Life in the Real Desert: Close to Death

Buzzard in desert,
It is safe to say that my day got off to a bad start. The old prospector next door, with his eight noisy mongrels, woke me up when two of the animals began barking at just before 6 a.m. Despite best attempts to head back to the Land of Nod (I was tired as sleep in the night was interrupted by an idiot who was trying to start an engine with no muffler, aka exhaust pipe, attached to it from 23:30 to 00:30, that is half 11 pm to half gone midnight for those who have difficulty with the 24 hour clock) I was unsuccessful, it was too light and I was too annoyed. On top of that it was blooming hot and once awake, both at night and in the morning, sleep was, in the former instance a long time coming and in the latter, not approachable at all.

To exacerbate the poor start to my day, literally yards from my desert dwelling, an elderly neighbour came within a cat’s whisker of knocking me and my bike right off the road. Completely oblivious, at least I hope he was and that this was not a deliberate attempt to help me meet my maker, the sod never slowed down, although to be fair he was not travelling that fast, nor did he acknowledge my shouts of fury and my, very, rude gestures. As my adrenaline surged, I found myself making obscene remarks about his lineage and accusing him of self masturbation, in other words of being a wanker. Had I thought of it, I would have grabbed a rock and sincerely tried to hit the windscreen on the back of his Chevy pickup truck.

I am, it is safe to say, still furious. I still have the huge bump and bruising on my right leg from the other unconscious prat who knocked me off the car park surface, aka parking lot, at Love’s Truck Stop. *A place I have avoided like the plague since that little incident in March.* After my close brush with yet another attempt on my life, I was paranoid about every vehicle that passed me.

I realize that many of my fellow desert dwellers are, as stated in the title, close to death. Failing skill sets, a lack of cohesive attention to tasks at hand, failing health and, in some cases, just a bad attitude full stop, do not make these folks the best of neighbours.

Needless to say, blogging while angry is not a good idea, but, like the Incredible Hulk, sans the green and the increased size, my rage has been running on high since this idiot almost hit me with his bloody truck. All the way to the public library, titles for my first blog post scampered across my imaginary laptop screen, the one in my head, each more annoyed and insulting than the last.

Title’s like, “Rednecks Never Die, They Just Move to Quartzsite,” was the least offensive of the lot. The thing that calmed me down was the continual attempt to rework the old mot, “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed Jack is king.” This last internal dialogue, where I kept trying to substitute several annoyed phrases in place of blind, finally allowed the worst of my vitriol to dissipate.

Not completely though.

Just enough to stop the “Hulk smash” urge.

The problem is not just living amongst folks who are closer to death than I am, at least in terms of age. With an existing hole, apparently still in my aortic arch and damage to veins and arteries, as well as in one kidney, I may pop off more quickly than they will. With the exception of a dear new neighbour who has only a short time to live, and this lovely chap will be sorely missed by all who know him, the rest of the population in the neighborhood are a mixed bag who may all outlive me, especially if they persist in trying to kill me with their effing motor vehicles and that is where the problem lies.

These inept drivers may be quite nice away from their cars, trucks, vans and ATVs, although others seem to have the type of bad attitude that brings out the worst in me. If I can keep from becoming road statistic, I will remain tickled to death to have survived my further close brushes with the grim reaper.

Hopefully writing this rant out on a hot and dry day in the desert will help my anger and annoyance to abate further. If not my next update may come from behind bars and not, I hasten to add, the kind that serve drinks.

1 June 2015

Michael Knox-Smith

Suffer the Little Children

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Most people, myself included, love looking at videos on the net about babies. YouTube is full of them. They all make you laugh or go “aww.”

They are almost as popular as the animal videos. You know the ones I mean. Cute kittens and cats and dogs and puppies. These also make you go “aww” or laugh.

There are even a few about the older ‘babies’ you know, toddlers and above. There are less of those but, some not all, are truly hilarious. A little girls states solemnly that if a monster comes in her house she will, “Kick his ask.” David Goes to the Dentist, are just two that spring to mind.

Real life however is not as endearing.

Folks who let their ‘little angels’ run riot all over the place are not amusing.

The little ones who feel it is their God given right to throw things into your garden. Sweet wrappers, balls, toys in various stages of dilapidation, plastic bags and anything else their little hands get hold of.

The same little ones also like noise. The louder the better. They also like repetitive noise; banging, screaming  (the exact same decibel level each and every time) and thundering through their house with reckless abandon.

“Kids will be kids” is the old adage that most parents trot out when little Junior or Missy commit an act of hooliganism.

HAH!

Like the obligatory old fart (I am in my fifties) I will also trot out the old faithful, “We had discipline when we were kids.” And we did. Our parents didn’t beat us with a hose-pipe or a wooden  two-by-four. They did give out the occasional belt ‘stropping’ and they did utilize the switch.

*I don’t know about your parents but I do know some who  had the nasty habit of making you pick out your own switch.*

We were taught not to intrude upon other people’s space. That space included their home, their garden and their personal space. My parents were very good about not believing in the old ‘children should be seen and not heard’ and were vigilante in the art of teaching us to be polite and respectful.

I know this all started in the Dr. Spock days of parenting. The days of, “If I discipline my children they won’t like me anymore.” This started in the 1970’s and it has gotten worse. It has created a generation, or two, of parents who will not take the responsibility of parenting.

These irresponsible parents are churning out babies and not helping them become ‘people’ or teaching them about encroaching on their fellow man. These babies are growing up to be thugs and hooligans and are filling our jails as juvenile delinquents.

I am not lumping every young person into this category. There are some who don’t do any of the things I’ve mentioned. To those upright and stalwart young citizens I offer a salute of gratitude.

To the rest, I want to offer a swift kick in the seat of the pants of their parents.