Thought for the day: When tracking coyotes, leave the Peekapoo in the car.
My daughter, Ivy, calls me to tender advice, push a plan.
“You need to renew your recreation center membership,” she says. “Think back to when you worked out in the weight room nearly every day; you were obsessed with lifting heavy things and putting them down again. You were a sturdy old guy. Remember?
“Now, “ she continues, “you’re obsessed with cheese, alcohol, weird weed tinctures, Czech porn, and pork shanks. It’s time to get back in shape, Dad, re-target your obsessions, hit the iron, pack on some muscle. You weigh the same as you did ten years ago, but the bulk relocated to a different neighborhood — around your midsection. I have to be honest, it’s sad. More than sad, but I can’t come up with a better term at the moment. I need a thesaurus.”
“Yeah, you’re right,” I reply as I multitask, scrolling down a list of pork shank recipes on one of my favorite Internet food sites. “I had to give up lifting heavy objects and putting them down again when the docs discovered the prostate cancer surgery didn’t work. They pried out the nugget, but those pesky cells escaped the capsule of the gland and made their way through my system, looking for new homes. Testosterone is like meth to prostate cancer cells, and nothing boosts the Big Boy hormone like weightlifting. I turned my back on testosterone.”
“You tell me nearly every day that you’re dying soon,” she says. “It’s established that you’re closing in on the finish line, so why not hit the tape in full stride instead of staggering into it behind an overload of Tito’s Handmade Vodka and triple-cream Brie? You can bring admirable heft to the podium at the medal ceremony, if you make the effort.”
“I’m glad you mentioned the vodka,” I say. “I Googled the product and discovered that Tito makes every last drop by hand. Or hands, to be accurate, since he’s ambidextrous. I’d like to travel to San Antonio, or Austin, or wherever, and personally thank the guy, shake each of his hands. If Tito doesn’t speak English, I’ll have your mother along as an interpreter. The senora can handle the chit-chat.”
“Don’t try to duck this, Pops. Think gym.”
“Your mother is pressuring me to renew the gym membership,” I say. “She wants me to perch on a stationary bike and work my ass off for an hour, three or four times a week. Is there any better metaphor for the end game in a fading culture than peddling for hours, going nowhere, and thinking you’ve accomplished something? Maybe I’ll do that. I can take your mother’s laptop and check out recipes, while I go nowhere.”
“Nope,” she responds, “it has to be a muscle building activity. And the more often you do it, the faster you build muscle. I recommend heavy weights at least five times per week, protein shakes, massive doses of human growth hormone. I have a source for HGH in Pasadena. I’ll buy a supply of syringes and latex gloves, and we can fire the stuff into your thighs. You need to build muscle mass, pronto!”
“You remember you put it in your will that I‘m in charge of the disposal of your remains?”
“My ashes? No, I don’t remember.”
“Well, you were incredibly loaded when you did it, but trust me, you said it seemed just fine, so long as I followed your instructions: sift you, toss the big, bony parts on the family grave site in the Oddfellows Cemetery in Central City, and include the powder in a variety of foods to be fed to mourners at a memorial banquet.”
“Oh, OK, I recall that.”
“Well, when I agreed … turns out now, I lied. I have another plan, and it’s a dandy.
“A different menu? You don’t like the ash-coated cheeses, and the fried and baked stuff with my remains included in crusts and coatings?”
“This isn’t about food. I’m talking rare gems, Dad. I’m going to have you compressed into a diamond. That’s why the weight room program. I checked this out, and discovered that fat is of no value, it just melts away when they turn up the burners. Not that it’s totally useless; odds are good there’s a drip pan at the crematorium, and the ghouls at the mortuary collect the fat and make candles for the Chapel of Fond But Flawed Memories, or whatever they call it.
“Bottom line, I can’t use your fat, which is a shame since you have so much of it. For my plan to work, I need muscle and its precious byproduct. We’re talking max carbon, and that means bones. The stress needed to build muscle encourages bone growth. You’ve wasted away to fifteen percent carbon or less because of your totally sedentary lifestyle. I need you at eighteen-plus.”
“I am not totally sedentary,” I reply. “I walk up and down the stairs at least ten times each day, and so far this winter I’ve taken my snow blower, Big Red, out after three storms. With El Niño working up steam, I might bust that brute through the drifts and berms five, six more times before the spring thaw.”
Ivy is not impressed by Big Red, or my driveway clearing strategy, which I base on the traditional Zamboni pattern.
“I want a diamond,” she says, “a huge mother that people spot when I go out in public. So, I figure if you muscle up, I can get a 1.4-carat gem out of you. And, you can do more: if you don’t cut your hair until you’re hauled off by the coroner, I’ll harvest the hair before they torch the rest of you and boost the carat size to something respectable. Hair is a much better source of carbon than ashes. I want to turn you into something I can wear on a pendant or a tiara. It’s gotta sparkle. You’ve gotta sparkle.”
“I have great hair,” I say, “thick, wavy, luxurious.”
“I know for a fact that a number of older women whose hair is thinning envy me. I see it when they stare at my head at the grocery store, when they think I’m not looking.”
“Your hair’s thick, wavy, and incredibly luxurious,” says Ivy. “It’s probably your greatest attribute, come to think of it. Imagine the distress it will cause those old birds if you let it grow to your waist. Dear god! You tie that thick, wavy, and luxurious hair back in a huge ponytail and hit a senior center or nursing home during lunch service, you’ll stop those old coots in their tracks. It’s something to look forward to, but it depends on you getting with the plan. Muscle and hair. Stat!”
She hangs up: she’s at Starbucks, and her sous vide egg bites are ready.
I take Ivy’s proposal seriously, given that she created the Cerebro — a cocktail made of equal parts of limoncello and the cerebrospinal fluid extracted from me during a lengthy stay in the neurosurgery ICU at the Anschutz Center, University of Colorado Hospital. The woman has excellent ideas.
Me, a diamond.
I research the prospect. Carbon, bones, hair, more carbon. Hair is approximately 50 percent carbon.
I find that darker colored hair contains more carbon than light-colored hair. I’m in the groove on this one: I’m one dark dork, hairwise. Could be a bit darker, but at least I’m not a redhead. Red hair contains less carbon than dark hair, plus ancient Greeks believed redheads turn into vampires at death. I had two redheaded love interests in my late adolescence, each a candidate for membership in the legion of the undead. Perhaps as its leader.
Hair is made of keratin, which is also found in hooves, beaks, claws, etc. It comforts me knowing I share fibrous structural proteins with other members of the animal kingdom.
Scientists laboring at Pharma-funded “dark” labs discovered that a person’s hair grows faster if he or she merely anticipates sex. I resolve to look into this further to determine whether or not the anticipation must involve the prospect of sex with another person. If not, my favorite Czech porn sites should provide all the fuel needed for peak keratin production.
But, I needn’t rely solely on my own crop. My personal stylist, Ramon, bags the hair at his barbershop at the end of each workday. I plot a caper where I rummage through the Dumpster at the back of the building after dark, and collect the bags without Ramon’s pit bull alerting and severely injuring me. My plan requires bacon, chicken parts, and a Taser.
I’m in a hair frenzy, pondering the potential diamond, totally involved in this me-to-diamond process, when something discouraging occurs — something all too common in contemporary America.
I discover that the cremation diamond routine is a scam.
A fucking scam! It doesn’t work. It’s bogus, a con, like Trump University. Or Trump’s alleged self-made fortune (where was that reprehensible asshole Fred Trump when I needed him?).
Damn, I should have known better!
So, I can’t be transformed into a diamond. I’m despondent. For a minute or two — before I realize I must not succumb to despair; I have things to do before I expire. For example, I must complete my scholarly investigation of the Czech porn business and send my report to Harvard. As I’ve done with several papers, I will mail this one to “Harvard: c/o Science Department.”
I determine to find ways to live longer, and healthier, without testosterone feeding my cancer cells. I may not be muscular as I plod along, but I resolve to be improved, my person carefully detailed, much like an aged and malfunctioning Mazda prepped for sale at a used car lot.
I discover two guiding lights in my search for revitalization, and I have no reason to regard either with suspicion.
Who are they?
Victoria Beckham and Gwenyth Paltrow.
Totally unTrumplike characters, they’re hyper-liberals, so they know everything, and are forcefully confident when sharing the truth with those of us ill-equipped to grasp the “whole picture.” They typify what I like most about liberals: they’re “woke” and “correct,” and exhibit smug disdain for anyone who is not just like them. I dream of such neo-Puritans, nearly every night. My dreams often include the full erection I can no longer achieve while awake.
How can they be frauds? Who in their right mind wouldn’t believe these folks as they provide materials and methods designed to enrich and expand a hapless plebe’s marginal existence? After all, they’ve had successful careers on stage, screen, and iTunes.
Gwyneth puts the rubber on the road and recommends injecting my own venous blood into the muscles in my butt, once a week, for several weeks. She states that my immune system will recognize the donation, and muster the troops for the battle against disease and disintegration. In a flash, that pesky prostate cancer will be nothing more than a memory. Gone.
There’s a bonus: Gwyneth promises I’ll be generally detoxified after I jack some blood. I assume that, after general detoxification, I can eat all the cheese and pork shanks I want, and grow a massive mane while I watch hour after hour of Czech porn videos and drink Tito’s Handmade Vodka. I might need to do a lot of the viewing from the standing position, since my ass will be a bit tender after repeated injections, but my pal, Joe, has concocted a special tincture that should relieve some of the discomfort.
I phone Wanda, my personal physician and trusted confidant concerning all things physical and spiritual, and ask when she can begin harvesting my blood.
Wanda’s response just before she hangs up is typically tongue-in-cheek: “You have to be fucking kidding.”
Wanda’s a riot. Not only that, she has a degree from an actual medical school, and has been known to cut people open. I need to get back in touch with her to work out the extraction schedule.
Once I’m clear of cancer and generally detoxified, I will turn to Victoria to ensure my skin is supple as I barge headlong into an enhanced future. After all, as one’s sex life is recharged by anticipation, and hair begins to sprout in wild profusion, skin tone becomes terribly important. I want the total package.
A recent article in The Guardian reveals that Spicy uses a moisturizer that includes her own blood. According to the article, this concoction, labeled “Sturm” (no Drung included) was created by a fashion-savvy character living in Berlin.
This makes sense.
It also figures that, soon, Germans will realize they can use the blood of others, rather than draining Life Juice from a member of the master race. Although Germans frighten me, I intend to mount this pony and ride. Blood from others, in particular helpless others, is a plausible strategy. Why suffer when others can do it for you?
The problem: where to find donors so I can be like Victoria, and scour myself baby smooth with platelets?
First stop, Germany, of course. Go straight to the experts.
I can get in touch with John, an artist and art teacher living in Munich. I’m sure he’ll be able to locate plenty of donors among the throng of recent refugees from Iraq, Syria, wherever. Most of the new arrivals are Muslim, and a few are dangerous extremists. John can seek out the radicals; blood loss means little to them if the sacrifice reeks of martyrdom and promises eternal life in a male-dominated paradise. As an artist, John is intimately familiar with delusional behavior and should be able to craft a tantalizing scenario to lure wannabe Jihadists into the van.
Perhaps, however, John wouldn’t have to resort to teasing vital fluids from fidgety and potentially violent Arabic-speaking neighbors. John knows plenty of young artistes, fresh out of school, toting their useless degrees, their heads lit by notions of art world stardom and mind-bending auction prices paid by oligarchs, the eager aesthetes destitute and living in poorly heated hovels while they wait for someone to praise their installations comprising semen-filled party balloons, used chewing gum, and facsimiles of high-end Prada products sculpted from blocks of compressed Stasi documents. These art tykes have plenty of blood available, what with their steady diets of currywurst and potent lagers.
Were I to rely on John, however, I would have to locate trustworthy providers of anticoagulants and refrigeration systems in order to allow for successful, regular shipment of the harvest, and I would need to figure ways to dodge the nosy assholes at U.S. Customs and Homeland Security.
I could avoid the difficulties in international trade by finding sources here in our increasingly decrepit culture.
As kleptocrats ravage the nation, shredding younger Americans’ hopes for prolonged economic success and stability, I’m sure there are saplings to tap in the nearby woods. For sure-fire longevity, nothing beats a transfusion of the blood of a young person. The younger, the better, according to Sturm.
I am not the first to realize this, and it appears there are others on the trail of a supply. The race is on!
The Guardian article reports that a company has opened clinics in five US cities where, for a price, an aging Baby Boomer can have the plasma of young folk piped directly into his corroded I-was-born-in-1946 system.
The current going rate for the miracle elixir is $8,000 per liter. I imagine the treatment adds to the cost, given the providers have to clean the containers, needles, tubes and beakers, every now and then. Perhaps as often as once a week.
Turns out, a roadblock exists: it is against the law for a commercial enterprise to pay for blood, so fluids must be donated. This makes it difficult for the average Boomer to collect more than a liter or so a month.
Where to procure more of the stuff?
I need to assess alternatives and access the viable ones before blood-hungry hedge fund managers discover them.
The first option is promising, but after inspection turns up a dry hole.
In the old days, when I was a lad in Denver, there were several large, Catholic Church-run orphanages in the city. With use of birth control a recipe for a woman’s certain damnation, there was an abundance of unwanted kids to care for. Those joints were packed to the rafters with waifs and runts of all shapes and sizes. All brimming with blood.
Think of how much product could be created if this inventory were available, free of charge. The supply would be assured, since many of the recipients of the orphan-based transfusions would be members of the clergy in need of additional vim and vigor for their CYO mentor side gigs, and their fevered pursuit of funding for accoutrements at the cathedral. The nuns would strap the feedbags on the kids thrice daily, then crack the whip, drainage-wise. Plentiful fluids would flow.
Alas, times change. The orphanages closed; women found the pill and decided to take their chances with the eternal torment promised by an institution dedicated to the protection of paternalistic traditions such as the support of rapacious colonialism, “celibacy,” and rampant pedophilia.
The pressure to secure a supply of blood, forces me to consider other possibilities. Hedge fund managers and their net-cruising cronies are doing the same, and there is only so much to go around.
The doctor in charge of the current transfusion clinics amps up interest when he assures customers that a smidge of kid blood shot into a vein provokes wonders. Get a dose while you can, he advises. The hosts of Fox and Friends are rumored to inject copious amounts of kiddie fluids right before show time. Obviously, the shit works.
A few lucky Boomers have “special” nieces, nephews, grandkids, who can be lured into making a trip to the transfusion center with the promise of a Happy Meal at McDonald’s, but many Boomers anxious to take the plasma cruise are not this lucky. With the Fox freaks on the bandwagon, the market is sure to amp up, resulting in a mob of frightened, aged Republicans on the prowl, searching for donors, spending down 401Ks in the quest for the fountain of youth, leaving the safety of their gated communities and assisted living facilities to lurk outside the fences at middle schools, flashing candy and fistfuls of crisp bills.. Demand will quickly exhaust the limited supplies.
These feebs are my competition, and I’ve got to beat them to the goods!
A second option. As noted earlier, this is the age of Trump. Ours is a government in which someone like Sarah Sanders is able to find top-level employment, with decent money, great exposure. Any other time, she’d be working the lunch line at an elementary school in rural Alabama, the edge of a ripped hairnet pulled down over her lazy eye as she plops yet another spoon of undercooked okra on a third-grader’s battered tin tray. A coreless shrew like Kellyanne Conway can be a White House “advisor,” instead of toiling as the assistant manager of a right-to-life call center in Sarasota, pimping her side business, hawking promise rings manufactured in Shanghai to uneducated Happy Church evangelicals.
With folks like this in charge of things, the problem concerning a source might be solved: Why not the Mexican and Central American children the current, compassionate government is holding in camps near the border? Why not put the tykes to work? Give them and their families (if the families can be located) a marginal “salary” — five cents per liter of plasma (which should require approximately 9.5 liters of whole blood), and extra graham crackers at dinner. Maybe put some of the older kids in charge of the centrifuge.
The obvious bonus for the kids: insight into the beauty of capitalist theory. If you’re willing to work, and make a sacrifice, dammit you’ll be successful! Not anywhere near as successful as the tools who steal your blood and never make sacrifices, but that’s yet another lesson concerning the workings of the capitalist system. Consider the knowledge to be good as gold. Welcome to America! Try not to lose consciousness on your way to the overflowing porta-potty.
As I consider this source, I realize access to the kids could be a problem, what with the bars and concertina wire. A convenient government shutdown provoked by morons in Washington DC might lessen the difficulty, since many of the guards would call in sick, but the window would close quickly. With any shutdown eventually over, meat puppets inspired by the likes of Sanders and Conway, would return to tightening the screws on the tots. Finding the kids, much less draining them, would be well nigh impossible once that happens.
Is there another answer? Some other way to push the envelope, add the years? Something without a limited resource and growing demand?
It hits me: I must turn from blood … to piss.
Shivambu, the ancient Hindu practice of auto-urine therapy. What was good for Morarji Desai should be good for me.
Works like a charm, according to Ayurvedic types and a meaningful number of Bikram Yoga fanatics. Given a steady supply of water on the input side of production, and barring fatal renal disease, it relies on a dependable process. It brings the product as close to home as my own blood, but involves no sacrifice of children, and less technology.
I base my conclusion on the wisdom of a guy who lives in Boulder, Colorado — celebrated home base for hyper-liberals, Prius owners, and New Age mind giants. I refer to him by his initials: BS.
Why would BS mislead me?
Urine is known by advocates of its ingestion and healing power as the “water of auspiciousness.” If chugging your own pee isn’t auspicious, I don’t know what is. It’s a sign of some sort of achievement, if only the ability to overcome the gag reflex.
According to the Boulder-based alternative healing genius, medical schools are off track, perhaps criminally negligent, in not including up-to-date urine info in curricula. You’ve got bacteria, antibiotics, hip replacement, band-aids. Why not urine? Point well made, I say.
I need to run this treatment option past Wanda during our next conversation. Why would she or any of her colleagues want to go to the extreme of surgery when she could prescribe that a patient down a couple quarts of their own pee? Equally important: why would any sane person incur enormous debt to pay for a medical school education when a trip to Wal Mart and the purchase of a plastic basin and a couple cheap tumblers would set them up in a successful practice?
Boulder BS is reportedly outraged when he hears his touted miracle juice described as “waste.” He claims piss is actually “ultra-filtered blood plasma,” and recommends transitioning to a diet of “living foods” in order to allow the body to do its most effective work on the pee, then getting down to business dribbling, drinking, extending and improving life.
I assume, by “living foods,” BS means anything that was once alive, so pork shanks and Brie, and plenty of Tito’s Handmade Vodka, should be up to standard. I’ll need to ensure a steady intake of water, as well. (Note to self: avoid asparagus.)
If I’m a bit squeamish when it comes to chugging a jug of urine, BS says I can start with pee footbaths, and work my way up. He assures me the soles of my feet will manage the uptake if the urine is fresh (I won’t store containers of urine for use during upcoming social upheavals, this is not a Mormon scenario).
Not only will my cancer be cured, but a dose of piss, administered in an eyecup, says BS, will rid me of cataracts, and it works wonders with insect bites and warts when applied with a cotton ball. Earache? No es problemo. Send little Bitsy to school with a syringe filled with her pee; the school nurse can shoot the stuff into the kid’s ears after recess.
BS further claims that if I engage in “looping” — pee in a glass and drink immediately — I get the benefit of platelets, and a bonus dose of stem cells. I conclude from this that stem cells do not survive in cool or cold urine. I’m sure the pros in the Science Department at Harvard know this, so I will not mention it in my paper.
And, get this: BS says hair turns darker when urine is used to wash it.
I’ve polished off a couple blasts of Tito’s, and I’m preparing to down a pint of my urine. Once I have done the deed, I’m going to wash my hair, then stand before the mirror, and wait for my hair to darken.
It’s a shame the diamond deal is a con. I could have been sparkly.