone else intentionally uncomfortable. You can’t compare the two.”

That is all for today. Be safe. Talk to your kids. Listen to them. Believe them.

~ Juliette aka Vampire Maman