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"If You're Bored Of the Planet Earth" [Bottled Whispers |Engage Time Machine |Channeled Spirits|Magick Mirror]
Jack Babalon

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Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Sep. 21st, 2017|11:05 pm]
Jack Babalon

No good comes when you rely solely on the Internet for validation of your existence from the rest of the world. So out into the thunder and the rain the Princess takes me as we embark on Operation Reload. Lightning flashing between the skeletons of future of duplexes and mixed use developments. There's something in the storm that feels personal, as if the sky, sensing that I'm unable or unwilling to weep or scream, does it for me.

We don't talk of ghosts tonight the Princess and I, no Vampire Country reconnaissance for us at the Admiral's Grave. Nor do we speculate on the future ahead, in the macrocosm of this 'our darkest timeline' or the microcosm of just growing old.

Instead we focus on the little things, the quotidian details often as essential as they are overlooked. We find succor in laying out the cartography of back yards, the alchemy of the kitchen, the intricate diplomacy of office politics.

Finally she asks me if I'm in the 'Place' again.

I nod, the sad place, biological deep, where the neurochemically sabotaged narrative of consciousness sea serpent rises into the otherwise clear day. It pushes the right people away and lets the wrong ones play me. I become a fist capable of only boxing shadows or a hand reaching out lonely across burning bridges.

It's okay, she says, knowing full well the damage our brains shit out and poison themselves with driving us to seek better poisons to still the thoughts we can't stop thinking.

We stop on a side road until the rain and the thunder and the lightning cease. We don't say a word. We don't hug or confess or even look at each other. We just stare ahead into the night until the crickets and ambient traffic seep through the window.

You good?, she asks.

Nah, I smile, but better and that's good enough.

So back on the road we go, ready to fumble through the poison and ghosts to a future that doesn't know what to do with us.

Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Sep. 15th, 2017|12:44 am]
Jack Babalon
September in Vampire Country and the season of ghosts is almost upon us.

We're at the Admiral's Grave, the Princess and I, with the woes we exchange feeling clunky as swords heavy with the regret of victories never again to be fought. More than friends, we serve each other as witnesses, living reminders that the dead we name are not ours alone to carry. For there is one truth this world does offer and that is you are never truly alone so long as there remains one friend who can put a face to each grave stacked on your back.

I'm drinking alone as the Alcohol Demon bites each of us a little different, more of a pothead whiskey hits me German Maudlin and Italian Sentimental. For the Princess... there's a beast there waiting to kill the vital spark with just a absentminded sip. This makes her sad but she likes coming here because it's a good kind of sad, like seeing a kid that could've been the kid you had if you weren't a consummate fuck-up, and she's wearing a t-shirt of your favorite punk band and for a moment you can only smile because you're sure you're seeing your daughter from a parallel universe where all the necessary chances didn't come until too late. The last ditch hope of the fuck-up artist is that somewhere out there in endless parallel universes is a world you made good on the potential and opportunities given.

So I tell the Princess about a time long ago, a time before Magpies and Teddy Bears and stage frights and e DJing electric Kabuki funerals for drink ticket plus a plus one. A time here at the Admiral's Grave, sitting in this very same booth we're sitting now, only with Jimmy and Germ and one of them Stopper kids squeezed in with us. Germ had been out 'spanging' (his gutter punk portmanteau for 'spare changing') earlier in the day and ran into some Normie Georgia Tech geek looking to cop a QP of weed. Germ calls the Stopper Kid (I see you now you who I will not name you with your Billy Idol pout on a body that stopped growing at 13 with your Mohawk dyed 'swamp monster' yellow) who in turn calls Jimmy to set up a meet. Jimmy figures he can get rid of some Brown Frown dirt weed he got stuck with and mark it up on the fuck. Since I'm couch surfing at his place and running the books for him as well, Jimmy wants me to come along as an extra pair of eyes. I protest, as the whole thing sounds sketch as fuck, but he insists that my combination of constant paranoia and introversion make me aware of what others miss which might come in handy.

"Just read the prick like one of your books and tell me if we're talking to a narc."

"Whaddam I a mind reader, man..."

"You the one with the bald head, Professor X." Jimmy grabs the top of my dome and gives it a good rub.

Well, as I did enjoy surfing the man's couch and smoking his weed and watching his Run Run Shaw flicks off a stolen DVD player I couldn't exactly decline the offer.

So we're sitting here at the Admiral's Grave, not much later then than it is now, and the Normie's a no show, clocking close to an hour late. Well Jimmy's fuming, pounding back Guinness's like they were water, and you can see he's ready to kick somebody's ass. Thing is we're hoping to move this QP of Brown Frown and use the profits to connect with this cat ready to meet us at Spring 4th ready to put some quality creeper in our hands for a song. So Jimmy's got his pager wailing away, along with like, every punk rocker in the 404 needing a hook up or back up all while his woman, Winter, is waiting for him to come home for Simpsons and Quality Meth Sex.

We're ready to call it quits when Germ's pager goes off (that's the 90s for you, when even the gutter punks had pagers) and he gets the code that the Normie is en route .

So, like fifteen minutes go by, and nothing.

Jimmy's like fuck this and getting up when this dude waltzes through the Admiral here on a cell phone that looks like a Walkie Talkie and with a Fighting Yellow Jacket Jersey. Germ makes him for our guy and is about to get up out of the booth to get the deal going when this old biker gets up out of the booth behind us and screams - "Mother fucker, I told you what would happen if you ever showed your face here again".

Okay, so like holy shit, right, because the Biker is like this old dude built like a barrel of explosives that's been drinking steadily since 1975 and he looks avenge the fallen pissed. The Normie recognizes the Biker, makes the universal Bro sign for 'It's All Good' but that's as far he gets before said Biker punches him right in the face and sends the poor fuck reeling back.

"Good news," I tell Jimmy lighting a smoke, "we're about to find out if he's really a cop."

From there a beat down proceeds and impossible as it sounds no one is doing a damn thing about... except Jimmy. Eventually. Who, clearly exasperated, shoos me out of the booth so he can get up, makes Germ confirm that this is indeed the droids we're looking for, and then wades on over to Fist City happening right there where the front bar adjoins with the now no smoking section to make the condo scum happy.

Jimmy intercedes by tapping the Biker on the shoulder.

Said Biker turns around with a fist coming straight for Jimmy... who and I swear to fucking god here right... catches that mother fucker with some old Caine from Kung-Fu shit. Jimmy and the Biker take turns looking at each other and the punch frozen in fist and m'man says, and I'm totally paraquoting here but the gist is legit - "I don't give a fuck what you do to this fuck, but he was about to buy a lot of weed from me and he's already an hour late. Long story short, if I don't come home with the money my woman is gonna kick my ass worse than you're kicking this fool's right now. So we good here?"

The old biker looks at Jimmy, looks at the bloodied and bitch weeping Normie, and looks back at Jimmy to give him a nod indicating that we were, indeed, good here.

Jimmy releases the fist, the Biker returns to his booth, Germ helps the Normie to his feet, Stopper Kid wakes up out of a Xanax and Draft nap, and me holding a To Go Box filled with a QP of Dirt waiting for the Law to burst in or the staff to kick us out.

But no, this is Jimmy, and ushering the Normie to our booth we make the deal not so sub rosa. Under the table I pass the To Go Box and accept a wad of bills slipped to me in return. I do a quick count, I'm not good with my fists or flow with the charm, but numbers, like words, come easy to me. The Normie's good to the last bill and I give Jimmy the nod. Jimmy informs the Normie that he'll be picking up our tab as a Save Your Sorry Ass fee.

Of course he gets zero argument.

We exit the Admiral's Grave, right there where I'm looking now, invincible, cash loaded, ready to go the club to drink some more and smoke ourselves some real weed finally.

"That didn't really happen," the Princess tells me here in the present as Katya and her man and the Sex Hobbit as well stroll in.

"Sure it did," I laugh in that way you can only laugh in Vampire Country, "you saw it all happen."

"What?," the Princess sips her Sugar Free Red Bull, "when?"

"Just now," I gesture around the Admiral's Grave, "in your head."

She laughs for the first time tonight and it feels good having someone to make laugh.

I finish my drink feeling the thirst in the blood for another but denying it purchase, the Princess picks up the tab and we make our way out.

And for a moment there, between the glass door, I turn around and can swear Jimmy and Germ and that Stopper Kid are coming up right behind me.

Just a moment though and behind me lays that home no longer mine beyond the briefest of visits.

Found not mine

The Monday Sermon [Sep. 4th, 2017|08:02 pm]
Jack Babalon

Jehovah's Prophets come in two flavors here in Terminus - Creflo Dollar flush or wino broke. The first knows that the Father is all about the hustle while the other has come to accept that his Son was bat shit insane to think there was another way but offered the only fight worth a damn. So it is that the prophets of the Father strive to change their world from a throne even as the prophets of the Son seek to change ours from the cross. As the Father wears a crown in the next world his prophets seek to wear one of their own in this one.
Yet it is only the prophets of the Son, who seek to emulate the madness of the divine last chance, that dare proselytize down here in Vampire Country.

I'm having a cigarette outside the bike shop waiting on a flat to get changed. Got that Bad, Bad Luck like Mike Ness. Street traffic's mainly Normie tourists and a smattering of locals cursing them. But then marching up Cold Quit Avenue comes a prophet of the Son ranting the Good Word. Check it. You wouldn't peg him for God's own Crazy. He's not disheveled, his hair is combed back, his khaki slacks are cheap but clean, his loafers look scuffed but presentable enough but the look in his eye is strictly Jack the Ripper.

From across the street you can hear him loud and clear. Fires ravage the edge of Los Angeles Caídos and Texas is drowning and Nuclear Armageddon is Imminent and a False Prophet sits in the Highest Office of New Rome and Behold! No One on these Streets or across the Land give a Flea's Fart that the End Times are Now and Hell is Just around the Corner.

"No it's not," I mutter the words from across the street but this being me means naturally the Human Pulpit hears me and turns around to deliver a glare cold as Circle 9 of where I'm going.

"You got something to say?," he shouts pointing his finger at my 12.

"Only that Hell is already here and it's not Dante concentric or Baptist prejudiced or even what the French call - 'other people'."

"You so smart why don'cha tell me what Hell it IS instead of what it ISN'T?"

"That's easy," I say drawing looks of bemusement or horror from passing foot traffic, "Hell is just Boot Camp for the Soul. It breaks down assumptions, pride, and eventually the ego until all that is unessential to its perseverance becomes no more. You will forget why you showed up for Basic in Hell. You will take shit from those unqualified to give the orders you cannot disobey if you want to ever survive. You will be put the grinder, day after seemingly endless day, and every night when you pass out you will say not another inch is in you and the next morning you will face yet again the grueling miles of Hell. But you stay in Hell long enough you'll learn you're not alone, you'll work together to get through it, and the impossible you buckled under will be no more than the mark of your strength. And then and only then... you'll realize Hell is the only road to Heaven and that Heaven was here on Earth all along as well."

The Human Pulpit doesn't say anything. He just nods and raises the accusatory finger to his lips.

"Sir," the bike shop clerk says looking at me confused, "your bike's ready."

I flick my cigarette in the direction where the Human Pulpit has disappeared and my Monday sermon completed prepare once again for the long ride home.


Current Mood [Aug. 24th, 2017|03:48 pm]
Jack Babalon

How I spent my Summer Vacation [Aug. 23rd, 2017|02:44 pm]
Jack Babalon
How I spent my Summer Vacation

Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Aug. 18th, 2017|01:02 am]
Jack Babalon

Ever actually punch a Nazi?

It's not as easy it looks in GIFs and memes.

I did and got my ass thoroughly kicked post haste.

No regrets now, no options then.

1989, and this being Miami it was summer no matter what month it was when I got jack booted. There was a show at Club Beirut, can't even remember who played now, you haunt a scene long enough and all the local bands that weren't the ones you loved melt into one band. The Platonic Ideal of Local Bands if you will that exists in the back of the khaki clad ex-anarchist's memories of a life now gone. Indistinct, you can see them right now but not really describe them beyond being pale, thin, angry, loud, everything a young punk wants to grow to be. Anyhoo, in the pit there was this Mohican who no one recognized as being in our Scene (because even without social media you somehow knew who the fuck every punk, skin, goth, metalhead, and skater was and who they were fucking and who they were feuding with even if you had only met them once). So Mohican here seemed pretty cool at first, bouncing with energy, when we were in the pit, he gave as good as he got but never failed to pick up those dropped in the mosh and yanked them away from getting trampled under the War Dance's ritual.

One of those being yours truly.

Dude hugged me, smiled, and then, good naturedly, pushed me back into the chaos with faith that I could take it.

Right on, right?

Not but, I don't know, two or three songs go by maybe and out of nowhere Mohican starts doing this pogo hop while shooting Sieg Heils towards the stage.

The Platonic Ideal of All Local Bands stops right there. The pit freezes. Murmurs. Disbelief. South Florida is a haven against the wave of Neo-Nazism sweeping the late 80s scene. Nazi Skinheads flex hard at shows. No Internet so we're getting dispatches through 'zines and word of mouth from nomadic gutter punks popping in through town. That shit don't fly everywhere of course. Word is New York City and South Callie don't play that shit. Add to that Miami whose skinhead scene is represented not just by insane white boys but by Cubans and Haitians alike who well gladly lecture you about the appropriation of the working class counter culture of Rude Boys by the ignorant and violent.

Point being, most of us while being vehemently Anti-Nazi had never actually laid eyes on one.

It's a young Spiky Mary that breaks the shock by stomping over to the Mohican, still pogo hopping, still doing the Hitler's In The Charts Again Salute, and shrieks in his face - "Fuck you, Nazi!"

Mohican stops pogo hopping and yoinks Spiky Mary's beer out of her hand before chugging it down all while giving her a single pointed finger upwards to indicate - 'One moment.'
Finally when he's finished he grins at her maniacally and you could hear this prick through the crowd - 'You were saying something.'

Spiky Mary, hobbit of physique but orc by attitude, smacks Mohican hard enough for it to reverb across the floor and snap the crowd out of the shock.

Mohican just rubs his face and gives that shit-eaten grin, endearing three songs ago now the flag of an enemy revealed. Everyone moves in on the dude and fuck if he's not ready for us to bring it on. Doorman diplomacy kicks in. Two brothers NFL of physique escort Mister Ziggy Hi out the door as we all follow close behind high on the mob rush.
Rule #1 Doorman Diplomacy ends in the parking lot.
Nazi Boy is ready to rumble. Bouncing on the balls of his feet. I know because my crew hustled through the crowd eager to see fresh blood and a real fight (be honest how many times have you endured three hours of shit talk in a bar just to watch two assholes role on the sidewalk trying to out squeeze the other). We're all howling and sneering threats at this dude. Mohican just eats it all up with this look like he's just discovered orgasms and angel dust simultaneous.

'You faggots gonna fight me one on one like men all at once like a bunch of...'

'Fuck you and your Master Race Bullshit,' I howl through cupped hands at both the right and wrong moment.

Right for it was by chance that everyone else in the crowd were between threats and condemnations.

Wrong because Mohican immediately focused on me.
The look in his eye made it clear he recognized me from the pit - 'Step up and do something about it then, bitch.'


Fear delivers a pimp's backhand and I freeze up.

Before I can say anything I'm pushed forward and stumbling towards him it all hits me at once. That it's on me to represent. To practice what we preach. To show this fucker that this Scene don't got piss in its blood. If I try to talk my way out he'll know who we are no matter who steps up next. He'll tell his Scene ours is easy pickings. The city's too diverse for them to occupy full time but they can make every show in the future a nightmare and get the rest of us lumped in with their 'master race bullshit'. If you don't stand up to Hate straight off the bat, Hate will make you its bitch, it will break you or recruit you but it will never just go away.

What also hits me is the fact that face to face I won't have the balls to do it, I'll back away, I'll try and talk my way out of it like I always do... and too late I come out of my stumble and swing.

I clock him straight in the side of the head. He reels back no longer feeling all hoppy. My fist feels like I punched a wall after getting blue balled at third base again. Hearing the cheers of my crew and the crowd as well is about the last thing I remember before something cracks into the back of a skull that's suddenly not as thick as it's been proclaimed to be. After that I'm wrapped in a tornado of punches until my boys pull him off me and proceed to administering a crowd beat down. It's Spiky Mary who helps me get back on my feet.

Now normally this is where I'd write about how she led me back to her apartment cooing at my bravery and administering to my wounds. We'd strip down just to our boots and she'd ride my face with a pussy that tastes like the cotton candy her spikes are the color of and I'd lap thirsty at nipples pierced with safety pins.

Instead she shakes her head and before walking away gives me this advice - 'Next time learn how to fight, okay?'
It's 28 years later now and I watch the Nazis marching down the streets with torches raised. I know they're different people but the look on their faces could be the same ones I've seen in the 80s or from the documentaries. The haircuts different. The fashion shifted. The look of Hate in their eyes the same. I scroll through social media and there's a call to arms from both sides. Punch a Nazi, is the zeitgeist once again, because the only other options available are getting your ass kicked now or getting rounded up for the camps later.

And I have to wonder if I have it in me to do it again.

I'm fat, forty five, and fueled by lungs ravaged by decades worth of nicotine and THC damage.

I have a gun to protect the house but bringing heat to a march is just an invitation to a blood bath.

So, what can I do then?, I wonder and there's Spiky Mary - eternally in her early 20s in my mind - and what she told me then is what she tells us now.

Next time learn to fight.

Because next time is right around the corner.
link1 Summoned|Invoke

(no subject) [Aug. 14th, 2017|12:02 am]
Jack Babalon
So this is America now, fifty years after the Civil Rights Movement and some 150 years after the Civil War. It never ended. We drove the ugliness to the fringe but it just festered there waiting until now when the monster's have the keys to the White House and the nation's destiny with it.

Don't know what to say or post or write to know I'm helping to fix this. I don't know if any of what we did was enough leading up to this moment in our country's history. I keep trying to numb myself with distractions and buzzes but it feels like some final and beautiful illusion has been shattered beyond repair, beyond apology, beyond thought and prayer. As if one found out an unfaithful spouse who you can't stop forgiving had been secretly poisoning you for years and only now that you're spitting up blood does it all become clear who s/he really was.

We all got a lot to think to about and more than asking questions we got to figure out how to answer the ones we got.

Tired, angry, scared.

Good night.


Hate is the Drug [Aug. 13th, 2017|12:45 am]
Jack Babalon
They say Hate's a disease and that Cain was Patient Zero.

Hate is as old as mankind, they reckon, and been a part of our story since page one of the history books.

Hate is contagious, an airborne pathogen incubating within thought's absence until it disperses itself through the voices of the cruel into the ears of the ignorant. There the pathogen works its way into the thoughts. Rewires the nervous system until it sees only blame in difference and threat from time's changes. The only inoculation we got against Hate is Love and Reason. It's just a matter of getting enough of the population emotionally vaccinated with Love and Reason until the last hosts carrying millennia old strains wither away into first obscurity and then oblivion.

What we see in the Charlottesville riots today then is the Hate Disease attacking the cultural immune system of an infant zeitgeist. A fever burning with a torch's violence against that dark which holds our greatest and most ancient fear - that we are not alone in it.

But Hate is not a disease.

It's a drug.

One that makes the demands of heroin, alcohol, and nicotine feel like a fast food hankering.

Hate is the sweetest narcotic because it doesn't numb the ache in Love's absence but rather fills it with an inexhaustible energy in its place. Hate tastes like if Love and Anger fucked and gave birth to a new you. A stronger you, filled with vast depths of energy and a passion that can make a weak man be willing to stand up and fight.

No one starts out as a Hate Junkie. It starts like all drugs with casual use. Now this is not to say a Hate Junkie will don their white hood on the weekends and then be shivering on the floor if they go longer than two hours without saying the N word. No, it's much more subtle than that. Like sugar you can get hooked on it young. Your fed it around the dinner table, you catch a contact high around the living room TV or get it mainlined during talks with a loved one who wants to set you straight on matters of birthright and superiority. Sometimes the habit flows much more subtle manifesting itself in what the junkie will insist are harmless off color jokes or semantic generalizations.

But never forget that a Hate Junkie can get their habit late in life, a bad day is all it takes to find fault in the many by the tragic deeds of an individual or individuals. Hate, like alcohol gives courage to the victim and coward alike.

I tell you this not from the pulpit of untested righteousness but as a recovering Hate Junkie.

I tell you this because I wanted to say what I've witnessed happening in my country was because of globalization, automation, a fundamental lack of access to education and opportunity. I wanted to say that Hate was the mask that Fear wears to defend itself against threats existent and nonexistent. I wanted to believe that Hate was an aberration, cancer unpredictable and just as lethal in need of an excision before it could spread.

I wanted to believe that Hate is Hate is Hate is Hate is Hate...
But watching the videos stream across my shock and I knew exactly what I had been subconsciously apologizing for. The Nazi rallies around Confederate monuments by torch light. The white supremacists marshaled in some sinister version of medieval cosplay complete with shields and helmets and clubs while the police stood there as if it was remotely possible that they would be just as stoic and respectful about First Amendment rights had this been a Black Lives Matter protest. I watched skirmishes and beat downs and arrests and on the verge of whatever German word there must be for when terror fuses with heartbreak I actually forget the very real possibility of a nuclear war that's all of a sudden something I have to be scared of again.

But the moment of clarity came when I watched the leader of the Free World, my President, inexplicably addressing the nation about how both sides were to blame for a white riot of the Non-Clash variety. Both sides were to blame even though only one side approached with torches lit chanting about ovens and white supremacy. Both sides were equally at fault even though only one side plowed a car into a crowd of pedestrians just like the very 'Radical Islamists' they claim the moral high ground over along with the liberals who apologize for them. Both sides were culpable for the bloodshed though one side showed up to a 'peaceful demonstration of First Amendment rights' in improvised body armor while packing bludgeons.

No these weren't the victims of socioeconomic conditions, these weren't 'hill-bred hicks' who don't know no better, these weren't unemployed coal miners looking for someone who feels their struggle, these weren't the gullible of mind or evil of spirit.

This wasn't about jobs, this wasn't about terrorism, this wasn't about Christian values coming under attack by a so called 'tolerant left'.

No let us be clear here and not mince words. This was about a statue, one honoring a general who fought for the belief that slavery was the rent the black man paid to the white man to live in his world, and its being removed from public view. Or as the white nationalist protesters call it - 'Political correctness run amok'. That was all the excuse these fucking Hate Junkies needed to run riot and celebrate that their drug of choice has now been for all intents and purposes legalized for Poor White Guys in khakis by the Rich White Guys in suits who now 'run' the White House.

And now is the time when the rest of us as a society have to ask just how far we're willing to enable Trump's Americans in their habit before they do what all junkies do - take by violence whatever they need in order to satisfy their urges.

Because the only way you get a Hate Junkie into the recovering stage is by forcing them to go cold turkey and what you also saw in Charlottesville wasn't a counter-protest but an intervention.

It's not going to be easy on the rest of us, the recovering junkie and sober minded alike. We're going to have to learn to fight, spiritually and literally, and that's not an easy thing to say. At some point Love has to close the open hand into a fist. At some point you can't allow yourself to be victimized by those who have surrendered dominion over themselves to the bottle or the needle or to the tribal thrill of hating thy neighbor.

But we don't have the option of the abused spouse, leaving, so instead we have to learn to protect ourselves and that may mean a self-defense class and that could mean learning to shoot the very firearms whose ease of obtainment we fought against.

Vanilla Isis is no longer a snarky remark to comment in a thread but getting ready to march down our streets while we all sit around watching Game of Thrones and posting memes.

So tell me America, what do we do when the Hate Junkies stop appearing on our phone screens and start showing up on our front doors looking for what Ginsberg would call "their angry fix"?

Terminus: Diurnal Vampire Country Reconnaissance & Other Dispatches [Jul. 23rd, 2017|05:41 pm]
Jack Babalon
[Tags|, ]

Where my Wild Things At?

Tagging Cosmic

The Imp of Hit This Shit

Wall Crawling Mech Drone

Rolling up with the Crew

Chasing after that Cheese

Ghost Fading through the Walls

Wedge Building

Neo Brutalism Grid


Educate Elevate

Arachnid Anatomy

Mother Box

Urban Tulpa at the Abandoned BBQ Shack

Confessions of a Fuck Up Artist [Jul. 22nd, 2017|11:29 pm]
Jack Babalon

Peepaw knew what was up back in the day when he'd just walk up and down the beach in his 'boob inspector' t-shirt grinning at the young ladies with the Farah Fawcett hair. Had he a few cold ones before embarking down Coney Island demanding random strangers - men and women alike - to lift up shirt or bikini top? Oh most fucking definitely. For this was Koch's Apple then, when an old man could down a six pack on the F-Train and needed no more to impersonate an actual Boob Inspector than a t-shirt.

The years saw times change hard and the City of Apple had to make some serious budgetary cut-backs in the Age of Reagan. Among them all 327 'Boob Inspectors' for the City. Peepaw still wore the shirt of course but now no one heeded his demands for all chests to be made open to his leering inspection.

Now he was just a drunk old man in a silly t-shirt and I guess that's why deep down inside I can never forgive President Reagan or Mayor Koch or all the forces of history that shut down the Office of Boob Inspector. For it was just not that noble institution that was shuttered but Peepaw's heart - which gave out at last after years of being reduced to chest inspecting VHS tapes and what he called 'girly magazines - the kind gentleman like'.

I think deep down he hoped that I would carry on the torch as it was certainly not anything the Old Man was into.

But I never entertained notions of being a Boob Inspector, not after a brief gig working as an Asshole Inspector with no rank in what I guess you could call the Navy. Asshole Inspector meant everyone was encouraged to show you how much of an asshole they could be given a modicum of rank and conditions set to levels of stir crazy known only by inmates and sailors. Think the Stanford Experiment on crack only with access to Tomahawk missiles and all sorts of shit I can't talk about.

After a few years of Asshole Inspecting I got out and knew there enough boobs out there that all I could do is just hope not to be one of them.

Anyway, such are the memories a humid summer's night brings.


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